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What Pastor Russell Said

Question Book


ELECTION--Of Elders who do not attend Meetings.

QUESTION (1913)--1--What do you think about a class leader who never attends a week-day afternoon meeting, nor all the night meetings, even when a pilgrim brother is present?

ANSWER.--I would think perhaps he could not get out to the afternoon meeting because he had work of some kind. I would think, though, that a brother who had been elected elder who would only come to a meeting where he was to speak had better be left out until he would come to the meeting all the time. If he did not come to the meeting except when he was going to speak I would think that would indicate he was not qualified for eldership, it would indicate to my mind that he did not wish to be taught, did not wish to hear anyone else, but merely wished to hear himself talk, and thought he was above the rest of the class. "All ye are brethren." Whenever one gets to thinking he is not one of the brethren, that he ought to come only when he is to speak, then I am afraid for that brother. For his own sake I think it better not to elect him. We would not want to help a brother do something that would keep him out of the Kingdom. We are to consider the brother, and his interests, as well as the class and its interests.

ELECTION--Is it Wrong Not to Vote, When Perplexed?

QUESTION (1914)--2--A sister, perplexed and grieved in regard to affairs in the class attended the election meeting, but took no part in the voting. Those whom she WOULD have voted for were elected. Was this wrong? Was it a sin?

ANSWER.--I suppose the sister used her best judgment so we may know it was not a sin. You are never wrong in following your conscience, even though it might lead you astray. You would be doing the right thing to follow your conscience at any cost. So God would not hold anybody responsible for sin, who had done the best he or she knew how. Dismiss it.

ELECTION--Proper Servants of the Church.

QUESTION (1915)--3--.A man of high social standing became interested in the Truth, but did not consecrate. Through the influence of a well-to-do sister, and her husband, who is no longer in the Truth this man was elected our Class Leader. They rejected another brother because he was not so intelligent. This influence in our Class is too often felt and the ordering of our Class is not according to the Sixth Volume of Scripture Studies. What would you advise?

ANSWER.--We think, dear friends, that the Sixth Volume is in full accord with the Bible. If you believe it is in harmony with the Bible, then it will be your duty to carry out those suggestions as fully as they represent the Word of God. In my judgment it would surely not be the right order of things to elect a person to any office, either as Elder or deacon, where there would be any teaching responsibility whatever, who had not professed full consecration to the Lord. He would not be a member of the Church of Christ at all, and therefore could not hold any oversight in the Church; and to put him into such office would be [Q254] contrary to the spirit of the Word and be a wrong thing for the Class. What should they do at the next election? They should not vote for this man.

I do not know to whom reference is made, but if I were the person myself it would make no difference. I would think they should not elect me under such conditions no matter how much influence I had. Suppose it should disrupt the Class to choose another Elder. Then let it disrupt the Class. I do not mean by that that we should be careless as to the disruption of the Class, and careless of others' feelings; but after the matter has been fully set before the Class, those who do see the right course should stand for the fact that no one should serve in any capacity except one who is professedly a child of God; and no one should vote for any except those who are fully consecrated. If this cannot be made the voice of the Church, then those who are faithful should withdraw, and I think, according to the Bible arrangement, they would have a greater blessing.

ELECTION--Re the Vow.

QUESTION (1915-Z)--l--Should any one be chosen as a servant of the Church who has not taken the special Vow which so many of us have found very helpful, and which has been recommended to all?

ANSWER.--We cannot make this simple Vow a test of brotherhood; for, even though we believe that the Lord has especially brought it forth at this time and that to a certain extent He intends it to serve as a test amongst the consecrated, nevertheless the Bible does not authorize us to make this a test of brotherhood. It is a matter of judgment rather than of Divine direction, just as the candidate's misuse of the English language, or uncouthness of manner might properly enough be taken into consideration, although not mentioned in the Bible amongst the qualifications for eldership.

It would rejoice us greatly to know that all the dear Elders and Deacons amongst the Lord's people everywhere could see eye to eye with respect to the reasonableness of the Vow, and its harmony with the Divine Word and with our consecration Vow, to which it is, as it were, a blue fringe, or border and finish. One can scarcely refrain from wondering what objection any Christian brother or sister could have to that Vow. To some of us it seems as though it would imply either something wrong as respects their heart intentions or something defective in their reasoning faculties. However, we are not competent to judge so closely. The Master said, "Judge not."

Our thought is that in selecting Elders or Deacons a preference might well be given to those who have taken the Vow and who see eye to eye on this subject. Nevertheless, if the brethren who are competent to lead Classes are acceptable in every other way and are not opposers of the Vow, they might be chosen. This would be especially true of those who declare that they are living up to all the requirements of the Vow to the best of their ability, and merely decline to take it because of fear that somehow or other the taking of this simple Vow might injure them while helping others. We may not understand the processes of their reasoning nor the attitude of their hearts, but we [Q255] may under such circumstances pass over what we cannot understand nor appreciate.

ELECTION--Rules for Selection of Elders and Deacons.

QUESTION (1915-Z)--l--What are the rules for the selection of Elders and Deacons?

ANSWER.--Numerous inquiries have come to us indicating that some of the brethren have difficulty in applying the suggestions given in Vol. VI. on the subject of election of servants for the Classes.

It was not our thought there to lay down an invariable rule on the subject. The Bible gives none, and no one else has a right to establish such a rule. Our suggestion was that whenever possible the election should be unanimous, and unless seventy-five per cent of the Class, or more, favored a brother's election, it would be rather unwise for him to accept the office--the service. We did not by this mean that a minority of twenty-five or thirty per cent should be encouraged to obstruct the Class and hinder an election.

Strictly speaking, a majority of one in a Class would decide any matter except as love might come in to urge a consideration of the sentiments of others. If for instance, a Class numbered one hundred, fifty-one would have a right to decide respecting who should be the servants of the Church, and the other forty-nine should very quietly acquiesce, recognizing the fact that they constitute only a minority, and should loyally strive to support the will of the majority.

Only the spirit of love and the best interests of all in the Class suggests more than fifty-one per cent. Love should strive for a unanimous vote. But how might this be obtained? We will offer a suggestion.

Suppose that in a Class of one hundred, six Elders were considered as necessary for the service. A, B, C, D, E, F, would represent available candidates of more or less ability. A might have a hundred votes; B, ninety; C, eighty; D, seventy; E, sixty; F, fifty. Under a strict voting on the lines of preference only two would be selected on a ninety per cent basis; but our thought would be that the entire six might be unanimously elected, if they were on the average as good material as the Class possessed, and if nothing were known derogatory to their moral character.

It is a mistake to think that the standards established by St. Paul are to be taken literally, for no one would be found fully up to all the requirements. The Apostle has stated what the ideal Elder would be. Each voter should have this ideal before his mind in thinking of the will of the Lord; but the Class is not to be left without an Elder unless there are serious blemishes.

Our Lord similarly set a perfect example before us when He said, "Be ye perfect, even as your Father which is in Heaven is perfect." (Matt. 5:48.) Who is perfect in the sense that God is perfect? "There is none righteous; no, not one." (Rom. 3:10.) The Master evidently meant that we should not measure ourselves by a low standard, but by the perfect standard, that thus we would be assisting ourselves up to the grandest ideals in respect to our own lives and characters and in respect to those chosen to be Elders and examples to the Flock. [Q256]

Be it always remembered that none are to vote except those professing full consecration, manifested by the usual symbol-- immersion in water. Such as have not symbolized their consecration, are not to be disowned as brethren, but should be considered so immature as not to be competent to express an opinion in respect to who would be qualified to serve the Church, and, of course, would not be qualified to be servants themselves.

ELECTION--Choosing Elders From Other Classes.

QUESTION (1916)--l--Where there is sufficient available material in the class, is it for the best interest of the class to choose its elders from brethren of other classes?

ANSWER.--Where there is sufficient material in the class, it would not seem to be wise for the class to go outside to choose other elders. I think that goes without saying. But who is to determine whether there is sufficient material in the class? The class must decide that for themselves. Who is to say that they have sufficient material in the class? The class must decide that--not Brother Russell, nor anyone else. If the class thinks that it has no qualified elders, then let it go outside. If it does have a number of qualified elders, then let them use what God has provided and encourage the brethren at home.

ELECTION--Regarding Percentage.

QUESTION (1916)--2--In a certain Tower, whose date I cannot remember, you suggested a method of election wherein all the nominees receiving at least a 50 per cent nominating vote should be unanimously elected. In a class where there is considerable difficulty and friction, would it be better to adopt this method, or to insist on a 75 per cent vote on each nominee for election as an elder?

ANSWER.--We should remember, first of all, that Bible does not tell us what shall be done. That being so, it is really a matter of judgment to find out what would be the most advantageous way for doing this. It is a matter of judgment as to what would be the best way. Mine might not be as good as yours. When I offer any suggestions in the Watch Tower on any subject like this, it is merely my opinion. Brother Russell has no wish to give commands, or to be a dictator in any sense of the word. He merely endeavors to give his opinion in such matters--about which the Bible does not speak. If the class knows some better way than I do, then that will be satisfactory to me. God's will is to be expressed by the class, and anyone that gets rid of the will of the class will make a mistake and will not have the approval of the Lord. I have known those who would bring in some kind of wire-pulling, and thus the interests of the class would be interfered with for the time being; that is certainly not right. We should not try to go beyond what the Lord has arranged. The Lord would not be pleased with anything of that kind. We must be honest with God and with the brethren, and help all the brethren to get the right thought, as follows: Now, it is none of my business whether I am chosen as an elder or not. Let the class do what it thinks best. If they choose me, I will try to serve them as best I can, but, if they do not choose me, then I will try to serve them as best I can anyway. If we have such a spirit, the class will surely see it in due time. The Lord sees [Q257] it all the time, and if you are right with God, it matters not how you stand with others. If you say we will have 80 or 75 per cent, or what not, there is nothing to regulate the percentage--nothing in the Bible. We would suggest that the desire in voting to please all the brethren in the class and to have an election that would be satisfactory to all, so far as you conscientiously could, would even be better than pleasing 75 or 80 per cent. There should be proper consideration for every one in the class, and yet each one, of course, should do what he considers to be right. Should it be figured out beforehand that all would not be entirely pleased, and the majority therefore should carry out their thoughts without any regard for the thoughts of the minority, surely that would not be right. If you think that a certain brother should be an elder and I see nothing wrong with the brother, the fact that you want him would be a reason for me to vote for him unless I knew something in his character that would disqualify him, in which event I would think it to be against the Lord's will to vote for him. I could not vote for him for a certain reason. (I am merely expressing my opinion in voting.) I would like our election to be unanimous, if possible, but, for a certain reason I cannot give him my vote. He ought to feel kindly about it, and should say: I admire your honesty and candidness; I will try to bring myself up to a higher standard. This would seem to be the right thought: to do the right and hope it may please the whole class; and yet, to do the right whether it please them or not. Not, however, in any independent spirit, but with the generous spirit of giving due consideration to the thoughts of each and everyone. I have known cases in which the 85 per cent rule was established, and the will of the class was not really done. How so? If 85 per cent were obtained why would that not be the will of the class? Because the 15 per cent might decide to be obstreperous and determine not to let the 85 per cent have their desire. The minority tried to rule the majority, and would not submit. However, the majority is all that should be required to determine the will of the class; 51 per cent would be the majority. If 85 per cent be required, it is a concession on the part of the majority to please the minority. Fifty-one per cent could say we will have our decision, we will have our way, but that would be ignoring the others and might cause a division. It would not be a wise or kind thing to do. The majority ought to think of the minority, and say we would like to have the 100 per cent, so as to include every person, if possible, but for the majority to knuckle down to the minority so that the minority might obstruct the work of the class and make it difficult, because the majority were willing to say 85 per cent, and then state, we will do what we can to hinder this 85 per cent, would mean that they had adopted the method of filibustering used in politics for the purpose of blocking the purpose of those in the ascendancy. This, in the case to which we refer, was altogether wrong. We want to get the right focus on these matters. In Brooklyn and New York we hardly ever have anything but an unanimous vote--hardly ever--because we are agreed that we want to do everything we know to assist in the work. If anyone wants to have a certain brother as elder or deacon, we would be glad to have him. I believe this is the [Q258] mind of the classes nearly everywhere, but sometimes we get our minds twisted. When the minority say, you can't do anything unless you have 85 per cent, I would favor a change and make it 51 per cent, and then let the 51 per cent be as kind to the others as possible, but let the others know that we will not permit any method to obstruct the work of the Lord. God wants the majority of the class to rule the class and to determine its course, but the Lord also wants the majority to be very kind towards the minority, but, if they can be of one mind that would he better still.

ELEVENTH HOUR--Its Illustration.

QUESTION (1911)--l--Please explain the eleventh hour parable mentioned in Matthew 20.

ANSWER.--This parable is given to illustrate something that will occur toward the end of this age. The parable goes on to tell that there were various calls at various times for laborers in the vineyard. Now, some might say that this call for laborers in the vineyard began way back in the days of Jesus and the apostles, and that these various calls belong to various periods of the Gospel age, and we would see no argument against that; that seems sound enough. Others again would claim that this sending forth of laborers in the vineyard was not at the beginning of the age, because the Lord and the apostles planted the vine and attended to it in the beginning, and this call of the laborers in the vineyard was in the harvest time, at the end of the age, when the fruit was ripe and when they were to go in and gather, and receive wages for gathering the clusters. This interpretation also has some reasonable qualities. In any event, the eleventh hour represents the very closing time of this Gospel age, and the presentation is that at that time some will be standing waiting for an opportunity to enter into the harvest work--the reaping work, the vineyard work, and that some who would be in a proper condition of mind and heart would be acceptable there to do harvest work, even though the harvest work was nearly finished, As, for instance, today, someone would perhaps say, "Well, Brother Russell, I suppose that the harvest work is nearly over, and that if I would want to go out into the harvest field it would hardly be worth while now, would it?" Well, I would say that if I were in your place, my dear brother, even though it be as it were in the eleventh hour I would go at once to the Lord and say--if it were possible for me to arrange my affairs so--"Lord here is so much time I can properly give to you and the service of the harvest work. I entreat that I may be sent into the harvest, that I may be one of those who will get a special blessing by virtue of association with the reapers, and that order of service."

There are some things about this parable that are not so easy of interpretation; we might give some guesses and they might be all wrong; we do not like to give any guesses that might be wrong. As to what the penny will be, and who the servant will be that gets the penny, and as to what it will mean that someone will murmur and say they are not satisfied with the penny, and say they should have had more, I do not know. I am not sure. Perhaps we will see more clearly by and by; but we do believe this: that none of our murmuring will be beyond the vail; that therefore, the giving of the penny and the murmuring, whatever it shall signify, [Q259] will be something that will yet be in the church before we pass beyond the vail. I do not think that any of those who murmur are going to have any pennies in the sense of eternal life and immortality. The Lord is not going to have any murmurers in his bride class; if I understand it right, they will all be so thankful they will appreciate the fact they have got more than they deserve, and so glad to get what the Lord will give.


QUESTION (1907)--l--How may we distinguish the Elisha class from the Elijah class?

ANSWER.--We have pointed out that Elijah was very distinctly a type of the overcoming Church. But as for Elisha, we have no positive proof in the Scriptures that he was a type at all. Some might infer that he was a type, and others might infer that he was not, but since the matter is one of doubt, it behooves us not to fasten very much weight to it.

ELIJAH--A Typical Character.

QUESTION (1909)--2--How about Elijah?

ANSWER.--Well, Elijah was a typical character, for the Scriptures say he was. The transfiguration of Elijah was a picture or vision of the change of the Church at the end of this age, and the carrying away of Elijah in a whirlwind, and chariot of fire, represents the Church's experiences, in which we will pass beyond the vail--a whirlwind of trouble and fiery trials. Again you remember John the Baptist, who was beheaded. So far as life is concerned, we remember that God buried Moses, and so I presume God likewise buried Elijah. So far as the Jews were concerned he was taken up into heaven, and they saw him no more. But the Apostle says, "They all died in faith." We presume he afterwards died and was buried like other men.

ELIJAH--Re Moses on Mount.

QUESTION (1909)--3--Is it not a fact that Elijah was glorified with Moses on the Mount?

ANSWER.--We answer, No. The record is that Moses died and was buried. It is not, therefore, in the authority for anybody to say that Moses did not die and was not buried, and he cannot have life or knowledge until after the Church shall have first received her resurrection, because Moses was of the household of servants, and they without us cannot be made perfect.

Well, what about Moses and Elijah appearing upon the Mount of Transfiguration? Well, I was not there, but I had a representative, a reporter present, right on the spot, and he told us of the matter. What did he tell us? We read that, as they came down from the Mount, Jesus talking to His disciples--and He knew all about it, you and I do not--told them that they had seen a vision, saying: "See that ye tell the vision to no man until after the Son of Man is risen from the dead." And similarly John, who was there on the Mount, afterwards described it in the book of Revelation, the book of visions. He tells us of this beast and that beast, with heads, horns, etc., and of the woman sitting on the throne, etc. Did he see these actually? He said, I saw, and I saw, and I heard and I saw--and he saw them all in vision, because those beasts never pranced around at all. God could have had a menagerie there but it [Q260] was not necessary. John tells us in the opening chapter that these were visions, saying that these were signified--made known by signs, and as He saw in visions there, so He saw in vision on the Mount.

There was another on the Mount who gave us his testimony. "You remember," Peter said, "we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eye witnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father, honor and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice, which came from heaven, we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount." That was what the vision was to illustrate. Moses represented the class living, on the earth, if you please, for he was the mediator or representative of Israel, and he would very properly represent them in that tableau. Elijah was there used to illustrate the Church. Christ is the Head of the antitypical Elijah, and you and I are members of the Body of that antitypical Elijah, and that great Prophet is the one that God is raising up from among the people, and this Elijah will be the one in the Millennial Age to restore all.

ELISHA--Composed of Whom?

QUESTION (1909)--1--Who will compose the Elisha class?

ANSWER.--In the first place we do not know that there is to be an Elisha class, because the Bible doesn't say strictly that there will be. Do we infer it? Yes. Upon what basis? Because there is an Elijah class and the Scriptures imply that there is an Elisha class referred to by our Lord and mentioned in Revelation. Elisha was one who joined himself to Elijah toward the close of the ministry of Elijah--joined himself as a servant and got a great blessing finally. If we shall suppose he is a type of a class then he would be a type of two classes. First, of the great company because the mantle of Elijah fell to him, which would seem to imply that the power or work of Elijah would fall upon the Elisha class, after the Elijah class is taken away. The only thing that Elisha did with the mantle was that he went to the river Jordan, smote the waters and passed over. It would simply mean that the Elisha class would pass through death in much the same way as the Elijah class--Jordan representing death. After passing the Jordan he began to do a certain revolutionary work. This would not represent the great company but would seem to represent another class--the work of the Ancient Worthies which they will begin and carry on during the Millennial Age. We believe the Scriptures show that the Ancient Worthies will eventually be on the same plane as the Great Company and will have the same glory.

ENEMIES--Love Your Own.

QUESTION (1905)--2--Who are the enemies that we are to love?

ANSWER.--Your enemies. You need not love my enemies. I will do that myself.

ENEMY--Last to be Destroyed.

QUESTION (1911)--3--It says the last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. How would that be, the Adamic death, or how? [Q261]

ANSWER.--The last enemy that shall be destroyed--what does that mean? That means that death, which is an enemy, will be destroyed. Now the second death is not an enemy to God, nor an enemy to any who are in harmony with God. The second death will be for the destruction of those who cannot be reconciled to God. Instead of being an injury, it will be a blessing to the whole creation; but the Adamic death is an enemy. It has been an enemy, because all down through the age, people have been suffering under the Adamic death who really, if they had had the opportunity, knowledge, etc., would have liked to serve God and be in harmony with him. Adam himself, no doubt, if after he had sinned, would have been glad if God had said, "Well now, Adam, I will give you another trial; go back into Eden; but if you do it again it will be the second death and that will be the end of it." Of course he would have been glad of that.

ENOCH--Where Taken?

QUESTION (1908)--1--By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death, etc. Is it known whether he was taken from this earth and what class does he typify?

ANSWER.--I answer that all we know about Enoch is stated, first of all, in Genesis, and, secondly, in the Apostle's statement in Hebrews, and, thirdly, in the statement of Jude, that Enoch prophesied of the coming of the Lord, saying, the Lord cometh with myriads of His holy ones. But in Genesis, it is stated that he was not found, he was missed, for God took him; and the Apostle in Hebrews tells us that he was translated, taken away--lifted over, is the thought, from one state or place to another; he was translated that he should not see or experience death. Not that he should not see it with his eyes, but that he should not see it in the sense of experiencing death. He did no doubt see death with his eyes for there was death in the world at that time, but he did not experience death; he was translated so that he might not experience death. This then leads us to understand that Enoch did not die. Now the Scriptures are silent as to what God did with him or where he took him, and that leaves us, therefore, without any basis or any positive statement as to where he is. We can state as to where he is NOT. We can state that he is not in heaven; because our Lord said that "no man hath ascended up to heaven, save he that came down from heaven." Therefore Enoch did not go to heaven in that sense of the word. Where did he go? Why, the Lord may have taken him to some other planet for all I know. I don't know; it would be merely a guess. I merely take the Word of the Lord as it reads, that he was translated so that he should not see death and that he did not die. The Apostle makes that clear later on in the same chapter. He says, "All these died in faith," yet evidently he understands that he previously had made an exception of Enoch and therefore he would not be included with the others. Where he is God only knows; I do not; no one else knows. So you and I and all the rest are on a par. We have such confidence in the Word of God, however, that we believe Enoch lives somewhere and that in God's due time we will find out why he was made an exception in this manner.

Now, is he a type? He may be. We are not told that he is a type and therefore it would be rash for us to say [Q262] he was a type. We are not inspired to say this is a type, and this is not a type. If we could find anything in the Scriptures to say Enoch was a type, then we would be justified in saying he was a type. But anything in the Scriptures not specified to be a type we do well to be careful how we turn it into a type and make something out of it that might trouble us. There is one statement respecting this that gives a suggestion, a bare suggestion, that be was a type and that is a statement to the effect that Enoch was seventh from Adam. There the "seventh from Adam" is made prominent--seven, of the seventh generation. Now there is just a bare chance of building a little bit of speculation upon that. I call it by its plain name--"speculation." Since seven is always in the Scriptures recognized as a perfect number and indicative of perfection, we might understand that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, would represent that perfect man--the perfection of man, or man in his future state when he will be perfect and when he will not die. And in this sense of the word, Enoch may be considered as representative of that class of mankind which in the future will be in harmony with God and have eternal life--the ones who will be brought to perfection during the Millennial Age.

ENOCH--Translated, When, Where, Why?

QUESTION (1913)--1--Enoch was translated. What did it mean? What did it represent?

ANSWER.--The Bible does not explain; I will not do so either. I do not know.

ETERNAL--Applied to the Sodomites.

QUESTION (1907)--2--In Jude 7, referring to the Sodomites, does the word "eternal" properly qualify fire, or vengeance, or suffering, for example?

ANSWER.--I would answer, it qualifies fire--eternal fire; suffering the vengeance of eternal fire; that is the way the translation gives it. I think it is all right. What kind of eternal fire was it? Did it keep on burning there, and if you could go to where Sodom was would you see it burning now? No. Well what kind of an eternal fire was it? It was a fire whose effects were eternal; it was not a fire that merely burned a little while and then went out, but it burned until it burned everything up. And so, when the Lord is going to destroy the wicked, He will destroy them with an eternal fire, that is, a fire that will be complete, and finish the work. It will not be destruction for a little while from which they will be recovered, but it will be the vengeance of utter, complete destruction. In your talk every day, if you will only think about it, you use a great many figures of speech. Every person who can talk uses a great many figures of speech; and in olden times, they seem to have used these more than we do today. They made all languages in pictures. Some of the very old languages were all pictures, and all the spelling even was in pictures. Some of those old hieroglyphics that have been found in Egypt and elsewhere are all pictures. So our words are all pictures.

ETERNAL LIFE--Now, Actually or Reckoned?

QUESTION (1906)--3--Do consecrated believers have an eternal life now, or only a reckoned one? If a reckoned one, explain John 5:24, which says: "He that heareth my [Q263] word, and believeth on him that sent me hath everlasting life."

ANSWER.--This is a very similar question, as you will perceive, to the previous one, and would be answerable in the same way. It is more to get the right thought than to dispute as to which would be the best way of stating that truth. Both ways of stating the thought are really right. You may say that we have eternal life now, and proceed to prove it in this way: That the Lord has promised eternal life to them that love him, and God's word is sure, and since he has promised it, speaking by faith from that standpoint of God's promise, I could say, Yes I have eternal life. And yet it is very much like the matter I have sometimes illustrated by a check. Suppose you had handed me, or I had somewhere received a check, and that check were in my pocket. Suppose that check was for one hundred dollars, and that was the only money I had, and some one should come up and say, "Have you any money, Brother Russell?" You see I could say yes or no, because a check is not money, but I have a check that is worth money. Just so God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. That is a plain statement. That is the record, he has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. And when He who is our life shall appear, then shall we also appear with Him in glory. So you see we have eternal life in the same sense that we have the check in our pocket. It is worth all it calls for, yet it is not the life itself. As far as the life itself is concerned, that is the salvation to be brought unto us at the revelation of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

EUPHRATES--Re Second Death.

QUESTION (1911)--1--"And the fourth river is Euphrates." Does this river represent the second death in this verse?

ANSWER.--Not that I know of.

EVE--Ransom of.

QUESTION (1910)--2--If it will not take too long, please explain the ransom of Eve?

ANSWER.--It won't take very long. Eve belonged to Adam, just the same as all of Adam's race belonged to Adam. God gave Eve to Adam after he took her from Adam. It is very easy to see, then, dear friends, that if Christ redeemed Adam and all that Adam had, he redeemed Eve.

EVE--Re All in Adam.

QUESTION (1910)--3--"For as in Adam all die"--are we to understand this means Mother Eve?

ANSWER.--Yes, I answer we understand this includes mother Eve; she was in Adam in the sense that she was a part of Adam's family; that the whole thing was centered in Adam ; that God arranged it so, and that Adam's sin brought the death condition. If Adam had sinned and mother Eve had not sinned, of course it would be hardly proper for us to offer a suggestion, but my thought would be that if Adam had sinned he would have been put out of the Garden, and she would have been put out with him, as he was the representative of the race, and his transgression would mean the transgression by the twain; that she would be held as being a party with him in the transgression.

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