WAS DISGUSTED WITH MAKE-BELIEVE RELIGION
DEAR PASTOR RUSSELL:--
A deep feeling of love for you, the honored servant of our Father in Heaven, prompts me to express my thankfulness just this once for having been brought into the light now shining so brightly. Hitherto I have sought to quell the desire from a realization that you receive many thousands such letters, and that I should not encroach upon your valuable time. Please do not feel obligated to answer this.
I first came in contact with Present Truth in 1902, through reading several of the Volumes; and a profound impression was made upon me. At that time I was teacher of a large school in Jamaica, Catechist of the Church of England, Sunday School Superintendent, Choir Master, and the rest of it. Pressure on all sides was brought to bear, and my desire to embrace the Truth was squeezed out of me. For nearly ten years I never came in contact with so much as one of your tracts. I became intensely worldly; and, thoroughly disgusted with myself and the make-believe religion, I quit the whole thing in 1907 and started anew on the Isthmus of Panama.
In September, 1911, my wife bought a copy of "Daniel and the Revelation." Trying to read this book caused me to root out an old paper covered Volume V. which had followed us around these many years. It was in trying to compare the two books that I got a fresh start; and the Lord, almost miraculously, supplied the other volumes. Determined that the opportunity should not slip this time, I carefully made up my mind, and offered myself in full consecration to God on January 1st, 1912. My dear wife also consecrated about the same time.
Since then our path has been continuously upward. We have read hard, prayed much, and endeavored to live Christ; and oh, the blessedness! Only those who have been with Jesus and have learned of Him can appreciate this wonderful transformation of mind.
Next to the Lord Jesus our thanks are due to you, as our consecration was solely the product of STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, and your writings have been the most important element in the development of our characters.
Enclosed are four questions which have caused a good deal of division of thought among us of the Panama Class. I am aware that all of them have been treated by you time and again. But we are so dull of comprehension and so leaky!
I close with warmest love and appreciation for you and the Bethel family, whom we remember daily in prayer.
I am yours by His grace,
G.L. HARRY.--Balboa, Canal Zone.
Questions. (1) When the Apostle Paul says, "Let your women keep silence in the Churches" (1 Corinthians 14:34; 1 Timothy 2:11,12), does he include giving thoughts in a Berean Study?
(2) Does the Church belong to the order of Melchizedek during the Gospel Age, actually or prospectively? In either case, where does the "reigning" come in? Or are we in some way connected with the Aaronic Priesthood?
(3) What is meant by "intuitive knowledge"? Does the Lord Jesus now possess this kind of knowledge, and will the Church eventually attain to the same?
(4) Since all must "honor the Son even as they honor the Father," wherein is Jehovah's superiority? Is it a superiority of mental power or merely of seniority?
ANSWER TO ABOVE LETTER AND QUESTIONS
Your welcome letter of the 3rd inst. is before me. I rejoice with you that the Lord has pursued you through His mercy and love, and that you have surrendered to Him. I trust you may continue to abide under His shadow and to serve Him and to thus have the necessary preparation for a share in the Heavenly Kingdom.
Replying to your questions: We understand that there would be no violation of the Apostle's injunction in the Sisters' taking part in a Berean Study. If there are no consecrated or competent Brethren present, I see no reason why the Sisters might not lead a Berean Class. The Church in association with her Head will be the Melchizedek Priest, during the Millennial Age. That Priest, Prophet, Teacher, is not yet fully raised up from amongst the people, but will be entirely raised up by the close of this Age, perfected in the First Resurrection. (Acts 3:23; Eph. 2:10-16.) Consequently no reigning takes place as yet, except as our Lord is taking to Himself His great power and beginning His Reign--the majority of the Church already with Him on the other side the veil, and we on this side gradually passing over.
Intuitive knowledge would be a direct apprehension, without the process of reasoning, or the necessity for proof. The Bible assures us that all power is possessed by our Lord Jesus since His resurrection. This would seem to include intuitive knowledge. The Church has the promise that in the resurrection she will be like her Lord. It is further written: "Now we know in part; then we shall know even as we are known."
To honor the Son even as we honor the Father does not mean necessarily to give Him the same degree of honor; but rather we might state it, "We honor the Father. Even so let us honor the Son also--as the Son, as the Father's Logos and Chief Representative."
With Christian love to yourself and all the dear friends with whom you are associated or come in contact, I remain
Your brother and servant in the Lord.
RE SOME CLASS BUSINESS METHODS
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--
Ever since our Class has been organized much time has been consumed each month in our business meetings, but since all matters are decided by the Class, under present arrangements, we do not see how such meetings can be avoided and less time spent. [R5923 : page 207]
We believe that with your wide and varied experience, you could give us a few valuable suggestions along this line and we would be glad if you would give us some advice.
Praying the Lord's rich blessing upon you daily, we remain
Yours in His service, ST. JOSEPH [MO.] CLASS.
Where a Class finds, after trial, that one or more of its Elders or Deacons possess good business acumen and faithfulness, it sometimes proves a good plan to make a Business Committee of such and leave much of the Business routine to such Committee. Care, however, should be observed not to put matters too fully out of the hands of the Class. Care also should be observed not to put too much power into the hands of any who evidence a desire to grasp power and to exceed the wishes of the Class. In all matters the easiest and smoothest way of obtaining results is advisable; but the authority of the Class should be recognized. Any one ignoring the Class and its wishes would better be left without any special service as Elder, Deacon, etc.
In THE TOWER of February 15, I read some quotations from alleged German sermons, extracted from the Methodist Times, and supposed to be faithful translations from these sermons. Since reading them I received a package of newspapers from my home, Copenhagen, in one of which is an alleged truthful explanation of those sermons.
Pastor Loebel, of Leipzig, does not even exist. Professor Rheinhold Seeby should be Seeberg; he denies absolutely to have said anything of the kind quoted; and, while Philippi's expressions are not absolutely denied, their authenticity is very doubtful.
I enclose the article from the Danish paper Robenhavn. If you so think, a correction in THE TOWER might help remove some of the added bitter feelings against Germans in general. My sympathy is rather on the side of France and England; but I desire justice to all.
Yours in His service, C. PETERSEN.