New York Times, November 2, 1914


Pastor Russell, speaking last evening at New York City Temple, took for his subject. "The Regeneration of the Church and of the World. What are They? Why Different?" His text was "Marvel not that I said in part: unto thee, Ye must be born again." (John 3:7)

He said in part: In the past many of us have studied the Bible in a very careless manner, neglecting to give its inspired words the consideration and respect they deserve. In many cases the original thought has been utterly lost because of some fanciful interpretation. Consequently very few Christians have any concrete idea of the meaning of Bible statements respecting the future regeneration of the world.

Regeneration, or a second birth, is absolutely necessary if we would attain everlasting life. The fault is not that our Creator made us incomplete; for, as the Bible declares, "All His work is perfect." The fault is chargeable to sin. "By one man's disobedience sin entered into the world, and death as a result of sin; so death passed upon all men, because all are sinners."

This sentence of death upon Father Adam hindered him from giving to his children the perfection of life in which he was created. His entire race has been born into the world for six thousand years under a death sentence, or curse. The forfeited life cannot be prolonged; the sentence of death cannot be set aside; the Supreme Judge of the Universe cannot for any reason set aside His own decision. But God could provide for the re-generating of Adam and his race.

To generate, as all know, signifies to bring into life. Adam failed to generate a race to life, he merely generated a great race of thousands of millions possessed of only a spark of life a dying race.

The Divine provision is that our Lord Jesus left the glory of the Heavenly condition and became a man for the purpose of ransoming, or redeeming. Adam and his race, which shared his condemnation. The record is that this sacrificed life laid down by Jesus is sufficient as a cancellation of all Adamic sin. On the basis of that sacrifice, and in the carrying out of the Heavenly Father's Program, our Lord was raised from the dead "a quickening Spirit," a life-giving spirit Personage, with a glory far higher than that which He had when He came into the world. "Him hath God highly exalted, and given Him a name which is above every name." Philip. 2:9

The glorified Jesus is Scripturally termed the Second Adam, the Life-Giver or Regenerator, and the Everlasting Father the Father who gives everlasting life. Throughout the thousand years of His Messianic Reign, it will be the work of Christ Jesus, as the glorified Second Adam, to regenerate Adam and all his race. The regenerating influences will begin with their awakening from the death sleep, in harmony with the Master's declaration, "The hour is coming in which all that are in their graves shall hear the voice of the Son of God and shall come forth." John 5:28, 29


The coming forth from the tomb will be only the beginning of the regenerative work. The awakened sleepers will be in the same condition of mind that they were in when they fell asleep in a very similar condition to those who will be living on the earth at the time. Before they can be regenerated, they must be brought to a knowledge of the Truth. Their eyes and ears of understanding must be opened. The Scriptures assure us that this will be accomplished. (Isa. 35:5) "The knowledge of the glory of the Lord shall fill the whole earth." Isa. 11:9

The news of God's Love and of the possibilities of return to His favor through the atoning work of Jesus being clearly demonstrated to all, each will have the opportunity of deciding for himself whether or not he desires to return to human perfection and the blessed possibilities of everlasting life. To do so he must be begotten again by the Life-Giver; and the Life-Giver will beget again only those who desire the new life. Willful rejectors of the privilege, we are assured, will die the Second Death; while those accepting the Savior's proposal will come under helpful and disciplinary experiences which will gradually lift them up mentally, morally and physically to perfection to all that was lost for them in Father Adam's disobedience and its penalty, and all that was regained for them by the obedience of our Lord Jesus and the Divine arrangement of His Messianic Kingdom for the regeneration of the world.

The words, beget, born and regenerated or born again associate themselves in our minds with our natural birth; but we are not to expect, as Nicodemus queried, that any would again be born as an infant from a mother. The begetting to a new birth will be in the mind a covenant relationship with the Life-Giver.

Nevertheless, there is a beautiful analogy; for while Adam was designed to be the life-giver, father, generator, of the race, Mother Eve was designed to be its nourisher, caretaker and instructor to bring the race up to complete development. So while Jesus is the Life-Giver in the sense that He gave His own life as a Ransom-price for Adam, it is also a part of the Divine Program that there should be both a Second Adam and a Second Eve.

The world will need not only the start of the new life during the Millennium; but also the care and nourishment necessary for their development and uplift for restitution to perfection. God's provision is that the Church, especially called and qualified for that purpose during the Gospel Age, shall be the Antitypical Eve the Mother of the world caretakers, nourishers, supervisors in respect to all regenerated or re-begotten by the life-giver Jesus. What a beautiful prospect of collaboration with the Savior in His great work of rescuing Adam and his race from the effects of Adamic sin and the death sentence! [HGL622]


It was not Jehovah's program for His Son that He should change to human nature permanently. On the contrary, we are distinctly told that the Logas took the form of a servant only for the suffering of death. This purpose having been accomplished, the Father raised him up by His own Power to spirit nature and glory- "where Her was before," but to a still higher station on the spirit plane- "far above angels, principalities and powers, and every name that is named." This meant a regeneration or second birth, for the Lord Jesus for "flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God." 1 Cor. 15:50

Our Savior exchanged His spirit nature for the human, but He could not exchange the human for the spiritual else there would have been no object served in His humiliation. His human life was to be given up sacrificially as the Redemption-price for Adam's life and therefore as the Redemption-price of the whole world, since all lost life through Adam's disobedience. The application of the Master's sacrificed life would have left Him without life-rights as a man, but God provided for His regeneration His re-birth.

The sacrifice of Himself as a human being was made when Jesus was thirty years of age and was symbolized by His immersion. Immediately the Father begat Him again, not to be a human being but a spirit being. He was begotten of the Holy Spirit, which descended upon Him in a form like a dove. For three and a half years Jesus, as a New Creature, spirit-begotten, used His fleshly body, consecrated to death, having no other. In it "He was tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin," and after He had demonstrated His loyalty to God, even unto death at Calvary, the Father raised Him from the dead on the third day not a man, but a New Creature.

After His resurrection our Lord Jesus illustrated the lesson given to Nicodemus, of which our text is a part, He came and went like the wind. Some seven times during the forty days He appeared for brief intervals for the instruction of His disciples, just as angels have done. Later He ascended on High, "Now the Lord is that Spirit" - "the Second Adam." 2 Cor. 3:17; 1 Cor. 15:45, 47

The Bible tells us that from the very beginning God had foreknown that our Lord Jesus would accomplish this work and become the Father of Adam and his race by regeneration; and the Apostle Paul assures that God foreknew also the Church as the Bride of Christ, His joint-heir in His Kingdom. To some of the earliest members of the Church class our Lord said, "In the regeneration (in the Millennium) ye shall sit upon thrones." (Matt. 19:28) Elsewhere He declared, "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My Throne." Rev. 3:21

The Father purposed that the Bride class should be selected from amongst the members of the fallen race and should be prepared for their work of future glory before the regeneration of the world would commence. He purposed also that this Bride class should have a change of nature similar to that which our Lord Jesus experienced that it would begin with them as with Him at the time of consecration and spirit-begetting and would culminate with them as with Him, in the resurrection change.

Thus the Church has the promise that she shall be like her Lord, shall see Him as He is and share His glory. (1 John 3:2; Rom. 8: ; 17) St. Peter speaking of the call of the Church, declared that God gave unto this class "exceeding great and precious promises" that by these promises working in their consecrated hearts to will and to do God's good pleasure the class might become "partakers of the Divine Nature" 2 Pet. 1:4


It is manifest that this begetting of the Church to a change of nature is very different from the begetting provided for the world a regeneration or re-begetting to the human nature which Adam lost but which Christ redeemed for the world. So also we have noted that the Church has a different Father. Jesus is not the Father or Life-Giver of this Divine life. He did not redeem it or secure it for anybody. He redeemed human nature and secured the right to regenerate the world to human nature. The Church's begetting or regeneration is by the Heavenly Father Himself; as the Scriptures distinctly say, "The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ hath begotten us." (1 Pet. 1:3) He alone can give this Divine Nature. This does not signify that the Church is not indebted to her Redeemer; for the Scriptures distinctly state that without Him we could do nothing: that "by His stripes we are healed," that before the Heavenly Father would deal with us at all before He would accept our consecration, or sacrifice it was necessary that our Lord Jesus should appear on our behalf as our Advocate and surety. Thus, as St. Paul declares, "Christ hath brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel" life everlasting to the world and immortality or the Divine Nature for the Church. Prior to our Lord's First Advent the way of life was not manifested; no provision had been made for it except in the Divine Promise. God had promised His friend Abraham that somehow, sometime, all the world would be blessed. This meant that all the world would be released from the curse of death and would experience the Divine blessing, which signifies life everlasting not that the world will be given this blessing unconditionally, but that the opportunity for it will be extended to every member of Adam's race and to himself for acceptance or rejection. The second part of this Promise to Abraham, that this blessing should come through his posterity, implied that some special members of Adam's race would bless the remainder of the world, their brethren. The Seed through whom this blessing will come, St. Paul most positively declares, will be The Christ Jesus the Head and the Church His Body. 'Gal. 3:16, 29

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