Q511:1 QUESTION (1911-Z)1"For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp." (Heb. 13:11.) Would this show that the Sin-Offering is made in the antitypical Most Holy?
ANSWERIn general those who have translated anything in the Bible respecting the Tabernacle have seemingly been very careless in the use of the terms Holy, Most Holy, Holy place, etc. They did not discern that these terms were used [Page Q512] in different senses by the Jews, in connection with different portions of the Tabernacle. Correctly translated, our text reads: "The bodies of those beasts, whose blood is taken into the Most Holy as an offering for sin, are burned without the camp."' We must remember that the word "offering" is Scripturally used in two different senses. In one sense of the word, our Lord offered himself at baptism, when He gave Himself to do the Father's will. That was His offering of Himself, His gift, when He presented Himself at Jordan. He finished the offering of His gift when He laid down His life on Calvary; and that life, laid down on Calvary, is an appropriate Sin-Offering. But it remained for the High Priest to ascend up on high, there to appear in the presence of God for us, to make application' of the Sin-Offering. The sprinkling of the blood on the Mercy Seat was done in the Most Holy. But the presentation of that Sin-Offering was made at Jordanor, in the type, when the bullock was slain.
Q512:1 QUESTION (1909)1(Acts 17:28), "For in him we live and move and have our being, as certain also of your own poets have said for we are also his offspring." What is meant by the words, "We are also his offspring?"
ANSWERThe Apostle was addressing the heathen people at Athens who had erected an altar to the unknown God, and the Apostle wanted to address them along the line of their superstition. When talking with another it is a good point to get in harmony with them as much as possible. Don't get him down and make him mad. A great many of the Lord's dear people, with the best of intentions, arouse the antagonism of the one they are talking with, and thus do injury to both the truth and to themselves. The Lord did not send us to fight. If there is anybody that needs to be fought with it is ourselves. You remember the commission, "The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has sent me to preach the Gospel to the meek." As soon as you find that the person you are talking with is not meek, you should draw offdon't antagonize him, don't take a chisel and hammer and try to give him a ear. Our commission goes on to say that we are not only to preach the gospel, but to "Bind up the broken-hearted." We are not to try to break their hearts. Many seem to think they have a commission to go out and see how many hearts they can break, but there is not a word of that in the Commission. Look for the hearts that are already broken, for there are plenty of them in the world. You and I want to be peace-makers, trying to do all the good that we can, to bind up the broken hearts and pour in the oil of the spirit of the Lord. Let the Lord use the devil and others to break people's hearts; He knows how. Anything that you and I do must be with the words of life. Sometimes some word will enter into the very heart, just as when Peter said that the Jews had killed the Prince of Life; but let it be the arrow of truth and not of your own words, and let that cause them to fall under Him. When they manifest some sorrow and contrition, remember what Peter said to them when they asked, Men and brethren, what shall we do to be saved? Did Peter say, You ought to be sorry, get down there and be sorry for a while? No, he put on some oil right away, and started to bind up the broken [Page Q513] hearts. He said, Repent, dear friends, I wot that ye did it in ignorance, God knows that. And so he tried to heal them.
Another part of the question is this: In talking with these men at Athens, Paul said, I noticed one of your altars as I passed by, and on it were inscribed the words: "To the Unknown God." Now, I declare unto you, etc. Paul went on to tell them that they ought not to think of these idols as being God, but that God is the great Creator who made all mankind, and he reminded them that some of their own prophets acknowledged this same thought. He was working in with them, you see. Paul is not here saying that they were sons of God and in harmony with God. The whole world lieth in the wicked one who keeps them under his power by telling them that God is a furious God and leading them to hate Him. No, the Apostle would encourage them to know God who made them, and who will welcome them back if they come in His appointed way.
Q513:1 QUESTION (1912)1Would a person who is fully consecrated to God, and who suffers from an incurable disease, commit sin in taking a remedy containing an opiate, when suffering from severe pain, sometimes incapacitating him from work, because of suffering so severely?
ANSWERSuch a person would not be committing a sin in taking an opiate. We are allowed to relieve such pain. We are allowed to relieve the pain of hunger by eating. And so, if we are diseased by thirst we relieve the distress by drinking. All foods in this sense are remedies. We remedy the case by taking that which relieves. If I were in such a condition, if I had such an incurable disease that brought great pain, and the opiate was the only right and proper thing to relieve the pain, I would feel justified in taking the opiate. I would try, however, to not deceive myself, but would get the advice of some medical man, a doctor, to tell me whether he thought it was necessary in my case. If he said, No, that I would injure myself, stupefy myself, then I would say, I cannot use it. No two cases would be exactly alike. As a rule all opiates are injurious and should be used only as a last resort under competent advice.
ANSWERIt depends on how soon you die. It might stop tonight with some of us. I don't know. I think the right way to do is to live according to our judgment, according to God's providence. If all we have belongs to him, use the best wisdom he gives you today, and when tomorrow comes, use the best wisdom you know then. Leave it to the Lord to determine how soon the opportunity will be shut off. If he has not given you any opportunities today, then do not use them; you do not need to worry about what you cannot do. I have known some Christian friends who were greatly worried because they could not do something. My thought would be that God does not expect us to do what we cannot do. What we should be anxious about is, what is possible for us to do. How can we order our steps according to his [Page Q514] Word? What can we do that will be pleasing to him, and will serve his cause? Let each decide this for himself. You know I never solicit money.
ANSWERBefore answering this question, I would call attention to the Scriptural teaching on the subject of ordination. From what we believe to be the Bible standpoint, there are two ordinations proper. One is of God; one of men. The ordination of God is the begetting of the Holy Spirit. Without this no one is authorized to preach the Gospel. If any are preaching without this ordination they are, to our understanding, preaching without Divine ordination. They are doing something that they are not authorized to do.
Our Lord told how He was ordained to be a preacher; and the Scriptures tell us that we are to walk in His steps and to have experiences similar to His own in many respects. As ministers of the Cross, we are to copy our Lord Jesus Christ as fully as we are able to do. But He was perfect, and we are imperfect. Consequently we are to have the forgiveness of our sins, while he had no sins. He, therefore, constitutes the basis of forgiveness of all who come unto the Father through faith in His blood. He mentions His own ordination, saying, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me; because He had anointed Me to preach good tidings to the meek." (Isa. 61:1.) As that ordination came upon Jesus, it later came upon the disciples at Pentecost; and all down the Gospel Age it has come upon the followers of Christ, anointing them to preach the Gospel.Luke 4:17-21; 1 John 2:27.
All who have received the ordination of God have the authority to preach according to their opportunities and abilities. Some of them may be deaf mutes and cannot preach audibly. Others may be limited by sex; sisters cannot preach as do the brethren; but they can preach, nevertheless, in "showing forth the praises of Him who hath called them out of darkness into His marvelous light." (1 Pet. 2:9.) Moreover, they are fully ordained to make known the good tidings, but, according to the Apostle Paul's statement, not in a public way. There are some men who cannot preach publicly on account of lack of talent or opportunity, but all men, by their lives and conversation, can proclaim the glory and honor of the great and loving God who lifted them out of darkness into light, out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and placed their feet upon a Rock and established their goings.Psa. 40:2.
There comes, however, another special ordination of those who are called ministers of the Gospel, in which class I count myself. This is ordination by the Church, and is recognized by all denominations everywhere. By some it is considered a mere form, by some it is performed with great ceremony, by others with less ceremony. But to our understanding, each congregation should have those whom it has chosen ordained in a Scriptural wayby the stretching forth of handsby a vote.
The form of the statement in Acts 14:23, with other frequent references to elders in connection with all churches, [Page Q515] justifies the inference that ordination was the invariable custom in the early Church. The term "elders," as seen in this text, includes evangelists, pastors, teachers, and prophetspublic exponents. Hence it is important that we learn what is meant by the word "ordained."
At the present time the word ordination is generally used in reference to a ceremony of installation; but this is not the significance of the Greek word cheirotoneo, used in this text. It means "to elect by stretching out the hands," still the usual form of voting. This definition is given in Professor Young's "Analytical Concordance to the Bible." As this may be considered a Presbyterian authority, we give also the definition set forth in Strong's "Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible," which may be considered a Methodist authority. The latter defines the root of the word" A hand-reacher, or voter (by raising the hand)."
The Scriptural method of ordaining elders in all the churches is by congregational electionby stretching forth the hand in a vote. To insist upon such an election before serving is to follow Scriptural order; it fortifies the elder, and, additionally, reminds the congregation of its duties and responsibilities as appointees of the elders in the Lord's name and Spiritas expressing God's choice, God's will. Additionally, the Scriptural arrangement interests the members of the congregation in all the words and deeds of the elders, as their servants and representatives. It opposes the too prevalent idea that the elders own and rule the congregation, and puts an end to their thinking of them as "my people"rather than as "the Lord's people, whom I serve."
Whoever has not been ordained in these two ways is not an ordained minister of the Gospel in the Scriptural sense. First, the Divine ordination is necessary; second, the earthly ordination is necessary. By the grace of God I have both of these.
In the case of those who are doing a public work in the name of the WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY, they are ordained as a whole. They are sent forth by the officers of the Society; and as a majority of the classes everywhere are recognized by the Society, and as they in turn recognize the Society, they therefore recognize this ordination through the Society.
ANSWERIt gets its authority primarily from the Lord, who authorizes all His people, who receive the Holy Spirit to go forth. Secondly, the Society is a business organization for religious work in the service of the Lord, by printing books, pamphlets, charts, etc., and by sending out its representatives to preachby word of mouth and by printed page. This is its only business. It is acting in the same way as did the Church at Antioch, who especially chose Paul and Barnabas to do a missionary work, and who voted these to be representatives of that Church.Acts 13:2,3.
When Paul and Barnabas went forth, they did not say, "We preach in our name." They would have had a right to go in the name of the Lord and preach; but, in addition, [Page Q516] they had the financial backing, we understand, of the Antioch congregation, just as today our representatives have the backing of the Society. When they go to a place, they can say, "Here is a letter which shows that we are acting for the Society." So they do not go simply in the name of Christ, but they go as representatives of this Society, which is known to be doing an evangelizing work.
ANSWERIt is both. They are virtually the same thing. The International Bible Students Association, the Watch Tower Bible And Tract Society and the Peoples Pulpit Association are in many respects identical. Why have three names? For the same reason that there are in the various churches different Societiesthe Home Missionary Society, the Christian Endeavor Society and the Epworth League, etc., etc. Are they not all doing the same work and trying to help people to live a Christian life, etc.? Yes. Why have different Societies? For the reason that each has a different branch of the work to which to attend.
So is it with us. The parent Association is the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, chartered under the laws of the State of Pennsylvania. Its purpose is to publish the Truth, to send forth missionaries, etc., etc. The property that was necessary to transact business, etc., was in its name; for no other was necessary in the State of Pennsylvania.
When we moved here to New York, we were informed that the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society could not hold title to property here. We were told, "You can do business in a personal way, but not as a Society. So if you want to do any business here, you must be chartered as an Association." "Very well, then," we said, "we will organize the Peoples Pulpit Association." This is merely another name for the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, for New York business.
Later on, in Great Britain, we were informed, "Your American Charter does not count for anything here." Consequently we took out a Charter there for the International Bible Students' Association. This reads practically the same as the Charter of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society. These three different Societies were made necessary by the law of different states and countries. For some things the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society is the preferable name. It is the parent Society and the one to which contributions are made. Whoever makes a donation is expected, if he will, to make it in the name of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society.
The Peoples' Pulpit Association is the only one of the three that can do business here in New York, and the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society deals with the Peoples' Pulpit Association as though they were two independent organizations. Nevertheless they are the samejust as with the different Societies of the nominal churches, which would have, perhaps, the same treasurer.
Thus the whole management is by the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, and these auxiliary organizations [Page Q517] merely help in carrying on its work. We sometimes use one name and sometimes another, just as any one would have the right to use any names appropriate to his work. It is equally appropriate to say that we are the International Bible Students' Association. We are Bible students, and are helping Bible students in all parts of the world, by the printed page, by financial assistance and in other ways. It is also appropriate to use the name Peoples' Pulpit Association in connection with persons who are engaged in preaching and are acting under guidance of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society.
In other words, the Peoples' Pulpit Association cannot transact business except through the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society. The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society has the management, and the Peoples' Pulpit Association does the workabsolutely.
We keep the "Watch Tower" prominent in letter heads, etc., so that the friends would not misunderstand us and think that the "Watch Tower" has gone out of the work. We use one name or another, as would seem to be most convenient in the work. For instance, we now have on the title page of the Studies in the Scriptures the name International Bible Students Association, instead of Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, as formerly. Here we have a distinctive name, different from others. There are Bible Teachers Associations, Tract Societies, etc., etc.; but here we have a name especially appropriate to put on our publications, because it represents exactly the thought which we desire to express.
ANSWERThe Apostle Paul's words to Timothy might be variously understood. If we should read in tomorrow morning's paper that some one suddenly laid hands on a man we would understand that he had been assaulted. We are to remember that this is not the way the expression would be understood in the Greek, but that the translators gave us what they thought the proper meaning. The early Church had a ceremony of formally laying hands on the heads of their elders, deacons, etc. When the Apostles did this, it was the indication of the impartation of the Holy Spirit. None but the Apostles could bestow this. The Churches may have had some custom amongst themselves in the way of appointing ministers, however, that in thus doing they might indicate that they approved of such persons.
There would be nothing improper in a similar ceremony, if a Pilgrim were sent forth by the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society for a special service of some kind. The officers of the Society might step forward, lay their hands on the Pilgrim's head and say, "You are the representative of the Society." The priests in olden time laid their hands upon the head of the animal that was to be offeredto show that it represented them. So some one might be sent forth by the Society; but a ceremonial laying on of hands would be [Page Q518] merely an appeal to the eye, carrying with it no other authority than the words, "You are appointed for such and such service," etc.
This leaves each little company of the Lord's people to use whatever ceremony they choose. Episcopalians and Catholics use a great deal of ceremony; other denominations use less. We believe that we also have the right to use as much or as little ceremony as we choose. The meaning of the word ordination is to authorize. True ordination is, first, of the Holy Spirit; second, of the association sending forth its servant with the Gospel Message.
ANSWERI am still in the School of Christ and have not yet been graduated. We get our theology from the Bible. Some of our friends have taken their theology otherwise, have taken it from human instructors, and have afterwards found that they had wasted their time. Some things which they were taught were Scriptural, and some things were sectarian. We are simply trying to find out what the Bible teaches. As the Apostle Paul said to Timothy, so we desire to do: Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth."2 Tim. 2:15.
The Apostle did not tell Timothy to go to some Theological School, or, tell him which would be the proper one to attend if he wished to get confused. He merely told the young man to rightly divide the Word of Truthto see which portions refer to Natural Israel and which refer to Spiritual Israel; which are earthly promises, belonging to the natural man, and which are spiritual promises, belonging to the Christian; which belong to the present time, and which to the future.
Some of our number have been graduated from a theological seminary. At the time of their graduation they thought that their school was the best there was. But since they entered into the School of Christ, they find that really they would have been much better off if they had not gone to the seminary at all; for it took many months and years to get out of their heads the errors which were there drilled in.
Q518:2 QUESTION (1916-Z)2What is the object of the Society in getting out a list of questions with the intimation that the person who could answer those questions in a manner satisfactory to the Society would be considered a Minister of the Divine Word?
ANSWERThose questions are designed to fill a long-felt want. The questions are quite unsectarian; they are all Scriptural. The Society desires to know from the Pilgrims who are now in the service, or from any others who may at any time represent the Society as Pilgrims, what are their thoughts, their sentiments and their understanding as respects these fundamental questions appertaining to the Gospel of Christ. Any Brother not willing to answer those questions would be considered to be confused in his mind, unstable, and hence not qualified to teachnot "apt to teach." This would not imply that he might not still be a Brother, but that he would not be considered a Brother suitable for [Page Q519] the Pilgrim service. Neither would it mean that the Brother must not preach, but merely that the Society would not recommend him as an exponent of the Divine Word.
Any Brother willing to answer the questions, but showing considerable confusion in his replies, would to us indicate that he needed further instruction before he could properly represent the Society and what the Society believes to be the Truth respecting God's Word. Such a Brother would probably be brought to Brooklyn and have an opportunity to participate for a time in other features of the service, as well as in the Bible Study classes held at every meal time; and, by fullest liberty, have an opportunity of asking any kind of questions on subjects connected with the Truth, that thus the whole matter might be thoroughly regulated and clearly seen and understood.
Many of the Sisters in the Bethel Family, learning about the questions, made a special request that they might have a list of these and give their answers, with a view to practice and instruction which they might thus derive. Elders and Deacons in various classes have similarly requested the questions. We believe that it would be profitable for all of the classes of Bible Students everywhere, if they would choose to Eldership such as could answer these questions so as to be worthy of the Society's V.D.M. degree. This might make a good many changes amongst the Elders, but we believe that they would be profitable changes. Furthermore, we believe that all Elders earnestly desiring to teach the Truth, and the Truth only, would be glad to have the very assistance which these questions would bring to them.
We have been surprised, sometimes, how careless some of the dear friends seem to be in respect to those whom they elect or ordain as Eldersoften novices, contrary to the direction of the Lord's Word, thus doing harm both to the novice and to the class. (1 Tim. 3:1-7.) Next to the importance of the election of only a consecrated, spirit begotten child of God to Eldership should be the question. To what extent has he availed himself of the privileges of study, information? It is our thought that it is unwise to choose as an Elder any Brother who has not read at least once the entire six volumes of Studies in the Scriptures, or who is not a regular Watch Tower reader. Let it be borne in mind that the Society exercises no authority, makes no criticism, but merely gives advice; and that in the interest of the Lord's cause and the Lord's people.
ANSWERYes, assuredly! Every Pilgrim sent out by the Society is sent out as a Minister of the Divine Word, not a minister of creeds, nor of "isms"; but purely and simply a Minister of the Word of God. And in every case where a congregation of the Lord's people has elected a consecrated, spirit-begotten child of God to be an Elder, they have by their election ordained, or set apart, or indicated, that Elder as being a Minister of the Divine Wordone who serves, distributes, dispenses the Truth of God's Word.
ANSWERThe title V.D.M. is a very old one. Indeed, it has been out of use so long that comparatively few know its meaning. The three letters represent the Latin words, Verbi Dei Minister. The English of this is, "Minister of the Divine Word." When, during the Dark Ages, the Divine Word fell into disuse and creeds were substituted, this title was generally lost and ignored. There were no ministers of the Divine Word; for the Divine Word was not preached, but, instead, the creeds of men. Instead of these simple words so expressive of the proper thought in connection with all the Lord's public servants, we today have high sounding titles, such as Reverend and Doctor of Divinity, which are quite unscriptural. To confer the degree of Minister of the Divine Word would not mean to ordain, but merely imply that the Society in giving this degree had looked into the reputation, and so far as possible into the character and especially into the doctrinal development of the person to whom the degree was given, and that he was in the estimation of the Examining Board found worthy of being called a Minister of the Divine Word.
ANSWERSurely not! In withdrawing its appointment from a Pilgrim the Society would merely be indicating that for some reason it no longer was represented by that Pilgrim, and that it no longer was responsible for him or his teachings or his conduct or his maintenance. The Pilgrim brother thus dropped from the Pilgrim List might still be a Brother and be so esteemed by the Society, but might not be any longer considered a suitable person to represent the Society, either by reason of showing some weakness of character or some lack of the aptness to teach or some other reason which the Society would believe should not be encouraged, or for which it would not wish to be held responsible, or for various reasons, illness, etc.
ANSWERIt does. All the Pilgrims are thus ordained, appointed, or set apart for the special work of the ministry. Keep in memory always that ceremony is not ordination, but that appointment and direction are ordination. The Society ordains, authorizes, directs the course of the Pilgrims who [Page Q521]are its representatives as well as the representatives of the Lord and His Word.
Q521:1 QUESTION (1916-Z)1If it is proper that all Elders and Deacons should thus be ordained and should not attempt to serve regularly without ordination, what did St. Paul mean when he declared that he was an Apostle not of men nor by men, but by the Lord Jesus Christ?Gal. 1:1.
ANSWERNo man or congregation is competent to appoint or elect an Apostle. No congregational vote would make one of the brethren an Apostle. That is a special office or function which is of Divine appointment solely. Thus the Lord Jesus appointed only twelve Apostles"Twelve Apostles of the Lamb"St. Paul taking the place of Judas, who lost his apostleship. (Rev. 21:14; Psa. 109:8; Acts 1:20.) It is in this particular that the Church of Rome, the Church of England, and the Greek Church do violence to the principles of God's Word, in that they claim to make, but do not really make, Apostolic Bishopsbishops possessed of apostolic power and authority.
St. Paul did not desire us to understand that he took no notice of earthly appointment, except in respect to his apostolic office. On the contrary, the Church at Antioch ordained Paul and Barnabas and afterwards Paul and Silas, to be their representatives and apparently at their expense to carry the Message to others. The Antioch Church did not ordain the Apostle Paul to be an Apostle, but ordained him to be their missionary; and he accepted their ordination and rendered reports to them, as the account in Acts showsActs 14:26-28.
ANSWERNo, no one can be considered Divinely ordained who has not received the begetting of the Holy Spirit. For a congregation to ordain any one who does not profess to be fully consecrated to God and to have received the begetting of the Holy Spirit is for them to do what they have not been authorized by the Lord to do. The person thus chosen would be merely the representative of the church thus ordaining him, but would not be a representative of the Lord.
But for a congregation to recognize the Lord's authorization of a Brother, and to recognize further his aptness to teach and his possession of the qualities fitting him for service according to the Divine Word, means the giving to that Brother of a proper election or ordination to be the representative of the congregation in the name of the Lord. No Brother should attempt to serve a company of the Lord's people without their request, and their request or their vote constitutes their appointment of him to that servicein other words, their ordination of him, or appointment, for the service, whether for a day or a year.
ANSWERYes, such a statement is proper because the Bible speaks of it that way. The Bible says, "He is able to bring us off conquerors and more than conquerors." The Great Company will be conquerors in the sense that they will finally get the victory. Otherwise they would not attain everlasting life at all. In Revelation, 7th chapter, (Rev. 7) they are pictured as coming up out of the great tribulation, etc. Will they not be victors? Yes. Will they not be conquerors? Yes.
Those who get upon the Throne will be "more than conquerors." To be conquerors would mean that we would be faithful, not deny His name, not repudiate Christ. Whoever does that is a conqueror and I am glad this will be true of the Great Company Class. But, to be more than conquerors we must seek opportunities to serve, and present our bodies continually and wholly lay down our lives. A conqueror is a man who does not run away when attacked. But the man who leads in an attack is a Heromore than a conqueror.
Q522:1 QUESTION (1909)1In Rev. 3:5, we read: "He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment, and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels." How soon after the last member has passed beyond the vail, will this take place?
ANSWERI have no inside information, dear friends. I think the Lord is here referring to the present time, because unless you have in this present life, and before you pass the vail, the white raiment, and your name written in heaven, and unless it remains unblotted out, you will never pass into the Most Holy, as a member of the Christ. So this, to my understanding, refers to this side the vail. "I will confess your name before my Father, and before His angels." If your name and my name is there, I suppose the Father knows it, and I suppose the angels have some way of knowing it, but if we fail to overcome, then our names will not be confessed, but will be blotted out.
Q810:2 QUESTIONWhat is the Scriptural method of ordination? It seems to me that the laymen should have something to say as to who shall be their representatives. Have the clergy [Page Q811] arrogated to themselves privileges in this connection to which they are not entitled? (American)
ANSWERPriestcraft, and not the teachings of our Lord and His Apostles, is responsible for the division of the church into two classes, called "clergy" and "laity." It is still the spirit of priestcraft that seeks to lord it over God's heritage in every way possibleproportionately to the density of the ignorance prevailing in any congregation. The word "ordain," in respect to eldersthose who preside over the church- -occurs in Titus 1:5. It is from the Greek which signifies "to place down." "Set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I gave thee charge." (R.V.) On the fact of it, this text seems to imply that Titus was empowered to appoint these elders, regardless of the wishes of the congregations (churches, ecclesias); and it is on this view that the whole clerical system rests. The leading churches all claim for their bishops an apostolic authority to set, to place or appoint, elders for the congregationswithout the stretching forth of the hand, or vote of the church. This text is the bulwark of this idea; but it appears to be rather a weak support when we notice the last clause, "As I gave thee charge," and reflect that the Apostle would surely not give Titus "charge" or instruction to do differently from what he (the Apostle) did in this matter. The account of the Apostle's own procedure, rightly translated, is very explicit: "And when they had elected them elders by a show of hands in every ecclesia, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord." (Acts 14:23)