Boston, Mass., May 19, 1907


Pastor C T Russell, of Allegheny, Pa., preached here twice today. In the afternoon in Tremont Temple an immense audience heard him, while many were unable to gain admission. His topic was "The Overthrow of Satan's Empire." We report his evening discourse, delivered in Berkeley hall, from the text, "When the day of Pentecost was fully come they were all with one accord in one place. . . and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit". (Acts 2:14) He said:

Upon this, the anniversary of Pentecost, it will not be inappropriate that we examine into the significance of the great event which, more than eighteen centuries ago, started the gospel church, inaugurated the Gospel dispensation. Let us, therefore, inquire of the word the significance of the event in type and antitype. The type was connected with the Jewish system of Sabbaths. The Jubilees could be observed only in their own land, the day and year might be observed anywhere, even when they were in the land of their enemy, in captivity. The year Sabbaths were each seventh year, and when a multitude of these had been reached, seven times seven years, the cycle of forty-nine years was followed by a great Sabbath year or fiftieth, called the jubilee, which to the Jew meant a time of restitution, freedom, a returning from servitude, the reuniting of the homes and families of those who had fallen into debt and had been scattered in consequence. It meant a return to the original patrimony, inheritance in the land, for nothing could be sold or invested in any manner in the fiftieth year. That year everything must be returned to its former estate. Thus the Lord in these year Sabbaths typified the great Millennial epoch, the Sabbath of the Lord referred to by the Apostle Peter in his sermon on the day of Pentecost as "times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began" (Acts 3:21). The antitype of that jubilee year has not yet fully come, but to our understanding is nigh, even at the door. That will be the great rest time, when the whole world shall have rest from the power of sin and Satan the latter being bound that he may deceive the nations no more until the thousand years are ended. What a glorious rest time that will be!

The day Sabbath observed by the Jews had a similar cycle. The seventh day multiplied by seven made the cycle of forty-nine days from the time of the offering of the sheaf of first fruits in the beginning of their year; and the day following that cycle, namely, the fiftieth day, was intended to mark the fulfillment of the Sabbath cycle. The Israelites observed the type year by year, yet knew not what to expect as the antitype of the sheaf of the first fruits and the antitype of the Pentecost or the fiftieth day. We on this side of the fulfillment can discern most clearly their fulfillments. The waving of the sheaf of the first fruits represented most beautifully the resurrection of our Lord and his presenting before God as the first fruits from the dead- "the first fruits of them that slept" (1 Cor. 15:20). Fifty days from the time of our Lord's resurrection brought together the early church in harmony with our Lord's direction, in anticipation of some gracious blessing on the fiftieth day. And that blessing came in the outpouring of the holy Spirit, the influence of which has prevailed in the blessing of all who become members of the same body of Christ all who have come under the same anointing of the holy Spirit.

This seal of the holy Spirit brings to the hearts of true believers the true rest of faith, typified by the Sabbaths of natural Israel. Speaking of this class the apostle says, "We who believe do enter into rest" we enter into this rest of faith in Christ and his finished work as the remedy for our guilt and the basis of our reconciliation with the Father as attested by the begetting of his holy Spirit. All such as have entered this antitypical Sabbath keeping have experienced the peace of God which passeth all understanding ruling in their hearts.

Theirs is a perpetual Sabbath, seven days in every week, fifty-two weeks in every year all of their time is consecrated to the Lord, to be used according to the direction in his word, and his peace and rest is in the soul, whatever may be the turmoil or disturbances or labors of the mortal body incident to the necessities and duties of the present life. This Sabbath in the soul can be kept anywhere, at home or abroad, in prosperity, in adversity, yea, in the enemy's country, under the prince of this world. Nevertheless all who have this Sabbath in the soul are still waiting for the perfect rest, complete rest, that remains for the people of God, which is to be entered into, not merely by faith, but actually when they shall have experienced their actual change in the first resurrection.


In the type, Pentecost marked the time for a special offering before the Lord of two wave loaves the first bread made from the new crop of wheat, the "first-fruits unto the Lord." As the sheaf of the first-fruits represented the Lord himself in his resurrection, so these two loaves made from the first-fruits of the harvest represented the church presented to the Lord in consecration and accepted by him on that first antitypical Pentecost day the Divine acceptance of their consecration being indicated by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. It will be observed that these two loaves were not unleavened but leavened. Leaven in the Scriptures signifying sin, impurity, implies the natural impurity of those who constitute this first-fruits offering unto the Lord. As the apostle expressed it, "We are all by nature children of wrath, even as others." (Eph. 2:3.) The transformation of our hearts and characters in God's sight is effected through the merit of our Redeemer, and is represented in this type by the baking of these loaves, which thoroughly stopped the leavening process and destroyed it. [HGL376] Those who, in harmony with the Lord's direction, gathered in that upper room on Pentecost day more than eighteen centuries ago represented the whole church of this Gospel age. And the two loaves signify two classes amongst the Lord's people, just as the two goats of Atonement day represented the same. These two loaves and two goats do not represent true and false Christians; the false are not included the tares are not wheat in any sense of the word. It is amongst the wheat that there are two classes designated in the Scriptures as the "little flock" and the "great company." The little flock, we remember, are styled elsewhere, the "body," the "bride," and have the promise of sitting with the Lord in his throne and of constituting his future glorious temple, in and through which all the blessings of the world should be ministered for the benefit of the world during the Millennium. The Great Company, on the contrary, we are told will be before the throne and serve God in his temple after they shall have come through great tribulations; these will be the "virgins," the bride's "companions," who will follow her. (Psa. 45:14; Rev. 7:9.) We see then that the two classes represented in these two loaves, in which the leaven had been destroyed by the baking, and which were waved before the Lord on Pentecost, represented all the saved of this Gospel age- "a kind of first-fruits unto God of his creatures."


The Apostle Peter, explaining to the people and to the disciples the meaning of the Pentecostal blessing, was guided by the Holy Spirit to tell them that what they had witnessed was a part of that which the Prophet Joel had foretold, saying, "It shall come to pass after those days, saith the Lord, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh, but in those days I will pour out my spirit upon my servants and handmaidens." (Joel 2:28-29; Acts 2:17-18.) Although the prophet's statement is plain enough when once our eyes of understanding are opened to its meaning, nevertheless the statement is in such form as to be easily misunderstood by the casual reader. And no doubt it was put in the very form in which we have it with the very intention on God's part that it should be misunderstood in considerable degree up to the present time up to the time of its complete fulfillment. The meaning of the passage is veiled by the statement of the blessing in reverse order from that in which its fulfillment will come. This is proper enough, too, because the great plan of God is the blessing and salvation of the world in general, and although the salvation of the church is to a higher salvation, to be on a higher plane, to glory, honor and immortality, this comes as a step or means to the accomplishment of the great salvation of the world. Hence it was proper enough to point out the blessing of the world first; after certain days after the days or epoch of this Gospel age. And it was proper enough to state subsequently that during these days of the Gospel age the Lord will pour out his Spirit upon his servants and handmaidens. The smoke of the "dark ages" beclouded our vision as respects the world in general. The false theology then foisted upon the church, to the effect that all mankind were to be eternally tormented except the elect church, had the effect of blinding the eyes of our understanding to the meaning of many beautiful promises of God's Word, this one amongst the others. How plainly the matter now appears to our opened eyes of understanding! During this Gospel age God has poured out his Holy Spirit upon his servants and upon his handmaidens upon all mentioned by our Lord in the words, "Blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear." All of these, as God's servants and handmaidens, have been privileged during this Gospel age to enjoy his favor perpetual Sabbath, perpetual rest of heart in the Divine favor, love and mercy in Christ Jesus, as well as a knowledge of and trust in the exceeding great and precious promises to be fulfilled in the first resurrection, when we shall enter into the "rest that remaineth for the people of God." Heb. 4:9.


But nothing would be more out of harmony with the teaching of God's word than to say that God had poured out His Holy Spirit upon all flesh during this Gospel age or at any time in the world's history. To understand this promise we must note carefully that the church is to receive its blessing in these days of favor and the world its blessing after these days of this Gospel age. It has become proverbial that truth is stranger than fiction, and so today notwithstanding the various declarations of God's word that He so loved the world while we were yet sinners as to provide a ransom for all; and notwithstanding the further declaration that Christ is yet to be the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world; and notwithstanding the scriptural promises of a Millennium of blessings, when the knowledge of the Lord will fill the earth as the waters cover the great deep, when the sun of righteousness will shine into every nook and corner and drive away all darkness and sin, and when God through His appointed representative, Christ, and His glorified church, will wipe away all tears from off all faces, and when he whose right it is shall take unto Himself His great power and reign, and subdue all things into harmony to the Father's will, Satan himself being bound and eventually destroyed notwithstanding all these things, how slow our hearts have been to believe these testimonies.

How prone we have been to believe Satan's miserable mis-representation of the Divine character, in which he pictures our glorious Maker as a very fiend, plotting and designing man's eternal torture even before He created our first parents! It is in view of these delusions from the "dark ages" that any have difficulty in seeing that it would be just like the Heavenly Father to provide in Christ, not merely for the election of a little flock of the church to be the royal priesthood of the future, but just like Him to provide also the times of restitution and blessing for the world. It would be just like Him to provide for His servants and handmaidens during this Gospel age the Holy Spirit to guide, help, bless and instruct them, and it would be just like Him, too, that eventually, under favorable conditions of the Millennial day, He should pour out His Holy Spirit upon all flesh, and bring all mankind to know in deed and in truth the love of God which passeth all understanding that thereby they might be rescued through faith and obedience to God's appointed representatives.

The perplexing feature to some lies in the fact that "those days" of the prophetic statement have lasted so long'more [HGL377] than eighteen centuries. But we must remind all that from God's standpoint such a period is but a little while, because "a day with the Lord is as a thousand years." (2 Pet. 3:8.) A little while and our trials will be ended. A little while and God's royal priesthood will all have been anointed and instructed and every way qualified for their great work of ministering truth and grace, wisdom, love and power to all the families of the earth for their uplift from the conditions of sin and death, that they may come back into fellowship with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

This glorious prospect for the world becomes more and more interesting to us as we look at it, and in proportion as we have the Lord's Spirit, the Holy Spirit of fervent love for God and all of His wonderful arrangements, and of fervent love for our fellow man, loving them as ourselves and desiring their blessing. As we realize these blessings God has in store for the human family, and which are to be poured out upon all flesh at the second advent of Christ and the establishment of His kingdom, we pray with increasing fervency, "Our Father, which art in heaven. . . . Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven." Yea, and on our own accounts also we pray this prayer for the establishment of that kingdom according to the gracious promises of the word, our exaltation to glory, honor and immortality at the right hand of our Lord, the bridegroom as His joint-heirs upon His throne.


All language is more or less figurative even when it is literal. When we read of the pouring out of the Holy Spirit, and remember that those who received it are spoken of as anointed with the Holy Spirit, typified in the type by the outpouring of the holy, sacred, perfumed oil, we get before our minds the picture evidently intended of the Lord. The apostle, writing to some who had received the Holy Spirit, said, "Ye have an unction (an oiling, lubricating, anointing) from the Holy One." The Holy Spirit poured upon the church at Pentecost signified to them God's peace, blessing, favor. The apostle Peter explains that this favor came to the church from her Lord, and that it was a sign or indication that He had completed for her the work of atonement, reconciliation, and that the Holy Spirit signified that the Father not only no longer condemned the servants and handmaidens as sinners because of Adam's transgression, but on the contrary, having forgiven them their sins, He had now anointed them with His Spirit, communicated to them His blessing, recognized them as in a special sense His children by the adoption which is in Christ Jesus.

The apostle's words are, "This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He hath poured forth this, which ye now see and hear." (Acts 2:33.) So far as God was concerned, He was now prepared to give to each of these accepted sons all the elements of His own character His Holy Spirit, His Holy disposition, the Spirit of the truth, the Spirit of love, etc. It remained for each of His servants and handmaidens thus adopted into His family to appropriate the Spirit, and the measure of their appreciation and their zeal would mark the increase of their capacity to receive it. They were to be filled with the Spirit; they were to be energized and to be filled more and more with the various Divine characteristics. This was not accomplished in the moment of the blessing, but was gradually approximated as the days and months and years rolled by, and as they with earnestness and desire sought to grow in grace, to grow in knowledge, to grow in love and all the fruits of the Spirit of the Lord.

A similar promise of the outpouring of the spirit upon all flesh signifies that the time will come that the world will no longer be dealt with as aliens and foreigners, but will be brought right to God. Is it asked, what more could be done by mankind that is now being done to bring them nigh to God? We answer, much more, very much more. God is not attempting now to "reconcile the world," "all flesh." His appointed time for that work is the Millennial age: Then, at the hands of the glorified Christ, know the Lord, for all shall know him from the least to the greatest of them. Then, as we have seen, Satan will be bound, and instead of evil agencies of corruption and degradation being at work all these shall be restrained, and the works of righteousness and truth shall prevail; and the contrasting picture given in the word is that as now darkness covers the earth and gross darkness the people (Isa. 60:2), then the Sun of Righteousness will arise with healing in his beams, and not a nook or corner of darkness will remain. The present darkness is permitted in order to the election, selection, of the special class that the Lord is now calling, who are required to walk in the dark, to walk by faith and not by sight to demonstrate their faith and their zeal by laying down their lives in the Divine service and for the brethren while even the eyes of their understanding can see only in part the Divine program.

The pouring out of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost came upon those who exercised faith unto consecration, but the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the future will come as the result of a knowledge leading to obedience to God. When full knowledge shall prevail the same degree of faith that is now recognized will be impossible, and hence the reward of faith will no longer be open, but the reward of obedience to life and to knowledge will be granted, and that reward of obedience will be the imparting of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of wisdom, the Spirit of a sound mind, the Spirit of the truth, the Spirit of love to all flesh. And it will come to pass, saith the Lord, that the soul that will not hear, will not heed, that glorious message, that glorious opportunity, and who will still prefer sin and disobedience despite his knowledge, will be cut off from amongst the people in the second death. Acts 3:23.

As the pouring out of the Holy Spirit now and its reception by the servants and handmaidens depends upon their energy in accepting and coming into harmony with it and as this harmony is a gradual development year after year, growing in grace, so with the world during the Millennial age. Throughout that glorious epoch, as the light of the knowledge of God is received into good and honest hearts, and as endeavor is made to obey the Divine message, grace, strength will gradually more and more come in, the hearts of men will more and more, be enlarged, until by the close of the Millennial age every true and loyal one of Adam's race'everyone appreciating God [HGL378] and desiring to do his will and to enjoy his favor and eternal blessing shall have had full opportunity for return to all that was lost of the Divine character likeness full perfection, physical, mental and moral. Consider how glorious will be the results of that pouring out of the Holy Spirit upon all flesh, how grand the consummation, when all sin shall have been blotted out, when all tears shall have been wiped from off all faces, when all the stains and imperfections of sin shall be eradicated, and every face and human form shall be perfect, radiant, in the Divine character-likeness and the joys of the Lord!

But while it is strengthening and refreshing and every way blessed for us to contemplate the Divine program respecting the future blessing of the world, let us not forget our own share therein; let us not forget that only as we become true servants and true handmaidens of the Lord and his cause that we can have a share in the blessing which he is now pouring out upon these only. Let us not forget that our share will be proportionate to our love and appreciation and our zeal and that therefore it should be the desire and aim of each one who has tasted of the grace of God to be filled with the spirit, the spirit of joy, peace, the Holy Spirit, the spirit of love. Let us labor and pray to this end, not only on our own behalf, but also on behalf of all others, even so many as the Lord our God hath called as many as are seeking to make their calling and election sure.

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