King's Business - 1917-09



No. 9

The King’s Business



©h? îCtng s ItttìtoBB MOTTO: " I the Lord do keep it, 1 will water it every moment lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day.’’—Isa, 27:3. R. A. TORREY, D. D., Editor T .C . HORTON, J. H. HUNTER, WILLIAM EVANS, D. D , A ssociate Editors A. M. ROW, Managing E ditor Published by the BIBLE INSTITUTE OF LOS ANGELES, Inc. Los Angeles, California, U. S. A Kntered as Sccond-Class M atter Norembcr 17, 1910, at the postoffice a t Los Angeles, under the Act of March 3, 1879. C opriight bjr R. A. Torrey. D. D., and Bible In stitu te of Los Angeles, for the ]rearl917 Cal.,


R. A . Torrey, vice-president Leon V. Shaw, treasurer. William Evans.

Lyman Stewart, president. J. M. Irvine, secretary. T. C. Horton, superintendent. H. A . Getz.

Nathan Newby

J. O. Smith

DOCTRINAL STATEMENT We hold to the Historic Faith of the Church as expressed in the Common Creed of Evangelical Christendom and including. The Trinity of the'Godhead. The Deity of the Christ.

The Maintenance of Good Works. The Second Coming of Christ. The Immortality of the Spirit. The Resurrection of the Body. The Life Everlasting of Believers. The Endless Punishment of the Im­ penitent. The Reality and Personality of Satan. (7 ) Bible Women. House-to-house visitation and neighborhood classes. (8 ) Oil Fields. A mission to men on the oil fields. (9 ) Books and Tracts. Sale and dis­ tribution of selected books and tracts. ( 10 ) Harbor Work. For seamen at Los Angeles harbor. ( 11) The Biola Club. Daily noon meetings for men in the down-town district, with free reading-room privi­ leges. ( 12 ) Print Shop. For printing-Testa­ ments, books, tracts, etc. A complete establishment, profits going to free dis­ tribution of religious literature.

The Personality of the Holy Ghost. The Supernatural and Plenary au­ thority'of. the Holy Scriptures. The Unity in Diversity of the Church, the Body and Bride of Christ. The Substitutionary Atonement. The Necessity of the New Birth. T*i,mnca • The Institute trains, free p u r p o s e . oi co, t| accre


s THE KING’S BUSINESS VOL. VIII. SEPTEMBER, 1917 No. 9 TABLE OF CONTENTS Editorial: Saved by a Sunday School Lesson—Does Roman Catholicism Satisfy the Heart?—The Influence of Church Attendance on Family Life—Religion and Morality—Universal Military Service—What is the Government Going to Do About It?— “Master”— “What’s in a Name?” ........................................................ 771 The Baptism of Christ. By William Evans, Ph. D., D. D..... 777 The Bible Institute of Los Angeles in China............................. 783 Apostolic Optimism. By John Henry Jowett, D. D.............. 791 Light on Puzzling Passages and Problems............................... 797 Christ’s Second Coming. By Dr. Chas. Ernest Scott............. 799 Evangelistic Department. By Bible Institute Workers........... 801 Through the Bible with Dr. Evans.............................. ............... 809 A Word to the Weary. By Dr. Joseph Parker........................ 81 5 Homiletical Helps. By William Evans...................................... 8 19 The Miau People. By Lillian E. Marks Kelly........................... 823 The Far Horizon..................................... ................................... 825 International Sunday School Lessons. By R. A. Torrey and T. C. Horton......................................................................... 83 1 Daily Devotional Studies in the New Testament for Individ­ ual Meditation and Family Worship. By R. A. Torrey 847 Shansi Bible Institute.................................................................. 860

SUBSCRIPTION PRICE In the United States and its Possessions arid Mexico, and points in the Central American Postal Union, $ 1 per year. In all other foreign countries, $1.24 (5s. 2d.). Single copies, 10 cents.

Receipts sent on request. See date on address tag. “Sept. 17“ means Expires Sept. 1917, etc.






Our Correspondence School By the Faculty of the BIBLE INSTITUTE OF LOS ANGELES Instruction by correspondence long since ceased to be an experiment and took its well-earned place as a duly accredited method of education. If it lacks the personal touch of the class-room, it intensifies the originality^ and determ ination of the individ­ ual student. A student may thus pursue his ordinary occupation while perfecting himself as a Christian worker.

Course 1.—Fundamental Doctrines of Christianity By R. A . TORREY, Dean of the Institute

This is a careful study of what the Bible teaches on the Christian faith. The method pursued is to bring together every statem ent of Scripture bearing

upon the doctrine under discussion and from them ascertain and formulate the teaching of the Bible. This is the true inductive method of study.

Course 2.—The Life and Teachings of Our Lord By R. A . TORREY, Dean of the Institute

This course presents a thorough study of the life and teachings of our Lord as recorded in the four Gospels, it consists of 140 studies. These studies cover prac-

tically every verse in the four Gospels. At '£ the end of each . twenty lessons> a series of questions on the whole section is sent to the student to be answered.

Course 3.—Through the Bible by Books and Chapters By JOHN H. HUNTER, Secretary of the Faculty

This course carries the student through the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, each bobk being studied as a whole, and

each' chapter in each' book analyzed A special blank is furnished on which the student records the result of his own study.

Course 4.—Personal Evangelism and Practical Work By T. C. HORTON, Superintendent of the Institute


The business of every believer is to be qualified for service. The work of every believer is soul saving. ^ It will therefore be the privilege of the instructor in this course: first, to put the student in touch with the Scripture best calculated to

equip for the work of dealing with believ­ ers and unbelievers; second, to direct the student in the best methods of doing per­ sonal work; third, to gtfve suggestions concerning the preparation for conduct of religious meetings.

Other Courses in Preparation TERMS : For Numbers 1, 2 and 3—$5.00 each. For Number 4—$3.00 SEND FOR PROSPECTUS

TH E K ING ’S B U S IN E S S =@ Vol. 8 SEPTEMBER, 1917 No. 9 0 = E D I T O R I A L In Los Angeles recently I was called on the phone by Saved by a Sunday a Christian woman whose heart was full of joy and School Lesson. gratitude over the blessing that had come to her daughter through reading the Sunday School lesson of May 27th, in T h e K ing ' s B usiness . The lesson was upon the Holy Spirit, and the part of the lesson from which she derived especial blessing was that which dwelt upon the personality of the Holy Spirit. While reading this, a wonderful sense of His presence with her, and such a marvellous peace as she had never known, came over her and led to prayer and peace in great peril, and the deliverance, which her mother describes. I asked her to write it out, and it will be found on page 829 of this magazine. the Heart? Catholic priesthood, and of the veiled falsehoods by which they keep their hold upon credulous and unthinking masses of men, and especially women. This advocate of papacy and priestcraft says: “Among the older people especially, in quiet communities, one meets really conscientious and pious non-Catholics who have apparently never felt any sense of inadequacy in their religion; and Catholics, knowing how much they themselves need the sacraments and all other aids and means of grace that their own religion affords, and knowing of the many who have found the sects incapable of supplying their needs, are puzzled by the apparent satisfaction of those who have so little.” We will not take time to dwell upon the quiet assumption that Protestants do not have the sacraments. But the fact is that, as any one knows who has had any very wide experience with both Protestants and Roman Catholics, true Protestants, that is those Protestants who have really been born again, have a deep and abiding satisfaction in their faith in a Saviour whom they can approach and commune with without the mediation of a man-made priesthood, that Roman Catholics do not know. Indeed this is one of our great points of advantage in leading Roman Catholics out of the snare in which they have been entangled; they see for themselves that we have a heart-rest and peace arid assurance that they know nothing about. Roman Catholicism cannot satisfy the deepest longings of the human heart: Jesus Christ Himself, a personal Christ and not a mere system of ordinances, does satisfy the deepest longings of the heart. An article has recently appeared in the Catholic Regis- ter that would be amusing if it were not such a sad revelation of the amazing effrontery of the Roman Does Roman Catholicism Satisfy


THE KING’S BUSINESS The Homiletic Review, in a recent editorial comment- ing on a statement of Judge John Rooney of the Court of Domestic Relations in Chicago, says some things that are well worth repeating, and which ought to set many parents to doing some hard and serious thinking.

The Influence of Church Attendance on Family Life.

This editorial reads in pa rt: “Judge John Rooney has been analyzing the causes of divorce and has arrived at the conclusion that three out of four domestic troubles that have come before him have been the result of neglect of either husband or wife or both to attend any church-service. It is probable, of course, that this con­ tributing cause is, in turn, the result of other more iundamental reasons; but of the intimate relation of the church to domestic happiness there can be no doubt. The judge says: T do not care what church one attends; but I do think any man or woman could spare an hour a week to pay reverence to the Omnip­ otent. Every day I have parents before me neither of whom attends church. How can they expect to have any influence on their children’s moral training if they themselves do not set the example of attending church?’ ”

There is a difference between religion and morality. Religion has' to do with a man’s duty towards God, morality with his duty towards man. And man may be a moral man and yet irreligious. He may be true

Religion and Morality.

in his duty towards his fellowman, but minus in his duty towards God. The Church of Christ should be careful also lest she lose sight of this great fact—that her sphere is religion, first of all. There is a danger in con­ fusing first things with secondary things in this day of social service. The church should insist on a spiritual morality, a morality that leads a man to a righteous life because he loves it and because God is righteous, not that kind of morality which a government compels like honesty of proof. There is a great tendency today to materialize the church, to make it a social and intel­ lectual, rather than spiritual factor; to put our duty to our fellowman before our duty towards God. The morality of the moral man governs actions, that of the religious man, motives. ■It was the morality of motives that Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount and for this reason its principles are of universal application. There are many different standards for moral action in the world today, but only one motive for moral action. Christ dealt with principles, not rules. Consequently we will miss the great teaching of the Sermon on the Mount if we do not recog­ nize this great fact, if we try to force action and conduct, where motive is the main thing. For illustration: compare Christ’s teaching concerning murder and anger,' tooth for tooth, so it is with the religious duties of Chapter 6. Motive always has been and always will be the great fundamental force in life. It is that which may be directed, otherwise the outward act will be wrong. Although there may be and are different standards of the morality of actions among dif­ ferent countries and even individuals, yet there is but one morality of motive. So the first four of the ten commandments deal with religion, the last six with morality. The first with our duty towards God and the second with our duty towards our fellowman. So Christ’s two-fold commandment deals first with

THE KING’S BUSINESS 77 3 religion and then morality, or “Thou shalt loye the Lord thy God with all thy heart and thy .neighbor as thyself.” An article dealing with this subject, appeared some months ago in the Ladies Home Journal, written by a government official. With adaptation, we have here given the gist of it.

There is a very large and determined class of men in this country who for one reason and another are determined that we shall have Universal Military Service, not merely as an emergency measure, but as


Military Service.

the abiding system in our national life. They are determined that we shall permanently Prussianize America. The New York Sun, in an editorial rejoic­ ing over the success of the draft registration, says: “Conscription has been resorted to as a war-measure, but out of it will inevitably develop a system of universal military service that will prove the most nationalizing and democ­ ratizing force ever operative in the United States.” It is not at all impossible national life may carry the day. It is, however, to be devoutly hoped that they will not, and that the outcome of the war instead of being the Prussianizing of the United States will be the deprussianizing of Germany, and the reduc­ tion of standing armies in Germany and other European countries. But be that as it may, it is the height of absurdity to say that “universal military serv­ ice will prove the most democratizing force ever operative in the United States.” No other country has ever carried universal military service to the perfection that Germany has. Has it proved a democratizing force there ? It is the one thing above all others that has proven the death of democracy. It has also been the death of many other things that are wholesome and desirable. It is the prolific parent of countless evils. It is responsible for the present war and all its unspeakable horrors. God forbid "that it should ever become a permanent institution in our own land. A draft as an emergency measure is one thing; universal military service as a permanent system is quite another thing. Even a draft as an emergency measure is in no wise a “democratizing force,” how­ ever necessary it may be. It may be a necessary evil (personally we think it is) ; but nevertheless, it is in many ways an evil, and as soon as the emergency is passed, it should cease. The people who seek to make capital out of the nation’s present difficulties and thus to foist their pet plans upon the country in her hour of trial, are- traitors to the nation’s highest good, and should be sternly rebuked.

The greatest peril that confronts our young men who are going abroad to fight the nation’s battles is not from German shells or mines or gases, but from the army of vile women who are permitted to beset and ensnare the young men at the front and when in Eng­

What Is the

Government Going to Do About It?

land on furlough. One of the highest officers in the British forces said some time ago that though he was not permitted to state the number, the number of soldiers who were incapacitated for service by venereal diseases would form a very considerable army. A friend of the writer, who has been on practically

774 THE KING’S BUSINESS all the fronts, told the writer that in one. army twenty-five per cent, of the soldiers were hors du combpt from this cause. He said further, that conditions were permitted to be so bad in London that soldiers coming to that city on furlough were permitted to be solicted by these vampires near the stations where they were getting off the trains, and that things had come to such a pass that daughters of the best families were out on the streets at all hours of the night with their automobiles, to pick up the soldiers and take them to a place of safety before they fell a prey to these creatures, who were permitted to lie in wait for them. Does not the Government owe a duty to these young men, and to their mothers to protect them ? It is all very well to say this is the work of the Y. M. C. A. The Y. M. C. A. will doubtless do its part well, as it did in the Spanish-American war, but there are limitations to what the Y. M. C. A. can do, and the Government has no right to try to shift its own responsibility off on to the Y. M. C. A. There is much that the Government can do, if it wants to. Does it? It is related that a faithful Canadian commander who attempted to clean up his camp' was forbidden to do so by his superior English officer. I was told in Canada that Canadian mothers were saying that they were willing to give their sons for the Empire, but they were not willing to give them to be debauched by strong drink and impurity. One person said to me that unless something was done to improve conditions there was likely to be an uprising or revolution in Canada. An American mother, an unusually well-informed woman, a brilliant and gifted woman, whose son was going to the front as an officer, was in dismay at the conditions that she had learned would confront her son (not the conditions of physical hardship and peril, but the moral conditions) and came to me to ask what could be done. What is the Government going to do, and how soon is it going to do it ? need to be reminded of what meanings the Scriptures attach to the word, in order that we may intelligently and sincerely call Him whom we love “Master and Lord.” In the first place the word “Master” is used in the sense of “Teacher,” and so designates that Christ is to be supreme in the realm of intellect. He is “dedaskalos” (teacher), Rabbi (my teacher), Rabbonì (my very dear teacher). These grades of acceptance of Christ in the realm of our intellect and sphere of our thinking are found among His disciples. To some He is “teacher;” to others, “my teacher;” to still others, “my very dear teacher.” Which is He to you? Does He absolutely control your thought life? In the second place “Master” is used in connection with service, suggest­ ing that the One whom we thus designate has the right to command, to over­ see, to superintend all our activities. This word (epestata, Luke 5:5) is used only in connection with discipleship, and clearly indicates that if Christ is in the heart He has the right to, and will control tbe life. Does Christ as Master really control our service ? The third use of the word “Master” affects the heart and life—the feel­ ings, affections, emotions, in other words the throne-room of the life. Peter (1 epistle 3:15) used it in this sense : “Sanctify in your hearts Christ as Lord.” How lightly we use the word “Master,” as applying to our Lord, nowadays. ' ■How ignorantly of all that the word contains do we take it upon our lips. We “Master.”

THE KING’S BUSINESS 77 5 It is by the heart that the Spiritual things are comprehended. Only as Christ is master there, can we apprehend th

Well that depends upon the name. Napoleon! Edison! Marconi! The Kaiser! Lincoln! Washington! What memories, pleasant and otherwise, the very mention of these names arouse within u s ! We are stirred to

“What’s in a Name?”

anger, admiration, praise or condemnation by their sound. How stirring and fascinating is the name. “Jesus!” How it thrills the soul, quickens the pulse, stirs the emotions, actuates the will! Have we professing Christians the faith and confidence in that Name we ought to have? What faith the Apostles had in that Name—and, mark you, Jesus had not made the name yet. There whs nothing as yet manifest in the life of Jesus to warrant such implicit and abso­ lute confidence. With us it is different. We have twenty centuries of mar­ velous history attaching itself to that “name which is above every name.” Yet do we believe in it, trust it, do exploits through it, as did those early followers of the lowly Nazarene? Sonship comes through believing in the Name (John 1 :12). Nor is there salvation in any other name (Acts 4:12). Healings were wrought “in the name of Jesus of Nazareth.” Prayers are answered in the Name (John 14:14). World evangelization is through the knowledge of that Name. I know of a land that is sunk in shame, And of hearts that sick and tire; And I know of a name, a name, a name, That will set that land on fire. Its sound is a brand, its letters a flame, I know of a name, a name, a name— The precious name of Jesus. Are we spreading that Name, using that Name, depending upon that Name as we should?



Interesting Experience of a Bible Institute Worker Among the “Ups and Outs”

^T 'HE following actual occurrences writ- ten by our Mr. Dodelan, who has charge of a noon-day prayer meeting at No. 648 South Spring Street, for busy business men, and who goes from office to office, speaking to the occupants of their souls’ welfare, will prove interesting to our readers: “In all the various branches of Christian activity—preaching, teaching, singing and personal work; wherever it may be—in the church, on the corner, in the shop or store, upon the sands of the sea-shore, in the highways and byways—picture, if you will, a place which in its uniqueness is incom­ parable to any other in which to approach a man for the Master’s sake—“The Lion’s Den” ! Where? Go with us to a great sky-scraper; stpnd before the unopened door of an office whose occupant or occu­ pants seem to have but one aim in life—to get to a place where the financial world will bow in acknowledgment of their achievements. Possibly the one who entered before you has brought news of a distract­ ing nature from a business standpoint, and there sits the man in frenzied mood, forget­ ful of God, groping in the dark, never reaching above the level of the world and its alluring joys and accompanying sor­ rows. . “The Master’s servant enters, little know­ ing of the storm raging in the mind of that fine specimen of manhood. One look, and a call upon Him who commanded the sea to be still is invoked in a silent, momentary prayer. A smile begets a smile, and we start on- the road to Jericho with the Mas­ ter: ‘Come down, Zaccheus, for today ,1 must abide at thy house.’ ‘That’s fine,’ you say. Ah, no, beloved, he needs your prayers. He does not come down, but after many importunities, admits that his grand­ father preached the Gospel sixty-three years; that his father preached the Gospel

thirty-four years, and that he. has two sisters who are missionaries in India. (Oh, Father; have you forgotten this lost sheep? Art Thou satisfied with the ninety and nine? No. Lord; though he scorns Thy word; has contempt for the prayers of Thy people, yet thou, torn and bleeding shall find him and bring him back to the fold). Shall we not pray for this wan­ derer? “Another man, when our mission was made known, invited us to sit down, which seemed too good to be true. When we told him how unusual it was, he said: ~‘I do so with every one I meet, wishing always to be likewise treated.’ We said, ‘You must be a Christian.’ ‘No,’ said he, ‘I admire some of those of your calling, but on the whole have no use for its principles.’ We spent an hour and a-half with him, and when we left he came to the door and wanted to know if he could assist in any way. When we told him we loved him and wanted him to believe in our Lord and Master, tears came into his eyes and he said, ‘Pray for me.’ When next we called, he spoke of the Saviour and called Him our Lord. “It is easy to deal with the ‘down and outs,’ but with the ‘up and outs’ we need your prayers. Their creed, is ‘do the best you can towards your fellow man, forget­ ting God and the hereafter.’ ” E = = 'p H E illustration on the cover this E rz month is the entrance, to the E tomb of Mera, the picture having E S been secured by Dr. Evans while on E E a tour of the Holy Land. E nmiiiiiiimiiimmmiiiiiiiiimmimiiimiiF. COVER ILLUSTRAT ION ^ IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIE

M j W illiam Serons, Ph.

B Associate Dean Bible Institute of Los Angeles

Spirit of God was to rest in unlimited measure, the chosen King to establish the kingdom of heaven among God’s people. It is doubtless difficult for us to tell to what extent existing circumstances, home training, attendance at the synagogue, and other avenues of knowledge, ministered to the Master’s course of action, and tq what extent His unique knowledge as the Son of God controlled it.' While recognizing as we do the essential and absolute deity of our Lord, it may not be out of place to say that two questions may have been occupying the attetnion of Christ during these years : When would be the proper time to begin the active Messianic work? and, How should it be carried on? If this be true, then the Baptism of Christ answers the question When? and the Temptation of Christ the question, How? All through Christ’s life we find the phrase, “Mine hour is not yet come;’’ and then again, “The hour is come.” From these expressions we would infer that Christ waited for the Father’s intimation and direction as to when to act and speak. Thé report of John the Baptist’s work

HAT the baptism of Christ is an important epoch in the life of the Redeemer is evi­ dent from the fact that it is the starting point of the com­

mon apostolic testimony (“Beginning from the baptism of John, unto the day that he was received up from us, of these must one become a witness with us,” Acts i:22). I. The Corning of Christ from Nazar­ eth to the Jordan. This is the first men­ tion of our Lord in the gospels since the visit of the Christ-child to the temple, eight­ een years before. During all these years of silence our Lord had doubtless been engaged in manual labor, probably as a carpenter in the village of Nazareth. The wonderful knowledge of Scripture which Christ manifested in His visit to the tem­ ple and in His controversy with the Phari­ sees leads us to believe that during these waiting years He had become a master of the Old Testament Scriptures, particu­ larly those which had to do with the Mes­ sianic office and work. He must have known that He Himself was the prophetic Servant of the Lord, the One on whom the



There was an aspect, however, even view­ ing Christ as an andividual, that must not be dost sight of. Jesus was a child of Abraham, a true Jew. He recognized in the mission of John a ministry commanded of God, and therefore a ministry of right­ eousness. To submit to the baptism of John was something that God expected every true Jew to do. It was the fulfill­ ment of righteousness. John knew but one word—“repentance” ; he must learn another word—“righteousness.” He must change the need, of Christ’s baptism from repent­ ance to righteousness. John’s command to baptize was of God, and therefore was a righteous requirement. Jesus Christ was an obedient son of Abraham, and it became Him, and John too, to fulfill the righeous requirements of God. It was not a ques­ tion as to whether John understood the baptism or not ; the fact that God had com­ manded it was sufficient. In particular then we may note that 1. The baptism of Jesus Christ was His consecration to the office and work of Messiah and Redeemer. Jesus’ submis­ sion to baptism indicated His willingness to assume the burden of the race, to become its representative, to bear and carry away its sin. Here is Christ in His humiliation —willing to be “numbered with the trans­ gressors.” He has no personal guilt, but is willing to assume the shame of the race. Herein is divine compassion. He is the “Lamb of God,” which means very much more than being merely the Messiah of the Jews. He is the Saviour of the race. He is not the Jew’s Lamb, but God’s Lamb. It is worthy of note that our Lord speaks of His passion as a baptism (Luke xii. SO). We have a right, then, to look upon the baptism of Jesus as the public exhibition of His willingness to assume thé burden of the race’s sin. 2. The baptism of Christ was His inaug­ uration to the office of priest. Luke tells us that Jesus was thirty years old when He entered upon His public ministry. This was the age when priests were inaugurated into, office. The fact of His age may also have had something to do with His recogni-

and his declaration that he was the fore­ runner of the Messiah, together with the results attending his mission, must have reached Christ in Nazareth. It was not only the Jewish expectation that such a person as John should come and, by a sys­ tem of purifitation, prepare the people for the coming of the King and the kingdom of heaven, but also the teaching of the Scrip­ tures that immediately preceding the advent of the Messiah, a forerunner, with such a ministry as that of John, would appear. The mission of John was associated with three things: the coming of Jehovah, the advent of the kingdom of God, and a call to the nation to prepare for the coming Messiah. I f circumstances had anything at all to do with the guidance of Christ, then surely these three things had something to do with the coming of Christ to the bap­ tism. II. The Significance of Christ’s Baptism. The baptism of John did not have the same significance to all subjects of it. To the Pharisee it meant nothing. To the repent­ ant Jews and the faithful remnant it was a preparation for entrance into the king­ dom. To Christ, of course, it could mean neither of these things. What the bap­ tism of John meant to the people, then, is clear; what it really meant to Christ is not so apparent. Even John himself was embarrassed when Christ presented Him- helf for baptism; even the forerunner did not understand the reason why. That the baptism actually meant some­ thing to Jesus, that it was not a mere form, we must, of course, at once admit. Christ hated hypocritical formalism. There must, therefore, have been some meaning in the act of baptism to the Christ. Just what was this meaning? John’s refusal to baptize Jesus was a mistake in so far as John looked upon Christ as an individual merely. As an individual, Christ, of course, from the standpoint of repentance, had no need of baptism. He had no sins to confess. He remained not, as the others, in Jordan’s water, after their baptism, confessing His




outward act of the baptism of Christ. It is true, it might be inferred from Luke’s account that they did. If such were the case, however, the experience of the people was similar to that of the companions of Saul on the Damascus road, who, while they heard and saw something, could not distinguish nor discern clearly the sight or sound (Acts ix. 7; xxii. 9) ; or like the people in John xii. 29, of whom it is said that when God spoke to Christ, “they thought it thundered” (and. note that this incident is mentioned in connection with one of the three occasions when God spoke from Heaven to His Son). Further, if the people had heard and seen these mirac­ ulous phenomena, would they not have hailed Christ as King? They certainly would not have taunted Him, as they did later, for a “sign from heaven,” if they had witnessed this wonderful sign. Jesus never refers to it as a sign of His Messiah- ship which the people could have recog­ nized. John refers to it only once as the evidence of the supernatural means afforded him in recognizing the Messiah. There is, further, a distinct statement in John v. 37 which would seem to preclude the idea of the people having heard the heavenly voice: “And the Father hath sent me, He hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form.” It is probable that John and Jesus alone witnessed the supernatural phenomena at the baptism. Matthew says that the heavens were opened “unto him.” He omits the words, “Hear ye him,” which might lead us to think that the words were addressed to Christ only. In the transfiguration, an event which was clearly intended' for the disciples’ benefit, the words “Hear ye him” are mentioned. These words would not be needed at the baptism if the divine voice was for Jesus only, or even for John, too. That John witnessed the phenomena seems clear from his own testimony in John i. 30-36. Indeed these miraculous phenomena presented to him convincing

tion of the time when He should begin His Messianic work. The consecration of the priests into office was connected with a threefold anointing: first, there was the washing with water; then, the anointing with oil; and then, the application of blood. So was it in connec­ tion with Christ’s baptism: There was the water of the Jordan, the descending Holy Spirit, and, at the end of His life, the offer­ ing on the cross. “For there are three who bear witness, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood; and the three agree in one. This is He that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not with the water only, but with the water and with the blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is the truth” (1 John v. 6-8). In His baptism, then, Christ is presented as Mediator and Redeemer of His people. 3. Jesus Christ, by His baptism, was inagurated as the Head of the new and final dispensation. The prophets had preached until John; now the kingdom of God is preached. In the Lord Jesus Christ God has said His last and final word to the sons of men. Last of all, He has sent His Son. Before this He had sent prophets, minstrels, priests, and the Baptist. His last word will be spoken in His Son. Those who reject the Son have no hope. 4. In harmony with the purpose of Matthew’s Gospel we may say that at His baptism Christ was presented as the nation’s King. The baptism was, in a sense, the inauguration of the King. III. The Supernatural Phenomena in Connection with the Baptism of Christ. They are three: the open heaven, the descending Spirit, the heavenly voice. What is the significance of these divine and sup­ ernatural manifetsations ? First, let us ask to whom these revela­ tions were made. Who heard the heavenly voice, and saw the descending dove? In the answer to this question we may discern the purpose of these remarkable phenom­ ena. It may be questioned whether the people either heard or saw anything saving the

780 proof that Jesus of Nazareth was the Mes­ siah of God. The Supernatural Phenomena. 1. The open heavens. Never before had the heavens been thus opened to any one. Four times only in the New Testament do we read of the heavens being opened to any one and then Christ is always the object of vision: In the scene of the baptism it is “to Him” that the Heavens are opened, and the mes­ sage of the heavenly voice concerned the deity of the Christ (John i. 33, 34). In John i. 50, 51 we -have the second instance of the open heavens. Here, too, Christ is the object and subject of the vision. It is by and through Christ that all heavenly ministrations come to us. This is true whether we look upon Christ as being the ladder or the object of angelic ministrations, as in the case of Jacob. Christ is the principal subject of the open heavens. The third instance is Acts vii. 55, 56. Here Stephen sees the heavens opened, and the one all-absorbing vision that breaks upon his wondering sight is the glorified Son of Man. In Revelation xix. 11-16 we have another picture of the open heavens, and the object that meets our sight here is the Lord Jesus Himself, coming forth as the King of kings and Lord of lords. Of course, in a certain sense, the trans­ figuration, too, gives us the vision of an open heaven, but how quickly Moses and Elias disappear when Peter would put them on a level with Christ. Thus we see that Christ Himself is the center of the trans­ figuration scene. In the baptism narrative, theerfore, Christ is the object of heaven’s gaze, and not heaven the object of His gaze, as in the case of others. On or to no other one of the sons of men had heaven been able to look with' such complacepcy and say, “well pleased.” In the Old Testament we often hear the people cry, “Oh that Thou wouldst rend the heavens and come down.” Now the heavens have been rent and God has come down.


The Messiah is Immanuel—God with us. 2. The heavenly voice. Out of the rent heavens came the voice of God, saying, “Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” We are told that Christ was praying at His baptism, and one sometimes wonders if the heavenly voice was an answer to the prayer of the Son. We remember that in John xii. 28, 29 the heav­ enly voice was the direct answer to the prayer of Christ. May it not have been so in this case? What did this heavenly voice signify to Christ? “This is my beloved Son” takes us back to the second Psalm where this person is addressed as the ideal King of Israel. The last clause—“in whom I am well pleased” —refers to Isaiah xlii., and portrays the Servant who is aniointed and empowered by the endowment of God’s Spirit. We must admit that the mind of Jesus was steeped in the prophecies of the Old Testament, and that He knew to whom these passages referred. The ordinary Jew knew that much. The Targum comments on Psalm ii. 7 as follows : “Beloved as a son to his father art thou.” There can be no doubt but that it was from this expression that John understood Christ to be the Son of God. Is it too much to say that on that baptismal day Jesus was keenly conscious that these Old Testament predictions were fulfilled in Him? We think not. Of course we always remember in this connection that even as early as thè visit of the Christ-child to the temple, there-is an indication of His own Messianic consciousness. There are three instances in the gospels in which the heavenly voice is heard, wit­ nessing to the deity and Messianic work of the Christ. These three instances occur at criticai points in the Saviour’s life : His baptism, Matthew iv.; Mark i.; Luke iii.; His transfiguration, Matthew xvii.; Mark ix.; Luke ix.; and John xii. 27-30. Doubt­ less the heavenly messages, coming at such times, were of greatest comfort to the Sav­ iour in connection with the carrying on of His redemptive work.



3. The descending Holy Spirit. We are told that the Spirit descended like a dove and abode upon the head of Christ. Was it a real dove? Did the Spirit just descend as a dove, in the likeness of a dove? This question seems perplexing to some people. They find difficulty in connecting spirit and matter. They cannot see how the Holy Spirit can be put into bodily shape, and yet that is what the narrative seems to declare, and thus the question is answered by illus­ tration, if not by exposition. We need to be reminded constantly that there are some things that we must accept without hand­ ling. It has been well said that you handle the earth, but you cannot ,lay a finger on the sky. Was not the incarnation the com­ ing of God, who is spirit, into matter? Did not the Spirit clothe Himself with Gideon? Does not the Spirit today fill these human bodies of ours with His power and grace? The Spirit is coming down like a dove, even today. This old world needs something to come down from heaven. It is in sore need of something that it hasn’t got. What meaning did the descent of the Spirti have to Jesus? If Christ’s sermon in the synagogue at Nazareth is of any help here, we must believe that at His baptism, so much more than at the age of twelve, He was conscious that in thus being anointed He was associating Himself in some peculiar way with the prophecy of Isaiah, chapters xlii. and lxi.: “Behold my Servant . . . I have put my Spirit upon Him.” All, therefore, that must have been wrapped up in the thought of the “Servant of the Lord” in the Old Testament would assuredly be quickened in his consciousness that day when the Spirit descended upon Him. See also Luke iv. 16-17 ; Acts x. 38 ; Matthew xii. 28. Doubtless the descent of the Holy Spirit upon Christ at this time was also prophetic of the manner and method by which He would carry out His Messianic and redemp­ tive work. He would depend upon the Holy Spirit for power and equipment for service. There are two passages of Scripture which are of great interest in this connection :

Luke iv. 14-21—“And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit unto Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about. And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all. And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.” Acts x. 38—“How God anointed Jesus of Naz­ areth with the Holy Ghost and with po’wer: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil: for God whs with him.” One passage is used by Christ Himself, and the other by the Apostle Peter to describe the power and means by which His wonderful works were done. How fully Christ depended upon the Holy Spirit! How full He was at all times of this divine power and' Person! His very garments seemed to be full of this power. The afflicted woman said, “If I may but touch the hem of his garment, I shall be whole.” She touched, and forth from the garment there went the power. His voice was full of the Holy Ghost, “Never man spake as this man spake.” His hands and touch bore the impress and power of the Spirit. Whoever they touched they healed. We speak a good deal now­ adays of mental healing; Jesus practiced manual healing. There was a motherly touch in His hands; they seemed to heal



mission. Its emblem was to be a dove, not a rapacious bird with sharp beak and bloody talons such as characterized the kingdoms of the world. Doubtless the quiet tones, the irridescent hues, the tame colors of the dove, were in striking contrast to the fierce birds which served as the insignia of the kings of the earth. Christ had come to conquer, not with arms or armament, but with weapons, that were spiritual. In His triumphal entry into Jerusalem He came, not on the prancing war steed, but on an ass. When Peter, in the garden of Geth- semane, drew his sword, the Master said to him, “Put up thy sword; all those that take the sword shall perish by the sword.” Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace. It is this vision of Christ that the warring nations of the world need today. hour; it is a birthright of privilege and integrity. It may not be used as staff, or whip, or covering. It shall not be marred by advertisement, nor desecrated on the stage. It was born in tears and blood. It was baptized in blood and tears. It has floated since June 14, 1777, over a country of benevolence, refuge and prog­ ress. It must always be carried upright. To bear the Star Spangled Banner is an honor, to own one a sacred trust. It is the emblem of freedom, of equality, of justice for every person and creature as it floats unvanquished—untarnished over the open door of free education.—Ida Louise Gibbs.

and soothe every one they came in contact with. There is a very practical lesson here for the Church to learn. We are too prone to work in the energy of the flesh, forget­ ting that it is “not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord God.” It is for this reason that so much of the Church’s work is purely human and can be duplicated by other organizations that lay no claim to possessing divine credentials, as does the Church. When the Church of God is anointed with the Holy Spirit for power, she will do things that can be neither dupli­ cated nor explained by human power or means. The descent of the Holy Spirit in the form o f a dove would doubtless indicate what would be the character of Christ’s The American flag is the symbol of the brotherhood of man. It stands for courage, for chivalry, for generosity and honor. No hand must touch it roughly ; no hand shall touch it irreverently. Its position is aloft. To float, over its children, uplifting their eyes and hearts by its glowing colors and splendid promise; for under the Stars and Stripes are oppor­ tunities unknown to any other nation of the world. The government commands the people to honor their flag. Men and boys should uncover as they pass the vivid stripes which represent the life blood of brave men, and the stars which shall shine on forever. It must be raised at sunrise; lowered at sunset. It is not a plaything of the

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The Bible Institute of Los Angeles in China

Dff. k e l t e r t Y is i® n

A FEW years ago Dr. Frank A. Keller, many years a member of China Inland Mission, saw a trim and sprightly launch steam up the Siang River and anchor at Changsha, the capital of Hunan, China. With­ out delay, a company of foreigners and Chinese came ashore and began distributing in the shops and houses attractive little boxes containing samples of cigarettes. Later in the day, when the farmers and country mer­ chants were returning home, they stood on temporary platforms by the way and gave to each man as he passed, samples of their wares. The doctor says: “As we saw their strenuous work and heard of their far-reaching plans, and thought of the thousands and thousands of towns and villages whose millions of people had never heard of Christ, or even seen a copy of God’s Word, who would soon be smoking cigarettes, our hearts were filled with burning shame and at the same time throbbed with a great ambition, to be equally comprehensive in plan, wise in method, and prompt in action for the King.” Just at that time there came to his hand a gift from the Bible House of Los Angeles to be used for the dis­ tribution of the Scriptures in the Province of Hunan. He proposed to an evangelist and a Christian teacher to furnish a boat, food and books if they would make up a party of evangelists, teachers and Christian business men, and undertake a tour of evangelism in the province. They



received the proposition with sympathetic enthusiasm, and after a month of blessed free-will service, returned with “a thrilling and inspiring” report of their experi­ ment. Dr. Keller says: “We reported this work to our friends at Los Angeles, and told them, too, of the launch and the work of the cigarette party, and how it had stirred us. We also called their attention to the remark­ able opportunity offered by the great waterways of Hunan to reach nearly every part of the province by boat. The heads of the Bible House of Los Angeles saw the vision, they heard the cry of the twenty-two million peo-

ple of Hunan, and they accepted as a commission from God the task of visiting, so far as possible, every one of Hunan’s 4,268,000 homes, to tell the people of Jesús Christ, and to leave with them as a free gift copies of God’s Word, t>r portions of it.” Dr. Keller himself was at once engaged by the Bible House of Los Angeles to inaugurate and superintend a work of evangelization among these millions of Hunan- ese. The doctor undertook the task and after six years of service, under the auspices of the Bible House, con­ tinues it as a department of the Bible Institute of Los



Angeles, which has now assumed the resporisibility of its support and development. Hunan is one of the fourteen provinces now com­ prised in the Chinese Republic. It embraces about 80,000 square miles of country and contains about 22,000,000 inhabitants. Its people have been among the proudest, most arrogant and inhospitable, of the conservative pop­ ulation. It became known as “the sealed province,” “the hostile province,” etc., but is now freely open and willing, if not eager, to hear the message we have to bring them.

A BRIDGE ON THE ROAD TO NAN YOH The opportunity certainly is great,— first, as to the field, second, as to the conditions. We need to remind ourselves that Hunan alone has 22,000,000 people, and that close by is Kiangsi, connected with Hunan by mod­ ern railroad, and close business nnd social relationships, with a population of over 26,000,000; the two provinces together having a population equal to half of the whole United States. What a field! The people of Hunan are a well educated people, and a people of exceptional energy and character. It is a great delight and satisfaction to work among and for



them. Chanjgsha was one of the four cities chosen by the Rockefeller Foundation for carrying on its extensive work along medical lines. This fact is suggestive. “May I bring to your notice the populous county of Kiyang in the Yungchow prefecture? There is a large hsien city (a county seat) and many large country vil­ lages, without any missionary. I am responsible for that whole area, together with a large part of two other coun­ ties. We should all be glad to give the fullest co-opera-

BEAUTIFUL HUNAN AND BIBLE SCHOOL tion to a band of your workers, and I much hope that you can arrange to come to the aid of a district which is ready for the Gospel, but has as yet been very little evan­ gelised.” It is to meet these conditions that the Bible Insti­ tute of Los Angeles has taken up the unique work thus inaugurated by Dr. Keller, in the hope that, by the grace of God, they may reach in some worthy degree the mil­ lions of unevangelized souls for whom the Son of God shed His blood, with the precious Gospel of His salva­ tion. This involves the careful training of a large force

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