The National Labor Tribune, March 11, 1906


Pastor C. T. Russell preached Sunday evening at Carnegie Music Hall, Pittsburg, on "The Resurrection of Life and the Resurrection of Damnation." (John 5:28, 29)

The large auditorium was crowded, extra chairs being placed upon the platform and many standing, while some were turned away. The speaker said: Our text has been one of the bugbears of ignorance and superstition, chaining us to an irrational and blasphemous view of our Creator's character and plan. Thanks be unto God that in the dawn of the Millennial morning, which is bringing us blessings of a material kind on every hand, the eyes of our understanding are gradually opening to the discernment of the grandeur of the Divine purpose respecting our race and realization of the same precious truths which enthused the apostles and the early Church, but which were so sadly buried under ignorance and superstition during the "dark ages."

How many absurd theories were built upon this text! The most unreasonable of them all is one which claims that a part of man goes into eternal torment when he dies, and that God is so ferociously revengeful that he is not satisfied with this, but by and by will resurrect a body for the suffering spirit, that he may thereby add to the awfulness of its torture.

This text is supposed to be the basis for that thought. Before seeking the real meaning of the text we call attention to the contemptible, mean view of the Creator's character and plan which all eternal-torment theories foster. The God who declares himself to be the embodiment of justice is pictured thus before our minds as the very embodiment of injustice; the God who declares his name to be love, as the very embodiment of anger, malice, hatred or revenge. The merest glance at our text shows it a poor translation. It declares a resurrection of life and a resurrection of damnation.

Has life been dead that it needs a resurrection? Is damnation a thing which died and also needs a resurrection? What sense is there in this translation anyway? It is non-sensical! There is not the slightest ground for the word damnation in this text: the Greek word krisis is the word here improperly rendered damnation, in utter violation of the Greek and out of all harmony with the various renderings of the same word elsewhere.

This word krisis occurs four other times in the same chapter with our text and is properly translated judgment. For instance, in the very next verse our Lord uses the same word, saying, "My judgment (krisis) is just" – not, My damnation is just. Why the translators rendered it damnation is utterly inexplicable, except upon the hypothesis that they thought they knew the mind of the Lord on the subject and that they could explain it better than he did. Such a course is always a mistake. The translators had the fog of the "dark ages" in their minds. Their thought was that the judgment of every man is past when he dies, and that hence our Lord must have made a mistake when referring to any as coming forth to a resurrection of judgment.

They were evidently trying to help the Lord to state matters according to their understanding of his plan. Our only safety is in holding fast to the Word of the Lord. The translators in this case remind us of James and John, the beloved apostles, who in the beginning of their ministry were offended at the people of Samaria, and asked permission of our Lord to call down fire from heaven to destroy those men and their city. But what were Jesus' words – "Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of: the Son of man came not to destroy men's lives but to save them." (Luke 9:56)

So the translators erred because they had not a sufficiency of the spirit of Christ, the spirit of love, to enable them to discern the meaning of the words. Hence they turned upside down what we shall show was a gracious promise, and made of the statement a most diabolical threat.


In the revised version of the New Testament you will find a better translation, in that it renders krisis judgment instead of damnation. It also, however, labors with a false thought in speaking of a resurrection of life and a resurrection of judgment. The proper translation of the verse would be, "They that have done good unto a life resurrection and they that have done evil unto a judgment resurrection." [John 5:29]

Let no one get the impression from our vigorous opposition to the doctrine of eternal torment that we believe the Scriptures to teach that there is no punishment for sin. Quite to the contrary, our teaching is in accord with the Bible, that the Lord will render a just recompense of reward to every soul of man that doeth evil – that they who sin against much light shall receive many stripes, while those doing evil and sinning against little light will receive correspondingly fewer stripes or lesser punishment. It is a mistake to suppose that the horrible doctrines [NS316] which have been taught us have drawn men to righteousness. It is truth and not error that sanctifies and draws us to God. As an illustration: In Atlanta, Ga., a man whom I had never before seen approached me and said, "I want to tell you, Pastor Russell, that I am a new man, that I have given my heart to God, that I hate the sins I once indulged in. Your presentations of the Scriptures affected this change. I was a very, very wicked man, a liquor dealer; I indulged in every kind of sin. On the basis of my ignorance of the true teaching of God's Word I supposed that my eternal future was sealed, that God would never recognize me, that I would spend an eternity of torture. I determined that I would merit all that I might get, and went from bad to worse, until your teachings showed me the real wages of sin, the real stripes, the real punishments which every wrong doer would receive according to the Scriptures. Now by God's grace I shall endeavor to spend the remainder of my life seeking to build up character, and trusting to his grace to assist me. With a better knowledge of my Creator's character I can praise him for the blessings and mercies and forgiveness which he has promised me."

There are twelve readers of ZION'S WATCH TOWER in the Columbus, O., penitentiary, earnestly striving to cultivate the spirit of Christ, because they have learned the way of the Lord more perfectly. They are doing mission work amongst the other prisoners. When they entered that prison as criminals they held the usual view that eternal torment was the wages of sin, yet it did not deter them from sin.

The love of God and the justice of God as seen in a proper view of his Word will change the heart and transform the life where error fails to do so. Hearken upon the streets as you pass how men damn one another to eternal torture, and reflect that faith in that wrong doctrine has probably driven them to their present attitude of mind and blasphemy. Notice that almost every murderer executed professes to have been reared under the dogma of eternal torture and to be a full believer in it, yet the misbelief did not hinder him from being a murderer.

On the other hand, note the transforming influence of the Truth upon the hearts, the characters, the lives of those who receive it into good and honest hearts. Let us remember, however, that according to the Scriptures a certain attitude of heart is necessary before the Truth can be received and appropriated – that, as the Scriptures declare, "None of the wicked shall understand." (Dan. 12:10)

It is not, therefore, our expectation, dear friends, that wicked people will be interested in our presentations – we seek the wheat, "Light is sown for the righteous and truth for the upright in heart." Psa. 97:11


Our text divides the world of mankind into two classes, the good and the evil. Similarly the apostle writes of a "resurrection of the just and of the unjust." (Acts 24:15)

That neither the Lord nor the Apostles meant to intimate that any of mankind are good, perfect in the absolute sense, is most evident from the trend of the Scriptures, which assure us in various forms that the whole race is fallen, that "there is none righteous, no not one." (Rom. 3:10)

The "good" of our Lord's statement, the "just" of the Apostle's statement, are those who are justified in God's sight through faith, justified from sin, their sins covered, imputed to them, because of their accepting the divine arrangement and because they are seeking to walk in the Lord's way. The Apostle explains the situation elsewhere, saying, "The righteousness of the Law is fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit." (Rom. 8:4)

These can not walk up to the spirit of God's law, because of their inherited blemishes under the fall, but since these are covered by God's grace in Christ, such as are walking to the best of their ability after the spirit of God's law are reckoned as though walking up to the spirit of that law. In their minds they are up to the standard, and their flesh approximates perfection as nearly as may be from day to day. But if only these received the life resurrection how few they are! How few you know and how few I know who are thoroughly regenerated, and who would even claim to be walking not after the flesh but after the Spirit.

Only these few, therefore, need hope for a part in the life resurrection. All the remainder will have their part in what our text refers to as the resurrection of damnation. But, thank God, we find that a mistranslation in our common version has seriously be-clouded the true import of our Master's words. We might say something in defense of those here listed as doing evil. Many of them are heathen who know not God, whose eyes of understanding have never opened to a knowledge of the grace of God in Christ, and the hope there is before them of eternal life through the precious blood.

Many of this class even in civilized lands could have something said in their behalf, as, for instance, that, although they have heard something respecting God and the Redeemer, what they have heard has not been good tidings of great joy to all people, but in the main the very reverse – bad tidings of great misery for all people. They have thus been deceived by the confusion which abounds in all the creeds of Christendom on this subject, as the Lord declares through the Prophet, "Their fear toward me is not of me but is taught by the precepts of men." Isa. 29:13 [NS317] Moreover the entire race is mentally, morally and physically impaired through the fall, and God alone knows how to make proper allowances for these conditions as they bear upon the various members of our race. It is for this reason that he warns us that we shall not attempt a final judgment of one another, "Judge nothing before the time." (1 Cor. 4:5)

When God's time shall come another judgment will be effected, no room for doubt will be left; every member of our race shall come to a clear knowledge of the Truth, that he may be saved, or, rejecting it, he may be destroyed from amongst the people in the Second Death. Acts 3:23

The National Labor Tribune, March 18, 1906


Wheeling, W. Va., March 18 – Pastor C. T. Russell addressed large audiences here today. His 3:00 p.m. discourse on the celebrated Cure for Infidelity – "Hope for Many in the Resurrection of Damnation," previously reported.

His evening discourse, which we report below, was from the text, "Bind him hand and foot and cast him into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called but few are chosen." Matt. 22:13, 14

The expression, "weeping and gnashing of teeth," occurs altogether seven times in the New Testament. To the average mind, filled from childhood with thoughts of devils and pitchforks, flames and torture, the expression includes all of these at a glance, and is taken as an endorsement of the doctrine of the eternal torment of all who do not become saints. And yet we are all familiar with weeping and wailing, as the poet has expressed it. "Now the world is full of suffering, Sounds of woe fall on our ears."

It is the "gnashing of teeth" that seems to be the unusual feature. What in this expression, looked at with deliberation, indicates eternal torture? True it is not a common expression in our day, but we can readily see that it signifies chagrin, disappointment. We have the same phrase used elsewhere in the Scriptures, not as representing a future torment either, but by men in the present life. For instance, when Stephen, the first Christian martyr, preached to his opponents, we read – "When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth." [Acts 7:54]

The expression, "gnashed on him with their teeth," is evidently no more of a figurative expression than the associated one, "they were cut to the heart."

The meaning is evident: they were angered, vexed, chagrinned, and manifested their feelings outwardly. Evidently we should not attach any other than this correct meaning to the words of our text, and any other analogous statement. On this occasion we will examine carefully, with the context, three of the occurrences of the words "weeping and gnashing of teeth."

We begin with our text, which is a part of the parable of the King's marriage feast. This parable represents the work of this gospel age – the period between the first advent of our Lord and his second advent. The privilege of being participants in the Kingdom is figuratively represented by participation in a feast. The heavenly Father had planned this feast, and during the Jewish age had, through the law and the prophets, informed Israel, his friends, of his intention to have such a feast – that he would in due time establish his kingdom, and that they should have the first invitations. When the due time was come, at the first advent of Christ, the message went forth to the Jewish nation, "Come to the feast, for all things are now ready."

This parable shows how the people of Israel made light of the matter, and refused and neglected to avail themselves of the opportunities first offered to them. Some made excuses of being too busy with other affairs, while others beat the King's servants shamefully and killed them – a prophetic statement of how the Lord and his apostles would be mistreated and killed by the Jews who said, "His blood be upon us and upon our children." [Matt. 27:25]

As this parable shows, the great King, the Almighty, took them at their word, and destroyed them as a nation and burned their city. The King, the Almighty, then said to his servants, "The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden are not worthy – as a whole, a nation." [Matt. 22:8]

The worthy ones of that nation were not rejected – "as many as received him to them gave he power to become the sons of God." (John 1:12)

The King then sent the servants into the highways to bid any and everybody come to the marriage feast. This represents the breadth of the gospel invitation, which recognizes neither Jew nor Greek, Barbarian nor Scythian, bond nor free, male nor female, but includes all who will accept the call with a true heart when they hear it. The parable, however, does not teach that all [NS318] heard the invitation to the feast, and the facts of history demonstrate that the servants of the great King have not succeeded in reaching the ears of any but a comparatively small proportion of humanity. We rejoice to know from the Scriptures that the Lord has another feast of fat things for all nations, which he is about to spread for them during the Millennial Age. We rejoice in the assurance that in connection with their feast the knowledge shall be world wide and ocean deep. On the other hand, the Kingdom feast now proclaimed is intended only to gather a little flock, who, by the grace of God through faith in Jesus as their Redeemer, and their obedience to his instructions, are privileged to become heirs of God, joint-heirs with Jesus Christ our Lord in that Kingdom-participants in that great feast.


The number of guests was limited – it was the same number originally intended when the offer was made to the Jews alone, 144,000. The remnant of the Jewish nation found worthy to be guests, augmented by the calling done during this gospel age, and restricted by the narrowness of the way, will accomplish this work of finding the predestinated guests at this feast. The predestinated number will surely constitute the "body of Christ," the elect Church. The particular point of the parable claiming our attention at this time occurred at its close, after the full complement of guests had been found – hence in the end of this gospel age, in the "harvest" time of this age.

It was when the supper was about to be served that the King came in to inspect the guests, to determine that they were of such as he could approve. The King here we understand to represent our Lord Jesus at his second advent, making inspection of those about to become his bride and joint-heirs in the Kingdom. This thought of inspection at the end of this gospel age is everywhere made prominent in our Lord's teachings; for instance, in the parable of the net after it was full it was drawn to shore, and the suitable fish were gathered out, separated. In the parable of the wheat and tares, in the harvest time the wheat was separated from the tares and gathered into the barn.

In the harvest time, in the parable of the virgins, the wise were separated from the foolish and entered into the marriage. In the parable of the pounds and talents the king returned before taking his Kingdom, reckoned with his servants, chastised unfaithful ones and rewarded the faithful variously with dominion over two cities, five cities, etc.


In olden times at such a feast given by a king it was the custom for the host to provide a wedding-robe for each guest. Thus all appear alike – on one plane, whether rich or poor. So the Lord has provided for all who accept his invitation to the great feast a robe of Christ's righteousness, which covers all of our natural blemishes and imperfections which we repudiate and are seeking to avoid. This robe is the free gift of our bridegroom, our host.

The wearing of it signifies our acknowledgment of our unworthiness of his favor, and our acceptance of the blessings we enjoy as of his grace. In the parable a guest was found without a wedding garment, contrary to the rules of such a feast. The King in kindly manner inquired where the fault lay that he was without the garment – was it the fault of the servants, who had neglected to give him the garment or had admitted him without? Assuredly not! Or was it the fault of the guest in having received the garment and by it gained entrance, and then had removed and discarded that garment, preferring his own, thus slighting his gracious and hospitable King? Evidently it was the latter, because the guest was speechless – he could make no defense, he was guilty.

The fulfillment of this feature of the parable is not difficult to find in this day, in which so many of those who once trusted in the merit of the precious blood of Christ as their robe of righteousness, covering of their imperfections, are discarding it. How frequently we all take note of the fact that professed ministers of Christ and teachers of his flock, as well as agnostics, declare that while they accept Jesus as a teacher they totally reject the covering of his robe of merit – the imputation of his righteousness as the offset of their inherited imperfections. Alas that the one represented in the parable finds so many illustrations in fact in our day. Alas, too, that those who deny that the Lord bought them (2 Pet. 2:1) include so many of the noble and well educated. Another testimony, however, is that not many wise, or great or learned, according to the course of this world, will be found ultimately in the Lord's little flock, who shall be heirs of the kingdom. Luke 12:32


In the parable the guest who did not appreciate the robe provided was rejected from permission to share in the feast. The fulfilment of this part of the parable here signifies that those who reject the value of Christ's sacrifice, "a ransom (a corresponding price) for all" (1 Tim. 2:6) will be rejected of the Lord, and can not occupy any place in the Kingdom, whatever other blessings they may or may not get at the hands of the great King to whose grace they do despite. Again, in the parable, the expression outer darkness" is in harmony with the declaration that the feast is a supper, and also conveys the thought that the [NS319] room in which the guests were assembled awaiting the supper was brilliantly lighted, making the outer darkness the greater contrast. The application of this to the present time would be that now in the end of this age much light is shining from the divine Word, our lamp, upon all who have knowledge of the Kingdom, who have accepted of its invitation, who recognize the parousia (presence) of the King, and are awaiting the inauguration of the Kingdom. Amongst these guests we must look for the one without the wedding garment. We need not look for him amongst those who are in the outer darkness and have not seen the inner light of the feast.

The casting into outer darkness evidently signifies that those who reject our Lord as their saviour, their redeemer, their ransomer can not remain in the light – they must go into the outer darkness respecting these subjects, into the condition common to the whole world of mankind. The statement bind him hand and foot implies that such may desire to resist and have a preference for the light but that none will be permitted to enjoy it except those appreciating the robe of Christ's righteousness and wearing it.


As we have already seen, nothing in these simple words necessarily implies eternal torment, or any other kind of suffering or disappointment than such as is frequently experienced amongst men in the present life. But various Scriptures show us that, following the inauguration of the Kingdom of God's dear son, when all the elect shall have experienced the change of the first resurrection and entered into glory, there will forthwith follow in the world "a time of trouble such as was not since there was a nation." Dan. 12:1

We have seen on previous occasions that this trouble is referred to as a shaking of the earth, the social structure, in its financial, social, political relationships, and that it is also a time of the shaking of the heavens, the shaking of religious institutions. It will be in that time that the guest without a wedding garment will have his weeping and gnashing of teeth, his disappointment, his chagrin, when he perceives the fall of human organizations called churches, and that many things highly esteemed amongst man were an abomination in the sight of the Lord. What could be simpler than this interpretation of this parable? Can any one give a different interpretation and show that weeping and gnashing of teeth in outer darkness refers to eternal torment? They can not, we challenge them to do so. Our Lord's use of these words, "weeping and gnashing of teeth," in Matt. 8:12, is evidently the same as that recorded in Luke 13:28; hence we consider these two statements as though they were one.

Luke's account is the more elaborate; hence we follow it. Our Lord, teaching the Jews, said, "Strive to enter in at the strait gate (the narrow door), for many I say unto you will strive to enter in and shall not be able, when once the master of the house has risen up and hath shut the door."

This may be understood to refer to the closing of the door of Israel's favor eighteen centuries ago. Undoubtedly, as the Jewish nation began to find the troublous times coming upon them which ultimately destroyed their national polity, many of them began to seek afresh for the Kingdom taught by Jesus; but it was too late for them to return to divine favor as a nation and to receive the chief blessings of the Kingdom privileges. As the Apostle declares "Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for, but the election obtained it and the rest were blinded." Rom. 11:7


On the other hand, we may understand these Scriptures as applying to a class in the end of this age, at the second coming of Christ, similar in many respects to the class which he dealt with at his first advent, not ready for the Kingdom as those were not ready. Both views are true to the facts and to the Scriptures, though the latter fits to some further details. It illustrates that not all who say "Lord, Lord," will enter into the Kingdom – constitute the Kingdom class. Nay, verily: the Lord is choosing a "little flock" of very zealous ones for joint-heirship with his Son. Again, another says, "Have we not in thy name cast out devils and done many wonderful works?" [Matt. 7:22]

The implication would be that at our Lord's second advent, when inspecting those who professed to be his followers, some would be found to be very prominent, very confident, very boastful, whom he would not be willing to acknowledge as his bride. Perhaps some of them will be found very busily engaged in building up Babylon in some of its wards or denominations, but neglecting the divine Word and their own character building. They evidently think well of themselves, and remind us of the Lord's declaration that many things highly esteemed amongst men are abominations in the sight of God. We believe that sectarianism is one of these abominations by which many are deceiving themselves. When the last member of the Gospel Church, the elect little flock, shall have been secured, taught, tested, approved and received to glory, the door will be shut. Not the door of mercy, thank God! but nevertheless a door – the door of opportunity of entering into and becoming members of the Kingdom class, the elect Church. This door is distinctly referred to in the parable of the ten virgins. When the wise virgins had all entered into the marriage feast, "the door was shut," and no appeal for entrance could be entertained. For [NS320] none but the wise virgins could comprise the bride class, though the foolish virgins, made wise by getting the oil they previously lacked, will surely have a good portion of blessing on a lower plane than the bride, as shown by the Scriptures. This is the same thought represented in the passage under consideration. These foolish virgins are the ones "who will seek to enter in and shall not be able when once the master of the house has risen to shut the door." [Luke 13:25]

How evidently this is a class in the end of this gospel age who will share in the great wave of trouble which will engulf the whole world directly after the Church shall have been glorified. Many will then begin to understand what they are not able to appreciate now because of pride and self-will: they will understand that the Kingdom class has been made up, that they are thrust out of the honors and dignities represented in the gracious call of this gospel age.

Thank God, although they shall have weeping and gnashing of teeth, great disappointment and chagrin respecting their loss, and although that loss will be an irretrievable one, and although that door they failed to enter will not open again, yet in the divine plan all the families of the earth are to be blessed by the glorified Christ, and a wave of blessing will sweep over the earth, ocean deep, following the wave of trouble whose anguish caused the gnashing of teeth. How evidently there is no foundation in any of these Scriptures considered upon which to build a theory of eternal torment. The theory was conceived in darkness and malevolence of spirit by those who were far from possessing the spirit of God, the spirit of holiness, the spirit of truth, and it has descended to us as the "tradition of the ancients" from the "dark ages."

As our minds are released from the incubus of this hoary error, and as we find that the Scriptures do not support it, all the true hearted of the Lord's virgins, of the proper guests at the feast, will rejoice, and will love and praise and serve their Redeemer and Lord with increased joy, and more and more realize in their hearts "the peace of God which passeth all understanding." [Phil. 4:7]

The Lord willing, we will next Sunday continue this subject, examining other texts containing these words, "weeping and gnashing of teeth." Our text will be Matt. 25:30 – "Cast ye the unprofitable servants into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

It will be reported in the National Labor Tribune.

The National Labor Tribune, April 15, 1906


"If Christ be not risen our preaching is vain, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they that are fallen asleep in Christ are perished." 1 Cor. 15:14-18 Akron, O., April 15. – Pastor C. T. Russell, of Allegheny, Pa., preached here to-day twice. His afternoon topic was his anti-infidel discourse on "To Hell and Back," especially adapted to the Easter occasion. We report his Sunday morning discourse from two texts. "He is not here, he is risen." (Luke 24:6 with 1 Cor. 15:14-18)

The speaker said: The resurrection of Christ, indeed the entire subject of the resurrection of the dead, receives far less attention from believers than it deserves. It has measurably lost its importance to Christendom in general because of the almost universal reception of the heathen theory that death is not death, but merely a transition from a lower condition of life to a higher one, as from a vestibule into a house proper, from a temporary experience into a permanent one. But the Scriptures set forth the resurrection in a very different light from this. They declare that death is a reality, that the dead know not anything, that it affects not merely the body but the soul – "The soul that sinneth it shall die." (Eze. 18:4)

In the case of our Lord it is distinctly stated that his soul died and that his soul rose from the dead. We quote the Prophet: "He poured out his soul unto death," "he made his soul an offering for sin." (Isa. 53:10, 12)

Again, "His soul was not left in hell" – sheol, hades, the state of death, the tomb – "He rose from the dead on the third day." Acts 2:31


From this standpoint the resurrection of the Lord, of which to-day is the generally celebrated anniversary, was and is the most important event in the world's history, for upon that event hangs every element of Christian faith. The Apostle admits this in so many words in our text, saying that if Christ be not risen we are yet in our sins, the dead have perished, Christian preaching is bearing false witness. The Apostle evidently gave full weight to the doctrine of the resurrection. He staked his all upon it, and taught all believers so to regard it. His words imply a good many things quite opposed to the ordinary thought of to-day: for instance, with the thought that a resurrection is quite unnecessary, that death is merely [NS321] a change from a lower plane of life to a higher one. What sense would there be in the Apostle's words that all preaching is vain if Christ did not rise from the dead? With the ordinary thought in mind what could he mean by saying that the dead in Christ were perished? How could they be perished if they had passed into heavenly glory?

What effect would the non-resurrection of Jesus have from that standpoint? How would all the faith and hope of Christians be negated, nullified, if Christ did not rise from the dead? Surely the Apostle's words could have no reasonable, sensible meaning when viewed in the light of the common error that death is a mere transition to a higher state of life. But when we view death from the Scriptural standpoint, what meaning, what force there is in the Apostle's words. The whole world of mankind is dead or dying because of the original sin, death being the penalty or wage of that transaction, shared by all of Adam's posterity as well as by himself.

Under this penalty nearly 20,000,000,000 of humanity have been born and, with varying periods of experience, have sunk down into death, and those that we now call alive are really ninety-nine parts dead, and dying at the rate of 90,000 a day. There is no hope for a future life for any of all this vast multitude except by a resurrection, and there could be no resurrection unless first the ransom price for their sins, the Adamic sin, were paid. Our Redeemer was manifested in the flesh that he might destroy death and him that hath the power of death – that is, the devil. (Heb. 2:14)

Evidently this death had not been destroyed nor the power of the Adversary checked up to the time that our Redeemer came, over 4,000 years after the creation. Nearly 2,000 years have since elapsed, and we see that death is not yet destroyed. On the contrary, it still holds the human family in the great prison-house of death, of the tomb, sheol, hades, and Satan, who has the power of death, is still unbound. We sometimes declare that the death of Jesus was the very hub, the center, of the divine plan upon which depends and around which revolves every other feature of divine grace. We still hold to this thought, but draw attention to the fact that in many respects our Lord's resurrection was no less important. His death indeed was necessary as our redemption price – a propitiation for the sins of the whole world." (1 John 2:2)

But even though the worlds sins were all cancelled, that would be insufficient: more would be necessary. He who bought the world with his precious blood must live again in order to wholly restore, revive, uplift from sin-and-death conditions. A Savior who would die in the midst of redeeming could not profit the race. The first part of the Redeemer's work was to satisfy the demands of Justice against the race, so that God could be just and yet the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus; but the second part of his work is equally important to us, namely, the application to mankind of the benefits secured by his sacrifice.

As we have already noticed, the dead world knows nothing of the blessing that God has in store for it. Only a comparatively small number of the race have yet even heard of the grace of God in Christ, that the redemption price has been paid, and that in due time the great Redeemer will come again to complete the work – to awaken, revive, restore and bring up to full perfection, if they will, all the families of the earth, all for whom the precious sacrifice was made. We inquire, Why the long delay?

Already over eighteen centuries has the world waited since the Saviour was born, was touched with the feeling of our infirmities and tasted death for every man. Why has he not long ago come to bestow the blessing secured by his sacrifice, to revive the sleeping ones, to give beauty for ashes and the oil of joy for the spirit of heaviness? Why does he still permit the world to groan and travail in pain and sorrow and death? Has the plan of God miscarried? Has it been changed or altered or amended? What reason can we assign for this long delay? The Scriptures alone answer this question, and tell us that before beginning the work of blessing and reviving the world, before beginning the work of the Millennial Kingdom – the restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began – the Lord is taking out in advance a peculiar people, a little flock, the elect. They tell us that the election of these will ultimately accrue to the blessing of the non-elect, the world in general, all the families of the earth. (Acts 15:14; Gal. 3:8, 9)

They tell us that the elect are the specially chosen, called in the Scriptures the seed of Abraham, of whom Jesus is the Head and all of his faithful followers members of his body. To this seed pertains the promise made to Abraham – "In thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." [Gen. 28:14]

So, then, the delay between the time of our Lord's redeeming the world, raising them out of sin-and-death conditions, up, up, up to the full perfection that was lost in Adam through disobedience, is on account of this work of selecting the seed of Abraham; and the Lord through the Apostle declares to the faithful believers and followers of Jesus, "If ye be Christ's then are ye Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise" – the promise to bless all the families of the earth through this seed. Gal. 3:29 [NS322]

From this standpoint, dear friends, the Scriptural standpoint, how important a matter was the resurrection of Jesus. Without it all these hopes would be in vain; there could be no selection of a Church under a dead head; there could be no gathering together unto him; there could be no second advent in glory; there could be no Millennial reign for the blessing of all the world. Without the resurrection of Jesus, the seed of Abraham through whom the blessing was to come would have been non-existent, and the oath-bound promise of God would have been a complete failure. Can we wonder then that the Scriptures everywhere lay such stress upon this great fact of history? that they elaborate the accounts of how he was seen first by the women mentioned in our text, and subsequently by the others of the apostleship and by five hundred brethren of the household of faith, and finally by the Apostle Paul also, by a miracle?

As one of the apostles declared, he showed himself to his apostles after his resurrection by many infallible proofs – proofs that were indisputable. The entire narrative of our Lord's ministry, death and resurrection is substantiated thoroughly by other events of history. Those who recorded the incidents declared themselves ignorant and unlearned men. They evidently were not striving for self-exaltation but were merely speaking forth words of truth and soberness – telling an unvarnished tale which evidently they thoroughly believed themselves. Their espousal of the Lord's cause did not bring them honor of men or wealth or social position, but the contrary of all these, mockings, scourgings, severe trials of many kinds – Yea, writes one, on account of him I have suffered the loss of all things; yea, do count them as loss and dross that I may win a place in the anointed body. (Philip. 3:7-9)

They had everything to lose, nothing to gain by choosing the standard of the Nazarene. And although it be admitted that they were unlearned in worldly wisdom, it can not be claimed that they were stupid men. Their writings are clear, terse, logical and pointed, and give evidence that they were not merely credulous nor merely stupid. Indeed they must have been far above the average as respects natural intelligence, however unpolished so far as earthly schooling was concerned.


In every way the particularity of their detailed statements commended themselves. They record the Master's own words that they were foolish, slow of heart to believe what he had previously told them respecting his resurrection. They told how they were perplexed at the remarkable experiences of that first Easter Sunday: instead of remembering that the Master had said that he would rise from the dead on the third day they forgot all this. The women went with spices to embalm the body as soon as the Sabbath was past.

The disciples, when the women explained to them that an angel messenger had announced the Lord's resurrection, instead of believing were incredulous. Forgetting entirely the Master's words, they evidently had no expectation of a resurrection: the conviction was forced upon them by the experiences they underwent. The risen Lord walked with two of them to a nearby village, veiled from their recognition by garb, manners and speech, which hindered them from recognizing him, even though they marveled while their hearts burned by the way as he recounted to them the necessity for his death, and how this had all been foretold by the prophets, and that also it was necessary and in harmony with the prophets that he should rise on the third day. Then revealing himself to them he instantly vanished from their sight. He gave them an evidence of his resurrection and at the same time an evidence of his "change."

Later he appeared in the upper room where the disciples were gathered discussing the events of the day and of the three days previous, and querying each other respecting whether or not the rage of the priests and Pharisees might extend also to themselves, and with the doors closed and fastened for fear of the Jews. Suddenly in their midst stood Jesus saying, "Peace by unto you," calming their fears and assuring them of his resurrection, proving to them that they were not seeing a phantom, that it was no imagination of their minds; that he had appeared in a physical, tangible form similar to his previous appearances, and although he had come in without the opening of the doors, "the door being shut," nevertheless he had a body of flesh and bones. He demonstrated this by eating some fish and some honeycomb, and when their fears were somewhat allayed he expounded to them the divine plan further, and then vanished as instantly as he had come, the doors still being shut.


The Scriptures assure us that the Lord remained with his followers for forty days: they were visible to him but for the most part he was invisible to them. They saw him not except as he occasionally "manifested himself."

These appearances, so far as the record goes, would appear to have been about eight times, all told – possibly less than this number, as the different evangelists may have recorded the same events in slightly different language. Apparently all of one-half of these appearances were on the day of our [NS323] Lord's resurrection. Throughout the entire week following they waited, hoping to see him again, hoping for some further manifestation, but were disappointed; but on the next first day of the week, when they had come together, Thomas being with them, Jesus again appeared as before in the upper room, the doors being shut, and proffered to Thomas the very proofs which he demanded – to put his fingers in the print of the nails and to thrust his hand into the wounded side. The flesh, the wounds, were all there, even though the doors were shut. It is not possible for us to comprehend the power which can create and dissolve human bodies, but we have abundant evidence along this line. Did not the angels of old appear and then vanish? Did not our Lord and two angels appear to Abraham ere they went down to Sodom? And thus it was with our Lord. As the Apostle declared, he was put to death in flesh, the was quickened in the spirit – "sown an animal body, raised a spiritual body; sown in weakness, raised in power." (1 Cor. 15:44)

The resurrected Jesus, actually a spirit being, invisible to men, appeared in various forms to his followers for the purpose of convincing them, first, that he was no longer dead but alive, and secondly, that he was no longer flesh but spirit, able to take on any form he might desire; even as the "angel of the Lord" had appeared in previous dispensations, as man or as the burning bush, as occasion made suitable. Only eight days of the forty had passed, another week of waiting and hoping to see the Master, another first day of the week, with almost sure conviction that the Lord would appear to them again on this first day of the week as on the two previous occasions.

But with the third Sunday they saw him not; they were more disappointed than ever. What could it mean that he who before was with them daily was so changed that he had almost deserted them? They knew not what to do – they would wait a little longer; peradventure he might reveal himself again, perhaps on the next Sunday, and perhaps on that occasion he would tell them what should be their future course. But, no! another week passed and no manifestation, a fourth Sunday and nothing seen! Matters were getting desperate. The disciples were Galileans, away from home.

Their work as missionaries of the Kingdom of God was at an end, because the King himself had died; and even though they believed he had risen from the dead they knew not how to apply this great act nor what to expect nor what to do or say, Simon Peter said to the others, "I go a fishing" – I will return to the fishing business; choose you for yourselves what you will do; there is no propriety in our staying here without aim or object. James and John, members of the old firm, responded that their sentiments were the same, that they also would re-enter the fishing business. What the others proposed to do we are not informed. Another week passed. The three had gone into the fishing business; probably some of the others had joined them though quite possibly they had gone to their various homes, with a view to re-entering upon the duties of life as before their call to be the special messengers and apostles of Jesus.


All those days and weeks the Master was present frequently with them unseen. He heard their conversations, knew their plans, and purposely allowed them to go to the very extreme of disappointment and perplexity. Thus he would impress upon them more thoroughly, more lastingly than in any other way, the lesson he wished them to learn. The leaders amongst the apostles had gone into the fishing business, as we have seen and Jesus waited for the opportune moment of giving the signal of his presence – important especially to those through whom it would be forcefully communicated to the others.

He was with them as they sailed all night and caught nothing, and as they talked together respecting their ill success and wondered whether matters had so changed that even the fish did not come to their nets, and why God had permitted them to pass through such peculiar experiences, such great disappointments in respect to Messiah, and their hopes of sitting with him in his throne in his Kingdom and be associated with him in the blessing of all the families of the earth. Then Jesus again assumed a human form and human clothing, that of a stranger, and standing upon the shore he called to them inquiring if they had any fish, as though he would purchase.

They replied that they had caught nothing. The stranger then suggested that they cast their nets on the other side of the boat, and in their perplexity they followed his suggestion, apparently without even so much as thinking that the boat while at anchor had been turning this side and that all through the night. But no sooner was the net down than it was full of large fishes, whose weight was too great for the net. Peter at once jumped to the conclusion that the stranger must be the Lord, manifesting himself now in a different form: once a gardener, another time a wayfarer, another time in a body such as they had previously known, now again a stranger on the shore – it must be Jesus, it could be no other, who else had the power? Was not this the very miracle he performed for them when he called them first to be his disciples? Convinced that it was the Lord, not by wounds or features or voice or clothing, but by a miracle, Peter could not wait until the boat [NS324] would come to shore but swam to land to be as soon as possible near his Lord. The others speedily came, and yet they did not ask him – they knew it was the Lord, in the same way that in the vision of Moses and Elijah they had known them; and so we read, "None of them durst ask him, knowing that it was the Lord." [John 21:12]

None of them thought of asking him, the proof was so positive, so conclusive.


They now had the lesson which the Master intended them to learn, namely, that while without his blessing they might have no fish at all, with his blessing they could have a large catch; but more than this, they found when they reached him on the shore that not only had he fish but he had a fire also, and that the fish had been cooked, and so they became his guests.


to them was that he was their sufficiency as respected all the temporalities of life, and more – that he could provide for them such things as they had need of and would do so. After this lesson had silently been learned by all, the Lord addressed Peter, and indirectly the others, reminding them of how they had become his disciples and had forsaken the fishing business that he might make them fishers of men. The Lord would show them that in no sense had that commission expired, that they were still his ambassadors and mouthpieces to do a great work in his name, that the work instead of being ended by his death was really only beginning. His language to Peter then was all the more convincing as to who he was – "Simon, son of Jonas, Lovest thou me more than these? – more than these boats and nets and fishes?" Simon answered, "Lord, thou knowest that I love thee."

Jesus answered, "Feed my sheep."

Again Jesus put the same question, again Peter answered similarly, and our Lord said, "Feed my lambs."

A third time the Lord asked the same question, and Peter, filled with grief, probably remembered that three times he had denied his Master. In this gentle way did the Lord reprove the one who in weakness and under strong temptation had denied him with oaths and curses. What a lesson of our Master's greatness and forbearance, what a lesson to us in respect to our dealings with others overtaken in a fault! It is not strange that Peter was grieved as he remembered this, and almost broken hearted he cried, "Lord, thou knowest all things, thou knowest that I love thee."

This lesson taught, the Master again vanished from them, but left information respecting a definite time and place where he would meet them again, to which point all the believers could be gathered. Respecting this last appointed meeting the Apostle Paul writes that he was seen of above 500 brethren at that time.

A few days later his chosen eleven, probably by appointment, met him on the Mount of Olives, and after a very few words with them he was parted from them and ascended into the heavens, a cloud receiving him from their sight. This was the closing of the important work of instructing those whom he had already commissioned to be his representatives in respect to his resurrection and his change. Why did he appear to ascend to heaven in a body of flesh? We answer that when he was present with them without a body of flesh they saw him not at all, and if he had failed any further to manifest himself they would have been confused, would not have known of his ascension to heaven. Hence his appearing in a body of flesh on this occasion, and ascending into heaven in such a body until the cloud had enveloped him, was a lesson to his followers, the best lesson possible for him to give them under the conditions.

He could not tell them of spiritual things because they were not yet begotten of the Spirit, and could not be until after he should have ascended up on high and had appeared for them in the presence of God, making atonement for their sins, that God might be just and yet the justifier of them that believe, and might give them the spirit of adoption. That which our Lord could not have done through words, explanation, he did accomplish by the outward appearing and the lessons associated with the disappearance. To this was added the words of the angels who then appeared to them, saying, "Ye sons of Galilee, why stand ye here gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." (Acts 1:11)

Not with a great trumpet blast, not with a great commotion, not visible to the whole world, but as he went away – quietly, secretly, unknown to the world, his going known only to his faithful followers. And so at his second coming it will be only his faithful followers will be aware of his presence, for so far as the world is concerned he will come as a thief, quietly, stealthily, unknown to them.


Thomas, who doubted our Lord's resurrection, represented a class of the Lord's followers down through the age who are so constituted mentally as to require more proofs than do some of his followers; but the Lord in compassion furnished Thomas with the necessary proofs because of his sincerity, and those very proofs have been a help to the Lord's followers throughout the age. His words to him apply to all, "Be not faithless but believing."

It is necessary that we believe in our Lord's resurrection promise, as we have [NS325] already seen in the types that everything rests upon that great fact. To some of you who read my discourses every week I remark that I shall be following up this subject of the resurrection of Jesus, and its relationship to the divine plan, in the next Sunday's published discourse; but meantime I wish to remind you that what we have just seen respecting the sincerity of the apostles, the simplicity of the narrative and the reasonableness of the entire matter as the logical outworkings of the divine plan – all these matters are corroborated and supplemented by the law and the prophets, which not only foretold our Lord's first advent, its object, its sacrifice, but also pointed out his resurrection as the first-fruits of them that slept; and, further, that he in due time will assume the control of the world as Messiah, and during his Millennial reign will bless all the people with the glorious opportunities of return to divine favor and God-likeness as a result of his great redemptive work.

We who now have eyes to see, ears to hear this wonderful grace of God, "What manner of persons ought we to be in all holy living and godliness?" In view of the gracious promises that we may be associated with our Redeemer in his Kingdom, how gladly should we take the trials and difficulties, the testings, all the experiences which the Lord sees fit to permit to come to us.


In His due time, O blessed Jesus, Thou shalt see The travail of Thy soul, and shalt Be satisfied eternally; Thine agony on Calvary; – the price that Thou didst give, Shall cause the dead again to live!

April 22, 1906 Republished from The National Labor Tribune, April 10, 1918


WASHINGTON, D. C., April 22, 1906 – Pastor C. T. Russell preached twice here today. One discourse was his cure for infidelity – "To Hell and Back. Who are There. Hope for the Recovery of many of them by a Judgment Resurrection."

We report the evening discourse from the text, "If ye then be risen with Christ seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affections on things above, not on things of the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God." Col 3:3

In our published discourse of last Sunday (for I know many of you follow these discourses in the public prints) we considered the general fact of our Lord's resurrection – that it was well attested, not only by the testimony of the apostles and the harmony between their testimony but by the typical and prophetic teachings. Today we look at the matter from another standpoint, and note that the doctrine of the resurrection of Jesus, and the hope of believers in a risen Savior who would come again in due time for their deliverance, became a fundamental in the Christian faith. It entered into all the philosophy of the plan of salvation. For instance, in our text the Apostle points out that the true followers of Christ reckonedly die to earthly aims, hopes and ambitions, sinful pleasures, etc., and reckonedly arise from a dead condition to newness of life as New Creatures in Christ Jesus, "risen with him to walk in newness of life." [Rom. 6:4]

To these "old things have passed away, all things have become new." [2 Cor. 5:17]

All of their interests, hopes and aims are indissolubly linked with the resurrection of Jesus and his exaltation to the heavenly kingdom, spiritual condition, and their hope, their aim, their endeavor is to live in the world as not of the world, as dead to the world and its interests and affairs, and alive toward God and the spiritual interests and heavenly promises through Jesus Christ. Not that the Apostles taught that this reckoned death and reckoned resurrection are sufficient. On the contrary their teaching was that this reckoned state must be maintained until the actual state is reached. For instance, the follower of Christ who makes a full consecration of his life unto death not only reckoned himself dead unto the world and to sin and reckoned himself alive toward God as though risen from the dead, but he must maintain this condition until actual death shall finish and complete the reckoned state; and [NS326] his hope is that the resurrection of the new mind in the present life is but the precursor, the preparation, for the actual resurrection of the dead at the second coming of the Redeemer. Hence it was that the Apostles were continually exhorting the Church to stand steadfast, waiting for the grace, the favor, that shall be brought unto you at the revelation of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ – at his second coming. (1 Pet. 1:13)

Again, he says that we should hope unto the end, unto the completion, until that which is perfect shall have come, until the actual glory, honor and immortality shall have taken the place of the reckoned conditions, "changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye." [1 Cor. 15:52]


Under the guidance of the holy Spirit the apostle introduced the Church to a new view of baptism, different from that which had been promulgated amongst the Jews by John the Baptist.

The latter signified merely the washing away of the filth of the flesh, and symbolized thereby a return so far as possible to righteous living, in harmony with Moses; but the new and different thought in baptism, introduced after Pentecost and especially applicable to all Gentiles who accept Christ, was that it was a symbol of the death and burial of their human will into the will of Christ, that in the water, symbolically, they were immersed into death – dead to the world, dead to sin, dead to self, dead to earthly ambition, and from the water they were raised up to walk in newness of life, not after the flesh but after the spirit, seeking those things which are above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God.

Thus the Apostle declares that believers are buried with him (Christ) in baptism, wherein ye are also risen with him through faith in the operation of God, who raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins, in the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened (made alive, resurrected) together with him, having forgiven you all your trespasses. Col 2:12, 13 The Apostle again in his letter to the Romans (6:3-5)

similarly defines the meaning of baptism, explaining that believers are immersed, buried into Christ; that in a sense each one so buried loses his own individuality and self-control and becomes merged into the body of Christ as a member thereof; that the method by which he is thus inducted into the body of Christ, with its privileges and favors, is through his voluntary baptism into death, his consecration of his heart, his will, his all to the Lord, to be dead so far as earthly interests and affairs are concerned.

The Apostle proceeds to explain that the object of this reckoned dying and reckoned burial into Christ is that we may be reckoned as members of his body and reckonedly live a new life thenceforth as though we had risen from the dead, glorifying our Father in heaven. He assures us that those who are faithful to the significations of this baptism into death will be in the Lord's likeness actually by and by in the resurrection, the First Resurrection, of which it is written, "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the First Resurrection: on such the Second Death hath no power, but they shall he kings and priests unto God and shall reign with him a thousand years." Rev. 20:6


In however different forms the Apostle presents the hopes of the Church as respects the transformation from sin-and-death conditions, to holiness and life conditions, he always maintains the same general thought, namely, that we became reckonedly dead to the earthly interests, service, hopes and aims, and simultaneously became more and more alive toward God and the holy things, until this changing process – begun in the present life and maintained until death – shall be finished in the actual resurrection of the Church described by the Apostle (1 Cor. 15:42-44) – "So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption; it is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body."

This changing process the apostles tell us is accomplished by the spirit of the Lord. The moment of full consecration to death – the moment of baptism into his death – is for such the moment of begetting to newness of life; the moment of quickening and anointing with the holy Spirit is the moment of resurrection from the former dead condition to walk in newness of life. Then in proportion as the holy Spirit dwells in the Lord's people and abounds in them in that same proportion will the change progress from glory to glory in the image of their Lord. This is not a fleshly image – the flesh is reckoned dead: it is a heart likeness or image that is begotten and that is developed at the expense of the will of the flesh, but, mortifying it, he walks after the Spirit. He follows the example and spirit of the Lord's Word diligently, that he may attain unto the glorious perfection to which he has been invited, and which will be granted to the faithful early in the Millennial morning, in the actual resurrection.

The world is reckoned as dead because of sin and its sentence of death, but the Christian is reckoned as alive toward God through Jesus Christ – through faith in his finished sacrifice – that faith being tested by their acceptance of the divine invitation to become living sacrifices with Christ and reckonedly New Creatures in him. We have already pointed out that this is not a renewing of the flesh but of the spirit, the mind, the will, [NS327] and that henceforth the world knoweth us not, as it knew him not. The world, judging according to the flesh, may see some who are not the Lord's people that have inherited proportionately less of evil effects of the fall, and, contrasting these with some of the more fallen ones who have accepted Christ, they may fancy that some of the world are superior to some who are of the Church.

But the Lord looketh not on the outward appearance merely, but chiefly at the heart – the will, the intention. Those who have consecrated their all to the Lord and who are doing their best in warring a good warfare against the weaknesses of their flesh have the divine approval, while those who have not thus made a consecration to the Lord and become dead to sin have not the divine approval, even though they have inherited less depraved bodies. Herein behold the grandeur of the divine arrangement, whereby the weakest and most depraved is put upon equal footing of opportunity for the attainment of the Kingdom with those who are more favored according to the flesh. As the Apostle explains, where sin abounds there grace so much more abounds – the Lord's provision for each through Jesus is according to the necessity of each, and his acceptance of us in him is according to our sincerity and wholeheartedness.

As we have already seen, our mortal bodies are to die – indeed they are reckoned dead at the moment of consecration, and continue to be so reckoned until they actually die. And there is no hope of the resurrection of the mortal bodies of the Church. On the contrary, as already pointed out, the Lord's faithful followers have the promise of a "better resurrection" – a resurrection to spirit conditions, far superior to any earthly conditions. As the Apostle declares, there is an animal body and there is a spiritual body. We have an animal or fleshly body at the present time which is reckoned dead; and if faithful in keeping it dead, "keeping our bodies under," we will receive our glorious spiritual, immortal bodies in our resurrection change, when our Master at his coming shall say, "Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joys of thy Lord. Thou hast been faithful over a few things [faithful to the covenant of self-sacrifice] I will make thee ruler over many things." Matt. 25:2

However, the Apostle points out to us that we are not to be satisfied with merely reckoning our bodies dead to sin and our hearts and minds alive toward God, but he points out to us that in proportion as we receive of the holy Spirit – in proportion as it enters into our hearts and lives with transforming power – we will be enabled not only to will aright but more and more do aright. We will not only cease to walk after the flesh and in our minds or intentions walk up to the spirit, but the new mind will have such power, such influence over the mortal body, as to be able to use it more and more in the service of the Lord, in the service of righteousness.

Mark the Apostle's words along these lines. He declares: "If the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus dwell in you, he that raised up Christ Jesus from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you." Rom. 8:11

The Apostle is not here talking about the actual resurrection, which we have seen will not be an awakening of the mortal body but a creating of a new body, the spiritual body promised to the faithful. The Apostle's thought is that our mortal bodies, consecrated to death, may be so energized, so controlled, by the holy Spirit, the holy mind, the holy disposition of the Lord in us, that in the present life we may be more and more servants of God and of righteousness, bringing forth fruitage of godliness to the praise of him who hath called us out of darkness into his marvelous light. It will be observed that we have confined our review of this resurrection to the Church – that we have said nothing about the world's resurrection, which belongs to the next age, and is called in the Scriptures the judgment resurrection. (John 5:29)

It will contain in its time wonderful possibilities for the human family. But now in this present time the Lord's special message is to the few, the little flock, the peculiar people, who, coming to a knowledge of the Truth and his grace, and seeing the situation – the mental, moral and physical depravity and death which sin has wrought, and seeing the redemption which God proposes through Jesus, gladly accept the opportunity of casting in their lot with him in the warfare against sin and all unrighteousness, willingly laying down their lives in the service of truth and righteousness and the Lord's cause as against the cause of sin and Satan and death.

The resurrection of this class to the glories and perfections of the heavenly state are reckonedly begun in this present time, because it is necessary for the divine approval that we should not only make good resolutions and consecration, but that those resolutions, etc., should be tried and tested by what the Apostle terms "fiery trials" – that thus the character likeness of the Savior, Jesus, may be developed in us by those trials and difficulties, and through his assistance, by his Word and Spirit, that we shall attain to his character likeness, and thus in the Father's sight be counted worthy of a share in his nature and glory and Kingdom by and by. The Apostle declares, "The world knoweth us not, even as it knew him not." (1 John 3:1)



The world in general is growing more and more atheistic and pantheistic. Increasing numbers of the intelligent as well as of the ignorant are reaching the position of doubt respecting a personal Creator, and accepting an evolution theory to the effect that Nature is God, and has brought forth man and everything that we see by evolutionary processes, wholly aside from any individual, intelligent director or Creator.

I notice in the public prints a statement bearing upon this question. A series of questions respecting God, his personality or impersonality, were propounded to a class in Columbia College, N. Y. The class numbered forty-five, and of these only sixteen professed faith in a divine, personal Creator, the remaining twenty-nine averring themselves atheists. With the Scriptural declaration that only the fool says in his heart there is no God, how can we think of the present time as wiser or an improvement upon the past?

Those of the world who do recognize a personal God take various views of the situation. The standard usually recognized by the world is that of justice – that there will be no mercy shown, that every man will receive of rewards or punishments according to his just deserts, good or bad. Rejecting the thought of an eternity of torture, the view generally entertained is that more nearly corresponding with the purgatory of Romanists.

But these same people do not recognize the divine standard of justice, namely, perfection; hence they fail to see the doctrine of the Scriptures, that without redemption by the death of Jesus, without his paying the penalty of original sin for mankind, there would be no hope of a future life. Their false basis of reasoning is that they will be punished in the future for those transgressions of the divine standard which were committed wilfully and for none others. Nor is the thought so different from what the Scriptures teach, namely, that our Lord's atonement sacrifice constitutes the full offset before Justice of all the sins of the whole world, to the extent that the same have been through ignorance or superstition or through inherited weaknesses or moral blemishes, and that for all willful transgressions, all sowing to the flesh, there will be a reaping of corresponding disadvantage in the glorious Millennial age, when the great uplifting work shall be rescued from sin-and-death conditions up, up, up to the full perfection of earthly life represented in Father Adam's perfection in the image and likeness of God – the disobedient, unwilling to make progress under the favorable opportunities of that time, being cut off in the Second Death – destroyed.


Although Christian people very generally recognize the fact that God's mercy at the present time is extended to those of the called ones who respond voluntarily, yet the majority do not seem to grasp the force of this truth. Whoever will look about him at the present time must see that the Gospel is preached, but that no penalty is now enforced against those who reject the message – merely a blessing is extended to those who accept, and that blessing even is so veiled, so obscure, that the majority of the world do not appreciate it. They perceive, as the Scriptures declare, that "many are the afflictions of the righteous," that the Lord's people are tested by fiery trials, and that the unconsecrated seemingly have fewer trials and difficulties.

This the world does not comprehend. It seems rather to imply that the Lord thinks less of the believers than of the unbelievers, less of the consecrated than of the unconsecrated. Only those who are taught in the school of Christ can appreciate, through other teachings of the Scriptures, that these trials which are upon the Lord's people are manifestations of the divine favor – indications that the tried ones are under inspection and being chastened, polished, fitted and prepared for a place in the divine arrangement for the future, because they have made their consecration to the Lord, because they have heard of the divine grace and responded thereto. Therefore these afflictions which they by faith esteem to be right, shall, they are assured, work out for them a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.

But this they can understand – not by looking at the things that are seen, the temporal things – but by looking with the eye of faith at the things that are not seen, eternal things, the heavenly Kingdom. 2 Cor. 4:18 "Even hereunto were ye called," says the Apostle – called, he again explains, with the heavenly calling, a high calling, to be heirs with Jesus Christ their Lord, if so be they suffer with him that they may also be glorified together. It is this filling up of the afflictions of Christ, the participation with him in his sufferings, in sacrifices of earthly interests, that constitute these peculiar, separate and distinct from the world in general – no matter how morally and benevolently disposed the matter may be. The mistake of Christian people in general has been in supposing that only this called out class is to be saved, in supposing that only these who now are dead with Christ and alive with him to walk in newness of life – that only these will have part or lot in the great divine plan of human salvation, and that all the remainder will be eternally lost – go into eternal torment say the majority, go into the Second Death say the minority. But the divine plan stands out glorious beyond all human conception in that it sets forth that the elect [NS329] of this Gospel age are merely counted in with Jesus as members of the great Redeemer under one figure, and that they with him, in the glory of the Millennial Kingdom, will carry out the original purpose of God – the blessing of all the families of the earth – the uplifting of Adam and all of his posterity from the tomb and from all the degradation of sin-and-death conditions, if they will. How glorious is the plan of God beyond all of our hopes and all our fears, and how glorious is the privilege now accorded to us who have heard the message of God's grace speaking peace through Jesus, and who after accepting the message of peace have received the invitation to be baptized into his death, to suffer with him that later on we may reign with him in his Kingdom, to be dead with him that, later on, we may live with him in the glorious immortality of the divine nature on the spirit plane, to be dead to the world and self and earthly ambitions and sin, and to walk now in newness of life, as resurrected New Creatures in Christ, and to be inheritors with him in a share of his resurrection, the First Resurrection, the Chief Resurrection, the resurrection of the blessed and holy to glory, honor and immortality, the divine nature. Brethren, so many of us as can see this glorious plan have a blessing and privilege which is hidden, evidently of divine intention, from the eyes of many others. "He that hath this hope in him purifieth himself even as he is pure" – walking in newness of life. 1 John 3:3

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