This Book Consists of Hundreds of Questions Answers by
Pastor Russell Only, Covering about Twelve Years
of the Convention Reports and Several Years of
the Watch Tower. Wherever a Question is
from the Watch Tower the Letter (Z)
Follows the Year. Otherwise it is
from a Convention Report
ANSWER.--I presume that Moses would there stand for and represent God's divine law, blessing the people, and that Aaron was standing for or representing the high priest who had performed the sacrifice. Moses the law-giver stood there as the representative of justice, and the priest who had made the sacrifice stood there to bless also. So Christ will stand as the antitype of Aaron in that picture to bless the world during the thousand years, and right beside him will be the divine law, as represented by Moses. God's whole law and every power of God will be there to bless and put into operation the arrangements that have thus been effected.
AARONIC PRIESTHOOD--Should Be Applied Antitypically.
ANSWER.--One Scripture that might be understood so to teach is found in the book of Malachi, which says that when the Lord shall come into His Temple, "He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; and He shall purify the sons of Levi and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness."--Mal. 3:3.
Some might apply this Scripture to the sons of Levi in a literal way. But we think that it is antitypical, that the Church constitutes the Levitical system and that these are the spiritual Levites whom the Purifier will make ready, that they may offer unto God an acceptable sacrifice, as antitypical Levites and a Royal Priesthood.
ANSWER.--While the reign of Christ will be a reign of righteousness unto life, we are not to understand that Adamic death will be at an end as soon as Messiah has begun His reign, for it is stated that He must reign until He has put down all enemies. (1 Cor. 15:25,26.) It is understood that people will be more or less in the Adamic death during the [Page Q6] thousand years and will rise gradually out of Adamic imperfection and death to the perfection of the human nature. We should remember that the Kingdom as it will be established in the beginning of the Millennial Age will consist of the New Jerusalem--that is, the glorified Church, of which Christ is the Head. (Rev. 21:1-8.) During the thousand years the world will be coming into accord with this arrangement. For all such as will come into harmony there will be a blessed arrangement by which they will be protected from any penalty for imperfections. We may reasonably suppose that after perfection is reached there will be no more accidents, just as we have reason to suppose that in heaven there is no necessity for surgeons, doctors, ambulances, etc. "Nothing shall hurt or destroy in all God's holy mountain (Kingdom)." (Isa. 11:9.) God's will shall be done on earth as it is done in heaven. We read that there shall be no more sighing and no more crying and no more dying.
ADAM--The Tree of Life, the Tree of Knowledge.
ANSWER.--I answer that the word "tree of life" is in the plural. All the trees of Eden were trees of life. They were all good for food, beautiful to look upon. They were trees, the eating of which would have maintained the life which God had given to Adam. They were not trees to give some kind of a charm to him, which would hinder him from ever dying. That is not the thought. They were trees of life in the sense that their fruit, partaken of, would have permitted our first parents, if they continued to eat, to live, and would have supplied all of the wastes of their systems so that they would never have needed to die. They had been eating of these trees, so far as our understanding of the Scripture goes, for a little over a year before they were led into temptation by the Adversary and ate of the forbidden kind of trees. We understand this tree of the knowledge of good and evil was not one tree, but one kind of trees, and of that particular kind of trees, they were not to eat. And when God, therefore, would have them die, He drove them out of the garden, away from the trees of life, and into the unprepared earth, where they must till the ground and battle with the thorns and thistles, until they were to return to this earth from whence taken. The penalty was death and the intimation is that if the Lord had allowed them to remain in Eden, they would not have come into a dying condition, but would have remained in full vigor and strength of their human nature, notwithstanding their being sinners.
ADAM--Why Given Second Trial?
ANSWER.--The reason that he is to have a resurrection and another trial is because God willed it so, and that is the very best reason. Now, if you want to know why, we may do some guessing, perhaps, to our advantage.
I think the reason God willed it so is that in some respects Adam did not have a trial under the most favorable conditions that God could have arranged, although his trial was a just trial. He was fully equipped mentally, [Page Q7] but a great temptation came to him, and because of the lack of experience he failed. AWhat was the trial or temptation?
You remember that the Apostle tells us that Adam was not deceived; he knew what he was doing, that he was eating the forbidden fruit, violating God's command, and that it meant death. There was no ignorance about it. Why did he do it? I think the narrative bears out the thought that he did it because of sympathetic love. He had been without a wife, and while the various kinds of birds could twitter, and the other animals make some commotion, such were not satisfactory to man, so after God gave him a wife, bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh, and he had enjoyed that sweet companionship, and he realized that he would lose her and that he would be alone again after she disobeyed, he said, I will eat with her and die with her. If she must go out in the unprepared earth and die, so will I. So, really this is a very noble feature of the first man's character, and the condition of his trial, you will see, made it a very severe trial. Now, then, I think it would be just like our Heavenly Father to say: Adam, at the time you did that, you did not know fully what I could or would do for you, and what you might have had at that time if you had been obedient. Now, Adam, I intend to redeem you and all your race. You will have a demonstration of my love, and after you have learned of the height and depth and length and breadth of my love, I will expect you to fully and perfectly keep my law and live forever, but if you do not obey, then you will die the second death and will never have another opportunity for restitution.
ADOPTION--To Whom Does Spirit of Adoption Apply?
ANSWER.--No. Our Lord never was anything else than a Son. In no sense was He an adopted Son. God sent His Son into the world. When in the world He was a Son. His Sonship never ceased. He remained a Son, faithful, unto the death of the cross. When God raised Him from the dead, He still was a Son, raised up to the highest glory. Nor does this word adoption' fit well to the Church's experience. God does not adopt us in the flesh. He only has to do with us as New Creatures. And we become New Creatures not by adoption, but by the begetting of the Holy Spirit. The Diaglott gives the preferable translation.
ADVERTISING--What Name to Use?
Q7:2 QUESTION (1909)--2--By what name would you suggest that the local classes advertise their meetings, so as to avoid the confusion of a multiplicity of titles, such as: "Millennial Dawn, "Believers in the Atonement," "Believers in the Precious Blood, "Bible Students," etc.
ANSWER.--It is a difficult matter to know how to advertise, not for ourselves, but difficult to keep from being misunderstood by the people. "Church of God"; "Church of the Living God"; "Church of Christ." Any of those names would suit us very well, and we would have no objections to them, but we find that there are various denominations who have appropriated those titles, not that we think they have a right to apply them to themselves, but we would like to [Page Q8] live in peace. It is a difficult matter to decide, and each class will have to do that for themselves.
ADVERTISING--Attitude of Elders and Deacons.
ANSWER.--As to advertising, who should supervise the matter--where should instructions be looked for? My thought is, that the proper course would be for the instructions on advertising to come from the home office, because there we have the largest amount of experience; not because we are wiser than other people, but because those who are entrusted to the work there are supposed to be and ought to be persons of exceptional ability and of wide experience, and since we have to do with so many advertising schemes and arrangements in so many parts of the world, it gives us an opportunity of judging that people otherwise might not enjoy. Therefore my thought would be that they would do well to look for special advice from Brooklyn on this subject. As to who would have it in charge: An elder is elected specially for spiritual things and to look out for the spiritual interests of the Church, yet the advertising is a part of the spiritual interests of the Church; it is so closely identified with the spiritual interests of the Church as to be worthy of the very best ability you have in any class. You cannot give it into too good hands; and indeed the right spirit would be that all should join in together, and if the one who has the best ability be found, not amongst the elders, but amongst the deacons, then all ought to be glad to rather favor his taking the more prominent part in connection with the work. In other words, we ought to sink all personality in every service of the truth and try to get at the best methods and in the shortest and most satisfactory way, as far as our judgment will direct us and guide us, and look for more wisdom.
ADVERTISING--Proper and Improper.
ANSWER.--It would not be proper to say to a merchant, "Advertise with us and thus contribute something to a good cause." That would not do. It would be begging for the Lord's cause, a thing we are not authorized to do. But if I were a merchant and had an opportunity to put an advertisement into a Photo Drama announcement, I would think it would be one of the best chances of advertising I ever had. I would think I was receiving a benefit. If for $1 or $2 I could have my business card circulated all over the neighborhood, I would say, "These little leaflets showing about the Drama will interest the people; and while reading the notes about the pictures, they will also read about my business." I would think I had good value for my money. If any man thought that he was not getting good value he ought not to put his advertising in. It is a purely business transaction.
In soliciting the advertisement, one should not mention the religious feature. We do not do this at all. It is purely business, so far as the merchants are concerned; and I would let them advertise all that they choose. The fact that we [Page Q9] do not permit advertisements in The Watch Tower does not signify that to do so would be wrong. I see nothing wrong in a merchant's advertising his wares. If I were publishing a daily newspaper, I would expect to sell advertising space.
A brother who owns a newspaper consulted me a little about his advertising. He said that the merchants in his vicinity were accustomed to advertise, and that some of the best advertisers were dealers in liquor and tobacco. I told him that I would not put any liquor advertisements in. I would put in advertisements of shoes or clothing or groceries or hardware, and would solicit such advertising, if I were running a newspaper. I see nothing wrong in advertisements in newspapers. I would see nothing wrong in putting six or eight pages of advertisements into The Watch Tower, if the articles advertised were staples that every one wanted to buy. But since The Watch Tower goes into the home and represents me in a special way, I like to have all the space used for religious matter--not, however, because the advertisements would be wrong.
Once we put into The Watch Tower a notice about Miracle Wheat. Many of you saw it. We believe we did right in putting that notice in. We also put in a notice about some kind of beans and one about some special cotton. Some of the friends were benefited by each of these notices. We also put in a notice recently about a cure for cancer. We have had hundreds of letters come in from Truth friends, and hundreds from others; and a great many have reported good results. To some extent this has helped forward the Truth. People saw that we were not trying to get their money, saw that we were trying to do them good, and became interested.
AFFECTIONS--Crucifying the Affections of the Flesh.
Q9:1 QUESTION (1907)--1--And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh and the affections thereof." Does this include unnecessary affections between consecrated brothers and sisters? Is this not part of our sacrifice?
ANSWER.--In taking such a passage as this, we must be careful to take other passages of Scripture with it, so we may be sure we are within the proper limit. If one passage of Scripture could contain the whole message of God, we would not have the entire Bible. Therefore the importance of the matter, if we would understand the way of the Lord, and the will of the Lord in many things, that we should have a comprehensive view of all the Scriptures that might bear on the subject.
Now the apostle in his letter to the Corinthians lays down certain relations that should obtain between husbands and wives. He there specifies that the one should not defraud the other, and then he gives an intimation of certain limitations both ways in respect to relationship between husband and wife in the Lord. But I think that it is a proper enough thought to say that while it does not signify the entire elimination of everything that might belong to the natural man and the natural woman, it would mean that, having crucified these, having given up the affections and the lusts of the flesh, they are seeking to live on a higher plane, and should spend their time and energy in that which would be most profitable to themselves and most to the glory of the [Page Q10] Lord, and for the greatest good to others with whom they may have contact. Therefore, to have thus given up our affections, and ourselves to the Lord, would mean that according to our limitations--and these are not the same with any two persons, but each one according to the limitations of his own flesh--each shall seek to bring himself into that degree of subjection so that the very thoughts of his mind may be in harmony with the Lord, as well as all the acts of life. It is a general principle. It is not a principle that you could apply to another brother or to another sister; they must apply that for themselves, and you must apply it to yourself; and let each to the best of his ability do what he believes will be to the glory of the Lord and for the good of himself and others. And this is the moderation of which the Scriptures speak.
AFFLICTIONS--To Whom Do Christ's Apply?
Q10:1 QUESTION (1910)--1--If St. Paul's filling up the afflictions behind of Christ, for Christ's body's sake, were on behalf of the Church, how can this Scripture be used to mean that the Church suffers on behalf of the world as the antitype of the Lord's goat, while Paul said his sufferings were for the sake of the Church? Does the text apply to the Church or to Paul only?
ANSWER.--The Church and Christ all suffer the same suffering and for the same purpose. We are to be sharers in the sufferings of Christ and not in any other kind of suffering. You are not suffering for the world, and the goat did not suffer for the world--not at all. The sufferings are merely the killing. The goat had nothing to do with what was done with the blood. Some forget that. We are very apt to forget that all this typified back there was the killing of the bullock and the killing of the goat. Who did the killing of the bullock? The high priest. Who did the killing of the goat? The high priest. Then the goat did not kill itself, did it? No. The point to be seen is this: Our heavenly Father told Jesus he would be pleased to have him lay down his life in the interest of the Lord's cause and the Lord's people, and Jesus showed his loyalty in so doing; and Jesus told you and me that we might go and do likewise and lay down our lives in showing our loyalty for the brethren. Now that is all you have to do with it. You haven't anything to do with how God shall reward that. The reward that God promises you if you lay down your life for the brethren, is, that you shall be a member of the Body of Christ, which is the Church. The promised reward to Jesus was that if he would lay down his life for the brethren, he should be the great Messiah, the King of Glory; the promise to you and to me is that we shall be members of his Body. It was not God's promise to him that certain things should come to the world as a result. The blood of Jesus is going to bring forgiveness of the world's sin, and what may be done with your sacrifice may be counted in by him really to the world, but you have nothing to do with that; that is not your part; you are laying down your life in the sense of sacrificing your life as the Lord commanded; you have nothing whatever to do with what he will do with the blood afterwards; that is not your concern. Your part is to do your part, and my part is to do mine. We are filling up the afflictions of Christ, the same afflictions that he had and for the same purpose; all of them go for the Body of Christ, which is the Church. [Page Q11] You and I are serving the Church; we are not to serve the world. What God will do with the merit of that sacrifice is another matter altogether.
ANCIENT WORTHIES--Re The Second Death.
ANSWER.--I think not. In the time of the Ancient Worthies, God had made no offer at all to the world, and since they had not been released from the Adamic death, they could not have gotten into the second death. So, you see, not until Christ had died for Adam's sin, not until He had risen from the dead to be the judge of the quick and the dead, not until then would it be possible for anybody to get out of the Adamic death, and not until they got out of the Adamic death could they get into the second death.
ANCIENT WORTHIES--How Receive Spirit Life?
Q11:2 QUESTION (1908)--2--If it is true that only those begotten of the spirit, who must live in the gospel age and have their trial in this dispensation in order to have a begetting and consequent birth as a spirit being; if it be true that only those begotten of the spirit can expect to have spirit bodies and spirit life, how can the Ancient Worthies who lived and died before the gospel age ever receive anything more than human perfection? How can they ever be given a spirit nature at or following the close of the Millennial age?
ANSWER.--In writing a letter to Brother Woodworth about a year ago, I incidentally mentioned something that led me to this conclusion, that the Ancient Worthies would receive spirit natures at the end of the Millennium; it is not positive, but what I think is reasonable, and satisfactory to my mind, though it may not be to everybody; I did not attempt to argue the matter or present it in force to Brother Woodworth, but he grasped the thought and in a letter he wrote back to me he incidentally referred to the matter, and that letter was published, and I forgot to strike out that part. Now I will say that it is my intention to treat that subject in an article in the Watch Tower soon. I have intended it for some little while; I have received a good many letters asking for the evidence, and before very long you will get it in better form than I could give it now in answer to this question. So I hope that will satisfy.
ANCIENT WORTHIES--Their Test.
ANSWER.--We do not know that they have been sufficiently tested as respects character. Apparently the Lord, according to St. Paul's declaration in the letter of Hebrews, has a very high estimation of these Ancient Worthies and their faithfulness, and God has indicated that they are acceptable to him. Now if you and I were to use our judgment--which we are not to do--but if we were to use our judgment, for instance, in a case like that of Samson, we would be inclined to wonder whether Samson had really developed a character of sufficient likeness to the divine character to be beyond the necessity for further testing. A meager account of his life, and the slaying of several thousands with the jawbone of an ass, and afterwards [Page Q12] getting his hair cut short, etc., would not be proof to us that he had the character; and yet, that the Lord saw something about Samson's character that pleased him is the record, and you and I are evidently not competent to judge in the matter. But what we do find is this; that God in his arrangement places the entire number of Ancient Worthies under the New Covenant arrangement, and we think that that is very blessed for them, because if there were any lapses on their part they would be still under the covering power of the Great Mediator of the New Covenant, and their indiscretions or imperfections or failures to properly exercise the proper spirit in every matter would all come under the review of the Great Mediator, who would have full power to treat with them as well as with others. We think, therefore, that it is very well and very nice to know that the Ancient Worthies are under the New Covenant arrangement and under the Great Mediator.
ANCIENT WORTHIES--Re Trial For Life?
ANSWER.--The Ancient Worthies were not on trial for life or death; they were never brought to that condition of intelligent opportunity for eternal life which would make them amenable to a sentence of death. Such a condition of knowledge and opportunity did not obtain in the world until our Lord came. "Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ;" "he brought to light, life and immortality." These were never disclosed before our Lord's time, and consequently no such responsibility, as now exists, had come.
In a certain sense the Jewish nation had been typically justified and was typically on trial for life or death, but this was not an actuality so far as life and death eternal were concerned, because God knew in advance that they could not keep the law, and that they could never have eternal life under it; and he had arranged in advance that they should be redeemed from the curse of the law irrespective of anything they might themselves do in the matter. Hence it was only in the typical, or figurative sense, that they were on trial for life or death.
The Ancient Worthies "had this testimony that they pleased God." They pleased him in that when they ascertained his will they set about doing it, even before he gave it to them as a law or obligation, even before he could ask them to obey him and promise them eternal life for their obedience. Abraham manifested his faith in God although there was no redemption yet accomplished in the world. Christ had not yet come. And although Abraham was not on trial for life or for death God granted Abraham his favor and declared that he pleased him; and his word tells us that "a better resurrection" is to be not only to Abraham, but to all these Ancient Worthies--a resurrection to human perfection. But since human perfection will come only under the mediatorial reign of Christ, the Ancient Worthies will not be introduced to the Father in the complete sense until the close of the Millennial Age.
Hence, they will not have life, in this fullest sense, until that time, when, at the close of the Millennial Age, the Kingdom shall be delivered over to the Father. What they will have in the meantime will be the perfection of human nature [Page Q13] and all the blessings that God provides for mankind, through the great Mediator. But they will not come into actual and personal relationship to God, so as to be determined worthy of eternal life, until the completion of the Millennial Age, because that age is set apart for the very purpose of determining who of all mankind may have eternal life, aside from the spirit-begotten ones of the present time. At the close of the Millennial Age, when all mankind shall be in perfection of being, they shall be tried of the Father for their worthiness or unworthiness of eternal life--just as Adam, while enjoying perfection, was tested as to whether or not he was worthy to have life made perpetual or eternal.
Since the Ancient Worthies will be a part of the world under the New Covenant arrangements, it follows that they will not have this decision of the Divine Court, Divine Justice, respecting their worthiness of eternal life until the completion of the Millennial Age, until the conclusion of the trial at the end of that age, which will bring to them, as it will bring to all others who are faithful, the great reward of life eternal.
ANCIENT WORTHIES--Relationship to God in Millennial Age.
ANSWER.--Yes, we answer, the ancient worthies will be in covenant relationship with God through this new covenant, through the Mediator of the new covenant, throughout the millennial age; but they will not be in any personal, direct relationship with God until the end of the millennial age. All those who receive the blessings of the millennial kingdom must obtain them through the great Mediator, and through the new covenant which he sealed with his blood on behalf of every nation, people, kindred, and tongue. The ancient worthies who have already demonstrated their loyalty to God will have a special blessing in that they will come forth perfect in the flesh and not attain perfection by gradual processes; they will come forth with perfect human bodies; as their minds were already fully in accord with God's, so their bodies will be in full accord with the divine law at the very beginning. However, it will be very fortunate, we believe, for those ancient worthies that they will still be under that new covenant, and still be under that Mediator; because they might, with all their past experiences, make some failures. Why? How? Because, so far as we may judge, while they had considerable experience, they did not have that full experience which must come to the church. Amongst those ancient worthies that are mentioned in the Scriptures, we note the name of Samson. We have no reason to suppose that Samson was, in any sense of the word, disloyal to God; he was loyal, he was obedient, he was full of faith in God. Because of these qualities he is counted an overcomer, and will be one of the sharers in the special blessings of that time; but, to say that Samson had a full, wide, diversified knowledge of all these things which will be required of a perfect man, is quite another proposition. And so, we think it will be entirely possible that with limited experience some of these ancient worthies might still make some mistake unintentionally during Messiah's reign. If so, being under the blood of the covenant, with the Mediator between them and divine justice, they would have a necessity for this, and get a blessing from this very condition.
ANCIENT WORTHIES--Re Spirit Nature.
ANSWER.--I have no private information on this subject, dear friends. The Lord has not told me anything about it. You know there are always people to whom it would seem as though the Lord is always talking so much that they would have to neglect nearly everything else. I am not one of that kind. I am only a plain man who knows what is written. I have told you all I know on the subject, and that is, that, so far as I can see, the ancient worthies will come forth human beings, perfected in human nature to be princes in all the earth for the thousand years of Messiah's reign, and at the end of that time, certain things that I have already indicated to you seem to my mind to be implied; but I am not sure; it seems to be implied, I think, that God will then grant them the reward of a higher nature. That is all I can say. And I don't know whether it will be any higher than the great company, but I think not. I do not know. You see it is good to be able to say you do not know, sometimes. Some people try to make out that I claim I am infallible, and know everything. You are all witnesses that that is not true.
ANCIENT WORTHIES--Spirit Plane Vs. Second Death.
ANSWER.--Well, the brother does not understand it. We believe there is an intimation, a hinting, as it were, a suggestion that those ancient worthies of the past, after serving a thousand years as perfect men in the flesh, princes in all the earth, earthly representatives of the heavenly kingdom, will be granted a share in the heavenly phase, and will be granted a change from the earthly nature to the heavenly nature. I do not know how to say it any plainer than that, and I will leave it just there.
ANCIENT WORTHIES--Re Covenant Relationship.
ANSWER.--Just as soon as they are resurrected under the new covenant arrangement they will be in covenant relationship with God through the new covenant; but they will not be in any direct and personal relationship with the Father until the end of the thousand years, when the mediator of that new covenant will turn all things over to the Father, and the new covenant will be no more. Then they will be in personal covenant relationship with God--just the same as you and I enter into personal relationship with God through Christ now.
ANCIENT WORTHIES--Their Resurrection.
ANSWER.--Their resurrection will be due as the first amongst the world--the first of earthly nature to receive resurrection. The church will get her resurrection first, like her Lord, on the spirit plane, to the spirit nature, to the heavenly condition; then will come the other part of the [Page Q15] salvation, the world's salvation; and the Ancient Worthies will be the first to get their blessing, and their resurrection on that plane; and that will be after the establishment of the kingdom, because it is that kingdom which is to bless the world and lift them up.
ANCIENT WORTHIES--Not Represented in Court.
ANSWER.--In their day the antitypical priest had not come and the antitypical tabernacle and court had not been established; hence, they could not be in it. But according to their hearts, as expressed in their conduct, they must have been members of the household of faith. It is our understanding that, ultimately, they may be granted a place with, and as a part of, the Great Company, the antitypical Levites of the antitypical court condition.
ANCIENT WORTHIES--Spirits of Just Men Made Perfect.
ANSWER.--There might be two ways of viewing this matter, but we will only mention one, which is the correct view. We will not quarrel with one who may take a different view, for the Apostle does not explain what he meant, but we think he meant the Ancient Worthy class, and our reason for thinking that he refers to these in this verse is, that he seems to have referred to the Church class elsewhere. He seems to refer to the Church by "the firsts born whose names are written in Heaven." That would seem to take in all the Church of the first borns just the same as the tribe of Levi were counted in as altogether representing the first born of Israel, not only the priests, and so that statement "the Church of the first borns whose names are written in Heaven" would include both Church and Great Company. So if both are included, what other class could be referred to? Our thought would be, then, that he refers to the ancient worthies and to the fact that their lives, their spirit of life, would be made perfect when in the resurrection they would come forth perfect beings, not imperfect beings as they went down. The majority of mankind will come forth to be gradually perfected, but the just men whose lives will then be perfect will have their grand share because their hearts were already tested in that previous time.
ANCIENT WORTHIES--Re Resurrection Of.
ANSWER.--I am rather inclined to think not. But I am not sure. The reason why I would not expect them to be resurrected before the Great Company have passed beyond the vail is this: The whole Church of the First Born, including the Little Flock, the priestly class and the Great Company, all of these are the first fruits and have the imputation of the merit of Christ, and so far as my judgment would go, the giving of the merit of Christ for the sins of the world would not take place until the special imputation of it to the whole Church would all have had its effect and all to be gathered beyond the vail would be gone. That is my opinion.
ANCIENT WORTHIES--Re Resurrection Of.
ANSWER.--I think the Ancient Worthies could not be perfected until the Church has been completed. The Body of Christ must necessarily pass beyond the veil before any of the Ancient Worthies are awakened. The Apostle's words to this effect are quite emphatic: "that they, without us, should not be made perfect" (Heb. 11:40), implying that the perfection of the Church will be first. That is the same thought elsewhere brought to our attention. The Body of Christ is spoken of as being of the First, or Chief Resurrection (1 Cor. 15:23; Rev. 20:4-6), not only first in rank, but first also in order of time--"The Christ, the First-fruits." We understand that Christ's merit could not be released to apply to any others until all (both classes of the Church) who now have the imputation of this merit have finished their course.
ANGELS--First Dispensation in Subjection to Angels.
ANSWER.--We answer that it does not say so anywhere. It is merely an inference we draw from two facts. First, we find that there were angels in connection with humanity at that time, and we reason from that fact that God must have placed them there, or given them some responsibility with the race else they would not have been there. Second, we have the statement of the Apostle in the New Testament in which he refers to our Lord Jesus and the coming kingdom, saying, that God will not put that kingdom in subjection to the angels. So when he says that God will not put that kingdom in subjection to the angels it gives us the inference that there was a time when the world was in subjection to the angels. And looking back we see the time when it was in subjection to the angels, and when those angels kept not their first estate, but were more or less subdued by the wickedness of mankind.
ANGELS--Proof They are on Trial, Materialization?
Q16:3 QUESTION (1908)--3--Upon what Scriptures do we depend for the thought that the fallen angels are now upon trial? First, how does it harmonize with the reference in 1 Cor. 6:3, "Know ye not that we shall judge angels?" Second, do the Saints judge in any sense before the body is completed? If so, in what sense do they judge?
ANSWER.--I answer that the matter is stated as well as we know how to state it in a number of the Watch Tower of about a year ago; I think it was the October number of 1907, in which we suggested that to our understanding the fallen angels are now on judgment, on trial, and, briefly stated, we there set forth that our judgment on the matter is that this trial, or judging, or testing, of the fallen angels will be along the line probably of their previous trial or testing, as recorded in Genesis 6th chapter, the first five verses, where they saw the daughters of men that they were fair and took unto them wives of such as they would; and for that transaction they were cast down, and have been restrained for now these forty centuries intervening. Now the fact that [Page Q17] they are going to be put on trial again implies that the Lord expects that during all of this period of four thousand years or more some of them will doubtless have learned the lesson of the wrong course they have taken; that they will have learned the great lesson respecting their own isolation from God, and from the holy ones, and they will have also learned a great lesson respecting the influence of sin on humanity, and they will have learned a great lesson from the fact that Christ has by the grace of God tasted death for mankind, and the power of God to raise Him from the dead, and the fact that those who are obedient to God have a blessing, and those who are disobedient to God have a curse. I think they have had a good opportunity in these four thousand years to learn these lessons. The thought is that their judgment will be a testing or proof to see to what extent they have learned righteousness during this long interval. I would suppose that amongst those fallen angels there are some who have come to view matters in their true light, and who long for fellowship with God and the holy angels, and they are in a measure separated from the evil ones, even in their spirit condition, and that they, knowing the law of God that they shall have no communication with humanity, abstain from all communication; that they are not of those who attempt communication through spirit mediums, and tappings, and rappings, and handwritings; that they have come into a measure of harmony with God and feel the restraint of obedience upon them. Now then, I ask myself, in what way could these angels be tried in the Millennial age? In what way could they have a trial there? I see no way, because it is not a sentence they have been waiting on ; they have been under their sentence for four thousand years. The judgment they are waiting on is the judgment similar to the judgment the world is waiting on,--namely, a fresh trial; and that fresh trial will imply an opportunity for sin, and an opportunity, therefore, of getting free from this bondage that has been upon them for four thousand years. To our understanding, during the Millennial age the world of mankind will be protected from every such evil influence. The Lord says that Satan shall be bound for a thousand years, that he may deceive the nations no more. That, to my mind, is a guarantee that not only Satan himself will be unable to tempt or deceive the world, but that the fallen angels will have no power during the Millennial age. When, then, could they have the power? I answer that the power, or privilege, or liberty, would seem to apply to the present time, and that this is the proper time just when we are coming down into the change of dispensation, when the Lord tells us there is to be a great time of temptation. "The hour of temptation which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth." Now what would be more appropriate, do you think, than that these angels would be permitted a way by which they could apparently circumvent the divine sentence of restraint on them, and should seemingly get the power, or privilege, to materialize, apparently contrary to the divine intention? We know nothing can be done contrary to God's will in the matter, that He has full power to restrain, but He may permit them to deceive themselves into thinking they have gotten around the divine arrangement, [Page Q18] and so, taking pleasure in doing these things which they desire to do, what would that mean to us, dear friends, and to the world of mankind? It would mean the great hour of trial, or temptation, the Scriptures speak of. It would mean a wonderful time of trouble, it would mean a great intervention from this evil power over which there has been a restraint of God's providence for over four thousand years. The world has been more or less protected from these evil beings, except when any one wilfully gave over his mind in some sense to their power. Now if they get more liberty and more privilege than they formerly had, you can see it would be a great temptation to mankind. And would it not be at the same time a great time of trial, or judgment, or testing, upon them? I think it would. And as one after another would seem to get liberty to circumvent the divine plan, it would test all of the angels who have any desire for sin. Well, now, you say, In what way do the Saints judge angels? "Know ye not that ye shall judge angels?" Is it not these fallen angels the Saints are to judge? Yes. Then how have we anything to do with it? I am sure, dear friends, that so far as putting a test on them is concerned I do not know how it is, but I am trying to think, and this comes to my mind: How could this be that we would judge them or bring the test to them? I am supposing that we are judging the angels now, in the sense that we are putting the testing on them, that they are learning from the Church, of course. My understanding is, that these fallen angels have no opportunity of learning from God, and from the holy Spirit, or from a Bible; and they have no means of learning from the world the divine will and the divine plan. Where would they get their information respecting God's will? I think they know very well by this time where, and only where, they can get any information respecting the future, namely: from the Church of Christ, so I do not doubt for a minute that to whatever extent the fallen spirits are present with us at this convention they are seeking to find out something. This is just what I should expect. They know where to go for information. They are not going to the nominal church for information; they are too well informed, they know there is no use going there, just as you know there is no use for you to go there, they know where to look for the truth; and I suppose they are looking amongst the Lord's people and hearkening to what things the Lord by His holy spirit and through His Word has made known to those who are His in these last days, and that, therefore, the things which you and I may see, and understand, and declare, are the things which are judging them, or becoming a test to them. As they come to know these things, they are tested by them. Now that is the kind of judging that shall put these tests upon the angels. This information respecting the Lord's will, and respecting the time in which we are living, comes from the Saints who are in this world, from the Saints in the present life, and we are merely at any time the representatives of all the Saints, for we represent our Lord Jesus in the world, so we can say we are His representatives or ambassadors, and certainly we represent all the other members who have gone to the other side the vail as well. The Lord's will and the truth respecting the whole matter [Page Q19] may, by the grace of God, be brought to the attention of not only one another, but these fallen angels, and then the test will come on them that they may see what God's will is, and what the right thing is, and what to expect also at this time. Just the same as you and I are brought under a measure of judgment now, a measure of testing,--"The Lord your God doth judge you, doth prove you," and yet it is not God speaking from heaven that proves you; it is God speaking through His Word; thus it is God speaking through the testimony of present truth that is judging you and me. Our judging is coming in this way in the present time. Marvel not, therefore, if their judging will come in the same way that our judgment is coming to us. We are being judged--"My word shall judge you in that day." The Lord's Word is the test now to the nominal church. Those who are receiving the Word are standing fast in it, and are getting the blessings from it. Those who are unfaithful to the Lord's Word, and following cunningly devised fables, and doctrines of men, and walking after their own desires, are proving unfaithful, and the Word is judging them, is telling where the right line is,--not only telling you and me, but telling through us these fallen angels.
ANGELS--Re Angels Being Sons.
ANSWER.--This way: The words "only begotten" must be given the right force. In our Lord's prehuman existence, He was the only one begotten directly by the Father. While the angels are the sons of God, they are not directly begotten by God, but they were created by our Lord Jesus Christ, for all things were made by Him, and therefore He made the angels, not by His power or by His authority, but by the power and authority of the Father. See Fifth Volume.
ANGELS--Restoration of The Fallen.
ANSWER.--We have no definite information respecting the fallen angels, except where the Apostle says, "Know ye not that ye shall judge angels?" This word "judge" as used in the Scriptures represents a trial. The inference, then, is that if they are to have a further trial, then some of them will have an opportunity of benefiting by that trial.
They fell from their condition of holiness through a measure of temptation, and in the long period since their fall they have had abundant opportunity to see the error of their course, and if they will, to reform. We notice, furthermore, the Apostle Peter tells us that our Lord Jesus by His death and resurrection preached to the spirits in prison, thus referring directly to the fallen angels who kept not their first estate, but were cast into Tartarus and restrained in darkness or prison by that chain. The Apostle Peter's statement amounts to this: The fallen angels, now called demons, had a certain great lesson preached to them: it was the manifestation of God's great mercy to mankind in making the arrangement for the redemption of mankind, and the fallen angels could see that if the Lord was gracious to mankind, there was a possibility that He might also show mercy to them sometime. Our answer is that there is hope [Page Q20] for the fallen angels. Our supposition is, dear friends, that since the time Jesus by His death and resurrection preached that sermon to the angels, the holy as well as the fallen ones, that some would reform and manifest their reform and we may reasonably infer such would refrain from any further disobedience; and, therefore, during the past eighteen hundred years, there have been two general classes of these fallen angels, some faithful and returning to righteousness, and others still out of harmony with God, practicing sin and following Satan.
Does this require a ransom? We answer, No. If the angels had been condemned to death, then a ransom from death would have been necessary. They were merely restrained in darkness and kept from using their powers. If it had been a death sentence, then it would have required one holy angel to become the ransom for each fallen angel, because they would have come under condemnation individually. With mankind it is different; you and I were not condemned individually, but came under the condemnation through Father Adam, hence the redemption of Father Adam means not only the redemption of himself, but also of all his posterity. Thus God's plan is that Christ might be the ransom for all by being the ransom for one; but no such arrangement would be possible for the fallen angels, but they are subject to their own individual sentence.
ANGEL--Re Thinking Peter An Angel.
ANSWER.--You remember the circumstances. It was Peter who had been in prison, and the angel had led him out of prison, and led him a certain distance, and he went to a house where prayer was being made; it was in the middle of the night, and they were still praying when Peter knocked at the door. You remember little Rhoda came to the door, she ran back and told them that Peter was at the door, and then they said, "Oh, it could not be him."
"Oh, it is him," said Rhoda.
"Well, it must be his angel."
Why should they say it was his angel? Well, my dear friends, they were not inspired to say it was his angel. We do not know that any of those people who were praying on that night were inspired, so I would not pay a particle more of attention to what they would say on the subject than I would to what you might say. We take our instruction from whatever the Lord and the apostles said. The apostle did not say anything about him being an angel. What they meant we might all guess alike. You have my full liberty to guess all you please. If you would like to know what I would guess, I suppose they had some of the ordinary ideas that there might be some kind of an impersonation, or something like that. I do not know what they had in mind; nobody else knows.
ANGELS--Re Fallen, On Trial.
ANSWER.--In one sense of the word we may suppose that the fallen angels may have been more or less on trial since [Page Q21] the time that they were consigned to the chains of darkness. They were all transgressors, and as soon as the divine judgment against them was rendered and they were confined in chains of darkness, it became notice to all that they had seriously interfered with the divine will and were under condemnation, and I should not be at all surprised if some of them had a feeling that they wanted to reform. But the particular time when we think that something of this kind may have been true of them was when our Lord's death and resurrection from the dead preached a great sermon to the fallen angels respecting divine love for mankind and divine mercy, thus arranging for man's reclamation from sin and death; that as the angels would see this, it would become such a sermon to them of divine mercy that they would have hope for themselves. And if any of the angels who had respect to God's law, and who would have any hope of divine mercy, would manifest their faith and hope by continuing to live contrary to sin and in harmony with divine righteousness, I am sure they have had a terrible trial; that the fallen angels would give them all kinds of persecution, and probably any persecution that we would have would be inferior to such persecution that they may have had, because we can very well imagine that were the fallen angels permitted to do toward those that are loving righteousness as they choose, it would mean a very hard lot for those who wished to do better. So then in this sense of the word, that judgment or trial of the fallen angels has been in progress just the same as the judgment and trial of the church has been in progress, to see whether or not we love righteousness and hate iniquity, what we will endure for righteousness' sake. So then any of the fallen angels who had any respect for God and righteousness, and who had any hope that God's mercy might be extended them, would undoubtedly be on trial in this sense, that it would be a testing of their loyalty; everything that would come against them would test, or prove, or judge, them with reference to their loyalty to God. But there would seem to be at the end of this age, or at the opening of the new dispensation, some special test or trial that would come upon them. Respecting that we know very little. All we know is, we are told that they are in chains of darkness until the judgment of the great day. Just what that signifies is a problem. The judgment of the great day may not refer to them so particularly as to us of the world. There is a special judgment of this great day about to be manifested, when all the kingdoms of this world will be judged, when all present institutions are going to come under trial, and the fire of that day will try them, the fire of that day shall try all in the church, and these fallen angels are held in chains of darkness until that time, the thought being that then the four winds will be loosed and it means that they will no longer be under restraint or chains of darkness, but be able to manifest themselves. We will see a little later. Ask me about 1915 something about this, and I think I will know more.
ANGELS--Are Materializations as Males Only?
ANSWER.--Brother Russell--No; so far as I know, brother, there have been manifestations in the form of females. We have [Page Q22] not the time, and I do not know that it is necessary, to give any illustrations in the matter, but merely answer the question.
ANGELS--When Will Fallen Be Destroyed?
ANSWER.--I, of course, do not know, but I can give my guess and my reason. Their trial and Satan's trial seem to be different matters. He was not tempted except by his own ambition, and so far as we know he has manifested no contrition, and the Scriptures do not show that any mercy will be extended to him, but that he will be destroyed.
The angels had had a long period in seeing his prosperity and success and God's apparent lack of power in restraining him. Then there was their intercourse with the human family. His was a pure selfishness and an attempt to gain power. So far as these angels are concerned that left their habitation or first condition; special mention is made in Jude and in Peter, that they are reserved in chains of darkness until the judgment of the great day. Now, does that refer to the judgment of the Millennial Day, or to the present time? We think that it refers to the judgment of the present time, because they were reserved in chains of darkness, and apparently they will have the power to get free from those chains of darkness now. We surmise that as they are getting loose now, they imagine that God is not able to hold them. They are getting free from their restraint, which will be a part of the world's time of trouble, which is not only of human arrangement but also from the evil angels. So then, if during these centuries during which they have been under restraint, some of them have learned to wait on the Lord as the Scriptures imply, and to have repented, now will be the time for them to show their loyalty during the time when all the other angels will have the temptations to do evil. Remember that the word "judgment" used here is in the sense of trial and not sentence. They are reserved in the chains of darkness until the trial time of the great day. The question might be asked, Will those who are found unworthy in this testing time be destroyed now, or be with Satan for the thousand years? Our thought is that they will be destroyed now, that after their trial is fully ended, God will have no particular purpose in maintaining them. We do not know; that is merely our guess. You may guess different, and if you do, we will not quarrel. Where the Lord's Word speaks positively, we will speak. If you want my thought, you have it, but if you want your own, keep it.
Q22:2 QUESTION (1911)--2--What is the difference in the anointing and sealing in the following Scriptures: "Now he that stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us is God; who hath also sealed us."
ANSWER.--The anointing is one picture. I will call your attention to the picture given in the Scriptures. I have already spoken of Christ, Jesus the head and the church his body, and this picture was used in the case of the typical priesthood. We read about Aaron as the priest. He in his own person typified Jesus and typified the [Page Q23] whole church, the royal priesthood, and the holy anointing oil that was poured on his head ran down even to the skirts of his garments. What does that mean? It means the anointing of Aaron as a whole, and the anointing the apostle speaks of that you and I come into. When we come into Christ we come into the anointing. The anointing belongs to the entire body God has foreknown and predestinated, and if you and I come into membership in that body, and maintain our membership, we are members of the Anointed One, and we are under that anointing; as the apostle says, "The anointing you have received abideth with you, and shall be in you."
But the sealing is something that goes beyond that. The apostle says, Ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit, and ye were not only anointed with the Holy Spirit, but ye were also sealed. The sealing in your case and in mine is still going on. What does it signify? It is the imprint of the Lord's character upon you; he is impressing you more and more; you are being sealed with the Holy Spirit. How long will it continue? Unto the day of redemption. If you allow the impress to go on in you, you will become more and more a copy of God's dear Son, and that is the condition upon which you and I may abide in him; we not only receive the anointing at the beginning, but we also receive the Spirit and have the marks of saintship and discipleship.
ARCHANGEL--Are There Others?
ANSWER.--I have just the same thought.
ARMY--Who Constitutes God's?
Q23:2 QUESTION (1909)--2--Have you, to any extent, changed your views as to what power shall constitute God's Army, since the publication of the Dawn treating that question? Does the saying, "Workingmen, unite, you have nothing to lose but your chains; you have a world to gain," convey any suggestion to our minds regarding the matter?
ANSWER.--No, I see no reason to change my views, not that we hold that our views could not be changed; we have the same right to change our views as any body else. We see no necessity to change. We think the Lord is going to use millions of people as His army who are not saints and who will not know that they are serving him. We read that he will use the wrath of man to praise Him. They will be doing a work to praise Him and will not be aware of the fact, just as he can use Satan as His servant during this Gospel age to turn the grindstone upon which the Lord's jewels are being polished. He thinks he is grinding us to powder, but he is only putting a polish upon the jewels.
As to the second part of the question concerning the question of workingmen uniting, yes, I think that would be a suggestion along the line, namely, that the Lord will probably use the mass of mankind as they will probably constitute the Lord's great army. On the one side will be gathered the princes of the earth, captains of industry, captains of finance, with as many as they can gather to their influence. Then on the other side will be a great army of discontented, along the line of Socialism, claiming that it is God's remedy. We answer that we do not doubt the [Page Q24] sincerity of their hearts and intentions, but we do not think they will be able to accomplish what they desire, but will make a failure of the matter. After they come to a place where they think they are getting everything within their grasp, and then find that the money powers will not let them do what they want to, they will feel so rebellious against their condition that instead of going into Socialism, it will go into Anarchy, then God will let the world work out their destruction, and after that God will come in and by His own power will bring peace and order out of the confusion, and will establish the Kingdom of His Son and the Bride, the Lamb's wife.
APPLICATION--Re Adam? And His Race.
ANSWER.--It will be impossible for the Lord to impute his merit for Adam till the whole church is taken, for this endorsement is an embargo for Adam and his race, we therefore must pass through our trial first before that merit can pass on and be imputed to Adam and his race. On this ransom price for Adam and his race, we might elaborate a little further: Why this embargo for the Church? Why not with Adam outside the church before the Church was complete? It is on deposit with God the Father, just as if mortgaged by this imputation made with the church. How is that affected? In this way: All the church have agreed they will die according to the flesh. Nobody else has been received into the church. One not entered into Christ has not entered the church. Justice demands all shall go into death; first, those that will follow his footsteps; they will lay down their lives willingly, gladly, sacrificially and enter into the heavenly glory--the highest. Then the Great Company class. Those who will seek to hold on to the earthly life and through fear of death all their life time are subject to bondage. Will they be allowed to go on in that way? If so they will die the second death because they have not laid down their lives. What will Jesus do for these? In the Bible it is represented as the Lord Jesus laying hold upon the scape goat class, and they are led away by the hands of a fit man, representing how the Great Company are turned over to satan for the destruction of the flesh. Why? Because that is part of the Covenant, their flesh must either be sacrificed willingly or be destroyed, one or the other. Now when their bodies are turned over and they have washed their robes, and have suffered they will have learned their lesson. They failed to get into the sacrificing class, but since they were loyal to God when brought to the test, they are counted worthy of life on the spirit plane. Not the highest plane, the Divine nature, but like the angels on a lower plane. All will be counted worthy who get everlasting life, but these when put to the test who would not deny the Lord and would rather suffer are counted worthy. The picture in Rev. 7, is, "Therefore are they before the throne of God and serve Him day and night in His temple." The little flock class are more than merely conquerors; more than merely getting in. The Bible says they are more than conquerors. They will sit with the Lord in His throne and be His joint heirs and partakers of His Divine nature. The [Page Q25] others coming in finally under stress and suffering rather than be disloyal to God, they will get a good reward, thank the Lord. They did not have the spirit of sacrifice, of suffering for Christ's sake willingly, voluntarily, they had to be pushed in the fight. They fought well when pushed in, but were not like their captain who went into the fight himself.
Now there is a third class, Heb. 6 and Heb. 10. The apostle says those that fell away and turned their backs upon the blood of the covenant and counted it a common thing; they will die the second death. That is why Jesus said, I guarantee all these will go into death. The one class into second death because they are unworthy. The other class are pushed into taking their place for right or wrong--and when all have died, then the mortgage is all recovered, for the notes have been paid; they have all died, not any of them having an earthly life. The one class gets new life on the Divine plane, another gets new life on the spirit plane, and another class, those who die the second death.
ANSWER.--This will never need to be repeated. It is a completed work the Father planned before the foundation of the world. He left the glory with the Father for this very purpose; the same he has been working out these 1900 years of this Gospel age, and 1,000 years more will be necessary to fulfill this. Thank God, Hallelujah what a Saviour. Hallelujah, what a plan! Hallelujah, what a Father we have to give us this great plan! Think of it! More than that, my dear friends, the Bible says you are to be like your Heavenly Father. You are children of God when begotten of the spirit. If a child is well begotten, and had a good mother and good father, the child would be like the father every time. If Adam and Eve had retained their perfection, their children would all have been like Adam himself, perfect, grand characters. Now God has started a new race of spirit beings all begotten of the spirit. Then we will be like unto our Father. One mother, one covenant under which we were all begotten and which will develop us and bring us to the glorious liberty of our Lord, and we will be much like our Father. He is kind to the unthankful. Getting more like our great Redeemer and more like our Heavenly Father. The whole object of our life, of our faith, should be to develop character likeness.
ATONEMENT--How Performed in Captivity?
Q25:2 QUESTION (1908)--2--If not one jot or tittle of the law should pass away until all be fulfilled, how was the typical atonement day sacrifice performed when the Jews were in captivity, or the ark not in the holy? When did this type cease?
ANSWER.--I had never thought of that question. I believe I will have to think over it a little more before I answer it.
ATONEMENT--How Often Were Sacrifices Of Lev. 9?
Q25:3 QUESTION (1910)--3--In Lev. 9, was the blood of the bullock and the blood of the goat taken into the Most Holy? [Page Q26] If not, why not? Are the sacrifices referred to in Lev. 9 the same as those referred to in Leviticus 16, and how often was that sacrifice of Lev. 9 offered?
ANSWER--We answer that the description of the killing of the bullock of the sin-offering and the goat of the sin-offering in Leviticus 9 was in connection with the consecration of the priest, while the description in Leviticus 16 is in connection with the atonement for the sins of all the people--the world--the Day of Atonement sacrifices. They are, therefore, not exactly the same, though they cover in many respects the same points. For instance, Was not our Lord's consecration closely identified with the work of atonement? Yes. Your consecration unto death as the antitypical goat is closely identified with the atonement work. So these two types, the one relating to the consecration of the priesthood, and the other relating to the atonement work, are closely related, though not exactly the same. In the case of Leviticus 9, you remember the blood was not taken into the Most Holy, because that was not a picture of the Atonement; that was not a picture of that feature of the work; it was a picture of the consecration, and showed how the bullock must die, and how the goat must die; whereas the one in Leviticus 16, picturing the Atonement Day, making satisfaction for sin, properly included the sprinkling of the blood in the Most Holy to make the atonement for sins.
ATONEMENT--Sacrifices For Ensuing Year.
ANSWER.--I answer they were for the ensuing year. We know because at the end of a year they were all under their sins again, and they were to bewail themselves and to be in sackcloth and fast until the Atonement Day sacrifices had been offered, and the blood sprinkled, and the priest would come out and offer the blessings which made them reconciled to God for the year following.
ATONEMENT--Re Sacrifices In Captivity.
ANSWER--They did not, for the very simple reason these sacrifices could not be made at any other than the appointed place. There could be no such atonement sacrifices away from the proper place and arrangements. So we may be sure that during those years of captivity they had no atonement day sacrifices.
ATONEMENT--Re Delivery of First-Born.
ANSWER--You have the answer to the question already; they will all have entered into their glory when the sacrificing is ended, and long before the day will close, because the day will take in the dealings with the world.
ATONEMENT--Re Its Close.
ANSWER--The Day of Atonement under the Jewish law was a twenty-four hour day repeated every year in that typical system. The antitype of that Atonement Day we understand to be that period of God's blessing which began with our Lord Jesus Christ and his sacrifice. That was the opening of the Day of Atonement. Now, the other sacrifice, the sacrifice of the goat, has been continuing during this Day of Atonement. In other words; the church is invited to share with Christ in his sacrifice, and that great Atonement Day is still going on; the atonement work is not finished. The sacrificing feature of the Atonement Day will soon be over we believe, viz.: when the last member of the elect Body of Christ shall have passed into death; that will be the end of the sacrificing, but it will not be the end of the atonement, because the Day of Atonement not only includes the day of sacrifice, but also the day of using that sacrifice in the work of blessing. In other words, the whole thousand years of Christ's reign also belongs to this atonement work, because the construction of the word means at-one-ment. Now, the sacrificing of this present time is for the purpose of producing that at-one-ment, and when the sacrifices are ended and offered before the Lord, it will be the basis for the at-one-ment, but it will take all of the thousand years to apply that to the world and for the world to be made at one with God. So then the Day of Atonement in the proper and fullest sense of the word is twenty-eight hundred years or more long, and we have passed the middle of it now; and the latter part of it is going to be very fine.
ANSWER--No; the entire merit of our Lord's death was already in the hands of Justice when Jesus ascended up on high, but it was not applied in any degree nor to any person. According to the Divine intention that merit is to be applied for Adam's original sin and for all the sins of his children, which are the result directly or indirectly of original sin. Thus we might say that every member of Adam's race has a personal, individual interest or share in that redemptive merit, coming to him by Divine arrangement.
Our Lord left the early Church with the instruction that they should tarry at Jerusalem for the anointing of the Holy Spirit, the evidence of their forgiveness of sins and of their adoption as children of God. He ascended on high and appeared in the presence of the Father--for the entire Church of the First-borns. The imputation of His merit was for them all, as well as for the representative few of the Lord's followers who waited for the blessing in the "upper room."
ATONEMENT--High Priest--Censer--Holy of Holies.
ANSWER.--We do not have any knowledge of any record that the High Priest ever took the censer into the Most Holy. The order of the Day of Atonement, you will remember, was that the High Priest slew the bullock; then he took the blood of the bullock and fire from off the brazen altar and went with the two into the Holy, there to offer incense upon the fire before the veil, [Page Q28] not behind the veil; in the Holy, not in the Most Holy. We have no knowledge of any sacrificing to be done in Heaven, and the fire would represent testings: our Master did not have any testings in Heaven; his testings were on earth. This, then, would evidently be the proper interpretation to put upon the type. The censer with the coals of fire, you will remember, was placed on top of the golden altar. The Apostle Paul, in giving an account of the contents of the Most Holy states that this altar, the golden altar, was in the Most Holy, but we think it was a mistake either by the Apostle himself or some copyist; he could not have said that, for the account in the Old Testament is very distinct, that the altar will be in the Holy. The only article of furniture in the Most Holy was the Ark; in the Ark, you will remember, was the Law, Aaron's Rod that budded and the Golden Pot of Manna; on the cover the two Cherubim; the blood was to be sprinkled upon the mercy-seat and before the mercy-seat, forming a cross. Fire, wherever it is used, would symbolize trials, difficulties and testings. The fire that is here referred to in the Holy where the incense was crumbled upon the coals of fire represents our Lord's three and one-half years' ministry; during these three and one-half years He was using all His perfect powers in the service of the Lord, the Truth and the brethren. Every time that incense touched the fire it produced a smoke of incense, and so the life of Jesus was one continual offering of this incense before the Lord, and as a result of the sacrifice of Christ thus accomplished, He was counted worthy to go beyond the veil to the Most Holy.
He was not worthy to be the great High Priest until He finished His sacrifice. The sacrifice made at Jordan was not finished until Calvary. It took all the three and one-half years to finish this work of crumbling the incense on the fire, and you will remember in the type we read that the High Priest must offer this incense upon the altar in order that the smoke might penetrate beyond the veil so that He die not, so that when He attempted to pass under the second veil the cloud of incense would be covering the mercy-seat and He would not die. If the cloud of incense were not covering the mercy-seat He would die, and this shows us that the Lord Jesus Christ could not have entered the glory beyond unless He had finished His sacrifice and offerings.
You remember there were three fires in connection with this matter. This was the one fire in the Holy representing God's view of our Master's sacrifice, it was a sweet incense to God; and then there was another view of that same sacrifice: He was represented by the burning of the fat in the court, the court condition representing the condition in which the human nature could conceive the matter; all who were in the court condition of justification recognized that He was indeed the Son of God, as was represented by the burning of the fat which makes a very clear light; and then, you remember, there was the fire burning outside the camp on which was burned the hide, horns, etc., of the bullock, and that represented how the Lord's sacrifice appeared to the world; it was a stench to the world; He was making a mistake and spoiling a good, valuable life by speaking about the Kingdom, and going about with these poor disciples. These three pictures describing our Lord from three standpoints, firstly, the world's standpoint, the sacrifice of Christ was not in line with the spirit of the world; secondly, the viewpoint in the court of the disciples of Jesus, He was holy, harmless, undefiled as a Savior; and thirdly, God's view referred to now in this [Page Q29] question, the burning of the incense in the Holy, not until all three fires, all three phases of the Lord's sacrifice were past was He ready to pass beyond the veil.
ATONEMENT--Cleanse for What Year.
ANSWER--For the year following.
ANSWER--The Bible tells us it was the sacrifices for sin and this is all testified in the Covenant God made with Israel at Sinai, a representation of the better covenant. There stood Moses representing a greater than Moses. What did he do? First he slew the sacrifice for the sin offering and it was on the basis of this sacrifice that there could be a covenant and it was the blood of those sacrifices sprinkled in order to accomplish that covenant; so here we have better sacrifices than those. These typical sacrifices were merely on an earthly plane, but here we have a better sacrifice, Jesus the antitypical bullock and the Church the antitypical goat. This church sacrificing has been going on for more than 1800 years and shortly it will all be finished and the blood will be in the hands of the great Mediator. Look back in the type and see what He will do with the blood. First sprinkle the table of the law. When Moses had sprinkled the tables of the law he was ready then to sprinkle the people with the same blood. Now the basis was the blood. While the blood of Jesus was the fundamental, important thing, it pictures how that the blood of His saints be counted in with him.--All the followers in the footsteps of Jesus are being gathered, their blood being sacrificed and that blood in the type is for the reconciliation of the world bye and bye. Not that we are adding anything to the value of it, but showing how we would be associated with Jesus in the present time, and share the glory, which is to follow as soon as the church will be completed. Then we understand the right time will have come for Jesus to receive the world and become the King of the world and establish His kingdom from sea to sea. He will be ready then to ask the Father for the world and then He is ready to appropriate His sacrifice for the world. It is to be given fully and completely on behalf of the world at that time, and He will he ready to do that just at the time of completion of the church when we are all with the Lord in glory. The 2 Psalm says, "Ask of me and I will give thee the heathen," etc. The whole world are heathens from God's standpoint. The word heathen is the same word translated Gentile and the same word translated people. God had a people and there were other people outside that were not God's people. They were heathen, and only those in harmony with God are His people, and they were to he distinct from the others. "Ask of me and I will give thee the people, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy Possession."
From the back of the Question Book:
ADAM--Created--Not Born as His Posterity Was.
ANSWER--Strictly speaking, Adam was not born; he was created of the dust of the ground. Science confirms this statement of the Bible, for all of the elements contained in the human body are found in the earth. Man was a distinct creation; and not a product of evolution as some deluded scientists maintain. When God formed man of the earthly elements He pronounced him "very good," and the Scriptures elsewhere declare that all of God's works are perfect. (Deut. 32:4.) As a perfect man it was optional with Adam as to whether he would obey the Lord or not. The very fact that Adam had the power of choosing between the good and the evil proves that he had not created a mere machine but that he was a free moral agent and hence in the image of God as the Scriptures affirm. If Adam had been imperfect, of a sinful nature, degraded and evil as the race is today, the Lord would never have placed him on trial. As a result of Adam's disobedience, he passed under the sentence of death and involved all of his posterity in the same awful sentence and from that time to the present the race has journeyed over the downward way leading to destruction. Death reigns as all will admit. The race is to be delivered from death at the second coming of Christ as the Apostle says "For He must reign until He has placed all enemies under His feet; even death the last enemy shall be destroyed." "And there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away." 1 Cor. 15:26; Rev. 21:4.
ADAM--If Perfect, How Sinned?
Q741:1 QUESTION--If Adam was perfect; how could he have sinned? It seems to me that a perfect man would have acted in a perfect manner. It is the imperfect individual that sins or acts imperfectly. Kindly explain this matter as I am frequently brought face to face with this proposition.(Eve)
ANSWER--From the Scriptural narrative of the creation of man, it is evident that God, the Creator, designed to have an intelligent creature made in His own likeness, with an individual will capable of deciding for good or evil. Man has the power of willing to do as he, himself desires. Had he been created otherwise he would not have been in the likeness of God, but a mere machine controlled and directed by the Divine will. We may reasonably suppose that Adam chose to disobey the Lord because of his love for Eve. She had been deceived by the Adversary, Satan, and had partaken of the forbidden fruit, the penalty for which was death. Adam, realizing that she must die, deliberately chose to share her fate, as life without her would not be worth living. We are distinctly told that Adam was not deceived (1 Tim. 2:14) and we could conceive of no other motive on the part of a perfect man in disobeying the Divine mandate, than that of love for his bride.
ADAM--Living Soul vs. Lifegiving Spirit.
ANSWER--The Scriptures in outlining the Divine Program as it relates to the salvation of mankind plainly teach that the present Christian Era, from the time of our Lord's first advent to the time of His second coming, has been set apart for the purpose of selecting and developing a special class, the members of which in the resurrection will be changed from fleshly to spiritual conditions. In this present life these are said to be begotten of the spirit, then quickened of the spirit and finally born of the spirit in the resurrection morning. These are to be like their Lord and see Him as He is, changed from mortal to immortal conditions. All others, Adam included, are to be awakened unto a resurrection by judgment (John 5:28,29--not damnation. See Revised Version), a raising up to perfection as human beings, and these are to inhabit the earthly plane of existence. Only the Lord Jesus and His joint heirs, the Church of Christ, will inherit the Kingdom of Heaven, the heavenly or spiritual honors and blessings, while the world of mankind in general will obtain blessings and life eternal as natural or fleshly beings. See 1 Cor.15th chapter.
ADAM--Where Did He Go at Death?
ANSWER--We may be sure Adam did not go to heaven at death, because three thousand years later Jesus said, "No man hath ascended up to heaven" (John 3:13). The judgment, or sentence, of death was passed upon Adam by the Lord, who said, "For dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return" (Gen. 3:19). This judgment, of death was gradually enforced during a period of 930 years, by Adam being denied access to the life giving food in Eden (See Gen. 3:23,24), at the end of which time Adam was completely dead. He therefore went into the death condition. He went to hell--not the hell of the Dark Ages, which has been represented as a lake of fire and brimstone, but to the hell of the Bible, which word is translated from the Hebrew word sheol and the Greek word hades, and properly translated into the English word grave, tomb, or state of death. Likewise all of Adam's children, inheriting this death sentence, have followed him, at death, to the tomb. The entire race would have been exterminated had it not been that God provided for the redemption and resurrection of the race through Christ, Jesus. "Who gave His life that we might have life."
ALTAR--In the Midst of Egypt.
Q742:3 QUESTION--"In that day shall there be an altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof to the Lord. And it shall be for a sign and for a witness unto the Lord of Hosts in the land of Egypt." (Isa. 19:19,20.) What may we understand by this Scripture?
ANSWER--There is but one structure in all the earth that could by any possibility fulfill the requirements of the text, and that is the Great Pyramid in Egypt. The whole of northern Egypt forms a sector shaped country the center of which is marked by the Pyramid. To mathematicians and scientists the center of a sector is also at the border thereof, and thus, as to location, the Pyramid is clearly indicated. It has always stood as the greatest wonder in the world because of its enormous dimensions, great antiquity and marvelous exhibition of engineering skill. With its original casting-stones in position, all highly polished like white marble, and so accurately joined together that it was almost impossible to distinguish the joints, this immense structure of solid masonry, covering over thirteen acres of ground and nearly five hundred feet in height, was truly a magnificent spectacle as it glittered in the rays of the dazzling Egyptian sunlight. To the ancients it was known as "The Terrible Crystal." Recent investigation of the interior passage ways and chambers has revealed the fact that these form a wonderful system of symbols in which the entire plan of salvation as presented in the Scripture is outlined. Because it is such a great "witness," in that it so clearly corroborates the teachings of the Lord's Word, it is now becoming generally known as "The Stone Bible," Melchizedek, "a Priest of the Most High God," is reputed to have been the builder, and the date of its construction has been well established as being the year 2170 B.C. It is, therefore, the oldest building on earth.
ANGELS--Re Hell (Tartarus)
Q743:1 QUESTION--In 2 Pet. 2:4, Revised Version, we read, "For if God spared not the angels when they sinned, but cast them down to hell, and committed them to pits of darkness to be reserved unto judgment." What is the meaning of the word, "Hell" or as the marginal reading gives it " TARTARUS," which is the Greek word translated "hell?"(C.V.B.)
ANSWER--The translators of the Revised Version of the Scriptures erred when they planned in the marginal readings the word "Tartarus" for that is not the word contained in the original Greek manuscripts. The word tartaroo, used by Peter, very closely resembles tartarus, a word used in Grecian mythology as the name for a dark abyss or prison. But the word tartaroo seems to refer us more to an act than to a place. The fall of the angels who sinned was from honor and dignity, into dishonor and condemnation, and the thought seems to be--"God spared not the angels who sinned, but degraded them, and delivered them into the chains of darkness." This is the only place in the Scriptures where this word tartaroo occurs, and refers to the condition of the fallen angels or evil spirits, and not to the members of the human race in any sense or particular. See Jude 6, where it also reads, "the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation. He hath reserved in age-lasting chains, under darkness, unto the judgment day."
ANGELS--How Apostles Were Made Spectacle
ANSWER--Evidently the angels and all other spirit beings, of which there are myriads upon myriads (Rev.5:11) are interested observers of the events transpiring upon this little globe of ours. What the race of mankind is learning by actual experience the spirit beings are learning by observation. As the poet has expressed the thought-- "All the world's a stage and men and women merely players." The word "spectacle," in the marginal rendering of the Authorized Version, is theater. The Apostles were being made "a show of" before the world, and angels, and men, because of their loyalty to the cause of Christ. Enduring all manner of hardships, bitter persecutions, and regarded as religious fanatics--"fools"--because of their prominence in advocating the teachings of Christ, they were specially observed. Thus it was with the Master Himself; by His sufferings, His death, and His resurrection, He preached a powerful sermon in pantomime to the "spirits in prison" (The fallen angels who disobeyed in the time of Noah. 2 Pet. 2:4; 1 Pet. 3:18-20).
ANGELS--Re Marriage to Daughters of Men.
Q744:1 QUESTION--If the "Sons of God" (Gen. 6:4) were the angels who left their former habitation, or first estate-- the spiritual realm (Jude 3)--how is it that they could marry the "daughters of men" and have children since it is understood from the Master's words (Mat. 22:30) that the angels are sexless? (L.T.H.)
ANSWER--From many Scriptures it is apparent that the angels, or spirit beings, have the power of materializing as human beings. This materialization is complete, as the following Scriptural citations indicate, showing that these materialized beings could eat and drink and perform all of the functions of the natural being of the earthly plane of existence. (Gen. 18:8; Gen. 32:24; Zec. 1:9,5; Luke 1:30; Acts 12:7-10.) It is evident that the angels in their proper habitation, the spiritual realm, do not possess the powers of reproduction. It would, therefore, be impossible for them to have angelic progeny. It is only as they materialize as human beings that they could exercise the powers belonging to the race of mankind, and thus bring children into the world of the fleshly nature. Because some of the angels did this without the Divine sanction, they were punished by being restrained in chains of darkness unto the Judgment day.
ANGELS--What Are They Like?
Q744:2 QUESTION--What is an angel? We are told by our ministers that if we go to church and pay our pew rent and never do anything real bad that some day we will be an angel and go to heaven when we die. Now, I want to know what angels are like. Did they all live as men and women upon the earth before they became angels, and how did they become angels before there were any churches and regular collections? Was there ever a cheaper way of getting to be a angel than now? (J.U.D.)
ANSWER--The popular conception of angels is that they are radiant beings dressed in white with wings attached [Page Q745] to their shoulder blades. They are invariably represented as women, and are supposed to spend the larger part of their time seated upon clouds and fingering harps. In the Bible, angels are referred to as spirit beings, who act as the messengers of the Lord. We know of no Scriptures in which it is stated that human beings will ever become angels. On the contrary, the Lord has promised earthly blessings to all of the world of mankind, who will be obedient to His righteous laws of justice and love, when His Kingdom is established in the earth. Salvation will be free to all who will accept it upon the terms and conditions of full obedience to the Divine will. Mat. 6:10.
APOSTLES CREED--Is it Scriptural?
Q745:1 QUESTION--Most church denominations throughout the world have adopted the Apostles' Creed. Why is it called the "Apostles Creed"? Was it written by the Apostles, and where do we find it in the Bible?
ANSWER--What is known among the Christians as the "Apostles Creed," was not written by the Apostles of our Lord, hence it is nowhere found in the Bible. As to its origin, we quote from Mosheim's Ecclesiastical History, a recognized authority by scholars, as follows: "There is indeed extent, a brief summary of Christian doctrines, which is called the Apostles' Creed; and which, from the fourth century onward was attributed to Christ's ambassadors themselves. But at this day, all who have any knowledge of antiquity, confess unanimously that this opinion is a mistake, and has no foundation. Those judge far more wisely and rationally who think that this creed arose from small beginnings, and was gradually enlarged as occasions required in order to exclude new errors from the church." It was probably given its name by those who prepared it, as signifying that in their judgment, it contained only truths taught by the Apostles. It contains many truths, but it is not wholly Scriptural. For instance: "I believe in the resurrection of the body," whereas nothing in the Bible teaches that our bodies are to be resurrected. The Bible teaches that the soul will be resurrected. Of the resurrection the Apostle says, "Thou sowest not that body that shall be. But God giveth it (the soul-being) a body as it hath pleased Him and to each seed its own body." Surely the Apostle was not speaking of the body when he uses the word "it," otherwise the body would have a body, therefore two bodies, which is absurd. Further he states, "It (the soul-being) is sown a natural body; it (the soul or being) is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body and there is a spiritual body." (1 Cor. 15:35,37,44).
ARK--Difference Between Noah's and Children of Israel.
ANSWER--You have probably heard of the preacher who said to his congregation: "I can bring myself to believe that Noah built an ark, in which he and the wild animals were sheltered during the flood, but when it comes to making [Page Q746] me believe that the children of Israel toted that ark around on their shoulders in the wilderness for forty years, that's too much for me to swallow." Evidently he thought there was no difference in the two arks. Noah's ark was a large boat or vessel, larger than any now made. The ark which the children of Israel had in the wilderness was a rectangular box made of wood overlaid with gold, the lid or cover of which was made of pure gold. The approximate size of this ark was 4 feet long, 3 feet broad and 3 feet high, a detailed description of it being given in Exo. 25:10-22. Inside the ark was kept the golden bowl of manna, Aaron's rod that budded, and the two tables of the Law (See Heb. 9:4). The ark, together with all other furnishings of the Tabernacle in the wilderness, was a shadow or picture of good things to come. (See Heb. 8:5; Heb. 10:1; Col. 2:17.)