Pittsburgh Gazette, Sept. 2, 1906


Pastor C T Russell was with the home congregation yesterday and spoke at Carnegie Hall, the Bible House Chapel, generally used, by the home congregation being too small. The audience gave close attention while the speaker addressed them on the subject of "Changed from Glory to Glory," from the text, "Hence we all with unveiled face behold as in a glass the glory of the Lord and are changed (transformed into the same image) from glory to glory as by the Spirit of the Lord." (2 Cor. 3:18.) He said: -

The intimation of our text is that whoever sees the glory of the Lord will be influenced thereby. The Apostle is not speaking of natural sight but of seeing with the eyes of the understanding. Whoever sees the Lord's true character necessarily will be sure to find it a test which will either work in him a blessing through a desire to copy the Lord or reversely work in him a hatred of righteousness. This the Apostle intimates in other Scriptures also, assuring us that the Gospel is either a savor of life unto life or of death unto death. We are glad to believe not only from our own experiences but also from the words of the scripture that to the majority of our race the message which the Lord has sent will ultimately prove to be a savor of life unto life unto eternal life. The fact that only a small fragment of mankind now appreciate God's character and correspondingly love righteousness and hate iniquity should not be considered a proof that the great mass of mankind will find the message of God's love and favor ultimately a savor of death unto death eternally. Rather it is an evidence that the majority now do not see the Lord in his true character that the eyes of the majority of mankind are now closed or as the Apostle in this text represents the matter, their eyes are veiled. Some things respecting God they do see through the veil of ignorance and superstition and sin which covers their hearts, their minds. But the view of the Almighty obtained through such a veil is of necessity a very unsatisfactory one and far from happifying and encouraging to the beholder. The Apostle had just been discussing the fact that the Jews as a people rejected Christ and the Gospel of grace. He tells us that it was because there was a veil over their hearts which hindered their seeing the glory and beauty of the divine justice and love which centered in the Redeemer and his work of sacrifice on our behalf. - "a ransom for all to be testified in due time." "And all to be testified in due time."


Thus the Apostle declares that it is "we of unveiled face" we from whose hearts the veil of superstition and misconception has been either totally or partially removed we in that proportion may behold the glory of the Lord not directly but as in a glass, as in a mirror.

In proportion as we get rid of the veil of ignorance, in that same proportion do we obtain the spirit of liberty, the spirit of Christ, and ability to see things in their true, proper light. This is the Apostle's argument in the context where he says, "Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." Any liberty which ignores the Lord and his spirit is an injurious one likely to lead its possessor afar off into the worship and service of the microbe god, but he whose eyes of understanding are opened to the Divine revelation, he who receives the spirit of the Lord receives therein the true spirit of liberty and is of the class described as having the opportunity for being changed from glory to glory into the same image, into the likeness of the God of glory, the God of wisdom, justice, love and power. It is based upon this declaration that where the spirit of the Lord is there is liberty, that the Apostle uses the words of our text, saying, "Hence we all with unveiled face, beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed (transformed) into the same image."


The Apostle James (1:25) most clearly sets forth that we must not only look into this law of liberty, the law of God, and see therein the divine character and its perfection and see also our own imperfections, but we must continue to use these means of grace if we would have the transforming work progress in our hearts. The same thought is given in our text, namely, that this transformation is a gradual one from glory to glory an increasing glorious likeness to the glorious God. The same thought is set forth by the Apostle in his letter to the Romans when he declares that we are changed by the renewing of our minds that we might be able to prove the good, acceptable and perfect will of God. The transforming work must have its beginning, must have an onward progression and must have a culmination change or development. When we knew nothing, when the eyes of our understanding were thoroughly blinded we saw none of God's glory; as the blindness passed away, as the veil of ignorance and superstition gradually dissolved, we could see more and more the glorious character of him who called us from darkness to light. But so long as the veil in any measure continues, that long and to that degree we will be lacking of the full heart transformation, hence the necessity that all of the Lord's people would grow in divine grace by growing in the knowledge and the love of God. It is in accord with this that the Apostle writes, "For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth and length and depth and heighth, and to know the love of God which passeth knowledge." Eph. 3:14-19


Our text intimates that this work of change is accomplished by the Spirit of the Lord'the transforming work [HGL326] of change in the heart, character, life, is accomplished by the Holy Spirit. Hence only those begotten of the Holy Spirit- "born again" (begotten again) have this eyesight now and are experiencing this change of heart, of character, life, from glory to glory. Simply to believe that Jesus is the world's Redeemer and a great teacher sent of God is not sufficient. Our belief to be of value must lead to the renouncement of sin more than this it must lead to a full heart-consecration to the Lord and his service else we cannot have the begetting of the Holy Spirit, cannot let our eyes sufficiently opened even to discern the glories of the Divine character. It is the spirit-begotten ones that the apostle is addressing in our text, "We." As the Apostle says, "Let us go on to perfection." Let us behold in the glass of the Divine Word the Divine law of liberty, let us continue to look therein, to copy the Divine character and thus day by day, little by little, the transforming work will progress, the change of heart, of will, will become more and more complete and the glory of the Lord's character will be more and more our own and thus we shall be even in the present life more and more like our Lord. This is also the Apostle's suggestion in his letter to Romans when he intimates that God has called us with the heavenly calling to joint-heirship with Christ and that this joint-heirship is dependant upon our becoming "copies of his dear Son." (Rom. 8:17, 29) It is important therefore that we know definitely of the beginning of the new mind that we be able to recognize definitely that we have given our hearts, our all to the Lord.

It is important that we should progress and proper that we should look continually for evidences of the increase of the Lord's character likeness in our hearts, and then in view of the Lord's promises to this effect it will be ours to hope for the glorious change of the first resurrection which shall complete the work of grace begun in the begetting of the Spirit. In that glorious First Resurrection we hope for actual likeness to our Dear Redeemer then, as the Apostle John declares we shall see our Redeemer as he is, every vestige of the veil and imperfections and blemishes of the present time shall have passed away, "We shall be like him for we shall see him as he is and share his glory." 1 John 3:2


It is frequently a cause of discouragement to the Lord's people that they did not clearly enough discern that the changing process which is to eventuate in their glory is not a changing of the flesh but of the spirit, the mind, the will. We would not by any means give the inference that where the mind, the will, is soundly converted to the Lord, it would have no effect upon the flesh, no control over the flesh; quite to the contrary we believe that the changed mind has a strong influence over the flesh in that it even gives light and dignity and glory to the earthly features that every man enlightened and illuminated by the truth will not only know of this illumination in his own mind and appreciate its transforming influence in his own heart and will but that to some extent this illumination of the Lord's spirit will shine out through his mortal body, in his words, in his life and conduct, yea, in the very expression of his countenance. However what we here wish to emphasize is that the Lord looketh upon the heart and not upon the outward appearance the Lord will judge of our change not as men would judge, by the outward appearance, but by the inward conditions of loyalty to him and desire to say, to think, to feel in accord with the Spirit of the Lord, in accord with the glorious likeness which we see with increasing clearness reflected in the Divine Word. The world will judge us by the outward appearance merely, the Lord will judge us by the inward merely. But we and all of the household of faith are justified in expecting that there will be evidences of the change of heart manifested in the outward conduct of the flesh.

The Apostle intimates all this not only in our text but elsewhere, for instance, he declares, "If the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ Jesus from the dead shall quicken also your mortal bodies by his spirit that dwelleth in you." Rom. 8:11. How plain the statement! The Lord is dealing with the New Creature but as the New Creature grows in strength by the glorious transformation of character from glory to glory, it will desire to control the mortal body and it will be a growing and increasing power so to do so that even the mortal body which once was alive to sin but is now reckoned dead to sin will be drafted into the service of the New Creature, drafted into the service of righteousness in harmony with the New Mind and its degree of glorious likeness to the Lord.


We have followed our text and our experiences and observations fully concur with the Divine testimony. Let us now look upon the opposite page; let us see what are the injurious effects of heart blindness as respects the Divine character the glory of God. The Apostle points out that originally man was created not in the blind condition of mind but with the illumination. He answers the question of how it comes that this being true the great mass of mankind are now in such total blindness, explaining to us that it was because they did not wish to retain a knowledge of God in their hearts, therefore God gave them over allowed them to take their own course as a result of which they developed a reprobate mind. "When they knew God they glorified him not as God and were unthankful, and became vain in their reasonings and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools and changed the glory of the incorruptible God for the likeness of an image of corruptible man. Wherefore God gave them also up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts to dishonor their own bodies between themselves. Because they exchanged the truth of God for a lie." Read at your leisure the Apostle's explanation of how the heathen would has reached its low plane of degradation as he sets forth the same in the first chapter of his epistle to the Romans from the nineteenth verse to the end.

Our own ancestors were heathen and the measure of civilization which we enjoy we owe to the light of the knowledge of God which reflected into Europe from Palestine. Nevertheless so greatly has the truth of God been intermixed with heathen philosophies, ignorance and superstition that as we have already shown only the spirit-begotten ones are able to see the glory of God with any measure of clearness and appreciation. Let us thank God [HGL327] that while we see that the world is still in sin and death we see also the Divine character of love for mankind as set forth in the Divine word which assures us that all the families of the earth are destined to have a blessing from the Lord through him who loved us and bought us with his precious blood and that the blessing which now is granted through a regeneration and begetting of the Holy Spirit to the Church is merely a prelude, a fore-taste of a much more general blessing that is yet to come to every creature bringing with it an opportunity for the opening of all the blind eyes of understanding and the opening of all the deaf ears, that all may hear and see and appreciate the glory of God, the love of God, the wisdom of God, the justice of God, the power of God. True when this shall be accomplished we cannot even then hope that it will mean that all will come into full accord with the Almighty but our hearts are satisfied with the assurance that he who created the world loves the world to the extent that he has redeemed them through the precious blood of Christ and that the Redeemer in harmony with the Divine plan is yet to grant to every man an opportunity for full and complete restoration to all that was lost through Adam and that even those who will finally refuse Divine favor will not be eternally tormented but as the Scriptures declare, "They shall be utterly destroyed from amongst the people." Acts 3:23.

Pursuing the Apostle's thought in the text we remember the statement of the Lord through the Prophet Isaiah that he will destroy the face covering that is cast over all peoples the veil that is spread over all nations. (Isa. 25:7.) In this prophecy the Lord is referring to the Millennial Kingdom which he has elsewhere symbolically spoken of as a "mountain." He tells us that this mountain or kingdom shall be established in the earth and that a power proceeding from it shall destroy the veil, the covering that is upon all peoples and that he will prepare in this mountain for all people a feast of fat things, a feast on wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow pleasures, joys, blessings, favors of God beyond anything that they would not know how to understand or appreciate. Even we whose eyes of understanding are opening wider and more widely day by day are astonished as we get further glimpses of the great plan of God to see what grand blessings the coming Kingdom of Christ is to bring to the entire 'groaning creation' not only to those who will be alive when that glorious epoch will be ushered in but in accordance with the Scriptures a blessing to all nations, to all peoples, which will include those who have already perished in death. The blessing will largely be a blessing of knowledge both of the eyes and ears, the taking away of the blindness, the veil and the ushering in of the glorious sunlight of that Millennial day which shall chase away all the superstitions and errors and evils of this present time. What wonder that the prophets all spoke of that glorious Millennial Kingdom in rapturous words of wonder, that the apostles all referred to it with expressions of longing and desire as the time when the whole groaning creation shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption and that so many of them as will may attain to the liberty that is proper for the sons of God. (Rom. 8:21.) Can we wonder that our Lord Jesus himself taught us to look forward to this Millennial Kingdom, this great Mountain of God and to pray, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven?" Our context establishes the fact that the coming blessings are to be not only for those living at that time but also for those who are in their graves. Mark the statement "He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord will wipe away tears from all faces and the reproach of his people shall he take away from the earth." Isa. 25:8. Note also the Lord's statement through the Prophet Hosea (13:14) "He shall ransom them from the power of the grave, he will redeem them from death. O grave (sheol) I will be thy destruction." It is this passage which the Apostle Paul quotes in his great discourse on the resurrection. (1 Cor. 15:55.) Pointing down to the second coming of Christ and the time when the church shall be glorified with him he declares that then will be brought to pass the saying that is written Hosea's statement that death will be swallowed up in victory. It will require the entire Millennial age to swallow up death in victory, to rescue mankind from present sin and death conditions and to grant to all that will the opportunity to come into full accord with God and to obtain the gift of God, eternal life. At the end of the Millennial age the Prophet's words will be fulfilled, "O death where is thy sting? O grace (hades) where is thy victory."


The Apostles continually incited the church to look forward to the glorious events that would transpire at the second coming of Christ: (1) The glorification of the church with her Lord in the First Resurrection; (2) then the great work of the Church in glory, the work for mankind, the blessing of all the families of the earth by the taking away of the veil of sin and ignorance and superstition that is now upon the world. In connection with the statement of our text the Apostle assures us that the veil which is now over the minds of the Jews will be taken away in the Lord's due time after Spiritual Israel shall have been selected and glorified and when the Millennial Kingdom shall be established. And what will be true of Israel in the flesh other Scriptures show us will be true of all the families of the earth. But as the blessing of the natural things come to the Jew first and afterwards to the Gentiles, so the blessings of the Millennial age, the blessings of restitution to earthly inheritance and all that was lost, Paradise and human nature in perfection will come to the Jew first and afterwards to all the families of the earth.

What wonder that the Apostle declares that these glorious hopes before our minds would legitimately lead to purification. "He that hath this hope in him purifieth himself even as he is pure." And this statement of purification of heart and mind and so far as possible of the flesh, the earthly vessel, is but another statement of the glorious change from glory to glory which all of the consecrated ones are experiencing. It is appropriate that each one of us should ask himself the question, Have I received this begetting of the Spirit of the truth? Is its sanctifying power felt in my heart and life? Am I being changed from glory to glory day by day? Am I looking into the perfect law of divine liberty that I may have this glorious change effected and completed, or am I being bound by the world or the flesh or the Adversary or by some unscriptural religious [HGL328] sentiments or teachings so that I am hindered from making the progress that I should from glory to glory?

It is well dear friends, that we note the fact that this increase of glory in our hearts, in our new minds will affect all the affairs of life giving even to the commonest affairs an importance and a glorious light which they would not otherwise have. The new heart, the new mind as it beholds divine justice in his true light and appreciates the same and desires to be just toward others and realizes that the Golden Rule is a measure of justice and seeks to use it in all of life's affairs, doing unto others as they would they should do to him. More than this in proportion as we see the wisdom of God we desire the same wisdom that cometh from above which is first pure, then peaceable, easy of entreatment, full of mercy and good fruits. Additionally it recognizes the power of God; that the power which created us and which has now begotten us again to a new mind, to new hopes, is able to accomplish all the good promises of the Word and to give us the glorious resurrection in the likeness of our Lord and more to give us the Kingdom glories, blessings, opportunities and privileges and to use us with the Lord to bring back from the tomb and from sin and death conditions in general, all the families of the earth. This transformed mind with its increasing glories gives us fresh views of our duties and relationships of life toward God and toward our fellows and especially does it give us an appreciation of Divine love. As we note the love of God not only to the good but also toward the forward and the unthankful, it helps us to understand why he commands that we shall not only love him and love the brother-hood and love those who have his spirit and love those who are righteous, but that we should also have a sympathetic love to the world of mankind, a love that would delight to do them good and uplift them; and additionally that we should have love even to that measure and degree that would love our enemies sympathetically and desire to do them good and in no sense of the word to do them evil. Let the good work go on and let us strive daily, dear brethren, to be changed from glory to glory and by and by the Lord will perfect in the resurrection that which his grace, truth and spirit have now begun in our mortal bodies, our transformed minds.

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