As is our custom for this time of the year, we try to bring to our readers "Good Tidings of Great Joy" when so many people have the Savior uppermost in mind. Even though we can't agree that December 25 is the correct date of our savior's birth, it matters not as the Scriptures do not mention that we should celebrate His birth. However, the Christian world in general has done so on December 25, and we are happy that our Savior is specially remembered by all those who rejoice in Jesus as their Redeemer. So we join with all who have the proper attitude of heart in this remembrance.
"GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST"
God's promise that the Seed of Abraham should ultimately bless all nations has influenced thought the world over, but particularly amongst those nations living contiguous to Abraham's home and northward and westward from there, in the directions in which the message of Divine favor has gone. At first the Jews thought of this promise as being fulfilled in them as a nation - that, without assistance from on High, they could approve themselves to God through obedience to the Law Covenant, and then, as instructors of the world, they would teach all nations to keep that Divine Law, and thus bring the world to the blessed state of perfection, Divine favor, and life everlasting. This hope was crushed as they found themselves unable to keep the Law, going down into death, instead of attaining to perfect ion of life. Even Moses, the special servant of God, could not, and did not, attain the blessing of the Law.
Then God made them the promise of some better thing - of a greater Mediator and of a more successful Covenant through that Mediator. The Mediator of the New Covenant (Jer. 31:31-34) was to be greater than Moses; as he himself declared, "A Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you from amongst your brethren, like unto me [but greater]; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that the soul, which will not obey that prophet, shall be destroyed from amongst the people." (Acts 3:22,23) Thenceforth their hearts and hopes looked down through the stream of time to when the glorious things hoped for through this great Prophet should be accomplished.
"THE DESIRE OF ALL NATIONS"
As surrounding nations and those afar off heard of Israel's hope - that to them would come a great Savior, Deliverer, who would bless them and exalt them in the world and through them bless all peoples, the beauty of the thought took root in every direction. Messiah was more or less looked for under various names, and the glories of His Kingdom were pictured by heathen poets as the Golden Age.
Thus it happened that when our Lord was born, when He was made flesh and dwelt amongst us, "All men were in expectation of him" - not of Jesus, but of the promised Messiah, whom Jesus was. Thus it was that wise men in the East were attracted to see and to worship Him that was born King of the Jews. Thus it was also that during Jesus' ministry certain Greeks came to the disciples saying, “Sirs, we would see Jesus." They had heard of Him and recognized that in some respects His magic power implied a relationship with the long-expected Messiah. And so it was with the multitudes of Palestine. They heard; they listened. They said, Is this He? The rulers said No, this is not the Messiah. Then the people asked, When Messiah cometh can he do greater works than this man? Never man spake like this man!
Nevertheless, there were few ready to receive Him, even amongst His own - only "Israelites indeed,” to whom, because of worthiness of heart, God specially revealed His Son. This was in harmony with the prophecy of old, "The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him and he will show them his covenant." (Psa. 25:14) As again it is written, "I will give thee for a Covenant of the people." (Isa. 49:8) Neither Jews nor Greeks nor Persian wise men knew to expect that Messiah would first appear to offer Himself, through obedience to the Truth, a living sacrifice for sinners. None of them knew that a long period must elapse from the time when Messiah would be the man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, of whom the people would be ashamed, until He would appear in power and great glory to establish His Empire under the whole heavens, in fulfillment of the prophetic picture of Daniel 2:34; 7:13,14-27.
Few understand God's great secret or "mystery" hidden during past Ages and dispensations (Col. 1:26), that, during this long period of the Gospel Age a saintly "little flock" would be selected from amongst men to be Messiah's bride, and joint-heir with Him in His Messianic reign. Few see that this "little flock" has been selected during these nineteen centuries from every nation, people, kindred and tongue, and that they are all saints, in spirit of their minds, at least, and follow the Lamb, withersoever He goeth, walking in the footsteps of Jesus. Few understand that, as soon as these joint sacrificers with the Master shall have filled up the measure of afflictions appointed, then the Kingdom of Glory will be revealed and all flesh shall see it together and all shall be blessed by it, the Jew, Abraham's natural seed first, and also the Gentile - all the families of the earth.
A SAVIOR – CHRIST THE LORD
It was prophetically, of course, that the babe of Bethlehem was called a Savior - He was to be a Savior, The Christ, the Lord. But as a babe he was none of these. He became the Christ before becoming the Savior and Lord. The word Christ signifies anointed. In the Divine purpose it was arranged that Messiah should be anointed High Priest of Israel on a higher plane than Aaron - after the order of Melchizedek. (Psa.110:4 ) And every priest must be anointed to his office before he could fill it. Similarly, it was prophesied that Christ would be the great King, greater than David and Solomon, who were his types and foreshadows.
The anointing of Jesus was not with literal oil, but with that which the oil upon the head of the kings and priests of Israel typified - the Holy Spirit. He received this Holy Spirit at the time of His baptism, the Spirit falling upon Him and abiding with Him, anointing Him for His great work of antitypical Priest and antitypical King of Israel, who, as the Messiah long-promised, would bless them, and through them, the world. But every priest was ordained to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins, and in this also they typified Jesus, who, under the Divine arrangement, must first offer Himself as a sacrifice acceptable to God for the sins of mankind - in order that He might be the Savior or Deliverer of men from the curse of sin and death - that He might restore them and their earthly home to the glorious condition of perfection represented in Adam and his Eden home. Hence it was necessary that Jesus should not only consecrate His life to the Divine service and be anointed with the Holy Spirit, but that, sacrificially, He should lay down His life, even unto death - even the death of the cross. As a part of His reward He was raised to glory, honor and immortality, on the third day thereafter.
CONCERNING MESSIAH'S KINGDOM
Our understanding is that Messiah's Kingdom will be a spiritual one, invisible to mortals, yet all-powerful, for the accomplishment of the great things promised in the Law and the prophets. The empire which He will establish, invisible to men, will take the place of the empire of Satan, likewise invisible. We now see the evils of Satan’s invisible presence, and will then see the righteousness of our Lord's invisible presence in that blessed Kingdom. The King of glory will replace the prince of darkness. Principal amongst Messiah's earthly agents and representatives will be Abraham, Isaac and all the Prophets, resurrected in full human perfection, as well as all the Worthies (Hebrews, Chapter 11). Instead of their being, as heretofore, the fathers, they shall be the children of Messiah, whom he will make princes in all the earth (Psa. 45:16). With this Kingdom the nation of Israel wi1l speedily unite, and eventually every nation will come into harmony with Messiah, and all people will be privileged to come in under Israel’s New Covenant, then established by the great "Messenger of the Covenant, whom you delight in." (Mal. 3:1; Jer. 31:31-34)
The glorious Messiah, whom the Jews identify with "Michael, the great Prince, which standeth for the children of thy people (Dan. 12:1), the Muslims also expect and identify with Mohammed of the past. The Free Masons also expect the same glorious personage and, in their traditions, identify him with Hiram Abiff, the great Master-Mason. This same great Messiah, Michael, the archangel, the antitypical Melchizedek, Priest as well King, we identify as "the Man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all, “to be testified in due time." (1 Tim. 2:5,6) But when the great King shall appear in His glory and establish His kingdom with Israel He will be, as promised by the Prophets, "the desire of all nations." (Haggai 2:7) Then all the blinded eyes will be opened and all the deaf ears will be unstopped (Isa. 35:5). Then who He is and how He should be identified with Abraham's seed and David's line, will be clearly known to all - in heaven and on earth. Not now, but when the King shall reign in righteousness - after this Time of Trouble - all shall fully understand the significance of Zechariah's prophecy in Zechariah 12:7-10. Content that Messiah shall show the Truth in His Day of Revealment, we are glad to point Jews, Muslims, Christians, and all, to the glorious Messiah and the great work of blessing for all the nations which He will accomplish through the seed of Abraham, according to God's Covenant and His oath.
GOD'S DEALINGS UNDER DIFFERENT COVENANTS
The Decalogue of the Law Covenant was composed of probations - "Thou shalt not.” God's dealings with those who will become members of the "House of Sons" seem to be different from this. Instead of telling us what we shall not do, He tells us what we shall do.
How will it be with those with whom God will deal during the existence of the Messianic Kingdom, under the New Covenant arrangement? We answer that during the reign of Christ they will be under a very similar arrangement to that of the Jews under Moses. Thou shalt, and Thou shalt not, will be enforced by the great Mediator. And the enforcing will be necessary, because of the sins and imperfections and degradation in which the people will be. In harmony with this we read that "Whosoever will not obey that Prophet will be destroyed from among the people." (Acts 3:23) The word obey implies a command to be backed up by the authority to enforce.
The fact is that there will be a reign of Law in Messiah's Kingdom: "And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain 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 [ the invisible Kingdom] shall go forth the Law, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem [ the visible ruling power - the Worthies] ." (Isa. 2:3) And those who will not fall into line with this Law will have tribulation that they may learn righteousness. The judgments (the instructions of the Law) of the Lord will be abroad in the earth (Isa. 26:9) - and the people will take notice of these. They will not be dealt with as under the Covenant of Grace. The will to obey will not be taken as instead of the deed. They will have the ability to obey all that is required of them.
They will not have an Advocate as those under the Grace Covenant who have the will to do but due to the imperfections of the flesh are unable to do perfectly. We are promised, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us." (1 John 1:9,10) "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." (1 John 2:1)
On the contrary, the great Mediator will, during the thousand years of the Mediatorial Kingdom, instruct and reward and bless and uplift all the willing and obedient, to the intent that all those during that reign who desire to be helped will be helped and will be ready to be turned over to the Almighty at the close of the Age. "And when all things shall be subdued under him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him, that put all things under him, that God may be all in all." (1 Cor. 15:28) Not until the end of that Age will any of the world, under the New Covenant arrangement reach sonship. But, by that time they will have been perfected as sons, and will endure the tests then given, the Father will accept them and give them the blessings of eternal life, etc., as sons.
A certain Scripture gives us intimation of how this will proceed. This Scripture shows us the injunctions and precepts God will put upon the world. "And this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel, after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people." (Jer. 31:33) He also says, "And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of their flesh, and I will give them a heart of flesh." (Ezek. 11:19) This brief statement implies a full restitution of all that was lost in Adam.
Adam was created perfect, but depravity of mankind and the intensification of this in many cases have brought the world today in a condition of stoniness of heart, until the inhumanity of man toward man is appalling. The precepts of God will be gradually brought before the human mind and engraved and interwoven in the whole fiber of his being, so that man at the end of the Millennial Age will be as Adam was in the beginning - fully in accord with every principle of righteousness and unsympathetic with everything that is evil. This condition will come to be the very fiber of human nature again and only to such as will attain this will come the blessing of eternal life.
NEW COVENANT BENEFITS WORLD-WIDE
All mankind will receive some benefit from the New Covenant , irrespective of acceptance of Christ. That benefit will be that they will be awakened from the tomb. As the Scriptures tell us, as by one man condemnation passed upon all, so likewise through one man justification to life is to pass upon all (Rom. 5:12,18). Therefore, we would say that the benefits of the New Covenant will be applicable to everybody. If God had foreseen that nobody would adopt this arrangement, that fact no doubt would have altered His plan.
All of the accounts against humanity having been canceled by justice, mankind will be turned over to the Mediator. If man were not put under the Mediator, if he were kept under Divine Justice, he would immediately be condemned, because of his inability to do right. Therefore the Father will not take cognizance of sinners. They will be left to the Mediator. All who will be obedient will receive the blessings of the Kingdom, and those who do not become obedient under those conditions will go into the Second Death, from which there will be no recovery - unlike the Adamic death from which there will be a recovery by our Redeemer who died for us. "For the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice ... And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation [Krisis, Judgment]." (John 5:28,29, Acts 24:15
FUTURE REWARDS AND PUNISHMENTS
The Scriptures tell us that "out of Zion shall go forth the Law, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem." (Isa. 2:3) The Ancient Worthies are to be made "princes in all the earth." (Psa. 45:16) This, of course, would appeal first and primarily to the Jew - those who have faith in God's promises - who would naturally be the first to come under the new regulations, as the New Covenant will be made with the Jews. (Jer. 31:33)
We may not say that all of the Jews, who are Jews according to the flesh, will do so, but we believe that a considerable number of them will. The Jews who do not hold to God's promises are not "Israelites indeed,” and will not be counted as Jews in the New The Kingdom will be Israelitish. There are many good people who have not taken the vow of consecration during the Faith Age, but who would like to help rather than to hinder others. Such will in due time attach themselves to the Kingdom, which shall be "the desire of all nations." (Hag. 2:7)
In the case of the Worthies their freedom from imperfection will make them conspicuous. As the world comes to know about these, they will say, Are not these God's people? Mankind will perceive that God has rewarded the Worthies by giving them a better resurrection, and will learn that their "better resurrection" was given because of the faithfulness in the past (Heb. 11:1,39,40).
SAVIOR OF THE WORLD
The fact is that Jesus is not merely the Savior of the Church, but that He is also the Savior of the world. In the past Bible students have overlooked this great truth, to their confusion. Now we see that God has provided two distinctly different salvations - one for the Church in the Gospel Age - the Faith Age - and the other for the world in the Age to follow this - the period of Messiah's Kingdom. That period is the Judgment Day for the world. The world is under the sentence that was passed on Adam - and are not sentenced for their own sins, but the sin they inherited from Adam. But in the Kingdom their judgment will be an individual one: all who love righteousness and hate iniquity will gain eternal life; and all who prefer unrighteousness will be cut off from among the people - will die the Second Death, from which there is no recovery. “Do you not know that the saints shall judge the world?" (1 Cor. 6:2) The Church's salvation is the "great salvation" (Heb. 2:3), while the world's salvation is the "common salvation.” (Jude 3)
Not only do we see that there are two different salvations, but also that they are wholly different in kind. They are alike in some things, however. Both are salvations from sin and from its power and its penalty, the curse - sorrow, pain, crying, sighing and dying. Both are salvations to an everlasting happiness. But there the similarity ends; for the Church is to be saved by a change of nature, while the world is to be saved without a change of nature - by a resurrection to the perfection of human nature.
The Church's salvation has its beginning in the “hearing” of faith. The message of God's grace is proclaimed here and there by stammering lips, which do not appeal to many of the great or wise or learned, but chiefly to the poor of this world. "Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the Kingdom which he has promised to them that love Him?" (James 2:5) These are charmed with the message of forgiveness of their sins, as they approach and seek to draw near to God, who through His providence draws near to them. If they continue to hunger and thirst after the Lord and His message, He will satisfy them and will show them His covenant (Psa. 50:5). He will enable them to understand the terms and conditions upon which they may be received back into fellowship with God as dear children - no longer aliens, strangers, foreigners - no longer condemned to death, but on the contrary justified to life.
Here comes to them another test of their love of righteousness, their hunger for fellowship with God; for the requirements, as stated by the Master Himself, are: "If any man will be my disciple, let him deny himself [renounce his own self-will], take up his cross [begin to live contrary to his own Preferences in that he will do according to the Divine will, instead of according to his own will, where it crosses the Divine], and follow me." (Matt. 16:24) Then he must continue to follow in the Master's footsteps - faithful unto death. But we are not to think of those who reject the Lord's cross and refuse to make a full consecration of their lives as being, therefore, condemned either to eternal torment or to anything else. The Gospel Age is a Faith Age, and some do not have faith, or sufficient faith to walk a "narrow way" during this Age. "For all men have not faith." (2Thes) And if all men do not have the faith for a Faith Age, God is not unrighteous to condemn them because they do not have enough faith to walk a “narrow” way, but will open up a "way” for them in the Kingdom - a Highway of Holiness, that will be easier for them to travel. (Isa. 35:8)
THE COMMON SALVATION
The point we are here especially making is that God has provided a salvation for the world, as well as a salvation for the Church. The Bible tells us of the general facts of these salvations. It assures us that "God so loved the world (as well as the Church) that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16) We noticed at first that the sentence that is upon the world is not an eternal torment penalty, but the penalty that was passed on Adam - dying and death (Gen. 3:19). Christ died that the race might not perish, but in due time recover from the death penalty through faith in Christ and obedience to Him. "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Rom. 6:23)
Only the few can exercise the great faith that is necessary to a place in the heavenly reward. It is an invitation to walk a "narrow way,” and not a command; but in the Kingdom it will be a command to walk up the Highway of Holiness if they attain eternal life. By and by, however, when the knowledge of God shall fill the whole earth as the waters that cover the great deep (Isa, 11:9; 26:9), all will understand; all will hear and be able to believe in God’s goodness and in His wonderful arrangement on man’s behalf. Those who will then believe, and who will then accept God's favor on its terms of loyalty and obedience to the best of their ability, will be blessed by Messiah's Kingdom reign of righteousness.
The blessing, as the Bible describes it, will be the rolling away of the curse (Rev. 22:3) and the rolling on, instead of the curse, "the blessing of the Lord, which maketh rich; and he addeth no sorrow with it." (Prov. 10:22) This work of rolling away the curse and the rolling on the blessing is the appointed work of Messiah’s Kingdom for a thousand years. We may be sure that by the time His Kingdom shall end, and shall be delivered up to the Father, our Lord will have fully accomplished all the great work which was committed to Him of the Father and for which He has shown His worthiness by His cooperation in the Father's plan, to the extent of dying for the race.
As it is now in the Faith Age with those who walk a “narrow way, " that they are not required to do more than they are able to do, it will be the same in the Kingdom - no one will be required to do more than he is able to do. All of our readers know full well that now "there is none righteous, no not one," but our imperfect works are acceptable to God through the merit of Jesus who "bought us," so long as we are faithful in all we are able to do. However, in the Kingdom no imperfect works will be acceptable, but all imperfection will be corrected in the truly penitent until such time as they will be able to offer perfect works and praise to God. They will then keep the Law perfectly - just as Jesus did when He was here.
We trust that this Christmas message has made the Plan of God clear enough for all our readers to praise God for all His benefits toward us, as well as to thank God for His "unspeakable gift" (2 Cor. 9:15) - the gift of His only begotten Son for our Redeemer! Hallelujah what a Savior! "Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!" (Psa. 107:31)
Our best wishes to all our readers for the Lord's blessing during the Holiday Season and for a blessed New Year. Let the Lord be your trust and your guide - for "Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.” (Prov. 30:5)
(By John J. Hoefle, Reprint No. 318, December 1 ,1981)
“The question has been asked, will the Decalogue be revived in the Messianic Kingdom? We see no reason why it should not be made the Law of the Kingdom. There was no fault to be found with the Law, but with the weakness, the inability of those who were under the Law. The Ten Commandments were not given to the Church, but the spirit of them is comprehended in the word Love, which is the Law of the New Creation (Rom. 13:8-10). It would be rather incongruous for the Lord to say to the Church, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not kill; for they would have passed from every such condition of mind before they could become His.”
“With the world, at the beginning of the New Age, it would be a Law quite over their heads to say, You shall love everybody. They would need to have some simple statements such as, Thou shall have no other gods but Me; thou shalt not steal; thou shalt not murder; thou shalt not bear false witness. The Decalogue is the very best Law for the world of mankind. We cannot improve on the wisdom of the Law-Giver who gave this Law to Moses in the beginning. It will not surprise us, therefore, if the Ten Commandments will be put upon the whole world, just as they were upon the Jews; and that mankind will be shown that the spirit of the Law is Love; but that they will come gradually to the understanding of this principle; for at the beginning they would not have the proper appreciation of the matter."
(Reprint 4856, column 2, paragraph 4, July 15, 1911)
"HEBREW PRIME MINISTER PRAISES JESUS, THE MESSIAH! The great Hebrew Christian statesman, Benjamin Disraeli, known as Lord Beaconsfield, wrote this about Jesus: 'The pupil of Moses may ask himself, whether all the princes of the house of David have done so much for the Jews as the Prince who was crucified on Calvary. Had it not been for Him, the Jews would have been comparatively unknown, or known only as a high oriental caste which had lost its country. Has not He made their history the most famous in the world? Has not He hung up their laws in every temple? Has He not vindicated all their wrongs? Has He not avenged the victory of Titus and conquered the Caesars? What successes did they anticipate from their Messiah? The wildest dreams of their rabbis have been far exceeded ... Christians may continue to persecute Jews and Jews may persist in disbelieving Christians, but who can deny that Jesus of Nazareth, the Incarnate Son of the Most High God, is the eternal glory of the Jewish race?'"
(By Benjamin Disraeli, who was British Prime Minister in the 1800's)
“73 % OF PALESTINIANS SUPPORTED SUICIDE ATTACKS AGAINST USA: As PMW has been reporting in recent days, the spontaneous Palestinian celebrations after the horrific attacks in the United States were genuine expressions of the deep hatred of America that has been promoted by Palestinian Authority leadership for years. The following public opinion poll from last November is another measurable indicator of this hostility:
"The Poll results: '73% of Palestinians support military action against American targets in the region. Regarding suicide missions against American interest in the Middle East 73% supported and 22% opposed, and its interesting that the support for attacks against American targets among academics reached 77% compared to 70% among illiterates.' [Al Hayat Al Jadida, on November 11, 2000.] "
(Bridges For Peace Newsletter, September 14, 2001)
QUESTION OF GENERAL INTEREST
QUESTION - Are the Youthful Worthies under a covenant?
ANSWER - The Ancient Worthies were under the Faith Covenant, as given in the Covenant book, page 51, with the heading ANCIENT WORTHIES UNDER FAITH COVENANT. Page 51 gives more on the Ancient Worthies. However, Brother Russell wrote in a number of places about the unbegotten class, which we call Youthful Worthies, in contrast to the Ancient Worthies. He also taught that the Youthful Worthies would be rewarded with the Ancient Worthies. The Ancient Worthies were before the High Calling of the Gospel Age. The Youthful Worthies are won after the Saints are all gathered. The Worthies are on trial for faith and obedience, but not on trial for life as were the Saints.
All the elect will be judged in this "evil world." (Gal. 1:4) The Saint's trial is more difficult than the other elect classes. The Saints will have to contend with the Devil and evil surroundings. They have to be faithful as was Jesus to be "dying with Jesus." They were burned at the stake during the Dark Ages. But so long as they were faithful the Lord gave them strength to bear it. "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." (1 Cor. 10:13)
During the Harvest of the Gospel Age, the Saints didn't have such tortures as experienced before that time. But all the Saints must have persecutions, which they did have during the Harvest. Brother Russell and his co-laborers in the Harvest received persecutions from the pulpit, from the press and from individuals.
Here is something from Brother Russell: "The Spirit witnesses, through the Word of God, that those who are the Lord's people are separate from the world - that their hopes and aims and general spirit, disposition, are different. 'If ye were of the world, the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world, therefore the world hateth you.' 'Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.' (John 15:19; 2 Tim. 3:12)
"Can our hearts testify that these words properly represent our experience in life? If so, the Spirit of God is thus again witnessing with our spirit that we are his ...
“If, therefore, we have been evilly spoken of, because of our identification with the Truth, and our service of it, we have in this an additional evidence or witness of the Spirit that we are in the right pathway.
"Had our Lord Jesus joined hands with the popular leaders of the Jewish Church, and abstained from speaking the truth in love, abstained from pointing out the false doctrines of His day, He would not have been 'hated,’ nor ‘persecuted'; on the contrary, He probably would have been 'highly esteemed amongst men.' But, as He Himself declared, much that is 'highly esteemed amongst men is an abomination in the sight of God.’ (Luke 16:15) “(Parousia Volume 5, page 235, par. 2,3; page 236 top, par. 1)
Preachers in the nominal churches always had "old man Russell" in their sermons. The Saints who came out of the nominal churches were persecuted and so were their children. One preacher told a Sister in the Truth that "old man Russell" was taking their best members. She answered, “Yes, the cream of the crop.”
The Brethren who believe they are Saints should ask themselves, do I get any opposition like Christ had? Do the nominal people persecute us because we are in the Truth? It is the witness of the Truth that brought persecution all during the Gospel Age and its Harvest. Jesus was crucified because he witnessed the Truth of His Day (John 18:37)
"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." (Jer. 31:31) "Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof, he hath given assurance unto all men in that he hath raised him [Jesus] from the dead." (Acts 17:31) The world will be judged in the Kingdom, under easier conditions. "They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” (Isa. 11:9)
We want to express our sympathy and sorrow for the terrible terrorism that our country has suffered. We weep with those who weep, and mourn with those who mourn. We are happy to see this "togetherness" our country has shown the world. God has blessed our country so that it has shown other countries that we can't be defeated. We have had hard times in establishing our country but, because of the liberty we enjoy, people want to immigrate to our country. This in a sense has made the US the capital of the world for now, but in God's Kingdom Jerusalem will be the capital of the world. So we say "God bless America!" and also say "God bless Israel,” our ally!