St. Paul Enterprise, January 7, 1916


New York City, Jan. 2 Pastor Russell gave a very impressive discourse tonight at the New York City Temple, W 63rd St., near Broadway. His text was, "He that sat upon the Throne said, Behold, I make all things new." (Rev. 21:5) He spoke as follows:

The opening of a New Year is like the opening of a new ledger. It is a favorable time for determining what should be disposed of in the profit and loss account, for putting into effect good resolutions governing the New Year. Those who make no resolutions make very little progress in character-building. Poor fallen human nature needs all the braces and supports which a well-directed will can give it. We are not advocating hasty, and sometimes unreasonable vows, resolutions and pledges, thoughtlessly taken and soon broken. What we have in mind is a thoughtful, rational consideration of the matter, a full determination to pursue the way which deliberate judgment tells one is the proper course. In general, the New Year is a time of preparation for a fresh start in life.

On the other hand, the close of the old year is the time for taking stock and for estimating the profits and losses of the year. In other words, it is a time for issuing dividends, or rewards, to those who have made wise investments. It is a time for the meeting of directors and for the election of officers and servants for the incoming year. So at the close of this Gospel Age, its affairs are being wound up. The Lord is judging His people, and is about to reward the faithful in glory. Meantime, the world must be set in order for the inauguration of the New Order, the Messianic Kingdom.


According to the Bible, earth is the one province of the Universe which is in rebellion against the Creator and at variance with His wise and beneficent Laws. Man, the King of earth, was created in the image and likeness of God, with the Divine Law written in his heart, and only "a little lower than the angels." (Psa. 8:5) But this earthly king, Adam, rebelled against his Over-Lord and brought himself under a sentence of death- "Dying, thou shalt die." Gen. 2:7; Rom. 5:12.

The laws of heredity have so operated that today the children of Adam find the average of life only thirty-five years, and but few individuals pass the century mark. But Adam in his perfection, although less favorably circumstanced, was nine hundred and thirty years in dying. The dying experiences of the race are manifested in mental and moral degradation, as well as in physical degeneracy. With all our knowledge and medical skill the race continue to weaken and the ratio of the insane to increase.

Once Bible students would have stated that God is upon the throne of earth and delights in the present order, which the Bible declares to be a reign of Sin and Death. Once Bible students would have declared that, not satisfied with present conditions, appalling as they are, the Creator has arranged that at death all humanity except the Elect Church shall be turned over fully to the control of demons, who by Divine fore-ordination will be empowered to torture everlastingly the poor unfortunates of Adam's family beyond the power of human tongue to tell.

These same Bible students would have resented the suggestion that God is NOT reigning over the earth; and that, instead, the world is under the domination of Satan, "the Prince of this World." (John 14:30) But with facilities for Bible study far superior to anything which our forefathers enjoyed, Bible students are finding that Christian people have overlooked many features of the Divine Record. As the eyes of their understanding gradually open wider and wider, they are seeing lengths, breadths, heights and depths of God's Wisdom, Love, Justice and Power of which they never before dreamed.

We are finding that the horrible teachings of the past, which have caused so generally a spiritual nausea, came not from the Bible, but are "doctrines of demons," promulgated during the Dark Ages. St. Paul tells us that the present blindness and ignorance, which hinder mankind from seeing and appreciating the real character of God and the Divine Plan for human salvation, are deceptions by Satan "the god of this world." I Tim. 4:1; 2 Cor. 4:4.


Now, properly enough, comes the query, "If Satan is ruling amongst mankind as a god, or prince of this world, where did he get his authority and power? Did God turn the control of mankind over to demons?"

The Bible answers all our queries. God did not give the dominion of earth to Satan, but to man. In proportion as man lost his perfection and became weak in mind and in body, he became the slave of Satan and Sin. Satan and the fallen angels have exercised especially during the last forty centuries all their power and ingenuity for the ensnarement and degradation of men. Their influence would have been all powerful for man's overthrow, had not the Almighty provided humanity with will power and to a large extent forced the evil spirits to respect it.

As a result, we see that human depravity has made much less rapid progress than it might have done. To some extent man still possesses the image of God, in which he was created. Many still possess a natural appreciation of truth and righteousness, which under God's arrangement the fallen angels are not able to overcome. If mankind realized the true situation, undoubtedly the human will would be more persistently than ever exercised in opposition to the wiles of the Devil. As it is, these evil spirits hide their identity, and through spirit mediums personate the dead, who according to the Bible "know not anything," being asleep in death until the Resurrection Morning. Eccl. 9:5, 6, 10; Psa. 146:4; Job 14:20-22; Gen. 3:19; John 5:28, 29.


By the Heavenly Father's appointment, the Redeemer of men is to be the great King of Glory, who will reign for a thousand years and "make all things new." Repeatedly [HGL788] He tells us that the first work of the New Dispensation will be the binding of Satan. Not only is this referred to in Rev. 20:1-3, but also in our Lord's parables.

Jesus declared that when the appointed time should come His Second Advent would take place. He likened it to he coming of a thief in the night, when men in general would be off guard, not expectant of a change in the rulership of earth. He intimated that His loyal saints will first be taken, while mankind will be in ignorance of the fact that the time has come for the Reign of Righteousness. Next the Son of Man will "bind the strong man, and then He will spoil his house" overthrow present arrangements. (Matt. 12:22-29; 24:42-44) This picture implies a struggle; for the strong man, Satan, has had a great host serving him, ignorant of the fact that he is a usurper and that many of his laws are unjust.

Many of them have never understood that He who redeemed the world by the sacrifice of Himself holds a Divine appointment to be the King of Earth, to quell the rebellion and to bring back into harmony with God all the willing and obedient. Many do not know that this Messianic Kingdom will be God's answer to the Redeemer's prayer, "Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth, even as it is done in Heaven." Many therefore do not know that all things are to be made new; and that the time appointed by the Father for this great work is a period of one thousand years, now chronologically due to begin.

Not knowing these things, many will be found fighting against God, thinking that in supporting the institutions of the Prince of this world they are doing God service. The Redeemer intimated most distinctly that some of these ignorant ones will be prominent in the ministry of His own Church. They will be surprised, when the honors of the Kingdom are distributed, that they will receive none, but will suffer humiliation and tribulation as unfaithful servants. The Master's words respecting this class are, "Many will say unto Me in that Day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied (preached) in Thy name? in Thy name have cast out devils? and in Thy name done many wonderful works?"

But the new King will say to them, "Depart from Me" come not near to share in My Kingdom. Instead of working righteousness, you have been workers of iniquity. Instead of serving Me as ambassadors for My Kingdom and properly representing Me before men, you have done the reverse. You have upheld unrighteousness. You have promulgated doctrines of demons, and have been My adversaries, not My servants. Depart with weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth, expressive of your disappointment, to be sharers with the world in its great Time of Trouble, from which My faithful Bride class shall be delivered.

Whatever reformation you share in that tribulation shall effect and will determine what I may do for you or with you in the future, in harmony with the Divine arrangements. But I cannot recognize you as in any sense worthy of the glory, honor and immortality which shall be accorded to the Bride class Paraphrase on Matt. 7:22, 23; 13:40-43; 25:30; Luke 13:25-28; 12:45-48.


Looking at the time of the change from the Jewish Age to the Gospel Age, we perceive that during a period of forty years God dealt especially with Fleshly Israel from the beginning of the ministry of Jesus until the destruction of Jerusalem by the army of Titus. That forty-year period the Master styled the Harvest of that Age. The gathering of the wheat class progressed close down to the consummation of that Harvest the separating of the chaff class meanwhile taking place. John 4:35-38; Matt. 3:11, 12

Finally, when the wheat had all been gathered into the garner of the New Dispensation, by the begetting of the holy Spirit, the chaff was consumed in a time of trouble which utterly destroyed the Jewish polity. The destruction of the chaff did not signify the annihilation of unbelieving Jews nor their eternal torture. It represented parabolically the complete destruction of their Jewish hopes. Those hopes have lain buried for eighteen centuries, and are only now reviving in the form of Zionism.

The parable of the Wheat and the Tares (Matt. 13:24-30) pictures the Lord's work during the Gospel Age. the Master and His Apostles sowed only good seed, the pure Message of the Messianic Kingdom, to which a saintly few would attain and which ultimately would bless all the families of the earth. But Satan, through his various agencies (many of whom wore the livery of Christ), oversowed the wheat-field with tare seed false doctrines, "doctrines of demons."

From this unauthorized sowing by the Adversary as a result of these false doctrines which he caused to be promulgated throughout Christendom many nominally came into the Church of Christ. These never really professed to be wheat, never had the begetting of the holy Spirit, never were disciples in the only sense that Christ acknowledges any to be His followers.

As tares resemble wheat, so these deceived people, the progeny of false doctrines, think themselves to be Christians. They greatly outnumber the true Christians, just as the chaff of the Jewish nation outnumbered the "Israelites indeed." As God then gathered the wheat, the "Israelites indeed," into the spiritual House of Sons by the begetting of the holy Spirit, so now He will gather the faithful ones of this Gospel Age into the Heavenly Garner by the change of the First Resurrection. As the prospects and the hopes of the nominal Israelites, the chaff class, were consumed in the great time of trouble which closed the Age, so the hopes and the prospects of the tare class will perish in the great fire, or Time of Trouble, with which this Gospel Age is closing.


The dispensational change near at hand will be much greater than that of eighteen centuries ago. There, our Lord Jesus merely sent forth the Message for the calling out of His Church. But, here, the Church, having been completed, is to be glorified; and the Kingdom of Messiah is to overthrow completely the kingdom of Satan. In illustrating the radical change which is to take place in the near future, the Scriptures refer to the Deluge, which completely [HGL789] overthrew the systems of wickedness and unrighteousness then prevailing. Matt. 24:37-39; Luke 17:26-30

The Apostle Peter tells us that in the end of this Age the overthrow of present institutions will be as complete as in the days of the Deluge. He declares that the present earthly elements Capital and Labor, aristocracy and common people, plutocracy and socialists will be engaged in a terrible strife, which can be properly symbolized only by a consuming fire. More than this, St. Peter declares that the heavens also will take fire ecclesiasticism will become involved in the strife and will pass away with a great commotion. 2 Pet. 3:1-13

But let us remember that it is neither the physical earth nor the Heaven of God's habitation that will burn up. It will be merely the social and religious institutions which, under the supervision of the Prince of this world, are styled "the present evil world," or imperfect arrangement.

As St. Peter also points out, the present Order will be superseded by a New Order, which the Apostle calls "new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness." The new heavens will be the Church in glory, in Kingdom power. The new earth will be the new social arrangements instituted, guided directed by the new heavens Messiah's Kingdom. The New Kingdom will enforce its laws as with a rod of iron inflexibly. No longer will it be true that whosoever will live godly shall suffer persecutions, and have all manner of evil said against him falsely, as a reward of faithfulness to Christ and the Truth. On the contrary, in the Day of Messiah's Kingdom, the righteous shall flourish, and all willful evil-doers shall be cut off in the Second Death. Psa. 71:7; 37:9


Through the Prophet the Lord calls attention to this new condition, saying, "Behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind." (Isa. 65:17) Our context tells us of this same "new heavens and new earth" condition as taking the place of the present order of things. Then it describes the Church under the symbolism of "the New Jerusalem," the capital of Messiah's Kingdom, and the center from which authority will go forth for mankind's assistance out of the fallen conditions of sin and death.

We also read that through those blessed provisions, "God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying; neither shall there by any more pain; for the former things (the present evil world) are passed away." The work of renewing will require the entire thousand years of Messiah's Kingdom, and will be successful to the highest degree.

Let all whose eyes of understanding have been opened to see these things rejoice, and tell abroad the glorious story that the period of the reign of Sin and Death is expiring, and that the new period of the reign of Righteousness is near at hand, bringing life everlasting to every one who will be obedient. With this thought before our minds, the New Year before us will bring us joyful suggestions, helpful in all the experiences of life especially to those who have become followers of Jesus. Those who are seeking to walk in His steps, willing to suffer with Him for the sake of the Truth, shall in due time be glorified together with Him, as members of His Elect Bride class.

The great Divine Plan of the Ages is rolling onward towards completion; and at every stage its progress makes for fresh blessings and fresh revelations of the glorious things which God hath purposed in Himself from before the foundation of the world. Truly, God's ways are higher than man's ways, and His thoughts than man's thoughts! Isa. 54:9

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