Dawning Day – Hymns of Dawn No. 29

Dawning Day – Hymns of Dawn No. 29

“(1) Come, let us shout joyfully to Jehovah! Let us shout in triumph to our Rock of salvation. (2) Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; Let us sing and shout in triumph to him” (Psalm 95:1,2).

“My mouth shall praise Thee with joyful lips” (Psalm 63:5).

“Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, I will get me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense (Song of Solomon 4:6).

Note: “ Myrrh is bitter experience and the wisdom gained through such experience. Frankincense represents praise and thanksgiving. Hymns of praise often include the Christian’s gratitude for deliverance from suffering that is beyond human endurance. Such help usually evokes praise and thanksgiving. Of course pleasant experiences also bring forth praise, but the type of praise that arises from suffering is on a higher level than praise from pleasure. Verse 6 alludes to praise that arises from suffering.

‘Until … the shadows flee away.’ The shadows of the nighttime experience of the Church will ‘flee away’ when the Church is complete. These are the shadows of the gospel night, the Passover night. Why is myrrh a ‘mountain’ and frankincense a ‘hill’? Two different Hebrew words are used. Our praise can never reach the mark of perfection. What Jesus offered at Calvary far transcends anything we can offer” (Br. F. Shallieu, Notes on the Song of Solomon, pages 37-38).

Here is a recording of Hymn No. 29 from the “Hymns of Dawn” to aid God’s people in singing and making melody in their hearts unto God.

 

Bible Scriptures Associated With This Hymn

Deuteronomy 1:21 (KJV)Behold, the Lord thy God hath set the land before thee: go up and possess it, as the Lord God of thy fathers hath said unto thee; fear not, neither be discouraged.”

Deuteronomy 31:6 (ESV)“(6) Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

Romans 2:7 (ESV)“to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life;”

Romans 13:12 (NAS)“(12) The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.”

Colossians 1:27 (KJV)“(27) To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Lyrics

1.
Christian, the morn breaks sweetly o’er thee,
And all the midnight shadows flee;
Tinged are the distant skies with glory,
A beacon light hangs out for thee.
Arise! arise! the light breaks o’er thee,
Bright from thy everlasting home;
Soon shalt thou reach thy goal of glory,
Soon shalt thou share thy Saviour’s throne.

2.
Lift up thy head; the day breaks o’er thee;
Bright is the promised shining way!
Light from heav’n is streaming for thee;
Lo! ’tis the dawn of perfect day.
Rejoice! rejoice! in hope of glory,
Counting all else but vanity:
Precious this truth; O seek and hold it,
And send it forth that all may see.

——-

The History Of This Hymn

Original Author Joseph Rusling (1788-1839)

Composer — no information.

*******
The words below are based on content from Reprint No.5769-5770 of the Original Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Kingdom as documented in the Harvest Truth Data Base: http://www.htdb.one

THE ARMOR OVER THE ROBE

We are to put on the “armor of light.” Consider the light you have now received—the light of the knowledge of God, of His will, of what to live for, and of what kind of characters they are to whom the Lord will be pleased to grant the reward of eternal life, even the highest form of life. Having all this knowledge, put it on as an armor to protect you. Knowing what God requires, put all this on, not as a robe, but as an armor over the robe. Put on the breastplate of righteousness covering the heart. Realize that nothing but heart-purity and absolute loyalty to God may be considered. Realize that God is for us. Take the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, and all the various pieces enumerated by the Apostle. These constitute the “armor of light,” so called because it is obtained from the light of Truth.

In this our day it is surely as important that we should put on this armor and should put off the works of darkness as for the Church of the Apostle’s day. Surely if ever the whole armor was needed, it is needed now. The Lord’s dealing with us is individual—both as to the putting off of the works of darkness and as to the putting on of the armor of light. All who put on this armor will find themselves in accord with the Lord and with those who are truly His. As God’s faithful children get farther and farther into this Day of the Lord, more and more will they see eye to eye. We believe there never was a time when so many of the Lord’s people have seen eye to eye regarding the things to put off and the things to put on. We believe there never was a time when so many of the children of the light were wearing the whole Armor of Light. Therefore we have so much the more responsibility to “walk as children of light” and not as of the night.

DANGER TO EVEN THE FULLY CONSECRATED

It is possible that some, even of the fully consecrated children of God, surrounded with the cares of this life, or weary of the struggle against sin and evil, or somewhat beguiled by the present things of time and sense, may have become more or less drowsy, and so stand in special need of the stirring exhortation which the Apostle in this connection gives to the Church—particularly appropriate today: “It is now high time to awake out of sleep!” It is time for earnest, searching self-examination, for a more diligent watching to see that we do not allow the things of this “present evil world” to absorb our thoughts and energies to the imperiling of our Heavenly hopes, so soon to be realized if we remain wholly faithful to the end. It is highly important that we seek for a still closer walk with God, a more intimate fellowship with Him, a more thorough self-abnegation, a more diligent cross-bearing, a more faithful conformity in every respect to the whole will of the Lord concerning us. And this will of the Lord, we know, is not unreasonable, and His grace sufficient is promised for every day, every hour, every moment!

A careful, prayerful searching of our hearts will make plain wherein we lack in conformity to the perfect will of God. And if we discover in ourselves any perverse way, we shall correct it. Thus we more and more “put on the Lord Jesus Christ”—the mind or disposition of Christ, the spirit of love and loyalty which characterized Him. How important it is, in the very short time which yet remains to us, that we fully awake and apply ourselves most diligently to the cultivation of the Godlike, Christlike disposition of Love, the love which seeks above all else the glory of God, which is kindly-affectioned toward the brethren, which rests in the precious promises, which trusts fully in the dark as well as in the light, and which has no shadow of doubt that all the good things promised in God’s Word shall be fulfilled!

LET US “WALK AS BECOMETH SAINTS”

In the context St. Paul urges, “Let us walk honestly, as in the day.” He was speaking of certain vile practises then common—drunkenness, rioting, chambering, wantonness. We are not necessarily to suppose that he meant this as a reproof to the Christian believers at Rome, but as a pastoral exhortation that they should be on guard against these sins, and as a reminder that the principles which they had adopted as Christians were in direct contrast to those which generally prevailed. Very different standards of morality were current among the heathen. Quite a large number of the believers at Rome had been heathen and accustomed to immoralities. Hence the Apostle’s words were words of caution; for we would not suppose that saints would be guilty of these things.

The Apostle’s words above shed a warning light in saying, “Let us walk honestly, as in the day.” Most of the rioting and drunkenness is done at night—such is the custom even to this day. Works of darkness and sin thrive best at night, for some reason. People have other things to attend to in the day-time, and evil-doers take the night for frivolity or carousing or crime. Vice then stalks abroad. Darkness seems to favor such works, by hiding them more or less. The Apostle points out that this is the great night of darkness, sin, but that those in Christ are not in darkness; for they have been brought into the light of God. We are looking for the full dawning of the Morning of the New Dispensation—we are seeking to live in harmony with it. So here he says, Let us walk honestly, above-board, so that everybody will see and know our lives—let us be honest in every way, not be preaching one thing and practising another.

Considering the day here mentioned to be the Millennial Day, we may well say that nothing in the nature of sin will then be allowed. “For out of Zion shall go forth the Law, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” (Micah 4:2.) “Judgment also will I lay to the line,” says Jehovah, “and righteousness to the plummet; and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the water shall overflow the hiding-place.” (Isaiah 28:17.) Whoever in that Day shall attempt to live riotously and in drunkenness or in any sin will be promptly punished. The Apostle’s exhortation is that we, as saints of the Lord, should live as those will be living when the Day shall have fully come—when the Sun of Righteousness will be shedding its beams over the whole earth.

It is a part of our overcoming to live as though the Day were fully ushered in, as though everything had been fully manifested. Whoever will take the Apostle’s advice in this matter will certainly have a rich blessing. In fact any other course would be sure to be disastrous to us as New Creatures in Christ!

ONLY A LITTLE WHILE

“Only a little while to walk with weary feet,
Only a little while the storms of life to meet,
Only a little while to tread the thorny way,
Only a little while, then comes the perfect Day.

“Only a little while to spread the truth abroad.
Only a little while to testify for God,
Only a little while, the time is fleeting fast,
Only a little while, earth’s sorrows all are past.

“Only a little while, then let us do our best,
Only a little while, then comes the promised rest.
Only a little while, oh, what a word is this!
Only a little while, then comes the perfect bliss.”

====================

My Saviour — Christ Jesus

Here are some free online articles in relation to the Heavenly Father — Jehovah, and his Son — Christ Jesus — “a ransom FOR ALL … to be testified in due time” (1 Timothy 2:6), as well as, about the holy Spirit (the invisible power and influence of God) with clear explanations about why the anti-Christ teaching of “the trinity” — introduced by the Roman Catholic Church system (the “Beast” in the Book of Revelation) — is not what the Bible teaches. The Bible Student Movement does not support the teaching of purgatory nor does it support the Roman Catholic System’s teaching about people being sent to a place where they burn up forever, which certainly does not reflect the perfect love of God — the Almighty Creator of all things.

Hence, for the interested Reader, we urge you to consider the following articles and posts:

The Doctrine of the Trinity – Mystery or Confusion by Br. David Rice.
http://www.heraldmag.org/1999/99nd_3.htm

The Origin of the Trinity – From Paganism To Constantine by Sr. Cher-El L. Hagensick.
http://www.heraldmag.org/olb/Contents/doctrine/The%20Origin%20of%20the%20Trinity.htm

Facts About the Trinity
http://www.heraldmag.org/olb/contents/doctrine/FACTS%20ABOUT%20THE%20TRINITY.htm

God and the Trinities
http://www.heraldmag.org/literature/doc_42.htm

Development of the “Trinity Doctrine” by Br. Tom Gilbert.
http://www.beautiesofthetruth.org/Archive/Library/Doctrine/Mags/Bot/90s/2010d.pdf

Understanding John 1:1 by Br. Richard Doctor.
http://www.beautiesofthetruth.org/Archive/Library/Doctrine/Mags/Bot/90s/2010d.pdf

Father, Son and Holy Spirit
https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2016/06/23/father-son-and-holy-spirit/

What Is the Heavenly Father’s Name
https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2017/06/27/gods-name-what-is-the-heavenly-fathers-name-that-we-are-to-hallow-and-why/

Jesus – The Name
https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2017/07/05/jesus-the-name/

The Doctrine of Christ – Booklet
http://www.biblestudents.com/docs/DoctrineChrist.pdf

Hymn Book Purchase

The Hymns Of Dawn (hymn book) can be purchased at:
The Chicago Bible Students Online Bookstore: https://chicagobible.org/product-category/books/page/4/
The Dawn Bible Students Association: http://www.dawnbible.com/dawnpub.htm

Acknowledgment & References

3.jpg

Br. Charles Russell—the founder of the Bible Students movement, who is the compiler of “Poems and Hymns of Millennial Dawn” which was published in Allegheny, Pa., in 1890. This Bible Students’ devotional originally contained a total of 151 poems and 333 hymns.

POEMS-AND-HYMNS-OF-MILLENNIAL-DAWN

The following prefatory to the 1905 publication of Hymns of Millennial Dawn may be of historical interest to many of our readers.

We published in 1890, with several more recent editions, a volume entitled “Poems and Hymns of Millennial Dawn” without music. The same collection of hymns with the music is now urgently needed, and therefore appears in this volume. The poems, although highly prized, are omitted for greater convenience in size. We have preserved the same alphabetical order, because so many of our readers have the older book; and where a different tune is given from that originally suggested the latter is indicated by Alt. for alternative tune, with the number where that tune can be found.

Both words and music are credited to the same class to whom the work is dedicated-to the Lord and His faithful people, “the Saints.” The authors of many of the best of them are unknown to us, and, besides, slight changes have been made in the phraseology and sentiment of quite a number, which we could not be sure their original authors would approve, and to give personal credit to less than one half would seem invidious. To all of these dear “Saints” of all ages we therefore give united and hearty thanks for the blessings which they, as the Lord’s servants and handmaidens, have bestowed upon their fellow-members of “the Church of the Firstborn, whose names are written in Heaven.” Most of them died long ago: their abundant reward will be of the Lord in the resurrection.

That the collection is thoroughly undenominational, unsectarian, will be manifest to those recognizing the fact that it includes the choicest old hymns and tunes used by all denominations.

Although we have gathered far and near and winnowed carefully we cannot hope to have gotten all the golden grains, though we do hope that no chaff can be found. The collection is for the Church, for “believers” “reconciled,” and hence contains none of the “sinners” hymns, such as “Come, ye sinners poor and needy,” because willful sinners are in no sense members of the “Body” of Christ, nor are those who have not yet accepted the Lord as their Savior.

Those who will feel the deepest interest in this collection, and whose sentiments will be most fully voiced in its verses, will undoubtedly be those in fullest degree of sympathy with the divine plan of the ages, as set forth in the several volumes of Millennial Dawn – the eyes of whose understanding have been opened to the clearer, purer light now shining from our great Redeemer’s cross, showing the fulness and the completeness of his salvation.

In fact, this volume, while not numbered as one of the volumes of the Millennial Dawn series, is designed to be a companion volume, a melodious accompaniment to the “new song,” “the song of Moses and the Lamb” (the grand harmony of the Law and the Gospel), as presented in the regular Dawn series.

Let the music of God’s good and great plan ring through your hearts and lives, dear fellow-pilgrims and fellow members of the “royal priesthood,” so that every day and every hour shall be filled with joy and praise and thankfulness! And that this little volume may assist in deepening the work of grace in your hearts is our hope and prayer.

– Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, July, 1905, Allegheny, PA, USA


Later on, the hymns from this book formed a basis for the hymnal titled “Hymns of Dawn” which was published by the Dawn Bible Students Association in East Rutherford, New Jersey (USA) and the 1999 edition contains a total of 361 hymns.

Hymns of Dawn.jpg

 

Suggested Further Reading

“Harvest Timing Clarifications” — Br. George Tabac’s, 2016 Bible Students’ General Convention Discourse — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yqa_GT2QSVA

Click on the following link to download Br. George Tabac’s 2016 Script Version of “Harvest Timing Clarifications” — https://biblestudents1.files.wordpress.com/2018/07/harvest-timing-clarifications-7-9-2016-general-convention-34-page-han.pdf

[Note: Br. George Tabac’s 2016 discourse is almost identical but not the same as his 2015 discourse where it had been concluded that 6000 years from Adams creation would be up in 2042. However later, like Br. Charles Taze Russell, Br. George too came to realize the need to clarify his understanding by one year in his 2016 General Convention discourse, where he concluded the 6000 years from creation would be up in 2043, which concurs with Br. David Rice’s chronology (www.2043ad.com). Note the distinction in the final charts of these two discourses.]

Worthy To Be Praised
https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2016/05/15/worthy-to-be-praised/

DANIEL 3:17 – Our God Whom We Serve Is Able To Deliver Us
https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2017/10/14/daniel-317-our-god-whom-we-serve-is-able-to-deliver-us/

The Lord Is My Shepherd, (R.1396) — Reprints of the Original Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence.

The Lord Is My Shepherd, (R.3268) — Reprints of the Original Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence.

Acts 23:6—HOPE & RESURRECTION. Part A: What is Jesus All About?
https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2016/11/03/acts-236-hope-resurrection-part-a-what-is-jesus-all-about/

Who We Are. BIBLE Students DAILY – https://biblestudentsdaily.com/category/who-we-are/


Reference Below:- PEOPLES PULPIT ASSOCIATION, BROOKLYN, N.Y., U.S.A. COPYRIGHT, 1917.

PASTOR RUSSELL is known the world around as the most celebrated preacher of modern times. When a young man of about twenty years of age he began to preach the Gospel of Christ Jesus, and continued faithfully to do so until his death, October 31, 1916. His explanatory writings on the Bible are far more extensive than the combined writings of St. Paul, St. John, Arius, Waldo, Wycliffe and Martin Luther—the six Messengers to the Church who preceded him. His sermons and other writings have been translated into many languages and are read appreciatively everywhere.

All Christian people will concede that St. Paul was the greatest of the Apostles of Jesus Christ. He was the Apostle who averred to the Church of his day, “I have not shunned to declare to you all the counsel of God.” (#Ac 20:27.) St. Paul’s greatness was due to the fact that the Lord used him most wonderfully to enlighten others concerning God’s great Plan of Salvation for mankind. Since the days of the Apostle Paul there have been other great reformers in the world, other great exponents of the Scriptures. But when the history of the Church of Christ is fully written, it will be found that the place next to St. Paul in the gallery of fame as an expounder of the Gospel of the great Master will be occupied by CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL.

In the first three chapters of the Revelation we are informed that to the Gospel Church have been sent seven special Messengers. Of these St. Paul was the first, and Pastor Russell the last. To him, as the Seventh Messenger, was granted the wonderful privilege of clearly presenting to the minds of the people the magnitude and the vital importance of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ our Lord, and of explaining how that sacrifice will ultimately bring a blessing to every man. Through the Pastor’s preaching multitudes have come to know that Jehovah God is not a fiend, as many of the creeds of Christendom imply, but a mighty God of Love.

For a period of forty-two years Pastor Russell preached the Glad Tidings of great joy—a Message which must yet be heard by all, from the least unto the greatest. Those who heard him and had their hearts made glad by his Message passed it to others; and in time a public demand was created for Pastor Russell’s sermons. The public press furnished the medium through which this demand could be met. Then followed that which has never been duplicated in the history of the world—approximately three thousand newspapers published the Pastor’s sermons weekly. Approximately ten million people were reached every week by these newspapers; and doubtless many thousands read the sermons. The good thus accomplished will never be fully known until all things are revealed.

For many centuries the world had been deprived of the opportunity of Bible study. That period has well been styled the Dark Ages, during which there prevailed great darkness in the world and gross darkness upon the people. The clergy of both Romish and Protestant churches had induced the laity to believe the God-dishonoring doctrine of eternal torment—that the soul of man is immortal, that therefore death does not mean death, but only a change of condition, and that all except a very few would spend eternity in a hell of fire and brimstone. The Lord has used Pastor Russell to remove from the minds of thousands this foul stain upon the name of Jehovah.

His discourses have made luminous many of the dark places of the Bible. They throw a flood of light upon the Word of God, making it a new Book to the faithful and prayerful student. In simple and beautiful language these sermons disclose God’s dealings with man from the dawn of creation to the blessed days of restoration of all things spoken by the mouth of all the holy Prophets of Israel. They show why God has permitted evil in the world, how long evil will persist, and who will profit by experiencing it. They also show God’s wise provision for the redemption, enlightenment and complete blessing of all who accept the Divine blessings upon the terms proffered. In these sermons the Pastor points out why this great Time of Trouble upon which we have entered has come upon the world, what its result will be, and what blessings will accrue to all peoples and nations that are properly exercised thereby.

Thus they are indeed a balm for the broken-hearted and a comfort for those that mourn. Blessed is he who reads them with unbiased mind!

During the term of his ministry CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL was pastor of a large congregation at Allegheny, Pa.—now a part of Pittsburgh; London Tabernacle, London, Eng.; and of The New York City Temple; and was elected pastor of over 1200 other congregations. His reputation was international. His sermons were published in more than thirty languages. He was indeed the world’s ubiquitous preacher.

On October 31, 1916, after a most eventful career, Pastor Russell finished his work on earth. Suddenly the order-loving peoples of the world learned that a great force for good had been removed from their midst.

An aching void was left in many hearts, and thousands of people have continued to hunger for more of that precious mental and spiritual food which his discourses had supplied. To meet this demand, and as a lasting monument to the memory of Pastor Russell, we issue this selection of his sermons in book form. Some of these have never before been published.

St. Paul under inspiration wrote that at the end of the Age would come greater light. Pastor Russell was privileged to live in the close of the Gospel Age; and as a chosen vessel of the Lord he was permitted to point many thousands to the illuminated pages of the Divine Word.

In fulfillment of St. Paul’s prophetic statement, and as a result of Pastor Russell’s preaching, thousands of people today are enabled to see that God has a great Plan which He is working out in an orderly manner, and which will culminate to His glory in the blessing of mankind.

In these sermons Pastor Russell gives clear proof from Scripture that the Secrets of the Lord can be understood by those who, trusting fully in the merit of Christ Jesus, have made a consecration to do the will of God, who have been accepted by the Heavenly Father and who then apply themselves studiously to understand the Divine Plan. Christian people have long been confused upon many questions; such as, What is the condition of the dead? Is there hope of salvation for any aside from the truly consecrated? What will be the office of the Church in the ages to come? The reader of these sermons will see that Pastor Russell makes these questions clear, answering them to the satisfaction of all honest minds. He magnifies the merit of Christ Jesus’ sacrifice, and shows that in due time every man will receive the benefit accruing from the Ransom-price and will be given one fair, impartial trial for life.

Long before the great international war began, Pastor Russell fore-showed in his sermons the coming trouble upon the earth, made clear from the Scriptures the cause of the war, and pointed out what would be the result and what would follow after the trouble had subsided.

Both Christians and those who have never claimed to be Christians will find much satisfaction in reading these sermons. Order-loving Christians will desire to leave a copy of these discourses as a heritage to their children, that they may better understand God’s great Plan. It is our prayer that these sermons may prove a blessing to all who read them.

THE PUBLISHER.

– COPYRIGHT, 1917, PEOPLES PULPIT ASSOCIATION, BROOKLYN, N.Y., U.S.A.


Reference below: http://pastorrussell.blogspot.com/2009/12/

 

Dates of significance in WT history (1868-1918)

1844  Millerites expect Jesus’ return (October 22).
http://pastorrussell.blogspot.com/2008/12/william-miller-herald-of-second-advent.html

1852 Charles Taze Russell born.
http://pastorrussell.blogspot.com/2009/03/joseph-l-and-ann-eliza-birney-russell.html

1868 — Russell begins careful study of Scriptures.

1870 — Russell forms Bible study group.
http://pastorrussell.blogspot.com/2009/05/young-man-in-search-of-god.html

1876 — End of appointed times of nations in 1914 first announced.
http://pastorrussell.blogspot.com/2008/06/seven-timesthe-times-of-gentiles-in.html

1877 — Barbour and Russell publish Three Worlds, and the Harvest of This World. Russell publishes The Object and Manner of Our Lord’s Return.
http://pastorrussell.blogspot.com/2010/07/manner-of-lords-return.html

1879 — Russell withdraws from Herald of the Morning.
http://pastorrussell.blogspot.com/2009/09/to-readers-of-herald-of-morning.html
Zion’s Watch Tower first published.
http://pastorrussell.blogspot.com/2009/03/small-beginnings-1879-1889.html

1880 — Russell tours northeastern U.S. to form study groups.

1881 — First tracts published.

Zion’s Watch Tower Tract Society formed.
http://pastorrussell.blogspot.com/2009/11/william-h-conley-1840-1897.htmlColporteur work begins.
Groups holding meetings asked to notify Society.
Food for Thinking Christians published.

1884 — Zion’s Watch Tower Tract Society incorporated.
http://pastorrussell.blogspot.com/2009/04/wtch-tower-society-incorported.html

1886 — The Divine Plan of the Ages (Millennial Dawn, Volume I) released.
http://pastorrussell.blogspot.com/2009/05/millennial-dawn-studies-in-scriptures.html

1889 — Bible House in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, completed.
http://pastorrussell.blogspot.com/2009/01/bible-house.html

1890 — Society begins Bible publishing with Rotherham’s New Testament, Second Edition.

1891 — First gathering of Bible Students to be termed a convention (Allegheny, Pennsylvania).
Russell travels abroad.

1894 — Speakers sent to congregations.

1895 — Dawn Circles for Bible Study begin.
http://pastorrussell.blogspot.com/2009/08/filling-spiritual-needs-of-early-bible.html

1896 — Name Zion’s Watch Tower Tract Society changed to Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society.

1898 — Tower Publishing Company donated to Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society.
Local assemblies begin.

1900 — First branch office established (London, England).
http://pastorrussell.blogspot.com/2009/12/pastor-russell-british-isles.html

1903 — Tracts distributed house to house.

1904 — Russell’s sermons appear in newspapers.
http://pastorrussell.blogspot.com/2009/12/opening-door-of-newspaper-gospelling.html

1909 — Watch Tower Society moves headquarters to Brooklyn.
http://pastorrussell.blogspot.com/2010/06/opening-at-brooklyn.html
Peoples Pulpit Association formed.

1912 — Work begins on “Photo-Drama of Creation.”

1914 — “Photo-Drama of Creation” first shown.
http://pastorrussell.blogspot.com/2009/08/photo-drama-of-creation.html
Archduke of Austria-Hungary assassinated.
International Bible Students Association incorporated.

1915 — Pastoral work (aspect of field ministry) begins.

1916 — Russell dies.
http://pastorrussell.blogspot.com/2009/10/93-years-ago-today.html
http://pastorrussell.blogspot.com/2009/11/will-and-testament-of-charles-taze.html

1917 — Joseph Rutherford elected president of Watch Tower Society.
Opposition to Rutherford by four unconfirmed directors.
http://pastorrussell.blogspot.com/2009/09/j-f-rutherford.html
http://pastorrussell.blogspot.com/2008/08/savage-wolves-will-come-in-among-you.html

1918 — Joseph Rutherford confirmed as president of Watch Tower Society.
http://pastorrussell.blogspot.com/2009/03/change-in-administration.html

 

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https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2018/12/14/dawning-day-hymns-of-dawn-no-29/

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The Origin and Meaning of Easter & Lent

Apostle Peter in prison-BSD.jpg

The Word Easter in the Bible

The only place in the Bible where the word “Easter” is found is in Acts 12:4, yet it is a mistranslation of the Greek word pascha. The word pascha should properly have been translated “Passover” (Strong’s G3957, “pascha, the Passover”). It has been correctly translated Passover in most modern translations. The corresponding word in the Hebrew Old Testament is Strong’s H6453, pecach, also defined as Passover.

Acts 12:4 describes events that took place in the springtime when the Apostle Peter’s apprehension and imprisonment by King Herod coincided with the Jewish festival of Passover, after Herod had earlier arrested and killed the Apostle James, brother of the Apostle John. In respect of Jewish religious custom, Herod waited till after Passover to act on Peter’s fate, planning to kill Peter as he had James. God did not allow this, and sent an angel to free Peter. Soon after, Herod himself was struck dead of a ghastly disease (Acts 12:23).

The “four quaternions (“squads”—in the NIV) of soldiers” (Acts 12:4) refers to four groups of four soldiers each, perhaps each group of four serving in rotation through the 24 hour day, at Jerusalem. During each period four soldiers guarded one prisoner as indicated in Acts 12:6—Peter was chained to one soldier on either side, with two guarding at the doorway.

A Real Angel, A Real Deliverer

During the festive week of Passover and Unleavened Bread, God’s mighty power delivered Peter from prison and death in a miraculous manner.

“The angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me. (9) And he went out, and followed him; and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel; but thought he saw a vision. (10) When they were past the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city; which opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him” (Acts 12:8-10).

“It is worthy of notice that the miracles performed here were only such as were beyond Peter’s natural power. Whatever he could do he was required to do, namely, putting on of his sandals and his cloak, and following the angel. He could have been transported. His own sandals or other sandals could have been fastened to his feet. A new coat might have been provided. But the lesson is a more profitable one as it was given. Similarly in the Lord’s dealings with us today, we should remember that it is ours to do everything within our power, and the Lord’s to overrule all things for our good, and to supply our deficiencies from his abundance. Thus still he gives us day by day our daily bread, in the rain and the sunshine and the seed; but he expects us to labor for it, to plow the ground, to sow the seed, to harrow it, to thrash it, grind it and bake it.

” ‘When Peter was come to himself,’ when he realized the facts in the case, that he was free, he said, ‘Now I know of a surety that the Lord hath sent his angel and delivered me out of the hand of Herod and … of the Jews.’ St. Peter’s faith was strengthened. Willing to die, he found that the Lord was willing that he should live and labor and endure, and he was equally pleased, rejoicing, we may be sure, for the privilege of further service, even though it would mean further sacrifices and sufferings for the Lord’s sake and for the sake of his people” (Charles T. Russell, R4347).

From this account in Acts chapter 12, we are assured that “the Heavenly Father himself loves us and that all the heavenly powers are pledged to those whom he has accepted in Christ Jesus, and these unitedly guarantee blessings to all those who abide in God’s love. This means to abide in faith in the Redeemer. It means to abide loyal to our consecration, to do the Father’s will to the extent of our ability. That will is declared to be, that we shall love the Lord supremely, our neighbor as ourselves, and all the members of the household of faith, as Christ loved us” (Charles T. Russell, R4347).

Why Easter Sunday?

Dear friends, have you ever wondered WHY Easter Sunday is one of the most sacred Christian holidays?

It is because Christian churches have generally adopted Easter Sunday as the resurrection day and the proper time to celebrate the raising of Jesus Christ from the grave, which occurred on the third day after Jesus’ crucifixion. Jesus died on Nisan 14th  (Friday, about 3 pm, 33 AD), and was raised the following Sunday morning, Nisan 16th. This was the “third day” counting inclusively—Friday, Saturday, Sunday (Matthew 28:1, Mark 16:1‑2, John 20:1, Luke 24:1,24, 1 Corinthians 15:4).

Later on, it was determined in the Christian world to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus always on a Sunday, and remember the death of Christ by Good Friday, irrespective of whether Nisan 14th and 16th on the Jewish calendar actually falls on Friday or Sunday in a given year. Among brethren of the Bible Student fellowship, it is different. Jesus sat with his disciples for his “Last Supper” (Luke 22:20) on the evening that had just begun the calendar day Nisan 14th, and there instituted a memorial of his approaching death. We customarily observe our Memorial accordingly—on the night following Nisan 13th—that is, the night which technically begins the calendar day Nisan 14th. This year, in 2017, that means a Sunday night (April 9th) memorial of Jesus’ death, but the day of the week varies year by year.

Further in this post we shall explain why “Good Friday” is not celebrated by the Christian world closest to the exact day of our Lord’s commemorated day of death. But in brief, here, it is because of the decision made by the Papal Anti-Christ church (lead by Constantine as we explain later) and they were not concerned about the Jewish date of Jesus’ death. Their new rule (established in 325 A.D.) fixed it relative to the equinox rather than relative to the Jewish calendar. The truth of the matter is, that it is Nisan 14th which the Bible explains is the date when the memorial of our Lord’s death is to be annually commemorated—not the nearest Sunday to this or any other date.

Pagan Influences Came in Later

Today, in our memorial supper, we recognize the influence of the Hebrew traditions by observing it according to the days of the Jewish calendar. The celebration is not of the Jewish Passover, however, but of the sacrificial death of our redeemer, Jesus, the antitypical Passover Lamb. Subsequently, however, pagan influences also blended with popular Christian observances.

(a) The name “Easter” is from Ishtar—who was the Babylonian and Assyrian goddess of love and fertility. The Phoenicians called her Astarte (a sister and consort of Baal,) a god worshipped in many parts of the eastern world. Some of the ancient Hebrews also worshipped Baal.

(b) In Europe, Eostre (with variations in spelling) became the Anglo‑Saxon goddess of spring, emphasizing fertility and the rising sun. The month of April was dedicated to her, and the Old English word for Easter was “Eastre” which refers to Eostre. The festival of Eostre was celebrated at the vernal equinox, when day and night receive an equal share of light and darkness.

(c) During the early Middle Ages, Christian missionaries seeking to convert the barbaric tribes of northern Europe realized that the time of Jesus’ death and resurrection also coincided with the Teutonic springtime celebrations. The Teutonic goddess of fertility, Ostare, derives her name from the ancient word for spring. As the days of approaching spring grew longer, celebrations coinciding with the spring equinox emphasized the end of winter and a rebirth of nature, triumphing life over death. The Christian missionaries taught that this time also pointed to the resurrection of Jesus.

Easter Eggs and Bunnies

Eggs symbolize birth, fertility, and new life in many cultures. The ancient Egyptians and Persians would hand out coloured eggs as gifts during their springtime festivals.

Europeans during the Middle Ages, collected eggs of different colours from the nests of various birds, using them as charms to avert evil and bring good fortune.

The Easter egg hunt custom was gradually phased out by the more popular egg painting custom where colourful eggs were hidden and children as well as others would search for them. Eggs were painted in bright colours to resemble the sun, the arrival of spring, and fertility, while Easter baskets, holding the collected eggs, were intended to resemble bird’s nests. Polish people today still decorate their eggs with many traditional symbols for Easter, many of them with religious representations.

Rabbits have also served as fertility symbols in some ancient cultures. Legends from ancient Egypt connected the rabbit with the moon because of their nocturnal feeding habits. This association with the moon is also thought to have originated with those who watched the cycles of the moon to determine the precise date of the approaching change of season, and the accompanying celebration. This event took place on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the spring equinox.

The first documented use of hares for the Easter festival was in Germany during the 1500’s. Later, edible Easter bunnies were prepared with pastry and sugar. These traditions made their way to America during the 1700’s by the Pennsylvania Dutch who had emigrated from Germany. During the years following the American Civil War, handcrafted chocolate Easter eggs and rabbits became increasingly popular.

Hot Cross Buns

Australians also celebrate Easter with hot cross buns, a spiced sweet bun made with currants or raisins and marked with a cross on the top. The first recorded use of the term “hot cross bun” was around 1733. They are traditionally eaten on “Good Friday” in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada, and India. The cross on the bun represents the crucifixion of Jesus and the spices inside are meant to remind Christians “of the spices put on the body of Jesus” (See Mark 16:1, Luke 23:54‑56, Luke 24:1).

John 19:39 says that Nicodemus also brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, “about an hundred pound weight,” for the burial of Jesus. The number 100 is used for Jesus in the Tabernacle, as the square measure of the gate, door, and vail, representing that Jesus is the “way, the truth, and the life” for those who follow him (John 14:6). Also, there were 100 sockets of silver as a foundation for the Tabernacle, coming from the Ransom money of the Israelites, representing Jesus as the Ransom and foundation for God’s Plan of Atonement (Exodus 38:25-27).

Myrrh, a bitter herb, represents suffering, and aloes is used for healing. Thus these two elements represent the suffering of Jesus, from which comes the healing from sin and death from Jesus’ death. When Jesus is depicted as a king in glory, his “garments smell of myrrh, and aloes”these very two fragrances (Psalm 45:8). For Christ in his resurrection glory has achieved a death of suffering that brings healing for the world.

Lent

Does the Bible teach us to celebrate or commemorate Lent?

The following is an extract from a website by the Uniting Methodist Church explaining what “Lent” is about—a practice not observed within the Bible Student Movement:

“Lent is a season of forty days, not counting Sundays, which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday. Lent comes from the Anglo Saxon word lencten, which means ‘spring.’ The forty days represents the time Jesus spent in the wilderness, enduring the temptation of Satan and preparing to begin his ministry.

“Lent is a time of repentance, fasting and preparation for the coming of Easter. It is a time of self‑examination and reflection. In the early church, Lent was a time to prepare new converts for baptism. Today, Christians focus on their relationship with God, often choosing to give up something or to volunteer and give of themselves for others.

“Sundays in Lent are not counted in the forty days because each Sunday represents a ‘mini‑Easter’ and the reverent spirit of Lent is tempered with joyful anticipation of the Resurrection.”

There is no direct reference of this practice, of Lent, in the Scriptures. However, this pleasant custom probably has benefited various ones who applied themselves to it through the centuries, if it focused their minds and hearts on proper spiritual values. However, if afterward its observers supposed they were free at other times to practice worldly principles, then they would have missed the true value. A consecrated believer should remember that their life of service here first of all involves purity of heart and mind, always (James 3:17).

The Catholic Church believes that “Lent” is a time of repentance, fasting, and preparation for the coming of Easter. It is a time of self‑examination and reflection. This may have useful benefits. However, for the true Christian, their entire consecrated life should be one of devotion.

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23 ESV).

Fasting can be a good practice at any time of the year, both for our physical benefit, and for mortifying the things of the flesh, to focus on things of the Spirit. Sometimes eating less can cause the mind to sharpen. We are to be continuously humble and lowly of heart, as was Jesus (Matthew 11:29, Luke 2:37). Weaning away from earthly attractions, it can help us also to be satisfied with whatever God permits us to have in other temporal commodities also—food, housing, car, or job. God gives us what we need. If we experience some discomfort for the flesh, it can augment our hope for and appreciation of the spiritual values, and spiritual promises, that exceed anything Earth can provide.

Regarding the practice of baptism at Lent season—perhaps this custom also had some beneficial results. However, it is not something mentioned in the New Testament, and baptism is appropriate at any time of year, when the believer determines to proceed in full commitment to God, with a personal consecration of themselves and their life to Him. Thus it is not reserved for a particular month of the year. See the post titled: What Does It Mean To Be Baptized Into Christ? and What Does Being Consecrated To The Lord Mean?

Pastor Charles Russell’s Comments about Lent

The following is an extract from Reprint 3170.

“Our best wish for all the people of New York and of the whole world would be that all or at least some of them, may observe Lent and join in such petitions heartily: if but one in a hundred of those who will observe the Lenten season will do so, it will surely mean a great revival in their own hearts.

“To us who observe the Memorial Supper on its anniversary only, the occasion is one of the greater solemnity, and may well be approached with the greater reverence. We commend to all of ‘this way’ (Acts 9:2) that the interim between now and the Memorial (April 10th) be specially a season of prayer and fasting—drawing near to the Lord (1 Corinthians 7:5). True, the Lord’s consecrated people are continually to live as separate from sin and from the mind of the flesh as possible, and are to “pray without ceasing”; but, as the Apostle intimates, there may profitably be special seasons of this kind; and surely none more appropriate than this Memorial season. The fasting which we urge may or may not affect the food and drink, according to the judgment of each, respecting what diet will best enable him to glorify God and to keep his “body under.” We refer specially to abstention from all “fleshly lusts which war against the soul”; these appetites always under restraint with the saints, may well be specially mortified at this time.”

However as the Apostle Paul explains in 1 Corinthians 7:29‑31, our “fasting” or “mortification” should be a daily act moment by moment to those who have fully enlisted in the Priesthood of complete consecration in the “School of Christ” as far as it be reasonably possible and all depends on one’s level of maturity in Christ:

” (29) This is what I mean, brothers: the appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none, (30) and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods, (31) and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away” (1 Corinthians 7:29‑31).

Hebrew Customs

Concerning our opening text (Acts 12:4), let us consider the relationship between the Easter festival and the Hebrew Passover.

Passover is the oldest and most revered festival in Judaism. It is observed in the spring, in the month Nisan, the first month of the Jewish religious new year (Exodus 12:2). As Jewish months began with a new moon, the timing of Passover about halfway through the month puts it about the time of full moon. The afternoon that Jesus died was the time a full moon, and this represented that Israel’s favor was full—but because of their rejection of Christ, their favor would wane and diminish.

The Jewish Passover, under the administration of Moses, commemorated Israel’s deliverance from centuries of Egyptian bondage. The firstborn among the Israelites where passed over by the angel of death during the final plague suffered by Egypt. That tenth plague forced Pharaoh to release the Israelites from a life of compulsory servitude.

The Passover is celebrated on an annual basis in accordance with the instructions that were given by God to Moses:

“The Lord spake unto Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the first month of the second year after they were come out of the land of Egypt, saying, Let the children of Israel also keep the passover at his appointed season. In the fourteenth day of this month, at even, ye shall keep it in his appointed season: according to all the rites of it, and according to all the ceremonies thereof, shall ye keep it. And Moses spake unto the children of Israel, that they should keep the passover” (Numbers 9:1‑4).

Our Lord Jesus became the antitypical Passover Lamb (John 1:29) when he gave his life as a sacrifice for the sins of the world, during the time of the Jewish Passover.

Christian Traditions

Though the Easter festival became well‑established and accepted by Christians by the second century after Jesus’ death, there had been considerable debate between the Eastern and Western divisions of the Church over the exact date the event should be celebrated.

The Eastern Church preferred to not hold it as an annual Sunday event, but rather to observe it on whatever day Nisan 14 fell. These early Christians wanted to time the observance according to the timing of the Hebrew type. The Western Church, on the other hand, wanted to remember the resurrection of Jesus always on a Sunday—Easter Sunday—regardless of the day of the week indicated by the Jewish calendar (Exodus 12).

Emperor Constantine wished to resolve this issue at the Council of Nicea in A.D. 325. The question of the Easter date was one of the main issues of concern. After lengthy dispute, the council was unanimous in its decision that Easter should always fall on the Sunday following the first full moon after the vernal equinox. After further discussion, it was decided that March 21st was to be the date for the spring equinox. This dating process has been the general guideline for most of Christendom ever since.

In Remembrance of Me

Students of the Bible stand free from many of the long‑standing traditions that have been passed down to us from the past. Their faith is based on the meaning and partaking of the symbolic emblems that represent our Lord Jesus’ sacrificial death. Jesus’ request given to his disciples that night in the upper room were, “This do in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19).

Every consecrated child of God joyfully accepts the privilege of partaking of the bread, representing Jesus’ flesh, and drinking of the cup, representing Jesus’ shed blood. This is the true meaning and purpose of observing this most important occasion each year on the 14th day of the first month Nisan.

Church of the Firstborn

In his letter to the Hebrew brethren, the Apostle Paul speaks of the “church of the firstborn” whose names are “written in heaven” (Hebrews 12:23). Elsewhere, he explains that they are walking with our Lord in “newness of life” (Romans 6:4). They also remember his death, and solemnly renew their consecration to God annually by partaking of the meaningful symbols, bread and wine.

In keeping the type of Exodus 12, the blood of each lamb that was slain in Egypt that night was sprinkled on the doorposts and lintels of the houses of Israel.

  • Each Jewish household represents the Household of faith, that is, all believers in Christ. This includes both spirit begotten and non‑spirit begotten, both fully consecrated and not yet consecrated, both the baptized into Christ and not‑yet baptized into Christ, who believe in the blood of Christ as the redemptive value that saves us from the curse of Adamic death. On that night, however, only the firstborn were under jeopardy, as only the firstborn has a spiritual life that could be lost.
  • That all believers benefit from the Passover sacrifice is reflected in the deliverance of all the Israelites through the Red Sea, subsequent to the Passover night. (1 Corinthians 15:22).

Here are some lovely words by Br. Charles Russell on the Household of Faith, from Reprint 5457. “These words “Household of Faith”—are broad enough to include not only those who are fully in the way, but also those who have made more or less of an approach unto the Lord and the Truth. The very fact that any one is drawing near to the antitypical Tabernacle is a strong reason why we should wish to encourage him to press on. He has come a part of the way, even if he has not made a consecration.

In a strict sense, the Household of Faith, of course, includes only those who are consecrated. But the words of the Apostle justify us in believing that those who are considering the matter, counting the cost, would in a broad sense be counted as of the Household of Faith. And we are to give these special assistance—all in whom we see any prospect of consecration. Our constant desire and effort should be to point men directly or indirectly to the Lord. Thus we shall be showing ‘forth the praises of Him who hath called us out of darkness into His marvelous light.’ ”

  • Each slain lamb—represents the antitypical Lamb of God: Christ Jesus.
  • The firstborn Israelites in each familyillustrate the Christ, head and body, the “church of the firstborn.”
  • The bitter herbs that were eaten with the lamb (Exodus 12:8)—illustrate the trials and afflictions that are experienced by the Lord’s people during the present Gospel Age.
  • The unleavened bread eaten with the lamb (Exodus 12:8)—represents our wish to be purged from the leaven of sin, as we feast upon the merits of our Lord’s sacrifice for us (1 Corinthians 5:7).
  • The household joining eating the Passover lambrepresents our common participation, our sharing together, of the merits of Christ (1 Corinthians 10:16,17).

Those who are faithful to their High Calling will be privileged to share in the deliverance of the poor groaning creation during Christ’s future kingdom, as proclaimed by the Apostle Paul (Romans 8:22, 23).

Christ our Passover Lamb

The Apostle Paul directs our attention to the significance of the Passover type and our need to purge out all unrighteousness and sin (pictured by leaven). He wrote to the Corinthians brethren,

Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth (1 Corinthians 5:7,8).

The Jewish people were to slay their Passover lambs on the 14th day of the first month (Nisan) of the Jewish New Year. This was the exact time many centuries later when our Lord Jesus, as the antitypical Passover Lamb, died for the sins of the whole world of mankind.

All who recognize Jesus as the true Passover Lamb and have accepted the merit of his shed blood on their behalf, may appropriate the merit of that blood by purifying their hearts from a consciousness of evil. Because of their faith in the blood of Jesus, they are privileged to enjoy a new relationship and standing before God.

The Lamb of God

When John saw Jesus coming toward him, he proclaimed, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).

Later, the Apostle Peter, when comparing earthly riches with the true value of our redemption (1 Peter 1:18), speaks of the exceeding value of Jesus’ blood of sacrifice, as “The precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot (verse 19).

God’s wonderful plan of reconciliation for the sins of the whole world will become manifest to all during the Millennial Kingdom soon to be established. The meaning of “Christ our Passover” takes on a deeper significance when we look forward to the time when the entire human family will praise God for the gift of his beloved Son, the “Lamb of God,” that takes away the sins of the world.

 

Acknowledgment:

The Dawn Bible Students’ Magazine—Article from the Highlights of Dawn, April 2006. “Easter—It’s Pagan Origins and True Meaning,” used to present this post.

Br. Charles T. Russell, The Reprints of the Original Watchtower and Herald of Christ’s Presence.

Br. David Rice—editing assistance.

The Uniting Methodist Church website—for references cited from “What Is Lent and why does it last 40 days?”

 

The URL of this post:
https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2017/04/07/the-origin-and-meaning-of-easter-lent/

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