The Weekly Inter Ocean, November 10, 1912


Ottawa, Ont., Nov. 10 Pastor Russell as usual had large audiences. We report one of his interesting discourses, on the live subject of Foreign Missions, which is stirring Christendom. His text was, "This Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all come." (Matt. 24:14) He said:

A year ago the International Bible Students Association, perplexed by the conflicting reports, resolved to send a Committee of Seven to investigate and give a candid report on missionary prospects in foreign lands especially in South India, where it is making a special effort. I was one of that Committee, which otherwise was composed of four successful business men one doctor, and General Hall of the U S A The Committee performed its duties conscientiously, and made its Report to one of the largest Christian gatherings ever held in New York City in the Hippodrome, March 31st. Its Report, published in pamphlet form, reached a very wide circulation amongst Christian people. I am authorized to offer the remainder free, one copy each, to all interested in Foreign Mission work. A postcard addressed to "I B S A, Brooklyn, N Y," requesting a copy of the Missionary Report, will receive prompt attention as long as the supply holds out.

The Committee, in preparing this report felt sure that it would be discouraging to some loyal Christian people; and they therefore laid bare the facts in as kindly and Christian a manner as possible. Every one of them being deeply interested in the heathen, every one of them a sincere Christian, what else could they do?

Now, as the Committee feared, the truthfulness of their Report, which so many Christian people gratefully acknowledge, has identified a few persons. These evidently fear that we have shattered their idol and discredited their fairy tales respecting the immediate conversion of the world by human instrumentality and more millions of money. We sympathize with these enthusiasts, who seem to deceive themselves as well as others and who shut their eyes to facts, while hoping against hope to maintain exploded theories.

One of these, Mr. W T Ellis, alias the "Religious Rambler," attacks our report after the style of Don Quixote. Falsely he declares that we journeyed on the same vessel from San Francisco to Shanghai, giving the impression that we had not visited Japan at all. Then he declares that we merely raced through the country, did not visit all the mission stations, nor talk with all the missionaries; and he wants to know how we could know anything on the subject of our Report. Our Report tells the facts. The Committee of Seven scattered, and spent six days in Japan, or a total of 42 days of investigation. Our 23 days spent in India, similarly recorded, would be the equivalent of nearly six months' investigation by one person.

Our I B S A Committee were not commissioned to investigate missions, nor merely to ask missionaries to corroborate reports promulgated by missionary societies. We visited and interrogated the people, saw their conditions, attended meetings, etc. As for myself, this critic charges in one breath that I did not preach the sermons which appeared in the newspapers of the world; and in the next breath he declares that I spent all my time in preaching and therefore had not time for investigation. A discerning public read between the lines of such criticism what the Bible symbolically describes as "gnashing of teeth."


If millions of money were being spent to give instructions in French, if the teachers gave glowing reports of their success, and if a committee of business men were sent to investigate [HGL567] the success, would they ask the teachers and professors for a confirmation of the reports they had already made, or would they go amongst the pupils, and seek to ascertain to what extent they had a knowledge of French? There can be but one answer to this question. The principle applied to Foreign Missions, shows that our Committee took the only proper course for ascertaining the facts. They did obtain them, and I believe that every missionary and every other person who has been in foreign lands, within the last five years, will on reading our Report, concede that it is very truthful, at the same time extremely kindly and sympathetic.

Surely our Committee's method and Report will commend themselves to unprejudiced intelligent minds. Probably Brother Ellis' difficulty is fear that the hollowness of missionary claims is coming to the light.


Sympathy for the heathen and doctrinal errors respecting the everlasting future led Christianity astray in its missionary work. In full harmony with other nonsense received from the Dark Ages, we believed God intent upon hurling all the heathen to everlasting torture, unless they should hear about the Savior in the present life and should accept Him and become saints. Frenzied by the misconception of the Divine Character and Plan, godly people hastened to give their lives and their money for the rescue of this heathen from the fate which they erroneously supposed an all-wise, all-just, all-loving and all-powerful God had foreordained for the Non-Elect.

Now our (former) darkness is departing. As we began to see the utter hopelessness of our claim that we could ever convert the world, we also see that we had misunderstood our Heavenly Father's Plan in respect to the heathen. We began to see that only the first part of the Divine Program has yet been put into operation; viz., the gathering of the Elect from all nations, to constitute the Bride of Christ, to be Joint-heir with Him in the Abrahamic promise, "All the families of the earth shall be blessed in they Seed." Now we see that the saintly few from every nation and from every denomination of Christendom will constitute the True Church, the True Bride of Christ, the Queen of Glory, the Seed of Abraham. Gal. 3:29


Our hallucinations respecting eternal torment, which the Bible, rightly translated and properly understood, does not teach as every scholar in the world will agree has been the foundation of all our errors. Alas, that so many ministers and learned men should have cast away their Bible without ascertaining that it is in direct conflict with all our creeds! Missionary labor has appealed to the most devout of God's people, the most sympathetic. Even though they have misunderstood, we may be sure that God has granted a heart blessing to all lovers and supporters of missions. This is no reason, however, why should continue to be blind to the true situation. We must no longer delude ourselves with the thought that it is possible to convert the people even in our home lands, until God's time, under Messiah's Kingdom; for "Unto Him every knee shall bow." Rom. 14:11; Philip. 2:10

Think not that the Bible has no message for heathen lands! Think not that I am opposed to the heathen or to good works done for them! I am opposed merely to our misrepresentation of God and the Bible amongst the heathen, even as in the past we misrepresented both at home. I am deeply interested in the work which the Bible declares should be done amongst the heathen a work, however, which the missionaries have not been doing. "The Gospel of the Kingdom" was to be preached to all nations before the end of this Age would come, not for their conversion, but for a witness to them for the purpose of gathering out God's Elect to be Messiah's Joint-heirs in His work of universal blessing.

The Gospel of the Kingdom means the good news respecting the Kingdom. The I B S A has missionary workers in India, China and Japan, informing such of the peoples there as have the intelligence to comprehend the Message. Many of them are rejoicing in the good news that Messiah's Kingdom is about to be established; and that their friends, instead of being in either purgatory or eternal torture, are merely asleep in death, awaiting the blessing which Jesus promised, saying, "All that are in the graves shall hear the voice of the Son of Man and come forth" to a resurrection of judgment, trial, testing, to prove who will accept the gift of eternal life and who will reject it and suffer the penalty Second Death. Rom. 6:23; 2 Thess. 1:9

To a certain extent, wherever the Bible has gone, this Gospel of the Kingdom has gone. If the missionaries had only read the Bible to the people and had not attempted to teach the creeds of the Dark Ages, many more in heathen lands today would know about Messiah's Kingdom and appreciate the import of the prayer, "Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth, even as it is done in Heaven." But the missionaries apparently for the last few years have been telling those who would hear them at all, very little of anything religious. Their activities are chiefly with the children; and as our Report shows, the children get scarcely any religious information, and many of the denominational schools are being turned into civil or state schools, with the understanding that there shall be no religion taught with the money appropriated by the governments to the teachers for secular instruction.


The admitted failure of missions as respects religion and as shown by the fact that there are twice as many heathen today as there were a century ago means the fall of the Postmillennial theory that the thousand years of Christ's reign will precede His Second Coming; that the Second Coming of Christ cannot take place until after the world has been converted and has had a joyous reign of righteousness for a thousand years. Following this erroneous theory, all effort has be concentrated upon converting the world, and thus bringing in the Millennium.

Our Catholic brethren claim that this thousand-year reign of Christ ended in 1799; that we are now in the "little season" mentioned in Rev. 20:3; and that the success of Protestantism during the last 112 years is the loosing of Satan. This is the explanation given in the footnotes of some editions of the Catholic Bible. It must be discouraging [HGL568] to our Catholic brethren to see how many blessings have come to the world under what they claim is Satan's regime. Surely some of them will contrast this with the superstition, bigotry, and the persecuting spirit which seemed to dominate both Protestants and Catholics during what they claim was the Millennium.

As for Protestants in general, the kindest statement of their position is that they are confused. They do not like to agree with Papacy that the Millennium is past; and yet they agree with

Papacy in claiming that the great kingdoms of Europe are parts of Christ's Kingdom, notwithstanding the fact that they are impoverishing themselves to prepare for blowing each other off the face of the earth.


Pre-millennialists hold that Christ's Second Advent precedes the establishment of His Kingdom; and that the Church during the Gospel Age is in preparation for the Kingdom honor, glory and service. Such believers in the teachings of the Bible alone are preaching that the coming of Messiah's Kingdom is the hope of the world, and that the call of the present is for the Elect, to share in the Kingdom. Hark to the Master's words, "Fear not, Little Flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom."

To these it is not astounding that the heathen are not all converted, either at home or abroad; for they realize that God's Word does not so teach. They find the Scriptures to tell that at the Second coming of Christ "the nations will be angry," and God's wrath will come upon them. "There shall be a time of trouble such as there never was since there was a nation." They find that during that time Messiah's Kingdom will be established, and that incidental to its establishment the First Resurrection will take place. They note Jesus' words, "Blessed and holy are all they that have part in the First Resurrection; . . . they shall be priests unto God and unto Christ and shall reign with Him a thousand years," "upon the earth." Rev. 20:6; 5:10

But Pre-millennialists very generally make two mistakes: (1) They think of His Kingdom as one in which Christ and the saints will hold earthly court. They fail to discern that the resurrection change raises both Christ and the Church fully out of the human nature into the Divine nature; and that God's Kingdom, spiritual and all powerful, will bless mankind through earthly agents already prepared. These will be the saints who died previous to Pentecost, and whose resurrection will be to human perfection to which all the Non-Elect world will be granted opportunity of attaining. (2) Pre-millennialists fail generally to discern that the Bible teaches that blessings will be granted the Non-Elect who have died during the past six thousand years, without having full opportunity of attaining to life everlasting. They have overlooked the Scriptural statement that all the dead of Adam's race sleep until the resurrection; that the Morning of the Great Day of Messiah's Kingdom will be the resurrection morning, not only for the Church, but for the sleeping billions of humanity. Our unscriptural conceptions of the dead, as alive in Paradise or in Purgatory or in a Hell of torture, came originally from the heathen; but we have used our greater enlightenment to intensify the joys of the heathen Paradise, and the sufferings of the heathen in the intermediate state. Hence it is that the most intelligent people in the world, by neglecting God's Message, the Bible, today believe things respecting God and His purposes more monstrous than any of the doctrines of demons which afflict the heathen world and drive them from God in fear.


We note that the Lord did not say that the Gospel would convert the world, but merely that it would be a witness to them. The word here translated "witness" is in the Greek marturion, from the root martyr. Thus seen, this text agrees with all of the Master's testimonies to His followers that in becoming His disciples they would be sacrificing earthly friendships, honor, etc. ; and that they would bring upon themselves sufferings. To be His disciples, therefore, they must be martyrs, witnesses for the Truth and the light, in the midst of darkness, bigotry and superstition. The additional light and Truth which the followers of Jesus would possess and testify to would make of them martyrs; and only such would be accounted worthy to share with Him in the coming Kingdom. "Marvel not. . . if the world hate you, ye know that it hated Me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love its own"; but now "ye are not of the world," for "I have chosen you out of the world," "and ordained you." "Whosoever will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My Throne."

Our text contains the Gospel in a nutshell. It tells of a coming Kingdom. It tells that such a proclamation of that Kingdom during this Age, in advance. It tells of a proclamation of that Kingdom during this Age in advance. It tells that such a proclamation will be marturia a witnessing through suffering. It implies that the sufferings of the witnesses will demonstrate their loyalty to God and their worthiness to be Joint-heirs with Christ in that Kingdom for which they pray, "Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth, even as it is done in Heaven."

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