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

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v. 6 promises such visions and dreams to the non-starmembers among the general elders and the more prominent among the local elders and from the fact that vs. 7, 8 do not mention such visions and dreams as given to our Lord as He speaks through the star members, that such star-members would not have such visions and dreams; for the facts prove, e.g., as in the case of that Servant, that they have more of these by far than all of their contemporary non-star-membered general elders and prominent local elders combined. Rather, we are to understand that the omission of their mention in connection with our Lord's speaking through the star-members is due to the fact that their differing privileges are given, not such as they have in common, and also to the fact that their differing privileges are so much greater than those of the pertinent non-starmember elders, that what they have individually in common is small indeed, so small that their mention is omitted. In other words, there is an ocean wide difference between the pertinent privileges of the non-star-membered general elders and certain local elders on the one hand and of the star-members on the other hand as to mouthpieceship. Again, we know that such star-members have greater privileges in seeing first antitypical visions and dreams than the non-star-membered general elders and certain prominent local elders have, from the fact that they ordinarily and generally, as the special mouthpieces of Jesus, who in ultimate analysis is the sole Interpreter of the Bible (1 Cor. 1: 30; Rev. 5-10), are His agents in interpreting the Scriptures as due. Again, in an emphatic sense the non-star-membered general elders and certain prominent local elders are by their subordination to the star-members obligated first to present their understanding of "things new" to the star members for sanction before presenting them to the brethren in general; for since Satan often gives counterfeit new light to such non-starmembered elders for genuine

 

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new light, the safety of such non-star-membered elders and of the flock requires that such real and alleged "things new" be first referred to the officiating star-member by the pertinent non-star-membered elders for examination as to whether they are genuine or counterfeit new things.

 

(21) Above we mentioned the fact that The Tower during the Parousia furnishes us evidence that some antitypical visions and dreams as new things were given to non-star-membered elders—the pilgrims and auxiliary pilgrims and prominent local elders. Yea, there are not a few instances of such that never appeared in The Tower. We will now give a number of illustrations which prove that God did fulfill the antitype of His statement in v. 6— did give pilgrims and auxiliary pilgrims and certain elders such antitypical visions and dreams. Sometimes He did this to them while they were on the way of becoming, but before they became pilgrims and auxiliary pilgrims, but so far as we know the facts of fulfillment the scribes of Matt. 13: 52 seem to be almost entirely limited to such brothers; for, so far as we know the facts, local elders who never became general elders were with some exceptions not favored with seeing "things new"—the antitypical visions and dreams. These exceptions were especially prominent and zealous elders. Bro. Barton was favored with a number of such dreams and visions. An account of one of these— one on Is. 18: 1, 2, 7—is given in Z '04, 230-232. See also the comments. In that article Bro. Barton showed how in vs. 1, 2 and 7 the Harvest work as furthered by the Truth literature is described. What he saw in these verses and wrote out was an antitypical dream. Please note the highly figurative language in which this dream is clothed in Is. 18: 1, 2, 7. We might instance another antitypical dream (in the form of a dark saying) that Bro. Barton had on Matt. 12: 29; Mark 3: 27; Luke 11: 21, 22. It is published in Z '10, 315, 316. In this

 

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article, which contains the antitypical dream written out, Bro. Barton shows that Satan, the strong man, was bound by our Lord, the stronger man, between Oct., 1874, and April, 1878, because in April, 1878, the spoiling of his house began, which the passage tells us could not take place, unless first the strong man was bound.

 

(22) Another illustration of such non-star-membered general elders having antitypical visions and dreams is that of Bros. John and Morton Edgar. In 1904 a Swiss brother went wrong on the Chronology, especially on the 19 years on which the P.B.I. later went wrong, and worked out such a sophistical new view of it that it puzzled Bro. Russell (antitypical David) very much and he was at a loss to refute it thoroughly (2 Sam. 21: 15-17). This view of the Chronology was presented to Bro. John Edgar, and it led him, with Bro. Morton Edgar co-operating, to make a very searching investigation of the Chronology as presented in Vol. II. His study of the subject on the basis of Bro. Russell's chronology led him to see very many confirmations of that chronology and to bring out many details not before seen, whereby he completely refuted the position of the Swiss brother (Abishai smote the Philistine and killed him). His investigations led him to see many Pyramid confirmations of the Plan and the Chronology not previously seen. All of these have been published in the two-volumed work entitled, The Great Pyramid Passages, by John and Morton Edgar, though articles on these subjects from Bro. John Edgar's pen previously appeared in Z '05, 179-185, and in the 1906 Convention Report. In these investigations and discoveries of new confirmations to the Chronology and to the Plan in the Pyramid Bro. John Edgar, while the leader in that work, was ably assisted by his Brother, Morton Edgar, who, because Bro. John Edgar died shortly after Vol. I of The Great Pyramid Passages was finished, became the sole

 

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author of its second volume, though Bro. John Edgar was of the two brothers the main finder of its "things new." Thus we see how both of the Edgar brothers were in this matter favored with the seeing of some visions and dreams as antitypical prophets. We heartily recommend their work, The Great Pyramid Passages, especially in its first edition. We made a careful study of it in its first edition, but apart from small parts of Vol. 2 have not read the second edition, which we understand, especially in Vol. 2, has undergone some changes. We understand that Bro. Morton Edgar repudiates what he inserted into the second edition of Vol. 2 on the millions-now-living proposition. He revised and published the work as the second edition while still with the Society and sought to justify its millions proposition. The Society's president still holds to the millions proposition, apart from a date, and claims that these millions are his (new) Great Company, who, he claims, are not a spiritual class, but his so-called Jonadabs, unconsecrated people who are interested in the Society's message, and who are given as their ambition the hope of surviving Armageddon.

 

(23) Walter Bundy was given an antitypical vision—the understanding of the parable of the lost piece of silver—as a thing new. We will give here a brief summary of it. According to his understanding, the woman of the parable (Luke 15: 8-10) represents the Church, the ten pieces of silver the ten main Biblical doctrines (the ten strings of the harp of God). Nine of these doctrines were never wholly lost to the Church, though there accumulated much symbolic tarnish on them. But one of them, restitution, was wholly lost for centuries to the Church. The sweeping of the house and the search for the lost piece of silver (truth on restitution) represents the cleansing of the Bible teachings from errors of the Dark Ages and the search of the Bible, the dwelling place of the Church, for a better future than eternal torment for those who died without ever

 

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having come into Christ. This search resulted in the finding of the Truth (silver coin) on restitution, as in the parable the woman's search for her lost piece of silver resulted in her finding it. Her joy over finding it symbolizes the Church's joy over finding that restitution was the hope for the world, instead of its future being eternal torment. Her telling her friends and neighbors of her find and her inviting them to rejoice with her represents the Church preaching restitution as the rediscovered Bible truth, giving hope for the world, and inviting those to whom she preached to join with her in rejoicing thereover. The idea of restitution implies the repentance of this class, the "one sinner" of v. 10, whose repentance will cause joy in heaven. If we may be permitted to set forth, among others, three privileges that we have had along this line during the Parousia, we will give the following: The day after we had our debate (2 Sam. 21: 20, 21) with M.L. McPhail on the covenants, April 19, 1909, in the presence of about 150 members of the Chicago Ecclesia, after most of the audience had left, following the end of the afternoon service, the Lord opened up to us the five calls of the Penny parable (Matt. 20: 1-16), their dates, character and agencies, and the steward of that parable. All of the other parts of the parable remained sealed to us until June, 1914, when the first of these, its evening, became clear to us as teaching the Church's remaining in the world for some time after 1914. In 1917 the Lord opened up the murmuring of the parable to us. He gave Bro. Russell in 1915 the privilege of seeing what the penny was and what its twofold distribution was—the privilege of smiting Jordan, and that in its two times. Doubtless the Lord gave it to him, so as to give that thought greater prestige during the subsequent sifting than had He given it first to us. From a brother in Chicago we got a hint that the day of the parable might be the reaping period (1874-1914) and that, accordingly, each

 

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of its hours might be a twelfth of 40 years. We presented the view of the parable to Bro. Russell, who endorsed it. The next year the Lord gave us to see the five calls set forth as one general work and the five siftings set forth as separate and distinct in 1 Cor. 10: 1-14. We wrote this matter out, the fifth sifting in considerable detail, and handed it to our Pastor, who published an abstract of it in Z '13, 198-200. The Lord, among other things, gave us, as an antitypical dark saying, to understand the prophets of Eph. 2: 20, as a part of the antitypical Temple, to mean the Church's general elders, particularly the star-members. This that Servant endorsed.

 

(24) In pars. 21-23 we gave a number of illustrations of how God gave antitypical visions and dreams to some of the pilgrims. He gave some of these to each of them, even though we have given only a limited number of illustrations of these. It would be in place also to cite some cases in which He gave such dreams and visions to auxiliary pilgrims. The three cases we will give, as a matter of fact, received these while they were on the way to become such. One of these is Milton Riemer, whom the Lord, on the basis of Ex. 30: 22-33; 31: 2-5; Is. 11: 2, 3; Eccl. 9: 10; Col. 1: 9-11, gave an understanding of the antitypical meaning of the spices and their proportions used in the oil whereby the priests were anointed. He properly sent his understanding of this antitypical dream to our Pastor, who published it in Z '07, 349, 350. He was given this antitypical dream before he was appointed an auxiliary pilgrim, but was evidently on the way to become one. Our readers will profit from a study of his letter. Another brother, likewise while on the way to become an auxiliary pilgrim and before he became such, was also given a number of antitypical visions and dreams. We refer to C. B. Shull, of Columbus, Ohio. The Lord gave him to understand a number of things in the book of Revelation. The most important of these was that

 

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the seven vials (bowls) of Rev. 15 and 16 represent the Seven Volumes. He wrote out his understanding of these and sent it to our Pastor. The latter never published Bro. Shull's letter, but in a private conversation with us he expressed approval of the general thought of that view, i.e., that the seven vials represent the Seven Volumes. Whether Bro. Shull saw it or not, we do not know, but the seven vials do not represent the Seven Volumes in all their aspects, but only as symbolic bowls, i.e., as controversial writings, those features of the Scripture teachings that are covered by the word reproof (refutation of error) in 2 Tim. 3: 15-17. Thus these volumes as refutations of errors are Divinely approved. Many have considered Vol. VII as impossible to be Divinely approved in any sense, because of its many errors. We agree that from many standpoints it is certainly not to be approved; but from the standpoint of its being an antitypical bowl, i.e., in so far as it refuted Babylon's errors, it certainly is a symbolic bowl, and it certainly did plague the antitypical air—the ruling powers in state, church, aristocracy and capital. In this respect it is Divinely approved, but not, e.g., as a symbolic cup— doctrinal teaching. A dark saying that the Lord opened to Bro. Shull was the word torment as used in Rev. 20: 10; 14: 10, 11, in the sense of try, test. Bro. Russell also approved of this; and we gave the interpretation in L-D-H, in the note on pages 86, 87. Bro. Fowler, a prominent elder of the Washington, D.C., ecclesia, was given an antitypical vision: Elijah's twofold feeding (1 Kings 19: 5-8), and journeying 40 days to the mount of God, as typical of the feeding on the Miller and Harvest messages and coming in the 40 years (1874-1914) to the Kingdom, which we have learned means coming to the condition that assures the Church from 1914 onward that all faithful till then will overcome.

 

(25) Looking back over the part of the chapter that

 

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we have so far studied, and keeping in mind the suggested antitypes of its various parts, we must be struck by the factualness of the interpretation. From Heb. 3: 1-6 (the expression, Apostle … of our profession, in v. 1, refers to the Lord Jesus as God's Mouthpiece and Executive, even as the two functions of the office of the Twelve Apostles were executive and interpretative) we see, from the fact that vs. 2, 5 are an allusion to v. 7 of Num. 12, that in this Chapter Moses types our Lord as God's Mouthpiece and Executive. From a multitude of facts, particularly from the fact that Miriam became leprous (vs. 10-16), and from what Lev. 13 and 14 show of her kind of leprosy, i.e., that it represents Great Company uncleanliness, we are warranted in regarding her as a type of leading Great Company members. See Vol. III, Chap. IV. From the fact of Aaron's lesser participation in the sins described in vs. 1, 2 ("And Miriam speaketh—Aaron also—against Moses, etc."— Young's translation) and from the fact of his not becoming leprous and from certain fulfilled facts, we are warranted in understanding him here to type certain leading Little Flock members. From Zipporah's relation to Moses (v. 1) and the fact that many of the more obscure members of Christ have by certain new creatures been considered unfit for the Bride, we are warranted in regarding her here as a type of such. Facts further show that our Lord has been faulted by the course of certain new creatures for some of the selections for His Bride, and that He has been much contradicted by such new creatures as He has spoken through the star-members, particularly during the Parousia and Epiphany (v. 2).

 

(26) Furthermore, it is apparent that the Lord has given disapproving attention to such antitypical murmuring and contradictions (v. 2). It is also factual that as Moses was toward God the meekest man on earth, so our Lord has been toward God the meekest Being in the universe (v. 3). It is also a fact that God

 

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has brought the antitypical three forward before the entire Church when taking the matter up for His public disposal of the case (v. 4). It is also a fact that God by our Lord has shown Himself active in connection with the advancing pertinent Truth, has done this before the entire Church and in so doing has caused the involved new creatures to take a stand separate and distinct from our Lord as He has spoken through star-members (v. 5). It is also a fact that God has caused the truth to be proclaimed that the privileges of the non-star-membered general and certain local teachers as to discovering new truths have been limited to certain parables, types, figures, hidden prophecies, tableaus, representations and enigmatical sayings. And not only is it a fact that such teachings have been given by the Lord, especially during the Parousia and Epiphany, but it is also a fact that the Lord has in fulfillment of the statements of Num. 12: 6 and Matt. 13: 52 given such new truths to the non-star-membered general elders and to some especially prominent elders who never became general elders. Accordingly, we see that in every detail of the exposition of Num. 12 so far given, our interpretation is proven to be Scriptural, reasonable and factual. Hence it has the qualities that prove it to be the proper exposition of the chapter so far studied. And as we go on with our study, we will find the rest of the exposition Scriptural and factual.

 

(27) We have seen that in v. 6 God set forth the limits within which He would make Himself known and would speak to prophets—He would make Himself known to them by visions and speak to them in dreams. Beyond these limits He would not reveal matters to them. According to v. 7 God did not limit His revelations to Moses to visions and dreams. We have seen that v. 7 does not mean that God would not make Himself known to Moses by visions and speak to him in dreams; rather, as the contrast suggests, He did not limit these revelations made to Moses to visions and

 

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dreams. Additionally He favored Moses with revelations communicated in more familiar ways. Antitypically, this means that God would not limit His revelations imparted to our Lord as acting in the star-members to visions and dreams. Hence v. 7 does not mean that God would not give our Lord acting in the star-members visions and dreams; for we know that in ultimate analysis Jesus is the only Interpreter of God's Word from God to us, and that whatever of visions and dreams are truly interpreted to the Church from God come through Jesus, the Teacher to the Church (Matt. 23: 8; 1 Cor. 1: 30). This fact, as well as the contrast between v. 6 on the one hand, and vs. 7 and 8 on the other hand, prove that revelations to Christ acting in the star-members do not exclude, but are not limited to visions and dreams. The fact that Jesus by St. Paul and our Pastor as star-members gave the Church true interpretations of more visions and dreams than all the non-star-membered teachers of the Church combined gave, factually proves the thought to be true that Jesus speaking in the star-members is neither limited to, nor excluded from, revelations in the form of visions and dreams. This, then, is the force of the words, "My servant Moses is not so [limited]."

 

(28) The fact that in Num. 12 Moses types our Lord as God's Mouthpiece, Executive and Leader for Spiritual Israel, acting in the star-members, gives a deeper antitypical meaning to the words, "who is faithful in all My house," than the words would have, if he were not here so typed. If He were here typed as God's Mouthpiece, Executive and Leader for Spiritual Israel apart from His activities by the star-members, the passage would limit the faithfulness here described to our Lord alone. Undoubtedly He is included in the expression, and that in the highest sense of the word possible; but the viewpoint of this chapter connects His faithfulness with the star-members as working through them; and therefore it also implies their faithfulness as

 

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star-members, while they act officially as such. When we speak of their faithfulness we do not mean that theirs has been flawless, as our Lord's has been and is, but such faithfulness as is needed for overcoming on the part of star-members, which means faithfulness of a larger than ordinary measure—one that increases the one pound to ten pounds. Accordingly, from the standpoint of this chapter we understand this passage to teach that all 49 star-members are set forth as faithful (see Chap. 1). We have direct statements in the Bible that this is true of 13 of them—the twelve Apostles and that Servant. (Rev. 21: 14; Matt. 24: 45; Luke 12: 42 [faithful].) And the way this chapter presents our Lord as to the star-members, combined with the antitypical statement of v. 7 and the antitypical facts of v. 8, proves, though in a less clear way, that this is true of the other 36 star-members. By this, of course, we do not mean that these 49 brothers could not have fallen, but that they have been so faithful that they have not fallen. The antitypical house—the house of God—St. Paul directly tells us is the Church (Heb. 3: 2, 6). Hence in Christ's ministry exercised in the star-members He and they have been faithful. Hence we conclude that only such new creatures were chosen to be star-members as God foreknew would be faithful—a thing that is not only directly implied by Christ's statements of 13 of them—of 12 of them in Matt. 19: 28 and John 17: 12, in the case of John and James (Mark 10: 39), in the case of John (Rev. 21: 14) and in the case of that Servant (Matt. 24: 45; Luke 12: 42), but is also implied of all 49 in vs. 7 and 8.

 

(29) Having seen that Jesus exercises in the star– members the privileges of visions and dreams, and that in a higher measure than He does in any non-star-membered servants of the Church, general or local, we are now prepared to see what His unique privileges are as He acts through the star-members. These are set forth in v. 8 typically. Moses was privileged to have

 

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God speak to him (1) mouth to mouth, (2) even plainly and not enigmatically, and (3) to see the similitude of God. These three privileges God says He would not give to a prophet, but would limit them to Moses. Let us look at each of these three privileges antitypically in turn and therein we will see the special privileges of our Lord as He acts as God's Mouthpiece in the star-members. First, then, what is meant by the expression, "With him I will speak mouth to mouth"? To make clear this expression certain explanations will have to be made. Primarily Jesus as Logos was, and as Christ has been and is, God's mouth. The term Logos, Word, implies this as to His pre-human condition (John 1: 1), and the term Christ (Is. 61: 1, 2) implies this for His post-Logos condition. The Bible in many ways shows that He is God's mouthpiece, i.e., mouth (Rev. 1: 1; 5: 7-9, 12; Matt. 23: 8; John 1: 9, 18; 3: 32; 13: 3; 1 Cor. 1: 30; Col. 2: 3; Deut. 18: 18, 19; Is. 11: 2, 3; 50: 4). Hence God revealed His thoughts usually through Jesus in the Old Testament times, and exclusively through Him in the New Testament times (Rev. 5: 5-9, 12). What God revealed through Him God reduced to writing as the Bible. Hence, secondarily, being the depository of the revelations that God made through Him, the Bible is God's mouth (Deut. 8: 3; Ps. 45: 1; 105: 5; 119: 13, 72, 88; 138: 4; Is. 1: 20; 30: 2; 45: 23; 48: 3; 55: 11; 62: 2; Matt. 4: 4; 2 Thes. 2: 8). Hence we understand the first use of the word mouth in v. 8 antitypically to mean the Bible as God's mouth. The second use of the word mouth in v. 8 antitypically refers to Jesus' mouth. To the world Jesus' mouth was up to 1917 the Church, and since 1917 the Great Company; but to the General Church Jesus' mouth specifically has been the star-members, even as they have also been up to 1917 the leading part of the Church as Christ's mouth to the world. This is the thought implied in the seven letters to the seven churches as written for [the proper translation] the angels of these

 

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seven churches (Rev. 2, 3). It is the thought implied in the seven stars' being held in Jesus' right hand (Rev. 1: 16, 20), and it is the thought implied in Aholiab's being the special and only named assistant of Bezaleel (Ex. 31: 2, 6). This is especially, though not exclusively, the thought implied in the expression prophets in Eph. 2: 20; 3: 5; 4: 11.

 

(30) We are now prepared to see what is meant antitypically by God's speaking mouth to mouth, with Moses. It means that Jesus by the star-members as His mouth would speak to God, who speaks in the Bible as His mouth, and that God in the Bible would speak to Jesus in the star-members as His mouth. What is meant by the statement that Jesus by the star-members as His mouth would speak to God, who speaks to Him in them by the Bible as His mouth? First, that Jesus has stirred up in their minds the questions pertinent to those truths that are about due, and, second, that they have searched the Scriptures for the answer to these questions; for such a searching is a speaking in question form to God in His mouth, the Bible. Thus Jesus by His mouth (the star-members) speaks to God's mouth (the Bible). And what is meant by God speaking through the Bible, His mouth, to Jesus in His mouth, the star-members? God speaking through Jesus, His Interpreter, by the Bible (God's mouth) to Jesus in His mouth (the star-members), i.e., God giving by Jesus, through the Bible, His answers to the questions on the Truth as due, which questions Jesus has stirred up in the minds of the star-members, as His mouth, to put to the Bible, as God's mouth. In other words, it has been their privilege as Jesus' mouth to study the Bible directly and to get from such study the Divinely due Truth from the Bible, as God's mouth, directly. This is a privilege not given to the non-star-membered servants of the Truth, who whenever they get something new get it not by direct Bible study, but by sudden Divine illumination. It is as though they had

 

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stumbled upon such new things; for it suddenly flashes through their minds, as though by accident. For them to attempt to speak mouth to mouth with God would be the solemnly forbidden gazing, speculation, of Ex. 19: 21. We can readily see why they cannot speak mouth to mouth with God: Jesus being the sole Interpreter of the Bible, and God forbidding such gazing, He does not directly from the Bible answer the queries with which they approach it. But He does answer through the Bible the questions of the star-members as due, put by them to Him in the Bible as His mouth. This is one of the three unique privileges of such star-members while acting as such, i.e., as Jesus' mouth.

 

(31) It is a widely held view, both among some Truth people and among Protestants, that it is the privilege of all Christians to do direct Bible study, i.e., to use the Bible as a text-book, both privately and publicly, and from such study to learn the Truth. Thus they treat the Bible as a text-book, and not as a book of texts. The Bible certainly is not a textbook, and therefore should not be treated as such. A little consideration will show this. A text-book is a logical progressive and orderly treatise on some branch of learning. Any arithmetic will serve as an illustration. In it the subjects are presented as they logically belong together; each line of thought is kept separate and distinct. The subjects are presented so as to progress in each one from the simpler to the more complex, and in their relations so that one leads up to the next. They are never mixed up, but each one follows in its proper order. In these ways the entire subject of arithmetic is presented in such a text-book. The same general course is followed in every other rightly prepared textbook. But the Bible is not so arranged. In no one place in the Bible is everything on any given subject found, let alone discussed in its logical and progressive order. Rather it is treated "here a little, there a little." Take any one of its subjects, like faith, repentance, justification,

 

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God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, man, the ransom, etc., and it will be found that its thoughts are scattered all about the Bible in connection with other subjects whose subject matter also is given in many scattered places in connection with still other subjects, also presented piecemeal, etc., etc. It is for this reason that the Bible to the non-star-helped student is the most complicated, mixed-up book in existence. It is more of a puzzle than a thousand Chinese puzzles combined into one. And Chinese puzzles are generally considered the most complicated of human inventions. We say this of the Bible reverently. Hence it is certainly not a textbook; it is a book of scattered, disjointed, crazy-quilted and often enigmatical texts.

 

(32) Both from the facts of experience and from the Bible this is seen to be true. Is not the fact that there are hundreds of sects, all basing their creeds on the Bible, yet contradicting one another, a proof that the Bible is not a text-book, but a book of more or less scattered, disjointed, crazy-quilted and enigmatical texts? Does not the fact that those classes that take up a Bible book and study it verse by verse and chapter by chapter often come to as many opinions on the meaning of many verses as there are members in these classes, prove that the Bible is not a textbook, but a book of more or less scattered, disjointed, crazy-quilted and enigmatical texts? And is not the same thing evident from private text-bookistic study of the Bible? Do not the contradictory results of the studies of Levite leaders prove the same thing? And do not the mistakes of star-members in presenting things before due prove this same proposition? These facts certainly prove that the Bible is not so plain that the wayfaring man though a fool will not err therein (Is. 35: 8). And this is what the Bible itself teaches on the subject. St. Paul (1 Cor. 13: 12) says of Christians as to the Bible: "We now see through a glass, darkly," literally, enigmatically. Again, he says in 1 Cor. 2: 7: "We speak the

 

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wisdom of God in a mystery." Jesus speaks to the same effect in Matt. 13: 35: "I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret [in the Old Testament] from the foundation of the world." Is. 28: 10-13 tells us the same. The Bible has indeed been given as follows: "Precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little." Vs. 9, 10 show that this structure of the Bible is made so as to give the faithful the kind of teaching calculated to help them trialfully, while v. 13 shows that it is also intended to stumble the unworthy. St. Paul and David give this same testimony (Rom. 11: 9, 10). There is a good reason why this should be true of the structure of the Bible: God knew that the Bible would come into the hands of billions, whom, for the most part, He did not wish to understand it. His reasons for this are gracious: It would be good for the Church as a test of character, especially along the lines of faith, meekness, humility, reverence and obedience; and it would be good for the world, the unbelief class; for if they were now, in a faith dispensation, to understand the Bible, they would inevitably misuse it, which might ultimately result in their losing everlasting life when put on trial therefore in the Millennium. Hence God has constructed the Bible enigmatically, so that they might not understand it, and thus be reserved for a trial for life with better prospects for success in a dispensation in which they can be saved, if they will. "He hath done all things well!" Hence the Bible is not a text-book; but it is a book of texts.

 

(33) If the Bible is not a text-book it should not be studied as such. Such study of it must result in evil; for it is a misuse of it; and to misuse it, of course, brings evil results. If the text-bookistic study of the Bible is harmful to the Lord's people, should they study the Bible at all? That they should study it is evident from the fact that its study is commanded in,

 

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and approved by the Bible (John 5: 39; Is. 8: 20; 30: 21; Deut. 29: 29; 31: 10-13; 2 Tim. 3: 15-17; Acts 8; 28, 30; 17: 11; Ps. 1: 2; 119: 96-100, 103, 105, 140; 147: 19; Jer. 15: 16; Ezek. 3: 10; Luke 11: 28; Rom. 15: 4; 2 Pet. 3: 2; Rev. 1: 3). These Scriptures show that it should be regarded and studied as the source and rule of faith and practice. But how should it be studied? We answer: It should be studied as it is—as a book of texts. If one asks, What is meant by studying it as a book of texts? we reply: Studying it like the Bereans of old. This is seen in Acts 17: 11, where the Bereans are commended as more noble than the Thessalonians, because they listened with all readiness of mind to the things preached to them by Paul and daily searched in the Scriptures to see whether the things that he declared to them were true. Here we have the Divinely approved method of Bible study: (1) a star-member of Jesus' mouth explains the Divine message, the Word of God; (2) good attention with a ready mind is given to his presentations, and (3) daily search is made in the Scriptures to see whether these teachings come from, and are in harmony with the Bible. Why is this the correct method? Because Jesus, the only true Interpreter of God's Word, almost always, and almost entirely, in the first instance gives the Truth as due through the star-members. Hence the first thing necessary in Bible study is to put oneself in contact with the star-member officiating in his time. This is done sometimes consciously and sometimes unconsciously. In the latter instance Jesus manipulates the true-hearted in a way to bring such in contact with the officiating star-member, either personally or in some of those who recognize him as such, or in his writings. Even when direct or indirect personal contact is established, usually the main contact is in the star-member's writings.

 

(34) These three methods can be seen operating especially in the Parousia and in the Epiphany. Hence,

 

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usually, the Parousia messenger's and the Epiphany messenger's writings, as main points of contact, are to be used as the text books for Bible study. These writings abound in Scriptural passages cited or quoted as proofs. Hence what they say should be subjected to the test of the Bible as a book of texts; and their teachings and those of the other star-members, who ministered before their times, must be studied with all readiness of mind, with the object in view of determining whether their teachings originate from, and are in harmony with the Scriptures. Such is real Bible study; and as such is fruitful unto increase in knowledge, grace and service. Hence the Berean method of Bible study is the ideal one, and that is the one that the noble Bereans of old practiced. But why, additional to the reason given above, is that not fruitful Bible study which studies it as a text-book? Because God will not talk to all mouth to mouth; He talks that way to Jesus only, as the latter speaks through His mouth, the star-members. Consequently, Jesus does not directly interpret the Word in such study, and consequently instead of such study yielding Truth it produces error. Only to the star-members will direct Bible study result in blessing, for He is the One who does it in them with the Truth, and that as it is due. Hence all non-star-membered brethren, regardless of whether they are teachers in the Church or not, if they pursue textbookism, the study of the Bible as a text-book, will thereby go into error. Their study of the Bible should be to investigate with readiness of mind the teachings of the star-members to learn if they are true, and when they find them true to seek further corroboration of them from Scriptures not cited or quoted by them for proof, which is particularly the privilege of the non-star-membered teachers in the Church. It is because of pursuing text-bookism that false teachers and sifters have arisen in the Church, as e.g., the Parousia and Epiphany experiences so abundantly prove. This

 

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accounts for the many errors of the Levite leaders of the present, not a few of whom advocate text-bookism—the study of the Bible by the brethren as a text-book. For our Pastor's thought on this subject please see Z '10, 298, pars. 3-5, 8.

 

(35) It is most necessary that students of the Bible as a book of texts study the star-members' writings, like the noble Bereans, with all readiness of mind, else they will get no lasting blessing from their study. There are especially six qualities necessary to constitute all readiness of mind; Humility (Matt. 11: 25), meekness (Ps. 25: 9), hunger (Matt. 5: 6), honesty and goodness (Luke 8: 15), and reverence (Ps. 25: 14). Humility is needed, because with it one feels his lacks and his need of God, Christ, the Bible and the star-member's teaching. Meekness is necessary, because it furnishes the teachableness of mind and submissiveness of heart that will make him open and responsive to the proper teachings. Hunger for Truth and righteousness—strong yearning for them—is needed to make one's love for these strong enough to overcome the obstacles in the way of his attaining the Truth. Honesty of mind and heart are needed to accept as true the Truth, since a dishonest heart naturally impinges against the Truth, while an honest heart has affinity to the Truth. Reverence is needed, because without it one is not, and with it is rewarded by God with the Truth. And, finally, goodness of heart is needed, because, as like likes like, the Truth being an expression of goodness, a good heart naturally appreciates it. Such are the heart qualities necessary for one to have to receive blessing from the Divinely approved method of Bible study. And not only is such a heart needed to get the Truth initially, but it is also necessary to get it progressively, as it is the one needed to retain the Truth received. The reason why people who once had the Truth lose it is that they have lost these

 

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heart qualities. But with these heart qualities retained one becomes a real Berean student of the Bible.

 

(36) We know that not a few Truth people and almost all Protestants will deny the view of Bible study that we have just expounded, insisting on studying the Bible as a textbook. But while our view of it is the Scriptural one (Acts 8: 27-35; 17: 11), their view is condemned by the Bible; for their view makes one inevitably a speculator, and whoever speculates does a Divinely forbidden thing. God, foreknowing that there would be much speculation during the Parousia and the Epiphany, gives us a special warning against it in Ex. 19: 21-25. The typical setting and chronology of this event is immediately before the giving of the Law Covenant; and St. Paul's reference to it—type and antitype—in Heb. 12: 18-29, shows that the antitype refers to the end of the Age—the Parousia and the Epiphany. This is also typically shown by the expression of v. 16: "On the third day in the morning." That the Epiphany is also included antitypically in this expression is evident from the fact of the thick cloud (v. 16) and the mountain's being on fire (the great tribulation, 1914-1954), the earthquake (Armageddon; v. 18) and the trumpet (the seventh; v. 19) sounding long (covering at least the Parousia and the Epiphany; v. 13). In fact, the seventh trumpet began to sound in 1874 and will continue to sound until 2874. Hence, we know that the scene here is Parousiac and Epiphaniac. The bounds that Moses set (vs. 12, 23) correspond to (1) the antitypical Curtain, that shuts off the view of the antitypical Court from those in the antitypical Camp; (2) the antitypical First Vail, that shuts off the view of the Holy from those in the antitypical Court; and (3) the antitypical Second Vail, that shuts off the antitypical Most Holy from those in the antitypical Holy. V. 21 types God's Parousia and Epiphany charge against any attempt to break through these antitypical bounds and gaze, i.e., speculate. The