Scripture Research - Vol. 5 - No. 4
(Inside front cover)
FOR THE PERFECTING
(FULLY EQUIPPING) OF THE SAINTS
For the perfecting (literally: fully equipping or preparing; adjusting or restoring) of the saints, for the work of the ministry … for the edifying of the
Body of Christ: until we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of The Son of God, unto a perfect (mature) man., unto the measure of the stature of: The Fullness of (tile) Christ: that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up Into HIM in all, things, who is the Head, even Christ: from whom the whole Body: fitly joined together and compacted by that which; every joint supplieth, according to the effectual; working in the measure of: every part, maketh increase of the Body unto the edifying of itself in love.
Authorized King James Version
Scripture Research, Inc., P.O. Box 51716 Riverside, CA 92517
Ewalt Memorial Bible School, Atascadero, California
Harold P. Morgan, Ph. D.
In Three Volumes
Introduction ………………………….. iii
WHAT ARE GOD'S PURPOSES
REGARDING THE JEWS?
(A Full Length Feature Article) …… 1
A HIGHLY FAVORED LAND
(An Editorial on Thanksgiving
Day in America) …………………... 11
THE VALUE OF BIBLE STUDY
A Full Length Feature Article) …… 14
References (Source of Articles
and Editorial) ……………………….. 22
GOOD TIDINGS TO JERUSALEM AND CITIES OF JUDAH
Oh, thou that tellest good tidings to Zion, get thee up on a high mountain; oh, thou that tellest good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God! Behold The Lord Jehovah will come as a mighty One, and His arm will rule for Him: Behold, His reward is with Him, and His recompense before Him. He will feed His flock like a Shepherd, He will gather the lambs in His arm and carry them in His bosom, arid will gently lead those that have their young.
ISAIAH 40:9-11 *
SAITH UNTO ZION, THY GOD REIGNETH!
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of Him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace, that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation, that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth! The voice of thy watchmen! They lift up the voice, together do they sing; for they shall see eye to eye, when Jehovah returneth to Zion. Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem; for Jehovah hath comforted His people, He hath redeemed Jerusalem. Jehovah hath made bare His holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
ISAIAH 52:7-10 *
*The above quotations from the Scriptures are from the American Revised Version of 1901.
BEHOLD, MY SERVANT
"Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold; My Chosen (Beloved) in whom My soul delighteth; I have put My spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the nations. He will not cry, nor lift up His voice, nor cause it to be heard in the street. A bruised reed will He not break, and a. dimly burning wick (A. V. flax) will He not quench. He will bring forth justice in truth. He will not fail or be discouraged until He will have set justice in the earth; and the isles shall have waited for His law."
ISAIAH 42:1-4 *
BEHOLD, THY KING
"Rejoice greatly, 0 daughter of Zion, shout 0 daughter of Jerusalem: Behold, thy King cometh unto thee. He is just and having salvation.............
He shall speak peace unto the nations; and His dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth."
ZECHARIAH 9:9 & 10 * (Matthew 21:5 ) (John 12:15)
* The above quotations from the Scriptures are from the American Revised Version of 1901.
Some of the highlights in the life and ministry of Dr. and Mrs. Morgan have been reviewed briefly in the Introduction to "I" of CHRISTIAN VALUES AND PRINCIPLES. Here the reader may find some interesting facts about the earlier schooling and training, as well as experiences, that were to thoroughly prepare Dr. Morgan for his later ministry and give him the spiritual insight needed to write his many scholarly editorials on Christian living, including the articles selected for reprinting in these memorial volumes.
While he was director of the Biblical Information Bureau during the nineteen forties and early fifties (1942 to 1953) Dr. Harold P. Morgan wrote many excellent editorials which were printed in QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS, the official organ of the Bureau. The articles now reprinted in "I" & "II" of CHRISTIAN VALUES AND PRINCIPLES are selected editorials which were originally published in QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS.
The first of three articles reprinted in "III" of this series of three memorial volumes is a full length feature article that was originally published in QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS under the title: What are God's Purposes Regarding the Jews? Few other Bible scholars, if any, have encompassed in the same space or have written with the same forceful logic a treatise as comprehensive and informative as this feature article by Dr. Morgan on the calling and future destiny of the Jewish nation as revealed in the Bible. Dr. Morgan has ably supported his position by many references to or quotations from the Scriptures. His arguments based upon The Word of God are very convincing that God's purposes for the Jewish nation are awaiting fulfillment and consummation in that future day when the Lord Jesus Christ shall return to earth as the Messiah and King of Israel. During His millennial reign Christ shall establish a
righteous rule over all the nations of the earth from His world capital at Jerusalem.
During His earthly ministry to the Jewish nation before His death on Calvary, The Lord Jesus Christ affirmed that all of the law and the prophets must be fulfilled before heaven and earth pass away. Matthew 5:17 & 18. After the resurrection and ascension of Christ, the apostle Paul wrote that God would not always cast off His people (Israel). Romans 11:1.
The second article reprinted in "III" of CHRISTIAN VALUES AND PRINCIPLES is an editorial written by Dr. Morgan especially for THE NEW ERA newspaper, Riverton, New Jersey. This front page editorial, A Highly Favored Land, on the significance and meaning of our national day of thanksgiving in the United States of America is as relevant today as when it was first published in November, 1952.
The third article reprinted in "III" of CHRISTIAN VALUES AND PRINCIPLES is a full length feature article that was originally published in QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS under the title: The Value of Bible Study. From three statements made in separate paragraphs, it is apparent that this "message" was first delivered as a "talk" to "listeners" before it was printed as an article in QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS. However, no reference is made as to the time or place of the (radio) address. In talking about the importance of Bible study, Dr. Morgan correctly states that Bible study is an essential factor in personal spiritual growth. He affirms that the knowledge of God in Christ is the supreme object of all Bible study. Dr. Morgan also emphasizes the importance of studying both the Old Testament and the New Testament so that the believer may be completely equipped for every good work and gain a well-rounded knowledge of spiritual truths found in all the Scriptures.
For twenty-five years, or longer, Dr. Morgan did affirm and champion the distinctive ministry of the apostle Paul to the Gentiles (Dr. Morgan: "men of the nations"). Dr. Morgan firmly believed that the apostle Paul had received a revelation directly from God concerning God's present purposes in Christ for the Gentiles. It was this revelation recorded in Paul's epistles to the EPHESIANS and the COLOSSIANS that filled up The Word of God and so completed
God's revelation to mankind. Colossians 1:25.
(REFERENCE: Harold P. Morgan, Ph. D.,
THE REVOLT AGAINST THE DISTINC- TIVE MINISTRY OF THE APOSTLE PAUL, Morgan and Wallace, Buffalo, New York, 1936, 78 pages.)
Dr. Morgan continued until the end of his lifetime to affirm the distinctive ministry of Paul to the Gentiles and refute vigorously the teachings of those Bible scholars who opposed or downgraded the ministry of the apostle Paul. During these same years, however, Dr. Morgan did not limit his ministry to the Pauline message, even though some of his Christian friends did urge him to do so. Dr. Morgan believed Paul's declaration that all Scripture is inspired of God and is profitable for doctrine (teaching), for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16 & 17). Dr. Morgan was convinced that confining one's testimony entirely to the Pauline epistles of Ephesians and Colossians would certainly result in a form of fanaticism and in an unbalanced ministry and witness for The Lord. For this reason, Dr. Morgan continued throughout his lifetime to write in QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS about important themes or truths from all The Scriptures.
These three articles by Dr. Morgan selected for "III" of CHRISTIAN VALUES AND PRINCIPLES are being reprinted at this time for the purpose of making these gems readily available to Bible students of today. It is important that these editorials and articles written by Dr. Morgan as a labor of love be made more easily available to believers of this generation and be preserved also for future generations to read.
These articles and editorials are being printed and distributed by special arrangement with Ewalt Memorial Bible School, Atascadero, California. Russell Schaefer, director of Ewalt Memorial Bible School and editor of SCRIPTURE RESEARCH, has graciously offered his time and talents to print these memorial volumes.
May all believers who read these reprinted editorials have
their attention directed anew to the all sufficiency of The Lord Jesus Christ, in whom we are complete (Colossians 2:9 & 10).
Nevin M. Wetzel
Thousand Oaks, California
CHRIST CAME TO FULFILL
THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS
Think not that I (Christ) came to destroy (tear down) the law or the prophets! I came not to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily, I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass away from the law, till all things be accomplished.
MATTHEW 5:17 & 18 *
A REMNANT OF ISRAEL ACCORDING
TO THE ELECTION OF GRACE
"I (Paul) say then, Did God cast off His people? God forbid …. Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant (of Israel) according to the election of grace.
ROMANS 11:1-5 *
THE REDEEMER SHALL COME OUT OF
ZION AND SO ALL ISRAEL SHALL BE SAVED
And so all Israel shall be saved; even as it is written:
There shall come out of Zion The Deliverer (Redeemer); He shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob. And this is My covenant unto them, saith Jehovah, when I shall take away their sins.
ROMANS 11:26 & 27 *
(Isaiah 59:20 & 21)
* All above quotations from the Scriptures are from the American Revised Version of 1901.
WHAT ARE GOD'S PURPOSES
REGARDING THE JEWS?
by Harold P. Morgan, Ph.D.
In the providence of God, the Jewish people have been chosen to be an important factor in the history of the world.
Let us at the outset distinguish between Israel as a whole and the people we term Jews. That the Jews are part of Israel is clear; that Israel includes the Jews is equally true; but that the kingdom of Israel should be distinguished from the kingdom of Judah, and that the Jews should be distinguished from those who come under the title of Israelites, is equally certain to those who study Scripture. When we speak of the Jews we do not refer to the ten tribes who were separated from the kingdom of Israel to become a distinct kingdom in the days of Jeroboam, who afterward were carried away captive (between 759 and 721 B.C.) and placed in the cities of Assyria by Tiglath-Pileser and Shalmaneser. From that day to this the ten tribes have never been clearly identified.
It is well to bear in mind that the people who in the providence of God were separated from their brethren to become a small but favored kingdom, under the House of David, were completely separated from all others for a special purpose. When we speak of "Jews" as distinguished from "Israel," we have in mind that body of people, who from the day when the ten tribes passed under the power of Jeroboam, became subservient to David's family, and kept Jerusalem as their center. This people is a token to all the inhabitants of the world that it is a most terrible thing to despise privileges and blessings.
We ask, "How is it that so few Christians take any interest in the Jews?" While there are many extraordinary events in the history of the Church, perhaps one of the most extraordinary facts is the apathy shown by Christians .concerning God's ancient people. God's purposes can never be lightly regarded. God has taken this people to be His peculiar treasure. One would have thought that all who look upon the Lord God as their Father would have been eager to take an
interest in that which is near to His heart. In Holy Scripture the first thing that strikes us is not the scarcity of proof, but the overflow of evidence on the subject of the Jews. It is abundantly established that God has taken a special delight in this people from the day that He formed them into a nation through their Fathers Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. When one reads Deuteronomy 7:6-8, he cannot fail to be struck with the fact that God has a special purpose of mercy and love in regard to this people. In making them His peculiar treasure He was determined to bless them, and to make them a blessing on the earth. "For thou art an holy people unto The Lord thy God: The Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto Himself, above all the people that are upon the face of the earth. The Lord did not set His love upon you nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people, for ye were the fewest of all people; but because The Lord loved you, and because He would keep the oath which He had sworn unto your fathers, hath The Lord brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh, King of Egypt." Turn once more to the Book of Deuteronomy, and there in Chapter 32 and verses 8-13 one reads: "When The Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when He separated the sons of Adam, He set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel. For The Lord's portion is His people, Jacob is the lot of His inheritance. He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; He led him about, He instructed him, He kept him as the apple of His eye. As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings: so The Lord alone did lead him, and there was no strange God with him. He made him ride on the high places of the earth." Surely these are proofs that God has a special interest in this people here called Israel, or Jacob, afterward to be separated into two parts, when His special favor passed to the Jews. Take another text, where one reads: "For The Lord hath chosen Jacob unto Himself, and Israel for His peculiar treasure" (Psalm 135:4). Let us repeat, what interests God should interest Christian people.
When The Lord Jesus Christ appeared upon earth He deigned to come among men as a Jew. When The Word of God is given forth it is provided for us only through Israel and the Jews. Moreover, when the Apostles were commissioned to preach the
Gospel it was through Jews that the Word passed to the world at large. Thus The Word of the Lord in John is strictly and accurately fulfilled, that "Salvation is of the Jews." Yet in this enlightened age so many people seem to think of the Jews as a subject for scorn instead of one of deep interest. Moreover, we read in Psalm 102:16 that: "When The Lord shall build up Zion," then, and then only, "shall He appear in His glory."
We are told in Isaiah 18:7 that God will accept the present of a nation "scattered and peeled … a nation meted out and trodden under foot." Now, that nation "scattered and peeled," is unquestionably the Jews; and yet when asked why they take so little interest in the Jews, Christians seem to be wholly indifferent.
When we proceed to consider in detail God's purposes concerning the Jews, it will be necessary to divide the subject into three separate parts, the past, the present, and the future.
In speaking of "the past," we would include the whole period from the call of Abraham to that time, when being established safely as a nation in the land, they seem to have had every token of God's favor and mercy. If one watches the development of God's people from the individual to the family, and from the family to the nation, the purposes of God become clear. First, in their preparation for taking possession of the land; Second, in their preservation throughout the thousand years during which they lived among the other nations of the East; Third, throughout that strange decline of five hundred years dating from the return of the Captivity, and which continued until they were finally overthrown by Titus in the year 70 A.D.
Now in considering the progress of the nation during the first period mentioned, while they were being developed by God from Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, until as God's chosen people Israel, they were at last permitted to come forth from Egypt as a nation, and through the trials of the wilderness to enter into Canaan and become a notable people, what purposes do we discover? There must have been a great purpose in God's separating one people from all others to bless and prosper them as none other was ever blessed in the earth. Manifestly the purpose of God was to show there was no other way in which He could, in accordance with His own Will,
bring to mankind the knowledge of Himself, as a God Who is not only Love, Mercy, Grace, and Wisdom, but Whose purpose it is to bless the world which He Himself has called into existence.
Observe, that from the very day of the fall when sin had ruined the human race, God by many means sought to bring men back to their Creator. Yet, again and again, mankind sank deeper and deeper into depravity, until the Flood, the necessary outcome of God's justice, swept the human race from the earth, with the exception of one single family. Even this mercy appeared to be futile. Man had been tried in the garden of Eden. The family was tried in Noah. The whole human race sank hopelessly into sin. God seemed to leave them to their own self-made ruin. Once again, after the Babel confusion, a man, Abraham, was chosen; from the man developed the family; from the family developed the nation. When Israel was called out of Egypt to take possession of Canaan, this nation was set apart by God for the special purpose of becoming the "light of the world."
The purposes of God concerning Israel were that they should show the blessing of salvation to the world at large. We see from the commencement of their history that they refused this blessing. Their folly was demonstrated from the moment when at Mount Sinai they said to Moses, "Speak, thou with us...but let not God speak with us" (Exodus 20:19). Thus they were rejecting The Most High as their ruler; they were falling back upon their own wisdom as men. They were refusing the blessings which God proposed to bestow upon them. From that hour, their fall would seem to have been sealed and they could not be the light that God meant them to be to the world. Yet, still God bore with them; still He carried them in the wilderness and the next generation was permitted to enter into the land, to take possession of it, so that once more the opportunity might be offered to the nation to be what God intended them to be from the outset. Again they declined and gave themselves over to sin. Yet, again and again, God raised up judges to be their saviours, till at last they were allowed a king according to their carnal desires.
Having put away Saul, David was chosen as "a man after God's own heart." Yet, still they refused the spiritual blessings which God desired to give them, and from the time of their deliverance from Egypt down to the captivity of Babylon, it was a
long conflict of the whole nation against God. Even after the ten tribes had been sent into banishment for idolatry, we observe God's infinite mercy and love towards a people so hard and so wicked.
God's purposes could not fail. If His people would not be a light, then they should be a testimony among the people. A thousand years of opportunity being ended, they entered next upon the stage of decline. Though God permitted them to linger on in connection with the land, yet it would seem that by the time The Lord Jesus Christ was born there was nothing in the Jew but the token of God's indignation.
As we watch the purposes of God through the pages of His Holy Word, we cannot fail to see that all through even that period of decline His desire was to reveal through the Jew, His infinite love, His wondrous patience, His holy forbearance, His everlasting kindness toward those, upon whom He had been pleased to set His love. At last, "when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son," the man, in Whom He would seek to confer blessing. (Galatians 4:4 & 5). Adam commenced the whole human race, and it fell. Abraham commenced a special race, and again that race fell. Christ comes forth as the third great revelation of God's infinite love and purposes of grace; and He, the perfect man, succeeds where all else had failed. Let us never forget that the Lord Jesus Christ appears as a "Jew." Though He stands forth as "The Man, Christ Jesus," that is as the very embodiment of God s purposes for the world, yet, remember, He was first the perfect Jew. Though as The Perfect Man He is to be the head of the whole human race, yet God's purposes are after all to be fulfilled through the Jew, however unwilling the nation at present may be to see His purposes accomplished.
So much then for "the past." Let us consider now the time when the Jews, as a nation, rejecting the love of God and refusing His blessing, were dispersed for their sins among all the nations of the earth. Observe however, what we have already noted. The ten tribes have never been identified since 721 B.C. Two tribes only, with some of the Levites and a few of Manasseh and Ephraim came back after the Babylonian Captivity.
The 500 years that the Jews lingered in Palestine may be
recognized as a token of God's infinite forbearance, until at last they perpetrated an awful crime. They committed a sin which has never been equaled by any other people on earth in its open audacity and its terrible issues. They actually rejected God's only and well-beloved Son. They spurned The Lord of Glory, and not only this but, as Stephen says in the Acts, they resisted The Holy Spirit and became the murderers of God's Just One. Acts 7:51-53. God, therefore, could restrain His wrath no longer, and upon the Jews as a nation there came down through Titus and the Roman army the awful indignation of The Lord Whom they had despised and rejected, so that they were scattered throughout the length and breadth of the world. God's forbearance has a limit, and ever ends in indignation. His indignation passes into judgment even upon His most favored people, if they refuse His gracious offers of love. Thus we pass into the second stage of our subject, the present position of the Jews and God's purposes concerning them.
For many centuries this nation "scattered and peeled," has wandered over the face of the earth, into every country under the sun, and yet in a marvelous way protected from being merged into any of the peoples among whom they dwell. Standing alone among the nations of the earth, a by-word and proverb among men, none accepting them as fellows, but all looking upon them, with scorn. Man is against them and God's hand heavy upon them, and yet all the time they are fulfilling the purposes of God, unwittingly carrying out His solemn intentions. Thus, as they would not be a blessing to the earth, they have had to appear as a token of God's judgment and justice.
To this day the Jews are unwillingly compelled to be the witnesses of God, witnesses that He is true, that prophecy is real, that the power of God is absolute, that His justice is complete, and that to despise His mercy is simply to invoke His indignation and wrath. So stands this people among all the nations of the world, as an unceasing testimony to the fact that the purposes of God must be fulfilled. His purpose concerning the Jew having been announced in Abraham, passed on to the family, and then to the nation, and having been rejected by the constituent parts of that nation, must now be fulfilled in another way.
For while the Jew rejects The Lord Jesus Christ, and despises
the work of The Holy Spirit, yet all the time God's Word is actually being carried through him into every single part of the world. Whenever men see the Jew, they are witnessing the purposes of God, and the prophecies of God being literally fulfilled.
What purposes of God are now being carried out in the Jew? God's holy prophet declares: "this people have I formed for Myself; they shall show forth my praise" (Isaiah 43:21).
Let us now pass to the third stage of this remarkable people, the Future. When God placed this people under Moses, He warned them that they, if disobedient would be scattered into every part of the earth, yet the Word of The Lord went out at that very same moment, that though they might be scattered He would never forsake them, but would watch over them in every part of the world where they should be found, and however far distant they might seem from their God and their home, they would but have to turn to Him with all their heart, and the mercy of The Lord would return to His beloved. We read in Zechariah 2:8, "For he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of His eye;" and in Ezekiel 11:16, although they were scattered to the four corners of the earth, yet He would be as a "little sanctuary" to them, and that if they came back to Him with all their heart, He would deliver them, and bring them into a position of power and prosperity.
We wait for events which, according to Ezekiel, are connected with the restoration of blessing to the Jews. They have been punished as no other nation ever was for their forefathers' sins, and they have yet to undergo some fearful trials before The Lord can receive them back as His favored people. The Holy Scriptures clearly announce that the Jews shall be gathered to their land, in an entirely unconverted condition. In Deuteronomy and in the book of Zechariah, it is made clear, that a body of people returns to the land. Now as we cannot identify the ten tribes, we conclude that it refers only to the Jews, in a condition of total hardness of heart. It is evident that this return will be prompted solely by earthly ambitions and that they will arrive in the land, simply by the development of natural circumstances. When there, they will commence to rebuild their capital and temple. When this temple and capital are completed, the eyes of all nations will be turned upon them. Ezekiel, Chapters 38 & 39; Zechariah, Chapters 13 & 14. The great armies
of the world will then proceed to punish the Jews. They shall gather round the efforts, for it says in Zechariah 14:2, when the city shall be taken, half of it shall be destroyed, the houses shall be rifled, the women ill-treated, and every one would say that their case was hopeless. "It is the time of Jacob's trouble," but God in His mercy will deliver him out of it (Jeremiah 30:7-11).
Ezekiel 20:35 says The Lord will bring the Ten Tribes of Israel into the wilderness and plead with them there; Hosea 2:14 also says that God will bring them "into the wilderness and speak comfortably unto them." When they too shall have come with the unconverted Jews into the land which God gave to their fathers, there shall be in God's own mysterious way a fulfillment of Ezekiel, Chapter 37, and the two sticks Ephraim and Judah, shall then be made one in the hand of The Lord. Thus they shall become one great nation, in whom God's purposes shall be fulfilled.
In the dark crisis of the history of this people, the city being taken, and all looking its blackest, suddenly, "The Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with Him" (Zechariah 14:5). Then the words of Paul and Isaiah will be strikingly fulfilled. "And so all Israel shall be saved, as it is written: There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob" (Romans 11:26 and Isaiah 59:20). The purposes of God concerning the Jews, in the future, being at last in their completeness, we are emboldened to ask what can be the intention of The Almighty in giving us this revelation? Why should God thus deal with a nation, hiding one part of it for at least 2,500 years, and manifesting another part of it as the great token of His indignation, so that no other people have ever suffered as the Jews have, and then re-uniting them under remarkable circumstances, and calling them to Himself to be His own forever? What can be the purpose of God as revealed in this great prophecy?
The answer is that God chose, first a man, then a. family, then a nation, to reveal to mankind His unsearchable love, to make known to the world His boundless riches (Genesis 12:2 & 3). The man, Abraham, sought to fulfill God's purpose, but alas, his faith failed, and when he passed from Canaan into Egypt, and permitted a lie to be acted, if not actually told, he sank from God's favor and blessing to such a degree as to lose the opportunity which The
Almighty had accorded him of being a rich blessing to the world. Then the family was tried in Jacob, but failed, and then the nation was developed, but that also failed and was dispersed. Then did The Lord Jesus Christ appear, that He might succeed where others had failed. He fulfilled all the purposes of God.
Hereafter shall come the nation, even the perfected nation of Israel, which shall be pre-eminent among all the nations of the earth. Now observe that through each and all of these God's favor is to go out to all the peoples of the earth; first through the man, then through the family, and hereafter through that nation whom He will so peculiarly bless, that when "born in a day" at the return of The Lord Jesus Christ to take possession of this world, it shall stand forth as the only glorified nation among all the tribes of the earth and throughout the millennial reign. Israel as a people, formed for God's own purposes, designed to show forth His praise, shall suddenly become the messengers of The Lord of Hosts to all the world, and shall be witnesses to God's glory, such as have never yet been known. The Jews starting, the ten tribes joining, many being destroyed before Jerusalem, or within the city, the remnant of Israel seeing their Messiah "shall look upon Him Whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him as one mourneth for his only son" (Zechariah 12:10). They shall bow before their Messiah, and accept Him as their King. And so, at last, all the nations of the earth shall be blessed through the family, through the race, through the nation, when it has accepted The Lord Jesus Christ as its Messiah.
GIVING THANKS ALWAYS UNTO
GOD FOR ALL THINGS IN CHRIST
Speaking one to another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to The Lord; giving thanks always for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, The Father.
EPHESIANS 5:19 & 20 *
In nothing be anxious; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God which passeth all understanding shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus."
PHILIPPIANS 4:6 & 7 *
Let The Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts unto God (A.V. The Lord). And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of The Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God, The Father, through Him."
COLOSSIANS 3:16 & 17 *
* All above quotations from the Scriptures are from the American Revised Version (Edition) of 1901.
A HIGHLY FAVORED LAND
by Harold P. Morgan, Ph.D.
Our national institution of Thanksgiving Day is strictly American in its beginnings and history, as well as its character. Some have tried to connect it with earlier English observances. It has been assumed that "Thanksgiving Day" was an expression of the loyalty of the Pilgrims to the King of England, that it was the successor of "Guy Fawkes Day," November 5th, when was celebrated the discovery of the "Gunpowder Plot."
However, the account we have of the first observance of this festival at Plymouth, Massachusetts, removes every doubt on that point. A letter signed "E.W." to a friend in England sets forth the institution of this custom of our land. The initials are generally taken as those of Edward Winslow, who became prominent in the history of the colony.
The one to whom the letter was addressed, is supposed to have been a certain George Morton, who had married a sister of Governor Bradford, and who came to Plymouth in July, 1623. Writing, just at the close of the first year's history of that colony, the chronicler of passing events wrote:
Our harvest being gotten in, our Governor sent four men on fowling that so we might, after a special manner, rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labor.
Here we have the occasion and the manner of the celebration. Nothing in history can be plainer than that this institution is indigenous to New England soil. It sprang spontaneously from the circumstances of the Pilgrims, and their habit of conscious gratitude. The custom, then, originated in colonial times, when the continued existence of those struggling communities on the New England coast seemed to be suspended on the gifts of each returning harvest.
When Divine Providence caused the earth to yield her increase, what so natural for those God-fearing men and women as to set apart a day for general thanksgiving? For several generations the custom was confined to New England; but it is a custom so congenial to the feelings of every man who believes in a beneficent Providence, that it has spread to every state and territory as a feature of our National life.
Three important realities must be kept in our full consciousness today if we would properly comply with the call of the Governor of our State, and with that of the Chief Magistrate of the Nation:
FIRST, our country has obligations to God that are as real as those that belong to the individual or to the family. This republic of the founding fathers has a life and character of its own by which it is separated from every other people. God indeed regards, blesses, and watches over us in our organized capacity. However numerous and complex the elements that enter into a state, God, I may say, looks upon and deals with its people as a unit.
Today our republic of 175,000,000 people pauses to acknowledge God's goodness. We are not to measure our reasons for gratitude today by the blessings that have come to us as individuals or as a local community, but by what has come to us in common with the whole people of this grand Nation.
The untutored peoples of the World have the overarching sky, and the green earth, with its food and its changing seasons for which to be thankful, but we have apart from boundless material resources which continue to provide an abundance of this world's goods for all of us, the inestimable benefits of social values such as individual security, education, culture, and civil and religious liberty. Every one of these very real and valuable blessings comes to us through the doors of the Nation, with a more substantial measure of the good things produced by advanced industrial organization.
Hence it is not so much as a man, but as a citizen, that you are asked to give thanks today. And if you will leave out of view the losses and trials that have come to you as a man, and remember the blessings that have been showered upon you as a citizen, you will
find reasons sufficient for joining in the grand choral strain of National Thanksgiving.
SECOND, there is another thing to be kept in view, that this Day of Thanksgiving be acceptable to God. We are called to make thankful mention of, and to celebrate by word and song, the blessings that have crowned the past year of our national existence. There may be sufficient reason, in some phases of our national life, to put on sackcloth and ashes, but we are invited to dwell on the brighter side of life before our God today. We are not to look for those spots of our land and life upon which His frown may have fallen, but for those many more made radiant with His smile.
A THIRD fact to be kept strongly in mind is this: We are to think of what God has done for us as a people. There is a great temptation to make such a day as this the occasion for reviewing those evils of our national life for which the ignorance, selfishness, and passions of men are responsible; but this would be to run counter to the very intent and spirit of the nationwide holiday.
Let us today forget the evils that are behind, and let us recall what is bright, good and beautiful. If we concentrate upon the corruption that too often taints our politics, or the crime that too often goes unpunished in our courts, or upon certain monopolies that threaten to change legitimate business into organized oppression, or on the illiteracy that is un-reached by our systems of education; or if we dwell on the suffering unrelieved by our benevolences, or on the teachings of radical Communism that threaten the very existence of our institutions, our words will turn to denunciation. Instead, this will become a day of indignation, not an occasion for thanksgiving.
There is enough of the unsavory to humble us as a people, but these adversities must be, one and all, laid at the door of the creature, and not due the Creator. What we are called upon to do today is reverently to behold the sublime form of God entering in among these imperfections and pouring upon us the bounties of His favor. The defects of society in these United States of ours are solely due to fallible man. The blessings are entirely The Lord's.
THE VALUE OF BIBLE STUDY
By Harold P. Morgan, Ph. D.
It is an indisputable fact that, ever since the Christian era the character of the devout believer has been bound up with an unremitting study of The Bible. Here is a book which, in the nature of its contents, and in the range of its influence, presents a unique phenomenon. It is a book which stands apart. In the whole of literature no adequate parallel to it can be found. Its beginnings reach back to the dim past of some three thousand years, yet its power over mankind today continues unabated and unmeasured. The first and oldest part of this unique book was revered and used by Jesus of Nazareth. The second part, that which is known as the New Testament, was recognized as God's gift to man very soon after the lifetime of Christ's first disciples. And ever afterwards the whole book became something indispensable to every one who named The Name of Christ. Untold millions of men and women have found in this Book their refuge and their strength, their inspiration and their hope.
It is a book which presents a paradoxical combination of complexity and simplicity, of diversity and unity. Between its covers is a library of sixty-six books, written by men of varied type and in widely different circumstances, their authorship spreading over a period of perhaps a thousand years. Yet these many books make one Book. Their unity is unmistakable. And what is the secret of this unity? What is the alchemy which welds into a living whole these numerous elements? It is simply this: that all these books which The Bible includes form a continuous and consistent record of God's historical revelation of Himself which culminated in our Saviour, The Lord Jesus Christ. That is the thread which runs through the whole Bible from beginning to end. No critical analysis of its consistent parts can impair the unity of the whole.
And of all the books that were ever penned, this Book has wielded incomparably the greatest influence on the life of the world. It is true to say that all that is best in Western civilization will be found to be ultimately based on the Bible. Throughout history down to the present time, the Bible has proved the corner stone of the
Christian life, whether national or individual. It is, in short, the plain fact that the Christian man cannot do without his Bible; take away his Bible, and his spiritual life will starve.
Why is the Bible indispensable to the Christian man? The answer to this question might be briefly stated thus: Christianity is bound up with certain historic facts, and therefore with the records in which those facts are enshrined.
It has become necessary in our day to insist afresh on the vital connection of Christianity with its records. For there are some modern thinkers who assert that this connection is immaterial. "Religion," they say, belongs to the realm of ideas. Provided that the idea of Christianity is spiritually true, what does it matter if the historic facts on which it is supposed to rest should prove to be false? To follow up this mode of reasoning and attempt to answer it fully, would take us too far from our present subject. Suffice it to say that this idealistic interpretation of The Word of God may be attractive to the imaginative or philosophic mind, but it is not Christianity. For better or for worse, Christianity cannot possibly be disentangled from certain events which happened on the plane of history.
This same fact (Christianity's connection with its records) may be stated from another and vitally important point of view. CHRISTIANITY IS CHRIST. Take Christ away from Christianity and practically nothing is left; it is taking the kernel and leaving the husk.
THIS KNOWLEDGE OF GOD IN CHRIST IS THE SUPREME OBJECT OF ALL BIBLE STUDY. Bible study is not an end in itself, it is rather a means to an end. A profound knowledge of Hebrew idiom or of the grammar of New Testament Greek may still leave its possessor ignorant of what The Bible is primarily concerned to teach. The Bible student has constantly to remind himself that his task is not the mere deciphering of dead and dusty records, not the disinterment of an archaic philosophy, but rather the endeavor to enter into the mind of a living Person, to grasp His plans and ideals, and to see life not merely as He saw it, but as He sees it. The Bible is the way into the knowledge of Christ. It is the key with which we may unlock the otherwise closed door. If a man misses the true aim and function of Bible study, he is always
liable to fall on the one side into mere bibliolatry, and on the other side into a vague religious idealism unrelated to solid fact.
Bible study, then, is a means to an end. You will, for instance, find out more of the earthly life of Christ from the Gospel of John than from the book of Ecclesiastes. Broadly speaking, although every separate part of the Bible makes its own special contribution to the one great object, of the two Testaments the New will be found to be more essential to the purpose than the Old. Anyone beginning to study the Bible for the first time would be well advised to begin with the New Testament and work backwards to the Old. The four records of the Gospel, each viewing the one unique Figure from a different angle, together produce a portrait so consistent, so lifelike, so convincing, that as you look you seem to be brought face to face with the Divine Sitter Himself. His thought, His work, His life, His wondrous personality -- all is portrayed for you with boldness of outline, with warmth of color, with vividness of detail, until He stands before your very eyes, not as the dim memory of a remote past, but as a real and living Person. And the rest of the New Testament serves but to deepen that impression, and to add to the completeness of the portrait. Apostolic letter, Missionary narrative, and Apocalypse, each tells us something more of the revelation of God through Christ. Here are presented to us, from many varied points of view, all the fundamental facts of Christianity; here are plain and well-trodden ways to that knowledge of God which we seek.
And what of the Old Testament? If the New Testament is so important, can the Old Testament be dispensed with? By no means. To read the New Testament and ignore the Old, is as if a botanist should study the flower and take no account of the stem and roots; it is as if a geographer should describe the broad river in the valley without any reference to the watershed whence it sprang or the mountain streams that feed it. The man of God who would be himself complete and perfectly equipped for every good work cannot afford to leave neglected any of the manifold riches in his Divine library (2 Timothy 3:16 & 17).
We are not concerned now with any of the debated questions of criticism and inspiration: We are simply examining the broad indisputable facts which lie at the base of all Old Testament Bible
study. Here, for instance, is one such fact. The Old Testament is a record of the beginning and the growth of a revelation of God which reached its climax in The Lord Jesus Christ. If Christianity is Christ, then the Christian, as he learns to know Christ, will also learn to share Christ's sense of God, and to regard the world from Christ's point of view. To the teaching of this lesson the Old Testament is essential. There, in the Old Testament, is the picture of God at work from the beginning; God as creator and ruler of the universe; God leading man on step by step to a higher knowledge of Himself; choosing and fashioning a nation to be the agent of His purposes, the trustees of His revelation; controlling and directing world movements and world forces so that they shall minister to the accomplishment of His divine ends. And as each page of His revelation is unfolded, it leaves a sense of something more to come; it hints of another page one day to be disclosed, in bold type and unveiled language, written large for all the world to see and understand. The Old Testament is instinct with the thought of an as yet unrevealed Interpreter of God to men; it throbs with expectation of a coming day when a Man shall appear on earth, in whom men shall see God.
Furthermore, the Old Testament is a unique record of a developing spiritual experience. It contains biographies and autobiographies of men who responded to the Divine revelation and thus learned to know God. It has recorded the effect of that knowledge on their lives; it has preserved for us their prayers, their meditations, their faith, and their work, their hopes, their fears, their failures, their outlook, and their purposes. Such a record forms a classic, a model for the spiritual life of all subsequent history.
But the permanent value of the Old Testament is finally and fully guaranteed by the fact that it was Christ s own Bible. He left to the world, a perpetual legacy, His profound confidence in the Scriptures. The importance of this fact for us cannot well be exaggerated. It supplies a most weighty reason for studying the Old Testament in order to strengthen and develop our individual spiritual life. If The one Perfect Man found in that Book nourishment of His own inner life of communion with His Father, can we afford to do without it? The Book on which He has thus set His seal can for us hardly be other than Divine and authoritative.
From what has been already said it will be evident that Bible study is an essential factor in personal spiritual growth. This is a subject on which a volume might be written, but in this talk we can only briefly note here three or four points which merit special emphasis.
In the FIRST PLACE, an increasing knowledge of Christ depends absolutely on a patient and painstaking study of the Bible. If you wish to know intimately and to come to love some one whose character you already respect and admire, you must somehow spend time in his presence, you must find out what he is thinking about, you must discover his point of view on all manner of questions, and if you would explore the meaning of friendship with Christ, you must search in your Bible for the unfolding of His personality. It is one thing to read The Bible because it is a literary masterpiece; it is quite another thing to study it in order to find out what Christ is doing now, what He thinks of our modern life, and what His purposes are for this world in which we live.
SECOND, it is impossible to maintain a high level of Christian ideals without constant Bible study. No man can attain proficiency in anything without a standard to work by. The author, the painter, the craftsman will produce poor stuff if they have no ideal outside and above them. And the Christian's aim, if he ignore his Bible, will always be slipping down to the level of the world around him. Take, for instance, the meaning of discipleship. There is a tendency in every age, and not least in our own, to water down its plain meaning, to find an escape from its exacting demands. This tendency can only be combated by a resolute return to Christ s own teaching on the subject of discipleship.
THIRD, regular Bible study has the most searching and illuminating effect on life and conduct. The Bible acts as a mirror in which the true self is revealed. Those comfortable allusions as to one's own goodness vanish like a pricked bubble when brought in contact with the Bible. Bible study produces an atmosphere where pride and complacency find it hard to breathe. The Bible is a book that knows no compromise; in the face of a dangerous modern tendency it still proclaims the sinfulness of sin. The Bible is the referee of conscience; it is the final guide to the Christian man as to matters of right and wrong. It is the last word in ethics; and, what
no ethical philosophy has ever done, it can tell a man, not only what goodness is, but also how he may attain it.
FOURTH, as a final instance of the value of Bible study, it may be pointed out that a knowledge of the Bible provides a much needed corrective of incomplete, exaggerated, or false ideas. This is a broad statement which, if we should attempt to develop its various implications, would take us far beyond the scope of the present message. It is a statement which our listeners can test for themselves. No one will deny that our own day is conspicuous for much unbalanced thought and wild speculation which parade under a Christian guise. Movements arise and flourish which, on investigation, turn out to be at once the product and the refuge of a mental tendency which likes to pick and choose from the Christian faith that which suits it and leave the rest. But this operation can only be accomplished by ignoring the one authoritative standard of the Christian faith, which is The Bible.
I propose to close this message with a few practical suggestions on the means and methods of Bible study:
In the first place, use The Bible. There is no value in postponing its actual use until its various literary problems have been solved. And, further, do not allow books about The Bible, however suggestive, or devotional books, however inspiring, to take the place of the Bible itself.
Read it, not just here and there, but continuously. Have some plan by means of which, whether slowly or rapidly, you will cover the whole ground.
Use various methods of study. Make a rapid survey of a whole book, noting its main argument and its leading ideas. Or select a chapter, or paragraph, or verse, and dig as deep as you can go. Or take some large topic or doctrine and trace it through a book or through several books. Do not be a slave to any one method.
Meditate. Give the word a chance to work. Ponder the passage of the verse, turn it over and over in your mind, that it may root itself in the fibers of your being.
Bring to your Bible reading a receptive, childlike spirit. As Huxley once wrote to Charles Kingsley, speaking of the study of Science, "Sit down before the fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconceived notion, follow humbly whenever and to whatever end nature leads, or you shall learn nothing ..." That advice is as important for The Bible student as for the scientist.
Let a daily time be set apart for Bible study. Let it be a time when your mind is fresh and your faculties alert, a state which for most people is best attained in the early morning. Moreover, let the time be regular, sufficient, and unhurried.
Use pencil and paper. Record, for your own benefit, the results of your reading. Making a note of lessons learned, of ideas suggested. The practice will both clarify your thought and aid your memory. Besides, that which a man thinks out for himself is worth far more to him than undigested masses of information poured into him from outside.
Lastly, as to Versions and Commentaries. It is worthwhile sacrificing both sentiment and literary considerations for the sake of an accurate translation. The translation of 1611 (the Authorized Version) is indeed majestically beautiful; but there are passages where no beauty of style can atone for failure to represent the original. From this point of view the Revised Version is a considerable improvement on the Authorized; and, for those who are ignorant of Greek, Weymouth's version of the New Testament (in modern English) is simply invaluable. The constant or occasional use of a modern version is advisable for another reason also. For many people one of the greatest difficulties of Bible study is the sheer familiarity of what they read. The well-known words catch the eyes or strike upon the ear and penetrate no further. It is just here that the modern version is so helpful; it enables the words to strike fresh upon the mind.
Commentaries should be used sparingly and with discretion. It defeats the aim of Bible study if the student flies to a commentary as soon as he reaches anything that he cannot immediately understand. It is not desirable to read The Bible through another man's spectacles. We can best feel the freshness and force of it when we look straight at it without any media between the reader and the
sacred page. At the same time, within certain limits, a commentary is not only useful, but essential. It enables the reader and this is most important, to recover the atmosphere of the book which he is studying. It recreates for him, as far as possible, the original circumstances in which the book was written; the personality of the writer, his reasons for writing, the people for whom he wrote, the times in which he lived, and so on. In this way the Bible will become a living book.
WHAT ARE GOD'S PURPOSES REGARDING THE JEWS?
Source: QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Volume IX, Nos. 6-7, Page 2
(A Full Length Feature Article)
A HIGHLY FAVORED LAND
Source: THE NEW ERA (Newspaper)
Riverton, New Jersey November 27, 1952
(A Front Page Editorial)
THE VALUE OF BIBLE STUDY
Source: QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Volume VII, No. 10, page 3
(A Full Length Feature Article)
(Inside back cover)
ALL SCRIPTURE IS BY INSPIRATION OF GOD AND IS PROFITABLE FOR INSTRUCTION IS RIGHTEOUSNESS
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, correction, for instruction in righteousness; the man of God may. be, perfect (i.e., fitted), throughly furnished unto all good works,
2 TIMOTHY 3:16 &:17 .
Authorized King James Version
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