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CHAPTER V

String 4: The Birth of Jesus





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IT HAS pleased Jehovah to use men and women to picture or foreshadow various parts of his plan. For instance, Abraham at times pictures or represents God; while Sarah his wife was used to picture or typify God's covenant with Abraham through which he promised to bring forth the seed for the blessing of all the families of the earth. Sarah was the mother of Isaac, her only son. Isaac was used to typify or foreshadow Jesus, the Son of God, the Redeemer of the world. Hagar had a son by Abraham, and Hagar typified or foreshadowed the law covenant, which was made by Jehovah with Moses as a mediator for the children of Israel in Egypt. As Hagar was a bondwoman, the servant of Sarah, so was the law covenant one of bondage that brought forth no real blessings to the Jews; but it was made for the purpose of teaching the Jews their inability to lift themselves up to life and to show them the absolute necessity for a redeemer. After the death of his wife Sarah, Abraham married Keturah and by her had many children; and Keturah is used as a type foreshadowing the new covenant that is made by Jehovah with Christ as the Mediator for the world of mankind, and through which all will have an opportunity to gain life everlasting.
103 The Apostle Paul speaks of these figures or pictures relating to the covenants, as follows: "For it is written, that Abraham had two sons; the one by a
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bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not; for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise." (Galatians 4:22-28) Isaac pictures the entire Christ, head and body: Jesus the Head, the church the body members.
104 It is noted that God's covenant with Abraham stated that there would be an offspring or seed which would bless all the families of the earth. This seed is the Redeemer, Christ Jesus, the Savior of the world; and by adoption into the family of God the true Christians, the church, the members of Christ's body, become a part of that seed. "And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ." — Galatians 3: 8,16.
105 Before the blessing promised could come to the peoples of earth, the seed which was promised must first come. The Israelites, otherwise called Jews, therefore expected that one of the natural descendants of Abraham would become their king and that through that king and his kingdom all the nations of the earth
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would be blessed by receiving the benefits first given to them. For this reason the faithful Jews looked forward with great expectancy to the birth of the one who was to be their king. They based their hopes upon the repeated promise made by Jehovah. Without doubt it was thought by some that Isaac, the son of Abraham, would be the one through whom the blessing would come. "After the death of Abraham, ... God blessed his son Isaac; and Isaac dwelt by the well Lahai-roi." (Genesis 25:11) When Isaac was about sixty years old there were born to him and his wife Rebekah two sons, twins, who were named by them Esau and Jacob. — Genesis 25: 26.
106 Isaac then went to live in the land of the Philistines, and while there, God said to him: "Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee: for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries; and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father. And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed." (Genesis 26: 3,4) Thus the Abrahamic promise was renewed to Isaac. Before the death of Isaac, he pronounced his blessing upon his son Jacob, and Jacob thereby became the successor of his father to the Abrahamic promise.
107 Under the rule of descent, the firstborn or eldest son was the heir of the father's estate and any other rights or privileges that went with that estate, unless for some cause there should be an exception to the rule. Esau having been born a few moments before his brother Jacob, under the operation of this rule would be the successor of the Abrahamic promise and heir to his father. His birthright, therefore, would include the promise made to Abraham. But the Lord
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clearly indicated that there should be an exception to the rule in this case and that Jacob should be the heir and not Esau. When it was known that the mother would bear two sons, and just before the time of their birth, Rebekah the mother inquired of the Lord concerning the expected children and the Lord said unto her that two sons would be born to her and that the elder should serve the younger. (Genesis 25:22,23) This definitely shows that it was God's purpose that Jacob, who was born last, should be the heir and successor to the Abrahamic promise.
108 These two sons grew to manhood's estate. Esau became a great hunter and loved the outdoor sports; while Jacob was a plain man, remaining quietly at home. Esau showed that he did not appreciate the birthright, viz., the Abrahamic promise, even if it were his, which in fact it was not, since God had foreordained that it should belong to Jacob. Esau thought more of his own selfish, immediate comfort than anything that might come to him by reason of this promise. On one occasion he was in the field hunting. He returned hungry and faint. He found that Jacob had prepared a pot of lentils. When Esau smelled this appetizing food he said to Jacob: "Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: . . . and Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright. And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die; and what profit shall this birthright do to me? And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentils; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright." — Genesis 25: 27-34.
109 Genuine, real right and title to the birthright was now Jacob's for two good and sufficient reasons: (1)
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because it was so ordered by the Lord before his birth, as above stated; and (2) because he had bought it in an open and fair transaction with his brother Esau. These two brothers were not mere children at this time. They were past forty years of age (Genesis 26: 34), both capable of entering into a contract; and they made a contract which was binding upon both.
110 Notwithstanding these two good reasons why Jacob was justly entitled to the birthright, Esau attempted to deprive him of it. The birthright carried with it the privilege of the special blessing from their father. Isaac was old and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see; and he knew that the day of his death might be near. (Genesis 27:1,2) He directed his son Esau to go into the field and take some venison and bring it to him that he might eat, and give Esau his blessing.
111 The Bible does not clearly show that Isaac knew God had foreordained that this birthright should belong to Jacob, nor that he knew Esau had sold it to Jacob; therefore we can excuse the old father for thinking it was his duty to bestow his blessing upon his son Esau. Rebekah the mother, however, knowing of both these reasons why Jacob was entitled to the birthright, knowing that Esau did not appreciate it, and knowing of his wrongful intent to deprive his brother Jacob of the privileges and blessings incident to the birthright, advised Jacob what to do in order to protect his own rightful and proper interests. The mother therefore was carrying out God's will in this respect. She was doing what all honest persons should do, try to protect the rights and privileges of those that are near and dear to them. She therefore directed Jacob to slay two kids of the goats and bring them to her and she prepared some savory meat; and then,
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in order that the blind father might not obstinately refuse to aid them, in carrying out the divine purposes, and in order that he might think he was blessing Esau, the mother Rebekah fastened upon the arms of her son Jacob the skins of the kids and also put the skins about his neck that he would appear as a hairy man like unto his brother Esau.
112 Jacob then came in before his father and presented the savory meat. His father kissed him and laid his hand upon him and gave to Jacob his blessing. The old father then spoke in prophetic phrase, evidently under the direction of the Lord, saving unto his son Jacob: "Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother's sons bow down to thee: cursed be every one that curseth thee; and blessed be he that blesseth thee." — Genesis 27:29.
118 Almost immediately Esau returned from the field and found that Jacob had received his father's blessing and that he (Esau) had been unsuccessful in carrying out his purpose of defeating the open and fair transaction which he had made with Jacob when he had sold his birthright. He hated his brother Jacob and determined to kill him as soon as his father Isaac was dead.
114 It seems rather strange that many Christian people have severely criticized Jacob and his mother Rebekah in this transaction. It has evidently been due to the fact that they were ignorant of the record. No part of Jacob's action in connection with the birthright is reprehensible. Everything with reference to Esau is reprehensible. God subsequently showed that Esau pictured the peoples of earth who are Christians in name only, but not in truth and in fact, who are hypocritical, and who persecute the true
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Christians; while Jacob pictured or foreshadowed the true followers of Christ who have been misrepresented and persecuted by the merely nominal Christians. God showed his approval of the conduct of Jacob and his mother Rebekah, and showed that it was his purpose and intention that Jacob should receive the blessing going with the birthright. Jacob had shown his great desire for the birthright, which was merely a promise; while Esau had despised it. Acting upon the advice of his mother, Jacob now fled from the wrath of Esau; and as he went away, he lay down and slept at a place situated north of the present site of Jerusalem and which afterward he named Bethel, which means the house of God. There he had a dream, in which God signified his approval of Jacob and pronounced a blessing upon him.
115 "And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set: and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed, and, behold, a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and, behold, the angels of God ascending and descending on it. And, behold, the Lord stood above it, and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; and thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth; and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of." — Genesis 28:11-15.
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116 Whom God approves and blesses all others should approve. We may be assured, then, that Jacob was blameless before Jehovah in this transaction. It shows how carefully Jehovah was guarding his promise and the seed which would spring from it ultimately and through which the families of the earth should be blessed.
117 Some years later God showed his further favor to Jacob by changing his name from Jacob to Israel. The name Israel means, He will rule as God. "And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel. And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins; and the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land." (Genesis 35:10-12) According to the promise given to Jacob at this time, a nation should spring forth of him.
118 Jacob had twelve sons. There were born to him by his wife Leah the sons Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun; and by his wife Rachel, Joseph and Benjamin. His other sons were Dan, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher. Jacob's wife Rachel was the most beloved by him, and she was the mother of his beloved son Joseph. After Jacob had been deprived of Joseph's presence and fellowship, he devoted his affections to Benjamin, the other son by his beloved wife Rachel. The Scriptures show that these two sons typified those who will be born on the spirit plane, Joseph being a type of the royal family of heaven; while Benjamin typified the great company
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or tribulation class born on a spirit plane lower than those possessing the divine nature.
119 Jacob spent his last days with his family in Egypt. Just before his death he called before him his sons, that he might bestow upon them his last blessings. From this time forward dates the history of the nation of Israel. While pronouncing the blessing upon his various sons, he said concerning his son Judah: "Judah is a lion's whelp; from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up? The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be." (Genesis 49: 9,10) This prophetic promise definitely shows that the mighty One to come, through whom the blessings of the people would flow, must spring from the tribe of Judah, the word Shiloh being one of the titles applied to the great Prince of Peace, the Deliverer, the Savior of mankind.
120 After the death of Jacob his offspring were known as the children of Israel, or Israelites. Joseph when a lad had been sold into Egypt, had grown to manhood, had become a mighty man and ruler in Egypt under the king, and was dwelling there in power and glory when his father Jacob and the other members of his family moved into Egypt to live. During the lifetime of Joseph the Israelites were well treated. After his death, however, a new king came to the throne of Egypt, who began to oppress and persecute the Israelites. God raised up Moses and used him to deliver the Israelites from the land of Egypt and the oppressive hand of Egypt's king.
121 We incidentally remark that here are some other pictures foreshadowing portions of the divine plan.
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Egypt under the rule of a wicked king pictures or represents the world of mankind in darkness under the rule of the unrighteous one, Satan, who is the god of this world. The Israelites in Egypt picture the people of God and those who shall ultimately come into harmony with him; while Moses was a type foreshadowing the great Messiah, who is to deliver all mankind from the bondage of sin and death.
122 Moses was a prophet of God; and God spoke through Moses, using him as a mouthpiece or messenger. After the Lord had delivered the children of Israel from Egypt by the hand of Moses, he spoke through Moses, who prophesied unto Israel, saying: " The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken." (Deuteronomy 18:15; Acts 3:22) From that time forward the Israelites watched and waited for the coming of the great Prophet, Priest, and King who should be like unto Moses and of whom Moses was a picture or a type. They knew that such a one must come from the house of Judah, because God had promised as much. David was a direct descendant of Judah. — Luke 3: 31-34.
123 From time to time God's prophets gave utterance to words that kept alive in the minds of the Israelites the hope that God would send them a mighty One, through whom the promise made to Abraham would be fulfilled. In time this promise was specifically limited to the house of David, the Lord causing his prophet to write thus: "The Lord hath sworn in truth unto David, he will not turn from it; Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne. If thy children will keep my covenant, and my testimony that I shall teach them, their children shall also sit upon thy throne for evermore." — Psalm 132:11,12.
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124 David himself was a prophet of Jehovah, and the Lord spoke through him with reference to the heir of the Abrahamic promise who should be king over Israel. "Then David the king stood upon his feet, and said, Hear me, my brethren, and my people: As for me, I had in mine heart to build an house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and for the footstool of our God, and had made ready for the building: but God said unto me, Thou shalt not build an house for my name, because thou hast been a man of war, and hast shed blood. Howbeit the Lord God of Israel chose me before all the house of my father to be king over Israel for ever: for he hath chosen Judah to be the ruler; and of the house of Judah, the house of my father; and among the sons of my father he liked me, to make me king over all Israel: and of all my sons (for the Lord hath given me many sons) he hath chosen Solomon my son to sit upon the throne of the kingdom of the Lord over Israel. And he said unto me, Solomon thy son, he shall build my house and my courts: for I have chosen him to be my son, and I will be his father. Moreover I will establish his kingdom for ever, if he be constant to do my commandments and my judgments, as at this day."  — 1 Chronicles 28: 2-7.
125 Thus far the divine record definitely establishes the fact that the great heir or king of Israel, the seed through which the blessings of God would be bestowed, must come through David's line; and that also it should come through Solomon, provided, of course, the conditions laid upon Solomon were fulfilled. In any event, it must come through David's line, and through his son Solomon provided Solomon met the requirements. We repeat the words for emphasis: "Moreover I will establish his kingdom for ever, if
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he be constant to do my commandments and my judgments, as at this day." And then David said: "And thou, Solomon my Son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart, and with a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever." — 1 Chronicles 28:9.
126 The question is, Did Solomon receive the approval of the Lord? If so, the great Messiah must come through his line. If not, then he could not come through Solomon. This question is answered by the Scriptures, as follows: "For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father. . . . And the Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the Lord God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice, and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the Lord commanded. Wherefore the Lord said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant. Notwithstanding, in thy days I will not do it, for David thy father's sake: but I will rend it out of the hand of thy son. Howbeit I will not rend away all the kingdom; but will give one tribe to thy son for David my servant's sake, and for Jerusalem's sake, which I have chosen." — 1 Kings 11:4, 9-13.
127 After Solomon's death the nation of Israel was divided. The last three kings of Solomon's line to
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rule over Israel were Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin (also called Coniah) and Zedekiah. Zedekiah became a wicked ruler and of him it is recorded: "And thou, profane and wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come, when iniquity shall have an end, thus saith the Lord God, Remove the diadem, and take off the crown; this shall not be the same: exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. I will overturn, overturn, overturn it; and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it [to] him." (Ezekiel 21:25-27) This shows a complete overthrowing of the line of Solomon and definitely settles the proposition that Messiah could not be counted through the line of Solomon, but must be some other way. Seemingly God's promise to bring the mighty Deliverer through the line of David had failed, because of Solomon's failure. But not so. David had another son, whom the Lord used. Solomon's line had been exalted. Now this line must be abased, and the lower line must be exalted.
128 The obscure line of David was his son Nathan. Mary the mother of Jesus was a direct descendant of Nathan of the house of David.
129 Jeremiah prophesied concerning the coming of Messiah, as follows: "Behold the day is coming, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous branch and a king shall reign and prosper. ... In his day Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely; and this is the name that Jehovah proclaimeth him, Our Righteousness." — Jer. 23: 5, 6, Young.
130 Mary, the mother-to-be of Jesus, was approached by the angel of the Lord, who said to her: "Fear not, Mary; for thou hast found favor with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall
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be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her: The holy spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God."  — Luke 1:30-35.
131 Then Mary, seemingly directed by the power of Jehovah, said: "My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. And his mercy is on them that fear him, from generation to generation, He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree." (Luke 1:46-52) Her words draw the contrast between the once favored family of Solomon and the humbler family of Nathan, Solomon's family being abased and Nathan's now exalted. Thus the proof is brought forth that the Lord did raise up unto David a righteous branch.

IN EXPECTATION

132 The promise made to Abraham, which was subsequently repeated to others, thoroughly impressed the minds of the devout Israelites with the thought that at some future time there would be born of a woman of the Jewish people a holy child, and that in some way to them not understood this child would be the
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means of blessing all the families and nations of the earth. They expected the Jewish nation to become the greatest nation of earth, and looked for all other nations to flow unto it, be subservient to it and receive their blessings through it. These conclusions they based upon the words of the prophets, even though they did not fully understand the meaning of those prophecies. To them the Prophet Isaiah had said: "And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem." (Isaiah 2:2,3) And again: "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice, from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this." — Isaiah 9:6,7.
133 The Prophet Zechariah said: "And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem, shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the
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Lord of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain." — Zechariah 14:16,17.
134 These prophecies, while relating in a measure to the birth of Jesus, had only a partial fulfilment at that time. Their far greater fulfilment is yet future, as we shall see.
135 The birth of Jesus, the greatest event in the world's history, was about to be enacted. Two thousand years had passed since God had made the promise to Abraham of the coming of the mighty One through whom all the families of the earth should be blessed. During that time Jehovah was executing his preconceived plan, renewing his promise to keep it fresh in the minds of the faithful, and shaping the course of those who should participate in this great transaction. And now, as the day drew near, the stage was being set.
136 The place selected was Bethlehem, situated on an elevation south of Jerusalem. It was once the home of Boaz, whose fields the beautiful Moabitish woman Ruth had gleaned and whom Boaz redeemed and afterward took as his wife. Here Jehovah had used Boaz as a type of Christ Jesus and Ruth as a type of the church, his bride, foreshadowing things to come.
137 Later Bethlehem was the home of Jesse and of David his son. The name David implies 'beloved one'; and it was here that he was anointed to be king over Israel, from which time he typified Jesus, the mighty Son of God. Jehovah had selected this as the birthplace of Jesus; hence here the birth must take place. — Matthew 2: 5, 6; Micah 5: 2.
138 Away to the north in Galilee stood the humble and despised city of Nazareth. It was the home of Joseph the carpenter, a meek, little-known, yet honest, man. He was espoused to Mary. We should expect
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that Jehovah would time everything exactly; and so he did. Authority had departed from Judah; the Romans were in control of Palestine, and the time for the birth of the mighty One was due. Exercising his perfect wisdom and power, Jehovah was overruling all things to the accomplishment of his purpose. Augustus Caesar, then the emperor and ruler over all Palestine, issued a decree that all the people should be taxed. Every one must go to the city of his nativity, there to be numbered and taxed. Joseph the carpenter, although a resident of Nazareth, was of the house of David, and hence must go to the city of David to be numbered and taxed. Naturally his espoused virgin would accompany him to that city. She likewise was of the house of David through another line, another reason why she should go there. But above all, the Lord directed them there because it was a part of his arrangement.
139 At that time there were no means of easy and rapid transit. It was a long journey, a tedious and tiresome one. Joseph, with his espoused seated upon an ass, journeyed through the hills along the Jordan probably for three days, and late in the evening reached the city of Bethlehem. The city was crowded; the private homes were full; all the hotels, inns, and other places were crowded out. Tired, worn, and weary from their long journey, they were jostled by the crowd in the narrow streets of the city. Applying to various places for lodging, at each place they were turned away; until finally they found a location where they could sleep in a stall with the cattle. And they retired for the night's repose.
140 Over the brow of the hill, in the field once owned by Boaz and gleaned by the beautiful Ruth, the faithful shepherds were watching their sheep. According
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to custom, they had four watches during the night. Some would watch while the others slept.
141 The earthly stage was now set. But behold that there was no great earthly splendor or show! In truth the condition of poverty of Joseph and his espoused, and the like poor condition of the shepherds who were now shortly to be used of the Lord, was the only fitting way that we should expect the Lord would have it. All the pomp and glory of earthly preparation would have been but tawdry tinsel, detracting from the glorious things that were shortly to follow. Each one of the earthly players whom Jehovah had assigned to perform a part upon this stage was humble, meek, and possessed of faith in the promises of God. In heaven there was a host of angels that should participate in the great drama; and all the hosts of heaven were witnesses to this unparalleled and never-again-to-be-performed event.
142 On earth it was night, picturing the fact that the whole world was lying in darkness and a great light was coming into the earth. The time had now arrived for the birth of the mighty One, and all the heavenly hosts were awake to the importance of the hour. Doubtless while others slept, Mary was pondering in her heart the great events that had taken place during the few months past; and while she thus meditated there in the silence of that night, without pain and without suffering there was born to her Jesus, the Savior of the world. And the shepherds watching their sheep in the field were attracted by the angel of the Lord, who came upon them, "and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is
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born this day, in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." — Luke 2: 9-11.
143 When this heavenly messenger had finished his wonderful speech to the astonished shepherds, then it was, as if waiting a given signal, the multitudinous heavenly host stood forth and sang the good tidings of great joy which ultimately shall be to all people. Their song was but the reflex of what had been announced. There sweet singers told in words of praise of God's beneficent purpose ultimately to bless all the families of the earth. It was a song of glory from heaven, and the hills of Judea echoed the message of peace and good will toward men. And throughout the Christian era this sweet anthem has filled with joy the heart of many a sad wanderer; and seemingly again and again these have heard the song from heaven: "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."
144 The world is now entering its darkest period, and when mankind reaches the point of extremity, then will be God's opportunity to reveal to all sad hearts that the birth of Jesus was the greatest event in history to that time; and that shortly this same great Jesus, now in glory, will extend the blessings of life, liberty and happiness to the whole groaning creation.
145 The place of Jesus' birth was truly according to and in fulfilment of prophecy, thus showing that God had foreordained and prepared the conditions for his birth. (Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:4-6) Jesus was not born on December 25, as is generally supposed; but his birth occurred about the first of October. Midwinter would have been a very inopportune time for the shepherds to be watching their sheep in the fields and sleeping in the open. In addition to this circum-
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stantial evidence, all the facts show that the birth of Jesus was in October, and that December 25, nine months previous, was probably the date of the annunciation. (Luke 1: 30, 31) For a full discussion of this subject see Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 2, page 54.
146 Much has been said and written concerning three wise men who journeyed from the east to pay their homage to the babe Jesus, born in Bethlehem. Particularly at Christmas time is our attention called to this by pictures on cards, etc., of the wise men journeying to the west, supposedly being guided by the star sent by Jehovah. It has been presumed that Jehovah by the star led these wise men to the place of Jesus' birth. The Bible proof shows, however, that these wise men were not sent by the Lord God, but that they were directed by the great adversary, the Devil, in his attempt to destroy the babe. Whether they knew it or not, these wise men were parties to a great conspiracy, originated and carried out by the master mind, Satan, the Devil, in his attempt to destroy the seed of promise, the great Savior of the world.
147 When Jehovah drove Adam and Eve from Eden he likewise pronounced a condemnation upon Satan. He said concerning Satan and the woman: "I will put enmity between . . . thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." (Genesis 3:15) From that time forward Satan the great adversary has attempted to destroy every one whom God has favored and who he thought might constitute the seed of promise.
148 Jehovah has given to Satan four separate and distinct names, all of which have a deep significance. Besides the name Satan he is designated as the Dragon, that old Serpent, and the Devil. Dragon means
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devourer or destroyer; and Satan has at all times been seeking to destroy or devour Jesus and his true followers, who constitute the seed of promise. His name Satan indicates adversary; and he has opposed in every way the development of the new creation, consisting of Jesus and his bride. His name Serpent means deceiver; and he has applied all of his wily methods to deceive, and as Jesus has declared, he would deceive, if possible, the very elect, but God will not permit him thus to do. His title Devil means slanderer; and he has constantly carried on a campaign of slanderous propaganda against the people of God even unto this day, and has never lost an opportunity to try in his various ways to destroy them.
149 When it was announced to Mary by the angel that she should bring forth a child whose name should be called Jesus and that he would be the Savior of his people, Satan recognized this promised and unborn babe as the one who would ultimately bruise his head. The Apostle Paul plainly states to us that God sent Jesus into the world, one of his missions being ultimately to destroy the Devil. (Hebrews 2:14) The enmity of Satan toward the seed of promise has never abated. Learning of the promised birth of the child, Satan at once began to lay his plans for its destruction. He attempted to induce Mary's espoused husband Joseph to put her away and cause her to be put to death under the terms of the Mosaic law; but God prevented this by advising Joseph through his messenger in a dream to fear not, but to take Mary for his wife. — Matthew 1:18-24.
150 Stars do not move about the canopy of heaven in such manner as to lead men. It seems unreasonable that Jehovah would have made a star move from the east and stand over Bethlehem. Satan and his emis-
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saries, the demons associated with him, have power to produce lights; and many instances are cited in history of these lights appearing near the earth. The "star" or light that guided the wise men was without doubt such a light, and not a star moved by the power of Jehovah.
151 The wise men residing in the east were sorcerers and magicians. They were star-gazers. They were followers of the false religion. They sacrificed to and worshiped the Devil. (1 Corinthians 10: 20) Pharaoh the king of Egypt was a type of Satan the Devil; and Pharaoh used wise men like unto these messengers in the day that Israel were in Egyptian bondage. (Exodus 7:11) These were devotees of astrology and demon worship. Doubtless many of them were sincere, but they were the dupes of a false religion inaugurated by Satan. The Biblical record definitely fixes the fact that Herod, then ruler in Jerusalem, was a wicked man, under the influence of Satan.
152 "Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him." (Matthew 2:1,2) Be it noted that these wise men went directly to Herod, a representative of Satan. If the star guiding them was sent by the Lord Jehovah, why would he guide them to Herod, a representative of Satan, and a mortal enemy of the babe Jesus? If the sole purpose of the star was to guide these men to the place of Jesus' birth there was no need for them to go to Herod at all. The reasonable answer, then, is that Satan had prepared a great conspiracy with the object of destroying the babe. A conspiracy is a design to commit a wrongful act in
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which two or more join in committing the act or some part of it. Sometimes persons are involved in a conspiracy and participate without knowing the real purpose of the one who forms the conspiracy. Such may have been the case with these wise men; but without doubt Satan had formed and directed it.
153 When these wise men came into the presence of Herod, he was troubled, because he feared the new king would interfere with his reign; and he "gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people [the seed of Satan and also his representatives — John 8:44] together and demanded of them where Christ should be born"; in other words he demanded to know where the babe Jesus could be found. Then Herod, in furtherance of the conspiracy, privately consulted with these wise men. We now see Herod manifesting one of the characteristics of Satan, viz., deception, in this, that he pretended to desire to find the babe Jesus, that he himself might go and worship him; whereas all the facts and circumstances show that his real purpose was that he might find the babe in order to destroy him. "Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, inquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. When they had heard the king, they departed: and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was."
154 We can not for a moment believe that the heavenly Father would use a wicked one like Herod and aid him in carrying out his wicked purpose by having a star to direct these wise men to the place of Jesus'
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birth, in view of the fact that the king had demanded that they should return and report to him, and when it was King Herod's purpose to destroy the "young child". The fact is that the Devil and his instruments, Herod and others, would have succeeded in this wicked conspiracy and have caused the death of the child Jesus had not God intervened to save him.
155 The wise men reaching Bethlehem found the child and brought their presents and worshiped. Without a doubt it was their intention to return and report to Herod. And the result of such a return would have been the death of the child. But God here intervened and warned them in a dream. These wise magicians relied upon dreams. "Being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way." Satan again was thwarted in his wicked purpose.
156 The real intent of Herod in sending these wise men is disclosed by what subsequently happened. "Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men." (Matthew 2:16) Determined not to be thwarted in his purpose, Satan and his instrument Herod were willing to destroy all the babes in and about Bethlehem, with the hope of destroying the one that was to be the King and Savior of the world. Jehovah saved the Babe Jesus from this slaughter by directing his mother and Joseph to take the young child and flee into Egypt, which they did.  — Matthew 2:13.
157 We would not be justified, then, in presuming that God was using these devil worshipers, the "wise
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men", "magians," magicians, for the purpose of being his witnesses to the birth of his beloved Son. But on the contrary, the facts show that it pleased him to reveal this great truth to the shepherds and to use them as his witnesses. — Luke 2: 8-18.
158 There is nothing whatsoever in the account of this experience of the wise men to indicate that their mission was in any wise beneficial to mankind; but the most charitable view we can take of it is that they were dupes of a deep-laid plot by Satan, the arch conspirator, to destroy the seed of promise; and that Jehovah let the conspiracy proceed to the point where it would fully demonstrate the wickedness on the part of Satan and his instrument, and then demonstrated his great protecting power. Without a doubt Satan has attempted to deceive and has deceived multitudes of honest people into believing that these men were the witnesses of the Lord, and hid from their minds the fact that they in truth and in fact represented Satan.
159 All the wicked persecution that came upon the Lord Jesus afterward, and upon his followers to this day, has been because of the influence of Satan the Devil. And yet at all times the Lord has protected his own at the very critical moment, just as promised: "The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear [reverence] him, and delivereth them."  — Psalm 34:7.

HOW UNDEFILED?

160 Paul says: "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) "There is none that doeth good, no, not one." (Psalm 14:3) These scriptures being true, and since Jesus was born of a woman, was he not born like other
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children? And if so, was he not a sinner like others?
161 Jesus was not a sinner. He was born pure, holy, sinless, without spot or blemish. He was not begotten and born like other children. While he was born of the woman Mary, Joseph was not his father. Joseph was espoused to Mary, Jesus' mother, and before they were married she was found to be with child. (Matthew 1:18) Mary was a virgin, yet she was about to give birth and did give birth to the babe Jesus. (Matthew 1: 20, 23) The holy child that was born of the virgin Mary was and is the Son of God.  — Luke 1:35.
162 The words translated in our Bibles Holy Ghost should be properly translated holy spirit. The holy spirit is the invisible power and energy of Jehovah. God is holy; therefore his power and energy are holy. Father means life-giver. Jehovah is the Father of Jesus because he gave life to Jesus; hence Jesus is called the Son of God. The spirit or energy of Jehovah operating upon earthly substance produced earthly creatures. (Genesis 2:7; 1 Corinthians 15: 47) The same holy power and energy begat the child Jesus, who was born of his mother Mary. Therefore the life of Jesus was without sin or imperfection. The germ of life of him who was born Jesus was transferred from the spirit plane or nature to the human plane or nature.
163 Jesus was our Lord's human name. It implied his humiliation and lowly estate, in comparison with the glory which he had with the Father before the world was. (John 17: 5) He existed long before he became a human being. His prehuman name was the Logos, which is translated in our common version Bible "the Word". The word Logos is therefore one of the titles of Jesus and should not be translated
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at all. It means the spokesman, active agent, or messenger, of Jehovah. John, writing concerning the Logos, who later became Jesus, says: "In the beginning [which means the beginning of God's creative activity] was the Logos, and the Logos was with God [the God, Jehovah], and the Logos was God [a mighty one]. The same was in the beginning with God [the God, Jehovah]. All things were made by him [the Logos]; and without him [the Logos] was not anything made that was made," he was the active agent of Jehovah in making all things. — John 1:1-3.
164 The beginning here referred to could not mean the beginning of God the Father, because he is from everlasting to everlasting and never had a beginning. (Psalms 41:13; 90: 2) The work of Jehovah, however, had a beginning, and his creative work is clearly what is here meant. The Logos was the first and only direct creation of Jehovah; and thereafter God's creation was performed through his Logos. This is the thought expressed by the Apostle Paul, who said Jesus "is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature; for by him were all things created, that are in heaven and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by him, and for him: and he is before all things, and by him all things consist". — Colossians 1:15-17.
165 As further evidence of Jesus' prehuman existence, we have his own words: "I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me." (John 6: 38) "I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me." (John 8:42) Again: "Before Abraham was, I am." (John 8: 58) Again: "I came forth from
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the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father." (John 16:28) "And now, 0 Father, glorify thou me with thine own self, with the glory which I had with thee before the world was." (John 17:5) Again Jesus said: 'I am the beginning of the creation of God.' (Revelation 3:14) Furthermore, the Apostle Paul under inspiration states: "God . . . hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds." (Hebrews 1:1,2) And again he states: "For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich." (2 Corinthians 8:9) He was in the form of God before he became a man. "Who, though being in God's form, yet did not meditate a usurpation to be like God, but divested himself, taking a bondman's form, having been made in the likeness of men." — Philippians 2: 6,7, Diaglott.
166 Some have earnestly believed that Jesus was God himself. But such a conclusion is not warranted by the Scriptures. John said: "The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand." (John 3: 35) Again Jesus said: "The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son; that all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son, honoureth not the Father which hath sent him. . . . For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself." (John 5:22,23,26) Again Jesus said: "It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me." (John 8:17,18) Thus Jesus definitely fixes the fact
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that he and the Father are separate and distinct beings.
167 Again Jesus said: "My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are one." (John 10:29,30) It may be asked, Does this not prove that they are one being? Our answer is that it does not; but that it does show, in connection with the other scriptures quoted, that Jesus and the Father, Jehovah, are one in spirit and one in harmonious action; just as Jesus subsequently prayed to the Father that the church, his followers, might be made one with him, when he said: "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one, as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one." (John 17:20-22) Thus Jesus definitely shows what is meant by being one with the Father.
168 Again Jesus prayed to the Father, saying: "Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again." (John 12:27,28) Jesus could not have been praying to himself here, but he was praying to Jehovah God, from whom he came.
169 That the Father is greater than the Son, Christ Jesus, he shows when he says: "I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I." — John 14: 28.
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170 Many others have believed that Jesus, while on the earth, was still a spirit being and that his flesh was merely a covering or house in which that spirit being resided. Otherwise stated, that he was merely an incarnated creature and not wholly a man. The incarnation theory is that a spirit being inhabits for a time the human body, or a human body is created for the express purpose of that spirit being's occupying it for a time. The incarnation of Jesus is Scripturally erroneous. Indeed, if he had been merely an incarnated being, he could never have redeemed mankind. It is not disputed that he could have appeared as a human being; and such is attested to in the instances given in Genesis 18:1,2 and 19:1.
171 Some insist that Jesus when on earth was both God and man in completeness. This theory is wrong, however. We should never formulate a theory concerning God's plan in direct contradiction to his plain Word. We should have faith in God and in his Word. Faith means to have a knowledge of his Word and then to rely upon that Word confidently. The Bible is the revealed Word of God, given to man for his instruction; and where plain statements of the Bible are given, we should take them at their face value. Following this course, we find that the plan of God everywhere appears harmonious and beautiful.
172 The adversary takes advantage of an honest desire on the part of some and leads them into error. Every conscientious and reverential mind desires to honor God. For fear they might dishonor him, they are easily led into failure to give proper consideration to plain statements of the Bible. Some have been induced to believe that should they say that Jesus when on earth was a man and not God, such would be a dishonor to God. We should not permit ourselves to
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be beguiled or misled by sophistry or theories, but should follow the plain teachings of the Bible and then reach a conclusion in the light of that revealed Word after a full examination.
173 The record concerning Jesus' prehuman existence, his being begotten and his birth, entirely disproves the theory that he was incarnated. The scriptures above cited plainly show that he was begotten in the womb of a woman, Mary, by the holy spirit, the power or energy of Jehovah; that thereafter he was born in the same general manner that other children are born of a woman (Luke 2: 9-11); that he grew to manhood's estate and increased in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man. (Luke 2:40, 52) None of these things would have been necessary were he merely an incarnated being, a spirit being inhabiting a body of flesh. He worked at the carpenter's trade until he was thirty years of age, at which time he began his ministry. At that time he went to John to be baptized in the Jordan. (Luke 3: 21-23) Immediately following that he spent forty days and nights in the wilderness, fasting and studying Jehovah's plan. (Luke 4:1-14) If he were God incarnate, this experience in the wilderness would seem wholly unnecessary.
174 Jesus was not an angel or spirit being, because we have the positive statement of the apostle to the effect that, "We see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels." (Hebrews 2:9) And again: "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise partook of the same." (Hebrews 2:14) Furthermore, he was at one time rich in heavenly power and glory and became poor for the sake of mankind by taking upon himself the nature of man. (2 Corinthians 8:9) He
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was made in the nature and likeness of man. (Philippians 2:8) The apostle, writing under inspiration, speaks of Jesus as the man: "For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. . . .The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven." — 1 Corinthians 15: 21,47; see also 1 Timothy 2:5,6.
175 Had Jesus been merely an incarnated being it would not have been necessary for him to be born as a babe and grow to manhood's estate. While he was born of a woman, yet he was without sin, because from his Father, Jehovah; for he was "holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners" (Hebrews 7:26); "and he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin." (1 John 3:5) He was without spot or blemish; therefore perfect and holy.  — 1 Peter 1:19; Hebrews 9:14.
176 God says to us: "Come now, and let us reason together, . . . though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." (Isaiah 1:18) We should reason upon God's plan as revealed in the Bible, because he thus invites us to do. When we see the reason why Jesus was made a man, why it was necessary for him to be a perfect man while on earth, then we are glad and give praise to God. Had he not become a man, there would have been no hope for any of the human race to get life through Christ Jesus; and the apostle declares that there is no other name given under heaven whereby mankind can live.  — Acts 4:12.

In what peculiar manner has Jehovah used men and women in the Bible? Give some examples. ¶ 102.
What was typified by Hagar? ¶ 102.
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What was the purpose of the law covenant God made with Israel? ¶ 102.
Give the name of Abraham's third wife; and what did she typify? ¶ 102.
Give the Apostle Paul's statement as to what the wives of Abraham typified. ¶ 103.
What did Isaac typify or picture? ¶ 103.
What constitutes the seed of Abraham, according to the promise? ¶ 103.
Quote the words of Paul concerning the seed of Abraham. ¶ 103.
What is first necessary relative to the seed before the people can be blessed? ¶ 104.
What was the expectation of the Jews concerning this seed? ¶ 105.
Give the names of Isaac's two sons; and what was Isaac's age when they were born? ¶ 105.
After the birth of his sons, where did Isaac go to reside? and while there, what did God say to him? ¶ 106.
Which of Isaac's sons became successor to the promise? and why? ¶ 106.
What really determined who would be the successor to the father's estate? ¶ 107.
Did the Lord indicate that there should be any exception to this rule relative to Jacob and Esau? ¶ 107.
How did the Lord indicate this to Rebekah the mother? ¶ 107.
How did Esau occupy his time generally? ¶ 108.
What different disposition did Jacob possess? ¶ 108.
Did Esau show an appreciation of the birthright, particularly the Abrahamic promise? ¶ 108.
Relate the circumstances of Esau's selling of his birthright ¶ 108.
Why did the birthright properly belong to Jacob? ¶ 109.
About what was the age of Jacob and Esau at the time of this transaction? ¶ 109.
Was their contract binding on both? ¶ 109.
What privileges did the birthright carry with it? ¶ 110.
State the circumstances under which Esau attempted to deprive Jacob of the birthright after he had sold it to him. ¶ 111.
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Was the mother of these men justified in her action in this matter? and if so, why? ¶ 111.
Relate the conditions under which Jacob obtained the blessing from his father. ¶ 112.
What blessing, as shown by the Scriptures, did Isaac bestow upon Jacob? ¶ 112.
After Esau failed in his attempt to defeat his own contract with Jacob, what did he do toward obtaining the blessing from his father? ¶ 113.
Why have Christian people severely criticized Jacob and Rebekah because of this transaction? ¶ 114.
Who was the more reprehensible, Jacob or Esau? and why? ¶ 114.
Whom did Esau picture or typify? ¶ 114.
Whom did Jacob picture or foreshadow? ¶ 114.
Did God approve or disapprove Rebekah's action? ¶ 114.
Why did Jacob flee the country? and upon whose advice? ¶ 114.
At what important Biblical place did Jacob spend the night? and what occurred there? Give the Scriptural account. ¶ 114,115.
Why should we disapprove any one whom God approves? ¶ 116.
How did God later show his favor to Jacob? ¶ 117.
What is the meaning of the name Israel? ¶ 117.
What promise did God make to Jacob after his name was changed to Israel? ¶ 117.
How many sons did Jacob have? ¶ 118.
Give the names of his wives, and the sons by these wives, respectively. ¶ 118.
Which one of his wives did he love most? ¶ 118.
Which was Jacob's beloved son? ¶ 118.
Under what circumstances was Joseph taken away? and upon whom did Jacob bestow his affection thereafter? ¶ 118.
Whom did Joseph typify? and of whom was Benjamin a type? ¶ 118.
Where did Jacob spend his last days? ¶ 119.
What marks the beginning of the nation of Israel? ¶ 119.
In pronouncing the blessings upon his sons, what special prophecy was made by Jacob concerning Judah? ¶ 119.
Who is foreshadowed by this prophecy? ¶ 119.
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After Jacob's death, by what name were his offspring known? ¶ 120.
What position did Joseph now hold in Egypt? ¶ 120.
How were the Israelites treated during Joseph's lifetime? ¶ 120.
How were they treated after Joseph's death? ¶ 120.
Whom did God raise up as a deliverer of the Israelites from Egypt? ¶ 120.
What did Egypt typify or picture? and what was typified or pictured by Egypt's ruler Pharaoh? ¶ 121.
Whom did the Israelites in Egypt picture? and of whom was Moses a type? ¶ 121
Who was Moses? ¶ 122.
What prophecy did Moses speak relative to a mighty one to follow him? ¶ 122.
After hearing this prophecy, for whom were the Israelites looking? ¶ 122.
From what tribe did David descend? ¶ 122.
Through whom did God repeat the promises to Israel? ¶ 123.
To what particular house or line was the promise finally limited? ¶ 123.
What promise did the Lord make to David relative to the throne of Israel? Quote the prophecy. ¶ 123.
When David was king, what prophetic utterance did he make concerning the building of a house unto Jehovah? ¶ 124.
Why did God not permit David to build the temple? ¶ 124.
Which one of David's sons was permitted to build the temple? ¶124.
Upon what condition was Solomon's to be the line from which the great Deliverer would descend? Give the Scriptural proof. ¶ 125.
Did Solomon receive Jehovah's approval? ¶ 126.
Why was the kingdom taken away from Solomon? ¶ 126.
After Solomon's death, what happened to the nation of Israel? ¶ 127.
Name the last three kings of Solomon's line to rule over Israel. ¶ 127.
What did Jehovah pronounce through the prophet concerning Zedekiah? Give the Scriptural statement. ¶ 127.
In view of this, was it possible for the Messiah to be counted through the line of Solomon? ¶ 127.
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What other son did David have who was subsequently exalted? ¶ 128.
From whom did Mary the mother of Jesus descend? ¶ 128.
What did the Prophet Jeremiah prophesy concerning the coming of Messiah through David's lineage? ¶ 129.
What message did the angel of the Lord bring to Mary relative to the Messiah? ¶ 130.
What did Mary say in response to the messenger? ¶ 130.
Why did Mary say: "From henceforth all generations shall call me blessed"? ¶ 131.
What was meant by her prophetic statement: "He hath put down the mighty from their seats and exalted them of low degree"? ¶ 131.
Why were the Jews looking for some child to be born who would be a great ruler? ¶ 132.
Why did they expect their nation to become great? ¶ 132.
What prophetic utterances led the Jews to believe that there should be raised up amongst them a great king? Quote the prophecies. ¶ 132, 133.
Did the prophecies of Isaiah and Zechariah relating to the coming king have a complete fulfilment at the birth of Jesus? ¶ 134.
Of what relative importance was the birth of Jesus? ¶ 135.
How much time elapsed from the original promise made to Abraham until the birth of Jesus? ¶ 135.
During that time, what was Jehovah doing relative to the promise? ¶ 135.
Where was Jesus born? ¶ 136.
How was Bethlehem foreshadowed by the prophet? ¶ 136.
Give a brief statement of the important things which occurred in and about Bethlehem, ¶ 137.
Where was Nazareth situated? ¶ 138.
State the relative importance of the city of Nazareth. ¶ 138.
Who were in control of Palestine at the time of the birth of Jesus? ¶ 138.
What important decree was issued by the ruler of Palestine that led Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem? ¶ 138.
Why must they go to Bethlehem and not to some other city? ¶ 138.
How did Joseph and Mary journey from Nazareth to
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Bethlehem? and at what time did they reach the latter city? ¶ 139.
Where did they find lodging? ¶ 139.
What important field lies near Bethlehem? and who were watching their flocks there? ¶ 140.
How many watches were kept in a night? ¶ 140.
Was there great earthly splendor and show at the birth of Jesus? and if not, why not? ¶ 141.
What kind of people had God chosen to participate in the events of that night? ¶ 141.
Who in heaven were participating in this great event? ¶ 141.
What did the night on the earth picture? ¶ 142.
At what particular place was Jesus born? ¶ 142.
What attracted the attention of the shepherds and what message was delivered to them? Repeat the message, ¶ 142.
Repeat all the text of Luke 2: 8-11. ¶ 142.
What song did the shepherds hear from the heavenly hosts on this occasion? ¶ 143.
What effect has this heavenly message had upon the hearts of men for centuries past? ¶ 143.
Under what conditions will the peoples of earth learn of the importance of the birth of Jesus? ¶ 144.
What was the date of Jesus' birth? ¶ 145.
Tell what you can concerning the "wise men" that journeyed from the east to Bethlehem to see Jesus. ¶ 146.
Who sent the "wise men" to Herod? ¶ 146.
Why should we expect Satan to try to form a conspiracy to destroy the babe Jesus? ¶ 147.
Explain the significance of the names given Satan; and how do these apply to his operations against Jesus and his followers? ¶ 148.
When the promise was made to Mary that she should be the mother of Jesus, how did Satan regard this promise? ¶ 149.
What was one of the purposes of Jesus' coming to earth relative to Satan? ¶ 149.
What attempt did Satan make to destroy Mary and her babe before the birth of Jesus? ¶ 149.
What was the "star" or light that guided the "wise men" to Bethlehem? ¶ 150.
Who were these "wise men" and whom did they worship? ¶ 151.
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Had Pharaoh the king of Egypt employed similar men? and for what purpose? ¶ 151.
What kind of man was Herod? and under whose influence was he? ¶ 151.
Give the Scriptural account of the "wise men" going to Herod. ¶ 152.
Why would they go to Herod, the enemy of Jesus? ¶ 152.
Define a conspiracy. ¶ 152.
Is it possible for one to be involved in a conspiracy without knowing the real purpose? ¶ 152.
What did Herod do when the "wise men" approached him? ¶ 153.
What characteristics did Herod manifest in his consultation with the "wise men"? ¶ 153.
Would we expect God to help a wicked man like Herod carry out his purpose to destroy God's beloved Son? ¶ 154.
Where did the "wise men" find the babe? ¶ 155.
Why did they not return to Herod? ¶ 155.
How did God thwart Satan's purpose here to destroy the babe? ¶ 155.
What wicked thing did Herod do when he found that the "wise men" had not returned to him? ¶ 156.
Who prompted Herod to do this wicked act of slaying children? ¶ 156.
How was Jesus saved from this slaughter? and where did his parents take him? ¶ 156.
Could we presume under these circumstances that God would use the "wise men" for his witnesses to the birth of Jesus? ¶ 157.
What humble, honest creatures did he use as such witnesses? ¶ 157.
Was there anything in the mission of the "wise men" that is beneficial to mankind? ¶ 158.
Why would God permit this conspiracy? ¶ 158.
Does Satan deceive honest people? ¶ 158.
Who has been responsible for all the persecution of Jesus and his followers? ¶ 159.
Who has protected them, and how? ¶ 159.
Why are all the descendants of Adam sinners? Quote the scripture. ¶ 160.
Jesus being born of a woman, was he a sinner? and if not, why not? ¶ 161.
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What is meant by the words "holy ghost"? ¶ 162.
What is the meaning of the word father? ¶ 162.
Why is Jesus called the Son of God? ¶ 162.
Why was our Lord named Jesus? and what does the name imply? ¶ 163.
Did he exist before he became Jesus? and what was his prehuman name? ¶ 163.
What is the meaning of the word Logos? and what relation has the Logos to all of Jehovah's creation? ¶ 163.
Did Jehovah have a beginning? ¶ 164.
What is meant by the term "in the beginning" as used in John 1:1,2? ¶ 164.
Give further Scriptural evidence of the prehuman existence of Jesus. ¶ 164, 165.
Are Jehovah and Jesus one and the same being? Give the Scriptural proof. ¶ 166.
In what sense are the Father and the Son one? Give Scriptural proof. ¶ 167.
When Jesus prayed to the Father, did he pray to himself or to another? ¶ 168.
Who is the greater, Jehovah or Jesus? Give Scriptural proof. ¶ 169.
When Jesus was on earth, was he a spirit or a human being? ¶ 170.
What is meant by the incarnation theory? ¶ 170.
Do the Scriptures warrant the conclusion that Jesus was an incarnated being? If not, why not? ¶ 170.
When Jesus was on earth, was he both God and man? If not, why not? ¶ 171.
By what must we determine these questions? ¶ 171.
What is the meaning of faith? ¶ 171.
How does Satan sometimes lead persons of honest heart into error? ¶ 172.
Should we follow sophistry or the Bible in reaching a conclusion on these questions? ¶ 172.
Briefly review the argument of the begetting and birth of Jesus which disproves that he was an incarnated being. ¶ 173.
If Jesus was God incarnate, why should he have had the experience in the wilderness? ¶ 173.
Angels are spirit beings. What Scriptural proof have we
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that Jesus was not an angel? Cite the Scriptural proof. ¶ 174.
Give further scriptures to show that he was a man, made in the likeness of men, and that he is the Lord from heaven. ¶ 174.
Had Jesus been an incarnate being, would it have been necessary for him to be born as a child? ¶ 175.
Why should we reason upon God's plan? ¶ 176.
Could there have been any hope for the redemption of the human race except by Jesus becoming a man and by his death providing the ransom price? ¶ 176.
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