Once more we come to the Memorial, the observance of our Lord’s death as the antitypical Passover Lamb – “the lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” (Rev. 13:8) The date this year arrives on April 6, 2001, at 6:00 p.m. We here at Mount Dora, Florida will observe this great event at 7 p.m. All in this vicinity who are of like mind and wish to meet with us will be welcome.
Christ Our Passover – “Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.” (1 Cor. 5: 7) When St. Paul says Christ is “our Passover,” he is telling us very plainly that the miracle in Egypt 3016 years ago was a type of our Christ.
“When the time was come that he should be received up, he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem.” (Luke 9:51) The determination of Jesus as expressed in this text offers an example in perfection of the grace of patience in its true biblical meaning – cheerful continuance in well doing amid contrary circumstances. His course herein was against all human concept as viewed by the natural man; hence, Peter said to Him, “Be it far from thee, Lord; this shall not be unto thee.”; and Jesus gave him appropriate correction: “Get thee behind me, Adversary: thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.” (Matt. 16:22,23) Jesus knew full well that the “fullness of time” had come – that it was not the time to wait for His enemies to come to Him (which had He done, would have displayed only the passive grace of longsuffering) – that the active aggressive grace of patience should now be perfectly revealed in and by Him. And, “hereunto were you called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps.” (1 Peter 2:21)
Jesus, knowing in the final hours of that awful night that He had “finished the work Thou gave me to do,” (John 17:4) resigned Himself to what was to be. The time for controversy had passed – “this is your hour, and power of darkness”; (Luke 22:53) so He “held his peace.” “No man taketh my life from me; I lay it down of myself.” (John 10: 18) There is in this a lesson for us, too: The day previous and the day following our observance of the Memorial should be a time of calm meditation insofar as lieth in us. If any wish to be contentious at that time, let them go their way for the time being; there will come more suitable occasions to answer such.
Nor should we allow the maddening maze of things as tossed by storm and flood make us bitter or morose or hateful. It is a time at which we should lift our minds to the highest spiritual level possible – to repose in the sublime reflections of the past, to “consider him who endured such contradiction of sinners against himself.” (Heb. 12:3) “To be spiritually minded is life and peace.” And again, “The kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness and joy and peace in the holy spirit.” (Rom. 14:17) As we have now come into “the evil day” when “the end of all things is at hand,” let us embrace with full determination the Apostle’s words: “Above all things, have fervent love among yourselves.” (1 Peter 4:7,8) Jesus stated of this time in which we live: “Because iniquity shall abound, the love of many will wax cold” (Matt. 24:12); but “he that endureth unto the end, the same shall be saved.” (Matt. 10:22) “The leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy” (Luke 12:1), abounds in all quarters; but God’s faithful people will accept and do, particularly at this season, what St. Paul admonishes: “Purge out the old leaven.” (1 Cor. 5:7)
In the type the lamb was taken up five days before it was killed; and that was typical of Jesus, the Greater Lamb, presenting Himself to the Jews on Palm Sunday, five days before He was “lifted up.” But there was another compelling reason for the five‑day interval. That most memorable night, when the Angel of death would “pass over” the Jewish firstborn, was not to be approached flippantly or carelessly. As each family took up its own lamb, removed all the leaven from the home, the course of these five days would put them into a proper mental attitude and contrition of heart for that awesome night. And this is well in keeping with St. Paul’s words to all who commemorate the antitype: “Let a man examine himself” (1 Cor. 11:28) – not five minutes before the service, perhaps in public confessionals; not just an hour before the service; but let each do so in “sincerity and in truth” during the days preceding it. The reading of Brother Russell’s treatise of the Passover in Volume 6, and reading of the pertinent writings of the Gospels five days before the Memorial will prove most refreshing and helpful.
The deliverance of typical Israel from Egypt illustrates the deliverance from sin and its bondage of all who desire to be God’s servants and have the promised blessing, as it shall be fulfilled after the plagues (Rev. 16), in the utter destruction of all the systems born of sin and selfishness which would hinder human prosperity and advancement toward God. The overthrow of Pharaoh’s army by the sea corresponds to the fact that many of the present enslaving agencies will be overthrown by anarchy in the great “time of trouble,” now so near at hand. Already the storm is approaching which will eventually overthrow all evildoers; but a way of escape is provided for all who seek God and put their trust in Him, following the course which His wisdom has marked out.
When Jesus was thirty three and a half years old, the “fullness of time” had come for fulfillment of the type that was established in Egypt. He was to be our Passover Lamb. By faith the merit of His sacrifice was to be sprinkled on the doorposts of His people’s hearts; and His flesh, the merit of His earthly human perfection, was to be eaten or appropriated by them in their minds. When we see that it was the pure, spotless nature of our Lord Jesus that was laid down on behalf of sinners, we see what it is that we are privileged to appropriate. The very thing that He laid down for us we are to “eat, if appropriate to ourselves; that is to say, His perfect human life was given to redeem all the race from condemnation to death, to enable them to return to human perfection and everlasting life, if they would; and we are to realize this and accept Him, as our Savoir from death.
Blessed are those whose eyes of faith see that Jesus was indeed “the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29); that the cancellation of the world’s sin is effected by the payment of Adam’s penalty; that as the whole world lost the favor of God and came under the Divine sentence of death, with its concomitants of sorrow and pain, it was necessary before this sentence or curse could be removed that a satisfaction of justice should be made; and that therefore, as the Apostle declares, Christ died for our sins ‑ the just for the unjust, that He might bring us back to God (1 Peter 3:18). Thus He opened up “a new and living way” – a way to life everlasting. (Heb. 10:20)
Jesus, the Lamb of God, the antitypical Passover Lamb, was slain 2000 years ago – on the exact anniversary of the killing of the typical lambs. The sacrifice of Jesus needs not to be repeated, for by faith we all sprinkle this same blood today, and in our hearts feed upon the merit of the same earthly sacrifice.
Our Lord as a Jew was obliged to keep the typical remembrance – eating of the literal lamb, etc., first; but after that had been done, He instituted with bread and the fruit of the vine His substitutionary Memorial of Himself, saying, “Take eat; this is [represents] my body. And He took the cup; and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them; and they all drank of it.” And He said... “But I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s Kingdom” (Matt. 26:29) – until His second coming in power and great glory to receive the Church as His elect Bride and joint‑heirs in His Kingdom and to shower blessings richly upon Israel, and through Israel upon the whole world of mankind. The initial preparation for this is now being manifested in the turmoil of the Middle East, and Israel in particular.
After the Master and His disciples, as Jews, had celebrated the Passover Supper and after He had subsequently instituted the Memorial of His death, with the bread and the cup, and after Judas had gone out to betray Him, Jesus and the remaining eleven left the upper room in Jerusalem, crossed the Valley Kidron and ascended the sloping side of the Mount of Olives toward the Garden of Gethsemane.
This was the most memorable night of the Master’s experience. He knew perfectly the meaning of every feature of the Passover. He knew that He was the Lamb of God, antitypically, whose death was to be accomplished on the following day by crucifixion. Yet His thoughts were for His dear disciples. He must give them final words of encouragement and instruction. And so He did. Three chapters of St. John’s Gospel record the incidents of the intervening time between the leaving of the upper room and the arriving at Gethsemane, the place of the oil‑press. “And Judas also, who betrayed him, knew the place, for Jesus oftentimes resorted thither with his disciples.” (John 18:2) In St. John 14 the Master told His disciples about the place He would go to prepare for them, but He would send the Spirit of Truth to be their Comforter, and it would show them things to come. In the fifteenth chapter He gave them the parable of the Vine and Branches, and assured them that no longer should they be servants, but friends, “For all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.” (John 15:15) In the sixteenth chapter He explained to them that persecution must be expected, if they would share His sufferings and be prepared to share His glory.
The Scriptures show us, however, that in order that any of the race of Adam might profit by the sacrifice of Jesus, it was necessary that He should rise from the tomb on the Divine plane of life, that He should ascend to the Father and impute the sacrificial merit of His death deposited in the hands of Justice on our behalf and receive from the Father the position of exercising “all power in Heaven and earth.” As relates to the world, it was necessary also that in the Father’s due time He should come again to earth, a glorious Divine Being, then to be to the whole world a Mediator, Prophet, Priest and King; to assist back to perfection and to harmony with God all who will avail themselves of the wonderful privileges then to be offered to all mankind – dead and living.
A little while and they would not see Him; then again in a little while and they would see Him. The entire period of His absence from the Divine standpoint, as compared to eternity, would be but a little while. Then, by virtue of the resurrection “change,” they would see Him, because made like Him. “In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. These things I have spoken unto you that in me ye might have peace.” (John 16:33) In the seventeenth chapter is recorded His wonderful prayer to the Father on behalf of His followers – not for the Apostles only, but for all those also who would believe on Him through their word.
After reaching the Garden, Jesus went alone deep into the Garden to speak to the Father. If some have inquired why the Master preferred to be alone in prayer so frequently, the answer is, “I have trodden the wine‑press alone, and of the people there is none with me.” (Isa. 63:3) His disciples and followers loved Him dearly. Still He was alone, because He alone had been begotten of the Holy Spirit. His followers could not feel so blessed nor be Spirit‑begotten until after His sacrifice had been finished nor until He would appear in the presence of God for them to apply His merit imputable to them; to permit them to join with Him sacrificially in the sufferings of the Gospel Age, that they might share with Him also in the Glories to follow.
St. Peter referring to our Lord’s experience in the Garden declares that He offered up strong crying and tears unto Him that was able to save Him from death, and was heard in respect to that which He feared. Why did He fear? Do not all humanity face death, and some of them with great courage and some with bravado? Ah, there is a vast difference between the Master’s standpoint and ours as respects death. We were born dying. We never knew perfect life. We have always known that there is no escape from death. It was different with Him. His experiences on the spirit plane before coming into the world were all in association with life, perfection of life. “In him was life” uncontaminated, because He was holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners (Heb. 7:26); His life was not from Adam.
He knew that in His perfection He had a right to life, if He would live in perfect accordance with the Divine requirements. But He knew also that by special Covenant with God, “a covenant of sacrifice,” He had agreed to surrender all His earthly right and to allow His life to be taken from Him. The Father had promised Him a great reward of glory, honor and immortality through resurrection from the dead, but this was dependent upon His absolute obedience in every particular – in word, in thought, in deed. The question was, Had he been absolutely loyal to God in every particular? If not, death would mean to Him an eternal extinction of being, not only the loss of heavenly glory promises as a reward, but the loss of everything. Can we wonder that He was perplexed? The hour seemed so dark, and He said, “My soul is exceeding sorrowful.” (Matt. 26:38) He knew that He was to die. He knew that death was necessary. But here, now, looming up before Him on the morrow was a shameful execution as a blasphemer, as a criminal, as a violator of Divine law. Could it be possible that in anything, even slightly, He had taken to Himself the honor due to the Father? Could it be possible that in any degree He had held back, even in His mind, from full obedience to the Father’s will? Did this crucifixion as a criminal possibly mean the loss of Divine favor? Was it necessary that He should die thus? Might not this cup of ignominy pass? So He prayed in great agony. And although the old Greek manuscripts do not contain the statement that He sweat great drops of blood, medical science tells us that such an experience would not have been at all impossible in a nervous, strained, mental agony. But we note the beautiful simplicity with which His prayer concluded: “Nevertheless, my Father, not my will, but thy will, be done.” (Luke 22:42) How childlike and beautiful the faith and trust, even amidst strenuous agitation!
As Stated above, St. Paul clearly and positively identifies the Passover lamb with our Lord Jesus: “Christ our Passover is slain for us; therefore, let us keep the feast.” (1 Cor. 5:7,8) And as the Jews were to keep their Passover once a year, so it is with the antitype – it is also to be celebrated once a year. It goes without saying that all who come into the Lord’s “house” need the blood of sprinkling, not upon our residences, but upon the tables of our hearts. “The blood of Jesus Christ his son cleanseth us from all sin.” (1 John 1: 7) And, as the Jews ate literal unleavened bread with their lamb that night, so we also partake of our Lamb with the unleavened bread of “sincerity and truth.” (1 Cor. 5:8) Thus, we “put on Christ” as we grow in grace and the knowledge of our Lord Jesus. As the Jews ate the lamb that night with “bitter herbs” (which whetted their appetites for more lamb), so the Christian partakes of his Lamb with symbolic bitter herbs – the punishing trials of life through the sins of ourselves and those of others.
Our Lord Jesus also personally identified Himself with the Jewish Passover lamb at the last Supper before He died. He gathered His disciples together in the upper room, saying, “With desire have I desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.” (Luke 22:15) As Jews, it was necessary that they should celebrate the Passover supper on that night – the saving of the typical first‑born from the typical prince of this world. However, as soon as they had finished eating the lamb with all the pertinencies, Jesus instituted a new Memorial upon the old foundation, saying, “As oft as you do this do it in remembrance of me.” (1 Cor. 11:24,25) Their Jewish neighbors, who did not accept “our lamb,” would go on keeping the typical arrangement each year, as the faithful covenant-keeping Jews still do today. But that was the last typical Passover for the disciples; henceforth they would partake of the bread and wine “in newness of life” each year – with eating of the actual lamb, etc. only a memory of the past with them.
Jesus was emphatic that the disciples should no longer keep the typical celebration, as He took the bread and the wine and told them to use these “in remembrance of me.” His blood would be shed the next morning; and the cup – the wine – would be a fitting reminder of what they had done that night. Of course, the apostles knew very well what their future Passovers would be: the bread and the wine once each year on the typical Passover date.
Christians generally have misconstrued the Lord’s words, “As oft as ye do this,” to mean, Do this as often as you please; whereas the words really signify, You, My disciples [all Jews are accustomed to keeping the Passover once each year], keep this antitypical Memorial once each year on the same day and hour as you have done for the typical Memorial of the Passover in Egypt.
Who then should partake of the Memorial? We answer: all who have consecrated themselves to God and are continuing in the Word. “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples.” (John 8:31) And how should we partake of it? We offer St. Paul’s answer: “Let a man examine himself.” (1 Cor. 11:28) This does not mean we are to examine others; it does not mean we should allow others to examine us. It means exactly what it says ‑ Let a man examine himself.
A substantial part of this self‑examination may well be devoted to an introspection of our Christian courage. From the time of Jesus on down through the Age many have loved right ways, but have lacked the courage to stand for the right. “Among the chief rulers also many believed on Him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue. For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.” (John 12:42,43) One of these was Joseph of Arimathea – “being a disciple of Jesus, but a concealed one through fear of the Jews” (John 19:38, Dia.) – who waited until Jesus was dead before rendering to Him that “cup of cold water” He so sorely craved and needed during those last turbulent days. Then there was the youth (Mark 14:51) standing in the Garden that awful night, clothed in a linen garment, who also fled naked and in terror at the first evidence of trouble for himself. He apparently represented many at that time who lost their tentative justification (represented in his leaving behind the linen covering) by forsaking Him who alone could justify him. And this youth forsaking his linen garment probably pictures a class of Truth people in the end of this Age who also will lose their tentative justification because they forsake those who courageously “witness to the Truth” under present adverse circumstances. “Because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” (Matt. 24:12) Thus for all who attempt an honest self‑examination, these cases just cited may well serve as pertinent examples. And such self‑examination cannot do other than bring us to the table in a condition to “eat and drink worthily.” Therefore, let us keep the festival, not with the old leaven, nor with the leaven of vice and wickedness, but with the unleavened principles of sincerity and Truth (1 Cor. 5:8).
“By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.” (Heb. 13:15)
MORE ABOUT LAYMEN’S HOME MISSIONARY MOVEMENT
In our January‑February paper Part One we addressed an error in the November‑December 1999 Present Truth on page 86. On this same page, par. 5 it is stated: “In view of the fact that the ‘high calling’ is closed... what difference would this make in respect to consecration? We answer it would make no difference...”
It would make a lot of difference to the consecrator. As said before, there is a “due time” for each elect class to be accepted, and each elect class has a different work to do. The work for the Saints was to “make their calling and election sure” (2 Peter 1:10) and cooperate in the “gathering of the saints.” (Psa. 50:5) The Ancient Worthies work was to be “faithful and obedient,” and to exhort the Jews to repentance. The Youthful Worthies is much the same as the Ancients, except they are to call the world to repentance, help win more Youthful Worthies “between the ages” and “contend for the faith once delivered to the Saints.” (Jude 3)
There is also a difference in the requirements of those whose trial is for “faith and obedience.” The Youthful Worthies are not on trial for life just as the Ancient Worthies were not, but some did sacrifice unto death. The time may come when some of the Youthful Worthies may have to sacrifice a great deal to be “faithful and obedient,” but others may not.
On page 87 a reference is given for Reprint 5761, which implies that this refers to the Consecrated Epiphany Campers. Brother Russell published this September 1, 1915 and it is plainly stated in that citation that an unbegotten class to be associated with the Ancient Worthies is meant, i.e. Youthful Worthies. Brother Russell did not teach Consecration in the Camp, therefore could not have meant Consecrated Epiphany Campers.
Also on page 87 it is stated: “Neither the Youthful Worthies nor the Consecrated Epiphany Campers have an embargo on Christ’s merit. But we do not expect God to apply the merit for the world until the Youthful Worthies have all gone down into death.”
Our answer: If the Youthful Worthies have no embargo on the merit, why would it be necessary that the application of the merit for the world be delayed until they are dead? The fact of the matter is that they do have a tentative embargo on the merit. Their justification is tentative and so there is a tentative embargo. As long as there is tentative justification there will be an embargo on Christ’s merit. Of course, the Ancient Worthies had an embargo. The very Scripture (Rom. 4:1‑3) cited by the LHMM proves that. “Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.” That is Tentative Justification, which places an embargo.
Again on top of page 87: “One thing is certain: to be acceptable to God in consecration, the Consecrated Epiphany Campers must in every case have the spirit that would be faithful unto death (comp. P ‘55, p. 42).” Here the writer refers to past errors to support present errors.
Let us not forget that we are still in the faith age, and there can be no Consecration in the Camp during the faith age. In the Tabernacle picture the antitype is not a place but a condition. If any of the (so‑called) Epiphany Campers have the same faith as Youthful Worthies, then they are in the Court condition and are prospective Youthful Worthies. Youthful Worthies are to be won until resurrection sets in – or between the Ages. This is taught by the founder of the LHMM and by That Servant. “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” (Jude 3) But the LHMM would rather use the faith (?) of a confessed crown‑loser.
In the January 1, 1940 Present Truth, page 13 there is a question and answer on the fourfold Tabernacle picture. The four pictures are of the Gospel Age, the Epiphany, the Millennial Age and the post‑Millennial Age. If it is read carefully it will be noted that in the first two of these pictures there is no suggestion of consecration in the Camp. Those represented in the Camp for the four periods are given as follows: For the Gospel Age: 11 ... the camp represents the condition of the nominal as distinct from the real people of God... 11 For the Epiphany: 11 ... the camp in the finished picture represents formerly faith‑justified ones who hold to the Ransom and practice righteousness, and converted Israel... “For the Millennial Age:”... the camp represents the condition of the world undergoing Restitution...” For the post‑Millennial Age: It “... the camp represents restored humanity and the new orders of perfect beings created in the Ages of Glory...” Here the founder of the LHMM does not teach consecration in the Camp during the faith Age.
On page 30 of the March‑April Present Truth it is stated: Both of these classes of goats, as we shall see, will have a part in the atonement work – in bringing the world into complete harmony with God and his law when this ‘Day of Atonement,’ the Gospel Age is ended.”
The Day of Atonement includes both the Gospel Age and the Millennial Age. See What Pastor Russell Said, page 27 top, line 10: “...because the Day of Atonement not only includes the day of sacrifice, but also the day of using that sacrifice in the work of blessing. In other words, the whole thousand years of Christ’s reign also belong to this atonement work, because the construction of the word means at‑one‑ment.” (See also Note II, page 130 of Tabernacle Shadows.)
On the same page, col. 2, par. 2: “Every believer, every Justified one (Levite) in the ‘court’ who presents himself during the Atonement Day, the Gospel Age, is acceptable as a sacrifice. Now is the acceptable time.”
The Ancient and Youthful Worthies do sacrifice when it is necessary in order to keep their covenant of faith and obedience. But the Saints sacrifices are perfect, because covered by the imputed merit of Christ. The Worthies have a faith justification, also, but it is Tentative and can be lost. But that means that as long as there is Tentative Justification there will be an embargo on Christ’s merit, that is, until the Kingdom is inaugurated and God applies His merit for the world.
In the February 2000 Bible Standard, page 12, col. 2, bottom is this: “There is yet another class, associated with the four – the quasi‑elect, especially the Consecrated Epiphany Campers. They are pictured in the other half tribe of Manasseh that settled west of Jordan. They make up a fifth class, which comprises thousands of Christians in and out of denominational Christianity – all believers in the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior.”
According to Joel 2:28,29 and 2 Timothy 2:20 there are four elect classes and four only, and any attempt to inject a fifth class is adding to the Scriptures, a thing forbidden (Prov. 30:5,6; Rev. 22:18). These along with two non‑elect classes, also shown in these two passages, make up the six saved classes from among mankind. The founder of the LHMM did not teach a fifth elect class for the Gospel Age.
See the Berean comments on Joel 2:28, which in part says: “Your sons ‑ in the receiving of those earthly sons, Israel will be the first. God will pour upon them ‘the spirit of grace and of supplication.’ (Zech. 12:10)” The passage says they, along with the daughters (converted Gentiles), will prophesy “teach under the supervision of the glorified Christ.” (Berean Comments)
The LHMM forgets or ignores the Scriptures stating that the blessings of the Kingdom are to come to the Jew first. “The days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah.” (Jer. 31:31) If God’s Word means anything to us at all, it means that the New Covenant will come through the Jews. The Jews under the Law Covenant were found in the twelve tribes of that nation. Likewise, spiritual Israel of this Gospel Age also is comprised of twelve tribes (Rev. 7:4‑9), although the vast majority of those twelve tribes came into this world as Gentiles; but they were considered spiritual Israelites once they became members of the Body of Christ – the 144,000 mentioned in v. 4.
However, when that Law Covenant was given to fleshly Israel, the only way any Gentile could receive any of its blessings was to become a proselyte Jew – have himself circumcised, adopt the Law and thenceforth live as a Jew. The same rule has applied during the Gospel Age with the spiritual Israelites; and the same rule will apply in the Millennial Age. All restitutionists will have to become proselyte Jews if they are to receive the New Covenant blessings, as the New Covenant is made for the Jews and with the Jews. Are Campers Consecrated Spiritual Israelites, or are they proselyte (natural) Jews, the Jews to whom the promise is made “to the Jew first.” “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” (Rom 1:16 – see also Rom. 2:10; John.4:22)
As for the half tribe of Manasseh, see Epiphany Volume 4, pages 450, 451, question 53. Page 451, top, line 2: “But since they and the Youthful Worthies are the two halves of the class that will obtain the better resurrection and princeship throughout the earth, and since the Youthful Worthies are a part of the Church in the wide sense of that term, they very fittingly would be typed by the half tribe of Manasseh whose inheritance was East of the Jordan; but for the reason given above, we are not to conclude that the other half of Manasseh typed the Ancient Worthies. The other half tribe of Manasseh [those settling west of Jordan and given 10 portions of land – Josh 17:5] and the other nine tribes of Israel, standing for ten tribes, type the entire restitution class [emphasis ours, ten being the number of perfection or completion for natures lower than the Divine. This again shows that the founder of the LHMM did not teach a fifth elect class.
And there is this in E‑10‑209 written by the founder of the LHMM: “The Epiphany Camp in the finished picture is the condition of the truly repentant and believing, but not consecrated Jews and Gentiles.” This definitely shows there is no consecration in the Camp.
LETTER OF GENERAL INTEREST
Dear Sister Emily,
The holidays are over and I am glad. It is a very lonesome period for me. Glad to get your note and copies of the brother’s letter and your answer. I will be looking forward to hearing what could have happened to one who recently symbolized his consecration. The advice he received to burn the Epiphany papers sounds like the old Nominal Church in Brother Russell’s day.
One of the members of the class here has set up a website about the Truth aiming at Jews who have accepted the Messiah and offering the first volume free. They said they were overwhelmed with the questions and response. I volunteered to help by giving answers to questions which they could transmit and was given one letter. I don’t remember the date but the brother said he had been asked this question and did not have time to look it up. He asked for the answer and the first volume. The question was: “How can Christ have come yet when Jesus clearly shows that he doesn’t even arrive until after the tribulation (Matt. 24:22‑31).”
My answer which I gave to them was: “Matt. 24:29 says ‘Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, etc. The tribulation ‘of those days’ does not refer to the trouble at the close of the Gospel Age, but to the persecutions of the early Church from AD 539 to AD 1799 (1260 years of the Daniel 12 prophecy) which is examined in Volume 3, pp. 61‑94. After that tribulation which Jesus refers to, the sign or evidence, proof, of the Lord’s presence would occur in the darkening of the sun and moon, etc., which are symbolically being fulfilled during the present time. We have found a valuable reference on this question in Chapter 12 of Volume 4 of the ‘Studies in the Scriptures’ by Pastor Russell. Particular attention is called to pages 583‑584. The symbolic fulfillment of Matt. 24:29‑31 is examined from pages 590-602 of the same book.”
I have not received anymore from the class member to answer. Perhaps they thought I did not do a very good job. I would welcome any suggestions you may have. I felt that if the brother did not have a Volume 3 or 4, he should get the set. I did not mention to them that I knew of him through any other source.
Our study last Sunday was on Romans 12:1 and there is such resistance to the thought of tentative justification. I have found Reprint 5422 written in 1914 where Brother Russell writes on this Scripture, and I intend to mention it next Sunday. I think some do see it, but are afraid to go against the majority. It’s hard not to be discouraged. It seems so clear once you understand it.
I shouldn’t have started this sheet since the letter is long enough. Am looking forward to the coming papers. Keep up the good work, Sister. We want to be faithful, until death.
If you need a little encouragement sometime read Reprint 5181 on the general view of the Kingdom. It’s one I keep for reference.
Much Christian love and good wishes for this new year of service. (CALIFORNIA)