The National Labor Tribune, April 2, 1905
THE WORLD'S HEART-CRAVINGS and what will satisfy them

Pastor C. T. Russell spoke at Bible House chapel, Allegheny, Sunday at 3 p.m., taking for his text a part of our Lord's last recorded general prayer, "Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth." John 17:17

Although the Scriptures teach that our race six thousand years ago, in its representative, Father Adam, by disobedience fell from fellowship with God, and that the result has been degeneracy, mental, moral, and physical, they do not teach, as many of us were taught, man's total depravity. To fall from divine favor under the curse of death, to thus lose the perfection of the divine image, is one thing, and to lose every trace of the divine image and thus to be totally depraved is a very different matter. Everyone not prejudiced by a false theory will surely admit some good traits, occasionally admirable qualities, in nearly every race under the sun. These, we hold, are elements of the original character likeness of God possessed by Father Adam and not obliterated by the six thousand years of degrading experiences resulting from the fall and from alienation from God. The apostle calls this to our attention when, speaking of certain heathen, he declared that they were "feeling after God, if haply they might find him."

The implication is that even in the fallen and depraved condition of the heart there is a dissatisfaction, a lack of ease, a restless feeling, a longing desire to be something better than we are, to have the nobler elements of our being in close touch with our Creator and to render to him the obedience of righteousness which to some extent is instinctively recognized as his due. But, as the apostle intimates, there is a difficulty, a blindness; they can not see the Lord with the eyes of understanding, they can not hear distinctly his voice – hence their feeling after him. Wherever such an inclination is found, wherever there is a hungering and thirsting after righteousness and feeling after God and desire for relationship to and fellowship with Him, there we may be sure is a heart of good soil which some day will produce good fruitage.

All that such hearts lack is the plowing and harrowing, the sowing of the proper seed, the proper showers of refreshing from the presence of the Lord, to bring forth much fruit. And these blessings to the world in general are promised at the second coming of Christ, as the apostle declares, "Times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you, whom the heavens must retain until the times of restitution of all things spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began." Acts 3:19-21


The Lord through the prophet differentiates between darkness and gross darkness, and calls the condition of the heathen gross darkness and the condition of the remainder of the world darkness. He says, "Darkness covers the earth and gross darkness the heathen."

How thankful we should be who live in civilized lands that we are freed from the gross darkness and gross superstition of heathendom, but none who are right minded are satisfied with present conditions. Though glad that we are free from the gross darkness we are still dissatisfied and desire the light. More light! And the Lord has more light for us in proportion to our readiness to receive it upon his conditions – through faith in his Son, faith in his plan centered in that Son's death and resurrection. Looking over Christendom, so called, we find that a belief in a God is general and a belief in Jesus Christ as his Son is general.

The life and works of Jesus have, by their manifestations of love and mercy, helped to clear from the darkened imaginations of mankind much of their latent fear and dread of the Almighty – have helped to manifest the true God in his true character to many – and yet how few have any proper knowledge of the true God. The majority of Christendom have before their mind's eye a God that is proud, arrogant, severe, unsympathetic, and dreadful because of his Almighty power.

They know not and therefore can not worship in spirit and in truth the true God, the very essence of whose character is love. We do not say that the God of love is without other characteristics – wisdom, justice, power – but we do hold that according to the Scriptures all of these divine qualities are co-ordinate and co-operative, in full harmony with each other, so that while justice is the foundation of the divine throne, love is the crown of the divine character, and wisdom and power co-operate in carrying forward what love has designed and justice has approved. Only a few in darkened heathendom and fewer in less darkened Christendom, are feeling after God with earnestness, with zeal, with a determination to do all they can to have fellowship with him, walking in his [NS167] ways. Their feeling after the Lord is rather of a stealthy kind, one element of their being drawing them closer to him while other elements draw them away from him, assuring them that to find the Lord would be to find curtailments of sinful pleasures and unrighteous ambitions. Hence there is in nearly every human heart this double sentiment, one toward the Lord and the other away from him. The latter usually predominates in its influence over the life – in such a degree, at least, as to hinder the great mass from an earnest quest for fellowship divine.


Our Lord in one of his prayers declared that to know the Lord signifies that one has passed from death unto life, is in relationship with the Father and has eternal life. (John 17:3)

From this we may see that comparatively few even in Christian lands have really passed from death unto life, have really become children of God, who may now consider God as their heavenly Father and love and trust him accordingly. And this agrees with the Scriptural declaration that the whole number of the Lord's faithful in this present Gospel age is a "little flock" – composed of not many great, not many wise, not many mighty, not many learned, but chiefly the poor of this earth, rich in faith, heirs of the Kingdom. But how comes it that, with every element of their natures crying out for fellowship with God as the only thing that will satisfy their heart longings, the majority of mankind do not come to the Lord? We answer that the difficulty lies in the attractions of this world. Notwithstanding the misery, the suffering, the sorrow, and the fact that present things are recognized as transitory, fleeting, they have an attraction for the human heart that is stronger than the attraction which the Lord presents. This is so for two reasons:

(1) What the Lord presents is all faith, all of mentality, not of sight, not of physical experience. On the contrary, all the world presents is all actual, all tangible, and hence appeals more strongly.

(2) Sin has taken such a hold upon human nature, has so bent and warped and twisted every passion and desire, and is so entrenched, that the higher elements of human nature are powerless as respects the control of life. Indeed until the heart comes into relationship to the Lord and obtains from him new hopes, ambitions, etc., it sees nothing else of comfort and pleasure in life than the gratification of the earthly ambitions and pleasures, even though it recognizes that their gratification is usually associated with a violation of the divine law – sin. We can not wonder if under these conditions comparatively few become wholly the Lord's, presenting to him their wills, their all in all.


While recognizing every good trait displayed by the world, heathendom as well as Christendom, while giving all credit of having traces of the original divine likeness still unobliterated, we can not concede that even the mass of Christendom have secured such a relationship to Christ under the terms of the Gospel as would signify their salvation. Actually the masses of Christendom are not better prepared at heart than the masses of heathendom, they merely have a little more light, and have this because they were born under more favorable conditions. Their devotion to righteousness probably on the whole is little more than that of the masses of heathendom today who do not come up to the divine standards as set forth in the Gospel. Although they have what might be termed a faith respecting Jesus and his faith, a faith that tentatively admits that probably Jesus lived and died, that probably he was a great teacher, that probably his teachings have been a blessing to the world, and that probably any future salvation is somehow or other associated with him. But that is not the faith nor the obedience which the Scriptures require – that is rather the degree of faith which the devils have, as the Bible again declares, "Devils also believe and tremble."

The number is small of those who through faith and obedience have accepted the Lord, his mercies, his promises and his instructions. These alone have the son in the sense that our Lord declared, "He that hath the Son hath life, he that hath not the Son shall not see life."

These alone are seeking to walk not after the flesh but after the spirit in their daily course of life. These alone have set their affections on things above and not on the things of the earth. These alone have the spirit of adoption, and consequently these alone can in sincerity and intelligently address the Almighty as their Father and realize themselves to be obedient children, not fashioning themselves according to their former lusts and desires of the flesh, but in accordance with the divine will as expressed in the divine Word. If, then, the number receiving Christ is so small, and if the Spirit of the world and power of wrong and sin are so strong with the majority, what hope is there for their salvation ever?

We answer that the hope lies in the great promise of God's Word, that after the election of the Church class under present unfavorable conditions – which attract only those who can walk by faith and not by sight – a reign of righteousness will be introduced into the world by the Father through the Son and the elect Church glorified as spirit beings. These, called the Kingdom of God, will restrain the present powers of evil, scatter the darkness of Christendom and the gross darkness of heathendom, and cause the Sun [NS168] of Righteousness to shine over all the earth with healing and restitution in his beams. Social conditions will then be totally changed, and the organs of ambition and avarice natural to mankind will be appealed to and operated only in connection with the proper objects and in a proper manner. The true light will then shine and dispel the fear which now hinders so many from coming to the Lord. Every sin will then receive a prompt rebuke and chastisement, and every effort for righteousness will be blessed and rewarded. Under those favorable conditions may we not reasonably hope that all who have any craving after God and righteousness will be delivered both from the powers of darkness and of sin which now restrain, and be enabled to see the Lord with the eyes of their understanding, to hear and obey him with their hearts, and to thus come into fellowship with the Lord and to really know him who to know is life eternal? Is it any wonder that our Father instructed us to pray, "Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done in earth as it is done in heaven?" Is it any wonder that all the apostles and prophets looked down to the second coming of Christ as the grand day of earthly release from the thraldom of sin and death?


Few have sufficient trust of heart in the Lord to appreciate the teachings of his Word respecting the advantage of the narrow way which Jesus trod, and in which he has invited all that would be his disciples and associates with him in the Kingdom to follow him. And even those who have some ear to hear and whose eyes of understanding have to some degree been opened are hindered by the great Adversary, and scared off, as it were, from a proper investigation. Ignorance, fear, superstition, are the lashes of the whip by which he drives those whom he would into the slavery of sin and death. He thus also deters some who have really found the Lord and pledged themselves to be his disciples – he hinders these from making progress in the knowledge and love of God.

He has succeeded in weaving into every creed of Christendom a sufficient amount of error to make it a bondage and restraint, hindering further growth in grace and knowledge. It, therefore, behooves all who see the situation – who recognize that there are brethren under restraint, who need to be brought to a clearer appreciation of divine things – to bestir themselves and thus to show their love for the Lord, their love for the Truth and their love for the brethren. They fear to cut loose from the ways of sin, from its joys and pleasures, hopes and ambitions, and to enter the narrow way lest the latter should be devoid of pleasures and comforts and joys. They know that grace sufficient is promised to all that enter the narrow way, but their faith is not strong enough to grasp the promise and to follow it.

Let us bestir ourselves to make known to others the joys of the Lord – the joys of the narrow way. Let us realize this day by day as we make progress in the footsteps of Jesus; let us realize his presence with us, the joys of his forgiving love, the comfort and strength we have through him as our Counsellor and Guide. Let us have the realization that he who is for us is far stronger than all that be against us, that the promise for the present life is that all things shall be overruled for our good; and let us appropriate to ourselves the exceeding great and precious promises that pertain to the everlasting future of glory, honor, immortality, joint-heirship with our Lord in the Kingdom and the privilege of association with him in the great uplift that is to come to the world in general.

As we learn to appreciate these things we make more rapid progress, growing in grace, growing in knowledge and growing in love toward the Lord and the brethren, toward the Truth, toward our friends and neighbors – yea, toward the world and even toward our enemies. Let us learn to tell the story of our blessing so wisely and so well that all of our friends and our neighbors who have proper eyes to see and ears to hear and hearts to appreciate will receive a blessing through our daily ministries – that we may be indeed living epistles of the Gospel, known and read by all with whom we have contact.


Our belief in the Lord Jesus as our Redeemer is laid down in the Scriptures as the first step toward God, but not less explicitly do they teach that the second step is a full sanctification of the heart – a full setting apart of our wills to follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth.

All who have attempted to walk in this way have found it a difficult one at first, and wise have been those who, finding the difficulties, have appealed to the Lord in prayer and who have hearkened to his Word, the Scriptures, for his answer. The majority have not done this, but have been inclined to lean rather to their own understanding, and, while not disloyal at heart to the Lord, they have been ruled rather by their own wisdom. Hence the majority of those who have entered the narrow way have made little progress, have remained very close to the entrance, and have required the Lord's hand of chastisement and discipline to move them along. The better way, the way set forth in the Scriptures, the way mentioned in our text, is the sanctification of the heart and the life produced by the Truth. The general endeavor seems to have been to produce sanctification by fear, superstition, etc., but this is a failure. It may produce what men call sanctification, [NS169] but not what the Lord desires or will approve and reward with the Kingdom blessing. Sanctification does not mean perfection in every thought, word and act of life – it does not mean the pharisaical and hypocritical pretensions to such perfection. It does mean perfection of intention – so far as possible the bringing of our thoughts and words and deeds into accord with that perfect intention; realizing the while that we are attempting the impossible because of the imperfection of the flesh, but that God's arrangement with the sanctified in Christ Jesus is that, because of the right intention and endeavor, all the results shall be reckoned as though they were fully up to the intentions. How gracious a provision this is! How well adapted to the various degrees of imperfection amongst the Lord's sanctified "little flock!" In our text the Lord indicates the proper, yea, the only means of attaining the sanctification which is pleasing to him – "Sanctify them through thy Truth; thy Word is Truth."

Whoever, therefore, has the desire of heart to approach the Lord step by step, and to attain a full sanctification or setting apart of himself to do the Lord's will in every particular, should give earnest heed to the Truth, should realize that he will reach his goal only by conforming to the Truth. There are various truths on various subjects, and while a love of the truth in general is commendable and implies an honesty of heart and purpose and is of great assistance in attaining the approved sanctification, nevertheless there is just one particular line of truth which has in it the sanctifying power. Truth on the subject of mathematics or geology or astronomy will not sanctify.

One of the best evidences on this line is the fact that there are many men, able scholars in these various sciences, who, instead of being led nearer to the Lord and into a fuller and fuller consecration to him, as we might expect, have as a matter of fact gone further and further from the Lord as they have progressed in these various sciences. When we think on the words of the Psalmist, "Day unto day uttereth speech and night unto night showeth knowledge, and there is no place where their voice is not heard," we might suppose that astronomers, studying the mighty works of God, delving into that great science or field of truth would be sanctified by their experiences; but we find on the contrary, nearly all of them evolutionists, and many of them out-and-out professed infidels. It is the heart which seeks first the Lord and his righteousness, fellowship and oneness with him, that is prepared to appreciate the divine handiwork in nature and to ascribe it to its proper source. Our Lord settled the matter as to what truth would sanctify, saying:


Well did the prophet write, "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The reverence of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the decisions of the Lord are true and righteous altogether." Psa. 19:7-9

The mistake of some people is to suppose that to have a Bible in their possession is to have the Truth in their possession. A great mistake! The Bible is not the Truth; it is merely the expression of the Truth. Whoever would have the Truth must get it through the Word directly or indirectly, but the Truth is the spirit of the Word – its meaning, its intention, its real essence. In proportion as any Christian has attained to a knowledge of the Truth, in that same proportion he has attained the power which, rightly used, would produce sanctification in his heart and life. In proportion to his lack of the Truth must be his lack of the necessary power of God provided for his sanctification. If all Christians could realize this what a searching of the Scriptures there would be! What an endeavor to get at their real spiritual essence or meaning on the part of those who are hungering and thirsting after righteousness, who are seeking to be more and more at one with God!

This matter of the importance of sanctification and the necessity for the Truth as the sanctifying power is generally overlooked by Christian people, with the result that few are sanctified and few have much knowledge of the Word, even amongst those who are sincere Christians and esteemed to be advanced Christians. The majority know little if anything more than mere justification – the first step in the Christian way. This is one of the reasons why revival movements run a rapid course and leave little fruitage that could be found a year later. Indeed, in many instances those brought to a measure of repentance for sin and of acceptance of the Lord and then fall away into sin are in a worse condition, more difficult to be reached by the Truth than if they had not had their conversion experience. Our Lord referred to people of this kind at his first advent, when he said to some, "Ye compass sea and land to make a proselyte – a convert to Judaism – and when he is made he is two-fold more a child of destruction than he was before." Matt. 23:15


Let us have all the conversions possible, hut let us have them along the right lines that will do people [NS170] good, permanent good, everlasting good. Let us not only start people in the way of righteousness but let us give them, as the Lord directed, first the milk of the Word, and afterwards its strong meat of doctrines and of righteousness, which will then develop them as children of God, fruit-bearers, followers of the Lamb. The usual course is that as soon as anyone has confessed his obedience to him, to say to such an one, "Now you are saved; you are all right; go out now and convert others."

We believe, of course, that activity in Christian service is amongst the best methods of Christian development; but to thrust out a new born babe in Christ without instruction, without being fed upon the milk of the Word, without growing thereby to the use of the strong meat of its doctrines and appreciation of the divine plan, manifests a total misunderstanding of the object and purpose of this Gospel age. Such a mistake is a result of the error that for so long has choked everything good in Christian thought and endeavor, namely, the doctrine of eternal torment. The appeal to the new convert is on a wrong basis, a false basis, which misrepresents the divine character in toto, and when he accepts of Christ he is instructed that now it is his duty to pull others out of eternal torment.

Very soon, when the excitement passes away, reason asserts itself, and the man or woman, in spite of all the teachings he has received all his life, can not really believe in an eternity of torture, nor that he escaped such a penalty, nor that others are in danger of it; and in proportion as he is sincere, in the same proportion he will desist in his efforts to mislead others by preaching any such false statement of the Gospel. What, then, shall he do? On inquiring and finding nothing else to do he ceases all such activities and becomes starved, because there is no proper arrangement for his sustenance through the milk and meat of the Word. Very soon he is drawn into the activities of business or the home or pleasure or what not, and religion, while still respected, has no particular power in such a heart. The conversion never reached the sanctification stage, and was therefore a failure as respects the divine call of this Gospel age.


The assistance which should be rendered to the new converts who have accepted Christ as their Redeemer, and are trusting in him for forgiveness of sins and seeking to walk contrary to sin in the paths of righteousness, is to bring to them the word of God's grace, instructing them why and how they are no longer sinners but accepted in the Beloved One, in what sense their sins were laid on Jesus, and his robe of righteousness imputed to them as a covering for their weakness and imperfections, past, present, and to come. They should be shown clearly and distinctly how and in what sense Christ was a ransom for sinners, how and in what sense he paid the penalty for our sins, and how God is willing to accept all who are trusting to him for forgiveness and who consecrate their lives fully to him. By that time the willing and obedient would be ready to inquire, What shall we do that we may work the works of God? How can we serve our Lord and Savior?

In what manner can we use the remainder of our lives in his service and to his praise? Then will come the opportunity of answering these questions in the words of the apostle, "I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice unto God, holy, acceptable to God, your reasonable service."

Those thus instructed, who are of appreciating hearts, will answer in the words of the apostle, "The love of Christ constraineth us, because we thus judge ... that we should not henceforth live unto ourselves but unto him who has died for us." 2 Cor. 5:14 Those who during the gospel age have thus consecrated themselves wholly to the Lord, have been begotten of the Holy Spirit as "New Creatures."

Henceforth they are reckoned as embryo spirit beings, whose development must progress throughout the remainder of life under the care and discipline and assistances of the Lord, to be perfected in the first resurrection. Their consecration, then, it will be seen, is not the end of the matter either, but merely the taking of the second step, the raising to the proper level on which they may progress along the narrow way, enduring hardness as good soldiers, fighting the good fight of faith, laying hold on eternal life, growing in grace and knowledge and love and becoming more and more the character-likeness of the Lord Jesus and thus of the Father himself. Every step of this journey in this narrow way toward the heavenly city, toward the perfection of the first resurrection, requires the meat in due season from the Word of Truth and grace – requires study of the Word and growing knowledge and appreciation of the divine plan. Nor is this schooling an unpleasant one, but quite the contrary; the rich unfolding of the divine plan and Word to those thus sanctified by the Truth and being taught of God is a rich and continual feast. They have joys of the heart and mind and of communion with the Lord which the world knoweth not. Those of you, brethren, who have not yet taken these steps, be persuaded that they are a reasonable service, and entered into in a right spirit, are a joyful service, for as the Master himself said, "My yoke is easy and my burden is light."

However hard or difficult they seem to others the Lord's grace supplied with them enables those who are his to triumph in all these things. [NS171] You, brethren, who have taken these steps, who have received the Truth in sanctifying power, and who are rejoicing in the Lord's favors and blessings and instructions in righteousness – who know the favor of your Lord and rejoice more and more, and tell the good tidings to others to their comfort, edification and joy and to your own strengthening and upbuilding, while you continue to pass along the narrow way to the heavenly city, see that all your efforts with others, all your endeavors to assist them, shall be along these lines in harmony with the Master's Word – seek to produce in others what you yourself have enjoyed of the sanctification which is of the Truth and which affects and influences all the affairs of life, which gives us as full joy as is possible to be ours under present conditions, and the assurance that by and by the joy shall be full and everlasting.

The National Labor Tribune, April 9, 1905

Newark, O., April 9 – Pastor C. T. Russell of Allegheny addressed a large audience here in the YM.C.A. Auditorium at 3 p. m. Sunday, his topic being, God's Oath-Bound Covenant to Abraham and His Seed and How It Will Be Fulfilled – the Christian's share in it, the share of the Jews and the share of the world.

He had an extremely attentive audience. His evening discourse was for the specially interested. He prefaced it with the remark that next Sunday evening would be the exact anniversary of the night on which our Lord was betrayed, 1872 years ago – the night, therefore, in which Jesus instituted the annual Memorial Supper, the remembrancer of his death on our behalf, which the Lord requested all of his true followers to celebrate in his memory. The discourses published in The Tribune, he believed, reached a considerable number of earnest, thinking Christians, and through this channel he had been seeking to lead the minds of these nearer and nearer to the standpoint of true discipleship, in the hope that on this memorial occasion many might celebrate the Lord's death with a fuller appreciation of its meaning and of their relationship to the Redeemer. Because the capacity of the Bible House chapel, Allegheny, would be insufficient for the large attendance usual on Memorial Sunday, Carnegie music hall had been secured for both the afternoon and evening services on that date. The afternoon topic would be Christian Baptism and its Import. He had many inquiries along this line, and, through The Tribune, hoped to answer many who would not be able to be present personally. The topic this evening was, What it Costs to Be a True Christian, from the text, "Whosoever it be among you that renounceth not all that he hath, he can not be my disciple." (Luke 14:33)

The discourse follows: The bane of true Christianity is that doctrine of devils respecting the eternal torment of all who are not Christ's disciples – of all who, according to our text, renounce not all that they have to follow the Lord. This unholy, unscriptural teaching has not only cost pain, sorrow, perplexity and confusion to the Lord's true people, but it has injured the world as well. It has been the spur and lash which the Adversary has used in connection with exciting revivals to the injury of many; more are in insane asylums on account of this false doctrine than is generally supposed. Others, of stronger minds, recover from the excitement only to fall into a calloused and hardened condition, where they are more difficult than ever to reach along the proper Scriptural lines, more difficult than ever to convert truly to the Lord and to his cause.


This lash of superstitious fear the Adversary used to build up the various sectarian systems to their present proportions. Now these systems are great and popular in the world. They stand chiefly for good morals, which the whole world recognized as proper and right, irrespective of religious profession. We are to distinguish between Christianity and morality. Many noble men and women, total unbelievers according to their own professions, have been moralists, some of them even priding themselves on this point. Our Lord was not a revivalist according to the ordinary acceptance of that term. He never attempted to work his hearers into a spasmodic enthusiasm; he never carried the lash over them to drive them through fear to the Mercy Seat. On the contrary, he took a course which positively repelled those who were not in a right attitude of heart to receive his message, as we read, "He [NS172] spoke unto them in parables and dark sayings," to the intent that only those who were of earnest heart would seek to know the true and deeper meaning of his words, and that these alone should be instructed thereby. He continually held out before those to whom he preached the extreme difficulties associated with discipleship. He told about the narrow way and the few who would find it, and that whosoever took not up his cross to follow after him could not be his disciples. Our text is another illustration of this principle of fending off, hindering those who might think lightly of the responsibilities of discipleship. He would have them understand that to do the will of God under present conditions, during this present gospel age, would signify the forsaking of all else – the abandonment of earthly aims and hopes and ambitions, and the substituting for these of heavenly hopes and ambitions, which would transform their minds by renewing them, and would change them in character likeness from glory to glory, preparing them for a share in the first resurrection, a change to "glory, honor and immortality" of the "divine nature." Rom. 2:7; 2 Pet. 1:4


To make the matter particularly plain – that none might misunderstand him to be trying to inveigle any into a consecration that was not really wholly meant; to hinder any from professing discipleship who did not fully appreciate what it signified, our Lord gave two illustrations in the verses preceding our text. In verse 28 he points out that any man intending to build a tower would, if exercised by a sane mind, sit down and calculate its cost, whether or not he could afford to build it – whether or not it would pay. Undoubtedly the Lord's method of preaching the gospel was the correct one, and those who follow any other method or standard are in error, no matter how conscientiously they may believe that they do God's service. Let us note the difference: Revivalists in general attempt excitement, and sometimes evidently have the Adversary's assistance in producing hypnotic results, which attracts tares and not merely the wheat class, the regenerate.

Many evangelists without divine power and the gifts of miracles possessed by our Lord and the apostles, count far more converts in a season than our Lord and his twelve apostles, and the seventy also, gathered during the three and a half years of our Lord's ministry – the total number being stated as 500 brethren. But the Lord gathered no tares – only wheat; the message which he preached was not attractive to the tares; he took special pains to make it unattractive. He said, "No man can come unto me except the Father which sent me draw him," and he laid down the terms of discipleship so plainly that those who were not fully consecrated, not Israelites indeed, turned away and walked no more with him. I seek to walk in the Master's footsteps, and to make known the same message, and expect that it will specially appeal only to the "very elect," the "Israelites indeed in whom there is no guile."

But I am not seeking to build up a sect or party. I recognize the Church of Christ as one and not many. I recognize that the Lord gave no commission to me nor to anyone else to establish sects and parties and churches – that he established the one Church of the Living God, whose names are written in heaven. It is not my effort, therefore, to build up a glorious earthly system, nor to draw the worldly by preaching such things as would be attractive to the world. It is my commission to preach Christ, to hold him up, to point out to the Israelites indeed of all denominations that their earthly associations will not avail them; that the only thing which constitutes membership in the Church of Christ is membership in the body of Christ, union with Christ, the Head; and that this union cannot be effected through human channels, but must be effected, if at all, by personal faith in the Redeemer and a personal consecration to him.


Our text speaks of forsaking all to be the Lord's disciples. This does not mean merely to forsake all forms of sin. No one has a right to commit sin, whether he be Christ's disciple or Plato's disciple or anybody's disciple. True forsaking of sin and moral living are connected with all decency of life and connected with discipleship to Christ, but the abandonment of sin is not even mentioned by our Lord when speaking to his disciples. It is taken for granted, as we shall seek to show. To get the picture before our minds the Scriptures speak of Satan as being the prince of darkness and of the world as lying in darkness. Sin of every form is related to this period of darkness, this night time, and we are bid to hope for the glorious epoch to come, in which sin shall be utterly banished from the world; and instead of Satan being the prince of this world, as the Scriptures teach that he now is, Jesus shall be the King of Glory, the Light of the World, Immanuel. We are distinctly informed that in the divine plan the darkness is permitted for a season, and that the times and seasons are in God's own power; and that when the time shall come for the grand transformation and the establishment of the reign of righteousness under the whole heavens, then God's will shall be done on earth as it is done in heaven. We are taught to pray in harmony with these hopes set before us in the gospel. More than this, the Scriptures distinctly teach that our Lord is now calling during this time of darkness [NS173] and night for those who are out of sympathy with sin and selfishness and fraud and licentiousness, who are out of accord with these works of darkness which now prevail in civilized as well as in uncivilized quarters. The Lord is calling upon these to take their stand for righteousness, for truth, for purity, for holiness, for godliness, for the principles of love and righteousness. The Scriptures tell us that few have the ear to hear the Lord's message – few are so out of accord with sin and shame and ungodliness as to desire to escape from these and to come into full sympathy and accord with the Prince of Light at this present time. By and by, when all the evil conditions will be under restraint, no doubt there will be many who will prefer righteousness to sin but at the present time to hear the voice of righteousness and to obey it means the opposition of the flesh, the world and the Adversary, and few care to hear that voice and to inquire further as to the divine will.


The Lord takes this method of finding the peculiar people, the very elect, mentioned throughout the Scriptures. He is seeking for those who love righteousness and hate iniquity, and now – in a time when darkness covers the earth and gross darkness the heathen – is the time best adapted for finding those who the Scriptures denominate the children of the light – that is, those who have a special love for righteousness, purity, truth, etc. These the Lord is calling, these he is drawing, these he is encouraging, these he is assisting, these he is leading from glory to glory because they love him, because they have enlisted under his banner even in this night time, preferring to stand with the Lord on the side of right and truth and holiness and purity at the cost of the sacrifice of earthly things, earthly pleasures, earthly aims and earthly hopes. These the Scriptures denominate the Lord's "jewels," whom he will gather at his second coming.

Again, they tell us that these shall constitute the Bride, the Lamb's wife, the very elect, who shall be with him and share his kingdom and his glory and be associated with him in the conferring of the divine blessings of the millennial age upon the world in general. These, with their Lord, shall constitute that Sun of Righteousness which shall arise with healing in its beams, to scatter all the night and darkness and sin and misery and trouble and to bring in life eternal to as many as will receive it under the favorable conditions of that time. Matt. 13:45 What a manifestation of divine wisdom we have in the fact that the Church is sought during this period of darkness, of sin, before the clouds roll away, before the great Adversary, Satan, is bound. Now we see from this standpoint two particular things not previously seen, and we see their relationship to each other:

(1) we see why the Lord did not emphasize the forsaking of sin, and we see

(2) why he did emphasize the forsaking of all and the taking up of the cross. Our Lord was calling only for the class that would be so in accord with himself and his mission, so in accord with the principles for which he stood, so in harmony with the light as children of the light, that they would be willing to forsake all – even life itself, as declared in the preceding verse. Manifestly, anyone who would renounce all to be associated with Christ in his work of opposing and putting down sin would not require to be exhorted to oppose sin in his own heart. Sin would have no place in such a heart, but, as the apostle declared, "Those things which once I loved, now I hate."

The heart that loves sin, that is full of pride and envy and malice, strife, backbiting, slander, covetousness, evil desires, is a heart that has not been transformed, has not been renewed, but is still in the gall of bitterness, still belongs to the prince of darkness. The heart that has renounced all the works of the flesh and the devil, all the things of darkness, is the heart of the true disciple of Christ. Note that the apostle calls attention to this matter, saying, "How shall we who are dead to sin live any longer therein?" Describing the condition of some of the children of darkness he says, "Be not deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolators, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God." (1 Cor. 6:9-10)

This description does not merely cover the gross violations of righteousness; the words effeminate, covetous, revilers, extortioners, take in a vast multitude of proceedings more or less countenanced by the world, more or less the practice of all except the sanctified, the washed, but the latter can have no sympathy with these things because they are the children of the light. They love the light, the purity, the truth, the love which is of God, and they hate the darkness and sin and selfishness and meanness and violence which is of the Adversary.


A point here needs to be guarded along lines set forth in the Bible: We are not to judge others nor even to judge ourselves wholly by the possibilities of the flesh. We are to remember that having been begotten again by the new mind, by the Holy Spirit old things have passed away and all things have become new to our minds, to our hearts, to our wills, to our intentions. But [NS174] we are also to remember that the old body has not passed away and that it will not pass away until death. We are to remember that the new mind, the new heart, has no other channel or vehicle of thought or action than this mortal body once the servant of sin. We are to remember that now it is the servant of the new nature and thus the servant of the Lord. But we are not to trust it too far. We are to keep continual guard over it, realizing its weakness and tendency toward sin through the fall. We are to reckon it dead indeed unto sin, and alive toward God and toward the performance of good instead of evil works. But we are not to trust it for a moment; as the apostle declares, "We are to have no confidence in the flesh."

We are to criticize every suggestion of the flesh and to anticipate that the majority of them are selfish and tending toward sin. We are not to seek to gratify the flesh and thereby to pamper it, knowing that it would only grow the stronger and be more difficult for us as New Creatures to manage in the future. On the contrary, as the apostle declares, we are to wage warfare against every inclination of the flesh that is on critical examination found to be in opposition to the new mind to which we are committed as children of the light. Nor are we left to this battle entirely of ourselves. It is the Lord who has declared, "My grace is sufficient for thee, my strength is made perfect in your weakness."

It is the Lord's promise that he will not suffer us to be tempted above that we are able, but with the temptation will provide a way of escape. It is for us as New Creatures to be on our guard against the wiles of the Adversary, the spirit of the world and the weaknesses of our own flesh, lest these in any degree captivate us or hinder us from waging a good warfare against sin in its every form and in favor of the Lord and truth and righteousness in general. In one of the illustrations preceding our text, the Lord says that before consecrating ourselves to him to attempt to walk in the narrow way, before renouncing all to be his disciples, we should sit down and count the cost. One of his illustrations is that of a king with a small army going forth to battle against a king with a greater army.

How necessary it would be to count the cost, if defeat could be avoided. So with us; it is well that we count the cost and see our own weakness and our own littleness and our own inability to cope with and to vanquish the world and the Adversary and our own imperfect flesh. Not until we do see this will we be properly ready to become the Lord's followers, to have him on our side as opponents to the great Adversary and the various powers of darkness of this present time. If we once learn this lesson properly and make our alliance with the Lord, with the full realization of his words, "Without me ye can do nothing," then our course will be the right one and success will be ours through our Lord in the end. We through him shall gain the victory, win the crown and the great prize that is promised to those who love him – the privilege of being associated in the great work of "restoring all things" during the millennium. Acts 3:19-21


Make straight paths for your feet, the apostle admonishes. He has arranged your affairs so that you will not be stumbled in the narrow way. Put away the things that would remind you of the pleasures of sin, that would tend to preserve the pride and fond desires of the flesh. Become what your worldly friends would consider an extremist, to the extent that you will copy the Lord and the apostles and their instructions. Cultivate humility instead of pride, meekness instead of boastfulness, generosity instead of selfishness, loving-kindness instead of hypocrisy. Seek the companionship of the good, the pure, the consecrated and especially the companionship of the Lord himself. Speak to him frequently in prayer and seek for his answer in the inspired Scriptures.

Be faithful in the little things of life. Realize that you can not, as a New Creature, measure yourself by the standards of the world, but have a higher standard according to which you will always be imperfect until your change shall come in the First Resurrection.

If while pursuing this course you fall into various trials and difficulties, take them patiently, realizing that this is another evidence of God's favor toward you, an evidence that he is pruning and testing you to make you ready for his further use either in the present or in the future life. Should you even be overtaken in a fault, much as you would regret the matter, be not discouraged, but take it to the Lord in prayer, and tell him how as a New Creature you are not in sympathy with sin or any weakness, that you will strive to learn a lesson from your experience which will make you stronger for the future, and accept the gracious assurance of his Word that the robe of Christ's righteousness covers your imperfections and blemishes. Thus you may bear a song away and find each day a happy one, because it brings you a little nearer to the grand ideal standard and a little nearer to the glorious time of your change.


The National Labor Tribune, April 23, 1905

Youngstown, O., April 23 – Pastor Russell of Allegheny, Pa., addressed a large audience at the opera house Sunday afternoon, his topic being, "To Hell and Back. Who Are There? Is There Hope for the Return of Many of Them."

The closest attention was paid, and deep and lasting impressions were probably effected. We report the morning discourse in full from the text, "I am he that liveth, and was dead." Rev. 1:18

Throughout the civilized world every Sunday is a remembrancer of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, but today, Easter Sunday, is the generally recognized memorial of that great event, second in importance only to the most momentous event of history – the death of Jesus. But while thousands of sermons will today speak of the resurrection of Jesus, and hundreds of thousands of hearers will think of the same with a measure of interest and joy, nevertheless false doctrines from the Dark Ages still greatly becloud this subject and hinder the day from being appreciated to its full. Grecian philosophy, especially that formulated by Plato, has gained a firm foothold throughout Christendom, permeating and corrupting the original Christian faith, and causing the teachings of God's Word, the Bible, to appear to be in opposition to reason. These errors vitiate and nullify the doctrine of the resurrection which today especially celebrates. It teaches that the dead are not dead – that in appearing to die they really become more alive than ever.

If this is true of others it would also be true of Jesus, that he did not die when he appeared to die, that he was alive during the three days in which the Scriptures ascribe him as having been dead. If he were not dead, but all the while alive, where would be the propriety in celebrating his resurrection from the dead? How could he be made alive if he were not dead? The question is for our opponents to answer; the Scriptures aver that he was dead, that he rose from the dead on the third day. Our Lord himself predicted this in advance, saying that he would be killed, but that he would rise again on the third day, and in our text he tells us, "I am he that liveth, and was dead."

It is for those who claim that he was alive, conscious, more alive than ever after he died, to prove their assertions, to give some evidence that would contradict reason and the Scripture. The facts of history are that our Lord was crucified, died, was buried, and rose from the dead on the third day. (1 Cor. 15:3, 4)

This is what all the Apostles preached, this is what the early Church believed, this is the truth. On this truth, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, hangs the whole argument respecting our justification from original sin, our justification through faith in his blood, through faith that he really died, that he really gave his life as our redemption price. The Scriptures declare that the life of Adam and his race was forfeited, and that Christ took the place of Adam and redeemed him, dying the Just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God. If he did not die – really die – then we are not redeemed, for in that event the price, the penalty against us, has not been paid.


The Scriptures are properly very explicit on this subject of the necessity for the death of Christ for our deliverance from the death penalty. They show that there would have been no future life for any member of the human race had it not been that Christ became our Redeemer, purchasing our lives by his own life. More than this, they explicitly tell us that even after Jesus had died, had he not risen from the dead we would have been without hope of a future life.

In that event all who have died should be reckoned as having perished absolutely, completely, just as a beast perishes in death. The hope of our race lies not in a continuation of life in death, lies not in the absurd supposition that the moment of death ushers us into an increase of life, and that the dead know more in a moment than the living know in a lifetime. On the contrary, it is in accord with the teaching of Scripture that "The dead know not anything," "There is neither wisdom nor knowledge nor device in sheol (the tomb) whither all go," and from thence none return except by the power of God in the resurrection of the dead.

Not only was it necessary that our Lord Jesus should be raised from the dead – not again to fleshly conditions, fleshly nature, but to the divine nature, that he as a quickened Spirit, a lifegiving Spirit, might legally and justly confer upon humanity the blessings secured judicially through the merit of his sacrifice on our behalf. In other words, it was necessary that he should die for our redemption and necessary also that he should arise from the dead, be clothed with glory, honor, immortality and divine power, to be the active agent of Jehovah God in establishing righteousness in the world and in bringing back from the power of sin and death all the families of the earth – assisting to perfection all [NS176] who will avail themselves of his favor and seek to do his will. From this standpoint the death of Jesus and his resurrection from the dead are of equal importance, neither one being efficacious in our salvation without the other. A dead Savior could deliver no one, could assist no one, because there is no wisdom nor knowledge nor device in the tomb. No wonder, then, that the Scriptures are explicit in setting before the Lord's people the evidences not only that he died for our sins, but that he rose again on the third day for our justification, for our forgiveness. Hence the numerous little details of Scripture narrative bearing upon every phase of this subject, that the Lord's people might have full confidence not only that they were redeemed but that the Redeemer now liveth, yea, also, that he is to come again in power and great glory to establish his Millennial Kingdom and through it to bless all the families of the earth. Note the testimonies in the Gospels of how he was seen of Mary and the other women who went to the sepulchre, and of Peter, one of his disciples, then of above five hundred brethren, and how finally to Paul he manifested himself in a vision of light above the brightness of the noonday sun.

All these evidences or demonstrations of our Lord's resurrection were considered necessary to the proper establishment of our faith in the fact. The Apostle calls our attention to another demonstration on the subject, saying that our Lord, having ascended on high, appeared in the presence of the Father, and having presented on our behalf the merit of his sacrifice, the holy Spirit of Pentecost was shed forth and is an assurance to all men not only that Christ died but that he liveth again in glory, in power, the guide and protector of his Church, now being polished as his jewels, now being prepared as his Bride for fellowship with him in his Kingdom, and for co-operation with him later on in the blessing of all the families of the earth.


The attempt to harmonize the Scriptures with the Greek philosophy brings confusion. In the endeavor to straddle the difficulties – to hold that Jesus was not dead and at the same time to apply the Scriptures which speak of his resurrection from the dead – another confusing error has been fallen into, namely, the claim that the resurrection applies merely to the body, not to the soul. We answer that the very contrary of this is true according to the Scriptures. The penalty upon man was not that his body should die, but "The soul that sinneth, it shall die."

Likewise when our Lord paid our penalty it was not sufficient merely that a body should die, but as the Scriptures again declare, "He poured out his soul unto death," "He made his soul an offering for sin." (Isa. 53:10, 12)

To this agrees the declaration of the Prophet David quoted on the day of Pentecost by St. Peter, saying, in proof of Christ's resurrection, "His soul was not left in Hades."

The Apostle declares that the prophet spoke these words respecting the resurrection of Jesus. Acts 2:27, 31 Each error tends to produce another; hence we find Christian people believing that our Lord in glory still has a body of flesh, a body of humiliation. We find them expecting to see their Lord with pierced hands and feet and scar-marked forehead. They do not grasp the clear statement of the Apostle Peter that "he was put to death in the flesh, but quickened (made alive) in the spirit," that now the "Lord is that Spirit," and that "though we have known Christ after the flesh, now, henceforth, know we him so no more." 1 Pet. 3:18; 2 Cor. 3:17; 5:16

To think of our Lord as a human being with a body of flesh in heaven is to suppose him out of harmony and out of accord with the Father and all the holy angels; whereas, on the contrary, we are told by the Scriptures that he is the express image of the Father's person, and again that "God is a spirit dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto, whom no man hath seen nor can see," because spirit beings are invisible to human sight except as they shall miraculously take on such forms as human sight can discern. Looking back to the time that our Redeemer was with the Father before the world was started, being in the likeness of the Father, "the beginning of the creation of God" (Rev. 3:14), we view with sympathy the great stoop, the great humiliation, which he endured for our sakes when he left the glory he had with the Father and humbled himself to become a man, that he might die on our behalf, because the sins of man could only be legally met by a man holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners.

But if this moves us to sympathy, what should be our consternation to think that in the resurrection the Father still obliged him to retain the human form, lower than that of the angels. How unreasonable as well as unscriptural a thought. On the contrary, the Scriptures explicitly declare of his resurrection, because of his obedience even unto death, even the death of the cross, "God hath highly exalted him (in his resurrection) and given him a name (a position of authority and power and glory) above every name."

As the Apostle again declares, he is now "far above angels, principalities and powers, and every name that is named" – next to the Father, a sharer of his dignity and honor, divine nature and glory and power that men should honor the Son even as they honor the Father also. [NS177]


It was to the intent that the apostles and all who should believe through their word, might understand that Jesus had not only risen from the dead but that he was now a spirit being, with totally different powers than those he exercised during his earthly ministry, that our Lord after his resurrection appeared to the disciples in many different forms, and under circumstances which would prove to them that he was no longer under the limitations of human nature, but now was a spirit being and exercised all the powers that angels ever exercise. For instance, he appeared to Mary as the gardener in a body of flesh and with clothing, though the flesh was not the same which Mary had known before, nor the clothing that which the soldiers who crucified him still had in their possession.

Again he appeared to the two on the way to Emmaus in a still different body or form, that of a stranger; they saw no marks in his hands or his feet, they saw nothing in the face before them that reminded them of Jesus whom they had seen only two days before. It was the spirit Jesus who was with them and who appeared in that particular form best suited for his purpose of communicating with them, that he might call their attention to the prophecies, open the eyes of their understanding to appreciate the fact that it was necessary that Messiah should die and should subsequently rise from the dead, to enter into his glory and to accomplish all the wonderful work marked out for him in the divine plan, and that all of these things were written in the Law and in the prophets, in the types and in the testimonies.

It was that they might know that he was no longer in essence a fleshly being but a quickening spirit that he appeared in their midst while the doors were shut – that he materialized before them in a body precisely like that which they had seen crucified, and possibly in clothing exactly like that which he had previously worn. He demonstrated to them that they did not see a spirit; that they merely saw a body of flesh through which he communicated with them; and to assure them of this he ate some fish and honeycomb with them, and then, having served his purpose, the body dissolved, the clothing dissolved, as we read, "He vanished out of their sight."

No human being could so have done. Our Lord himself never did so before his resurrection – he was the man Christ Jesus, subject to the limitations of human nature, so far at least as his own flesh was concerned. But what he did in these respects angels had previously done, as the Scriptures record. For instance, in the case of Abraham, the Lord and two angels appeared to him in human form and ate and talked with him. (Gen. 18$)

Our Lord at that time was not flesh, had not left the glory of the spirit nature, but merely appeared in flesh. This was centuries before "he was made flesh and dwelt among us."

And after his human existence had served its purpose and he had been raised from the dead a quickening spirit, no more to become a man, but possessed of the divine nature and all of its attributes, we may be sure that he had no less power to appear as a man than he had in the days of Abraham.


The Scriptures refer to our Lord glorified as the Son of man, this being one of his many titles. As a matter of fact he was not the son of Joseph, nor of any other man directly. Through his mother Mary he was the son of Adam, the one of his race who was holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners, and thus qualified to be the Savior of father Adam and his race. He was thus the foretold seed of Abraham who should crush the serpent's head, who should eventually gain the victory over sin and all its consequences, for the race. All this he will eventually accomplish, because he is of human nature no longer, but in divine power and glory shall reign to bless those whom he redeemed with the sacrifice of his flesh, given for the life of the world. (John 6:51)

To have taken back the flesh would have been to have taken back the ransom price, to have left us as a race unredeemed. Thank God that his soul was not left in Hades, and that in its resurrection it was clothed with a spiritual body.


Through our Lord's death, a resurrection for every member of the human family has been provided. Death was the penalty for sin; the payment of that penalty is to bring a release from the sentence of death, an opportunity for full return to all that was lost in Adam, an opportunity that is to be world-wide and which the Apostle declares shall be testified in due time to all. (1 Tim. 2:6)

The world's opportunity for sharing in a resurrection will be during the Millennial age, but the Scriptures point out to us a special resurrection or chief resurrection opened to the Church, the little flock, the faithful of the Lord's disciples, the overcomers of the world, those who shall be heirs of God, joint-heirs with Jesus Christ our Lord in his Kingdom glory. This resurrection of the Church is scripturally called "his resurrection."

That is to say, the Church is to be raised to the same nature and glory to which her Lord was raised. The Apostle points this out, saying that he was glad to [NS178] count all earthly aims and ambitions, prospects, hopes, etc., as loss and as dross that he might win Christ – that he might make his calling and election sure as a member of the glorified Church or body of Christ. Proceeding to describe this he says "that I might know him and (experience) the power of his resurrection' (Philip. 3:10)

To attain a share in that resurrection to glory, honor and immortality is the highest ambition that could be entertained by any of the Lord's followers, a distinction, an honor which will be attained only by the elect, the faithful. Those who do not attain to this special resurrection, his resurrection, may, nevertheless, have a part in the general resurrection and its privileges and blessings. But we are assured that this, while grand and glorious, will not at all compare with the heavenly blessings of the first resurrection – "Blessed and holy are they who have part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years." (Rev. 20:6)

The Apostle Paul gives us – a very masterful explanation of this resurrection subject (1 Cor. 15).

He declares the decision of God for a general resurrection, that "as by man (Adam) came death, by a man (Jesus) also came the resurrection of the dead."

He proceeds to specially portray the resurrection of the Church – the first resurrection. He explains that the Church experiences a change of nature from human to spiritual, that as earthly beings we did bear the image of the earthly father, Adam, but that as new creatures in Christ we shall bear the image of the second Adam, the heavenly Lord; and that as the heavenly one is, so shall we be when, by our resurrection change, we shall be made heavenly – spiritual. He adds, by way of explaining the necessity for resurrection change, "Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood can not inherit the Kingdom of God."

Verses 47-50. His picture of the resurrection of the elect (vs. 41-44) shows us how radical will be the change from our present condition as his body of humiliation to our glorious condition as his body celestial – "it is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown an animal body, it is raised a spiritual body. As there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body."

As we thus get before our mind's eye the glory which God hath in reservation for them that love him, the Church, the body of Christ, and that we shall not have a resurrection to flesh, but be changed by resurrection power, in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye, to be spirit beings, glorious, powerful, divine, it gives us a little conception of what was the real change which our Lord, our glorious Head, experienced in his resurrection from the dead. These corrections of our theology, to thus come back in line with the inspired records, repair our minds for some comprehension of what we should expect at our Lord's second advent.

It shows us that we are not to expect him in the flesh; that he took the body of flesh at his first advent simply and solely for the suffering of death, and that when he had thus paid our penalty there was no reason why a humiliation to a lower nature should be forever continued. It shows us that he whom the Father hath highly exalted, and who was the express image of his Father's person, will be invisible to men at his second advent, as he himself declared, "Yet a little while and the world seeth me no more – but ye (my disciples) shall see me."

Yes, says the exultant Apostle, "We shall see him as he is, for we shall be like him." (1 John 3:2)

We do not see him as he is now, for we are still in the flesh, still human; but when our resurrection change shall come we shall be made like him – we shall be satisfied when we awake in the glorious likeness of our Redeemer. Our Lord, who declares that he actually died and that he actually became alive again from the dead, assures us that he dies no more, that he is alive forevermore, and assures us also that he has the keys of death and of the tomb. Understanding and believing his Word, we are waiting for the Father's appointed time, when he shall take to himself his great power and reign, to restrain sin and evil and death, and enlighten and lift up and bless all the families of the earth. We may not see the pattern That's woven by God's hand, But when the work is finished – Ah, then we'll understand.

Prev   Next