Questions and Answers on Scripture: From the Bible Treasury

Table of Contents

1. 1 Cor. 9:27: "A Castaway" or Set Aside as a Servant?
2. 1 Corinthians 11:20
3. 1 Corinthians 14:21-31
4. 1 Corinthians 14:29
5. 1 Corinthians 15:3-4
6. 1 Corinthians 15:47
7. 1 Corinthians 5
8. 1 Corinthians 5 - Leprosy and Leaven
9. 1 Corinthians 6:2: "Before You"
10. 1 Corinthians 9:27 - Not a "Castaway," but Disapproved?
11. 1 John 1: "From the Beginning," "Seen & Heard" vs. "Heard & Seen," and Others
12. 1 John 1:7: Cleansing a Present Process?
13. 1 John 5:16-17 - Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit?
14. 1 John 5:18 - A Christian Who Dies in a Reprobate State
15. 1 Peter 3:18-20
16. 1 Peter 3:21
17. 1 Timothy 3:15-16
18. 1 Timothy 4:14
19. 2 Corinthians 5:15
20. 2 John
21. 2 Peter 1:19
22. 2 Sam. 24:13, 1 Chron. 21:12: Inaccuracies or Mistranslations?
23. 2 Timothy 4:1 - True Text and Right Version?
24. 2,300 Evenings-Mornings
25. 3 Words Translated Net
26. A Gloss, Or of God?
27. Abraham and Christians One?
28. Accounting for Days
29. Acting Without Informing the Assembly
30. Acts 19:15
31. Acts 20:25 - "The Kingdom"?
32. Acts 2:30 - "Of the Fruit of His Loins," How?
33. Acts 26:22-23 - Contradicting Ephesians?
34. Acts 8:37 - Not Supposed to Be in the Bible?
35. Age of Abram and Terah
36. "All Seek Their Own Things"
37. Angels in Deut. 32:8, 43, Psa. 97 and Heb. 1:6
38. Anointing, Consecrating, and Sanctifying of the Priests Typical of Anything?
39. Any Grounds to Apply Jer. 31:22 to the Incarnation?
40. Apocalyptic Beasts
41. The Apostles Not Baptized with Christian Baptism?
42. Are Any of the Church Left to Go Through the Tribulation?
43. Are Romans 5:11 and Hebrews 2:17 Rendered Correctly?
44. The Article Before Eternal Life in 1 John 5:20
45. Assembly Agreement on Names Proposed for Communion
46. Azazel the Goat? Then How "To" or "For"?
47. The Formula of Baptism
48. Baptized for the Dead
49. Baptized Into the Body?
50. Bearing of Matthew 7:7-8
51. The Bearing of Philippians 3:11?
52. Bearing of the Last Clause in Hab. 2:2
53. Beginning to Break Bread
54. "Behold, the Virgin"
55. That Blessed Hope
56. The Body and the Bride
57. The Body is Dead?
58. The Body of Christ a Heavenly Designation?
59. Breaking Bread Before Giving Thanks and Pouring Wine After Giving Thanks?
60. The Breaking of Bread
61. Brother's Meeting
62. "Buried with Him by Baptism Unto Death"?
63. By His Prophets in Holy Scriptures, vs. by Prophetic Scriptures?
64. By My Name Jehovah Was I Not Known to Them
65. The Calling and Inheritance in Ephesians and 1 Peter
66. Can a Believer Lose Eternal Life?
67. Can a Believer Rest on Christ's Work Without Having God's Spirit Dwelling in Him?
68. Captivity Led Captive
69. "Carnally" and "Of the Flesh"
70. Caught up Before the Lord Comes
71. Characteristics of Scripture Readings
72. Chief vs. Head in Col. 1:18
73. Christ a Propitiation for the Sins of the Whole World?
74. Christ As Head
75. Christ, Their Constant Theme of Speech?
76. Christian Servants and Slaves
77. Christians Excluded From Inheritance, Though Saved?
78. Christian's Sinning - Forgiveness, Confession, and Intercession
79. Christ's Blood Literally Presented in Heaven?
80. Christ's Entrance Into Heaven When He Died, Not on His Ascension?
81. Christ's Priesthood
82. Christ's Session on the Father's Throne
83. "Church" or "Assembly" in Acts 7:38
84. Citation of Jeremiah or Zechariah?
85. The Close of Mark
86. Closing Verses of Ecclesiastes 4, Particularly "The Second Child That Shall Stand Up in His Stead"?
87. Colored Coverings of the Holy Vessels
88. Colossians 1:23 - "Every Creature"
89. Coming for or with His Saints?
90. "Coming of Prophecy" and Meaning of Verse?
91. The Coming of the Lord
92. Comma After "Through Faith" in Romans 3:25
93. Commendatory Letters, From Whom?
94. Comparison of Work Between the Persons of the Trinity
95. Conferred Authority to Preach
96. Confusion in Acts 7:16
97. Connection Between the Last Trumpet and the Last of the Seven Trumpets
98. Consummation in Daniel 9:27 the Same As Consumption in Isaiah 10:22?
99. Consumption the Same Word in Isaiah 10:22 and 23?
100. Conversions in the Millennial Age
101. Covering the Head
102. The Cross Not Included and Christ Received up in Glory Last?
103. Cross, Pole, or Stake
104. "Crucified" and "Died"?
105. The Crucifixion in Mark and John
106. The Cursing of the Ground a Blessing or a Punishment?
107. Daniel 7:8 - When Will it All Take Place?
108. Daniel 9:24 - "Holy of Holies" vs. "An All-Holy"
109. Daniel 9:26-27 Correct in Young's, or A.V. and R.V.?
110. Daniel 9:27
111. Dative and Accusative Time
112. Dative Case Mistranslated?
113. Day-Star and Morning-Star?
114. Dead vs. Having Died in Christ?
115. Did Christ Preach to Old Testament Saints After Death?
116. Die With Jesus or With Lazarus?
117. Difference Between John 15:2 and 6?
118. Difference Between Saints and Believers
119. Difference Between the Church and the Body
120. Difference Between Two Greek Words for "Without"
121. Difference Between Words Translated Judge or Judgement in the New Testament
122. Different Ways "Kingdom of Heaven" Is Spoken of?
123. Discerning or Distinguishing the Lord's Body
124. Discipline in Bible Days
125. Discrepancy Between 1 Chron. 21:6 and 1 Chron. 27:24?
126. Discrepancy Between Colossians 2:20 and 1 Peter 2:13?
127. Discrepancy Between Revelation 19:20 and Daniel 7:11
128. Dispensational Difference Between 2 Disciples, Philip, Nathanael, and Nicodemus?
129. Dispensational Teaching of John 2
130. Distinction in the Names for God
131. "Do" vs. "Have" Come Short
132. Does 1 Cor. 11:33 Apply in Our Day?
133. Does Hebrew Distiniguish "Atonement" and "Propitiation" in Lev. 16?
134. Does Psalm 91:11 Refer to the Lord?
135. Does Scripture Determine the Serpent in Gen. 3?
136. Don't All Christians Love His Appearing?
137. "Dwelleth" in John 14:17
138. Dying
139. "Eternal," "Everlasting," or "Age-lasting"?
140. Eternal Life Not a Thing, But a Person?
141. Christ the Son of God Only Since His Birth, or Eternally?
142. Evangelism More Than Teaching?
143. Exodus 14, 15 - Pharoah not Perished?
144. Explanation of 2 Samuel 5:8
145. Explanation of Names and Surnames of The Twelve
146. Explanation of the Leper
147. Exposition on Romans 5:15-17
148. The Fall of the Dragon and His Hosts?
149. What Grounds for "Farewell" Instead of "Rejoice"?
150. The Father's/Son's Work
151. Fine Linen in Revelation 19
152. The Firm Foundation of God
153. The Five Wise Virgins
154. The Flesh in Us
155. "For the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus Has Set Me Free From the Law of Sin and Death"
156. Force of 1 John 5:11?
157. Force of Christ Dying for All
158. The Force of the Expressions in Christ and in the Lord? Meaning of Marriage Only in the Lord?
159. Force of the Words for People and Nations in the Old Testament
160. Forms of Baptism
161. Future and Perfect
162. The Future Jewish Remnant
163. Gathered to the Lord's Name
164. Genesis 1
165. Genesis 4:23-24
166. Genesis 46:26 and Acts 7:14
167. Genesis 49:10 Comparted With 2 Chronicles 36:21 and Matthew 2:1
168. Gentiles Not Under Law and Romans 3:19
169. Gentiles Now "The Israel of God"?
170. Gifts
171. Giving Thanks to the Son, Never the Father, in the Breaking of Bread
172. God As Father
173. "God Could Not Be to Angels What He Is to Man"?
174. God Will Not Be a Mere Director?
175. God's Answering Prayer and General Laws
176. God's Kindness to Us
177. God's Unspeakable Gift
178. Gone Out From the Assembly the Same As Putting Out?
179. Gospel of the Kingdom in Matt. 24:14 Coalesce With the Mission to All Nations Under Matt. 28:19?
180. Grace for Grace?
181. Grammar in Revelation
182. The Great Multitude and The Great Tribulation?
183. The Great White Throne or Magnifying God's Grace?
184. Greek Article Changing Meaning From Every to All
185. Greek in 1 Thessalonians 4
186. Greek in John 1
187. Greek in John 6:57
188. Greek in Luke 9:31
189. Greek Referring to Sacrifices
190. Greek Sequence Term in Luke
191. Greek Translated
192. Greek Translated "Aeon," "Aeonion," and "Eternal"
193. Greek Translated Save
194. Greek Words for Eternal
195. The Groanings of Romans 7:24
196. Groanings Which Cannot Be Uttered?
197. Grounds of Admission and Exclusion, and the Meaning of the Unity of the Body?
198. Hades and Paradise
199. Ham's Misconduct
200. Have Elah, Ephesdammim, Socho, or Jarmuth Been Identified?
201. "He Asked Life of Thee, and Thou Gavest it Him" - When Asked and What Does it Mean?
202. "He" in 1 Peter 4:1-2
203. "He Led Captivity Captive"?
204. Head Covering
205. Questions on the Healing of the Demoniac
206. Heb. 10:17 Connected With 2 Cor. 5:10?
207. Hebrews 2:11-18 - "All of One" and Other Questions on the Passage
208. Hebrews 4:14; 9:11-12
209. Hebrews 9:12: Our Lord Entering the Holies
210. A Heretic
211. High Priest Blessing the People
212. His Grave With the Wicked and With the Rich in His Death?
213. The Holy Spirit Descending
214. Homage and Worship
215. The Hope Set Before Us
216. The Hour of Temptation
217. How Are Hebrews 2:17; 8:4; 9:12 Applied and Held Consistently With Leviticus 16?
218. How do Matt. 13:30, 1 Cor. 5:13, and 2 Tim. 2:21 Hang Together?
219. How Should 2 Corinthians 5:21 Be Taken?
220. How to Look for and Love His Appearing
221. How to Regard Jeremiah 51:39, 57 and Revelation 14:10-11
222. In the Beginning
223. In the Beginning
224. The Indwelling of the Holy Ghost
225. Inspiration of Scripture
226. Is Deliverance All?
227. Is it Profitable to Ask a Christian, "Are You Dead?"
228. Is It Right for the Unconverted to Pray?
229. Is the Law Finally Done Away With?
230. Is the Little Horn in Daniel 8 Distinct From That in Daniel 7?
231. Isaiah 53:12
232. Isaiah 63:19: D. Martin's Authority for Long Temps and Reasons for Maison
233. Israel and the Kingdom, Son of Man and the King of Israel?
234. Jacob Serving for Leah and Rachel
235. The Jewish Remnant
236. J.N.D. on Hebrews 2:17; 8:4
237. Job 22:30
238. John 1
239. John 19:14 Compared With Mark 15:25
240. Which John?
241. What Do You Gather From Jude 9?
242. Judgment Must Begin at the House of God and the End of Those That Obey Not the Gospel of God?
243. The Judgment Seat
244. Judgments
245. Jury Duty
246. Justification
247. Justification, Quickening, Raising
248. The King in Daniel
249. King of Israel vs. King of Judah
250. The King of the North
251. King Saul Chosen by the People or the Lord
252. The Kingdom and Paradise the Same?
253. Kingdom of Heaven and Kingdom of God
254. Kingdom of Heaven Vs. Kingdom of God
255. The Kingdom
256. "The Knowledge of the Son of God," "The Perfect Man," and "The Measure and Stature of Christ"?
257. Last Clause of Psalm 109:4
258. The Last Trump
259. "The Laver," Not "The Washing"?
260. Law vs. Religion
261. The Little Horn
262. A Little One or a Believing One?
263. Living and Reigning with Christ
264. The Lord Jesus Offered or Presented the Church to the Father on the Day of Pentecost?
265. The Lord Leaving the Right Hand of God?
266. The Lord's Genealogy in Matthew vs. Luke
267. The Lord's Supper and the Breaking of Bread
268. The Lord's Table
269. Lord's Way of Bringing Dead and Live Saints Into the Kingdom at His Coming?
270. Lot Only Two Daughters?
271. Lot's Daughters and Their Husbands
272. Luke 1:1-4 Inspired or Not?
273. Luke 15: The Proper Intention of This Chapter
274. Luke 16:9
275. Luke 9:3 Compared With Mark 6:8
276. Man Child Caught up
277. Man Reduced to the Level of Beasts in the Field?
278. Manhood Morally Before Incarnation?
279. The Manner of Our Seeing God
280. Many Mansions Mean Equality of Reward?
281. Marriage to an Unbeliever
282. Marrying Only in the Lord
283. Matt. 23 Reconciled with the Absence of the Father's Name in Revelation
284. Matthew 11:12 and Luke 16:16
285. Matthew 12:31-32
286. Matthew 18:20 Translation of Greek
287. May Bread and Wine Be Called Emblems?
288. Meaning of 2 Corinthians 5:3?
289. Meaning of "Being Crafty I Caught You With Guile"?
290. Meaning of "Heretic" and "Reject" in Titus 3:10-11?
291. Meaning of Isa. 8, Rom. 7:24; 7:25; 8:2, and 2 Tim. 4:8
292. Meaning of Isaiah 53:11, Especially By His Knowledge
293. Meaning of Luke 16:9
294. Meaning of Recovering of Sight to the Blind Inserted in Luke 4:18, but Not in Isaiah 61:1?
295. Meaning of the First Clause of Job 22:30
296. Meaning of the Word Deuteronomy?
297. Meaning of the Word, "Tares"?
298. Meaning of "Their Angels"?
299. Meaning of "Thy Seed" and "Thy Seed and Her Seed"?
300. Meaning of "Ye Are Fallen From Grace"?
301. The Mediator Is Not of One, but God Is One?
302. Meetings in Hebrews 10:25; Early Meetings of the Saints
303. The Morning Star
304. Moses' Faith and the Passover
305. The Mount of Transfiguration a Vision?
306. My Servant
307. Mystery
308. Naaman's Cleansing: Not Faith, But Obedience
309. The Name Used in Baptism
310. Names of the Days of the Week
311. New Birth vs. Eternal Life
312. New Covenant With Israel and With Judah
313. A New Heart
314. The New I and the New Man
315. The New I vs. the Old I
316. No Mention of the Jordan in Heb. 11:29-30
317. What Sort of Offenders Meant in Romans 16:17?
318. What Left to Offer?
319. Offering of the Firstfruits
320. Old Testament Knowledge of Christ
321. Omission of Dan in Revelation 7
322. One Body or Lord's Name
323. Organization in Divine Things Such As Ministry?
324. "The Other"
325. Our Besetting Sin
326. Our Lord in the Abyss? Saints in Sheol? Location of Sheol?
327. The Parable of the Pharisee and the Publican
328. Parable of the Virgins to the Jewish Remnant or to Christendom?
329. What do the Parables of Matthew 13 Teach?
330. A Paragraph from Zion's Watch Tower
331. Partakers of the Divine Nature
332. Peacock in Job 39:13?
333. Peoples Associated With Israel in Latter Days
334. Place of a Dead Man
335. The Place of the Lord and the Saints in the Millennium
336. The Position of the Continents of America, etc.
337. Pouring Out of Godhead?
338. The Pouring Out of the Spirit
339. Preaching Election
340. The Promise in Rev. 3:10?
341. Prophecy
342. Prophetic Events
343. Propitiation
344. Purposing in the Spirit
345. Question on Greek
346. Question on Separation
347. Questions About Priesthood
348. Questions About Washed, Cleansed, and Sanctified
349. Quick and Dead - Moral or Physical?
350. Raised for Our Justification
351. Rapture Before the Tribulation
352. Reading Human Writings
353. The Real Bearing of Jeremiah 31:22?
354. Reconciled to God
355. Reconciliation of Cleansing in the 12th and 18th Year of Josiah's Reign
356. Reconciliation of the Septuagint Version of Ex. 30:13, 15 With the Greek of Matt. 17:24?
357. Reconciling Acts 26:23 and Luke 9:30
358. Reconciling John 2:20 With Daniel 9
359. Reign of Christ
360. Reigning Over, Not on, the Earth?
361. Relation Between Purging and the Government of the Great House
362. The Remembrance Prominent, Followed by Praise?
363. Remission of Sins
364. Rending of the Veil Before Instead of After the Giving up of the Ghost?
365. Revelation 4, 6 and 12 and the Removal of the Saints from the Earth
366. The Revelation of the Mystery
367. "Reverend" in Psalm 111:9?
368. Right Reading of Revelation 20:5
369. The Rising of the Old Testament Saints
370. The Robber in Paradise?
371. Romans 11:28
372. Romans 8:1-13, Particularly "Death" and "Die"
373. Is the Sabbath Still Binding?
374. "Said" or "Had said"?
375. Saints Become the Righteousness of God in Christ in Glory?
376. Saints Caught Away, Be Suffered, or Be Taken?
377. Saints Entering Into Rest
378. The Saints in Revelation 6:9
379. The Samaritan Woman Immediately Indwelt by the Spirit?
380. Sanctification and Cleansing; Deuteronomy
381. Sanctification in 1 Thessalonians 5:23
382. Sanctification of the Spirit Unto Obedience?
383. Sanctified?
384. Sect
385. Seeing, or Surrounding Us?
386. Sentence of Death
387. Seperate Thanks for the Bread and Cup?
388. Serving the Lord
389. Seven Heads and Seven Kings
390. Seventh-Day Adventists
391. Several Descents of the Spirit?
392. A Share of Afflictions Left for the Follower of Christ?
393. Sheep in Matthew 25:33
394. Sheol
395. Sheol and Hades
396. Sin Before Adam
397. Sin Offering of the Fruit of the Earth?
398. Sister's Part in Bible Reading Meetings
399. Sleep in Jesus, Dead in Christ
400. The Space of the Lord's Ministry on Earth
401. Speaking in the Assembly
402. Speaking to Peter, or Satan?
403. Spirit Dwelling With You and in You and Its Difference from the O.T.?
404. Spirit: Holy Ghost, Not Man's Spirit?
405. Spirit of Christ and of Him That Raised
406. The Spirit of Christ and the Spirit of God?
407. Spirits in Prison
408. What Ground Is There for the Rhemish Version and Note: Staff or Bed?
409. Standing Lecture in the Assembly
410. The Stars of the Seven Churches
411. State Characterizing the Child of God
412. Still Responsible to "Persevere in the Teaching and Fellowship. . ."?
413. "The Strait Gate, and the Prodigal Son"
414. Strangled, Blood, Pollution of Idols, and Fornication in Acts 15:20, 29
415. Sufferings Connected With Whom in Colossians 1:24?
416. Supper Ended
417. Supplications, Prayers, Intercessions and Giving of Thanks
418. Support of the Deity of Christ
419. Swearing
420. "Taken" and "Left" for What?
421. Teaching of Matthew 24 and 25
422. The Temple Described in Ezekiel
423. The Testimony of God
424. The Thorn in the Flesh
425. Then I Restored What I Took Not Away in Psalm 69:4
426. What Is the Meaning of "Then I Restored What I Took Not Away"?
427. "There Go the Ships"
428. "Therefore God" vs. "Therefore, O God"
429. They Who Rest From Their Labors. . .
430. Those Come Out of the Tribulation, Before the Throne
431. Those Who Died Prior to the Cross
432. Those Who Labor in the Word
433. Those Who Renounced Christ's Sacrifice Sanctified in What Way?
434. Those Who Say They Are Jews and Are Not?
435. Thy Throne O God Is
436. "To Bring Us Unto Christ"
437. Translation of Acts 20:28
438. Translation of Hebrews 1:2
439. True Rendering of Psalms 22:21
440. Two Great Lights?
441. Two Miracles at Cana of Galilee
442. Two or Three
443. Union of the Divine and Human in Christ
444. Walking in the Light and Fellowship
445. What Countries Are Gomer and All His Bands … ?
446. What Would Have Happened if Men Had Received the Christ of God?
447. Wheat and Present Hope
448. When Did the Church Begin and What Are Its Privileges?
449. When Do O.T. Saints Rise?
450. When Do the O.T. Saints Rise?
451. Who Is It That Walketh Through Dry Places Seeking Rest and Finding None?
452. Who Receives Resurrection Life?
453. "Who Shall Declare His Generation?"
454. Who Will Have Their Names in the Book of Life?
455. Who Wrote the Epistle to the Hebrews?
456. "Whole World" in Luke 2:1 Include Russia?
457. Whosoever in 1 John 3:9; 5:1, 18
458. Why "Believe also on Me?"
459. Why "Heaven" in Luke 15:18, 21?
460. "Why" in Psalms 78:67-68
461. Why Is It "All" the House of Israel in Acts 2:36 Instead of "Every"?
462. Why Is the Mission of the Seventy Omitted From Matthew?
463. Why Is the Same Word Translated As "Burning" and "Refined"?
464. Why "the Day of Atonement" Should Be Interpreted "of the Judgment Seat of Christ"?
465. "Wicked" Singular or Plural in Isaiah 11:4?
466. Will the Jews Rebuild the Temple to Be Destroyed After the Abomination of Desolation Is Set up?
467. Wine
468. Wine: Two Different Types?
469. With God, Was God, the God
470. The Witness
471. The Woman at Sychar
472. Woman's Part at Meetings
473. The Word Incarnate?
474. The Word "Redemption"
475. Words Translated "Altar"
476. Worship
477. Does the Younger Brother Represent Jew or Gentile?
478. Zechariah 14:6-7
479. Zion and Heaven
480. Zion vs. Jerusalem, Daughter vs. Daughters

1 Cor. 9:27: "A Castaway" or Set Aside as a Servant?

Question: 1 Cor. 9:27: is it “a castaway,” or only set aside as a servant? B.A.
Answer: The apostle means, that if a man failed to buffet his body and lead it captive (i.e., gave it license to sin without conscience), no matter how he preached to others, he should himself be rejected or reprobate. God is not mocked. This was not his own case, though he puts it hypothetically of himself in order to give it the greater emphasis, as he was in the habit of doing. Without holiness no one shall see the Lord.

1 Corinthians 11:20

Question: 1 Cor. 11:20. As it is argued that, in refusing the title of some professing Christians to partake of the Lord’s supper, we make it “our own,” not His, I wish to know what is His revealed mind.
Answer: All depends on whether the professing Christians are “leavened” or even worse. The New Testament is clear that “leaven” includes I both moral corruption (1 Cor. 5) and doctrinal (Gal. 5), neither of which is compatible with the communion of saints. They are “unleavened” in Christ and are commanded to purge out the old leaven that they may be a new lump in consistency with their standing. So runs His word in the scripture which specially treats of discipline in the assembly. The Galatian evil was yet more dangerous though different. But more hateful to God than either is the case of those who allow such as bring not the doctrine of Christ; and all the worse if they have the reputation of piety. The elect lady and her children (2 John) are charged with no heterodoxy, but are bound not even to receive into the house one who falsified Christ. To salute him knowingly was to partake of his evil deeds. How much more to join with him in the Lord’s supper! Such a supper would have become not “their own” merely, but anti-Christian. It is precisely because it is the Lord’s supper that no one should be welcome there who is known to be deliberately dishonoring the Lord. Doubtless he that does not bring the doctrine of Christ (the truth of His person as come in flesh) is an enemy of the darkest dye; and no principle can be falser or less holy than that piety or orthodoxy gives immunity where that evil is allowed, or fellowship with such an one, no matter what the plea. It would be “our own supper,” if the Lord’s authority were supplanted by our own will; but if it went so far as to allow any who undermine His personal glory, it becomes the enemy’s. It is Christ’s dishonor to screen and condone the sins of those that bear His name, and far worse than belonging to a sect, evil as this is.

1 Corinthians 14:21-31

Question: 1 Cor. 14:21-31. Is verse 30 an injunction to the second prophet to wait till the first has held his peace, or to the one speaking to be silent, because of something revealed to him that sitteth by?
W. N. T.
Answer: The first was the notion of Grotins; but to me it is clear that the latter is the true thought. The point appears to be the paramount importance of a revelation. (Compare 5:6, 26) Ordinary teaching must yield to it. It is not supposed that the first prophet was speaking by revelation.

1 Corinthians 14:29

Question: 1 Cor. 14:29. Does the restriction to “two or three” apply at present and always? Does it bear on what is commonly called an “open meeting”? H.G.L.
Answer: It is precisely then that this apostolic direction does apply, that is, when saints come together in assembly character (ἐν ἐκκλησίᾳ) This is supposed throughout the entire chap. 14. See vers. 4, 5, 12, 19, 23, 26, 30, 34. It does not of course relate to a preaching, or a discourse to the disciples such as Paul gave day by day in the school of Tyrannus. It is the divine regulation of the assembly as such, where the Lord acts by the Spirit working in His sovereign grace. If any one speak there, it is as God’s mouthpiece, or oracles. It is not enough that it be true, but, as Peter means by that phrase (1 Peter 4:11), what God would have spoken then and there, the truth intended by Him for the occasion. This would be impossible but by His Spirit. Yet inasmuch as His Spirit is now given, as for every other holy purpose, so for this specifically in the assembly, we are entitled to act on it, to look for it, and to repudiate any speaking otherwise. “Prophesying” in 1 Cor. 14 is just the word which answers to that phrase in 1 Peter 4:11. If we believe God as to meeting “in assembly,” we have the important word from the Lord that even prophesying is not to be overdone. “Two or three” is the limit. There might be not one, or only one, to speak so; “two or three” are allowed, but no more. For others to speak after “two or three” is such human license as the apostle was correcting in the Corinthian church. Too much is injurious, and neither edifying nor orderly. We cannot speak rightly save in obedience. What the apostle wrote, he wrote for all saints as well as those addressed; and it is for us to recognize it as the Lord’s commandment. Let all things be done in comeliness and order. Eagerness to speak, when the Lord gives no warrant but rather prohibition, is disobedience instead of pleasing Him. But man’s spirit is as ready to invent rules arbitrarily as to neglect the rules laid down in the word.

1 Corinthians 15:3-4

Question: 1 Cor. 15:3, 4. Did the apostle preach to the Corinthians, while unsaved, that Christ died for their sins? How are we to use these words? R. M.
Answer: On the contrary it is evident that the apostle thus writes to the Corinthians, after they believed the gospel and were baptized. Never is language so precise applied to unbelievers. Those who so preach assume what is false: namely, that all are saved, but that it after all avails only for such as believe. But this is to trifle with both God and man. For it is absolutely true that, till they believe, all are alike sons of disobedience, and children of wrath. So the apostle classes himself with the most privileged of mankind, yet declares that “we also all once had our conversation in the lusts of our flesh, doing the desires of the flesh and the thoughts, and were by nature children of wrath even as the rest.” All were alike dead in their offenses and their sins. But God being rich in mercy, because of His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in our offenses, quickened us together with the Christ. It is contradictory, unsound, and evil to claim for the elect that they were not dead but alive as compared with the rest of men, and that faith only manifested their previous life. The idea is only another form of the error as to life. “For by grace are ye saved—have been and are—through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is God’s gift and not of works, lest any man should boast.” Grace did not need to be said “not of ourselves,” for grace means God’s unmerited favor to us. But faith might be, as it has often been, argued to be of ourselves, because it is a subjective work of the Spirit in the heart. Therefore the apostle carefully declares that this thing faith, is not of us, but God’s gift, that he might counteract and preclude that proneness which is in man to boast of something in himself.
We are therefore to use the words of the apostle to the Corinthians, as he wrote them, when they bore the name of the Lord. Nothing more simple or natural than that he should say that he delivered to them first, what he also had received, that Christ died for them according to the scriptures; and that He was buried; that He was raised the third day according to the scriptures; and that He appeared variously after that. But he had already stated what was meant to warn their light minds, that the gospel which he announced, which they too received and in which also they were standing, by which also they were being saved, involved their also holding fast the word he preached to them. Caution in other forms and to a similar effect he repeatedly gave them in this Epistle. It was necessary for those who were tampering with evil and danger. It is wholesome for every soul who confesses Christ, and not least for those who are impatient with such grave admonition, as if it weakened sovereign grace; whereas all flows from it and is leveled at the presumption and self-confident laxity of professing Christians.

1 Corinthians 15:47

Question: 1 Cor. 15:47. Does the expression, “the Second man is [the Lord] from heaven,” necessarily mean descent? That is, is it affirmed of Christ, as now on high, or of Him in incarnation? It is known that “the Lord” is expunged by the best editors. Is there any difference in meaning between “the last Adam” (ver. 45) and “the Second man?” W.
Answer: I do not, in reference to the question asked, attach any importance to the presence or absence of κυρις. Griesbach retains it; the more recent editors give it up, with several Uncials and other authorities. As to the question itself, I judge the ἐξ οὐρανου to be more characteristic than relative to any “descent” from heaven, but that character to be drawn from the place He came from: origin is universally used as characteristic. Race and kind are the same word, γενος. Thus the genitive (or really generic) case, and ἐκ, which express origin, are in very many (perhaps all) languages used as characteristic, and in force are adjectives. In Hebrew it is well known, as in Greek, in French, English, and other modern languages; so that it may be considered as belonging to the structure of the human mind.
This may be drawn from place or origin, or the material of which anything is composed. It so far differs from an adjective, that it is constitutive of character, not the character itself simply. Here we have’εκ γης χοικος. The former is the constitutive cause, the latter the actual character. But the cause was from origin; so with ἐξ οὐρανου. It is characteristic, but because of the place of origin. He has not ceased to be it now; but what is expressed is not what He is now, because gone to heaven, but His character because of His origin.
It attaches to His person. He is so now, because He cannot be otherwise; because His origin was such, He was so on earth. The full display of this is when He takes the place of the ἐπουρανιος; that gives the fulfilled consequent place, and, from the subject, is more than characteristic, though it be that. I judge, then, that ἐξ οὐρανου is character from origin, or the place the Lord belonged to, as ἐκ γης. Not that He came from, but that He was from, and of, and ever is. The result is, that the first is χοικος, the second ἐπουρανιος. This is on high, the natural, normal, and purposed place of one ἐξ οὐρανου, who is become a man. But still it is character and nature, though the ἐπι suggests a place, I think. Hence, there is for it an abstract consequence of conformity, not a statement of what will happen. As is the χοικος, so the χοικοι—as the ἐπουρανιος, so the ἐπουρανιοι. Then the form, not merely character and nature and time, is brought in. It is in the second case future. “As we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall bear the image of the heavenly.” Thus origin, participation in nature and character abstractedly given, and then actual conformity in glory, are successively, each in its place, introduced. It will be seen that, without much affecting the question, what I have said tends to justify the omission of κυριος. If it be retained, I apprehend it should be read— “the Second man, the Lord, from heaven.”
Not that I desire to separate “the Lord” from “from heaven,” but to preserve the characteristic force of the latter.
As regards any difference in meaning in “second” and “last,” I think the Spirit of God means a different thing. “The second” contrasts Him with the first. It is not a modifying or sanctifying or setting right the first, but setting up a second (we cannot have both to continue together), One of and from heaven. “The last” declares that this is final and conclusive. There is no other afterward. If He be ἐξ οὐρανου, that is easily conceived. In these days, both these truths are of first-rate importance—the non-restoration of man, the first man, who is set aside and under condemnation, and a new man, a second man, is brought in; and then He who is made known is the last Adam, the One, and only One, in whom blessing is to be found. Men will own Christ, even infidels now, to set up the first Adam; they will with hardihood declare Him to be the excellent in His day, but that there is progress through increasing light. Scripture, which foresees all things, declares that He is a “second,” in contrast with the first; and that He is the “last,” so that there is and can be no progress beyond Him: the perfection in which God delights, and the center and end of all His ways, to which those who are to be blest with Him must be conformed.

1 Corinthians 5

Question: 1 Cor. 5. Does not ver. 1 imply “leprosy,” 2 “leaven,” 3-5 dealing with the former, 6-8 with the latter (cathartic), 9-13 (excommunicatory). So in 2 Tim. 2:21, is it not purging one’s own vessel? J.J.
Answer:Leprosy” here is a fancy. It does not apply in a believer. There is not the least hint of it here or elsewhere in the N.T. as to Christians. Nor does the O.T. warrant it as to such typically, though such an application has been favored by some. But in 1 Cor. 5 the leaven is the offender who if allowed defiles the assembly; which had not only to purge him out but to purge themselves, according to their standing as unleavened keepers of the feast. In 2 Tim. 2 it is not purging out the vessels to dishonor, but purging one’s self out, when the evil gets a sanctioned place. One was the assembly still recognized spite of its transient disorder; the other, a state where it could not be owned save for judgment.

1 Corinthians 5 - Leprosy and Leaven

Question: 1 Cor. 5. Is there leprosy as well as “leaven” meant here? E. B. D.
Answer: There is not the most distant allusion to leprosy. The brother, who thinks those with whom he no longer walks need to revise their teaching, has now to beware of delusion. Leprosy in the O.T. (Lev. 13; 14) is typical of unremoved sin. Only divine power could meet the case. The priest was called in both to pronounce on it and see to the entire separation of the unclean from the camp of Israel; but, if it were healed, to see to his cleansing in the fullest way. This typifies a sinner brought to God with the utmost care for its completeness up to eighth-day provision. It is in no way the mere restoration of a saint defiled (which is given in Num. 19).
It is a ridiculous mistake to make out leprosy in ver. 1 and leaven in ver. 2. Both verses, indeed all the first five, relate to the same “wicked person,” as he is called in ver. 13. The apostle’s judgment in 3 and 5 is about him. “Leaven,” as figuring what was to be excluded from the Feast of unleavened bread which the Passover introduced, is applied to the case in 6 and 8. Leprosy is nowhere save in a fanciful brain. The apostle’s exhortation is to urge dealing with a so-called “brother,” and not with the world which must be left to God; but the assembly’s responsibility is to judge “those within.” “Purge out” in 7 refers indubitably to “leaven” without the least reference to the saints themselves; “put out” is the application to “the wicked” person in question. The zeal against exclusivism which forges such a weapon as this can damage only the cause which deduces from this chapter “that a leavened person is not to be put away!” If a leavened person were allowed and kept in when proved, it would defile the entire assembly.

1 Corinthians 6:2: "Before You"

Question: 1 Cor. 6:2. Έν ὑμῖν is by competent scholars translated “before you.” May not this decide the meaning of the world and even angels being judged? That is, not by the saints as assessors with Christ but as witnesses in whose presence the judgment takes place.
Α. Wetstein has shown by sufficient examples that κρίνεσθαι ἐν is a technical phrase for being judged at such or such a tribunal: Aristides de Soc. i. p. 128; Platon. ii. pp. 214, 261. Polyb. v. 29. Plut. Themist p. 128. Cat. p. 849. Lysias c. Philost. and Diod. Sic. xix. 61.
With κρ. therefore ἐν is quite distinct from ἔμπροσθεν or ἐνὼπιον and beyond controversy confirms instead of enfeebling what had been just laid down as an axiom of common Christian knowledge, that the saints are to judge the world and even angels, not merely to be present when their judgment proceeds before the Lord. So Raphelius and Kypke, the last explaining the idiomatic use of ἐν from a company of judges in the midst of whom the case is disposed of. But the truth is that the preposition branches out from a mere local or material idea of inclusion into various applications characterizing what is spokeν of, and so even meaning “with” or “by,” as grammars and lexicons will show. κρίνεσθαι ἐπί is much more to be “judged before” as any one can see in the preceding verse 1: ἐν ὑμῖν should be distinguished from this, as it unquestionably is the strictly proper phrase for the closer sense of “by you.” It is not the final judgment, that of the dead, which is in the hands of the Lord, the Son of man (John 5), but of the quick, judging akin to the sense of reigning. (See Matt. 19:28; Rev. 20:4.) Even now angels are ministering spirits sent out for service on account of those who shall inherit salvation: how much more when the saints shall be glorified and reign with Christ!

1 Corinthians 9:27 - Not a "Castaway," but Disapproved?

Question: 1 Cor. 9:27. Is there any sufficient reason to lower the last clause, as Calvin does, by excluding the issue of ruin before God, and looking rather at failure in the fruit of service among men? In other words, does the apostle mean, not a “castaway” or reprobate, but merely disapproved for his work and disappointed of a special prize? Q.
Answer: There ought to be no doubt that in the text, as in the context, the most searching and solemn warning is intended. Very great levity at that time prevailed in the Corinthian assembly: parties attaching themselves to favorite teachers, just as outside to the rival schools of philosophy; indifference to gross wickedness in their midst; keenness for their alleged rights carried into worldly law-courts; boasting of liberty in partaking of food which had been offered to idols; women forward in speaking; men turning the assembly into license for their speech; and questions raised, not only as to the marriage tie but such a truth as the resurrection of the body. They were too unspiritual to feel the dishonor done to the Lord by all this laxity. Hence it is that the apostle insists, not on preaching only but on our living to God soberly, justly, and piously as he enjoins in writing later to Titus. To make it the more impressive, without being personal, he applies the case to himself. “I therefore thus run, as not uncertainly; I so combat as not beating the air. But I buffet my body, and lead it captive, lest having preached to others I should be myself reprobate.” It is not service or fruit failing, but himself rejected by God. The use of the word is the same as in 2 Cor. 13:5-7. It has no other sense in the N.T. Even if softened down to disapproved, it means everywhere the total and final disapprobation of God. It is really lack of faith, fearing to face the plain and certain truth that an unholy liver, no matter how he preaches or what the resulting fruit, will assuredly be lost. Paul was as decided for devotedness of life as for sovereign grace in justifying the ungodly. Nor is there a greater danger for man and dishonor to God than to be zealous in preaching and loose in practice. This he follows up for Christians generally (not preachers only) in 1 Cor. 10 where he adduces the ruin of multitudes in Israel, as a warning to presumptuous professors of Christianity

1 John 1: "From the Beginning," "Seen & Heard" vs. "Heard & Seen," and Others

1 John 1
Question: What is meant by “from the beginning?” (2.) Why the change from “which we have heard, which we have seen,” &c., in verse 1, to “which we have seen and heard,” in verse 3? (3.) Why have we the further words, “which we have looked upon and our hands have handled?” And (4) what is the point of the three “If we says” (ver. 6, 8, 10)?
Answer:From the beginning” is Christ in flesh, the beginning of God’s ways in grace. Man, as man, was only a field for bringing this out, however real a place he had in moral responsibility for this (which assuredly he had); but as to counsel, Christ is the object. Man develops, progresses, changes. “What was from the beginning” in what God does, is perfect. This is a root-principle of Christianity, and makes the person of Christ the foundation of all—His work displaying God’s moral nature for others, but the person being that in which He is; and adherence is to Himself. This cannot change. The essence of Christianity is, therefore, that there is no development in it. (1 John 24.)
The change from “heard and seen” (ver. 1) to “seen and heard” (ver. 3) is because of the manifestation, I apprehend, spoken of in verse 2. But as hearing His word was the way of knowing Him and having eternal life, Christ having given them the words the Father had given Him, and by His title the Word, hearing was the first thing. They had thus His authority, believing Him (not their sight) as groundwork. But they did see Him. He was a real, living man then. And this was all-important.
So we have “looking upon,” or contemplating, Him added. It was not a momentary vision. He was seen as a man walking amongst them. They had “‘handled” Him too: He was a real man come in flesh. This was the very essence of what they had, Jesus Christ come in flesh.
(4.) Grace and privilege are always in John connected with the Father and the Son; responsibility is connected with God’s nature. The first part of this chapter (ver. 1-4) gives the privilege and joy simply and fully. Verses 5 and 6 test profession by the divine nature, purity, which, as light revealing itself, detects everything. If they pretended to have the joy and were not in the light, it was a lie. The true knowledge of God, revealed in the soul such as He is in holiness and truth, must exist to have fellowship in grace. Though it is not necessarily according to the light, it is in the light—only reality is supposed, walking in the light. The next, “if we say,” is a question of truth in us. (Ver. 8.) If Christ be in me as the truth, I shall be conscious of another principle and nature in me, which in itself always has its own will and fruits. I have not the truth in me, as the life of Christ is the truth in spiritual intelligence in me, if I do not know sin, which it is conscious of and judges, because it—truth—is in me. Sin here is the whole condition of the old man, though learned by indwelling sin—specially this last. Then, if I say that I have not sinned (ver. 10), I make God a liar; for He has declared all men have sinned: Christianity is founded on it, and the death of Christ declares it. God’s word, in such a case, is not in us; for it reveals that all have sinned.

1 John 1:7: Cleansing a Present Process?

Question: 1 John 1:7. Is it true that the last clause of this verse teaches us that the blood of Jesus cleanseth the sins of believers as a present process (that is, i.e. actually cleansing)?
Answer: It is always a serious thing when an effort is made, on grammatical grounds, to overthrow a plainly revealed truth of the gospel. Now, there is not a single fact more certain than that in Christ we have redemption through Christ’s blood, the forgiveness of sins or offenses. (Eph. 1; Col. 1) So, in the next chapter of our epistle, John writes to the entire family of God, n he said, “Because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake.” In Rom. 5 we are said to be justified in virtue of Christ’s blood, and reconciled by His death; in Hebrews, sanctified by the offering of His body once for all; yea, more, perfected by it forever (εἰς τὸ διηνεκές), for unbroken continuance. But why heap together scriptures so familiar and precious to the youngest Christian To represent the cleansing of the believer by the Savior’s blood as a continuous act, and therefore incomplete, is to dishonor the efficacy of His work, and to weaken the ground of that peace which He is declared to have made by the blood of His cross., (Col. 1:20.) How manifest it is that a false interpretation not only introduces an error, but sets one scripture against another—the surest way to discredit all.
Thus, if sin-cleansing by the blood of Jesus is assumed to be only going on, it would falsify the same John’s language in Rev. 1:5, where we are said to be already washed by His blood, and this comes out more strikingly in any exact rendering, like Dean Alford’s version: “Unto him that loveth us, and washed us from our sins in his blood.” His love is constant, but the washing, or loosing, us from our sins is set forth by a participle of that tense which expresses an action simply past, excluding duration. John could have used no such form, if we had to come before God for daily cleansing by the blood, of Jesus; for in this case it would be correct to employ, not the aorist, but the imperfect tense, which precisely expresses a continued, or repeated, action.
How, then, did the apostle use the present? Was there laxity in his expression, when he said, “The blood of Jesus his Son cleanseth us from every sin?” On the contrary, the tense is just as exact in 1 John 1:7, as his use of distinctive participles in Rev. 1:5. A little learning is proverbially dangerous; and in the exegesis of scripture voluminous commentators are apt to go astray, no less than their followers. But to give an opinion on such a question hardly becomes people ignorant of the fact, that the present in Greek, as in most languages, is in no way limited to an incomplete action yet in course of performance; for it no less correctly expresses an absolute present, as in general propositions, doctrinal statements, apothegms, and descriptions of manners, customs, or matters of frequent occurrence. Just so, in English, we say, “Food nourishes the human body; poison kills.” The idea intended is not the continuance of the act, but the quality of each material, or their opposite effects on man. Almost every chapter in the epistles furnishes instances. Take a plain and kindred statement from 1 John 2: “He is the propitiation for our sins.” Does the present here mean that He is actually now atoning for our sins? Clearly not; such an interpretation of the present would incontrovertibly overthrow the atonement. It is here evidently used in its absolute sense, without reference to any definite moment, for expressing the great and blessed truth of His propitiation. Just so in our text the notion of continuous cleansing would distinctly contradict the grand doctrine of the Epistle to the Hebrews, and of the gospel in general. It is therefore the gravest error.
Further, it is inexcusable ignorance to assume that the present tense must be so taken; for the present may convey an absolute or abstract-statement, and not continuance only. Let the reader take the Epistle of James, or the Book of Proverbs, and observe how often the absolute present occurs in every chapter. The same thing will be found in Paul’s epistles, and especially in John. The sense and the context must decide which is meant in each case; and the selfsame principle applies to every book which lays down general maxims as truly as to the Bible.
Let us, then, look yet more closely into the verse and its surroundings. The apostle treats (not, as in Hebrews, of our access to God as worshippers once purged, having no more conscience of sins, but) of fellowship with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ, in virtue of the eternal life fully manifested and reported. But there is a solemn message, as well as a joy-giving manifestation: not only is the Son seen and heard, and the revelation written for others, but God is made known as light, and in Him no darkness at all; so that those who pretend to fellowship with Him, while walking in darkness, lie, and do not practice the truth. Gnosticism was then at work, soon to advance to still deeper impiety. It is not a question of saints more or less consistent, of failing Christians exhorted or corrected, but of false men contrasted with true believers, for profit and warning. But if (and here he introduces the true) we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus cleanseth from every sin. He is contrasting the believer, not only with Gentile or Jew, but with the spurious class of professors of Christ then spreading. The Christian is not like the Gentiles, walking in the vanity of their mind, darkened in understanding, estranged from the life of God, on account of the ignorance which is in them; nor is he like the Jews, walking at best outside the sanctuary, where God hid Himself behind a veil. Jew or Gentile once, the Christian owns and follows Christ, the light of the world, and consequently walks not in darkness, but has the light of life. There we walk, no longer in uncertainty, but in the true knowledge of God as He is revealed in Christ.
In Eph. 4 we are exhorted to walk as children of light (that is, according to it), being now no longer darkness, but light in the Lord. Here this is not yet the question, though it follows at great length in chapters 2 and 3. The apostle is distinguishing the true from the false, and lays down, that if we walk (not according to, but) in the light, if we walk no longer as men in the dark but as Christians in the light of God fully revealed to our souls in Christ, we have fellowship one with another, we are brought into common thoughts and affections, joys and sorrows, as saints, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, cleanses us completely. No otherwise could we stand in that light, or enjoy this fellowship. It is not a mere momentary emotion, but the standing of Christians contemplated in this threefold way: walking in the light, mutual fellowship, and cleansing bf the blood of Jesus. These are blessed privileges, every one, yet do they involve the gravest responsibility. It is no question of practical measure; for how could such as we experimentally be said to walk there as God is in the light? But if grace has brought us into the light to walk there, as He is in the light, in no partial revelation but the fullest of God’s nature, all is plain. Christ once suffered for sins, Just for unjust, that He might bring us to God; and now in Him we, who once were afar off, are made nigh by His blood. Peter and Paul perfectly harmonize with John.
There is provision for failure, but this is in chapter 2:1, as in John 13 There is fresh application, not of blood which abides shed once for all in ever efficacious value, but of water, figure of the word applied by the Spirit, in answer to Christ’s advocacy with the Father. “He that is washed (λελουμένος) needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit.” “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.” So more generally Christ gave Himself for the church, that He might sanctify, having cleansed it with the washing of water by the word. No one holds so mean and shallow a view as that this means, by reading of the scriptures, but by the Spirit’s applying the word to the conscience, both at conversion and all through the Christian’s course. It is not true, as Alford says, that the word translated “washing” means “laver” or “bath” (which would be λουτήρ), but “bathing,” and hence the water used, not the vessel which contained it, ἐν ῤ characterizing it as effected by the word, and not ritual or ceremonial as in Judaism. To read the scriptures is all well; but this goes far more deeply to the Lord’s application of His word to convict, or otherwise deal with the soul, as we may see in Peter’s case, Luke 22:61. But there is no such thought in 1 John 1:7, which ought in that case to read, “If we do not walk in the light... the blood cleanseth;” just the opposite of what the apostle says and means. “This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ.” For repetition in washing with water the feet apt to be defiled here below, scripture leaves ample room; repeated application of Christ’s blood is unknown to God’s word, though common enough in Christendom—another gospel, which is not another.
We have seen, then, that continuous cleansing by blood cannot be meant, not merely because it has no just sense in itself, but because it opposes other scriptures which treat the effect on the Christian as complete. Scripture cannot be broken. Repeated application of Christ’s blood the word does not countenance anywhere else, even if the word here implied it, which it does not. It remains, therefore, that we must fall back on the only possible sense of the present here open to us, namely, that the apostle states, in an absolute way, the cleansing of believers by the blood of Jesus, expressed (as it regularly is in such propositions) in the present, but abstractedly, without reference to time past, present, or future, as one of the main characteristics of their place or standing. Hence it is no question of this or that sin, when confessed: His blood, cleanseth from every sin. Details are not before us, nor restoration after failure. It is the proper and full value of His blood. Consequently, if it were the design of the Holy Spirit to reveal this absolutely, the present tense was the one exactly suited to the apostle’s hand, as we see it now before us. The effort to limit, or even apply, the expression “cleanseth,” to the continuous force of the present, is therefore mere ignorance, or worse. The doctrine of the clause, the context, and scripture in general, declare unitedly and unequivocally for the absolute (or, as some less correctly term it, the emphatic) usage of the present in the closing verb of 1 John 1:7.

1 John 5:16-17 - Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit?

Question: 1 John 5:16, 17. Does this refer to blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, as in Matt. 12:31, 32, Mark 3:29, Luke 12:10? or does the apostle speak of sin incurring the chastening of death without going farther? Q.
Answer: Here is what he lays down— “If any one see his brother sinning a sin not unto death, he shall ask, and He shall give him life for those that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: not about that do I say that he should make request. Every unrighteousness is sin; and there is a sin not unto death.”
The apostle had just spoken of the boldness or confidence to which grace entitles the children of God who walk in obedience and dependence on Him, as having life eternal in His Son. It is so real and great that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us; and if we know that He hears us whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions which we have asked of Him. Nor is it only in what concerns ourselves. His love would have us divinely interested in our brethren as His children, and cherishing like confidence in Him touching them. But there is a caution. He carries on a holy discipline; and where a lack in self-judgment is, He may not only send sickness but death as a chastening. We read in 1 Cor. 11:29-32 the plain fact, and the principle. Many at Corinth were falling asleep, because they did not judge their deplorable ways. This was a sin unto death in ever so many cases. Where the Lord is thus dealing, it would be lack of communion with Him to pray that such souls should live. When so judged, says the apostle Paul, we are chastened, or disciplined, by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world (which of course would be everlasting perdition). It is therefore as far as can be from the unforgivable sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. It is the Lord’s dealing with a soul guilty of what He cannot allow to go on, and therefore calls him away, but with mercy assured, although there be withal chastening righteousness. It is a sin unto death; and we bow to God, instead of interceding. It does not seem some peculiarly heinous sin which brings destruction from God, but a sin of such special dishonor in its circumstances that He thus visits it. Such seems to have been the lying of Ananias and Sapphira in a day of great grace.

1 John 5:18 - A Christian Who Dies in a Reprobate State

Question: 1 John 5:18. Here is a man who, born again, has gone on rejoicing in the knowledge of all his sins forgiven, yet at length gives himself up to evil (say, drunkenness), and dies in this reprobate state. Does scripture give us light on such a case? J.H.
Answer: Surely it does. He is one of the many who deceive themselves, and say that they have fellowship with God while walking in darkness; whereas they lie and do not the truth (1 John 1:6). It is easy for unconverted souls, especially when emotional excitement prevails, to think themselves born of God when they are not, and never realized either their utter guilt and ruin, or God’s grace in life eternal and remission. High pressure in appeal to feeling as in reasoning, on “the plan of salvation” tends to this imagination that all is right, which may carry souls along for no short time, and in zealous efforts to win others; though the conscience has never been before God either in true self-judgment or in submitting to His righteousness in Christ. There never was a seed of God remaining in such souls. It was but flesh, which perishes in the wilderness. It is too much to assume that they were born of God. They may have had joy in the thought of plenary forgiveness but not abiding peace with God, and so become castaway or reprobate. Heb. 6:4-8 is as strikingly solemn to show how far flesh can go in appropriating Christian privilege, short of life eternal or the new birth; as vers. 17-20 give strong consolation to the weakest believer, however tried. For it would be hard to find in the N. T. true faith set out in terms less bold than “having fled for refuge to lay hold on the hope set before us.” Yet is it all-sufficient. Never does Scripture suppose one born anew perishing in his sins. But we may easily be mistaken in counting souls renewed who are not.

1 Peter 3:18-20

Question: What is the true force of 1 Peter 3:18-20, which some apply to Christ’s descent after death and personal preaching to the souls in hades? J. T.
Answer: The first expression important to seize is that Christ is said to have been quickened in the Spirit in which also He went and preached. That is, the words, strictly, do not attribute a bodily going to preach, but that He went and preached in the Spirit. Now this was true, if it was the Spirit of Christ testifying in and by Noah the preacher of righteousness as he is called in 2 Peter 2. It is also confirmed by what is said in this First Epistle of the Spirit of Christ working in the Old Testament prophets; and very directly by the well-known passage in Gen. 6:3. Next, it is not said that He went to their prison and preached there to the spirits; but that in the Spirit He went and preached to the imprisoned spirits (or to the spirits which are in Prison). Not a word intimates that the preaching was in prison or that they were in prison when preached to. Again, the absence of the article before ἀπειθἡσασιν denotes that it is not a mere descriptive circumstance assumed to be known; but the cause is predicated why the spirits were imprisoned, namely, their having been once disobedient when the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, when, as I believe, the testimony of God was rendered to them but rebelliously refused. Therefore not only the flood took them away from the earth, but their spirits in prison are reserved for judgment. Few were saved then. The godly must not wonder if they are few now; nor would temporal judgments cover the doom of those who reject the gospel, for they too, like the antediluvians, will not escape the dealing of God who will judge the wicked and unbelieving. The men of the world, and even the Jews most of all, turned a deaf ear to the voice of Christ’s Spirit preaching by Peter and the rest. They only looked for a visible Messiah, present and reigning over the earth and especially over Israel in the land. Hence the testimony of a rejected crucified Messiah, exalted in heaven (with a people indiscriminately called out from Jews or Gentiles, and exposed to oppression, shame, suffering, and death here below), was odious to them. Nothing could be more appropriate than the allusion to Noah’s preaching of old and the safety of a few in the ark (who heeded the word, spite of appearances), while the mass who were incredulous remain in prison for the eternal judgment of God. There is the utmost force in adducing that remarkable witness of the value of faith in a divine testimony, and of the solemnity of rejecting it; whereas the supposed reference to a personal preaching to these particular souls in hades is not only without the smallest countenance from elsewhere, to say the least, but seems strangely lame and incongruous for the case in hand. Proclaiming to Old Testament saints there I can understand (though I see not the smallest warrant for the notion); but here it is expressly not the obedient and saints, but a limited class once disobedient to God’s word, when His Spirit strove with them in Noah’s day before the flood. Bad as the notion of purgatory and its temporary suffering may be, the idea of preaching to disobedient souls in hades in order to let them out, appears to me no better, and directly defeats the serious warning of judgment for unbelief which Peter had in view. For it allows of a hope for some unbelieving ones after death. Bishop Horsley and Dean Alford are quite wrong as to this.

1 Peter 3:21

Question: 1 Peter 3:21. What is really meant here? R. M.
Answer: Christian baptism sets forth, not new birth, but salvation by the work of Christ. We are, as another apostle says, buried therein to His death; the virtue of which was proved by His resurrection. This a good conscience requests and receives. But it is carefully said, to avoid superstitious perversion, “not the putting away the filth of the flesh,” which was all that water could do, but what a good conscience as to God asks for, salvation by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. For He was given up for our sins and was raised again for our justification. Thus have we acceptance in Him.

1 Timothy 3:15-16

Question: 1 Tim. 3:15, 16. Is there any good ground from a critical point of view for the following reading of this passage?
“But if I delay, in order that thou mayest know how one ought to conduct oneself in God’s house, which is a living God’s assembly”.
“Pillar and base of the truth and confessedly great is the mystery of godliness, the which was manifested in flesh, was justified in [the] Spirit, was seen of angels, was preached among Gentiles, was believed on in [the] world, was received up in glory.” [The rendering has been made more exact to avoid repetition and discussion, save at the beginning of ver. 16. Ed. B.T.].
It is contended by the adherents to this new rendering that the history of the church has proved that it has not abode in the truth, much less can it be said to be the pillar and base of the truth I and that it is a relief to find that the scripture does not say it is, as has been universally supposed.
Then, that all critics now agree that Ss, “he who,” is the correct reading (instead of “God” and that therefore the mystery of godliness, Christ and the church, is the pillar and ground of the truth—not Christ in incarnation. This removes the difficulty that many feel in understanding how Christ personally could be said to have been “justified in [the] Spirit”; and also that it is this mystery which was preached among the nations (Eph. 3:9; Rom. 16:25, 26) and believed on in the world, which Christ could not be truly said to have been before He was received up in glory.
Th. R.
Answer: It is a mistake to consider this clumsy, crooked and wholly unjustifiable form of taking the first clause of ver. 16 as a “new rendering”; for so understood several Protestants, for the most part of dubious faith, as Er. Schmid, Limborch, Le Clerc, Schottgen, Rosenm. (the elder), Heinrich, etc., etc. I do not wonder at Dean Alford’s saying “if any one imagines St. Paul... able to have indited such a sentence,” it were useless to argue with him. “To say nothing of its abruptness and harshness, beyond all example even in these Epistles, how palpably does it betray the botching of modern conjectural arrangement in the wretched anticlimax... If a sentence like this occurred in the Epistle, I should feel it a weightier argument against its genuineness than any which its opponents have yet adduced.”
Only less untenable is the absurdity of understanding Timothy (and behind him Paul and the other apostles) as “pillar and basement of the truth.”
There is no real difficulty in referring it to God’s church, which is not the truth, but pillar and basement of the truth responsibly on the earth. Christ is the truth engraven as it were on that pillar here below. Where is or was any other before men after Christ’s brief appearing and His ascension? If Israel with His law was a witness as His chosen people among the nations, how much more since God’s new house was a living God’s assembly, witness of grace and truth in Christ But it is the Second Epistle, not the First, which instructs the faithful what to do when disorder and departure from the truth, and sanction of evil and error, gave a false witness.
Still less difficulty is there in applying the mystery of godliness to Christ’s concrete person, who was manifested in flesh, justified by the Spirit in resurrection, then seen of angels instead of mankind, preached to Gentiles instead of reigning over Israel in Zion, believed on in the world instead of ruling the nations with rod of iron, received up in glory on high instead of displaying it over all the earth, as the Prophets had testified for the world-kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ. The last was reserved, it would seem, to contrast with the great declension of mixing Him up with the sordid and earthly character of Christendom, and its delusions. So far is the notion of making the church part of the “mystery of godliness” that it would import wholesale and deadly error. It is “who,” not “which” as the church is.

1 Timothy 4:14

Question: 1 Tim. 4:14. How do you explain this? D. S. T.
Answer: That the apostle was God’s channel in conferring a special gift of grace on Timothy for his work, as we know was done generally on saints not before landed on Christian ground (Acts 19:1-7), is plain and sure. There were prophecies preceding about Timothy, as a prophet or prophets designated Barnabas and Saul at Antioch. Only in the latter case no gift was conveyed. The laying on of hands by their fellow-laborers was no more than the sign of their commendation to God’s grace for the work given them to do (Acts 13:2-4; 14:26), and was repeated, as we learn from chap. xv. 40). Thus to Timothy a spiritual gift was imparted by the imposition of Paul’s hands (2 Tim. 1:6), with the accompaniment of the elders (1 Tim. 4:14) who were incapable of conferring the Spirit in any way, but joined by the apostle in that act by way of fellowship. There is no question of “a gift” in Acts 13. Those called in this case had a higher place and a greater gift (see Acts 14:4) than the prophets and teachers, whom the Spirit directed to set them apart for His special mission.

2 Corinthians 5:15

Question: 2 Cor. 5:15. The brevity of the remark on the late Bp. Lightfoot’s view of these verses, followed by the Revisers’, may account for my difficulty in apprehending the evidence and argument against it. May I ask for further clearing of the point? F.
Answer: Not having the Bp.’s book at hand, I quote the R.V. which conveys his mind! “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that one died for all, therefore all died; and he died for all, that they which live should no longer live unto themselves, but unto him who for their sakes died and rose again.” Every reflecting believer, I think, must feel that the critical text sounds harsh and inconsequent for want of the εί (if) of the vulgar text. And every one used to various readings can see that the εί was peculiarly liable here to be dropt, because of the ι immediately preceding and the είς immediately following. But accepting the text preferred, wherein does the consequence lie that, because one died for all, therefore they all died, in the sense of dying with Him to sin, the marked privilege of all Christians? This very assumption misled Dean Alford unconsciously into misrepresenting the apostles, when he says that He died for all, that all should live to Him. But this is to change what the apostle wrote in contrasting “all dead” with “those that live.” “The all” are men universally; “they that live,” are only such as by faith have life in Christ. And this distinction is fundamental and everywhere sustained by the scriptures. The sense therefore is, for “all,” death through sin and their sins, for whom nevertheless Christ died as the witness of love toward them in their sad and sinful state. The judgment of love is not merely this but that He died for all, that they that live by faith in Him, which assuredly “all” do not, should no longer be as once when dead, but live to Him who for them died and was raised. For the Savior whom the Christian owns is not a mere Jewish Messiah ruling Israel and the nations in righteousness peace and happiness on the earth, but a dead and risen Lord with whom we are associated, rejected by the earth but glorified on high, and we in obedient devotedness sharing His sufferings here and waiting to join Him there.
Thus what we are taught is not that all men have the Christian privilege of having died with Christ to sin, but that their being all dead as sinners was the motive for Christ to die on behalf of all. Where sin brought them without exception, love sent and brought Him. Yet this, however glorifying God’s nature and proving Christ’s love, were vain to save them unless by faith in Christ they received life in Him to live to Him. Thanks be to God this is verified by His grace in “those that live” (as contradistinguished from “all dead),” whom Christ’s love constrains to live to Him who for them died and was raised. Accordingly the apostle shows that not only the evil but the old things at their best are passed away to Christian faith, and for any one in Christ (not surely for man unbelieving and outside Him) “a new creation, and all things of the God that reconciled us to Himself by Christ.”
The perversion to death in Christ to sin, which can apply to none but believers, dissolves the reasoning; for how could this prove the love of Christ dying for all mankind? Whereas no Christian but sees His love for all in dying for all. And what follows is decisive against such a meaning as the Bp. put on it, for it is a part and not “all,” but only “they that live” who enjoy the privilege, and accept the responsibility of Christians. As these learned men give the sentence, “We thus judge, that one died for all, therefore [illatively] all died,” it stands rather unintelligible, and is refuted by the context that follows. Text and translation, if right, lead to no such result.

2 John

Question: The true application of 2 John is asked, more especially of verses 10, 11; and proof is wished that those refused for Newtonianism or for receiving its partisans fall under this scripture.
Answer: Is the raiser of the question aware that several grave and intelligent men printed and circulated their own full confession that the doctrine in question, which they had received and taught, did deny the Christ of God and must destroy the souls of all who abode under its poisonous influence? It is not in question therefore what opponents may have said. Abler persons than those who now palliate the error know far better what they held, and that it was as bad or worse than we said who resolutely rejected it and denounced its deadly nature. Can he be aware of what was taught about Christ? Was He really “exposed, for example, because of His relation to Adam to that sentence of death, that had been pronounced on the whole family of man”? Had He “the exercises of soul which His elect in their unconverted state ought to have?” Could the Spirit’s anointing never have come on Him, unless foreordained and known as the Victim? Was it so that Christ was sealed of the Spirit? Had He to find His way to a point where God could meet Him, and that point, death on the cross under God’s wrath? Is any one of these statements (a small sample of this awful heterodoxy) compatible with “the doctrine of Christ?”
He who questions this understands neither that doctrine nor its denial, and proves himself quite incompetent to speak, as being under the blinding power of the enemy. The doctrine overthrows Christ as come in the flesh and would make Him wholly unfit to be made sin for us. Now, not to speak of reproof or avoidance, putting out is far too mild for such an evil. Hence 2 John lays down in the broadest way, not this or that special form of anti-Christianism, but that if any bring not “this doctrine” [i.e., the true teaching of Christ’s person], “receive him not into your house,” nor salute him. This is much more stringent than the measure prescribed for the incestuous man in 1 Cor. 5, and of course very much beyond withdrawing from the disorderly in 2 Thessalonians or the divisionists in Rom. 16. It is the most heinous sin, with which the Christian has to deal, and very precisely was the turning point of our great breach in 1849. For ver. 11 extends the partaking of evil deeds to all who have fellowship with those who do not bring this doctrine.
The reasoning that questions and undermines it is mere unbelief, in direct opposition to God’s object in the church; which is bound to purge out all leaven (doctrinal, Gal. 5, as well as moral, 1 Cor. 5). It is in principle to build again Babylon on the ruins of the pillar and ground of the truth, and more worthy of a worldly man than of a soul that loves Christ and God’s word. Yet I doubt not that real Christians have been and are beguiled into this indifference to Christ. But this makes it the more urgent that all who are true to His glory should prove their love to God’s children, not by the faithless allowance of the worst evil in a person because he may be a Christian, but by loving God and keeping His commandments. And this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not grievous.

2 Peter 1:19

Question: 2 Peter 1:19.—What is the bearing of this difficult scripture? The distinction drawn in the recent “Lectures on Christ’s Second Coming” (Broom), between the dimness of the λύχνος and the brightness of the φωσφόπος, is undeniable; also the one being clearly objective or external to us, the other internal or subjective— “in your hearts.” But I cannot see how ἕως οὗ can mean aught else than something future to the writer (at least readers) and the absence of which the προφητικὸς λόγος was to supply. And as the anointing of the Spirit (1 John 20-27) could hardly be regarded as future to either, I doubt of the interpretation. 1). D.
Answer: The following remarks may furnish help for determining the true scope. First, the apostle it writing to the same Christians who had received the first epistle, that is, Jews of the dispersion in Asia Minor. These of course were familiar with Old Testament prophecy, which the apostle shows was confirmed by the transfiguration, as it also gave a living tableau of the kingdom to the chosen witnesses. Next, he intimates that while the prophetic word was rightly heeded, it was comparatively no more than a λύχνος, excellent in a dark place, but of course eclipsed in the superior brightness of day-light when it dawned, and the morning star, Christ Himself—not as the Savior only but the hope—arose in the heart. I think this is left purposely vague; and for the sufficient and wise reason that some of these saints, though truly converted, were so deficient in the discrimination and enjoyment of what is thus distinctively Christian, as compared with what of course always abode true of the Jewish testimony, that he could not assume this to be the fact with them, at least, not with them all. In my opinion the same lack exists now in real saints of God, and mainly from the same cause, the Fathers so-called being the mainspring, as far as the Gentile is concerned, in confounding Jewish things with Christian, and thus obliterating the distinctive lineaments of each to the great detriment of both.
Thus the παιδία of the family (the babes among the τεκνία) have unquestionably the unction from the Holy One and know all things; but through exclusive heed to the προφ. λογ., and thus inattention to the proper New Testament teachings as to the coming of the Lord, there might not yet have been the dawn of that better light, ήμέρα, or the arising of Him who brings it in His own person, in their hearts. That is, though the principle was true, and the capacity or power there in virtue of the indwelling Holy Ghost, there might not yet be that developed practical hold of it which the apostle so greatly desired for them, while carefully owning the value of what they did attend to. This at least is my conviction of the passage. The great thing to seize is the contrast of a good light with a better, and even this last to be enjoyed here (not when the προφ. λογ. is accomplished). It is not the day, nor the day-star as a literal matter of fact, but that character of thing in the heart (and hence necessarily and properly without the Greek article) not the Lord’s future appearing, but the apprehension of better light about the future now—Christian fullness of light as to this supervening on their previous Jewish measure.

2 Sam. 24:13, 1 Chron. 21:12: Inaccuracies or Mistranslations?

Question: 2 Sam. 24:13 and 1 Chron. 21:12. Dr. Temple lately said on a public occasion that he had no doubt there were inaccuracies in the O. T., though the writers told the truth as far as they knew it! Still more recently he owned the statement, and referred to the verses above as an instance. Is it mistranslation, or what? W. C.
Answer: The superficial looseness and irreverent unbelief of the rationalists is too plain; but there is really a choice of explanations in meeting objections of this kind. 1. Numbers are apt to be mistaken in transcription; but this is the inaccuracy of copyists, not of scripture. In this case the Sept. (far the most ancient of versions) gives three years in 2 Samuel as in 2 Chron. 2 Difference of design explains many an apparent discrepancy, the one statement being as true as the other but not the same. Thus in the earlier book Jehovah is said to have moved David, whereas in the later Satan is the mover: very different aspects, but equally certain, and neither open to just exception. So we see difference in the sum given by Joab to David; in the first 800,000 of Israel and 500,000 of Judah; in the second 1,100,000 and 470,000 respectively. But the lesser number of Israel we find qualified as “valiant men,” as those of Judah were given in a round number. Again, in 2 Samuel David bought “the threshing-floor and the oxen” for 50 shekels of silver; yet in 1 Chronicles he gave to Ornan for “the place” 600 shekels of gold. It was not the mere floor for the altar site, but the whole of mount Moriah for the house of Jehovah Elohim as well as for that altar.-It may be noticed too that details of interest, are added in each of the accounts, but omitted in the other; and the language, not more notable for similar shades than for dissimilar, is equally striking. Nevertheless who doubts the later writer was familiar with the earlier writing? The one was no less inspired than the other. Had it been a human arrangement, the irresistible impulse would have been to make the two identical. But knowing them both to be inspired of God, neither priest, nor people, nor prophets, nor scribes, dared to lay a sacrilegious hand on either. Assured that Jehovah was the author through the instruments He chose, they left it to faith to receive if they could not explain all the difficulties, and to rationalists to call them “inaccuracies.”

2 Timothy 4:1 - True Text and Right Version?

Question: 2 Tim. 4:1. What is the true text and the right version of this solemn scripture? The explanation even of the wisest seems unsatisfactory in consequence. ENQUIRER.
Answer: Almost all agree that the οὖν ἐγὼ, (“I therefore”) of the Text. Rec. is uncalled for accretion, and “the Lord” too before “Jesus Christ” or rather Christ Jesus. The present κρίνειν expresses the long continuity of the judgment, instead of the brief act on the great white throne to which κρίναι would tend to confine the process. But the great defect is not only the allowance of Kara “at” (E K L P, 37, 47, and the Syrr.), but the failure to take the accusatives with καὶ repeated as the direct and simple object of the verb. The older Latin copies have no “per,” but say loosely “adventum” for ἐπίφάνειαν. “I testify earnestly, in the sight of God and Christ Jesus that is about to judge living and dead, both his appearing and his kingdom.” It is a fresh charge in which the apostle urges this twofold, however closely connected, object as the special ground of responsibility for Christian walk and service. Then will shine forth not only the Lord but those that are His, each in the position awarded by the righteous Judge according to the things done in (or, through) the body (2 Cor. 5:10). It is not simply His coming, His παρουσία, to receive us to Himself for the Father’s house, which is sovereign grace, but when He appraises the fruit of each one’s reward according to his own labor (1 Cor. 3:8). This the apostle earnestly testified, that Timothy too might believe and act on it in preaching urgently, with every duty of ministry, looking for the glorious result, as one who also loved Christ’s appearing when righteousness shall reign and therefore His Kingdom. But the grace which gives us Christ now in all its fullness and will receive us to Himself (not heaven only but the deepest joy and bliss with Him) for the Father’s house is far more, and the means too of bracing and strengthening us to fulfill our part in responsibility. Such grace gives us to enter into His will and interests both intelligently and with devoted affection; so that, instead of shirking present duty and suffering for Him and the truth, we love His appearing and His reign when Satan will be powerless, evil put down everywhere both at once and infallibly, and the Lord exalted over all the earth as well as in the heavens. Then indeed will “Thy (the Father’s) Kingdom” have come; and His will be done too, not only on high, but on the earth even as in heaven. Everybody is familiar with the words: how few seem to enter into their blessed force Yet men boast of theology, colleges, school-boards, Sunday schools, societies and sermons without end. Is not the reality humbling? The words are plain.

2,300 Evenings-Mornings

Question: Dan. 8:14. The meaning of this verse is inquired; and the question is raised if the “2,300 evenings-mornings,” apply to the desolation since the Roman destruction of Jerusalem under Titus.
F. F. T. (Dublin).
Answer: It helps to clear the book and its particular visions if we observe that the last Beast in chap. 7. is the Western Empire; and Rev. 11-13, and 17. enables us to say the Roman Empire revived but pointedly distinguished from Babylon the Harlot, viewed as a great city as well as the great corruptress of Christendom. Her the Beast and the ten horns, his vassal kings, unite to destroy; but they are themselves destroyed by the Lamb when He returns with His glorified saints from heaven (Rev. 17:14; 19:14). No ingenuity can make these revealed facts fit into the Protestant interpretation, as I showed many years ago in reviewing the last edition of Mr. Elliott’s Hore Apoc. before he died.
One main defect of that hypothesis is that it neglects the final future crisis for the Jewish people and the land before the Lord appears in glory and judgment. Another is that the proper Christian and church hope is not appreciated by this school, but mixed up with the Jewish. The times and seasons, which wholly pertain to the earthly people, are misapplied to Christians. These are not of the world and are called to be ever expecting the Lord Jesus, to take them to Himself and the Father’s house, before the unaccomplished measures of time begin to apply to the Jews and the powers of the world at the end of this age.
This chapter however brings to light a power in the east, not Roman, but from the Seleucid quarter of Alexander’s divided empire. And we have to distinguish the general vision of which ver. 14 forms the close from the interpretation which deals with the future catastrophe and goes from ver. 19 to ver. 26. For the interpretations given by scripture add fresh light, and enable us to discriminate the part accomplished in Antiochus Epiphanes from the final enemy of Israel in the N. E. Of him we hear much in Dan. 11, “the king of the north” at the end, who is to be judged no less awfully than the Roman emperor of that day, and his antichristian colleague, the false prophet-king in the land. This N. E. power is the same predicted by “the Assyrian” of Isaiah, Micah, and other prophets.
There are no dates attached to Nebuchadnezzar’s vision of the four great Gentile empires raised up successively on the apostasy of the Jews, and set aside by the kingdom of God figured by the little Stone. But in the corresponding vision of the four Beasts, judged and superseded by the universal kingdom of the Son of man when the saints of the heavenly places appear, and the people of those saints, we have the well-known formula of “a time, times, and half a time,” i.e. three years and a half, during which times and laws will be given into the hand of their western enemy. Chap. 8. is occupied with the east, and “the daily” is taken away “by reason of transgression”; and the peculiar term occurs of “2,300 evenings-mornings,” which I see no reason to doubt was literally accomplished in Antiochus Epiphanes of whom we hear so much in chap. 11:21-32. But the special object is the enemy “at the last end of the indignation.” In chap. 9. we have another sort of computation—by “weeks,” or periods of seven years; and there the Roman capture of Jerusalem is plainly set out, though in the general interval without date after the cutting off of the Messiah. But the last week, severed from the chain, awaits its completion in the doings of both the Western emperor and his eastern antagonist at the end of the age. In chap. 11:36-39 the Antichrist (who is to reign over the land and be the object of attack “at the time of the end” to both the king of the south and the king of the north) is seen. And the last chapter gives a variety of dates but all bearing on that future crisis, our Lord in Matt. 24:15 directing particular attention to verse 11.

3 Words Translated Net

Question: As there are three different Greek words in the N. T. translated “net,” would it not be well to have the distinction explained? Q.
Answer: Ἀμφίβληστρον occurs only in Matt. 4:18 (implied also in Mark 1:16, where the most ancient MSS. omit the noun), and means a casting net. It was thrown round the object, whence the term was derived. The more usual word is δίκτυον, but in the plural form in Matt. 4:20, 21, Mark 1:18, in the sing. in John 21:6, 8, 11. It is derived from δικεῖν, to cast. Trawl net has been suggested as appropriate. But the σαγήνη (in Matt. 13:47 only), from σάττειν to pack or load, was a dragnet or seine, on a larger scale.

A Gloss, Or of God?

Question: John 8:1-11. Is this story a gloss, as so many of the learned reckon, or is it of God? L. L.
Answer: When celibacy was an idol, we can understand how unacceptable were the Lord’s words. Even Augustine attributed its omission to infirm or no faith. Yet bearing in mind that our earliest copies are of that age, we see marks proving a willful omission, with ample testimony to its existence. But the Christian can recognize the Shepherd’s voice, such as no forger ever invented, and can note that the fact supplies the occasion for the discourse that follows, as in chaps. 4; 5; 6, which otherwise would deprive chap. 8 of its analogous starting-point. Beyond just question it is of God.

Abraham and Christians One?

Question: Will you do me the great favor to direct me as to the reconciliation of your views of the parenthetical nature of the Christian Dispensation with the passages in the New Testament which seem to teach that Abraham and Christians are one in relation to all the benefits that flow from the mercy of God through the Redeemer? If the Scriptures alluded to did not seem so plainly to contradict your distinction of heavenly and earthly, I could adopt your view, But with only the light I have now, there is nothing for me but painful uncertainty.
Lexington, Va., Dec. 30, 1881. F. P. M.
Answer: The passages of the New Testament to which our correspondent refers are doubtless such texts as Rom. 4:11, Gal. 3, and Heb. 11 The reason why they are supposed inconsistent with the special privileges of the believer now, is that the distinctive place of the Christian, and yet more of the Church, is not apprehended. People assume that to be born of God, and to be justified by faith, are the sum and substance of present blessing. But it is not so. All saints are necessarily born of the Spirit. The baptism of the Spirit was never enjoyed till Pentecost; and on this depends the body of Christ. Compare Acts 1:2 with 1 Cor. 12:13. And the gift of the Spirit, as thus over and above the new birth, as it could not be before redemption, was to be the permanent privilege of the Christian. The Comforter or Paraclete was to abide with the disciples forever. Even as to justification by faith, Rom. 4 makes this difference between Abraham and us: he believed that God was able to perform His promise; we believe on Him that raised up from the dead Jesus our Lord, after accomplishing. His work in death for our offense. The Old Testament had promise; we rest on accomplishment; so that there is a grave difference at the threshold. Then Gal. 4 shows that even the true saints of old were in servitude; but that now it is a question of the adoption of sons, the Spirit of the Son being sent forth into the hearts of the sons, crying Abba, Father. The inheritance of promise is common ground; but this quite consists with fresh and inferior blessing consequent on redemption. If we think not of the individual, but of our corporate relationship, the difference is at least as marked. The olive tree of testimony according to promise is not at all the same as the house of God, or the body of Christ. There is continuity in the olive tree, even if some of the natural branches were broken off for unbelief to let in the Gentile wild olive graft; and the Gentile, if not continuing in goodness, is to be cut off, that God may ingraft again the natural branches no longer abiding in unbelief. “And so all Israel shall be saved” in the depth of God’s wisdom and mercy. But this is quite distinct from Eph. 2, where the two are formed into one man, in which is neither Jew nor Gentile; and we are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the chief corner stone. During the Old Testament the middle wall was not broken down, nor were both made one. Even in the Lord’s ministry here below, “Go not,” said He, “into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:” dead and risen, He sends them to any or all. How could the house be even begun before the foundation, not of prophets and then apostles, but “of the apostles and prophets” whom the ascended Head gave as gifts? And the body is formed in union with Him by the Spirit sent down from heaven.
Thus, if there are benefits which all saints enjoy from God’s mercy through Christ, which is thankfully owned, there are fresh and unspeakably great privileges which flow from redemption, and the presence of the Holy Ghost, who associates us in unity with Christ on high. In these last lies the peculiar blessings of the Christian and the Church. When Christ comes, the worthies of faith will, no doubt, receive the promise; but God has none the less provided some better thing for us, though we and they shall together enter on glory in that day.

Accounting for Days

Question: Matt. 28:1, Mark 16:2, Luke 24:1, John 20:1: please explain. M.
Answer: The first text speaks, not of the resurrection day, but of the sabbath which preceded, though late on that day, the dusk of evening when the next day was to begin according to Jewish reckoning. With ver. 2 commences a distinct paragraph referring to that first day. When the sabbath was past, as we hear in the second (ver. 1), the women named bought the spices to embalm; but on coming to the sepulcher very early next morning, they learned that the Lord was risen; and so speaks the third text. The fourth tells us of the two separate visits of Mary of Magdala, when she saw the stone taken away, and subsequently when He first appeared to her, as also Mark 16:9 declares.

Acting Without Informing the Assembly

Question: Have a few brothers, who stay at the weekly meeting for consultation, usually after the prayer meeting, power to act for the “assembly,” say in the matter of putting away, without distinctly calling a meeting of the “assembly?” And if a brother feels he cannot concur in a judgment thus arrived at, is he wrong in saying so at the Lord’s table, in the event of such judgment being read there?
J. K.
Answer: I am aware that, when assemblies are small, and more rarely in larger ones, there is apt to be a want of due care in apprising the saints of a meeting for considering a case of discipline which seems to call for putting away. This ought not to be.
But if a “few brothers” remain at the close of a meeting of the assembly (either on Lord’s day, or during the week), and if they be of one mind, the case might be so far clear (especially as many could be there if they pleased) as to warrant their bringing it at once before the assembly at the breaking of bread. Only, if they knew of an honest difference of judgment (for one does not take account of party men, relatives, &c.) among brethren, they ought to seek the Lord about it together; for discussion at such a time is most undesirable, as haste is always. They ought therefore in such a case to call a meeting, or at least announce at a general meeting (not at a reading or other meeting in a private house) that the saints are requested to stay for consideration of a case of discipline.
If there has been irregularity in this respect, a brother might rightly say so, taking care of the facts first, and of his own spirit in the way it is named to the saints, so as to avoid the hateful appearance of factious opposition, or of other uncomely conduct. But undoubtedly a formal judgment ought to be arrived at by the assembly, not by a few for it; and therefore it is still open even at the last moment to call for arrest of action if the case be not quite clear. The few may come to a sound judgment and be used of God to awaken all to the gravity of the case and the will of the Lord about it; but due means should be used that the assembly should hear before judgment is pronounced, so as to satisfy all, and give occasion for correcting those mistakes which are very possible in such a world as this. In a perfectly plain case to hear the facts is enough; and judgment might follow at once. Technical delay of judgment under such circumstances is unworthy of the church, though it may suit the world and the lawyers.

Acts 19:15

Question: Acts 19:15. Dr. J. B. Lightfoot in his Fresh Revision of the N.T. 4 §3 (p. 60) speaks of “the distinction which is effected by the insertion of the article before the one name and the omission before the other,” &c. But this is not the fact, though he cites the Greek expressly, and wrongly, just before. He was eminently learned, and usually most accurate. How can we account for the statement? R.
Answer: It is a striking proof that good Homer sometimes nods. Not only no known MS. bears him out, but the supposed omission would be in this case impossible Greek. The repeated article is even more requisite than the separate verbs, γ. I know or acknowledge, έπ. I am acquainted with. It is to be presumed that in a later edition so glaring and of course unwitting a mistake must have been corrected; I have only the first before me.

Acts 20:25 - "The Kingdom"?

Question: Acts 20:25. As many are not clear, and some confused by strange doctrine of late about “the kingdom,” may I ask what it was exactly that Paul preached as he says? Was it the present dispensational aspect in mystery as in Matt. 13? or was it the moral power as in Rom. 14:17, &c.? W. T.
Answer: Neither, as I believe, but that coming intervention of God for changing the heavens and the earth, which the Lord coming in visible power and glory will inaugurate and establish to the joy of all the earth, of Israel and all the nations. How near to the hearts of the heavenly saints it is for Him Who is by grace and at all cost the effectuator of all this harmonious blessedness to the glory of God the Father! Neither gospel nor church obliterated the apostle’s value for this grand truth, which has faded from the testimony of many once zealous. Such forgetfulness, or narrowness, or whatever else may be the cause, is surely to be deplored. “To everything there is a season;” and the apostle warrants it for this truth to be preached, as the Lord Himself did.

Acts 2:30 - "Of the Fruit of His Loins," How?

Question: Acts 2:30. “Of the fruit of his loins.” How, if Joseph was only his reputed father? X. Y. Z.
Answer: The reality of the Lord’s manhood lay in His being born of Mary who was “the Virgin” of David’s house. If He had not been Son of God really on the other side, the truth of His Godhead would have been overthrown. If He had not enjoyed the rights of the Solomon line through Joseph legally, though but reputedly, He was not the true Messiah according to Jehovah’s oath to David. In Luke 3, “as was supposed son of Joseph” is the right parenthesis; and “being of Eli, of Matthat,” etc. is the genealogical line, a distinct construction. Eli was father of Mary, as the Talmud admits; and to her accordingly the visit of Gabriel was made. In Matthew the visions were to Joseph, son of Jacob, the Messianic and Solomonic line; in Luke, it was to Mary.

Acts 26:22-23 - Contradicting Ephesians?

Question: Acts 26:22, 23. This text is urged to set aside the apostle’s distinct assertion of a mystery hidden from the ages, and not in other generations made known to the sons of men, as it hath now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets (clearly and exclusively those of the N.T. so called, Eph. 2:20). Kindly explain: on the face of it such an allegation arrays one scripture against another, which must be of the enemy. What then did the apostle mean before Agrippa? Surely not to contradict what he wrote to Ephesian saints? X.
Answer: The context of each proves that both declarations are perfectly true, and therefore in divine harmony. For in the Acts he defends his public testimony in preaching the gospel and the kingdom of God, both of which rested on the basis of Christ’s death and resurrection, and, as he said of the righteousness of God now manifested, “witnessed by the law and the prophets” (Rom. 3:21). But to the Ephesian and the Colossian saints the time was come to open out the mystery of Christ in His exaltation to the heavenlies, God summing up the created universe, all things in the Christ, the things in the heavens and the things on the earth; and the saints, now called (Jewish and Gentile naturally), united to this heavenly Head as His one body. As he tells us in 1 Cor. 2:6-10, he did not preach this wondrous truth to the Jews any more than Gentiles, nor even to immature saints. God’s hidden wisdom in a mystery he spoke only to the perfect or full-grown, which was then and is now far from being true of all believers. Hence, as the Jews arraigned him for his public appeals to themselves or others, the passage in the Acts in no way clashes with what he avowedly taught only to full-grown saints, of which they knew nothing and to which the apostle made no reference. The inference, confidently drawn to deny that he taught the new revelation characteristic of the N.T., is entirely at fault, and betrays fundamental ignorance of what every full-grown Christian ought humbly to learn.

Acts 8:37 - Not Supposed to Be in the Bible?

Question: I have seen it stated that “the whole of Acts 8:37, If thou believest with all,’ &c., is universally pronounced by Biblists as an interpolation. It exists in only one Greek MS., having no place in the other MSS. It is marked in our Greek Text as spurious, is omitted from some, and never ought to have had a place in our English Bible.” G. T. A.
Answer: The verse exists in Laud’s Uncial MS., now in the Bodleian, in Beda’s Greek (unless it be the same copy), in about twenty cursives, as well as some versions. Nor has it wanted defenders, as Wolf abroad and Whitby at home. At the same time it was certainly not read by much the weightier as well as by the most numerous authorities, and is justly rejected by the best critics, and should disappear from all Bibles. It seems to have been read by several early fathers as Irenaeus and Cyprian, if it was not inserted to support the later copies of the Vulgate. Internal evidence is, at least, as decisively against it as external.

Age of Abram and Terah

Question: Gen. 11:26-32; 12:4. How was Abram but 75 when he left Haran? Terah lived to 205. If Abram was born when Terah was 70, would not this make Terah live 60 years after Abram went to Canaan? H.B.
Answer: The difficulty is due to supposing that Terah’s eldest son was Abram. Gen. 11:25, 27, does not give the order of birth, but names Abram first from his superior dignity, as is common in Biblical genealogy.
Acts 7:4 is express that Abram came into Canaan only after Terah’s death, who was 205 years old. Deducting 75 years (Abram’s age at that epoch) we have 130 as the years of Terah’s life when Abram was born. Haran was really the eldest; Nahor, the second son of Terah, married Haran’s daughter Milcah, his own niece; and Abram was youngest of the three. Lot was Haran’s son, as Sarai (or Iscah) was his daughter. Thus Lot was Abram’s brother-in-law, as he also is called his brother, and Abram called Sarai his sister. The great difference (60 years) between the eldest and the youngest sons of Terah (by two different mothers, as Abram intimates) made this possible and explains the matter.
It is plain therefore that Dean Alford was not only precipitate but predisposed to think Stephen in error, and the inspired word guilty of “demonstrable mistake.” Josephus and Philo were right and confirm the account in the Acts; and so was Usher.
The mistake arose from assuming that Gen. 11:26-27, meant the order of birth, and consequently that Abram was eldest. There is no ground to doubt that he was the youngest, but named first because of his honorable position. So was Shem in Gen. 5:32; 6:10; 7:13; 9:18; 10:1; yet x. 2, compared with ver. 21 plainly shows that Japheth was the eldest, Ham being probably the youngest (Gen. 9:24). The place of precedence is due in both Shem and Noah, not to birth but to the honor God set on them respectively. Haran then was the eldest son of Terah, and Abram born 60 years after. And with this agrees the fact that Sarah (or Iscah) Haran’s daughter was but 10 years younger than Abram. Nor is there force in the objection that this makes Terah 130 years old when Abram was born; for Abram took Keturah after Sarah’s death, when he was at least 137 years old and had six sons subsequently (Gen. 25:1, 2). It is Stephen in Acts 7 who enables us certainly to adjust what in the O. T. was not so clear. And so the early Jews saw, as may be gathered from Philo (de Mig. Abr. 1. 463). Bengel made no mistake here.

"All Seek Their Own Things"

1. Phil. 2:21. Will you please interpret the passage “All seek their own things, not the things of Jesus Christ”?
2. In a paper of a small periodical for September the writer defines “their own things” as the “certainty of salvation,” “my portion on earth” “heavenly joys conveyed to my soul by the Spirit of God come down from heaven.” Then he says “Now when we are seeking our own things... It is very evident that we cannot devote ourselves to Christ’s things.” Is this in any sense the right force of this scripture? Do you consider that any of the things enumerated were in the mind of the Spirit of God in this passage?
Are not “the things of Jesus Christ” His own interests, in the plucking of a brand from eternal ruin as truly as “the conscious union (of the beloved) with Christ ... in heavenly places”? QUERIST.
Answer: 1. ( There is no just doubt that the apostle here speaks with deep feeling of the waning of love and devotedness to Christ, His interests and objects, among all that bore His name It is not to be limited to his then companions, any more than to unwillingness to undertake so long a journey as from Rome to Philippi It is his solemn assertion of the selfishness creeping over Christians as a whole, though he intimates in the passage itself blessed exceptions in Timothy and Epaphroditus, as in the saints doubtless to whom he was writing. “The things of Christ,” it is manifest from the epistle itself, include the gospel and fellowship with it and its conflicts, love for the saints and sympathetic help in their every need, not only spiritual but personal and temporal, individual progress in the grace of Christ as well as gracious consideration of one another, with Himself before us both in the love that came down to obey even to the death of the cross and in the glory where He is now on high, as well as in the assurance of His speedy coming. The Epistle essentially contemplates the saints as in the wilderness, not in Canaan, though this be true also and the view in Ephesians.
Answer: 2. It is false doctrine, therefore, that Christ’s things according to this epistle (and it is here only this expression occurs) begin in heavenly places (Jordan behind), and that “my own continue during my course,” in the true sense of this scripture. This is an exaggeration of the truth which is always untrue, an atmosphere of falsetto for those who are not breathing the free air of Christ and all the truth. The apostle, the Holy Spirit, does not mean “a great deal in Christianity” as “one’s own.” Selfish interests are meant, I do not say open sins which man would blame, but such things as he would rather praise (Psa. 49:8). It is not only a false interpretation, but, it is to be feared, of the enemy, that seeking our own things means to learn the certainty of salvation, the heavenly joys, &c. The practical issue of this dangerous and evil one-sidedness would be to expose souls under such influence to real selfishness, value for rank and social enjoyment, love of money, power, and party, &c. the very snares against which the unsophisticated truth would guard the simple in God’s grace. It is false that our own things ought to continue during our course. We fail if we allow selfishness for an hour. In every respect the teaching is erroneous and mischievous.

Angels in Deut. 32:8, 43, Psa. 97 and Heb. 1:6

Question: Deut. 32:8, 43, Psa. 97 (or 6), Heb. 1:6. Are not “angels” in the Sept. version of the first scripture text, and can this stand? Is it not so in the Psalm, cited in the N. T.? How are we to understand all this? H.
Answer: The Epistle to the Hebrews quotes verbally from the Greek Version of Deut. 32:43, at least in the Vatican copy. The same truth is revealed in Psa. 96 (-7.) 7 substantially but as a direct address. There is therefore no ground for doubt that “angels” are meant and commanded to pay supreme honor to the Son as the risen and glorified Man, but none the less a divine person. Indeed if He were not so, worthiness as man and conferred dignity could not warrant the homage God claims from the highest creatures of heaven to His Son. “Gods (Elohim)” we find often applied to those who represent God as in government, or who are commissioned to announce and execute His will; as the Lord makes plain to the reader of John 10:34, 35. Thus there is no real difficulty. Idols must pass away, and the demons behind them be punished and put down. In that day all must bow in honor of Him Who appears to reign, Who is not more truly the Anointed (or Christ) of God than He is God Himself, and Jehovah. Whatever place He takes in humiliation or in glorious administration to the, glory of God, and for the blessing of creation, He is in personal title and divine nature as truly Supreme as the Father or the Holy Spirit. To think otherwise is to disown His true Deity.

Anointing, Consecrating, and Sanctifying of the Priests Typical of Anything?

Question: Ex. 28; 29 Was the anointing, consecrating and sanctifying of Aaron and his sons, to minister in the priest’s office, typical of anything that had to take place before our Lord entered upon His priestly work?
If so, of what does the oil speak?
Of what was the killing of the ram of consecration a type?
Had what they typified to be fulfilled before our Lord became High Priest? J. S.
Answer: If the querist were to read what has already appeared in the “B.T.” (New Series), 2 290, 306, 324, 338, 354, 370 (1899), as well as the papers regularly following in 1900, he would find much more ample discussion than in a brief answer now. But the Epistle to the Hebrews is the inspired warrant for regarding the Aaronic priesthood as typical of our Lord’s exercise of office in heaven, and of those who are His as His house on earth. At the same time contrast is pointed out as clearly as analogy. So it must be with One Who is Son of God and Son of man in a sense and personal dignity beyond all others, as chaps. 1, 2 were meant to show as a starting-point. Hence also Psa. 110 is introduced as early as chap. 5 to indicate that, if the exercise be yet Aaronic (within the veil, on the ground of a completed atonement by blood), its “order” is according to Melchizedek (everlasting and intransmissible, not successional like Aaron’s).
But the sanctifying, anointing, and consecrating typified what was found in our Lord or accomplished by Him in order to His priestly function. 1. The oil here as elsewhere speaks of the unction from the Holy One, the Spirit given to Him before, to us since, redemption. 2. The slaying of the ram of consecration, like every other sacrifice, typified Christ’s death, each in its own special point of view, but all fulfilled in that wondrous fact. 3. They were fulfilled here below, though the value was recognized instantly in heaven and forever, before our Lord was addressed by God as High Priest, or entered on His heavenly office in due form and glory.

Any Grounds to Apply Jer. 31:22 to the Incarnation?

Question: Jer. 31:22. An inquirer asks what is the real meaning. Is there any ground to apply it, with some Jews and many Christians, to the incarnation?
Answer: I do not see either analogy in other occurrences of the phrase, or anything in the expression itself, or scope of the context, to give such a turn to the passage. The point is the marvelous change God will effect in the virgin daughters of Israel after all her backslidings and when reduced to the lowest ebb of weakness. A woman shall compass a man—a male or man of might. It is a most emphatic figure to set forth the strength which shall be made perfect in weakness as regards the Jews in the latter day. The ancient versions give little help, especially the Septuagint and Arabic, which are singularly far from any just sense. The Syriac and Vulgate agree with the Authorized Version, which is quite correct. It is a question of interpretation, not of the rendering.

Apocalyptic Beasts

The Apocalyptic Beasts.
Question: In answer to “Scripture Query” of last month it is stated that “the Man of Sin” of 2 Thess. 2, the Antichrist of the epistles of John, “the Beast of the Earth and False Prophet” of the Apocalypse, and “the King” of Dan. 2 are identical personages.
In Kelly’s Notes on Daniel, page 197, we find “the King” or Antichrist spoken of as a Jew (and it would appear that the Antichrist must of necessity be a Jew to be received as the Messiah—Dan. 11:37 suggests this), and pages 205, 206 of the same work bring out “the King” or Antichrist, and “the Beast,” the imperial power of the Roman Empire, as distinct personages.
Is there not a contradiction between these two statements? If the Antichrist, “the King” of Dan. 11 be a Jew and he be identical with “the Beast” of Revelation, can it any longer be said to be Gentile supremacy? Is it not necessarily Jewish?
Answer: The inquirer confounds the Beast from the sea with the Beast from the earth or land in Rev. 13 There is no contradiction nor even difficulty when this is seen. For the Antichrist may be the second Beast from the earth and a Jew (as he will pretend to be the Messiah and Jehovah of Israel), while the first Beast from the sea is the great Gentile chief, at least in the West.

The Apostles Not Baptized with Christian Baptism?

Question: Why do we not read of the apostles being baptized with Christian baptism?
Answer: It would be hazardous to undertake explaining why the apostles were not baptized with Christian baptism, though some or all may have had John’s baptism; which Acts 19 proves not to be equivalent. But we can gather from it what a comfort the fact is to such as from a variety of circumstances had not been baptized duly, and did not feel it well or wise to go through the form after enjoying church fellowship forever so many years, when the initiatory sign of a Christian would have lost its meaning or conveyed a false one.

Are Any of the Church Left to Go Through the Tribulation?

Question: Are any of the church left behind to go through the final tribulation, or to miss the millennial reign in Christ? A. C. W.
Answer: Not a single scripture intimates either. That which is written forms and strengthens the hope that every member of Christ’s body will enjoy all so clearly and fully pledged in John 14, 17., and elsewhere. The bride of Christ is no mutilated body, as the error imagines. Again, those that go through the great tribulation are demonstrably (as in Rev. 7, 14. &c.) either Israelitish saints or Gentile ones, while the symbol of the glorified company is seen only on high. So far is it from being true that any real Christians miss the millennial reign with Christ, Rev. 20:4 is explicit that such of the Jewish or Gentile saints as follow after our translation to heaven, and are put to death under the earlier persecution of Rev. 6 &c., or under the Beast’s violence later (Rev. 13 &c.), are to be raised from the dead and share that reign, though only called after the Lord comes and takes us to heaven. Those who survive are kept to form the nucleus of the Jews and Gentiles blessed on the earth under His reign.

Are Romans 5:11 and Hebrews 2:17 Rendered Correctly?

Question: Rom. 5:11, Heb. 2:17. Are these texts correctly rendered in the A. V.? AMERICAN.
Answer: Not so, but in the R. V. The late Abp Trench (Synonyms of the N. T., seventh ed. 276) owns that the word “atonement,” by which our (A.) Translators have once rendered καταλλαγή (Rom. 5:11), has little by little shifted its meaning, and confesses that, were the translation now for the first time made, “atonement” would plainly be “a much fitter rendering of ἱλασμός,” as “reconciliation” of the term in Rom. 5:11. Indeed no Christian scholar can doubt it. It is therefore astounding confusion for anyone, not merely to go back to “atonement,” which the present force of our language forbids, but to imagine this to be its primary meaning and according to its Biblical usage, if we mean the original, which of course alone is authoritative. The simple and certain fact is that our A. V., now at least, is doubly incorrect; it gives “atonement” in Romans, where “reconciliation” is the sole right rendering; as “making atonement for,” or expiating, is requisite in Hebrews. A similar blunder pervades the Ο.Τ. rendering of the corresponding Hebrew term. To reproduce that error is strange, especially with a view to clearness and accuracy of statement, which it destroys. Wiclif and the Rhemish were right as to Rom. 5:11; which fact goes far to convict of error the others from Tyndale, notwithstanding the amiable prelate’s desire to excuse it on the ground of the language shifting. On the other hand, Wiclif’s “merciful to” is very inadequate in Heb. 2:17, as Tyndale’s “to pourge” is incorrect and rather the effect, which has its own proper expression, though followed by all the older English save the Rhemish (here as usual servile to the very odd “repropitiaret” of the Vulgate). In the R. V. of this text to make “atonement” takes the place of “reconciliation” very properly. Καταλλαγή in the N. T. sense is unknown to the Septuagint. Trench’s doctrine of “reconciliation” is well meant, but, like that of theologians in general, infirm and clouded. God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself. Such was His aspect in the incarnate Word. But man, ungodly and implacably hostile, rejected Christ even to the death of the cross; wherein God made Him sin for us, and raised Him from the dead for our justification. Therefore, justified by faith, as being reconciled by His death even when enemies, we shall much more be saved by His life. To be reconciled to God supposes more than atonement, redemption from the enemy, and justification; it comprehends, besides, ourselves set in relationship with God righteously, according to the purpose of His grace. It means, neither changing God’s mind from alienation into love, nor merely man brought out of his enmity to God, but the God of love and holiness having so wrought in the sacrifice of Christ, that He can righteously send the gospel of grace to every creature, and establish every believer in a new and steadfast relationship of favor with Himself.

The Article Before Eternal Life in 1 John 5:20

Question: 1 John 5:20. The article before “eternal life” in this verse is said not to have authority sufficient to retain it in the Greek. What difference does the presence or absence of the article make for this passage? In the controversy during recent years on “life eternal” I have seen it stated, that the absence of the article here renders this passage to mean that “life eternal” is “characteristic” of Christ, not that He is personally “the life eternal.” INQUIRER.
Answer: In 1 John 5:20 the oldest and best authority excludes the article before “life eternal.” But it is only a novice in zeal for his notion that could thence infer that the phrase is characteristic and not objective. For the article before “the true God” is passed on by the connective particle to “life eternal” also according to a well-known principle of its usage. “The true God and life eternal” are thus bound up with our Lord Jesus Christ in the striking way peculiar to this Epistle, which combines God with Him, or as here with life eternal. The case therefore is not only an oversight, but a cogent proof against those who would separate them. Had the article been repeated before “life,” it would have made them distinct objects, the very thing which the apostle avoided. The opening chapter 1(ver. 2) is most emphatic in predicating objective reality of “the life eternal,” both with the Father before He became flesh, and when He was thus manifested. “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing,” especially for such as hastily seize a superficial appearance in questions so grave and momentous, where truth and safety are found only in entire subjection to the written word.

Assembly Agreement on Names Proposed for Communion

Question: Is it requisite that the assembly as such should agree to the proposal of names for communion? or is it enough that they be proposed by two or three having the confidence of the rest? A. B.
Answer: There is no small danger for some of attaching too much importance to the mere proposal for communion. This really involves no more than the judgment of the individuals who propose: if they propose rashly, it is enough that the assembly refuse to receive those they propose—a wholesome but painful lesson for all concerned. The great point of importance is, not the proposal by a few individuals (which really and properly has nothing to do with the assembly; for in principle any brother is at liberty to propose whom he thinks fit), but the action of the assembly, who are all responsible, when a name is proposed, to satisfy themselves directly or through such visitors as they confide in, that the Lord has received those they accept after proposal. It is egregious to suppose that the assembly should propose as well as receive people; and to lay overmuch stress on the individuals who propose (however desirable that they be godly, and respected by all for spiritual competency) shows latent ministerialism. Exclusion and restoration answer, not to proposal, but to reception, and are all, save proposal, the act of the assembly, which in each case is bound to carry out what it believes to be the Lord’s will in His word.
The grand thing is the assembly’s acceptance or rejection of those proposed. To make too much of the proposers is to make too little of the assembly. If individuals propose carelessly, they should feel it as their fault. If the assembly receive carelessly, it is the assembly’s fault (and it is vain to shift it thence on individuals); for to receive is their responsibility, not that of the proposers.

Azazel the Goat? Then How "To" or "For"?

Question: Lev. 16:10. No one can be surprised at the uncertainty of such as trust either the ancient fathers or the modern Germans. But one does wonder at the dilemma of the late Archdeacon Hardwick in “Christ and other Masters” (Procter’s Ed. 1874, p. 504): “How...could the goat as mentioned in ver. 10 be sent to or for Azazel, if Azazel were the goat itself?” Pray explain this. X.
Answer: The answer is simple enough. Azazel does not mean the goat simply, but the goat of dismissal. It is all a mistake that the phrase leads directly to the notion of either a person or a place. As the first goat was that on which Jehovah’s lot fell for sacrifice, the second was allotted to signify in a striking light the people’s sins sent away into oblivion. The foundation was laid in the goat sacrificed to Jehovah. The goat on which the lot fell for Azazel (i.e. for this specific sign of dismissal) was set alive before Jehovah, to make atonement with or on it (i.e. in conjunction with the one slain), to send it away as Azazel into the wilderness, or as said in ver. 22 to a land apart. This was the place; and it is wholly unfounded to conceive Satan or a demon, or any other being. Jehovah forbade everything of the sort in the next chapter (Lev. 17:7), and is as far as possible from sanctioning such wicked folly here or anywhere else. It is sad to think of a pious man like Hengstenberg carried away by a notion so gratuitous, to say nothing of its impiety. The true and only sense is as evident as it is satisfactory, adding substitution to propitiation, and thus completing atonement, as far as the type could.

The Formula of Baptism

Question: Is the instruction in Matt. 28:19, to baptize “in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost,” the formula of baptism for the Church?
Is not the instruction to be baptized “in the name of Jesus Christ” (Acts 2:38) and the command to be “baptized in the name of the Lord” (Acts 10:48) supplementary?
Is being baptized “in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost,” and being baptized “in the name of the Lord” one and the same thing? If not, what is the difference, and which are we to observe?
If Matt. 28:19, is the formula for the Church, how is it we have no mention of the use of this formula in the Acts, but have repeated mention of believers being “baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus?” (Acts 8:16; 19:5.)
Does not Rom. 6:3, and Gal. 3:27 imply that those believers had been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ?
Answer: Baptism has nothing to do with the Church, properly speaking; that is, viewed as the body of Christ. It is by one Spirit we are baptized into one body. Baptism does not, in figure, carry faith further than resurrection. For the body we must have ascension of the head and the consequent sending down of the Holy Ghost to form it. Of that the Lord’s Supper is the sacramental sign. Baptism is therefore individual, and is as a figure the bringing out the individual from the flesh and his old life in Adam by death into a new individual position in life (but on the earth) in resurrection. Two great truths seem to me to accompany this: the revelation of the persons of the God-head, for the Father sent the Son, and the Son and the Father too have sent down the Spirit who reveals them. The revelation is a revelation of God. If thus born of God, even this truth enters into all my relationship. God is my Father; in Christ risen I have the form and power of sonship, and it is in the Holy Ghost the spirit of adoption is. It is, however, mainly the revelation of God as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost which is in question. The other great truth brought out in Christianity is, that Jesus Christ (that glorious man) is Lord, our Lord Jesus Christ. This, while closely connected with the glory of His person in the name Jesus, is the anointed man, the Christ.
This revelation of the Godhead and of the Lordship of Christ forms the basis and substance of Christianity itself as a profession, along with the subjective truth that flesh—fully proved already—can have nothing to say to it. I must enter by death into this new sphere, into relationship with God, and, as risen, become the servant of Christ as Lord. Hence, in Eph. 6, we have one body, one Spirit, one hope of our calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism. The first is the full heavenly and essential thing in connection with Christ; the second, the profession upon earth in connection with the Lordship of Christ. Hence, also Paul, who saw Christ only in heavenly glory, and to whom the ministry and revelation of the Church was committed, was not sent to baptize; and in Matthew, where the commission referred to was given, we have not the ascension at all. Here Jerusalem is gone, and Christ associated with the remnant in Galilee already around Him, and they were to disciple the nations. This does not connect itself directly with the millenium, but with the ministration of the Gospel of the kingdom, which precedes it, and does go out into all nations before the end comes—the end of the age. The millenium is brought in by the coming back of the Lord in glory from heaven. This precedes it. Hence in Matthew He says, and “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age;” that is, the age which precedes the coming of Messiah in glory to set up the kingdom publicly. Hence, I do not see why this mission should not go on when the Church is gone up. It does not directly contemplate the Church, but so neither does baptism over. It does profess Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and the Lordship of Christ, when He is not yet revealed from heaven.
Baptism, therefore, is the public testimony of reception by death and resurrection. That is, now Christ is rejected, we have the public witness that flesh has no place with God, that life is in the Son and given of God—that it is on the ground consequently of the revelation of God as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. The Father who has given this life in sending Jesus, in whom it is, and the Spirit’s witness of it because He is truth—all this is on earth, as the Apostle John’s witness always is. And that, walking in this world, we own and are subject to Jesus as the Lord.
The formula I only so far attach importance to as being the expression of the truth. If one were bona fide baptized in the name of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, according to the present lordship of Christ, I should consider them baptized, though the words were not used. Though in saying that, I think the maintenance and holding fast a form of sound words has its place and importance. And I need not say we have none better than those of Scripture, of the Lord Himself and His apostles. I only mean, if they were not used, but the person bona fide baptized in the acknowledgment of the thing, it would be real baptism. For my own part, I always use both. And I believe every one rightly baptized is baptized to the Lord Jesus, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. He is given up to Christ, once dead, but now risen, and Lord, through death and resurrection—to Him as Lord, but according to the revelation contained in those words, “Every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.” We do it when He is not manifested as such before the world. We do it through the knowledge of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; that is, God so revealed. They are not baptized to the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. We join the risen Christ as Lord by baptism. We are baptized to Him, but it is in the confession of this wonderful and complete revelation of God in grace, and in truth, too, through Him, but by the Holy Ghost, who is truth. Of course this involves the acknowledgment of the Lordship of Christ; and thus we are baptized in His name. It is the thing we are to look to, not the mere formula.

Baptized for the Dead

Question: 1 Cor. 15:29—Will you kindly explain?
A. C. W.
Answer: “Baptized for the dead” means, in my judgment, simply those that entered (“that are being baptized”) taking the place and filling up the ranks of the deceased saints. For grace in the face of all dangers keeps up God’s standing army here below. It refers to ver. 18, as 30 to ver. 19 (20-28 being an evident parenthesis of great value and positive), which resume the apostle’s interrupted argument. The resurrection is the key to suffering and deaf itself for Christ’s name. Without such a hope it were folly to join such a devoted band; but with it, His name will never lack recruits in faith even for a death or life of suffering. To suppose (like Dean; Stanley and Alford) a superstition alluded to, and the apostle dealing gently with such folly as “survivors getting baptized on behalf of friends deceased without baptism,” seems as contrary to his character as in itself strange. In all probability what Bishop Hall calls “the usual but ungrounded practice” was a conceit grafted on this verse misunderstood. Again, Luther’s idea of “over the dead”—i.e., over their graves, is another imaginary superstition, worthy of the middle ages. Nor is it a tolerable interpretation that the plural is used for the singular and refers to the Lord. Sir R. Ellys seems to have first suggested the true thought in his “Fortuita, Sacra” (1728), adopted and popularized by Doddridge in the “Family Expositor.”

Baptized Into the Body?

Question: Would it be right to say that an individual was baptized into the body? Is 1 Cor. 12:13 true only of Pentecost?
Answer: By the Holy Ghost we are baptized into one body. But baptism is never “into” anything, but “unto.” In this case the difference is not very great, but it is always the object to which we are baptized. It is the object of the Holy Ghost’s baptism; but as that is in power, they become members of it, and so it is treated here as in verse 19.

Bearing of Matthew 7:7-8

Question: Matt. 7:7, 8: what is the bearing of these verses? W.E.
Answer: To encourage the disciples in dependence and prayer, with ever rising degrees of earnest importunity on our part, with every assurance of a gracious answer on our Father’s. Even in human relationships the needy suppliant is not refused or mocked. “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more will your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?”

The Bearing of Philippians 3:11?

Question: Phil. 3:11. What is its bearing? M. A.
Answer: The verse is not intended to raise the least doubt or uncertainty in the believer’s mind, but to convey the deep blessedness of that glorious goal, the “out-resurrection” from the as the apostle puts it here only. So incomparable was it in his eyes that, in the view grace gave him of it, he welcomed the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings, being conformed to His death (as indeed he was to be literally), if in any way to arrive at that wondrous result of Christ’s resurrection. He minded no labors nor pains nor shame meanwhile to win and know Christ thus. He would not have his own righteousness if he could, which is of law-nothing but what is by faith of Christ, the righteousness that is of God conditioned by faith: all of His grace, and in His righteousness, and according to Christ both along the way and at the end in glory.

Bearing of the Last Clause in Hab. 2:2

Question: Hab. 2:2. What is the true bearing of the last clause? There seems some confusion in the quotation of it that one almost invariably hears. Is the Synopsis or Dr. Pusey right in their view? They say that “he who runs may read it,” i.e. that it was to be written so plain as to be read by the hasty glance of one that hurried by. Is it really so? Q.
Answer: There can hardly be a doubt that most versions are right, but the commentators wrong, even those who have rendered the Hebrew correctly. The translation of Isaac Leeser, generally correct, is here faulty and in accord with the common mistake, “that every man may read it fluently.” Is the misunderstanding due to the influence of popular misquotation? For the word is written plainly, not “that he who runs may read it,” but “that he who readeth it may run” —just the opposite. The inference may be merely that the reader need not stop; but may it not be the more worthy one of earnestly pursuing the work of making known the revealed purpose of Jehovah for others also to profit thereby? When the crisis comes, as we are told by another prophet, many shall run to and fro, and knowledge (surely of a spiritual and higher sort than of the stars or of the fossils, of chemistry or of electricity) shall be increased. Assuredly the need of that is as great as it is all-important.

Beginning to Break Bread

Question: 1 Tim. 5:17. (1) Is an elder or bishop the question when brethren wish to begin a breaking of bread where there is none? (2) Ought they to cease when trial, weakness, or scandal exists?
Answer: (1) Wherever brethren are found alive to the glory of Christ and of their own privileges as His members, they are not only free but bound to meet together and consequently to remember Him in the breaking of bread, the symbol of His death for their sins in divine love and of their unity as His body. They are of course bound to begin in fellowship with those already breaking bread if reasonably near them. It is deplorable to make the sign of fellowship in a new place the occasion of disturbing it in an old; but those in the old locality are not entitled to put any obstructions or delays in their way but such as approve themselves to every godly soul elsewhere. No one, no assembly, has authority to hinder members of Christ from gathering to His name and remembering Him in the Supper and all other acts of the assembly. Scripture amply proves that none should wait for a bishop or bishops first, even when apostles were there to choose such, But it was the rule to begin meeting as God’s assembly without them. The qualities suitable for them only developed or were seen in time. It was on a subsequent visit, if the apostle did not spend long enough time, that they were chosen; and sometimes a delegate like Titus at Crete was directed to do so. But in every case assemblies preceded bishops.
(2) Even if a few believers have been hasty in meeting or any element in the meeting is not what one could desire, it would be a grave act to seek or counsel their dissolution: we do not see an apostle venturing on any step like it. And we cannot, we ought not to, act without scripture. The state of an assembly might be such as to keep one away, as that of Corinth did Paul; but this is a very different thing, for even so, he is most careful to remind them of their place, privilege, and responsibility as the assembly of God in that city. All this aggravated their failure, and gave him a hold in the Lord’s name on their consciences.

"Behold, the Virgin"

Question: Isa. 7:14. “Behold, the virgin,” &c. It is asked, for some young men stumbled by the allegation of a non-Jewish source, what reply should be given. X. Z.
Answer: It was to be expected that Satan would imitate in his lies what God gave as a gracious sign to the incredulous but superstitious and profane Ahaz through the prophet Isaiah. Yet the difference between the true and the false is irresistible, when one weighs the occasion that called forth the original prediction, the character of the alleged sacred books, and the moral aim and effect sought and produced. “What is the chaff to the wheat, saith Jehovah?”
Besides, if it be pretended that a heathen tradition of the kind existed anterior to Isaiah, the believer can point to the first communication, when Adam and Eve sinned in the paradise of Eden. The most obtuse, self-willed, or irrational of rationalists cannot avoid seeing that grace was pleased to give prominence to the “woman,” contrary to all natural thoughts and especially at that moment. Nor was it only that “born of woman” was thus singularly predicated of the coming Messiah. It was no less evident that, while He would thus be man, more fully than Adam who was not born, He must be more than man to reach and crush the great spiritual foe, who used a serpent’s form for his deadly enmity to God and man. “Immanuel” expresses this, God-with-us. The authentic bears the holy imprint of Gods grace and truth; the spurious suits Satan and his seed of lies among men. The time is long come when men turn away their ear from the truth, and turn aside to fables.

That Blessed Hope

Question: A mislaid note inquires whether “that blessed hope” is equivalent to, or distinct from, “the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ.”
Answer: I apprehend that the form of the phrase in Greek (one article to the two connected substantives) does not at all of necessity identify them, but only joins them in a common class. Compare 2 Thess. 2:1, where the same construction occurs. Yet none would maintain that “the coming or presence of our Lord Jesus Christ” is the same thing as “our gathering together unto him.” They are meant, I think, to be regarded as associated together in the mind of the Holy Ghost, though in themselves distinct objects. It may help some to a better understanding of Titus 2:13, if they bear in mind that the true sense is “the appearing of the glory” —in contrast with the grace which has already appeared. (Ver. 11.) “That blessed hope” seems to me still nearer, and more personal, to the heart. (Compare 1 Tim. 1:1.)

The Body and the Bride

Question: 1. Was Not the Truth of Christ and His Members—One Body—The Mystery Hid in Past Ages and Revealed to Paul?
2. Was the truth of “the Bride” a mystery? Was it hid in the Old Testament? Is not Rebekah a type of “the Bride?” Was not Eliezer forbidden to take a Gentile bride for Isaac?
3. Where is the Church—the body—ever spoken of as “the Bride?” W. S.
Answer: 1. The mystery hid from ages and generations consists of two parts (1), the supremacy of Christ over the entire universe of God, of all things, whether in heaven or on earth; and (2) of the Church, His body, composed of Jews and Gentiles baptized by the Holy Ghost, united to Him as head over all. It was revealed to the holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit, but in fact revealed by Paul to us.
2, 3. It is evident from Eph. 5, Rev. 19; 22, that the figure of “the Bride, the Lamb’s wife,” equally applies to the Church. Eve, in Gen. 2, and Rebekah, in Gen. 24, &c, revealed nothing of the mystery. They told their own profitable tale of old, but nobody ever did or could draw from them alone the union of the Church with Christ in heaven. When the truth of the Church, Christ’s body and bride, came to view, Unlit these scriptures yielded a further deeper meaning in God’s wisdom, though even then the union of Jew and Gentile in one new man, the body of Christ, the head of all things in heaven and earth went far beyond any or all these types. But the reference is distinct in Eph. 5 to Adam and Eve on this point. “It is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the Church.” The point forbidden in Gen. 24 is not a Gentile bride, but a daughter of the Canaanites (i.e., the type of a wicked spirit in the heavenlies.) In Eph. 5 the point is the wife or bride as much as the body.
That there will be an earthly bride, according to the Psalms, Prophets, and Canticles, does not clash with the truth that there is a heavenly bride, married to the Lamb before the appearing of Christ and distinct from the blessed guests who are to be at the supper (the Old Testament saints, I suppose). Rev. 22:17 is conclusive to my mind that “the bride” of the Apocalypse is none other than the Church, now waiting for Christ with the Holy Spirit dwelling in her and prompting the precious word, “Come.” Far different will be the relation and attitude of the Jewish remnant, before the Lord appears for their deliverance.

The Body is Dead?

Question: Rom. 8:10. Can this mean that the body indeed is dead (i. e., by the sentence on the first Adam), but the spirit is life because of righteousness (i.e., righteousness would also be the cause)? The force would be, that though the body be or remain dead thus, the spirit, &c. The expression, “if Christ be in you” would require as much, because in this sense He does not cause the body to be dead. And the following verse would mean that this very dead body will be raised.
- Querist.
Answer:Mortal” hardly chimes in with this. The other sense makes “the body is dead” depend directly on what precedes. If Christ be in you, the body is dead (i.e. reckoned dead according to chap. vi.) because of sin being its character if alive in flesh, and the spirit life because righteousness is the will of God and in us the fruit of the Spirit. I hardly think the first view can be maintained, however generally true in itself.

The Body of Christ a Heavenly Designation?

Question: Is “the body of Christ” a heavenly designation? S.
Answer: It is “heavenly” as descriptive of union with our glorified head, but not in the sense of applying to the members of Christ when viewed as actually in heaven. It is a heavenly relationship, but is always, I think, used in Scripture of Christians still on earth. The reason, I suppose is, that the body is where the Holy Ghost is who baptizes those who compose it into one. Departed Christians, therefore, though of course members of that body, are not contemplated, because their spirits are gone to be with Christ in heaven whence the Holy Spirit came down to form the assembly on earth.

Breaking Bread Before Giving Thanks and Pouring Wine After Giving Thanks?

Question: Is it according to the scriptures for the bread at the Lord’s Table to be broken before giving thanks? or the wine to be poured out after giving thanks? An Enquirer.
Answer: The Lord blessed, or gave thanks, before breaking the bread or any distribution of either this or the wine took place. Unity is thus better expressed than after breaking in pieces or pouring into two or more cups. It is not that the memorial is really impaired; but there is wisdom here as every where in subjection to scripture. Some talk of thanking for empty plates or cups; but the loaf is there, and so is the cup (as the vessel is called that contains the wine). Emptiness does not apply, whatever the order. The subsequent division is a mere matter of convenience, and unnecessary save where numbers call for it.

The Breaking of Bread

1. Two or three saints in fellowship at the Lord’s Table, meet, with or without previous concert, at some place where they have gone for a temporary purpose—a watering-place commonly—where there is no gathering, and no one in fellowship. Can they rightly spread the table for the time they are together in the place, the whole thing being discontinued (unless in the meantime some residents should be brought into fellowship) as soon as they leave? Under such circumstances is the true character of the table maintained? And if so, is it material whether the fact of their breaking bread be known only to themselves, or done in such a way that others may know and perhaps come to the room?
2. If there be a resident brother or sister in fellowship at the place, but no breaking of bread, can the table be spread at any time that another brother in fellowship may happen to be there for a limited time, and then discontinued until another similar occasion arise? If the brother should go to the place on an occasional day for the express purpose of enabling the resident brother or sister to enjoy the privilege of breaking bread, would it make any difference?
3. In the case of several in fellowship removing, with a view to permanent residence, to another town where there is no gathering, or where several may be converted or brought out of the denominations, should they begin breaking bread at once, and of their own accord? or should they announce their intention and seek the fellowship of the surrounding gatherings before doing so?
4. If the practice of beginning to break bread under the circumstances specified in these cases, and more particularly in the two first mentioned, is right in your judgment, in what way would scripture enable us to guard against the danger of its being accompanied with self-will—considering one’s own convenience—lack of die godly exercise and of its leading, if it were generally acted on, to disorder?
BERNE, July 30th [1878].
Dear Brethren,
I see nothing at all to hinder brethren, who find themselves together for bathing, breaking bread together, provided it be done in a spirit of unity with the meetings they belong to. In the case of a resident Christian walking uprightly in the truth, “calling on [the name of] the Lord out of a pure heart,” he has the same title if he desired to walk permanently with brethren. There is nothing to hinder; but it would be happy (specially if those at the bathing place were young brethren) that the matter be communicated to the meeting they belong to, that the thing may be done seriously and with Christian care. In the former case it is to preserve confidence and unity, in the latter for right Christian care. The true character of the gathering is preserved, that is, two or three gathered together to Christ’s name; but it is important that it should be done in unity with those already gathered. Full liberty, but liberty in hearty unity, is what we have to seek, and subjection of individual will to the action of the Holy Ghost in the whole.
As to your second question, it is practically answered. Provided it below in a spirit of unity, I see nothing to hinder. It might be on purpose to act against the assembly when the single absent brother did not walk well. This would be clearly wrong, and what I say always supposes that all are walking godlily and in grace.
As to the third question, it is always desirable that they should do it in unity with those united in the place nearest, or whence they come. No one can hinder their doing it, but it is not done happily or godlily when it is not done in communion with those with whom they are already in communion.
As to the fourth, the grace of God and the application of the word to the conscience can alone hinder the exercise of self-will.
Yours affectionately in Christ,
J. N. D.

Brother's Meeting

Dear Brother, would you kindly reply, in an early issue, to the following queries?
Question: 1. Is what is known among us as a “brothers’ meeting,” entitled to be looked on as representing “the assembly,” so that its acts should he held to be those of “the assembly?”
2. Is any meeting whatever, from which any in communion (male or female) are formally or tacitly excluded, entitled to be considered as “the assembly” or as representing it?
3. Should I infer rightly from your May number that you would deem a “brothers’ meeting” a simple reunion of those in “the assembly” who “have the rule,” for cooperation and counsel in matters of detail not calling for direct assembly action ? and that in cases when (acting in the spirit of Matt. 18:15, 16) they have proved unequal to the correction of the evil, and extreme measures seem called for, their only remaining function is to report the ease to “the assembly” to be dealt with there?
4. Would it be proper for the “brothers” in bringing a case of the above nature before “the assembly” to do so in this wise: that they had gone into such a case and were satisfied that the evil called for excision, and that therefore such a one was no longer in communion? Or ought it to assume something of the following shape: that such a case had been before the brethren; that they had gone into the facts and found them as charged; that they had exhausted efforts to rectify the matter, and now, as a last resort, brought it before “the assembly” for its determination?
5. In the latter case, ought “the assembly” to be expected to deal with the case forthwith, simply in view of the report and counsel of the brothers, or should time be allowed (unless in cases of notoriety or imperative haste) for individuals in “the assembly” who might desire it to inform themselves, in private, before assuming the responsibilities of action before the Lord?
6. Would not the recognition of a “brothers’ meeting” as representing “the assembly,” be a return to “system?” —the very principle of “a kirk Session?”
Answer: A meeting of those who addict themselves to the ministry of the saints may rightly consult and decide on matters which concern the Lord’s work and the saints, save in such cases as reception or excision, where according to scripture the assembly as such is called to act. But I know nothing of a meeting even of elders which could be said to represent the assembly. There is individual action, joint action, and that of the assembly: each true, and important, and sanctioned of the Lord; but one does not represent another. The assembly is itself and supposes the place of all, brothers and sisters, with the Spirit freely acting in their midst to maintain the glory and will of the Lord. But a meeting of chief men among the brethren is of great value, substantially of the elderhood in principle if not so now in name; for it is mischievous to be ever occupying the assembly with questions, the natural result of men who wish to set the assembly against ministry, and so naturally use it for their own self-importance. But no individuals, however gifted, can act for the assembly, though they may be helpful to the assembly in enabling them to judge before the Lord, and they may morally represent the assembly to the Lord’s eye for praise or blame. In general, too, cases of evil, which are rightly brought before all, are so plain as to leave no hesitation. Still there are seasons when the assembly might demand more time or evidence before the extreme act of putting away; nor ought the assembly to be hurried into hasty measures, by individuals, whose sole remedy for all evil (the strongest point of their own lack of wisdom and power) is exclusion. In every instance the assembly should weigh seriously and calmly, but in the sense of its own responsibility to the Lord, not at all as the mere executive of elders or chief men, who are liable to infirmity of various kinds; it has the presence of the Lord to count on in a way quite peculiar and is subject directly to Him alone. The question of acting forthwith or not depends entirely on the nature of the case; it should never degenerate into a venture but be the fruit of conscientious judgment in liberty before God. To act simply on the judgment of a supposed representative would be presbyterian, not as God’s church; to act only for itself would be congregational. It is God’s church; and in the present ruin the Lord graciously attaches the same validity even to “two or three” gathered to His name. If representation comes in rightly, it is here; in a certain sense the local assembly represents the church everywhere; and the church everywhere, in all ordinary cases, acts on the judgment of the local assembly. It is the presence of the Lord in their midst which gives it such weight. Church action otherwise is human.

"Buried with Him by Baptism Unto Death"?

Question: Rom. 6:4. I gather that the believer is here viewed as having died in Christ’s death; that he is entitled to regard himself thus; and that his baptism is the confession of this truth. But what means “buried with Him by baptism unto death?” W.B.
Answer: Is it true that we are ever said to have died in Christ? or is it a bit of Calvinistic misapprehension of the truth, making mystic what is really experimental, however truly and rightly based on faith? What the passage says is that we died with Christ; that baptized unto Christ Jesus we were baptized unto His death. “We were buried therefore with him by baptism unto death; in order that as Christ was raised out of dead [men] through the glory of the Father, so we also should walk in newness of life.” Buried with Him is a confirmatory figure drawn from having been under the water of death. Compare ver. 5. Without Christ we had lain there; but we are identified thus with His death to give us quittance from sin, and therefore to live no longer in it. The next chapter (7) shows that it was not without proving the futility of legal efforts after we received life. Thus we were brought to own what His death is, not for pardon merely but deliverance.

By His Prophets in Holy Scriptures, vs. by Prophetic Scriptures?

Question: Rom. 1:2-4; 16:25, 26. Why is it that in the first of the scriptures we read “by His prophets in holy scriptures,” and in the second, “by prophetic scriptures”? The distinction is slurred over and lost in the Auth. Version as well as the Revised: how do you account for the difference between them, which is so plain in the Greek? An old disciple.
Answer: The key is given, as generally, by the context. God’s gospel, or glad tidings, He had promised before; this was therefore through His prophets in holy scriptures. It centers in His Son, come of David’s seed according to flesh, marked out Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by resurrection. While Jesus Christ our Lord then fulfilled the promises, He brought in deliverance from sin and therefore from death by power according to the Spirit of holiness, as even the O. T. prophets had foreshown. So far says Rom. 1:2-4. But 16:25, 26 goes much higher. For therein the apostle, without opening out the mystery or secret kept silent eternally as it had been, here tells the saints in Rome it was now manifested and by prophetic scriptures made known unto all the nations for faith-obedience, not by man’s wit or imagination but according to command of the eternal God. The development of this hidden secret was mainly given to the Ephesian and the Colossian saints; but Paul’s gospel as he calls it, yea the preaching of Jesus Christ in general to establish the saints in the faith, was in accord with it. Here therefore we necessarily pass beyond all the O. T. revelation, and are told, not of “the scriptures of the prophets” which is an incorrect rendering and a false sense, but of “prophetic scriptures.” These are in fact definitely distinguished from even all the prophets of the Old Testament, and refer solely to scriptures of the N. T. which reveal the secret of Christ Head over all things to the church which is His body. Never does the O. T. make this known, as the apostle declares here and elsewhere. Now it is revealed, and by prophetic scriptures (that is, the epistles, &c., of the N.T. generally) made known, not to Israel as the O. T. was, but expressly unto all the nations.

By My Name Jehovah Was I Not Known to Them

Question: I have always had difficulty with the exact meaning of Ex. 6:3: “By my name Jehovah was I not known to them.” This seems very absolute. I have written out all the places where the word Jehovah occurs. I find it occurs 195 times until Ex. 6:3. With the great majority (144) of these I have not the slightest difficulty (e.g., in Gen. 2), and with the remainder (49 times) I have some difficulty. In the 144 times in which there seems little difficulty, it is as is shown in “B. T.”-Moses showing Israel (for whom he wrote by the Spirit) that it was their Jehovah who was Elohim, and therefore it is always in the form of reported speech. I have classified the 49 difficult passages into four classes. First, where persons (before Ex. 6:4) speak of Elohim as Jehovah, not in reported but in ‘direct’ speech. They either did use the word Jehovah or they did not. To take an example (Gen. 28:21), Jacob said, “Then shall Jehovah be my Elohim;” and, chapter 32:9, Jacob said, “O Elohim of my father Abraham, and Elohim of my father Isaac, Jehovah which saidst unto me,” &c. If they used the word Jehovah, then Elohim was known to them by that name; or, did they use it without knowing its meaning (did not; יהוה in Hebrews mean I am that I am)? If they did not use the word Jehovah, then the reporter (Moses) gives us their meaning, but represents that he gives us their word, and this going against the plenary inspiration, of course could not be maintained. Secondly—Men calling on the name Jehovah, not on Elohim, as if at that time they began for the first time to know Him as Jehovah. This, however, not being in the form of direct speech, but rather reported, does not present the same difficulty. Thirdly—Angels using the name Jehovah directly to men, where the same difficulty presents as in the first. Fourthly—God Himself using the name directly to Abram and Jacob (I do not lay much stress on the three found in Exodus, but have added them for the sake of completeness). Gen. 15:7, Jehovah said, “I Jehovah that brought thee,” &c., and similarly to Jacob in chapter 28:13, where the difficulty is as in the first.
If Jehovah was known before its formal revelation (without knowing its meaning), is this analogous to the other? e.g., Shaddai was not known till Abraham; Abba was not known till He declared it and sent forth the Spirit into our hearts. Is Jehovah exceptional? W. P. M.
Answer: There is, I think, no difficulty in Ex. 6:8. If we compare Ex. 3:14, 15, we find there Jehovah the God of thy fathers. It was the personal name of God as having to do with men, and particularly with Israel—man in the flesh set in relationship with God. It is His abiding name as to this world, either who was, and is, and is to come, if we take Him historically, or more perfectly as in Revelation who is (ϐ ώυ), and was, and is to come, the 6 &’v, the existing one (alta her), and past in time, and to come. But in Ex. 6:3, it is different. It speaks of the character in which He revealed Himself in order to their walking before Him. And note, when the revelation of Shaddai, as the name to be owned in walk took place, it is said Jehovah appeared unto Abram; and the word was, “I (Jehovah) am El Shaddai; walk before me.” Hence, in Ex. 6:3, “I am Jehovah; and I appeared (vaeera) unto Abraham (2) as El Shaddai: (in) my name Jehovah was I not (made) known to them.” This refers to the appearing to put Himself according to the nature of that revelation in relationship with Himself. So to Jacob (Gen. 35:11), as soon as God revealed Himself to him. To Isaac, who stands connected with Rebekah, the risen head of the Church, He is not revealed by any name.
The historical name is always Jehovah or Elohim. The One who appears is always Jehovah; but He appears to Abraham as El Shaddai, and so reveals Himself as the ground of, and that which gives its character to, his walk before Him. But it is always Jehovah who appears, as in chapter 7:7. In chapter 15:7, it is no appearing. The word of Jehovah came to Abraham and said, “I am Jehovah that brought thee out of Ur.” And in Psa. 91, the title Shaddai is used as the expression of almighty protection; and Messiah says as knowing the true secret of who the Most High is: “I will say of Jehovah,” &c. And so He is kept by the power of Shaddai. Thus, I judge, that though Jehovah, as the expression of the constant being of God, was taken as the specific covenant name of Israel’s God, the God of man in the flesh who had to say to God; yet it was, as the name of constant being, the abiding historical name of God. Almighty and Father are special names of character and relationship taken with those to whom God is so revealed. The name of the one true God, the name of the being, is His abiding name, in relationship with the earth—the name. The Israelite had “blasphemed the name.” Most High is another relative name taken. Hence it is only in the millennium fully. But it is still Jehovah who is the Most High. Hence you would not have the angel of Shaddai or the Father, or Elion, because he represents His power as such, not a name of relationship; but he took His name as the name of relationship with Israel. It was not that the name of Jehovah was not known as the proper name of the true God, but that His making Himself known to them, as the One before whom they were to walk, was in another specific name. He did not take His name, His own name so to speak, as the name by which He was to be in relationship with them. It is a very important circumstance as to Israel that God’s own name, what I may call His personal name, at least in connection with man on earth, “the name” became the name of relationship with that people. Hence in celebrating that name, even in the wide extent of the unopened glory, in the past which belongs to earth, we have (Psa. 8), O Jehovah, our Adon, how excellent is thy name in all the earth. He had set in that His glory now above the heavens. Elohim is the One who stands in the position of the divine being. Jehovah is the personal name of Him who truly is so. He became the Elohim of the Jews as a nation who had been called out of the world to and by Him when idolatry had come in. (Josh. 24) Jehovah, He is Elohim. And now we say, Father, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom He has sent; but withal of the Son, He is the true God and eternal life. When it is said then Jehovah shall be my Elohim, (Gen. 28:21), we must refer to verse 13, whence Jacob drew that which he then said, and so verse 16. But in Ex. 6:2, we have equally, “I am Jehovah.” But in Gen. 35, when Elohim reveals Himself to Jacob as the present God with whom he had to do, it is again (ver. 11) El Shaddai. Jehovah is found in chapters 31:3; 32:9. In a word, Jehovah was not unknown to their own thoughts or in intercourse; but it was not the name He took in relation to the patriarchs in their character as such; it was with Israel after the bush.

The Calling and Inheritance in Ephesians and 1 Peter

Question: What is the difference between the calling and the inheritance as in the Epistle to the Ephesians, from the same terms in the First Epistle of Peter? J. C.
Answer: The Apostle Paul was given to reveal the calling and the inheritance in all the height and depth, length and breadth of the glory of Christ, the Son and glorified man in the heavenlies, the Head over all things and Heir of all things, our portion one with Himself and joint-heirs with Him.
The Apostle Peter was inspired to present rather the Christian’s heavenly calling and place, and God’s family, His priests and kings, in contrast with Israel’s hopes; and therefore to an incorruptible and undefiled and unfading inheritance reserved in the heavens for those that are here, guarded by God’s power through faith for the salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. It is not a great mystery as in Eph. 5:32, respecting Christ and respecting the church; any more than the mystery of God’s will and purpose (Eph. 1:9, 10) in setting Christ at the head of the universe heavenly and earthly, the inheritance in its fullest extent.

Can a Believer Lose Eternal Life?

Question: Matt. 13:5, 6. Can a believer lose life eternal? R. C.
Answer: It would not be life eternal if it could be lost. Animal life can perish; but even the soul is immortal for man, being inbreathed by Jehovah-God (Gen. 2). How much less can that life perish, which the believer hath (not merely shall have) in Christ, the Son of God! What then means the withering away of what sprang up on the stony places? Our Lord explains in vers. 20, 21. There is more than one way of ruin for mere professors of His name: 1st. Satan hindering the entrance of the word, as in ver. 19; 2nd. as in vers. 20, 21 the flesh receiving the word hastily without conscience before God, and therefore quickly giving up under pressure; and 3rd. as in ver. 22, the anxiety of this age and the deceitfulness of wealth choking all fruit, the necessary issue of life. It is the world. He who hears in faith is no longer Satan’s prey and does bear fruit, though even so the flesh and the world may hinder the hundredfold which ought to be.

Can a Believer Rest on Christ's Work Without Having God's Spirit Dwelling in Him?

Question: Rom. 8 &c. Is it possible for a believer to rest on Christ’s work without having God’s Spirit dwelling in him? W. S.
Answer: Certainly not. But many did and do believe on Christ without at first resting on His work. It is hasty and wrong to assume that such have the Holy Spirit given to them, though born of the Spirit. See the case of Cornelius in Acts 10. He was a converted man of marked piety, which is not nor can be without believing on Jesus; but he did not appropriate the saving power of His work, till God sent the warrant, henceforth as open to the Gentile as to the Jew, in the gospel preached by Peter as by others since. Many fail to see this, and suffer through the error in various ways. The truth is quite plain.

Captivity Led Captive

Question: Eph. 4:8. What is meant by “captivity led captive?” Can it imply (as some besides Romanists, Lutherans, &c. think) the O. T. saints taken then on high? Does Luke 16 bear on it?
H. G. L.
Answer: The expression first occurs in Judg. 5:12, where it means that Barak was called to lead captive those who had haughtily oppressed Israel. So also in Psa. 68:18 the risen and ascended Lord is celebrated in terms drawn from warfare as victorious over the mightiest powers of evil. There is no sound reason to doubt that in the Epistle the sense is the same, applied yet more loftily but within His mind Who ever looked on to Christ. Some have gone so far as to suppose an active force in the word αἰχμαλωσία. But there is no need to go beyond the ordinary usage, and the Hebraistic emphasis. That they had been captors before being thus emphatically led captive is no doubt true; but it is not expressed in the phrase itself, which simply but intensely expresses the completeness with which they were vanquished. Col. 2:15 describes the same victory over him that had the power of death and his angels in a manner suited to that great Epistle. Their might is annulled in the cross, which seemed Christ’s defeat but is the ground of His triumph. This was indeed a captivity led captive. And He who received gifts in man (or in that capacity) gave gifts to men.
It would be altogether harsh to imagine any reference to the saints before Christ. There ought to be proof from other scriptures that they are alluded to as at that time within the cortege of the Savior’s triumph. Certainly neither 1 Peter 3:19 nor 1 Peter 4:6 has the smallest bearing on it.
Nor does Eph. 4:9 give countenance to any descent of the Lord to carry on high the departed saints. Granted, that the verse does not express His descent as the Son from heaven to become man; but it goes no farther than His descent when a man on earth to the grave. He tasted death, truly died, and was buried. Jehovah would not leave His soul in Sheol or Hades, nor suffer His pious One to see corruption. He that descended so low ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things. But Eph. 6:12 does present the solemn truth of spiritual powers of evil in the heavenlies, with whom, instead of being yet expelled, we have now to contend in energy of the Holy Spirit. Through these world-rulers of this darkness the Lord did pass victorious in His ascent through the heavens to the throne of God. Possibly the marginal alternative of “a multitude of captives” captivates persons of an imaginative turn of mind, who are under the delusion that such alternatives are more faithful than the text. Here it appears that it is not mere “multitude” which is the point, but the completeness of His victory over the enemy. Yet in any case there was a multitude.
Is it a plausible interpretation that the Holy Spirit would apply a figure from vanquished foes to the O. T. saints of God? And this, not referring to their evil condition when living in sins, but when turned to God from idols, or from iniquities of any and every kind, and even after they had departed from this life? Would it not be a strangely violent and ungenial account to describe them at the Savior’s ascension as “captives”? On the other hand, it is not only intelligible, but unforced and accurate, to speak of the spiritual hosts of wickedness as a “captivity” which Christ then “led captive.” Him alone it became, and He alone was capable of it.
Luke 16:9 shows us everlasting habitations awaiting those who sacrifice the present in view of the heavenly future; as the story of the rich man and Lazarus (19, &c.) assures of the blessedness that follows on the death of the righteous, and the terrible lot after decease of the selfish man. It is not here after resurrection, but after death.

"Carnally" and "Of the Flesh"

Question: 1. Is there any difference between “carnally” and “of the flesh” in Rom. 8:5, 6, 13, &c.?
W. J. F.
2. What is “fleshy” in 2 Cor. 3:3? AL.
Answer: 1, 2. It is the same word and sense in Rom. viii., the mind of that flesh which is enmity to God, and came into man’s moral constitution through Adam’s sin. But “fleshy” means the different fact of the physical material, consisting of flesh, in contrast with stone; and the critics prefer it in Rom. 7:14 to the received reading which only differs by one letter. So do the oldest copies in 1 Cor. 3:1, though they give the form “fleshly” or “carnal” in ver 3. In Heb. 7:16 they prefer “fleshy” or at any rate the Greek form for the material. Yet in Rom. 15:27 the word for “fleshly” or “carnal,” is read; so that this would seem capable of both applications, whereas the other is confined to the material sense.

Caught up Before the Lord Comes

Question: Will the saints be caught up before the Lord comes in glory and the tribes of the earth mourn because of Him?
Matt. 24 Here there is no hint of the Church’s escaping the great tribulation, except by sudden flight; nor of any other παρουσια except that which we are to expect after that tribulation. (See ver. 23, 27, 29.) Nor of any gathering of His elect unto Him except in verse 31, after the great tribulation. In verses 32, 33 we are directed to “know that it is near, even at the doors, when we shall see all these things,” i.e., those which are described in verses 7-29.
1 Thess. 4. The living will not be changed before the dead in Christ are raised (ver. 15); then (1 Cor. 15:51) we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump (literally, for the trumpet shall sound)—all, not some only, of those who believe. And the trumpet mentioned in Matt. 24:31, when all the elect are to be gathered together, cannot be subsequent, or the other would not be the last trump.
(3.) The caution of 2 Thess. 2:1.-12 seems to imply that the Church must witness the full revelation and ενεργεια of the wicked one, and then expect the immediate coming of our Lord.
It is true, we are to be continually looking for the coming of our Lord; but is this inconsistent with the expectation of a previous tribulation? Q.Q.
Answer: The Old Testament saints and the Church, which is being now formed by the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven, will be caught up to meet the Lord before His coming as Son of man in power and great glory, when all the tribes of the earth (or the land) lament. This necessarily follows from the doctrine laid down in Col. 3:4 compared with 1 Cor. 15:23, 1 Thess. 4, 2 Thess. 2, and other scriptures, and from the prophetic intimation of Rev. 4:5 compared with Rev. 17:14; 19:14. For if Christ and the glorified saints appear together at the selfsame time in glory, it is evident that the saints must have been caught up, changed into His likeness, before that common manifestation of Him and them. Besides, the Revelation indicates their presence above, after their translation there, and before their appearing along with Him, under the symbol of the crowned and enthroned elders, who are seen in heaven when the seven churches disappear (Rev. 2; 3), and before the pre-millennial judgment of chapter 19, and the millennium of chapter 20. This interval is occupied here below by God’s preparation of Jews and Gentiles (separate from the glorified) who will be to His praise on earth, as the Old Testament saints and the Church will be in heaven when the administration of the fullness of times is put under Christ, the Head of all things heavenly and earthly.
(1.) This helps to render Matt. 24:15-41 perfectly plain. Certainly there is no hint of the Church’s escaping the tribulation by sudden flight here; for those spoken of are a remnant of converted Jews who will be found in Jerusalem, in connection with the temple and the sabbath in the latter day. What possible ground is there to predicate this of the Church of God, which is neither Jew nor Gentile, and which, save at its first origin, is found everywhere under heaven? What reason to take it away from the last days of this age, when God will again be savingly at work among the Jews in their land, protecting a remnant from the last fiery tribulation which the Antichrist will occasion, and fitting them as a people for the Lord, when He comes for their deliverance in the clouds of heaven, and the mass being apostate will be filled with terror and mourning and shame at His sudden glory which flashes on the world? That the elect of verse 31 cannot possibly mean the Church is evident, if it were only from the passage itself; for the sight of the Son of man appalls all the tribes before He sends His angels to gather these elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. Now if you apply this to the same scene and persons as Col. 3:4, you set, one scripture against another—the unerring proof of error. Distinguish between the saints already caught up, to be glorified with Him on high, and these elect gathered from all places of their dispersion here below, to be blessed under His reign here below, and the balance of truth is preserved. No doubt, the gathering of the elect here, then, is after the great tribulation, but it is also after His appearing. It is therefore not the Church which appears with Him when He appears in glory, and which is promised (in Rev. 3:10) exemption not only from the place and circumstances of the great coming temptation, but also from its hour. The signs are, as usual, for the Jewish saints, who were wont to ask such things as evidence of the approaching accomplishment of their hopes.
1 Thess. 4. No one contends that the living will be changed before the dead in Christ are raised. It is clear that, the latter being raised, and we who are then alive being changed as they, all together will be caught up to the Lord. The “last trump” of 1 Cor. 15 is an allusion to the final signal of the break up of a Roman camp for its march. It has nothing whatever to do with the loud sound of trumpet in Matt. 24 (with which compare Isa. 27:13), any more than with the seven trumpets of Rev. 8-11.
Undoubtedly when the Lord at His coming or presence (ηαρουσία) gathers the changed saints to Himself in the air, it is all, not some only, of those who up to that time have believed (compare πᾶσιν τοῖς πιστεύσασιν in 2 Thess. 1:10) But how does this present a difficulty to such as see from Scripture that others subsequently are to be converted, kept through the tribulation and blessed in the millennial kingdom of the Lord? It is the querist’s system which is at fault, not leaving sufficient room for all the elements, and of course therefore both leading to confusion in the various parts, and presenting a defective result. 1 Cor. 15 presents (and so I may add 1 Thess. 4) our last trump, because the question is of the risen saints; Matt. 24:31, presents, if you will, the last trump of the Jewish saints then scattered over the earth. How does this identify the two, even if the trumpet in Matt. 24 had been styled the last trump, or “his elect,” were called “all the elect,” neither of which is the fact? Is it a contradiction if the historian speaks of the last trump sounding for the tenth legion in Gaul, and of the trumpet gathering the twelfth legion in Syria?
2 Thess. 2:1-12 cautions us against the error of those who confounded the coming of the Lord to gather His saints on high with His day upon the lawless one. The misleaders of the Thessalonian believers sought to alarm them by the false cry that the day of the Lord was already present (ὡς ὅτι ἐνέστηκεν ἡ ἡμέρα τοῦ κυρίου).
This the apostle dispels, first, by a motive of consolation for the heart, as well as, secondly, by an express prophecy. First, he beseeches them, by the coming of the Lord and their gathering together to Him, not to be shaken or troubled by this pretense (for which they feigned a revelation and even a letter of the apostle). The first act of the Lord, bound up with His very presence, is the translation of His own beloved ones to Himself. But, secondly, that day (mark, he does not say the Lord’s παρουσία, but His day) should not come till the full development of the evil which His day is to judge. The mystery of lawlessness is now restrained: when he who hinders its outburst is withdrawn, then shall be revealed the lawless one whom the Lord Jesus will destroy by the breath of His mouth and annul by the appearance of His coming. Observe the striking difference between the terms in verses 1, 8. When it is a question of gathering the saints, the phrase is simply His coming or presence; when it is a question of His day or dealing in judgment with the lawless one, it is the shining forth of His coming—not παρουσία only, but ἐπιφάνεια τῆς παρουσίας αὐτοῦ. The real caution of the chapter would have preserved the querist from an error kindred in principle, though not in form, to that which wrought among the Thessalonians.
We are then to be continually expecting the Lord, apart from either external signs or the final great tribulation, which Scripture connects with others, not with us, after we have been translated to heaven.

Characteristics of Scripture Readings

Question: What are the distinctive characteristics of a meeting of the assembly as such? Should a scripture-reading be regarded in this light? If held statedly in a private house, would 1 Cor. 14:34, 35 or 1 Tim. 2:11, render a question from a female invalid? Where does 1 Cor. 11:5, 13 apply?
Answer: When Christians come together ἐν ἐκκλησιᾳ (i.e., as an assembly), there is an entire openness for such action as the Spirit may direct in prayer and singing, blessing and thanksgiving, reading, speaking (subject of course to the regulations of the Lord in 1 Cor. 14). This is not at all the character of a scripture-reading, whether stated or occasional, at a public meeting-room or in a private house. One point of value in it is to afford an opportunity for questions and explanations which would be out of place in the assembly. The nature of a meeting depends not on the fact of who are present, but on its aim and character. Thus, a lecture or a preaching of the gospel, like a reading-meeting, might have all the saints of a place present; but its own character is quite unaffected by such a circumstance. Nevertheless, a social character is, I think, desirable for a scripture-reading, so as to make it expedient, as well as lawful, for a woman to ask a question, if she wished. There are cases as when many men are present, where nature itself would teach her to prefer silence. 1 Timothy forbids not this, but teaching and the exercise of authority. Prophesying (according to 1 Cor. 11 compared with 1 Cor. 14) was lawful for women, not in the assemblies but at home; where, as I suppose, Philip’s four daughters exercised their gift unobtrusively and with decorum. So too Priscilla, with her husband, helped Apollos in private.

Chief vs. Head in Col. 1:18

Question: Col. 1:18, Head of the body. Is there any ground for deducing from J.N.D.’s French Version, that he by “chef” denied Christ to be “head,” and made Him only “chief”? A.V.
Answer: Those who talk thus have no other ground for their notion, than their own will to lower Christ, along with ignorance of the French language, which treats “tête” in this connection as antique and prefers “chef” in the same sense as its substitute. The real word in the context for “chief” is “first-born,” both in creation (ver. 15), and in new creation (ver. 18). But the word employed by the Spirit of God in this last verse for “head,” “head of the body,” means this and nothing else; and Mr. D. never allowed a thought of anything short of it. Nor could any one familiar with his writings or oral teaching have the least question about it. The indulgence of such baseless speculation, both as to his faith and yet more seriously as to scripture, betrays the spirit of error in opposition to the Spirit of truth.

Christ a Propitiation for the Sins of the Whole World?

Question: 1 John 2:2. Was Christ a propitiation “for the sins of the whole world?” Does John 1:29 teach this? Does 1 Peter 2:24 apply alike to all, believers and unbelievers? W. R. W.
Answer: It cannot be urged too plainly or often that “the sins of” is an interpolation, not only uncalled for, but an addition which goes beyond the truth and is therefore false, as all exaggerations must be. “For our sins” is in pointed distinction. “For the whole world” is ample ground of encouragement for preaching the gospel to those who are still in unbelief, without warranting the dangerous delusion that the sins of the whole world are gone. This would naturally lead to telling every body that he is forgiven, in open opposition to the general warning of scripture to all the unconverted. Hence it is not just to confound this last member of the sentence with 1 Peter 2:24, which rather coalesces with Christ’s being a propitiation for our sins. He was our substitute; when men believe the gospel, we and they can say this of them. But He is a ransom for all, as He is a propitiation for the whole world. John 1:29 goes on to the complete taking away (not “bearing our sins”) of the sin of the world, as will be manifested in the new heavens and new earth, like Heb. 9:26. The sacrifice is already offered and accepted; but all its results are not yet come and enjoyed. It will be applied to the millennial age, and completely in the eternal day. To say that judging “according to works” does not mean “sins” is mere quibbling. The “works” of the unbelievers, of the wicked, are nothing but “sins”; for which, when raised, they will have their part in the lake of fire and brimstone, the second death.

Christ As Head

Question: Eph. 5:23; 1 Cor. 11:3; and Col. 2:10. Christ given as Head to the church over all things is the plain truth of God; but does not Eph. 5:23 convey a different thought? and in what sense are we to understand 1 Cor. 11:3? and Col. 2:10?
W. T.
Answer: It appears to me that there is no sufficient reason to attribute any real difference to Christ’s headship of the church in any scriptures which speak of it. In each passage the great truth is used in a different connection, as to the Ephesians (i. 22, iv. 15, v. 23), but His headship remains the same in all; and so it is in Col. 1:18. And what more glorious for us as members of His body?
This is remarkably confirmed by the statement in Col. 2 For the apostle tells the saints, drawn away to Jewish ordinances and to visionary speculation about angels, that all the completeness of the Godhead dwells in Him, and that we are completed in Him, so that we need nothing creaturely outside Him. And he clenches it against the higher invisible hierarchy, of which we are expressly told so little, that He in whom we are thus complete is the Head of every principality and authority, so as to exclude all erratic flights, and satisfy our souls with Him who is not only our Head but after the incomparable nearness of head and body, which is not true of any other headship.
As to 1 Cor. 11:3, it is clearly relative order only, to correct a breach of decorum according to God; and we read that the Christ is the head of every man (ἀνδρὸς, not (a human being) ἀνθρώπου), but woman’s head is the man, and the Christ’s head God. This is throughout quite outside the church, in which there is neither male nor female. It is the order or respective place for woman in subjection to man, and for Him who in love and for God’s glory became Man, the Firstborn, to God who abode unchanged in divine supremacy.

Christ, Their Constant Theme of Speech?

Question: Heb. 13:7, 8. Does this mean that the faithful leaders here alluded to made Christ their constant theme in their speech one with another as well as with others?
Answer: I do not doubt that so it was with these servants of the Lord, as it should be with all of us who love Him. But this scripture says nothing about it, speaking of two wholly distinct matters. (1) Ver. 7 calls on the Hebrew Christians to remember their guides, who (the which) spoke to them the word of God, revealed truth in general; and to follow their faith, surveying throughout the issue or termination of their career. Their “conversation” in the sense of Christian course was closed. The saints who remembered them would do well to imitate their faith when here. (2) Ver. 8 introduces a new subject: if there be any link with ver. 7, it is contrast with the faithful servants who were gone. “Jesus Christ [is] yesterday and to-day the same, and forever.” He is declared to be, though man, the Unchangeable One. What a safeguard against being carried away by various and strange teachings! Christ truly known satisfies the heart and gives rest to the mind otherwise greedy of novelties. Thus do even the naturally fickle become by grace restful and stable, as they grow up to Him in all things.

Christian Servants and Slaves

Question: 1. Will you kindly reply in the Bible Treasury to the following questions? I feel the subject to be an important one, and shall therefore be glad if you will add your own thoughts respecting it—1. Would the fact of servants not being slaves now, warrant the saying that one could not apply Eph. 6:5 to Christian servants, as they are not in the present day what they were when the apostles wrote?
2. If the exhortations to wives, husbands, &c, flow from not only the relationships but standing brought out in the earlier chapters, can it be true that the relationship of the servant is lost, because he is not a slave? How then can Christian servants in the present day serve the Lord as such; for as far as they are concerned the relationship is supposed not to exist, although that of wives, husbands, children, &c., does?
3. Is the “fear and trembling” there spoken of, used in the sense of fearing wrath or punishment, and trembling in consequence?
4. Is there not ground for watchfulness, lest the spirit that is abroad in the world should manifest itself, in any measure, in the ways of such as serve in our homes or otherwise? And does not the advocacy of such principles tend to unsettle simple minds, and to encourage the insubordination that is so rife in the present day among men?
Yours affectionately, F. W.
Αnswer: 1. The direct answer to the first point is that the Spirit employs the word οἰκέται, “domestics,” in 1 Peter 2:18, which simply means such as compose the household, and in no way refers to bondage or slavery. But these servants or domestics are exhorted to as thorough subjection as the Christian slaves in Ephesians, Colossians, or 1 Timothy.
No man can weigh the force of the Holy Ghost’s appeal without feeling how deeply God’s glory is concerned in their honoring their masters, be they ever so untoward. 1 Tim. 6:2 shows how they are to fool and act if their masters were brethren, as the verses which follow express the Holy Ghost’s strong denunciation of such misguided souls as venture to teach otherwise, turning the Lord’s grace to the worst pride and rebelliousness.
2. But even if the care of God had not provided such an answer, what could be more ungrateful and base than to avail oneself of the mitigation of circumstances as to modern servants to deny their duty to their masters? The truth is that the ideas of liberty in these days have modified greatly the state of husbands and wives, parents and children, scarcely less than that of masters and servants; but as surely as the relations subsist, the duty abides for each and all.
3. I should refer to Philippians Cor. 2, &c. to show that we ought not to lower “fear and trembling” to mere dread, of punishment, but view it rather as sense of weakness with that of solemn responsibility before God.
4. There can be no doubt that we have all to watch against the spirit of the age, lest we might be infected by it; the more because we may be unconscious of its evil and of our own dangerous nearness to it. There is a desire at work among men to burst all barriers and level whatever either checks men or is above them. Christ’s servants have therefore in particular to be on their guard, if they would walk with God in holy separateness from that which characterizes the world, and will more and more till the day of the Lord.

Christians Excluded From Inheritance, Though Saved?

Question: Does not 1 Cor. 6:9 with many like scriptures warrant the inference that Christians who fail in faith or fidelity will be excluded from inheriting the kingdom of God, though saved at the end from the second death? MATHETES.
Answer: In no way is this true, but wholly opposed to the mind of God in His word, and productive of nothing but confusion like any other serious error. On the face of this text itself, how can any taught of God allow that one born of the Spirit is to be classed among the ἄδικοι or unrighteous? Compare also the rest of the verse and the following verses, where not failure in a believer is in question, but unqualifiedly wicked characters are denounced, with the very different statement that “such were some of you, but ye were washed, but ye were sanctified, but ye were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” Take one of the strongest apparently for such a construction, Luke 12:45, 46, “But if that bondman should say in his heart, My lord delayeth to come, and begins” &c. We may see from the corresponding parable in Matt. 24:48 that it is no case of a believer excluded but of an “evil” servant, a hypocrite. Nor indeed need we travel beyond the further words of Luke to arrive at the same fact; for his lord is said to cut him in twain and appoint his portion with the faithless (ἀπίστων). Rill the Lord so deal with any born of God? It is indeed a far other lot than missing the reign though blessed for eternity, a portion assigned to not a single Christian in a single scripture. That the language of our Lord, and also of the apostle in this Epistle and elsewhere, implies it of professing Christians is true and solemn. “That bondman,” in fact, seems expressly intended to warn of this tremendous issue.
But Christians in the genuine sense, as the query supposes, stand on other ground. If they discerned themselves, they should not be judged. If they grow careless in self-judgment, the Lord does not fail to deal with them. Yet when judged in this way, they are chastened by the Lord, that they should not be condemned with the world, as say the scriptures in the text queried. The doctrine behind the query is wholly false and evil.

Christian's Sinning - Forgiveness, Confession, and Intercession

Question: Do not the Epistles of John clearly prove that a Christian does not live without sinning, and that when he sins he ought to confess his sin to God?
2. How does our being forgiven if we confess our sins (1 John 1:9) agree with 1 John 2:12, which says, “I write unto you because your sins are forgiven you,” and many other similar passages?
3. Does the forgiveness or confession imply that we then have the fruit of forgiveness in restored communion? or more than this? or something different from this?
4. Does the passage, “He that is clean needeth not save to wash his feet,” throw any light on the forgiveness of those already saved?
5. Is the prayer of our Lord’s—that Peter’s faith fail not—an instance of His intercession?
6. Is there any relation between our confession of sins, and the Lord’s intercession for us?
7. What is the nature of Christ’s intercession? Is it asking God to forgive us, (and, if so, how does this harmonize with our being now forgiven,) or asking for restored communion, or what? Is John 17 an instance of intercession?
8. To what and when does John 16:25-27 refer? “At that day ye shall ask in my name, and I say not unto you that I will pray the Father for you, for the Father himself loveth you.”
9. In Christ’s being able to save us from our sin, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for us, is it, “save us from our sins eternally,” or “save us from all the dangers of the way—to the end?” And what has intercession to do with it?
10. Is there any connection between Christ being our Intercessor and Satan being our accuser, seeing (from Job) that Satan has access to the presence of God?
11. What is the meaning of Christ being our Advocate? (1 John 1.) Is it in the sense of pleader, or more as a friend at court?’ (It has been translated “Patron.”) It is connected with “if any man sin.”
Answer: I do not think 1 John supposes that a Christian does not live without sinning. It shows that a holy provision is made for him, in case he does. It declares he cannot say he has no sin, but sinning is put in the past. James, however, declares de facto we all offend in many things.
2. 1 John 1:9, speaks neither of the time of our conversion, nor of our failures after it. Like John’s usual statements, it is abstract confession, which, and which alone, is true integrity of heart, and actual forgiveness goes together. We are personally forgiven all trespasses, and stand abidingly in the power of that forgiveness, so that nothing is imputed to us personally (that is so as to put our persons out of grace). There is the present grace wherein we stand. But as regards the government of God it is another matter. Then I read, “If he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.” Hence we are to pray for those who have sinned not unto death, to confess our faults one to another, and to pray one for another. Hence in its place the Church, and Paul in his, could forgive sins, as we read in Corinthians. There was a binding in heaven of what was bound on earth, and a loosing in heaven of what was loosed on earth. So, when at Paul’s first answer all men forsook him, he prayed that this might not be laid to their charge.
3. The Lord’s warnings to His disciples that, if they did not forgive, they would not be forgiven, equally apply. It is not a question of justification with the believer, but of present relationship in divine favor, which some seem to forget altogether. It is not merely that we have the fruit of forgiveness in restored communion, though that be true, but the positive present aspect of God, as a governor in relationship with him, He its displeased with certain things, may cause me to die through His displeasure, if I do not judge myself—has done so, as we learn in Scripture, both historically and doctrinally.
4. The passage in John 13 (as does indeed the red heifer) shows distinctly the way of cleansing when a man has defiled himself in his walk. He is cleansed by the washing of regeneration once for all, but needs to wash his feet and must have them washed. And this it is which carries up, farther than mere discipline, the forgiveness of the Church. We are to wash one another’s feet, but we need this washing in its place to have a part with Christ. God takes care we shall be clean, but we must be clean to be with Him, not by renewed blood-sprinkling in respect of imputation, but by washing the feet with water, that we may have truth in the inward parts with Him, and have no defilement of walk on us.
5. I do not know what the question as to Christ’s prayer means. It was intercession. The character of intercession may be different now that He is on high, and refer to a different standing in which we are, but praying for him was intercession.
6. The Lord’s intercession for us produces, as its result, the fruits of grace, of which confession is the fruit in every honest heart.
7. Christ’s intercession is to make good our present state in conformity with the place justifying forgiveness has placed us in. It is founded on ‘righteous’ and ‘propitiation.’ These being perfect, our faults, (instead of bringing imputation, or being allowed to harden the heart and produce falseness in the conscience,) call out His advocacy and the soul is restored. Forgiveness in the absolute sense is righteousness, as regards clearance from all imputation of sins of the old man, but in Christ, we being in heavenly places according to God’s righteousness, everything inconsistent with our relationship to God as brought there is a just cause of God’s actual displeasure. God is not mocked; but Christ intercedes for us, and, by that which rests on righteousness and propitiation, the fault becomes the occasion of instruction and a deepened work and state in us. Now, for every true saint, this present condition of our souls with God is the capital thing, founded on the fact that he is reconciled to God, and accepted perfectly in His presence in righteousness. It is being thus in His presence which is the ground of all present relationship with God. God’s character is not changed because we are brought perfectly near Him, but that character acts on our conscience, and forms it. We walk in the light as He is in the light; and if we do not walk according to the light, we find it out, because we are in the light; and to this effect Christ’s advocacy comes in, We know God’s displeasure against sin. I do not talk of imputation. I say it is displeasure against sin; and if we have sinned, apprehend that in the light. It is not merely loss of communion, but knowledge of God’s displeasure with the thing. If we do not walk with God, we have not the testimony that we please God, but displease Him. “The righteous Lord loveth righteousness.” Christ’s intercession does not lead to forgiveness, (as to imputation, it is founded on the removal of that,) but regards God’s nature and character and our present actual relationship with that. By reason of righteousness and propitiation sin calls out (not satisfaction in us with non-imputation, that is hardness and sin, but) the advocacy of Christ. Sin is taken notice of, estimated as an evil in God’s sight, in my soul, but in grace, not in God’s favor, however, as simple non-imputation, but in Christ’s advocacy active about it, so that my feet are washed. Filth is there: neither I nor God are content—not I, when His word searches my heart. He is displeased when He sees it, and as to my present relationship He does see it. Ananias and Sapphira lied to the Holy Ghost—to God—and God knew it, and was displeased with it; those who profaned the Lord’s Supper the same. The discipline exercised was only the expression of it, but it was exercised because of the displeasure. Judging ourselves, we should escape this. Godly sorrow works repentance. Are we to repent and not to be forgiven? Nor rejoice in having it? For this, we must confess. It is absolutely stated, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us.” If my feet are defiled, they are not cleansed till they are washed. Christ’s intercession is the proper means of this. If any one sin, we have an advocate.
8. The meaning of John 6:25-27 is this. Up to that, they had never gone directly to the Father, nor in Christ’s name. But as Martha said, “What thou wilt ask of God, He will do it.” Now He puts them in direct relationship with the Father, not as if He was to go instead of them and He only could, as Martha said. In His name they were to go themselves direct to the Father. That was when in gracious desires or wants they had to look for something. It has nothing to do with when they had sinned and got away from God in their hearts. Christ’s interceding for them is unasked. We do not ask Christ to intercede. He is an advocate through His own grace when we have sinned, not when we ask. I return to the Father in confession, because He has asked. when I went astray; as Peter wept because He had prayed for him, not that He prayed for him because he wept, or looked up at Him. What Christ says is, they should not be asking Him about anything, but go directly to the Father: that is the contrast; not with intercession, when we have sinned or need grace and do not know it.
9. It is not said, as supposed, Christ is able to save us from our sin, because He ever liveth. But He carries through all the snares, difficulties, dangers of the way, and Satan’s power; restoring our souls if we have failed; grace to help in time of need, as well as restoration, because He ever lives to make intercession for us—is on high immutably to carry on our cause. For we go through the conflict of good and evil, and have to overcome, though nothing is imputed and we are sure to be kept to the end; but we need to be kept. He will deliver us from every evil work and preserve us to His heavenly kingdom, but we must be delivered.
10. The book of Job gives us a full account of the case in its operation in man, without reference to any dispensation whatever.
He was a godly man, none like him—God saw defect in him. Satan appears on God’s speaking of him as his accuser. God withdraws not His eyes from the righteous. He deals not first here with outward sin but inward working of ignorance of self, and then its breaking out through God’s ways into actual sin; so that it got out, when brought into God’s presence, as a detected thing into Job’s conscience. The effect of the revelation of God’s presence is, first, submission, and then confession. “I abhor myself, I have spoken foolishly, and repent in dust and ashes.” And God restores him to full blessing. Elihu interprets these ways. These words are interpreted—one among a thousand to show unto man His uprightness. Job was not upright in the full, true sense of it; there was not truth in his inward parts, though till he cursed his day there was no outward sin, till he abhorred himself and said so, i. e., made confession. Then his flesh became purer than a child’s again. What we have to add is this: Christ’s advocacy, founded on known righteousness and accomplished propitiation, carries on the administration of this for us in heaven, where we have to be in spirit with God. Such a high priest became us. Next, below, the Church in its ministrations and acts ought to be an interpreter, and deal with the conscience, and administratively wash the feet here below. An individual may be by grace, the Church, (2 Corinthians,) elders, (James,) individuals, (1 John). At any rate, in faithful grace, the Holy Ghost by the word so deals with us. The result is always confession, certainly to God, it may be to man. There is no uprightness without this. If I have sin, know it, and come to God to commune with Him, as if I had none, I am in that a hypocrite— hiding iniquity in my heart. We see here when the accuser comes in. He is the accuser of the brethren.
11. The advocate is one who manages our affairs and carries on our cause. It has been said “patron,” in a Roman sense; because he supplied the need of his clients—was bound to plead their cause and case for them.

Christ's Blood Literally Presented in Heaven?

Question: Heb. 9:12. Can it be that this warrants, as I have heard it said, that Christ’s blood is literally presented in heaven, and would be seen by us when with Him in glory? F.C.G.
Answer: The notion, utterly baseless and revolting, shows the danger of speculation by going beyond the N.T. and literalizing the O.T. shadow. It should be met with, not discussion but rebuke.

Christ's Entrance Into Heaven When He Died, Not on His Ascension?

Question: Is it true that Heb. 4:14; 9:11, 12 speak of Christ’s entrance into heaven when He died, not on His ascension? R. T.
Answer: It is pure assumption, in order to scrape an appearance of evidence for the strange and unsound doctrine of propitiation made by Christ, not through the blood of His cross, but by His subsequent action as a separate spirit in heaven, by an unintelligent misuse of the types. Hence the pretense that Heb. 4:14 and 9:11, 12 refer to His entrance on death as priest! whereas other passages in the Epistle speak of His entrance on ascension as Man! Whosoever is bold enough to draw such a line is on every principle of truth bound to prove his assertion. Those who deny it, as almost if not all believers hitherto, stand on the common character thus far of Heb. 1:3; 6:20; 8:1; 9:24; 10:12; 12:2 with the two texts in question. No one denies the Lord’s presence in Paradise immediately after death; no sober Christian has ever confounded this with His entrance after ascension on priestly function. Indeed one of the two texts even maintains beyond cavil Christ’s entrance once for all into the sanctuary, having obtained eternal redemption. This is the sole entrance which the Epistle contemplates or allows: if any one disputes this, let him try to give an adequate proof. Dean Alford’s argument for simultaneity here is at issue with the doctrine of the Epistle. Indeed, ingenious as he was, he is unreliable often for orthodoxy. And as to Greek, think of a scholar comparing ἀποκριθεὶς εῖπε and similar cases with εἰσῆλθεν ἐφάπαξ..., αἰ. λ. εὑράμενος! The rendering of the A. and R. Vv., Green, Davidson, &c., is alone tenable: so the Vulgate, &c.

Christ's Priesthood

Question: 1. Is the similitude of Christ’s service in heaven after the order of Melchisedec or after the order of Aaron?
2. If Christ’s priesthood is solely of the Melchisedec order, how can it be Aaronic in its character?
3. The Aaronic service, presented in the Hebrews, is it solely a contrast, or is it also a similitude of the Lord Jesus Christ? O. P.
Answer: 1. We are expressly taught in Scripture that Christ is “called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.” (Heb. 5; 6) Nay more, we read in Heb. 7:11 of another priest that should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron. But, observe, it is here a question of order, not of exercise There was one undying Priest, not a succession. Hence, When the exercise of priesthood is in question, the pattern of Aaron is employed, not of Melchisedec. That is, there is a sanctuary, and intercession within the veil, founded on the shedding of blood, not the bringing out bread and wine to the conqueror over the previously triumphant kings of the earth. The Melchisedec priesthood will be exercised in the millennium.
3. There is contrast as well as resemblance traced in Heb. 5-10; for the Aaronic priest, like the rest of the Levitical institute, was the shadow and not the image itself of the things set forth.

Christ's Session on the Father's Throne

Question: Is it true, as Canon Faussett says, that “Christ as the Son of God never gives up His session on the Father’s throne”? X.
Answer: That Canon F. believes Christ will come again, we are assured. It is indeed the common creed of Christendom. This means that Christ will cease to sit at God’s right hand, and on the Father’s throne, in order to sit on His own throne. The divine intimation which tells us that He, the risen Man, sits there, tells us that He will leave it to tread down, and rule in the midst of, His enemies. His friends will then reign along with Him. When all things have been subjected to Him, then He delivers up the kingdom which is given Him for that purpose, that God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) may be all in all. This is the eternal state, the new heaven and new earth (not in the incipient or millennial sense, but) fully and finally, all evil having been judged. But the coming of the Lord is not at the epoch of sitting on the great white throne which follows the millennium; for the earth and the heavens will then have fled, and no place be found for them. His coming, or rather appearing, the second time, is where He came and appeared the first time; and, therefore, as Rev. 19 and many other scriptures show, before the millennium begins. Of course the Father’s throne will be left before taking His own throne.

"Church" or "Assembly" in Acts 7:38

Question: Acts 7:38.—Is the word “church” right here?
Answer: Certainly not, if the reader thereby gathers “the Church of God” as unfolded variously in the Epistles to the Corinthians, Ephesians, and Colossians. The meaning is clearly the assembly of Israel in the wilderness. Hence “assembly” or “congregation” would be a better rendering, as avoiding ambiguity and leaving the reader to infer from the context what assembly is meant. The word itself is capable of other applications, as in Acts 19, where it is applied to the meeting of the Ephesians. It is technically used in Greek authors for the legislative assembly to which the citizens belonged.

Citation of Jeremiah or Zechariah?

Question: Matt. 27:9. Why does Matthew here quote the prophecy as Jeremiah, when it is really Zechariah?
A Christian Friend.
Answer: The difficulty is due to the Jewish manner of citation, felt by many friends of inspiration and often pressed by adversaries. But it is remarkable that R. Isaac Chizzuk Emuna, in his determined assault on Matthew’s credit, finds no objection to the use of Jeremiah’s name instead of Zechariah’s in this place. Yet it is almost incredible that he could have overlooked so obvious a peculiarity if he had regarded it as a fault, as he does object to Matthew’s application of this prophecy to the Messiah, but not to his method of citing which to us westerns is apt to look strange. Hence the just inference appears to be that this learned Jew knew that such a form of citation was even more characteristically Jewish (and therefore appropriate in Matthew) than the more simple and precise mention of the particular prophet in question.
The true point then is the principle on which the inspired writer thus cited. The imputation that he did not know the very palpable fact that the passage used was in Zechariah is even on human grounds absurd; for the evangelist abounds in the most profound and accurate use of the Old Testament throughout, and hence cannot fairly lie open to the charge of such a blunder as would be unworthy of an intelligent Sunday scholar.
Now it appears from a great Rabbinical authority (T. Bava Bathra, fol. 14, 2) that Jeremiah stood as a beginning and title to the later prophets, Joshua to the earlier, as contradistinguished from the law and the Chetubim. Hence a citation from the later prophets (or what we should call the prophets) might well be made under the name of Jeremiah, no matter which was quoted in particular; especially as it appears from Sepher Hagilgulim (according to Surenhusius) that it was a common saying among the Jews that the spirit of Jeremiah was in Zechariah. It is a familiar fact attested by our Lord in the New Testament that the Old Testament was divided into the law, the psalms, and the prophets, which latter we have seen subdivided in the manner already described.
So the best copies of Mark 1:2 read (not in the prophets, but) “in the prophet Isaiah,” though two passages are cited, the latter of which only is Isaiah’s, the former from Malachi. This may show how differently from us the Jews quoted. But ignorance or error is out of the question: they really attach to translators and copyists who tried to amend the true reading in some Greek copies and ancient versions of both these scriptures. It is the best wisdom and the simplest faith to accept scripture in its most accurate form in spite of difficulties, which the Spirit of God wilt enable us to solve if for His glory. But were the difficulties more and greater, could we not trust Him?

The Close of Mark

Question: Is the close, of Mark (ch. 16:9 to the end) authentic and genuine?
Answer: Having long since protested against those who treat this most interesting passage, and the beginning of John 8 with Suspicion, I proceed to state my reasons, passing over the disputed portion in John, which: has already been well defended in another place by another hand.
Even Dean Alford, who certainly does not err on the side of credulity, admits that the authority of the close of Mark is hardly to be doubted. Eusebius, and the Vat. and Sin. MSS., omit it; and several others note its absence in certain copies, but generally add, that it appears in the oldest and best. All else of the Greek MSS., all the Evangelistaria, all the Versions (except the Roman edition of the Arabic), and a large proportion of the earliest and most trustworthy Fathers are allowed to be in its favor. Lachmann, in spite of his notorious tendency to follow the very slips of the most ancient copies, edits the entire section without hesitation.
In his notes the Dean urges that the passage is irreconcilable with the other gospels, and is disconnected with what goes before; and that no less than twenty-one words and expressions occur in it (some of them repeatedly) which are never elsewhere used by Mark, whose adherence to his own phrases is remarkable, and that consequently, the internal evidence is very weighty against his authorship. That is, he believes it to be an authentic addition by another hand.
Before examining these criticisms, I must object to a reasoning which affirms or allows that to be scripture which is irreconcilable with other scriptures. If its authority be clear, every believer will feel that, with or without difficulties, all must be really harmonious. For God cannot err.
But, it is said, the diction and construction differ from the rest of the Gospel. Did the Dean or those who think with him adequately weigh the new and extraordinary circumstances which had to be recorded? In such a case strange words and phrases would be natural if Mark wrote (nor does he by any means want ἅπαξ λεγόμενα elsewhere); whereas, a supplementer, adding to Mark, would as probably have rigidly copied the language and manner of the Evangelist.
Πρώτῃ σαβ. (ver. 9) is alleged to be unusual. Doubtless; yet, of the two, it is less Hebraistic than τῆς μιᾶς. (ver. 2), and each might help the other to a Gentile or a Roman ear. And, so far from being stumbled by the way Mary Magdalene is mentioned here, there seems to me much force in Jesus appearing first to her out of whom he had cast seven devils. Who so suitable first to see Him and hear from Himself the tidings of His resurrection, Who through death annuls him who had the power of death, that is, the devil? As to the absolute use of the pronoun in 11, 12, is it not enough that the occasion here required what was needless elsewhere? If πορεν is found only in 10, 12, and 15, it is because the simple word best expressed what the Holy Ghost designed to say, whereas elsewhere the evangelist employed its compounds in order to convey the more graphically what was there wanted. Thus, he uses εἰσπορ. eight times, while Matthew, in his much larger account, has it but once. Is this the least ground for questioning Matt. 15:17? So, again, Mark has παραπορ in four different chapters, Matthew once only (27:9), Luke and John not at all. Leaving these trivial points, the phrase τοῖς μετ’αὐτοῦ is to me an argument for, rather than against, Mark’s authorship. Compare with it chap1:36; 3:14; and 5:40. As to ἐθεάθη ὑπ’αὐτῆς and its difference from τοῖς θ. αὐτόν, the answer is, that the word is most appropriate here and uncalled for in other places, and if the difference prove anything, it would show two hands instead of one supplementing Mark’s narrative! Thus, for instance, the same verb occurs but once in all the Epistles of Paul: are we therefore, to suspect Rom 15? Matthew has θεωρέω only twice; are we for a score of such reasons as these to speculate that “another hand” added Matt. 27 and 28?
As to reiterated mention of unbelief and the Lord’s upbraiding the eleven with it, what more instructive, or in better keeping with the scope of the context and of the Gospel? It was wholesome for those who were about to preach to others to learn what their own hearts were, and the Lord in His own ministry sets them right before announcing, their great commission. Even if we only look at the word ἀπιστία, it occurs in Mark 6:6; 9:24. If the verb is found only in chap. 16:11, 16, what more marvelous than Luke’s having it only in his last chapter (ver. 11, 41), and never once using the substantive either in the Gospel or in the Acts of the Apostles? It is true that μετὰ τ.. and ὕστερον are found in no other passage of Mark, but his customary precision may be one reason why the former is not more common; and the latter occurs once only in Luke and John. It is confessed that τὸ εὐαγ. π. τῇ κτίσει is in Mark’s style. The fact is, neither of the later Gospels contains the noun day. and Matthew always qualifies it as “the gospel of the kingdom,” or “this gospel;” whereas, whether or not Mark has the qualified phrases in chap. 1:14 and 14: 9 (for MSS. etc. differ), he repeatedly has “the gospel” elsewhere, as chap. 1:15; 8:35; 10:29; 13:10. This, then, affords no slight presumption that the passage is the genuine production of Mark, as well as authentic.
Παρακολ. in 17, ἐπακολ. in 20, occur nowhere else in Mark, and that for the best of reasons; the accuracy which the compounded forms impart was demanded here, and not before, where the simple form sufficed. And this is the less surprising, inasmuch as the former appears only in Luke’s preface, and the latter nowhere else, as far as the four evangelists are concerned.
As to the singularity of καλῶς ἔξουσιν, what simpler, seeing that this promise (as well as that about the new tongues, serpents, etc.) is revealed here only, and was unquestionably Verified in the subsequent history? It is the natural converse of a common scriptural designation for the sick οἱ κακῶς ἔχοωτες; and if the occurrence of ἄῤῤωστος should be here objected to, the reader may find it twice already in Mark 6, while Matthew and Paul use it each only once.
Only one further objection remains worth noticing, the use of kύπιος in 19, 20. In Mark 11:3, I suppose it is equivalent to Jehovah, and at any rate I would not press this as in point. But the absence of such a title before seems to me a beauty, not a blemish, in Mark, whose business was to exhibit the service of Jesus. But now that God had vindicated His rejected Servant by the resurrection, now that He had made Him both “Lord” and Christ, what more natural, or even necessary, than that the same Gospel which had hitherto traced Him as the Servant, Son of God, should make Him now known as “the Lord?” But this is not all. The Lord had uttered His charge to those who were, at His bidding, to replace Him as servants, and in a world-wide sphere; He was received up to heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. Now it was Mark’s place, and only Mark’s to add that, while they went forth and preached everywhere, the Lord was working with them. Jesus, even as the Lord, is, if I may so say, servant still. Glorious truth! And whose hand so suited to record it as his who proved by sad experience how hard it is to be a faithful servant; but who proved also that the grace of the Lord is sufficient to restore and strengthen the feeblest? (Compare Acts 13:13; 15:38; Col. 4:10; 2 Tim. 4:11.)
There is no doubt of the fact that this section had its present place in the second century, i.e., before any existing witness which omits it or questions its authorship. And even Tregelles, notoriously subservient as he was to favorite voices of antiquity and to points of detail, owns that the very difficulties it contains (exaggerated as I have shown them to be) afford a strong presumption in its favor. Thought and expression point to Mark only. It is therefore genuine, as well as authentic.

Closing Verses of Ecclesiastes 4, Particularly "The Second Child That Shall Stand Up in His Stead"?

Question: What is the meaning of the closing verses in Eccl. 4? More particularly, who, or what, is “the second child that shall stand up in his stead?” The R.V. does not seem clearer than the A.V.
Answer: From the sorrow and trial of isolation in this world, the royal preacher turns to the wretchedness of despising counsel, on the one hand, and to the vanity of reckoning on the stable loyalty of the multitude on the other: men worship the rising sun. The R.V. is more forcible here. “Better is a poor and wise youth than an old and foolish king who knoweth not how to receive admonition any more. For out of prison he came forth to be king; yea, even in his kingdom he was born poor.” Such an one who from such a low origin came to the greatest height of earthly dignity ought of all men to take heed when old, and to watch against self-will so natural in his circumstances. “I saw all the living which walk under the sun that they were with the youth, the second that stood up in his stead. There was no end of all the people, even of all them over whom he was; yet they that come after shall not rejoice in him.” The youth, “the second,” is so in relation to the old king become unpopular (not the second of two youths). The first was the father who was raised to the throne; the second, his son that followed. Men grow weary of each in turn. Surely this also is vanity and a feeding on wind (or striving after it).

Colored Coverings of the Holy Vessels

Question: Num. 4—What is the general idea of the colored coverings of the holy vessels? B. A.
Answer: We have three colors; blue or rather bluish purple תְּבֵלת than which was on the table, the candlestick, and the golden altar; תּוֹלַעַת scarlet or crimson on the loaves; and אַרְגָּמָו reddish purple on the brazen altar. All relate to the person of Christ or the display of what He is. The first appears to be that which was heavenly or the divine in man. The table shows divine righteousness in character, the base of human order and administration; so the candlestick with its spiritual perfection; and the altar giving us intercession within. All on the journey were thus covered. What we know of them has this character in going through the wilderness. The loaves were covered with scarlet, that is, displayed royalty in perfect administration itself. So over the ark there was first the vail, Christ’s human nature, then guarded on the earth in spotlessness untainted by the badger skin; and the result was the heavenly or divine in man manifested here. The reddish purple answers to the brazen altar of sacrifice and points to the more heavenly royalty, the One exalted as the consequence of self-sacrifice to God. It is Lordship glory or reign, but not so much displayed from heaven and displaying it as brought there in answer to suffering. It was more as conferred on man than displayed in him, though it will be displayed. The transfiguration displayed it, not the lowly Savior.

Colossians 1:23 - "Every Creature"

Question: Col. 1:23: “the gospel, which was preached to every creature which is under heaven.” What is the meaning? Does “every creature” include North American Indians and South Sea Islanders?
P. H. D.
Answer: The universality of its witness is meant in the then known world, “in all creation that is under heaven.” Compare ver. 6 for its fruit-bearing and growth, as also Mark 16:15 for the Lord’s commission. The word “creation” is not that used for each individual creature, but for creation in an abstract way; and this is confirmed in Col. 1:23 by the absence of the article, so that there is no assertion of the Red Indian or of the South Sea Islander. Yet had it been proclaimed as a fact then, as Christ’s bondmen had gone forth and preached everywhere in all the world as then known. So Mark 16:20 testifies.

Coming for or with His Saints?

Question: 1 Cor. 4:5. Does this verse refer to the Lord’s coming for or with His saints? M.
Answer: The Lord comes and receives the saints to Himself for the Father’s house. As the last act before the marriage Supper (Rev. 19), the bride gets herself ready; which appears to point to that manifestation of the glorified before Christ’s bema or judgment-seat, as the result of which each shall receive according to what he did by the body as an instrument. Then follows, after the bridal supper, the appearing before the world.

"Coming of Prophecy" and Meaning of Verse?

Question: What is the proper force of γίνεται in 2 Peter 1:20? Is it true that the verse refers to the coming of prophecy, whence it draws its origin, rather than how its meaning is to be interpreted? Is it true of all prophecy alike (for example, 1 Tim. 4:4) that it is not of self-interpretation?
Answer: I take prophecy in this passage to mean the subject matter of the prophecy when the actual declaration of the mind of God in the revelation made to the mind of the prophet is given, which is the force of ἐπιλύσεως. But this cannot be gathered like the words of an oracle merely from the words not carried on beyond their own force on the subject of which the utterance speaks. Coming from the Holy Ghost; the words are a part of the great scheme of God with His ends always in view. Hence I apprehend prophecy of scripture. A particular prophecy may be recorded in scripture, not in the sense of a prophecy of scripture. Thus when Pharaoh’s servants dreamed it was not a prophecy of scripture. Joseph gave the ἐπίλυσις (the word used in Aquila), and they were as thus interpreted a prophecy of the fall of the two servants; but could not come under the character of prophecies of scripture. They ended through bringing about God’s purpose as to Joseph in diverse fate of the two servants. In prophecies of scripture the Holy Ghost gives as from one mind, though partially revealed what is in that one mind, what is a link in the chain of all the counsels and purposes of God. Τινεται is practically tantamount to ἐστι. Still there is more thought of result. The prophecy (that is, the mind of God in what is said) does not derive its being from a particular interpretation of an isolated communication, like the servants’ dreams.
Prophecy among the heathen was not in the proper sense of the word the revelation itself, but the carmen which expressed the god’s mind. That is, it expressed the import of the revelation as expressed in the language into which it was put for the inquirer; only, as the word of God, He took care that the communication should be as divine as the revelation. (1 Cor. 2:13; 2 Peter 1:21.)
So I should not call Agabus’ prophecy a prophecy of scripture, though it be more connected indeed with the scheme of God in Christianity. Thus the prophets sought what the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand, and the prophecy to έπιλελυμμένη gave the mind of God as to its place in the divine plans. Prophecy is not properly the revelation of the thing to the prophet, but the communication of it by the prophet as the Holy Ghost moved him to speak. This, when a prophecy of scripture, was not an isolated communication which began and ended in itself in what it had to tell. Ιδία ἐπίλυσις does not characterize a scripture prophecy.

The Coming of the Lord

Question: Can the Parousia (Coming in Person) of the Lord be separated from His Epiphaneia (shining upon); or from His Apokalupsis (Revelation)?
Answer: Without doubt, the first is distinct in character and even in time, if scripture is to decide, as it surely ought. Add two other words, Hemera (day) and Phanerosis (manifestation), to give a substantival form to the verb often used in this connection. For the truth is that “coming” or “presence” (π.) as applied to the future of our Lord does not involve display, unless modified by other links such as “Son of Man,” (as in Matt. 24:27, 37, 39), or by a term which openly adds it (as in 2 Thess. 2:8), or by facts like 1 Thess. 3:13. These accompaniments unquestionably intimate not “presence” only, but its display. Now such texts as 1 Cor. 16:17; 2 Cor. 7:6, 7; 2 Cor. 10:10; Phil. 1:26; 2:12; as well as the 2 Thess. 2:9, simply prove the general fact of a personal arrival or presence; and 2 Peter 3:12 is not exactly our Lord’s own coming, but that “of the day of God,” though no doubt our Lord will then have come also.
It is not contested that Parousia is applied very frequently to our Lord’s coming again, as in both Epistles to the Thessalonians, in the First to the Corinthians, and in those of James, Peter, and John. And all admit that Epiphaneia means “appearing” (as it should be in 2 Thess. 2:8), and apkoolupsis “revelation,” both applied often to the manifestation of the Lord, like φανερόω, in His “day.” But how do these scriptures prove to a demonstration that Parousia is not distinct in character as well as time from the words indicating display? Mr. B. assumes, but never even approaches, the proof. He marshalls the various occurrences, and forthwith states his conclusion without a reason. What is the worth of this?
The intelligent reader sees that, where grace is in question, the coming, or presence, of the Lord is set out; where responsibility and its results, it is “the appearing,” “day,” &c. This disposes of Mr. B.’s first effort at an argument in p. 15, whilst the revelation of Christ will still be the full favor of the saints in its display. Instead of confounding Christ’s Parousia and the connected gathering of the saints unto Him in 2 Thess. 2:1 with the Epiphany of His Parousia which annuls “the man of sin,” the pointed difference of the phrase ought to have led him to distinguish them, If His coming to gather the saints together to Himself were necessarily visible, where is the force of adding the appearing of His coming when it is a question of destroying the antichrist? But there is much more when we take in the light afforded by the second verse, and the context generally. For the error which the Thessalonian misleader taught was that “the day of the Lord was actually present.” This the apostle dissipates, first, by beseeching them by, or for the sake of, the Lord’s coming (παρουσία) and our gathering together unto Him; secondly, by the declaration that that day was not to be unless the apostasy first came and the man of sin were revealed, whereas a hinderer acted as yet till he should go. Mr. B.’s confusion not only makes the added epiphaneia meaningless, if Parousia in itself is a display, but it renders the motive, urged in ver. 1 against the delusion of ver. 2, not only powerless but unintelligible. For if the Lord’s coming and His day coalesce, as they do absolutely in Mr. B.’s view, there is no sense in the passage; whereas to recall the saints to their hope was calculated to guard thorn from the false rumor that the day had set in. Then we have the plain disproof that follows: the cup of Christendom’s iniquity was not yet full, as it must be before the Lord Jesus judges it (not at His coming, but) at the appearing of His coming. What he calls “the secret rapture” deserves to fall, if assumption, and arguments like these, dispose of it completely.
Mr. B. has to learn that Matt. 24, 25 is a large prophecy, which deals with the Jews first, with Christendom in the central parables, and finally with all the Gentiles alive in that day. Hence “Son of man” (Christ’s judicial title) is. His title with the Jews and the Gentiles, but disappears in the part that relates to the Christian profession. The critics (Tregelles, like the rest) little knew the service they were rendering to the truth in striking out the spurious clause at the end of chap. 25:13. The Parousia, of the Son of Man is judicial for the earth; the Parousia in 1. Cor. xv. 23 is to raise the saints that sleep for heaven, though all admit they will be manifested with Him in glory at that day. Mr. B. also ignores the fact that the “shout” of the Lord in 1 Thess. 4 is a word, quite peculiar and of special relationship, as of an admiral to his sea-men, or of a general to his soldiers. There would be no propriety in employing such a word if it were a shout for everybody. It is no question of shaking earth and heaven, though this will be also; and it is amazing to see Psa. 1:4, 5; Jer. 25:30; Hos. 11:10; and Rev. 1:7 classed with so wholly different an aim. Those that come out of the great tribulation in Rev. 12 are expressly distinguished from the elders and the four living creatures, who symbolize (one or both) the saints seen glorified in heaven from Rev. 4 and onward. And Rev. 20:4, in the grand description of those saints who share the First Resurrection, gives three classes; those already enthroned (embracing the O. T. saints, and the church), who followed Christ net. of heaven; the early Apocalyptic sufferers (Rev. 6:9); and their brethren who were to be killed as they, after the Beast and the False Prophet ravaged beyond example, as we see also in Dan. 7. “The Consummation of the age,” in Matt. 13, is not an epoch, but a period or season, in which distinct operations take place, beginning with the severing of the darnel and the gathering from the field of the wheat, and ending with the horning of the darnel, the lawless ones, when the righteous shall shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father, that is, in the heavenly sphere which sovereign grace gave them to share with Christ. The just application of Luke 21:25-36 will be manifest from the context, and is in perfect accordance with the title of the Son of Man seen coming in a cloud with power and great glory. If we fail to distinguish things that differ, only confusion and error can ensue.

Comma After "Through Faith" in Romans 3:25

Question: Rom. 3:25. Is the R.V. grammatically correct in putting a comma after “through faith” instead of reading “through faith in his blood” as in our Authorized Version? H. N.
Answer: Amongst the innumerable editions of the Greek Testament from the first published text (Erasmus 1516) down to the Revisers’ (Cambridge 1882), I have not been able to discover one that inserts the comma, so that in this the Revisers’ would seem to stand alone. Not but that Erasmus in his last edition (1535) departs in his Latin translation from the rendering of his first edition and gives “reconciliatorem per fidem, interveniente ipsius sanguine” in place of “reconciliatorem, per fidem in ipsius sanguine” (1516). But this, as well as Beza’s, Wetstein’s, and Bowyer’s comments on the clause is interpretation. The grammar is not at stake in either case, and these editors did not therefore venture to introduce the comma into their respective Greek texts.
As the Authorized Version and the margin of the Revisers’ have it, the words “through faith in his blood” without a preceding comma seem rightly to connect with “propitiation” or “propitiatory.” For God’s righteousness in “passing over” the sins of the Old Testament saints, and the justifying now of the believer in Jesus, could not be apart from “faith in his blood.” It is in His death that Christ is the “propitiatory” and this avails for those who have “faith in His blood.” This guards against Beza’s notion of Christ’s whole life being a propitiatory sacrifice.

Commendatory Letters, From Whom?

Question: 2 Cor. 3:1. Commendatory letters, from whom? Z.
Answer: From such as are known to have the assembly’s confidence. If others took on them to write, what weight could they have? If a man wrote of contention or faction, the letter would represent his own bad state. We have the Spirit of God to guide by the word; but all is vain if we be unspiritual habitually, or carried away by prejudice or prepossession at any particular time.
To doctrine, as to discipline, the same principle applies. If a saint were of single eye, the whole body would be full of light. And all things when convicted by the light are manifested. The errors of a Christ born at a distance from God, of uncertainty as to possessed and known life eternal, and of a fabulous propitiation in heaven, distinct from Christ’s expiation on the cross, are lies of the enemy; and “no lie is of the truth.” Nor will faithful men tolerate any of them, or whittle them down, or pretend that the light does not manifest them. It is grievous to know that any and all of these heterodoxies have excusers, who are more guilty and dangerous by their wicked sophistry than the misled. In such questions, it is “the eye” that is wanted, not “the light,” for this is quite clear.

Comparison of Work Between the Persons of the Trinity

Question: Is this statement in accordance with God’s Word?
“We must not conclude that more has been done by the second person of the Trinity than by the first or third. Can any one say that it was more for Jesus to say, ‘I will suffer for them,’ than for God to give Him to the world, or than for the holy Ghost who condescends to dwell on earth so full of sin?” S. A.
Answer: |iI| do not believe that it is in accordance with the letter or the spirit of Scripture not to give the chief place to the Son as to work done, and, above all, suffering for God and man. It is to make light, unintentionally, of the great fact of the Incarnation, and the still greater one of Atonement. Scripture never speaks thus, whatever place it may claim for the Father’s love and counsels, and the Spirit’s active operation in man and the Church of God. The relation of all three is admirably set forth in Heb. 10, as elsewhere also.

Conferred Authority to Preach

Question: What think you of the following note of T. Scott on Acts 8:4? “The difference between statedly and authoritatively as a herald, and by office and authority, preaching to regularly convened congregations, and simply declaring what a man knows of Christ and salvation, amongst relations, juniors, ignorant neighbors, or ignorant persons of any sort, without assuming any authority, seems of great importance. No doubt in this way a man’s sphere will often gradually enlarge, till he appears something like an authoritative preacher; but would it not then be proper that pastors and rulers should send some Barnabas to confirm what has been done, and to confer due authority? And would it not be right in this case for the person himself to seek from the pastors and teachers of the Church their sanction to his labors, now become more public than he at first either expected or intended?”
- T.
Answer: The notion is quite unfounded, and directly at issue with the very Scriptures before the commentator’s eye. Neither Barnabas nor any other man ever conferred authority to preach as a herald, or even in the most unpretending form. It is true that the word descriptive of the preaching in Acts 8:4 is εὐαγγελίξ. But this word is frequently applied to the preaching of the Lord and the apostles, as well as of others. (Comp. Luke 4:18, 43; 7:22; 8:1; 9:6; 16:16; 20:1; Acts 5:42; 8:12, 25, 35, 40; 13:32; 14:7, 15, 21; 15:35; 16:10; 17:18; Rom. 1:15; 15:20; 1 Cor. 1:17, &c.; Gal. 1:8, &c., &c.) The other word, κηρύσσω, which means to proclaim as a herald, has not the smallest connection with office and authority, or regularly convened congregations, more than εὐαγγελίξω. It also is used of the Lord and the apostles, (Matt. 4:17, 23; 10:7, 27; 11:1; 24:14, &c., &c.,) but it is predicated, just as freely, of others too. So it is applied in Mark 5:20 to the delivered demoniac, and in Phil. 1:15 to the brethren at Rome, some of whom were preaching Christ of envy and strife, and some also of goodwill. Of both, however, it is declared, that they τὸν χριστὸν κηρύσσουσιν. That is, the word employed about these unappointed brethren is the expression of authoritative proclamation as a herald. In short, the commentator in this note was supplementing and unwittingly corrupting Scripture, instead of fairly expounding it. When Barnabas and Paul visited and confirmed the assemblies, they ordained, not persons to proclaim the gospel statedly to regular congregations, but elders or presbyters in each assembly. But an elder was a local official whose function was to rule; it was needful that he should be apt to teach, but he might never preach the gospel in his life; and if he did, it was not in virtue of any conferred authority (which was with a view to government), but of the gift of evangelist, if he possessed it. Thus, Philip who was one of the seven was also an evangelist. In virtue of the one he discharged his diaconal duties at Jerusalem, in virtue of the other he evangelized or heralded, (for both words are used of his preaching,) in Samaria and elsewhere.

Confusion in Acts 7:16

Question: Acts 7:16. You have recently shown Dean Alford’s error (borrowed from rationalists) as to ver. 4; but how is the apparent confusion of ver 16 to be cleared up? Yet one feels with Stier that it seems “almost infatuation” to accuse Stephen’s wonderful exposition of Israel’s history as a “demonstrable error,” where scripture so plainly distinguishes the grave of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob from that of Joseph and the rest.
A. B.
Answer: The true solution lies, not in Calvin’s idea of “Abraham” as a wrong reading for “Jacob,” but in the elliptical compression with which Stephen, like other Jews, referred to the well-known facts. Abraham’s grave was at Hebron, bought of Ephron the Hittite; Jacob bought ground at Sychem of the sons of Ramon. In the former notoriously were buried Sarah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. But as ancient scripture tells us that Joseph was laid in the second, so Stephen intimates here that his brethren were also. Josephus is opposed to Jewish tradition in fancying that they were buried in Hebron; and Jerome confirms Sychem as their grave, affirming that it was seen as a fact in his day for all twelve. The difficulty is due to bringing both together as Stephen did. Ignorance is rather with those who do not enter into his manner, and so are apt to impute their own blundering and irreverent haste to a discourse of the profoundest character with an astonishing mastery of principles as well as facts throughout scripture. Without speaking of the Holy Spirit (and this of course if admitted incalculably condemns such criticism), it is rash beyond measure to impute to such a man a mistake which a child might detect. The late Archdeacon Lee in his book on Inspiration points out the same system of combining incidents; as, for instance, comparing ver. 7, with Gen. 15:13, 14, and Ex. 3:12; ver. 9; but especially ver. 43, with Amos 5:27, “Beyond Damascus” clearly referring to the Assyrian deportation of the ten tribes; whereas Stephen combines in his way that of the two tribes to Babylon. This the Dean might have as fairly assailed; but he contents himself with saying that “fulfillment of the prophecy would make it very natural to substitute that name which had become inseparably associated with the captivity.” This apology is as unworthy here as his attack there.

Connection Between the Last Trumpet and the Last of the Seven Trumpets

Question: 1 Cor. 15:52. What is the connection, if any, between the last trumpet here, and the last of the seven in Rev. 11? M. A.
Answer: The figure of the trumpet sounding, and of the final one, is common to both; but the connection of each is wholly different. In Rev. 11 it is the culmination of God’s loud warnings of judgment, after both Judaism and Christendom had run their sad, sinful, and apostate course. The day of Jehovah follows. In 1 Cor. 15 it is the close of the Christian testimony in the triumph announced by that figure when the risen Lord not only raises the dead saints but changes the living at His coming. “The last trump” seems to be drawn from what all in that day knew so familiarly, the final signal when, after preparatory tokens to guide, the last sound was given for a Roman legion to quit their old encampment and march.

Consummation in Daniel 9:27 the Same As Consumption in Isaiah 10:22?

Question: Will some of your learned contributors kindly say whether the word “consummation” in Dan. 9:27, is the same as “consumption” in Isa. 10:22?
Answer: Our English rendering “consummation” in Dan. 9:27, appears here only; but the Hebrew word “kahlah” occurs 22 times and is variously rendered. Isaiah uses it twice only (10:23; 28:22, “consumption”), and so also Daniel (9:27, “consummation”; 11:16, “which... shall be consumed” lit. “and destruction” in his hand). In Isa. 10:22 the word is not “kahlah” but “killahyohn” (“the consumption”); and Deut. 28:65 (“and failing of”) is the only other instance of its use. Thus the original words are not exactly the same, though both these nouns are from the same verbal root and are closely allied.

Consumption the Same Word in Isaiah 10:22 and 23?

Question: Will some of your learned contributors kindly say if “consumption” is the same word in verses 22 and 23 of Isa. 10? It is variously translated in the Revised Version.—LEARNER
Answer: The answer to this question has been anticipated in the answer just given— “Idllahyohn” being the word in Isa. 10:22, and the more general word “kahlah” in verse 23.

Conversions in the Millennial Age

Question: Where in the Psalms or Prophets is justified the belief that there will be conversions in the Millennial age? J. C. J. (U. S. A.).
Answer: Almost every where that we find the work of divine goodness contemplated. Take Psa. 2:12: “Kiss the Son, lest he be angry... Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.” All conversions past, present, or future, are in this way and no other. They alone are the righteous who fear God then as now. The gospel, which actually goes out in indiscriminate grace, the apostle vindicates to the Jewish objector in Rom. 9; 10 by testimonies from the Law, Psalms, and Prophets which anticipate that day. It will be the harvest. We are but a sort of first-fruits, though called to “some better thing,” as Heb. 11:40 speaks, as compared even with “the elders.” But the ingathering great as to extent awaits that day. All must bow to the Lord, “King over all the earth,” as well as “Head over all things;” but all are not converted even then, as Isa. 65 shows, and on a large scale Rev. 20:7-10. They will previously have rendered but a feigned obedience. Compare Psa. 18:44.

Covering the Head

Question: Is preaching the gospel of the grace of God with the head covered (1 Cor. 11:4) scriptural?
Answer: The question of covering the head is raised in the early verses of 1 Cor. 11, because certain sisters at Corinth had forgotten or never known the due place of men and women in divine things. It is a reproof of the Christian females who were disorderly. For if in salvation and relationship to God by grace there can be no difference, there is in His service. Woman’s head was to be covered, man’s not. Every man praying or prophesying with aught on his head (i.e. covered) dishonors his head; as did every woman uncovered in such exercises. It is the order of power; and God will have this divinely constituted propriety in such as fear Him and know His grace. If she will not be covered, let her also be shorn, is the apostle’s taunt. But this says nothing about preaching the gospel, though it is well that man should ever speak reverently and act after a comely sort even in evangelizing, instead of yielding to nature, or cultivating popularity in a worldly way. In the assembly, where God’s presence is manifested and enjoyed specially, still more should flesh be disallowed. Woman were there to be silent (1 Cor. 14). For, says the apostle, it is not permitted to speak, even could they prophesy like Philip’s daughters, but in their father’s house it seems, and with due subjection.

The Cross Not Included and Christ Received up in Glory Last?

Question: 1 Tim. 3:16. May I ask why the cross is not included in this summary view of Christ? and why His being received up in glory is put last? A DISCIPLE.
Answer: The reason, as I believe, why the cross does not appear is because Christ’s death of rejection and in atonement was fully revealed in the O.T., as Psa. 22, Isa. 53 and Zech. 13 serve to prove. Sacrifice in general pointed to His death for our sins. Here it is “the mystery” or secret of piety which is presented, (i.e. not so revealed in the O.T.). Next, it would seem that the last clause is taken out of its historical place, in order that the blessed object of Christian dependence in faith should there stand in the more marked contrast with the falling away of some in later times, giving heed as they did to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons by the hypocrisy of legend-mongers branded in their own conscience, forbidding to marry and bidding to abstain from God-given meats. Such a system was a mere fleshly religion in open contempt, of the ascended Christ. These were the victims that fell away, through seducing spirits &c. behind the hypocritical legend-mongers, who were their instruments. Christ in glory was nothing to them. Their confidence was in self-devised ordinances instigated by demons. Christ’s being “received up in glory” is an essential and characteristic truth of Christianity.

Cross, Pole, or Stake

Question: Does not ξύλον, tree, and σταυρὸς, imply not the traditional form of a cross, but rather a pole or stake? L. L.
Answer: The “tree” was rather generic; and even the Jews used it as a sign of curse and degradation, after killing the evil-doer. The “cross,” as more specific, sometimes applied to impaling, at others to suspending the body from the middle, but still more widely to proper crucifixion by nailing the sufferer to an upright beam with a transverse to which the stretched arms were fastened. So the inspired description proves it was in our Lord’s case; where there was also an elongation of the central board, bearing over the head the memorable words which Pilate wrote to the dire offense of the Jews. Its form then resembled, not an X as some fancy, but a T with that headpiece surmounting the center of the cross-beam, pretty near what is generally conceived.

"Crucified" and "Died"?

Question: Does Rom. 6 teach that the old man was crucified with Christ, but that the new I died with Him? Is there such a distinction between “crucified” and “died?
Answer: That our old man was crucified with Christ is what the chapter says; and that he who died with Christ is justified from sin, that is, the believer, not whilst he did not believe.

The Crucifixion in Mark and John

Question: Mark gives for the Crucifixion the 3rd, 6th, and 9th hours of the Jewish day (our 9, 12, and 3); but how then are we to understand the sixth hour in John 19:14, and John 4:6, &c.?—T. H. L.
Answer: Clearly in the same way throughout his Gospel, which looks on Jewish things as closed. Hence in ch. 1:39 the tenth hour would mean from the same hour of the morning as we count. In chap. 4:6 it was the usual time for women to draw water, as the seventh hour (52) would be the same time as with us of the preceding evening or possibly morning. So in John 18:28 it was early morn when the mockery of our Lord’s trial went on; and no reason forbids Pilate’s judging at our 6 a.m. (19:14). The actual ‘crucifixion began, after all mockeries and preparations were done (including perhaps the trial of the two robbers) at the 3rd Jewish hour, as Mark (15:25) alone specifies, i.e. our 9 o’clock a.m. of Friday; the supernatural darkness at the 6th Jewish hour, at our 12 or noon; and the Lord died at the 9th Jewish hour and time, or our 3 p.m.
Pliny (H. Nat. ii. 77), Plut. (Quaest. Rom. 84), A. Gell. (Noct. Att. iii. 2), Censor. (de Die Nat. xxiii.), and Macrob. (Saturn. i. 3) clearly prove that the Romans computed the civil day as we do from midnight, and as John did. So Dr. Townson argues for a similar reckoning in Asia Minor. Rev. 1:10 shows a kindred departure from Jewish phraseology.

The Cursing of the Ground a Blessing or a Punishment?

Question: Gen. 3:17. Did God curse the ground as a blessing to Adam and his seed, or as a just punishment for his sin, as it is said, “for thy sake”? In the two following verses it would seem that there was no work before this; whereas in chap. 2:5 we read, “there was not a man to till the ground,” and again, in verse 15, “And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.” Was this work or not? That is, was not the first position of “dressing” and “keeping” of the same character as the later one of “tilling the ground from whence he was taken” 23)?
E. T.
Answer: That the ground was cursed because of Adam’s sin is what scripture plainly states, That there was no “work” before his fall is not so stated. Man placed in the garden “to dress it and to keep it” shows that it was not God’s will that His creature should be idle. But there was no “toil” or “sorrow” connected with such occupation. Now thorns and thistles were to appear, and in the sweat of his face was man to eat bread. Weariness is known, and so also the sweetness of rest after labor. Idleness was one of the iniquities of Sodom (Ezek. 16:49). It had no place in innocency, nor will it be compatible with the millennium (Amos 9:13), when “the wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose”; nor—may we not add?—with the eternal state (Rev. 21). Labor here is good for all, and in it there is profit. For out of evil God can and does bring good.
It may be instructive to compare the case of Levi as an instance of God making His judgment an occasion of blessing. Gen. 49:7 says, “I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.” But in Deut. 33:10 we see how their being thus divided and scattered is overruled for more effectually teaching “Jacob thy judgments, and Israel thy law.” “Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.”

Daniel 7:8 - When Will it All Take Place?

Question: Dear Sir, In Dan. 7:8, the prophet is occupied with the horn and his audacious pretensions, which cause the “Ancient of Days” —the everlasting God—to act judicially (ver. 9). Hence the thrones are set, and the books are opened. After this, in the same sequence of events, it would appear, and as the result of God’s judgment, the beast is slain, his body destroyed and given to the burning flame (Rev. 19:20), in contrast with the other beasts which had their dominion taken away, but their lives prolonged for a little time. Then in the night visions the prophet sees one like the “Son of man” coming to the Ancient of days and receiving a kingdom, the world-kingdom of Rev. 11:15, it is to be supposed.
Now the question in my mind is as to when this will take place. The books I have read on the subject seem to treat the matter vaguely. They all seem to conclude that the Lord Jesus first receives the kingdom and afterward comes to execute judgment on the nations. But is this the Scripture order of events? Psa. 110:1 says, “Sit Thou on My right hand until I make Thy foes Thy footstool.” And in Matt. 26:64 the Lord says “Hereafter ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power and coming in the clouds.” He does not leave His own throne then to come in the clouds; and therefore cannot have received His kingdom at that time. It is true in the counsels of God, the Lord Jesus is King already; but it seems to me from the word that He does not receive His kingdom until the nations are subdued and the eve of the millennium come. W. T. H.
Answer: Is not the querist also a little vague? No intelligent reader of the prophetic scriptures conceives that the Lord will “leave” His own throne but the Father’s, when, receiving the kingdom, He comes to execute judgment, whether warlike (Rev. 19) or sessional (Matt. 25 or Rev. 20:4). Psa. 110:1 speaks of His sitting. at Jehovah’s right hand meanwhile, till the moment comes for the judgment of the quick, quite passing by (as a yet unrevealed mystery) His descent to receive to Himself the heavenly saints. His advent in judgment will deal with His foes made His footstool. But scripture does not describe the nations as “subdued” before He comes in His kingdom) to judge, though God will have smitten the earth with increasing severity in His providence before then. During the millennium the Lord will reign over them all in peace and righteousness; after it will be the last outbreak, when Satan is loosed for a little, but they are destroyed. And then follow the dissolution of all things, the judgment of the dead—the wicked dead, and the new heavens and earth in the full and final sense, the eternal scene with its solemn background of everlasting punishment.

Daniel 9:24 - "Holy of Holies" vs. "An All-Holy"

Question: Dan. 9:24.-Having lately seen it stated (in print) that Dr. Posey denies “holy of holies” to be the right rendering in Dan. 9:24, and asserts “an all-holy” (alluding to the Messiah) to be the true one—I should be glad of information on a point of so much prophetic importance. P.
“It cannot be spoken of the natural ‘holy of holies,’ which in contrast to the holy place is always the ‘holy of holies,’ never holy of holies. Still less is it the material temple as a whole, since the temple, as a whole, is never called by the name of a part of it. ‘Holy of holies,’ that is, lit. ‘holiness of holinesses.’ All-holiness is a ritual term, used to express the exceeding holiness which things acquire by being consecrated to God. It is never used to describe a place, but is always an attribute of the thing, and in one place, of the person who is spoken of.” (Posey on Daniel, pp. 179, 180.)
Answer: I cannot find that any person is called in the Old Testament םקרש קרש(Dan. 9:24.) Things are, where characteristically described. The innermost part of the sanctuary is properly called הקרשם קרש(Ex. 26:33.) In Ezek. 45:3 the sanctuary is called “holy of holies” without the article. For the prophet there writes of the most holy sanctuary, not of the sanctuary and the most holy place, as the Authorized Version would represent it. With Ezekiel, then, before us we have a precedent for Daniel, there describing the sanctuary; and looking at the subject of his prayer for the sanctuary (ver. 17), city and people (vers. 18, 19), the answer of the angel is in full keeping with his request. Seven heptads are determined upon thy people, and upon thy city, at the end of which the sanctuary will be anointed. I take it the Authorized Version gives the sense, though the anarthrous form is not the usual one where the house is described. So I should dissent from Dr. Pusey’s views. The context would lead me to accept the Authorized Version as correct in making it the sanctuary, and not the Messiah. S.

Daniel 9:26-27 Correct in Young's, or A.V. and R.V.?

Question: Dan. 9:26, 27. Is Young’s version correct, or that of the A. and R. Versions? The latter substantially agree; but Young changes the sense by confounding Christ with the one who confirms in ver. 27. Have the English translators forced the Hebrew? or is Young without warrant? I greatly desire information.
G. A. S.
N. J.,
U. S. A.
Answer: There need be no hesitation in accepting the general sense of the A. V., modified by the Revisers. The article of reference is due to “sixty-two weeks,” after which Messiah was to be cut off and “have nothing,” as the Genevese E. V. had already rightly said. But the force of the next clause is utterly missed by Dr. R, Young. It really means, “And the people of the prince that shall come [in contrast with Messiah the Prince already come and cut off] shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood [or overflow], and even to the end war-desolations determined. And he [the coming prince] shall confirm a covenant with the many [the apostate mass of the Jews] for one week; and in the midst of the week he shall cause sacrifice and oblation to cease; and because of sheltering [lit. wing of] abominations [or idols] a desolator [shall be], even until the consumption and ‘that determined shall be poured out upon the desolate.” So in fact the Roman people (not yet their coming prince) did come, and destroy the city and the temple [or holy place], followed by a flood of desolations on the guilty people and on Jerusalem for ages. But the time hastens, when the thread must be resumed and the last or postponed week of the 70 be accomplished. Then the coming Roman prince; in his incipient form, shall confirm covenant with the ungodly majority of the Jews, “the many,” but break it by putting down their worship, and protecting idolatry and the Antichrist as we know from elsewhere. This will bring on the closing scenes of the Assyrian, or king of the north (Isa. 10; 28; 29; Dan. 11:40-45)7 “the desolator;” and the last word of predicted judgment will be accomplished on the desolate Jerusalem. The death of Messiah broke the chain; but that closing link has yet to be joined, and all will be fulfilled in due season. The attempt to foist in the gospel is baseless. To translate the last verse, as Wintle does, following ancient versions, may be grammatically possible, but is unaccountably harsh, if not absurd: “Yet one week shall make a firm covenant, with many, and the midst of the week shall cause the sacrifice and the meat offering to cease” &c. With what propriety or even sense could “one week,” or its half, do these remarkable things? The coming Roman prince is to confirm “a” covenant with “the mass” of Jews for seven years; and then breaks it when half the time expires. How strange to attribute either to the Messiah! “The many” rejected Him and shall receive the Antichrist. “Many” and “the many” are by no means to be confused in Daniell any more than elsewhere. Translators (the Revisers among the rest) have not heeded the distinction, nor have Commentators generally. It is the few, or the remnant, who receive the Messiah in faith, and in due time (when their wicked brethren, “the many” meet their doom) become the “Israel” that “shall be saved.” This plainly and powerfully refutes the assumption that the last verse alludes to Christ’s covenant. It is rather a covenant with death and hell; as Isa. 28:15 also lets us know. This will be for seven years, but broken.

Daniel 9:27

Question: Dan. 9:27. Is it true that the translation of the heavenly saints to the mansions on high synchronizes with the arrival of Daniel’s last week? or does it suppose a partial restoration of Jews in unbelief, the acceptance of antichrist as king, a rebuilt temple, and re-established sacrifices? How then, since none of these has taken place, or can occur in the next 24 hours, can it be taught that if the rapture were to be to-day, the man of sin would reign to-morrow? And if the Lord may come any hour, and the church be removed at the beginning of the tribulation seven years long, how can this be in view of the four events already mentioned? O.
Answer: There have been and are men of marked spiritual intelligence who look for (not the last week but) its latter half. I see no sufficient reason for just seven years, still less the half. The seven Seals of Rev. 6 have no apparent connection with Daniel’s last week. Their nature, especially of the first four, seems to imply a considerable time for each to stamp its own space with the predicted character; and all the more because it is a general sort, instead of anything more definite and extraordinary in divine providence. So does the persecution of the fifth Seal; and surely also the immense catastrophe to befall high and low in the sixth. We may see some traces coming into evidence of the West and East for the latter day in the later Trumpets; but we do not hear of the Beast till the parenthesis before the last or Seventh in Rev. 11. Does not all this indicate a longer lapse of time than enquirers generally conceive? Is there not implied a series of judgments before the last week begins? There is no solid ground in scripture for conceiving that, when the rapture to heaven takes place, the Roman prince of the future forthwith confirms a covenant with the unbelieving mass of the Jews as to their reconstituted worship and temple service. The week remains to be fulfilled; yet there is nothing but assumption or theory for closing up all so sharply. Enough has been said to show that scripture involves preparatory circumstances of great moment, which leave ample sphere for a considerable settlement of unbelieving Jews in the land, and for all the other connected events. Indeed there is nothing to hinder much while the Bridegroom tarries. But scripture is clear that His coming to receive His own for heaven is wholly independent of any such changes on earth. Therefore does it remain the same for us now as for the saints in apostolic days: so that the one hope might have its heavenly power, and all have the blessing of waiting for Him in holy separateness and bridal affection, sure that He is coming, with nothing to enfeeble our constant expectancy. Thus it is of all moment to keep the lamp of prophecy as distinct as the written word makes it from the Christian hope, and to know that this is heavenly and rests on Christ’s love and truth, and never there mixed up with the earthly things which prophecy unveils. Even now it is our privilege to have day dawning and Christ as daystar arising in our hearts, whilst we look for its actual fruition at His coming. Nor is there a greater hindrance to the power of the truth in our souls, our communion, our walk, and service, and worship, than confounding our proper hope with prophecy, as is done in the query here answered.

Dative and Accusative Time

Question: What is the difference in the use of the dative and accusative of time, as in Acts 13:20, &c.? B.
Answer: When the dative is used for time, it is always viewed as one whole point or object; when the accusative, it is a space during which. Thus, taking the common reading, judges characterized the period of 450 years, as we hear of them during forty years in the desert. (Ver. 18.) So ἱκανῶ χρνόῳ in Acts 8:11, and Rom. 16:25. Thus τρίτᾑ ἡμέρᾳ and τρίτην ἡμέραν would not have the same force, though in result the sense would be the same. In the first phrase I should think of that one day so characterized. With τρίτν ἠμ. I think of two days elapsed before. In a word the accusative is duration, as the dative is epoch, though in sense running often into one another. Thus, according to the common reading of the dative, in Acts 13:20, the statement would not be during 450 years, but up to, as far as (i.e., counting from the end of the desert). Thus Joshua, elders, and Cushanrishathaim would have to be deducted—say some forty-five years. And the chronology is in no way changed. But then the reading of the more ancient authorities gives a very different sense.

Dative Case Mistranslated?

Eph. 2:1; Rom. 6:2; 10:11 Gal. 2:19.
Question: Is there sufficient ground for the assertion that, in these passages, the dative case is mistranslated, that being often used (as every Greek scholar knows), for the instrument or means whereby a thing is done or comes to pass? Should it not be (Eph. 2:1) “by trespasses and sins” (or in consequence of “having no life” in us)? There seems some incongruity in speaking of walking in the sins wherein they were dead. Moreover it is worthy of note, that the same apostle speaking of spiritual corruption (Col. 3:5, 7), says, “in the which ye also walked sometime when ye lived in them;” and it is difficult to suppose, that he used life in sin, and death in sin, to express precisely the same thing. Turning to Rom. 6:2, should it not be, “dead by sin”? If sin is such a dreadful thing as to have exposed us all to the punishment of death—from which Christ’s death alone frees us—how can we think of continuing in it any longer? In chapter 5:12, we have “death by sin;” and in verse 17, “By one man’s offense.” Why then in Rom. 6:2 is “to” to be employed in rendering the same dative case? The apostle has shown what we have incurred by sin, and then immediately he is made to say, “How shall we who are dead to sin?” which has no force in connection with his previous reasoning. In regard to Rom. 6:10, 11, how can Christ be said to be dead unto sin? but if it should be “dead by sin” —by reason of man’s sin, the sense is plain, “in that he liveth, he liveth by God,” “by the power of God.” (2 Cor. 13:4.)
The received version of Gal. 2:19 is “to the law;” but it is argued, it should he by the law; the law denounces death.
The value of these queries may not at first be very obvious; but these passages have an importance in a controversy not needful to mention here; and we cannot be too anxious to endeavor to ascertain the correct text of the word of God.
1 Cor. 15:1-4.
Wherein does the apostle’s assertion, “that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures,” which he emphatically calls “the gospel which, he preached,” or Father part of it for he goes on to insist on the deep importance of Christ’s resurrection) differ substantially from the statement in 1 Peter 2:24? though all must admit that the latter passage is specifically addressed to believers—to those who have returned “to the Shepherd of their souls.” Taking 1 Cor. 15 in all simplicity, it appears to me to warrant my telling any man, that Christ died for his sins and not merely that be is the Lamb of God “that taketh away sin.” “Our” cannot mean in this connection the sins of Paul and other believers; for what possible “gospel” or good news, could that be to unconverted sinners? And such the Corinthians were when Paul first preached unto them. T. D.
Answer: As regards Rom. 6, the wished-for translation is the result of a misconception of the whole passage. It makes it a motive drawn from a previous evil result and no more; whereas it is perfectly certain that the passage contemplates our dying in becoming Christians, not by our sins. Those who have been baptized unto Christ have been baptized unto His death. We have been made one plant with Him in the likeness of His death; and this in order that we might walk in newness of life. Hence it is perfectly certain that the doctrine of the chapter is dying out of our old man, and living in newness of life—not our dying by our sins so as to be afraid of living in it now. And such is the whole tenor of the chapter; “our old man had been crucified with him;” and the use too of the dative at the close. How the writer can take νόμψ in Gal. 2:19, as “by the law,” is hard to conceive; because it is preceded by διὰ νόμου, meaning by the law, which makes it simply impossible.
2 Cor. 13:4, is ἐκ δυνάμεως, I suppose he only quotes this for the sense. Living in sin, and being dead in it, is not the same thing. One is the continuity of the old man in sin, the other is his state in respect of God; but both are true. Alienated from the life of God. A reference to Colossians shows, in the analogous passage, νεκροῦς... ἐν τοῖς παραπτώμασι καὶ τῆ ἀκροβυστία. Now ἐν can be used as an instrument or power too. But I think no intelligent Christian could doubt what it means here; and I do not see how it is possible with ἀκροβυστία to take it in any other sense than in.’ Besides, νεκρούς would not be the word. It signifies properly ‘a corpse.’ It is not dying as a punishment for them, but a state in which they were. Then God creates again. They are viewed not as dying by or for their sins. It is not ἀπεθάνετε, but being νεκρούς He has quickened. The first work in the corpse is quickening with Christ, God’s act. In Romans and Colossians, being alive in sin, ye have died (ἀπεθάνετε) in Christ. In Ephesians, being νεκροί, we have been quickened with Him. It is a new creation. It does not seem to me there can be the smallest doubt of what is the right translation.
As to 1 Cor. 15, again, I know of no objection, if used in a general way of saying, Christ died for any man’s sins. In the passage, however, Paul is addressing believers as such, but still speaks vaguely, so that “he that hath ears to hear” may apply it. “Ηe is a propitiation for the whole world.” But this is never said of bearing sins. That is carefully avoided in Scripture. It will not be found other than dying for our sins. But “bearing” in all parts of Scripture is thus specifically confined. So we read, ‘We beseech in Christ’s stead, Be reconciled... for he hath made him to be sin for us.’ Scripture is accurate here—a propitiation set out before all, and sure remission of all, if we come; but bearing sins never extended to those who are lost, or His doing it might be in vain for believers. “Our” to saints or sinners is the scriptural way of putting it.

Day-Star and Morning-Star?

Question: 2 Peter 1:9. How does the “day-star” (φωσφόρος) differ from the morning-star (ὀ ἀστὴρ ὁ πρῳϊνὸς) in Rev. 2:28? It is well known that in Rev. 22:16 the reading ὀρθρνὸς is spurious, and it should be πρωϊνὸς as in chapter 2. B. S.
Answer: There is only a shade of meaning different in ὀ ἀστὴρ ὁ πρῳϊνὸς and φωσφόρος, one referring to the early appearance, the other to its introducing dawn or light. Peter is speaking of prophecy as a light, a candle shining in a dark place—God’s light in the darkness of this world; with that he contrasts Christ’s heavenly coming the hope of the saints as bringing in the light of a new day. ‘Ο ἀστὴρ ὁ πρῳϊνὸς is merely what it is—its appellative, Christ Himself, still not in the kingdom (that precedes in chapter 2:28, and is found rather in “the Root and Offspring of David” in chapter 22.)

Dead vs. Having Died in Christ?

Question: Rom. 6. Does scripture anywhere, in speaking of the Christian being dead, separate it from his having died in Christ?
Answer: Not so: the ground is that we died with Christ, buried with Him by baptism to death—His death. Thus are we become identified with Him in the likeness of His death. Therefore also we are to reckon ourselves dead to sin.

Did Christ Preach to Old Testament Saints After Death?

Question: 1 Peter 3:18-20 What is the meaning? Did Christ preach after death to the Old Testament saints?
Answer: To be understood, this verse must be taken with what goes before. Christ was put to death in flesh, but made alive in the Spirit, in which also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, disobedient as they at one time were when the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved through water; which figure also doth now save you, &c. Just as we read in 1 Peter 1:10-12 of Christ’s Spirit in the prophets testifying, so here we learn that His Spirit (i.e. in Noah) preached. Those who heard were disobedient then, and their spirits are in prison now. Christ’s Spirit by Noah went and preached to them when they were living men, before the Deluge came; but they rejected the Word, and now consequently their spirits await the judgment at the resurrection of the unjust. The collocation of the Greek (τοῖς ἐν φυλακῇ πνεύμασιν) is decisive, that the true connection is not with the preaching, but between the spirits and prison. They were sinners disobedient to the message, not saints comforted. The preaching was on earth, where the unbelieving rejection was; and because of it their spirits are now imprisoned (the very opposite of paradise) till judgment come.

Die With Jesus or With Lazarus?

Question: John 11:16. Did Thomas mean die with Jesus or Lazarus?
Answer: I think the comparison of verse 8 with 16 makes it plain that Thomas expected nothing but death for the Lord from the enmity of the Jews; and proposed, as He was decided to go into Judea, that the disciples should share their Master’s fate. No doubt there was love in such a resolve; but how blind is unbelief to look for the Savior’s death at the very moment when He was about to be marked out Son of God in power by raising a dead man from the grave! How blessed, on the other hand, to hear our Lord say, in the midst of the sufferance of evil, “Let us go to him!” It was in the power of One who is the Resurrection and the Life. “Let us also go, that we may die with him” is the best that affection can do, short of the faith of resurrection-power.

Difference Between John 15:2 and 6?

Question: John 15:2, 6. What is the difference?
G. de M.
Answer: The early verse sets forth the Father’s removal in judgment of one not bearing fruit. In the later verse it is the utter ruin of fruitless professors. It is not in this case attributed to the Father’s judging according to the work of each (1 Peter 1:17) but all is external and irreparable. The great white throne disposes of such finally, as men burn dry or rotten wood.

Difference Between Saints and Believers

Question: 2 Thess. 1:10. What is the difference of saints and believers? and why is the Lord to be glorified in the one and admired in the other? I have asked a good many, and all see the difficulty: if you could throw a little light on it, I should be very thankful. E. C.
Answer: The careful reader will note that two classes of enemies are brought before us in verse 8: those that know not God, Gentiles; and those who, if they could not in the same way be said to be ignorant of God, do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, Jews. They were both such as should pay the penalty of everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His might, when He shall have come to be glorified in His saints and to be admired in all that have believed. It is not the moment of the translation of the saints to heaven, but of the appearing or day of the Lord, when He shall come, not to receive them to Himself, but “to be glorified in his saints.” This, however, being comparatively vague—for He might be glorified simply in their glorification, and this wholly outside the ken of the earth—we have greater precision in the next clause, “and to be wondered at in all that have believed.” Here display to others is more prominent. It is no question of those who shall be brought to know His glory on earth after He is thus come, but of all those that have believed previously; and as “the saints” in whom He is said to be glorified would fully apply to those of the Old Testament, so I think “all that have believed” more properly belongs to the present time, when faith has its largest exercise and fullest development. Those of old were separated to God, and though they had faith practically, yet the especial character in reference to God and Christ was hope or trust. Now that redemption is accomplished, it is in the strictest sense faith. And this seems to be confirmed by the appended parenthetic application to the Thessalonians: “for our testimony to you was believed.” “In that day” belongs, of course, to their manifestation with Christ in glory.

Difference Between the Church and the Body

Question: In Eph. 1:23 the Church is said to be the body of Christ. Is it correct therefore to say the Church is in ruins? or is there a difference between the Church and the body? H. C. P.
Answer: While the Church is the body of Christ, it is also the house of God, and may have in this point of view vessels to dishonor within it, and be in the gravest disorder. If one spoke of the ruin of the body, (or even rending the body,) the language would be exceptionable. But the ruin of the Church is but a brief expression of a state predicted, and even begun, God’s account of which is spread over a large part of the New Testament, especially the later Epistles and the Revelation.

Difference Between Two Greek Words for "Without"

Question: What is the difference between ἄνευ and χωρὶς, as both mean “without”? D.
Answer: The first expresses privation or non-existence; the second only separation, or apartness. Thus on the one hand Matt. 10:29 denies the exclusion or non-existence of their Father’s care in the least thing; 1 Peter 3:1 shows how unbelieving husbands may be won absolutely without the word by the pious conduct of saintly wives; and 4:9 would have hospitality quite without a murmur. On the other hand Matt. 13:34 and Mark 4:34 only assert that apart from parable He spoke nothing then. So Matt. 14:21 and 15:38 may not deny the presence of women and children, as ἄνευ would, but do not count them. In John 1:3; 15:5, χωρὶς alone suits: apart from Him did not anything come into being; apart from Him the disciples can produce no fruit. So Rom. 3:21 does not negative the existence or importance of law, but shows that God’s righteousness is now manifested apart from law. In Rom. 4:6 ἄνευ (privation) of works would never do, but χωρὶς apart from them.

Difference Between Words Translated Judge or Judgement in the New Testament

Question: What is the precise difference between κρίνειν, ἀνακρίειν, διακρίνειν, ἐγκρίνειν, κατακρίνειν,and συγκρίνειν in N. T. usage? R.
Answer: The meaning of the first or simple form is “to judge,” ἀνακρίσις being the technical word for the previous inquiry or preliminary investigation. Compare 1 Cor. 2:15; 4:3-5; 9:3; 10:25, 27, in the Greek, as well as Acts 25:26 (noun). But διακρίνειν isto discern,” right in 1 Cor. 11:29 but wrong in 31; as the simple form means not “damnation” but “judgment” and even as contrasted with that. Again συγκρίνειν is in plain contradistinction to ἀνακρίνειν in 1 Cor. 2, and means the communicating or authoritative explaining of spiritual things in spiritual words, not sifting or examining them. In John 5:22-29 the confusion of the A.V. is extreme and seriously misleading. The right word is “judge” or “judgment” throughout, not “condemnation” as in 24, nor “damnation” as in 29; for our Lord is contrasting “life” with “judgment,” though the issue in this case be the same. In 1 Cor. 11 the “judging” is present, in the sense of temporal only, in contrast with final and everlasting condemnation (κατακρ.). Compounded with ἀπὸ the verb means “to answer,” as it should be in 2 Cor. 1:9, not “sentence,” as we may add.

Different Ways "Kingdom of Heaven" Is Spoken of?

Question: What is intended by the different ways in which the likeness of the kingdom of the heavens is spoken of? Y.
Answer: In Matt. 13:24; 18:2, it is “became like” or “was likened,” these being historical (as others are not) likenesses that the kingdom assumed through the rejection of the Lord and His going on high. The rest (Matt. 13:31, 33, 44, 45, 47; 20:1) were merely likenesses of certain special features at particular seasons; as one case differs by a peculiar comparison with the future (Matt. 25:1).

Discerning or Distinguishing the Lord's Body

Question: 1 Cor. 11—What is discerning or distinguishing the (Lord’s) body? If there is more than apprehending the unity of the body the church, would you kindly state what it is? R. B. W.
Λ. “Discerning the body” has no reference to apprehending the church’s unity of nature, but means exclusively distinguishing between any ordinary meal and that supper which brings before us the body of Christ given for us. It is the memorial of His death in it, which the Apostle here urges, not our union with Him. Not to discern the (Lord’s) body is to treat this supper as a common thing. It is profanation, not intelligence about the church’s unity.

Discipline in Bible Days

Question: 1 Cor. 5—Was discipline in Bible days settled by the elders and then communicated to the assembly for it to act upon the judgment so rendered to it? Is this gone now?
Answer: That elders took an active and leading part in discipline, as in the general care and government of each local assembly, seems to me unquestionable according to scripture. It is sometimes forgotten or unknown that nine-tenth of cases of discipline need not and should not come before the assembly, but only such matters of scandal and wickedness, whether of doctrine or practice, as call for extreme measures as in public rebuke or, as the last resort, in excision. In this final act the assembly has the responsibility, though there may have been many efforts on the part of chief men among the brethren to avoid its necessity. In flagrant wickedness, as where a man called a brother is a fornicator, drunkard, or the like, the clear duty is to put away; and the assembly acts as soon as the sorrowful facts are known with clearness and certainty. The ruined state of things has not set this aside. It is a responsibility resting on the saints in the Lord’s name. If they do not, they are essaying to keep the feast with leavened bread; they practically deny that they themselves are unleavened. Those who have the Spirit ought not to doubt that they have His power, even as the Lord’s authority, to put away the evil doer; and this duty is none the less because he sometimes seeks to escape so solemn an exclusion by a tardy profession of repentance. But such a plea should have no influence in staying this action of the assembly, which is bound to prove itself clear in the matter, and not merely to seek the restoration of the offender. Their first duty is to the Lord, elders or none, chiefs or none; so it always was, and so it should be where we have only here and there men who have the qualifications, not the formal title. It would ill become any man to arrogate a higher place than when apostolic order prevailed. It is a duty to help and guide the assembly. No man is called to judge for it a case which comes before it, though it is happy when faithful men of grace and wisdom can settle cases of minor moment so as to spare the need of an appeal to the assembly—an appeal only right in the gravest matters or in such as all other means have failed to remedy. Otherwise the assembly, instead of preserving its place as God’s temple, is in danger of becoming the engine of caprice, terror, or tyranny, for fleshly individuals who drag things and persons there without warrant from God’s word.

Discrepancy Between 1 Chron. 21:6 and 1 Chron. 27:24?

Question: 1 Chron. 21:6. What explains the apparent discrepancy between this and chap. 27:24?
Answer: There is no discrepancy. One text says, that Joab did not count among those that were counted Levi and Benjamin; the other adds the particular, that though he began to number, he finished not, and divine displeasure fell for it upon Israel; and the number was not put in the account of the chronicles of King David. All is harmonious; but the second is a fuller explanation.

Discrepancy Between Colossians 2:20 and 1 Peter 2:13?

Question: Col. 2:20; 1 Peter 2:13: pray explain.
Answer: The two are wholly distinct in their objects and aim; and hence there is no discrepancy possible.
Col. 2:20 asks, If ye died with Christ from the elements of the world, why as alive in the world do ye subject yourselves to ordinances? The apostle gives a specimen of these ordinances in the three prohibitions which follow, Handle not, nor taste, nor touch. This was Jewish legalism over again, consistent with a people in the flesh like Israel, or as he here says “living in the world,” but quite incompatible with the spiritual condition of the Christian as one who died with Christ: a privilege acknowledged and signified even in baptism. To revive such ordinances was not only carnal, but a contradiction of their position as having died with Christ.
In 1 Peter 2:13 we have nothing to do with these ζόγματα of earthly religion, which Col. 2 declares to have been nailed to the cross and taken out of the way. The apostle of the circumcision urges on the believing remnant, that their behavior be seemly among the Gentiles, and in subjection to every human creation or institution for the Lord’s sake. This he explains as civil government: “whether to king, as supreme; or to rulers, as being sent through him for vengeance on evil-doers and praise of well-doers.” Christian Jews must not be refractory like their unbelieving brethren.

Discrepancy Between Revelation 19:20 and Daniel 7:11

Question: Have you any light on the seeming discrepancy between Rev. 19:20 and Dan. 7:11?
The former states that the beast and the false prophet were both cast alive into the lake of fire. But the verse in Daniel states that “the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.”
Answer: If we distinguish in Dan. 7:11 between “the horn” and “the beast,” we observe that it is concerning the latter we read, “the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame”, as the consequence of “the voice of the great words which the horn spake.”
The “little horn” (ver. 8) is the last ruler or chief of the long defunct but to be revived Roman empire, the fourth beast that was so “diverse from all the beasts that were before it” (ver. 7). And of this particular head or chief, Daniel does not say more than “they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end” (ver. 26).
The “beast” (i.e. the empire) was slain &c. by the direct visitation of divine wrath— “the burning flame.”
In Rev. 19:20 where the apostle gives us the character of the empire under its great chief, rather than the historic details of Daniel, we have “the beast” and “the false prophet,” the two individual leaders, civil and religious, summarily dealt with by being “cast alive into the lake of fire” where also later Satan himself has his final doom.
It will thus be seen that as the apostle goes on to speak of the remnant as “slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth” (Rev. 19:21), so the prophet would appear to describe the same act by the expression— “the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.” The “burning flame” here refers, not to “the lake of fire” but, to the preceeding verse of Dan. 7 “a fiery stream issued and came forth from before him” and this appears to be the same as spoken of in Rev. 19:20 “the sword that proceeded out of his mouth.”
We have then, in both scriptures the fate of the Roman, or last world-empire, while in the later revelation, as might be expected, the further fact is disclosed that the leader or head of this future empire would himself, along with the false prophet or antichrist, ( “the king” of Isa. 30:33, Dan. 11:36) be “cast alive into the lake of fire”, to which are consigned all the dead great and small raised to stand before the throne to be judged according to their works (Rev. 20:10-15; 21:8)—the fixed and never ending judgment of all those who reject the Savior. “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men” (2 Cor. 5:11).

Dispensational Difference Between 2 Disciples, Philip, Nathanael, and Nicodemus?

Question: 1. What is the dispensational difference between the two disciples of John (John 1:37), Philip (ver. 43), Nathanael (ver. 45), and Nicodemus? (Chap. 3:1.)
L. C. S.
Answer: 1. The two disciples of John, hearing their master’s heart-utterance of delight in the Lamb of God, follow Jesus, come and see at His invitation where He abode and abide with Him that day. It was indeed well-nigh spent, for as the evangelist could not forget—a moment ever to be treasured in his heart—it was about the tenth hour. One of these two, Andrew, first finds his own brother Simon and brings him to Jesus, who at once confers the new name of Cephas. The day following Jesus Himself bids Philip follow Him; and Philip finds Nathanael of whom the Lord says, as He was coming, Behold an Israelite indeed in whom is no guile! If I mistake not, we have thus a remnant emerging from John’s testimony to see and abide with Jesus, going forward through John, yet beyond John, to dwell with Jesus where He dwelt, unknown to the world because it knew Him not. Such is the Christian’s place, abiding with Jesus and following Him. But again we have the remnant once more, owned as God’s Israel, seen under the fig tree, though still strongly prejudiced against a Messiah in humiliation, but finally convinced by the proof of His omniscience, as well as His grace, and acknowledging the Nazarene to be the Son of God and King of Israel. Greater things should be seen, as the Lord told him; from that time even heaven open and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of man—the head not of the Jews only but over all according to God’s counsels, even now the object and center of all angelic service.
In the case of Nicodemus (chap. 1 see no dispensational difference, but rather the universal and indispensable necessity of the new birth for every man in every dispensation who shall see and enter the kingdom of God. This is introduced, as has been often remarked, by the refusal of Jesus in the closing scene of chapter 2 to trust man even when ready to believe in Him because of the miracles He had wrought. It was human faith, the fruit not of the Holy Ghost, but of man’s mind, and good for nothing in God’s eye. “Ye must be born anew” to have part in the kingdom—all alike, the Jew even as the Gentile.

Dispensational Teaching of John 2

Question: What is the full dispensational teaching of John 2?
Answer: John 2 shows us, mystically, the future earthly kingdom, when the true marriage-feast is celebrated, and forms for purifying yield to the wine of joy which the Lord will create and give freely; and when execution of judgment shall fall on the proud perverters of all things holy.

Distinction in the Names for God

Question: What is the true distinction in the names for God, Lord, Lord, &C.? A. B
Answer: As to the divine names, Elohim, אֱלהִים is the common name for God, Him with whom we have to do; hence for all who are viewed in this place by man, or represent Him who is rightly so viewed, as judges in Israel (Ex. 21), or angels. (Psa. 8) Of course there is but one true God, but gods many amongst men. But hence, in Elijah’s history, Jehovah is the Elohim, Jehovah He is the Elohim. It is the word in universal use for God as such.
But constantly, when Elohim is distinctly used for the one true God, the article is added Ha Elohim. Eloah is the singular of Elohim.
El (אֵל) is the strong or mighty one, who stands, so to speak, by His own power. Hence we have El-Elohe-Israel, El (God, the mighty one) אֵל, the God of Israel. El and Eloah are constantly used in Job. (אֵל, chap. 5:8; 8:13, 20; 9:2; 12:6; 13:3, 7, 8; 15:4, 13, 25; 16:11, &c. אלוה 2:22, 23; 4:9; 5:17; 6:4, 8 9; 9:13; 10:2; 11:5, 6, 7; 12:6; 15:8, &c.) It is said to be Aramean. So we have in Dan. 11 El Elion.
I can say nothing satisfactory to my own mind as to Jah. That it is used as an ancient poetic name for Jehovah is clear, as in Hallelujah. So in Ex. 15 “my strength and my song is Jah.” If you look into most dictionaries, you will find it stated to be a shortening of Jehovah. But then I find them used together as Isa. 16:4, “In Jah Jehovah is everlasting strength.” So Isa. 12:2, “My strength and my song is Jah Jehovah.” It is found in Psa. 68 where a ְּב precedes, translated by His name Jah in English but which may be doubted, though a name of holy song and praise at any rate.
Jehovah is God’s name of dealing and relationship with men, specially with Israel, derived (I suppose) from הָיָה, to exist; and practically translated “who is and was and is to come,” not, “who was, and is,” which is true, but “is” (exists i.e., in Himself eternally) “and was and will be” in past and future true. Hence He is One who having spoken makes good. “Thou art the same and thy years shall not fail.” Hence we have in Gen. 1, “Elohim,” the Creator; in Gen. 2, “Jehovah Elohim,” because the relationship of God with men is spoken of; for there it is not His place simply over creatures as such connected with God, but all His various relationships: how Adam was placed, warned, and dealt with, his wife’s place with him, creatures’ subjection, &e. These words, Elohim and Jehovah, are never confounded in scripture. The senseless scissors’ distinction of rationalists shows only their want of looking intelligently into the written word of God. God is God as such; Jehovah, One who enters into relationship with His people and with men.
There is another name יַדַשֺ לֵא by which God revealed Himself, that is to Abraham and the patriarchs El Shaddai. See Ex. 6:3, where Elohim takes specially the name of Jehovah as the God of Israel. These two names are beautifully brought out in 2 Cor. 6:18 to take the name of Father with us. “I will be a Father and ye shall be my sons and daughters,” says Jehovah Shaddai, the God who was the one to Israel, the other to Abraham. In Gen. 2:3 it was of all importance to connect Jehovah, Israel’s national God, with the one only creator God. So in Ex. 9:30 the God of the Hebrews, whose name was Jehovah, is declared to be Elohim: Pharaoh would not yet fear Him. Otherwise Jehovah is a name, Elohim a being: only Jehovah is Elohim, but the former a personal name. םָלֹוע לֵא El Olam is the everlasting God. See Gen. 21:33.
Elion (ןֹויְלֶע לֵא) is the Most High God. This is a fourth name God takes in connection with men; His millennial name above all idolatrous gods and demons and all power, and then said to be “possessor of heaven and earth.” Hence, when Nebuchadnezzar is humbled after being a beast till seven times had passed over him, he owns the God of the Jews to be the Most High God. So in Dan. 7 but not when connected with saints: there it is plural (Elionin) and refers, I believe, to the high or heavenly places.
אֶהְיֶה Ehejeh in Ex. 3 is merely the abstract tense in Hebrew, and “I am that I am” I believe to be right enough. [Some take it as “I will be that I will be.”]
Adonai (אַדנָי) is simply “Lord” (in the plural of majesty as is said), but hence, I believe, is used for Christ, exalted as man, but Jehovah withal, as Psalm 110: 5. It is also Adonai in Psa. 2:4; Isa. 6:1, 8; Dan. 9:17.
There is another word which, though it may be used as an attributive, can hardly be excluded from being a name of God. הוא Hu, Atta Hu, “thou art the same,” the unchangeable One (see Deut. 32:39); I am He, the same and besides me no god: I am He, הוא. Psa. 44:4; Isa. 12:4; 43:10, 13; Jer. 5:12. It is in the sense of the immutable existing One, which is true of God only as Psa. 102:27 cited in Heb. 1 ὁ αὐτὸς.
Though the Psalms afford in the most interesting way the difference of the use of God and LORD, I just refer to Gen. 7:16. God commanded him, it was Elohim’s order; and Jehovah the personal God that cared for him, not merely the divine being, shut him in. The scissors must be very small and fine that cut this into two documents, while the Lord’s mind shines out with the deepest beauty and interest to those that have eyes to see. So in 8:21 we have Jehovah smelled a sweet savor, because it was a personal relationship and dealing with men. All the rest of this part is Elohim, God as God dealing with a subject world in the flood, and sparing, as such, Noah and his family. In 9:26 Jehovah comes in again in evident relationship. As to all these, readers have only to take an “Englishman’s Hebrew Concordance” and seek the passages where these various names occur, generic, personal, official, or compound. It will not be lost labor, nor anything which is an inlet to the divine mind—God’s revelation of Himself.

"Do" vs. "Have" Come Short

Question: Rom. 3:23. The ambiguity of the English Version misleads many readers. Instead of understanding it to mean, “All have sinned, and do come short,” &c., they interpret it as if it were, “All have sinned, and have come short,” &c. After setting forth the true restoration of man, i.e., believing man, by the gospel, the happy counterpart to the above sad sentence is found in chap. v. 2, where we are said to “rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” I may add that not overlooking the right tense in ὑστεροῦνται contributes to make the meaning clear, i.e., all fail to obtain the glory of God, rather all have failed to exhibit it. But I invite your judgment as to the truth of this. L. C. L. B.
Answer: The remark is right as to the ambiguity of the English, because “come” is also the participle—have come, and the natural connection is, “sinned and come short.” But it seems to me that ὑστεροῦνται does not refer to exhibiting. With a genitive, and particularly in later writers, it has the sense, “destitute of,” “wanting,” “failing to have.” (See Lobeck. Phryn. 238. Valck. Schol. in N. T. ii. 472. Steph. Thes. Col. 9812, Ed. Valpy.)
Now that sin has come in, we must meet the glory of God or be excluded by it. In a state of innocency man enjoyed favor, and the question of consistency with the divine glory had not been raised. Now, we say, “All have sinned, and do come short of, fail in meeting, or standing in the presence of, the glory of God.” Christ, as Son of man, has glorified God on the cross, and human nature has a place in the glory, οὐκ ὑστεποῦται. And so we in Him. This point of meeting the glory I believe to be an important one, and to run through the Gospels. John 13 specially treats it with immense depth, though briefly. I add that ἥμαρτον, the aorist, is the historic fact, which is the ground of the present state expressed in ῦστεροῦνται. We have sinned, and are outside of, away from, morally wanting in what meets, and gives us a place in, the glory of God.

Does 1 Cor. 11:33 Apply in Our Day?

Question: 1 Cor. 11:33. How does this apply in our day? M.
Answer: It exhorts against selfish or unholy haste, it calls to mutual love and esteem, in coming together before the Lord.

Does Hebrew Distiniguish "Atonement" and "Propitiation" in Lev. 16?

Question: Lev. 16 &c. Does the Hebrew distinguish “atonement” and “propitiation”? Are there two different words? What distinction does the chapter present? It is known that ἱλασμὸς in the N. T. is translated “propitiation,” and in the Septuagint answers to “atonement.”
Answer: The Hebrew word Kaphar (for the question) means to atone, or make atonement. So it is regularly; and Dent. 32:43, Isa. 47:11, Ezek. 16:63; 43:20; 45:15, 17, 20, are the same in substance, though the effect in some cases is meant, as pacified, purged, forgiven, merciful, &c. “Propitiate” would be just as good a rendering as “atone”; and no other word regularly expresses either but the one. There is however a real distinction definitely drawn in the chapter, not between atonement and propitiation, but between propitiation and substitution typified in Jehovah’s lot and the scapegoat. The error which has so often been exposed in these pages is limiting propitiation exclusively to the use made of the blood by Aaron in the sanctuary. That theory necessarily involves the frightful error of denying that the offering of the slain victim is any part of the propitiation for our sins. What a slight on Christ’s sufferings! For this monstrous theory is that propitiation was made “in heaven, and after death,” thus nullifying forever that great work of God by Christ’s blood and death on the cross, and making it altogether dependent on another work “after death and in heaven,” instead of the type met before God in heaven by what Christ suffered on earth. “You hath He reconciled in the body of His flesh (not when He was out of His body) through death” (not after death and in heaven). Assuredly to be “reconciled” is grounded on propitiation, and presupposes it; but the truth is that Christ fully reconciled us in the body of His flesh through death. The ghostly work after death and in heaven is a ghastly fable, and calls for abhorrence.

Does Psalm 91:11 Refer to the Lord?

Question: Does Psa. 91:11, quoted by Satan, refer at all to the Lord? or are there not three parties implied in it? W.
Answer: The godly one that relies on Jehovah in ver. 2, Who will surely deliver Messiah as in vers. 3-13, and is answered in vers. 14-16 by Jehovah.

Does Scripture Determine the Serpent in Gen. 3?

Question: Does scripture determine the serpent in Gen. 3?
Answer: Surely Rev. 12:9, 20:1, with 2 Cor. 11:3, are ample to decide this question. Satan availed himself of that subtle animal, not yet reduced to its humiliating condition.

Don't All Christians Love His Appearing?

Question: “All them also that love his appearing” (2 Tim. 4:8). Do not all Christians love His appearing?
R. M.
Answer: 2 Tim. 4:8. The love of His appearing or manifestation in glory is what is in the heart of every Christian. Then shall we be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. There may not be intelligent knowledge of the manner and meaning of the event. But the soul that can say, “We love him, because he first loved us,” delights in His manifestation. And every one that hath this hope on Christ purifieth himself even as He is pure.

"Dwelleth" in John 14:17

Question: In John 14:17, “He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” Is “he dwelleth” future? or does it mean that the Spirit dwelt with them in the person of Christ, but that at Pentecost He should be in them? As it reads in our English version, one would understand, “He dwelleth with you now, but by-and-by he shall be in you,” at some future time.
Answer: As to John 14:17, it may be taken as “will,” as it is solely the question of an accent, μενεπι or μένει. But I think it quite immaterial. Christ could not remain with them, this other Comforter could; Christ was with them, not in them; this other Comforter would be in them. But it does not at all mean that He was dwelling with them in Christ. He is speaking of another Comforter not come yet, and putting this in contrast with their present state. I prefer, μένει as it is, because of θεωρεῖ, γινώσκει. The Father would give them another Comforter, who could not come till Christ was gone. It is of Him, and this new state of things, the Lord is expressly speaking, as to the world, and as to the disciples. It would not be for the world (Christ had been, though rejected), because the world did not see or know Him (that is, when come). Not so the disciples—ye know Him (present), because He abides with you (in contrast with me who am going), and shall be in you, which I now cannot be. “Is in you” would not have done, as affirming not what characterized the Spirit as the new Comforter, but a positive existing fact.
J. N. D.


Question: 2 Cor. 4:10. What is meant by νέκρωσιν (translated in the English Bible “dying”) here? Is it “deadness” or the state of death, or what else? W.
Answer: Νέκρωσις is stated to have a passive or rather neutral sense as well as active, it is not simply deadness. It is not the state of Heath, but, where not killing, the act of dying. So putting to death even is used in English: only agency is supposed there. I may say ‘his putting to death’ was inexcusable, i.e., his being put to death. In Rom. 4 it is not simply death, as if Sarah were dead, but the losing the power of life which had taken place. He did not think of Sarah’s womb losing its vital powers. In 2 Cor. 4:10 it is not losing, as in Rom. 4, but he realized in the body the applying death to it, as death was Christ’s portion. It is not, as to Christ, the Jews’ act of crucifying and slaying, which is in mind. Hence killing does not snit, but the fact of the setting aside of life. No English word exactly answers. Dying is looked at as the fruit of something at work; but it is not the working of the instrument which is looked at, but the effect on the person. He held his body down as dead because, as regards Christ in this world, he knew Him as one Who had died to it, for whom putting to death was His portion and the source of all blessing. It is the cross applied to the flesh’s life. Νέκπωσις is making a corpse of, depriving of life; this ended with his body because it had so been with Christ. So Peter says, Christ having ‘Suffered in the flesh, we are to arm ourselves with the same mind.

"Eternal," "Everlasting," or "Age-lasting"?

Question: Does the word of God really mean “eternal” or “everlasting” in Matt. 25:46? or only “age-lasting?” T. H. T,
Answer: The word is used in Rom. 16:26 of God, in Heb. 9:14 of the Spirit, and in 1 John 1:2 of that life which Christ was and is. Are They merely age-lasting? In 2 Cor. 4:18 the same is contrasted with “temporal,” instead of being similar in force, as these false teachers aver. Nay, the verse itself refutes their desire; for even they own that the life of the saints is “everlasting,” and the same word in the same sentence is applied to the punishment of the wicked. Hebrew, Greek, English, or any other tongue, makes no difference. The N. T. differs from the Old in the utmost clearness as to this, now that Christ is come; as the O. T. had dwelt chiefly on the present government of God, while pointing here and there to the eternal things which are now unveiled under the gospel.

Eternal Life Not a Thing, But a Person?

Question: Is eternal life not a thing but a Person (Christ)? and is it true that a Christian has no life, inasmuch as Christ is in heaven?
Answer: Eternal life is a thing that we have, though we have it only in the person of Christ; but it is our life here as Christians, with its mind and affections, quite as real and much more important than the natural Adamic life of man.

Christ the Son of God Only Since His Birth, or Eternally?

Question: Is it right to view Christ as the Son of God only since His birth into this world, or is He the eternal Son?—K. H.
Answer: Not only is the Lord Jesus, Son of God as born into the world (Luke 1:35; Acts 13:33), but this title is equally His from all eternity, as Scripture plainly reveals. Or how otherwise can we understand the following statements?
“Whose Son is he? If David then call him Lord, how is he his son” (Matt. 22:42-45; Mark 12:35-37; Luke 20:41-44)? “God gave his only begotten Son” (John 3:16). “God sent not his Son into the world to judge,” etc. (John 3:17). “God sent his only begotten Son into the world” (1 John 4:9, 10). “God sent forth his Son” (Gal. 4:4). “Say ye of him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, Thou blasphemist, because I said, I am the Son of God” (John 10:36)? “The Father sent the Son” (1 John 4:14). “The Son of his love... the firstborn of every creature, for by him were all things created,” etc. (Col. 1:13-17). “God... hath.. spoken unto us by his Son... by whom also he made the worlds,” etc. (Heb. 1:1-3). “Melchisedec.... without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God” (Heb. 7:3). “We know that the Son of God is come” (1 John 5:20).
These scriptures are surely plain to a simple mind; and Dr. Adam Clarice’s rationalistic reasoning as to the Eternal Sonship of our blessed Lord has no just force. He was answered by Abraham Scott in 1828, and subsequently by Richard Treffry, jun., in his well-known work, “The Eternal Sonship of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Evangelism More Than Teaching?

Question: Is it not laid down in scripture that to be an evangelist is much more than to teach? Such seems to be the meaning of 1 Cor. 4:15. J. H. S.
Answer: Not so, though comparisons are odious; and it is the plain call of grace for the teacher to uphold the evangelist, as for the evangelist to give all honor to the teacher. Each fills up a different and all-important part of ministerial work, each a gift from Christ for the perfecting of the saints to the edifying of His body. But while the evangelist might be a babe, the teacher needs ripe spiritual intelligence. The truth, however, is that the apostle by ten thousand “instructors” in Christ does not refer to the teachers, but to the meddlesome talkers at Corinth, to whom he gives the rather slighting title of παιδαγωγοί. (as in Gal. 3:24). So was called the slave that led the child to and from school, a boy-ward, not his teacher. Paul had toward the Corinthian saints the affections of a father.

Exodus 14, 15 - Pharoah not Perished?

Question: Ex. 14, 15. Is there substantial ground for doubting that the Pharaoh of Exodus, Menephthah, perished with his host in the Red Sea? I am aware that Sir G. Wilkinson (Ancient Egypt, i. 54) so thought, and that the Rev. Professor Rawlinson follows him (Hist. of Anc. Eg., ii. 336).—A Disciple
Answer: We are not limited to the writings of Moses. The Psalms are no less divinely inspired. If the language is only general in Exodus, Psa. 136:15 is explicit, that Jehovah “overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red Sea.”

Explanation of 2 Samuel 5:8

Question: 2 Sam. 5:8: how do you explain?
C. S. H.
Answer: The blind and the lame seem to have been set as a taunt to the anointed of Jehovah on the supposed impregnable fortress of Zion; and David felt it with all indignant ardor. They were the hated of his soul: Nevertheless Joab took the hill of Zion on David’s behalf, the center of his kingdom, and the prize that secured his own place of command. All in man’s hand fails. How blessedly does the Lord contrast with it, Who, when He cast out those that made Jehovah’s house a den of thieves, received blind and lame that came to Him in the temple, and healed them.

Explanation of Names and Surnames of The Twelve

Question: Could we have a few words of explanation on the names and surnames of “The Twelve”?
Answer: Simon or Symeon (2 Peter 1:1) had the patronymic of Bar, that is, son of Jona or Jonas, (Matt. 16:17; John 20:15-17), and was given by the Lord the name of Kephas (Aramaic), or Petros (Greek)=Stone or Rockman (John 1:43, confirmed solemnly later in Matt. 16:18).
Andrew is a Greek name (as Philip also in another case) and seemingly answers to the Hebrew Adam. He was Simon’s brother and the means of leading him, afterward far more famous than himself, to the Lord, as we read in John 1, before their public call (Matt. 4; Luke 5).
John, “the beloved disciple,” was in Hebrew Johanan, “the gift of Jehovah.”
James is our English form of Jacob, who, like John, was son of Zebedee or Zabdi. They were surnamed by our Lord (Mark 3:17) Boanerges, that is, sons of thunder.
Philip, of Bethsaida like the foregoing, answers in Greek to the Hebrew name Susi, father of Gaddi (Num. 13:11). It means “fond of horses.”
Bartholomew is the patronymic, meaning son of Tolmai; his personal name was Nathaniel (gift of God).
Thomas in Hebrew, like Didymus, means “a twin.”
Levi and Matthew were both Hebrew names of the same apostle who wrote the first Gospel.
Jacob son of Alphmus or Clopas (Chalpai) is the second apostolic James.
Jude or Judas, Lebbmus, and Thaddmus are the three names of the apostle who wrote the so called catholic Epistle (Matt. 10:3; Mark 3:18).
Simon was called Zelotes (Luke 6:15, Acts 1:13), answering to the Hebrew word translated “Cananean,” as it should be, not meaning either of Canaan or of Cana, but “zealot,” one of that well-known fierce party of Jews.
Judas finally seems designated “Iscariot,” meaning man of Kerioth in the south of Judea, alas! the traitor.

Explanation of the Leper

Question: Lev. 13. What is the true explanation of the leper here? J.J.
Answer: Surely it typifies a sinner cleansed from impurity otherwise fatal, rather than a saint overtaken by the way. It is ruinous evil in a man’s condition beyond means or hope, and not merely the fallen state of a male or female child, as in Lev. 12 which it also seemed good to divine wisdom to impress on Israel. Nothing short of the work of Christ in type could avail for either. But it appears quite illegitimate to tone down a defilement so deadly as leprosy to anything but the effect of sin in all its malignity. Here it is not its healing but its cleansing when healed by the adequate and unnamed power of God. To meet its terrible result we have first the figure of Christ’s death and resurrection applied to pronounce him clean and the man subsequently washing his clothes, shaving all his hair, and washing his person. Nor does this effect all; for Jehovah would have him, after a careful purifying on the seventh day, to appropriate on the eighth the value of Christ in all the fullness of His sacrifice, as the trespass-offering, sin-offering, burnt-offering and meal-offering. As the priest applied of the blood of the trespass-offering to the right ear, right thumb, and great toe of the right foot, so of the log of oil to the same emblematic parts of the body; that his hearing, his service, and his walk must be manifestly thus brought under the power of redemption and of the Holy Spirit. So minute and complete is the analysis of the virtue of Christ’s work, so varied and comprehensive the exigencies for the sinner’s perfect cleansing before God; who would have us know the ungrudging provision of His grace. The true figure under the law for restoring one passingly defiled is the very different sprinkling the unclean with the red heifer’s ashes in the water of separation (Num. 19).

Exposition on Romans 5:15-17

Question: Rom. 5:15-17. No exposition of this passage which I have seen has appeared to me quite satisfactory. My opinion is, that every one of these verses contains a separate thought, which is fitted, by its position and progression, to magnify the grace of God. The apostle is illustrating the leading truth of the Christian system, justification by divine righteousness accomplished in Christ; and, in order to establish conclusively the gratuitous nature of it, he draws his illustration from the way in which we became guilty, viz., by the guilt of Adam’s first sin. As we are reckoned by God, and treated, as in fact guilty persons, before we do anything personally to involve us in guilt, so we are reckoned by God as righteous persons, and are treated as such, before we do anything to make us righteous. There is such a striking analogy or resemblance between guile and grace—the fall and the restoration. But the apostle begins to show, at verse 15, that this analogy does not hold in all respects: by showing that the side of the parallel formed by materials drawn from the new and gracious dispensation is the broader, deeper, and more outstanding and noticeable. It illustrates grace superabounding and triumphing over guilt in three particulars: 1. in its provision (ver. 15); 2. in its communication (ver. 16); and 3. in its consummation (ver. 17).
1. The Source.—Verse 15 points, us to the fountainhead or source of sin and righteousness; of guilt and grace. There is evidently a comparison of stocks or stores in this verse; and grace gets a triumph over guilt when we look to Jesus, in whom, as in a storehouse, all fullness of it dwells. If we are condemned for the sin of Adam, a mere creature like ourselves, shall we not much more be justified by grace for the sake of the Divine One, Jesus, who is “full of grace and truth”? If natural connection with the creature has brought us so much evil, much more shall Spiritual connection with the God-man, Jesus Christ, bring us good.
2. The Communication.—Verse 16 shows that the communication of grace far exceeds the communication of guilt. Adam shares what is his with his, race, so Christ shares what belongs to Him with His seed; but the righteousness which believers enjoy in Him covers far more than the guilt they inherit from Adam For by Christ we are justified not only from the guilt of this one sin, but also from the aggravated guilt which we have contracted by our “many offenses,” i.e., all our sins. Besides, we were involved in Adam’s guilt by generic necessity; we are put in possession of righteousness in Christ as “a free and gracious gift.”
3. The Consummation.—Ver. 17. Here we have the rich excess of grace over guilt in consummation, or in what it will do for believers when communicated to them and possessed by them. The point contained in this verse is this: If all connected with Adam are made subject to death for his one offense, much more shall all connected with Christ (who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of justification) not only have their original condemnation to death removed, but also reign in life with Him, on account of His obedience even unto death, and His resurrection, as their representative and living head, to the enjoyment of an endless life. Their connection with Jesus not only frees them from death, but it gives them a right to life, nor only here, but in the glorious kingdom to come: “Being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” He is now possessed of an ever-enduring life in resurrection, and all believers are sharers with Him in this life, for “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life.” Just as death began in Adam the moment he sinned, so life begins in believers the moment they believe in Christ: “God hath given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.” And as the time is fast approaching when Jesus, the Son of God, Who once suffered for our sins, shall return to reign, so all His saints shall they reign in life with Him: “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive.” “Thou hast redeemed us, and made us unto our God kings and priests and we shall reign over the earth.”
The analogy being thus explained, limited, and illustrated, the apostle resumes his argument, and sums up the whole matter in verses 18 and 19, which contain his main position. This, in nearly the words of these verses, may be thus stated— “As by the offense of one all connected with that one are condemned; so by the accomplished righteousness of One all connected with Him have ‘justification of life.’ For as by the disobedience of the One (the representative) the many (the represented) were constituted sinners, so by the obedience of the one (the representative) with the many (the represented) be constituted righteous.”
I should be glad to see the above passage in Romans thoroughly examined by you and your correspondents. It is one of the most vital, seeing that it forms the keystone of the gateway of grace.
W. R.

The Fall of the Dragon and His Hosts?

Question: Matt. 24:29. — Is there any ground to identify the shaking of “the powers of the heavens” (or, as in Mark 13, “the powers that are in the heavens”) with the fall of the dragon and his hosts from heaven in Rev. 12? The time does not at all agree. If not, what is meant? C. L.
Answer: The difficulty suggested as to the date can have no place whatever. Other questions may arise as to the force of words.
In Rev. 12 Satan is cast down, clearly before the last great tribulation, greatly enraged, because he knows he has but a short time, and persecutes the woman for the time, times, and half a time. In the passage in the gospels, where the mark of time seems precise (Matt. 24, Mark 13), the shaking of the powers of the heavens is after the tribulation. That is, the casting down of Satan in Rev. 12 is before, and introductory of, the last tribulation; in Matt. 24 and Mark 13 the shaking of the powers of the heavens is after the tribulation.
Thus, as events, they have nothing to do with one another. In Luke 21 the expression is vague and gives a general ground for what happens.
The inquiry then is simply, without any reference to the fall of Satan from heaven, what these terms mean.
It seems to me that in Luke there is mixed metaphor; in Matthew and Mark it is more in the style of Old Testament prophecy. I have little doubt that the scene will be as mixed as the metaphor—terrible signs actually given (compare Luke 21:11); and, besides that, an actual disruption of all existing powers, and terror on every heart, with the tumultuous swellings of peoples. Compare Psa. 93 where I do not believe it is mere literal waters. Further, I find in Dan. 8:10 the host and the stars clearly refer to rulers (Jewish priestly rulers) on the earth. Now I do not doubt the shakings and subversion of the future (before the great and terrible day of the Lord) will he much greater and more terrible than what is in Dan. 8; but this gives an inlet into what those expressions mean. I would not confine this tremendous breaking up of existing powers and rule to Jewish ones there, though it is in Dan. 8, because Gentiles and Jews are all mixed up together, the sacrifice taken away, and idolatry come in. But there will be more than a revolution—a subversion and upsetting of all manifested and organic powers. There is an analogous upsetting of all powers in Rev. 11, supposed by the inhabitants of the earth to be the great day of the Lamb’s wrath, which it is not, but only a precursor of it. I refer to it to show that such subversions of all constituted powers are so spoken of, without any raising of the question whether Satan is cast down from heaven or not. This is before the trumpets and the vials; the end of the last tribulation comes after it—somewhere at the end of the second woe-trumpet, and then God’s judgment by Christ Himself. The beast and the final tribulation are a special subject, besides the general government under which these shakings come; and they are so given in the Apocalypse. The general government of God applies to the nations at large; the beast is in connection with the rejection of Christ and enmity to Him. They go on concurrently, but the latter is a special matter.

What Grounds for "Farewell" Instead of "Rejoice"?

Question: Phil. 3:1; 4:4. What ground had the Revisers for putting “farewell” as the marginal equivalent for “rejoice”? A. B.
Answer: Nothing but pedantry. The verb as a secondary meaning is used for “saluting,” and so for “farewell”; but this sense is in narrow contextual bounds, as Matt. 26:49; 27:29; 28:9; Mark 15:18; Luke 1:28; John 19:3; Acts 15:23; 23:26; James 1:1, and 2 John 10, 11. Everywhere else it means “rejoice,” or “be glad,” and emphatically so in the Epistle to the Philippians where it is an evident keynote, as in 1:18, 2:17, 18, 28, 3:1, 4:4, 10. What would be the sense of “Farewell in the Lord alway”? Yet this is long after 3:1, where “farewell” would be therefore unnatural. Then we have also to take account of the kindred “joy” (χάρα) in the same Epistle, as in 1:4, 25, 2:2, 29, and 4:1 which it is impossible to mistake. But the verb ought not to be confounded as the A.V. does with καυχάομαι, “I boast” as in Rom. 5:2, 11, Phil. 3:3, James 1:9; 4:16. It may surprise one that so profound a scholar as the late Bp. Lightfoot should express the opinion on Phil. 3:1 that the word conveys both meanings here, referring also to 2:18, 4:4. Spiritual perception is another thing, and indispensable for the right rendering of scripture.

The Father's/Son's Work

Question: 1. Psa. 110:1. Is this, as Mr. J. Gall conceives, the Father’s “evangelistic work?” Is the Son’s work “by outward judgments?”
Answer: In both statements there seems no small confusion through inattention to scripture.
1. The Father and the Son, as such, do not appear in Psa. 110. It is wise to adhere to scripture. The true correlates here are Jehovah and Messiah. No doubt the persons may be otherwise and elsewhere so regarded; but beyond controversy what the Psalm reveals is Jehovah saying to David’s Lord, the Messiah, Sit Thou at My right hand until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool. Nor in fact does scripture ever, that I remember, speak of the right hand of the Father, but of God, and avoids it pointedly as in Acts 2:33. Surely also the N. T. which speaks of “evangelistic work” connects it with the Son yet more than the Father. It was He, not the Father, Who came to seek and to save the lost. It is not said of “the Father,” but that “God so loved the world that He gave” &c. The truth is that in the O. T. Jehovah and His Anointed have perfect communion in “outward judgments,” as in the N. T. Father and Son have in “evangelistic work.” The Law, Psalms, and Prophets prove the former, as the Gospels and Epistles the latter, the Revelation bringing us round transitionally to the world-kingdom of the Lord and His Christ, and the eternal state which follows again confirming their fellowship in judgment as before in grace.
Nor can any interpretation be more egregious than that Jehovah’s making Messiah’s enemies to be Messiah’s footstool means “converting grace.” Subjecting them to Christ it is, but this, as 1 Cor. 15 slums, for actively putting down and annulling all antagonistic power. Such is one of the main objects of “the kingdom,” which is as distinct from the gospel and the church as from eternity.

Fine Linen in Revelation 19

Question: Rev. 19:8 — What is the meaning of the inspired explanation of the symbolical “fine linen?” B.
Answer: Observe, first, that it is said to be the righteousness “of saints,” not of God, but of His people. Secondly, it is not exactly their righteousness, but their “righteousnesses” (δικιώματα). This it is impossible in any just sense to understand of the righteous standing which is made ours in Christ. God’s righteousness in Him is the same for all saints. But each saint here will have his or her own righteousness. Hence it is no question of taking up the saints to heaven, which will be the crowning act of grace, nor of our presentation in the Father’s house in a war suitable to His grace. We must therefore distinguish between the white raiment of Rev. 4 and the fine linen of Rev. 19. The one was the clothing of pure grace, the fruit of divine righteousness in Christ. But in chapter 19 it was given to the bride to be arrayed in “fine linen” which is expressly said to be the saints’ righteousness. It is in view of our appearing with Christ before the world, and consequently when all the righteous results of the ways of the saints shall be manifested.

The Firm Foundation of God

Question: A correspondent questions both the translation and the meaning of “the firm foundation of God;” as given in the new version published by G. Morrish. He would render it substantially as the Authorized: “yet still the foundation of God stands firm,” and argues that it can be nothing else than the resurrection of Christ, because of the contextual reference in verses 8 and seq.
Answer: But, in the first place, the proposed rendering, like that of the English Bible which it repeats in its faultiness, offends against ordinary grammar. The position of the article proves that στερεός, “firm,” cannot be a predicate, but is an epithet forming an integral part of the definition.
The only possible meaning, therefore, is, “the firm foundation of God stands.” Secondly, the notion that the fundamental doctrine of the resurrection is meant, was that of Cocceius, as well as of some since his day. Theodoret held a similar but wider view, considering the foundation to be the basis of the truth, of which the hope of resurrection is the seal. But I see no reason for giving it a special application, believing, with the translator referred to, that tile figure is used abstractedly.

The Five Wise Virgins

Question: Matt. 25:1-13. Since believers are the bride, whom do the five wise virgins represent? They went in to the marriage feast as guests only. When the bridegroom came, was he not accompanied by his bride? was he not taking her to his home at the end of the feast given at her father’s house? S. de G.
Answer: The Lord in this parable presents not the church as such in its unity, but Christians as an aggregate going out to meet Him in figure; and hence He depicts them as the nuptial cortege. “The bride” would not have answered His purpose at all, but the maidens, foolish and prudent, so as to be emblematic of professors through Christendom’s state and at His advent. The possession of the Holy Spirit is the crucial test. All had gone asleep; but at midnight grace sent forth an awakening cry, which wrought, even on the foolish, to arise and trim their lamps. But when the Bridegroom came, only those ready could enter in; for they alone had the unction from the Holy One which could fit any to have their portion with Him. The object here was not to fix attention on the bride, but on the individual responsibility of the Christian to await Christ’s coming duly. Mere profession gives no title to go in with Him to the feast. There must be oil in their vessels; and the foolish, active as they were (“earnest” as men say), had none. The bride is nowhere in this scene.

The Flesh in Us

Question: Why in the Feb. B. T. the censure on saying “the old man is gone in the death of Christ?” C.
Answer: Because of so speaking as to ignore the flesh still in us. This is a very real danger, because it oversteps the truth; especially as most confound “the old man” and “the flesh.” And we know that, however delivered and blessed the saint may be here, the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh (Gal. 5:17). The more precious the truth (and it is precious to know that our old man has been crucified with Christ, that the body of sin might be annulled), the more important not to go beyond the word. “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves.” The terms “gone,” “removed,” &c., are liable to convey what is unscriptural and misleading, and in particular where no careful guard accompanies the term. “They that are of Christ Jesus crucified the flesh with its passions and its lusts.”

"For the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus Has Set Me Free From the Law of Sin and Death"

Question: “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death” (Rom. 8:2).
Answer: So too, no longer in the flesh but in the Spirit, the believer knows himself to be in Christ Jesus, where no condemnation can possibly be. Under a new rule or principle—a law—it is the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus risen. He breathed into the disciples and said, “Receive ye the Holy Ghost.” The law of sin and death inherited from Adam has no longer its authority. “Sin shall not have dominion over you.” There is the effective working of a new and living law —a law of liberty and power—so that now the righteous requirement, or demand, of God’s holy law is fulfilled in us who do not walk according to flesh (as once we did), but according to Spirit—the Spirit of God.

Force of 1 John 5:11?

Question: 1 John 5:11? What is the force?
W. E.
Answer: It seems impossible to make the truth plainer than the apostle was given to do. He is showing God’s witness worthy of the greater heed, as in itself greater beyond comparison than any witness of men. And it is this, that God gave unto us, Christians, eternal life (not merely promises or a kingdom), and this life is in His Son. For He is that life, though of course far more, as being very God no less than the Father. But it is ours now, and it works in us all that is pleasing in His sight; though we have it in His Son, and all the more surely and incorruptibly ours because it is in Him. But it is equally true that we have life, as it is destructive error and unbelief to doubt or deny, to darken or defile, this grand truth of Christianity.

Force of Christ Dying for All

Question: 2 Cor. 5:14, 15.—What is the force of Christ dying for all? and in what sense are all dead as proved by His death?
- P.
Answer: The meaning is that, if Christ died for all, it was because all had died: otherwise there would have been no such need for Him to die. You need not go down into a pit where one will perish, if he is not there perishing.
That it is not all died to sin is evident from the correspondency of “all” in the sentence; and further that “they which live” are taken as sonic out of the “all” in what follows. “He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live,” &c. οἱ ξῶντες, not ξῶντες. Hence he does not know even Christ after the flesh, as a living Jewish Messiah, whom as a Jew he would have known: “God was in Christ reconciling the world.” Nor does he know Christians as belonging to the old creation to which they had died, nor others, for they were all dead—their whole history. But if a man was in Christ, it was a new creation. He belonged to that in which all things were of God. The whole subject is the power of life in Christ as triumphant over death. Hence, when he applies it, he does not say merely “who died for them,” as when he speaks of all, but “rose again” also. It is the power and fullness of a new thing for those taken out of death through Christ’s going down into it. There was neither Jew, Gentile, sin, flesh, nor any other thing of the old Adam or legal estate, but a new creation.

The Force of the Expressions in Christ and in the Lord? Meaning of Marriage Only in the Lord?

Question: What do you consider the force of the two expressions, “in Christ,” and “in the Lord”? 2. What means, as said of marriage, “only in the Lord” (1 Cor. 7:39)? G. B. E.
Answer: Though they approach nearly, there is a shade of difference, the first rather expressing privilege, the latter responsibility. 2. This is certainly so in the case proposed. Two persons might be “in Christ,” truly attached in affection, but the one entering into the full relationship of the Christian, the other hardly rising in faith or practice above a simple believer, content with remission of sins and general care as to moral walk, and in a false position ecclesiastically. Would it be “in the Lord” for such to marry? Can two walk together before Him who are not agreed in a duty so important for His glory?

Force of the Words for People and Nations in the Old Testament

Question: What is the distinctive force of the words used for people, peoples, nations in the Old Testament? And to which would the different Greek words in Luke 2:31, 32 correspond? A. B.
Answer: The words used for people, peoples, nations in the Hebrew are these. עַם “people” in the singular in general signifies Israel, םיִּםַע in the plural “peoples.” This is very often indeed wrongly translated “people” in the Authorized Version, I suppose because “peoples” is not correct English; but the sense is quite different. I believe the םיִּםַע are the peoples in connection with Israel, brought into relationship with Israel. יגּוֹיִם, on the contrary, are the nations in contrast with God’s people. It is used of Israel where it is disowned in Psa. 43. גּוֹי לא־חָסִיֽר an impious nation. There is another word, and quite general, íéÄÌîËàÀì “tribes,” “races,” and so “nations.” This is the word translated people in Psa. 2, and often elsewhere. The word תֺוּמֻא is found in Gen. 25:16 (of Arab tribes) and in Num. 25:15, in the same sense. We have íéÄÌîÇò in Psa. 18 In Psa. 3:6, it is םַע Israel. In Psa. 7:8 it is יגּוֹיִם; that is, while a general word, not the nations looked at in contrast with Israel, “Gentiles,” as we are accustomed to say. In Psa. 9 God is viewed as clearing the land of His enemies. He is known by the judgment He executes. The wicked (which may be of His people in the land) are turned into Sheol, are slain and go down to the pit, and the Gentiles also who give no heed to God but go their own way, despising Him. In Psa. 67 verse 2, it is “all the nations” everywhere, contrasted with Israel who speaks. Verse 7 is the effect. In verse 3 they are looked at as brought into Relationship, íéÄÌîÇò In verse 4 it is íéÄÌîËàÀì, all the various tribes of the earth. Then He judges them, not in destruction as íÄéÊåÌâ but as peoples (íéÄÌîÇò) under Him. Then íéÄÌîËàÀì the various tribes or races He shall lead or govern. In verse 5 it is íéÄÌîÇò all the various peoples, but viewed in relationship with Jehovah.
We have three times in Luke 2 before the face of all peoples. Were the ëáïß expressed in Hebrew, it would be íéÄÌîÇò a general word (not I think here íéÄÌîËàÀì) but viewed as brought into relationship with God. Then the nations, ßâíç, (íÄéÊåÌâ) were viewed as wholly invisible, unseen and ignored. The light of Christ was to reveal them, bring them out into visible existence, so that they became íéÄÌîÇò so to speak. Then “people Israel” is plain enough.

Forms of Baptism

Question: In what respect does the form of baptism, in Matt. 28:19, differ from the fact given in Acts 2:38? T.
Answer: Our Lord, in the Gospel of Matthew, gives the formula according to which a. disciple is to be baptized unto His death; and this in contrast with the Jewish confession of one God, even Jehovah. In Acts 2 it is said by Peter to be “upon the name of Jesus Christ.” So, in Acts 8:16, the Samaritan professors are said to have been baptized “unto the name of the Lord Jesus,” as Cornelius and his household were “in his name.” These are ways of describing baptism suitably to the Acts of the Apostles, where the Lordship of Jesus is one of the main objects. But there is no ground to doubt that Christian baptism was always formally “unto the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” To omit or change that which the Lord enjoined so solemnly in resurrection, is a bolder act than becomes a Christian. This, certainly, ought never to be left out, however right it may be to testify to His Lordship also.

Future and Perfect

Question: Matt. 16:19; 18:18—What is the true force of the future with the perfect part in these texts? Does it teach, what has been drawn from it and apparently by more than one Christian recently, not a ratification in heaven consequent on the binding on earth, but that what was bound on earth had been previously bound in heaven?
Answer: I am of opinion that there is no ground grammatically, any more than in the scope of our Lord’s doctrine, to suppose that the participle δεδεμένον expresses time past relatively to that which is signified by the future ἒσωαι. The idea is that of a certain condition viewed abstractedly from consideration of actual time. “Whatever thou mayest bind on the earth shall be a thing bound in the heavens,” &e. It is well known that, according to the grammarians, the futurum III or exactum in many verbs (as δέω κόπτω, παύω, πιπράσκω) supplies the place of the simple future passive, as may be seen in Jelf’s Gr. Gr. second ed. Vol. II. p. 71. The difference, I would add, is that the complex form before us views the result as permanent (δεδμένον) but, beyond doubt, of a future act (ἒσται τὸ δεδεμένον). Had the meaning contended for been meant, care would have been taken to express it distinctly, as ἢὀη όεόεμένον ἔσται ἐν, or ἔσται τὸ δεδεμένον or in some other way quite different from the actual construction, which appears to me to admit of no other translation than that which is given in the Authorized Version.
2 Timothy, just as the apostle is going to be offered up, turns to associations which are not in connection with the glory of Christ and the gospel as a workman.... Nature, and grace in nature, is fully owned of God. Man and wife are heirs together of the grace of life. But the power of the work is a newly introduced thing in the Second Adam, and Him risen, and by the Holy Ghost. The other was sweetly owned in its place; but then, with this, the thoughts of God are owned as before the existence of the world. There is the creation, and it is owned in its place, though man be fallen; there is power above it, and acting in it. But that which power brings in and reveals was in the counsels of God and given us in Christ, subsisting in Him, before there was a creation, fallen or unfallen. Power had abolished death, the present result of the first creation, and brought life and incorruptibility to light—what was before the first creation, and is the result in the new creation. Chapters ii. and iii. give the path of conduct as to the Church, and the ground of confidence and warrant of conduct when it is corrupt and fallen—a weighty instruction. It takes death, life, and reign; and Christ, not the Church, as the test of conduct; evil and good judged in individual conduct; judgment of the whole; association with what is good; and then (in the form of piety, or godliness, but reality of wickedness) the Scriptures for the individual the sure guide. What mail would call presumption becomes an imperious duty; and nothing is so humble as duty.

The Future Jewish Remnant

Question: What according to scripture is the character of the future Jewish remnant, after the rapture of the saints, before Christ and they appear together in glory? DISCIPLE.
Answer: Take the following concise answer in the words of another.
They are godly; under law; upright in heart, yet confessing their people’s blood-guiltiness; they are looking for Jehovah’s intervention against their enemies. They are persecuted under the beast; betrayed by their false brethren who have received the Antichrist. All these sorrows find expression in the Psalms. In using them they begin, as I understand it, but dimly at first, to perceive that some One has been in these trying circumstances before them; One who when He cried to Jehovah, was heard. “This poor man cried, and Jehovah heard him, and delivered him out of all his troubles.” This encourages them to cry that He may deliver them. Gradually the thought of His being more than man dawns and grows on their souls. Jeremiah may tell them, “Cursed is the man that trusteth in man” (17:5) while Psa. 2 will say, “Blessed are all they which trust in him.” This seems a contradiction; but the perception of His divine nature is gradually but effectually taking its place in their souls, until the moment comes when He appears to their deliverance, and they look on Him whom they pierced and mourn, and find Him to be Jehovah’s fellow—nay, Jehovah Himself.

Gathered to the Lord's Name

Question: If gathered to the Lord’s name, on what principle in the present disorder and ruin of God’s house should we receive a Christian from a denomination or sect though he were desirous of abiding there? R.M.
Answer: The principle is, “as Christ also received us, to the glory of God.” If there be a known cause of sin and shame, we ought to refuse: not so did Christ receive us. Even when we had much to learn of the truth in detail, (50, 60 or more years ago), a firm stand was made by faithful men against such as trifled with fundamental truth. I remember in those days a fervent Wesleyan, who had learned “the blessed hope” and was morally driven out of that society by their opposition to that truth; yet was he rejected in his wish for communion in the Lord’s supper, because he denied the personality of the Holy Spirit, too common even then. But it is of comparatively late years that the fatal tidal wave of heterodoxy has been overflowing Christendom, as to Christ’s person on both sides, everlasting punishment of the lost, and God’s inspiration of scripture. This actual and growing condition compels all who fear God to reject such as either hold these grievous errors or, what is if possible worse, make light of these evils and insist on their title to go on where these destructive lies are taught. No matter what they plead, they disqualify themselves for true communion of saints, if they also claim indifference practically to such God-dishonoring errors. It is awful to think that some who were at least associated long with men faithful to Christ are now looser than the loose. For they faithlessly swamp the truth and holiness of God to receive Christians so called, no matter how defiled now. All of these may not be equally bold and careless; but there is no path so dangerous as, under heat for some and opposition to others, departing from known and cherished truth, and slighting those servants of God to whom they owe no small debt of love. Ere long, if grace do not deliver, they will hate their testimony more and more, and the light in them will become darkness; and then how great the darkness!
Where it is a known saint in an orthodox though sectarian position, yet in no way exercised about it, it appears to me still our privilege as of old to receive such an one in the Lord’s name, who desires to remember Him with us in the breaking of bread. But he needs adequate testimony and comes under discipline like others. Of course bargaining on either side would be intolerable. How many simple ones of spiritual feeling, though far from intelligent, having once enjoyed His presence thus, have inquired and learned His will, and never returned to man’s devices! The easygoing are such as retrograde, and so do the stiff and narrow; when they come to see that Christ is not therein, reaction may ensue.

Genesis 1

Question: Gen. 1. Which do you believe to be the true interpretation of this chapter? And why is no other view so satisfactory as the one you favor?
M. A.
Answer: In a general way it may be said that three different modes of understanding have prevailed.
1. What may be called the oldest known exegesis among Jewish and Christian commentators was the very vague notion that “In the beginning” (vers. 1, 2) was practically very near if not actually at the same time, as that which is detailed in “the six days” beginning with ver. 3 and following to the end of the chapter. There may be some slight difference among the early fathers as among Rabbis. But the general impression which they convey was the conviction that the creation of heaven and earth almost immediately was followed by that of our first parents. The second verse presented no small difficulty. Heathen ideas would have inclined many to have reversed the order of vers. 1 and 2. Others could not admit such a change possible, and would have seen that as this was disloyalty to scripture, so it would have involved a difficulty as great as it removed. Hence the disposition to leave the two verses altogether a general summary, and details of creation to begin with ver. 3. To some Israelites “the six days” had to be explained away, and long geologic ages since the beginning and preceding man did not occur to those who thought of it as a vast single result of God’s will. But waiving this, no tradition more widely ruled men, and Christendom in particular, and the Puritans as much as the Fathers.
The popular idea, since evangelical geologists looked for a scriptural support of the long ages of change after the “beginning,” and before Adam or the race, was to look for them in “the six days,” so extended as to cover the immense periods required. An Irish barrister, Dr. D. McCausland, eminently fitted by his ability and his scientific attainments to examine the question, urged this solution in his “Sermons in Stones”; as it was also taken up warmly by many scientists in Great Britain, America, etc.
There remains the third, and as I believe, the really sound meaning of the chapter: in that it leaves room for all that God wrought, however protracted the time that elapsed between the “beginning” and the “six days” in successive acts of God in construction and catastrophe: cognizable by men of science, and left for their discovery in due time, but entirely outside the scope of revelation. The first two verses give the principle of creation and of chaos for the earth, the one as necessary as the other for man when created, not only to learn the facts from the earth’s crust but to use the results according to God’s beneficent provision. Thus scripture departs not from its supreme design and character, nor encumbers itself with teaching science which is man’s pride. But it is untrue that it commits itself to “false science” or unreliable history, or any other insinuation of infidels. Hence, as in a scripture not poetic in any way but the simplest prose attributed to God by as true a saint as ever lived, there is no ground to doubt that the “six days” are literal, as “the evening and the morning” seems expressly meant to convey.
Indeed there is great moral beauty in “days” having no place in the part which commences with “In the beginning” and ends with “the Spirit of God was brooding over the face of the waters.” It was well that we should know that the great divine agent, who in Israel deigned to give His all-powerful energy for making the vessels of the Sanctuary, and later, came down to make Christians individually and the church collectively God’s temple by His indwelling, took so suited a relation to the last work which God was preparing for man to inhabit long after. It was no mighty tempest, but His suited brooding over the waters. But when the “six days” begin which man crowns before they closed, how in keeping a measurement of time so important for the race, and in relation to God above all! Then we first bear of them, Moral dealings then begin, with the wondrous proof of God’s deep interest in man, and the corresponding responsibility of man to God, to the race, and to the lower creation. Then too we first read “And God said,” and the deep privilege of reading and the solemn call to believe. This too confirms that the six days had nothing to do with the many acts of creating creatures, inanimate and animated, who could not understand Him; but His speaking definitely of all that formed the environment of the race was as precious as instructive for His vicegerent here below. Still more blessed when we look on by faith to the Second man and last Adam, the antitype and contrast of him that brought in sin and death, as Rom. 5:14 lets us know, the Conqueror of Satan, the holy Sufferer for our sins, that the believer should reign with Him, and the world itself be blessed under His reign to God’s glory. His word as to both Adams is not science but revelation, as indeed all the Bible is.

Genesis 4:23-24

Question: Gen. 4:23, 24: what do we learn from these verses? M.
Answer: As Cain appears to be no obscure type of the unbelieving Jews who rose up against and slew Him Who deigned to be born of that people, and have since been left wandering over the face of the earth; so Lamech appears, in this song to his two wives, to represent the Jew in the latter day confessing his blood-guiltiness, yet looking to be avenged most amply at the end. Thus we know from the prophets it will be with Israel, when a land is brought forth in one day, and a nation is born at once. For as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her sons. Then shall the people, once so guilty yet kept, and henceforth truly penitent at the feet of Messiah, sing, O Jehovah, Thy mercy is forever.

Genesis 46:26 and Acts 7:14

Question: Gen. 46:26, with Acts 7:14: how to be explained? W. E.
Answer: There is no question really of truth, but of object and mode of speech; for the original history speaks of 66 (ver. 26) and 70 (ver. 27). Even in ver. 26 the Hebrew strictly means “belong to,” rather than with “Jacob.” The 70 are his house, including more. The LXX, in their Greek version, which Stephen quotes, include five more though born in Egypt, according to the well understood usage of regarding parent and children as one.
Thoughts on Faith and Skepticism by Thomas
Andrews, F.R.S. London: James Nisbet R Co., 21, Berners Street. 1894.
This little volume devotes part i. to remarks on Christian faith, part ii. to observations on Hyper-Biblical criticism, part iii. to thoughts on modern skepticism, and part iv. to spiritualism and theosophy. There is an appendix also on atheistic teaching in French schools, on auricular confession in certain English schools, on the progress of Romanism and Ritualism in this country, and on the present attitude of the Romish body towards Protestants. May it be used of God to help unwary souls! The need is great and growing.

Genesis 49:10 Comparted With 2 Chronicles 36:21 and Matthew 2:1

Question: Gen. 49:10, compared with 2 Chron. 36:21, and Matt. 2:1, &c.; how would you deal with them?
Answer: The “scepter” may be no more than the tribal symbol; and if this be the sense, Judah was thus kept till Shiloh, the Prince of Peace, came and was rejected, when in due time the place was lost, till He come again: then, and not before, the gathering or obedience of the peoples shall be unto Him. If it mean one entitled to royal sway in Zion, this is also true. So the line of David through Solomon went on to Jesus, as Matt. 1 shows; and in Him dead, risen, and glorified it abides, to be made good when God’s time comes.

Gentiles Not Under Law and Romans 3:19

Question: Many Bible-Students hold, and perhaps rightly, that Gentiles are not under Law: if so, what is the meaning of Rom. 3:19. “We know whatsoever things the Law saith, it saith to them that are under the Law; that all the world may become guilty before God.” Does not all the world here include Gentiles? Is not the precious argument in Rom. 6 in regard to Law and Grace, applicable as well to Gentiles as Jews? in Rom. 7. Although the Spirit by Paul is speaking “to them that know the Law,” I apprehend such as had been Jews. Are we not to understand the lessons here given, so replete with joy and peace to the believer,—death to the Law by the body of Christ and union to Him in resurrection, “married to another.” —as involving a principle equally bearing on Jew and Gentile? If so, how can it be shown that the Gentile is unbelief, and within the hearing of the Word of God, is not under law?
Answer: Our reader has not perceived that the apostle had already dealt with the guilt of the Gentile in Rom. 1., and of both Jew and Gentile in Chap. 2. As he says in chap. 3: 9. “we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin.” The Jew would have especial difficulty in submitting to a sentence so leveling. Therefore the Apostle Paul proceeds to fortify the proof of Israel’s utter ruin by quotations from the Psalms and prophets in verses 10-18, on which he reasons in verse 20. “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law.” He clearly means that the Jew is therein addressed; and therefore the very law of which he was so proud was the most unsparing witness of his moral condition. No Jew but would admit the wickedness of the Gentiles; the mass of Jews would deny that they themselves were hopeless, gone from God. Hence the force of these Jewish Scriptures; which, having that people in view, denied a single righteous man among them. If there was not one good Jew, (and nobody could overlook that the Gentiles were deplorably bad,) the conclusion was obvious: every mouth was stopped, and all the world guilty before God. This text, then, cannot be understood without limiting “them who are under the law” to the Jews. (Comp. Rom. 2:12; 1 Cor. 9:20, 21.) “Every mouth” and “all the world” do include Gentiles as well as Jews, because they embrace those without law, no less than those under law. The principle, again, of Rom. 6:7. applies equally to all believers; but the actual, personal deliverance from law in the death and resurrection of Christ necessarily belongs to such as were once under law. Both Jew and Gentile had been alike lost, and, believing, were alike saved; but they were each brought out of a different position.

Gentiles Now "The Israel of God"?

Question: Gal. 6:16. Does this scripture give any sanction to the idea that we, believers from among the Gentiles, are now “the Israel of God”? What is the true force?
Answer: The verse plainly intimates two classes, the general one of the saints who walk as Christians by the rule of the new creation in Christ, and the specified one, not of Israel now no longer for the time God’s people, but such of them as were true to the Christ they were baptized unto (where is neither Jew nor Greek, but all are one in Him), who are therefore designated “the Israel of God.”


Question: Would you say the “gifts” (in Ephesians at least) are certain characteristics of Christ, to be displayed here on earth? X. Y. Z.
Answer: Certainly, but from Him ascended on high, as the citation from Psa. 68 shows. This falls in with the character of the Epistle, not so much operations of the Spirit’s power in the way of signs to man, as the gifts to the church of Christ’s love who is in the heavenly places.

Giving Thanks to the Son, Never the Father, in the Breaking of Bread

Question: It is asserted by some that thanksgiving at the breaking of bread should always be addressed to the Lord Jesus, never to the Father. The ground taken is that the table is that of the Lord Jesus, not in any sense that of the Father. How far have these thoughts foundation in scripture? μαθητής.
Answer: There is no doubt that the table is the Lord’s, but it is as far as can be from the truth, and a mere human inference, to draw thence that there is not the fullest liberty to praise God, and to worship the Father, while fully owning and giving thanks to the Lord. Such thoughts are the mere workings of a reasoning mind; they are not Christ, nor of the Holy Ghost, who never limits the truth as revealed, nor turns one truth against another. The Spirit might on one occasion make God in His nature the theme of blessing, at another the relationship of Father. And even in exalting our Lord Jesus, there is all variety of His personal glory, as there are also most distinct aspects of His grace to us, of which the Lordship is rather the least, however true and important. But He is Son, Priest, Advocate, and Head of the church, which differ quite from His Lordship, and are every one of them fraught with blessing, and call out the praises of the saints. In every point of view then to address our thanksgiving to the Savior only is narrow and wrong, and especially so were He to be worshipped at His table as the Lord only.
John 19:5.—A question is sent, whether “Behold the man” may mean, Jesus says, “Behold the man.” But the whole context shows it is Pilate. As to the form of the sentence, the words, “And Jesus came forth, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe,” are a parenthesis. It runs thus: “Pilate went out therefore again, and he saith to them, Lo, I bring him out to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him (Jesus therefore came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe), and he saith to them, Behold the man!” Jesus had thus, consequent on the first part of Pilate’s speech, been led out before them. For they did not enter in where Pilate judged, that they might not defile themselves.

God As Father

Question: In Luke 3:38 Adam is called son of God; in Gen. 6:2 his posterity are called the sons of God. Mal. 2:10, says, “Have we not all one Father? hath not one God created us”? Paul, in Eph. 4:6, says “there is one God and Father of all.” Is it therefore lawful to speak of the universal Fatherhood of God? J. H.
Answer: Undoubtedly, as angels are called sons of God in Gen. 6 and Job, so also it is extended to the human race as distinguished from the beasts that perish. Indeed man distinctively was made in God’s image, after His likeness, which is never said of angels. Hence in the third parable of Luke 15 the two are spoken of as sons naturally; and Paul, in preaching to the Athenians, adopts the sentiment that we are His offspring, even the heathen. With this agrees the statement in Eph. 4:6: “one God and Father of all.” So far Dr. Crawford was more scripturally correct than the late Dr. Candlish in their controversy. But this universal Fatherhood of God only makes man’s wickedness and unbelief more inexcusable and ruinous. It has to do with nature only, which is now fallen and sinful, and proved to be God’s enemy by rejecting His Son, sent to save. Salvation therefore is by grace, not nature, and through faith, not works of law or any other creature means. Salvation is in no other than Christ Jesus, His only begotten Son, and our Lord. Then only are we who believe His sons by grace.

"God Could Not Be to Angels What He Is to Man"?

Question: Will you explain the statement that “God could not be to angels what He is to man—grace, patience, mercy, love, as shown to sinners?”
O. P.
Answer: The first and last of these manifestations here named serve to make all clear. “Grace” means favor, and especially to one altogether undeserving through guilt, which is “love as shown to sinners.” Patience bears with those whose ways are trying; mercy too compassionates the needy. None of these descriptions can properly apply to the elect angels, who alone of course can be thought of. The Word made flesh, the Son of God, come of woman, explains why it is, and above all when we add His glorifying the Father in life, and glorifying God as God by His death for sin and our sins.

God Will Not Be a Mere Director?

Question: What is meant by the sentence in a tract, “God will not be a mere director?”
Answer: As a general truth we may surely look for guidance, and to be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. What I said as to this was, not that God should not direct us, but that, as the general principle, it was not independent of spiritual understanding; that if I were directed right even in every act, as a Roman Catholic, by their confessor called their director, I should lose by it; it Would save me being in a spiritual state myself: though surely a more spiritual person because he was so might help me; that God did not mean our perception of His will to be independent of our spiritual state, though He can of course lead any at any given time. Psalm 32 speaks of this also. “If our eye be single, our whole body shall be full of light.” But this is always true; He makes everything work together for good to them that love Him. He overrules as well as rules.
I will suppose for a moment you were not led of Him in going to England, which I do not the least say, as I know nothing of it or your motives, but suppose the case. He makes you know what the world’s giving you up is; He overrules it. Supposing you had had a tide of blessing, you would not have felt this in the same way, you would have tided it over the shoals at flood. I remember saying to dear Captain W., that our giving up the world, and the world giving us up, were two very different things. It is the latter tries all the elements of self-importance, which lie much deeper rooted than we are aware. There may be some little sacrifice in giving it up; but we have a sufficient motive; but what motive for being despised? It is really our glory, for Christ was; but then He must be all, and this is saying a good deal. We are poor feeble creatures without a stable center: what would be so has to be broken, and Christ takes its place. I do not speak of failure, but of what we go through. He was the despised and rejected of men. Nor does He seek insensibility to it, but superiority over it, by His being all, and this is blessed, this only lasts. It is the production in us of what is eternal joy and capacity for it.

God's Answering Prayer and General Laws

Question: How Do You Reconcile God’s Answering Prayer With General Laws?
- Discipulus
Answer: I do not see any difficulty in God’s answering prayer connected with general laws, if we allow God to be free to act in His own world—as free as I am. Do I change general physical laws when I go, on request, to visit some sick person? My will—how, I know not—acts on and by these physical laws. Gravity is in my foot or in the earth, force is in my muscle, electricity in the nerves which set it in motion; yet I in my poor way have answered a request. Now I recognize fully power in God because He can, I need not say, not only change His law, but, without doing so, give force to agents in them, produce gastric juice more powerfully, or more electricity in the system at His will without introducing a single new element or law which governs it. Laws remain the same: His will interferes to produce agency by them. He may work a miracle, as raising the dead, which is by no law—He has done so. But I do not speak of miracles which take place when He changes a law, as when He makes the hatchet swim, but when He works by law to particular effects of His will. This may be miraculous, as when a strong whirlwind acted on the sea, and another took away locusts or brought quails. But He may give special activity or quantity to agents which act by laws regularly. I am sure, at any rate, that He hears and answers prayer. The very action of mind on man’s frame that more results may be produced, and God’s on mind (as to external circumstances), is so wonderful that I see no difficulty at all. Laws which bind nature I admit; laws which bind God I do not.

God's Kindness to Us

Question: Eph. 2:7. Is it God’s kindness toward us through Christ Jesus shown to His saints, or to wondering worlds? W.B.
Answer: We are assured of it now through and in Christ: nothing could exceed this proof. Then it will be the display of it in us when like Him and sharing His glory, to the principalities and powers above as well as to the world, Israel and the nations below, blessed as they may be. The glory will demonstrate the love. Compare John 17:22, 23, and Eph. 1:9-14, when that purpose is fulfilled. We know it by faith and have the earnest of the Spirit also beforehand.

God's Unspeakable Gift

Question: 2 Cor. 9:15. What is God’s unspeakable gift? H.H.H.
Answer: Every Christian ought instinctively to answer that it is His grace in Christ. Nothing else is “unspeakable”; nor is anything easier to count than a little money in remembrance of the saints poor in this world. So, in urging liberality according to God in chap. 8:9, the apostle points to the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, who “being rich became poor that by His poverty ye might become rich” in a way incomparably above the world’s wealth. Only Christ applied in faith gives us the truth of anything.

Gone Out From the Assembly the Same As Putting Out?

Question: 1 Cor. 5:13. Is the public mention of one gone out from the assembly the same as putting out, as some fancy? E.
Answer: Certainly not. It is a mistake in any case; in some it would be a gross wrong. The assembly cannot without absurdity put out one who has already gone out. Sometimes the going out is an act of mere ignorance; as for instance when one, used to a sermon every Sunday morning, grows weary of worship in spirit and truth, and pines for a discourse to relieve him of the distaste he feels for the Spirit’s liberty of action in the assembly. How cruel and unjust to stigmatize the weak one, unspiritual though he may be, as a “wicked person”!
Wholly different is he who goes out because of necessary discipline, and yields to his self-will in abandoning the assembly which till then he had owned to be of God. He is, what the apostle denounces as, “an heretical man,” not necessarily heterodox, but factious to the last degree, whom (for he was outside) Titus was to have done with after a first and second admonition. If he were a brother of intelligence and experience, the sin is greatly aggravated; for it is rebellion against the Lord’s authority in His house, were they but two or three gathered to His name. If the fact be known even in a very general way, it is a sin for any professing to keep the unity of the Spirit to receive such. If warned by competent witnesses, it is worse still. Can a meeting claim license to abandon the unity of the Spirit and turn independent for a season to gratify feeling? Even if it were only a person standing aside and under investigation, no meeting is free to receive: how much willfully outside, even if he had not joined a party in opposition! To receive in such circumstances is a violation of unity and order, of love and righteousness. Nor is it conceivable that any would agree to so deplorable an act of independency, save under the influence of partiality quite unworthy of holy brethren, to say nothing of His name that is slighted and of His word that has not been kept. We are bound if on scriptural ground to walk together in fellowship. An offender cannot be out and in at the same time, save to the Lord’s dishonor. One “outside” is outside everywhere, save to people of loose principles. We are bound to walk as one.

Gospel of the Kingdom in Matt. 24:14 Coalesce With the Mission to All Nations Under Matt. 28:19?

Question: Does the gospel of the Kingdom (“this gospel”), to be preached to all the nations under Matt. 24:14, coalesce with the mission to all nations under Matt. 28:19 (the latter carrying the full revelation of the Trinity)?
Answer: I do not think that the future mission of converted Jews to preach the gospel of the Kingdom for a witness to all the nations can be said to coalesce with Matt. 28:19, because there is baptism to the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit enjoined on those who bowed in the latter case. This is the special revelation of God proper to Christianity, and goes far beyond the preaching just before the end.

Grace for Grace?

Question: John 1:16. Grace for grace?
Answer: There are two ways of interpreting this passage; both, however, amount to grace answering to grace. The question is, in what sense does grace answer grace?
Either (1) by grace succeeding to grace—one grace, so to speak, following another—grace upon grace; or (2) grace in the effect answering to, i.e., equaling in quality, the grace in the cause—grace in the stream answering to grace in the fountain.
Thus in Christ there is infinite fullness; and what we receive out of that fullness is abundant, precious, lasting, divine, heavenly, according to those qualities which exists in the source.
The Lord will give grace and glory. (Psa. 84) But the gift of glory is one form of grace. To what, then, does an inheritance of glory answer? To His glory. (See Phil. 3:21; 1 John 3:2.) Again, the value of a promise depends upon the power and faithfulness of the party that promises, just as the value of a bank-note depends upon the credit of the bank that issued it. Why do men prefer a Bank of England note to a provincial bank-note? Because they have more confidence in the Bank of England that in a country bank.

Grammar in Revelation

Question: Rev. 14:19; 17:4; 19:1; 21:12. Is not the grammar set aside in following the ancient copies? How are these anomalous constructions to be explained? W. L.
Answer: The anacolutha I cannot but accept on the authority of the best MSS. as the genuine phrases of the writer, which are no doubt in every instance intentional, though we may not in every instance see why. Later scribes changed these and many other such irregularities of form into expressions conformed to common syntax. Nobody would have introduced them unless they had been the readings of the text originally. The tendency of corrections is to smooth down what seems harsh. It is clear, that even apart from inspiration, John did not so write for want of knowing the more usual rules; for he employs them himself regularly, unless where he introduces these singular phrases for special reasons. The same principle is true of Luke 2:13; 19:37; Acts 5:16; 21:36; Phil. 2:1 (in critical texts, ἔιτις σπλάχνα). But it is far more frequently applied and carried out more boldly in the Revelation than in any other part of the New Testament. Hebrew forms predominate.
As to the change from τὴν λ. to τὸν μ. which I accept as the true reading, it must be borne in mind that in the LXX. the substantive occurs sometimes in the masculine. Here the use of the two genders together is no doubt peculiar, and seems owing to the intervening phrases, τοῦ θομοῦ, τοῦ Θεοῦ, after which the Spirit gives more energy by availing Himself of the masculine form.
Again γέμον βδελυγμάτων καὶ τά is a mixture of the ordinary genitival construction with the accusative, as the corresponding Hebrew word does. Emphasis is secured thereby.
Rev. 19:1 ὄχλου......λεγόντων is the construction ad sensum, common enough even in classic Greek and Latin, a singular collective with a plural following. See chapter vii. 9; John 12:12. In Rev. 21:12 ἔχουσα for ἔχουσαν is not the only instance of variatio structurae in verses 10-12. See Rev. 3:12; 4:1; 6:9; 8:9; 9:14; 11:1, 4, 15; 14:7, 12; 16:3; 17:14; 18:12; 19:12. In many of these cases various readings appear from the effort to remove the strange shape of the phrase to common concords. In such cases the well-known canon applies.

The Great Multitude and The Great Tribulation?

Question: Again, the “great multitude” are of “all nations, kindred, people and tongues:” do you judge that Christendom has no representation in this that is, that she comes into the tribulation, and is utterly cut off thereby?
Do you think the expression, “the great tribulation” embraces the whole Apocalyptic judgments, and judgments of every kind (pre-millennial of course), and touches every member of the human family on earth, save the ten tribes who are brought under the Lord’s rod in the land?
In what form does the great tribulation come upon the heathen nations—being far away from the seat of the beast?
May the “great multitude” of Rev. 7 be substantially identified with “the righteous” of Matt. 25:37?
W. R.
Answer: Christendom seems to be not included in the vague and general mass of nations on whom “the great tribulation” is to fall, having its own special description and judgment, as Babylon, &c., just as it also is distinct from the Jews and from Israel in this chapter. The Jews will pass through a tribulation severer than this, but also more circumscribed, as we may gather from Matt. 24 and Mark 13, compared with Jer. 30 and Dan. 12. The scourge is the Assyrian, or king of the north, rather than the beast who is the support of the false prophet, king in Palestine. But it is plain that the Apocalyptic period as a whole is a time of trouble increasing in intensity and over many spheres, extending to Gentiles as well as Jews; and as the everlasting gospel will go out far and wide, so I think the surviving fruit of that last mission will be seen in “the righteous” or sheep of Matt. 25, when the Son of man comes and reigns over the earth. That apostate Christendom will have the sternest doom of all, is plain from 2 Thess. 2:10-12.

The Great White Throne or Magnifying God's Grace?

Question: 2 Cor. 5:10. Has this to do with “the great white throne” or is it to magnify God’s grace? D. M.
Answer: It is general, and applies to both. Hence the word is “We all,” we, the whole of us, a larger term than “we all” in 2 Cor. 3:18, which is restricted to the Christian community. Next, it is “shall appear” or rather “be manifested,” so as to embrace every one, believing or not, though of course as we know from other scriptures not at the same time, any more than for the same end. Were it “judged,” it would apply only to unbelievers and only to the great white throne: no believer, as our Lord declares in John 5:24, comes into “judgment,” which is in contrast with the eternal life that the faithful have now in the Son of God. Here again the language employed is expressly general. It is equally erroneous to limit the manifestation to believers or to unbelievers. Both in their season are to be manifested before the judgment-seat or Bema of our Lord; and all the deeds done by the body as an instrument will come out in result before Him. In the believer’s case, how magnifying for God’s grace! in the unbeliever’s, how vindicating His judgment of evil! Even for the saints, what was worthless will bear its consequences, though by grace they are saved, as what was good will be rewarded. But hopeless at last will be seen the lot of the wicked when manifested there, all their works bad, and, above all, their rejection of Christ and the gospel.

Greek Article Changing Meaning From Every to All

Question: How is it that πᾶς without the article in many cases like ἐξουσία, δικαιοσύνη, κ.τ.λ means “all” and not “every”? QUERY.
Answer: Because they express moral thoughts, grouping every case under the word; so that it is a question of our language not here admitting “every” but requiring “all” in idiomatic English. With article before or after, πᾶς in English must be translated not “every” but “all.” So without it words expressive of moral ideas, as righteousness, joy, fear power, wisdom; but it really means every such case. So of the common “all flesh,” all the individuals without distinction. But ordinary appellatives come under the regular rule which is true of all languages.

Greek in 1 Thessalonians 4

Question: 1 Thess. 4:13. Does not παρουσία, presence, always refer to the same time as the ἀποκάλυφις or revelation of the Lord? J. J.
Answer: When the “presence” or coming of the Lord for the earth and Israel is intended, as in Matt. 24, James 5 &c., it does coalesce in time with His “revelation,” “appearing” and “day.” So it is also when His “presence with all His saints” is spoken of as in 1 Thess. 3. But it is never so when not thus particularized. Take 1 Cor. 15:23, which does not imply that those who are Christ’s arise at His revelation but at His presence long before, though special classes of Apocalyptic martyrs only then. So in 1 Thess. 4 we assuredly do not remain till His “revelation” but His “presence” which raises the dead saints first and then calls up the living, all changed, to meet the Lord in the air. Revelation, or appearing, or day, is carefully excluded. It is His presence for the translation of His own solely, in strong contrast with the “day” in chap. v. But the conclusive refutation of any such thought is in 2 Thess. 2:1 where His “presence” is bound up strictly by one article in the Greek with “our gathering together unto Him,” there again in the most pointed contrast with His “day,” which coalesces with His “revelation” and “appearing” in judgment of the “lawless” and wicked generally, as in 2 Thess. 1:2 and 2:8. No doubt the glorified saints accompany Him when that day dawns. It is His “presence” therefore first for the heavenly, after that for the earthly who only begin to be called in the interval, while the wicked ripen rapidly for judgment when He is revealed.
If we think of breadth and display, the blessed hope is the Lord’s appearing to put down and govern all men in righteousness and deliver creation from thralldom. But for the heavenly it is not “the appearing of His presence” but His presence, to receive us to Himself for the Father’s house and joys which are far above those even of a regenerated earth.

Greek in John 1

Dear Mr. Editor,
I beg to submit the following queries to you.
Question: 1. John 1:14, δόξαν ὡς μονογενοῦς παρὰ πατρός. Is there anything in this passage which necessitates or even allows departure from the regular rendering of παρά with a genitive by “from, proceeding from” &c? Is “with” (which requires rather a dative, see 1:40, 17:5, twice, &c.) permissible here? It is so given in “A new Translation.” Every other instance in John’s Gospel of παρά with a genitive seems to exclude any but the regular construction of “from” or “of.” Cf. xvi. 28, xvii. 6, 8, &c. Of course the interpretation will be affected by the translation.
Question: 2. John 1:18. ὁ μοννογενὴς υἱός, ὁ ὤν κ.τ.λ. The reading here seems a difficult question, θεοῦ, υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ, and other variants having some support. But μον. θεός appears to be supported by some uncials, cursives, versions, and Fathers. It is adopted by Alford, Tregelles, Westcott and Hort, and others. Griesbach marks υἱός as doubtful; Lachmann inserts θεός in margin. This being the case, is the evidence brought forward in favor of θεός really strong enough to shake confidence in the Received Text of this passage? Yours faithfully in Christ, W. J.
Α. 1. All the older English Versions of John 1:14 favor “of” and avoid the usual rendering “from,” as does the new translation which prefers “with,” ordinarily answering to the dative. “On the part of” or shortly “of” seems best here.
Answer: 2. There is no doubt of the ancient, if not large, support, of θεός, instead of the ordinary reading υἱός, “Son.” Nevertheless Tregelles alone ventured to follow them as he does in other harsh readings, till the Cambridge Editors joined him. All others, notwithstanding א B Cpm L 33, two or three versions, and patristic allusions, prefer A and fourteen other uncials, all cursives but one, the ancient Vv. and Fathers. It is not according to the analogy of scripture to speak of “only-begotten God”; and “Sun” is the true correlate to “Father.” Alford stands with Griesbach, Lachmann, Scholz, Scrivener, Tischendorf, Wordsworth, as well as all the older critics.

Greek in John 6:57

Question: John 6:57. Why is it διὰ τὸν πατέρα, and not διὰ τοῦ π, as the Authorized Version might imply? And why not χάριν?
Answer: We live διὰ τὸν Χρίστον, not merely διὰ του Χ., if it was merely a means of living, but on account of Christ, because of Him, and hence according to what His life is derived from, as He lived διὰ τὸν π. It is not χάριν, but the continuous cause, only objectively so, for we eat this blessed food. The force seems to be the moral source of the character of what is produced; thus in Gal. 4:13, δι’ ἀσθενείαν, in infirmity. Infirmity of the flesh was the moral source of the character of his preaching; as in Phil. 1:15, envy was the moral source of the character of the preaching for some, as goodwill was for others. So here the Father was the moral source of the character of Christ’s life in the world, as Christ is of ours.

Greek in Luke 9:31

Question: 1. What authorities have ἔξοδον and δόξαν in Luke 9:31 respectively? Which is to be preferred?
Answer: 1. Only a few cursive manuscripts give δόξαν, evidently through δόξαν just before and δόξαν shortly after. Lachmann and Tischendorf do not so much as notice it as a various reading; but Griesbach and Scholz enumerate the juniors that so read, though of course following ἔξοδον. with all the best and most ancient authorities. Matthaei conjectures that this other may have crept in from Chrysostom.

Greek Referring to Sacrifices

Question: 1. Do the words, εἰς τὸ διηνεκές, in Heb. 10:1, refer to the sacrifices as continually offered, or to the inability of such sacrifices to perfect in perpetuity those who offered them; that is to say, Do the words relate to the offerings, or to the offerers?
Question: 2. Why is it we have in this chapter (passim) προσφέρω, to offer, and προσφορά, an offering, and not ἀναφέρω, to offer up, especially as we find from verses 10, 11, 12, that is attributed to the offering, προσφορά, which we should have supposed could only be by ἀναφέρω, offering up, when only it would be a sacrifice (φυσία)? We have both, “no more offering for sins” (προσφορά), verse 18, and “no more sacrifice for sin” (φυσία), verse 26. W. L. P.
Answer: 1. The connection of είς τὸ δ. is not the same in verses 1 and 12. In the former it is with the Jewish ritual, and means that they kept offering unbrokenly the same sacrifices year by year, sacrifices unable at any time to perfect those that approached. In verse 12 the connection is with the continuous, or unbroken, session of our Lord at God’s right hand, as having offered one sacrifice for sins. It is well known that Lachmann punctuated so as to connect είς τὸ δ. with the clause after in verse 1, and with the clause before in verse 12; but I am satisfied that he unwittingly perverted the sense in both. “Continuously” can run well in the first with “every year,” not with “never,” or “not at any time;” as, again, in the second it is only possible to take it with the preceding clause by supposing some such ellipse as ἀσκοῦσαν ἡμῖν, with CEcumenius and Theophylact, which is not only needless, but weakens what follows. Tisohendorf has evaded the difficulty by inserting a comma in neither.
Answer: 2. The reason why προσφέρω, is employed in Heb. 10 seems to me the need of a more general word than ἀναφέρω, which had been used in chapter 9 in distinction from προσφ. wherever it was intended to express the actual bearing of sins. Where a substantive is wanted for this, θυσία is used, which is as specific as προσφορά is general. Hence, where προσενέγκας is defined by ὑπὲρ ἁμαρτιῶν and θυσίαν, it is as strictly sacrificial as if it had been ἑαυτὸν ἀνενέγκας, or τὰς ἁμαρτίας ἡμῶν ἁνενέγκας.

Greek Sequence Term in Luke

Question: Does the term καθεξῆς in Luke 1 imply historic sequence as is the groundwork of several harmonies of the Gospels?
Answer: The term is used only but frequently by Luke. It signifies properly, in a regular series, one after another, and hence sometimes simply following, or next, in order. Liddell and Scott say that the more usual word is ἐφεξῆς; and on this word they remark that it is less usually employed of time than of regular order of arrangement. On the whole, I see no sign whatever that Luke uses it for chronological order; nor has the word in itself this meaning, save as chronological order is one sort of order. The passages in Luke, beside the one in question are chapter viii. 1; Acts 3:24; 11:4; 18:23. He too alone uses ἐξῆς, chapter 7:11 9:37; Acts 21:1; 25:17; 28:18.

Greek Translated

Question: What is the meaning of εὐδιάθετος as opposed to προφορικὸς in J.N.D.’s Notes and Comments, ii. 322 and elsewhere? Can it be that the Editor did not know that Mr. D. must have written F’S. for what is immanent, residing in the mind or unexpressed, as opposed to προφ actually uttered? These play a large part in Philo and the Alexandrian School of philosophy. There is no such antithesis as εὐδ. to προφ. Is it not a mere guess and a mistake of Mr. D.’s manuscript? X.Y.Z.
Answer: The querist speaks correctly, and answers himself for the benefit of those who have the Notes referred to. Mr. D. was thoroughly familiar with these questions among philosophers, easily misunderstood by others not so versed.

Greek Translated "Aeon," "Aeonion," and "Eternal"

Question: Γέεννα, κρίσις, αἰώνιος. What light can you give on these? Lightfoot, Plumptre, Farrar, and others eminently learned, held “aeon,” “aeonion” against “eternal,” everlasting, etc. Where and how do they depart from scripture truth? T. O. B.
Answer: Without doubt many learned men have written in unbelief as to these solemn terms in the N. T. The unbelief displays itself generally in undermining the divine authority of scripture, and particularly in enfeebling and darkening such words as intimate the everlasting character of God’s judgment of sin. What evidence is there that the late Bishop Lightfoot was thus guilty? As he used αἰὼν for the world of eternity, and another form of it for “eternal” in his note on Gal. 1:4, it is certain that he held a quite opposed conviction, and unless proof therefore be given that he changed, let us believe that the imputation is erroneous. But the truth depends on God’s word, not on man’s opinion which is of no real worth.
1. Γέεννα, Gehenna, was derived from the valley of Hinnom so often spoken of in Kings and Chronicles, the receptacle for burning all that defiled, and became the figure for the place of endless punishment.
The N. T. and especially the Lord Himself deepens its usage from anything seen outside of Jerusalem to what we in English call Hell, with which Hades (referring to departed spirits) ought never to be confounded. No spiritual mind can doubt that He taught its final and everlasting character in Matt. 5:22, 29, 30; 10:28; 18:9; 23:15, 33; Mark 9:43, 45, 47; Luke 12:5.
2. Not less certain is it that, unless modified by limiting words αἰὼν and αἰώνιος are regularly used in the N. T. for “eternity” and “eternal.” Though even heathen philosophers, used to express themselves in their native tongue of the purest Greek, and with their utmost precision, contrast both substantive and adjective with what began to be and was transitory. It is not credible that any fairly read man could be unaware that Plato sets them distinctly in this opposition. Take for example his Timæus (Baiter, Orelli and Winck. p. 712); and again Aristotle in his De Ccelo (Bekker, i. 279), at the end of which chap. 9 lays down that αἰὼν derived its name ἀπὸ τοῦ ἀεὶ εἶναι, from being forever. If these heathen had heard of God’s awarding such a doom to guilty sinners and dreaded it for themselves, they too might have resorted to the shift of an “age” and “age-long” like the skeptical among whom so many divines, especially in our day, are not ashamed to stand. Did any flatter themselves in an understanding of Greek better than these two ancient philosophers? Can any sober person doubt that the denial of Farrar, Jukes, &c., is inexcusable? One sentence of the apostle (2 Cor. 4:18) demolishes the error. For he too sets in open antagonism the things “temporal” with the “eternal” (αἰώνια): how could this be, if the “aeonia,” were as transient as the temporal?
3. Neither are these speculative persons more reliable as to κρίσις, or judgment. No doubt the A. V. in more ways than one presents confused and inexact renderings of the verb, and its derived substantives; as in the mistakes of Rom. 14:22; 1 Cor. 11:29, etc., so in John 5:24, 27, 29, κρίσις, instead of being uniformly translated “judgment,” as should be in all the three cases, and everywhere else. For it certainly in all means God’s everlasting judgment, as being contrasted with “life eternal,” the portion of believers only. The solemn truth is that the wicked are raised for it, a resurrection of judgment. What can be clearer than that raised for it does not mean extinguished in it? So in Rev. 20; 21 we are assured that the wicked exist forever in their awful resurrection, as the righteous in their blessed and holy resurrection. In the fullest account of the eternal state (Rev. 21:1-8) we see the New Jerusalem and the blessed then on the new earth. But we also see the accursed in the lake of fire, when God is all in all. So in Heb. 9:27, 28, “judgment” for the heedless wicked is contrasted not with life eternal but with salvation. Annihilation has no basis whatever. What wisdom it is to believe God in subjection of heart! What folly to weaken, evade, or pervert such a warning!
Though conditional immortality has seduced some children of God, it is really unbelief of the great distinctive fact that man alone became a living soul by the inbreathing of Jehovah Elohim. Like other infidel speculations, it alike leaves out God and debases man as such into one of the mere forms of animal life. The inbreathing of God made man’s soul immortal. This did not save from a sinful act, any more than it gave the believer life eternal now and immortality for the body by-and-by. Conditional immortality destroys the true nature and place God gave man, as His offspring, in contradistinction from all other animated beings on earth. It supposes man to be only an animal with inward power superior to that of a dog or a horse; and with this lie against the truth as to man as man, it overthrows his responsibility as a creature to obey God. Who thinks that a dog has any consciousness of God, or fears having to bear His judgment of sins? But scripture declares this of man; and all experience confirms that man, when guilty, cannot avoid reference to the God he dishonors, however much superstition or infidelity may strive to efface it.

Greek Translated Save

Question: When ἀλλὰ is used substantially as εἰ μὴ, are they precisely the same, as after the transfiguration scene, &c.? Compare Matt. 17:8 with Mark 9:8. O. P.
Answer: I do not think them the same. For εἰ μὴ supposes already that there is that one of the kind to which the negative generally applies; it is an exception. But ἀλλὰ retains its adversative force as to the whole, but something modifies it in result. Thus in Matt. 11:27 there is one who knows—no one else except—in chapter xii. 4 it was lawful to none else except. In Matt. 17:8 they saw no one, οὐδέωα εἶδον εἰ μὴ τὸω Ἰ. In Mark 9:8, “and suddenly looking round,” οὐκέτι οὐδένα εἶδον, ἀλλὰ τὸνἸ Here the scene had disappeared, but they saw Jesus alone with themselves. So in Matt. 20:23, Mark 10:40, οὐκ ἔστιν ἔμὸν δοῦναι, that is all denied—only modified by ἀλλὰ οἷς ἡτοίμασται. He does not give places at all as His will, or His patronage, but to those for whom, &c. In Mark and Luke, if not Matthew, we have οὐδεὶς ἀγαθὸς εἰ μὴ εἷς, ὁ Θεός. Naturally, good ones were before His mind: He excludes all but God.

Greek Words for Eternal

Question: What is the difference between ἀΐδιος (in Rom. 1:20 and Jude 6) and αἰώνιος, the much more frequent word for “eternal”? The learned authorities seem to have nothing to say. B.
Answer: Though both are derived from «el (the latter strengthened, as the Stagirite tells us, by the participle of being, e.;y), the usage of the N. T. helps us to discern. These are the only two inspired occurrences of the former; and they are external, as compared with the deeper associations of the latter. The passage in Romans does not rise above what the natural mind might and ought to know, His invisible things apprehended through the things that are made, both His everlasting power and divinity (not His Godhead properly, which dwelt and dwells in Christ), so as to make them inexcusable if they turn to idols. The second of the two words is applied to the eternal God who reveals Himself in Christ and through the gospel as well as the church, as e.g. in chap. xvi. 26 of the same Epistle. But again the “everlasting chains,” in which He has kept and keeps the apostate angels under gloomy darkness, points to the judicial action of His power, not to His nature or His gracious counsels which befit or require the other word.

The Groanings of Romans 7:24

Question: Can a child of God who knows the truth of Rom. 8 (e.g. verses 1-10) say with truth, “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from this body of death?”
Answer: The wretchedness of Rom. 7:24 arises from the discovery in the soul born of God (but not yet delivered and sealed by the indwelling Spirit, which is the Christian position), of his powerlessness to do the good he desires to do. Truly delighting in the law of God after the inward man, he yet sees (not only another, but) a different law in his members warring against the law of his mind, and bringing him into captivity to the law of sin which is in his members. Hence the cry for deliverance from this body of death. Jesus Christ risen is the Deliverer, and there is no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus; for the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has freed the Christian from the law of sin and of death. The Holy Ghost now dwells in him; so that he can do, and does, the things that he would, as led of the Spirit. This wretchedness is therefore gone forever in the case of the believer who now sees himself as in Christ Jesus; as no longer in the flesh (though in the body), but in the Spirit. The Holy Ghost given is spirit of sonship, not of bondage, and we await, as does all creation, “the manifestation” of this sonship of which the Spirit is the firstfruits. We are in the liberty of grace, and look for the liberty of “the glory” of the children of God.
Question 2: Does the “groaning” of Rom. 8:23 and that of 2 Cor. 5:2, 4, refer to the same thing as Rom. 7:24? or do they support it? E.T.
Answer 2: The groaning of Rom. 8:23 is explained by the preceding and following verses (17-28). The presence of sin, both within and without, with its effects all around, make us groan as did our Lord (in Him is no sin), Mark 7:34. We suffer with Christ here, but soon all will be exchanged for glory, when “clothed with our habitation which is from heaven.” In no way does the “groaning” coalesce with the “wretchedness” of Rom. 7, as from this the one “in Christ” is already delivered.

Groanings Which Cannot Be Uttered?

Question: What means “the groanings which cannot be uttered”? (Rom. 8:26).
Answer: The meaning of the passage appears to be this: we do not know what to pray for as we ought, and therefore the grace of God gives us, not only an Advocate on high for us, but the Holy Ghost within us to identify Himself in grace with our sorrowing, suffering condition, so as to put us in fellowship with God as His redeemed ones in bodies withal and a creation not yet redeemed. He accordingly intercedes for us—within us of course—according to God, so as to give a divine and sympathetic character to what otherwise would have been but selfish sorrow. Thus we are entitled to know that our very groanings as Christians is not without the Spirit, though those cannot be expressed in words, and they rise up acceptable to God, and will be surely answered by the revelation of the glory by and by, for which we who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, and all creation also, wait. How sweet to think that the Holy Spirit, who gives and directs the joys of our hearts and makes us bid the bridegroom “come” (Rev. 22), takes equal part in our present griefs and travail of spirit! And if we do not know what to ask for, we do know that all things work together for good, as the apostle proceeds and proves so triumphantly to the end of the chapter.

Grounds of Admission and Exclusion, and the Meaning of the Unity of the Body?

Question: What Are the Grounds of Admission? What of Exclusion? and What Is Meant by the Unity of the Body?
H. D.
Answer: I know no ground of admission but the membership of Christ’s body. Of course it is implied that the applicant affords no just occasion for exception either doctrinally or morally. Were there known evil in doctrine or practice, the clearest profession of the truth would only produce the deeper distrust. But a Christian, apart from such reasons, inconsistent with the godly confession of the Lord’s name, is thoroughly admissible as such, hardly needs to be known. To demand ecclesiastical intelligence in the persons applying is not only without and against scripture, but a proof of lack of intelligence in those who seek for it in such circumstances. We ought not to look for spiritual understanding as to the church in those outside. Press for the confession of Christ, or the knowledge of redemption. All we could hope to find beyond the gospel is mere notions, till a soul is in the place which grace assigns it, till walking in communion. Those who are on church ground ought themselves to be intelligent as well as gracious; and if they are, they will assuredly help to smooth away difficulties for the ignorant, not increase them in the present snares and difficulties of Christendom, in a way the apostles did not when all was at the beginning clear and plain. If it be pleaded that such souls may still go backwards and forwards through ignorance of the evils of the world-church, denominationalism, &c.; the answer is that it is our duty, as far as we can, to instruct them within, not to create artificial and unwarranted barriers, or to keep them dangling without on one excuse or another which there is not honesty to avow, because it would be the avowal of sectarianism. But this largeness of heart, this yearning according to Christ over all that are His, this refusal to allow human rules expressed or understood to stand in the way of receiving in the Lord’s name those He has called by grace, is as far as possible from the indifferentism which makes light of fundamental heterodoxy or defies the holy obligatory discipline of God’s assembly.
There can hardly be too much care, both for the Lord’s sake and Ηis assembly’, not to say for the souls themselves, in ascertaining on the most trustworthy evidence that those who come forward are members of Christ, not merely quickened but possessed of the Spirit, so as to join in Christian worship and every other godly function. Acts 11:17.
To require more, not to accredit and act on that, is in my judgment a slight of the name of the Lord, and neither right nor wise. Honest ignorance we are bound to bear with, while seeking to teach the truth more perfectly; but we are yet more solemnly bound to purge out and keep from all that denies and dishonors Christ whether openly or by neutrality.
This suffices also as to grounds of exclusion, the principle and even details of which faith can find in the word of God. Originally all the church owned itself and acted as one. Those who so own and act now are seeking to walk in the unity of the body. For they take their stand for united action on the great truth that “there is one body and one Spirit,” seeing also that the Lord has provided a resource even for the present state of His saints scattered by inadequate or false, by loose or narrow, grounds of union. They accept the unity produced by the Spirit who baptizes all Christians into one body; and if they cannot convince all others that this is the only divine ground of church unity, they can at least act on it by grace themselves. Hence they seek diligently in the measure of their faith to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, while they would also maintain scriptural discipline among those who gather thus to the Lord’s name. This is set aside by the Protestant theory of co-ordinate systems, though by none so distinctly as the Congregationalists; for they go so far as to make each congregation independent of every other on principle, whatever they may concede to courtesy—a fatal abuse of churches to deny the whole principle and practice of the church on earth.

Hades and Paradise

Question: Luke 16:22, 23; 23:43; Acts 2:31. Light is requested on Hades and Paradise in these texts. W. W. (Ottawa).
Answer: As this has been answered repeatedly, the querist is referred to “The Preaching to the Spirits in Prison” (T. Weston, 53, Paternoster Row, London, Publisher of this Magazine). The subject is there fully discussed.

Ham's Misconduct

Question: Gen. 5:25. Why did Ham’s misconduct entail a curse on a son of his instead of on himself? Why was Canaan the youngest of Ham’s sons singled out? The servitude of negroes is notorious, but the popular notion that they are of Canaan unfounded; and it not being so, perhaps of Cush or whoever may have been the forefather of the negroes.
E. J. T., Elsternwick, Melbourne.
Answer: In the government of the world God does not at all confine Himself to the particular person or generation that has offended. So it was in Jerusalem, and so it will be in Babylon at last: Matt. 23 Rev. 18 Of old we see how the first-born of Egypt was smitten, though Pharaoh and his host were afterward swallowed up in the Red Sea. It was mercy not to punish Ham in all his descendants, but in Canaan. God is sovereign in judgment as in mercy, and altogether righteous. Possibly, if not probably, Canaan may have played part with Ham in the heartless insult and dishonor done to Noah, not only the head of the rescued family, but governor in chief of the renewed earth. But whether so or not, it was mercy, not to involve all in God’s avenging the wrong, but to restrain it within the least bounds. And if God let the blow fall on him that possessed himself of the land promised to Abraham and his seed, and filled it with idolatry and immorality of turpitude not to be named, was it not altogether right that Canaan should be cursed above all, and given up practically to extermination? They were very far from being physically degraded like negroes, or other races such as the aborigines of Australia, but early and highly civilized; which did and may consist with the most shameless sins against God and man.

Have Elah, Ephesdammim, Socho, or Jarmuth Been Identified?

Question: Has the valley of Elah, where Goliath fell, been yet identified, or Ephesdammim, or Socho, or Jarmuth? DISC.
Answer: It would appear that what is now called the Wady es-Surat answers to the first famous spot; that Damun may be Ephesdammim; that Socho in this neighborhood is now called Shuweikeh, as is also the other Socho in the mountain district of Judah (Josh. 15:48), and that the Yarmuck of our day corresponds with Jarmuth of old.

"He Asked Life of Thee, and Thou Gavest it Him" - When Asked and What Does it Mean?

Question: Psa. 21:2, 4.—What is meant by “He asked life of thee, and thou gavest it him?” and when did He ask? Was it as the Messiah, as in Psa. 102:24, and answered in resurrection?
But why asked for? Was it not of necessity, so to speak, that as a man He should ascend to His Father?—Psa. 16:11.
Answer: If we compare Heb. 5:7 (and Gethsemane’s cry, I think the force of the Psalm will be evident. The answer in the Psalm is not being preserved from dying; but life as risen in glory above, made most blessed forever, not sparing life for a time here, but honor and great majesty laid upon Him as man in a higher and more glorious condition. Christ as a man, though mighty to do all things, asked everything of His Father. Dependence was His perfection. At Lazarus’ tomb He asked, knew His Father heard Him always; asked in John 12; asked that the cup might pass. Only the word αἰτέω is not used of Him. The necessity of an event does not hinder asking. Everything in God’s purpose will be necessarily accomplished; but He leads men’s hearts to ask, as the moral filling up of their relationship with Him. In Christ, as man, this was perfect.

"He" in 1 Peter 4:1-2

Question: 1 Peter 4:1, 2. “For he that hath suffered in the flesh,” &c. To whom does the “he” refer in these two verses? R.M.
Answer: To the believer—who, refusing to yield to the solicitations of sin, suffers thereby instead of gratifying the flesh. As Christ once suffered for sins not His own—Himself the ever sinless One—but ours, so are we called to let this suffice, as well as “the time past of our life,” and if now we suffer from without it should be not for sins but for righteousness (3:14), or as a Christian (4:14-16). Arming ourselves “with the same mind” we refuse the evil at whatever cost, that we may live to the will of God.

"He Led Captivity Captive"?

Question: Eph. 4:8. What means “He led captivity captive”? Did the Lord go anywhere but to Paradise after dying? Does Luke 16:23 mean, after death, a risen state?
Answer: Christ in ascending led captive the evil powers which held man captive previously. It had nothing to do with the O.T. saints or any others. The Lord after death went to Paradise where His Father received His Spirit. It was in Hades, not yet Gehenna, that the rich man lifted up his eyes, being in torments. The express object of the parable is to show the great and immediate change in the unseen state for the believer, no matter how wretched now, and for the unbeliever, no matter how at ease here. Resurrection or final judgment is not in question. The converted robber on dying joined the Lord in Paradise. Abraham’s bosom, the blessed expression before, was not suitable for Him and His now, though both speak of bliss in heaven; and Paradise still remains for the risen and glorified by-and-by (Rev. 2:7).

Head Covering

Question: Will you please say, through the “Bible Treasury,” whether, in your judgment, 1 Cor. 11:1-17 (re sisters covering heads) may be applied to a Bible reading in a private house, which is private in character? Also, whether, in such a reading, it is proper for sisters to pray? Such a meeting is not to be regarded as an “assembly” gathering, is it? Your reply in the May issue, if possible, will be appreciated. J. M.
Answer: We should never confound a “Bible reading” with an “assembly meeting.” The character of each is altogether different and distinct. For the freedom of speech and asking of questions which pertains to a Bible reading is altogether disallowable in a meeting of “assembly.” Whilst, however, there is this freedom, and more or less conversational character, which obtains in the reading meeting, women, nevertheless, have their suited conduct which, in general, is “to be in silence.” “The men” may pray in every place, lifting up holy hands; not so women, who (not in dress only, but) in seemly deportment, should be adorned with “modesty and sobriety.” It would be a contradiction of this if women were to pray in public. We can well understand the liberty of a mother praying with her children at home, and that scripture does not call upon her in such a case to cover her head either then, or, as it appears to me, in the reading of God’s word at “family prayer.” But in a Bible reading, where men are present, even if held in a “private” house, would not this assume a “public” character? And if so, comeliness would call for the covering of the head on the part of the women as well as (need we say?) for their silence whether of prayer or speech.

Questions on the Healing of the Demoniac

Question: (1). Mark 1:23, Luke 4:33-36. The late Dr. Trench, Abp. of Dublin, in his well-known Notes on the Miracles of our Lord (p. 233, seventh ed. 1862), speaks of the healing of this demoniac as “the second miracle” of the kind which the evangelists record at any length. Is this correct?
(2). He connects in p. 234 “the Holy One of God” in the accounts of this miracle with Psa. 16:10, as “the first appearance of this phrase.” Is it really so?
(3). Dean Alford in the fifth edition of his Greek Testament, 1 313, says that this demoniac’s healing in the synagogue at Capernaum was “not immediately after the preceding. The calling of the apostles, the Sermon on the Mount, the healing of the leper, and of the centurion’s servant, precede the following miracle.” Is this the fact? or ignorance of the chronology?
Answer: (1). The Abp. cannot have carefully examined the relative order of the events in the Gospels; else he must have known that the cure of the demoniac at Capernaum was the first case of detailed account, and long before that related in Matt. 8:28-36. Mark and Luke are explicit that the cure in the synagogue at Capernaum was on the same sabbath when he healed Simon’s mother-in-law, soon after the four apostles were called as Mark proves, whereas only Luke reserves that call for fuller development in the miraculous draft which so powerfully acted on Peter’s soul (Luke 5:1-11). But both conclusively show that the cure of legion (Matthew telling us of two demoniacs) was after the day when the parables of the kingdom were delivered (Matt. 13), and the storm on the lake when the Lord rebuked the winds and the raging water.
(2). Dr. Trench is not less mistaken as to the phrase, “Holy One of God.” “Holy” here answers to ἅγιος, whereas the corresponding Greek in the Sept. rendering of the Psalm (and quite accurately) is ὅσιος. The former means strictly holy, as separate from evil; and this the angel announced even of the Lord’s humanity, in a way never said of any other born of woman, nor yet of Adam unfallen. Compare also 1 John 2:20. The latter is often in the Sept. said of Christ as the “pious” or “gracious” One, which comes practically to the sense of “holy” as said of man, and “merciful” of God. This is the word that occurs in Psa. 16 as quoted in Acts 13:35, as also in Heb. 7:26. Psa. 89 is very instructive, in that we have the former said of the Holy One of Israel, our King, in ver. 18; whereas He is said to speak in vision of His Holy or gracious One in ver. 19, the One in Whom His loving-kindnesses or mercies centered.
(3). From what has been already remarked on Dr. T., it will be plain how far from all intelligence of the structure of the Gospels, and of Matthew’s in particular, was Dean Alford. For there is no ground to doubt that the healing of the demoniac at Capernaum is the first recorded miracle of our Lord after calling the four apostles, that the leper was healed not long after, and considerably before what is called the Sermon on the Mount, and that the centurion’s servant was not healed till after it, as is shown in Luke 6, 7 beyond cavil. Matthew was led to displace the events in order to group together a divine dispensational picture; Luke brings together events for the moral purpose which reigns in his account. Mark had no such reason to depart from the sequence of fact. Failure in apprehending the truth of things has wrought serious mischief in immature harmonies of the Gospels, and still worse in those whose lack of insight emboldened them to tax inspired men with discrepancies and errors.

Heb. 10:17 Connected With 2 Cor. 5:10?

Question: Heb. 10:17.—“And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.” How is this to be understood in connection with 2 Cor. 5:10? Will the sins of a believer’s unconverted days be again brought before him at the judgment seat of Christ? Yours respectfully, INQUIRER.
Answer: It is not as if God forgot the things, but He does not remember them—hold them in His mind—against them in any way. If I say I forget as well as forgive, it only speaks of the completeness, not, if the thing is called up, that my memory has ceased to know it as a fact. If I give an account of myself to God, I must do it completely or I should lose something of the goodness of Him who has called and saved me. Paul lost nothing in saying, “Lord, they know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue,” &c.

Hebrews 2:11-18 - "All of One" and Other Questions on the Passage

Question: Heb. 2:11-18.-(1.) What is the force of “all of one?” (2.) The connection of the three passages of the Old Testament that follow? (3.) What is the difference between being “partakers of flesh and blood,” and taking “part of the same?”
(4.) What is the exact meaning and aim of “likewise” here?
(5.) What is the place given to death in the next words? (6.) How does verse 16 connect itself with what precedes and follows? (7.) “To make reconciliation for the sins of the people” sounds strange as compared with the reconciliation of the believers and the universe elsewhere revealed: is it correct? (8.) Temptation—what? Z.
Answer: (1.) “All of one” is purposely abstract (ἐξ ἑνὸς πάντες). The phrase is fairly rendered in the Authorized Version. The reference to God the Father is set aside by what follows; for if the point were a common Fatherhood in the higher sense, where would be the propriety of adding, “on which account he is not ashamed to call them brethren?” It would then be a necessity of relationship. On the other hand, there is the most careful guard throughout against such an undue enlargement of the sphere as would associate Christ with all the human race in its actual state. It is a question of real humanity in both the Sanctifier and the sanctified, not of the state in which He took it or they had it. They were “all one-wise,” but not all in a condition absolutely identical. I would add that it is incorrect to say that the present (οἱ ἁγιαζόμενοι) means necessarily a process going on, the perfect God’s purpose respecting them. The present participle is often used with the article for a person or persons in any given way designated, apart from the question of time. But when the perfect is employed, as ἡγιασμένοι in Heb. 10:10, it is expressly not future purpose or potentiality, but present application and character founded on a past fact—in this case the actual result of the finished work of Christ to the believer. Dean Alford is in every respect mistaken here.
(2.) The first citation (from Psa. 22:22) shows that the relationship of brethren is properly declared in resurrection, as we see plainly in John 20:17. The next citations (from Isa. 8:17, 18) connect the godly in Israel with Christ, the great prophet, in His path of reliance on God, apart from all the unbelieving confederacies of men—not as His brethren, for they were not yet so marked out, nor as His children exactly, but as the children whom God gave Him. It is the righteous remnant associated with the Messiah morally separate from the mass. This is kept up in “the children” of the following verse (14).
(3.) To bring about this relationship to Himself incarnation was requisite with a view to redemption. Since then the children partake, or are partakers of (κεκοινὠνηκεν) blood and flesh, He Himself also similarly participated in (μετέσχεν) the same. The former verb supposes a common share in what belonged to the children, as indeed to all men. For there is no difference in the human nature of godly and of ungodly. The latter verb means to take or get a share in anything (in this case, humanity).
(4.) “Likewise,” “in like manner,” “similarly” (as I have rendered it), is the true force of παραπλησίως. It is not correct to say that the rendering in our common Bible is not sufficiently strong. Bengel gives similiter and remarks, not that it is equivalent to but “idem feer atqne mox κατα πάντα per omina v. 17, c. iv. 15.” The Docete may have perverted the word to their own wicked folly; but no scholar who examines the matter can deny that Fr. does not go as far as (Sudan or rows; but as Alford justly remarks, it expresses “a general similitude, a likeness in the main: and so not to be pressed here, to extend to entire identity, nor on the other hand to imply, of purpose, partial diversity; but to be taken in its wide and open sense—that He Himself also partook, in the main, in like manner with us, of our nature.” The Docete did not believe that Christ really μετέόχεν τῶν αῦτῶν, which words do predicate sameness in essence. It is ignorance to found this on παραπλησζως, which simply asserts similarity of manner: while on the other hand, even this could not have been truthfully said, had not the Word been made flesh οῦ δοκητῶς ἀλλ ἀληθινὠῶς, οὐ φανταστικῶς ἀλλ’ όντως. (Comp. Phil. 2:27.)
(5) Christ took human nature most really, though not in a state identical with ours (as is more fully explained—strange that it should be needed by the believer!—in chap. iv. 15); but He took it to die, that through death He might destroy (annul, render void) him that has the power of death, that is, the devil, and might deliver, &c. To avail for God’s glory or even for us, it was into death that grace led the Savior. There only could Satan’s might be brought to naught; thus only could redemption be wrought, a ruined creation be reconciled to God, guilty souls be atoned for effectually and forever. All this and more was done by the death of Christ, though its power be displayed in resurrection alone. All else fails to vindicate God, annul Satan, or deliver man.
(6.) The English version of verse 16 is false in itself and destroys the connection. For of course Mum) it is not angels He takes up (i.e., helps), but He takes up Abraham’s seed. It is not a question here of assuming a nature, but of the reason why He did so; and this is His undertaking the cause of the seed of Abraham—not of Adam, as such. The ancient expositors (Chrysostom, Theodoret, Ambrose, &c) and “great divines” (as Luther. Calvin, Beza, &c.) misled the authorized translators and the error in sense led to the further error in form; for they could not adhere thus to the present tense of ἐπιλαμβάνεται and hence were forced into the monstrous blunder of rendering it, “He took,” &c. Next, the thread of sense is cut, and a mere and feeble reiteration of the truth of verse 14 is imported into verse 16—a needless denial that angelic nature was assumed. Whereas, the affirmation of His special interest in Abraham’s seed links on with the previous statement of His incarnation and His death for redemption purposes, and most fitly leads into the inference that follows.
(7.) To make expiation or propitiation is the true rendering of ἱλάσκεσθαι. The sinner needs to be reconciled, his sins to be expiated. See the opposite error in the Authorized Version of Rom. 5:11, where the margin gives the true sense—reconciliation.
(8) Temptation generally in Scripture (always of course in the case of Christ) means trial—trial from without. James 1:13, 14 speaks of that which is within, which He who knew no sin never experienced.

Hebrews 4:14; 9:11-12

Question: Heb. 4:14, 9:11, 12?
Answer: It ought to be added to the remarks in page 256, that those who do not distinguish between Christ as Man and as priest, but on the contrary lay the utmost stress on His priestly entrance as a separate spirit, to effect propitiation, quite fail to give the scriptural evidence such a theory demands. The statements of the Epistle to the Hebrews ignore any entrance in that character, save “once for all”; and this beyond fair question was when He ascended on high. They are accordingly not entitled to the distinction supposed in that answer to the query; for their theory supposes His priestly character in the separate state as well as when He ascended, and a (if not, the) most important exercise of the office before the ascension.

Hebrews 9:12: Our Lord Entering the Holies

Question: Heb. 9:12. Is it legitimate to infer that this verse speaks of our Lord, entering the holies as a separate spirit before He rose and ascended? Mαθ.
Answer: Not only is there not a tittle of scriptural evidence pointing in that direction; but other scriptures speak of His entrance, not in that transitional condition, but when become forever high priest after the order of Melchizedek. Compare especially Heb. 6:20. Nor is this all. For the verse itself precludes all but one entrance to this end, though all admit our Lord’s presence in the disembodied state in Paradise. But the word here is that “by His own blood He entered once for all into the holies, having found an everlasting redemption.” This is simple, plain, and decisive.

A Heretic

Question: What is the meaning of Titus 3:10, “A man that is an heretic after the first and second admonition reject; knowing that he that is such is subverted and sinneth, being condemned of himself.” Does this refer to the holder of Wicked doctrine as to Christ or foundation-truth? Or does it mean a person who goes out and tries to make a sect or party for his own opinions? Some seem to shrink from the last, as if it were over-severe and would condemn men otherwise estimable. B. A.
Answer: There is no doubt whatever that the apostle means, not a holder of blasphemous doctrines, (which is the point in John’s Epistles.) but one who endeavors to make a party. If any Christians, pretending to spiritual intelligence, count this a light sin, they are themselves to be pitied, warned, and prayed for. What is self-will but sin against God? and what self-will in one professing to love Christ is worse than despising the Church of God, by essaying to form a church of his own on views of his own? All saints are ignorant, more or less; and the Church of God contemplates them all, save in case of excision for wickedness in doctrine or practice, which all are responsible to judge. To go out and set up a party for particular views, even if true in themselves, apart from the assembly of God on earth, is rebellion against God, and that in what is nearest to God save His own Son. To make light of the sin, or sympathize with it, is to trifle with God and His Church, and expose oneself to the same, however confident one may be in strength or wisdom to keep out of it. It is meanwhile sparing oneself and one’s friends at the expense of God’s Word, which it is evil unbelief to count over severe. Some think a far worse class, even blasphemers of Christ, “otherwise estimable.” Let such beware.

High Priest Blessing the People

Question: Did the high priest, after coming out of the sanctuary on the Day of Atonement, bless the people?
D. T.
Answer: People confound that day’s rites with the eighth day of priestly consecration, Lev. 9 There we find the figure of Aaron as Christ, the Priest after the sacrifices, blessing the people; then under the combined types of Moses and Aaron i.e. King and Priest, going in and coming out to bless them, the glory of Jehovah only appearing on this. But the holy force of Atonement Day is kept intact as the judgment and remission of sins. Only in Aaron and his sons we have the Christian place, indeed better than even Aaron’s, as made free of the holiest at all times while Christ is within on high.

His Grave With the Wicked and With the Rich in His Death?

Question: Isa. 53:9. How are we to understand “His grave with the wicked and with the rich in His death?” R. M.
Answer: The next verse refers, not only to the grave which was appointed to one reckoned with lawless men, but to that honor which God took care should notwithstanding be paid in His burial. As is well known, “the wicked” is plural, whereas “rich” is singular. The simple facts are thus the best comment on the prediction. Man proposed, but God disposed, Who alone could and did set it out long before. Men assigned Him in his thought a grave with the wicked, but He was in fact according to His purpose with a rich man in His death.

The Holy Spirit Descending

Question: The great difference between the descent of the Spirit upon Christ as a dove and upon believers as a cloven tongue of fire, struck me so forcibly that I searched the subject out and saw that He being holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners, received the Spirit (not that He was not immaculate by the Spirit from His mother’s womb before) as an emblem of purity and harmlessness—a dove; whereas the believer, sinful still, received Him as a cloven tongue of fire. Was not the promise of Matt. 3:11 fulfilled at Pentecost, a baptism with the Holy Ghost and with fire? I connected with it 1 Cor. 3:13, to the effect that the believer who is led by the Spirit will not build inflammable structures; but that if he exert his own quenching influence upon the fire of the Holy Spirit, worthless building must result. Then again, 1 Cor. 3:5, “ye are the temple of God;” “The Spirit dwelleth in you.”
Thus the unquenchable fire (Matt. 3:12) to me seemed the Spirit Himself who seeks daily to burn up the chaff of flesh and self, and so to transform us more and more into the likeness of Christ. It is the purifying influence of fire, that we generally failed to admit a baptism of fire as coincident.
We speak of allowing the Spirit to work, and so exclude the works of the flesh and expel them too: is not this the purifying work of fire? The symbol seems to fit well. When (1 Cor. 3) the day shall declare our works, how much of flesh shall be burnt up by fire! all man’s building undirected by the Spirit. Had the Spirit been allowed to do His work, would not these works have been burnt up at their inception instead of their author’s having to suffer loss after this life’s close? The “quench not the Spirit,” is it necessarily a negative command to the assembly? The accompanying commands seem to be to individuals. Can not an individual effectually quench the Spirit, or does σβέννυτε go too far for this?
If the fire of the Spirit is not for purifying purposes, why the promise in Matt. 3 and the cloven tongue of Pentecost? and is not Matt. 3:12 applicable in great measure here and now, at this present time? And is not this what He is doing continually in us as we pass along? Is it not His will that by this process we should be more and more transformed into the likeness of Christ? What means “Our God is a consuming fire?” Q.
Answer: It is well to observe that the form of the Spirit’s appearance is stated in our Lord’s case to be “as a dove,” and in the saints “as of fire.” There was divine suitability in each; and as gentleness marked the one, so the testimony of the other was to judge and consume as fire all opposing falsehood. But this is not the complete fulfillment of Matt. 3, though a moral witness of what awaits the Lord’s execution of judgment on the living at His appearing. As the O.T. often mixes the two comings of Messiah, so did John the Baptist the twofold baptism. Not till He comes again is the winnowing fan in His hand, whence He shall throughly purge His threshing-floor, and gather His wheat into His garner, but also burn the chaff with the unquenchable fire. Surely this last is in no way a moral purifying of faults of the righteous, but the judicial destruction of the wicked. Luke, who brings in the Gentiles, does the same; for His judgment will befall them too.
This is corroborated by the Gospel of Mark, who did not write especially for the Jews as Matthew, but as the beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Accordingly in God’s wisdom he presents John the Baptist as speaking of Christ’s baptizing with the Holy Spirit (1:8), but not a word about the baptism of fire. That baptism took place at Pentecost. So in John’s Gospel (1:33) we hear of Christ’s baptizing with the Holy Spirit only. His judgment on the quick is here left out, but will surely be at Christ’s second advent.
1 Cor. 3:12-15 has nothing to do with the baptism of fire spoken of in Matt. 3:11, 12, and in Luke 16; 17 nor does any one of them speak of its purifying influence, still less of burning up the chaff of flesh and self. For us the basis was laid in the cross where God condemned sin in the flesh, and as a sin-offering for us, and thus our sinful nature had His judgment executed on it, as well as our sins borne away. No doubt there is also a daily moral government carried on, as our Lord pointed out in the Vine (John 15), the fruit-bearing branches being cleansed (we read) by the water of the word, whilst the fruitless are left for the fire of another day; but there is no mixing up the two for this day. The transforming into Christ’s image from glory to glory, even as by the Lord the Spirit, is by looking on His glory with unveiled face, after the type of Moses, as 2 Cor. 3 tells us. Heb. 12:29 refers to Deut. 4:24, in no way to the baptism of the Spirit.

Homage and Worship

Question: In the Bible Treasury for December there is an article on Προσκυνέω. Would the writer be so good as to say what he means by doing homage or doing obeisance to Jesus Christ, and what her means by worshipping the Father?
Answer: A well-known version of the New Testament, which has had the respectful commendation of the best Biblical scholars in the Anglican body as well as outside it, was attacked by one not only incompetent but disposed to impute the worst motives for that which was beyond his own measure. The writer of the reply had not the least notion of its source, though he has since heard the name with regret. The aim was to show that the translator insinuated the inferiority of the Son to the Father by restricting “worship” to the latter and translating the same word by “homage” where the Son was concerned. It was shown that this was doubly false; and that the version assailed does speak of “worship” where the Son is spoken of, and gives “homage” where the obeisance is unquestionably rendered to God the Father or to God as such. It is admitted by all persons of real intelligence that the word “worship” has become narrowed in modern English, and that when the language was in an earlier stage it, embraced all acts of obeisance, such as prostration, which were paid to kings or other superiors, as well as what was paid to a divine Being (or one regarded as divine). So it was in Greek; so it stands in the Authorized Version, because at that time the English word “worship” had a generic force as well as that special reference. But this is not so in present usage; and therefore a modern translator must exercise his judgment. Whether Mr. D. has in every instance succeeded in determining the different senses is more than I would say; but his principle is sound and certain. It is ignorance to suppose that, when Jews came to Jesus to heal their diseases, they meant by their homage to convey their conviction that He was God. That He was God and therefore worthy of honor as the Father is what every Christian rejoices to know, and to pay it; but the true meaning of πρ. in these cases throughout the gospels is another matter. In John 4 “worship” is clearly required. On the other hand, “doing homage” may be and is rightly used where God or the Father is in question.

The Hope Set Before Us

Question: Heb. 6:19. What is “The hope set before us”?
Answer: It is the expectation of heavenly glory as secured and displayed in Christ exalted on high. Of course, the “hope” implies something yet to be done or manifested; though, being of God in Christ, it has not the smallest shade of uncertainty about it like what men call hope. This hope has present effects too “by the which we draw nigh to God.” (Compare Heb. 10:23, which ought to be “hope” rather than “faith,” as in the Authorized version), as it ought to fill us with joy (Heb. 3:6). It is clearly in the future alone that all will be realized, and therefore it is justly called “hope:” still the work being finished, and Christ having entered within the veil, our hope is said to penetrate there too. That is, besides being sure for us and steadfast in itself, it is heavenly as entering into the immediate presence of God on the basis of the precious blood of Christ. It counts upon God fulfilling all He has promised according to the faithfulness which has raised tip Christ from the dead (like Isaac in the type), and set Him in the atmosphere of unchangeable blessing inside the veil. As Abraham had his son given back as it were, and the promise confirmed by an oath, so have we our hopes confirmed in a yet more precious way in a risen Christ glorified above, though still having “need of patience.”

The Hour of Temptation

Question: The hour of temptation (which you take to embrace a longer period than the crisis of the great tribulation) is to come upon all the world (the whole habitable world) to try them that dwell upon the earth (apostate Christendom): why upon the whole earth if only to try Christendom?
Answer: I consider that “they that dwell on the earth” is here, at least, rather a moral expression than a designation of apostate Christendom. It is opposed to dwellers in heaven, and not merely a distinction from some other part of the world.

How Are Hebrews 2:17; 8:4; 9:12 Applied and Held Consistently With Leviticus 16?

Question: Heb. 2:17; 8:4; 9:12. How are these texts to be applied and held consistently with Lev. 16 to which allusion is made? S. B.
Answer: The first text refers to the exceptional action of Aaron as representing first his own house, next the people, on Atonement-day. The second presents the normal place of Christ’s priesthood on high. The third speaks of Christ’s entrance there once for all, not by His personal perfection which would have been for Himself alone, but by His own blood in infinite efficacy, having found an eternal redemption. Lev. 16 figures this and more even to the restoration of Israel by-and-by as a shadow, not the very image which the N.T. alone gives. Nor indeed does the Epistle disclose the union of the body with the Head; but it fully reveals that entrance of the Lord into heaven once for all, due alike to His person and His work.

How do Matt. 13:30, 1 Cor. 5:13, and 2 Tim. 2:21 Hang Together?

Question: Matt. 13:30, 1 Cor. 5:13, 2 Tim. 2:21. How do these scriptures hang together? B. A.
Answer: The first speaks of evil professors of the Lord, who are not our objects of extermination, but living in the field of the world till judgment falls at the end of the age. The second commands the wicked man to be at once put out of the church. The third provides for the day when the professing church sanctions vessels to dishonor, from which the faithful soul is bound to purge himself. Thus only can he be a vessel to honor, sanctified and meet for the master’s use, prepared unto every good work.

How Should 2 Corinthians 5:21 Be Taken?

Question: How is 2 Cor. 5:21 to be taken? W. E.
Answer: In 1 Cor. 1:30 saints are said to be of God in Christ Jesus, Who was made to us wisdom from God, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption (for the body itself will be under the power of redemption at His coming). This is all of grace that no flesh may glory save in Him. But in the second Epistle the apostle goes farther and affirms that God made Christ Who knew no sin to be sin for us (i.e. dealt with as a sacrifice for it on our behalf) that we might be made or become His righteousness in Christ (i.e. blessed righteously according to His estimate of Christ’s work and its answer in glory).

How to Look for and Love His Appearing

Question: If the Church is with the Lord, caught up to Him at His coming, how can any Christian love or look for His subsequent appearing? 1 Tim. 6:14; 2 Tim. 4:8; Titus 2:13. So 1 Thess. 2:19; 5:23 seem to teach, not a secret previous coming for Christians, but the same as 1 John 28; Rev. 1:7; Mark 8:38. So that revelation, appearing, and coming seem to me synonymous and synchronies. A resurrection from out of the dead and a change of the living saints visibly going up to meet the Lord seems to me a more sober idea, if I may so speak, and to do less violence to ordinary scripture statement, than a secret rapture, which seems to be both unnecessary and based on a very few and not very distinct scriptures. They are all (as I think) the same event, though many acts are folded up therein. J. L.
Answer: The presence (παρουσla) of Christ is His coming, or rather state of being present, in contrast with His absence, and is in itself equally compatible with being visible or not at His pleasure (as we see after His resurrection). The solution of the question depends on other scriptures and cannot be decided by the bare word coming or presence. One of these scriptures is the comparison of 2 Thess. 2:1 with verse 8. On the face of it, verse 1 binds together His coming or παρουσία with the gathering together of the saints to Himself. This is the motive for comfort against the terror of the day of the Lord, which the false teachers were seeking to bring on the souls of the Thessalonians. The false rumor that His day was actually arrived, or present (ἐνέστηκεν), was effectually dispelled by the sweet hope of being thus re-united to Himself, with the added information that that day of awful associations for the world should not be there before the full development and open display of that lawlessness, which was already at work in secret ways. For the day of the Lord is ever the predicted period of judgment on man’s evil, which it is to put down and clear away, in order that the good of God’s kingdom may be no longer hidden or hindered but shine out to His everlasting praise. Hence it is said that the lawless one (for so it will end) shall be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus shall consume with the breath of His mouth and shall destroy, or annul, by the appearing of His coming or presence. Thus visibility is expressly connected, not with the Lord’s presence to assemble His saints to Himself, but with His judicial action on the Antichrist.
Plainly, the coming or presence of the Lord is the great general truth. It embraces indeed His appearing as one of its acts or characters, but it includes much more. Hence, when precision is sought (as here to counteract a false impression, which the enemy sought to endorse with the apostle’s name), we have the παρουσία distinguished from the epiphany, or shining forth of that παρουσία. Now it is evident that, if the coming of Christ necessarily implies visibility to all the world, there is no force in the distinction; if, on the contrary, He might come to gather His saints without appearing to any beyond themselves, and then subsequently cause His coming or presence to be manifest in the destruction of the lawless one, nothing can be more appropriate or exact than the phraseology here employed.
There is no difficulty, accordingly, in apprehending how Timothy or others could be exhorted in view of Christ’s appearing, spite of the gathering of the saints on high previously. The act of translating the saints above is no open vindication before the world either of Christ or of themselves; the appearing, revelation, or day of the Lord is this precisely. Not till then will be seen the consequences of faithfulness or the lack of it in His service; not till then will the madness of the world’s hostility against Jehovah and His anointed be proved. Hence, when it is a question of exhorting to earnest, devoted, holy labor and endurance, scripture habitually speaks not of the coming simply but of the appearing of Christ. Then will be the reward of toil and suffering; then must the haughty world be humbled, apostate Judaism and Christendom be judged, and righteousness be established over the earth, the glorified saints reigning with Christ over it, and the Jews restored to their promised supremacy and blessedness here below. This makes evident the reason why the hearts of the saints, in present sorrow and shame, feeling their own weakness and the temporary triumph of the enemy in the world, are always urged to look on to the appearing of Christ. Their own removal by His coming does not, could not, satisfy the desires of those who are bent on the making good of His glory universally, and the final total overthrow of Satan, and the blessing of all creation.
This, then, in my judgment, entirely and simply meets the scriptural statements which speak both of the Lord’s coming and of His appearing, &c. Timothy is enjoined to keep the commandment, laid on him by the apostle, spotless, irreproachable, until the appearing of our Lord, which in its own time the blessed and only Potentate shall show. (1 Tim. 6) It is a question of responsibility in service; and this attaches, not to the rapture of the saints at all, but to the manifestation of Christ. When the Lord appeared the first time, God’s grace was made manifest, and life and incorruption were brought to light by our Savior. When He appears again, glory will be revealed; fidelity during His absence will be no longer a matter of denial, detraction, or debate, and evil will hide its head. A faithful royalist could not be satisfied till not merely the arrival of the exiled king, but his coronation and the public exercise of his prerogative. Still more evidently does this principle apply to 2 Tim. 4:8: “Henceforth the crown of righteousness is laid up for me, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me in that day; and not only to me, but also to all that love (τοῖς ἦγαπηκόσιν, characterized by their love for) His appearing.” That this demonstrates the justice of what has been already remarked, I need scarcely say. The coming of Christ to receive us to Himself and be with Him in the Father’s house would not at all suit the requirements of the passage; because that is the pure fruit of His own grace, removing us into the scene of His Father’s love and glory, but in no way vindicating His servants, by a Just requital of all faithful testimony, in the day when even a man shall say, Verily there is a reward for the righteous; verily He is a God that judgeth in the earth. Rapture to heaven previously would not meet this exigency, though, of course, perfectly consistent with it. We must believe all that is revealed, not a part only; and a main point of real progress is that we learn to distinguish things which differ.
Titus 2:13 quite falls in with the two texts we have examined, the only question being whether “that blessed hope” does not look rather to the point of personal joy when we are caught up to be with the Savior, and “the appearing of the glory” to the later and public display. If so, this scripture would connect the two things, as one combined object in the mind of the Spirit, leaving it to be decided by other testimonies whether the two things happen at the same time or with some interval.
In 1 Thess. 2:19 and 5:23, it is simply a question of Christ’s presence or coming, entirely independent of manifestation. The first scripture is the expression of the apostle’s affections for the objects of his devoted labors.
Circumstances might and do separate them now for a little in person, not in heart; but they should be together before our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming, “our glory and joy.” This would not cease but, on the contrary, appear when Christ is manifested, but the fact is before the apostle; and this is true at the coming of Christ and even before His manifestation, of which nothing is said here. So in chapter 5:23, he prays that their whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Of course, if verified then, this would be also true at His appearing; but the other sufficed and indeed was more comprehensive. On the contrary, where it is a question of the world being judged (as in the beginning of the same chapter), “the day of the Lord,” and not simply His coming or presence, is spoken of; for that necessarily supposes judicial action and display. So even in chapter 3, where we have the coming of our Lord with all His saints, not them caught up to Him, as in chapter iv., in order to God’s bringing those who sleep with Him.
But 1 John 1:28, Rev. 1:7, and Mark 8:38 are wholly distinct in tone from the simple presence of the Lord and His saints. In the first of these texts, manifestation is express. It is a question of the workman not being ashamed before Him at His coming, through the souls they labored for abiding in Him now. The coming of the Lord alone would not decide this, and therefore manifestation is added. Again, Rev. 1:7 has nothing to do with the translation of saints to heaven but is the solemn threat of impending judgment for the world, especially for Israel (i.e., those who pierced Him). “Every eye shall see him,” defines the character and time most fully. So Mark 8:38 describes the Lord coming with His holy angels in His quality of Son of man which notoriously attaches to Him as executor of judgment. (See John 5)
I cannot doubt, therefore, that coming or presence is never in itself synonymous with appearing, revelation, or manifestation. This does not decide the question of their agreeing or differing in point of time. But it tends so far to maintain the definiteness of scripture language, which is indispensable to all real intelligence and progress in the truth.
That the removal of the saints from earth to meet the Lord does not synchronize with their appearing in glory along with Him, is, to my mind, certain from a variety of scriptures. First, Col. 3 declares that when Christ, our life, appears, “then shall ye also appear with Him in glory.” The context would convince any fair mind that rigorous precision is here intended. The basis is the identification of the Christian with Christ. Is He dead and risen? So are they. Is He now hid with God? So are they now with Him. But this will not be always. He is about to be manifested in glory when He is, then shall they too be manifested in the same glory with Him. This is decisive against the hypothesis of Christ first appearing, then translating the risen and changed saints, and bringing then and thus His day on the world. For in this case, Scripture must be broken, as Christ would have appeared in glory without His saints and before them. Their rapture (to use a word which used to be more familiar with divines than it seems to be of late) cannot then be when He is manifested; for they are all, Christ and the saints, manifested together.
Besides, the same result follows from the scriptures which speak of His coming with the saints. They must have been, then, caught up before in order to come with Him.
Further, the great book which puts together in an orderly way so many elements scattered over the scriptures of the Old and New Testament, the final prophecy of the New Testament, has it no light for us on this vexed question? Much every way, but this chiefly—that thence we learn how the saints are seen glorified in heaven under the symbol of twenty-four elders, not to speak of the four living creatures from chapter iv.; that they are seen there kept out of the hour of temptation which comes on all the world to try them that dwell on the earth; that during this hour God works in Jews and Gentiles, who alone are spoken of as being on earth, without a hint of the Church or churches after Rev. 3 (save in the exhortation at the end when the prophetic part is concluded); and that when the Lord does come to judge, the saints are with Him, and come out of heaven, not from earth, for the closing scene, when, executing vengeance on them that know not God and them that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus, He comes to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all them that have believed in that day. Then, and not before, will be the public retributive dealing of the Lord, when His saints shall be vindicated and their enemies shall be troubled worse than any tribulation they inflicted on the faithful. The Lord’s coming simply to receive the saints to be with Himself above is no doubt the joy of grace; but it is not all, and does not supersede the importance of the scene of manifestation (which is itself a part of His coming or παρουσία), when all questions of responsibility in good or ill will be solved and made apparent.
The best sobriety of the saint is to believe the scriptures—not some, but all; sacrificing the truth neither of our manifestation and reward when Christ comes in judgment, nor of our previous removal to heaven to be with Christ, away from the scenes of horror, when God will give the Jew and man in general to taste the result even in this world of rejecting the true Christ and receiving the false one; but when He will make ready once more, by an Elijah testimony, a people prepared for the Lord on earth, that when He does appear in glory, He may have not only a risen glorified Bride with Him, suited to the heavenly places and the Father’s house, but also an earthly people, the nucleus for the blessing of all nations and the earth during that reign of blessedness which will follow the execution of judgment on all His enemies. It is the same παρουσία, but ἠ π. as such, and ἐπιφανεία τῆς π. are quite distinct in character and time.
The παρουσία of the Lord, then, is not a mere act of coming, but the state of being present in contrast with His absence. The epiphany or shining forth of His παρουσία most naturally intimates that this presence in itself is not necessarily visible.

How to Regard Jeremiah 51:39, 57 and Revelation 14:10-11

Question: How are we to regard such scriptures as Jer. 51:39, 57, Rev. 14:10, 11? J. L. H.
Answer: The “perpetual sleep” is through man’s day with which the O. T. was conversant. The Chaldean Babylon should never wake. And so it has been. Rev. 14:10, 11 pierces more deeply as divine judgment on individual worshippers of God’s enemy, and “forever” has the unlimited force of the N. T. Christ has brought to light, not only life and incorruption, but the second death and everlasting judgment. “Seventy years” in no way measure Babylon’s doom, but the chastening of the land and people of Judæa; and the rejection of the Messiah has again sealed their desolations till the day of Jehovah brings them deliverance.

In the Beginning

Question: Gen. 1:1. “In the beginning.” Is it the same word used by our Lord in regard to the devil in John 8:44?
J. C., Clydesvale, Hamilton, N.B.
Answer: Not so. The phrase with which Genesis opens is the beginning of creation, and hence of time, though not yet in relation to man and his environment as from ver. 3 and onwards. “The days” are accordingly literal, as the context forbids any sense but the historical. Poetry or allegory is out of the question here. It is all a plain and sure statement of fact, where man’s ignorance can only form hypotheses, more or less defective and short of the truth. Phraseology however is not everything; for the same phrase occurs in John 1:1 where it imports a still grander truth, the personal subsistence of the Word, Who was with God and was God, in the depths of eternity. Go back, as one might in the boundless existence of Godhead, there was no moment when the Word was not with God. That this is the meaning is certain from the third verse of this Gospel, where creation is absolutely and exclusively described and attributed to the Word. Consequently John 1:3 coalesces with Gen. 1:1, and its verses 1 and 2 precede creation, setting out the co-existence of the Word with God, while Himself God before He began the mighty work of creation. The same truth appears most precisely in Col. 1, one grieves to say, enfeebled in the R. V. though they could not destroy it. The enemy shows his malice in detracting from the Deity of the Son all he can as God sustains it sedulously throughout scripture.
But John 8:44 supposes neither the measureless depths of eternity nor the commencement of creation, when vast periods preceded the time of man’s earth. It means in time, though before man was formed. “From the beginning” is pointedly distinct from “in the beginning” either in its highest application to the being of the Word or in its use to convey the entrance of creative energy. The devil was not always, but an angel that, inflated or lifted up with pride, fell. He had no standing in the truth and became a murderer as well as a liar, its father (cf. 1 Tim. 3). Thenceforward (άπ’ ἀρχῆς from a beginning of this dark and baneful kind) he was a murderer. His hatred was against man, and especially in enmity to God against Him Who deigned to become man for God’s glory and to deliver man. See also 1 John 3. Clearly it is impossible to make ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς mean from all eternity, which would deny the devil to be a creature and simply that God made him originally a devil, instead of his being an angel like others that kept not their own original state (Jude 6).

In the Beginning

Question: Gen. 1:1, John 1:1, 1 John 1:1; 2:7, 13, 14; 3:8, &c. What is the difference, if any between “in the beginning,” and “from” it? X. Y. Z.
Answer: “In the beginning” in Gen. 1:1 is clearly the first recorded action of God in calling the universe into being, the creation of angels (it would seem from Job 38:7) being anterior. It was the beginning of time on the largest scale. But in John 1:1 the phrase goes back into the eternity that preceded, because it expresses the being of the Word Who was God and created all (ver. 3), trace back indefinitely far as you may.
“From the beginning” is always in time, not before it, to whatever epoch or period, person or thing, it may be applied. Take the earliest application, as said of the great angel who fell: “the devil sinneth from the beginning” (1 John 3:8). It was not even the beginning of his existence as an angel, but only as a fallen one.
For the angels were all sinless at first, as Adam was. God never is the author of moral evil.
But the phrase “from the beginning” carries the same time-force as to good. It never means “in the beginning,” even though applied to Him Who was the Eternal also. It refers from its own nature to a time relation. So we see in Luke 1:2, where “those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word” can only mean from the manifestation of Christ in the public testimony. It is even distinguished from ἄνωθεν in verse 3, by which the evangelist draws the line between many chroniclers from tradition and his own accurate acquaintance with all things “from the outset” or origin. The phrase therefore does not and can not refer to eternity but to what was before its witnesses in time.
So it is in the all-important use of the phrase in 1 John 1:1, ὅ ἧν ἀπ’ἀρχῆς....περὶ τοῦ λόγου τῆς δωῆς
“That which was from the beginning.... concerning the Word of life.” Undoubtedly He Who is thus presented was “in the beginning;” and this is fully implied in ver. 2 that follows, as in John 1:1, 2. But here it is the concrete Person of our Lord, truly subsisting here below, heard, seen, contemplated, and even handled by the hands of chosen witnesses. This therefore can express nothing but the Lord’s manifestation on earth among men.
1 John 2:7 is equally conclusive. “An old commandment” which the saints had “from the beginning” cannot refer to the eternal counsels of God as such, but solely to what was enjoined by our Lord when with them here below. They certainly did not hear it from eternity, but in time and at that time solely. This accordingly gives the true bearing of vers. 13 and 14, of course also 24, and 3:11, 2 John 5, 6. “He that is from the beginning” is the very same person “who was in the beginning,” both truths of the highest moment to faith; but they are distinct and in no way to be merged in one another. If I believe in Him that was in the beginning, it is the true faith of His deity and of His personality as the Word; I am not an Arian or a Sabellian assuredly. But this is not to believe in “Him that was from the beginning,” the Word made flesh and tabernacling among us full of grace and truth, Whose glory was contemplated by the apostle John and his fellows, as of an Only-begotten of (or with) a Father. Hence it is the distinctive badge of the father in God’s family here below to know “Him that is from the beginning,” certainly not alone His divine personality and Godhead, however indispensable, but to know Him as He was manifested here, unchangingly divine indeed, but in all the wonders of His life among men in the lowliest, holiest, most familiar love and obedience: Christ Himself as He lived, moved, and had His being with the disciples, not only declaring God but showing the Father. To know Him thus is indeed to be a “father.”

The Indwelling of the Holy Ghost

Question: Acts 2; 8:10; 19 Rom. 8, &c.—It being allowed that Acts 2 is the descent of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost to form and indwell the Church, but only taking effect on Jewish believers, would Acts 10:44 be explained of a similar descent upon the Gentiles in such a way as to supplement Acts 2? or should we avoid the word “descent” and call it a manifestation of power to them as from one already present on earth, but not having before formally operated on the Gentiles? I conclude that Acts 8:14-17 and Acts 19:1-7 are somewhat different, as in both these instances there was the intervention of the hands of the apostles.
Granting that we have at present no manifestation of the Holy Ghost to expect, such as was exhibited in any of the passages adduced above, ought, nevertheless, a believer to be conscious of the time when the Holy Ghost indwelt him, distinct from and after his regeneration? or is it a matter for his faith, deduced from such passages as Rom. 8? W. H. G. W.
I confess I feel a difficulty in seeing anything more than faith as a condition before receiving the Holy Ghost. Is not Acts 10 the normal mode of that gift to us of the Gentiles? May not the language of Eph. 1:13 be owing to the peculiarity of the circumstances of the disciples in Acts 19?
Answer: It is evident, I think, that the great truth of the presence of the Spirit baptizing the believers was made good at Pentecost, of which Acts 10 records the extension or application to the Gentiles, as in fact none but Jews received Him at the beginning. Acts 8 and 14 appear to me supplementary and special, the one verifying the place of the apostles of the circumcision, as the other maintained Paul, and hence in both these subordinate instances there was imposition of hands. It was the outpouring on fresh souls of the Holy Ghost already sent down from heaven; and whatever difference is to be observed in the manner is due to the variety of the circumstances. But in every instance this gift of the Spirit is distinct from faith and consequent on it. It always supposes the soul born again, whether the interval be as short as the limits of the same discourse, or have days, weeks, months, or years between. That is, the Holy Ghost is given, not in, but after, quickening or the impartation of life. For a soul may have this new nature and no peace, no simple submission as yet to the righteousness of God. There may be a struggle under law, a trying to die to sin, fresh efforts under law to improve self. This often goes on in souls really quickened, as we read in Rom. 7, and may have seen frequently if we did not taste of this experience. The Holy Ghost is given when one rests by faith on the work of Christ. He regenerates the unbeliever, but He seals none till they believe the gospel. There must be life for sealing, and more too—a soul resting on the ground of accomplished redemption. Now souls are often quickened but tried and miserable as yet for some time afterward. So the Jews at Pentecost had repented and were even baptized before they received the Spirit; so the Samaritans believed and were baptized first, not to speak of the disciples of John at Ephesus. Nay, Cornelius himself had been for some time a godly and prayerful man, as his household may have been too. But that many were really first awakened under Peter’s preaching, i.e. at Pentecost, I do not contest: only in all cases there is, as I judge, necessarily an interval, let it be ever so brief, between life (or quickening), and the gift of the Spirit which seals the living believer. The possession of peace to them that believe goes along with this reception of the Spirit, as outward power also marked it of old for a sign to unbelievers.

Inspiration of Scripture

Question: Matt. 6, Luke 11. I believe in the verbal inspiration of Scripture; but how are we to explain the differences, e.g., in the Lord’s prayer? Why are there such distinct reports of what the Lord uttered? Or were there two occasions with a form not identical? PERPLEXED.
Answer: God’s inspiration, so far from binding the Evangelists to an identical re-echo of our Lord’s words, shows the power of the Spirit in discourse or fact reported, so as to carry out His special design in each Gospel. A simple reproduction of our Lord’s words in all the four might have been done by mechanical skill; but the Holy Spirit inspired each to give us all according to divine design respectively. It was God’s editing with specific purpose, which man, however pious, never could have achieved but by His energy, yet in the style of each. There is a new re-issue of a pamphlet on this prayer, which goes fully and minutely into these differences, and can be had of the Publisher.

Is Deliverance All?

Question: Gal. 5:17, 25. Is “deliverance” all? Are we not after that to walk in the Spirit? W.
Answer: Assuredly: to question it would be antinomianism, or systematic unholiness. We are called to walk in the Spirit by the faith of Christ, in confidence of His care, in habitual self-judgment, and in obedience of the word.

Is it Profitable to Ask a Christian, "Are You Dead?"

Question: Is it profitable to ask a Christian, “Are you dead?” since scripture says, “Ye are dead”? Does it not tend to throw one on feelings and experiences?
Answer: Such a query to an unestablished soul would inevitably lead to an inward investigation. But he who rests simply on Christ might be led to weigh and learn more thoroughly what death with Christ implies, and what becomes him who died with Him. Scripture assumes that the Christian has thus died.

Is It Right for the Unconverted to Pray?

Question: Is it right for the unconverted to pray? And can we take Cornelius as an instance of an unconverted man praying and his prayer being answered?
- A Constant Reader.
Answer: Man is bound to pray, as he is to serve God and do His will; but while unconverted, he does neither, save in form. “Behold, he prayeth” was the Lord’s cogent evidence to Ananias that Saul’s heart was turned to Himself.
But it is a mistake to suppose that Cornelius was a mere self-righteous formalist, before Peter went to his house in Caesarea. He feared God, and his prayer and his alms came up for a memorial before Him. He was no more unconverted than the disciples were before Pentecost, or the Old-Testament saints Cornelius, like the rest, had eternal life; else there could be godliness and acceptable prayer without spiritual life. Yet he needed to hear words from the apostle, whereby he and all his house should be saved. (Acts 11:14.) Salvation is more than being quickened; it is the conscious possession of that deliverance through the work of Christ which the gospel now announces. Cornelius may have been safe before; he was “saved” after he received the message of grace and the gift of the Spirit.

Is the Law Finally Done Away With?

Question: Is the law finally abrogated? Is it correct to say there is no further resumption? Turning to the notes on Heb. 7:18, 19; 8:7, 8, 13, I observe you distinctly affirm on viii. 13, “The cross annulled it, and Jerusalem was its grave.” Do you mean the whole law (ritual and moral) of Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers, as also of the Psalms? If so, how does this acquiesce with Eccl. 3:14, “Whatsoever God doeth, it shall be forever?” For the law was written by God (Ex. 24:12; 31:18). It might be said, God has the prerogative of so doing, being sovereign. But does this harmonize with His validly declared authority? If the whole law is finally abrogated, what will be the millennial rule? The Psalms, it appears, have not yet received their adequate fulfillment, nor the Prophets either. Thus Ezekiel declares for a modified ritual with an earthly priesthood and a suited temple in the future. Zechariah too informs us of the resumption, especially of the Feast of Tabernacles, which had been laid down in Lev. 23 Isaiah is generally clear that the law will be observed in that day, not only by the people of God in the land, but by the isles waiting for it, and all nations flocking up to the mountain of Jehovah’s house in honor of it (chaps 2, and 42. Sm.).
On the other hand Jeremiah clearly speaks of a new covenant made with both houses of Israel in pointed contrast with the old Mosaic one (chap. 31:32). This I find so conflicting that I fail to understand how all agrees, yet I am sure that all is divinely true notwithstanding. And thus I fail to put intelligently together the Lord’s priesthood, heavenly and according to the order of Melchizedek, with the sons of Zadok of Aaron’s house who are to exercise their earthly functions that day. Ezek. 40:46; 44:15. If I regard the whole law as abrogated, what do these passages teach? If I hold it to be resumed as there and other scriptures imply, how am I to understand Jer. 31 and Heb. 7, 8.? Still I believe all those scriptures and await explanation. W. E.
Answer: It greatly helps to see, first, that the heavenly state of things which Christ on high has set up and into which the Christian is introduced, (already in faith, by-and-by in person), calls for that immense and total change which the apostle announces in Heb. 7:12-19; secondly, that even for the earth and Israel in the millennial day the presence of the Messiah and the establishment of the new covenant (not as now with us in spirit only) with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah in all its literal force will bring in such a blessed revolution that the prophet justly contrasts it with the Mosaic condition. It will be Jehovah undertaking and thus sure blessing, instead of a test to prove man’s weakness and ungodliness. But now, although we died to law even had we been of Benjamin or Judah in dying with Christ, we are entitled to use the law for the conviction of the ungodly who own its authority, as we read in 1 Tim. 1:8-10.

Is the Little Horn in Daniel 8 Distinct From That in Daniel 7?

ON DAN. 8.
Question: J. C. asks whether the little horn of Dan. 8. is distinct from that of chap. 7.
Answer: First, the very language differs. The prophet, who wrote in Aramaic from chap. 2:4, returned to Hebrew after chap. 7. The course of the four world-powers is given in a most instructive two-fold form, one Nebuchadnezzar’s vision (2.), the other Daniel’s (7.), with corresponding differences, in the language of the first empire, the captor of Judah. The chapters between contribute important moral features needed to fill up the divinely given picture. From ch. 8. we receive special details which concern the Jews, which are accordingly given in Hebrew.
Secondly, ch. 8. deals only with the second and third of the world-powers, Medo-Persia, and Javan or Greece the great and first ruler of which was to have his vast kingdom broken into four in due time after his death, and of course with inferior power. One of these was to meddle disastrously with the Jews and their religion and worship above all, whether in the type that is fulfilled, or in the antitype of the latter time “when the transgressors are come to the full.”
Thirdly, the empire of Babylon, the lion-like beast with eagle’s wings, had a unity peculiar to itself. The Medo-Persian (a bear in ch. 7., a ram in ch. 8. with two high horns of which the higher came up last) answers truly and solely to the second of these world-powers, which, fierce and devouring in general, was mild and generous toward the Jews, as indeed was the notable horn of the Macedonian power, Alexander the Great. In this third empire the marked and settled partition after its founder’s death was four-fold, which no historian can question.
But the no less marked division of the fourth or Roman power is into ten horns, of course contemporary, with one small at its rise which plucks up three by the roots, as remarkable for its intelligence as for its pride and blasphemous audacity. Here however we are in presence of that which awaits its fulfillment, even admitting a partial application to past history. For that horn by its lawlessness brings on, not providential loss of dominion as in the case of the earlier beasts, but direct, distinctive, and divine judgment at the appearing of God’s kingdom in the person of the Son of man. How can these things be? The Revelation answers by the rising again of the fourth or Roman empire, when its imperial head (slain unto death) is healed to the wonder of the whole world (Rev. 13:3), the beast that was, and is not (its present negation), and shall be present, having emerged from the abyss. For it will be the brief destined hour of the dragon’s wrath, power, and authority. Here also is shown that the Roman beast had distinctively seven successive forms of government or heads, besides (at the close, if not before also) ten contemporaneous horns or kings. Compare Rev. 17:8-12 with Dan. 7.
Clearly then it is no question in Dan. 8 of the Roman power of chap. 7., whose last horn, little at first, greater afterward, is to wield and direct the whole force of the empire, so as by his blasphemies to meet destructive judgment from God. He will be the immediate precursor of the Son of Man’s coming in His kingdom. Even the unspiritual Josephus could not but see this, though he was prudent enough to be reticent on a future so repulsive to his Roman patrons. But chap. viii. speaks not of the west but of the east, even of the Greco-Syrian kingdom and its persecuting profanation in the person of Antiochus Epiphanes, of whom we have ample details in chap. 11:21-31. Indeed the prediction is so exact as to surpass what any ancient historian extant furnishes; so much so that the heathen Porphyry betook himself to the same refuge of unbelief which the destructive critics of late days affect—the pretense of a writer in Maccabean times, who personated Daniel in Babylon! The vision in 8:9-14 dwells on what is now history; the interpretation, in 23-25, mainly on what is yet to be fulfilled.
It is well to observe that ver. 11 and the first half of 12 are really a parenthesis. The change of gender “he,” faithfully owned in the A. V., is slighted in the R. V. Its aim seems to have been to make the personality stronger, and here therefore to refer rather to the antitype than to the historical horn, which before and after the parenthesis is called “it.” In the interpretation nothing is said of the “2300 evenings—mornings,” or 1150 days, and of treading down the sanctuary, which may therefore be accomplished already. This period is known to be approximately near none can deny its absolute exactness, of which the believer is sure. Prophecy interprets history, not the converse. The one is absolutely reliable, as from God; the other imperfect at best, often partial and prejudiced, too often adverse to the truth. The historical horn did not play the Solomonic part of “understanding dark sentences” to deceive the Jews, reserved for the antitype, who is also to be “mighty, but not by his own power.” This can hardly be said of Antiochus Epiphanes. The future apostate ruler of Turkey in Asia, the enemy of Israel, will be sustained by a mightier monarch still farther north. See Ezek. 38; 39.
As to unfulfilled prophecy, superstition (slave of tradition) is dull and dark, rationalism is blind and hostile to God. Superstition is not faith and is therefore incapable of understanding beforehand; rationalism is in principle antagonistic to the truth, for it denies that prophecy is ever specific, and especially on the remote future. Hence, as superstition is unbelieving and unexercised, so rationalism offers nothing but futile interpretations to blot out the glorious future of God’s kingdom by any little earnest in the past. But this falls so short as to give the willing impression that the prophets exaggerated or lied, like the poets or politicians of the day. Who but the unintelligent could confound the little horn of Dan. 8 with that of chap. 7? or either the western or the north-eastern chief with the willful king, to reign at the time of the end in Palestine, described in Dan. 11:36-39? The last no doubt is the Antichrist, here viewed politically, in 2 Thess. 2 religiously as the man of sin opposed to the Man of righteousness, Who will appear from heaven to destroy him. There are many antichrists; but this does not justify the pretentious ignorance of scripture, which jumbles all three into Antiochus Epiphanes. For he was but a type of the final representative of that power, the enemy of the Antichrist whose ally is the last chief of the Roman empire: all to perish forever in the day of Jehovah. W. K.

Isaiah 53:12

Question: Will you kindly say whether, in your opinion, there is any good reason—critical, exegetical, or other, for preferring the following rendering of Isa. 53:12 to that of the Authorized Version: “I will give him the great for his portion, and he shall divide the strong for a spoil”?
C. J. C.
Answer: This rendering was substantially so given in our first printed English Bible (Coverdale, 1335), as well as previously in the early Wycliffite Manu scripts of the fourteenth century. But these versions were made from the Latin Vulgate, which (as well as the Greek Septuagint) was itself but a translation; so that these English editions were translations of a translation, and not made from the original Hebrew of the Old Testament.
Tyndale had, however, set the way in taking the original languages of the Scriptures as the text from which an English translation of the word of God should be given; and had issued in 1525 his (first printed) version of the New Testament translated from the Greek. He also began an English version of the Old Testament from the Hebrew, but did not live to do much more than the Pentateuch. It was not until the appearance of the Geneva Bible (of 1560 and later) that a direct version from the original tongue of the Old Testament was given in English, and this is how the verse is there rendered— “Therefore will I give him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoyle with the strong”; followed by the Bishops’ revised (1568), “Therefore wil I give him among ye great ones his part, and he shall divide the spoyle with the mightie.”
The distinguished Hebrew scholars (amongst others) appointed in 1607 to give us our excellent King James’ Version were therefore acquainted with these two renderings of the verse, and had to face the consideration of their respective faithfulness to the original. And, as we see, they were led to accept the sense as given in the ancient Syriac Version, and adopted by Pagninus, Leo Judah, Castalio, the Geneva, Bishops’ and Diodati’s (Italian), as the more correct rendering of the Hebrew. Our Revisers of 1884 also have confirmed this conclusion, in which also J.N.D. and W.K. apparently concur, with many others.
All hangs upon the view that is taken of the two Hebrew particles (beth) and (eth) (translated “with” in both clauses of the sentence of our Authorized Version). In support of the rendering submitted by the querist the first particle is assumed by some to be used here pleonastically, rather than as (usually) a preposition. But this treatment of the second letter of the alphabet as a connective with its object of the Hebrew original of the verb “divide” finds no corroboration or countenance from any part of the Old Testament, and would appear therefore to be a philological impropriety.
Also as to the second (eth), Prov. 16:19 (his) and verses 9 (his) and 12 (“with the transgressors”) of our chapter all go to confirm the rendering “with” in the clause we are considering. Hence the majority of the best Hebrew scholars, so far as I know, are in accord with our Authorized and Revised Versions.
How then are we to understand the words? The prophet by the Spirit of God describes in metaphorical language the future triumphs of the earth — despised and suffering Servant of Jehovah (compare chap. 63:1). What are the “great” ones of the earth in the presence of Him to whom Jehovah will divide a portion? He is heir of all things and above all. But if He be thus singled out from all others by Jehovah Himself (“to him will I divide”), yet will He deign to divide the spoil with the strong. He loves to share with others what He has rescued from the power of the enemy. Such is His grace as the reigning Son of man (compare Isa. 11:14; Jeremiah 51:20-23; Zech. 10:3-12).

Isaiah 63:19: D. Martin's Authority for Long Temps and Reasons for Maison

Question: A Christian writes from Guernsey as to Isa. 63:19 variously rendered, and asks D. Martin’s authority for “long temps” in that verse; and the reason for “maison” instead of “moisson” in Isa. 8. last verse (or 9:2 or 3 as in others). So it is in Bagster’s reprint of Martin’s version.
Answer: Our correspondent is correct; and Martin, though far closer than Ostervald, is wrong in the first text, and misrepresented as to the second in the London reprint, which seems an erratum. But the former is quite mistranslated in the Septuagint and the Latin Vulgate, and consequently in the R. C. versions such as that by le M. de Saci. As the A. V., the French Bible of Jean Diodati (Geneve, 1644) gives “jamais.” The first clause in the A. V. is unwarranted; it interpolates “all thine” and severs the connection. “We are from of old [looking back from the future tribulation before deliverance] over whom thou ruledst not, those not called by thy name.” Alexander comes to the result of the English Bible in supposing Israel to be contrasted with their adversaries— “We are of old: thou hast not ruled over them, thy name has not been called upon them.” Isaac Loeser represents the Jewish preference of “We are become as though we are those over whom thou hast never ruled, over whom thy name hath not been called;” rather paraphrastic but right substantially. Benisch gives more concisely, “We are like those over whom” &c.

Israel and the Kingdom, Son of Man and the King of Israel?

Question: Matt. 24; 25. Is it true that Christians, real and professing, have nothing to do with these chapters, and that both relate to Israel and to the kingdom, to the Son of man and to the King of Israel? Q.
Answer: This statement is not true, though there may be a superficial appearance in the reason alleged. Even there it illustrates how dangerous is a little learning when it speaks oracularly. For the remarkable fact is that “the Son of man” as such has no real place in the central one of its three sections (Matt. 24:45-25:30). This does relate to Christendom, and neither to Israel in view of the kingdom as the first part, nor to all the nations or Gentiles as the last part, which on the face of it cannot relate to Israel. It is well-known that in the only verse of the intermediate part of the Christian profession, good and bad (25:13), the last clause is spurious. Therefore, it is strikingly absent here, and is only used where the Lord refers to His ancient people, and to all the nations, as in Dan. 7. The little work entitled “The Prophecy on Olivet” might help, or yet more the volume “Christ’s Coming Again, chiefly on its heavenly side” (both published by T. Weston).

Jacob Serving for Leah and Rachel

Question: Is there typical meaning in Jacob’s serving for Leah and Rachel, in Gen. 29? W. E.
Answer: It appears that Rachel was the first beloved wife, but in fact the last actually to enjoy, and bear the fruits of, the relationship—Joseph rejected of his brethren and exalted in another sphere over Gentiles; and Benjamin, his mother’s sorrow, but son of his father’s right hand. Leah before this is the mother of many sons, as there are before Israel comes into full and happy view.

The Jewish Remnant

Question: On the supposition of a Jewish remnant, distinct from the Church of God, now in process of formation, and the object of God’s dealing after we have been caught up, and before we appear with Christ in glory, how far will they all know Jesus? Will they enter into His sufferings, or His glory in heaven? How far will they apprehend the teaching of such Psalms as 8; 68; 80; 110; or of such prophecies as Isa. 53; Dan. 9; Mic. 5; Zech. 12?
Answer: Two things require to be noticed in replying. First, the supposition of the same degree of knowledge in all is quite, as it seems to me, unfounded. Secondly, we are little aware of the immense difference of common knowledge current in the Church by the presence of the Holy Ghost—that unction from the Holy One by which we know all things, winch will not be then thus present with the remnant, though He will act in producing longings after deliverance and good in the hearts of the remnant, and directing their thoughts to the Scriptures of truth, with an intelligence which the cravings of want alone give. Another point to be noticed is that there are wise ones, who instruct the many in righteousness—wise ones who understand. How many now appreciate the real calling and standing of the Church of God? The godly of that day will cry to Jehovah in their distress, and the more profoundly convinced they are of their sin, the more will they understand the prophetic declarations. They are directed to the law and the testimony, all that is in the Old Testament, and all short of the Church, I apprehend, in the New Testament open to them, such as Matthew and Hebrews Certainly all concerning Christ, as revealed in prophecy, is before them. They will not understand personal forgiveness and acceptance till they see Him—the rejection of Messiah they may feel as their national guilt. How many now have not found personal acceptance with God? The repentance after seeing Him will be wholly different in nature and kind from that before; it will be under grace, and less egotistic. Psa. 8 can be only hope, with a question—shall I be there? But the thought of Messiah, as they have not pardon, will be at the utmost as in an awakened soul who has not the Spirit; the sense of a guilty nation, uncertain whether they will participate in a blessing which faith believes, will come. The degree of the sense of guilt will, of course, vary. I apprehend the Psalms are specially calculated to minister expression and direction to their feelings in that day. Isa. 53 gives hope to the nation, not peace then to the individual. They may know from Psa. 68 that He is gone to heaven, from Psa. 110 that He is at the right hand of God. How little the Jews understood it we learn from the Savior’s question. But though there will be individual wants, the nation, their common lot, will be more in their thoughts than personal forgiveness and peace; God’s government rather than individual salvation. And all is colored by this. When they see Him, each will mourn apart, Some, I hardly doubt, will have seized the Old Testament instruction as to Christ—perhaps those who are killed and taken up, the saints of the high places. Yet even they will, as to their testimony, be more associated with the God of the earth than we. As regards Daniel, the wise will understand. But he does not speak of atonement, nor any passage I know but Isa. 53; and that is for the nation as they would then understand it. I cannot doubt the guilt of a rejected Messiah will shine in on some souls as regards the nation.
The difficulty for a Christian is to enter into the state and habits of thought of those concerned in these prophecies in that day. It is clear that all the Old Testament prophecies will be before them. But the Holy Ghost, not dwelling in them to guide into all truth, they will seek in distress of soul the answer to their need and circumstances with the feelings of a people. And the wise will instruct the many. I apprehend the Church, and the divine glory of the person of Jesus, will be understood by none till they see Him—certainly not the Church; and then only from without.

J.N.D. on Hebrews 2:17; 8:4

Question: Heb. 2:17; 8:4. As a matter of interest, not of authority, can you cite the judgment of the late J.N.D. on these scriptures so strangely misused of late? O. D.
Answer: His uniform doctrine, as far as I know, was that the work of propitiation was on the cross when lifted up, before He entered on His proper priestly office in heaven, an exceptional work in being representative for atonement as the foundation of all. Take, out of many proofs, the following from Notes and Comments, 2 17, “But then the High Priest represented the people as such, and in this character, when He has personally, not as priest, offered Himself to God. He acknowledges the people’s sins—He becomes that Khat’tath, but in conscious confession first, not in judicial suffering that follows. But the sins are laid on Him—the Lord has laid them on Him; and He, willingly bearing them, confesses them in perfectness before God for reconciliation being made. This the High Priest does as representing the people, but it is not high-priestly in the proper sense, though the High Priest’s service—the priest’s was with the blood; but then the sacrifice was finished. Had the High Priest not done this, there could have been no priestly service at all; even this was not done on earth, but as lifted up from it. Earth was connected with flesh (there was no reconciliation for it), and as long as Christ was alive upon it, He presented Himself to men in the flesh. When that is done with, He begins His lonely work where none could enter while it was going on—and as representing the people, He makes reconciliation. Hence no priesthood in any sense was exercised on earth; for the reconciliation work, in which the High Priest was engaged, was as lifted up from it, and, though not in heaven, no longer on earth.”

Job 22:30

Question: What means Job 22:30? Or is it that the A. V. fails, as well as others? The connection too in ver. 29, is obscure as we read them. X.
Answer: The translation correctly given serves to make all plain, as any one may find in a version which appeared long ago in the B. T. and reproduced by Morrish, the Publisher.
“When they are dejected, then shalt thou say, Lift up,
And He will save him of downcast eyes;
He will deliver him that is not guiltless,
And he is rescued by the cleanness of thy hands.”
This was unexpectedly illustrated before the book closed in the rescue, not of Eliphaz only but of the other two self-righteous friends, when Jehovah’s anger was kindled against them and their unjust opinions, and Job prayed for them. “Island” or “house” (J. M. Good) ruins the sense of the sentence; for the word here is simply a negative particle, as taken in the Chaldee paraphrase, and approved by the ablest of late. I. Leeser’s Version is even closer: “He will even deliver” &c., i.e. not the humble only, but the faulty.

John 1

Question: John 1. Is it true that the language of some scriptures is drawn from contemporaneous philosophy as (a) in the opening of the fourth Gospel from Philo the Alexandrian Jew, especially as to the Logos? (b) that moral terms of the Stoics reappear in Paul’s Epistles? (c) that early Gnostic expressions were derived from the apostle’s Epistle to the Colossians? W. T.
Answer: (a) The truth is that God in His grace, who knew the bewilderment of man’s mind, not dissipated but deepened by philosophy and the vile half-breed of the Gnostics, either anticipated or answered these unbelieving reveries by the revelation of the truth. Philo was born somewhat before the apostle John, and died long before him, certainly in part a contemporary, yet speaking of his advanced age about A.D. 40. He had no thought of Christ save as a conqueror of the nations and a restorer of Israel to the highest power, honor and enjoyment on earth, and even to the great relief of the brute creation. He believed in the inspiration of the O.T., which he allegorized everywhere excessively to suit or teach Platonism, without denying the law or the history. Indeed he held that the law of Moses would rule forever. But he did not believe that the Lord Jesus was the Son of God or even the Christ. Hence the Gospel of John reveals the Logos in the strongest contrast with all Philo’s vaporings which deny the truth of both God and man.
(b) It is not otherwise with the use of moral terms, in great vogue among the Stoics, the proudest and sternest of all heathen philosophers. To live according to nature was their first principle, and a direct ethical lie; because it is evil through sin since the fall, which they wholly disdained. None more radically opposed to man’s ruin or to God’s grace. The terms if the same have a totally different source and sense in Paul’s usage.
(c) The same principle applies to the Gnostical expressions. The Pleroma, the Ӕons, and the Demiurgus, &c. of scripture uproot and destroy this pretentious school of fantastical error, a different Christianity which was not another. Christ true God and perfect man is the revelation of God, which sets aside the corrupt Gnostic, the self-complacent Stoic, and the dreaming Platonist. If inspiration employed their language, it was in pitiful condescension to impart the truth of God in Christ, which brings to naught their vain, self-righteous, and false ideas.
The Fathers of the second and third centuries were deeply infected with the Alexandrian philosophy which denied that the true God comes down to the earth, or that man’s body ever goes to heaven: an error derived from the East. Christ refutes both absolutely in His own person. Justin Martyr, the Hermas of the second century, Clemens Alex., and Origen were all heterodox more or less.

John 19:14 Compared With Mark 15:25

Question: John 19:14, compared with Mark 15:25?
Answer: It would seem that the hours are regularly different in John, after the destruction of Jerusalem, from the Jews’ familiar reckoning in Mark. If this be well founded, the different computation furnishes no real difficulty. Thus John would speak of the early morning; Mark of three hours after.

Which John?

Question: John 3:35, 36. Have we to consider these verses as not the utterance of John the Baptist, but of John the writer of the Gospel? INQUIRER.
Answer: I think that internal evidence is clear that the testimony of John the Baptist closes with ver. 34; and that vers. 35, 36 are the comment of the Evangelist. For John’s answer from ver. 27, however given of God, does not exceed what was within the measure of his spiritual knowledge; whilst the concluding vers. 35, 36, are the reflex of the deeper and higher truth which the Lord taught His disciples. We may see that such a comment is in the manner of the Evangelist in chaps. 1:16-18; 2:21-25; 7:39; 8:27, 30; 11:51; 12:33, 37-43, etc.

What Do You Gather From Jude 9?

Question: What do you gather from Jude 9? J. D. P.
Answer: We know from Dan. 12 that to Michael the archangel is confided by God the chief place of guardianship over Israel. He it is who “at the time of the end,” when the final collision of the powers rages in and around Jerusalem, shall stand up for the children of Daniel’s people. It was no new interest of his. Jude was inspired to recall the thrilling fact of the unseen world, that even so early as at Moses’ death there was a contention between him and the devil about the dead body. Doubtless the adversary’s aim as ever was to deceive and destroy thereby; and it may be by setting up for adoration that relic of him whom when living he stirred them up to disobey, oppose, and revile. Even Michael railed not against Satan but said, Jehovah rebuke thee. Compare Zech. 3. It is for the vilest to revile those whom God honors in any way. Jude helps to fill in the sketch drawn in Deut. 34:6.

Judgment Must Begin at the House of God and the End of Those That Obey Not the Gospel of God?

Question: 1 Peter 4:17, what is meant by the time is come when judgment must begin at the house of God, and the end of those that obey not the gospel of God? R.M.
Answer: The apostle Peter refers to the broad general principle of God, and particularly to Ezek. 9:6. His house is the special sphere of His moral government; and if departure and disorder be allowed there, there His judgment must begin though it will extend to all mankind and the whole earth. If His people dishonor, Him, they must bear the righteous consequences, while grace knows how to save those who are His. Compare 1 Cor. 11:32. Yet the difficulty of the salvation here spoken of is great, considering their own utter weakness, the many trials in a world of sin, and the exceeding danger from a subtle and sleepless foe. Only God’s power and faithfulness could bring His own through the wilderness. Now if this be so with the righteous one who calls on Him as Father and has Him guarding by His power (1 Peter 1:5), if he is saved with a difficulty insuperable save to God; how will it fare with the impious and sinful man? The warning is solemn, the argument plain and forcible, the condition inevitable. We may assuredly apply, as a general maxim, what our Lord said to His amazed disciples of the particular peril for a rich man and his salvation: “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” It is by grace only that any sinful souls are saved, through faith; and this not of themselves, but the gift of God; not of works, lest any one should boast.

The Judgment Seat

Question: Could you please inform me if there is a scripture which tells us exactly when and where the judgment seat will be? (2 Cor. 5:10)
Answer: The great importance of the Bema of Christ is that every one in his own time and place shall be manifested and give account of the things done in the body. But saint or sinner will make a difference of moment. It appears to me that for the heavenly saints it will be above, just before the Marriage-supper of the Lamb, long after we are translated to heaven in sovereign grace, and just before we are manifested with Christ in glory. What else can be meant by the bride making herself ready? See Rev. 19:7, 8. Thus is the place of each determined for the Lord’s appearing in His kingdom. Only in this passage is there such an apparent reference. And very beautiful and touching it is that it should only be then. For the wicked it will be before the great white throne in Rev. 20. This is judgment.


Question: 1. Do not the best readings give an entirely different meaning to Rev. 5:9, 10, from that represented by the Authorized Version? and how then can it be proved that the Church is in heaven when the judgments are poured upon the earth? By ‘judgments’ is to be understood not that ON the Antichrist, but the judgments during his rule.
Answer: 1. The only question as to readings of importance in verse 9 is the insertion or omission of ἠμᾶς. The Sinaitic and Vatican (2066, not 1209), with the great majority of minuscules insert; the Parisian Rescript is defective; the Alexandrian and a minuscule in the Propag. at Rome (44) omit. To this last, though the evidence be small, recent editors (Afford, Lachmann, Tischendorf, &c.) incline. It seems to me confirmed by the true text of verse 10, which exhibits, without question, the third and not the first person (“they,” not “we”). The proof that the Church is then in heaven is quite independent of these verses, and mainly depends on the fact revealed in chapter 4.—the presence of the enthroned and crowned elders around the throne of God. Who are meant by this symbol but the glorified saints? Spirits as such are nowhere said to be glorified, but the saints in their changed bodies. These are so represented from Rev. 4 onwards. If ἠμᾶς be, as I suppose, rightly omitted (the insertion being due to an early corrector who could not account for the absence of an object after the verb, from ignorance of such an ellipse, which is not uncommon with John), there is no necessity for taking the ξῶα as the redeemed; for the song would then simply celebrate the Lamb’s worthiness and His efficacious death in purchasing a people to God, priests and kings to reign over the earth, without here defining who they are.

Jury Duty

Question: In a paper entitled, “Remarks on the Gospel of Matthew, chap. v. 17-48,” July number of the Bible Treasury, the writer considers our Lord’s command, “Swear not at all,” as not referring to judicial oaths, which latter he holds that the Christian is not absolved from, the same being administered by a magistrate, in whom, he considers, the Christian is bound to acknowledge God. Now, is the Christian equally bound to obey the civil magistrate, when summoned as a juryman to try a fellow-creature in a criminal matter, and to unite with his fellow-jurors in returning such a verdict as (if found guilty) would be the means of depriving the criminal of his life? True, it is the judge, not the jury, who passes sentence on the criminal, but the verdict of the latter determines the sentence of the former.
W. B.
Answer: A Christian could hardly refuse to serve. It is not the same thing as to be a judge. A juryman is only called on, by authority, to state his belief of a fact; and this owns the authority, which of God has a right and is bound to inquire and bear the sword. It is of all moment that Christians should not trench on God’s title to govern in the world, when pleading their Christian place. The magistrates place is not theirs, but because they know God in theirs, they are bound to own God in the place of authority in the world. There is this double sphere. They are in one, and have intelligence, and thus are called upon to own God to the other. Refusal of oaths, as such, imposed by a magistrate is unlawful, I conceive, and unchristian, though individual conscience is to be respected. The same thing that would hinder my being a magistrate (because it is another sphere of God’s authority from that in which I am), would make me own that authority in that place. I do not see that the magistrate goes beyond it in calling twelve men to declare their estimate, as to a fact, of the evidence which can be produced, and this is a jury. The use made of the verdict is entirely the province of the judge.


Question: Gal. 2:16. It has been lately asserted on the strength of ἐὰv μή in this verse, that, since it is by faith of Him who is the end and fulfilling of the law that men are justified, it involves in itself the full virtue of a legal righteousness. The apostle does not say, as he often does elsewhere, that man is not justified by works but by faith simply; but that he is not justified by works of law “except through faith of Jesus Christ,” that faith receiving as its portion not only a clearance from all legal blame, but by imputation the positive merit also of that righteousness of law, which, described by Moses, is found only in the man Christ Jesus and with the rest of His personal perfections carried to the account of those who have by grace their redemption and their acceptance equally in Him. It is by the obedience of One, as the same witness testifies, that the many are made righteous—language which, while harmonizing perfectly with the fundamental doctrine of sacrificial atonement, invites us to consider, not the definitive act of dying only by which the Son of God brought to its predestined close the course of His obedience here below, but the proved personal merit also of the man who gave Himself and all that He had shown Himself to be for our sins.....The tables of stone, fit emblems of its (the law’s) own unrelenting character, and also of the intrinsic strength and stability of that Man who should perfectly discharge its claims, have disappeared forever......No longer enmity, law is, in Christ, a part of that “great peace,” which is the eternal portion of them that, in the spirit of a justifying faith, serve still with their minds the law of God. Such is the statement: is it just?
Is it true, in short, that this is the natural force of the words ἐὰν μὴ διὰ Ἰησοῦ as contrasted with ἐκ πίστεως, and that it would be possible to justify the authorized version only on the assumption of a large ellipsis?Man is not justified by works of law” (and therefore not justified at all), except by faith of Jesus Christ. Does the remainder of the verse, as it stands in the original, appear to forbid this?
Answer: I do not think the smallest doubt can rest on the sense of Gal. 2:16. We have only to read the rest of the verse to make the meaning of the apostle perfectly clear, and more than clear if possible, earnestly contradicting such a sense: ἐκ πίστεως Χριστοῦ καὶ οὐκ ἐξ ἒργων νόμου. That makes his meaning incontrovertible. But he adds, as anxious to insist on the point, διότι ἐξ ἒργων νόμου οὐ δικαιωθἡσεται πᾶσα σάρξ. How this can be an explanation that we shall be justified by works of law by the faith of Christ, I am at a loss to understand. But it is a mistake as to the force of εἰ μή or εἰ δὲ μή. Not that it is not used as “unless” or “except.” But its connection with the main idea of the previous phrase, and opposition to the manner there stated, is common: it is really stronger than ἀλλά, having the force of only, or but only. Compare Rom. 14:14, where the δι’ αὑτοῦ must be left out, and the unclean, or main idea taken by itself. Only in that case a thing is unclean, and the point is the opposition to the way or manner. It is exactly so here. There κοινός! is the common idea, justifying here, δἰ αὑτοῦ the special case hypothetically put and denied. Introduce δἰ αὑτοῦ into the second member of the sentence and you make nonsense of the whole. And so you do here if we read what follows. So Matt. 12:4. It was not lawful for him to eat nor those with him, but only for the priests. So Luke 4:26, 27, but (or but only) to Sarepta, which was not in Israel: so as to Naaman. There is always the contradiction of or opposition to something in εἰ μή. The question is to what? In the first case it is of priests to common Jews; in Luke it is to “in Israel!” in Romans “by nature” or to him who so esteems it; in Galatians law and Christ; and always a common idea too, as in Matthew, lawfulness to eat; in Luke, widows or lepers; in Romans uncleanness; in Galatians, justifying. Hence the common idea is not uncommonly left out, and only εἰ δὲ μή put in, and the contradicting matter only stated. Meyer, Ellicott, De Wette, Hammond, Fritzsche on Rom. 14:14, all take it as “but,” or “but only” in Gal. 2:16. The difference of ἀλλά seems to me to be that there is not necessarily a common point or subject as well as contrast, but simply contrast (not this, but that) with εἰ μή! there is always a common point about which the contrast takes place. But it is a great mistake to think that it makes the whole antecedent clause the common point, which is what the question would do, so that the clause following it is a condition simply of the whole. You may see the grammatical statements in Klotz’s Devarius, Hoogeveen or Viger, Βos’ Ellipses, and Winer 654, (sec 66), the rest under ti μή, and the Commentaries in loco. In both, passages from the classics will be found. The point of the difference of ἀλλά and εἰ μή has not been noticed that I am aware of! but I think it will be found just.
There does not seem to me to be the smallest doubt as to the sense of the passage; at any rate, that it means what the question supposes by the grammatical force of the words is a mistake. Passages such as Rom. 14:14 demonstrate it, and others too, as Mark 13:32; Rev. 9:4. In 1 Cor. 7:17 it stands elliptically by itself for “only.” Rom. 3:27 fully confirms what I have said of the difference of ἀλλά. When the supposed common point is set as to be, and a condition or way of it is negatived, what follows εἰ μή is exclusive and contradictory of the condition or way. Thus οὐδέ τις ἄλλος αἴτιος ἀθανάτων εἰ μὴ ωεφεληγερέτα Ζεὐς. A cause is supposed, ἄλλος negatived, εἰ μὴ exclusive and contradictory of ἄλλος; when there is no negative and the case supposed, the εἰ μὴ negatives the supposition and says why. Μιλτιάδην δὲ τὸν ἐν Μαραθῶνι εἰς τὸ βάραθρον ἐμβαλεᾶ, καὶ εἰ μὴ δαὶ τὸν πρύτανιν ἐνέπεσεν ἄν. If it had not been for the Prytanis, he would have fallen into it. There are cases where μή! is left out, and εἰ δέ put with a possible substitution. It answers in the cases of exclusion to íÆôÆà in Hebrew. See Wolff’s Curae in loco. When the whole sentence is negative, the εἰ μή becomes a positive affirmation of what follows, as 1 Cor. 10:13, Mark 8:14, and others. Schütz’s Hoogeveen gives a pretty full explanation under the words εἰ μή In result, the negation of works, or faith in Christ to the contradiction or exclusion of works of law, is clearly the sense of the passage.

Justification, Quickening, Raising

Question: Is it sound doctrine—that believers were justified, quickened, raised, &c., in and with Christ, when He died, and rose again, i.e., that they were justified before they were born, and that faith merely gives the knowledge of it?
Answer: It is not sound doctrine so to say. Abstractedly, everything is eternally present with God; and there is no time with Him; but, then, I cannot say “when” or “before” in this point of view, because there is no “when” or “before” when there is no time. And in the scriptural view, such language is wholly unwarranted. Because in due time Christ died for the ungodly, when we were yet without strength. And having been justified by faith—we are not justified without believing, but by faith, through faith in His blood; not without it or before it. Nor hence without being at the same time born of God. When we were dead in sins, we were quickened together with Him, &c. By faith are ye saved. We were by nature children of wrath, but God, who is rich in mercy, when we were dead in sins, quickened us. It is a new nature which we as persons never had before it was communicated to us, when we had only the old. To say we were eternally believers, is nonsense. In the same sense we were eternally unbelievers, too, and eternally glorified, for all these things were before God’s mind together without time. It is not true that Rom. 4:25 means, because we were justified; “because we were justified,” is not in the passage; δικαίωσις cannot mean it, but for justifying us. It would have been, διὰ τὸ δικαιωθῆναι ἡμᾶς!. Hence, when the part, passive is used, faith is added; wherefore, δικαιωθέντες!, “having been justified by faith” Eph. 4:18 proves the contrary to what it is alleged. They were “alienated from the life of God” when they were in darkness; and then he talks of learning Christ—that is, when unbelievers, they had to learn Him. If they had, indeed, learned Him according to the truth in Ηim—namely, the putting off according to the former conversation the old man, and being renewed in the spirit of your mind. Now, here is a work clearly wrought in them; if they had really learned Christ, they knew what it was to put off the old man; they had it before, and put on the new which they had not before. To say that a man is born of God when he is in sins, is false; that he is created again in Christ Jesus when he is a mere sinner, is nonsense. Scripture does not speak so. Justification is referred to faith, which I have not, assuredly, before I believe. High Calvinists have this manner of speaking. If they merely mean that all was in God’s thoughts and purposes, it is all right. But scripture never speaks as they do, and puts a man as a creature, who belongs to time, into time, and deals morally with him. If it be said that the life which we get existed eternally, for it was Christ who is our life, it is all well. But it is not ours till we have Christ, and before that we are children of wrath; at least, so says the scripture. The work may be all viewed mentally in him, when the power wrought; but if it be referred to the saints, so that it is only their knowledge of it which is now given, it is untrue and mischievous, because God purifies the heart by faith, as well as justifies us. Scripture says, “what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,” &c.; not to the elect. It had been only wrought in believers. I do not know whether it is held that faith is eternal.

The King in Daniel

Question: Can we take “the king” in Dan. 11:36, as the king of the north, and understand verse 40 as meaning that the king of the south shall push at him: (i.e., the king of the north:) and the king of the north shall come against him, (i.e., the king of the south,) so as to identify the rest of the chapter that follows with the same personage? J. B.
Answer: To me it is evident that “the king” is distinguished from both these monarchs, and that the characteristics and the locality, as well as his abrupt introduction into the scene, as some well-known personage at the time of the end in the holy land, exercising royal rights over the apostate mass of the Jews there, point to one conclusion—that he is the “man of sin” of 2 Thess. 2 and “the antichrist” of the Epistles of John, “the beast of the earth” (or land) and “false prophet” of the Apocalypse. This being so, verse 40 is quite simple, and shows us “the king” assailed both by the ruler of the south and by him of the north. With this, too, agrees verse 41, where “the king of the north” enters into Palestine. Again, in verse 45 he plants the tents of his pavilion in that land. “The king,” on the contrary, lived and reigned there. If “the king” can be naturally understood of one who reigns in the holy land only, the question is decided, and the kings of the north and south mean those of Syria and Egypt respectively. It would be violent indeed to identify “the king of the north” with antichrist or “the king,” of whom he is the deadly enemy.

King of Israel vs. King of Judah

Question: 2 Chron. 21:2. In this verse Jehoshaphat is called King of Israel, not King of Judah as in 2 Chron. 18:3. Why is this? Is it in praise or blame he is thus called Sing of Israel? W.R.K.
Answer: It is clear that historically Jehoshaphat was King of Judah; and this was necessarily stated in the second passage and throughout the chapter where he is shown in guilty alliance with the then King of Israel. But he was a man of faith and ought to have kept clear of so compromising an association. Even after Jehovah’s great intervention against the vast gathering of Moab and Ammon, Jehoshaphat joined with the wicked King of Israel, Ahaziah, and had his fleet broken, and so the joint design came to naught. Was not the name “King of Israel,” attached to Jehoshaphat to mark that he ought to have stood as de jure sovereign, while owning de facto the chastening which broke up their unity? We see how Hezekiah and Josiah (2 Chron. 30:1; 34:33; 35:3) went out in heart to fraternize with the godly in Israel. How much more had Jehoshaphat wrought for Jehovah’s glory, if he had in his life kept aloof as “King of Israel,” the title given to him after death? How sad his son Jehoram’s course in every point of view! The remarkable scripture in Isa. 48:1 may be compared in some respects: “Hear ye this, O house of Jacob, which are called by the name of Israel, and are come forth out of the waters of Judah,” etc.

The King of the North

Question: Dan. 7; 8; 11; Rev. 13; 19, The article in B.T. for Feb. pp. 212, 13 raises questions. “Who can doubt?” says the writer. I can for one, what is taught of the king of the north as “like the second Beast.” Why is he not the second beast? or “King” of Dan. 11:36? F.C.J.
Answer: It ought not to be a difficulty that as Dan. 7 treats of the Western Empire with its head which Rev. 13 and 17 declare is to be revived, but destroyed by the Lord’s appearing, so Dan. 8 tells us of a great offshoot, north-east of Palestine, from the third or Greek empire which is to afflict the chosen people at that “time of the end,” with both craft and violent power. This therefore is quite distinct from the internal enemy of God who reigns in the land and is a Jew, in fact the Antichrist. Whereas the king in chap. 8 answers to “the overflowing scourge,” the retribution for “the covenant with death and agreement with hell,” the contract between the Roman Empire and the apostate king. Though for all three is the same doom, they ought to be distinguished. Compare Isa. 30, which tells of “the king” as well as the Assyrian or the north-eastern power, as Rev. 19 tells it of the western empire with its ally the king of the Jews in that day. It is clearly the same power which in Dan. 11 is designated as “the king of the north” in distinction from “the king of the south” (or, of Egypt), with “the king” between them. But here again, the distinction is plain, however many may have failed to see it. We should rather compare the king “of fierce countenance and understanding dark sentences” to a quasi-Solomon than to a rabbi. But the sense is the same if the degree differs; and it is natural enough for an oriental Gentile to affect wisdom and entangle the Jews before he turned to besiege and overwhelm them. But this could not be the policy of the false Messiah or of his Roman ally. Compare a Gentile; for so described is the prince of Tire (Ezek. 28:3).
In short Dan. 7 and 8 must not be confounded. One is western, the other eastern; and both distinct from the willful king of Dan. 11:36, who will have his ally in the one, his antagonist in the other, at the time of the end, when all three perish awfully. Their judgment with the subsequent one of Gog (Ezek. 38; 39), the last of the hateful and persistent foes of Israel, will be a large part of God’s lesson whereby the world’s inhabitants learn wisdom, and bow to Messiah’s kingdom and personal reign for a space without example, before the heavens and earth that are now melt into the new heavens and earth wherein dwelleth righteousness, the eternal state, when God is all in all.

King Saul Chosen by the People or the Lord

Question: Was king Saul chosen by the people, or chosen by the Lord (1 Sam. 8:18; 10:24; 12:13)? H. C. M.
Answer: The quotations of the querist afford the answer. It was Israel’s rebellious will to have, as they said, “our” king, instead of waiting for Jehovah’s purposed King (1 Sam. 2:10; Psa. 2; compare also Num. 24:7; Deut. 17:14, 15; 28:36; Psa. 45), whom He will in His time yet set on His holy hill of Zion. Remonstrance and warning being alike refused, God gave them their king in His anger, but nevertheless, one “on whom was all the desire of Israel” —the people’s choice indeed—not the one after God’s own heart. “That [is] not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.”

The Kingdom and Paradise the Same?

Question: A “Faith” man argued that “the kingdom” and “Paradise” are the same or similar as “When thou comest into Thy kingdom,” with “This day thou shalt be with me in Paradise.” In proof of it, he pointed out that man in Paradise was set over the works of God’s hands, and that Paradise was the kingdom, or the beginning of it. QUERIST.
Answer: The unbeliever’s argument, if so be it can be called, to identify “the kingdom” with “paradise” is mere trash and confusion, and not even the least bit of sound reasoning. The Lord that day entered paradise, and so did the saved robber. The Kingdom will be at His coming. The paradise of Adam was ruined by sin; the paradise of the second Man and last Adam stands in the righteousness of God, and was open that very day to him that had faith in Jesus. Of Him spoke Psa. 8 prophetically, not retrospectively of the first man that fell.

Kingdom of Heaven and Kingdom of God

Question: Would you kindly solve the following in the “Β. T.?” I have no difficulty with Matt. 13 and the parable of the leaven there as showing the spread of inward evil; but in the kingdom of heaven in Luke 13:20 we read “The kingdom of God is like leaven.” Now John 3 tells us only those born again enter the kingdom of God and Rom. 14:17 tells us “The kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” Can righteousness, peace, and, joy in the Holy Ghost be like the spread of inward exit? Scripture can never contradict itself.
A sincere enquirer.
Answer: Comparison of the Gospels shows that “the kingdom of heaven” in Matthew answers to “the kingdom of God” in Mark and Luke, not absolutely but in general. For the truth is that the latter is a phrase of larger import and capable of moral application, wherever the former is never so employed. Hence, Matthew uses besides his characteristic formula, “Kingdom of God” occasionally, and this, where “kingdom of heaven” could not have been. Thus, when Christ cast out demons, as He did, it was plain that the kingdom of God was come to them; whereas the kingdom of heaven could not come in any just sense (whether in mystery as now, or in manifestation as by-and-by) till Jesus cast out and suffering on the cross took the place of exalted Son of man in heaven. Hence “the kingdom of heaven” all through Matthew is said or supposed to be at hand, not come; and in that sense of a great dispensational change Mark and Luke announce the kingdom of God at hand. Again, the apostle in Rom. 14, as elsewhere, gives “kingdom of God” a moral force, because righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit are the immutable characters of His kingdom, now individually or collectively, as evermore when the earth shall he so governed.
But John treats of “the kingdom of God” only in the sense of what is intrinsic and divine, not of that dispensational state which the other evangelists show to be then at hand where tares and other evil might be as well as wheat.
On the other hand, the leaven in the parables seems to mean the spread of doctrinal profession, assimilating more after a natural sort within a defined range, rather than the import here of wickedness; so I think from the words used and the context.

Kingdom of Heaven Vs. Kingdom of God

Question: Will you define “kingdom of heaven” in itself, and in contradistinction from “kingdom of God?” J. D.
Answer: “Kingdom of heaven,” occurring only in Matthew, means the rule of the heavens, consequent on the rejection of the Messiah, who is thereon ascended to heaven and thus introduces that rule, first, in mystery to faith (as now since the ascension); secondly, in manifestation (as by and by when He comes in power and glory). It differs from the larger expression in this, that, while “kingdom of God” might anywhere with truth he used substantially for “kingdom of heaven” (and so uniformly answers to it in the corresponding passages of Mark and Luke), in some places “kingdom of heaven” could not replace “kingdom of God.” Hence even the latter phrase occurs in Matthew, where of course the former would not have duly expressed the idea of the Holy Ghost; and the same remark applies to Rom. 14 Cor. 4, and other passages in the Epistles where “kingdom of heaven” would have been quite improper. “The kingdom of God” could be said to be there when Christ demonstrated the power of God on earth; “The kingdom of heaven” could not be till He went to heaven. Hence “the kingdom of heaven” is never in the Gospels said to be nearer than at hand; whereas to a certain extent “the kingdom of God” might be and is said to have then come and to have been among them. The power of God displayed in miracles such as Christ wrought proved His kingdom there (and so power not in word but in deed, the moral power of the Spirit in the Epistles); but the kingdom of heaven is a. dispensational state of things, either true and known to faith, or actually manifested as it will be to every eye.

The Kingdom

Question: 1. You say that “the kingdom of heaven cannot be dated earlier than the ascension.” I had come to the conclusion that it should be dated from John the Baptist (but without including him) from these passages: “The law and the prophets were until John, since which time the kingdom of God is preached.” (Luke 16:16.) “From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.” (Matt. 11:12.) “If I cast out devils by the Spirit of God [which He did without doubt], then the kingdom of heaven is come unto you.” (Matt. 12:28.) “After that John was put into prison Jesus came into Galilee preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand.” (Mark 1:15.)
Are not Matt. 11:12 and 12:28 (quoted above) very emphatic on the point, if they are rightly translated?—while I cannot find any passages that seem to give the ascension as the time of the introduction of the kingdom. There is also Mark 9:1: “Till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power.” Please explain.
2. Seeing that some of the same parables are spoken with reference to the kingdom of heaven, and to the kingdom of God, why is the term “kingdom of heaven” used in Matthew, and “kingdom of God” everywhere else?
3. Is it more correct to say that unconverted professors are in the kingdom, or that they appear only as part of the kingdom? Is the “meal” only really the kingdom, the leaven being a foreign admixture? or is the whole when mixed the kingdom? Does God ever acknowledge an evil thing or an unconverted person as a part of the kingdom of God? He says the kingdom of heaven is “likened to” —has the outward appearance of—so-and-so; but would He acknowledge the “fowls of the air” as a part of the kingdom, or did they merely take shelter in it? These questions are suggested by such texts as “except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” How, then, do unconverted persons get into the kingdom? While, again, we read of Christ purging out of his kingdom all things that offend, would not this include unconverted persons? Or does God sometimes speak of the kingdom from His point of view, as if Satan had never sown any tares (as in John 3)—and sometimes as it has become spoiled, by Satan?
4. Does drinking the wine new, &c., refer to the millennium? and why is it called (Matt. 26:29) “my Father’s kingdom,” and in Luke (22:18) “the kingdom of God.”
5. In Matt. 8:12, does not “the children of the kingdom” refer to Jews cast out?—and in 13:38 the same phrase refer to believers? It seems to be the same in the Greek.
Answer: 1. Neither Matt. 11:12 nor Luke 16:16 teaches more than the preaching or presenting the kingdom of heaven to faith, not that it was then actually in being or established. Hence, in the main development of its course in Matt. 13, the first parable, which refers to the Lord’s own direct work, is not a likeness of that kingdom, though it was clearly work done with a view to it, as indeed John Baptist himself preached that it was at hand; and hence he is named in contradistinction to the law and the prophets. But the citation of Matt. 12:28, by its very incorrectness, confirms this and its difference from the analogous phrase. For the text speaks of the kingdom of God, not of heaven. The former was there, and evidenced to be there when Christ was there in the mighty power which expelled the demons; the kingdom of heaven could not be till Christ went on high. Hence, from the Second or wheat-field parable of chap. xiii., which shows Christ’s work done by His servants after His ascension, and the enemy’s counterwork, all are likenesses of the kingdom of heaven. Mark 9:1 is merely a picture or sample of the kingdom, as seen on the holy mount.
2. The true difference is, that while “kingdom of God” could be used wherever “kingdom of heaven” occurs, the converse could not be always. Hence, while Mark and Luke never use any other phrase than “the kingdom of God,” Matthew sometimes uses the kingdom of God where the kingdom of heaven could not be employed. So in Paul’s epistles we have repeatedly kingdom of “God” where “heaven” could not be substituted; especially some cases of a moral force, such as Rom. 14:17, 1 Cor. 4:20. To Matthew the phrase “kingdom of heaven” is peculiar, as being both drawn from Dan. 2 and vii., and, duly understood, the most decided corrective of the earthly thoughts of the Jews. It has a dispensational character, which “kingdom of God” does not necessarily carry.
3. John 3:3 presents “the kingdom of God” only in its full reality—Matt. 13; 18:23, &c., 20:1, &c., 25:1, &c., clearly show us profession in “the kingdom of heaven.” The scandals and the doers of lawlessness have to be purged out of the kingdom where they have been.
4. The new wine drank in the “Father’s kingdom” (Matt. 26:29), sets forth the united joy of the Lord and of His own by and by, and in the highest part of the kingdom too, I apprehend (comp. chap. 13:43). “The kingdom of God” is the generic name for every part.
5. In Matt. 8 the new form of the kingdom of heaven, which would follow the rejection of the Messiah, was not yet disclosed, but what the Old Testament spoke of. Hence “the children of the kingdom” suits the Jews as such in chap. viii., and the children of God or Christians in chap. xiii., where the further truth is developed.

"The Knowledge of the Son of God," "The Perfect Man," and "The Measure and Stature of Christ"?

Question: Eph. 4:13. Why is “the knowledge of the Son of God” added to “the unity of the faith,” and what is meant by each? and by “the perfect man?” and “the measure of the stature of Christ?” and why not ἄνδρα rather than ἄνθρωπον (as in Col. 1) ?.
Answer: The Epistle to the Ephesians contemplates the Church all through in its perfectness and privileges, and does not touch the question of its decay as entrusted to man’s responsibility, which is in 1 Corinthians. God has provided for the accomplishment of the object here spoken of in “spite of failure, but it is here looked at without reference to it. The adding of the knowledge of the Son of God was necessary, because it is up to His stature thus known that we are to grow. The arriving at common unity of faith is the general basis, solidity as freed from the vacillations’ of wind of doctrine; but besides that, we are to grow up to Him who is the Head in all things (as in Col. 1:28), that we May present every roan perfect in Christ Jesus. The perfect man means simply the state—a full-grown man; but the measure of the stature of a full-grown man in Christ, is Christ Himself, all the fullness that is in Him wrought into the soul, so that it should be formed by it, and like to and filled with Christ in all its thoughts; its subjective state measured and formed by the objective fullness of Christ, so that there should be no discrepancy and no separation from Him; the saint grown up to Him in everything. How wondrous such a thought is, I need not say; but this is what is before us. A perfect than as to the expression is simply a full-grown man. So Heb. 5:14 and 6:41. Ἅνθρωπος is the race including man and woman, and would not be appropriate here. Speaking merely of men, I say πάντα ἄνθρωπον, as Col. 1 Ανὴρ is the word of dignity in the race, and so he is looking at it there. You would not think of a woman in saying one was growing up to full manhood.

Last Clause of Psalm 109:4

Question: Psa. 109:4. What is the force of the last clause? H. J.
Answer:And I [am, or am to] prayer.” So the holy sufferer describes it. Instead of his love they were his adversaries, and he gave himself up to prayer in consequence. How astonishingly true of the Lord! though no attentive mind can apply the psalm exclusively to Him, nor even every word to Him in ever so general a way. There is no reference to Christ’s priestly or intercessional character; still less does it depict Him as the fountain and source of all prayer, however truly He may be so. To draw from this expression the inference that from all eternity His Father heard Him is forcing scripture. The real thought intended is the giving up oneself to prayer in presence of those who are adversaries without cause.

The Last Trump

Question: 1 Cor. 15:52. Are We Necessarily to Connect “The Last Trump” With the Seventh Trumpet in Rev. 11, or With 1 Thess. 4? W
Answer: The seven trumpets of the Apocalypse are, in my judgment, entirely outside the trump mentioned in the Epistles, or even that which occurs in Matt. 24 and the Jewish Prophets. The Apocalyptic trumpets are symbolic, and must be interpreted in keeping with the rest of the book and their own context, as indeed the other occurrences must be also. Thus Paul speaks solely of the risen and changed saints, and the trump must be limited by his subject. And our Lord connects, as does Isaiah, the trumpet with the ingathering of the elect of Israel. The seven trumpet-blasts of the Revelation occur in the interval after the former and before the latter, unless the seventh be thought to synchronize with the summons to scattered Israel.
I am still of opinion that “the last trump” of 1 Cor. 15 is an allusion to what was then a most familiar sound in the Roman world—the final signal given for the march, after all the previous intimations for breaking up the camp had been made and complied with. The archangel’s shout, as being a word of command, confirms this, I think.

"The Laver," Not "The Washing"?

Question: Eph. 5:26, Is it true that the laver, and not “the washing,” of the water is here intended? Is it correct to say that we must not join ἐν ῥήματι (“in the word”) with τῶ λουτρῷ nor with τοῦ ὔδατος, because the former would require τῷ ἐν ῥήματι, and the latter τοῦ ἐν ῥήματι? that therefore the connection is with ἁγ. or rather with καθαρίσας?
- A.
Answer: The great general lexicographers, from H. Stephens to Liddell and Scott, give not only “laver” but “hath,” and hence washing and even water for bathing or washing. See the amplest proof in classic Greek given by Passow, Rost, Palm, &c. So Schleusner, Wahl, and Rose’s “Parkhurst,” among those devoted to the Greek New Testament, Indeed the LXX use in general a different word (λουτήρ) for a laver,,and λουτρόν for washing, as in Song of Sol. 4:2; 6:6. So thy Apocryphal Sir. or Ecclesiastic. xxxi. 30. (Ed. Tisch., 1850, Vo u, 195.) Further, λουτρών was used for the hath as a word for washing, λοῦτρον or λούτριον for the water rendered impure by bathing. See Scapula, Hederic, &c. Hence the English version is thoroughly justified, instead of its being “a meaning the word never has.” It is generally, says Pape, cleansing, washing away of filth, abwaschen, abspülen. It may take, as a secondary meaning, the hath itself, as the word “hath” does in English. But it means applying the water, not the vessel. It is used often by the fathers for baptism, but even there in the same sense (ὡς ἔκπλυσίν, says Gregory Nazianzen). Indeed so far from being or alluding to a vessel, it is not likely a vessel was ever used in scriptural times. At any rate, Dean Alford’s statement is quite unfounded, Titus 3 refers to baptism, but to washing, not to a font. He says, See Lexx.; but the Lexx. give hath, water for washing or bathing, the act of washing, and even drink-offerings. It is not the hath properly as a place, but the bathing; and hence we have λουτρὰ θερμὰ and φυχρἀ, λουτρὰ ὠκεανοῖο, and λοθτρὰ φαινομένα ἐπί τῆς γῆς, κ.τ.λ. So the λουτροφόρος used to bring the water, not the hath as a vessel.
Next, while it may be right to connect ἐν ῥ. with the verb or the participle we must necessarily connect τῷ λ. τοῦ ὕδατος too, and ἐν ῥ. becomes characteristic of the cleansing by the washing of the water. Thus this is the instrument of cleansing, and its true character is ῥῆμα. Neither of the constructions said to be required in this case is called for in the least degree. Τῷ ἐν ῥ. would be utterly out of place; τοῦ ἐν ῥ. would be nonsense; but ἐν ῥ. as it stands by itself is just what is wanted as a characteristic explanation (like ἐν πνεῦματι, chap. 2:22, and many such cases). But τῷ ἐν ῥ (if it be Greek, which is doubtful) would point to a specific agent that would make the hath. If the meaning were “purified by the hath of water by the word,” the Greek would be διὰ τοῦ ῥ. or τῷ ῥ. But ἐν ῥ is unequivocally the character of the thing spoken of as a whole. Τῷ λ. is the dative of the instrument; by the washing of the water they were purified: what was its character? It was ῥῆμα, or rather ἐν ῥ.
Again, this use of ἐν is quite common on all subjects. (Matt. 12:28; Luke 1:41. 77.) It characterizes. The reasoning on Eph. 5:26 would connect the last case with δοῦνια, and turn the passage into folly. See Luke 4:32; 8:43; 21:23. It is simply to characterize the state. The article is no way needed, but rather its absence. So Roman viii. 3; xiii. 8; 1 Cor. 15:43. In fact it would be endless to cite cases of the sort. It is the regular characteristic style. Prepositions are Middleton’s weak point. He followed Hellenism ably, but not the mental bearing of words. Nouns answer to “what?” as 6 answers to “who” (or “which”)? The article is indicative of an individual or individuals. Hence, prepositions or not, it makes no difference really. The absence of the article marks the nature or character of a thing; as here ἐν ῥήματι characterizes.
Compare John 15:3 for the doctrine. Both Ellicott and Alford are wrong in regarding sanctification as exclusively a progressive thing after initiation. It is so used, but even more frequently for the first setting apart to God. Here it appears to be used for the thing itself, and not distinctively either first or progressive. The apostle may allude to baptism (or, as is alleged, though very doubtful, to a spousal hath). But he takes care to show that it is the word that purifies, καθαρίσας ἐν τῷ λουτρῷ τοῦ ὕδατος ἐν ῥήματι being one sentence, which explains how the sanctification is effected. Christ, having loved the Church and given Himself for it, made it His, and does the other two things: He sanctifies it, and then presents it to Himself, being God as well as Second man. Its sanctification is by the purifying power of the word applied by the Holy Ghost.
Hence the ‘washing of water by [the] word’ is right; and ἐν ῥ. characterizes the whole statement, being no more connected with καθαρίσας or ἁγ. than with τῷ λ. or τοῦ ὕδατος. It would not be ἐν ῥ. if it were specifically connected with either.

Law vs. Religion

Question: What is the duty of a surviving Christian parent, guardian, or child, if the law of the country decide that the child is to be brought up after a religious sort opposed to the faith of both parent and child?
A. B. C.
Answer: In my judgment, no Christian, whether child or parent, can relinquish that which they are assured is the word of God. A court may rule otherwise, and may punish the infraction of its decrees; but the Christian is bound, at all cost, to cleave to the Lord’s will. It is likely that, under such circumstances, the court would deprive a refractory parent or guardian of the charge of the child, giving it over to the co-guardian (if any) who would conform, or appointing a compliant guardian. In such a case the parent and child must be prepared, if so God permit. to endure the deep distress of severance. But if the child have a conscience clear and firm before God, what has the court gained toward the end in view? The Christian child, though separated from its parent, insists on being faithful to the Lord and the truth, and utterly refuses the religious services which it believes to be unscriptural: is the child to be forced against its conscience? Is it to be reduced to the desired submission by brute force? If so compelled to go, is it to be locked in or chained down during the religious rites which it eschews as sinful? It seems evident, that, without appealing to courts of law, which in these things will surely be on the side of the world, the path of faith is clear and simple; and that a child guided in the way of Christ will be proved to have a power superior to all the resources of the mightiest empire on earth. They may inflict pain or loss; they may insult and condemn or in prison, as they have hanged or burnt in times gone by; but “this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.”

The Little Horn

Question: Can the little Horn of Dan. 7 be the last Roman Emperor? Is he not rather the Jewish Anti-Christ? On the one hand the ten Horns are not the beast, nor is the little Horn which comes up among them, and destroys three of the first Horns. And as the Beast was destroyed because of the great words the Horn spoke, their distinction is clear on the other. Taking the little Horn as the Willful King, or the Anti-Christ, he is the Beast’s minion, and corresponds more with the Second Beast of Rev. 13. He has all cunning (eyes like those of man), pleases the Beast, and represents him, though a distinct personage.
(condensed from) D. P.
Answer: It is quite true that John’s Anti-Christ (or willful king of Dan. 11:36 et seqq.), being the subordinate of the Beast as to earthly power, is the Second Beast or false prophet, the highest pretender to spiritual eminence and energy, answering to the man of sin in 2 Thess. 2. They are, one no less than the other, worshipped, and they perish together in the lake of fire (Rev. 19). But the Roman empire, or first Beast of Rev. 13, has a chief; and this clearly the little Horn, which came up after the ten, dispossessed three, and became the dominant power, to which the rest gave their kingdoms as vassals. Dan. 7 alone gives the historic details. It is the once little Horn become great, whose pride and blasphemies brought judgment on the imperial Beast as a whole.
In the Revelation, which gives character rather than history, it is the Beast that said and did what its last ruler said and did. Compare Dan. 7:20, 21, 24, 25, 8-11, with Rev. 13:4-7. This solves the difficulty. The Revelation therefore does not distinguish this last Horn as such like Daniel, but attributes to the Beast in its last form what Daniel predicates historically of the little Horn. So true is this, that Rev. 17:11 identifies the Beast or Roman empire with the eighth resurrection head, which answers to Daniel’s little Horn; and in ver. 12 takes no notice of the then fallen Horns. John speaks of the characteristic ten Horns. There is the clearest guard against confounding him with the second Beast, the lawless king in Judea (Anti-Christ).
There is no doubt that the Roman imperial Horn is said to have “eyes like the eyes of a man”; but this only symbolizes his extraordinary intelligence and insight humanly. The second Beast pretends to give breath and speech to the inanimate, as well as to call fire from heaven in the sight of men—the crucial proof of Jehovah as God against Baal in Elijah’s day. Again, it is certain that the Roman prince in Dan. 9 causes sacrifice and oblation to cease in the temple; so that his thinking to change times and laws was quite consistent with Dan. 7, instead of bringing the Anti-Christ into what belongs to the Roman power. But as they are confederates, it is easy to identify them mistakenly.
We must also beware of the still more prevalent confusion of the little Horn of Dan. 8 with either the Emperor in Rome or the Anti-Christ in Jerusalem. He is the enemy of both, being “the Assyrian” of the prophets in general, and the “king of the north,” whose last doings and end we read of in Dan. 11:40-45. He is destroyed no less signally than the Beast and the False Prophet soon after their awful catastrophe.

A Little One or a Believing One?

Question: Matt. 18:5; 19:13-15. Is it a little one only, or a believing one, or both? R. M.
Answer: The Lord at the beginning of the chapter corrects the ambition of the disciples by the figure of a little child as far as possible from any such thought. But it is certain from ver. 6 that He goes forward to the “little ones that believe on Me.” But it seems worthy of Him before closing the subject to give us comfort in a more distinct way than elsewhere respecting “little ones” like the one that He called and set in the midst of them. How many die at an early age? Do they perish? We are not left to spiritual instinct, or to reasoning from general principles. Nor is it the unbelieving and unspiritual plea that they are “innocent.” They do belong to the fallen race, for whose sake the good Shepherd came and died: “even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.” Are we not entitled to look beyond those that believe to “these little ones” for assurance that, if called before believing could be, they are not to perish? Compare also chap. 19:13-15.

Living and Reigning with Christ

Question: Dear Sir,
A friend of mine says that the living and reigning with Christ refers to those beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and cannot apply to a reign on earth. It is, he says, a vision in heaven. Would you kindly refute this error in “The Bible Treasury” for August? Yours truly,
A Subscriber.
To The Editor of “The Bible Treasury.”
Answer: The reign of Christ and the glorified saints is heavenly, but over the earth. Only the old Chiliasts, and their modern followers, treat it as “on” the earth, as is wrongly said in the Authorized and even the Revised versions of Rev. 5:10. The local dwelling is properly ἐν, the sphere of rule is ἐπί, a distinction maintained in Hellenistic Greek, as in the Septuagint and the Greek New Testament. The vision being “in heaven” determines nothing as to actual place, as we may see from Revelation all and elsewhere. Nor is it confined to those beheaded for the testimony of Jesus, but comprehends, first the general body of saints in those seen seated on thrones, then those beheaded, and lastly such as refused the worship of the beast and his mark. The first general class was already risen; the two other companies only now lived, in order to reign with Christ, as all of course are to do. “Know ye not that the saints shall judge the world?......Know ye not that we shall judge angels?” (1 Cor. 6:2, 3)

The Lord Jesus Offered or Presented the Church to the Father on the Day of Pentecost?

Question: Is there any scriptural warrant for the statement that the Lord Jesus offered or presented the church to the Father on the day of Pentecost? W.G.
Answer: I see no warrant in scripture for His offering the church to the Father on the day of Pentecost. Such a thought ought not to be uttered without the word of God unambiguously for it. Why should Christians who have the whole revealed mind of God indulge in any fancy of their own?

The Lord Leaving the Right Hand of God?

Question: Do Matt. 18:20, Luke 24:32, John 14:23, teach that the Lord leaves the right hand of God to come down in the midst of believers gathered to His name? E. J. L.
Answer: We may not rightly set scripture against scripture, but are to believe all. The Holy Spirit is now come, as Christ went on high to send Him to abide forever with us and in us. But this is not the same as Christ’s presence, promised conditionally on the obedience of the assembly or the individual saint, which is in no way to leave God’s right hand. He is there bodily, but deigns to vouchsafe His presence here also, which we by faith enjoy in the Spirit. Precious as is the truth of the Holy Spirit’s presence, faith does not forego these comforting assurances. Prayer and discipline are only special cases of the more general truth, that Christ may be counted on to be in the midst where two or three are gathered to His name. So, even when the Lord appeared extraordinarily to the apostle, and more than once, He did not leave heaven; yet it was all real. Mystery is no less true than material fact, far more momentous, and inseparable from Christ, as Christians know Him at any rate. We walk by faith, and own scripture as absolutely authoritative.

The Lord's Genealogy in Matthew vs. Luke

Question: How is Matt. 1:16, taken in connection with Luke 3:23, to be explained?
Matthew says, “Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary;” and Luke, “being, as was supposed, the son of Joseph, which was of Heli, which was of Matthat,” &c. Matthew in ver. 15 had said, “Matthan begat Jacob.”
In Luke 3, I presume, Mary’s. genealogy is given down to 31, “Nathan (who was) of David,”. while in Matt. 1:6 “David the king begat Solomon,” and so on down to Joseph. But what explains the apparent discrepancy between Matt. 1:16 and Luke 3:23? O. P.
Answer: The solution of the difficulty turns on the true marking of the parenthesis in Luke 3:23 “(being, as was supposed, son of Joseph”). The Revisers are no more right than was the A.V. in limiting it to “(as was supposed).” Christ’s being considered son of Joseph is thus intimated to be outside the proper genealogical line which is here traced from Heli or Eli, Mary’s father, up to Adam and God Himself. Jesus, reputedly son of Joseph, was really of Heli, &c. Even the unbelieving Jews did not question that Mary, the virgin mother of our Lord, was Heli’s daughter; for the Talmud speaks of her thus, and as tormented in the unseen world. The fact is that there is a choice of ways which all remove the apparent discrepancy. On these we need not dwell here, but simply state the one which we believe to be the truth.
The internal evidence entirely sustains this view as intended of God. For as υἱός was expressed in the parenthetical clause as the reputed relationship, so by a purposely different construction the real natural succession through Mary is traced from her father up to the father of all (τοῦ Ἡλὶ, τοῦ Ματθὰτ, κ.τ.λ.), a grand fact characteristic of our Evangelist. In Matthew, on the other hand, where it was essential to trace the Messianic title of our Lord legally, we have “Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary.” Again both Evangelists are equally careful to repudiate the actual fatherhood of Joseph, and to affirm the divine generation of our Savior, as well as His eternal being in the Godhead before the Incarnation.
But there is much more in corroboration, which goes along with the special design of each of the two Gospels. For it will be noticed that only Matthew records the apparitions of Jehovah’s angel to Joseph (1:20, 2:19); whereas in Luke 1:26-35 the angel Gabriel was sent by God not to Joseph but to Mary, even though Jehovah’s angel appeared to Zachariah before (1:11), and to the shepherds after (2:9), the Child was born, the Son was given. Of course, His birth of Mary was of absolute moment for His person as now Man no less than God forever, and for the infinite work He was about to accomplish. But so far was the legal position of Joseph as His reputed father from being unimportant, that He could not have been indisputably viewed as the promised Son and Heir of David’s throne, till Joseph passed away. Hence not a word is said in any one of the four Gospels which supposes Joseph alive, when our Lord enters on His manifestation as the Messiah, though (as every believer knows) much more than the Messiah. This also disposes of the notion, cherished by not a few ancients and moderns, that Joseph had a family of sons and daughter, before Mary was betrothed to him. For in that case his eldest would have been legally the heir to David’s throne. So completely was the law fulfilled, as well as the Prophets and the Psalms. Scripture cannot be broken.

The Lord's Supper and the Breaking of Bread

Question: As a recent dissenting work on “Baptism, &c., by Typicus” (Jackson, Walford, and Hodder), ventures to impugn the application of the terms “breaking of bread” in Scripture to the Lord’s Supper, will you notice his arguments or assertions briefly?
Answer: The writer begins with these words: “Of late we have frequently heard these words used as a designation of the Lord’s Supper.” Certain Christians are understood to use it thus uniformly, and the error, he fears, is in danger of obtaining currency elsewhere. He boldly proceeds to show that it “nowhere occurs in Scripture to represent our Lord’s institution!”
First, where can this man’s acquaintance with facts be? Is he not aware that he himself is broaching a novelty of no ordinary magnitude? Does he not know the importance attached to the truth of this application of the scripture phrase by the body of the Reformers in opposing transubstantiation? They too appealed, from the earliest antiquity, to the entire roll of the Christian writers who touch upon the Lord’s Supper. Nay, it was not a party view of the Protestants; for the Romanists laid equal stress on the same phrase as unquestionably referring to the Lord’s Supper, in order to gather a seeming justification for administering the eucharist in one kind and withholding the cup from the laity. “Typicus,” therefore, starts with the confident rejection of that which no heat, nor conflicting claims in the mighty struggle of the sixteenth century could blot out from the common recognition of all, whether Papists or Protestants. I do not say his objection has never been mooted before; for what notion has not been? But it is certainly strange to find a person so entirely uninformed as to a plain matter of fact (owned all but universally and from the remotest times) as to insinuate that it is a sort of sound heard but of late frequently. I admit, however, that the decisive question remains—what saith the Scripture? If I have referred to facts, it is merely to show that the Christians he alludes to had really no debate with others in calling the Lord’s Supper “the breaking of bread”, because it has never been seriously disputed in Christendom. I shall now prove that Scripture exposes his error, as much as notorious facts have been ignored by him.
He cites Lam. 4:4, Acts 27:35, Luke 24:30, 35. But the utmost he can draw thence, is—that which no sober Christian ever doubted—that the act of breaking bread is not limited to the Lord’s Supper. It is a question of context, as with the use of almost every phrase in the Bible or anywhere else. Διάκονος is frequently employed for a domestic who is not a bondsman, frequently for general service from Christ Himself downwards. Does it therefore never mean an official deacon? This is a case exactly parallel: what is its value?
“Typicus” proceeds to notice the texts which do apply: Acts 2:42, 46; 20:7, &c., but with utter misconception of their force. Reasoning or expounding it cannot be called, but the merest assumption. He says that Acts 2:42, refers to “ordinary meals;” but why? Does the doctrine of the apostles, do the communion before, and the prayer immediately after, refer to external matters? The only fair question is, whether the phrase did not embrace along with the Lord’s Supper, the Agape, or love-feast, which in primitive times—at least before 1 Corinthians—accompanied that Supper. But the spiritual concomitants in the verse, both before and after, prove that an ordinary meal is not meant.
Again, in verse 46, two religious facts are stilted in evident connection, their continuing with one accord in the temple, and their breaking bread at home, distinct from their partaking of food (which last does refer to ordinary meals) with gladness and singleness of heart: in all they were found praising God, and having favor with all the people. The twofold τε hinds together their resort to the temple and their breaking bread at home (for of course this Christian act could not be celebrated there); but a fresh construction parts off from both the taking of their common food, though I doubt not that for them even this had the halo of God’s gracious presence around it.
It is therefore plain and certain that, in giving its central place to the breaking of bread, the Christians whom “Typicus” blames are subject to God’s word; and that there is departure from that word where His children merely go to sing or pray or hear a sermon, save at ram intervals, which is the line of things to which he invites his brethren. But “Typicus” is also inexcusable in forgetting that there is a deeper cause of separation from the various sects of Christendom—the universal exclusion of the Holy Ghost from acting freely by whom He will in the Christian assembly. (According to 1 Cor. 12; 14).
As for Acts 20:7, neither italics nor capitals will relieve “Typicus” from the charge of unbelief, nor add a particle of strength to the weak assertion that “there is not the slightest evidence to prove” that it was the Lord’s Supper. The language is decisive that it was then the practice of Christians to come together on the first of the week, and this to break bread. (Comp. also 1 Cor. 16:2.) The critical reading (ἠμῶν), which rests on much the best authorities, seems to me stronger than the vulgar one (μαθητῶν,), which probably grew out of a desire to make easier sense with αὐτοῖς. Nothing is simpler: all came together to break bread, but with prominence given to Paul and his companions in “we,” the family word. Again, the direction of the apostle’s discourse was naturally to those of ‘Irons, which drew him out at great length, “we” coming in again in the next verse. Dean Alford, I know, thinks that the Agape followed, but he does not doubt for a moment that the breaking of bread means, or at least includes, the Lord’s Supper. To me it seems the gravest objection to the inclusion of the Agape (which was a real meal, though not a mere ordinary one), that the apostle had himself, previously to this date, severed authoritatively the two things, because of the disorder which had entered at Corinth from their connection. Is it not harsh to suppose that he broke the Spirit’s rule as to this given in his own inspired epistle? The Agape, no doubt, continued long, but thenceforward separate from the Lord’s Supper. In verse 7 of this chapter it is intimated that “to break bread” was what drew together on the resurrection day; from verse 11, it would appear that Paul after his discourse as well as the matter of Eutychus, broke (riot bread, hit) “the (τόν) bread.” There is no ground to talk of a second time. How this indicates that the sanctioned practice for all on the first day of the week was “a meal—Nothing More,” I cannot divine, save as knowing that man’s will may account for anything.
As even “Typicus” admits the application of 1 Cor. 10:11 to the Lord’s Supper, I have no controversy with him here. This only need be remarked, that, in the first of these scriptures, the expression—Lord’s Supper—does not occur, but only in the last. With this fact before his eyes it is absurd, then, to argue so confidently that Acts 20:7 cannot mean that Supper because the explicit designation dues not occur there. I should have thought the inverse conclusion more reasonable: that, 1 Cor. 10:16 bring confessedly the Lord’s Supper without being thus styled, Acts 20:7 may be so too, and similarly Acts 2:42, 46.
What can we think of the heart or intelligence of one who, in the face of these passages fails “to find any trace in the Scriptures of the celebration of the Lord’s Supper by the apostles more frequently than once a year?” This almost incredible inference is due to the author’s head being muddled with the type of the Passover and with types in general, of which Ire manifestly does not understand the alphabet. The paschal supper falling yearly is a reason to his mind for a yearly Lord’s Sapper which supplanted it unless the Christians were otherwise instructed, which he thinks they were not! He suggests, however, that “a more frequent observance is doubtless conducive to the interests of the Church.” No wonder that one who begins with slighting Scripture, should think, next, that man—himself—is able to improve on it and furnish something more for the interests of the Church. The readers of the BIBLE TREASURY will not desire to hear more of such men unless God peradventure be pleased to give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth. But it seemed well to dispose briefly of these assertions; for, if confidently made, they are apt to impose on the ignorant when the mass of Christian professors know the Scriptures or the power of God so feebly as in our day. Speculation blinds the Dissenters, as much as tradition closes the eyes of the Tractarians or their allies.— “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?”
“As often as ye eat this bread and drink this cup, ye do skew the Lord’s death till he come.”

The Lord's Table

Question: Acts 20:7. Is every Christian whose faith is sound and walk godly admissible when known as such to the Lord’s Supper? J.O.S.
Answer: The principle is sound; but in the growing confusion care is due to the Lord that it be rightly applied so as not to cover ungodliness in either way by evil communications which corrupt good manners and defile even when personal appearance seems right. There are vast numbers, besides Papists, who now countenance idolatry in their so-called worship. There are very many, both Nationalists and Dissenters, who sanction or are indifferent to the skepticism of the Higher Critics. It would be wicked to make either of these free of the Lord’s Table. They are enemies of the truth, and to allow their fellowship is a sin. Their belonging to some ecclesiastical system where such things notoriously flourish, to which they are attached, is a necessary ground to refuse them as long as they persevere in an evil association. Otherwise it is to blow hot and cold, and to adopt in what represents the church of God the laxity of the world which knows not God. In the case of relatives, friends, or the like, peculiar caution is due, lest in amiable feeling we should compromise Christ. In early days we had neither the idolatrous evil nor the skeptical one as we have now. The shadows of the coming apostasy are around us. Let us increasingly watch unto prayer and in jealousy for Christ’s glory, and in true love to Christians.
Let me here warn those who would cleave to the Lord’s name to beware of the recent tracts of W. S. and W. L. P. as special pleading and compromise, the latter too in a tone not quite becoming the most mature and honored if such he were. It is diligently kept hidden, if known, that the two perhaps most intelligent of the Ten were thorough partisans of B. W. N., and seceded from Bethesda, not only because the Newtonian advocates were got rid of privately, but because of the seven meetings in which his evil doctrines were condemned (very much through pressure from without, as of R. Ch. and others), even G. M. joining pointedly. It is well-known too that another whose place was high among them strongly sympathized with N.’s errors. And the fact is that the seceding two tried to establish a Newtonian meeting in Bristol and had B.W.N. to aid them in it. When this failed, they sought readmission to Bethesda, and were received on their saying that they ought not to have seceded!! That this was all sought by Bethesda from themselves I know from letters written at the time in answer to strict inquiry, by Messrs. G. M. and J. Meredith severally on one side, and by the seceders or at least R. A. on the other.
Many years have elapsed; but I am sorry to say now as then that the Letter of the Ten made it a day for the faithful and true to renounce Bethesda and all that tolerate its abjuring the prime duty of God’s assembly; that the seven meetings were fairer in word than in deed and truth; and that their proceedings both in getting rid of the Newtonians by a private door instead of a public judgment, and in receiving back the guilty pair who sought in vain to exploit a Newtonian meeting with its leader flaunted before all eyes, proved their indifference to a false Christ, their jealousy only for their own honor. I was one then of the not few who regretted that J.N.D. so hastily gave credit to the sincerity of Bethesda and its leaders. But God is faithful, and overruled. Yet who was not shocked at the rude and self-righteous repulse his too confiding spirit received? And what are we to think of G. M. and wife, years after all the denunciations and without any further self-judgment on B. W. N.’s part, daring without a blush to travel from Bristol to Tunbridge Wells to hear N.’s reading or sitting lecture, and to declare the value he set on N.’s writings?
Far from me to despise any one’s little measure of knowledge; but how can one avoid indignation at such a tissue of unfaithfulness to Christ, without piling the agony? No, dear brethren, unless there be, on the part of the intelligent at least, a real clearance from such evils, our painful duty is to stand aloof and separate to Christ, however abused and disliked for His name we may still be. Those who never went through the deep grief and shame are hardly the persons to judge wisely or to speak with weight.

Lord's Way of Bringing Dead and Live Saints Into the Kingdom at His Coming?

Question: What is the Lord’s way of bringing the dead saints in company with the living ones into the kingdom at His coming? A. W.
Answer: The answer is given expressly in 1 Thess. 4:13-17. It was raised by the death of some believers at Thessalonica to the astonishment of their brethren. So full of immediate expectation were they as to be stumbled by the event. They had exceeded the error of those in Jerusalem who wrongly inferred that John was not to die, but to be found alive when the Lord came. The Thessalonians still more extravagantly assumed that no Christian could die before it. But neither the Lord in the Gospels nor the Holy Spirit when come gave any warrant for it. Again, the martyrdom of Stephen and James (son of Zebedee) was so publicly known, to speak of nothing else, as to prove its fallacy by the simple facts. Nor can we doubt that many had already fallen asleep both in Judæa and among the nations.
The apostle here therefore explains how the Lord will act at His coming. So far from unavailing sorrow and unintelligent disappointment, they should rejoice that God will bring with Jesus those put to sleep by Him, This will be for introducing the kingdom; but how? Are not the living to precede those that sleep? Certainly not. For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with an assembling shout, with archangel’s voice, and with the trump of God; and instead of being anticipated, still less of losing their place in the kingdom, “the dead in Christ shall rise first, then we the living that survive shall be caught up together with them in clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” He comes for the saints, dead and living, to be thenceforward forever with Him; so that, when the moment arrives to come in His kingdom and in the execution of the judgment that precedes its establishment in peace, they all follow Him out of heaven, and are manifested with Him in glory. Compare 1 Cor. 15:23, 51, 52; Col. 3:4; 2 Thess. 2:1; Jude 1, 14; Rev. 17:14; 19:14.

Lot Only Two Daughters?

Question: Gen. 19:14-16. Is it correct, as often assumed, that Lot had only two daughters of sorrowful memory?—A Disciple.
Answer: It would seem that besides the two maiden daughters in his house Lot had others with his sons-in-law outside, whom he sought in vain to save from the doomed city. In the “Introductory Lectures on the Pentateuch” this oversight is said to have been made. That the confusion has been often made by excellent men is of no weight against the simple force of the word.

Lot's Daughters and Their Husbands

Question and Answer: Gen. 19:8, 12, 14. An American friend writes wondering at the oversight in Lectures on the Pentateuch (76) where Lot’s daughters are spoken of as brought out without “their unbelieving husbands.” It is clearly new to him that there is any question possible. But it is a fact that very competent persons agree with the Vulgate that the two daughters were only espoused and still under the father’s roof, not yet taken to their future homes. Hence the Hebrew well bears the marginal reading of the Revisers, “were to marry” in ver. 14; for it is literally “the takers of.” The A.V. agrees with the Sept. If these be right, it would of course imply other married daughters who perished in the judgment that befell Sodom. Bp. Christ. Wordsworth accepts the Latin version unhesitatingly. But enough is said to show the question.

Luke 1:1-4 Inspired or Not?

Question: Luke 1:1-4. Are those verses equally inspired as the rest of the Gospel? or only a preface of the writer’s? M.
Answer: They are a striking evidence and instance of what characterizes Luke, in the combination of man’s motives and affections and aims with the inspiring Spirit’s power and design. It is only unbelief which tries to sunder what God has united. No doubt then a preface is peculiar to the third Gospel; but so it ought to be, if this Gospel have for its specialty, as it clearly has, to present the Lord Jesus, while truly God, in all the reality of that holy human nature, of which He deigned in grace to us and for God’s glory to partake. The converse we see in the prediction of Caiaphas (John 11:49-53). There in divine sovereignty the Holy Spirit gave him to prophesy the death of the Savior in terms which none the less betrayed the selfish and unprincipled wickedness of the high priest. Here we see the piety, faith, love, and conscientious care of the writer, who was none the less empowered by the Spirit to give us the truth of Christ without error according to the divine purpose in view.

Luke 15: The Proper Intention of This Chapter

Question: Luke 15. What is the proper intention of this chapter and particularly of the prodigal son? Is it restoring grace, or salvation? Is the best robe only given then? A.
Answer: |iI| have no doubt that the application of this chapter to the saint’s failure and restoration is a mere fancy, and that the truth intended is God’s grace to the sinner. It is well to observe, that the notion, Calvinistic as it is, which makes so much of the circumstances that the sheep was a sheep of the flock before it strayed, &c., really would prove Arminianism, if it proved anything; because it is certain that—sheep, money, or son all were LOST. If therefore these parables were meant to teach restoring grace, they would equally teach that the child who departs from his Father is “lost” and “dead,” after having been in the place of a son and before he is brought back. But take the, parables, not as provision and instruction for disciples, but as the expression and vindication of divine grace in Christ’s receiving sinners, and all is plain. The general truth of departure from God, and privileges abandoned or abused, is set forth in the straying of the sheep, the loss of the money, and the wretched, far-off penury of the prodigal. The previous relationship of the prodigal is not the point the Lord is illustrating any more than the question which curious minds often raise, about the ninety and nine just persons who need no repentance. The real point was, whether the blessed Lord was right in receiving sinner’s; and what he demonstrates is that such is the very way and delight of God in grace. Hence, restoration of erring saints is quite beside the mark, and as the prodigal sets forth such souls as the publicans and sinners, so the self-righteous elder son as clearly portrays men like the murmuring Scribes and Pharisees. Not that I would deny also a dispensational bearing of mercy towards the poor Gentiles, in spite of Jewish pride and opposition. But the grand point is, I am persuaded, the joy of God in the salvation of the lost, be they who they may, closing with the relationship into which grace brings, rather than what sin spoils. Is the best robe, is divine righteousness, never the portion, till we have failed as believers? Is Christ not put on, till the saint has dishonored Him and turned to Him once more? Such thoughts are not only unfounded, but in truth, if pressed, they tend to sap the foundations of grace. In a word, whatever applications may be made and more or less allowable, it is clear to me that the Lord is here showing, not how communion, once interrupted, is restored, but the full free grace of God towards the lost.

Luke 16:9

Question: Luke 16:9. What does this mean? E.G.R.
Answer: The Jew was losing his earthly place through rejecting God in Christ. Yet grace wrought not only to save the lost (as shown in chap. 15), but also to set aside wealth and honor in this world, and all is changed as to the use of present possessions, which are turned into a path of heavenly fruit for heaven. The Jew was steward for God but abused his trust. The Gentile was and is nothing. The disciple of Christ may follow the unjust one for present life in his prudence of looking out for the future. But our future is in heaven. The world is really bankrupt. True wealth is in the world to come. These are the real privileges to faith, our own things; whereas present things are Another’s, which we are called to sacrifice freely in view of glory on high, instead of hoarding “the unrighteous mammon” as men like to do. We are entitled to treat money as “the mammon of unrighteousness,” looking to be received, when it fails, “into the everlasting habitations.”
“That they may receive you” is only a mode of speech for “that ye may be received;” as we may infer from similar phraseology in Luke 6:38-44, which really means “shall be given” into your bosom, instead of “shall men give.” For in fact men do not so give. It is an ignorant misuse of the phrase. Compare Luke 12:20; 14:25. We cannot have two masters; and are bound as Christians to imitate the God of grace. If not faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who shall entrust to us the true? and if we have not been faithful in what is Another’s, who shall give us our own—what we are to share with Christ? We are called to follow in His steps, who though rich for our sakes became poor, that we through His poverty might be made rich.

Luke 9:3 Compared With Mark 6:8

Question: Will you kindly answer the following question?—In Luke 9 the Lord told the disciples not to take a staff when sending them out; whereas in Mark 6:8 He says, “Take nothing... save a staff only.” Can you say why the two Evangelists differ?
Answer: If the enquirer has access to vol. 9 (N.S.) of the Bible Treasury (1913) he will find on page 356 what, we think, may be a solution of his difficulty.

Man Child Caught up

Question: Rev. 12. Is the man-child caught up to God and His throne yet future? If so, how do we account for no mention of death and resurrection? — C. R.
Answer: From ch. 11:19 is a fresh start in the book, as the seventh trumpet in a general way brings us down to the end. This closes the first volume of the Revelation. The second, beginning with that verse which should introduce ch. 12, tells us, not of a “door opened in heaven,” but of “the temple of God that is in heaven opened.” God’s ark was seen now, the ark of His covenant, though there followed, not only lightnings and voices and thunders, but an earthquake and great hail also. Then were seen signs in heaven: the mother, not the bride, (with supreme government, reflected authority subordinate, and full power in man) yet in travail; and the dragon, wielding the power of the Roman empire, and seeking to devour her child destined to rule all the nations with a rod of iron. But the vision omits that work which is the basis of redemption and divine right, and at once shows us Him caught up on high, whilst the woman flees into the wilderness for 1,260 days. It is a mystical presentation of Christ with Whom the church is hidden, as in O.T. figures, caught up to heaven, without date, save that the woman’s flight into the wilderness is measured out, during which she is protected but has in no way the glory and power on the earth that is to be her portion. But heaven meanwhile is cleared of the great enemy and his angels; which is plainly future, and cannot be till after the rapture of the saints on high. The accuser of the brethren is not yet expelled. For the N.T. recognizes that our wrestling is against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenlies. But Satan and his emissaries shall surely be cast down, never more to regain access there as now; and the contest for the earth is decided in due time, when He Whose right it is shall unite heaven and earth and all things under His sway. Thus the ascension of Christ is mystically identified with that of the heavenly saints; just as what is said of Messiah in Isa. 1 is applied to Christians in the later verses of Rom. 8 Still more easily is this understood in the symbols of a prophetic book like the Revelation. The signs being seen in heaven does not mean that the object in view is heavenly for the woman any more than for the countless crowd of Gentiles in chap. vii. The mother is as clearly the earthly people, as the heavenly bride is the church.

Man Reduced to the Level of Beasts in the Field?

Question: Gen. 1:29, 30; 2:16; 3:18. By comparing the sustenance of man and beast in Gen. 1:29, 30; 2:16, with 3:18, does it not seem as if man was reduced to level of beasts in the field— “thou shalt eat the herb of the field” —and after that it goes on to say “dust thou art, &c.?”
Answer: There was no “reducing” man to fruit and vegetable as his early food till the deluge, when animal fare was allowed with prohibition of the blood with good and holy reason assigned. Man enjoyed even before far beyond “beasts of the field.” Yet even so through sin his body is as reducible to the dust as any beast’s. But why omit that he only has a soul immortal (for good or for ill) through the inbreathing of Jehovah Elohim He only was, solemnly in divine council, made “in our image, after our likeness”; the most distinct separateness from, and elevation above, every other creature on earth. Why lose sight of this?

Manhood Morally Before Incarnation?

Question: Does 1 Cor. 15:47 imply manhood morally before the Son took human form? B.
Answer: The assertion that the Word was in any real sense man, before He was made flesh, derives no authority from this text or any other. It is a dreamy fable. There was purpose of course, but more seems here meant and without warrant. The divine nature which was His eternally could of course connect itself with human nature, as in fact it did to form the person of Christ, Who could therefore be characterized as of, or out of, heaven. But this sure truth is very different from an unmeaning jargon unless it have a false meaning. Even to babble about the Son’s person is eminently perilous and profane.

The Manner of Our Seeing God

Question: Do the following scriptures teach that we the children of God shall never see God? “No man hath seen God at any time.” “He dwelleth in light, which no man can approach unto.” “Whom no man hath seen, nor can see.”
“He (Christ) is the image of the invisible God.” A.J.R.
Answer: It seems to me that the querist supplies the answer. The pure in heart are to see God, but Christ is the medium, whether in grace or in glory. Scripture cannot be broken; and both John and Paul intimate that it is Christ who reveals Him to us. The manner of our seeing God is made as plain as His inaccessibility whose essence no man ever saw or can see. The more we know His grace the more let us own His proper majesty and our own place in respect of Him. He is the blessed and only Ruler, the King of those that reign, and Lord of those that exercise lordship, Who only hath immortality, to Whom be honor and eternal might, and the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ shall show it.
Jn B,T. for Oct., p. 150, col. 2,1. 25, for “lost” read “lot.”

Many Mansions Mean Equality of Reward?

Question: John 14:2. Does the Lord by the “many mansions” mean equality of reward for His laborers? M. L.
Answer: It is rather His unjealous love in giving all His own the place of intimate nearness to the Father which He alone was entitled to enjoy as the risen Son of God. On the contrary each will receive his own reward according to his own labor (1 Cor. 3:8). In the kingdom, as we are taught in the parable (Luke 19), one is to have authority over ten cities, another over five. But the Father’s house rises wholly above such differences, and His children alike share it with Christ. It is the answer, not to their services, but to His redemption, His infinite love and His glory, Who would have told us if it were not so. There was indeed room for all His own. He was far from holding out too sanguine a hope. He would at His coming have them with Himself where He was going.

Marriage to an Unbeliever

Question: That a Christian is bound to abstain from marriage with an unbeliever is self-evident. But if the evil is done, what does scripture lay down as its remedy, or right dealing with it? F. F.
Answer: The word of the Lord enjoins (Heb. 13:4), “Let marriage be honorable in all things,” a very different thing from the A. V. which makes it a necessarily dignified status for any and everybody. It is a solemn exhortation that nothing should be done in the relationship inconsistent with its holy and intimate character, as well as implying honor due to the relationship in itself and in every way. For Christians 1 Cor. 7:39 guards the limits of “will” with that sole worthy principle, “only in the Lord.” The immediate application is to a widow marrying again; but it would be absurd to restrict it to her, or to doubt that it equally applies to any Christian woman or man.
On the other hand the same chapter shows that a brother might have an unbelieving wife, as a sister an unbelieving husband, as is not infrequently the fact now as of old; and it deals with the case with the grace of the gospel in vers. 12, 13. In contrast with the rigor of the law, wherein separation was imperative if a Jew had taken a Gentile wife, “let him,” or her, “not leave;” as the children too were not “unclean,” but “holy.” Neither laxity nor bondage characterizes the gospel. if the unbeliever left, let him (or her): a brother or sister is not under bondage in such things; but God has called us in peace. What did each believer in the case know whether he or she should save the other? Clearly not a word anywhere sanctions contracting mixed marriage; but neither does the word prescribe putting away an offender. It is too often forgotten that godly discipline as revealed in the scriptures covers a great variety of dealing, and that not a little censure due to the Lord’s honor should be as the general rule before a case ought to be before the assembly. So, even when that last resort here below is reached, rebuke has its just place no less than excision. It is deplorable when one or two rash men, and mistaken followers, see nothing but the assembly for every fault, and nothing but its extreme action. They are evidently far from spiritual, and in spirit rather Jews than Christians, though even that is morally better than laxity and lawlessness.

Marrying Only in the Lord

Question: 1 Cor. 7:39. Does this scripture mean that a sister, or a brother, was allowed to marry, if so led, but “only in the Lord,” that is, a fellow-Christian? YOUNG DISCIPLE.
Answer: In my judgment the apostle meant more than that. A Christian is called to walk by faith in everything, and how much he needs it in a step so important to his future here below! He might be attracted by a sister, who so differed from himself in habits, circumstances, and age as to make it unseemly for others and unhappy for themselves, but by the still sadder fact of such fleshly or worldly mind as to endanger his soul and his testimony, and all the more, if he had been of spiritual mind or sought This scripture therefore seems to cover more than the bare fact of being in Christian fellowship, and teaches that the marrying should be in the Lord, that is, guided for their good to His glory, and so by His direction. This appears to be “only in the Lord.”

Matt. 23 Reconciled with the Absence of the Father's Name in Revelation

Question: Matt. 10:23, &c. The mission of the Twelve to Israel in Matt. 10 is generally inferred, from verse 23, to be now in suspense, and resumed (of course per alios) before the Lord’s appearing. How is this reconcilable with the total absence of the Father’s name in the Revelation? We see the name of the Father plainly revealed in the Lord’s ministry to Israel, and conspicuous in the commission of the Twelve in this chapter. See verses 20, 29.
Answer: It may be observed that from ver. 16 our Lord goes forward from this primary Jewish mission while He was there to the time when the Spirit should be given and their Father consequently known. Then again ver. 23 passes over to the still future days when there will be the resumption of the mission in the land. Hence it seems that there is no sufficient ground to infer that “your Father” as in ver. 29 applies to the future messengers. Nor on the other hand can we speak of His Father’s name being absolutely absent, when we had such words as meet our eyes in Rev. 14:1. But it is nowhere implied that the Apocalyptic saints know the Father for themselves, as even the babes of the family do now.

Matthew 11:12 and Luke 16:16

Question: What is the bearing of Matt. 11:12, and Luke 16:16?
Answer: It is important to pay attention to the place where these passages are found in the gospels. In Matthew, chapter 11 marks the transition from the presentation of Christ to the nation, the Gentiles being excluded. What is found in chapter 10 speaks of this presentation until the return of the Son of man, and the new order of things which took place in consequence of the rejection of Christ. Verses 20-30 of chapter 11 present this change in the most striking manner. The Savior upbraids the cities where He had labored for their deplorable unbelief, and submits to the will of God in this dispensation. This submission opens for His heart the enigma of that grace which appears in all its simplicity, and in all its power.
It is a question of knowing the Father, and the Son alone can reveal Him; but He invites “all that labor and are heavy laden” to come to Him, and He will give them rest. His person, and not Israel, is the center of grace and of the work of grace. He alone reveals the Father. The judgment of Israel is developed in chapter 12, and the mysteries of the kingdom are brought out in chapter 13. On the occasion of this transition we see the testimony of John and that of Christ equally rejected.
This transition is, if possible, still more clearly marked in Luke at the end of chapter 13. The rupture between Jehovah and Jerusalem is complete: the house which belonged to the children of Jerusalem, once the “house of God,” is abandoned, and they will not see the Lord until Psa. 118 is accomplished in their repentance. Then in chapter 14, the change in the ways of God is clearly shown, and the sphere of the activity of His grace is no longer the now-rejected Israel, but the whole world, after having gathered in the poor of the flock of His people. (Ver. 16-24.) Then the ways of God in sovereign grace towards men—towards sinners—are brought out in that treasury of grace and love, which is found in chapter 15.; and in chapter 16., the Lord shows the use that man ought to make of that which he possesses according to nature, being now that which had been particularly proved in Israel—a steward who was dismissed. He should make use of it in grace, in view of the future; instead of enjoying it as a thing possessed in this world. He should think of eternal habitations. It is here that the passage relative to the kingdom and to John the Baptist is found. His mission was the pivot of the change. In this point of view the mission of Christ on the earth—His ministry—was but the complement of that of John the Baptist. Compare Matt. 4:17; 3:2. Only the latter sung the doleful dirge of judgment, and the former the joyful song of hope and of grace, just as our chapter explains it to us.
In the passages which occupy us, Matthew speaks as thinking of Israel; Luke, as thinking of all men.
Two great systems of God with respect to the earth are found included in His counsels, and revealed in the word. One depended on the faithfulness of man to the responsibility which weighed upon him, the other on the active power of God.
These are the dispensations of the law and of the kingdom. But there was a moment of transition, when the kingdom was preached, and preached in the midst of Israel by John the Baptist and by Christ, without its having been established in power. The people were put to a moral test as to their use of the right of entering in. For the rest, the Prophets and the Psalms had indeed announced beforehand the character of those who were to have a part in the blessings of the kingdom. See Psa. 15; 24; 37, and many others; Isa. 48:22; 51; 57:21; 66:2, and a multitude of other passages. The sermon on the mount has put a seal to this testimony by giving it actuality. Now the preaching of the kingdom had for its effect to separate the remnant (namely, those who had ears to hear) from the evil and hypocrisy which reigned in the midst of the people, to prepare them for the entrance of the kingdom, if it had been established in power; and in fact, Christ being rejected, that they might become the nucleus of the assembly which, according to the counsels of God, was about to be revealed. Then the kingdom took the character of sowing and other similar forms, and not that of the kingdom of a king in power, and it continued to be preached as about to come, although the salvation and the glory of the Church were to occupy, from the coming down of the Holy Spirit, the principal place in the doctrine of which the Spirit is the source.
It was therefore at the moment when the relationships of Israel with God by means of the Messiah had become impossible, and when the relationships founded on the law, and maintained by the testimony of the prophets, were drawing to an end, through the publication of the kingdom ready to be established and in a certain sense, present in the person of the King—it was at that moment that the Lord pronounced these words, which we are seeking to render clear to our readers by answering the question which has been here put.
Now, the first thing that these words state is, that “the law and the prophets were until John.” Israel was placed by God on that footing until John’s ministry. They had but to observe the law, and to rejoice in the hope given by the prophets, and all was well. This was no longer the case after John. The kingdom was not established; if it had been, the power of God would have settled everything. Order and peace would have reigned; the remnant would have been blessed in the kingdom where the King would have reigned in righteousness. But it was not so; it was preached, and preached by prophets—and by those who were more than prophets—but by prophets who were reviled and rejected, and for whom the wilderness and death were an abode or a reward. The hypocritical nation, a generation of vipers, would have nothing of it. It was only the energy of faith, going through sufferings, which could seize on it. Satan and the heads of the nation would do all they could to prevent people from entering, and even soil their hands with the blood of the righteous. Those who preached the kingdom suffered, and those who entered it were to have their portion with them. The kingdom was not being established in power; the King did not reign; He was preached. It was only by violence that one forced one’s way into it. It was the violent ones, those who were not stopped by obstacles and opposition, but who opened to themselves a way through all, these alone it was who were securing a place for themselves. There is only this difference between Matthew and Luke, that Matthew speaks exclusively of the character of those who seize on the kingdom, and the position of the latter, and does not therefore go beyond the application of these thoughts to the Jewish people. Luke had formally spoken of the highways and hedges, and had by his expressions opened the door to the Gentiles without formally pointing to them as the “whomsoever,” so often quoted by Paul. “Every one,” he says, “forces his way into it.” Since it was a matter of preaching and of faith, the Gentile who would listen to the preaching and have that faith would enter in, like any other.
Nevertheless, He only opens the door by a principle, according to the doctrine of that gospel from chapter 4. The parable which follows these verses in Luke goes farther. It decidedly opens heaven, and completely overturns the Jewish system, which made earthly blessings to be a proof of God’s favor.

Matthew 12:31-32

Question: Matt. 12:31, 32. Is there any difference between blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, and speaking against Him? ONE.
Answer: The same thing in substance is meant, the first stating its evil character with energy, the second widening its extent. It signifies imputing to Satan that power of God which the Holy Ghost exercised then and afterward; and it bespeaks deep and settled hatred of God. Souls that give themselves up to such malice against the worker of all good are beyond pardon. Forgiveness is for those who repent and believe the gospel.

Matthew 18:20 Translation of Greek

Question: Matt. 18:20. It has been recently stated that men like Mr. J. N. Darby sought to help out their interpretation [of this scripture] “by a quite unwarrantable change in the translation of the words εἰς τὸ ἐμὸν ὄνομα, which they rendered unto my name, and took to import a gathering to Christ’s Name as a rallying point.” Is there any doubt of the right version? or any warrant for so evil an imputation? Μαθητής.
Answer: None whatever for either: no true scholar could have weighed the usage and given such an opinion. The evidence is decisively for the change. The aim for opposing it is to set aside the ecclesiastical character of the context, on which the Lord has impressed it so indelibly, that almost all the jarring parties of Christendom recognize that character, though they naturally overlook a word which none of them heeds, and which does mean a living and exclusive center. Its denial is a very bold exegetical error; for any serious inspection of the Lord’s words suffices to prove that the ease adduced had passed out of individual dealing to “the church” or assembly (not the synagogue). Then the Lord (18) strengthens this with His solemn averment of heaven’s sanction of their binding and loosing (not the keys), and His gracious assurance of His Father’s answer to the united petition of even two, Then He closes with the general principle for the worst of times (20) that He is in the midst, where two or three are gathered unto His name. The last promise is an invaluable guard against party work, as well as unbelief and the world. It speaks little to hearts which never had, or have lost, faith in His word or presence.
As to usage, the case in question quite differs from ἐπὶ τῷ ὀν. in ver. 5, where His name is made the motive, condition, or ground for receiving a little child, and εἰς would have been out of place. It is therefore strictly “on”, not “in”; and so in Acts 2:38 Peter bade repentant Jews be baptized, each of them on (ἐπὶ) the name of Jesus Christ for remission of sins; and they should receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. If they had repented, they were already born of the Spirit, as where real is invariably the case. Compare Matt. 24:5, Mark 9:37, 39; 12:6, 9. In Luke 1:5, 9 it shades into “after.” In Acts 10:48 the same Peter commanded the Gentile believers to be baptized in (ἐν) the Lord’s name. See Mark 16:17; Luke 10:17; John 5:43 &c. It would have been just as possible and true to have said “on” ; but it is not the same thought or expression as in virtue (or, in the power) of His name. In Acts 11:16 Peter speaks of the Holy Spirit’s baptism, contrasted with John’s, as ἐν Πν. ἁγ in the Holy Spirit, where ἐπὶ, on, would have failed, for ἐν means in the power of the Spirit Himself. In Acts 19:5 as in 8:16 the object proposed in baptism occurs, and here it is neither “in” nor “on,” but “unto,” Eig. The Revisers correct the faulty “in” of the A. V. but say “into” which is refuted by their own rendering of 1 Cor. 10:2 (where “into” would be improper), and by the A. V. of Acts 19:3. The Greek admits of either “unto,” or “into” according to context, which here requires the former. Water baptism does not imply more than “to” or “unto.” It is profession only; and the very aim of the apostle in 1 Cor. 10 is to insist that it might be without life. So in our Lord’s commission in Matt. 28:19 it is baptizing “to” or “unto” the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. It was baptism with water, and could not itself carry deeper. But the baptism of the Spirit has quite a different power, and effects incorporation, not “unto” merely as profession, but “into” one body, Christ’s body. Dean Alford gave up “in” but argued for “into” invalidly, his views being uncertain here as too often.
In Matt. 10:41, 42 we have indeed the peculiar phrase of receiving a prophet, a righteous man, and a disciple, “unto” (εἰς) each’s respective name, or as such. Here it is perhaps hard to avoid in English saying “in the prophet’s name”; but it really means as aforesaid, and not what would have been imported by iv, in the power or authority of each, as in Christ’s name or even without any preposition as in Matt. 7:22. But Meyer thinks that here “by” Thy name is preferable; and this may well be the just sense of a Greek phrase which differs from the rest, the instrumental dative.
Again, such forms as,ἕνεκν τοῦ or διὰ τὸ (or, ὑπὲρ τοῦ) ὀν. are indisputably “for thy Name’s sake,” so that we need not say more.
In the A. V., &o. Phil. 2:10 is, we all know, rendered “at” the name of Jesus, a rendering on which a well known and pervading practice of superstition was founded. The Revisers here say “in” (ἐν). If right, it means as usual in virtue of His name all creatures shall bow.
In 1 Cor. 5:4-13 where putting out for wickedness is laid down peremptorily and perspicuously, it is in (ἐν) the Lord’s name that the assembled saints were charged to act. It was ordered of God that the written word should enjoin excommunication, when no apostle was actually there, nor apostolic delegate like Titus, and no elders had yet been appointed. This abides as the inalienable duty, as does the divine warrant for the assembly’s act, whenever the sorrowful need calls for this last resort. The Corinthian saints were light in various ways and had shirked or ignored what was due to the Lord, not even mourning that one so guilty should be taken away from them. The apostle insisted on purging the leaven out, in accordance with the sacrifice of Christ our passover; and the Spirit took care that as Christendom would show special disregard of this Epistle, it should be more impressively addressed than in any other, not to that assembly only, but coupling with it “all that call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in every place, both theirs and ours.” Slight is therefore verily inexcusable.
As a matter of fact too, it was not till long after the Christians referred to had gathered, not as belonging to denominations, but simply as members of Christ, recognizing the one body and one Spirit according to the word, that the precise force of the Lord’s word in Matt. 18:20 struck any. Believing in the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit since Pentecost, they had learned the immense value of every inspired word. Tradition had no place in their eyes. Since they accepted every scripture as God-breathed and profitable, they sought entire subjection to it as a living word, while declining either to claim more than they had or to substitute human devices in lieu of what they had not. Any scholar who looks into the text in question must allow that, unless there were an obstacle from our idiom in this particular case, “unto” must be the exact force; for “into” would be absurd, and 4 properly, not εἰς, means “in.” But, far from a difficulty, the context here favors nothing so much as the proper import of εἰς, gathered “unto” My Name as the central presence on which they all depend and confide.
It was thus and only then perceived to be a confirmation of their position, already founded on the revealed principles of God’s assembly, modified as this must be by the ruin not less carefully fore-shown in the later Epistles and the Revelation, of which we are bound to take account, if we avoid that assumption which is so unworthy of Christ and so unbecoming in all that are His. How blessed to know that Christ remains as ever the center for even two or three gathered to His Name!
But it was received as certain truth, on the evidence of scripture better understood and independently of any ground other than the precise and full meaning of our Savior’s words. Just so for many other truths of moment we have learned since: we acted on the little that we first knew to be from God and of God; for we need the Spirit as well as the word. “To him that hath shall be given; but from him that hath not, even that which he hath shall be taken from him.” Nothing more perilous to man, nothing more dishonoring to God, than to give up what we once confessed and enjoyed as divine. Who can tell where departure once begun may end?

May Bread and Wine Be Called Emblems?

Question: 1 Cor. 11:23-28.—Is it justifiable to use the word “emblems” of the bread and wine, or to withdraw from fellowship because it is so used? J. M.
Answer: I see nothing in the expression to stumble a soul. No more, probably, was meant than the symbolic character of these material elements, which the Lord was pleased to constitute the representatives of His body broken and His blood shed for us. On the other hand, it appears to me weakness, not to say self-will, to make the use of such a word by another in the assembly a motive for abstaining from the Lord’s supper. The intention may have been upright; but the act of retiring on such a ground as this reveals a morbid spirit of criticism and a decided preference of one’s own thoughts and feelings to the precious words of Christ, “Do this in remembrance of me.” Whoever has yielded to it, ought to judge himself, with humiliation before the Lord and his brethren, “and so let him eat.”

Meaning of 2 Corinthians 5:3?

Question: What means 2 Cor. 5:3?
Answer: A solemn warning that, though the deniers of the resurrection were all wrong, one may have a risen body, but he destitute of Christ, as all in fact will be who are not born of God. All must be clothed, all must rise; but then will be manifest that not to have Christ is to be found naked. The risen body of the wicked will not cover but reveal that unspeakable loss.

Meaning of "Being Crafty I Caught You With Guile"?

Question: 2 Cor. 12:16. What means, “Being crafty I caught you with guile”? R. M.
Answer: It is the low insult which “deceitful workers” insinuated among the Corinthian saints, to defame the apostle and exalt themselves. They dared to say that, if he did not burden them directly, he all the more craftily reaped what he could through Titus and others. None fall into such depths of baseness as Christian professors alienated and self-seeking. In short then, it is the language, not of the apostle, but of his adversaries, whom he exposes for our admonition; and he calls such words of his speaking “folly,” because it was not about Christ but himself, to which their iniquity compelled him,

Meaning of "Heretic" and "Reject" in Titus 3:10-11?

Question: Titus 3:10, 11, kindly explain, giving the significance of “heretic” and “reject.” Is there any reference to reception or to excommunication? W. D.
Answer: “Heresy” is used by the apostle for a party of self-will, a faction which severs itself from the assembly. Such is the usage in 1 Cor. 11:18, 19: “I hear that there are schisms among you (i.e., divisions within), and I partly believe it. For there must also be heresies (i.e. external division or sects), that the approved may become manifest among you.” (See also Gal. 5:20 and 2 Peter 2:1). The precise meaning here comes out incontestably. Bad doctrine (the later ecclesiastical sense of “heresy”) does not of necessity lead its advocate to form a party without; but schismatic feeling directly tends to this. A split within ere long issues in a split without; whereas heterodoxy seeks shelter within in order to leaven the lump if possible. So in Titus 3 the apostle directs Titus to have done with a man stamped as heretical after a first and second admonition. He had gone outside and was forming a sect. It was no question therefore of putting him without; for he had gone out himself, and refused admonition, perhaps repeatedly. He condemned himself in despising and abandoning God’s assembly. You cannot put away one who has already gone away, though it may be announced for the profit of all. The word translated “reject” is not to excommunicate, but altogether general, and capable of application to persons inside (as in 1 Tim. 5:11) no less than to the outside maker of a school or sect; also to fables and foolish questions wherever they might be (1 Tim. 4:7; 2 Tim. 2:23). From its primitive meaning of deprecating and making excuse, the word acquires the force of refusing, rejecting, or avoiding. In no case is it applied to putting out, which is the function of the assembly and expressed by a totally different word. Among the Jews “heresy” was used indifferently for the parties of Sadducees, Pharisees, and Nazarenes.

Meaning of Isa. 8, Rom. 7:24; 7:25; 8:2, and 2 Tim. 4:8

Question: Would you kindly explain through the Bible Treasury the meaning of
“Who shall declare his generation” (Isa. 8)?
“Who shall deliver me out of this body of death” (Rom. 7:24)?
“So then I myself with the mind serve God’s law” (Rom. 7:25).
“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death” (Rom. 8:2).
“All them also that love his appearing” (2 Tim. 4:8). Do not all Christians love His appearing?
R. M.
Answer: (1) Isa. 53:8. Differing interpretations of this clause are by no means wanting. But if the words preceding indicate the wicked travesty of our Lord’s trial before the Roman governor “his judgment was taken away” —so it would appear that the prophet, under the sense of the nation’s overwhelming wickedness in compassing the rejection and death of Jehovah’s Righteous Servant, is led to cry out, “Who shall declare” such a generation as could be so guilty— “for he was cut off out of the land of the living”! (2, 3 and 4). Rom. 7:24, 25; 8:2. The converted or renewed soul—not yet brought into the Christian state of liberty and peace, but nevertheless truly born of God, as were also the Old Testament saints—has a new and holy nature not previously possessed (i.e. when unconverted), and delights in the law of God, yet finding itself powerless for good, because of indwelling sin (ver. 20). To will is present, but to work out the good is not. The body being thus under the power of, and enslaved by this fatal “law of sin and death,” is here called “this body of death,” dead because of sin. Hence the cry, when the soul’s powerlessness is felt and acknowledged, for a deliverer—found in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Looking to self for power has ceased; another is the Object before the soul, and so deliverance is found, and strength. “So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God,” whereas before, as sold under sin, it was no longer “I” but “sin” that dwelleth in me!

Meaning of Isaiah 53:11, Especially By His Knowledge

Question: Isa. 53:11. What does this mean? Especially by His knowledge? C. P.
Answer: One important question arises, when it is known that the object of the verb is not “many” as in all known versions but “the many.” If to “the many” belongs the technical sense in which Daniel employs it, the meaning would be the mass of Jews that believe not, contrasted with the remnant (chap. 9: 27, 11: 33, 39, 12:3). The article is not affixed in chap. 11:34, 44, 12:4, 10, where it has no such application. So Isa. 52:14, 15, and the latter clause of 53:12, while its first clause has the article. Without doubt this makes the interpretation difficult; which some have tried to meet by comparing the Pauline of οἱ πολλοὶ of Rom. 5:19. But as this is due to τοῦ ἑνὸς in the same clause, how can it be imported with any certainty into Isaiah where there is no such contrast? If then we attach a force in Isaiah similar to the phrase in Daniel, the meaning of the verb would seem necessarily modified. For the unbelieving mass could not really be justified, but “instructed in righteousness” they might be by the Righteous Servant. In this case also “by His knowledge” would have the unforced sense of what He made known by His teaching. And Dan. 12:3 confirms this sense; for teachers can only instruct “the many” or indeed any in righteousness. They surely can justify none. It is certain that God alone justifies. Confessedly, however, the passage in Isaiah calls for fuller investigation; as there seems to be a grave difficulty not here raised. Any real help would be welcome.

Meaning of Luke 16:9

Question: Luke 16:9. What does it mean?
G. de M.
Answer: The sacrifice of the present in view of the heavenly future; which those make who believe. It is their character and conduct, not of course the hidden spring of faith which leads to such ways and sustains in them. The unjust steward freely gave away his master’s goods to gain friends for another day. The Lord praises his wisdom (not of course his dishonesty), as an example to us, who are called by faith to regard the money, &c., men call ours as our Master’s, and act as freely as people do with the goods of others, being their stewards now. When the Lord comes, we shall have our due, the glorious inheritance, and be received into everlasting habitations.

Meaning of Recovering of Sight to the Blind Inserted in Luke 4:18, but Not in Isaiah 61:1?

Question: Luke 4:18. What lesson is to be learned from the insertion of “recovering of sight to the blind” in Luke 4:18 though absent from Isa. 61:1? E.N.
Answer: It would seem that the Seventy, who translated the O. T. into Greek, added here from elsewhere in the prophet Isaiah, another beneficent fruit of Messiah’s presence and power, the bestowal of sight on the blind. Dean Alford in his note to this text refers to Isa. 58:6. If this be correctly represented, it is hard to discover the link literally or spiritually. It may be more simply and fairly referred to Isa. 35:5, where the sense is the same, though the words differ. Luke cites here and elsewhere from the Septuagint. No other lesson seems intended.

Meaning of the First Clause of Job 22:30

Question: Job 22:30. What is the meaning of the first clause?
Answer: There is no “island” expressed in either the Sept. or Vulgate, which removes one difficulty. But Schultens seems to have perceived first that the word so translated is a negative, as we see in Ichabod. That sense therefore is quite opposed by those two ancient versions, and it should run thus: “Him that is not guiltless shall He deliver: yea, he shall be delivered by the pureness of thy hands.”

Meaning of the Word Deuteronomy?

Question: Deuteronomy, or Deuteronomy, which is correct? and what is the meaning of the word?
J. S. (Mount Auburn, Mass., U.S.A.)
Answer: If intelligent usage be allowed to decide, the former is correct; and etymology also favors the word so formed from the Greek. It means a second edition or repetition of the law, being the title of the fifth book of Moses given by the Septuagint translators. The Jews as usual designate each book by the opening Hebrew words. It may be added that there is no real ground to doubt, save in the unbridled fancy of rationalists, that it was (save the last chapter or at least its last part) written, as it professes to be, by Moses. As to its scope and contents, Deuteronomy presents a practical direction in the spirit of prophecy for life in the land, given from the east of Jordan, and looking onward to the final restoration of Israel after captivity, “the secret things” of grace after total failure under law. The books of the law, as in Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers were rather an abstract system of types, only in part reduced to practice, with the facts even selected as types also. Hence in Deuteronomy the typical institution has no practical character as compared with those elsewhere. And, as has been remarked, it, is the book, and the only one, which our Lord quoted in reply to Satan’s temptation. So also it is the book which the apostle applied. to the righteousness of faith in the gospel as contrasted with that of the law. All this, and a great deal more of spiritual interest, contribute to pour scorn on the scorners who vie with one another in striving to make it out a forgery or religious romance composed not earlier than in the days of Josiah. Inspiration accounts for its salient properties, as it does for each of the books that preceded, all written by Moses, but in a wisdom of the Spirit beyond his who was the instrument of the Holy Spirit.

Meaning of the Word, "Tares"?

Question: Matt. 13:25. What is the true force of the word (ζιζάνια) translated “tares” in the A. & R. Versions? Is there any ground for the strange notion, among many of old to our day, that the noxious weed intended is degenerate wheat? QUERIST.
Answer: The word beyond doubt means “darnel,” which is in Latin “lolium,” or “l. temulentum” because of its deleterious properties. The “tare” or vetch is in Latin “vicia,” and, far from being a noxious weed, a leguminous grain wholesome in itself and useful to the agriculturist in spring and winter for feeding his cattle. There is no more ground in natural science to confound tares with darnel than there is in philology. The things are as distinct as the terms. Nor is there the smallest evidence, since man began to observe, that wheat ever degenerated into either. It is a mere and baseless fancy. Yet so farmers talked and fathers wrote, to say nothing of natural philosophers like Pliny of old, and grave divines, as Dr. J. Lightfoot down to Abp. Trench, who goes so far as to treat as a Manichean error that wheat and tares (or rather darnel) are different in kind, and their spiritual counterparts incapable of passing from the one into the other I As his assumption is not the fact in natural history, so it is a mistake doctrinally to deduce from our Lord’s words that the sons of the kingdom and those of the evil one are interchangeable. They are viewed as the results of the respective sowings. It is still more palpably the error of ancients and moderns to overlook our Lord’s interpretation of “the field” as “the world.” To regard it as “the church” opens the door to confusion and evil without end, as every Christian ought to see.

Meaning of "Their Angels"?

Question: Matt. 17:10. What mean “their angels?” R. M.
Answer: Not the spirits, but the angelic representatives, of the little ones. Compare what is said of Peter in Acts 12:15. It is well however to abide within the limits of what is revealed without prying beyond. See Col. 2.

Meaning of "Thy Seed" and "Thy Seed and Her Seed"?

Question: Gen. 3:15. What is the meaning of “thy seed” (the devil’s seed), and of “thy seed and her seed?”
Answer: Can there be conceived a weightier announcement, after sin had entered with death ensuing, than Jehovah Elohim made in pronouncing the curse on the Serpent? “I will put enmity between thy seed and her seed: it shall bruise thy head, and thou shall bruise his heel.” While countless souls are by grace associated for all blessing and triumph with the woman’s seed, One is marked out, on Whom all the blessed of similar seed depend, Who should suffer the deepest anguish, yet live (again, as we can add) to crush him who was the liar and the murderer from the beginning, and all who, refusing grace, perpetuate the enmity of Satan.

Meaning of "Ye Are Fallen From Grace"?

Question: What is meant by “Ye are fallen from grace” in Gal. 5:4? Does it mean gone into sin or become infidel? X.
Answer: If the context were duly read, the answer would be apparent. The apostle is proving to the Galatian confessors their exceeding danger in mixing the law with the gospel: ceremonial or moral makes no real difference. We as Christians are under grace, not law. We are saved by the faith of Christ, not by deeds of law moral or ceremonial. Indeed the moral law must condemn the sinner, more than the ceremonial. For a Gentile to be circumcised is to abandon grace, to lose Christ, and to become debtor to do the whole law. Such “are fallen from grace.” It is to give up God’s grace in Christ, now published in the gospel and for every Christian to enjoy.

The Mediator Is Not of One, but God Is One?

Question: Gal. 3:20: what is meant by “the mediator is not of one, but God is one”? D.
Answer: It is the principle of the law on the one hand, and of promise on the other; which the apostle contrasts, in order to deliver the Galatians or any other souls from the dangerous error of mingling them together, as unbelief is prone to do. The legal mediator is intended, Moses, not Christ; and that office implies two parties: God demanding right, and sinful man wholly unable to render it. The law therefore cannot but be for sinners a ministry of death and condemnation, as we are told in 2 Cor. 3. It is wholly different with promise; for this rests on the sole and unfailing fidelity of God Who cannot lie. As God is the only party to promise in His sovereign and unconditional grace, all He promises comes to fruition. “God is one”; whereas under law man, being under obligation to perform and failing through sin, all his hopes thus come to nothing. God on the contrary accomplishes all in and by Christ, and hence to faith. And as in Him is the Yea, so through Him also is the Amen (2 Cor. 1).

Meetings in Hebrews 10:25; Early Meetings of the Saints

Question: Heb. 10:25. 1. Is it correct that this verse refers to other than the Lord’s Supper and prayer meeting for exhortation?
2. Does not Pliny’s well-known letter give the idea that in early days, believers met together daily, and that at the commencement of the day, to commend themselves to the care of Christ? The practice now seems to be to meet at the close of the long day’s work, when all freshness is gone. The reason adduced seems to be “convenience,” but should this reason be admitted?
3. In apostolic times were there set meetings for prayer, for scripture study, etc., when it was considered wrong to deviate from a fixed motive? or is it that whenever the saints were assembled together there was absolute liberty either to praise, pray or exhort? X.
Answer: 1. It is true that the passage in Heb. 10 does not specify the gathering together for the Lord’s Supper; but it in no way excludes exhortation from that great occasion. This is manifest from Acts 20:7. The prime call was to remember the Lord in the breaking of bread. Yet the apostle was not the one to violate divine order when he not only “discoursed” (not “preached”), but in view of his departure on the morrow prolonged the discourse till midnight. No doubt in 1 Corinthians the Lord’s Supper is treated in chap. 11 before and independently of the interior working of the assembly in chap. 14, or even of its animating power in the presence and operation of the Holy Spirit in chap. 12. There might be but “two or three”; and the grace of the Lord provides for even so few who might not be endowed with any marked charisma for public activity. If man would have overlooked such little ones, God did not; and hence, gift or no gift, we have the Lord’s Supper a section complete before the Holy Spirit’s presence and action begins. But this was in no way to exclude His working there and then both ordinarily and extraordinarily as in the case of the apostle just named, and recorded for our profit to guard us from all narrowness, where it might be called for as at Troas. The principle is, “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17). Not even the deep solemnity with thanksgiving proper to the Lord’s Supper excludes prolonged discourse in especial circumstances, as scripture proves. Again, the highest form of gift in the assembly does not only speak to God in prayer and praise and blessing, but to men in edification and encouragement and consolation as the Holy Spirit might guide in His perfect knowledge of present need to God’s glory. Thus should all things be done to edification, but comelily and with order, of which scripture is careful.
2. Pliny in writing to Trajan does not speak, of a daily meeting but of one before dawn “on a stated day,” no doubt “the Lord’s day,” though Justin Martyr may be the first outside scripture to describe it more fully still. It is as clear that at Troas the meeting was late in the day or in the evening, and on this occasion prolonged till midnight. This is mere detail and left for observance according to a gracious arrangement for the best according to circumstances; just as no stress was laid on the kind of bread, whatever was the fact on the original institution of the Lord’s Supper. Certain minds always tend to formalism—the reverse of Christianity.
3. Besides the gathering of the assembly to remember the Lord and to edify one another in the Spirit, there were set occasions for “the prayers” from the first, as we read in Acts 2:42 generally, and in Acts 12:12 particularly. There is thus room for all that is edifying; whilst the fact of the special object “to break bread” or “to pray” indicates the wisdom of adhering as the rule in each to its own character prominently. Why should anyone seek to break this down by narrowing, or to broaden what scripture lays down?

The Morning Star

Question: Rev. 22:16. Is it to the Church the Lord presents Himself as the morning star? If so, when? Is it on earth, after all the judgments? F. C.
Answer: The difficulty of F. C. will be entirely removed, I think, by the consideration, that Rev. 22:6-21 forms no part of the prophetic visions, but simply the concluding remarks of the book. The argument, that because it is after all the judgments, would prove too much, because it is after the account of the millennium and even of the new heavens and earth. Nobody would contend, I suppose, that the Church must remain on till then. To me it rather shows how independent the Church’s hope is of the predicted judgments; for after these have been all stated, the Spirit recalls the saints to the coming of Christ as the joy of our hearts. That is, He thereby guards us, it seems to me, against the inference that the Lord cannot come before the events of prophecy happen.

Moses' Faith and the Passover

Question: Heb. 11:28, 29. Why is it said that Moses kept the passover through faith, and that the Israelites passed through the Red Sea by faith? Was Moses the only one who had faith as to the passover? and had all the people faith who crossed the Red Sea? Compare for them Heb. 3:16-19. H.
Answer: Moses not only kept but instituted the passover according to Jehovah’s word: it was the sole occasion when the sprinkling of the blood took place. And this was really if secretly the basis of Israel’s deliverance that followed through the Red Sea as by dry land. But it would be too much to assume that any as yet understood the antitype in Christ’s blood, death, and resurrection for those that believe. Yet the people as well as Moses did believe that God would according to His word screen and deliver, however sadly the mass fell in the wilderness by unbelief. It may be noticed that the last word of ver. 28 prepares the way for the general form of ver. 29. The experiment made by the Egyptians was wholly their own doing without reference to God’s word, and so without faith; just as men perish now, even in Christendom.

The Mount of Transfiguration a Vision?

Question: What answer would you give to those who dismiss the reality of the mount of transfiguration scene, and its proof in favor of the present conscious existence of Moses and Elias, by stating it is only a “vision”? What about “the heavenly vision”?
Answer: The Transfiguration scene had for its object to give a living sample of the Son of man’s future kingdom to the three chosen witnesses; and, as its still more important effect, to make known the glory of Jesus as the Son of the Father, before whom the great representatives of the Law and the Prophets vanish; “hear ye Him.” That Moses and Elijah have “present conscious existence” required no such a display; they were like the fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and indeed not only all saints, but all souls of men. God is not God of dead but of living; for all live unto Him. “But I say to you, my friends, Fear not those that kill the body, and after this have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom ye shall fear: Fear him who after he hath killed hath authority to cast into hell; yea, I say to you, Fear him.” It is to trifle with Him, when any essay to treat the Transfiguration, or the apostle’s “heavenly vision,” as unreal. God is not mocked.

My Servant

Question: Isa. 42:19. Who is meant by “my servant” here? E.
Answer: Israel, I believe. The beginning of the chapter refers beyond a doubt, to our Lord—the latter part to the people. The misapplication of verse 19 to Christ arose out of two things—the assumption that “my servant” must have referred to the same in both passages, and the notion that [Greek word] means one who is morally perfect. As to the first, the context need leave no doubt that Israel are referred to, in contrast with the heathen idolaters, Israel called out to be the witness of the true God. To this position of favor and responsibility, as God’s friend in the world, (though, alas! unfaithful in it, “deaf” and “blind,”) the word meshullam applies, not to the absence of sin. The change from Messiah to Israel in chap. 42 is not nearly so abrupt as the substitution of Messiah for Israel is in chap. 49:3, 4.


Question: Rom. 16:25-27. Does this mean that the “mystery” in question had been already revealed in the prophets of the O. T., though only now understood? or that it was absolutely “hid in God” (Eph. 3:9), not in the scriptures? It is all-important to have the truth clear.—INQUIRER.
Answer: There is no question of various readings for the critic, or of disputed grammar for the scholar. All are agreed on the text and the construction. Faith, with an eye single to Christ, and self-will judged before God, alone can decide what the apostle intended. It is clear that the apostle does not mean to unfold the “mystery” here, but looks to an only wise God to establish the saints according to his gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ according to revelation of a mystery, as to which silence had been kept in everlasting times. But now it was manifested, and by prophetic scriptures made known according, to the eternal God’s command, for obedience of faith unto all the Gentiles. It was written in due time by the apostle.
To gather the true sense, we have to take heed to a quite new phrase, never employed when “the prophets” are certainly referred to Next, he declares that “a mystery had been kept in silence,” σεσιγημένου. How can this last term bear the interpretation that it had been of old expressed in what God wrote through the prophets? If it had been then revealed in the scriptures, silence had not been kept about it, or as the A.V. has it “kept secret,” which is substantially right. God had never as yet spoken or written of it to man. So, as the query points out, the apostle affirms in Eph. 3 that it had been hidden in God, in evident contrast with being of old revealed in His word. Hence the stress laid, both to the Romans, to the Ephesians, and to the Colossians, that it was Now made manifest to His saints. Indeed Eph. 3 adds that through the church (which was part of it) was now made known to the principalities, &c. in the heavenlies the manifold wisdom of God.
There is therefore an insuperable contradiction in applying “prophetic scriptures” to the O.T. prophets; none at all in understanding it of such scriptures as the apostles and prophets were now to write. For they are the joint foundation; not prophets of the O. T. and apostles of the N. T., but “the apostles and prophets” of the N. T. On these are built those Jewish and Gentile saints who are brought into a union where their differences were abolished, as they were both reconciled to God in one body through the cross. This was a new thing counseled by God before the world’s foundation; wrought by Christ, Who died, rose, and ascended; and brought home by the Holy Spirit sent down from heaven, quite incompatible with all known relations in the O.T. times.
Accordingly there is no article with “prophetic scriptures,” as would be correct if “the prophets” had been meant; whereas the anarthrous form was requisite, if new scriptures were intended, written by those who had prophetic gift, whether by apostles who had that gift also or by such as Mark and Luke, who were prophets inspired to write though not apostles.
Deut. 29:29 is an interesting oracle and may help: “The secret things belong to Jehovah our God; but the things that are revealed belong to us and our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” This was a great privilege and duty for the sons of Israel. The downfall of the favored Jews that returned from Babylon when they rejected their own Messiah gave occasion, in the interval before their restoration, for God to exalt the Lord Jesus in glory on high as Head over all things heavenly and earthly to the church, which is His body. It is a “secret” or “mystery,” and a great one, only now possible, and a fact divulged through “prophetic writings” to the divine glory for the edifying of the church as we find elsewhere; only now made known in accord with the eternal God’s command for faith-obedience unto all the nations.
What can be more according to Paul’s gospel, which treats alike the Jews and the Gentiles in sin and in salvation, than that fullness of grace which now unites the believers from both in the same known nearness to the God and Father of our Lord Who made both one? It is a unity which will not be in the millennial earth, any more than revealed by the O. T. prophets, blessedly associated as the nations will be with the then un-jealous Israel, in marked contrast with the ages and generations which preceded the cross. Hence the apostle speaks of himself emphatically (Col. 1:26), as minister according to the stewardship given to him for such Gentiles, “to fill up the word of God.” This hidden mystery fills the blank left for it in God’s wisdom unto the display (not of law but) of sovereign grace on earth, and for heavenly glory forever. A new revelation was hence necessary; yet it only enhances the Christian’s value for the Ο.T., whilst itself has its own distinctive character of the profoundest worth and interest. And great is the loss of all who fail to learn of God a truth most sanctifying. The unbelief that refuses the evidence which the word affords tends ever to earthly-mindedness and judaizing, as we see not only in Christendom generally but in many dear Christians, who least suspect it of themselves.
In 2 Peter 1 we read of τὸν προφητικὸν λόγον, the prophetic word, the known body of predictive truth, confirmed by the vision of God’s kingdom beheld on the holy mount of transfiguration. And the fact that both προφητεία and γραφῆς are anarthrous is strictly necessary in order to exclude every part of prophecy in God’s word from being its own solution. The article with either would have been anomalous. Peter was guided perfectly, even in this, by the Holy Spirit. Every part of that word forms part of the great scheme for revealing Christ’s future glory, which the Holy Spirit carries out in men speaking from God as He alone was able to make good.

Naaman's Cleansing: Not Faith, But Obedience

Question: 2 Kings 5. Would you kindly give me a reply in the Bible Treasury to the following: Am I right in saying that, in the matter of Naaman’s cleansing, it was not a question of faith, but of practical obedience to the word of the prophet who told him to go and wash seven times in Jordan. Faith was not required at first, only obedience, and it was this—his obedience—on which his healing was made dependent. He had no idea that his soul was to be saved, what he found as a free gift of grace too.
F. W. G.
Answer: The healing of Naaman’s leprosy—his bodily disease—was contingent upon his acting on the declared word of Jehovah through Elisha. Thus would he know that there was a prophet in Israel. Unbelieving at first, “he went down and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God; and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.” Now he could say, “I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel.” Divine life is not in question. Compare also 1 Kings 18:39.
Life and incorruptibility have been brought to light through the gospel. It is soul-salvation that we receive through faith of the gospel, in contrast with the bodily, or circumstantial, deliverances of the Old Testament. The day is coming when the forgiveness of iniquities will go along with the healing of diseases, and the executing of righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed (Psa. 103). It is not so now. We are called to suffering here, to glory hereafter. We may be in heaviness through manifold trials, but should be always rejoicing; and as our affliction is only here, so is it but momentary, whereas glory is eternal. How great the gain!

The Name Used in Baptism

Question: Matt. 28. What is the name that should be used in baptizing? I believe in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit according to last chapter of Matthew. But in America the majority among so-called O. B. use the name of the Lord Jesus according to the examples in the Acts of the Apostles.
Answer: Matthew’s Gospel is the one which shows and provides for the then approaching transition from Judaism to the kingdom of the heavens, in mystery as it now is, and to the church. Besides, what can be more characteristically Christian than baptizing unto the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit? This could hardly be even intelligible to the future though godly Jewish remnant, whose faith will be in Jehovah, and His Anointed, Jesus the Lord. Not a few in Gt. Britain similarly misuse the Acts to depart from the true form. In the Acts only the general historical mention is made, and in keeping with its design of the book in asserting the Lordship of Christ, not once in giving the precise formula, save in the spurious verse, Acts 8:37. It is easy to bring in His Lordship also in baptizing; but unless to the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, it scarcely deserves to be accounted proper Christian baptism, as it is an unintelligent and bold annulling of our Lord’s express provision till the end of the age when His own are to be gathered into the heavenly garner.

Names of the Days of the Week

Question: Have we any scriptural example for calling days of the week after the heathen usage? E.
Answer: The only N. T. change from the Jewish “first of the week” is the Lord’s day in Rev. 1:10. There is no example, we may presume, of the Gentile Sunday, Monday, &c. How could there be? “Easter” in Acts 12:4 should be “the Passover.”

New Birth vs. Eternal Life

Question: What is the bearing of the new birth in John 3:3-6, as compared with eternal life (ver. 15, 16, &c.)? What of the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost in Titus 3? of the renewing in Eph. 4, Col. 3, and of similar expressions in 1 Peter 1, James 1, as well as Matt. 19:28? Has it to do with baptism, as many suppose in John 3? and what of John 6? And how do the Old Testament saints stand related to all this? How the future calling in the last days, and millennial saints?
Answer: It is to be remarked that in John 3, not eternal life but simply the kingdom of God is connected with being born again: this is necessary for it. We get a nature suited to have to say to God in whatever way. It is the Spirit’s work—a nature capable of knowing Him. Eternal life is connected with heavenly things, and the lifting up of the Son of man, who is Son of God. This shows us what eternal life is. It is wholly in Christ (comp. 1 John), and to us through the incarnation and necessarily also the death of the Lord Jesus. (Comp. John 6:35-58.) It is in Him and promised to us before the world was, but brought into man by the incarnation (for He was in heaven), and we into its place and condition through His blessed death, resurrection, and ascension. (Compare John 6:62) The bread from heaven is Christ. Then we come into its own proper place by redemption and in resurrection; for redemption in the full sense brings us into heaven. No doubt every blessing wants it for sinful man; but as the proper fruit and result of redemption, heavenly things are connected. Eternal life knows no other place—in Christ thus, who was and is eternal life. Here He, the Son of man, was in heaven. There may be condemnation by rejection here, but entrance into that to which Christ belongs involves for us redemption, death, and resurrection. This in its great principle of application is reasoned out in Rom. 4-8.
Further, we have the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that being justified by His grace we should be heirs according to the hope of eternal life. The ἀνακαίνςσις of the Holy Ghost is not merely regeneration or a new life It is objective—bringing into the sphere we are introduced into by Christ and redemption, the καινά or new state of things (καινἢ κτίσις). Regeneration is more subjective, essential but subjective, and in application does not, that I see, go beyond earthly things, but earthly things with God—the desert now (not Canaan), and the desert to blossom as a rose, but not Canaan. So in 1 Peter 1:22, 23, it is subjective: “Ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth.... being born again... by the word.” No doubt, heaven is here full in hope; but the regeneration, the being born again, is subjective condition. The strongest point of connection (for that is what it is) is in James 1:18. But it does not in fact reach out of the sphere down here, though the root of nature for that according to the purpose of God. In Peter it is ἀναγέννησις. In Matt. 19:28, the παλιγγενεσία is clearly earthly and a state of things. So that what I get in regeneration is a subjective state, born of God, of the Spirit, of water, of the word, and, as a sphere, merely so far on earth, only the foundation of relationship with God. But the Spirit as shed on us (Titus 3) goes farther. Here I have an ἀνακαίνωσις of the Holy Ghost. The whole sphere of relationship is changed, and the hope of eternal life comes in. So in Colossians and Ephesians. The παλαιὸς ἆνθρωπος is put off. This is general—the former man now grown old and rejected; but then we have distinctly the νέον and the καινόν. Here νέον, is connected with regeneration and subjective; καινὀν, new in nature and character and brought into a new sphere—its relationships are in question. N έος begins; κιωός is different, and so lives in a new sphere. Thus, in Colossians, we have put on the new; it is a new man now beginning, but it is ἀνακαινούμενον into knowledge according to the image of Him that created it. This is the renewing of the Holy Ghost shed on us, ἀνακαίνωσις. The nature is proper and capable, but it is in a wholly new scene, and there developer in power. In Eph. 4 we are ἀνανεοῦςθαι in the spirit of our minds. This is subjective again in contrast with the corrupt old man (what it is), and we have put on the καινὸν ἆνθρωπον, one new in character, different, created according to God in righteousness and holiness; neither corrupt, nor innocent, but according to the character of God Himself. The sphere is not entered into. The apostle had largely done this, and his object here is character: still it is objective, κατά. The washing of regeneration cleanses subjectively; and what is born of the Spirit is spirit, has its essential nature and characteristics; but the renewing of the Holy Ghost leads us into the whole sphere of that new state of things into which Christ has entered as risen and now gone up on high. It is shed on us through Jesus Christ. And though we must be born to have life and have life if born, yet eternal life is only known in redemption and the scene and state into which redemption brings us. Hence, though we have put on the new man (καινόν) in putting on the risen Christ, yet there is an ἀνακαίνωσις through the Holy Ghost in bringing us into the apprehension of the καινὴ κτίσις where πάνα κανά.
In John 3 water is in no way baptism. Baptism is death, as is evident—my purifying, having done with the nature in which I lived. The water came out of Christ’s pierced side; and life is in the Son, the second man, and that consequent on death as come amongst the first. Therefore, it is said there, God has given to us eternal life, and as the water and blood through death testify it to be in the second risen One, Son of God, so the Holy Ghost is a witness of it. Here again we have what eternal life is. But the water, though really purifying—the application of the word, yet is here only by birth, not death and resurrection, as in baptism, and goes only to the kingdom. “Ye are clean through the word which I have spoken to you”—a new nature and moral effect that was produced and must be by John 3; but the sphere did not thereby go out of the world: by death and resurrection it clearly does. But the Son of man coming in, in the power of that which was before the world, and then dying and rising, introduces into the καινὴ κτίσις. He abode alone while here, but by redemption and being in Him we have our place there, and to this the Holy Ghost corresponds.
The Old Testament saints will clearly have been born again and have the kingdom. They, as everyone else blessed, are dependent on the work of Christ as propitiation (as in Rom. 3). But there is more in the cross. It is not the blood on the doorposts the blessed Lord referred to in John 3 There is the recognition of the world having no place, though God may be with us in it, not as in Egypt, but the world recognized as a place of Satan’s power; and so Christ, proving it, lifted up out of it. While He was in it consequently, He was alone; men were of it. And though born again, they got the kingdom, here was more. He, Christ, was alone in His person that eternal life which was with the Father and was alone such in the world. Hence the only-begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father, the Son of man who is in heaven (who else was there, or even had ascended?) He was this alone. He came, eternal life into this world, but was alone in the out-of-the-world heavenly condition of relationship and being in which eternal life consists: which was before the world, not only in God, but in counsel for us, given us in Christ, manifested in Him alone in the world, and now, consequent on His being lifted up and gone out of it into the heavenly place of which He brought word, that into which we are introduced in Him.
Now in John 6 we have this brought out; not the blessed Lord’s death as offered to God, the one ground of all blessing, but the reception of it or entering into it by man. He is the manna, the bread which came down from heaven—was not of this world, though in it and born of woman. This is expressly stated in John 17 and carried on to the disciples. It is life to the world, Jew and Gentile all merged in sin, in nature, and so children of wrath; and here Ephesians joins in chapter 2. We are then quickened together with Christ, and set in Him in the heavenly places. But in John 6 we have the process in the apprehension and reception of Christ, the digesting by faith into the life of our own being. He is first the bread which came down from heaven to give life. But so only, though really such in power, He remains alone. We have it only in resurrection, a new life and condition of man, because in nature he was away from God, in nature and wrath—a condition entirely away from God, yea, in enmity. Hence, in receiving this life, we enter into the expression of this (and that in our conscience) in Christ’s death and resurrection. We are rejoiced to have a part in death, because it is death to the nature and system estranged from God, and have life only in the new condition in Christ. It was in Him in this world, not in the old condition of life, though entered into it—come down from heaven. But we have it who were of that condition by being delivered out of it, having wholly done with it by death, ceased to exist as to it and entered as receiving Him dead into the new place.
But John 6 takes up, not our entering, though we receive Christ for it, but the full reception by faith of His dying in grace. So that, divinely for faith, the life-giving One separates us by death and atoning redemption, but here in the power of separation absolute and judicial, from the old: not leaving it, which He could have done (and so no use for us), but dying to it. He is so in that which was needed for man as coming under that judicially, and man’s ceasing to have to say to it in the only possible way; because we were alive in the nature which made it such: death only could end that (besides the putting away of sins). Hence we have eternal life through it, in due time the form of it in that we shall be raised again and conformed to Him where He is gone; but it is not our dying with Him here, though that he true, but our full entering into His doing it in grace—giving Himself in flesh for the life of the world. And this belongs to the character of life He had with the Father before the world was; for He ascends up where He was before. Nor is there any full truth as to what man is, or God (in respect of man), or the world, so as to be with God according to the power of Christ’s work, but by this. He gave Himself for our sins that He might deliver us from this present evil world: that (though the truth) is its lowest expression; for He brings us to God according to all God’s judgment of good and evil as glorified in Christ in His death (and so taking man to Him, and making him the vessel of the revelation of what He is). Whoever believes in Him has this life: but it is only by His death and bloodshedding he has it. The Word has been made flesh that it might be thus.
To guard against false conclusions from this as to the term “eternal life,” we must remember that the spared Gentiles of Matt. 25 go away into it. Still even there it is those who have received Christ in His humiliation in His messengers, and will have had share in the sorrow of a Christ the world rejects. (So the hundred and forty-four thousand of Rev. 14, and the great multitude of chapter 7, though the matter be not there in hand.)
In John 6 we have One in whom is eternal life in nature and being, always in the bosom of the Father, living here, coming down and bringing this new heavenly thing, and dying, giving Himself even to death to close the old thing and set it aside, so as to make an end of that and introduce us into the pure glory into which He is entered according to the worth of that which He has wrought. He has taken flesh, eternal life being in Him, and given it for the life of the world. It is the death we enter and receive in our souls, so as to have a part in the eternal life in Him.
Hence, in the sacraments (so-called), figures of this, the first, baptism, has no connection with union with Christ in its signification; the second has. “We are all one bread, one body, being partakers of that one bread.” Yet it is not so, as that in itself we are thus one with Christ therein even in figure; but we arc all one out of the world as united to Him. This union with the Head is by the Holy Ghost—another truth founded on the ascension, yet supposing His death. Being so united we return to see how it all came in, and we own death, not union. In one sense death goes deeper than union, because all God’s moral nature is made good and glorified in it, and the question of sin settled. Union is a special privilege of ours. In a word Christ is eternal life with the Father, becomes man, and dies, setting aside for us the whole condition of man with God in the world, and thus takes man up into the new glory purposed of which He was thus worthy.

New Covenant With Israel and With Judah

Question: Heb. 8:10. “A constant reader” (Ireland) wants to know the views entertained about the new covenant with Israel and Judah. Is it not made? If not yet, when and how is it to be ratified? The blood of bulls and goats is clearly unavailing to purge the conscience. (Heb. 10.)
Answer: The Mediator, Christ Jesus, has appeared. The work is done—the blood shed. But the new covenant is not yet made with the two houses of Israel and Judah. Hence, in Hebrews, it is remarkable how the apostle, writing for those who now anticipatively enjoy its spiritual privileges, constantly waves the discussion of its direct application. In fact, that is reserved for converted Israel by and by. There is really no difficulty. Those of the Jews, and we of the Gentiles, who now believe in Jesus, come into a distinct position as one body, but possessing all the moral blessings of the new covenant. The fulfillment of it pertains to the Jewish people in the last days, when Messiah reigns over them. Jesus died for that nation; and not for that nation only, but that also He should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad. His death will avail for both purposes: the time and order of applying it is another question. In fact, we know that Israel refused the message, and hence the blessing remains in abeyance till the fullness of the Gentiles is come in. Then, and when the Redeemer shall come to Zion and out of Zion, (for both are true,) “all Israel shall be saved.” Of course, all the efficacious value for Israel then, as for us now, is in the blood of the Lamb. If Israel will have sacrifices, as well as an earthly temple and priesthood, they will be only commemorative signs of the one great offering of Christ. The Epistle to the Hebrews excludes these for the Christian. The question of the Jew by and by is answered by their own prophecies.

A New Heart

Question: Is it scriptural to teach that the believer in Christ has “a new heart” now?
Answer: The context in which these words are found (Ezek. 18:30, 31; 36:25-27) describes the great moral or spiritual change to be effected in the house of Israel in a day still future.
Similar expressions in the New Testament, such as, God “purifying their hearts by faith,” “having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience” (Acts 15:9; Heb. 10:22), etc., reveal the change now wrought in Jew and Gentile who, believing “the gospel of our salvation,” have been given to rest on the Savior’s atoning death and resurrection. Hence, we have new affections, new desires, being born of God—made partakers of a Divine nature—and have the abiding in-dwelling Spirit of God. Yet have we the old sinful nature still. It is unchanged and unchangeable (that which is born of the flesh is flesh); but “condemned” in the cross of Christ— “our old man is crucified with Christ,” and the believer is now called to reckon himself dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves.” But sin is no longer to reign in our mortal body that we should obey it in the lusts of it. And if we walk in the Spirit we shall not fulfill the flesh’s lusts.

The New I and the New Man

Question: Can you understand a distinction being made between the new I and the new man, and would you say that the former is spoken of as dead, and the latter not? Does scripture use the expression new I at all?
Answer: I can understand the distinction, “the new I” being the soul as now born again, but referring to what was, “the new man” being only what is by and in Christ. But metaphysics are best avoided in Christian teaching.

The New I vs. the Old I

Question: Is it true reasoning to argue that because Rom. 6:7 says, “He that is dead is justified from sin,” it must be the new I that is spoken of as dead, inasmuch as no one could say that the old I is justified?
Answer: The most that can be allowed is that justification from sin supposes a sinner, though now a believer. It is of course the same person, but one who being a believer has passed from death into life, and has died with Christ.

No Mention of the Jordan in Heb. 11:29-30

Question: Heb. 11:29, 30. Please explain why there is no mention of the Jordan.
Answer: The Epistle characteristically dwells on the actual walk through the desert (and so the tabernacle) rather than the land (save in prospect). Hence we have the Red Sea crossed, not the Jordan which would suit the line of truth in the Epistle to the Ephesians.

What Sort of Offenders Meant in Romans 16:17?

Question: Rom. 16:17. What sort of offenders is meant by “those causing the divisions and the stumbling blocks,” whom the apostle called the saints to avoid? Y. T.
Answer: They were as yet different from the separatists of Titus 3:10, 11. “Heretic” as in the Auth. V. gives a misleading sense; for in modern usage it means “heterodox.” This is not intended, but one forming a party or sect outside, to which schism ever drifts. Therefore in 1 Cor. 11:18, 19, the apostle says, “I hear there exist schisms among you, and I in some part believe it. For there must even be sects [heresies] among you, that the approved may become manifest among you.” It is not that schisms must lead to heterodoxy, but that, if not judged, parties within (or schisms) naturally land in an outside party or sect. When this happens, disciplinary action is foreclosed. They have gone without. Such are perverted, and sin, being self-condemned to all who know what is due to the Lord, and what the assembly of God is.
But the case in Rom. 16 is an earlier stage. It supposes self-confident and restless zeal inside, inconsistent with the teaching already learned by the saints, and reckless of the pain, shame, evil, and danger treated by striving after innovations without scriptural warrant. In accordance with the word is the amplest scope for every kind and measure of true gift; and gift ordinarily is apt to be overestimated, as we see it was in Corinth and is today. But the self-seeking and self-important are never satisfied with the place of subjection which scripture claims from us in deference to our Lord. Hence the desire for popularity and excitement. “From among your own selves,” warned the apostle, “shall rise up men speaking perverted things to draw away the disciples after them.” For such men chafe under the protests and reproofs, urged by spiritual experience and insight into scripture, to save them from a course as dishonoring to the Lord as ruinous to themselves and any swayed by them.
Those in our day gathered to the Lord’s name have labored in and according to His word for near seventy years; about the same time it was from Pentecost till the canon of scripture closed and the apostle John died. Gifts various and great abounded then; as by grace in their measure they were not lacking in our day. Yet no man ever rose up so presumptuous as to organize what is called an “all-day-ministry.” We have known offenders, some of them men of light and leading, who fell away now and then; but no one so much as proposed what on the face of it is outside the teaching of the apostles and their fellowship. This was enough for ordinarily faithful men. Even the bold did not dare to canvass, still less to carry out, a device unauthorized by God’s word. Our profession was to have left human associations and plans, no matter how many pious persons might sustain them. We took, and are resolved in divine mercy to keep, the only hallowed ground of obedience.
We eschew therefore all definitive authority but the written word. “What is the harm?” is the excuse of unbelief and disobedience. An apostle might choose a personal companion in ordinary ministry: so may a wise brother now; but no apostle ever arranged anything even resembling an “all-day ministry.” This settles the matter to faith; and one can but grieve over the want of faith which thought of action so unscriptural, borrowed by rash inexperience from the bustling spirit of the age. Where Christians do not own the Spirit’s presence any more than subjection to scripture alone, such methods are natural. But how sad that any who professed to turn their back on such unfaithfulness should do their utmost to foist in among us an unquestionable departure from the word! For it has not the paltry merit of an invention, but is a plain imitation of a novel fashion even in fallen decrepit Christendom. “The time shall be,” said the sorrowing apostle in his last Epistle, “when they will not endure sound teaching, but, having itching ears, will heap to themselves teachers according to their own lusts, and will turn away their ears from the truth, and turn aside unto fables” (2 Tim. 4).
May grace preserve from such an issue! If we are to be kept, it is and must be as sanctified by the truth. And sanctification of the Spirit from the starting-point is “unto obedience and the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ.” What then does the apostle prescribe, when there are those that cause divisions and stumbling-blocks contrary to the teaching we learned? He commands us in the Lord’s name to “mark” and “avoid them.” It is no question of “division” in the sense of people gone out, but that such innovating work habitually gathers a group of unsuspecting supporters, in opposition to what the mass of saints have ever believed and practiced. Were there a scrap of modesty or active grace, the remonstrance of those whom scripture calls “chief men among the brethren” would have peacefully hindered the project; whereas to the self-willed that is only another incentive to go on at all cost. In such a state one’s own way is dearer than anything else; and people are not wanting to back it. As the apostle adds, “They that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ but their own belly, and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the guileless.”
Tender conscience shows itself in readiness to obey the word of the Lord. Our bounden duty is, not to put such misleaders away, but to keep clear of sanctioning them in any way, till they abandon their wrong course and are content themselves to obey. There is holiness, not hardship, in that. “If any one think to be contentious, we have no such custom, nor the assemblies of God.” As long as the agitation continues, the willful who persist ought distinctly to forfeit the confidence of the godly. More is at stake than the disorder of women’s independence about a veil, though the apostle ruled this to be intolerable, even if they were prophetesses. Those that serve in the word are surely bound to submit to it themselves. It is no question of liberty to minister, which all own to be of God, but of a new-fangled license to organize the work of others; which is not only unscriptural but trenches on the Lordship of Christ and the ways of the Holy Spirit as revealed by the word.

What Left to Offer?

Question: Heb. 8:3. How are we to understand the last clause? What has our Great High Priest in heaven now to offer, seeing He had previously on the Cross offered Himself?
Answer: I presume that the Great Priest offered the greatest gift ever presented or presentable to God, Himself dead and risen representing not His person only but His infinite work on the cross.

Offering of the Firstfruits

Question: Lev. 2:12-16. Why were the first-fruits to be offered and not burnt? What was intended by the corn out of full ears? — J.D.
Answer: The first-fruits were to be offered but not burnt, because leaven was in them; and they could not be in themselves a sweet savor: hence a sin-offering was offered with them. (Lev. 23:17-19.) They represent the Church, being (as may be seen in Lev. 23) the offering of the day of Pentecost; not the Church in the unity of the body, but as formed among Jews on earth on that day. The first of the first-fruits, the corn out of full ears, is Christ risen, offered on the morrow of the sabbath after the Passover; it represents Christ Himself, and hence (Lev. 23) there was no sin-offering. If we look at it in Lev. 2 it is still Christ. Oil and frankincense are put on it. It is an offering made by fire without leaven. It is Christ looked at as man, tried by divine trial of judgment, but perfect to be offered to God. The expressions are somewhat remarkable—geresh, carmel, “corn mature out of full ears;” it may be, produce of the fruitful field, the latter being the known sense of carmel; the meaning of geresh, was certain. But the general meaning of the offering is pretty plain—Christ in His manhood, sinless and fully proved, presented to God with oil and frankincense of acceptable odor, the first-fruits—fruits of man to God.

Old Testament Knowledge of Christ

Question: How far did the Old Testament saints understand the types, and offerings, and sacrifices; and what was the extent of their knowledge of Christ; and did they see Him in those types, &c.?
Answer: As regards the estimate which the Old-Testament saints formed of the sacrifices and types of the Old Testament, no one can speak definitely.
That estimate was as various as we now see the estimate of renewed souls as to the value of Christ’s work is, if by value is meant the intelligent estimate of it. All that anyone could speak of now is what the Old Testament afforded them, so that the Holy Ghost could act by the Word upon those who had spiritual intelligence according to the measure of that day. Now I know of no fact in Christ’s history which is not testified of in the prophets—His birth, His sufferings (even the details), His ascension, His sitting at the right hand of God, His coming again, and all the glories that should follow his sufferings. The only truths, that I am aware of, which were not revealed were the Church and His present intercession at the right hand of God—truths, it is remarkable, equally omitted in John, chap. 1, in the catalog of the glories of Christ there given, as well as (but for another reason) the fact that He was the Christ. Hence, the only question is, when they had the prophets, how far they were spiritual enough to connect these revelations with the types in order to understand them?
This depended on individual spirituality and divine teaching; only we must remember it could not be said, “Ye have an unction from the Holy One and ye know all things.” They had not the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of truth to guide into all truth. This makes all the difference as to intelligence. Further, it was not the intention of God, while the veil was unrent, to put the consciences of saints in the position in which the rending of it was to set them; so that their consciences once purged should have no more conscience of sin. Alas! many Christians are in a Jewish state in this respect. Had this been the case, the free admission of the Gentiles by faith on the same footing would have been the consequence, as this was not intended. On the other hand, there was the thought that the time was coming when the nation’s sins and iniquities would be remembered no more, and this faith could look forward to, as to the then rejoicing of the Gentiles with his people, and a heavenly portion for the departed saints. This leads back to the original promise of the seed of the woman bruising the serpent’s head; and it, again, held out to faith a full restoration of man from the ruin, which though vague might have been complete in expectation. The clothing with skins, and Abel’s sacrifice and Noah’s, point to covering and acceptance through a sacrifice; Isaac’s, to the faith of resurrection. But when sacrifices were legally instituted and the law given, hopes of forgiveness and restoration in peace in a coming age, but no purged conscience, save occasional at the present time, marked the condition of the worshipper. Before that time it was a larger expectation of restoration and goodness, and founded on sacrifices and covering iniquity and nakedness before God; but though larger and more complete, more vague, of course, by the seed of the woman, resurrection and heavenly things coming in. For this both Enoch and Abraham, and even Job, furnish evidence. Under the prescription of the law the conscience was more brought under the yoke, present occasional forgiveness by a sin-offering more definite, but it was narrowed into present occasional clearing, and the hope of deliverance put into the age to come and connected with Messiah, as we know also it will be.
With all this was connected a feebler estimate of sin and of the need consequently of divine righteousness, though this was prophetically intimated, but also in the age to come. There was sense of sin, of being shapen in iniquity, but no intelligence of a conflict between flesh and spirit, and thus as a present thing righteousness looked for in the Lord; but, before the law, divine favor and the averting a curse by sacrifice; under the law, a definite sin-offering meeting the actual sins of the individual or of all, and a general sense of maintenance of heart in divine favor by the day of atonement—the state as I have said in which most Christians are.

Omission of Dan in Revelation 7

Question: Why is Dan omitted in Rev. 7?
Answer: Not because this tribe is not to have its share in the future partition and blessing; for Ezek. 48. enumerates it as the first and most northerly of all. A tradition among the fathers prevailed, founded on Gen. 49:17, that it was because antichrist was to spring from this tribe. It is certain that it was the first to sanction idolatry: an evil reprobated the more solemnly in the Revelation, because it will revive as the judgment of the quick draws near. It seems also omitted among the genealogies of the early chapters of 1 Chronicles.

One Body or Lord's Name

Question: Eph. 4:4; Matt. 18:20. Do we meet as Christians on the ground of the one body, or as gathered to the Lord’s name? What about 1 Cor. 12:14? J. C. L.
Answer: I see no right reason to regard any one of these and other like scriptures exclusively. None can be forgotten or overlooked without loss. The others treat of the essential and abiding truth of God’s assembly; whereas the word in Matt. 18:20 supplies the resource given by the Lord to assure of His presence, if we are gathered to His name as the center, in times however difficult or disastrous. Those so gathered in faith of His presence may not be intelligent as to the church’s privileges or the Spirit’s action therein; but they could not be thus gathered truly, if they resisted the truth by indifference or by independency. They might need and would welcome instruction in the truth, so clearly revealed