Christians worship on the Sabbath (Saturday) or on Sunday. Why?
Do we set aside or celebrate other Holy Days?
<ANSWER>--Sabbath-keeping on the seventh day of the week
was a provision of the Law among the Jews, as stated in the
Third Commandment. It reads, "Remember the Sabbath day
to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work;
but the Seventh Day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God,
in it thou shalt not do any work…. (Exodus 20:8-11)
this is part of the Law whose control over us was removed
by Jesus’ death, and which never was given to the gospel church,
but whose righteousness (or right-meaning) is fulfilled
in us, then all may see that, to any recognizing the liberty
wherewith Christ hath made us free, there can be no bondage
to the observance of any day. And in harmony with this
thought is Paul’s statement that "one man esteemeth one
day above another; another esteemeth every day alike: Let every
man be fully persuaded in his own mind." (Romans 14:5)
And if he shall make up his mind on this subject, from the foregoing
statements of the Apostle relative to the Law, he will, doubtless,
be persuaded with Paul and with us, that since Jesus has "blotted
out the handwriting of ordinances which was against us, which
was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to
his cross; …therefore, henceforth, no man should judge us in
meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new
moon, or of the Sabbath days, which are a shadow of things
to come. …Wherefore, if we are dead with Christ from the rudiments
of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject
to ordinances?" (Colossians 2:14, 16, 17, 20.) To those
in Christ there is no law on the subject except that of Love.
They may celebrate any or no day according to their judgment
as to what would glorify God and bless men.
fact that the Law compelled a rest every seven days,
and that mankind seemed to require it, is an excellent reason
why such a day should be observed. And love to God and a desire
to worship him and to commune with his children is one of the
best reasons for observing such a day. As to which of the seven
days should be the best to observe, the church very early in
its history decided that the first day of the week would
be very appropriate, since on it Jesus arose from the dead and
met with them, causing their hearts to burn within them as he
expounded the Scriptures unto them. (Luke 24:27, 32) Accordingly,
we find that they commonly met on that day, even before they
came to appreciate fully their liberty, and while they
still frequently observed the seventh day also.
For example, Pentecost came on the first day of the week
(Acts 2:1). Other examples of meetings taking place on the first
day can be found in Acts 20:7 and 1 Corinthians 16:2. Paul,
as the Lord’s special agency in leading the other apostles --
and the Church in general -- into true liberty, practiced as
he taught: sometimes he met with the Church on the first day,
and sometimes he went into the synagogues on the Sabbath, or
western culture, we find that Sunday is the only day of the
week that has not been claimed by business or commerce. We are
glad that we have such a day where meeting with those of like
precious faith is not in conflict with our employment. If our
culture would permit two such days every week we would all the
more rejoice to rest, to worship, to study, and to engage in
consecrated activities apart from the cares of this world.
question of Sabbath-keeping, like that of circumcision, is one
that depends on the spirit or intent of the observer. As Paul
testified to those who practiced circumcision in his
day, so we testify to Sabbath (or seventh day) keepers now,
namely: If they keep the seventh day or any other day as under
"Moses’ Law," and in hope of keeping that Law and
gaining its promised blessings, they are "fallen
from grace," and at present Christ is "profiting
them nothing," for the Jew did just so before Christ
came. (Galatians 5:2-4.)
cannot gain life by keeping the Law, for none can keep
it perfectly, and to keep the Third Commandment and to fail
in any other point, deprives one of life and condemns one to
death under the Law covenant just as surely as though the whole
Law were violated, for "whosoever shall keep the whole
Law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all."
(James 2:10) Hence that entire covenant was set aside on account
of human imperfection, and another covenant, written and sealed
with the blood of Christ, takes its place – the covenant which
speaks of favor, life and peace through the righteousness
of him who bought us with his own precious blood.
us remember that under the Law the seventh day was commanded
for rest only, and Paul gives us the key in Hebrews 4:3-10
where he declares that "we which have believed do
enter into rest"; for he who trusts in Jesus as his justifier
rests from attempting to do the work for himself and
accepts it as a finished work – a gift of God through
Jesus Christ our Lord. Those who thus rest in Jesus, do as God
the Father did; for having created man, whose sin and fall he
foresaw, Jehovah rested the entire matter in the hands
of Christ to redeem men and destroy sin and death during the
seventh day. (Seven thousand years from Adam till the end of
the Millennium.) Whosoever thus believes in Jesus, as the propitiation
for his sins, has "joy and peace (rest) in believing"
(Romans 15:13) – a rest not transitory but permanent; not partial,
but complete; not of one day, but of all days – a rest well-illustrated
in the seventh day which typified it; for seven is the
symbol of completeness. Since this rest is the gift of
God’s love, and since we enter it when we come under the "royal
law," is it not, therefore, fulfilled in love? for
love is the fulfilling of the Law – to all in Christ Jesus who
appreciate their standing and walk as saints.
may ask further, "How should we answer someone who feels
strongly about selecting one day of the week over others as
a holy day of worship or rest?"
should gladly allow the selection of days to depend upon the
religious belief of the one who feels so strongly. To the Jew
the seventh day (Saturday) is the one to be observed, as it
was commanded in the Law that was given to the Israelites that
they should keep the seventh day as a holy day. That Law is
still binding upon the Jews. If a Seventh Day Adventist, then
let him keep the seventh day, for he believes that he is under
the Law, and with that belief he certainly should keep the seventh
day. To those who are members of some one of the various Protestant
Churches, or of the Roman Catholic Church, let them observe
the first day (Sunday) as the day of rest, as they believe that
it is so commanded, and surely it would not be right for them
to violate their conscience by doing otherwise.
To the true Christian, the consecrated child of God, let these
keep every day holy unto the Lord and not merely one day in
seven. And let these enjoy a rest by faith in the Lord and in
His sure promises. Let no one attempt to judge another in respect
to this matter of observing the Sabbath or holy days. No one
has the right to judge his fellowman in this regard; but let
every man be full persuaded in his own mind (Romans 14:4, 5).
If any one presumes to judge another in these matters, he is
violating a direct command of the Lord as expressed by one of
His inspired Apostles (Colossians 2:16). If any one should say
that we are not saved and that we are lost because we do not
observe some special day, ask him gently but firmly – "Who
made thee a judge?"
As to other Holy days, the Jewish calendar had days set apart
for ceremonial and other features of the Law. For example, the
Atonement Day was set aside to bring the nation into typical
justification with God. The Passover was celebrated as the anniversary
of Israel’s first-born being spared on the eve of the Exodus.
Since the time of Christ, numerous Holy days have come into
traditional practice. Christmas celebrates the birth of Christ;
Easter celebrates His resurrection; Pentecost celebrates the
giving of the Holy Spirit to the Church collectively, etc. Which
of these holidays apply to us?
For the same reasons enumerated above, the Holy days prescribed
by the Jewish Law no longer apply. Among Christian holidays,
many would be surprised to learn that the only annual celebration
specifically enjoined upon Christians is the anniversary of
our Lord’s Last Supper, in which we memorialize His death. Jesus’
words were, "…As often as ye do this, do this in remembrance
of me." Paul explains further that "as often as ye
eat this bread, and drink the cup, ye proclaim the Lord’s death
till he come." (Luke 22:19; 1 Corinthians 11:24-26). Should
we then shun other days, such as Christmas and Easter? Our answer
is that we would never wish to discourage our fellowman from
meditating upon or rejoicing in our Lord’s birth, His resurrection,
or any event which would give pause for sanctified or reverent
thought. Consecrated Christians observe what Jesus and the Apostles
enjoined upon the Church, but give full liberty to others to
observe or celebrate according to conscience or tradition. Finally,
we encourage any inclination within those around us to reverence
our Lord, regardless of days, dates, moons, etc.
that day shall there be an altar to the Lord in the midst of
the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof to the
Lord. And it shall be for a sign and for a witness unto the
Lord of Hosts in the land of Egypt." (`Isa. 19:19,20`.)
What may we understand by this Scripture?
<ANSWER>--There is but one structure in all the earth
that could by any possibility fulfill the requirements of the
text, and that is the Great Pyramid in Egypt. The whole of northern
Egypt forms a sector shaped country the center of which is marked
by the Pyramid. To mathematicians and scientists the center
of a sector is also at the border thereof, and thus, as to location,
the Pyramid is clearly indicated. It has always stood as the
greatest wonder in the world because of its enormous dimensions,
great antiquity and marvelous exhibition of engineering skill.
With its original casting-stones in position, all highly polished
like white marble, and so accurately joined together that it
was almost impossible to distinguish the joints, this immense
structure of solid masonry, covering over thirteen acres of
ground and nearly five hundred feet in height, was truly a magnificent
spectacle as it glittered in the rays of the dazzling Egyptian
sunlight. To the ancients it was known as "The Terrible
Crystal." Recent investigation of the interior passage
ways and chambers has revealed the fact that these form a wonderful
system of symbols in which the entire plan of salvation as presented
in the Scripture is outlined. Because it is such a great "witness,"
in that it so clearly corroborates the teachings of the Lord's
Word, it is now becoming generally known as "The Stone
Bible," Melchizedek, "a Priest of the Most High God,"
is reputed to have been the builder, and the date of its construction
has been well established as being the year 2170 B.C. It is,
therefore, the oldest building on earth.
church denominations throughout the world have adopted the Apostles'
Creed. Why is it called the "Apostles Creed"? Was
it written by the Apostles, and where do we find it in the Bible?
<ANSWER>--What is known among the Christians as the "Apostles
Creed," was not written by the Apostles of our Lord, hence
it is nowhere found in the Bible. As to its origin, we quote
from Mosheim's Ecclesiastical History, a recognized authority
by scholars, as follows: "There is indeed extent, a brief
summary of Christian doctrines, which is called the Apostles'
Creed; and which, from the fourth century onward was attributed
to Christ's ambassadors themselves. But at this day, all who
have any knowledge of antiquity, confess unanimously that this
opinion is a mistake, and has no foundation. Those judge far
more wisely and rationally who think that this creed arose from
small beginnings, and was gradually enlarged as occasions required
in order to exclude new errors from the church." It was
probably given its name by those who prepared it, as signifying
that in their judgment, it contained only truths taught by the
Apostles. It contains many truths, but it is not wholly Scriptural.
For instance: "I believe in the resurrection of the body,"
whereas nothing in the Bible teaches that our bodies are to
be resurrected. The Bible teaches that the soul will be resurrected.
Of the resurrection the Apostle says, "Thou sowest not
that body that shall be. But God giveth it (the soul-being)
a body as it hath pleased Him and to each seed its own body."
Surely the Apostle was not speaking of the body when he uses
the word "it," otherwise the body would have a body,
therefore two bodies, which is absurd. Further he states, "It
(the soul-being) is sown a natural body; it (the soul or being)
is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body and there
is a spiritual body." (`1 Cor. 15:35,37,44`).
is the difference between Noah's ark and the ark which the children
of Israel had in the wilderness of sin?
<ANSWER>--You have probably heard of the preacher who
said to his congregation: "I can bring myself to believe
that Noah built an ark, in which he and the wild animals were
sheltered during the flood, but when it comes to making me believe
that the children of Israel toted that ark around on their shoulders
in the wilderness for forty years, that's too much for me to
swallow." Evidently he thought there was no difference
in the two arks. Noah's ark was a large boat or vessel, larger
than any now made. The ark which the children of Israel had
in the wilderness was a rectangular box made of wood overlaid
with gold, the lid or cover of which was made of pure gold.
The approximate size of this ark was 4 feet long, 3 feet broad
and 3 feet high, a detailed description of it being given in
`Exo. 25:10-22`. Inside the ark was kept the golden bowl of
manna, Aaron's rod that budded, and the two tables of the Law
(See `Heb. 9:4`). The ark, together with all other furnishings
of the Tabernacle in the wilderness, was a shadow or picture
of good things to come. (See`Heb. 8:5`; `Heb. 10:1`; `Col. 2:17`.)
does it mean to be born of the spirit? What happens when that
takes place? Some have said that I am not saved unless I have
been born of the spirit, and received some miraculous evidence
of this. This has made me a trifle anxious, as I earnestly desire
to be saved, and thus far haven't experienced anything remarkable
in the way of supernatural demonstrations, although I am endeavoring
to live a Christian life.
<ANSWER>--The Scriptures abound with illustrations which
were intended to portray the varying conditions of the Christian's
experience, and, unless we give careful attention to the details
of these word pictures, we are liable to become confused as
to their true significance. In the conversation which Nicodemus
had with our Lord Jesus (`John 3:1-8`), the Master, in explaining
the matter of spiritual regeneration, used the natural order
or arrangement to represent the spiritual--"That which
is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the
spirit is spirit." Just as there is the begetting of the
fleshly being, then the quickening and finally the birth, so
also with the spiritual ones. The Christian is first begotten
of the spirit (Begotten again--`1 Pet. 5:3`), then quickened
by the spirit (`Rom. 8:11`) and then having attained to full
development as an embryotic "New Creature" he will
be "born of the spirit" in the resurrection--"changed"
from a fleshly, human being to a heavenly spiritual one--See
`1 Cor. 15:50-53`. All who experience the new birth will be
invisible, powerful, even as are the angels and all spirit beings.
Observe the force of the Master's words--"Marvel not that
I said unto thee, ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where
it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not
tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one
that is born of the spirit."
does the manner of reckoning time in the age in which Moses
lived compare with the chronological methods now in use, and
if there is any difference would it not account for the great
age of Methuselah as given in the Scriptures?
<ANSWER>--The Jewish method of reckoning time which was
in use in the days of Moses, was a combination of solar and
lunar time. It was a simple, automatic self-adjusting system,
which, so far as the final results were concerned, was as accurate
as the present methods in use. The Jewish months were thirty
days in length corresponding to the lunations of the moon. Ordinarily
twelve of these made up the year of three hundred and sixty
days. The discrepancies resulting from this method were rectified
by the unique arrangement of starting the new year with the
new moon nearest the vernal equinox. Some years by this method
contained thirteen months instead of twelve. The length of years,
therefore, in Moses' time was in the aggregate the same as today.
The extreme old age of the antediluvians can reasonably be accounted
for by considering the Bible narrative to the effect that originally
the human race was perfect, and because of death entering into
the world as the result of sin, the race began to deteriorate.
In its more perfect state, the average length of life of the
race would be far more than it is today after the past six thousand
years of degeneration. This of course is in opposition to the
theory of evolution, which maintains that the condition of the
human race is gradually improving. However, no one has ever
been able to advance a single proof in evidence of the truth
of this theory, and those most advanced in scientific knowledge
are now rejecting it.
the Lord said, "On these two commandments hang all the
law and the prophets" (`Mat. 22:40`), what did He mean
by the "law and the prophets"? (M.A.M.)
<ANSWER>--The Lord was answering a question propounded
by a lawyer who was of the Pharisees, a religious sect, the
members of which made great professions of morality and piety.
They were great sticklers for the various features of the letter
of the Law; and, as far as outward conditions of morality were
concerned, they were shining examples of righteousness; making
examples of righteousness; making long prayers on the street
corners; contributing largely to the support of the priests
and the expenses of the Temple with its religious duties and
ceremonies; and so particular were they in their habits of cleanliness,
that the Lord sarcastically said of them on one occasion that
they strained at a gnat and swallowed a camel! Yes; they were
a self-righteous and self-loving class who swallowed the camel
of hypocrisy and injustice, but strained at the observance of
the mere letter of the law. For one of the most scathing arraignments
of any class to be found in any language, read the `23rd chapter
of Matthew`. Is there such a class of moral and religious people
in existence today? Then let them give heed to the awful denunciations
of the Lord. How fitting, then, was the Master's reply to this
lawyer! Summing up all the instructions of the Law and the Prophets
(the faithful servants and teachers of the law) He set forth
the very essence or spirit of these instructions in the one
word- -Love. The Jewish Law was engraved on two tablets of stone.
The first tablet contained the Laws relating to man's obligations
to his Creator. The other tablet set forth the duties of man
toward his fellowman. Therefore, "Thou shalt love thy God
with all thine heart...and love thy neighbor as thyself."
<ANSWER>--Man when created was endowed with the moral
faculties; that is, the faculties with which to determine between
the right and the wrong. The faculties were perfect in the first
man formed by the Creator. The Divine Law was written in the
very nature of the perfect human being--Adam. When man disobeyed
the Almighty Being who had formed him, he knew that he had violated
the principles of righteousness and justice and therefore his
conscience reproved him--his moral facilities were offended--and
with the woman he hid himself from the presence of the Lord.
The sense of discerning good and evil, differentiating between
right and wrong, has been sadly marred and fulled by the long
centuries of the experiences of the race with sin, evil and
degradation, until the conscience alone is no longer a safe
guide to direct life's affairs. The conscience, even of the
best, is now and then erroneous and doubtful. Therefore, as
individual timepieces need to be regulated by some standard
of time, so our consciences require constant regulation by some
standard of morality and righteousness--the Word of God, the
you tell me where I can find it stated in the Scriptures that
our Lord was forty days old when He was presented in consecration
to the Heavenly Father by His parents? Is this the basis for
the custom observed by some in presenting their children to
<ANSWER>--As narrated in the second chapter of Luke, verses
21-23, (`Luke 2:21-23`) the mother of Jesus, in conformity with
the Law which had been given to the Israelites by the Lord God
through Moses, presented Him in consecration to the Heavenly
Father. (See `Exo. 13:12,15,6`.) This presentation could not
take place until the time of the mother's purification had been
fulfilled; which, according to the Law, (`Lev. 12:1-4`) would
require forty days. All of the first-born of the children of
Israel are represented as belonging unto the Lord, and to redeem
these from sacrificial service the Law required that a substitute
should be offered, either a lamb, or two doves, and these must
be sacrificed. (`Exo. 13:12-15`.) We believe that it was this
Jewish custom that is largely responsible for the consecration
services observed by some of the Lard's saintly people of the
present day. --`1 Sam. 1:22-28`.
did Christ mean when he referred to John the Baptist as Elijah?
(`Matt. 17:2,12`). Is this an evidence that he recognized re-incarnation
as the truth?
<ANSWER>--The theory of re-incarnation is nowhere taught
in the scriptures. Our Lord Jesus and the Apostles never, in
all their teachings, said a word about re-incarnation. As to
the meaning of the Savior's words referred to in the question,
we recognize that He was calling to mind the prophecy of `Mal.
4:5,6`. John the Baptist was one of the greatest of the prophets,
and it was his mission to prepare the way of the Messiah, the
Christ, by performing a reformation work in preaching repentance
and baptism for the remission of sins, and declaring the kingdom
of heaven at hand. This message was to the Jews and to them
only, as they had been the Lord's chosen people for many centuries.
But now a new dispensation was about to be ushered in. The kingdom
of heaven was at hand. And it was John's mission to prepare
the people for the new order of things. This He did in the power
and spirit of Elijah. (`Luke 1:16,17`.) We know positively that
John was not Elijah for we have his own testimony on the subject.
"And they asked him, what then? Art thou Elijah? And he
saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No."
11:5`, we read that Enoch was translated that he should not
see death. Then in the `13th verse` we read that these all DIED
in faith, referring to those mentioned in the preceding verses.
Would this include Enoch among those mentioned? And if so please
harmonize the two statements. (F.G.)
<ANSWER>--From the Genesis statement (`Gen. 5:22-24`)
and the Apostles' words in the 5th verse of this 11th chapter
of Hebrews, (`Heb. 11:5`) we are inclined to believe that the
Lord translated Enoch that he should not see death; that in
some way Enoch's life was preserved. As the scriptures do not
say where the Lord placed Enoch that he should not see death,
it would be idle speculation an our part to attempt to set forth
just where to look for him. If Enoch, then, is alive somewhere
as the 5th verse indicates, the expression of the `13th verse`--"these
all died in faith"--would have no reference to him. The
Apostle was evidently referring to those mentioned in the `12th
verse`, and not to those mentioned in the preceding verses.
"Therefore sprang from one, and him as good as dead, so
many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which
is by the sea shore innumerable. These all died in faith."
did Jesus mean when he said, "In my Father's house are
<ANSWER>--In the larger sense, the Universe is God's home
or house, and this earth is His footstool. We know not how many
angelic orders there are, but the Scriptures intimate that there
are spirit beings of various grades, of different nature, each
perfect, but differing one from the other. The Divine Plan,
in connection with their creation, made full arrangement for
their comfort and happiness to all eternity. Similarly, when
God created man He provided for his welfare to all eternity,
giving him an earthly home, mansion, or apartment in the great
House. Our Lord, in calling His Church, invited them to become
God's "New Creation." He promised those who would
become His footstep followers, bearing their cross after Him,
that eventually they should be with Him, sharing His glory on
the heavenly plane. They should be like unto the angels, but
higher than the angels--His Bride. There is no place yet for
this "New Creation," except in the Father's purpose,
or plan, in which provision for the Church, as the Bride of
Christ, had already been made. But it needed to be prepared
for them, and they needed to be prepared for it. This preparation
has gone on from the time our Lord said, "I go to prepare
a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I
will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am,
there ye may be also" (`John 14:2,3`).
Apostle says--"We are fools for Christ's sake!"--what
did he mean by this expression? How are Christians made fools?
See `1 Cor. 4:10`.
<ANSWER>--The Apostle Paul, because of his zeal and earnestness
in the cause of Christ, had suffered opposition and persecution
of various kinds and had even endured hunger and thirst and
hardships, as he proceeds to narrate in this same chapter. To
those without faith in Christ and His teachings this was all
foolishness on the part of the Apostle. To them he seemed to
be a religious fanatic--a fool. And evidently some of the Christian
brethren at Corinth got this same idea, deeming it needless
to endure so much contempt and hardships for the Master's cause.
These conditions have prevailed all down throughout the Christian
Era, the consecrated, devoted people of the Lord, who have given
their all, sacrificing ease, comfort and worldly fame and riches
in their desire to serve Him who endured so much for their sakes,
have ever been ridiculed and despised by the common lot who,
because of their diminutive mental and moral caliber, could
not appreciate the grandeur and the nobility of the characters
and teachings of these who truly deserve the name of Christian.
Well has one expressed the matter in the following lines-- "The
few by whom high truth was recognized Who foolishly their full
hearts left unguarded Revealing to the crowd their noble vision
Have always banished been crucified."
explain what is meant by Preaching the Gospel, and what is the
<ANSWER>--The word gospel signifies a message of glad
tidings. Preaching the Gospel means proclaiming the good tidings,
or massage of gladness, to others. When the Lord Jesus came
He declared, "The spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because
the Lord hath anointed Me to preach good tidings unto the meek."
During the three and a half years of His ministry He preached
the good news of the coming Kingdom and the blessings it is
to bring to the human race. He commissioned His true followers
to do the same thing, and those who have been telling others
of the redemptive work of Christ and the blessings of His coming
Kingdom have thus been preaching the Gospel. In these modern
times the public press has become the most effective way of
getting great truths before the people and the Gospel is being
preached through the press wheresoever the glad tidings of Messiah's
Kingdom is being published. From this it will be seen that much
that is preached is mislabeled "Gospel." All sorts
of bad tidings of great misery are many times improperly styled
hatred is not a virtue, why does it say in `Eccl. 3:8` "There
is a time to hate?" Why does Christ say in `Luke 14:2`
"If any man come to me and HATE not his father and mother,
and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea and his own life
also, he cannot be my disciple?" (F. W.)
<ANSWER>--Our Lord in all of His instructions to His followers
continually admonished them to love one another, and not only
this but that they were to love their enemies as well. (`John
13:35`; `Mat. 5:43,44-46`; `1 Pet. 2:23`.) Therefore, it would
not be consistent to think that the Lord would counsel His followers
to HATE those that were near and dear to themselves, and towards
whom there was every incentive to love and esteem. The Lord
evidently used this word to impress the thought upon the minds
of those who would be His followers, that the terms of discipleship
are very rigid and exacting. In other words; none could become
disciples of the Master unless they loved Him more than all
earthly ties, or considerations. None can ever be recognized
by the Lord as His follower unless they have taken the step
to be obedient to the Divine will even though it meant the loss
of every valued object and the sacrifice of life itself! The
thought conveyed in the expression found in `Eccl. 3:8`, is
that there are times and seasons when it would be proper to
"hate," or despise that which is contrary to the principles
of righteousness and justice. All should hate injustice and
be out of sympathy with those who oppress and injure the weak
and helpless. Also, those who are in opposition to the Lord
and His just laws and arrangements, and who wilfully go contrary
thereto, should be righteously shunned and despised--"hated
with a perfect hatred." --`Psa.139:21,22`.
it true that the "Highway of Holiness" is opened now
and that the way of salvation is so plain that a "wayfaring
man though a fool shall not err therein" (`Isa. 35:8-10`)?
If the way is so plain and clear and simple that a foolish person
need make no mistake about it, then why is there so much confusion
among the learned clergymen, Doctors of Divinity, etc., as to
the proper methods of salvation, some teaching one thing and
some another? As an honest skeptic and one seeking to know the
way of salvation, can you direct me to this "Highway?"
<ANSWER>--We are not surprised that you have failed to
find the "Highway." The Lord Jesus referring to the
conditions of salvation during this present Gospel Age, declares
that "Strait is the gate and narrow is the way that leadeth
unto life and few there be that find it." As a matter of
fact the Scriptures point out three ways: --"The broad
way, leading to destruction," "The narrow way to life,"
and the "Highway of Holiness." (`Mat. 7:13,14`; `Isa.
35:8,9`.) It is very evident from the conditions which you mention,
that the latter of these ways has not been in existence thus
far, but as the Scriptures affirm, it will be opened up for
the world at the time of our Lord's second coming. Then when
Satan, that old "lion" (`1 Pet. 5:8`), is bound (`Rev.
20:2`), the Prophet's words shall be fulfilled--"No lion
shall be there," and "the redeemed of the Lord (the
world of mankind) shall go up thereon with everlasting joy and
singing upon their heads, and sorrow and sighing shall flee
said, "Suffer the little children to come unto me, and
forbid them not; for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven"
(`Mark 10:14`). Does this not mean that there will be infants
<ANSWER>--There is a simplicity and gentleness about a
little child which all good people appreciate. The Master was
not so overwhelmed with His great work as to be unable to realize
the desire of the Jewish mothers to have Him give their little
ones a blessing. Therefore, when the disciples would spare Him
the annoyance, He rebuked them and, calling for the little ones,
He blessed them. The statement, "For of such is the Kingdom
of Heaven," must not, however, be understood to imply that
the Lord is electing or selecting such little children for His
joint-heirs in the Kingdom; we must interpret Scripture by Scripture.
We must remember His words that only "overcomers"
can share with Him in the Kingdom (`Rev. 2:7,11,17,26`; `Rev
3:5,12,21`); and again, we are to remember His declaration that
those who would be His disciples must take up their cross and
follow Him. Such things could not be true of infants. Heart
purity and simplicity are necessary for the Kingdom, but more
than these are required. The text of the question should be
understood in harmony with our Master's words, "Except
ye . . . become as little children ye shall not enter the Kingdom
of heaven" (`Mat. 18:3`). The emphasis lies upon the word
"as" in the sense of like. Only the child-like and
trustful disciples can experience God's highest favor--a share
in His Kingdom.
and to what extent were the Apostles inspired?
<ANSWER>--There are some at the present day who believe
that modern authors, teachers and poets are as fully inspired
as were the Apostles. Even some clergymen apparently have the
thought that they themselves are as authentic and reliable authorities,
and should be regarded as such. If this view is the right one,
then inspiration is a cheap article, and wholly unreliable when
we reflect upon the many conflicting theories and doctrines
that have been promulgated by modern theological authorities.
The Apostle Peter, in referring to the inspiration of the Sacred
Writers, declares that "Holy men of God spake as they were
moved by the Holy Spirit." (`2 Pet. 1:21`.) That is to
say, God's holy power or influence operating upon the minds
of the Prophets caused them to speak and to write of future
things in relationship to the Divine purposes, which even they
themselves did not understand. (`Dan. 12:8,9`.) The Apostles
likewise were caused to write of matters that would be necessary
to the spiritual interests and welfare of the Lord's people
in after times. (`2 Tim. 3:16,17`.) Plenary inspiration has
not existed since the days of our Lord and the Apostles, and
is not needed, as the Scriptures are complete and sufficient
know what becomes of the obedient and disobedient, but there
is another class, which really cannot be called obedient nor
yet disobedient. I mean the irresponsible, and they who love
this present world and have not even a desire to know what God
requires of them, and which, in my opinion, form the vast majority
of mankind even in this enlightened age (so-called). What becomes
of them? (P.E.I.)
<ANSWER>--The answering of this question involves the
consideration of the doctrines of "Election" and "Free
Grace," both clearly taught in the scriptures, as all Bible
Scholars recognize. It is only within recent years that the
beautiful harmony existing between these two doctrines has been
recognized. From many Scriptures, of which we will only cite
a few, it will be seen that the entire Christian Era, from the
time of our Lord Jesus' first advent down to the time of His
second coming, is the period in which the "Election"
takes place, the election or selection of those who shall constitute
the Bride, the Church of Christ. (See `1 Pet. 1:2`; `Eph. 1:4`;
`2 Pet. 1:10`; `Acts 15:14-18`.) When, at the close of this
Christian Age, the work of election is consummated, then God's
free grace will be extended to all the remainder of mankind,
through the selected class, who were elected to be kings and
priests unto God and with their Lord Jesus to reign for the
space of a thousand years over the nations of the earth for
the purpose of lifting them up out of sin and death to human
perfection and eternal life. Now is the Church's opportunity
to make her calling and election sure; then will be the world's
opportunity of receiving God's free grace. Election now and
Free Grace then. See `Acts 15:14-18`; `Rev. 22:17`; `Acts 3:19-21`.
Job a real personage, or only an allegorical character?
<ANSWER>--We believe Job to have been a real person--a
man. He is so referred to in the following Scriptures: `Job
1:1`; `Eze. 14:14-20`; `James 5:11`. This does not alter the
fact, however, that a great allegorical lesson is taught by
Job's experiences. As a whole, his life represented the experiences
of the human family in the loss of everything. Job lost his
children, friends, home, health, the affections of his wife--all
--and he was nigh unto destruction in the tomb. Then came the
turning point. He was restored to Divine favor and to all the
blessings which he had formerly enjoyed, and had more abundance
than he ever had before. This pictures the experiences of the
human race. Adam, in Eden, was perfect, joyful and rich in life
and a perfect home. He lost all of these, being driven from
Eden and compelled to battle with the sterile soil of the earth.
By and by, when the "Restitution of all things, spoken
by Jehovah through His holy prophets," shall have come
to the world, the human race will likewise be restored to Divine
favor and receive greater blessings than ever before experienced.
is the "key of knowledge" referred to in `Luke 11:52`,
where the Lord Jesus said to the Scribes and Pharisees "Ye
have taken away the key of knowledge; ye entered not in yourselves,
and them that were entering in ye hindered?" (Y.E.K.)
<ANSWER>--Some one has said "The summary want of
the age is that last philosophy into which shall have been sifted
all other philosophy, which shall be at once catholic and eclectic,
which shall be the joint growth and fruit of reason and faith,
and which shall shed forth through every walk of research the
blended light of discovery and revelation." The Bible is
just such a revelation and contains that true philosophy which
is the basis for all philosophies. It is the "key of knowledge,"
the Standard of Truth, and all lines of investigative thought
which ignore this Standard and are contrary thereto, are "vain
philosophies and science falsely so-called." (`1 Tim. 6:20`.)
The "lawyers," Doctors of the Law, the Doctors of
Divinity of our Lord's time, had made void the Word of the Lord
through their traditions and speculations. (`Mark 7:13`.) The
people, looking to these "lawyers" for true instruction
regarding the Lord's Word, were deceived and confused by their
is mean by the expression, "An eye for an eye and a tooth
for a tooth"? (`Exo. 21:24`.)
<ANSWER>--The Law given to the Israelites by the Lord,
through Moses as the Mediator for that nation, was designed
to emphasize and impress the lesson of the Divine principle
of JUSTICE on the minds of the people. All through that wonderful
system of laws this principle is boldly prominent. Justice is
inexorable, demanding an exact equivalent for the thing that
is lost or injured by a violation of the principles of righteousness.
The scales must balance perfectly. Just as the laws of the material
or natural realm are fixed and absolute --and any violation
of these laws of nature must exact the penalty--so also in the
moral realm. As surely as cause and effect are related, so any
violation of the principles of righteousness demands a recompense
and the penalty is exacted. There is no escape. Let no one deceive
himself on this point. If one wilfully injures another, he has
to the same extent injured himself. The law of action and reaction
operates in the moral realm just as positively as in the arrangements
of the material universe. He is happiest who observes the principles
of righteousness most fully, and he is unhappiest who violates
them most. It follows, therefore, that love is the fulfilling
of the Law. Love for the Lord would prompt one to be obedient
to His just commands, and love for the neighbor would induce
one to do good unto all men as the opportunities were presented.
This great truth was beautifully set forth by the Master and
His Apostles. See `Matt. 22:37-40`, and `Rom. 13:10`. And yet
how few are observing this rule! Consequently, how much unhappiness
there is in the world!
Ananias tell the first lie, and is that the reason why we often
speak of an "Ananias Club" whose members are reported
to be notorious liars?
<ANSWER>--The Lord Jesus declared that Satan told the
fist lie, saying, "He was a murderer from the beginning
and abode not in the truth because there is no truth in him.
When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own; for he is a
liar and the father of it." (`John 8:44`.) The first lie
told was by Satan in Eden when he said to Mother Eve, "Ye
shall not surely die." (`Gen. 3:4`.) This was false because
a contradiction to God's plain statement, "Thou shalt surely
die." (`Gen. 2:17`.) It may truly be said that all the
false doctrines of "Heathendom" and "Christendom"
have had their foundation in this falsehood told by Satan. Satan's
falsehood was the cause of the disobedience of the first man
which resulted in the sentence of Adam to death, and which death
sentence by inheritance has passed upon all of his offspring.
(`Rom. 5:12`.) Ananias was an offspring of Adam. He was born
under the condemnation of death, shapen in sin and brought forth
in iniquity. (`Psa. 51:5`) Therefore, the natural tendency was
downward, hence all who would be honest and upright must fight
a lie ever justifiable? (H.V.D.)
<ANSWER>--The development of character is the main purpose
of our present existence. The importance of this work is manifest
when we reflect that our interests throughout eternity depend
entirely upon the kind of character we develop in this life.
It is by contending against adverse influences that character
is formed. Nearly all of the influences of the conditions of
this life are opposed to the principles of righteousness. Those
who are willing to fight the good fight of faith, struggling
to rise against the downward tendencies of this present evil
world, are assured of a high and heavenly reward in the life
to come, as well as receiving the reward in this present time
of a clear conscience and the glorious satisfaction of having
lived a noble, honest life! Those who follow the lines of least
resistance, drifting with the tide, may think theirs is the
easiest way, but this is only a vain delusion for, after all,
they have travelled the hardest way. "The way of the transgressor
is hard." (`Pro. 13:15`.) A lie is never justifiable; and
not only so, it is unprofitable. It weakens one's character
in proportion to the enormity of the offense involved in the
relating of the lie. Every step away from truth will have to
be retraced either in this life or in the life to come. Throughout
the Scriptures lying is condemned. Satan is called "a liar
from the beginning." The character of the Lord Jesus is
the standard of righteousness set before us, and in all His
earthly experiences He set forth the truth and condemned the
error. He spoke the truth at all times, and when it was not
expedient to tell the truth, He was silent.
you explain the words of the Apostle Paul (`1 Cor.7:14`): "For
the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the (believing) wife
and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the (believing) husband;
else were your children unclean (sinners under condemnation,
unjustified, unrelated to God, aliens from His care and blessing,
but now are they holy")?
<ANSWER>--As the disobedience and alienation of Adam and
Eve from the Heavenly Father brought alienation to all their
offspring, so the reconciliation of the Lord's people through
the merits of the great atonement, not only brings them back
to harmony with God, but their children as well are counted
as justified through their parents, up to such a time as the
child shall have an intelligence and will of its own. The question
is more complex, however, when one parent is the Lord's and
the other is a stranger and an alien from Him; but the Apostle
assures us that in such a case God counts the child as His,
through whichever one of its parents is the Lord's disciple.
The standing of the believing parent is counted as offsetting
and overruling the standing of the unconsecrated parent, so
far as the child is concerned.
are we to think of the amazing occurrences, accounts of which
are appearing in the daily press and in the monthly publications,
to the effect that messages have been received from the noted
English publicist, Wm. T. Stead, who was drowned when the Titanic
sank mid-ocean; and that he has appeared and conversed with
several well-known people on different occasions? Does this
not prove that the dead are not dead but more alive than ever?
<ANSWER>--It is true that many remarkable manifestations
of an unseen, supernatural power have been reported through
the daily press of late. There is no doubt as to the authenticity
of these demonstrations. They are vouched for by the very best
of human testimony. As the Scriptures unmistakably teach that
the dead are unconscious in the tomb and will not be awakened
until the resurrection morning, we are forced to the conclusion
that these supernatural phenomena are not created by those who
have gone down into death. The Bible explains the mystery to
those who are willing to accept its testimony. It tells about
the fallen angels, demons, who left their former habitation,
their spiritual estate, in the antediluvian times, and went
contrary to the Divine will, for which they have been restrained
in chains of darkness (the darkness of the night) until the
judgment time. These have manifested their power all down through
the ages, obsessing people, impersonating the dead, and otherwise
deceiving mankind. Note carefully the following Scriptures:
`Exo. 22:18`; `Deut. 17:9-12`; `Lev. 19:31`; `Lev. 20:6`; `2
Kings 21:2,6,11`; `1 Chron. 10:13,14`; `Acts 16:16-18`; `Gal.
5:10-21`; `Isa. 8:19,20`; `Isa. 19:3`.
of the commandments of the Bible reads, "Thou shalt love
thy neighbor as thyself." How may I know who is my neighbor?
<ANSWER>--Our Lord gives a clear answer to this question
in `Luke 10:29-37`. He describes a man in distress and need.
A priest came along and seeing the man passed by on the other
side as if he were afraid he would be contaminated by even paying
attention to the sufferer. A Levite did likewise. Then came
a Samaritan (Samaritans were a mixed people, common and despised
by the priestly class of Jews), and ministered unto the wants
of the sufferer. The principle here taught is, that every man
is your neighbor and should be treated kindly, generously, according
to the Golden Rule. "Do unto others as you would have them
do unto you." "Love your neighbors as yourself"
and show that you do love them by dealing with all honestly,
fairly and exactly as you would like others to deal with you.
The Apostle Paul announces the proper principle saying, "Do
good unto all men as you have opportunity." (`Gal. 6:10`.)
explain this Scripture found in `1 John 3:8`: "Whosoever
is born of God doth not sin; for His seed remaineth in him;
and he cannot sin because he is born of God."
<ANSWER>--A better translation from the original Greek
manuscripts renders the passage thus: "No one who has been
begotten by God practices sin; because His Seed abides in him;
and he cannot sin, because he has been begotten by God."
This begetting takes place at the time of the receiving of the
Holy Spirit. In other words, it is the beginning of the new
spiritual life, the living of the Christlike life. This "new
creature" (`2 Cor. 5:17`) is in an embryotic state or condition
while in the flesh and will be born of the spirit in the resurrection.
The spirit of the Lord God is the power or influence exerted
upon the minds and hearts of those who have surrendered their
own wills and are obedient to the Divine will. This holy power
of the Lord gradually transforms the mind of the Christian,
shaping the mental faculties so that earthly hopes, desires
and ambitions die, while heavenly spiritual ones are developed.
The spirit-begotten New Creature becomes spiritually minded,
develops a new mind; his mind is renewed for so states the Apostle:
"Be not conformed to the things of this world but be ye
transformed by the renewing of your minds." (`Rom. 12:2`.)
Because of the weakness and the imperfections of the flesh we
sin almost constantly, not willfully; the new mind, the mind
of Christ cannot sin. All who are honest with themselves will
acknowledge that they are imperfect and cannot do the things
that they would, perfectly. (See `1 John 1:8`; `1 John 2:1`.)
The embryotic New Creature (the mind of Christ dominated by
the Holy Spirit) cannot sin (willfully) as long as "His
Seed (the spirit) remaineth in him."
Noah was a just and respectable old gentleman of some six hundred
years of age, how is it that we find him getting intoxicated--becoming
drunk--as recorded in `Gen.9:21`?
<ANSWER>--How true are the words of the poet: The evil
that men do lives after them; The good is oft interred with
their bones. But one instance of straying from the path of rectitude
and sobriety in a long life of fidelity to the principles of
righteousness will stand out with startling distinctness and
will be the subject of more consideration than all of the individual's
noble acts and traits combined. However, we shall not leave
Noah defenseless, but will call attention to the fact that his
intoxication was after the flood and was wholly unintentional.
The flood wrought great changes in the atmospheric conditions
of our earth. To our understanding the deluge was produced by
the precipitation to the earth of an immense quantity of water
which previously had surrounded the earth at a distance as a
cloudy canopy. The dissolution of this canopy or envelope of
water not only produced the flood, but altered the conditions
of nature so that storms, rains, etc., resulted--things which
had never been before. (`Gen. 2:5,6`.) Another result, we believe,
was the development of an acidulous condition of the atmosphere
tending to produce ferment, which directly affected human longevity,
so that according to the Scriptures the average of human life
decreased from eight and nine hundred years to one hundred.
This ferment from the changed atmosphere, affecting the grape,
generated "mold," and hence the alcoholic condition
which produces drunkenness. According to the record, Noah's
drunkenness was the result of the first vintage of grapes after
the flood, and it evidently was contrary to all of his experiences
preceding the flood. We are justified, therefore, in supposing
that this one instance of Noah's having been intoxicated was
the result of ignorance respecting the changed character of
the grape product fermented.
is the Scriptural method of ordination? It seems to me that
the laymen should have something to say as to who shall be their
representatives. Have the clergy arrogated to themselves privileges
in this connection to which they are not entitled? (American)
<ANSWER>--Priestcraft, and not the teachings of our Lord
and His Apostles, is responsible for the division of the church
into two classes, called "clergy" and "laity."
It is still the spirit of priestcraft that seeks to lord it
over God's heritage in every way possible--proportionately to
the density of the ignorance prevailing in any congregation.
The word "ordain," in respect to elders--those who
preside over the church- -occurs in `Titus 1:5`. It is from
the Greek which signifies "to place down." "Set
in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every
city, as I gave thee charge." (R.V.) On the fact of it,
this text seems to imply that Titus was empowered to appoint
these elders, regardless of the wishes of the congregations
(churches, ecclesias); and it is on this view that the whole
clerical system rests. The leading churches all claim for their
bishops an apostolic authority to set, to place or appoint,
elders for the congregations--without the stretching forth of
the hand, or vote of the church. This text is the bulwark of
this idea; but it appears to be rather a weak support when we
notice the last clause, "As I gave thee charge," and
reflect that the Apostle would surely not give Titus "charge"
or instruction to do differently from what he (the Apostle)
did in this matter. The account of the Apostle's own procedure,
rightly translated, is very explicit: "And when they had
elected them elders by a show of hands in every ecclesia, and
had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord."
Paul's positive claim to be an Apostle, specially called of
God, who saw Jesus, and that the choice of Matthias to be the
successor of Judas, by the Eleven, was before the descent of
the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, are we to consider
him (Paul) as the successor of Judas, remembering that there
were to be but twelve Apostles, and that Matthias was not afterward
<ANSWER>--It is evident from the Scriptural account that
the Eleven were acting without due warrant and authority in
selecting Matthias to be the successor of Judas. They had been
instructed to tarry at Jerusalem and wait for enduement from
on high by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, and it was during this
waiting period and before they were endued with power, that
they mistakenly cast lots and chose Matthias. The Lord did not
reprove them for this undesigned meddling with His arrangement,
but simply ignored their choice, and in His own time brought
forward the Apostle Paul, declaring, "He is a chosen vessel
unto Me." There can be no question but that the Lord arranged
that there should be but twelve Apostles, and in evidence of
this note how the Lord particularly chose those twelve, calling
to mind the prominence of the number twelve in sacred things
pertaining to this election. And we cap the climax by pointing
to the symbolical picture of the glorified Church furnished
in Rev. 21:1. In the picture the statement is most distinctly
made that the twelve foundations of the City are precious, and
in them were written the names of the "twelve Apostles
of the Lamb . . ."--no more, no less.
shall we understand the Prophet's words: "And they shall
beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning
hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither
shall they learn war any more" (`Isa. 2:4`) in view of
the fact that all of the nations are learning war and making
vast preparations for a great international conflict? Think
of the armies and navies and munitions of war! Have in mind
also the frightful instruments of destruction that are being
devised, such as submarines, airplanes, murderous machine guns
and terrific explosives, etc. Will peace never be established
in the earth?
<ANSWER>--The Prophet Joel foretold just the conditions
that we see about us in the world today (see `Joel 3:9-11`).
The Lord Jesus also informed His followers that "wars and
rumors of wars as well as dreadful calamities would continue
all down through the centuries until the time of His second
advent (`Mat. 24:6,7`), and then in the very end of the Age,
"the last days," would be the great tribulation, a
time of war and trouble involving all nations, the preparations
for which are fulfilled in the conditions of the present. When
the final great cataclysm, the overwhelming flood of trouble,
has drawn to its close, then Messiah's reign of peace begins.
A universal government will be established in the earth, the
Kingdom of God, and "the government shall be upon His shoulder;
and His name shall be called . . . The Prince of Peace; of the
increase of His government and peace there shall be no end."
(`Isa. 9:6,7`) The connecting verses to the one quoted in your
question, show that the conditions of peace referred to will
not be established until after the "mountain" (Kingdom)
of the Lord is set up in the earth. (See verses 2 and 3)
it proper for a Christian to engage in physical exercises, or
physical culture? I would like to have your thought on this
matter and, if possible, any Scriptures bearing on the subject,
as I know of some people who seemingly think it a sin to devote
any thought to the care of the body. (J.E.M.)
<ANSWER>--The mind or will is the master of the body.
The condition of the mind is largely affected by the condition
of the body. A sound mind in a sound body is the ideal condition.
To keep the body and the mind in proper condition, it is essential
that they be exercised, for it is a law of nature that inaction
produces decay and disease. Any stagnant pond is a good illustration
of this law. The Christian, whose desire is to serve his God
and his fellow-man, and who wills to do so, should recognize
that he can work out his will and desires more effectively with
a sound mind and a sound body than with those that are disabled
or injured through neglect or disuse. Considering the body from
this standpoint, as an instrument or a machine to be utilized
by the will in accomplishing good works, it would be the part
of wisdom to have it in excellent condition in order to achieve
the best results. The orderly, systematic care of the body tends
to develop those very traits of character that are essential
to the Christian development. Temperance, self-control, determination,
patience, self-denial, etc., are naturally acquired by those
who pursue a regular course of training with the object of devoting
their time and energies to the service of their Lord. The Apostle
says, "Bodily training is profitable for a little; but
piety is profitable for all things, having a promise of the
present life, and of that which is future." (`1 Tim. 4:8`)
explain the Scripture, "The poor ye have always with you."
(`John 12:8`.) Does this mean that there will always be poor
on the earth?
<ANSWER>--Jesus was addressing His disciples, and through
them all consecrated Christians. At Jesus' second coming all
of His faithful followers, then remaining on the earth, will
be taken away to heavenly conditions, as He stated that He would
go away to prepare a place for these, and He would come again
for them, and when Christ's Kingdom is fully established and
the blessings flow out therefrom to the people, there will be
neither rich nor poor, but all shall be brought to one common
level (`Isa. 11:4,5`). Messiah's reign will result in peace,
joy, happiness, health and plenty to all the righteous. Then
"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 hath spoken it." (`Jer. 31:34`; `Jer. 33:6`; `Micah
Adam and Jesus in any sense representatives of the race?
<ANSWER>--Adam, as the federal head of his family, was
its representative in Eden. This is demonstrated by the fact
that all of his posterity are involved in everything affecting
him. Thus the sentence of death which directly passed upon Adam
affected and impaired every one of his offspring. Jesus was
not a representative in this sense; He was made a man, a "little
lower than the angels, that He might, by the grace of God, taste
death for every man." (`Heb. 2:9`) He becomes Adam's substitute,
his Redeemer. He pays for Adam the penalty demanded by divine
Justice. He gave His life "a ransom for all, to be testified
in due time." (`1 Tim. 2:6`) Since Adam was the representative
of the whole human family, therefore, all of the human race
must share with him in the benefits to accrue through the redemption
provided by Jesus, his substitute. Thus the death of Jesus is
made efficacious to all who will accept the benefit thereof,
by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, as we read: "As
in Adam all die, even so all in Christ shall be made alive."
(`1 Cor. 15:22`)
the religious wave over the country indicate anything, or is
it a "flash in the pan?" (Reader)
<ANSWER>--We believe that it is indicative of much that
is important to the welfare of the entire race of mankind. Not
that we anticipate that it will result in converting the race
to Christianity, or "save the world for Jesus," but
that it indicates that mankind in general is longing after the
higher and holier things. All honor to the noble men and women
who are striving to better human conditions, and who are sacrificing
much in their efforts! However, the Lord in His Word, the Bible,
has pointed out a more excellent way than all of the religious
and reformation movements combined. In the first place, the
Scriptures foretell that the world will never be converted to
Christianity until after the Lord Jesus' second coming. (See
the following Scriptures and note carefully as they relate to
the "last days," or "the time of the end."
`Mat. 24:37-39`; `2 Tim. 3:1-5,13`; `Jam. 5:1-5`) From these
statements of the Sacred Writers, we see that the world will
be far from being converted to Christ at His coming and will
have very little regard for the teachings of the Master. Are
not the facts in harmony with the Scripture prophecies? In spite
of all the missionary efforts put forth, there are more than
double the number of heathen in the world today than there were
a century ago, according to the latest compiled missionary statistics!
What are the conditions in Christendom so-called? There are
far more bloodshed, wars, crimes, greed and graft than in all
the heathen lands combined! Christians may well pray, "Thy
Kingdom come," for that is the only hope for the world.
did Christ mean when He referred to John the Baptist as Elijah?
(`Mat. 17:11,12`) Is this an evidence that He recognized reincarnation
as a truth?
<ANSWER>--The theory of reincarnation is nowhere taught
in the Scriptures. Our Lord Jesus and the Apostles never, in
all their teachings, said a word about reincarnation. As to
the meaning of the Savior's words referred to in the question,
we recognize that He was calling to mind the prophecy of `Mal.
4:5,6`. John the Baptist was one of the greatest of the Prophets,
and it was his mission to prepare the way of the Messiah, the
Christ, by performing a reformation work in preaching repentance
and baptism for the remission of sins and declaring the Kingdom
of Heaven at hand. This message was to the Jews and to them
only as they had been the Lord's chosen people for many centuries.
But now a new dispensation was about to be ushered in. The Kingdom
of Heaven was at hand! And it was John's mission to prepare
the people for the new order of things. This he did in the power
and spirit of Elijah. (`Luke 1:16,17`) We know positively that
John was not Elijah for we have his own testimony on the subject:
"And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elijah? And he
saith, I am not. Art thou that Prophet? And he answered, No."
about the "River of the Water of Life, clear as crystal?"
(`Rev. 22:1,2`) Is it an actual river? If so, how may one get
a drink out of it?
<ANSWER>--If we were disposed to accept this as a literal
statement, we might well do as the old Spanish explorer, Ponce
De Leon, did--search for the Fountain of Perpetual Youth! And
we might have the consoling thought that surely there would
be enough water in this river of the water of life to put out
all the fires of the "lake of fire and brimstone"
mentioned in the eighth verse of the preceding chapter! Dispensing
with absurdities, we recognize that a wonderful symbolical picture
is here presented to our mental gaze--a gloriously beautiful
city of vast proportions and all of gold and precious stones,
reflecting the radiance of the marvelous light that glows within
and which emanates from that great Being who is the Supreme
Ruler of the Universe, the Almighty God! And forth from the
street of gold, there flows this lovely river whose waters are
as clear as crystal and whose banks are adorned with trees "whose
leaves shall be for the healing of the nations!" The city
is "the Bride, the Lamb's Wife," the Church of Christ
glorified. The river is the stream of truth and not the muddy
waters of the traditions of men that shall flow from the Church
when it is complete and highly exalted. The Lord had promised
that whoever would drink of the water (the truth) that He should
give, it would make of him "a well of water springing up
into eternal life." (`John 4:14`) These wells or springs
of water have been in course of development throughout this
Christian Era and when they are all brought together--the 144,000
mentioned in the `7th` and `14th chapters` there will be formed
a mighty flow of truth, of which all the nations will be invited
to partake. The Spirit and the Bride will then say, Come, and
whosoever is athirst may come and partake of the Waters of Life
freely. (`Rev. 22:17`)
day should be observed as the Sabbath Day, the first day or
the seventh day of the week? (I.B.S.A.)
<ANSWER>--It would depend upon the religious belief of
the one who asks the question. To the Jew the seventh day (Saturday)
is the one to be observed, as it was commanded in the Law that
was given to the Israelites that they should keep the seventh
day as a holy day. That Law is still binding upon the Jews.
If a Seventh Day Adventist, then let him keep the seventh day,
for he believes that he is under the Law, and with that belief
he certainly should keep the seventh day. To those who are members
of some one of the various Protestant Churches, or of the Roman
Catholic Church, let them observe the first day (Sunday) as
the day of rest, as they believe that it is so commanded, and
surely it would not be right for them to violate their conscience
by doing otherwise. To the true Christian, the consecrated child
of God, let these keep every day holy unto the Lord and not
merely one day in seven. And let these enjoy a rest by faith
in the Lord and in His sure promises. Let no one attempt to
judge another in respect to this matter of ob serving the sabbath
or holy days. No one has the right to judge his fellowman in
this regard; but let every man be fully persuaded in his own
mind (`Rom. 14:4,5`). If any one presumes to judge another in
these matters, he is violating a direct command of the Lord
as expressed by one of His inspired Apostles (`Col. 2:16`).
If any one should say that we are not saved and that we are
lost because we do not observe some special day, ask him gently
but firmly--"Who made thee a judge?"
read in the Bible that as Lot and his wife were fleeing from
Sodom, his wife looked back at the city and was instantly turned
into a pillar of salt; can that be literally true?
<ANSWER>--We see no reason for thinking otherwise than
that the statement with reference to Lot's wife is a literal
one. We can conceive of no reason why the record should be otherwise
than literal. The Great Master, Himself, referred to the incident
and made no criticism of the narrative (`Luke 17:32`). Why then
should we criticize it? The Scriptures show that the Angels
of the Lord had warned Lot to take his wife and daughters and
flee out of the City of Sodom, and they started in their flight,
but instead of keeping steadily on after once starting, Lot's
wife turned to look back--evidently desiring the things left
behind--and she was turned into a pillar of salt. The Apostle
shows us that these lessons or examples were for the benefit
of others. In other words, types and shadows of greater things.
Space does not here permit us to discuss the type and anti-type.
are "The spirits in prison?" (`1 Pet. 3:19`.) (Secretary).
<ANSWER>--The "spirits" or spirit beings, are
the ones referred to by the Apostle in the following verse as
having been disobedient during the antediluvian period of time,
in the days of Noah. Turning back to the early records of the
Scriptures, we find that in `Gen. 6:1-4`, it is narrated how
and in what manner these spirit beings disobeyed, and why they
were cast into prison. Note the contrast in the expression,
"The sons of God (the angels--`Job 2:1`) saw the daughters
of men." These spiritual sons of God left their habitation,
the spiritual realm, and materializing as human beings, took
unto them wives of the daughters of men. In this way the "men
of renown," "the mighty men," the "giants
in the earth," were brought into existence. This was contrary
to the Lord's arrangements, and therefore we read that those
angels were deprived of their liberties under certain limitations:
"And the angels which kept not their first estate (their
spiritual state) but left their own lasting chains, under darkness
(the darkness of the night, for they can operate only under
the cover of the night or conditions of darkness), unto the
judgment of the great day." (`Jude 6`.) The Apostle Peter
also refers to them when he says, "God spared not the angels
who sinned, but degraded them, and delivered them into chains
of darkness." --Corrected Translation. (`2 Pet. 2:4`.)
All history, both sacred and secular, is replete with instances
of obsession, or demonizations, by these demons, or fallen angels.
It was to these "spirits" that our Lord, by His death
and resurrection, Preached a powerful sermon in pantomime.
explain `Matt. 25:29`; "From him that hath NOT shall be
taken away even that which he hath." (E.M.)
<ANSWER>--This verse occurs in the Parable of the talents,
and if we supply the word increased after not, the thought is
clear. During the Gospel Age--that period between the going
away and the coming again of Christ Jesus--His servants have
been entrusted with the Gospel of the Kingdom. All professing
Christians have obligations and responsibilities to tell out
the "good tidings of great joy," according to their
knowledge and opportunity. Those who improve their talents increase
them, and because faithful to the light and privileges granted
to them, will receive the "Well done" of the Master.
All who neglect to use their talents for the blessing of others
will not have the Lord's approval. On the contrary, they will
lose not only the light they once enjoyed, but also the reward
of faithfulness. Let us then heed the exhortation of our Lord,
"Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown
read in the 10th chapter and the 8th verse of the Gospel of
`John` the following words of the Savior--"All that ever
came before me are thieves and robbers." Who are referred
to by the terms "thieves and robbers?" (A.N.F.)
<ANSWER>--The Lord Jesus was narrating a parable illustrating
certain arrangements and conditions. Every sheepfold must of
necessity have a door or gate and this would be for the use
of the shepherd and the sheep. As stated in verse 1, any person
attempting to enter the sheepfold in any other way than by the
door would be a thief and a robber. Our Lord Jesus, as the "Shepherd,"
by fulfilling the terms of the Law Covenant, entered the "door"
and secured all the blessings and privileges which had been
promised in the Law. The Scribes and Pharisees--"the thieves
and robbers"--on the other hand, had been endeavoring to
"climb up some other way," by a hypocritical observance
of the letter of the Law, rather than by a heart observance
and fulfillment of the spirit of the Law. Jesus, as the "Good
Shepherd," laid down His life for the "sheep."
The Scribes and Pharisees neglected the interests of the people
and were engaged in seeking their own gain--wealth and fame--while
piously posing as religious leaders.
is the meaning of the expression found in `Dan. 12:7`--"Time,
times and a half?" How long was a "time?"
<ANSWER>--A year, or "time," according to the
old Hebrew method of preserving chronological records, was ordinarily
a year of twelve lunar months of approximately thirty days each,
or 360 days. In the symbolic prophecies of the Scriptures, a
day stood for a year. (See `Eze. 4:1-8`; `Num. 14:33,34`.) A
"time" therefore, of three hundred and sixty days
in a prophetic sense, would signify 360 years. In the expression
under consideration there are three and one-half times, or 1,260
years. The same period is mentioned in the book of `Rev; in
chapter 12:14`, it is called three and one-half times (360 x
3® = 1,260); in `chapter 13:5`, it is termed forty-two months
(30 x 42 = 1,260); and in chapter `12:6`, it is called twelve
hundred and sixty days. Bible scholars in general have reached
the conclusion that these twelve hundred and sixty years came
to an end in the year 1799 A.D. Noting the fulfillment of this
prophecy at that time, and following this clue, a number of
students of prophecy are expecting that the "seven times"
(`Lev. 26:17`, `Lev. 18, 24,28`) or 2520 years, in which the
Jewish people were to be subject to the Gentile powers and kingdoms,
will terminate in the year 1914 A.D. as their kingdom was overturned
and destroyed in the year 606 B.C. "Seven times,"
or two thousand five hundred and twenty years, bring us to the
date 1914, when the Jews will be restored to their own land,
to have a government or kingdom of their own, which will be
the nucleus of the coming universal government so frequently
referred to in the Scriptural prophecies.
Lord Jesus taught the Christians to pray, "Thy Kingdom
Come, Thy will be done on earth." Does that mean that all
Christian people should join together and vote for the election
of only Christian men to office in order that God's will might
be done on the earth?
<ANSWER> --The true footstep followers of the Lord Jesus
are called to a "heavenly calling" (`Heb. 3:1`), to
the "high calling of God" (`Phil. 3:13`.) They are
running for the office of joint heirship with Christ Jesus in
His Kingdom. The Apostle Paul was one of these runners. He realized
that a man cannot well run for two offices at the same time.
He said, "Do not be conformed to this world." (`Rom.
12:2`.) That is to say, do not become entangled with the things
of this world. Again he said, "This one thing I do, forgetting
those things which are behind and reaching forth unto those
things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize
of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (`Phil. 3:13,14`);
and in harmony with this Jesus said, "Ye are not of this
world"; and again, "My kingdom is not of this world,"
meaning this present evil order of things; therefore we come
to the conclusion that the chief duty of the Christian is to
avoid entangling alliance with worldly systems, and to devote
himself to preparing for the kingdom of our Lord when He comes.
All good citizens should desire righteous men in office, but
a righteous government cannot be established by imperfect men,
hence the hope of the Christian is in the Bible teaching that
Christ Jesus, the great Messiah, will, in God's due time, set
up His kingdom, and establish righteousness in the earth.
God give orders for the weather every day?
<ANSWER>--No; nor does He every day order the stars in
their courses, nor the earthquakes, famines and pestilences.
At the present time, because of sin, the entire course of nature
is permitted to be out of joint, so far as this earth is concerned.
Our weather is not ideal at all times; God knows this and permits
it as a part of the penalty of death upon Adam's race. Present
conditions are not what God would have provided for Adam and
his posterity had sin not entered into the world. Extremes of
heat and cold, floods and droughts, death-dealing tornadoes
and cyclones are the world's portion as criminals under death
sentence; they are parts of the curse. Christians are not exempted
from these, but are required to walk by faith, sharing the world's
experiences; yet by this faith and the Holy Spirit to recognize
themselves as "sons of God without rebuke" (`Phil.
2:15`), learning through all life's experiences lessons which
will fit them for their future work of glory with Christ in
His Millennial Kingdom. God's promise is that then there shall
be no more curse--no more dying, no more crying. Instead, the
time will come for the restitution of man and his earthly home
to the perfection of grandeur of the Edenic condition (`Acts
3:19-21`.) Thus God will make the place of His feet, the earth,
"glorious." Paradise lost will be Paradise regained.
am sure all Christians want to do God's will, but how can we
determine his will in our affairs?
<ANSWER>--If we have not wholly become God's people by
consecration, His message to us is, "This is the will of
God, even your sanctification" (`1 Thess. 4:3`). If we
are His people we are to search His Word, which has been written
for our benefit. In it He says, "Trust in the Lord with
all thine heart, and lean not to thine own understanding. In
all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths"
(`Pro. 3:5,6`). When we are perplexed we should go to Him in
prayer, resting content with whatever He may permit, study His
Word and seek to be guided thereby. He has said to us, "All
things shall work together for good to those who love God, to
those who have been called according to His purpose" (`Rom.
8:28`). We will, if we follow this course, soon learn to appreciate
the fact that all the precious promises in the Bible are for
the guidance and benefit of the Christian. Exercising faith
in these, we should use our best judgment to follow the Lord's
will in all things, carrying no anxious thought respecting the
future and watching for His providential leadings.
`Jude 9`, is described a contention and dispute between Michael,
the Archangel, and the Devil over the body of Moses. Why this
<ANSWER>--We quote from an eminent authority an explanation
as to the reason for the contention between Michael and the
Devil: "The Lord Himself buried Moses, hiding the place
of the sepulchre. The primary reason for this probably was to
hinder the Israelites from carrying his corpse as a mummy, which
in after time might have become a temptation to idolatry. The
passage in `Jude 9`, which mentions Michael contending with
Satan concerning the body of Moses, is a hint along this line
that Satan desired to have the corpse to use it for the further
misleading of the people, but that the Lord through Michael
the Archangel hindered, prevented this, and kept the burial
place a secret from the Israelites. But there is another view
of this matter which is interesting because it relates to spiritual
Israelites. Jesus and the Church unitedly constitute the antitypical,
or greater Moses--the Spiritual. Their inheritance is not to
be earthly but heavenly, and a grave is a symbol of hope as
respects an earthly resurrection. Hence it was appropriate that
the type should not show an earthly grave since the antitype
has no hope in that connection."
the transfiguration of Jesus, `Matt. 17:3`, states that Elias
and Moses appeared and talked with Him. Will you please explain
how it was possible for the Apostles to recognize that these
two who were with the Lord were Moses and Elias? (W.C.C.) <
ANSWER>--As the Scriptural narrative does not contain the
information as to the modus operandi by which the Apostles recognized
the Patriarchs, we are forced to rely upon our own resources,
and to accept that which would appeal to us as the most reasonable
solution of the matter, without forming a too positive conclusion.
There are two ways by which it would be reasonable to suppose
the Apostles were made aware of the identity of the two who
appeared with the Lord. In the account it says, "There
appeared unto them Moses and Elias, talking with Him."
During this conversation it would be the most natural thing
in the world for the Lord to address them by their names. Then
again, as they were coming down from the mountain with the Lord,
He may have informed them as to the identity of the two they
saw in the "vision." They did not actually see Moses
and Elias but merely a "vision," as stated by the
Savior when He said, "Tell the vision to no man until the
Son of man be risen from the dead." (`Mat. 27:9`.)