Blind Servant (Samson, Part 5) № 1
Слепой слуга (Самсон, Часть 5)
1936, 01 января
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The title of a new book! The Society has long desired to publish something specially suitable for instruction of children and young people as respects years. Also, since the unfolding of the truths concerning the Jonadab class, or “great multitude’’, and the first appearance of members of such class, Jehovah’s witnesses and also incoming Jonadab brethren have keenly desired a publication particularly designed for instruction of those who already are of and those who shall yet swell the ranks of the “great multitude’’. Jehovah by Christ Jesus has now graciously provided such in the book Riches. In reading and studying this book God’s anointed remnant will profit no less than the Jonadabs. All should read it carefully to know why and how to put it in the hands of those seeking righteousness and meekness. The author’s edition is now under preparation, containing a personal letter from and by the hand of the author to all Jehovah’s kingdom publishers. Initial expense of publishing Riches obliges the Society to ask a contribution of 50c a copy of this limited edition. Among companies and groups, orders should be promptly placed with local stockkeeper, that books may be shipped in lots.
Another season of refreshing to all God’s kingdom publishers by concerted intensified activity afield is arranged for in the testimony period The King, to wit, February 1-9. During these nine days all publishers will offer the public a three-booklet combination on a 10c contribution, that is, two colored cover booklets together with the new self-covered booklet Loyalty. Further details hereon will duly appear in the Director. Certainly all in line for the Kingdom will take part to the utmost in this service period, and also all present members of the great multitude with palm branches in hand will widely acclaim Jehovah’s anointed King. Let all such show wisdom and zeal now in making all advance preparation for this midwinter campaign. Get in touch with the head office at Brooklyn if you are not active in territory under one of our branch offices.
CONVENTION AT LOS ANGELES
On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, February 21, 22 and 23, a convention will be held at Los Angeles. This will be a local service convention in southern California, with all gatherings at the Shrine Auditorium. By the Lord's grace, Brother Rutherford will speak to a large assembly there on Sunday, February 23. Preparations are under way for a radio chain to carry the speech from the auditorium to listeners in all parts of the world, during the hour 12:00 (noon) to 1:00 p.m, Pacific Standard Time, which is the equivalent of 3:00 to 4: 00 p.m., United States Eastern Standard Time. Listeners in other lands are advised to prepare now to tune in this broadcast on any one of several frequencies (wave lengths) in the so-called “shortwave” band, from 11 to 50 meters.
January 1, 1936
(Samson, Part 5)
“Who is blind, but my servant? or deaf, as my messenger that I sent? who is blind as he that is perfect, and blind as the Lord’s servant?”—Isa. 42:19.
JEHOVAH says: “Behold my servant, whom I uphold, mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth.” No greater commendation could be given than that. Jehovah God, “he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it”; he that gives life to all things that breathe, in whom resides all power, wisdom and grace; he that is from everlasting to everlasting, the Most High over all, thus speaks to all creatures who desire to know the right way. (Isa. 42:1, 5) That no creature might have reason to doubt the identity of that elect servant Jehovah further caused to be written: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who . . . being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Phil. 2:5-11) This, God’s highest honor, he bestows on his Elect Servant, Christ Jesus, because of the Servant’s complete obedience in the performance of the will of God. “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.” (Heb. 5:8,9) And now, when all the nations of the earth are in dire distress and perplexity, and without hope in the world, Jehovah says to those who will hear: “In his name shall the nations hope.” (Matt. 12:21, A.R.V., margin) Thus Jehovah points to Christ Jesus, his anointed King and Vindicator, as the Ruler of the world. There is no other name under heaven whereby men can get life, because God has appointed his Elect Servant, Christ Jesus, the one to dispense to the obedient the gift of life everlasting. —Rom. 6: 23; Acts 4:12.
2 It is of this same Elect Servant that Jehovah speaks and says: “Who is blind, but my servant? or deaf, as my messenger that I sent? who is blind as he that is perfect, and blind as the Lord’s servant? Seeing many things, but thou observest not; opening the ears, but he heareth not.” (Isa. 42:19,20) It is that same Elect Servant that now magnifies God’s law and makes it most honorable. He is the Vindicator of Jehovah, his Word, and his name. It is the elect and exalted Servant of Jehovah that is blind, and, says the Lord, ‘there is none as blind as that servant.’ Why is his Elect Servant blind? Because he has but one purpose, and his eyes arc closed to everything else. That purpose is to always do the will of Jehovah God, and nothing can cause him to deviate therefrom in the slightest degree. Of him it is writ-ten: “I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.” (Ps. 40:8) “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.” (John 6:38) “And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.” —John 8: 29.
3 Speaking to those hypocrites who thought themselves wise but who were in the darkness, Jesus laid down the rule of Jehovah, to wit: “The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness.” (Luke 11:34) And on another occasion Jesus said: “I am the light of the world; he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” (John 8:12) Thus the rule is laid down, to which there are no exceptions, that those who are faithful and true to Jehovah God are blind to everything that is contrary to God’s will. Every one who becomes a member of God’s royal house is thereby made a member of the ‘elect servant’ class of Jehovah and therefore must follow in the footsteps of Jesus. Like Jesus, all such must be blind to everything save doing the will of Almighty God.
4 In the prophetic drama in which Samson played the chief part he pictured at this point God’s ‘elect servant’, particularly those faithful followers of Christ Jesus on earth who become members of that faithful and elect servant during the time when “the Messenger” or Servant Elect was preparing the way before Jehovah; and also pictured particularly the remnant on earth after the coming of Christ Jesus to the temple. Like almost all the servants of Jehovah God, Samson has been the object of much criticism by men. It is even true that men who desire to appear in the eyes of others as models of goodness, chastity and piety, and which models will be followed as examples, level severe criticism against their fellow men in order to draw attention to themselves. Such is one form of selfishness and hypocrisy. Such creatures fear men and, having men’s persons in admiration, call attention to the mistakes and derelictions of their fellow men who as Christians are trying to do right, hoping to hear the people say of themselves, in substance, ‘Behold, what a good man he is! what a high standard he sets!’ The motive prompting men to thus assume such a high standard themselves and to point with criticism to others, is entirely a selfish motive. Other men are thus deceived, but God knows who are the just and true ones. For that reason Jesus said, “That which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.” (Luke 16: 15) Judah, Rahab, Ruth, John the Baptist, Samson and others have been the objects of severe criticism at the mouths of others, which criticisms were entirely out of place. Whomsoever Jehovah uses and approves cannot be properly criticized by men. The servant of Jehovah is responsible to him, and not to man. “Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up; for God is able to make him stand.” (Rom. 14:4) The wiseacres and would-be pious ones who criticize the servants of God as they appear in the Bible show their lack of understanding and a large degree of selfishness on their part.
5 Those servants of the Lord in times of old played their respective parts in prophetic dramas, which parts were assigned to them by Jehovah; and we must not look at the imperfections of the human creature there displayed. Our business is to look at what part they played or performed, and which was written and recorded in the Word of God for the benefit of the remnant now on earth. God never asked or required a man to so develop his own character that he would be fit to reign with Christ Jesus, and that for the manifest reason that no man could accomplish such thing. This does not at all mean that men are justified in leading a loose and intemperate course, nor does it furnish an excuse or justification for their imperfections. What is here said is to emphasize the fact that not by his outward appearance docs man prepare himself for God’s service, but his faith and unswerving devotion are what bring the approval of God and prepare for that man a place in God’s everlasting organization. The Scriptures show what God requires of those whom he approves, and everywhere therein absolute and complete faithfulness is magnified. Those who are approved by Jehovah must first prove their integrity toward him, and this they must do by a singleness of purpose and course of action, always putting forth their very best to do the will of God regardless of what any other man does or what any other creature might think or say about them. The servant, because of human weakness, may make a wrong step, a grievous mistake, and that which is very displeasing to God; but if he confesses to God through the Lord Jesus Christ, acknowledging his wrongdoing, and then quickly attempts to face about and do that which is right, he may receive the mercy of Jehovah God and be fully reinstated in the favor of the Lord. (1 John 1:9) Whatever mistakes Samson may have made, as they appeared on the record, those mistakes are not to apply to Samson, but are to be applied to the class whom Samson foretold; and the rule here announced with reference to God’s creatures whom he approves applies specifically to those whom Samson foreshadowed.
6 The class pictured by Delilah, otherwise meaning the ‘foolish virgin’ class (Matt. 25:1-12), had because of their fear of men a desire for selfish gain, lost their love for God and his children, and were doing nothing to the honor of Jehovah and his cause from and after 1917. ‘Their lamps were going out,’ because the light they previously had now had become darkness by reason of their anxiety to gratify a selfish ambitious desire, and because of their fear of men. They tried to induce those of the Samson class to likewise declare as Scriptural that it is the duty of all men to recognize as “the higher powers” those that rule the world. Samson now here plays the part foreshadowing exactly what did come to pass upon the consecrated in the year 1918. “And she made him sleep upon her knees; and she called for a man, and she caused him to shave off the seven locks of his head; and she began to afflict him, and his strength went from him.” — Judg. 16:19.
7 Bemuse of the threats of danger to the Lord’s people by reason of the crisis resulting from the great war there was a more considerate and conciliatory course taken by the Samson class toward the Delilah class, and this may well be pictured by Samson’s sleeping upon Delilah’s knees. It showed a position of trust and confidence even though that trust and confidence was misplaced. The Samson class were not willingly or voluntarily defiling their consecration vow to Jehovah God, but were permitting themselves to be thrown into a position where others could defile them. The sleeping of Samson on the lap of Delilah was surely a lack of true watchfulness, but Samson was playing this part in the drama foretelling the negligence of those consecrated to God and who were on earth at the time approximately at the coming of the Lord to the temple. The facts show that the Samson class did become negligent about that time.
8 While Samson was in this state of lethargy on Delilah’s lap, Delilah called a man skillful with a knife or shears, who cut away the locks of his hair. That skillful barber well pictures the secret service men who went stealthily about during the war days to entrap men to induce or compel men to support the war lords. The cutting of Samson’s hair was an involuntary defilement of the Nazarite vow and interrupted the performance of his assigned duty.
9 The Delilah class had caused much trouble during 1917 and 1918 in the ranks of the Society and had now learned that the Society was weakening in respect to the rulers of the world. No one then fully recognized that the “higher powers’’ are Jehovah God and Christ Jesus, and they alone. The Delilah class knew that this emergency, provided by the World War and its attending circumstances, was the time for the Samson class to be humiliated, and therefore seized upon the opportunity, like Judas, to betray their brethren into the hands of the modern Philistines. Men who had previously been engaged in the erstwhile “pilgrim service” under the supervision of the Society, and who had joined the iniquitous ones, now went about amongst the various companies of God’s people and by the use of soft speech and enticing words ingratiated themselves and wrongfully obtained the evidence of many of the Lord’s people and then sought to turn them in opposition to the Society and its work. —See The Watchtower, March 1, 1918, page 79.
10 When Samson’s hair had been cut away Delilah gave the warning to the Philistines. “And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out, as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the Lord was departed from him.”—Judg. 16:20.
11 Likewise when the Samson class awoke out of a state of drowsiness in 1918, the discovery was made that the Samson class was greatly incapacitated and almost impotent. The Society made an effort to push on with the work, but, failing to see the real issue and the necessity of taking an uncompromising position as to the kingdom, it became weak. The Watchtower was then not taking a bold lead for the cause of the kingdom as it should have done, and with that the Lord was displeased, and he permitted the enemy to vent its spleen on the Samson class, even as the Philistines took Samson. While the record docs not say that God was displeased with Samson, and that for the manifest reason that Samson was playing his part in the drama, the record shows that what Samson did foreshadow was that God would be displeased with the Samson class for the fulfillment of the prophetic drama, and which did take place in the early part of 1918. To be sure, Jehovah foreknew this condition would arise, and he foretold it through the prophecy of the drama. Jehovah was displeased with what the Samson class did, but that was no warrant or authority for the enemy to afflict “Samson”, and therefore the Lord says through his prophet: “And I am very sore displeased with the heathen that are at ease; for I was but a little displeased [with the Samson class], and they [the modern Philistines] helped forward the affliction [on God’s people].” (Zech. 1:15) By the mouth of the prophet Isaiah God likewise foretold his displeasure with his people, when he said: “Thou wast angry with me.”-Isa. 12:1.
12 As God permitted the Philistines to take Samson to foreshadow what should follow, likewise he permitted the Samson class to be taken by the enemy early in 1918. Samson was seized by the Philistines through the conspiracy of Delilah. The Samson class was seized by the modern Philistines in 1918 through the treacherousness of the Delilah class. At that time some who had been prominent in the activities of the Society prior to 1917 became the bitter enemies of the Society and conspired with the enemy. For instance, because he rendered the enemy service against his brethren one of these indicted by the federal grand jury under the espionage law was never brought to trial. The Samson class showed their kindness toward those of the Delilah class even then, but that kindness was rejected, manifestly because the Delilah class was expecting immunity from the modern Philistines. Those of the Samson class offered this one man to furnish him bail bond, and to furnish attorneys for his defense along with the others, and a special messenger was sent to him with such offer. This was done because they had been previously brethren in the Lord together. The offer was flatly refused, and the one thus arrested was required to furnish merely a straw bond and never was thereafter haled into court, but he and his allies belonging to the Delilah class were seen engaged in conversation with the representatives of the government while the prosecution of the Samson class was in progress.
13 This turn in the affairs of the Society marked the ending of the Elijah work, which was foreshadowed by Samson’s being taken into custody. When Samson’s hair was removed he was easily taken by the Philistines, showing that the favor of the Lord was not with him at that time and that his strength had departed from him. This was for the purpose of showing when the Lord’s displeasure would be manifested toward the Samson class. The Elijah-John-the-Baptist work being now finished, the “two witnesses” lay dead (inactive) in the street. “And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.”—Rev. 11:3,7,8. (See Light, Book One, page 192 and following.)
14 The beastly governing power, of which the modern Philistines were a part, had caused the “two witnesses” to lie dead “in the street”. The modern Philistines had been the chief movers in this assault upon Jehovah’s witnesses. In 1918 the Samson class had permitted themselves to be inveigled into a position of indifference resulting in partial blindness. They did not see and appreciate the true issue and on that issue taking a firm stand and holding that position regardless of consequences. The Samson class did not voluntarily seek that position, but from weakness found themselves in that place. On the seventh day of May, 1918, the official members of the Society were arrested, and many others of the Society were arrested before and immediately thereafter, and the work of the Society was effectively stopped. That there was a partial blindness on the part of the Samson class is supported by the following: At that time The Watchtower was edited by a committee, different members writing the different articles that were published. In The Watchtower of April 15, 1917, and before the arrest of the Society’s сs, this was said concerning the support of the governments in the war: “There is no middle ground for a Christian. He can be true to the Lord and faithful to his consecration vow only by taking one course, namely, a refusal to engage in the war. . . . Since he is the ambassador of the heavenly kingdom he should see to it that his time and strength and energy arc devoted to peaceful pursuits, and to the declaring of the message of the kingdom of Christ.” Immediately following the arrest above mentioned, in May, 1918, The Watchtower became less bold in proclaiming the kingdom truths, and in the very same issue which announced such arrests the statement was published that the president of the United States had issued a proclamation naming May 30, 1918, “A day of prayer and supplication.” That “prayer meeting” was for the successful termination of the war, of course, which the country had then entered. Commenting upon that proclamation The Watchtower of June 1, 1918, said of America and this prayer meeting: “This is the land divinely 'shadowed with wings’, overshadowed by the providential watchcare of God’s Word, . . . And they [God’s people] will be of all people the most ready to embrace an opportunity of gathering in an additional service of prayer and supplication. . . . Let there be praising and thanksgiving to God for the promised glorious outcome of the war, the breaking of the shackles of autocracy, the freedom of the captives (Isa. 61:1) and the making of the world safe for the common people.” That publication was largely induced by blindness, the result of fear. One “eye” of the Samson class was about out, and a little later the Philistines bored out the other “eye”, but with a different result. (See verse 28.) The Watchtower takes this occasion to acknowledge the wrongful course taken by this journal in publishing the above statement, and to confess that wrong before God and before witnesses.
15 The Philistines must have led the blind Samson in a public procession, that they might display him and their triumph over him; and the peoples supporting the Philistines joined in their shouts of triumph. The Philistines must have reasoned that Samson is done for. Likewise in 1918 the modem Philistines concluded that the Samson class was now dead and they would not be bothered with them any more: “ And they of the people, and kindreds, and tongues, and nations, shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.”—Rev. 11:9,10.
16 The modern Philistines felicitated one another and rejoiced that the Samson class was done up. Samson was bound with fetters and held firmly, which fetters in former times could not have held him at all. The events of 1918 brought about by the World War and the treachery of “Delilah” and the action of the “Philistines” made the Samson class a much prized prisoner. Samson was made to grind in the prison house; and likewise the Samson class was made to “grind in the prison house”, some actually grinding, and all being restrained from activity in public service of Jehovah, and forced to render service to Satan’s organization, and this caused the modern Philistines to greatly rejoice. The Samson class, now blind and restrained by the modern Philistines, then really awakened to the situation and with absolute confluence in the Most High prayed God for their release that they might do his service to his glory regardless of consequences; and the Lord did not let that prayer go unheeded. “For he hath looked down from the height of his sanctuary; from heaven did the Lord behold the earth; to hear the groaning of the prisoner, to loose those that are appointed to death [doomed by the Philistines to die in prison] ; to declare the name of the Lord in Zion, and his praise in Jerusalem.” —Ps. 102:19-21.
17 That the Lord heard the prayer of his people is evidenced by the overwhelming corroborative facts that follow, and his spirit was given to the faithful Samson class in “a double portion”, and this was foretold by the growing out again of Samson’s hair while he was in prison. “Howbeit the hair of his head began to grow again after he was shaven.” (Judg. 16:22) The hair on his head again becoming long was symbolic of the reproach that would come upon and continue upon the Samson class because of faithfulness to Jehovah. The modern Philistines thought they were rid of the Samson class, even as the Philistines thought Samson was for ever bereft of his strength; but neither the modern Philistines nor their prototype knew about the law of the Nazarites. "And if ... he [the Nazarite] hath defiled the head of his consecration; then he shall shave his head in the day of his cleansing, on the seventh day [of the week of cleansing] shall he shave it. . . . And he shall consecrate unto the Lord the days of his separation, and shall bring a lamb of the first year for a trespass offering; but the days that were before [the violation of his Nazarite vow] shall be lost, because his separation was defiled.”—Num. 6:9-12.
18 God foreknew and foretold the restoring of Samson’s hair and what it would symbolize and the full restoration to God’s favor of the Samson class. With the regrowth of Samson’s hair his position as a Nazaritc was renewed and his purification was accomplished, thus foretelling that God’s faithful people, pictured by Samson, must continue in faith and be faithful. Samson appears now to be stronger than ever before, and surely after 1919 God’s faithful people on earth were, and since have been, stronger than ever before, that is, "strong in the Lord and in the power of his might,” faithfully declaring his message.—Eph. 6:10.
19 While grinding in prison Samson would be considering how he could fulfill his commission from Jehovah. Likewise during the period of restraint of the Samson class they were praying to God and meditating how they might again be of greater service to Jehovah than ever before. What could they do against the enemy and to the glory of Jehovah? was ever upon their minds! This was the period of time between the taking away or ending of the Elijah work and the beginning of the Elisha work. "And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. And after three days and an half the spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.”—Rev. 11: 8,11,12.
20 In 1919 the Lord’s anger toward his people ceased and the Elisha work was begun. "Thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me.” (Isa. 12:1) Thereafter the Samson class experienced Jehovah’s favor, and since then they have continued to sing the praises of Jehovah.—Isa. 12: 2-6.
21 The Philistines assembled for a great sacrifice and praise to their god Dagon, and rejoiced because of what they concluded was Samson’s complete downfall: "Then the lords of the Philistines gathered them together for to offer a great sacrifice unto Dagon their god, and to rejoice; for they said, Our god hath delivered Samson our enemy into our hand.”-Judg. 16: 23.
22 The Philistines flouted the supremacy of Jehovah, Samson’s God, and ascribed their own victory to their god, and the Devil, whom he specially represented. The same matter is illustrated by Belshazzar’s feast, whose father had destroyed Jerusalem and made prisoners of the Jews. While Belshazzar drank wine with his lords, wives and concubines, and praised their god, Satan’s representative, even so the Philistines had done. (Dan. 5:1-4) After the Samson class was put in forcible and involuntary restraint the modern Philistines felicitated each other, rejoiced and gave praise to their god, and all the people of influence amongst them of the ruling powers of the world joined therein and reproached the Samson class, and continue to reproach them. It may be well here to call attention to some evidence showing that the modern Philistines are made up of the Roman Catholic Hierarchy, and the so-called "Protestant” clergy, and the principal of their flocks, together with the Jewish rabbis. Hypocritically these claim to serve God and Christ, but in fact they serve the Devil. The Roman Catholic Hierarchy boldly and blasphemously claims to be the representative of God on earth, ruling as the vicegerent of Christ Jesus. Its action is contrary to every law of God; therefore the Roman Catholic Hierarchy heads the list of hypocrites. "Protestants” so named themselves because they knew of the duplicity of the Catholic Hierarchy; but the men who took that original stand are gone and the modern-day "Protestant” leaders have turned away entirely to the Devil, died like the lion which Samson slew, and all the hypocrites are joined together in one crowd; and God declares that he will appoint the end of the Delilah class with this bunch of hypocrites.
23 And now some of the recent historical facts show the hypocrisy of the Roman Catholic Hierarchy. Have in mind that the Hierarchy thirty-five years ago boldly announced its purpose to get control of the United States government. A combination of the political religionists, both Catholics and Protestants, at the Baltimore convention in 1912 resulted in making Woodrow Wilson president of the United States. Mr. Wilson was listed as a Protestant. Thereafter The National Catholic Register published an article congratulating the people on Mr. Wilson’s election, and, amongst other things, said: "It is God’s plan that the holy father of Rome should be the temporal and spiritual head of his kingdom on earth. It is the same today as in the time of the first pope. The best way to accomplish this is through political power, through religious education and service. God has doubly blessed the Catholic church of America by placing one of its most faithful sons at the right hand of President Wilson. Next to the president, Honorable Joseph Tumulty, a Knight of Columbus of the 33rd degree, wields the greatest political power of any man in America; and as a true Catholic he is exercising the greatest trust which God has given into his hands for the glory of the holy church. Through his tact and holy zeal he has created a warm friendship between the Catholic church and President Wilson. This is the first time in the history of the country when the president and a great political party have openly sought an equal and honest alliance with the Catholic church.”
24 This supports the conclusion that the Roman Catholic Hierarchy has steadfastly pushed forward to grab the American government to gratify its own selfish desires. Millions of honest people have been induced to associate themselves with the Catholic church system, and support it, and these are not responsible for what the Hierarchy has done, and what is here said about the Hierarchy does not apply to honest, sincere Catholics. Those who have a desire to see God’s kingdom will break away from the Catholic Hierarchy in due time.
25 It should be remembered that it was during the Wilson administration that America entered the war and on July 17, 1917, The Finished Mystery was released, and on June 21, 1918, the officers of the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society were sentenced to eighty years’ imprisonment by a judge who was doing the bidding of Mr. Wilson and the Roman Catholic Hierarchy. It was during Mr. Wilson’s administration that Catholic and Protestant clergymen held a conference at Philadelphia to perfect the plans to destroy the Samson class. A resolution looking to that very end was adopted and carried to Washington, resulting in a bill’s being introduced in the Senate making a violation of the espionage law punishable with death, and providing that all such offenders must be tried by court martial. John L. O’Brian, an ultrachurchman credited as being a Protestant but working together with the Catholics, and who had prosecuted other honest men on a charge of heresy in the church organizations, was in the Department of Justice and led the fight against the Samson class. Aided and abetted by a dyed-in-the-wool Knight of Columbus the foregoing bill was brought before the Senate. It was openly and boldly stated by a general in the United States army that the purpose of that bill was to “get the Bible Students”, that is, the antitypical Samson class.
26 Samson’s hair was grown long again and he was in God’s favor. Following the World War, and particularly in 1922, the Samson class had been reinstated in God’s favor and they pushed forward with the witness work as never before. Then the clergymen of all classes and denominations combined and began the persecution of the Samson class, not only in America, but in all parts of “Christendom”. During the past seven years there has been a constant, wicked persecution of Jehovah’s witnesses in New Jersey and in many other parts of the earth, and this persecution in flagrant disregard of the fundamental law of the land continues, and the result is that thousands of honest and faithful followers of Christ Jesus have been ill-treated, arrested and thrown into prison. It was in 1929 that a treaty was signed between Mussolini and the Vatican whereby the Papacy becomes an in dependent state, and thereafter the Hierarchy sends its ambassadors to the various countries of “Christendom”, thus showing that the Roman Catholic Hierarchy does not represent God and Christ, because the present wicked world is under the complete domination of the Devil, and God would have no ambassadors in the Devil’s organization.
27 The Hierarchy has entered into and signed an agreement with the visible rulers of Germany and Austria, and the Hierarchy is really back of the Nazis and using the Nazis for the purpose of stamping out all who oppose the Catholic Hierarchy. The Hierarchy in America operates to control the nation and sees to it that many important offices arc filled by agents of the Hierarchy and particularly that investigators of the Department of Justice are agents of the Hierarchy who have not the slightest degree of honesty and fairdealing with their fellow creatures.
28 Since the World War the modern Philistines have continued to make an open show of Jehovah’s witnesses, the Samson class, and the Samson class have been reproached and continue to be reproached because of their faithfulness to God and Christ. The ultra-Catholic and Protestant people, not knowing why they are religionists but yielding to the seductive influence of the clergy, have joined with the clergy in heaping reproach upon Jehovah’s witnesses even as they did upon Samson: “And when the people saw him, they praised their god; for they said, Our god hath delivered into our hands our enemy, and the destroyer of our country, which slew many of us [hath slain many of us (R.V.)].”—Judg. 16-24.
29 As the economic conditions of the world have become distressing since 1929 the modern Philistines and their allies, and the principal of their flock, have seized upon the same as an emergency to enact oppressive legislation in their endeavor to destroy the work of Jehovah’s witnesses, and to this end have vigorously prosecuted a campaign to discredit Jehovah and his witnesses in the eyes of the people, and to some extent have succeeded in doing so.
30 As the Philistines heaped indignities upon Samson, their blind prisoner, so in recent years the modern Philistines have continued to heap indignities upon Jehovah’s servant class, blind to all purposes except the serving of Jehovah God. They have caused their newspapers to publish malicious lies about them, when the truth might have served their ends better. They have made sport of Jehovah’s witnesses through the press and made them appear as long-haired, crazy people and as a “cult” that is not to be seriously considered. They have desired to expose Jehovah's witnesses to ridicule and shame, even as the Philistines did with Samson. “And it came to pass, when their hearts were merry, that they said, Call for Samson, that he may make us sport. And they called for Samson out of the prison house; and he made them sport; and they set him between the pillars.”—Judg. 16: 25.
31 The lords and ladies of the Philistines, reveling in wine and otherwise indulging themselves at the expense of the people, brought Samson before them for their sport. At this point of the prophetic drama Samson must have presented a miserable and ludicrous appearance. Long hair and long beard matted together, and covered over with grime and the dirt of the prison, blind in both eyes, and dressed in prison garb, he would present such a picture as impure and wicked minds would revel in. For twenty years Samson was a dread unto the Philistines and now he was in their power, completely disgraced, and the Philistines would use him for sport the rest of his days. Likewise in 1919 the actual prison houses were opened and the Samson class released, but they were in fact still under great restraint and in the eyes of the clergy, the modern Philistines, were dreadfully humiliated and presented a motley appearance. Satan’s earthly representatives, directed by his chief officer Gog (Ezek. 38:1-4; 39:1-4), had drawn the clergy, Catholic and Protestant, closer together in their conspiracy. The chief object of Satan at all times is to bring reproach upon the name of Jehovah and to cause men to curse the Holy One. He now uses the modern Philistines to that very end.
32 Some time had elapsed since the World War, and the combined clergy had indulged excessively in the wine of “the vine of the earth” (Rev. 14:17-20), and they wanted sport. Compare this with what is recorded about Belshazzar’s feast: “Belshazzar, whiles he tasted the wine, commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem; that the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, might drink therein.”—Dan. 5:2.
33 The “golden vessels” of modern times arc the faithful witnesses of Jehovah who bear God’s message to those who have hearing cars: and because they are Jehovah’s representatives, the Devil and his representatives delight to bring reproach upon them.
34 Samson was brought before the assembly of the lords of the Philistines that the hilarity of that occasion might increase and that their glee might know no bounds. A great crowd of more than six thousand Philistines were gathered in the assembly place and were having a gay feast. Samson in the midst of all that revelry was entirely blind to it, but his eyes of understanding, his mental vision, were clear and he was determined to retrieve, if possible, his former action and now to give everything to the honor of Jehovah’s name. There in the presence of the Philistines Samson was being made a gazingstock both by reproach and by affliction. (Heb. 10:33) Samson bore his humiliation with calmness, awaiting his opportunity to display the strength which God had given him and about which the Philistines did not know. No doubt the thought then came into Samson’s mind that God had permitted him to be brought into this condition of great reproach and humiliation that he might perform his mightiest service looking to the vindication of Jehovah’s name. He had been waiting on the Lord and acknowledging him in all his ways, and now the Lord had renewed and increased his strength. “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”—Isa. 40:31.
35 Put this part of the prophetic drama alongside the physical facts that have come to pass within the last few years. The faithful servants of Jehovah, foretold by Samson, have been within that time the objects of ridicule and reproach everywhere by the clergy of all denominations and their allies. Regardless of how much the Lord has bestowed his outward blessings upon his witnesses the public press, called into action by the modern Philistines, has reviled and reproached Jehovah’s witnesses by constantly publishing falsehoods concerning them. From the pulpits and in public assemblies of the law-makers and the lawofficers of the modern Philistines, all these have ridiculed and lied about and contemptuously reproached Jehovah and his witnesses. These witnesses have been “made a gazingstock” of the many, both by reproaches and afflictions, and others not actually brought into view have suffered by reason of being companions of these faithful ones who have been so ill-used. When the public press, and particularly the Hierarchy’s papers, have an opportunity to publish something about Jehovah’s witnesses they deliberately ignore the truth and publish lies, and laugh about it, and rejoice in their drunken revel. In making sport of Samson the Philistines reproached the name of Jehovah God and praised the Devil through their god Dagon. In modern times the modern Philistines, making sport of Jehovah’s witnesses have brazenly reproached the name of Jehovah, and at the same time they give praise to the Devil and his organization.
36 “Who is blind, but my servant?” saith the Lord. The true Samson class must at this time be blind to everything except the doing of God’s will. In this time of persecution these faithful witnesses, blind to everything except God’s service, hear the words of comfort from Jehovah’s Word, written long ago for their benefit, to wit: “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.”— Heb. 10: 35, 36.
37 Samson’s heart must have burned with righteous indignation at the reproaches cast upon the name of Jehovah when he was led to a position where he was “set ... between the pillars” that supported the great hall. He would be eager to be used there to the glory of God and to the vindication of his name. Jehovah was directing the drama, and Jehovah put it into the mind of Samson as to the manner in which he could be used, and that must have thrilled Samson’s heart. Likewise the Samson class, while being abused, ill-treated, ridiculed, denounced, arrested and thrown into prison because of their faithfulness to Jehovah, have at all times been eager to do something to the honor and praise of Jehovah’s holy name. The two pillars of the Dagon temple supported the roof, on which were seated about three thousand persons, and a like number or even more would be on the lower floor, and with attending lackeys and other servants the number would be even greater than six thousand. And what did those two pillars represent?
38 The structure was Satan’s house visible to the eyes of men, and accommodated those who were in it. The house, therefore, represented Satan’s visible organization, in which his devotees feasted and praised his name and cursed Jehovah God. Since the coming of the Lord Jesus to the temple of Jehovah the ruling factors or earthly lords of the Devil’s visible organization have assembled in his temple, the two supporting pillars of which are, (1) that the visible ruling powers of the earth, and the ones to be praised, are the religionists, controllers of commerce, and the political instruments, and that these therefore constitute "the higher powers”, which powers are ordained of God, and to which all men must be subject, regardless of what God may say. This, of course, is a perversion of the scripture at Homans 13:1. (2) That such "higher powers” or visible ruling factors are the ones endowed and fully empowered and ably qualified to give to the people prosperity, security and peace on earth, making it a fit place in which to live; and that these two antitypical pillars alone will robe the earth in glory and beauty, and then Christ Jesus might be invited to come and look at it. To this end they have organized the League of Nations, a World Court; made numerous peace treaties; declared holy years; brought forth numerous so-called recovery schemes, such as killing pigs and destroying crops, to enhance the price of what remains; and continued to tax the people to raise money to keep millions on the dole and subject to their political dictates. They have organized and put into operation such schemes of government as Fascism, Nazism, dictators, and hailed these as man’s deliverer, instead of giving honor to God and his King, Christ Jesus. Back of this entire movement is the Roman Catholic Hierarchy, which by various schemes and under various names has made itself the controlling power in many nations. Such men as Hitler, Mosley, Mussolini and others are merely tools to the "black” organization, of which the Jesuits are the secret service agents. It is authoritatively stated that Mosley and Mr. Roosevelt spent some time cruising together on the seas shortly before the latter was elected to the presidency of the United States. Although Mosley in England is ostensibly socialistic, the movement is in fact forwarded by the Roman Catholic Hierarchy to furnish an excuse to grab the British Empire and control it openly. Likewise the Socialist and Communist movements, about which so much is now said in America by the clergy especially, are fathered and carried on by the Roman Catholic Hierarchy and its allies in order to furnish an opportunity and afford an excuse for the Roman organization to grab America and rule it by the hand of a cruel dictator.
39 For some time now the Samson class, that is to say, God’s faithful witnesses on earth, have been placed between these two pillars of Satan’s organization. Jehovah in his own good way has made known to these faithful ones the meaning of the ‘two signs in heaven’ (Rev. 12:1-3), and that one of those signs is Satan’s organization; and Jehovah’s witnesses clearly discern that the two pillars of the visible part of Satan’s organization are as stated above. By God’s grace they have now come to the correct understanding of "the higher powers” and have learned that these "higher powers” are Jehovah and Christ Jesus alone. They now clearly discern that the two pillars supporting Satan’s visible organization are false and fraudulent and that the only hope for mankind is the kingdom of God by and through Christ Jesus, his elect and "blind” servant.
40 Samson was entirely blind and, as such, he there played a part in the drama picturing Jehovah’s ‘‘faithful servant” class now blind to everything save the service of Jehovah looking to the vindication of his name: "And Samson said unto the lad that held him by the hand, Suffer me that I may feel the pillars whereupon the house standeth, that I may lean upon them.” (Judg. 16: 26) Samson knew the two pillars were there supporting the building, and doubtless on his former visit to Gaza he had examined that great house, and now he could use the knowledge to good effect. Feigning weakness and to be in need of rest, Samson requested that he might be permitted to feel of the pillars that held up the house. Likewise Jehovah’s witnesses, under their Head, Christ Jesus, give the appearance of weakness, because they are but a few in number and they possess not the riches of this world, nor political power nor influence. They trust wholly in Jehovah and in his King. Blind to the taunts and jeers and insolence hurled at him, Samson there determined to get himself into a position to the honor of Jehovah’s name. Likewise since 1922 the Samson class, blind to the reproaches, taunts, jeers and repeated insults heaped upon them, have determined, by the Lord’s grace, to get themselves into a position that they may have some part in the vindication of Jehovah’s name. They see that such is the very purpose of Jehovah’s taking out from the world a people for his name, that they might show forth his praises. —Acts 15:14; 1 Pet. 2:9,10.
41 That must have been a noisy crowd, indulging in great hilarity, both on the roof and below it, all making sport in one way or other of Samson: "Now the house was full of men and women; and all the lords of the Philistines were there; and there were upon the roof about three thousand men and women, that beheld while Samson made sport.”—Judg. 16:27.
42 The exalted ones of the Philistines had gathered there from all the allied cities. They were ridiculing the Israelites, whom once they had greatly feared, and doubtless they still feared Samson might do something; but they knew they were great in number and had Samson where they could watch him. Likewise today the modern Philistines, when considering their position and hearing what the Samson class have to say, look with fear at what might come to pass and they trust in their own allied strength and think they have the Samson class where they can watch them and get rid of them at will.
43 Samson prayed to Jehovah, and likewise the Samson class pray to God without ceasing. (1 Thess. 5:17) Of himself Samson did not have strength to pull down the great house, but Jehovah was about to furnish all the needed strength. Likewise the Samson class have no power to pull down Satan’s house, but God gives them the strength to declare his purpose to accomplish that very thing. (2 Cor. 10:4) “And Samson called unto the Lord, and said, O Lord God [Jehovah], remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.” (Judg. 16:28) Doubtless the prayer of Samson was spoken aloud so that the Philistines might hear and know by whom their destruction would be accomplished.
44 Likewise today the Samson class pray to God and call upon his name aloud and herald his message far and wide that the Philistines may hear and have an opportunity to know by what power their calamity is coming upon them. “For they shall know that I am Jehovah.” The remnant now are fully aware of the meaning of the great issue at hand and they know the key position, and they pray to Jehovah to show his strength and to pull down the wicked organization. “Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness. Quicken me, O Lord, for thy name’s sake: for thy righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble. And of thy mercy cut off mine enemies, and destroy all them that afflict my soul: for I am thy servant.” (Ps. 143:10-12) “O my God, make them like a wheel; as the stubble before the wind. As the fire burneth a wood, and as the flame setteth the mountains on fire, that men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the Most High over all the earth.” —Ps. 83:13,14,18.
45 Samson cried out: “Only this once, O God.” He knew that this would be his final effort, and he wanted to make the most of it. This is “the day of Jehovah”, and it is only “one day”. It is the opportunity to vindicate Jehovah’s name, and it is “only this once”. “It shall be one day, which shall be known to the Lord.” (Zech. 14:7) The faithful witnesses of Jehovah, pictured here by Samson, are determined that they will make the most of this day, regardless of the consequences that may befall them through man. Samson, wholly blind, knew he must die. Now the Samson class, blind to everything save doing the will of God to the vindication of his name, know that they must die, and this they are glad to do and are determined to do out in the service of the Most High. They are so blind to everything else that they refuse to be turned aside to look at anything else. Like the faithful apostle Paul they declare: ‘This one thing I will do,’ that I may be a true follower of Christ Jesus. (Phil. 3:13) Threats, opposition, assaults, prison and ill-treatment, will not deter the faithful remnant in carrying out their consecration vow unto God. They remember that Jesus has said to them: “Be thou faithful unto death,” and this they are determined to do. — Rev. 2:10.
46 Samson prayed that he might be avenged of the Philistines “for my two eyes”. Other renderings of this text: “That I may be avenged with one avenging for one of my two eyes.” (Roth., margin) (Likewise the American Revised Version marginal rendering) “That I may be avenged for one of my two eyes on the Philistines.” (Leeser) Samson could properly charge the blinding of his one eye to his yielding to Delilah, and thus foreshadowing or picturing the servant class of the Lord becoming negligent and to a degree compromising in the year 1918. The blindness of the other eye was properly charged to the Philistines, and for that they must settle with Jehovah God, because Samson was his servant. It was not a case of personal vengeance for which Samson cried, but for the vindication of Jehovah’s own name. Likewise Jehovah’s witnesses do not pray for personal vengeance to be visited upon the modern Philistines, but for the vindication of Jehovah’s name. Their own negligence, at which God was angered and for which God has now forgiven them, and fully restored them to his favor, had contributed to their partial blindness; but the modern Philistines arc responsible for bringing about the complete blindness, and they pray vengeance upon the modern Philistines for the vindication of Jehovah’s name. Such vengeance or vindication involves his witnesses because they are representatives of Jehovah and are the ones the enemies reproach, and against whom the enemies have conspired to bring about their destruction. By the persecution of these witnesses the modern Philistines have reproached the name of Jehovah, and the account must now be squared and his holy name vindicated. The Philistines without warrant had afflicted the servants of God, both in Samson’s case and in modern times. (Zech. 1:15) The part that Samson played in this part of the drama in connection with his blindness pictured the fact that Jehovah’s witnesses, as servants of the Most High, have become blind to everything save doing the will of God, even as Christ Jesus was blind to everything else. (Isa. 42:19) Jehovah did not authorize the Philistines to make Samson blind, nor did he lay upon the modern Philistines the duty of bringing about the blindness of his faithful servant class. The effort on the part of the modern Philistines is therefore presumptuous before the Lord, for which sin they must answer. They have reproached his name by willfully misusing and ill-treating his witnesses, and therefore they must and shall suffer destruction at the hand of the Lord.
47 The publication of Jehovah’s Word and name is all-important, and this must be done before the destruction of the modern Philistines. “And Samson took hold of [threw his arms around (Leeser)] the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left.” (Judg. 16:29) The Philistines thinking that Samson’s strength was broken, and not understanding that his long hair pictured the reproach upon a faithful servant and for that reason God had given him strength again, they would only mock at his prayer and continue to reproach God. Likewise today the modern Philistines look upon Jehovah’s witnesses as a crowd of weaklings, giving no heed to their sayings and their testimony that is borne, but continue to scornfully laugh at that and reproach God’s holy name. But the Samson class are full of faith, even as Samson by faith accomplished his work: “And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein: so the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.”—Judg. 16:30.
48 Samson’s request was that he might die with the Philistines, thus showing that he was not seeking something for himself but that he was willing to die in order that he might vindicate the name of Jehovah God and prove his integrity to Jehovah. Today Jehovah’s witnesses know that they are surrounded by mortal enemies and that in order to have a part in the vindication of Jehovah’s name they must continue in his service in proclaiming his name, and that such will bring down upon their heads the wrath of the enemy, but they prefer to die in such manner to any other way. They are determined to serve God with their last breath. The constant reproach, abuse, ill-treatment and imprisonment will not deter them in their faithful devotion and service to Jehovah. Now Jehovah’s witnesses, in his strength and power given to them through Jesus Christ their Head, go about doing the will of God, and they ‘bend the pillars of the modern Philistines with all their might’ (Leeser) and continue to shout the praises of Jehovah as they do so.
49 Samson died true to the meaning of his name, that is, “destroyer, desolator.” In this latter part of the prophetic drama Samson pictured the work of God’s faithful people, which work is designated as “the Elisha work” and which was foreshadowed by what Elisha the prophet did. Those doing the Elisha work must end their course in death, and in doing so they accomplish more than was accomplished during the Elijah period. As it is written, ‘Samson slew in his death more than he slew in his life,’ even so it is with the servants of God, as pictured by the Elijah and the Elisha periods of the church. It would appear from this and other scriptures that this part of the drama pictures the beginning of Armageddon, but not the end thereof. That Samson died with the fall of the Philistines’ house does not mean that all the Samson class will go down in death at the time of the beginning or even at the end of Armageddon. The point that is here particularly emphasized by the prophetic drama is the faithfulness of Samson and his approval, and the faithfulness of the Samson class. Samson received the approval of Jehovah because of his faithfulness; and likewise the Samson class, continuing faithful unto death, receive the final approval of Jehovah. Other scriptures show that some of the remnant will survive Armageddon. Therefore the Samson picture necessarily shows and emphasizes faithfulness of Jehovah’s witnesses unto death, and not the particular time or manner in which they shall die.
50 No one can properly reproach Samson and the record made by him. He was Jehovah’s servant, far-forming the part assigned to him for the purpose of foretelling events of greater importance to come to pass in the future. God caused to be made a record of Samson and his exploits, and amongst other things that record says: “Through faith [he] . . . wrought righteousness, . . . stopped the mouths of lions, . . . out of weakness [was] made strong, . . . had trial of . . . mockings and seourgings, . . . bonds and imprisonment; ... (of whom the world was not worthy:) . . . and . . . obtained a good report through faith.”— Heb. 11:32-39.
51 What more could be said of a faithful servant? Such a record could only picture a class of persons faithful and true unto God even unto death; and that is exactly what the faithful remnant must be and will be. No reproach can be properly placed against the remnant for the course they are taking in the service of Jehovah, because they are his servants, doing his will. They are now the objects of all manner of abuse, but, like Samson, the world is not worthy of them, and continuing faithful unto the end they shall receive and obtain a good report and an everlasting approval of Jehovah. For their encouragement God caused the apostle to write to those continuously devoted to him and faithful in his service: “If ye do these things, ye shall never fall; for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” (2 Pet. 1:10,11) Jehovah’s servant class, blind to everything of this world, now has a clear vision of the glorious kingdom under Christ, which will fully and for ever vindicate God’s holy name. And concerning his faithful servant class Jehovah says: "Seeing many things, but thou observest not; opening the cars, but he heareth not. The Lord is well pleased for his righteousness’ sake; he will magnify the law, and make it honourable.”—Isa. 42:20,21.
52 The prophetic drama, which God made and in which Samson is so prominently a player, should bring great satisfaction and cheer to Jehovah’s witnesses at the present time. Now they can see why their former brethren, pictured by Delilah, betrayed them; why the modern Philistines continue to persecute them, and how necessary it is for them to continue steadfastly in faith and faithfulness in serving the Most High even unto the end. This prophetic drama proves beyond all question of doubt that every one of the temple class, receiving the final approval of Jehovah, must continue faithful as his blind servant even unto death. The destruction of the six thousand and more Philistines at the falling of their temple was not the complete destruction of all the Philistines. That was left to be accomplished later, and it appears from these scriptures that there are yet some important parts to be played in God’s prophetic dramas by his faithful witness class.
QUESTIONS FOR STUDY
1. According to Isaiah 42: 5, whose are the words of identification and approval with which that chapter opens, as showing how great is that commendation? Who is the servant here referred to, and what is the high honor bestowed upon him? For what reason has that great honor been thus conferred?
2, 3. Who is the servant referred to in Isaiah 42: 19 J Explain his being "blind”. Point out the divine rule therein laid down.
4, 5. Account for Samson’s being the object of severe criticism. Show whether he or others whom Jehovah has used can properly be criticized by men. How are their imperfections or apparent mistakes to be regarded?
6 9. Who was Delilah? How, in the fulfillment of Judges 16: 19, did "Delilah” make "Samson” "sleep upon her knees”? How did she ‘call for a man and cause him to cut oft Samson’s hair’?
10-16. Point out circumstances and facts in which verses 20 and 21 have been fulfilled. What is there to show whether at this point God was displeased with Samson or with the Samson class?
17-20. According to related scriptures, what did the regrowth of Samson’s hair mean for him? Apply this part of the prophetic picture.
21-27. Describe the situation in which the modern Philistines are seen as foretold of them in verse 23.
28, 29. What conditions are seen to have been foreshown in verse 24?
30-35. What course taken by the modern Philistines fulfills the prophetic picture presented in the first part of verse 25? Compare this with what is recorded about Belshazzar's feast.
36, 37. Describe Samson’s condition at this point (latter part of verse 25), and that of the Samson class as here foreshown.
38, 39. What was pictured by the house, and by the two supporting pillars thereof?
40-42. What was foreshown in Samson’s entire blindness, and in what is recorded of him in verse 26? Apply the picture presented in verse 27.
43-46. Apply Samson’s prayer to God for strength, and "only this once”. Also his plea "that I may be avenged with one avenging for one of my two eyes”.
47-49. Account for the Philistines’ setting Samson "between the pillars”. How does this apply to the Samson class? Show that, in the essential purpose of thus prophetic drama and the record thereof, verses 29,30 are in course of fulfillment.
50-52. What do the Scriptures show as to Samson’s having been faithful? As to the purpose of the record? What instruction is seen therein for the Samson class?
O THE DEPTH OF THE RICHES
both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past tracing out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and unto him, are all things. To him be the glory for ever.
SUFFERINGS OF CHRISTIANS: THE PURPOSE
MANY have wondered why it has been so difficult to be a true and constant Christian. The answer is that the world, being the Devil’s organization, has always opposed anything and everything in harmony with God, and that the Devil and his agencies have caused Christians to suffer because of their faithfulness to God. Keeping always in mind that the world includes the visible part of Satan’s organization, which rules the people, and that the clergy as a rule are a part of the world, it is easy to see why many clergymen who claim to be Christians persecute the true and humble followers of the Lord Jesus.
The "new creation” is separate and distinct from the world and therefore must be always on the Lord’s side. "If any man is in Christ, he is a new creation: the old things are passed away; behold, they arc become new.” (2 Cor. 5:17, A.R.V., margin) Millions of people have thought themselves to be Christians and at the same time have tried to keep in favor with the world and please the financiers, the politicians, and the clergymen; and by doing so they have quickly fallen into the Devil’s trap. (1 John 2:15; Jas. 4:4) It is a well-known fact that all the religious persecution that has come upon the true Christians has been incited by those who claim to be Christians. Esau of old foreshadowed these hypocritical, fraudulent, so-called "Christians”. (Gen. 27:41-45) Even as Esau persecuted Jacob, to whom he sold his birthright for a mess of pottage, so have the nominal Christians persecuted the true. Esau therefore foreshadowed the Devil’s representatives, while Jacob foreshadowed the Lord’s representatives.
"Why was it necessary for Jesus Christ to suffer at the hands of the enemy? Did his suffering have anything to do with the ransom or sin-offering in behalf of mankind? The answer must be, No; for the reason that a perfect man, Adam, had sinned and forfeited his life, and the perfect human life of Jesus poured out constituted the ransom, regardless of any suffering from contradiction of sinners to which Jesus was subjected. In considering this question, recall that among the Israelites the slaying of the sacrificial animals representing the death of our Lord Jesus took place in the court of the sacred tabernacle or temple, which court pictures the condition of righteousness with God and while one is on the earth; and that the presentation of their blood foreshadowing the sin-offering took place in the tabernacle’s “holiest of all”, which represents heaven itself. The bodies of these animals were carried out of the court and burned outside of the camp of the Israelites; and thus the sufferings of Jesus are shown outside the court, even outside the camp, symbolically speaking. Then why should Jesus suffer? It is written: “For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.”—Heb. 13:11-13.
In the eyes of the Jews a man was a sinner and accursed in the sight of God if he died upon the tree, because it is written in the divine law: “Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.” (Gal. 3:13; Dent. 21:23) The blood of Jesus, representing his life poured out, must be presented in heaven as an offering for the sins of mankind ; and without that blood’s being presented as a sin-offering the people could not be sanctified. “For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” (Heb. 10:14) But before Jesus could appear in heaven and present that lifeblood as a sin-offering, he must prove his worthiness thus to appear in the presence of God. In order to do this he must prove his loyalty and faithfulness to God. He must be put to the test of the severest kind, and under the test prove loyal and faithful.
Suffering opposition from sinners, the representatives of the enemy, pictured as outside the camp, was the great cross of suffering which was actually fulfilled and completed when Jesus was crucified as a sinner. The things which Jesus suffered, therefore, were these, to wit: the reproach cast upon his Father’s name; the reproach of himself because of his faithful service to his Father; the contradiction of himself by sinners; and being denounced as a sinner and then dying as a sinner upon the cursed tree. He endured this suffering and yet rejoiced in it, because he knew that he was doing his Father’s will. His covenant was to do the will of God, and it was the will of God that his faithfulness and loyalty should thus be proved; and should he meet this test, and stand it faithfully, such would prove his perfection.
Therefore it is written: “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered ; and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.” (Heb. 5:8,9) This of itself proves conclusively that by suffering he learned obedience and was thus perfected as the Author of the eternal salvation to all obedient ones. “For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.”—Heb. 2:10.
It is claimed by some that the perfection of Jesus here constituted his ‘developing a perfect character’. This could not be true. Jesus was and is a character. A perfect character is a perfect creature or person. Jesus was perfect as a man; therefore, was a perfect character. What, then, is meant by being made perfect? He thereby proved his loyalty and faithfulness under the most adverse conditions, which entailed upon him great suffering. Thereby he proved that he was and always would be true and faithful unto Jehovah, and that Jehovah could for ever entrust him with the highest position in all his universe. Being thus perfected would entitle him to an entrance into heaven as the great representative of Jehovah, that he might there present his lifeblood as a sin-offering on behalf of the human race. This is the reason why the apostle says: “That he might sanctify the people with his own blood, [Jesus] suffered without the gate.”-Heb. 13 : 12.
God purposed to have a creation which would be always loyal and faithful to him. In no way could he prove this new creation except by putting each one to the severest test. By suffering, Jesus was put to the test and proved faithful and loyal, and one of the titles he received was ‘The Faithful and True’. It would have been impossible for him to present his lifeblood in heaven as a sin-offering unless he proved faithful and true. This proof he must give by and through suffering. Because of his complete obedience to the Father’s will, even unto suffering an ignominious death, God granted unto him life divine at his resurrection and the highest position in the universe, God himself excepted, as it is written:
“[Christ Jesus] made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”—Phil. 2: 7-11.
Those who are privileged to be the members of the body of Christ must of necessity “be like him”, as he now is. “The world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God; and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him: for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” (1 John 3:1-3) All of God’s new creation must be divine, like Jesus now. All must appear before Jehovah God. It would be wholly unreasonable even to permit the body members to have this exaltation without the test, when God required the test to be met by his beloved Son. Therefore it is written: ‘‘For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps.’’ — 1 Pet. 2: 21.
The sufferings of the body members are not for the purpose of providing a purchase price or a sin-offering, but that they might be made a part of The Christ, as members of the body of Christ. Therefore it is written: “I [Paul] am now rejoicing in the sufferings on your account, and I am filling up the remainder of the afflictions of the Anointed One, in my flesh, on behalf of his body, which is the congregation.” (Col. 1:24, Diag.) Each one of the new creation must be proved as loyal and faithful unto God; and the apostle is here rejoicing that he is privileged to partake of the sufferings of Christ, since this is the condition precedent to being made members of The Christ. Again it is written: “The spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.”—Rom. 8:16, 17.
As a further proof that each member of the new creation must be put to the test and prove his faithfulness, it is written: “Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. It is a faithful saying: for if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: if we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us.” (2 Tim. 2:10-12) Each body member must die as a human creature, and die a sacrificial death, in order to live as a divine creature; and he must suffer the contradiction of sinners and opposition of the Devil, even as Jesus suffered, and under such tests prove his loyalty to God, in order that he may be made part of the great royal priesthood and reign with Christ.
Many have erroneously believed that God has been trying to get people into heaven in order to escape eternal torment. This is what the preachers have taught. The Devil induced this teaching in order to misrepresent Jehovah and turn many honest minds away from him. When a Christian can see the reason for his suffering he can rejoice in it. When he sees that he thus has an opportunity to prove to God that he is loyal and faithful he delights to have that opportunity, regardless of what causes the suffering. When he sees that the world is the Devil’s organization, and that the opposition comes from this, and that he suffers because thereof, then he delights or takes joy in his suffering.
Such is what the apostle Peter meant when he said: “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evil doer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.”—1 Pct. 4:12-16.
This is the reason why a Christian cannot support the world and be a Christian at the same time. He cannot engage in war, because the Lord commands that he must not do so. As the Lord’s kingdom is not of this wicked world, so his followers must wait until his kingdom is established. They cannot be sympathetic with the unrighteous systems of this world, but must wait until God establishes through Christ a righteous government.
The apostle Paul was a man of much more than ordinary affairs. He had been a zealous advocate of the law given to Israel through Moses. When he became a Christian he saw the privileges that were set before him. He said that he had suffered the loss of all things and that he counted them as nothing, that he might win Christ: “That,” as he said, “I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.” (Phil. 3:10,11) The apostle did not say that he was suffering in order to “develop a character”, nor that he was suffering for the benefit of somebody else; but he partook of the sufferings of Christ and desired to be made conformable to his death in order that he might be made partaker of “his resurrection”.
Thine, O Jehovah, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Jehovah, and thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come of thee, and thou rulest over all; and in thy hand is power and might; and in thy hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.—David.