Pittsburgh Gazette'Sept. 19, 1904


Pastor Russell was with the Allegheny Bible House congregation yesterday. Next Sunday he expects to be in Washington, Pa. To a large and attentive audience of yesterday he said:

Tomorrow Jews all over the world will celebrate "Yom Kippur" Sin-Atonement on the Day of Atonement, the tenth day of their seventh month, as instituted by the Lord through Moses, the great typical Lawgiver. To many of them, known as the Reformed Jews, the day and its ceremonial of fastings, etc., will be merely an empty form, for these, in company with many world-wise Christians, have accepted the doctrine of evolution and the guidance of "higher critics" to the extent that they have lost faith in Moses and his teachings and are practically infidels, with barely "a form of godliness, denying its power" and in general rejecting the divine revelations of the holy scriptures. Other Jews there are, however, and other Christians, too, who still maintain their hold upon the Bible, who still recognize it as the divine message, voicing the wisdom that cometh from above. Such believers in the divine institutions both Jews and Christians-are deeply interested in the great event which Jews will celebrate tomorrow, and whose lessons belong to both Jew and Christian. Let us examine some of them.

We take for our text the words of the great prophet Moses and the explanatory words of the great Jew, the apostle Paul: "The life of the flesh is in the blood; and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul." "Apart from the shedding of blood there is no remission" (of sins.)Leviticus 17:11; Heb. 9:22.

As a consequence of the baneful influences of the evolution theory, which has more or less contaminated the minds of the whole civilized world, leading men to believe that imperfections and shortcomings which they realize in themselves are not the results of sin, but simply evidences that their evolution is not completed. Notwithstanding the tendency of such a theory to make mankind self-satisfied and to lead them to ignore, deny that they are sinners, that they need a savior, that their sins need atonement nevertheless we see that the hearts of all mankind instinctively assent to the words of the apostle Paul: "All have sinned and come short." The realization that we have done those things which we ought not to have done, and have left undone those things which we ought to have done, and that we are fallen, imperfect creatures, needing divine assistance out of the horrible pit and miry clay of sin and death these thoughts continually revert to the true-hearted and well-intentioned of our race. Such realize a standard of perfection far beyond their own attainment, and that standard is the divine one; and, however clearly or obscurely they know and appreciate the scriptural [HGL249] explanation of present sinful conditions and how they came about, they realize, nevertheless, that they are sinners, and that the perfect God could not have fellowship with them could not recognize them, could not grant them eternal life on present conditions. Realizing this, such are looking away to God for the help which they are persuaded could come from no other source for forgiveness of sins and reconciliation and grace to help.


This class among the Jews look continually and longingly to Moses, their leader, and to the laws and ceremonial cleansing from sin which he, as the Lord's representative, introduced 3, 400 years ago. It is this class of Jews who tomorrow will fast and pray and look to the Lord for forgiveness of sins and for reconciliation with him for the new year just beginning. They read in the Law of Moses that God appointed that the tenth day of the month (Jewish time) should be the day for the offering of the sacrifices for sin-atonement, on the basis of which divine favor would extend to them for another year. Realizing that the merit of their previous Atonement day expired with the ninth day of the seventh month, they were to spend the tenth day as sinners in sackcloth and ashes, bemoaning their sins, their wretchedness, their separation from the Lord and His just condemnation against them. Meantime, according to the divine arrangement, the high priest and his assistant prepared the sacrifices of atonement and offered them, and at the conclusion of the offering came forth in the close of the day to pronounce the divine blessing remission of their sins for the new year and that they would be continued in the divine fellowship during the year.

The orthodox Jews tomorrow will go through this procedure, except the sacrificing, and at night will put away their sackcloth and fasting and begin to rejoice that they again have the Lord's favor and that it will rest with them for another year. But they make a serious mistake they overlook an important item mentioned in our text: "It is the blood that maketh atonement for the soul." The Jews today offer no Atonement day sacrifices,

because they cannot do so. Those sacrifices could be offered only under the special conditions pointed out in the Law of Moses.

(1) They must have the Ark of the Covenant either in a tabernacle or a temple, with the corresponding holy and most holy apartments. The Ark of the Covenant is gone; no Jew even knows its present place.

(2) If they had the ark it would be necessary that the Shekinah glory should rest upon the most holy apartment, as indicating the divine presence, to which the priest must approach with the blood of the sin offering to make atonement, sprinkling the mercy seat with the blood.

(3) The priest who would thus officiate must be of the family of Aaron, must be able to prove his lineage all the way down otherwise he could not serve as high priest nor enter into the tabernacle nor make the sin-atonement. But among the Jews all records of the priestly families are lost. Not a Jew in the world today could serve as high priest to make atonement sacrifices; even if Israel had possession of the holy land, even if they had there a temple or tabernacle according to the prescribed arrangements of the law, even if they had the Ark of the Covenant in the holy place, and even if the Shekinah glory rested upon it, they would have no priest to make the atonement for their sins, to sprinkle the blood.

I do not mention these matters as something new on this subject, although as a matter of fact very few Christian people are aware to what extent all possibility of a revival of Judaism on Mosaic grounds has passed, and even the majority of the Jews are in doubt or in perplexity. It is not the custom of the rabbis to draw these matters to the attention of the common people on the contrary, the whole matter is so far as possible avoided. They reason that discussion would bring out these facts, and they prefer not to arouse questionings on matters for which they have no reasonable solution.


If once our Jewish friends could get rightly awake to the facts already narrated their peace would be gone; they would see that they have no atonement day in the scriptural sense of the word for over 1, 800 years, that they are in their sins and under the divine ban continually, that they have no atonement day and can have none, because they can have no blood of atonement for their sins, and hence their prayers and fastings and subsequent rejoicing after the manner of old are forms and ceremonies without real meaning. Would that the sincere and earnest of our Jewish friends could realize this need for blood atonement in order to a cancellation of sin, in order to a reconciliation to God.

As the apostle points out, the eyes of their understanding are blinded; they cannot see the truth on this subject yet. We are glad that he also points out (Rom. 11:25-32) that the time is coming when their blindness shall pass away and they shall be able to see the antitypical atonement day and to realize that the better sacrifice once for all canceled all sins and needs not to be repeated year by year. They will then see that God did not allow the typical priesthood to pass away until He began the establishment of the anti-typical priesthood, of which Christ is the head, and the saints of this gospel age, gathered out from Jews and gentiles, are the "under priests," the "royal priesthood." Then they will see that the Lord's institutions at the hand of Moses were beautiful, elaborate and yearly repeated pictures illustrating higher and grander things a release from sin and its death penalty secured not only for Jews but for the whole world of mankind remission of sins, the rolling back of the death sentence resting upon the world for now 6,000 years and the bringing in of the everlasting blessings so long foretold by the Lord through Abraham and the prophets to be accomplished by the spiritual seed of Abraham, the Christ, head and body Jesus and His faithful saints gathered from the Jews and from the gentiles.

Let us glance for a moment at the picture of the day of atonement as portrayed in Leviticus (chaps. 9 and 16): On the tenth day of the seventh month the value of the previous atonement day, a year before, had ceased to have efficacy; the nation was in mourning for sins. The high priest offered first the bullock for himself and his house (chap. 16:6) not that our Lord Jesus needed to make a sacrifice for His sins, but that the high priest in this type represented not only the Lord Jesus, but also all of the "royal priesthood," the elect church, which is His body. (Eph. 1:23.) Those faithful, [HGL250] consecrated believers constituting "the body of Christ" need atonement for their sins, and this is illustrated in the type by the body of the priest covered with the white garments, while the head is bare. Thus our Lord needed no covering, because He was actually perfect, while all of His followers do need to be covered with the robe of Christ's righteousness.

But notice that the bullock was slain, was sacrificed not only for the body of the priest, but also for his house. Aaron was of the house of Levi, and the atonement sacrifice which he offered was efficacious for all who were of that house. The meaning of this in the antitype is that the merit of Christ's death is not only applicable to the saints, "members of His body," but also applicable to all the "household of faith." Thus not only the saints are reconciled by the precious blood of Christ, but also all sincere believers who will to do right and to follow the Lord's direction, but who do not come within the scriptural limitation of "overcomers."

These two classes are variously referred to in the scriptures; the first is called the "little flock," and has the promise of joint heirship with Christ in His kingdom; the other class in Revelation is called the reverse of a "little flock," namely, "a great multitude out of every kindred, nation and tongue," who, because not sufficiently zealous and faithful, will be obliged to "wash their robes and make them white in the blood of the Lamb," which is explained to mean that they must pass through great tribulation to attain perfection. Their ultimate attainment will not be a place in the throne, but, as described, a place before the throne. They will not have the crowns which the Lord has promised to the members of His body, His joint heirs, but they will have the palm branches representing victory, that they are victors or overcomers. The little flock, however, we are told, are "more than conquerors" or overcomers they secure, the apostle Peter tells us, "an abundant entrance into the everlasting kingdom." The great company of the household of faith will serve before the throne, while the little flock, the "body," will share the Lord's glory, honor, and immortality in the throne.


The first sacrifice of the day of atonement was the bullock, and its blood was applied as stated to the "body of Christ," the anti-typical priest, and to His house, the "household of faith." The bullock represented the Lord's human nature sacrificed on our behalf, while the priest represented him as the new creature, the mediator between God and man. His first work of mediation was to "offer up Himself." We cannot take time here to go into all the details of the matter. We already have this in printed form, and if any of you have not yet read on the subject, we proffer you a free copy of the pamphlet, which is entitled "Tabernacle Shadows of Better Sacrifices." A postal card will bring a copy to your address.

Passing over the subject hastily, without stopping to give the various scripture proofs, we remark that this part of the atonement day sacrifice was finished when our Lord Jesus died on Calvary. His resurrection on the third day represented His passing beyond the veil from the earthly to the spiritual condition; after His resurrection He was no longer the man Christ Jesus, but the new creature in nature and in power as well, "far above angels, principalities and powers." After miraculously manifesting Himself to His followers to qualify them to be His witnesses in the world, our Lord ascended upon high, there to appear in the presence of God on our behalf, there to do in reality what the Jewish high priest did typically when he sprinkled the blood of the sacrifice upon the mercy seat. Our Lord presented to the Father the evidences of His sacrificial death, meeting the demands of justice against mankind, and of that merit He applied a sufficiency too, for all true believers of this gospel age Himself, His body and His house, "the household of faith."

None others are atoned for yet only believers. Unbelievers, no matter on what score they are unbelievers, are as yet without atonement, without any actual share in the precious blood. True, we see in the scriptures that it is the divine plan that ultimately the same atonement shall extend to all the families of the earth through the great antitypical high priest, but it does not extend to all at the present time. It is limited to those who believe, and the number of those who believe is still further limited in various ways, largely through the influence, of the god of this world, Satan, of whom the apostle declares, "The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not; lest the glorious light of God's goodness shining in the face of Jesus Christ should shine in their hearts."

But the types of the day of atonement show us that there is another sacrifice in addition to and following after the one already referred to. After the bullock had been sacrificed, after the priest had taken the blood into the Most Holy, after, by its blood, He had made atonement for the under priests, His "body," and for the entire "household of faith" of this gospel age. He next proceeded to sacrifice a goat, the record being that He did with the goat as He did with the bullock in all particulars. As we have already pointed out, the lean goat of sacrifice represents the Lord's faithful people of this gospel age it represents those who follow in the footsteps of Jesus as members of His body, and are gladly laying down their lives in His service, in the service of the truth, in the service of the brethren, as co-laborers with their Lord. The apostle frequently referred to the fact that those who would constitute the members of the body of Christ in glory must now walk in His footsteps of self-sacrifice, and, as the apostle Paul expresses it, must "fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ." (Col. 1:24.) They must be partakers in the better sacrifices if they would be sharers with their glorious Lord, the High Priest, the head of the body, in the coming millennial age of blessing.

The type represents that the High Priest Himself lays His hands upon this goat and sacrifices it; and so all of the Lord's faithful consecrated people realize that it is the hand of the Lord upon them, the power of the Lord working in them, that enables them as well as permits them to be sacrificers with Him, sharers in His sufferings in this present time, preparing them also to be sharers with Him in His glories in the future. This goat in the type represents the entire number of the Lord's faithful, self-sacrificing little flock throughout this gospel age. [HGL251] When we read that the blood of the goat was taken into the Most Holy and sprinkled on the mercy seat as the blood of the bullock had been sprinkled, but for a different purpose, it is specifically declared that the blood of the goat is applied for and on behalf of the cancellation of the sins of all the people.

In the type, after the Priest had offered the second of these sin offerings with the burnt offerings, He laid aside His linen garments, the garments of glory and beauty, representing the glory and honor of our Lord, the great King, and the church, his body, after the atonement sacrifices shall all be ended. The record shows that the next step in the program was for the High Priest to go with Moses to the altar and there lift up His hands and pronounce a blessing for forgiveness of sins upon the people, who at the time representatively were lying in the dust in sackcloth, bemoaning their sins and crying for mercy.

This typical picture represents, then, that as soon as the atonement day sacrifices shall all have been completed, as soon as Christ and the church shall have been glorified, the next thing in order will be for the glorified church as God's kingdom and representatives to begin the work of blessing the world by rolling away the curse of sin, degradation, superstition and death, including sickness and pain and sorrow, from the world of mankind, bringing in the reverse of all these, divine favor and blessing, knowledge and opportunity for a full return to harmony with God, and the full perfection of God-likeness originally represented in Adam, lost through disobedience, redeemed by the precious blood and to be restored in the "times of restitution of all things spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began." -Acts 3:19-21.

The atonement day of the type finds its antitype in the gospel age, which, beginning with the consecration of our Lord Jesus when He was 30 years of age, will continue until the last member of the elect spiritual Israel, the royal priesthood, has completed its sacrifice and entered into glory with the High Priest of our profession, even Jesus. It has been a long day of sacrifice, and throughout it all the world in general has been in the attitude described by the apostle when he says: "The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God" waiting for the completion of the royal priesthood and their coming forth from the Most Holy, having finished the work of atonement, to confer upon all who will properly receive the divine favor, reconciliation, restitution, eternal life. It has been a long day of nearly nineteen centuries to the Lord's faithful ones, who have been glad to lay down their lives in the service of the King and

for the brethren. The year of blessing and favor with God to the typical Israelite, following the day of atonement and based upon its work, represents the eternity of blessing that will result from the great atonement day sacrifices now in progress.

From this standpoint we can see the meaning of so many scriptures not previously appreciated scriptures which speak of the Lord's true people as being priests, and which assure us that every priest must have something to offer. It explains also the apostle's frequent urging of believers, "I beseech you, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies, living sacrifices, holy, acceptable to God, your reasonable service." -(Rom. 12:1.) It explains the Lord's declaration that all who would follow Him must, like Him, take up their cross and walk in His steps, be baptized with the same baptism that He was baptized with, and drink with Him of His cup. It shows us in what sense we "fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ." From this standpoint, then, that every member of the body of Christ is a priest and a sacrificer, the experiences of the present time are comprehensible, and the promise that all who thus suffer with Christ shall in due time reign with Him has the deeper and more reasonable signification. From this standpoint we see the force of the apostle's suggestion that we lay aside every weight, make every sacrifice and self-denial that is in our power, that we may run with patience the race set before us and attain to the glorious blessing which the Lord has in reservation for this "little flock," this royal priesthood, who, as overcomers, shall be made kings and priests unto God to reign on the earth to bless all the families of the earth.


The royal priesthood has two types, one representing its experiences in this present life, the other representing the experiences of the future. Aaron and his sons typified the sacrificers of the present life under present conditions, while Melchizedek, both king and priest, represented or typified Christ and His associate under priests in the kingdom glory, ruling the world, judging the world, blessing the world rewarding their good endeavors and punishing their shortcomings with a view to their complete deliverance out of present evil conditions into the perfection and blessings of the future, secured by the great atonement sacrifices of the present. Nothing that we have said, however, should be understood as in any sense or degree implying or even intimating that any part of the atonement work is necessarily dependent upon the church.

The scriptures everywhere assure us that the Lord's faithful sacrificing ones shall ultimately share a glorious part as associates with Christ in His kingdom, as members of the seed of Abraham, through whom all families of the earth shall be blessed; but nothing in any of these scriptural assurances nor elsewhere in any measure teach or imply that the value lay in our work, in any sacrifice which we make. On the contrary, the scriptures everywhere declare clearly what our Master declared, saying, "Without Me ye can do nothing." The church's sacrifices would be of no value whatever were they not preceded by the Lord's sacrifice and the imputation to the church of the Lord's merit. This is shown in the type, because it is these who are made associates with Christ in the kingdom who were first themselves redeemed by His precious blood represented in the fact that the "body" and "house" of Aaron were atoned for typically by the blood of the bullock.

The great lesson in all this is that which is expressed by the words of our text, which assure us that the blood represents the life and that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins. If Christ had not died for our sins, we would yet be in our sins and the death penalty would be against us. Father Adam was sentenced [HGL252] to death because he was imperfect through his disobedience, and we all have shared his disobedience. Man's life thus forfeited could never be restored to him he could never have a future life except as he might be redeemed, and, as the scriptures hold forth everywhere uniformly, the redeeming of man's life must be by the life of another. And so, as we have seen in previous examinations of the matter, it was for this purpose that our Lord Jesus left the glory of the Father and was made flesh and dwelt amongst men that He might give His unblemished life a ransom for ours, for the sins of the whole world, because it was His sacrifice and not in any degree our sacrifices which secured the release of the whole world from the death sentence in due time.

The types of the atonement day merely show the arrangement that God makes, whereby His faithful ones of this gospel age may come in and be participators of the sufferings of Christ, and thus be sharers also in the glories that shall follow the millennial glories and opportunities for blessing others. So far as God and justice are concerned, the death of Christ might have been with equal propriety applied, not for the body and household of faith merely, but for all the people. In that event the church would have been left out of any special privilege either of sacrifice in the present time or participation in the glorious reign of the future, and the blessing would have come directly from the Father through the Son to all the people. It was a precious provision, then, on God's part to permit of a high calling to self-sacrifice, to walking in the footsteps of Jesus during this gospel age. As the scriptures declare, God is seeking out of the world a godly seed, a special class of sons whom He is adapting by His Holy Spirit to a change of nature, from human to divine far above angels and every other name that is named, next to the Redeemer Himself.


Consider the apostle's words, "I beseech you, brethren, by the mercies of God (in the forgiveness of sins through faith in the precious blood) that ye present your bodies living sacrifices acceptable to God and your reasonable service." These words show us distinctly that the only merit we possess in God's sight is that which has been imputed to us through the merit of Christ's sacrifice. Hence when we present our bodies living sacrifices, we recognize that they are not holy, acceptable to God on their own merit, but simply and only on the merit of Christ. Hence, also, whatever atonement may be made by these sacrifices is not to be considered as credited directly to the sacrificers, but through them credited to the one who redeemed them and who made their sacrificing possible and acceptable.

In other words, we wish to make clear that the entire merit of the atonement work is in the sacrifice of our Lord, and that we who are seeking to walk in His steps and to fill up that which is behind of His afflictions, and thus to be dead with Him that we may also live with Him, and to suffer with Him that we may also reign with Him, are not thereby doing anything which of itself would redeem our brother or give to God a ransom for Him; but that God having justified us through Christ, and having accepted us as members of the body of Christ, can and does accept our sacrifices as part of His sacrifice, as shown in the type, and can and does associate us with our Lord not only in the sufferings of this present time, but also in connection with the glories which shall follow.

We emphasize our text that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins, and call attention to the fact that we are living in a day when an atonement by blood taught in the scriptures, in every book of the law, in every sacrifice of the law, in every book of the prophets, in every book of the New Testament, is being discredited. Nominal Christendom seems more and more to be drifting from blood atonement and from every thought of atonement. Hence it is expedient that the Lord's people read, mark and inwardly digest that this is the only arrangement for reconciliation with God set forth in His Book, that any other method or process of reconciliation is of human fabrication; attempts to "climb up some other way." Let us see to it that our faith is not resting upon the traditions of men, but upon the Word of God which liveth and abideth forever.

Let us study more and more clearly the philosophy of the great plan of salvation laid down in the scriptures and, seeing that philosophy, let us build every item of faith in full conformity with it. Thus we will have that faith structure which cannot be moved and to whose permanency our Lord referred, that it is like a house founded upon a rock, and when the rain descended and the floods came and beat upon that house, it fell not because it was founded upon a rock. The floods of infidelity, evolution, higher criticism, false reasoning and misunderstanding are sweeping down and will soon engulf churchianity. The question is, who will be able to stand? We reply that only those will be able to withstand the shock who see clearly and distinctly the first principles of the doctrine of Christ. That man was created in God's image; that disobedience, sin, brought upon him the divine sentence of death; that Christ accomplished for our race the redemption, the forgiveness of sins, and thus secured for our race, for all who will avail themselves of it, ultimately a full opportunity of reconciliation to the Father.

Those who now see this may also see that in the divine plan the church of the firstborns, the royal priesthood, is being selected during this gospel age or great atonement day, and that each one must of necessity be a sacrificer for the Lord and His cause and His brethren, and these with the Lord will shortly constitute the kingdom class exalted to power and great glory, the channels of divine favor, forgiveness, restitution, general uplift and eternal blessing to as many as will come into accord with the Lord and His righteousness. Whatever others may do, therefore, dear brethren and sisters, hold fast to the precious word and to the precious blood of Christ which it sets forth as the price of our redemption, and then in the language of the apostle let us conclude, That if one died for all, then were all dead. And that we who live should henceforth live not unto ourselves, but unto Him who [HGL253] "died for us." "We ought also to lay down our lives for the brethren."

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