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Volume 22 * February 1997 * Number 2


"The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers. And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung. Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD’S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land." — Zephaniah 1:14-18

CLOUDS, as used in the scriptures, often symbolize trouble. At the beginning of our Redeemer’s thousand year presence in the earth’s atmosphere, as a spiritual King, dark clouds (trouble) obscure his presence to all except those watching the sure word of prophecy. The prophet Daniel prophesied that during the time of the end (but not the end of time), Michael (our Lord Jesus Christ) would stand up. As a result of taking unto himself his great power to reign, a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation occurs. (Daniel 12:1; Revelation 11:17,18) The prophet Joel wrote: "Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand; A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations."—Joel 2:1-3

Joel prophesied that the morning (dawn) of the Millennial day would be darkened with gloominess and trouble such as the people of earth have never before experienced. The forceful symbol of fire is used by the prophet Joel to denote the removal of everything out of harmony with the kingdom of God under Christ’s administration for the thousand years.

The Apostle Peter also used fire to picture the removal of the ecclesiastical and social arrangements of the second world or dispensation which are out of harmony with the kingdom of righteousness. (1 Peter 3:10) The literal heavens and the literal earth are not burned up. Heaven is the throne of the heavenly Creator and the earth is his footstool. These abide forever.— Ecclesiastes 1:4; Isaiah 66:1

Trouble at the beginning of our Lord’s second presence results because the "god" of the second dispensation, by usurpation, resists his binding by the "angel" (our Lord) who has returned to earth from heaven with "the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand". (Revelation 20:1-3) After entering the "strong man’s house" (Mark 3:27), our Lord laid hold upon the adversary, "that old serpent". The binding process is gradual, but in the course of time the adversary will be fully bound. Then righteousness will begin to prevail in the earth and gradually evil and evil doers will be destroyed. Our Lord could have used his "all power" in heaven and in earth (Matthew 28:18) to immediately bind the devil at the moment he entered his usurped dominion, but that was not the Father’s plan. Jesus could have instantaneously brought all to perfection, but since that is not the plan of the Divine Creator, one thousand years have been set aside to accomplish the "restitution of all things". (Acts 3:19-21) By the end of the thousand year reign of Christ, Adamic death will have been destroyed. (1 Corinthians 15:26) Then the adversary will be let loose for "a little season" for the purpose of testing restored mankind. At the conclusion of the test, the devil and those who follow him will be destroyed in the second death. —Revelation 20:7-9

"Thick darkness" also results in the morning of the Millennial day on account of the evil activities of the demons who are granted liberty during this transition period for the purpose of their judgment. (Jude 6; 1 Peter 2:4; 1 Corinthians 6:3) The granting of liberty to the fallen angels is a gradual matter during this transition period. The evil in the world increases as more liberty is granted to the demons. It is hoped and believed that some of the fallen angels have repented of sin and will eventually be restored to fellowship with God. Those fallen angels who have not repented are possessing some of the human race who have destroyed their minds with alcohol, drugs, and other evils. When this occurs, much evil and trouble result.

Many advertisements and programs on television promote licentiousness and vice. Newspapers and magazines advertise in the same manner. During the past few years this form of advertising has accelerated. The evil activities of many have resulted in a disease known as aids with no known cure at the present. The many other evils in the earth at the present are causing "men’s hearts" to fail for fear.—Luke 21:26

Floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, famines, wars, and violence in many forms continue to destroy the lives and property of many. Nearly 145,000 people in various ways, because of Adam’s disobedience, die every twenty-four hours, day after day.

Anarchy is increasing each year as more liberty is granted to the fallen angels. After the "little flock" has finished its walk in the narrow way, total anarchy will result since there will be no restraint upon the demons. During the time period from the completion of the bride until divine intervention stops the trouble, the saints will render a final verdict upon the fallen angels.—I Corinthians 6:3

It is necessary for the heavenly Father to permit this great time of trouble (war, revolution, and anarchy) in order that mankind might be humbled and ready to look to the laws of the heavenly kingdom. Up to the present, even though much trouble has already occurred in the earth, men are not, as a whole, ready to accept the kingdom arrangements.

This reminds us of the plagues which came upon the Egyptians at the time Pharaoh refused to let Israel leave Egypt. It was not until the tenth plague occurred that Pharaoh let Israel go. Not until anarchy engulfs the entire world, and then stopped before all flesh is destroyed, will a representative group in Israel, and shortly thereafter others in various parts of the world, be ready to accept the arrangements and laws of the kingdom for which we continually pray.—Zechariah 14:3; Matthew 24:21, 22; Jeremiah 31:31-34

Meanwhile, the last members of the body of Christ are still being selected, developed, and tested before being entrusted with the divine nature. The door to the high calling will remain open until the bride has made herself ready. The last members of the body of Christ on this side of the veil during this transition period are called "the feet" of him. At this late period of time in the harvest of the Gospel Age, only the "heel" members remain. (Genesis 3:15) These new creatures are still operating in imperfect earthen bodies covered with the robe of Christ’s righteousness.

There is a work for these "heel" members of the feet of Christ to engage in. It is described as kingdom work. These are to let their light shine in this dark and corrupt world. The prophet Isaiah, (chapter 52, verse 7), prophesied that these last members of the body of Christ would bring good tidings, publish peace and salvation, and declare to Zion the fact that our King, Christ Jesus, has begun his reign which will continue for the thousand years of his second presence.

All the household of faith are encouraged to promote truth and righteousness to as many as possible. Those who have entered into covenant relationship with the heavenly Father are exhorted to let the light of truth "shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify" the heavenly Father. (Matthew 5:16) A little light shed forth in this dark world will enable some to see the path of righteousness.

Salt is used to describe the consecrated who exercise a preserving influence in this corrupt earth. A little salt spread amongst those with whom we come in contact may result in some changing their manners and ways. (Matthew 5:13) The household of faith is exhorted to encourage as many as possible to seek righteousness and meekness. By so doing it will be like a preservative in this corrupt world.

Whether men hear or whether they refuse to listen, the consecrated must be willing to tell the glad tidings to the meek if they expect to be of the class who will judge the world in righteousness. (I Corinthians 6:2) The consecrated on this side of the veil must engage in kingdom work if they wish to be members of the divine family doing kingdom work beyond the veil. To the consecrated, living in this transition period which closes the work of the Gospel Age and opens the work of the Messianic Age, finishing our earthly course faithfully unto death is a blessing. On this side of the veil, the kingdom work, even though very joyous, is, nevertheless, laborious. Beyond the veil the same kingdom work is without laborious efforts.—Revelation 14:13

Each prospective body member of Christ has a certain work to perform. All who are fulfilling their consecration vows will be engaged in the one kingdom work, but each one will be proclaiming the truth according to his opportunities or limitations as the case may be. Some of the consecrated may have only the privilege of praying for the general interests of the harvest work. Others, in addition to the privilege of prayer, have the privilege of personally proclaiming the truth to those with a hearing ear by means of the printed page or orally. Still others have the privilege of collectively sending forth the message of truth by means of radio and television. None of the consecrated is left without opportunity to engage in kingdom work.

Shortly after the bride has made herself ready, "the Christ" will say, "come" to the groaning creation. Those of the world who then accept the truth will invite others to partake of the water of life freely. (Revelation 22:17) Eventually the entire human family, including those who will be awakened from the sleep of death in due time, will learn the truth. The knowledge of the glory of the Lord will eventually cover the earth as the waters cover the sea.—Habakkuk 2:14

As soon as divine intervention stops the great time of trouble now raging in the earth, the "Sun" of righteousness will begin to dispel the "clouds" which now engulf the world. Gradually as the ignorance and superstition give way to truth and righteousness, it will become lighter. By the close of the thousand year reign of Christ, it will be completely light or perfect. (Zechariah 14:6,7) By the evening time of the Messianic Age, every eye will have seen, that is, discerned, the presence of the "Sun" of righteousness. (Revelation 1:7) Only those who refuse to repent of sin, accept the dear Redeemer, and obey the kingdom laws will die the second death. (Acts 3:23) The obedient of the regenerated race of Adam will live forever here upon the earth which will be a paradise worldwide by the close of the Messianic Age.


"The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men: And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again."—Matthew 17:22,23

THE scriptures pertaining to the third day are very interesting and full of meaning to the Bible student. The time features of the divine plan are interwoven in such a way as to leave no doubt, to the consecrated who are watching, that we are now living in the dawning of the Millennial Age.

From Paradise lost to Paradise restored is a period of seven thousand years—seven 1000 year days.

Adam lived during the first 1000 year day. Abraham, Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob, Moses, and others lived during the third 1000 year day from Adam. Jesus at the first advent lived during the third 1000 year day from Abraham. The resurrection or restitution age is the third 1000 year day from the first advent.

Many interesting events occurred on the third thousand year day from Adam. Abraham, a type of the heavenly Father, was asked to slay his son Isaac, a type of Jesus. Isaac and Rebekah were married during the time frame of this third thousand year day from Adam. At the death of Jacob, on the third thousand year day from Adam, his twelve sons (the twelve tribes of Israel) began to experience favor for parts of three days. The old Law Covenant, whose Mediator was Moses, a type of the better Mediator, was inaugurated on the third thousand year day from Adam.

On the fifth thousand year day from Adam, or the third thousand year day from Abraham, our dear Redeemer, the man Christ Jesus, gave himself a ransom for all. During the same time frame, the third thousand year day from Rebekah, the bride of Christ began to be invited to enter the narrow way which leads to glory, honor, and immortality. Disfavor upon the twelve tribes of Israel began, on the third thousand year day from Jacob, at the time their leaders rejected and crucified Jesus.

The seventh one thousand year day from Adam, or the third thousand year day from the first advent of Jesus, is the Millennial or resurrection age. This thousand year period of time is called "the restitution of all things." In the year 1878, at the time of the Berlin Congress of Nations, three and one-half years after the Millennial age began, favor began to be restored to Israel after that people had experienced disfavor during parts of three one thousand year days. In 1878 the temple class, or body of Christ, began to be raised up, or resurrected, on the third thousand year day from the time its selection began. At the time the last member of the bride of Christ is resurrected, the full union or marriage of the Bridegroom and the bride will occur on the third thousand year day from the marriage in Cana of Galilee.

Shortly after the marriage and the marriage supper, the anarchy throughout the earth at that time will be terminated, and the New Covenant will be sealed with the precious blood of Jesus on the third thousand year day from the time he gave himself a ransom for all. Then the better Mediator will begin the individual blessing of those in Israel with faith, and eventually all the families of the earth will come to an accurate knowledge of the divine plan and be blessed, as promised to Abraham after he stretched forth his hand with the knife to slay Isaac.

And the angel said,"By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: 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 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."—Genesis 22:16-18


Give the scripture citations for the following scriptures:

1. "And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years; and he died."


2. God said, "Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of... Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off."


3. "And the Lord said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes, and be ready against the third day; for the third day the Lord will come down in the sight of the people upon mount Sinai. ... And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people who were in the camp trembled."


4. "Come, and let us return unto the Lord; for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us; in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight"


5. "And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there; And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage." Scripture:___________________________

6. "Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up."

Scripture ___________________________

7. Jesus said to the Pharisees, "Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected."


8. "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures."


9. "And the clean person shall sprinkle upon the unclean on the third day, and on the seventh day; and on the seventh day he shall purify himself, and wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and shall be clean at even."


10. "But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day."



  1. Genesis 5:5
  2. Genesis 22:2,4
  3. Exodus 19:10,11,16
  4. Hosea 6:1,2
  5. John 2:1,2
  6. John 2:19
  7. Luke 13:32
  8. I Corinthians 15:3,4
  9. Numbers 19:19
  10. II Peter 3:8



"Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness."—Matthew 6:33

AT the beginning of our Lord’s earthly ministry the Jewish nation were invited to become the Kingdom of God. The offer of God’s chief blessing was "to the Jew first." For many centuries they had been God’s special people. They had been called to be unto God "a kingdom of priests and an holy nation"—a peculiar treasure unto God, composed of a priestly class and a chosen, holy people. (Exodus 19:5,6) We do not understand that all Israel from the time of the giving of the Law could have been of the Heavenly Kingdom, however faithful they might have been. None could be of this Kingdom class before Jesus came to earth; for He was the Forerunner of this class. The offer was made to the Jews of His day. But those of the nation who lived previously, and who had been faithful to God, true to their Covenant, shall be greatly blessed of the Lord on the human plane. They shall be used to bless all nations under Spiritual Israel—the Kingdom of God now being set up.

God’s special favor to the people of natural Israel in choosing them above any other nation was especially because they were the seed of His faithful friend, Abraham. God had promised Abraham that because of his faith and obedience his seed should be blessed. It was not because they were of themselves holier or better than other peoples. (See Exodus 32:9-13; Deuteronomy 9:4-8) But for their fathers’ sakes God chose them to be His people.

At our Lord’s First Advent the time had come for the offer of membership in the Kingdom, for the testing of the whole nation of Israel, to prove whether they were ready for this choice blessing. Jesus was the One to offer this Kingdom; for He had consecrated Himself a Sacrifice for sin, which would constitute a basis for the establishment of the Kingdom on earth.


The Sermon on the Mount, from which our text is taken, points out the earnestness and singleness of heart necessary in those who would become members of the Kingdom class. The Master intimates that not all of this favored nation who heard His Message would be ready to accept it. Many were absorbed in the things of this life—in what they would eat, what they would drink, what they would wear. But in order to be ready to receive the proffered blessing, in order to be acceptable to God, they must make the Kingdom their first interest. "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness," enjoined the Savior, not the earthly things. If the Kingdom was made first, all their earthly needs would be supplied; "All these things shall be added unto you," was His promise.

Not many of the Jews were ready for so drastic a Teacher. They had their own plans—business plans, political plans, social functions. Hence this invitation of Jesus to leave all to obtain a Kingdom of which they knew nothing and which seemed so intangible did not find a very ready response. The twelve Apostles were among the first to accept His offer. At the time of Jesus’ death, something over five hundred had joined themselves to Him as His disciples. Of these we are told that one hundred and twenty were gathered in the upper room on the day of Pentecost, where they received the begetting of the Holy Spirit. After Pentecost some thousands of Jews came to the point of decision to make the Kingdom of God their first business. These, however, were but a small minority of the nation of Israel.

Throughout this Gospel Age there have been a few who have heard the Call and accepted the conditions, who have determined to make the Kingdom of God the first consideration of their lives. Satan has tried to make many of these think that papacy is that Kingdom, or that Great Britain or Russia or some one of the other kingdoms of earth is that Kingdom. To others he brought a misinterpretation of the words of the Apostle, "The Kingdom of God is righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit," and endeavored to make them think that all there was of the Kingdom of God was merely righteousness and holiness of life, living a godly life through the power of the Lord’s Spirit. How far all this is from the teaching of the Scriptures regarding the Kingdom can be readily seen by a study of the subject of the Kingdom of God as presented by the Holy Prophets, the Apostles and our Lord Jesus Himself. Truly we have a wily Adversary!


By these false ideas the true thought of the Kingdom was obscured—the thought that God was selecting the members of the Kingdom class, the thought that we not only make a full consecration of our little all to the Lord according to His terms, but that we should continually put this vow of consecration into practice, counting all other things as loss and dross that we might win a membership in this glorious company of which Jesus is the Head. This obscuration of mind still continues with the majority of those who have professed the name of Christ; but the full complement of Body members of Christ is being secured, despite Satan’s vigorous efforts to prevent it. Now the number is almost full; indeed the few now coming in, we believe, are merely taking the places vacated by some who by unfaithfulness have lost the crown laid up for them; for we understand that the full number had accepted the offer and been begotten of the Spirit when the general Call ceased, in the fall of 1881. See Studies In The Scriptures Vol. III, Chap. 6.

In seeking the Kingdom of God we as Gentiles are to realize that the Lord has not changed from His original position held when He made the proposition to Israel that in order to obtain everlasting life they must keep the Law. There is no other way. God will not exalt to Kingdom honors any who are violators of His Law. The question then comes in, How can we keep the Law? If the Jews could not keep it in all those sixteen hundred years, how could we keep it? And does not the Lord say through the Apostle that by the deeds of the Law shall no flesh be justified in His sight? To understand this is to understand some of the deep things of God; namely, that "God is in Christ reconciling the world [those from the world who now accept the Gospel Call] unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them."—2 Corinthians 5:19


Christ kept the Law and satisfied Divine Justice for all who become His during the Gospel Age; and His merit is imputed to those who keep the Law in their heart and are hindered from keeping it absolutely by the weaknesses of their fallen flesh which they are unable to control. And so St. Paul says that the righteousness of the Law is fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. First of all, through the imputation of His merit to their mortal bodies, their flesh, our Redeemer covers their natural imperfections. Second, because that body so devoted, so justified, is sacrificed, He reckons them dead as human beings. They are then begotten to a new, a spirit nature. Thenceforth their mortal body is counted as the body of the New Creature, no longer as a human body; for this was sacrificed. Actually, however, it is quickened to be the servant of the New Creature. Being still actually human, it must be given a robe of righteousness to wear until the end of the present life. This is furnished by our Savior.

The Apostle Paul, in speaking of our human bodies from the standpoint of our new relationship in Christ Jesus, says, "Know ye not that your bodies are members of Christ?" (1 Corinthians 6:15) God no longer counts our fleshly body as the body of a human being. It is a member of Christ, the property of the spiritual New Creature. This New Creature keeps the Law of God. Wherein there is failure, it is not the New Creature that fails, but the imperfect flesh, which is covered by the pure, white robe of Christ’s righteousness. God looks upon it as the spotless body of this New Creature. Thus we stand perfect before God’s Law; thus the righteousness of the Law is fulfilled in us who are walking, not according to the flesh, but in the footsteps of Jesus.


Our text enjoins that we seek God’s righteousness. This seems to imply that for those He is now calling, God has provided a righteousness. This righteousness is in Christ, and it must be accepted by every one who comes to God; otherwise, not having the righteousness of God and the assistance that goes with it, he will not be able to attain unto the Kingdom.

The New Creature is so in accord with the Lord that he will seek to bring his mortal body fully under the control of the Law of Love. He will seek to be altogether just toward his fellowmen, toward the brethren, and kind and merciful toward all. His entire life will be given up to attaining membership in the Heavenly Kingdom. This will lead him to serve the cause of God’s righteousness. Wherever God’s plans are set aside, he would be called upon to defend them in every reasonable way. He will be on the side of righteousness and truth. All who truly seek the Kingdom have this disposition.

When the Apostle Paul says that the Kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, we are to understand him to mean, as shown in the context, that the privileges of those who are of this Kingdom class do not consist merely in liberty to eat and drink things forbidden to those under the Law or to those in bondage to heathen superstitions, but our liberty is far superior to this. Those Jews who became followers of Christ were informed that they were now free from the regulations of the Law which restricted their food, etc. As to whether they would now eat pork or something else was thereafter to be regulated by conditions and circumstances. They had liberty in Christ that they had not, as Jews, previously enjoyed.

But St. Paul points out that this is not the chief liberty—to be able to eat oysters, pork and other things forbidden by the Law. This permission would not be much of a blessing. The chief element of their freedom in Christ was that true righteousness and holiness which is the blessing and comfort of all those who are the sons of God. Nor was it the Apostle’s thought that righteousness, peace and joy constitute the Kingdom, but that these are the blessed results of membership in the Kingdom class. They are blessings which are the heritage of those who are heirs of the Kingdom, even while they are still under age, as it were, still being tutored and prepared for Kingdom service beyond the veil. All of the Lord’s people are now to rejoice in true righteousness, the righteousness of God, and to seek it above all else. [R5917]


"God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love which ye have showed toward His name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister."—Hebrews 6:10

DISCOURAGEMENT is a hindrance to growth in grace; St. Paul was seeking to encourage his readers. The context implies that they had experienced some setback, some discouragement. He intimates that while they had begun well, their zeal had cooled to some extent. In this chapter and on to the tenth inclusive, he points out the danger of falling back and away after we have become Christians. And to those who are likely to become discouraged he gives the exhortation of our text, "God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love." We might inquire, What great work, or labor of love, could they do that would constitute it unrighteous for God to forget to reward it? Are not good works the proper course for all mankind? How would it be unrighteous for God to forget these good works?

The answer of Scripture would seem to be that the world cannot do any good works that God could acknowledge—"There is none righteous, no, not one." But "God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love," writes the Apostle. What does he mean? We reply, He is addressing Christians, those who have become God’s children by entering into a covenant with Him. They were children of wrath, even as others; and still, according to the flesh, they are imperfect. But God is not dealing with these according to the flesh. He has received them into His family under a special arrangement, a Covenant of Sacrifice. In that Covenant He agreed that through Christ He would make allowance for their weaknesses, and deal with them according to the intentions of their hearts and minds, according as they would seek to please Him as His children. God has thus bound Himself of His own free will by entering into a Covenant with His people. He is bound to them, on the one side, and they are bound to Him, on the other side. Neither can escape the conditions of that Covenant.


These Covenanters were members of Adam’s fallen race, condemned to death. Ah, yes! but this is the race for whom Christ died, and who will be recovered from death and from the condemnation of sin that came through Adam’s disobedience. And this merit of Christ’s death was applied first for a choice class who during the Gospel Age should long after God and gladly accept His arrangement through Christ. This being so, when these heard of Christ as the Redeemer, they believed on Him, they sacrificed their earthly hopes, aims, ambitions—all—in order that they might enter into this Covenant with the Lord. The thought which inspired them to take this step was the hope that they might attain to the spiritual inheritance, to be joint-inheritors with Christ in the Kingdom to be set up on the earth. This was something to which God had opened up the way, through His provision in Christ. They gave up the earthly things for the grander, the Heavenly. They voluntarily sacrificed all earthly rights and interests. They bound themselves irrevocably to the Lord.

Now if they should make a failure in this matter, they would lose absolutely everything. The Apostle is pointing out this fact. They have acknowledged God’s arrangement, and there is a great reward coming to them under their Covenant with Him. Do not, he urges, forfeit this reward by turning away from the Lord and becoming cold or lukewarm, which condition might lead on to entire rejection of God. Rather go on, and be of good courage; and the Lord, Jehovah Himself, shall strengthen your hearts; wait expectantly on Him.

In the 10th Chapter, the Apostle tells them of how some of them had in the past endured a great fight of afflictions, and of how others had suffered with those in affliction in that they had been sympathizers and companions of those who had been so persecuted. All this was endured for the Lord’s sake, for love of the brethren, and in harmony with God’s arrangement. Therefore they should have confidence in God, that He loved them and appreciated all they had borne for Him. The Apostle exhorts them again not to turn back, not to be discouraged, but to be encouraged; and again he assures them of his confidence that they would persevere to the end.


St. Paul declares that their labors of love were shown toward God’s name. This honor toward God’s name consisted in their ministering to the saints. This was a proof of their love for the Lord. This ministry, too, had been kept up. The saints represent God in the world. Whatever is done for the saints is, therefore, done for God. There is a distinction to be noted in the Bible as respects those who are in covenant relationship with God and those who are not in covenant relationship with Him. We have certain duties toward the world. We have responsibilities toward them. The Golden Rule is to operate always and toward all men. But we have not the same obligation toward the world that we have toward the saints. Whoever honors the saints and serves them, honors and serves God. This seems to be the Apostle’s thought in the matter.

We are not to understand that the Lord would be displeased that we should do good to all men. Rather the Apostle urges, "Let us do good unto all men as we have opportunity." Be generous, be kind to everybody, but especially to the saints. (Galatians 6:10) This is what is particularly pleasing to God. Every service lovingly and gladly rendered to the saints is rendered unto His glory. This is true in a very special sense; for there are people in the world who might be naturally more admirable in character, and it might be more pleasing to serve them than to serve many of the saints, who might be ruder, cruder, in some respects. But in the service to the saints there is a special blessing from the Lord. We are to have this in mind when meeting and fellowshiping with those who have become children of God, and when we have opportunities to assist or comfort them. They must have our love, our co-operation, our sympathy, our aid. There may be more or less option in respect to others, but not in respect to our brethren in Christ.

This same principle, to some extent, holds good amongst worldly people. For instance, an Odd Fellow would show favors toward an Odd Fellow, whether rich or poor, learned or unlearned, that he would not show to others. And the same with Masons. A Mason would show favor to a Mason the world over, whether he be rich or poor, black or white. If these are the human standards, much more so should it be thus with those who have become children of the Lord. The fact that they are disciples of Christ makes it incumbent on whoever is a follower of the same Master to do a brother’s or a sister’s part. "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, ye have done it unto Me." This does not apply now to the world, but it does apply to the Church, the Lord’s faithful followers.


The Apostle says, "In that ye have ministered unto the saints, and do minister." This signifies that they were still in this proper attitude. Although somewhat discouraged in the good way, they were still helpful to one another. Another thought—it was not merely the amount of good works that they did that counted; for many good works are done by many people which would not in any sense be recognized by God or be bound to be rewarded. The works of the world are works of sinners. The world are not in covenant relationship with God. If any one does a good work, he by an unwritten law gets more or less blessing out of it. Whoever does a good work with a worthy motive will receive some reward, some blessing. It will ennoble his character and help to fit him for the blessings of the next Age, when all the world will be on trial for life before the Judgment Seat of God. The nobler the character in that Day, the fewer corrective stripes will be necessary. But in order to get the present blessing of the Lord, His special blessing, he must be in covenant relationship with Him.

The work now being done by those in such relationship with God will be worthy of His notice and reward. In the 13th Chapter of 1st Corinthians, the Apostle points out that, with the Body of Christ good works alone are not sufficient to indicate God’s favor. He declared that if he should give his body to be burned, and should give all his goods to feed the poor, there would be no real merit in it unless it was done from the motive of love. "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal," was his further declaration. One might do these good works to have the honor of men. If they were done for any such reason, God would not consider them good works to be rewarded. The works that God recognizes as good works and worthy of His approval and reward are those done by His faithful people, who are justified and sanctified, and who serve from love to Him, to His people and to His cause.

And so St. Paul says here to these, "God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love." This is important to have in mind. It is important for us to see to it that our motives are those of love toward the Lord and His Cause and His brethren. Such good works, if persevered in according to our ability and opportunity, will not fail of a blessed reward. [R5818]


"Be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in faith, in purity."—1 Timothy 4:12

WE recall that St. Paul was the writer of these words, that they constitute a part of his first Epistle to Timothy, a promising young Elder in the Church, one who had labored much with the Apostle in his work of the ministry. On one occasion Timothy was referred to by the Apostle as "my son Timothy." This was due no doubt to the fact that it was through St. Paul’s instrumentality that the Truth had reached Timothy. On account of his youth he may not have realized his responsibility. He might have felt that many others in the Church were older than himself and would therefore be better examples to the brethren and better representatives of the Lord before men.

But the Apostle here exhorts Timothy to be an example of what a true believer should be. He urged him to "flee youthful lusts," to "stir up the gift of God" which was in him. Timothy was to make a special use of the talents and opportunities which were his. And in so doing he would be a worthy example—not only to believers, but of believers, so that not only might the Church see his life and general course, but others, those of the world, might also see this, and thus have greater interest in the Lord’s Cause.

This example was not to be the wearing of a particular shape of coat or a particular cut of collar, nor was it in manifesting to the world eccentricities of life and manner—not so. His example was to be in his Christlike character. He was to glorify the Lord in his words—in what he would say, in how he would say it—in wisdom of speech. "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." Whoever would be careless in his language would reveal a careless heart. If Timothy had been careless in his words, others might have said, "You see that he thinks that he knows everything. See how he is always intruding himself." This would be especially unbecoming in one who was young. Thus he would have been despised as an example of believers, and others would be offended rather than helped.

Not only in word, but in his entire conversation was he to be an example. The word conversation, at the time our common version was translated, had the significance of conduct, manner of life. This advice is the counsel of wisdom in reference to us all as children of the Lord! The Apostle admonished Timothy with regard to his intercourse with the Church and with the world—Whether you eat or drink, whether you buy or sell, whatever you do, be a worthy exponent of the doctrine of Christ and of the effect of His Spirit in the heart.

In his charity, his love, Timothy was to be an example. This would include the ordinary thought of the word as now generally used, in the sense of dispensing largess. We do not know that Timothy had very much of this world’s goods to distribute; but he could have charity in the sense of love, which is the comprehensive sense, the Bible sense, of the word. Love would not wish any harm to his neighbor, but would manifest interest in everybody, and even in the brute creation—wishing to do right, to be kind.

Love would serve the interests of others in spirit; it would come from the heart, from the inward disposition, not be merely in word or in outward conduct. Kindness and good-will would not be feigned from a sense of duty or to appear polite and thoughtful. It would be genuine. The spirit in which a thing is said or done has a great deal to do with its effect upon others. One who had wounded another might say, "There was not a word in what I said to which you could object." Ah, well! but it was the spirit in which it was said or done—the animus of it. This is an important matter to all the Lord’s people. We are to remember the spirit of the Master—the spirit of consideration, of self-sacrifice, of righteousness, of love.

In faith, also, Timothy was to be an example to all with whom he came in contact. Of course the Apostle would mean here his manifestation of faith. One must have faith before he can manifest it. We have known Christians who, if they have a doubt about a certain feature of Truth or a weakness of faith, would discuss their doubts in the presence of those who were weak in the faith or who were of the world. This is a great mistake and productive of much harm. One never knows when a weak one may be present who might be greatly injured by words of doubt or distrust. Whoever is troubled by such doubts should go promptly to the Lord for help, that his faith may be firmly established; he should not discuss his doubts and fears with others unless as mentioned above, with the One who alone can help him. The Lord’s people should not boast of how much faith they have—not so—but we should manifest our faith to others, our confidence in the Lord, by our peace under trial and difficulty. We should not merely say that we have faith, but should manifest it in our lives.

Timothy was counseled to be an example in purity. "Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord." (Isaiah 52:11) As the typical priests and Levites were instructed to wash and keep themselves continually clean, so the people of the Lord today, the spiritual Priests, the spiritual Levites, should be pure, clean, in word, in action, in thought. Whoever is not pure in his thoughts is very apt to be impure, unclean, in his actions, his words. Out of the heart proceeds the impurity. One person of impure mind might poison the minds of many.

Impurity may be given a broad or a narrow view, as circumstances may indicate. In the broad sense, it would be uncleanness, dishonesty, insincerity, in general. But in every sense St. Paul would have Timothy be a worthy example, so that all who took note of him would see how they ought to deport themselves. The Apostle expressed the same desire concerning Timothy that he expressed concerning all the Church—that he walk as the Apostle himself walked, that he be as self-sacrificing as he saw St. Paul to be. This was not a Pharisaical attitude—"I am holier than thou." But the Apostle demonstrated those principles of righteousness in the life that he lived, and he wished that Timothy should do the same.

Those qualities of character here enumerated by the Apostle should be shown forth—not merely by the Elders and the teachers of the Ecclesia, but by all who have made the same profession of being disciples of Christ. So far as our standing with God is concerned, we are all brethren one of another; and each of these brethren should seek to copy the Elder Brother, our Lord Jesus. Each one should seek to be a pattern to the whole flock of God. [R5860]


"Doing nothing from party-spirit or vain-glory, but in humility esteeming others as excelling yourselves."—Philippians 2:3, Diaglott

LOWLINESS of mind, humility, is a mental quality which enables its possessor to look up with appreciation, not only to God, but also to earthly beings, recognizing their good qualities. The Apostle urges that this lowliness of mind should be in all of God’s people; this fact proves it to be a quality that demands careful cultivation.

Not all of the Lord’s people are lowly in mind. Some of them think more highly of themselves than they ought to think. Some of them may be proud of having the Truth or of their ability to serve the Truth. Any such pride is very objectionable in the sight of the Lord, and indicates that its possessor has a very small mind; for, with a proper estimate of matters, the best of us can see that we have nothing of which to be proud, nothing of which to boast. If we have received anything of the Lord, we should boast of our receipts, instead of glorying in something as if we had attained it of ourselves.

So the Lord’s people should spend earnest effort to stimulate and encourage humility. Some have this quality naturally; but the larger number have to contend against the reverse tendency—self-esteem, self-exaltation, pride—a feeling that they are superior to others.


When we come to consider St. Paul’s injunction, "in humility esteeming others as excelling yourselves," it is a question as to just what the Apostle meant. Those who have come into Christ should make progress, and should therefore feel that they are better than they were before they came into Christ. Those who have come into Christ know that they are not lower than all others. Evidently the Apostle did not mean that the Lord’s people should rate themselves as inferior to other men. In his own case he felt that he was the chief of sinners, because he had been an open opposer of the Truth; and Jesus had said that whosoever should injure one of the least of His disciples would transgress seriously. We cannot say, therefore, that we are the chief of all sinners. We think that few of the Lord’s people could say, I am the chief of sinners—either from the standpoint of committing crime or from that of persecuting the Church. We are not to bear false witness against ourselves.

In what way, then, are we to understand the Apostle’s injunction? In this way: We are to realize that no two of the Lord’s people are just alike. If we have the right focus upon the matter, we shall think of our own talents in a humble manner. We shall think, "I have something of this quality or that talent or grace; and therefore I have much responsibility to the Lord. I wonder whether I am using as faithfully as I could, this talent which I think is greater than that of my neighbor or my brother. Though they may have less than I have, they may be using all that they have with more resolute purpose to succeed than I am using what I have. If this be so, then he is better than I am, in this respect."


As we look around in the Lord’s family, we are bound to see the weaknesses and frailties of its various members. We are not to allow our thoughts to dwell too much upon their undesirable qualities, however, but are to remember all their good ones, especially their loyalty of heart. With ourself personally, it is always a recommendation in any one that God has called and accepted him. Whenever we see one who has come into the Truth, we say to ourself, "Well, no matter what he may be according to the flesh, God saw in his heart something good, noble and true; and since God is dealing with him as a son, he is therefore to be esteemed as a brother." Although we might not be able to esteem that man highly according to his natural qualities, yet we would do him good as we had opportunity. He might not be one whom we would select as a companion; yet God may esteem that brother more highly than He does us. Realizing this we would try to keep very humble and to learn whatever helpful lessons we might be able to get from that brother.

In all persons there are certain qualities that may be esteemed and appreciated; even as the old lady said that she could wish that others had as much perseverance as Satan. We are to appreciate good traits whenever we see them in others. We do not know whether in the Lord’s sight they may not be more noble, more self-sacrificing, more lowly in mind than ourselves. Our duty is plain. We are not able to read the heart, and hence we are to think kindly and generously of all those whom God has brought into His family. "Love beareth all things,... endureth all things." "As we have opportunity, therefore, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them of the Household of Faith."—1 Corinthians 13:7; Galatians 6:10


The Apostles Peter and James also emphasize the necessity on the part of the Lord’s people that they be clothed with humility. They tell us that this grace is indispensable to those who would abide in the Father’s favor; for God resists the proud, while He continually shows favor to those who are of humble spirit. Thus He encourages humility and discourages pride. (1 Peter 5:5; James 4:6) We can see a reason for this course. The Almighty sees that we have nothing whatever of which to be proud or to boast. Whatever we have has been of the Lord’s providence, or favoring circumstances.

The Scriptures give some marked instances of the evil results of pride. Lucifer, one of the very highest of spirit beings, became proud and vain in his imagination, and encouraging these evil qualities he lost his exalted position, having become Satan, the adversary of God. If Mother Eve had possessed the proper humility she would have said, when tempted of the serpent, I will not listen to this suggestion to disobey my Creator; He knows what is for my highest good, and I therefore submit myself to Him who knows all things. "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall."—Prov. 16:18.

In contrast, we have given to us a beautiful illustration of the opposite spirit—humility—in the case of the Logos. We are shown how He humbled Himself, and how God has highly exalted Him—to the very position which Satan coveted. So if we are fully obedient to the Lord, the results with us will be as with the Lord Jesus, a great blessing, a high exaltation. After presenting this argument!, the Apostle says, "Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time."—1 Peter 5:6.

The Heavenly Father has deeper love for those who are humble. This is the reason why we should humble ourselves. Since we find that "God resisteth the proud," and that humility is one of the basic principles of a properly crystallized character, we should more and more seek to develop this grace and attain to the attitude in which God can give us the greatest blessing.


To humble ourselves does not necessarily mean to think that we have no talent, no power, no ability. Such an attitude would be foolishness. But we should think soberly of ourselves. We should think of all our powers as coming from God. So if we find that we have some blessings more than our neighbor or our brother or our sister, let us be thankful; but let us not for a moment think that we have anything to make us proud. It is a gift. We should appreciate the gift, but we should not be puffed up over its possession. The fact that we have received the gift indicates that we lacked it, needed it.

The one who has naturally a proud heart, but who brings himself to the point of submission, manifests humility. If, on the other hand, one who by nature has too low an estimate of himself, will submit himself to God, the Father will show him the proper attitude of mind. The Apostle speaks of those who receive the Holy Spirit as having the "spirit of a sound mind." In proportion as we seek to become acquainted with God and to submit ourselves to His will, in that same proportion we become balanced in mind. We become more and more sane, if you please. He who receives the mind of Christ, the mind of God, the holy mind, is instructed more thoroughly by the Word. Thus we are getting the balance of a sound mind, the spirit of a sound mind. Our reasoning faculties become more developed as we grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Truth.


No one can come to the Father except through full consecration. We must admit that we need the Master, and that without Him we can do nothing. So we take this position: "I am nothing but a sinner; I know that I am imperfect, that I have nothing which I have not received. God provides everything; whatever I have is a gift from Him. Knowing all this, I gratefully accept these things, and humble myself under His mighty hand."

The world says, "No! I will not submit myself; if I need any punishment I will take what is coming to me." Such is the spirit of a worldly heart that has not yet learned its need and its impotence. But the spirit of a consecrated heart is that of submission to the will of the Lord. Such recognize that their only source of help is the Almighty God, through the Lord Jesus Christ as the Savior. For those alone who become His disciples can our Lord become the Advocate; and unless He be the Advocate none can be accepted of the Father. We might have a blessing in the Times of Restitution, but nobody can come to God now except through the Advocate.

The terms of discipleship are that we lay down all earthly rights, earthly interests. Everything must be submitted before the Father will accept us as disciples of Christ at all, before He will beget us of the Holy Spirit, before we can become a part of the anointed Body of Christ. If we would make any true progress, we must say from the heart, "Thy will, not mine, be done." We know that God’s will is best, whether we understand that will or not. A person with large self-esteem might, as a natural man, think his own will better; but when he comes to see the Truth, he will say, "I have made mistakes before; but now I will do the Lord’s way, regardless of what my judgment may be." Such a course would evidence real humility, no matter how proud-spirited one might be by nature. As he would progress in the good way, and see more clearly wherein he had made mistakes, his humility would increase. So we are to submit ourselves, humble ourselves, have no will of our own, but merely seek the Lord’s will.


There is such a thing as a false submission, which might deceive even the person himself. One might talk a great deal about submission to the will of God, and yet be only nominally submitting while he is really doing his own will. We are to watch, therefore, that we are carrying out the profession of submission, and that in our daily course of life we are asking, "Is this the course which the Lord wishes me to pursue? Is this the will of God?"

The most submissive will receive the greatest blessings. God will test our submission and our humility. We cannot suppose that our Lord Jesus, who was perfect, did not know that He had perfect powers. But no matter what His own ideas were, He submitted Himself to the Father, and said, "Not My will, but Thine, be done." A man who had no tastes or preferences would be a nonentity. We may know what we would will for ourselves; and yet, knowing this, we are to say to ourselves, "You cannot have your own way about this; you are to seek to know what is the Lord’s will concerning you in this matter, and to carry it out, as far as in you lies."


Sometimes the Lord’s hand is very heavy. It was in the case of our Lord Jesus, heavy, pressed down. But when the Lord felt the Father’s hand pressing down, He meekly bowed Himself beneath the weight, in humble acquiescence to the will of the One whose purpose He had come to carry out. But the Hand did not crush Him, although it seemed to do so. Instead of being a crushing, it was the Hand of Love, testing His obedience to the full. When His obedience was fully tested, the same Hand lifted Him up and "set Him at His own right hand in the Heavenly places; far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come."—Ephesians 1:20-23

Thus it will be with us, if we are found faithful. God will exalt us in due time. But He cannot exalt any who are not humble. Submission indicates faith. We would not submit ourselves unless we had absolute confidence in God. And not faith only, but loyalty also, is necessary. Therefore the Father tests us in these two qualities. Without these, we would be quite unfit for the Kingdom; and so the various tests of the present time are tests of faith and loyalty to God, and of entire submission to His will. It is to those "who, by patient continuance in well doing, seek for glory and honor and immortality" that God has promised "eternal life."—Romans 2:7

We should recognize Divine providences and look for them. We should expect God’s providential leadings in all of life’s affairs. We should not pass through life with the thought that we are running this, or regulating that. As a child would look to his parent, or a pupil to his teacher, or as an apprentice to his master, or a maid to her mistress, so should our eyes be looking to the Lord asking His guidance.—Psalm 123:1,2


This Divine guidance we should seek in all things. Suppose that some business complication arises. Perhaps one loses his situation. A child of God who had not learned full submission to the Lord’s will might immediately blame some one else or find fault with his employers. But the right attitude for the Lord’s people would be to say, "The Father knows all about this matter; He could have prevented it and would have done so had it been for my best interests. There is some lesson here for me to learn, and I will look for it." If he should discover that there had been some carelessness on his part, then he must perceive that the logical consequence would be that he lose the position.

But if after careful investigation of matters, he feels that he could not have been more faithful or more loyal to duty, then he should look further and say, "Lord, I do not see wherein I have deserved to lose this situation, but I am looking to Thee, to see what is Thy providence in the matter; for Thou knowest that I must have some kind of employment; and therefore I merely pray, Give me this day my daily bread. I cannot suppose that this is accidental. Surely Thou hast some lesson for me in this experience. I know not what Thy providence may be. Give me, I pray, the necessary grace and wisdom to perceive Thy will."

As he prays thus, he should at the same time be on the lookout for the Lord’s providences and guidance. The child of God who thus acknowledges the Lord, and is faithful to Him in all the details of life’s affairs, is the one who will come off victorious and be participator with the Master in His Kingdom. This great exaltation will be given all who are fully submissive to God’s will, whether their powers and talents be many or few.


In our context the Apostle Paul urges that the Church cultivate the mind of Christ. He says, "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus." He had been reciting the qualities necessary to the Church in order that they could be acceptable to the Father. Amongst these was an eager desire to please God. The Apostle exhorts all such to pursue the course of humility and submission taken by our Lord as the only proper path for the Master’s footstep followers. St. Paul was endeavoring to impress that the mind of Christ was eminently worthy of imitation and painstaking cultivation.

As a further evidence of the Master’s great humility, the Apostle brings forcefully to their attention what Jesus was in His prehuman existence. As the Logos, He was in the form of God—the spirit condition. Yet He was not ambitious; He was not self-seeking. On the contrary, He made Himself of no reputation—divested Himself of His former glory and honor, that He might do the will of the Father. His spirit was directly opposite to that of Satan. The Logos thought not to usurp the Father’s place, or to claim equality with Him, but manifested a very different disposition—an attitude of humility. Then "let this mind be in you," urges the Apostle. "Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time." Consider that God has called you with the same High Calling, that you might attain to a place at the right hand of Christ, even as He attained to a place at the Father’s right hand. Realizing this, permit this mind of Christ to be in you.

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


We have seen that the Logos did not meditate the usurpation to be equal with God, but humbled Himself. Lucifer took the opposite course. Instead of humbling himself, he said, "I will be like the Most High." (Isaiah 14:14) Here we have an illustration of what we should not do. It is a principle of the Divine Government that "He that exalteth himself shall be abased, but he that humbleth himself shall be exalted." "Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time."—Luke 14:11; 1 Peter 5:6

Every creature of God, whether angel or man, should have this humble mind. This is the only proper attitude. This test comes during the Gospel Age to only the Lord and the Church. To what extent it may ever come to others is a question. It would seem to be impossible for this test to come to all. Those who have the right disposition will desire to do the Father’s will at any cost. Doubtless if any one of the holy angels were allowed the privilege of becoming the Redeemer of a race, he would be glad to do so. We do not know, however, just how it would have been had the angels not seen the result of the obedience of the Logos to the will of the Father.

The world will be subjected to a test during the Millennial Age. The proper attitude for every creature would be to risk everything in the Father’s service; it will eventually be the standing of the world of mankind—every one who shall attain everlasting life. We must remember, however, that Divine Justice never calls for self-sacrifice. It calls for obedience; and the obedience of the Church is the extreme of obedience—even "unto death." But the Father has offered a reward so high that such obedience has become the standard par excellence throughout the Universe.—Revelation 2:10 [R5842]


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Question: Is it correct, in the strict sense, to speak or think of ourselves as new creatures while in the begotten condition? Or is it only when born from the dead that this condition is attained? In other words, Is the new mind the new creature?

Answer: Yes; the new mind is the new creature. The Scriptural thought is that this new creature is now an embryo. This embryo is to develop more and more, and take on the character-likeness of the Lord Jesus. Then will come the birth of the new creature. The Lord uses the thought of begetting and birth as a picture. First, there is the begetting, and then the gradual development of the embryo; finally there comes the time for birth. But if anything checks the development of the embryo the birth will never take place; there will be a miscarriage. So the new creature, begotten of the holy Spirit, is in an embryo condition, and must develop, or it will never be ready for the birth. The birth is the resurrection. As the Scriptures say, Jesus was the first-born from the dead and we are his brethren. He is the first born amongst these many brethren; and we also must be born from the dead to share his glory. [R4961]

Question: What is the difference between "the fruits of the Spirit" and "the graces of the Spirit"?

Answer: The expression "fruits of the Spirit" has very much the same significance as "graces of the Spirit." One term might be proper to use at one time and the other at another time, according to the figure of speech which would be appropriate. If we were speaking of a quality which was being developed, it would be proper to think of the fruitage of the Spirit— those beautiful qualities worked out in our lives through the indwelling of the Spirit of God. If we were speaking more particularly of the individual and his conduct, we might more appropriately say that the graces which he manifested and which he had developed were brought out through his possession of the holy spirit, through his possession of the spirit of love. [R4989]

Question: "Your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion walketh about, seeking whom he may devour; whom resist. steadfast in the faith." (1 Peter 5:8) In what sense does the adversary go about as a roaring lion?

Answer: The Scriptures give us various illustrations of Satan, the "angel of light." He is compared to a serpent, a roaring lion, etc. Of course, he does not fill all of these pictures at one moment, nor does he go about as a roaring lion all the time. It is the custom of the lion to roar when in pursuit of food. The roar of the lion makes his prey—including human beings—semi-paralyzed. From personal observation, we see that fear is one of the most disastrous things for the Lord’s people to have—except "fear of the Lord," which is proper fear. As God incites by love, so Satan incites through fear, through false doctrines, the root of error, which so terrorizes mankind as to the future. This kind of influence from the adversary is what is meant by the Apostle. But we are to resist Satan. Once the Apostles were under threat from the Jewish Sanhedrin; and they prayed, "Now, Lord behold their threatenings." This statement, however does not prove that the men of the Sanhedrin were devils, nor that they were viciously inclined of themselves. So today there are some people more or less beclouded by threatenings of those who are seeking to intimidate the Lord’s people. We are to be of good courage. When we hear the roaring of the lion we are to remember that the Lord is on our part and that he does not cause us to fear. The thought that Satan opposes us and that we are contending not merely with the fallen flesh, but also with wicked spirits in high positions of power, would appall us if we did not, by positiveness of decision, acquire great help from other unseen powers. From the instant that we resist temptation and stand up for the Lord and his cause we become strong in the Lord and in the power of his might. "If God be for us, who can be against us?" [R4988]

Question: Is Jesus still a human being since his resurrection?

Answer: 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 church’s forerunner, and St. Paul explains the church’s 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 [R4994]

Question: Which is the Sabbath Day to the church?

Answer: St. Paul clearly intimates that to the church, the new creation, every day is a Sabbath day, in the sense that God’s consecrated people rest as God rests, in faith, in hope, in trust that Jesus will eventually deliver the groaning creation and bring them into a glorious Sabbath, rest. St. Paul says, "We who believe do enter into rest." Literally, we who believe have a perpetual Sabbath. Seven days in the week, and fifty-two weeks in the year our hearts rest in the Lord and take comfort in the glorious promises of his Word through faith. Thus we rest from feelings of responsibility and worry on account of the world’s salvation in exactly the same way that the heavenly Father rests. [R4996]

Question: Is the Second Death an Enemy?

Answer: Those who will die during the thousand years, as wilful evil doers, will die the second death. It is not an enemy of man; it is the righteous sentence of a righteous God in the interest of his creatures - those who wilfully prefer sin shall be destroyed from amongst the people, because their influence will be to corrupt the earth. The second death, therefore, is not included amongst the enemies, and is not the death that Jesus will destroy.

Neither is Satan one of the enemies who Jesus will then destroy. He was an enemy before man sinned, and his rebellion was not brought about by man’s sin. He was subject to divine authority before man was created, and will be a subject of divine authority after man shall have been redeemed and restored. It will not be for the Mediator to deal with him, but for divine justice to determine his deserts. Besides, it is said that he will be destroyed in the second death, in the death from which there will be no redemption, no resurrection. [R4999]


(Thursday Text from Daily Heavenly Manna)

February 6

"Promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: He putteth down one, and setteth up another."--Psalm 75:6,7

WE may have desires and aspirations for usefulness which will never be gratified. The Lord may see that we could not bear the exaltation and honor which we seek. He knows far better than we do what is for our good, and so He would have us rest contented in His providence, not idle, but diligent; not careless, but watchful; not indifferent, but full of intense, earnest longing to do the will of God; yet patient under restraint, and content to be neglected and forgotten, remembering that "they also serve who only stand and wait," and that the Lord in His own well-chosen hour can lead us forth to fulfil His purposes of grace. Z.’95-11 R1756:5

February 13

"Love thinketh no evil." 1 Corinthians 13:5

WHOEVER neglects the Lord’s commands along this line of "evil surmisings" weaves a web for his own ensnarement, however "circumspectly" he may walk as respects other matters; for a heart impregnated with doubt and suspicion toward fellow creatures is more than half prepared to doubt God: the spirit of sourness and bitterness is at war with the spirit of the Lord, the spirit of love. Either the one or the other will conquer. The wrong spirit must be gotten rid of, or it will defile the new creature and make of him a "castaway." On the contrary, if the new nature conquer, as an "overcomer," it will be along this line: if evil surmisings are overcome, half the battle against present difficulties and besetments is won. Z.’98-84 R3594:2

February 20

If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue,...this man’s religion is vain.--James 1:26

BECAUSE the tongue is the index of the heart, because "out of the fullness of the heart the mouth speaketh," therefore the unbridled tongue, speaking selfishly, enviously, bitterly, boastfully, slanderously, proves that the heart from whose fullness these overflow is unsanctified, unholy, grievously lacking of the spirit of Christ—hence, whatever religion it may have attained is thus far vain, as that heart is not saved, nor in a salvable condition....The Good Physician has pointed out antidotes for soul-poisoning—medicines which, if properly taken according to directions, will sweeten the bitter heart. Z.’99-215 R2517:2

February 27

"Let your moderation be known unto all men." Philippians 4:5

THE Greek word here rendered "moderation" seems to carry with it the thought of reasonableness, and of not exacting our rights too rigorously. Mercy and leniency are certainly qualities required of all who would be members of the body of the Anointed. Faithfulness in the performance, as far as possible, of all that justice would require of us, and mercifulness in respect to all our requirements of justice from others should be our rule: so shall we be the children of our Father which is in heaven, for He is kind and merciful to the unthankful. Z.’03-7 R3128:2


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