J.F. Rutherford.

The Harp of God online

. (page 12 of 26)
Online LibraryJ.F. RutherfordThe Harp of God → online text (page 12 of 26)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

When the triumph of Jesus over death and the grave was marked, what
effect must that have produced in heaven? ¶ 257.

Would the resurrection of Jesus demonstrate his approval by Jehovah?
¶ 258.

Would his triumph over death and the grave be reason for his praise in
heaven? ¶ 258.

Give Scriptural proof of the praise of Jesus Christ by the heavenly
hosts after his resurrection. ¶ 258.

What was it that convinced the disciples of the resurrection of Jesus
Christ? ¶ 259.

Being convinced of his resurrection, how did that affect Jesus'
disciples in regard to proclaiming the truth? ¶ 259.

Why should we have Scriptural proof of the resurrection of Christ Jesus?
¶ 260.

Is it reasonable to suppose that Jesus' disciples would concoct a scheme
indicating his resurrection, contrary to the facts? ¶ 260.

What convulsion of nature occurred at the time of Jesus' death? ¶ 261.

Give the Scriptural proof of the burial of Jesus' body. ¶ 261.

Why did the Pharisees believe in the resurrection of the dead? ¶ 262.

Did the Pharisees specially request of Pilate a special guard to be
placed over the tomb of Jesus? and if so, why? Give the Scriptural
proof. ¶ 262.

What did Pilate reply to them? ¶ 262.

Could God have resurrected Jesus Christ without removing the stone? ¶ 263.

How would this indicate the derision in which he held the Pharisees?
¶ 263.

Who rolled away the stone from the tomb? ¶ 264.

What did the Roman guard testify concerning the appearance of the one
who rolled away the stone? ¶ 264.

Who first appeared at the tomb on the morning of Christ's resurrection?
¶ 265.

Relate what took place there between Mary Magdalene and the messenger
who appeared to her; and what was the message delivered to her? ¶ 265.

What other wrongful thing did the priests do, when they heard of Jesus
Christ's resurrection? ¶ 266.

Compare the testimony given by St. Matthew, St. Mark, St. Luke, and St.
John; and state whether there is any real difference. ¶¶ 267-270.

What other Apostle's testimony is added to that of the ones just quoted?
and what did he say about the resurrection of Jesus? ¶ 271.

What further testimony did St. John subsequently give concerning Jesus
Christ's resurrection? ¶ 272.

How many witnesses testified to the resurrection of our Lord Jesus?
¶ 273.

Where did these faithful witnesses give their testimony concerning the
resurrection of the Lord? ¶ 273.

Did they endanger themselves by giving such testimony? ¶ 273.

The fact that they gave it immediately and boldly, what weight does that
add to its truthfulness? ¶ 274.

What was their motive in testifying of the Lord's resurrection? ¶ 274.

Did anyone suffer martyrdom because of giving testimony to this effect?
Give the Scriptural proof. ¶ 274.

To what nature was Jesus Christ resurrected? ¶ 275.

What does it mean to have inherent life? ¶ 275.

What did Jesus say about the Father giving him this favor? ¶ 275.

When the Lord arose from the dead, was he made lower or higher than the
angels? ¶ 275.

When was he begotten and when born to the divine nature? ¶ 275.

What is the meaning of the terms Lord and Christ? ¶ 275.

What power and authority has the Lord possessed since his resurrection?
¶ 275.

What is the meaning of the name Jesus? ¶ 275.

State what the Scriptures say of his exaltation at the resurrection.
¶ 276.

Has God decreed how the creatures of earth shall ultimately honor the
Lord Jesus? ¶ 277.

When was the first time Jesus appeared to his disciples after arising
from the dead? ¶ 278.

With what body did he appear? ¶ 278.

Give the reasons why he did not appear in the body that was crucified.
¶ 278.

How did Mary recognize him? ¶ 278.

State how many times Jesus appeared prior to his ascension on high,
giving the Scriptural proof. ¶¶ 279-289.

Did he appear in a spirit or a human body? and how did he get the body
in which he appeared? ¶ 290.

How could he appear in the room in the presence of the disciples when
the door was locked? ¶ 290.

How did the disciples recognize him at the sea of Galilee and other
places? ¶ 290.

What was Jesus' purpose in appearing to the disciples? ¶ 291.

Describe the body in which Jesus appeared behind locked doors; and what
did he say to his disciples then? ¶ 291.

Could the body in which Jesus was crucified ascend into heaven? and if
not, why not? Give Scriptural proof. ¶ 291.

Describe his appearance to Saul on the way to Damascus. ¶ 292.

Did Saul see the body of Jesus at that time? ¶ 292.

What effect did the appearance of the Lord to St. Paul have upon him?
¶ 292.

What did St. Paul later say about Jesus appearing unto him? ¶ 292.

What does the appearance of the Lord to St. Paul prove with reference to
the bodies in which Jesus appeared shortly after his resurrection? ¶ 292.

What became of the body of the Lord that was crucified? ¶ 292.

Christ Jesus in glory possesses what kind of body? ¶ 292.

What did the resurrection of the Lord and his appearance in heaven have
to do with the ransom and sin-offering? ¶ 293.

Were his resurrection and ascension on high necessary to complete the
sin-offering? ¶ 293.

On the typical atonement day, through what ceremonies did the high
priest pass in connection with the sin-offering? ¶ 293.

What did this typify? ¶ 293.

In the Revelation of Jesus to St. John, what did he say about being the
one who was once dead? and what power does he now possess? ¶ 294.

What is meant by the terms hell and death as used in Revelation 1:18?
¶ 294.

Up to this time who have appreciated the value of Jesus' resurrection as
a part of the divine plan? ¶ 295.

Do the Scriptures herein cited prove the resurrection of Christ Jesus?
¶ 295.

What argument did St. Paul produce against the contention that Christ
was not raised from the dead? ¶ 296.

What does the resurrection of Jesus Christ guarantee to mankind? ¶ 297.

Give the Scriptural proof of such guarantee. ¶ 297.

Where are we now with reference to the 'day appointed', as referred to
in Acts 17:31? ¶ 297.



String 7: _Mystery Revealed_

A mystery is that which is kept a profound secret. It is something
unknown, except to certain ones, being kept carefully and continuously
concealed from all others. Jehovah being all powerful can hide or keep
secret from every creature, earthly or heavenly, any part or all of his
great plan and reveal or make it known at such time as might please him.
One feature of his great plan he did keep secret for ages and it is
still a secret to all except a few.

[299]When Jesus was on earth he taught the people in parables or dark
sayings. His disciples came to him and asked: "Why speakest thou unto
them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given
unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it
is not given." (Matthew 13:10,11) It will be observed that he did not
say, 'You now know the mysteries of God'; but that it was given them to
know those mysteries. Not even his disciples understood him in many
things when they were with him. On the last night before his crucifixion
he was instructing them in various things that would be helpful to them
in the days to come. On that occasion he said: "When he, the spirit of
truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak
of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he
will show you things to come." (John 16:13) The spirit of truth here
mentioned is the holy spirit, the spirit of God, the invisible power
operating upon the minds of those who are in covenant relationship with
God. Jesus here used the masculine pronoun in speaking of the holy

[300]The holy spirit was given to the disciples at Pentecost, that is to
say, fifty days after the resurrection of Jesus. "And when the day of
Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind,
and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared
unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
And they were all filled with the holy spirit, and began to speak with
other tongues, as the spirit gave them utterance." (Acts 2:1-4) The King
James Version of our Bibles, translates the word here holy "ghost", but
there is no warrant for such a translation. It comes from the word which
means spirit.

[301]It was at Pentecost that for the first time God's great mystery
began to be understood by the disciples. The mystery of God has been a
stumbling block to both Jews and Christians so-called; but in God's due
time he will make known to all the secret of his mystery and then all
rightly exercised by this will rejoice with exceeding joy.

[302]The mystery is _the Christ_, the great one through whom redemption,
deliverance and blessing will ultimately come to all mankind who receive
Christ and obey him. God foreshadowed his mystery for ages by the use of
various men. Yet all of that time he kept it secret.

[303]Death has been and is the great enemy of man. Death is the very
opposite of life. The greatest desire of man is and always has been to
have life everlasting in happiness. From the time of his expulsion from
Eden man has been looking for something upon which to fasten a hope for
life and happiness. Satan was the cause of death, and when God
pronounced the sentence in Eden he said that the seed of the woman
should bruise the serpent's head. This statement was in the nature of a
promise, but it could not then be understood. Since Pentecost some have
understood the meaning of these words to be an assurance that in God's
due time the seed of promise, the seed of the woman, will destroy Satan,
who has the power of death. Nearly two thousand years rolled by after
this statement before anything further was promised.

[304]Then unto Abraham Jehovah called and made him the promise: "In thy
seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed". This was another
reference to the mystery; but that promise was not understood in its
proper light. Abraham believed God would bless the human race, but he
did not understand just the manner in which it would be done. At the
time of this promise Abraham had no children. Several years more passed
and then Isaac, Abraham's first legitimate son, was born. Abraham
believed that his natural seed, his son, would be the ruler through whom
the blessing would come to the people; but his son Isaac was merely a
type of the mystery, God using him to foreshadow the greater one. This
promise was renewed to Isaac and to Jacob, and at the death of Jacob his
descendants, who of course were descendants of Abraham, were organized
into twelve tribes, forming the nation of Israel, and were thereafter
recognized as God's chosen nation. (Genesis 49:28; Deuteronomy 26:5)
Then it was that the faithful believed that God's promised blessings
would come through this nation, his chosen people. But in time they
became slaves to the Egyptians and their hopes were almost blasted. They
were sorely oppressed in Egypt when God sent Moses to be their
deliverer and to lead the people of Israel out of Egyptian bondage.
Moses was also a type foreshadowing the great One. (Acts 3:22) Moses
died and the promised blessing had not yet come. The prophetic statement
made by Moses that God would raise up unto Israel one like unto himself
led the prophets to understand that there would be a great one raised up
from the nation of Israel who would be the deliverer and blesser of

[305]Joshua followed next in line after Moses. His name signifies
savior or deliverer. But he also was only a type of the great Deliverer.

[306]Then David became the king of Israel. His name means beloved one.
The Jews had hoped that he would be the great deliverer, but in his old
age he abdicated the throne in favor of Solomon, and yet the blessing
did not come. Solomon became the most famous man in the world for riches
and wisdom, and the hopes of Israel were centered in him, only to be
disappointed. David and Solomon were also but mere types foreshadowing
the coming of the great Deliverer.

[307]The nation of Israel degenerated and under the reign of Zedekiah,
their last king, they fell into captivity to the Babylonians and they
continued subject to other nations until they were finally driven out of

[308]Moved by the holy spirit of God operating upon their minds, the
holy prophets testified of the coming of this great Deliverer, both of
his sufferings and of his glory that would follow; but they did not
understand. The matter was a mystery to them. (1 Peter 1:11) Even the
angels of heaven sought to look into it, but they were not permitted.
God's purpose was to keep the matter secret until his own due time to
reveal the great truth.

[309]Then came Jesus, whose coming was announced by John the Baptist;
and he was pointed out as the one who would take away the sin of the
world. He chose his disciples and they walked with him, and he taught
them for three and a half years; yet they did not understand the great
mystery. They expected Jesus to be made an earthly king and hoped that
they might be with him in the kingdom, probably in his cabinet, because
he was asked if one might sit on his left and the other on his right
hand in the kingdom. They expected him to make Israel a great nation and
believed that through that nation other nations would be blessed. When
he was put to death they were greatly disappointed, mystified, and in
great distress. (Luke 24:21) Even after his resurrection they did not
understand his mission, and this is shown by their words to him on the
day that he ascended into heaven. "When they were therefore come
together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time
restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not
for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in
his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the holy spirit is
come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and
in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth.
And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up;
and a cloud received him out of their sight." - Acts 1:6-9.

[310]In obedience to the command of Jesus, these faithful disciples went
to Jerusalem to the place known as the upper room, and there waited. Ten
days passed and then it was that the holy spirit, the invisible power of
God, was visited upon them; and true to his promise, the disciples began
to understand.

[311]Jesus had now ascended on high and presented the merit of his
sacrifice before Jehovah and the acceptance of this was manifested by
the giving of the holy spirit to his disciples who had been his
consecrated followers for three and a half years. Doubtless the angels
of heaven now began to know something about the great mystery. What joy
must have been in heaven when Jesus Christ appeared before the Father
and presented the merit of his sacrifice and was received by Jehovah!
Surely the heavenly host must have sung his praises. They had beheld him
triumphing over death and the grave and now exalted to a position in
heaven next to the Father. It must have been a great joy to the heavenly
host, even as contemplation of it was a great joy to Jesus himself. "For
the joy that was set before him [he] endured the cross, despising the
shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews
12:2) What joy must have filled the hearts of his disciples when they
began to understand the mystery of God and to see how wonderfully he had
led them and their fathers before them, preparing them now for the
revelation of this great truth!

[312]In due time Saul of Tarsus, who afterward was named St. Paul, was
illuminated and understood. And then he wrote: "Who now rejoice in my
sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions
of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church: whereof
I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is
given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God; even the mystery which
hath been hid for ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to
his saints: to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory
of this mystery among the gentiles; which [mystery] is Christ in you,
the hope of glory." (Colossians 1:24-27) The Apostle here emphasizes the
fact that this mystery of God is now made known only to the saints.
Saints means purified ones, which purification comes through receiving
the merit of Christ's sacrifice.

[313]The word Christ signifies anointed. Anointing means designation to
official position in God's arrangement. The Christ is the instrument or
channel for the blessing of mankind. The Christ is composed of Jesus,
the great and mighty head, and 144,000 members. (Revelation 7:4) Christ
Jesus is the head and the church his body. We ofttimes hear the
expression, a body of men with a general at their head. Of the Christ
the Apostle says: "And he [Christ Jesus] is before all things, and by
him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who
is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he
might have the preëminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should
all fullness dwell." - Colossians 1:17-19.

[314]The apostle Paul uses a human body to illustrate the Christ, the
great mystery class; the head representing Jesus, and the other members
of the body those who are of his church. "For as the body is one, and
hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are
one body: so also is Christ.... Now ye are the body of Christ, and
members in particular." - 1 Corinthians 12:12,27.

[315]The Christ is also designated in the Scriptures as the seed of
Abraham according to the promise. "Now to Abraham and his seed were the
promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one,
And to thy seed, which is Christ." (Galatians 3:16) Addressing himself
to the church, the Christians, the followers of Jesus, the Apostle
further said: "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ
Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ, have put on
Christ.... And if ye be Christ's then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs
according to the promise." (Galatians 3:26,27,29) This is the seed,
then, through whom the blessings will come to all the families of the
earth. Church means a gathered out class; and so the gospel age, that is
to say, the period from Jesus' first coming until his second coming, is
employed by Jehovah for the selection of the church, the seed of
Abraham, through which blessings will come to all the remainder of
mankind in God's due time.

[316]This same class is called the elect of God, according to his
foreknowledge. - 1 Peter 1:2.

[317]Again the Apostle likens the whole of the Christ to a living stone,
saying: "Ye also, as living stones, are built up a spiritual house, an
holy priesthood, to offer up sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus
Christ.... Behold, I lay in Zion a chief corner stone, elect, precious:
and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore
which believe he is precious." (1 Peter 2:5-7) In earthly buildings
there is no chief cornerstone; but in this building of God there is a
chief cornerstone which is Christ Jesus. The topstone or chief
cornerstone of a pyramid is itself a perfect pyramid. The other members
of the body, then, must be built up into Christ to conform to that chief
cornerstone, which is illustrated by the Great Pyramid in Egypt. - See
Isaiah 19:19.

[318]Again this anointed class, Jesus the head and the church his body,
is spoken of as a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people.
This was foreshadowed by the nation of Israel, particularly by the
priesthood in connection with the house of Israel. The apostle Peter
speaking of this class says: "Ye are a chosen generation, a royal
priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth
the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his
marvellous light: which in time past were not a people, but are now the
people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained
mercy." - 1 Peter 2:9,10.

[319]The members of the body of Christ, the church, are also designated
as his footstep followers; and as such they are called to suffer with
him that they might also reign with him. "For even hereunto were ye
called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that
ye should follow his footsteps." (1 Peter 2:21) These are also
designated as Christians. It does not mean that because one is a member
of some earthly organization called a church he is a Christian or a
member of the true church. The true church is the body of Christ; and
any one to be of the true church must be a follower of Christ in the
truest sense of the word. To this class are given the exceeding great
and precious promises recorded in the Bible, the promises of being
associated with Christ Jesus in his kingdom. (2 Peter 1:4) Not to the
world, but to his followers Jesus said: "Be thou faithful unto death,
and I will give thee a crown of life". - Revelation 2:10.

[320]No one has been able to understand these things and appreciate
them except those who have given their hearts to the Lord. The apostle
Paul says: "The natural man receiveth not the things of the spirit of
God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them,
because they are spiritually discerned". (1 Corinthians 2:14). Jehovah
has so arranged that only those who have their minds illuminated by the
holy spirit, which follows their consecration, justification, and
acceptance by the Lord, can understand and appreciate the mystery of
God. These are the ones designated by the prophet Joel as the servants
and handmaidens of God; and in the gospel age God pours out his spirit
upon them; which means to give them his spirit. But in God's due time he
will pour out his spirit upon all mankind, so that all can understand
his wonderful plan. - Joel 2:28,29.

[321]The hiding of this mystery was illustrated by Jehovah in the
construction of the tabernacle in the wilderness and its furnishings.
The inside walls of the tabernacle were covered with pure gold. Inside
the Holy were the golden candlestick, the table covered with gold for
the showbread, and the golden altar; and in the Most Holy, was the ark
of the covenant. The tabernacle inside, therefore, was beautiful, but it
was hidden from the people on the outside because it was covered with
three heavy layers of cloth and skins. The priest ministered inside the
tabernacle, and therefore was unseen by the people. As God thus hid
these things which were typical of greater things, so he has hidden the
glories and beauties of spiritual things, seen only by those who have
come into relationship with him through Christ.

[322]The gospel age is the antitypical day of atonement. With the Jews
there was one day each year called the day of atonement. In that day the
priest alone was in the Holy and the Most Holy; and even so on the
antitypical day of atonement no one is in the Holy condition except
those who are in relationship with Christ, the great high priest. The
Lord has been pleased to permit these during the gospel age to have some
understanding of his Word, therefore receiving the sweet and refreshing
music from his harp; and the light has grown in brilliancy and the music
in harmony as the understanding has increased. To the world in general,
Christians have been despised because not understood. The Lord of glory,
when on earth, was despised because he was misunderstood. And so his
true followers seem to be a mean and despised people. The poet has truly

"Why do they, then, appear so mean?
And why so much despised?
Because, of their rich robes, unseen,
The world is not apprized."

[323]Satan has tried to counterfeit every part of Jehovah's plan; so he
organized a religious system in the earth which is iniquitous and is
known as "the mystery of iniquity". (2 Thessalonians 2:7; Revelation
17:5) This mystery of iniquity God will destroy in his great day of
vengeance which is now on, and then the mystery of God will be more
clearly revealed to mankind. It is revealed to individuals now as they
come into Christ. It is important, therefore, for us to know how one
becomes a member of the Christ, the great mystery of God.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 12 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26

Online LibraryJ.F. RutherfordThe Harp of God → online text (page 12 of 26)