VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER.
BLINDNESS GRADUALLY COMING OVER NOMINAL
CHRISTENDOM AND GRADUALLY TURNING
AWAY FROM FLESHLY ISRAEL.
Is it not remarkable that as nominal Spiritual Israel begins to stumble into unbelief over "the stone of stumbling"--rejecting the ransom-sacrifice of Christ --the Jews, Israel after the flesh, begin to get glimpses of Jesus such as they have never before had? Note the following eulogistic expressions respecting our Lord, from the lips of eminent Jews of our day:--
"I regard Jesus of Nazareth as a Jew of the Jews, one whom all Jewish people are learning to love."--Isadore Singer, Editor of Jewish Encyclopedia.
"Jesus was the gentlest and noblest rabbi of them all. In Jesus there is the very flowering of Judaism."--Henry Berkowitz, Rabbi of Rodeph Shalam Congregation, Pennsylvania.
"Jesus is soul of our soul, as He is flesh of our flesh. Who, then, could think of excluding him from the people of Israel?"--Max Nordau, M.D., Paris, France.
"Even the most conscientious Jew may, without hesitation, recognize in view of the immense effect and success of His life, that Jesus has become a figure of the highest order in the history of religion. The fact that Jesus was a Jew should, I think in our eyes, rather help than hinder the acknowledgment of His high significance."--N. Porges, Ph.D., Rabbi, Leipsig, Germany.
"We Jews honor and revere Jesus as we do our own prophets who preceded him."--Jacob H. Schiff, New York City.
"I am of the opinion that we should endeavor with all possible zeal to obtain an exact understanding of the great personality of Jesus, and to reclaim him for Judaism."--M. Lazarus, Ph.D., Professor of Philas University of Berlin.
"If he (Jesus) has added to their spiritual bequests new jewels of religion, truth and spoken words, which are words of life, because they touch the deepest springs of the human heart, why should not Jews glory in him?"--Gustav Gottheil, Ph.D., Rabbi Emeritus of Temple Emanuel, New York.
"We want our children to know that in Jesus of Nazareth, Judaism produced one of the most beautiful types of humanity, one of the world's greatest teachers."--Dr. K. Kohler, New York.
A MINISTER ENCOURAGES HIS FLOCK.
Rev. Dr. Reid, of Watertown, thus explains to his people the present status of the doctrine of hell, and meantime gives us a suggestion of how impious he considers his congregation of "saints" to really be at heart. He evidently knows "his sheep" to be downright hypocrites. He says, as reported, evidently by himself, in the public press:--
"The age of religious barbarism is past. Science, the accentuation of the Fatherhood of God, man's moral nature and spiritual experience make the hypothesis of a material hell incredible. The world would cast out the preacher who would dare to repeat today the message of Jonathan Edwards, that the view of the miseries of the damned would double the ardor of the love and gratitude of the saints in heaven.
"Yet there is a hell. Yet there are lost souls. Yet the guilty do go into everlasting punishment.
"You are in hell when you cannot look your fellow creature in the face because of the wrong you have done him; in hell when you would like to wring your own neck; in hell when you do not have a word to say for yourself, but are struck dumb by the consciousness of your own meanness and arrogance and baseness. You are in hell when envy, hatred and malice hold carnival in your heart; in hell when you know that you are not telling the whole truth; in hell with all your lies, losses and perversions and distortions of the truth. Perhaps there is a chapter in your lives that you keep closed or sealed because of its iniquity or infamy. [R3081 : page 292] Then you are in hell now; in the hell where men skulk and start and fail; in the hell where the limbs tremble and the heart thumps and the flesh creeps and the teeth chatter and the blood runs cold and the hair stands on end, the heart stops and the cold sweat overpours the face."
JEWISH HOPES RESPECTING PALESTINE.
The Jewish Exponent furnishes the following information: The failure to secure satisfactory terms from the Sultan of Turkey, as noted recently in these columns, is felt keenly but has not discouraged the leaders.
"Dr. Herzl set forth the standpoint of the Zionists, and formulated the conditions of Jewish settlement in a self-contained part of Palestine and in other parts of Asia Minor, on the basis of a Charter.
"These proposals were carefully considered from the Turkish side. Through his representatives the Sultan declared his fullest sympathy for the Jewish people; but the concessions which His Majesty expressed himself ready to make for a Jewish settlement could not be considered adequate according to our Zionist program. The negotiations have thus, this time also, remained without result. Nevertheless, the Sultan caused Dr. Herzl to be assured of his esteem and sympathy. The relations have in no way been broken off. On the contrary, we may hope that the advantages which a regular and legally guaranteed settlement of Jews present according to our program, will be recognized by the Turkish Government to their full extent.
"For that moment the Zionist organizations must be prepared; the agitation must be carried on incessantly, and the material means must be collected. The more efficient our movement becomes, the more speedily and surely will it reach its goal.
"It is rumored that the Actions Comite of the Zionist movement in Vienna is now seriously considering the proposition to hold the next Zionist Congress in New York. The question will probably be decided upon at the October meeting of the comite.
"Lord Salisbury is credited with having said on the Zionist solution: 'It is a question of sixty per cent; if sixty per cent of the Jews desire Palestine, they will get it.' It is, however, rumored that Lord Rothschild, impressed by the Alien Immigration Commission--which, when it again meets, will sit in Soho, the French quarter of the metropolis --and his conversations with Dr. Herzl will lead in a movement for the settlement of a large number of Russian Jews in lands, as Disraeli put it, 'in propinquity' to Palestine, and at present under the British flag. When his lordship will move, or whether at all, a short few months should tell, but from excellent sources I know that he has some such scheme in mind, and that the details are being investigated on his behalf.
"Lord Rothschild has heretofore held outwardly a most impartial attitude on all solutions, and whilst steering clear of Zionism has let it be known that he does not view attacks upon the movement with favor. Hence the idea he is studying may prove one that will unite all parties, and with his name at the back of it there would be no financial difficulties."
STARTLING STATEMENT IN NEW YORK PULPIT.
New York, Sept. 7.--The Rev. Dr. R. S. MacArthur, at the 100th meeting in the Evangel tent today, assailed the doctrine of baptism. He declared that the dropping of water on an infant at birth was heathenism and that the idea that God would forever condemn an innocent but unbaptized babe makes Him a tyrant.
That utterance, coming from Dr. MacArthur, had a wonderful effect on his hearers. They rose to their feet and applauded wildly. The scene was striking. [R3082 : page 292]
"Baptism," he declared, "never saved a human soul. The doctrine of baptismal regeneration is both unreasonable and unscriptural. The superstitions that have gathered about infant baptism form one of the saddest chapters in church history. Thousands through all the ages have believed that a child dying without being baptized was eternally lost. This dark and dreary superstition has cast a gloom over the history of the church for centuries.
"This doctrine is heathenism, pure and simple. The idea that God would forever condemn an innocent babe because some one had not put a few drops of water on its head and face makes God a tyrant. Rather than believe in such a God I would be an avowed infidel.
"This doctrine of baptismal regeneration makes the minister of religion a worker of magic, a fakir, a performer of ecclesiastical miracles. Such teaching is a violation of all sound reason and true scriptural teaching."
Very good! Excellent! But while this eminent Baptist D.D. is plucking beams out of the eyes of others, let him not overlook the Baptist beam in his own; viz., that immersion in water is the door into the Church of Christ. If that were true it would mean that all not so immersed are out of the Church of Christ. And according to the misunderstanding of Baptists and others this would mean outside of divine mercy; for do not Christians generally claim that mercy ends with this age and that this age is merely for the gathering of God's elect Church?--And that the prospect of all others is eternal torment? We trust that Bro. MacArthur and other Baptists will not stop their investigation, but proceeding learn what the real baptism is, and the distinction between it and its water-symbol; and what the true Church is and the distinction between it and the sects of Christendom. We shall be glad to help all the sincere ones in the solution of these problems, on receipt of postal card requests.
THE OUTCOME OF THIS AGE.
W. G. MOREHEAD, D.D.,
Professor in United Presbyterian Theological Seminary.
There are principles at work in modern society, which, if left unchecked, will soon make the advent of the Antichrist not only possible, but certain. THE LAWLESS DRIFT IS ALREADY ON US, precursor of worse to come. Who does not perceive that the forces are already loose which tend to the disintegration of the whole social fabric! Who does not perceive that the axe is already aimed at the chief hoops which bind together the staves of [R3082 : page 293] the civil polity! The restlessness under restraint, the revolt against authority and law, the spread of Socialism, the growth of agnosticism, the prevalence of materialism, fostered, as it largely is, by both the science and the politics of our time, the enormous greed of those who have and who want still more, the deep, ominous growl of those who have not, and who want and will have all this, and much more than this, betokens the breaking down of the barriers, the overthrow of the restraining influences, and the speedy advent of the great adversary. The Frenchman spoke well, perhaps better than he knew, who lately said, "I think I hear the galloping of the man on horseback!"
We have only to suppose the portentous movements of the times to grow and gather head until the hindrance is gone, the breakwater is down--and then--yes, what then? Then cometh "the Man of Sin," the world deceiver, whom the Lord shall slay with the breath of His mouth, and shall bring to nought by the appearing of His Coming. Then the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ and He shall reign forever and ever.
The above clipping is from the pen that attacks "Millennial Dawn" as being "the product of insanity." It is surely a poor blind pen, or, at least, a somnambulistic one, when it cannot see that the "Man of Sin" of prophecy flourished for over a thousand years as Papacy: and that since the Reformation movement he has been slain with the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. True the wound has to some extent been healed; but yet a little while and the bright-shining of the presence (parousia) of the Lord shall utterly destroy him, and all other kindred systems of error which now counterfeit, with varying degrees of accuracy, the true Christ--Head and "body."--2 Thess. 2:8; Rev. 13:3,12.--M. Dawn, Vol. II., Chapter 9.
LOOKING FOR THE WRONG ADVENT.
Prof. Moorehead and others of his school of thought tell the world generally that they set no time for Christ's second coming. They give the impression, surely, that they are in daily, yea, hourly expectation of seeing our Lord reappear in flesh on a cloud in the sky. But in the above the Professor tells the truth plainly; viz., that he and those who share his expectations are not at all looking momentarily for the Lord. Instead they are looking for "the speedy advent of the great adversary," i.e., "Then cometh the 'Man of Sin'."
How is that? Why such an expectation of the advent of Antichrist instead of the advent of the true Christ?
It is because these dear brethren are sadly blinded by a literal interpretation of the symbolical Book of Revelation, and an expectation of Christ's Kingdom in the flesh; whereas the Word declares: "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God."-- I Cor. 15:50; John 3:3,5.
The result is a blindness much more dense than that of the world on a subject of which they profess to be past-masters. Worldly people "can discern the signs of the times" far better than to suppose, as these self-blinded brethren do, that the trend of the world is toward greater veneration for fellow-mortals. The world well sees that the trend is in the reverse direction,--toward a denial of all authority and power, --divine as well as human.
How strange it seems that sane minds can imagine that "the galloping man on horseback," a general, or emperor, or who not, would ever deceive the world--"the whole world" into thinking him greater than God, and doing him homage accordingly! In our judgment, this is just as improbable as that "the cow will jump over the moon."
This man--Anti-Christ, is expected to convert the world and build the Jews a temple at Jerusalem,-- all in three and a half years after he makes a start; and he has not yet made a start, and only "portentous movements of the times" are in evidence. Christ's advent is to be just three and a half years after the advent of this preposterous man. And yet these brethren deceive themselves into thinking that they are not time setters, and that they are looking for Christ's advent. We are sorry for them!
In conclusion: We kindly suggest to the Professor that the Common Version rendering of 2 Thes. 2:8, "the brightness of his coming" poor as it is, is better than his substitution; viz., "the appearing of his coming." If he will look at these words in his Greek New Testament he will find that "coming" is not the proper word at all: that the Greek word here rendered "coming" is parousia, and that all scholars agree that in English it means presence (as of one who has already come). We suggest as a literal translation of the words,--"The bright-shining of the present one,"--the revealing or manifestation of one previously present, but unseen, unrevealed.
Our position is that Anti-Christ has already fulfilled his part, and a wonderful and awful part it was; --that now according to promise the true Christ has come a second time, in glory, and not in flesh, to reign, and not to sacrifice;--that his first work is the sifting of his church--the separation of the tares, etc., and the gathering of the true "wheat" into the Kingdom garner--beyond the vail, as spirit beings like their Lord: the sleeping ones awakened to First Resurrection glory, honor and immortality, and those who are alive and remain "changed" in the moment of dying to the same glory conditions. Soon, perhaps before all the "wheat" has been garnered, the fire of tribulation and anarchy will break out in the world--"a time of trouble such as was not since there was a nation"--a time when faith in God and man and a disbelief of the Bible will be rampant throughout "Christendom" nominal. In that trouble and its overthrow of all law and order, government and religion, the world will learn an everlasting lesson, and be prepared for the reign of righteousness. --The rulers of the Kingdom of Light will, however, be as unseen to mortal eyes as are the present rulers of the darkness of this world--Satan and his coadjutors; --the earthly representatives of the Kingdom being men--perfect men--the ancient worthies, approved of God before the call to "change" of nature was given.--Heb. 11:39,40.