by Epiphany Bible Students

No. 730

“For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.” (Jas. 3:16)

The story of Joseph and his brothers (Gen. 37) is beautiful in its simplicity as well as deeply interesting and instructive from various viewpoints. One lesson is that it is unwise for a parent to show great preference for one child above another, thus cultivating among the children a spirit of envy.

Another lesson teaches that it is unwise to tell even our dreams to unsympathetic ears, as when Joseph told his dreams to his brothers. In one dream, he saw eleven shocks of wheat bow down to one shock, representing his. In the other dream, he saw the sun, the moon and the eleven stars all doing homage to him. Joseph was not to be blamed for having these dreams. Unlike the majority of dreams, they apparently came from the Lord. Joseph was not even to blame for artlessly telling the dreams to his brothers; evidently this was the very thing the Lord intended. The Lord foreknew the jealousy of Joseph’s brothers, and how envy would be cultivated in their minds. He gave the opportunity for this to happen, for He planned Joseph’s subsequent experiences. The envy of his brothers merely helped to accomplish them.

We may, however, learn the lesson that in general it is wise to keep to oneself truths not necessary for another to know if they might merely arouse opposition. Jesus encouraged this thought when He cautioned not to “cast ye your pearls before swine.” (Matt. 7:6) Deep truths connected with the Divine Plan and with Christian hopes are better told only to those for whom the Lord intended them, namely the meek, the humble.


The most important feature of this lesson is that Joseph is a type, or prophetic picture of Jesus, and more broadly the entire body of Christ. Jesus was the heavenly Father’s beloved Son; He was rejected by His brethren, betrayed for silver, and delivered for envy. (Matt. 27:18; Mark 15:10)

Joseph was kind to his brothers and was on an errand of mercy to them when in their envy they plotted his death. Later they sold him into slavery in Egypt. His brothers hated him without a cause – merely because he was good, because his father loved him, and because God in the dreams fore­shadowed his coming exaltation. Joseph’s brothers should have said, “Let us rejoice that we have so noble a brother, and rejoice if it be God’s will that he be very highly exalted. God’s promise made to our grand­fathers, Abraham and Isaac, and to our father Jacob, may thus be reaching a fulfilment. Let God’s blessings come in whatever way He sees best. We will rejoice with our brother, as we see that he is pleasing to God and to our father Jacob and we will seek to copy his character.” Instead, they were envious to the point of cruelty.

God’s providence continued with Joseph and blessed him as a slave, and through much tribu­lation finally brought him to the throne of Egypt – next in influence and power to Pharaoh himself. It was then that the famine of the land drove Joseph’s brothers to Egypt to buy grain which Joseph had wisely stockpiled. Thus was fulfilled his dream that his brothers would bow down, as illustrated in the eleven sheaves which bowed down before his.

Later when his father and the entire family came to Egypt to live in Goshen, they all paid homage to Joseph as the representative of Egypt’s government, thus fulfilling the second dream. But these experiences were obscure at the time. It appeared the Lord had less love for Joseph than for the rest of his family, until the time came for his exaltation to the throne. Then everything changed.

Joseph, like Jesus, was hated without a cause. We read the prophetic statement: “They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head.” (Psa. 69:4) Jesus quoted this statement and applied it to Himself, saying, “They hated me without a cause.” (John 15:25) The brethren of Jesus were the Jews who crucified Him, although no cause for death was found in Him.

We see it was for envy that they delivered Him up and called for His crucifixion, because His works were good and theirs were evil; because He taught the way of the Lord more perfectly than they; because He declared to them that the time would come when all would recognize Him as the Messiah – coming in the clouds of Heaven with power and great glory – and all would bow to Him.

Just as disaster, treachery and shame prepared for Joseph the way to glory and honor on the throne of Egypt, so it was with Jesus. His trying experiences proved Him loyal to God and led onward to His exaltation to the right hand of Divine Majesty. St. Paul refers to this, saying of Jesus, “Who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Heb. 12:2) Again he says, “Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.” (2 Cor. 8:9) The experiences of Joseph – all his humiliations – prepared the way for him to be succored and honored by Pharaoh. Again we read of Jesus: “Yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect [through suffering], he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.” (Heb. 5:8-9)

The Scriptures assure us that in God’s great Plan, not only Jesus is to be exalted to the Throne as the world’s Messiah, but with Him is to be a company of brethren, sharers of the same glory, honor and immortality. And these brethren, in God’s great Purpose, are required to pass through similar experiences to those of their Elder Brother Jesus. Their experiences, therefore, are illustrated also in Joseph’s experiences. They are not equal with their Elder Brother. He is designated their Head, their Chief, the Captain of their salvation. We read that God “in bringing many sons unto glory” made “the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings” (Heb. 2:10), and all of the company of sons received under this great Captain must similarly be perfected through sufferings.

The Apostle John declares, “As he is, so are we in this world;” and again, “The world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.” (1 John 4:17; 1 John 3:1) Joseph’s brothers were blind to the fact that their brother would be their savior from famine, as well as the savior of the Egyptians; the world likewise fails to realize that only through Messiah will any have eternal life.

Jesus forewarned His elect followers that they must also expect to be hated unjustly: “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me . . . But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.” (John 15:18-25)

We give in full the same prophetic text from which our Lord quoted: “They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head . . . Let not them that wait on thee, O Lord God of hosts, be ashamed for my sake: let not those that seek thee be confounded for my sake, O God of Israel. Because for thy sake I have borne reproach; shame hath covered my face. 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 . . . Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none. They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.” (Psa. 69:4-9, 20-21)


Consider the facts: Jesus and His followers, according to Divine intention, have suffered shame and contempt. We perceive that in the case of Jesus and the early Church, the persecution came from their brethren according to the flesh – from the Jews. And since then, all through the Gospel Age, the persecutions of the Church, the brethren of Jesus, the Household of Faith, have also come from their brethren. These brethren are not Jews, but Christians. As the Jewish religionists in Jesus’ day persecuted their more righteous brethren, since then nominal Christians have been the chief persecutors of the Lord’s faithful followers. This persecution has come upon faithful souls of nearly every denomination and, sadly, from unfaithful souls of nearly every denomination. Presbyterians, Covenanters, Episcopalians, Roman Catholics, Methodists and Baptists have all endured perse­cutions from blinded brethren, who in nearly every case professed that the persecuting was done for the glory of God. As the Lord through the Prophet expresses the matter, “Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name’s sake, said, Let the Lord be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.” (Isa. 66:5)

Already the world in general, including the Jews, realize a great mistake was made in persecuting Jesus unto death and to some extent similar transgressions against the faithful followers of Jesus have been recognized. And yet the same blindness, from the same envious disposition, leads to persecution even in our day. The majority admit that they have little distinct knowledge about God or the Bible. They pray for light singing, “Lead, kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom.” Yet if any light appears, if any voice of love or tenderness is heard, directing them toward the dawning of the New Day, clearly pointing out the riches of God’s grace and the lengths and breadths of His mercy, immediately their quest for light ceases, and their stones of ridicule and slander are hurled. And why? It is for fear there will be change, that someone will get further light, that the Divine promise will be fulfilled, and a new Dawn be ushered in.

But what is the philosophy of these facts of history? Why has God permitted, yes even ordained that Christ should suffer, and that all who would walk in His steps must share in His experiences of ignominy and shame and reproach – suffering with Him? The Father used the trying experiences to test the love and loyalty of His Son, and to demonstrate His obedience to angels and to men. Intending to confer upon Him very great glory and honor, the Father would have all to see, as He saw it, the worthiness of the Logos, subsequently Jesus.

In a symbolic picture, Heavenly hosts of angels acknowledge the propriety of the high exaltation of Jesus saying, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.” (Rev. 5:12) If a demonstration of the worthiness of Jesus, the Logos, was necessary or proper, it seems much more necessary that an elect Church, being gathered from among a fallen race, should be proven loyal to God to the very last – even unto death.

There is a difference, however. In the case of the Master, it was a demonstration that He was perfect before He left the Heavenly glory, and perfect also when He became the Man Christ Jesus – “holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners.” (Heb. 7:26) “In him is no sin.” (1 John 3:5) In the case of His followers, the imperfection of the flesh still remains; but they are judged, not according to the weaknesses of their flesh, of heredity, but according to the love and zeal of their hearts. And this loving zeal is witnessed to by their endeavor to walk faithfully in the footsteps of their Leader and Savior, overcoming to the best of their ability the weaknesses of their flesh, “that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.” (1 Pet. 2:9)

(From Reprint 5214, with editing.)



The primary power of God’s people is the Truth, and their secondary power is God’s Arrange­ment for the proper use of that Truth. Thus, the counsel to “give attendance” to doctrine (1 Tim. 4:13) is sound advice for every time of the Age and we believe a clear and comprehensive under­standing of the doctrine of Justification will enable us to “continue in the faith” – never to stray away from the general Truth structure. (Col. 1:23)

There are two kinds of Justification taught in the Bible – Justification by Faith and Justification by Works. Since our present Bible is specifically designed for those who “live by faith,” it is only proper that Justification by Faith receive the preponderance of favor in the past, present and future – until Justification by Works gains the ascendancy in our Lord’s Mediatorial Kingdom.

Since the time that Christ “brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Tim. 1:10), Justification by Faith has had two com­ponents – Tentative Justification and Vitalized Justification. Herein much controversy has arisen among God’s people, some claiming there is no such thing as Tentative Justification and others claiming it not only operates now but will continue to operate even during the period of Justification by Works.

It is our opinion that those who deny completely a Tentative Justification for this Faith Age are thus forced to abandon large sections of that Truth which made them clean. (It forced JFR to discard completely Tabernacle Shadows of the Better Sacrifices.) It is difficult to determine just how they now interpret Jesus’ words: “I say to you, Till Heaven and earth pass away, one iota or one tip of a letter shall by no means pass from the Law, till all be accomplished. (Matt. 5:18, Diaglott) Jesus was clearly telling us that the entire Law arrange­ment – of which the Tabernacle with its ceremonies was the central feature – was typical, and that all those types must continue until the antitypes appeared to fulfill them to completion.

In a flimsy attempt to justify his rejection of Tentative Justification, JFR falsely claimed that Brother Russell rejected the teaching of Tentative Justification before he died; but this claim is directly disputed in the foreword of Vol. 6, Oct. 1, 1916. There Brother Russell set forth Tentative Justification and Vitalized Justification as separate and distinct. Many other citations leave no doubt about Brother Russell’s conviction about Tentative Justification. [1]

Many others have joined JFR in the denial of Tentative Justification; and, since this teaching is a fundamental part of the Old and New Testaments, we are justified in concluding that those who now deny it, must come under the classification of “Those who are perishing, because they admitted not the love of the Truth in order that they might be saved. And on this account God will send to them an Energy of Delusion.” (2 Thess. 2:10,11, Diaglott) In our Lord’s announcement of the sentence upon the “unprofitable servant” (the Great Company) of Matt. 25:30, Jesus stated that he would be cast into “outer darkness” – meaning he would be given over to error. (See also 1 Thess. 5:5-6 and the Berean Comments on 2 Thess. 2:11.)

Jesus told the Disciples: “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you” (John 15:3); and the conclusion must automatically follow that those who reject “the word” which once made them clean would then become unclean – become afflicted with antitypical leprosy – “he shall be defiled; he is unclean.” (Lev. 13:46) And this uncleanness will remain with that Class until the full end of the Gospel Age – “unclean until the even.” (Lev. 14:46) Their cleansing will be accomplished in the “great tribulation” of Rev. 7:14, when they shall experience the “weeping and gnashing of teeth” of Matt. 25:30. Until this cleansing is accomplished, we may reasonably expect such unclean ones to cast out (refuse to fellowship) God’s fully faithful people who resist such rebellion (revolutionism). Keep in mind that it is always the Truth that produces the separation between the Fully Faithful and the Measurably Faithful. Thus, the “hail” (the hard convincing Truth) sweeps away “the refuge of lies” (Isa. 28:17) revealing those who have received the Truth in the love of it, and those who receive the punishment of “outer darkness:” error and revolutionism, leprous uncleanness. Thus, we should “think it not strange” as we see this separating influence operate to a completion – “until the even.”


While we have great respect for the teachings of Brother Russell, we believe every doctrine should also be clearly taught in the Bible, especially one as weighty as Tentative versus Vitalized Justification. We should be able to substantiate our position – and not by one text only, but by at least two or three witnesses. (Matt. 18:16) It is the failure to consider all that is written on various doctrines that has produced the great falling away since Apostolic times. Therefore, if we find our thoughts disputed by even a single text, we may be sure that one of three things is true: Either the text is spurious; we have a faulty translation; or we ourselves have the wrong interpretation. It is “impossible for God to lie” (Heb. 6:18); and, since the Bible is the inspired word of God, it likewise cannot lie – it cannot contradict itself.

Consider our first witness: “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; but now are they holy.” (1 Cor. 7:14) The word “holy” in the text is from the Greek word hagios, which means set apart, separate, holy. It is the same word that is translated “saints” more than sixty times. Clearly enough, a newborn infant could not possibly be a saint, but they receive a reckoned saintly standing because of their saintly parentage; and, since their parents are in the antitypical Tabernacle Court, their children would evidently have to be there with them until such time as those children reach an age of accountability and can determine for themselves whether or not they wish to retain their Faith Justification and continue in the saintly footsteps of their parents.

No one with the faintest understanding of Faith Justification would claim that the justification of infants is vitalized! Therefore, this indisputably proves a Tentative Justification. Note also that we are also clearly presented with two kinds of Tentative Justification: one acquired by mature, intelligent desire and cooperation, and the other by infants through no will or cooperation of their own. It is that justification described in Rom. 5:1-2: “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access [we have been introduced – see Diaglott] by faith into this grace [favor] wherein we stand.” This Tentative Justification – standing – is our “introduction” to God, which gives us “peace with God.” We do not have the “peace of God” until we offer ourselves to do His will in accordance with Rom. 12:1; if accepted, this then gives to us “the peace of God, which passeth all [human] understanding.” (Phil. 4:7) Only after that do we actually possess a “living” (zeal‑inspiring) faith.

Our second witness is from Romans chapter 4: “For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed [had faith in] God, and it was counted [reckoned] unto him for righteousness.” (Rom. 4:3) Here it is clearly stated that Abraham’s Faith Justification did not actually make him right; it merely accounted, or reckoned, him righteous. Thus, “Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.” (Rom. 4:7) Their sins are no longer held against them because of their Faith Justification. Certainly no one who was ever in Present Truth would contend that Abraham and David had justification similar to the justification held by those of this Gospel Age who had come into the Body of Christ – vitalized through a real imputation of Christ’s merit.

Now note this: “How was it then reckoned [to Abraham]? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncir­cumcision. And he received the sign of circum­cision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also.” (Rom. 4:10-11)

All schooled in Present Truth know that ancient circumcision was a type of the Gospel Age consecration, the physical circumcision typing the figurative circumcision of the heart when one offers his heart and will to God in consecration. St. Paul clearly states that Abraham’s righteousness was accounted, reckoned, to him before circumcision – that he might be the father of all who believe – all who experience a Faith Justification before they present themselves to God in consecration – before they experience the antitypical circumcision of the heart. St. Paul was truly a great logician, and his reasoning is so clear and direct in this fourth chapter, that it seems unbelievable that any who were once in Present Truth could cast it aside and then attempt to besmirch Brother Russell by saying he had also cast aside these compelling Scriptures.

St. Paul then says that this Faith Justification arranges our “access” (introduction) to God. (Rom. 5:1-2) It is merely an introduction, not an intimate relation­ship, but it will enable us to gain intimacy of soul with our Heavenly Father if we follow the appeal to “present your bodies a living sacrifice” in consecration. This we are now in a position to do as a result of our tentative, reckoned, Faith Justification: “Be ye transformed by the renewing [renovation] of your mind.” (Rom. 12:1-2)

As our third witness we offer what we consider the most compelling proof for Tentative Justification: the Atonement Day type of the wilderness Tabernacle. (Lev. 16) The pattern given to Moses in the mount was emphatic that all animals used in that service must be “without blemish” (Lev. 1:3), have no visible flaws of any kind. We ask, did those animals have their physical perfection as a result of their presentation to Aaron in sacrifice, or were they offered up that day because they were previously found to be perfect? The answer is clear: They were already “without blemish” when they were selected from among the children of Israel and brought into the Court, before they were tied at the door of the Tabernacle. Their being tied there represented the consecration and presentation of those who were about to enter the Holy “in newness of life” through an instantaneous vitalization of that reckoned perfection which was already theirs before consecration. It is this tentative faith justification, this reckoned perfec­tion that is our access or introduction to God. It is this that enables us to enter into the Holy – into Divine sanctum, into vitalized justification, a condition exclusive to this Gospel Faith Age and exclusive to those only who are begotten to “newness of life” through direct imputation of the merit of Jesus.

Every antitype is greater than its type. Thus, Jesus as the antitype of the Atonement Day bullock was infinitely greater than was the type, requiring only the one sacrifice of Himself to forever cleanse from sin all who come to the Father by Him. The members of His Body were also far greater than their Atonement Day type as represented in the Lord’s goat. Therefore, if the animals in the type were “without blemish” (typically perfect) before being presented at the door of the Tabernacle, must this not be much more true of their Gospel Age anti­types? God can make no allowance for sin, thus He could not enter into a “covenant by sacrifice” with fallen beings unless the sin barrier were first removed. Therefore He must first provide a way – an introduction – for fallen man to come to Him. This He accomplished by arranging for a tentative, reckoned perfection – a Tentative Justification by Faith.


No fallen human could arrange this intro­duction to God by his own skill or merit; it must come through an intercessor, through one who could give him a reckoned perfection. This He arranged through Jesus – “that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” (Rom. 3:26) The Tabernacle type gives clear confirmation of this by the linen curtain which surrounded the Tabernacle structure and its surrounding plot of ground. The Divine Presence was portrayed by the Shekinah Light shining forth from between the Cherubim in the Most Holy of the Tabernacle. None could reach that presence except through Jesus – by first coming through the Gate into the Court, and inside the linen curtain, there to be reckoned perfect, righteous (“the fine linen is the righteous­ness of saints”Rev. 19:8). Being provided proper introduction to God at the first veil, they progress in life’s pilgrimage through the Holy to the Most Holy, to “ever be with the Lord.” (1 Thess. 4:17)

Abraham lived before the typical Tabernacle was erected at Sinai, but the same arrangement was reckoned to him, and to all with “the faith of Abraham” from Abel to John the Baptist. “Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.” (John 8:56) While none of the Ancients ever had more than a tentative, reckoned justification, that came to them through a reckoned standing inside that linen curtain, giving them a righteousness they could never attain of them­selves. “All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.” (Isa. 64:6)

Brother Johnson wrote of the Youthful Worthies: “From the standpoint of having ‘the faith of Abraham’ (Gal. 3:7,9) they are, of course, like him, of the Household of Faith . . . They are, however, somewhat different from the Tentatively Justified who do not now consecrate. The latter during the Epiphany cease altogether to be of the Household of Faith, having used the Grace of God in vain.” (E‑4, page 406)

After That Servant’s death, JFR denied the doctrine of Tentative Justification altogether because it stood in the way of his “new light.” Brother Johnson clearly refuted his “new light,” and established the doctrine of Tentative Justification in the Scriptures so unmistakably that no Epiphany enlightened brethren need be deceived. He stated that “those faithful consecrators from 1881 until Restitution sets in, for whom there are no crowns available, and hence no Spirit-begetting for Gospel Age purposes possible, will be the Millennial Associates of the Ancient Worthies in reward and service.” (E-4, page 342)

Advancing Truth does not set aside the Truth already established, as some deceivers seem to think; all advancing Truth must be based upon the Truth already established from the Word of God.

(Excerpts from No. 255 by John J. Hoefle, September, 1976, with editing)

[1] See these Reprints: 4525, p. 360; 4547 pp. 12-13; 4579 p. 93; 4655 p. 247; 4901, p. 394; 5023, p. 152; 5206-5208 pp. 92‑94; 5410-5411, p. 67; 5660-5661, pp. 103-104; 5774-5775, pp. 292-293; 5959, p. 281.


by Epiphany Bible Students

No. 729

“For thus hath the Lord said unto me, Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he seeth . . . And he answered and said, Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken into the ground . . . Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night? The watchman said, The morning cometh, and also the night: if ye will inquire, inquire ye: return, come.” (Isa. 21:6-12)

When this prophecy was written, it was the custom to erect a wall around the important cities. The wall around Babylon was a marvelous piece of construction for that time. It was conical in shape with the narrow top wide enough for two chariots to drive around it side by side. It was considered impregnable – a good representation of our present spiritual Babylon, who also says, “I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing.” (Rev. 3:17)

Upon the tops of those ancient city walls were turrets or towers in which a watchman was located at night to watch for the approach of enemies, man or beast, to watch for thieves of the crops outside the city, etc. Occasionally, a citizen – inside the fort or directly outside it, would call out, “Watchman, what of the night?” That is, do you notice any sign of enemies or thieves? The watchman in our verse above answered, “The morning cometh [it will be here shortly], and also the night.”

At the time Isaiah wrote this prophecy there was mirth and festivity; he alone was overwhelmed with grief, and refused to be comforted. In the rejoicings of the populace he read the evidence of their hopeless impenitence and insensibility, and he concludes his discourse by expressing the conviction that at last they have sinned beyond the possibility of pardon. The circumstances recall our Lord’s lamentation over Jerusalem on His triumphal entry into the city five days before His crucifixion: “He beheld the city, and wept over it.” (Luke 19:41-42)


From the Bible chronology, the parallel dispensations, and the signs of the times, it is our firm conviction that this text applies directly to the time in which we are living. From these different sources, it is our conclusion that the “morning” began in 1874. Jesus said, “For as the lightning [the bright shiner, the sun] cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” (Matt. 24:27)

It is evident that the word “lightning” is a poor translation here. This word is from the Greek astrape, which has several meanings (see Strong’s Concord­ance). Lightning does not start in the east and go to the west, but the sun does. The sun rises noiselessly in the East, when most people are still asleep, but gradually becomes more prominent and noticeable in the heavens until high noon. “But, the path of the righteous, is as the light of dawn, –going on and brightening, unto meridian day.” (Prov. 4:18, Rotherham) The footnote on this text says: “The stable part of day – when the sun seems motionless in mid‑heaven.”

Thus, we should expect a very obscure beginning of the “morning” in 1874 – just as the sun also arises in the morning without much clamor. Most of our great inventions have come since that date: The telephone, the electric light, the automobile, the airplane, computers, and all the magnificent technological advancements have come since that time. More inventions have come in a little over a hundred years than occurred in the six thousand years before that time.

The sun has not yet come to “meridian day,” but with this great increase of learning has come also “the night” of trouble. This also had a very mild beginning in 1874, but it has now reached alarming proportions; even those not familiar with Bible prophecy see it with much certainty. It is written in Dan. 12:1: “There shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation.” Speaking of Daniel’s prophecy, Jesus said, “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” (Matt. 24:21) And just as the bright shining proceeds to meridian height, so the trouble also increases; by the time the sun has reached meridian height, the trouble will have reached its nadir, and will be completely over when the sun reaches full height. Then will be fulfilled the prayer, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”


The word translated “coming” in Matthew 24:27 is from the Greek parousia, which actually means “presence,” and should be understood in that manner. Often the question comes to us, Watchman, what of the night – How long is the night? We cannot give a positive answer to the question, although we can quote the words of Jesus: “This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.” (Luke 21:32) We do not know the length of time of “this generation,” but we can quote the words of Jesus, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock.” Therefore, we can say with conviction that “the time is at hand.” (Rev. 3:20; Rev. 10:6; Rev. 11:18; Rev. 22:10)

It is our understanding that our Lord’s Parousia has been with us since 1874. It will continue until all the “wheat” has been gathered into the Lord’s barn and the “tares” bundled and burned. In a broad sense our Lord will continue to be present as the world’s King to the full conclusion of the Millennial Age, but His Parousia in the sense of a secret presence will terminate when, as the Scriptures state, He is revealed in “flaming fire,” the great time of trouble, taking vengeance on all who do not receive the Truth in a good and honest heart (2 Thess. 1:7-8), but enlightening all those who will hear to the extent of their opportunity. The secret Parousia is only for those who now hear and obey His calling. The Epiphania is not to the Church or for the Church, but to the world and for the world.

Of the world, the natural Israelites will be the first to look upon Him “whom they have pierced.” (Zech. 12:10) Brought into covenant relationship with God through the better Mediator than Moses (Heb. 8:6), they will be trained, chastened, blessed and uplifted by Him during the Millennium; so that by the end of the Millennium they shall be ready for the everlasting covenant condition of perfection in harmony with God.

While the besom of destruction becomes more apparent each year to those who are the “Watchmen,” the great majority of the world still sleeps on, as Jesus foretold they would. As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the days of the presence of the Son of Man; the world that was “knew not” until the day Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. (Matt. 24:38-39) Thus we should not be surprised to see the inattention of the great majority. “When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith [the Truth] on the earth?” (Luke 18:8) History tells us that it has always been thus, with retribution usually overtaking those who disregard the Word of Truth.

However, the Watchman said, “If ye will inquire, inquire ye: return, come.” Thus, some may now inquire to know more, turn toward God and come to faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Nevertheless, when He pours out His spirit “upon all flesh” many will then awaken to the tremendous operations that will occur. (Joel 2:28)


We now present (without quotation marks) excerpts from various writings of Pastor Russell:

Reprint 5359: At the Epiphania, or bright shining, of the Lord’s manifestation, God will have completed His present work of directing the Church; and the world will be informed that they are under a different dispensation. When the world will have come to understand the matter fully, they will know the Truth of our Lord’s words, in His last prayer with His disciples – that the Father loves the Church as He loved the Lord Jesus. This is a very astounding statement. It shows that there is nothing selfish in our Lord. He did not say, “They will always be inferior to me. They will never have the glory that I shall have.”

Reprint 5522: Bible students call our attention to the fact that the Bible distinctly differentiates between the Parousia of Christ and His Epiphania, at His second coming. The word Parousia signifies presence, without in any sense of the word indicating that the presence is visible. The word Epiphania signifies the revealing of one who is already present. These Bible students claim that in the end of this Gospel Age Christ will be present, invisible to men, during a period of forty years, doing a work especially in His Church – rewarding the faithful, as shown in the parables of the Pounds and Talents, and receiving the “wise virgins,” as stated in the parable.

With the conclusion of this work of separating the wise virgins, and after they shall have entered into the joys of their Lord by the glorious change of the First Resurrection, then will come Immanuel’s Epiphania, revealing, showing forth. “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” (Col. 3:4) He shall be revealed “in flaming fire, taking vengeance.” In other words, the revelation of Christ to the world will be subsequent to His revelation of Himself to the “wise virgin” class. The world will know that He has taken His great power and begun His reign of righteousness, not by seeing Jesus in the flesh, but by seeing the great time of trouble which then will break upon the world – “a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation.” (Dan. 12:1; Matt. 24:21)

Reprint 5527: The Scriptures indicate that the Gentile governments will receive from their own peoples their first notice that their lease of power has expired. The people will take note of the sign of the Son of man in the heavens. The judgments of the Lord will begin to be manifest in the world, and will run counter to many of their interests. This manifestation of His presence is Scripturally called the Epiphania, the shining forth, the revealment of the King of Glory. “The Lord Jesus shall be revealed . . . In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Thess. 1:7-10) As a result, the nations of earth will be broken to pieces “like a potter’s vessel.” (Psa. 2:8-9; Rev. 2:27)

The prophetic forecast tells us that the trouble will begin in the ecclesiastical heavens, and later will proceed to the social element. The picture given of the end of the Gentile Times is that of a stone striking the image of Gentile supremacy on its feet. (Dan. 2:34-35) The impact will be so sharp and so thorough as to leave nothing of them. Having had their day, they will cease to be – “become like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors.” The next event in order will be the Messianic Kingdom, of which it is written, “The desire of all nations [peoples] shall come.” (Hag. 2:7)


From the foregoing writings it is clear That Servant taught we are in the time of establishing God’s promised Kingdom. Although he saw this clearly more than 25 years before 1914, he erred in expecting the entire program would be consummated in a very short time. However, by 1910 he recognized that the time was much too short for the accomplishment of the things necessary, and he openly said so, but some of his dogmatic supporters did not accept his corrections then. In fact, one of them said early in 1914 that he was buying a ticket to go to some west coast area, but he did not buy a return ticket because he would have no use for it. Many such lost much of the Truth and quit the movement as the days carried on. However, when the Russian government was toppled in the fall of 1917, some brethren shouted they were no longer walking by faith; they were then walking by sight – a mistake very easy to make, since the Czarist government of Russia was then one of the strongest autocracies that had ever been on earth.

But the war ended in November 1918, things began to calm down, followed by a business boom for eleven years; then the great crash of 1929, followed by the great depression of four years. Once again the predictions of doom were very prevalent, but soon disappeared. In fact, some concluded by about 1920 that Brother Russell had made a mistake of nineteen years in the Chronology; the Gentile Times would not end until 1933. This same error had been “discovered” about a hundred years before that by a deluded Babylon teacher, so it was nothing new. When 1933 came and not one thing occurred to substantiate the error, the subject was discreetly dropped.

It is our firm conviction that no mistake was made in the Chronology by That Servant. His dates are yet well established, but he made the mistake of expecting too much in too short a time, although everything he taught about what would happen is still well substantiated by the Bible and current events.

In all of the events that have occurred since 1914, we are firmly convinced that he was right in declaring that the Kingdom had been set up in 1878, that the elect Church had then been tentatively gathered – although some dropped out before 1914 and others were called in. By 1914 he was convinced that the full number of the Elect had been won. For some years now the Jehovah’s Witnesses have been declaring the full establishment of the Kingdom, with their group being its firm nucleus. Current events clearly reveal their error on the matter. As late as 1915, Brother Russell wrote this:

Reprint 5632: The final phrase, “to execute the judgments written,” would seem to imply that there would be something for the saints on this side of the Veil to do in connection with the execution of the judgments upon the nations. (Psa. 149:7-9) [It was going on right then, but our dear Pastor had not then discerned it – JJH] As to just what this means, we have not yet fully learned. But we see nothing here to conflict with the thought that the Lord’s Kingdom may be properly understood to have begun operations and that the present smiting of the nations is under Kingdom control. The fact that some of the members of the Kingdom class are still in the flesh does not militate at all against this thought. We see the kingdoms of this world now being dashed to pieces, and we are expecting to see the process continued until they are all completely ground to powder. They shall become as the chaff of the summer threshing floor, and the wind shall carry them away. Then shall they be found no more at all. (Dan. 2:35)

Because certain important things are to be accomplished, we see that God is permitting what to others might seem to be purely human devilishness. For a wise purpose He permits this reign of lawlessness, this condition which evokes universal odium. Our thought is that we should look for still further evidences day by day that the Gentile Times have ended, and that God’s Kingdom has begun its work. We are expecting to see multiplied proofs of the Kingdom power, though the world will not recognize it as such until it is manifested in the flaming fire of anarchy, which is still further along. The present step is the war of the nations. The next step will be Socialism – an attempted Socialism – among the people [after Armageddon – JJH]. Then the third step, anarchy, will gradually come on. When this symbolic fire shall prevail then the world will realize what we are trying to tell them now; namely, that God’s Kingdom is taking control, and that these various demonstrations are evidences that our Lord is taking His great power. But the many will not begin to see until the flaming fire is revealed. When we endeavor to tell them now they will not receive it, but they will be thoroughly convinced when they see the destructive fire of Anarchy.


“The kingdom of God is in your midst.” (Luke 17:21, NIV)

Reprint 5455: Our understanding of the Master’s words (Luke 17:20‑37) depends consid­erably upon the setting in which we see them. John the Baptist preceded Jesus and preached the Kingdom of God is at hand. In due time he pointed out Jesus as the Messiah that should come, the Lamb of God. After waiting for months to establish himself, and finding instead that his own work was closing, he was put into prison by Herod. John then sent to Jesus to inquire whether or not He was the one that should come or whether they should look for another. He was disappointed in not seeing evidences of the Kingdom, as he had expected.

The scribes and the Pharisees heard of the claim that Jesus was the long‑promised King who would set up His Messianic Kingdom, and they derided Him. They looked at His motley company of followers – publicans and sinners, as well as honorable people, but none of special rank, influ­ence or wealth. They considered Jesus a deceiver and His followers dupes. Our lesson tells how they attempted to expose what they supposed was a deception of Jesus, thus to turn away the delusion of His followers. Therefore, they asked Him in public the question: When will God’s Kingdom come? How long will it be before you set it up?

Doubtless they purposed to entrap Jesus; for if He should say, “A long time,” they would proceed to query, “Where will you get your army? How will you pay your soldiers? How will you supply them with food? Will you go to Rome to battle with the powers that be, that our whole nation has been unable to cope with?” etc.

But those Pharisees got only as far as the first question, because the answer to it confuted them, and no doubt perplexed them. Jesus answered that God’s Kingdom would not come with observation [with outward show]; that is to say, when the Kingdom should come people would not see it. Proceeding, Jesus elaborated, saying that when the Kingdom of God should be established, people would not see whether it was here or there; for the Kingdom of God would be the power of God exerted everywhere in the midst of the people.

Our translation [the KJV] is faulty, though evidently not intentionally so, when it reads “For, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:21) The translators, had they noted carefully, would have been on guard against saying that the Kingdom of God was within those Pharisees that Jesus had designated hypocrites, whited sepulchers, etc. (Matt. 23:27) A closer examination of the original would have shown that the text would better be translated, “The Kingdom of God is in your midst.”

A kingdom is always represented by its king. Jesus, as the King, was present in their midst, but they did not recognize Him. “There standeth one among you, whom ye know not.” (John 1:26) Similarly, all through the Gospel Age, the Church of Christ, His “body,” had been undiscerned by the world. “The world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.” (1 John 3:1) For eighteen hundred years this has been true in this sense; but Christ and the Church in the flesh are not the Kingdom of God in the full, proper sense that the Bible promises: a Kingdom of power and great glory. Christ and the Church have been only the incipient Kingdom, an embryo Kingdom – the Kingdom class, preparing for investiture of authority in God’s due time, which we believe is now near.

The Kingdom is to be a spiritual one, and hence its rulers will be as invisible as are the angels and the Heavenly Father. Jesus declared, “Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more.” (John 14:19) What was true of the Head will be true of every member of the elect body of Christ, the Church. Changed “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye,” the world will see them no more; for “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God,” and flesh and blood cannot see that which is spiritual. (1 Cor. 15:50,52)

During the Millennium, the Kingdom authority and power of God through Christ and the Church will be exercised amongst men; and yet they will not see it with the natural eye, but merely with the eyes of their understanding. All the blind eyes will be opened. Thus every eye will see that the Kingdom is established; and every one will understand that He who suffered has entered into His glory, that the Church, His bride, is with Him in glory, and that the blessings of the Millennium proceed from them. (Rev. 20:6)


Turning from the silenced Pharisees to His disciples, Jesus said, “The days will come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see it.” (Luke 17:22) This was astonishing news to the faithful. Yet they were accustomed to hearing from the Master things which they could not understand; such as that they must eat His flesh and drink His blood, that He must be crucified, etc. They took all these things figuratively and wondered what might be the real interpretation. How could Jesus be the great King, as they had expected, and yet they not see Him and His days?

Jesus continued the enigma, saying, “And they shall say to you, See here; or, see there; go not after them, nor follow them.” (Luke 17:23) In a word, do not believe anybody who will thus tell you about My second coming; do not be deceived into believing that I will come in any such manner. This is how I shall come: “For as the lightning [astrape, the bright shining, the sun], that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day.” (Luke 17:24)

Then, that they might gradually learn that these things belonged to a distant time, Jesus explained that first He must suffer many things and be rejected of that nation. Coming back to an explanation of what would be the signs of His presence as recorded in Matthew 24, He declared, “As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.” (Luke 17:26)

Here we have something definite, concrete. We know what to look for at the time when the Kingdom will be due for establishment – the time when the Sun of Righteousness will begin to shine forth from one end of heaven to the other. The signs of the time will not be in the outward condition of the world; for on the contrary everything will be going along in as quiet and orderly a manner as ever, just as in the days of Noah, just as before the Deluge came, and just as in the days of Lot, before the destruction of Sodom – they ate, drank, married, built, bought, sowed, planted, as usual. These things are not signs of wickedness, but are mentioned to show us that there will be no outward sign to indicate to the world the time of the second presence of Christ, when He will begin to deal with the world and to set up His Kingdom. [This was the condition of the world just before World War One – the greatest calamity yet to happen. However, today’s condition is: “Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth.” (Luke 21:26) – JJH]

Why introduce these two pictures – the Deluge and the destruction of Sodom – in conjunction, while talking of the establishment of Messiah’s Kingdom, which is to bless the world? The answer is that the Bible everywhere foretells that although Messiah’s Kingdom is the greatest provision of God, which will lift the curse and bring in blessings world‑wide, nevertheless it is to be established upon the wreck of our present institutions. And it is this wreck of social, financial, political and religious institutions of the present time that Jesus illustrated by the Deluge and the destruction of Sodom. And His own presence preceding this time of trouble is to be unseen to the world, unknown to the world, unsuspected, unbelieved, until the cataclysm of trouble precipitates with suddenness [as it did in World War One – JJH].

This is not a charming picture. We are glad that we may turn from it, and note the silver lining of the cloud, and the glorious blessings which will speedily follow the establishment of the Kingdom on the ruins of our human failures.

Emphasizing the suddenness with which the calamity will overtake the world, Jesus said that on the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained down fire and brimstone from heaven; and He declared that thus it will be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed. The Greek text shows a difference between the Parousia, or presence, of Christ before the Time of Trouble and the later Epiphania, or revealing. [The Epiphania is the time in which we are living. Men are perplexed, their “hearts failing them for fear.” – JJH]

The description of the revealing of Christ is given in the words, He shall be revealed in flaming fire. (2 Thess. 1:7-8) Indeed, that time of trouble is frequently described in the Bible as a burning of the world – so much so that many creeds of Christendom express the thought that the earth is to be “burned.” They overlook the fact that the heavens are to be “burned” also.

In the symbolical usage of the Bible, the earth represents the social order of human affairs; the sea, the restless, discontented masses; the heavens, the ecclesiastical powers. St. Peter tells us that all these will pass away with a great confusion, and that instead will come the new heavens and the new earth which God has promised. (2 Pet. 3:10-13) The new heavens will be the new ecclesiastical society – the Church in glory, joint‑heirs with Christ in His Kingdom [also with the Worthies as the visible ruling powers – JJH]. The new earth will be the new social order which Messiah’s Kingdom will establish.


“Watchman [the present enlightened Lord’s people], what of the night?” (Isa. 21:11) It is our hope that we have clearly defined “the night,” as well as “the morning.” A proper understanding of the morning in Messiah’s Kingdom will minimize greatly the gloomy picture of the night. “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” (Psa. 30:5) Faithful believers recognize the trouble as the preparation, according to God’s Plan, for blessing the whole world. “Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness [of sin and error]. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.” (1 Thess. 5:5-6)

“So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto, I sent it.” (Isa. 55:11)


(Reprint of No. 335 by John J. Hoefle, May, 1983, with minor editing.)


by Epiphany Bible Students

No. 728

“For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.” (Rom. 11:27)

God is not in covenant relationship with the brute creation; to them He has made no promises, although He has made a general provision for their needs. But we may understand that with all His intelligent creation He has a covenant, or agreement, to the effect that so long as they will do His will they shall possess life. Because of violation of that arrangement, the fallen angels were cast off, reserved in “chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day” (Jude 6), to receive their final punishment. When Adam and Eve were disobedient, they violated this covenant, and came under the sentence of death. “But they like men [‘Adam’ in Hebrew] have transgressed the covenant: there have they dealt treacherously against me.” (Hos. 6:7)

Because of Adam’s transgression, the world is not in covenant relationship with God in any sense of the word. On the contrary, they are aliens, strangers, foreigners. (Eph. 2:11-13) God brought Abraham back into covenant relationship to some extent, but not fully so. To the nation of Israel He made certain promises in the form of a Law Covenant; whoever kept that Covenant would demonstrate worthiness to receive the blessing God promised to Abraham – that through him all the families of the earth would be blessed. (Gen. 12:3)

Moses was the mediator of the Law Covenant, for it was impossible to make the Covenant with Israel directly. Although they were unable to keep that Covenant because of inherited weaknesses of the flesh, it brought them a measure of blessing, as St. Paul points out. (Rom. 7:7) While it lifted Israel above the degradation into which the Gentiles were falling, nevertheless it did not bring the blessing for which they longed. It did not remove the death penalty – it did not give them life.

In the clear light now shining for the people of God, we see that the Law Covenant was only a type of a better Covenant to be made with Israel after the Church of Christ has been glorified; that Moses himself was only a type of a better Mediator; that the sacrifices of the Law were only types of the “better sacrifices” (Heb. 9:23), and that their priesthood was a type of the Royal Priesthood of the Gospel Age. (Heb. 7:27)

The words covenant and promise are used synonymously in the Scriptures. The children of Israel were under the Abrahamic Covenant long before they entered into the Law Covenant. They are still under those Covenants. St. Paul says, “God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew.” (Rom. 11:2) Then he proceeds to say that after the Elect Church has been gathered from among the Gentiles, the favor of God will return to Israel; for they are still beloved for the “fathers’ sakes.” The fathers of Israel are the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The Jews are, therefore, under the Abrahamic Covenant. (Rom. 11:25-28)


An actual covenant relationship is one that is fully established – not merely suggested, or pro­posed, but accomplished. As Israel approached Mt. Sinai, God proposed to make a covenant with them. When all was ready, the Covenant was made through Moses as the mediator. The work of mediation was twofold; the first part was the sprinkling of the Law, representing the satisfaction of Justice; the second part was the sprinkling of the people, representing the bringing of the people into covenant relationship with God. That Covenant was then fully made, and has remained in operation ever since. (Exod. 24:3-8; Heb. 9:19)

God made a covenant with the Israelites which was to last for centuries; however, it was good for only one year at a time. For the first year the people were in harmony with God, but at the end of that time the cancellation of sins ceased; for the blood of bulls and of goats cannot take away sin. The whole arrangement was only a type. At the end of that first year, the Day of Atonement was inaugurated, and sacrifices were made for another year. The fact that the Atonement Day sacrifices were repeated year by year shows that they were efficacious for only a year at a time, and so never really took away sin. (Heb. 10:1-4)

After the Day of Atonement, the people made various kinds of offerings. Some of these seem to typify the presentation of the worshiper himself to God, as an indication that he wished to do the will of God. Others were for sin-offerings, indicating that the worshiper realized that there had been a measure of willfulness in his conduct. So rigid are the requirements of the Law Covenant that only one Jew, the Lord Jesus Christ, was able to keep them. This He could do because He was perfect, and the Law is the measure of a perfect man’s full ability.

The Israelites were in covenant relationship with God through Moses, the mediator of their Covenant, as demonstrated by the fact that Moses said, “He declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even ten command­ments.” (Deut. 4:13) Therefore the Jew is bound by the Law so long as he lives. (Rom. 7:1) Although the Law Covenant is not intended to be an everlasting arrangement, the only Jews who have been able to get from under it are those who have come into Christ; the remainder cannot rid themselves of it. But the time draws near when the Lord God will make a New Covenant with them through a new Mediator, The Christ, who will assist them to keep the Law satisfactorily and thus to be delivered from the evil features of their Covenant.

At the close of the Babylonian Captivity, the Prophet Daniel asked the Lord for an explanation of the prophecies relating to His  people. The answer to his prayer is given in detail: “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.” (Dan. 9:24-27) All these things were to be done in those seventy weeks. Of this period of time, we find that the seventieth week was the most critical, for it was the week during which Messiah was to confirm the Covenant.[1]


During that period of seven years, God bestowed special favor upon the Jews. At the beginning of that week of years, our Lord, who was then thirty years of age, presented Himself to God as a sacrifice. This presentation was the first feature of the antitypical Atonement Day work, and corresponded to the sacrifice of the bullock in the type. Our Lord began the antitypical sacrifices; as St. Paul says, “Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.” (Heb. 10:9) Our Lord there began to take away the type and to establish the antitype and during His ministry He fulfilled various features of the types. At Calvary His work of sacrificing Himself was finished, and the Divine acceptance of that sacrifice was manifested. Thus He took His place as the antitypical Moses.

Many other features of that antitypical Atonement Day work are not yet completed. It was a part of the Atonement for the High Priest to offer the Lord’s goat and to take its blood into the Most Holy and to sprinkle it there. It was also a part of the Atonement Day work for him to come out and confess the sins of the people on the scape-goat, and a still further part for him to bless the people.

The Prophet’s statement that in the midst of the week Messiah would cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease (Dan. 9:27), implies that our Lord would there terminate the typical work for Israel as a people; they were rejected from Divine favor when they crucified Him. A few days before His death, our Lord had said, “Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.” (Matt. 23:38)

This rejection of the Jewish nation does not indicate the end of their Law Covenant. To the Church of Christ, who have been given the privilege of understanding the deep things of the Spirit of God, it appears that the efficacy of the typical sacrifices, which were offered year by year continually, ceased at the death of our Lord; and that since that time, as a nation they have had no Divine favor; but that the only ones who have had favor since then are those who have come out of Moses into Christ. The typical sacrifices continued until the time when Christ died, for the reason that Jesus Himself was under the Law, a part of which He fulfilled, and no feature of which can pass away until all has been fulfilled. (Matt. 5:17-18)

After our Lord’s ascension, it was possible for greater work to be done than ever before. The work of our Lord was cut short nationally, but it increased the opportunity of the Jews individually. While there were only about five hundred Jews who believed on Jesus until His death, thousands were added afterward. (1 Cor. 15:6; Acts 2:41) During the three and a half years following our Lord’s death, God did not recognize the Gentiles, for He had said that He would give seventy weeks to the Jews, and therefore He allowed no favor to go to the Gentiles until that period had expired.

After the expiration of the seventy weeks of years set apart for Israel, the Gospel began to go to the Gentiles, to gather from among them “a people for his name.” (Acts 15:13-18) The antitypical Atonement work has been progressing during this Gospel Age. Our Lord has already offered the antitypical bullock in the sacrifice of Himself. Since Pentecost, He has been offering the antitypical goat – the Church class. As soon as this work has been finished, the blood will be taken into the Most Holy, to sprinkle the Mercy-Seat and to “make atonement for all the people,” as in the type.


The Abrahamic Covenant, as it was given to Abraham, is a complete covenant; its provisions include all mankind, for it reads, “In thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” (Gen. 28:14; Gen. 12:3) Its promise is to THE SEED: (1) Jesus; (2) The Christ, Head and Body (the Church); (3) the earthly seed through them. Its provisions extend to all who have the faith of Abraham. The promise of God was that a blessing shall come to all the families of the earth. This promise was confirmed by an oath on the part of God, so that by two immutable things – the oath and the promise of God – the heirs of the promise may be sure of its fulfilment. (Heb. 6:13-18)

The Seed of Abraham, which is to bless all the families of the earth, was intended to be a Spiritual Seed. The only way by which natural men could become the Spiritual Seed was by the sacrifice of the earthly nature and the attaining to the spirit nature. The opportunity for making this sacrifice was first given to our Lord Jesus. By carrying out His covenant of sacrifice, He became the Head of the Seed which is to bring the blessing. (Psa. 50:5; Psa. 40:7-10) The selection of this Spiritual Seed has been the work of the Gospel Age. With the Seed all gathered, the work of blessing the natural seed will begin, and through them the blessing will subsequently spread to all nations, to as many as are willing to accept the Divine favor.

The Church will always be in covenant relationship with the Father. The fact that He calls them sons implies that they are bound to Him. (John 1:12) Every father is in covenant relationship with his children, and they with him. Every child has a responsibility to the father, and the father to the child. The fact that God has received the Lord Jesus and the Church as sons (Heb. 3:6) signifies that they are in covenant relationship with Him. St. Paul says, “We are the children of God: And if children, then heirs.” (Rom. 8:16-17) His statement not only implies that relationship, but proves it; for the sons have a right to the things which the father has provided for his children.

All who hunger and thirst after righteousness (Matt. 5:6), all whose souls long for God “as the hart panteth after the water brooks” (Psa. 42:1), all who having found Him have consecrated them­selves to Him – these have received the anointing of the Holy Spirit, witnessing with their spirit that they are sons of God. (Rom. 8:14-16) As anointed sons these can discover in themselves the worthy traits of true sons – loyalty, zeal, energy, discretion, faithfulness, obedience.

There are, however, conditions attached to this covenant of sacrifice; there are certain requirements which must be fulfilled. All must become partakers of the sufferings of Christ, if they would participate with Him in the glories to follow.


In Jer. 31:31-33, we read, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah . . . After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.” We understand the expression “those days,” to refer to Israel’s “seven times” of punishment promised by the Lord for the violation of their Law Covenant. (Lev. 26:18) This New Covenant is to be made with Israel alone; for God never purposed to make a covenant with the Gentiles. The New Covenant will properly be so called because it will take the place of the old Law Covenant, which God made with Israel and which was broken by them. After Israel has been fully established under their New Covenant, all other nations (all peoples) will be privileged to come into this relationship. (Isa. 2:2-3)

Since the people are not worthy to enter directly into relationship with God, the New Covenant must have a Mediator. A covenant does not go into operation until after it has been fully mediated. The Mediator of the New Covenant is the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Church, His Body. The Scriptures indicate that the Mediator is complete or nearly complete.

When Moses mediated the Law Covenant, he first offered sacrifices, then took the blood of the animals, dividing it into two parts, and sprinkled both the Book of the Law and the people. Through­out the Gospel Age, our Lord has been offering the great antitypical sacrifices of Himself and His Church. As soon as He will have finished making application of the blood, He will have made satisfaction for the sins of the world. This act will correspond to the sprinkling of the Book by Moses. Divine Justice having accepted this arrangement, the Mediator will antitypically sprinkle the people; that is, He will show them how to come back into full accord with God. (Exod. 24:4-8; Heb. 9:19-24)

The New Covenant will begin to swallow up the old Law Covenant as soon as the Kingdom is established. Gradually the light will come to all who love righteousness and hate iniquity. Sprinkled from all sympathy with evil, they will make their declaration of full loyalty to God. In due time this light will spread to all kindreds and tongues and peoples. (Isa. 60:3)


Speaking of the New Covenant, the Prophet Jeremiah says, “They shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” (Jer. 31:34) The sins and iniquities of Israel will no longer be remem­bered against them. Christ will have appeared on their behalf and made satisfaction for their sins. They will then be as free from original sin as the Gospel Church are; the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ is sufficient for all. (1 John 2:2)

The Prophet Ezekiel tells us that during the next age the hearts of mankind will be changed: “Thus saith the Lord God  . . . A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.” (Ezek. 36:22-27) This change of heart is entirely aside from the making of the New Covenant. It will take a thousand years to remove the stoniness out of the hearts of mankind and to make them stand without a Mediator. Those who receive everlasting life must attain this condition; for all of God’s creatures who would live forever must keep His Law perfectly.

Because of their imperfection, God will not recognize the people during the Millennium. All of their dealings will be through the Mediator. The very moment when the merit of Christ is applied for the world is the same moment when they will be turned over to the Mediator. They will then be in covenant relation­ship with God, but only through the Mediator. Only when they have reached human perfection can they enter into this relationship directly with the Father. When they are brought up to perfection at the end of the thousand years, they will be delivered up to the Father. (1 Cor. 15:24) God will then receive them as sons, heirs of the earthly blessings which He has provided for mankind – the things given to Adam.

The New Covenant will be everlasting; and as it is proper to say that Moses mediated the Law Covenant, so we may say that Christ will mediate the New Covenant. But it would not be proper to say that Moses is now the Mediator of the Law Covenant; for a covenant does not need a mediator after it has been mediated. So the New Covenant will need no Mediator after the thousand years. But the title “Mediator” may belong to Christ to all eternity, just as one who has been a judge may always retain the title of “Judge.”

At the end of the thousand years, when the Messiah will have accomplished His work of Restitution, He will cease to act as Mediator. But the Covenant will continue to stand; for if that relationship with God were to be removed from the people, they would have no blessing of everlasting life. That blessing depends upon covenant relationship with God. Under the favorable con­ditions of the New Covenant, whosoever will may have an opportunity to become the children of The Christ, the Seed of Abraham.

At the conclusion of the thousand years, the willing and the obedient receive the commendation, “Well done,” and will be accepted as fit for the condition of everlasting life on the human plane. Those who prove to be unworthy of life will be destroyed in the Second Death. (Acts 3:23)

(Drawn from Reprint 5162, edited and condensed to fit the space.)



“Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” (John 7:16-17)

We are living in a day when the very word doctrine seems to offend the majority of Christian people. Each denomination realizes that its own system of doctrines is imperfect, unsatisfactory and indefensible, while believing the same to be true of all other doctrines. So by mutual consent, Christian people seem disposed to hence­forth and forever ignore doctrines, believing that if after twenty centuries they are thus confused, the matter never was clear and never will be.

This is a great mistake; the doctrines of Christ, as presented by the Great Teacher and His Apostles, comprised a great message, of which none of them were ashamed. The difficulty is that we gradually fell away from those doctrines, putting darkness for light and light for darkness, and thus gradually got into the spirit of Babylon, and into the spirit of bondage to human traditions and creeds. Instead of shunning doctrines, we should realize that they are the very things needed to scatter darkness and superstition and draw all God’s people together.

The doctrines of Christ and the Apostles are what we need to inspire us to break down all the creed fences that have so long separated us in various denominational folds, all of which are contrary to the Divine arrangement; for God has but the one fold for all His “sheep” of this age, as He will have another fold for the Restitution “sheep” of the next age – the Messianic Kingdom Age.

If as God’s people we put away sectarianism and the creed spectacles of our forefathers, if we go with pure, sincere hearts to the Lord and His Word, there is no doubt we will there find again the “One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all,” and one “church of the firstborn,” whose names are “written in heaven.” (Eph. 4:5-6; Heb. 12:23)

The time seems long to all of us, even though we remember that “one day is with the Lord as a thousand years.” (2 Pet. 3:8) It is enough to stagger our faith unless we hold firmly to the Divine promise and remember that God confirmed it with an Oath. By these two immutable, unchangeable things, the Divine Word and the Divine Oath, we know that the Seed of Abraham is to be developed, and that eventually it is to bless all the families of the earth. It is the Divine will that we allow our faith in this great promise of God to be “an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil.” (Heb. 6:17-19)


What we all need as God’s people is to put away human theories and other gospels and take hold afresh on the Gospel of Christ. These other gospels (for example Theosophy, Evolution, New Theology, etc.) are other messages of hope, aside from the one which the Bible presents. These all hold out a different gospel from that which Jesus and the Apostles presented; the one that was given to us for our sanctification, and through the holding fast of which, and the obedience to The Faith, we are to be saved and given a share with Messiah in His glorious Empire of the world.

The doctrines of Christ are the doctrines presented in the Bible by Jesus and His mouth­pieces, the Apostles. These doctrines relate to the Church and to the world, and God’s blessing for each; they relate to sin and its forgiveness; the terms of that forgiveness, the basis of that forgiveness – the death of Jesus – and the hope of that forgive­ness, release from Divine condemnation, fellowship with God, and ever­lasting life obtained through resurrection of the dead.

Some will inquire why it is so difficult to understand the doctrines of Christ. Why are there hundreds of different denominations of Christians? The simple explanation is that when, shortly after the death of the Apostles, the Church began to have a measure of prosperity, the Adversary came in and sowed the seeds of false doctrines, using human lips and human pens in his service, through pride and ambition. The darkness became so great that today we speak of the period as the “Dark Ages.”

The various denominations of Christendom are evidence of honesty, perseverance and love of the Truth, because our forefathers, who made these creeds, were each trying to get more and more out of the dark and back to the true light. They all made the mistake, however, of holding too much to the creeds and theories of the past. Let us not make the same mistake; let us cut loose entirely from every authority outside the Word of God. We should be glad to have the assistance of whoever can help us understand God’s Word, but we cannot acknow­ledge as inspired or authoritative the teachings of the “fathers” of the early times, however conscientious they may have been. We cannot recognize that any such were authorized successors to the Apostles.

God, who foretold through the Prophets this long period of darkness, and who has blessed and guided His saintly children throughout it, without removing all of their blindness, has promised that with the end of this age will come a great blessing and enlightenment upon His people, when the “wise virgins” will find their lamps burning brightly, and be able to understand and appreciate the deep things of God: “None of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.” (Dan. 12:10) In the end of this age the curtain is to be drawn, and the true light is to shine forth, scattering all the darkness. (1 John 2:8) We are in the dawning of this new age today, and therefore may see much more clearly than our forefathers the Divine character and Plan for human salvation.

The Master gives us the key to a clear knowledge of His doctrines, namely, that the student must be fully consecrated to God and fully desirous of knowing His will and His plan. In order to see God’s light, to see the Truth from the Divine standpoint, we must draw near to God in the spirit of our minds, consecrated in our heart. We must will to do His will.

But what does this mean? God’s will represents actual perfection of thought and word and deed, toward God, toward our fellows in the Body of Christ, and toward all mankind. This is the Divine Standard set up, but we are no more able to fulfil its demands than were the Jews. As St. Paul declares, “Ye cannot do the things that ye would.” (Gal. 5:17) We all have weakness of the flesh, frailty and imperfection as does the world; the best that we can do is to will to do right, and to the best of our ability carry out that covenant with the Lord to do His will. At the very best all will come short of perfection.

But for those who have come into harmony with God through Christ – for those who have made a covenant with Him by sacrifice – for those who have Jesus for their Advocate, a provision has been made whereby the willing, all desiring to do the Divine will, and endeavoring to do so, are counted as righteous – as though they did the Divine will perfectly. It is to these that the promises of our text apply, that they shall know to do the Divine will, shall know whether Jesus merely made up these teachings of Himself, or whether He was the active agent of the Father in what He did and taught.

Shall we not determine to give our hearts, our wills, fully to the Lord – determine in our wills to do God’s will? If so, following the instructions of the Word of God we shall doubtless be blessed and enabled fully to know, to appreciate, to understand, the doctrines of Christ – the deep things of God, which are revealed by the Spirit of God.

(Drawn from Reprint 5136, edited and condensed to fit the space.)

[1] See Studies in the Scriptures, Volume II, Chapter III, where it is shown that this week began October, A.D. 29 and closed October, A.D. 36 – from the beginning of our Lord’s ministry until the conversion of Cornelius, the first Gentile to receive the Holy Spirit.


by Epiphany Bible Students

No. 727

“For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast.” (1 Cor. 5:7-8)

The annual observance of our Lord’s death occurs this year after six p.m., March 29. The date is determined by this method: The moon nearest the Vernal Equinox becomes new in Jerusalem on March 17 at 3:11 p.m., thus establishing 6 p.m. March 16 as the beginning of Nisan 1, Bible reckoning. Counting forward to Nisan 14, we arrive at 6 p.m. March 29. Any time that evening after 6 p.m. would be proper for the celebration.

The date for the observance of the Jewish Passover should be the same as for our observance of the Memorial of Christ our Passover. The reason the dates are not the same is because the Jews often allow the condition of the moon to govern their reckoning of the date, whereas, the Bible is very positive that the date should be Nisan 14, regardless of the condition of the moon on that date. We calculate the date using Jerusalem time because the Bible was written in that district. However, any errors in calculating the date, by Jews or by any others, should not be regarded as a crime or sacrilege on their part. If we should err in calculating the date, through ignorance or misun­derstanding, we believe the Lord would accept our good intentions, and forgive the error and grant His blessing.

There was only one real Passover; the annual observance of the Jewish Passover is simply a memorial for that awesome event in Egypt. The Israelites were commanded to celebrate the Passover as the first feature of the Law and as one of their greatest memorials as a nation: “And ye shall observe this thing for an ordinance to thee and to thy sons for ever.” (Exod. 12:24) This has been done by Jews in all parts of the world, even by renegades and agnostics. Respect for this ancient service is in their very blood, so it is one feature of the Law that has not been violated.

They were told to keep this memorial joyfully, and they concluded that nothing could cheer them better than wine. Conse­quently, four cups of wine were used during the evening, the first before any food was eaten, and the last after the meal had been completed. At the time Jesus ate the last Passover with His disciples, this custom was followed so seriously that poor Jews were provided wine from the public coffer if they could not afford it, because it was not to be just wine, but good wine, the best to be had.

Of course, in the original Passover in Egypt there is no record that wine was used. If any was used at all, we may be sure it was not done to the same degree that subsequent memorials did. That night was a very solemn night; there was no rejoicing, but instead a sober readiness for departure from Egypt the next morning. God had specifically instructed that they eat the lamb, with bitter herbs and unleavened bread, with their loins girded, their shoes on their feet, “and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the Lord’s Passover.” (Exod. 12:11)

All the instructions of a reasonable God must be reasonable; and while many do not now understand the reasonableness of the various features of the Passover, in “due time” they will be taught to all in a clear and under­standable manner. The Jews do now realize that some features of their Law carried great significance. For instance, their Sabbath day foreshadowed a time of rest from the labor of sin and death. They were told that those who kept the Law would live in it. The Jews did not want to die any more than the gentiles, so they speedily answered, “All these things will we do, and live!”

As we keep the Lord’s Supper as the antitype of the Great Passover, it is well that we keep in mind that we commemorate the greatest event of all history, the sacrificial death of the Savior of the world. And, while there is extensive and elaborate observance of Passover and Easter, few people engaging in those observances appreciate their real significance. As St. Paul has written, “The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not.” (2 Cor. 4:4) Even with those who are partially awakened, St. Peter says they are “blind, and cannot see afar off.” (2 Pet. 1:9) They do not fully appreciate things related to this ceremony, which has been observed now in type and antitype for more than three thousand years.


We are told, “Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.” (1 Cor. 5:7) However, instead of using the lamb and unleavened bread, we use the symbols that Jesus Himself instituted the night before He died, the unleavened bread and the wine being substi­tuted for the lamb and bread. Some may object to this course, but there is no record at all that the early Christians ever again used the lamb and bread; it was always the bread and wine!

Blessed are those whose eyes can see that Jesus was indeed “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29), that can see that the cancellation of the world’s sin is to be effected by the payment of man’s penalty, by the application of Jesus’ sacrificial merit in due time for the sins of all mankind. Only faithful believers have as yet received of the merit of Jesus’ death. Greatly favored are those who can see that as the whole world lost Divine favor and came under Divine sentence of death, with its concomitant of sorrow and pain, so it was necessary that a satisfaction of justice should be made before this sentence, or curse, could be removed; and that therefore, as the Apostles declare, “Christ died for our sins”“the just for the unjust.” (1 Cor. 15:3; 1 Pet. 3:18) Thus He opened up a new and living way – a way of life everlasting, not only for us, but for the whole world of mankind in that glorious Kingdom.

The Scriptures call the Church of Christ the “church of the firstborn;” “a kind of firstfruits of his creatures;” and “the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.” (Heb. 12:23; Jas. 1:18; Rev. 14:4) These expressions imply that ultimately there will be others of God’s family who are later born; they imply after-fruits. Christian people in general seem to have overlooked these Scriptures, and have generally come to believe that only those who are designated in the Bible as the first-fruits will ever be saved – that there will be no after-fruits.

But the Passover type indicates that it was God’s purpose to save all Israelites, and that as a nation they represented all among man­kind who will ultimately come into harmony with God and be granted everlasting life in the Land of Promise. Note that there was more than one passing over: the one in which only the first-born were passed over, and another greater one at the Red Sea, when by Divine power the whole nation of Israel was miraculously delivered and led across the channel of the sea specially prepared for them by the accentuation of winds and tides. These passed over dry-shod and were saved, while the hosts of Pharaoh, representing all who will eventually go into annihilation, were overwhelmed in the Sea.

The passing over at the Red Sea pictures the ultimate deliverance from the power of sin and death of every member of Adam’s race who desires to come into accord with the Lord and to render Him worship, all who will ever become a part of Israel, for not one Israelite was left behind in Egyptian bondage. Note that not one first-born Jew in Egypt died that night, and not one first-born Egyptian escaped death. The same was true in the Red Sea: not one Jew died; and not one Egyptian remained alive. Little wonder that Moses and Miriam sang their songs of victory after that phenomenal performance! (Exod. 15:1-21) And in the Kingdom only Israelites will live, as all who refuse the Kingdom blessings will die.

But the secondary passing over is not the one we are about to celebrate. We celebrate the antitype of the passing over of the first-born of Israel by the angel of death that night in Egypt. Only the first-born ones of Israel were in danger that night, though the deliverance of the entire nation depended upon the salvation, the passing over, of those first-born. And of the first-born there is no record that anyone of them died that night; they were safe so long as they remained “under the blood.”

Thus the firstborn of the human family, the true Church, were to be “passed over” during this night of the Gospel Age. Only these would be in danger of the destroying angel, but they would be safe so long as they remained under the blood of Jesus; they were all under the sprinkled blood.

In harmony with all the Scriptures, we see that the first-fruits alone were to be spared, passed over, during the present age. But the remainder of mankind who may desire to follow the great antitypical Moses in the age to follow this one will be led forth from the bondage of sin and death, typified by the bondage of the Jews while they were in Egypt. As the Jews were told to remain under the blood that night, or they too would suffer death, so the first-born of this age are also told to remain under the blood of Jesus, or they will suffer death. Some of them have gone out from under the blood, and have suffered extinction as, for instance, Judas. “Good were it for that man if he had never been born.” (Mark 14:21) Divine mercy no longer applies to them.

In “due time” the night of sin and death will merge into the Millennial morning. Then the Christ, the antitypical Moses, will lead forth, will deliver, all the people of God – all who, when they shall come to know, will be glad to reverence, honor and obey the will of God. That “day” of deliverance will be the entire Millennial Age, at the close of which all evil and evil-doers, symbolized by the hosts of Egypt, will be utterly cut off in the Second Death – annihilation. “They shall be as though they had not been.” (Obad. 1:16) They will be cut off in the antitypical Red Sea.

Having clearly and positively identified the Passover Lamb with our Lord Jesus, the Apostle Paul informs us that we all need the blood of sprinkling, not upon our houses, but upon our hearts. (Heb. 10:22) We are to partake of the Lamb; we must also eat of the unleavened Bread of Truth, if we would be strong and prepared for the deliverance in the morning of the new dispensation. Thus we “put on Christ” – not merely by faith, but more and more we put on His character and are transformed into His glorious image in our hearts and lives. (Gal. 3:27)

We feed on Christ as the Jews fed on the literal lamb. Instead of bitter herbs, which aided and whetted their appetites, we have bitter experiences and trials which the Lord prepares for us, and which help to wean our affections from earthly things and give us increased appetites to feed upon the Lamb and the unleavened Bread of Truth. We, too, are to remember that “here have we no continuing city” (Heb. 13:14); but as pilgrims, strangers, staff in hand, we are to gird ourselves for our journey to the Kingdom.

Our Lord Jesus also fully identified Himself with the Passover Lamb. On the same night of His betrayal, just preceding His crucifixion, He gathered His Apostles in the upper room, saying, “I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer.” (Luke 22:15) As Jews it was necessary that they celebrate the Passover Supper on that night, the night of the anniversary of the slaying of the Passover lamb of Egypt. It was the anniversary of the saving of the typical first-borns from the typical “prince of this world,” Pharaoh. On this same date the real Passover Lamb was to be slain. But as soon as the requirements of the type had been fulfilled by the eating of the Passover Supper, our Lord Jesus instituted a new Memorial upon the old foundation, saying “This do in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22:19)


Jesus had previously delivered a deep lesson to the Jews: “Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. The Jews therefore strove amongst themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” (John 6:49-52)

Jesus then added: “I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.” (John 6:53-55)

These words of Jesus aroused dismay: “These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum. Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?” (John 6:59-60) To realize the full impact of Jesus’ words, we must keep in mind that the diet of the religious Jews at that time was much more rigid than it is today; they then adhered scrupulously to the ritual given them through Moses. This is forcefully revealed in Acts 10:9-16, which relates how Peter, in a trance, saw a great sheet lowered to the earth from Heaven. On the sheet were all manner of beasts, and he was commanded to rise, kill and eat. His answer was quick and positive: “I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.” (Acts 10:14) The majority of Jesus’ listeners that day would have felt exactly the same way.

Thus their sensibilities were shocked when “this man” said they must eat Him if they would gain life. The very thought of it would nauseate and repel them. His comments offer no problem to us since we know that He clarified this matter on the night in which He was betrayed by offering the loaf and the cup as representing His flesh and His blood. However, it is little wonder that the disciples complained that it was a hard saying, and little wonder that “From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.” (John 6:66)

Yet Jesus, knowing that His disciples were murmuring, made no effort to explain; He made no effort at all to soothe their abhorrence at His suggested cannibalism. But this also is explained: “Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not” (John 6:64); they were probably some of those who would believe only if they saw one of the Prophets return from the dead. They were not of the leadable and teachable that Jesus was seeking to be “heirs of the Kingdom,” so it was just as well that they should leave.

As these walked away, Jesus said to those remaining, “Will ye also go away?” Although Peter, being thoroughly schooled in the Law, was undoubtedly puzzled by what Jesus had told them, he was quick to respond, “Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.” (John 6:67-69)

The lesson was too deep for those who walked away, but it is the fundamental teaching of the Gospel of Christ. Whoever cannot receive this lesson (hear this “hard saying”) cannot receive the other lessons which are built upon it. Jesus had not yet given His flesh, though He was in the process of giving it; He was drawing out its vitality, its strength, and would complete the work of His sacrifice by surrendering His all to death – even the death of the cross.


We do not eat the flesh of Jesus literally – we eat it by faith; that is to say, by faith we appropriate to ourselves the merit, the efficacy which was in His flesh and which He surrendered to death on our behalf. But why was this, and what did He surrender, and how do we partake of it? We answer that Adam as the head of the race had forfeited his life through disobedience and hence, instead of being able to propagate a race of perfect beings in harmony with God and privileged to have eternal life, his offspring was like himself, dying, unworthy of eternal life.

In God’s arrangement a redemptive sacrifice was necessary – someone must take Adam’s place, suffer death for him in order to release him and to justify his race from the original sentence. No human being could be found who was perfect and who could give to Justice a ransom – for all were sinners, coming short of the glory, the perfection, which God recognizes as essential to eternal life: “None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him.” (Psa. 49:7) It was to meet these requirements that God made the arrangement with His Son by which the latter freely, gladly, for the joy set before Him, died, the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God. (Heb. 12:2; 1 Pet. 3:18)

So it was our Lord’s flesh or human nature that was given for Adam and his race, and hence given for the life of the world, that the world of mankind might be recovered from under the sentence of death. Thus Jesus, by the grace of God, tasted death for every man and we are all redeemed, not with corruptible things such as silver and gold, but with the precious blood (life) of Christ, as a lamb without spot or blemish. (Heb. 2:9; 1 Pet. 1:18-19)

Now that we see how it was necessary for Christ to be made flesh and how it was necessary for Him to give His flesh (His perfect human life) for the life of the world by going into death, how do we eat His flesh? The answer, as put in that figurative form, is beautifully simple and meaningful when we understand it. The eating of the Lord’s flesh must be an individual matter on the part of all those who would benefit by His sacrifice. To eat means to appro­priate by faith. Thus, when one comes to understand the fact of the redemption and believes in it, and goes to God in prayer and by faith accepts the forgiveness of his sins and reconciliation with God, he in so doing is eating the flesh of the Son of man; he is partaking of those benefits or advantages which our Lord’s flesh or sacrifice secured.

The result of such eating by faith signifies the appropriation to one’s self of all the blessings and privileges which our Lord possessed as a perfect man; it implies our justification on the human plane, our relationship to God as those whose sins are graciously overlooked or covered and who have joy and peace and fellowship with God through faith in the precious blood. We are to continue to eat that we may grow stronger and stronger – that we may be able to appropriate more and more the wonderful blessings and privileges, relationships and Divine favors which belonged to our Lord, but which He surrendered on our behalf and on behalf of all the members of Adam’s race.


Those who are rightly influenced by the eating – those who are drawn nearer to the Lord and led to a full consecration of their all to Him – these additionally have received a special invitation during this Gospel Age to drink of His blood. The blood is the life in Scriptural language, and hence ordinarily the Jews were not to drink blood; to do so would make them guilty or responsible for the death of the person or creature. Thus the Jews said of our Lord, “His blood be on us.” (Matt. 27:25) That is, we assume the responsibility of His death.

Thus the Apostle also explains that unless those who partake of the blood of Christ symbolically in the communion cup do so with the proper appreciation of its meaning, they are symbolically representing themselves as being guilty of the blood, the death, of Christ. (1 Cor. 11:27) Our Lord stated the meaning of the cup at the last Supper, saying to His disciples, “This cup is the new testament in my blood.” (1 Cor. 11:25) That is to say, the cup of the fruit of the vine represents His blood, His death; by it the New Covenant will eventually be sealed. He invited believers to partake of it with Him, not as those who caused His death, but as those who voluntarily join with Him in this self-sacrifice.

Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit given through the words of the Apostle, we may see a depth of meaning in our Lord’s words which the people whom He addressed did not comprehend. Indeed, we believe that while our Lord addressed these words to the Jews, He intended them more particularly for us to whom they have been communicated and by whom they have been more fully understood.

We rejoice, then, in the justification which we have through partaking of His flesh – through being justified by the sacrifice of His humanity – our appropriation of our share of human justification. We rejoice also that eventually the whole world will have the opportunity to eat of that flesh – to accept the grace of God in the cancellation of their human sins and weaknesses. They will then realize that all the blessings of the Millennium, the Restitution Times, will come to them because Christ died for their sins, because He gave them His flesh to eat.

The whole world is to then eat of that Bread. As the Apostle intimates, the Church has been privileged to be a part with the Lord in the broken Loaf, as well as to be participants in the cup of ignominy and self-sacrifice which the Father poured for Him, to suffer with Him that they may also reign with Him. (2 Tim. 2:12)


The Jews were commanded to keep the Passover each year on the 14th day of Nisan as “a memorial . . . throughout your generations.” (Exod. 12:14) Christians have also been instructed to keep the Memorial “in remembrance” of Christ our Passover each year “till he come.” (1 Cor. 11:25-26) From this statement by St. Paul some have raised the question: Should we continue to keep the Memorial if our Lord has returned? However, when we consider that both the Little Flock and the Great Company are a part of the Church of the Firstborn, and that partaking of the bread and the wine symbolizes their participation in the merit of the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world, then it should require no argument about them continuing to “show the Lord’s death till he come” – until the last one has come to their journey’s end.

But we believe the command would apply also to those faithful ones here in the end of the age who are not a part of the spirit-begotten Church of the Firstborn, because the merit of our Lamb has been tentatively imputed to all such – to the extent that the New Covenant cannot begin to operate toward the world until that embargo against Christ’s merit has been removed.

While the primary participants in the Lord’s Supper were to be the Little Flock, it is also appropriate for the Youthful Worthies to partake. This is what Brother Johnson wrote on this subject:

“They are not privileged in the Lord’s Supper to symbolize death with Christ; for they are not dying as a part of The Christ. But they may partake of the Lord’s Supper to symbolize His death as the Lamb of God, and to symbolize their faith, tentatively appropriating justification through His death. We have two reasons for believing that it is appropriate for the Youthful Worthies to partake of the Lord’s Supper . . . : (1) Not only the firstborns, but all Israelites by Divine command and approval (Exod. 12:25-27; Josh. 5:10; 2 Chron. 35:1-19) partook of the annual Passover, the type of the Lord’s Supper. This types that all ultimate believers – the Youthful Worthies, as well as all new creatures – may celebrate the Lord’s Supper. (2) The Apostles partook of the first Lord’s Supper while consecrated but in a tentatively justified condition. At that time their condition was very much the same as that of the Youthful Worthies, though they had a prospect of membership in the Body of Christ denied the Youthful Worthies.” (By Brother Paul Johnson, E-4, page 409)

And, as we partake of our Lamb “in newness of life,” so we also partake of His sufferings, each according to the class in which he finds himself. If we are rightly exercised by such experiences, we then receive “the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment (their good character qualities – Exod. 12:35) – which they in turn lose by reason of their unjust acts against God’s faithful people.

Dear Brethren, if we will consider our trying experiences with Satan’s deluded servants as opportunities of obtaining Divine Truth and grace, receiving them in the Lord’s spirit, we will thus receive the symbolic articles of gold, silver and raiment. Let us view these experiences from this standpoint and act accordingly amid them; and we will emerge from them greatly enriched spiritually. This consideration will keep us from murmuring and complaining amid such experiences and will enable us to take them joyfully. (1 Pet. 4:12‑14)

As the Israelites fled from the Egyptians after being told to be gone the morning after the tenth plague, the morning after the Passover had been eaten, the cloudy fiery pillar set a barrier between them and the pursuing Egyptians, casting a light ahead of it to lighten the path of Israel, but working a thick darkness to the Egyptians.

So during this Harvest period and especially so during this Epiphany night, the Truth (the fiery pillar) has been the means of separating the faithful from the measurably faithful and from the unfaithful. That which effects deliverance for the faithful, keeping them standing and growing in “grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 3:18), is the very thing that entraps the unfaithful and brings them to a fall. This is much the same picture as given in Exod. 4:9, where Moses was told to “take of the water of the river, and pour it upon the dry land: and the water which thou takest out of the river shall become blood upon the dry land.” The refreshing water of Harvest Truth would appear to be bloody repulsive error to those for whom it was not intended. “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him.” (1 Cor. 2:14)

As has been our custom, we shall keep the feast in quietness and confidence, decently, orderly, quietly, without much form or cere­mony, even as did Jesus and His disciples that last night. It is our prayer that this year’s remem­brance may be profitable to all who partake in sincerity and in Truth.


(This paper was derived from writings of Brothers Russell, Johnson, and Hoefle.)

P.O. Box 2246, Kernersville, NC 27285-2246;


by Epiphany Bible Students

No. 726


Our January 2018 paper presented the first part of Brother Johnson’s description of the Kingdom of God from Epiphany Studies in the Scriptures, Volume 17. There he differentiated between the embryo Kingdom and the reigning Kingdom, and described the Kingdom’s creation and its rulers. We now continue his discussion.



From the fact that Jesus and His Faithful will be the invisible Kings in the Millennium, supported by the Great Company on a spirit plane of being as a subordinate and invisible nobility, and from the fact that the Ancient and Youthful Worthies will be visible representatives of the invisible Kingdom, we may speak of the Kingdom of God as having two phases – an invisible, heavenly phase, and a visible, earthly phase. These two phases of the Kingdom are frequently referred to in the Scriptures as separate and distinct, as the following passages will show. Sometimes the two phases are represented in Zion and Jerusalem respectively, as in:

Isa. 2:3: “And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain [Kingdom] of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion [Christ, Head and Body] shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem [the Ancient and Youthful Worthies].

Isa. 62:1-2: “For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth. And the Gentiles shall see thy right­eousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name.” Jehovah is here the speaker. By Zion He means Christ and the Church, in a sense also including the Great Company as their associates in the invisible phase of the Kingdom. For their sake God will not hold His peace, i.e., will not remain inactive, and for Jerusalem’s sake (the visible phase of the Kingdom, the Ancient and the Youthful Worthies) He will not rest, not cease from doing that which He has determined to do, until the righteousness that Christ and the Church work among the children of men is so bright and clear, that none will go astray. The “lamp that burneth” is the Word of God. (Psa. 119:105) The things that were written in that Word, particularly the writings of the Prophets of the Old Testament, including Moses, with the writings of the star-members to assist in their interpretation, will at that time be like a lamp burning.

Joel 2:32: “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: for in mount Zion [the spiritual phase of the Kingdom] and in Jerusalem [the earthly phase of the Kingdom] shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said [prophesied in the Old Testament], and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call.The remnant is primarily Christ and the Church and secondarily their earthly representatives – the Ancient and Youthful Worthies. By these God will work deliverance to all that obey.

Thus we see that in all of these three passages the two phases of the Kingdom are indicated by Zion and Jerusalem respectively. We will find that other texts indicate these two phases in other ways.

Psa. 107:32: “Let them exalt him [God] also in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders.” By the congregation of the people, the Little Flock is primarily meant, and secondly, their co-operating Great Company brethren. By the assembly of the elders, the Ancient and the Youthful Worthies are meant; these will be the earthly phase of the Kingdom of God. These two phases will carry out God’s plan and will cause praise, honor, glory, majesty, love, and obedience to be rendered to all eternity unto the God of perfect wisdom, justice, love and power.

Isa. 32:1: “Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment.” The king here is the Christ, Jesus and the Church, His Body. These, as the heavenly phase of the Kingdom, will reign in righteousness. The princes, the Ancient and Youthful Worthies, shall rule in judgment, i.e., in harmony with the doctrinal teachings that the great King shall issue forth.

Gen. 22:16-18: “By myself have I sworn … That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven [the invisible phase of the Kingdom], and as the sand which is upon the sea shore [the earthly phase of the Kingdom]; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies [Jesus and the Church, will conquer: Satan, the world, and the flesh]; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.” Here we have God’s Oath­bound Covenant presented to us. All of the families of the earth shall be blessed in due time by Christ and the Church; they will be blessed to the extent that they yield obedience to the Kingdom. Some will yield faithful, loyal obedi­ence; others will not so do, but at least all will get some blessing: the blessing of being awakened from Adamic death, the blessing of enlightenment, the blessing of opportunity of gaining everlasting life, the blessing of being put under conditions conducive to righteousness and then, with these blessed conditions surrounding them, the opportunity of demonstrating whether they will be loyal to God. Thus this passage describes, not only the two phases of the Kingdom, but also the work of blessing all the families of the earth, which is done during the Millennium.


We now turn to some particular proofs that the Ancient and Youthful Worthies, the secondary phase of the Kingdom, will not be heavenly and invisible, but earthly and visible:

John 3:13: “And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man.” Jesus indicated to Nicodemus that no human being had ascended or could ascend into heaven, because that condition is only for spirit beings; human beings would have to be begotten and born of the Spirit before they could enter the heavenly, invisible phase of the Kingdom. (John 3:5) The only ones so begotten, and therefore the only ones who could be born of the Spirit and enter into this phase of the Kingdom as their eternal abiding place, would be the Christ – first the Head, and secondly His Body, His Bride, with their associates, the Great Company. This text indicates clearly that none of the Ancient Worthies had ascended into heaven; nor could they, for they had not been begotten of the Spirit, Jesus being the first one to receive the Spirit in this sense. Hence they, together with the Youthful Worthies, will be the earthly, visible phase of the Kingdom.

Acts 2:34: “For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand.” Obviously David had not gone to heaven, for Peter reasoned that his tomb is with us unto this day, and that tomb still remains! (Acts 2:29) He was not begotten of the Spirit and therefore he will come forth on earth, even as will the rest of the Ancient Worthies. David has not ascended into heaven; he is not of the heavenly phase of the Kingdom, but of its earthly, visible phase.

Heb. 2:3: “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him.” This verse also shows that the opportunity to be of the heavenly, invisible Kingdom was closed until Jesus’ First Advent, and therefore that none of the Ancient Worthies could be of it. The “so great” salvation is the high calling. This great salvation was first begun to be spoken by Jesus at His First Advent. Thus this text also proves that none of the Ancient Worthies could attain to this phase of the Kingdom; it indicates rather that the Worthies will be of the earthly, visible phase of the Kingdom.

Joel 2:28: “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. God will pour out His Spirit for all flesh “afterward,” meaning after the things stated in the previous verses, including the terrible devastation wrought by the great Antichrist and the little Antichrist (sectarian Protestantism), after the Gospel Age, to which the call to the heavenly, invisible Kingdom is limited. This is the promise of restitution that God will give for the children of men. The sons (the Christ’s sons) are Fleshly Israel and the daughters are the Gentiles, including those Jews who fell away from the Mosaic Covenant. The sons and daughters will “prophesy,” that is, they will teach others the truths of God’s Kingdom. Your old men are the Ancient Worthies who will see the deeper things (“dream dreams”) of the revelation of God. Your young men are the Youthful Worthies who will see the simpler things (“see visions”) of God’s Word. Since both the Ancient and the Youthful Worthies thus will share in the outpouring of the Spirit for all flesh after the Gospel Age, we see clearly that they will not then be of the invisible, heavenly Kingdom, but of its earthly, visible phase.

We now take up some additional passages, which show even more directly that the Worthies, as the Kingdom’s secondary phase, will be earthly and visible:

Gen. 13:14-15: “And the Lord said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.” The Lord here was pointing out to Abraham the land of Palestine, and He promised that He would give it to him as an inheritance. Abraham died without receiving that promise, but he will get it in due time, and that time will be the Millennial Age, for Abraham will be one of the Ancient Worthies, therefore sitting in the earthly phase of the Kingdom, and he will at that time get that land that God promised him. Associated with the Ancient Worthies will be the Youthful Worthies, who then will be given a share in that land, because they, with the Ancient Worthies, will be the visible phase of the Kingdom.

Acts 7:5: “And he gave him none inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on: yet he promised that he would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no child.” St. Stephen here is pointing out the fact that during Abraham’s life this promise was not fulfilled; but he assures us that it will be fulfilled in due time, for God promised it to Abraham and God is no liar, no perjurer.

Psa. 45:16: “Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children, whom thou mayest make princes in all the earth.” Our Lord Jesus is here being addressed by God, who says that instead of certain ones who were His ancestors remaining such, they would become His children. These are the Ancient Worthies: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses and all of the Prophets, and other pre-Gospel-Age faithful ones. These, instead of remaining the fathers of Jesus, will become the children of Jesus, for He will raise them from the dead; and they will also become the children of the Church, for, under Christ as their Head, the Church will assist in giving life to the Ancient Worthies and will make them princes in all the earth. They will set them up as the earthly phase of the Kingdom, the whole earth in due time being subdued unto them. Associated with them as princes will be the Youthful Worthies. They will rule in righteousness, with the Word of God, which they will teach to mankind.

Matt. 11:11: “Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” Here we find another proof, this time indicating both phases of the Kingdom. John the Baptist, the last of the Ancient Worthies, was the one who was given the glorious office of being the herald of the Messiah, the introducer of the Messiah to Israel, the one who could say that he was a friend of the Bridegroom, who had won for the Bridegroom members of His Bride, of His Body. And though set forth here as one of the very greatest of the Ancient Worthies, he is nevertheless expressly called less than – inferior to – the least one in the heavenly Kingdom Class.

Luke 13:28-30: “There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God. And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last.” Jesus’ famous statement is an additional proof, in which also the two phases of the Kingdom are mentioned. Jesus here was speaking to the Pharisees, who were constantly persecuting Him, talking against Him, and seeking to set Him aside; He tells them that they will be in great chagrin and disappointment when they see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and all the Prophets – the Old Testament Prophets – and other Ancient Worthies in the Kingdom of God and themselves thrust out.

Notice that Jesus here states that the Ancient Worthies will be seen, will be visible, but avoids saying that the Little Flock will be seen, will be visible, in the Kingdom. The Kingdom class proper, together with the Great Company, will be spirits, and as such will be invisible; while the Ancient and Youthful Worthies will be human beings, and as such will be visible. Thus there will be a well-organized and fully equipped Kingdom to take control of human affairs as God’s Kingdom among men. The Little Flock, though called last, will be first in Kingdom power, office, honor and work, while the Ancient Worthies, who were the first to be called, will be the last, having a lesser power, office, work, honor and nature than the heavenly, invisible phase of the Kingdom.

Finally, we consider Heb. 11:39-40: “And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.” St. Paul is here referring to the heroes of faith that he mentions earlier in this chapter, beginning with Abel and ending with John the Baptist. They all received a good report through faith, i.e., their faith was faithfulness to the Spirit, Word and providences of God. Though they thus obtained a good report, they did not receive the promise of immortality in the invisible, heavenly phase of the Kingdom of God. Their perfection will come in the Millennium, as they prove faithful to the New Covenant promises, the New Covenant demands and laws. They will then be made perfect in the earthly, visible phase of the Kingdom.


The purposes of this Kingdom, organized as above described, will be to destroy from among men every evil thing and influence, and to introduce among them every good thing and influence, in order to restore the race to perfection. As our Lord Jesus was manifested to destroy the works of the devil as well as the devil himself (1 John 3:8; Heb. 2:14), this destruction of his works will be carried out during the Age set aside for that purpose; and the destruction of the devil will be carried out just after the end of that Age. Their destruction manifestly has not yet been realized; for evil is yet in the ascendancy, and is doubtless on the increase. But during Christ’s Millennial reign He will destroy the works of the devil.

Rev. 20:1-3 shows this: “And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.”

This mighty angel that the Revelator saw was no less than our Lord Jesus Christ. He came in His Second Advent and had the key of the bottomless pit, the power to open it and the power to close it. The key is that which enables one to exercise the power of opening and closing. The bottomless pit is the condition of error. It is indeed bottomless, because it has no foundation. Our Lord Jesus Christ is going to spirit the devil and all the impenitent fallen angels so far away from the earth that they will be unable to see what is going on here; and, being in error, they will imagine all kinds of erroneous things. They shall remain there, and a seal will be set upon them so that they cannot be loosed, so as to deceive the nations, until the thousand years shall be fulfilled – until the whole Millennial Age will be passed; and at its end, in its Little Season, Satan will be allowed to test all of those who, during the thousand years, will have had the opportunity of gaining everlasting life.

Some of these he will easily deceive, and these will be among those who will die, as accursed sinners, as we read in Isa. 65:20; those acting hypocritically, pretending to be in harmony with the rule of the New Covenant, pretending to obey it, will in heart be disobeying it, for they will not allow its laws of love, of justice, of power and of wisdom to be written in their hearts; hence they will be deceived by Satan at the end of the thousand years in the great sifting that will come at that time – they will stand stark naked as hypocrites, as liars, as deceivers, who use all of the Millennial oppor­tunities selfishly and not for the good of others. These then will be destroyed in the Second Death with the devil and the impenitent fallen angels. (Rev. 20:7-10)

Thus Jesus will have destroyed the devil and all his works. Accordingly, we look for the Millennial Age to witness the destruction of the sentence of death, as well as all the effects of that sentence: sin, error, superstition, sorrow, pain, sighing, crying, sickness, famine, pestilence, drought, extreme heat and cold, scarcity, war, revo­lution, anarchy, oppression, poverty, ignorance, dying and death.

The Millennial Age will witness the effects of the reversal of the death sentence: righteousness, truth, piety, joy, pleasure, ease, smiles, laughter, abundance, health, Edenic climate, prosperity, national and international peace, order, liberty, riches, education, awakening from the dead, convalescence and restoration to perfect life. The Plan of God, the character, training and powers of the Kingdom classes, and the social order, the rewards and punishments of that Age, will combine to realize these desirable purposes.

We may be sure that God’s promises and oaths and Christ’s Ransom-Sacrifice and exaltation will bring about these blessed results, will bear fruitage in the success of God’s Plan. (Gen. 22:16-18; Num. 14:21; Isa. 45:22-23; Isa. 53:11; John 12:32-33; Rom. 5:18-19; 1 Tim. 2:4-6) As the arrangements of Satan’s kingdom have been conducive to the operation of the curse, so the arrangements of God’s Kingdom will be conducive to the operation of the blessing of restitution from the curse. Praise our God for such a hope and prospect!


The entire non-elect portion of the human family, whether living or dead at the time of the establishment of the Kingdom, will become its subjects. (Rev. 15:3-4; Psa. 98:1-4; Psa. 22:27-29; Isa. 25:6-8; 1 Cor. 15:54-57; Rom. 14:9; Phil. 2:9-11) According to the Scriptures, the Kingdom in its earthly phase will first be established among regathered and converted Israel, who will with joy hail their resurrected patriarchs and Prophets, and who will be greatly blessed by the latter’s rule. (Zech. 12:7; Isa. 1:25-27; Isa. 25:9)

A little later the Gentile nations, broken, exhausted and undone by the woes of the Time of Trouble (Matt. 24:21-22; Dan. 12:1), will learn of the blessings that Israel will be enjoying, and will desire these for themselves. (Isa. 2:3-4; Zech. 8:20-22) In response to their humble petitions for help, the Kingdom with its arrangements will be established from one nation unto another, until it will become a universal Empire. (Dan. 2:44; Dan. 7:27) Fleshly Israel, as the secondary earthly seed of Abraham, under the lead of the Ancient and Youthful Worthies, as the primary earthly seed of Abraham, will be privileged to co-operate with the Kingdom in converting the Gentile world. (Gen. 22:17; Gen. 28:14; Isa. 19:24; Ezek. 16:60-61; Psa. 107:22)

After all of the then living subjects of the Kingdom will have advanced considerably on the way of restitution, as well as the earth itself (Isa. 35:1-9; Isa. 29:18-20), the non-elect dead, probably in companies and at various intervals, will be brought back from the tomb to this earth. (Isa. 35:10; Dan. 12:2-3; Isa. 29:24; Isa. 25:8) These will be welcomed and helped to reform, not only by the Kingdom in its two phases, but by those of mankind in general who will be learning righteousness; for these will also be given an opportunity to assist the awakened ones to come back to the image of God. (Matt. 25:35-40) Thus an ever increasing number of the dead will be brought back from the tomb, and, under the assistance of the Kingdom and its arrangements, will be started on the way to restitution.

Some may ask: Will mankind be given perfect bodies when awakened from the tomb?

We would answer that the Ancient and Youthful Worthies, who have stood their trial of faith and obedience in this life, will receive perfect human bodies at the time of their awakening (Heb. 11:35); but those who come forth for resurrection through a judgment process (John 5:29, RSV) will not be awakened with perfect bodies. They will be brought forth from the tomb for the purpose of giving them the opportunity to walk up the Highway of Holiness to physical, mental, moral and religious perfection. (Isa. 35:8-10) To give them perfect bodies at once would interfere with their reformation, since it would withdraw a strong incentive for reformation: the hope of physical healing for well-doing. Moreover, they would not recognize themselves in perfect bodies, and the large numbers who died in infancy would get no advantage from the experience with evil as a deterrent from wrong-doing, if made perfect in their bodies as soon as they are awakened. Hence we look for them to return with imperfect bodies, which, as they gradually reform, will together with their minds and hearts, be gradually perfected.


One of the results of the Kingdom’s reign will be the utter elimination of all the effects of the curse as the unholy fruits of Satan’s rule, authority and power. Among other passages, 1 Cor. 15:20-26 shows this. We quote it from the Improved Version: “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become a first fruit of them that slept. For since by man [Adam] came death, by man [Jesus] also shall come the resurrection of the dead. For as all in Adam die, even so all in Christ shall be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ a firstfruit [the Church here is meant]; afterward they that are Christ’s at [during] his presence. Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.”

Jesus did not die in Adam, for He was not in Adam, and therefore our correction of the translation. [1] The Little Flock is in Christ; they shall be made alive first and primarily. Afterward they that are shown to be our Lord’s faithful followers during His presence, all who come into Christ, shall also be made alive. At the end of the Little Season, when He shall have ruled over all the earth and given every man the opportunity to gain eternal life, which His Ransom-sacrifice, a corresponding price, enables Him to give, He will deliver up the Kingdom to God, who will be the final judge over the earth and will exercise His judgment through Christ, the Head, primarily, and secondarily, the Church, His Body, as His Vicegerent. Every vestige of the governorship and the pretended authority and might of Satan will be put down by the almighty hand of Christ, the Head, and the Church, the Body, using God’s power as that almighty power in their hand. We see that the enemies that He will put under His feet are not only persons, but also things. The Adamic death in the sense of the dying process is the last great enemy. Because of His faithfulness, Jesus became the One who will after the close of the Millennium finally destroy it.

Not all will obtain eternal life. Those who will not even externally reform, but will continue to be rebellious to the Kingdom during the thousand years, will after 100 years of opportunity be cut off in the Second Death. (Isa. 65:20) Those who will reform externally, but without a heart reformation, will live throughout the thousand years and attain human perfection; but by the trial during the “little season” at the Millennium’s close, their unholy heart’s condition will become manifest, and they will perish in the Second Death – everlasting destruction. (Rev. 20:7-9, 15; Mal. 4:3; Psa. 37:10, 35-38; Isa. 1:28; Acts 3:23)

Those who during the Millennium will practice truth and righteousness, from the love of these principles, will be lifted up to human perfection not only in their faculties, but also in their characters (Isa. 66:10-14), and will thus be enabled to remain faithful amid the final trial during the Little Season after the Millennium; and these shall inherit the earth forever, as Paradise restored. (Matt. 25:35-40; Isa. 65:16-25)

Such will be the grand results of the reign of Jesus and the Church in the earth. (Rev. 21:3-5; Rev. 22:1-3) The sad tragedy of sin will forever have ceased to be enacted. The ages to come will witness the realization of the angels’ song of Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth peace, good will to men (Luke 2:14); and from every part of the Universe the glorious Hallelujah chorus shall forever and ever celebrate Jehovah and Christ, for their glorious Persons, holy Characters, wonderful Plan and great Works! (Rev. 5:13) Therefore let every lover of God and man, of truth and righteousness, pray, “Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done in earth, as in Heaven!” Amen and amen!

[1] It is unclear if Bro. Johnson is quoting another translation or giving his own correction to the common translation. However, the correction seems to be proper as Pastor Russell explained in Studies in the Scriptures, Volume VI, page 696: “The declaration of our common version Bible, that ‘As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive,’ is manifestly a mistranslation. Standing in that form it is in conflict with other scriptures, which distinctly limit the number of those who shall be made alive through Christ. The mistranslation favors the doctrine of universal salvation, in that it seems to imply that God’s favor and blessing through Christ will not in any sense of the word take into consideration the characters of those to whom life shall be given. Other scriptures, however, make very clear that not all shall ‘enter into life,’ but only those who ‘do the will of the Father which is in heaven.’ A plain statement on the subject is found in the Lord’s words, ‘He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.’” (1 John 5:12)