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1881 Zion's Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence

1881 Zion's Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence

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Published by Timothy Riches
1881 Zion's Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence. Edited by Charles Taze Russell, first president of the Watch Tower Society. The magazine is now entitled The Watchtower and published by Jehovah's Witnesses.
1881 Zion's Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence. Edited by Charles Taze Russell, first president of the Watch Tower Society. The magazine is now entitled The Watchtower and published by Jehovah's Witnesses.

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Published by: Timothy Riches on Jan 19, 2011
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(c) Copyright 2000 Research Applications International.
 
HERALD OF CHRIST’S PRESENCE.---__--__ m---p-<-_~ ---____I___-Tzc-x-ei. _--zTA--_
Wafchn:an, W&f
of ihe flight 2” ‘(The Morning Cometh.‘-Isaiah xxi. 11._~_-~_-~ -____~---~_-----l-l__- - -_---_-
VOL. 11PITTSBURGH, PA., JANUARY, l:‘HlKo. 7___~_~ .~ -~~~~~~~~___-_-.- . .-.__ .-
“A STONE OF STUMBLING”
“He (Jesus1 shall be . .for a stone of stumhling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel.” Isa. 8: 14.The Bible spcakb of the several tribes of Israel as houses-viz.: House of Judah, Levi, Benjamin, etc., but the ex-pression,house of Israel, was used as belonging to the twelvetribes collectively. (Jacob, after his wrestle with the angel,\\as called Israel, which signifies “a prince with God,” andall of his descendants are called the children or house of15~~1. ) And the nominal Gospel church, entire, containingboth wheat aud tares (Matt. xiii.) is recognized as the houseof Christ who is the true Israel-a prince with God.It is these two houses that we understand as referred toin the scripture above cited-the fleshly house of servantsand the spiritual house of sons-as we read: “Moses verilywas faithful in all his house [of servants-fleshly Israel],but Christ as a Son over his own house [of sons-spiritualJaracl] whose house are we [to be] if we hold fast the con-fidence and the rejoicing of our hope firm unto the end.[Heb. iii. 5-6.3 \Ve see then that none are of the
Gospel house
of sons, except those who “hold fast to the end.” But duringthis age of trial and development, all professors are reckoned
x+
part of the
nominal house of
sons, and the distinctionsbctn’cen the
true
and false arc not to be manifested until thecud of this age-“The harvest”-when wheat and tares areseparated.This fact, that both of the nominal houses-fleshly and<piritual Israel--stumble over Christ, may have escaped thenotice of many, and the bare suggestion that the Gospel churchis to stumble will doubtless be repelled by many with alarm.I&It, beloved, be
not
alarmed; remember that “the Lordknow&h them that are his,”and not one grain of wheat willbe mistaken for a tare;nor will one tare be gathered intothe barn of safety with the wheat. Were we to do the sep-arating,
very
many tares who have been our neighbors andchurch members might be classed as wheat that will be knownin their true character by the angels who are the reapers.The Jewish church claimed that they were serz,ants
of
God,and so they had been reckoned a house of servants for eighteenhundred years, up to the time when Jesus came in the endof their age as the reaper, and the work of separating be-tween true grain and empty chaff commenced.The workof reaping was done by Jesus’ personal preaching, and alsothroll,nh his disciples, as .Tohn had declared. “His [winnowing]fan is in his hand, and he wit2 thoroughly purge [cleanse]his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner [the
Gospel
age.1 but burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire,” [Matt.iii. 121 the fire of tribulation and national destruction onfleshly Israel, ending with *Jerusalem’s destruction-A. D. 70.The Work of Jesus in the end or harvest of the Jewishage, was not to make Israelites of the Gentiles, but to provewho were really
sarvonts
of (fad. The results prove that fewof the nominal fleshly Israel were “Israelites indeed, in whomwas no guile.”“He came to [nominally] his
own, and [as
a people or hoctsel they received him not.”
The nominal
housestumbled over him,
and
did not recognize him. “But to asmany as received him.
to them gave he the power rlihwtyl to
become sons
nf
Ood”----hut
tlw
rest were blinded.We have heretofore seen that the Jewish or servant housewas in many respects a pattern oi death\\ oi the ll~gllcrGospel house. Especially in the clos~ug wall; of the tmoages is this parallelism atlIking.Tllelr
ilge
cll&d \\ itli itharvest, in which Jest(s 1~
lhc /lcsh WLS
the reaper autlwinnower and gathclcr into the barn, the disclplc- beill::the assistant reapers, wolk~ng under his dlrcctlons. [Lukex. 1.1 Our age is also to end with the harvest of the splrltu~llor Gospel house-a separating of wheat and tales, in \\lli&again,
Jesus a spzrzlaal body [“We know
111111o more aftclthe flesh”] is the reaper, [Rev. xiv. 14-16. Matt. llii. 411while the angels, also invisible spiritual bodle>, arc theassistants.We see too that not only are the harvest of Jenicjh nutIGospel ages parallel in point of beginning, but also in Ien$llof duration ;theirs being in all 40 years from the time oiJesus anointing [at beginning of their harvest, A. I). 30.1to destruction of Jerusalem, A. D. 70. So, ours, beginuiugin 1874 closes with the end of the “day of wrath” and endof the “times of the Gentiles,” 1014-a similai and parallelperiod of 40 years. The first seven years of the Jewish harvest
was
especially devoted
to
the gathering of ripe
wheat
fromthat church; three and one-half of it waq while he waspresent as the Bridegroom and three and :L half of it afterhe had come to them as king and had eutered into glory.but it was all under his supervision and dilcctiou.AS John had said he purged his flood, gatllcl cd 11i:, \vllciltand burned the chaff. So here the parallel is beln:! fulfilled’We find, [as heretofore shown-see “Day Dawn” 1 tlrc In IF
and
the
prophets
declaring him preqent at the culminationof the “Jubilee cycles” in 1874. And the parallels silo\\ uqthat then the harae& began, and that the gathering of lhebride into the place of safety, wil1 occupy a parallel of scvcnyears of time, ending in 1851. But how. when. ;Intl whydid the “house of servants” stumble over C’h~ist? If me (‘anascertain this it should give us a clue to how, when. nnrlwhy, the Gospel house stumbles, especially in view of thefact that in so many particulars the
clns~ng mark
of
tlut
age is the eaact pattern of this.We suggest that the fleshly hozcse couId not ~tnmlllc overChrist until he had come and was present among them.stumbled because of the
manner
of Chri&s
coming.
l’llcyTheyhad expected him to manifest himself in such a manner n<would be convincing to their nntuml cl/c and ~enr(~ and notrequire the exercise of
faith.
Hc came ‘in such an
nlxrltre and
humble manner
as
to appeal onZ?/ to the e?/c of fnitlr. andtaught in such a manner that only thonr who had the hen1 iucof faith received his witness. “Who hnth c(rr.s to hear lethim hear.” Matt. xiii. 9.The object of his
so appealing to the rye n~rl mr of faith
WAR, that nnne
hut surh
as had these should receirc him.and that others
“who wupht it, not by
faith. but as it wcrcbp the works of thp law.”(profrsscdlp Tsraclitcs but
not
Tsraeliten indeed) should
strrmhlc. not
rccngni7c him as: theSon of
God, hut fulfill wh:lt had ken prophcskd of them,and crucify him.
Wr thus WC
how.when nnrl wh~v theflrshlp house stumhlcd.
(Rom. iT-. 32-33.)11751(1)
 
(l-3)
ZION’S WATCH TOWER
PITTSBURGH, PA.
Now, let us look with even deeper interest to the stumblingand dress are out of harmony with their new nature, andof the nomuml Gospel house-spiritual Israel.We suggesttheir seeking to bethat as the fleshly house could not stumble over him until“not conformed to the world, but trans-he came at the i&t advent, so the spiritual house cannotformed by the renewing of their minds” to harmonv with thewill of God; they c&not feel at home with thk carnallystumble over Christ until his second advent.The causes ofminded. Their eye delights not so much in beautv of form,stumbling too are the same;those of the Gospel church whoexpect the second coming of Christ and establishment of hisas in the perfect& of th\ new nature, begotten of GLd throughkinndom are exnectina ( lust as the fleshlv house did) anthe word -of truth; not so much in the beauty of dress as ;noutbard display; whicuh will appeal to the-natural eye,. ear,the beauty of character and its Christ-likeness: not so muchin the grandeur of the house as in the greatness and love-and human senses generally.liness of him whom thev “worshin in smrit and in truth:”.Some know not, and others who ought to know experi-mentally, seem to forget, that if we are in Christ Jesus wenot so much at the langGage and eioquen&of the preacher asare new creatures. “Ye are
not
an the flesh, but in the spiritin the understanding of the word of God.These go sometimes to meet with the nominal church, but(condition) if so be that the spirit of Christ dwell in
YOU.”
(Rom. viii. 9.) All of this class of persons have given
-up-
are always separate in spirit and usually seek and enlovreckoned dead, (and are daily dying to) the fleshly humanmore the- sociity of others like-minded. -These are obligedto study the word nrivatelv. for if thev do attend nreachinvnature, and are daily partaking more and more of the spiritualor divine nature, inio*the perfktion of which we are expectingthey hear a sermo’n on &me topic of morality dcrected tithe world of unbelievers.soon to be changed, when the separating of “the harvest”Nor can the pastor be blamedentirely for so doing, the policy of the church havine: sun-is complete. These should all remember the rule which weapply to other things. viz. “We look not at the things whichplied him a congre&tion, nine-‘tenths of which are tkrldiyand cannot understand sniritual thinas. he feels it to be hisare seen (of the natural eve), but at the things which are‘for the things which are seen are t%mporal, butduty to preach to the majority; cor&quently the sheep ofnot seen,the flock receive little or none of the “strong meat” of thethe things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Cor. iv. 18.)W7hich of the things which we as new creatures prize soword. Will these starve, think you? I tell you, nay; thehighly are visible to the natural eyef None; it was by thegreat Shepherd will provide “meat in due season” to allwho really hunger and thirst after it, he will lead them toeue of fazth that we realized our heavenlv Father’s smile,snw Jesus as our Leader, saw the “crown of life,” and “prizegreen pastures.Our spiritual eye of faith has seen, andThis last class is to be the bride. Careless of the opinions,of our high calling.”our circumcised ears heard of the glorious things “God hathsmiles or frowns of the world, she cares only to bc in favorin reservation for them that love him,” which the naturalwith her beloved-the heavenly Bridegroom.And these areto recognize him now, the others are to stumble and notman cannot see and hear, because they are spiritually
a%-
cerned.” (1 Cor. ii. 14.)We see and hear, because ledrecognize him until these have all gone in to the marriage andby the Spirit (through the word.) “We walk by
faith,
andthe door to that high position is closed. Our understandingis that the Bridegroom came in 1874; and this little companynot by [natural] sight.”Would that all could realize that this class describedis being brought to a knowledge of his presence, and in that[dead to the natural, but alive spiritually] are the onlysense, being separated from other true Christions who eitherare overcharged with the affairs of this world or bound byones who will constitute the body or bride of Christ. Thesehave fulfilled their covenant by sacrificing the human nature.chains of denominationalism, are making void the Word ofGod through their traditions, etc., and &ill others, who, not“They shall be mine . . . .in that day when I make upbeing in condition of heart to receive him on the evidencemy jewels.” [Mal. iii. 17.1It is to this class onZy thatof l& word, but who turn to seek lighton his presenceJesus comes as Head and Bridegroom, and only they are toin other directions and find it. not until the door *to thatrecognize his presence during the harvest of this age, ashigh calling is shut. Matt. xxv. 10.only those with the eye and ear of faith recognized Jesus-We tru&, then, that all readers may see that the reasonin the harvest of the fleshly house.[True, there will bewhy the church in general stumbles here, (as the fleshlyin due time outward manifestations of “power and greathouse did,) is because onlv a “little flock” in
it
is the bride.glory.” which will convince all mankind of the reality of theThe two houses of Israel each in turn were called to benew”kingdom; but this comes after the bride has recognizedChrist’s bride. Both fail to attain the nosition. but as Godhis nresence. been senarated from the tares. and “made likeuntd Christ’s glorioufv body,” for “when he. shall appear [tohad foreseen and arranged, a little company from each dothe world] we also shall appear with him in glory.” We shallreceive him, and ‘As many
as
receive him” are acceptable.“The election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded”not be revealed in flesh, but in glory. “We shall be revealed(by their own condition). Rom. xi. 7.[made known] in flaming fire,” [judgments] inflicting right-eous punishment upon wrong doers, and lifting up the poorThe pathway in which the little flock walk, though ruggedand oppressed.and difficult, is filled with light-“Thy word is a lamp to myWe’-believe that Christ is now present, in the sense offeet and a lantern to mv footstens.” And it is this liehthavine commenced the work of taking to himself his greatwhich prevents us from itumbling over this stone
of
s&n-power- and reigning. The work begins with the separatingbling.The prophetic word shows us that we are in “theday of the Lord,”and enables us to receive him, not bv theof tares from wheat in the living church and the associationof the wheat of all ages with himself in the authority ofsight of the natural eye, but by the eye of faith, for “we-walk“To him that overcometh will I grant to sitby fa,ith, not by sight.”This is just as Peter advised us:his kingdom.with me in my throne,”and “to him will I give power overWe have a sure word of prophecy, unto which ye do well tothe nations,” to continue until all things are subdued undertake heed as unto a light shining in a dark place. [2 Pet.i. 19.1 The dav of the Lord is called a dav of darkness.him. It seems proper, too, that the work should begin thus,by taking his bride and the twain becoming one.and we, unless &lightened by the word of piophecy, wouldIt mn\t be l’dinfrlllv evident to all true Christians thatstumble as the others of the church are doing over the stonethe nominal church which calls herself the spouse of Christ,of stumbling in this dark place.But enlightened by our Zanzp,is far from being the “little flock” who walk the narrowhow our hearts have been rejoiced since we found him present,wav-“the way their Leader trod.” Manv are Christiansand though a stone of stumbling to others, “To you, whoin ‘name and “form only, “having a form of godliness, butbelieve, he is precious.” .l Pet. ii. 7.denvinn the Dower thereof.” bv 1ivim.r contrarv to their nro-THE DAY OF VISITATION
a: rl
feqsions. Many are moral& oaZy,-who re&gnize and ‘useWhen Jesus had finished his ministrv he rode to Jeru-the church only as a social and moral club. Many are hypo-crites, who use the church as a stepping-stone to wealth andsalem on the ass, assuming [typically] to the fleshly housethe office of kine. and in the exercise of that office he de->,social standing. Some are true children of God and feel thatclared :the church is’ too empty and formal and worldly, yet are“Your house is left unto you desolate”-here givingup the fleshly house.rarried on with the others bv the thoueht that thev mav beWe repeat that they were given uptoo timid.‘Mr. A. and Mrs. C. are” very intellfgent *andbecause, not being Israelites indeed, they did not receive him-stumbled-and so we read that when he had told them ofwealthy and moral people and they approve of such things,and who am I that I should object 9 They would think metheir overthrow and destruction he assigns as the cause-“Because thou knewest not the time of thu visitation.” 1Lukeweak and fanatical-I will continue with them; certainly xix. 41-44.1 Their time of visitation w& in
a
sense, themuch good is being done.”A few-a little flock-while still using their influence andwhole forty years to the destruction of the nation; but therefor their Master, feel themselveshad been the time of trial first: if during that first threeexample as “living epistles”almost, or entirely, separated from the nominal church. Theand a half years they had been in a condition to receiverhurch’s union with the world in worldly plans. ways, customeJesus, the visitation following would have been of blessing,but unready and rejecting him, it became a visitation of wrath.
I1761

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