Pittsburgh Gazette'Oct. 10, 1904


Pastor C T Russell preached to his home congregation in Bible House chapel, Allegheny, yesterday afternoon. He expressed himself as highly pleased with the St. Louis convention, from which he had just returned, and remarked that on its last day 144 "believers in the atonement," fully consecrated to the Lord, were symbolically immersed. Pastor Russell is booked for Schenectady, N Y, for next Sunday. He yesterday addressed a large and attentive audience from the text, "Ye are come unto Mount Zion and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem." Heb. 12:22. He said:

Words are pictures, symbols, to convey thoughts from one mind to another. Thus, for instance, we hear one person spoken of as "lamb-like," another is said to be "foxy," still another "mulish," while still others are described as "angelic," "kingly," "queenly," etc. Word pictures which imply so much and can be so briefly expressed are used in connection with all the affairs of life, and abound in the scriptures. The apostle uses one of these in our text, in speaking of the future state of the church, as heavenly Jerusalem. This heavenly Jerusalem is referred to frequently in the scriptures, as, for instance, where the apostle speaks of it as "Jerusalem which is above, which is the mother of us all" (Gal. 4:26), and as "the city which hath foundations;" and our Lord speaks of it as "the city of my God, which is the New Jerusalem." Again it is described as the "holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven," and again as "the great city, the holy Jerusalem descending" Heb. 11:10; Rev. 3:12; 21:2-10.

Our fallen condition finds us as a race possessed of varying qualities of mind, so that some have more and some less of the poetic or picturing ability; consequently some find it easier and some less easy to grasp the meaning of this word picture of the New Jerusalem. The natural man, out of accord with heavenly things, is wholly unprepared to grasp the true meaning of this symbol. To him a city means walls and gates, or buildings and business, a police, fire department, etc. Such persons cannot grasp or at all comprehend the scripture presentation respecting the New Jerusalem, and the truth being presented in this symbolical form, the matter is quite hidden or covered from all such minds though they read the scriptures over and over.

The Lord declares to us that it is with this intention that the scriptures are written as they are- "that seeing they might see and not perceive, and hearing they might hear and not understand." The understanding of the scriptures is intended only for the Lord's specially consecrated people, and for them in proportion to their consecration: "To you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God, but to all them that are without (outsiders) these things are spoken in parables and dark sayings." (Mark 4:11-12.) Peculiar as it may seem, there is no danger of anyone interpreting the scriptures to the class for which they are not intended, because again the scriptures declare that "the natural man receiveth not the things of the spirit of God, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned:" spiritual things are "foolishness" to such. -1 Cor. 2:14.


From the scriptural standpoint the New Jerusalem represents the millennial kingdom primarily the kingdom class, the glorified church, called in the scriptures a royal priesthood. This New Jerusalem has been under construction for more than 1, 800 years, for we are specifically told that it is "the Bride, the Lamb's wife" (Rev. 21:9); hence it dates from the Pentecostal outpouring of the Holy Spirit adopting the waiting believers and constituting them the nucleus of the gospel church. There the handful of Jews who had believed into Jesus, and consecrated their lives to follow in his footsteps, became "living stones" to be fitted, shaped, polished and prepared for places in "the Holy City." The walls of this symbolical city and its stones are as symbolical as the city as a whole. We are particularly told that there were 12 great foundations to the city wall, which represented the 12 apostles; and from their day to the present time other living stones have been in process of preparation and are now in process of aggregation in process of being gathered into the glorious union and completeness of the first resurrection Rev. 21:2-14

In ancient times a city was less a commercial metropolis and center of business than now, as business in those days was carried on largely by traveling merchants, caravans, etc., and a city chiefly stood for government and protection. The cities were walled and abundantly provisioned, and became fortresses to which the people might flee for protection from foes. This picture of a city ruling is maintained throughout the scriptures as, for instance, in Revelations we read of Babylon as the "great city that reigneth over the kings of the earth." True, the reference is to a symbolical Babylon, but the figure of a city still carries with it in the symbol the quality of government, rule, authority, control. From the scriptural standpoint mystic Babylon is still ruling over the kings of the earth to a considerable extent, and is destined to have still more arbitrary control in the near future. In each nation there is a capital city which really stands for the nation as, for instance, St. Petersburg represents the Russian [HGL258] government; Tokyo represents Japan; Peking represents China; Berlin, Germany; Rome, Italy; London, Great Britain; Washington, the United States, etc. Thus we frequently read in dispatches that the Washington government says thus and so, but St. Petersburg answers thus and so.

The whole plan of the scriptures is laid out with reference to the coming "kingdom of God under the whole heavens" For it we are taught to pray and to wait; and this new government, still future, is representatively spoken of in our text and in other passages of scripture as the New Jerusalem, because the church symbolized by Jerusalem the golden will be the government of the new dispensation and have full control of all the affairs of the world under the whole heavens, for the purpose of establishing righteousness and peace amongst men and causing wars to cease unto the ends of the earth.

As natural Israel was made a type or pre-figure of spiritual Israel, so the capital city, the center of worship and government in natural Israel, was the type or prefigure of the New Jerusalem, the center of the ruling and blessing and uplifting influences of the glorified church in the future. Mount Zion was in and a part of Jerusalem, and as a mountain in the symbolical language of scripture is uniformly used to represent a kingdom, so this additionally represents the kingdom power of the New Jerusalem, and both natural and spiritual Israel have come to be known as the Lord's Zion, Mount Zion, the kingdom proper. Natural Israel was in the way to inherit the kingdom blessings and privileges, as the apostle points out, but it failed to attain this blessing and, instead, "the election hath obtained it" the acceptable ones of the Jewish nation became the nucleus of this spiritual Zion, this spiritual kingdom; and faithful people of God from "every kindred, people, nation and tongue" have since been gathered during this gospel age to complete this kingdom of Zion, this New Jerusalem class, which is to be granted in due time the rule or control of the world, for its blessing and uplifting under the reign of righteousness.


In our text and its context the apostle draws our attention to the parallelism between these two Zions, natural and spiritual, and between the experiences of the two. Mentally he carries us back to Mount Sinai, where God revealed Himself to natural Israel and made a covenant with that people through Moses as the mediator. The apostle pictures to us the Israelites coming out of the bondage of Egypt and journeying toward Mount Sinai, inspired by the hope of the great privilege of being God's peculiar people and of entering into covenant relationship with Him at Mount Sinai. The people were not all at the mount some were nearer and some more distant, the mount itself being carefully guarded lest any should touch it, as indicating the absolute holiness and sacredness of that mountain. We have vividly pictured before us the terrible scenes enacted at Sinai, the fire, the smoke, the trembling mountain, the voice of God which to the people sounded like thunder Moses fearing and quaking, yet at the command of God going up into the mountain, where he received the law, which, coming down, he presented to the people, binding them under covenant relationship to keep it, and evidencing the completion of the covenant by the slaying of an animal which represented Himself, the blood of which was sprinkled upon the tables of the law as representing that it bound God to the engagement, and sprinkled upon the people as indicating that they were all bound similarly to the agreement. The result of that covenant was ultimately the Jerusalem of the apostle's day, the multitudinous nation of Israel under divine care for centuries.

Having given us this general picture or type, the apostle contrasts the conditions of the church, the spiritual Israelites in his day with those of the natural Israelites of previous times, saying that we have approached something better, something grander, something higher. Natural Israel did not reach Mount Sinai all at the same moment, but approached it gradually; and, likewise, spiritual Israel has for 18 centuries or more been approaching the glorious things which the apostle here depicts. As natural Israel entered into covenant with God, so all the people of God, all who desire to be God's people, are shortly now to be brought to the great testing point when the new covenant will be introduced and go into effect. As in the type, it required time for the slaying of the sacrifice, whose blood would be sprinkled upon the people for their purification and separation to God, so time will be requisite in the anti-type.

We have come to the place of the slaying of the sacrifices. Christ has been slain, our Lord Jesus has died on behalf of the sins of the whole world, and the "little flock" has been invited to join with Him in the sacrificing, and it is to this that the apostle refers saying: "I beseech you, therefore, brethren. . . present your bodies living sacrifices, holy, acceptable to God." And it is in respect to these sacrificers that the apostle again declares that we "fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ." The sufferings of Christ, the presentation of the better sacrifices, has thus been in progress throughout this gospel age and will be consummated with its close; and the apostle declares: "If we suffer with Him, we shall also reign with Him." The reigning begins as soon as the suffering time ends. We are not in these remarks in any sense or degree suggesting the possibility of any sufferings of ours making atonement for sin. Quite the contrary. We hold with the Scriptures that the blood of Christ is alone efficacious, and that, so far from our sacrifices being necessary, a share with the Lord in the sufferings of this present time is a privilege granted to us.

With the end of the sacrificing, the whole Christ, Jesus the head, and the church, figuratively, "members of His body," will go up into Mount Zion as Moses went up into Mount Sinai, there to see the Lord face to face. This going up into the mountain signifies the "change" from earthly conditions to heavenly conditions, from human beings to spiritual beings, which must take place in all who would be of the kingdom class, as our Lord and the apostle specifically declare. "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God." "We must all be changed" changed from human to spirit conditions. (John 3:3-5; 1 Cor. 15:50-54.) This in

the New Jerusalem type represents the gathering of all the "living stones" and the organization of the New Jerusalem in its glory and beauty in the heavenly condition. The description of the New Jerusalem given in Revelations [HGL259] gates of pearl, streets of gold, etc. are pictures representing briefly the grandeur and sublimity of the glorified spiritual Israel, the royal priesthood, the little flock, the bride, the lamb's wife-(Rev. 21:8-9.)


The construction of the New Jerusalem is not merely for the blessing of those who will constitute its parts or members additionally it is to be God's agency or channel for establishing a rule of righteousness throughout the world. And hence it is brought to our view as at once descending from God out of heaven to the earth. The signification of the picture is evident; it portrays a gradual establishment of law and order throughout the world at the hands of the glorified church or kingdom of God. It is the fulfillment of that petition of our Lord's prayer, which says: "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven." We are not to look for the kingdom of God to be established in an instant, as would be implied if a bolt of lightning were used to symbolize the matter. On the contrary, the gradual, dignified descent of the city is pictured, and when "the eyes of our understanding" are finally opened to its meaning we get the proper thought.

Let us glance back again to the type at Mount Sinai where Moses typical of Christ and the church, head and body, the great prophet, the great lawgiver went up into the mountain and was received into fellowship with God and commissioned thenceforth as God's representative before the people of Israel. Presently he came down from the mountain to the people, and the record is that his face shone so that it was necessary that he should put on a veil in order to be able to communicate with the people. (Exo. 34:33-35; 1 Cor. 3:13.) Here we have another picture illustrating to us that the New Jerusalem, or the glorified Lord and his bride, will not be visible to human sight but will be veiled. As our Lord declared to some while on earth: "Yet a little while and ye shall see me no more." Our Lord was done with the flesh when he sacrificed it on our behalf. The church, his body, will be done with the flesh when they have sacrificed in like manner as "members of his body," and they must all be changed, must all be made spirit beings, or they cannot in any sense be members of and identified with "the Holy Jerusalem which cometh down from God out of heaven" the kingdom of God's dear Son, which is to be present in the midst of men yet unseen.

When Moses descended from the mountain with the tables of the law, and while the mountain was shaking and the voice of words was heard by the people, who were in such great commotion that they entreated that they might not hear the Lord's voice any more, then they accepted the veiled Moses as God's representative, and as such they became subject to him and to the law he promulgated. The apostle (context, verses 26-28), calls attention to the parallel which we must expect here, only on a larger and higher scale. He says that God's voice then shook the earth; but respecting the parallel to that shaking, which will come in the end of this age, at the inauguration of the antitypical new covenant, by the antitypical Moses (the Christ), there will be a still greater "shaking" one which will shake not only the "earth" (society) but also the "heavens" (present religious institutions). The apostle goes on to tell us how thorough will be the shaking which must be expected, saying: "This word 'yet once more' signifies the removing of those things that are shaken. . . that (only) those things that cannot be shaken may remain." (v. 26-28.) The apostle's thought is that in the end of this age divine judgments will be made so manifest against every hypocrisy (financial, religious, social and personal) as to cause a general shaking and overthrow of present institutions and arrangements that are contrary to the principles of justice, righteousness and love that nothing whatever shall remain of present institutions except such elements as have the divine approval. God will thus manifest Himself as "a consuming fire" against everything sinful, iniquitous, unrighteous.


Other scriptures show us that this symbolical "fire," with which this age will close, will be a period of universal anarchy, in which all present institutions will go down as not being acceptable in the Lord's sight. It is at this time that the new covenant is to be promulgated to the world through the antitypical Moses the Christ, head and body and the people will entreat that divine vengeance my be stayed and that they may have their dealings, under the arrangement of this new covenant and it shall be so. Thus the apostle describes the kingdom which is to be established and which is represented by the New Jerusalem the kingdom of God's dear Son. His words are, "Times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord (Jehovah), and He shall send Jesus Christ which before was preached unto you, whom the heavens must receive (retain) until the times of restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began. For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; to him shall you hearken in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass that every soul that will not hearken to that prophet, shall be destroyed from amongst the people." Acts 3:19-21.

That kingdom will have a rule-or-ruin policy sure enough! But, since its rule will be that of righteousness, administered by the great Mediator, who will be "a priest upon his throne," it follows that none need fear it, but that all may rejoice in its righteous arrangements, knowing that the blessing of all is the purpose and that the ruin or destruction of all evil, and of naught except evil, will be the result.

Dear friends, we are face to face with the great fact that this New Jerusalem is in process of development, and that those of us who have made consecration to the Lord and who have been accepted of Him and adopted into His family as sons, are heirs of the glory and honor and privileges symbolized by this New Jerusalem, from which "the river of the water of life" shall flow to all the families of the earth. This is a part of the symbolical picture given in Revelation: "The river of life is seen to start from the throne of God in the New Jerusalem, and to proceed forth for the refreshment of the whole world of mankind. The river of life represents the truth and privilege and" [HGL260] opportunity which will be extended to all mankind during the millennial age. This is indicated in various ways. For instance, there is no such city now, no such government in the world we are still praying for it, Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done in earth as in heaven. Neither is there any such river of the water of life flowing "clear as crystal." At the present time, as our Lord suggests, the water of life is an individual matter, "a well of water springing up in you." Only the consecrated have this well of water of life eternal; the rest of mankind are thirsty, and must remain so, until the favorable time which the Lord has appointed, when "streams shall break forth in the desert," when "the knowledge of the Lord shall fill the whole earth." Isa. 11:1-9; Isa. 35

As a further indication that these conditions are still future, note the statement that then "the leaves of the trees will be for the healing of the nations" that will be the time of restitution. (Acts 3:19-21.) Note again the fact that it is "the spirit and the bride" that invite whosoever will take of the water of life freely. The "bride" is not yet in existence as a complete body the marriage of the Lamb has not yet come. The Lord intimates that the time of the marriage will be in the end of this age, when the church class will be complete then the marriage of the Lamb will come, for his wife will have made herself ready. (Rev. 19:7.) After she has become the bride or in the other figure, "the holy city," Jerusalem the golden then she is represented as inviting all who will to take of the water of life eternal freely. This will not mean the inviting of those who are deaf and who cannot hear the invitation, for the promise is that "all the deaf ears shall be unstopped;" neither will it mean the inviting of those who are blind to their need of life eternal and blind to the way of life, for the record is through the prophet that "all the blind eyes shall be opened." Isa. 35:5.

How thoroughly do we believe this presentation of God's truth respecting the kingdom that is to come? How fully do we believe that we are heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ our Lord in this kingdom? Are we following in the footsteps of Jesus, that we may be accounted worthy of a share in that kingdom? To what extent are we laying up treasures in heaven? To what extent are we already identified with that holy city? Are we remembering daily the Lord's testimony that we should seek first, chiefly, the kingdom of God and its righteousness, and that we should consider secondary all other things and affairs of life; so that our best endeavors would be expended in so preparing ourselves, in so developing character, that we should be accounted worthy a share in the kingdom? These, dear brethren and sisters, are serious questions, that have a bearing upon everyday life. Well has the apostle expressed the matter, saying, "He that hath this hope in him, purifieth himself even as He (the Lord) is pure." 1 John 3:3.


It is related of a young woman of wealthy parentage and social standing that, thinking upon serious matters, questioning to what extent her life was being spent according to her opportunities, she fell asleep and dreamed she was in heaven. There she saw an elegant mansion in process of construction and inquired of a messenger whose that might be. To her surprise the name given her was that of her father's gardener, and she remarked; "Why, that is an elegant mansion for him; he has only a little cottage now." A little later on she saw a very small, insignificant structure, and inquired who might be the owner of that little affair, and to her horror her own name was given. Inquiring why matters stood thus that her father's gardener should have so stately a mansion in heaven while hers was so insignificant in comparison the answer was that the mansions were built according to the materials furnished; that the gardener had been laying up treasures in heaven while she had been spending hers on the earth. When she awakened and found it only a dream, a fancy of the mind, she was greatly relieved; nevertheless, in conjunction with the serious thoughts which she had had previous to the time of her dream, the result was a devoting of a much greater proportion of her time, energy, influence and opportunities to the service of the Lord to laying up heavenly treasures New Jerusalem treasures.

It would be far from our thought to intimate that the dream expressed the truth, or that such mansions as this young woman described are the ones that the Lord is preparing for His church; nevertheless, as a word picture, it serves fairly well to illustrate a great and important lesson which the poet sets forth in verse thus:

"Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul, As the swift seasons roll! Leave thy low vaulted past! Let each new temple, nobler than the last, Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast, Till thou at length art free, Leaving thine outgrown shell by life's unresting sea."

The fact of the matter is that none will have a place in the New Jerusalem except those who have laid up treasure in heaven. The entire city is of pure gold, which represents the divine nature, and the apostle points out that the divine nature whose special quality is immortality is only for the overcomers, "conquerors." True, the Lord has other provisions, other plans. Some who will not get into the throne as the joint heirs with the Lord, sharers in the kingdom glories, will be "before the throne" as servants of the King, glorious and honorable in their position and service. Still others will be saved by the Lord's grace on a still lower plane of being, to which the door of opportunity will be opened during the millennial age. But now it is for us to make our calling and our election sure as members of the New Jerusalem, members of the bride of Christ, by proving ourselves to be Israelites indeed, in whom there is no guile.

An important question is, how shall this best be accomplished? and we can but briefly hint the answer here. The steps we have previously outlined first, repentance, reformation in conjunction with faith in the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus as our redemption price; and, second, a full consecration of heart and life, time and talents, influence and means, to the service of the Lord seeking first, chiefly, the kingdom, and allowing everything of an earthly character to be secondary as respects our love, our interest, our attention. This surrender of your will to the Lord was your consecration even unto death. That consecration, accepted [HGL261] of God, constituted your begetting of the Holy Spirit. Subsequently the influence of this change in the whole course of life, and of the Lord's blessing and favor toward you as a result, has been the gradual opening of the eyes of your understanding to clearer conceptions of the divine character and the principles of righteousness, and this has doubtless led to greater love and reverence and prompter obedience, and thus your will, accepted of God and under the blessing of His Holy Spirit, has not only been at work transforming your mind and setting your affections on things above more and more, but it has also doubtless to a considerable extent affected a transformation in your daily conduct, the Holy Spirit thus "quickening your mortal body" to the service of righteousness and truth and using it for the blessing of others and for your own progress in the narrow way. Rom. 8:11.

Thus do we lay up treasure in heaven not necessarily the amount of money we may give to charities or to religious work, though these are by no means despised of the Lord, we may be sure. The sacrifice which the Lord most appreciates is the "broken and contrite heart," and that delivered to the Lord constitutes our greatest treasure in heaven. It is in His sight a sacrifice of sweet odor. As a result of our heart devotion we further lay up treasure in heaven when we allow love to rule in our hearts at the cost of earthly advantage, either by way of giving time or influence or money to charities or by the practice of such honesty as love for our neighbor would suggest, which might hinder us from making some sharp bargain, but which, nevertheless, would be esteemed in the sight of God as of much more value than wealth. Love is indeed the sum of all the graces of the Spirit, so that we may say that in laying up a loving character we lay up these treasures in the development of joy, peace, gentleness, meekness, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, love. The apostle assures us that a loving character or disposition consecrated to the Lord is in His sight precious. He assures us that "a meek and quiet spirit in the sight of God is of great value."

In view of all these things, dearly beloved, let us exert our energies specially, daily, for the laying up of treasure in heaven. Earthly treasures are but fleeting, even if we gain them and many there be who seek them and obtain them not. The heavenly treasures may be obtained by us under the most unfavorable conditions. The Lord's grace is pledged to the assistance of those who are thus disposed and consecrated to Him and to doing His will. "They shall be Mine, saith the Lord, in that day when I make up My jewels" the precious "living stones" of the New Jerusalem.

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