January 18, 1904


Nearly 750 Bible students in Allegheny Carnegie hall yesterday afternoon listened to Pastor Charles T Russell's third discourse of a series on "Bible Prophecy, History and Current Events, United in a Chain of Evidence Showing the Millennium Near." The speaker chose no single text but traversed the entire Bible record from the death of Jacob to the present time, showing the strong foundation of those who trust God's word. Pastor Russell said:

Today's subject I consider one of the most simple, interesting and conclusive demonstrations of our theme. All Bible students recognize typical lessons in the Jewish institutions, but few, we believe, have seen anything like the depths of this subject as we hope to explore them this afternoon. Let me say as an introductory word that we hope to show convincingly to every one acquainted with his Bible that the Jewish nation from Abraham's day to the first advent of our Lord was used of God as a typical people to illustrate great spiritual truths and lessons. Not only did their sacrifices and sin offerings foreshadow or typify the better sacrifices which can and do actually take away sin, but all the features of their history were typical of matters pertaining to spiritual Israel.


We use this word shadow in the very same sense today when we sometimes say, "Coming events cast their shadows before." The great realities of God's plan of salvation began at the first advent and have since been in progress. The things of previous times were at their best and at their most shadows of these realities. Indeed, many of the glorious realities are still in the future and may be seen by faith through their shadows in the Jewish law arrangement. As, for instance, in the jubilee type, which we considered two weeks age, we found the reality to be just at hand, whereas the type was instituted nearly 4,000 years ago. The apostle, referring to these matters of the law, declares that they "serve unto the example (copy) and shadow of heavenly things" -spiritual things. (Heb. 8:5) However strange it may appear to some to draw such a sharp line of distinction between the Jewish and Gospel age-between Israel after the flesh and Israel after the spirit-the clear discernment of this is absolutely necessary to a proper understanding of the divine word.


We are not in this casting any reflection upon the Lord's holy people of the period before the first advent. We hold that they were devoted, consecrated and acceptable in the Lord's sight; but that, living before the time appointed, they could have no part or lot in the special call of this gospel age. We might give numerous Scriptural testimonies in proof, but must content ourselves with a few at this time. The apostle speaks of our Lord Jesus as the captain or forerunner of His faithful followers in the narrow way which leads to the kingdom of glory, honor and immortality- "the new way of life" which He opens up for His followers. (Heb. 10:20) It would be inconsistent with these figures and terms to suppose that any ever ran the race before Him whom God set forth to be the captain and forerunner and exemplar. The apostle, himself a Jew and writing about the faithfulness of the ancient worthies, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and others, concludes his favorable comment on their faithfulness to God in these words, "All these died in the faith, not having received the things promised; God having provided some better things for us (spiritual Israel), that they without us should not be made perfect." Heb. 11:39, 40

This is very explicit testimony by one who, so far from having prejudices against the Jew, tells us in all candor of his devotion to their interests and that he would gladly sacrifice personal interests in favor of the nation as a whole. The same apostle, writing again, denominates fleshly Israel the house of servants, in contrast with spiritual Israel as the house of sons. He did not thus demean the faithful of the natural house, but honored them, for surely it is a great honor to be servants of the Most High God; but he did lay emphasis upon the fact that the church of this gospel age is very highly favored, in that its faithful few are recognized of God as the house or company of sons under the headship of the Lord Jesus. The apostle's words are: "Moses verily was faithful as a servant over all his house, but Christ (was faithful) as a son over his house-whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end." Heb. 3:5, 6


Our Lord declared, "The law and the prophets were until John; since then the kingdom of heaven is preached." (Luke 16:16.) Again our Lord speaks of John the Baptist, His forerunner, and points out that he belongs to the dispensation that was passing and not to the new dispensation, and that the humblest of His followers in the new dispensation would be greater than John the Baptist, because he belonged to the old one. Our Lord's words were, "Verily I say unto you, there hath not arisen a greater prophet than John the Baptist; and yet I say unto you that the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he." The thought is that the gospel age is for the development of the church class, and that the faithful of the Lord's consecrated [HGL196] at the present time are the kingdom of God in embryo-the members and representatives of the kingdom which shall be shortly introduced in power and great glory to bless the world.

Let us for a little while leave the consideration of spiritual Israel and its interests and notice with particularity some things pertaining to natural Israel. But while doing this let us not overlook the fact that these various items will have a typical lesson for us by and by. Prophetic testimony marks the beginning and end of Jewish favor.

The history of Israel began with the death of Jacob, who was the last of the patriarchs, and who for his faith in God was surnamed Israel, which signifies a prince with God. The nation of Israel was otherwise called the children of Israel. It was when Jacob was on his death bed that he called his family and blessed them, and there it is for the first time recorded, "all these are the twelve tribes of Israel" -there their tribal and national existence began. They had tribulations in Egypt, in the wilderness and in the promised land; but in all of these the Lord's blessing was with them, their adversities were overruled for good, and they were still His peculiar people. Even when, finally, they went into captivity in Babylon, His favor was with them, and so they continued in His favor and under corrective chastisements until the close of their age. We know exactly when their age terminated and the gospel age began. It was at the close of our Lord's three and one-half years of ministry, when He offered Himself to them and was refused, except by a few, a remnant-as we read, "He came unto His own, and His own received Him not; but to as many as received Him, to them gave He liberty to become sons of God." John 1:11, 12


The exact turning point where divine favor passed from fleshly Israel is noted in the Scriptures as taking place just five days before our Lord's crucifixion. At that time He rode to the city of Jerusalem as their king on an ass, in fulfillment of the prophet's words, "Behold, thy king cometh unto thee; He is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass." (Zech. 9:9) It was foreknown of the Lord that He would be rejected, and is so stated by the prophet; nevertheless, the full proffer or opportunity was granted to the nation. When they received Him not, weeping over them, Jesus said, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen gathereth her brood under her wings, but ye would not."

"Behold your house is left unto you desolate." (Luke 13:34, 35)

Prophesying, our Lord added: "Ye shall see me no more until that day when ye shall say, 'Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.'" Since that time the Jews have as a nation been cut off from divine favor as never previously. Their house has been desolated of divine favor in every sense of the word, as they are free to acknowledge. We hope to show most conclusively from the scriptures that God's favor is to return again to the Hebrew people, that he will save them from their present blindness, bringing them back to their own land and to his own favor. That Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and all the holy prophets of fleshly Israel, resurrected from death, as perfect men, shall become the earthly representatives of the spiritual unseen kingdom-Christ and the church. At that time, and under those influences, the true-hearted Hebrews will return to divine favor and to corresponding prominence in the world, and become channels of divine blessing for all people, as is so clearly intimated in their part of the Abraham promise.


We hope to demonstrate clearly from the scriptures that Israel's period of rejection and blindness, without divine favor, is to be of the same duration as was their previous experiences under divine favor. Please follow me on the chart. Notice that from the death of Jacob until the death of Christ, the Bible chronology here set forth shows a period of 1,845 years. I need not here take your time to cite you the chapters and verses for these figures; you will find them in your common version Bibles exactly as here represented. Anyone desiring the references, we will be pleased to furnish them, and those who already possess the second volume of "Millennial Dawn" will find the whole matter therein set forth.

Now if we can find scriptures to prove what we say, namely, that Israel will be without divine favor for a like period of time to that of their previous favor, we can very easily reckon when the promised return of favor would be due; for 1,845 years from the death of Jacob to the death of Christ, ended A D 33, and 1,845 years since A D 33 ended A D 1878.

We should not, however, expect that in 1878 God's favor would instantly be manifested, because, when we look back to the time when their "house" was left desolate, we find that there was a period of 37 years in which they, as a nation, were falling-from A D 33 to A D 70, when Jerusalem was utterly destroyed by Titus and his army, since then that people have been continually scattered and troubled and without divine favor. What we should expect, then, in 1878, would be a correspondingly gradual dawning of favor. As adversity began to come upon them in A D 33, blessings should begin to come upon them in A D 1878.

Is there anything to indicate a blessing upon fleshly Israel since A D 1878? There surely is. In that very year the Berlin Congress of Nations was held, and its chief was Lord Beaconsfield, the representative of the British government, and by birth a Jew. There was fulfilled the words of the prophet:

"Ten men out of all languages of nations shall take hold of the skirt of him who is a Jew, saying, we will go with you." -Zech. 8:23


Those ambassadors of the great powers all went with Lord Beaconsfield, all adopted the policy which he favored. Under the arrangements of that conference Egypt and Palestine were all put under the protection of Great Britain, as others of the Turkish states were put under the protection of other powers. From that day onward Israel's star of hope has been rising little by little. The Jews have been granted liberties and advantages in Palestine such as they had not [HGL197] enjoyed previously for 18 centuries. True, these liberties as yet are very circumscribed; true, also, in this time great persecutions have arisen against them in various countries, especially in Russia; but all these experiences are favorable to them, and under them they are awakening to a fresh zeal for God, for His promises, and for the Holy Land. Under the stimulus of these persecutions and restraints, combined with the divine favor, the Zionist movement has sprung up amongst the Jews and is attaining national proportions, and whetting the appetites of that people for the divine favors and blessings promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the holy prophets and soon to have fulfillment under the millennial kingdom of Christ.

We are not drawing these conclusions from the facts in the case, but especially from the prophecies; for, as some present today well know, the speaker presented these same views from the same standpoint and in print in the seventies. Before the Berlin conference, and 20 years before the birth of the Zionist movement, he proclaimed the movement precisely as it is presented to you today. Day by day, however, the evidences of the fulfillment of these prophecies accumulate, yet so gradually that the world in general realizes not what is transpiring. Ere long the doors of Palestine will be thrown open for the general reception of the Jews, and people and money will not be lacking to cause that present wilderness to blossom as the rose. Moreover, the Lord's blessing will be upon the land and upon the people more and more as we near the end of "Gentile Times," which last Lord's day we showed will be reached in A D 1915.

Let us now examine the prophecies which tell us the length of Israel's disfavor and point us to the exact time of its beginning and where it will end.


Jeremiah was one of the most prominent of Israel's prophets. He it was that foretold of their captivity in Babylon, and that the desolation of the land would be for 70 years, and that then the people would be brought back by divine favor. But the prophecy we now cite refers to a still more serious captivity. It reads: "Therefore will I cast you out of this land into a land that ye know not, neither ye nor your fathers; and there shall ye serve other gods (rulers), day and night; where I will not show you favor." (Jer. 16:9-13). These days of disfavor commenced with their rejection of Messiah, and the predictions have been most thoroughly fulfilled during the past 18 centuries, as the whole world is witness. The prophecy could not have referred to the Babylonian captivity, the only other one they have had since Jeremiah's day. We are sure of this, because of the words of the prophet - "into a land that ye know not; neither ye nor your fathers." Abraham and his family came from Babylonia, hence that land could not have been referred to. Besides, the Lord did show Israel favor in Babylon. But, as we have just seen, for more than 18 centuries Israel has been scattered amongst all the nations of the earth, and that without any marks of divine favor.

The Lord, through the prophet, next proceeds to explain how he will regather Israel in due time (verses 13-15): "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall no more be said, the Lord liveth that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; but, the Lord liveth that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north (Russia, where more than one-half of the Jews reside), and from all the lands whither he hath driven them; and I will bring them into their own land that I gave unto their fathers." We might multiply testimonies both from the Old and New Testaments, to prove the restoration of Israel to divine favor in due time, but we must press on and notice a succeeding verse in the same prophecy: "And first, I will recompense their iniquity, and their sin double."


The Hebrew word rendered "double" is "Mishneh," which signifies a second portion, a repetition. Thus understood, the prophet's declaration is, that from the time of their being cast off from favor, until their time of return to favor, would be a repetition or duplication in time of their previous history during which they enjoyed divine favor. This matter is illustrated by the chart. Here we see the period of favor from the death of Jacob to the death of Jesus, 1,845 years long, and here we see, in this other column, the period of disfavor of equal length beginning at the death of Jesus and terminating in 1878. We remember, however, that the disfavor came on gradually for 37 years, and we perceive that the favor is returning gradually during a similar period of 37 years, which will end with the year 1915. How clear and explicit is this testimony, "I will render unto you misneh, a repetition, in land which ye know not, neither ye nor your fathers, where I will show you no favor." Poor Jews! We are glad for them that the better day is dawning-that gradually their blessings are taking the place of the curses which they drew upon themselves, saying: "His blood be upon us, and upon our children." Matt. 27:25

Some one may say, "Yes, that seems quite conclusive, quite in harmony with what you claim; and yet it is but one statement by one prophet. Are there any more evidences?" We reply that one statement by one prophet should carry conviction; many of the prophecies fulfilled at the first advent had no more testimony than this. But our Heavenly Father in great mercy-in condescension to our weakness of faith-has deigned to supply further evidences. Through Zechariah (9:12) the Lord refers to this same matter, using precisely the same word, "Mishneh," but from a different standpoint.

Jeremiah took a standpoint previous to this scattering of Israel, and foretold it as a future matter. Zechariah took his stand down in the future, and in prophetic vision saw Jesus riding upon the ass to Jerusalem; and standing, as it were, by his side, the prophet cries, "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, thy king cometh unto thee. He is just and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass."


Note the precise fulfillment of these words. (Matt. 21:4-9; John 12:12-15; Luke 19:35-40) Every item was fulfilled, even to the shouting; and when the people shouted Hosanna, the Pharisees asked Jesus to rebuke them, but He refused, saying, "If these should hold their peace, the stones [HGL198] would immediately cry out." Why? Because it had been prophesied that there would be a shout, and every item of prophecy must be fulfilled. Let this particularity of detail in prophetic fulfillment give us confidence in this and other statements of the prophecies. The prophet proceeds to note the evil consequences to follow the rejection of Messiah. Speaking for Jehovah, he addressed Israel thus: "Turn you to the stronghold (Christ), ye prisoners of hope; even today do I declare that I will render double (Mishneh) unto thee." How distinct is this statement respecting Israel's double, pointing us to the very day at which the turning point came in their history- "even today." The facts of the case demonstrate that that was the turning point of their national career. The same thing was taught in the symbol of the Passover; it must be eaten at the full of the moon, the moon being symbolic of the law dispensation as the sun is the symbol of the gospel dispensation. The full of the moon signified the time when their highest attainment had been reached and where the waning began.

It is written that at the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established. We have already heard two. Let us hear the third, Isaiah-another of the holy prophets whose prophecies have been time and again distinctly fulfilled. He, too, was given a message respecting Israel's double, but his standpoint is down here in our day-in A D 1878, at the fulfillment of the double-and says, "Comfort ye, comfort ye, my people, said your God. Speak ye comfortingly to Jerusalem and cry unto her that her appointed time is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she hath received of the Lord's hands double for all her sins." Isa. 40:1, 2, margin


Isaiah's word, translated double, is kephel, which signifies double in the sense of a thing having been folded in the middle. It is in full agreement and confirmation of what we have already seen. How wonderful that God has thus particularly stated, and yet, as the Scriptures declare, has "hidden" these things in His word, so that many of the wise and prudent have overlooked them; and they are only seen now because we are living today in the time of their fulfillment, and hence in the due time for them to be understood. What more could we ask on the subject? How conclusively all this demonstrates that Israel's period of disfavor would be of equal length with the preceding favor, and how simple is the demonstration that this double has already been completed, in one sense of the word, and that it will be fully accomplished in its broad sense in 1915.

Our hearts rejoice in these testimonies from the Lord's word respecting Israel's favor, but as Christians we have another and more personal interest in these figures. We are interested in the Jew, but we are also interested in ourselves-interested in the welfare of the church of Christ, spiritual Israel, which is now being selected. And now, dear friends, I call your attention to a matter of striking importance, namely, that these measurements thus fixed by the Lord through the prophets upon the affairs of fleshly Israel serve also to measure certain great and important matters in the affairs of spiritual Israel.

I remind you of the apostle Paul's dissertation on the affairs of natural and spiritual Israel in chapters 9, 10, 11, of his Epistle to the Romans. He here points out the rejection of Christ by the Jewish people, and their own consequent rejection by the Lord, and the blindness and stumbling consequent to that rejection. He quotes from the prophecies to show that the entire matter was foreknown to the Lord, and foretold. Then, in the 11th chapter he asks the question, "Hath God cast off His people whom He foreknew?" He answers, "God forbid." He then proceeds with his argument to prove that the Old Testament scriptures everywhere agree that future favor is to come to Israel, and that that future blessing of Israel is to be the precursor to a future blessing of all the families of the earth, and that this means "life from the dead." Rom. 11:15


St. Paul's argument becomes especially interesting and forceful when we reach the 25th verse. I will not take the time to read it all, but I trust that you will read in your own Bibles at your homes the apostle's plain statement respecting Israel's future and how it is to be brought about through the glorified church. "They shall obtain mercy through your mercy." The whole matter is graphically set forth in verses 25 to 33. But our interest centers in one statement of the 25th verse, "Blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in." We have already seen where this blindness began-when they rejected the Lord and crucified Him. We see that it has continued during all these intervening eighteen centuries, and we have just seen through the testimony of three of the prophets that this blindness is to be turned away, and a general blessing and restoration to divine favor to ensue as soon as their double is filled full-which we see will be accomplished in 1915.

Now, hold this thought fast while we investigate the apostle's words, "Until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in." The significance is that Israel's disfavor or blindness will last until the full number of the spiritual Israelites should be completed, whom God is gathering out of every nation, people and kindred. The significance of the statement thus seen in its connections is that by 1915-by the time Israel's favor will be complete-all the special spiritual favors, which during this gospel age have been held forth, will be completely at an end. They will end as completely as did the earthly favors which Israel enjoyed, ended at the time when our spiritual favors began. This is a momentous question for the Lord's people.

To some it may bring a measure of fear to think that the end of the special time of special favor and opportunity is so near at hand; but to others, who are living close to the Lord, it will bring a measure of rejoicing, even as the Master instructed, saying, "When ye shall see these things begin to come to pass, then lift up your heads and rejoice, for your redemption draweth nigh." A part of our object in calling attention to these matters today is that some of the Lord's faithful people in all denominations, who have not heretofore been aroused to an interest in His word, and to an investigation of these important and grand subjects, may become enthused, quickened, refreshed, revived in their spiritual health and energy and service; and that thus [HGL199] they may be the better prepared to make their calling and election sure while still it is called today.


Thus far we have investigated the subject largely from the standpoint of fleshly Israel, merely drawing the deductions in favor of spiritual Israel. Now we invite you to consider the matter from another standpoint, from the standpoint of spiritual Israel. Consider that God used the natural Israelite, his law and covenant and age, as types of the spiritual, higher, more glorious things which He has bestowed on us as the house of sons, in contrast with the noble ones of the past who were honored in being of the house of servants.

The law was a shadow of good things to come-every feature of it was typical of higher things. The earthly people, fleshly Israel, had earthly promises, but the anti-typical people, spiritual Israel, have heavenly promises. Throughout the entire Old Testament there is not a suggestion of spiritual or heavenly conditions as being the hope set forth. Good Father Abraham was encouraged not with heavenly promises but earthly ones when the Lord said to him, "Now lift up thine eyes and look to the north and south and east and west: For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed forever." No such earthly promises were made to the spiritual house, but "exceeding great and precious promises, that by these we might become partakers of the divine nature."

These two seeds of Abraham were distinctly differentiated in one of the promises made to him, although he probably did not comprehend the matter fully. The Lord said to him: "Thy seed shall be as the stars of heaven, and as the sand by the sea shore." The stars of heaven fitly symbolized the spiritual house of sons, the real seed of Abraham in the highest sense of the word-the Christ. Jesus is this special seed of Abraham, and the faithful of the gospel church are to be his associates in the spiritual part of the promises, as the apostle says, "If ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise." -Gal. 3:29


But if we inherit the heavenly part of the promises, it still leaves the earthly part to be fulfilled, and as we have already shown, the ancient worthies are to have the most prominent place in the world as the representative of the spiritual kingdom when the Millennial dispensation begins. To them will naturally gather all the true ones of Israel according to the flesh; and to these in turn will gradually gather all the true-hearted of the whole world, all of whom by faith and obedience may be privileged to become the children of Abraham. As it is written, "I have constituted thee a father of many nations." -Gen. 17:4; Rom. 4:17

Our present topic confines us specially to the two Israels and their two ages. We find the parallelism between them represented also in the cherubim of the most holy. These were a part of the lid of the "Ark of the Covenant," their wings extended, their faces looked inward toward the center of the mercy seat-to the very spot where the blood of atonement was sprinkled. While these two cherubim represented wisdom and love waiting for the satisfaction of justice in the great atoning sacrifice, both on the wing to serve, to fulfill the gracious purposes of God so soon as the appointed time for the world's blessing shall fully come, nevertheless they also well represent the Jewish and Gospel ages-the one looking forward to Christ and the atonement, the other looking backward to that great transaction. Let us note the harmony as well as the differences between these two dispensations-the law and the gospel, fleshly Israel's period of favor, and spiritual Israel's period of favor, the fleshly house and the spiritual house, the house of servants and the house of sons.


The house of servants was established in Jacob, who was surnamed Israel, a prince with God: the house of sons was established by our Lord Jesus, and in the scriptures is designated the "true Israel of God." The house of servants was founded in "the twelve sons of Jacob" (Israel): the house of sons was founded in "the twelve apostles of the Lamb." The house of servants had a mediator of a law covenant and a tabernacle made with hands: the house of sons has a better mediator of a new covenant and a tabernacle not made with hands. The house of servants had a priesthood, with chief priest, under priests, and a Levitical order whose chief business was "to offer both gifts and sacrifices" under the law: the house of sons has also a priesthood- "Ye are a royal priesthood."

In this royal priesthood is first our Lord Jesus, the high priest of our order, and, secondly, associated with him the church, his body, the household of faith, whose chief business of life it is in the present time to offer up both gifts and sacrifices. The house of servants had the blood of bulls and goats for sin offerings and atonement, which as types were very expressive, but which "could never take away sin:" the house of sons, as a royal priesthood, has more effective sacrifices, or, as the apostle declares, "better sacrifices" than those-which do, forever, purge us from the consciousness of sin, and fully and completely effect our reconciliation to the Father. The house of servants had its capitol in earthly Jerusalem: the house of sons has its capitol in the New Jerusalem. The house of servants had a captivity in Babylon from which only a very few returned, because of lack of faith in the Lord: the house of sons had had a period of captivity in mystic Babylon from which only a comparatively few are returning and earnestly seeking the old paths. The house of servants had divine favor of an earthly kind for 1,845 years, ending with a great trial and testing in connection with the first advent of our Lord: the house of sons has passed a similar period of 1,845 years, into a period of trial and testing in connection with the second advent of our Lord and the establishment of His kingdom. How could these parallels be more striking than they are?


The close of the favor of the house of servants was called a "harvest" time, and in it the "wheat" was gathered out and the "chaff" renounced. The period of favor in the house of sons also closes with a "harvest" time, of which the Lord prophetically told us that it would mean a separation of the "wheat" from the "tares" and the gathering of the [HGL200] "wheat" into the "garner" of the new nature, and the rejection of the tares.

Do not these things impress us, dear friends, as being very remarkable? Could they be accidental? Do we not as Christians believe most thoroughly that our heavenly father's guidance directs the affairs of his people in this gospel age as fully as during the preceding typical age? The lesson coming to us then is that we are living today in the harvest time of this age, and this may well account to us for the wonderful light and knowledge and truth shining upon the pathway of the Lord's faithful ones, the object of which is not to satisfy curiosity merely, but to ripen our characters, and to thus fit and prepare us for the heavenly and glorious things to which we have been "called."

The Lord willing, we shall have something more to say on next Lord's day afternoon respecting some of these matters-noting the prophetic fulfillments which specially mark this day in which we are living-the grandest of all periods in some respects, and the most trying time for the Lord's people in other respects. The special topic will be "Things which must shortly come to pass." This will be the conclusion of this special series of studies of prophecy.

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