St. Paul Enterprise, September 25, 1917


Pastor Russell, of Brooklyn, delivered two addresses here today under the auspices of the International Bible Students' Association. One of these was more particularly for the public, the other, which we report, was more for Bible Students. The Pastor took for his text God's message to Adam after the latter had become a transgressor in Eden, when he hid from his Maker: "Where Art Thou, Adam?" (Gen. 3:9.) The speaker said in part:

"Be sure your sin will find you out." Adam learned this lesson early in his career. Highly favored by his Maker, crowned with the glory and honor of human perfection and the lordship of earth, Adam had the offer of everlasting life, under Edenic conditions. But while condemning his disobedience we cannot help sympathizing with him when we realize that the act of disloyalty which brought the Divine sentence upon Adam, and, by heredity, upon all of his race, was caused by love for his wife.

The unvarnished narrative is that Mother Eve thirsted for knowledge and was not content to await the Almighty's time for giving them knowledge. She hearkened to the Serpent's plea that the Almighty was seeking to keep herself and her husband in ignorance by forbidding them to partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge. She had not come to know the benevolence of her Maker, and that no good thing would He withhold from His obedient creatures. She had not yet learned that the fruit of that tree was forbidden for a time only, and that the premature eating of it could bring no blessing, but Divine disfavor. The Apostle shows this when he declares that Mother Eve was deceived; but with equal positiveness he declares that Father Adam was not, himself, deceived; that he partook of the fruit knowingly, intentionally, willfully and with a full realization of the disobedient act which brought upon him death- "The wages of sin is death"; "Thou shalt surely die." Rom. 6:23; Gen. 2:17

But while Adam's act was one of chivalry'was really suicide because of love for his wife, who had transgressed'nevertheless, it was an act of disobedience. He should have had loyalty to his Creator first, above his loyalty to his wife. Indeed, we have reason to believe that Mother Eve's transgression might have been cancelled in some manner, since it was committed under deception. Father Adam's course should have been to remain loyal to God at all hazards, and to have trusted to Divine love and wisdom in respect to the results. Everywhere the Scriptures lay stress upon Adam's disobedience, which was a willful sin against light and knowledge.

The sinners hid themselves in the Garden. The inference is that, previously, they had enjoyed fellowship and communion with their Creator, but as soon as they sinned they realized their unworthiness of Divine fellowship'in turned them away from God. Instead of the happiness of His fellowship, they had discontent and evil forebodings of estrangement. They had lost their God, and, by virtue of [HGL879] their very nature, they would, in consequence, be measurably unhappy one of the principal elements of their nature, thenceforth, was hunger and thirst for God, which was not gratified. A barrier had come between the Creator and His creatures.


The estrangement which our first parents experienced, dating from the time of their sin, is one which all mankind had inherited from them. The Prophet David speaks of this, saying that the world is estranged from birth; and, speaking of himself, declares, "I was shapen in iniquity, in sin did my mother conceive me" (Psa. 51:5). God is not to be charged with the responsibility of this estrangement. It comes to all as the result or outworking of sin. All are sinners and all feel themselves unworthy of the fellowship of their Creator, and realize themselves undeserving of His blessing. The fear which drove our first parents to hide has since then driven many still further from God as they had delved yet more deeply into sin, not only because of heredity, but also through taking a perverse course themselves. The fear has increased, and today one of the most terrible maladies on earth is fear dread. It is not surprising that we find the heathen, thousands of millions, fearing, dreading, not with that fear which is the beginning of wisdom, and which leads back to God, but with that fear or terror which leads them to think of Him as a great demon, who had provided for their eternal torture.

The same principle operates in the minds of people born in civilized lands. There is a fear, a dread respecting the future, a dread which takes hold also upon things of the present life. This fear toward God, the Scriptures declare, is wrong, saying, "Their fear toward Me is taught by the precepts of men." (Isa. 29:13.) These precepts of men are represented in our various creeds, all of which claim to be the Word of God, but all of which are the product of fearful, human minds.

God's Word does not uphold a single creed of Christendom, nor does a single creed of Christendom uphold God's Word. They all contain certain elements of Truth, around which great masses of error have gathered. However, if only such as conscientiously believe every feature of their creeds should remain with them, and if all others were to step out, honestly and fearlessly, the creeds would be found to have very few worshippers. They are fetishes of idol worship, surely displeasing to the Lord. Let everyone oppose this fear which has done so much to discredit God and His Word and so much to turn the hearts and minds of the best people in the world away from God and the Bible.


While our first parents hid from God, and all of our race have the same disposition because of fear, God, nevertheless, had not hidden from His creatures. As He called after Adam, saying, "Where art thou?" and brought Adam forth from his hiding place, so in due time all of Adam's children will be pursued by His grace and mercy until all shall come to know of the love of God which passeth all human understanding.

We are not informed that our first parents afterward hearkened to God and repented of their disobedience. We merely know that they could not retrace their steps. The sentence of death upon them was enforced. They were driven out of Eden away from the life-sustaining fruits. The Divine sentence against them was, "Dying, thou shalt die." Gradually the dying process operated against the perfect man until, after nine hundred and thirty years of struggling, he succumbed he was dead. The Divine sentence against our first parents descended to their posterity. As God said to Mother Eve, "I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception," so has it been with all of her daughters.

And God said to Adam, "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread until thou return unto the ground from whence thou wast taken." So Adam's sons also have contended with the thorns and thistles, and, in sweat of face, have labored for sustenance, gradually succumbing to the cares of human life dust to dust returning. But as God called after the sinner in Eden, so He has called after the sinner since, but remarkably few have had the hearing ear.

Amongst those mentioned in the Bible who heard the voice of God and obtained reconciliation, we remember Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and all the prophets, the Apostles, etc. But the masses of mankind have not at any time been ready to hearken to God's voice. Fear has driven them further and further away from the Only Name. The question is a proper one here. How long will God call after the sinner? How long will the sinner continue to be fearful of his Creator, and continue to go further from Him? And is God calling as loudly as Divine Justice, Wisdom, Love and Power can call? If not, why not?


God's call was greatly increased in the days of our Savior and since. Men have heard of God's love and mercy and His invitation to become reconciled to Him, but many still believe in the teachings of the Dark Ages regarding eternal torment, which tends to drive them to fear and away from God. The Apostle declares what we, as Bible students, more and more appreciate, namely, that it is the Love of God that constrains, that makes us happy, that brings "the peace of God which passeth all understanding." On the contrary, as St. Paul declares, the doctrines of devils bring fear, tormenting dread, and cause men to hide from God. Many, unquestionably, in the past have attended church services, not because of love for God, not because of any truly worshipful spirit, but from fear, and in hope that by thus rendering some outward homage to the Name Divine they might escape torture in the future.

We are not for a moment to think of such people as hearing the Divine Voice. They are serving as are the heathen, who have never heard of the true God, in any sense of the word.

We may be inclined to wonder that our Almighty Creator has apparently pursued the human family with His voice of love and mercy and invitation to reconciliation for so long in so peculiar a manner'affecting such a small proportion of the thousands of millions of our race. Once this greatly perplexed us all; now, through our study of the Scriptures, we are learning, dear Bible students, why [HGL880] things are thus. We are learning that God is now calling merely a special class- "the elect" those who love righteousness and hate iniquity those who hunger and thirst after righteousness and fellowship Divine. To these God is now holding out a special invitation. His message is, "Gather together My saints unto Me those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice."


Some may inquire: Why does not God do a greater work? Why does He allow clouds and darkness to obscure His Character, and Word, and Plan? Why does He allow darkness to cover the earth and gross darkness the heathen? Why does He permit sin to be so prevalent that whosoever will live godly shall suffer persecution, shall find the way of righteousness a narrow one, a difficult one?

Why does God not restrain the powers of Satan, and spread the light of the knowledge of His glory throughout the whole earth? Why does He seem to leave the entire matter in our poor, bungling, imperfect hands?

Why does He seem thus indifferent to the heathen thousands of millions and to the masses of Christendom? Ah! there is a reason, which saintly ones are gradually coming to see, and which, more and more, is causing them to rejoice, through faith. We now see plainly stated in God's Word that the class now being selected is called for a purpose a glorious purpose in which Adam and all of his race shall eventually have a blessing. We see that Divine grace is now selecting the Church, and that while few have been called as compared with the masses of mankind, many more are called than will eventually be chosen. The "elect" class is to be made associates with Jesus in His Messianic Kingdom, "heirs of God, joint-heirs with Jesus Christ."

So, as soon as the full number of "elect" shall have been found and shall have been tested and found worthy, the present method of Divine operation will change completely. No longer will God call after the sinner, "Where are thou?" No longer will preaching be the Divine method of pursuing sinners. On the contrary, everything pertaining to human interests will, for a thousand years, be turned over to Messiah's Kingdom. "He shall reign from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth." His Kingdom will exercise force. "The Law shall go forth from Mt. Zion, and the Word of the Lord," respecting that Law, "from Jerusalem;" "and it shall come to pass that the soul who will not obey that great Prophet (Priest, King, Instructor) will be destroyed from amongst the people." Acts 3:19-23


To what extent the various beliefs of the heathen and the creeds of Christendom are the work of demons, Satan and his hosts, no human being can tell. We may merely surmise, on the strength of the Apostle's words, that we wrestle not with flesh and blood merely, but with invisible "principalities and powers, wicked spirits in high places." We may judge this also from the intimation that Satan has been deceiving the whole world. We remember the Apostle's declaration respecting the "doctrines of demons." 'Eph. 6:11, 12, R V ;1 Tim. 4:1

When the True Light shall shine, when the Prince of Light, the King of Glory, shall take to Himself His great power and reign, and the Prince of Darkness shall be bound, then the light of the knowledge of the glory of God shall fill the whole earth then the many misrepresentations of the Divine Character and Divine Plan will vanish; the blind eyes shall be opened, the deaf ears shall be unstopped, and the knowledge of God's will and of His gracious Plan of Salvation will be fully made known to every creature.

As we have already seen, these blessings will begin at the same time when the Elect Church shall be completed. The blessings of the Messianic Kingdom, according to the Bible, will come first to the Jews. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the Prophets will be the earthly representatives of the invisible Messiah. These will be the princes in all the earth. 'Psa. 45:16


Soon the race will be started up the Highway of Holiness, encouraged by rewards of health and strength and uplifting blessings, and stimulated by the stripes and punishments which will be visited upon evil-doers in that time. Thus "The judgments of the Lord will be abroad in the earth," rewarding righteousness and promptly punishing every evil deed and word and thought. The result is clearly stated in the Scriptures- "The inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness." 'Isa. 26:9

Nevertheless, we are not to forget the explicit teaching of God's Word to the effect that at the conclusion of Messiah's reign, when sin and death shall have been fully subjected, and when all shall have been lifted up to perfection except the willful sinners, who will be destroyed in the Second Death even then God will not permit the perfect ones of that time to enter upon eternal conditions until first they shall have been subjected to severe trial and testing. Satan shall be loosed from his prison-house "for a little season," for this very purpose of testing the perfected world. All then living, perfect in mind and body, should be loyal to God to the very core should be able to stand any test of loyalty. Such as yield to sin and become disobedient to God will be counted unworthy of eternal life, and will be destroyed in the Second Death, from which there will be no recovery. St. Peter tells us of such that they will die like natural, brute beasts.

In conclusion, Pastor Russell urged upon his hearers that such of them as have become Christians indeed by entire consecration to God and endeavor to do His will such as are seeking joint-heirship with Christ in His Kingdom of glory, honor and immortality should "lay aside every weight and every besetting sin, and run with patience the race set before them" in the Gospel. Thus they will make their "calling and election sure" and gain an abundant entrance into the everlasting Kingdom which is to bless the world. '2 Pet. 3:13

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