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

269

the supposedly emphatic Greek word for "the," to remain out of the text altogether! And this comment is made by the one who charges those who do know Greek with using it to pervert the Truth! While the presence of the article here would not necessarily prove that the second death is meant, Greek abstract nouns, like German and French abstract nouns, being usually accompanied by the article, in ways not permissible in English (as can be seen from the following texts, in every one of which the Greek article for "the" precedes the word for "sin," though none of them refer to the sin unto death nor to another special sin: 1 Cor. 15: 3, 17, 56; Heb. 2: 14; 1 John 1: 9; 3: 4, 5, etc., etc., etc.), its absence, however in this text certainly proves that the sin unto death is not meant. Our Lord's language implies that there was more or less wilfulness against some light on the part of the Jewish leaders from which they would not be excused; but this does not mean that their responsibility was unto the second death.

 

He quotes (p. 71, par. 1) our Lord's words, "If ye were blind, ye should have no [flagrant] sin; but now ye say, We see; therefore your [responsibility for your flagrant] sin remaineth." (Brackets ours.) This is true. Certainly whoever sins against any measure of light is to that extent responsible for, and will have to expiate his sin by stripes. But that does not, except for those who are on final trial for life, and who make complete shipwreck of their trial, imply that the responsibility is to the extent of the second death, as the writer implies. In discussing this subject J.F.R. seems to have forgotten entirely that mixed sins exist.

 

The article under review further claims (71, par. 3) that the fact that Spirit-begetting will not take place in the Millennium, and that people will nevertheless go into the second death proves that it is not necessary to become Spirit-begotten to commit the sin unto death. How could one who has known the difference

 

270

in God's dispensational dealings, now spiritual, later human, make such a statement to prove his proposition as applicable before the Millennium, unless he is drunken or his right eye is darkening? The thing that he must prove to substantiate his "new view" is that people can be put on final trial for life or death eternal without the imputation or application of the ransom, a thing that he has most dismally failed to do, and that cannot be done, his failure illustrating this.

 

We will now set forth the Lord's Word that destroys his entire "new view" as to the liability of unbegotten persons (apart from the 82 above mentioned) to the second death before the restitution Covenant begins to operate. God never gives a person an opportunity to stand final trial or life apart from a covenant that makes an offer of such a final trial with the possible issue of the Second Death. The only covenants that offer such a final trial are two: (1) the Abrahamic Covenant in the spiritual features that now apply to the Great Company (Judas latterly being treated as of this class), and that in the end of the Millennium will apply to the Ancient and Youthful Worthies; and (2) the New Covenant which will be for human beings in the Millennium. The Law Covenant, while setting before the people life and death, did not do it as a final trial; but the Sarah features of the Abrahamic Covenant offer the Divine Nature and joint heirship with Christ to the Faithful unconditionally, and do not apply to any but the Faithful. It therefore does not offer a trial with life or death eternal as the issues. It puts the measurably unfaithful under those spiritual provisions of the Abrahamic Covenant that offer life unconditionally to the overcoming Great Company members. There being no other present provision in the Abrahamic Covenant, those who fail to overcome as Great Company members of necessity sink into the second death. God passes no final judgment on anybody except in

 

271

harmony with the provisions that mark the covenant operating in the case. The scribes and Pharisees were on trial under the Law Covenant and no other; hence only such a sentence as the Law Covenant could pronounce on its violators could be pronounced upon the scribes and Pharisees, who in blaspheming the Holy Spirit, sinned quite wilfully against the first table of the Law, and in murdering Jesus sinned quite wilfully against the second table of the Law. Therefore the condemnation of the Law Covenant was the only one which fell upon them. Therefore their death was not the second death; for the Law Covenant did not inflict the "sorer punishment," which is the second death.

 

In Z '24, 245 it is taught that Enoch died. In defense of this plain contradiction of Heb. 11: 5, which teaches that Enoch did not experience death, Heb. 11: 13, "These all died in faith," is quoted. The words of Jude 14, 15 are alleged to teach that Enoch was given a vision of the reign of Christ which vision is alleged to be his translation, and that immediately on seeing it God granted him an instantaneous death. Others, but not the Tower article under review, claim the curse compelled Enoch's death.

 

Against the last point—that the curse necessitated Enoch's death—we would say that the curse does not forbid in every case the slowing up of the dying process until the ransom merit applied in the Millennium will cancel the death sentence; and therefore without violating justice the Lord could for typical reasons have slowed up the dying process in Enoch's case, inasmuch as the ransom would in due time make up this penalty for Enoch, as we know it will similarly do for those who pass into the Millennium without death. This, as will later appear, God actually did for Enoch. Further, Heb. 11: 5 directly teaches that Enoch did not see, i.e., experience, death. To see death means to experience death (Luke 2: 26). Therefore Enoch's not seeing death means his not experiencing

 

272

death. That the expression "and he was not" (Gen. 5: 24) does not mean that he died is evident; for St. Paul explains it (Heb. 11: 5) to mean that Enoch was not found, though not dead, because, alive, he was transplaced somewhere away from men's abode. Again, the view that we are examining misapplies Heb. 11: 13, "These all died in faith," when it includes Enoch among the "these all." The "these all" refer to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Sarah—those who were promised the covenant blessings, but who did not while alive receive them, "not having received the promises." Vs. 13-15 prove unanswerably that the "these all" refer to those only of the ones discussed in Heb. 11: 213, who were offered the Abrahamic promises. Hence Abel, Enoch and Noah (Heb. 11: 4-7) are not included among the "these all." Therefore Heb. 11: 13 does not teach that Enoch died; for it refers to others.

 

Furthermore, Jude 14, 15 does not say that Enoch saw a vision of the kingdom, as the article under review teaches; but it says he prophesied of Christ's coming with the saints to punish wicked persons. Jude says not a word of Enoch's prophesying that Christ would come to bless, as the article claims. This prophecy is limited to the Parousia and the Epiphany, during which Jesus and the saints will punish the wicked sifters (v. 14).

 

Moreover, the article under review contradicts the teaching that Melchizedek did not die; because the Scriptures teach that Enoch and Melchizedek are the same person. The following is the proof: St. Paul says that of Melchizedek "it is witnessed that he liveth" (Heb. 7: 8). In so many words it is no where witnessed in the Old Testament that Melchizedek lived on without dying. Enoch, according to St. Paul's explanation, is the only human being of whom the Old Testament "witnessed that he liveth" (Gen. 5: 24; compare Heb. 11: 5). Therefore these passages and Heb. 7: 8 prove that Enoch and Melchizedek

 

273

are one and the same person. They being the same person, we have a record from which Jude testified of Enoch's prophecy that the Lord and the saints would come to punish the sifters of the Parousia and Epiphany. Enoch did not express this prophecy in words; but in the symbols of the Pyramid, which he as Melchizedek built. The prophecy was expressed symbolically in the following way: The place at the upper end of the Grand Gallery's South Wall that symbolizes our Lord's Second Advent and its date is north of the North Wall of the bottomless pit, i.e., His Second Advent would set in before the bottomless pit condition would be reached, which was reached in 1914. Into the second death—the antitypical bottomless pit—the wicked sifters of Jude 4-16 and 2 Pet. 2: 1-22 will be cast after our Lord's return, according to Jude 14, 15, as prophesied by Enoch, who did not deliver this prophecy in words, but in the symbols of the Pyramid, as just described.

 

Finally, Enoch did not die, because God desired that he should not "sleep" in the death condition in order that by his not sleeping in the death state he could be used by God to represent—type—those of the saints who would die after 1878, but would not sleep—they would be translated into the spirit condition without having to remain asleep in the death state. And it was to type this favor of the Lord to those who as the antitypical Enoch would walk with God during the Parousia and Epiphany that God kept Enoch alive.

 

In Z '24, 295, 296, the Society's president gives a new view of Ps. 82. We are familiar with our dear Pastor's view of this Psalm, according to which in vs. 1-5 prophetically our Lord in His Second Advent is represented as judging the political, financial, ecclesiastical, industrial, social and labor kings, and in which in vs. 6 and 7 prophetically He is represented as declaring that the Little Flock are mighty ones and sons of God and are privileged to share in the Sin-offering with Him

 

274

as one of the princes, Adam being the other prince. This excellent interpretation the "new view" corrupts, narrowing it into an arraignment of the clergy alone, who according to this new view will die like Satan, supposedly one of the princes of v. 7! This interpretation is intended to prove that the clergy as the parabolic goats go into the second death. On this perversion, Luther's statement with reference to the pope well applies: "One little word overthrows him." That one little word is: "all of you are children of the Most High" (v. 6). If any one thing is certain, it is that all of the clergy are not "children of the Most High." Therefore as a class they cannot be meant here, though some of them are New Creatures, and thus sons of God; and though others of them, while not New Creatures, are, nevertheless, by Tentative Justification tentative human sons of God in the sense of Rom. 12: 1 and Prov. 23: 26—a sense of sonship which J.F.R. denies, as he denies Tentative Justification; but very many of them never were even tentatively justified, e.g., many of them were higher critics and disbelieved in blood-atonement at an early age, even before entering college before their becoming ministers. According to his view none are sons of God except New Creatures. Hence, the expression, "ALL of you are children of the Most High," even according to his view proves that the clergy are not as such referred to in vs. 6 and 7. Such language as Ps. 82: 6, 7 can apply to the Little Flock alone. These verses, in harmony with the Scriptural principle of hiding God's thoughts—"here a little, there a little" (Is. 28: 10)—are, by their sense as applying to New Creatures only, proven to be thrown into the midst of an entirely different line of thought. Moreover, the discussion in John 10: 33-36, e.g., "If [Jehovah] called them gods unto whom [literally, with reference to whom] the Word of God came," conclusively proves that the Little Flock is meant in Ps. 82: 6, 7. J.F.R.'s perversion of this Psalm is only another

 

275

example of how his efforts to defend an error, i.e., that the clergy are the parabolic goats, and are going into the second death, lead him to continually increasing error.

 

In Z '24, 307-313, he attempts, contrary to our Pastor's teaching, to prove another "new view," i.e., that Satan has as yet in no sense been bound. He darkens the entire subject by covertly assuming that Satan's binding is not a progressive thing, and that it will make him inactive. Hence, from his present activity, he concludes that Satan is not yet in any sense bound from the standpoint of Rev. 20: 1-3. Satan's binding is not only progressive, but also is of distinct stages: From 1874 to 1914 he was undergoing binding with reference to the three foundation errors of his kingdom: the Divine right (1) of kings, (2) of aristocrats and (3) of clerics; and its three supporting errors: (1) the consciousness of the dead, (2) their change into spirits at death and (3) their bliss or torment. This stage of his binding was so complete by 1914 that by these six errors he no more could control his empire. Hence, the World War was possible as the weakener of his empire. His binding is now proceeding along the lines of his deception that now in state, church and society, God's kingdom is and should be in power as a dictatorship, and that all of these should operate together. He will be shortly so fully bound in these respects as to be unable to control Christendom thereby. Thereupon will follow the revolution. Hence he will be gradually bound on lines of the deception that the brotherhood of man as expressed in Socialism will bring in the Millennium. That stage of his binding becoming complete and he being no longer able to control his empire by this, its pertinent deception, anarchy will set in, completely overthrowing every vestige of his empire; then follows his final binding's stage, just before Jacob's Trouble; and thereafter in every respect his binding will be complete. So, too, will his loosing be a

 

276

gradual one, and that by stages. Only from the standpoint of a gradual binding and that by stages can we interpret in harmony with Truth the teaching that he is to be bound 1,000 years—an insuperable obstacle to the "new view" of the ever darkening right eye, which obstacle he seeks to set aside by teaching a direct contradiction of Rev. 20: 3, i.e., that Satan will not be bound 1,000 years; but considerably less. The fact that it is the Truth (Rev. 20: 1-3) which binds Satan proves unanswerably that his binding is gradual; and the fact that the overthrow of his empire is by three stages—war, revolution, anarchy—proves that his pertinent binding (necessary to bring about each of these three stages) must be one of at least three stages. These facts dispose of his entire position.

 

We will briefly answer his perversions on Matt. 12: 2629. He claims boastingly, "without the hope or expectation of successful contradiction," to prove that Matt. 12: 27, which treats of binding the strong man, does not refer to the Second Advent. Rather, he claims that Jesus in vs. 25-29 suggests that either (1) the devil (v. 25), or (2) God's Spirit (v. 28), or (3) a human being (v. 29) must be credited with casting out the devils, and that hence Jesus reasons that he must be doing it by God's Spirit, as the other two suppositions are untenable. Our Pastor taught that v. 26 by its contents alludes to the Second Advent, and is introduced in this connection, only because its thought relation to the point under discussion disproves the claim of the Pharisees that Jesus cast out devils by Satan. From this standpoint he correctly held that Jesus' thought was that Satan could not be casting out devils; because that would imply that the Second Advent had set in, at which time Satan's kingdom was for the first time to be divided against itself (Dan. 5: 28; see also Rev. 16: 19, where a later stage of its division is indicated). Thus the basis of our Lord's first refutation of the Pharisaic accusation is that the

 

277

divided condition of Satan's empire peculiar to the Second Advent could not at His First Advent be prevailing, and that therefore He could not be casting out Satan by Satan. J.F.R. tacitly assumes that v. 29 sets forth a human being as a third possible agent for casting out the devils on this occasion. This is a pure importation into the text. For if such had been the thought, the Greek word for MAN— anthropos—would have been used in v. 29 as required by the thought-contrast with Satan (v. 26) and with God's Spirit (v. 28), but instead the indefinite pronoun anyone— tis—is used, which may apply to God, Christ, good and bad angels, or men. Hence we say that he tacitly assumes, without the least proof, that a third possible agent—man— for casting out devils is here introduced. That the casting out of devils cannot mean the spoiling of the strong man's house is evident from the fact that Satan's house was not then and thereby spoiled, and is also evident from the further fact that his house according to the Bible is not spoiled—literally, thoroughly wasted—until at Christ's Second Advent. That this verse cannot refer to a First Advent work is further evident from the fact that Satan's binding is exclusively a Second Advent work (Rev. 20: 13). Therefore, his third point—a baseless assumption—is utterly destroyed. His claim that his view as he gives it is required by the context is a mere sophism; because as we saw above from the case of Ps. 82: 6, 7, and from the direct statement of Is. 28: 10, the Scriptures frequently put into a connection things that are on an entirely different subject or are only in a general way and by remote allusion related to the subject of the context. When, as in the present case, the facts stated in the verse disprove a contextual line of sequential arguments, such a mode of presenting arguments must not be assumed. Hence, our Pastor's thought that our Lord in v. 29 introduces a parable of

 

278

the Second Advent only remotely suggested by the line of thought in the context is correct.

 

Some of the Society friends think that our candid and plain discussions of the new views of the Society's president are proof of bitterness on our part toward him—a thought that he has spread. We desire to assure such brethren that we have bitterness toward no man. Our plainness is due to the Divine purpose for the Epiphany. The Lord declares His Epiphany purpose to be to bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and to make manifest the counsels of hearts (1 Cor. 4: 5; 3: 12-15; Mal. 3: 1-3). Such manifestation cannot be done by ambiguous words. It requires an exact and clear refutation of the revolutionism as to error and arrangement. Inasmuch as revolutionism on the part of the Great Company is involved, we know from their Scripturally described double-mindedness (Jas. 1: 8) that their motives in such revolutionism are impure, being an the part of the leaders—antitypical Jambres—unholy ambition, power-grasping, lording it over others, pride, etc. (2 Tim. 3: 1-8). Such knowledge, combined with the knowledge that they are exploiting God's people, causes us to expose them, as Jesus exposed the Pharisees, as Savonarola, Luther, Zwingli, etc., during the Reformation time exposed the doctrinal and practical errors of the Papists, and as our Pastor exposed the doctrinal and practical errors of the clergy and of the sifters of his day. But in the Epiphany it must be done with greater plainness to accomplish the Lord's purpose of bringing to clearer light the hidden things of darkness and in making manifest the counsels of hearts.

 

But, one may ask, why make the Society's president the chief object of such refutations and exposures? We answer: He is the most guilty of all the members of antitypical Jambres in misleading God's guileless sheep; and he does it with more subtle hypocrisy, cunning and cruelty than is to be found elsewhere in all

 

279

Church history. So pronounced is he as a revolutionist against the Lord's ways that God has pointed him out individually in Zech. 11: 15-17 and in Matt. 24: 48-51. Let the brethren who blame us consider the Scriptural, reasonable and factual evidences of God's pointing him out in these passages; and convinced by these evidences, as they are presented in the Appendix of Studies, Vol. IV and in the preceding chapter, they will recognize that we are acting in this matter simply as a mouthpiece of the Lord to rescue the sheep from this wolf in sheep's clothing.

 

We have been accused of persecuting him. On the contrary, he has persecuted us, as his Harvest Siftings and many others of his activities prove; and he has done so, because we sought lovingly and righteously to keep him back from a course that Scripture, reason and facts prove unanswerably has been a very wrong one for him, a dangerous one for the Church, a perverting one for the Truth and a dishonoring one for the Lord. Never have we attacked him on personal lines, as he with gross misrepresentations has us. Always have our refutations been against his official errors of doctrine, and our exposures, against his official wrongs of practice. We challenge the production of one sentence from our writings against him as being attacks on his personal conduct as distinct from his official acts and teachings. He has through gross official falsehoods and dishonesty influenced tens of thousands to withdraw fellowship from us. He has pilloried us before the whole Church as of the Judas class; yea, he has symbolically crucified us "without the gate" of his symbolic city. This was accomplished when his propaganda—printed and oral—on the subject was so thoroughly believed as to convince thousands that as rebels and blasphemers against God's channel we and our faithful supporters in the Lord were in the second death class—a thing openly preached in the Rochester Convention in 1923. This

 

280.

fact moved us for a year and a half to cease sending among his adherents any refutations of concurrent new views until Jan., 1925, since when more heed is being paid to our refutations of his errors.

 

But we are not in despair, nor are we cast down, through our having been cast out as a supposed blasphemer and rebel against God's arrangements. Those who thus accuse us are in most cases such themselves, some of them wilfully, others blindly so. Our experience in this respect is the experience of God's Priesthood, especially its leaders, and more particularly its Head, from the days of Jesus until now, as we see in the case of Jesus, the Apostles, the angels of the five churches between the Harvests, our Pastor and now ourself. We comfort our heart with the reflection that we are privileged to go the same way as they. Pertinent is the saying of Is. 65: 5: "Hear ye the Word of the Lord, ye that tremble [that reverentially stand in awe] at His Word: Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for My name's sake, said, Let the Lord be glorified [we hate and cast them out for God's glory]; but He shall appear to your joy; and they shall be ashamed!" The Bible teaches that the mouthpiece Priests are special targets, and are crucified "without the gate," both in great and in little Babylon (Matt. 5: 10-12; Luke 13: 33; Heb. 13: 12-16; 2 Cor. 1: 12, 13; 4: 1-18).

 

What do all the facts of the case prove? Do they not prove that we have been faithful throughout the years of the divisionfrom 1917 to the present? Have we not throughout these years stood for the obligatoriness of our Pastor's will and charter in controlling corporational matters among the Truth people, whereas our crucifiers have been unfaithful therein? Have we not throughout these years stood faithful in our advocacy and practice of the Lord's arrangements given through "that Servant" for the conduct of the work, whereas our crucifiers have rebelled

 

281

against every one of those that stood in the way of their gratifying their rebellious ambitions? Have we not stood firm as an ocean rock against the waves of error raised by the windy delusions that our crucifiers have set in motion? Tell us whether we tell the truth or not, when we say that those who amid a sifting maintain complete hold on the Truth previously given, who see clearly the advancing Truth, and who hold it in full harmony with the previously given Truth, are the ones who are given the Divine approval as faithful before and amid the sifting? Tell us whether we tell the truth or not when we say that those who amid a sifting lose large parts of the Truth previously given, and who in their places present opposing errors, are the ones who are given the Divine disapproval as unfaithful before and amid the sifting? These are the real tests in the case. Therefore, let us not allow ourselves to be deceived, if erroneous teachers and wrong practicers are clearly manifested as such by us, when they point to its plain, unvarnished manifestations as a sure proof that we are bitter, are in the Judas class, and as a blasphemer and rebel are a Second Deather. Such accusations are only the "stop thief" cry of the pursued wrong-doer. As for ourself, we have the full assurance of faith that the Lord is now appearing to our joy, that they will be ashamed, and that in due time He will bring forth our righteousness as the light and our judgment as the noonday (Ps. 37: 6). With this assurance we rest; and we wish nothing less for our readers than that they may have at least as much of God's joy and peace as we.

 

Hence let none take offense at our plain refutations of delusive Azazelian errors and clear exposures of wrong Azazelian practices. They are appropriate for the Divinely ordained Epiphany purposes. They are figured forth, among other things, by Christ's severe and unvarnished exposure of the scribes and Pharisees in Matt. 23. They are spoken and written in the

 

282

same kind of love as that in which our Lord spoke the rebukes of Matt. 23; and to blame us who are under and by the Lord making their small antitypical rebukes, is in reality blaming Him.

 

We desire to set forth the viewpoint from which the gross errors that have been appearing in the Tower from the pen of the Society's president since the Jan. 15, 1925 issue are to be viewed: They are the efforts of a proven fraud to divert attention from the complete collapse of his fraudulent claims—his teachings as respects the antitypical jubilee coming 1925, the Ancient Worthies' resurrection, and the cessation of entrance into the Adamic death state this year [written in 1925]. Events had progressed sufficiently to make apparent even to the simple that his program for this year is impossible of realization. Buttressed by the Parousia Truth, we saw, soon after he stressed this error, wherein it impinged against the Truth: We refuted it by time and sign prophecies. Especially two time prophecies we used against him: (1) the 70 Jubilee years being fully kept—"fulfilled"—during the desolation of the land (2 Chro. 36: 20, 21), the cycles this side of the last jubilee before the desolation are jubileeless, and therefore are of 49, not 50, years duration, and therefore reached their culmination in 1874, and did not so do in 1925; (2) the squaring method, which gives the antitypical cycle, leads up to 1874 and cannot in any manner be made to lead up to 1925, The sign prophecies that we cited as against this view required for their fulfillment a very much longer time than the few years from when he first (1918) brought out this view until 1925. The most, and most important, of these sign prophecies have not yet been fulfilled: Antitypical John's beheading, the cleansing of the Truth Levites, the symbolic earthquake, the total destruction of Babylon, the foretold reign again of the beast, the full development of the Youthful Worthies, the Church and the Great Company leaving the world,

 

283

anarchy, Jacob's Trouble, etc. These refutations should have "staid the madness of" this modern Balaam. But he has made it impossible to accomplish this (Zech. 11: 17; Matt. 24: 51).

 

Mr. Barbour prior to the date insisted that without fail Nisan 16, 1878 would witness the deliverance of the entire Church; but when the forecast failed he tried to divert attention from his failure in order to retain his following. In doing this he caused an explosion of figurative dynamite— he renounced the ransom! The Society's president, in spirit allied to him, and guilty of a more apparent fraud, is imitating him in seeking to divert his victims in order to retain them as his followers. This is the viewpoint from which his gross perversions in the Tower since the Jan. 15, 1925, issue are to be regarded. When in 1920 we refuted his perversions on 1925, we told the brethren to be on the lookout for some new delusion with which he would seek to divert attention from his failure in order to retain his following. (P '21, 128, top of col. 2.) Knowing his kinship to Mr. Barbour, his character and his Bible portrait, we felt sure he would so do, and now we see our forecast fulfilling.

 

Lawyer-like he sets forth the thought that his 1925 teachings are correct, but would fulfill differently from what was expected! On this point he begins with the Ancient Worthies, in Questions 1 and 2 of Z '25, 23, in which he cautiously seeks to pave the way for the acceptance of the perversion that the Ancient Worthies might return from the dead before the Little Flock and the Great Company leave the earth! However, he sets it forth in a way that he can repudiate the possibility, if driven to it by events. The evident purpose of these two questions is to unsettle faith in the Scripturalness of our Pastor's views on the Ancient Worthies as to the time, order and nature of their resurrection. Of course one acquainted with the former's "methods of deceit" sees just what he sought to dodge.

 

284

In harmony with our Pastor's view he formerly taught that the Church and Great Company will leave the world before the Ancient Worthies return from the tomb; he also has taught that these two classes will remain in the earth until at least anarchy starts; further, he knows that the revolution, which is to precede anarchy, has not yet come. Hence the cautious setting forth of the possibility of the return of the Ancient Worthies before the Little Flock and Great Company leave the earth; because he knew that the Little Flock and Great Company, as the time drew near, would not leave the earth in 1925.

 

Let us see what God says as to the order of the resurrection classes: "But every man in his own order, Christ [the Little Flock; see Berean Comments] the first fruits; afterward they that are [will become] Christ's during his [thousand years'] presence [those who will by the New Covenant become his children, i.e., the Ancient and Youthful Worthies and the obedient of mankind]" (1 Cor. 15: 23). "When this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death [the Adamic death, in which are the Ancient Worthies as well as the rest of mankind] is swallowed up in victory" (1 Cor. 15: 54). "The dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together [before others are thus dealt with] with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air" (1 Thes. 4: 16, 17). "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection … They shall be priests of God and of Christ and shall reign with Him a thousand years (Rev. 20: 6). These passages clearly prove that the Little Flock precedes all other classes of God's plan in the resurrection of the dead.

 

The same is manifest from the picture of the marriage of the Lamb and His Bride and the marriage supper of the Lamb. The order of events is as follows:

 

285

First the marriage—the first resurrection—takes place, then the marriage supper comes, to which the bridesmaids—the Great Company—are as guests brought after their resurrection. After the marriage supper is over, the children are begotten and born. The first class of these children are the Ancient Worthies, whose begettal is their awakening from the dead perfect in faculty. The Sin-offering picture proves the same thing: for the Little Flock and Great Company must first be brought back from the dead before the blood of the antitypical Goat is available for the rest of the race, first and chief among which will be the Ancient Worthies. The Mediator figure proves the same thing. Thus we see that both Bible passages and Bible doctrines prove that the Little Flock and Great Company precede the Ancient Worthies in arising from the death state. And when the Society's president says that the Scriptures do not teach such precedence, but that we reach such a conclusion by a process of analysis only, he shows, to say the least, his unpreparedness and untrustworthiness as a Biblical interpreter. When he says that Heb. 11: 40 refers only to the perfection of the Ancient Worthies' character, he greatly errs. It refers to perfection, physical, mental, moral and religious, therefore includes their awakening from the dead perfect in all their faculties; after which they will be quickly perfected in character.

 

Of course they will be awakened before the New Covenant is made manward, for they are the first ones with whom it will be so made; but they will not be awakened until after it is made [sealed by Christ's blood] Godward. Thus by ambiguous language—his "methods of deceit"— he seeks to hide the Truth. His claim that Ps. 45 does not present the classes in the order of their resurrection, in the light of the above, is seen to be another delusion; for the order of the class resurrections there is as we found them above to be Biblically taught. Moreover, while it is true that

 

286

there is a distinction between awakening and resurrection in the case of the world; in the case of the Little Flock, the Great Company and the Ancient and Youthful Worthies, however, their awakening and resurrection are synonymous. His claim that the better resurrection of the Ancient Worthies consists of their change to spirit nature at the end of the Millennium is a palpable error. How do we know this? Because while alive they knew nothing whatever of God's purpose to make them spiritual at the end of the Millennium. They, therefore, could not have hoped for it, their hopes being earthly altogether. Therefore, their being "tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection," as an expression of their hope, cannot mean their resurrection as spirits but as humans at the beginning of the Millennium!

 

In Z '25, 35-41, the darkening of his right eye on the meaning of the robe of Christ's righteousness is set forth. In this article he denies that the robe of Christ's righteousness is that righteousness of Christ which is actually imputed to us at the vitalization of our justification—his human righteousness, or, in fact, any other kind of righteousness. On this point we answer as follows: Christ has only one other kind of righteousness—His righteousness as a Divine being, which He could not give us; for that would divest Him of righteousness altogether. This simple answer destroys his contention. He quotes a large number of Scriptures, none of which in the remotest degree proves his contention; for by not one passage has he connected the expression "robe of righteousness" with his definition of it—God's approval since 1918 of the faithful course in cooperating in Society, drives on the part of New Creatures, and their coming under the robe of protection and blessing and joy. According to this the robe of righteousness was not worn previous to 1918. He has given us a definition, we repeat it,

 

287

which no Scripture connects with the expression, "robe of righteousness."

 

The following is a brief discussion of the robe of Christ's righteousness: Christ's righteousness may be understood in two ways: (1) the perfect harmony of His human character with the Divine law, and (2) the perfect harmony of His Divine character with the Divine law. To exist forever as a human being He must have the former, and to exist at all as a Divine being He must have the latter. He now exists as a Divine being, and therefore has not given or imputed to us His righteousness as a Divine being. He does not now exist as a human being, and therefore can use its righteousness— His only righteousness other than His Divine righteousness—to impute to us. His human righteousness He is Scripturally taught to have bestowed by imputation upon us. The Bible teaches that He has imputed His human righteousness to us to cover the imperfections of our flesh, so that the New Creature receive no prejudice or condemnation through this fallen flesh. The following Scriptures teach this thought expressly: Rom. 3: 24-26; 4: 5-8; 10: 4; 1 Cor. 1: 30; 2 Cor. 5: 21; Phil. 3: 9. The expression, "faith [faithfulness, one of the three Scriptural meanings of the word faith] of Jesus," also means the human righteousness of Christ, as the following passages show: Rom. 3: 22; Phil. 3: 9; Gal. 2: 16; 3: 22. This is the only righteousness of Christ that the Scriptures teach is imputed to us. Its covering us is seen in the expression, robe of Christ's righteousness.

 

The expression, the robe of righteousness, is a figurative one. In this expression, the word righteousness is not figurative; but the word robe is figurative, the word righteousness here being explanatory: It tells just what the robe is—it is the righteousness which covers our human imperfections. This is just what St. Paul says Christ's righteousness does as the righteousness of faith (Rom. 4: 58). This figurative usage

 

288

will become clearer from some explanations. In Scripture symbols nakedness is used figuratively to represent sin and manifest sinfulness (Rev. 16: 15; 3: 17, 18; Is. 47: 3; Ezek. 16: 37; Hos. 2: 3). This figurative nakedness in the believer is covered, as by a robe, by the imputation of Christ's righteousness (Rom. 4: 5-8), and righteousness is represented as a robed or clothed condition as opposed to a naked one (Job 29: 14; Rev. 19: 8; Ps. 45: 8, 13, 14). Three times, and only three times, is righteousness Scripturally referred to as a robe. This is said (1) of Job's righteousness (Job 29: 14), and (2) and (3) of Christ's righteousness (Luke 15: 22; Is. 61: 10). There can be no doubt that the robe in Luke 15: 22 is Christ's righteousness as a human being; and we can demonstrate the same to be the case in Is. 61: 10, to which the article under review gives the false definition which we above briefly refuted.

 

In Is. 61: 10 the term is self-definitive: it tells just what the covering is—it is righteousness. The article under review says that Is. 61: 10 teaches that Christ is the giver of the garments of salvation and the robe of righteousness. But the verse says that Jehovah is the Giver of these: "I will greatly rejoice in Jehovah. My soul shall be joyful in my God; for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation; He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom priesteth [literal translation; he arrays himself as a priest] it with ornaments [literally, head dress], and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels." The speaker here is the Christ, Head and Body. This is not only apparent from vs. 1-3, but also from the allusion to the Bridegroom and the Bride (2 Cor. 11: 2; Rev. 19: 6-8; 21: 2, 9). Since this Bridegroom needs not another to give Him a robe of righteousness, the robe of righteousness here referred to must cover the Church, the Body of the Speaker. Therefore the head dress must be that of the Bridegroom, the Head