Watchtower Contradicts The First Resurrection

first-resurrectionIn April 1986, the Watchtower stated that because certain first century “Christians” taught that the resurrection had already occurred, they were apostates:

Yet, on this one basic point, what they were teaching as to the time of the resurrection, Paul rightly branded them as apostates, with whom faithful Christians would not fellowship.

  “Paul wrote about some in his day: “Their word will spread like gangrene. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of that number. These very men have deviated from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already occurred; and they are subverting the faith of some.” (2 Timothy 2:17, 18; see also Matthew 18:6.) There is nothing to indicate that these men did not believe in God, in the Bible, in Jesus’ sacrifice. Yet, on this one basic point, what they were teaching as to the time of the resurrection, Paul rightly branded them as apostates, with whom faithful Christians would not fellowship.” Watchtower 4/1/86, Page 31:

In their lastest history book: Jehovah’s Witnesses: Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom published in 1993, the book shows that the founder of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society [now the legal representatives of Jehovah’s Witnessesses] Charles Taze Russell, taught that the resurrection began in 1878:

[The Bible Students] concluded that … the resurrection to spirit life of those already sleeping in death began then.

“Based on the premise that events of the first century might find parallels in related events later, they [the early Bible Students associated with C. T. Russell] also concluded that if Jesus’ baptism and anointing in the autumn of 29 C.E. paralleled the beginning of an invisible presence in 1874, then his riding into Jerusalem as King in the spring of 33 C.E. would point to the spring of 1878 as the time when he would assume his power as heavenly King. They also thought they would be given their heavenly reward at that time. When that did not occur, they concluded that since Jesus’ anointed followers were to share with him in the Kingdom, the resurrection to spirit life of those already sleeping in death began then.” Proclaimers, Page 632

Russell taught this for the remaining years of his life. The Watchtower Society was still teaching this in 1925:

It is the understanding of the consecrated that the sleeping saints were resurrected in 1878. [Watchtower 2/1/25, Page 371]

By 1927, however, the Watchtower Society said:

… the resurrection of the sleeping saints did not take place in 1878. [4]

“It seems impossible to find anything in these parallel events to indicate the resurrection of the sleeping saints in 1878… Again referring to the quotation from Volume III: The conclusion there reached, that the parallels bear upon the resurrection of the saints, results from the assumption that the Lord was supposed to have taken his power and begun his reign in 1878, and that therefore he would resurrect his saints at approximately the same time. But there is nothing to indicate that Jesus Christ took his power and began his reign in 1878. He could not consistently do so until the expiration of the Gentile Times… the Gentile Times ended in 1914, and the nations were angry, and it was the Lord’s due time to take possession and oust Satan. Seeing then that the Scriptures conclusively prove that the Lord Jesus Christ did not take his great power and begin his reign in 1878, but that he did so in 1914, it follows that the resurrection of the sleeping saints did not take place in 1878.”  Watchtower 5/15/27, Page 151

This presents a curious situation: Charles Taze Russell was an apostate according to the 1986 Watchtower, since he declared that the resurrection had already occurred.

Moreover, the Society says that Jehovah selected it as His earthly organization in 1918. At that time, they were still teaching Russell’s “apostate” interpretation.

Note: In the Watchtower (06/01/27), it was stated (on page 165) that the resurrection had in fact taken place in 1918: “The anointed and faithful ones constitute the temple of God… Such of course include both the sleeping saints and the faithful ones who afterwards have their instantaneous change… Jesus went to heaven to prepare a place for his saints… it would hardly seem that he would awaken the sleeping saints until this preparatory work was completed… it follows, then that the temple of God was brought together in 1918, and that that marks the time of the resurrection of the sleeping saints.”

Signs of the King’s Presence

jesus-returnThe words of the Prophet, given in our text refer to the close of the present Gospel Age. It is the same Day prophesied by the Apostle Paul when he declared, “The fire of that Day shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.” (1 Cor. 3:13.) It is the Day of which the Apostle Peter wrote so graphically when he said that in that great Day of the Lord the heavens should be on fire and the elements should melt with fervent heat, and that the earth and all the works therein should be burned up. (2 Pet. 3:10.) It is the Day of which the Prophet Zephaniah spoke when he said that in the great Day of the Lord all the earth should be devoured with the fire of God’s jealousy. (Zeph. 3:8) Isaiah, Jeremiah, and many of the faithful Prophets of God prophesied of this Day. The Prophet Daniel was instructed by the angel of the Lord that in that Day there should be a “Time of Trouble such as never was since there was a nation.” (Dan. 12:1) Our Lord Jesus Himself verified this prophecy, and added that never afterwards should there be such a time.—Matt. 24:21,22

The Scriptures call this Day “the Day of the Lord,” “the Day of Jehovah,” “the Day of God,” “the Day of Christ,” ” the Day of Vengeance,” “that great and notable Day,” etc. It is the Day in which the Old Order is to perish and the glorious New Order is to be ushered in. In foretelling this Day, both the Prophets and the Apostles speak of the class which will stand in this Day when all others shall fall. St. Paul says that everything which can be shaken down will be; and that only the Kingdom which will then be set up, and which cannot be shaken, will remain. (Heb. 12:25-29) The present order of society—the nominal church systems, financial institutions, political institutions—all —will go down in this time of trouble.

During this Gospel Age many who have not been Christians have associated themselves with the Church. The civilized world of today call themselves “Christians,” in contradistinction to the nations, which they call “heathen,” though from the Scriptural standpoint they are all heathen—Gentiles. Among all these various nations we find many religions, whose devotees claim that they have consecrated themselves to God. But the touch-stone by which these claims may be tested is the Word of God. See Gal. 1:6-9.

To the true Church of Christ alone will God give the Messianic Kingdom. Some who really have Christ and His work of sacrifice as their foundation will be saved, but at the expense of all their works, their character-structure, which the “fire” of this Day will consume. The tare class in the nominal churches will be bundled and “burned,” not as individuals, but as professed Christians; that is to say, their professions will be seen to be without foundation.

SAVED AS THROUGH FIRE

The ones who are upon the Rock Christ Jesus, the only true Foundation, are those who have accepted Jesus as their Ransom-sacrifice, and have consecrated themselves wholly to God through Him. All these “have been called in one hope of their calling.” (Eph. 4:4) Many of these will fail to make their calling and election sure and will suffer great loss. They did not build properly upon this Foundation, Christ, a structure of gold, silver and precious stones of Truth and of whole-hearted loyalty to the Lord. They will suffer the loss of the Kingdom, and through much tribulation will take a lower place, before the Throne—not rulers, but honorable servants of the ruling class. All who have been begotten of the Holy Spirit must, as we have shown elsewhere, either be born upon the spirit plane or lose life altogether. Those who prove wholly faithful will be born Divine beings. Those not wholly faithful, and who miss the great “prize,” though not denying the Lord that bought them, will be born spirit beings of a lower order.

The tribulations which characterize the end of this Age will thoroughly awaken these careless ones. Certain special tribulations, we understand, have come to those who were of this class all through the Age. But apparently a larger number of these are living now, at the close of the Age; and these must go through “the great tribulation,” and must wash their soiled robes and make them white in the blood of the Lamb. (Rev. 7:9-17) They will have a blessed portion after their purification, but far less glorious than that to which they were called.

The Apostle Paul in his writings lays special emphasis upon the fundamental importance of correct doctrinal teaching. It made no difference whether Paul or Apollos or even an angel from Heaven taught anything, it must be in harmony with the foundation doctrines which had been given them by the Lord. (Gal. 1:6-12) He assured the Church that what he had taught them was from God; and that even if an angel should bring them another gospel, it would be a proof that such angel had deflected from loyalty to the Lord. That Jesus Christ died to secure the Redemption-price for Adam and his race is the foundation doctrine of the church, which was received from Jesus Himself and from His faithful mouthpieces and which was shown in the Divinely given types of the Law. Whoever taught this fundamental truth faithfully was a real help to the people of God. Yet even such a teacher might help them to build, even on this proper foundation, a faith and character structure which would not stand the tests of the great Day of the Lord.

INVULNERABILITY OF THE TRUTH

This prophecy of our text is still in process of fulfillment. The “refiners fire” is even now doing its work, and thousands and tens of thousands are falling all about us. The Prophet’s query is very pertinent at this time. We see that the false teachings which have come down during these many centuries since the Apostles fell asleep have made humanity incapable of reasoning correctly on religious subjects. In the past we have had our own experiences along this line. Whenever anything religious was mentioned we seemed to lose our common sense. Now we have lost our fear of the dread penalty of using our reason. We have come back to the teachings of Jesus and the Apostles, and we find them grand and beautiful.

Those who have been teaching errors will soon be ashamed (Isa. 66:5), while the fire of this Day will only manifest the Truth to all. No power, no tongue, no pen, can successfully contradict the Truth, the great Divine Plan of the Ages. It is strong before its enemies and before all who make assaults upon it, and ere long the folly of its foes shall be made known to the whole world. “There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE PRESENCE OF THE KING

The coming of the King to possess His Kingdom will mean a personal as well as a national and a church examination, judgment and treatment. It will mean, when the Kingdom is fully inaugurated, the suppression of vice in a manner and to a degree never attempted by any earthly reformer. There will be no license to do evil in any form. The only liberty granted will be liberty to do right. It is no wonder that so few experience joy at the proclamation of the return of earth’s rightful King to reign! To many it will mean the loss of their present advantages over their fellowmen. To many it will mean the prohibition and cutting off of sins now indulged in and enjoyed.

Nevertheless, both the King and the Kingdom are not only coming, but are here; and the present troubles and shakiness in church and state, and the general awakening of the people are the results of influences emanating from that King and Kingdom. Though men know it not, it is the work of the Kingdom of God that is even now preparing for the wreck of all the kingdoms of the earth, that the way may be opened for the establishment of righteousness in the world, that men’s hearts may be humbled and prepared for the righteous Government which is to take control of earth. Worldly men cannot realize this; for this Kingdom cometh not with outward observation—with outward show and display. Therefore they cannot say, “Lo, here,” or “Lo, there.”

In spite of the awful war now raging, growing fiercer and more deadly every day, these continue to hope for peace, trying to convince themselves and others that the trouble must soon be brought to an end, and that matters will then go on as formerly. They blind themselves to the true conditions and refuse to believe that God has determined to permit this trouble to spread and involve the entire world and to bring about the utter overthrow of the Present Order of things. Selfishness, pride and love of money have closed their eyes. We give here an extract from a poem written some years ago by a Christian minister, which forcefully describes present conditions and the judgment of God which is now to be visited upon the world for their lasting good:

“Woe to the Age when gold is god, and law a solemn jest, That helps the boldly vile to crush the noblest and the best! When Mammon o’er cheap millions flings, his gilded harness strong, And drives them tame beneath his lash, down broad highways of wrong; While Truth’s shrill clarion down the sky peals faintly o’er the rout, And dust and fumes of earth and sin shut Heaven’s blest sunlight out! Then look for lightning!—God’s red bolts must cleave the stifling gloom, In righteous wrath to purge the world in Sodom’s fearful doom!”

But we are thankful that while the judgments of a righteous God against sin must come at this time, yet the ultimate results will be glorious, when the world will come forth chastened, subdued, purified by the awful baptism of fire and blood; when they shall come to see that sin, selfishness and corruption have wrought their legitimate outcome. Then mankind will be ready to cry to the Lord and to long for His deliverance, and He will be entreated of them and will lift them up and bless them.

But the coming of the King means much trouble and the general overturning of the kingdoms of this world which, while professing to be kingdoms of God, are really under the control of the “prince of this world,” Satan, “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.” (John 14:30; 16:11; Eph. 2:2) It means the shaking of society in a manner and to an extent never before known, and so thoroughly that another shaking will never be necessary. (Heb. 12:26,27) It means the breaking in pieces of the empires and governments of the world as a potter’s vessel. It means the passing away of the present ecclesiastical “heavens,” and the fall of many of its bright “stars.” At present the sunlight of the true Gospel, and the moonlight of the Law with its types and shadows, are obscured by the thick clouds of worldly wisdom. “The sun shall be turned into darkness, the moon into blood.”—Joel 2:30, 31

While many would rejoice to see society relieved of many of its selfish, life-sapping ulcers, they seem to realize that so just and impartial a Judge as the Lord Himself might cut off certain long-cherished sins to which they desire to cling; they fear to have their personal selfishness touched. And their fears are well founded. He will bring to light all the hidden things of darkness, and correct and suppress private as well as public sin and selfishness. He will expose depths of corruption never before realized. He will make “Justice the line and righteousness the plummet; and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.” (R.V.) He will “bring down them that dwell on high, the lofty city (Babylon). He layeth low, . . .even to the dust.” He will bring down them who have “made lies their refuge.”—Isa. 28:15, 17, 18; 26:5, 6

LIFT UP TRUTH’S GLORIOUS BANNER!

It is written that the Day of the Lord would come as a thief and a snare upon the whole world, and that only God’s fully consecrated Church would be in the light and not be taken unawares. Many of the consecrated have been deceived by looking for the Heavenly King to come again in the flesh. They forgot that the only reason for His coming in the flesh at His First Advent was “for the suffering of death” as man’s corresponding-price; and that now He is highly exalted, a glorious spirit Being. “He was put to death in flesh, but made alive in Spirit.” (1 Pet. 3:18) They forgot that the Apostle Paul also said,”Though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet henceforth know we Him (so) no more.” (2 Cor. 5:16) The true children of God are coming more and more to see how the Master comes at His Second Advent, and are not expecting to see Him in the flesh and with their natural eyes.

We who know that the King of Glory and His blessed Kingdom are the only remedy for the wrongs and woes of man should be pointing the groaning creation to this Kingdom, rather than to the poultices of their own contriving which can do no real good. Tell them the meaning of present world-wide conditions, and how, beyond the troubles now overspreading the world, will come the glorious Times of Restitution foretold by all the holy Prophets since the world began. Tell them that the death of Jesus was the Redemption price for the entire race of Adam, and that His return is for the purpose not only of delivering His Church, but to bind Satan and set free all his captives, including all who are in the graves, giving all who will an opportunity to come into the liberty of sons of God, under the terms of the New Covenant, soon to be established.

Watchtower Contradicts The Ransom

ransomThose who are associated with the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society often have misconceptions in regards to the Society’s early years and history. Those who take the lead among the Jehovah’s Witnesses [the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses] have written about the years before 1925 as though there was a governing body in existence in those early years of the Society. While it is believed by many that a governing body did exist in 1918, in reality no governing body existed until recent years.

The Watchtower leaders have often presented distorted and sometimes outright false statements concerning the things taught by Charles Taze Russell and the early Watch Tower movement . The truth is that Charles Taze Russell never advocated such an organization that now exists as “Jehovah’s Witnesses.” After Russell’s death, “Judge” Joseph Franklin Rutherford usurped authority through legal trickery. He began to teach new ideas that took his followers farther and farther away from the Bible.

One of the greatest changes he effected was on the ransom. The teachings of The Watchtower and those of the earlier Zion’s Watch Tower are so different that they have been viewed as two different entities. The reader should note that when we refer to The Watchtower, we mean the modern-day publication produced by the leaders of “Jehovah’s Witnesses.” When we refer to Zion’s Watch Tower, we mean the publication that was being produced before “Judge” Rutherford invented a new organization called “Jehovah’s Witnesses.”

We will now proceed with examining how the two different doctrines concerning the ransom has led the modern-day Watchtower leaders into self-contradiction.

According to the modern-day Watchtower leaders, Messiah “came to inspect his slaves in 1918.” (The Watchtower, March 15, 1990, page 13) According to this same Watchtower:

“Well, by then [1918], who had given sincere truth-seekers the correct understanding of the ransom sacrifice….?”

The answer given is:

“The facts show that it was the group of anointed Christians associated with the publishers of the magazine Zion’s Watch Tower and Herald Christ’s Presence…”

(The reader should note that in 1918 there was no “Jehovah’s Witness” organization.) If Zion’s Watch Tower was printing the truth about the ransom-sacrifice in 1918, then what the modern-day Watchtower is teaching cannot possibly be true. Let us show what we mean.

What is the teaching of The Watchtower of today concerning the ransom-sacrifice? The March 15, 1990 Watchtower answers:

“Jesus came ‘to give his soul a ransom in exchange for many.’ (Mark 10:45) But who are the many? Adam is evidently excluded because he was a perfect man who deliberately chose to disobey God and died an unrepentant, willful sinner.”

The article goes on to say:

“The course taken by each individual determines whether he will benefit from Jesus’ sacrifice. Like Adam, the willfully wicked do not have the ransom merit and eternal life forced upon them. As Christ said: `He that exercises faith in the Son has everlasting life; he that disobeys the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains upon him.’ (John 3:36)”

Thus The Watchtower of today would make all who disobey the Watchtower leaders [who supposedly represent Jesus] in this life as willfully wicked, and receiving no benefit from the ransom. (This disregards John 12:46-48, which shows that those who disobey Jesus today will be judged in the resurrection day. In this life, the wrath, inherited from Adam, simply remains upon him.) Likewise, according to the present-day Watchtower leaders, Adam would receive no benefit from the ransom.

Now compare this with Zion’s Watch Tower of 1918 (August 15, 1918):

“When this ransom price shall have been formally delivered over to Justice in the end of this Gospel age, then, it will … have been exchanged for Adam and his posterity, the world of mankind, all of whom will be immediately transferred by the Father to the Son, that the work of the Millennial Kingdom may begin. The ransom price is designed to bring to Adam and his race the earthly life and the earthly life-rights and honors which were lost in Eden through disobedience.” (See Reprints, page 6314)

Again in Zion’s Watch Tower of October 1, 1918 (Reprints, page 6337), we find this statement:

“As in the one man Jesus Christ both Adam and all his children will be justified from the original condemnation, that which came upon the human race because of Adam’s disobedience.”

Please note that in the two quotes above, from the early Zion’s Watch Tower in 1918 that the ransom is presented quite differently from that in 1990. In 1918 Adam and all his posterity are to benefit from the ransom. In 1990, according to present-day Watchtower leaders, Adam will receive no benefit from the ransom, nor will many billions of mankind living today that might be destroyed during the destruction of Satan’s world.

A little reflection on the above should lead one to see that if Zion’s Watch Tower was teaching the truth concerning the ransom in 1918, then what The Watchtower of today is teaching is false, for they do not teach the same thing. Of course, just because the whole world receives benefits from the ransom of Jesus does not mean that “everlasting life” will be “forced” upon them. It only means that they will be given full opportunity to come into harmony with Jehovah and His Son, Jesus. Those of the world who then refuse will eventually be eternally destroyed in the second death at the end of the 1,000-Year Reign of Jesus, when the Kingdom is returned to the Father. (Revelation 20:7-9; Psalm 37:9,10; Matthew 25:41,46; 2 Thessalonians 1:9,10; 1 Corinthians 15:24) With Zion’s Watch Tower of 1918 we are general in agreement on this; therefore we are in disagreement with The Watchtower of modern times which would deny that Jesus gave his life as “a ransom for all.” (1 Timothy 2:5,6) It is this “ransom for all” teaching that will actually vindicate Jehovah as not only the rightful ruler, but that his ways are best in all things. It is only through the “ransom for all” that all the wicked will come to know Jehovah. Psalm 83:18; Compare Ezekiel 16:62,63.

We must, in all honesty, state that The Watchtower today does believe that millions of the unsaved dead will be awakened in the resurrection day and given opportunity to obey Jesus during the millennial kingdom. (See The Watchtower, March 15, 1990, page 31) In this we see an inconsistency of logic, however. On page 4 of the March 15, 1990 Watchtower we read:

“When Adam sinned, he lost everlasting perfect human life, with all rights and prospects. Hence, the same thing was redeemed by means of Jesus’ ransom sacrifice.”

How anyone could make this statement and then turn around and deny its clear meaning is beyond logic. If Adam’s “everlasting perfect human life” was redeemed by the ransom, then it would clearly mean that Adam would be released from sin’s condemnation of death. To reason otherwise would destroy the entire principle of the ransom.

The claim is made that Adam did not repent. The Scriptures nowhere state this. We are not informed as to whether he did or did not repent. There are some reasons to believe that he did have a change of heart. But Jehovah did not offer to him any deliverance based upon his repentance. Rather, another method of deliverance was vaguely suggested when Jehovah stated to the serpent: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed. He will bruise you in the head, and you will bruise him in the heel.” (Genesis 3:15) How much better are the ways of Jehovah than the reasoning of man!

The Light of the World

i-am-the-light-of-the-worldBelief in Jesus is necessary to eternal life. This is insisted upon by the New Testament and has been the conviction of the Church through the centuries. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shall be saved” is a phrase that was coined within a few weeks of the death of Christ and it is still declared at street corners by open-air evangelists and in many a tract and book designed to catch the attention and interest of the unconverted. A few generations ago Salvation Army lasses used to lead the “drunks” out of the beerhouses into the local Citadel and to the penitent form and if these in their semi maudlin state expressed belief in Jesus a shout of Hallelujahs went up; the man was “saved”. In present days attendants at revivalist rallies will answer the appeal to “come forward” and, perhaps somewhat more clear-headedly and intelligently, declare their conversion, and again the Lord is praised aloud for brands snatched from the burning and the counselors get busy to establish the new-found faith of the converts. But always the emphasis is upon the impossibility of salvation without this definite profession of faith.

In modern times this attitude is being questioned, not only by “modernists” who claim, with truth, that “there is good in all religions”, but also by some thinking Christians who realize that there have been, and are, some exceedingly good men who nevertheless are not Christians. One might cite the case of the Mahatma Gandhi, who, had he professed the Christian faith, would undoubtedly have been considered a saint. A character manifestly fit for Heaven, yet living and dying in the Hindu faith, is he to be denied entry on that account? It would be easy to quote similar examples and almost everybody could find such among their personal acquaintances in daily life.

Nevertheless, the New Testament is adamant. There is a future never-ending life but no one will attain it without deliberate and intelligent avowal of faith in, and acceptance of, and the linking of life with, the Lord Jesus Christ. “There is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved” insisted Peter in Acts 4:12 — “Believe in the name of Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved” said Paul to the Philippian jailer (Acts 16:34). “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart . . . . thou shalt be saved” (Romans 10:9). There is no escape from this basic principle, so clearly enunciated so many times in Scripture; there is no possibility of eternal life for any man, however moral, noble, and good, unless and until he has consciously and intelligently accepted Christ and begun to conform his life and his being to the will and purpose of God. It is not that God has established an arbitrary dictum which he will modify or dispense with in individual cases when he sees fit; this demand is fundamental to the nature of Divine creation and things cannot be otherwise than they are.

There is a reason for this. We do not understand all the secrets of life and Nature, although researchers have made a lot of progress in recent years, but we do know that God is the source and sustainer of all life and the origin of all power — energy. Without access to that power and life man would cease to be. “If he set his heart upon man, if he gather unto himself his spirit and his breath, all flesh shall perish together and man shall turn again unto dust:, said Elihu the philosopher. (Job 35:41). We do not understand in anything like fulness the relationship and unity which exists between the Father and the Son, but we do know that the Son is the manifestation of the Father to man and the channel through which life comes to man. Hence the insistence of Scripture in so many places; “My sheep hear my voice . . . . and I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish.” (John 10:27-28). “The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). “In him was life, and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4).

Now what the Scriptures call eternal life has a quality which does not exist in the measure of animal, physical, life which we possess at present. This is a life which must inevitably be terminated by death; that is a life which is infinitely continuous, never-ending. This life is one which, resulting from the original implanting of life in our first parents at the beginning, has been cut off from its sustaining source in God by sin, and is thereby defective and cannot endure. That is life continuing in full union with God through Christ, and being thus continuously derived from the immortal source of life will never end. But an essential factor in this union with the source of life is belief in, and acceptance of, and union with, the channel through which it comes and that is why the New Testament writers were so adamant that conscious and deliberate acceptance of Christ as Lord and acknowledgment of belief in him as Savior and medium of union with God is essential to salvation.

This is what is meant by being “born again”, to use a very familiar expression, although a more accurate rendering of the Greek is “begotten again”. The next step after conversion and acceptance of Christ as Lord is the unreserved and unconditional dedication of life, abilities and possessions to him for his service and the conscious deliberate resolve to live for him and in union with him, for the remainder of life and for all time. The Apostle Paul says that one who has reached this point has become a “new creation”, that old things have passed away and all things have become new (2 Corinthians 5:17). This is the point at which the inner being is quickened by the power of the Holy Spirit in the beginning of a new and eternal life which comes to the believer through Christ; this is the baptism of the Holy Spirit. “God has given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life” (1 John 5:11). And this means something much more than mere mental belief in the reality and the saving power of Christ or an outward verbal profession of faith in him; it means a vital linking of life with Christ and willing association with him in all for which he stands, even unto death. “We are buried with him by baptism into death, that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection.” (Romans 5:4-5). There is purpose in all this, for those who thus give themselves in complete consecration to the end of life become thereby members of the Church which is his Body, associated with Christ in all that he does in all the coming ages of eternity. These are they who are said to “reign with him” when he comes to rule the world in the day of his power; these are they who are gathered to him at his promised Second Coming when the “dead in Christ” are raised to life and the “living that remain” changed” to spiritual life to see him as he is and to be like him. (Revelation 20:4; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17; 1 Corinthians 15:5-53; 1 John 3:2).

This, then, is the path to the eternal state for all who, in this present Age, hear the invitation of God in Christ, and hearing, heed, and convert, and accept, and follow in the footsteps of the Redeemer, trusting in the efficacy and the power of his death on their behalf, until at the end of earthly life they find themselves at the beginning of a new and more abundant life in a sphere where sin and evil, frustration and imperfection, disease and death, are no more, and where Christ is All in All (see Colossians 3:11). From then on, life is without flaw, one of continuing progress and development and achievement in the ever-present radiance of the glory of God.

But what of those who have never heard, or whose capacity for hearing is so impaired that they cannot respond to the Divine invitation, and so, unwittingly and through no fault of their own, live life through and pass into death without even hearing, or at least without having ability to understand, the significance of the only Name given under heaven whereby men can be saved. What has God provided for them?

“Can These Bones Live”?

bones_liveNear Jerusalem, for nearly 4,000 years, deep in ancient tombs lie Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebecca. For nearly 4000 years, revered alike by Jews and Muslims and Christians. Their bones rest on in the hope of a resurrection.

Jerusalem—Jerusalem the golden; Jerusalem the invaded—by Assyrians, by Babylonians, by Medo-Persians, by Seleucids, by Romans, by Mamelukes, by Crusaders, by Ottoman Turks, and by assorted Arab hordes.

Jerusalem—laid to rest in countless tombs carpeting the western slopes of Olivet. Jerusalem—its bones dried and scattered, bones dead for nearly 2000 years, bones resting on in the hope of a resurrection.

Can These Bones Live?

Many years ago in the city of ancient Babylon the Jewish prophet Ezekiel was asked this very question in a vision.

“The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones.

And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many bones in the open valley; and lo, they were very dry. And he said unto me “Son of man, can these bones live?

“And I answered, O Lord God, thou knowest.

“Again he said unto me “Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.

Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live:

And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord.

“So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone,

And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them.

Then he said unto me, “Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God, Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.

“So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.”

A dramatic story! Dramatically told! But what does it all mean?

As Ezekiel would say, “Hear the word of the Lord.”

“Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are completely cut off.

Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God: Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.

And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves.

And shall put my Spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then ye shall know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord.”

Since the twin destructions of Jerusalem under the mighty armies of the Roman generals Titus and Hadrian, the Jewish people entered a long period of dispersion, Diaspora, and their national hopes, like the bones in their ancient graves deep in the valley of the Kidron have been dead.

They have been dry bones. Bones with little hope of ever reviving. They have been scattered bones. A people

dispersed to nearly every country in the world with only their common faith as a bond. They have been bones “completely cut off.”

As the prophet Hosea writes, “without a king, without a prince, without a sacrifice, without an image, without an ephod and without teraphim.”

Can These Bones Live?

It’s a difficult question!

It’s a serious question!

It’s a question worth asking!

History answers, “No!”

Babylon never came back!

Phoenicia has not returned!

Nor has Tyre; nor has Elam; or Philistia.

Can These Bones Live?

Politics answers, “No!”

Not after being totally forbidden to inhabit their ancient homeland! Not after being denied access to their religious shrines! Not after being dispersed so widely throughout the world!

Military strategists answer, “Never will these bones live! Not after their military might was so completely broken! Not after being denied responsibile positions in the countries of their dispersion! Not after being so reviled in the few countries that gave them refuge!

But the Bible answers, “Yes!”

“These bones shall live!”

Current Events resoundingly echo:

“Yes!”

In a twentieth-century miracle, the nation of Israel has been reborn—reborn in its ancient homeland; reborn against tremendous odds; reborn amidst a vastly outnumbered opposition.

Reborn and thriving!

Can These Bones Live?

For over a century the history of the Middle East has been moving in steady steps toward the fulfillment of this prophecy of Ezekiel.

In 1878, after a ban of Seventeen Hundred Forty-three years, Israelis were given permission to own property in the ancient land of their forefathers.

In 1878 , they immediately established their first settlement, Petach Tikvah. Their return had begun.

In 1897, Theodor Herzl issued a worldwide call to organize the Zionist movement.

In 1917, Her Majesty’s government of Great Britain endorsed a Jewish state in the famous Balfour Declaration.

From 1936 to 1945 over six million Jews were killed in the Nazi Holocaust.

In 1948, as a result of a United Nations partition, Israel became a sovereign nation.

Then, immediately challenged by an overpowering Arab force, an Israeli victory legitimized their declaration of statehood.

In 1956, an invasion led by General Nasser of Egypt was soundly repelled.

In 1967, the six-day war of Israel against another Arab coalition enlarged the borders of the new state and Jerusalem was united once again under Jewish control.

In 1973, on the eve of the Jewish high holy day of Yom Kippur, a third Arab attack was again set back.

In 1989 the dismantled countries of the Soviet Union permitted the Jewish refuseniks to return to Israel.

In 1991 and 1992 repeated Scud attacks by Saddam Hassein of Iraq failed to dislodge the Israelis.

Dry bones returning to life. Scattered bones have become regathered bones. Bare bones have assumed sinew and flesh. Covered bones have been topped with skin.

But Can These Bones Live?

What is the meaning of it all?

In the prophesy of Ezekiel the resurrection of the dry bones was a four-step process:

First: a thundrous noise and shaking brought the bones together.

Second: the regathered bones took on sinew and flesh.

Third: skin covered the bones and,

Fourth: after a lapse of time, breath came into the bones and they lived.

Let’s look at these steps, one by one, and see how they have been fulfilled.

“As I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone.”

* From Russia.

* From Germany.

* From Syria.

* From the United States.

* From England.

* From South America.

* From Yemen.

* From India.

* From Ethiopia.

* From China and Japan.

* From all over the world.

Israel – the people of history—now, the people of a miracle! Dry bones, shaking off the dust of twenty centuries.

Regathering from every corner of the earth to Israel.

Returning by boat, by plane and even by foot.

Returning to their ancient homeland In an ever-growing stream, like the salmon to its spawning ground. Attracted like metal filings to a magnet, the people of Israel return to their native land! In one immigration after another.

* Lured by the promises of Zionism.

* Attracted by the financial investments of the Hirsches and the Rothschilds.

* Driven by the pogroms of unfriendly nations.

* Hunted by the persecutions of Nazism and the Holocaust.

* There was no place like home.

And home was Israel!

“Next year in Jerusalem” became THIS YEAR IN JERUSALEM!

However, though you may gather bones from the whole world all you really have is a pile of dead bones!

But this was only the first step in the fulfillment of Ezekiel’s prophecy. Sinew, flesh, skin and life were yet to follow.

Ezekiel continues: “And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came upon them.”

And so it was, even in those days when nationhood was but a vague hope, an infrastructure began to develop.

Under the encouragement of Chaim Weissman, the Hebrew University was formed. The Haganah, Mossad and Irgun formed the military muscle. Hadassah reached forth to provide medical services.

Ben Yehuda resurrected the dead Hebrew language. A shadow government with such strong ambassadorial figures as David Ben Gurion, Chaim Weissman, Levi Eshkol and Golda Meir began to function in exile.

Bones And Sinews Were Appearing.

But still they were just that; a government in exile. Skin had not yet appeared to give them the semblance of a nation.

And The Skin Covered Them From Above.

As the close of World War II exposed the atrocities of the Holocaust to the public eye, the climate was set for the United Nations motion to partition Palestine and pave the way for a Jewish state.

On May 14, 1948, the ears of the Jewish people were pinned to their radios as the vote in the U.N. was tallied.

In Jerusalem David Ben Gurion capped the results by announcing a new state . . . the state of Israel, reborn from the dust bins of history.

Immediate recognition by world powers, beginning with President Harry Truman of the United States gave legitimacy to their claim.

Like any new birth, there were the pains of travail. Within hours an Arab coalition attacked to drive the new state into the sea.

Jordan, Iraq and Saudi Arabia from the East; Lebanon and Syria from the North; Egypt from the South. Blocked on the West by the Mediterranean Naval armadas on the Western Sea. Outnumbered, surrounded, outgunned, Israel fought back desperately.

They fought back and, despite all odds, they won! The Bones had skin!

Israel Was A Nation!

“But there was no breath in them.”

To be alive in the sight of the nations around them was one thing, to be alive in the sight of God was another!

In Ezekiel’s prophecy there was a time lapse between the bones assembling, growing sinews and flesh, being covered with skin, and then receiving the breath of life.

Notice the last step: “Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God, Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.”

As with Adam in Eden, “the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.”

In this prophecy, the breath, or life, was to come from the wind. Wind, throughout the Bible, even as in common usage, signifies trouble.

“Winds of war;” “winds of turmoil;” “winds of strife;” causing men to be as turbulent as the wind-driven waves of the sea.

Nor was it from wind alone, but specifically from “the four winds” that this breath was to come.

We read of these same “four winds” in a description of the future climactic battle of the ages in Revelation: “I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on any tree.”

These “four winds of earth,” a virtual whirlwind of anarchy, depict a period of trouble which particularly involves the newborn nation of Israel.

This battle is described in great prophetic detail in the 38th and 39th chapters of Ezekiel.

While time does not permit an elaborate discussion of these chapters, they describe an invasion of Israel by a coalition of nations “from the north” during a time when Israel is dwelling “in peace and safety.”

Aparallel account in Zechariah informs us that Jerusalem will be attacked and “the city shall be taken.”

But the defeat will be temporary for: “Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.”

God gives the reasons for this final battle in many places in the Bible: Note what Ezekiel and Zephaniah prophecy: “I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me.”

“Then will I take away out of the midst of thee them that rejoice in thy pride; and thou shalt no more be haughty because of my holy mountain. I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the Lord. The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies: neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid.”

Then “they shall know that I am the Lord. So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, the Holy One of Israel.”

After trying heroically to save themselves by their own military might, Israel will learn their final lesson. It is their God alone who can ultimately bring deliverance and salvation.

The prophet Zechariah sums it up well:

“Not by might, Nor by power, But by my Spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts.”

It is then: knowing the weakness of their own might, knowing the strength of their God, seeking and finding their Messiah, renewed in their faith in the Word of God, that breath will come upon them.

That Breath Will Be The Spirit Of The Lord:

“I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.”

Breathing, they shall live! Living, they shall teach others how to live:

“The remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people as a dew from the Lord, as the showers upon the grass, that tarrieth not for man, nor waiteth for the sons of men.”

“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 into 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.”

“In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.”

Thus we have God’s promise that these bones shall live again.!

But This Will Be Only The Beginning!

For we realize that these “bones that live” are an illustration of the resurrection of the dead.

For when these dry bones of Israel have breath and live, then the bones of Abraham and Sarah and Isaac and Rebecca shall also live.

* Then the bones of ancient Jewry shall also live.

* Then the bones of Muslims buried near the golden gate shall also live.

* Then the bones of Christians buried deep in the Kidron valley shall also live.

* Then the bones buried in neat rows in Flanders. poppy fields shall also live.

* Then the bones of all who have ever died shall come to life.

But When Will It Be?

The bones of Israel have been regathered! They already have sinew and flesh! The bones already have skin! Thus we are on the very brink of the fourth step coming to pass: Israel receiving the breath of life. However, not only Israel but all people will receive life.

For this will introduce the greatest event in all human history—the Kingdom of God!

The kingdom of which men have dreamed. The kingdom for which men have waited. The kingdom for which Christian have prayed:

“Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

And what a kingdom that will be:

“Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart.And the tongue of the dumb sing: For in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.”

For “the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.”

What a Promise!

The bones of Israel and all who have ever lived will become living bones, with flesh and blood—breathing bones, with life anew!

Yes, everyone,

* Jews

* Arabs

* Christians

* Heathen

* and Atheists.

* All men will all come forth from the tomb.

Unbelievable? Too good to be true? No! Our faith is greatly strengthened when we realize Israel’s dispersion among the nations, and their gradual return of favor, is a direct fulfillment of prophecy given thousands of years ago.

And so we CAN be assured that God’s promise of life to all who have ever lived, will also be fulfilled.

Rejoice!

Rejoice in life coming to Israel’s “dry bones!” Because it means that soon life will come to all the dead—regardless of their color, regardless of their creed, regardless of their nationality.

The return of Israel is the harbinger of the kingdom of God as surely as the robin is the harbinger of spring.

Finding the Truth

finding the truthThe Bible continues to be the Christian’s standard for measuring right and wrong, truth and error. Yet, THE TRUTH- the promise by promise outline of God’s plan for humanity, stretching into eternity- has not come easy for followers of the Master.

Anyone who has earnestly sought the deeper understanding of the Scriptures merely by reading page after page, and chapter after chapter, can attest to the difficulties of finding THE TRUTH by such a study. How varied have been the impressions gleaned by even its most ardent students! History is well marked by the heated controversies of those men of valor, and who, finding a truth, dedicated a lifetime to proving and setting it forth.

Who has not heard …

… of Luther’s stand on Justification by faith, leading to his bitter denunciation of the error of indulgences?

… of John Weseley’s belief that special favor of the Lord comes to all men simply by their acceptance of the blood of Jesus, thus opposing the predestination belief of Calvin, who limited the grace of God to but a chose few ?

… of William Miller’s revitalization of hope in the promise of our Lord’s return?

… of others who went on to prove that the Bible taught that the dead are dead and “know not anything” and that eternal torment is not the penalty of sin?

The Bible has contained, truth by truth, God’s plan of salvation. But through all the efforts of past saints since the days of the apostles, THE TRUTH, as a complete outline of our Heavenly Father’s drama of the ages, remained obscure until the time clock of the universe struck. Then the secret of topical and chronological study of the Bible was revealed in a writing called, “The DIVINE PLAN of the AGES.”

Indeed, GOD HAS A PLAN! By prophecy and promise this plan is woven into his Word not chapter by chapter, but rather, as the Prophet Isaiah related, “precept upon precept; line by line; … here a little, and there a little.” – Isaiah 28:10

Man sinned. Death, cessation of life, followed. Angels tried to solve earth’s dilemma, but the Flood of Noah’s day erased the tragedy of their vain efforts.

Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob came on the scene and, with them, the promise of a coming kingdom! But it did not come in their day!

The Jewish nation and the Law followed, with special favors leading unto Christ. And with the First Advent of our Lord, God’s great plan of salvation continued to unfold. Here was the perfect life needed to erase the sin of perfect Adam before the blessings of the promised kingdom could flow to humanity.

Jesus’ life given, man was guaranteed a return “from the land of the enemy” — death.

But 1900 years have come and gone, and still there has been no resurrection of the dead. Why the long delay?

Another part of God’s plan was being carried out. A special heavenly call was sent forth, selecting out of the world (both Jew and Gentile) a bride for Christ— calling out one here and one there. The qualifications are strict and the candidates are few, as the Master proclaimed, “Straight is the gate, and narrow is the way, … and few there be that find it.” —Matthew 7:14

There faithful few (still being called from amongst men) who sacrifice their lives as Jesus did, will be privileged with him on high to lead the rest of humanity out of their graves and out of despair, up a highway called “holiness” to a perfect life on earth, in answer to our mutual prayer: “Thy kingdom come.

Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” —Matthew 6:10

Then, together, in that kingdom, will all men find and know THE TRUTH. TRACE MAN’S HISTORY THROUGH THE PAST PRESENT and FUTURE IN THE DIVINE PLAN OF THE AGES

The New Creation

new creationThe New Creation is brought to our attention in contradistinction to a former or older creation, when Jehovah created Adam a perfect man and made it possible for him to keep Jehovah’s perfect law. This Adam did not do, Ge nesis 2:17.

You remember that before transgressing Jehovah’s law God said to him: “Have dominion over the earth, etc.” Not in heaven, but have dominion on earth. Not multiply and fill heaven. One of Jehovah’s purposes is to fill the earth with perfect beings. This will be accomplished at the end of the Times of Restitution, at the end of the Millennial Age. This will be accomplished by a certain number of persons, known as the New Creation, with the Lord Jesus as the Head and the Church as His Body — the Christ, Head and Body. As many as have been baptized into Jesus Christ have put on Christ.

At his resurrection, he came into possession of all power in heaven and earth. Has he since been undoing all the work of Satan? No. First Jehovah authorized the Gentiles to have power; this began 25 centuries ago, and we have good Bible authority that it will end soon. Second, it was Jehovah’s plan to prepare a Bride for the heavenly Bridegroom.

If you are of the class whose names are cast out as evil, rejoice. Do not go around with a long face. No, we are to count it all joy when we fall into diverse trials, etc. All who are joint-heirs must take the steps he took, but we must take one step which he never took.

The scriptures tell us of Adam’s perfection and fall, how the world fell with him, and how it required the perfect Man Christ Jesus to take Adam’s place in death, in order to thus lift mankind from condemnation and death, to justification and life. This last step from condemnation our Lord did not have to take. All the other steps that the Lord did take, consecration, sacrifice, baptism into death, etc., we also take with him.

When our Lord Jesus was baptized in the river Jordan by John, he became the Head of the New Creation, and for us to become members of the Body, we must believe with head and heart. If one is justified, is he not a member of the New Creation? No. He must offer himself a living sacrifice.

The world is not called to repent, but to reform. Sodomites and those of Gomorrah would not have been Christians if they had reformed. In Titus 3:5, we read that we are saved by the “washing of regeneration.” As a New Creature, your human nature has gone out of existence. It is this New Creature that is now running the race and which God is judging. The old man Draper could sin, and get much out of harmony with God. It is the New Creature that cannot sin. We have the mind of Christ. He did not say that we had the body of Christ. The natural man is not subject to the law of God. A wrong disposition of the flesh is not the new will, but we should get control. Browbeat the old man. Not someone else, but I am to browbeat the old man Draper, and you are to browbeat your old nature. Don’t listen to him at all. Tell him you have no time to give to him. He will want to explain this and that and to compromise with the new mind, if possible, but it is for you to browbeat him. Keep him down. The old nature dies hard. Do not let sin reign in your mortal bodies. Do not say there is no sin there, for there is, but do not let it reign there.

Sometimes our best friends on earth are adversaries to us in wishing us not to be so strict in our walk in the narrow way. He gave the illustration of our Lord and Peter, showing how Peter was both favored and rebuked by the Lord. First, when our Lord asked whom the world said he was; some replied that he was one thing and another something else.

Then Peter was asked and he replied: “Thou are the Son of the Living God.” The Lord replied that flesh and blood had not revealed it to him, but God had. This might have made Peter a little puffed up to think the Lord would reveal something to him, etc. Later when the Lord spoke about his intention to go to Jerusalem, and that he would be persecuted and crucified, Peter spoke up and said, “Not so, Lord! Be it far from thee.”

Here the Lord rebuked him and said, “Get thee behind me, adversary.” Here, Peter, one of the Lord’s best friends, was an adversary, trying, though unintentionally, to get the Lord to do contrary to what he knew was the Father’s will concerning him. The ways in which our Lord was tempted were the same as his brethren must be. You remember how he created bread and fed many, and then they said, “We will make him our King.” The Master saw that it was not the Father’s time for him to be made King, thus they were adversaries to him, so he went into a mountain to pray. He was tempted to do something not in keeping with his consecration vows.

Second, we are tempted to get discouraged. God permits Satan to thus temp t us, so that by resisting we may become strong, but He will not permit us to be tempted above that we are able, but will, if we make use of the means he give us, make a way of escape for Sometimes we are tempted to get discouraged when planning a meeting and expect about a hundred to come and find only five or six present, or we may have thought we could sell a good many Dawns, but can put out only a few. Resist the Devil and he will flee from you, and after awhile, we will hear the “Well don, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of the Lord.”

Can We as Saved Christians Lose Our Salvation?

once-savedA concept that is held by many Christian people is that eternal salvation IS ASSURED once we have accepted Christ as our personal Savior and have become a “new creature” in Christ.

But if this were so, that once we have received God’s grace, it is impossible to lose it . . . THEN . . .  

. . . WHY does Paul say, “I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest . . . I MYSELF SHOULD BE A CASTAWAY?” 1 Corinthians 9:27

. . . WHY can some RECEIVE “THE GRACE OF GOD IN VAIN?” 2 Corinthians 6:1

. . . WHY  must we be “FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH” to receive a “crown of life?” Revelation 2:10

. . . WHY does Peter say, “For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, THE LATTER END IS WORSE WITH THEM THAN THE BEGINNING. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to return from the holy commandment delivered unto them?” 2 Peter 2:20, 21

. . . WHY are we told that only “he that ENDURETH TO THE END shall be saved?” Matthew 10:22.

. . . WHY are we told “For it is IMPOSSIBLE for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, . . . If they shall fall away, to RENEW THEM AGAIN UNTO REPENTANCE?” Hebrews 6:4-6

. . . WHY must we KEEP OURSELVES into the LOVE OF GOD? Jude 21

. . . WHY are RESURRECTED SAINTS the only ones upon whom the “SECOND DEATH hath NO POWER?” Revelation 20:6

. . . WHY are we told “IF WE SIN WILFULLY after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there REMAINETH NO MORE SACRIFICE FOR SINS, He that despised Moses’s law died without mercy . . . OF HOW MUCH SORER PUNISHMENT . . . shall he be . . . worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing?” Hebrews 10:26, 28, 29

. . . WHY must we “work out our own salvation with fear and trembling?” Philippians 2:12

. . . WHY are we told “IF WE BE DEAD with him, we shall also live with him: IF WE SUFFER, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, HE ALSO WILL DENY US?” 2 Timothy 2:11-13

. . . WHY are we told “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? SO RUN, THAT YE MAY OBTAIN?” 1 Corinthians 9:24

. . . WHY are we told “add to your faith virtue . . . knowledge . . . temperance . . . patience . . . godliness . . . brotherly love . . . charity . . . he that lacketh these things is blind, . . . and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins . . . give diligence to MAKE YOUR CALLING AND ELECTION SURE, for IF ye do these things ye shall never fall?” 2 Peter 1:5-10

From the above Scriptures it becomes readily apparent that heavenly salvation is dependent on more than JUST BECOMING a true Christian. Faithfulness unto death will be required for all who will obtain the crown of life. Revelation 2:10

As we consider these Scriptures, further questions come to mind: What is implied by being faithful unto Death? What happens to those who fail? Will only Christians receive salvation? Will all Christians go to heaven? How will God’s will be done in earth as it is in heaven? Matthew 6:10.

“By their Fruits you shall know them,” says our Lord [Matthew 7:18-21]. But fruits aren’t grown instantaneously; they neither come in a fit of ecstasy, nor should they come at the moment death closes our eyes. This process is one which the Apostle Paul terms “being transformed by the renewing of your mind.” [Romans 12:2] These fruits of character can come in only one way — and that is the way of the cross, the strait and narrow gate, a way of self denial, of daily taking up our crosses, presenting our bodies, “living sacrifices,” and being dead “with Him.” This class is termed by our Lord as his “little flock,” [Luke 12:32] for they are a “peculiar people zealous of good works” [Titus 2:14], to whom the scriptures promise the chief blessings as overcomers [Revelation 3:20].

But what of the rest? What blessings, or judgment does God have in store for the heathen who have never heard of the Grace of God, those who died before our Lord’s first advent, or even the so-called “backsliders” and “carnal” Christians? Send away now for the advertised book, “The Divine Plan of the Ages,” which sets forth the scriptural basis of the hope for these, an exposition that in every way conforms to the character of our God; one that compromises neither his Love, nor his Justice, and like Him is reasonable. We are sure that this guide to your Bible study will bring both refreshment and a blessing to your heart.

For those serious concerned with the application of Scripture to contemporary and future world affairs “THE DIVINE PLAN OF THE AGES” is an invaluable source of helpful information. It gives an outline of God’s plan revealed in the Bible, relating to man’s redemption and restitution.

Sold by the hundreds of thousands to scholars, students, men and women of every profession — every faith, it is now offered to you in magazine form, FREE of charge. Send for a copy and enjoy the rich experience of realizing the true beauty and harmony of the Bible.

Spotted and Unspotted Robes

white robeNow that Christ has died for us, the application being made for us, the Church, we being covered with the merits of his atonement, he began to make at the time of his baptism when he began to make his sacrifice, we are now permitted to finish or fill up his sacrifice. Christ offered Himself without spot or blemish to God and because He was absolutely perfect, He was qualified to offer the sacrifice.

TYPE

The High Priest sacrificed the bullock, which represented our Savior, and the goat represented His body. The third day He was raised, not to the human nature, but to the divine nature.

In Hebrews 2:9, we read, “We see Jesus who was made a little lower than the angels, etc.” The eyes of our understanding have been opened. We begin to see what His sacrifice meant-an eye for an eye, kind for kind.

THREE PHASES OF THE WEDDING SUPPER

Before Christ’s sacrifice, there was a period of three and a half years special favor to the Jewish people as a nation. This was the first call; then there was another period of three and a half years of favor to that people as individuals. At the end of that period, they were cast off, broken off, this ended the second call; then the Lord turned to the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name, this was the third call of the parable.

In 1874 the requisite number had been found or selected, but some were in there who had afterwards taken off the wedding robes, Christ’s imputed righteousness; and the Lord has been selecting others to take their places since that time.

WHAT IS IMPLIED BY A SPOTTED GARMENT?

The garment is Christ’s imputed righteousness. We are not actually righteous, but His righteousness is imputed to us. How can we spot this garment? By neglecting the Great Salvation, because it is given or loaned to us that we might be in position to take advantage of THE GREAT SALVATION. If we do not use it for the purpose intended, it becomes spotted by reason of contact with the world. Here is one way of neglecting the Great Salvation. A man does something that hurts another’s feelings; he says, I don’t care, he ought not to be so sensitive. The next day he does something more and worse, and so on from day to day. Neglecting to make progress grows more and more upon such a man, and he is now in such a condition that God will have to turn him over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh that the spirit may be saved in the Day of the Lord.

We should be very careful about spotting our robes, and if we see we have gotten a spot on them, we should quickly turn to the Lord and wash it away. If any man of the Church sins, we have an advocate with the Father.

THE MARK OF THE PRIZE

He said we were running according to the mark-perfect love. Having reached that condition, it is from that standpoint that we are to run. He said the best Greek rendering was that we press down or stand on the mark and run for the prize, our high calling.

Greetings for the New Year

Beloved readers, it is with hearts full of thankfulness that we acknowledge the divine favors of the year just closed. The Twenty-Third Psalm voices our sentiments. The Lord has graciously continued his gentle leading of his sheep beside still waters and into the fresh green pastures of his truth. Our table he has supplied with viands of grace and knowledge, bountifully, even in the presence of our enemies, who sometimes have been those near and dear to us – enemies to the truth because of the blinding of the great adversary, Satan. And we know from your precious letters received during the year that this, our experience, has been yours.

Now, in the dawn of a new year, we feel that we can apply to ourselves and to all God’s consecrated ones the words of the last verse of this Psalm: “Surely goodness and mercy shall attend me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell forever in the house of the Lord.” Let us, beloved, not only appreciate the bounties of our “table,” but more and more feed upon the precious truth; and let us seek more and more to make use of the strength this food imparts, laboring in Christ’s service, that we may become more and more “strong in the Lord and in the power of his might.”

“The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.” Rev. 11:15