St. Paul Enterprise, June 20, 1916

p>Sunday, June 18, 1916. Pastor Russell discoursed last Sunday upon the comprehensiveness of Divine love. The text was, "God commendeth His love toward us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom. 5:8) He said:

It is a wonderful thought that our great Creator, infinite in power and majesty, before whom the mightiest cherubim and seraphim bow in humble adoration, should condescend to pay any attention to creatures as small as we are, sinners by nature and encompassed with infirmities and imperfections. That He can love us and take an especial interest in us seems very wonderful indeed.

Our Lord Jesus Himself assures us that "God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him might not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16) It is very certain that the love which God has for fallen men is not a love of congeniality, of fellowship, not a love for their character, but a love of pity, of benevolence, of compassion. In their condition of rebellion and alienation from their Maker there is little in the human race that is worthy of love. They are "children of disobedience," no longer recognized as sons.

But God has pity for mankind in their fallen condition, in which they were born; and He has provided for their recovery from the fall. As any one of noble, sympathetic heart would have a compassionate love for even a poor dog that was wounded and in need of care, so our God, in a much greater degree, sympathized with fallen man, originally created in His own image and likeness, but now full of wounds and putrefying sores. Isa. 1:6.

This compassionate love of our Creator for mankind, who are unable to recover and to restore themselves, has caused Him to make a provision for their redemption, through the death of our Lord Jesus Christ. This arrangement provided not only that God's Son should die for mankind, but that He should afterward become the great King to uplift the world from their helpless, degraded condition and bring them back to the perfection in which Adam was created.


This work will all be accomplished in the Father's appointed time, when the Messianic kingdom shall have been set up in the earth. Messiah is to take His great power and reign for a thousand years for this very purpose. His will be a rule of the iron rod; that is, it will be an inflexible domination, one that will neither bend nor make compromise with sin. It will be a rule that all will be compelled to obey; for this kind of government will be absolutely necessary until rebellious man shall have learned the advantages and the desirability of righteousness. Such a reign will be for the highest good of all. In their sinful, selfish condition, men have had entirely too much liberty. Might and oppression have crushed the weak and helpless. Truly, "Man's inhumanity to man has made countless millions mourn." Such a hard and fast law as Messiah will enforce will be needed. Psa. 2:9; Rev. 2:26, 27; 19:15.

But while the great King will rule with an iron rod, He will also be the world's merciful High Priest. All necessary allowance will be made for the inherited and cultivated weaknesses of all. Knowledge and enlightenment will be given to everyone, and assistance up the Highway of Holiness then opened up to the world. (Isa. 35:8) As in the Jewish type the priests taught the people and brought blessings to them through the Atonement Day sacrifices, so the great High Priest, Christ Jesus, and the under priests, the faithful Church of Christ, will during the next age bless and instruct the people, as the result of the sacrifices which have been offered for the world during this anti-typical Atonement Day the Gospel Age.

This great royal priesthood will be the future healers of the world. They will heal the diseases mental, moral and physical of every one who will accept the gracious terms and provisions then offered. The death of our Lord Jesus as the ransom price for Adam and all who died in him was necessary in order that the death penalty resting upon the human race might be lifted. The merit of Jesus' death, as the purchase price for all mankind, has thus far been available only for the Church of Christ; but the time is very near when this merit is to be paid fully into the hands of justice for the sins of the whole world, the entire race of Adam.


This purchase price for the sins of the world has not been applied for the world as yet for two reasons: First, God purposed in His infinite wisdom that mankind should have an object lesson through the permission of sorrow, pain and death for six thousand years as the result of man's fall into sin, in order that they might learn thoroughly the nature and the effects of sin and see it in all its hideousness. Man's experience was also designed to be an object lesson to all the angels and to every intelligent creature of God throughout eternity.

Second, God purposed first to utilize the merit of Christ's sacrificial death for the class which are to be associated with our Lord Jesus in His great future work of the world's uplift and restoration. As soon as this class, called in Scripture the Church, the Body of Christ, the Bride of Christ, has been completed and glorified with their Lord and Head, has been exalted to reign with Him in the Messianic kingdom, then the merit of Jesus will be applied [HGL828] for all of Adam's race and in the sealing of the New Covenant for natural Israel and for all of mankind who will then become a part of Israel. Those who refuse to accept the terms of this covenant, whether of natural Israel by birth or of the Gentile world, shall suffer the second death everlasting destruction. Acts 3:23; 2 Pet. 2:12.


The six thousand years during which sin and death have reigned over the world are six great days of a thousand years each. During this period God has permitted sin, has not interfered with the reign of sin and death, save in so far as His great plan might otherwise be hindered or thwarted. He wished mankind to have full opportunity to try every device, to use every means in their power to extricate themselves from their fallen condition, and thus to demonstrate what they could do.

Physicians have exhausted every means in striving to cure the world of their maladies of mind and body. Pills and plasters, remedies too countless to enumerate, have been unavailing. Every conceivable method has been resorted to in the endeavor to conquer disease and restore health. Skillful surgeons have vied with each other in their efforts to nullify, if possible, the effects of disease and accident. But all these can hardly keep pace with the new diseases that are manifesting themselves.

The moral condition of the race is deplorable. Organizations for human uplift and for the recovery of the criminal classes from vice and crime are finding themselves baffled at almost every turn. Sin is so deeply entrenched that the most earnest efforts to overcome evil is like an attempt to stem the course of a mighty river with a few cartloads of earth. Not long ago a noted preacher gave an address on the terrible plight in which the world finds itself today. He declared that immoral diseases are flourishing more than ever before, that the race is headed for destruction, and that unless something radical is done the whole race will destroy itself in a short time. The array of facts which he presented seems all the more remarkable because this gentleman is an evolutionist by profession, and evolutionists claim that the race has always been rising toward perfection. Now this evolutionist declares that man is fast hastening toward destruction!

As to the mentality of the race, we are informed that the average brain is weaker today than ever before, and that insanity is greatly on the increase. It is said that more money is being expended upon our insane asylums than upon both army and navy combined. So, despite all the efforts of mankind to alleviate their distresses, these are the conditions prevailing after six thousand years. The lesson is obvious. Man is entirely unable to extricate himself from his fallen condition. Therefore the world must look to God for aid. Unless they do so the entire race will be wiped out of existence in a few more centuries. Unless Divine help comes, the whole world will become insane.


During the six great days of man's great work week, humanity has labored hard and accomplished little. Now the great seventh day has come, during which man will rest from his own laborious effort at self uplift and salvation; for God will take all man's affairs into His own hands in the person of His Son. Messiah, with His Bride, the Gospel Church, will then begin the great work of restoration of the world. The Lord Jesus will set up His Millennial kingdom. Everything will be turned over to Him, and all the world will be under His control. Mankind will have no voice in the administration of earth's affairs. The great King and His royal associates will regulate everything.

Under the Messianic kingdom, punishment will be immediately administered for any attempt to do wrong, and reward for every good deed will be immediately forthcoming. It is not so now. A person may steal now, and oftentimes not be found out. A man may be so shrewd as to get possession of the hard earnings of others by a form of legality which is none the less a fraud. People have stolen and defrauded, on a small scale or on a large scale, and have never been detected and brought to justice. But under the new order it will be very different. All the hidden things shall be made manifest. Evil and evil doers shall no longer prosper. But the righteous shall flourish; and the meek shall inherit the earth and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace. Psa. 37:7-11; 72:1-8.

The Bible tells us that when this kingdom is set up, the ruling power will be on the spirit plane. This phase of the kingdom will be composed of the Christ, Head and Body, who will all be glorified spirit beings. None but the saintly will compose that kingdom class, that Heavenly Body of Christ. Under their Lord and Head, they will be the judges of the world. (1 Cor. 6:2) These are not judges while in the flesh, but are counseled to "judge nothing before the time." After their glorification they will be qualified to judge righteously, but not before.

God is now fitting this class by disciplinings, trials, testings, prunings, for their glorious future work, that they may be made ready for a share in the first resurrection. This will bring a wonderful change to them. Sown in weakness, in dishonor, with blemished human bodies, they shall be raised in power, in glory, in honor, in glorious immortal bodies like their Savior and King. They will then have such spiritual discernment as to be able to know the intentions of all mankind. Rev. 20:6; 1 John 3:1-2.


Respecting that day of Christ, the Scriptures declare: "Nothing shall hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain (kingdom)"; "when the judgments of the Lord are abroad in the earth the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness." (Isa. 11:9; 26:9) Under such conditions people will soon learn to do right. Everybody will then wish to do a kindness to some one rather than to injure another. For a time there may be a degree of selfishness in their kindly acts, but they will soon come to love the ways of righteousness, to do right and to be kind because they desire to do so.

In time the world will come to love the law of the Lord; for they will perceive that His is the best way. The children of God see this by faith now. They do not receive an outward reward for right-doing, however; they do not secure relief from pain and suffering because they keep the law of righteousness. But they believe the Divine promise, [HGL829] that in due time they shall be rewarded; and they have a present reward in the joy of heart which the righteous course brings. They have learned to love the right because it is right. Thus they are in harmony with the principles of God's law.

Doubtless within ten years after the establishment of the kingdom a great change will be manifest in the affairs of earth. The prompt rewarding of every good deed and the swift punishment of every evil endeavor will make the world a very desirable place in even five years. While mankind have been under the reign of sin, the Lord has permitted them to be also in a large measure of darkness; for if they had seen the Lord's way clearly and had known the Truth while their hearts were out of harmony with God and righteousness, their responsibility would have been greatly increased.

Light is a blessing only to those who have given their hearts to the Lord. As the Bible says, "Light is sown for the righteous." (Psa. 97:11) If people are not in harmony with God, what knowledge they have is certain to be used for evil rather than for good. So the Lord withholds the knowledge until His "due time." The light which He has granted to His people in advance of the world has been as the light of a candle. Thus we have been enabled to see our path a step at a time, and thus to know where we were going. But now we have come to the close of the gospel dispensation, and the Lord is throwing a flood of light before us, enabling us to see that the time for the exaltation of the Church is just at hand and that the deliverance of the world is just beyond.


Soon the glorified Church will be, with their Lord and Head, the Sun of Righteousness, which is to scatter the darkness which has so long covered the world. "The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together." They will not need to walk by faith as the church does now. They will walk by sight; for the light will be shining around them everywhere. In that day the world will be rewarded according to their works, and not, as with the church, according to their faith. While the church are expected to do all the good works possible, nevertheless there is a special premium upon faith now, when conditions are very adverse. While faith will then be necessary still, it will be much easier to exercise than now. Therefore works will be demanded, and the special reward will be for works.

Thus we see, in harmony with our text, God's great love for all the world, manifested in His wonderful provision for them. Every human being who has ever lived shall have the fullest opportunity to return to God and to the ways of righteousness. But if, after all the manifestation of Divine love, any shall still prefer the ways of sin, they will "be destroyed from among the people." But all who shall come fully into line with the laws of the Kingdom shall have God's perfect law of righteousness rewritten upon the tablets of their hearts. The Lord will take away the stony heart, and give mankind a heart of flesh. Eze. 11:19; Jer. 31:33.

But the love which the Heavenly Father has for the Church of Christ, the Bride of His Son, is a very especial love. To these our Lord Jesus says, "The Father Himself loveth you." He declared that the Father loves them even as He loves the Son. (John 16:27; 17:23) So much does He love them that He has purposed to give them the very best that He has to bestow upon any of His creatures glory, honor, immortality, joint-heirship with His Son in His Kingdom. Then in the ages to come, He will show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness to the Church, through Christ Jesus. Eph. 2:7.

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