Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing (epiphany) of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13
classes. Thus experience proves that these conflicts have come; and the experiences of the elect, especially of their leaders, prove that they were victorious in this warfare against error. This can best be seen in the experience of the Apostolic Church, the Reformation Church and the Harvest Church. These battles involved every subject of Bible doctrine, organization and practice; and God in these conflicts always fulfilled the pertinent promises, e.g., Is. 54: 17 and Luke 21: 15, giving His faithful the ability to refute all errors that were urged against, or intended to corrupt their message. These experiences prove such teachings to be a Divine Revelation.
(18) The Bible teaches that it itself is the power of God stimulating His people to the spread of Christianity; and the experiences of God's people are an illustration of the fact that it does so stimulate them. It sets before their hearts and minds the motives that impel them to spread its tidings (Jer. 15: 16; 20: 9). Thus it arouses them to a faith that moves them to spread its message (2 Cor. 4: 13). It gives them the power necessary to make them effective therefore (John 17: 17; 1 Cor. 1: 17, 18, 21, 23, 24; 1 Thes. 1: 5). It gives them the love that constrains them thereto (2 Cor. 4: 14; 2 Tim. 2: 10). It stimulates them thereto with the hope of blessing others (1 Cor. 9: 10, 17). It likewise gives them the motives that arouse them to obedience (1 Cor. 9: 17; Acts 26: 16-20). It induces them to exercise the pertinent self-denial, tact and resourcefulness (1 Cor. 9: 19-23). Urged on by such motives, the elect have gone everywhere preaching the Word, and have found it effective in spreading Christianity, in bringing many through repentance and faith unto justification (Rom. 1: 16), in bringing justified ones unto the high calling (Rom. 8: 30; 1 Pet. 5: 10; 2 Pet. 1: 2-4) and in enabling those faithful in the high calling to make their calling and election sure (2 Pet. 1: 10, 11; 1 Cor. 9: 24-27). Thus the Bible gives power to its believers to spread its message; and
they experience its effectiveness to spread Christianity (Is. 55: 10, 11; Jer. 23: 29; Heb. 4: 12). Accordingly, such experience of its pertinent teachings is a proof that they are a Divine Revelation.
(19) Another proof that the Bible is a Divine Revelation is the Christian's experience that as he fulfills the conditions of prevailing prayer that it sets forth, he obtains the answer to his petitions. It is a mistake to believe that God hears and answers every prayer and everybody's prayer. Not only the Bible teaches that He does not so do; for God does not hear nor answer the prayer of the wicked or the wrong prayers of the righteous (Ps. 18: 41; 66: 18; Prov. 1: 24-29; 28: 9; Is. 1: 15; Jas. 1: 6, 7; 4: 3; 1 Pet. 3: 7); but the experience of many proves that God does not so do. On the contrary, the Bible teaches that there are conditions placed upon the prayer, if it is to be acceptable. The all-embracing condition is that prayer must be made in Jesus' name (John 14: 13, 14; 16: 23-27). To ask in Jesus' name implies several things: (1) that one be a child of God (John 16: 27); (2) that he abide in Christ, i.e., remain a believer in Christ's merit for forgiveness, be faithful as a member of Christ in His consecration, and be a believer in God's promises to answer him (Rom. 3: 21—4: 8; Acts 10: 43; Matt. 21: 22; John 15: 7; Jas. 1: 5, 6; 5: 16); and (3) that he be controlled in his petitions by the teachings of God's Word (John 15: 7; Ps. 145: 18; Prov. 15: 8; Jas. 4: 3; 1 John 3: 23; 5: 14, 15). Those who fulfill these conditions do not pray for earthly health, life, fame, riches, position, etc.; for in their consecration they offered these to God in sacrifice; and their faithfulness in consecration refuses to take back what they consecrated to God; but they do pray for spiritual knowledge, the graces, opportunities of spiritual service and for spiritual endurance of their trials, sufferings and persecution. And these petitions are always answered, though the answer for the good of the petitioner is sometimes delayed. Thus their experiences in great
abundance prove that their prayers are answered; and these prove that the pertinent Bible teachings must have come from God and are thus a Divine Revelation.
(20) The Bible further teaches that God is training His people for fitness to be kings and priests for the Millennium; and their experiences prove that this is true. That God is training them to be Millennial kings and priests is evident from numerous Scriptures (Matt. 19: 28, 29; Luke 12: 32; 22: 29; Rom. 8: 17; 1 Cor. 6: 2, 3; 2 Tim. 2: 11, 12; Rev. 1: 6; 3: 21; 5: 9, 10; 20: 4-6). This training involves that He causes them to grow in the Divine knowledge (Matt. 7: 24, 25; 25: 1, 2, 10; John 7: 17; 8: 32; 10: 4; 17: 3, 8, 25; Rom. 16: 19; 1 Cor. 2: 10-16; 14: 20; Eph. 4: 11-13; 5: 17; Phil. 3: 8; Col. 1: 10; 3: 10, 16; 2 Tim. 3: 15-17; 2 Pet. 3: 18), in the Divine graces (John 15: 1-8; Rom. 12: 9-21; 1 Cor. 13: 1-13; Gal. 5: 22-25; Col. 3: 10-21; 2 Tim. 2: 24, 25; 2 Pet. 1: 5-11), and in the Divine service (Matt. 21: 28; 24: 45-47; Luke 12: 35-48; 16: 10-13; John 13: 16; Rom. 12: 3-8; 1 Cor. 4: 2; Eph. 6: 5-8; Col. 3: 22-25). It also involves that He disciplines them (Ps. 94: 12, 13; 118: 18; 119: 67, 75; Heb. 12: 5-11; Rev. 3: 19), that He inures them to hardship (Matt. 24: 13; Acts 14: 22; Rom. 8: 35-39; 2 Cor. 4: 8-12; 6: 4, 8-10; Gal. 6: 9; Eph. 6: 13, 18; Phil. 4: 1; Col. 1: 23; 2 Thes. 3: 13; 2 Tim. 2: 1, 3, 12; Heb. 3: 14; 10: 23; 12: 1-4; Jas. 1: 4, 12; 5: 10, 11; 1 Pet. 1: 6, 7; Rev. 2: 10; 3: 11, 12), that He exposes them to persecution for the Lord, the Truth and the brethren (Matt. 5: 10-12, 44; 10: 16-18, 21-23, 28; 20: 22, 23; 23: 34, 35; 24: 8-10; John 15: 18, 19; 16: 1, 2; Acts 4: 16-20; 5: 29, 40-42; 1 Cor. 4: 9-13; 2 Cor. 11: 23-27; 2 Thes. 1: 4; 2 Tim. 3: 12; Heb. 10: 32-35; 13: 13; 1 Pet. 3: 14; 4: 12-16, 19), and that in all such experiences they show forth the Lord's spirit (for passages on this phase of our subject please see some cited in this paragraph under the point that treats of their training as implying their growth in the Divine graces). God's people have all through the
Gospel Age experienced God's training of them in these seven ways. To our part therein all of us can testify as matters of our experiences. Thus again experience proves the Divine origin of the pertinent teachings, and thus proves the Bible to be a Divine Revelation on the involved subjects.
(21) Again, the Bible teaches that the elect are the objects of God's special providence; and their experiences prove this to be a fact. The Bible teaches that God gives these the benefits of each of the seven features of His providential care: (1) He arranges for the supply of their needs, and then supplies them (Ps. 65: 9-13; 104: 10-19, 24-30; 136: 25; 145: 15, 16; 147: 8, 9; Is. 33: 16; Acts 14: 17); (2) He preserves them by shielding them from the attacks of too strong evils (Ps. 34: 17, 19, 20; 91: 1-12; Is. 4: 5, 6; 32: 2; 1 Cor. 10: 13; 2 Pet. 2: 9; Rev. 3: 10) and by bracing them to meet such evils as by His grace they are enabled to meet (Ps. 34: 7; 44: 1-3; 105: 14-21; 127: 1, 2; 146: 7-9; 2 Cor. 12: 7-9); (3) He directs their course in life, both collectively and individually (Ps. 37: 17, 23, 24, 28, 32; 91: 11, 12; Prov. 20: 22; 24: 16; Is. 26: 7; 30: 21; 31: 4, 5; 40: 11; 52: 11-53: 12; 58: 11; Jer. 2: 6; 3: 4; Rom. 8: 28; 2 Thes. 3: 3; 1 Pet. 2: 12); (4) He works all their experiences for their spiritual good (Gen. 50: 20; 1 Sam. 2: 6-9; Ezra 6: 22; Rom. 8: 28; 2 Cor. 4: 16-18; Phil. 1: 12-14); (5) He restrains them from evil and unprofitable works by hindrances that He brings into their lives (Acts 8: 1, 4-8; 16: 6, 7, 9; 2 Cor. 12: 7-9; Phil 1: 12-14); (6) He trains them by disciplines, hardships and persecutions (for many pertinent passages please see the preceding point; additionally we cite the following: Ps. 66: 10; 119: 71; Eccl. 7: 14; Is. 1: 25; Mic. 6: 9; Mal. 3: 3; John 11: 4; 15: 2; 1 Cor. 11: 32; 2 Cor. 4: 11, 17; Heb. 2: 10, 17, 18; 5: 8; 1 Pet. 5: 10; Rev. 2: 10); and (7) God stripes them for wrong-doing (Ps. 50: 21; Zech. 1: 6; Matt. 5: 19; Luke 12: 45-48; Rom. 11: 17-21; Col. 3: 25; Heb. 2: 3; 4: 1; 10: 30; 12: 25).
The Bible teaches that all seven of these forms of the Divine providence are exercised by Him primarily through the ministry of Jesus Christ (Gen. 48: 15, 16; Ps. 34: 6, 7; Mal. 3: 23; Matt. 28: 18, 20; Mark 16: 20; 1 Cor. 1: 30; 8: 6; Eph. 1: 22; 5: 29; Rev. 2: 23; 3: 7, 19) and secondarily through the ministry of the angels (Ps. 91: 11, 12; Matt. 18: 10; Acts 5: 19, 20; 12: 5-11, 23; 27: 23; Heb. 1: 13, 14). The experiences of all God's elect by innumerable cases prove that He has exercised toward them all seven of these Biblically-taught forms of providential care; and they therefore prove that the Bible on these lines of thought is from God, hence a Divine Revelation.
(22) God forecast that in the end of the Age He would harvest out of Sectarianism His faithful for a great feast of truth, growth in grace and opportunities of service; and experience proves that this occurred from Oct., 1874, to Oct., 1914, which period for that work was pointed out by time and sign prophecy. The Scriptures show that such a harvesting work was to take place in the end of the Age (Matt. 13: 24-30, 36-43; Rev. 14: 14-16; Matt. 24: 31, 28, 40, 41; Ps. 50: 5). The Bible calls the involved 40 years a working day, and shows that there would be issued five calls to His people to work in God's vineyard (Matt. 20: 1-16; John 11: 9; 9: 4). A symbolic 12-hour working day of 40 years yields as its hours 12 periods of 3⅓ years. Accordingly, the symbolic call hours of the 40-year day of Matt. 20: 1-16—1874-1914—are as follows: 1st and 2nd hours were Oct., 1874-June, 1881; the 3rd hour was June, 1881-Oct., 1884; the 6th hour was June, 1891-Oct., 1894; the 9th hour was June, 1901-Oct., 1904 and the 11th hour was Feb., 1908 June, 1911. The facts prove that during these five periods especially large numbers of saintly people were separated from Sectarianism through the Truth as a symbolic sickle swayed as tracts, magazines, pamphlets, booklets, books and newspapers, as sermons, talks and lectures, and as conversations and correspondence;
and they were given glorious feasts of truth, opportunities for developing character and for witnessing to the Truth. Facts also prove that by the operation of the first phase of the World War's trench warfare a cutting oft of this reaping work set in. Thus the harvest work was done in the period that prophecy declares it would be. Millions of people witnessed this work without understanding it; and hundreds of thousands at the time understood what it meant. Hence experience proves that this prophesied work was done at the proper time and in the five stages of its main features. Thus experience proves that the pertinent features of the Bible are of Divine Revelation.
(23) The Bible teaches that this period of reaping—the end of the Age—would be accompanied by five siftings; and the facts of the case prove that a sifting accompanied each one of the five special calls; a thing that we should expect, since those found unworthy of continuing under the call naturally would be cast out of it, losing their crowns, and others would be invited to take their lost crowns (Rev. 3: 11). In 1 Cor. 10: 5-10 St. Paul refers to five special evils that Israelites committed during their journey in the wilderness. In v. 6, where the Greek word typoi, which means types, is translated ensamples, we are shown that these five evils were typical, and were written to warn God's Gospel-Age people not to do their antitypes; and in v. 11 we are told that these things happened as types of things in the ends of the Ages. The AN. renders the Greek expression telē ton aionon, ends of the world, which would require the Greek to be telē tou kosmou; the A.R.V. properly renders it, the ends of the ages. Jesus tells us that the Harvest is the end of the age (Matt. 13: 30, 40; see A.R.V. margin). At the end of the Jewish Age there was a Harvest (John 4: 34-38; Matt. 9: 36-38) and in the foregoing point we saw that there was also a Harvest at the end of the Gospel Age. Accordingly, we understand 1 Cor. 10: 11 to refer to these two Harvests, in each of which
there were five siftings accompanying five calls. The early morning sifting of the Gospel Harvest began April, 1878, along no-ransomism lines, the third hour sifting began Oct., 1881, along infidelism lines, the sixth hour sifting began Oct., 1891, along combinationism lines, the ninth hour sifting began Oct., 1901, along reformism lines and the eleventh hour sifting began Feb., 1908, along murmersome contradictionism lines. Accordingly, experience proves that the pertinent parts of the Bible are matters of Divine Revelation.
(24) The development of the Great Company as a class, the Bible teaches would come after the Reaping and during the great tribulation, though the individuals thereof have lived throughout the Age, according to the Bible; and experience proves that this has been taking place of them as a class since Jan., 1917. The Bible teaches this, both directly and by implication (Lev. 16: 15-19, 20-22 [the Lord's goat represents the Little Flock, Heb. 13: 13, and the scape, Azazel's, Satan's goat, the Great Company, vs. 7-10; 1 Cor. 5: 5; 1 Tim. 1: 18, 19]; Mal. 3: 1-4; Matt. 7: 24-27; 1 Cor. 3: 12-15; Jude 22, 23; Rev. 7: 2-8, 9-17; 19: 1-10). Numerous types of the Old Testament give the same thought as to the time of their rise, e.g., Lot, Rahab, Eli, Benjamin, the Levites, etc. In the preceding citations the Little Flock and the Great Company are differentiated. The Little Flock is therein represented as first dealt with crucially in the end [harvest] of the Gospel Age in a special manner; then afterward, in the great trouble, which began in 1914 and is to continue yet for many years, the Great Company is treated as being dealt with. This we see going on before our very eyes. The reaped people of God were a united whole from 1874 to 1914, and shortly afterward. Then in 1915 there began in England a divisive movement working secretly among the reaped people of God; and they pursued such a course as led to a division there in Jan., 1917; and in America contemporaneously a secret divisive work began in 1915; and by the summer of
1917 a division similar to that in Britain set in: and by now the Great Company is divided worldwide into its forecast 60 groups, corresponding to the 60 genealogical groups of the Levites given in Exodus, Numbers and 1 Chronicles, the 60 posts of the tabernacle court, the 60 defenders of Solomon's bed (Cant. 3: 7) and the 60 queens (Cant. 6: 8). This Scripturally forecast class developing before our very eyes and experiencing this development, experience proves that the pertinent Scriptures are a Divine Revelation.
(25) The Bible teaches that in the end of the Age Satan's empire would in its various parts enter into various combinations, and in such a condition would be overthrown. And since 1874 we have been seeing such combination going on; and since 1914 the weakening of that empire has been going on in the two phases of the World War; and in Armageddon, which will follow the last phase of that war, that empire will be completely destroyed. The following passages show that such a work of combination would set in preparatory to the overthrow of Satan's empire (Matt. 13: 30, 40-42; Is. 8: 9-11; Rev. 6: 14; 14: 18-20; 16: 14; 19: 19; Zeph. 3: 8, 9). In harmony with the fulfillment of such bundling of the tares we see the sects gathering into unions and federations, Romanism and Protestantism, the two parts of the ecclesiastical heavens, not uniting, but approaching one another cooperatively, as two rolls of a scroll (Rev. 6: 14), as in the various congresses of religions we see Churchianity, Judaism and heathenism making approaches to one another as tare bundles; and in the bundles of national alliances and axises we see the national tares combined. In capital we see the bundles associating themselves as corporations, trusts, combines, pools, mergers and cartels. In labor we see the bundles operating as trade unions, socialistic combinations, anarchistic clubs and communistic aggregations. In society we recognize the same movements operating, as insurance societies, secret societies, fraternities,
clubs and ex-soldier associations. Such combinationism springs from the consciousness that self-preservation can be maintained, not by individual, but only by united effort in the various phases of man's modes of activities. Such combination—tare bundles—of what are elements of Satan's empire began to be cast into the symbolic fiery furnace—the great tribulation—in 1914 through the first phase of the World War, which did much burning of these tare bundles. This burning continued in the second phase of the World War. The utter figurative burning up of these tare bundles as parts of Satan's empire was not completed by the World War, which however greatly weakened that empire; but the second stage of the great tribulation (Dan. 12: 1; Matt. 24: 21, 22; Rev. 16: 18-21; 19: 20, 21), called Armageddon, will utterly annihilate that empire and destroy the tare bundles and the tares as tares, imitation wheat, nominal, not real, Christians, but not as individuals. We see this bundling process as having gone on ever since 1874; and since 1914 we see these bundles burning. Hence we see the tares experiencing the bundling and first part of the burning. Accordingly, such sight and experiences prove pertinent Scriptures to be a Divine Revelation.
In the 25 points so far presented we have given copious, but by no means exhaustive citations of pertinent Scriptures, and that because we desired to show how large a part of the Bible is by experience proven to be true. And from these 25 points we desire to draw as conclusions flowing from them three lines of thought that are taught in very large parts of the Bible and are thus proven to be true by experience.
(26) The first of these three lines of thought that are by these 25 experiences proven to be true is the Bible teachings on God's existence, attributes of being and attributes of character as we have presented them in Epiphany Studies In The Scriptures, Vol. I. These 25 experiences have made us experience personal contact, not by our five natural senses,
but by our corresponding five spiritual senses as New Creatures, with God in His existence, attributes of being and attributes of character. Hence they prove to us who have such experiences that the pertinent Bible passages, and these run literally into the thousands, are a Divine Revelation.
(27) The second of these three lines of thought that are by these 25 experiences proven to be true is the Bible teachings of Christ's prehuman, human and posthuman natures, His carnation, earthly ministry, atoning sufferings and death, His character, resurrection, ascension, Pentecostal work and His Gospel-Age ministry of the elect. These 25 experiences have made us experience personal contact, not by our five natural, but by our corresponding five spiritual senses as New Creatures with Him in the matters treated of in the preceding sentence. Hence these experiences prove that the pertinent Bible passages, which also run into the thousands, as to Jesus in these respects are a Divine Revelation.
(28) And, finally, the third of these three lines of thought that are by these 25 experiences proven to be true is the Bible teaching on the nature, the character, the office and the work of the Holy Spirit. These 25 experiences have made us have personal contact with, yea, possession of, the Holy Spirit in its nature, character, office and work for the Gospel Age, not, of course, by our five natural, but by our corresponding five spiritual senses as New Creatures. Hence these experiences prove to us who have them that the pertinent Bible passages, which, too, run into the thousands, as to the Holy Spirit in these respects are of Divine Revelation. Thus we conclude our pertinent proof.
The reader of this discussion of the 28 sets of experiences here set forth on the Bible's being a Divine Revelation will doubtless have noticed that it has been very brief, in fact but little more than an outline on which great details, if necessary, could be given. The
reader can, if a faithful consecrated child of God, very easily from his own experience, fill in this outline with many details, which activity doubtless would afford him much spiritual joy and rich edification; hence we close this line of proof, which adds up to the fact that the entire plan of the elective salvation is thereby demonstrated to be of Divine Revelation, and thus that a large part of the Bible is such.
In giving the elects' 28 experiences as the proof from experience that the Bible is a Divine Revelation, we proved at the same time, without mentioning the fact, by these 28 experiences, that these as the Bible's uniform and sure fruits as to the elect, of themselves as products, in addition to experience, prove it to be a Divine Revelation. It will not be necessary to show this as a separate proof, inasmuch as this would lead to much repetition in going over the same 28 points, though applying them as proofs somewhat differently. Hence we offer this point without further discussion as our second external proof of the Bible being a Divine Revelation, leaving it to the reader who has carefully noted these 28 proofs from experience to apply them as products of the Bible as the second external proof on our thesis. These 28 points, applied from the standpoint of experience and from the standpoint of their being Bible effects, are our first and second external proofs on the Bible's being a Divine Revelation to God's people. In our present discussion, as our third external proof thereon we desire to give a large number of facts that, demonstrating it to be the beacon light of civilization, prove that its effects on the non-elect are an evidence of its being a Divine Revelation; for such effects should follow such a Revelation. Beacon lights serve a double purpose: they warn against dangers that lurk unseen in the deep; and they guide the mariners amid lurking dangers safely through them in their journeys in the seas. And the Bible has done this in the advancement of civilization, pointing out its
evils unto their overthrow and avoidance, and leading it into the paths of uplift and progress. But since for the bulk of the Gospel Age the Bible has been a more or less inaccessible book, by reason of its scarcity and its confinement, for the most part, in non-vernacular languages, some may ask, How could this be true of it? Our reply is that God's elect people have been the special custodians of the Bible and its contents; and as such they have shed forth its teachings and their spirit in such ways as have mightily influenced society against its evils and in its progress toward good; for as the salt of the earth (Matt. 5: 13) they have, through the Bible's teachings and their Spirit, been a nourishing, preserving and seasoning power in human society; as the light of the world (Matt. 5: 14) they have taught the Bible's principles of justice and love in ways deeply influential in setting aside wrong and in establishing good for the non-elect—the justified and nominal Christians—mentally, morally and religiously; and as the Spirit's channel of reproving the world of sin, righteousness and the coming judgment (John 16: 8-11), they have created conditions resulting in many non-elect giving up evils and doing good.
It is preeminently the force that has led to the reform of evils and the establishment of good wherever it has been allowed to affect human conditions. We do not deny that vestiges of God's image, remaining in the human race, have in heathendom effected the setting aside of some evils and introducing some good, though the depravity of mankind existing in heathendom has seriously neutralized mentally, morally and religiously this effect by inaugurating many general evils. Nor do we deny that non-Christian commerce, law, science, philosophy and humanitarianism despite their imperfections, have effected some reforms of evil and plantings of good in human society; but at the same time we claim that they have done well in these respects in proportion as they have acted under the influences set
into operation by the Bible, working through the elect people of God. Even Mohammedanism, despite its many imperfections, owes its best effects to the influence of the Bible upon it, and owes its worst effects to its non-Biblical teachings and practices. But while we concede to such forces some credit for some reforms of evil and some advances of good, their effects in these respects pale almost into insignificance when compared with the effects that the Bible has wrought in these matters. But the Bible does not act revolutionarily in producing these effects to the direct antagonizing and disrupting of evil social conditions that it meets; but it slowly spreads its principles and spirit into changing the individual internally, and through him works similarly in others and thus effects the needed reforms by changing public sentiment to better conditions, e.g., its abolishing slavery.
Certain general remarks would here be in place. First of all, we would say that our subject has often been discussed; for many Christian authors and books have stressed the fact that the Bible as the beacon light of civilization has therein credentials of its being a Divine Revelation. Among such authors and books we take pleasure in naming C. L. Brace and his book, Gesta Christi (Achievements of Christ) and R. S. Storr and his book, The Divine Origin Of Christianity Indicated By Its Historical Effects, to the former of whom we are especially indebted for many facts hereinafter given. Secondly, we are not to forget that the object of the Gospel Age is not the conversion of the world; but it is primarily the gathering of the Church out of the world to become Christ's joint-Heir in blessing the world with the opportunity of gaining life through obedience amid Millennial conditions, and secondarily to give witness to the world of sin, righteousness and the Millennial judgment as a preparation of the world for the Millennial blessings. Thirdly, God has by the tabernacle given us a picture of this general situation: The Most Holy representing God,
Christ and the Glorified Church; the Holy, the Church in the flesh as Gospel-Age Priests; the Court, the faith-justified as Gospel-Age Levites; and the Camp, the mere hangers-on as Gospel-Age Israelites who are merely nominal Christians. The blessings start from God by Christ through the Priesthood, the elect, reaching the Levites and then the Campers. We will especially show how the Bible by the Priests reached in a general way the justified and in a special way the unjustified world. Aaron's blessing the people with one hand (Lev. 9: 22) while sacrificing represents in part, the elects' imparting these blessings. Fourthly, Churchianity is not the agent of these blessings; rather frequently, especially in its Romanist form, it greatly hindered the good work by its hierarchical power, bigotry, sectarianism, persecution, inquisition, superstition, accommodation to heathenism, etc. Fifthly, we will not begin our proofs with pre-Christian times, since the Bible then was only gradually being given and that in its Old Testament form, and was thus then incomplete. Sixthly, while the Old Testament, as it grew, increasingly uplifted Israel to a much higher moral and religious plain than that on which heathenism stood, by God's express arrangement Israel was not to mingle among the heathen nor attempt a conversionist work among them, though such becoming of their own volition proselytes were received into the nation as Israelites. And seventhly, we will limit our view to the duration of the general call to the high calling—A. D. 36 to 1881; for we are to recall that from 1878 to 1881 the general call ceased; the nominal church was cast off from Divine favor and mouthpieceship; and a verbal attack was, by our present Lord, begun to be launched against Satan's empire, continuing as such exclusively until 1914, when there was added to it the attack by violence that is to overthrow that empire completely in the greatest tribulation of all past and future history. Facts abundantly prove that since 1878-1881 there has been a deterioration of the
Bible's good effect, not on the Church, but on the world, as can be seen, e.g., in the two phases of the World War, its second phase witnessing even greater deterioration morally and religiously than its first phase, as the Axis' course proves.
We are now ready to begin our study proper, presenting it from the standpoint of the three divisions that are used by Mr. Brace in his Gesta Christi—I, The Old Roman World; II, The Medieval World, and III, The Modern World. We cannot give details on any of the points under these three heads; but trust to present a sufficiency of well-authenticated facts that will prove that the Bible as the beacon light of civilization in its working great social, civic, family, educational, legal and religious miracles of uplift and ennoblement comes to us thereby with credentials that it has effected on civilization what we should expect from a Divine Revelation. The first fact exhibiting the uplifting effect mentally, morally and religiously of the Bible on the Old Roman World is its monotheism, i.e., its revelation that there is but one God Who is perfect in wisdom, justice, love and power, especially in love. The polytheism of the Old Roman World with its immoral, foolish, weak, loveless and unjust gods was mainly responsible for the deep degradation, moral and religious, prevailing in the Roman Empire, particularly in the Orient and in Greece and Italy. Perhaps in no other period of history was there deeper moral and religious degradation in family, state, religion and society than in the period when the Bible influence began to work on the Old Roman World. But gradually under the impact of the doctrine of the one God of perfect wisdom, justice, love and power, wisely and lovingly presented by the Church in living oneness with Him, the degrading effect of polytheism in family, state, religion and society in the Old Roman World was reformed, as history students know.
The second Biblical doctrine that wrought mightily in uplifting effect in the Old Roman World on the
family, state and society, is the great value of man as such. In the Old Roman World man as such was deemed of little value; hence was most unjustly and cruelly treated in family, state and society. But with the Bible message, presented by the Church, which was filled with love for God, Christ and its members and an enthusiasm for humanity, that man was originally in God's image and likeness, vestiges of which still persisted in him, that God loved him so much as to give up to a most shameful death His only begotten and well-beloved Son, that Jesus' death is the inestimable purchase price laid down for man's redemption, that mankind was brothered in Adam and would become so in Christ, gradually, as it permeated the various ranks of society, changed the whole viewpoint then prevailing, and with this gradual change of viewpoint came the change of attitude that little by little and more and more set aside the great injustices and cruelties in the family, state and society and uplifted these to great betterment.
The third great Bible doctrine that wrought mightily in uplifting civilization in the Old Roman World was the character and Saviorhood of Jesus. The Biblical thoughts on His character and offices filling the elect with a loving devotion to Him, unexemplified before, wrought most mightily, first on the lower ranks of society in the Old Roman World, then upon the middle classes and finally upon the upper classes, effecting the setting aside of evil after evil in all forms of society, and introducing the opposite good. These three doctrines filling with their spirit the elect, aroused them to such pertinent activities as put into operation influences in the Old Roman World that greatly changed its civilization for the better. We will now show how these three doctrines and others presented in God's Spirit by the faithful set aside abuses and bettered conditions.
We begin with the family in the Old Roman World. According to the heathen Roman law and custom the
father had absolute control of wife and children, and that to such an extreme as to sanction his putting them to death at a mere whim, without his being called to question thereover, grossly whipping and otherwise torturing them, requiring absolute obedience from them in the most unreasonable and tyrannous manner, not considering himself as bound to keep the marriage bed pure, at mere whim divorcing his wife and disowning his children, and utterly neglecting his daughters, who were considered a great liability. Neither wives nor daughters could inherit property, and were put, on the husband's and father's death, under guardianship which not only often exploited them, but in such exploitation sometimes required them to become prostitutes, which the Roman law permitted. But the Bible's teaching that husband and wife are to be as Christ and the Church, that fathers are to be toward their children as God is to His children, and that the strong are to deny themselves in the interests of the weak, not only set aside these evils, but made husband and wife respect, love, cherish and treat one another as Christ and the Church and as being both heirs of God in the hope of eternal life, made the father avoid provoking his children to wrath, but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, made him considerate of their needs, pitiful of their weaknesses and helpful in giving them a good start for life's battles. The thought of husband and wife being as Christ and the Church and as God's heirs together of the hope of eternal life barred divorce, except for violation of the marriage bed or its equivalent. Fatherly responsibility spread by the Bible ended disowning children at whim, taking their lives, and despising and utterly neglecting daughters. Marital purity inculcated by Bible principles ended the double sex-standard, especially the husband's disregarding his marriage vows; and from the old Roman home the change was made to the Christian home, the more nearly so as people yielded themselves to pertinent Bible principles. These changes came slowly but increasingly
during the heathen domination in the Roman Empire up to the times of Constantine, 312-337; and from then on until the days of Justinian, 527-565, they made ever increasingly rapid progress in making home life a picture of heaven among very many, Justinian making laws of these things.
Woman, according to the old Roman law and practice, was indeed in a most base condition. She had no property and personal rights, was everywhere despised as an inferior creature, kept in most dense ignorance, taken advantage of from almost every standpoint, made the drudge in the home, the butt of almost every abuse and coarse joke, the blame of every untoward occurrence, the target of uncomplimentary and ridiculing shafts and the despised of man. Married or unmarried, she had to have a special guardian who almost invariably exploited, tyrannized over, and terrorized her (tutelage of women). Many women, rebelling against such tutelage, forced upon the old Roman society free marriage, which was worse even than companionate marriage, which gave them property and personal rights, but destroyed home life and the purity of the marriage bed, and led to divorce so often that such women counted their years not according to the consuls, who held office for a year, but according to the number of their divorced husbands. Concubinage with all its bad effects was another evil sanctioned by the Roman heathen law and practice. But the pertinent Bible principles in both Testaments in its examples and teaching presented faithfully by the elect undermined the heathen theories underlying these gross distortions of woman's place in God's order for male and female, and one by one displaced the depraved theories, and the depraved practices springing out of them, and altered them into giving woman her right place as man's companion and helpmeet in society, and sister before God, resulting in woman's being regarded by real men with deference, respect and almost veneration. The women of Christendom should never forget that
it was the Bible's influence that lifted woman up from under man's feet and placed her at his side; for "in Christ Jesus there is neither … male nor female." And this Bible influence went out from and through the elect to the justified first, and from them to the campers. These changes occurred contemporaneously with those discussed in the preceding paragraph as the matter was summed up in its last sentence.
The matter of personal purity, especially in its relation to marriage, though touched on above, deserves special mention; for as to it the heathen Roman world was in the most deplorable condition; and the influence of the Bible working through the faithful Church as the salt of the earth wrought wonders of reformation in this respect. The double sex standard prevailed in the heathen Roman World whereby the utmost license was permitted the stronger sex and the utmost restraint was imposed upon the weaker sex with mortal penalties attached to infractions. Later—just before and after the time of Christianity's introduction— great license prevailed for both sexes. Again, unnatural vices prevailed almost universally both among men and men women and women, as well as individuals alone practicing such vices. Of course such evils greatly militated against the sanctity of marriage and of person. The heathen Roman Empire was in this respect rotten from top to bottom, e.g., Julius Caesar, probably the greatest of the Romans, was, exaggeratedly, no doubt, described for many facts as "everyman's wife and everywoman's husband." But the Bible's insistence that the elect's bodies are God's temple, a fact that the apostasy wrongly claimed of the bodies of the unjustified and the campers, made men and women respect their bodies as too sacred to be used for sex sins and for unnatural vices. The Bible's true thought that as images of God, though fallen, mankind should keep their bodies pure, that sex sins and unnatural vices deprave both body and soul, that the family, the state and society are greatly injured by them, as well as its thought that
purity elevates body and soul, spread among all classes with healing effect until the whole public atmosphere was changed, so that what remained of such sins was driven out of the public to the secrecy of under-cover conditions. As public sentiment slowly changed it slowly expressed itself in law, which usually follows, and which does not usually create public sentiment. There was the same progress as to time made in this respect as we saw in the two preceding respects, until in Justinian's day the unbridled and public practice of sex sins and unnatural vices disappeared.
Another Bible-wrought reform put aside the slavery of the Old heathen Roman Empire. Slavery was universal in that empire. War captives, debtors and poor and despised people were enslaved, as well as the children of slaves. Impoverished people frequently sold themselves into slavery to secure food, clothing and shelter. In Italy and Greece the slaves by far outnumbered the free, while of the 120,000,000 inhabitants of the empire, according to Gibbon, a half was slave. While exceptionally, masters were humane to their slaves, usually they were very cruel to them, making them drudge to utter exhaustion, giving them the scantiest support, breaking up slave families by distributing them among different masters, making them breed prolifically to increase their slaves, making them practice promiscuity unto the breaking up of their families, making eunuchs of many of them, forcing some of them into prostitution for gain, making them take part in licentious shows, having them unmercifully scourged and otherwise tortured, often for slightest oversights, not seldom crucifying some of them, gratifying their lusts on female slaves, in some cases feeding them to man-eating fish in their artificial lakes, forcing them to become gladiators, and thus to fight with one another and with savage beasts in the arena for the amusement of the populace, as well as engage in private gladitorial contests, making of them human sacrifices to the gods, etc. The lot of these poor creatures