The Higher Powers/Questions for the Berean Study

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JUNE 1, 1929
of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: to the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God." - Eph. 3:7,9,10.
41 These words of the apostle could hardly be construed to mean that "by the church" on earth the wisdom of God is being made known to the princely angelic powers in the literal heavens. The context shows that this is the meaning of the apostle's words, to wit: That by the divine arrangement God was using Paul as his minister to make known these truths to the principalities and powers throughout the church, the members of which are 'seated with Christ in heavenly places'. (Eph. 2:6) It was Paul who was given the privilege to disclose to others, the apostles and leaders, the mystery of God. The Scriptures therefore show that the apostles, and particularly Paul, occupied important positions as governors in the church; and this must be taken into consideration in determining the meaning of their words.
42 There are no successors to the apostles. There has long been in the world an organization called the "Christian church", or "Christianity". Because men in that organization have assumed to be successors to the apostles and individually to direct the affairs of the church and of the world, there has been much confusion of mind of those who have studied the Word of God. The apostle's words have been wofully misconstrued. It should always be kept in mind that Christ is the Head of the church, and that the apostles held special positions therein and that no men since the apostle's day have filled their places. They exercised certain governing powers in the church. The Lord Jesus, and the apostles, under his direction, laid down certain rules for the governing of the church; and the ecclesia, as a body, is clothed with certain power and authority to act, and every individual member of the church should be subject to that arrangement. - Eph. 2:18-21.
43 Seeing, then, that the Society is made up or composed of God's anointed yet on earth, and that this body or company of Christians is diligently endeavoring to carry out the Lord's commandments, and knowing that the Lord Jesus is the Head thereof, even every member should diligently seek to be in harmony with the policy, course of action and work of such Society. If any are of the opinion that the Society is not pursuing the proper course, then commit the matter to the Lord and wait upon him to do the judging and to determine what is the proper course to be taken. Every member of Zion on earth is in the covenant with the Lord, and every one must be in harmony with the Lord; and, that being true, every one must be subject to the higher powers.

(To be continued)




Fifteen-minute radio lecture

Addressing his letter to the "sanctified in Christ Jesus", the Apostle Paul wrote: "Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils." (1 Cor. 10:21,22) Since these words are addressed to Christians, it behooves every true Christian to know just what they mean. To have no desire to investigate would classify one as not being a Christian and as having no interest in the Lord's table. The apostle draws attention to two tables, one called "the Lord's table" and the other 'the devils' table, and tells us that a Christian can not eat of both at the same time. This statement is entirely in harmony with the words of Jesus, who said: "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other." (Matt. 6:24) These words assure us that every one who claims to be a Christian is serving either the Lord or the Devil. There are only two masters. To serve the Lord, of course, would mean to be interested in his Word to the extent of studying it in order to know just what the Lord would have us do. Without such an interest and study and effort to please the Lord no one could even claim to be serving the Lord. To serve the Devil one will be doing the Devil's will and work, or at least be indifferent to the Lord's will and work. There are many millions of people who think they are on the Lord's side, but who take no interest in either his Word or his work. They are indifferent to what the Lord would have them do. Such people are serving Satan, even though they are doing it unwittingly. But what is meant by "the Lord's table" and 'the devils' table'? In ancient times it was customary for kings to invite those whom they desired to specially honor to a great feast, prepared especially for them. The table was laden with all the bounties at the king's command: hospitality was unlimited, and every need supplied. This was the king's method of showing favor to his guest, of honoring him and bestowing his approval upon him. To decline such an invitation would mark one as an enemy of the king, and to accept instead an invitation extended by another would be a positive insult.

The apostle was using this illustration. He was showing that Jehovah God is the greatest king in the universe; that he has invited certain ones to be his guests, so to speak; that he has specially prepared a table for them. On this table are all the bounties which God has to give to his creatures. These bounties consist of all the promises made to them; all the joys; all the privileges of service; all the hopes; all the doctrines and truths found in his Word; and all the blessings of his favor, approval and love. It is an honor to be invited to a feast by the great Jehovah. To refuse to accept such an invitation would mark such a person as God's enemy, and to sit down at the table of the Devil instead would be a gross insult to the God of the universe. These things being true and self-evident, it becomes an important matter to every one who claims to be a Christian to take time to investigate and see whether he is sitting at the Lord's table or at the table of devils. If we are sitting at the latter table we are enemies of God, despising his grace and favor, and treating him with contempt. The prophet, speaking of those who despise the Lord's table, says: "Ye say, The table of the Lord is contemptible.... My name shall be great among the heathen.... saith the Lord of hosts. But ye have profaned it, in that ye say, The table of the Lord is polluted; and the fruit thereof, even his meat, is contemptible."-Mal. 1:7,11,12. But what is meant by the table of devils? The table of devils refers to all those lies against Jehovah God and his Word of truth, of which Satan is the father: it includes also all those false doctrines which are not found in the Bible but which Satan has persuaded the people to believe are taught therein. Speaking of these false doctrines, Paul says: "Now the spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils." -1 Tim. 4:1. The table of devils is filled with slanders against God and against his truth; it is spread with messages that have no comfort in them, that contain no hope of blessings to come and that are not a source of joy or peace or pleasure. Chief among the slanders against God is the doctrine of eternal torment of the wicked; that God has created a lake of fire and brimstone and also a wicked creature called the Devil, and appointed him to the task of tormenting some of the race for