||Chosen no: R-5601 a, from: 1915 Year.
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VIEW FROM THE WATCH TOWER
WHEN our worthy President and also his
Holiness the Pope requested Christian
people to pray God for the cessation of the
European war, we declared that the prayer
was not in harmony with the Divine arrangement
and would not be answered. We
pointed out that according to the Scriptures
the 2520 years of Gentile dominion ended in
September, 1914; and that the war is the
one predicted in the Scriptures as associated
with the Great Day of Almighty God--"the Day of
Vengeance of our God." We pointed out the Word of
the Lord through the Prophet Joel respecting the gathering
of all nations to the Valley of Jehoshaphat--the valley
of death.--Joel 3:1-12.
The experiences of Elijah in the closing of his ministry
showed us how the Great Day of the Lord will be ushered
in: first, the wind rending the rocks, representing the
present war; secondly, the great earthquake, representing
the Revolution that will follow the present war; thirdly,
the fire, representing the Anarchy that will follow the
Revolution; fourthly, "the still, small Voice" of God--
which will follow the anarchy in the world--through Messiah's
Kingdom speaking, "Peace! be still!" "Beat your
spears into pruninghooks and your swords into plowshares,
and learn war no more!"--Micah 4:3.
We see no reason for thinking that the present war
will terminate until either Great Britain or Germany has
a decisive victory upon the sea. The strife between these
two has been fomenting for thirty years. Each has wished
the destruction of the other's fleet and colonies, but
dreaded the war which would accomplish these ends, well
knowing in advance that it would be a terrible one. The
unfortunate circumstances which suddenly led up to
Austria's assault upon Servia, Russia's defense of Servia,
and France's revenge for Alsace-Lorraine, involving Germany
on both sides, presented Great Britain the long-sought
opportunity for crushing her commercial rival.
It seems improbable that the British would now consent to
cessation of war until a complete victory would be had over
Germany, or until her own existence would be in jeopardy.
So far as at present may be discerned, nothing very
decisive may be expected before Spring. Meantime, the
soldiers are perishing, vast debts are accumulating and
the industries of peace are being neglected. By and by,
doubtless, the people will awaken to a saner view of the
matter, and ask themselves why the people of Europe cannot
live as happily there as they can live together in the
United States. By and by they will raise the question as
to why it should be wrong to murder one another at any
private behest, and yet right to slay one another at the
command of kings and kaisers. By that time the earthquake stage of the trouble will be near.
When the Earthquake, or Revolution, so prominently
mentioned in the Scriptures shall have come, that, no
doubt will be the time when the kings and the captains of
industry, of finance and of politics will in self-defense
greatly exalt the power of religious leaders. Then we may
expect that the Federation of Churches will exercise a
power in the world such as has not been since the days
of Papal supremacy. In the symbolic language of Revelation,
that will be the time in which the "Image of the
Beast" will have life and work great wonders, threatening,
commanding, in the name of Heaven.--Rev. 13:11-18.
MEANTIME, WHAT SHALL WE DO?
The effect of the war is not unfavorable in all respects.
From Europe we have the word that a great religious
impression is being made upon the people by
the war. In their own distress and the distress of their
loved ones on the battlefield, there is a natural tendency
to turn to Heaven for help. At the same time there is a
quickening of understanding. People are more ready to
think than previously. Told that the soldiers are fighting
for the Lord's Cause, and with the implication given that
those who die are more or less martyrs for the cause of
right (and are therefore heirs of Heaven), the people
are fighting valiantly.
The newspapers tell them how the Catholics and the
Protestants of Great Britain are praying for the Allies
against their enemies; and how the German churches,
Catholic and Protestant, are praying for the Germans and
against the Allies. The people are wondering and will
wonder still more as they think further as to how these
different prayers can be answered--how the Germans
could be taken to Heaven for fighting against the Allies
and the Allies be taken to Heaven for fighting against the
Germans! With all their thinking some will be sure to
wonder whether or not these are reasonable conclusions,
and what is their foundation.
On the other hand, they will think of the Hell of fire
and the Purgatory of suffering taught them from infancy;
and if all the soldiers are going to Heaven, they will wonder
who is going to Hell. The sober thinking which the
war is engendering will, no doubt, be helpful in the end,
however unreasonable some of the conditions may be in
the beginning. Saner views must ultimately come.
The American people are in some respects suffering
more from the war than are the people of Europe; for
[R5601 : page 4] the traffic of the world is temporarily hindered. They have
not the business stimulus which prevails in Europe, because
of military preparation there.
Americans, too, have a better opportunity of taking a
calm, unprejudiced view of the war than have the people
of Europe, who are so close to it and so liable to be influenced
by the specious arguments of crafty leaders who
tell them that the war is necessary for the maintenance of
civilization--putting on their own construction as to what
is real civilization. Partisan spirit, called patriotism, runs
high in the countries engaged in the strife. The newspapers
defend and uphold the governments; so do the
preachers; so do the orators. The few who take the saner
and correct view of matters are forced to silence.
From a distance the war seems most unreasonable.
Germany should be allowed to build as many ships as she
desires, until her people, vexed and worn out with the cost
of militarism, will insist on a change of governmental
policy. Great Britain should be allowed to have as many
ships as she wants and as her people are willing to pay
for. Each nation should be allowed to do all the business
she can do justly, honestly.
Christian ministers should have long ago pointed out
to the people that the present kingdoms of Europe are not
God's kingdoms, but human institutions; and that all
these, according to the Bible, will eventually pass away at
the inauguration of Messiah's Kingdom. The reverence
of the Lord should have been taught, and patient waiting
for His time and way. The effect of the war has certainly
in America been favorable to Christian enlightenment.
People who may be said never to have thought before
on religious subjects are thinking now, thinking hard,
and many are reaching reasonably sane conclusions.
The work which our Society has been doing in the
world for several years is bearing some fruitage. People
who sneered at the thought of Christ's Millennial Kingdom
[R5602 : page 4] being imminent, and who trusted for a time that the
world would be converted by the nominal churches, are
now awakening to a realization of the fact that the fulfilment
of the Lord's Prayer is the only real salvation of
the world, and are continually praying, with more meaning
than before, "Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done
on earth, even as in Heaven." They are beginning to
realize that not only have the heathens abroad doubled
within a century, but that the heathenism at home is much
greater than they had believed, and that the so-called
Christianization of modern civilization is but a thin veneer.
OPPORTUNITIES NEVER SO GREAT AS NOW
All these conditions are favorable. Every tract and
every book circulated now is likely to do three or four
times as much good as in times past; for the people are
getting awake to read, awake to think. Not only so, but
they are more and more coming to doubt the theology of
the creeds, and to see that the majority of ministers
neither teach from the Bible nor believe in it as the only
and the inspired Revelation of the Divine purposes.
We are well aware that some of our dear readers have
the thought that the Gentile Times having closed, the
Gospel Message was closed. Some of these brethren feel
that it is useless to continue the Message. We cannot
sympathize with their reasoning. The Divine command
was that they should preach the Word, not until the close
of Gentile Times, but until the Church would be completed.
Just how long it will be before the Church will
be completed we cannot say, but we do believe it is our
privilege to tell the Good Tidings as long as there are
hungry hearts to receive the Message; and we do believe
that some of those coming to a knowledge of the Truth
now are amongst the finest characters that have ever
come into the Truth.
We believe also that the evidences strongly favor the
thought that some of those who have recently come into
the Light are fully received of the Lord into the blessings
and privileges of the Church--His members. Some of
them have the real spirit of sacrifice, which is one of the
sure signs. They manifest a love for the Truth, which
is another favorable sign. The Lord grants them clearness
of understanding in the Truth, which is another indication
of their having been begotten of the Holy Spirit.
Some of them are willing and glad to suffer for the sake
of the Truth, which is one of the best evidences that we
could ask that they have received the Spirit of Christ.
So long as we see such evidences of the Lord's blessing
by the preaching of His Word, should we falter, should
we hesitate? Should we not rather be enthusiastic and
redouble our efforts in the service of the King and for
the service of the brethren, that they may be delivered
from the bondage of ignorance and superstition into the
glorious light of the knowledge of God?
We are asked, Did not the forty years of Harvest
seem to close with the end of Gentile Times? We answer,
Yes; we had so expected. But we remember that the
Jewish harvest, which was a picture the Lord drew, was
a little different from our harvest. Under the Law, the
Jews were commanded to leave the corners of their fields
unreaped, so that there might be something for the gleaners
to do after the regular harvesters had done their work,
that while the barns were being filled and the tares
were being bundled and burned, making ready for a new
crop, the gleaners might gather the wheat from the corners
of the harvest field. Perhaps the present work is largely
that of gleaning. It would appear so.
Looking back at the Jewish Harvest, we perceive that
it ended in the year 69 A.D., but that certain features of
the Harvest work continued over into the year A.D. 70.
The burning of the chaff took place then. While that was
in progress and the nation of Israel was being overthrown,
doubtless there was a gleaning work, as the eyes of understanding
began to open and as the people began to realize
the fulfilment of Scripture. And just so it seems to be
here. Shall we not be earnest in our endeavor to do this
gleaning work? Surely we will be if we still maintain our
love for the Lord's name and character! This will lead
us to tell forth His glorious character, to show forth the
errors which have beclouded the name of our Heavenly
Father by misrepresenting His Divine Plan of the Ages.
Surely we will be energetic in this work if our love for
the brethren continues; for we see many who seem to be
true children of God still in great darkness respecting
the great and wonderful Truths to which our eyes of
understanding have opened.
WHAT ABOUT THE MONEY SUPPLY?
But some may say, "Did we not read between the lines
in the Society's Annual Report that the financial streams
were drying up? And have we not heard that thirteen
DRAMAS have been withdrawn, representing fifty exhibitions
per day explanatory of the Divine Plan of the Ages?
And does this not indicate that God's time has come for
closing down the work?"
Our reply is that these things are so, but that we have
a reason to surmise that God intends to send us in His own
way further financial support, that His Message may go
forth with great force throughout the whole world! With
this in view, we are having all the DRAMAS overhauled
and put into good order, anticipating that the funds to
operate them will be in our hands shortly. Although we
[R5602 : page 5] are still walking by faith and not by sight, we urge upon
all the dear friends everywhere to slack not their hand in
the Divine service, but rather to continue to labor and to
wait, assured of God's favor and blessing in any event.
More than this, we suggest that all the dear brethren
who have been active in the DRAMA work, and who are
temporarily discontinued, do not enter into other business
permanently, but hold themselves in readiness for this
wonderful means of proclaiming the Truth which reaches
so many people and gives them so much satisfaction and
enlightenment respecting the Bible and its true Message.
We also urge others who have not been with the DRAMA,
but who may have knowledge of operating moving-picture
films and stereopticon slides, that they make themselves
as proficient as possible and advise us of their willingness
and readiness and ability for this service.
We request all I.B.S.A. Classes to consider well if
they have any brethren of special ability whom they could
recommend to the Society for such openings as may come:
(1) Men clear in the Truth and loyal to it, ready to lay
down their lives for it; (2) men of good address and
possessing a talent for public speaking and an ability to
speak grammatically. We want to have a list of these,
that we may call for them if opportunity offers. But be
sure that you conscientiously answer the questions above,
and that you do not recommend any to the Society except
those who would be a credit to the Truth and its service.
There may be other ways in which some could serve without
the talent of public speaking and without any particular
knowledge of grammar; but for the public service the
Society believes it to be the Lord's will that His Truth
should be presented in a creditable form.
Quite a number of our readers have had more or less
experience in Colporteur work. Some of them have withdrawn
from the service because of inability to meet their
expenses, even though the Society gave them the books
at less than cost--one half the selling price. Any such
Colporteur, who has some ability and who could re-enter
the work under favorable conditions, is requested to drop
us a postcard stating willingness to re-enter and stating
the number of books he was able to sell when in the service.
Some of these might be assisted in one way or another
so as to help them back again to this very important
Colporteur work. We have methods and instructions now,
by the use of which many are successful who formerly
We want to get this list, so that, if a way should open
up that we expect, we may know how to communicate with
you promptly. We ask for this address on a postcard, so
that it may be easily filed.
The Volunteer work for 1915 should not be forgotten.
As stated before, the people are awake and reading,
whereas before many of them neglected the literature
handed them. Now is the time to put a piece of literature
into every home in your own city and to ascertain whether
or not the adjoining towns and villages have been served
--thus to extend your service in the Harvest work. We are
ready to supply this literature free, paying the freight
to destination. Send in your orders that they may be
filled as promptly as possible.
EUREKA DRAMA A SUCCESS
In our Report we pointed out that, although only recently
started, the EUREKA DRAMA service is proving a
very efficient one, especially where it is taken into the
small villages and cities. Empty churches, court houses,
schoolhouses, etc., are very generally obtainable, when the
people know that they are to have a very interesting entertainment
free of charge. Some of the Classes have
obtained these EUREKA DRAMAS by a partial payment
down, the Society waiting on them for their greater convenience
to pay the remainder. As these remainders are
paid we are able to give out other DRAMA sets. Thus
the work progresses. The blessing in every case seems to
be not only to the public, but especially to those of the
dear friends who are serving the public.
Be of good courage and the Lord shall strengthen your
heart! Let us be loyal, faithful, and forget not the cultivation
of all the fruits and graces of the Holy Spirit.
Thus shall we best be prepared for the glorious consummation
of our hopes, which we believe so near at hand!