The Greensburg Morning Press, May 26, 1908


Beaver Falls, May 24. Pastor C. T. Russell of Pittsburg, Pa., preached twice here today to large and attentive congregations. In the afternoon he gave his Bible-defense lecture on "To Hell and Back. Who are there? Hope for many of them."

We report his morning discourse from the text "The Glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it." (Isa. 40:5)

He said: The language of our text implies that the glory of the Lord has not yet been revealed; and this revelation belongs to the future. The prophecy of which it is a part was written about 3400 years after the creation, and implied that the Lord's glory had not been revealed up to that time. The context also shows that the promise of a revelation of God's glory was prophetically fixed for a date in the far future. Certain great events are first to happen; then the glory of the Lord will be revealed to all flesh.

To show that this Scripture is still unfulfilled should be quite sufficient to point to the heathen and to note the fact that at least three fourths of the human family are wholly without the knowledge of the Lord and hence without the knowledge of his glory. It should be sufficient even to point to Christendom, to demonstrate that very few have eyes to see and ears to hear his message of grace or to appreciate the glory of his character. All the facts as we know them fully corroborate the statement of our text and of its context, that it belongs to a still future day.

In demonstration of this fact note the opening verses of Isaiah 40, in which the Lord calls upon his people to comfort and console natural Israel, which far more comforting declaration is that at the appointed time Israel's sins will all be purged away, her iniquity pardoned and she shall be received back into divine favor. This recovery of Israel from blindness and alienation from divine favor is distinctly noted by the Apostle Paul, who after pointing out how and why natural Israel stumbled, also points out to us her recovery, the return of God's favor to her, the taking away of her sins. He shows that this favor will come after the completion of the Elect Spiritual Israel.

When the Church, the Bride of Christ, shall have been changed by the First Resurrection, then through her favor and mercy, blessings will be showered upon Natural Israel, whose blindness will then be taken away. Note the explicitness of the Apostle's words, "There shall come out of Zion (the Church) the Deliverer and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob; for this is my covenant with them when I shall take away their sins. As concerning the Gospel they are enemies for your sakes; but as touching the election they are be-loved for their father's sakes ... Through your mercy they also may obtain mercy; for God hath concluded them all in unbelief that he might have mercy upon all." Rom. 11:25-32


Thus we have clearly fixed by the Apostle the time of the fulfillment of the prophecy of which our text is a part – that it is still future, though we believe not far distant. The remainder of the context is in full accord also. It tells us that the proper message at the time of the completion of the Church and the return to Natural Israel will be that there must be a general leveling, and exaltation of the humble and a bringing down of the lofty, to the intent that the glory of the Lord may be revealed. Other Scriptures show us that this general leveling process amongst mankind will involve the world in a great time of trouble.

But it is comforting to know that the outcome of their trouble will be the blessing of mankind and the glory of the Lord, whom the whole world will ultimately acknowledge.

Verses 9-11 of the same chapter pictures the blessings which then will follow: Zion the Church, that has borne the good message for over eighteen centuries will be called up into the mountain, the kingdom condition; while those primarily representing the Lord amongst men will be called upon to lift up their voices with strength and not to be afraid, but to tell the cities of Judah, "Behold your God!" We read, "Behold the Lord God will come as a mighty one, and his power shall rule for him; behold, his reward is with him and his recompense before him."

Up to the present time the Lord's dealings have been with the patriarchs, and Natural Israel and Spiritual Israel, to instruct, to counsel, to guide, to chastise, to bless; but hitherto he has not dealt with the world of mankind. In this coming day when his glory shall be revealed, his dealings will be no longer secret, but open; no longer with a few Elect, but with all the families of the earth. Why the Lord has kept his glory secret up to the present time is a mystery to the world – a mystery which is revealed only to his saints through the Word.

As explained in the Scriptures he has so done in order to the better carrying-out of the selection of the Church, whose members during this Gospel age are called to be joint-heirs with Jesus Christ their Lord; and to prove their individual worthiness of this position by honestly confessing natural imperfection and unworthiness; by faithfully accepting the grace of God in Christ and the forgiveness of sins, and by demonstrating [NS554] to the Lord of which of them shall stand fiery trials and tests and prove faithful unto death. This special class in all a "little flock," who "follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth" (Rev. 14:4), whithersoever he leadeth, – these must first be selected. Meantime the world, in ignorance of them and of their call, effects the tribulations which polish, fit and prepare these for the Kingdom. Meantime also the world in general learns its own lessons respecting the exceeding sinfulness of sin and the weight of divine displeasure enunciated in the curse, "dying thou shalt die." (Gen. 2:17, margin)

Under these adverse conditions an immense host estimated at 20,000,000,000, has been born and given an experience with the evil side of life, the side of sin and death, the Adversary's side, thoroughly shut off from the light of the knowledge of the glory of God. Under the prince of this world, darkness covers the earth and darkness the heathen. (Isa. 60:2)

A great work has been quickly accomplished, great lessons have been learned by the vast masses of humanity as well as have been the still more important lessons and testings which have incidentally shaped and polished the Church as the Lord's jewels. How truly the poet said: –

"God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps on the sea,
And rides upon the storm.
His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud will have a bitter taste
But sweet will be the flower.
"Blind unbelief is sure to err
And scans his work in vain;
God is his own interpreter,
And he will make it plain."

The ways of the Lord are thoroughly inscrutable to all except those who have inside information, granted only to God's Spirit-begotten children, to such zealously follow on to know the Lord, to study his Word and to walk in harmony therewith. "The secret of the Lord is with them that reverence him, and he will show them his covenant." (Psa. 25:14)

Blame for ignorance of God is not generally attached to mankind. Our Lord did not blame the common people, his chief imprecations were against those who were high in the Church, "Woe unto you Scribes, Pharisees and Doctors of the Law – ye have taken away the key of knowledge!" (Luke 11:52)

But even these are not scripturally held responsible for all that they have done against the Lord and his faithful ones. Satan is charged as being the great deceiver who, along with their own pride and selfishness deceived and misled them. Mark the Apostle Peter's criticism of the Jews and their leaders in connection with the awful crime of the crucifixion of the Prince of life, our Lord. He says, "I wot that in ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers." (Acts 3:17)

The responsibility of that people was a limited one, for which they have received stripes or punishments. These as our context and the Apostle assures us, will shortly be completed, ended, will cease and be followed by return of favor through the Christ, Head and body.

Only from this standpoint can we appreciate divine compassion and forgiveness with mankind in respect to the crimes in the name of justice and religion in all ages of the world, and the slanders and misrepresentations of the divine character and plan, published by every false religion in the world. God is permitting these misrepresentations, these aspirations, these falsifications as a part of the great lesson to mankind, a part of the lesson of the exceeding sinfulness of sin and its injuriousness in every way, as respects both the mind and the body. All who are his people have in the Lord's own course a lesson of peace and forgiveness, gentleness and love, a lesson that was fully exemplified by our dear Redeemer when jeeringly his enemies cried to him, "If thou be the Son of God, save thyself and come down from the cross." [Matt. 27:40]

With patience he endured their sneers and taunts, the vilifications and various contradictions of sinners against himself – intent upon doing them good, determined not to fail in the work he had undertaken, not to be turned aside from his great work of giving his life as their ransom price. Similarly the Father's Word has gone forth from his mouth and shall not return to him void, but shall prosper in the thing whereto he sent it. (Isa. 55:1 1)

That word or message was one of peace and blessing to Abraham, "In thee and in thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." (Gen. 12:3)

Reiterating these blessings through the prophets he sent a further confirmation at the mouth of the angel when Jesus was born in Bethlehem, saying, "We bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be unto all people." (Luke 2:10)

Nevertheless, the poor world, degenerated and unbalanced, and under Satan's leading, has turned every promised blessing into a curse; has accepted doctrines of devils instead; theories of eternal torment for nearly all of mankind; blasphemous aspersions against God's Holy Name; against the just and loving character of our Creator. With what patience He has long borne these misrepresentations!


When we receive the Apostolic injunction that a thousand years with us are as one day with the Lord (2 Pet. 3:8), or as a watch in the night, as the prophet [NS555] says (Psa. 90:4), then we began to see what before we shortsightedly overlooked; namely, that the divine plan is working out speedily on a scale much larger than we had contemplated.

The 6000 years in which God has suffered sin and death to reign amongst men have permitted them to defile themselves, and to blaspheme and to misrepresent his holy name and character; but this long period of time is only a moment in comparison with eternity; and from the divine standpoint the work which it is accomplishing from is fully justified. Shortly, at the second coming of our Lord and the establishment of his Kingdom, the present condition will be changed. No longer will it be a night-time of ignorance and sin and darkness, of gross darkness with the heathen; for the light of the knowledge of the glory of God shall fill the whole earth. Christ and his glorified Church (Matt. 13:43), as the Sun of Righteousness, shall shine out upon the world to scatter its night, its ignorance, its superstition, its fear, its doctrines of devils, its misapprehensions of the divine character. That glorious sunlight of the new dispensation will reveal to the wondering world the true character of God, not only his almighty power, his infinite wisdom, and his inflexible justice, but also his wonderful love and compassion, which has, in and through Christ Jesus our Lord, provided for Adam and every member of his race, a full and glorious opportunity of recovery from sin and degradation and death, into which all came through Adam's fall and its penalty.

Some one may say, yes, the glory of the Lord shall be revealed; but what assurance have we that the blind eyes will see it? Some who have the eyes of their understanding opened can see the glory of the Lord; but the great mass, as the Apostle says, are blinded by the god of this world. (2 Cor. 4:4)

What assurance have we that this blindness of understanding will not continue; and that the god of this world will not continue to blind the minds of others? That is a good question, quite to the point; but note how thoroughly it is answered in the Word of God. We are assured that Satan, the old serpent, the devil, shall be bound for that thousand years, that he may deceive the nations no more until the thousand years are finished. (Rev. 20:2, 3)

During that period he will no longer have the power to blind, to deceive, for his deceptions will all be exposed by the glorious light of that day. Moreover we have the further assurance of the Lord that all the blind eyes shall be opened, and all the deaf ears shall be unstopped. (Isa. 35:5)

How inspiring, how happifying these assurances of God's Word to those who can see them, who can appreciate them, who have come to such a knowledge of God's character that they can no longer believe the slanders and blasphemies and misrepresentations of the divine character and plan, which have come down to us from the "dark ages!" In advance we who can see, we who can hear are blessed, as the Master said (Matt. 13:6); and we can in advance join with the Great Company in their song "Hallelujah: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth! Let us rejoice and be exceeding glad; let us give glory unto him." Rev. 19:6, 7


Those whose eyes of understanding have been opened, those who can now see a measure of the lengths and breadths and heights and depths of the love of God, which passeth all understanding, realize that their blessing is rightly described by the Apostle as the "spirit of a sound mind." (2 Tim. 1:7)

They perceive that the difficulty with the world in general is its unsoundness of mind, its unsoundness of reasoning in respect to God and his character and his plan. They can sympathize, nevertheless, with mankind in this blindness, realizing how all God's glorious purposes are secret, covered, hidden for wise purposes; as our Master said, "I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hidden these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight." (Matt. 11:25, 26)

It surely did not seem good to the Father to hide his plans from mankind in general so as to give him an excuse for eternally tormenting them! Surely our Lord Jesus did not thank the heavenly Father for obscuring, for hiding from mankind truths which are necessary for their salvation and without which they will be consigned to eternal torment! On the contrary the Father kept secret his plans for a time from the majority of mankind for good, sufficient, wise and loving reasons – reasons which our Lord Jesus understood and also approved, and which he has revealed to us in his Word; namely, that it was the wiser and better plan first to select a Church, then to use that Church as an instrumentality for the blessing and enlightening of all the remainder of the race "in due time." [1 Tim. 2:6]

It is true that none are to be saved in ignorance; and hence that the world in general are not saved now; but it is true that "The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together" – in due time – God's due time; or "the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it." [Isa. 40:5]

The glory of the Lord was revealed to the Church class, not when we first believed nor even when first we consecrated, but subsequently, when as the "servants and handmaidens," we were anointed with the holy Spirit of adoption. Then we were permitted to see, to appreciate the deep things of God. (Acts 2:18)

How glad we are that the Lord explains that "after these days" (in which [NS556] he pours out his spirit upon his handmaidens) "he will pour out his spirit upon all flesh!" [Joel 2:28; Acts 2:17]

Thus all mankind not only shall have ocular demonstration during the Millennial age of the goodness of God of his mercy and love and glorious provisions for them all, but in addition will have an enlightenment of the holy Spirit, whereby they will be the better enabled to understand the deep things of God, the riches of his grace, etc.

Coming now to the methods that will be used in revealing God's character, we note first his promise that he will turn a pure message to the people. No longer will there be discordant notes causing confusion, Babel, mystifying and deluding those who will be seeking the way of the Lord. The one pure message of divine justice, wisdom, love and power will be so clearly demonstrated to the whole world that The knowledge of the glory of the Lord shall fill the whole earth as the waters cover the great deep. Hab. 2:14 To such an extent will this be true that ultimately "They shall no more teach every man his neighbor and every man his own brother saying, Know the Lord; for all shall know him from the least to the greatest of them." (Jer. 31:34)

Neither will the instruction of that glorious day, that Millennial Kingdom epoch, be merely in words. Still more forceful will be the lessons of experience by. which the world will have demonstration of divine power and justice and mercy and wisdom; for we are told that "When the judgments of the Lord are abroad in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will then learn righteousness." (Isa. 26:9)

Ah, yes! It is because mankind sees no judgment of the Lord abroad in the earth at the present time that unbelief and sin are rampant. The world sees every form of unrighteousness prosper; and as for the blessings that come to the Lord's consecrated ones, the world is unable to see and appreciate these: for they are hidden from sight. With the new dispensation, however all this will be changed; every exercise of faith will bring its corresponding blessing; every evil deed will bring its corresponding chastisement, just recompense of reward to every soul of man that doeth well and to every soul that doeth ill. (Rom. 2:6-9)

Very soon the world will learn through these lessons of experience what is right, what is wrong, what will bring divine favor, and what will bring divine reprobation and chastisement. It is safe to say that these lessons will appeal very quickly to humanity and will constitute the beginnings of the revelation of the glory of God, a display of what God recognizes as right and what he recognizes as wrong, as the years of the Millennium roll around, and mankind shall be blessed more and more with restitution, rising higher and higher out of degradation and sin and toward righteousness and perfection. (Acts 3:19-2 1)

Their view will become more and more enlarged, and their appreciation of the lengths and breadths and heights and depths of divine love and justice will gradually extend, and ultimately all who avail themselves of those privileges may come to know God in truth and sincerity and to know Jesus Christ.


Other Scriptures tell us of the revelation of the divine glory to the angelic hosts and to the Church; but our text tells us of humanity, all humanity, all flesh; Adam and all of his race with the exception of those gathered out during the Jewish Age and during this Gospel Age.

This means more than merely those who will be living at the time when that glorious epoch will be ushered in, when the new heavens and new earth shall take the place of the present order of things, of which Satan is declared to be the prince, ruling secretly and unrecognized by his subjects. We cannot understand the mental processes of those premillennialists who are looking forward to great favors upon the living generation of the human family at the second coming of Christ and the glorification of the Elect Church.

We know not why their faith cannot grasp the fulness of the divine assurance that Jesus Christ tasted death for every man (Heb. 2:9); and that God's provision is for a day of judgment for the whole world, (Acts 17:31), every member of the race, aside from the Church, which has its judgment during this Gospel age. We cannot understand why they have difficulty in recognizing the force of the Scriptural promise that a resurrection has been provided not only for the just, but also for the unjust (Acts 25:15); that all that are in their graves shall hear the voice of the Son of God and shall come forth John 5:28, 29), the few to the life resurrection, but the great mass to the resurrection of judgment, of testing, of trial for life or death eternal, in that day when the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together. In that day Jesus shall indeed be the true light that will enlighten every man that is come into the world. John 1:19)

In that day when as Immanuel, his Kingdom shall be under the whole heavens, in that thousand-year day in which the Son of man shall come in the glory of the Father and sit upon the throne of his glory, he shall gather all nations before him, and judge the living and the dead according to the things that are written in the books of the Bible, according to his own words in which he instructed that love is the fulfilling of the law – love to God and love to our neighbor. This same rule of love will judge mankind during the Millennium and will test each member of Adam's race, to locate him either as a sheep or as a goat, in the favor or disfavor of the Judge. At the conclusion those sheep [NS557] thoroughly tested shall be rewarded with the gift of life everlasting; while the goats will be rewarded with the penalty of divine disfavor, everlasting punishment – everlasting death – everlasting destruction from which there shall be no recovery. Acts 3:23

In conclusion, dear friends, let us more and more allow our hearts to feast upon the good things of our Heavenly Father's Word, which reveals to us the glorious attributes of his character. For in proportion as we come to know him and to appreciate him, we shall have the riches of his grace in our hearts, and the power of God working in us more and more to will and to do his good pleasure. (Philip. 2:12, 13)

We have a God greater and nobler than ourselves, more just, more loving, more tender as well as more wise and more powerful. Job 36:26; 37:23 And how few indeed have such a God as this! The great majority, blinded and confused by the errors of the "dark ages," are striving unsuccessfully to worship a God inferior to themselves in justice, love, wisdom. Let us more and more copy the true God and his love and kindness; let us more and more cherish the various assurances of his Word in regard to the coming revelation of his glory, that we may become more and more patient ourselves in respect to the matter, and feel more content to be sharers for the time in the blasphemous reproaches and misrepresentations which come to us in connection with our endeavors to show forth the praises of him who hath called us out of darkness into his marvelous light, for now the world knoweth us not, even as it knew him not. (1 Pet. 2:9; 1 John 3:1)

But very shortly the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together. Then we, if faithful now, shall be participators with Christ in his glory even the glory which shall be revealed in us; and we shall be glad also with exceeding joy to have the privilege of showing forth to others the glorious character of our Heavenly Father.

The Greensburg Morning Press, June 3, 1908


Madison, Wis., May 31. Pastor C. T. Russell, of Pittsburg, Pa., addressed large and attentive audiences twice here today. We report his evening discourse from the text, "The blood of sprinkling, which speaketh better things than that of Abel." (Heb. 12:24)

He said: St. Paul was the most profound of the apostles; through his writings the Lord has given to his faithful the broadest, the deepest, the clearest views of the divine plan. Paul was well qualified by nature for his noble service to the Church. From his own pen we are informed that his knowledge of divine things, the deep things of God, not only was obtained through the prophecies of the Old Testament and the illumination of the holy Spirit but was supplemented by visions and revelations, one of which in particular he tells us he was not permitted to explain, saying, "I heard things unlawful to be uttered." (2 Cor. 12:4)

But although the Apostle might not utter the things he himself had heard, the information which he thus obtained is reflected by all his subsequent writings, and doubtless for this reason their illuminating power is so great that it gives to the students of the Word of God such clear and deep insight into those things which otherwise would be darkest mysteries.

Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight to send the necessary attestations to the pilgrims in the narrow way, followers in the footsteps of Jesus. Our text is a portion of a large panoramic view, or word picture, which the Apostle sketched. Here, as in many other places, he points out that certain matters with which the Israelites were familiar were types and shadows, on a small scale, of great and wonderful things to come.

Pointing back to the institution of Israel's Law Covenant at Mount Sinai he holds that notable event up before his readers as an illustration of the grand antitypes toward which he and they were approaching. In the type were God, Israel and Moses the mediator; in the antitype God, mankind and Jesus, the mediator. In the type the people, after leaving the bondage of Egypt by successive journeys, approached Mount Sinai, where their Law Covenant was to be inaugurated with grand ceremony.

They approached gradually, some of the people reaching the mountain while others were yet quite a long way off. Similarly, the Apostle points out, God is about to inaugurate a New Covenant between himself and mankind; and this antitypical Covenant is higher, greater, better because it will have a better Mediator. It will not be inaugurated at Mount Sinai or at any other literal mountain, but at the symbolical Mount Zion, the Kingdom of God, which is about to be established and for which our Lord taught us to pray, "Thy Kingdom come." [Matt. 6:10]

With the establishment of that mountain or Kingdom will come the blessing of the world through the Mediator and the New Covenant. Meantime the whole world has been gradually approaching that glorious day when God's tabernacle will be with men; [NS558] and its representative, the Christ, shall reign in kingly glory and power for the blessing and uplifting of the people – a reign of righteousness. First in this general marching concourse toward the Mount or Kingdom of God comes the Church of Christ, which is not only nearest to and most deeply interested in the Kingdom, but best informed in respect to it.


In harmony with this picture the Apostle declares, "Ye are not approaching a mountain that might be touched and that burned with fire, nor unto the blackness and darkness and tempest and the sound of a trumpet and the voice of words; which voice they that heard entreated that the word should not be spoken to them anymore." [Heb. 12:18,19]

Such was Mount Sinai in the type; but the antitype is different, although it is similar. The Mount or Kingdom which we are approaching, the Apostle describes as Mount Zion, the City of the Living God, the New Jerusalem, where we shall be brought in contact with innumerable hosts of angels; where the General Assembly and Church of the First-borns, whose names were written in heaven, will meet; where we shall meet God, the Judge of all, where we shall meet the just men of the previous dispensation, made perfect in spirit or life; where Jesus will be the Mediator of the New Covenant; and where the blood of sprinkling will speak peace, forgiveness and reconciliation with God.

For more than eighteen centuries since the Apostle wrote these words we have been approaching, approaching these glorious things, but we have not vet reached the end of the journey, although it is in sight. As soon as the last member of the Royal Priesthood shall have come to the mountain the First Resurrection, the resurrection of the Just, will bring together the Church of the First-born and bring them into full relationship with the host of angels, the Father's presence, the New Jerusalem condition, etc.

Then speedily the whole world of mankind will find themselves close up to the glorious spiritual Mount or Kingdom of God, from which it is designed that the Lord's blessing shall extend through the New Covenant to father Adam and every member of his race. The inattentive world knows not that we are so close to this mountain. In general people recognize that we are living in peculiar times; and many of the world are beginning to look forward into the future peeringly, fearfully, wondering about and dreading the things which may speedily come to pass.

But only the Royal Priesthood are privileged to know of the deep things of God and to appreciate the blessings which he intends shall speedily come through an awful time of trouble to the whole world's groaning creation. Looking back to the type we see the pen picture which the Apostle is sketching: Mount Sinai trembling under the glorious manifestation of divine power, symbolically represented in flame and smoke, in quaking earth and in rolling thunder and lightning flashes, which served to prepare Israel for the Law Covenant. The Apostle points out that the antitypes of this must be much more strenuous and will serve to prepare mankind in general for the blessings of the New Covenant under the antitypical Mediator.

The shaking of the earth there from the power represented in the mountain, the Apostle shows prefigured the shaking of society here by the power of the Lord through his Kingdom, which will be established amongst men in power and great glory, though the glory may be hidden from all except those who have the eyes of their understanding opened, hidden from all except those begotten of the holy Spirit. Everything here connected with the inauguration of the New Covenant will be on an immensely higher and grander scale than were the things in the type. And the shaking, as the Apostle shows in the context, will be such as the world never before knew.


From other Scriptures we know that it will include political, financial and social institutions. Everything shakable is to be shaken; everything not authorized and approved by the divine law of love and justice is to be shaken, loosed, overthrown, destroyed. And the Apostle adds that the shaking will affect not merely the earthly things, but also the heavenly, the ecclesiastical.

Churchianity will be shaken in all its various sects and parties; and the shaking will be necessary because with the central truth which they hold the various creeds and practices of Christendom has combined, so many egregious errors and superstitions and falsities or dishonesties.

The Apostle declares, in a word, that everything will be shaken except the Kingdom which the Church will receive (v. 29), and he exhorts that those who have been accepted as prospective members of the glorified Church, the Kingdom class, should seek to have the graces of the Spirit whereby we may offer service well pleasing to God – "For our God is a consuming fire;" that is to say, although he is just and loving he will not countenance wilful sin; his anger will burn against it to its utter destruction, and if we harbor such sins a portion of his anger will assuredly burn against us proportionately, and we should not be fit for the kingdom. God's anger burned against Adam when he was wilfully disobedient; and the sentence or penalty upon him and upon his posterity has been executed for now 6,000 years, "Dying thou shalt die." [Gen. 2:17]

Hence all the sickness, [NS559] pain, sorrow, crying, dying are the results of this original burning of God's anger against mankind. It still burns; and only those who have seeing eyes of faith have thus far been blessed with the hearing ear and the privilege to escape from the divine anger, the divine sentence, the divine condemnation, the divine curse, the divine wrath, and to be accepted through Christ as Children of God, whereby they may cry, "Abba, Father," and realize that God acknowledges the relationship. However, since the death of Jesus a measurable blessing of knowledge of God has come into the world, the true light; nevertheless men love darkness rather than light. (John 3:19)

And in proportion as any who have seen even a glimmer of the true light, have hated and refused it, in that proportion have they added to their responsibility. Such is the condition of Churchianity today – so-called Christendom. The presence of the light has increased men's responsibility, as our Lord said in his day. Nevertheless, the Lord has permitted mankind to follow wrong courses and more or less to sin against the light without visiting upon them any special chastisements, because in the interim he has been gathering out of the world his "little flock," his "jewels," the Bride of Christ. When all of these shall have come to the Mount of God the time will be at hand for dealing with the world; and a manifestation of God's real attitude toward sin will be necessary and appropriate.

It will not be such as has mistakenly been presented, a roasting and eternal torture of mankind at the hands of demons, but the permission of sad and awful trouble to come upon mankind as a result of the outworking of their own selfish propensities. The hand which has stayed the winds while the gathering and sealing of the Elect has been in progress will no longer stay them. The winds of selfishness, strife, passion, anger, covetousness, hatred, will be allowed to blow; and awful will be the "distress of nations and perplexity" and the "time of trouble such as was not since there was a nation until that same time," when every man's hand shall be against his neighbor." Luke 21:25; Dan. 12:1; Zech. 8:10


This fiery trouble amongst men will be for their good, not for their destruction. Evil works will be consumed, selfish institutions will go down in that awful conflagration of human passion; but humanity as a whole will survive (though of course a considerable number will perish in the troublous times). The first flaming up of this great conflagration will be the most terrible, because it will be so unexpected, so sweeping, but the flames will die down as soon as the wicked works, the selfishness which occasioned them, shall have been consumed.

Nevertheless the Lord distinctly tells us that his indignation will always burn against every form of iniquity, injustice, selfishness and sin; and that these shall be destroyed root and branch. We may assume safely, therefore, that some of these roots and branches of selfishness will be smoldered, consumed, all through the Millennial Age until nearly its close. But surely, after the flaming fire shall have executed the divine decree against sin and selfishness, the world will learn righteousness and the advantages thereof; and correspondingly the blessing of the Lord shall come upon them, the blessings portrayed in our text and represented in the statement:

Coming more particularly to our text we find that it can be rightly appreciated only by recognizing its relationship to the context and to the picture which the Apostle has portrayed. Looking back to the type we see that from the midst of the quaking mountain Moses came forth to the people, his face shining with glory and covered with a veil to represent, the Apostle says, the still greater glory of the Mediator of the New Covenant, – the Christ.

Here we should remember the Apostles explanation that God's work during this Gospel age is a mystery to the world; that he is taking out from amongst men a "little flock" to be members of the great High Priest under their Lord and Head, Jesus, to be members of the antitypical Mediator between God and men – "Members in particular."

Then the last member of the Church shall have reached Mount Zion, the Kingdom, their resurrection change will make of them spirit beings like unto their Lord, glorious beings, yet invisible to men even as are the angels. In the type this spiritual glory is represented in the shining Moses' face covered with the vail. Notice the work of the mediator of the Law Covenant.

Moses took of the blood of the slain animals sacrificed for sins and sprinkled first the books of the law, the tables of the Law. The act signified the satisfaction of divine justice, the presentation of the merit of the sin-offering on behalf of the sins of all the people. Then he took of the same blood and sprinkled all the people, this representing the forgiveness of their sins and the bringing of them into harmony with God and his divine Law. Now let us turn from the type to the antitype and see the signification and beauty thus revealed. The antitypical Mediator Jesus, the Head, representing the Church also, which is his Body, will first of all make satisfaction for the sins of the whole people, the whole world, presenting formally to the heavenly Father the blood of Jesus, his sacrificed life, and the blood or sacrificed life of all those whom he has accepted as members of his Body and who in the present age have shared [NS560] with him in the laying down of their lives in his service. When our glorious Head shall have made satisfaction before the Father, the next thing in order will be the sprinkling of all the people with the same blood. In the type it would take but little time to sprinkle the blood upon the two tables of the Law, but quite a long time indeed to sprinkle all the people, who numbered millions. So in the antitype.

The sprinkling of the people will require a long time – the thousand years of Christ's Millennial reign. The entire work of the Millennium will be said to be the sprinkling of the people, the bringing back of as many of mankind as will come, into relationship with God through the merit of the precious blood of Jesus, his sacrificed life. How glad we are, then that we are approaching, not merely the glories of the Kingdom, the fellowship of the Church, the companionship of angels, and our presentation to the Heavenly Father, but also the glorious mediatorial work of the Christ and the sprinkling of mankind with the blood that speaketh – that makes atonement, that makes satisfaction, that speaks the world's forgiveness and release from bondage of sin and death which came through Adam's disobedience. Justice cries for vengeance; every injustice cries out except one.

The great injustice of Christ's crucifixion did not cry out for vengeance; but instead the blood of Christ speaks the forgiveness of our sin to all those who will accept his favor. How wonderful that instead of penalizing the world of mankind for the death of the only begotten Son of God, and subsequently for the persecution also of all those adopted of God as members of the Body of Christ; instead of sentencing the world to death on this account, the divine arrangement and program from the beginning has been that it shall be presented, not as a charge against the world, but as a ransom price, as the payment of the kindness toward the children of men – his mercy, his long suffering, his forgiveness! Yet his justice is still retained; and it is still his law and ever shall be, that "the soul that sinneth it shall die."

Hence although the blood of sprinkling shall be applied to all the families of the earth; nevertheless their own wills shall determine finally whether or not this blessing of forgiveness will result in their attaining reconciliation with God and eternal life, or whether they will reject all these favors and blessings, and by sinning wilfully come under the sentence of eternal death, "everlasting destruction." 2 Thess. 1:9


But some one will say, "Do not we who are accepted of the Lord as his Church, his little flock – do we not need also the blood of sprinkling, as well as do the world? Why is not our sprinkling shown in this text?"

We reply that the Apostle has already discussed the Church in a previous chapter and showed our share in the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus in advance of the world's blessing. Notice how in Heb. 10:19-23 the Apostle speaks particularly of the Church and her sprinkling, and refers to her as a priestly class, privileged now by the grace of God as priests to enter into the holy places.

He says: "Having therefore, brethren, courage to enter into the Most Holy by the blood of Jesus by a new and living way which he has consecrated for us (through the vail; that is to say, his flesh); and having him as High Priest over the house of God (the Church, the Royal Priesthood), let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from a consciousness of evil and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith (as his followers, underpriests, members of his body) without wavering: and let us consider one another to provoke to love and good works."

Ah! here it is. There are two parts to the atonement work shown in the Apostle's word here and elsewhere. First he shows the Church sprinkled, washed, cleansed, accepted as members of the body of Christ, privileged to enter into the Holiest, to be called sons of God, heirs of God, joint-heirs with Jesus Christ our Lord, members of the Royal Priesthood, members of the body of the great High Priest, who is their Head. Already reconciled to the Father, they need not wait for the inauguration of the New Covenant.

Instead they are accepted in the Beloved as members of the great Mediator; and their sacrifices which would have no value of themselves, the great High Priest counts in as part and parcel of his own, which has the merit. Consequently these are all ready for participation with their Lord in his glorious work, as soon as the resurrection change shall fit them for their future service in glory. Later during the Millennium will come the sprinkling of the world, as we have seen.

These same two parts of the atonement, as we have previously pointed out, are represented in the typical day of atonement as recorded in Leviticus 16. The first sacrifice, representing the death of our Lord Jesus, typified by the bullock, is made applicable for the sins of the members of his body and of the household of faith, and these alone. The second sacrifice of The Day of Atonement, the sacrifice of the goat, represented the sacrificing by Christ of those whom he accepts as members of his body.

This sacrificing has progressed all through this Gospel age, and soon, we believe, will be finished. The acceptable day, the day in which the Lord will accept such sacrifices, will soon be ended. Then all the members of the High Priest's Body, passing beyond the vail will be changed into spirit beings. Then will follow the sprinkling on behalf of all [NS561] the people, in full harmony with what we have already shown. Our appreciation of the divine program yet to be fulfilled in the blessing of all the families of the earth gives us renewed confidence in our God, in his love, in his justice, and should prompt our hearts the more earnestly to desire to do his will.

Moreover the more clearly we discern the glorious work of the Church in the future age as joint-heir with her Lord in the blessing of the world, the more should we be energized to make our calling and election sure. And the more of love toward God, of zeal for his cause, and of sympathy for the world we have, the more these should have a transforming influence upon our hearts and lives, such as would best tend to prepare us for the glories to follow. I trust that these precious truths of the divine Word are having these effects upon our hearts and minds.

In conclusion I exhort you in the words of the Apostle, that, "Having our hearts sprinkled from a consciousness of evil (justification), and having our body washed with pure water (the putting away of the filth of the flesh), let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering (our profession as footstep followers of the great High Priest, our profession as under-priests, as sons of God); and let us consider one another to provoke unto love and good works" – not to hinder or stumble or offend one another, but to render all possible assistance to every fellow-pilgrim in the narrow way, realizing that whatever we do toward one another in the name of the Lord we do as unto him; and that because we love him that begetteth, we love also all who are begotten of him, in a special sense above and beyond the sympathetic love which goes out to all mankind, yea, even toward enemies.

The Cincinnati Weekly Enquirer, July 2, 1908


Lowell, Mass., June 28. Pastor C. T. Russell, of Pittsburg, Penn., spoke twice here today to large and interested congregations. His afternoon topic was "The Overthrow of Satan's Empire."

He was heard with profound attention, speaking nearly two hours. We report his morning discourse, from the text, "Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward." (Heb. 10:35)

The speaker said: Confidence lies at the foundation of all progress, both material and spiritual. Whatever undermines confidence to that extent injures the matter with which it is associated. Whatever builds and establishes confidence correspondingly is helpful to the thing with which it is connected. We have just seen an illustration of this in the world's financial affairs. A manifestation of weakness in an unsuspected financial matter caused a spasm which is even yet being felt throughout the world.

There has not at any time been real ground for suspicion of the insolvency of the great majority of the banks but irregularities in a few have cast a shadow of doubt upon the many, so that had it not been for the extreme measures taken by the various Clearing House Associations whereby the banks supported each other and refused to pay out the cash except in small quantities, the result would have been such a wreck of the financial confidence as was never before witnessed in the world's history.

The difficulty was a temporary casting away of confidence – a spasm of fear and doubt. To our understanding the Scriptures clearly teach that just before us looms the most terrible trouble which this world has ever witnessed. The Prophet Daniel describes it as "a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation." (Dan. 12:1)

Our Lord Jesus described it in almost the same words with a little addition, saying, "Then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be (afterward)." (Matt. 24:2 1)

That time of trouble is coming along the very lines of our topic – lack of confidence, casting away of confidence. Describing it, the Scriptures show this, saying there was no "peace to him that went out or came in, because of the affliction; for I set all men, every one against his neighbor." (Zech. 8:10)

Thus in symbol the Lord pictures the selfishness and fear and lack of confidence which will bring upon the world the awful shock of anarchy. We merely mention this incidentally, however, as illustrating the value, the importance of confidence, as related to peace, prosperity and happiness in general. Adhering to the thought of our text, we wish to consider our subject from the standpoint of the church, her interests, her peace, her prosperity – individually and collectively.


The church of Christ has departed from the divine standard and methods, and the result has been the undermining of Christian faith as respects God and the Bible as His revelation. We are not of those who despise education, but we are of those who appreciate the fact that there is one wisdom which cometh from above and another wisdom which is "earthly, sensual, devilish." [Jas. 3:15] [NS562] We are of those who recognize the Apostle's words when he says, "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, for they are spiritually discerned." (1 Cor. 2:14)

We are of those who hold that educating a man for the pulpit can never make him a proper minster of the truth – that something more than this is necessary. We hold that only such as have received the anointing of the holy Spirit are either authorized or qualified to be ministers and expositors of the truth. We hold that no amount of laying on of hands, conferring of holy orders and ordinations of men are effective, or could qualify any one for the ministry of God's truth; that the Lord's anointing is essential.

Looking back to the early church we find the example of our Lord and His Apostles to be in full accord with what we have just set forth. The selection of the Apostles was not made from the colleges of that time, although one of the Apostles, St. Paul, was probably a graduate of the school of Gamaliel, who was not only a talented, but an educated man. Paul was not chosen however, on account of his education, but on account of his heart. Similarly the other apostles were none of them educated, learned men. Indeed, we read concerning two of the most prominent, and that after they had received the anointing of the holy Spirit, that the people "perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men." (Acts 4:13)

We do not claim, however, that they were chosen on account of their ignorance and lack of learning, though we do believe that if they had had more learning the probabilities are that they would have been proportionately less ready for the Lord and His message, and less suitable, since they were to be His chosen vessels for the distribution of that message. Here has been the great mistake in the nominal church, dating back for centuries – the supposition that worldly education could make a preacher of the truth.

We extend the matter further and assert that religious education in a theological seminary would not of itself make a proper minister of the Word of God; that a prerequisite to that service is the anointing of the holy Spirit and its enlightenment of the mind and of the heart. This view and wrong course have resulted in filling theological seminaries and religious pulpits with men who, while educated in the wisdom of this world and to some extent along theological lines, are not competent to be preachers of the Gospel of Christ, because not begotten again of the holy Spirit. Of course there are noble exceptions; nor are we judging the others except by their own testimonies from time to time as they may be known to the public.

So far as we know, there are very few ministers who even profess to have made a full consecration of their lives to the Lord and to be begotten of His holy Spirit. So far as we are aware, very many, if not a majority, regard their ministry as a profession, chosen more after the manner that a physician chooses his, and rarely as in the Apostles' cases, because they felt, "Woe is unto me if I preach not the gospel" (1 Cor. 9:16) – rarely because the beauty and importance of their message is, in their esteem, so high, so great, so all-important.


But there is another way by which ministers in general are more and more openly telling their hearers that they have departed from the faith and are no longer ministers of the Word of God. They announce their skepticism respecting the Bible, not in vulgar terms, as did infidelity a century ago, but it is the very same infidelity nevertheless.

They announce their belief in the doctrine of the evolution of man from the power forces of animal life, and thus they announce to such as understand them their disbelief in the Scriptural account that Adam was a special creation of God, created in God's image and likeness. They claim that evolution has brought the intelligence which we have today, and thus they declare their disbelief in the testimony of both the Old and the New Testament Scriptures to the effect that man, when perfect and in harmony with his Creator, fell from the divine favor into sin and degradation, under the sentence of death. This implies a rejection of the testimonies of our Lord Jesus also, for He declared that He came to "seek and to save that which was lost," whereas the evolution theory teaches that nothing was lost, but that instead man, starting at the bottom of the ladder, has attained to his present condition through evolution.

Thus they deny the very foundation of the Gospel, to wit, that the lost man, sentenced to death and degraded by sin, needed a redeemer to pay his penalty for him, and that our Lord Jesus left His heavenly glory and became a man for the suffering of death, and in order that He might redeem all mankind from the original curse of death, and might in due time restore back to harmony with God and to the original perfection as many as will receive the favor – the elect of this Gospel age receiving a still higher blessing through the begetting of the holy Spirit to a new nature, spiritual.

They reject the Apostle Paul's statement on the subject, when he declared that 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 are sinners. (Rom. 5:12)

This, as well as the foregoing Scriptures, fully contradicts the worldly wisdom of the higher critics [NS563] and evolutionists as they seek gradually to present their anti-Biblical, anti-Christian theories. The result of this error of relying upon worldly wisdom as the almost sole qualification for ministry in the church is thus bringing about a loss of confidence wherever its influence is felt – world-wide.

The Bible, discredited in the minds of Christian people, loses its weight and force, and thus the anchorage of faith and trust is gradually being severed. Many noble and good people are already adrift, and others feel their faith going. These worldly-wise teachers declare that the world will be all the better off by reason of its loss of confidence in the Scriptures; that it will learn to fasten itself upon the judgment of the advanced scholars of our day; but they are mistaken.

They have nothing to give to the true Christian, nor even to the nominal Christian, which will take the place of that which they have destroyed and are destroying. The result is that already the various denominations are feeling the waning power of Christian influence in their midst, and are held together largely by clerical machinery and zeal, not according to knowledge. In their effort to strengthen their own hands and feeble knees the present program is "a confederacy" (Isa. 8:1), a federation of all the different "orthodox" denominations for mutual support, after the manner of mutual support granted to financial institutions by the Clearing House Associations. But the Lord declares that this confederacy, this federation, is not along the lines of truth, but along false lines, and at the end will mean a great fall of Babylon. (Rev. 18:1)


Coming now to that smaller class of God's people in all denominations throughout the world – namely, the Lord's faithful ones, fully consecrated to him and begotten of His holy Spirit – these have need of admonition and encouragement that their faith fail not, that they cast not away their confidence. We must never lose sight of the fact, frequently brought to our attention throughout the Scriptures, that there are legions of wicked spirits, fallen angels, who, under the captaincy of Satan, the prince of demons, are on the alert to oppose the Lord, the truth, and all who are faithful to Him.

They have a double mission – to forward, to encourage, to assist those who are in error and leading others into error, as well as to oppose the light and the children of the light. We cannot doubt their co-operation with higher criticism and evolutionism, and that they have done much to assist in error many who are quite unconscious of the fact, and we may be sure that as the Adversary opposed our Lord and the apostles and all the faithful ones of the Gospel age, he, with his associates, is doubly active today, realizing that he has but a short time and that the fight is a desperate one. The apostle speaks of the Adversary's influence, saying: "We are not ignorant of his devices," and again he declares, "We wrestle not with flesh and blood [only] but against spiritual wickedness in high [influential] positions." (2 Cor. 2:11; Eph. 6:12)

To realize this which the Scriptures represent as the real situation of affairs will cause the Lord's people to tremble, in view of what the great Adversary and his subordinates might accomplish to their injury. But we are to remember on the other hand the encouraging words, "If God be for us, who can be against us?" (Rom. 8:31)

And the assurance that the Lord will not suffer us to be tempted above that which we are able, but will with the temptation provide a way of escape. (1 Cor. 1:13)

Let us, then cast not away our confidence in the Lord and in His Word; let us rather avail ourselves of the great and special blessings and privileges and assistance which the Lord has provided for our special day, that we might understand His Word and be guided by the "spirit of truth," which is the "spirit of a sound mind." [John 16:13; 2 Tim. 1:7]

Rather as we come to a right understanding of God's Word, these trying conditions which are now confronting us, and which will increase day by day, should have the effect of more firmly establishing our faith in the Lord's Word, and our faith in the God whose wisdom foretold present and future conditions and their results. The Apostle calls this epoch upon which we have entered a time of "shaking."

He points out that it will shake not only the symbolical earth, society, but also the symbolical heaven, the Church nominal. He tells us that the result will be that everything shakeable, everything out of proper harmony with the Lord, will be shaken out, so that what will result will be that only that which is in harmony with the Lord shall remain. The merest glance will show us how terrifying will be the shaking and the results, and the lesson speaks to us admonishing that we lay the firmer hold on the hope set before us in the Gospel – upon the anchorage of our faith. Who shall be able to stand? inquires the Apostle, implying that it will not be a question as to who might fall, but the reverse of this; that it shall be only the occasional one that will stand the shaking, the sifting, the testing that is coming – yea, is almost upon us!

In Psa. 91, the Lord pictures the trials and difficulties that He will permit to come upon His people in this time. The Adversary will be wroth, and do all in his power to tempt and to try those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. (Rev. 3:10)

The Lord's people of the present time have had special privileges and opportunities for growth in knowledge and in grace, and the test upon them along these lines will be proportionate. We may expect, in common with [NS564] others, doctrinal tests, and that the Adversary will endeavor to confuse us so to turn our minds aside from the statement of the truth provided us by the Lord for our refreshment and comfort.

Evolution, Higher Criticism, Christian Science, New Theology, Universalism and other quirks and twists of supposed human wisdom, which ignore the Word of God, may be brought to our attention with a view to diverting us; and anyway our natural minds are prone enough to speculate and unsound enough to be unreliable. Those who have received instructions in the school of Christ to any considerable degree of development of heart and head should be so established in the invulnerable teachings of God's Word that none of these besetments would move them, but those of God's people who have been overcharged with the cares of this life and the deceitfulness of riches to the neglect of the Divine Word will find themselves lacking of the armor of truth, and vulnerable to the shafts of error. Remember the Apostle's words in this connection, "Take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day." (Eph. 6:13)

Confidence in God and in His Word will lead into a knowledge of the truth such as are begotten of His Spirit, so that, as the Apostle declares, it will be true of them that although this evil day shall come upon the whole world as a thief and as a snare, and they shall not escape, ye, brethren, will not be in darkness that that day shall overtake you as a thief, because you are not only at heart children of the light, but are walking in the light which God provides, and are therefore not in darkness with the world. 1 Thess. 5:4, 5


Through the Prophet the Lord tells us, "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty." (Psa. 91:1)

He shall be saved. But what is it to thus abide? Is this not a statement of similar import to that of the Apostle. "He that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God and God in him?" (1 John 4:16)

This thought should be specially impressed upon all of our hearts, namely, that God is love, and that the development of God's characteristics in our hearts and characters is our highest possible attainment in the present life. To this every energy of the Christian should be bent. It should ever be kept in mind that all the doctrines, all the instructions of God's word, all the preaching in His name, all the trials and misapprehensions which come to his people are with a view to their perfecting in love, for "God is love," and the command is that we should be like unto our Father in heaven. Love is the fulfilling of the law, the mark of perfectness. (Rom. 13:10)

Hence, as the Apostle says, if we had all knowledge and could understand all mysteries, and have not love, it would profit us nothing. If we were generous to a fault, so that we could give all our goods to feed the poor and leave ourselves penniless; if it were mere generosity and not love it would profit us nothing, and if we should be so loyal to our convictions that we would go to the stake and give our bodies to be burned, if we have not love, it would profit us nothing. (1 Cor. 13:2-3)

Our thought, then is that the principal test upon the most advanced of the Lord's people will be along the lines of love. Love for God will test our loyalty to His word and the spirit of that word. Love to the brethren will be tested and tried doubtless in various ways. Love for the world and even for our enemies will doubtless be tested severely. "The Lord your God proveth you to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul." (Deut. 13:3)

Now is the time for these very testings. As the Scriptures declare, the Lord will try His people as in a furnace – as silver and gold are tested and purified – not with a view to their destruction in their trouble, but contrariwise, for the elimination of their dross and a demonstration of their purity. It is said that in the old-time method of refining silver the metallurgist kept up the process of purifying until the molten silver was so pure that, like a mirror, it reflected his features. Similarly with us, according to this picture, the Lord would see in us copies of His Dear Son, and anything short of this will not be acceptable to Him, and the more speedily we reach this condition of heart (and so far as possible the flesh) the greater will be our blessing under the Lord's approval.

The loss of confidence which we have already referred to as the coming bane of the entire social fabric which will wreck society in anarchy and set every man's hand against his neighbor and his brother, and give no peace to him that goeth out or to him that cometh in, will, we believe, begin with the house of God, with the church. This is clearly the indication of the Apostle, "Judgment must begin at the house of God; and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be?" (1 Pet. 4:17)

There is a house of God nominal, the professing millions, and the house of God actual, the consecrated ones, much fewer in number. Our supposition is that this test will come first to the latter class, and then proceed to the others, ultimately culminating in anarchy. We must never lose sight of the arch enemy who is opposed to the Lord, and all those who are His; and we should credit to him the instigation of the evils which would prove such temptations to brotherly love that many will fall. The Apostle says, "We are not ignorant of his devices." [2 Cor. 2:11]

What are they? The Apostle explains that they are insidious, like leaven, spreading themselves, corrupting in their influence, injurious, [NS565] roots of bitterness which, getting mixed with the food of the Lord's family, many might thereby be defiled, poisoned. Our enemy is a master at this poisoning of the human mind. He knows our frailties, and will be sure to take all the advantage possible. The Apostle tells us that the tongue, a little member of the body, is one of the most dangerous, both for ourselves and for others. He says, "Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God." (Jas. 3:9)

He proceeds to say that the tongue setteth on fire the course of nature. (Jas. 3:6)

Ah, there it is! The fire of that day, which shall try every man's work; the fire that already is enkindling all over the world is set on fire by the tongue. Evil speaking, slanders, backbitings, these are the matches which enkindle the flame, and once started poor fallen humanity is almost helpless before it. It brings anger, malice, envy, hatred, strife, and these things the Apostle tells us are works of the flesh and of the devil. (Gal. 5:19; 1 John 3:8)

It will be through these agencies largely that the angry nations of the world will be brought to the melting point. As the Apostle symbolically expresses it, the symbolical heavens, the church, shall be on fire, and the elements of society shall melt with the fervency of the heat, the strife, the friction and the earth (society) shall melt. 2 Pet. 3:10


But someone was saying, how could it be possible for those who are the Lord's people, and who have received of His holy Spirit, and who have brushed out the old leaven of malice, hatred, strife, to be tempted along such lines? How could those who have renounced sin and all its meanness, and who have entered the school of Christ and been taught by Him, and been cultivating in their hearts the spirit of love and practicing the same to the extent of their ability – how could these be overtaken in a fault by some work of the flesh and the devil as has been suggested as a temptation?

Alas! dear friends, we indeed have the treasure of the new nature, but, as the apostle declares, we have it in earthen vessels, and those earthen vessels have all the weaknesses and blemishes which they originally had before we became children of God; and all of those blemishes, frailties, would very soon open up and admit to our minds and conduct the selfishness, bitterness, anger, etc., which are of the world.

If in any degree the Spirit of the Lord, the spirit of love, of devotion to Him and to the service of His truth departs from our hearts, the adversary evidently has it in his power to bring great pressure upon all of these earthen vessels from the outside, and we need correspondingly a great pressure and weight of love on the inside to withstand the pressure of the world, the flesh and the adversary. The Lord has promised grace sufficient. It is sufficient if we apply for it and use it, but not otherwise.

Undoubtedly the Lord continually protects His people from the adversary's power, otherwise we might be overwhelmed. Who is sufficient for these things? Although the Scriptures intimate that in this great testing in the end of this gospel age the Lord will permit Satan to have special power against His people, that would deceive, if it were possible, the very elect. It does not signify a lack of divine interest in and attention to His people that this trouble time will be upon them, but merely that the day having come for the harvesting, the testing, the separating of the wheat from the tares and from the chaff, that work is now in progress. The elect will be kept, but not others. The Lord knoweth them that are His and will not suffer them to be tempted above that they are able, but will with every trial provide a way of escape, succor. (2 Tim. 2:19; 1 Cor. 10:13)

But all except the elect, and those are very few, we may expect the elect, not being similarly safeguarded, will stumble, not, we trust, for their eternal destruction, but for a manifestation, and incidentally as a great lesson not only to themselves, but to the world and to angels, a lesson which will demonstrate the wisdom of the divine plan and word and loving rules, and the unwisdom of any and everything else. The Scriptures do not point out directly how the testings will come.

Indeed, we may assume that they will come in some manner not expected, and that they may be very severe, crucial tests of our love and loyalty. Our text, however, suggests the clue not only to the world's trouble, but to all these special testings of this "evil" day – a casting away of confidence. The unruly member, the tongue, which will set on fire the course of nature, will undoubtedly in many instances be exercised in what may be thought by its owner a comparatively innocent manner – through insinuations and hints mixed with love. The sweetness of love covers considerable of the bitterness of slander. This is Satan's artifice.

He may mix with it a little of conscientiousness and duty, and make it more acceptable to the giver than to the receiver. As surely, however, as the poison is in it, it will work and increase, for "a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump" – confidence is destroyed, love goes with confidence and extends from one person to another, and so the poisoned mind has no confidence in God, in the Scriptures, in the brethren or in anything. What is the safeguard of the Lord's people in this evil day? In what manner will the Lord keep His own, "The very elect" that the enemy may touch them not? We reply that their safety lies in

(1) keeping their hearts in the love of God (Jude 21), which means also [NS566] keeping them in the love with all the dear brethren, the members of Christ, and with all mankind in a sympathetic sense – yea, with their enemies also.

(2) Additionally, these must remember the Word of the Lord and show the love for Him as He directed, "If you love Me, keep my commandments."

His command is, "A new commandment give I unto you, that ye love one another as I have loved you" (John 14:15; 13:34) – with such a love as would lay down life for the brethren. "We ought to lay down our lives for the brethren." (1 John 3:16)

But even with good resolutions and good intentions along this line, we would still be in danger unless we observe to the full the Lord's direction as to how love should deal with the brethren if in our judgment they have committed any fault. This law of procedure is pointedly stated in Matt. 18:15-17.

That law should be understood in the smallest details and followed without any modifications. Its design is to bar out the adversary from an opportunity to work on our hearts, upon our own weaknesses, upon our own flesh, and to avoid bringing similar temptations upon others. It is remarkable how few of the Lord's people seem to understand the importance of this rule and the blessings that would come from its observance. Let us be more particular hereafter, and when the Lord says, "If thy brother trespass against thee, go and tell him of his fault between thee and him alone," let that be our rule with no deviation. To have a desire to tell of the weaknesses or faults of another is an intimation of lovelessness on our own part; for, on the contrary, we should be glad to lay down life itself in the service of any brother, and to do anything we could to shield him or her from anything real or fancied which might reflect to his or her discredit. We should be careful not even to hint an evil which another might take up and, by evil surmising, use injuriously as respects himself or another. Cast not away your confidence, then, in God, in His Word, in the rules and methods which He has laid upon us in that Word.

Cast not away your confidence in the brotherhood of Christ, nor in the world of mankind in general. We believe that even in those on the most degraded plane there is something left of the divine characteristics which sympathizes with truth and righteousness, and that by and by when in the Lord's providence, under the millennial kingdom reign of Christ, Satan bound and evil influences in restraint, it will be as easy to do right as to do wrong, then doubtless many will be on the side of right who now oppose it because of their inherited weaknesses and unfavorable influences of present environment.

Present responsibility, however, is less with them; it is chiefly with the Lord's consecrated people who have received of His Spirit of begetting and adoption into the divine family as joint-heirs with Jesus in His coming kingdom. Now is especially their hour of temptation. We fain would reach them with this word of caution and comfort. Our text says that the confidence maintained will bring a great recompense of reward. The severer the trial that is endured faithfully, the grander we may suppose will be the reward to the faithful.

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