Nevertheless, the Lord has very graciously given us encouragement in respect to the influence of this Volume in various parts of the world in the hearts of God's people. The pleasure has been ours of hearing from many respecting the blessings received from a better understanding of the justification, the sanctification, and the deliverance, promised to the Church in God's Word. Many others have told us of the blessings received from the Scriptural advice given to husbands and wives, parents and children, In respect to the ways of peace, righteousness and growth in grace. Many also have informed us of great blessings and aid in respect to the duties, privileges and obligations of Elders and Deacons, and the Scriptural order in the Ecclesia. We rejoice in these things and trust that the good work will go on under Divine guidance to the praise of our Lord and for the comfort and edification of His people.
We call attention to the fact that since this Volume was written the light has grown still clearer respecting God's great Covenants. We now see that the Law Covenant was a foreshadowing of the New (Law) Covenant, which is about to be established at the Second Coming of Jesus, by the great Mediator, Jesus the Head and the Church His Body —the antitype of Moses, who wrote: "A Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you from amongst your brethren, like unto me." Moses was merely the type of this greater Prophet, and the Law Covenant which Moses mediated was merely a type or foreshadowing of the greater Law Covenant of the Millennial Age.
God raised up Jesus the Head of this great Mediator first, when He raised Him from the dead. Since that time, He is raising up the Church as a New Creation; and when all the brethren of the Body of Christ shall have been gathered from the world through a knowledge of the Truth and sanctified by the Holy Spirit and been found worthy by faithfulness unto death, and all shall have been raised up by the power of God from the earthly conditions to the Heavenly conditions as the Body of Christ, the great antitypical Melchizedek will be complete, a Priest upon His Throne —the great Mediator of the New Covenant will be enthroned in Divine power. Then the New Covenant will go into operation, as God said to Israel: "Behold the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a New Covenant with the House of Israel and with the House of Judah."
The antitypical Mediator, after paying over to Divine Justice fully and forever the Ransom-price for Adam and his race, will assume full control, and under that New Covenant, thus sealed, will begin the work of blessing and restoring all the willing and obedient of Adam's race. All who will come into harmony with the Lord will be counted as part of the earthly seed of Abraham, until finally, by the end of the Millennium, all exercising faith and obedience will be known to the Lord as the seed of Abraham. "In becoming that seed, shall all the families of the earth bless themselves."
Inadvertently, the name New Covenant, which belongs to God's dealings with the world during the Millennium, has been used in respect to the Covenant which is now in operation during this Gospel Age with the Church. Our Covenant, of course, is a new covenant in the sense that it is different from the Jewish Covenant of Mt. Sinai, but it is not THE New Covenant. The Church's Covenant is referred to in the Bible as a "Covenant by Sacrifice." The keeping of these matters in mind will be of benefit to the readers of this Volume. All of these Covenants stand related to each other. All of them were represented and typified in Abraham and the Covenant which God made with him. The Church is styled Abraham's Spiritual Seed and likened to the stars of Heaven. The world of mankind as they come into harmony with God will become Abraham's earthly seed —as the sands of the seashore. The Spiritual Seed will be the channel of blessing for the natural seed.
The subject of Justification has not changed, but it has expanded and clarified. If writing this Volume today, the author would make some slight variations of language, but without any real change as respects the meaning and application of the word Justification.
We now see that a justification to life is one thing, and ft justification to more or less of friendship with God is another. Abraham, for instance, and the faithful before Pentecost, were justified to friendship with God and to have more "or less communication with Him by prayer, etc.; but they could not have full justification until the Blood of Atonement had been shed, and until it had been presented to and accepted by Divine Justice —the Father. Just so the sinner today approaching God might be said to be in the way of justification —he would have more of God's favor. than if he faced toward sin.
We once spoke of a sinner in this condition as being justified, because he believed in Jesus as his Redeemer and reaching forward to a full consecration of himself. Now we see that while the sinner's attitude, like that Of the Ancient Worthies, might be styled "tentative justification," would not reach the condition of a full, complete justification from sin until the sinner had fully presented himself consecration to our great High Priest, Jesus, and had accepted of Him in the name of the Father. Then, under the covering of the imputed merit of Christ's sacrifice the sinner would be acceptable to the Father under Christ's Robe and begotten of the Holy Spirit.
Fortunate it is for the masses who have heard of Jesus and partially believed, that their standing with the Lord is that of full justification, that He refuses to fully justify any until they have become by covenant His disciples, His footstep followers. This is because justification can come only once to each individual, and if he should misuse that justification and fail to get eternal life, he would be in a worse state than if he had never been justified. If not justified and spirit-begotten in the present time, he is not of the Church, but will have a share in the merit of Christ's sacrifice and in the justification which His Kingdom will offer to every member of the human family —aside from the Church —the Church receiving that better thing which God hath in reservation for them that love Him —glory, honor, immortality, the Divine nature.
To many it would not seem worth while to mention these fine distinctions upon the subject of justification; and yet, having received this clearer appreciation of the Divine Plan, we have pleasure in passing it on to all who hunger and thirst after righteousness —to all Bible students everywhere.
May the Lord continue to bless this Volume to the good of His people, is the prayer of the author,
CHARLES T. RUSSELL.
Brooklyn, N.Y., .
October 1, 1916.