Answers to Correspondents: "After My Departure"; Turned Away from Paul?; Church Presented by Christ; Handful of Corn; Second Little While

Acts 20:29; 2 Timothy 4:6; 2 Timothy 1:15; Revelation 2:17; Hebrews 2:13; Psalm 72:16; John 16:16
M. D.
A.-It seems clear from verse 25, and the way (ver. 38) those at Ephesus understood the words, " see my face no more," that Paul was referring to his death; and moreover that his " departure " had reference to the whole " church of God," and not merely the assembly at Ephesus, is plainly indicated by verse 28. 2 Tim. 4:66For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. (2 Timothy 4:6) also refers to his death, but the proper rendering of the Greek word there is " release," so that nothing can be built merely on the difference of the Greek words used. In both instances the context indicates that his death was before the apostle's own mind, and in Acts 20, in view of this, which would put an end to his personal and apostolic oversight in the church, he finds relief, fully awake to the evils and dangers that would beset the saints, in commending them " to God and the word of His grace," and in this way the apostle's words have a blessed present force for all our souls to-day.
Q.-How can we reconcile Paul's statement, " all they which are in Asia be turned away from me " (2 Tim. 1:1515This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes. (2 Timothy 1:15)), written in 66, with his Epistle to Ephesus in 64, and John's address (Rev. 2:1717He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it. (Revelation 2:17)). in 96 to the same assembly? From this last do we not see that the church was still in existence there; in what sense then had they all " turned. away " from Paul?
M. D.
A.-It is not here a question of whether there was not the assembly at Ephesus, but that the mass of believers in Asia, of which Ephesus was the capital, had turned away from Paul personally. This does not mean that they had given up the profession of Christianity or abandoned divine truth, but that their faithfulness to him who was the vessel of divine testimony, and in some sense their faith in God, had given way. Paul at this time was in prison, suffering the afflictions of the gospel that his personal energy and devotedness had brought upon him, and they of Asia forsook him-left him. to stand alone. The apostle felt this bitterly, and correspondingly treasured the faithfulness at this moment of Onesiphorus,
finding, too, in this desertion of the mass, the occasion to exhort Timothy to faithfulness towards himself and the gospel committed to him (ver. 8), bidding him for this to be " strong in the grace which is in Christ Jesus "—that which was his own resource in this special hour of trial.
Q.-Is there any scripture to warrant the thought that when the church is caught up "to meet the Lord in the air," she will be presented by Christ to the Father? Has Heb. 2:1313And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me. (Hebrews 2:13) any bearing on the subject? M. D.
A.-We know of no scripture that gives the thought that the church will be presented by Christ to the Father. In Eph. 5:2727That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. (Ephesians 5:27) we read that He will " present to himself a. glorious church," and in Jude we read of saints, as individuals, being. Presented "faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy," but here it is " God our Savior," and not the Father that is in question. Heb. 2:1313And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me. (Hebrews 2:13) certainly has no reference to this. The Lord there speaks of the believing remnant of Israel, separated from the rest of the nations according to Isa. 13:1818Their bows also shall dash the young men to pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eye shall not spare children. (Isaiah 13:18). It is what they are on earth as signs to the two houses of Israel.
A.-We think it is only a figurative expression of the great fruitfulness of the land during the millennium, when God blesses the earth under Christ as King in Zion. The mountain tops, and not merely the valleys, shall wave with corn so heavy with grain that it shall be like the shaking of the cedar trees of Lebanon. The whole Psalm is a beautiful prophetic picture of the glory of the Lord Jesus as the true Solomon.
J. O. M.
A.-The " little while " here is the interval that elapses between the Lord's leaving His disciples and His coming again to take them to Himself, and was consequent, as He says, upon his going " to the Father."
C. W.