The National Labor Tribune, May 27, 1915


San Antonio, Texas, May 23 Pastor Russell spoke here today on the text, "And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh." (Joel 2:28) He said in part:

The Prophet Joel mentions two distinct outpourings of the holy Spirit. One of these, upon the servants and the handmaidens, found its fulfillment at Pentecost; and during the more than eighteen centuries since then, God's spiritual blessing has been with all the footstep followers of Jesus all of God's servants and handmaidens. If we see this feature of the prophecy fulfilled, it becomes a guarantee to believers that the remainder of the same prophecy will have fulfillment in God's due time. The remainder of the prophecy declares that afterward after those days during which the holy Spirit has been outpoured upon the Church, upon the "servants and handmaidens" will come God's time for pouring out His Spirit upon all the world of mankind.


St. Peter's explanation of the Pentecostal blessing, "This is that which was spoken by the Prophet Joel," should not be taken to mean that what was witnessed in the upper room on the Day of Pentecost, nearly nineteen centuries ago, completely fulfilled the Prophet Joel's predictions. (Acts 2:14-40) No Bible student would dispute that the fulfillment of the prophecy began at Pentecost, with the early Church, and has been in process of fulfillment during all the centuries since. It is as true today as it was then, that the blessing of the holy Spirit is granted to all of God's servants and handmaidens; and the remainder of the prophecy will be fulfilled with equal accuracy in due time.

After these days of the Gospel Age after these days of the outpouring of the Spirit upon God's servants and handmaidens will come the glorious epoch of Messiah's Kingdom, in and through which God will pour out upon the world of mankind a great blessing of enlightenment and uplift from the sin and death conditions which now prevail. It will be to the accomplishment of this end that Satan shall be bound for a thousand years; and the darkness which now covers the earth, and the gross darkness which now blinds the heathen, will be chased away by the glorious "Sun of Righteousness with healing in His Beams." Mal. 4:2

Thus will be inaugurated the glorious Day of Messiah, a thousand years long. Thus the knowledge of the glory of the Lord will fill the whole earth. Thus every tongue shall be brought to confess and every knee to bow to Messiah as the great Representative of Jehovah and His righteousness. Isa. 11:9; Philip. 2:9-11


Abraham of old typified Jehovah and Isaac typified Messiah, born not after the flesh, but after the Spirit by a special Divine interposition according to the promise of God. Of this anti-typical Isaac class Jesus is the Head, the Forerunner of the Church, as well as the world's Redeemer. The Body of Messiah is composed of a saintly few, according to the Scriptures, gathered primarily from the Jews, but being completed by additions from every people, nation, kindred and tongue. These all, St. Paul tells us, will be character-copies of God's dear Son, our Redeemer [HGL717] and Head. This the Apostle declares is Divine predestination. Rom. 8:29, 30; 4:28; 3:8, 16, 29

This Church class, or Messiah class, is variously referred to in the prophecies, as well as in the New Testament, as the brethren of Jesus and as sons of God. Of them the Prophet David writes, "I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the Most High; but ye shall all die like men, and fall like One of the princes." (Psa. 82:6, 7) These all die like men in the estimation of the world; for, as St. John declares, the world knoweth them not, even as it knew not their Master. (1 John 3:1) As the world did not recognize that the life of Jesus was laid down sacrificially, neither is it aware that the followers of Jesus, a little handful, down through the Gospel Age, have likewise through His merit presented their bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God. Rom. 12:1


This Spiritual Seed of Abraham, all saintly, will constitute the Church of the First-borns, the antitype of the Priests and the Levites of the Jewish Dispensation. With the completion of this Church, gathered out of all nations, sects and denominations, Divine favor will again return to the natural seed of Abraham. As the Jew was granted the first opportunity or privilege of becoming the Spiritual Seed of Abraham, he will likewise have the first opportunity to participate in the blessing which will then come to the whole world of mankind. "To the Jew first" is the Divine order in respect to both of these blessings.

To this agree the words of the Apostle Paul. After telling of the Divine election of the Church, the saintly few of both Jews and Gentiles, the Apostle adds, "I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant concerning this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits, that blindness in part (only, not perpetual) is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in." When the full, elect Spiritual Seed shall have been gathered, shall have been completed from amongst the Gentiles, then all Natural Israel shall be saved from their blindness and their outcast condition. Rom. 11:25-29

St. Paul points out that as Israel's stumbling was directly foretold through the Prophet (Psa. 69:22), so also through the Prophets God has foretold their blessing later on that they shall be the first to be blessed under the glorious Spiritual Messiah of many members. Thus it is written, "There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob." Here Zion is pictured as a mother whose offspring is The Messiah. Looking again at the type, we see that Abraham represented Jehovah, and that his wife Sarah represented the great Covenant through which Messiah was to be developed. "In thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed;" "If ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's Seed, and heirs according to the Promise." Rom. 11:9-11; Gen. 22:17, 18; Gal. 3:8, 16, 29

It has required more than eighteen centuries to give birth to this great Deliverer. Jesus was the Head; and the Church, developed during this Gospel Age, will be the Body. Jesus was "the First-born from the dead;" and the Church, His members, will be His brethren, sharers in His rule on the Heavenly plane; for is He not declared to be "the First-born among many brethren?" (Rom. 8:29) The First or Chief Resurrection will bring all these sons of God to the plane of glory, honor and immortality born from the dead. Then the great Deliverer will be fully born, and ready to begin His great work of blessing all the nations Israel being the first of these.


St. Peter declares that it was the glorified Jesus who received the holy Spirit of the Father and poured it out upon the Church at Pentecost. (Acts 2:33) That blessing came to the Church because of their coming into harmony with the Father's arrangement through the Son. The receiving of the Spirit there marked the recipients as sons of God.

The later Pentecostal blessing upon the world will have points of similarity as well as points of difference. The blessing will come through the great Messiah as a result of the satisfaction which He will make for the sins of the whole world by applying to the race the merits of His sacrifice. Thus He will seal the New Law Covenant with Israel, and then with the world through Israel. (Jer. 31:31-34) The great Messiah of glory will be the Mediator of the New Covenant; and the foundation of that New Covenant will be the "better sacrifices" offered by this Mediator, as the antitypical High Priest. Heb. 9:19-23

The Pentecostal blessing then to come upon the world will not be upon the terms of their sacrificing their earthly rights to attain Heavenly blessing and spiritual sonship. On the contrary, its requirements will be a consecration to obedience of the Divine Law; and its reward will be earthly Restitution to the perfection of human nature and to the enjoyment of all the blessings originally given to Adam, but forfeited by his disobedience. "They shall build houses and inhabit them. They shall plant vineyards and eat the fruit thereof," and "long enjoy the work of their hands." (Isa. 65:21, 22) This is the Divine promise, applicable to mankind, but not to the Spiritual Seed of Abraham, the Church, the Kingdom class, who must all be changed; for "flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God." 1 Cor. 15:50

As Jacob was a son of Abraham, not directly, but through Isaac, so also those blessed under Messiah's Reign will be children of God, not directly, but through Messiah. Thus it is written of Messiah, "He shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty One, the Prince of Peace, the Everlasting Father" the Father, or Life-giver, to the restored world of mankind. (Isa. 9:6, 7) The life which He laid down in sacrifice the earthly life is that which He will give to all the willing and obedient of Adam's race during His Messianic Kingdom to be theirs forever. It is in this sense that He will be the Everlasting Father the Father who gives everlasting life, which Adam failed to give. Messiah Himself will have no need for the earthly life which He laid down; for as a reward for His obedience the Heavenly Father has given Him the higher life the Divine nature.


From of old Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, etc., were called the fathers, not only because of their relationship to the Jewish nation, but particularly because Messiah was to come as their offspring- "the Seed of Abraham," "of the" [HGL718] "stem of Jesse," "the Offspring of David;" and so Jesus was born of this very lineage. But His exaltation by the Father to the spirit plane, and the fact that His earthly rights laid down in sacrifice are to go to Adam and all of his race who will accept the same on the Divine terms, puts Jesus in the position of Father, Life-giver, to the world, including Abraham, David, etc. They must all obtain everlasting life through Him, and hence will be His children.

Thus the Prophet David wrote of the future, "Instead of Thy fathers shall be Thy children, whom Thou mayest make princes in all the earth." (Psa. 45:16) Those fathers who are to be princes are already declared to have been pleasing to God. They attested their loyalty by a faith which worked in harmony with His will through the limitations of a fallen nature.


On account of this the fathers are already declared to be worthy of a "better resurrection" than the remainder of mankind but not so glorious a resurrection as will be granted to the Church. Their resurrection will be to the perfection of human nature mental, moral and physical. Thus they will stand before mankind as samples of human perfection, to which standard, all the race may attain by obedience, if they will, during the thousand years of Messiah's Reign.

Those Ancient Worthies (Heb. 11) will not only be illustrations of human perfection, but princes, or rulers, in all the earth. They will be the outward and visible representatives of the invisible Messiah the agents through whom the Word of the Lord will go forth. As it is written, "Out of Zion (the Spiritual Kingdom) shall go forth the Law, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem" the earthly manifestations of the Kingdom amongst men. Isa. 2:3

As a result of the second outpouring of the holy Spirit, the Prophet Joel declares, according to our Common Version, "Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions." A preferred translation of this heretofore obscure passage reads, "Your young men (in that New Dispensation) will see with clear vision what your Ancients dreamed of and related in parables." This vision of glory will be the Reign of Righteousness and the Pentecostal blessing accompanying it, upon the willing and obedient, every one of whom shall be brought to clear knowledge and full opportunity for salvation.


The order of the blessing is stated. It will come upon all flesh after those days, but upon the servants and the handmaidens in those days. The days mentioned evidently refer to this Gospel Age from Pentecost to the Second Coming of Christ. During this period, now nearly nineteen centuries, God's holy Spirit has been granted to His faithful ones, and to these alone. Only the fully consecrated have been accepted of the Lord as living sacrifices; and only such have been begotten of the holy Spirit, that they may be New Creatures in Christ. (2 Cor. 5:17) During all this time the world has been unrecognized, so far as the holy Spirit is concerned.

Indeed, after Pentecost the Apostle John went still further and declared, "The whole world lieth in the Wicked One." The only action of the holy Spirit has been, as in the case of Felix, to "reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment." (John 16:7-11; Acts 24:25) Our text declares, however, that the time is coming when the world will receive a share of the great Divine blessing which was fully accomplished by the death of Christ. But the world's favor will be afterthose days. After the Gospel Age shall have come to an end; after the New Dispensation shall have begun.


Only Jews received the first Pentecostal blessing. For three and one-half years thereafter the Gentiles were excluded, in harmony with a Divine promise made to the Jewish nation. Then came the time for a similar privilege to be extended to the Gentiles.

I rejoice with you today, fellow-students of the Word of God, that this great gift of God is still obtainable, that the time has not yet fully come when the door of opportunity to this High Calling must close. Close it will, so soon as the full number of the Elect shall have been completed. Thank God that another door will then open! the door of Restitution to human perfection and earthly life, grand beyond the power of description.

Then God's holy Spirit holy power will through Christ be outpoured upon all flesh upon all mankind. Messiah will inaugurate the New Dispensation by sealing with Israel the New Covenant in His blood; as through the Apostle Paul the Lord declares, "This is My Covenant with them when I shall take away their sins. As concerning the Gospel, they are enemies for your sakes; but as touching the Election, they are beloved for the fathers, sake." Rom. 11:27, 28

This outpouring of the holy Spirit is not merely for Israel, nor is God's blessing merely upon Abraham's natural seed outside of the Church class. It will include all of every nation desirous of coming into accord with God, after they shall have come to a clear knowledge of the Truth. all nations shall be privileged to enter into and enjoy Israel's great Covenant, by becoming children of Abraham through faith. After all rejectors of God's grace shall have been destroyed in the Second Death, the world of mankind will constitute the promised "seed of Abraham" whose number shall be as the sands of the seashore, even as the spirit-begotten ones of this Gospel Age are likened to the stars of heaven. Thenceforth every creature in Heaven and on earth will acclaim honor to Him that sitteth upon the Throne and unto the Lamb forever.

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