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HARVEST GLEANINGS 2
Orange Enterprise and Journal, June 17, 1910 THE LAW OF RETRIBUTION
Philadelphia, Pa., June 12- Pastor Russell of The Brooklyn Tabernacle preached here twice today to large and attentive audiences. We report his discourse from the text, "I, the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquities of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments." (Deut. 5:9, 10)
A report of the discourse follows: No one of experience can question the fact that our text is corroborated by all our experiences in life. However unjust some may claim it to be that the children should inherit the weaknesses resulting from parental dissipations and violations of the Divine law, the fact remains that however atheism may question the existence of a God or infidelity doubt the inspiration of his Word, no one can question the two facts of this text,
(1) that sin and its penalty can be inherited and
(2) the fact that God is merciful to such as renounce sin and turn to him and seek to walk according to his direction. However these blessings upon evil-doers and their children and these blessings upon well-doers and their posterity may be termed natural laws and laws of heredity, it does not alter the fact, because the Almighty is the one who made these laws of heredity.
Under the delusion handed down to us from the "dark ages" -that God had condemned to eternal torment all the children of Adam because of his sin -we are all inclined properly enough to feel rebellious against any such matter and to assert that from the standpoint of human reasoning it would be entirely unjust to torture the posterity of Adam eternally for his transgression-"original sin."
But as we get the eyes of our understanding opened to see what is the real penalty for sin, that it is death, extinction, and that our perfect parents, fully informed respecting the divine will, were culpable, worthy of death, and when we learn further that whatever is enjoyed by Adam's posterity in the way of life, however disadvantageous the conditions, is so much of divine leniency and mercy and comes so much short of being the full penalty, death, extinction-then we begin to see that life under any conditions and disadvantages is still a boon, better than extinction.
IN WRATH HAVE MERCY, LORD
Recognizing the wrath of God as manifested in the death penalty (not in an eternity of torture) we can see that the Scriptures everywhere declare that the wrath of God is resting upon our race; that every member of it is subject to this very penalty which came upon father Adam and has been entailed upon all of his posterity.
The Almighty Creator did not wait for us to cry out for his pity and compassion, but from the very beginning, foreknowing our fall into sin, he had the plan arranged for our redemption and ultimate recovery from this condition of wrath, curse, death. We are informed that our Lord Jesus was the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world-in the Divine purpose and arrangement-though only now being made manifest to the Church and shortly to the world. Thus viewed there has been no injustice practiced against our race in permitting the children to share with their father Adam in his penalty. Rather they had esteemed it and do esteem it better than the sentence itself, and furthermore in the Lord's providences the world's present experiences in the fall and later on in the recovery from the fall in the hands of the great Redeemer during the Millennial Age, is to prove a lesson, a schooling, in the exceeding sinfulness of sin, which the race as a whole will never forget and out of which many (now the Church, later on the world) will draw lessons of wisdom and grace.
Looking still more deeply into the Divine Plan as it is revealed in the Lord's Word for those who are his (Psa. 25:14), we find a particular reason why it was not only advisable but necessary that this law of heredity should operate in our race, even though it brought in its train a terrible list of experiences to our race. The reason for this is based upon one element of the Divine character -Justice-the very element which at one time we supposed was violated by this law of heredity. As our eyes open to the teaching of the Scriptures we perceive that if God had not permitted his law of heredity to operate, but had permitted each individual of the race to come forth to perfection and to stand an individual trial such as father Adam was subject to, it would doubtless have meant that at least one-half of the race, possibly more, would have deliberately chosen a course of sin as father Adam chose it. To expect more than one-half to be obedient would be unreasonable. Rather, from what we see about us in the experiences of life, we would have been liable to conclude that only a very small majority, [NS812] perhaps one-tenth, would have been obedient to God, while the remaining nine-tenths would have been disobedient. Some might ask, Would not even that have been better than the Divine arrangement as we see it operating now, that the whole race should suffer for one man's disobedience? We answer, No! Not according to the testimony of the Scriptures.
The Bible shows us that while this law of retribution has worked such terrible havoc in Adam and his race for now 6,000 years-while 20,000,000,000 have been born in sin and sorrow and pain and after a few years of trouble have died in sorrow and pain, nevertheless in God's due time all of these shall have more favorable opportunities of knowing of God's true character and of attaining to a full character development in his likeness during the Millennial Age. This means that probably more will gain eternal life and blessing under the divine arrangement as we have it than we could reasonably expect would have been saved had the Lord not provided this law of heredity and condemnation of all, but on the contrary had permitted each to be born in perfection and to stand his trial as between loyalty to God with the reward of eternal life or disobedience punished with death. But we shall see that it means much more than this.
CONDEMNED IN ONE-REDEEMED BY ONE
A great economic law is connected with the divine arrangement: The condemnation of a race in one man s loins because of his transgression made possible the divine arrangement that a Second Man should pay the penalty for the first and redeem both him and all who were in him at the time of his condemnation. This is at once a demonstration of Divine Wisdom and of Divine Justice. Suppose, for instance, that the law of heredity had not prevailed, had not been instituted by our Lord, but that each individual had come forth perfect and had been personally placed on trial and been personally condemned to death. Would it not have required an individual savior for each one condemned under such an arrangement? Surely it would.
Hence, had one-half of the race proven themselves sinners and been personally condemned it would either have been necessary to avoid redemption altogether or to redeem the sinner half of the race, by giving a life for a life-a perfect being's sacrifice for or instead of each imperfect life. Estimating the total number of our race at 20,000,000,000. Justice would have been obliged to require 10,000,000,000 of perfect beings to be offered as the ransom price for the 10,000,000,000 of sinners. Under the very best estimate that we can possibly make, this would have required the death of all the perfect ones of the race as redeemers for all the imperfect members of the race, and what a havoc that would have implied -with just as many dying as under present conditions, namely, one-half as sinners and the other half as redeemers, ransoms.
Besides, we perceive that it would not have been just on the part of the Almighty to compel the righteous ones to suffer for the unrighteous as their redeemers, hence there would have been no assurance even then that any but a fraction of the sinner race would have been redeemed. On the contrary, how wise, conservative and economical was the Divine arrangement that by one man's disobedience under the laws of heredity the many would be born sinners and sharers in his penalty, death, and that then in due time one Savior, one perfect one, the "man Christ Jesus," might redeem Adam and, redeeming him, redeem all of his race from the death sentence, the curse, the wrath of God, and as a result of the redemption obtain the right, the authority, the power during his Millennial Kingdom and in association with his glorified Church of the Gospel Age, to bless all the families of the earth and to uplift as many as would be willing out of all their ignorance, weakness and sinful and dying conditions to all that was lost in Adam.
We have seen that in harmony with the Divine law it would not have been just for the Heavenly Father to obligate the righteous to die for sinners and that hence the redemption of the sinners would have been problematical -very doubtful. But on the contrary the Heavenly Father well knew in advance the loyalty of his First-Begotten, his only Begotten, who is declared to have been the "beginning of the creation of God." (Rev. 3:14)
He knew not only of Jesus' loyalty but that his experiences with him in glory would every way qualify our Lord for the tests and the sacrifices necessary for the redemption of the race with his own precious blood. The Scriptures assure us furthermore that the Father set before him some certain joys, certain blessings, certain promises, in connection with this work of man's redemption; as we read, "Who for the joy set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is now set down on the right hand of the majesty on high." (Heb. 12:2)
RETRIBUTIVE JOYS AND REWARDS
We are to remember, too, that the Scriptures distinctly teach that the condition of the affairs of our world-sin, retributive punishment, the redemption through Jesus, the call of the Church and their sufferings with their Redeemer and the promises of future blessing and glory both for the Church and for the world-are subjects in which the angels of God are interested. As the Apostle Peter says, "Of which salvation the prophets have Enquirer and searched [NS813] diligently. - .- Searching what or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. - . . Which things the angels desire to look into." (1 Pet. 1:10-12)
They wondered when all the sufferings of Jesus and the Church would be completed and when the glory time would come and recovery from sin and death conditions; when God's purpose would thus ripen and bear fruit in the recovery of those who fell from his favor in Adam's disobedience but were redeemed by the precious blood.
The great lesson of what constitutes disobedience, and how serious a sin it is, and what it would lead to if allowed to take its course, was illustrated in man's experiences; and all the hosts of angels looked on with amazement, no doubt. God's Justice was fully demonstrated in the infliction of the death penalty and the permission of its inroads upon the mental, moral and physical perfection of his creatures, bringing many of the race down almost to brutality. God's Love was manifested in the gift of his Son, in the arrangement of his plan by which for the joy set before him, Jesus might become Adam's Redeemer, and the Bridegroom of the Elect Church and ultimately the great King of Glory who, during the Millennial Age, is to restore, revive and bless and test Adam and all his race.
CHRIST AND THE CHURCH CRUCIALLY TESTED
We cannot wonder if all the holy angels looked on in amazement as they beheld the Only Begotten Son of God leave the "glory which he had before the world was and humble himself to take human nature-to be born a man that he might redeem Adam and his race. It must have seemed wonderful to them not only that the Heavenly Father would arrange such a plan but wonderful also that the glorious "Only Begotten," "First-Born," should be the one to whom the proposition would be made to show his faith and love for the Father, to do his will to the extent of such a sacrifice, not only of glory, but, eventually, of life.
They had yet to see a further operation of the divine law of retribution operating in Jesus for his blessing and honor. So intent were they in looking at the humiliation of the Only Begotten, and then at his death, that apparently they did not so carefully note the fact that the Heavenly Father had set before him great joys, great blessings, great exaltation, when he should finish his work. Already the Only Begotten was next to the Father in glory and dignity, honor and power; what more of divine honor could be bestowed upon even the FirstBorn of every creature?
The Only Begotten himself appears not to have thought particularly of the promised glory: The joy set before him, however, seems to have been that he would do the Father's will and thus demonstrate his absolute loyalty even unto death. While, no doubt, it was a joy to the Lord to be the Father's Agent in the rescue of Adam and his race from sin and death, nevertheless we believe that his chief joy in connection with the matter was that thus he might demonstrate to the Father his absolute love by his submission and obedience. Our Lord's own words were, "Father, glorify thou me with the glory which I had with thee before the world was." (John 17:5)
He knew of the Father's proposed exaltation of him as a reward, but he did not mention this; he would merely ask of the Father that when he had accomplished the Divine purpose he might have back the same honor and position and divine favor which he had laid aside when he humbled himself to become Adam's redemption price, the world's Savior. Such modesty and loyalty are difficult for us to comprehend because of our fallen, imperfect conditions. But the Apostle explains to us, speaking under the power of inspiration, that because of our Lord's obedience in leaving the glory and becoming a man and dying for our sins, therefore "God hath highly exalted him and given him a name above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven and things in earth." (Philip. 2:9, 10)
Elsewhere in the Scriptures we are assured that our Lord became partaker of the Divine nature in his resurrection; that thus he attained a reward far above anything that could have been thought, not only above angels, but also far above his own prehuman condition. If thus rewarding the faithful the Lord is carrying out the spirit of our text-he has been exemplifying what is otherwise taught in the Scriptures-"whatsoever man soweth that shall he also reap." (Gal. 6:7)
Adam sowed disobedience and he and his race have reaped a terrible harvest of degradation, suffering and death. The Only Begotten sowed obedience, as prophetically expressed of him at the time of his baptism, "I delight to do thy will, O my God; thy law is written in my heart." (Psa. 11:8)
Laying down his life in harmony with the Divine program was his sowing and the reaping at the resurrection was glory, honor and immortality, the divine nature. How richly Jehovah rewards every demonstration of loyalty to himself and the principles of righteousness.
The Weekly Enquirer, June 23, 1910 WORKMEN NEEDING NOT TO BE ASHAMED
"Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth." 2 Tim. 2:15
Louisville, Ky., June 19-Pastor Russell, of the Brooklyn Tabernacle, New York, today addressed the International Bible Students' Association here, using the above text. He also gave a public address under the auspices of the association. He had crowded houses and earnest attention.
On the above text he said in part: "I address you, dear friends, as Christians; students of God's Word, and not as sectarians. Although the world is full of denominations, each claiming to be the Church of Christ, we all admit that there is but the one "church of the first-borns, whose names are written in heaven." (Heb. 12:23)
This conviction is being borne in upon us more and more as the days go by and as the eyes of our understanding open more widely to the teachings of God's Word. We realize increasingly that our division means our shame in the eyes of the world and that our creedal contradictions imply that we are not all led in all things by the holy Spirit, whose teachings can not be yea and nay upon the same subject. It is this sentiment which is taking hold of the ministry of all denominations and making them anxious for an outward show of unity in church federation, which will shortly be effected.
The Christian public, however, and especially Bible students, are not deeply sympathetic with the federation idea. They realize that at most it would be a gloss of deception so far as doctrinal oneness is concerned; and that otherwise it is but a business or worldly combination. Bible students are more and more coming to prefer the Lord's way -the Scriptural way. They are coming to realize that what God's people need is not more organization but less organization, not more explicit creeds but the standard of fellowship which the Bible sets up.
They are learning that this simple test is: A turning from sin and acceptance of the Lord Jesus as the Redeemer from sin and death and the full consecration of the believer, mind and body, to know and to do the Lord's will to the best of his ability under the Lord's providential guidance. We all see that this simple bond of fellowship is the only one laid down in God's Word and that whatsoever is more than this is injurious bondage to men and to systems.
We all see that "the Church of the Living God, whose names are written in heaven," is composed exclusively of such as conform to the terms of this simple creed-that these alone will constitute "the body of Christ which is the Church, the bride, the Lamb's wife," whom he will accept and unite to himself in the end of this age. We all see that this class alone is referred to in the Scriptures as "the elect," who are to be associated with the Savior in His glorious spiritual kingdom, which, invisible to men, is now shortly to be established in power and great glory for the blessing of natural Israel and through her blessing all the families of the earth -living and dead.
"WORKMEN NOT ASHAMED"
Let us consider the latter part of our text first. The Apostle's suggestion is that Timothy and all the ministers of the Gospel of Christ are professedly workmen, laboring under the guidance of God's Word. In the larger sense every Christian is a minister of the Gospel, or, as St. Peter declares of all the consecrated, "Ye are a royal priesthood, a holy people, a peculiar treasure."
Our text urges that Timothy and every faithful servant of God should be so loyal to God and His message that in the great time of examination in the end of this age preparatory to the introduction of the kingdom the showing shall be one of which we need not be ashamed. Let us then, as Christian Bible students, of all denominations, gathered here today ask ourselves respecting our own work in the world, and how it must appear to God, to ourselves and to our fellow men -yea, how it must shortly be made manifest to all!
Let us call the roll! Baptist brethren, what have you to show "as workmen who need not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth?" Methodist brethren, what say you? Presbyterians, next. Congregationalists, Lutherans, Catholics-all! The answer of one is practically the answer of all. We have-so many hundred churches. They cost-so many millions of dollars! Their steeples are -so high! [NS815] Their cost of maintenance is-so much. The number of ministers is-so many. The church collections amount to-so much! The amount expended in foreign missions is-so much! The amount expended in fine choirs and elegant organs -is so much! The aggregated debts of all our churches is -so much! The unpaid interest on many of these debts is -so much! The time and energy expended in fairs, bazaars, etc., to help pay the indebtedness is-so much! The number of church membership is-so much! The number in Sunday schools is-so many!
"WHAT LACK I YET?"
Many of our dear Christian friends say: "What lack we yet?" Have we not really attained the goal of our church ambition? Should we build finer edifices or pay larger salaries? Are we not straining ourselves at every turn with collections? What more could God ask of us? "We are rich, and increased in goods, and have need of nothing." (Rev. 3:16-19)
In reply we may suppose the Lord to ask: "Where did I give you instruction respecting these things? Where in my Word did you find the suggestion that what I desired you to do in the world was to erect great church edifices, piles of stone and iron and mortar, polished woods and stained glass? You are not rightly reading my Word. However good in intention, you have failed to rightly divide the Word of Truth.
The temple respecting which I gave instruction is the spiritual one, the temple of the Holy Spirit -the body of Christ, which is the church. I fear that you have forgotten the true temple of God while rearing so many temples of earthly materials. Concerning the true temple. I instructed you that 'the Temple of God is holy, which temple ye are, living stones being shaped and polished for the habitation of God through the Spirit.' Show me what you have accomplished in this way. Show me to what extent you have rightly divided my Word and properly instructed mankind respecting my glorious character and my great divine plan of the ages. Show me fruitage of the glorious message. "How many in all the millions that you report are new creatures in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit?' Let me hear the message of my love and grace in Christ as you are proclaiming it. What mean these sectarian divisions among you? Why are there so many church edifices and so few saintly worshipers? Who authorized you to put these fences between my people to divide the flock? Know ye not that I said there is one flock and one Shepherd? Why have ye so neglected the spiritual interests of my flock and their instruction in righteousness? Why are ye so unable to rightly divide my Word?
"Instead of coming together as one church of the living God, whose names are written in heaven, ye have divided into hundreds of sects and parties. Instead of taking my Word as a whole and rightly dividing its teachings as between the different ages and dispensations of my work, ye have divided my Word in a sectarian manner. One sect has made one selection from my Word and another sect has made another selection. Thus ye array one part of my Word against another part of it and hence get into confusion and conflict. What have you to answer for these things?"
With shame of face we must all acknowledge that we have done those things which we ought not to have done, and we have left undone those things which we ought to have done, and there is no help in us. The proper thing for us to do, dear Christian friends, is to get down upon our knees before the Lord and in contrition of heart to acknowledge that we have wrought no deliverance in the earth (Isa. 26:18); that our sectarian differences are our shame; that the ignorance that we have all been in respecting the Word of God is humiliating. Now that our eyes are open so that we can comprehend as never before the harmony of God's message from Genesis to Revelation, it means a rich feast and blessing to our souls. The Word of God becomes more precious to us daily as we become able to comprehend it. Our duty is to fly to the assistance of our dear brethren and sisters in Christ of all denominations, and to call upon them to join with us in a determined stand for righteousness, for truth, for God and for His word. We must show them that ignorantly we and they have dishonored our God by misrepresentation of His character and misrepresentations of the real teachings of the Bible.
We must point them to the fact that the Bible does not teach that all mankind except the "elect" saints will be consigned to an eternity of torture at the hands of fireproof demons. We must show them that the election of the Church during this age-a saintly little flock -does not mean injury to the nonelect. That, on the contrary, it is the divine purpose that the "elect" saints with their great Redeemer in glory shall constitute God's kingdom. That kingdom, when established, will bind Satan, put down sin, banish ignorance, error and superstition and uplift mankind by "restitution," by resurrection processes-up, up, up, to all that was lost in Eden by disobedience and to all secured for Adam and his race through the great transaction at Calvary. (Acts 3:19- 21)
RIGHTLY DIVIDING THE WORD OF TRUTH
Alas, how many intelligent people have turned aside from following Christ, and from hearing the voice of God through the Bible! Alas, how many are looking to [NS816] Theosophy, to Spiritualism, to Christian Science, to higher criticism, to evolution-wandering farther and farther daily from the "faith once delivered to the saints." (Jude 3)
We fault them no more than we fault ourselves. As a whole we have been workmen who need to be ashamed. We have dishonored God through misunderstanding and misrepresenting His word and His character. We have driven away from God and the Bible some of the most intelligent of our fellows by reason of the contradictory nonsense of our creeds. It is high time that we should awake and, as Bible students, join hands and hearts and heads in the study of God's Word along the line laid down by inspiration in our text. The Apostle urges, "Study to show thyself approved unto God."
We are not to suppose, therefore, that the highest of all science, that which pertains to the divine purpose and the divine plan, can be acquired without study. We are not in this claiming that study alone would bring the desired results of proper knowledge. We heartily agree in the Scriptural proposition that "the world by wisdom knows not God."
We are not, therefore, to study along the lines of worldly wisdom, but along the lines of "that wisdom that cometh from above" -along the lines of the inspired Scriptures. We must study! Whoever will not study will not know! "The secret of the Lord is with them that reverence Him."
We should note further as Bible students that we must not study to be approved of men, but to have the divine approval. This will bring to us, as it did to the Master and his Apostles, the disapprobation of the worldly-wise and nominally religious. It was the Chief Priests and Scribes and Pharisees, and not the common people of the Jews, nor the Roman soldiers, who were guilty of the crucifixion of our Lord. And we must expect similar conditions, because, as the Apostle says, "As He was so are we in this world."
The class who called the Master Beelzebub is the same class which will oppose His footstep followers. God permits all this with wise and loving fore-intention. Nothing connected with the opposing forces is in any sense of the word interfering with His great program. He set apart with divine wisdom this gospel age of nearly nineteen centuries for the sole purpose of selecting from the world the Church of the firstborns-the antitypical Priests and Levites.
The restriction of His message, the darkening of counsel, the clashing of creeds, the opposition of the world, the flesh and the Devil, are all wisely permitted with the foreintention on God's part that thus all through the ages the way of the cross -in the footsteps of Jesus -should be a "narrow way," so that comparatively few finding it would care to walk in it. It is those few, that little flock zealous for God, for His' Word, for righteousness, that He is now marking out as the prospective joint-heirs with Jesus in His glorious Kingdom, which is to bless the world with full opportunities for earthly salvation-"restitution."
The trials of the faith, the patience, the love, the devotion of this little flock, is all designed, and not through accident. Satan and his hosts may think to thwart the divine plan and may mislead and use humanity as their tools. But it shall yet be seen that all of the divine purposes shall be accomplished. The Word that has gone forth out of Jehovah's mouth shall prosper in the things whereto He sent it.
"God's purposes will ripen fast Unfolding every hour The bud may have a bitter taste, But sweet will be the flower."
"Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take, The clouds ye so much dread Are big with mercy and shall break With blessings on your head."
"Blind unbelief is sure to err And scan His work in vain God is His own Interpreter And He will make it plain."
St. Paul declared of earthly Israel, that they enjoyed "much advantage every way, because to them were committed the oracles of God."
So now, dear friends, it seems to me that you and I and all sincere Christians the world around enjoy much advantage everyway. Looking to the past we find great excuse for our dear forefathers who, with sincerity of heart, so misunderstood the divine word and so misinterpreted the spirit of the master that they burned one another at the stake. We should not think so harshly of them for this as though they lived today under the greater advantages which we possess. We should sympathize with them. We should consider them as blinded by the great adversary as was Saul, of Tarsus, when he, as a member of the Sanhedrin, authorized the stoning of St. Stephen. We should think of them sympathetically as St. Peter spoke of the Jews who crucified the Lord. He said, "I wot brethren, that in ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers."
So also we should kindly, lovingly cast a mantle of benevolence over similar conduct on the part of John Calvin and others of our forefathers. But as we would not go to the Jewish rulers, nor to Saul, of Tarsus, for the religious instruction, neither should we go to Brother Calvin or others of our [NS817] forefathers who were blinded, as he was, respecting the true character of God and the true spirit of his word. Only within the past century have the masses of God's people been able even to read the Bible, if they had possessed it. And only within the same time have they had the Bible to read. Our great hindrance has been that with Bibles in our hands and with ability to use them we looked for instruction to our well-meaning fathers instead of going to God's word itself.
Now, by God's grace, the eyes of our understanding are opened. The wonderful Bibles of our day with their marginal references, their concordances, etc., and other assistances in Bible study are bringing us in touch with the whole message of God's word. Now, one passage of Scripture throws light upon another, and thus with increasing brightness the word of the Lord as a lamp gives light upon the pathway of His church. And this is in full accord with the Bible declaration that the path of the just shall shine more and more unto the perfect day, or, as St. Peter says, "Until the day dawn." (2 Pet. 1:19)
This very fact that God's word is now opening to his people who scan its pages in its own light is but another proof that we are in the closing days of the Gospel age, and that the light of the new age of Christ's Kingdom is accountable for the great blessings that are coming upon the Bereans of our day, as well as upon the whole world of mankind in temporalities. Surely not in vain did our Master pray, "Sanctify them through Thy truth; Thy word is truth." (John 17:17)
The National Labor Tribune, June 25, 1910 ZIONISM, THE HOPE OF THE WORLD
With the exception of the opening paragraphs, printed below, this discourse has been republished in the Convention Report Sermons, pages 156-157, under same title.
SAN FRANCISCO, Cal., June 25- Pastor Russell addressed large audiences twice at the Golden Gate. He addressed a Convention of the "International Bible Students Association" in session here. He has been making a sort of continental tour, including Indianapolis, St. Louis, Kansas City, Pueblo, Colorado Springs, Denver, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles and Santa Cruz.
In all these cities local branches of the "I. B. S. A." invited him and made arrangements for public addresses. Notwithstanding the strain of continuous travel and continuous public speaking, the Pastor seemed in excellent health and vigor. He spoke enthusiastically of the warm receptions and attentive hearing which he had enjoyed. He was specially pleased with his California experiences and the glorious climate noted at his several stopping places.
The Pastor's visit is unique in another respect. Learning of his intended program, some of his friends asked permission to make up a party to accompany him. He gladly assented. As a result a train-load of Bible Students are with him-about one hundred and sixty in all. While the Golden Gate Convention is the goal of the tour, it is but the turning point of the excursion party. Meetings are to be held on the return journey at Sacramento, Portland, Tacoma, Seattle, Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Duluth, Buffalo and Toronto, the latter being reached July 16th.
The Pastor's scheme is a novel and a benevolent one; for surely what he has undertaken and is carrying out is not a lazy man's burden. From the evidences here we surmise that the Bible Students along his course of travel will be blessed, stimulated, energized. Pastor Russell and his party bear with them from the Golden Gate, the good wishes and Christian love of many friends.
The Weekly Enquirer, June 30, 1910 THREE MEN AND TWO WOMEN WHOM CHRIST LOVED
This discourse has been republished in Overland Monthly, pages 331-335, under the same title, with the exception of the following paragraph, which should appear immediately before the last paragraph there. [NS818] We remember that it was this same John who was so full of zeal for the Master that he asked permission to call down fire from heaven to destroy the men of Samaria because they refused to sell food for the Master's company. Jesus reproved him and said: "Ye know not what spirit ye are of. The son of man came not to destroy men but to save them."
Nevertheless this earnest, active disciple was specially loved of the Master, and doubtless he himself was very loving. He it was who with two other Apostles, was taken with Jesus on several important occasions when the other Apostles were not invited. For instance, to the healing of Jairus' daughter, and up into the Mount of Transfiguration; and especially apart from the other disciples in Gethsemane's agony-nearer to himself.
The National Labor Tribune, July 9, 1910 FATE OF THE RICH MAN AND LAZARUS
WINNIPEG, Canada, July 9-Pastor Russell delivered two addresses here which will never be forgotten, even by those who did not commit themselves fully as endorsing his every utterance. We report one of his discourses from the text, "And in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off and Lazarus in his bosom." (Luke 16:2 3)
Addressing the public under the auspices of the International Bible Students Association, the speaker said: I am not choosing my topic for this occasion according to my own preferences, nor do I wish to do so. Realizing that a great cloud of superstition and erroneous interpretation of God's Word acts as an earth-born cloud to hide the heavenly Father from our eyes of faith, I am continually addressing myself to the removal of this barrier, to the intent that the light of the knowledge of the glory of God as it shines in the face of Jesus Christ our Lord may shine into the hearts of all of God's dear people more effulgently than heretofore; to the intent that, with the clouds removed, our eyes may behold the King in His beauty, and our hearts be drawn to Him as to a Father, as to a God of love, as to an Almighty Saviour.
Time and again as I have delivered an address setting forth the Divine Plan of the Ages from the Bible standpoint, I have been approached afterward by Christian brethren who said, "What you say, Pastor Russell, is cheering, is God-like, is just what our hearts are hungering for and crying for, but-but I cannot accept it because of the Lord's Word respecting the "Rich Man and Lazarus," and His description of their fates."
What I say to these privately never reaches the ears of others who have the same query and the same obstacle to meet, hence I take this as my topic on this occasion, not only for the benefit of this audience, but for the benefit of the larger audiences to whom I speak weekly through the columns of the press of this land and Great Britain and Australia-numbering millions. All need to have this stumbling-stone removed from their pathway, and by God's grace we will remove it. He will remove it, using our stammering lips for the purpose.
LITERAL OR PARABOLIC-WHICH?
It is not sufficient that I declare that in the Scripture under consideration the great Teacher was giving a parable. It is not sufficient that I quote, "Without a parable spake He not unto the people."
Some dear, earnest children of God would object, saying, "It reads, there was a certain Rich Man, etc."
I must, therefore, prove that it is a parable and not a literal statement by showing that, considering it as a literal statement, it would be untrue and absurd. After thus proving it to be a parable I will discuss it as such. If it be a statement of literal facts then all the facts must be taken literally. This would mean that because a certain man was rich and fared bountifully every day and was clothed in purple and fine linen he would go to an eternity of torment, without a single charge being made against him along the lines of murder or injustice or blasphemy, for in the account nothing of the kind appears. Furthermore, nothing is said of the poor man as being a godly man, a saint, but merely that he was poor, full of sores, which the dogs licked; and that he ate the offal from "The Rich Man's" table.
If these be the grounds and conditions upon which any of us have had hope for eternal bliss, surely a comparatively small number could claim it. Did we ever have such experiences? If not, what ground have we, according to this teaching, for a hope of reaching Abraham's bosom? And additionally, if the statement is a literal one, Abraham and his bosom must be considered literal also, and if only two or three who were beggars like Lazarus were before us, what hope [NS819] would we have for room in Abraham's bosom. But enough of this! We see clearly that the statement is parabolic and we must look for such an interpretation as will fit all conditions. And here it is!
VIEWED AS A PARABLE
Viewing the matter as a parable, our difficulties all disappear as soon as we get the key. The great Teacher in this parable was criticizing the leaders of the Jewish nation and foretelling their fate. He Himself was an outcast, so were His disciples and so have all been since who have become His followers. "As He was so are we in this world."
"The Rich Man" of the parable represented the Jewish nation. The fine linen he wore represented the typical justification granted to that nation under the Law Covenant made with Israel at Mt. Sinai. "The Rich Man's" purple raiment pictured the royalty which belonged to Israel as God's typical kingdom in the world. Thus we read, "Solomon sat upon the throne of the kingdom of the Lord, in the room (or stead) of his father David."
Jesus recognized this kingdom dignity as still belonging to that nation when He said, "The Kingdom shall be taken from you and shall be given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof." (Matt. 21:43)
The Rich Man's bountiful table represented the glorious promises of God which were theirs primarily, and granted to no other people until after they had rejected Jesus and crucified Him. St. Paul refers to this table in this way and quotes David the Prophet saying, "Let their table become a trap and a snare and a recompense to them."
This was because they did not rightly appreciate their glorious promises and live up to the conditions which they required. The death of The Rich Man represented the cutting off of national Israel from all those special privileges and advantages every way which had been theirs for centuries. "The Rich Man" (the Jewish nation) began to sicken from the time of the crucifixion-from the time that Jesus said, "Your house is left unto you desolate; henceforth ye shall see Me no more until that day when ye shall say, Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord."
The saintly few were gathered out of Judaism into relationship with Christ at Pentecost, and 'The Rich Man," the nation continued to be sick and finally died in the year A. D. 70, when Titus, the Roman general, captured Jerusalem, the entire land of Palestine being laid waste. The Jewish nation has been a dead nation since the year A. D. 70. It is in hades, in the tomb. But this implies its resurrection in due time, for the figure of the tomb, hades, does not represent a perpetual condition, but a temporary one, from which Messiah will grant a release, and hades, in every sense of the word, will be destroyed.
DIVES IN TORMENT
But the parable declares that Dives was in torment! How could this be, seeing that the word hades signified the death state, the unconscious condition? We answer that the Jewish people have a double aspect, in the parable and out of it. Nationally, they are dead or asleep, but as a people they are very much alive -no other people more so. It is as a people that they have been suffering the tortures of persecution during the past eighteen centuries, while as a nation they have been dead, buried, in hades, they are awaiting a resurrection, of which the present Zionism is an advance token. Soon Israel's persecutions will end, when Messiah's glorious Kingdom shall take its power; and then will come their national resurrection, for they are to be actively and specially identified with the Messianic Kingdom shortly, as its earthly and visible representatives.
As the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin were represented in "The Rich Man" in a very special sense, the other ten tribes, scattered amongst the surrounding nations, would, at a like-proportion, represent his five brethren. God's dealings with the Jews will be the same wherever they are -no preference will be shown-"They have Moses and the Prophets, let them hear them."
This could not be applicable to any except these two tribes and the other ten tribes of Israel, for they alone had Moses and the Prophets.
THE RICH MAN TORMENTED IN HADES
All scholars will concede that the Greek word hades and the Hebrew word sheol, rendered hell in our common version, really signify the death state, the tomb. Various Scriptures tell us of the silence of sheol and hades and that there is neither wisdom nor knowledge nor device there; that the dead know not anything. Scholars, therefore, have been perplexed greatly at the statement of this parable that the Rich Man lifted up his eyes in hades, being in torments.
The difficulty dissolves as soon as we have the proper interpretation to the parable and see that the Jewish people died as a nation and were buried as a nation, but did not all die individually. The people of Israel, outcast from their own land among all the nations of earth, are very much alive, socially and personally, having suffered for all these centuries. Only very recently we have had an exhibition of how this Rich Man (Israel) dead as a nation, but alive as a people, has appealed to Father Abraham to have [NS820] Lazarus cool his tongue with a drop of water. Of course, the thought would not be that a spirit finger would take a drop of literal water to cool a literal tongue. A drop of water on the tip of a finger would not afford much relief anyway. The interpretation must be looked for along the lines of the parable. The fulfillment came when the Jews of this country in a general petition requested the President of the United States to co-operate with other "Christian nations" and intercede on behalf of their people in Russia that they might have more liberty and less persecution, that their torments might be cooled.
FINDING THE LAZARUS CLASS
If we have found The Rich Man, let us now seek for poor Lazarus. He represented a God-fearing and God-seeking class outside the pale of official Judaism -not all the Gentiles, but certain ones concerning whom Jesus said, "I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel!" The Jews were in the habit of speaking of the Gentiles as "dogs."
The great Teacher Himself used this expression (Mark 7:25-30). Lazarus had no fine linen garment granted to him because he was outside the pale of Israel, for whom alone the typical sacrifices were offered. Lazarus had no purple robe for the same reason-because the kingdom of blessing, for the time, belonged exclusively to the seed of Abraham.
The dogs (other Gentiles) licked his sores, in the sense of considering the Lazarus class upright and godly and in some sense showing sympathy for them. His eating of the crumbs that fell from the children's table signifies that Jesus did, on a few occasions, allow some special blessings of healing, which were for the Jews, to go to this worthy class of Gentiles. For instance, the daughter of Jairus, raised from death, was a crumb from the children's table to one noble-minded Gentile who feared God and who had built a synagogue for the Jews. The healing of the centurions s servant was another crumb from "The Rich Man's" table to one of the Lazarus class.
Healing the daughter of the Syro-Phenician woman was another crumb from "The Rich Man's table" to a member of the Lazarus class. In answer to her request Jesus answered, "It is not proper to take the children's bread and give it to dogs" -Gentiles. Accepting the suggestion the woman replied, "Yea, Lord, yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from the children's table."
Her faith in God marked her as one of the Lazarus class, outside "The Rich Man's" household. She was a companion of dogs (Gentiles), and for the time could merely have a crumb from "The Rich Man's table."
As the death of "The Rich Man" represented a change in his affairs, so the death of the Lazarus class indicated a change in the affairs of this outcast class. But, instead of being buried, these were carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom -not to heaven, not to purgatory, not to some intermediate state. As Abraham in the parable represents God, the receiving of the faithful of the Lazarus class into the bosom of Abraham figuratively represents the acceptance of this class as the true children of Abraham-true children of God. As Jesus went outside "the camp" bearing the reproach of His nation, before He died, so did all of His followers who belonged to that nation. They were all recognized as outcasts with the Gentiles; these the Lord received as His children by the begetting of the holy Spirit.
And so St. Paul tells us that we who were by nature Gentiles were not of the stock of Israel. But, "If ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's Seed (children), and heirs according to the promise -joint-heirs with Christ, members of the great Messiah (Gal. 3:29).
Here, dear friends, we have a consistent interpretation of this parable, and it relieves our minds greatly. It assists also in illustrating to us the special relationship of the Jews under the Law Covenant and how this special relationship was lost by reason of their unbelief and how their unbelief alienated them from the Divine favor of this Gospel Age and constituted a deep and wide gulf between them and the spiritual Israel class represented in Lazarus in Abraham's bosom. We thank God that the promise of the Scriptures is that with the end of this Gospel Age this gulf of unbelief and consequent separation from Divine favor will be done away and Israel will be delivered from the torments of these centuries and experience a national resuscitation or resurrection under the glorious privileges, favors and advantages of the New Covenant.
HOPE FOR THE MANY NATIONS
Since God's favors are thus marked out for the heavenly and the earthly Seeds of Abraham-the earthly through the heavenly-it follows that the blessing of the other nations will come about through their affiliation with these. In other words, we may understand that the Divine Government established in Israel in the hands of the Ancient Worthies will be the center of Divine favor, and the people of other nationalities must come to this center for their supplies of truth and grace. Thus the Prophet represents the matter, saying, "Many nations shall go and say, Come and let us go up to the mountain (Kingdom) of the Lord, and to the house of God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths; for [NS821] the Law shall go forth from Mount Zion (the spiritual Kingdom) and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem (the center of the earthy Kingdom) (Mic 4:2)."
And thus all nations, peoples, kindreds and tongues shall be brought gradually to an appreciation of the Divine Plan, they shall all be blessed with Restitution privileges and opportunities and with an enlightenment from the rays of the Sun of Righteousness, which then through the appointed channels will be flooding all the earth.
Thus will the original Covenant have its amplified fulfillment; first, in The Christ, the spiritual Israel; secondly, under the New Covenant with Israel after the flesh; and through these, bless all the families of the earth, so that all the willing and obedient may gradually attain to the standards of the children of God and be possessed of the "liberties of the sons of God"-freedom from sin, sorrow, pain and death. As the Old Law Covenant was with Israel only, so the New (Law) Covenant will be with Israel only. Other nations will share it by becoming Israelites, "Proselytes of the gate," not under the Old but under the New Covenant (Eze. 16:60, 61)
"He that hath an ear to hear, let him hear."
The Clinton Courant, July 16, 1910 BE YE RECONCILED TO GOD
"You that were sometime alienated, and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled." Col 1:21
Sunday, July 10-Pastor Russell of Brooklyn Tabernacle, New York, preached today from the above text. He said in part: In order to use a telescope to advantage we need first to obtain a proper focus on the object to be examined. And so it is with the Divine Plan and Purpose. Looking at it with the eye of faith through the Telescope of God's Word, adjustment of the focus is necessary.
This focusing of the Word, Christian people in the past have very generally overlooked. As a result the Divine Plan has a blurred and indistinct appearance to our sight. The various word-pictures, symbols, types, allegories and plain statements of the Scriptures without this focusing together, make a very unsatisfactory and nondescript matter of the Gospel of Christ, one that is unsatisfactory to everybody, one that the learned of our day have repudiated entirely -an ambiguous collation that is a source of vexation to millions of God's consecrated people. The difficulty is that the Telescope was tampered with during the dark ages and the proper focus was lost. Since then Christian people have feared to readjust it.
They have gloried in the fact that they never changed the focus. However, they have overlooked the fact that some one else did change it for them long ago and that the unsatisfactory view we have gotten is the result of this and is entirely out of accord with the clear and beautiful vision of God's Grace and Truth and Mercy and Love and Wisdom and Power as seen by the Apostles in the early Church.
INTERNATIONAL BIBLE STUDENTS' ASSOCIATION
Some of us, dear friends, instead of throwing away the Telescope of the Word of God, are taking pleasure in cleaning the lenses of the dust of the dark ages and adjusting the focus by a careful endeavor to speak where the Word of God speaks and to be silent where it is silent, and to bring, as the Apostle suggests, our every thought into captivity to the will of God in Christ as outlined in the Bible. The result, we all can testify, is not only comforting, but happifying; not only enlightening, but refreshing. Truly as the Apostle suggests, we have come to "Times of Refreshing from the presence of the Lord."
And all this, we perceive, is exactly what the Scriptures foretold, namely, that a falling away and darkening of the understanding would follow the death of the Apostles, but that in the end of the age the darkness would begin to scatter before the oncoming light of the Sun of righteousness, in the morning of the New Dispensation of Messiah's reign. In accord with all this, note the fact that for centuries we have been overlooking certain Scriptures while accepting others. We accepted the Apostle's statement in our text respecting the reconciliation of the Church, but we overlooked entirely other Scriptures which speak of a still different reconciliation-"God through Christ reconciling the world unto himself." (2 Cor. 5:19)
We should have noted the difference between the Church and the world in this and many other passages of Scripture. We should have remembered the Lord's words "Ye are not of the world, even as I am not of the world." [NS822] We should have seen that the salvation and reconciling of the Church is one thing and the salvation and reconciling of the world is quite another thing; that these are two different salvations-the first to heavenly, spiritual conditions and joint-heirship with Christ in his Kingdom; the other to an earthly inheritance, to earthly perfection and life everlasting and an Eden that is to be world-wide-Paradise restored, God's footstool made glorious.
GOD'S PURPOSE TO BE ACCOMPLISHED
Nevertheless nothing has been lost. No feature of the Divine Plan has been thwarted, for these two salvations do not progress at the same time. During this Gospel Age none are saved, nor desirous to be saved, except those "drawn of the Father," "called of God."
Only those who take up their cross and follow the Lamb through evil report and good report, faithful unto death, can now be spirit-begotten; in the resurrection, these will be spirit-born, members of the Bride of Christ, the Lamb's Wife and joint-heir with him in his Kingdom. It does not matter to the remainder of mankind that they have been allowed to remain in ignorance of the great fact that God is about to pour out upon humanity a great blessing; about to pour out his holy Spirit upon all classes; about to establish the Kingdom of his dear Son for which we pray, "Thy Kingdom come;" about to cause the knowledge of the Lord to fill the whole earth; about to give to every son and daughter of Adam one full, fair, righteous opportunity to come to a knowledge of the truth that they may be saved. If the knowledge of God's grace has proven to be a grand, glorious, inspiring message to the sanctified in Christ Jesus, the Church of this Gospel Age, called to the heavenly calling, will not the message of reconciliation to the world, in due time, likewise bring to the world comfort, joy, blessing as they shall be invited to the earthly portion -to full restitution to human perfection -to all that was lost by Adam and that is to be recovered by the sacrifice of Jesus?
No wonder the Scriptures assure us that the night of weeping is nearly over and the morning of joy already dawning! No wonder the Apostle declares that "the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together," and that they are "waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God." (Rom. 8:22, 19)
The work of this Gospel Age has been the calling, the testing, the proving, the fitting, the polishing of these sons of God for the glorious heavenly state to which they have been called. The Apostle urges that however humble the position of God's saints in the present life, "We know that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is."
When he shall appear in his glory we also shall appear with him. When he shall reign as the King of kings and Lord of lords, when to him every knee shall bow and every tongue confess, the elect Church, his Bride, will be with him in his Throne, sharers of his glory and participants in his work-the work of blessing and uplifting the world-reconciling the world to God.
CALVIN AND KNOX WESLEY AND WHITFIELD
Calvin, Knox and others of the reformers, we may then see, were quite right in their insistence that none at the present time are in a reconciled condition toward God except the comparatively few of our race-the saints. These turn from sin to righteousness, turn from disobedience to faith and consecration, and in and through the merit of the Redeemer are acceptable as probationary members of the elect Church.
If faithful they will shortly, in the "first resurrection," constitute the Church of glory, the Bride, the Lamb's Wife and Joint-Heir. Brothers Wesley, Whitfield and others were also right in their proposition that God was not content with electing merely a saintly handful, but surely loved the whole world and would surely give to every member of the race a full opportunity to come to a knowledge of Christ and to seek a share in the merit of his sacrifice for sins and an opportunity for life everlasting. Those dear brethren contended earnestly with each other over their differences, the one upholding the doctrine of Election, the other contending for the doctrine of Free Grace. Now we see that both were right! Now we see that the election belongs to this Gospel Age and to the High Calling to the divine nature and that in an age following this, Free Grace toward all of the race of Adam will prevail. "The knowledge of the Lord shall fill the whole earth," every knee shall bow and every tongue confess."
Then those who, under the rule and assistance and uplifting influences of the "elect" will come into harmony with the Divine Law, will be blessed with full reconciliation to God and eternal life on the human plane -in Paradise restored -while the intelligently perverse, instead of being everlastingly tortured, as we had supposed, will, as the Apostle says, be punished with everlasting destruction. (2 Thess. 1:9)
"HALLELUJAH, WHAT A SAVIOR!"
From this viewpoint the glory of our Redeemer and the glory of our heavenly Father are multiplied a [NS823] million times. Our Redeemer not only is to be the Savior of the "little flock," his Church, his Bride, on the spirit plane of glory, but additionally, through the agency of his Millennial Kingdom, he is to be the Savior of the world. He "tasted death for every man," as the Scriptures declare, and, as they express it, "He shall see of the travail of his soul and be satisfied." (Isa. 53:11)
Who could suppose that the Savior would be satisfied with the result of his labor if only about one in a million, as members of his Church, reach the heavenly glory-land? Who in our day could for a moment believe the suggestion of Brother Jonathan Edwards, the great New England preacher, who declared that the Lord and his saints would, together, look over the battlements of heaven at their neighbors and friends and children suffering an eternity of untellable torture at the hands of demons, and turn around and praise God the louder on this behalf?
Poor Brother Edwards had, we believe, but a small conception of Divine Justice and Divine Love. And his difficulty was that he did not see what is now so distinct and clear to Bible students, namely, that the Bible Hell to which all humanity goes is not a place of torture nor of consciousness at all, but the grave, sheol, hades, the tomb. Instead of Christ and the saints praising God because of the tortures of the poor groaning creation, the Divine program shines resplendently, showing us that the Redeemer and his Church will for a thousand years be engaged in a missionary work of the sublimest and most gigantic character-a work not only for a living remnant of the race, but one which will include in its blessing all the thousands of millions of humanity under the Divine sentence, "The wages of sin is death."
Truly the Scriptures declare, As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are God's ways higher than man's ways and God's plans loftier than man's conceptions. Notice next the context. St. Paul, after mentioning Christ as the Head of the Body, the Church, who is the first-begotten, the first-born from the dead, that in all things he might have the pre-eminence, adds, "For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell," and that (after) having made peace through the blood of his cross by him to reconcile all things unto himself-both the things in earth and things in heaven." (Col 1:18-20)
The Apostle indicates the great scope of Christ's work as it shall be eventually when finished. He is appointed of the Father to establish peace and righteousness throughout the Universe. But he has not yet accomplished all of this. He has only begun. He has died for the sins of the world, as well as for the sins of the Church. But he has not yet offered to Justice the satisfaction for the world's sins: He first appears before God as the great Advocate for the elect Church, "called" of God in advance to be "the Bride, the Lamb's Wife."
THE CHURCH FIRST RECONCILED
"And you, that were sometime alienated, and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblamable and unreprovable in his (the Father's) sight, if ye continue in the faith," etc. Who are these and why are they reconciled in advance of the remainder of the world-brought in advance into fellowship with the Father by the Redeemer as his Bride? These were by nature "children of wrath even as others."
By nature they were alienated and enemies in their mind by wicked works. They were unlike the Redeemer, who was "holy, harmless and undefiled and separate from sinners."
Why then did God's grace specially come to this class-to us who are of the Church of Christ, "accepted in the Beloved" one? What did we do or could we do to contribute to this favor of God bestowed upon us? The Apostle assures us further along the same line, that the elect Church by nature was not superior to the world from which it was selected. He declares that it contains not many great, not many learned, not many rich, but chiefly the poor of this world, rich in faith, many of them ignoble as respects birth and natural advantages of heredity. The difference between these and others was, first, that they had "an ear to hear" the Divine message. Sometimes this hearing ear came to them through sorrow and tribulation. In their weariness and heaviness they heard the Master's voice, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy-laden and I will give you rest." (Matt. 11:28)
They heard this voice, while some of their neighbors more favorably situated heard it not. But a still further blessing came to them as they responded and drew near to the Lord by faith and prayer. Desiring to come nearer and nearer they strove to put away all filthiness of the flesh-sin in its every form-the while realizing that they could not cleanse themselves. Then it was that the Master informed them of the terms upon which they might join his Church-"The Body of Christ which is the Church."
They must make a full consecration of themselves to God and to righteousness, even unto death. They must do this with a full understanding that it would take them out of touch with the world and the spirit of the world, while bringing them into closer relationship with the Father and with the Son. They were assured that if they thus presented their little all to God in the [NS824] Redeemer's name and merit, this great Redeemer would serve them as their Advocate with the Father and impute to them a sufficiency of the merit of his sacrifice to make good the deficiencies of their flesh. Thus only could the Father accept their sacrifice of the earthly nature and all of its rights and beget them with his holy Spirit to joint-heirship with their Redeemer in all the glories and honors and blessed services for the world in his Kingdom of Glory which is to be set up as soon as this Gospel Age shall have finished its work of gathering out of the world the elect.
Let it not be forgotten in this connection that when the world shall be reconciled to God in the future, the blessings of that reconciliation will come to them while still in their fallen state, to assist them to the recovery of all that was lost in Adam. Hence our influence even with the worldly should be to encourage them towards as high standards of righteousness as possible, knowing that whatever they may attain in the present life will be that much of an advantage to them in the future life, and that in proportion to their degradation will be their difficulties in connection with their restitution to perfection. So then godliness is profitable, not only for the life that now is, but also for that which is to come; not only for the saints who hope to be of the "little flock" and associated with Christ in his Kingdom, but also for the world of mankind, whose hope is to be blessed under that reign of righteousness and its uplifting influences.
The Weekly Enquirer, July 21, 1910 PUT AWAY ALL FILTHINESS
With the exception of the first three paragraphs and the concluding paragraph, printed below, this article has been republished in Pastor Russell's Sermon, pages 388-395, under same title.
MINNEAPOLIS, MINN. -Pastor Russell, of the Brooklyn Tabernacle, delivered Sunday two addresses to the International Bible Students' Association, in the Auditorium. He had fine audiences and excellent attention. We report one of his discourses from the text, 2 Cor. 7:1.
He said in part: Although the words of our text were not addressed by St. Paul to the worldly they would, nevertheless, be excellent advice and very profitable to all. In a general way all civilized people recognize that "cleanliness is next to godliness."
In a general way the pure, the clean, are recognized as the beautiful. And impurity and filthiness are detested even by the impure and the filthy. Outwardly, at least, we are in a time when water is plentiful, when soap is cheap, and when filthiness of the flesh is almost inexcusable as respects the outward man. But filthiness of the spirit cannot be touched, cannot be cleansed, with the ordinary soap and water, and this is undoubtedly the reason why the Lord and the Apostles have not addressed these words to the world. The great lesson for the world is the example set by the followers of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The shining of one honorable upright life (even though it be not perfect-and none are perfect) is sure to have its effect in the midst of the darkness of sin and degradation which prevail in the world-mental, moral and physical degradation. The world does not parade its defilement of mind and body where the bright light of Truth and Righteousness and Purity shines. It prefers to hide. For degenerate humanity to take pride in parading its own blessing in the light of better knowledge would be a horrible condition of things, such as was illustrated in Sodom.
Let us be glad that the things of sin and depravity are at least nominally under the ban of public sentiment, even though the public in general have not taken their stand on the side of righteousness, even though only a small minority have enlisted under the banner of Christ to fight against sin in themselves and "to conquer though they Die."the following paragraphs are added to the end of the discourse.]
"IN THE REVERENCE OF GOD"
The Apostle in our text sums up the results we may hope to attain by our Christian warfare against sin -especially against its domination in our flesh. He gives us to understand that by following this process of cleansing mind and body, thought, word and deed, God's consecrated people will "perfect holiness in the reverence of God."
What a glorious consummation to be hoped for, to be attained-perfection in holiness and in reverence of the Lord! Let this be our aim, our object, as Christians. As for those who have not yet taken the step of becoming Saints of God, let them hearken to the Master's words and sit down and count the cost of [NS825] discipleship and the reward of glory, honor and immortality attaching thereto. And let them seek to make a wise choice, now to suffer with Christ, that they may be glorified with him and share in his kingdom and its work of blessing Israel and the world.