IS religion the haven of rest and protection and salvation for the millions of refugees, whose numbers are daily increasing? Look at the Poles, the Czechs, the Austrians, the Spanish Basques, or the Jews, and honestly answer the question for yourself. The great prophetic Book of Authority foretells that a "great multitude" of REFUGEES are now on the trek and will gain life unending on earth in peace and without molestation from oppressors. Who are these refugees? Will you join their ranks and find the refuge desired ? You must choose, now! The contents of this book furnish vital information for your guidance, from the authoritative Source.
Author: J. F. RUTHERFORD
AND PUBLISHED BY
BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY, INC.
International Bible Students Association
Brooklyn, N. Y., U. S, A.
London, Buenos Aires, Oslo, Toronto, Strathfield,
Cape Town, Berne, Shanghai, and other cities.
Made in the United States of America
"WHY are there so many people fleeing from their homes, and hunting in vain for a place of security? In 'most all the nations multitudes have been driven from their native land, and are wandering aimlessly throughout the earth. 'Most all people now seem to be in fear of losing everything they have. What are we coming to?"
A group of sincere farmers, following their time-honored custom, sat about the warm stove in the country store, discussing current events, and the foregoing question concerning refugees was up for consideration. A Christian, whose hope is centered entirely in The THEOCRATIC GOVERNMENT, entered the store, and immediately the group of farmers requested his expression on the foregoing questions. In reply the Christian called attention to the admitted physical facts and cited many Bible texts in support of his conclusion. The substance of his answer appears below:
You are fully aware of the fact that at no time within the memory of man have the nations of earth been in such a deplorable condition as now. Since the close of the World War in 1918 woes have contin-
uously increased upon the people. In all nations there are now many refugees seeking a place where they might abide in security and have a reasonable opportunity to enjoy some comforts. That the number of refugees is certain to increase in the near future must be conceded, and this fact alone increases the distress of many among the people who now have a measure of peace and security. You are among those who seek the best information obtainable as to why so many sorrows have come upon the people. Otherwise you would not have asked me the question about the refugees. Desiring to see righteousness prevail amongst men, you should be diligent to learn the truth, and by so doing you will clearly see why there are so many refugees, and why in the very near future the sorrows upon mankind will increase, and what will be the end of such.
Jehovah foreknew the trouble that would beset those who serve him, and He made provision for their instruction that they might go in the right way ' and escape the enemy and find the place of complete refuge. He foreknew how the demons would attack his consecrated people and how they are now attacking all those who serve him and his kingdom. Today he is revealing to all such faithful ones his means of protection, refuge and salvation. He foreknew and foretold the time of trouble coming upon the world, and in which all the nations now find themselves. To those who seek him he gives full assurance that if they put their trust fully in him and walk obediently with him they shall have protection and shall not be disappointed. "Thus let them who know thy name put confidence in thee, that thou hast not forsaken the searchers for thee, 0 Jehovah." (Psalm 9:10, Rotherham) The people now on earth who are
of good will toward God, and who are otherwise known as Jonadabs (2 Kings 10:15-23) and pictured by Jonathan (1 Samuel 18:1-4), have learned of the Almighty God and have found that his Word is the only safe and true guide. (Psalm 119:105) All the consecrated, both of the remnant and those who will form the "great multitude" (Revelation 7: 9-17), must now be on the alert and diligent at all times to avoid the snares of the enemy and to find safety and refuge, as provided by the Most High.
The divers nations are facing the greatest crisis of all time. The ruling factors of all nations appear to have a premonition of approaching disaster. Refusing to give heed to God's Word, they are in the dark as to what is just ahead. Each nation is like a frightened man walking in the dark. The controlling force that now moves the nations into action, both offensive and defensive, is fear. The visible rulers of the nations are in a state of great perplexity, sensing, as they do, that some unseen power is moving them rapidly to a great climax. They hesitate not to say that the present nations, cannot survive unless some sure remedy is found, and none of them appear to have any knowledge of such sure remedy. Political prognosticators attempt to foretell the future, but no one has any real confidence in any of such political, religious prophecies. They are in a desperate state of mind, and there appears to them a great pall hanging over them which forebodes disaster. The Lord foreknew this time of distress and foretold it in these words: "Upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; . . . men's hearts failing them for fear." — Luke 21:25, 26.
The ruling elements of the nations of the earth ignore these prophetic words of the Lord and the other prophecies, which make known to the diligent student of God's Word what unseen forces are moving the nations to the greatest climax of all time. Concerning such unseen powers the Lord says 'They go forth to the kings [ruling powers] of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the great battle of God Almighty [that is, to Armageddon]'. And what is that invisible force or power? The Lord answers that it is the power of wickedness, the Devil, "the prince of demons," and his associated demons, who, themselves being blind to God's purpose, lead the credulous ones into the ditch of destruction. (Revelation 16:13-16) All nations of the earth today are under the influence and control of the demons. Fear has led these ruling powers into the snare of the demons and caused them blindly to hunt a place of refuge, which they fail to find. — Proverbs 29: 25.
All the nations are facing death, and at the universal war of Armageddon, that is, "the battle of that great day of God Almighty," all nations shall die. That will not be "death" of the nations at the hands of other nations, but death administered by the Almighty Power of heaven: "The Higher Powers" (Romans 13:1); Jehovah God and Christ Jesus constituting the Higher Powers. The battle of the great day of God Almighty will be fought by Jehovah and Christ Jesus, supported by all the holy angels of heaven, pitted against the Devil and other demons and their supporters on earth who continue on the side of the wicked ones. All the nations suffer the same fate or come to the same end, because all na-
tions of earth are on the wrong side, that is, on the losing side. All of such nations are against the THEOCRATIC GOVERNMENT, that is, the government or kingdom of the Almighty God. At the battle of Armageddon all such nations shall cease for ever; as it is written: "The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God." (Psalm 9:17) "The wicked shall be turned back unto Sheol, even all the nations that forget God." — American Revised Version.
In that battle of the great day of God Almighty democracies will not survive over Communistic governments, Nazism, monarchies or imperialism. All forms of human government shall perish for ever. Only the THEOCRACY will survive. The indisputable facts now disclose that all nations have forgotten God, the Almighty, "whose name alone is Jehovah." (Psalm 83:18) All of these nations are visibly ruled by political, commercial and ultrareligious elements, and all are under the control of the invisible host of demons, and the Almighty God says that the end of such is "hell". His judgment concerning the nations of earth announced in the foregoing text is, in brief, "To hell with them."
The people of the various nations under the control of the ruling powers are in great distress and are in fear and trepidation. There is upon them an ever-increasing fear of death, which deadly enemy approaches them from every side: death at sea, from submarines, torpedoes, deadly mines, seaplanes and warships; death on land, from bombs falling from the air, and death from many other instruments of war; death from starvation resulting from blockades and the restriction concerning food. The theory and prac-
tice of the nations is that the men who fight must have the food while those who remain at home have little or none. The people fear death from natural and accidental causes. They are in constant fear of political, religious and other gangsters. They find themselves driven like dumb beasts from their native lands and the homes that they have built. Cruel dictators order them to depart, and they must obey. As refugees they flee before the cruel rulers. Millions of them become exiles, without a place to lay their head and with no means of obtaining food and shelter, and they proceed, knowing not where, and they face the future in utter despair. Fear of death holds them in grasp. The condition of the people, as now seen, was long ago described by the Lord Jesus in these words: "There shall be great distress in the land." — Luke 21:23.
These words of the Lord Jesus describe a condition that today exists in every nation on earth. Even in the nation of the United States there are millions on relief, and fear that even this little relief shall be taken away, and they shall be left to starvation. The people see no way out because they have been kept in ignorance and are yet in ignorance of God's gracious provision made for those who trust wholly in him. Their ignorance is due to the Devil and his religious representatives on earth who have deliberately withheld from the people a knowledge of God's Word. Jehovah God foretold this present time in these words: 'Darkness covers the earth, and gross darkness the people.' (Isaiah 60:2) By reason of much morbid fear the Devil has ensnared mankind in his trap of religion. The people being ignorant of God's provision, they follow the blind religious and political guides.
Numerous persons are seeking a means of escape, but, being blind, fail to find the way of escape. A notable example is that of a late American columnist, Heywood Broun. The New York Times of December 21, 1939, reporting on the funeral of Mr. Broun, says: '"Turning to the reasons why he wanted to become a Catholic, Mr. Broun gave four [reasons], . . . The third was fear of death. . . . The fourth reason, in the words of Mr. Broun, . . . 'There is nothing more ridiculous than individualism ... I cannot even see why Almighty God would be interested in my individual prayer, or even my individual sacrifice, . . . That spiritual corporation I believe to be the Catholic Church.'" That man because of fear sought a place of security, and the Devil led him into the Catholic religious system. In this connection have in mind the words of the Almighty God, that "religion is a snare", because religion is of the Devil. (Deuteronomy 7:16) From time immemorial the Devil has used religion and religious practices to ensnare men. Men teach religion and falsely hold before the people religion as a means of escape from the Devil and death; and fearing to go contrary to the teaching of religious men, such fearful ones fall into the snare of the Devil, even as the Lord foretold. — Proverbs 29: 25.
Religion has never been a safeguard against death. Even the so-called "Christian religion" has long been the chief means used by the Devil to entrap men in his snare that leads to destruction. The beginning of the practice of religion was a desire on the part of man to escape death and to become wise like demons. The Almighty God plainly stated to the first human pair that the penalty of death would be inflicted upon those who willfully disobeyed his law. (Genesis 2:17)
That great deceiver, the old Serpent and Devil, who is the chief of the demons, offered his religion to Adam and Eve as a means of escaping death. He said to them: "Ye shall not surely die; for God doth know that in the. day ye eat thereof [in violation of His law], then your eyes shall be opened; and ye shall be as gods [the demons associated with Satan]." (Genesis 3:4, 5) That is to say, if man would adopt Satan's religion and practice the same he would escape death and be as wise as the Devil's wicked associates, which in the Scriptures are designated "demons". But religion furnished no protection to Adam and Eve, and has never been any protection to any man. Fear and the ambitious desire to be wise as the demons led Adam and Eve into the snare, and they died, and by reason of their sin all their offspring inherited death. — Romans 5:12.
The dominating nations of earth now practice the so-called "Christian religion", and the leaders among men urge upon the people "more religion" as a means of protection and salvation. Religion, however, will furnish no protection or means of escape at the battle of the great day of God Almighty, which is now rapidly approaching. In that great fight at Armageddon no nation will find protection because of religion, neither will God spare individual persons of any nation because of their religion, whether they be sincere religious practitioners or bad religionists. Religion has never at any time safeguarded any man against death. A great religionist, backed by the religious system of the Roman Catholic organization, prosecuted the war in Spain from 1936 to 1939, in which great multitudes of persons died. Almost all the people of Spain were then the practitioners of the Roman Catholic religion. That religion did not spare any of them or protect
any of them. Religion furnished no protection for the people of Poland or Czechoslovakia, and which people held, steadfastly to the Catholic religious system and the practice thereof. God's Word plainly declares that the practitioners of religion, and religion itself, shall be destroyed at the battle of Armageddon.
All persons can now see that religion does not safeguard men against death. To further deceive the fearful peoples the Devil by means of religion, which his representatives teach, imposes upon mankind a further fraud, inducing them to believe that religion is a safeguard after death and that religion opens to them future protection and endless happiness. Is religion a passport to unending bliss? Is religion a safeguard and means of escape from torments of the Catholic "inferno" of hell or "purgatory" taught by that religious system! Where can the correct answer be found to these questions? No man has ever returned from "purgatory" or hell to give testimony concerning the matter. The doctrine of "torment in purgatory or hell" is taught only by imperfect men. The doctrine is not found in the Bible. Cardinal Gibbons, a noted Catholic authority, in his book The Faith of Our Fathers, pages 205 to 208, says: "The Catholic Church teaches that, besides a place of eternal torments for the wicked and of everlasting rest for the righteous, there exists in the next life a middle state of temporary punishment, allotted for those who have died in venial sin, or who have not satisfied the justice of God for sins already forgiven. She also teaches us that, although the souls consigned to this intermediate state, commonly called purgatory, cannot help themselves, they may be aided by the [prayers] of
the faithful on earth. The existence of purgatory naturally implies the correlative dogma — the utility of praying for the dead." "His soul will be ultimately saved, but he shall suffer, for a temporary duration, in the purifying flames of Purgatory. This interpretation is not mine. It is the unanimous voice of the Fathers of Christendom."
Set over against the traditions or teachings of men, consider now the commandments of Jehovah God and the words of Christ Jesus, who spoke with full and complete authority from Almighty God. Addressing religious teachers, who were teaching the traditions of men, Jesus said: "Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? . . . Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. Ye hypocrites! well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." — Matthew 15:1-9.
Do you care to believe and follow the traditional teaching of imperfect men who practice religion for hire, or do you prefer to follow the authoritative words of the Lord Jesus Christ? Remember, then, the words of the scripture: "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." — John 17:3.
Some religionists insist that Almighty God has predestinated the end of all human creatures and that therefore some of them must go to "purgatory", some to heaven, and some to "hell", which they interpret as "eternal torment". Those doctrines, however, are en-
tirely false. God has not predetermined the end of any individual. God has predestinated or predetermined that a fixed and limited number taken from among human creatures, who maintain their integrity toward God, shall be forever with the Lord Jesus Christ in heaven as spirit creatures; and he has provided for another company of individuals, but without a fixed number, who receive God's approval for their faithfulness under the test applied, and which faithful persons shall live forever on the earth. "What shall be the end or destiny of individuals, God does not predetermine. God sets before men his fixed rules, and those who obey him enter into everlasting life, and those who disobey him die and remain dead. God is no respecter of individuals. (Acts 10:34) Man, therefore, has much to do with fixing his own destiny or end. To those who agree to serve Almighty God he says: "See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil. I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live." (Deuteronomy 30:15, 19) "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." (John 3: 36) "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." — John 17:3.
God permits men to choose either life or death; hence man fixes his own destiny by the course he takes. "The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry. The face of the Lord is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth." (Psalm 34:15,16) Almighty God is the fountain of life. (Psalm 36: 9) 'Salvation
belongs to God,' by and through Christ Jesus. (Psalm 3:8; Romans 6:23) There is no other means of salvation to life. — Acts 4:12.
Will you take a chance by following the traditional teachings of religious men, or will you be guided by the Word of Almighty God"? Religion is the product of the demons, used by them to ensnare men and turn them away from God and into destruction. Those who embrace and follow the traditional and religious teachings of men will find that they will end in destruction, because religion is contrary to and in defiance of the Word of Almighty God. Choose for yourselves whom you will serve, whether the Lord or the demons. That same proposition was put up to the Israelites, who had covenanted to do God's will; and that is the fixed rule of God concerning all persons who will live. Joshua, who was devoted to Jehovah God and had God's approval, under inspiration from Jehovah said to the Israelites: "Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth; and put away the gods [the gods or demons who by means of religion debauched the people and from which demon-controlled land God brought his faithful servant Abraham] which your fathers served on the other side of the flood [that is to say, the other side of the river Euphrates (Vss. 2, 3)], and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord." — Joshua 24: 14.
What, then, is the safe and sure guide for man? The answer is, The Word of God, which is the truth. (John 17:17) "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." (Psalm 119:105) The time is here, therefore, because the greatest crisis is at hand, that all men must choose whom they will serve, whether religion taught by the Devil, or Almighty God and his King Christ Jesus.
"PURGATORY" AND HELL
Religionists teach the doctrine of "purgatory" and "eternal torment". That such religious teachings originated with the Devil, mark the Scriptural proof that follows. The wily foe of God well knew that it must be made to appear before men that religion is consistent, that it must appear to men that no one could be conscious in "purgatory" or in hell-torment unless that person continues to live and is conscious. It was the Devil who announced the doctrine to man, 'There is no death.' (Genesis 3:4) Following that lead, the religious teachers informed the people that every man has an immortal soul. "Immortality" means that such soul cannot die; that therefore the soul must continue to exist some place after what is called "death". But the Bible shows that every man is a soul, because a soul is a living creature. God made the organism or body of man of the dust of the earth and then breathed . into that body the breath that living creatures breathe and which breath animated the body, and man "became" a living soul: "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." — Genesis 2: 7.
All animals are souls, that is, all are living creatures. (Numbers 31: 28) It was man, the soul, to whom God said: 'In the day you sin you shall die.' (Genesis 2:17) The man or soul sinned, and death resulted. As Jehovah plainly declares, 'The soul that sinneth shall surely die.' (Ezekiel 18:4, 20) "What man is he that liveth, and shall not see death? shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave? Selah." — Psalm 89:48.
The religious doctrine of "immortality of all souls" was introduced by Satan, and which doctrine is a
lie; and concerning him, the Devil, the Lord Jesus says: 'He is a liar, and the father of lies, and there is no truth in him.' (John 8: 44) It follows that the doctrine of "inherent immortality of man" is still a lie, regardless of who teaches that lie; and since religious men teach such doctrine of "inherent immortality", that doctrine is absolutely false. The reason it was introduced was to support the Devil's original lie, that there is no death, and the "immortality" doctrine has been the means of deceiving numerous persons. That doctrine cannot be safely followed by anyone.
Are the dead conscious after death? The "Word of God answers as follows: "For the living know that they shall die; but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward, for the memory of them is forgotten. Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest." (Ecclesiastes 9:5,10) "For in death there is no remembrance of thee; in the grave who shall give thee thanks?" (Psalm 6:5) "The dead praise not the Lord, neither any that go down into silence." — Psalm 115:17.
The fact that religious traditions taught by all religious leaders flatly contradict the Word of God, as set forth in the Bible, is proof conclusive that such religionists teach the lie of the Devil. There is not one scripture in the Bible supporting the doctrine of consciousness of man after he is dead. "Man is of the earth" and is the highest of the animal creation. (1 Corinthians 15:47; Genesis 1: 26) Men die because of sin committed by Adam, and which death, by in-
heritance, comes upon all men. Men die like other animal creation: "For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them; as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they -have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast; for all is vanity. All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again." (Ecclesiastes 3:19, 20) This statement is in exact harmony with the judgment of Almighty God pronounced against Adam: "Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return." — Genesis 3:19.
Religionists teach that hell is a place of eternal torture or torment and that in the "fires of hell" souls suffer torment without any possibility of escape. Exactly contrary to and in contradiction of that religious, traditional doctrine, the Bible says that hell is a condition of darkness, nonexistence, where men know nothing, and where they all go at death. The Hebrew word sheol is translated into the English "hell" and is also many times translated "grave". Also the Greek word hades is translated into the English "hell" and "grave". "Hell" and "the grave" mean the condition or state of death where there is no consciousness or life whatsoever. Some Scriptural examples follow: Job, a servant of God, and who had God's approval, was suffering bodily pain and mental anguish from which he desired to be relieved, and he prayed to Almighty God in these words: "O that thou wouldest hide me in the grave, that thou wouldest keep me secret, until thy wrath be past, that thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me!" (Job 14:13) "If I wait, the grave is mine house; I have made my bed in the darkness." (Job 17:13) In these
and many other Scriptural texts the words "grave" and "hell" are translated from the same original word sheol.
As to the Greek word hades, which is also translated "hell" and "the grave", note the following: The Lord Jesus was put to death and was buried in the grave, tomb or sepulcher. (Matthew 27: 60) Jesus was therefore dead and was in "hell", sheol, hades, the grave. The apostle Peter, after having received the holy spirit, spoke authoritatively under inspiration from Almighty God. He quoted from the prophecy written at God's commandment (Psalm 16:10), applying the same to Christ Jesus. "Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption." "Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; he, seeing this before, spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption." (Acts 2: 27, 30, 31) Furthermore it is written: "This Jesus hath God raised up [out of death], whereof we all are witnesses." — Acts 2: 32.
Without a doubt Jesus was in "hell", that is, the grave, the condition of death, and remained there until God raised him out of death. Thus "hell" has been wholly misrepresented to the people by the teachers of religion.
Torment or torture originated with Satan the Devil, and the Devil then caused men to charge Almighty God with tormenting men in the fire. Yet such a thought never entered the heart of the Almighty God, as stated in the Scriptures, (Jeremiah 7: 30, 31) The doctrine of eternal torment or torture is the doctrine of demons, that is, of the Devil, or chief of demons,
and his associated demons, and taught by those men who practice religion on the earth. The first instance of torment set forth in the Scriptures is directly charged to Satan, the prince of demons. (Job 1: 11-22; 2:1-13) Also the Scriptures show that the purpose of torment was and is to induce men to curse Jehovah God. That was the reason that the Devil and his religious representatives tormented Job. Because the religionists have for a long while taught the doctrine of eternal torment, many persons who are ignorant of God and his Word have cursed God, thus carrying out the Devil's purpose. Seeing that the Scriptures conclusively prove that none of the dead are conscious in hell or "purgatory" or anywhere else, it is impossible therefore for the soul or creature to suffer in unquenchable flames. The religious doctrine of "purgatory" and "hell" as taught by religionists being false, it is clearly seen that these religious doctrines constitute a snare of the Devil to those men who fear and who flee to religion as a place of protection or safety. Furthermore, it is seen that religion is a racket, particularly with reference to "purgatory", because men teach the people that they must pay over their money -to religious priests in order to have prayers said for "those who are in purgatory", and the fearful people yield to such inducement and part with their money to the religious teachers to have prayers said for their friends who are dead. Thus the religious teachers collect money from the people by means of false representations. Obtaining money by false pretense is a crime under the law of the land; therefore the religious teachers of "purgatory" are guilty of a great crime. The greatest crime committed by teaching "purgatory" and "torment" is that of defaming the name of Almighty God. Are you willing to risk your eternal
existence by accepting and following" false doctrines taught by men? You can properly decide that matter by gaining a knowledge of God and Christ Jesus, as set forth in the Word of God. (John 17: 3) It is the purpose of the demons to keep the people in darkness or ignorance concerning God's means of salvation. The religious teachers have long been the instruments of demons, and they ensnare the people and keep them in darkness. For that reason in this very day the prophecy is fulfilled, to wit, 'Darkness covers the earth, and gross darkness the people,' — Isaiah 60: 2.
HOPE OF LIFE
All the dead would perish for ever if God had made no provision for them to have life. All human creatures are born imperfect because of Adam's sin resulting in death, and which all of Adam's offspring have inherited. "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." (Romans 5:12) "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord." — Romans 6:23.
God's provision for the giving of life to man is by and through Christ Jesus. The lifeblood of the perfect man Jesus was poured out in death and constitutes the ransom price or purchase price for the human race, and therefore Christ Jesus by purchase becomes the owner of the human race. All men who believe on and obey the Lord may have the benefit of that ransom price; as it is written: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." — John 3:16.
The sum of the three scripture texts last above mentioned is this: All men by inheritance are born sinners; all sinners must perish unless God provides for their salvation; God made such provision by sending Christ Jesus into the world to save those who believe on Jesus, who, as God's representative, gives life to those who do believe and obey the commandments of Almighty God. It follows that man must hear of and learn of God's provision for salvation, and thus the way is opened for man to determine his own end or destiny. Those who do hear and obey receive life, while those who refuse to believe and obey remain under condemnation and perish for ever. (John 3:36) Belief on and obedience to Christ Jesus are therefore conditions precedent to receiving life as a free gift. Before a gift can become effective the receiver must be willing to accept that gift. The free gift of life is offered to man, and only those persons who accept it can receive it. "Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one [Jesus] the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life." — Romans 5:18.
Because Jesus was fully obedient to God's commandment even unto death God raised him out of death and made Jesus "the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him". — Hebrews 5: 9.
As God raised up Jesus out of death, even so he has given his promise to raise up out of death those who were of good will toward him at the time of death. From Abel to the coming of the man Jesus there were some men on earth who were entirely faithful to God, and which men will have "a better
resurrection". (Hebrews 11:35) Such men will be made princes in the earth and act as representatives of The THEOCRATIC GOVERNMENT. Some of those men are named specifically in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews. Also, these are, at Psalm 45:16, called "princes", who shall rule in righteousness under the direction of the Lord Jesus Christ. (Isaiah 32:1) The faithful Christians who follow in the footsteps of Christ Jesus, such as the apostles and other faithful spirit-begotten ones, have part in "the first resurrection". (Revelation 20:4,6) Others, who have died without an opportunity of learning of God's purpose to give life to man, will be awakened out of death and afforded an opportunity to prove their integrity toward God and, proving the same, will live. (John 5:28,29) As to the willfully wicked, they have no hope of resurrection. (Psalms 145:20; 9:17) If any of the persons above described were in "purgatory" or "eternal torment", and were there conscious and alive, they could not be resurrected, because resurrection is for "the dead". (1 Corinthians 15:4,12-24) The Scriptures, therefore, conclusively prove that the religious doctrines of "human immortality", consciousness in "purgatory", and "everlasting torment in hell", are absolutely false. Religion holds out no hope of life before or after death. To follow religion and willfully practice the same, after learning of the truth, means everlasting death, from which there is no awakening or resurrection. The Scriptural proof of the ransom and resurrection are fully considered in the book Salvation, which you will read with real profit.
REFUGE FOR REFUGEES
The record in the Bible concerning the Israelites and God's dealing with them constituted types or
prophecies foretelling of greater and more important things to come to pass at the second coming of Christ Jesus and his kingdom. (1 Corinthians 10:11; 2 Timothy 4:1) God led the people of Israel by the hand of Moses, and by Moses he gave command that "cities of refuge" must be set up by Israel, which place provided a refuge of safety for all persons who unwittingly, unawares or without malice, killed a human creature. Such slayer must flee to the city of refuge and remain there, and, so doing in obedience to God's -command, was safe: "Then ye shall appoint you cities to be cities of refuge for you; that the slayer may flee thither, which killeth any person at unawares." (Numbers 35:9-12) The cities of refuge pictured or foreshadowed God's organization under Christ Jesus, made available for human creatures living on the earth at the second coming of Christ Jesus, and which organization of Jehovah furnishes refuge or a place of safety for those who seek safety therein. The subject matter of "cities of refuge" is treated in detail in the books Jehovah, and Riches, which you should read. The members of "the body of Christ" (1 Corinthians 12:12,27) are those whom the Lord finds faithful at his second coming and judgment, and who are made part of Zion, that is, the capital organization of God, and over which organization Christ Jesus is the Head. (Psalm 2:6) At the time of his coming and kingdom there are others on the earth who are of good will toward God, but who cannot be made members of the heavenly class, that is, Zion, and which heavenly class is known as God's "little flock" of sheep and to which the following promise is made: "Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." — Luke 12:32.
Jesus then said that he had another class of persons called "sheep" that he would call, and to whom he would give salvation: "And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd." — John 10: 16.
These "other sheep" of the Lord are the persons of good will toward God, and who are symbolically designated in the Scriptures as Jonadabs or Jonathans, that is, those who are represented by Jonadab and Jonathan, and which persons, proving faithful under the test, will form the "great multitude" and proclaim the name of God and Christ (Revelation 7:9,10); and such persons have the promise that they shall live forever on the earth and fill the earth with a righteous people.
The Scriptural proof is that Christ Jesus was enthroned as King in 1914. (Psalms 2:6; 110:1,2) In 1918, three and one-half years after his enthronement, and corresponding with the three and one-half years of the ministry of the man Jesus on earth, the capital organization of God called "Zion" is set up, of which capital organization Christ Jesus is the Head. The organization of God thus constitutes the place of refuge pictured by the "cities of refuge"; and those persons of good will toward God, and who desire protection and salvation at Armageddon, may flee to the organization under Christ and there find protection and refuge until God's wrath at the battle of Armageddon is past.
Referring now again to "cities of refuge": "What is meant by the words in the scripture, to wit, "the slayer may flee thither, which killeth any person at unawares"? In brief, the answer as set forth in the Scriptures is this; The everlasting covenant of God
given to the people through Noah forbids the slaying of men or animals except as authorized by the "Word of the Lord. (Genesis 9:5,6) The nations of earth or the wicked world are made up of religious, political and commercial elements, of which Satan is the head. (2 Corinthians 4:4; 1 John 5:19) All the nations of the world have broken God's everlasting covenant by wrongfully shedding human blood. (Isaiah 24:5,6) All the nations have wrongfully indulged in cruel wars causing the suffering and death of many human creatures. All these nations have willfully persecuted the true and faithful followers of Christ Jesus. Apt examples are such as the Hitler government, and the Russian government under Stalin, and other governments, such as the present one of Spain. In fact, all the nations are guilty of unjustly killing human creatures. When war is declared the clergy or religious teachers urge men to go to war and kill, and many persons who are directly or indirectly supporters of religious organizations are in fear of men and they are forced into war and engage in killing other human creatures, but without malice toward their fellow creatures. During the World War many men were forced to thus engage in killing, and also many have been blindly induced to persecute God's faithful witnesses. Those persons who are later enlightened, and who have good will toward God and who desire to serve God and Christ Jesus, turn to the Lord and seek protection and safety.
Where will they find refuge and safety? Such persons of good will are known in the Scriptures as the Jonadabs. They must flee to the antitypical "cities of refuge", that is, to the organization of Jehovah God under Christ Jesus; they must thereafter obey the Lord's commandment and seek righteousness and
meekness; they must be diligent to do what is right and diligent to seek meekness by studying and learning from God's Word what is his will concerning them. They must serve God and Christ and therefore devote themselves wholly and entirely to the support of The THEOCRATIC GOVERNMENT. They must refuse to indulge in religion and must stand firmly on the side of God and his King, Christ Jesus. They associate themselves with God's anointed in the service, announcing The THEOCRATIC GOVERNMENT. These are the ones who constitute the "other sheep", which the Lord declares he is now gathering unto himself. (John 10:16) They are the sheep class mentioned by the Lord in Matthew 25: 31-46. If they remain faithful and true to God's organization they shall be ultimately saved.
Armageddon is now drawing near. Everyone who thinks can see that the great time of trouble is just ahead. Those persons of good will toward God are hated by the demons, and are hated by those rulers who are supporters of and under the influence and control of the demons. How may these persons of good will find a place of refuge and safety? God's Word answers: "Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, 0 nation not desired [not desired by the rulers of this world because they have taken their stand on the side of God]." (Zephaniah 2:1) These flee to the antitypical city of refuge, that is, God's organization, gathering themselves together with those of the "little flock" on earth who are fully devoted to God and his kingdom, and together with them they serve God.
Such gathering or fleeing to the antitypical city of refuge, that is, God's organization, must take place before the battle of the great day of God Almighty, the expression of God's wrath. Then the Lord says
to such: "Before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the Lord come upon you, before the day of the Lord's anger come upon you. Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness; it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord's anger." —Zephaniah 2: 2, 3.
To "seek righteousness" means to ascertain what is right before Jehovah. To "seek meekness" means to desire to learn God's will and then to diligently apply yourself to the study of the Bible and Bible helps that you may ascertain the will of God and serve him with approval. 'Study to show yourself approved unto God [not unto men], a workman [for God's kingdom] that is not ashamed.' (2 Timothy 2: 15) Such Jonadabs must remain absolutely neutral concerning wars between the nations and must be wholly devoted to God and to His government. The organization of the Lord is the place of refuge and safety for the refugees. There is none other.
Religion has never furnished protection or safety for human creatures at any time, because religion is the product of demons. Religion will end in the destruction of all who knowingly and willfully follow religion and the teachers thereof. Religion will provide no protection or safeguard at Armageddon. Religion offers no safety whatsoever after death. Protection and salvation are given by the Lord, because salvation belongs to God alone. (Psalm 3:8) Men of good will toward God are diligent to study the Bible and endeavor to understand the same. In this day of great world distress God has provided the Bible and Bible helps explaining the same, that those of good will may study and understand it; and to those of good will who would find salvation the Lord says; "This is life
eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." — John 17: 3.
All persons of good will, therefore, must now shun religion. They arc not to fear men, but to make God their fear and their refuge and sanctuary. (Isaiah 8: 8-16) They are to trust in the Lord, and not lean to their own understanding or the opinions of men: "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." — Proverbs 3: 5, 6.
They must have always in mind the admonition of the Scriptures that 'he that trusteth in the Lord shall be safe'. (Proverbs 29:25) The religious organization, ruled by the Roman Catholic Hierarchy, possesses great material wealth. The exceedingly earthly rich support that religious organization and pay to the priests serving therein fabulous sums of money as protection or a kind of insurance against the wrath of Almighty God now and to "save them from torment or torture in purgatory or hell". That religious institution and the principal of its flocks say: 'The gates of hell shall not prevail against us. When the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come nigh unto us.' (Isaiah 28:15) Those who are rich in political influence and power, and those who hold great material wealth, trust in their wealth and rely upon religion and their wealth, and in this time of distress they cry out in their fear: "What we need is more religion." They will soon find, however, that neither wealth nor power, influence or religion will furnish them any protection in the day of Armageddon. Concerning such Jehovah says: "All hands shall be feeble, and all knees shall be weak as water. They shall also gird themselves with sackcloth, and horror
shall cover them; and shame shall be upon all faces, and baldness upon all their heads. They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed: their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the Lord: they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels; because it is the stumblingblock of their iniquity [(marginal reading) because their iniquity is their stumbling block]." (Ezekiel 7: 17-19) Their "iniquity" or lawlessness is their fear of man and their seeking protection and refuge in religion, and thus they stumble into Satan's pit or snare and are destroyed.
The Catholic religious system, ruled by the Hierarchy, has acquired untold material wealth and in consideration of which money, paid them by the poor, they have promised and guaranteed safety to a gullible people who have for fear fallen into the religious trap. But at Armageddon none of such will escape God's wrath: "Howl, ye shepherds, and cry; and wallow yourselves in the ashes, ye principal of the flock; for the days of your slaughter and of your dispersions are accomplished; and ye shall fall like a pleasant vessel. And the shepherds [priests] shall have no way to flee, nor the principal of the flock to escape." (Jeremiah 25: 34, 35) The saying of masses will accomplish no good for them and no protection against God's vengeance. None of them shall escape. — 1 Thessalonians 5: 3.
The nations of the earth are ruled by the elements religion, politics and commerce. These rulers, sensing a great crisis rapidly approaching and being in the dark concerning God's purpose, blindly cry out to each other, "Give us more religion." Thus they further prove that all the nations are against THE THEOCRACY, which shall rule the world in righteousness.
(Isaiah 9: 6, 7) The indisputable proof is that all the nations have forgotten God and have yielded entirely to wicked demons, and therefore the nations are wicked. Concerning their, end the Lord says, "The wicked is snared in the work of his own hands." All such have determined their own destiny by choosing the course of religion or demonism. "The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God." (Psalm 9:15-17) All such will perish at Armageddon.
The people are now browbeaten, regimented and oppressed by the harsh rulers, but the end of wicked dictators is near. The day of deliverance for those refugees who are of good will toward Jehovah is also near. Jehovah God has set his throne of judgment, and Christ Jesus, the great Judge, is proceeding with his work of judgment. To those persons of good will toward God and whose devotion is to God and his organization, and who continue faithful, God has promised refuge and safety in the time of trouble: "The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee; for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee." (Psalm 9:9,10) The refugees must now flee to the Lord and serve him.
These faithful ones of good will now have a work to do, and the commandment concerning them is: "Sing praises to the Lord, which dwelleth in Zion; declare among the people his doings." (Psalm 9:11) Fully trusting in the Lord and knowing that he is their hope and salvation, they are abiding under his organization, and continue to sing: "I will love thee, 0 Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. I will call upon the
Lord, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from mine enemies." — Psalm 18:1-3.
Refuge is provided for the refugees, for those who trust in the Lord, and who serve him faithfully. If they learn the truth and obey the Lord the refugees will find protection and shall live.
The Christian then said to the inquiring group of farmers: "If you believe that Jehovah is the Almighty God and that the Bible is His Word of truth, and you desire more information, I can help you. I have here a number of books which answer the many perplexing questions that are now arising before thoughtful men. Among these books are the ones known as Government, Riches and Salvation, and there are many others. These are published to help the people of good will to understand the meaning of the distressing conditions that are now upon the earth."
The little group of farmers took a number of these Bible helps, expressing their desire to be further enlightened.
FARMER: "I have been greatly interested in what you have said, but there is one question I want to ask: What about the rich man in hell and the beggar in Abraham's bosom? Doesn't that prove that there is a hell where men are conscious? and doesn't that scripture show that men go to hell because they are very rich? We farmers are poor. What about us?"
[Read what appears in the following pages and you will have the Bible answer to the question about the rich man and the beggar.]
POOR MAN COMFORTED
JEHOVAH is "the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort". (2 Corinthians 1:3) He it is who puts down the self-exalted ones and who raises up the obedient ones: "But God is the judge; he putteth down one, and setteth up another." (Psalm 75:7) These are fixed rules and truths, which cannot be changed. God never changes. (Malachi 3:6) Jehovah God is representatively in his holy temple by Christ Jesus, his Executive Officer, who is judging the nations and putting down the "goats", or self-exalted ones, and giving comfort to the obedient ones, his "other sheep", for whom the earthly blessings proceeding from the Kingdom are provided. — Matthew 25:31-46.
The parables uttered by Christ Jesus are prophecies; which means that they cannot be understood until fulfilled or in course of fulfillment. A parable partially fulfilled may appear so clear that the remainder of it can be well understood. The parable uttered by the Lord Jesus Christ concerning "the rich man and Lazarus" has been the subject of much discussion in times past, but no private interpretation thereof could be correct. (2 Peter 1:20) Only when God brings to pass the physical facts in fulfillment of a prophecy can that prophecy be understood. The prophecy or parable concerning the rich man and Lazarus now appears to be at least partially fulfilled, and, further, in course of fulfillment, and it appears to be proper to now consider the same. To enable the reader in the study of that prophetic parable it is
suggested at the outset that the principal characters therein named represent the following, to wit:
RICH MAN: The "evil servant", "the man of sin," "the son of perdition," the ultimate end of which composite body is destruction in Hades.
BEGGAR LAZARUS: The people of good will, who are also pictured by Jonadab and Jonathan and others, and who seek the Lord, and which class ultimately form the "great multitude".
THE GULF: The great chasm, or division formed by reason of the final judgment rendered by Christ Jesus' completely separating the "goats" from the "sheep" and thus disclosing, to wit, an impassable condition between the organization of Satan and that of Jehovah.
FATHER'S HOUSE: Satan's house or organization, to which the religionists and their supporters belong.
FIVE BRETHREN: The five together with the rich man, himself making six, picture the entire earthly organization of Satan, including those who support and form the visible part thereof.
The context discloses that Jesus was addressing his disciples, and the self-righteous Pharisees were near by and heard his discourse. To his disciples Jesus emphasized the necessity of complete faithfulness in the performance of a covenant made with Jehovah. The Pharisees, being in the law covenant, were unfaithful to that covenant that God had made with the nation, and they had adopted and were practicing religion in the place and stead of God's law, and in this they were hypocrites and made the law of God of none effect. Thus they turned the common people away from God. They claimed to be servants of God, but in fact were the servants of the Devil, as Jesus told them
in plain phrase. (Matthew 15:1-9; John 8:42-44) Jesus, addressing his disciples, manifestly intended the Pharisees to hear his speech, and they understood that it applied to them. Jesus said: "No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things; and they derided him." — Luke 16:13,14.
Those words of Jesus galled the Pharisees, because they- understood that they were guilty of the very things about which Jesus spoke. They had been and were unfaithful to God and to their covenant. The Pharisees then occupied a position of great ease and comfort as compared to what the common people had. Their place corresponded with the position of the clergymen of the big religious organizations of the present time, which affords them ease, creature comforts, and much power amongst the people. As the Pharisees, compared with the common people, were thus rich, likewise the clergymen of the big religious organizations of the present time are rich. They were "lovers of money". (Rotherham and Emphatic Diaglott) In them was the "root of all evil". (1 Timothy 6:10) Such was the condition of the Pharisees, and in this they pictured a class that occupy a similar position in the last days and that are described by the Scriptures as being covetous and entirely unfaithful. (2 Timothy 3:1, 2) The Pharisees hearing the words of Jesus attempted to justify their position, and this they manifestly did that they might hold the support of the common people and continue to enjoy without interruption their condition of ease and comfort. Jesus, knowing their minds and hearing what they had to say, answered their words of derision: "And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify your-
selves before men; but God knoweth your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God." — Luke 16: 15.
Their self-exaltation amongst men made them an abomination in the sight of God. Those religionists feared that men would not think so highly of them as they desired, and, having a desire for the approval of men and fearing to lose the same, they had been led into the snare of the Devil, (Proverbs 29:25) They had become religionists and were therefore an abomination in the sight of God.
The words of Jesus thus identify the Pharisees and the class that they picture as being the "rich man" mentioned in the parable. Then Jesus emphasized the importance of the Kingdom and the absolute necessity on the part of those who would enter the Kingdom of obeying God's commandment. Jesus was drawing a striking contrast between faithfulness and unfaithfulness to one's covenant, and emphasizing the fact that self-exaltation results in debasement and that humble obedience results in exaltation of the creature by the Lord. In harmony with this the prophet, at Psalm 75: 5-7, said: "Lift not up your horn on high; speak not with a stiff neck. For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south: but God is the judge; he putteth down one, and setteth up another."
Having stated some of the fixed rules of God's Word, Jesus then continued his discourse to his disciples and in the presence of the Pharisees, to wit: "There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day." (Luke 16:19) In support of the abstract statements made at the outset herein the Scriptural proof is offered as follows: The parable referred to had its miniature fulfillment and application to the religionists of the
Jewish people. The Jews, as a people, were in a covenant with God. They were favored above all other peoples of the earth because God had said of them: "You only have I known." (Amos 3:2) The chief men amongst the Jews were the clergy, particularly the Pharisees, and who were bound by the covenant to teach to the people the commandments of God and themselves to obey those commandments. Those Pharisees having set before them the privileges and blessings of the promised kingdom were in line to be truly rich, conditioned upon their faithful obedience. "The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich." (Proverbs 10: 22} Instead of obeying God's commandments and in due time receiving the proper riches, they preferred to receive the favor and the power and the plaudits that might come to them by ruling over and dominating the people and receiving what the world might bestow upon them. They were "high-minded" and 'trusted in uncertain riches'; concerning which the apostle afterwards spoke. (1 Timothy 6: 9,10,17) Among the favored Jews was Judas Iscariot. Jesus had chosen him as one of his disciples and had assigned Judas to a responsible place in his company. Judas was in line for great heavenly riches, but he preferred to have things visible that might enrich him amongst men, and, falling into the snare of the Devil, Judas betrayed the Lord, and Judas therefore was named by Jesus as "the son of perdition". — John 17:12.
That which came to pass upon the Jews, particularly the religious element of that people, constituted types or ensamples of larger things to come to pass, and those things concerning the Jews were "written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world [have] come". (1 Corinthians 10:11) The fulfillment of the
prophetic parable in completeness, therefore, must take place after the enthronement of Christ Jesus, the King, and more particularly after his coming to the temple in 1918. It was then that Zion was builded up, the approved ones were brought into the temple, the "evil servant" was set on the side, and the judgment of the nations began. — Psalm 102:16; Malachi 3:1-3; Matthew 24: 48-51; 25: 31-46.
Since the coming of Christ Jesus to the temple and the building up of Zion, the Lord has revealed to his faithful people the identity of his ideal "man", his 'elect servant', and that such is Christ Jesus the Head and those who are made members of his body. Although made up of many members, such are designated "a perfect man". (Isaiah 42:1-6,19, 20; Ephesians 4:13; 1 Corinthians 10:17; John 17: 21) Those who are opposed to the Theocratic Government, and yet who falsely claim to have God for their Father, constitute "the man of sin", "the son of perdition." (2 Thessalonians 2:1-3, Am. Rev. Ver.) The "man of sin", "the son of perdition," is a composite body made up of men who are in an implied covenant to do the will of God or in an actual covenant to do God's will, and which "man of sin", "son of perdition." includes clergymen, "elective elders," and particularly those classed by the Lord as the "evil servant"; all of whom together conspire to do injury to God's organization, and persecute his people. (Matthew 24:24,48-50; 2 Thessalonians 2:9) All of such, that is to say, the composite body, are the instrument of the Devil and opposed to the kingdom of God. All of those who compose the "evil servant", "the man of sin," "the son of perdition," are religionists and practice in some form what is improperly labeled "the Christian religion". The clergy of the Roman Catholic Hierarchy take the lead amongst such religionists and are given to bom-
bastic claims, while others likewise boast and lay claim to that which they do not have, and all such render evil toward God's faithful people, and all are pictured by Judas, and are all in one and the same class, their end being the same.
The parable describes the "rich man", but does not give his name. Probably that was due to the fact that the class pictured is made up of God's enemies who are not worthy of a name. The description fits the class above mentioned. The Roman Catholic Hierarchy of control are rich in this world's goods literally, and they, together with others who practice religion for temporary gain, enjoy many material riches of this world, and the plaudits and honor of men, and they have become high-minded and heady. They are, as the apostle describes, the class arising in these evil days, 'lovers of their own selves, boasters, proud, blasphemers, covenant-breakers, despisers of that which is good,' and they persecute those who proclaim the Kingdom message. While claiming to serve God, they exhibit a godlike attitude but deny the power thereof. (2 Timothy 3:1-5) They draw near to God with their mouth only, and take a course of action contrary to the commandments of God; and they follow the traditions of men, which they teach and by which they make the Word of God of none effect. (Isaiah 29: 9-13; Matthew 15:7-9) They are hypocrites and an abomination in the sight of the Lord, and this is true also with reference to the "elective elder" class who form a part of the "evil servant". The deceitfulness of worldly riches (that is, what this world can give) chokes them off from the truth of God's Word. (Romans 3:1, 2; Luke 8:14) They are greedy and covetous, and love ease and the approval of men. Concerning such religionists, who exalt themselves and look toward their own ease and comfort, and who therefore are blinded
to God's purposes, God's prophet says: "His watchmen are blind; they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand; they all look to their own way, every one for his gain from his quarter. Come ye, say they, I will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and to morrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant." — Isaiah 56:10-12.
Exhibiting their desire for ease and showing their blindness to the truth, and having turned to worldly things, they call for the wine of the world and fill themselves with strong drink, that is, the Devil's wine; they revel in the material things, and they have and exercise much power and influence amongst the common people. They not only deceive themselves, but deceive many about them and lead them into complete blindness.
Those once in the covenant with God and in line for the Kingdom and who become offended and turn to -lawlessness by murmuring and complaining, and who abuse their brethren and persecute them and oppose the Kingdom, after having once been enlightened, are relegated to "outer darkness" and assigned specifically to the "evil servant" class. Being once in line for the Kingdom, they claim God as their Father. Both they and the clergymen of the religious institutions take themselves to be "the seed" by whom civilization can succeed, and both of which address God as Father, like the Pharisees, who said, "We have Abraham for our father"; although they were in fact the sons of their father the Devil. (Luke 3:8; John-8: 39-44) Those here described collectively constitute "the man of sin", "the son of perdition." Such class themselves as being rich, like the Laodiceans, who say: "I am rich,
and increased with goods, and have need of nothing." (Revelation 3:17) Concerning the religionists, particularly the leaders that go to make up antitypical Babylon, it is written: "How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously." — Revelation 18: 7.
In the parable the rich man is described as wearing purple. In mockery a purple robe was put on Jesus. (Mark 15:17-20) The modern-day "rich man" is wealthy enough to buy royal robes. The rich man in the parable is described as wearing fine linen, which symbol, when applied to the faithful of God, means the righteousness of the saints. (Revelation 19: 8, 14) The modern-day "rich man" is self-righteous, but does hot possess any of the righteousness of the saints. The modern-day "rich man" class ignore the true riches of God: "For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God." — Romans 10: 3.
The "evil servant", the "man of sin" class claim to be the favored ones of God and that they enjoy his blessings, but manifestly they are described in the Scriptures as being in the class thinking themselves to be rich and yet having nothing. "There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing." (Proverbs 13: 7) The present-day class fulfilling the description of the "rich man" have looked to self and self-interest, continue to exalt themselves, and push aside the "other sheep" of the Lord. (Ezekiel 34: 4, 6) They do nothing to bring comfort to those who are poor and seeking the way to life.
In the parable the beggar is specifically named; and when the Lord names one, that name is significant. "And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus,
which was laid at his gate, full of sores." (Luke 16:20) The name "Lazarus" means "God is helper", that is, one who receives help from God. The beggar is mentioned here in striking contrast with the rich man, which latter one gets no help from God, while the beggar receives God's help in due time. Being a beggar, Lazarus necessarily pictures a poor class. This does not necessarily mean poor in the material things of the "present evil world", but poor in things that pertain to God's Word of instruction, that is, poor in spirit, about which Jesus spoke when he said: "Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5: 3} Thus it is shown that those who become truly rich are the ones who receive their blessings from or through his kingdom. The words "beggar" and "poor" are from the same Greek word. "This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles." — Psalm 34: 6.
The beggar, therefore, pictures a class of persons realizing that all their help comes from the Lord, and who cry unto the Lord for help and receive it because of their faith in God and their obedience to God: "But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me; thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God." (Psalm 40:17) Such constitute the class to whom the Lord says, "I will satisfy her poor with bread." (Psalm 132:15) Such pray: "Lord, be thou my helper." (Psalm 30:10) "Behold, God is mine helper; the Lord is with them that uphold my soul." — Psalm 54: 4.
The facts well known to all who are fully consecrated to the Lord exactly fit the class of persons who now earnestly seek the help of the Lord. "Within the religious organizations, such as the "Catholic population" of the Roman Catholic system, are many sincere persons who have desired to know God and his pro-
vision for their salvation and blessing. They have been held in subjection to the religious organization and have remained with it because they know nothing better. They are described by the prophet of God as 'the men that sigh and cry for all the abominations that are done in the midst' of the religious organizations, which organizations claim to serve God. The prophet then shows that God hears their cry and commands his witnesses, the remnant, to "go through the midst of the city", that is, amidst the organization and the people that constitute the same, and give them an opportunity to hear the truth. The prophet says: 'Go through the midst of Jerusalem and set a mark on the foreheads of those that cry and sigh for the abominations done therein.' (Ezekiel 9:4) Since the year 1922 Jehovah's witnesses have been doing that very thing in obedience to God's commandment,
Note now how the description of the beggar further fits the Jonadab or Jonathan class, the people of good will. In the parable the statement is made that the beggar was laid at the gate of the rich man and was full of sores. Because of receiving -no life-sustaining spiritual food the "Catholic population", who desire the truth and who have not received it, have become sick and diseased, and the clergy not only have neglected to give them spiritual sustenance but have deliberately kept the truth of God's "Word away from those honestly seeking for the same. By his prophet God says of these unfaithful ones who claim to serve him: "The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them." (Ezekiel 34:4) These words exactly describe how the honest and
sincere persons under the religious organizations have been ill-treated by the self-exalted ones. The persons of good will, therefore, have long been sick, and full of sores, and in a dying condition, and are still in that condition so far as religious organizations are concerned. The religious leaders have claimed that they have the life-sustaining Word of God, but insist that they alone can dispense that Word to the people, and they discourage the people in finding out anything about God's Word. The persons of good will pictured by Lazarus have desired to be fed even by the crumbs of truth which fall from the rich man's table; that is to say, they have eagerly looked for the smallest particles of truth, that they might feed thereupon, and have found little or nothing: "And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table; moreover the dogs came and licked his sores." — Luke 16: 21.
It is certain that the rich clergy and others who claim to be rich as hereinbefore described, to wit, the "evil servant", have not ministered to and do not minister to or feed the poor, and the parable shows that only the dogs lick the poor man's sores. It may well be said that the dogs picture the worldly reformers who have tried to alleviate the sufferings of the people and give them some comfort but who have been unable to do so because they have only visionary schemes. No doubt many reformers, Socialists, and many like organizations, have desired to do good to the people and have put forth their schemes, and, being regarded by the higher-ups as outcasts, like dogs, have been the only ones who have ministered unto the people of good will until the Lord's due time to give the modern-day "poor man" help.
The "evil servant" class show no desire to help the poor of good will. These desire to be fed, and both the
"evil servant" class and the clergy have held aloof from them and failed or refused to bring any comfort to those seeking the way to life. Those of the "evil servant" class have salved their own conscience by saying that "restitution blessings will be given to those people during the Millennial reign, therefore there is no need for us now to give any attention to them; we are concerned about spiritual things and preparing our characters that we may go to heaven, and then we will minister to the needs of the world".
Rahab the harlot pictured the same class of people of good will, and she was ostracized by the religionists and she was required to live on the outskirts of the city. (Joshua 2:1,15) The self-exalted ones of Rahab's day did nothing for the poor, just as the religionists of the present day have done nothing for the comfort of the people of good will toward God. The self-exalted and self-righteous ones, having their attention called to the "beggar" class, have exhibited their own self-righteousness and prayed hypocritically, and, like the Pharisee, have said: "I thank [God] that I am not as other men are." (Luke 18:11) The rich man did not feed Lazarus, but pushed him aside and gave him no attention; and in the fulfillment of the parable the religionists do not feed the people of good will toward God, but try to starve them. About the only crumbs that have fallen from the rich man's table of modern times have been "purgatory for pay" and "restitution for the future".
God's due time came for the fulfillment of the parable with reference to the poor man, and then he revealed to his faithful people that the "great multitude" is an earthly class, which class will live on the earth forever. (Revelation 7: 9-17) That message from the Lord was delivered to his people in 1935, and brought unbounded joy to those people of good will
who heard it. Likewise the faithful remnant rejoiced. Did the "elective elder" class take part in expressing their joy in carrying the message of good news to the people of good will? No; far from it. On the contrary, those of the self-righteous "elective elder", "evil servant" class then said, and continue to say: "Where is there any evidence that the great multitude will be an earthly class? "Where is the proof that the great multitude is now being gathered? We see no great multitude."
Such of the "evil servant" class have held and still hold to the doctrine that the "great multitude" is a class secondary in faith, into which the halfway faithful may land if they are not able to reach heavenly glory. They have wanted that class to exist as a place for themselves in which to light in case they came short. Being selfish, they are ignorant as to the truth; and instead of helping to feed those who are of good will, the "evil servant" class has been diligent to hinder the work of the Lord and his faithful witnesses in carrying the message of the Kingdom to those who will form the "great multitude".
Then when the Lord revealed to his people that the "great multitude" will not only be an earthly class but be privileged to fulfill the divine mandate to "multiply and fill the earth" (Genesis 1: 28; 9:1), the "elective elder" class vigorously opposed the same and disputed and continue to deny that comforting truth, still holding to the unscriptural doctrine that the "great multitude" will be a secondary spiritual class, and to the "restitution" doctrine for imperfect man, who will be "restored during the reign of Christ". It is therefore seen from the Scriptures and the facts that the description of the rich man in the parable, who was self-righteous, well describes the self-righteous religionists, the clergy and the "evil servant" class, all
of whom are against God's kingdom and who are diligent in their efforts to keep the people of good will in ignorance of the truth that brings comfort to those who love righteousness.
Death means the absence of life or right to life. By reason of sin all men have been born sinners, and therefore without the right to life. (Romans 5:12; Psalm 51:5) The entire human race, therefore, is found in the condition of being "dead in trespasses and sins", and hence without the right to life. (Ephesians 2: 1) God made provision that those who would believe on the Lord Jesus Christ might have life by and through Christ Jesus. (John 3:16; Romans 6: 23) Jehovah made a covenant with the nation of Israel and gave that nation his law in order that the Israelites might be held in line of righteousness until the coming of Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:19) When Christ Jesus came, those who did believe on and accept him as the Messiah were given the right to life. The Jews were bound to keep that law covenant, but because of inherited imperfections they could not keep the letter of it; but by their unselfish devotion to God and his commandment they could keep the spirit of that law. A few faithful Jews did that very thing, and those who did accept Christ 'became dead to the law by the body of Christ'. (Romans 7: 4) Those who knew nothing of God's provision to give men life could not accept that provision, and, as stated in the Scriptures, all such "were dead in trespasses and sins". (Ephesians 2:1; Colossians 2:13) Those who did believe on Christ and devote themselves to God and his King were 'delivered from the power of darkness and translated into the kingdom'. (Colossians 1:13) It is therefore seen that death means a radical change, which
makes an end to a former condition and brings about another and different condition. The word "death", therefore, properly applies to those who have a temporary existence, but without the right to life, and also to those who are out of existence and are buried.
In the miniature fulfillment of the prophetic parable the poor man stood for a class of common people who have been kept in ignorance of God's provision for their salvation and who have been pushed aside by the religious leaders, which leaders have counted themselves rich. The common people heard Jesus gladly, but the religious leaders were always trying to turn the people away from Christ. Lazarus was in a miserable condition; and therefore the people of good will have been in a miserable condition; but in due time, as the parable teaches, a changed condition comes about: "And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom; the rich man also died, and was buried." — Luke 16: 22.
The changed condition in the fulfillment of the prophetic parable brings the Lazarus class "into Abraham's bosom". Abraham stands for or pictures Jehovah God, and his bosom therefore represents God's favor toward the beggar class. The Scriptures clearly disclose that Jehovah God is called the Greater Abraham. (Romans 4:16,17, margin) The "other sheep" of the Lord were alienated from God and were kept in ignorance of God's provision for them by reason of the influence of the religionists, and in this condition they remain until after the coming of Christ to the temple and his beginning the work of gathering to himself his "other sheep". (John 10:16) At the temple the Lord Jesus is accompanied by the host of "holy angels", who serve him and obey his commandments. (Matthew 25:31) At that temple judgment the approved ones, the "remnant", are brought into the tem-
ple, commissioned and sent forth as the witnesses of Jehovah and to carry the message of truth to the hungry ones, including the "great multitude". It is manifest that the Lord at the temple uses his angels to get this message to his servants on earth, and thus he uses the angels to carry out his purpose in gathering his "other sheep" to himself. When the Lord brought this message to the people of good will, otherwise called the "Jonathan" or "Jonadab" class, those who have heard and accepted the message and devoted themselves to Jehovah and his kingdom have a changed condition and are truly carried away into the favor of Jehovah, the Greater Abraham, that is to say, into the bosom of the Lord, where they find rest and peace.
Then says the prophetic parable: "The rich man also died, and was buried; and in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom." (Luke 16:22,23) There is nothing to indicate that the rich man ever gets out of the condition in which he then finds himself. Being dead and buried means that he had ceased to have any right to life. He still had a temporary existence, otherwise he could not have lifted up his eyes, because "the dead know not any thing". (Ecclesiastes 9: 5,10) The rich man at this point, therefore, pictures a class of persons who have received their final judgment from the Lord. For three and one-half years Jesus confined his teaching to the Jews, and hence the Jewish clergy were especially favored, because they 'sat in Moses' seat'. Instead of accepting that favor they spurned it and opposed the Lord. Likewise, since the days of the apostles the clergy have had the Scriptures and claimed to know that which told of God's gracious provision for mankind. Since the coming of the Lord Jesus and his enthronement the clergy and the "evil servant" class have enjoyed the splendid opportunity
of hearing and learning the truth and obeying it. Being self-exalted and self-important, they have spurned God's goodness, and therefore a complete change of condition in regard to them has come about. They have lost all opportunity to live and have spiritually died and gone to Hades, although still having a measure of life or existence.
The prophetic parable clearly refers in symbolic language to the condition of the two classes. The changed condition comes to both classes, and both awaken to a realization thereof. The "Lazarus" class, the people of good will, awaken to the fact that life is set before them, and, accepting this, they awaken to peace and joy, and to life everlasting. The "rich man" class awaken to the fact that they are rejected by the Lord, and they hear his judgment pronounced; therefore they awaken to lasting contempt. The Lazarus class "God helps", and the rich man class God declines to further favor. The rich man class abide in death, 'although he liveth.' (Ephesians 2: 5; 1 Timothy 5: 6) Because of their faith and obedience the Lazarus class, the people of good will, become far removed from their former condition and find rest under the organization of the Lord. Therefore with peace, joy and comfort the Father of mercies and God of all comfort comforts them.
The time comes when the rich man class cries for help. "And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame." — Luke 16: 24.
This part of the parable is today in course of fulfillment. The truth now being proclaimed concerning the religionists and the "great multitude" is like a fire of torment to the religionists and to the "evil servant" class. They begin to realize that the message
proclaimed is true and shows them to be in a deplorable condition. They begin to murmur and complain concerning the Lord's people and to persecute both the remnant and the Jonadab class. Jude describes them in this language: "But these speak evil of those things which they know not; but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves. Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Co´re. These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear; clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots." — Jude 10-12.
Thus it is seen that the modern-day "rich man" class is described as covetous, greedy, without fruits, "twice dead, plucked up by the roots"; which means their end. The parable shows that they come to a full realization of the fact that they have sinned against light and therefore can receive no more favor from the Lord. (Luke 12:10) The facts show that they are in the class named "the son of perdition" because willfully defaming God's name; they have trodden under foot the Son of God, and counted the blood of the covenant an unholy thing. — Hebrews 10: 29-31.
The Greater Abraham answers the cry of the rich man class: "But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented." — Luke 16: 25.
Those of the "great multitude", whom God has recently helped and now comforts, are greatly rejoicing. For many years the Lazarus class received that which was hurtful to them, but now having come into God's favor they enjoy great comfort and peace. The mes-
sage which comforts the "great multitude" is at the same time a message of despair to the "evil servant", "the man of sin," "the son of perdition." The present-day facts show a fulfillment of this part of the parable, and particularly the fact that the rich man class is tormented by the Kingdom message, while those who are for God's kingdom greatly rejoice. The "evil servant" class and others of the "man of sin" were once in line for the Kingdom and, had they shown faith and obedience, would have received Kingdom blessing. Turning to lawlessness, the result to them is stated by the Lord Jesus as follows: "The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire; there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth." (Matthew 13:41,42) That evil class now is wailing because of their condition, and gnashing their teeth against both the remnant and the "great multitude".
The parable speaker addresses the wicked class even as Joshua spoke to Achan, who pictured that same money-loving, wicked class (Joshua 7: 19); and hence he calls him "son". Then the Lord adds: "And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed; so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence." — Luke 16: 26.
What is that great gulf? Manifestly it is the chasm which cannot be passed over, resulting from the final judgment Christ Jesus is now pronouncing and in which he separates the "goats", the wicked ones, from the faithful "sheep". (Matthew 25:31-46) This separation forms a great and impassable gulf between the two classes. To the "goat" class the 'Lord says: "De-
part from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire [destruction] prepared for the devil and Ms angels." With that final judgment uttered the "goat" class can never come to the Lord's blessing, and the "other sheep", the ones faithful to the Lord, can never go over that gulf without losing life. Hence it is impossible for either of the two classes to again be brought together. Jehovah makes it clearly to appear from the prophecy of Ezekiel that before his final judgment is executed against the wicked ones that class know that Jehovah is the Supreme One and, further, that the wicked have lost all favor with him. (Ezekiel 35: 9,15) The "evil , servant", "the man of sin," the modern "rich man" class, is then pictured as crying unto the Lord that he would send Lazarus to his father's house to warn his five brethren: "Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: for I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment." — Luke 16:27, 28.
The father of the "rich man" class is the Devil, as Jesus plainly informed them. (John 8:44) The five brethren of the rich man therefore, together with the "rich man" class, make six and picture all of Satan's house or organization. To the rich man's request the Lord gives reply: "Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them." (Vs. 29) In other words, these have had the Scriptures, to which they might have given heed and found comfort. They had an opportunity to hear the message of God, as set forth by his faithful prophet Moses and others of the prophets. They have the words spoken by Jesus and the apostles. Instead of following God's law they have preferred religion and they have urged upon the people, and today urge upon them, "more religion," which God declares is a snare.
When Jehovah's witnesses approach them with God's message of truth today they persecute those witnesses. When the witnesses of the Lord attempt to warn them in the language of the Scriptures concerning the snare of the Devil, they not only refuse the message, but ill-treat Jehovah's witnesses because they speak of God's Word. When the modern-day "rich man" class cry to Jehovah that, if he would send some who have been dead to their brethren, they might repent (vs. 30) the Lord replies: "If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead." (Vs. 31) Even if the faithful witnesses of old shall shortly return from the dead and bear testimony before the religionists and their followers, the politicians and the financiers, they will not hear and obey the truth. The judgment of Christ Jesus at the temple upon the nations is final.
The great gulf or chasm between the "goats" and the "sheep" can never be changed, because God does not change. A striking illustration of this is found in the divine record concerning Judas and Esau. (Matthew 27: 3-5; Hebrews 12: 17) Concerning those who have preferred Satan's house and who have opposed The Theocracy it is written: "Let favour be shewed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness; in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the Lord. Lord, when thy hand is lifted up, they will not see; but they shall see, and be ashamed for their envy at the people; yea, the fire of thine enemies shall devour them. They are dead, they shall not live; they are deceased, they shall not rise; therefore hast thou visited and destroyed them, and made all their memory to perish." — Isaiah 26:10, 11,14.
One of the pet theories today of the "evil servant" class is the false doctrine of universal salvation, in-
cluding the Devil himself. They have defamed God's name by teaching that one can willfully and deliberately oppose God's kingdom and still be saved. This parable showing the final end of the opposers completely explodes that false theory.
All of God's Word is harmonious because all of his ways are right. Other scriptures which corroborate the foregoing statements concerning the parable of the rich man and Lazarus are here mentioned. The twelfth chapter of Daniel, particularly verses one and three, clearly refers to the "day of Jehovah", which began with the enthronement of Christ Jesus the King in 1914. Within that day the following text applies: "And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt." — Daniel 12:2.
Clearly this text could not refer to the general resurrection of the dead during the reign of Christ. The wicked shall never have a resurrection. (Psalm 145: 20) The offspring of the "great multitude" that turn to wickedness shall be annihilated. (Isaiah 66: 24) Neither could Daniel 12:.2 refer to the awakening of the wicked at the end of the thousand-year reign.
This prophecy of Daniel 12: 2 clearly refers to the awakening of two classes, one class to a realization of their deplorable condition, which must be realized by them prior to Armageddon, and the other class awakened to an opportunity of life everlasting. This prophecy describes both classes as "them that sleep in the dust of the earth" and "shall awake". Figuratively "the dust of the earth" represents that which is low, mean and worthless, the dry and discredited things of the earth, that is, a condition of ignorance and inactivity and darkness. Men who are wicked sleep
in the light and awake when night comes. The apostle declares that those who are the faithful followers of Christ Jesus are not of this class. (1 Thessalonians 5: 3, 4) The beginning of "the day of Jehovah" and "the day of Christ" finds the condition in the world exactly as described by the Lord's prophet, when "darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people". (Isaiah 60:2) With the appearing of Christ Jesus at the temple greater light came upon God's Word, and those who desire righteousness and life then sought diligently to get a better understanding of his Word, much of which was sealed to that time. Then 'many run to and fro, and knowledge is increased'. — Daniel 12: 4.
Light makes manifest the things that are right and that which is wrong: "But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light; for whatsoever doth make manifest is light." (Ephesians 5:13) Those who had once agreed to do the will of God but who had become negligent and hence asleep were dead to their privileges; and to them this message is addressed: "Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil." (Ephesians 5:14-16) Likewise the man who desires truth and righteousness and who is in great need of instruction finds himself in a bad condition and prays: "My soul cleaveth unto the dust; quicken thou me according to thy word." — Psalm 119:25.
One who begins to see the light joyfully cries: "As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness." (Psalm 17:15) As the light of truth has caused those who love righteousness to awake from their condition of sleep in the low things of the earth, so likewise the religion-
ists are brought face to face with light that reveals to them their deplorable condition. The "foolish virgin" class awake too late and find themselves in a deplorable condition. (Matthew 25: 5-8,11,12) The religious leaders and the principal of their flocks have for long slept in the dust of the earth. To them the Lord says: "Awake, ye drunkards, and weep; and howl, all ye drinkers of wine, because of the new wine; for it is cut off from your mouth." — Joel 1: 5.
They do awake and, awakening to their miserable condition, see disaster staring them in the face. (See The Watchtower June 15, 1939, page 185.) Both classes thus awakening from the dust of the earth are described in Daniel 12:2. This awakening takes place in the day of Jehovah and before Armageddon. The "other sheep" class, composing the "great multitude", awake to everlasting life, and the "goat" class awake to everlasting contempt. The prophecy, therefore, applies to the present time and includes the antitypical "rich man" and the antitypical Lazarus class. It is in the same day of the Lord that "they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever". (Vs. 3) We are in the day of awakening, and the fulfillment of this part of Daniel's prophecy is progressing.
Abraham pictured Jehovah God; Isaac was a type of Christ Jesus, the beloved Son of God; Jacob, a type or picture of The Christ, Head and body. (Colossians 1:18) Thus was The Theocracy pictured. (See The Watchtower December 1, 1939.) The Jonathan class, which shall form the "great multitude", now see and appreciate The Theocracy, and such are now coming to God's kingdom, and they are coming from all parts of the earth, and they find refuge, protection} rest and comfort under the organization of Jeho-
vah. In the light now given to God's people by his Word note these words of Jesus spoken concerning a lowly, humble man who showed his faith in the Lord and who sought help from the Lord: "When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel." (Matthew 8:10) The faith exhibited today by the Jonathan class (who are not spiritual Israelites) often exceeds the faith and zeal manifested by those who claim to be Israelites after the spirit. Speaking of this faith of the centurion, Jesus then, addressing those who stood by, said: "And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east, and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." — Matthew 8: 11, 12.
Today the information is being brought directly to the clergy and to the "evil servant" class who claim to be Israelites after the spirit and many of whom no doubt were once in line for the Kingdom, and these are being told that the kingdom is at hand and that all who support The Theocracy shall find life, and those who oppose it shall be destroyed. The "other sheep" of the Lord, hearing this message, are coming from all quarters of the earth and from all walks of life amongst the common people. These "other sheep" now see and appreciate the Theocratic Government. They sec that Abraham pictured the Greater Abraham, Jehovah God; that Isaac pictured Christ Jesus, the beloved Son of God; that Jacob pictured The Christ, Head and body; and that such constitutes the Theocratic Government. Seeing this by faith, they hasten to put themselves under The Theocracy, and thus they "sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob", com-
posing the heavenly Theocracy; and by the words "sit down" it is shown that they have found rest, protection, ease and comfort and know what God has in reservation for them that love and serve him. At the same time those once in line for the Kingdom come to a realization that they are cast out and are in "outer darkness", and hence they indulge in howling and wicked persecution of God's people. (Matthew 8:12) Other scriptures show that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob resurrected will be on earth immediately preceding Armageddon, and the people of good will forming the "great multitude" will be literally associated with them; and therefore this scripture (Matthew 8:11) is subject to this double meaning.
In the past "the man of sin", the antitypical "rich man", has had many favors and advantages from the Lord, but, having the selfish desire to be rich and to enjoy power and influence amongst men and approval of men and fearing that they would not get such, they have turned easy victims to the snare of the Devil. "But they that will be rich fall into temptation, and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil; which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." — 1 Timothy 6: 9,10.
The "evil servant" class, "the man of sin," trust their own riches to take them into the kingdom. To that class Jesus said: "When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are; then shall ye begin to say, "We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets.
But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out." — Luke 13: 25-28.
Within that same time the words of Jesus apply (vs. 29): "And they [the Lazarus class, who will form the great multitude] shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down [find rest and peace] in the kingdom of God." Other scriptures show that the "great multitude" come from all quarters of the earth and that they give praise to Jehovah God, evidencing their rest and joy: "Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple; and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb, which is in the midst of the throne, shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters; and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes." — Revelation 7:15-17.
The honest, sincere ones who desire righteousness, and who seek the Lord, are now finding rest and comfort. The Father of mercies, the God of all comfort, now brings consolation to them, affording to them the privilege of knowing him and of joining with others in carrying the message concerning God's kingdom to the world in distress. The Lazarus class now receive the "good things" from the hand of the Lord.
At the twenty-third chapter of Matthew the Lord Jesus describes again the same class pictured by the rich man, and with the most scathing words ever spoken he denounces that class and says to them: "Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye
are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers! how can ye escape the damnation of hell?" — Matthew 23: 31-33.
The religious element, including the "elective elder" class, have for long exalted themselves. The poor in spirit, humble-minded, and meek, have tried to learn, bat, being influenced by the religionists, they have been kept in ignorance and pushed aside; but now the Lord is causing his message to be carried to them and the words spoken by Jesus to his disciples are now being fulfilled, to wit: "And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted." — Matthew 23:12.
The Lazarus class are now coming into their own. By faith they see the great blessings that God has in store for them. With burning zeal they go forth to the service proclaiming The Theocracy. Their joy is ever increasing, and they delight to have a part in the vindication of the name of the Greater Abraham and to serve his Beloved, the King of the Theocratic Government.
If you are of good will toward the Lord and hearing his gracious message concerning your salvation, then be exceedingly diligent to give your full and unstinted allegiance and support to The THEOCRACY and join in sounding the praises of Jehovah by declaring his name and his kingdom to others as you have opportunity. All who will now retain the favor of the Most High must thus give their whole devotion and support to Jehovah and to his King.