Answer.—The Apostle is here (Hebrews 9:28) tracing the work of Christ as the great High Priest. He represents our Lord as having offered the Sin-offering, on the Day of Atonement, in its two parts—the bullock and the goat—and as being now in the Most Holy.* When He has accomplished His work, He will appear the second time—not to repeat any of the offerings of the Gospel Age, not as a Sin-offering—but He shall appear unto salvation, to all those who look for Him. We can see that His words might apply to the Church. They will know of His second appearance. They will have an appreciation of that fact before He will be revealed to the world. He will appear to them that look for Him.
But we are to remember that our Lord's going into the Most Holy at the close of the antitypical Day of Atonement with the blood of the Lord's goat class, would indicate the death of that goat. The under priests will be with Him, as members of Himself. Then He shall come forth the second time, after this second presentation of the blood, not to offer a sacrifice—for the sacrificing will all be finished—but to bless the people.
Who then are these who look for Him and to whom He will appear the second time, unto salvation? We answer that in the Time of Trouble, and subsequently, the whole world will begin to look for the Deliverer. All nations will be desiring Him—not as a Sin-offering again, but for their salvation. As mankind will get their eyes open to their need of salvation, they will be looking for this deliverance by The Christ in glory. They will never see Him with their natural eyes. But they will look for Him in the same sense that we now see Jesus—they will see Him with the eye of faith.
At that time many nations shall say, "Come, let us go up to the Mountain of the Lord's House. He will show us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths." (Isaiah 2:3.) Another Scripture assures us that, when He shall appear, we also, the Bride class, shall appear with Him in glory. It is after the sacrificing is all finished and the Church glorified that He comes forth the second time unto salvation, saving and blessing all the people. The high priest in the type did not return into the Most Holy again, but lifted up his hands and blessed the people. [R5656 : page 92] Then the glory of the Lord appeared unto all the people, and the people gave a great shout and fell upon their faces. (Leviticus 9:23,24.) So the people of the world will prostrate themselves before the great Messiah. And this will be the work of Christ during the thousand years—uplifting mankind and giving them the benefit of the Atonement Sacrifice.
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Answer.—There are various degrees of the Spirit of holiness which may be possessed by the child of God at various times in his experience. We may ourselves have more of the Holy Spirit now than we have ever had before, implying that there was a time when we did not have so much. Or there may be some who have less, implying that they have not been growing spiritually, and are grieving the Holy Spirit with which they were sealed.
We are not to think that all who are begotten of the Holy Spirit are exactly on the same plane, in either their spiritual appetites or their development or their knowledge of God's Plan. We grow in grace as we grow in knowledge. If our measure of grace lessens, the knowledge begins to fade. The more grace we have, the more understanding is ours. As a matter of fact, the whole world has been laboring under such delusions that we are surprised, when we "wake up," to see how little we did know—to see how ignorant we were of some of the precious messages God has given us.
And as we were children of God before we received full knowledge, so we believe it is possible for others to be children of God without having the full knowledge. We are living in the end of the Harvest time, when, we believe, the Lord is causing the knowledge of the Truth to encircle the world. And yet the Adversary is raising "dust," calumny, to hinder the people from appreciating it.
It is in very rare cases that God does as He did with Saul of Tarsus—strike him down with a great light, brighter than the sun at noonday. And it is because we believe that there are still children of God attempting to live on husks and skimmed milk—that there are such brethren in Christ who need the assistance we are able to give them—that we are trying to help them. Otherwise we would abandon all special effort at propaganda, knowing that there will be favorable conditions for all as soon as the Kingdom shall be established.
The Bible speaks of the Great Company class as the "great multitude," as though the foolish virgin class were larger than the wise virgin class. And the Scriptures indicate that the Great Company class will not all have fled from Babylon before its overthrow. "Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." This call has been going out for now thirty-seven years. It is God's call.
The Scriptures show us that some will come out, and others will not come out, will not be released from Babylonish fetters. These foolish virgins will see that their lack of love and zeal has lost them a place in the Bride class. But they are virgins, nevertheless, and will have a place, or portion, as the companions of the Bride. They will follow her into the King's Palace. They will be bridesmaids, if you please—a position of lesser honor; but they will attain everlasting life. So we have reason to believe that the numbers of God's people begotten of the Holy Spirit and still in Babylon are considerable. If we were in their place and they in our place, we feel sure that they would make heroic efforts to help us out of Babylon; so we are doing likewise.
Answer.—There are certain rights and privileges which belong to all human beings. There are tastes and desires that are not sinful. It is not sinful to eat and enjoy that which is wholesome and nutritious; not sinful to have preferences as to what one shall eat. It is not sinful for one to have strawberries in the winter when that fruit is expensive, if one has the money to buy them and if he obtained the money rightfully. It would not be sinful to pay fifty cents or a dollar a box for them. It is no crime to have a fine house, servants, a pleasure yacht, an automobile, etc. If there are entertainments, concerts, operas, and these are of good moral tone, one has a perfect right to engage a seat for the same at five dollars, and to employ a taxicab in going. One as a natural man has a perfect right, if he is able, to any of these things, which are not sinful in themselves. Things that are sinful should, of course, always be avoided.
But when one undertakes to become a follower of Christ, he accepts instead of his own will the will of God. And as Christ pleased not Himself, but used His time, His influence, His life, for the good of others, so those who become His disciples will forego their rights and privileges, whenever these would conflict with their service to God. The Christian could not reason the same as he did before he made his consecration. He could not say, I will spend five dollars to go to the opera; but he will be obliged to say, My means are consecrated to the Lord. The same principle will control his judgment as to whether he shall have an automobile or not; whether he shall have a fine house or shall own any house; whether he shall have the finest food; whether he shall wear fine clothing, or plainer clothing, etc. It will control his judgment as to his use of consecrated time.
But no one is to judge another in regard to the use of money or time in his possession as the Lord's steward. It is for the individual himself to decide how he will use these. And it is the Lord who will decide whether he has been a faithful steward or an unfaithful one. The Lord will decide that those who, like Jesus, shall sacrifice the enjoyable earthly things, that thereby they may the better glorify God, shall have the more than compensating spiritual blessings, and shall receive the reward of the Kingdom and its positions of honor.