Millions Now Living Will Never Die - Part 5
LEAGUE OF NATIONS
With the cessation of hostilities, statesmen representing the leading nations involved met in conference and (giving them credit for the desire to establish peace and prosperity) the result of their deliberations was a covenant known as the League of Nations. This is offered as a remedy for present evils. Will it succeed? A league formed amongst all the nations of earth and based upon the principles of justice and righteousness, and in which all the contracting parties would honestly carry out the purpose expressed, would doubtless result in great good. But where selfishness is the chief motive and controls the action of any or all, an ideal condition could not be attained. God in his wisdom foreknew and foretold the formation of the League of Nations; and he likewise foretold that it must fail. -Isaiah 8:9, 10.
The inducing cause for the formation of the League is admittedly fear. Faith in God and his promises is entirely ignored. Because of these facts the League will never accomplish the expressed desire. It is not God's way. He has plainly said: "My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8, 9) Jehovah's great plan was entirely ignored in the formation of this League of Nations. The prophet truly wrote: "Blessed
is the nation whose God is the Lord". (Psalm 33:12) But a nation that ignores the divine plan, or any league of nations formed which ignores the same, need not expect a desirable result. The Lord's prophet clearly had in mind the formation of the League of Nations, and also the league of ecclesiastical systems, when he wrote: "Associate yourselves, O ye people, and ye shall be broken in pieces: and give ear, all ye of far countries; gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces; gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces. Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought: speak the word, and it shall not stand." -Isaiah 8:9, 10.
Ecclesiasticism relates to organized church systems, and particularly to the clergymen or priestly class operating and controlling the same. For a long time the Roman Catholic was practically the only creed extant. In the sixteenth century there was a great reformation movement and Protestant ecclesiasticism resulted. The ecclesiastics, therefore, come forward with a proposed remedy for distressed humanity; and since they do so, we are justified in a candid examination of their proposed remedy to see whether or not it is adequate. The ecclesiastical systems both Catholic and Protestant claim that their mission is to convert the world, thereby bringing the people into the churches. Let us suppose they could accomplish this expressed purpose and that the whole human race was
brought into one or the other of the churches. What, then, is the hope that they hold out to the people?
The Catholic creed or teaching is that the destiny of man is fixed at death and that those who are good and faithful Catholics at death pass on to heaven, a condition of endless bliss. All other Catholics who have not been faithful in every particular go to purgatory, there to remain for an indefinite period of time (not less than a thousand years), during which time they are supposed to be cleansed and purified and made ready for the heavenly realm, that all the others, the heretics, the apostate, etc., must spend their destiny in hell fire, consciously suffering forever.
The Protestant teaching generally is that the destiny of every man is eternally fixed at death, the faithful church member passing at death into glory, a condition of bliss in heaven; and all others spending their eternity in conscious torture, eternal in duration.
It will be noticed, therefore, that if there be any real difference between these two remedies, the Protestant remedy is the worse of the two, because it offers no middle ground. It is plainly to be seen by any one that neither the Catholic nor the Protestant creed offers any remedy whatsoever for the present disorder that would lead to peace, prosperity, liberty and happiness and life everlasting on the earth. It follows, then, that if they should succeed in converting
most or all of the people to their theories it would be no solution of the present problems.
The great difficulty with the systems ecclesiastical is that they ignore entirely the divine remedy. They ignore the commission given to the Christian and build their hopes upon manmade theories, creeds and institutions. They ignore completely the commission divinely given to every one who has consecrated himself to do the Lord's will. It will be admitted by both Catholics and Protestants that only a small portion of the earth's population have even pretended to embrace the teachings of their respective systems, and the most sanguine amongst them will never claim that they hope to convert everybody to their way of thinking and bring them into the church organization. The facts are that in modern times they have ignored the doctrines and do not ask the people to believe these but to unite in action; and the chief action is the solicitation and collection of money. Seizing the war spirit, the spirit of the world, these ecclesiastical systems now are engaged in raising millions of dollars, saying to the people: "If only we had the money we could convert the world". Is it not apparent to all that this is a reflection on the Lord, that he needs money to carry out his purposes; and is he pleased to use the unconsecrated funds of the worldings to do his work? Is it necessary to solicit in the name of the Lord money from men who have no interest in the Lord's arrangement but who yield
to the importunities of the clergy and pay the money in order that they may have a social or political standing amongst a certain class of people? Could it be said that the Lord must resort to such methods in order to carry out his arrangement? Every reasonable man must say, Surely not. And again we are reminded of the Lord's words through the prophet, directing them at those who are advancing these worldly theories: "My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."-Isaiah 55:8, 9.
The wise man, then, is he who seeks to know what is the divine remedy and, finding this, seeks to conform himself to it; for nothing else short of divine power can bring order out of the present chaotic condition and bring to man that which he desires. Let us keep in mind that it has ever been the desire of man to enjoy life, liberty and happiness. This was so uppermost in the minds of the forefathers in laying the foundation for the American government that they placed this statement in the fundamental law of the land. The people, therefore, are wasting their money, wasting their time and energy to pursue a will-o'-the-wisp, a man-made theory, in utter disregard of the divine remedy; and, of course, if the people are ignorant of this remedy which the Lord has provided, they cannot pursue it. The great masses are ignorant
and their ignorance is due to the fact that the ecclesiastics have been unfaithful to their commission, have failed to teach the Scriptures, but on the contrary have taught man-made theories; and for this reason God, foreknowing that it would be thus, recorded: "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord. "-Amos 8:11.
After many centuries of divine favor the clergy of the church nominal as a class has proven unfaithful to the divinely given commission. After six thousand years of laborious effort to establish an ideal government in the earth, the nations are now face to face with a condition of chaos, and mankind is groping blindly about. The people who love righteousness and truth have been without aid, advice and comfort from those from whom they might expect it and who claim to be the messengers of the Lord. These so-called spiritual advisers have torn off the mask and now boldly declare that they ignore the doctrines and unite in action for money and power.
With the great doctrines of Christianity ignored, upon what will the hungry souls feed? -those souls that hunger and thirst for righteousness, from whence will they gather their satisfying portion? (Psalm 107:1-7) Is it not time for all such to seek the divine remedy? Man's extremity is God's opportunity. The
whole world is being humbled by suffering and sorrow. Let those who mourn be comforted by the great and beneficent arrangement disclosed by his Word.
The Holy Scriptures contain the expression of the will of God concerning man. The Bible is the only true source of knowledge upon which man can base a hope for the future. The Apostle Paul with prophetic vision, looking on down to the time of the blessings that shall come to the human race, wrote to the followers of Jesus: 'Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his spirit: for the spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.' -1 Corinthians 2:9,10.
It was the great Master who said: "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth". (John 17:17) Nothing, then, but an understanding and appreciation of the Word of God can lead man into the right way and unfold to him visions of the blessings that are to come; and the understanding of the divine arrangement brings comfort and joy to the heart.
The inspired witness wrote: "Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world". (Acts 15:18) From the very creation of man to the full consummation of his plan Jehovah knew everything and his great program has been working out in a progressive and
orderly manner. In order, therefore, for us to appreciate the divine remedy we must first ascertain the real cause of the present condition of strife, turmoil, trouble, wars, revolution, etc., in the earth.
The first man was created perfect and given a perfect home in Eden, endowed with life as a human being, with happiness, with peace, and with all the blessings incident to a perfect life and a perfect home. He was endowed with the power and authority to produce perfect children and to fill the earth with a perfect race of people. His enjoyment of those blessings eternally depended upon his obedience to the divine law; and his disobedience of that law he was informed would lead to the forfeiture of his right to life as a human being, as well as his right to happiness and peace. Man violated the law. This account is briefly set forth in the third chapter of Genesis. Man was sentenced to death, driven out from his perfect home, and the judgment executed by causing him to subsist upon the poisonous elements of the unfinished earth. As long as he existed he was caused to eat his bread in sorrow. In all these centuries he has been under the bondage of the evil effects of sin, waiting and hoping for liberation.
It must be observed that Adam did not lose a home in heaven. He was not offered a home in heaven; but what he did possess was a home on earth, with human life in perfection, as a man;
and his violation of the law forfeited these. Therefore, if man is ever restored to his original favors and blessing it must be to that which he first enjoyed -perfection of life as a human being, a perfect home, and peace and happiness on earth.
The disobedience of Adam entailed upon all of his offspring sorrow, sickness, suffering and death. The perfect pair did not bear children while in Eden; but they exercised this function after the condemnation and after man was earning his bread in the unfinished earth. He was gradually undergoing the sentence of death. He was imperfect, and it follows as a logical and reasonable conclusion that he could not produce a perfect race of people. The result was that his offspring were born in a dying condition. And this is what the prophet meant when he wrote: "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. (Psalm 51:5) This is the same thought expressed by St. Paul when he wrote: "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.
Jehovah had in mind from the beginning the redemption of mankind from this condition of suffering and death, and their restoration to that which was lost. Abraham, who lived in the land of the Chaldees, trusted in Jehovah; and
God called unto him and made him a promise. saying: "I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shall be a blessing: . . . and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed". (Genesis 12:2, 3) At the time this promise was made Abraham had no children. He was seventy-five years of age, his wife had passed the age of child-bearing; yet he had faith in God, and when Abraham was a hundred years old his son Isaac was born. When Isaac grew to manhood's estate God put Abraham to a test of faithfulness to him and directed Abraham to take his son Isaac into a mountain and offer him up as a sacrifice. It grieved Abraham's heart much to do this; but having faith in God he obeyed. Journeying to the mountain, he built an altar, bound Isaac to it, and the knife in his hand was about to strike death to his son when the Lord called unto him out of heaven, saying: "Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son, from me". (Genesis 22:12) Thereupon God renewed his promise to Abraham and bound it with his oath, saying: "By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; and
in thy seed shall alt the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice".-Genesis 22:16-18.
This promise to Abraham has not yet been fulfilled. It must be fulfilled, because God is not slack in any of his promises. He changes not. (Malachi 3:6) Clearly, the blessing here intended is life, liberty and happiness-a restoration to the very things Adam had forfeited by reason of his disobedience. All the prophets who thereafter wrote foretold the coming of such times of restoration and blessing.
The judgment of condemnation against Adam could never be reversed because that would be equivalent to God denying himself; therefore the judgment must be enforced. But it would be entirely consistent with the divine arrangement for provision to be made for satisfaction of the judgment, thus maintaining the dignity and majesty of the divine law. Hence God made promise through the prophet Hosea, saying: "I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction".-Hosea 13:14.
This provision for the satisfaction of justice and release of mankind from condemnation must come through the voluntary sacrifice of another perfect human. The word ransom means exact corresponding price. A perfect man had sinned and forfeited life, liberty and happiness. This penalty was demanded by the
divine law. Hence God could make provision and did make provision that if another perfect man could be found who would voluntarily permit his life, liberty and happiness to be taken from him, all these rights could be substituted for those which Adam had forfeited and thereby lay the foundation or basis upon which Jehovah could restore Adam and his offspring to liberty, happiness and life. Of course, it follows that none of Adam's offspring could meet these divine requirements, for the reason that all are imperfect. Hence the Psalmist wrote: "None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him". (Psalm 49:7) What, then, could be done for the redemption of the human race?
St. John records the fact that the Word or Logos was the beginning of Jehovah's creation, and that he (the Logos) afterward became the active agent in the creation of everything made; and that "the Word [Logos] was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth". (John 1:14) St. Matthew gives the account of the birth of Jesus; that he was begotten not by man but by the power of Jehovah; therefore he had none of the inherited condemnation of contamination of Adam. The Logos was transferred from the spirit to the human plane. He became the child
Jesus. He was born "holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners" (Hebrews 7:26); he was without sin. (1 Peter 1:19) He was born under the law covenant, which covenant fixed the legal majority for priestly purposes at thirty years. Therefore when Jesus attained the years of maturity he was perfect physically, mentally, morally -perfect under the law, the exact counterpart of the perfect man Adam in Eden prior to his disobedience to the divine law. Why had Jehovah permitted his beloved Son to be transferred from the spirit to the human plane? Why had he come to earth at all? Let Jesus himself answer: "The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many". (Matthew 20:28) And again he said: "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly". (John 10:10) Again, speaking in dark saying or symbolic phrase, he likens himself unto bread, which men eat and live, saying: "I am the living bread which carne down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh [humanity], which I will give for the life of the world". -John 6:51.
THE RANSOM PRICE
To ransom means to purchase, and the ransom price means the exact corresponding price. A perfect man had sinned and lost all. A perfect man now, by voluntarily going into death, would
provide the corresponding price for the redemption of mankind. Jesus was not a sinner. He never committed a sin. Why, then, should he die? St. Paul answers: "Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures". (1 Corinthians 15:3) St. John adds: "He is the propitiation [satisfaction] for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world".-1 John 2:2.
"God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved." (John 3:16, 17) Jesus was put to death in the flesh, a man, and was raised from the dead a spirit being, divine in nature. (1 Peter 3:18) He ascended on high as a divine being, having the right to a perfect human life, now to be given in the place of that which Adam had forfeited; and by this perfect human life and all the rights incident thereto he had provided the ransom or purchase price for the redemption and deliverance of all mankind from death. As surely as God has made this provision, so surely then he will carry it into full force and effect.
It will be noticed that in the promise God made to Abraham he said: "In thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed". (Genesis 28:14) The blessings here promised is life
everlasting. (Romans 6:23) It follows, then, that before the blessing of life everlasting and the blessings incident thereto could be extended to mankind through the seed, the seed itself must first be developed. The seed according to the promise was the mystery for ages and generations. It is yet a mystery to all except those who have given their hearts to the Lord and diligently sought to understand what constitutes the seed. The Apostle Paul under inspiration defined the seed: "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 3:16) The word Christ here means anointed one. The word Messiah means the same thing. The Christ consists of Jesus glorified, the head, and the members of his body, which constitutes the church. "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." (Galatians 3:27, 29) "And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the pre-eminence."-Colossians 1:18.
SELECTION OF BODY MEMBERS
Clergymen as a class, particularly of modern times, seem to misconceive entirely the commission of a Christian and the purpose that God has in developing that class. They have conceived the thought and advance it to the people
that everybody must join some denominational system in order to be saved; whereas the Scriptures plainly teach that God's purpose and plan, during the time elapsing from the crucifixion of the Lord to the setting up of his kingdom, is to select from amongst men his church. The word church means called-out class. It does not mean any denominational system. It means the true followers of the Master who continue faithful unto death. The Apostle Paul speaks of the church when he refers to the "church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven". (Hebrews 12:23) He does not say, Whose names are written on church books, or who have signed pledges to contribute so much money - not the names of those who are recorded by men, but who are recorded by the Lord in heavenly records, based upon their consecration and faithful service to him. The divine purpose is clearly set forth: "God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up; that the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and al the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things."-Acts 15:14-17.
In the Scriptures a pure virgin is used to symbolize the bride of Christ, the true church;
and an unchaste woman, or harlot, is used to symbolize the false system; and the Lord showed that these two would be in development side by side and that the pure virgin class would be persecuted by the unchaste class. The Lord Jesus gave a parable, likening these two classes unto wheat and tares, the true church being designated as wheat, whereas the others are designated as tares. (Matthew 13:24-39) He said: "Let us both grow together until the harvest: and in the Lime of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn". The great apostate systems are binding themselves together in bundles and the Lord is gathering his true saints unto himself. Defining this parable Jesus said: "The good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; the enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world". (Matthew 13:38, 39) Further answering the question as to what would happen at the end of the world, he said he would send forth his messengers with the "sound of a trumpet [proclamation of the truth], and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven [ecclesiastical systems] to the other". (Matthew 24:31) For the past forty years or more the true Christians have been gathering themselves together without regard to creed or denomination, while the denominational systems are binding
themselves into great compacts or leagues, and making much fuss about converting the world.
A CHRISTIAN'S TRIBULATION
It has become a popular matter to become a member of some church system or to join the Interchurch World Movement; and the man or woman who contributes the greatest amount of money is the one who receives the greatest honor.
On the contrary, it has never been popular to be a true Christian, a true follower of Jesus; and this is due to the fact that the divine program is: "We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God". (Acts 14:22) Jesus said: "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me". (Matthew 16:24) Jesus consecrated himself fully to do the Father's will. His footstep followers must do likewise. Jesus suffered indignities and persecution at the hands of the religionists of his time. His followers must have a similar experience. "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps." (1 Peter 2:21) Jesus said: "The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple to be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they cal them of his household?" (Matthew 10:24, 25) Again he said
to his followers: "If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saving, they will keep yours also." (John 15:18-20) Suffering ignominy and persecution at the hands of the nominal religionists and the forces that they can bring to bear, is the course clearly marked out for the true follower of Christ Jesus. "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God; and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together." (Romans 8:16, 17) "It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him."-2 Timothy 2:11, 12.
The divine arrangement makes it a condition precedent to entering into glory that the true Christian should be perfected through suffering. The church is but a small number, comparatively speaking; and the church, together with Christ Jesus, the head, is called to the high and exalted position in heaven, constituting the seed of Abraham according to the promise, pictured by the stars mentioned in the promise. Hence, because of this exaltation, God permits them to
be put through a period of trying circumstances and sufferings in order that they might be afforded the opportunity of proving their faithful, loyal devotion to him. "For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many Sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren."-Hebrews 2:10,11.
True to the divine arrangement, the church has been put through a course of suffering. The head and the body members have been unjustly accused of crime time and again. St. Paul tells us, as likewise does the Master, that Satan is the god of this world. (2 Corinthians 4:4) Again we read that the whole world lieth in the wicked one. (1 John 5:19) The governments of earth, therefore, have been under the dominion of Satan, and the seed of Satan is and has been the instrumentality he has used for the purpose of persecution. In the days of the Master the scribes, Pharisees, and doctors of the law, who claimed to sit in Moses' seat and represent Jehovah, were the ones who led the persecution against the Master. Jesus plainly told these that they were a part of the seed of the serpent, the devil. It would be most reasonable, therefore, to expect that Satan would inject into the minds of his instruments the thought of charging the followers of Jesus with the crime of
sedition against his (Satan's) empire. The nominal religionists of his day charged Jesus with the crime of sedition and caused him to be executed on that charge. St. Stephen, the first martyr to the cause of true Christianity following the Master, was stoned to death after being unjustly convicted upon perjured testimony on the charge of sedition. St. Paul, because of his faithfulness to the Lord, was confined in prison for four years under a similar charge and was otherwise ill-treated. St. John the Revelator, under a similar charge, was banished to the isle of Patmos and required to don a prisoner's garb and beat rock. The history of the world shows that the true followers of Jesus have met with opposition and persecution upon all hands and at all times.
As an illustration of this fact: the church nominal of England became a part of the political power and those who refused to conform to the state-church were persecuted. A short distance from London stands a building erected to the memory of men who were burned upon that spot because of their faithfulness to the truth and who refused to conform to man-made theories of religion. John Bunyan, a humble follower of Jesus, refused to be a conformist to man-made theories and he was tried and convicted and placed in prison. A clergyman then was delegated to wait upon him and tell Bunyan words to this effect: You are going to be kept in prison for three months. If at the end of
that time you recant and conform yourself to the church-state you will be released; otherwise you will be put to death. And Bunyan calmly replied: "You might as well put me to death now; I will never conform". He was kept in prison for twelve years and while there wrote Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, which has been a great comfort and help to Christians who have trod the narrow way from then until now.
Speaking of the evidences concerning the end of the world, Jesus furthermore said: "Then shall they deliver you [meaning his followers] up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake". -Matthew 24:9.
It is often true that advantage is taken of conditions of war and strife to vent some ill-feeling upon others. When the great world war began, in Germany certain Christians, known as Bible Students, who asked to be exempted from combatant military service because of their devotion and faithfulness to the Lord and because of his command to them that they should not kill, were ill-treated, placed in the front ranks of battle, and were amongst the first to fall. In Austria, the very stronghold of one of the great ecclesiastical systems, a number of these same Bible Students were killed and others imprisoned during the period of the war. In Canada many were haled into court and summarily tried without being given an opportunity to offer a defense, and were fined or imprisoned,
the charge being that they had in their possession Bibles with certain comments, hymnbooks which they had used for years in the worship of God, and other literature in harmony with the Scriptures. To the astonishment of many people in the United States there was a wide persecution of conscientious followers of the Master in this land. No Christian permits himself to become embittered because of this unjust treatment, but he recognizes it as a fulfillment of the divine prophecy and one of the evidences given by the Lord to those who yield submissively to the divine arrangement, to assure them that they belong to him. The inspired Apostle wrote: "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's suffering; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified."-l Peter 4:12-14.
Jesus and the members of his body thus developed through trial and tribulation according to the divine arrangement will constitute the seed of Abraham, through which seed God will ultimately extend blessings to all the families of the earth. The Apostle Paul with prophetic vision looking down through the corridors of the age, marking the suffering of mankind and the
development of the Christ class, the seed, exclaimed: "The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now, waiting for the manifestation of the Sons of God". -Romans 8:19,22.
KINGDOM COMING IN
The wars, famine, pestilence, distress of nations, etc., upon the earth are but the forerunners of the establishment of the Messianic kingdom. The Lord through his prophet said: "I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come." (Haggai 2:7) And while this great shaking is in progress and monarchs are losing their crowns, aristocratic and autocratic thrones are tumbling to the earth, the words of the prophet ring out clearly in the ears of the followers of Jesus: "And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever". -Daniel 2:44.
Elijah was a type of the followers of Christ Jesus; and the Lord used him to picture the events transpiring in the end of the world, as we have heretofore mentioned. (See Pages 19-22) In fulfillment of the antitype, the Elijah class knew that the war was coming and one of them the Lord's faithful servant, Pastor Russell, for forty years pointed out from the prophecies that
it would come in 1914. The Lord is not in the war, meaning that the Lord's kingdom is not yet in hill sway. Then follows the earthquake, symbolic of revolution, which has already swept some of the countries. Then shall follow the anarchy-destructive troubles. Anarchy means a disregard of all law, certain classes assuming to exercise power and authority where it is not granted, causing indescribable suffering and sorrow. In this the Lord is not, but it is another means of clearing away the ground preparatory to establishing the kingdom. Then Elijah heard the still small voice. This still small voice is a message from the Lord. The voice is used to symbolize a message or messenger. The Lord has long ago put the message in his Word the Bible for the benefit of those who should live in this hour of stress. The multitudes of earth are clamoring everywhere. They are confused; they are distressed. They are in sorrow, in tears of bitterness. They are almost at their wits' end. But if they could be heard to express their hearts' sincere desire now, without a doubt there would come up from every quarter of the earth this request: Give us a government of righteousness with a wise ruler who will administer the laws in behalf of all; give us peace and not war; give us plenty and not profiteers; give us liberty and not license; give us life and not suffering and death. Back from the past comes the sweet small voice of the Lord saying that this request shall be fulfilled: "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.
An understanding of the jubilee system which Jehovah inaugurated with Israel throws a great light upon the immediate future events. The Scriptures clearly show that Israel, while God dealt with them for more than eighteen centuries, was a typical people. Their law was typical, foreshadowing greater and better things to come. The Lord commanded Moses to institute the Sabbath system the year that Israel entered the land of Canaan, which was 1575 years before A. D. 1 (Leviticus 25:1-12), and that every fiftieth year should be unto them a year of jubilee. This was done on the tenth day of the seventh month, the day of atonement. "And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year and proclaim freedom throughout the land unto all the inhabitants thereof; it shall be a jubilee unto you and ye shall return every man unto his possessions and ye shall return every man unto his family. Other Scriptures show that there were to be
seventy jubilees kept. (Jeremiah 25:11; 2 Chronicles 36:17-21) A simple calculation of these jubilees brings us to this important fact: Seventy jubilees of fifty years each would be a total of 3500 years. That period of time beginning 1575 before A. D. 1 of necessity would end in the fall of the year 1925, at which time the type ends and the great antitype must begin. What, then, should we expect to take place? In the type there must be a full restoration; therefore the great antitype must mark the beginning of restoration of all things. The chief thing to be restored is the human race to life; and since other Scriptures definitely fix the fact that there will be a resurrection of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and other faithful ones of old, and that these will have the first favor, we may expect 1925 to witness the return of these faithful men of Israel from the condition of death, being resurrected and fully restored to perfect humanity and made the visible, legal representatives of the new order of things on earth.
Messiah's kingdom once established, Jesus and his glorified church constituting the great Messiah, shall minister the blessings to the people they have so long desired and hoped for and prayed might come. And when that time comes, there will be peace and not war, as the prophet beautifully states: "In the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above
the hills; and people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks; nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid; for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it." -Micah 4:1-4.
As we have heretofore stated, the great jubilee cycle is due to begin in 1925. At that time the earthly phase of the kingdom shall be recognized. The Apostle Paul in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews names a long list of faithful men who died before the crucifixion of the Lord and before the beginning of the selection of the church. These can never be a part of the heavenly class; they had no heavenly hopes; but God has in store something good for them. They are to be resurrected as perfect men and constitute the princes or rulers in the earth, according to his promise. (Psalm 45:16; Isaiah 32:1; Matthew 8:11) Therefore we may confidently expect that 1925 will mark the return of Abraham,
Isaac, Jacob and the faithful prophets of old, particularly those named by the Apostle in Hebrews chapter eleven, to the condition of human perfection.
All the statesmen of the world, all the political economists, all the thoughtful men and women, recognize the fact that the conditions existing prior to the war have passed away and that a new order of things must be put in vogue. All such recognize that this is a period now marking the beginning of reconstruction. The great difficulty is that these men are exercising only human wisdom and have ignored the divine arrangement. We are indeed at the time of reconstruction, the reconstruction not only of a few things, but of all things. The reconstruction will not consist of patching up old and broken down systems and forms and arrangements, but the establishment of a new and righteous one under the great ruler Christ Jesus, the Prince of Peace. The Apostle Peter at Pentecost, speaking under divine inspiration, and referring to that time, said: "Times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: whom the heaven must receive [retain] until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began". -Acts 3:19-21.
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