Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing (epiphany) of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;  Titus 2:13

209

of Jacob's sons, the Apostles' types, and their descendants, types of the Church, would have had the right to beget a son for Jacob. Therefore the choosing of Matthias by the Spirit-lacking, uninspired and unauthorized eleven Apostles and 109 other brethren (Acts 1: 15-26) was entirely null and void. St. Luke's not expressly correcting in the Acts their busybodying was likely due to the fact that writing largely as St. Paul's amanuensis, St. Paul himself in Galatians and 2 Corinthians having already sufficiently proved that he was one of "The Twelve," it would seem too much like "rubbing it in" on St. Luke's superiors and the Church for the correction to have been made in the book of Acts. The use of the expression, "The Twelve," in Acts 6: 2 no more proves that Matthias was by St. Luke regarded as being one of the Twelve Apostles than St. Paul's telling us (1 Cor. 15: 5, compare John 20: 24-26) that Jesus (eight days after His resurrection), when there were but eleven Apostles, appeared to "The Twelve," means that there were then twelve Apostles. In both cases we are to consider that the whole of the Apostolic band then existing is called by the name—"The Twelve"—that designated them as a class, or a body. If, e.g., four of the Apostles had died, it would have been right from this standpoint to speak of a meeting of the remaining eight as a meeting of "The Twelve"; for in such a case the whole of the class, the whole of the body that was called "The Twelve," then living, would be meeting, even as a similar use is made of the term "seventy" (Num. 11: 24, 25), though applying to but 68 of the 70 (Num. 11: 26-30). From the same standpoint the expression, "Peter standing up with the eleven," is to be understood; for that expression is equivalent to the expression, "The Twelve," and as in the other cases just mentioned applies to the whole body of the Apostles as such, even if one or more of them were absent by reason of death or cutting off from the Apostolate.

 

210

The Tower claims that 1 Cor. 4: 4-9 proves that Apollos is called an Apostle. This statement is certainly not true. The expression in verse 9, "us, the Apostles, last," proves that "The Twelve" are meant, and also proves that St. Paul was one of them. If St. Paul and Apollos were meant by that expression in verse 9, it would read, us Apostles, two of the last. Especially the article "the" before the word Apostles, and less especially the adjective "last," after the word "Apostles," prove grammatically that "The Twelve" are meant. Nor do 1 Thes. 1: 1 and 2: 6 call Silvanus and Timothy Apostles. Rather, St. Paul says that he and they might have been of weight among the Thessalonians, just as "The Twelve" could be, the reason being that St. Paul was one of "The Twelve" and the other two acted as his representatives. In other words, the expression, "as the Apostles of Christ," is not in verse 6 definitive of and restrictive to Sts. Paul, Timothy and Silvanus, i.e., as meaning these three, but is comparative of them with "The Twelve," of whom St. Paul was one, and as such used the other two as his representatives. The thought would be clear as such if stated as follows: We might have been burdensome (of dignity or weight) as the Apostles of Christ are burdensome—of dignity or weight. The Tower's question as to whether the spirit of discernment that enabled St. Peter to detect the fraud of Ananias and Sapphira could not have detected a spurious Apostle is beside the mark. Of course it could, had it been the Lord's will to reveal such a thing to St. Peter; but the Lord willed otherwise. Hence St. Peter, though able to detect the one, was not able to detect the other. Doubtless, among other reasons, the Lord withheld knowledge on this matter as a test on the whole Church, including the Apostles, as subsequent events abundantly prove. When The Tower says that St. Paul never claimed to be one of "The Twelve," it speaks unadvisedly. 1 Cor. 4: 9 certainly proves that he

 

211

did. The Epistle to the Galatians and the second to the Corinthians were written, among other things, to refute the Judaizing error that denied that St. Paul was one of "The Twelve," and hence denied the obligatoriness of his teachings on the Church, though it conceded that the teachings of "The Twelve" were binding on the Church (Matt. 18: 18). Lack of knowledge of the Greek, inaccurate knowledge of the Scriptures and illogical thinking are responsible for the Tower editors' errors on the Apostles, as taught in Z '21, 350, 351.

 

The Tower published a letter which sets forth the statement that J.F.R. told its writer and others that Brother Russell just before his death said that Tabernacle Shadows needed revision; and that it was in fulfillment of this (supposed) expression of his that the Society published its revisions of that booklet. Judging from similar claims of J.F.R. on our Pastor's supposed changes of thought, and from our knowledge of what our Pastor actually held up to his death, we are satisfied that J.F.R.'s statement on this subject is as untrue as his statement that our Pastor gave up Tentative Justification (See Chap. III). The letter seems to have been inserted into the Tower, as some other things have been, to feel the pulse of the Church as to the safety of inserting the so-called revisions—devisions, views away from the Truth, is a proper designation for them—into the text of the Tabernacle Shadows.

 

Seemingly as a pretext intended to spread the thought among the Society friends that Tabernacle Shadows needed revisions, among others the question on whether the Altar of Incense was not in the Most Holy has been agitated in Society quarters, with the answer generally given that it was there located. We have already shown the erroneousness of this view by pointing out that the correct translation of Lev. 16: 2, 12 (P '21, 126, pars. 5, 6) proves that it was in the Holy.

 

212

This is also implied in every reference to it in the accounts of the command to build the Tabernacle and in the accounts of its actual building as given in Exodus, and in the account of the Levites' service with reference to it as given in Numbers. Heb. 9: 4, as rendered by some translators, is also appealed to by the Society leaders to prove their position. On this point we may say several things: (1) The Vatican MS, and the Egyptian and Ethiopian Versions (both very ancient) place the words in question, rendered by some as "the golden altar," in v. 2. (See Diaglott.) We know that the Vatican MS. as far as it extends is considered by the best text critics, as the most reliable of all the ancient MSS. of the Greek New Testament. If we should accept this reading, it, of course, would deprive those who seek to place the Incense Altar in the Most Holy of their only argument. (2) However, to those who insist that the other MSS. prove that the words in controversy should be placed in verse 4, we offer another answer: The word translated by some as altar, in Heb. 9: 2 or 4 is thymiaterion, and occurs but once in the New Testament, i.e., in the passage under consideration; while every place in the New Testament where the Golden Altar is undoubtedly meant the word thysiasterion is used in the Greek Rev. 6: 9; 8: 3, 5; 9: 13; 14: 18; 16: 7). This implies that the word in the New Testament should be translated "censer" as is done in the A.V., in the text of th E.R.V. and in the margin of the A.R.V. Moreover, in the Septuagintthe Greek translation of the Old Testament made by Hebrews and begun 283 B.C.—thymiaterion is never used to translate the Hebrew word for the Golden Altar, but is frequently used to translate the Hebrew word for censer. This fact is helpful to settle the question at issue, because the Apostles generally—almost without exception—use in the Greek those expressions for Old Testament things that occur in the Septuagint. The use of the word

 

213

thymiaterion for altar occurs only in heathen and other unbiblical books, never in Biblical books of the Old (the Septuagint) and New Testaments. Hence we see that the weight of evidence favors the A.V. and E.R.V. translation of thymiaterion as censer, in Heb. 9, whether we place the word in verse 2 or 4. The evidence, typical and antitypical, is overwhelming that our Pastor was right as to the situation of the Golden Altar. The Tower Editors' use of this matter is a proof, among many others, of their unfitness to revise Tabernacle Shadows.

 

The Society under J.F.R.'s direction is introducing Sunday Schools into the Classes. It is true that it avoids the use of the expression, Sunday Schools, as a name for them; but this is merely juggling words. They have the thing itself, whether they call it a Sunday School or Juvenile Class! By introducing such Classes they are perverting the Church, both in its organization and its mission, and are grossly revolutionizing against the Lord's Word as explained by our Pastor, F 545-547. We must call the attention of the brethren to another interpretational deviation in the Tower from our Pastor's teachings: that the image of Daniel 2 is not yet smitten on its feet by the Stone taken without hands out of the mountain. Our Pastor's thought was that the stone began with secular and religious Truth to smite the image from 1874 and 1878 onward, and from 1914 onward continued to smite the image, with the war implements that the Lord's scientific—secular—truth gave the nations. This is only another of the countless, thoroughly useless and unfactual deviations from our Pastor's teachings by the Tower editors.

 

It is self-evident that in a review of this kind we should give some attention to J.F.R.'s book, The Harp of God. The publication of the book is a violation of Brother Russell's Will, which denies the right of the Society to publish anything apart from the

 

214

Tower and our Pastor's writings, and which denies the editors of the Tower the right to have part in any other publication than the Tower. A book begotten, conceived and born in revolutionism against God's arrangements cannot have God's approval, and must be designed by Satan for a fell purpose. And that purpose is manifest from the discussions of Society brethren on, and the use they make of the book. It is intended to save people now coming into the Truth the trouble and labor of "wading through the Six Volumes"! Thus by this amateur book Satan is setting aside the Divinely approved and masterly Six Volumes of our beloved Pastor. The stress placed by the Society on The Golden Age, The Finished Mystery, Talking with the Dead, Millions Now Living, and The Harp distribution, and the consequent lack of emphasis placed on our Pastor's books by its Colporteurs, prove that our Pastor's books and booklets are being displaced and shelved. This is Satan's purpose in this entire affair, and he is accomplishing it through the unholy ambition of revolutionism of the Society leaders, especially J.F.R. It is only the blind who do not see this trend in the Society.

 

The Harp is replete with misinterpretations and farfetched imaginations. It is a mild description to call its claim (p. 16), that Job 38: 35 refers to radio and Is. 60: 8 to air-ships, far-fetched imaginations; for they are more than far-fetched imaginationsthey are errors. While visible, discharging electricity is lightning; radio, and we might add telegraphy and telephony, are not lightning. Is. 60: 8 refers to Israel fleeing from persecution to Palestine, as the connection shows. J.F.R. (p. 41) applies Nadab and Abihu as types of our first parents. How could this be, since the Law, its Tabernacle and its services in their right and wrong uses were shadows of future things (Heb. 9: 9, 10; 10: 1; Col. 2: 16, 17)? Perhaps he seeks by this perversion of our Pastor's interpretation

 

215

to turn away attention from himself as being a part of antitypical Abihu—a supposition that is in line with the misinterpretation that he offers on the subject. His statement (p. 90) that Mary bore Jesus "without pain and without suffering" is an unprovable assertion contrary to all reasonable and analogical experience, and is a theory worthy of a Mary-worshiping Jesuit, but not of a Truth teacher. What he says (pp. 91-96) about Satan's plot to destroy the infant Jesus is a striking example of a confusion of Truth and error. It is an unprovable guess that Satan made the star of Bethlehem to appear in the east, and with fell purpose started the wise men out on their quest for the babe Jesus. The first Scriptural evidence that we have of Satan's activity toward the wise men is in connection with Herod's appearing on the scene. Our Pastor's explanation on the subject is of greater depth, sobriety and credibility. It is certainly as reasonable to think that God revealed Himself to the wise men in the East, sending them on their errand, as that He did in the dream after they found the child, and then sent them on another errand. Had they been Satan's agents and Divinely displeasing, as J.F.R. contends, God would not have favored them with the dream, at all, but would have saved the infant Jesus in another way by approved agents. The word Magi does not necessarily mean one who dealt with the occult; it was frequently used as a title for the learned, the scholarly, as the word Doctor is now frequently used. We suggest that the brethren read our Pastor's comments, Z '06, 14, 15.

 

J.F.R.'s remarks (p. 117) on the life-rights prove that he does not understand the life-rights nor their relation to the right to life. We understand the right to life to mean the Divinely sanctioned privilege to exist perfectly, and the life-rights to mean the privileges connected with, and necessary for the perfect enjoyment of the right to life. Thus Adam and the

 

216

angels, created perfect, were given by God the privilege to exist perfectly, and could retain that privilege by obedience to His Law. In the life-rights, God gave them everything they needed for the perfect enjoyment of their perfect existence, so long as it was theirs by right. Thus the life-rights of Adam included perfect food, light, air, home surroundings, dominion, etc. By sin Adam forfeited both his right to life and his life-rights, for himself and his race. Hence none of the race in Adam now has the right to life nor the life-rights that go with that right, though they have a temporary use of a little life to which they have no right (before Divine justice), and a moiety of light, warmth, food, home, surroundings, dominion, etc., to which they have no right (before Divine justice), and which are not life-rights; for the sentence deprived Adam and his race of the right to life and the accompanying life-rights, the latter of which are inseparably connected with perfect conditions, either in Eden or the perfect earth. Accordingly, when J.F.R. says (p. 117), "Any human being that is living possesses the right (?) to food, air, light, … and these (?) are called life-rights," he teaches two errors; for life-rights imply perfect things as their constituent parts, and the fallen race has no Divinely sanctioned right to them. But some may object to this that Jesus did not have perfect air, food, etc., and yet had life-rights. To this we reply, Jesus until thirty years old was not a perfect man. Hence from His birth until He was thirty He is to be considered as being in God's sight as Adam was during the process of creation, i.e., from the time when God began to form his body until he actually was a living soul— a perfect man. This being the case, the right to life with its accompanying life-rights did not belong to Jesus as a human being until He was just about to consecrate Himself. Immediately on receiving them as His by right He sacrificed His right to use them for Himself; and thus God was

 

217

not obligated to give Him the use of Edenic perfections so far as the life-rights were concerned, because the Son gave up the personal use of these life-rights at His consecration, just as He became a perfect man.

 

In numerous cases J.F.R. gives a twist to passages whereby he claims for them, and wrongly so, senses different from those given by our Pastor, many of which twists are given to prove his "millions" proposition, e.g., he explains in 2 Tim. 4: 1 and 1 Pet. 4: 5 (p. 329) "the living" to be those under the curse who have not yet departed this life, and the dead to be those of that class who have departed this life. Our Pastor explained the living as the New Creatures and fallen angels who are not under the death sentence, and the dead as Adam's entire race under the curse, whether in or out of this life (Matt. 8: 22; Rom. 14: 9; 2 Cor. 5: 14, 15). He also formerly explained the dead in 1 Pet. 4: 6 as the Church as human beings in the death of consecration, though later he applied the expression to the race under the curse. To bolster his "millions" errors, J.F.R., perverts these passages. So also as a proof of his "millions" gospel he applies John 11: 26 (p. 334) ambiguously. While admitting that it belongs to the next Age, he claims that it is proper to give it as the message now—"millions now living," etc. To prove such a thought the passage will have to apply now and not to the next Age. Is. 35: 4-6 (p. 330) he also grossly twists to prove his "millions" proposition. Vs. 3 and 4 are an address to the Church living before the Second Advent (not to the world now living), bidding her, for a number of reasons, not to fear, because of (1) the hope of the Second Advent, (2) her vindication as against her institutional enemies in the Time of Trouble, and (3) her deliverance. Then vs. 5 and 6, indeed the rest of the chapter, show what will then take place, after these three things occur—restitution to the world, which is described as symbolically blind, lame, deaf,

 

218

and dumb, etc., in vs. 5 and 6. So our Pastor very properly explained these verses. But J.F.R., on account of his darkening right eye, explains the deafness, blindness, etc., as physical and belonging to this generation, and thus thinks he proves his "millions" proposition! In a similar manner, for the same purpose, Rom. 8: 19, 22 (p. 330) is twisted. Our Pastor showed that the entire race in the dying process is meant. J.F.R. puts the proposition as though one must understand the passage as applying either to people in the tomb or to those living at the inauguration of the Kingdom. Denying the former part of the alternative (in which denial we agree) he claims as a self-evident consequence that it applies to the generation now living, and hence it teaches that "millions now living will never die!" What logic and discernment! Noah's family saved in the Ark now types, according to J.F.R. (p. 333), his millions who will pass through the Trouble. St. Peter tells us that those in the Ark type the consecrated, including the Little Flock, and we will not hesitate to accept his interpretation as against J.F.R.'s (1 Pet. 3: 20, 21). He also cites (p. 330) Matt. 24: 21, 22 to prove his millions proposition. While the passage, as well as others, certainly does prove that some will live through the Trouble, it does not in the remotest way hint how many they will be, much less teach that they will number millions.

 

Zech. 13: 8, 9 (p. 330) is his classic passage on the "millions" subject. We all know our Pastor's logical explanation—"the two parts"—classes—representing the Little Flock and the Great Company, and the "third part"— class—the Restitution class, passing through the refining fires—the resurrection by judgment (John 5: 21)—of the Millennium, and thus at its end made God's people through entering into direct relationship with Him as such in the New Covenant, when its Mediator ceases to function as such (1 Cor. 15: 24).

 

219

It is self-evident that the refining fires cannot be the Time of Trouble; for that has not and will not refine—help restitute the race. At best it will punish, abase and beat into subjection, and thus will prepare people to accept the Kingdom; but it will not even partially restitute the race, as the expression refine means to rid the world of depravity and to restore them to God's image, even as it has a similar meaning for the Little Flock and Great Company (Mal. 3: 2, 3; 1 Cor. 3: 12-15). In other words, Zech. 13: 8, 9 refers to the three salvations and how they will be brought about: the Little Flock and Great Company gaining their salvations by being cut off—separated in consecration from the world—and by dying—carrying out their consecration unto death; while the world gets its salvation by being brought through the resurrection of judgment, spoken of in this passage as being brought through refining fires. Such an exposition is logical, factual, reasonable and Scriptural—just as is characteristic of our Pastor's expositions. J.F.R. muddles the passage, especially as according to a later Tower he has given up our Pastor's thought on verse 8 (forced thereto by holding error on who are meant by those who pass through the refining fires), and now claims that its "two parts" are the clergy and the Second Death class! But even if we should concede that Zech. 13: 9 refers to the Time of Trouble and to those who will pass through it, it does not teach how many will do so, much less that there will be millions who will so do.

 

There is not a Scripture that teaches his millions proposition. It is purely a guess, which will probably prove true, but is nowhere taught in the Scriptures, either expressly or impliedly; and therefore should not be taught to the public, much less as the message of the hour and the Gospel of the Kingdom, though it would not be out of order among Truth people to discuss it as a probably true guess, but nothing more.

 

220

The writer of The Harp did not show the wisdom of the writer of The Studies, who avoided explanations on subjects that could not, in the space available for them, be clearly and convincingly given, and who therefore left these undiscussed, until they could be given adequate and convincing treatment. Lacking this wisdom, J.F.R. gives so brief statements on immortality (p. 41), the soul (p. 28), the Great Company (p. 80), immersion (p. 188), etc., that no thinking person holding opposite views could be adequately instructed unto real conviction. The Harp by what it says and leaves unsaid carries on the propaganda of many of J.F.R.'s errors, on which we have already in this treatise given full explanation. In teaching so many wrong things in The Harp, J.F.R. has given additional proof that he as "that evil servant" (Matt. 24: 48-51) is eating and drinking with the drunken, and has been cut off from the Little Flock, and as "the foolish and unprofitable shepherd" (Zech 11: 15-17) his right eye is continuing to darken. Some of our dear readers may ask, as has been told us they do, "Why does Brother Johnson devote so much space to criticism?" "Necessity is laid on" us. Our criticisms though plain are never of a personal or bitter kind; and are always with reference to official teachings and acts. We would ask our questioners, How could we as an under-shepherd in God's flock be faithful to the Lord, the Truth and the Brethren, if we remained silent while Satan through various leaders among the Truth people is seeking to undermine the Truth and the Divinely given methods for its service, to the injury of God's sheep? If we should cease to guard the flock from Satan's subtle attacks and fell purposes, would not the Lord raise up another to do what we failed to do?

 

Our writing on the parables of the pounds and the talents is not due to a belief on our part that our dear Pastor did not truthfully, sufficiently and clearly explain

 

221

them; for a calm study of his articles on these parables, especially as they are found in Z '06, 315-319; Z '10, 251; 313, 314; Z '14, 202-204, will convince the meek child of God that these presentations are true, sufficient and clear. Rather, our writing on the subject is due to the fact that some of the brethren are being troubled by two Tower articles (Z '23, 35-40; 67-73) that have denied our Pastor's interpretations of these parables, doing so with confidencemen-like protestations of not antagonizing any other's interpretation. The style and confused reasoning of the two articles convince us that they were written by the Society's president. It is not our design here to discuss in detail the parables of the pounds and the talents; rather, we wish to show the errors and wrong methods of reasoning that characterize the Tower articles under review. Particularly will we expose the false definitions that they give to various features of the parables and their misrepresentation of our Pastor's view on the meaning of the pound.

 

To make it appear that the light on the parable was not due until after 1918 and just before the Church would pass beyond the vail, presumably by 1925, and to make it appear that the parable's reckoning began since 1918, the article on the pounds (Z '23, 35, par. 9) interprets as teaching a type of the Church's present nearness to the kingdom the statement that introduces the parable of the pounds, "He spake a parable because he was nigh to Jerusalem and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear." That introductory statement in connection with the parable was intended to convey the reverse of the thought of the nearness of the kingdom, and hence cannot type the nearness of the kingdom. (Z '14, 202, par. 4.) It was given to show that those who thought that at their reaching Jerusalem which occurred Nisan 10, 33 A.D., the kingdom would be established, were wholly mistaken; for the kingdom was far in the

 

222

future, which thought, among other things, Jesus shows by the parable. Nor is it true that Jerusalem even usually types the kingdom in its rule over the earth. Usually it types Christendom. In connection with Jesus' approach to and entering into Jerusalem at the time connected with this parable, Jerusalem did not type the kingdom at all; but it stood representatively for Jewry (Matt. 23: 37-39; Luke 19: 41-44), and as such typed Christendom. We know this from the parallel dispensations, which show that as Jesus entered Jerusalem, A.D. 33, typically as King and exercised kingly authority in judgment against Jewry, so He typed how in the parallel He as King came in 1878 to Christendom and exercised kingly authority in judgment against Christendom, otherwise called Babylon (Matt. 16: 28; 21: 1-16; 23: 37-39). Hence the statement of their approaching Jerusalem has no reference whatever to the Lord's people after 1918, much less as being very near the kingdom. The event cannot apply to the Lord's supposed coming (a vagarious Rutherfordian coming) to His temple in 1918. He has been spiritually in His temple throughout the Gospel Age, as is seen from His walking amid the seven golden candlesticks (Matt. 28: 20; Rev. 1; 2; 3). He came in a personal way to the real temple in 1874 and to the nominal temple in 1878. What the article under review says about our Lord's (supposed) coming to His temple in 1918, has no other foundation than the Azazelian theories of the Society's president. Then the article under review speaks of the Church in the flesh coming to the temple condition in 1918. How absurd! From the beginning, the Church has been the temple of God (1 Cor. 3: 16, 17; 2 Cor. 6: 16; Eph. 2: 21; 2 Thes. 2: 4, etc.); and thus has from the beginning been in the temple condition. Additionally we may speak of the glorified Church—typed by Solomon's temple—as being in the temple condition when contrasting her with her condition in the flesh as in the

 

223

tabernacle condition typed by the tabernacle. But we may not contrast two of her periods in the flesh in that way.

 

Again, the first article (Z '23, 36, par. 1) speaks of our Lord's return in 1874, taking unto Himself His kingdom in 1914, and beginning to reckon with His servants in 1918, after His return (1874) and taking the kingdom (1914), and quotes to prove these thoughts the words, "when He was returned, having received the kingdom" (Luke 19: 15). Against such an application of these words especially two things may be said: (1) Greek grammar forbids such an application: for the participle "having received" is in the aorist (past) tense, and therefore proves that the action indicated in the participle "having received" occurred before the action indicated in the verb "was returned." Hence the kingdom—kingdom-authority, as our Pastor explains the use of the word here (see Berean comments on the verse)—was received before our Lord returned in 1874; and (2) the parable elsewhere shows (v. 12) that the purpose of our Lord's going away was to receive kingdom-authority and then afterward to return. These two reasons therefore forbid the application of the expression, "having received the kingdom," as referring to what He supposedly received in 1914. Furthermore we deny that our Lord first took unto Himself His great power and first reigned in 1914. When He returned in 1874 He already had the authority to reign as king (Ps. 45: 3, 4), which is also symbolized by the crown on the Reaper (Rev. 14: 14), who began to act as Reaper in 1874, as well as is taught in this parable (Luke 19: 12, 15). The first exercise of His kingly power—His beginning to take unto Himself His great power and beginning to reign—occurred in 1878 paralleling His typically taking this power and typically reigning the day of His entrance into Jerusalem (Rev. 11: 15-17). The especial acts by which this exercise of power and this reigning were

 

224

begun, were the casting off of Babylon and the raising of the sleeping saints. Not only do the parallels and subsequent world events prove this proposition; but it is also proved by the fact that the kingdom beyond the vail had to be existing and exercising power as a kingdom (Dan.

2: 44) before it could in 1914 stand up in the World War to overthrow Satan's empire (Dan. 12: 1).

 

The article under review fails to distinguish properly and therefore confuses what it should clarify on this subject. While the Lord's beginning to exercise His great power and His beginning to reign occurred in 1878, from that time forward He continually increased the exercise of His power and the sphere of His reign. A very important stage of such increase of exercise of power and rulership occurred in 1881 when He withdrew all exclusive favor from Babylon; another extension of these occurred in 1914. Such activities will increase when the symbolic earthquake sets in, and still further will they increase when the symbolic fire starts. In Jacob's Trouble it will take on a further increase, as will also be the case when the kingdom beyond the vail awakens the Ancient Worthies, establishes the earthly phase of the kingdom, and inaugurates the New Covenant. In a partial sense we may speak of each one of these steps as our Lord's taking His power unto Himself and reigning; but to single out 1914 as the date for the whole action or the beginning of the action, as the article under review does and attempts to prove, is a demonstrable error, as we have shown above. But this error is taught to support another error of the article, i.e., that our Lord began in 1918 to fulfill the parabolic reckoning with His servants. The harvest gatherings and privileges of service prove that He has been reckoning with the Faithful from 1874 until the present time; and the harvest siftings prove that He began to reckon with the partially faithful and the utterly unfaithful in 1878

 

225

and has been continuing so to do ever since, even as our Pastor taught. Scriptures, Reason and Facts utterly overthrow the errors of the article under review on the point as to the time of our Lord's beginning to reckon with His servants after His return.

 

In Z '23, 36, pars. 3, 4, the first article under review, as the connection shows, applies the kingdom that was appointed to the disciples (Luke 22: 29) to their stewardship of the Lord's affairs while in the flesh. The next verse thoroughly refutes such an idea; for it shows that when they get the kingdom that was appointed them, they would sit on thrones and reign over the twelve tribes of the Millennial Israel, as well as share with the Lord in His glory (eating at His table), which of course will not happen until the Millennium.

 

While the first article under review professes not to antagonize any other's interpretation (Z '23, 35, par. 8), it attempts to refute our Pastor's explanation of it (page 36, par. 6). But in the attempt it grossly misrepresents what our Pastor meant when he spoke of "our justification" as the pound given to each of the ten servants. In other words, either because its writer and the other Tower, editors are grossly ignorant of our Pastor's understanding of the pound, or are wilfully perverting it, the article attempts to refute his thought by using the words "our justification" as the pound in a different sense from our Pastor's use of them as the thing meant by the pound, and then the article proceeds to give three reasons against this misrepresentation of our Pastor's thought as a proof that his thought is untrue, and as a consequent reason for seeking another definition of the pound, i.e., it sets up a man of straw and then kicks it over. This straw-man performance will become apparent from the following explanations: As the word, sanctification, means first an action—a setting apart, and second the product of that action—a holy condition of heart and mind, so the words "our justification" mean first an

 

226

action—God's freeing us from the Adamic condemnation and reckoning us perfect, and second the product of that action—our human all reckoned perfect and made acceptable for sacrificial purposes. Our Pastor's uses of the words "our justification" as his understanding of the pounds of the parable, prove that he uses the words "our justification" as the definition of the pound, not to mean God's action in freeing us from the Adamic condemnation and in reckoning us as perfect, but in the sense of the product of that action—our human all reckonedly perfect and made acceptable for sacrificial purposes. How often he shows this to be a sense in which he used that term, when explaining the words of Rom. 12: 1, "present your bodies … holy, acceptable … your reasonable service!" In proof of the fact that this is his thought we suggest that our readers compare Z '06, 316, par. 1 with Z '14, 203, par. 2. If the words "our justification," as the pound, meant God's judicial act of forgiveness through Christ's merit, we could give not only three, but at least a dozen reasons to prove that it could not be the pound of the parable. But our dear Pastor was too deep and clear a thinker to set forth such a foolish definition of the pound—a definition which for many reasons breaks down under the requirements of the parabolic pound. What he meant is clear from what he wrote on the subject of what God's justifying us does with our human all, and on the subject of the pounds in the above-cited paragraphs and in other articles—that the pound represents our human all reckoned perfect and made acceptable for sacrificial purposes. Without naming our Pastor, the article under review seeks to disparage his misrepresented definition (and on this point goes back on the definition that it misrepresents as his) by the claim that our justification is ours, not God's, and therefore cannot be the pound, because the pounds according to the parable belong to the Lord. This argument we deny—

 

227

our human all reckoned perfect and made acceptable for sacrificial purposes belongs to God, because before (Heb. 10: 14) He really—vitalizedly—justified us—actually reckoned us perfect and thus made us acceptable for sacrificial purposes—we gave Him our human all in consecration, and immediately after vitalizing our justification He accepted our human all as reckoned: perfect and acceptable for sacrificial purposes.

 

This, then, is the pound—our justification understood as our human all reckoned perfect and made acceptable for sacrifice. This definition stands every requirement of the parable. The pound is the same in all—thereby all God's servants are given an absolutely equal thing. The sacrificial uses of this pound in proportion to the different degrees of faithfulness in the servants have produced different results, causing some to have tenfold fruitfulness—the ten gained pounds represent, not ten acquired human alls reckoned perfect and acceptable for sacrificial purposes, but greatest increased fruitfulness—some to have average fruitfulness, etc. For such varying fruitfulness resulting from varying degrees of faithfulness we would naturally expect, even as the parable teaches, the Lord to render appropriate different degrees of rewards—ten cities, five cities, etc. Before showing how the pound of the unfaithful servant could be given to another we desire to make some further explanations.

 

The second article under review (Z '23, 67-73) in its definitions, makes no distinction between the pounds and the talents, defining them both as being all the Lord's kingdom interests committed to His servants. The fact that each was given the same amount from the standpoint of the pounds and the fact that the amounts of the talents differed in proportion to the differing abilities of the servants, prove that the pounds and the talents are not the same things. The fact that the talents are apportioned according to each; recipient's ability, proves unanswerably that they

 

228

represent opportunities of service. Why? Because the reason that God has for making His servants have different positions—functions or opportunities for service—in the body, is based solely on their different abilities. These abilities consist of three classes of things: (1) the measure of the Holy Spirit in each one; (2) the measure of human capacities, attainments, possessions, etc., in each one; and (3) the measure of the providential situation of each one. Each of these three things is of different value in Jehovah's estimation. He values the first more highly than the second and the second more highly than the third; but figures in each servant their respective values for service in the body in such a way as to make their total value for His purposes in the body determine the place or function that He gives each one in the body of Christ. That place in the body constitutes that person's opportunities of service, just as the nature of each of our bodily organs constitutes its function—its opportunity of service. Consequently we see that the talents varying with the varying abilities of each one, must represent opportunities of service and not all the Lord's kingdom interests on earth. Z '23, 70, par. 7 gives as the definition of the abilities of the servants only what comes under the first of the three lines of abilities as given above—in other words, with usual Rutherfordian superficiality it gives an incomplete definition, one that covers only one-third of what the true definition covers. This is one among many illustrations of the poor analytical powers of the Society's president.

 

The ten entrusted pounds of the one parable correspond quite closely to the second and third classes of the abilities of the other parable—the measure of human capacities, etc., and the measure of the providential situation—plus their being reckoned perfect and made acceptable for sacrifice, which makes their possessors all have an equally valuable entrustment in God's sight. This point is necessary to keep in