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Ques. Please inform me briefly of the effect the „shut door” in the autumn of 1881 upon those who had not present truth at that time?
Ans. We understand the Scriptures to teach that the invitation to run for the great heavenly prize, the divine nature, closed there, though many who had already accepted the invitation are still running, and will not attain the prize until our course ends faithfully in death. That „door” of opportunity to run in the narrow way has stood open since Pentecost, and was entered by consecration to God. All who consecrated, and thus entered the door, may run the race by obeying or carrying out their consecration, by self-denying obedience to the truth.
The door being closed, implies no more entrances for that race and under that „call.” But this in no way interferes with those already entered, who must „press with vigor on;” nor does it hinder the opening of the great „highway of holiness,” which is to be open to all the redeemed race during the Millennial Age, now overlapping the Gospel Age; and all who shall run that race faithfully will receive a great reward—everlasting life and joy. Similar to this was the lapping in the close of the Jewish age. The Jewish „call” was closed, and Jesus opened up the new way of life (Heb. 10:20), the „narrow way” (Matt. 7:14), at Pentecost.
But your question has another point—Was it necessary to have an understanding of the things we now see—present truth? No; it was not possible for you to see the „deep things of God” clearly and really until after you had entered the „Narrow way” of consecration; not until after you had entered the „Holy” could you see the Golden Lamp, and by its light partake of the holy bread of hidden truth. No one ever saw the deep things of God really and clearly except the consecrated, the begotten ones, (1 Cor. 2:14); and thus we see that we were not invited to run the race, because we first saw clearly the prize; but having consecrated, the prize is made more and more clear to us, to enable us to „so run as to obtain” that prize. An appreciation of the exceeding great and precious promises is granted us, that by these we might become partakers of the divine nature. (2 Peter 1:4).
If you have since been able to see the grand spiritual promises of Scripture, and to rejoice in and appreciate them, it is an evidence that you did make a consecration which God accepted, whether in explicit words or only in mental resolutions.
The full evidence that the „door” of invitation to the „high calling” has closed, like the prophetic proofs of our Lord’s presence, etc., but few of our readers have been made aware of. We trust that the long-promised book „Millennial Dawn” will supply this much-needed assistance. It has been much delayed, but will be announced in these columns soon as ready.
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Ques. Please explain Matt. 27:52,53?
Ans. We can explain little more than you can read in this passage. The object of the awakening we know not. Two things we do know, however, from other Scripture teachings, viz.: These were not raised spiritual beings and were not members of the class denominated „the body” or „the bride” of Christ; for this company like the head, or Bridegroom, is to be of the spiritual order. We know this, because this occurred previous to Pentecost, and none but Jesus himself was begotten of the Spirit to the new nature until Pentecost. Nor can these have been fully resurrected, i.e. brought to perfection as men, for even the worthy patriarchs and prophets cannot be perfected, or take precedence of the Christian Church, the spiritual selection, the body of Christ. We presume, therefore, that they, like Lazarus, awaked for a time and then died again. Nor does the narrative call it a resurrection; it merely says, came out of their graves, as Lazarus „came forth.”
— February, 1886 —