Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing (epiphany) of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13
prisoners in the three passages from Isaiah are those who are in the prison of the tomb. As for Is. 61: 1, 2, we recall that our Lord in Luke 4: 18, 19 quoted as much of it as was due to be preached while He was in the flesh. He designedly omitted quoting the part of v. 2 that referred to the proclamation of the Day of Vengeance, because it was not then due to be preached. If the prisoners of v. 1 were the Great Company, He would have omitted quoting that part of v. 1, because it was not due then to preach their deliverance; for as a class they did not come into existence before 1917. While all through the Gospel Age there have been crown-losers, there was no Great Company as such until the Time of Trouble came (Rev. 7: 14). This is also evident from the tabernacle picture: for there is no place in the Gospel Age tabernacle picture for them before the Epiphany; because the camp for the Gospel Age represented the nominal people of God, the court the justified and the holy the priests (who throughout the Gospel Age have consisted of crown-retainers and crown-losers). Hence, there being no Great Company to serve in Jesus' time with a suitable proclamation, if the prisoners of v. 1 referred to them, Jesus would have omitted that part of Is. 61: 1 as not due to be preached, just as He omitted the part of v. 2 treating of the proclamation of the Day of Vengeance and the whole of v. 3, because these certain things were not due to be preached that day. Accordingly, v. 1 does not refer to the Great Company. Jesus did preach the awakening of the dead—a proclamation then due to be made, as His quotation of the pertinent part of the passage proves.
Again, the connection of Is. 42: 7 and 49: 9 with the respective preceding verse of each one proves that the Great Company is not meant by the there-mentioned prisoners, for the preceding verse in each case shows that the New Covenant will be operating and restitution will be working, the nations will be enlightened,
etc., when the prisoners will be freed; hence they are those in the tomb. As for the prisoner of Ps. 79: 11, the connection implies that there a prayer is offered by the brethren for the deliverance of their persecuted brethren from natural prisons and other forms of persecution, including tortures and deaths. But we think it well to speak of the Great Company brethren as prisoners in both Great and Little Babylon, for this is implied of them in Ps. 107: 10.
In the Dec. 15, 1929, Tower, J.F.R. repeats his old error that Matt. 24: 6-12 refers to the World War and certain accompanying experiences—the Society's persecution and their alleged betrayal by "the opposition," and the witness of v. 14 as his millions fiasco of 1918-1925. Our Pastor in Vol. IV applied Matt. 24: 5-14 as a brief summary of the Gospel Age's history, which is doubtless right. If the former's view were right, vs. 29, 30, referring to the tribulation of vs. 6-10, would prove that our Lord's return did not set in until after the World War was over. It was due to Bro. Chomiak's accepting this view of vs. 6-10 as correct that moved him, logically reasoning from these premises, to conclude that our Lord's return did not occur in 1874 and could not have occurred before the end of the World War. Thus, as a logical consequence, J.F.R. must give up his view of vs. 6-10 and return to that of our Pastor or surrender 1874 as the date of our Lord's return and fix it after the end of the World War. Perhaps he intends to spring this on the Society friends yet; for his chronological views, so far as made known, are squinting in that direction; but this will force him to give up his view of our Lord standing up in 1914. He is in dire confusion on this matter; and some sort of an explosion may be expected of him. We suggest that he be pressed to reconcile his view of Matt. 24: 6-10 with vs. 29, 30 and our Lord's return in 1874. He also stresses another error—claiming that the remnant of Isaiah is his own
persevering followers. The erroneousness of his view is very evident from St. Paul's (Septuagint) quotation of Is. 1: 9 ("remnant") and application in Rom. 9: 29 to the Little Flock, as the few left and delivered from nominal fleshly and spiritual Israel throughout the Age, not exclusively at its extreme end.
In the Nov. 15, 1929, Tower, he renounces our Pastor's teaching on the permission of evil, going so far as to say that our Pastor's thought thereon makes the Lord approve of sin! The Scriptures teach our Pastor's thought. St. Paul tells us (Rom. 11: 31, 32) that God has shut up Israel to their own unbelief with their Gospel-Age afflictions in order thereby to prepare them to be blessed by the mercy of deliverance under the Elect's ministry! In Rom. 8: 20-22, St. Paul tells us that God put the race under the curse, wherein they have suffered all kinds of misery, to the end that they might attain not only a deliverance from the curse, but also the liberty of God's children. Ps. 76: 10 shows that man's sin will be used in a way that shall show forth the wisdom, power, justice and love of God; but the only way sin can do such a thing is so to afflict man as to turn him into hatred of sin, on the principle that the burnt child dreads the fire, even as the chastised child learns to give up the things that bring chastisement to him, and some drunkards are by their suffering and degradation led to reformation. This passage also shows that those who do not permit such sufferings to effect their reformation will be cut off, whereby alone the sins of such persons can be restrained.
The clearest Scripture that teaches our Pastor's thought on why evil has been permitted is Ps. 90, the Psalm— Song—of Moses. The Song of Moses (Rev. 15: 3) is the main theme of the Old Testament, as the Song of the Lamb is the main theme of the New Testament. The Song of Moses is the teaching of man's original perfection, his fall, the curse, the permission
of evil and restitution. According to its subscription, Ps. 90 as the Song of Moses should teach these thoughts, and it does. In vs. 1 and 2 the author of the Divine Plan is presented. V. 1 should be translated: O Lord, Thou wast our dwelling place in a generation, even the generation. Here the original perfection is set forth enjoyed by the race in Adam and Eve in their sinless condition; for evidently God was not the dwelling place of any of the race under the curse before, by the begettal and possession of the Spirit, the Gospel Church came to dwell in God (Col. 3: 3; John 17: 21; 1 John 4: 13, 16). V. 2 shows God's eternity. The curse and restitution as the theme of this Psalm are set forth in v. 3; while v. 4 alludes to a thousand years' period when the return, restitution of v. 3, is to come. Then in vs. 5-10, 15 of the evils—the main ones—of the curse are set forth. Then Moses, in vs. 11 and 12, asks and answers the question, Why was evil permitted? "Who knoweth the power [meaning; for one of the senses of the word power is meaning; as, e.g., in older English one would say, this is the power—sense—of this word] of Thy anger [expressed in the curse]? Even according to Thy fear is Thy wrath [Thy curse on the race is to work in it reverence for Thee. Here is our Pastor's thought taught as to why the curse has been resting on man]."
Vs. 12-17 are Millennial; for as the turning into destruction was described in vs. 5-10, so in vs. 12-17 is described the return therefrom. V. 12 represents the race as praying that it may so review the "all" days of the curse (vs. 9, 10) and the "all" days of the restitution process (vs. 14, 15) as to derive wisdom therefrom, i.e., learn from the former to hate sin and from the latter to love righteousness; for these are the two main ingredients of wisdom for the race. How evidently vs. 11 and 12 teach that sin and evil have been permitted to educate the race to reverence God, which among other things implies hatred of sin!
V. 13 represents the race praying for the return, restitution, and asks God to work it as a change ("repent") of procedure from that of the curse. In v. 14 mercy, joy and gladness mark "all" the days of the race. These "all" days must be an altogether different set of all days from the "all" days of vs. 9 and 10, wherein the woes of the curse were experienced. The difference is this: the latter were the all days in which evil reigned—the curse time; and the former will be the all days in which righteousness will reign—the restitution time. As in the one set of all days God's wrath (the curse) wrought misery (vs. 9, 10), so in the other set God's mercy (v. 14) will work joy and gladness. Note how v. 15 shows that the joys of salvation will be made available to the race undergoing restitution through the Divine purpose with the days of affliction and the years in which the race saw (experienced) evil. Here again we are taught that God sentenced the race to the curse that it by contrast in the experience with righteousness might the more readily attain the joys of restitution. In v. 16 the race prays for a knowledge of, and participation in God's restitution work and character (Thy glory). It repeats this prayer in an explanatory way in v. 17, with the added thought that they may be unchangeably made participators in the future Divinely-arranged work of the Ages to come after the Millennium. This Psalm, therefore, teaches our Pastor's thought on why evil was permitted to the race in general; and thus it refutes J.F.R.'s repudiation of that thought.
As a final passage teaching that evil was permitted in order to teach man to hate and forsake sin, we introduce Rom. 7: 13. This passage limits its application of the experience of evil to Israel, and shows that the special evils that the Law brought upon Israel for Israel's violation of the Law were designed to make sin appear as all the more terrible evil to Israel. Accordingly, while the passage is discussing Israel alone
in its relation to the special penalties suffered by it for violating the Law, the principle is the same as that which we found in the other passages above described. Hence, contrary to J.F.R.'s claims, whereby he seeks to rule this passage out of court on the question at issue, this passage contains an application to Israel of the principle according to which evil is permitted and proves our Pastor's teaching on the subject. The former treats this passage as though it were the only Biblical verse used by our Pastor for his pertinent doctrine and then curtly dismisses it as insufficient as a basis for that doctrine.
Against our Pastor's thought he alleges that those dying in infancy and those born and living in idiocy could get no benefit from the experience with evil. We reply that while undergoing the restitution opportunities of the next Age their sinful proclivities will many a time lead them to attempt wrong, which will result in stripes. This will give them by experience of the woes of sin lessons sufficient to enable them to hate and forsake it (Is. 26: 9). His thought that there is no Scripture that shows that the fallen angels will get any good from their experience with evil is disproved by the facts that God is again going to become the Head of those of them that come into Christ (Eph. 1: 10), that Jesus will become their Lord (Rom. 14: 9; Phil. 2: 9-10) and that they will get a trial for life in connection with righteousness (2 Pet. 2: 4; Jude 6), which God is too practical to give them, as also He is too practical to have imprisoned them as a preparation for such a trial, if none of them would be profited thereby. To his objection that those who do their best nevertheless suffer and die, we reply: some of these die the sacrificial death as priests, the others of these die the ministerial death of Levites, whose sufferings do not, therefore, come under the sufferings of the world, but under those of God's people, whose sufferings are for a different purpose from those of the world, i.e.,
to fit them in qualities of character for their present and future ministries. No others than these do their best! All the rest are under the world's experience with evil. He has, by denying the doctrine of character development, actually, if not verbally, repudiated our Pastor's thought as to why evil has been permitted to the four classes of the Elect, i.e., to work in them characters fitting them for their present and future ministries (Heb. 2: 10, 17, 18; 5: 8, 9; Rom. 8: 28, 29; 2 Cor. 4: 16-18; 1 Pet. 1: 6, 7; Mal. 3: 2, 3).
In his discussion of the permission of evil, after denying our Pastor's thought, he says that the Bible teaches another and a fuller thought as to why God has permitted evil, i.e., to manifest and vindicate His attributes and to demonstrate that He could foil Satan in His controversy with him, by creating a perfect race endowed with everlasting life conditioned on obedience, in spite of Satan's opposition. This same explanation the creeds offer, and, like J.F.R., do not explain how this can be done in permitting sin. On former occasions we have pointed out his sophistical course in putting forth things as contradictory to one another when in fact no contradiction is present, e.g., the title of the most mischievous thing that he has ever written—the most mischievous because, according to the Society's vice-president, Bro. Wise, and many others, it has undermined godliness in many Society adherents—"Character or Covenant—Which?" As we pointed out above, there is no contrast between the two, our covenant requiring, with six other things, character development. So in saying that evil was not permitted in order to teach the race to hate and forsake sin, but in order to manifest and vindicate God's attributes to His creatures and to prove that He could foil Satan in His controversy with him by creating a perfect race endowed with everlasting life conditioned on obedience, in spite of Satan's opposition, he sets up alleged contradictions that are in perfect harmony.
It is, of course, true that Jehovah has permitted sin and evil in order to manifest and vindicate His character, and quite subordinately to demonstrate that He can foil Satan in His controversy with him by creating a perfect race endowed with everlasting life conditioned on obedience, in spite of Satan's opposition. But that there is no contradiction between these thoughts and the thought of God's overruling as to sin through the afflictions it works to teach the race to hate and forsake it is evident because this is a part of the means whereby His glorious character will be manifested and demonstrated, and whereby He will bring to perfection and everlasting life obedient men, despite Satan's opposition. J.F.R.'s explanation, denying God's educative use of sin to stir up hatred against itself, as the reason of its permission, just like the creeds, leaves the problem unsolved as to how evil in mankind will reflect credit on God and contribute to His foiling Satan with his own weapon. Hence he has offered a superficial explanation that leaves one of the main factors of the problem out of consideration, while our Pastor goes to the rock-bottom of the question and solves it most harmoniously with the Bible and God's attributes and most effectively with their manifestation and demonstration and His foiling Satan with the latter's own weapon—sin. Whatever is true in his explanation he has gotten from our Pastor or the creeds; and what is lacking in it is due to his rejecting the lacking thing offered by our Pastor. The latter is in this matter shown to be the deep and clear thinker and the former the shallow and erratic thinker.
In the Jan. 15-Mar. 15, 1930, Towers, he has a long article entitled, Jehovah's Royal House, that literally swarms with errors, some of them of fundamental importance; and they furnish another convincing proof of his symbolic drunkenness and his right-eye darkening. One of these is that there is no difference between the begettal and the birth of the
Spirit, and that both of these words apply to what occurred to our Lord at Jordan and when He was raised from the dead. Hence, he teaches that in this life we are born of the Spirit and are "spirit creatures." Thus he has gone back to the nominal-church confusion on the subject and to worse yet. Of course, as our Pastor pointed out, the Greek word gennao is used for both of these acts, because the Greek word gennao has three meanings: (1) beget (used of the male only), (2) bring to birth (used of both male and female) and (3) bear (used of the female only). Denying the first meaning as Biblically not used of the human male or of God, he alleges the second and the third as the only Scriptural meanings the word has, designating the joint parental work of bringing to birth human children, and to God in the birth of the New Creation, which he places at what Truth people have all along considered the begettal of the Spirit. In refutation of his pertinent denial the following passages, among others, prove that the word gennao is used in the Bible in connection with human beings and God's begetting in the sense of the male depositing the germinating seed "that which was [past tense] begotten [gennao] in her" (Matt. 1: 20); "that holy thing which is begotten [literally, that holy thing being begotten—present passive participle] shall be called, the Son of God" (A. R. V., Luke 1: 35); "To this end was I begotten and for this cause came I into the world" [Here evidently gennao, used in the first clause, means Jesus' begettal; for His birth is described in the second statement: and came into the world] (John 18: 35).
Undoubtedly in the chronological genealogies of Genesis the Hebrew word yalad means to bring to birth and not to beget. Nor would there be any serious objection to giving that sense to the Greek word gennao in the genealogy given in Matt. 1, though one could with equal propriety render it there by beget, as practically all versions do, there being nothing in that
section to enable us to limit its use there to but one or the other of these senses. There is, therefore, no need to dispute on the word meaning to bring to birth; but when it is so used, it does not mean to deposit the seed, which is the only meaning of the word beget. Hence these two meanings refer to two different things which in human generation occur nine months apart. That J.F.R. is entirely wrong in teaching that God's act of depositing the germinating spiritual seed, i.e., the begettal, is the same as the birth of the Spirit, is manifest from John 3: 6-8, where he that is born of the Spirit is said to be a [so the Greek] spirit, and invisible like the wind. Therefore we who in this life are new creatures cannot be yet born of the Spirit; for we are neither spirits nor invisible. Therefore our Pastor was right when he taught that the begettal of the Spirit occurred in and as the implantation of the new life in the heart and mind of the consecrated.
To J.F.R.'s denial that there are acts in the begetting (depositing of the germinating seed), quickening, growing, strengthening, balancing, completing and birth of a human being, corresponding to those accompanying the generation of a spirit being or vice versa, we reply that nature proves all of these processes as parts of the generation of a human being, and the Bible teaches every one of them in the complete generation of the New Creation, as has been often proven.
The following will prove this: (1) The begettal occurs through depositing the Word as the germinating seed (Jas. 1: 18; 1 Pet. 1: 3, 23; John 1: 12, 13; 3: 3; 1 Cor. 4: 15; Phile. 10; 1 John 5: 1). This begettal made God's people embryo new creatures (2 Cor. 5: 17; Gal. 6: 15). (2) Later, each one of them was quickened as an embryo (John 6: 63; Eph. 2: 1, 5; Col. 2: 13; 1 Tim. 6: 13). Still later (3) they began to grow in grace, knowledge and service in their embryo condition (2 Pet. 3: 18; Eph. 4: 15; 1 Pet. 2: 2). (4) Thereafter a strengthening of these embryos in every
good word and work set in (Eph. 3: 16; 6: 10-17; Col. 1: 11; 2 Tim. 2: 1; 1 Pet. 5: 10). (5) Then the new creatures develop more as embryos by balancing the various parts of a Christlike character with one another (2 Thes. 2: 17; 3: 3; 1 Thes. 3: 12, 13; Jas. 5: 8; 1 Pet. 5: 10; 2 Pet. 1: 12). (6) Their full development as embryos is completed by perfecting their character, which completely conforms them unto Christ's image (Rom. 8: 29; Luke 6: 40; Eph. 4: 12; Heb. 13: 20, 21; 1 Pet. 5: 10). This makes them as embryos ready for the Spirit birth, (7) which they experience by participating in the First Resurrection, and by which they obtain the Divine nature, through obtaining immortality (John 3: 5-8; Col. 1: 18; Rev. 1: 5; 1 Cor. 15: 20, 23; Jas. 1: 18; 2 Pet. 1: 4; 1 Cor. 15: 50, 52-54). These seven processes, beginning with the begettal of the Spirit and ending in the birth of the Spirit, constitute the acts whereby God creates a new order of beings, and that on the Divine, the highest plane of existence, and correspond to the seven steps in the generation of a human being. This disproves J.F.R.'s claim that there is no parallel between the successive stages in the generation of a human and spirit being.
He also claims that the language: "Thou art My Son; this day have I brought Thee to birth [Rotherham] is applied to Jesus at three different times (1) at Jordan, (2) at His resurrection and (3) at His Second Advent. We reply that St. Paul explains this passage, and that three times. Two of these explanations directly apply it to our Lord's resurrection (Acts 13: 33; Heb. 1: 3-5; note carefully the tenses used in the second passage, as the proof that it applies, like Acts 13: 33, to our Lord's resurrection). The other passage is Heb. 5: 5. It likewise refers to our Lord in the glory of the Divine nature; for it is used to prove Him as having been made a High Priest of Melchizedek's order by paralleling it with the statement of His being a priest after the order of
Melchizedek, which proves that it does not refer to Him while in the flesh. Hence our Lord was by God glorified to be made a High Priest in His resurrection, when He became the Priest after the order of Melchizedek. Therefore we deny, on the basis of the threefold use that St. Paul makes of this passage, that it applies to our Lord at Jordan and at His Second Advent; and with St. Paul we limit its application to our Lord's birth of the Spirit in the resurrection. It, therefore, proves that He was not born of the Spirit at Jordan, where He was begotten of the Spirit, but was born of the Spirit in His resurrection; and this proves that our birth of the Spirit did not occur at the time God made us [embryo] new creatures, but will occur in the resurrection when we will be spirits and, as such, invisible (John 3: 6-8).
He thinks that the fact that we are called sons of God now proves that we are now born of the Spirit and are, therefore, what he calls spirit creatures. In the same connection he calls Satan a spirit creature; but he seemingly avoids calling us now spirit beings; though in another connection he calls Satan a spirit being. This is jugglery with words. When he contends that the New Creature is a reality, not a subterfuge, he tells the truth; but when he thereby insinuates that embryo new creatures are not realities, but subterfuges, he errs. The holy powers that God implants in our brain organs in the begettal and the holy qualities and consequent holy character that by exercise are developed out of these holy powers certainly are realities (2 Cor. 5: 17; Gal. 6: 15). In answer to his claim that we are not embryo new creatures or sons, but born new creatures or sons, because we are called sons of God, we say the following: While we are actually embryo, not born new creatures or sons, we are reckonedly the latter and therefore called such in the Bible. This is proved by both literal and typical passages. A comparison of two literal passages will
show this: "Now are we [reckonedly] the sons of God" (1 John 3: 2). "We ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting [hoping for actual] sonship; for we are saved by hope (Rom. 8: 23, 24, Diaglott).
The types also show this: Our present actual condition as embryos is represented by Isaac being in the womb of Sarah, his birth representing our resurrection—full sonship (Heb. 11: 11; Rom. 9: 9); and our present reckoned condition of being born sons of God is represented by Isaac after his birth, e.g., in his circumcision, weaning, persecution by Hagar and Ishmael and offering up by Abraham (Gal. 4: 28-31; Heb. 11: 17-19). Again, the struggling of the embryos, Esau and Jacob, in Rebekah's womb God expressly explains to represent two nations (Gen. 25: 22, 23) which as to the embryo Jacob St. Paul tells us represents the present actual condition of spiritual Israel (Rom. 9: 10-13), ourselves as actual embryos, but reckoned born sons of God as represented by Jacob in his acts after his birth. This is likewise shown in the case of Benjamin, his being an embryo until his birth representing the actual condition of the Great Company as embryo sons of God, this being proved at his birth, by the death of Rachel, his mother, who, typical of the spiritual elective truths that bring to birth antitypical Joseph (the Little Flock) and antitypical Benjamin (the Great Company) by her death types these truths ceasing to operate with the birth (resurrection) of the Great Company. On the other hand, the Great Company's reckoned condition as sons of God while in the flesh is typed by Benjamin's activities after his birth, e.g., his coddling by his father after Joseph's exile, his being sent to Egypt, his being treated more kindly there than his brethren, his being captured, his being shown his true relation to Egypt's Prime-minister, his going to Palestine and his returning to Egypt. Thus these literal and typical passages prove that we are now actual embryos and reckonedly born sons and
that in the resurrection we will be actually born sons. The above considerations completely refute J.F.R.'s nominal-church view of our now being actually born of the Spirit.
In the same article, Jehovah's Royal House, he sets forth a veritable mass of confusion on the called, chosen, anointed and faithful. He makes the foundation of these errors the error just disproved, viz., that we are now God's actually born sons. He teaches that the call extends only after one becomes what he calls a born son, that this call is to sacrificial service, that the Great Company consists of those who do not at all accept this call (to service) and never begin to serve in the high calling, that those who accept this call do so by entering the service of sacrifice as probationary Little Flock members, which makes them the chosen, that these get their full anointing before they begin to serve and that they then must either prove faithful in sacrifice unto death or go into the second death; for they cannot be remanded to the Great Company; for these allegedly consist of those who never accepted "the call" (to service). In elaborating his thoughts above summarized he teaches a multitude of very mischievous errors. The entire article runs through five Tower issues and we could not give details. But we will refute the main positions and with these his details will fall.
In the first place, he gives the words called and chosen, in Rev. 17: 14 and elsewhere, meanings that they do not have: called—invited to serve after one is made a new creature, and chosen—approved for such service because one's zeal is accepted and his anointing is completed. These words are never used in the Bible in the senses that he attaches to them. As our Pastor shows in Vol. VI, in the chapter treating of the call of the New Creation, the word, call, is used in a variety of senses, the widest of which includes everything that God does in inviting people out of sin, until He invites
them into the kingdom by the resurrection, i.e., the invitation to wisdom, to justification, to sanctification and to deliverance. Hence it is used to designate each one of these four steps individually, or two or three or all of them collectively, as the following Scriptures prove: In Matt. 9: 13 and 1 Pet. 2: 9 it is used to signify the invitation to repentance and enlightenment—wisdom. In 2 Pet. 1: 10 the call refers to justification, which is made sure by our living in faith such a righteous life as retains the robe of righteousness now and as guarantees it to us as our own forever. This—justified—is the sense of the word called in Rev. 17: 14. Then this word is used to mean the invitation by consecration to the high callingsanctification (Rom. 8: 30; Matt. 20: 16; Eph. 4: 4; Phil. 3: 14; 2 Tim. 1: 9; Heb. 3: 1). Further, this word is used to designate our invitation to share in overcoming all our spiritual enemies and to share in the first resurrection—deliverance (1 Pet. 5: 10; 2 Pet. 1: 3; 2 Thes. 2: 14; Heb. 5: 10). In other passages it is used in two or three or all four of these senses (Rom. 1: 6, 7; 8: 28; 1 Cor. 1: 9, 26-29; Eph. 4: 1; 1 Thes. 2: 12).
The word chosen—elect, or election—is used in two senses to designate: (1) those who by consecration and Spirit-begettal were selected to run for the high calling and (2) those who remain faithful in that high calling. Under the first definition the following, among other passages, belong: Rev. 17: 14; 2 Pet. 1: 10; Matt. 24: 22, 31; Col. 3: 12; Rom. 11: 7; 1 Thes. 1: 4; Mark 13: 20; John 15: 16; 2 Thes. 2: 13; Jas. 2: 5. The following are some that belong under the second definition: Is. 65: 9, 22; Matt. 20: 16; 22: 14; 24: 24; 1 Pet. 2: 6; 2 Tim. 2: 10. That the election— being chosen—does not mean the act of approving and anointing one already a new creature for his zealous response to an invitation to service, but is the Lord's part performed in the act of Spirit-begetting, is evident
from the fact that Aaron and his sons as such were chosen to become priests and then afterward underwent the service of Moses' consecrating of them to be such, typing that Jesus and the Church were first in their consecration and Spiritbegettal chosen to become priests and then to be such underwent consecration at God's hands; for the New Creature is the thing that becomes the Priest through the anointing (Heb. 9: 15). It is also evident from St. Paul's statement: "God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through the sanctification [begettal] of the Spirit, and belief of the Truth [whose acceptance unto consecration as the germinating seed was on our part the condition for its begetting us]." St. Peter gives the same testimony (1 Pet. 1: 2): "Elect according to the foreknowledge of God through the sanctification [begettal] of the Spirit." See also Rom. 6: 3; 1 Cor. 12: 12, 13; Gal. 3: 27-29; Col. 2: 11, 12. The theory under review confuses the response to the call with the quickening, i.e., energizing to service, which occurs in the Under-priesthood after the anointing begins; for it is the anointing that quickens one to service, while the response to the invitation to the high calling is our act of consecration (Rom. 12: 1; Prov. 23: 26; Ps. 45: 10).
His view that those who do not become zealous to serve are the Great Company, is nonsense; for whoever is not zealous to serve, i.e., quickened, is never born at all; just as in the human family, without quickening there can be no birth; for those who would not be quickened would take back their consecration entirely, which would mean totally wilful sin. Moreover, his view that the Great Company consists of those never energized to service is contrary to Sts. Paul's and John's statements on some running well for a while, becoming castaways, as to the prize, but not as to life, but losing a full reward (Gal. 5: 7; 1 Cor. 11: 24-27; 2 John 8); and on those running looking carefully lest, like Esau (Heb. 12: 15-17; 2 John 8, here a
type of the Great Company), they lose their birthright, their full reward, the Divine nature and joint-heirship with Christ and, like Esau, get the lower blessing, Great Companyship. Moreover, lack of love and wrongdoing also put one into the Great Company in spite of great services (1 Cor. 13: 2, 3; Jude 23; Rev. 7: 14; 1 Tim. 1: 19, 20, where the word faith means faithfulness, which for a while, therefore, Hymenaeus and Alexander had; for their faithfulness is here spoken of as wrecked, leading to their falling into the crown-losing class, and Azazel's hands). Furthermore, if his view were correct, there would have been a Great Company throughout the Age (and not simply crown-losers who still retained the priesthood)—a thing that is untrue, because there was no place in the tabernacle picture to represent the Great Company during the Gospel Age. These crown-losers until 1917 were Priests in the Holy, which disproves the thought under review with unanswerable power.
When he says that since Christ's anointing was completed before He began to preach, the same must be true as respects all the Under-priests, we reply, Not so. In the first place, Christ as a perfect human being had all the graces of the Spirit of a natural man perfectly. That part of the anointing that confers the spiritual qualities on the heart was accomplished unto completion in Him the moment of His begettal and not in the wilderness, where doubtless that part of the anointing that confers the necessary spiritual knowledge for service was completed in Him, though it began immediately at His begettal (Matt. 3: 16). Hence, contrary to J.F.R.'s claim, Acts 10: 38 does refer to the acts described in Matt. 3: 16 belonging to the anointing. Unlike our Lord, we do not receive the Spirit without measure. Hence our anointing, though begun both in head and heart before we begin to serve, goes on a long while after we have started to serve. Another reason for the difference is this:
Jesus' anointing had to be complete before He began to serve, otherwise His ministry would have had imperfections in it, which would have vitiated it; while in our ministry our inevitable weaknesses are covered by His merit. Since the completed anointing confers all the graces of the heart and all capabilities of the head for service; self-evidently our anointing, though begun before, goes on long after we have entered the service of the Lord's Plan as Priests. His confusing the gifts of the Spirit with the anointing is too transparent to call for comment. The Scriptures given above prove that crown-losers have lost their part in the anointing. These considerations completely overthrow his pertinent point.
Especially two Scriptures does he use in an attempt to prove his idea of chosen as meaning the approval and anointing of those who respond to his so-called "call" (to sacrifice) as given them after their Spirit-begettal: Rom. 8: 30 and 1 Cor. 6: 11. He interprets the call of Rom. 8: 30 to mean an invitation given to new creatures AS SUCH by enzealment for service to enter the high calling, which they actually entered at consecration, and Spirit-begetting (Rom. 6: 3; 1 Cor. 12: 12, 13; Gal. 3: 27-29; Col. 2: 11, 12). He interprets the justifying of Rom. 8: 30, not of God's acts, whereby He forgives our sins and imputes to us Christ's righteousness, but as God's approving the new creature that zealously accepts the invitation to go on and sacrifice and God's proceeding to anoint him, i.e., to make him chosen. But St. Paul used the word justify here in its usual Biblical sense, as the connection proves; for in Rom. 8: 28-30 the four steps of the salvation process are described, as St. Paul implies them in Jesus' office functions as our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and deliverance (1 Cor. 1: 30), but in inverse time order. Moreover, the passage teaches that all the called are justified, which contradicts his statement that all his called do not respond
and hence they are not all justified in his sense. Further, the passage teaches that all who were called, as it uses the word, had previously to their call been justified, which contradicts his view; for it puts his justification after his call. He does not attempt to explain the glorifying of v. 30. Making his call precede his justifying—his choosing—he must make his choosing precede his glorifying, however he may understand the latter; and, therefore, the passage would force him to teach that all his called are afterwards chosen, and all his chosen are afterward glorified. His principle of interpreting the passage, as giving the acts of v. 30 in their time order, makes necessary the Calvinists' teaching from this passage, contrary to facts and clear Scripture, the doctrine of once in grace, always in grace. His method of interpretation logically requiring all his called to be afterward justified, i.e., chosen, contradicting his thought that only a minority of his called are his justified, chosen, proves that this passage contradicts instead of proving his new setting.
So, too, does he fare illy with 1 Cor. 6: 11. He quotes and in brackets interprets this passage as follows: "But [now] are ye washed [from sin by the blood of Jesus, and therefore at peace with God and justified from sin (Rev. 1: 5; Rom. 5: 1)]; but ye are sanctified; but ye are justified [approved because of your devotion to God and because you are chosen by him] in the name of our Lord Jesus [Christ] and by the spirit of our God." Properly the A. R. V. (compare its margin) translates as follows: "but ye washed [past tense] yourselves, ye were sanctified [past tense], ye were justified [past tense]." We therefore understand the passage in harmony with the Scriptural time order of the salvation processes to teach the following: by the words, ye washed yourselves, is meant, not justification by Christ's blood, but our cleansing ourselves by the Word—the antitypical
laver—from filthiness of the flesh and spirit, as also the connection, treating of abandoning sins, shows (Heb. 10: 22; Eph. 5: 26). By the word sanctified we understand our consecration, proved by the past tense of the Greek verb, to be meant; and by the word justified we understand God's vitalizing of our justification to be meant. Thus in this passage in their time order cleansing at the laver, consecration at the first vail and vitalizing justification immediately thereafter, which were of course followed by the Spirit-begettal, are set forth. And these three things all imply the necessity of our giving up sin, which the connection shows is the Apostle's thought, while the "justifying" under review is not related to sin, but to sacrifice. If the word "washed" meant justification as ordinarily used, the Greek would prove that we justify ourselves! Hence his thought does not fit the connection; moreover the interpretation under review leaves out of consideration an essential factor in putting aside sins— cleansing ourselves by the Word—which the connection and proper translation require. So, too, the interpretation under review sets aside the usual Scriptural meaning of the word justify and gives it a meaning that the Bible nowhere gives it.
In the March 15 installment of the article under review (which came to hand after we had written our remarks above on the article, Character or Covenant—Which?) the writer urges character development, saying that he never taught that we are not to develop character. He said that he meant that our character development would not bring us into the kingdom, as this would imply our meriting it. Would not his claims as to service make it equally merit the kingdom? St. Peter says that under the terms of our call character development—adding the graces, making them active and causing them to abound in us—will bring us into the kingdom (2 Pet. 1: 5-10); while St. Paul tells us that service, and that even to martyrdom,