TABLE OF CONTENTS (details)
TABLE OF CONTENTS details
THE DIVINE PLAN JOURNAL
Volume 22 * April 1997 * Number 4
"For I have received of the
Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord
Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said,
Take, eat: for this is my body which is broken for you:
this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also
he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is
the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye
drink it, in remembrance of me."
"For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: for this is my body which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me." I Corinthians 11:23-25exhorted to also partake of the emblems at the proper time.
With the passing of each year since 1878, the number of those born of the spirit in the first resurrection increases. These, associated with our Lord, are experiencing the joy of being engaged in kingdom work without laborious efforts. (Revelation 14:13) As soon as the kingdom work on this side of the veil is completed by the "feet of him", (Isaiah 52:7), the full union or marriage of the Bridegroom to the bride will occur. Words cannot adequately describe the kingdom joy to be experienced by "the Christ", (Head and body members), when the first resurrection is complete. Our Lord suggested this joy at the first advent on the occasion of the first Memorial Supper. He said, "I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Fathers kingdom." Matthew 26:29
Each one who has entered the narrow way is not only anticipating this kingdom joy beyond the veil, but also is rejoicing at the present, having peace and joy, while at the same time experiencing sorrow and tribulation as foretold by our Redeemer. (John 16:22,33) The tribulation or "bruising" being experienced by the "heel" members of the body of Christ is one of the many signs indicating that soon the bride will have made herself ready. If one is lacking the peace and joy foretold by the Master, it is an indication that he needs to re-examine his consecration vow.
The work of harvest continues to separate the wheat from the tares and the ripe wheat from the unripe wheat. The consecrated who are following closely in the footsteps of the Redeemer rejoice to have a share in this work. There is still much work to be done, but the laborers are few. If one finds nothing to do, he should pray to the Lord of harvest regarding this matter.
In the closing days of the harvest of the Gospel age, each of the consecrated continues to be tested respecting his love, zeal, meekness, and humility. With so much iniquity abounding in the world at the present, the love of many has waxed cold. Because the time has seemed long to some, zeal has given way to indifference and slothfulness. Meekness, on the part of others, has given way to the teaching of false doctrines. Some who once possessed humility have let this characteristic be replaced with pride and jealousy.
On the other hand, each one following in the footsteps of the Master, will be full of love and zeal. This one seeks opportunities for laying down his life on behalf of the brethren and those who may yet become our brethren in Christ. Each one seeking to do the Fathers will is satisfied with the "meat in due season" which the household of faith is now enjoying. There is no room for pride or jealousy in such a heart. Being engaged in the Fathers business brings "peace" which passes all human understanding.Philippians 4:7
Not only during the Memorial season but also throughout the entire year, each one seeking to be pleasing to the heavenly Father will remember the costly sacrifice of the dear Lamb of God. He will also remember the consecrated brethren throughout the world, seeking to lay down his life on their behalf. On Sunday, April 20 the consecrated, who partake of the broken, unleavened bread, will give thanks for their justification. Special thanks will be expressed to the heavenly Father who loved the human family to the extent of giving his only begotten Son, his dear Lamb, to die for the "little flock" of sheep as well as the "other sheep" (Adam and his race).John 3:16
Those who partake of the cup will express thanks for the privilege of suffering with Christ. Appreciation will be expressed to the heavenly Father for the merit (blood) of the dear Redeemer that is passing through the consecrated of the Gospel age on its way for the sealing of the New Covenant. Soon the bride will be completely with the Bridegroom, and the individual blessing of all the families of the earth will begin. Revelation 22:17; Genesis 22:18
"Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth [day] of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of [their] fathers, a lamb for an house: And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take [it] according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take [it] out from the sheep, or from the goats: And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. And they shall take of the blood, and strike [it] on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; [and] with bitter [herbs] they shall eat it. Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast [with] fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof. And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire. And thus shall ye eat it; [with] your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it [is] the LORD'S passover."Exodus 12:3-11
THE Ransom of our race by our Savior is a matter of deep interest to the Lord's people, and one which apparently is very difficult to understand clearly. We view the subject from different standpoints. All see the same thing, but all do not see the details.
God might have told us that He had arranged a way by which Justice and the dignity of His Court of the Universe could be upheld and man nevertheless be released from the sentence of death imposed upon him six thousand years ago. There was no need of His telling us anything about the Ransom. It would have been sufficient for us that God should have told us that He had attended to the matter properly. But instead, God reasons with us in the Scriptures, and there explains the process of His Government by which He could be just and yet be the Justifier of sinners. This process which God had all to do with and man had nothing to do with is Scripturally styled the Ransom the giving of the perfect life of Jesus to be the full, complete offset for the forfeited life of Adam, the father of our race.
From this viewpoint, if one went no further into the matter, one might say, "Jesus has died and the world has been ransomed" just as the Scriptures speak of Jesus, even while He was in the flesh, as being the Messiah, the King of Glory. Even when He was a babe the angels sang, "Unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ [Messiah] the Lord." Their statements included not only the babe and what had already been accomplished in His birth, but all the great work which He would do in the future. As a matter of fact, the babe was merely called a Savior because He would in the future save His people from their sins. The babe was merely called the Anointed Messiah because it was foreseen of God that He would make a consecration at Jordan, be begotten and anointed of the Holy Spirit, finish His work of sacrifice and be exalted to Heavenly glory, not only, during this Age, for the Church which is His Body, but also for the willing and obedient of the world of mankind during the Millennium. Thus we see that the babe was not the Savior except in the prophetic sense that He was to be the Savior. He was not King except in the sense that He was born and came into the world to that end. He was not the Deliverer then, nor has He even yet delivered all His Church; whereas, after the deliverance of the Church, comes the deliverance of the world from the reign of Sin and Death.
Similarly the word ransom may be, and often is, used by us all in a prophetic sense as including the entire work of Redemption down to the very end of the Millennial Age; as we read, "I will ransom [deliver by a ransom] them from the grave."Hosea 13:14
But as we come close to these various questions and analyze them, we see new beauties, new divisions of matters, which at first seem to be indivisible. We see, for instance, that the first step toward ransoming the world was taken when the Logos left the glory which He had with the Father and humbled Himself to become the Man Jesus. The first feature in the ransoming work was our Master's consecration of Himself at Jordan, followed by His life of devotion even unto death. The completion of His sacrifice was the completion of the Ransom-price, but it was not the completion of the Ransom-work. Indeed, the Ransom-work could not even begin until the Ransom-price had been provided not paid.
We sometimes have spoken of Jesus as having paid the Ransom when He died, but such expression was not accurate. The price of obedience to the Father's will was death, and our Lord's death constitutes the price. In one sense Jesus paid it when He surrendered His life; but in another and more accurate sense, He did not pay it, but merely placed it in the hands of the Father as the price to be appropriated, or made applicable later.
The Ransom-price has been in the hands of Divine Justice in the Father's hands ever since Jesus died, but only as a deposit, because the time had not come for it to be paid over officially. If the Divine Plan had been for Jesus to take possession of the world and to set up His Kingdom at Pentecost, then it would have been proper for Him to have paid over to the Father the Ransom-price fully and completely appropriating it as the offset to Father Adam's sin and sentence on behalf of all his race. But had that price been formally paid over, the proper and logical thing would have been for the Father to put the whole world immediately into the hands of Jesus, and for the Millennial Reign to begin.
RANSOM-PRICE DEPOSITED WITH DIVINE JUSTICE
There was, however, another feature to the Divine Plan: God did not wish to turn over the Kingdom to Jesus until the great Seventh Day, the Millennium. He did wish that during the intervening more than eighteen centuries a Church class should be called out from amongst the world, to be the Bride and Joint-heir of His Son in the Kingdom. Hence the Ransom-price for the sins of the whole world was merely left unappropriated, while Jesus dealt with the Church. And since the Father's Plan for the Church was that they should sacrifice or surrender their earthly interests and receive, instead, Heavenly interests and the Divine nature, therefore it was not necessary to give the Church Restitution the thing which the Ransom-price will secure for the world of mankind. Hence, instead of giving the Church a direct share in the Ransom-price, which would mean Restitution, the Lord's provision for them is different; namely, an imputation of merit covering their blemishes, so that they might present their bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God.
All, therefore, that Jesus has done with the Ransom-price is to impute a share of that price as covering the shortcomings of those who desire to become His disciples and joint-heirs. He has not appropriated it to them actually, as in Restitution, but by imputation justifying them from all sin, and thus permitting them to be accepted of the Father as members of the House of Sons, by the begetting of the Holy Spirit. And how beautiful is the thought that, when shortly our Lord will pay over the Ransom-price for the sins of the whole world, and have the world immediately turned over to Him for Restitution work, the Church will be with Him in glory sharing His honor and His Throne, as now they share in His sufferings and His ignominy!
PRACTICAL PHASE OF RANSOMING WORK
When the Ransom-price shall then have been given to justice in exchange for the world of mankind, and when the purchased world of mankind shall have been turned over to the Purchaser, the legal phase of the Ransoming work of Jesus and the satisfaction of Justice in the release of mankind from the penalty of death will be complete. Then, however, another part of the ransoming will begin and will operate; namely, the giving of the benefits of the ransom to Adam and his family. This phase of the Ransom-work will continue for the thousand years of Messiah's Kingdom, bringing Restitution to man and his earthly hometo all the willing and obedient of Adam's racethe unwilling being destroyed in the Second Death.
Then the Ransomer will have completed His work of ransoming the human family in its two phases: First, its legal phase, the satisfaction of Divine Justice by the giving of a life for a life; second, its practical phase, the restoring or recovering or delivering of the redeemed from the bondage of Sin and Death to the liberty of the sons of God.Romans 8:21 [R5890]
"This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we are all witnesses."Acts 2:32
TODAYS STUDY leaves the words and works of Jesus and, appropriate to the Easter season, we are to consider our Lords resurrection. At the very outset we are confronted with certain errors which have gradually crystallized around the central truths of Gods Word. One of these errors is the supposition that the resurrection of the dead, which the Scriptures hold forth as the hope of the Church and of the world, is to be a resurrection of the bodies which go down into death.
This mistake has given ground for Infidelity to sneer at this precious doctrine of the Bible. We are asked, How could the dust which once constituted the bodies of thousands of millions of humanity ever be re-collected and rearranged so that we could say that those bodies were resurrected? The infidel urges that many of humanity have been eaten by fishes and animals, and many other corpses have been absorbed by vegetation, which in turn has been eaten time and again by man and beast, entering into the many organisms. The proposition is manifestly unanswerable, yet it does not refute the Bible teaching of the resurrection, but merely our creedal misapprehensions of the Bible teaching. What the Bible does teach is that the real man is the soul, the being, and that he persists while gradually his body keeps changingsloughing off.
Scientists estimate that the human body undergoes a complete change every seven years, so that a man fifty years old will have lost seven different bodies through natural wastes. None of those bodies was the man himself, for he is the soul, the intelligent personality, which used those different bodies. According to the Bible, the process of rejuvenation would have continued everlastingly had man by obedience continued in Divine favor and in the enjoyment of the everlasting life promised. It was sin, therefore, that brought the death penaltythe death of the soul. It was Adams soul that sinned, it was Adams soul that died. "In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die"; "The soul that sinneth, it shall die."
The result of this Divine sentence upon man would have been extinctionhe would have been on the same plane as the brute, without a provision for eternal life, had not God in great mercy provided a redemptionthat Jesus Christ by the grace of God should taste death for every man. The death which Jesus experienced was exactly the same kind as the one which destroyed Adam the soul of Jesus died, as the ransom price for the soul of Adam (including Adams posterity). Thus we read of Jesus, "He poured out His soul unto death"; "He made His soul an offering for sin."
It is by virtue of this corresponding price which Jesus paid that ultimately Adam and all of his posterity, every soul of man, will be granted a release from the death penaltya resurrection from the dead. It will be a resurrection, not of the dead bodies, but of the dead souls. In the resurrection God will give to each soul a body as it has pleased Him.I Cor. 15:38
The few during this Age who have become followers of Jesus, begotten of the Holy Spirit, will be granted spirit bodies like to the Saviors. The remainder of mankind, not having been begotten of the Holy Spirit, will in the resurrection be granted human bodies, the same as they previously had; and their raising up will bring them eventually to all the perfection of the first Adam, unless they refuse the grace of God, in which event they will die the Second Death, from which there is to be no resurrection.
It is because God has provided for such a resurrection of the souls of men that the Scriptures speak of humanity as not being dead in the same sense that the brute beasts are deadactually. On the contrary, they speak of the souls of men as being asleepawaiting the resurrection, when they shall be quickened to life, in conjunction with the bodies which God will supply at that timeearthly bodies to mankind in general, heavenly bodies for the saintly few who will receive the Kingdom.
St. Peter on the Day of Pentecost declared that the Holy Spirit then bestowed came as a result of our Redeemers death and resurrection and ascension on high. It proved that He had appeared in heaven on behalf of those who desired to be His followers, His Bride class. St. Peter argues backwards to prove that while the sacrifice of Jesus, finished at Calvary, was to pay for Divine reconciliation, nevertheless there could have been no reconciliation if Jesus had remained dead. Hence he laid stress upon the fact of His resurrection, and he reminds us that this was foretold. The Prophet David declared, "Thou wilt not leave My soul in sheol, nor suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption."Acts 2:27
St. Peters quotation of this, in the Greek, substitutes the word hades for sheol, showing that the two words have the same meaningthe tomb, the state of the dead. St. Peter points out that the Prophet could not have used the word respecting himself, because his soul was left in hades, and his flesh did see corruption. St. Peter said, "David has not ascended into heaven, and his sepulcher is with us to this day." (Acts 2:34,29) He proceeds to point out that the words were a prophecy of the resurrection of Jesus, that His soul, poured out in death as the redemption price for Adams soul and for the race, was not left in death, in sheol, in hades, but He was raised from the dead.
St. Paul tells us that "He was put to death in flesh, but quickened in spirit." He declared that Jesus, in His resurrection, was exalted to a higher than human nature, to a higher than the angelic naturefar above angels and principalities and powersthe divine nature.
Many have supposed that the fact that our Lord appeared as a man to His disciples after His resurrection proves that He is still a human being, "a little lower than the angels." This is a great mistake. He was the Churchs Forerunner, and St. Paul explains the Churchs resurrection, saying, "It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown an animal body, raised a spirit body." Hence the resurrection of Jesus must have been as a Spirit Being. Again we read, "Now the Lord is that Spirit."2 Cor. 3:17
In considering the Lords eight appearances to His faithful ones after His resurrection, we should remember that He had two purposes to serve: (1) He wished them to know that He was no longer dead. (2) He also wished them to know that, resurrected, He was a Spirit Being of the highest order, with all the privileges and powers that spirit beings like the angels exercise. As angels could materialize and appear in the flesh and then disappear, and had done so in the past, so did Jesus. In order that they might not misunderstand He appeared in different forms; on two of the occasions, in forms representing the Crucified One; on the six other occasions, in various forms, as the gardener, the sojourner, etc.
In the last verse of our study the Apostle sums up the essence of his preaching, saying, "So we preach and so ye believe." This, in the first verse of our study, St. Paul calls the Gospel; and the word "Gospel" signifies "good tidings," which St. Paul and the other Apostles preached, namely, that God, in His own due time, four thousand years after sin had entered the world, had provided a Redeemer, who had died a ransom price for the man Adam. The Redeemer had risen that He might, as Jehovahs Anointed One, the Messiah, confer upon the human race the blessed opportunity for restitution to all that was lost in Adam, and redeemed at Calvary.
But before this could be accomplished, the Church, the Bride class, must be selected from amongst mankind, to be the Second Adams Bride, on the same plane of glory as the Second Adam, for the regeneration of all the willing and obedient to human perfectionall that was lost. [R4994]
"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."Verse 8
OF THE GREAT TEACHER we read, "He spake as never man spake." He was the Man Christ Jesus, but He was not a fallen man, not a sinner. His life was transferred from a heavenly to an earthly condition; hence, as a Man, He was "holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners." (Heb. 7:26) More than this, at the time of His consecration to death, He entered into a covenant of sacrifice with Jehovah, and thereupon He received His anointing of the Holy Spirit this was the power of the Highest. What need have we for wonder, then, when we read that He taught as one having authorityas one who knew, who understood clearly and positively the things which He presented!
The eight Beatitudes illustrate the difference between the teachings of Jesus and all other teachings from every other quarter. He had a new view of what to present. His is a different Message from all other messages to this day. While other teachers instructed the people to hold up their heads, to remember noble ancestors, etc., and thereby be blessed, Jesus encouraged His hearers to realize that the poor in spirit, the humble-minded, would receive the great blessings.
While other teachers held forth the rich, the great, the learned, the mighty, the influential amongst men as the patterns to be copied, if happiness would be attained, Jesus, in these beatitudes, sets forth the reverse. His prescriptions for happiness have indeed been followed by a few, and these alone appreciate their merit and are finding the blessings promised, both for the present life and for that which is to come.
The contrast between the Ten Commandments of the Mosaic Law and the eight Beatitudes declared by Jesus on the Mount, illustrate in considerable degree the difference between the Law Dispensation, and the Dispensation of Grace. The Law commanded the "house of servants" what they should and what they should not do. "Moses was faithful as a servant over all his house." (Heb. 3:5,6) He delivered to the "house of servants"typical Israelthe Divine Law, by the keeping of which they might be blessed and used in the Divine service.
But the Gospel Message is a still higher one. It does not ignore the Law given by Moses to the "house of servants." It recognizes the Law as just, and holy, and good, and that Israel did not obtain that which they sought, because unable, through the weakness of heredity, to keep the spirit of Gods perfect Law. The New Dispensation, which Jehovah inaugurated through Jesus, provides a full Ransom sacrifice for all sinners, and proposes ultimately to bless and to assist all out of all the weakness of hereditynot only Israel, but the entire race of Adam. The Law feature will be maintained, but grace and mercy will come in to render the necessary assistance to the keeping of the Law. But before that New Era of world blessing is introduced, the Divine arrangement proposes to gather a special class, all of whom must be "copies of Gods dear Son." (Rom. 8:29, Diaglott) These are to be His joint-heirs, in every sense of the wordin the sufferings and self-denials and persecutions and sacrifices of the present life, as well as in the glories, the honor and immortality of the future life.
The Mission of Jesus and His teachings, at His first advent, were not to the world, but to a special class: "He that hath an ear to hear, let him hear." The Message for the world will go forth at His second advent, and we have the assurance that then all the blinded eyes will be opened and all the deaf ears will be unstopped, and the knowledge of the glory of God will fill the whole earth.
In todays study, Jesus was addressing such of the Jews as had the hearing ear, such as had an inclination to be His disciples. He was addressing the class to whom He said, "If any man will be My disciple, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me, that where I am there shall My disciple be." It was to this class that the Beatitudes were spoken, not with thunderings of Sinai, not with threats of vengeance and death if the lessons were not learned.
The Master was addressing such as believed on Him, the class for whom He was about to appear in the presence of God, after finishing His sacrificial work, to impute to them His covering for their blemishes and imperfections, and to give them a standing with the Father, and to make their sacrifices "holy and acceptable to God." (Rom. 12:1) He was instructing these as to how they could best make their calling and election sure, how they could the more successfully win the great "prize" to which they were called. Others may gather precious lessons from these Beatitudes, but only the spirit-begotten can appreciate them fully.
The foundation of the Palace of Blessedness is Humility. None can ever hope for a share in the Messianic Kingdom except as he is humble-minded: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven." To such and such only will this great blessing come. It would never do for God to accept as a member of the Kingdom class one possessed of the spirit of pride and selfish ambition. In Satans experience we have an illustration of what pride might accomplish. God proposes that humility shall be a primary test as respects the Bride class.
The Palace Reception Room, upon the foundation of Humility, on the ground-floor of the Palace, is the chamber of Sorrowmourning. Only such as know what it is to be touched with the feelings of human infirmities can be members of the Royal Priesthood, which by and by is to deal with and assist back to harmony with God whoever wills of all humanity. Besides, this Reception-Room of sorrow and mourning seems necessary for our complete separation from the things of the world, the flesh and the Devil. Few have ever been saints without passing through sorrowful experiences. We remember Jesus words, "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Yes, the Reception Room of mourning is necessary for us before we can appreciate the comfort which God has provided for this particular class"His elect": "Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted."
The Palace Library is Meekness. None can be successfully taught of the Lord and fully enjoy the Palace of Blessedness without the quality of meekness or teachableness. Into this Library the follower of Jesus must frequently go, there to learn valuable lessons, without which he could not make progress in his faith-building and character-development: "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth." As members of Messiah, heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus, their Lord, these will come into the full possession, the full control of the earth. For a thousand years this control will be maintained while mankind will be taught valuable lessons and be uplifted out of sin and degradation and death to the perfect manhood lost by Father Adam, redeemed by Jesus. Only at the close of the Messianic reign will The Meek turn over their inheritance, the earth, to mankind. Then those of the earth who will receive the control will be such of mankind as will have learned their lessons of meekness.
The Dining Room: Hunger for Righteousness. All who will be joint-heirs with Christ will be lovers of righteousness and haters of iniquity, in likeness of the Redeemer. It is very important, therefore, that in our Palace of Blessedness we have a large and well-appointed Dining Room, where our hunger and thirst for righteousness may be encouraged and satisfied at the same time. "Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled." They will get their fill of it, for their own perfection in the First Resurrection, and in the establishment of righteousness in all the earth, during the thousand years of Messiahs reign.
The Door of the Palace: Mercy. One of the most important lessons for the New Creature to learn is love, sympathy, mercy. In the Divine arrangement we must go out and in this door constantly. Our own imperfections continually require Divine mercy and should as continually impress upon us the merciful disposition toward those with whom we have to do. Only thus will we be fitted and prepared to be faithful and merciful members of the Royal Priesthood in dealing with and blessing the world of mankind during the Messianic Kingdom. "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy"; "If ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your heavenly Father forgive your trespasses"; "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us."
The Palace Window, through which we may see God, is Purity of Heart. We cannot, while in the flesh, attain absolute purity in thought, word and deed, but we can have heart puritypureness of intention and desire. Only such as have this heart condition may hope to attain the Kingdom honors and to see Him whom no human has seen, neither can see. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."
The Parlor of our Palace is represented by the characteristics of the Peacemaker. It implies a certain resistance and victory in respect to our own affairs, furnishing us the opportunity to help others. "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God."
The Kitchen of our Palace represents the trials and difficulties incidental to the rounding out of our characters as a whole and our proper nourishment and upbuilding spiritually. "Blessed are ye when men shall revile you and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My Names sake; rejoice, and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in heaven." [R5003]
"Blessed [are] the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed [are] they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed [are] the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed [are] they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed [are] the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed [are] the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed [are] the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed [are] they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when [men] shall revile you, and persecute [you], and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great [is] your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you."Matthew 5:3-12
"To us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things."1 Corinthians 8:6
NOTWITHSTANDING the wide-spread acceptance of the doctrine of the Trinity, we have held closely to the Bible teaching that there is but one God. Jesus called God His Father, and spoke of Himself as the Son of God. A father is a life-giver. A son is an offspring, one who receives life from a father. This distinction implies that the father existed first. And so Jesus says of Himself, "I proceeded forth and came from God."John 8:42
In our writings we show the clear teachings of the Bible, that Jesus in His pre-human condition was the Logos, the Word, or Message, from the Father; and that as such He was called a god, but not the Godthe Father. On so important a question as the equality of the Father and the Son, we must not rely upon any mans testimony except that of the inspired writers of the Scriptures. We should accept no dictum save that of the Divine Word itself. Let us ask Jesus. He replies, "My Father is greater than I"; "I can of Mine own self do nothing; as I hear I judge"; "My Father is greater than all"; "I ascend to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God"; "This is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent."John 14:28; 5:30; 10:29; 17:3; 20:17
In our writings we point out that Jesus was the first of Gods creatures, the only being directly created by Jehovah; and that Jehovah did all subsequent creating through the Son. Thus we read that Jesus was "the beginning of the creation of God," "the First-born of every creature," "the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last" of the Fathers direct creation. (Revelation 3:14; 22:13; Colossians 1:15) The Apostle John declares (John 1:1-3), "In the beginning [not Jehovahs beginning, for He had no beginning; but the worlds beginning, or mans beginning] was the Word [the Logos], and the Word was with the God and the Word was a god. All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made." Could this subject be made plainer? Why confuse ourselves needlessly? Why fight against the plain statements of Gods Word to uphold a theory which is without Bible support and was formulated in the Dark Ages?
We teach, as does the Bible, that the Lord Jesus came from Heaven to earth; was born of a virgin mother; that He, "the Logos, was made flesh and dwelt among us," and His disciples "beheld His glory, the glory as of the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth!" (John 1:14) Jesus had not two natures, but one nature, having changed the higher, the spiritual nature, for the human nature. As the Scriptures declare, "He who was rich, for our sakes became poor, that we through His poverty might be rich." (2 Corinthians 8:9) And as He grew to manhood He grew in favor with God and man. He was perfect"holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners."Luke 2:52; Hebrews 7:26
At thirty years of age, this Perfect One, having reached the perfection of manhood according to the Law consecrated, or devoted, His life to God as the great Sacrifice for human sin, fulfilling the Scriptures, "a body hast Thou prepared Me," "for the suffering of death." (Hebrews 10:5; 2:9) That consecrated sacrifice of the Man Jesus God accepted, indicating His acceptance by the anointing of Jesus with the Holy Spirit at Jordan. Thenceforth He was duala perfect human body with a newly begotten mindspirit-begotten. He then, as a New Creature, was to complete the sacrifice of His flesh; and His new mindthe New Creaturewas to go on to perfection. He prayed that the Father would restore Him to the glory which He had with the Father "before the world was." (John 17:5) In His humility He asked no higher glory. His sacrifice was finished at Calvary, and His new mind, His spirit-begotten new nature was, in the resurrection, granted the new body which the Father had promised. "Sown in dishonor," He was "raised in glory"; "sown in weakness," He was "raised in power"; "sown a natural body," He was "raised a spiritual body."1 Corinthians 15:43,44
Our Lord was not originally created in the way the angels were; for He was the direct creation of the Father, whereas the angels were the indirect creations of God, through the Son. St. Paul declares that all things are of the Father, and all things are through, by the Son. (1 Corinthians 8:6) He was the Fathers honored agent in all other works of creation.
Our Lord Jesus became the Christ, the Anointed, when He received the anointing of the Holy Spirit at His baptism. He was perfected as the Christ at His resurrection. He was a god (Mighty One) before He came into the world; He also was a god from the time He received the begetting of the Holy Spirit at Jordan; and He is still a god, set down at the right hand of the Father. But He is not The God, He never was and never will be. Note again His own words after His resurrection, when speaking to Mary Magdalene: "I ascend to My Father and your Father; to My God and your God." (John 20:17) Hear what St. Paul says, "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." (1 Corinthians 8:6) Again, in referring to Jehovah, the Apostle calls Him, "God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ", and again, "The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ," and "the God of our Lord Jesus Christ."2 Corinthians 1:3; Ephesians 1:3,17
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 his words quoted above. He also declares that Jesus "thought not of robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation." No translation of this passage (Philippians 2:6), save in our Common Version gives the thought that Jesus considered Himself equal to God the Father, but all are to the contrary of this. Our Common Version rendering is evidently a mistranslation. The entire argument of the Apostle shows that Christ humiliated Himself, not that He claimed equality with Jehovah!
The word "trinity" is not found in the Bible. The only text in the Bible which seems in any way to suggest a trinity is acknowledged even by trinitarians themselves to be a forgery, incorporated into the text about the fifth century. This interpolation forms a part of 1 John 5:7,8. We quote the passage, with the interpolated words enclosed 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." See Revised Version, Emphatic Diaglott, American Standard Union translation, Youngs translation, etc. This passage is pronounced an interpolation by such eminent authorities as Sir Isaac Newton, Benson, Adam Clarke, Horne, Griesbach, Tischendorf and Alford.
We have explained in our writings that there was a time when our Lord Jesus did not exist, when Jehovah was alone. How else could the Bible declare that Jesus was the "beginning of the creation of God"? (Rev. 3:14) What is the value of language, anyway, if we do not give words their manifest meaning? Jesus undoubtedly had a beginning. This beginning was ages before He came to earth as a human being to die for Adam and his race. Those who denounce us should read our writings before criticizing them. Then they would not criticize at all, if honest; for they would know that there is no ground for criticism on the part of those who hold to the Bible as the Word of God.
THE LOGOS TRANSFERRED FROM HEAVEN TO EARTH
The Lord Jesus had a Heavenly nature before He came into the world. He exchanged that nature, as we have stated, for an earthly one, in order that He might give His flesh, His humanity, a Ransom-price for the sins of the whole world. Having accomplished this great work, He was granted by the Father an exaltation still higher than His previous glorious position and nature, even though His previous station had been second only to Jehovah Himself. St. Paul declares of the position given Christ at His resurrection: "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him and given Him a name above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in Heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth [those now in the tomb, but yet to be raised to learn the Truth as it is in Jesus]; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."Philippians 2:9-11
When on earth Jesus was not a sinful man in any sense. His birth of the Virgin Mary was miraculous. His holy life was transferred to human conditions. He was made a man"holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners," and fit, therefore, to be the great Sin offering for Adam and all his posterity. He was simply the Man Jesus up to the time of His immersion in Jordan; but the anointing He there received constituted Him the Anointed of God, the Christ, the Messiah.
MADE "PARTAKER OF THE DIVINE NATURE"
Jesus was a god, a Mighty One, higher than the angels, before He became a man. When born a babe, He was not a god at all, but a human being; and as the perfect man of thirty He was not a god. But when He received the anointing of the Holy Spirit, of Divine power, He became a Mighty One, because of this spirit-begetting. And since His resurrection He is a god, greater than ever before, "partaker of the Divine nature"; for His Church are called to this great exaltation, and they are called to the obtaining of the glory of their Lord, that they may be with Him, as His Bride, and be like Him, members of His glorious Body.2 Thessalonians 2:14; 1 John 3:2; Revelation 21:2,9; 22:17; 1 Corinthians 10:16,17; 12:12,13,27; 2 Peter 1:4
Our Lord is the great Head of His Church, and Head and Body must partake of the same nature in glory. He gave up His human nature in death to purchase the human race. For parts of three days He lay dead in the tombnot alive in any sense; for death is the absence of life. He had given up His human life never to take it up again. It was the purchase-price for the world. He was resurrected to the Divine plane, an exaltation never before given to any creature of God. His Bride is called to the same glorious nature as her Head, whose inheritance she is invited to share. Jesus was raised from the dead by the power of God.Romans 6:4; 8:11; Acts 2:22,24,32,33
Notice for a moment the great confusion from which we are saved by following the Bibles own testimony respecting our Lord Jesus and by throwing out the ridiculous nonsense of the Dark Ages. We are saved from thinking of our God as three beings with only one body or one being with three bodies. Trinitarians do not know which of these creedal statements to takesome say one and some say the other. But both are wholly irrational: three are not one and one is not three. The oneness between the Father and the Son is explained by our Lord Himself. He prayed that His disciples might become one in the same sense that He and the Father were onesurely not that His disciples might become one person, but that they might be one in spirit, in mind, in purpose, as were the Father and Himself. See John 17:20-23. The followers of Jesus become one in mind and purpose by each giving up his own will to do Gods will. And Jesus and the Father are one because Jesus surrendered His will to the Fathers will, saying, "Not My will, but Thine be done"; "I came not to do Mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me"; "Lo, I come; I delight to do Thy will, O My God!" These are the words of the Lord Jesus to the Father.
Touching the rise of the Trinitarian view, Abbott and Conants Religious Dictionary, page 944, says, "It was not until the beginning of the fourth century that the Trinitarian view began to be elaborated and formulated into a doctrine and an endeavor made to reconcile it with the belief of the Church in ONE GOD." "Out of the attempt to solve this problem sprang the doctrine of the Trinity." Trinity "is a very marked feature in Hindooism, and is discernible in Persian, Egyptian, Roman, Japanese and the most ancient Grecian mythologies."
Like some other doctrines received by Protestants from Papacy, this one is accepted and fully endorsed, although its educated adherents are aware that not a text of Scripture can be adduced to its support. Yea, more; whoever will not affirm this unscriptural doctrine as his faith is declared by the articles of the Evangelical Alliance to be non-orthodoxa heretic. Hebrews 1:8 has been used by Trinitarians as a proof text that Jesus is Jehovah, and the fact is cited that the word God here is theos, the same as verse 9 which refers to the Father. They seem not to have noticed that the word god, 2 Corinthians 4:4, which refers to Satan, is also theos in the Greek. Theos is used of any mighty one, the same as Elohim in the Hebrew.
Philippians 2:8,9 implies that our Lords present glory is greater than the glory which He possessed before He became a man; otherwise it could not have been an exaltation. Now having the Divine, immortal nature He cannot die. "Christ dieth no more." How straightforward and simple and reasonable is the Scriptural presentation compared with human traditions! In what a jumble of contradictions and confusion do they find themselves who say that Jesus and the Father are one God! This would involve the idea that our Lord Jesus acted the hypocrite when on earth and only pretended to address God in prayer, when He Himself was the same God. Such should conclude, too, that since we read that God cannot be tempted of any, it was only a farce when Jesus was tempted of Satan. Again, the Father has always been immortal, hence could not die. How then, could Jesus have died? The Apostles are all false witnesses in declaring Jesus death and resurrection if He did not die. The Scriptures declare, however, that He did die"He poured out His soul [His being] unto death," not merely His body, as many assert.Isaiah 53:12
If they admit that Jesus really died, they take the other horn of the dilemma; for believing that their three Gods are all one person as many do, when Jesus died they must all three have died. If they all died, who raised them to life? How foolish all this sounds! Yet if Jesus and the Father are the same person, the same Being, then when Jesus died the Father must have died. Shall we thus contradict the Apostles and Prophets and Jesus Himself, and ignore reason and common sense, in order to hold to a dogma handed to us from the dark, superstitious past, by a corrupt apostate Church? Nay! "To the Law and to the testimony! If they speak not according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them."
TESTIMONY OF SCRIPTURES RE THE HOLY SPIRIT
We next inquire, What say the Scriptures with regard to the Holy Spirit? The nominal churches, Protestant and Catholic, affirm that the Holy Spirit is a person, the third person of the Trinity. They claim that all this is "a great mystery." Yes, truly it is a mystery, such as is characteristic of the confusion of man-made creeds held by Babylon. But to those who turn to the Word of God and let it speak, all is clear and plain. We suggest that whatever definition of the term "Holy Spirit" will meet all known conditions and harmonize all Scriptures bearing thereon may be understood to be the true meaning of the term. We will first give what we conceive to be such a definition, and then ask the reader to subject every Scripture where this term is used to this definition and see if it does not make harmony of all.
We understand the Bible to teach that the Holy Spirit is the Divine will, influence, power or disposition, exercised anywhere and for any purpose, at the Divine pleasure. God exercises His Spirit or energy in a variety of ways, using various agencies, and accomplishing various results. Whatever God does through agencies is as truly His work as though He were the direct actor, since all His agencies are His creationcreated by His own Power; just as a contractor for building is said to build a house, though he may never have lifted a tool upon it. He does it with his materials and through his agents. Thus, when we read that Jehovah God created the heavens and the earth, we are not to suppose that He personally handled them. He used an Agent. "He spake and it was done. He commanded and it stood fast." His holy Power was exercised through His Only Begotten. Gods Spirit was exercised in times past through the Prophets. "They spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit" [Power] of God. The masculine pronoun is often used in our Common Version Bible in referring to the Holy Spirit of God, because God, who is a Spirit, is represented as masculine, as indicative of strength. The pronoun translated he when referring to the Holy Spirit can with equal consistency be translated it, and is often so rendered. See Diaglott rendering of John 14:17,26, as an example. For further elucidation of this subject of the Holy Spirit, we refer the interested reader to our Fifth Volume of STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, Chapters 8-11, where we have treated the subject at length. [R5747]
1. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste ______ for every ______. Scipture_____________
2. For [there is] one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ________ for ____, to be testified in due time. Scripture__________________
3. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he [was] wounded for our transgressions, [he was] bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace [was]upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us _____.Scripture_____________
4. And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus _______knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth; Scripture_________________
5. Giving thanks unto the Father, ... Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated [us] into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, [even] the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the ___________of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the _______ from the dead; that in all [things] he might have the preeminence. Scripture____________
6. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be _______ him; for we shall see him as he ___. Scripture___________
7. But some [man] will say, How are the dead raised up?and with what body do they come? [Thou] fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other [grain]: But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own _______. All flesh [is] not the same flesh: but [there is] one [kind of] flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, [and] another of birds. [There are] also __________ bodies, and bodies ____________: but the glory of the celestial [is] one, and the [glory] of the terrestrial [is] another. Scripture____________
8. And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed [are] the dead which die in the Lord from ______________: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them. Scripture_______________
9. And 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 _________ freely. Scripture____________
10. And God shall wipe away all _____ from their eyes; and there shall be no more _______, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. Scripture________________
Question: Who are the Bible Students?
Answer: The object of prayer is to bring the heart and the mind of the child of God into contact with the heart of God, that he may be enabled thus most fully to realize the Fatherhood of God, His love and His deep interest in every item of our welfare; that in deep affliction we may unburden our hearts to God and thus have forcibly brought to our attention His love and care and wisdomfor our encouragement, not His; for our strengthening, not His, and for our joy. This opportunity is not for us to instruct Jehovah how to arrange matters for the best, but to bring our hearts to realize Him as the Center of wisdom and power, that having unburdened our hearts, we may be prepared to listen for His answer and advice through His Word. And he whose knowledge of prayer is confined to the meager information he has imparted to God with "much speaking," and who has never learned to listen for the answer to his prayer from the Word of God, has, as yet, measurably failed to appreciate the object of prayer. Earnestness in God's service will bring His children to Him frequently, to realize at His feet His sympathy with them in the difficulties, discouragements and trials of life, as well as to ask His guidance and overruling of every affair of life, and through His Word to hearken to His wisdom, which will enable them to serve Him acceptably.[R4983]
Question: What is the province of prayer?
Answer: The province of prayer is to ask for only such things as God has already declared Himself well pleased to grant. And while we may freely speak to Him as a Father, and tell Him how we understand His Word, and the confidence and trust we have in its ultimate fulfilment, yet we must not only avoid telling the Lord of our will and our plans, and what we would like, but we must avoid and put far from us any such spirit, and must recognize, and bring ourselves into full accord with His will and His plan for accomplishing it. If this thought were appreciated, it would cut short some of the "long prayers," "much speaking," and "vain repetitions" by which some endeavor to instruct the Lord in their wishes regarding every matter under heaven. It would send them speedily to the Word of God to search diligently the Plan of God that they might labor as well as pray in harmony with it. While assuring us that the Father cares for us, and is well pleased to have us come to Him with sincere hearts, the Master informs us of the conditions upon which we may expect an answer. He says, "If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you."John 15:7
The conditions of the above statement, or promise, are two; the first is, abiding in Christ. But what is it to abide in Christ? Only those can abide in Christ who are in Christ, who have come into Him by faith, repentance and consecration; and to abide in Him means that the faith will abide, the repentance for sin and the opposition to it will abide, and the consecration to the Lord and His service will abide, and it will be manifest that our will has been wholly consecratedswallowed up in the will of Christ. The other condition is also a weighty one: "If My Word abide in you." Ah! how evident it is that our Lord meant to associate Himself and His Word, the Scriptures, in the minds, in the hearts, in the lives of all who are truly His! They must search the Scriptures to know the will of the Lord; to know what He has promised and what He has not promised; to know what they may ask and what they may not ask; and, ascertaining these, one fully consecratedone controlled entirely by the will of Godwill not want to be, to have, or to do anything except that which will be pleasing to the Lord in respect to himself. When this position has been reached, the will of Christ governing him, the words of Christ abiding in him, we can readily see that whatever would be asked by one thus well informed with respect to the Divine promises and fully submissive to the Divine will would be things which the Father would be pleased to grant in answer to his requests.[R4983]
Question: Does the Bible refer to the resurrection of the soul?
Answer: There is nothing inconsistent in the Bible presentation of the resurrection. Not from the Bible, but from men, comes the suggestion of the resurrection of the body. The Bible invariably refers to the resurrection of the soul. It is the soul that dies; as we read, "The soul that sinneth, it shall die." Adam was created a living soul, but his living soul came under the death sentence because he disobeyed God. It was his soul that was redeemed from death, not his body. "I will redeem thy life from destruction."Psalm 103:4 To accomplish this redemption, we read that Christ Jesus "poured out His soul unto death"; "He made His soul an offering for sin." Moreover, we are particularly told that it was the soul of Jesus that was raised from the dead: "Thou wilt not leave My soul in sheol." St.Peter quotes this statement as prophetical of the resurrection of Jesus, that His soul was not left in hades God raised Jesus from the dead on the third day. With what body do the dead come? is a totally different question. Some dead souls, in the resurrection, will come forth with spirit bodies, and others with human bodies, according to the Bible. But the important part is, that it is the soul, the being, that comes forth, that is resurrectednot the body. If the soul dies, as the Bible declares, then manifestly the soul should be resurrected. [R5017]
Question: Should the Christian exaggerate?
Answer: Some people are given to exaggeration; for instance, to say of sickness, "That is awful!" We should learn neither to appreciate things too highly nor to underestimate them. With a great many people nearly everything they say contains a great measure of exaggeration. This should not be the case with the Church of Christ. They should by all means strive to speak the truth. "Let your yea be yea." If something is six inches long, let it be just six inches for six inches. Let your yea be yea, and your nay be nay. [R5019]
Question: If the antitypical Levites have no inheritance in the land, as shown in the type, what will be their reward?
Answer: The typical Levites were the whole tribe of Levi, a part of which was selected for a little comp- any of priests. In the wilderness of Sinai, the Lord set the Levites apart for His service. (Num. 3:11-16) Thenceforth, that one tribe represented the first-borns of Israel, who, the Apostle says, were typical of the Church of the First-born (Heb. 12:23)typical of the spiritual class.
In the type, the entire tribe of Levi was cut off from having any possession in the land. No title to land was given them; no field was given them. The land was divided amongst the other tribes, but not amongst the Levites. God thus typified the fact that the antitypical Levites would not have an earthly inheritance, but rather the spiritual or heavenly inheritance. All the Gospel Church are called to heavenly conditions; and therefore they are cut off from their earthly rights as men, that they may have the heavenly rights as New Creatures. The Apostle says God has "called us with a holy calling," a "heavenly calling," a "high calling."2 Tim. 1:9; Heb. 3:1; Phil. 3:14
The tribe of Levi was divided into two classes, a priestly class and a Levitical or servant class. In the antitype are two classes on the spirit planethe Royal Priesthood, composed of Christ and the Church, His Bride; and also the servant class, "the virgins, her companions, who follow her," and who are to enter into the King's Palace with rejoicing. As these do not come up to the high standard required for admission into the Bride class, they are not counted worthy of being in this class who are presented unto the King "in raiment of needlework." Nevertheless, they must all be grand characters, worthy to receive palm branches, indicating their victory over sin and all evil.Psa. 45:13-15; Rev. 7:9-17 [R5023]
(Thursday Text from Daily Heavenly Manna)
The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Romans 13:12
THE works of darkness would be any works whatsoever that would not stand the fullest investigation; that would not stand approval in the light of the new dispensation, if it were fully ushered in. Let us remember that we belong to the new dispensation, and not to the old, and should, therefore, live in accordance with our citizenship and our responsibilities toward the Prince of light and in opposition to the prince of darkness, his works and his ways. Z.'03-122 R3181:1
Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time. 1 Peter 5:6
IT is indeed no easy matter to tread the path way of humility, to continually check the human aspirations and to keep the sacrifice on the altar until it is fully consumed. But thus it is that we are to work out our own salvation to the high calling with fear and trembling, lest we come short of worthiness for the prize of the high calling promised to the faithful overcomers who tread closely in the footsteps of our blessed Forerunner, who was meek and lowly of heart. It is when we are thus humble and faithful that the Lord makes us His chosen vessels to bear His name to others. Thus emptied of self, He can fill us with His Spirit and with His Truth, and we can go forth strong in the Lord of hosts and in His mighty power, to do valiant service as soldiers of the cross.Z.'93-7 R1487:5
The anointing which
ye have received of Him abideth in you.
THE blessing and power of the Lord accompanied David's anointing in some mannerjust how we may not understandenabling him to progress in knowledge, etc., and fitting and preparing him for the duties of the office to which he had been anointed. May we not consider as an antitype to this, the anointing which comes upon the church from the time of her acceptance with the Lord? Ours is not a physical anointing, nor are the blessings conferred of a temporal character: it is as New Creatures that we grow in grace and knowledge and love; and as New Creatures that, by and by, we shall be perfected in the First Resurrection and come to the throne with our Lord and Master as our Head. Z.'03-223 R3227:4
Let every one of us
please his neighbor for his good to edification.
THE lesson to each member of the Royal Priesthood is that the special mission of their office, vocation, calling in the present time, is to sacrifice....Another form of service frequently not discerned by the royal priesthood is the opportunity of renouncing our own ways or plans, our own methods or preferences, and in the interests of peace accepting instead the plans, the preferences of otherswhere it is merely a matter of personal preference, and where we believe the Lord will be as willing to have the matter one way as another. We can in the interests of peace sacrifice our preferences to the wishes of others if we see some good can be gained by such a course. Z.'03-406,407 R3265:3; 3266:5
The date for the Memorial Supper this year is Sunday, April 20 after 6:00 p.m.
Announcing Christ's Presence