N.B.Those of the interested, who by reason of old age or accidents, or other adversity, are unable to pay, will be supplied FREE, if they will send a Postal Card each December, stating their case and requesting the paper.
The Meetings for Scripture study (in connection with which an opportunity will be afforded any who desire to be immersed) will begin on Thursday, April 7th. On the evening of Sunday, April 10th, the Last Supper and death of our Redeemer will be commemorated. The session will close April 14th, although many will probably be unable to remain longer than the 11th.
A Brother writes that he thinks that the "Good Hopes," mentioned in our issue before last, resemble Babylon too much. He adds that the publishing of the amounts promised and the results are a reflection upon himself and others who are doing all they can do for the spread of the Truth, in the purchase and circulation of O.T. Tracts, Dawns, etc.
The Brother takes a wrong view of the matter. What we suggested (we did not urge it, although we might have done so without erring) was that all, so far as possible, adopt the rule which the Apostle Paul lays downthe setting aside of something, according to our prosperity (whether one cent or one dollar or a thousand dollars), on the first day of each week, as a memorial of the Lord's blessings during the week ended, and of our thankfulness. We believe that but few could not spare and consecrate at least one cent a week, and we believe that such would be blessed in so doing.
We did not suggest or urge that such sums could only be used through the "Good Hopes," but merely announced that hereafter O.T. Tracts, Nos. 1 to 6, and 10 would be supplied free to all Z.W.T. subscribers, so that those who have greater opportunities for circulating tracts than for buying them, could have the better opportunity; and suggested that on the blanks furnished in the November TOWER, the "Good Hopes" of all who desired to help in this and the general work could be declared in a most convenient way.
We have never blamed Babylon for her liberal donations to missions, tracts and charities. The things to be blamed are, (1) the methods often used to secure the money, such as fairs, suppers, etc., and by appealing to the motive of pride, by publishing names and amounts. (2) We have criticized the way in which these large sums of money have been used, in publishing tracts full of bad tidings of great misery, and by putting into civilized and heathen minds false doctrines, calculated to mislead and blind them.
To this Brother and to all we saythe Apostle Paul's advice in 1 Cor. 16:2 is good; and it will do you all good to follow it. Then use the money thus set aside to God's glory, in the best way your reason and conscience, directed by God's Word, dictate.
The recent rioting in Berlin, in which some 6000 of the very poor participated; which rifled baker-shops and beerhouses, and surrounded the Emperor's palace, shows the extremity of the lowest class of society there, but does not alter our judgment of the general situation as expressed in the "View" of our Jan'y 15th issue.r1375 VOL. XIII. MARCH 1, 1892. NO. 5.
r1374 ROTHSCHILD PURCHASING LAND IN
r1380 "PEACE BE UPON THEE."
r1375 "IN DUE TIME."
r1375 VIEWS ABROAD.
SUGGESTIVE THOUGHTS DESIGNED TO ASSIST THOSE OF OUR
READERS WHO ATTEND BIBLE CLASSES, WHERE THESE
LESSONS ARE USED; THAT THEY MAY BE ENABLED TO
LEAD OTHERS INTO THE FULNESS OF THE GOSPEL.
PUBLISHED IN ADVANCE, AT THE REQUEST OF FOREIGN READERS.
Golden Text"The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life."Rom. 6:23.
The golden text is worthy of careful consideration. "The wages of sin is death," not life in torment, nor life in any sense, but total extinction of being. "The dead know not any thing." "There is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave whither thou goest." "Man dieth and wasteth away : yea, man giveth up the ghost [the breath or spirit of life] and where is he?...His sons come to honor, and he knoweth it not; and they are brought low, but he perceiveth it not of them....As the waters fail from the sea, and the flood decayeth and drieth up, so man lieth down [in death] and riseth not till the heavens be no more; [until then] they shall not awake nor be raised out of their sleep." The present heavens or ruling powers under Satan, the present prince, shall give place to the new heavens, the Kingdom of God under Christ and his Church glorified (the Royal Priesthood), during a great time of trouble just at hand (Dan. 12:1), in which the present rule of evil shall cease and Satan be bound. Under the new spiritual power (the Kingdom), the "new heavens," there shall also be a new social arrangement, "a new earth," and then through the Kingdom-power not only those alive, but also "all that are in their graves," shall come forth"awake" from the sleep of death.Eccl. 9:5,10; Job 14:10,21,11,12; John 11:11-14.
Death is an actual extinction of being. Mark, we do not say that death annihilates matter; for matter is indestructible, and merely passes from one form to anotheras solid to liquid or to gas. What we do assert is, that being, as a condition, has an opposite in non-existence, and that the same God who gave us our being can cause that being or existence to terminate. "The soul (being) that sinneth, it shall die" (Ezek. 18:4,20), is God's statement on this subject. Nay, more; the privilege of living is dependent upon God, since it is "in him we live, and move, and have our being" (Acts 17:28), and our Golden Text assures us that God has decreed that the wages of sin shall be death, and that only by his gift or favor can any hope to live forever. In view of the promised resurrection from death, the first death, which now prevails against all, is likened to a sleep. (John 11:11; Dan. 12:2.) It would have been a sleep that would have known no waking, had it not been that [R1378 : page 75] God in his grace provided redemption from that death which came upon all through father Adam, in the death of Christ our Lord, who became a man and then gave himself our ransom-pricedied, the just for the unjust. (Rom. 5:12,18,19,20.) Thus the sentence of Adam's sin is settled by Christ for all who accept his sacrifice and come into covenant relationshipwhich sooner or later all must have a chance to do. Thus the general resurrection of all is provided for; and in view of that awakening from death which God had fore-ordained, he and all who trust him call the Adamic death a sleep, from which all will awake in the Millennial morning. But the second death is never designated a sleep: because it will never end, it will be an everlasting extinction of being to all who go into it. The soul that sinneth shall diean everlasting punishment for wilful sin against full light and opportunity, such as the world will enjoy during the Millennium; but which only consecrated believers may enjoy now.
It was in view of the awakening, the resurrection, that Job, in the midst of his trouble, said, "Oh! that thou wouldest hide me in the grave, that thou wouldest keep me secret, until thy wrath be past [until the time for the curse to be removed by the establishment of God's Kingdom in the earth], that thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me....All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come. Thou shalt call, and I [from death] will answer thee [by coming forth]: thou wilt have a desire to the work of thy hands."Job 14:13-15.
The doctrine of a resurrection is entirely incompatible with the teaching of modern theology, that the righteous dead are not really dead, but more alive than ever in heaven; and that the wicked dead are not really dead, but in a place of torment. If such were the case the prophecies of the preceding lesson, and numerous others, could never be fulfilled. Shall faithful Abraham, indeed, return from heaven to claim the promise of a home in the land wherein he was a stranger? And shall the multitudes of his posterity, who were corrupt and idolatrous, return from the sulphurous pit of modern theology to share it with him?
No, but as the Prophet (Ezek. 37:12) declares, they will be brought up out of their graves, which statement is abundantly corroborated by the Lord and all the prophets and apostles. "No man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man." (John 3:13; Acts 2:34.) Even the faithful Apostle Paul did not expect to go to heaven at death, but having fought the good fight and kept the faith and finished his course, he exclaimed, "Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day [the day of his appearing and kingdom]: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing." (2 Tim. 4:8.) True, Paul's portion as a member of the body or bride of Christ will not be an earthly, but a heavenly inheritanceto be entered into "at that day."
While the just and certain wages of sin is death, the gift of God, praise his holy name, is eternal life to all who will accept it on his righteous terms, through Christ Jesus, our Lord and Redeemer. And it will be the privilege of every son and daughter of Adam, if they will have it. To the world in general it will be the restored human life in Edenic bliss; and to the members of the body or bride of Christ, being selected during this Gospel age, it will be a life of participation with him in his glory and divine nature.
LESSON XIII., MARCH 27, ISA. 40:1-10.
Although the seed of Abraham according to the flesh has always been a rebellious house, yet God has covenanted, as we have seen in preceding lessons, that he will yet again bless them wonderfully with his favor and use them as a blessing to others. The special blessing will come through the spiritual Israel (Christ and his little flock) upon representatives of the fleshly seed, who at that time will be in favor again, and more ready than others for the blessings and terms of the New Covenant, then to be thrown open to all mankind. These, receiving the favor first, will become the mouthpieces and channels of that New Covenant blessing to others.
For centuries fleshly Israel has been desolate and without divine favorever since their rejection of Messiah, when he said, "Your house is left unto you desolate." Their career previously had been a period of favor; for though they had suffered much and often for sins, God cared for them and heard their repentant cry and brought them back again to the land of promise. Their chastisement with favor lasted from the death of Jacob, where their national history began, for 1845 years, until our Lord in A.D. 33 pronounced their sentence. And this lesson (Isa. 40:1,2) with other prophecies tells us that when a like period of 1845 years chastisement without favor shall have passed, Israel will be restored to divine favor.
Verses 1 and 2, "Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye [the Church] comfortably to Jerusalem [the natural seed], and cry unto her that her appointed time [margin] is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned, for she hath received at the Lord's hand double [literally, the other half or second half] for all her sins."
The exact turning-point of Israel's favor is clearly marked by Scripture (Zech. 9:9-12). The Prophet, after describing our Lord's entry into Jerusalem on the ass the very day he said, "Your house is left unto you desolate," says: "Even to-day do I declare that I will render double [Hebrew, mishneh, a second portion, a repetition] unto thee."
The Prophet Jeremiah had also predicted the same thing, and described it as a season of unmingled disfavor, as it surely has been ever since their rejection of Messiah. He said, "Therefore will I cast you out of this land, into a land that ye know not, NEITHER [R1378 : page 77] YE NOR YOUR FATHERS [Europetheir fathers had been in Egypt and in Babylon, but never in Europe], and there shall ye serve other gods [rulers] day and night where I will not show you favor." (Jer. 16:13.) The next four verses show that they will not forever remain cast off, but that they shall be regathered and blessed; but he adds: "First, [R1379 : page 77] I will recompense their iniquity and their sin double."Verse 18.
And now the Prophet Isaiah (40:1,2), taking the standpoint of the end of this "appointed time," says, "Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her that her appointed time is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she hath received of the Lord's hand double [she has completed the second portion of her punishment] for all her sins."
Thus we find Jeremiah from the standpoint of the past predicting this "appointed time" of chastisement and promising deliverance at its close; Zechariah pointing out the very day when it began; and Isaiah giving the comforting message to be delivered at its close. For fuller treatment of this subject see Millennial Dawn, Vol. II., Chap. viii.
But who is to deliver these comforting words? Verse 3 shows that it is one like unto John the Baptist, and like unto Elias"The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness." That John the Baptist, who cried in the wilderness of Judea and introduced Christ at his first advent, was only a partial fulfilment of this prophecy is clearly shown by our Lord's reply to the inquiry in many minds whether John were the Elias that should come before the great and notable day of the Lord, or not. Jesus said, "If ye will receive it, this is Elias [the one who was to come 'in the spirit and power of Elias,' according to Luke 1:17] which was to come." (Matt. 11:14.) But Israel did not receive John the Baptist as the Elias, nor did they receive the Messiah, who then offered himself to them as their King, whose presence John heralded. And therefore their unrecognized and rejected King departed and their house was "left desolate" until he should come again in glory and power, when again his presence must be heralded by another who shall come in the spirit and power of Eliasanother "Voice" crying in the wilderness, "Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God."
That the time for this message to go forth has already come is clearly shown in Millennial Dawn, Vol. II., The Time Is At Hand; and a class of earnest Christians, in the spirit and power of Eliasan uncompromising and fearless spirit, and armed, like Elias, with the power of divine truthare now crying in the wilderness (for all such are in the wilderness condition, separate from the world and the worldly minded nominal Christians), "Prepare ye the way of the Lord." And all who have this spirit of Elias, and who have also the power of present truth concerning the proximity and glorious character of the Kingdom of God and of the presence of Jehovah's Anointed who is even now setting up his Kingdomall such constitute the Elias that was to comethe Voice in the wilderness, whether uttered audibly or through the printed page declaring God's wonderful plan of the ages and announcing Messiah's second presence.
Verse 4. "Every valley [the meek and humble] shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill [present great ones of earth] shall be made low: and the crooked [the crooked ruts in which the present evil order of things are running] shall be made straight, and the rough places [the errors, inconsistencies, false doctrines and stumbling-stones of a perverted public sentiment, shall be made] plain."
Verse 5. "And the glory of the Lord [the glory of his righteous character, and of his government and power and wisdom and love] shall be revealed [then], and all flesh shall see [appreciate] it together; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it." Glorious message! let all who hear it take part in sounding it abroad; for the time is at hand.
But only the few are ready for this great change of dispensation: the majority fancy that all things shall continue as they are. Especially do the great ones in politics and theology and finance feel strong and confident that the valleys and hills of society will never come to a level. To this end combinations and trusts are being formed; but the Lord sends them another message, as follows
Verses 6-8. "A voice saith, Proclaim; and he saith, What shall I proclaim? [The answer is, Proclaim that] All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the [R1379 : page 78] field. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth; because the breath of the Lord bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God will stand firm forever."
It will require only a breath from the Lord to scatter all the might and glory and power of earthly institutions. His word therefore will be fulfilled; and all who oppose his plan will fade in the great day of wrath which shall burn as an oven, and in which all the proud and all that do wickedly shall be as stubble.Malachi 4:1.
Next, verses 9-11, the message changes to one of encouragement to God's people during that period of trouble. (Psa. 46.) They need not be afraid. When men's hearts are failing them for fear and for looking forward to those things coming upon the earth [society], these may rejoice and lift up their heads, knowing that their redemption at the same time is drawing nigh. (Luke 21:26.) In that day while the trouble draws on the Lord will feed his people with present truth.
Verse 9. "O Zion, that bringest good tidings [the one Church, represented by its last living members, the Elias class, the only ones who know and can proclaim the good tidings of restitution, etc.], get thee up into the high mountain. [Let the Church be glorified as God's Kingdom or mountain; let the dead in Christ awake in his glorious likeness, and let those who are alive and remain be changed in the moment of their dying and not sleep as have others; and thus let the promise be fulfilled'Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from henceforth.'Rev. 14:13.] O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength. [After the Church, the bride, has been glorified with the Lord, the faithful ones of the fleshly seed of Abraham will begin to come into prominence before the world by reason of the leaders whom God will then raise up for them]. Lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah [all who shall then be in covenant relationship with God] Behold! Your God is here!" [Thus the message now given by "the feet" of Christthat the Millennial kingdom is already beginning its rule, Isa. 52:7will be taken up by the earthly class when the "feet of Him" have passed beyond the vail.]
Verses 10 and 11 go back and connect with verse 2, saying, "Behold, the Lord God will come against the strong one [Satan], and his arm [Christ] shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him and his recompense for work, before him. He shall feed his flock [the 'little flock'all that follow himnot Babylon] like a shepherd: he shall gather his lambs with his arm [helping even the weakest of his true sheep], and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that give suck." Those who give suck represent teachers and evangelists among the Lord's sheep. This day of the Lord is to be a time of special trial to such (Matt. 24:19); but all such who are true sheep will be very tenderly and carefully led along into the present truth by the great Shepherd.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:Last Sunday I spent with Brothers Rogers and West. They met me at the Astor House Saturday evening, at eight o'clock, and we had a most delightful and refreshing meeting in my room. The next morning, Sunday, they came again, and after another little season of prayer we went over to Staten Island and met Brother and Sister Crane, dined with them, and then, our little party being increased by Brother Crane, we went over to Brooklyn to Brother Blunden's house, where we also met Sisters Stapleton, McPhail, and Sister Blunden's mother and daughter, and Sister Hickey and Brother Snook.
For a subject, we started to consider what Christ is now doing, in his day of presence, and for Scripture we read Matt. 24, and before we were aware of it, the two hours allotted for study had been all occupied in considering the evidences of his presence, without touching on his work at all. Brother and Sister Blunden insisted that we remain to a delicious tea spread for us, and after an hour's conversation on the two subjects nearest our heartsthe Ransom and RestitutionBrother West and I heard Mr. Talmage, at the Brooklyn Tabernacle, preach a characteristic sermon on "Ordinary men, doing ordinary work, in the ordinary way and receiving ordinary compensation." He is a strong speaker, but had no "meat" for us. We found Brothers Rogers and Crane waiting for us at the hotel, and we had another season of prayer in my little room. What a glorious, happy day it was!
A GOOD TESTIMONY:"Until within a few years I have been a most pronounced materialist. The study of hypnotism drew my attention to the power of things unseen. Then I looked into Buddhism, Theosophy, Spiritualism and Christian Science. All these were found wanting; and though to a student of modern science the Ransom given by Christ seems like foolishness, I can see no other possible chance for the salvation of mankind. He who goes into the depths of philosophy finds only vanity and vexation of spirit. I have read MILLENNIAL DAWN with much interest."
"I am more and more impressed with the necessity in these days of feeding only on 'clean provender' (Isa. 30:24), and letting severely alone all those various writings that multiply the danger in these perilous times (2 Tim. 3:11), and especially such as come under false pretensions as messengers of light.2 Cor. 11:13-15." W. E. PAGE.
The wonderfully rapid change of vast wastes of the earth's surface into rich productiveness in fruits, grains and vineyards, now being witnessed on both hemispheres, is just on timeabundance of rain, with springs, lakes and wells of water bursting forth in the deserts and vast plains where for hundreds of years no wells, springs, rivers or rain have been known.
We remember that this very work is to be going on, even during or "in the time of the slaughter" among the nations, "when the towers fall." (Isa. 30:25.) The falling of the towers (kings, potentates, etc.) must accompany the slaughter (disintegration, grinding to powder) of the nations. You have no doubt noticed the following prophecies now commencing to be fulfilled.Isa. 30:25; 35:6,7; 41:18; 43:19,20; 51:3.
I have seen (last February, on my return from your place to my home here in California), on the border of both the Colorado and Mojavi deserts, thousands of acres made productive by wells "bursting forth" in the desert. I have a brother there who has already put down forty wells, from every one of which vast quantities of purest water bursts forth. This is taken in large stone pipes over hundreds of acres of the thirsty, sterile soil. [R1380 : page 79] Hundreds of thousands of vines and fruit trees are at once planted and their rapid growth is indeed surprising.
Knowing as we do that the Lord is to do a "short work in the earth," preparatory to the full installment of his Son with his anointed body, in full ruling power, having all things under him; that over forty per cent of this work is accomplished; and that only twenty-three years of the allotted time remain, during which the remaining sixty per cent of the work is to be accomplished, gives these varied events and agencies the highest interest.
[While the prophecies above cited have special reference, we think, to Israel and the now barren land of Palestine, we believe that the same blessings of restitution are also due to the whole earth.EDITOR.][page 79]
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:We are glad to acknowledge the receipt of two letters from you which gave us the more pleasure since they were unexpected. We could form some idea of the amount of work awaiting you upon your arrival home, so we did not look for a letter so soon, but we intended writing to you anyway to tell you how thankful we are that you and Sister Russell are well and safe at home. We feel sure that your long, tiresome journey will not be in vain: you will have gathered much that will benefit the household of faith. We do appreciate, dear brother and sister, your labor of love, and for this cause we also rejoice with you.
Ever since we came home, last July, we have found many opportunities for service and sacrifice. We have had many seasons of sweet communion with the brethren in our vicinity, and some good letters from those "harvesters" gone out from among us. This is the oneness and unity that rejoices our hearts. Brother Utley has been with us since September first, canvassing and delivering in the different towns. He has put in a goodly number of DAWNS through this part, and delivered several lectures. After each lecture we had good question meetings, and though we know of only a few who are deeply interested, yet quite a number truly rejoice in the good tidings. People who four years ago would not listen at all come to us now to enquire, for they are beginning to see things are not right in the nominal church. This gives us an opportunity to speak a word in season. We know the truth will prevail, and we rejoice in every opportunity to speak a word or suffer reproach for the truth's sake, and count it a great privilege to do so.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:On the 7th of last June I stepped into a small hall in this city, and heard for the first time some of the precious truths I have since learned to love. I had been for some months engaged in evangelistic and missionary work. I had been for years a member of the Baptist sect, and you doubtless know how hard it was for me to give up the old ideas which would not let go of me, but how I praise God to-day. Before I had finished the second reading of DAWN, Vol. I., I felt that perhaps I might have been mistaken all these years, so I made up my mind to read the second volume. This I also read twice, and by that time felt that it must be true, but hardly dared believe, and did not dare to assert my belief, lest it might be error. Then I went back to the first volume again and read it the third time, and then the second volume a third time. Truly this third reading was a feast, and, eager for more, I wrote for the third volume. All this time I had enjoyed the precious things the books had brought me with scarcely even a thought of those through whose labors the truth had been so plainly and convincingly set forth, but when I took up the third volume and read the preface, an almost overwhelming sense of the gratitude I owed, not only to the dear heavenly Father, but to his agents in bringing these things to my attention, came over me, and I have found it truly hard to wait for your return home, to express to you as well as I can the deep gratitude I feel.
Brother Russell, I loved the Lord Jesus dearly before. I had already not only given up for his sake friend and home but had known by a most bitter experience what it meant to be persecuted for his work; yet proving through all the bitterness the truthfulness of the promise that he would be a satisfying portion, I was happy without home or friends, because I had Jesus. I was continually conscious of his presence with me. But now it seems to me at times my heart will burst with love and gratitude and praise. I cannot do half enough for him; but he shall have the earnest, faithful service of every remaining hour of my life.
I am eagerly starting out to give to others the glad tidings that have come to me, and yet I start almost fearfully. Is it not strange? I have been a dear lover of the Bible for years. I have read carefully and prayerfully, and have been led out of much orthodox error, and before I read DAWN I confidently went among the people, sure that I could give them food that would satisfy beyond any thing the popular preachers could give; but now that I have been so richly fed myself I feel timid about going, lest one should ask for something which I cannot give.
I received to-night a precious letter from the office, in which the wish is expressed that I may be "filled with a spirit of love and humility." It seems to me I must be. I never felt my own littleness and unworthiness as I have felt it in the past three months, since I began to see the precious truth. I am amazed, as I look over my life and see what bungling and inefficient work I have done and called it work for the Lord, to think that he has trusted me with this precious truth, and is going to let me still call myself one of his workers. O Brother and Sister Russell, pray for me that I may be enabled to work in such a way that through my work, as through yours, sheaves may be garnered for his glorious kingdom.
I enclose you a paper giving you a concise sketch of the recent controversy between the priests of Babylon and Col. Ingersollthe Goliath that only David could kill, and who is therefore still strutting up and down before the Nominal Church, the supposed agent and institution of Jehovah.
I must call your attention to Rev. Dixon's assertion that God could even use an ass (Balaam's) for his ends and how much more a priest, and Ingersoll's retort, how much more and better the ass knew and did than the priest.
I also enclose an offer made me of $100.00 per month and expenses (one of many). I have rejected them all, believing the King who owns all the cattle and silver will pay better still, though as yet it may be evident only to the eye of faith. The eternal things are those unseen by eyes of flesh.
N.B.Those of the interested, who by reason of old age or accidents, or other adversity, are unable to pay, will be supplied FREE, if they will send a Postal Card each December, stating their case and requesting the paper.
This work is specially designed to make plain the divine plan. It begins at the beginning of the subject, by establishing the faith of the reader in God and in the Bible as his revelation. It traces the glorious plan therein revealed, and shows which parts of that plan are accomplished and which will be accomplished during the Millennial age, also the manner of its introduction, and its objects and methods.
We know of nothing to compare with this book, as a "Bible Key." The Two Hundredth Thousand is now on the press, and many who have read it carefully and prayerfully declare that if they could not obtain another they would not part with their copy, and the hopes it has enkindled, for millions.
Clear type, good paper, 350 pages. Price in cloth covers, embossed, $1.00. (The subscribers to ZION'S WATCH TOWER are supplied in any quantity at the wholesale price, 50 cents, as all are considered agents.) Price in paper covers, 25 cents, reduced from 50 cents.
Six Thousand Years from Adam ended in A.D. 1872. The Date of our Lord's Birth was October, B.C. 2. The Date of Annunciation to Mary, Dec. 25th, B.C. 3. The Date of our Lord's Baptism was Oct., A.D. 29. The Date of our Lord's Crucifixion, April, A.D. 33. The "Seventy Weeks" of Israel's favor ended A.D. 36. The Jewish Age "Harvest," was 40 years, A.D. 30-70. The Christian Age "Harvest," 40 yrs., A.D. 1875-1914. The Jewish Jubilees were Typical of the "Times of Restitution of all Things."Acts 3:19-21. The Typical Jubilees Mark the Date of their Antitype. The "Times of the Gentiles" will End with A.D. 1914. The Jewish Age, in Its Length, Its Ceremonies, etc., Typified the realities of the Christian Age and its Length. Elias or "Elijah the Prophet" was a Type.How fulfilled. The Antichrist Has Come!What? When? Where?
This volume treats of the prophetic periods of Daniel and RevelationThe 2300 Days, The 1260 Days, The 1290 Days, The 1335 Days.The Work of the Harvest now in Progress.The Return of God's Favor to Israel.The Great Pyramid of Egypt and its wonderful corroboration of all the prophetic testimony.
This is a very choice collection of 150 Poems and 333 Hymns representing the choicest thoughts of some of God's saints, of both the past and the present. Some of these have been slightly and some considerably altered, to fully harmonize them with the clearer light of truth as it is now shining. Authors' names are given so far as known, and any alterations are noted. Cloth bound, red edges, 494 pages, $1to TOWER subscribers, 50 cents.
Every TOWER reader should have and use this means of grace. Its poems are gems and will encourage and comfort any loyal heart. Nothing is better calculated to inspire true devotion. To enable all our readers to profit by this means of grace, those of you too poor to purchase at the reduced price will be supplied free, upon request, out of the funds of the Tower Tract Society.
The 333 hymns above are widely selected and no single book contains all the appropriate tunes for them. However, the tunes have been so marked that three popular books will supply them mostlyWinnowed Hymns, Songs of Pilgrimage and Gospel Hymns. Many already have these. Others we are prepared to supply at below the wholesale rate when purchased in connection with our own HYMNS OF DAWN, as follows:HYMNS OF DAWN with Gospel Hymns, Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4, $1.20, postpaid. HYMNS OF DAWN with Winnowed Hymns, 75 cents, postpaid. HYMNS OF DAWN with Songs of Pilgrimage, $1.50, postpaid. Or the four books, HYMNS OF DAWN, Gospel Hymns Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4, Winnowed Hymns and Songs of Pilgrimage, all for $2.25, postage included. The usual price for the four, including postage, would be $3.77. We supply them for your convenience merely, without profit.
Any of the above books will be loaned to the poor who will promise a careful reading and to pay return postage. All orders should be addressed, TOWER PUBLISHING CO., "BIBLE HOUSE," ARCH ST., ALLEGHENY, PA.r1380 VOL. XIII. MARCH 15, 1892. NO. 6.
r1382 BELIEVERS' CONVENTION,
r1382 THE MEMORIAL SUPPER.
r1392 "THE DELIVERANCE."
SUGGESTIVE THOUGHTS DESIGNED TO ASSIST THOSE OF OUR
READERS WHO ATTEND BIBLE CLASSES, WHERE THESE
LESSONS ARE USED; THAT THEY MAY BE ENABLED TO
LEAD OTHERS INTO THE FULNESS OF THE GOSPEL.
PUBLISHED IN ADVANCE, AT THE REQUEST OF FOREIGN READERS.
LESSON I., APRIL 3, PSALM 1:1-6.
Golden Text"Blessed is the man that walketh not in counsel of the wicked, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful."Psa. 1:1.
The first three verses of this lesson picture the perfect man, the man whose heart is perfected in holiness, the pure in heart. Hence the picture is pre-eminently that of the perfect man, Christ Jesus, and secondarily that of those imperfect men and women who, being justified by faith in Christ, are, as new creatures, walking in their Master's footsteps, and hence right at heart, even though sometimes imperfect through the weaknesses of their earthen vessels.
The proper course is to have no fellowship (sympathy and common interest) with people of any of these classes. This, of course, does not mean that we are to treat them unkindly or discourteously, nor that we are never to be seen walking, standing or sitting with such; but it does imply that our company should, as far as possible, be select, and of those who reverence our God, and that other fellowships should not be encouraged.
A greater number, perhaps, are in danger of getting into fellowship with the scorners or unteachable than with the others: yet fellowship with such leads to the same spirit; and that leads gradually to violation of the covenant with God; and that leads to open wickedness and wilful sin. The safe way is to have no fellowship with darkness: it is never profitable.
But this advice will apply also in another way. In all the nominal churches there are many who have a form of godliness, but who are really ungodlyfar from being in harmony with God and his plan. In the nominal churches are also many sinners, living in known violation of their covenant with God. And there, too, may be found, alas! sometimes even in the pulpits, those who are of an unteachable, haughty spirit, who even scoff at God's Word and make it void through their traditions. Come out from among them; and neither sit, nor stand, nor walk in fellowship with such. (Rev. 18:4; Isa. 52:11.) Stand with God, even if that should seem to imply standing alone. The Lord knoweth them that are his, and he has yet more than seven thousand who bow not to the idol of sectarianism.
Verse 2. Some might suppose that one thus isolated would have an unhappy lot; but no, he is truly said to have a delightful experience. He delights day and night in meditating upon God's will and plan. In this he finds a joy and a peace which the world and a worldly church can neither give nor take away. One thus consecrated and full of the spirit of the Lord finds that God's laws of righteousness are not restraints which he would fain be freed from; but, like the Master, he can say, "I delight to do thy will, O my God: thy law is engraven in my heart."
Verse 3. Such children of God as have reached this degree of development do not wither away and become dead and barren, but, since the root of their new life is fed by the river of God's grace and truth, they are always fresh and joyous and fruitfuladding to faith virtue, brotherly kindness, love, and so are not unfruitful in either the knowledge or the wisdom which surely comes to all who have communion and fellowship with God.
Whatsoever such do shall prosper. They have no plans of their own: they desire that God's will shall be done. And since God's plan shall prosper (Isa. 55:11), their plan shall prosper; for his is theirs.
Verses 4 and 5 describe the reward of the wicked. In God's plan no provision is made for the wicked; and, as the chaff dust blown by the tornado can never again be found, so the wicked shall have no place after the Lord has thoroughly cleansed the world and swept them into oblivion.
But a distinction should be made between wrong-doers and wicked people. The wicked are those who wilfully prefer sin to righteousness, while many violators of God's law now are deceived by the great enemy, Satan, (2 Cor. 4:4), and entrapped by depraved appetites, etc. Thank God that Satan soon shall be bound and shall deceive the nations no more; and then a clear knowledge of God and of righteousness shall be granted to all. We may reasonably hope that the wilfully wicked will thus ultimately be proved to be a much smaller number than at present might appear.
But the description here given of the way of the wicked does not relate to their present life. [R1383 : page 91] In the present life they, more often than the righteous, flourish and prosper, as is shown by the same writer elsewhere.Psa. 73:3,12; 37:10,16,35; 145:20.
Verse 5. The wicked, therefore, shall not be able to stand [shall not continue to standshall fall, pass away as the chaff] in the judgment [of the Millennial age]; nor shall sinners [those disobedient to their covenant] longer be found in the congregation of the just.
The judgment which is to determine who are the lovers of righteousness, and who are deliberately, wilfully wicked, is here stated to be future, which accords with our Lord's words uttered ten centuries later"I came not to judge the world, but to save the world." (John 12:47.) That the world has not yet been judged is evident; for the wicked are not yet overthrown and carried away as the chaff. But though our Lord's mission, at the first advent, was not to judge, but to redeem the world, the testimony is unmistakable that, at his second advent, he will judge the world, and that his saints now being selected from among men will be associate judges, kings and priests with him in that thousand-year-day of judgment. (Acts 10:42; John 5:22; Acts 17:31; 1 Cor. 6:2,3.) The character of these judges and the object of the judgment give assurance that it will thoroughly and righteously separate those for whom God in Christ has provided the gift of graceeverlasting lifefrom those who, he declares, will be "cut off from among his people," in the second death.
Then sinners [violators of their covenant of consecration] will no longer have a place among the faithful who are completing their covenant of self-sacrifice. (Psa. 50:5.) This division of the faithful and wise servants from the unfaithful and foolish servants is already beginning. The judgment of the world will follow. See "The Work of Harvest" in Millennial Dawn, Vol. III., Chap. vi.
LESSON II., APRIL 10, PSALM 2:1-12.
Golden Text"Blessed are all they that put their trust in him."Psa. 2:12.
In considering this psalm it is well to remember that King David, its author, was a typical character, a type of Christ. Those of David's time and he himself, also, no doubt understood his words to refer to his own conflicts with surrounding nations and their kings, and although some of the expressions are quite too strong to fit the typical king and kingdom, and could fit only their antitypes, this no doubt was considered poetic license. From a higher standpoint, however, guided by the holy spirit and the words of the apostles, the Gospel Church can see in this psalm a prophecy of our Lord Christ Jesus at his first advent, and still further of the entire Christ (anointed) including the Church which is the body of Christ, and their final exaltation as the Millennial Kingdom.
While the application of this prophecy, by some in the early Church, to the time of the first advent, and the events connected with our Lord's crucifixion (Acts 4:25-27), is not corroborated by the testimony of any of the inspired apostles, it is not without justification in the circumstances they relate. But notwithstanding this partial application, the fulness of the import belongs to the time of the second advent, as do almost all the prophecies which relate to Christ's Kingdom and glory. The object of his first advent was to give himself a ransom for all, and thus legally to prepare the way for the selection of some of the redeemed, his Church, to be his bride and joint heir, and also to prepare the way for restoring the race (whosoever wills) to all that was lost in Adam. The second advent, and the Kingdom of God then to be established, are to accomplish all that was made possible by the work of the first [R1385 : page 91] advent. The time for the fulfilment of this psalm in its fullest, completest sense is just at hand. See Millennial Dawn, Vol. II.
Verse 1. "Why do the nations rage and the peoples devise vain schemes?" This we understand to refer to the commotion and discontent already prevailing throughout the civilized world and daily increasing. As a result of the dissatisfaction, how many are the vain and impracticable schemes and theories being devised for reliefCommunism, Socialism, Nihilism, Anarchism. But these can not bring the relief needed and desired. God's remedy is the only one that will cure present social, political and financial ailments and sores.
Verse 2. "The kings of the earth entrench themselves, and the rulers [religious, financial and political] take counsel together against Jehovah and against his Anointed." Ah! yes; we can see this fulfilling on every hand. The kings of Europe are banded together against Socialistic influences; and they set or establish their power over the people by various combinations. The lesser rulers, the money-princes and religious-princes, are also busy; and Unions, Combinations, Trusts and Syndicates are the order of the day, not only in financial, but beginningly in religious matters.
But little do any of these imagine that they are preparing to resist the establishment of the Kingdom of Jehovah in the hands of his Anointed Son. Nevertheless, this is just what they are doing. The time is at hand for the fall of present systems and for the establishment of God's long promised Kingdom which will enforce his will on earth even as it is done in heaven. So far from knowing that they are setting themselves to oppose God's will, they are so blinded that they call their own poor tottering thrones God's kingdoms. But in vain do they worship him in lip and form while their hearts are far from him. His will is not in all their thoughts.
Verse 3. "Let us break their bands and cast away their cords from us." The translators of the common version got the impression that these words represented the sentiments of the kings and rulers; but not so: they are the expression of Jehovah and his Anointed, relative to the kings and rulers who have banded themselves together to oppose the execution of God's plan, because it includes the fall of their power. God will break all their bandstheir combinations and trusts of every sortand will cast off the cords, by which they still attempt to claim God's favor, protection and Word as upholding their kingdoms, rights, authorities, etc. See Isa. 8:9-13.
Verses 4 and 5. "He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: [i.e.] the Lord shall have them [as well as their wonderful banding together] in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath and trouble them in his sore displeasure."
For eighteen centuries the civilized world has heard the words of the Great King, instructing that all righteousness consists in loving God with all the heart, mind, being and strength, and in loving our neighbor as ourself; and that he that exalteth himself shall be abased, while he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. But his instructions have been unheeded except by the very few: pride and love of money and power have ruled. Now the time has come to speak the same truths in a different mannerso loudly and so forcibly that they will never be forgotten. And the great time of trouble just approaching, such as was not since there was a nation, will be merely the reiteration of the Lord's message, once given in tender tones, but unheeded.
Verse 6. "Yet [meanwhile] I [Jehovah] have established my King upon Zion, my holy mountain [kingdom]." Thus briefly does God announce what his work will be in connection with the overthrow of human systems and governments. He will establish Christ's Millennial Kingdom, and he shall take unto himself his great power and reign.Rev. 11:17,18.
Verses 7-9. Here, evidently, the speaker is our Lord Jesus. The words represent the lesson that he will first make plain to the worldthat it is by the Father's divine decree that he takes possession. "I will make known the decree: Jehovah hath said unto me, 'Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee." The fulfilment of this was when our Lord Jesus, as the man Christ at thirty years, consecrated himself wholly to the will and plan of God, even unto death. There the sacrifice was really made which was "finished" three and a half years after at Calvary: and there, too, he was begotten of the spirit to the divine nature, to which he was fully born three and a half years later, when he was made a quickening spirit, by a resurrection to the perfection of the divine nature"highly exalted."Phil. 2:8-10.
Next comes the enthronement of the Son in his Millennial Kingdom. He at his first advent "bought us with his own precious blood," and consequently he has only to "ask" for that which he redeemed to get it. He would have asked for it at once, but for another feature of the planthe selection first, from among the purchased race, of a bride and joint-heir in his kingdom. This selection will be complete at his second advent, and then he will be ready to deal with the world, the nations, and then he will ask and receive from the Father all the power and authority necessary. "Ask of me, and I will give thee the nations for thine inheritance, and the earth to its uttermost parts for thy possession."
While the object of the kingdom will be to establish peace on earth and good will toward men, it will not be peacefully introduced. The beginning of Messiah's reign will mean the greatest revolution the world has ever seen. (Dan. 12:1; Matt. 24:21.) Kings and princes will hold on to power and advantage to the last, and as a result all will be dashed in pieces.
Verses 10-12. After telling of the fulness of the authority given to him, and that it must be enforced, even though such a revolution be necessary to introduce it, the great King of Glory shows his willingness to be merciful, and points out that, if the trouble comes thus upon men, it will be because of their neglect to come into harmony with him. But the kings and rulers of earth will not hear nor heed the exhortation, and this is clearly indicated in prophecy. They will not hear the voice of the antitypical Elijah Classthe Church in the flesh (See Millennial Dawn, Vol. II., Chap. viii.)and hence the earth will be smitten with the great disaster so clearly foretold in Scripture.Mal. 4:6.
These verses 8-12 were freely quoted and applied by the popes to their systems during the dark ages of Papacy's triumphthat was the counterfeit Antichrist's millennium. See Millennial Dawn, Vol. II., Chap. ix.
"Blessed are all they that put their trust in him [Christ]." These words stand as an offset to the promise of great trouble and overthrow for such as oppose the new and rightful King of earth. It includes the Church primarilythe real, the believing, the consecrated Church. When men's hearts begin to fail them for fear of those things coming upon the earthwhen the powers of the heavens [the nominal churches] shall be shaken, these are instructed to look up and lift up their heads, because their redemption draweth nigh. At the same time that destruction comes to the one class, redemption and glory comes to the other. Compare Isa. 35:4; 63:4.r1384 ENCOURAGING WORDS FROM EARNEST WORKERS.
We have had some of "Emerson's Patent Binders" made for the present size of the Watch Tower. The issues can be put in from time to time as they come, and thus be kept straight and clean as a book. They are very convenient, have the name Zion's Watch Tower on the side, and will hold about three years' issues. By having a quantity made at once, we are able to supply them at fifty cents, including postage.