Pittsburgh Gazette, Oct. 22, 1905


Pastor C T Russell, of Allegheny, Pa., preached twice today in Infantry Hall to large audiences. We report his evening discourse as follows:

Continuing our examination of the eternal evidences of the reliability of the Bible, we consider this evening the center of the divine message, "Jesus Christ the Righteous." No other name in the world's history fills such a place as the name of Jesus. His character and His message have met the demands of the human heart, and satisfied its longings as nothing else ever did or could do. And this notwithstanding the fact that the world and but a comparatively small proportion of the church have ever caught more than a passing glimpse of the divine plan which centers in this "Son of God."

The Bible may be said to be a revelation of Jesus, who in turn is a revelation of the Father. Its opening pages tell us of the fall of the first human Son of God, Adam, point to the death penalty upon him, and indicate the need of a Savior and Redeemer and more than this, inferentially promise such an one as the seed of the woman who ultimately shall bruise the serpent's head crash, subdue all evil. Its intermediate pages are prophecies and types respecting Jesus and the work he would accomplish as a redeemer, and later as a deliverer of the race. And further on it records his birth, his ministries, His death, resurrection, glorification, and the messages he gave to all who would become His followers, including His promise to come again and receive them unto Himself. The closing pages of the Bible picture in symbolical language the completion of the present age, the inauguration of the millennial age, the work that it will accomplish in the blessing and uplifting of the human family and the ultimate purging of the earth from all sin, imperfection, evil, when every voice in heaven and earth shall be heard praising the Lord.

We submit to intelligent minds the proposition that no other book no other record, no other combination of writings and sermons by scores of preachers and teachers, covering a period of thousands of years, present any such harmony as the foregoing. And this harmony centering the divine plan upon Jesus, the Messiah, is the more wonderful in proportion as the minutia of the scriptural statements respecting Him are clearly discerned. But in order to appreciate these scriptural statements, in order to see the beauty and harmony of the word of God, we must divest ourselves of the teachings of the dark ages, which becloud the beauties of the divine word and tend to make its statements of no effect yea, worse than that, tend to make the divine record appear unreasonable, contradictory, non-sensical. Let us, then, divest our minds of the traditions of the ancients so carefully handed down to us in the various creeds, Catholic and Protestant, and let us look to the word of the Lord for the instruction and guidance necessary to see its beauty and harmony.


The teachings of higher criticism are very misleading on this subject. They would have us consider that all miracles are impossible; that our Lord was born as other men; that He happened to be a rather superior type of man; that He never had a pre-human existence. The scriptures teach to the contrary of this most explicitly, that Jesus was the "Son of God;" that "He left the glory which He had with the Father before the world was;" that "He who was rich for our sakes became poor," taking a human form for a particular, specific purpose- "for the suffering of death," that He might be our Redeemer. John 17:5; 2 Cor. 8:9; Heb. 2:9.

The inspired writers go further and declare, "All things were made by Him and without Him was not one thing made that was made." The context tells us that He was in the beginning with the Father, and was the word or mouthpiece and personal representative of the Father in all the work of the creation of all the remainder of the works of God. Our common translation of John 1:1-3 only partly discloses the beauty and force of the Greek original, which should be rendered thus, "In the beginning was the logos (the divine mouthpiece, the representative), and the logos was with the God and the logos was a God, the same was in the beginning with the God. All things were made by Him, and without Him was not one thing made that was made."


We should note in passing the consistency of the scriptures in respect to the supremacy of Jehovah God. From first to last with one voice the scriptures declare that there is but one supreme in the universe. For instance, in the Lord's address to His people Israel, He said, "Hear, O Israel, the Lord your God is one, Jehovah." (Deut. 6:4) On every reasonable occasion the Israelites were warned against recognizing any but one supreme God. The new testament is in thorough agreement with this, as for instance, the Apostle Paul's words "To us there is one God, the Father. . . and one Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Cor. 8:6.

How comes it then that the record is that Jesus, our Master, in his pre-human condition was the logos, a God with the God? Is this testimony out of accord with the remainder of scriptural testimony? We answer, No! The name Jehovah was never permitted to any but the one, the Father supreme; but the title God, which in the Hebrew is Elohim, and sometimes abbreviated El, signifies a mighty one, and might be applied to any mighty one in authority and power, Jehovah Himself being superior to all Elohim.

An examination of the scriptural uses of the word Elohim substantiates the foregoing. We find, for instance, that it has not only been applied to the Father and to the special representatives and prime minister, the logos, the Son of God manifest in the flesh, but we find also that the word is used in respect to angels when [HGL308] they directly represented the Lord as His special messengers, they who are His mighty ones. We find also that this title Elohim was used in respect to the first elders of Israel when God recognized them as His representatives in judging their brethren. For instance, see Exo. 21:6, "Bring him unto the judges" (elohim); 22:8, "Brought unto the judges" (elohim) 9, "Come before the judges" (elohim), "and whom the judges" (elohim); 28, "Thou shalt not revile the gods (elohim), margin, judges."

Similarly we read God's declaration to Moses, "I have made thee a God (elohim) to Pharaoh." (Exo. 7:1.) From these illustrations and others which we might give it will be seen that the word elohim signifies instead of God a representative of God. Sometimes, when the true God is mentioned in connection with other Gods or representatives or counterfeits, He is called the Almighty God, or by His name, Jehovah God, but at other times where the sense is evident or no particular emphasis is necessary, the very same word is used in referring to Jehovah and to those who are His representatives. For instance, in Psa. 82:1 we read, "God (elohim) standeth in the congregation of the mighty (El) He judgeth among the Gods (elohim)." In verse six of the same Psalm the Almighty (Elohim) prophetically addresses the Gospel church, who throughout the scriptures are called the Sons of God. We read, "I have said, ye are gods (elohim), all of you sons of the Highest."


It will be remembered that the Jews were angry with our Lord Jesus, not because He called Himself Jehovah or intimated any usurpation of the Father's place, honors of prerogatives, but simply because he called himself the Son of God and referred to Jehovah God as His Father. On one occasion when they were about to stone Him, Jesus inquired why, and the answer was that in calling Himself the Son of God He was affecting to be superior to them and to others of mankind, and affecting a relationship with the great Jehovah which they termed blasphemy, because they said it was affecting an equality with Jehovah; but our Lord contradicted that thought, and pointed out to them that the claim to be the Son of God was not to put Himself on an equality with Jehovah, but that the scriptures fully sanctioned such a title as the Son of God.

Jesus referred them to the passage in the 6th Psalm already quoted, "I have said, Ye are gods." (elohim) Our Lord's logical suggestion is that if God himself, through the prophet David, gave the name, the title of gods, thus to human beings, to the followers of Christ, to the church of this gospel age, why should it be considered blasphemous that the special Son of God, whom the Father had specially set apart and sent into the world as His representative, should be called the Son of God. His persecutors were unable to answer Him, nor can any logical objection be found to our Redeemer's words. He was indeed pre-eminently the representative of Jehovah and pre-eminently He was His Son.

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