In considering the question of the universal application of a one-man Atonement compared with the equitable Law of God -"life for life" (Deut. 19:21; Exod. 21:23-25), we herein present the answer to the question: How can the death of Jesus, one individual, be "a ransom for all?"
First, it is important to bear in mind that at the time of Adam's transgression of the Divine Law, he had no offspring; that the entire human race, unborn, was, representatively, "in Adam." (1 Cor. 15:22) The death sentence, "Thou shalt surely die, "which was passed upon Adam, not only involved him as one individual, but it involved the prospective lives of all the life-seed "in his loins." (Heb. 7:9, 10) By the same token, when Jesus "gave himself a ransom for all," His death as an Atonement-sacrifice not only involved the sacrificial death of Himself, as one individual, but it involved the sacrificial death of a posterity in Him. He was in every way the exact equivalent and co-equal of Adam. Jesus' life, and the race represented in Him, was a duplication of Adam's life and the race represented in him when he violated the Divine Law. Thus Jesus was a complete ransom for Adam and his posterity -a full satisfaction and corresponding price. The New Testament clarifies the matter: "As by the offense of one [Adam], judgment came upon all men to condemnation, even so by the righteousness of one Jesus], the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous." (Rom. 5:18, 19)
The proposition is a plain one: Adam was made in the image and likeness of God and was given a dominion over all the earth and all that it contained. Head of the human race and lord of its home, he was pronounced by the highest Authority, "Very good." He was placed under law. The law was plain and positive as also was the penalty for its violation -death. Adam broke that law, and immediately came under the dying process of its penalty. The life, thus forfeited, was not merely his own individual life, but being the father, the life-giver, of the race, the life of the entire race (unborn) was forfeited in him. A perfect man's life was forfeited and its baneful effect and extent was universal. The Atonement-sacrifice of Jesus, another perfect man's life, was equal to the forfeit, and its blessed effect and extent is universal. In every particular in which Adam was originally perfect and different from his progeny, Jesus was his equal. The most unimpeachable testimony is given as to Jesus' sinlessness. He was "holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners" (Heb. 7:26), and "without spot" He gave Himself as our great Atonement. This was giving "life for life" -human life for human life. Thus Jesus "tasted death for every man." (Heb. 2:9) By the act of one (Adam) the account was opened, by the act of one (Jesus) the account was closed. The account now stands square -the assets on the one side being equal to the liabilities on the other.
A question may arise: If the Atonement-sacrifice has been given, why do the living continue to die, and why do the dead still remain dead? We answer: Because the resurrection hour has not yet arrived. Time is the essence of everything. In God's plan there is a "set time" (Psa. 102: 13) for the accomplishment of all His purposes. We are told, "When the fullness of time was come God sent forth his Son" (Gal. 4:4); and in "due time" (1 Tim. 2:6) He became the Atonement-sacrifice for sin; and when the appointed hour comes, the dead will rise. "For the hour is coming in which all that are in their graves shall hear his voice and come forth." (John 5:2.8,29 R.V.) And in "due time" the "good tidings" regarding the Atonement-sacrifice will be "to all people" (Luke 2: 10), to the awakened dead as well as the living. Is this a second chance? No, not a second individual chance, for there is no Scripture whatever that supports the thought that if one gains a knowledge of the truth, and against full light and full ability, disregards ., it, that he will have another chance. The information or testimony once given and once understood is all that the Bible guarantees. If truth does not fall into a good and honest heart, a million repetitions would not change the heart condition. The testimony is co-equal with the Atonement in as much as both are given only once and both are universal. Universal Atonement and universal testimony are twin-elements of one plan. Limit either of them and the plan is mutilated.
Many Christians admit the universality of the Atonement-sacrifice, but deny that the testimony or knowledge concerning it will become universal. The New Testament declares that God "will have all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth." (1 Tim. 2:4) The saving (from everlasting death through a resurrection) comes first; a knowledge of the truth comes second. Both are universal. There is another Scripture which declares, God is the "Savior of all men, specially of those that believe." (1 Tim. 4: 10) Here, then, is the dividing line between "all men" and those that "believe." "All men" will be saved from everlasting death by a resurrection of "both the just and the unjust." (Acts 24: 15) But since knowledge precedes faith, "all men" must first hear before they can "believe." If the angel of the Lord declared, "Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people" (Luke 2:10), who is man that he should say that the "good tidings" (the good message) shall not be to all people? The Atonement-sacrifice is for "all men" and will be testified (told) to all "in due time." (1 Tim. 2:6) "The knowledge of the Lord shall fill the whole earth" (Isa. 11: 9), and thus the knowledge will become universal, co-extensive with the Atonement. Sin is universal, death is universal, and the resurrection of the dead and the knowledge of "good tidings" will become universal. But there is no evidence to conclude that "all men" will "believe," or that the acceptance of the "good tidings" will become universal. On the contrary, history, experience, and prophecy all prove that as it was in the days of Jesus, it is now, and will be – some who hear the "good tidings" or testimony will accept it and others will reject it.
Speaking of the unbelief of the Jews, Jesus said, "For had ye believed Moses ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me." (John 5:46) Jews, in the past, saw no connection whatever between Moses' writings and the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this reason Jews rejected Jesus though they trusted in Moses. To believe Moses and accept his writings involved an intelligent understanding of the meaning of his words. The Jews trusted in Moses and accepted the letter of his writings, but they did not believe in Moses, for if they had, they would have accepted Jesus. The Jews boasted of being Moses' disciples, and yet their ignorance was the ground of their inconsistency. The same inconsistency exists today. The method by which Moses wrote of Jesus was not by direct statements, but by figure and type. He declared, "Her seed, the seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent's head," which refers to Jesus Christ and His work. (Gen. 3: 15)
So we see, as all mankind have shared death on account of Adam's sin, all mankind will have life-privileges offered to them by Jesus, who died for them and sacrificially took Adam's place before the broken law, and thus "gave himself a ransom for all" (1 Tim. 2:6) He died, "the just for the unjust, that He might bring us [back] to God." (1 Pet. 3:18) It should not be overlooked, however, that man's will must remain his own; that all of God's provisions for mankind recognize the human will as a factor in securing everlasting life. The Apostle's statement, however, is that, as the sentence of condemnation on Adam extended to all the posterity in him, even so, by the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ, which-death extended to all the posterity in Him, an opportunity for everlasting life will be extended to all of Adam's race. This, if accepted through the merit of the Atonement, will constitute the basis for life everlasting. "For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be [not were] made righteous." (Rom. 5:18, 19)
The completeness of the Atonement-sacrifice of Jesus is the very strongest possible argument for the resurrection of the dead and the Kingdom of God on earth. The very character of God for justice and honor stands pledged to it; every promise which He has made implies it; and every animal sacrifice pointed to the great and sufficient sacrifice – "The Lamb of God, which taketh away [cancels] the sin of the world." (John 1:29)
Here we establish the fact that the Atonement-sacrifice of Jesus, who was the exact equivalent of Adam, is to be as far-reaching in its blessed results and opportunities as was the sin of Adam in its blight and ruin; that all who were condemned and who suffered on account of the oonwone, may as surely be set free from all those illoone, may as surely be set free from all those ills on account of the other. And all the willing and obedient will be as fully reinstated in God's favor through the merit of Jesus' Atonement-sacrifice even as they were completely debarred from Divine favor through the demerit of Adam's sin.
God assures us that as "condemnation passed upon all in Adam" (Rom. 5: 18), so He has arranged for a new Lifegiver for the race, and that as "all in Adam" shared the curse of death, so "all in Christ" will have an opportunity to share the blessing of restoration and the Kingdom of God on earth (Rom. 5:12,18,19). Thus seen, the death of Jesus, the undefiled, the sinless One, was an exact equivalent of Adam, and a complete settlement toward God of Adam's sin. As one man had sinned, and the race in him shared the result of his penalty, so Jesus, having paid the penalty of that one sinner, bought not only Adam, but all his posterity – all who by heredity shared the consequence of his sin. "The man, Christ Jesus" (1 Tim. 2: 5,6), Himself unblemished, approved, and with a perfect race in Him, unborn, likewise untainted with sin, gave His all of human life and title as the full atonement and ransom-price for Adam and the race in him when sentenced to death. Thus, according to the equitable law of God, this is "life for life."
After fully purchasing, by His Atonement-sacrifice, the life of Adam and all his posterity, Christ offers to all of Adam's race an opportunity for everlasting life. Thus it is written: "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." (1 Cor. 15:22)
What Jesus did for us, what price He paid on our behalf, what He surrendered, or laid down in death as a "ransom for all" must correspond exactly to whatever was man's penalty. Jesus did not go to everlasting torment, hence we have this indisputable testimony and logic that everlasting torment is not the penalty for sin, but merely a delusion foisted upon the world by the devil, and those whom he has deluded. So surely as that which Jesus suffered in man' s stead was the full penalty which men would otherwise have been obliged to suffer, so surely this is proof positive that no such punishment as eternal torture was ever threatened, inflicted or intended. The only one who ever promised eternal life in disobedience was the great deceiver, Satan. His declaration to Eve in Eden -"Ye shall not surely die" -was the first lie and the first sermon ever preached upon immortality of the soul. This declaration, resting solely upon the authority of Satan, is echoed from practically every pulpit in Christendom, and is received by the majority of the world as readily as it was received by our first parents in Eden. But we do not wonder at the strange infatuation which renders men so credulous concerning the words of Satan, and so unbelieving in regard to the Words of God, for we know that Satan is "the god [the ruler] of this world." (2 Cor. 4:4) But we do wonder what "Christians" think God would gain by witnessing unceasing tortures; is He regaled with the groans and shrieks and imprecations of the suffering creatures whom He holds in flames of fire? Can these horrid sounds be music in the ear of Infinite Love? "Christians" urge that the infliction of endless misery upon the wicked would show God's hatred of sin as an evil which is ruinous to the peace and order of the universe. Is God's hatred of sin the reason He would have it perpetuated? Is His glory enhanced by perpetuating the evil that He hates, and which, as admitted, is ruinous to the peace and order of the universe?
Those who know the testimony of God's Word recognize its statements to be that "Christ died for our sins" (1 Cor. 15:3); that He died, "the just for the unjust" (1 Pet. 3: 18), to bring us to God; that "He is the propitiation [satisfaction] for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the Whole world" (1 John 2:2); that "the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all, and by his stripes [the things which He suffered in our stead] we are healed." (Isa. 53:5, 6) What harmony and consistence is seen in this Scriptural view of matters; and how utterly inconsistent are the unscriptural delusions of Satan handed to the world and popularly received by them!
"The wages of sin is death," "the soul that sinneth it shall die," declare the Scriptures (Rom. 6:23; Ezek. 18:4). And then the Scriptures show us how completely this wage has been met for us, in the declaration, "Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and rose again for our justification." (1 Cor. 15:3; Rom. 4:25) Thus Jesus' death was our Atonement – the complete "ransom for all."
"Without the shedding of blood there is no remission" of sins (Heb. 9:22). Throughout the JewishJewish Law dispensation, God illustrated this feJewish Law dispensation, God illustrated this feature of His arrangement to Israel by requiring the blood of bulls and of goats; not that these could abolish sin, but that these might be recognized as illustrations of a "better sacrifice" through which sin would be blotted out and forever canceled. The expression "shedding of blood," signifies death, life poured out, yet points to a sacrificial death.
So far as being an Atonement-sacrifice was concerned, Jesus might have been put to death in any other form, and the requirements of a sacrifice have been equally well met. The necessary thing was the surrender of His innocent soul (being) as an off-set or in exchange for a guilty soul (being) whose existence had been forfeited by transgression. Neither was it necessary, so far as the Atonement was concerned, that the Messiah's person should be pierced with nails, and wounded. To pay the penalty for the Adamic sin meant simply death, the cessation of being. The crown of thorns, the nails and the pierced side were no part of the Atonement, and neither was the shame and ignominy of the public crucifixion.
"There is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified [told to all] in due time." (1 Tim. 2:5, 6) The Atonement – the “At-one-ment "between God and man" -was wholly dependent upon the presentation of an acceptable sacrifice for Adam's transgression. Unless the Divine sentence or "curse" could be lifted legally and lawfully from mankind, it would stand as a perpetual embargo to prevent man's recovery or restoration back to Divine favor and everlasting life. Under the Divine Law, Adam was a sinner; through his own willful transgression in Eden he brought his trouble upon himself. The sentence of death against him was just. God could not remove that sentence without violating his own justice – the very foundation of His throne (Psa. 89:14), hence the sentence must stand. It must be met by Adam or by his equivalent – an acceptable substitute who would be not only willing but also qualified to take his place.
We have seen that the penalty or sentence against transgression was distinctly stated by the Creator to Adam, death. To suppose that it was any other penalty than death would be to suppose that God had dealt dishonestly with Adam in Eden; that He misinformed and deceived him. We can see that a death sentence is a just sentence against sin; that life, being a conditional grant, the Creator had full right to revoke it. The death sentence, with all its terrible concomitants of sickness, pain and trouble, which came upon Adam, and which descended naturally through him to his offspring [inasmuch as an impure fountain cannot send forth a pure stream] we can see to be both reasonable and just -.a sentence before which all mouths must be stopped.
Death does not come now as an individual sentence from God, a penalty for personal disobedience; for not only do criminals and malicious persons die, but also saints and prattling babes. It is now a result of disease inherited and transmitted from one generation to another. But, looking back to Eden, we can see that matters were different there; disease was unknown until, as an element of death, it was incurred as the curse or penalty for transgressing the Divine Law. That God forced Adam into conditions productive of disease and death is evident from the record – "God drove him out of the garden and away from the trees of life" into the unfit wilderness, "lest he put forth his hand and eat and live forever" (Gen. 3: 22, 23), and thus, lacking suitable sustenance, gradually dying, he died. The proper view of the matter is: Adam, created in God's moral likeness and surrounded by His favors, violated His Creator's law knowingly, and without just provocation, and suffered the penalty of his transgression – death. But, as he died slowly over a period of 930 years, he begot children who, although not put on trial as Adam had been, and hence not sentenced individually to death as Adam had been sentenced, died nevertheless, because they had inherited from Adam a diseased and dying life-germ or life-seed. And thus it has been ever since, and is now. Death now is not a penalty for sin, it is a consequence. As the Apostle declares, it was "by one man [that] sin entered into the world, and death by [as the result of] sin." (Rom. 5: 12) As all mankind have inherited sinful weaknesses and tendencies through father Adam, so they also inherit death as a consequence of his transgression. A father can bequeath to his children no rights, privileges or conditions that he does not possess himself.
Therefore, knowing definitely the penalty which was pronounced against Adam, it can easily be seen what justice must require as a payment ere the "curse" could be lifted, and Adam and his posterity be released from the great prison-house of death (Isa. 61:1). As previously shown, it was not because the entire race had sinned that the penalty came, but because one man sinned, so that sentence of death fell directly upon Adam only, and only indirectly through him upon his race by heredity; and in full accord with these facts, Justice could demand only a corresponding price. Justice must, therefore, demand the life of another individual instead of the life of Adam before releasing Adam and his race. And if this penalty were paid, the whole penalty would be paid, one Atonement-sacrifice for all, even as one sin involved all.
We have already seen that the perfect Adam, the transgressor, who was sentenced was not an angel, nor an archangel, nor a god, but a man – in nature a "little lower" than that of angels (Psa. 8:5). Strictest Justice, therefore, could demand in his stead neither more nor less than one of Adam's equal – own human kind – under similar original conditions to his, namely, perfect, and free from Divine condemnation. We can see that none such could be found among men, all of whom were of the race of Adam, and therefore sharers, through heredity, of his penalty and degradation. Hence it was that the necessity arose that a sinless man must be found to take Adam's place, give himself a ransom for Adam – atone for his sin and thus for all who lost life through him. Then, in order not to be of the already condemned posterity of Adam, it was necessary that a human being must, somehow, be begotten in a way not connected with the life-germ of Adam; his life-germ must not come through the natural Adamic life-channel. To be able to ransom Adam, atone for his sin, he must be begotten separately and independently of Adam's condemned race. He must not be a son of Adam. And thus Jesus "proceeded forth and came from God." (John 8:42) He was begotten separately and independently of Adam's life-line. Both Jesus and Adam were sons of no human father; both were human sons of God. Thus Jesus was the exact equivalent of Adam, and His life a perfect Atonement and ransom for him.
Adam's failure to keep God's law had cut himself and his race off completely from Divine favor, and nothing that man could do would restore that favor. If there was to be any reconciliation at all, the initiative move must come from God, thus God is the author of the Atonement in providing not only a suitable but a willing sacrifice for our redemption, one equal in glory and honor and human perfection with the first man, Adam. "The man, Christ Jesus" was provided for the very purpose of "tasting death for every man." (Heb. 2: 9) He took the human nature "for the suffering of death" – the very penalty that was against our race. Thus we can see that our ransom and restoration, and full Atonement and reconciliation, have been amply provided for, and upon a plane of absolute justice in accordance with God's own law.
(Chapter Two, THIS IS THE MILLENNIUM, by Shelah Ben-Hanan)
EMUNAH -A MIGHTY WEAPON OVERPOWERING ALL ENEMIES
The UN once again, last week, invoked a special "Emergency Session of the General Assembly" attacking Israel -a third try within several months, after having failed to entice the Security Council into squeezing the Jewish State. Thankfully, the U.S. government, through Ambassador Bill Richardson, threatened to veto anyone-sided, anti-Israel resolution. It's good that the U.S., despite being pressured, is faithful to America's traditional pro-Israel policy.
The Assembly action came to naught. Very little attention was given to the proceedings, both here at the UN and in the press.
At the recent emergency session meetings, both Mr. Richardson and Israeli UN Ambassador Dore Gold put things into proper perspective. Commenting on the latest anti-Israel resolution which was adopted, the U.S. Ambassador said that it "would complicate, not enhance, the Middle East peace efforts." And he added that "with the Secretary-General about to visit the Middle East, the U.S. questioned the wisdom of holding holding the emergency special session and introducing the current draft resolution… " For his part, Mr. Gold wondered why, "despite the many real cases of aggressions and actual occupation since 1949 (he mentioned 1967 when the Arabs massed armies against Israel, and cited North Korea's invasion of South Korea in the early 1950's), the one case for which the General Assembly had actually recommended the convening of the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention was the case of Israel. "Ironically," the Israeli ambassador further charged, "Israel was the one state which had actually implemented, in practice, the provisions of the Convention with respect to the occupied territory… "All in all, this shameful event was nothing more than just another black-eye for the UN's reputation.
Many people continually ask the reason for these ongoing assaults against Israel and the Jewish people. My answer, of course, is the Hebrew Bible. It gives the pro and con for such enemies as Antiochus, Haman, Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar, Hitler, Saddam, etc. Despite the many threats of our day, fear and confusion must not overcome us, the children of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, etc. To many friends who question and ask Why, my answer – which I give to both my Jewish and Christian friends – is one Hebrew word. That word is Emunah, whose root is Emmeth (truth). It can only be interpreted as faith or belief. And some may ask: faith in what or in who?
My answer is simple: Israel and its Torah. Israel's history as a people from the time of accepting the Torah to this day – a period of more than 3,500 years – has been testimony to its resurrection as a great and thriving democracy. How did this happen? Jewish Emunah is an ancient promise fulfilled! Take note, nations! Take note, Jewry! Take note, UN! Israel should be a lesson to the world.
Emunah is not an exclusive heritage of the Jews. Millions of non-Jews, Christians and others around the world, spiritually possess it. But it has a special meaning for us, Jews and Israelites, who should be emboldened by it. We must fear no threats or any new Hamans.
Among the millions who truly posses Emunah in the Jewish sense, are such souls as Chris Josephson, widow of Elmer Josephson, the author of a number of non-Jewish books, including a favorite of this writer: Israel – G-d's Key To World Redemption (we lost Elmer recently, and his obituary appears in the current edition of the United Israel Bulletin) .
Chris, who for many years jointly edited with Elmer the multiple pamphlets and magazines of the organization they founded, still continues this noble work, and issues a vital periodic newsworthy pamphlet entitled, "Bible Light In The News", which is strongly pro-Israel and is circulated around the world. The current issue contains a vital charge against those who are pressuring Israel to give up land. The following is a sample:
"Pushed into corner! After the '48 War of Independence, Truman pressured Israel to give up the northern Sinai and Gaza Strip to Egypt. After the '56 war, Eisenhower pressured Israel to surrender the entire Sinai to Egypt. After the 1967 miraculous Six-Day war, Nixon's team concocted the infamous Rogers Plan ('Jewish settlements are the greatest obstacle to peace'), calling for Israeli surrender of all territories won in fending off Arab invasion. After the 1973 war, Kissinger forced Israel to surrender chunks of the Golan and Sinai, and '75 he pressured Israel to give up even more of the Sinai. In 1978, at Camp David, Carter pressured Israel to withdraw from the rest of the Sinai. In 1982, the Reagan Administration pressured Israel to permit the escape of PLO forces from Lebanon. Now the pressure is on Netanyahu's Government, even causing the warrior Sharon to draw a compromise map! And Arafat is claiming that even the 'Western Wall' at the Temple Mount does not belong to Israel, and the PLO map eliminates Israel altogether!"
Emunah not only links the People of the Book to the Sinaitic Laws of Moses, but also those who hold the faiths of Islam and Christianity, all of whom found a common "Home" in the biblically inspired Charter of the United Nations. Emunah must replace politics during this 50th year of Israel's rebirth.
(By David Horowitz, At the U.N., April 3, 1998)
QUESTION OF GENERAL INTEREST
QUESTION: Does That Servant have a successor?
ANSWER: That Servant has no successor. Bible Students that emanate from That Servant's organization teach from the six volumes of Studies in the Scriptures in their meetings. The Jehovah's Witnesses and their organization do not in any way represent That Servant and his teaching. They are no longer called Bible Students. They are called Jehovah's Witnesses, a sectarian name. They also build churches in which to meet, and call them Kingdom Halls. Brother Russell was asked why he didn't build churches. He answered, "If we built churches we would be sectarian like any other denomination."
At our Lord's First Advent He appointed twelve Apostles. The Apostles had no successor. They were imperfect men, but their teachings were inspired of God. At His Second Advent our Lord appointed Brother Russell as That Servant. He, too, was an imperfect man but was not inspired of God in his teaching. He gave us more truth on God's Plan of Salvation for all mankind than had ever been given before. He did not take credit for this knowledge as it was "due truth" at His Second Advent. That Servant didn't claim to be superior to the faithful Reformers, as they faithfully taught the truth due in their day. At our Lord's Second Advent the Scroll (Plan of Salvation) was opened as it had never been before. (Rev. 5:2, Dia. Also see our No. 483, April 1997, The Divine Scroll.)
"Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom the Lord made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom the Lord when he cometh shall find him so doing [Brother Russell was searching the Scriptures]. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods." (Matt. 24:45-47)
These texts are clear that He appointed an individual to give "meat in due season," and made him ruler over all His goods. The Bible gives the truth in dark sayings, symbols, figures and types. None of these things will be understood until "due time." "But these things occurred to them typically for our admonition, on whom the ends of the ages are come." (1 Cor. 10: 11, Dia.) The ends of the ages refer to the conclusion of the Gospel Age and the opening of the Millennial Age. "And I heard, but I understood not." (Dan. 12:8)
Since the demise of That Servant we still continue to grow in Knowledge and Grace: "But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day." (Prov. 4:18) However, Satan will offer error and call it "advancing light." When such error is presented to us we can easily detect it if we are "rooted and grounded" in the truth that we have learned and been assured of, knowing of whom we have learned it (2 Tim. 3:14). New Light will be in harmony with what we have learned and in harmony with God's character. The Scripture tells us He is a God of love (1 John 4:15), and other Scriptures assure us of His attributes WISDOM, JUSTICE, POWER AND LOVE.
The Apostle Paul wrote more of the New Testament than did the other Apostles. He said, "For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God." He gave us the text, 2 Tim. 2:20, which contains all four elect classes and the two classes of the restitutionists in the Kingdom: "But in a great house [the household of faith, the house of God] there were not only vessels of gold [the Little Flock] and of silver [the Great Company], but also of wood [Ancient Worthies -Hebrews 11] and earth [the unbegotten class taught by That Servant in Reprint 5761, which we call Youthful Worthies]: and some to honor [sheep of the Kingdom] and some to dishonor [goats]." The Plan of Salvation is succinctly given in this text. Whether the Apostle Paul understood all he wrote is not the question, but he evidently had more abundant revelations than did the other Apostles, some of which it wasn’t necessary for them to know at that time. "He was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which is not lawful for a man to utter." (2 Cor. 12:4) See 2 Cor. 12:6, 7.
That Servant also taught four elect classes – two heavenly and two earthly – and gave us the truth of the Kingdom on earth for the world's salvation (Acts 17:31). So it could be said of him that he "shunned not to give us all the counsel of God."
If we are faithful to what we have learned and been assured of we will remember that all new light first comes from God's word: "All Scripture, divinely inspired, is indeed profitable for Teaching, for Conviction, for Correction, for that Discipline which is in Righteousness; so that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly fitted for every good work." (2 Tim. 3:16, 17, Dia.)
LETTER OF GENERAL INTEREST
Isn't it wonderful how God entwines our lives for His purposes? And how He takes care of us. I know you enjoy typing as I do but here I am having to learn to use the computer. I am told once you master it that you never go back to typewriters. Well, at our ages, I think we can stick to our typewriters.
We will pray or at least I will pray for God to sustain you as you mend. Our old bodies just don't recover as quickly. This past week I have been feeling tired and like I need a good rest.
I had surgery last November and had to rest and I did feel so much better. But I love the work here and like you, it is a part of our lives.
BRAVO! This week begins the Jerusalem Mosaic programs. Do pray that God will use these films to touch people with an understanding of Israel. There is so much negative press all the time. Clarence will be in Tulsa with the family in July and we are planning a big 50th Jubilee Celebration here for Bridges for PeaceWhat a marvel of history but how difficult it has been for the State to survive. God did have His hand on it through all the wars. When and if you feel up to it, drop a note. Meantime, know that we love and appreciate you and your friendship. I saw a note in your paper from Elva in Paradise. I recognized it to be Elva and sent her a note. Had not heard from her for years. She was so active. I'll send Clarence's letter on to him.
Love, Ann (OKLAHOMA)