HOW THE LORD HAS STRENGTHENED HIS HEART
MY DEARLY BELOVED BROTHER RUSSELL:--
With just a little regret, I will ask for a moment of your valuable time. I noticed in the first article of THE WATCH TOWER of July 15, 1915, you make mention of the MORNING RESOLVE, the VOW and the suggestion you had to make recently about Love.
I wish to tell you briefly of the great amount of good these have all been to me. My first waking thoughts are, to repeat the MORNING RESOLVE. This is my Watchword during the day. The VOW: I never could have kept up my spiritual existence without it, especially during the time I have been engaged in the Colporteur work.
The consideration of the MANNA text each day has also been of inestimable value. And the suggestion on Love: I do not wish to say that I was proceeding ahead of the light, but I have been including this same thought each day in my prayer for the last two years; I now report each evening at the Throne of Grace; and as to the noticed results, I wish to say that I have increased love for the Father and the Son, for all the dear brethren, and for all the world of mankind. I have more love, more kindness, more gentleness toward all the animal creation; even so much that it has made me careful for the little insects that go before me on the ground.
I feel quite sure that if all the friends would include this request in their morning prayer they would notice decided development of that one grace--Love. I am striving by the Lord's grace each day to make use of about all the opportunities that come in my way. I am waiting on the Lord, and am of good courage, for He has strengthened my heart. [R5961 : page 286]
Dear Brother, just a little question, if you will grant an answer to it--to me it means so much. Concerning our Lord's last hours in Gethsemane: He desired some evidence from the Father that His Covenant of Sacrifice had been carried out faithfully. In like manner, what is the best evidence we can have that our Heavenly interests are all right?
I pray the Lord's richest blessing upon your every step of the way; also upon your every effort to assist and encourage the entire Household of Faith, as we near the closing scenes of the Harvest. Sister Kellar and my family all join with me in sending you very much Christian love. I remain
Your Brother and fellow servant in the one hope,
EBER A. KELLAR.
ANSWER TO ABOVE LETTER
Our Lord's case was peculiar. No one had ever trodden the pathway before--He was the first, the Forerunner, on the path of Life. If He had erred in any particular, He had no Advocate to make good for Him. The issue before Him was a resurrection to eternal glory on the Divine plane-- glory, honor and immortality--or everlasting destruction as one who had failed to keep the Divine Law, and for whose recovery from sin no provision had been made. It seems, therefore, not unreasonable that our Lord might ask of the Father an evidence of His acceptability.
In our case it would be a little different. We know that we are imperfect and that we cannot do all that we would-- for we will to do perfectly. In our case we know the provision of the Father had already been made--namely, that if our hearts are loyal He will take care of the remainder, making good for our short-comings, through the merit of Jesus. We are to accept this statement fully, heartily, faithfully. I believe that it would not be pleasing to the Lord if we should ask for some special manifestation of His favor over and above what He has done for us, and also the promises that are ours. If it were possible to imagine that similar circumstances could arise with us to those experienced by our Lord, we might be sure that the Heavenly Father would be pleased to have us call upon Him in the hour of trouble, and that He would be pleased similarly to respond.
THE CENSER--THE FIRE--THE INCENSE
PASTOR C.T. RUSSELL. DEAR BROTHER:--
Greetings and love in our Lord and Head! Whilst recently moving amongst the friends of various classes, I found that the question as to whether the incense was burned in the Most Holy on the typical day of atonement, was the cause of some friction and differences of opinion. Some had even gone to the length of hinting that TABERNACLE SHADOWS required to be rewritten and amended.
For my own part the question has never seemed to me worth any serious consideration, as from a merely surface glance this new view seems to be entirely out of harmony with the various antitypical features of The Divine Plan as we now understand them. Believing, however, that it is now more necessary than at any time in the past to be able to give a reason for the hope that is in us, I made careful inquiries on the point and find that the whole theory rests mainly on two texts of Scripture--Leviticus 16:12and Hebrews 9:3, 4.
Turning up the DIAGLOTT at the latter text I find a footnote there which satisfactorily explains the evident contradiction here between the Old and New Testament records of the A.V. on this point. The real difficulty then lies with Leviticus 16:12.
Apparently from the reading of this verse, the Censer, full of burning coals of fire, as well as the Incense, were both taken by the Priest beyond the second veil. There is no doubt that from a comparison of Scripture, the veil referred to here is the one between the Holy and the Most Holy. On closer examination, however, I find that the apparent contradiction of this verse rests entirely upon a poor translation of one word. The word "bring" in this verse is from the Hebrew word "bow," which, according to Profs. Young and Strong, literally means "to cause to come in" or "to send." The action implied in this word does not refer to the censer or the fire, but only to the incense. This is admitted even by the singular number of the pronoun supplied by the translators of the A.V.
How then does the Priest cause the incense to come within the veil? Analyzing verse 12it would mean something like the following: "He shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from the altar (in the court) before the Lord" (and place it in the top of the incense altar in the Holy); then "he shall take his hands full of sweet incense beaten small and bring (cause it to enter) within the veil." The Priest standing at the incense altar in the Holy and crumbling the incense on the fire in the top of the altar would cause the sweet perfume of the incense to enter the presence of Jehovah beyond the veil.--Revelation 8:3, 4.
Apparently two things were necessary in order to save the Priest's life when he entered beyond the veil. First the incense must have preceded him, as indicated in Leviticus 16:2. Second he must have had the blood with him, or otherwise death would have been the result.--Hebrews 9:7.
The incense, representing the antitypical Priest's faithfulness in the midst of His earthly trials, must have been acceptable to God even before He passed beyond the veil of His human nature--the flesh. Additionally the blood (earthly life rights) must still be unforfeited in any way, as otherwise he would not have risen beyond the veil in resurrection life and therefore could not have benefited the human race.--Heb. 9:7.
Your ever-grateful brother in His service,
A PREACHER WHO SEES LIGHT
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--
Greetings in the name of our Redeemer. Appreciating the fact that we are living in the close of the "Harvest," and that privileges of service are very precious to us all, we would use this opportunity to call to your attention briefly a notable witness for the Truth in one of the churches of this city.
For some time past you have doubtless noticed news clippings, sermons of Rev. ----, of the ---- Church, Los Angeles, in which his presentation was in harmony with the truths as presented in the SCRIPTURE STUDIES. Indeed, there was a reason for this. A year ago this man, evidently a conscientious Christian, was falling into and preaching Higher Criticism, though honestly. With this was mixed Socialism [R5961 : page 287] and thoughts on Restitution; the latter, he had evidently gained by reading your sermons. Attracted by this, a certain lame Brother here, full of zeal, looking for ways to serve the Master, was used of the Lord in bringing the Volumes to his attention. These he commenced to read and believe, but could not accommodate the thoughts of a Ransom. Patiently the brother stayed with him until finally, grasping the thought that "there is one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a Ransom for all," he began to preach it, repudiating all former no-ransom theories. This led him to a further study and assimilation of the Volumes. He realized that we are living in the closing hours of the Gospel Age, and that this being the Truth, he must preach it.
Gradually leading his congregation along, they voted at his suggestion to have the DRAMA exhibited in their Church on Wednesday evenings. Greatly appreciating this opportunity of service, we gladly gave them the DRAMA, advertising it and filling their church to overflowing at each exhibition. General appreciation was expressed, and Brother ---- himself was greatly encouraged, especially through his fellowship with the friends, whom he evidently recognized as Christians in deed and in truth. After this he was invited to hear Judge Rutherford at a small gathering of the friends, the subject being along the lines of the Ransom. This he greatly appreciated, and in the testimony meeting told us how he "got the Truth," of his love for it, and how he appreciated the opportunities and privileges that he now has in declaring it. This he proved on the following Sunday, by speaking on the Atonement, using the Tabernacle Chart which we had provided to illustrate, driving home the vital points of Truth --the death penalty against man, the opportunity for all to be released from that penalty by the fact that the Lord Jesus, dying as a man, a perfect man, offset the penalty against Father Adam and his race. The Spirit of the Truth had so gotten into his heart and mind that the short time allotted to his sermon was not half long enough to speak forth the Words of Life.
This Brother's zeal, and evidences of a full heart-consecration to God, have surely inspired us. To see him standing up before his congregation, speaking forth the Words of Truth and Life, so earnestly and sincerely, would gladden the heart of any child of God who realizes that we are in the "Harvest" of this Gospel Age.
The interest shown at the DRAMA exhibition was very good, attendance being from three to four hundred at each Part. Over a hundred cards were turned in, requesting the "Where Are the Dead" Booklet. The interest thus stirred up is to be followed up.
Hoping this will prove as interesting to you at it has to us, and praying the Lord's blessing upon you and the dear colaborers at Brooklyn in the completion of His Harvest work, We are
Your Brethren in the Lord, DRAMA WORKERS.
MANNA, VOW AND MORNING RESOLVE BLESSINGS
DEARLY BELOVED PASTOR:--
I have been so blessed by your ministrations of love and good cheer that I would like to express my gratitude to you and to our Heavenly Father for the riches of grace which we [R5962 : page 287] enjoy. I receive such a blessing daily with the MORNING MANNA, THE VOW, and THE MORNING RESOLVE! Also, "ARE YE ABLE TO DRINK OF MY CUP?" Oh, the blessed Truth! It satisfies my longings as nothing else can do. And, dear Pastor, THE WATCH TOWER is such a wonderful channel of blessing, too! We praise God on your behalf as we see how He has kept you all these years; it gives us courage. The feast is now spread surely in the midst of our enemies! The Lord grant we may be enlarged daily and thus have the spiritual capacity for the SEVENTH VOLUME of which you also spoke.
Our dear Pastor, I would just make one request of you, if I may. It is that you would pray for me; that, having run well thus far, I might continue faithful even unto death. Three months ago I had two operations in one. After seven weeks I came home to take up my family obligations once again--except sweeping, washing, and ironing. It taxed my strength so much that I thought it only right as a New Creature in Christ to speak to my husband. I told him how I felt. He could not understand, neither could his mother, how it was that I did not feel able to do the work. Well, this proved quite a trial to me. But as no deliverance came from these duties, I considered it my duty, and evidently God's will also, that I go on and serve just as long as God gave me strength. I feel that my strength is going, though I have not told my husband, as he speaks to me only when he must, since the experience mentioned.
The pressure I feel has been hard upon me for the last five or six months, but I have been able to rejoice. Though the cup has overflowed with sorrow and suffering, nevertheless I have been able to realize the Lord's presence very near and the truth of Jesus' words, "The Father Himself loveth you." But even so as our Lord, I would continue to pray with strong crying and tears, realizing so much my utter helplessness and need of God's help through Christ Jesus. I ask you to pray for me, that I may in due time have the full assurance, as those who have gone before, that I am acceptable in the Beloved One, and have made my calling and election sure. I feel that I have need of patience also, that having done the will of God I might receive the promise.
Now again I would thank God for the blessed tie that unites us all in Him. My prayer is that we may be enlarged and abound yet more and more in the love of God. This love has increased in me as daily I have prayed with you all that thus we might be able to show forth the praises of Him who hath called us out of darkness into His marvelous light.
May the Lord bless thee and keep thee, and grant thee the "abundant entrance" through Christ Jesus our Lord!
Your Sister in Christ, ----
LIKE SAUL, THOUGHT HE DID GOD SERVICE
Am happy to say that I am most surely a believer and an earnest one in "The Divine Plan of the Ages," and just as set forth by Brother Russell. More than that, I have been preaching it in no uncertain manner from the pulpit of the First Baptist Church of this place. And as might be expected I have also been ordered to stop such preaching or resign; consequently I have resigned. But then, of course, there are other places to preach, and preach it I will!
Yes, I recall the circumstances to which you refer, at the time of the revival meeting in my church, at the time the PHOTO-DRAMA was shown here, and I recall the matter only with shame and humiliation for the part I played in it. While I made no speech at the band-stand that afternoon, I did help to arrange the meeting with the object of keeping people from seeing the DRAMA. The Evangelist and the Methodist pastor of this place did the speaking, but I approved of it at the time. That humiliating experience serves to show what an absurd and enormous blunder a man makes when he jumps at conclusions and forms an opinion without investigation, just because "everyone says so." However, like Saul, I verily thought I did God a service, and being honest and sincere, though ignorant, like him, I obtained mercy, and have been shown a "more excellent way."
I am already beginning to feel the edge of the people's opposition, and, as you say, from those who were formerly my strongest supporters. However, "'Tis always with the righteous well," and I trust that I have the imputed righteousness of my Master, and that through His grace and help I shall be able to exemplify that righteousness in my life.
I have a full set of the STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, am getting THE WATCH TOWER and also the BIBLE STUDENTS MONTHLY. No, I have not a copy of Brother Rutherford's "Defense of Brother Russell," nor do I need one for myself, as I need no further evidence than the STUDIES. But I might be able to use one with advantage with others that are not so convinced.
Thanking you for the interest and sympathy manifested in your letter, and requesting that you will remember me at the Throne of Grace.
I am your brother in the Truth, ----
DAILY USE OF VOW A BLESSING
DEARLY BELOVED PASTOR:--
Although my name was entered as taking the Vow seven years ago, I wish to express my appreciation of its being a great safeguard from the powers of darkness in this evil day.
I have been very diligent in repeating it in the morning, and always received a blessing. Recently I was careless for a few days and did not repeat the VOW; as a result I had a very severe trial.
I wish to renew my name and covenant with the Lord, and am sure the result will be a blessing; I know of no other way to correct my carelessness. How graciously we have been provided for, and how much we need to be on the alert to resist the occult powers!
With much Christian Love, ----