St. Paul Enterprise, October 3, 1916


New York City, October 1 Pastor Russell occupied his pulpit in the New York City Temple, W Sixty-third Street, near Broadway, this evening. His discourse was based upon Rev. 2:26, 27 - "He that overcometh and keepeth My works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers, even as I received of My Father." He said:

The Bible tells us that from before the foundation of the world our Heavenly Father purposed in Himself the great Plan of Salvation which He has since been carrying out. He will make no changes in that Plan; for He knew the end from the beginning. (Isa. 46:9, 10; 55:8-11). Such a wise, gracious Almighty God is ours! Although He had this plan from before the foundation of the world, the Scriptures show that He did not make it known, except very vaguely, until the time of Abraham. This, you remember, St. Paul points out to us, saying that God first made declaration of His Purpose, first preached the Gospel, to Abraham. (Gal. 3:8; Gen. 12:3). To faithful, loyal, obedient Abraham, God said, "It is My Purpose to bless all mankind, and that great blessing shall come through your posterity."

Then God seemed to ignore His own promise; for century after century passed without anything apparently being done. In the meantime, Abraham's natural seed through Isaac had gone into bondage in Egypt. Four hundred years after the Abrahamic Covenant had been made, the Israelites were still in bondage with that Covenant still standing. Then God sent a message through Moses to this effect: "Are you ready to have fulfilled to you the Promise which I made to your ancestor Abraham?" You can imagine how the Israelites felt. They quickly indicated that they were ready. Then God purposed that Moses should lead them out of Egypt and onward into the land of Canaan, where they supposed that they would become so mighty that they could conquer the whole world and rule mankind in righteousness. [HGL853] When God had brought Israel as far as Mount Sinai, He indicated to them that before they could, as Abraham's seed, bless the world, they must demonstrate their fitness. Then He gave them His Law in a great Covenant, and told them that if they would keep that Law Covenant, they would have both the

right and the opportunity to become the blessers of the remainder of mankind. You remember that God gave Israel the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai, through Moses; and that Israel said, "All these things will we do." Exo. 19:1-9; 24:1-8.


The Israelites appreciated God's great offer; they wished to be the blessers of all mankind. It must necessarily be a great people who could conquer and bless the whole world. They could see no other way to bless humanity except by first conquering the world, although they were only a little nation amongst others older and stronger than themselves.

But Israel could not keep the Law of God. No fallen man can do so; for it is the measure of a perfect man's ability. None but a perfect man could love the Lord his God with all his mind, heart, soul and strength; and his neighbor as himself. (Matt. 22:35-40; Luke 10:25-28). The Israelites did not realize how imperfect they were. But as the years passed by, they gradually learned that they were not able to bless the world.

You remember that God gave them an annual Atonement Day. On that day He said, so to speak, "I will wipe off the slate again; and you may try on a clean slate for the coming year." Year after year they tried in this way. But those annual sacrifices of bulls and goats which were arranged for them could never take away sin. They merely represented in a typical manner that Israel was given another opportunity for life through keeping the Law. (Heb. 10:1-4) Finally the Israelites became very much discouraged; for they saw that they were accomplishing nothing along this line. They did not have everlasting life any more than had other people or than they themselves had before they entered into the Law Covenant. They were in no condition to bless the world.


Then God sent Israel word through His Prophet, saying, "The day is coming when I will make a New Covenant with the House of Israel and the House of Judah. . . . I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more." (Jer. 31:31-34). Under that New Covenant God will take away the stony heart out of their flesh and will give them a heart of flesh. (Eze. 11:14-21; 37:26-28) This wonderful promise has not yet been fulfilled to the Jews; but soon it will be. In the light of St. Paul's testimony we see that God has an arrangement for an antitypical Moses and for the offering of "better sacrifices" than those of bulls and goats, by reason of which He will effectually take away sins forever. Heb. 9:11-23.

The point we have in mind is not the difference between the Law Covenant and the New Covenant, between the Covenant made with the Jews in the remote past and that to be made with them in the near future, but the fact that God has made certain promises to that nation, and that while they had hoped to have those promises fulfilled in them, yet they have failed to get what they had hoped for. They had hoped to be a nation of overcomers, a victorious nation that God would bless and exalt in order that they might bring all the world into subjection to Jehovah and might impress upon all nations the Law given at Mount Sinai. They had hoped to be judges, rulers, to accomplish the work which God has purposed for the world. This they failed to do.


We have a God who knows what He is about. His Plan was completed from the beginning; and it has met with no reverses at any time. When there was any seeming failure, it was something that God had foreknown and had foretold through the Prophets. He was not surprised that Israel failed to become the blessers of the world.

Then in due time God sent His son into the world. This feature of the great Plan of the Ages was already purposed by the Father from before the foundation of the world that His Son, the Logos, should come to earth, become a man, and die as a Roman for the sins of all mankind. Our Lord came as the natural seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Judah, born under the Law Covenant, and obligated to keep all the terms of that Law. (Heb. 2:16, 17; Gal. 4:4, 5) But unless He could keep the Law, even He could not become the promised Seed of Blessing, to bless all the families of the earth.

Our Lord Jesus Christ was found wholly obedient to the Divine Law, and fulfilled the requirements of the Law Covenant to the uttermost. Thus He gained all of the rights which that Covenant held out. The Law Covenant promises earthly life, earthly blessings and earthly dominion that which Adam had lost. But the Man Jesus could not give these blessings to mankind. He might, indeed, have set up a kingdom, established upon wise principles. He might have been recognized as a great teacher and reformer. The whole world might have bowed down to Him, acknowledging their willingness to serve Him as their King. He might have taught them how to speak and act better, how to do all things more wisely. But all this would not have brought them the blessing of everlasting life which God designed that man should attain.

Jesus would have had everlasting life on the human plane for Himself as a result of His keeping the Law Covenant. (Leviticus 18:5; Gal. 3:11, 12) But He could not have given everlasting life to even one individual. He might have awakened some out of death by the use of His power, but He could not have kept them awake; for He had not this right, because the Divine sentence against Adam and his posterity was, "Dying, thou shalt die." (Gen. 2:17, margin) Hence it was necessary that Jesus first attain relationship to God as the Spiritual Seed of Abraham before He could be the One to save and bless the world.


To accomplish this great work, our Lord gave His life as the Ransom-price for Father Adam, in whom all the world were condemned to death. Inasmuch as all mankind died in Adam, the sacrifice of the one perfect Man, Christ Jesus, was sufficient to accomplish the redemption of the whole human race, which was in Adam's loins when he [HGL854] sinned. What beautiful harmony Bible students find in all of God's arrangements! 1 Tim. 2:5, 6; 1 Cor. 15:21, 22; John 1:14

The word Ransom, as used in the Bible when speaking of our Lord's sacrificial death for man, signifies a Corresponding Price. It was the perfect man Adam who sinned; and it was the perfect Man Jesus who gave His life as Adam's Redemption price. It was not enough, however, that Jesus lay down His human life. He must receive a spirit life; for if in His resurrection He took back the earthly life which He had laid down, He would need it for Himself, and consequently would have no life to appropriate for Adam and his race. Had our Lord merely died and been resurrected to human life again, His death would have been of no avail.

Here we see the beauty of God's Plan of Salvation. In permitting Jesus' life to be taken away unjustly, God had arranged to give our Lord a new life, on a new plane of being, as a New Creature. Then, having received life as a Divine being as a reward for His faithfulness, our Lord as a New Creature, would still have to His credit the earthly nature, the human life which He had not forfeited by sinning. Thus He had a right to two lives. He needed the spirit life for Himself; and the human life He had to give for Adam and his race. He needed the two; for nothing less would accomplish the Divine Purpose.


God's Plan having carried out thus far, the next step was that our Lord Jesus should start a new nation; for when Jehovah spoke to Abraham, He had intimated that the Seed of Blessing would be a nation, not merely an individual. (Gen. 22:17 - "the stars") The natural seed of Abraham as a nation had high hopes. When the suggestion was made to the Jews of our Lord's day that they might not be fit to be God's special people, they were amazed; for they supposed that since they were Abraham's seed, and since God's Word cannot be broken, He must take them. (Matt. 3:9; John 8:39) But God would not have them unless they were in the right heart condition. He would fulfill His Promise, but not through Israel as a nation.

We might not have understood the matter had it not been that God's providence revealed it through the Apostles. St. Peter, writing to the Church, says, "Ye are a Royal Priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people ( a people for a purpose), that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light." (1 Pet. 2:9) This is God's arrangement, then. For nearly 1900 years He has been selecting the members of this nation individually not taking a whole nation, as He did with the Jews. It is to be a new creation as well as a new nation- "created in Christ Jesus unto good works". Eph. 2:10; 2 Cor. 5:17.

The one Church of Christ is to be the New Creation, according to the teachings of Scripture. We do not know who the members are; but St. Paul declares, "the Lord knoweth them that are His." (2 Tim. 2:19) It was this class to which God referred away back in Abraham's day, when He declared that the Seed of Abraham should bless all the families of the earth. Whoever is in Christ is of that seed. Gal. 3:8, 16, 29.

For many centuries God gave the nation of Israel an opportunity to try to accomplish the desired end through their Law Covenant. But they failed. Therefore there would be no use in attempting to bless the world under that Covenant. Only one kept the Law Covenant, and He therefore has all the rights accruing from the keeping of it. That One is now choosing a select nation, to be His joint-heir in all of His possessions and honors as His Bride. It is God's proposition. No matter how poor a maiden may be, if a rich king accepts her as his wife, she becomes his joint-heir. This is exactly the picture which God gives us of Jesus and the Church. Rev. 21:9, 10; Eph. 5:25-32.

Those Jews who were living in Jesus' day could become united to Him as members of The Christ heirs of god and joint-heirs with Christ Jesus. the Gentiles, who were never in covenant relationship with God, and who therefore had no rights as Jews, have been invited to become fellow-heirs with the faithful Jews, to share with them all that they will receive through Christ. (Eph. 3:1-7) Thank God that the door was opened to the Gentiles also! So for nearly 1900 years our Lord has been selecting this Bride class to inherit with Himself the Promise made to Abraham. Isa. 55:1-3


God is still of the same mind as in the beginning. No one will be fit to bless others unless he himself is in harmony with Jehovah through His Law. But the Church is not under the Law Covenant. According to the flesh we could not keep the Divine Law, but we can keep it according to the spirit. Covered with the merit 8f Christ' sacrificial death, we can keep the just requirements of the Law of God. The righteousness of the Law is fulfilled in us, "who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." (Rom. 8:1-4) God tells us that He has reckoned us dead to ourselves, to our fallen human nature; and that He will judge us according to the spirit, the intention. If our hearts are loyal, and if our endeavors are the best that we can put forward, He will cover our defects with the sacrificial merit of Christ.

God keeps us clean by continually applying to us the virtue of Jesus' blood as we ask for it. (1 John 1:7-10) Having willingly given ourselves over entirely to God, and using all our strength in seeking to live according to His will, we have been accepted though Christ Jesus as members of this wonderful new nation which, when developed in the School of Christ, will be fully qualified for bringing in the great blessings long ago promised to all the kindreds of the earth both the living and the dead.

The Spiritual Seed of Abraham are to be overcomers, conquerors. Their future work is the uplifting of mankind from degradation and sin, and the bringing of them back to God. The necessary preparation for this work is in themselves. They are not expected to perfect the flesh; but they are to bring their minds so thoroughly into subjection to the will of God that they will do the best that they can do. They are to Overcome, if they would win the great prize of their High Calling in Christ Jesus.

Many and varied are their besetments from the world, the flesh and the Adversary. All about them is the spirit of the world, which is altogether different from the Spirit of the Lord. The world, spirit is sometimes more noble and sometimes [HGL855] less noble than at other times; but it is always a selfish spirit. It is also an ambitious spirit, desirous of having the good things of this life, the approval of the world, and everything of a worldly kind. Then the flesh has certain tendencies which have come down to us through 6000 years of sin and selfishness tendencies toward pride, show, vanity, etc. Then there are many contrivances of the Devil with which to contend. Many of these have come through the teachings of the various religious systems of this world. All these things must be overcome, if we would be granted to sit with our Lord in His Throne.

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