Topic: WILLIAM I MANN
posted 5/23/01 6:26 PM
William I. Mann was a Director and the first corporate Vice President of Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society, when the Society was incorporated in December 1884.
Mann had been a "regular contributor" of Zion's Watch Tower articles starting with the Article below from the very first July 1879 issue. Mann lived in the greater Pittsburgh area, with his address changing in ZWT at least three times.
I have not been able to locate any additional biographical material.
The Royal Priesthood.
"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness unto His marvelous light." 1 Pet. 2:9.
"Unto Him that loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever." Rev. 1:5,6.
"And hast made us unto our God kings and priests; and we shall reign on the earth." Rev. 5:10.
"Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years." Rev. 20:6.
The above scriptures clearly teach that a part, at least, of our work in the future will be to officiate as the priests of God. As the work of a priest is one of intercession and of instruction in righteousness, they as clearly prove that the glorious work of evangelization will go on, not only after the first resurrection has taken place, but even all through the "age of the ages." The fact that these offices of "king" and "priest" will exist, logically implies that there will be subjects to rule and learners to teach; otherwise the names would be meaningless and the titles an empty sound.
It is held by some, that the reign of the saints will consist of a very brief "reign of terror," during which --with Christ at their head-- they will trample their enemies into the dust and utterly destroy them. We thank our dear Lord for a better hope. Our work will not be one of destruction, but of salvation. We shall rule as kings, even with a rod of iron; but the grand object will be to humble the nations, and so fit them for the reception of truth. "For, when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness." Isa. 26:9.
What a blessed prospect! what a glorious calling! A royal priesthood!
Who that is imbued with the spirit of the Master; who that has but tasted that the Lord is gracious, could desire more agreeable employment than to show forth the praises of our Savior King to those sitting in darkness? to bind up the broken-hearted? to proclaim liberty to the captive? to give beauty for ashes, and the oil of joy for mourning?--
"To tell the old, old story
Of Jesus and His love."
To fit us for such an exalted and responsible position we require a peculiar training, and we feel warranted in claiming that the trials, temptations and discipline of this present life are for that very purpose.
Many a struggling believer, trying hard to overcome, buffeted by the enemy, tried by friends, weighed down by hereditary weaknesses in self, discouraged and faint, has cried out, from the depths of a loving heart: "Why, O! why this suffering? why this severe chastisement?" Let us glance for a moment at the pathway trod by the bleeding feet of the Master --our forerunner-- and we shall find the answer.
"So, also, Christ glorified not Himself to be made a high priest; but He that said unto Him, Thou art my son....Who in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto Him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that He feared: Though He were a son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He had suffered, and being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him." Heb. 5:5-9.
"For it became Him, for whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. Wherefore in all things it behooveth Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succor them that are tempted." Heb. 2:10,17-18.
"For we have not a High Priest who cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." Heb. 4:15,16.
The reason, then, that the Church is called on to fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ is, that all the body, in like manner to the Head, may be trained to perfect sympathy and to perfect obedience through suffering. In this present time, we in all our troubles come to our compassionate High Priest with boldness, realizing that He, having been partaker of flesh and blood, can truly feel for us and pity us, so, in the age to come, we, the promised seed of Abraham, through whom all the families of the earth shall be blessed, (compare Gen. 12:3; Gal. 3:14,16,20;) shall go forth a royal priesthood, according to the order of Melchisedec, fully prepared to sympathize with the nations, to lead them to the paths of righteousness, and to encourage them in the way of life.
Shall we shrink then from our cross? Shall we seek to put away the bitter cup that is sometimes pressed to our lips? Surely not. 'Tis a loving hand that presents it, 'tis a loving heart (infinitely loving) that sees the need of it. No! It is but the Master fitting us for His work; training us for the priesthood; teaching us to rule ourselves that we may know how to rule others; opening our eyes to the weakness of our own flesh, that we may have patience with those over whom we are given authority. (Luke 19:17,19.)
Courage, then, my Christian brother or sister, seeking with weary step to run the narrow way. Heed not the rugged course; it is all hallowed and sanctified by the blessed feet of the Master. Count every thorn a flower; every sharp rock a milestone, hurrying you onward to the goal. Let every advancing step be a "Nearer to Thee:" every hillock in the road an "upward toward heaven." Keep your eye fixed on the prize. Soon --very soon-- you may wear the Crown.
"It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with Him, we shall also live with him; if we suffer, we shall also reign with Him."
The consecrated cross I'll bear,
Till self it bears from me;
When Jesus calls, the crown I'll wear
For Him who set me free.
W. I. M.
posted 5/23/01 6:37 PM
This William I. Mann Article was published in the September 1879 Zion's Watch Tower.
The Day of Judgment.
Very confused notions are held by many as to the work of judgment in the future age. The popular idea on the subject being something like this: The Father, robed as a judge, with silvery hair, and stern aspect, is seated on a great white throne. By his side stands the Saviour with loving eyes and pleading face. The world of mankind is marshalled before him. They come up in close ranks, and with down-cast faces toward the Judge. The very large majority are addressed by him in a voice of thunder, and ordered to depart toward the left. Trembling with despair they hurry away, and are at once seized by a guard of demons, and are swiftly dragged, shrieking with terror, down, down, down. In the advancing crowd, there comes now and then one, who is at once recognized by the Saviour as a true christian; introduced to the Father as such; who with modulated voice welcomes him to the right hand; where he is immediately crowned, and seated with the angels to view the remainder of the solemn scene. This separating work to continue until all who have ever lived have passed the tribunal; the whole period of time occupied being something less than 24 hours, thus constituting "the day of judgment."
While some features of this picture are drawn from symbolic Bible imagery, the conception as a whole is very far from being a scriptural one. As to the gathering of the world before the Judge in a kind of military review, and the immediate separation of the classes, while it is the likeness in the figure, it is of necessity as far from the real, as a type is from its antitype.
THREE GREAT PERIODS OF SEPARATION
are, we think, clearly revealed in God's word: "The separation of the chaff from the wheat." Matt. 3:10,12; "the tares from the wheat." Matt. 13:37,43; "and the sheep from the goats." Matt. 25:32.
The first separation is in the past. Jesus himself, while on earth, thoroughly purged the floor of the Jewish house, gathered the wheat into the Gospel church, and cast the chaff into a fire, which, culminating at the destruction of Jerusalem, burns even yet against the Jew. So far from marshalling that nation in rank and file before him, they were not even aware of the test then made, and were condemned because they knew not the day of their visitation.
The second great separation was due to take place at the end of this aionos [age] i.e., closing period of the Gospel dispensation. This work has actually been going on in our midst, and the world and worldly church know nothing of it. So in the last great harvest in the age of judgment, God's truth, the two-edged sword, will quietly, but surely, do the dividing work; and that Word not spoken but written, will plainly manifest the sheep and the goats.
THE TERM "DAY"
in Bible times was frequently used, as now, to cover a long but definite period; as, for instance: "The day" in which "Jehovah God made the earth and the heavens." Gen. 2:4. "The day of the temptation in the wilderness." Heb. 3:8. [40 years]. "The day of salvation." 2 Cor. 6:2. [Gospel dispensation]. As to the period comprised in "the day of judgment," if the student will but faithfully use a reference Bible or a concordance, and find the amount and kind of work to be accomplished "in that day," he will soon be glad to accept of Peter's explanation of it, that "one day is with the Lord as a thousand years;" and believing the Revelation of Jesus Christ, rejoice in the promise there given, to "reign with him a thousand years." As to THE KIND OF JUDGING
which is to be carried on, we must consult the Word if we would get the truth. Turn to the book of "Judges," and we find that after the death of Joshua, the Israelites forsook Jehovah, and worshipped Baal. To bring them to their senses, their enemies were allowed to triumph over them. When they repented, "Jehovah raised up judges; who delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them." For instance, "When the children of Israel cried unto Jehovah, Jehovah raised up a deliverer Othniel. And the spirit of Jehovah came upon him, and he judged Israel, and went out to war, and prevailed, and the land had rest for forty years," until Othniel died. Thus it continued through the period of the Judges until Samuel, who "judged Israel all the days of his life." When Samuel had grown old, the Elders of Israel asked him for "a King to judge us like all the nations." 1 Sam. 8:5,20.
A judge, then, in those days, was a person eagerly sought after; a ruler to be desired; who would deliver his people from oppression, administer justice to the wronged, and bring peace and joy to those over whom he exercised authority.
The world, and even the church, at the present time, led astray by an unscriptural theology, puts far away the idea of Christ's presence to judge [rule] the world, as something to be dreaded by all. Not so the Heaven inspired prophets of old. To them it was the one grand and glorious epoch for which, as Paul said, "creation groaneth." Listen to David and the sweet singers of Israel, in the first psalm sung, by the first divinely appointed choir, at the home-bringing of the ark.
Let the heavens be glad,
And let the earth rejoice:
And let men say among the nations,
Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof:
Let the fields rejoice, and all that are therein.
Then shall the trees of the wood sing aloud
At the PRESENCE of JEHOVAH,
BECAUSE HE COMETH
TO JUDGE THE EARTH.
O give thanks unto Jehovah,
For he is good,
FOR HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOREVER.
We might multiply quotations like the above, but they ought to be familiar to the faithful student of the Word. WHY
did "all the holy prophets since the world began" long for "that day" when the anointed should be present to rule, to reign, to judge?
does all christendom of this age shrink at the bare mention of that day?
IN "THE DAY OF THE LORD,"
as in the days of creation, there is an evening and a morning. So the Jews kept their time: beginning their day with evening. It is God's order. First the cross, then the crown. The night was forty years long to the children of Israel. To the Gospel church it has been many centuries. So the nations in the coming age must first run the race before they receive the prize. They have not been on the race course-- the narrow way--yet. And during their trial, as in ours, there must be "weeping for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."
Many, who have failed to "search the scriptures" as commanded, have seen only this night of darkness; and it has hung before them like a funeral pall, cutting off the light of the glory beyond.
A DARK NIGHT
is indeed closing over a sleeping church, and a blind world; during which many woes will be poured out upon them. But when they have well learned the lesson of obedience through suffering, as all past overcomers have, they will reap the blessed reward.
The day of Judgment, then, divides itself into two parts. First, a "time of trouble" during which the nations will be subdued, and humbled, and taught the lesson of Nebuchadnezzar their type, "that the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will." Secondly, a morning, in which the Sun of righteousness will rise with healing in his wings; driving away the mists of ignorance and superstition; destroying the miasma of sin; and bringing light, and life, and love, to the downtrodden sons of men. During the first named period, such scriptures as the following have a fulfillment:
"Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. [Symbolical of a spiritual night.] And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible." Isa. 13:9,11. "Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potters vessel." Psa. 2:8,9.
"The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted...come, behold the works of Jehovah, what desolations he hath made in the earth. He maketh wars to cease unto the ends of the earth; he breaketh the bow and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire. Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth." Psa. 46:6,10. How does he make wars to cease? Evidently by the "desolations" above mentioned. The nations will be so satiated with bloodshed; and by bitter experience will so realize the misery of injustice, and oppression, and sin, that they will loathe themselves and their ways, and will willingly turn and seek for purity and peace. But to produce this effect the command will first go forth: "Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come forth: BEAT YOUR PLOWSHARES INTO SWORDS,
and your pruning hooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong." Joel 3:9,10. The dreadful lesson of the exceeding sinfulness of sin will be learned in time, and well learned, for, "thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power." Psa. 110:3. Then, after they have been brought to a condition of willingness to let "this man reign over" them, we find as a result of his judgeship, they shall BEAT THEIR SWORDS INTO PLOWSHARES,
and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more." Isa. 2:4.
The preceding verses tell us when this blessed time will come, and also other events in this glorious day of Christ's presence, as Judge over all the earth. "It shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain [government or kingdom] of the LORD'S house [Temple: which Temple ye are. 1 Cor. 3:17.] shall be in the top of the mountains [great kingdoms of earth], and shall be exalted above the hills [lessor kingdoms]; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, come ye, and let us go up to the MOUNTAIN of Jehovah, to the HOUSE of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion [the glorified Temple] shall go forth the law, and the word of Jehovah from Jerusalem [restored earthly Jerusalem and her priesthood. 33:20,21]. We are now prepared to read the 97th Psalm, which we will quote.
Let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad.
Clouds and darkness are round about him:
Righteousness and judgment [justice]
the establishment of his throne.
A fire goeth before him,
And burneth up his enemies round about,
His lightnings [truth] enlighteneth the world:
The earth [nations] saw and trembled.
The hills [earthly governments] melted
like wax at the presence of Jehovah.
At the presence of the LORD of the whole earth.
The Heavens [immortalized saints in heavenly places] declare his righteousness,
and all the people see his glory.
Zion heard and was glad:
And the daughters of Judah rejoiced,
Because of thy JUDGMENTS, O Jehovah.
In view of the glorious prospect before the church and the world, can we not join the prophet in the closing words of this psalm.
Light is sown for the righteous,
And gladness for the upright in heart.
Rejoice in Jehovah, ye righteous;
and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.
W. J. M.
[CONCLUDED IN OUR NEXT.]
(NOTE: The signature on this article, as seen above, is "W. J. M.". I assume that the "J" is a typo, and should have been "I", for a couple reasons. First, I have not seen any other articles with a "W. J. M." signature. Second, the concluding note indicates "Concluded In Our Next". However, there is no concluding article in the next issue, but there is an article in the November issue by the same name, and the signature on it is "W. I. M.".
posted 5/23/01 7:09 PM
This "concluding" William I. Mann Article was published in the November 1879 Zion's Watch Tower.
The Day of Judgment.
One great reason for the perverted views respecting the Messianic age, is the failure to understand the Bible meaning of the word judgment. It has several significations. Sometimes it means simply an examination or investigation of certain facts, testimony or arguments, in order to ascertain truth, or to reach a just decision. We also use the term to express that quality of mind which enables one to correctly grasp the true conclusion; as we speak of a person having good judgment. It often means the determination arrived at in the mind; also the results flowing from the trial and decision in the distribution of the rewards or punishments.
We have been taught to associate the word, when found in the Scriptures, with the last mentioned meaning, i.e. the executive judgment, which signification it certainly has; nevertheless, it also and frequently refers to the trial itself while in progress. Notice the first occurrence of the word in the New Testament, Matt. 7:1,2, would clearly bear this rendering: "Test not, that ye be not tested. For with what judgment [justice] ye test, ye shall be tested." The same word [Greek, krimati] here translated judgment is used in 1 Cor. 6:7, referring to law suits. "Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because you have krimati [trials] one with another." During the Gospel age, the church have been having their trial. 1 Pet. 4:12,17. And, in the millennial age, those who have stood the test and are accounted overcomers, shall share the throne with Jesus Christ our Lord, and shall rule over the nations during their trial; and having subdued all opposition will inaugurate the reign of peace, as it is written:
"Give to the King thy judgments, O God,
And thy righteousness to the King's
We, the church of the first-born, the body of Christ, are collectively with our Head--the King's Son.
"He shall judge thy people with righteousness,
And thy poor with rectitude.
The mountains shall bear peace for the people,
And the hills, by righteousness.
He shall judge the poor of the people;
He shall save the sons of the needy;
He shall break in pieces the oppressor;
He shall come down as rain on the mown grass,
As showers that refresh the earth.
In his days shall the righteous flourish, And abundance of peace, till the moon be no more.
All kings shall bow down to Him;
All nations shall serve Him.
What a blessed day that day of judgment will be!
A day of light and gladness,
Such as earth has never known,
When in equity and justice,
Christ shall reign on David's throne.
Yes! a day of light. Listen to Isaiah:
"The light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that Jehovah bindeth up the breach of his people, (the Jews) and healeth the stroke of their wound." Isa. 30:26. This is not spoken of natural, but of spiritual light. Now, the people are in darkness; they "stumble at his word," and murmur at his dealings. But, says the prophet, "In that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness. They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine." Isa. 29:18,24.
This spiritual light is no longer confined to the few; it is universal.
"All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to Jehovah,
And all the families of nations shall
worship before thee.
For the kingdom is Jehovah's,
And he is ruler among the nations."
"All nations which thou hast made
Shall come and bow down before thee, O Lord!
And shall give glory to thy name."
"Let the peoples praise thee, O God;
Let all the peoples praise thee.
Let the nations be glad and shout for joy, For thou wilt judge the peoples righteously,
And the nations in the earth, thou wilt guide them."
O that that day with all its light and glory and blessedness were upon us. Thank God, it is not in the vague and distant future--it is almost here; the morning already dawns, and while we wait, not for the morning, but for the day, looking out upon the world, still stumbling in darkness, writhing under the iron heel of the oppressor, groaning under its load of sin and disease and death; and knowing full well that for them there is no release until He come whose right it is to reign; and who reigning shall crush the head of the serpent and deliver those who were all their life-time subject to this bondage, bringing the whole creation into the glorious liberty of the children of God, from the depths of our hearts we pray, as taught by the Master: "THY KINGDOM COME, thy will be done on earth as in Heaven;" and with Solomon we join in singing:
"Blessed be Jehovah God, the God of Israel,
Who alone doeth wondrous things.
And blessed be His glorious name forevermore;
AND LET THE WHOLE EARTH BE FILLED WITH HIS GLORY. AMEN AND AMEN.
W. I. M.
posted 5/23/01 7:30 PM
This William I. Mann Article was published in the November 1879 Zion's Watch Tower.
The Bible student is often puzzled with the question, How many kinds of life are there; and what is the difference between them? Our authorized version answers the question vaguely, if at all.
The word life, as found in the New Testament, is, in most places, a translation from one of the two Greek words, Zoee and Psuchee. The rendering of both by the one English word Life covers up a clean-cut difference of meaning between the two.
The word Psuchee has several significations. When it refers to life, and is so translated in our New Testament, it invariably alludes to the natural, fleshly, or blood-life. Liddell and Scott, in their lexicon, give the meaning as follows: "Psuchee, breath; Latin, anima--life--spirit. It leaves the body with the blood. Periphr for the man himself. The life of animals, &c.
Zoee refers generally, in the New Testament, to the spiritual life, either in this age, or after the resurrection. Liddell and Scott give, Zoee, a living, i.e., means of life; life opposed to death. It sometimes, at least, as in the definition, "means of life," seems to indicate an inherent or independent life power; thus opposed to psuchee, which is dependant on the breath.
In the New Testament, we find eternal, or everlasting, life (zoee) over forty times. Also, endless life; resurrection of life; word of life; book of life; water of life; crown of life, &c. Also, our Lord is called the Prince of Life; Author of Life; Bread of Life, &c.--All from zoee. Psuchee is never found in any such connection.
In reference to psuchee, and its corresponding Hebrew word, nephesh, an able critic remarks: "Perhaps it may be worthy of notice, that in all the seven hundred times in which nephesh occurs, and the one hundred and five times of psuchee, not once is the word immortal, or deathless, or never-dying, found in connection, as qualifying the terms."
We will quote as samples the occurrences of psuchee, wherever translated life in Matthew: "They are dead who sought the child's life;" "Take not thought for your life, what ye shall eat;" "He that finds his life shall lose it, and he that loses his life for my sake, shall find it;" "For whoever will save his life, shall lose it; and whoever may lose his life for my sake, shall find it."
These last two passages are made still clearer by John 12:25, where, apparently, the complete remark of Christ is given, and psuchee and zoee are brought into direct contrast: "He that loves his life (psuchee) shall lose it; and he that hates his life (psuchee) in this world, shall keep it unto life (zoee) eternal."
We reserve last occurrence of life --from psuchee-- in Matthew, for the present.
We are never taught to hate the zoee, but the psuchee is to be held in comparatively low estimation. For instance: "If anyone comes to me and hates not his father, ...and even his own life" (psuchee), &c. Barnabas and Paul were called "men who have hazarded their lives for the name of Jesus." Paul said, "neither do I count my life dear to myself" &c. When Eutychus fell from the third loft during Paul's preaching, and was taken up insensible, the apostle said: "His life (psuchee) is in him." It is applied to beasts: "The third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life (psuchee) died."
We will look at a few passages in which zoee occurs. "Straight is the gate, and narrow the way, which leads to life (zoee)." "If thou desirest to enter into zoee keep the commandments." "He that believes on the Son has everlasting zoee, and he that believes not the Son shall not see zoee. "Ye will not come to me, that ye may have zoee." In John, chapters 5 and 6, every occurrence of life is from zoee.
From Psuchee we obtain the adjective, Psuchikos; which occurs six times in the New Testament, is twice translated sensual, and four times natural, as follows:
"But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him." It is sown a natural body, it rises a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual...but the spiritual is not first, but the natural (psuchikos) and afterward the spiritual." In perfect harmony with this last scripture we find in relation to the two Adams, the corresponding heads of the natural and spiritual planes: "The first man Adam was made a living psukeen (natural man); the last Adam a life (zoee) giving Spirit." We have probably quoted sufficient to render clear the distinction between the two Spirit inspired words, let us now look at their force and bearing on the question of the atonement, which has been agitating our people lately.
It has been asserted that the life which Christ laid down for the world was not the natural, but that which he had with the Father; which-- spiritual life--he laid down at his incarnation and took up at his resurrection; Wresting John 6:63. "The flesh profits nothing," from its true position, the sacrificial death of Christ has been degraded, and the blood of the covenant counted an unholy [Greek koinon, common] thing.
The original Greek settles the question of the kind of life, clearly and unmistakably. While it is continually taught that in Christ we have zoee, even zoee everlasting, it nowhere says that he laid down his zoee for us. On the contrary it plainly and invariably states that the life he gave was the psuchee [natural, or blood life.] We will quote a few texts. "The son of man came not to be ministered to, but to minister, and to give his life (psuchee) a ransom for many." Matt. 20:28, Mark 10:45. "The good Shepherd lays down his psuchee for the sheep." John 10:11. This declaration is stronger when we notice that in the verse previous Christ says, "I came that they may have zoee," &c. Following, he reiterates "I lay down my psuchee for the sheep....For this my Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may receive (a) it again, no one forces (b) it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have authority (c) to lay it down, and I have authority to receive it again. This commandment I received from my Father." Although Christ here speaks of receiving it again, it does not of necessity mean that when he rose from the dead he took again the blood life. Simply, he had authority, or an arrangement with the Father to live again. The nature of his resurrection life we learn from other scriptures. The passage in this respect is similar to John 12:25. "He that hates his psuchee in this world, shall keep it unto zoee eternal: when mortality shall be swallowed up by zoee.
We have a strong contrast in the following. "We know that we have passed out of death into zoee, because we love the brethren. He that loves not his brother abides in death [During the enjoyment of the blood life (psukee,) mankind are under the dominion of death.]...In this we know love, that he laid down his psuchee for us; and we ought to lay down our lives (psukas) for the brethren." "Greater love hath no one than this, that one lay down his psuchee for his friends." No one is ever supposed to lay down the zoee.
What each of his lives (psuchee and zoee) do for us we have in Rom. 5:10. "For if being enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, [the laying down of the blood life or psuchee] much more, being reconciled, shall we be saved [by the impartation of his spiritual nature, and the benefits that follow,] by his zoee. As to the origin of this higher life, and how it comes to us we have John 5:26, "As the Father has zoee in himself, so he gave also to the Son to have zoee in himself." "For this is the will of my Father, that every one who sees the Son, and believes on him, may have everlasting zoee" &c. By the arrangement above noted, Jesus our Lord has become "Author of zoee," "Prince of zoee," "Bread of zoee," and mark it, "The resurrection and the zoee." The Resurrection to all, the Zoee to believers. "Marvel not at this; for an hour is coming, in which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that did good, to the resurrection of life (zoee,) and they that did evil, to the resurrection of judgment."-- Am. Bible Union Version. "These are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ (anointed,) the Son of God, and that believing ye may have zoee in his name."
a.--Greek. Lambano. The original signification of the word is two-fold; one to take, the other to receive; (I) to take, grasp, seize, to gain, win, &c.; (II) to have given one, receive, get, &c. b.--Greek, Aireo, to take, grasp, seize, conquer, overpower, &c. c.--Greek, Exonsia, power, authority to do a thing, permission, resources, &c.
W. I. M.
Remarks by the Editor. This is very satisfactory and we think should and will, end controversy as to what life Jesus gave for our ransom from death. Our natural life (psuchee) is forfeited. Our Lord became our substitute and gave his psuchee for ours and then as a gift offers believers his Zoee eternal.
posted 5/23/01 8:17 PM
This William I. Mann Article was published in the November 1879 Zion's Watch Tower.
Bible Class Department.
The Verbal Accuracy of God's Word.
"Every word of God is pure--He is a shield to them that trust in Him--add thou not unto His words, lest He reprove thee, and thou be found a liar." Prov. 30:5,6.
Paul sharply criticised some ignorant persons who came into the church indulging in strifes of words, and we frequently find misunderstandings and divisions caused solely by a lack of knowledge of the meaning of important words and phrases. In fact there are sects in the Christian world to-day, as we all know, who are cut off and separated from other parts of the body simply by a difference of opinion as to the exact meaning of perhaps a single word. The Psalmist said: "He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? he that formed the eye, shall he not see?" Surely we can also say: He that made the tongue, and who gave us his law clothed in human language did he not know what words to select? It is evident that the Holy Spirit inspired--not simply the broad ideas--but, in many cases at least, the exact phraseology. So fully did the Jews believe this, that the penalty of death was imposed on the Scribe, who, in copying the law, dared to alter a single word. So fully did Paul rest on the verbal accuracy of the Scriptures, that, relying on a single letter, he, at one bold stroke, cut away the main stay --so to speak-- of the proud hopes of the whole Jewish nation. A hope which had been cherished for ages; that they, and they alone, were the chosen seed of Abraham, and the heirs to all the promises. Said he: "Know you, certainly, that those of faith, these are the sons of Abraham.... Now to Abraham were the promises spoken, even for his SEED. He does not say 'And to the SEEDS,' as concerning many, but as concerning one; 'and to thy SEED' --who is Christ. ...If ye are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, heirs according to promise."*
*"American Bible Union" version.
Only the knowledge of this fact, we think, could enable the Master to say so confidently, "Till Heaven and Earth pass away, one iota [smallest letter in Greek alphabet] or one fine point [of a letter] shall not pass from the law till all be fulfilled."
That God's Word is perfect, is above controversy; we have indeed the oft repeated and divinely inspired assurance of the fact. That our English translation is perfect, is by no means as certain; in fact, we have abundant proof to the contrary. The truth is, howsoever faithful or capable the scholar may be, it is still simply impossible to make of any extended portion of the Word a concise and perfect translation. For this reason: If each of the nations of earth possessed exactly the same sets of ideas, expressed in exactly the same manner, one word for each division of thought, the work of changing from one language to another would be comparatively easy. But, as we know, this is not the case. One Greek word may express a thought embodied in several English words, again, it may take a number of Greek words to cover all that is contained in a single English one. If words were made of India Rubber, they might be stretched as occasion required; and indeed, there are those who so use them; but they are really more like a piece of hardened steel; which, while it may have different shapes, as viewed from different sides, is still unyielding and unchanging. It is sometimes expedient in composing to use synonymous words when no change of sense is intended, in order to avoid repetition; but if this be done in translating, it is likely to cause --if not obscurity-- at least doubt and uncertainty. But the translators of our version of the Bible did this very thing, and willingly acknowledge it. In the preface they say: "We have not tied ourselves to an uniformity of phrasing or to an identity of words.... That we should express the same notion in the same particular word, as for example, if we translate the Hebrew or Greek word by purpose, never to call it intent," &c.
It had been better many times that they had been more strictly literal, even to the charge of producing a monotonous repetition. Our modern taste, we know, prefers a change in the sound, but we sometimes lose in force and power in obtaining that object. Paul was peculiarly fond of repetition. He is sometimes, as Paley says: "off at a word." When he strikes an expression that pleases him, he --like a child with a sweet butternut --turns it over and over, picking out at each fresh position some dainty bit, and refusing apparently, to lay it down until the last rich morsel has been extracted. We have a specimen in 2 Cor. 1. "Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God." Here our translators tired of the repetition. Not so Paul. He had not yet extracted all the comfort out of the blessed word, and so he goes on thus: "For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our comfort also abounded through Christ. And whether we be afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation... or whether we be comforted, it is for your comfort and salvation,... knowing that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the comfort."*
*"American Bible Union" version.
Some original words have been translated by so many English ones, and the rendition has been in certain cases so arbitrary, that there is blind confusion and an utter failure to perceive the true import of the Divine Word.
We are not fault finding. The translators of King James' version, so called, probably did the very best they could under the circumstances. We of 1879 are living more than a quarter of a Millennium nearer the perfect day. Indeed we fully believe that that perfect day is already dawning upon us. We have light, let us have truth. Truth at any price. Truth, if it overthrows long cherished errors. Truth, if it sweeps away musty cobwebs, once gossamer filaments of fancy, enshrined in our hearts. Truth, if the heavens fall: but they cannot fall, they rest on truth.
Let not a superstitious reverence for the old, take the place of a holy veneration for the pure, although it may seem to be new. Error may be old: TRUTH IS ETERNAL. We purpose in succeeding numbers of THE WATCHTOWER to make use of the "Bible Class" department for short items of interest, both critical and explanatory, including the translations of words and phrases; and various readings from different scholars; earnestly seeking by the help of Him who is the Light, the Truth, the Way, to come to knowledge of the truth, all the truth, and only the truth. The Spirit was promised to guide us "into all the truth." Let us "follow on to know the Lord." Not, that we may "hold the truth in unrighteousness," which is plainly possible; but, being "sanctified by the truth," "we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine...but holding the Truth, may in love grow up into Him in all things, who is the head --Christ.
W. I. M.
posted 5/23/01 10:07 PM
This William I. Mann Article was published in the December 1879 Zion's Watch Tower.
Our Judgment Day.
"For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what...?" 1 Pet. 4:17.
In the popular mind the day of judgment is after the end of the Gospel dispensation. As regards the world, so it is; but as regards the church, as quoted above, it is now, in the present time, and has been all through the dispensation.
Of the christian who has seen God's truth clearly, we may say, in the words of another, written many years ago, "He is now on trial, as the investigating judgment is in actual session at this moment, and every individual [Christian] during his life is on trial before God, the righteous "Judge of all the earth;" and each one is, day by day, not only at the bar of the investigating judgment, but is himself the witness, for or against himself, and is every hour giving testimony on which the judge decides the case. Solemn thought! And here let it be remembered that "God will bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil." How solemn the consideration that each one of us is, every hour, testifying before Jehovah's court for or against ourselves! Every word we utter is a part of our testimony; every act of our lives is but our own testimony in our own case; every temper of mind indulged or cultivated goes to make up the chain of testimony, and all our motives in life are so many links in the chain. What a life we are then living! Always in court --always on trial-- always giving evidence by which the Judge is to decide."
What an awful thought! Thank God we are not standing in the filth and rags of our own righteousness under the searching gaze of the All-seeing One. We have a friend at court who has thrown his own royal mantle over us. We have an Advocate, too--an intercessor at the throne of justice. Besides all this, the Judge himself is "Our Father;" and "as a father has compassion on his children, Jehovah has compassion on them that fear him.
"For he knows our frame:
He remembers that we are dust."
W. I. M.
posted 5/23/01 10:20 PM
This William I. Mann Article was published in the December 1879 Zion's Watch Tower.
A Seed Thought.
During harvest there is reaping, with separation of tares from wheat. Then follows the gathering into the barn. After a little time to season, comes the threshing; then the winnowing. Next comes the grinding of the pure grain; followed in due time by the kneading together of the fine flour. Finally the oven does its work, (well heated) and the bread is ready for the hungry.
Jesus said: "The bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.... If any one eat of this bread, he shall live forever; yea, and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." John 6:33,51.
Paul said: "The cup of blessing for which we bless God--is it not a participation of the blood of the Anointed One? The loaf which we break--is it not a participation of the body of the Anointed One? Because there is one loaf, we, the many, are one body; for we all partake of the one loaf. 1 Cor. 10:16,17. --Emphatic Diaglott. Notice context in verses 6,11-13. Are we not in the barn being threshed, with good prospect of a winnowing? If so, the grinding of the purified should follow, and a kneading together, perhaps mingled with oil, which the heated oven will only better prepare for the Master's use and our future work.
W. I. M.
posted 5/23/01 10:38 PM
William I. Mann Article In May 1880 Zion's Watch Tower:
The law being a shadow of good things to come, it is necessary, if we would grasp the substance, to trace very closely the outline there given. While our Father has granted us, as a part of his children, a great deal of light we believe there are mines of wealth in His precious word, that are, as yet, but little known. We think The Law is a whole mining district. Paul has opened some large crevices in it, through the letter to the Hebrews and in other places, and we can see the gems sparkling brightly as he lets the light in upon them; but these are given only, it would seem, to lead us on, to incite us to search as men search for hidden treasures.
We wish, at this time, to look at the Tabernacle and its contents, and before entering into details, will first glance at its general appearance. The outer inclosure was called the court of the tabernacle. It was surrounded by posts or pillars, evidently of wood, with bases of copper, [incorrectly brass in A.V.] and caps, hooks, &c., of silver, from which hung a continuous curtain of fine twined linen. Within this was the tent or tabernacle, constructed of gold-covered boards on three sides, with posts and a curtain on the front or east end. Ex. 26:18-27, covered above with curtains of goats' hair, of rams' skins dyed red, and uppermost, of badgers' skins. The inside of the tent was hung with curtains of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet adorned with cherubim.
This beautiful curtain evidently formed the ceiling and hung down each side within the tabernacle. The tent was divided into two compartments by a vail of the same description as the curtains. We are not given the position of the vail, but probably, as in the temple, [1 Kings, 6:2,17,20,] the holy place was twice the size of the most holy.
Outside the tabernacle, near the door, and apparently directly in front of it, stood the altar of burnt offering. Between the altar and the door stood the laver of brass, [copper.]
In the holy place were: the table of show-bread, upon the north or right hand side; the golden lampstand opposite on the south, and the altar of incense directly in front, close to the separating vail. Ex. 40:5-30. Within the vail stood alone the ark of the covenant, hidden in the secret place, unseen by the common priest, and shrouded in impenetrable darkness. Even when approached by the high priest once a year, although then probably illuminated with the shekinah of glory, it must still be covered from him by a cloud of incense. Lev. 16:12-13.
THE COURT OF THE TABERNACLE
was 100 cubits long by 50 cubits wide, with posts 5 cubits high and 5 cubits apart; standing, as it were, within reach of each other, yet too far apart to lean upon one another. Their only connection was the curtain, which, hanging upon each, tied them all together. The curtain was apparently without seam for the whole length of each side, excepting, perhaps, the front. It was made of fine twined linen and symbolized, we believe, the righteousness of Christ. Being without seam, it reminds us of the seamless linen robe that Jesus wore. John 19:23, 22:25. A robe that cannot be put on by inches, and when it covers, covers completely. The posts of corruptible wood firmly set in bases of incorruptible brass, would seem to symbolize the church, composed of weak mortals liable to fall, yet standing by the power of God; not built on the sand of the desert, but having a sure foundation. Their caps, fillets and hooks were of silver. As we are told to search for truth as for silver, and as David likens the words of the Lord to silver purified seven times, we conclude that truth is symbolized by silver, which thus adorned the posts, clothing their heads with beauty, forming the ornaments of the body, and being the hook or connection which bound them to the curtain of linen, and by it to each other.
What has been the work of the church in the past ages, what can it be in the future, but simply to hold up to the view of the world without, the spotless righteousness of Christ? Hidden behind that snowy curtain, covered by that seamless robe, standing alone by divine power, linked together by the truth, they form a long united row, reaching down the stream of time.
"A glittering host in bright array,"
or, as Peter says: "A chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people," living for what purpose? to "show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light." Truly, as Paul says, we are surrounded by a "cloud of witnesses." Within the court there were solemn mysteries transpiring, and many beautiful sights which it was not lawful for those without to even catch a glimpse of. They must first see and appreciate the righteousness of Christ. "For he who cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him."
Being drawn toward Christ by what we have already seen, we come to the gate of the court. "And for the gate of the court shall be a hanging of twenty cubits, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, wrought with needlework." Ex. 27:16.
Here we behold Christ as the Door, and as we draw near, we find him radiant with beauty. What mean these colors? "A True Blue" is the synonym for a faithful one. The blue of the national flag of many countries stands for fidelity. We think the symbol is of divine origin. In Num. 15:37-41, we find that the Lord commanded Moses to make a ribbon of blue on a fringe for their garments. They were to look upon it and remember their duty to God. It was to inspire their fidelity by recalling his faithfulness. Purple is the badge of royalty. The purple robe that the mocking soldiers placed on Christ, was an emblem that had its origin in very early times. In Judges 8:26, we find the kings of Median robed in this color. Scarlet was also worn by kings, but we think it spoke of blood when used under the law. Thus the beautiful gate of the court pointed to Christ, as the "Faithful and True," as the "King of Kings," and as the great "High Priest," the "Redeemer" and "Saviour" of the world.
Passing through the door and advancing towards the tabernacle we come to
THE BRAZEN ALTAR.
The altar of Burnt Offering was made of shittim wood covered with plates of brass [copper]. It was a beautiful type of Christ. Christ as the man of sorrows, as the Lamb of God. Christ in his human nature [corruptible wood] clothed with power divine [the copper plates]. The wood alone must have burnt up --Adam fell.
It was four-sided, presenting a full breadth of side to every quarter of the earth. Being square it typified the perfection of Christ. It was five cubits long, five wide, and only three cubits high. Its dimensions speak chiefly of length and breadth as a Saviour of all men, who saves to the uttermost. It was comparatively low, typifying one easy of access, and a free salvation.
It had four horns to which the victims could be tied that were to be sacrificed, and to which persons in danger of being slain might flee for safety. Ps. 118:27, 1 Kings 2:28. These evidently pointed to Christ as our Refuge, and to his abundance of power and grace to all who should come to him. The fire continually burning upon it, and never allowed to go out (Lev. 6:13) speaks of consecration complete and continuous.
Fire is used as a symbol of love. Here it would be love unceasing and unchangeable. Not that we first loved him, but that he first loved us. Not that he loves us because we are good, or since we began to be good, but "God commendeth his love towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Oh that not only the world, but the church might understand the meaning of the words, "GOD IS LOVE." The words by the last prophet ring down through the ages. "For I am Jehovah, I change not, therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed." As the altar of burnt offering, consuming whatever was laid upon it, it points to the absolute devotedness of Christ to his Father's will; and also to what is required of his followers who profess to lay themselves upon that altar. "Whatsoever toucheth the altar shall be holy." "The altar sanctifieth the gift."
Fire is a purifying agent, but it purifies by destruction. Jesus came in a body prepared, and offered himself a whole burnt offering. His sacrifice was not the stepping down temporarily from a higher to a lower plane. That was necessary as a part of the preparation for the sacrifice, as was the presentation of the victim to the priest at the door of the tabernacle. Or as Paul says: "We see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death...that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man." Heb. 2:9. "For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham." 2:19. Why? For the simple reason that angels cannot die. Luke 20:36. "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same, that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver them, who, through fear of death [same kind of death] were all their lifetime subject to bondage." The son of Mary --not the pre-incarnate word, as such-- was called Jesus; not because he had, but because "he shall save his people from their sins." Jesus came to die. "He is brought as a lamb [dumb] to the slaughter." He made his "soul [life] an offering for sin. ....He hath poured out his soul unto death." What death? After "being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, [not humbled himself to be a man] and became obedient unto death, EVEN THE DEATH OF THE CROSS." Phil. 2:8. We pity those who profess to be christians and despise "the death of the cross." Yes! the altar spoke of death; and when the high priest went into the holy of holies he did not carry in the restored life of the victim by any means; he rather took in the sure proof of its utter destruction; so, "though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more."
From the golden altar inside the tabernacle, every morning and evening there floated heavenward a cloud of sweet incense --making acceptable the prayers of the saints-- but that altar itself was only acceptable because it had been sprinkled with the atoning blood taken from the side of the altar of burnt offering. In other words, the risen Saviour-- the golden altar --was only acceptable because of the work [obedience unto death] of the man Christ Jesus --the altar of wood and brass." Woe to those who despise "a dead Christ" in their prayers. We do pray in the name of him who was dead, but now ever liveth to make intercession for us. Christ was our forerunner, and we too must lay ourselves upon this altar; our old nature is doomed to death; while we are separated, delivered from this body of death through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Christ by the pouring out of "his own blood" has redeemed us from the condition in which Adam's sin placed us and so a resurrection is assured us. "For as in [or through] Adam all die, even so in [or through] Christ shall all be made alive." If any would attain to the Divine nature and life, they must take their sinning nature --the old man-- and bring it to this altar, Jesus, and put it to death: crucify it with the affections and lusts. Gal. 5:24. "Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon." Exod. 20:26.
We cannot come to Christ by steps. We must come as we are and come at once. When we realize our degradation and sin, human nature says: do not present yourself in that condition, tone up, break off bad habits, try to be good, and after climbing up a few steps, come to Christ. Vain resolve! ending only in broken vows and bitter disappointment; and as the pure light of Heaven streams upon us, we realize our own weakness and nakedness and poverty; that our righteousness is but filthy rags, and that our great want is the spotless robe of Christ's righteousness to cover us completely, that the shame of our nakedness do not appear.
In antitype, the fire of this altar has not yet gone out. We see a groaning creation loaded down with sin and sorrow, waiting, hoping for a better day. We expect to see the dross all burned up, with every vestige of miasma and taint of sin: and to rejoice in the joy of a purified world even though purged by "the fire of his jealousy," for "our God is a consuming fire."
W. I. M.
posted 5/23/01 10:59 PM
William I. Mann Article In July 1880 Zion's Watch Tower:
THE TABERNACLE-No. 2.
Having in our last, advanced as far as the Altar of Burnt Offering, we will now consider the Brazen Laver. It stood between the altar and the door of the tabernacle. Its dimensions are not given. It was made of copper alone, from the polished copper mirrors (incorrectly --looking glasses. A.V.) of the Hebrew women. The laver was kept filled with water for the washing of the priests. When Moses, by command of God, would consecrate Aaron and his sons, he brought them first to the laver. Not only so, but the priests were bound under penalty of death, to always wash their hands and feet before entering the tabernacle or engaging in the work of sacrifice. They were not to wash simply if they thought it necessary, or when it was convenient, or in any way they imagined would pass for the ceremony and not incur God's displeasure. They might not wash one hand or one foot, or sprinkle a few drops on each. No! the thought must be ever before them: "Be ye holy for I am holy." They must wash and be clean.
Thus the laver clearly typifies baptism. We come by the brazen altar to the laver. It is not our offering, however, which entitles us to the benefits of the laver. Jesus is the altar, and by or through Jesus' offering, we approach to be washed. Without this washing, we have no part or lot in the matter.
The consecration of the priests, as we have seen, began at the laver. The law said: Cast off your filthy garments, be washed, be clean, and be robed in the pure linen of the priesthood--Christ's righteousness. There was but one laver. At this and this only, the priests must wash --We find no other provision made. But, says some one: The high priest washed in the holy place on the day of atonement. True, but the laver and the altar were in the holy place. The difficulty arises from an obscure translation of Paul's description of the tabernacle in Hebrews. All within the snowy linen curtains of the court was holy. [See Ex. 28:43.]
The laver was of one metal --copper. There was no wood in its construction. As we have seen in the brazen altar, and in the posts of the court, the corruptible wood symbolizes the fleshly, or human nature, and enduring copper, the divine. We find, then, in the laver, no provision for the flesh. Morality is of no account; natural goodness and self-righteousness have no place. That which we receive-- the anointing, and the clothing upon with the pure linen robe of Christ's righteousness, fits us for our work as priests. And now fully consecrated, we may approach the altar and offer sacrifice. Being justified to life by being in Christ who is the end of the law to every one that believeth, we may even come and lay ourselves down with Christ on the altar, being called to be partakers of the sufferings of Christ--to die with him, that we may also live with him. Rom. 6:8, Phil. 3:10. As so beautifully brought out in the March No. by Bro. Russell, we can, in the type of baptism, symbolize this death. As Jesus, the great sacrifice, voluntarily laid down his flesh life, and after burial and through a resurrection, received from his Father spiritual life, so we, his followers, crucify our fleshly nature and rise to live a new--a spiritual life, and though not really dead as to the flesh, nor really alive as to the spirit, until the resurrection, yet God who "calleth those things, which be not as though they were, [when in process of accomplishment, as time is nothing to him,] allows us to reckon ourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Being dead then, [in this sense,] we are buried with him by baptism; for as Paul says, "Know ye not that all we who were immersed into Jesus Christ, were immersed into his death?" [Amer. B. Un. version.] He says further: "For we have become united with the likeness of his death, we shall be also with that of his resurrection. Rom. 6:2-5.
[Query.--When and how did Christ die? Let him that understands, mark.]
Is baptism necessary to salvation? we are often asked. Do you believe God will send a christian to hell because he was not immersed; or do you suppose a few drops of water will keep any one out of heaven? We can at least answer it is always safe to do God's will, and it ought to be a pleasure. The popular notions of heaven and hell, baptism and salvation, are not of the Bible, and although the disobedient may sometimes seem to be greatly blessed, it proves nothing to the point, for even the wicked may flourish like a green-bay tree. We are sure of this: that those who know the Master's will, and did it not, will be beaten with many stripes and compelled to obey in the coming age, when alas, it will be too late to gain the high calling; for certainly in God's word we find no way revealed of entering the priesthood and the holies but by the laver. If any will climb up some other way, he must abide the consequences. See also, Ex. 30:20, Num. 16:1, 1 Chron. 13:10.
There was but one laver, not three. It was a laver too, not a hyssop branch. If sprinkling is baptism, how can it symbolize Christ's death and resurrection --or how indeed illustrate our faith and hope in dying with him that we too may rise to live a new and Spiritual life? While the laver is primarily a type of baptism, yet as a symbol and more particularly, because it is in a further sense a symbol of life, it would seem to point to several objects. Like nearly every type, it points to Christ --to Christ as the fountain of cleansing; to Christ as the resurrection and the life. It seems peculiarly to link together the spirit, the water, and the blood, as the agents by which we are washed from our natural filthiness, and through which we attain to life.
Water in its purity, in its beauty, and in its all pervading power, is a fit symbol of Christ our Life, since it is the life of all organic nature. The tiny blade of grass and the giant oak are alike supported by water. In the glistening dew drop, in the refreshing rain and in the mighty torrent we see its power. The colors of the humble violet and of the grand heaven-spanning rainbow, alike reveal its beauty. The gentle murmur of the brook and the ceaseless roar of old ocean unite in proclaiming the praises of our Creator and Life-giver. Through the veins of the vegetable world circulates the (water) sap, causing the apparently dead plant to spring up into new life, and to send forth shoots covered with beautiful flowers and fruits. Through the arteries of the animal kingdom, darts the bright, red blood, carrying life and power to every member. Ascending still higher in the scale of creation, we find the blood-life superceded by the life spiritual with correspondingly higher powers. And so the vegetable kingdom, the animal kingdom, and the spiritual kingdom unite in one, witnessing for Christ, our life.
Here at the laver the new life of the christian begins. Jesus said to Nicodemus: "Truly, truly, I say to thee, if any one be not born of water and spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God." [Em. Diag., John 3:5.] Here the begetting by the spirit and the word takes place; it is reckoned as a full birth and symbolized by the rising from the watery grave --the grave of the old carnal nature. Of course the carnal nature does not really die here, but it is so reckoned, (the process having begun) because if faithful, we will ultimately kill it by crucifixion of the flesh.
Water is a symbol of truth, both as a cleansing and as a life-giving power. Paul tells us that Christ gave himself for the church, "that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by (or through) the word." In praying for his own, Christ said: "Sanctify them through thy truth--thy word is truth." To his disciples he said: "Now ye are clean through the word that I have spoken unto you." As water cleanses the natural, so truth cleanses the spiritual. As water is the life of the natural, so the truth of God develops the life --spiritual. Thus Jesus could say: "This is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent." (John 17:4.)
The laver in its washings, typified not baptism only, but the daily washing of the word. Not an instantaneous sanctification as taught by some, but a continual process or purification following a growth in the knowledge of the truth. No water--no washing, no truth, no sanctification. It is impossible for us to grow in the image of God only as we grow in the knowledge of God. We cannot copy that which we have not seen.
In Gen. 1:2, we find the spirit brooding over the face of the waters, impregnating them with the principle and power of life, till, under the guiding hand of God that which was powerless and dead, is quickened into life. In Rom. 8:1-11, we find man as powerless on account of sin, as were the waters in the beginning, quickened into new life by the same life-giving Spirit. Not resurrected from the dead by the power of the Father as some claim, (The passage has no allusion to the resurrection-- See context) but quickened from a life in the flesh to a life in the spirit during this present Gospel age. Thus Jesus said to the woman of Samaria: "Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him, shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." Again: "If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. (Jno. 4:14, 7:37-39.) In the millennial age, "the Spirit and the Bride shall say, come and take the water of life freely." Now we see but the brazen laver of the tabernacle --then Solomon's brazen sea; now a well of water in each believer's heart, overflowing many times, then the pure river of the water of life flowing wide and deep from out the city and over the world.
The laver was a type of the Blood of Christ.
"There is a fountain filled with blood,
Drawn from Immanuel's veins;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood,
Lose all their guilty stains."
This is the fountain of fountains--the one and only cleansing laver. Is there a well of living water springing up in each christian heart? This is its secret spring. Is there a stream that makes glad the city of God? It rises here. Is there a river of life flowing out to the nations? Behold its source:
"Oh! the blood! the precious blood!
That Jesus shed for me."
How strange it seems that some who were once enlightened, have begun to despise this fountain. To them Christ's death is but a human offering-- fleshly, not spiritual. They have grown too wise to have faith in a "wooden cross." Surely, if he that swears by the altar, swears by all things thereon, he that despises the cross, despises him who died on it. We claim to belong to the priesthood, to have a right to minister in the tabernacle. How came we here? Whence this exalted privilege? Did not Satan triumph over Adam who was our head and lord of creation? Has not Satan become Prince of this world, and were not we his slaves? Yes, but we have been REDEEMED. How? Bought with a price. What price? Not with silver and gold, "but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot."
The dimensions of the laver are not given, therefore, as a type, it must be considered unlimited. Under the Jewish dispensation, the people supposed that they had all the truth; that God's favor and love extended only to them; that all the promises, honor, and salvation were theirs; that the Lord really could not save but through them. The Gospel church affects to despise their narrow, ignorant prejudices, and claiming all the light and honor and promises and every prerogative for herself; she too, in blind ignorance, limits the blood and the truth and the powers of the Mighty One. In vain the church boasts herself against Atheistical Scientists, who limit nature's God by the laws he himself hath made, while she, claiming to magnify him, measures his thoughts and his Almighty arm by the puny grasp of her arm. Let us not forget that when Elijah our type began to tell the Lord how faithful he had been, and that he alone was worthy, God's answer was: "I have left seven thousand in Israel who have not bowed under Baal."
Now we see God's grace or favor, perhaps we even catch a glimpse of the riches of his grace, but Paul tells us that it is only in the ages to come that he will show "the exceeding riches of his grace towards us in Christ Jesus," and "that in the dispensation of the fullness of times (the millennial age to which all prophetic times point) he will gather for himself into one, all things in the Christ." Let us beware of limiting God's power and truth and love. Rather let us remember the oft-repeated declaration of the Psalmist: "His mercy endureth FOREVER."
"There's a wideness in God's mercy,
Like the wideness of the sea;
There's a kindness in his justice,
Which is more than liberty."
W. I. M.
posted 5/23/01 11:14 PM
William I. Mann Article In September 1880 Zion's Watch Tower:
THE ORACLE OF MESSIAH.
Isaiah 52:13-53:12. Connection and structure by John Brown, D.D. Text by various eminent translators.
OPENING PROCLAMATION OF JEHOVAH.
"Behold, my servant shall prosper; he shall be raised aloft, and magnified, and very highly exalted."--Lowth.
"As now many are astonished before him (so disfigured in his aspect before men, and his figure before the children of men) so shall many nations exult in him; kings shall close their mouths before him: for what had not been related to them, shall they see; and understand what they had never heard."--Gesenius.
THE COMPLAINT OF THE PRIMITIVE EVANGELISTS.
"Who hath believed what we have understood by hearing? Who perceives what the arm of Jehovah is preparing?"--Rosenmuller.
STATEMENT AND PROFESSION OF THE JEWISH CONVERTS.
"He hath grown up as a twig before him, as a shoot out of dry ground. He had no form nor beauty. We looked at him, but there was no fair appearance that we should be desirous of him."--Rosenmuller.
"Despised and neglected by men, a man of sorrows and familiar with sufferings, and like one who hideth his face from us [to bury his griefs in seclusion]; disdained; and we gave him no attention."--Pye Smith.
"But it was our griefs he bare, it was our sorrows he carried. We, indeed, accounted him smitten; stricken by God, and afflicted."--Henderson.
"But he was wounded for our transgressions; was smitten for our iniquities; the chastisement, by which our peace is effected, was laid upon him; and by his bruises we are healed."--Lowth.
"All we, like sheep, have gone astray; we have turned each to his own way; but Jehovah hath inflicted upon him the punishment of us all. He was severely afflicted, yet he submitted himself, and opened not his mouth. As a lamb that is led to the slaughter, or as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth."-- Henderson.
"By an oppressive judgment he was taken away--the men of his age who shall describe?"--Brown.
"For he was cut off from the land of the living; on account of the transgression of my people was he smitten."--Henderson.
"A grave is assigned him with the wicked; but his tomb is a rich man's: for he hath done no injustice, and no guile is in his mouth. But Jehovah is pleased to crush him with sufferings! If he will offer himself a sacrifice for sin, he shall see his posterity, he shall prolong his days, and the gracious purpose of Jehovah shall prosper in his hand."--Pye Smith.
THE CLOSING PROCLAMATION OF JEHOVAH, CONFIRMATORY OF THE STATEMENT OF THE JEWISH CONVERTS.
"The effects of his soul's pain he shall see, and shall be richly satisfied. By his knowledge my righteous servant shall make many righteous, and shall take away their iniquities."--Pye Smith.
"Therefore will I distribute to him the many for his portion; and the mighty people shall he share for his spoil: Because he poured out his soul unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors, and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors." --Lowth.
W. I. M.
posted 5/23/01 11:21 PM
William I. Mann Article In October 1880 Zion's Watch Tower.
WHEN AND HOW WILL CHRIST COME?
We have just read, in a contemporary which is seen by many of our readers, an article entitled "Christ, and Anti-Christ," in which the writer seeks to prove that Jesus, at his second advent, will come in the flesh. The proof of his position he bases mainly on, 1 John 4:2,3. He quotes the verses thus: "Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ erkomai [cometh] in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ erkomai in the flesh is not of God." "For many deceivers are entered into the world who confess not that Jesus Christ cometh in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an Anti-Christ." 1 John 4:2,3, and 2 John 7.
He continues: "The rendering of erkomai, as it is given by the translators in these special texts, was merely because of the theology of these Episcopalian ministers. It is the word invariably used [mark!] by the apostles when speaking of his future coming." Then follows a list of texts, in which he asserts erkomai occurs, putting them all in the future tense.
We are obliged to say that he has made a very serious mistake, and one calculated to lead into error any one not familiar with the Greek of the New Testament. Yet it is but just to say that it was a mistake easily made. Not being familiar with the original, he evidently depended upon a Greek Concordance in making his quotations. The error probably crept in this way. In such Concordances, each word is given usually in its generic [general] form only, without reference to the changes it undergoes in passing through the various grammatical forms which distinguish its moods, tenses, &c. Thus, under the general head of "Erkomai" [come] he would find references to passages containing such combinations as these: have come, is come, will come, may come, also cometh, came, &c.
If unfamiliar with the Greek forms and without an examination of the Greek text he would be totally unable to distinguish between the tenses.
Looking in the concordance then under "Erkomai" he finds references to some passages which he knows speak of Christ's second advent. If he fails to look further he may conclude that "it is the word invariably used when speaking of his future coming." Of course a more thorough search would soon have revealed the error. Having thus reached a conclusion --unfortunately a wrong one --it is apparent that on finding other texts which his theory required to be in the future tense-- that were translated in the past- -he would at once jump to the conclusion that they were mistranslated. This he has done. Both in his proof texts, and in his list which he has given to support his translation of the proof texts, he has been thus deceived. His argument briefly but fairly stated is this. "Erkomai meaning cometh," is the word invariably used by the apostles when speaking of his (Christ's) future coming." Proof: a list of texts referring to the future in which he asserts erkomai occurs. Now says he (we are using our own words for brevity's sake.) Erkomai is the word used in 1 Jno. 4:2-3, in which it speaks of a coming of Christ in the flesh, therefore the coming in the flesh spoken of, is in the future, at his second advent; and all who deny this are by the same authority called Anti-Christ --those who are in harmony with the WATCH TOWER particularly included.
Well, we can pardon his allusion to the WATCH TOWER, and even excuse his mistake, but we cannot pass it by unnoticed; and now let us give briefly the facts in the case-- First then: In the texts he has quoted the words in dispute are not confined to the future, but are in various tenses. Secondly: The word erkomai (on which he hangs the whole argument) does not occur in any of them. We will now quote the texts, and give the original words as they really appear:
"Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come [eleeluthota] in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that confesseth not Jesus Christ is not of God." 1 John 4:2,3. The word does not occur in third verse "This same Jesus, who is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come [eleusetai] in like manner," &c. Acts 1:11. "When the Son of Man shall come [elthee] in his glory," &c. Matt. 25:31. "Behold, the Bridegroom erketai!" [Word omitted in best authorities.] Matt. 25:6. "Behold, he cometh [erketai] with clouds." Rev. 1:7. "There shall come, [eleusantai] in the last days, scoffers." 2 Pet. 3:3. "Behold, the Lord cometh." [Eelthe--came; prophetic; like Isa. 9:6.] Jude 14. "Which is and which was, and which is to come." [Erkomenas.] Rev. 1:14.
A portion of an article from the WATCH TOWER on the latter part of Matt. 24, was rather sharply criticised in our contemporary's article, in which he also claimed to find erkomai again where it does not occur. The scripture reads thus: "Who, then, is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his lord, when he cometh, shall find so doing." Brother Russell claimed, in WATCH TOWER, that the time spoken of was not at the instant of Christ's arrival, as generally believed, but after he has come. The Greek word here is Elthon, and it undoubtedly has this meaning. It signifies an arrival accomplished; a period after the coming, and during the presence of the Lord. It is a participle form of the word, and should be rendered "having come." We might quote a multitude of texts in which it occurs, but must be satisfied with a few. That we may not be charged with picking up scattered and stray texts, we will take a few in succession as we found them at the beginning of the book. "The star which they saw in the east, went before them, till, having come (elthon), it stood over where the young child was." Matt. 2:9. Notice, the star had been going before them, but at the period covered by elthon, it had ceased to go. Its arrival was accomplished: it stood.
"And when Jesus was come (elthon) into Peter's house, he saw his wife's mother laid, and sick of a fever." 8:14.
Tell us, was not Jesus PRESENT? We do not know how long he was in the house till he saw the sick one, but we know that he had arrived, whether she knew it or not. His coming had been accomplished. He was present.
"And when Jesus came into the ruler's house, and saw the minstrels," &c. 9:23. We might read, "And Jesus, having come into the ruler's house," &c. He had arrived. "And when he was come (elthon) into his own country, he taught them in their synagogues," &c. 13:54. Surely he was present in this case. "Then he (the evil spirit) saith, "I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come (elthon), he findeth it empty, swept and garnished." 12:44. He had returned, and made search, and found this condition of things. "Blessed are those servants, whom, the Lord having come, shall find watching. Verily, I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them." Luke 12:37.
Have we been astonished at the wonderful feast of love and truth that has been placed before us, without any effort on our part? Marvel not; the Master has come, and has made us sit down, and with his own blessed hands is serving us a bountiful supply. "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock. If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." Rev. 3:20. Some have supposed that this text had an application all the way down the gospel age. It cannot be so. It was given only to those living in the Laodicean period of the church. The spirit so directed. We know that we have been feasting with him. Could we do so until he had come in to us? Nay, more: Could we have heard the knock until he first had arrived, and stood, waiting and knocking for admittance?
And now, dear brethren and sisters, let us look very carefully at Matt. 24:44-51 in the light that has been given us, viz.: that our Lord has come. "Therefore, be ye (ye brethren) also ready; for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of Man comes." This was fulfilled. It was months after Christ came (in Fall of '74) before the company realized it. "Who, then, is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord, HAVING COME (elthon), shall find so doing." Was there such a servant? Of course, we do not understand that it means one individual, but evidently a small company, best symbolized by a single servant. There was such a one, giving meat in due season, and receiving the blessing, for at least a period of years.
"But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to smite his fellow servants," &c. Who is this? He is called that servant, i.e., one previously spoken of; one, then, who had been giving the household meat when the Lord came. What was that due meat? Surely, the time arguments proving the presence of the Master. What then? Some part, large or small, of that little company must change their minds, and, taking back what they have said, declare, "My Lord delays his coming." Mark, there can be no delay until the time of arrival has passed. This one, therefore, must have known and taught the true time of the coming. Again, to fill the picture, he must begin to smite the remainder of the company; and as he is in opposition, and proclaiming a delay, it is evident that they must be teaching that there is no delay, but that the truth of the past remains true.
Brothers, sisters, how else could this scripture be fulfilled? When, but at this time, could it take place? Truly, the King has come in to the guest chamber, and is scanning those who have been privileged to enter. Can we bear that searching eye, looking clear through and through? Lord, help us to examine ourselves in the light of present truth.
W. I. M.
posted 5/23/01 11:39 PM
William I. Mann Article In November 1880 Zion's Watch Tower.
THE TABERNACLE, No. 3.
[We have been hindered for some time from following up our series on this subject, and gladly take it up again.]
We have already looked at the court and its gate. We have entered, and, so to speak, have passed the altar and the laver. And now, having been consecrated as priests at the laver, having brought our sacrifice --our flesh life --and laid it down with Christ on the altar of burnt offering --crucifying the flesh; being made conformable unto his death-- we are prepared to go on unto perfection.
We stand at the door of the Tabernacle. Like the gate of the court, it is made of snowy linen curtains. We look at it closely. It is radiant with blue and purple and scarlet, and covered with needlework. We have already seen, when looking at the entrance to the court, that Christ is the door; and now again we discover
"'Tis the very same Jesus."
In admiration we gaze at the beautiful colors, symbolic of his faithfulness, his majesty and his saving grace. We see him as the faithful and true --one who sticketh closer than a brother--as our glorious King and Head and as our Saviour who redeemed us with his own precious blood. The needlework appears to symbolize those Christian graces which, though slowly developed, and perfected through toil and suffering, make a garment of beauty at last.
Shall we enter this mystic lodge? Are we desirous of seeing its light, and of learning its mysteries? Do we obligate ourselves to walk in obedience to its teachings, and obey --even unto death--the mandates of its Royal Master? We may do it with safety. There is no dark unhallowed work here, fearful of the light. Yes! we have taken the obligation, we have passed through the ceremony of initiation, we have been clothed with its spotless regalia-- the beautiful garments of the Royal priesthood, the robe of Christ's righteousness, without which none can enter. Shall we then, bidding farewell to the light and sunshine of this world, enter the secret place of the Most High? Without is sin and suffering and death; within is life and light and holiness.
This is the highway of the overcomers; this is the path of the just, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. Within are mysteries and beauties which those without who serve tables know nothing of. The Levites must not even look at the glories within; they are hid from their eyes.
We enter. A new and heavenly light-- spiritual light--breaks upon us. We gaze around, and lo, the blue, and purple, and scarlet is above our heads and all about us on every hand. We are covered and hidden beneath a weight of glory. It is the glory of the Master: Jesus and his righteousness. We have believed into Christ now "we are in him that is true, in the Son, Jesus Christ." Jesus prayed the Father for his disciples "that they also may be one in us." "As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about his people from henceforth even for ever." Psa. 125:2. Not only so, but, pictured on the snowy curtains above and on every side, are the cherubim: no flaming sword in their hand now. We realize that we are surrounded by God's messengers. We have come to "an innumerable company of angels." Heb. 12:22. We remember that it is written, "the angel of Jehovah encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. Ps. 34:7. Like Jacob at Bethel we discover that "this is none other than the house of God;" and "are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation." Heb. 1:14.
"In God I have found a retreat,
Where I can securely abide;
No refuge, nor rest so complete,
And here I intend to reside.
Oh, what comfort it brings,
My soul sweetly sings:
I am safe from all danger,
While under his wings."
"He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. ...Because thou hast made Jehovah, which is my refuge, even the Most High, thy habitation. There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways." Ps. 91:1,9-11.
Having come so far on our journey, what are our privileges? Firstly, we may walk in the light; for are we not in the presence of "the true light that lighteth every man (in due time) that cometh into the world?" Jno. 1:9. And "if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." 1 John 1:7. God is light, and in him there is no darkness." Not only have we light upon our pathway, but strength for the journey is provided. An abundant supply of living bread --always fresh and sweet --is spread before us. And whether we sing for very joy, or pray for needed grace, the sweet incense of Jesus' merits rising in a perfumed cloud makes our presence acceptable, and our prayers and praises fragrant as they ascend before "Our Father."
W. I. M.
[To be continued.]
posted 5/23/01 11:55 PM
William I. Mann Article In July 1881 Zion's Watch Tower:
"And thou shalt make a Lampstand of pure gold: of beaten work shall the lampstand be made; his shaft, and his branches, his bowls, his knops, and his flowers shall be of the same. And six branches shall come out of the sides of it; three branches of the lampstand out of the one side, and three branches of the lampstand out of the other side; three bowls made like unto almonds, with a knop and a flower in one branch; and three bowls made like almonds in the other branch, with a knop and a flower: so in the six branches that come out of the lampstand.... Their knops and their branches shall be of the same: all of it shall be one beaten work of pure gold. And thou shalt make the seven lamps thereof; and they shall light the lamps thereof, that they may give light over against it. And the tongs thereof and the snuff-dishes thereof shall be of pure gold. Of a talent of pure gold shall he make it with all these vessels. And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was showed thee in the mount." Ex. 25:31-40.
Light has ever been symbolic of that which brings joy and gladness, while by common consent night and darkness have been put for ignorance and its accompanying misery. We find all about us in nature that light is the cause of the most beneficial results, so very early in the world's history among those who were in moral darkness, light, fire, the sun, moon, &c., became objects of worship and were adored either as symbols of a god or as gods in visible form. The natural man has ever been desirous of some visible manifestation; he seeks to walk by sight; only the just --the spiritual-- walk by faith. Perhaps it was for this reason mainly, that Jehovah saw fit to give so many typical forms to the children of Israel. The nations around them all had their objects of sense which, placed where they could often see them, satisfied the eye and gave them contentment. How often we have seen children, who, not satisfied with knowing that their mother was in the house, must follow her from room to room, refusing even to have a door shut between them. So we find even in this age those who must have crucifixes, pictures, relics, &c., to fill the eye, and satisfy an untutored conscience. We might come nearer home and speak of those who think there is neither life nor power without a mourners' bench and a great deal of noise and excitement, but we remember that there are true children who are but children, and we would not offend the least. However, noise is not power, and as we are speaking of light, and of light as a symbol of God, it might be well to say that although it is one of the most powerful forces in nature, it is one of the most quiet. Bonar, who has written so much that is pure and true says:
"The light is ever silent;
It sparkles on morn's million gems of dew.
It flings itself into the shower of noon,
It weaves its gold into the cloud of sunset,
Yet not a sound is heard; it dashes full
On yon broad rock, yet not an echo answers.
It lights in myriad drops upon the flower,
Yet not a blossom stirs; it does not move
The slightest film of floating gossamer,
Which the faint touch of insect's wing wo'ld shiver
The light is ever pure,
No art of man can ever rob it of its beauty,
Nor stain its unpolluted heaven lines.
It is the fairest, purest thing in nature;
Fit type of that fair heaven where all is pure,
And into which no evil thing can enter;
Where darkness comes not, where no shadow falls;
Where night and sin can have no dwelling place."
The first recorded words of Deity are, "Let there be light." It seems to be a pre-requisite in the formation and development of the natural, and our hearts seeking spiritual light and growth, echo the cry: "Let there be light." Whither shall we go? as God is the source and fountain of all life and love, so is he the source of all light. To us he manifests himself through his Words. Not the written word alone, but its author Jesus, "The word of God." "This is the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world." "In him was life and the life was the light of men."
The lampstand then primarily typifies Christ, and consequently in some sense every true member of the Christ body. Light is peculiarly expressive of the character of God and of his people. "God is light," says the beloved John. James calls him the "Father of lights with whom there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Jesus said, "I am the light of the world; he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." Of his followers he says, "ye are the light of the world." The lampstand beautifully symbolizes Christ as the hope of our fallen race. It stood where there was no other light. Christ is the light of life. It had seven branches typifying perfection, or as seven is a symbol of that which is complete and entire, it represents Christ as the embodiment of light, not only the truth, but the whole truth, the fullness of God.
Light is composed of the seven primary colors, thus symbolizing Jesus as the one altogether lovely. The beautiful rainbow --the seal of promise --is but an individualizing of the pure white ray; so the hope of the world and the promise of its eternal preservation is in the manifestation of the various beauties, the ineffable glories of the immaculate one; that concentrated beam of heavenly light which piercing the dark clouds of despair, reflects even from the storm drops a vision of hope and a pledge of the covenant of mercy.
Majestic sweetness sits enthroned,
Upon the Saviour's brow;
His head with radiant glories crowned,
His lips with grace o'erflow.
No mortal can with him compare,
Among the sons of men;
Fairer is He than all the fair
Who fill the heavenly train.
"And he made the lampstand of pure gold; of beaten work made he the lampstand. His shaft, his branch, his bowls, his knops and his flowers, were of the same." Ex. 37:17. We feel almost discouraged sometimes at the rough handling we seem to receive --the knocks and the blows. We forget the branches must be like the shaft --all of beaten work. No machine made lords of the flock, no church ornaments cast wholesale in a mold, about this lampstand; as is the shaft so are the branches--all of beaten work. In its structure there was a knop and a flower in continuous succession, typifying the beautiful graces of a Christ-like spirit accompanying the solid fruit of a christian life: a sort of combination of faith and works. It would also represent a vigorous ever-developing plant, always blooming, continually fruit bearing; like the trees growing by the river of life, yielding their fruit every month.
The tabernacle as we have seen contained wondrous things, but as there were no windows in it, they would have been unseen, but for the lampstand. The well furnished table of shew bread with its typical spiritual food, ever fresh and fragrant, was unknown to natural light; hidden to those without. Here was the Altar of Incense and the way to God, but the world by wisdom (natural light) knew not God. As Paul said to the Athenians, groping in darkness "they seek God, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he is not far from each one of us." In their blindness they erect an altar inscribed, "To the unknown God." In our day men still erect altars to baseless creeds and isms, and sacrifice themselves upon them. Thank God that we can say: "With Thee is the fountain of life; in thy light shall we see light." Psa. 36:9.
The furniture of the Tabernacle was all made of wood, covered with gold, excepting this piece, which is frequently called the pure lampstand by way of pre-eminence. Like the Laver it was made of one material; like the Laver its dimensions are not given. They both evidently symbolized the illimitable truth of God. Pure and unalloyed, able to stand alone without help of human reasonings and imaginings. For long years men have been trying to excuse God's character, his dealings and his word. The truth requires no bolstering; keep it pure and you keep it safe. The poet has said:
"Truth crushed to earth will rise again;
The eternal years of God are hers."
To be eternal it must be pure; this is a universal law.
The Laver and lampstand being without dimensions would seem to typify the fact --O that creed worshipers might see it --that truth like its author is boundless. The various sectaries scattered along the stream of truth ever flowing from the throne, have built little mud dams in the sand and have fenced off a little of the stream; and claiming that they had secured it all, have covered it up carefully from the light and air, until what should have been to them a well of life, has become a veritable frog pond. Rev. 16:13; 18:2.
In this age the Word is the lamp (Psa. 119:105; Matt. 25:1) and the church is the lampstand; (Rev. 1:20) but we think it will not always be so. Jesus said to his followers, "ye are the light of the world," and he evidently intended that his light should shine through and be reflected by us; but in a deeper sense will we be the light of the world, when, made partakers of his glorious body, we shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of our Father. Matt. 13:43.
After the earthly Jerusalem has been restored, the heavenly Jerusalem will be its source of light and law and will shine through it (the earthly) upon the nations. Isaiah (2:23) tells us that after the kingdom has been set up --"out of Zion (the heavenly) shall go forth the law and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem," (the earthly). Before this takes place however, Jerusalem must first hear the cry, "Arise, shine! for thy light is come and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee." (Isaiah 60.) This explains what John says of the new Jerusalem. The Lamb (Head and body) is the light thereof. (Also, Isa. 60:19,20.) It is evidently this heavenly company, the united and perfected body of Christ, that Malachi alludes to as the sun of righteousness that shall arise with healing in his wings to bless first the Jewish people and ultimately every man that cometh into the world. John 1:9.
The lampstand seems to have been modeled after the Almond tree with its knops, flowers and nut-like bowls. The Almond is remarkable for its early blossoming (sometimes even in January) the flowers appearing before the leaves. The Hebrew word for Almond is from a root which signifies "to hasten," being thus descriptive of the tree which hastened to put forth its blossoms in spring. Hence, it was regarded by the Jews as a harbinger of spring. The lampstand would thus symbolize the church of the first-born; and the appearance of this company arrayed in beauty, the surety that the winter is past, that the time of the singing of birds is come, that soon the voice of the dove will be heard in the land. The nations of course, will not see the church of the first-born until the eyes of their understanding are opened, which will be after the time of trouble has prepared them for the reception of the truth.
While Christ and His bride are clearly the light of the future, in this age we are dependent on the written word which is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. (Ps. 119:105.) In one of the visions of Zachariah (ch. 4), he saw a golden lampstand between two olive trees from which through golden pipes flowed the needed oil. The Angel explained that these lamps did not burn by human wisdom or knowledge, "not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit; saith the Lord of hosts." The prophet was further told that these are the two anointed ones, (Heb., sons of oil) that stand by the Lord of "the whole earth." This helps us to understand the symbol of the two witnesses in Rev. 11 for it is written "these are the two olive trees, and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth." Thus we perceive they are the Old and New Testaments; the sources of light from which the church, (the spiritual channel,) must draw her supply of oil. These witnesses were to be clothed in sackcloth (symbolic of mourning and probably of the clothing in a dead language, Latin) during 1260 years, while they testified for God. They were killed in the Babylonian city-- Rome--and exposed in one of her ten streets --France-- during three and one-half years (1793 and onward). Since then, they have been caught up to heavenly places in symbolic language --a position of honor and power, and translated into nearly every tongue have witnessed to all nations as Jesus foretold.
The lampstand was the only light available to those in the Tabernacle. This shows us plainly where we must go for all our light. What if none of the rulers or of the Pharisees have believed? Why should they? Very, very few of them have entered into the presence of the lampstand. The butterflies love the sunshine. Let us be followers of Him who walked in the midst of the seven golden lampstands. He was there to trim and furnish the light; let us rejoice and walk in it.
Walk in the light! thy path shall be
Peaceful, serene, and bright;
For God, by grace, shall dwell in thee,
And God, Himself, is light.
W. I. M.
posted 6/17/02 1:35 AM
As did Sunderlin and Keith, W. I. Mann left the Watch Tower in 1881. His personal loyalty to Paton, a long time friend was the deciding factor. The W.J.M. who is author of one Zion's Watch Tower article is another individual who also occasionally wrote to Paton. William Mann's letters to Paton frequently appear in World's Hope.
Ton de Geus
posted 6/18/02 3:14 PM
I do not agree with Bruce as to the year 1881. I am sure bro. Russell would not have made W.I. Mann a director of the Society in 1884 if Mann was a follower of Paton at the time. His last signed Watchtower article is in the September 1888 WT, Reprint page 1062. He was replaced by bro Henry Weber as Vice President of the Society in April 1892.
posted 1/6/03 1:23 AM
Actually, you are ALL wrong.
Here is a report as published in the February 1931 "The Herald of Christ's Kingdom."
TRAVELS AMONGST THE BRETHREN
BY BROTHER L. F. ZINK
I have just finished my itinerary from Brantford, Ontario, eastward into Quebec and down through central New York State, and am glad to report a very profitable trip indeed -- one that has been spiritually helpful to myself and I trust also to the Classes visited.
Calls were made at several points in Ontario where as a rule the members are small, but in all the little companies visited I found a real hunger for the Word, for the better things. In the different meetings held, and in the hours of fellowship between, many interesting discussions were enjoyed, dealing with the significance of present events as these are related to our hopes. At some points it seemed necessary to discuss some of the old fundamentals afresh, in order to, make manifest the absurdities of the teachings presented today by those who are perverting the Truth. Truly our Master said, "If the light that is in thee be[come] darkness, how great is that darkness."
Special mention should be made of the exceptionally good visit at Montreal. Here I found the friends equally hungry, and we had a very enjoyable time. Five meetings were held with this happy Class, where the atmosphere seemed like that of a little convention. Questions of vital importance to the faithful watchers were discussed here also, and apparently with much profit to all.
Several points were served in New York State with much the same sense of pleasure and profit. At Rochester we had a particularly interesting and profitable time with the little group of brethren. While with these dear friends we were told of the passing of an old Brother of whom we may now write, believing that it will be a matter of interest to many who were associated with Brother Russell for many years.
The name of W. I. Mann will be known to many "Herald" readers as one who co-labored with Brother Russell in the early days of his ministry, as he wrote many articles that appeared in The Watch Tower at that time. It seems that for some little time this Brother had been attending the little meetings of our brethren in Rochester, and had enjoyed their studies with them. He had expressed his intention of being present at the meetings during my visit also, but meantime bad passed away. The brethren in Rochester were impressed with his sincerity and had enjoyed his brief association with them. "The Lord knoweth them that are His."
At Buffalo we had a Christmas service and gave special attention to the "Coming of the King" under whose reign wars shall cease, for
"Then thrones and empires shall disappear,
All creeds and systems fall,
And on their ruins God shall rear
His Kingdom over all."
We will soon be clothed upon with our house from above. Our deliverance draweth nigh. Let us watch.
Bible Students Online
Ton de Geus
posted 1/18/03 10:55 PM
In a letter to his wife dated July 9, 1896, (divorce papers exhibit no 2) bro. Russell is quite outspoken about bro Mann and others. Quote: "This reminds me of the style and tone of the "conspirators". They all go off with the thought that brother Russell is vain and envious etc. etc., and they all say they have lost confidence in Brother Russell, -- Mann, Sunderlin, Adamson, Zech, Bryan, Wallace, Greta, Samson, Martin, Mott, Rogers, Gilruth et al. they all say that they love me, but that I am not up to their high standards."
So bro. Mann definitely left the truth then.
posted 2/1/03 7:13 AM
Letters from William I. Mann to John Paton appear in "The World's Hope." Mann knew Paton well and supported his views. W.J.M. also writes to Paton. W.J.M. is a different individual.
posted 2/5/03 5:12 PM
Ton de Geus is, of course, right on the dates, and my comment was poorly phrased. It was Paton who left in 1881. The others left over time. Much of this story is told in the pages of Paton's magazine. Many issues are available to a dertermined researcher, but it has been neglected. I own several years of the magazine as issues that were B. W. Keith's subscription coppies. One of the major libraries has many more. There are several years of the magazine in a library in Michigan too.
posted 3/16/07 10:44 PM
According to The Wheeling Daily Intelligencer, September 14, 1886, William I. Mann was Superintendent of The Wheeling Steel Company for a period. His primairy employment was in the Steel industry. He held a patent for a blast furnace mechanism.He died December 4, 1930, at age 86, and his obituary appears in The Cornell Alumni News. He wasn't a graduate of Cornell, but two of his sons were.The obituary says:"He was born in Dundee, Scotland, coing to this country at an early age. He was mechanical engineer for the Carnnegie Steel Company for twenty-five years and for Jones and Laughlin Company fifteenyears.. Mr. Mann retired fifteen years ago."--Cornell Alumni News, December 18, 1930.