by Epiphany Bible Students

The subject for this paper is to be found in Revelation 7:1‑3, which we quote from the Diaglott: “After this I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, restraining the four winds of the earth, so that no wind might blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the sun‑rising, having the seal of the living God; and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to injure the earth and the sea, saying, ‘Injure not the earth, nor the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the bond‑servants of our God on their foreheads.

Companion to the foregoing is Daniel 7:2: “The four winds of heaven strove upon the great sea.” And related to these two is Daniel 3:19: “Then the form of Nebuchadnezzar’s vision was changed against Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego... he commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated.”

It is our understanding that the “four winds of heaven” in these texts refer to the fallen angels – the evil spirits of Jesus’ day, which are counterfeited in the Greek and Roman heathen teachings of the “demigods” ‑ creatures that were assumed to be half God and half man. They are the “giants” (the Nephilim) of Genesis 6:4 and Numbers 13:33 the demons that were formed through the union of “the sons of God and the daughters of men” – “giants [Nephilim] in the earth in those days... mighty men, men of renown.” The ten spies that brought back the evil report said, “There we saw the giants (Nephilim), the sons of Anak... we were in our own sight as grasshoppers.” “And the people wept that night” (Num. 14:1), for they were terrorized at the mere mention of those demigods, which permeated most of the heathen religions of that day.

First, to explain the incident in Daniel 3:19‑25: The golden image represented militarism in the end of this Age, which demanded obeisance from all sections and groups in the various nations. Of course, many of the Truth boys refused to do this; and the treatment accorded many of them was something to contemplate. It is stated that the fiery furnace was heated‑seven times worse than had ever been done before, and those of us who were involved have vivid memory of the truth of that statement. Quite a few of the Truth brethren were put to death in some European countries; and, as we recall, a couple of them were slain here in the United States. But many others here were given most inhumane treatment. When some of the objectors came into that detachment they were so bruised they could not sit down, a few of them having to stand while eating for several days. It is difficult to believe that such abuse went on here in this great United States. But it did!

Names given to the people in the Old Testament often revealed certain characteristics or positions among the Lord’s people, and we believe the names of the three Hebrew youths are some of these. They represent three classes living in the end of this Age – the Little Flock, the Great Company and the Youthful Worthies – all of whom had to cope with Militarism, Sectarianism and religious hatred in the warring nations. Shadrach means “royal,” and offers a strong hint to the “royal priesthood” (1 Peter 2:9); Meshach means “guest,” with allusion to those who are to be “guests” at the marriage of the Lamb (Rev. 19:9); and Abednego means “servant of the prophet,” referring to the Youthfuls who are in the same class with the Ancients (Moses faithful in all his house as a servant – Heb. 3:5). Much could be said about the treatment accorded to all three classes during the first World War, but that is not the purpose of this article.

However, we would emphasize here that the meaning of the Hebrew names is strongly indicative of the truth of these types here in the end of the Age, because there have been only three such classes in the end of the age, the Ancient Worthies having no part whatever in the events that have taken place, because they were not here. Nevertheless, we have other very strong types that prove four elect classes – The Little Flock, the Great Company, the Ancient and the Youthful Worthies. These types are to be found in the Tabernacle picture; and especially so in Noah’s Ark, which are definitely and clearly pictured there: Noah and his wife ‑ Christ and His Church; Shem and his wife ‑the Ancient Worthy leaders and the lesser lights among them; Japheth and his wife – the Great Company leaders and ledlings; and Ham and his wife ‑ the Youthful Worthy leaders and ledlings.

Also 2 Timothy 2:20 is a very clear picture of the four elect classes: “But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.” The gold, the Little Flock; the silver, the Great Company (see Berean comments on Mal. 3:3 and 2 Tim. 2:20); the wood, the Ancient Worthies; and the earth, the Youthful Worthies. The great house of typical Aaron (Lev. 16:6; Num. 17:2,3; 3:6‑9,17‑20) consisted of his sons and the three typical classes of Levites; accordingly, in the Great House of our Great High Priest, there are four classes antitypical of these, and (additionally) vessels of honor and dishonor – less honor – representing faithful Restitutionists including Jews and Gentiles.

It should be remembered here that That Servant emphasized that the six volumes of Studies in the Scriptures are a direct outgrowth of the Truth to be found in the Tabernacle. Also, that the Ark types Christ and the power in Him which will replenish and reorganize society. The great deluge was a type of the Time of Trouble here in the end of this Age; and, just as Noah and his family began an entirely new Society after the flood, so these four elect classes will also develop an entirely new social order – “which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people.” (Dan. 2:44) The four elect classes mentioned above shall be the benevolent absolute rulers of that Kingdom.

Revelation 7:1‑3 – Much confusing error has been produced by faulty interpretations of this text. As example, The Finished Mystery (JFR, et al) explains “the four angels of the earth” as God’s chosen people; but v. 2 says of these four angels “to whom it was given to hurt the earth [the present social order] and the sea [the restless masses].” At no time under present evil conditions are the Lord’s people ordered, or permitted, to hurt the earth. They are never messengers of wrath; but rather, they are told to “follow peace with all men” (Heb. 12:14); and in Galatians 5:22 we are told that one of the fruits of the spirit is peace.

It is our understanding that these four angels of destruction represent four classes of humanity, the same having been led into destructive error by a false teaching: (1) the Divine right of kings; (2) the Divine right of the clergy; (3) the Divine right of the aristocracy; (4) and the Divine right of labor. Our readers are all probably familiar with the Divine right of kings, and the evils that have resulted from that obsession. Then with the clergy that same evil has produced the BIG I and the Little You. Don’t try to read your Bible; let us do it, and tell you what it means. We ourselves have known some Catholic priests who have gone into quite a flutter when some member of his congregation dared to ask some questions the priest could not answer. Also, in some countries, the aristocrats consider themselves the stewards and almoners of the earth, whose duty and privilege it is to mark out the domestic course of their hirelings. And with Labor, their outstanding fault is their belief that earth’s products belong to their producers.

But these very evils did restrain the “four winds” (the fallen angels) from precipitating the nations into destructive combat before the “due time”; namely, 1914 when the time had come for the glorified Lord to take to Himself His great power and to “rule the nations with an iron sceptre; as the earthen vessels it is breaking them together.” (Rev. 2:27, Dia.)

However, it should be carefully noted that this restraint was to be only “that no wind (the great war] might blow on the earth... till we have sealed the bondservants of our God in their foreheads” (Rev. 1:1‑3) – giving them sufficient knowledge of “Present Truth” to enable them to “come out of her, My people.” (Rev. 18:4) But as each respective nation became involved in the war either directly or devastatingly indirectly – then the words of Jesus became painstakingly obvious: “The night cometh, when no man can work.” (John 9:4) It should not be difficult to understand that when the three Hebrews (God’s Harvest workers) were cast into the fiery furnace, the thought of any more Harvest work was definitely forced from their minds; they had more than enough to “Hold fast that which thou hast.” (Rev. 3:11) The time had indeed arrived “That the plowman [the Time of Trouble] shall overtake the reaper... and the mountains [autocratic governments] shall drop sweet wine, and the hills [liberal democracies] shall melt. (Amos 9:13) And the progress continues with ever‑increasing fury to this day.


At the outset it had been our intention to use mainly in this paper quotations from That Servant. The foregoing introduction has been much longer than we anticipated; but we now offer the following from the Watch Tower of May 15, 1911, keeping in mind that the world at that time seemed in such a peaceful condition that only a handful of earnest believers accepted the idea of a world conflagration in 1914, which probably caused the following comments:

“Our recent visit to Europe revealed no more unrest amongst the people than our previous one. Indeed, we were surprised to find so many evidences of prosperity everywhere and so few manifestations of violent discontent. Some residents confirmed this view, while others thought that there is a deep undercurrent of discontent not manifest on the surface. Our readers know that for some years we have been expecting this Age to close with an awful time of trouble, and we expect it to break out with suddenness and force not long after October 1914, which, so far as we can understand the Scriptures, is the date at which the Times of the Gentiles – the lease of earth’s dominions to the Gentiles – will expire; the time, therefore, when Messiah’s Kingdom will be due to begin its exercise of power, which the Scriptures declare will dash the nations in pieces as a potter’s vessel. By that time we think the Scriptures indicate that the Church will be complete and will have passed beyond the second veil into the ‘most holy’ and to perfection of spirit nature by a share in the First Resurrection. Nevertheless, how this is all to come about, as we have heretofore declared, Is not plain to us – how it will be that all the Church class will die before that date, changed in the moment of their dying, ‘in the twinkling of an eye.’

“But while considering these perplexities, and considering also the fact that we have no fault to find with the chronological features of the Bible, our mind is directed to an old Scripture which suddenly seems to have a new importance. We refer to the statement, ‘I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth that the wind [the World War] should not blow on the earth, nor the sea, nor on any tree... Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.’ (Rev. 7:1‑3)”

Here we would inject the thought that the war did not break out in any country until the saints there had been “sealed in their foreheads.” Although the United States did not become officially involved until April 7, 1917, all the plans had been made by the middle of 1916 to become officially involved, and all our industrial resources were engaged in helping our friends to carry on. President Wilson was wholeheartedly on the side of the Allies, but he used the slogan “He kept us out of war” to gain re‑election in November 1916. Then almost immediately after his second inauguration in March 1917 he declared war on the Central Powers.

Now more from the Tower quotation: “We have long seen that these symbolic winds represent strife, anarchy, the great Time of Trouble which is held in check by Divine power until the completion of the harvest work ‑ the sealing of the living members of the elect class with Present Truth. We long ago pointed out that these four winds, let loose, coming together, will constitute a whirlwind, which is the symbolical figure used in the Bible to represent the great Time of Trouble approaching. And this whirlwind corresponds to the typical one by which Elijah, the prototype of the Church, was taken away. Winds also represent false doctrines. (Eph. 4:14)


“Nothing that we see further contradicts any of the foregoing, but rather, corroborating it, throws a light upon it. The additional thought is that these winds or powers of the air, held in restraint, represent the fallen angels, whose prince is Satan, I the prince of the power of the air. I our thought is that the evil angels would long ago have done injury on the symbolic earth, sea and trees, had it not been for the restraint of Divine power. Symbolically, the earth represents organized society; the sea represents the disorganized masses, and the trees represent the Household of Faith [or prominent ones in organized society]. The letting loose suddenly of the fallen angels will account well for the suddenness of the coming trouble, which everywhere in the Scriptures is one of its particular features – ‘in one hour’; ‘suddenly as travail upon a woman’; ‘as it was in the days of Noah,’ and ‘as it was in the days of Lot.’

“Again there is a resemblance between the days of Noah and days of Lot [the flood burst suddenly upon ‘the world that was’ ‑just as the fire and brimstone fell suddenly upon the Cities of the Plain], not merely in respect to the suddenness of the calamity which came, but also in regard to the violence and licentiousness of those periods. Already human prejudice and passions are manifesting a heat such as never before was known – and this, notwithstanding the much greater provision of army and police regulations for the control of society. If discontent, selfishness, passion, frenzy, can sway mankind under present conditions, what may we expect when the ‘powers of the air, shall be allowed to gain a temporary liberty for the very purpose of manifesting the evil tendencies of the unregenerate heart; for the very purpose of demonstrating that no liberty can bring true happiness, except that which is in full accord with the Divine requirement.” (Reprints 4822,4823, May 15, 1911)

When That Servant emphasizes the suddenness with which the war would come, he did not fully realize just how suddenly it would be. The Archduke of Austria and his wife were driving through the quiet peaceful countryside of Servia, when they were both assassinated. Within two days the armies of Germany, Austria, Russia, England and France were being mobilized. Then Germany gave Russia twenty‑four hours to explain why they were mobilizing; and, receiving no answer, Germany then declared war on Russia, and in a few days England, Austria and France all declared war. The armies of Germany swept through France and Belgium with unbelievable rapidity; the whole European world was precipitated into a holocaust never before seen (“a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation”); the New York Stock Exchange was closed for ninety days; no one could buy or sell regardless of how pressing that necessity might be. And here it might be well to state that the date 1914 clearly pointed the finger to That Servant as the one mentioned in Jeremiah 1:5: “1 ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.”

It should be noted here that “God spared not the angels that sinned, but... delivered them into chains of darkness [the atmosphere about this earth], to be reserved unto judgment (the great day of wrath].” (2 Peter 2:4) Since which time they have been abusing their freedom; will abuse it yet more in Armageddon, and will abuse it yet more in the fire of the great day, when Anarchy will prevail – “no hire for man, nor any hire for beast; neither was there any peace to him that went out or came in because of the affliction.” (Zech. 8: 10) At the end of this tribulation the Devil will be spirited away. “And he seized the dragon, the old serpent, who is an enemy and the Adversary, and bound him a thousand years.” (Rev. 20:2, Dia.) The Epiphany (the Epiphaneia) means bright shining and is manifesting persons, principles and things, which we see happening every day.


“Spared In The Day Of Trouble – ‘They shall be mine, saith the Lord of Hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.’ (Mal. 3:17) Like many other prophecies, the words of the Prophet Malachi seem to have a general application throughout the Gospel Age and a particular one at the close of the Age. Eighteen hundred years ago the Lord Jehovah began to make up His jewels. The first of these jewels was our Lord Jesus Christ, who was polished, perfected and taken up on high. Jehovah did not cease His work with the perfection of His Son, our Lord. He has arranged that other jewels be cut and polished after the similitude of His Son, that they may shine with Him in the heavenly glory and Kingdom; as it is written, ‘We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works.’ (Eph. 2:10)

“The Messenger of the Covenant is, primarily, our Lord Jesus, Who came more than eighteen hundred years ago and presented Himself to those who were heirs of the New Covenant ‑ the Jews.


“The closing scenes of the Gospel Age will be the most remarkable of the world’s history, the Church will then be completed. We are not at liberty to guess when the end of the trouble will be. Whether all of the trouble will come in the next two or three years we do not know. But we think that the most serious part of the trouble will occupy a very short time.

“Let us remember that we are living in most wonderful times. More can be accomplished in one month now than could have been done in years sometime ago ‑ more in one hour than in days formerly. (The cruising speed of our present‑day passenger airplanes is about 625 miles per hour. When Jesus was here the finest of horses could do little more than ten miles per hour, and that they could not continue for more than an hour or two.] We are still in the waiting attitude, so that the Lord can indicate His will in the matter for us. We believe that the year 1915 will be even more wonderful than the present. We fully believe that the year 1914 will see the end of the Gentile Times for we cannot find even one flaw in our Bible chronology. [Because of the great calm that prevailed in 1913, we were told by some brethren that Brother Russell selected some of his leading helpers, and asked them to check the chronology minutely as compiled in Parousia Volume 2; but they could find nothing wrong with it.]

“We do not claim infallibility. To err is human. If, therefore, the Father permits us to blunder in respect to His Word in this matter, nevertheless, He will undoubtedly have a great blessing for us. And if it should be that the year 1914 should not mark the close of the Gentile Times, we would still believe that the time could not be far distant; for the nearer we come to that time, the nearer we see the fulfillment of the things which the Scriptures indicate will then occur.” (Reprints 5119, October 15, 1912)

And in Parousia Volume 2, p. 101, par. 1, there is this: “Be not surprised then when in subsequent chapters we present proofs that the setting up of the Kingdom of God is already begun, and it is pointed out in prophecy as due to begin the exercise of power in AD 1878, and that the battle of the great day of God Almighty’ (Rev. 16:14), will begin in AD 1914, and that it will end in the complete overthrow of earth’s present rulership. The gathering of the armies is plainly visible from the standpoint of God’s Word.”

“Since the Church of Christ, which has been developing during the Gospel Age, is to be associated with her Lord in the great restitution work of the Millennial Age, the first work of Christ at the Second Advent must be the gathering of His elect Church, to which reference is made by the Prophet (Psa. 50:5), saying, ‘Gather my saints together unto me, those who have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.’ This gathering or harvesting time is in the lapping period of the two Ages. As will be shown, it is a period of forty years, which both ends the Gospel Age and introduces the Millennial Age. (Vol. 1, pp. 219‑221; 234‑237; and Chart of the Ages) This harvest period not only accomplishes the separation of wheat from tares in the nominal Gospel Church, and the gathering and glorification of the wheat class, but it is also to accomplish the burning (destruction) of the tares, or imitation wheat, not as individuals (the fire is symbolic as well as the tares), and the gathering and destruction of the corrupt fruitage of the Vine of the Earth (human ambition, greed and selfishness), which has been growing and ripening for centuries in the kingdoms of this world and in the civil and social organizations among men.” (Parousia Volume 2, pp. 104‑105)

Also from Parousia Volume 2, p. 77, par. 5: “Fifthly, that by that date [the end of the Gentile Times], or sooner, Israel’s blindness will begin to be turned away [published in 1889]; because their ‘blindness in part’ was to continue only ‘until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in’ (Rom. 11:25), or, in other words, until the full number from among the Gentiles, who are to be members of the Body or Bride of Christ, would be probationally selected.”

Further from p. 78, par. 1: “Seventhly, it will prove that before that date [emphasis by That Servant] God’s Kingdom, organized in power, will be in the earth and then smite and crush the Gentile image (Dan. 2:34) – and fully consume the power of these kings. Its own power and dominion will be established as fast as by its varied influences and agencies it crushes and scatters the powers that be, civil and ecclesiastical, iron and clay.”

From the above it is clear enough that Brother Russell believed when first publishing Volume 2 in 1889 (25 years before 1914) that all the saints would be selected by the end of the Gentile Times. However, after 1914 he did say the High Calling was still open. He came to that conclusion because so many were then coming into the Truth; but he did not realize that most of those were members of antitypical Lot, who began to flee from that “great City, which spiritually is called Sodom” (Rev. 11:8) when the fire and brimstone began to fall on Christendom with the outbreak of World War One. We are told of quite a few who had been waiting to see if Brother Russell’s 1914 date would prove correct – and they then left Babylon when the happenings did prove the date to be correct.

Here we should keep in mind, however, that not all of such were of antitypical Lot, as some of the saints did not come into the Truth until Passover 1916; but those saints were all sealed in the forehead before their native country was engulfed in the War; but the “night wherein no man could work” arrived when the respective countries became involved, at which time “the plowman [the plowshare of Trouble] overtook the reapers.” (Amos 9:13)

But Brother Russell still taught that the Kingdom began to be set up in the Spring of 1878, and we agree with that conclusion. Most of our readers know that the “stone” is the Little Flock, and Brother Russell says this in Parousia Volume 1, p. 255:

“The stone cut out of the mountain without hands, which smites and scatters the Gentile powers, represents the true Church, the Kingdom of God. During the Gospel Age this ‘stone’ kingdom is being formed, ‘cut out, I carved and shaped for its future position and greatness – not by human hands, but by the power or spirit of the truth, the invisible power of Jehovah. When complete, when entirely cut out, it will smite and destroy the kingdoms of this world. Not the people, but the governments, are symbolized by the image, and these are to be destroyed that the people may be delivered. Our Lord Jesus came not to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. (John 3:17)”

In view of the fact that the kingdoms of this world are being scattered and smitten after the end of the Gentile Times – 1914 after World War One began ‑ we conclude that the reaping part of the Harvest was indeed a forty‑year period ‑ from 1874 to 1914. (To be concluded in Part Two.)

“Therefore, Beloved, seeing ye know these things... Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and for ever.” (2 Peter 3:17,18)

(John J. Hoefle, Reprint No. 410, May 1990)



QUESTION – John 6:44 says “No man can come to me, except the Father... draw him.” By what method does the Father do the drawing?

ANSWER – He draws us by the Truth. “Everyone that is of the Truth heareth my voice.” (John 18:37) During this Gospel Age the Father draws the prospective elect, but during the Millennial Age the Christ will do the drawing for all Restitutionists and that drawing also will be by the Truth. However, during the Faith Age, the rest of this text reveals that He is speaking only of the elect in John 6:44: “And I will raise him up at the last day.” The Berean Comments on this text are also instructive: “Draw him... Draw him to me; Will raise him up... Exalt him; At the last day... Early in the Millennial Day.” It is clear from this text that God is not “drawing” Restitutionists during this Faith Age ‑ nor will He do the drawing in the next Age. Jesus also said, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” (John 12:32) And the Berean Comment on this text is quite clear, too, that the Restitutionists are meant, – also it is the Truth that will draw them.

That Servant tells us in Reprint 2925, col. 2, top: “The special drawing which the Father accomplishes is in connection with what is called ‘the election according to favor, I while the drawing which Christ will accomplish in the next Age will be the operation of free grace, upon all and for‑the benefit of all.”

Also in Reprint 4049, col. 1, par. 1, top: “Similarly our Lord informs us that as a result of His being lifted up at Calvary He shall ultimately exercise a drawing power upon all mankind. Not that He is exercising this drawing power now, however, for He declares respecting those who now come unto Him that they are drawn of the Father.”

Before Jesus can exercise His power to draw Restitutionists, His merit on embargo in the Court must be released. His merit will not be applied to the world of mankind outside the Court until all the elect are in – all who are to be “exalted early in the Millennium.”

To teach that those in the Camp now have the merit of Christ and are on trial now for faith and obedience, is not only mixing the Two Salvations, but also dividing the merit of Christ for the elect and the Restitutionists. The only two groups who are mixing the two Salvations are, so far as we know, the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Laymen’s Home Missionary Movement.

I have been thinking about 1 Cor. 15:24‑26, but I think 1 Cor. 15:28 tells the tale clearly: “And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.”

During the Little Season Christ and the Church will still be in charge, just the same as they were during the Mediatorial reign – the only exception being that the iron rule will be lifted. But they will deliver and protect the sheep, pronounce the same judgment they had been pronouncing upon the goats who did not outwardly obey during the Kingdom. It was the Father’s Law all the time, but put into the hands of the Christ. God doesn’t individually deliver the sheep – it is the Christ. So it will not be the same as it will be when the Restitutionists are subject to God. When they are Kings of the earth, they will no longer be subject to the Christ, but to God the same as all living creatures, including Christ – only they will have a much higher standing, of course.

“Those who have been teaching error [on Christ’s merit and the Two Salvations] will soon be ashamed (Isaiah 66:5), while the fire of this day will only manifest the truth to all. No power, no tongue, no pen, can successfully contradict the truth, the great Divine Plan of the Ages. It is strong before its enemies and before all who make assaults upon it, and ere long the folly of its foes shall be made known to the whole world. ‘There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’” (Reprint 5916, col. 2. par. 3, June 1, 1916) (By John J. Hoefle)

QUESTION – Does everyone have an opportunity to go to heaven?

ANSWER – No, everyone does not have an opportunity to go to heaven. God had a right, if he chose, to make us merely the creatures of a brief space of time, even if we had never sinned. Thus he has made some of His lower creatures. He might have permitted us to enjoy His blessings for a season, and then, without injustice, might have blotted us all out of existence. In fact, even so brief an existence would be a favor. It is only of His favor that we have an existence at all. How much greater favor is the redemption of the existence once forfeited by sin! Further, it is of God’s favor that we are men and not beasts; it is purely of God’s favor that angels are by nature a little higher than men; and it is also of God’s favor that the Lord Jesus and His bride become partakers of the Divine nature. It becomes all His intelligent creatures, therefore, to receive with gratitude whatever God bestows. Any other spirit justly merits condemnation, and, if indulged, will end in abasement and destruction. A man has no right to aspire to be an angel, never having been invited to that position. Uninvited thereto an angel had no right to aspire to the Divine nature.

It was the aspiration of Satan’s pride which brought his abasement, and will end in his destruction. (Isa. 14:14) “Whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted” (Luke 14:11), but not necessarily to the highest position.

“Thus saith the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, his [man’s] maker: Ask me of things to come. Concerning my children, and concerning the work of my hands, command ye me? I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.” “Thus saith the Lord that created the heavens, God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord, and there is none else.” (Isa. 45:11,12,18) None have a right to dictate to God. If He established the earth, and if He formed it not in vain, but made it to be inhabited by restored, perfect men, who are we that we should reply against God, and say that it is unjust not to change their nature and make them all partakers of a spiritual nature either like unto the angels, or like unto His own Divine nature? How much more becoming to come humbly to God’s Word and to “ask” concerning things to come, than to “command” or to assert that he must carry out our ideas? Lord, keep back thy servants from presumptuous sins: let then not have dominion over us. None of God’s children, we believe, would knowingly dictate to the Lord; yet how easily and almost unconsciously many fall into this error.

The human race are God’s children by creation ‑ the work of His hands – and His plan with reference to them is clearly revealed in His Word. Paul says that the first man (who was a sample of what the race will be when perfect) was of the earth, earthy; and his posterity, with the exception of the Gospel Church, will in the resurrection still be earthy, human, adapted to the earth (1 Cor. 15:38,44). David declares that man was made only a little lower than the angels, and crowned with glory, honor, dominion, etc. (Psa. 8:4‑8) And Peter, our Lord, and all the prophets since the world began, declare that the human race is to be restored to that glorious perfection, and is again to have dominion over earth, as its representative, Adam, had. (Acts 3:19‑21)

In selecting the Little Flock, God makes a very general call – “many are called.” All are not called. The Call was confined at first, during our Lord’s ministry, to Israel after the flesh; but now, as many as the servants of God meet (Luke 14:23) are to be urged or constrained (not compelled) to come to this special feast of favor. But even of those who hear and come, all are not worthy. Wedding garments (the imputed righteousness of Christ) are provided, but some will not wear them, and must be rejected; and of those who do put on the robes of justification, and who receive the honor of being begotten to a new nature, some fail to make their calling and election sure by faithfulness to their covenant. of those worthy to appear with the Lamb in glory, it is declared, “They are called and chosen and faithful.” (Rev. 14:1; 17:14)

(Excerpts from Volume 1, pages 189,190,195)