The New York World, March 1, 1915


Norfolk, Va., February 28, Pastor Russell (who will speak at the New York City Temple next Sunday evening), addressing a large audience here today, discussed Christ's Second Advent, from the text, "If I go away, I will come again and receive you." (John 14:3) He complimented "Billy" Sunday by saying that although "Billy" Sunday by saying that although "Billy's" teachings do not come up to the Bible, nevertheless he is far ahead of so-called "Orthodoxy" on this theme.

Mr. Sunday preaches considerably as I do on this subject, said the Pastor, yet still comes far short of my conception of the Bible teaching. Mr. Sunday's presentation recognizes that the Lord Jesus at His Second Coming will establish a world-wide Empire which will bless the entire world with fullest opportunity to walk in the ways of righteousness. To this we agree.

But we disagree with Mr. Sunday's theory that the thousands of millions who died during the past six thousand years in ignorance of Christ are to suffer tortures to all eternity because of the ignorance. Amongst these billions he includes all who have never heard of Jesus' name in the true sense in heathen lands, and at home where, he explains to us, some were led straight down to Hell by the churches. These billions, according to Mr. Sunday, were very unfairly treated were very unlucky.

We disagree with this and present the Bible thought, that the dead are in neither a fiery Purgatory nor a fiery Hell, but in the Bible Hell the tomb. We insist that the Bible teaches that "all that are in their graves shall hear the voice of the Son of God and come forth." The saintly will come forth to glory with Christ in His Kingdom. Others will come forth to a resurrection a raising up out of sin and death by judgment. See Revised Version. John 5:28, 29

These billions who have not intelligently heard of Jesus and His salvation are not on trial now. Their death is the penalty of Adam's sin and not of their personal rejection of Jesus, whom they never knew. It is to give these the opportunity of a judgment, or trial, during the thousand years of Christ's Reign, that they will be called forth from the tomb. As all died through one man's disobedience, all are to be awakened and brought forth to an opportunity of everlasting life through the obedience

of the other man Christ. The resurrection of the dead, both just and unjust, is their hope. (Acts 24:15) Aside from a resurrection, there is no hope. Hence, the whole world, good and bad, are said to "sleep with their fathers."


Those who style themselves "Orthodox" are still further astray from the Bible than is Mr. Sunday. While the latter proposes Millennial blessings for the fortunates living at the Second Advent, "Othodoxy" declares that there will be no Millenium that there will be no hope for anybody except the Elect few; that instead of establishing His Kingdom at His Second Advent, Jesus will destroy the earth and its inhabitants with fire. They overlook the teachings of the Lord's Prayer that His people should pray, "Thy Kingdom come," and expect it; and that they should believe that ultimately God's will shall be done on earth as fully as it is now done in Heaven. They neglect the Scriptures which tell that Paradise is to be restored world-wide that "the earth is God's footstool," and that "He will make the place of His feet glorious." Isa. 66:1; 60:13

They neglect the Bible declaration that "the earth abideth for ever," and that God "created it not in vain, but formed it to be inhabited." (Ecc. 1:4; Isa. 45:18) They neglect St. Peter's declaration that the Restitution Times mentioned by all the holy Prophets are to be realized at the Second Coming of Jesus. (Acts 3:19-21) Instead, they hold, and express it in all their creeds Catholics and Protestant that at Christ's Second Coming the earth and its inhabitants are to be consumed with literal fire. They are led thus to give a literal interpretation to St. Peter's symbolic statements portraying the fire of anarchy which will destroy present institutions and make way for the New Heavens and the New Earth of Messiah's Kingdom.

They fall into this error because of another formed during the Dark Ages; namely, that the only kingdom of God that this world will ever see will be such an one as it is now enjoying, while the various so-called kingdoms of God are butchering each other. Each is trying to justify its own selfish course, and all unite in saying that the civilized nations of today are Christendom Christ's Kingdom.

This theory began in the year 800, with Pope Leo III, since which time Catholics claim that the Church is glorified, reigning with Christ, and the Pope serving as the world's king vicegerent, or instead of Messiah. English, German and other reformers coming out of Catholicism brought with them the same theory, which has been falsely added to the Lord's Prayer in the words, "Thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever," which words are not found in the oldest Greek manuscripts and are properly omitted in the Revised Version.

Protestants generally, refusing the Pope as the vicegerant of Christ, are much confused when they attempt to explain the Kingdom for which they pray, "Thy Kingdom come," and the reference in Revelation to its lasting a thousand years. Protestant preachers are becoming Higher Critics, Evolutionists, etc., and take little account of the Bible testimony. What a pity that such do not resign their pulpits and enter business life, where higher standards of honesty prevail!


There are honest preachers who believe the Bible, yet are skeptical respecting Messiah's Kingdom. Properly enough, these argue that if Jesus had been glorified for eighteen centuries as a Spirit Being, at the Father's right hand, and has been preparing the Church for the Heavenly Courts, it would be a retrogression for Him to return to earth and establish an earthly kingdom with soldiers, servants, courtiers, etc. Properly they reason that for the Lord [HGL699] Jesus to leave the Throne of Heavenly Glory, and return to sit upon a throne of gold and ivory, would seemingly be taking a backward step.

The difficulty is that these ministers have slipped a few cogs in the great Divine Plan of the Ages. What they need yet to note in the Bible is that Christ and His Church, His Bride class, the Royal Priesthood, are the only ones of the human family promised a share in the Heavenly rewards and blessings that the Divine arrangement for the remainder of mankind is an earthly Paradise and human perfection in the Divine likeness. They fail to see that the saintly Church, gathered from the world for eighteen centuries, will compose a Spiritual Kingdom which, backed by Infinite Wisdom and Power, will better serve the world's interests than could any earthly kingdom; and that, furthermore, the Divine Plan proves that the Ancient Worthies, from Abel down to John the Baptist, are to be resurrected perfect human beings, and made "princes in all the earth" representatives, agents, of the invisible Spiritual Kingdom then in control.

Our minds have been so long blinded by false theories, and the Bible has received so little intelligent study without sectarian glasses, that it is not surprising that we have all so seriously erred in so important a matter.


Our Lord's many parables refer to His Church as a Kingdom class, a Royal Priesthood. This does not signify that He intended them to occupy places of honor and distinction now. The Master Himself was neither a King nor a Priest on earth. His is the Melchizedek Priesthood of the Messianic Age. Then He will also be the great King over all the earth. Well did He declare to Pilate, "My Kingdom is not of this Age" (John 18:36). As His saintly followers are to share in His Kingdom, they also must wait for its establishment. While waiting they pray, "Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth, as it is done in Heaven."

Of this Royal Priesthood the Apostle John declares, "The world knoweth us not." We are kings and priests only from the Divine standpoint, which none are able to recognize except "the brethren." Only in embryo are God's saints spoken of as the Kingdom class. They are now on probation. Jesus says that the overcomers will be granted to sit with Him in His Throne, as actual members of the Royal Priesthood, to reign with Him a thousand years. Rev. 3:21; 20:6


After telling about the resurrection of the dead, St. Paul explains that the resurrection of the Church to glory, honor and immortality will be first in the program. Subsequently all will come forth, "every man in his own order," and Christ shall reign until He shall have put down all insubordination. Other Scriptures clearly inform us that the length of His Reign will be a thousand years.

From the Bible viewpoint the Thousand-year Day of Christ is ample for the great work to which it has been consecrated by the all-wise Creator from before the foundation of the earth. Nor should we forget that all power in Heaven and earth is vested in the One who then will take the Throne. Neither should we forget that for eighteen centuries the Church has been under special preparation and instruction in the School of Christ, training for their work as a Royal Priesthood. They will be able to sympathize with the groaning creation and to be merciful, even in the administration of stripes necessary to many for their assistance along the Highway of Holiness, then opened up.


Some of the noblest minds have been repelled from faith in the Second Advent by the thought of an earthly Kingdom with Christ and the saints in regal state. They are quite right in thinking that earthly royalty would be beneath the dignity of Messiah and His Bride. The Scriptures declare that Jesus left His glory, humbled Himself to become a man, in order to be the great Sin-Offering for our race. But the Redeemer prayed to be glorified with the glory which He had with the Father before the world was; and He promised His Church a share in His Heavenly glory. Did He lead us to expect a Heavenly glory, Heavenly inheritance, and glorious change to Heavenly conditions, and will He give us, instead, earthly glory and merely perfection in the flesh?

How slow we have been to see that God never purposed that either Jesus or His faithful Elect should remain in the flesh. We misunderstood a few Bible statements. We read, "Every eye shall see Him," and forget that there are eyes of understanding as well as natural eyes. We forget that Jesus declares that very few now see or hear only the saintly, whose eyes of understanding have been opened by the anointing of the holy Spirit. We forget that Jesus said, "A little while and the world seeth Me no more." When once we discern that He has been given a spirit nature again, that He no longer has the human nature which He surrendered as a Sin-Sacrifice, then we see why the world will see Him no more, and why the Church must be changed by resurrection power before she can see Him.


Jesus left the world, not so much in the sense of going so far away that He could not see His disciples and communicate with them, but neither in the sense that He would not do so. He would compel them to "walk by faith and not by sight," to "search the Scriptures," and to receive the spiritual blessings through the fellowship of the Truth. By His holy Spirit, He would be with them, and not by further manifestations.

His Second Coming would be at the end of the Ages, to awaken His sleeping saints and change them to the Heavenly state. Thus He would come again and receive His Church unto Himself that the sleeping ones and subsequently those alive and remaining, who would experience their resurrection change in the moment of death. Additionally, in the Harvest with which this Age ends, He promised to take official supervision of the gathering of His Elect.

This stage of His Coming is called, in the Greek, His Parousia'His presence. The world is not to know of His Parousia. On the contrary, it is described, a secret- "as a thief in the night." Jesus said that at His Parousia the world would be eating, drinking, planting, building, and know [HGL700] not of His Coming in the Harvest of the Age, even as the world in the days of Noah knew not. The intimation is, however, that some of God's people would be aware of His Parousia; while others, the Foolish Virgins, would be overcharged with cares of this life, and know not.

If Jesus really meant it when He said, "A little while and the world seeth Me no more," how can humanity know about the new, invisible Kingdom? The Bible answers most distinctly. It talks of the shining forth, the Epiphania, of the Messianic Kingdom. It tells of His Apokalupsis, or revealment- "He shall be revealed in flaming fire." This flaming fire signifies severe judgments, as elsewhere. They are to be so severe that the elements of society will melt with the fervency of the heat of a terrible Time of Trouble. Additionally, "the heavens," the ecclesiastical systems, will be involved, and will pass away with a great commotion. It is from this revealing in flaming fire, Divine censure upon the world, that the great, the high, the mighty, the poor, all, shall seek to "hide themselves in the dens and caves of the earth" in the social orders and in affiliations with strong governments, etc.

Gradually mankind will see that it is "the wrath of the Lamb" that causes the "Time of Trouble such as was not since there was a nation." The plowshare of Trouble will go so deep that the world will effectively learn the lesson. As their eyes of understanding open still more widely, they will discern the beauties and blessings of the Messianic Kingdom- "the desire of all nations."

But first The Christ, Jesus the Head and the Church the Body, Bridegroom and Bride, must enter into the glory of the Kingdom. Then will be established the earthly phase of the Kingdom under the Ancient Worthies. The world will "see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the Prophets," but, will not see the King, nor the Bride, nor "the virgins, her companions" on the spirit plane. These will be as invisible to humanity as are Satan and his demon host at the present time.

One of our great obstacles in the past has been the failure to discern that God has been presenting two distinct salvations that of the Church to the spiritual, Heavenly, Divine nature; and that of the non-elect, through the elect Church. To them will come the opportunity of earthly Restitution to human perfection, in the image and likeness of God, as was Adam in a world-wide Paradise. Our Savior's First Advent was necessary for the redemption of mankind. His Second Advent is for the overthrow of Satan and for the release of sinners.

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