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QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Mechanicsville, Mo., April 13, 1884.
„DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:— … The Apostle, in writing about the Lord’s Supper, says: ‚Ye shew the Lord’s death till he come‚ (1 Cor. 11:26). And the Lord said: ‚Do this in remembrance of me,’ evidently meaning, Remember me in my absence. To me the inference seems strong that the commemoration should now cease, because the Lord is now present. What think you?”
Answer. A careful reading of Paul’s words quoted above, with the context, fails to indicate to us any prohibition of the observance after the Lord has come and is present. On the contrary, the Apostle’s argument here is, that when we break the loaf, etc., we show our communion or participation with Christ in death, as members of the one loaf, the one body. Hence it is quite proper that we should, so long as we are in the flesh, and so long therefore as the sufferings of the body of Christ are not ended, and the measure of his afflictions not filled, it is both proper for us to fill them up and share the cup, and also to symbolize it.
Concerning our Lord’s words, „Do this in remembrance of me,” we do not think he meant, remember me during my absence. He was present at the first supper, and if it be improper to remember his death except during his absence, it was equally improper to remember it before his absence.
What Jesus did mean we think was this: The Passover as a type and a part of the law shall surely have a fulfillment. The fulfilling of it is now commencing. I am the anti-type of the lamb that was slain and eaten, and every other feature must be fulfilled—the entire type will be fulfilled when the kingdom of God shall have fully been established; when you, all my disciples who follow me, as parts of the first-born, shall be passed over, delivered from death, in the resurrection. Therefore, as oft as you eat this—commemorate the Passover—look beyond the type and realize in me the anti-type of the lamb. Do this in remembrance of me, and no longer in remembrance of the typical lamb.
Q. Are Enoch and Elijah dead or living?
A. Of Enoch very little is told us, except that he walked with God (Gen. 5:24), and that God revealed to him some things relative to the kingdom of God, will be seen by reference to Jude 14:15. Gen. 5:24 tells us that „he was not [found], for God took him;” and Heb. 11:5 proves that he did not die. How, or where, God took him, or for what purpose, is not revealed. This seems to be one of the secret things which Moses says belong unto God. Deut. 29:29.
Elijah, we are told, went up by a whirlwind into heaven. The word here translated heaven is shamayim, meaning „heaved up,” or „high things.” It is sometimes applied to the firmament or region of the air (Gen. 1:8), and sometimes to the throne of God. When the latter is referred to, the term „heaven of heavens” is frequently used. (1 Kings 8:27.) We must judge of its meaning in this case by its harmony with other Scriptures. Jesus, after his resurrection, went to heaven, the throne of God; but John says (chap. 3:13), „No man hath ascended up to heaven but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of Man.” Hence we must conclude that the atmospheric heavens were the heavens into which Elijah ascended.
It is nowhere stated that Elijah did not die; and that he ascended into the air until lost to sight does not prove that
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he did die. Neither does the vision on the mount of transfiguration prove that he is, or was then alive, since that was only a vision—as Jesus said, „See thou tell the vision to no man.” As Elijah was a type of the Church, his ascension was also typical of the ascending bride, soon to meet her Lord in the air—not the literal air: air is symbolic of the universal kingdom. Heretofore Satan has been the prince of the power of the air; now Christ has come to reign, and Satan will shortly be dethroned. Soon the overcoming Church, being changed from human to spiritual conditions, will meet her Lord in the kingdom.
What became of Elijah’s body we do not know, neither do we know what became of the body of Moses. Things not revealed belong to God.
Q. A class of people called Sabbath or Seventh-day keepers, claim that the Roman Catholic Church established the First day of the week as a substitute for the seventh. Is this true?
A. The claim of Romanists in this matter as in others, stands or falls with their other claim, that their Church was established in the first century by the Apostles—Peter being their first Pope. All this we deny, and claim that the Church whose „names were written in heaven,” was the original and only Church established or recognized by the Apostles, and that is OUR CHURCH. Romanism was an apostasy from OUR CHURCH, as are also all other sects. As to the observance of the first day by our Church in early days and the teachings of the Apostles on the subject (who are the STANDARDS of our Church,) see article „The Ten Commandments,” in the October, 1883, issue. So, then, if the early Church was the Church of Rome, then they say truly, but if not, the claim that SHE instituted the change from the Seventh to the First day, Sabbath, is false like many others she puts forth.
— April And May, 1884 —