The Clinton Courant, April 2, 1910


"He led forth a multitude of captives and gave gifts unto men." (Eph. 4:8)

Boston, March 27 – As Christendom celebrates the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, it is appropriate that our hearts and minds should intelligently grasp the significance of the event commemorated. St. Paul laid great stress upon the resurrection of the dead, declaring that if there be no resurrection of the dead all those whom we counted as asleep would never have an awakening, and consequently would be as dead as are brute beasts. Note his emphatic statement to this effect. (1 Cor. 15:12-18)

For here as elsewhere his words contradict the thought that the saintly dead pass immediately to glory and the unsaintly to Purgatory or to eternal torture. According to the Gospel of Christ, of which St. Paul declares that he was not ashamed, the dead are to be esteemed as though they were asleep – at rest from all the commotion and turmoil and strife, ignorance and superstition and sin and trouble incident to the present reign of sin and death. They have truly entered into rest, whether they were saints or sinners.

When the time for their awakening shall have come in the Millennial morning of Christ's reign of righteousness, surrounding conditions will be very different from what they are today, thank God! Then Satan will be bound, the Bible assures us (Rev. 20:1-3), and the ignorance and superstition, selfishness and crime, which have for centuries marked his reign will gradually draw to a close, for the glorious Messiah-King will not permit them. His reign, on the contrary, will be marked with the true enlightenment of all mankind; and the result will be, as foretold; namely, "Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess to the glory of God." (Isa. 45:23).

Gradually the world will be brought to an Edenic condition, in harmony with the Divine promise. Indeed, this work may be said to be already beginning. Already, by artesian wells and irrigation processes and highways of travel and good roads and intelligent cultivation of fields, the earth begins to bloom and the wilderness and solitary place to be glad, as foretold by Isaiah the prophet (Isa. 35:1).

Under these blessed conditions "All that are in their graves shall hear the voice of the Son of man and shall come forth." (John 5:28, 29) – not all at once, but "Every man in his own order" (1 Cor. 15:23)

The saintly believers, who alone are fully pleasing to God, will come forth in the First, or chief, or preferable, Resurrection – come forth perfect, on the spirit plane, like unto the angels and like unto their glorified Redeemer, to be his joint-heirs in his Millennial Kingdom and its great work of resuscitating, instructing and ruling and uplifting all the "groaning" families of the earth (Rom. 8:22).

Thus will be fulfilled God's promise to the spiritual Seed of Abraham, "In thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." (Gal. 3:29)

Gradually, after dealing with the living nations to some extent, the sleeping world will be awakened, "Every man in his own order." (1 Cor. 15:23)

Our Lord assures us that all except the saintly few will come forth from the tomb that they may have a resurrection – a raising up out of sin and death conditions to righteousness, to the image of God that was lost by Adam; and that eventually, if willing and obedient, they will receive God's gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. But the rebellious under those favorable conditions, we are assured, will be cut off from life entirely in the Second Death. (Acts 3:19-23)

In speaking of the world's resurrection our Redeemer designates it a resurrection by judgments (Rev. Ver. John 5:28, 29)

Messiah's righteous judgments will then be abroad in the world. The light of knowledge will be as clear as the noon-day sun. Every good deed and endeavor will receive its reward and every wilfully evil deed will receive chastisements, corrections, to the intent that they may learn the advantages of the way of holiness and go up thereon to life eternal, which the willing and obedient may reach by the close of the Millennial Age. Through the prophet Daniel. the Lord declares that [NS783] many ot the worldly who now sleep in the dust of the earth shall come forth unto shame and lasting contempt. We can readily realize the shame that will be theirs when the light of full knowledge shall prevail and all of their past shall stand revealed to themselves and to others in its true colors. We can well understand that this will bring contempt to many now highly esteemed amongst men. But we can rejoice in the thought that the Millennial Kingdom then to be in power will deal graciously with all.

The stripes of punishment will be tempered with mercy; and gradually by their change of character the contemptible ones will cease to be contemptible. The transforming power of grace and Truth now operating in the Church will be equally forceful then, operating upon the world of mankind. As perfection is gradually attained the shame of the imperfection will gradually abate, while all of the shameless will be destroyed in the Second Death. Thus we see the Divine Purpose of the resurrection of the dead and our glorious hope, far different from all the fears that were taught us by the musty traditions of men, from the "dark ages."

And thus we see the force of the Apostle's words that if there be no resurrection of the dead our hope is vain, our faith is vain. (1 Cor. 15:14-19)


The Apostle argues, "If the dead rise not," if that is an impossibility so far as the world in general is concerned, then it is an impossibility so far as Christ is concerned. And "if Christ be not risen," then all hope, all faith, is vain. And all preaching is not only foolish, but worse. (See 1 Cor. 15:14)

"But now is Christ risen from the dead and become the first fruits of them that slept."

The mere awakening from sleep, as in the case of Lazarus, Dorcas and others, is here left out of the question. Nothing is counted as resurrection except the full, complete raising up out of death. Our Lord was the "first that should rise from the dead" (Acts 26:23), in this full sense. And he was a first fruits, or proof, that others still sleeping will come forth by Divine Power to be exercised by him in the resurrection morning – the Millennial morning. The Church will be the next in order – she is to be the Bride-Consort of the Great King and to participate with him in his glorious work of uplifting the race which fell from the Divine image into sin and death through father Adam. The redemption-price has been provided in the death of Jesus; and the time for beginning the great work of "restitution of all things" merely waits until the completion of the election of the saintly Church (Acts 3:19-21)


Preaching on the Day of Pentecost, St. Peter declares that God raised Christ from the dead. Then in proof that this was the Divine intention from the beginning, he quotes from the prophetic Psalm of David, "Thou shalt not leave my soul in hell."

The Apostle's quotation (Acts 2:27) is in the Greek, in which the word hell is hades. His quotation is from the Hebrew, in which the word hell is sheol – the only word rendered hell throughout the entire Old Testament. I am not stating this as something new, although I am confident that it is new to many of my hearers and to many of the eighteen millions who will read my discourse in tomorrow morning's papers. For the sake of such, I note the fact that in the morning of our Lord's resurrection, he said to Mary, "Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father and your Father; to my God, and your God." (John 20:17)

I remind them further of the language of the so-called Apostles' Creed, which is coming more and more into vogue with all denominations and which declares, "He descended into hell and rose again the third day."

In a version of this creed published by the Presbyterian Board of Publication of Philadelphia, a footnote very properly explains that the word hell here used is, in the Greek, hades, which signifies the state or condition of death. I consider this a very important matter, which should be made widely known, because of the false conception of hell handed down to us through our creeds formulated in the "dark ages," and since a misinterpretation of sheol and hades has been given to the public mind – the impression that these words signify a place of torture.

All this is wholly false, as every Greek and Hebrew scholar knows, and, if cross-questioned, will admit. It is an important question to the public because this misconception of the meaning of the word hell is driving hundreds, yea, thousands, away from God and away from the Bible. They correctly reason that the teaching that our Creator foreknew and intended a hell of torture for his creatures is beyond conception, beyond belief, and manifestly untrue, as no holy being could be so unjust, unkind, unloving. It is time that all such should see that the fault lies with the creeds and not with the Bible – that the Bible teaches a hell, sheol, hades, into which all go, both good and bad, and from which all will be called forth in the resurrection morning by the great Redeemer.


A better translation reads, "Our Lord ascended on high leading a multitude of captives."

These words are a pen picture representing a great King as a Conqueror returning from a victory over an opponent. The victor rode in a chariot at the head of the procession, surrounded by trumpets and acclaimers, and behind him followed the evidences, the proofs of his victory – either those whom he had captured and [NS784] enslaved or, as in this case, those who had been captured and enslaved and whom the Conqueror had set free. The picture is graphic and wonderful, notwithstanding the fact that a considerable space has intervened between our Lord's triumphant resurrection and ascension and the evidences of his victory, which are following after him. Of the great King of Glory himself, let us remember that after he had suffered by the will of God, "the Just for the unjust," that he might set mankind free from sin and death, he was "highly exalted and given a name above every name."

He was made "partaker of the divine nature." He was no longer a man, for "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God" (1 Cor. 15:50).

True, he still has as one of his many titles, The Son of man, which identifies him with our race and the work which he is in the process of accomplishing for it and which he will finish during his Millennial reign. We are reminded by the Apostle that he was put to death in the flesh and made alive in spirit – a spirit-being. He died as a man this side the veil. He arose a New Creature the other side the veil – a spirit being. He was "sown in corruption, raised in incorruption; sown in dishonor, raised in glory; sown a natural body, raised a spiritual body."

As the Church's Head and Fore-runner he passed beyond the veil; and now shortly, as participants with him and as the second battalion of the glorious triumphal procession, will follow "the Church which is his Body," sharers with him in the First Resurrection, his Bride. Next in processional order following the Bride class, the "very elect," will come the "great company" from every nation, people, kindred and tongue, the honored servants of the heavenly Bridegroom and Bride.

"The virgins her companions" (Psa. 14:14), will follow after the Bride into the presence of the great King Jehovah. Next in processional order will come the Ancient Worthies from faithful Abel down to John the Baptist, the greatest of the prophets. But these will come forth from the tomb in human perfection and not in the spirit perfection of those preceding (Heb. 11:38-40; Matt. 11:11).

In their human perfection similar to that of Adam before his transgression, plus their development in faith and obedience, these will constitute a firstfruits of Israel and of the world of mankind.

Under their ministration, supervised by the glorified ones beyond the veil, the work of restitution and uplifting the captives of sin and death will progress until, at the close of that thousand years of the reign of righteousness, every human being of loyal character will be completely freed from the bondage of sin and death and imperfection and, with the Ancient Worthies, will march in the grand procession into the presence of Jehovah God.

Thus the great Redeemer and Deliverer will not only present the saintly Church blameless and irreproachable before the Father in love but likewise will liberate all who will of Adam's race, now asleep and degraded. No wonder the Scriptures declared of the end of his triumphal procession, "He shall see of the travail of his soul and be satisfied." Isa. 53:11


All the blessings which, in God's providence, are not coming to the Church during this Gospel age, and all the blessings that in the millennial age will flow to natural Israel, "the rebellious also," and all the blessings that will flow through Israel and its New Covenant to all the families of the earth, proceed directly or indirectly from the great victory which our Lord Jesus gained over sin and death. Our text and context, as well as the Psalm from which the quotation is made, bears out this thought.

It is because our Lord descended, because He left the heavenly glory, and because, in harmony with the Father's will, our Redeemer left the courts of heavenly glory and humbled himself to become a man, and then "humbled himself to death, even the death of the cross," that his exaltation came as a reward of his loyalty to the Father's will. And in the Divine plan it is because his resurrection body and glory were a reward, a blessing – his earthly body and nature and rights had not been forfeited through disobedience – that he had the latter with all its privileges to bestow upon Adam's dead and dying race. He gave the merit of that sacrifice, first imputedly, on behalf of all desirous of walking in his steps of self-sacrifice even unto death that these might be in the Father's good pleasure counted as his members and companions on the heavenly plane.

To this end the first gifts were bestowed at Pentecost, and all of similar class throughout this age have had opportunity for participation therein. Additional gifts of helpfulness and instruction and assistance were provided through the apostles, orators, pastors and teachers of the Church – for the qualification of these saintly footstep followers for the work of service in building up the Body of Christ until the elect Body shall be complete. Eph. 4:11-13

Soon these gifts and blessings and privileges now granted and imputed to the Church will be no longer needed by the class being prepared for the heavenly joint-heirship. Then the gift of the Millennial Kingdom, and through Israel the gift of the new covenant (Jer. 31:31) will be bestowed upon the bloodbought world, granting to them individually the opportunity of recovering out of all their defilement and imperfection. [NS785] Let us then hail this great Redeemer and Deliverer Lord of all! Let us bow our hearts to him now and voluntarily put on the yoke of his service and suffer worthy of sharing with him in the glorious work of his millennial kingdom as his bride and joint-heir. Heb. 13:11-13

The Cincinnati Weekly Enquirer, April 7, 1910


Times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord, and He shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you; whom the heavens must retain until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began. Acts 3:19-21

Brooklyn, N. Y., April 3 – Pastor C. T. Russell, of Brooklyn Tabernacle, New York, preached here twice today to splendid audiences. One of his discourses was entitled "The Overthrow of Satan's Empire."

The other, which we quote, was on the necessity for the Millennium from the text above quoted. Pastor Russell said: Respecting two matters there can be no question:

1. That the early Church thoroughly believed in a Millennium Kingdom, hoped for it, prayed for it – "Thy Kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven."

2. It is equally certain that today the doctrine of the Millennium is tabooed as "out of date" – out of harmony with the views of the Higher Critics and Evolutionists, who are filling practically all the chairs in our colleges and the majority of the pulpits of Christendom.

What has led to this radical change on the part of the religious wise men of all denominations? Have they taken a step in advance, or are they departing from the path – from the teachings of the inspired Word of God? That they have left the Word of God; that they make light of it; that they profess far more wisdom and ability than the writers of the Bible and a higher intellectual inspiration than they, is indisputable.

The question for us is, Will Christians in considerable numbers follow these leaders away from God, away from all Divine revelation? Will we put our trust in literary princes who claim the right to instruct the world, not by Divine appointment or authority, but by virtue of their large amount of self-esteem? We believe that the masses are following these leaders into the ditch – to the ruination of their faith!

Thank God, we do not understand this to mean that they are following them to eternal torture. But their loss is sad enough anyway. It is a serious matter for a man to lose all knowledge of God, all faith in a Divine revelation, of a Divine purpose, and to be carried about by the winds of doctrine and cunning craftiness of men who state their views very positively, while generally they hold them very lightly, very tentatively, and change them very frequently. As illustrating our subject – the departure of the Church of today from the faith of the Church in the day of the apostles – we quote from Rev. Dr. Browns Review of Prof. Briigs' book on Church Unity, as follows:

Dr. Briggs does not really go to the bottom of the subject. He does not thoroughly discuss the matter of the Church. His emphatic insistence that in the New Testament the idea of the Church and of the Kingdom of God is the same indicates that the subject is not fully treated. For that statement is true only because the New Testament concept of the Church is not that of a permanent institution destined to last for thousands of years, but is looked on entirely in the light of the immediately expected second Coming of Christ. Thus the problem as to what constitutes the nature of the Church as a permanent organization in society is not so easily solved."

This draws the issue squarely, and it is well that all Christians should comprehend it. The present-day concept of the Church of Christ is that God planted it among men as leaven in a batch of dough, with the intent that it should propagate itself until the entire mass would be leavened.

But the Bible apostolic concept of the Church's message is the very reverse of this – that it is planted in the world, not with a view to converting the world, but, on the contrary, to keep itself separate from the world and to draw to itself "as many as the Lord your God shall call" of the pure in heart – to sacrifice earthly interests for Divine interests, unto death, and later, as by the First Resurrection, to enter into the heavenly glory of the Redeemer as his "Bride," his "Wife," his "Joint-Heir" in the Kingdom giory and the Kingdom work. And the work of that Kingdom is set forth to be the blessing of all the families of the earth. [NS786] The two views are so radically opposite that none should confuse them in their minds. If one is right, the other is wrong. If one is Scriptural the other is unscriptural. In the above item Dr. Brown admits that the Scriptural view entertained by the early church contemplated the church in suffering and in a temporary or tabernacle condition in the present life, and promised a share with Christ in His reign in power and great glory, as God's kingdom during the millennium.


Our thoughts, our ideals, control our lives. Otherwise we would be dishonest. If, then, as Christian people, we have lost the proper conception of the Divine purpose in our call to be members of "the body of Christ which is the church," this misconception most certainly would produce misdirected effort.

It is this misconception which led the Church of Rome to consider if her mission to conquer the world for Christ and to use the sword and spear and fagot wherever necessary to help forward what she believed was her divinely appointed mission. Both Catholics and Protestants today see that the course followed was wrong. Neither Catholics nor Protestants would stand for it today. But it was logical.

And if the same erroneous theory continues to dominate the mind it is only a question of time when the logic of the matter will again lead to similar excesses. The safe, the proper, the right course is to go back and take up afresh the doctrine of the millennium – the doctrine that the faithful of the church now being tried and tested will constitute the glorious Kingdom of God's dear Son after their change from earthly to spirit conditions in the First Resurrection. 1 Cor. 15:42-44


God bless the Christian Endeavor and Epworth League and Students' Missionary League and the Laymen's Movement, all intent on "Storming the world for Jesus."

We bear them witness that they have a zeal for God which we greatly admire and would encourage. But their zeal is "not according to knowledge," and is therefore considerably misdirected. To any one of logical mind, who will reason from statistics, the thought of converting the world by singing a few rousing hymns or holding a few enthusiastic meetings for the collection of money! money money ! would be childish. We do not despise childishness. We have all had our share. But we all should say with the Apostle, "When I was a child I spake as a child, and understood as a child; but when I became a man I put away childish things." 1 Cor. 13:11

"Christian people have been fooling themselves long enough!" Yes, it is as absolutely irrational to think of converting the world as it is unscriptural to believe that God ever gave us that impossible commission. The United States Census reports show that there are twice as many heathen today as there were a century ago. The word heathen carries to many a very wrong impression. Many noble-hearted Christians have gone as missionaries to the heathen wholly unprepared for what they met – intelligent, reasoning ability, etc. They found that the heathen were full of questions, logical questions, too, which they, as Christians, had never thought of and which they were wholly unprepared to answer.

Comparatively few of the missionaries are able to hold their own in argument with intelligent people in India, China and Japan. There is no danger of their converting those people. There is more danger of their losing their own faith in the Bible, because of their misapprehension of some of its teachings – respecting the mission of the Church and the hope of the world! Missionaries are thus handicapped! Full of commendable zeal they leave our shores to tell the heathen that their forefathers have gone to eternal torment and that they are going there, too, unless they accept Christ.

It is a rude awakening to be asked where hell is and why God should have condemned them and their forefathers to such a horrible eternity, and how this could be true and yet he be a God of pity, compassion, love. The heathen ask, why the different denominations – the different theories of the terms of salvation – by Water, by Election, by Free Grace, by joining the Church, etc.? The missionary, wholly unable to answer the adult native, gathers children about him, starts a school and does all he is able perhaps to justify his presence in a foreign land – helping the sick and doing many other acts of kindness which are very commendable, whether from a religious or humanitarian standpoint.


Our Lord's instruction was that His people should preach the Gospel in all the world for a witness – not to convert all the world, but for a "witness" to all the world. The mission of the Gospel is to select the Kingdom class, a "little flock."

The first opportunity to become members of this Royal Priesthood was offered to the Jews, and, after the gathering of a remnant from them, and, after their national rejection, the message was to go to the whole world irrespective of national lines, boundaries or language – anybody, everybody having the "hearing ear" was to be instructed respecting Christ and the opportunity of becoming his disciples by a full consecration of mind and body, time and talent, even unto death. These were to be promised the reward of a share in the First Resurrection to be members of the Royal Priesthood which, during the Millennial [NS787] Kingdom of Messiah, will bless all the remaining families of mankind – all the nonelect.

We are not complaining about the failure to convert the heathen! We are not faulting the missionaries! We are taking the Bible stand that all of God's purposes are being accomplished; that God's Word is accomplishing "that whereto it was sent" (Isa. 55:11); that it was not sent to convert the world, but to gather an elect" sample or "first fruits" from all nations (Rev. 14:4).

Let civilizing influences continue in heathendom, as well as in Christendom. But, let all Christians, missionaries and others know assuredly that their labor is not in vain if they are seeking for the Lord's jewels to the best of their ability.

I am in touch continually with laborers in India and Africa, and well know that the pure Gospel of Christ is not greatly affecting their teeming millions. But the Gospel of the Kingdom is seeking out, blessing, sanctifying, happifying, encouraging some here and there; some who have ears of faith to hear, eyes of faith to see, and obedient hearts to obey the "call" to suffer with Christ, and by and by to reign with Him for the effectual blessing of all the families of the earth, by uplifting the willing out of their present conditions of sin and degradation and death.


We have shown the value and necessity for the doctrine of the millennium – that all Christians who would hold fast to their Bibles as a faith anchor, and who would make progress in their study of the Word and be colaborers with God in the gathering of the elect need to see that the elect only are now called to be heirs of the Kingdom for which we pray, "Thy Kingdom Come."

They need to see that that Kingdom is God's provision for the future blessing of the non-elect. They need to see that the Bible does not teach, as many of them suppose, that the saints are called of God to sit in the heavenly balcony and look over at the non-elect in eternal anguish, and hear their cries. Next let us note that the millennium itself is an absolute necessity for the world, according to the statistics of the worldly-wise.

Many college professors and D.D.G's are inclined to speak glibly of the second coming of Christ being far in the future – "50,000 years yet," say some. But evidently these learned gentlemen have not used their educational advantages in connection with such statements. Any schoolboy can figure up what the population of the earth would be one thousand years from now, taklng the present population as per the census at sixteen hundred millions and the ratio of increase as shown by the census at 8 percent in 10 years.

The total would show 3,375,325,000,000 population for the year 2900 A. D. – more than 2,000 for each person now living. What would humanity do if the earth were crowded and clothing be found? Computing all the tillable portion of the earth at 25,000,000 square miles, or 16,000,000,000 acres, would give but one acre for the support of 210 people, or less than five square yeards each. At the close of a second such period – 3,900 A. D. – at the same rate, there would be 10 persons for each square foot of standing room. In other words, they would stand 15 deep on each other's heads. What shall we think of the wisdom that tells us that the millennium is 50,000 years off? The answer is found in Isaiah's prophecy, 29:14.


Are we asked how the millennium, if at once introduced would avert the difficulties of the first statement, 218 people for each acre of the habitable earth? We reply that the Scriptures clearly intimate that the rapid increase of our race is associated with man's fallen condition, as our Creator declared to Mother Eve after her disobedience, "I will greatly multiply thy sorrows and thy conception." (Gen. 3:16)

The Scriptures also intimate that with the return of humanity toward perfection the average increase will be less, and that eventually the human family will come to the condition where there will be neither marriage nor giving in marriage, and where sex conditions will be lost in a uniform standard of humanity embodying the qualities at present displayed in the two sexes. Further, God's promise for the millennium is that under His blessing the earth will yield her increase, and the waste places be reclaimed, springs breaking forth in deserts.

Furthermore, recognizing the Divine power in connection with the matter we can readily see how vast continents can be raised in the Atlantic and in the Pacific Oceans. But aside from these miracles, which properly enough could accompany the Millennial Kingdom of Christ, what can the world who ignore the Bible expect? In other words, what shall they expect who claim that the present order of things is to continue, saying, "All things continue as they were from the beginning of the world?" (2 Pet. 3:4)

Some may inquire: What about the resurrection of the millions who have died? We reply that the world has been only gradually working up to its present dense population. The people living in the world for the past 6,000 years, according to what we believe are trustworthy evidences, would number altogether about 20,000,000,000.

But more than twice that number could be buried in the State of Texas in separate graves and more than eight times that number could find standing room in Texas, as a school-boy with his pencil could readily demonstrate. But we need not look a thousand years ahead. The world will find itself in great trouble very shortly unless [NS788] the Millennium be ushered in. Already there is a shortage of timber. What will be the condition of things one hundred years from now? Already our capitalists are buying up the coal deposits on speculation, realizing that its rapid consumption is making it more valuable every year. Already geologists are calculating the number of tons of coal not yet mined and telling us that with the present average of increase in the consumption of coal the entire supply of the world will be exhausted in less than two hundred years.

What will be the price of coal as the vanishing point is neared? and how will mankind do without it, and without wood for fuel unless the Millennium come promptly with its miraculous provisions? – the taking of fuel from our atmosphere, and from water, by methods which will, no doubt, be simple, when mankind come to understand them fully, but which at present are so expensive as to be of little service. Other scientific men have been studying the increase of insanity and telling us that progress in this direction is terrific.

Some have estimated that in less than two hundred years the entire world, at the present rate, will be insane. How opportune it would be for the Millennial Kingdom of the great Life-Giver to be ushered in with its uplifting influences, mental, Last but not least the combination of wisdom and selfishness in our day, known as Unions and Trusts, is so influential that prices in every commodity are rising. Yet the trusts are not quite ripe yet. Their managers have not fully learned their power.Gradually the upper and the nether millstones will apparently be drawn closer together, while necessity will force the masses through the hopper.

How great would those "giants" become within another century or so, if the Millennium be not ushered in in the interim to "lift the poor and needy out of the dunghill" – using the scriptural figure of the work of the Kingdom! Psa. 113:7.

My friends, let us stick to the Bible and its Millennial theory. So doing we will be guided by the wisdom from on high and enabled to pray with the spirit and the understanding also, "Thy Kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven," and to labor intelligently as co-workers with God! Let us prepare as pupils in the School of Christ for the great work whereunto God has called us by the Gospel Message. "Even so, Come, Lord Jesus; Come quickly!" "Thy Kingdom come, and thy will be done on earth, even as in heaven."

Tippecanoe County Democrat, April 15, 1910


"We will not fear though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea." (Psa. 46:2)

April 10 – Pastor Russell, accompanied by Dr. Jones, who will serve him as stenographer, and by a representative of this Journal, sailed from New York April 5th for Jerusalem – via Paris Berne Naples, Alexandria, Cairo and the Pyramids, Jaffa, to Jerusalem and vicinity.

His return will be via Rome, Vienna, Warsaw, Berlin, Elberfeld and London. Meetings have been arranged for enroute. His longest stay will be in Great Britain, where about twenty appointments in the principal cities await him. He will be speaking practically every day. His Sunday discourses will be specially reported in these columns. Special interest will center in the discourses at Jerusalem and Rome. The many readers of his sermons will follow the Pastor in his journey with great interest. He is scheduled to be back in Brooklyn June 5th, when his topic will be "Jerusalem."

In anticipation of a large audience on that occasion Brooklyn's largest Auditorium, the Academy of Music, has been secured. His sermons now reach six million families weekly, and assuredly many of these wish him God-speed.


I have chosen for my text a sea topic, a symbolical prophecy which, I believe, is rapidly nearing fulfillment. All Bible students recognize the fact that many of the Psalms are Messianic; that is to say, they apply to the time of the inauguration of Messiah's Millennial Kingdom.

Some of them detail the peace and joy and blessings which will then prevail amongst men, when the great leveling processes of that time will raise all the worthy poor and degraded and will humble all the proud, establishing Society under such new conditions that the new order of things is symbolically styled in the Scriptures "a new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness" (2 Pet. 3:13).

Others of the Psalms describe in highly figurative terms the work of the Millennial Age. For [NS789] instance, we read: "Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most Mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty. And in thy majesty ride prosperously, because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things. Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the King's enemies; whereby the people fall under thee" (Psa. 45:3-5).

Here the great Redeemer is pictured as the glorious conquering King of the Millennial Age, and his victory over every opposing influence is emphasized – "Unto him every knee shall bow and every tongue confess" (Isa. 45:23).

His right hand that will teach terrible things is the symbol of the Divine power which will be exercised at the inauguration of the Kingdom. The sharp arrows which will pierce the enemies to the heart and cause them symbolically to fall before him slain represent his message of Truth and Grace which then will conquer as they do not now, except in the hearts of the few. A sample of those now slain after this manner by the Word of Truth is furnished us in the account of St. Peter's sermon on the Day of Pentecost. He preached the Truth plainly, thrusting in the "Sword of the Spirit" up to the hilt. He told his hearers how they and their rulers had crucified the Prince of Life. They were "cut to the heart," and it was the greatest blessing that could have possibly come to them. (Acts 2:23)

Similarly during the Millennium, the "arrows of Truth will smite down all opposition; and mankind, cut to the heart with proper appreciation of their own sinfulness and God's mercy, will fall before the great King, accepting mercy upon his gracious terms – full surrender.


The Psalm of which our text is a part is one of the Messianic Psalms. Prophetically and symbolically it tells about the trouble incident to the passing away of the present order of sin and selfishness and the inauguration of the new order of righteousness and love under the great Mediatorial Kingdom of Christ. Whether the events which the Scriptures predict shall come in our day or not, we hold that they will come and be in frill comportment with these prophetic pictures. They were surely written for our instruction (2 Tim. 3:16).

And as Bible students we do well to take heed to every item of the Divine revelation, that thus we may keep ourselves in touch with the Infinite One and in sympathy with all the features of his great and wonderful Program. Let us note the particulars of the Psalm in detail.


"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" (Psa. 46:1).

How beautiful! How comforting! How strengthening! Those who have entered into covenant relationship with God through Christ, in his love, may feel serene in any trouble – in every trouble – not merely in the final trouble, with which sin and sorrow will be brought to an end.

Not merely when Satan shall be bound will God be the refuge of his saints, but in all times and under all circumstances "the peace of God which passeth all understanding" will keep the hearts and minds of his faithful. "Therefore we will not fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea."

Fear is the great torment of the majority of our race. It is the lash which the Adversary frequently uses to drive away from God those who need his sympathy and love and succor. To such the Lord speaks tenderly saying, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."

And again, God declares his name to be Love and says, "Their fear toward me is taught by the precepts of men" – not by his Word (Isa. 29:13).

He would have us trust him as a great, loving, generous Father, saying, "Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord compassioneth those who reverence him." (Psa. 103:13).

As love, more love, perfect love, comes into our hearts it more and more casts out the fear which the Adversary would inculcate and which has burned into men's minds and consciences the "doctrines of devils," to which the Apostle refers (1 Tim. 4:1).

"Fear not their fear, neither be afraid," says the Lord to those who are his people. "Let the peace of God which passeth all understanding rule in your hearts!" Be faithful! Be trustful! Accept the assurance that "All things shall work together for good to those who love God – to the called ones according to his purpose" (Rom. 8:28).

This class will not fear when the earth shall be removed and when the mountains shall be carried into the midst of the sea. They might indeed be astonished and in trepidation if these were literal mountains; but they are symbolical. The people of the Lord, under his instruction, will not be in darkness that that day shall overtake them as a thief, although it will come as a thief and as a snare upon the whole world (Luke 21:35).

In the symbology of the Bible the term earth is used to represent the social structure, as the mountains which constitute the backbones of the earth symbolize the kingdoms of the world supported by the social order. As the earth represents the fixity of the social order, the sea represents the restless, turbulent, dissatisfied classes which lash against the earth and continually seek to swallow it up. The removal of the earth symbolizes the disturbance of the social order. The swallowing up of the mountains in the seas represents the overwhelming of some of the great kingdoms of the earth by the uprising of the people in anarchistic rebellion against social order. [NS790]


The fact that the Scriptures prophetically describe the overwhelming of the social order and the great governments of the earth must not be understood to signify that the Bible counsels revolution or anarchy. On the contrary, all of God's people throughout the Scriptures are counseled to live peaceably with all men, so far as possible.

They are counseled not to use carnal weapons, not to take to the sword for the settlement of disputes, but rather to suffer injury. They are counseled that God is the great Overlord, and that although he is not now ruling directly amongst men he is fully the Master of the situation in that he could at any time overthrow all opponents. He does not acknowledge that his will is now done in the earth, but tells us that it will be done by and by and encourages us to pray and to hope and to wait for it. He tells us that Satan is now the "Prince of this world" by virtue of the fact that he deceives the minds and hearts of the majority. God would have his people understand something of his great Program, but he would keep this hidden from all others; hence the impossibility of explaining spiritual things to a carnal mind (1 Cor. 2:14).

"None of the wicked shall understand." (Dan. 12:10)

The great Creator has contented himself with such a supervision of human affairs as leaves much responsibility in human hands. He merely interferes to raise up or to cast down on occasions when the interest of his Cause and Program may demand. For instance, the case of the Pharaoh, raised to the throne of Egypt, in Moses' day. God there raised to the Throne a man of great determination, and hindered from reaching the throne other men not so favorable to the carrying out of the Divine Purposes.

Thus, without interfering with the free moral agency of the king, God used the wrath of man to praise him and the remainder he restrained. Similarly, God previously raised Joseph to the Governorship of Egypt for his own purposes. The Prophet describes the tumult of that day of overwhelming trouble, when God's Kingdom will be established, saying of the sea that will swallow up the mountains, "The waters roar and be troubled; the mountains shake with the swelling thereof" (Psa. 46:3).

It is probably true that such socialistic and anarchistic roarings haye many times in the past caused the kingdoms of earth and their rulers to tremble. But some day, according to the Scriptures, the final catastrophe will occur. How near that day may be who can tell?

Quite a good many earnest Bible students concur in the thought that such a climax is indicated in the prophecies, for the year 1915. But be the date as it may, the fact remains. The prophecy we are examining is nearly three thousand years old, but it is as good, as sure, and as meaningful today as ever it was. We are not of those who would harass the minds of our fellows with fear.

Rather we would point them to the fact that behind this cloud of trouble there is a glorious silver lining of Millennial joy and blessing for all the families of the earth. Rather we would encourage all who have the hearing ear to zeal and faithfulness in their consecration, that they may "make their calling and their election sure" to a share in the Kingdom glories and "escape those things coming upon the earth." (Luke 21:36).

In a word, the Gospel of Christ is not a message of damnation and fear and torture, but, as the angels declared, "Good tidings of great joy which shall be unto all people." (Luke 2:10)


In the fourth and fifth verses following our text the Church is symbolically pictured as the City or Kingdom of God, his dwelling-place. And the stream of Truth is represented as a river making the City clean and fresh and glad. The proclamation is made, "God is in the midst of her! She shall not be moved! God shall help her early in the morning" – early in the Millennial morning. The Church is to be "a first-fruits unto God."

Her salvation as the Bride of Christ will be accomplished early in this Millennial morning. Oh, how glad will be all those accounted worthy of a place in that elect Church – "the Church of the First-borns, whose names are written in heaven !""She shall not be moved," is in agreement with the first verse in assuring us that God's people will be preserved from fear and doubt and misunderstanding of the events of that "time of trouble" and that their faith will enable them to triumph at a time when others will be in great distress and perplexity (Luke 21:26)


Beginning with the 6th verse the Prophet gives a brief synoptical picture of the time of trouble and its consummation and the inauguration of universal peace. "The heathen (Gentile peoples) raged!" These words describe the tumult which will prevail amongst humanity in the great time of trouble before the climax is reached.

"Raging," angry voices arise from public meetings, and in the more private meetings of the lodges of Labor and Capital, and through the columns of the Press to the extent permitted. In Germany the "raging Press for some time has been muzzled. The same is true in other nations.

In Great Britain, in the United States and in France there is a fear of tumult through public Press "raging," and everything possible is done to restrain it. Whoever sees that anarchy is the most dreadful terror confronting Civilization must realize the wisdom of reasonable restraints upon his own tongue and upon the tongues [NS791] of others. Neverthelss the Scriptures show us that all effort to suppress the tumult and the angry voices of men selfishly "raging" out against each other will fail. The prophetic picture continues – "God uttered his voice; the earth melted."

The unfaithfulness of humanity, the clamor of greed, both in rich and in poor, will be answered by the Almighty, "Giver of every good and perfect gift."

He will "utter his voice," or, as another prophet declares, "He will speak to the people in his anger," for their correction, for their reproval. The result will be that the symbolical earth (society) will melt – the social structure of civilization will disintegrate. Another Scripture declares that that disintegration will be so great that "every man's hand will be against his neighbor."

But the Prophet hastens to assure us that in the midst of all this tumult the Lord will be with his consecrated people. We read, "The Lord of hosts is with us. The God of Jacob is our refuge."

This promise applies primarily to the consecrated Church of Christ – Spiritual Israel. But it also secondarily applies to fleshly Israel, the Jewish nation, which will participate in this time of trouble, but be saved out of it, as the Scriptures declare (Jer. 30:7).

In this time of trouble the Lord's jewels, his saints, will be gathered to their heavenly home, after which Divine favor will begin to return to Israel. (Rom. 11:25-30)

The Psalm closes with a picture of the devastation which will prevail throughout the world as a result of human selfishness and blindness. Capital and Labor will rise up to a terrible cataclysm of anarchy, awful for rich and poor alike. Only God's saints will then have peace, and that because of their knowledge of the grand outcome; because of their faith in God and their willingness to accept whatever his providence should send. Mark the grand symbolic apostrophe with which the Psalm closes!

May its lesson draw us nearer to the Fountain of Grace and give us rest, peace and joy through obedience of heart to him, "He (Immanuel) maketh wars to cease unto the ends of the earth; he breaketh the bow in sunder; he burneth the chariot in fire. Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the heathen (Gentiles); I will be exalted in the earth."

The Tippecanoe County Democrat, April 22, 1910


"I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the Lord, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I." (Jon 2:2)

On the Mediterranean Sea, April 17. We are not far from the place where poor Jonah long ago had his sad experience in his attempt to run away from the Divine commission to the Ninevites. We are nearing Jaffa, the port from which he sailed, then called Joppa.

Some, intent on disproving as much as possible of the Bible, have attempted to make light of Jonah's experiences, claiming that there was no fish in the world of such capacity as could swallow a man entirely. We are to remember, however, that the Scriptures do not say that it was an ordinary whale that swallowed Jonah, but rather they specifically declare that God "specially prepared" a great fish for the occasion. Nor is this all.

We have our Lord's own testimony to the truthfulness of the matter, and whoever denies either his truthfulness or his intelligence is thereby denying also his Messiahship and repudiating him as a Savior, because neither a falsifier nor a dupe could possibly be recognized as the great Redeemer and Savior, the Sent of God, the Messiah.

Additionally our Lord informs us that the Jonah incident was in the nature of a type, especially designed of God to foreshadow the fact that Jesus himself would be dead for parts of three days and arise from the dead on the third day, even as Jonah was buried alive for parts of three days and on the third day the great fish vomited him upon dry land. There is nothing difficult about the narrative to one who has proper faith in God. To those who have not faith, nothing connected with Divine revelation is reasonable, commendable or satisfactory. Let us maintain our stand with those who hold fast to, and hold forth for others, the Word of Life.


But what have "the belly of hell" and the poor soul crying from it to do with the story of Jonah? And how does the story associate itself with our journey today over the Mediterranean Deep? Jonah was the man who was in the belly of hell and whose cry unto the Lord from there constitutes our text. When a boy I heard this text, and my imagination conjured up what hell would be like, and especially what the belly of hell, or what I supposed the middle part of it, would be like.

I had the opportunity of looking into blast furnaces through what is called the glory-hole or peep-hole. There I noted that the center of the fire was at white heat. I tried to imagine people in such a condition in the very middle or belly of hell. I could not imagine how they could survive such an experience a single moment, let alone for all eternity. I sought theological expositions of the matter and learned that some theologians of the hoary past, admitting the [NS792] destructive effect of fire, claimed that God would specially vitalize all the poor creatures consigned to this torment, so that they would never die, but would keep on suffering forever and forever and forever, untellable tortures. I found that other theologians explained that those consigned to such a fiery ordeal would gradually become adapted to it and assume an asbestos-like shell which would measurably protect them from the fire. But these theologians went on to explain that, wishing them to suffer horrible tortures, God would scale off the asbestos shell, causing them to suffer still more excruciatingly every time the operation was performed.

As a child I tried to imagine that this was the just desert of sinners, and that the Heavenly Father was really kind and loving – that he did not give them worse, though I could not think of anything worse that they could suffer. "When I was a child, I spake as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things." (1 Cor. 13:11).

I asked for the proof that anybody could endure such sufferings and yet live. I asked for the proof that our God is as unsympathetic as any devil could be. My mind rejected as irrational the whole proposition. I said: The God whom I shall worship must be a greater being than myself – greater than any human being, not only in power to execute his will, but also in wisdom to make a wise arrangement for his creatures, and also perfect in justice to do to them as he would have them do to him, if he were the creature and they the God. He must also be perfect in love, the noblest feature of any character.

I said to myself, Such must be the God who was the Creator of our race, for he has produced in humanity certain degrees of these various qualities and he could not give to man what he does not himself possess, nor can we suppose that he would create man with more justice, wisdom, love and power than he himself possesses. To that great God I bowed my heart and mind and every power that I possess. To him I still bow, and give thanks that by his grace I have come to see his character, his Plan and his Word more clearly than in the past. I thank him that now I can see in what way ultimately Jesus will be the "Light of the world" – not merely the Light of the Church. (John 8:12)

In abandoning the doctrine of eternal torment my disposition was to abandon the Bible also, because I believed that the Bible was the foundation of the irrational theory which had pictured God to my mind as a demon of the worst imaginable type. But, thank God, dear friends, the Lord heard my prayer for light, for knowledge respecting himself.

After I had made a search of heathen creeds, as well as those of Christendom, and had found them all illogical, unreasonable, unsatisfactory, I turned to the Bible again, saying, Perhaps I have not done the Bible justice; perhaps I have uncounsciously attributed to the Bible the teachings of the creeds. Perhaps I have read it through colored spectacles. Praying to God for guidance I took up Bible study in a very different way from previously. I began to study the Bible as I should have done at first – without reference to any of the creeds. I began to let God teach me. I ceased to say, It read, "Thus, "but it must mean otherwise. It says "So and so," but cannot mean that, but the reverse. In other words I ceased to try to teach God and endeavored to be taught of God through his Word, guided by his holy Spirit.


That was thirty-eight years ago. Under the Lord's blessing I found the Key to the interpretation of the Scriptures – not because of ability, but, I believe, because it is now due time for the Bible to be understood – in the closing of this Gospel Age and the dawning of the Millennial Day. Having found the Key and used it myself I have spent my best endeavors since to put the Key into the hands of God's consecrated people the world over. I have nothing to boast of, dear friends, but have much to be glad for.

First, I am glad on my own account with a joy unspeakable, that now I know my Heavenly Father and can have confidence in him and can have love for him, as never before. I am thankful that, to some extent, I have been enabled to convey similar joys, similar blessings, to others of his dear people of all denominations in all parts of the world. The Lord has gradually enlarged my opportunities year by year.

I am not building a sect – not making a new denomination – not founding a Church! We have had too much of that sort of thing already. Not only have we Wesley's Church and Calvin's Church, etc., etc., but it has become the custom for each minister to be spoken of as the proprietor of the Church; as, for instance, The Reverend Dr. A.'s Church. It has become a custom, too, for the preachers to speak of the people as "My people," "My Church."

This is all wrong. I wish to have neither part nor lot in it. I have no Church, and wish for none. There is but the one Church – the Church of Christ – "the Church of the Living God" – "the Church of the First-Borns, whose names are written in heaven."

That Church includes in its membership every true saint of God who trusts in the merit of Christ and wants to walk in his footsteps. Whatever earthly systems such may be identified with are without Divine authorization. Their standing in God's sight is merely because of their identification with Christ as "members of his Body."

In God's providence I was led to publish six volumes of "Studies in the Scriptures," or Bible Keys. These were taken up by the Bible and Tract Society, and published at cost price, to enable all of God's people [NS793] everywhere to procure them. They are now published in ten of the most prominent languages. The first Volume, "The Plan of the Ages," has passed the three million mark. I have received not one cent of royalty. My life is a very simple one. My expenses are small. I accept no salary and take up no collections. Voluntary donations from those who have been blessed by my labors supply my needs and the surplus goes to the Bible and Tract Society for the general forwarding of its work – "The Promulgation of Christian Knowledge."

Each earnest Christian who obtains the assistance of these Bible Keys and enters into the treasures of God's Word and becomes rich himself in spiritual knowledge and in joy and peace of heart is glad to call the attention of others to these Bible Keys.

Thus the International classes of Bible Students of all denominations in all parts of the world are springing up and a blessed light, we believe, is going forth from these, assistful to.all who love righteousness and hate iniquity. Although I am the regular Pastor of the Brooklyn Tabernacle congregation, there are several assistants and I am privileged to speak to thinking Christians of various parts of the world, especially in the United States. Only the Lord knows how I thank him for this privilege of service, and for the still larger opportunity afforded me through the columns of some of the principal newspapers of the United States. My sermons are handled by a Syndicate, and I am advised that now they appear in nearly five hundred newspapers, aggregating a circulation of six million copies, or, according to newspaper count, thirty million readers.

All of these dear people of every denomination who do any thinking at all, I am sure have had similar difficulties to those which I experienced – difficulties in appreciating how our Heavenly Father could be a good Father, a good God, a loving Creator and yet provide for his human creatures such terrible destinies as all the creeds of the "dark ages" set forth. There is not a thinking Christian in the world who does not need the correct understanding of the Bible in order to be able to stand in the evil day that is upon us. All need to give heed to St. Paul's words, "Take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and, having done all, to stand." (Eph. 6:13)

Our day is a blessed one in respect to its wonderful opportunities and privileges, but it is an evil one in the sense of being a time of great trial and testing of faith to Christendom. Thinking minds are rejecting the Bible and denying that it is the inspired Word of God. These dear friends are stumbling into infidelity and think that Higher Criticism and Darwin's Evolution theory are new light. What they need is to see that the true light is in the Bible and that, wearing our grandfathers' spectacles, we inherited the Word of God and wrested it to our own injury and to the loss of our peace of mind and fellowship with the Father and with the Son and with the holy Spirit.


Whoever gets the proper understanding of our text has in his possession the Key to the Bible. If he will use it, passage after passage will open for him and the whole Word of God becomes a new and glorious revelation of Justice, Wisdom, Love and Power Divine. Jonah was in the fish's belly – he was buried alive. It is this that is referred to in our text. The words hell-belly signify grave-belly or belly-grave. The context shows all this, telling us additionally that sea-weeds were wrapped about the Prophet's head and that God heard his prayer and delivered him from the hell-belly, or belly-grave, on the third day by causing the fish to vomit him up. If you have a reference Bible note that in the margin there is a reference to the words of our text, saying, "Hebrew, the grave."

Ah! says one, The translators merely made a mistake and translated it hell when they should have translated it grave. Yes, I answer, and they made the same mistake in every case in which they used the same word sheol throughout the Old Testament. As it is, sheol is translated grave more times than it is translated hell in our Common Version; but it should be translated grave every time. There we have the Key to the Bible, The hell of the Bible, the penalty for sin, is death, the grave, the tomb. It is not an everlasting hell, for special Scriptures declare that sheol (hell) shall be destroyed. "I will ransom them from the power of the grave (sheol); I will redeem them from death; O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave (sheol, hell) I will be thy destruction." (Hos. 13:14)

St. Paul quotes this prophecy in conjunction with his great discourse on the resurrection, "O death, where is thy sting? O grave (hades) where is thy victory?" (1 Cor. 15:55)

We see, dear friends, what our dear Redeemer suffered on our behalf to release us from the penalty for sin. He did not go to eternal torment for our sins. He did go into sheol, into hades, into the grave. "Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures" (1 Cor. 15:3)

Thus God has provided for the resurrection of the dead – all mankind, "both of the just and of the unjust."

The just are the Church, the saints. The unjust include all others. The blood of Jesus will avail for the release of every member of the race from the great penalty of death. Now it operates under a special call to the saintly few who are invited to become joint-heirs with the Redeemer in his great Kingdom which shortly is to bless all the families of the earth – not only those then living, but also all who have gone down to the tomb. The general resurrection [NS794] will not be an instantaneous one, as in the case of the saints. It will be a gradual one in two senses.

(1) All will not come forth at once, but, as the Apostle declares, "Every man in his own order," company or band. (1 Cor. 15:23)

(2) It will be gradual in the sense that the awakening from the tomb will be but the beginning of the resurrection of the world. During the thousand years of Christ's reign all who will give heed to his instructions and assistance may rise gradually – up, up, up – and by the close of the Millennium they will reach the full perfection and image of God lost by Father Adam through disobedience. The unwilling, those rebellious after the light has fully come upon them, will be destroyed in the Second Death, from which there will be no recovery. They will perish as the brute beasts. So, then, let us learn a lesson from Jonah's words, not forgetting the other lesson mentioned by our Lord when he declares that Jonah's experiences in the grave – the belly of the fish, and his release therefrom – foreshadowed his own experiences in the tomb and his resurrection in power and great glory on the third day.

The Orange Enterprise and Journal, April 29, 1910


Jerusalem, April 24 – My friends, we meet today for the worship of God in traditionally one of the most renowned meeting places in the whole earth. Tradition has it that this is the same "upper room which was owned by one friendly to our Lord and his disciples and who granted it as their meeting place on several occasions most intimately associated with the inauguration of Christianity.

Tradition also has it that this is the room mentioned by St. Mark in our text, where the disciples with the Lord partook of the last Jewish Passover Supper, after which Jesus instituted the Eucharist or Lord's Supper as an antitypical memorial, taking the place of the Passover to all who accept Jesus as the Passover Lamb – "The Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world;" (John 1:29)

"Christ our Passover is slain, therefore let us keep the feast." (1 Cor. 5:7, 8)

Tradition assures us that this is the same room mentioned in the Book of Acts (1:13)

as the place where the Apostles resided and assembled for worship during the ten days following the Lord's ascension – the same "upper room," therefore, in which was manifested the acceptance of all the consecrated followers of Jesus into Covenant relationship with God as members of the Body of Christ, which is the Church."

Of course, our permission to use this room for a public service today was ebtablished only by prearrangement with those having it in charge. True, traditions are not always reliable. Surely, in almost every other part of the world it would be absurd to think of the preservation of the identity of a house like this for more than eighteen centuries.

But here we have most peculiar conditions. The inhabitants of this land seem to have been content to leave things just as they found them from generation to generation, merely making such slight repairs as were from time to time found necessary. Here visitors come, look and depart, filled with a sacred awe, and have done so for centuries, and the inhabitants, each intent upon his own business, have ignored this in a manner hardly imaginable by Europeans. It is possible therefore that tradition in this case and in other instances hereabouts, has located correctly, just as in Rome the prison in which Paul was confined is indicated by tradition with apparent accuracy.


We are favored not only in respect to the use of the room, but additionally in respect to the time of our visit and our use of it. This, according to Jewish reckoning, is the first day of Passover Week – it began last evening at 6 o'clock. The three hours preceding that marked the time of our Lord's death and the begging by Joseph of Arimathea for the privilege of burying his body in his new tomb and the hasty taking of our Lord from the cross and getting him only partially embalmed and the tomb closed and sealed before 6 o'clock – this day beginning at 6 o'clock being amongst the Jews, as the Apostle declared, an "high day," a Sabbath day of special sacredness as the beginning of the Passover Feast-Week.

As we look back to that memorable occasion we can sympathize with the Apostles and early believers in the blighting of all of their hopes by the apparent failure of Jesus to make good his claim of Messiahship. We can imagine better than we can describe their dejection, their disappointment. On the next day, corresponding to tomorrow, the two with whom Jesus met on the way to Emmaus said sadly, "We had trusted that it had been he who should have redeemed Israel." (Luke 24:21)

They had hoped that his miracles, corroborating his teaching, when he "spake as never man spake," were evidences that he was the Messiah. They had built their hopes, as Jews, that now finally God's promises to [NS795] their nation would be fulfilled – that Israel should be exalted in the earth in name and fame and power and authority to bless and to instruct "all the families of the earth."

They had hoped that Messiah would be the great King under whose beneficent reign, as the great Mediator between God and men, the long-promised blessing would come to the earth. They had hoped also for a personal share with him in the glories of his Kingdom, according to his own words – "Ye shall sit with me on twelve thrones, judging (ruling) the twelve tribes of Israel." (Matt. 19:28)

His death as a malefactor, as a blasphemer against God, seemed to cast a shadow over every hope and to leave them not oniy desolate in heart themselves, but despised by their neighbors as deceived fanatics. This is the anniversary, dear friends, of a day that was very sad to our brethren of 1877 years ago.


How different is our attitude of mind that we are able to see, to praise God and to rejoice that Jesus died; that he suffered, "the Just for the unjust," that his death might constitute the Ransom-Price for Adam and all his race. This light upon the sufferings of Christ began to shine into the hearts of the Apostles on the day of our Lord's resurrection, corresponding to tomorrow. The oil for that light lay hidden in the words of Moses and all the Prophets of Israel. But it was necessary that our Lord, having risen from the dead to be the great antitypical High Priest, should trim the lamp of Divine Truth that the light might shine out to all of his people, all of his "members," all of the "Royal Priesthood," all who are in the consecrated condition of heart, symbolically represented by the "holy" of Israel's Tabernacle. Mark how gently and how wisely the Lord permitted the light to shine in gradually upon his faithful few. The eyes of their understanding must not be blinded by an instantaneous flash.

Gradually, as they were able to bear it, the good tidings of his resurrection from the dead to glory, honor and immortality on the divine plane must be made known to them. The first intimations were from the women of the company who had gone with spices, after the "high day," on the morning of the third day to complete the work of embalming the Lord. They reported first, that he was gone from the sepulchre, and secondly, that they had seen some angels who told them that he was risen from the dead. And later Mary had reported that she had seen the Lord and clasped him by the feet and that he had said to her, "I am not yet ascended to my Father; but go to my brethren and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God." (John 20:17)

Jesus said to tell the disciples that he would meet them in Galilee, as he had said to them before. These bewildering experiences were merely leading gradually on, preparing the disciples for the fuller knowledge of the facts. It was the same day (corresponding to tomorrow afternoon) that the Lord overtook two of the sorrowing disciples as they walked into the country to spend the night. Here again he would not shock them and overpower them by a vision of his glorious presence such as smote down Saul of Tarsus on his way to Damascus, "shining above the brightness of the sun at noon-day;" on the contrary he assumed a body of flesh and traveler's clothing and talked sympathetically with the two sorrowing ones. After hearing their woes and sorrows he must have astonished them with his knowledge of the Scriptures, as well as by his sympathy, saying to them, "O foolish and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!" (Luke 24:25)

They had been willing to believe something of what the Prophets had spoken – the glorious things, the happifying things pertaining to Messiah's Millennial glory. But they had been slow to believe the prophets' other testimonies to the effect that the Redeemer must be "led as a Lamb to the slaughter," must be the sin-offering, must be despised and rejected of men, must be lifted up on the cross as the antitype of the "brazen serpent," and must be raised from the dead by the power of the Father to the glory, honor and immortality of his great station as Prophet, Priest, Mediator, King, the antitype of Melchizedek, for the fulfillment to Israel and the world of all of God's great promises.

Then said Jesus, in view of these expositions, "Ought not Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into his glory?" What else should be expected? Did he not foretell his own death? And did he not foretell his own resurrection? And were you not too confused to understand his teachings to the full? Did not your minds run more to the coming glory than to what he said to you respecting the necessity that you should "watch and pray lest ye enter into temptation" and lose all your part and hope under these trying conditions?

A little later, in the same day, he appeared in the "upper room," traditionally this very room – the doors being shut for fear of the Jews – barred, we may be sure, because the poor disciples felt that the envy and hatred which had led to the crucifixion of the Master might easily be transferred now to them because of their sympathy with him and their relationship to his work. Here Jesus materialized in their presence and spoke a few words. He told them that he was really present with them and that it was not merely a phantom which they saw. And then he ate with them, honeycomb and fish, as evidencing the fact that they were not being addressed by an illusion, but by a corporeal being. While they still wondered with astonishment, he proved to them that their risen [NS796] Lord was no ionger merely a man, but that he had experienced a change in his resurrection, so that now he was a spirit being and could go and come like the wind – appearing in a body of flesh when his purposes so demanded. He gave proof of this by vanishing out of their sight, dissolving the body of flesh and bones and the clothing as easily as he had created them and by the same Divine power.


The glorified, resurrected Jesus remained with the infant Church for forty days, watching over their interests. On four or five occasions he appeared to them again in different forms and for the further inculcation of the great lesson that he was risen and changed, henceforth a spirit being. Then he ascended up on high to appear in the presence of God on behalf of his faithful ones first, as later on he will appear in the interest of the world.

The Father's recognition of the merit of his sacrifice, applied "on our behalf, "was manifested by the impartation of the holy Spirit on Pentecost day. Traditionally this same wonderful upper room" witnessed that outpouring of Divine blessing and favor, which came only upon consecrated believers and has come upon the same class, and upon none other from that day unto this – begetting them individually by the holy Spirit to the divine nature with its promises of glory, honor and immortality to the faithful, in association with the Lord Jesus in his Millennial Kingdom. That blessing was a partial fulfillment of the Lord's word through the Prophet Joel, namely of that portion which says, "In those days will I pour out my Spirit upon my servants and upon my handmaids." (Joel 2:28)

We are glad, dear friends, that what occurred at that first Pentecost and what has continued all through this Gospel Age, of Pentecostal blessing upon each individual member of the Body of Christ, is merely a foretaste of God's great favor towards Adam's race. As St. James declares (1:18) the Church is merely "a kind of first-fruits unto God of his creatures."

True, the first-fruits in this case is the very choicest – our Lord, the glorious Head and High Priest, and his saintly followers the antitypical under-priests of the Royal Priesthood. But a great blessing is yet to come, for there shall come a still greater outpouring of God's Spirit as mentioned in the same prophecy in the words, "After those days, saith the Lord, I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall seek for me, and your young men shall see actually what your ancients dreamed of."

This will have its fulfillment during the Millennial Age, not that the world in general will be begotten of the holy Spirit to a spirit nature like unto the angels and like unto Christ, as in our case, but the Lord has promised to take away the stony heart and to give a heart of flesh to all the willing and obedient of mankind during that Millennial Day.

In such, a right spirit shall be renewed as they become obedient to the gracious arrangements of Messiah's universal Empire and that right spirit in man, that right disposition, will be the holy Spirit – God's Spirit or disposition. It was given to man originally when he was created perfect, upright, in the image and likeness of God. It was lost by sin and displaced by a spirit of selfishness and sometimes by a spirit of devilishness.

It will be the great work of that thousand years of Messiah's Kingdom to lift mankind out of sin and selfishness and death and to restore the willing and obedient to all that was lost in Adam and redeemed by the merit of the sacrifice at Calvary. With the close of the Millennial Kingdom, God shows us that all who will not have attained to the possession of his holy Spirit will be destroyed in the Second Death. Then there shall be no more sighing, nor crying, nor dying, no more sin, no more sorrow, for all the former things of sin and death shall have passed away. It will be Christ on the throne who will make all things new.


In closing we ask that in connection with what we have just said respecting this "Upper Room" and the blessings here conferred, you do not forget the special privilege which some twenty or thirty of us enjoyed in this same room on Friday evening last. We remind you afresh that that evening,, after six oclock, corresponded to the night in which our Lord with his disciples first celebrated the memorial of his own death with the loaf and with the cup, traditionally in this same "Upper Room."

Incidentally we remark that the early Christian Church used this same Jewish. reckoning in the annual celebration of our Lord's death and resurrection, but that, later on, the method of calculating the date was slightly modified so that this year Good Friday and Easter, according to the revised Episcopalian Calendar, occurred nearly a month ago – March 25-27.

I feel sure that as long as I live I shall not forget the blessed experiences of Friday evening and its memorial celebration, in this "Upper Room," of the great event which means so much to the Church and to the world – which symbolizes the precious sacrifice of Christ and also, as the Apostle explains, symbolizes the participation of all the faithful members of Christ in his sacrifice – in the broken loaf and in the cup of which we partake antitypically.

May we, dear friends, prove so faithful to our consecration Vows that we will be included by our glorious Lord amongst those who shall be counted worthy to share also his cup of joy and glory – participation in his Millennial Kingdom and his glorious work of blessing all the families of the earth!

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