Tempted (Samson, Part 4) № 24

Искушенный (Самсон, Часть 4)

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1935, 15 декабря
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YEAR BOOK 1936

The Year Book, including the annual report of the activities of Jehovah’s witnesses throughout the earth, is now ready. All those devoted to the Lord, including the remnant and the Jonadabs, will be anxious to read this report and to have the benefit of the year text and the daily comments on the daily texts. Only a limited number of these can be published, and therefore the cost of publication makes it necessary for us to receive fifty cents a copy for this book. Orders will be filled as long as the limited stock manufactured lasts. Each company of Jehovah’s witnesses and the Jonadabs may send in orders through the company secretary. Your early attention to this will be appreciated.

 

CALENDAR FOR 1936

The text “For Jehovah and for Gideon” (Judges 7:18, A.R.V.) is appropriate for Jehovah’s publishers, and therefore it will be used for 1936 the same as for 1935. Calendars are being prepared for those who desire them. The same illustration will be used; however, the general design and appearance will be different, the calendar pad, of course, for the year 1936. The companies and individuals will please send in orders as soon as possible, as we have printed only what we estimated are required. The price will be, for single calendar, 25c; for lots of five or more, 20c each.

 

TRANSCRIPTION MACHINES

The Society has made arrangements to construct and assemble portable transcription machines at our own factory at 117 Adams Street. These machines are somewhat different in construction from those previously furnished. They will be spring-wound, and operated from a 6-volt wet-cell battery. Every machine will be furnished complete with the battery and a battery charger, so that it can be kept up to its full strength. We are pleased to announce that this machine can be offered at $100, complete, to brethren in the United States.

 

PHONOGRAPHS

Jehovah God has duly provided another effective instrument for the kingdom proclamation, to wit, a portable phonograph equipped with electrically transcribed records of 4-minute speeches by Brother Rutherford on vital Bible topics. Reports to date from pioneers and others already equipped with and using this phonograph attest the success and potency of this method of introducing and driving home the Lord’s message. The machine is manufactured by the Society at its Brooklyn factory, and is specially designed for its work, and is the best available for the purpose. Strong, compact, with a powerful spring-wound motor, and carrying space for several discs, it weighs 21 pounds with six discs bearing twelve recordings. To cover the bare cost the phonograph, with 18 recordings, may be had for $19.25. All orders therefor, remittance accompanying, should be sent to the Brooklyn office of the Society.

 

TEMPTED

(Samson, Part 4)

“The Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with dll your heart and with all your soul.”—Deut. 13: 3.

JEHOVAH approves and receives into his royal organization only those who under the test remain true and faithful to him. Such must maintain their integrity toward God to the end. From the time that Jehovah first declared his purpose to have a righteous government on earth until the present time the question before men has been and is, Who will maintain their integrity toward God ? The Israelites were on the trek from Egypt to the Promised Land, and there they pictured God’s covenant people on the way to the kingdom. Moses assembled the Israelites on the plains of Moab and there God made with his people the covenant of faithfulness. It was shortly before that covenant was made that Moses as the mouthpiece of Jehovah said to the Israelites: “The Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.” Every one whom God will have in his royal house will be a monument or memorial testifying to the fact that Satan is a liar and that Jehovah is true. They must undergo a proving test to reach this point.

2 The issue raised by the Devil’s wicked challenge to Jehovah made it necessary and important that God permit the Devil to use his devices in an effort to turn men away from him and their faithful devotion to the Most High. For this reason Jesus was tempted by the Devil while in the wilderness, and in that temptation Jesus won. (Matt. 4:1-11) All the members of the royal house must follow in the footsteps of Jesus, and all must likewise be subjected to temptations or tests. For this reason it is written: “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (Hob. 4:15) “For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted. ’ ’— Heb. 2:18.

3 To tempt means to entice; to discipline, and to prove. How could one be proved unless he be subjected to enticement or temptation? This does not mean the development of character, by which men are enabled to resist the weaknesses of the flesh. It does mean that men, when put to the test as to whether they will be true to God or not, if faithful, will remain true and steadfast in their devotion to Jehovah and will refuse to compromise with the enemy. Jesus was subjected to that very test. The apostle, under inspiration, addressing those who are in line for the kingdom, wrote: “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who, for the joy that was set before him. endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not ? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees.” (Heb. 12:2-8,12) Jehovah docs not tempt a man, but he does permit the Devil to put God’s sons to the test in order to afford them an opportunity to prove their own integrity toward him.

4 Samson in the prophetic drama under consideration played the part that pictures the faithful members of the royal house, and now shows that they would be subjected to temptation. At the same time all those who are subjected to temptation are admonished to watch and to walk circumspectly. If there were not danger of falling they would not be so admonished. (Matt. 24:42; 25:13 ; 1 Cor. 16:13; 1 Thess. 5: 6; 2 Tim. 4:5) “Be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer." (1 Pet. 4:7) “Watch, and pray, that ye enter not into temptation.” (Matt. 26:41) Probably Samson was not as watchful as he might have been, but then in this respect he is not to be criticized by those who have lived since his day. The part he was play in? pictured what would actually come to those who undertake to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. The unbiased examination of the divine record fails to disclose anything that would justify criticism of Samson. He was finally approved by Jehovah God, and that covers every mistake, if any, that Samson made or is supposed to have made. Samson’s relationship with the woman Delilah is not a matter of proper criticism of him. Lest some may, for a justification of improper conduct, foolishly seize upon what Samson did and what was said by him, it is well to here give some consideration to his relationship with the woman Delilah mentioned in the divine record concerning him.

5 There is no conclusive evidence that Samson was ever in fact married to any woman. The request he made of his parents concerning the Philistine woman at Timnath was, “Get her for me to wife.’’ The arrangement was made, and together with his parents Samson went to Timnath, and “Samson made there a feast”, as was the custom on such occasions. (Judg. 14:10) That would appear to be nothing more than the betrothal feast, which preceded the consummation of the marriage contract. A recognized Biblical authority, concerning such matters, says: “Between the betrothal and the marriage a varying interval elapsed. During this period the bride-elect lived with her friends, . . . She was virtually regarded as the wife of her future husband. . . . (Deut. 22:23,24) . . . The essence of the marriage ceremony consisted in the removal of the bride from her father’s house to that of the bridegroom or his father.” (International Bible Dictionary, page 388) The evidence is conclusive that the Philistine woman remained with her father and never at any time went to the home of Samson or his parents. However, he would probably refer to her as “his wife”, as the Scriptures do, by reason of the betrothal agreement. There is nothing said in the record to the effect that Samson loved that woman. The record is emphatic that Samson wanted that woman because “he sought an occasion against the Philistines”; and that was the result of his experience with her. Samson called her his “heifer”, that is, meaning a female calf that he would use for his purpose. Not much love for a heifer, and there is no evidence that he did love her. She “pleased” him only to find occasion against the Philistines. (Judg. 14:3,7) God was here making a prophetic picture of things to come to pass, and we may be absolutely sure that the picture begins and ends at the proper point.

6 Returning now to the question, Whom did Delilah picture in the prophetic drama? Samson’s fights with the Philistines had taken place several years previous to the Delilah incident, which later incident evidently was near the close of his twenty years in office as judge of Israel. It does not appear that Samson was seeking an occasion against the Philistines when he came in contact with Delilah. On the contrary, the record says that he “loved . . . Delilah”. That means that he had affection for her as a friend. The same original word here rendered ‘love’ is also rendered ‘love’ in the following texts: (1 Sam. 18:16) “Jonathan loved him [David] as his own soul.” (1 Sam. 18:1; 20:17) It was the same kind of love that Jesus had for Lazarus. (John 11:36) The same word as Paul used when he wrote to Titus: “Greet them that love us in the faith.” (Titus 3:15) No such feeling of affection ever existed between the Israelites and the Philistines; and this is another reason to conclude that Delilah was not a Philistine, but an Israelite.

7 Samson must have had confidence in Delilah; otherwise he would not have loved her. Their relationship must have been close, and much closer than that of the Israelites and the Philistines. There is no reason whatsoever for God to cause the record in this great drama to speak of love between his chosen people, the Israelites, and their mortal enemies, the Philistines. The conclusion that the faithful Samson loved a Philistine is a direct contradiction of the purpose of the drama.

8 Delilah in this drama pictured that class of persons who during the period of the Elijah work of the church were begotten of the holy spirit, and who therefore were in line for the kingdom, and who afterwards fell away, became traitors and formed the ‘ ‘ evil servant” class. In that period of time all spirit-begotten ones in obedience to God’s commandments loved one another. They had a deep interest in one another as brethren in the Lord. They worked together as servants of the Lord and were confidential with one another. Samson did not marry Delilah, and there is not the slightest evidence that there was ever any sexual relationship between them. His love for and confidence in her would make it easy for him to be betrayed by her.

9 The fulfillment of this particular part of the prophetic drama seems to be from about 1917 to 1919, approximately at the end of the world. Concerning that very time Jesus said in answer to what would be evidence of the end of the world: “And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” — Matt. 24:10-13.

10 Clearly, then, these words of Jesus foretold two separate and distinct classes: (a) A class the love of which grows cold and the members of which turn to iniquity and betray their brethren and are not saved; and (b) the other class, that maintain their integrity toward God, endure great reproach and persecution to the end, receive God’s approval, and are saved; the class first mentioned terminating in the “evil servant”, “the son of perdition,” and the other class in the “faithful and wise servant”, to whom the Lord commits “his goods”.—Matt. 24:45-51.

11 What are the indisputable facts? In 1917 the Elijah work of the church was drawing to a close. The one who had long been the editor of The 'Watchtower, and leader of God’s people on earth, was dead. In the organization of the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society there were then ambitious persons desiring to receive the honor of men and personal gain, that they might gain control of the Society. They had expected to be prominent in the kingdom, looking forward with much gratification to the time in which they would be exalted and would help to rule the world, and they expected the realization of that hope about 1914, and, these things not having come to pass, they were chagrined and offended at the Lord and turned bitter. Three years had passed since the expected time, and they were still on the earth and without honor amongst men. So at that time many of such became offended; and made no secret of the fact, by letting it be known that their brethren in the Society were not pleasing to them. The antitypical Philistines learned that fact and took advantage of it.

12 Returning now to the dramatic prophecy: Without a question of doubt Delilah had consorted and conspired with the Philistines to entrap Samson, and gain his secret, to bring about his downfall. Likewise the offended ones in 1917 consorted and conspired with the modern Philistines, the known enemies of God’s people, to entrap and to destroy the faithful ones, pictured by Samson. About that time the espionage (spy) law was enacted by the Congress of the United States. That furnished the occasion for both the clergy and the “evil servant” class, the unfaithful ones, to entrap the faithful servants of God. Delilah received the envoys of the Philistines and conspired with them against her brother Israelite, Samson. That furnishes a good reason why the Scriptural account does not say that she was a Philistine, and the other facts lead strongly to the presumption that she was an Israelite. The Philistines were in no wise brethren of the Israelites. In 1917 and 1918 the members of that certain class, who had been for years in the Society and serving God’s people in a manner, lined up with the clergy and took a positive, open, defiant stand against their own brethren. They betrayed their brethren into the hands of the clergy, the modern, up-to-date Philistines.

13 The lords of the Philistines would be the chief ones that managed the affairs of the people, and these are the ones that engaged Delilah to carry out their wicked work. “And the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and said unto her, Entice him, and see wherein his great strength lieth, and by what means we may prevail against him, that we may bind him to afflict him; and we will give thee, every one of us, eleven hundred pieces of silver.”—Judg. 16:5.

14 The lords of the Philistines would picture the chief ones or lords of “Christendom”, who were out to destroy the faithful servants of Jehovah God. Therefore it was the Roman Catholic Hierarchy, acting by its chief officers, and the under-clergy, and the political and financial agents and dupes of such, including the once Protestant preachers, all of whom now are acting together against God’s people and who are designated in the Scriptures as “the shepherds” and ‘the principal of their flocks’. (Jer. 25: 34) Later those same lords were on the roof of a house when it was thrown down by the blind Samson. (See verses 27-30.) Those Philistine lords knew of the close and friendly relationship that had for some time existed between Samson and Delilah, and they knew Delilah was a crook and a traitor, loving gain, as represented by money. Likewise in modern times the “Philistines”, the lords of religion, and their allies in 1917 knew that for some time there had existed a close relationship between those forming the Watch Tower Society, and they learned of the deflection of the then opponents, and believed they were “crooks” and open to any proposition that might bring to them some personal gain, as represented by money.

15 So the lords of the Philistines went to Delilah and said, “Entice him.” They did not say, “Entice thy husband,’’ as they had stated to the Philistine woman at Timnath on another occasion; and this is further proof that Delilah was not married to Samson. In fact, there is no evidence to show that he was married to her. The close and friendly relationship, represented by love between Samson and Delilah, would make it possible for her to entice and to betray him. Likewise the close brotherly relationship existing at and prior to 1917 between those in the Society who remained faithful and the others, who became offended, would make it possible for the iniquitous ones to entice the unsuspecting, trusting, faithful ones and entrap them. Regardless of the spy or espionage law and the dangers it held for them, the faithful ones in the Society continued to carry forward the witness work, by the grace of the Lord, and that alone greatly disturbed the clergy, because the truth being proclaimed at that time concerning the events of the second coming of Christ, and his kingdom, exposed the duplicity of the clergy and disclosed that they were not in favor of God’s kingdom, and therefore they were anxious for the “pestiferous” so-called “Bible Students” to be put out of business. Carrying out their conspiracy, they visited the traitor class, pictured by Delilah, and in substance said: ‘ See wherein is the strength of this crowd in persisting in going on with their work amidst the present conditions, and wherein we may prevail against them and afflict them; and if you will do so, we will pay you well.’ In other words, their request was that the Delilah class ‘find out how it is that this Samson company of people have such vigor and strength in the cause that they claim to represent. They are but a small company, but they go boldly on in the face of the war and all opposition and the repeated warnings of the clergy. How can we stop the work of this Watch Tower Society, or pestiferous Millennial Dawnists, as they call themselves ? and how can we deprive them of their strength and make them helpless and cause their influence among the people to cease?’

16 The Philistine lords dangled before the avaricious Delilah a bag of silver containing about 5,500 shekels as the price for Samson’s head, and Delilah’s love for money moved her to act against the one who was her friend. Likewise the clergy, or modern Philistines, dangled before the avaricious eyes of the “offended” ones, whose love had grown cold toward God and their brethren, the bag of money, representing gain; and their love for personal gain and their hope to get gain, even though by foul means, which would enable them to control the Society, caused them to act and to betray their brethren into the hands of the modern Philistines.

17 During the years 1917 and 1918 the faithful servants of Jehovah frequently were in the company of those of their erstwhile brethren whose love for God and his kingdom had grown cold, even as Jesus said it would. This was foretold in the prophetic drama by Samson’s coming in contact with Delilah and their conversation immediately following the time she had contracted for the bag of money: “And Delilah said to Samson, Tell me, I pray thee, wherein thy great strength lieth, and wherewith thou mightest be bound to afflict thee.” (Judg. 16: 6) Delilah had no love for Samson, but she recognized that Samson still had love for her.

18   The class of offended ones in modern times, pictured by Delilah, had lost their love for their brethren of the Samson class. They had lost the spirit of the Lord, and ‘their lamps were going out’ (Matt. 25:8, margin), and they did not perceive and understand what was the real reason for the zeal of the faithful Samson class in going on joyfully with the Lord's work, and that amidst so much opposition and danger. Persons who have once had the spirit of the Lord and lost it, whose love is cold and in whom selfishness has taken the place thereof, quickly lose sight of the privilege of serving God. That was exactly the condition of the offended ones in the latter part of 1917 and 1918. This was foretold by the fact that Delilah did not herself know the source of the strength of Samson. Like Delilah, the class she pictured thought more of their so-called “outward refinement” and winsome ways, and beautiful “character development”, than of the covenant-keeping God and their obligation to keep their covenant that they had made with him. That offended class, whom we call “the Delilah class”, reasoned that if they could rid the Society of the Samson class they would reap personal gain for themselves by controlling the official element of the Society and have charge of it, and at the same time save their own faces with the “Philistines”. Like Saul, the spirit of the Lord had departed from them. (1 Sam. 16:14) Delilah was ready to engage in this despicable and destroying enterprise for personal gain; and so the Delilah class in 1918 were of the same condition of mind and heart. God foreknew this, of course, and long ago he foretold it in this prophetic drama. Now he permits his faithful people to see the meaning thereof in order that they may be further comforted and in position to continue their work unto the end.

19 The request of Delilah would lead Samson naturally to be suspicious of her movements, since the Philistines had tried the same ruse on him on another occasion. And so Samson answered her request: ‘‘And Samson said unto her, If they bind me with seven green withs that were never dried, then shall I be weak, and be as another man.” (Judg. 16:7) He was under no obligation to give her the true answer, and therefore what he said to her was not a deliberate lie. Even if it had been a lie, we are not looking at Samson’s conduct, but are looking at what Samson’s acts foretold in this prophetic drama. In order for any statement to be a lie, it must be concerning the matter that the party to whom it is told has a right to know about, and that statement made must be untrue and such as would work injury to the party by reason of not knowing the truth. Probably Samson did not himself fully appreciate the reason of his great strength.

20 During the period of the Elijah work the faithful servants themselves did not clearly understand just why the Lord gave them their strength, although they knew they were on the Lord’s side and their strength came by his grace. Probably the words of Samson in answer to Delilah had a symbolic meaning when he told her, ‘If he were bound with seven green withs.’ The word “withs” in this text appears to mean “superiority”. The English word “withs” used is also spelled “withes”, meaning “a band consisting of twigs twisted together into a compact rope’’. A green tree is symbolic of a living creature in the organization of Jehovah. Seven is symbolic of spirit completeness. The words used by Samson could be heard by the Philistines, but the meaning thereof they could not understand. The same would be true with reference to the modern Philistines. Had the Samson class been bound by seven or all of the living creatures in God’s organization they would have been weak, like other men, even as Samson stated to Delilah he would be weak. The Philistines would understand that Samson meant an ordinary withe from a green tree, and they would act accordingly; which they did.

21 Probably the Philistines had some spies hiding in the adjoining room, or close by, to hear the words of Samson, and these would straightway provide the necessary implements with which to bind Samson. “Then the lords of the Philistines brought up to her seven green withs which had not been dried, and she bound him with them.” (Judg. 16:8) Samson, knowing that on previous occasions he had broken stronger cords, now submitted himself to be bound with the withes of the green trees. Delilah’s treachery is further disclosed by the fact that she had arranged that the enemy should have their strong-arm men concealed near by to hear her call and then to act immediately upon her giving the alarm: “Now there were men lying in wait, abiding with her in the chamber [inner chamber]. And she said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he brake the withs, as a thread of tow is broken when it toucheth the fire; so his strength was not known.”—Judg. 16: 9.

22 When everything seemed to be in readiness and the withes were on Samson, she cried out: “The Philistines be upon thee, Samson.” Doubtless she did it in an affectedly horrified manner to appear that she was the friend of Samson and giving him the warning. The Philistines were there ready, and rushed in upon Samson, but they did not get him, because the withes that bound his arms he broke as tow is broken when it touches the fire; and the presumption is that he gave those Philistines a good walloping before they got out of the way. What he did after that is not recorded, but this presumption is based on what he had done on former occasions. Samson was not reproved by the Lord for his relationship with Delilah and his submitting to his being bound; which shows that Samson was proceeding in harmony with the will of God, performing his part of the great prophetic drama.

23 It might be said that Samson should have known from the experience just related that Delilah was betraying him, and therefore he should have avoided her rather than permit her to put a test upon him. No doubt he knew that she was conniving with the Philistines, but he knew that he had the ability to defend himself. Since he loved Delilah he might have thought to further prove to her his superiority over the Philistines, thus do her some good. Likewise during 1917 the faithful Samson class knew that their erstwhile brethren were offended and were becoming bitter, and they had reason to believe that they were consorting with the enemy, but their love for their erstwhile brethren induced them to believe that they might recover them, even though in doing so they would expose themselves to further ridicule. The indisputable facts are that those faithfully representing the Lord’s cause did put forth many efforts looking to the recovery of their brethren that they might engage in the Lord’s service. The main point here is that the test was upon Samson, affording him an opportunity to prove his integrity, and upon Delilah, to afford her an opportunity to show her treachery; and these things foreshadowed what would come to pass at the end of the world, and the parts that would be performed by the faithful Samson class, and the parts performed by the treacherous Delilah class.

24 “And Delilah said unto Samson, Behold, thou hast mocked me, and told me lies; now tell me, I pray thee, wherewith thou mightest be bound.” (Judg. 16:10) The Philistines were holding Delilah to her contract, and she wanted the money, and this was evidence that she had no love whatever for Samson. Likewise the modern Philistines were holding the Delilah class, in 1917 and 1918, to their bargain, and the faithless Delilah class wanted personal gain, even if that should result in great loss to their brethren. This further proves that the Delilah class exhibited no love for Jehovah and his faithful witnesses.

25 The drama proceeds, and again Samson yielded to the request of Delilah: ‘‘And he said unto her, If they bind me fast with new ropes that never were occupied, then shall I be weak, and be as another man.” (Judg. 16:11) That was practically the same answer given to Delilah previously, except that on this latter occasion Samson designated “new ropes” to be used in binding him, the new ropes meaning bands or cords made of thick boughs of branches of trees, according to the custom of that time. Samson was speaking prophetically, and there is no reason why it should be said that there he was making false statements. The Samson class, during the Elijah period, and particularly in 1917, did not know how they would be bound, and yet some of them ventured a guess. These attempted to interpret Revelation, the thirteenth chapter, and there expressed the thought that the Roman Catholic church was the ‘sea beast’ and the Anglican church was the ‘beast of the earth’, and the Federation of churches the “image of the beast”, and that these would combine and bind them so that “no man might buy or sell”. The fact is that the church combination here mentioned did attempt to bind the Samson class secretly to prevent their work, and in this they failed.

26 The Philistines furnished the ropes, and Delilah got busy to tie up Samson: “Delilah therefore took new ropes, and bound him therewith, and said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And there were liers in wait abiding in the chamber. And he brake them from off his arms like a thread.”—Judg. 16:12.

27 When she thought Samson was securely bound again she gave the alarm to the “liers in wait” and “waiting liars”, who rushed in upon Samson, and again he disappointed them by breaking the ropes like thread. That at least taught the Philistines, or should have taught them, that Jehovah God is superior to their god Dagon. When the combined church element, twisted together in a conspiracy, failed, in 1917, to stop the work of the faithful Samson class, and the Samson class continued to receive God’s blessing, that should have convinced the modern Philistines that Jehovah God was supporting his faithful people and they were being moved by his spirit and that the worldly modern Philistines were being moved by the spirit of their father the Devil in their continued efforts to get the Samson class.

28 Delilah was now growing desperate, because it appeared there was small chance for her to reap the coveted bag of silver, and so again she denounced Samson as a liar: “And Delilah said unto Samson, Hitherto thou hast mocked me, and told me lies: tell me wherewith thou mightest be bound. And he said unto her, If thou weavest the seven locks of my head with the web.” (Judg. 16:13) During the year 1917 the faithless Delilah class was becoming desperate and began to openly denounce the Samson class as liars and worse than liars. They went up and down the country so doing and issued their publications to that effect. At the same time the Samson class did what they could do to appease the wrath of their brethren, hoping to bring them back into the fold of the Lord. Even after the Delilah class had been wholly defeated in their efforts to get control of the Society at a convention of God’s people held in January 1918, an effort was made to open the way for the Delilah class to return and act right. In this the Samson class were wrong, but they did so with all good conscience and with a desire to do right. In permitting his hair to be woven together and put in the web of the loom Samson was being false to his consecration vow unto the Lord, even though he did it ignorantly. But the fact that Jehovah did not reprove him for so doing shows that God did not hold him personally responsible for this act. The reason manifestly is that Samson was playing his part in the drama directed by Jehovah, which part foretold certain things and conditions that would come upon the Samson servant class of God at the end of the world.

29 Seeing that Samson was playing a part in the prophetic drama, criticism of his conduct would be entirely out of place. It foreshadowed carelessness on the part of the Samson class, which carelessness is reprehensible before the Lord and by reason of which the Samson class suffered. The woman Delilah did not picture anyone individually, but foreshadowed that class of persons once in line for the kingdom who at the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to the temple manifest extreme selfishness and who jeopardize the interest of their brethren in order to gratify a selfish desire on the part of the offended or iniquitous ones. Delilah, weaving Samson’s hair with the web of the loom, thereby shows or pictures the Delilah class attempting to bring about the downfall of Samson to gratify their own selfish and ambitious desires: “And she fastened it with the pin, and said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awaked out of his sleep, and went away with the pin of the beam, and with the web.”—Judg. 16:14.

30 In this transaction Samson had not willingly done violence to the vow of a Nazarite, but his conduct foretold that the Samson class, whom he pictured, would be indiscreet and fail to watch and walk circumspectly; and the subsequent facts show that exactly that very thing did come to pass. Samson again put to shame the Philistines, mocking them by breaking away from the fastenings which held him to the loom, and where Delilah thought she had him made securely fast. Likewise during the closing days of the Elijah work the Delilah class connived with the modern Philistines to bring discredit upon the faithful ones in order that they might receive personal gain, but again they failed in their wrongful efforts. Their failure increased their petulance and anger.

31 The drama proceeds in further foretelling the treacherous work of the Delilah class acting in conjunction with the modem Philistines: “And she said unto him, How canst thou say, I love thee, when thine heart is not with me ? Thou hast mocked me these three times, and hast not told me wherein thy great strength lieth.”—Judg. 16:15.

32 In the closing days of the Elijah work the Delilah class frequently with feigned piety and with the falling of crocodile tears insisted that those of the Society did not love them; one reason was, that the Society was proceeding contrary to the so-called will of the former editor of The Watchtower. This, of course, was merely an excuse. They were expressing their petulant anger in a veiled way because of their failure to gain their coveted prize. For some time after 1917 the chief ones, or “bellwethers”, of the Delilah class, continued to scheme toward the downfall of the Samson class, and weaker ones of unstable minds followed after the Delilah crowd. The leaders, or bellwethers, would often fight one another, but they were at all times at unity in their efforts against the faithful Samson class. Inspired by the soft speech of the hypocritical leaders, they, together with others of the same Delilah class, continued to talk much about love for the brethren, while they showed nothing of the kind themselves and frequently charged that the Samson class were showing no love for their brethren. The Samson class tolerated the soft speech and apparently good words, hoping that they might see the Delilah class recovered, or, at least, that no blame would attach to the Samson class for pushing the unfaithful ones out of the way.

33 The Philistines were bent on destroying the power and influence of Samson, but, having failed so often, it appears that they were about ready to give up the job. But Delilah had her heart set on the purse of 5,500 shekels, and this avaricious desire moved her to continue to use all her charms and persuasive powers to accomplish her purpose upon Samson. Likewise the modern Philistines, after making many fruitless efforts to involve the faithful Samson class during the World War, might have quit and counted the whole effort on their part as a bad job, but the Delilah class wanted gain that might result to them by reason of the downfall of the Samson class, then in control of the Society, so that the Delilah class might get control and have their own selfish desires gratified. Delilah continued her efforts: “And it came to pass, when she pressed him daily with her words, and urged him, so that his soul was vexed unto death.”—Judg. 16:16.

34 Delilah was persistent and used every means at her command to accomplish her purpose, and her persistence vexed Samson unto death. Bear in mind that we are not to look critically upon Samson because of his acts or conduct here, but are to give full and careful consideration to his acts and conduct as to what they foretold. He had tolerated the continued efforts or importunities of Delilah without yielding thereto, but now he had reached the point where he was greatly vexed and he disclosed to her his secret. Whether Samson then knew wherein his secret lay or not is immaterial to this drama. The important thing is what it foretold prophetically.

35 As Samson indulged Delilah and permitted her to continue importuning him to disclose his secret, even so the faithful servants of God during the closing of the Elijah period indulged in tolerating the Delilah class’ continuing to complain against the faithful ones on the ground that they were not treating them fairly and with brotherly love. The leaders of the modern Delilah class at that time were so anxious to have the approval of men and receive the honor and praise of others that they had entirely lost the spirit of the Lord and were no longer guided by that spirit.

36 Did Samson in fact know the true secret of his superior power? That question must remain in doubt, and it is well for us that it is not so very material. It seems more reasonable to conclude that the words spoken by Samson disclosing his secret strength were prophetic and would not be understood until the end of the world, at which time they were fulfilled. If that conclusion be true, then certainly no blame can be attached to Samson.

37 In 1917 both those who composed the “faithful servant” class and those forming the “evil servant” class understood that the “higher powers” mentioned in Romans thirteen meant the ruling powers of the nations of the earth; but even so, the Samson class insisted that God’s law is above the law of man, and where there is a conflict between the two the true fol-fowers of Christ Jesus must obey God’s law and not the law of man.—See The Watchtower, May 15, 1917, page 149.

38 Samson told Delilah all that was in his heart, and likewise the Samson class disclosed the true heart sentiment that guided them at the close of the Elijah period: “He told her all his heart, and said unto her, There hath not come a razor upon mine head; for I have been a Nazarite unto God from my mother’s womb: if I be shaven, then my strength will go from me, and I shall become weak, and be like any other man.”—Judg. 16:17.

39 The divine record does not say that Samson was bound by any vow or other obligation to refrain from telling the secret of his great power. Today the source of divine strength exercised by the faithful is not kept a secret, but is told in the Watch Tower publications. Formerly it was not correctly understood and therefore could not be correctly disclosed. The Delilah class did not know or understand. The Samson class knew that they must be faithful to God, and they wanted to be faithful, but their exact relationship to Jehovah and his kingdom was not understood prior to the coming of the Lord to the temple.

 

SAMSON’S HAIR

40 Whether or not Samson in fact understood what his long hair had to do with his strength is not material. It is certain that his strength was not in his hair, but his strength was provided by the Lord by reason of what his long hair stood for or pictured. What, then, did Samson’s long hair represent or picture? The angel of the Lord had laid upon Samson’s mother and father the obligation to make Samson a Nazarite from his birth, and therefore Samson said to Delilah: “I have been a Nazarite unto God from my mother’s womb.” That meant that he had been a Nazarite before he had any power to determine the matter for himself. God had foreordained he should be a Nazarite, manifestly for the purpose of performing his part in this great prophetic drama. To be a Nazarite one must not shear his hair. Neither Jehovah nor his “woman”, that is, his organization, could relieve Samson of the obligation of carrying out the terms of the Nazarite vow, because God does not reverse his law. The same is true of those for whom Samson stood in this prophetic drama. One having become the child of God through his woman or organization, and fully devoted to him, must continue so for ever to have God’s approval.

 

REPROACH

41 The apostle Paul, writing under inspiration from the Lord, discloses the key to the meaning of the long hair when worn by a man, and this is discussed in these words: “If a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him.” (1 Cor. 11:14) The long hair worn by the man Samson, or by any man as a Nazarite, therefore, symbolically said: ‘‘This man is shameful before men of the world, therefore he must bear the reproaches that come upon him from the world and its god.” The Devil had reproached God from the beginning, and all devoted to Jehovah God must likewise bear these reproaches from the Devil and his representatives. The long hair is for Jehovah’s sake and for his pleasure when worn by a man, and He commands that devoted men will bear the reproaches from the enemy. Concerning Christ Jesus it is written: “The reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me” (Ps. 69:9) ; and certainly the Lord Jesus bore the reproaches that had fallen upon his Father by reason of the Devil's opposition. (Isa. 53:1-10) Like reproaches come upon all who are the true followers of Christ Jesus; as it is written: ‘ ‘ For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.” (Rom. 15:3) The irresistible conclusion therefore is that the long hair pictured the reproaches that necessarily come upon all who are wholly and truly devoted to Jehovah God. The indisputable facts are that every person who has wholly devoted himself to God and continued thereafter to faithfully follow in the footsteps of Christ Jesus has been reproached constantly by the Devil and his agents, and this is particularly true with reference to the reproaches that the modern Philistines have heaped upon the faithful servants of God.

42 This does not mean that all true followers of Christ Jesus must wear their hair long and uncut, but does mean that, long hair on a man being a symbol of reproach, all who do follow in the footsteps of Christ Jesus must bear reproaches like those that came upon Christ Jesus, and only those who do faithfully follow in the footsteps of Christ Jesus are strong in the Lord and in the power of his might. (Eph. 6:10) In the eleventh chapter of First Corinthians the question of reproach is not considered, but there the apostle is showing a picture of Christ Jesus and the members of his body, in which picture the man represents Christ Jesus and the woman represents the members of the body of Christ. If all who are wholly devoted to God and Christ Jesus must literally wear their hair long and uncut, then both men and women in the church must wear their hair without cutting it. The long hair of Samson was typical and applies to all the faithful followers of Christ Jesus, The point to be stressed is that every person who is a faithful and true footstep follower of Christ Jesus, who maintains his integrity toward God, will be and must be reproached, and in this there is no distinction between men and women, because “there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus”. (Gal. 3:28) Hence the reproaches fall alike upon all, without regard to sex.

43 At 1 Corinthians 11:14 the point is made that it is a shame for a man to have long hair, thus showing that long hair is a reproach; but with reference to the picture of Christ and the members of the body the scripture reads: “If it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.” (1 Cor. 11: 6) There is no divine rule provided that a woman must put her hair up in a knot on the top of her head, or that she shall or shall not crop it so that it is hanging lose, or that it shall be worn in any other way that is unsanitary. The reproaches pictured by Samson’s long hair come upon one by reason of his faithfulness and his unswerving devotion to Jehovah God. At Revelation 9:7,8 the followers of Christ Jesus, the faithful and the true, are likened unto locusts with faces of men with long hair. ‘‘Their faces were as the faces of men. And they had hair as the hair of women.” Thus the faithful ones are shown as wholly consecrated, devoted and separated unto God by a vow to do the will of God even unto death.

44 Such was the prophetic picture of a Nazarite vow, as it is written: “When either man or woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a Nazarite, to separate themselves unto the Lord; he shall separate himself from wine, and strong drink, and shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of strong drink, neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes, nor eat moist grapes, or dried. All the days of his separation shall he eat nothing that is made of the vine tree, from the kernels even to the husk. All the days of the vow of his separation there shall no razor come upon his head: until the days be fulfilled, in the which he separateth himself unto the Lord, he shall be holy, and shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow. All the days that he separateth himself unto the Lord he shall come at no dead body.” (Num. 6:2-6) Thus it is shown that the question of long hair by Samson did not have reference to sex in the church, but it does refer to all who are in Christ Jesus as bearing the reproaches that fall upon Christ.

45 In harmony with what is here expressed by the Scriptures, during the period of the Elijah work Christ Jesus occupied himself in bringing forth a people for Jehovah’s name, not merely spirit-begotten ones, but sons of God, wholly and unreservedly devoted to God and to the honor of his name, such as willingly and gladly bear the reproaches that result by reason of such faithful devotion. The Nazarite vow further shows that these faithful ones pictured by Samson do hot touch the dead carcass of Satan's organization, nor eat its unclean things, nor seek heart-cheering gladness from the wine of the vine of the earth, that is to say, Satan’s organization, but that they derive their joy from having part in doing honor to God and Christ and in participating in the vindication of Jehovah’s name.

46 To Delilah Samson said: “If I be shaven, . . . I shall become weak, and be like any other man. ’ ’ This foreshadows that those devoted to the Lord Jehovah are unlike the men of the world, but if they put aside their love and devotion to Jehovah, and thereby relieve themselves of the reproaches that come upon the follower of Christ Jesus, they become like other men of the world and no longer have the favor of God.

47 The modern Philistines, parading under a religious name and pretending to serve God, hold that the church should be respectable and honorable in the eyes of others of the world and such always should yield to and support the visible governing powers of this wicked world because such are “the higher powers . . . ordained of God’’. During the Elijah period of the church there were members of the Society who claimed to be true followers of Christ Jesus, and who were without doubt sincere, that advocated the recognition of governors of this world as the “higher powers”. Those who did so for the purpose of avoiding reproach separated themselves from the faithful ones. Those who remained faithful and true to the Lord without deviation would suffer reproach, while others yielded to the worldly powers in order to avoid reproach. These unfaithful ones, pictured by Delilah, were willing to betray their brethren, pictured by Samson, in order that they might curry favor with the modern Philistines and enjoy other selfish gains and relieve themselves from any reproach that might come upon them. Some were induced so to do by an ambitious desire for gain, while others associating with them did so by reason of the fear of men.

48 Samson told Delilah how he might become weak, like any other man, and this foretold what the Samson class would say, and they did say: “We are fully devoted to Jehovah; but if it can be made to appear that we are against the governments of the earth and hence disloyal or seditious, and if, in order to clear ourselves of such charge and reproach, we can be forced to cease preaching the gospel of the kingdom of Christ whenever the governments of earth demand that we do so, then we shall show our fear of reproach from men and shall become weak, like any other man.” The Samson class are plainly distinguishable from other men or human creatures by their uncompromising devotion to God and by their willingness to bear the reproaches that come upon the true followers of Christ Jesus. If for that reason they should avoid such reproaches, then in the eyes of the world they would be just like other men.

49 During the World War the Samson class was put in that very position and tacitly admitted that the governors of this wicked world are “the higher powers” to which Christians should be subject. Even The Watchtozver published the fact that the law of God is higher than the law of earthly governments and that “where the laws enacted by man are contrary to the laws of God, then it is for each one to govern himself by his own conscience as to whether or not he will be controlled by the law of man or by the law of Jehovah”. (The Watchtower 1917, page 150) The Watchtower did not here give a clear and unequivocal lead that those might follow who are wholly devoted to God. The statement above quoted left it to the conscience of each one to determine what he would do. There was at least a tacit recognition that it would not be wrong to obey the worldly powers. This showed a weakness and indiscretion on the part of the Samson class and which was foreshadowed by Samson’s telling Delilah what he did tell her. Criticism is not to be leveled against Samson, but against those whom Samson represented.

50 The modern Philistines learned the true state of mind of the Samson class, and forced the issue raised by the war. The result was the arrest and imprisonment of a number of God’s people charged with resisting the governments of the earth, and that in effect virtually stopped the witness work. It was the Delilah class who conveyed the information to the modem Philistines and caused them to fall upon God’s people: “And when Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called for the lords of the Philistines, saying, Come up this once, for he hath shewed me all his heart. Then the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and brought money in their hand. ’ ’ —Judg. 16:18.

51 Did Samson show weakness and make a great mistake by disclosing his secret to Delilah ? The answer is No, because Samson was playing his part in the prophetic drama foreshadowing that the Samson class at the end of the world would make a grievous mistake. The warning of God’s prophet written long after the days of Samson applied specifically to the Samson class at the end of the world: “Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide; keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom [Delilah, thy betrayer]. For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law; a man’s enemies are the men of his own house. Therefore I will look unto the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me.” (Mic. 7:5-7) The Lord Jesus showed that this would apply at the end of the world: ‘‘For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.” —Matt. 10:35,36.

52 The Philistines were discouraged and about to quit the conspiracy with Delilah, but she wanted the money and she sent to the Philistines and said: ‘Come up this once and we will get Samson sure.’

53 The editor of The Watchtozver, and the visible leader of the Elijah work, was dead; the United States had entered the World War, and this provided the emergency and the excuse for the modern Philistines to “get” the faithful Samson class; the “evil servant” class, pictured by Delilah, saw that the opportunity was ripe to entrap Samson and destroy his work, and thus bring themselves into prominence and make themselves secure with the rulers. And so they said, in substance, to the modern Philistines: “The Samson class will insist on their consecration to the Lord as against the government when put to the real test, and their strength is in the fact that they set the law of God above that of earthly governments. They have disclosed this fact to us in their admission, and now is the time to get them into the trap. Come up this once and we will get them.” The Devil sent the modern Philistines with the “money” in their hands, and the “evil servant” class received their reward. It was early in the year of 1918 that the modern Philistines, with the aid of “Delilah”, the “evil servant” class, began to move swiftly to get rid of the Samson class. The Elijah work was done, and those who had done most of the work and remained faithful were about to be entrapped by the treacherous and wicked men acting at the behest of the Devil. Would that mean, then, the end of Samson and the work he pictured in this prophetic drama?

(To be continued)

 

QUESTIONS FOR STUDY

1. What was the occasion on which the words of this text were spoken? What has been the question before all who would have Jehovah’s approval and be received into his royal organization? Account for such issue’s having been raised.

2, 3. What is meant by temptation? Account for the temptation to which those having set out to do the will of God are subjected. Quote the words of the apostle written to those under this test.

4, 5. How does Samson at this point picture the faithful members of the royal house? Explain his wanting the Philistine woman for a wife.

6, 7. What is the evidence as to Delilah’s being a Philistine? 8,9. Whom did Delilah here picture? How did she fitly thus serve in the prophecy? When and how does this apply to the fulfillment thereof?

10, 11. What two classes were foretold in Jesus’ words at Matthew 24: 10-13? What are the facts in fulfillment thereof?

12-18. Show that Delilah’s consorting and conspiring with the Philistines to bring about Samson’s downfall was prophetic. How does the matter of the inducement offered fit as to the fulfillment of that part of the picture?

17, 18. Then Delilah proceeds to entice Samson (verse 6). Account for her thus readily engaging in this despicable procedure. Apply the picture.

19-23. Explain Samson’s answer to Delilah as recorded in verse 7. Also the outcome of this effort on the part of Delilah to effect the result desired by the Philistines. Account for Samson’s permitting Delilah to put this test upon him. How does this fit in the fulfillment of the prophetic picture?

24-27. What fact at that time, and as a prophecy, is seen in verse 10? Explain and apply verse 11. Verse 12, and the result of this test.

28-30. How does the next test (verses 13,14) have application in fulfillment of the picture? Explain whether Samson and the Samson class were wrong in this matter.

31-33. Why did Delilah further persist in her treachery? How does this find fulfillment?

34, 35. Explain Samson’s so long tolerating the importunities of Delilah, and how this fits the facts in connection with the modern Philistines.

36-39. Account for Samson’s then disclosing the secret of his strength. What is the secret of the strength of the Samson class? How has this been made known?

40-45. Point out the relationship between Samson’s strength and his long hair, and the significance thereof in this prophetic picture.

46-50. Show that Samson’s statement, “If I be shaven, . . . I shall become weak, and be like any other man,” was prophetic. That verse 18 also has had fulfillment.

51. Explain whether Samson showed weakness and made a mistake by disclosing his secret to Delilah. With scriptures, show the purpose of this part of the picture.

52,53. How has “Delilah” divulged the secret to the modem Philistines?

 

FAITHFULNESS AMID SUFFERING

GOD, whose name is Jehovah, is faithful. Having made a promise, he keeps it absolutely. (Isa. 46:11) The apostle Paul declares: “God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.” (1 Cor. 1:9) “Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.” (1 Thess. 5:24) Christ Jesus is always faithful; and because of his faithfulness he won the title ‘The Faithful and True’. (Rev. 19:11) The Lord having committed into the hands of those begotten and anointed of his spirit certain interests and duties to perform, it is required of each one that he be faithful as a steward of the Lord. (1 Cor. 4:2) As God’s great High Priest the Head of the new creation of God addresses those who are the members of his body, the church, in these words: “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” (Rev. 2:10) It is life eternal that the new creature is seeking, and the condition precedent thereto is faithfulness.

There is a distinction between loyalty and faithfulness. The Lord requires the members of the new creation to be both loyal and faithful. To be loyal means to be obedient to the letter of the divine law; that is to say, serving God as his rules of action laid down in the Scriptures direct. Faithfulness means not only obedience to the letter and to the spirit of the law or rules of action, but it means an unswerving devotion to the Lord at all times, never for one moment willingly rendering allegiance to the enemy, nor even sympathizing with any part of the worldly organization, which is the Devil’s organization. Loyalty and faithfulness therefore mean the carrying out of one’s covenant with the Lord, being prompted in so doing by an unselfish devotion to the Lord.

Peter, an inspired witness of the Lord and himself a member of the new creation, wrote: “Brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.” (2 Pet. 1:10) The things mentioned in the same connection are faith, fortitude, knowledge, self-control, constancy in the performance of duty, godlikeness or holiness, brotherly kindness, and love. Doing these things with diligence is the performance of the new creature’s part of his covenant. His organism, which is the body of flesh, must serve God. To make his calling and election sure means that he must make it firm, stable and certain; and this is done by the joyful performance of God’s will in harmony with the terms of the covenant of sacrifice.

Therefore serving the Lord with mind, will, heart and body is essential to the well-being of the new creature. His body and all his faculties must be employed to the glory of the Lord. It is written: “Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot ? God forbid! ” (1 Cor. 6:15) This is the reason why the Scriptures forbid a new creature in Christ to intermarry with an unconsecrated or non-Christian person.

The human creature who becomes a new creature and who then responds to the call to God's kingdom and is chosen and anointed with his spirit becomes a part of the sacrifice of Christ Jesus. Only the High Priest Christ Jesus offers the sacrifice. A member of the body of Christ does not sacrifice himself; but Christ Jesus, as the High Priest, does the sacrificing. The members of the body, however, must keep themselves always in the attitude of devotion to the Lord. To this end it is written in the Psalms (118:27): “Bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar.” In harmony with this it is written: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. ’ ’—Rom. 12:1.

In substance this latter scripture says: ‘You who have been begotten as sons of God and who have been called or invited to the kingdom enjoy a great privilege and opportunity. Your body is holy, because it is justified through the merit of Jesus’ sacrifice. Your reasonable service is to see to it that your body and all the faculties with which you are endowed are used to the Lord’s glory.’ For this reason every new creature is bound by his covenant to use his faculties and organism in the service of the Lord as opportunity affords. To be opposed to the service of the Lord, therefore, means to be in opposition to the creature’s own interests.

The natural tendency of the fallen flesh is evil; but the flesh or humanity, now counted right because of justification, must be brought into subjection to the will which is in harmony with God. The will of the new creature must always be in harmony with God’s will, because the creature has agreed to do God’s will without reservation. The mind therefore searches out the Word of the Lord and thereby ascertains God’s will. For this reason it is necessary for the new creature to study God’s Word, not occasionally, but constantly. (2 Tim. 2:15) As he looks into the Scriptures and searches God’s will, there is a transformation of mind going on. For this reason it is written: “Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’’—Rom. 12: 2.

An unregenerate creature uses his mind and will to the gratification of his selfish desires. That evil tendency and course of action is called “the old man”, because that was the tendency of Adam when he yielded to temptation. The “old man” must be put off, and the “new man” must grow.

The new man is the new creature in Christ, with the mind, will, heart and organism devoted to the Lord. As such he is growing forward and upward into a perfect stature of a man in Christ Jesus. (Eph. 4:13) To accomplish that desired end the apostle said: “Ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: that ye put off, concerning the former conversation [or conduct, behavior, course of action], the old man [the depraved man], which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed [or made over] in the spirit [the invisible power] of your mind [your intellect] ; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” — Eph. 4:21-24.

Members of the new creation are not dual creatures, but one. The body of flesh being the organism of the creature which is now “new”, the expression “dual creature” leads to confusion and shows that the words of the apostle Paul are misunderstood. The apostle says: “But though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.” (2 Cor. 4:16) The “outward man” means that which is seen by all others. The “inward man” means that which God looks upon and sees, to wit, the mind, will and heart devoted to him in harmony with the terms of the covenant. Man looks upon and judges from the outward appearance. God sees the heart and mind and intent of man, and judges him accordingly. (Heb. 4:12) What the apostle really means here is that the “outward man”, which other creatures on earth see, is perishing; but that if it is being used up in harmony with the terms of one’s covenant with God the “inward man”, namely, the mind, will and heart, is growing day by day more into the likeness of the Lord.

In writing to the church at Colosse the apostle Paul makes the clear distinction between the old man and the new. In this statement he says: “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth.” (Col. 3:5) The word “mortify” means to deaden or put to death. The apostle, then, says in substance: ‘ If you are a new creature in Christ, then seek the things which are above, and set your affections on things above, and not things earthly. As a man you are dead, but as a new creature your life is hid with Christ in God.’ “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth: fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry; for which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience. . . . But now ye also put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.” Therefore he defines the “old man” and plainly states that it is the one who takes the wrongful course of action, taken by Adam and those who follow in the same way.—Col. 3: 3, 5-9.

Then the apostle shows the course of action of the “new man”, and how the “new man” is renewed by knowledge of the Lord. He says: “[Ye] have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him. Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering ; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. ’ ’—Col. 3:10, 12-15.

When God expelled Adam from Eden his decree entered at that time, amongst other things, stated: “And I will put enmity between thee [the Serpent] and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Gen. 3:15) Both terms, “woman” and “serpent”, were used symbolically. ‘The seed of the woman’ is the new creation. ‘The seed of the Serpent’ is the Devil’s agencies on earth, particularly the hypocritical teachers who claim to serve the Lord, but who in fact serve the Devil.—John 8: 44.

Satan the Devil, knowing Jesus to be the Anointed One of God and therefore the “seed” of promise, tried to destroy Christ Jesus. This he attempted even before the child Jesus was born. (Matt. 1:19,20) He again attempted his destruction when Jesus was a babe. (Matt. 2:16-18) By fraud and deceit he tried to destroy Jesus at the beginning of his ministry. (Matt. 4:1-11) Failing in these attempts the Devil caused the clergy of that time to accuse Jesus of every crime known to their calendar. For his telling the truth these enemies time and again tried to kill him. Jesus informed them that they were the “seed” of the Devil. He said: “Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speak-eth of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. ’ ’ —John 8: 43, 44.

Those hypocritical clergymen and their supporters were a part of the world of which Satan was and is the god or invisible ruler. It was the opposition and contradiction of Jesus by these pious-faced hypocrites and sinners from which he suffered. (Heb. 12:3) He was in the world but he was no part of the world. “And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world.” (John 8:23) He was the great Light that came into the world. (John 9:5) His disciples and those who have since become his true followers have received and profited by that great Light. For centuries God’s holy name had been reproached by the Devil and his “seed”; and now the reproaches had fallen upon Jesus, as it was foretold by the prophet. —Ps. 69: 9; Rom. 15: 3.

The members of the body of Christ, being a part of the new creation, must suffer as he suffered. Peter says: “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) As he was not a part of Satan’s evil world, neither are his body members, his true followers, a part thereof. As he was hated by the world, so are his body members hated. To them he said: “ If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” (John 15:18,19) And again, when he was giving them final instructions before departing from the earth, he said: “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”—John 16:33.

 

LETTERS FROM AFIELD

UNITY AND INTELLIGENT CO-OPERATION

Dear Brother Rutherford:

At our divisional assembly at Asheville, N. C., August 31 to September 2, the brethren present voted to extend to you their love and appreciation of your untiring efforts in the service of Jehovah at the present time. They asked me to convey their greetings to you.

The spirit of unity and intelligent co-operation pervaded the entire three days. Complete harmony among the witnesses, the principal towns of two counties covered, and the service of three sound cars made a better campaign than we have yet had. Seven persons were immersed in symbol of their consecration to do the will of God.

We called to see the mayor and chief of police and found them out of town. The sergeant was friendly. There was no opposition from the officials, and very little from the citizens.

The family here join me in love and best wishes.

Your brother by Jehovah’s grace,

G. T. McLamb.

 

A GRACIOUS PROVISION OF JEHOVAH

Dear Brother Rutherford:

Jehovah be praised for his just and marvelous ways. These words express the sentiment of us pioneers located in the newly established pioneer camp here in Cincinnati.

The local Catholic [organization] boasts that about 60 percent of the total population of Cincinnati is Catholic; and the sad part of it is that in the past there has been but a very weak and timid witness given in this area to the name of Jehovah God. It seems that selfishness exercised in various ways on the part of some of those who claim to be the Lord’s people, and lack of vision of Jehovah’s organization, has been the greatest hindrance to the kingdom service here. Those publishers here who longed to see Jehovah’s work carried on obediently, thoroughly and speedily were unhappy to see such conditions prevail, but now is cause for rejoicing, because it begins to appear that Jehovah is opening up ways for the honest-hearted here to press on in the battle as never before. He plainly shows us what must be done, more publishers in the field and a more aggressive fight carried on against Satan’s kingdom of darkness, leaving no time at all for aggression toward one another.

How we do wish to thank the brethren at Zion’s earthly headquarters for sending Bro. W. E. Treder here to help us in carrying on the kingdom service. The pioneer camp now being managed by him is surely a gracious provision of Jehovah, making it possible for a much more effective witness to be carried on here, enabling us to devote more time in the field and aiding us in seeing eye to eye and in fighting shoulder to shoulder for the kingdom. There is much to be done here, and will require the strenuous and faithful efforts on the part of all here.

We look forward eagerly to the arrival of the Sound Equipment Number 3 which we have ordered, as it will be a powerful weapon in this priest-ridden territory. All local radio stations absolutely refuse to broadcast the “glad tidings’’.

May Jehovah continue to guide and bless you in your aiding us to carry on in the witness work.

As one we send our love,

Roy E. Thompson Olive E. Reynolds Elmira A. Buehler Jeanette Smith Arthur V. Buehler

Roscoe Stone Weston Brown L. A. Reynolds Edward B. Crawford Zoe Troll

Roy Mort

 

JEHOVAH’S PRECIOUS MESSAGE

Dear Brother Rutherford:

I want to express my sincere appreciation and thanks to you for the gifts I have received in the past in the form of the Jehovah book and others and for The Watchtower which you also so graciously have sent free to the pioneers, and which books and Watchtowers contain Jehovah’s precious message of truth, encouragement and blessing for his people, and for which I daily thank Jehovah. The Lord has indeed set a bountiful table of strong, nourishing food before his people, which keeps them rejoicing in his service in spite of all difficulties.

Another thing I am thankful for is the phonograph, because I find many people who have no radio and are therefore denied the privilege of hearing the kingdom message in that way. I have gone over urban territory with the phonograph shortly after covering it with the testimony card, and have placed literature where I was unable to do so before. Your short, concise talks break down a lot of prejudice. I am at present working alone, and your voice on the phonograph is a source of encouragement and stimulus to me. In the evenings when I camp at a farm house, the people are almost always delighted to have me come in after supper and put on some of the talks, which they appreciate very much.

I remember you and all the brethren daily in my prayers. May the joy of the Lord be our strength as we all fight shoulder to shoulder in this great cause of truth and righteousness to the vindication of Jehovah’s name.

Your fellow witness by his grace,

Geo. B. Watson, Pioneer.

 

“TO GOD BE ALL THE GLORY”

Dear Judge Rutherford:

First of all let me say, I am an Englishman, and reside in the old country, in the county of Yorkshire.

Second, I have in a general sense been a Bible student all my life; and am now in my eighty-third year; presented by a godly mother on the day of my birth to my Lord and Master, for service in the Wesleyan Methodist church, which I served up to ten years ago. The Harp of God then came into my possession; after then, the whole of your publications as published, also The Watchtower and booklets. This has been, and is, spiritual food, the best of anything I have ever perused. Heavenly light has shone upon the sacred page, enabling me to pursue a course of witness to clergymen, Non-conformist ministers, and many others. “To God be all the glory.”

Third, my untiring labor and witness has not been lost; and I shall have to bless God through, and along, an unending eternity, through the holy spirit, and your instrumentality, for my spiritual possessions, and trusting for more to follow.

Yours in the service of the Master,

George Maltby, England.

 

CONSOLATION, HOPE AND COMFORT

Dear Brother Rutherford:

It has been just five years since I have written you, expressing gratitude to Jehovah, and rejoicing with you to have a part in the vindication of his name..

Now I rejoice with you in the ever-increasing spiritual food we see in The Watchtower, by the Lord's hand. No man on earth, by his own futile efforts, could bring out such wonderful spiritual food.

Rejoice, and be of good courage, dear brother, and know, we are all with you and, above all, that you are on the side of him who will shortly “vindicate his name”.

In the service a woman told me the other day that she had lost her twelve-year-old boy through death. It grieved her and her husband. She knew, in time, she was going to lose her mind. But only barely in time did she get some of your books, and they gave her just the consolation, hope and comfort she was hungering and thirsting for, and straightened out her mind. Smiling and rejoicing, she and her husband took some more of your books and booklets from me and also subscribed for The Golden Age, praying the Lord’s blessings to me as I left them.

Another woman got some of your books from my partner, saying, “I like to read Judge Rutherford’s books and to hear his radio lectures, because he speaks a language I can understand!''

Rejoicing with you to have a part, along with the “great multitude”, in the vindication of his name,

Your brother and co-worker by his grace,

T. R. Weeks, Pioneer.