Convention Report Sermons








Momentous Types of Glories to Come

Natural Israel Especially Typical Of Blessings For Church and World. – Many Significant Old Testament Pictures – Moses As Prophet and Mediator – Christ the Great Antitypical Prophet and Mediator – Law Covenant vs. New Covenant – Israel's First-Borns – Church of First-Borns – Israel's Priesthood – Day of Atonement – Antitypical Priests Now Sacrificing.

Text: "Whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope." (Romans 15:4.)

THE Old Testament Scriptures abound in significant types. God selected the one nation of Israel, and made that nation a picture of what He is now doing, and what He purposes to do, through Christ and the Church to the whole world. From one viewpoint the twelve tribes of Natural Israel typified the twelve tribes of Spiritual Israel. (Exodus 19:5,6; 1 Peter 2:9; Revelation 7:1-8.) In another picture, the Atonement Day, Israel pictured the unsaved world, while their priesthood typified the Gospel Church. In the days following the Atonement Day, Israel represented the world during Christ's Millennial Reign, under the instructions of the glorified Priesthood.

Again, Israel's first-borns, who were passed over by the destroying angel on their last night in Egypt, typified the Church of the First Borns, now being passed over because the blood of Christ has been sprinkled on their hearts, during this night of sin. The first-borns of Israel were afterward represented in the tribe of Levi, set aside for a holy purpose. This tribe represented the Household of Faith of this Gospel Age, from which the Royal Priesthood are chosen. The Christ class, the Royal Priesthood, were typified by Melchizedek, the king-priest of Salem, who lived in the day of Abraham. (Genesis 14:17-20; Psalm 110:4; Hebrews 7:1-17,21.) Melchizedek fitly represented The Christ, Head and Body, in glory; for these unite in themselves the offices of both kings and priests, Jesus being the great Chief King and High Priest.

It is very necessary, however, to keep all these various types and pictures separate and distinct; else confusion will result. The New Testament throws great light upon this subject. The Apostle Paul tells us that the Jewish Law foreshadowed good things to come, and that Israel's priests served as a type of Heavenly things. – Hebrews 8:1-6; 10:1.


The Scriptures mention two Israels – Israel after the flesh and Israel after the Spirit. (Romans 9:8; Galatians 6:16.) In the typical pictures wherein Natural Israel represents the world during the Millennial Age, we see that all mankind will then be in covenant relationship with God, and will have His blessings as the nation of Israel. When during that age the world shall be restored and become the people of God, they will be a part of Fleshly Israel; for only Israelites are to be saved everlastingly.

This will be a gradual work. At the beginning of the Millennial Age, the blood of the "better sacrifices" will be applied for the world, the New Covenant will be inaugurated with Natural Israel, and gradually the whole world will become attached to Israel as a part of Abraham's earthly seed. (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Isaiah 2:2-4; Micah 4:1-4; Genesis 12:3; 22:16-18.) Spiritual Israel will then be their invisible rulers, as glorified spirit beings, reigning in the Kingdom of Messiah. His Kingdom shall be "the desire of all nations" and unto Him "every knee shall bow and every tongue confess." – Haggai 2:7; Isaiah 46:23-26.

As Moses was the mediator of the Old Law Covenant of Fleshly Israel, so Christ will be the Mediator of the New Law Covenant, the great Prophet of whom Moses foretold, saying, "A Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you from among your brethren like unto me. Him shall ye hear in all things that He shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass that whosoever shall not hear that Prophet shall be destroyed from among the people. (Deuteronomy 18:15,18; Acts 3:22,23.) This great Mediator will be able to do for the world what Moses was unable to do for Natural Israel. Moses could not forgive their sins and lift them up to perfection, restitution. But the antitypical Mediator will do this for the world – for "whosoever will."

The Head of this great Prophet and Mediator was raised up from amongst their brethren over eighteen hundred years ago. Since then, God has been raising up the Body of the Mediator. Only consecrated believers in Christ become members of this body, the faithful ones at this time coming in as the feet members of the Body of Christ, for we are down at the end of the Gospel Age, when this great Messiah is about completed. Jesus, the Head of this Messiah, having bought the whole world with His precious blood, has imputed of His merit to His Church in order to unite them to Himself as a part of the great sin-offering for the world; and as soon as the sacrificing work shall have been completed, He will begin His great work for the restoration of mankind to human perfection. In other words, as soon as all those who are to compose the spiritual phase of the Messianic Kingdom shall have passed beyond the veil of death, the Kingdom work will begin.


The work of that glorious New Dispensation will be to re-write in the hearts of mankind the Law of God, and to bring the world back to the physical, mental, and moral perfection enjoyed by our first parents before their disobedience. Then mankind not only will be able to keep the perfect Divine Law fully, but will delight therein. Our Lord Jesus is the only One who can thus recover mankind from their lost estate. No one else has the ability; for our Lord is Jehovah's Channel for accomplishing this stupendous work. He is the perfect One, the sinless One, who by Divine arrangement laid down His life for Adam and his race.

When Moses was preparing to mediate the Law Covenant, he took the blood of bulls and of goats, and sprinkled first the tables of the Law and afterward all the people of Israel. (Exodus 24:3-8.) Thus the Law Covenant was established, bringing the people into covenant by the great antitypical Moses, Christ, who first satisfies God's Justice, represented in the books of the Law, and then, during the thousand years of His Mediatorial Reign, will sprinkle "all the people," the world, with the blood of the "better sacrifices" – those of The Christ, Head and Body – thus bringing the world into covenant relationship with God. – Hebrews 9:15-23.

It may be asked, "If the blood of these bulls and goats represent the blood of Christ and His Body members, why were many bulls and goats slain, instead of one?" We answer, As there was a great concourse of Israelites, all of whom had to be sprinkled, the blood of many bulls and goats was required to sprinkle all Israel. But this was only a necessary repetition of the same thing. It represented the sacrifice of the one antitypical Bullock, our Lord Jesus and of the one antitypical Goat, the body of Christ. On the day of Atonement, only the one bullock and the one goat were used to picture the same sacrifices.


We have noted that in the type the tribe of Levi was set apart by God to represent the first-borns of Israel. (Numbers 8:14-19.) From this tribe the priestly class was selected – the family of Aaron. The high priest and the under priests represented the great High Priest and His under priests of this Gospel Age, the "little flock." The remainder of the tribe of Levi represented those Christian believers who fail to make their calling and election sure to the Royal Priesthood, and who are called in the Scriptures "a great multitude" – the Great Company class. – Rev. 7:9-17; Psalm 45:9-14.

The high priest was one who offered the Day of Atonement sacrifice, and who carried the blood into the Most Holy to present it to God, upon the Mercy Seat. He represented the blood of both the bullock, representing our Lord Jesus, and the Lord's Goat, representing the Body members of Christ. (Leviticus 16:14,15; Hebrews 13:11-13.) So after His ascension our Lord Jesus appeared in the antitypical Most Holy – Heaven itself – with His own blood, which He presented for those who would be of His Body. (Hebrews 9:24.) At the close of the Gospel Age, after His Body members have been offered, He will again appear before the antitypical Mercy Seat to present the blood of the Lord's Goat class, which is "for all the people," all mankind. The merit of these latter sacrifices, however, is all His own, being really only another presentation of His own merit, through His Body. All this work is the work of the Gospel Age. [CR486]


Amongst their other duties the priests had entire charge of teaching the people. They taught the Israelites especially what was God's will, how to approach God, how to render sacrifices – whatever the people needed to know. Furthermore, they offered both gifts and sacrifices for the people, who brought their gifts and sacrifices to the priests.

This was an illustration of the arrangement in the Age to come. The people will come to The Christ, Head and Body. God will have no direct dealings with the world until the close of the Mediatorial Reign of Christ; for He has committed all judgment unto the son, who will deal with mankind throughout their Judgment Day of a thousand years. (John 5:22-27; Acts 17:31; 2 Peter 3:7,8.) The great Mediator will be the "go-between," representing God to the world, and the world to God.

When the Mediatorial work is completed, and mankind have been fully restored, then the Kingdom will be delivered over to the Father. The Christ will step out from between the world and God, and mankind will be directly in the hands of Jehovah. All who then shall prove worthy under Jehovah's testing shall be granted eternal life. Those who prove unworthy shall die the Second Death, from which there will be no recovery. – 1 Corinthians 15:24-28; Revelation 20:7-9.


On the Jewish Day of Atonement the bullock and the Lord's goat were used to picture the "better sacrifices" of the Gospel Age – those of The Christ. The bullock was a fitting representation of our Lord Jesus as a man; for He was perfect in mind and body, full of zeal and strength. The young bullocks of sacrifice were prime animals, with much fat. When this fat was offered, it made a great smoke, thus representing our Lord's heart devotion to the Heavenly Father.

The fat of the bullock was burned upon the Brazen Altar in the Court of the Tabernacle, in the sight of all within the Court. This typified the fact that our Lord's loving zeal and sacrifice is seen and appreciated by all within the antitypical Court – justified believers. The burning of its flesh, hide, etc., outside the camp signifies that our Lord's sacrifice is a stench in the nostrils of those outside the Court – the world of unbelievers. The third fire, burning simultaneously on the Golden Altar in the Holy, consumed the incense, from which arose a sweet odor, and represented God's appreciation of our Redeemer's sacrifice – that it was a sweet odor in Jehovah's sight.

In our Lord's case, all these fires were burning at the same time. God saw His sacrifice, the Levites – including the priests – saw it, and the people in the Camp saw it. All these fires ceased at the moment when our Lord's sacrifice was completed at Calvary. The sweet incense had already preceded Jesus into the antitypical Most Holy; for in the type it rested over the Mercy Seat when the high priest entered the Most Holy with the blood. Consequently the Father raised our Lord from the dead on the other side of the veil, as a glorious spirit being. Then, when He ascended on High, He entered into the antitypical Most Holy, where He sprinkled the blood of His sacrifice before the antitypical Mercy Seat, when He "appeared in the presence of God for us – the Church."


There were two goats tied at the door of the Tabernacle; but only one of them was chosen to be the sin-offering for the people. The Lord's Goat was given the same treatment as was the bullock. A goat fittingly represents the Body members of Christ; for the goat is a very lean small animal as compared with a prime young bullock. Our zeal and our love are far less than are those of Jesus. We are weak and imperfect from the Adamic fall; and it is only the merit of our Saviour that gives our sacrifices any value.

It was the high priest that killed both the bullock and the goat in the type. In the antitype it was our Lord Jesus Christ who first offered Himself up, and then the Church. He as the High Priest first killed His human nature, represented by the bullock in the type. Then He kills the human nature of His Church. We merely present ourselves to suffer with Him in order to reign with Him. – Romans 12:1,2; 2 Timothy 2:11,12. [CR487]

The other goat, while presented for sacrifice, was not killed as a sacrifice, but was sent out into the wilderness to die, bearing the sins of the Israelites, though not as a part of the sin-offering. It typifies a class who present themselves to be sacrificed, but who fail to keep their consecration vow faithfully. Hence they fail to be of the antitypical Lord's Goat class. They will be the great Company. Although they presented themselves for sacrifice, yet they held back, did not fulfil their Covenant of Sacrifice. All their life-time they have been subject to bondage through fear of death – a sacrificial death with our Lord Jesus. They smell the bad odor of the burning goat without the Camp, and they wish to avoid being associated with it. But in avoiding it, they lose the privilege of becoming members of the glorious Body of Christ. They will lose the Kingdom.

Those who are faithfully following their Lord are now sacrificing priests. Our great High Priest is doing the sacrificing, and we are co-operating with Him. We are in harmony with this burning outside the Camp. The New Creature says, "Let the flesh burn." We suffer in this burning, but we do so willingly. We know that it is only if we suffer with our Lord that we shall reign with Him. We find quite a severe warfare with our fallen flesh; for the interests of the New Creatures are in opposition to those of the human nature. Therefore we must bring our bodies under and keep them in subjection to the new mind.

If the old creature wins in this conflict, we shall be no part of the sacrifice of Christ.


The work of sacrificing is not yet entirely finished. The last members of the Body of Christ are now laying down their lives. Day by day these faithful ones are asking, "What is the Lord's will concerning me? What is the meaning of this providence?" Their wills are fully given up to the Lord's will. They realize that whatsoever they do they are to do all to the glory of God. In all their daily providences they seek to read His will. They seek to avoid whatever would incapacitate them or hinder them from doing the Lord's work. This is not a slavery to them; on the contrary, it is the most blessed freedom.

These blessed ones are daily fed with the antitypical shew-bread in the Holy. They are enlightened with the light of the antitypical Golden Candlestick. Daily they offer incense at the antitypical Golden Altar. They are children of the light; they are not of the night nor of the darkness. For all their imperfections they have an advocate with the Father. (1 John 2:1-2.) They seek continually to judge themselves and to correct their shortcomings, in order that they may not be judged of the Lord for unfaithfulness. If they find that in any way they have wronged another, they make haste to right the wrong, and then go to the Throne of Grace for forgiveness and cleansing. Then they endeavor to profit by the lesson which they have learned in the School of Christ and to develop still more carefully the character likeness of Christ.

Loving Kindness of our Great God


Love of God Constrains – Many Made Agnostics by Erroneous Teachings – Very Little Gospel Preaching for Many Centuries – Heathen Bewildered by Unreasonable and Conflicting Creeds – Truth now Clear to Earnest Bible Students – Majority of College Professors Know Nothing of the True Teachings of the Bible – Many Truth-Hungry Souls Stumbling into Latter-Day Errors – To Know God Aright is Life Everlasting.

Text: "Because Thy loving-kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise Thee." (Psalm 63:3.)

MORE and more are we noticing that the Bible presents to us a God of loving-kindness, and from that viewpoint calls upon us to render some return to Him. More and more are we impressed with the erroneousness of the creeds. How they misled us into thinking of our Heavenly Father as anything but the kind, loving Parent presented in our text. In harmony with this thought of the loving-kindness of our God, the apostle says, "The love of Christ constrains us." (2 Corinthians 5:14.) Since Christ is the "express image of the Father's glorious person," God also constrains us – draws us to Himself by His love.

It is very probable that the reason why so many have been kept away from God is that He has been very seriously misrepresented to us all and by us all. When we read the apostle's words to the effect that the heathen are feeling after God, if haply they might find Him (Acts 17:27), we ask ourselves, Why is it that the heathen have not found the Lord? Evidently St. Paul expresses the right sentiment here; for mankind are so constructed that the highest and noblest organs of our brain are those that call for reverence for the Almighty God. Therefore it would be the most natural condition for all men to desire to have a God, to have fellowship with Him, to have His favor and blessing, and to have the everlasting life which He has offered.

But we find the very reverse of this, not only in Christian lands, but in lands where the gospel has been preached to a very limited extent. Not only do we find many who neglect the Lord and care little for Him, but we also find many who have turned away from Him entirely and who are antagonistic to Him. They call themselves agnostics, a term which signifies persons who do not know anything definite about God, persons who demand proof of the existence of things supernatural. There is a difference, however, between an infidel – an unbeliever – and an agnostic. Some of the leading people of our day candidly confess that they are agnostics. They are feeling after God, trying to find Him. Then there are some who drift from one denomination to another; and others, such as Christian Scientists, who are outside of all so-called orthodox denomination – all feeling after the Truth, but not having a knowledge of it.


It is difficult to estimate how much harm has been done by the doctrines which misrepresent God's character. [CR488] Erroneous teachings are responsible for the many denominations all calling themselves Christians, though knowing little about God and Christ – for the most part, merely formal professors. Only a few claim to be fully consecrated to the Lord. After all these centuries of preaching, we would naturally expect better results. The trouble is that during all these centuries there has been very little real Gospel preached. If we had been taught the simple truth during the entire Gospel Age, and not the "doctrines of demons," doubtless the results would have been more like those obtained in the early church, when thousands turned to the Lord. – Acts 2:41; 4:4.

Noble Christians they were, not merely formal professors. The apostle tells us of some who endured a great fight of afflictions, who suffered great loss; and of others who became the companions of such as were thus treated. (Hebrews 10:32,33.) Under Nero, the Roman emperor, and later under Diocletian, many Christians suffered for loyalty to God. It required a great deal of character to stand up and be willing to suffer even unto death for righteousness sake. Had this spirit continued, where do you suppose Christianity would be today?

A few years ago, when I was in so-called heathen lands, some of those heathen people came to me one morning just before my departure and said, "Pastor Russell, we are sorry that you are leaving us. We wish that you could stay longer. We did not get out to hear you last night; for we supposed that your teaching was something like that of the missionaries here. But we are told that it is very different; and we would like to hear you. We know that there is something in Christianity; but we cannot understand how it could be true, as the missionaries have told us, that thousands upon thousands are suffering in eternal torment because they did not know about your God." Some said, "The gods of the heathen are better than your God. We are taught not to take the life of even a worm, and to be careful where we tread, lest we kill some little creature. How different from what the missionaries tell us about your God! Can you wonder that we are not Christians?"

You will perceive that these people are feeling after God and wishing to find Him, but they are bewildered by misrepresentations of the God of the Bible. Of course, we could converse only through an interpreter; and as my schedule placed a time limit upon me, I could not remain with them longer to tell them about the loving kindness of our God, as I would have liked to do.


When St. Paul was in Athens, he recognized the fact that the heathen were feeling after God and trying to find Him. On the street corners and elsewhere they had vain images erected to represent their multitudinous gods; and lest they should overlook even one, they had erected an altar to "The Unknown God." St. Paul noted the fact and preached to them the true God. But they were so steeped in superstition and error that when they heard of the true God and His plan they were not ready to receive the Gospel.

If the truth had been proclaimed by the best of teachers all down the Gospel Age, the result might have been the same. Perhaps it would have been rejected; perhaps only a few would have been willing to receive the message. But experience teaches that many people would like to know the truth about God. Even children of ten years of age and younger are interested to know about Him; and many at the age of twelve or fourteen years have a clear understanding of His plan.

False doctrines have driven people away from the Lord; and Christian people, under the delusion of these false doctrines, have shown anything but a proper Christian spirit. They have not known what manner of spirit they were of, as was the case with St. James and St. John. You will recall that the people of a certain Samaritan village had refused to sell bread for the Master's use. St. James and St. John asked our Lord, "Wilt Thou that we call down fire from Heaven and consume them?" The Master replied, "Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. The Son of Man came not to destroy men's lives, but to save them." – Luke 9:51-56.

Like those two disciples, Christendom has had a wrong focus. We have not understood our Father in Heaven, nor His plan. We had a devilish idea, engendered by the doctrines of demons. (1 Timothy 4:1.) During the Dark Ages, men were burned at the stake and put through various forms of torture, all in the name of Jesus, in the name of religion. What a terrible mistake! Did not this drive the people away from the Lord and the truth? Did it not do great injury to those who perpetrated such crimes as well as to the world at large? Yes, and it all resulted from the lack of knowledge of God.

But now, by the grace of God, the light is shining clearly upon the Bible. God's people today can appreciate our text, perhaps, in a way not appreciated even by the early church. Because of God's loving-kindness our lips shall praise Him. How far removed is this thought from what many of us were taught in childhood – that God was vengeful, ready to throw us to the devil; but that our Lord Jesus stepped in and said, "Please do not! I died for these people. Allow me to show them mercy!" and that then the Father would say, "For your sake I will; otherwise I would throw them into eternal torment."

What a wretched picture! Where would God's loving-kindness be? But when we see that God arranged a wonderful plan of salvation before the foundation of the world, that He has a great purpose in gathering out of the world a church, a bride for His son, to become heavenly beings of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4), for the blessing of all mankind later, then we begin to see His loving-kindness, His tender mercy.


Now we have come to a time when our conceptions of God are growing clearer. We are awakening from the sleep of the past. We are getting our eyes of understanding open a little. We are looking and thinking, in the right direction. The great professors in our colleges are looking and are seeing things, too; but they are not looking in the right direction, however. A former professor in one of our western colleges came into the knowledge of present truth recently. One day he remarked to one of the brethren: "It is not necessary to teach evolution to the young men and women who come to college. They enter with their minds already prepared on that subject, having gained ideas along this line from their school books and elsewhere. They have already been taught that evolution is the way by which man came into the world. Furthermore, nearly all of the faculty in all of our colleges and universities are evolutionists."

Many of the thinking people of the world are looking about in the direction of Theosophy or New Thought or Christian Science. They are searching for light, not knowing where to go. The degree of light which we enjoy who have come to understand God's plan is to be highly appreciated. "Blessed are your eyes; for they see." You have looked in the right direction – that which God has pointed out – in His word. Higher critics, evolutionists, and others who lean to their own understanding are in darkness. Those who are looking carefully into the teaching of the Bible are being drawn closer to God, and are obtaining a deeper appreciation [CR489] of Him as a personal God.

All who accept these theories of men regard God as a principle without personality. If any who follow these cults still believe in a personal God, it is because they have not as yet gotten the idea of their leaders. The theory is that there is a principle of good which operates everywhere, and that principle is God. Hence they say that God is everywhere and in everything. To them, God is a great law of nature. Is there any intelligence in such a law? Is there any sympathy, any love, there? Not a bit! They worship the principle, instead of the great source of the principle. They adore the law, and not the great author of law.


Our text speaks to those who have learned to know God. Since the days of the early Church not many have known of God's loving-kindness. It has been lost sight of, even as the teachings of the Bible have been. Only through the Bible can any know of God's loving-kindness and tender mercy. The words of this text have been true of all who have been in close relationship with God throughout the Gospel Dispensation. More fully than ever before do the Lord's people realize His love and mercy today. More light is shining upon this class than ever before. Truly we know something of the loving-kindness of our God.

If this realization has come into your heart, it is having a transforming effect upon your heart and your mind; for it is having this effect upon all of God's people. The Psalmist declares that this loving-kindness of our God is better than life – the present life, not the future. It is this loving-kindness which has provided for a future life for us. In view of this fact, we count what remains of the present life as a trifling thing, not worthy to be compared with what God has in reservation for us. As a training school for the life to come, this life is very valuable, but not for its own sake. So we are glad to lay it down in the service of God. We have not been compelled to do so, however. God is not compelling any one to sacrifice. Whoever makes a sacrifice that is acceptable to God must do it of his own free will.

Our hope is built upon the loving-kindness of our God. As soon as we saw His loving character, we gladly surrendered our little all. It was the same with our Lord Jesus. Did he not, in appreciation of God's loving-kindness, lay down his life? And so it has been with all who walk in his footsteps. Thus we appreciate God's provision for the future as far better than the present life, and are willing to surrender all of our earthly prospects, counting them as loss and dross, in order that we may secure the glorious things which God has promised to those who love Him.


Our text goes on to say, "My lips shall praise Thee." We praise God with joy in our hearts. He does not demand our praise; it is not that we MUST do this or that. We should not ask, "Must I do this?" or, "Will God require that?" This is not the right spirit; rather, it is just the reverse. Let us serve the Heavenly Father and do His will as our Lord Jesus did. He said, "I delight to do Thy will, O My God! Thy Law is written in my heart." (Hebrews 10:5-9; Psalm 40:7,8.) We, too, will praise God with joyful lips for the privilege of service and of suffering for His name.

This spirit was exemplified in St. Paul and Silas, when on account of their loyalty to the Truth they were imprisoned at Philippi. There in the prison, with their backs smarting from the stripes which they had received, with their hands and their feet fast in the stocks, and with their bodies in a most uncomfortable position, these two faithful servants of God had so great an appreciation of God's loving-kindness that their lips gave utterance to songs of praise, telling the Good Tidings to others.

So it is with us, dear brethren. We cannot keep God's gracious Message to ourselves. As the Prophet said, it is like a fire in our bones; we cannot stifle it. (Jeremiah 20:9.) We must praise our God. We must declare our appreciation of the glorious things which He has in reservation for the Church and of the blessings which He has in reservation for the whole world of mankind. Because His loving-kindness is better than life, we praise Him with joyful lips.


To know God is life eternal, the Master said. (John 17:3.) This being so, not many as yet have eternal life; for only a few know God. It is not sufficient to know that there is a God, nor to realize that He is a living Being, not a Principle. As the Scriptures say, "He that cometh to God must believe that He is (a personal God), and that He is a Rewarder of them that diligently seek Him." (Hebrews 11:6.) We first believed; then we sought to know His will concerning us.

Thus doing, we found that He had made a provision in His Love whereby we might come from under the condemnation of sin and death and be admitted into His family. We offered ourselves to Him through Christ, our Redeemer. God accepted us and gave us the begetting of His Holy Spirit. By and by, if we are faithful, we shall be born on the spirit plane and have joint-heirship with Christ Jesus our Lord.


The Purchase of Church & World

Christ's Sacrificial Merit Utilized Thus Far Only for the Church. – God's Orderly Arrangement – Progressive Steps in the Divine Plan – Philosophy of the Ransom – Church First Bought – Purchase-Price Not Yet Applied for the World – Why Jesus Prayed Only for the Church – He Will Pray Later for the World – "Ask of Me, and I Will Give Thee the Heathen" – How the Church Glorify God in Their Bodies.

Text: "Ye are not your own, for ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your bodies." (1 Corinthians 6:19,20.)

THERE is a very general and natural sentiment amongst men that as individuals we have the right to control ourselves, to have an independence of thought and of will; and this is reasonable and right as respects our relationship to our fellowmen. Every person of character should preserve his independence of mind. Whoever lacks this independence of mind and of will is lacking in a fundamental element of character, and is weak and unstable. But there is One to whom we owe everything, even our very existence. To Him we owe, therefore, our full allegiance. The Bible declares that God's creatures should fully recognize His dominion and control.

Looking back to the case of Father Adam, we see that God created him with a will, with the power of self-control, and gave him also a knowledge of his responsibility to his Creator. But we see that later he was misled by giving heed to another. First of all, Mother Eve was misled by giving heed to the Adversary, Lucifer, who had deflected from loyalty to his Maker. Then she became the temptress to her husband. Thus the Divine Law was violated by the father of our race; and God would no longer recognize the one who was unwilling to render obedience to his Creator and to follow His guidance. As our Lord afterward said: "The Father seeketh such to worship Him as worship Him in spirit and in truth." When Adam ceased to worship God in spirit and in truth, God said to him in substance, "You wish to take your own course; go your way, and see where it will lead you."

This has been largely the course of the world ever since. The seeds of sin and disobedience sown by Adam have developed, and the entire race has been more and more alienated from their Creator as the centuries have rolled away. The Apostle Paul, in discussing this matter, says, "God gave them (mankind) over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not proper." (Romans 1:28.) Thus the Scriptures explain the present condition of the world. God has let go of mankind during these six thousand years.


But our text tells us of some who have been brought back from this condition of alienation from God, bought back from death. Father Adam had sold the whole race under sin, as the Apostle explains, under the dominion of Satan. (Romans 7:14.) He sold us out in the gratification of his own desires. He involved not only himself, but his entire posterity. If, then, the race was sold under sin and Satan, to whom would the purchase-price be paid, when mankind is bought back? Would it be paid to the Adversary? We answer, No; the Adversary never had any right to the human race. They belonged to their Creator. It was His Justice which was violated and which demanded the price of man's redemption. The race as a whole are not yet purchased. The price for their deliverance has not yet been applied, even though the purchase-price has been furnished in the death of Christ. Mankind are still a race of slaves. The great Adversary has taken advantage of their ignorance and superstition due to the fall and has brought them into bondage to errors, weaknesses and faults.

It is God's purpose, however, that this slavery shall be only a temporary thing. The time has seemed long to man, but in God's sight these six thousand years are as six days. God has a great Work Week of six thousand-year Days. The seventh Day of this great Week is the Sabbath also a thousand years in duration. In this Sabbath Day, it is the Divine purpose to lift the curse resting upon mankind. In this Sabbath Day the world shall rest from their own labors and unavailing efforts to effect their own salvation. They shall rest in Christ's finished work on their behalf. This will be the great Judgment Day, the thousand years of Messiah's glorious Reign for the blessing of all of Adam's race.

But what about those who are already bought, as our text declares? These who are first bought are the Church of Christ. The price for the salvation of the Church is the same price that is necessary for the sins of all mankind. That price is the death of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Apostle John declares, "He (Jesus) is the propitiation for our (the Church's) sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." (1 John 2:2.) The word propitiation means satisfaction. Divine Justice is satisfied to release the sinners as soon as the Purchase-price is made available.


The penalty upon Adam because of his sin was death; and as by heredity all his posterity have been born blemished and imperfect, they have shared his penalty. God could have placed our first parents under a different penalty. He could have imposed the penalty of one year's banishment from the Garden of Eden. But He wished to give a lesson that would be important not only to the whole world of mankind, but also to the angels of Heaven. There is never to be any more sin than God is permitting in this world now. When it is over, there will be no more sin thenceforth in the entire Universe. Hence God placed upon man the extreme penalty of His Law. Adam could never rid himself of that penalty unless he were redeemed. It would mean his eternal destruction, as well as that of his race, which fell in him. Jesus came to earth a perfect man, with an unborn race in His loins. This human life He gave as an exact equivalent for Adam and the race yet unborn in his loins at the time of his sin.

But because of an important feature of His great Plan, God purposed that a certain part of Adam's race should be purchased in advance of the remainder. Our text does not speak of the world's purchase, but only that of the Church; for only the purchase of the Church is yet accomplished. This is the Father's arrangement. We are told by the inspired Apostle that when Jesus ascended up on High, "He appeared in the presence of God for us" – The Church. – Hebrews 9:24.

It was Jehovah's purpose to have a prepared company to be associated with His Son in His great work for the restoration of the world. This class is called the Bride of Christ, the members of His Body. As they were sinners, under the same death penalty as the remainder of the world, it was necessary that the merit of Christ's sacrificial death be first utilized for them. Instead of being justified actually, as will the world during the Age to come, these have perfect righteousness imputed to them instantaneously, when they accept Christ's sacrificial work on their behalf and consecrate themselves wholly to God. Thus they are enabled to become joint-sacrificers with their Lord and Head that they may be sharers in His future Reign.


Jesus has not yet appeared before the Mercy Seat in Heaven for the world. The Bible declares of the world's present condition, "The whole world lieth in the Evil One." (1 John 5:19, R.V.) If they had been purchased, they would not be lying in the Wicked One. In our Lord's last prayer with His disciples before His crucifixion he said, "I pray not for the world, but for them which Thou hast given Me." (John 17:9.) The very next day after He offered this prayer He died for all the world – "He tasted death for every man." (Hebrews 2:9.) But He knew that the merit of His death would first affect those whom the Father would give Him out of the world. Hence He prayed in harmony with the Father's arrangement. To have prayed differently would have been to pray out of order.

When the Church is glorified with her Lord, then will come the time for Christ to pray for the world. The Bible so declares. The Psalmist David (Psalm 2:7-9), looking forward to that time, quotes the Father as saying to the Lord Jesus, "Ask of Me, and I will give Thee the heathen for Thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for Thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; Thou shalt dash them in pieces as a potter's vessel." The Father will turn over all the nations of the earth to the Lord Jesus, as soon as the Church shall have been fully delivered, [CR491] and the merit of Christ, which had been accounted to them, shall, by their sacrificial death, be freed for application for all the world.

Then the Church, seated with Christ in His Throne (Revelation 3:21), will with Him form the Kingdom. Jesus shall reign "from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth." In due time – and that due time is near – all the kingdoms and governments of earth are to be brought down to the dust, and the peoples made ready for the rule of the Heavenly Government for which God's people have so long been praying: "Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is done in Heaven."


Coming back to our text: We who have been purchased in advance by our Lord Jesus realize that we do not belong to ourselves. We are bought with a price and we are not our own. What does this mean to us? It is like this: Suppose that we had been drowning, or had been about to be burned to death, and suppose some one had rushed up and rescued us at the imminent risk of his own life. We would feel that we could not do enough for the one who has saved us. So the Apostle here seems to be expressing the same thought. The One who bought us not only risked His own life, but sacrificed it on our behalf, that we might be rescued from eternal death. How much more, then, should we gratefully appreciate His work of love for us! He left the glory which He had with the Father that by the grace of God He might taste death for every man; and the merit of His death has now been made available for us who have become His disciples. How our hearts should go out to Him in thankfulness! We say to ourselves, "What can I do to show my appreciation for what my Savior has done for me?"

When we look out over the everlasting future and think of the blessings of eternity, we realize that the way for us to attain these great blessings was opened to us through Jesus' death. So we gladly bring our little offering and give ourselves wholly to Him who died for us. We recognize that we are very small and imperfect; and that He is so great, so mighty – wonderful in perfection and glory. We cannot do what we would because of our weakness and blemishes, but we can show Him our loyalty. And we pray: "Lord, grant to us the opportunity to prove to Thee how much we love Thee, how glad we are to be given a small part in the carrying forward of God's great Plan."

We feel that we have not half enough to give. We are such bundles of imperfections that we really feel ashamed to offer ourselves to the Lord. But we have been bidden to come in the name and merit of Jesus. We can imagine the Father saying to us, "I know that you are very imperfect, but I only desire to see your attitude of heart and mind, your earnest endeavor to do My will."

When I was in India a number of years ago some natives came to the hut where I was lodged and asked for me. The brother who spoke their language came in and told me. Then he said, "Will you go out and see these people?" So I went out to the door and found a father, a mother, and their three children. They could not speak a word of English, but they had brought me some humble gifts. One had a little piece of fruit, another had an egg, and another something else. I did not like to take these things from them; for I knew that many of these people did not have enough to eat. But they had brought the best they had. Therefore I felt that I must not refuse their loving offerings lest I offend or grieve them; so I received the gifts.

I have often thought since then of how this illustrated our gifts to the Lord. Our dear Heavenly Father does not need our little egg or bit of prickly fruit, any more than I needed what these poor people brought, but He encourages us to come to Him with our gifts. He is entirely able to get along without us; we cannot enrich Him; but for our good He is willing to receive our small offerings, and it is a great privilege that we are invited to thus come. Most gladly and thankfully we accept His gracious invitation to give Him our little all. He is preparing us for our great exaltation with Christ. All whom he chooses must be saintly in character. None but saints will be in that glorified company who will compose the Bride of the Lamb. We must each demonstrate our entire faithfulness unto death.


We read in the Bible the parable of the Nobleman who went into a far country, to receive a Kingdom and to come again. (Luke 19:21-27.) Jesus is that Nobleman. The far country is Heaven. After His resurrection from the dead He ascended to Heaven to be invested with royal authority to be Ruler of the earth. In the parable, the Nobleman, when leaving His servants, called them to Himself and gave them money, to every one according to his ability, instructing them that they should invest these talents for Him, and should render their account upon His return. So the Master gives to each of His followers opportunities of service commensurate with our abilities for service. As our abilities differ, He gives to some greater opportunities than to others. He makes us the stewards of these His goods, and expects us to use them diligently, and wisely to His glory.

The parable represents that upon the Nobleman's return, He reckoned with His servants. To each of those who had faithfully used what was given him, He said, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant. Thou hast been faithful over a few things; I will make thee ruler over many things. Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." He did not say, "Thou hast done great things," but, "Thou hast been faithful over a few things." He knew that they could not do very much, but they had shown their loyalty, their faithfulness; and that is what the Lord desires to see. He expects us only to do with our might what our hands find to do for Him.


If we have an opportunity to present the Message of salvation to a hungry soul, we are to be very careful not to tell him more than he is able to grasp, lest we do him harm rather than good. We are to remember the Master's words to His disciples before they had been begotten of the Holy Spirit. He said, "I have many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now." (John 16:12.) So with those who are feeling after the Truth. They cannot bear all the Truth at once, just as babes cannot assimilate strong meat. What would be nourishment for an adult would choke an infant. Let us be wise as serpents and harmless as doves, showing forth the praises of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light.

Christians are obligated by their vows to the Lord to consider carefully what they wear, where they go, what they do, what they eat and drink, and even what they think. The world, noting this care, are likely to feel that the Christian's life is a life of slavery. But they do not understand the matter at all. We delight to do God's will, it gives us great pleasure to know what the Lord would have us wear, and how He would have us conduct ourselves. We love to be thus under our loving Father's supervision and to have His smile of approval.


Church's Humiliation Precedes Great Glory

"Weeping May Endure For a Night, But Joy Cometh in The Morning" When The Church Will Be Known and Honored.

ACCORDING to the Bible, our earth is the only province in all God's universe that is in rebellion against the great Creator. We will not recount the history of this rebellion, save to remind you briefly that our Father Adam was created in the image of God, in perfect harmony with his Maker. He was abundantly supplied with suitable food, delightful surroundings, and everything needful to his welfare and happiness. The terms under which he might have life and its accompanying blessings continued everlastingly were clearly stated to him by Jehovah God, and were most reasonable. But the temptation to disobedience came; and in his inexperience Adam succumbed to the Tempter. He became a rebel against his Creator, and brought upon himself the sentence of death – not eternal torment. That sentence was, "Dying, thou shalt die" – NOT "Living, thou shalt live in torment." – Genesis 2:17; 3:19; Ezekiel 18:4; Romans 6:23.

This is the plain statement of the Scriptures, no matter how much we have been taught to the contrary. That rebellion which set in more than six thousand years ago, has continued ever since. During this period God has not interposed to stop this rebellion in the human family. Ever since the fall of man, Death has reigned over all of Adam's posterity. God purposed to permit sin to take its course, for a certain limited period, in order that mankind's experiences with sin should be a great lesson, not only to themselves, but to all God's intelligent creatures throughout eternity.

The angels have been very deeply interested on-lookers regarding what has happened upon this planet, as the Scriptures plainly show. Some of the angels followed man into sin; others remained true to their Creator and His laws. But while the holy angels have not transgressed at any time, yet they have beheld the transgression of mankind, and are noting how it has turned out. They perceive that in its very nature sin brings a sure penalty; that its only possible effect is mental, moral and physical decay; and that misery, pain and sorrow are its inevitable accompaniments, ending in death.

Divine Plan of the Ages. – But our wise Creator does not purpose to permit sin to continue indefinitely. Why should He permit sin to mar His great universe? Before deciding that nothing can be done for humanity, God purposes to give the whole human family an opportunity to return to harmony and fellowship with Him. This opportunity, the Apostle Peter tells us, will be given during the "Times of Restitution." "Times of Refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and He shall send Jesus Christ which before was preached unto you: whom the Heavens must retain until the Times of Restitution, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began." – Acts 3:19,21.

There have been no times of refreshing since Father Adam's sin of disobedience; for there the curse began and has continued even until now. St. Peter tells us, however, that in God's great plan, our Lord Jesus Christ is sent to earth, to accomplish the great work provided for in His death over eighteen hundred years ago. For a thousand years He will reign for the purpose of eradicating sin, of helping mankind up out of their fallen condition and bringing back to the image of God all the willing and obedient. That will be the time when Messiah will take to Himself His great power and reign. First of all He will bind Satan, so that the nations will no more be deceived by him.

In His own due time God sent forth His Son to be the King, sent Him into this world, this rebellious province, to tell mankind that the great God who had condemned them has mercy on them and wishes to bless them. Our Lord Jesus came to the most favored nation of His time; but they rejected Him and crucified Him. He who had come into the world as its rightful King, as God's Representative, suffered violence even unto death. Since He represented the Kingdom which God purposed to set up on earth, when He was crucified, violence was done to the Kingdom.

These things have not taken the Lord by surprise. God foreknew it all from the beginning. It was a part of the Divine program to permit His Son to be crucified; and knowing that it was the Father's will, the Son permitted His life to be taken from Him by wicked men. He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. "Wherefore God hath highly exalted Him and given Him a name above every name," next to His own. He who came into the world as its rightful King was crucified. But His death as a man was the gateway to glory, when He was resurrected by the power of the Almighty, and sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on High, there to remain until He should come to earth again to take His rightful authority as earth's Ruler for a thousand years.

Why the Saintly Are Misunderstood. – God foretold the death of our Lord Jesus through the prophets hundreds of years before He came to earth as a man, in order that we might be able to see that all things have worked according to the counsel of the Divine will, and that sin and evil have not been permitted in any wise to frustrate His plans and purposes. And as it was the Father's design to permit the great Head of the Church to suffer violence, even so has it been His design to permit those who have followed the Master in the way of sacrifice to suffer violence. "If they have called the Master of the House Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of His household?" (Matthew 10:25.) In these, as representatives of the Heavenly Kingdom, the Kingdom of Heaven has suffered violence throughout the Gospel Age.

How comes it that so false and unjust an impression of Jesus and His saints could exist? Why should good appear to be evil to many and the evil appear to be good? We answer, "The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not." (2 Corinthians 4:4.) The religious leaders of Jesus' day said He had a devil because He did not join in with the Scribes and Pharisees, because He would not teach the traditions of men, because He would not endorse their theories nor walk in their ways. Had He joined in with them, He would have been popular. They would have praised Him and pointed to Him as one of themselves. But He would not do this because they were wrong. Our Lord stood for God and the Truth; therefore He could not and would not endorse the theories of the religious leaders of His day. He would not teach their doctrines. As a result, the leaders opposed, maligned and persecuted Him. And thus it has been with all who have followed in His steps ever since.

There was a time when Christ's true followers were put to all manner of gross indignities, were tortured on the rack, were roasted at the stake. We may not today suffer in the same manner; for such physical tortures are out of style. Tormenting, burning, crucifying, etc., are no longer practiced. Now the Lord's faithful servants are held up to public opprobrium. This is called "roasting." The former kind of roasting has become unpopular; and so we now have this more modern method.

Many newspapers and preachers seek to dishonor those who follow the Master and have His spirit. What shall we do when thus misrepresented and defamed? Shall we return evil for evil? Oh, no! Our Lord Jesus did not do so. (1 Peter 2:21-23.) Although He had the power to do so, yet He would not use that power. He could have saved Himself from the cross; but if He had done so, He would not have been the Saviour of the world. He knew that His enemies did not realize what they were doing. This was the testimony of the Apostles. – Acts 3:13-17; 1 Corinthians 2:8.

Suffering Precedes Glorification. – Thus it has been all down the Gospel Age. The members of the Kingdom class have suffered violence from those who knew not what they were doing. Had they realized that they were persecuting the true Church of Christ, they would surely have refrained at once. But the Lord's faithful followers are to put up with this ill treatment with good grace, knowing that it is working out for them a great blessing, and that in due time a blessing will come even to our persecutors.

This is God's arrangement for all whom He has called [CR493] to be of the Gospel Church. If the Head of that church, our Lord Jesus Christ, had not suffered, even unto the death of the cross, He would not have received the high reward of exaltation to the right hand of the Majesty on High. The same principle is operating toward all the Kingdom class. If we miss the persecution we shall also miss the blessing, the reward. (Romans 8:17; 2 Timothy 2:11,12.) We cannot change God's plan.

The Scriptures assure us, however, that this matter of suffering violence under present evil conditions will ultimately work out for the good of the saints of God. It is written, "We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to the called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28.) How reasonable a proposition, that He whom God has purposed shall be the great King to bring the fallen race of man back to harmony with Himself should first learn sympathy for those whom He would uplift and restore! How reasonable, too, that those called to be associate rulers and blessers with Him should learn the same lessons!

The Masterpiece of Deception. – There has been a great mistake made regarding the nature of the Kingdom of God and the time for its domination of earth. We have not properly understood the matter. We have thought that the Kingdom of God was already here, that its rule had already begun. Some have thought that it was set up when our Lord arose from the dead. Others have supposed that it was set up at Pentecost. But long after Pentecost St. John prayed for this Kingdom to come. (Revelation 22:20.) Still others have thought that it must have come with the destruction of Jerusalem. But it did not come then.

Many people believe that the Kingdom of God was established on earth in the year 800 A.D. Then the Roman Catholic Church had become very powerful, and the European kingdoms very weak. Religious leaders said, "We have waited eight hundred years for our Lord to return and set up His Kingdom. He has not come. But the church is growing strong and influential. Surely it must be the will of God that we should set up the Kingdom."

According to this conclusion, the Holy Roman Empire was established about the year 800, with the Bishop of Rome, as the Vicegerent of Christ – His earthly representative. Doubtless the leaders of this movement thought they were following Divine instructions regarding the establishment of the long-promised Kingdom; but the Adversary deceived them. The Bible tells us that he has deceived the whole world. (Revelation 20:1-4.) For centuries this pseudo-kingdom of God made and unmade kings, as appointees of God's Kingdom. For awhile the kings had to walk very humbly and quietly; for if they displeased the Pope, he would depose them and appoint their successor. History records many humiliating experiences which disobedient European sovereigns were compelled to undergo as a result of the Pope's anger at their course.

Counterfeit vs. Real Millennium. – Surely the Kingdom which had such power was not the Kingdom of Heaven which, according to our text, was to suffer violence at the hands of men throughout the Gospel Age! In the light of the Scriptures we cannot believe that the Kingdom of God has been reigning on earth for the past 1,100 years. If it has been in power, we would be greatly disappointed; for the Word of God leads us to expect that Kingdom to accomplish something far greater and more lasting than anything that has been accomplished during these centuries. That Word assures us that when Messiah reigns, He will reign in righteousness and in judgment; that His control will extend over the entire earth, for the uplift and blessing of the whole world, for their deliverance from sin, sorrow and death. – Isaiah 32:1-4; 35:1-10; Psalm 72; etc.

We have seen nothing like these blessed results during the Papal Millennium. For the past 1,100 years the records of history reveal nothing but a reign of corruption and violence, not a reign of righteousness and peace. All evil-doers have not been cut off; neither have the righteous flourished. Speaking through the Prophet David, the Lord says of this present evil time, "I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree." "Their eyes stand out with fatness." (Psalms 37:35,36; 73:3-12.) But to the righteous our Lord Jesus says, "Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for My sake." Of the same class the Apostle Paul declares, "All that shall live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." – Matthew 5:11; 2 Timothy 3:12.

All this is in harmony with our text, which declares that during the present life the Kingdom of Heaven, the true Church of Christ, suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. The meek have not yet inherited the earth; they seldom get even a good slice of it. Are the righteous blessed and the wicked punished today? No; just the reverse. Those who are living godly lives in Christ Jesus are misrepresented, persecuted and put out of the synagogues. All manner of evil is spoken against them falsely for Christ's sake. And this is being done in the name of Christ! – John 16:1-4.

Reign of True Kingdom at Hand. – For centuries the true church has suffered violence at the hands of the rulers of this world. Some have done this under one name, some under another; but the persecution has been done under the direction of Satan, whose object it is to destroy the true saints of God. But when the true Kingdom is set up, there will be a great change in this respect.

God's times and seasons are absolutely fixed. No one can hasten them. Everything is in the Father's power. Now we see that God wished the world to have six great Days of a thousand years each, during which to learn certain necessary lessons; and that these six Days were to be followed by a Seventh Day, during which Christ and the Church will occupy the office of Prophet, Priest and King, in order to teach, help and uplift the world, restoring them to all that was lost in Eden and redeemed at Calvary.

The present order of things will not last. Our Lord will set up the Kingdom of God (Daniel 2:44) which will do away with this present order and will bring in the New Order. At that time He will have associated with Him all those who have been loyal to Him and His Cause, and who have proved themselves faithful even unto death. Only such will be His joint-heirs in the Kingdom.

Seeing these things, perceiving the fulfilment of the prophecies of the Scriptures all about us, and knowing from the sure Word of God the outcome of present events, the Lord's faithful people may well wait in patience for their deliverance, may well lift up their heads and rejoice. (Luke 21:28.) Daily we are getting ready for that Kingdom by proving and manifesting that we have a thorough-going loyalty of heart to the coming Kingdom and its principles of righteousness. If we are willing to suffer violence for the Kingdom and its righteous principles, God will know that we are loyal to Him; and He will reward us openly. The deliverance of the suffering saints of God draws near.

THE beam that shines from Zion's hill
Shall lighten every land;
The King who reigns in Salem's tow'rs
Shall all the world command.


Nations Before God's Judgment Bar

"Weighed in the Balances and Found Wanting," will be the Verdict – Great Judgment Day of the Nations Now Begun – Professedly Christian Kingdoms Showing Their True Character – Responsibility Proportionate To Light And Opportunities Ignored – Vast Majority Christian Only In Name – The People Have Not Been Properly Taught – Empty Forms of Godliness – Selfishness Behind All The Trouble – True Christians Also Being Judged – Deliverance Of The Faithful Near

Text: "The Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul." (Deuteronomy 13:3.) He said in part:

WHILE this text is applicable to the Lord's people in a special way, yet as we look out over the world today we can realize that the Lord is surely judging the nations, especially those that have been greatly blessed with His favor. Consider Europe, for instance. How wonderfully Europe has been favored with opportunities for coming to a knowledge of the Lord! Ever since the days of Jesus and the apostles Europe has had Gospel privileges, more or less. Of course we are not to hold the people today responsible for everything in the past. To do so would be unfair. But we are to consider that in a general way the influences of Christianity have spread over the world, especially in Europe. After an era of blessings would follow persecutions, thus developing a loyalty of heart amongst the people; and in those early days seeds were sown that have had good opportunities for being watered and bringing forth good fruit.

Gradually the world has come to esteem itself to be Christian. The nations of Europe are generally styled Christendom. Nevertheless the Bible declares that the world is not Christian, and has not the Spirit of Christ in its activities. The world, therefore, is self-deceived. To the extent that the nations have had light, to that extent they are responsible. The Bible does not show, however, that the world has full responsibility. Only those who have full responsibility, who have taken the step of entire consecration to God through Christ, only those who have been begotten of the Holy Spirit. These have been illuminated and have come into the highest place of opportunities and blessings in the Lord. These have a deep insight into His Word that no others possess. Accordingly these have had an amount of light that brings a life or death responsibility.


But so far as the world is concerned, we can readily see that in proportion as they have seen they should be required to do. We can feel quite sure that God would expect more of the peoples of Europe than of those of Asia and Africa, who have had little knowledge of Him. So just at this time, when Bible chronology shows that God's lease of power to the Gentile governments has expired, we see exactly what we should expect – that he is permitting these nations to pass judgment upon themselves, so to speak. He is permitting them to show themselves, to manifest their real condition of mind and heart, to demonstrate whether or not they have made proper use of their opportunities and blessings in the way of development in righteousness.

The nations of Christendom have had much to say about the Lord. His name is to be found in all these countries. The nations have held aloft the cross of Christ in an outward way. They have many places for prayer and worship. They have abounded in forms of godliness. They have much wealth and treasure. They have had hosts of priests and preachers of all denominations. With all the advantages and experiences of the past nineteen centuries, we might have expected Europe to be in a much better condition than it is – that it would have learned much more than it has as to what is the spirit of the Lord and what is not.

The Apostle Paul tells us how we may know the Lord's spirit. It is manifested in gentleness, meekness, patience, godliness, self-control, brotherly-kindness, love. (Galatians 5:22,23.) Wherever we find true Christianity we find these fruits of the Holy Spirit. With the sole exception of Turkey, these peoples of Europe claim to be Christian. Now the Lord would prove these nations, not that He might Himself know their condition, but that they might know. Both the Father and our Lord Jesus well know that the nations are Christian in name only, that the vast majority have not taken the steps necessary to bring them into the family of God. The Bible shows that no one has a right to approach God except in His appointed way – through Christ as the Redeemer and Advocate. And Christ will be the Advocate of only those who come to God in His appointed way.

God has arranged that whoever would come to Him must first accept by faith Christ's finished work on Calvary, and that they surrender themselves fully to God, to walk in the footsteps of Jesus. "If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow Me." (Luke 9:23.) The Lord knows that the masses of the people have not done this, that comparatively few have accepted these terms. When people are asked whether they have taken these steps, they admit that they have not. They say, "We have never had it preached to us that we must be begotten of the Holy Spirit before we can become children of God."


The people have not been taught how to approach God in the right way. Therefore the vast majority are not His children at all. They have never passed from darkness to light, from condemnation to justification, through faith in Christ Jesus and consecration to God. Consequently they are still in their sins. They seem to have no proper conception as respects their privilege of presenting themselves to God, which is their reasonable service. (Romans 12:1,2.) Judged by what they themselves tell us, not many have taken the Scriptural steps here pointed out. The Bible assures us that only a "little flock" enter the straight gate and walk the narrow way.

God forbid that we should be understood to say that there are no saints in Europe! We believe that in all these nations God has a true people, those who are fully trusting Him and are fully consecrated to Him, those who are desirous of knowing Him and of doing His will even unto death. We are not speaking of these, but of the other class – the mass who are outwardly professing Christians and who compose the great majority.

The Bible speaks of these as having "a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof." They are walking contrary to godliness – contrary to what they would if they were true Christians, if they were living up to their professions. (2 Timothy 3:1-5.) Now God is bringing to their knowledge their true condition. In this great "Time of Trouble," in this death struggle of the nations, He will show them that they are not in the right way. He will demonstrate to both men and angels that the Christianity of the masses has been largely an empty form, a meaningless ceremony.

God is now letting loose the winds of strife. He is letting the nations take their own course in order to prove to themselves and to others that they are not what they claim to be, and to humble them into the dust. Thus they will be brought to realize their own helplessness and their dire need of God. – Revelation 7:1-3.

As we look back over the past thousand years, we can see that God has been holding the peoples of earth more or less under restraint, permitting them to go only so far at any time. Otherwise they would have destroyed themselves long ago. The hearts of fallen humanity are so selfish that, had mankind been permitted to go their full length, the race would have been annihilated long before now. But God's due time has come to let loose the winds of strife, with the result that the long-expected storm has burst in fury upon the world. The trouble is spreading from nation to nation; and it looks as if ultimately every nation will become involved – surely every one which formed part of the old Roman Empire. (Daniel 2:44.) Whether the strike will extend beyond the boundaries of the Roman rule we do not know – whether it will involve America.


These United States have had many advantages over other countries. Our temporal blessings have been multiplied on every hand. Nevertheless, we must confess that there is much of mere outward forms of godliness here, much of [CR495] ceremony, hypocrisy, dishonesty and crime. Great light has been given and largely ignored. Therefore it would seem that sooner or later our land may become involved in turmoil. There is much of Christian profession here, an outward form of godliness devoid of its power. Consequently it seems hardly possible that America will fail to have a full share in the judgment of the nations.

There is much restlessness amongst the people everywhere. Indeed, the whole world is becoming crazed as the angry passions of men are being stirred up against one another. In the countries at war, where the soldiers in the trenches are killing one another by the thousands – sometimes sixty thousand in one day – necessarily a hardening influence goes with this course of action. The soldiers must become more or less benumbed in their sensibilities, as a natural result. As a whole, the world today seems to be telling the Lord, telling His people – who are not of this world – and telling the angels – who are looking on – what their spirit really is and demonstrating that it is not the spirit of the Lord.

It reminds us of the spirit of James and John, the two apostles whom our Lord surnamed "Sons of Thunder," because of their courage and fiery zeal. On one occasion they wished to bring down fire from heaven to destroy the people of a little Samaritan village, because the villagers had refused to sell bread to our Lord and The Twelve. But the Master reproved them, saying "Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of;" that is, they had become His disciples, but had not yet realized what is the spirit of a true disciple. It was therefore no wonder that they did things contrary to the Lord's spirit. – Luke 9:51-56.

After the disciples received the begetting of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, they would not have even thought of doing such a thing; for then they received the Heavenly illumination and could discern that the spirit of Christ prompted its possessor to help others, not to destroy them. Previous to Pentecost these disciples were zealous Jews, courageous in defense of what they thought right as against wrong. And so it is now in Europe. Many are zealous and are trying to find some good reason for what they are doing.

The leaders tell the people various things. In some cases the people are told that their liberties and the development of their country are held in check by jealous neighbors. On the other hand the people are led to think that militarism is their greatest foe and therefore must be crushed. On both sides of the question at issue the people seem to have hypnotized themselves into thinking that theirs is the righteous cause. But more and more it is being manifested that some great wrong is being promoted, that some great misconception is influencing the people.


The true explanation is that the Lord is judging the nations – letting them manifest their real condition. More and more the world is revealing just what is behind all this trouble which is spreading everywhere – SELFISHNESS. Note the case of Greece, for instance. What pressure was brought to bear upon that country to force her to enter the war contrary to her own will! Bribes have been held out to the various kingdoms – offers of certain territories, etc. – to induce them to take part in the conflict. There is almost an insanity behind it.

None of these nations see what Bible students see. They do not know that the Kingdom of God is just at the door, that the Reign of Righteousness is at hand. Therefore they do not have the degree of responsibility that we have who do see. All know, however, that it is wrong to take life; and yet they are plotting both to take and to surrender life in order to hold a little more territory or to gain some commercial advantage over their rivals. Everywhere selfishness is manifest. It has kept up rivalry between the nations for centuries. It has cost them millions of dollars in the way of preparation for war, and now it is costing them millions more to fight it out – besides the appalling loss of life, etc.


This great war is far from Christian. Each nation is fighting for its own selfish interests. What an impressive lesson it is for the world! How boastful the nations have been! The Lord now says, "Let loose the winds, and let the nations show what they can do!" The nations are manifesting to themselves that they are not Christian, and all the world is taking knowledge of the fact. Everywhere Christian people are wondering what these current events may mean.

We are not able to foretell all that will take place; and so we leave the matter, merely knowing that the Lord has arranged to grant this great opportunity for the world to deceive themselves and to destroy themselves. The people are all more or less deluded. Many noble souls are going down into death under the impression that they are doing a good work for the coming generations.

Poor humanity! Oh, that they knew what we know about God's great Plan of the Ages! That they knew about the coming Kingdom of Messiah, which is just at the doors! But as yet the knowledge is hidden from them. It is just as when our Lord Jesus wept over Israel, saying, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, that killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent to thee! How often would I have gathered thy children together even as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings; and ye would not! Behold, your House is left unto you desolate; and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see Me until ye shall say, Blessed is He that cometh in the name of Jehovah." – Luke 13:34,35.

Just so now it is with these professedly Christian nations. Desolation is coming upon them even as it came upon the Jews in the end of their Age. Bible students have expected this state of affairs to develop; for the Bible long ago foretold that it would be thus in our day.


If then, dear friends, God is now judging those who are only nominally His people, and permitting them to demonstrate that they are not His, will He not judge also His true people? Indeed He has been judging this class for more than eighteen hundred years, in order that they might not come into condemnation with the world. But now, in the end of the Gospel Age, He is especially judging them; for "judgment must begin at the House of God." (1 Peter 4:17; 1 Corinthians 11:31,32.) We may not know all the saints in the countries at war. We do know, however, that there are some very loyal children of God there, and we sympathize deeply with them in their trials. But they are greatly blessed; for they see what we see. Notwithstanding their close contact with the trouble upon Christendom, they are lifting up their heads and rejoicing; for they realize that their redemption draweth nigh. – Luke 21:28.

Yes, God is now judging His people. (Hebrews 10:30.) But let us not wait for Him to judge us personally. Let us see to it that we are proving faithful to Him, faithful to our responsibilities as His children. Let us examine ourselves, and correct whatever we find to be out of alignment with His instructions to us. Let us put some kind of chastisement upon ourselves in order that we shall not need to be corrected by Him, in order that we shall not be condemned with the world.

We have reached the "Time of the End," the close of the Gospel Age and the dawning of the New Dispensation, the time when the judgments of the Lord are designed to accomplish a separating work which is especially appropriate and needful at this period. Let us see to it, then, that we make our calling and election sure.


Jehovah's Way Alone Giveth Life

Mankind to Learn that the Way of the Transgressor is Hard. The World Going the Wrong Way – Most of them Unknowingly – Why they are So Deceived – The Broad Way to Destruction – Present Narrow Way to Life – Future Highway of Holiness – The Ransomed of the Lord to go up Thereon – Necessity for Vigilance to those now in the Narrow Way.

NORFOLK, VA., July 30. – Pastor Russell is here, in attendance upon the I.B.S.A. Convention. Today he delivered a very impressive discourse from the text, "There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." (Proverbs 14:12.) The Pastor said in part:

This text is used particularly in respect to the world in general. It is not necessary for us to suppose that mankind are hypocritical and doing the wrong thing knowingly and intentionally; but rather, as the text implies, that the ways of the world are those which they think right. Their course seems to them to be the proper one. Yet they are in the wrong way. How does it come that the wrong way seems right to a people? How is it that they are deceived as to what is the right and proper course for them to take? What is the secret of their being in the wrong way and not being able to discern the right course?

The Scriptures answer these questions. When God created our race representatively in Father Adam, our great ancestor had no doubt about the right way. When he transgressed, he was not deceived into thinking that he was taking the proper course. (1 Timothy 2:14.) He knew that the way which he took would lead to death. Why, then, did he take it? Mother Eve had been disobedient to God, and had therefore come under the Divine condemnation to death; and Father Adam thought that it would be better for him to die with his wife than to live without her. Although he knew that in choosing the wrong way he was disobeying God, yet he did so under the delusion that it was preferable.

But with Adam's children it is different. All of them have been born in sin, shapen in iniquity. (Genesis 3:20, Psalms 51:5.) Our minds and our judgments are imperfect. The Adversary who led astray our first parents is still deceiving and misleading the world, putting darkness for light and light for darkness. In their fallen condition mankind are poorly able to withstand him. The whole world is under the death sentence pronounced upon Adam in Eden. Satan does not wish any of them to see the goodness of God or the light of the blessed Gospel of Christ; for he well knows what the effect would be. There is something so wonderful about our God that whoever sees Him in all His glorious attributes of wisdom, justice, love and power is inspired to walk in the right way. But for the moment, as it were, the great mass of mankind are blinded and deceived – 2 Corinthians 4:4.


As we look out over the world today, we see sixteen hundreds millions of people, nearly all of whom are blind. Very few see the real character of God. Very few understand the right way of the Lord. Their eyes are holden, their minds darkened. We feel great sympathy for them; and naturally the question arises, is there any hope for these people? Then we think of all the efforts put forth by the people of God to show them the goodness, the wisdom and the love of God, in order that the knowledge might change their course, that they might commit their way unto the Lord. But still the masses are not doing this. They are going their own way – the way that seems right to them. "What is the use in spending one's times in other ways?" they ask. "We intend to enjoy ourselves. We wish to make a fortune. Everybody does that way." They measure themselves by themselves instead of taking the Lord's way.

People in general do not wish to do wrong. Often they start out in life with noble intentions. In early childhood, they were very innocent, candid and honest, as a rule. The child grows into an attitude of hypocrisy, deceit and evil-doing because he finds his elders frequently deceiving him and others. All mankind are born under more or less adverse conditions and unfavorable environments; and the majority follow on in the way in which they are born. This is the broad way that leads to destruction, of which our Lord Jesus tells us. – Matthew 7:13,14.

Some of us have, by the grace of God, left this Broad Way, and have entered into the Narrow Way. We have learned something which has changed our course. One of the first lessons which we have learned is that we were not competent to guide ourselves. We came to feel the need of a mightier than human friend to lean upon, a wiser teacher than man to guide us. In our need we cried to the Lord for guidance; and He led us into the Way of life and salvation.

If all the world knew that they were not doing the best that could be done, we believe that the vast majority could be taught. Looking out into the world, we see many people who have noble minds and making noble efforts. They were born on this comparatively high plane. But sooner or later they find out that they are following merely their own wisdom, which is very defective. By the time that such reach maturity of life, they are conscious of an aching void; and they do not know what it means. Many say, "I thought that I was able to shape my course satisfactorily; and I did so. I have attained much thus-and-so, but I am not happy."

How thankful we may be who have learned this needful lesson and have found the good way! "Blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your ears, for they hear," said the Master to his class. Others can not comprehend. Are we wiser than the rest of mankind? Only in the sense that we have learned that of ourselves we do not know much of anything. Realizing this, we have been wise enough to commit our ways unto the Lord, to come to Him for guidance, to come into His family on His terms. We are striving to walk in the footsteps of Jesus.


The world says that all this is foolishness. "You can not be happy that way," they declare; "let us show you how to get the best out of life." But we reply, "It is a question as to which is right. "There is a way that seemeth right unto a man; but the end thereof are the ways of death.' We prefer to take the way which the Lord has pointed out to us. We have found that Jesus is the Way, that he is the Door, and that no man can come to the Father except by him. We needed his redemptive work first of all to make satisfaction before the Father for us, and then he became our head."

My dear brethren, we have found that we do not know how to do our own thinking, that we did not know how to guide ourselves and to think right. We did not have sufficient knowledge to form a proper judgment upon a great many subjects. Others may guess for themselves. We will do what the Lord tells us to do through His word. He is guiding His people in the right way. We are being taught of the Lord. We are not boasting of what we know; for we do not know, except as we are taught of Him. Other people think that they know. We know that they do not know.

If others think us fools for getting our instructions from the Bible, we are willing to be called fools for Christ's sake. (1 Corinthians 4:10.) We intend to get what satisfies us – "the wisdom from Above, which is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy." (James 3:17.) This we get from the Bible. If we receive the Word of God into good and honest hearts, we receive through that Word more of His spirit of meekness, gentleness, patience, brotherly-kindness, love. This is our blessed privilege.


Very few who profess to be Christians have carefully studied their Bible or have any clear idea of its teachings. Not many of them know that the Lord tells us that eventually there will be three ways. The third way has not yet been opened, but it will be broad enough for whosoever will to enter upon it. The first way is the Broad Way, which our text declares will end in death. The second is the Narrow Way, the Way of Sacrifice, which our Lord Jesus opened [CR497] up. The third way will not be opened up until the Narrow Way shall have been closed.

For six thousand years mankind have steadily pursued the Broad Way, driven thereon by Sin and Death. Not until this Gospel Age was a way of escape brought to light. Had not God made this provision, eternal death would have been the fate of all the race of Adam. But Divine Love and Mercy came to their rescue. A Redeemer has died for the whole world – our Lord Jesus Christ. He has opened up a new way – a way to life. This new way has first been opened up for the Church class, those now being called out of the world. This is the Narrow Way. Its end has almost been reached. The called out class is nearly completed.

Soon the way of life will be opened up for the world of mankind – the dead as well as the living. This will be the great Highway of Holiness. (Isaiah 35:5-10.) Then whosoever will may walk up this grand Highway to human perfection and life everlasting. If any fail to attain life, the fault will be their own. Every obstruction will be removed from their path – every stone of stumbling, every lion of temptation or of rapacity; and every needful assistance will be granted to encourage them up the good Way, back to all that was lost for the race when Adam fell through disobedience in Eden.

No one had come up out of that Broad Way which leads to destruction until our Lord Jesus came and opened up the Narrow Way to his disciples. Even the Jews were in that Broad Way. Few of them were able to enter the Narrow Way when it was opened up to them. Throughout the entire Gospel Age some have been turning from the Broad Way into the Narrow Way. This is the good Way of the Lord. Are we seeking to walk in this Narrow Way that leadeth unto life? The way that seemeth right to the world will end in death.


When the great Highway of the Millennial Age shall have been opened up for the world, the way will be made so plain, the Prophet Isaiah explains, that the wayfaring man, though simple and unlearned, shall not err therein. "The redeemed of the Lord shall walk there; and the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads." "The ransomed of the Lord," are all mankind; for "Jesus Christ by the grace of God tasted death for every man." He "gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time." (Hebrews 2:9; 1 Timothy 2:5,6.) All mankind will have the opportunity to go up on this Way; for Christ and the Church are to open it up for the blessing of all the families of the earth.

Does it not seem that the majority of mankind, when they shall see the vast difference between the way of Jehovah and the way of Satan, will be glad to walk in the good way? But none will be coerced. The way of life and the way of death will be before them. Each must make his own choice. Whoever refuses to go up thereon will go down into the Second Death, or destruction.

Some are now turning from the Broad Way into the Narrow Way, where they are receiving blessings. Others, on the contrary, do not see now. Millions of heathen do not see – even those living in Christendom itself. They must be permitted to follow their own judgment, however. We are not to find fault with them; but we are to rejoice that our Heavenly Father and our Heavenly Lord Jesus have in mind the blessing of all the families of the earth, and will not permit any to go down without being informed as to the course they are taking and being given an opportunity of going up on the Highway of Holiness.

To those who now are God's dear children the very thought is precious that at the end of our present Narrow Way we shall enter upon the glorious privilege of uplifting and blessing the peoples of earth, helping them up out of their difficulties, their sorrows and their sins, rewarding them for their good deeds and punishing them for their wrong acts. What a blessing this will mean to us! What an incentive to be faithful unto death! Jehovah's plan is wonderful. There is nothing like it in all the Universe. No one could possibly duplicate God's great arrangement. No one else could ever have thought of anything like it. The Divine Plan manifests our Heavenly Father's Justice, Wisdom, Love and Power. We are coming to see this more and more as we learn to understand His Word, and therein behold the glorious character and purposes of our God.


For those of us who are in the strait and narrow way, there is a special lesson in our text. If at any time we begin to lean to our own understanding, to attempt to guide ourselves, we are in danger. Our wily Adversary is watching our steps, seeking to trip us. Our own flesh would entice us into thinking that we can manage our own affairs. We need to be constantly on the alert; for if we lean to our own understanding we shall surely go astray. The Lord assures us in His Word that we need to be guided by Him; and he gives us lessons to demonstrate to us how dependent we are upon Him. He watches every step of our journey.

"Do all to the glory of God," should be our watchword. In every matter that concerns us we should consider what is to His glory. No Christian should think of buying clothing or of eating or drinking or of going here or there, etc., without considering whether or not our course will be in full harmony with our Covenant of Sacrifice, without asking what is God's will in the matter. For us to do otherwise would be to live after the flesh.

We should shape every act, every word and every thought so as to bring to our God and our own well-being as New Creatures. If we become heady and wish to think of ourselves, outside of the limitations which God has placed in His Word, we are in great danger. We need constantly our Heavenly Shepherd's care. We are to look always for His leading.


The Bible uses the shepherds of Palestine as an illustration of the great care which our Heavenly Father and His Heavenly Son exercise over the people of God. There the shepherd goes before his flock, and the sheep follow him, ever listening to his voice. They will never follow the lead of strangers. So the Lord's flock listen to the voice of the Shepherd; and a stranger's voice they will not follow, if they are true sheep.

We hear this voice behind us, the words of Our Lord Jesus and of his apostles. This voice is still guiding the people of God. The world does not now hear that voice; they do not recognize it; they do not think that it is worth heeding. But bye and bye they will begin to hear. They will then have the ability to hear the voice that we now heed. "Thine ears shall hear a voice behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand and when ye to the left." (Isaiah 30:21.) This voice is the Message contained in the Word of God. If we faithfully heed it, we shall never wander into the ways of death.


Fatherhood of God as Shown in Scripture

Portland, Maine, July 23. – Pastor Russell spoke here today before the I.B.S.A. Convention being held in our city this week. His discourse was based upon the opening clause of the Lord's prayer – "Our Father, which art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name." (Matthew 6:9.) A condensed report follows:

The word father and the thought behind it should be very impressive to us all; yet it is sadly true that many who bear this name manifest but little regard for what is right and obligatory in connection with their fatherhood. It is very different, however, with the Heavenly Father, who is the Perfect One, who meets fully all the obligations resting upon Him, and who is a Father in the truest sense. The imperfection and weakness of human fathers only manifest the more by contrast the glorious perfections of the Father in Heaven – His love, His power.

The term father signifies lifegiver, one who bestows life. The Bible declares that the great Jehovah God is the Fountain of life, the One from whom everything proceeds, the One "in whom we live and move and have our being." (Acts 17:28.) All life emanates from him alone. Without Him nothing could exist. When we have before our minds the thought that God is a great Father, a true Father, we also have the thought which is properly connected therewith – that He recognizes the responsibility of a Father – a matter which very many of the fallen race of Adam little appreciate, but which Bible students are coming more and more to appreciate.

Every earthly parent has a responsibility in connection with his children. It is his duty to see that they are provided for, as respects clothing, shelter, food for both mind and body, etc. To make such provision is a part of a father's duty; and whoever does not expect so to provide or has no good reason to believe that he will be able to do so has no moral right to bring a child into the world. Thoughtful provision for such child should be made before it is brought into being. This seems to be a just and right principle, and one generally recognized by all intelligent people.


Then surely this principle would apply to the great Father from whom comes every blessing. But this contradicts much of the theology that has been given to us; for when the creeds tell us that God is all-wise, all-loving, kind and good, they spoil it all by stating that notwithstanding His Love, Justice and Wisdom, He is sending the vast majority of our race to endless torture. In other words, the creeds imply that God has made a miserable failure in creating mankind, and that His Plan of Salvation is a farce. We should have known better than this even without a Bible. Could we not have seen that the Plan of the great Father of Mercies, from whom cometh every good and perfect gift, who has all power at His command, could not be such a failure – that in harmony with His glorious character, He could not bring into existence an entire race, knowing that 999 out of 1,000 of them would spend eternity in torture?

The only reasonable explanation for our credulity in this respect is that which the Apostle Paul gives; namely, that the Adversary, the Devil, has greatly misrepresented our just and loving Creator. Satan, the god of this world, has so blinded the minds of many by the delusive theories which he promulgated during the Dark Ages that the majority seem unable to reason intelligently upon the subject of religion. St. Paul declares that "the Spirit speaketh expressly that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils." (1 Timothy 4:1.) This prophecy has been fulfilled. There has been a great falling away from the primitive faith of the Church; and heathenish theories, which were no part of the Scriptures, were introduced to frighten the people and to bring them into submission to ambitious leaders.

We have been deluded into thinking of our great God as a demon, all-powerful and all-wise, but not all-good, who has brought into existence millions of people whom He knew would be compelled to suffer eternal torment. The Adversary has a shrewd way of continuing his deceptions. When the thought is suggested that if God knew that the result of Adam's disobedience would be that the majority of his posterity would suffer eternally, He could not be just to have permitted the propagation of the race, Satan is quick to suggest, "God would have destroyed Adam if He could; but, having made man with an immortal soul, even the Creator cannot destroy mankind now."

From no other source than from the great Adversary of God and man did this idea emanate – that in creating man God gave him something that even the Almighty cannot take from the race. How puerile such a God would be! This prevalent but erroneous thought is directly contradicted by our Lord Jesus Himself, who said, "Fear Him who is ABLE TO DESTROY BOTH SOUL AND BODY in Gehenna" – the Second Death. (Matthew 10:28.) The Almighty God, who knew the end from the beginning, would bring no beings into existence whom He could not destroy when they had proved themselves unworthy of the blessing of life.


Furthermore, the Bible declares, "All the wicked will God destroy." (Psalm 145:20.) How simple, how reasonable, the Bible is! We get our confusion of thought by neglecting the word of God and taking instead the traditions and vagaries of men, which have been handed down from the Dark Ages. Bible students, however, are finding wisdom of going directly to the Word of God. The wisdom from Above is what we need, and not the wisdom of this world, which is foolishness with God, and which is becoming more and more foolish to all thinking people. The Heavenly wisdom comes only from the Word of God. (1 Corinthians 3:19-21; James 3:17.)

In taking the text which I have chosen, and in saying that I greatly appreciate the thought there of a loving Heavenly Father, do not misunderstand me to mean what many today mean when they speak along this line. Some very learned people talk about "the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man." Doubtless they mean well enough in referring to God as the Father of the entire human race in their present fallen condition; but they speak contrary to the Bible. The Scriptures exhort us not to lean to our understanding, nor to that of other people, but rather to inquire. "What saith the Lord? Does God's Word say anything about the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man?" (Proverbs 3:5,6; Isaiah 8:20.)

There we find that mankind are the offspring of God, that he is their Creator, the One who gave them being. But the Bible does not say that He is now the Father of the race, in the sense in which many think that He is. These urge the theory of universal salvation of mankind, saying that because God is the Life-giver of the world therefore He will save the entire race. We are not faulting this class; for they are sincere in their thought. Personally, I would greatly prefer to believe in universal salvation than in universal damnation. But the Bible takes neither of these extreme positions.


The plain declaration of the Bible is that our first parents, Adam and Eve, received life from God, and its perpetuity was promised them only upon certain clearly specified conditions. They were plainly forewarned that if they met these conditions, they would continue to live; if they failed to be obedient, they would die – cease to live. There was not even a hint given of a life continued eternally in torture, as the penalty of disobedience. – Genesis 2:17; 3:19; Ezekiel 18:4,20; Romans 6:23.

In forewarning our first parents as to the sure result of disobedience, God also intimated that in such a case He would disown them, would no longer be their Father. They became disobedient, and thereby lost all right to life. Thus from God's standpoint, the entire race of Adam is dead – condemned, not to eternal torment, but to death. The right to life has been taken away. They are under legal condemnation to death.

Thus we see that the human family are not now the children of God. Adam was a son until he forfeited that blessed relationship: but from his day onward no member [CR499] of his race is called a son of God, except our Lord Jesus, while He was in the flesh. He was a Son of God before he came down to earth a man; but his spiritual life was given up in order that he might become a perfect man, to die for Adam and his race, and thus to open up the way whereby the whole world might come back into the relationship of sons of God, might regain what Adam lost for himself and for his family. "Jesus Christ by the grace of God tasted death for every man." (Heb. 2:9.) This does not mean universal salvation, however.


When our Lord Jesus came into the world, he opened up a way whereby those who would believe on him and would sacrifice as he did, becoming his followers, might become sons of God on the spiritual plane, yea, the very highest plane in existence – the Divine plane. These, if faithful unto death, would share the glorious reward which the Father had promised to our Lord Jesus – immortality, life in its highest form. But the religious leaders of his day did not believe on him, did not receive his message; and during his ministry only about five hundred of the people believed. The god of this world – Satan – blinded their eyes. – 2 Corinthians 4:4.

The people asked, "Have any of the Scribes and Pharisees believed on Him?" When they learned to the contrary, they concluded that there was nothing in the Message. They took the course that many are taking today. The Adversary was behind it all. There were many refined people amongst them. The Sadducees were an aristocratic class. Perhaps some of them were not bad men. The Apostle Peter afterward declared that in ignorance the people crucified the Prince of Life, as did also their rulers. – Acts 3:13-18.

It may be asked, Why did our Lord not open the way for the whole world to become spiritual sons of God, instead of for only an elect class? We answer, We are sure that God is taking the best way: for the whole plan is of Him. He could have kept the way of salvation closed until the Millennium, and then have done for all alike. But this was not His plan. He purposed first to gather out of the world an elect Church. This is not an arbitrary Plan, however; for He is not selecting any contrary to their own wills. All who are called have the privilege of accepting or rejecting the Call. Whoever prefers to wait until the next Age, and take the opportunity then to be offered to the world, may do so; but the offer then to be made will not be nearly so glorious as that now held out.

There are some who desire to know and to do the will of the Lord, if only they are shown what it is. To this class God purposes to show His plan and to give them His choicest blessings. He gives them the opportunity to join with Jesus in His sacrificial work for humanity, the privilege of suffering with him now that they may reign with him by and by, in the kingdom. Foreknowing that there would be a class of this kind, who would gladly give up the pleasures and the ambitions of the present life for the far grander blessings which He has to bestow, God has given them the privilege. He has sent forth His Message far and wide, to let this class know of their opportunity.


For over eighteen hundred years this Call to saintship has gone forth in a quiet way. But comparatively few have responded, and the world has generally set it at naught. People in general do not think it worth while to go to some upper room to attend a little prayer-meeting or to some ordinary hall to hear preaching. They prefer to go to some fine edifice to hear an eloquent oration and charming music. God has permitted His Truth to be thus obscured from the worldly-wise and self-sufficient, and to let it appear as if the Gospel were accomplishing little or nothing. But all along He knew just what He was doing. He was accomplishing just what He had designed. He has always known them that were His. – 2 Timothy 2:19; Isaiah 55:8-11.

The class which God is selecting now have sharp ears for the true Gospel Message. When they hear of the Love of God in Christ, they believe it. They listen to God's Word, rather than to human theories and traditions. They become pupils in the School of Christ, followers of the Lord Jesus. The Master did not have a smooth way. His path was rough and thorny. Some, when they learn this fact, stop immediately. Others, however, press onward, even though they know the way to be narrow and rough. They desire to get back to God; for they find satisfaction nowhere else.

These hear that our Lord Jesus will become an Advocate for whoever contracts to follow in his steps, and that the Father will not receive them without this Advocate to make good for their weaknesses and blemishes. They learn that our Lord will become the Advocate of any who will accept his terms – "If any man will be my disciple, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me." To deny self means to give up one's own will and take the Master's will instead. Whoever takes this step will find various crosses and difficulties along the way. The contract is not to last for a month or for a year, but for life. Our Lord guarantees that his grace will be sufficient for all who follow him, that his strength is made perfect in weakness. Surely this is sufficient assurance.

There are not many of this class anywhere. But it is only to these that God now becomes the Father.

These are the sons of God, through the begetting of the Holy Spirit. These say with their Master, "I delight to do Thy will, O my God! Thy Law is written in my heart." If in their hearts they should say, "I know that I have to do God's will, and so I will do it." He would say to them, "Go back; for I am seeking only those who love My will, not those who serve merely through fear or compulsion." Those who take a stand with Christ must burn all the bridges behind them when they enter the narrow way. They are to follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. Only such will constitute the Bride class.


It is only after we have received the begetting of the Holy Spirit that we are privileged to say, "Our Father which art in Heaven." The world cannot call God their Father, but through our Redeemer the Church has this privilege. And so the Apostle says, "Now are we the sons of God." (1 John 3:1,2.) But as such, we are not free from the aches and pains incident to the groaning creation. While in the flesh we must suffer, but still we are the sons of God, in the sense that we have the begetting of the Holy Spirit. In the resurrection change, however, we shall really be the children of God.

By nature we were children of Adam, condemned to death in him. But when in our consecration we gave up everything pertaining to the human nature, our Lord received us and made us acceptable to the Father, who then begot us with His Holy Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, "Abba, Father!" This is a blessed position; for our Heavenly Father is in perfection what earthly parents should be. He has made every provision for us. Our Lord Jesus is simply carrying out our Father's plan.


God's Way Vs. Man's Way

Norfolk, Sunday Morning, July 30, 1916.

(This discourse came too late to go in regular order in the report, but will be highly prized nevertheless, not only because of the talk itself, but especially because Brother Russell seemed very weary and tired when he delivered it, and therefore it was like coming out of the very furnace.)

MY text for this morning, dear friends, is "There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, yet the end thereof is death." (Prov. 14:12.) These words were evidently not spoken to the church, but to the world. We are not to suppose that the world is choosing the way that it is taking with intelligence and with premeditation to take a wrong way, but rather, as the Wise Man here declares, the way the world is taking is a way that seemeth right to them. It is to the Christian that the Word of God reveals the fact that the world is taking the wrong way and explains to us why the world takes that wrong way. The Apostle Paul tells us that the god of this world has received our first parents and deceived the whole race, and that the whole world of mankind therefore is blinded by Satan. He says the god of this world hath blinded the minds of those who do not believe.

This is the most charitable view we can take of the world's condition, and the Scriptural view, the proper view. It gives us a great deal of sympathy with the world, and we believe God has a great deal of sympathy for the world. And you and I have a great deal of sympathy for the world and the condition in which we were before we found the Lord and before we got into the narrow way, before we got to understand the better things. In other words, dear friends, the Bible gives us through the truth and the spirit of the truth what the Bible calls the spirit of a sound mind. We are better able to understand ourselves and all our neighbors and friends and relatives than we ever were before, and day by day as we grow in grace and knowledge, in this intelligence, in this enlightenment from the Lord, it enables us to appreciate the things about us and take a proper view of all life's affairs.

According to the Bible, Father Adam was not born in the blemished, fallen condition in which we are, in which the whole race of today is. He was perfect, in the image, in the likeness of God, a grand man – no bias, no tendency toward sin, no imperfection of judgment, no misunderstanding which should be the right and the proper way. Everything was clear and plain before him. He knew the right from the wrong because he was perfect and in God's image and likeness. He could discern the right from the wrong, not from experience, but from that perfection of His being. And so Father Adam in His likeness was fully competent to know the good from the evil. But we perceive according to the Bible that a certain temptation came over Father Adam, a temptation to take his own way, a temptation to not look to the Lord for guidance, and this temptation came through his very best friend, his wife, Mother Eve having been deceived of the Adversary. We are told that Adam was not deceived. Adam knew that it was wrong to disobey God, and Adam knew that the penalty of the disobedience would be what God had specified, – not eternal torment, but death – "Dying thou shalt die." He knew that. He was not deceived, St. Paul says. Why then did he choose the wrong course? Well, he found that his only suitable companion in life, his wife, bone of his bone, sympathetic in every particular, a perfect woman, had been deceived into sin, and that she therefore was liable to the penalty of death, and Father Adam seems to have concluded that life was not worth anything to him after that and he would just as soon die as not. He had lost the very one in whom he had a very great deal of comfort and consolation and fellowship. "Let me die. I know the penalty is death, but I will take that course, believing that would be preferable to living without my companion." We see the mistake that he made, that he should have had confidence in God. Yet nevertheless we see that he was not deceived. He took the course intelligently. He took the wrong course and thus started himself in what the Bible terms the broad road to destruction. He was 930 years on that broad road going down gradually in weakness of mind and of body until his death, as far as he could go on the broad road – destruction, death. And his children – all of his children were born we see on that plane of destruction, that broad road, born in sin, misshapen in iniquity is the Scriptural proposition, and you and I know of our own share in this imperfection, and all of mankind, sixteen hundred millions living today that are in this broad road that leadeth to destruction, down to death. We were started in this way by our Father Adam. The world did not know of any other way because there was no way opened up, no way of life opened up during the more than four thousand years between the time of Adam and the time of Jesus. There was an opening offered to the Jewish people and to them alone that if they would do the impossible thing then they might escape from that broad road of destruction. But the impossible thing offered to them was the keeping of the law, impossible to them because of their imperfection, because they were imperfectly born human beings. They could not therefore keep God's perfect law, which is the measure of a perfect man's ability. A perfect man could do no more than keep that law, and no imperfect man could do enough to keep that law.

And so the Jews, although they thought they had found a way to life, found it to be, as the Apostle says, a way to death too. And so the first opening up of this good way to life was that which Jesus brought to light. He brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, the Bible says. It was the first time that it had ever been brought to light. People might have hoped for it. Plato had speculated about immortality, but there was no light in any of those suggestions. The one who brought it to light was Jesus, and He brought life and immortality to light through the message that eventually all the families of the earth would be benefitted by the sacrifice He offered, and the message that the church now being called out might be partakers of the divine nature, – glory, honor and immortality. Thus He brought life for the world in general to light, and immortality to light as the reward of those who would be faithful in following Him. And this way that Jesus opened up and that Jesus walked, the first one to walk this way – this way is called the Narrow Way. It is thus distinguished from the broad road. It leads off in a different direction. The broad road was a downward road, an easy road, and it is a way which seemeth right to man. They do what they think is right.

"Well," you say, "how can they say it is right to do those things?" Well, my dear brother, the world reasons that life is to be enjoyed, and that it is their duty to enjoy [CR501] themselves, and because their minds are perverted through sin, therefore some take pleasure in the enjoyment of cheating others, seeing if they can get more, either by a game of cards or business of some kind, seeing if they can take advantage of other men and get more, and it seemeth right to the world. And so you see people boasting of how much more they have got than other people and how quickly they got it, and sometimes boasting of the rather shady means of getting it. Nevertheless it seems right to them. Selfishness has come to seem right, whereas according to the divine standard love and benevolence would be the right.

Then it seemeth right to men to seek pleasure in sensual enjoyments of various kinds. They say, "Why live always doleful and in sorrow? We are going to live to enjoy our lives." So the way they take seemeth right unto them, but they are all conscious of the fact they are dying, and that many of the ways they think are right and ways of pleasure are ways that lead down all the more quickly into sin, to corruption, to death. But now comes in Jesus and this new message of His respecting a different way, a way altogether different from the way of the world. And so those who become the Lord's followers have the message through Jesus, saying, "Ye are not of the world, even as I am not of the world." You have left the worldly path. You are not walking with the world. As my disciples you have entered this straight gate and narrow way. You have turned aside from the world. And the Lord said there would be special blessings upon these who have turned aside, because the way He opened up is a day that leadeth to glory, honor and immortality, to the divine nature, to all the precious things God has to give to those who love Him most and whom He loves most.

And so, dear friends, we are here today as Bible students, as Christians, as those who have left the world, left the broad road, and have taken this narrow way, not seeking or leaning to our own understanding, to be guided by our own wisdom, but seeking, as the Bible suggests, the wisdom which cometh from above, "first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits." This is what we are seeking. This is the course we have taken. And the Master tells us how we entered in and the only way to enter in. "If any man will be my disciple – " This is what we want to do. Disciple means follower; a follower in the footsteps of Jesus was one that walked this narrow way, and you and I want to be His disciples. We want to go where He went, to do as He did, and walk in His footsteps. So He says: "If any man will be my disciple, let him deny himself." That is the narrow gate you see – self-denial right in the front. You can't get on the narrow way until you enter through the narrow gate. "Straight is the gate and narrow is the way that leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." Yes, not very many have even heard about it. Millions on millions before Jesus' day never heard about this narrow way. Out of the sixteen hundred millions of the world's population of today hundreds of millions have never heard about the narrow way. And right in Norfolk and in Brooklyn and in every part of this most favored land there are millions of people that do not understand about this narrow way. And how have we been so fortunate that we have heard about it? Well, my dear friends, the Bible tells us there has been a special blessing come to us if we have got to the point where we can see and hear. "Blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears for they hear," said Jesus, and we see, my dear brethren, we understand that a great blessing has come to us through this knowledge of the narrow way. We received a great blessing because we did see and hear and understand about the narrow way, and because our hearts were in that condition that we were satisfied to leave our own way and the way of the world, to leave all else that we might seek to come into harmony with the will of God. Blessed are all such hearts that are hungering or thirsting after righteousness, after the things that are right and true and the things God approves. Oh, blessed are they. If they hear then the knowledge, the hearing, the understanding coming to such means a wonderful blessing. But it would be just as well for the world in general that they do not hear; it would be just as well for the world that they do not see; and therefore God in His kindness has left the world in a measure of blindness and deafness as respects the things of this present time, because to hear and understand and yet to be in a wrong condition of heart and mind would make them more responsible.

Just as Jesus said about some in His day, you remember, who had become His disciples. They had heard His preaching and had certain blessings more than the remainder of mankind. Jesus said, "Woe unto you." "Woe unto you" doesn't mean "eternal torment unto you" nor "roasting unto you." No, my dear brethren, we are learning to read and study our Bible better than we once did. When Jesus said "Woe unto you," it means it is to your disadvantage. "Woe unto you, Bethsaida, and woe unto you, Chorazin, for if the mighty works that have been done in you had been done in Sodom and Gomorrah they would have remained unto this day." You have had the knowledge; you have had the opportunity, and you have a responsibility therefor, and it means more woe unto you, more disadvantage unto you than if you had not had that knowledge. And so with the whole world – we believe that the world is really advantaged in that God is not allowing them to see more than they are in a condition to appreciate and use properly. And so God is still permitting the god of this world to blind the minds and hearts of mankind in general that they should not understand these things until God's due time. In the meantime, during the Gospel Age, during these nineteen centuries nearly since the days of Jesus, this people that the Lord has been gathering out, this little flock, this special class who have the hearing ear, who have the understanding ear and who have an appreciative heart and the responsive heart – or, blessed are your eyes that they see and your ears that they hear, what a wonderful favor you enjoy! But you say, how? Oh, my dear brethren, because it is in this present time the Lord is making up these special jewels, the church class, those who are to be joint heirs with the Lord Jesus in all the glories of His kingdom, and in all the greatness of His high exaltation to the divine nature. These are to be the bride class, joint heirs with Him. "If we suffer with Him we shall also reign with Him, if we be dead with Him we shall also live with Him."

"But," you say, "what do you mean by suffering and dying? Why not talk more about the narrow way?" Ah, that is it, my dear brethren; the narrow way is the way of suffering, of dying. That is the only way to come into God's special favor at the present time. All those who would now come under the call of the Gospel Age must come by way of the cross, by way of the death of the flesh, must come by way of self-sacrifice. There is no other way, and that is the reason it is called a narrow way. "Well," you say, "why should God make a way so narrow?" Well, my brother, look at the case of Jesus. Why did the Father make His way so narrow? Did He not travel a narrow way? Why did He have such a narrow way? Because it was to be a special test to Him of His loyalty and of His obedience, even unto death, even the death of the cross. "But why make it such a hard way for Jesus?" Well, my dear brother, our Heavenly Father, according to His word intended to make this Son, this Messiah, exceeding great, to exalt Him. He wanted one to be on the divine plane with Himself and He wanted that one should be tested to the very utmost in every particular and prove His loyalty. "Well, but, Brother Russell, if Jesus was part of the Trinity then – " Oh, my brother, not a word in the Bible about Jesus being part of the Trinity or being a part of any trinity at all. That was made up in the Dark Ages and we must leave that out, and leave out the thought about Jesus being His own father and His own son at the same time, all those nonsensical things that have confused our minds. We must take the word of God in its simplicity and what it says.

So Jesus having proven himself obedient to the Father's will even unto death. Him hath the Father highly exalted and given a name above every name, a reward surely for His obedience to the Father's will. And so, my brother, we see why there was such a narrow way in Jesus' case. The Father would show to all the holy angels that this one He had highly exalted far above angels had a real strength of character, and had demonstrated that character, and was therefore-- oh "wherefore also (because of His obedience) God hath highly exalted Him." There is a reason for it all. God does everything according to a reason, and He wishes His people to see the reason for directing the divine course, that He is altogether just as well as loving in all His arrangements. And now the Father wants a bride class for His son on the highest plane of nature, the divine nature, far above angels, and each one to be received unto that divine plane must demonstrate his loyalty unto God and the principles for which God stands, the principles of righteousness. He must demonstrate [CR502] this even unto death. That is it, my brother, and that is why it is such a narrow way, and that is why this is the only way open. God is merely thus far seeking for and finding the elect, the church of the living God, the first borns of His creatures.

And then, my brother, as soon as this little flock shall have been finished, what will its mission be? Oh, the Bible says that the church with the Lord is to constitute the class that will set up the great government of God in the world. And so Jesus said, you remember, "Fear not, little flock, – " the little flock that seeks and finds the narrow way and is faithful in walking in the narrow way after entering the narrow gate of full consecration – "fear not, little flock, it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." "Give us the kingdom?" Yes, give us the kingdom. "What kingdom?" Oh, my dear brother, I need not tell these Bible students here gathered what kingdom. In speaking to an audience of the world or the nominal church it would be very necessary to expatiate on what kingdom it is, for alas! The great plan of God has been so misrepresented that a great many people have no knowledge as to what the Bible says about the great kingdom of God. I will not take time to discuss this with this audience.

In our program today it is government day, and we are of those who are being, we trust, prepared to be the government of God, the kingdom of God, to establish the rule of righteousness in the world. Six thousand years ago when sin entered the world God gave the world over and let them take their course, merely putting a sentence of death upon them, merely supervising since and seeing that they shall die and not be permitted to go to any extremes that would interfere with the divine program in the end. But all the while God has purposed this matter of the setting up of His kingdom in the hands of Messiah, and Messiah was selected for this very purpose, and the church is being selected to be His associates in this kingdom. All this we see most clearly portrayed in the word of God. And now then this is the government God is to set up, the great fifth universal empire. God allowed the Gentiles to set up various kingdoms and see what they could do in the way of bringing in a reign of righteousness. And indeed, my dear brethren, I think we should not misunderstand the world, for I believe the world has been trying and trying hard to see what they could do in the way of bringing in a good government. As I look back and see what the Bible tells us about Nebuchadnezzar's kingdom and how he tried to rule the world well, I admire Nebuchadnezzar and his endeavor. He made his mistakes, but evidently he was trying to do well. Think of a great king of unlimited power practically and how he took from the captives of other nations, there was Daniel, among others, and because he found him favorable, Daniel was exalted to a high place in that kingdom. How few other kings in the world, in history or in our day, would take any captive, and though he was a foreigner they would find a good spirit in him – how few of them would exalt him to a place of being the chief president in all their empire? And the same thing with the Medes and Persians, the next great universal kingdom. They found Daniel and found him a man of high station, and what did they do? They had the same great dreads and sentiments, and King Darius wanted the noblest man he could find to be the head president in all his empire. Daniel was chosen. He wasn't a Mede either, or a Persian. He was a Jew. But there was nothing in this to hinder him from being taken into the very highest confidence of the king, showing that King Darius was anxious to establish a good and fair and just government. And so all the way down I can see that there was a principle running through these different governments of men. They were not intent upon doing all the harm they could to the people, but apparently intent upon showing how wisely they could run and govern the world, and yet all their rulers and all their governments were imperfect and sinful and unsatisfactory, and God in allowing these governments their day and their way for a time was only allowing them to demonstrate that all it was possible for imperfect men to do was to make an imperfect government that eventually would deteriorate more and more and lead to their own fall.

And now see in the last of these governments, the Roman empire and its present representatives in Europe, God is allowing men the conclusion of this great lesson, that having had all the experience of six thousand years in the past, they are still imperfect, and although we will suppose that these kings, of Germany and of Russia and of Great Britain, and so forth, all these kings are wishing to do for the best interests of their people, yet we see how blind they are and what terrible suffering they are bringing upon the people through their blindness and ignorance, etc. And you and I and all people more and more will be getting to feel that these are all unsatisfactory governments, and every time we find out the best man can do for himself in the way of government, the more we are ready to look unto the Lord and realize as the Bible teaches that only God is able to establish the great righteous government that will be the desire of all people. And that is what God has declared He intends to do. This is the great government of God.

He will not establish this government directly, but He will give to Jesus the great work of governing the world. He already has given him the privilege of being the redeemer of men, and has thus brought, not merely for the recovery of the church from sin and death, but also for the recovery of the whole world of mankind, the settlement of the sins of the whole world. "Jesus Christ by the grace of God tasted death for every man." And every man is to have his privilege out of that death, and so we see, my dear brethren, that God's arrangement is nearing now this grand consummation, when Jesus having selected His church and finally glorified His church in the first resurrection, will then be ready to ask of the Father that which the Father has already promised He will give to him, saying "Ask of me and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession," as written in the second Psalm. So all the people are to be turned over to Him who bought the whole world with His own precious blood. He will be empowered of God and will be backed by the divine authority in establishing God's government in the world.

"Then," you say, "Brother Russell, how about the narrow and broad roads?" Oh, my brother, it is all going to be changed then. The prince of this world who now has to do with the broad road and blinding those who are going down that broad road to destruction, the Bible tells us he is to be bound for that thousand years that he may deceive the people no more. They will not then make mistakes bye and bye about the way that seemeth right to man. No. They will begin to learn by that time that these ways which seemed right to them are all unsatisfactory, that only the way of God will be the satisfactory way, and the Messiah and His kingdom will make this known to all mankind. "The knowledge of the Lord shall fill the whole earth as the waters cover the great deep." The knowledge of the glory of God, says the prophet. And then what? Then the broad road to destruction will be changed? How so? Because it is a broad road now that leads down to destruction because it is easy. You can run down, can slide down, slip down, any way you want to go down. All the tendencies are downward. Well, what will change it? Oh, Messiah's kingdom will change it. Instead of being a way that leads down, the road will turn and lead up. You can't slip down a road that leads up. The road is going to lead up after that. It is going to be a highway. How do you know? Because the Lord has told us so, you remember, through the Prophet: "A highway shall be there." There. Where? There. Where is there? Oh, there under Messiah's kingdom. Not now under the kingdom of the prince of darkness. There is a broad road leading downward now, but bye and bye that will all be changed. Nobody will be allowed to slip down any more in ignorance and superstition and misunderstanding and thinking that it is a right way he is taking when it is a wrong way, because all the blind eyes shall be opened and all the deaf ears shall be unstopped and the knowledge of God's glory shall fill the whole earth. "And a highway shall be there and the redeemed of the Lord shall go up thereon." Not down. Well, what does that mean? Is that a narrow way? Oh, no, my brother, the narrow way is only for this Gospel Age to test those who will be selected to be the bride class. It is not intended that the world shall go in a narrow way. You couldn't get the whole world to go in that narrow way. No. God doesn't want the world to be put under those tests. That was a special test for those that will be partakers of the divine nature. It is a very necessary test for them. But when they all shall have been perfected and that select company shall be completed, the narrow way will be no longer. They will no longer find it necessary to suffer for righteousness' sake. All through the millennium nobody will have to walk a narrow way and suffer for right doing. Instead of suffering for right doing they will be blessed for right doing. They will be going up [CR503] in restitution and getting more and more God's favor as they seek to do the right things under the guidance of Messiah's kingdom.

And what about those not willing to go up? They will be the ones to get the stripes and that will suffer. Now you know it is different. Whosoever will live godly in this present time will suffer persecution, will suffer for righteousness' sake, but all that will end when this age ends, and when Messiah's kingdom shall be inaugurated all those who do righteousness shall get blessings of body and mind and shall go up on the highway of holiness. And they will want to go up. Mankind will want to do right. The way they take now is one which seemeth right unto them. They are deceived by the Adversary, but bye and bye the Adversary will be bound and he will deceive them no more. The right way will be manifested, the way of righteousness, the Golden Rule of the Lord's kingdom. That will be seen to be the right way, and I believe, my dear brethren, that the great mass of mankind would rather be right than be wrong at this very moment, and that they all really appreciate the Golden Rule, though they think it is an impracticable rule. And it is pretty near impracticable at the present time, but under Messiah's kingdom the Golden Rule will be the most practicable rule that could be and everybody will get a blessing out of it, and everybody that ignores that Golden Rule will get stripes, adversity. He will be in trouble. It will be the evil doer that will have the trouble bye and bye, and all well doers will have the blessing of the Lord that maketh rich, and He will add no sorrow thereto.

So, my dear brethren, this is God's great kingdom and plan, and we are in a certain part of this plan. We are the ones who are privileged to have the opportunity of following in the footsteps of the Master in the narrow way. Oh, what a privilege and favor we have! Nothing like it ever offered to the angels! And I feel sure from what the Apostle writes about the angels desiring to look into these things, I feel sure that the angels who are watching us in the narrow way feel that – "Oh, if we had the privilege that those human beings have! Oh, if we had the opportunity of walking in the narrow way and suffering for right doing and seeking to manifest our loyalty!" But God didn't give it to them. They cannot become members of the bride class. And then as we look back to the past age and see manifested the faithfulness of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Noah, David and Enoch and the Prophets and others who were not prophets in humble walks of life, and see what they endured for righteousness' sake, oh, we say – fine, splendid characters they were; how we admire them! And did they have a chance to enter the narrow way? No. No narrow way open then. They could not get in. But they have this testimony, that they pleased God. Although He hadn't opened up the way and they could not walk in this narrow way and could not be members of the bride class, yet God has some very special reward for them, as the Apostle points out in the last two verses of the 11th chapter of Hebrews, a very special place reserved for them. We are glad for them.

And then we say to ourselves, we who have this privilege now, and we who can look back and see the faithfulness of those in the past, "What manner of persons ought we to be in all manner of holy conversation and godliness" and seeking to please our Heavenly Father? With what choice we should run in this narrow way.


And now, my dear brethren and sisters, we have been here some of us for a week considering these very things, and communing together respecting the narrow way, and respecting the conditions, and respecting what the Lord would be pleased with in us, and I am sure from what I have heard that you have had a splendid time, a soul-refreshing season, and I am glad for it. And now we are about to separate, and we are hoping that these valuable lessons will not be lost, that they are not merely for the moment or days in which they were heard, but that they have taken a deep place in our hearts, and we are more and more determined by the grace of God we will show our Heavenly Father and Savior how much we appreciate the things they have done for us, this privilege of the narrow way and the high calling in Christ Jesus. And more than this, I trust as we go to our homes and meet with others not privileged to be at this convention that our hearts will overflow as we tell of the good things and great joy to others, and tell about these things we have been thinking about, and about our good resolutions, and thus seek to make the cruise of oil run over and over, and thus the Lord's name be glorified in us and in the Lord's people wherever we go.

I trust, my dear brethren, that I am expressing your sentiments in these words when I say that we have been very kindly entertained by the people of this city, giving us something in the way of accommodations, and in this very beautiful theater, very quiet, splendid place to have a convention, comparatively cool too. And I want to express on your behalf what I know to be your sentiments, and that while you are appreciative of this invitation, and while the people of this city may have had more or less of a selfish feeling in connection with the invitation, nevertheless we appreciate that all that comes to us is because we realize that all things are from our Father, and we are desirous of being appreciative of even the agencies He is using in sending blessings to us.

Furthermore, we want to express to the dear ones of the local class of Bible students our appreciation of their kindness and their various endeavors to make this convention a success. And so I am sure I express the sentiment of you all when I say to those of the local class that we do appreciate very highly the things they have done to make our little stay with them, happifying and pleasurable, to make this convention a success, the spiritual success which it has been. May the Lord's blessings be with the local class, and as they have sought to give blessing to others, may the Lord's blessing be with them.

And now, brethren, the final feature of the convention is before us – the love feast. A love feast is accompanied with a loaf of bread which is a picture to us that we are feasting upon something, and so the Lord is spoken of as being the bread which came down from heaven, and the truth is spoken of as being that which assists us in life. And now we have been here feasting together, and we are about to depart, and the proposition is that those who have spoken from the platform will arrange themselves along in front and those who desire to say good-bye will have the privilege of so doing.


Gone Home! To be forever with the Lord,
White-robed and clothed with Immortality;
Beholding face to face Jehovah God!
Gone Home! All sorrow, pain and anguish left
Behind. 'Tis finished, all the sacrifice,
And faithful unto death he hears, "Well done,
Come, enter thou into the promised joy!"

What message would "our shepherd" send to us?
To all who wait this side the parting vail?
"Be brave, be strong, weep not, have faith in God,
The fields are white to Harvest, go ye forth,
And, even as our Master said, 'Lo I
Am with you always, even to the end,'
So shall my loving presence go with you,
Until ye, too, shall hear His sweet 'Well done.'
So shall there be one shepherd and one flock,
And all rejoice together with the Lord."
Nov. 21, 1916.GERTRUDE W. SEIBERT.

(This poem was written two hours after notice of Brother Russell's death.)






We were startled early Tuesday morning by being shown a newspaper reporting the death of Pastor Russell the day before. Later we received a telegram from Bro. Sturgeon to arrange for the transfer of the body from one station in Chicago to another. This was enough to prove conclusively that the early newspaper report was correct.

We at once made the necessary arrangements for the transfer of the body and also decided to accompany the remains to New York, and also to be with our dear Bro. Sturgeon on the balance of his sad journey. The strain upon him had been a hard one, and we were glad to be with him.

Having followed Pastor Russell in life, in the sense that we have always recognized him as the chosen leader by our Lord, and in the sense of following him, even as he followed Christ, we were glad to follow him in death through the various funeral services, and finally to the tomb, the last resting place of his mortal remains.

It is our determination, by the Lord's grace, to still follow him in glory, for we realize that he has now attained that for which he was apprehended, having received the glory, honor and immortality of the divine nature, and to which we too may attain, if faithful unto death.

We would be pleased to include the proceedings in this report of the funerals, etc., but as the Dec. 1st issue of the Watch Tower will give all this information in detail, we do not feel it necessary to repeat it here.

However, on Sunday night, Nov. 12th, the Chicago Class held a Memorial Service, at which it was my privilege to speak, and as many have requested a copy of it, I include it in this 1916 Report as the tribute of respect from the Chicago Church to the memory of Pastor Russell.

Synopsis of Remarks of Bro. MacMillan at the New York City Temple,

Sunday Morning, Nov. 5, 1916

DEAR friends, I feel quite sure that I am speaking for the dear ones gathered here when I say that the English language contains no words to express our feelings at the present time. Our minds have been perplexed. We have been happy; we have been sad; We have been solemn; we have been glad. We realize that the dearest friend that we have had on earth has been taken away from us, and our dear Heavenly Father who doeth all things well, took him at the proper time. And still we wonder whether his work has been finished on earth or not. We wonder as to who will carry on the unfinished work; how will it be done; will the Bethel and the Tabernacle continue as in the past?

I am very glad, dear friends, to be able to make a few explanations at this time to perhaps relieve your minds and comfort your hearts. We know that all this work has been directed of the Lord. When the due time came to accomplish a certain work in the end of this age, as our dear Redeemer informed us, a servant would be raised up and would be put over that work. We have no doubt concerning who that servant was and concerning the work that was done under his direction. We have no doubt as to who is acting at the present time as President of these United States, because we know who is presiding over the Union. In the same sense we could have no doubt as to whom the Lord has selected to be His servant to direct His work in this harvest time, for the dear one who did it so wonderfully well has been known to us all and loved dearly by every one of us.

To convince you that he was aware that the end was quite near, I will say that some months ago, after the Newport convention, our dear brother was very ill, but loyal and courageous as always he would not admit it. But his poor weak body would not respond to his determined mind. He had remained in his study for three days. On the fourth day he called me up, and came up out of his study and asked me a very strange question. He said, "Brother, are you as deeply interested in the truth as you were in the past?" I looked in astonishment. He said, "Brother, I am asking you a leading question." He proceeded to talk about the work. He went into the various details of it. He was talking in particular about the smiting of the Jordan, which was so prominent a thought in his mind and so thoroughly possessed his very being. And he outlined the work in a general way and in conclusion asked me if I would like to come to the Bethel and be closely associated with the work there. The matter so overwhelmed me that I felt very timid about the reply. He said, "Go ask the Lord and give me your reply." And in process of time, through striking circumstances, I was led to believe it was the best thing to come to the Bethel.

He told me he was convinced his strength was ebbing away. He was so thoroughly weakened as a result of that spell after the Newport convention. He said, "Nevertheless, I have the work all organized and want it to go on, and I know it will." And a strange thing occurred – at least strange to my mind, when he was leaving on his last trip. We had a conversation the night before concerning various interests of the work. He asked me if I had any suggestions to make to improve the service at the Tabernacle and Bethel. He said he had not given the matter as close attention in the past year as in former years. And now, he says, surely a great work was about to be done. And I suggested what I thought would be a help.

On the morning he left he made a few brief remarks at the table, saying he would be away for a time and if nothing fails would get back to speak in the Temple, Sunday evening, November 5. He arose from the table and dismissed the friends with no further explanation. Immediately I said to him, "Brother Russell, didn't you forget something?" "No, brother, I have that all fixed." He passed me a bundle of letters, copies of letters, written to various brethren who were the heads of the various departments. As I read them over I was amazed at the wisdom that was displayed in the arrangement of the home and office. He invited me to accompany him to the depot in the taxi he rode over in. I told him what I thought about it. He said, "Brother, nobody can do anything without organization. We have one now, and the work should go on better than ever before."

So, dear friends, the one the Lord has placed over the work has gone, but he is still busy and not idle, for the Lord says that the works of those who die in the Lord follow with them. We are to continue the work he so wonderfully carried on. The only change will be this: instead of taking matters to our dear Brother Russell now to straighten out various details as in the past, we will now have to go to the Lord with our sorrows and troubles and perplexities. The arrangements concerning the Watch Tower will be announced [CR505] later. Sufficient matter has been prepared by our dear Brother Russell to keep the Tower running for a number of years. So we see, dear friends, how the Lord foresaw this and made every necessary arrangement. All that remains to be done now is to have the friends continue to co-operate with the arrangements left by our dear brother and that have been overruled by our "Daniel."

I am sure from now on things will be rather strange. But, dear friends, you and I are confronted with a serious proposition. You must accept one of two things: either that it was a mistake – that we cannot accept – or that our beloved Pastor's work on earth has ended and that we as members of the Body of Christ have been borne by him until he was taken up higher and the work remaining to be done must be done by those instructed and helped by our dear brother. That very statement was made by him before he died: "Others will smite the Jordan and others will carry on the work."

Dear friends, I feel sure if there ever was a time to renew our determination it is at this very moment. Our Leader is not taken. Our earthly leader is gone. We will not lay down now. This is no time for that. This is the time for fortitude and courage and determination, to go on and complete the work, because we realize it is the Lord's work, and thus we will respect the wishes and memory of our dearly beloved Pastor.

We should not be surprised as we contemplate the situation now. The Lord tells us through the prophet (Zech. 13:7), "Awake O sword against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of Hosts; smite the shepherd and the sheep shall be scattered, and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones." You remember our dear Redeemer quoted that (Matt. 26:31), saying, "Ye shall all be offended because of me this night, for it is written, I will smite the shepherd and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad." Oh, how perplexed and disheartened and sad the poor disciples were when the Shepherd was smitten! Why were they perplexed, sad and disheartened? Because the Lord said they would be scattered. And now, dear friends, the man that was his fellow (fellow-servant) has been taken away by the Lord. Are we to be scattered? No. Because the hand of Jehovah is to rest over the little ones at this time. There is no doubt, I am sure, in our hearts concerning the glorious consummation of the work so nobly begun and carried on on time.

(Clipping from Pittsburgh Sunday, Nov. 6, 1916)


– Hundreds Attend Service for Prominent Bible Exponent in Northside Carnegie Hall – Many from other cities.

Followers of C.T. Russell, internationally known as "Pastor" Russell, gathered in the Northside Carnegie hall today, for funeral services of the celebrated Bible student. The assembly in the music hall was one of the greatest demonstrations seen here at the bier of a public character.

The body of the writer and lecturer, whose followers throughout the world are said to number 200,000, lay in state from 11 to 1 o'clock, the arrangements having been carried out by the Pittsburgh branch of the International Bible Students' Association. At 2 o'clock the services began. The hall was packed to capacity.

Representatives of "Pastor" Russell's congregations from all parts of the United States were present at the services. A large number arrived here this morning from New York, forming an escort following the services held yesterday in the New York City Temple.

The body of the founder of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society and its offshoot, the International Bible Students' Association, lay on a flower-banked bier in the hall while hundreds of friends and admirers passed in line. The huge organ was half-concealed by ferns, palms and floral tributes. Many floral remembrances came from towns within a radius of 100 miles from Pittsburgh. With these were [CR506] assembled many of the pieces that were used at the services in New York yesterday.

"Blessed Be the Tie That Binds" opened the services. Charles A. Saunders of the Pittsburgh congregation led in prayer. R.H. Bricker of the Pittsburgh congregation read from the Scriptures, and "Sun of My Soul" followed. Dr. W.E. Spill, assistant pastor of the Pittsburgh congregation, spoke. He was followed by Pastor Monta Sturgeon, pastor of the New York congregation, of the International Bible Students' Association.


Charles H. Stewart offered prayer, and a closing hymn, "Abide, Sweet Spirit," was sung.

The pallbearers were selected from the elders and deacons of the Pittsburgh congregation. They included R. H. Bricker, Samuel McComb, E. F. Williams, W. H. Moore, Charles A. Saunders and Joseph Clarkson.

Honorary pallbearers were: Dr. W. E. Spill, J. V. Causer, Thomas Good, George Wazenegger, James Hottenbaugh, Charles H. Stewart, Edward Mauer, George A. Bohnet, E. M. Whan, E. W. Kelb and W. E. Coates, all of whom are elders of the Pittsburgh congregation of the International Bible Students' Association.

Following the services the funeral cortege, 60 automobiles and two special street cars, carried the friends of the late pastor to the United Cemeteries, West View.

In the New York delegation were Pastor P. S. L. Johnson, Pastor J. G. Kuehne, Pastor A. Bauerlein, Pastor I. F. Hoskins, Pastor A. E. Pearson, Pastor A. H. Macmillan, Pastor William Hersu of Ontario, Can., and Pastor Sturgeon. Other representatives included E. V. Kuehne, of Detroit, Dr. W. L. Jones, of Chicago and Horace Blinn, of Cincinnati.

Dr. Spill was in charge of arrangements with Pastor Sturgeon, of New York, who was with Pastor Russell when he died last Tuesday on his way from the west. Dr. Spill was assisted by R. H. Bricker and Samuel McComb.


Pastor Russell, a Pittsburgher, came into prominence in 1881 when the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society was incorporated. For several years before that time he had become known for his addresses and interpretations of the Scriptures. He removed the headquarters of his organization from here to Brooklyn in 1909, and congregations sprung up all over the country under the stimulus of his lectures and widespread publicity.

In Pittsburgh The International Bible Students' Association was incorporated with Pastor Russell at the head for promulgating Bible study and Bible truth. This association branched out until congregations have been organized all over the country.

Among the tributes to the memory of Pastor Russell was the following from D. Herradora, a Spaniard in the Pittsburgh congregation:

"The International Bible Students' Association from the four quarters of the globe, while missing his Christian fellowship and presence, rejoice nevertheless for his meeting with the Lord. He was exalted as the prophetically and divinely appointed teacher of the truth. He leaves his followers to continue faithfully the Christian gleanings of the harvest work."


Memorial Services, Metropolitan Auditorium, Chicago, Nov. 12, 1916, in Memory of Pastor Russell, by Dr. L. W. Jones.

FRIENDS: We have met here this evening to pay a tribute of respect to the memory of a great man; a man who was loyal to God even unto death, who laid down his life in the service of his fellowmen: THE GREATEST MAN THAT HAS WALKED THE FACE OF THIS EARTH SINCE THE DAYS OF THE APOSTLE PAUL.

I refer to none other than the late Pastor Russell, who finished his earthly pilgrimage on Tuesday, October 31, and whose earthly remains were laid to rest in the United Cemeteries at Pittsburgh, Pa., Monday, November 6th.

A strong statement, you are making, says someone, when you say that he was the greatest man that has walked the face of this earth since the days of the Apostle Paul.

Yes, it is a strong statement, but none too strong, and it is borne out by thousands who knew him best.

Pastor Russell had his enemies, as have all great men, and as did our Lord Jesus, the Apostle Paul and all who uncover error and proclaim the Truth. This, too, is born out by the Scripture which says, "If any man will live godly in Christ Jesus, he shall suffer persecution." Nevertheless, we have the further consoling testimony from the Bible, that, "If we suffer with him, we shall reign with him."

Those who read carefully after Pastor Russell and get the benefit of the pure atmosphere into which he leads them, need not be told that the many vile printed and pulpit attacks are wholly false and merely the desperate efforts of opponents whose nefarious schemes to keep the people in ignorance on the truth on all subjects Pastor Russell so fearlessly and thoroughly exposed.

It is for this reason that millions of newspaper readers enjoyed Pastor Russell's pen products and are not being influenced by any of the so-called news reports with scare-headlines, some of which, if even partially true, would have sent Pastor Russell to prison long ago; but the fact is that not a soul on earth has the slightest cause for grievance against Pastor Russell, except that he has been telling the common people truths the clergy wished them not to know.

Already clergymen and some others are predicting that the propaganda in which Pastor Russell was so interested, now that he is dead, would come to naught.

We wish to say right here that the message that Pastor Russell proclaimed was not his message, but the message of the Lord, and it will never die, but as Jehovah God himself says in His word, "My word which proceedeth out of my mouth shall not return unto me void, but accomplish that which I please and prosper in the thing where unto I sent it."

No, the great message of Pastor Russell, that of the imminence of the setting up of Messiah's Kingdom, will not fail, but will go on to a glorious consummation.

Pastor Russell breathed his last at 2:30 P.M., Tuesday afternoon, October 31st, 1916, in the state of Texas in drawing-room "A" of sleeping car "Roseisle," of a Santa Fe train, while enroute on his return trip from Los Angeles, California, to Brooklyn, N.Y., where he was to have preached in the New York Temple Sunday night, November 5th.

This last trip of the Pastor's began about two weeks prior to his death. As usual he had various appointments along the route of travel, in answer to various invitations to speak at Bible Students' gatherings.

After leaving Brooklyn on this last trip, his first meeting was at Lansing, Mich. From there he departed for Springfield, Ill., but on account of a freight train wreck was delayed, and missing that appointment proceeded to Dallas, Texas, where he spoke several times before a convention there in session. From thence he went to Galveston, Texas, speaking in the morning and afternoon, and then to Houston, Texas, where he again spoke that same day for over two hours more.

These two days seemed to be too strenuous for him, for, upon arriving at San Antonio the next day, he was obliged to remain in his bed all day, delegating someone else to fill both his forenoon and afternoon appointments.

When evening came, he felt that he must deliver his address to the public, who were assembled in large numbers in the most beautiful theater in San Antonio.

Pastor Russell evidently realized his weakness, because he requested Brother Sturgeon, his secretary and traveling companion, to remain near and to take up the thread of his talk where he dropped it.

This was found to be necessary three times, and as Pastor Russell was obliged to cease speaking for a time Brother Sturgeon would take up the line of argument, which was upon the theme of "The World on Fire," and carry it along until Pastor Russell could resume.

Thus, during the evening, Pastor Russell spoke four times and Brother Sturgeon three times, seven in all, making indeed a complete lecture.

The large audience remained until the conclusion, realizing that something unusual was taking place.

Such proved to be the case, as it was the last public discourse ever delivered by Pastor Russell.

The next day, sick as he was, they continued their journey, but Pastor Russell remained in his berth in the sleeping car, eating nothing for several days, until they reached California. There he arose from his bed at Los Angeles and was taken in an auto by friends to a hotel, but was unable to serve them until late in the day. That afternoon, Sunday, October 29, he endeavored to stand and speak to them, but was too weak and was obliged to sit while giving to that class the last words of admonition to fall from his lips.

He closed that memorable service by announcing and reading the first verse of that beautiful hymn:

"Abide, sweet Spirit, heavenly Dove,
With light and comfort from above;
Be thou our guardian, thou our guide
O'er every thought and step preside."

They then began their return trip to Brooklyn, but with the thought of stopping if possible at several cities to fill appointments.

Such privilege, however, was denied him, because he continued to weaken, to which was added considerable suffering, until one o'clock Tuesday, when the great fight was over and he rested quietly for about an hour and a half, breathing his last at 2:30 P.M.

His body was taken to Brooklyn, passing through Kansas City and Chicago, at both places being viewed by many into whose lives he had been the instrument of God's hands to bring great blessings.

On Sunday, November 5th, Memorial Services were held afternoon and evening in the New York Temple, the evening discourse being delivered by Brother J. F. Rutherford, who had been Pastor Russell's legal counsel for several years, and not only his legal counsel, but a loving friend and Christian brother.

Grand indeed was the tribute Brother Rutherford paid to Pastor Russell, and in addition to his own remarks, he read the very sermon which Pastor Russell had penned and which he had intended to preach there in New York Temple that very night.

That night the body was taken to Pittsburgh, and on Monday the 6th further services were held by the Pittsburgh Class of Bible Students, in the Carnegie Music Hall. The body lay there in state from 11 o'clock until 2 during which time thousands of people passed by the bier of the one whose earthly career had begun in that very city, who had grown up in their midst and was known and respected by so many.

Burial took place that afternoon at dusk in a grave on the sloping hillside in the beautiful United Cemeteries. [CR508]


Some may still wonder why we remarked in the beginning that Pastor Russell was the greatest man that has walked the face of this earth since the days of the Apostle Paul.

I therefore wish to review some features of his life that, in the days to come, when the real truth is known, you, too, will appreciate the fact that a great prophet has been in our midst, despised, indeed, and rejected by some men, especially those who ought to be proclaiming the glorious message of the coming Kingdom of Messiah, but "who instead, preach the doctrines of men instead of the commandments of God."

Let us review his life and work:

Pastor Russell at his death was 64 years of age, having been born in 1852 in the city of Allegheny, Pittsburgh, Pa.

From early infancy his character lines indicated strong determination, which suggests the explanation of his subsequent independent evangelistic work.

Up to the age of fifteen he believed, as gospel truth, all, and only such doctrines as his Presbyterian parents and sectarian ministers had taught him. He asked many questions, but to learn to understand doctrines 50 years ago was very difficult, as the Bible students and various clergymen to whom he appeared discouraged individual Bible research, and the asking of questions on doctrines was then considered equivalent to doubting, and "to doubt was to be damned."

Being unable to answer questions of an infidel friend, concerning hell and eternal torment, or to get satisfactory Bible answers from his minister and other spiritual advisers, he became an admitted skeptic; and, like others, thinking that the Bible taught the doctrines of the creeds, he threw away his Bible when he threw away the creeds.

Next he spent several years in the investigation of Oriental religions, for he was still "feeling after God, if haply he might find him." But all he found was unsatisfactory and left an empty void.

At the age of twenty-one he was possessed with much knowledge and voluminous data on the religions of the world.

In the meantime he had worked himself into a large business in connection with his father, and now the time came for him to decide whether he would devote all his energies to business, or to search further for the true God and serve him.

Dropping all creeds, he came back to the Bible, and with a mind unbiased and unprejudiced he began anew to study it.

The great and all absorbing question which had been perplexing him all his life was that of "hell-fire and eternal torment." This he could never accept, and now the Lord opened his eyes to what the Bible taught on the subject, whereas he had been believing what the creeds taught and which was unsupported by either the Bible or reason.

He found that the Bible teaches that the penalty or wages of sin was not eternal torment, but death, DEATH, that "the soul that sinneth, it shall die," that "the dead know not anything," but are in the sleep of death until awakened in the resurrection morning at the second coming and presence of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who will then give all full, fair opportunity to attain unto eternal life through the establishment of Messiah's Kingdom.

At once Pastor Russell's heart was filled with love to God and his Son Jesus, and from that time until his death he has been proclaiming by pen and by word of mouth the blessings that are to come from Messiah's Kingdom, and at the same time declaring with might and main –

"If the Bible does teach that Eternal Torture is the fate of all except the Saints, it should be preached, yea, thundered, weekly, daily, hourly. If it does not so teach, the fact should be made known and the foul stain dishonoring God's holy name removed." – Pastor Russell.


To gladden the hearts of others was his new ambition, and the question then was, "What should he do, and how should he do it?" Determining, if possible, to reach every truth seeker, whether Catholic, Protestant, Jew or Free-thinker, he found it necessary to stand free from all sectarian bonds and to inaugurate an independent work. His first work was the preparation and free distribution of over [CR509] one million copies of a booklet, "Food for Thinking Christians."

Forty years as a pulpit and private teacher on Bible topics have served to prove that he could best reach and teach the public from an unsectarian standpoint, therefore he remained independent until his death.


In a remarkably short time, as a result of the publication of the booklet, "Food for Thinking Christians," appeals began to be received from Bible students from far and near, calling upon Mr. Russell to defend his position by either lectures or debates. This he did to a remarkable degree, including a long series of sermons in Pittsburgh, Pa., eventuating in Mr. Russell accepting the pastorate of an "Independent" congregation of six hundred, meeting regularly in Carnegie Hall.

Later he moved to Brooklyn, N.Y., where he had still greater opportunity of spreading the Message of Messiah's Kingdom.

As years passed by, invitations to deliver undenominational Bible Lectures increased. Large halls in the foremost cities of Great Britain, Norway, Sweden, Germany and America were tendered, with seats free to the public.

As many as possible of these invitations were accepted by Pastor Russell, thus annually enabling hundreds of thousands of Christians, in and out of all denominations, and skeptics, Jews and Gentiles, believers and unbelievers, to assemble together in a neutral place to hear free of cost the discussion of Bible topics by an "Independent." In harmony with this principle, Pastor Russell accepted no fee for speaking, and accepted no invitation to speak where an admission fee was to be charged, or where a collection was to be taken.

The acceptance of these invitations necessitated the making of extended tours, both in this country and abroad, whereby special train parties of Bible students attended from twenty to thirty Bible Students' Conventions on one tour.

Many of his tours in foreign lands covered months at a time, and in all it is estimated that he traveled over a million miles, and that he spoke at least three or four times as many hours as any person that has lived during the Gospel Dispensation. Such is only a part of the record of that wonderful man.




"While Catholics are to some extent returning to the Bible and the previous Pope has directed that their people be encouraged in Bible study, Protestants are drifting rapidly into infidelity under the modern designations Higher Criticism and Evolution. Our fathers during the dark ages got away from the Bible by supposing an 'Apostolic Succession.' Gradually the creeds got the Bible's place under the supposition that they agreed. Now having outgrown those creeds in rejecting them many are rejecting the Bible also. This is a mistake! The Bible is the most wonderful book in the world when allowed to interpret itself. It furnishes the only rallying ground for human brotherhood and Christian brotherhood. The world otherwise is facing anarchy. A lost religion will soon mean a lost God, and a lost future hope, and a selfish strive for the present life only.


"Let us not mourn our errors of the past unduly, but at once, now, get right with God and His Book. Its presentation is logical from Genesis to Revelation. It tells of the perfection of our first parents, of the test of their loyalty, of their failure and its penalty, death – not eternal torture. It tells that all of present imperfection, mental, moral and physical are incidental to the death penalty. Twenty billion have been born dying and soon toppled over into the tomb.


"God's mercy cannot allow sinners to live in happiness to injure themselves and others and to mar creation, nor could it permit sinners to live in torture to blaspheme the Holy Name. But one thing could be done under the plan arranged. Man could be redeemed by a Savior dying, 'The just for the unjust' to square the demands of Justice against the race through one man's disobedience. God purposed this remedy for all the race, 'before the foundation of the world.' 'In due time Christ died for the ungodly' – 'He tasted death (not eternal torment) for every man.'


"The Bible alone teaches that men die when they seem to die, yet it calls this a 'sleep,' because there is to be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust.' The prophets and apostles all 'fell asleep' as well as all others of Adam's race. They are sleeping in a great prison-house unconscious until the prison tomb shall be opened and they shall be called forth. This was shown by many scriptures.


"It was not sufficient that Jesus came and died for man's sin. Satisfaction of Justice is preliminary to their recovery from the prison and from the hereditary weaknesses which led them to the prison-house, the tomb. Hence the Redeemer is to be also the Restorer and Lifegiver. The time for that deliverance or 'restitution' is still future, but near. It will begin at Jesus' second advent, says St. Peter. Acts 3:19-21.


So say some good people, but they err. It was Jesus himself that told of his future reign of a thousand years when his Bride-Church, the 'elect' will be associated with him in his Kingdom and work; and when Satan shall be bound – Rev. 20:1-5

"The loss of this hope by our forefathers led up to all the grievous errors from which we are now seeking to escape. Do we not still pray, 'Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth even as it is done in heaven?" The coming Messiah's Kingdom is the key to the world's blessing by restitution – back to human perfection in a world-wide Eden.


"While waiting for his 'due time' to come for the blessing of mankind, God is not idle. He made one election during the Jewish Age from amongst that people of a saintly few, for his future work. And during this Christian Age God has been making another election – the Church 'the Bride the Lamb's Wife.'

"These elections do not spell torture to the nonelect masses of mankind, but the reverse – blessing. Through these 'elect' saints God's favors and mercies will be poured upon Adam's race for a thousand years – for their full uplift to all that was lost in Eden and redeemed at Calvary.

"This does not mean that there is to be no punishment for sin. Quite the contrary – every wrong act, word, or thought has its degrading influence and will bring its 'stripes.' It does not mean that some are now in torture. All are 'asleep' in sheol, hades, the tomb, and will be blessed and reasonably dealt with by their Redeemer. Therefore, every good endeavor now will bring proportionate uplift of character and tell on the future favorably – even in those not of the saintly elect class."

Thus Pastor Russell has given us the most wonderful outline of the Divine Plan of Salvation that has ever been put in a few words, showing man's fall into sin, and his recovery therefrom.

In further proof of the greatness of this man, let me recount to you some of


Each Item of Which Represents the Work of One Man of First Class Ability.

1878 Object and Manner of Our Lord's Return 50,000
1881 Food for Thinking Christians 1,450,000
1881 Tabernacle Shadows 1,500,000
1886 Divine Plan of the Ages 4,817,000
1889 The Time Is at Hand 1,657,000
1891 Thy Kingdom Come 1,578,000
1891 The Great Pyramid 1,578,000
1897 The Day of Vengeance 464,000
1899 The Atonement 445,000
1904 The New Creation 423,000
1896 The Hell Pamphlet 3,000,000
Parousia of Our Lord 300,000
What Say Scriptures About Spiritism 500,000
Bible vs. Evolution
1910 Die Stemme Yiddish
1914 Scenario, Photo-Drama of Creation

When it is remembered that very few works exceed a circulation of thirty thousand copies, some idea of the success of Studies in the Scriptures may be obtained from considering the above mentioned circulation of Pastor Russell's work. Although religious organizations and other religious writers boycotted bookstores which attempted to handle Pastor Russell's [CR510] works, this circulation has been attained in spite of the opposition of religious workers, the press, and the lack of assistance from the book stores.


Was a successful business man at the age of 20.

Prepared and preached sermons which are masterpieces.

Managed the Bethel Home of 125 to 175 workers.

Pastor of the New York Temple, London Tabernacle and Brooklyn Tabernacle.

Carried on a large Bible correspondence – private letters of one thousand a month, and managed a correspondence department handling 400,000 letters annually.

Conducted a Bible question bureau reaching all parts of the world.

President and Manager of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society.

President and Manager of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, thirteen branches.

President and Manager of the Peoples' Pulpit Association, New York.

President and Manager of the International Bible Students' Association, London, England.

Editor of Watch Tower, 45,000 no advertising.

Editor Bible Students' Monthly, 50 million per year, and directed its FREE distribution.

Conducted the greatest newspaper bureau 2,000 papers at one time, with 15,000,000 readers. In all over 4,000 papers published his sermons under contract at various times.

Oversaw translation of books into 19 languages.

Oversaw publication of Bible Students' Monthly, into 35 languages.

Oversaw publication of 700,000 volumes and 60 million papers yearly.

Great lecture tours, spoke twice daily, 5 hours.

Conducted world revival amongst Jews.

Oversaw free Truth library for loaning to the blind.

Managed corps of 70 Bible lecturers.

Managed auxiliary Pilgrim work of 300 men.

Managed Class Extension work of 400 men.

Arranged and directed five to ten general Bible Students' Conventions each year, and forty local conventions, attending each one and lectured at least twice.

Prepared Photo-Drama of Creation and selected all pictures.

Managed preparation of the slides 600.

Wrote the Drama Scenario and published it.

Managed preparing of the Drama in German, Swedish, Italian, Greek, Spanish, Finnish, Polish and Dano-Nor.

Managed presentation of Drama to two million people.

Elected Pastor of 1,200 Bible Classes and gave them personal attention.

Prepared and launched the Eureka Drama.

Traveled one million miles.

Spoke three or four times as many hours as any other man.

Do you thus realize why I feel justified in stating that Pastor Russell, without any exception whatsoever, was the greatest man that has walked this earth since the days of the Apostle Paul?

The beauty of all this is that he realized it was not his work, but the Lord's, and he did it gladly, freely, without money and without price.

The fact is that he at one time possessed a fortune of no small amount, every cent of which has gone into the work which was so dear to his heart.


The result of all this work has been to dispel from the minds of men and women the mists, darkness and superstitions handed down to us from the "dark ages" as contained in the various conflicting creeds.

Thousands of people have been brought back to the Bible, recognizing it as the only authorized and divinely appointed standard for the guidance of mankind, and his work has taught these thousands to appreciate Jehovah God as their heavenly Father, Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and all believers to be Brethren in a sense never before appreciated.


Nevertheless, "darkness hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest its deeds be made manifest," and, therefore, notwithstanding the magnificent array of noble deeds performed by that God-fearing and loyal man of God, he has been slandered, maligned and vilified because of his good deeds – this treatment has come not from the world, for "they heard him gladly," but from the professed ministers of God who still hold to the errors of the dark ages, eternal torment at the hands of fire-proof demons, immortality of the soul, trinity and the God-man Christ. Rather than square their erroneous doctrines with the Bible they prefer to slander and vilify a fellow Christian.


However, this is not strange when we remember that our Lord and Savior said, "The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his Lord....If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household.

"Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid that shall not be known."

This man of God pressed on, "Through honor and dishonor, through evil report and good report: as deceiver, and yet true...giving no offense that the ministry might not be blamed."

As he said, "My life is hid with Christ in God and nothing can by any means stop my work until it shall have accomplished the Divine intention. Until then I am immortal as respects my life. When, from the Divine viewpoint, my work shall have been accomplished, the Adversary, no doubt, will have full power, not only against my reputation, but also against my life.

"When God's time shall come, I am ready to be offered. Only if, in God's providence, I should perish as an evil doer, let not my friends forget that so others have perished, martyrs to their convictions and their faithfulness to the Word of God. Of these was St. Paul, St. Stephen, John the Baptist and our Lord himself."

I have known Pastor Russell and I have loved Pastor Russell for many years; I have traveled with him, slept with him, ate with him, visited at his home and he has visited at my home, and I am glad at this time to bear testimony to his faith in and fidelity to God and his Word, and it is my earnest desire to do with my might what my hands find to do in holding up the banner of love which he unfurled and so faithfully and fearlessly carried until he heard the summons, Well done, it is enough, come up higher, Enter into the joys of thy Lord.


Now in conclusion, we read in the Scriptures: "Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord, for they shall rest from their labors, but their works do follow them." – "Being dead yet speaketh."

We are living in a wonderful day and age, and so Pastor Russell's works will follow him in more senses than one, and we are privileged to have with us, through the instrumentality of the camera and phonograph, a reproduction of both the likeness and action of Pastor Russell, and also his own voice.

We will therefore at this time show you in moving pictures and with the use of the phonograph Pastor Russell delivering his introductory remarks to the great Photo Drama of Creation, which is showing in this Auditorium every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights.


1886 – 1. Vol. I – "The Plan of the Ages." Gives an outline of the great divine plan as revealed in the Bible, relating to man's redemption and restitution.    4,817,000 circulation.


1889 – 2. Vol. 2 – "The Time is at Hand." Treats of the time and manner of our Lord's second coming, considering the Bible testimony on this subject.    1,657,000 circulation.


1891 – 3. Vol. 3 – "Thy Kingdom Come." Considers those prophecies which mark the events connected with the "Time of the end," the glorification of the church and the establishment of the Millennial Kingdom.    1,578,000 circulation. [CR511]


1897 – 4. Vol. 4 – "The Battle of Armageddon." Shows that the dissolution of the present order of things is in progress, and that all the panaceas offered are valueless to avert the predicted end. It marks in these events the fulfillment of prophecy, noting especially our Lord's great prophecy in Matt. 24 and Zech. 14:1-9.    464,000 circulation.


1899 – 5. Vol. 5 – "The At-one-ment between God and Man." Treats that all important subjects, the RANSOM the hub around which all the features of the divine grace revolve. Its topic deserves the most careful and prayerful consideration on the part of all true Christians.    445,000 circulation.


1904 – 6. Vol. 6 – "The New Creation." Deals with the creative week, Gen. ch 1 and 2, and with the Church, God's "New Creation". It examines the personnel, obligations and hopes of the "called and chosen and faithful," Rev. 17:14.    464,000 circulation.


4,817,000   Vol. I
1,657,000   Vol. II
All Six 1,578,000   Vol. III
464,000   Vol. IV
445,000   Vol. V
423,000   Vol. VI
Total 9,384,000   circulation

Then followed the moving picture showing Pastor Russell as he introduces the Photo Drama of Creation, accompanied by the phonographic reproduction of his own voice. The service then closed by a double quartet singing the following hymn, which was also sung at the grave of Pastor Russell:

How vain is all beneath the skies!
How transient every earthly bliss!
How slender all the fondest ties
That bind us to a world like this!

The evening cloud, the morning dew,
The withering grass, the fading flower,
Of earthly hopes are emblems true,
The glory of a passing hour.

But though earth's fairest blossoms die,
And all beneath the skies is vain,
There is a brighter Age now nigh,
Beyond the reach of care and pain.

Then let the hope of joys to come
Dispel our cares, and chase our fears;
Since God is ours, we're traveling Home,
Though passing through a vale of tears.