"Gather My saints together unto Me; those that have
made a Covenant with Me by sacrifice."Psalm 50:5 .
IT WAS the Lord who said that the gathering-time would be in the end of the Age; that He would then be present as Master of the Harvest; that His colaborers in the Harvest field would be His truly consecrated followers, acting as His messengers. He furthermore stated that during the Harvest time He would make one "faithful and wise servant...ruler over His household to give them meat in due season."Matthew 24:45.
Since "that Servant" has been gathered into the Garner of the Lord, should we expect the work of the Harvest to cease immediately? Surely not! We should expect it to continue until every member of the Kingdom class is fully gathered unto the Lord! The Harvest work consists of two distinct parts: (1) The promulgation of the Kingdom Message, which serves as a trumpet to call the people of God out from Babylon and to draw them closer to the Lord; and (2) the ripening and perfecting of the saints in character-likeness to the Master, and their entrance finally into the Heavenly Home.
"That Servant" means a special messenger to the Church as this time. "Meat in due season" means the Message of the Kingdom to the Church, given at the time the Lord intended it should be given. The fact that the messenger has been gathered into the Kingdom should in no wise affect the Message, which remains with the Church as food and to be handed out to other hungry ones, until every one of the Lord's little ones has been gathered into the Kingdom.
Who, then, will proclaim the Message? We answer, Every truly consecrated child of God who appreciates his or her privilege. All who are begotten and anointed of the Holy Spirit are commissioned to do this work. (Isaiah 61:1-3.) The Message of the Kingdom has been put in such form that everyone who possesses the Master's Spirit may use it for his own blessing and for the blessing of others. Our full consecration to the Lord means that all of our money, our time, strength, influence, everything, is devoted to His Cause. Whatever natural qualifications we thus have for serving the Lord provide an opportunity for us to serve in whatever place we are best situated for service.
The Colporteurs will continue to bear to the hungering ones the precious Food contained in the Six Volumes of SCRIPTURE STUDIES. Evidently such food is all-sufficient for anyone to make his calling and election sure.
Pastoral Workers will find much to do in searching out those who have heard the Truth at some public meeting and who may be needing further assistance in the way of getting out of Babylon before her downfall.
The Elders of the various Classes who have the Spirit of the Lord will earnestly cooperate with the members of their respective Classes and in helping them to better understand the Berean lessons. Serving in humility and love and walking circumspectly, they will contribute much to the development in others of the character-likeness of the Master.
Every truly consecrated child of God will, by his or her ability and opportunity, daily preach the Message. The world cannot intelligently read and understand the Bible, but can read and understand the daily life of Christians with whom they come in contact. "Actions speak louder than words." As the Lord continues to provide the money, so shall the Society continue to use it for the promulgation of the Gospel, looking for and expecting Divine wisdom and guidance in the proper use of it.
It is recognized that everything must be done decently and in order; that there must be a regular organization to properly carry on any work. How, then, may the Harvest work be thus conducted since Brother Russell is no longer in our midst? Many of the friends throughout the country are asking this and other questions, and we take pleasure in answering:
was organized in the year 1884 as a means of putting forth the Message of the Kingdom in an orderly and systematic manner. The Corporation is controlled and managed by its Board of Directors and officers. The Board of Directors is composed of seven members. The Charter of the Corporation provides that the Board of Directors shall be self-perpetuating; that is to say, when a vacancy occurs by death or resignation the surviving members are empowered to fill such vacancy. Brother Russell was a member of the Board of Directors. Two [R6024 : page 391] days after his death the Board met and elected Brother A.N. Pierson as a member of the Board to fill the vacancy caused by Brother Russell's change. The seven members of the Board as now constituted are A.I. Ritchie, W.E. Van Amburgh, H.C. Rockwell, J.D. Wright, I.F. Hoskins, A.N. Pierson and J.F. Rutherford.
The Board of Directors thereupon provided for an Executive Committee of three, and elected as that Committee Brothers A.I. Ritchie, W.E. Van Amburgh and J.F. Rutherford. This Executive Committee has general supervision of all the work of the Society, both in America and abroad, subject to the control of the Board of Directors of the Society.
The Charter of THE WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY provides that the officers shall be elected annually by those who have contributed to the funds of the Society, and that those officers must be elected from among the Board of Directors. Brother Russell was the President of THE WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY from its organization until his death. The next annual election, as provided by the Charter, will be held Saturday, January 6th, 1917, at Pittsburgh, at which time officers will be elected; viz., a President, Vice President, and Secretary and Treasurer.
THE WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY is the most wonderful and unusual Corporation on earth. It is the strongest corporation, not financially, but strong because it has been, and still is, used of the Lord for the carrying on of His work. It is unusual in this: that all who are in any wise connected with it gladly render their services without salary; those giving all of their time taking only the bare necessities of life. It will continue in the same manner as in the past to spread the Gospel, so long as the Lord indicates this as His will.
This publication is the medium through which the Kingdom Message is brought regularly to the members of the "Household." "That Servant" used this medium to give out the "meat in due season." By his last Will and Testament he provided for the continuance of THE WATCH TOWER by a duly constituted Editorial Committee. The names of the members of this Editorial Committee appear upon the title page of each issue of THE WATCH TOWER. It is the province of this Committee to put in proper form and publish, twice each month, that which goes to the Church. THE WATCH TOWER is not the organ of the Editorial Committee. It is the official organ of the Church. It is the only publication in the world declaring the presence of the King and announcing the nearness of His Kingdom. Therefore, dear brethren, THE WATCH TOWER is your journal. It is the journal of every one in harmony with Present Truth, and its publication is for the benefit of all such. It will continue to publish only that which is in harmony with what "that Servant" has heretofore given to the "Household of Faith."
Shall we, then, continue to recognize in our Class-studies the Berean Bible lessons prepared by Brother Russell? Shall we continue to speak in our Class-studies of Brother Russell as the Lord's Servant who brought "meat in due season to the household of faith." Yes, indeed! Why not? If the Lord was pleased to use him for many years to give the "meat in due season" to the Church, then it is still "meat in due season," and the Berean lessons are essential for the development of those who shall be made partakers of the Kingdom. Should we now disregard the food contained in the STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES and other publications of THE WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY, it would mean that we were repudiating or disregarding that which the Lord has graciously provided for our benefit. We must make the distinction between Brother Russell as a creature and his official capacity as "that servant" of the Master to give out the "meat in due season." To disregard the Message would mean to disregard the Lord.
Let us be courageous and faithful, dear brethren. Let us remember that in unity there is strength. The Lord will continue His work until it is finished. He will gather all of His true children into the Garner in due time. Shall we be of those thus gathered? That will depend upon whether or not we hold fast to that which we have; whether or not we remain loyal to the Lord and to His Message of the Kingdom.
The Lord's "faithful and wise servant" finished his work and left with us his message. His last words to the Church, as set forth in his Will and Testament, show how essential it is for every one who would enter the Kingdom to continue loyal, and faithfully develop the fruits and graces of the Spirit. He said, "I entreat you all that you continue to progress and to grow in grace, in knowledge, and above all in Love, the great fruit of the Spirit, in its various diversified forms. I exhort to meekness, not only with the world, but with one another; to patience with one another and with all men, to gentleness with all, to brotherly-kindness, to godliness, to purity. I remind you that all these things are necessary for usnecessary that we may attain the promised Kingdom; and that the Apostle has assured us that if we do these things we shall never fail, but that 'so an entrance shall be ministered unto us abundantly into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.'"
"Loved and hated! Revered and reviled! Spurned and courted! Flattered, defiled! With never a falter and never a frown He kept to his moorings, and laid his life down In the place where God put him. What more can be said For soldier or hero? For living or dead? He wept with the anguished; he smiled with the glad: He lifted the fallen; he heartened the sad; He pitied the sinner, inspired the saint; He strengthened the feeble, recovered the faint. God gave him a Messagehe gave it to men: He patiently told it again and again.
"When men's eyes were blinded and ears could not hear, And men's souls were stunted by folly or fear, When minds were beclouded by dullness or doubt He maneuvered the Message and turned it about Till 'the wayfaring man, tho a fool,' could behold And hear the glad Gospel he patiently told. And yet will like rabble as stood by the Cross, Not knowing their folly, not sensing their loss, Flouting and scouting and wagging their head, Stand by in contempt while we weep o'er our dead, Dishonoring the prophet of this, their own time, And crowning him saint when the World sees their crime.
"Behold now the Man?Or wait world-old way To pay him the tribute we owe him today? Stand reverently now, with uncovered head, And look on 'that Servant' and honor the dead! A Man has gone from us, leaving none in his place, Yet his Message of Truth men can never efface. He'd the mind of a master, the heart of a child, The courage of Caesar, a soul undefiled. He'd the love of a father, a shepherd's kind care, The faults of a human and sympathy rare. He lifted a standard and held it up high. He livedready to live and ready to die!"