She -Bible Tamil# Magazine
B I B L E I N S T I T U T E
p u b l i s h e d B Y
OF LOS A N G E L E S
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“ Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow ? "
J am i s on ’s Chrono l og i ca l Panor ama of the B i b l e THE MOST WONDE R F UL BI BLE C H A R T E V E R P R I N T E D , AND Price Reduced to $l—
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It will make a delightful and most appropriate Christmas S ift . We will send it rolled, direct, if desired, stating the name of the donor.
• "A most graphic and picturesque presentation of Scripture Truth" Dr. Stewart P. MacLennan. • "A study of this chart will give the reader a detailed knowledge of the Bible" Prof. Leander S. Keyser. • "A beautiful piece of work and very suggestive" Reverend A. B. Prichard, D.D. • "The most clear and complete chart of Bible history and prophecy
that I have yet seen" Dr. Charles E. Hurlburt. • And . . . many others just like the above.
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Orders for the charts, and for further information address PROF. LEWIS H. JAMISON 751 OLIVE AVENUE : LONG BEACH : CALIFORNIA
For They Say, and Do Not r • Frankly, what’s the use of'saying, “ Every time I see a Jew I want to take off my hat to him,” , when you are not willing to take out your dollar to help him kriow o f that Name through which alone he can be saved? What’s the use o f the premillennial doctrine if it teaches by innuendo that “ we must leave the Jews alone in this age?” Are you obeying God in your work, prayer and gifts in behalf of the Jew? Are you a layman? Just how much did you give to Jewish Missions last year, and how much to all other Missions? Are you a pastor ? How much did your church give for Jewish Missions last year? These are sober questions in this hour o f overturning and overturn ing, for the coming o f Israel’s King may be nearer than we think. And if so, the time of your stew ardship is short. Our work merits your every con fidence. Our field is not only the 2,000,000 Jews in New York, but the 4,000,000 Jews of America. And through co-operating mission aries we are represented, and our •Yiddish publications are being dis tributed, in the important Jewish centers o f the world. In America, Branches are being established in the larger cities as the Lord gives us the means and the workers. Your help and prayers are always needed. “ The Chosen People,” loved by many Bible students for its helpful information on Proph ecy and the Jews, is sent to all con tributors. May we hear from you ?
S h e S i d l e T a m i l s 3 t a # a $ m e Motto: “ Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood ."—R ev . 1 :5.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The Babe of Bethlehem—Robert Crumly......................................... 502 Crumbs from the King’s Table—The Editor....................................503 A Walk to Bethlehem—Herbert H. Tay........... ................................ 504 God Sent Forth His Son—Roy Talmage Brumbaugh............ .........506 A Christmas Homily—Ezra S. Gerig................................................ 508 Present-Day Fulfillment of Prophecy—Louis S. Bauman.............. 509 Studies in the Epistle to the Hebrews—-John C. Page....................511 Through Street-AA Short Short Story— Frances Rex.................... 513 Heart to Heart with our Young Readers i|J|LFlorence Nye Whitwell.......................... ................................ 515 In the Jewish World—J. A. Vaus...... ............................................... 518 International Sunday School Lesson Commentary.......................... 519 Christmas Gifts for All Ages...................................... ........................ 520 Junior King’s Business—Martha S. Hooker.......... ......................... 529 Notes on Christian Endeavor—Mary G. Goodner.......................... 531 Daily Devotional Readings................................................................... 536 Christmas Sermon Outlines....... ......................................................... 540
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POLICY AS DEFINED BY THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE BIBLE INSTITUTE OF LOS ANGELES (a) To stand for the infallible Word of God and its great fundamental truths, (b) To strengthen the faith of all believers, (c) To stir young men and women to fit themselves for and engage in definite Christian work, (d) To make the Bible Institute of Los Angeles known, (e) To magnify God our Father and the person, work and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ; and to teach the transforming power of the Holy Spirit in our present practical life, (f) To emphasize in strong, constructive messages the great foundations of Christian faith. 536-558 S. Hope St., BIBLE INSTITUTE OF LOS ANGELES, Lo* Angeles, Calif.
R obert C r u m l y
Because a Babe was born in Bethlehem One blessed day, long centuries ago,
The light of truth— which glimmered pale and dim Before H e came— now shines with perfect glow. And wise men still their willing tributes pay To Him who in a lowly manger lay! Because a Babe was born in Bethlehem A greater glory crowns each mother s brow'. And children, hearing how God honored them, Draw near to Him with eager spirits now! And who can find — where’er his steps may roam — A sweeter haven than the Christian home? Because a Babe was born in Bethlehem Sad hearts have learned again- the joy of song, While slaves who pined in dungeons dar\ and grim Have come to march with liberty along; And coward souls— made fearless through His Word — Have braved derision, exile, fire, and sword. A multitude, from every age and clime, Shall see God’s face, and with His seraphim Sing praises to Emmanuel’s name sublime. 0 ransomed throng! ye well may magnify The Lamb who died that ye might live on High! Because a Babe was born in Bethlehem
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rumLs /romTHE K ING ’S TABLE . . . By T he E ditor
staggered at giving it our confidence ? To turn from it can not make the mystery less— it only increases our discom fort and perplexities the more—and if for our humble faith, we must encounter ridicule and scorn, we may still console ourselves by the example of many blessed spirits who, in the same holy confidence, have bowed and shone and suffered. Let us, with the shepherds, pay our early visits to Beth lehem’s manger on Christmas Day, to establish ourselves in the blessed story of salvation, and to refresh our souls with new visions of God manifest in the flesh—His won derful person and His unspeakable grace. A Sign Spoken Against ^ 5 uch was Christ in His nature, His office, His teach ings, His works, His appointments, His life, His death, His resurrection, His ascension, and the cause He has set up in the world; yet in all these particulars He was to be unsatisfactory to the taste, persuasion, prejudices, and pre possessions of men. He was to be “ spoken against.” Christ was an offense to the Jew. There was nothing that He did or said, or left undone, but they perverted it and reviled Him for it, and nursed their antagonism until it culminated in His crucifixion. They did the same with reference to His apostles and the story of their testimony concerning Him, and in all nations and ages, neither Christ nor His cause has ever failed to meet with like treatment. Though He is the very pledge, proof, and demonstration of God’s prodigious and everlasting compassion, around which men and people might rally in comfort, peace, righteousness, salvation, and eternal life, it has been the order of the day everywhere and always for the great body of mankind to make this Son of Mary the mark and butt of their vilest antagonism, vitu peration, and abuse. No cause has ever suffered at the hands of the world as the Christian cause, and no people have ever innocently had to bear what Christian people have been made to bear for their very goodness and devo tion to the truest interests of humanity. Nor to this day has the offense ceased. There is nothing now on earth that is hated with a more intense hatred than pure Christianity. Most men, even in the most Christian communities, are ready to become anything sooner than meek and earnest Christians, and there are people who would as soon see Satan himself come into their houses, if he came in re spectable form, as a faithful Christian minister. It is sad that it is so, but such are the facts, foreannounced already by the holy Simeon when Jesus was as yet but a few days old. Nevertheless Simeon thought it the crowning day of his life—an ample reward for all his longing, waiting, praying, and preparing—which brought to his aged eyes the sight, and to his venerable arms the charge of this blessed Babe. Now he could depart in peace, for his eyes had seen God’s salvation. “ Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, ac cording to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation.”
Faith in the Incarnation “ O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker.” he M agi from the east did neither an idolatrous, an ignoble, nor an idle deed when they worshiped the Babe of Bethlehem. Promises and prophecies, histories written be fore and histories written after, signs in the heavens and signs in the earth—all unite in attestation that, in that filthy grotto, we find the radiant center of the world. Have we come to give adoration to that lowly Babe ? It is not alone we come; glorious angels as well as simple shepherds have been there before us. The glorious company of the apos tles, and the noble army of the martyrs have preceded us in the selfsame service. The church of God throughout the world worships with us. With one mouth she confesses, and with one heart she believes; as we on Christmas Day confess and believe “ in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, very God o f very God, begotten, not made, made of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made, who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, and was made ac cording to our gospel,” Nor was He less worthy of wor ship while He lay as a babe in Bethlehem’s manger, wrap ped in rags, than when He set His compass on the face of the waters and spoke creation into life. With prophets and evangelists, and the great company of saints that have passed on, let us have faith, and comfort ourselves in the great fact wrapped in those humble sur roundings. Let it be for skepticism and the sullen-hearted to sneer at the mystery of the holy incarnation. Let it be for this world’s narrowness and vainglory to ask, “ How can I believe that the almighty Creator of all things should become a wailing infant, and submit to the weaknesses of our nature ?” Viewing things in the abstract, and following the suggestions o f our own evil heart, we might be dis posed to doubtfulness, but disbelief in this point can only augment our difficulties. It is a fact that that humble Babe, in after years, untaught even in the feeble learning of His native land, put forth truths beyond all range of human knowledge, and by His quiet teachings here and there, on the hillsides and seashores of Galilee and Judaea, created the one grand revolution in the history of our race. From Him came forth ideas and moral influences which have shaken the mightiest kingdoms, overthrown all preceding forms of philosophy and faith, and cast into a new mold the most distant countries and generations o f the earth. And from that dark cavern, where the cattle fed and slept, there has come a light before which the old, miscalled religions have one by one died out, and whose genial rays have ever since been felt in all the paths of life as the highest, chief- est, gladdest, and most hopeful treasure in possession of Adam’s race. How could this have been done had not Deity been conjoined with that lowly infancy? The thought may be confounding to our feeble reason, but inspiration asserts it, history has added its seal to it, the best and holiest of men devoutly hold and confess it. Why should we be
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A W A L K to C^^eilileLetn Escorted by a Student of the Land and of the Boo\
B y HERBERT H. TAY San Dimas, Calif.
Keystone View Co.
THE BAZAAR OF BETHLEHEM
The plain which our road traverses gradually rises to ward the south, and at length, after a walk o f about two and a half miles* we come to its highest point, from which we have a most inspiring view of the surrounding country. Toward the north, the narrow ribbon of rbad over which we have come wends its way between low, loose-rock walls until it slips through the “ Needle’s Eye” of the Jaffa Gate and disappears. Above the turreted walls of the Holy City, the sky is pierced by the spike-like minarets of the mosques. Between them may be seen the shining dome of the so-called “ Mosque of Omar.” It stands upon the site of the ancient temple, and we can well imagine that Joseph and Mary looked back upon it with reverence as they stood upon this spot almost two thousand years ago. Immediately to the east of the city rises the rounded dome of the Mount of. Olives, while far to the north upon the horizon, the buildings o f the village that once was Mizpeh of old can faintly be discerned. As we turn toward the east, we gasp in amazement at the spectacle before us. The hills upon which we are stand ing seem to break away in serrated waves of wild and pre cipitous declivities which end in an awful gorge that seems to penetrate to the very bowels of the earth. At the bottom o f this trench, almost thirteen hundred feet below the level of the Mediterranean, can be seen the gleaming blue waters of the Dead Sea, shimmering in the morning sunlight. Beyond the sea, softened by the purple haze of distance, the mountains of Moab rise in a blank and forbid ding wall. Between us and the sea is a scene of wild deso lation. Not a tree can be seen. The hills are barren and desolate and are cut by innumerable dry, rocky water courses. In the daytime, the sun glares down mercilessly upon the weary traveler, while at night, the air is rent by the shrill cries of wild beasts. There is no more depressing sight in all Palestine than this barren stretch of God-for saken country. It is the Wilderness of Judaea. Before we continue our walk to Bethlehem, let us look toward the south and west. How different this region is from that upon which we have just been looking! The summits of the rocky hills are softened by the silvery sheen of the leaves of olive trees. Here and there can be seen little patches of cultivated ground among the trees. The principal crop is grain, but occasionally one sees a vine yard. The hillsides are dotted here and there with little villages, the walls and dome-shaped roofs of the houses
e t h l e h e m ! What a host of memories and emotions that name stirs within our breasts! The watching shep herds, the angelic message, the guiding star, the virgin mother, the Son of God—all these memories flood our minds and swell our hearts until the^Christmas season is, to us, the most blessed season of all the year. How we wish we could have been there on that first Christmas E ve! How thrilling it would have been to be a part of the mill ing throngs which surged back and forth in the streets of the City of David that memorable night! I f only we could h&ve been in the .field with the shepherds and gone with them to the manger cradle, what spiritual rapture would have been ours! But the first Christmas has passed, and it can live for us only in memory. Yet it is possible to visit the site of the Saviour’s birth, and to look upon many of the same scenes which the holy family witnessed over nineteen hundred years ago. Through the providence of God, the Holy Land has changed very little since that day. It has been inhabited by a people who have cared little for modern mechanical progress, and who have been content to live in the same way as have their ancestors for countless generations. They look like the people who lived in the days of our Lord. They think the same, they act the same, and they have left many of the sacred spots just the same as they were then. Let us then walk to the Bethlehem of today, which so much resembles the Bethlehem of yesterday, and let the message of God in the roads and the hills and the houses and the trees speak to us of that happy event of long ago. We begin our walk at Jerusalem, and traverse the path along which the Galilean carpenter and his virgin wife walked in the days of old. The Jaffa Gate, through which we make our way, pierces the gray city walls on the west ward side. We follow the road down across the Valley of Hinnom, and out upon the slightly rolling plain that stretches away to the south toward Bethlehem. The fields on each side, barren and rocky during the summer and fall, are now becoming softened by the tender springing grass. Here and there a scattered olive tree breaks the monotony of the landscape, and along the roadside, the early winter flowers are beginning to lend their color to the scene. The pungent odor of the earth dampened by the recent rains, and the welcome warmth of the winter sun shining from a cloud-fleckled, azure sky quicken our spirits and fill us with the joy of living.
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showing through the gently swaying branches of the olive trees. There is much more grass here, and occasionally we can see a shepherd, taking advantage of the natural growth of this region, leading his flock to another pasture. This is the hill country of Judaea. Crowning the summit of a little hill about two and a half miles to the south of us, like a gleaming gem in a silver setting, rises the little town of Bethlehem. How quiet and peaceful it looks in its lovely surroundings! It is just far enough from the bustling mart of trade and the hum of in dustry to afford an excellent spot of seclusion to which one may come for quiet meditation. As we continue our walk, we soon come to an ancient sepulcher known as the tomb o f Rachel. It was here, we are told, that the wife of Jacob gave birth to Benjamin, and in the giving gave her life. She was buried here by the roadside, and her tomb is re vered to this day by Christian, Jew, and Moslem alike. Just beyond the tomb of Rachel, the road branches. The chief highway continues toward the south and west to He bron and Beersheba. We take the less traveled road to the right, ascend the hill, and find ourselves in the City of David. How clean everything is ! The houses are of hewn stone, and are in excellent condition. Many of them are surrounded by walls, and by peering through the gateways, we can see shrubs and flowers growing within. There are
is the only extensive piece of grain land near Bethlehem, it is probably the same as the one mentioned in the Old Tes tament. It is still planted with grain, and raises excellent crops. The little valley is now divided into several fields, and we notice with interest the whitewashed stones, used as landmarks, which are set here and there to mark the boundaries of the separate fields. Let us go now to the village, that we may look upon the site which has been revered by Christians for hundreds o f years as the place of the incarnation, We make our way up the rocky path to the Church of the Nativity. Stoop ing to pass through its low doorway, we find ourselves in a sort of vestibule. On the opposite side of this room is another doorway. Passing through it, we find ourselves in the church proper. The shadows cast by the age-old col umns in the dusky aisles seem to emphasize the antiquity of the edifice. We walk quickly across the smooth flag stone floor to the chancel, from which we descend by stairs to the grotto o f the nativity. The whole is overlaid with the ornaments and trappings of the ecclesiastical sects which own the church. As we brush aside the richly embroidered hangings of the walls, we discover the bare, rocky walls of a cave in the earth. They are blackened here and there by the smoke of many fires. In such a stable as this, Mary found lodging that night in which she brought forth her
CHRISTMAS DAY IN BETHLEHEM
first-born Son. It was just a cave in the hillside. A tem porary shelter for the beasts of the field became the palace of the Prince of Peace. We stand for several moments with heads bowed in prayer and meditation. Then, with slow steps, we leave the place with a new realization of the humiliation of the in carnation. He who existed in the form of God was willing to take His place with the cattle in the stable, in order that through suffering, climaxed by the agony of the cross, He might bring mankind to God. “ Ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.”
few streets, but those which are not used for vehicles are paved with cobble-stones, worn smooth by the feet of de vout pilgrims. As we wander through the narrow streets over which the buildings are often arched, we think of that memorable night long ago when Joseph and Mary walked these streets, looking for a lodging place and finding noth ing but a stable. We would like to spend hours just walkingvthese his toric streets, but other places of interest draw us on. As we are skirting the eastern side of the hill, we see about a mile or so to the east of us a little level valley. Making out way carefully down the winding trail, we come at length to our objective. It is the Field of Boa»-. Since it
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By ROY TALMAGE BRUMBAUGH* Tacoma,. Washington "When the fulness o f the time was come, [then] God sent forth his Son’’ (Gal. 4 :4 ).
s we t h in k through the Scriptures, we feel the breath o f the Almighty. “ God” is written on every word of the Old arid New Testaments. Every letter of every word bears the impress of deity. Let us consider the words of the text. “ Fulness” means “ completion,” “ end,” “ filling full.” “ Time” is a definite, decreed period. Eternity cannot be filled full. Time has a beginning and an end, a day of birth and a day of consum mation. As time is limited and confined, it may be filled full. “ Was come,” or “ came,” means “ arrived.” It was as a man arrived at maturity, as a day come to meridian. To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under the sun. Great men appear when thè setting is right. The hour strikes, and the man of the hour stands forth fully equipped for the emergency. There are no acci dents in the history of the world. Behind all events there is the divine Manipulator of men and things. God had to get mankind ready for the coming of His Son and for His salvation. The appointed time which had to elapse between the fall of Adam and the -coming of Christ had now been filled to the full. The very lastyear and month and week and day and hour and second had come. The end of the definite, decreed period arrived at last ! P rophecy The period of time preceding Christ’s birth was filled full by prophecy. Prophecy undoubtedly began at Genesis 3 :15, where it is written that the Deliverer would not be an angel, nor a cherub, but a man. This, however, is quite general. There is not much here that is definite. Time goes on, and the revelation comes from the Father that the De liverer will be of that branch of the human race whose head was Shem, not Ham or Japheth. Years pass and the revelation becomes more definite. The Deliverer is to come of a particular nation of the particular branch of the hu man race, the Hebrew nation, not from the Gentile nation. Later it is prophesied that the Messiah will be, not an Arab, but of the seed of Isaac. Is He to be an Edomite, that is, a son of Esau? No! He is to be an Israelite. Jacob has twelve sons, but it is definitely foretold that the Christ is to come out of the tribe of Judah. As time goes on, the revela tion becomes clearer and more definite. There are thou sands of families in Judah. O f which one is the Deliverer to be born? Jesse ! But Jesse has many sons. Yes, but the youngest one is definitely selected : the Messiah is to be of the seed of David. Kingship is implied here. Centuries roll on. Prophets again speak. The Anointed One is to be born of a certain member of the particular family, that is, of the Virgin.. One of the last Old Testa-
ment prophets declares that the Deliverer is to be born in a certain town belonging to the family of David, namely, Bethlehem. In Daniel 9 :25, we are told that the Messiah will be born four hundred and eighty-three years after the edict goes forth from Babylon to restore and rebuild Jeru salem. Isaiah also declares that the Deliverer will be Immanuel, God with us. When the fullness of the time was come, the Deliverer was born as prophesied, in Bethlehem, of the Virgin Mary, who was of the family of David, who was of the tribe of Judah, who was an Israelite, of the Hebrew nation, which was Shemitic, which was of the human race. “ The Word became flesh and dwelt among us” : “ Immanuel—God with us.” T he J ews The period of time preceding Christ’s birth was also filled full through three great nations. Above the cross there was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, “ This is Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” These were the languages of three great nations of that day. God separated the Hebrews from the nations of the world for a special purpose. He gave unto them the types, the law, the prophets, the psalms, and the ordinances. They were called to worship the one true God, when all other peoples'were worshiping many gods. The Jews were not great in navigation as were the Phoenicians; nor were they great in sculpture, architecture, philosophy, in the arts and sciences, as were the Greeks; nor were they great in government‘as were the Romans; but God gave unto the world through them the two greatest gifts, Christ and the Bibles Previous to the coming of Christ, the Jews had been scattered everywhere. Wherever people were found, there the Jews lived. They carried with them their religion. They -made many proselytes among the lordly and the low. The news of the prophecies concerning the coming Deliv erer were known among all peoples ( c f . the wise men). The foundation upon which Christianity was to be built was thus laid previous to the advent of the Child. The world was in expectation. T he G reeks The period before the coming of the Messiah was also filled full by the Greeks. This nation, limited to a sm all area, has influenced the world more than any other nation, save the Hebrews. In a short period of time known as the “ Golden Age,” it gave rise to the greatest intellectual giants o f all time. Greece gave to the world Aristotle, the inven tor of logic; Plato, the greatest of philosophers; Homer, the peer o f secular poetry; Aristophanes, the father, of comedy; Herodotus, the progenitor of profane history.
*Pastor, First Presbyterian Church.
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deplorable. In Romans 1, Paul gives us a picture of the heathen world. Contemporary historians confirm it. Phil osophy had not satisfied the soul of the Greek nor the bar barian. The Greeks ridiculed their own mythology. Phil osophy declared the virtues, but gave to its devotees no power to overcome the things which were degrading man. Rome was sick at heart. Jewish history demonstrated the insufficiency of human righteousness. The history of Greece demonstrated that the world by wisdom knew not God. The history of the barbarians demonstrated that, when men are left to themselves, they go from bad to worse. The history of Rome demonstrated the fact that it is not by might, nor power, but by the Lord’s Spirit. Reli gion had collapsed. Every man-made device for the salva tion of souls had failed. Inhuman cruelty was practiced without protest anywhere. Licentiousness abounded in high places and low. Suicide was commonplace. Homi cide walked abroad at midday. Despair filled all hearts. The lips of the entire world were crying for a supernatural Deliverer. The time was full, so “ God sent forth his Son.” S en t F orth God sent forth his
The little nation gave to the world the Parthenon, which is the acme of architecture. Phidias, the greatest of all sculptors, lived in this land during the period of Grecian ascendency. Superintellectuals abounded. Greece was the intellectual nation among the nations. She taught men how to think. Slowly there was developed a language which is the most nearly perfect instrument of human thought that exists. Alexander had taken Greek literature and language over the earth. When Rome cap tured Greece, the Romans themselves were conquered by the literature and language of Greece. At the time of Christ’s birth, all people were speaking Greek. The Old Testament had been translated into Greek, the translation being known as the Septuagint. When the gospel, there fore, was written in Greek, the Hebrew, the Roman, and the barbarian were all able to read the good news con cerning the Saviour, who is Christ the Lord (cf. Acts 21: 37, 40 where Paul, a Jew, was asked in Jerusalem whether he spoke Greek). Intellectually and linguistically the Greeks were used by God to prepare the world for the coming of Christ. T he R omans The period previous to
Son.” Christ was not a product of His age. Philosophers appear in galaxies, but no great men were in sight when Christ was born. He was not a development from beneath, but a gift from above. Greece gave to the world Socrates, the son of Sophroniscus. Heav en gave to the world Jesus Christ, the Son of God. “ God sent forth.” The apostles were sent forth from the exterior of deity with authority and com mission. T h e S o n was sent forth from the very interior of the Godhead. Ek, the prefix to the Greek for “ sent forth,” im plies motion f r o m the interior. Christ was sent out from the very center of God. He was of the same substance, nature, dignity, and glory as the Father. Our Lord did not lay aside His deity or His sonship. He b rough t bo th with Him. Christ did lay aside, how ever, the visible man- ife s ta tion o f H is deity. [Continued on page 512]
the coming of Christ was also filled full gradually th rou gh Rome. One hundred years p rev iou s to Christ’s coming, the world was d iv id ed into petty principali ties. Th e na tion s were localized and divided. Nation was at war with nation. It was almost impos sible to travel from country to country. However, Rome had subdued the nations of the world. The iron kingdom had unified the many races and states into one great world em pire. As a Roman citizen, it was pos sible for Paul to travel with safety and alacrity from one end of this vast em pire to the other. The Romans were great road builders. Passable h ighways extended from east to west, from north to sbuth. The mes sengers of the gos pel were thus en abled to carry the good news with ease and s p e e d f r o m Spain to India, from Germany to. Africa. Conditions in gen eral at this time were
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By EZRA S. GERIG Portland, Oregon
o nce more we approach the memorable Christmas season. .Our thoughts inevitably turn to the advent of the Saviour. Again we muse upon the sacred narrative of His birth, that story perennially new, glowing with a beauty and attractiveness divine. Each year the ever-faithful Holy Spirit, who delights to receive the things of Christ, and show them unto us, brings to light, for our meditation and appropriation, some hitherto undiscovered element of truth. That word of the angel messenger to the seeking shep herds— “ This shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes’fi-has hitherto been shrouded in mystery to me. Why wrapped in “ swaddling clothes” ? And why this “a sign unto you” ? Certainly everything associated with the birth of the Saviour-King breathes the spirit of humility and presents to every believer and follower of the Christ a clarion call to manifest this superlative virtue. The manner o f His coming “ out of the ivory palaces into this world of woe”
and burial. I believe it was as if the angel messenger had said, “ Ye shall find the Babe wrapped in graveclothes.” He was marked for death at His birth. Three worlds were intensely interested in that “ sign,” and well they might be. Angel choirs sounded loud and long their hallelujah chorus when the eternal Son became Man for man’s sake; the legions of hell were roused into fiendish activity, as proved by their later attempt to destroy Him ; longing souls of men sought1Him who came to be a Sav iour. All beheld Him wound about with graveclothes! Think of it, the manger Babe in clothes of death—this Child born to d ie! Here, in Bethlehem’s manger, we learn the purpose of His advent. He came not to live, nor teach, nor serve: H e came to die! The incarnation was the essen tial preparation for the crucifixion and resurrection. And why His death? Oh, the marvel of it—wonder of won ders—He died that sin-stricken mortals need not die, but that, trusting in the efficacy of His death, they might live forever. Shout it with the angel messenger, “ Good
tidings of great jo y !” “ Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.” T he S waddling , C lothes of S elf Has the Christ-Child been born again in the manger of your heart? Has He come into your heart with His reign of peace? Has His joy and love become your abiding legacy? Has He become reincarnated in your life ? Is His eternal and uncre ated life your present and age-abiding possession ? , And you, O believer! Have you wrapped Him in the swaddling clothes of a crucified self ? Have you become identified with Him in His death that you might share with Him in His resur rection life, power, vic tory, and glory? Too m a n y o f u s i n t o whose hearts He has come have veiled Him | [Continued on page 514]
shames the very thought of personal pride or love of self. But there is a deeper meaning here. The “ swad dling clothes” were for a “ sign,” hence it could not have been customary to enfold new-born in fants in common uncut cloth. It was that mark by which the shepherds would recognize t h e Christ-Child. “ Swaddling clothes” a “ sign” ! But is it possible that there is yet a more profound sig nificance in this “ sign” ? T he C lothes of D eath A flood of light bursts in upon this bit of Scrip ture from the closing part of the same Gospel, whence we learn that once more was Christ' wrapped in uncut cloth— at the time of His death *Superintendent, Union Gos pel Mission.
The Greatest Birthday B y W il l iam L uff
Come softly to that lowly place Where Christ the Lord was born: And in His birth the birthday trace O f many a sunny morn. For in His birth by faith I see The dawning birth o f Light: The Light before whose birth shall flee The darkness o f sin’s night.
The birth o f Light and Hope, and all, I in salvation find. God’s peace, God’s joy, God’s upward call,
Were in that birth enshrined. Yea, in that birth today I see My birth to Life divine: For He was truly born for me: His birth, I know, was mine.
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cDreseni -CDay S u lß lL c n i o /p R O P H E C Y . . . B y L ouis S. B auman
“ Lack of Trade” I . T is sim ply marvelous how many clear-cut, unmistak able signs God has given us of the return of His Son, and of.the establishment of the kingdom of heaven on earth. But among them all, none impresses itself upon us so con stantly and so forcefully, creating within us a surer ex pectancy, than the great prophecy of Christ in Luke 21: 25 to 28. Our readers will pardon us for referring to it again in these columns. “ And there shall be signs . . . upon the earth, distress of nations, with perplexity; . . . Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth.” Previously we have called attention to the fact that Young, in his concordance, translates the Greek word aporia ( “ perplexity” )— without a passage out. And in these days, the wisest of men confess that all seems hope lessly dark ahead: nations bankrupt, racial and class hatreds growing more bitter, unemployed millions mut tering, war-clouds threatening—all this, and trembling, fear-filled statesmen confessing that they see no passage out. Our attention, however, has just now been called to another exceedingly striking interpretation of this word “ perplexity.” We quote from C. C. Ogilvy Van Lennep, in his work entitled, The Measured. Times o f the Book of Revelation (London) : “ Upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity” ' (Lk. 21 :25). N.B. aporia, “perplexity.” Emporia—trade, as in emporium, a place o f trade. Therefore, aporia — tradeless-, sunoche — compression, anxiety. Hence: “ Up on the earth anxiety o f nations through [or “in” ] lack o f trade." “Lack o f trade” ! And exactly that is back of the world-wide economic distress of nations that President Hoover says has never been equalled in the history of .the world. Our own nation is suffering acutely from just that— “ lack of trade.” For political effect, President Hoover and his political party have been constantly blamed for the economic ills of our nation. But every thinking, unbiased American today knows that our economic ills come from “ lack of trade.” Lavish in her production, the fruit of her inventive genius, America stands paralyzed in a world that cannot buy. Mills, factories, ships, stores, all are in distress because of “ lack of trade,” and “ no passage out.” The Cancer of Lawlessness and its Only Cure The cancer that is gnawing at the vitals of all human governments today is lawlessness. Our own great Presi dent, perhaps the greatest idealist that ever stepped a foot in the White House, has been compelled to acknowledge the impracticability of one of his greatest ideals—“ the noble experiment” of the prohibition of the godless, soul- destroying rum traffic. Why ? Simply because lawlessness is running riot in our great centers of population. Rather than have the children of a great community grow up in the spirit of lawlessness, he is willing that they shall have their beer. This he believes to be the lesser of two evils, and whether he is right or wrong in this, it does not mean that our President is not as dry as the Sahara Desert. It
does not mean that he is opposed to the ideal of the Eighteenth Amendment. He is willing for its repeal for the same reason that God was willing to let Israel have a king, and He even sent Samuel to kiss Saul and anoint him king (cf. 1 Sam. 8:5-22; 10:1, 18, 19; 12:13, 15). It was all contrary to the divine ideal and wisdom, but be cause of the hardness of their hearts, God let them have what they craved, and then did the best He could for them under the circumstances. When the Pharisees reminded the Christ that Moses suffered a man to give his wife “ a writing of divorcement, and to put her away,” the Master replied to them, say ing, “ Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so” (Matt. 19:7, 8 ). Once again, we see that even God will act on the principle that, for fallen men, it is some times more expedient to yield to their hardness o f heart than to attempt to force an ideal which can only spell utter lawlessness, for lawlessness is death. “ Wherefore the law [and will it seem irreverent for us to say here the law of prohibition ?] is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good” (Rom. 7:12). What, then, is the trouble ? A h ! our great President has learned, after nearly four years of sad experience, the truth of what Paul wrote over nineteen centuries ago: “ Law . . . was weak through the flesh.” He has learned that righteousness is a thing that cannot be legislated upon a people— “ what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh” (Rom. 8 :3 ). Law cannot cure lawlessness. Salvation must come from above. The failure of men to keep the law of Moses ended in “ God sending his own Son” (Rom. 8 :3 ). Even thus, lawlessness cul minating at last in the dictatorship of “ the lawless one” (2 Thess. 2:8, R .V .), will end in “ God sending his own Son” once again. Come, Lord Jesus, come! “Miry Clay” What a marvelous dream that was in the brain of old Nebuchadnezzar! A great image, the head of which was gold—Babylon. The breast and arms of silver-J|Medo- Persia. The belly and thighs of brass—Greece. The legs of iron— Rome. The feet and toes part of iron and part of clay—the Gentile powers at the hour of the Gentile sunset. The whole, a vision of Gentile dominion over Jerusalem, beginning with Nebuchadnezzar and closing with “ the stone” falling out of the heavens to grind to powder the anti-God political powers, and to establish the kingdom of the heavens upon the face of the whole earth. But note this: “ Whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay” (Dan. 2:43 ). Iron— the emblem o f the preceding kingdom, remark able for its strength— Caesarism. Clay —the exact oppo site— “ the seed o f men” or Democracy. And what a strange mixture of it there is in the confines of that which was once the Roman Empire— imperialism and proletarian- ism ! There they are, joined side by side—the Caesarism (iron) of Italy, and the proletarianism (clay) of France,
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be taken out of the way” (2 Thess. 2 :7, R. V .). First, the translation of the church, “ then shall be revealed the law less one.” But we are not opposed to the idea that, if our Lord’s coming is imminent, then the Antichrist may be walking the earth today; and if he is, Mussolini will bear watching—“a candidate,” if you wish to put it that way. When the Antichrist shall appear, he will pose as the Christ. In the beginning of his career, he will not betray his intense antagonism to “ all that is called God” (2 Thess. 2 :4 ). It is not until after he reaches the zenith of his power, and the ten kings “ give their power and strength unto the beast” (Rev. 17:13), that he will raise his fists “ against the God o f gods” (Dan. 11:36), revealing his true character. He will first come masking his ulterior designs under holy pretenses—a humanitarian, a deliverer o f the depressed, a bringer-in of the Golden Age, the sav iour of the world. Many shall say, “ Lo, here is Christ” (Matt. 24:23). He will deceive all but “ the elect.” Mus solini has had most of the earmarks of the Antichrist. His chief failure to measure up has been his past antagon ism to God and the Bible. Is he now warming up to both ? If so, the sublime hypocrite is just adding another ear mark. Some day he may look so much like the Christ that the Jews will actually receive him as their Messiah (John 5 :43), and “all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him” (Rev. 13:8). We have been expecting for some time that Mussolini would begin to fawn over the Bible for the same reason that he has fawned at the feet of papa at Rome. So don’t let the holy pretenses of Europe’s “ Man of Mystery” unduly puzzle you. On another page of this same magazine, we read an other headline: “ M ussolini ’ s F ascism not A n t i -S em it ic ” W e are told that Mussolini said in an address in Rome to Roumanian journalists: “ Fascism seeks unity; anti-Semitism seeks destruc tion and separation. Fascist anti-Semitism, or anti-Se mitic Fascism, is a gross absurdity. W e are much amused in Italy when we hear the anti-Semites in Germany seek ing to associate Fascism with their anti-Semitism. We also hear from other countries that a Fascism with anti- Semitic coloring is trying to obtain foothold here. W e vig orously protest against these attempts to compromise Fas cism in this way. Anti-Semitism is a product o f barbarism, while Fascism stands on the highest plane of civilization [Continued on page 512]
etc. And clay is clay, whether on one side of the At lantic or the other, and “miry” stuff it is proving to be. “ Uncle Sam” is a very high-stepping gentleman, but just now he is at his wits’ end to keep from miring down com- pletely-—economically, morally, and spiritually. His peo ple are frankly in despair; and knowing not what else to call for, they call for beer— “ We want beer!” If the sink ing process continues, four years hence—aye, two years hence—we may hear the same cry that ascended and has been answered in other clay nations— “ We want a Dic tator!” In less than forty-eight hours from the time we write these words, the world’s greatest democracy is going to meet the greatest test it has yet met. Shall we hopeless ly mire—morally and spiritually? If so, we shall continue to mire economically as well, and a desperate call for a saviour shall soon sound. A “ saviour” will answer, but not the Saviour. After a brief and terrible world-reign of a saviour, the sea-to-sea reign of the Saviour will come! Praise ye the Lord ! Figure Out Mussolini If You Can This is the heading of an interesting paragraph in that fine little magazine, Prophecy, edited by Keith L. Brooks. And then the author goes on to say: Here is something that will puzzle those who have considered Mussolini a candidate for the Antichrist. The Life o f Faith (London) recently carried an article by Dr. Alexander Robertson, chaplain at Venice, in which he pictures Mussolini, whom he knows well, as “a Bible- loving Christian.” N o priest or nun is allowed to teach in the schools o f the state, but Mussolini has introduced the Bible into the schools. Says this writer: “ In every school in Italy and in every class in every school, the Bible is read and explained by the lay teacher, whether man or woman. In the elementary classes, only the New Testament is used, and in the higher schools, the whole Bible. I have had a lady teacher come to me to get the exact meaning o f our Lord’s parables, as she had to explain them to the children the next day. The New Testament is the best book in the world Mussolini has declared in public, holding up a copy before all.” Well, we will accept the challenge, and submit some “ figgers” on this “ puzzle” (which is not a puzzle). But understand, as for us, we have never said that Mus solini is to be the Antichrist. The Antichrist will not have his revelation until the “ one that restraineth n ow . . .
" G o d and G o g and I 9 3 7 ( ? ) ” This is the subject of Dr. Bauman’s arresting article in the JANUARY issue. The Soviet Republic has handed God His passports and will this Five-Year Program bring to Russia and to all has ordered Him to pack His trunks and get out o f Rus- the world? There is no more interesting subject in all sia, bag and baggage, within the next five years. What the realm of prophecy. Trial Subscription . . .Three Months . . . 25 Cents
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I ■ Address.
¡1 iL HEBREWS . . . B y J ohn C. P age
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GHudies in i\ie EPISTLE
their descendants at the time when this letter was written had the temple altar. The Hebrew Christians apparently had none, but, says the Apostle, “We have an altar, where of they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle,” The argument follows in verses 11 and 12, and an exhorta tion in verses 13 to 16. In explanation of the altar and the sacrifice, we quote from C. E. Stuart: , Under the law, the sin offering whose blood was brought into the sanctuary for sin was burned without the camp, carried forth by the priests to a clean place, and there consumed by fire (Lev. 4:11, 12; 6:30; 16:27). O f those sin offerings, however, whose blood was not brought into the sanctuary, the priests were commanded to eat. It was part of their portion as ministering at the altar, being partakers of, or in communion with, the altar. The former sin offering was expressly withheld from them. Now it is o f that sin offering whose blood was carried into the heavenly sanctuary ( 9 :12) we can and do partake. W e feed on Christ, and our altar is the cross on which He died. Here is the only place where an altar for Christians on earth is mentioned . . . A visible altar, then, we Christians have not; nor had these Hebrews. Their altar and ours ever remains in remembrance—the cross on which our Lord Jesus Christ was crucified for us. S eparation W ithout th e C am p The exhortation to go forth unto Him without the camp assumes the necessity of separation as an underlying prin ciple. The camp is the place where the form of godliness is maintained, but where the power thereof is denied. At the time of writing, it represented Judaism, with all its re ligious formalities. The presence and power of God was not in it; no saving grace remained in a merely religious system of things. When Christ was rejected by the Jews, He said to them, “ Your house is left unto you desolate.” Notwithstanding this, they proceeded along the line of religious rites and observances as though nothing had hap pened. There was only one thing for the Jewish believer in the Messiah-Saviour to do, and that was to go forth unto Christ without the camp. Apostate Christendom to day is very much like Judaism. It is a form of godliness without saving power. Separation from it may involve reproach, but it is necessary if we are to know Christ as the center of worship and the only Saviour. This may in volve suffering, but if we suffer with Him, we shall also reign with Him. T he S acrifice of P raise The writer then proceeds to show that the place of our permanent abode is not here anyway—our home city is yet to come. Patient endurance and waiting expectation must characterize our present attitude. This attitude is a joyful one because o f the coming glory. Therefore, “ let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually.” This forms the closing appeal o f many scattered throughout this epistle, beginning with the words, “ let us.” Those who have followed these studies will recall many o f the exhorta tions. All that precedes this fifteenth verse is preparatory to it. The great priestly work of our Lord who appeared on earth “ to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself,” and His present appearance in heaven as our Representative is the basis of this sacrifice of praise. It is offered to God “ by him” who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. This
Hebrews 13 h is closing chapter of the epistle contains a series of exhortations and admonitions on matters of special inter est to the Hebrew believers, and matters of general inter est to all Christians. Love is enjoined in verse 1, hospitality in verse 2, sym pathy in verse 3, purity in verse 4, contentment in verse 5, trust in verse 6, and so on to the end. F ollowing E xamples Verses 7 and 17 both deal with the authority o f spirit ual leaders. They are to be followed if their example is good. I f they deteriorate to the low level of religious poli ticians, as is often the case, then neither their faith nor their example can be followed or imitated. In verse 7, the past tense is used, for the men referred to were doubtless the martyrs of that time who “ loved not their lives unto the death.” Such heroism and sacrifice constitute real leadership, and obedience to such leaders is gladly rendered. Their convictions and courage are a most ,inspiring exam ple for others to follow. Whether men are faithful or faithless to their trust and their office, “ Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and for ever.” In other words, He is faithful, and in His faithfulness we can rest. The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose I will not, I will not, desert to its foes. That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake, I’ll never, no never, no never forsake. Because o f this, we are n©t to be carried away with di verse and strange doctrines. There are very many “ isms” and “ ists” today, and some are surely “ strange.” A student of the religious cults in the city of Los Angeles alone re ported that he had tabulated twelve hundred different religious cults but had not, by any means, completed the task. These are days when believers established in Christ need to contend for the faith once delivered to the saints. Spiritual perception must be cultivated by diligent study of the Word of God, as the result of which one is able to distinguish between things that differ. T he O ld and th e N ew O rder At the time when this epistle was written, holiness of life was thought to be dependent on the observance of religious rites, the distinction between meats and the recog nition of certain special days. Verse 9 is intended to cor rect this false view. The heart is established in love and holiness by grace, not by meats; old things have passed away for those who are in Christ Jesus. It is no longer a matter of eating, or not eating, things clean or unclean. Re ligious faddists even now endeavor to fasten upon the con science o f the weak, religious sanction for certain foods they desire to sell. Care in eating and in that which is eaten is desirable for bodily health, but there is no spiritual value attached to this except that which is indirect, such as the influence of bodily health upon spiritual vitality. Verses 10 to 16 may be taken together as presenting another o f the many contrasts between the old and the new order o f things. The Hebrew patriarchs had their altars;Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48
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