The National Labor Tribune, March 14, 1909


Scranton, Pa., March 14 – Pastor Russell preached twice here today to the bone and sinew of the hard coal region. Some of the best people were present and listened attentively and drank in every word uttered. He chose for his evening discourse the text: "The harvest is the end of the age." (Matt. 13:39)

Christian people have forgotten and worldly people never knew the significance of our text. We are all familiar with the beautiful hymn which inquires, "What will the harvest be?" and which gives the suggestion that in each life experience there is a sowing and a reaping.

This is true and we will examine this phase of the subject by and by; but first we call your attention to the fact that our Lord in the parable of which our text is a part has no such thought in mind. The parable deals, not with the Church individually, but collectively. It points out that our Lord, the Son of Man, was a seed-sower, and that the field in which he sowed the seed was the world.

His personal seed-sowing of the Gospel message was accomplished more than eighteen centuries ago, but since then from his glorious presence at the Father's right hand on the throne of glory he has been represented by his followers, who, imbued with his spirit, have gladly laid down their lives in the same work scattering the good tidings of the Kingdom.

It is true also that our Lord did a reaping work, and associated his disciples with himself in that saying, "I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labor; other men plowed, harrowed, sowed, and ye are entered into their labors" (as reapers of the fruitage of other toil). The truthfulness of this is manifest and is corroborated by the statement of John the Baptist, who declared of our Lord that he was the reaper of the Jewish Age whose fan was in his hand, and who did purge the threshing floor, and did gather the wheat into the barn and burned up the chaff with unquenchable fire. (Matt. 3:12)

Looking back over Jewish history we see that the harvesting of the Jewish Age began with our Lord's first advent and ended forty years later at the destruction of Jerusalem. In that time he gathered all the wheat of that nation, all who were ready for the Kingdom. (John 1:12)

These were comparatively a "little flock."

They were all Israelites indeed in whom was no guile. These were gathered to the garner or barn of Divine favor or protection by the baptism of the holy Spirit, which came upon the leaders at Pentecost day and subsequently extended to every one of us, to every Israelite indeed, anointing these with the holy Spirit.

The threshing, the winnowing and gathering into the barn condition continued during the entire harvest period and ended in the year A..D. 70, when the Roman army completely destroyed Jerusalem and every vestige of Jewish polity. Thus was fulfilled John's prediction, "He shall baptize you with the holy Spirit (Israelites indeed beginning at Pentecost) and (the remainder) with fire. All not baptized with the holy Spirit all not adopted thus into the family of God, received their share in the baptism of fire, trouble, which came upon that nation and to it the apostle refers saying, Wrath to the uttermost is come upon this people that all things written in the law and prophets concerning them should be fulfilled. 1 Thess. 2:16; Matt. 5:17, 18


From the foregoing it will be perceived that during the harvest period of the Jewish Age a two-fold work progressed – the harvest of the Jewish Age and preparatory work for the Gospel Age, a reaping work and a settling time as respecting the Jews and their covenant relationship to God and simultaneously the opening of the new dispensation, in which the middle-wall of partition between Jews and Gentiles was in due course broken down and all who received Christ, whether Jew or Gentile, bond or free, were accepted of the Lord as members of the New House of sons, which took the place of the Old House of servants – "Moses verily was faithful as a servant over all his house (of servants) but Christ as a son over his own house (of sons), whose house are we if we hold fast." Heb. 3:5, 6

The parable of the wheat and the tares, to which our text belongs, was a brief statement by our Lord of his work in the world during this Gospel Age. The foundation of it he laid in his redemptive work, the work itself properly began with the bestowment of the holy Spirit of Pentecost. Our Lord declares that he sowed the good seed of the Kingdom, and in harmony with this we find that he continually taught his disciples that the Jews were right in their expectation of the establishment of God's Kingdom amongst men for the overthrow of sin and Satan and for the deliverance and uplift of Adam and his race. But he instructed them that his Kingdom was not of this world, not an earthly kingdom, and that [NS627] his servants were not to fight with weapons of carnal warfare for the establishment of his Kingdom. It would be established at his second coming in power and great glory. It would have all power and to it every knee would bow, every tongue confess. It would not oppress, but would bless its subjects and fully restrain its enemies, and ultimately destroy the impenitent.


Thus he taught his disciples, and us through them, to pray for the coming Kingdom as the Divine boon and blessing most desirable. He said, "Pray ye, thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven." (Matt. 6:10)

That Kingdom was associated with nearly all of his promises to his disciples. As the young nobleman he would go to a far country and in due time would return and reckon with his servants and reward them according to their loving loyalty and energy in his service.

In his Kingdom, some of his glorified servants would be granted dominion over two cities, some over five, some over ten and thus all would be joint-heirs with him in his Kingdom, sharers of his throne, partakers in his great work of uplifting Adam and his race out of their present fallen conditions, mental, moral and physical. Luke 19:12

Not only does the parable which we are discussing refer to the Kingdom, but practically every parable which our Lord uttered was given to teach something respecting the character of the Kingdom itself when it would come, or something respecting the character and experiences of those who were invited to share that kingdom with their Redeemer – the "called, chosen, faithful," who will make their calling and election sure to a participation in the Kingdom honors, privileges and blessings.

Some of these parables show this Kingdom class, the Church, as a nominal system containing good and bad, faithful and unfaithful, saints and imposters; as, for instance, the parable of the net which, cast into the sea, gathered both suitable and unsuitable fish throughout this age, though the separation was not due to be accomplished until the end of this age. Similarly the parable we are discussing shows two classes in the Church, one, the wheat class, begotten of the holy Spirit, the other, the "tare" or imitation class, not begotten of the Spirit of the Lord, but rather of the wrong spirit, the spirit of the world.


Our parable shows that the Lord and his faithful disciples sowed the good seed of kingdom promises but that subsequently our enemy, Satan, over-sowed the field with treacherous and false doctrines. As the true doctrines bring forth the true "wheat" class suitable for the Kingdom, and false doctrines produce wrong characters, "tares," which today all over Christendom are so numerous that the true wheat are being choked out.

Indeed, so accustomed is the world to the high look of the tare class that the humble wheat are thought peculiar and a strange party of undesirables. So closely intertwined are the roots of the two classes that the Reaper decided that there would be no separation between them until the harvest or end of this age; because to disturb such close relationship in life would create great commotion, such a time of trouble as would wreck present institutions, hence the Lord's decision was, "Let both grow together until the harvest; the harvest, is the end of the age."

At that time the great commotion incidental to the complete separation of the small harvest of wheat from the great harvest of tares would be due and the great time of trouble incidental to the separation would find its proper place in connection with the proper judgments with which this age will end and the proper plowing experiences of trouble with which the new dispensation will be inaugurated.


Dear friends, in two of the volumes of the "Scripture Studies," which many of you possess and I trust are studying, we have presented from the Scriptures the evidence that the harvest of this Gospel Age is forty years in length and that already considerably more than one half of it is in the past. We have pointed out that this is the meaning and the true interpretation of the peculiar conditions, favorable and unfavorable, which now surround the pathway of all of the Lord's people.

This is the explanation of the federation movement among the churches, of the trust movement among the wealthy and of the union movement amongst the masses. The awful time of trouble which shortly as a plowshare will prepare mankind for the new dispensation, the Millennial Kingdom of Christ and his Church, is even now casting its shadow before. Already our Lord's prediction of it is being realized, "Men's hearts are failing them for fear and for looking after those things which are coming upon the earth." (Luke 21:26)

The courageous are saying, "peace and safety," but the Scriptures declare that the consummation of the age is upon us and that nothing can avert it; that the destruction will come with suddenness, "as pangs upon a mother," with brief respites between, but gradually increasing in intensity until the new dispensation, the Kingdom of God's dear Son, shall be born in the morning of the new day – "The Sun of Righteousness shall rise with healing in his beams."

If we are right, the present is the time for God's people to draw very near to the Lord, to come under the shadow of the Almighty, to put their trust more and more in him and to purge themselves from all filthiness [NS628] of the flesh and of the spirit, perfecting holiness in the reverence of the Lord. (2 Cor. 7:1)

As the harvest of the Jewish Age brought fresh tests to nominal Israel, so the present harvest period will surely bring fresh tests to nominal Spiritual Israel, tests which only the faithful, the saintly, will be able to stand. The fiery trials of this day will try every man's faith and works of what sort they are. Only the gold, silver and precious stones of Divine truth, faith and character, will survive these tests.

he wood, hay and stubble character, like the tares of our text-parable, will succumb to the fiery trials of this great and notable day of the Lord toward which the eyes of the prophets of God and of our Lord and of his apostles all looked – the day of which they all made mention.

Now is the time for the fulfillment of Mal. 3:16, when They that feared the Lord (that reverenced him) spake often one to another (conferred respecting his promises and sought to be helpful to each other) and a book of remembrance was written for these and to them was given the assurance they shall be mine, saith the Lord, in the day when I come to make up my jewels. It is pertinent to our subject that we inquire one of another respecting our preparation for the evil day into which we are entering. Have we on the whole armour of God; are we standing firmly ourselves and helping the brethren to stand firmly against the wiles of the Adversary, our common foe; have we on the wedding garment of Christ's righteousness, faith in his blood?

Are we seeking to keep it free from spot and wrinkle or any such things? Are we distressed by any imperfection, spot or wrinkle, so that we go at once to the throne of heavenly grace there to obtain mercy and cleansing and to find strength to help for all times of need? While keeping in memory the foregoing, as the proper interpretation of our Lord's parable, let us colabour with the great Reaper to the extent of our ability under his promise, "He that reapeth receiveth wages and gathereth fruit unto eternal life." John 4:36


Before closing we note the fact that not only our Lord has been sowing and now reaping the harvest of this age and preparing for the greater sowing and reaping of the Millennial Age, but that each of us, and indeed all mankind, outside as well as inside the Church of Christ, does a sowing and a reaping work in respect to his own life and interests. The beginning of all of our sowing is in the mind, or, as the Scriptures would say, in heart: Out of the heart proceedeth the various good and bad influences which go to make up our characters. What we sow, we will reap in time. If we sow anger, malice, hatred, envy, strife, ambition, vain-glory, bitterness, backbitings, evil-surmising we will reap accordingly. What a sad harvest results from such a sowing!

How many fold these evils are multiplied to ourselves and to others! And how far-reaching may be the influence of these evil things upon others! They ripen, they go to seed, they are blown by the winds of gossip and suspicion and many are thereby defiled. "What will the harvest be?" Surely the harvest of such a sowing will be with bitterness and tears proportionate to the degree of knowledge enjoyed and sinned against. It is bad enough that the world, uninstructed of the Lord, with no ears to hear his counsel, should sow such an evil, injurious crop.

What responsibility would be ours under such circumstances if our ears have heard, our eyes have seen something of the glories of the Lord, and the beauties of his character and the fruits of his spirit! God forbid, you say, that any of us should make such a mistake and thus sow in our hearts a crop so displeasing to the Lord and so injurious to ourselves and to others! On the other hand; the Lord's consecrated people, whose hearts have been prepared under Divine supervision, have heard the Master's words instructing us how to sow profitable crops that will prove to be blessings to ourselves and to others and glorious to his name.

In his Word he supplies the good seed and he gives us freely the seeds of meekness, gentleness, patience, longsuffering, brotherly-kindness, faith, hope, joy. He who sows these carefully, patiently, perseveringly in his heart and who watches day by day lest the enemy cast in any seed of malice, envy or strife – to promptly purging it out and destroying it – what a blessed portion is his! How beautiful are the flowers of grace and truth as they develop and more and more manifest themselves in looks, in words, what a fragrant perfume is exhaled from the heart and life which is thus regulated in harmony with the Divine word! Dear friends, let us make no mistake; let us do no experimenting; let us not think for a moment that our own wisdom is sufficient and that we may set aside the instruction of our Lord and of his apostles.

Let us now, in the harvest of this age, be if possible, doubly alert to watch and pray lest we enter into temptation, lest we fail of the grace of God – fail to attain a share in the glories of our Redeemer which so shortly is to be used of the Lord for the blessing of all of the families of the earth and to guide them and instruct them as to how they must root up all evil weeds – malice, strife, envy, etc. – and must sow freely the seeds of truth and grace, to the intent that the harvest of the Millennial Age in turn shall see them blessed with human perfection and full restitution; failing of which they will be utterly destroyed in the Second Death. (Acts 3:23)

Desirous, dear friends, that you should have every [NS629] opportunity for helpful Bible Study, I have arranged with the publishers of one of my books, The Divine Plan of the Ages, that between now and the time of my starting on a European trip, May 5, they should supply any orders coming through me at absolute cost. This will enable all of you to procure for yourselves and friends this book of 380 pages, in cloth binding, postage prepaid, four copies for a dollar or one copy at the same rate, 25c, or the same matter in magazine form for 5c per copy. On this book, dear friends, I receive not one penny of royalty. I merely am solicitous that you have the Divine Plan in a still more orderly presentation than is possible in my weekly sermons – and the latter will be still more clear to you after the reading of this book, which some have styled "The Bible Key."

The National Labor Tribune, March 19, 1909


After being absent for over a month, Pastor Russell made a visit to his old home in Pittsburg and was welcomed by his old friends. The Carnegie Music Hall was crowded when he delivered one of his telling sermons, and after adjournment held quite a levee among his friends. He took for his text the following: "Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord." Matt. 21:9

Next Sunday will be generally observed as Palm Sunday, but the real anniversary date according to the Hebrew calender would be next Thursday, and the Sunday night following will be the anniversary of our Lord's Memorial Supper. Four days before his crucifixion our Lord rode to Jerusalem on the ass as the King of Israel. The people preceding and following him shouted, "Hosanna to Messiah, Son of David and King of Israel," and spread their outer garments and palm branches on the road, as was the custom with great heroes in triumphal procession. For three and a half years from the time of his baptism at thirty years of age our Lord had been preaching the Kingdom of heaven at hand.

Additionally he had sent forth his disciples two and two; first the twelve, and later seventy others, to preach the same thing, namely, "Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand" – get your hearts into a condition of readiness that you may be received into that Kingdom, to be associated with Messiah in the blessing of all the families of the earth, in harmony with the promise made to father Abraham. Our Lord had become quite noted. "The common people heard him gladly."

Some of them said, "Never man spake like this man."

"And they all bare witness to the gracious words that proceeded out of his mouth, for he spake as one having authority (knowledge) and not as a scribe."

On more than one occasion it appeared as though the people would take him by force to make him a king; but our Lord avoided the matter and withdrew himself and discouraged the efforts. The scribes and Pharisees, jealous of his popularity, ashamed of his following and afraid that he would yet become the center of a futile movement antagonistic to the Roman government and their own prestige, had already threatened his life. As it is written, "Jesus could no longer walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him."

Their antagonism to him was all the greater after the awakening of Lazarus.


Suddenly a change was manifest in Jesus' attitude. He came to Bethany, notwithstanding the protest of his disciples, who valiantly said, "Let us go that we may die with him."

Discarding caution he went directly to the home of Lazarus and his sisters. There he was the guest of honor with his disciples at a special feast. There Mary poured upon him the precious spikenard perfume which Jesus declared was an anointing for his burial. In that expression we have the key to his outward course. He knew that his hour was come; that the end of his ministry was at hand; that he was about to be crucified.

It was under these circumstances that the next morning he not only did not hinder the people from proclaiming him King, but he sent his disciples to bring the ass upon which he was to ride in triumph as a King, for it was the custom of Israel's kings to be thus presented to the people. The account tells us that the people hailed Jesus as the Son of David, the King of Israel, the Messiah, and that in the concourse were Pharisees who had come from Jerusalem to Bethany to see Jesus and Lazarus, whom he had awakened from death; these beheld the proceeding and expostulated with Jesus' disciples, telling them that he should call the attention of the people to what they were saying and that Jesus should reprove them. Our Lord's answer [NS630] shows how important was the event. He said, "If these should hold their peace the very stones would cry out." (Luke 19:40)

The Evangelist calls our attention to the fact that the entire procedure was in fulfilment of the prophecy of Zechariah, as through him the Lord had declared centuries beforehand the events which must transpire at the appointed hour, namely, "Shout O daughter of Jerusalem; behold, thy King cometh unto thee; he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass." Zech. 9:9

Here we see the reason why our Lord said that if the people would hold their peace and not shout the stones would cry out; because the Lord through prophecy had foretold a shout and the Scriptures must be fulfilled. How strengthening it is to faith to realize that even the jots and tittles of prophecy must all be fulfilled. Thus realizing the Divine supervision of the affairs of our Lord and of his followers we may indeed have a strong consolation and good hope, realizing that all things written in the Law and by the prophets shall have their fulfilment in due course. Little did the Jews on that Palm Sunday realize what was taking place. And indeed very few Christians to this day realize the purport of that occasion. Let us see what it was.

God had promised a Messiah and that he should be of the Seed of Abraham and of the family of David. Zechariah's prophecy quoted had foretold his formal entry. All those things must be fulfilled; God must keep his part of the contract. If failure occurred it must be Israel's failure. And so it was. Israel, as represented by her rulers who "sat in Moses' seat," was not ready for the Messiah. If they had believed the preaching of John the Baptist a genuine reformation would have made them ready to receive the Messiah. But not being in heart condition led them to expect a worldly conqueror rather than a Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world. We read that "All men were in expectation of him."

And yet, when he offered himself, they were ashamed of him and of his peculiar following of fishermen, publicans, etc. The rulers of the people received him not but plotted his destruction, and the common people furnished not only multitudes to cry Hosanna, on this occasion, but also later multitudes to cry, "Crucify him, crucify him," under the influence of their leaders. As for our Lord, he knew that his hour was come.

He had foretold that he would be rejected and crucified, but it was his duty to make the tender of himself as Israel's King. The very prophecy he was fulfilling declared not only that he would come as King, but foretold that the people would "shout" and also that Israel would be cast off and have a "double" part of disfavor – the length of the favor they had enjoyed as God's peculiar people. The prophet specified, saying, "Even today do I declare that I will render double unto thee." (Zech. 9:12)

Thus he indicated that particular Palm Sunday as the turning point of Israel's career. Our Lord also indicated the importance of that day as the turning point in Israel's history; for when he had ridden to the brow of Mt. Olivet, overlooking Jerusalem, the procession stopped, Jesus saying, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. Verily I say unto you, Ye shall see me no more until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord." Luke 13:34, 35

In other words, that first Palm Sunday was the turning point marking the rejection of natural Israel as a nation and the inauguration of Spiritual Israel as the "holy nation," the "royal priesthood," the "peculiar people" for a purpose. Other Scriptures show us that natural Israel is to return to Divine favor as soon as the "election" of spiritual Israel shall be accomplished. But at his Second Advent Messiah will no longer present himself as a man riding upon an ass, but, as the Scriptures declare, he shall come a spirit being, invisible to men, but nevertheless with great glory and power, which shall be "revealed in flaming fire" symbolical of judgments.

We are assured that then the blinded eyes of Israel's understanding will be open and they shall look upon him whom they pierced and shall mourn for him; and the Lord declares that then he will pour upon them the spirit of prayer and supplication and the blessing of the New Covenant shall be theirs. As it is written, "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a New Covenant with the house, of Israel, and with the house of Judah. After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts. I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more." (Jer. 31:31-34)

"And I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh." Eze. 11:19


But that Palm Sunday was a notable and important day to Israel from another standpoint. At the beginning of their national existence, when they were delivered from the bondage of Egypt, God specially arranged for their Passover. This will be our topic for next Sunday, but today we notice that their passover lamb was to be taken up and brought into the house on the tenth day of the month Nisan, while it was to be [NS631] killed on the fourteenth. As John the Baptist has declared, our Lord was the antitypical "Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." (John 1:29)

And now the antitypical passover sacrifice was due, when the Lamb of God was to be slain for the sins of the world; and Israel as a nation should have received the Lamb of God into their house by faith on this very Palm Sunday on which he presented himself as King. He filled the double role of King and Passover Lamb. However, as they rejected him as King, so likewise as their Passover Lamb he was not accepted or received; thus as a nation they were not passed over or saved, but, contrariwise, their national destruction followed.

As the rich man of the parable of Dives and Lazarus, they died nationally from Divine favor. But while our Lord was rejected both as Lamb and King by the Jewish nation there were individual exceptions. All the "Israelites indeed," in whom was no guile, were granted special enlightenment of the eyes of their understanding. These recognized Jesus as the Lamb of God – their Redeemer. And not only so, but they recognized him also as the great King, the King of Glory, the Messiah. As indicating the blindness of the nation and the spiritual sight of the small remnant who received him, our Lord said, "Blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears for they hear."

These who now recognize their Redeemer, and voluntarily become obedient to him by a full consecration of their hearts, are a very exceptional class, as well as a very small class. His cause has really been unpopular from the first, and only such as are willing to endure hardship as good soldiers have the courage to volunteer to be soldiers of the Cross. There is an outward religion today that is popular, just as there was an outward religion in our Lord's day that was popular.

But to be true disciples, followers of Jesus, to walk in his footsteps, to forsake the world and follow him, means to all his disciples since what was meant to his disciples at the First Advent – alienation and separation. Our Lord said, "If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, ... but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you." (John 15:18, 19)

Again he said, "He that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal." John 4:36


A point that is not generally recognized is that where natural Israel was rejected the selection of spiritual Israel began, and that what natural Israel failed to get, spiritual Israel is to receive, namely, God's Kingdom – not God's Kingdom in the flesh, but on the spiritual plane. True, there will be an earthly or fleshly Kingdom of men and amongst men and of Israel.

It will be inaugurated at the Second Coming of Christ and be his representative amongst men. Meantime, however, during this Gospel Age the Lord is selecting a still higher class – Spiritual Israel – to constitute a spiritual Empire, of which he is Head. The spiritual, the higher Kingdom class, must be developed first and the spiritual promises inherited by these must first be attained; afterward the earthly blessings will all be sure to God's earthly people, Israel, under their new (Law) covenant. Rom. 11:27-32

Note how the Apostle Paul, the Divinely appointed Teacher, explains this, saying, "Blindness in part (for the time) is happened to Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in; and so all Israel shall be saved."

Then all Israel shall be recovered from their blindness. "As it is written, There shall come out of Zion (spiritual Israel) the Deliverer (the Christ) and he shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob; for this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. As concerning the Gospel, they are (treated as) enemies for your sakes; but as touching the election, they are beloved for the father's sake. For the gifts and calling of God he will not repent of. For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have obtained mercy through their unbelief; even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy, they also now may obtain mercy." Rom. 11:25-31

The New Covenant which God will seal with Israel after these Gospel days will be "of your (the Church's) mercy," in that it will be sealed with the blood of The Christ – Head and Body. This is the meaning of our Lord's words to us spiritual Israelites, "This is my blood of the New Covenant – drink ye all of it" – all who participate in it. It is a great privilege to suffer with Christ, to be dead with him, to drink of his cup, to be privileged with him to seal the New Covenant of Israel. All who thus join with him will be permitted to share with him the glories of his Kingdom, his spiritual Kingdom, through which Israel will be blessed, restored to prominence, made the channel of Divine blessings to every nation under heaven.


We have noticed that our Lord's riding on the ass to Jerusalem was a fulfilment of a prophecy and a type. We note now that there are secondary fulfilments of the same on a still higher plane

(1) the proclaiming of Jesus by the multitude shouting "Hosanna," was a proclamation of faith in him as the Messiah; so we today, and all of the Lord's followers down through the Gospel Age, have first hailed him Messiah and proclaimed ourselves believers in him – and this to us was Justification by Faith. Hence, Palm Sunday may be considered as symbolizing the attainment of justification [NS632] by those who recognize Jesus and are willing to acknowledge him, just as subsequently at the Memorial Supper Jesus passed the cup to all of his followers, saying, "Drink ye all of it."

This signifies full consecration, even unto death, on the part of all who accept the Lord's invitation to thus share his cup, the sufferings of Christ. In this sense of the word, dear friends, I trust that all of us have thus declared our faith in the Messiah, the Redeemer. I trust that we have all taken the Lamb into our hearts, into our homes.

I trust that to the full we as members of the Church of the First Born are partaking of the antitypical Lamb, drinking into his spirit of full consecration, as well as partaking of the glorious elements of his character through eating his flesh and appropriating the merits of his sacrifice. A second antitypical fulfilment of today's lesson is brought to our attention by the fact that everything pertaining to the Jewish people was typical of that nation s connection with spiritual Israel's experience. As Jesus offered himself in the flesh to fleshly Israel at the proper time as their King, so in the parallel of time he must offer himself to spiritual Israel at the appointed time as their King of Glory.

As the time of natural Israel's visitation was at the First Advent, so the time of spiritual Israel's visitation is at the Second Advent. As nominal Israel stumbled and was blinded and failed to receive the King and lost the blessing, so will it be with nominal spiritual Israel. Thus it is written, "He shall be for a stone of stumbling and rock of offence to both houses of Israel."

As with the Jews (every "Israelite indeed," in whom was no guile, was specially blessed and kept and assisted), so it will be here. All others will stumble and, as it is written, "A thousand shall fall at thy side."

That which to the one class will be the stepping-stone to higher favors and the Kingdom blessings, will to the other class be a stumbling-stone. As amongst the Jews it was necessary that the proclamation of the presence of Messiah be made, so here the Second Presence of Messiah must be made known. Nevertheless the parable will be complete, "Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish; for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you." (Acts 13:4 1)

We see here the force of the Scriptural declaration that it is given or granted to some to understand the deep things of God and not given or permitted to others. "To you it is given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of heaven, but to all outsiders (to all not members of the inner circle of "Israelites indeed") these things are spoken in parables and dark sayings, that hearing they might hear and not understand."


To the religious people at the First Advent our Lord said, "Ye can discern the sky. How is it that ye cannot discern the signs of the times?" Our interest in the weather leads us to take notice of those conditions of the sky which presage storm and fair weather. Should we not be much more deeply interested in the much more important things pertaining to the development of the Divine Plan as respects our race and its various interests? Nevertheless, it is a fact that so occupied are men with the cares of this life and the deceitfulness of riches that they think little respecting the weightier interests.

This is the reason why many do not more accurately discern the signs of the times. However, he would be a dullard indeed who does not recognize the peculiar day in which we are living. On the one hand, the wonderful blessings and favors of God which already have brought to the world so many useful inventions which are helping to spread Millennial blessings on every hand, and which the Scriptures declare are but advanced messages of God's favor and blessings to mankind, to be ushered in in connection with the sealing of the New Covenant with the merit of the precious blood. Many see the signs of the new dispensation without knowing how to read them (what they signify.)

On the one hand there are some who recognize not the Almighty in connection with earth's affairs, but boast of the progress and inventions as merely the outworkings of Evolutionary progress by which mankind is advancing from primordial protoplasm to Divinity. Others are looking for the establishment of the reign of righteousness through the channels of the nominal Church by an intermixture of Christian principle with worldliness.

Few, almost none, see the truth on the subject, namely, that the Lord is now selecting his "jewels," sometimes called the "Bride, the Lamb's Wife," and that this class of the entire age, as well as the living members of the same class, will be resurrected and "changed" and as spirit beings like unto the angels, but of higher plane, and will be associated with the Redeemer in his great work of blessing the world under the gracious provisions of the New Covenant with Israel. Few see that so far as the living Church is concerned, now is the time of the coming of the spiritual Kingdom into the rulership of the world. The Church as a whole is unready to receive it, because of looking in another direction for success to their own efforts.

Few see that, as the Lord declared to the Jews, "Your house is left unto you desolate;" so now he declares to nominal spiritual Israel the same thing. Addressing them under the name of the Church of Laodicea, he says, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. Every [NS633] man who hears my knock, let him open the door and I will come in and sup with him."

It must be an individual matter. Neither sects or parties will be acknowledged in this testing time – only the "Israelites indeed" in whom is no guile, who get ready for and receive the blessing promised. To Laodicea the nominal system as a whole the Lord says, "Thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked; I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed; and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear, and eye-salve to anoint thine eyes, that thou mayest see." (Rev. 3:17, 18)

Let us individually heed this our Lord's warning, that we may have a share as true spiritual Israelites in the glorious blessings now due to us, and thus be prepared for the Millennial glories just in advance of us.

The National Labor Tribune, March 21, 1909


Brooklyn, N.Y., March 21 – Pastor Russell returned home this week from a short visit to the hard coal regions. He reports good audiences at all his meetings. He delivered one of his telling sermons at the Brooklyn Tabernacle today, to a large audience.

He took for his text the following: "And I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps; and they sung as it were a new song before the throne.., and no man could learn that song, but the hundred and forty and four thousand." Rev. 14:2, 3 The world knows its bacchanalian songs, and its foolish ditties, and its plaintive melodies tinged with pain and sorrow; and the latter are most in favor with its thoughts because, as the Scriptures declare, "The whole creation is groaning and travailing in pain."

It is amongst the hymns of Christianity that we find the noblest, grandest, most sublime expressions of the human soul, because their authors, under the influences of the precious promises of God's Word, look with hopeful eye beyond the clouds and shadows of their present pilgrim way towards the glorious things which God hath in reservation for them that love him. Some of these have well been styled "ageless hymns," so new are they every morning and so fresh every evening.

Well may the Lord's consecrated people delight their souls in harmonious worship at the throne of grace, using these hymns as the beautiful channels of their sentiments and petitions. Would that all who sing the songs of Zion might appreciate them as poetic prayers, so that not merely with their lips would they make melody unto the Lord, but also with their hearts. But neither of our texts refers to such songs and hymns. Rather they are symbolic and poetic expressions which represent the thought that a new theme, a new message has been received into the heart and that it is so happifying that it continually overflows through the lips – the Scriptures' joyful message, harmonious, metrical. As a poem may be either in meter or blank verse, so may a song be either a cadence on the air or a harmonious message in the heart or on the lip, publicly or privately delivered.


Who has not noticed the exultant songs of the prophets and the apostles – that notwithstanding their trials, their difficulties, their persecutions for righteousness' sake, they were joyful in the house of their pilgrimage: and a note of triumph may be found in all of their messages to the Church. As for instance, the Apostle Paul states exultantly in the midst of great tribulation, "Rejoice always! and again I say rejoice!"

He tells them of rejoicing also in tribulation, and in everything giving thanks. Never do we hear the note of murmuring or complaint, repining or despair. But with the passing of the first century, with the death of the apostles, there came upon the Church gradually a horror of great darkness. Of this our Lord in his parable tells, saying, "But while men slept, the Enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat." (Matt. 13:25)

Of the same the Apostle tells, saying, "For I know this, that after my departing grievous wolves shall enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them." (Acts 20:29, 30)

And again we read "Let no man deceive you by any means; for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition." 2 Thess. 2:3

With the coming of the error of doctrine came multitudes of nominal Christians who were in reality merely"tares" or imitation"wheat." Proportionately the songs of triumph and confidence in the Lord faded from the hearts and died on the tongues of those who were the Lord's nominal mouthpieces. A horror of [NS634] great darkness came upon the souls of men by reason of the "doctrine of devils" being given a place in the Gospel message.

The true Church is symbolically represented as having gone into captivity to Babylon. Undoubtedly the world was never left entirely without witnesses for God, but the conditions were such then that few could sing the songs of Zion's triumph.


The condition of God's faithful during that period of history known as the "dark ages" was graphically portrayed long before in the Psalms. Speaking for these by inspiration the Prophet says, "By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down; yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. How shall we sing the Lord's songs in a strange land?" Psa. 137:1-4

Nevertheless, here and there in a very humble manner the saints did hum the song of Zion, though ultimately many of its joyful notes were lost, forgotten. Hence the implication of our text that in the end of this age the song of triumph, of faith, of confidence in God, of the harmonies of his Word would be revived, but would be, "as it were a new song."

It is not a new song, for it is the "Song of Moses and the Lamb." (Rev. 15:3)

It is the old, old story of the "Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" – the Lamb of God who, as the King of Kings and Lord of lords, is soon to set up his Kingdom for the overthrow of the reign of Sin and Death amongst those whom he redeemed by the sacrifice of himself. This old, old story, dear friends, became so warped, so twisted, so forgotten, so covered with human tradition and superstition and error and "doctrines of devils" that when now it is being resung it is, "As it were, a new song.

Here is illustrated the proverb that "Truth is stranger than fiction," for many of the Lord's dear saints have had the ears of their understanding so perverted by false teachings respecting predestination to eternal torment, etc., that they do not know the song of Zion when they hear it.

The real story of the Cross – the Love of God behind it, and the blessing of God before it, first for the "elect," and subsequently for the non-elect – is indeed a wonderful story; but let us not forget that the Scriptures continually declare that these things at the present time are mysteries, except to those to whom the Lord will reveal them. Thus he said to his disciples at the First Advent when they inquired respecting some of his parables and dark sayings, "It is given unto you to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given ... Therefore, speak I to them in parables; because they seeing, see not; and hearing, they hear not, neither do they understand." (Matt. 13:11, 13)

And again the Psalmist says, "The secret of the Lord is with them that reverence him; and he will show them his covenant." Psa. 25:14


The real gist of this Song, which so few can appreciate and sing at the present time, and that few only the "saints" and not the worldly, is stated as follows: "Having the harps of God, they sing the Song of Moses, the servant of God, and the Song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? For thou only art holy; for all nations shall come and worship before thee when thy righteous acts are made manifest." Rev. 15:3, 4

As we have heretofore seen, the symbolic harp symbolizes the Word of God, which is the source and the accompaniment of this Song, which is, "as it were, a new Song."

It is the Song or message of Moses and the Lamb, because Moses was the type of Christ and in all of the sacrifices of the Law he typified or foreshadowed the sacrifice of Christ, "The Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." (John 1:29)

And in type also he told the story of blessing and restitution eventually to come to the whole world of mankind through the merit of the slain Lamb. This is shown in the type which pictures the blessings that are to follow the Day of Atonement. It is shown in the typical Jubilee year, in which Restitution was made, both of personal liberty and of property. Similarly, the various feasts of the Law foreshadowed the coming blessings and "feast of fat things," which, during the Millennial Age, will be spread before all people by the great antitypical Moses, as St. Peter recites in Acts 3:19-23

Moses in the type told of the Passover Lamb, the sparing of the first-borns and the subsequent deliverance of the after-borns. Those who see in Jesus the Lamb of God, our Passover, may discern now that the "Church of the First-Born" are the "elect" of this Gospel Age and that the after-borns of the type represent the world of mankind, delivered from bondage to sin and Satan, as typified in the deliverance of Israel's hosts from the power of Pharaoh at the Red Sea, which scene pictures the time of trouble with which the present age will end and the new dispensation begin.


Notice that feature of this New Song which refers to God's righteous acts, righteous dealings, and assures us [NS635] that this ultimately shall be seen by all mankind, and that all then seeing will be reasonably expected to worship. The fact is that the righteousness of the Divine Government of the world is not yet manifested to any except a faithful few. To the majority the ways of the Lord are dark, mysterious.

Not only do they see Divine permission of calamities, but Divine permission of sin, of crime, of blasphemy against the Holy Name, of false doctrines, of superstitions. Many indeed wonder at these things and some are inclined to doubt altogether that there is a supervising Providence.

Nay, worse! The doctrine of demons forced upon the Church in the dark ages has made it appear to the average mind that God himself is a demon, who calls upon mankind to love their enemies and to do good to them, while he has made provision for the eternal torture of his enemies and all who have not heard of and accepted the merit of the "Only name under heaven given amongst men, whereby we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)

Alas! how is it possible for those who are under these delusions of error to honor God in their hearts or to sing this song, "True and righteous are thy dealings, Lord God Almighty"?


While it is true that "He giveth songs in the night" (Job 35:10), it is especially true that this Song, "As it were a new song," belongs to the early morning of the new dispensation, when the "Mystery of God, which he hath kept secret from the foundation of the world," is being finished, and when all the light of sacred story is centering in the Cross of Christ, and now shining forth as the morning star, heralding the rising of the "Sun of Righteousness with healing in his beams" to bless all the families of the earth. This new Song can be appreciated and sung only from the standpoint of "The Divine Plan of the Ages," which is the title I have given to Volume I of my "Scripture Studies" which many of you already have.

The Bible Society supplies it at cost, but any too poor to purchase I will gladly supply with a magazine edition free, on postcard request. It is only after we have come to a knowledge of the fact that the Jewish Age furnished a series of types and shadows of better things to come, that we know to look for the better things and are able to discern them. It was after we learned that the "elect" Church of this Gospel Age, the "little flock" who walk in the "narrow way" and in the footsteps of Jesus, are not the only ones to be favored; it was after we learned that these, as the Bride of Christ, are being schooled and prepared by the trials and disciplines of the present time for a future place of honor; it was after we learned that these elect members of The Christ are to be associated with their God, the Love of God and the Wisdom of God.

From this standpoint also we are enabled to exercise faith in God the Father – that according to the promise of the Scriptures, he is able and willing to confer all these blessings through Christ, by a resurrection of the dead, during the "times of restitution of all things." Acts 3:19

This accounts for all the trials and persecutions permitted to come upon the Lord's saints and shows us that they, like their Redeemer, Lord, must be tested, proved, found faithful even unto death, in order to be accounted worthy of this high exaltation. It shows us also, not only that the world is not to be hurled at death to eternal torment, but is preserved by the power of God in the great prison-house of death, ready to hear the command of the great King and to come forth. Even as he said, "The hour is coming in the which all that are in their graves shall hear the voice of the Son of man and shall come forth" – the Church to a life resurrection, perfect and complete, the world to a judgment resurrection, gradual raising up under disciplines and chastisements, out of sin and death to perfection and everlasting life, during the Millennium; or, refusing this favor, to be remanded to the Second Death – "everlasting destruction.."


This song is not given in a miraculous manner, but must be 1earned, as is intimated by the statement, "No man could learn that Song except the hundred and forty and four thousand."

Many indeed have learned a bar or two; some perhaps a stanza; but ability to sing the song to a finish implies such a faithfulness to God, such a study of his Word, such a relationship with Christ, as none can attain except the "very elect," those "filled with the spirit."

All this implies patience and perseverance. And can we wonder that the Lord should make such stringent regulations when we remember the high glory and honor and immortality promised to this faithful "little flock"?

If we look about us we find many willing to spend considerable sums of money, considerable time and thought and energy to acquire the secrets of Free Masonry, Odd Fellowship or other earthly institutions. Of how much more are "the secrets of the Lord," which are to go only to those who reverence him and who love the Lord with all their heart, mind, soul, strength. Although the Gospel is free in one sense of the word, the Lord has evidently found a way to make it cost us something in order to make our love, our devotion, our zeal known. If we have learned some of the Song let us sing that portion; let us tell it out to our neighbors and friends, as soon as we have made sure that what we have learned is not traditions of the ancients from the dark [NS636] ages, but the true Song of Moses and the Lamb, as foretold by the apostles and the prophets. As we faithfully proclaim what we have already learned and become more and more imbued with the Truth it will enable us to appreciate to a greater extent "the deep things of God," which the natural eye hath not seen nor ear heard, neither hath entered into the heart of man the things which God hath in reservation, and hath revealed unto us by the Spirit of his Word. (1 Cor. 2:9, 10)

The learning of the Song is thus a progressive work which belongs to this, our day. Let us, therefore, go on from grace to grace and from knowledge to knowledge!


We have intimated that knowledge will be a mark of Divine favor in this time, and so various Scriptures declare, "Ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief." (1 Thess. 5:4)

Again speaking of the present time the Lord declares, "None of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand" – not the wise of this world's wisdom, but the foolish in the world's estimation, who are wise toward God, seeking first, chiefly, a share in the Kingdom of God's dear Son.

Incidentally, however, let us remember that if our knowledge outstrips our love we will be in danger. The Spirit of the Lord, Love, is the principal thing. Those who love the Lord supremely, more than they love houses or lands, parents or children, sisters or brothers, or self, will find themselves in that attitude of heart in which every item of knowledge will be a blessing and an aid; but those without this degree of love will find themselves caring mainly for the things of this present life, rather than for the will of God, and will thus be left without this Song of the Morning and its evidence of their faithfulness to the great King and to his Word.

Not so much are great intellectual powers necessary to the learning of this Song, but chiefly the character of love, meekness, teachableness, faith, by which the soul is enabled to come into close fellowship with the Lord, and to drink in the spirit, as well as the letter, of his Word. Nor are great talents and pulpit opportunities necessary to the singing of this Song of Moses and the Lamb.

It can be sung with melody in the heart and can be brought to the attention of others through the printed page. Hence, to know the Song and not to sing it, to understand the good tidings and not to proclaim them, would mean fear or shame or lack of zeal, any of which would be quite sufficient reasons for losing a knowledge of the Song. The Lord is seeking for "overcomers," for those who are not ashamed of him and of his Word. He declares that those who are ashamed of him, he will be ashamed of and not confess them before the Father and the holy angels.

The National Labor Tribune, April 11, 1909


Boston, Mass., April 11 – Pastor Russell preached twice here today. His main discourse was in Tremont Temple and he took for his text the following:

"If then ye be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God." Col 3:1

Notwithstanding the fact that our word Easter is of heathen origin and was originally applied to the queen of heaven, we may perhaps do well to remember that this need not banish the thought of Easter as it has now developed before the Christian's mind in commemoration of our Lord's resurrection from the dead. With the word Easter let us pray and seek to understand the full importance of the great resurrection event.

Our Lord's resurrection may be viewed from three different standpoints, all of them interesting. First. – His resurrection from the dead meant that he finished the work which he undertook to do on our behalf – the great work for which he left the heavenly glory and humbled himself from the spirit nature to the human plane when he was born of a woman. He undertook to do the Father's will and to give his life a ransom price in offset of original sin and its death penalty, which passed upon Father Adam and by heredity upon all of his race.

The Scriptures inform us that a reward or joy was set before our Lord – the joy of doing the Heavenly Father's will, the joy of redeeming mankind and the joy of attaining thus to the great reward offered – namely, glory, honor and immortality at the right hand of the majesty on high, far above angels, principalities and powers and every name that is named. Our Lord's resurrection from the dead implies that his work met with the Father's approval and that all of that reward promised to him had been legitimately secured as his high reward.


Second – His resurrection meant much to the world, for the mere giving of his life did not finish the work of redemption. It remained for him to make application [NS637] of the merit of that sacrifice, and before he could present it before the Father on our behalf he must need be himself raised from the dead. So, then, our Lord's resurrection means that he who has undertaken the reconciliation of the world by his blood has taken the first great step and merely awaits the Father's time for the second great step, the inauguration of the reign of righteousness and the blessing of Israel and all the families of the earth. This importance of Christ's resurrection the apostle emphasized, saying: "If Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain and your faith is also vain. Ye are yet in your sins. But now is Christ risen from the dead and become the first fruits of them that slept." (1 Cor. 15:14-20)

He himself "slept" for parts of three days and is declared to have been "the first that should rise from the dead" – "the firstborn amongst many brethren."

Others had been awakened to a revival of their perishing condition – Lazarus, the widow of Nain's son, Jairus' daughter and others. Christ alone up to that time experienced resurrection – a full rising up out of death in every sense and degree.

Third – Our Lord's resurrection has a special significance to the church because we are informed that as he was raised from the dead he experienced a change of nature, being put to death in the flesh and quickened in spirit, so the church is promised that she shall have a share in his resurrection – his kind of resurrection, a resurrection to a new nature, a new spirit. As further evidence of this the apostle points out that "flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God;" hence the necessary "change" in resurrection of all those who would be "heirs of God and joint heirs of Jesus Christ," their Lord, in his heavenly kingdom.

He emphasizes this still further in describing the resurrection of the "elect" church. He calls it "the resurrection of the dead," saying: "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 in weakness; it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is an animal body, and there is a spiritual body. As we (the church, the members of his body) have borne the image of the earthly one (Adam), we shall also bear the image of the heavenly (Christ)." (1 Cor. 15:42-49)


This resurrection of the church the apostle styles His resurrection because all of the "elect" members of the body of Christ are counted as participating with their Lord in the glorious things of his resurrection, which is so different from the resurrection which will come to the remainder of mankind. Of his resurrection the apostle says, "I count all things loss, for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things and do count them but dross; that I may win Christ and be found in him, a member of the body of Christ, the 'elect' church; that I may know him and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his suffering, being made conformable unto his death" (Philip. 3:8-10)

In these words the apostle shows that the "elect" church share in "Christ's death" and share also in "his resurrection. They are thus separate and distinct from the world in both of these particulars, which are indeed made interdependent one upon the other. The apostle says, "The spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God, and, if children, then heirs – heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together" (Rom. 8:16, 17)


We have seen that the world's resurrection will be a gradual one during the thousand years (millennial period) of Christ's reign. Notice now that the church's resurrection is also a gradual one. Each believer after making a full consecration of his earthly powers and talents to the Lord and after being begotten of the holy Spirit is counted a new creature in Christ Jesus, and he is said to have risen from the dead state to which our Lord referred when he said, "Let the dead bury their dead" (Matt. 8:22)

These new creatures are reckoned as dead in respect to their fleshly, earthly interests, etc., but alive in the sense that they have new hopes, new ambitions, new purposes and prospects. However, these are not dealt with in the same manner as the world – in a period of a thousand years in which they will be required to rise to actual perfection.

On the contrary, their human bodies, being devoted to death, must not be restored, must not be perfected, but must go down in death as their sacrifice, even as Jesus' body laid down its vitality and finally expired. But as Jesus the new creature was developing, the while his earthly nature was perishing, so must it be with the church, the "members in particular of his body."

While the "outward man perisheth, the inward man is renewed day by day."

Indeed, we have the assurances of the Scriptures that the new creature can triumph, become strong in the new, the resurrected life only in proportion as the old body is kept dead – mortified. "Mortify, therefore, your members which are upon the earth." (Col 3:5)

So, then, the Scriptural suggestion is that from time of the begetting of the holy Spirit the Christian, as the new creature, begins the new or resurrected life and that his "change" to spirit body at the second coming of the Lord is dependent upon the [NS638] maintenance of this resurrected life. If it perishes he will have no share in the "first resurrection," no share in "his resurrection," to glory, honor and immortality. The apostle's words imply a query, "If, then, ye be risen with Christ."

It is for you to decide. None is able to read the heart of another thoroughly. God is calling out a church and exhorts them to make their calling and election sure. He has laid down the terms and conditions, and it is for the favored ones who have heard of the grace of God to allow that grace to operate in their hearts, moving them to will aright and to do aright the Lord's good pleasure. Seeing that there are to be some who will share in Christ's resurrection, seeing that we know about it and have this heavenly hope and calling before our minds, the responsibility is ours, and the apostle was doing a faithful service to us in calling the matter to our attention.


If the begetting to the new nature, the heavenly nature, is in us, there should be correspondingly an interest in and a longing for the heavenly things, the higher things, the things above. This does not mean what the poet mistakenly thoughts, "Sweet prospects, sweet birds and sweet flowers Have all lost their sweetness to me It may mean – we believe that it should mean, the very reverse to this, namely, that "Sweet prospects, sweet birds and sweet flowers, Have all gained new sweetness to me.

It means, moreover, that in the flowers and birds and everything that is beautiful the awakened, the quickened soul finds a hint and suggestion of the still grander, still nobler things which God hath in reservation for those that love him. "Eye hath not seen nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." (1 Cor. 2:9)

The new creature must live more than ever along the higher lines mentioned by the apostle, "Whatsoever thing are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue and if there be any praise, think on these things." (Philip. 4:8)

It means, contrariwise, that the new creature will disesteem more and more whatsoever things are vile, impure, ignoble, slanderous, and all evil speaking. By our progress along these lines we may know something respecting our resurrection progress. If we be without love for righteousness and truth and without hatred of iniquity it would be a sure evidence that we were not new creatures at all; that we had not passed from death into life; that we were not risen with Christ.

We seek the things above with our new minds, with the eyes of our spiritual understanding, with our ears of faith. This means the searching for information along these heavenly lines, just as, if we were interested in India, we would search the libraries for histories and works of travel bearing upon the same. For the information of these New Creatures in Christ, risen with him and seeking the things above, the heavenly Father has provided spiritual food, knowledge – but not so much respecting the heavenly place or state, because he tells us that its glories are beyond description – beyond our powers of comprehension.

He tells us that the natural man could not at all receive the heavenly things, and that we can receive them only by the exercise of faith. The one general summary of what we will be like is, "We shall be like him" – our Lord, our Bridegroom – "for we shall see him as he is," and shall share his glory. The information given us respecting the heavenly things is along particular lines, namely, in respect to the qualities of heart necessary to fit and prepare us for any share in the complete resurrection of the blessed and holy.


Some of our fallen race have very little affection of any kind by nature. It will be very difficult for such to enter the kingdom, the very basis of which is "love out of a pure heart."

However, those who have strong affections sometimes find themselves sorely distressed, because there is a conflict of interests between the earthly and the heavenly. The two are at warfare. Our Heavenly Bridegroom demands that if we love him as his bride we must first demonstrate that we love him supremely – more than we love parents or children, houses or lands or even life itself.

The Lord does not fault us for affection, strong affection, but it is a reasonable demand that we should appreciate most of all him who has redeemed and "called" us, not only in respect to the things of this present life, but also as to things in the future. The apostle's statement, "Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth," implies a repeated setting, as though the affection might slip from the heavenly things or had already done so. The intimation is that we are to have before our minds the proper standards or things of the kingdom first and are to keep seeking and keep setting our affections upon the heavenly things.

This might reasonably call forth the question, Why should such an exhortation be necessary? Seeing the danger and importance of those things, why should it not become second nature to us to [NS639] think chiefly of the heavenly things? We reply that this is because we are by nature earthly and must do our thinking through the natural brain and because we are continually surrounded by earthly attractions which draw us earthward and make bids for our time and interest. Furthermore, our great adversary, seeks to attract us from the great prize, from loyalty to the heavenly kingdom.


Incidentally let us notice the world's resurrection, not because it is a part of our topic, but because it is so misunderstood that some clarifying of the subject may assist us in understanding more particularly the difference between it and our resurrection – the church's. The Greek word "anastasis," rendered "resurrection," signifies to lift up again, to lift up completely, with the implication that the something lifted up has previously fallen down. Father Adam, from harmony with God, perfection of being and lasting life, fell down into a condition of sin, dying, death.

He had not the power to restore himself to divine favor nor to raise himself up out of the condemnation. His entire race share in the fall from perfection; hence the Saviour, the Deliverer provided by God, we are assured, is "able to save to the uttermost," able to deliver not only from sin, but from death; not only from the tomb, but from all the weaknesses of heredity, all the sin, the blemishes, which rest upon our race. Christ has already "died, the just for the unjust" to accomplish this end. True, he has applied the merit of his sacrifice only to the household of faith, only to the believer.

No one else is properly prepared to receive or appreciate it. But the provision of the divine plan is that the Christ Jesus, the head, and the "elect" church, his bride) at the close of this age shall become the mediator between God and the world of rebels and shall seal, ratify, make firm the new covenant between God and Israel. "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah" (Jer. 31:31)

Under this new covenant the blessing of forgiveness and reconciliation shall be most favorably arranged for Israel. Satan shall be bound, and all the families of the earth shall have the privilege of becoming "Israelites indeed."

This will be the world's resurrection opportunity. The living of the nations will be dealt with first. By promises, instructions, punishments and rewards they will be raised up, resurrected out of their sin and death condition, and if they be obedient will attain to a full deliverance from death – to everlasting life, in harmony with God. The ministrations of the Great Mediator will extend also to those who sleep in Jesus – to the dead world, redeemed by the precious blood, and will grant them not only an awakening from the tomb, but subsequently an uplifting blessing and power, with all the privileges and opportunities of attaining everlasting life and perfection. In the past we have had too small, too narrow a view of the divine purpose as expressed in the word "anastasis" (resurrection). The Apostle Peter refers to this resurrection and calls it restitution in Acts 3:19-21.


The life of the true Church is a hidden one. As the Apostle suggests in our text, "Your life is hid with Christ in God."

Elsewhere he tells us that "when Christ who is our life shall appear, we also shall appear with him in glory;" we also shall be manifested with him in glory; "Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father." (Matt. 13:43)

Respecting this hidden life the Apostle says, "The world knoweth us not, because it knew him not." (1 John 3:1)

Again the Apostle Peter suggests that if the Jews had known who Jesus was they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. Similarly if they really knew the followers of Jesus, if they really understood their hearts, if they comprehended the fact that they are the children of the Highest, the world would be very careful in its treatment of the "little flock."

However, the Lord permits matters to be thus at the present time for our development in patience, in experience, in faith, in love – the love that thinketh no evil, that is not easily provoked, that rendereth not evil for evil or railing for railing, that seeketh not its own interests merely, but is on the lookout also for the interests of others. This same thought is expressed elsewhere in the Scriptures when we are told that the Church is the "Mystery" and we are assured that ultimately the "mystery of God shall be finished."

The "First Resurrection" will end all the mystery and the secret features of the Divine Plan, which until now have greatly perplexed both saints and worldly. Then all will see the wisdom of God in selecting the Church under special conditions of trial and testing of faith and loyalty and endurance. So great is to be the glory and honor of the Church that had all these matters been seen with distinctness at the present time, some might have striven for the prize through a spirit of ambition.

But the method which God has taken requires that we shall walk by faith and not by sight, that enlightenment and understanding will be granted only in proportion as the heart manifests loyalty to the Lord and as it manifests humility and every form of righteousness. This Divine method will ultimately commend itself to all. The lessons and experiences of the church in her own progress along the lines of the resurrection life will enable her to have sympathy with the world during the [NS640] millennium, when, as the bride, the Lamb's wife, she will be privileged as his mouthpiece to grant the world the riches of God's blessing in and through Christ Jesus our Lord. Then shall "the spirit and the bride say come, and let him that heareth say come, and let him that is athirst come, and whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." (Rev. 22:17)

"That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of the Father." (Philip. 2:10, 11)

"And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it." Isa. 40:5

Dear friends, are we settled upon this matter? Having believed in the Lord Jesus and turned away from sin, have we made a full consecration of ourselves to him and his service unto death? Have we received of his holy Spirit, begetting us to the new nature? Are we thus dead to the world and to self and to earthly interests, good and bad, and risen as new creatures to have interests in the higher, the heavenly things?

Are we setting our affections daily on things above? Are we mentally keeping account of our progress and daily making right with the Lord by prayer and the merit of our Redeemer for any imperfection? Are we thus seeking in the proper way the heavenly things, so that eventually the Lord will say to us: "Well done, good and faithful servant. Thou hast been faithful over a few things. I will make thee ruler over many." (Matt. 25:23)

The National Labor Tribune, April 13, 1909


Pastor C. T. Russell preached in Allegheny Carnegie Hall to a large audience, from the text, "When the judgments of the Lord are abroad in the earth the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness." (Isa. 26:9)

He said: The expression "day of judgment" is greatly misunderstood, being often interpreted to mean doomsday, as signifying the time when trial is ended and the decision given. With this thought in mind, the expression "day of judgment" carries to the minds of many a sense of dread, of fear.

Very peculiar is the mix-up in the average mind on this subject, for in one breath it is claimed that reward and punishments are entered upon immediately after death, while in another it is claimed that the day of doom comes at the second advent of Christ. How reasonable minds can harmonize these two errors is past comprehension. The fact is, that remarkably few people do any reasoning whatever upon religious subjects, and this unreasoning ignorance is perhaps as profound amongst the wealthy and the educated as amongst the poor and the ignorant.

In the melee of error the Truth has been entirely lost sight of. Surely it is high time that Christian people should learn that the vagaries and inconsistencies of their creeds from the "dark ages" not only conflict with reason and with common sense, but are in violent opposition to the teachings of the Bible. The latter, as we have already shown, explicitly teaches that mankind are really as dead as they appear to be, and do not pass into any living state of pleasure or torture while dead, but must all wait until he who paid the death penalty for Adam and his race shall assume his kingly office at his second advent and "send forth judgment unto victory," as foretold. (Matt. 12:20)

Under his beneficent reign the prisoners of sin and of death shall be set free; and the prison bars of the tomb shall surrender the thousands of millions of humanity who have gone into it under the penalty of Father Adam's sentence, "Dying thou shalt die."

A day of judgement signifies a day or period or epoch of trial, of testing, of proving. This, of course, is eventually to be followed by a sentence, favorable or unfavorable to the one tried. The wrong thought lies mainly in the poor translation of the word krisis, which signifies trial or test and not decision or judgment, though, as already suggested, a decision or judgment or sentence should by implication follow a crisis or trial. The Greek word krisis, frequently mistranslated judgment, with its original thought has been absorbed into our English language with the same signification that it has in the Greek; namely, sentence or trial.

We are all familiar with the course of fevers, and understand what the doctor means when he tells us that the crisis may be reached by the patient on the seventh, fourteenth, twenty-first or twenty-eighth day. We know that he means that it will be the trial time or testing time as to whether the power of the fever will break and the patient begin to recover, or whether the disease will get the greater hold and the patient rapidly sink. This is exactly the thought that should be attached to the expression judgment day or crisis day. It refers to a period, long or short, in which a full test will be made [NS641] with a result one way or another – for righteousness or for sin.


It is more than six thousand years since the first judgment day. So far as we are able to approximate from various Scriptures the first crisis day lasted about a year and a half, during which Adam was on trial in Eden. The test upon him was as respected his obedience to the Creator and his retention of the gift of life, or his disobedience and the loss of that gift under the sentence, "Dying thou shalt die."

We all know the result of that first crisis, that it involved not only Father Adam and Mother Eve, but all of their children, then in their loins. As a result of that first crisis or trial, death sentence passed upon Adam, which is still effective against all of his offspring and on account of which we are a dying race. As the Apostle says, by the disobedience of one condemnation passed upon all of the human family. (Rom. 5:12-19)

Hence it is that as a race we are a groaning creation, travailing in pain, going down to the great prison house of death. Our only hope of recovery from that original sentence rests in Christ. Jesus Christ by the grace of God tasted death for every man, we are assured. (Heb. 2:9)

And all being thus "bought with a price" we may hope for a full release from the death sentence in God's due time, the penalty of failure under the first crisis, judgment, trial. Whoever grasps the subject clearly will perceive that Adam and his race could not come again under a new judgment, crisis, trial, until the penalty upon the first man had been paid, and until the culprits had been released from that penalty.


Some might expect us to treat the consummation of matters at the flood as the result of another judgment day; but we answer, No, mankind was still under the sentence of the first trial or crisis. That period terminating with the flood was indeed a crisis time or judgment day for the angels, for it proved which were loyal and which disloyal, and marked the beginning of the sentence of God against the latter class. "The angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day." (Jude 6; 2 Pet. 2:4)

At this time, however, we are not considering the trial and failure and penalty upon those fallen angels, who are known in the Scriptures as demons and who personate the dead, deceiving mankind through necromancy, spiritism, witchcraft and hypnotism, feigning that they are our dead friends and thus assisting in the perpetuation of Satan's first great lie, "Ye shall not surely die." Warning all to take heed and have nothing whatever to do with Occultism, and Spiritism and Hypnotism as being the works of the Adversary, we proceed with our subject to discuss the other judgments, the crisis which God has ordained amongst men. The second crisis day amongst men was instituted at Mount Sinai, when God entered into a special covenant with the nation of Israel through Moses, the Mediator of that Law Covenant.

There an offer of life eternal was presented to that nation upon the condition that they should keep the divine law perfectly, completely, in letter and in spirit. Thus the Apostle interpreted it, saying, "He that doeth these things shall live by them."

But since Israel was a part of the world, all of whom are "children of wrath" and under sentence of death because of father Adam's transgression, before God could enter into any covenant with Israel or give them another trial in any sense of the word, it was necessary first of all to provide for them a typical justification, to forgive them their sins and release them from their penalty.

This was done by Moses, their Mediator, who offered typical sacrifices for their sins: he being a sinner and his life being forfeited, the animals represented Moses justified, as he represented typically the coming Messiah, the world's Mediator. After the sacrifices had been offered and their blood had been sprinkled on the Law, as representing God and his side of the covenant, and upon the people, as representing their side of the covenant, then the crisis, trial or judgment of that people began, to determine whether or not they could and would keep the Law Covenant, and if they were successful, to reward them by making them God's Kingdom for the blessing of all the families of the earth. But if they would fail in their trial or judgment, it would mean the loss of their privilege and their remanding again under a death sentence, as unworthy of life under the law.

The trial of that nation – its crisis – lasted for 1646 years and terminated on the day that our Lord Jesus rode the ass into Jerusalem, was rejected by them, and pronounced the sentence against them indicating that their trial of judgment epoch had terminated. He said: "Your house is left unto you desolate. Ye shall not see me until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord." (Luke 13:35)

Their crisis being ended, nothing remained except to note the results, which were found to be as follows:

(1) By the deeds of the Law can no flesh be justified. (Rom. 3:20)

Therefore it follows that every member of that nation was condemned according to the Law. But the Apostle shows us that there was a small class which, while failing to keep the Law Covenant because of weakness of the flesh, exercised throughout that age, a [NS642] faith toward God which was pleasing and acceptable to him. These are recounted to us in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews and are described as those who out of weakness were made strong and who through faithfulness to God endured various tribulations, rejoicing therein and trusting for a share in a better resurrection than they would otherwise have received. After setting forth this lesson the Apostle declared, "These all died in faith not having received the promise," (Heb. 11:13); and he assures us that they can never be made perfect without us, the Lord's elect ones of this Gospel age.

(2) Another result as respects that nation was that several thousand of the Jews, lifted out of depths of degradation through the instructions of the Law, were so developed in heart as to be recognizable as "Israelites indeed in whom there is no guile." John 1:47)

These were granted the first opportunity for entering upon a new trial of a new epoch, which began with our Lord's baptism and which still continues. As for the remainder of the Jews the Scriptures assure us that they were cast off for a time from all special favor and relationship with God, but with the divine promise that later on they shall again receive God's favor and under it become the leading nation of earth during the Millennial judgment or trial.

Meantime note that the nation at large was cast off from divine favor, and certain responsibility for unappreciated and unused opportunities lay against it, as a penalty for which a great time of trouble came upon that nation, resulting in their complete overthrow nationally in the year A.D. 70, an overthrow from which they have not yet recovered and cannot until Spiritual Israel shall have been fully developed and glorified.


On the conclusion of the Jewish crisis or trial epoch began another special trial day, not for the world nor for the Jewish nation, but for a certain class of justified and sanctified ones gathered out of all nations. The nucleus of this class came from the nation of Israel, beginning with the Lord, his apostles, the five hundred brethren who believed on him during his ministry and who were seen by him after his resurrection (1 Cor. 15:6), and the several thousand who believed on the following Pentecost day and subsequently. (Acts 2:41, 47)

These Israelites indeed, being justified through faith in the Redeemer and sanctified by a full consecration to God in his name, were begotten of the holy Spirit and became the nucleus of the new nation, the holy people, the royal priesthood, mentioned by St. Peter (1 Pet. 2:9)

Subsequently the message of the grace of God in Christ has gone hither and thither throughout the world, and like a magnet has attracted a certain class, without particularly influencing others, though some have been repelled by this magnet of divine truth and grace, the message of God's love in Christ. The effect has been the gathering of some in the name of Christ in every land, many more indeed than have rightly and fully appreciated the course and its terms.

The vast majority do not know that they are called to enter upon a period of schooling under the tutelage of the Lord Jesus, their Redeemer. The message of God's grace having been generally misrepresented, many have fled to the name of Christ to escape an eternity of torture, being quite untaught so far as God and his Word are concerned.

These hosts who have come to the banner of Christ under false impressions and wholly ignorant of the cost and conditions and rewards, are a great encumbrance to the faithful little flock, but serve to deceive the world as respects who constitute God's elect, what constitutes the lessons and testings of this trial time, and what will be the reward to the faithful. Meantime, however, the Master's voice is heard above the din of Babylon, and the true sheep recognize it as being very different in tone, in spirit, from the confusion of the world and of Babylon. This crisis or trial time has lasted now for nearly nineteen centuries.

Beginning with our Lord and with his Church at Pentecost, this crisis still continues and must continue until a sufficient number shall have been found to constitute the very elect of God, to be joint-heirs with Jesus Christ their Lord. As with the judgment previously mentioned, there was a period of trial and testing, and then in conclusion a decision, a rewarding and punishment; so the Scriptures declare it will be in this trial or judgment of the Church, the approved will be manifested and will be ultimately rewarded by a share in the First Resurrection change. These the Scriptures declare to be the blessed and holy who shall live and reign with Christ a thousand years. (Rev. 20:4)

Next to this will be another class developed during this time – tried, judged, tested, found worthy of life everlasting, but not found worthy of joint-heirship with Christ in the Kingdom glory. These the Scriptures speak of as the Great Company, whose number no man knoweth, a company not specially called; for all were called with the one hope of their calling – the divine nature and glory and honor and joint-heirship with Jesus in the Kingdom. (Rev. 7; Rom. 8:1)

These, having failed to make their calling and election sure, are nevertheless found loyal to the Lord under test to the degree that they will not deny his name, that they would suffer rather than do so. They have love for the Lord and for the brethren, but not to that extreme degree [NS643] which leads to self-sacrifice, a seeking of opportunities therefore. Here again as with the Jewish nation, there is a large element of nominalism which does not stand the test in the crisis and which is therefore counted derelict; and as respects the call these are castaway, utterly repudiated, even though they have named the name of Christ and have professed to be separate from the world as his followers. The great time of trouble, with which the age shall end, will merely reduce these to their proper standing as members of the human family and not separate begotten ones, not called out ones, not disciples of Christ.


Of the fourth crisis day or epoch the Apostle speaks saying, "God hath appointed a day in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath foreordained." (Acts 17:31)

This appointed day has not yet arrived, but the Scriptures clearly outline it as the Day of Christ, the Millennial day, 1,000 years long, in which the world will have its trial, its test, Christ and the Church being its judges (1 Cor. 6:2), not for its condemnation, but for its assistance, its up-building, its instruction and the granting to it of a full krisis or trial or test, to prove which of mankind would intelligently choose the side of evil with its penalty of the Second Death – utter destruction. No wonder the prophet, looking forward to that judgment day at the second coming of Christ rejoices therein, saying – "Let the heavens be glad, And let the earth rejoice; And let men say among the nations, Jehovah reigneth. Let the sea roar and the fulness thereof; Let the fields rejoice and all that are therein.

Then shall the trees of the wood sing aloud At the presence of Jehovah, Because he cometh To judge the earth. O give thanks unto Jehovah, for he is good; For his mercy endureth forever." 1 Chron. 16:31-34

The coming judgment of the world will be Jehovah's judgment day, but the Christ (our Lord and the glorified Church his Bride) will be the judges of the world, both representing Jehovah and his laws and acting also as Mediator. From this standpoint the prospect of the world's crisis or judgment is a blessed one. It implies that in some manner the first judgment of Jehovah against Father Adam and the race, the result of the first trial, has been set aside or cancelled, for there could not be another trial granted to humanity unless the sentence of the first trial were in some manner liquidated. And so we find – the good tidings of great joy which shall be unto all people is that the penalty of the first judgment, in which Father Adam failed and we all shared his penalty, has been met, has been cancelled by the death of Jesus, "the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world."

The good tidings further is, that because all have been redeemed by the precious blood, the sacrificed life of Jesus, therefore all are to have a new trial, none are to be allowed to be under the Adamic death penalty any longer. The merit of Christ has cancelled that sentence; and in harmony with the divine program he becomes the Life-Giver to all of Adam's race who will accept the favor. Hence the whole work of the Millennial age will be to scatter the ignorance, darkness, superstition, error with which the prince of this world has beclouded the minds of men, and to let in the sunlight of divine truth, and to cause all men everywhere to know the truth that the truth may make them free.

As for the experience of the present life, these all will be valuable when the new dispensation shall show in contrast the operation of the reign of righteousness, so different from the present operation of the rule of sin and death. Glad are we of the assurance that ultimately every knee shall bow and every tongue confess to the glory of God (Philip. 2:9-1 1), that the judgment of that time will operate amongst mankind so effectively that the knowledge of the Lord shall fill the whole earth, and they shall no longer need to say every man to his neighbor and every man to his brother, Know the Lord, for all shall know him from the least of them to the greatest of them. Jer. 31:34

The crisis or trial time of that thousand year judgment day will result in a full complete testing of every member of Adam's race. It will fully demonstrate those of the right condition of heart, ready and willing to build character in harmony with the will of God, and hence worthy of the reward of life eternal. It will also demonstrate those who will refuse to build such a character and mark them as unworthy of life eternal, to be "punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and the glory of his power." 2 Thess. 1:9


Whoever will consider the subject with an unbiased mind must admit that the world is not having its judgment or trial now. The terms and conditions of those now on trial are that they must have a knowledge of the only name given under heaven whereby men must be saved, and that they must believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as their Redeemer, for without faith it is impossible to please God. (Acts 4:12; Heb. 11:6)

Surely but a small majority of humanity has ever enjoyed this blessing of knowledge of Christ during this Gospel age, and [NS644] those who lived previously of course have no knowledge of the only name. Without this knowledge they could not come to this crisis or test; and they died without it. Hence they died not for their own sins, but for Adam's sin, for they were "born in sin, shapen in iniquity," as the children of Adam. Because our Lord Jesus realized that the new dispensation which he was inaugurating was not the world's judgment day, but merely the trial day for the Church, he declared, "I pray not for the world but for those whom thou hast given me."

Similarly our prayers and appeals do not need to be put forth on behalf of the world in general, but in the interest of those who have the ear to hear and the heart to respond to the heavenly calling of this Gospel age. We are to remember that now no man can come into the Son and into the blessed privileges of the present trial except the Father which sent Jesus draw him. John 6:44)

This does not imply that we are to feel careless respecting the interests of the world in general, who are included in our petition when we pray, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven."

It merely means that the Lord's people who are aware of the divine program, know that the heavenly Father has a great blessing in store for the world in general, the great blessing mentioned in our text, "He hath appointed a day in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained," Christ the Head, the Church his Body. We are content to have the Father's will done, knowing that it is the best in every way.

We are content with the restrictions which prevent any but a limited class from hearing the Lord's message during the Gospel age. We are content with the fact that the Adversary is still unbound, and, with his deceived subjects, is permitted to make the way to eternal life so narrow now that few find it. We are content with the Lord's assurance that this "little flock" of faithful overcomers will be glorified with himself in the end of this age, as the Bride class, and reign with him for the judging, uplifting, blessing, restitution of all the families of the earth.

Meantime we realize that our chief concern is to glorify the heavenly Father by exercising faith in his promises to the extent that will enable us to walk separate from the world, and we hearken to the voice of our Lord and Redeemer, our Teacher and Guide, instructing us that his new commandment is that we should love one another as he loved us John 13:34), namely, to the extent of laying down our lives for our brother, directly or indirectly, giving moments or hours, time, money or influence to aid one another in making our calling and election sure to the heavenly prize which the Lord has granted to us and for which we are on trial, during this our crisis day.


There is an order in connection with the divine arrangement which man had not perceived:

(1) The trial of Adam, of course, had its place at the beginning, since it was to be the trial of the whole race representatively in the one man, the head of the race. And this was accomplished rather than an individual trial for each, because each member of the race would probably have acted just as Adam did under the circumstances and because our all-wise and all-powerful Creator designed that but one sacrifice for sin would be necessary and therefore that the transgression of one should entail the calamity of death upon the entire race.

(2) The judgment day of the Jewish age came in its logical order because it was designed to do two things. First it was to act as a schoolmaster, or rather as a pedagogue, to bring children to the schoolmaster, Christ. So the Lord endeavored to uplift the minds and educate the character of the Jewish nation and to prepare them for the still higher instruction of the great Teacher Christ. Second, God, realizing that the law could make nothing perfect, permitted the Jews to go through the formality of endeavoring to keep the Law Covenant, endeavoring to gain eternal life under it, while at the same time they were making types and pictures, illustrative of better things, a higher priesthood and nobler sacrifice for sins to come afterward through Christ.

(3) The trial of the Gospel Church came at just the appropriate time, because it could not have taken place sooner. No one could be actually released from the death sentence until the redemption price had been actually paid at Calvary and presented on behalf of believers when the Lord ascended up on high and shed forth the holy Spirit at Pentecost. And not until this had been accomplished could the Church, justified believers, present their bodies living sacrifices and fulfill the terms of the high calling of this age – to lay down their lives with Christ, to have a share with him in his death.

(4) Not until the development of the Church, as the Body of the Anointed One, under the glorified Jesus, would the Mediator of the New Covenant be complete and the blessing of the world through him be possible during the world's day of judgment, which God has appointed. So then we see a wonderful beauty in the divine arrangement of these judgment epochs, and note how step upon step they are in full harmony, the one with the other, and with the glorious character of the heavenly Father and for the ultimate blessing of all the families of the earth. Let us who are now seeking the special prize of God's favor in this, the Church's crisis or trial day, be diligent that we may be found faithful [NS645] overcomers and hear the Master's words, "Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." Matt. 25:24

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