The Pittsburgh Dispatch, February 6, 1905

As usual, the Bible House Chapel was crowded yesterday afternoon. Pastor Russell's discourse on "Crowns for All Heroes" was listened to with close attention. His text was, "When the Chief Shepherd shall be manifested, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away." (1 Pet. 5:4)

He said: The crown is an emblem of honor, dignity and authority, and when the word is used figuratively it carries much the same meaning, including the thought of reward. Created in the image and likeness of God, mentally and morally, Father Adam was the first king of the earth, and was given dominion over the earth and all things therein. Describing his glorious condition the Prophet David says, "Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels; thou crownest him with glory and honor, and hast set him over the works of thy hands; the beast of the field; the fowl of the air; the fish of the sea." Psa. 8:5


Not realizing fully the grandeur of his position as the earthly representative of the Creator, "crowned with glory and honor," Father Adam was not sufficiently careful to maintain his high standing and relationship with the King of kings. He disobeyed the heavenly Over-Lord, came under the ban of His displeasure, and His sentence was the forfeiture of his crown and kingdom of life. The Apostle sets forth the matter explicitly, saying, "By one man's disobedience sin entered into the world and death by sin, and thus death passed upon all men, for all are sinners."

It will be noticed that we entirely ignore as wholly unscriptural the theory, common to all the creeds of Christendom, to the effect that Father Adam and his race not only lost the dominion of earth, but were sentenced to an eternity of torture at the hands of demons. We reject this teaching of the Dark Ages as being thoroughly inconsistent with reason, contrary to Scripture and repugnant, both to the justice and love, the wisdom and power of the Creator. For the Scriptural proofs on this subject we refer you to a little pamphlet which we supply free, entitled, "What say the Scriptures about Hell."


The crown of divine favor and honor gone, mankind made the best of its fallen condition, and forthwith there began a strife amongst men as to which should be the greater, the more honorable – which should wear the crowns. The pages of history for six hundred years are filled with the records of the strife amongst men for the crowns of earth. Nations and families have been divided, millions have been slain and the greatest imaginable exertion put forth and enormous wealth squandered in the seeking of these crowns of earth. We review them: The crowns of the Pharaohs of Egypt were first in prominence, surrounded by a host of smaller ones. Later the prominent positions went to the Assyrians and Babylonians, the Israelites under David and Solomon sharing the glory for a time. Next the Medes and Persians were the chief crown wearers in the world. Still later, under Alexander the Great and his successors, the Grecians held the first place amongst these crown wearers. Then came the Caesars of Rome, and subsequently the Popes, and later still a division of the crowns amongst the great Powers of Europe.


Amongst those who for the past six thousand years have been moved by the nobler sentiments and have sought the nobler crowns are the philosophers, teachers, poets, artists, physicians and musicians, these have sought victories and won crowns along nobler lines than did the kings and nobles, and, proportionately more enduring are their crowns of honor amongst men. We would like to include in this list religionists – the heathen priests and Christian ministers; but although we recognize pre-eminently grand characters amongst these, we cannot recognize them as a whole as deserving crowns of honor amongst men, because not only amongst the heathen but amongst Christians, Protestants as well as Catholics, Greek and Roman, they have too often sought their crowns of honor by cultivating the superstitions of those whom they affected to enlighten. However, it must be admitted that the same charge of fraud and deception could be brought against many who have sought crowns along the lines of healing the sick, medicines, and other sciences and philosophies, falsely so called. The poor world has been deluded in paying homage and honor to many rascals, many deceivers, who by and by, when the light of the Millennial age shall be turned on, will be found covered with infamy. Our own day has witnessed a new crown-seeking movement – crowns of wealth and the influence associated therewith. Ours is pre-eminently the day of millionaires [NS135] and multi-millionaires, and what gorgeous crowns they do wear! Few of their owners know just how to wear their crowns to the best advantage. Prominent and notable examples amongst these crowned heads are a few whose millions are being used philanthropically for the establishment of colleges, libraries, and social uplift efforts.


To all thus seeking for a worthy crown, an enduring one, we commend the admonition of the Apostle in our text. He speaks of a crown of glory that fadeth not away. Is not that the kind on which you and I, dear brother and sister, have set our hearts? Several things are in favor of the heavenly crown: First – All who strive for it are sure to obtain it – not merely because of their striving, but because of the Lord's appreciation of their efforts, and because, therefore, He is gracious unto them through the Redeemer, and imputes to them all the righteousness and victories they desire and are striving for. Second – This crown "fadeth not away."

On the contrary it will grow more and more valuable, more and more to be esteemed as the ages of eternity shall roll. The world, which now sees not this crown and hears not the calling from on high, will by and by, under the ministrations of the Millennial Kingdom, be blessed by the obliteration of their present conquests and crowns and ambitions, and the placing before them of the grander, the nobler ones – the recovery of the crown of Adam lost in Eden and redeemed for the world by our Savior, and to be made known to mankind, to be brought unto them – brought within their reach during the Millennium. As the world will then be uplifted out of the sin and degradation and death conditions of the present to righteousness and life (the wilfully evil being cut off in the Second Death), the knowledge of the crowns for the Church, secured during this Gospel age by the overcomers, will be made known to the whole world of mankind, and all shall ultimately recognize, not only the glorified Jesus, but also the glorified members of His Church then with Him in the work of blessing the world. How unfading a crown of glory is this which the Lord proposes to give to all those who espouse the cause of righteousness and to the extent of their ability walk in the footsteps of the Son! Third – Those who would strive for this crown of glory must not expect it in this present life. The striving is to be done here, the crown of glory is to be received there. True, some glory has come to the Lord's faithful ones already, but not the crown of glory which the Apostle Peter here declares shall be given at the manifestation of the chief Shepherd, our Lord Jesus. When He was among men, because of His difference of standpoint and effort, He was of no reputation, even among the religious rulers. Today the whole world, heathen and Jew, nominal Christian and true, honor the name of Jesus, and in a certain sense crown Him with glory who once was crowned with thorns. But many of those who now honor the Master do not do so from the standpoint which Jesus Himself enunciated to the Pharisees when He said, Ye garnish the sepulchers of your fathers and deplore their murderous spirit, yet are actuated by the same animosity today toward those of the same faith and spirit with the prophets. (Matt. 23:29-33)

Similarly among those who sing of Jesus, "Crown Him Lord of all," there are many who hate and oppose those crown seekers who today are striving to walk in the footsteps of Jesus. Truly the Master said, "Marvel not if the world (including the nominal church) hate you; ye know that it hated Me before it hated you. If ye were of the world the world would love its own, but ye are not of the world, for I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you."

The same spirit prevails respecting all the Lord's followers – those who are honored today were generally dishonored and spoken against in their own day. It is well, then, that those who seek this heavenly crown should remember the Master's words, "Through much tribulation shall ye enter the Kingdom!" If they do not consider the crown worth "much tribulation" it is because the eyes of their understanding are not properly opened to discern the lengths and breadths and heights and depths of the glorious character and plan of God under which these crowns are proffered.


He knew and thus intimates that the world in general would only strive and sacrifice for the things that could be seen with the natural eye, the things of this present time; He knew that the worldly wise would say, "A little in hand is worth much in prospect;" He knew that those who realized most keenly their own insufficiency and weakness in the great battle of life, and the hopelessness of their ever gaining any great prize in the earthly struggle, would be the ones who would most appreciate the proffer of the heavenly crown, and for such He specially intended it, as He declared, "Chiefly the poor of this world, rich in faith, heirs of the Kingdom."

What our text speaks of as a crown of glory, other Scriptures speak of as the crown of life. It is both, as the Apostle explains. The reward of the overcoming Church, who battle faithfully against sin within and without, who are fully consecrated to the Captain of [NS136] their Salvation in thought and word and act, is to be "glory, honor and immortality." (Rom. 2:7)

That much the obedient of the world in the millennial age may expect, for the promise is that our Lord Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost – to restore mankind to life and to all the glorious qualities of mind and of body possessed before the fall and to deliver to the restored race the "purchased possession" – the dominion of earth.


None can hope for the crown of glory who cannot exercise faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as his Redeemer, and faith in His promises respecting these crowns, which will be distributed to the faithful at His second coming. Without faith it is impossible to please God. This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. If the faith be a living one, a real one, it will impel to the activity, the knowledge, necessary to victory. Our strife is not against our fellow man, as in the case of those who seek the corruptible crowns of earth, political, financial, social. We strive against sin and the great Adversary, whose snares we recognize more clearly than do others. Brethren, sisters, at whatever cost of self denial, social ostracism, disdain of the world, misunderstanding of friends, we may gain this great prize, the crown of glory, it will be cheap. Let us lay aside every weight and the sin that doth so easily beset us, and run with patience the race set before us; looking unto Jesus, the author of our faith, who shortly now shall be its finisher, and, as the Chief Shepherd, be manifested and give us the crowns of glory promised.

The Pittsburgh Dispatch, February 13, 1905

NEW YORK, Feb. 12 – Pastor C. T. Russell of Allegheny, Pa., spoke twice at the Grand Opera House today. In the afternoon at 2:30 o'clock his topic was: "To Hell and Back. Who Are There? Hope for the Recovery of Many."

His topic for this evening was, "Times of Refreshing Coming," the text being the language of St. Peter: "Times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and He shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you." Acts 3:19-20 Pastor Russell said: It is sometimes claimed that those who study God's Word become pessimistic, looking forward to merely trials, difficulties, etc. But we claim, on the contrary, that those who understand God's Word aright are the most optimistic, the most hopeful, the most cheerful people in the world – that the gospel rightly understood is good tidings of great joy which shall be unto all people. True, the Scriptures do faithfully delineate sin and its downward influence and the certainty of just punishment as well as of rewards; but, more than this, they give us ground for expecting future blessings and a paradise restored, such as can be found in no other writings in the world, such as purely human philosophy could not reasonably even dream of. Our text is an illustration of this: "Times of refreshing shall come from the presence of Jehovah." What refreshment comes to our hearts even with the very reading of these words! Although they point out to us the dry, the arid, the dying and dead condition of the world of mankind in the present time they tell us of refreshment, rejuvenation, etc.

The thought behind the Greek word here rendered "refreshing" is "recovery of breath" – as if one who was dying, gasping, were enabled to breathe freely again. Refreshing, therefore, as a translation, well represents the original thought. And as we look about us and see the condition in which the whole world is, nearly 20,000,000,000 already dead and 1,600,000,000 dying at the rate of 80 per minute, we get a glimpse of human affairs as it appears from the divine standpoint – a gasping, a dying world of humanity. How joyful is this message, then, which the Apostle Peter echoed, "Times of refreshing shall come from the presence of Jehovah." How much it means to our dying race! The Apostle Paul expresses the same thought, as looking down into the future he exclaims: "The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now, waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God" – waiting for Christ's millennial kingdom. Rom. 8:22


Pentecost witnessed the covering of the sins of believers with the robe of Christ's righteousness imputed to them, but the coming times of refreshing are to do far more than this, for then the sins will be actually blotted out, to be no more forever – no trace of them will longer remain. It is indeed a blessed privilege for the Lord's people at the present time to realize the covering of their sins with the merit of their Redeemer – to realize [NS137] that the Father no longer regards them nor treats them as sinners, but as justified by faith. On the basis of this faith they have peace with God and the fellowship and communion and privileges of children. Nevertheless, after all these privileges have been enjoyed, we are assured that the present is a trial time, and that our adoption into the Lord's family as members of the body of Christ, his Bride, is, as our Methodist friends would say, but a probationary membership. None will be accepted into full membership in the body of Christ and into the glory of His Kingdom and joint-heirship with Him until the probationary period shall have been passed successfully, and they shall hear the Master's voice in the first resurrection, saying, "Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joys of thy Lord. Thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things."


It was the Lord Jehovah who sentenced our race, who placed the curse of death upon us. We saw in this afternoon's discourse that this was not the curse of eternal torment at the hands of demons, but a sentence of death – "The soul that sinneth, it shall die," being the Lord's declaration. We could not deny the justice of the divine decree that none of the sinful race is worthy of everlasting life, but we could have pleaded for mercy, we could have assured our Creator that we have learned a great lesson through the fall, and if we were granted such an opportunity as Father Adam enjoyed we would be thoroughly loyal to the great King of Kings and His laws of righteousness, and that thus obeying Him we might have hope for favor and everlasting life accordingly. But the Heavenly Father did not wait for us to plead for His mercy. He laid hold upon one mighty to save – Jesus. He sent His only begotten Son into the world that we might live through Him, that the dying world might be released from the sentence by His paying the penalty for us, so that eventually all disposed toward righteousness might attain it. The Scriptures tell us that "in the fullness of time God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, that He might redeem," etc. (Gal. 4:4).

The fact that this was 4,000 years after sin entered, so far from confusing us, should show us the fixity of the divine purpose, and that according to the great clock of the universe every feature of the divine plan will be carried out. The times of refreshing, of which the Apostle Peter tells in our text, are just as sure of accomplishment in their season. The Apostle Peter could not know definitely when these times of refreshing would come. Our Lord said to them, "It is not for you to know the times and seasons, which the Father hath put in His own hands." What comfort it gives to our hearts, what strengthening to our faith, to realize that all these times and seasons are in the hands of the Almighty! Viewed from this standpoint, the 2,000 years from the time Peter uttered these words seems none too long to wait for the refreshment promised. Comparing it with the time of waiting for the Redeemer's first advent, it is but one-half as long. And now, dear friends, we believe we see indications in the Lord's Word and in the affairs of the world around us of conclusive proofs that the times of refreshing are nigh at hand.


We answer that the delay is incidental to the work of the atonement. All of this was typified in the Jewish nation. Annually that nation had a day of atonement in which the people were without God's favor, as representing the world at the present time under condemnation. The people of Israel on the atonement day fasted and wore sackcloth, as symbolically evidencing the world's condition at the present time. As soon as the Day of Atonement sacrifices had been finished and the whole work of atonement completed the high priest lifted up his hands and blessed the people and they arose from the dust and were filled with joy and gladness, representative of the blessings which will come to the world of mankind as soon as this gospel age shall have accomplished its work and the millennial age have begun. In the latter there will be no more a death sentence upon the world, no longer a groaning and travailing creation under sin and death conditions. The times of refreshing shall be upon the world; the Lord Jesus will be present in His second advent in glory and power, although invisible to men; and His kingdom over all shall be the evidence of the divine favor returned, and the gradual uplift of the world out of sin and death conditions will be demonstrations that the curse or sentence of death has ceased, has passed away, that the reign of sin and death has terminated and that the reign of righteousness and life everlasting has begun.


This entire gospel age is a day of atonement in anti-type. At its beginning our Lord as the great High Priest offered the first sacrifice of the day of atonement – Himself – typified under the Jewish economy by the bullock. The benefit of that first sacrifice of the atonement day was not applied generally to all Israel, but was limited to the under-priests and the Levites, the body and household of the high priest, Aaron. So in the antitype the first sacrifice of this day of atonement was [NS138] that of our Lord Jesus, finished at Calvary, and it He made applicable merely to the household of faith – to all believers, including the Royal Priesthood, the consecrated Church.


We have already quoted the Apostle's words respecting the groaning creation – the world in general – "the whole creation groaneth and travaileth together in pain until now, waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God." We now see who these sons of God are: that our Lord Jesus is the Captain, the Head, the Lord, the High-Priest over His Church, His Bride, His Royal Priesthood – the different figures representing the same class from different standpoints. We now see that all those are the sons of God who are now being selected or elected, and that by and by they shall be manifested as God's kingdom class. For that manifestation and reign of righteousness, the Millennium, we shall hope and pray. But notice again that the Apostle declares that these under-priests, these probationary members of the church, the body of Christ, also groan – notwithstanding the Pentecostal blessing, notwithstanding their begetting of the Holy Spirit, notwithstanding the light of divine favor upon them, notwithstanding the covering with the precious robe of Christ's merit and their acceptance at the throne of heavenly grace. Of these the Apostle says, "We ourselves groan within ourselves." But mark that he does not say that we are waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God, for if of the very elect we will be with our Lord, and all the faithful will thus be sons of God who will be manifested to the world.


The Apostle's argument leads up to the second coming of Our Lord Jesus as the grand climax of all our hopes – the time for the full realization of all the precious promises of God's Word. That does not refer to the first advent of Our Lord is clear, for that was past when he thus spoke. Comparatively few Christian people seem to realize how important a place the second coming of Christ occupies in the Bible. Could their attention be sufficiently aroused to insure an investigation on this subject it would mean a genuine awakening among all who reverence the Scriptures. A theological error has led to the disregarding of the second coming of Christ. That popular error is that the church is to bring about the times of refreshing, is to establish the Millennial Kingdom, to convert the world, to cause the knowledge of God to fill the whole earth, etc., and that the Lord's second advent will not take place until after the church has accomplished this. Alas, then, the second coming of Christ would never take place, for the natural increase of population in the world far exceeds the conversions made to Christianity, even if these conversions were all genuine. All recent statistics prove this and show an alarming disproportion.

The Pittsburgh Dispatch, February 20,1905

Pastor C. T. Russell addressed a congregation of between 300 and 400 yesterday afternoon at Bible House Chapel, Arch Street, Allegheny. His text was: "And He shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you; whom the heavens must receive [retain] until the Times of Restitution of all things, spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began." Acts 3:20-21 The speaker said: My topic is a continuation of that of last Lord's Day, delivered in New York City to my larger congregation "scattered abroad."

On that occasion we called attention to the "Times of Refreshing" pointed out by the Apostle as the hope for the Church and the world, and to be expected at the second coming of our Lord. We pointed out that this promised shining forth of divine favor upon the world means the turning away of the curse, the penalty for sin, which has been against the race for now 6,000 years, and that the antitypical day of atonement, a time for sackcloth and ashes and weeping and groaning and travailing in pain under the weight of sin and its death penalty, will soon be past, when the Sun of Righteousness shall shine upon the world to bless and to refresh. The words of our text today follow those of last Lord's Day, as explanatory, as teaching us in what respect the divine refreshments will come to the world, how the divine blessing will be poured out. The second coming of our Lord is the key to the entire matter. As the Scriptures declare, the Father hath confirmed all judgment unto the Son, who redeemed the world. Hence, our text declares that with the ending of the night of sin and death, the Heavenly Father's favor will [NS139] be manifested in the second advent of Christ, who cannot return until certain appointed times shall have arrived. The suggestion is in accord with our Master's words to the apostles when they inquired after his resurrection, "Wilt thou at this time restore the Kingdom of Israel?" He answered and said until them, "It is not for you to know the times and seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power."


The Father has these times and seasons in His own power, fore-known, fore-arranged, or, if we please, fore-ordained. When the fore-ordained hour shall have arrived, the second coming of our Lord will take place and the great work He is to accomplish at His second advent will begin. That will be earth's new day – the Millennial day. How the Scriptures everywhere keep before us the thought that the present is a night time, in which sin and trouble prevail; that the new dispensation will be a glorious dawn of refreshment and awakening and reviving. Well did the Prophet David speak of the present and intimate the future, saying, "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."

The night which sin and death have beclouded, darkness and trouble, ignorance and superstition in the world, has already lasted six thousand years, but the dawn of the new day is at hand. Thank God for the prophetic testimony. "Joy cometh in the morning" – not only joy to the living millions who will then be brought under the sway of the Kingdom of God's dear Son, but joy also to the twenty thousand millions who have already gone down into the darkness of the tomb, into the prisonhouse of death, to which, as we saw last Lord's Day, our Redeemer alone has the key – the power, the authority – that he may open and cause the prisoners to come forth. Isa. 49:9; Luke 4:18; Rev. 1:18


The Apostle refers to these times of restitution as though his hearers were all thoroughly familiar with them – as though they all understood that the divine promise of blessing through Christ implies times or years in which this blessing would be poured out upon the world. He seems also to take for granted that his hearers understood the meaning of the word restitution – that it signifies to restore, to put back again into a proper condition. It is somewhat remarkable that the "faith once delivered to the saints" has so far been lost sight of, and so far contaminated with the errors from the heathen, intermingling during the Dark Ages that remarkably few of the Lord's people today seem to have ever thought of times of restitution. Indeed many ministers of the Gospel, hearing our text quoted, have at first presumed that it was some peculiar translation, having overlooked it entirely in their Scripture readings, and never having caught the thought of restitution, which the Apostle here in our text declares has been spoken of by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began.

If any prophet failed to speak of the coming times of restitution, the Apostle Peter's declaration implies that such a prophet should not be regarded as a truthful or holy one. In other words, this message of coming restitution blessings to the world is so important, and has so large a place in the divine revelation, that no prophet could be the Lord's mouthpiece without referring to these times; and in harmony with this thought may we not inquire with reason, how can any of the Lord's people today consider that they are in full accord with the Heavenly Father and His inspired revelation while they are neglecting and are comparatively ignorant of this most important subject – the coming restitution which will be inaugurated at the second advent of our Lord Jesus?

In one of His parables our Lord speaks of a woman who hid leaven in three measures of meal until the whole was leavened. The three measures of meal represent the family baking, the spiritual food provided by the Lord for the household of faith. If any wish to divide the measures we may properly see in the first, the great truth of justification, in the second, the truth respecting sanctification, in the third, the truth respecting glorification, or the final deliverance. A sufficiency of food for the family of God was provided through the teachings of Jesus and His Apostles and the ancient prophets – "sufficient that the man of God may be thoroughly furnished."

But, alas! the parable shows the corrupting of this food by the intermingling of leaven, which in the Scripture is used as a symbol of corruption.


As a woman in the Scriptures is referred to as a symbol of the true Church, and in that figure is represented as a pure virgin, so also a woman, a "harlot," is used in the Scriptures as a symbol of an impure church or system. It was the impure system of the Dark Ages which mingled the corrupt doctrines of pagan philosophy with the pure food which God had supplied for the household of faith. And so successful was the mixture that, as the parable declared, the false doctrines are commingled with the truth on every subject to such an extent that the impure mixtures are everywhere called orthodox, while the little there is of the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth is so unpopular that it is termed heterodox. But, however, the world and the nominal Church may misunderstand these matters, let [NS140] us see to it that we follow the Apostle's admonition and purge out all the old leaven, that we may be a clean lump, a pure loaf – that we may have the truth in its sincerity and purity, that we may be nourished thereby and not poisoned and made sick. It is this corrupt bread that is turning the spiritual stomachs of the whole world at the present time. It is the leaven mixture that is causing the nausea that is becoming so prevalent throughout Christendom, and turning many away entirely from the Bible and from everything that purports to come from that storehouse of grace and truth. Even this foreseen and foretold by the Lord. Has He not pictured the present day and the various sectarian tables and the sour bread thereon and its nauseating effect upon those who sit at those tables? He has, indeed. Note the statement of the matter as set forth by the prophet, and see that it fits most wonderfully to the conditions we see about us today.

We see Christian people of all denominations at their own sectarian tables, ashamed of the "food" thereupon, not satisfied thereby, nauseated. The creeds of the Dark Ages are repulsive to them; they are turning from their tables. Their turning away from their creeds is not because they are worse than were their forefathers, but because they have truer and clearer ideas respecting divine justice and divine love, divine wisdom and divine power, and the exercise of these toward the world of mankind. Let me quote the prophet's words on this subject, applicable today. He says: "The priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine they are out of the way through strong drink: they err in vision and stumble in judgment."

The language here is figurative; the wine and strong drink referred to are those symbolically mentioned in Revelation; they represent doctrines. The picture in Revelation shows the woman – the same woman referred to in our Lord's parable as mingling the leaven with the food – having in her hand a cup full of abominable doctrines, with which she made drunk all the nations, with which she intoxicated with error to the extent of foolishness the people of Christendom. The Prophet proceeds with his picture, describing the various tables of Christendom today as represented in the various sectarian presentations of the truth, saying, "All tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean." Isa. 28:8

The world is not so well aware of these matters as are those who are closest to the tables. All sincere, earnest-hearted Christian men and women are perplexed and made sick as they seek spiritual food, nourishment, strengthening doctrines, at their denominational board, where the very best is supposed to be set forth. It is for this reason that so many of the most honest, most sincere, most earnest, most intelligent are turning away and being ensnared by hurtful snares of the adversary. Carrying out the same line of thought, the Prophet asks, "Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine?" The answer is, "they that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts."

In other words, as the Apostle declares, we must be more than "babes in Christ" in order to be overcomers of the world. We need more than "the milk of the Word."

We need the strong meat of Truth, but that meat must be pure, free from the adulterations and contaminations of the Dark Ages. We must get back to the strengthening food which the Lord has supplied through inspired channels, the apostles and the prophets.

The Pittsburgh Dispatch, February 27, 1905

NEW PHILADELPHIA, O., Feb. 26 – Pastor C. T. Russell of Allegheny preached at the Opera House here today at 1:30 p. m. on "God's Oath-bound Covenant With the Seed of Abraham."

A report is transmitted of his evening discourse from the words of the Apostle Peter: "Moses truly said, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; to Him shall you hearken in all things whatsoever He shall declare unto you. And it shall come to pass that every soul which will not hearken to that Prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people." Acts 3:22-23

The speaker said: Our text continues the topic which we gave attention in Allegheny last Lord's Day and in New York City the previous Sunday, and which I understand reached quite a number of you through The Pittsburgh Dispatch. [NS141]


In the words of today's text the Apostle calls attention to the fact that all these coming blessings were intimated in the words of the prophet Moses, and that Moses himself typified the coming great Deliverer. We call to mind how great was the deliverance which God effected for the people of Israel at the hand of Moses – bringing them out of Egypt and through the Red sea, making them His covenant people. Great and wonderful as all that was, it was me rely the shadow of the much greater and much better blessings God intends to bestow. Moses was a type – a greater than Moses is the antitype; a typical servitude to a typical Pharaoh under hard conditions and a deliverance therefrom, was the type – a severer bondage under Satan and a grander deliverance for the world of mankind, is the antitype.

A grand man, the meekest man in all the earth, Moses was the typical leader at whose hand as mediator the Law Covenant was instituted, offering blessings and curses to the people according as they would obey or disobey it. This was the type; the antitype must be much larger, much greater than Moses; and the New Covenant which he as mediator will establish must be a much grander covenant, offering not temporal blessings, but eternal ones, and not temporal punishments, but everlasting ones. We pause here to remark that none of the punishments under the Mosaic law were torturous – that death was the extreme penalty. But death inflicted for violation of Moses' law did not affect the opportunities for an everlasting life secured not only for the world, but also for Israel through the great sacrifice at Calvary; hence all those cut off from life for disobedience to Moses' law will nevertheless have a blessing, an opportunity for life eternal under the antitypical Moses.

But the death sentences which will come upon the disobedient of mankind under the ministration of the antitypical Prophet, the Christ, will be a never-ending penalty – not a never-ending torture, but a never-ending death; not a never-ending dying, but a death condition from which there will be no awakening, no resuscitation, no resurrection – the annihilation of being as described by the Apostle Paul, saying, "They shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power."


Where is the great Prophet like unto Moses? Where is his rule of righteousness? Where is the deliverance of the people from sin and Satan? Where is the predicted destruction of all who do not obey him? Look where we will, either in heathen or civilized lands, we see no such condition as this prophecy implies; we see no such great prophet as Moses reigning and executing judgments in the earth – rewarding right doing, punishing wrong doing and destroying all who will not obey him. Was the Apostle Peter mistaken, then? Did he tell an untruth? Was Moses also mistaken in his original prophecy of the great Prophet? We answer, No. The great Prophet and his reign and the great deliverance of the people and the destruction of those who will not obey – all these things are in the future. They all belong to the millennial age. All of the Apostle's presentations in Acts 3:19-23, considered by us in the last three discourses, are future. We are still waiting for them, but now have evidence that they are nigh at hand. As our Lord directed, therefore, we are lifting up our heads and rejoicing, realizing that our deliverance is nigh.


It may surprise some, but not all of you, I am sure, when I say that the great Prophet of our text is not our Lord Jesus, only, but includes also the elect Church of this Gospel age, of which the Apostle declares, "We are members in particular of the body of Christ."

He again declares that our Lord Jesus is "The head of the Church, which is His body."

Indeed this is a familiar metaphor, with which all Bible students are well acquainted. It gives us a picture not only of the intimate relationship of all the saints with the Lord, their Head, but also of their relationship one to the other as "fellow-members of the one body."

It carries, too, the thought of the joint-heirship of the Church with her Lord in the great Millennial Kingdom for which we pray, "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is done in Heaven."

From this standpoint and from no other we are able to see the reason why so long an interval has been permitted between the great redemptive sacrifice "for the sins of the whole world" and the outpouring of the divine blessing upon the whole world. The interval of this Gospel age was just long enough, according to the divine wisdom and foreknowledge of the selection of the members of the body of Christ to be His joint-heirs in the Kingdom which will bless the world. We must remember that this election is not an arbitrary one, such as might have been accomplished in an hour or a day, but rather it is an election in which each individual of the called is granted the fullest opportunity for making his calling and election sure by demonstrating his loyalty of heart to the Lord and to the principles of righteousness in his love for these and for the brethren. It has allowed time for the fitting and polishing of all [NS142] the living stones which the Lord is preparing for the glorious Temple of the future, which will be filled with His glory in the first Resurrection "change."

It has provided a sufficiency of time to correct, chasten, test, prove and make ready for the Kingdom all those whom the Lord designates as his 'jewels." Mal. 3:17 And is not such a fulfillment just what we might have expected, namely, that the antitype would be very much larger than the type? True, our Lord Jesus alone, the Prince of life, the King of glory, highly exalted by the Father, would have been a grand anti-type of Moses, without the association of any of His faithful ones with Him in the antitype. But it pleased the Father to have it otherwise – as the Apostle declared, God gave Him to be the "Head over all to the Church, which is His body." Eph. 1:22; Col 1:18 Surely we who are now His consecrated followers, probationary members of His body, and who hope to be faithful to the end of our race course and to be received into His glory as the permanent members of His body, have every reason to rejoice that the Heavenly Father has so grandly planned not only for our redemption but for our additional call to glory, honor and immortality, joint-heirship with our Lord. Truly, eye hath not seen nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man these wonderful things God hath in reservation for them that love Him – supremely.


The Apostle Paul calls this matter a "great mystery" – that is to say, a great secret. (Eph. 3:3-6, 6-19; Rev. 10:7)

It was not a great mystery or secret to the Jews that Messiah would have associates in His Kingdom, for it was the very hope of Israel that the Lord would select their nation and use them as associates with Messiah in the work of blessing all the families of the earth and establishing righteousness in the world. But it was a mystery, as the Apostle points out, that Gentiles were to be permitted to be "fellow-heirs of the same body."

All Jews except those who were of humble heart, Israelites indeed, were so prejudiced and self-conceited that they could not see in their own Scriptures the plain declaration of this fact which the Apostle and others of the early Church saw there. Endeavoring to make the matter plain, the Apostle declares that the middle wall of partition between the Jews and other peoples was abolished, broken down, and their Law Covenant at an end, and hence the Lord was privileged to give other nations and peoples the same opportunities and privileges as the Jews. He refers to this on various occasions. In Romans 11 he pictures the whole Abrahamic seed as the olive tree springing out of the root, the Oath-Bound Covenant of Abraham. He tells us how all proper Israelites, Israelites indeed, were branches in that olive tree. All unbelieving Israelites were broken off, to the intent that their places might be given to worthier Gentiles out of every nation, people, kindred and tongue who would be engrafted in their stead. This was but one way of telling that Jews and Gentiles were to be fellow heirs of the same promise – the promise of being members and associates in the kingdom, the promise of being members of his body, the promise of being members of the great Prophet, the great Teacher, the great Ruler whom God would raise up for the blessing of the world. In various Scriptures the Apostle refers to the Church growing "till all come unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ." (Eph. 4:13)

This great man of many members, whose Head is the Lord Jesus, is the great Prophet, the antitype of Moses, mentioned in our text. In Eph. 2:15 the Apostle points out that the Jewish covenant was abolished that the Lord might "make in Himself of twain one new man."

The twain were the Jews and those outside, and all shall be ultimately one body, one new man, the Christ, the anointed of the Father, under the blessed Headship of their glorious Lord and Redeemer. It is of these exJews and ex-Gentiles, who in Christ Jesus become New Creatures, that the Apostle speaks, saying, "Ye are a Royal Priesthood, a peculiar people, a holy nation."


When we reflect that the Heavenly Father not only foreknew the fall, foreknew the redemption, foreknew the coming times of refreshing and restitution and when we reflect, too, that He purposed in Himself the selection of this seed of Abraham – Christ and the Church, which is His body – to bless all the families of the earth; and when we see that this promise was given more than 3,500 years ago, that our Lord died and redeemed us more than 18 centuries ago and that during this interval, since the Lord has been selecting His Church, the immensity of this preparation for the blessing of the world adds assurance to the testimony of all holy prophets respecting the times of restitution, that then will be incomparably grand seasons of refreshing. As we get a thought of the preparation for that time it gives added weight to the Lord's declaration through the prophet Isaiah, that in this mountain or kingdom of His dear Son and His joint-heirs – the millennial kingdom – God will destroy the veil of ignorance, superstition and shame which is spread over all people and make unto all people a feast of fat things and wipe away tears from off all faces and put away the reproach of His people and swallow up death in victory." Isa. 25:6-8


St. Paul Enterprise, March 1, 1905

Reading Pa., Mar. 1, 1905 – Pastor C. T. Russell addressed two attentive audiences in the Auditorium today. His evening text was, "The voice of one that crieth in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God." (Isa. 40:3)

He said: All four of the Gospels quote our text and apply it to John the Baptist. John the Baptist was the Elijah to all those who had the hearing ear and understanding heart to appreciate the message and to accept Jesus. And yet, as we pointed out, John the Baptist did not fulfill by any means all that was predicted respecting the antitypical Elijah and his ministries which would be introductory to the Christ of glory. Indeed we have John's own word for it that he did not fulfill all the requirements and conditions appertaining to the Elijah, for when he was asked point blank the question: "Art thou Elias?" he answered, "I am not." (John 1:21)

In the power and the spirit of Elijah he did an introductory work to Jesus in the flesh, just as the greater Elijah, the Church in the flesh, has for nearly nineteen centuries been doing an introductory work as respects the great Christ of glory, Jesus the Head and King, the Church members of His body and associates in His Kingdom. John the Baptist did literally enough dwell in the wilderness and preached there, thus typifying the experiences of the Church, which, during a large portion of this Gospel age, has been in the wilderness or hidden condition as respects the world and worldly history. Revelation tells us in symbolical language of how the Church fled into the wilderness condition for 1,260 symbolical days – 1,260 years – which period ended with the year 1799. Since then the true mouthpieces of the Lord, His true messengers, the loyal members of the Elijah class, have gone forth from the wilderness condition, and the voice of their message is again heard in the world, though they are still separate – in spirit at least – to Churchianity, Babylon, and the world, Egypt. John the Baptist's message to those who would hear him, "Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand," has been similarly the message of all the truly consecrated of the Lord. The announcement is a two-fold one, first that the Kingdom is about to be established, and, secondly, that repentance and reformation are necessary to its proper reception and a share in the blessings which it will bring. Notice how much more accurately the description of our text fits to the antitypical Elijah than it did to John the Baptist, who did something of the Elijah work to the Jewish nation as the body of Christ in the flesh has done to Christendom. The voice does not declare that there is no wilderness, that there is no desolation, that everything is satisfactory and all right; it does not declare that God's Kingdom has come and that His will is being done on earth as it is done in heaven. Quite to the contrary, it declares that the Kingdom is to come, and that preceding it all who hear the message should join in preparing the highway or making right conditions for the reception of the Kingdom, that the world might receive God's Kingdom with joy and thankfulness and great blessing.


Similarly the message of the antitypical Elijah, the message of the true Church, the body of Christ in the flesh, has not been heeded by the world; has not been heeded by the nominal mass of Christendom. We may apply our Lord's words again here, and see that if Christendom had heard the message of the antitypical Elijah they would be ready now for the second advent of Jesus, ready to welcome His kingdom, glad to have it established in the world; they would have been praying from the heart what some of them have been praying from the lips, "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, etc."

But rejecting the antitypical Elijah, Christendom is unprepared for the kingdom. Indeed, it is perhaps more out of harmony with the conditions of the kingdom than it ever was before. There never was a time when greed of gold seemed to have such power over all the civilized world as now; there never was a time when people in the most trusted positions rendered such poor account of themselves; never a time when so many proved unfaithful to their trusts. And all this greed for wealth and for power, the two being linked together today, means a very opposite spirit from that which must prevail under the kingdom conditions, when the Golden Rule will be enforced by the iron rod of power, when justice will be laid to the line and righteousness to the plummet, when the humble shall be exalted and the proud shall be abased. In a word, the world is probably less prepared for the kingdom than at any other time of the world's history, so far as the governments and representatives of the people are concerned; so far as their preparation for the kingdom by any highway of righteousness and holiness, [NS144] the straightening of the crooked things and the smoothing of the rough conditions are concerned.


The failure of the antitypical Elijah class to establish in the world a highway of holiness and righteousness through the message they promulgate means, as described in our last Sunday's discourse, that as the Jewish nation rejected Christ and passed into a great time of trouble, so Christendom, now rejecting his Kingdom on a spiritual plane at the time of its proper establishment under the whole heavens, will in turn be rejected as Israel was, and the time of trouble shall again come, which will resemble the trouble upon Israel except that it will be world-wide, a time of trouble such as was not since there was a nation. This is the curse of the Lord referred to in our last Sunday's discourse in connection with the declaration that he the antitypical Elijah must turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, else the Lord would come and smite the earth with a curse. A sufficient time has been allowed for the promulgation of this message of reformation and preparation for the Kingdom.

Indeed, as we have heretofore noted the length of the Jewish age, proclaiming the Kingdom of Christ was 1845 years from the establishment of that nation until the office of the Kingdom by our Lord when he rode to Jerusalem on the ass. And similarly the Gospel age has been a proclamation of 1845 years, reaching from Pentecost to the announcement of the second coming, presence of Christ, and his Kingdom in process of establishment in 1878. As the Jewish nation was rejected at the end of that 1845 years of favor, and matters began to shape for the utter destruction of the nation, accomplished in thirty-seven years, so here we understand that Christendom has been tried in the balances and found wanting, and the decree of the Lord is that the time of trouble shall come which will thoroughly humble the hearts of mankind and bring them into a condition where they will be ready for the blessings he is to give, blessings to which they did not respond willingly and voluntarily throughout this Gospel age. When the time of trouble shall have wrecked present institutions in anarchy, and when the world shall cry out to the Lord, as the prophet represents that it will do, earnestly desiring the reign of righteousness, then will be accomplished the things which the Church has been declaring should now be accomplished, if a sufficient number were willing to do so, namely: "Prepare ye the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God."

Mankind has not responded to this appeal to cast up a highway of holiness and righteousness. On the contrary, the various advantages of earth have been exploited for individual aggrandizement, and selfishness has continued to be the law instead of righteousness and equity. But the Lord will delay no longer; He is about to set up His kingdom; He is about to establish the highway of holiness, and so He tells us elsewhere, through the prophet, a highway shall be there and it shall be called a way of holiness, and the redeemed of the Lord shall go up thereon. In a word, that which mankind would not naturally respond to in the present time will be forcibly established in the future time, and meanwhile, because of unwillingness to respond, a time of trouble will come upon the whole earth, turning the sweets of selfishness and aggrandizement to the vinegar of disappointment, chagrin and loss.


The Elijah voice was to do more than merely call upon us to prepare a highway of holiness and righteousness in the present time. It was to proclaim, as the text shows, that whether they would hear or whether they would forbear the Lord would carry out His great and wonderful plan. Thus we find it positively stated: "Every valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill shall be made low."

When the Lord undertakes this matter of the leveling of the conditions of society, bringing down the great ones and mighty ones, the princes of earth, financial, political and social, and lifting up the humble ones represented by the valleys, the masses of mankind, there will be no doubt at all that He will accomplish it to the full limit of His decree. There need be no doubt at all that eventually all the crooked things shall be straightened out and all the difficult and rough places, social, political and financial, shall be smoothed out. Our Lord declared, pointing down to our day, the time immediately preceding the establishment of His Kingdom in power and glory, that every secret thing should be revealed, every hidden thing should be brought to light. (Matt. 10:26)

We may assume, therefore, that it is in harmony with this divine arrangement and program that at the present time the great things, social, political and financial, are being brought to light, being brought to the surface almost miraculously. The result is to more and more shake the confidence of the people in their teachers, representatives and rulers. More and more they will be inclined to have confidence in no one, and conclude that it is a matter of every man for himself. The result will be, what the Scriptures so clearly foreshow, an anarchous period in which each will be striving with his hand against his neighbor for his own personal advantage. [NS145]


The prophecy proceeds to outline not only that the voice of the antitypical Elijah would be heard in the wilderness, vainly crying that the way of the Lord should be prepared, but, secondly, that this work of leveling society, bringing down the great and lifting up the humble, will be accomplished – accomplished as we have seen by the great time of trouble which will come as a natural consequence of the rejection of the Lord's guidance, and yet come as a specially foreknown and prearranged chastisement of the Lord; and following this comes the statement that "then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together." (Isa. 40:5)

The result of the time of trouble will be the opening of the eyes of understanding of all the world, so that all shall see the grandeur of the divine plan, the divine arrangement. All shall see God's plan to be glorious in the extreme. As the heavens are higher than the earth so will His ways be seen to be higher than man's ways. While the world will dread the dark day of trouble even now impending, yet after it shall have passed and after the glorious sun of righteousness shall have arisen with healing in his beams, after all the world shall behold the glory of the Lord thus manifested in the establishment of His righteousness and justice in the earth, the hearts of all will be made glad, and they will rejoice that God's wisdom and love, His mercy and justice, failed not in the establishment of the Kingdom, even though it required so great, so awful a time of trouble to bring it about, because of the unwillingness of mankind to respond to the divine invitation through the Elijah class.


As though anticipating the query of our minds as to how we can be sure that these results will be brought about, since we have seen more than eighteen centuries of Gospel proclamation and urging to repentance and preparation for the kingdom – how can we know that the great time of trouble will bring it about, and that all flesh shall recognize the grandeur of the divine kingdom and the blessings resulting? The answer of the Lord through the prophet to our query is in few words, "The mouth of the Lord hath spoken it." (Vs. 5)

Ah, yes! The difficulty now is that few are able to hear the word of the Lord, few are prepared to believe His testimonies respecting the future, and yet He declares, "My word that goeth out of My mouth shall not return unto Me void," etc. How surely then the message which was given to the Elijah class and which the world has not heeded will be accomplished and fulfilled in a way which the world would not expect, but fulfilled nevertheless, although through the severity of a time of trouble upon mankind. This is one of the great lessons which the world is to learn, namely, that the Heavenly Father knew the end of His plan from the beginning, and that He foretold the affairs of the world, not by way of forcing results, but that mankind might learn of His wisdom and of His ability to discern the end from the beginning in every matter; and that learning also of His glorious character of justice and mercy and love all who desire His fellowship and seek it might be able to place absolute confidence in His arrangement for their welfare.


The succeeding verses, 6-8, correspond well with what we have already seen and intimated, that at or about the great time when the crooked things would be straightened and the rough places smoothed and the mountains and hills brought low and the valleys exalted, preparatory to revealing of God's glorious character to all mankind, there would be a special message sent to the Elijah class – "Cry. All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof as the flower of the field. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth, because the spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it."

Surely in this parable the grass represents the people. The intimation is that the grass does not represent the saints, but the people who are not in relationship with the Lord, and this picture of the withering of the grass and the fading of the flower is but another way of telling us of the time of trouble which will wither all human hopes and blight all human prospects and turn the world upside down temporarily until the blessing of the Lord shall come again upon them through the kingdom – until the times of restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets shall bring them the refreshing of His favor, the forgiveness of their sins, their reconciliation to Him through their Redeemer.


It is the Elijah class that is referred to in the first and second verses of the context, "Comfort ye, comfort ye My people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her that her warfare (appointed time) is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she hath received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins."

We cannot here go into details respecting the fulfillment of this prophecy, but will merely refresh the memories of those who have already read on this subject in the second and third volumes of Millennial Dawn. The time indicated by this prophecy, when Israel would have received its double or second portion or experience at the hand of the Lord, we have already shown was 1878 A.D. In that year Israel's disfavor, rejected [NS146] of God, reached the exact period of length to that which had previously been their period of favor. It was then that the message was due to go forth to the Jew to the effect that the disfavor would begin to pass away and divine favor again return to the Jew – though it was pointed out with equal force that the favor of the Lord for a period of 37 years would be accompanied by great trouble, and that not until the close of that period and the glorification of the gospel Church could the divine favor come fully back to natural Israel, as we read in the words of the Apostle, "They shall obtain mercy through your mercy."

In other words, natural Israel shall come again into a place of harmony and favor in the end of this age, divine mercy being manifested through the glorified Christ, the Church. What we are now pointing out is that this message of comfort to natural Israel, which was due to begin to be proclaimed in 1878, was part of the message of the antitypical Elijah – the Church, the body of Christ this side the veil. Israel's sins are to be pardoned, blotted out, even as a little later on the sins of the whole world are to be blotted out, just as at the present time the household of faith have their sins forgiven on condition of their acceptance of Christ and their consecration to endeavor to walk in His footsteps. Other prophecies, as we have seen, also show this double in Israel's history, that the one-half was a period of favor with chastisement, and the other half a period of total disfavor.

The Israelites themselves are inclined to notice this matter and wonder at it. Only from the standpoint of the Lord's word can we see that this comforting message is for them, and that ere long their blessing will begin, and that the blessing of the Jew and the forgiveness of the sins of those who pierced the Lord is but the precursor of the still more widespread blessings of the Lord upon all the families of the earth.


Continuing the examination of our text, we note that verses 9-11 give a very beautiful word-picture of the establishment of the Lord's Kingdom and the blessing it will be to all those who will respond to its favors. We read, "O, thou that bringest good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, 'Behold your God!'"

In such passages as these the symbolical use of the word mountain signifies kingdom, and hence these words in the prophecy signify the exaltation in the Kingdom of those who constitute the Elijah class, and who now tell the good tidings of coming blessings to a world which is not appreciative of the message. Only a few have the ears to hear and the hearts to appreciate the words of God, and those few the household of faith, who are permitted to become members of the Elijah class now and of the glorious Zion hereafter, the Kingdom of glory. Our message then is not only as to the glorification of the saints, but one also respecting the great honor and blessing and privilege that is coming to natural Israel, the prospective representative on earth of the heavenly Kingdom, which is to be invisible to men.

It is the mission of the Elijah class to announce the Kingdom after this manner, to proclaim that the Kingdom is at hand, that the great Ruler of the World is about to take possession, that Messiah's Kingdom is the Kingdom of God, which shall ultimately prevail throughout the whole universe. The message now to be delivered continues, "Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand, and His arm shall rule for Him (Christ is the arm of Jehovah, stretched down for our deliverance from sin and death, stretched forth in the time of trouble to dash in pieces as a potter's vessel all the hindering conditions and things now highly esteemed among Men): behold His reward is with Him and his work (of recompense) before Him" to reward both the well-doers and the evil-doers according to their condition of heart. These rewards at the beginning of the millennial age will mean great distress and trouble, because some will rightly deserve, on account of their selfishness and failure to appreciate and act upon the principles of righteousness, severe punishments or stripes, as the Scriptures express the matter. The gracious assistance which the Lord will lend to all the families of the earth during the millennial age are beautifully pictured by verse 11. All who then desire, after they have learned of the grace of God, will be permitted to become the sheep of the Lord's pasture – "He shall feed his flock like a shepherd; he shall gather the lambs with his arm and carry them in his bosom."

This account parallels our Lord's parable of the sheep and goats, in which He pictured the whole world during the millennial age on trial before Him and the Church with Him in His throne. Then all mankind will be tested as to whether or not they will develop the sheep characteristics and be followers of righteousness and truth and peace, or whether they will prefer to develop the contrary goat characteristics. All who become the Lord's sheep shall eventually be blessed of Him with everlasting life, while all others will be punished with destruction, the second death, from which there will be no awakening, no redemption, no recovery. Seeing, then, dear friends, the message that the Lord has given us as the Elijah class, let us do our share in proclaiming the propriety of righteousness, in pointing out the necessity of casting up a highway of holiness [NS147] and making straight the crooked things and establishing righteousness and justice in the earth and thus preparing for the Kingdom of God. By this time, however, we know that this part of the message is too late to effect anything – that matters will go from bad to worse until the fire of the Lord's anger shall wither the world as the heat of a furnace, and the grass and its flower will fade. Nevertheless we can assure those who have the ears to hear that the Word of the Lord will stand forever, that He will establish His kingdom of righteousness in the whole earth, and that then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together, and that then the blessing of the great Shepherd will be extended to all who will then desire to be His sheep. And while giving this message faithfully as the Elijah class, let us be putting in practice in our lives the lessons which we testify to others with our lips, and thus we ourselves will be prepared for a share in the glories of the kingdom, for it is the Elijah class of this side the veil who is to constitute the Church in glory, the body of Christ, the Bride of Christ; on the other side the veil, through the power of the First Resurrection. He that hath this hope in him purifieth himself even as He is pure.

A nameless chill pervaded all the air, On that gray morn, long centuries ago, As through the city's narrow streets there crept Two women on their way to Calvary. The fragrant odors of sweet spices told Of their sad errand to the tomb of Him They loved. And as they neared the garden where Their blessed Lord was laid, a sudden fear Took hold upon their eager, loving hearts – (The sepulchre was hewn from solid rock, A great stone had been rolled before the door, And sealed with Pilate's royal signature) – They felt their weakness, and in anguish cried, "Oh, who shall roll for us the stone away?" But faith grew bold, they urged their faltering steps – When lo! they found an Angel from the Lord Had rolled away the stone, and sat thereon!

Thus often, when with loving zeal we seek To serve the Lord, a great fear chills our hearts, The door of opportunity seems closed, And in our weakness and distress we cry, "Oh, who shall roll for us the stone away?" But when with faith and courage we press on, We find the Angel of the Lord hath gone Before, and lo! the stone is rolled away!

Prev   Next