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QUESTIONS OF CORRESPONDENTS
QUESTION.—Bro. R., how could Moses appear on the Mount of transfiguration if not translated?
ANSWER.—Moses was not translated; he died. (See Deut. 34:5.) He could have been resurrected by God’s power, but not as a spiritual body since Jesus was “the first-born from the dead” to a spiritual body; “put to death in the flesh but quickened by the Spirit.” Moses may have been on the Mount as a fleshly being but nothing in the narrative demands it. Jesus doubtless knew all about it and He charged them straightly, saying, “See that ye tell no man the vision until,” etc. (Matt. 17:9.) If He thus calls it a vision who am I that I should call it a reality.
QUES.—Bro. R., why do you advise us to read the tracts carefully before handing to others? I read them many times and have been much instructed by so doing. I don’t know why I should doubt the truths they teach.
ANS.—The habit of giving tracts, etc., of whose contents the distributors are ignorant, often does harm. We should be as careful about not distributing moral poison as any other—more so. If all our readers learn to examine the tracts it will aid them in the use of the same care with other writings, to see whether it be food or poison. If by reading they are convinced that the tracts are food, such as many are starving for, it will fire their zeal in distributing them.
Then, too, we should like to think of all readers of the WATCH TOWER as preachers of God’s plan and truth: “living epistles known and read of all men” “ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness.” (1 Peter 3:15.) The reading of the tracts might be God’s way of making ready your answer.
QUES.—Dear Bro., do you not see that we, the people of these U.S. are the seed of Abraham, the lost tribe of Israel?
ANS.—Abraham was the father of two seeds, the children of the flesh [twelve tribes of Israel] and the children of promise, [faith], of which two seeds Ishmael and Isaac were types. (Rom. 9:8. and Gal. 3:23,28,31.) “There are spiritual promises for the spiritual seed, which is Christ,” “and if ye be Christ’s (members) then are ye Abraham’s (spiritual) seed.” (Gal. 3:16,29.) None of the spiritual promises belong to the natural fleshly seed, though any of them may give up their earthly promises and with the “Gentiles become fellow-heirs and of the same body [of Christ] and partakers of His promise, in Christ.” Eph. 3:6.
Almost all of the fleshly seed are so blinded by the fleshly promises, that they do not see the greater spiritual prize. (See Rom. 9:30-32.) “What, then, Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for (the chief blessing through Abraham) but the election (the remnant, the few, in connection with the Gentiles) hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.” But, “they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in again”—into the spiritual promises. [That is, as a nation they lost those spiritual promises and were cut off from them; but believing Israelites, as well as Gentiles, may be grafted into the spiritual vine by faith.] But, I would not, (spiritual) brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery … that blindness in part (to the larger part) hath happened unto Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in (to the spiritual blessings) “And (thus) all Israel shall be saved,” (receive the things promised them as the natural seed,) viz: “There shall come out of Zion the deliverer (the spiritual seed) who shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob, (fleshly seed.) For this is my covenant unto them.” (Rom. 11:7-23-25 and 26.)
These two seeds of Abraham are referred to in Rom. 4:16: That “the promise might be sure to all the seed (natural and spiritual) not to that only which is of the law (the natural) but to that also which is of the faith.”
We know not whether the people of these United States and of England are the natural, fleshly descendants of Israel or not. It could make no difference as regards the spiritual “prize of our high calling in Christ Jesus.” If they are, and were made to know it, the effect of those earthly promises would probably be to blind them to the spiritual prize as it did the others, 1800 years ago. If they are of the natural seed, they will receive grand blessings in the coming age, after the spiritual seed has been exalted to glory and power; as it is written. “They shall obtain mercy (God’s promised blessings) through your mercy” (through the spiritual seed.) Rom. 11:31.
Bro. A. Hipsher, for answer to your question: see “Unpardonable Sin,” page 3.
QUES.—Dear Bro. what kind of bodies will little children have in the resurrection?
ANS.—Paul gives us an answer to this question in 1 Cor. 15:38: “God giveth … to every seed His own body.” “There is a natural body and there is a spiritual body”—vs. 44. Adam, the perfect man will serve as an illustration of a perfect natural (human) body, what the earthly ones shall all be when the work of resurrection and restitution, is complete. Christ’s body after his resurrection will serve as an illustration of a spiritual body. Like Him, we who have been begotten of the Spirit shall be, when we get our birth, as we have borne the image of the earthly, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.—Vs. 48,49.
Now, let us use this rule: Were these children begotten and born of the flesh—fleshly bodies? Yes. Were they afterward “begotten of the Spirit by the word of truth?” No. Then they remained natural, or human, and as such belong to the natural body, while we who have been begotten of the spirit and are therefore of the spiritual seed, and in the resurrection, God will give to every seed his own body; consequently they as part of the natural seed will have a natural body, while we who have been begotten of the spirit and are therefore of the spiritual seed, will have our own bodies, viz: Spiritual bodies, “like unto Christ’s glorious body.”
While they are designed ultimately to reach the same grand perfection of powers, and being enjoyed by the head of the human family, (Adam), yet we do not suppose that they will come out of their graves thus perfect. We presume (merely) that they will arise children and develop. The government, etc., of children will be much easier when the curse begins to roll away; besides, in past ages the proportion of deaths in childhood, was much less than now.
Bro. J. Baldwin: It would require the entire space of Z.W.T. for a year or more to answer all your questions in full. We commend to you the reading of all the tracts 3 or 4 times; then read “DAY DAWN.” You need not expect to obtain all the truth on so great and grand a subject at one swallow, it is a continuous eating. You must seek. “He that seeketh findeth.” “Then shall we know if we follow on to know the Lord.” (Hos. 6:3.)
QUES.—Dear Bro. R., may we be sure we belong to the “little flock,” or must we be in doubt?
ANS.—”I know in whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep (preserve) that (life) which I have committed unto Him against that day.” Paul thus expresses his and our confidence in God that He is both able and willing to do for us, all of his part of the covenant. The question, then, of our membership in the little flock depends entirely upon our keeping our part of the covenant. We are His spiritual sheep, ever since we entered our covenant relationship,—we are His workmanship. If we are entirely given up to Him, so that His will is accomplished in us [the human nature crucified] He will give us the grand prize. If we hinder the work by opposition of our wills, we lose the prize and are obliged to come through the fire of tribulation in order to obtain the spiritual body.
We may not be able to say: the prize will surely be mine; but we can say if now entirely given up,—The prize is mine to-day unless I lose it to-morrow; and by God’s grace I will “keep my body (humanity) under lest after having preached to others (of the grand prize) I myself should be a castaway” (from it.)
— March, 1881 —