The National Labor Tribune, October 22, 1905


Providence, R. I., October 22 – Pastor C. T. Russell, of Allegheny, Pa., preached twice here today in Infantry Hall to large audiences. We report his evening discourse as follows: Continuing our examination of the eternal evidences of the reliability of the Bible, we consider this evening the center of the divine message, "Jesus Christ the Righteous."

No other name in the world's history fills such a place as the name of Jesus. His character and his message have met the demands of the human heart, and satisfied its longings as nothing else ever did or could do. And this notwithstanding the fact that the world and but a comparatively small proportion of the Church have ever caught more than a passing glimpse of the divine plan which centers in this "son of God."

The Bible may be said to be a revelation of Jesus, who in turn is a revelation of the Father. Its opening pages tell us of the fall of the first human son of God, Adam, point to the death penalty upon him, and indicate the need of a Savior and Redeemer; and, more than this, inferentially promise such a one as the seed of the woman who ultimately shall bruise the serpent's head – crush, subdue all evil.

Its intermediate pages are prophecies and types respecting Jesus and the work he would accomplish as a Redeemer, and later as a Deliverer of the race. And further on it records his birth, his ministries, his death, resurrection, glorification, and the messages he gave to all who would become his followers, including his promise to come again, and receive them unto himself.

The closing pages of the Bible picture in symbolical language the completion of the present age, the inauguration of the Millennial age, the work that it will accomplish in the blessing and uplifting of the human family and the ultimate purging of the earth from all sin, imperfection, evil, when every voice in heaven and earth shall be heard praising the Lord. We submit to intelligent minds the proposition that no other book, no other record, no other combination of writings and sermons by scores of preachers and teachers, covering a period of thousands of years, present any such harmony as the foregoing. And this harmony centering the divine plan upon Jesus, the Messiah, is the more wonderful in proportion as the minutiae of the Scriptural statements respecting him are clearly discerned. But in order to appreciate these Scriptural statements, in order to see the beauty and harmony of the Word of God, we must divest ourselves of the teachings of the Dark Ages, which becloud the beauties of the divine Word and tend to make its statements of no effect – yea, worse than that, tend to make the divine record appear unreasonable, contradictory, nonsensical. Let us, then, divest our minds of the traditions of the ancients so carefully handed down to us in the various creeds, Catholic and Protestant, and let us look to the Word of the Lord for the instruction and guidance necessary to see its beauty and harmony.


The teachings of higher criticism are very misleading on this subject. They would have us consider that all miracles are impossible; that our Lord was not born of a virgin, and by the direct power of God; that he was born as other men; that he happened to be a rather superior type of man; that he never had a prehuman existence. The Scriptures teach to the contrary of this most explicitly, that Jesus was the "son of God;" that "he who was rich for our sakes became poor," taking a human form for a particular, specific purpose – "for the suffering of death," that he might be our Redeemer. John 17:5; 2 Cor. 8:9; Heb. 2:9 The inspired writers go further and declare, "All things are made by him, and without him was not one thing made that was made."

The context tells us that he was in the beginning with the Father, and was the Word or mouthpiece and personal representative of the Father in all the works of the creation of all the remainder of the works of God. Our common translation of John 1:1-13 only partly discloses the beauty and force of the Greek original, which should be rendered thus, "In the beginning was the logos (the divine mouthpiece, the representative), and the logos was with the God and the logos was a god, the same was in the beginning with the God. All things were made by him, and without him was not one thing made that was made."


We should note in passing the consistency of the Scriptures in respect to the supremacy of Jehovah God. From first to last with one voice the Scriptures declare that there is but one supreme God. The New Testament is in thorough agreement with this – for instance, the Apostle Paul's words, "To us there is one God, the Father.., and one Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Cor. 8:6 How comes it then that the record is that Jesus, our Master, in his prehuman condition was the logos, a god with the God? Is this testimony out of accord with the remainder of Scriptural testimony? We answer, No! The name Jehovah was never permitted to any but [NS256] in the Hebrew is Elohim, and sometimes abbreviated El, signifies a mighty one, and might be applied to any mighty one in authority and power, Jehovah himself being superior to all Elohim. An examination of the Scriptural uses of the word Elohim substantiates the foregoing. We find, for instance, that it has not only been applied to the Father and to the special representative and prime minister, the logos, the Son of God manifest in the flesh, but we find also that the word is used in respect to angels when they directly represented the Lord as his special messengers, they who are his mighty ones. We also find that this title Elohim was used in respect to the first elders of Israel when God recognized them as his representatives in judging their brethren. For instance, see Exo. 21:6, "Bring him unto the judges" (elohim), 22:8, "Brought unto the judges" (elohim), 9, "Come before the judges" (elohim), "and whom the judges" (elohim), 28, "Thou shalt not revile the gods" (elohim), margin judges. Similarly we read God's declaration to Moses. "I have made thee a God (elohim) to Pharaoh." (Exo. 7:1)

From these illustrations and others which we might give it will be seen that the word Elohim signifies instead of God a representative of God. Sometimes, when the true God is mentioned in connection with other gods or representatives, or counterfeits, he is called the Almighty God, or by his name, Jehovah God, but at other titles where the sense is evident or no particular emphasis is necessary the very same word is used in referring to Jehovah and to those who are his representatives. For instance, in Psalm 82:1 we read, "God (Elohim) standeth in the congregation of the mighty (El), he judgeth among the gods (elohim)."

In verse six of the same Psalm the Almighty (Elohim) prophetically addresses the Gospel Church, who throughout the Scriptures are called the sons of God. We read, "I have said, 'Ye are gods (elohim), all of you sons of the Highest.'"

It will be remembered that the Jews were angry with our Lord Jesus, not because he called himself Jehovah or intimated any usurpation of the Father's place, honors or prerogatives, but simply because he called himself the Son of God and referred to Jehovah God as his Father. On one occasion when they were about to stone him Jesus inquired why, and the answer was that in calling himself the Son of God he was affecting to be superior to them and to others of mankind, and affecting a relationship with the great Jehovah, which they termed blasphemy, because they said it was affecting an equality with Jehovah. But knowing that the Scriptures fully sanctioned such a title as the Son of God, Jesus referred them to the passage in the Sixth Psalm already quoted, "I have said, Ye are gods" (elohim).

Our Lord's logical suggestion is that if God himself through the prophet David gave the name, the title of gods, thus to human beings, to the followers of Christ, to the Church of this Gospel age, why should it be considered blasphemous that the special Son of God, whom the Father had specially set apart and sent into the world as his representative should be called the Son of God. His persecutors were unable to answer him, nor can any logical objection be found to our Redeemer's words. He was indeed pre-eminently the representative of Jehovah and pre-eminently he was his Son.

The Jews never claimed the title Sons of God for themselves, nor would it have been proper for them to have done so. Not until the great sacrifice for sins was offered by the Redeemer could the Father so justify any members of the fallen race as to receive them back into the close, the dear relationship represented by the word Son, but since the redemptive work of Jesus, spiritual Israelites are termed sons of God, as the Apostle declares, "Now are we the sons of God, though it doth not yet appear what we shall be (how great our glory and exaltation in the resurrection change), but we know that when he shall appear (our Lord and Master, the only begotten Son) we shall be like him and see him as he is." (1 John 3:2)

The Scriptures clearly show that the followers of Christ were accepted of the Father as sons when begotten of the Spirit at Pentecost and since. John 1:12, 13


The divine announcement of our Lord Jesus before his birth was "Thou shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great and shall be called the son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there shall be no end." [Luke 1:32, 33]

In explanation of his miraculous birth we read, "The power of the Highest shall overshadow thee (Mary): therefore also that holy thing that shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God." Luke 1:31-35 Here we have the title of the Son of God officially applied to the man Christ Jesus before his birth and this title he continually approved, saying "As the Father hath sent me, even so send I you." "I came not into the world to do mine own will but the will of him that sent me." "The Father worketh hitherto and (now) I work." John 20:21; John 4:34; 5:17

Let us look back and note the Scriptural declaration [NS257] to the effect that the Logos, who subsequently became the man Christ Jesus, was the beginning of the creation of God. These are our Lord's own words, and are in full accord with the Apostle Paul's statement that our Lord is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of every creature (more literally the first-born of all creation), for by him were all things created that are in heaven and that are in earth, visible and invisible.., all things were created by him and for him; and he was before all things and by him all things consist. And he is the Head of the Church, which is his body; he is the Beginning, the first-born from the dead; that in all things he might have the pre-eminence. For it pleased the Father (the invisible God) that in him should all fullness dwell." Col 1:15-19

These records agree with what we have already seen respecting the Logos in John 1:1-3, that his career dates from the beginning. The Father, Jehovah, we are distinctly informed had no beginning, was before the beginning; and that our Lord Jesus should himself be the beginning, the first-born, indicates to us how high a position he held in the divine arrangement, long before the creation of the world, as the Father's logos, minister, representative – all things were made by him. How high a station, how high a rank this gives to the one whom we love to reverence and obey!

Our Lord himself pointed out to us that it is the heavenly Father's will that we should honor the Son as we honor the Father also – that we should recognize him as the Father's representative, through whom he is working all things according to the counsel of his own will. The Apostle explains to us that although our Lord occupied the chief position next to the Father before he came into the world to be our Redeemer, yet he now occupies a still higher position. He tells us that he was obedient to the Father and humbled himself even unto death, even the death of the cross.

He assures us saying, "Wherefore (on this account) God hath also highly exalted him and hath given him a name above every name" – above angels, principalities and powers, and every name that is named. Note our Lord's words, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, the Son can do nothing of himself but what he seeth the Father do. . . the Father loveth the Son and showeth him all things that himself ......... The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son; that all men should honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He that hath not the Son hath not the Father which hath sent him." John 5:19-23


We have seen that the Jews persecuted Jesus because he claimed to be the Son of God, and this persecution resulted in his death. A warm controversy arose on this subject following the death of the apostles when Grecian mythology clashed with and then amalgamated with Christianity. Grecian mythology had lords many and gods many, but the Jews had but one God, and the early Church likewise recognized but one Father supreme, but likewise recognized our Lord Jesus as the subordinate son of God.

It was when the opposition endeavored to prove that Jesus was a mere man, a member of the fallen race, that he had no pre-existence, etc., that others in the Church, aroused to the combative point, claimed for Jesus more than he ever claimed for himself, more than any of the inspired apostles ever claimed for him – more than is either reasonable or logical. They claimed that he was his own Father and his own Son; that there was not one God according to the Scriptures, but really three Gods, whom they claimed to be equal in power and glory – contrary to the Scriptural authority on the subject. When asked how there could be three Gods and yet only one, in order to conceal the weakness of their position they claimed that the subject was one of the holy mysteries which it would be sinful to inquire into. Yea, they even claimed more – that to question or make inquiry on the subject, to express a doubt as to how three persons could be one person and yet three persons, was to become an unbeliever, thus to become subject to eternal torment, which was claimed to be the penalty for all unbelievers – all not in the Church.

The period in which these theories had their rise and reached their prominence is properly enough designated the Dark Ages, in which little reasoning apparently was done along any line, and in which the masses of believers were restrained, under threats, from thinking for themselves. The doctrine of the Trinity, which finds no place whatever in the Scriptures, and which is likewise contrary to reason, was concocted during that period of darkness in which its advocates concluded that they would supplement the after death – torture by other tortures before death, and according to the records of history thousands and thousands were tortured, drawn limb from limb, beheaded, burned at the stake and otherwise maltreated in the name of God and the holy Trinity, because they stuck to the Scriptural declaration on this subject, and repudiated the unreasonable theories of uninspired and unholy men. They clung to our Lord's words, "The Father is greater than I." (John 14:28)

They clung to the Apostle's words, "Though [NS258] there be gods many and lords many, to us there is one God, the Father, OF whom are all things and we in him, and one Lord Jesus Christ BY whom are all things and we by him." (1 Cor. 8:6)

They remembered the Apostles words, "Ye are called in one hope of your calling: one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in you all." Eph. 4:4


Although the reformers did valiant service in dispelling much of the gross darkness and in lifting the true light of God's Word, they evidently overlooked the fallacy called the Trinity. But we have in the Bible the standard authority by which the reformers were guided, and it is our duty as well as our privilege to hear what the Lord God hath spoken upon this subject and to conform our faith thereto. The Scriptures do indeed teach, as we have seen, that there is an Almighty One, "The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." (Rom. 15:6)

They do teach also that the only Begotten Son of God, highly exalted by the Father, is to be reverenced even as we reverence the Father; also that the Scriptures do teach that there is a holy Spirit of God, which, proceeding from the Father and from the Son, is also to be the Spirit of the sanctified Church. But, some one inquires in astonishment, Is not the doctrine of the Trinity particularly set forth in the Bible?

We answer, No. Everything as we have shown is to the contrary; the word Trinity, Trinitarian, etc., is not to be found even in our common version of the Bible, which was made by those who held this unscriptural position, and who would have been glad to thus translate any Hebrew or Greek word if they had found any Greek word capable of such translation. The few of our day who would stand up in defence of the unreasonable proposition that we have three gods equal in power and glory, and yet that the three in some incomprehensible manner are one in person, who would like to use the one text of Scripture which has defended this absurdity for centuries, but which all scholars now agree was no part of the original writings, but was added about the seventh century, at the time when this doctrine of the Trinity, by persecution, had forced itself into the place of full control.

The passage referred to is omitted in the revised edition of the Bible, although all the members of the committee were professedly Trinitarians in their views. They were too conscientious to give further publicity to that which was recognized as fraudulent interpolation intended to deceive and to support the Trinitarian view. The words not in the original, added in the seventh century – not found in any Scriptures of earlier date than the seventh century – you should note in your Testament by striking them out, namely, beginning with the words, "In heaven, the Father, the Word and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth."

If those fraudulent words be stricken out the passage reads as it did originally, with beautiful simplicity and clearness, "There are three that bear record, the Spirit, the water and the blood, and these three agree in one (testimony.)" The absurdity of the passage as it stands in the Common Version can be seen at a glance. The interpolation would make the passage say that the Father, the Word and the holy Ghost all three are one, and that they are bearing record in heaven that Jesus is the Son of God. How unreasonable to suppose that such a witnessing in heaven should be necessary. Do not the angels know that Jesus is the Son of God? Why then the statement that the Father, the Son and the holy Ghost are witnessing in heaven that Jesus is the Son of God? Every interpolation, and we are glad that they are few, marks itself as an absurdity, and can not be harmonized with the inspired portions of the Word. There is a further evidence to us that the Scriptures as given by God are of divine inspiration, and that nothing should be added to them nor taken from them. Evidently, however, it is the duty of every child of God to erase from his Bible any portion, such as this one, that may be found to be an addition, not the words of the inspired apostles.

This passage would not suggest to any reasonable mind that the Father and Son are on in person were it not that this false doctrine has beclouded judgment on the subject. There are more ways of being one than merely personally one. Our Lord's words elsewhere explain his meaning here. Praying to the Father for his followers he said, after praying for his apostles, "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also who believe on me through their word, that they all may be one as thou, Father, art in me and I in thee, that they maybe one in us." (John 17:20, 21)

Here is the sense of oneness between the Father and the Son, oneness of Spirit, oneness of purpose – not oneness of person.


By allowing the Bible to be its own interpreter we see more and more of its beauty, consistency and harmony. The Jews would not find one tenth the objection they do to Jesus as the Messiah were it not for the spurious, illogical, unscriptural claim that is made that he is the Father, that he is his own Father as well as his own Son, that he is a third part in an indescribable three Gods in one. Moreover, the various doctrines of the Scriptures which seem unreasonable to thinking [NS259] minds are largely so because of this fallacy. Getting rid of it we begin to see God's Word and plan, of which Jesus is the center, in its true and glorious colors. Our sentiment is that we should let God be true though it should prove every creed false. God's Word has already suffered grievously through the misrepresentations of the creeds, and it is because of these illogical and unscriptural presentations that the Bible today is being discarded by reasonable people. "To the Law and to the Testimony: if they speak not according to this Word it is because there is no light in them." Isa. 8:20 Our next discourse will consider Christ, as Son of God and Son of man.

The National Labor Tribune, November 5, 1905


Pastor C. T. Russell of the Bible House congregation, Allegheny, preached Sunday afternoon in Carnegie Hall his fourth discourse in proof of the inspiration of the Bible. His text was, "By one man's disobedience sin entered into the world and death as a result of sin; and thus death passed upon all men, because all men are sinners." (Rom. 5:12)

The discourse follows: THE PROBLEM OF THE AGES The world may be said to be united in the belief that there is a God, a Creator of the universe and all therein, but believers as well as atheists are perplexed with the problem of evil. For ages the best minds in every religious cult the world over have asked the question, Why should a good and benevolent God stand sponsor for so imperfect and unsatisfactory conditions as prevail in the world, physically, socially and morally?

With power to create why did not God produce a perfect world with perfect inhabitants, more on a par with what the heavenly condition, the angelic condition, is understood to be? The heathen nations of the world have uniformly answered the question by assuming that their gods are passionate, ferocious – not good, not loving. Heathen mythologies abound with tales of conflict between gods, vindictiveness, spitefulness, malice, envy, strife. The Bible alone teaches a God of love, and assures us that the characteristics ascribed by the heathen to the deities are works of the flesh and of the devil. 1 Cor. 10:20

Enlightened minds assent to the proposition of the Bible, and concede that one so great as to be the Creator of all things ought certainly to be the embodiment of righteousness and love. Yet here the people of Christian lands meet with difficulty in their attempt to understand or explain how a righteous and loving God could be the author of the present order of things. Is he responsible for all the warp and twist and crookedness, mental, moral and physical, with which humanity is blemished? Has he in the past and does he in the present time appoint and uphold the various iniquitous systems which have or do afflict and injure mankind – bad governments, priestcraft, superstition, whisky, opium, beer and a thousand other sources of physical, mental and moral delusion and degradation? Does he send tidal waves, earthquakes, cyclones and tornadoes, the extremes of cold and heat, of rain and of drouth which vex and distress the race and lead on to death? The same question might be applied to the pests of the present time. The thorns and thistles, bugs and worms, which hinder the earth from yielding her increase in response to labor's sweat of face.


Look where we will, philosophize as we may, there is no reasonable solution to this question except one, and that one is given us in the Bible and nowhere else. If we shall demonstrate the truth of this proposition it will be another confirmation of the Bible as the Word of God from internal testimony. It and it alone assures us that God is love, and that these various matters of our experience which tend to injure us day by day are not in conflict with the divine character, but are, on the contrary, attestations of his justice which will co-operate with divine wisdom, power and love ultimately. The difficulty with Christian people, the source of their perplexity on this subject – God's permission of evil – is that they have not given sufficient attention, sufficient study, to the Word of God; they have not made it sufficiently the "man of their counsel."

The spirit of doubt has prevailed even amongst those who reject the infidelity of "higher critics;" the Bible is not studied as it should be. It should be regarded as God's special revelation, explanatory of all the affairs of life, with instruction on every topic for those who look to him for wisdom and guidance. Whoever will accept the "Helping Hands," the "Bible Keys" which the Lord is now extending to those who hunger and thirst after righteousness – Truth – will find a satisfaction beyond anything they had supposed possible. They will find literally true that which the poet supposed was an exaggerated statement, that the Scriptures will "satisfy [NS260] their longings as nothing else can do."


The Bible solves the problem, and fully explains why God permitted sin and all of the calamities which have injured or cursed our race for now six thousand years. Its opening chapters tell us of how man, as well as the Eden Garden in which his trial took place, was perfect. It assures us that man was originally created in the divine image (not physical but mental and moral). It explains to us the fall by disobedience, and that all our blemishes as a race, mental, moral and physical, producing sickness, sorrow, pain and dying, are the results not of improper creation on the part of our beneficent God, but are the results of disobedience to his divine regulations.

It teaches us that by the law of heredity the blemishes of the children were inherited from their parents; that God was the direct Creator of the first pair only; that he endowed them with procreative powers which, had they remained faithful, would have resulted in the begetting of perfect children, and that the depravity which we find in the world today, some more and some less gross, is the result of accumulated weaknesses and blemishes handed down and increased from parent to child. It tells us that all this is the wage, the penalty of sin, the curse that rests upon the world of mankind. The Bible also explains respecting the unfavorable conditions of the earth: that only the Garden of Eden was provided in a perfect state for a perfect pair, that the remainder of the earth was in an unfit or accursed condition, and was allowed to remain so for man's sake – "Cursed is the ground for thy sake." (Gen. 3:17)

It was because God foresaw Adam's curse of disobedience, and that he would come under the death sentence, that God created our first parents before the earth as a whole was prepared, though as a whole it was good and in harmony with the divine program. In order to have a proper conception of this question we must remember that –


Because men are under sentence of death as imperfect, unfit for everlasting life, therefore God permits present conditions of nature which tend to hasten the execution of the death sentence – "Dying thou shalt die."

As a result we all see about us what the Apostle emphasizes saying, "The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together (dying) waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God." (Rom. 8:22)

The Apostle's intimation is that a better time, a better day is coming, in which the sons of God will be manifested in power and great glory, abolishing present evils of every kind and substituting for them every good and perfect gift of the Creator. The question naturally arises, then, Why the long delay in substituting the blessings and joys and favors of the Lord for the sorrows and troubles of the present groaning time?


It explains to us that as our present fallen condition is the result of our having been created free moral agents, with a liberty to obey or disobey the divine commands, God purposes such lessons for the race as will give them by experience a thorough knowledge of the evils which follow disobedience to him. The Apostle indicates that the Lord is now teaching the whole world a lesson respecting "the exceeding sinfulness of sin," and the bitterness of every pleasure that is in conflict with the divine arrangement. And how true to the facts of history is this!

Looking back over the past six thousand years along the aisles of history, we see indeed that the world has been learning its hard but important lesson. The fall from the divine likeness of righteousness and love into the condition of sinful selfishness has surely well demonstrated to the majority of the race that the fruit of selfishness is always bitter and always undesirable, always an apple of Sodom. The world has not yet been taught the lessons of righteousness and love and their rewards of peace, joy, everlasting life. It has only had thus far the lesson of sin and its wages of sorrow and trouble and death. Of this we will have something to say later. Now let us notice in the Bible's presentation that God has been dealing with our race along just these lines.


For six thousand years the Lord has allowed mankind to propagate the species until now the whole number under reasonable estimates would make a comfortable filling or population of the earth – though if more room were needed divine power is not limited, for the capacity could be doubled by the raising of new contingents from the depths of the oceans and by the reclaiming the deserts and artic wastes. Born in sin, shapen in iniquity, the 20,000,000,000 of humanity have had brief experience with the sin, pleasures and trials of life under the reign of sin and death, and the divine purpose as set forth in the Scriptures is that sooner or later every member of the race shall have a full opportunity of tasting life under favorable conditions, under the reign of righteousness and life, during the Millennial Kingdom of God's dear Son and his glorified Church, his Bride, now being selected from amongst men. Nor should it seem unreasonable to us that the divine plan of mercy should be co-extensive with the divine permission of the reign of sin and death – that the knowledge of righteousness should reach every member of Adam's race at some time, as each tastes in some measure the wage of sin – death. [NS261] The Scriptures divide the world into two classes, believers in God, and the world, the unbelievers in God. The latter have been practically left to themselves for the past six thousand years under certain broad, general limitations, to learn as best they might the lesson of the exceeding sinfulness of sin. The former, the believers, have been blessed with the Bible revelation of the divine plan, which, disclosing to them the future, with its hopes and joys and blessings, proves even now a foretaste, a comfort in every sorrow and trial and difficulty, enabling those who walk by faith to rejoice even in tribulation, and to realize that those of this Gospel age – who, having the ears, have heard the call and have separated themselves from the world in consecration to the Lord and his service – these are promised joint-heirship with their all-glorious Redeemer in the Kingdom which he is about to establish.

The Bible shows them the operation of divine justice in the death sentence upon the race, and subsequently the manifestation of divine love in providing a great sacrifice for sins in the person of the only begotten Son of God. It assures them of the acceptance of all who now by faith accept that sacrifice and conform their lives to the counsel of the Redeemer. It informs them also that ultimately the blessings of that ransom sacrifice, finished at Calvary, will be made applicable to the world of mankind.

Not that all mankind will develop eyes of understanding and ears of faith, but that in due time under the divine plan the faith now necessary will no longer be required, but sight and knowledge shall largely replace it. Instead of the night and darkness of ignorance and superstition now prevailing, shall he the sunlight of divine truth and knowledge flooding the earth; instead of sin and (death abounding, Satan shall be bound, all evil shall he restrained and the light of the knowledge of the goodness of God shall be clearly made known to every member of the race. This is the Bible testimony from the opening pages of Genesis to the closing statements of Revelation.

The one pictures to us Paradise lost, the other Paradise regained, while all the intermediate testimonies of the Word, in types and symbols and plain statements, agree in showing forth what sin is, what its penalty of death means, how the death of our Redeemer was necessary to redeem us from the death sentence, how the Millennial age is to be the time for the release of both man and his earthly home from the curse, and how in the interim between the death of the Redeemer and the establishment of his Kingdom, this Gospel age has been devoted to the gathering out the little flock, his Bride and joint-heirs in that Kingdom. The beauty, the harmony and the uniqueness of this testimony of the Bible certainly stamp it as being distinctly separate from other sacred books, the one and only one which gives an explanation of why a good God permits evil, and how, why and by what means he will ultimately overthrow it and cause that its permission shall work the greater blessing to those rightly exercised by the lessons of tribulation inflicted by Him.


While heathen peoples declare that death is not death, that those who appear to die really become more alive than ever before, the Bible is the only religious book which teaches that "the wages of sin is death" – "Everlasting destruction." (Rom. 6:23; 2 Thess. 1:9)

Which of these views is the more reasonable, which is in best conformity with the facts as we know them? Would any man of sound mind stand beside a corpse and, without outside suggestion, reach the conclusion that the dead was not dead but more alive than ever? We think not. We think, on the contrary, that his natural conclusion would be in accord with the Bible statement – "The wages of sin is death," "The soul that sinneth it shall die," "Dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return." Eze. 18:4; Gen. 3:19

There is, however, in every human being a longing for life, and a consequent hope that there might be some life beyond death. Heathendom and Spiritism tell us that they can prove the life beyond by various manifestations, messages, signs, etc., coming from the dead to the living through priests and mediums, fetiches, etc. The Bible answers their proposition with the declaration that the "dead know not anything," that "There is neither wisdom, knowledge, nor device in the tomb whither all go," that the only hope of a future life is in a resurrection of the dead, and that our Lord Jesus redeemed the race by the sacrifice of his own life, that in due time he might justly, righteously deliver the dead by a resurrection.

The Scriptures point us down to the second coming of Christ as the time for the resurrection, and assure us that the Church, the little flock of this Gospel age, will constitute the first resurrection, and in it be made like their Lord, spirit beings, glorious, invisible to men and be clothed with power and great honor, as the glorified sons of God under the Captaincy and High priestship of the glorified Redeemer.

The Bible teaches that when the first resurrection shall have been completed and the Kingdom of God shall have been established, this work of rescuing the world will begin. It indicates that this rescue shall consist in uplifting out of sin and death – conditions all those then abiding in the earth – so many of them as will come into harmony with the laws of the Kingdom administered by the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus. It assures us later on the prison-house of death [NS262] shall be opened and all the members of Adam's family shall come forth, not all at once but each in his own time, place, rank. It tells us that after awaking from the dead, after coming forth, these shall have had a resurrection by judgments; that during the Millennial day or age, which is the judgment day or age, under the judgments of the Lord which will then be abroad in the earth, rewarding good endeavor and punishing every evil intention, these will have the fullest opportunity for resurrection, rising up step by step in the image and likeness of the Creator.

It assures us that not even then will God be pleased to grant eternal life to any except upon manifestation of their willing, hearty obedience to and concurrence with the divine law; and that all otherwise minded, all who will not obey the great prophet, Priest and King, shall be utterly destroyed from amongst the people – in the second death. Acts 3:23


The Bible and no other book informs us that the heathen are deluded and are really "worshipping devils," (1 Cor. 10:20) and that all mankind need to be on guard against "seducing spirits and doctrines of demons." (1 Tim. 4:1)

It tells us that from the very beginning it has been Satan's deceptive lie that has taught the world, "Ye shall not surely die." (Gen. 3:4)

It tells us that all the fallen angels seeking to perpetuate this original declaration of the great Deceiver have through all ages and in the midst of all peoples sought to personate the dead by giving information to the living which supposedly the dead alone would possess. All through the Old Testament as well as the New those who have respect for the Word of God are warned against these "seducing spirits" and their doctrines of devils – that man when he dies is not dead but more alive than ever.

This doctrine is undoubtedly the foundation for the bulk of priestcraft and superstition which has afflicted the whole world of mankind. In conclusion, then, we answer that on the subject of the permission of evil, pain, suffering, death, as related to mental, moral and physical matters the Bible gives the only reasonable, the only consistent, the only logical solution, and the remedy which it declares of redemption and restitution by the resurrection is the only logical and reasonable hope, and that these internal evidences peculiar to the Bible demonstrate its divine authenticity and give to all believers a basis for faith, well expressed by the poet in the words –

"How firm a foundation,
ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith
in his excellent Word."

The National Labor Tribune, November 12, 1905


Ft. Wayne, Ind., November 12 – Pastor C. T. Russell of Allegheny, Pa., spoke twice here today to good audiences. We report the evening discourse on human and divine elections from the texts, "Ye are not of the world even as I am not of the world." "And the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure." John 17:16; 2 Pet. 1:10

As we look out over the civilized world we perceive humanity everywhere stretching forth its hand in self-help. And all right-minded people rejoice to see that gradually the world is coming to prefer that the self-helping hand shall bear a ballot rather than a revolver or dagger. When we perceive that in every land the privilege of self-control through law-makers of their own choosing has been wrested by the people from the grasp of monarchy at the cost of blood, as recently in Russia, our esteem for the ballot is greatly enhanced. And surely in no better manner could the world rule itself under present circumstances and conditions. With the ballot in their hands, if the government is a bad one and its standards and ideals poor it is the fault of the majority and calls for education.


But if any man hopes that government of the people, by the people, through the ballot, will bring the Millennium, he will be mistaken, as history shows. Time after time, year after year, we have party reforms and faction reforms, often evidently greatly to the advantage of the public; but it is one continual round of putting the rascals out, only to find that in a comparatively short time the reformers get the name of rascals also.

What sympathy can we have for the rascals? This: that they are members of the fallen race who, brought into a position of power and influence and opportunity, are not of sufficiently firm character to withstand the temptations which bear in upon them from every quarter – old temptations and new ones. Without sympathizing in any way with the wrongs committed – nay, while very indignant thereat – we must not allow bitterness against the rascals to invade our minds, but must remember that politicians rarely if ever pretend to be saints of God, or acknowledge any higher standard than self-interest. [NS263]


The masses of Christendom should evidently as far as possible vote for the soundest principles and the most conscientious men, so far as their time and opportunity for investigation will permit them to judge of these so far as they are able to study and to sift the conflicting views of the politicians and the aspersions and commendations of the public press.

And alas for the poor voter! in all this he usually has a very difficult time, in proportion as he would endeavor to be conscientious. Nevertheless, with the majority of nominal Christians, this may as well as any other be a paramount issue. Indeed he would better spend his time studying the political situation, and striving for the maintenance of a reasonable standard in politics, than give that time to money-grabbing or golf or whist or other time-killing and soul-starving entertainments.

We have high respect for the well intentioned and honest endeavors at the polls. We wish them every success in electing the best man and in supporting the best principles of government. But we have only spoken of the majority of Christians. There is another class named by the same name, but recognized throughout the Scriptures as a "little flock" – as Christians of a special type or quality. These are not as a class superior either mentally, physically nor morally, than the Christian majority referred to.

The difference between the masses of nominal Christians and these we are now describing consists in the fact that the latter take the name Christian more seriously to mean followers of Christ, and not merely to mean respectable and moral people. This is the class referred to by our Lord, when he said, "Ye are not of the world, even as I am not of the world, for I have chosen you out of the world."

These are the ones to whom the Master referred, saying, "If any man will be my disciple let him take his cross and follow me." Luke 9:23 While, therefore, the name Christian belongs to all who recognize Christ and his teachings in any sense of the word – the household of faith – yet this term Christian evidently belongs especially to the minority, who, as disciples or learners, are consecrated wholly to the doing of the will of the Master – following in his steps through evil report as well as through good report. These also have a vote, have rights, have liberties, have privileges of expressing their choice. And they, too, vote, and so firmly is their mind set on this matter that they vote the same ticket right along,


They declare their preference unqualifiedly for him – that his will may be done in them and in the whole world. It is not in their power to elect Jesus to be the King or Ruler of the world, because this class constitutes a very small minority in any community. The majority are not prepared to take such a positive step, they prefer to straddle questions; they would like to have good men in office and like to know that righteous laws are enacted and enforced, but still they are not prepared to go the full length and to pray and to vote, "Thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven." [Matt. 6:10]

It is not for us to even criticize them, but to suppose that they are acting conscientiously and up to their highest standards of judgment. We merely, therefore, wish them God-speed, and that they may find as good as can be found along the lines of their quest. You will see that I am placing myself with the minority, who vote for Jesus, and who claim to have as much right and power to vote as have our fellow-citizens who, equally well intentioned, split their votes in nearly every direction according to their information or misinformation and their good or bad judgment. In following our course we are merely obeying our Leader, even though under present conditions our party is even less likely to score a success than is the Prohibition party.

We are not expecting success under present arrangements – we are not expecting the world to vote "Thy Kingdom come," because our Master has informed us that his Kingdom is not of this world but of the "world to come" – the age to come. He tells us that he is getting ready the office-holders of the future, who shall be associated with himself in the great work of ruling and blessing the world and guiding the affairs of the earth in the interest of a general uplift, mental, moral, physical, financial and religious. He calls this class, whom he is thus selecting and testing, fitting and polishing, a "Royal Priesthood," that is, a Kingdom or government composed of priests, who will combine with the ruling feature the religious and uplifting quality.

The work of this Gospel age according to the Scriptures is a two-fold one: To let the world do its best at self-help and self-rule that it may learn the lesson which it is seemingly so slow to learn, namely, that under present fallen conditions no human government can be perfect, so that eventually all peoples and nations, learning of the imperfections of their own methods and rules, will gladly look to the Lord and pray, "Thy Kingdom come."

And when the Kingdom of Messiah shall be established we are assured of the Lord through the Prophet that it will be the "Desire of all nations." Hag 2:7


As men do electing, choosing, so the Scriptures tell us God is carrying on at the present time the work of election. This doctrine of election, manifested throughout [NS264] the Scriptures and theoretically upheld by Baptists, Congregationalists, Presbyterians and others, has in recent years fallen greatly into disrepute because of its association with the unscriptural doctrine that God has provided a great place of eternal torment for all the non-elect. But when our minds are rid of that bugbear of the Dark Ages, when we come to a better understanding of the Word of God, we find that the election which God has in progress is beautiful, grand in every particular. We find that from among the sin-cursed race, redeemed however by the blood of Christ, God is selecting the "little flock" who willingly renounce the world, its prospects, its schemes, its plans, its ambitions, its hopes, its pleasures, and accept instead the heavenly hopes and promises set before us in the Scriptures.

The Scriptures abound in references to this class, who are styled the "Lord's jewels," the "very elect," the "over-comers," and by various other titles and names which imply the thoroughness of their devotion to the Lord and their submission to his will and their endeavors to walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit – not up to the requirements of the spirit of God's Law, which would be impossible for them as members of the fallen race under present conditions, but after it in the sense of doing the divine will to the best of their ability. These are the ones who now vote in their hearts for Jesus as their King and who take up their cross to follow him. This the Lord declares to be his election. Of these the Lord said, "I know my sheep and am known of mine." (John 10:14)

So from the standpoint of election the Lord chooses such characters and such characters choose the Lord, and in choosing him and in seeking to walk in his footsteps and follow the directions of his Word they are, as our text points out, "making their calling and election sure."


In worldly elections there are legitimate expenses, as, for instance, the advertising of meetings, rent of halls, traveling expenses, etc., for speakers. Additionally every candidate for office is expected to lay down part of his life – that is, to spend time and influence, strength and vigor, to secure his own election or that of his friend. Much is considered wise and reasonable along these lines, that from our standpoint would be considered the very reverse. The amount of energy and money spent to secure election as a ward councilman or alderman or mayor is astounding, and the expenditure rises in proportion to the office, so that it requires strenuous efforts to become a member of the State legislature, planning, scheming, wire pulling, day and night for weeks and months and years, and the liberal expenditure of time and strength and vitality – all these are the cost if the office reaches to congressman, senator, president.

It is the work of a lifetime gradually, step by step, to rise to the honorable position of president of these United States for a period of four years. The man who would not be willing to spend years of time and effort and a considerable amount of money in a legitimate way to help forward his aspirations to this high office would be considered mentally deficient. To all this we would agree with certain limitations. But now, on the other hand, we wish to contrast with this the expenses of a campaign in God's election. Those whom God nominates or "calls," those who the Apostle in our text exhorts to make their calling and election sure, are expected to appreciate the honor, the blessing, the high exaltation which is proffered them, and expected to show this appreciation in their endeavors to secure the election. Is this unreasonable?

Quite to the contrary, all would admit that it is perfectly reasonable; the person who would not appreciate the divine call or divine election so as to be willing to allow it to cost him something would not be fit for the duties and honors for which the Lord calls or nominates him. When we contrast the high office of president of the United States for four years with the still higher office of joint-heirship with Christ in the heavenly Kingdom, which is to rule and bless the whole world during the Millennium, and the subsequent high position as joint-heirs with Christ and co-workers together with him in the subsequent features of the divine plan for all eternity, we say to ourselves, If a presidency is worth a lifetime of effort and planning and the expenditure of immense sums of money, what would this heavenly election be worth? What would be a reasonable expense or cost for the candidate to expect to bear?

If every schoolboy is thrilled with the thought of the possibility of attaining to the Presidency of the United States, if for every one who reaches the position there are hundreds of thousands who have striven and have failed to reach it, what would be the reasonable service of the one who has been nominated to the still higher position, and who has the divine assurance that he will win it if he will but make the proper expenditure of time, influence and vitality? What would be the reasonable expenditure for the attainment of such an election? We answer that if a life might reasonably be spent and all other ambitions be cast aside in the attainment of a four years' presidency of this Republic, who will dispute that the sacrifices of a thousand lives and the grounding of ten thousand hopes and ambitions in other directions, would be but a small cost in the attainment of the glory, honor and immortality, joint-heirship and divine nature which God has promised to the "very elect." [NS265]


While all this seems so reasonable to some, it seems foolish to others. And thus, the apostles state the matter in the Scriptures, that the wisdom of God is foolishness with men and the wisdom of men is foolishness with God. (1 Cor. 1:18; 3:19)

In proportion as we take our standpoint with men or with God we will take our view of these matters. From God's standpoint, and therefore from the point of view of all who see it from the divine standpoint, the poor world is spending time and money for a very unsatisfactory portion. Because of a selfishness that is in the world, and the strife for office, whoever is a candidate must expect to be more or less smirched by his opponent, and then, however well intentioned he may be, he will find himself so handicapped by custom usages, wire-pullers and superiors in office that he is sure to feel disappointment and that the cost has been higher than the value of the honor.

This is certainly true in the great majority of cases, even in the estimation of the world. From the standpoint of God's estimation the whole struggle for political preferment to the neglect and disregard of the still higher calling and election is as foolish as to grasp for bubbles and neglect diamonds. Reversely, the great mass of Christian people, even the "household of faith," regard the minority of their brethren who become disciples of Christ and in consecration undertake to bear his cross – and to walk in his steps that they may be his joint-heirs in his Kingdom – these are regarded by the majority as foolish, as the Apostle declared, "We are counted fools all the day long." (1 Cor. 4:10)

The world says it is foolish to have so much faith in a future life, and in the promises of the Bible respecting the same, that you will consent to be considered peculiar by the world and to be ostracized by it. It argues that those who would pass by opportunities for earthly elections, offices, etc., hoping for the heavenly election, must be daft, must be mentally unbalanced. The apostles who were amongst these "fools" who laid down their lives for a principle, who ran a race for the prize of the high calling in Christ invisible to the natural eye, for a crown unseen, for a Kingdom not established but merely promised – these tell us that they were really acting wisely and that we also would do well to follow their example.

They tell us that all who thus renounce the present for the future have the "spirit of a sound mind," thus implying that all others are either blinded to these glorious things by the god of this world, who hath blinded the eyes of those who believe not, or else that they are of unsound mind. (2 Tim. 1:7; 2 Cor. 4:4)

Bunyan in "Pilgrim's Progress" pictures the masses of Christendom as laboring on the shores of life's ocean with a muck rake, gathering the corks and seaweed, etc., in heaps about them, calling these wealth and fame and social position. From the standpoint of Bunyan and his pilgrim, Christian, these were foolish indeed. And this evidently is the Lord's standpoint of view of these matters, and should be the viewpoint of all who have the Truth and proportionately as they receive the spirit of the Truth.

One thing to be remembered is that in whichever party we have been voting and for whichever honors we have been striving in the past, it is still possible to change. Those who have been running for the heavenly prize and Kingdom can face about and find earthly prizes and ambitions and many helps in the pursuit of these. The world, the flesh and the adversary will all cooperate, and they may gain some transitory bauble or bubbles; but these may be assured that in even striving to gain it they will be almost certain to lose their grasp of the heavenly things and to make shipwreck of the higher things. Would such be a wise course? Would it pay in any sense of the word? Assuredly not. What says the Master?

"What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own being" – become a castaway as respects the eternal promises within his grasp through Christ. On the other hand, however unwisely we have handled the muck rake in the past, however foolishly we have sought peace and joy through satisfaction in the things of this present time and to the neglect of the heavenly calling, there is still time, thank God, for us to lay aside every weight and to run with patience in the race whose end is the divine favor and everlasting life upon the spirit plane.

The Apostle intimates this, urging that we forget the things which are behind and press onward to the things that are before, the better things, the things of God – seeking a place in the divine favor, seeking to make sure of our calling and election to the Kingdom conditions. Philip. 3:13

Nevertheless we sorrow not as others who have no hope in respect to our dear friends who are blind to all spiritual things, dead to all spiritual impulses. We are glad to know that if we are unable to help them now, because "the god of this world hath blinded their eyes," the time is coming when Satan shall be bound and the knowledge of the Lord shall fill the whole earth, and we as his ministers of truth shall be privileged to enlighten and uplift the whole world of mankind.

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