Part 5 out of 7
Since his appearance, therefore, he has been doing the harvest work,
namely, gathering unto himself those who will constitute the bride
The Lord gives a picture in the twenty-fifth chapter of Matthew of
this kingdom class. (Matthew 25:1-13) Here he speaks of ten virgins who
took their lamps and went forth to meet the bridegroom. A virgin means a
pure one. Lovers of the Lord Jesus, the bridegroom, long for his return.
These took their lamps. The lamp represents the Word of God; as the
Psalmist says: "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet". (Psalm 119:105) Part
of these virgins were wise; therefore they took oil in their vessels.
The wise represent the bride class, the faithful ones; while the foolish
ones picture a class of greater numbers who will not be of the bride
class, but will be born on the spirit plane. While these have waited for
the coming of the Lord, the foolish ones have been indifferent. They
have had no oil, have not had the spirit of the truth, the loving zeal
for the Lord and his cause; hence they have been negligent. Whereas the
wise virgins have been watching and have kept their lamps trimmed and
burning; which means they have studied the Word of God and watched the
fulfillment of prophecies, striving to develop the fruits and graces of
the spirit and to be prepared for the coming of the Bridegroom. As
these, then, of the bride class come to a knowledge of the fact that the
bridegroom is present, they join in the cry: "Behold the Bridegroom!"
And they hasten to prepare to meet him. During the time of the harvest
of the gospel age, during the second presence of the Lord, members of
the wise virgin class coming to a knowledge of the truth of his presence
have rejoiced greatly because the Lord has returned; and the joy of the
bride class has increased as the members have marked the ever-increasing
evidence manifesting the Lord's presence and the preparation for his
kingdom. And as they have cried out, "Behold the Bridegroom!" they have
been zealous in presenting the message of truth to others, that their
hearts might be refreshed. The Lord has a special reward for those who
love his second appearing, as the Apostle plainly stated. (2 Timothy 4:8)
There will not be a great number of this bride class. On the contrary,
they are small in number. Jesus said there would be but a little flock.
(Luke 12:32) Through the Revelator he designates the number as
Some of these dear saints, however, have been developed from time to
time throughout the gospel age, beginning with the apostles at Pentecost.
These have died and waited for the return of the Lord. Since the
Scriptures show that the dead know not anything until the resurrection,
it would be reasonable to expect the Lord to do something for these who
had died faithful to their covenant and to expect that he would do
something for them early in the time of his presence. St. Paul says:
"For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are
alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them
which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a
shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and
the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain
shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in
the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord."--1 Thessalonians 4:15-17.
Some have misconstrued this Scripture to mean that the Lord would
appear the second time and give a great shout and wake up the dead. The
word here translated shout means a message of encouragement. It implies
a public message designed for the ears not of a few, but for a great
number. The "shout", the "voice of the archangel" and the "trump of God"
are all symbols. Literally, it means that the appearing of the Lord will
be at the time of or during the shout of encouragement; and this is in
full harmony with the evidences heretofore examined that the presence of
the Lord has been at a time when the people have been encouraged
concerning their own rights. Christians have encouraged each other by
passing the message of the Lord's presence on to each other. The peoples
have encouraged one another with reference to their liberties, rights,
and privileges. The "voice of the archangel", as used in this passage,
means one with authority, the chief messenger, Christ Jesus himself. He
comes with light and truth, illuminating the minds of men, leading them
into greater light which has come upon the end of the age when the shout
of encouragement for the rights and liberties of the people and the
deliverance of Christians into the kingdom of the Lord has begun
throughout the earth.
During this time, then, we should expect the resurrection of those
saintly ones who died before the second coming of the Lord; and should
expect that these would be awakened out of death and gathered unto the
Lord, thus to be forever with him. And therefore those believers who
were alive at his coming, when the time came for their death, would
experience an instantaneous change from human to spirit beings. And
finally, when all the members of the bride class shall have finished
their course and all have passed from the human into the spiritual
condition, with glorious bodies, they will enjoy peace and happiness for
evermore. The Lord is taking unto himself his bride class, because the
promise is that these shall be heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ
Jesus in his kingdom, and that they shall reign with him.--Romans 8:16,17;
ESTABLISHING HIS KINGDOM
Before the foundation of the world God foreordained that he would
have a kingdom and a royal family who would have charge of the kingdom.
The kingdom necessarily embraces the royal house or royal family, as
well as the dominion. Foreknowing the end of all things, God provided in
his great plan not only for the redemption of the human race, but the
selection from amongst men of a certain number whom he would transform
into the image and likeness of his beloved Son. God provided also that
these should constitute the royal family of heaven. The apostle Peter
says of this class: "But ye are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a
holy nation, a people for a purpose, that you may declare the
perfections of him who called you from darkness into his wonderful
light; who once were not a people, but now are God's people".--1 Peter
To his disciples, and to those who should thereafter become such,
Jesus said: "I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed
unto me". (Luke 22:29) And again: "To him that overcometh will I grant
to sit with me in my throne". (Revelation 3:21) From these Scriptures
it is to be seen that the church constitutes with Jesus the royal
family, the kingdom class, otherwise called the seed of Abraham, through
which the blessings shall flow out to mankind. This is the kingdom for
which he taught his disciples to pray. This is the kingdom which the
prophet Daniel declares shall be set up to have no successor, and which
shall be established during the last days of the kingdoms of the
unrighteous order.--Daniel 2:44; 7:14,27.
The truly consecrated followers of Jesus, obedient to his
admonition, have been watching and waiting; and those who were permitted
to live at the time of his second presence and since have experienced
that blessedness spoken of by Daniel the prophet at the end of the 1,335
symbolic days or years. As the great divine plan has been revealed to
these they have learned that the Lord has returned and is here,
invisible to human eyes, yet exercising his great power in binding Satan
and dashing to pieces the present unrighteous order, gathering unto
himself his saints, and putting in order the affairs of his kingdom;
that he has taken unto himself his great power to reign, and that soon
all the saints shall participate with the Lord in glory in carrying out
the further divine arrangement. As this string upon the harp of God is
revealed to them, they sing with exultant joy:
"Our lamps are trimmed and burning,
Our robes are white and clean;
We've tarried for the Bridegroom,
And now we'll enter in.
We know we've nothing worthy
That we can call our own--
The light, the oil, the robes we wear,
Are all from him alone.
Behold, behold the Bridegroom!
And all may enter in,
Whose lamps are trimmed and burning,
Whose robes are white and clean."
And these saints while yet on earth, beholding with the eye of
faith the marvelous fulfillment of prophecy, are patiently waiting for
the time of their glorification, when they each shall be clothed upon
with a new and beautiful body like unto Jesus', the beloved Bridegroom,
and when they each shall see him as he is.
What effect is produced upon one by the return of a very dear friend
long absent? ¶ 347.
Define the term "friend". ¶ 348.
Who is mankind's dearest friend, and why? ¶ 348.
How long since Jesus journeyed to a far country? and what did he say
about returning? ¶ 349.
If the facts show that this dear friend has returned for the blessing of
mankind, what effect should this have upon those who have been expecting
his return? ¶ 349.
Would his returning constitute one of the strings upon the harp of God?
For what have the Jews been long hoping and praying? ¶ 350.
For what have Christians been looking and waiting for the past nineteen
centuries? ¶ 350.
For what is the world of mankind groaning and waiting? ¶ 350.
What effect will be produced upon mankind when they learn that their
benefactor is present to bestow blessings upon them? ¶ 350.
Is the returning of the Lord to Christians a precious string upon the
harp of God? and if so, why? ¶ 351.
What conditions in the earth are preparing the people for a knowledge of
our Lord's return? ¶ 352.
Are the reasons for our Lord's return few or many? and should they be
kept in mind? ¶ 353.
Should we reason upon the Scriptures? and if so, why? ¶ 353.
In the advancement of the divine plan, do we find reason and the
Scriptures harmonizing? ¶ 353.
What points are conclusively proven by the Scriptures thus far examined?
Why is it necessary for relationship to be established between the world
and the Lord Jesus? ¶ 354.
What reason do we see for the Lord establishing in the earth a righteous
order of things? ¶ 354.
Must he be present to establish that order? ¶ 354.
Is there Scriptural evidence to support these reasonable conclusions?
What did the prophet Isaiah say about the coming of this mighty One?
What presumption follows the term "everlasting father"? ¶ 355.
What blessing, then, should we expect man to receive through the
promised government? ¶ 355.
What presumption must be indulged concerning the coming of the Lord from
the utterance of Jehovah to King Zedekiah through the prophet Ezekiel
when God overturned the government of Israel? ¶ 356.
What is to be expected that the coming of this mighty One would do in
the earth? ¶ 357.
When Zedekiah was overthrown, what did the gentiles do, by the Lord's
permission? ¶ 358.
Through the prophet Daniel, what world empires did the Lord Jehovah
foretell? and how long would they last? Give Scriptural proof. ¶ 358.
Would we expect the righteous King to be present when this breaking to
pieces of the old kingdoms occurs? ¶ 358.
Why do the Scriptures speak of this righteous kingdom as the kingdom of
heaven? ¶ 358.
In what two-fold sense is the term "kingdom" used? ¶ 359.
To what did most of the parables of Jesus relate? ¶ 359.
What did Jesus teach the disciples indicating the importance of the
Lord's coming kingdom? ¶ 359.
Should Christians expect the fulfillment of their prayers? ¶ 359.
Since this coming King must have a kingdom, do the Scriptures indicate
who is to be the king of this new order? Quote the Scriptural proof.
When Jesus stood before Pilate, of what crime was he accused? ¶ 360.
What question did Pilate ask him? and what was the Lord's reply? ¶ 360.
What is meant by the term "world" as used in this and other Scriptures?
What peoples were to have dominion in the earth from the time of
Zedekiah's overthrow until the second coming of the Lord? ¶ 360.
Who is the invisible ruler of that social order of things? ¶ 360.
By what other terms is Satan designated? ¶ 360.
What has been the nature of Satan's rule through his earthly
representatives? ¶ 360.
What do we understand, then, to be the meaning of the Master's words to
Pilate? ¶ 360.
Did the parable of the pounds taught by our Lord to his disciples
indicate his return? ¶ 361.
What is also indicated by the parable of the talents? ¶ 361.
What did Jesus say to his disciples just before his crucifixion about
his second coming? Quote his words. ¶ 362.
Where were Jesus and his disciples when Jesus ascended into heaven? ¶ 363.
Give the Scriptural account of what occurred at the time of his
ascension, ¶ 363.
Who were the men who stood by and spoke to the disciples at that time?
Why did these angels thus materialize and speak to the disciples? ¶ 363.
Were the disciples thoroughly convinced of the second coming of the
Lord? and if so, how did it influence their teachings? Give Scriptural
proof. ¶ 364.
What did St. Paul say to Timothy about the time of the end of his
earthly career concerning the second coming of the Lord? ¶ 364.
What special promise is indicated for the benefit of those who would
love his appearing? ¶ 364.
What is the book of Revelation? ¶ 365.
What is stated in the latter part of that book concerning the Lord's
return? ¶ 365.
Can there be any doubt about the Lord's second coming? and if not, why
not? ¶ 366.
What, then, is one of the important questions to be first determined
concerning his coming? ¶ 367.
From what should we expect to get the evidence concerning the manner of
the Lord's return? ¶ 367.
Is it reasonable to suppose that he would return in the body in which he
was put to death? and if not, why not? Give Scriptural proof. ¶ 367.
In what manner will the faithful followers of Jesus see him? ¶ 367.
Has any human being seen the Lord Jesus' glorious body? Give Scriptural
proof. ¶ 367.
Why shall the disciples see him as he is? ¶ 368.
Why could not human eyes see him? ¶ 368.
Is he like Jehovah? Give Scriptural proof. ¶ 368.
In what manner did St. Paul say the Christian should henceforth know
Christ Jesus? ¶ 368.
After the ascension of Jesus on high, what was his position with
reference to the Father? ¶ 369.
Give Scriptural proof that he is a spirit being. ¶ 369.
What did Jesus say to Nicodemus about a spirit being? and how does this
illustrate that human eyes cannot see the glorious Lord? ¶ 369.
Should we expect, then, our Lord to be present, not seen by human eyes,
but discernible by those who are his true followers? ¶ 370.
Satan is the god of this present evil world. Have human eyes seen him?
What will constitute the new heavens and new earth? ¶ 370.
Will the ruler of those new heavens, the Messiah, be visible or
invisible? ¶ 370.
Is there any reason for us to expect human beings to see the Lord? ¶ 370.
Is it always proper to use the word "coming" with reference to our
Lord's second appearance? If not, what other word is properly used? ¶ 371.
Quote a number of Scriptures in which the word "coming" is properly
translated "presence". ¶¶ 372-382.
When Jesus ascended on high, what did the angels standing by advise his
disciples as to the manner of his return? Give Scriptural proof. ¶ 383.
What does this suggest as to the manner of his return? ¶ 383.
What is meant by coming as a thief in the night? and how does this
illustrate the second coming of the Lord? Give Scriptural proof. ¶ 383.
What does the night illustrate? ¶ 383.
What did the Lord say concerning those who would report his return in
the desert or in the secret chambers? ¶ 384.
Explain the Lord's statement of his second appearing wherein he said,
"As the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the
west, so shall the presence of the Son of man be". ¶ 384.
What heavenly planet or body is used to picture the second appearing of
the Lord? ¶ 385.
Why is it important to keep in mind that the Lord's second appearing
will be invisible to human eyes? ¶ 386.
Is the time of his coming important to Christians? ¶ 387.
State the various opinions expressed by some concerning the Lord's
second coming. ¶ 387.
Why do some of these desire him not to come? ¶ 387.
Are we justified in assuming that no one could ever know the time of his
second appearing? and if not, why not? ¶ 388.
Is it reasonable to suppose that Jesus himself would know some time
before? ¶ 388.
Why would he tell his disciples to watch if they would never know of his
coming? ¶ 388.
When Jesus arose from the dead, what did he say about the power
committed to him? ¶ 388.
Is it reasonable to conclude that he then knew of his second appearing
and when it would take place? ¶ 388.
Should we expect the angels in heaven to know when that great event
takes place? ¶ 388.
Did the Lord promise the disciples that after they received the holy
spirit they might know concerning his second coming? ¶ 389.
What Scriptural promise is given the Christian that he shall have
revealed to him these things in due time? ¶ 389.
What did St. Paul, after he had received the holy spirit, writing under
inspiration to the Thessalonians, say about the times and seasons and
the second coming of the Lord? ¶ 389.
Should we expect the watching Christians to be in darkness as to the
time of the Lord's appearing? ¶ 389.
How did Jesus speak concerning his second coming? ¶ 390.
What is the meaning of prophecy as relating to the Lord's presence? ¶ 390.
Does the fulfillment of prophecy enable the watcher to determine about
the Lord's presence? ¶ 390.
In what way did Jesus use the natural harvest to illustrate his second
coming? ¶ 391.
Repeat the parable of the wheat and the tares, and give the Scriptural
interpretation of it. ¶¶ 391, 392.
What definite conclusion must be drawn from this statement of the Lord
relative to his second presence? ¶ 393.
Would it be necessary for the Lord to be present before the harvest?
Would it be necessary for him to be present some time before the end of
the age or world? ¶ 393.
What great historical facts were written prophetically by the prophet
Daniel? ¶ 394.
Could these statements of the prophet Daniel leading up to the "time of
the end" be understood by him? ¶ 394.
What did Daniel himself say about understanding his prophecy? ¶ 394.
Who did he say would understand in due time? ¶ 394.
What is meant by the term "time of the end"? ¶ 394.
What did the prophet Daniel definitely state would take place at the
"time of the end"? Quote the Scripture. ¶ 394.
State the fulfillment of Daniel's prophecy (11:40,41). ¶ 395.
In connection with Napoleon's campaign, who was meant in this prophecy
by the "king of the south" and by the "king of the north"? ¶ 395.
When did Napoleon's campaign end as in this prophecy described? ¶ 395.
How is the "time of the end" definitely fixed and stated? ¶ 395.
From what time in the world's history have governments been pictured by
beasts? ¶ 396.
What did the prophet Daniel say about a fourth beast? ¶ 396.
What constitutes the three principal component parts of the "beast"?
Give the historical date of the beginning of this great "beast". ¶ 396.
Quote Daniel's words in Daniel 12:5-7. ¶ 397.
In Biblical symbology, what is meant by a "time"? ¶ 397.
How much time was indicated by the prophet Daniel in this prophecy as
elapsing from the beginning of this beastly order to the "time of the
end"? ¶ 397.
How is the beginning of the "time of the end" definitely fixed at 1799
A.D.? ¶ 397.
What other periods of time does the prophet Daniel mention in the
twelfth chapter? ¶ 398.
From what date must these prophetic days be counted, as shown by the
foregoing facts? ¶ 398.
What was the most important thing to which the Prophet pointed? ¶ 398.
Applying the above rule, a day for a year, when would the 1,335 days of
Daniel's prophecy end? ¶ 398.
What should be expected at that date? ¶ 398.
If we are correct in reaching this date of 1874, should we expect
corroborative evidence of the Lord's presence? ¶ 398.
Why is fulfilled prophecy conclusive proof concerning the question at
issue? ¶ 399.
What is the value of physical facts in examining any question? ¶ 399.
Is there a difference between the date of the beginning of the "time of
the end" and the presence of the Lord? ¶ 400.
What period of time is covered by the "time of the end"? ¶ 400.
From what time does the Lord's second presence date? and during what
period of the "time of the end" does his presence occur? ¶ 400.
Was there any reason why these important dates should be concealed for a
time? Give Scriptural reason. ¶ 401.
Is it reasonable to expect that Jehovah would indicate something by
which the event could be determined in the future? ¶ 401.
For what did he tell Daniel to look as evidence of the "time of the
end"? ¶ 402.
If 1799 marks the beginning of the "time of the end", should we expect a
specific fulfillment of this prophecy of Daniel shortly thereafter? ¶ 402.
Who had access to the Bible prior to 1799? ¶ 402.
What penalties were attached to common people for having a Bible in
possession? ¶ 402.
What happened in 1799 that caused a change of conditions? ¶ 402.
Who had taught the doctrine of the divine right of kings and the divine
right of the clergy? ¶ 402.
What historical event occurred to open the minds of the people to the
truth concerning these doctrines? ¶ 402.
How did this mark a beginning of the fulfillment of Daniel's prophecy?
State when and how soon after 1799, the beginning of the "time of the
end", the great Bible societies were organized. ¶ 403.
Give approximately the number of Bibles that were distributed amongst
the people thereafter. ¶ 403.
Did the Papal system gladly participate in distributing the Bible
amongst the people? ¶ 403.
When did the people begin to learn that God makes no distinction between
persons, whether they are priests or of the common herd? ¶ 403.
Relate something concerning the increase of knowledge generally since
1800 A.D. ¶ 404.
Prior to 1799, what was the means of travel through the countries? ¶ 405.
Was there any increase of travel shortly after 1799 A.D.? ¶ 405.
When was the steam locomotive put in operation? and how have means of
rapid transit increased since that time? ¶ 405.
What is meant by the "day of God's preparation"? ¶ 406.
What prophet describes a railway train? Quote the prophecy. ¶ 406.
When was the telegraph invented? and what other means of communication
have followed since? ¶ 407.
Can there be any doubt about these physical facts marking a fulfillment
of Daniel's prophecy concerning the "time of the end"? ¶ 408.
What did Jesus say concerning the latter part of the "time of the end"
and in what way it would be indicated? ¶ 409.
Did the apostle Paul indicate that greater light would come to the
people at the "time of the end"? ¶ 409.
What other evidence have we of increasing light at that time? ¶ 410.
What class of people have been trodden down for centuries? and when did
they begin to get their eyes opened as to their privileges? ¶ 410.
When was the first labor organization formed in the world? ¶ 410.
Enumerate some of the great inventions and discoveries since 1874,
marking the fulfillment of Daniel's prophecy, and the Lord's presence,
and the "time of the end". ¶ 410.
What do the Scriptures disclose concerning a parallel between the gospel
and the Jewish ages? ¶ 411.
When did the Jewish harvest begin? ¶ 411.
What is meant by the term "harvest"? ¶ 411.
Did Jesus state that there would be a harvest at the end of the world,
during his second presence? ¶ 411.
Describe the parallel between the Jewish and the gospel-age harvests.
The natural harvest of the Jews was used to illustrate what? ¶ 412.
What was the custom following the reaping of the grain by the Jews? ¶ 412.
What would this indicate that we might expect from 1878 to 1918, and
following that period? ¶ 412.
In answer to the disciples' question as to when he would be present,
what did Jesus say about the harvest and the sending of messengers? Give
the Scriptural proof. ¶ 413.
In Jesus' statement of Matthew 24:31, what is meant by the word "trumpet"?
Explain the term "angels" as used in this text. ¶ 416.
Would it be reasonable to expect some special messenger to be used of
the Lord during the time of this harvest? ¶ 416.
What did Jesus promise about providing such a messenger? Quote Matthew
24:45-47. ¶ 416.
From 1870 A.D. forward, what evidence do we have in fulfillment of this
prophetic statement of the Lord? ¶ 417.
What publication has for some forty years consistently announced the
Lord's second presence? ¶ 417.
From 1878 forward, what evidence has there been of a gathering of
Christians, regardless of denominations? ¶ 418.
Describe some of the work done by the special messenger of the Lord.
Quote the words of the publication _The Continent_ concerning Pastor
Russell. ¶ 419.
What society was incorporated in 1884? and what has been its work in
connection with the harvest of this age? ¶ 421.
What has been and is the purpose of this society? ¶ 421.
Are these Christians who are thus gathered together followers of any
man? ¶ 422.
Quote Matthew 24:28, and give its meaning. ¶ 423.
Jesus likened the true children of God to wheat. What did he use to
illustrate imitation Christians? Quote Matthew 13:30. ¶ 424.
What has been the tendency of so-called Christian denominations since
1878? ¶ 425.
Since that time, how has the Lord's message in Revelation 18:4 applied
to Christians? ¶ 425.
What did the Lord through the Prophet say concerning the gathering of
his people at this time? Quote Psalm 50:5. ¶ 425.
What does this prove concerning the Lord's second presence? ¶ 425.
Do we find the clergy of various denominations anxious to tell of the
Lord's second presence? and if not, why not? ¶ 426.
Why do these distinguished gentlemen scoff and jeer at those who teach
the Lord is now present? ¶ 426.
Did the Lord foretell this? Quote the Apostle's language with reference
to it. ¶ 426.
Why did the disciples want to know what would be the proof of the Lord's
presence and of the end of the world? ¶ 427.
Repeat the question that they propounded to Jesus on the Mount of
Olives. ¶ 427.
Will the physical earth ever be destroyed? Give Scriptural proof for
answer. ¶ 427.
What is meant, then, by the end of the world? ¶ 428.
What became of the first world? ¶ 428.
How many persons were carried over from the first world to that
designated as the present evil world? ¶ 428.
What period of time is designated in the Scriptures as the present evil
world? ¶ 428.
What Scriptural proof is there as to how the present evil world shall
pass away? ¶ 428.
In what world and what part of that world did God make the promise to
Abraham that in his seed all the families of the earth should be
blessed? ¶ 429.
What was God's declaration to Zedekiah, the king of Israel? Repeat it.
When was Zedekiah overthrown? ¶ 430.
Who established the universal gentile empire then? ¶ 430.
When did the "gentile times" begin? and how long must that period last?
Who is the one spoken of by the Prophet here as "he whose right it is"?
Would it be reasonable, then, to expect the presence of this mighty One
before the overthrow of the old order or present evil world? ¶ 430.
Why was the year 1914 A.D. an important date? ¶ 430.
What would be reasonably expected to be the conduct of the gentile
nations after 1914 with reference to continuing in power? ¶ 431.
What does the Revelator say would be the condition of these nations at
that time? Quote the Scripture. ¶ 431.
What did Jesus say would mark the beginning of the end of the world?
Quote his answer to the question. ¶ 432.
What fulfillment of this prophecy began in 1914? ¶ 432.
How does the fulfillment of this prophecy also mark the fulfillment of
the prophecy of Daniel (2:44)? ¶ 433.
Why are these kingdoms of earth being broken to pieces? ¶ 433.
Quote the words of Jesus given by various evangelists concerning the
persecution of his followers at the end of the world. ¶ 434.
What fulfillment of these prophetic utterances of the Master took place
in 1917, 1918, and 1919? ¶ 434.
Give some instances of the Lord's protecting care of his followers
during this period of persecution. ¶ 435-437.
Why should Christians not complain but rejoice because of these trying
experiences? ¶ 437.
Quote the Master's words in Matthew 24:14, in answer to the question
propounded to him. ¶ 438.
What evidence is there of a fulfillment of these prophetic words? ¶ 438.
What did Jesus say relative to the regathering of Israel to Palestine as
evidence of his second presence? ¶ 439.
What did Jesus tell his followers to do when they should see these
things coming to pass, and why? ¶ 439.
How is the Lord's presence and the end of the world shown by the reaping
of the "vine of the earth"? ¶ 440.
Why would Jesus admonish his followers to watch for his second coming?
Suppose it were true that 'no man knows the day nor the hour' of the
Lord's appearing, what difference would it now make? ¶ 443.
Is there any reason why a Christian should be in darkness concerning the
times and seasons of the Lord's presence? ¶ 443.
Should we waste our time to quibble about dates, or days, or hours? ¶ 443.
What do fulfilled prophecy and the physical facts establish relative to
this question? ¶ 443.
What words are upon the lips of the true watchers in view of this
overwhelming evidence? ¶ 443.
How does the prophet Isaiah describe this class of faithful watchers?
Quote his words. ¶ 443.
Describe those who now have the harp of God; and what are they singing?
Give the three primary purposes of the Lord's presence. ¶ 445.
Some have thought that the Lord's second presence would be for the
purpose of destroying the earth. What proof have we that this is
erroneous? ¶ 446.
What is the proper explanation of St. Peter's words in 2 Peter 3:10-12?
What did the Apostle mean when he said that 'we look for new heavens and
a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness'? ¶ 448.
What evidence is there that the fire is now burning? ¶ 449.
How long will it continue to burn? ¶ 449.
What bearing has this on the presence of the Lord? ¶ 449.
What Scriptural explanation is given for the distress of nations and
perplexity of business men on earth at this time? Quote the Scripture
and analyze it. ¶ 450.
Describe the actions of the employing and the laboring classes. ¶ 451.
How are all these perplexed? ¶ 451.
To what is this disturbed condition leading? ¶ 452.
Is there greater trouble just ahead? and if so, what proof have we?
Quote the Scriptures. ¶ 453.
What will follow this general shaking of the nations? ¶ 453.
How is the Lord's presence revealing the hidden things? Quote the
Scriptural authority for your answer. ¶ 453.
What effect is this light having upon Satan and his kingdom? ¶ 454.
What effect is the Lord's presence having upon the nations of the earth?
Quote the prophecies of Isaiah 34:1-4 and 51:6, and explain. ¶ 454.
How will this trouble bring to the minds of the people the presence of
the Lord? ¶ 454.
What is meant by the "day of God's vengeance"? and what did the Lord say
he would do with the nations at this time? ¶ 454.
What is meant by the Bridegroom and bride? Give the Scriptural proof.
Give the picture of Abraham, Isaac, and Rebekah, stating what each
typified, and what the whole picture shows. ¶ 455.
In this picture, what did Eliezer represent? ¶ 456.
Quote the words of the Master with reference to sending a comforter to
his followers. ¶ 456.
What was pictured by the ten camels which Eliezer took with him? ¶ 456.
What was pictured by the golden ornaments presented to Rebekah? ¶ 456.
Quote the words of the Psalmist inviting the church to become the bride
of Christ. ¶ 457.
What do the ones called do, in response to the call? ¶ 457.
What did Sarah picture with respect to the covenants? and what did her
death represent? ¶ 457.
What is pictured by Isaac receiving Rebekah and making her his wife
after the death of his mother Sarah? ¶ 457.
During what period of time has the Lord been preparing the bride of
Christ? ¶ 458.
What did Jesus say about preparing a special place for these, and his
return to receive his bride? Quote his words. ¶ 458.
What do his words show with reference to one of the principal reasons
for his second coming? ¶ 459.
Explain the parable of the virgins.--Matthew 25:1-13. ¶ 460.
Explain the meaning of the lamp and the oil in the lamp. ¶ 460.
Define virgin; and what does a virgin picture here? ¶ 460.
What is meant by keeping their lamps trimmed and burning? ¶ 460.
How has knowledge of the Lord's presence affected the wise virgin class?
What proof is this that his presence is one of the strings of the harp
of God? ¶ 460.
Do the Scriptures indicate how many will be in the bride class? If so,
give the proof. ¶ 460.
What do the Scriptures show the Lord does for the faithful saints who
died long ago when he first returns? Give the Scriptural proof. ¶ 461.
What is meant in the Scriptures by a great shout? ¶ 462.
State how this has been fulfilled. ¶ 462.
What is meant by the voice of the archangel? ¶ 462.
Should we expect the resurrection of the saints during this time? ¶ 463.
How is he gathering unto himself the saints who are still on earth
during his presence? ¶ 463.
Give some Scriptural promises concerning the church being forever with
the Lord. ¶ 463.
What is meant by the kingdom of God? ¶ 464.
Who constitute the royal family of heaven? Quote the apostle Peter's
words relating to this. ¶ 464.
What promise did Jesus make to this class concerning a kingdom? ¶ 465.
Where will these be associated with the Lord Jesus in his kingdom? ¶ 465.
For what kingdom did the Lord teach his disciples to pray? and is it the
same spoken of by the prophets of old? ¶ 465.
Who have enjoyed and are enjoying the blessedness spoken of by Daniel
the Prophet in Daniel 12:12? ¶ 466.
As these appreciate this string of the harp, what song is appropriate to
them? ¶ 466.
While the saints thus rejoice, for what do they patiently wait? and to
what do they look forward? ¶ 467.
String 9: _Glorification of the Church_
The church means a called out class, separate and distinct from all
others. The church of Christ consists of Jesus Christ the head and the
144,000 members of his body. (Colossians 1:18; Revelation 7:4) Those
composing this special class are otherwise designated saints. A saint is
one who is pure, holy, blameless. The followers of Christ Jesus are not
holy or blameless within themselves, but their holiness is by virtue of
his imputed merit. This same class of Christians is otherwise designated
in the Bible as "a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a
people for a purpose". (1 Peter 2:9) They are also designated new
creatures (2 Corinthians 5:17); therefore they constitute the new
creation. This new creation when completed will be of the divine nature.
(2 Peter 1:4) Nature is determined by organism. The nature of the
church, then, will be like unto Jehovah God. It pleased God that Jesus
Christ, his beloved Son, should have preeminence in his great plan;
hence he is made the head of the new creation.--Colossians 1:18.
This new creation had its beginning with Jesus Christ at the time
of his baptism in Jordan when he was begotten to the divine nature and
anointed with the holy spirit without limitation. As a man, he was pure,
blameless, holy. At the age of thirty years, he was qualified under the
law to be a priest, and there he consecrated himself and at that time
was baptized and begotten to the divine nature; hence became a new
creature there from the divine standpoint. As a new creature he was
made perfect by the things which he suffered.--Hebrews 5:8.
From the time of his baptism he was opposed by Satan the devil, who
sought to destroy him. The reason for this opposition lay in the fact that
when God sentenced Adam to death he had said unto Satan: "I will put
enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it
shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel". (Genesis 3:15) The
woman here symbolized or typified the Abrahamic-Sarah covenant, from which
the seed of promise springs. As Isaac was the son of promise, so the
church was typified by Isaac. (Galatians 4:25-29) The seed of promise is
therefore the new creation. The seed of the serpent consists of those
agencies visible and invisible which are his offspring, and which are used
by him for his wicked work. In Jesus' day the scribes and Pharisees and
doctors of the law were classed as the offspring of Satan, his seed (John
8:44); and it has been true at all times that many who have pretended to
be Christians are really the seed of Satan and engage in persecuting
others who love the Lord.
Immediately after the baptism of Jesus he went up into a mountain
in the wilderness to study God's plan and to meditate upon it, that he
might be instructed in the way that Jehovah would have him go; and when
this season of forty days was ended and he came forth, he was subjected
to a great temptation by the devil. Jesus resisted all of these efforts
of Satan. (Luke 4:1-13) Jesus, the head of the seed of promise, was the
target of Satan's instruments. For three and a half years he suffered
daily at the hands of Satan and those who represented him, namely, those
human beings who possessed the devilish spirit. During that period of
three and a half years he was indeed a man of sorrows and acquainted
with grief; but all this suffering was necessary for his perfection as a
new creature. (Hebrews 5:8,9) Because of his faithfulness, his fidelity
and loyalty to God even unto death, he won the great victory, became an
overcomer. Hence we read: "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him,
and given him a name which is above every name; that at the name of
Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth,
and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father". (Philippians
2:9-11) The members of the body of Christ, the members of the church,
must follow in his footsteps.--1 Peter 3:21.
While the selection of the new creation began with the baptism of
Jesus, God had foreordained long in advance that there should be a
church, of which Jesus Christ is the head. St. Paul wrote: "According as
he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we
should be holy and without blame before him in love; having
predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to
himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of
the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins,
according to the riches of his grace; wherein he hath abounded towards
us in all wisdom and prudence; having made known unto us the mystery of
his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in
The world referred to here means the social and political order
existing from the time of the flood until the coming of the Lord's
kingdom, and is designated in the Scriptures as the present evil world.
St. Paul therefore says that before the foundation of this world God
made provision for the choosing of the members of the church. He did not
choose the individuals, but he predestinated or foreordained that there
should be such a church or new creation, and that these should be
adopted as his children through his beloved Son Jesus Christ, and should
become the members of his household, and that these should be made in
the image and likeness of Christ Jesus the head. (Romans 8:29) As we
view the experiences through which Jesus passed, we may expect to find
that the body members would have similar experiences; and this we do
Fifty days after the resurrection of Jesus was the day of
Pentecost. There went forth the call to the remnant of the Jews to come
unto the Lord, accept Jesus as their head and be transferred from Moses
into Christ and become the members of the 144,000, constituting the
church. A call means an announcement or an invitation. The call here
signified an announcement of God's purpose of electing the members of
the church and an invitation to those of the right heart condition to
accept that invitation. Many were called, but only a few responded to
that call and were chosen. (Matthew 22:14) For three and a half years
this call was confined to the Jews, at the end of which time Cornelius,
the first gentile, was granted the gospel. He heard, believed on the
Lord and fully consecrated himself to do God's will, and was accepted.
(Acts 10) From that time forward the call has been general to any one
who might desire to respond to the terms and follow in the Master's
For this purpose the gospel has been preached, that men might know
of the plan of God and understand that he is selecting the church. Men
of worldly wisdom have given no heed to the gospel. To them it has been
foolishness. And so St. Paul wrote: "For after that in the wisdom of God
the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of
preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and
the Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, unto the
Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them
which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the
wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the
weakness of God is stronger than men,"--1 Corinthians 1:21-25.
This message of Christ Jesus, the crucified one, the selection of
the church and the setting up of his kingdom, was a stumblingblock to
the Jews; they could not understand; they would not believe. And to most
of the gentiles it seemed foolishness. It was not foolishness, however.
It was the greatest wisdom. A few have responded to this divine wisdom.
The man, however, who thought himself wise would not become a follower
of Jesus. It was not a popular thing. And so it has ever been throughout
the gospel age that those who have really come to the Lord, made a
consecration and followed in his footsteps, have been the meek and lowly
of heart who are anxious to know the Lord and his great plan. Hence St.
Paul writes: "For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise
men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called; but
God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise;
and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things
which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are
despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to
nought things that are; that no flesh should glory in his presence".--1
The thought here is that ultimately no creature will ever be
standing in Jehovah's presence boasting of what he did. But all those
who compose the church will realize that all they have came to them as a
gracious gift from Jehovah. To those who have really had the desire to
know and serve the Lord the call has been and is beautiful indeed. Such
have been thrilled with the gracious words of Jehovah spoken through his
prophet, inviting them to become members of the royal family of heaven.
The Psalmist wrote: "Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline
thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father's house; so
shall the king greatly desire thy beauty; for he is thy Lord, and
worship thou him".--Psalm 45:10,11.
As Jesus is the Son of God, so the church, the bride of Christ, is
the daughter of God. Hence the Psalmist speaks to her here, inviting
those who are to become the daughter to forget their own people and
their earthly father's house and earnestly and willingly follow in the
Master's footsteps. These are invited to worship the Lord and grow in
his likeness and thereby become beautiful; and it is that beauty, the
character-likeness of the Lord, that he desires.
The development of the church is not an instantaneous matter. It is
a gradual process. Some have erroneously thought and taught that a man
might be wicked all his life and then on his deathbed confess his sins,
accept Christ, become a Christian and die and go immediately to heaven.
There is no Scripture that warrants such a conclusion. Time is required
for the development of the Christian. He must first repent; that is to
say, become displeased with the wrongful course of the world, change
his own course and seek the Lord. He must become converted, turn away
from a wrongful course and turn to the Lord. He must be drawn to the
Lord Jesus, make a full consecration, be accepted of the Lord, presented
to the Father, justified, and begotten of the holy spirit, before he
becomes a new creature; and from that time forward he must develop. He
must have the opportunity to pass through, and must pass through, many
experiences and by these experiences learn the lessons that God desires
the members of the new creation to learn.
A boy or a girl in school who is being trained for a special
purpose is required to have some hard mental exercise in order to
develop the mind. For this reason many mathematical problems are
required of the pupil; and other lessons are required to develop the
mental faculties. One who is training for a race or other physical
contest is required to have some strenuous experiences. With stronger
reasoning are these principles true relative to the members of the new
creation. These are being trained for the high and exalted position of
membership in the royal family of heaven. Hence we may not be surprised
to find often that their training is quite severe. The understanding of
this requirement enables one to appreciate why Christians have never
been popular and why they have suffered so much during the past nineteen
The Psalmist wrote concerning the new creation; "I am become a
stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother's children. For
the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them
that reproached thee are fallen upon me." (Psalm 69:8,9) Jesus became a
stranger to the Jews in this, that they despised and rejected him.
Because of his zeal for the heavenly Father's great plan, his earthly
life was consumed. Satan had reproached Jehovah from the time of Eden;
and now these reproaches fell upon Jesus. We should expect the body
members to have similar experiences. And so the Apostle quotes this text
and applies it to those who are the followers of Jesus, saying, "For
even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it written, The reproaches of
them that reproached thee fell on me".--Romans 15:3.
God is a great economist. He makes the wrath of men and other
creatures to result to his own praise. Satan and his seed have always
persecuted and buffeted the Christians, and Jehovah has caused this
persecution to result in the development of the members of the body of
Christ. He could have prevented the church from suffering at Satan's
hands had he desired so to do; but by being permitted to buffet them
with trying experiences, Satan has demonstrated his own depraved
character, and the resistance of the church has shown their love and
devotion to the Lord and thus developed characters that are pleasing
When one first becomes a Christian he does not usually suffer so
much as later, when he is more developed. He is at first designated in
the Scriptures as a babe in Christ. As we deal with babes, so our
heavenly Father deals with his baby children. As earthly babies are fed
upon milk and other light diets, so is one when he first becomes a
Christian; and his experiences are in harmony therewith, as the apostle
Peter says: "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that
ye may grow thereby".--1 Peter 2:2.
The Apostle then illustrates the growth of a Christian by likening
the entire new creation to a building, with Jesus as the chief
corner-stone and the other members of the body as built up in harmony
with him. He says: "If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
[Those who have been begotten of the holy spirit have tasted that the
Lord is gracious.] To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed
indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, ye also, as living
stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up
sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is
contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Zion a chief corner stone,
elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.
Unto you therefore which believe he is precious; but unto them which be
disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made
the head of the corner, and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense,
even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient."--1 Peter
Paraphrasing these words, the Apostle states that Jesus is the
chief corner-stone. He is the Head of the elect; he is the precious One.
Those who believe on him, to such he is precious; and those who hold
fast to that belief shall not be confounded. To believe means to act by
fully consecrating oneself to do the Lord's will. This great One, the
Lord Jesus, has been and is a stumbling-stone and a rock of offense to
those who have not believed. Those who have not appreciated the fact
that he is the King of kings and Lord of lords, and that it is a
privilege to suffer with him, have been offended and turned away from
him. It is a great privilege to suffer with Christ. "For unto you it is
given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to
suffer for his sake."--Philippians 1:29.
The course of the world is directly opposite to the course of the
Christian; hence the Christian finds that he must constantly put forth an
effort to develop. For this reason the apostle Peter wrote: "Giving all
diligence, add to your faith virtue [that is, fortitude, steadfastness,
being determined to stand for the truth and on the side of right]; and to
virtue knowledge [in order to do this one must study the Word of God, not
only occasionally, but regularly, systematically]; and to knowledge
temperance [which means self-control, learning to control oneself under
provocation, being calm, gentle, self-possessed, trusting in the Lord];
and to temperance patience [which means cheerful endurance, no matter how
fiery the trials are; to endure cheerfully because it is pleasing to the
Lord and because it makes a strong character]; and to patience godliness
[which means to grow in the likeness of the Lord, with piety, purity];
and to godliness brotherly kindness [which means that kind and loving
disposition that exists and should exist between those who are really
brothers]; and to brotherly kindness charity," or love which means an
unselfish desire to do good and doing good to others even at a sacrifice
to ourselves.--2 Peter 1:5-7.
When we recognize that the course of the world is exactly opposite
to this, we may know it requires a warfare, a constant vigilance, and
the subjection to persecution because of misunderstanding. But if we do
these things, we shall make our calling and election sure. The Apostle
puts it thus: "Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make
your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall
never fall; for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly
into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ".--2
While thus undergoing development, the new creature finds that he
has to war against the downward tendencies of his own fleshly
disposition, against the spirit of the world, and against Satan's
machinations through various instruments. But this warfare is what makes
him strong. It is not a warfare with carnal weapons. It is the power of
God working in him to war against these enemies, and it is mighty to
the pulling down of the strongholds of wrong. (2 Corinthians 10:4) It is
the great hope of an entrance into the kingdom that enables him, by the
Lord's grace, to battle steadfastly for the right. St. John states:
"Every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is
pure". (1 John 3:3) These fiery trials through which the Christian
passes have the same effect upon him that a fire has upon metal. It
burns up the dross and refines the gold. It has a cleansing effect; and
also for this reason the Lord permits it.
God foreordained that all the members of the new creation should be
made in the likeness of his beloved Son. (Romans 8:29) This does not
take place by meditating upon wrongful things, but by resisting these
and keeping the mind upon heavenly things. The Christian now has his
face unveiled; that is, he is enabled by his mental vision to understand
the things of God's Word, and when he looks into the Word, the Bible, he
sees reflected from that Word the character-likeness of the Lord; and
having the Lord's spirit in him, he is being transformed from one degree
of glory to another. The apostle Paul puts it thus: "We all, with open
face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the
same image from glory to glory, even as by the spirit of the Lord".
(2 Corinthians 3:18) The pathway of the Christian is not strewn with
flowers or ease or comfort, but as Jesus said, it is a narrow way and
few there be that walk in it.--Matthew 7:14.
St. James says: "Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken
in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of
patience". (James 5:10) The prophets of old suffered much and they will
not be privileged to be a part of this heavenly kingdom class; but their
suffering was for a two-fold purpose: (1) to develop them, which will
result to their benefit when they are resurrected as perfect men; and
(2) to serve as examples for the church, the followers of Jesus.
Jesus said: "And from the days of John the Baptist until now the
kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force".
(Matthew 11:12) Here he showed that the kingdom-of-heaven class, meaning
the royal family, suffers violence at the hands of the adversary's
instruments, and the violent ones take these by force. It was so of him;
it has been so of his followers, as St. Paul writes: "Our hope of you is
steadfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall
ye be also of the consolation".--2 Corinthians 1:7.
But why should the Christian suffer? you may ask. And the Apostles
answer: "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which
is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: but
rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when
his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If
ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of
glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of,
but on your part he is glorified.... Yet if any man suffer as a
Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this
behalf." (1 Peter 4:12-14,16) "It became him, for whom are all things,
and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make
the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both he
that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which
cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren."--Hebrews 2:10,11.
Again the apostle Paul shows that the Christian does not complain
because of persecution and suffering; neither does he murmur against
God. But the true sentiment of his heart is expressed in the words of
the Apostle: "We glory in tribulations also, knowing that tribulation
worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope; and
hope maketh not ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in our
hearts by the holy spirit which is given unto us". (Romans 6:3-5) Again
says the Apostle: "I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are
not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in
No true Christian would expect to be without suffering or
chastisements from the Lord, because these are evidences that he is a
follower of Jesus and a son of God. It is one of the ways in which the
spirit of the Lord testifies to us that we are his. (Hebrews 12:2-11;
Romans 8:16,17) These sufferings of the Christian come from various
agencies. The Christian suffers by being misunderstood. His motives are
presumed to be wrong. He is sometimes charged with sedition because he
does not desire to join with peoples of the world in engaging in war to
destroy human lives; sometimes persecuted by false brethren, and
sometimes by those who are ignorant. But all these afflictions he
patiently endures, gladly.
St. Paul probably suffered as much or more than any follower of
Christ. He suffered shipwreck, imprisonment, his back was flogged on
three occasions at least, he was stoned and dragged out by the wayside
and left for dead; and notwithstanding all these afflictions he wrote:
"For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a
far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory while we look not at
the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen".
(2 Corinthians 4:17,18) He was looking forward to the glory that shall
follow, as should all Christians--not only _some_ glory, but a far more
exceeding and eternal weight of glory. The Christian delights to
meditate upon the promises given in God's Word concerning this glory.
The great promise set before the church is that of eternal
life--being for ever with the Lord. Addressing these, St. Paul wrote:
"God will render to every man according to his deeds: to them who by
patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honor and
immortality, eternal life". (Romans 2:6,7) It is to be noticed that
those who are looking for that great reward patiently continue in doing
well; that is to say, they cheerfully endure whatsoever experiences
come, while they continue to walk in the Master's footsteps. Let us,
then, examine some of the texts setting forth God's precious promises
relative to the glory and honor that shall be the portion of the church
in his great arrangement.
_Glory_ is the term used to describe Jehovah's presence. It
suggests the brightness of the divine person and character. Glory is
associated with God's holiness. (Isaiah 6:1-4) Our Lord Jesus is
mentioned as the 'brightness of God's glory'. He is also spoken of as
being 'the express image of the Father', and we are told that he is at
the right hand of the Father. (Hebrews 1:3) The 144,000 members of his
body are to be with him in his throne and in the Father's presence, thus
in glory. (Revelation 3:21) This glory that they shall enjoy will be so
transcendently more wonderful than all the things of earth that could be
glorious, that St. Paul describes it as a "far more exceeding and
eternal weight of glory". The members of the church while undergoing
development bear the image of the earthly. Imperfect human beings they
are, with imperfect bodies and minds. But the promise to them is: "As
we have borne the image of the earthly, we shall also bear the image of
the heavenly".--1 Corinthians 15:49.
From the time of Pentecost until the coming of the Lord, those
dear and faithful saints who died in Christ slept and waited for his
coming; but as the Apostle says, these would be the first to be honored
with an awakening from the dead. Hence we understand that shortly after
the second appearing of the Lord Jesus, during the time of the shout of
encouragement that was going on among the peoples of earth, these dead
saints in Christ were resurrected and caught up with the Lord Jesus in
the air, to be for ever with him, as stated by the Apostle.
--1 Thessalonians 4:16,17.
Those remaining, who had not died up to the time of the Lord's
appearing, but who since die as do other men, have their change
instantaneously. Their resurrection is instantaneous, as St. Paul
plainly says: "Behold, I show you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but
we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the
last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised
incorruptible, and we shall be changed". (1 Corinthians 15:51,52) These
are the blessed ones of the Lord because they participate in the first
or chief resurrection and thereafter reign with Christ. (Revelation 20:6)
These promises, then, are to the effect that they shall be forever with
the Lord Jesus in the presence of Jehovah: therefore in glory. Jehovah
for centuries has been preparing this class, the new creation, "that he
might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which
he had afore prepared unto glory, even us, whom he hath called".--Romans
It is customary for the royal family of a nation to have the
choicest jewels of that nation in possession. These jewels are kept in
the presence of the king, that they might be admired by him. Concerning
those who shall constitute the new creation, the church, the Prophet of
God wrote: "They shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day
when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them as a man spareth his own
son that serveth him". (Malachi 3:17) That these shall be admired by
the Lord Jehovah as the zenith of his glorious creation is indicated by
the Prophet who writes: "Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand
of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God".--Isaiah 62:3.
Those who by patient continuance in well doing battle faithfully
unto the end have the precious promise of being made a part of the
temple of God; hence will be in his presence. "Him that overcometh will
I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out:
and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city
of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from
my God; and I will write upon him my new name."--Revelation 3:12.
The brightness and glory of the earth is the sun, which
illuminates and gives life to the things of earth. Scientists declare
that this light is produced by explosive gas which ascends from the sun
to a height of from 5,000 to 300,000 miles. It is the brightness of the
firmament; and the glory in the presence of Jehovah is illustrated by
this brightness, as indicated by the Prophet: "They that be wise shall
shine as the brightness of the firmament". (Daniel 12:3) The wise ones
are those who devote themselves to understanding and doing Jehovah's
will. They are the righteous ones, who have been made so through the
merit of Christ Jesus, and whom he gathers in during his presence. When
these enter into the glorious presence of Jehovah, "then shall the
righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father".
It was Jesus who said to his disciples: "In my Father's house are
many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare
a place for you, ... that where I am, there ye may be also". (John 14:2,3)
The promise here is, then, that a special habitation shall be prepared
for the church, which habitation will be in the glorious presence of the
Lord Jehovah. This holy or heavenly kingdom class, the royal family, is
spoken of as Zion, and of it the Prophet of the Lord wrote: "The Lord
hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation". (Psalm 132:13)
Of its beauty and glory the Psalmist wrote: "Out of Zion, the perfection
of beauty, God hath shined". (Psalm 50:2) Jehovah will shine forth
through the new creation for the blessing of all the families of the
earth. The glory to be experienced by the church in the presence of
Jehovah will bring unspeakable joy; for 'in his presence is fullness of
joy; at his right hand there are pleasures for evermore'.--Psalm 16:11.
In the glorious presence of Jehovah, we may be sure that all will
be his friends; and as an inducement to strive for that place his
Prophet wrote: "He that loveth with a pure heart and hath grace upon his
lips will have the king as his friend" (Proverbs 22:11, _Leeser_), and
he will be sure of being loved for evermore.--Proverbs 17:17.
_Honor_ applies more to a recognized station or position in God's
arrangement. Always glorious, God is honored in the minds of his
creatures who worship him. The position of the glorified church will be
that of the bride of Christ, for ever with him; and he being at the
right hand of the Father, their position will be one of great honor.
The special honor, therefore, of the church is that of being the
glorious bride or associate of the Lord Jesus, the King of glory. His
recognition of her station as his own wife pictures the superlative
degree of her honor and glory. Jesus said: "Father, I will ... that they
be with me where I am".--John 17:24.
Of Jesus it is written that he is the 'express image of the Father'
(Hebrews 1:3); and that he is the beloved Bridegroom and Friend of the
body members of the church. (Canticles 5:16) Now it does not appear what
the church shall be, but, says St. John, "we know that, when he shall
appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is". (1 John 3:2)
God "hath appointed [him] heir of all things". (Hebrews 1:2) These
children of God, members of the body of Christ, are "heirs of God, and
joint-heirs with Christ" in all the glory and honor of his
When Jehovah took away from Israel the right to rule, he promised
to give it to him whose right it is, the great Messiah, when he should
come. (Ezekiel 21:27) Of him the Prophet of God wrote: "And there was
given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations,
and languages should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be
destroyed.... And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the
kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the
saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and
all dominions shall serve and obey him." (Daniel 7:14,27) To his
disciples Jesus promised that they should share his kingdom, saying, "I
appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; that ye
may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging
the twelve tribes of Israel".--Luke 22:29,30.
As Jesus the bridegroom will be the great King of glory to rule
over the nations, so the members of the body, the bride, the overcomers,
are promised that they with him shall have "power over the nations".
Throughout the Millennial age not only will the position of the
bride be that of associate with Christ Jesus in the kingdom, but her
position in all the ages to come will be one of honor. St. Paul writes
that God "hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in
heavenly places in Christ Jesus; that in the ages to come he might show
the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through
Christ Jesus".--Ephesians 2:6,7.
When Jesus was in the earth he was despised and rejected of men. He
was dishonored of men, and has since been dishonored of all except those
who have come to a knowledge of the truth. The time will come, however,
as the Apostle declares, when 'every knee shall bow, and every tongue
shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father'.
(Philippians 2:7-11) The members of his body, the truly consecrated
children of God, following in the footsteps of their Master have been
despised of men, have been counted as the offscourings of the earth,
have been persecuted and imprisoned, and many of them killed; and the
world has known them not, even as it knew him not. But in due time all
those born in the glorious kingdom of our Lord will be honored among
men, because mankind will know of their position, as it is written: "Of
Zion it shall be said, This and that man was born in her; and the
highest himself shall establish her. The Lord shall count, when he
writeth up the people, that this man was born there." (Psalm 87:5,6)
Then shall the people rejoice that it has pleased the heavenly Father
to select out from amongst poor, imperfect men the 144,000, and to make
them perfect through Christ Jesus. He will cause the peoples of earth to
honor them, as he has promised: "I will make thy name to be remembered
in all generations; therefore shall the people praise thee for ever and
The Apostle says also that these are seeking _immortality_. That
word here means incorruptibility; a condition not subject to death. The
Messianic class, head and body, will not be subject to decay, sickness,
or death. Even a perfect human being requires nourishment to sustain his
organism; but the exalted church, the Messiah, the Christ, will need
nothing in the way of food to replenish any powers, because their powers
will not be exhausted. These will have life in themselves in such an
abundant measure that they can give it out, and will give it out, and
still need no replenishing. Of himself Jesus declared: "As the Father
hath life in himself, so hath he given the Son to have life in himself".
--John 5:26; 4:14.
This same promise is made to those who participate in his
sacrificial death. (John 6:53,54) These have the promise that they shall
be partakers of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4), and thus shall have
power to give life unto others. The great prize that is here to be given
is eternal life; and immortality is that quality of eternal life that is
indestructible. To those who have entered into relationship with the
Lord through Christ, he says: "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will
give thee a crown of life". (Revelation 2:10) And again says St. James:
"Blessed is the man that endureth temptation [trial]; for when he is
tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised
to them that love him".--James 1:12.
When one is begotten to membership in the body of Christ, he has
new hopes, new ambitions, and new aspirations. He looks forward, not to
the glorious things of the earth, but to the glory and honor of being
with the Lord and serving in the capacity in which the Lord places him.
He has in mind the words of St. Paul: "Your life is hid with Christ in
God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also
appear with him in glory."--Colossians 3:3,4
David, being a type of the church, prophetically wrote concerning
the church, and his words apply in a broader sense to the church. He
expressed the heart's desire of the members of the body of Christ: "One
thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may
dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the
beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple". (Psalm 27:4) Here he
has hope of the glory of dwelling in the house of the Lord, in his
presence, beholding his beauty and acquiring knowledge concerning his
Again David represents the church as in the presence of Jehovah,
enjoying the glory and honor that will be granted to those who
participate in the first resurrection. Of this in beautiful poetic
phrase he writes: "The king shall joy in thy strength, O Lord; and in
thy salvation how greatly shall he rejoice! Thou hast given him his
heart's desire, and hast not withholden the request of his lips. Selah.
For thou preventest him with the blessings of goodness: thou settest a
crown of pure gold on his head. He asked life of thee, and thou gavest
it him, even length of days for ever and ever. His glory is great in thy
salvation; honor and majesty hast thou laid upon him. For thou hast made
him most blessed for ever; thou hast made him exceeding glad with thy
What a contrast in the eyes of the people between the man Christ
Jesus who suffered ignominy at the hands of the Jews and the Christ
Jesus glorified, the brightness of whose glory shines above that of the
brightness at noonday! Great will be the honor and dignity in the minds
of the people of the position of Jesus Christ when all have come to know
the Lord. What a great contrast between the body of humiliation and the
body of glory! These members of the body, as the Prophet beautifully
expresses it, were 'digged from the pit and hewn from the rock'. (Isaiah
51:1) They have trudged along the narrow way, suffering at the hands of
Satan and his seed. But all the way they have had these precious
promises of what would be the result, amongst which is this promise:
"Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul
delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment
to the gentiles".--Isaiah 42:1.
In the eyes of the world these die like ordinary men; yet they
really fall like Prince Jesus. (Psalm 82:7) St. Paul, discussing the
humiliation of the church this side the vail, and contrasting it with
the glory on the other side, said: "There is one glory of the sun, and
another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star
differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the
dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption. It is sown
in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in _weakness_; it is
raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual
body."--1 Corinthians 15:41-44.
We have now come to the time in which these members of the body
have their change instantaneously. One moment they are sown in
corruption; the next, raised in incorruption. One moment in dishonor;
the next in glory. One moment in weakness; the next in power. When the
church is finished and all of the 144,000 members are with the Lord,
"then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is
swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is
thy victory?" (1 Corinthians 15:54,55) Then it will be that all
composing that class will enjoy glory, honor, immortality, even eternal
APPROACHING THE KINGDOM
It is certain that the time must come when all those composing the
body of Christ will have finished their course on this side the vail and
passed into heavenly glory; and since the Lord promised that his second
presence would be for the purpose of gathering unto himself those who
would compose his bride, we should expect the glorification of the
church to take place within a reasonably short time after the second
presence of the Lord. The apostle Paul's mind was illuminated by the
power of Jehovah, the holy spirit; and he wrote concerning the coming
kingdom of Messiah, describing conditions that would immediately precede
At Mount Sinai Jehovah made a covenant with the nation of Israel,
and at the time of making this covenant God directed Moses to instruct
the people, to prepare them for what was about to take place. When Moses
came down out of the mountain to deliver God's message to Israel, it was
amidst a great convulsion of nature. There were thunders and lightnings,
and a thick cloud of smoke upon the mountain, and the voice of a trumpet
exceeding loud, so that the people in the camp trembled with fear, and
the whole earth quaked greatly. This was a picture foreshadowing the
time of trouble in the earth, the great shaking of the nations just
before the inauguration of Messiah's kingdom and the taking unto himself
of his bride for the setting up of his kingdom. St. Paul, referring to
that time, by way of comparison says: "Ye are not come unto the mount
that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness,
and darkness, and tempest, and the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of
words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be
spoken to them any more (for they could not endure that which was
commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be
stoned, or thrust through with a dart; and so terrible was the sight,
that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake)".--Hebrews 12:18-21.
We should expect, then, an antitypical fulfillment of these
conditions. And so we do find it. The mountains (symbolically meaning
kingdoms of the world) are on fire, and there is a great tempest, and
trouble, and disturbance in the earth; and so terrible is the time that
men's hearts are failing them for fear of what they see coming on the
earth. Speaking of that time, and directing his words to the church, St.
Paul wrote: "Ye are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the
living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of
angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are
written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of
just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant,
and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of
Thus St. Paul pictures the gathering together of those who compose
the spiritual phase of Messiah's kingdom, namely, the church, Head and
body. He describes this as the heavenly Jerusalem.
That the peoples of earth and the creatures of heaven might ever
have in remembrance the importance of this great day in which we are
now living God is manifesting his power and his justice through his
dealings with the nations, and in due time the people will learn to
appreciate the love of God.
What a marvelously wonderful time now to be on the earth! Four
thousand years ago holy men looked down to the time when God's kingdom
might come, but they could not understand it. The angels of heaven were
not permitted to know. Many of these faithful men were martyrs to the
cause of righteousness. Moved by the spirit of Jehovah, they wrote
concerning the kingdom. The Psalmist composed songs and sang of the
coming blessed day. For nineteen hundred years Christians have been
trudging along the narrow way. And now it can be truly said, The Lord is
present; the Lord reigneth! The kingdom of heaven is at hand!
Necessarily the members of the body this side the vail are looking
forward with anticipation to their change, when they may put off this
mortal and be clothed upon with immortality, and be caught up to be
forever with the Lord, and by him be presented to the great Jehovah.
When all the members of the body have passed beyond the vail, then in
God's due time they will be presented by the Lord Jesus before the
presence of Jehovah. Since we are so close to that time, let us now
assume in our minds that we are standing just beyond the vail and that
we are getting the first glimpse of the glories of the kingdom.
Whom would the true Christian first expect to meet in the kingdom?
Necessarily he would look for some one who had been a special friend to
him during the time of his humiliation. If a person who expected to be
presented to an earthly king or potentate had an acquaintance or friend
at that court, he would first desire to consult his friend and receive
some advice and suggestions before entering the presence of the noble
one. Entering heaven, the Christian expects to see the Lord Jesus, and
ultimately the heavenly Father, according to the promise. As the
Christian looks over the precious promises given to the church, he finds
many assurances that he has had an unseen friend during his earthly
pilgrimage, namely, his guardian angel. Of such the Psalmist wrote: "The
angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and
delivereth them". (Psalm 34:7; Hebrews 1:14) These angels are doubtless
messengers for Jehovah, because of them Jesus said: 'In heaven they do
always behold the face of my Father'.--Matthew 18:10.
Describing the conditions and events in connection with the general
assembly of the church of the firstborn, St. Paul writes: "Ye are come
... to an innumerable company of angels". These must be pure, lovable,
and beautiful in form and character. These have been the ones who have
kept the record of each member of the body of Christ. (Malachi 3:16) It
will be a real joy to become acquainted with these precious and
beautiful creatures who have been helpers of the Christians along the
way. It would be expected that they would render assistance to the one
just appearing in the presence of the Lord Jesus. Therefore it is not
unreasonable to anticipate that the first one to be met beyond the vail
is the Christian's guardian angel.
Next in order the Apostle mentions "the church of the firstborn".
Jesus Christ is the head of this church, the great King of glory.
Certainly all the body members will be eager to see our wonderful Lord,
who redeemed us to God with his precious blood. He is not only our
Redeemer, Advocate, and Deliverer, but our dearest Friend; and now the
relationship of bride and bridegroom is about to be fully consummated.
How thrilling will be that time! By long and patient continuance in
well doing, their experiences, by the grace of the Lord and through his
ministration, have perfected every one of the body for this happy time,
making each member beautiful, "So shall the king greatly desire thy
beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him." Each member of the
bride then will be permitted to see Jesus as he is and will then be like
him. Happy will be that time. (1 John 3:2) Every one of these Christians
has had some dear fellow Christian friend on earth. He will be looking
for such a one, doubtless, when he arrives in heaven. Of course each one
will look for the faithful apostles whom the Lord used to furnish the
food to the household of faith. Then they will look for others whom the
Lord specially used as teachers, instructors, and servants of the
church, who were loving and kind and ministered to the wants of the
various members and did it joyfully.
We may be sure that of all those who are there every one will be
perfected in love, because the Apostle says they must thus be.
(Ephesians 4:16; Colossians 3:14) We may expect to see some there whom
we have loved and may be disappointed in not seeing them; but no
Christian will ever see any one of his fellow-Christians in heaven
except those who have loved their brethren with a pure heart, all of
whom have passed through the fiery trials and rejoiced in the
experiences that the Lord brought to them. Each one of the members of
the divine family will be beautiful, for all will be like the Lord. As
star differs from star in glory, so shall the various members differ in
that glorious realm. But what a marvelous gathering that will be:
144,000 glorious beings assembling with their glorious head Christ
All united together with the Lord Jesus, it seems, according to St.
Paul, that the next in order would be to grant unto the church the
glory that is promised, by presenting the bride class before the great
divine throne of Jehovah. St. Jude informs us not only that our Lord
keeps the members of the body from falling, but that he will present
them faultless before the presence of Jehovah's glory with exceeding
The day approaches for the presentation of the bride. In vision we
behold an innumerable company of angels assembled before the throne of
God, forming a guard of honor. The heralds of heaven with golden
trumpets appear, announcing the approach of the Bridegroom with his
bride. Music of surpassing sweetness fills the heavenly courts. All eyes
are fixed upon the conquering Hero, the King of kings and Lord of lords,
the great Bridegroom, who now approaches with his bride of 144,000
members. The hosts of heaven are singing, "Hallelujah: for the Lord God
omnipotent reigneth! Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him;
for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself
It is well that we take note here of the apparel of the bride of
Christ now entering glory. "And to her was granted that she should be
arrayed in fine linen, clean and white." (Revelation 19:8) "The king's
daughter is all glorious within the palace; her clothing is of wrought
gold. She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework."
(Psalm 45:13,14) Thus in symbolic phrase the Prophet describes her
inherent beauty when she is presented faultless before the glorious
presence of Jehovah. It will be impossible for human words to
approximate the grandeur and the majesty of that scene. Before the great
white throne of the heavenly Father, bride and Bridegroom will be made
one, and the glory of the church will be complete. There, in the
presence of Jehovah, she will have fullness of joy and pleasures for
"O that will be a union
Such as earth has never known.
When bride and Bridegroom are made one
Before the great white throne."
The members of the body of Christ in glory will be a monument of
the grace of God, because thus will be demonstrated the power, as well
as the love, of Jehovah in taking insignificant creatures from amongst
men and exalting them to the highest place in the universe, next to the
Lord Jesus. Then she will be held forth in the power of Jehovah,
exhibited as a crown of glory in his hand, and be used by him to
accomplish that which he purposed from the foundation of the world. As
the glorified bride of our heavenly Bridegroom, clothed with honor and
immortality, she will possess life everlasting, inherent life; and with
her Bridegroom she will minister life and blessing to others.
St. John had a vision of this wonderful royal family of heaven, and
in symbolic language he described it as "the holy city, the new Jerusalem,
coming down from God out of heaven". (Revelation 21:1-5) Thus he depicts
the approaching kingdom of Messiah. In vision he saw the faithful
followers of Jesus who are still on this side the vail, by faith
beholding the approach of this happy time; and he describes them as
those who had "gotten the victory over the beast [the devil's earthly
organization], and over his image, and over his mark, and over the
number of his name [whose allegiance is wholly to the Lord, and who]
stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And they sing the
song of Moses the servant of God [the song taught by the law, which
foreshadowed the better things to come], and the song of the Lamb [the
song of the clear fulfillment of prophecy and the unfolding of God's
plan, as set forth in the New Testament; they are playing upon their
harps and praising Jehovah], saying, Great and marvelous are thy works,
Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints."
Define the word "church". ¶ 468.
Of what does the church of Christ consist? ¶ 468.
What other name is given to those composing the church? ¶ 468.
What is a saint? ¶ 468.
How are those composing the body of Christ purified? ¶ 468.
What is meant by the terms "new creature" and "new creation"? ¶ 468.
How is nature determined? ¶ 468.
Who has preeminence in the divine plan? Give Scriptural proof. ¶ 468.
When did the new creation have its beginning? ¶ 469.
What occurred with reference to Jesus when he was thirty years of age?
How was he perfected as a new creature? ¶ 469.
Who opposed Jesus from the time of his baptism? ¶ 470.
Why this opposition? ¶ 470.
In the sentence by Jehovah, as set forth in Genesis 3:15, what is
symbolized by the woman? ¶ 470.
Whom did Isaac typify? ¶ 470.
Of what does the seed of the serpent consist? Give some Scriptural
proof. ¶ 470.
What is the disposition of the seed of the serpent? ¶ 470.
Where did Jesus go immediately following his baptism, and for what
purpose? ¶ 471.
To what temptation was he subjected shortly thereafter? Give the
Scriptural account. ¶ 471.
How long did he suffer at the hands of Satan and his representatives?
How did he gain the victory? ¶ 471.
How did Jehovah reward Jesus for his faithful devotion to the divine
arrangement even unto death? ¶ 471.
What Scriptures indicate that the body members most follow in his
steps? ¶ 471.
Did God predestinate or foreordain a new creation? Give Scriptural
proof. ¶ 472.
What is meant by the word "world" as used in Ephesians 1:4-9? ¶ 473.
Did God foreordain or choose the individuals who would compose the
church? Or what is meant by his foreknowledge? ¶ 473.
Should we expect the body members to have experiences similar to those
of Jesus? ¶ 473.
When was the day of Pentecost? ¶ 474.
What call went forth to the Jews from that time? ¶ 474.
What is meant by the call? ¶ 474.
What did Jesus say about the number called and chosen? Give Scriptural
proof. ¶ 474.
How long was this call confined to the Jews? ¶ 474.
Who was the first gentile to receive the gospel? Give the Scriptural
account. ¶ 474.
Thereafter to whom did the call extend? ¶ 474.
Why has the gospel been preached? ¶ 475.
How has the gospel appeared to worldly-wise men? ¶ 475.
What did St. Paul say about the wisdom of this world and the wisdom of
God? ¶ 475.
How did the Jews as a people receive the message of Christ and him
crucified? ¶ 476.
How did the majority of the gentiles receive the gospel? ¶ 476.
What proportion of the wise and mighty and noble are called and respond
to the call of the gospel? ¶ 476.
Why have not many wise and noble accepted the truth? ¶ 476.
How has the call impressed the humble-minded? ¶ 476.
Give Scriptural proof of Jehovah's invitation to become members of the
bride class. ¶ 477.
Why can the church be called the daughter of God? ¶ 478.
What beauty is it that the Lord desires in the body members? ¶ 478.
Is time required for the development of the church? ¶ 479.
What can be said about deathbed confessions? ¶ 479.
What is the first thing to do to become a Christian? ¶ 479.
What is meant by repentance? ¶ 479.
What is meant by being converted? ¶ 479.
After conversion, what further things take place before one becomes a
new creature? ¶ 479.
Why must the Christian thereafter pass through many varied experiences?
Why are children in school required to have hard mental exercises? ¶ 480.
Is it necessary for one to train for a physical contest? ¶ 480.
Why is it necessary for a new creature to be trained and to pass through
experiences? ¶ 480.
What did the Psalmist say concerning the standing of the new creature
with his brethren and others? ¶ 481.
To whom did Jesus become a stranger? and what reproaches fell upon him?
Give Scriptural proof that the body members have similar reproaches.
How has God overruled for good Satan's persecution of the church? ¶ 482.
Is the Christian's suffering greater when he first knows the Lord or
later? ¶ 483.
How is a Christian, when first begotten, designated in the Scriptures?
What kind of spiritual food does he need? ¶ 483.
Give a figure of speech illustrating the development of the church, with
Scriptural proof of same. ¶ 484.
Give a paraphrase of the Apostle's words in 1 Peter 2:3-8. ¶ 485.
Give Scriptural proof that it is a privilege to suffer with Christ. ¶ 485.
What course must a Christian take as compared to the world? ¶ 486.
Explain the development of the Christian, as taught by St. Peter in
2 Peter 1:5-7. ¶ 486.
What should a Christian do with reference to making his calling and
election sure? Give Scriptural proof. ¶ 487.
Against what enemies does the new creature war? ¶ 488.
With what weapons does he war? Give Scriptural proof. ¶ 488.
What hope strengthens him in the battle? ¶ 488.
What effect does this hope have upon his purifying himself? ¶ 488.
To what likeness were the members of the church foreordained? ¶ 489.
Why can the Christian understand things that the world cannot? Give
Scriptural proof, ¶ 489.
How is the pathway of the Christian designated? and is it an easy one?
What does St. James say to the Christian about considering the suffering
of the prophets? ¶ 490.
What was the purpose of the prophets' suffering? ¶ 490.
What did Jesus say about the violent taking the kingdom? Give explanation.
Why should the Christian suffer? Give Scriptural proof. ¶ 492.
Why is Jesus not ashamed to call the members of the church his brethren?
Does the true saint of God complain or murmur because of his persecution?
Give Scriptural reason. ¶ 493.
Does the true Christian expect to be without suffering? ¶ 494.
What does suffering testify to him? ¶ 494.
From what source do these sufferings come? ¶ 494.
Who was one of the greatest sufferers amongst Christ's followers? ¶ 495.