The Sin-Offering & The Covenants Booklet August 11, 1907


The following pages are taken from a stenographic report of a "Question Meeting" conducted by Pastor Charles T Russell, of Allegheny, in St. Louis, Missouri, Sunday, August 11, 1907.

I was glad to accept the invitation of the St. Louis Church to hear certain questions, perplexing to some, and give answers to the best of my ability, with the hope and prayer that the subject may be clear to our minds. We are living in a time when the Lord declares His people shall see eye to eye. He says this shall be characteristic of our day: "When the Lord shall bring again His people the watchmen shall see eye to eye." (Isa. 52:8) We trust that while some of us, called Elders, might be called watchmen in a special sense, yet all the Lord's people are watchmen. We are all seeing what the Lord our God has brought to us, and looking to that word which is the only revelation of the Divine will. So all should see eye to eye. Those asleep are not watchmen, but as soon as they become watchmen they will come to see eye to eye. As we come nearer and nearer to an object it should be more clearly seen by all of us.

If we recognize that we are in the harvest time of the Gospel Age, then we ought to recognize certain things as belonging to that harvest time. If we are not in the harvest time we ought not to expect anything particularly different from what has been the course of the Lord's dealing throughout the past; but so surely as we are, we ought to expect something peculiar to the harvest time. What are we to expect? With us the Jewish nation is a figure, an example and type. You remember having studied that matter. They had their priesthood, their high priests and under priests, we have ours; they had their tabernacle and we have ours; they had their golden candlestick and we have our golden candlestick of Divine truth and light. So when it comes to the harvest we find that their harvest was a particular pattern of this age. If Jesus was present to do the work there, so He will do the work here. What was the work? Separating and reaping, and gathering together of the Lord's elect. How was that done? By the promulgation of greater knowledge and greater truth. He made known certain things. Well, then, we should expect there to be greater knowledge of God's plans pertaining to this time, as there was to that harvest time. We ought to remember that that was the end of the Jewish age and the opening of the Gospel age, and the Apostle, by inspiration, speaks of the light that is to come upon the "ends of the ages," upon the ends of those ages where they met, and these two ages where they meet. That light did not precede our Lord's presence, and while there has not been gross darkness over this Gospel age, the special light from God shines upon the "ends of the ages." It is in harmony with this that you and I have received from the Lord the great blessing of clearer light. It would be very difficult for us to say what is the most valuable feature of Divine truth. It is all important, all necessary, that the man of God may be "thoroughly furnished." (2 Tim. 3:16, 17)

Now, dear friends, this clear light on the end of the age came in connection with the understanding of a mystery. What mystery? The "mystery" the Apostle Paul talks about. You remember how this was on the end of the Jewish age and the opening of the Gospel age. The Lord made known the mystery "not made known to other ages and dispensations and which is now made manifest." (Rom. 16:25, 26; Col. 1:26, 27.) You remember how frequently he speaks of this mystery. He explained that the Messiah [HGL389] to come was to be not only our Lord Jesus Christ, but also the Church His Bride. They supposed that the great Messiah was coming and was to be king of their nation and their nation was to convert the world, but they did not know He was going to take out of the Jewish nation the joint heirs of the world.

Then the Apostle says there was another part they did not understand. God not only proposed to take some of that body of Christ from the Jews, but from all the nations of the earth, that He might make of each one a part of the Christ. This is what the Apostle brings to our attention. He says God gave Jesus to be the head of the Church. This is "the mystery" not made known in previous ages. This mystery was not even made known to all the apostles. You remember it was made known to the Apostle Paul, and while the writings of the other apostles are in harmony with this thought, you do not get it from them you get it from Paul. He tells us that God has given to him visions and revelations more than to all the other apostles, and it is manifest from his writings that he had this clearer vision and knowledge. So it is from the Apostle Paul's writings that we get this knowledge of the mystery. Peter did not understand it; he was at first in opposition to the Gentiles, but the Lord sent to him the vision of the sheet held by the four corners, by which he was shown he must not consider the Gentiles any longer as common and unclean. (Acts 10.) You see, then, that at that time the Apostle Peter did not have the thought of the oneness of the Body of Christ. That is a part of the mystery Paul says was made more clear to him through visions and revelations than to them all. And yet that very thought was lost sight of the oneness of Christ and the Church when the Church began to get the wrong impression that it was to convert the world. When they thought of everybody they could not think of the "Body of Christ" including everybody. It destroyed this thought that the Church is the mysterious body of Christ that is to rule all the earth and bless the earth.

So this thought was hidden from all during the Gospel age, and our parents and friends did not see this subject, which is now clear to us. It is clear to us because we are living in the harvest time of the age, when God is brushing away the darkness and allowing our eyes to see and understand. This light was lost sight of during the Gospel age, and now this is the particular thought brought to your attention, namely: That Christ the head, and the Church His Body, is the great anti-typical Moses, the great Prophet God has been raising up, through which the blessing is to come to Israel, and through Israel to all the nations. (Acts 3:22, 23) Christ is the head, and through the members of His Elect is to bless Israel and all the nations. When did this feature of light come to our attention? It came to my attention in 1869. I was thinking along these lines, seeing that our friends in the churches were wrong, and seeing the second coming of Christ was the thing to be expected, and along about 1873 I got so far as to see that there was restitution coming to the world, but I did not understand what restitution meant. I supposed that when the world was blessed it would come to be in the same sort of spiritual condition as the Church, and not until 1878 did the light of that feature come, in respect to the fact that the Church is to be of a separate and distinct nature, and is to be used by the Lord in blessing Israel and through them blessing all the nations. What is the basis? The matter we are to discuss this morning The type of the Sin Atonement, and the Day of Atonement.

You have it in a booklet called "Tabernacle Shadows," published in the Fall of 1880 there was the basis of it. Christ is the great High Priest and the Church is associated with Him as the under priests, and to be associated with Him in the glories of the future when the atonement day is over and the sacrifices ended. So have in mind that the basis of any light we have today rests upon this subject of the atonement sacrifices and the sin-offerings of this Day of Atonement. The light has come along these lines. God has been pleased to bless this thought. If that becomes evident to you, you will be very slow to cast aside that which has brought you to the light you have. It is on this line God has granted all the light in which we are now rejoicing.

I shall be pleased to answer any questions.


(Question) How does the "Sin-offering," typified in the Atonement day sacrifices, differ from the Ransom, or corresponding price, paid by Jesus Christ for Adam's forfeited life?

(Answer) The two are not to be associated at all, any more than two of our Lord's parables. If you take the parable of the Wheat and Tares and the parable of the Ten Virgins and try to combine them you will find it impossible to do so, because one is discussing one subject and the other another subject. They are both true, and plausible, and both teach beautiful lessons, but not the same lesson. They are both parables given of God; they do not contradict, but they do not teach the same lesson. And so when we talk about the Ransom, that is one thought, and the Sin-offering is another thought, and we are not to mix the two.

Suppose you were to say, "The Church is called the brothers of Christ and the Bride of Christ and the living stones of the temple. How could Christ marry his own brothers, or the living stones of the temple?" This is confusion these are different figures. They must be kept separate and distinct. In the matter of the Ransom, that is one picture in which the Lord shows us that Adam was condemned while the race was yet in his loins, and that the Lord Jesus Christ as a ransom takes the place of Adam and gives his life for Adam's sin, and thus purchases Adam and his race. This is a pretty picture a true picture and could not be supplanted by any other. If that were left out we would not get the same teaching from God. But we do not want to mix it with any other. How one person buys another, how one person with his race in his loins is bought by another having a race in his loins. Jesus gave Himself in exchange for father Adam and his race. That Adam had a wife associated with him in the transgression, and Christ Jesus a bride to be associated in the work of redemption, is not considered. It is all confined to the one thought that by one man sin entered the world, and so, by another, Jesus Christ, a ransom has been paid for the race redeemed.

WATCH TOWER, 1907, Page 47, Col. 1, third line from foot: "Reading the article in question more carefully, you will perceive that it is not discussing the Redemption, [HGL390] but the SIN-OFFERING, which is a DIFFERENT VIEW of the great transaction."

I presume the question is, How do these two harmonize? Evidently it would have been better if we had not introduced the matter of the Ransom in the first quotation. It would have left it clearer. We are not discussing the Ransom at the time, but the Sin-offering. It tends to confuse. To some minds it might not. The attempt to make the subject too broad and take in two thoughts has been confusing to whoever took this up.

(Question.) May the Church be said to share in the Ransom, actually, reckonedly, or not at all?

(Answer.) So far as the Ransom is concerned, the Church is never said to share in the Ransom. The Ransom is the price and our Lord Jesus is declared to be a ransom for Father Adam. As for Mother Eve, she did not need a ransom she was considered as a part of Adam she came from him, was his wife and was included with him. So with the Church; our part is not shown in the Ransom, for we would correspond to Eve, and she was not shown in the Ransom; nor are we.

(Question.) Does the Church share in the anti-typical Atonement-day sin-offerings, actually, reckonedly, or not at all?

(Answer.) She does share in the anti-typical Atonement day offering. She shares actually in the most positive sense. The Apostle Paul says (Col. 1:24), "seeking to fill up the measure of the sufferings of Christ," and he says, "You have us for an example," so as he was filling up, all those who take up their cross and follow Jesus are sharing with Him. Are we actually sacrificing anything? There are different minds. A thought will strike different people differently. If we read "I am crucified with Christ," some might think they would have to be nailed to the cross. It is not their fault that they cannot grasp the thought but there are some that cannot grasp it. We are crucified with Christ; we are partakers with Him in His sufferings. That is a fact. It is not imagination. Some one says, "I never suffered anything." I am sorry for you. If we have suffered with Him we shall reign with Him. (2 Tim. 2:12) If we be crucified with Him, then we may have joint heirship with Him in His glory. If any one cannot say that, do not feel discouraged, but do not war with those who can do it. Try to say it. If you cannot, then you lack the spiritual vision. Pray to the Lord that you may say this.

I think of a dear brother who died recently who lived near Providence, Rhode Island. When our Brother Streeter came into the truth he was publishing a little paper and he discontinued it and introduced all his subscribers to the WATCH TOWER and started in to preach. He was very much interested in an old retired Adventist minister living near him. He said: "I tried to make the truth plain to him and could make no impression. Finally I concluded it was no use, and so I said to him: 'I know that you are a good man and one of the Lord's children, and I have tried to make this matter plain and clear to you, but I see that you are too old to grasp the subject, and I have concluded that the Lord will not require it of you. So I am not going to bore you with this any more. When we meet we will talk about the Lord and His goodness, and have prayer together, and not talk about these things that are objectionable to you.' The next day the word came, 'Come down to see me.' I went down, and the old man said: 'Brother Streeter, after you went out I got to thinking and praying, and I said to the Lord, "Lord, am I too old to learn anything? If I am not, help me. I want to know the truth." Before I got off my knees the whole thing became clear to me.'"

I do not say that is the way with everyone, but that it is the proper course if there is something we do not see. The Apostle James says, "If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth liberally and upbraideth not." (Jas. 1:5) We shall know the things that belong to our day. My answer is, we are most assuredly members of this Sin-offering. "Thus is shown that the Redeemer and Restorer is spiritual, having given up the human a RANSOM FOR ALL, and that from this highly exalted spiritual CLASS all blessings must proceed." (MD Vol. 1, P 293, Par. 2) What does that mean? We are not discussing the sacrifices of the atonement day in this quotation. We are discussing another matter that has no bearing. What do we mean by this? I answer, we refer there not only to Jesus, who gave up His human nature, but also to the Church. Each member of it, as he becomes a part of the body of Christ, must give up his right to share in the redeemed human nature. What is true of the head is true of the body. The only difference between Christ and the Church is that Christ was perfect actually and gave Himself, actually, the pre-human and human nature, on behalf of the world; but you and I have no such nature, have not anything that would be suitable for sacrifice. But as we are justified by faith, God counts us as though we were perfect in order to accept our sacrifices as perfect. He first justifies us and after that if we will take the proper steps we may be sanctified. The day of atonement is the time of the acceptance of this sacrifice. "Now is the acceptable time." How acceptable? We used to think it meant, "if you want to escape Hell, God will now accept you to Heaven." But we now see that this scripture means "now is the acceptable time" in the sense that God is now willing to accept your sacrifices. For you have heard the message that His death atones for your sins, and you being justified by that death, present your body a living sacrifice; this is the acceptable time. Will he accept the sacrifice the next day? No. All the sacrificing will be over. It only belongs to this Gospel age. It began with Jesus, the great Head of our priesthood. It ends with this Gospel age, and there will be no more opportunity of being accepted. The day of sin-offering will be at an end, and nobody will be accepted after that. The Elect will be complete then. There will be no adding to or taking from. No one can get into that class except as a sacrifice, for the Apostle Paul says priests are ordained to offer both gifts and sacrifices. So if you are a priest you are to offer gifts and sacrifices. What is the difference? A gift might be something that would be offered, and yet not anything necessary for you to do, as a sort of incense. That is not a sacrifice, that is a gift; as priests not only offered animals, but also incense that went up as a perfume. All priests are ordained to offer both gifts, and also sacrifices for sins. (See Appendix "A") WATCH TOWER, 1907, Page 47, Col. 1, Paragraph 3: "You never read in any of our articles or books, or sermons, the statement that the Church redeems anything or anybody. Quite to the contrary; [HGL391] we have often been accused of making a hobby of the ransom doctrine that our LORD JESUS 'tasted death for every man,' 'gave Himself a RANSOM FOR ALL.' You can take the Bible and read: "Judas went and hanged himself," and another place that says, "Go thou and do likewise." If you put these two together, what kind of sense do you have? It is equally possible to take things out of the WATCH TOWER and make them seem something not intended. In this case we are saying that Christ, the head, and the body make sacrifices. When did Jesus make His sacrifice? When he presented Himself. When did He present Himself? When he came to John at Jordan."

You say, I thought His sacrifice was made on Calvary. It was finished there; it was made at Jordan and it is of that experience that the Apostle says speaking of Jesus there- "Lo, I come, (in the volume of the book it is written of Me) to do Thy will, O God." (Heb. 10:7) He came to that when He was thirty years of age.

You say, was His death reckonedly finished there? Yes, in a sense. It was the beginning of the New Creature from that time. The old creature finally lost life on the cross, and the new creature was glorified three days later. So with all others; the time when you made your sacrifice was when you presented your body a living sacrifice, and you are henceforth living in newness of life, being refreshed and growing strong in the Lord; the new creature growing, and the old creature dying, until finally death will be complete. (Question) Is is correct to apply the Apostle's words (quoted below) to the Church's sacrifice, as proving that the sin-offering for the world is not yet complete, since they have not yet received remission or release from the penalty of sin; and to say that the blood (life) of the last member of Christ's body must be shed before the world can receive remission?

Heb. 9:22 :Apart from the shedding of blood there is no remission.

Heb. 10:18 :Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.

(Answer.) Yes, I would say it would be proper to apply both of these scriptures to the work of this Gospel Age, which began with our Lord's baptism, where He made His sacrifice which He finished at Calvary, and which has since been continued by those of the Seed who walk in His steps. It is true of the whole Body of Christ that the shedding of blood is necessary. It is not possible for us to be of the Church unless we suffer with Him. If we suffer with Him, we shall reign with Him. The Apostle is right. We are partakers of the sufferings of Christ, and these sufferings, Peter says, were spoken of by the prophets of olden times when they testified of the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. (1 Pet. 1:11.) The sufferings occurred, but did the glory follow? No. What is there if we have not glory now? The Apostle says we have the whole world travailing and groaning; they are waiting for the glory of the manifestation of the sons of God. (Rom. 8:19, 22.) The manifestation cannot be consummated until after the sons have been found. Dear friends, if any one does not wish to be a living sacrifice, he has the chance to step out. The Lord is not compelling anybody. He is merely giving us the opportunity. He is not going to force you. He will deal with others by and by. He is dealing now with those who want to have fellowship in His suffering that they may have fellowship in the glory of the kingdom.

(Question.) What does the Anti-typical Day of Atonement accomplish?

(Answer.) I answer, the Anti-typical Day of Atonement is for the sins of the whole world. This atonement-day service performed for the twelve tribes was typical of what was to be done by the Son of God for all who desire to come into harmony with God. First of all, there was the elect, the priests of the tribe of Levi. The work the High Priest does and the others join in helping to do is the work of atonement, the High Priest accomplishing it and the other priests being counted as members of the body of Christ who is doing the work and is making the sacrifice for our sins. He appears in the presence of God in our behalf not on the world's behalf, but on our behalf. Christ has been in the world for all these eighteen hundred years in the sense that He has been represented by you and by me and every consecrated one of those under-priests, and finally the sin-offering will be accomplished and He will apply the blood of this sacrifice as He applied the other sacrifice, only the merit of all is i n His own blood. We have no merit except as He imputes it. The Apostle intimates there is no merit in the Church that the whole merit is in Christ. Rom. 12:1: "I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God." Holy? Paul says you are holy, acceptable. How did that come? "To us was imputed the righteousness of Christ." (Rom. 4:24) His merit has been applied to us. Whatever merit or excellence our sacrifice has is in Him, and through it we may possess the privilege of being associated with Him by and by in the glories of His kingdom.

(Question.) The question was asked: What was specifically accomplished in the Anti-typical atonement, and the answer was, the completion of the sacrifice of Jesus and the Church, his body. What was the value of this sacrifice? What did it accomplish?

(Answer.) The Lord's object in having a whole Gospel Age instead of a few days was to have an Elect Church, instead of merely having our Lord as the one Elect; because if Jesus had been intended to be the Redeemer and the Church left out of the mission there would have been no Gospel Age provided for at all. The Gospel Age is for us to make our calling and election sure. So if He had not had a Gospel Age it would have meant He did not want an Elect Church; but if He did, as in the case, then He did want an Elect Church.

(Question.) Does the perfected Church participate with Christ in the next age work?

(Answer.) The Church is to have a share in the sufferings now, and in the glory then.

(Question.) The suffering is for the purpose of perfecting the Church so that it may be fitted to do the work in the next age?

(Answer.) The Church is of importance, even if there was no work in the Millennial Age. The Son shall give immortality to whomsoever He will (John 5:21, 26), so here is the Father, the Son and the Bride, all having this quality of glory and honor and immortality. I think that so far as the Church is concerned, God wishes to show, [HGL392] not only to men but to angels, that He is able to accomplish this thing through His Son, who came down to this world into the depths of degradation that we might be partakers of the Divine nature. God could have gotten along without the Church. He did not need the Church, but it gave Him pleasure to accept the Church as joint heirs with Christ, and the Church has been seeing the exceeding richness of His grace in His loving kindness toward us. Not many great, wise, learned, hath He chosen, but chiefly the poor. (1 Cor. 1:26) God not only wished Jesus to be the Savior of mankind, but the manifestation of His love. The Heavenly Father hath exalted the Son, and He will make us joint heirs with Him in glory and immortality. The exaltation of the Church means a manifestation of the love of God.

(Question.) We have an actual part in the atonement?

(Answer.) The word Atonement takes in a large scope, and ulti-mately all of mankind will have the opportunity of coming into it. The sacrifice of Christ was applied first to the House of Faith, including the Body of Christ; not to every one. He hath ascended on high, and we have an Advocate with the Father, because He appears for us. (1 John 2:1; Heb. 9:24) What do we mean by that? In the sense that if you had a suit, and the case came up in court, and you should address the judge, he would not hear you; you would have to get an attorney. So we have an attorney, and that attorney is termed an "advocate." We have an advocate an attorney Jesus Christ the righteous. How can He be our attorney? Because the Father "hears him always." (John 11:42) What is the basis on which He appears before the Court of Justice? His sacrifice to cover our sins. We are in harmony with the sacred word of God, which says you can only come through Christ. The Advocate says, "No man cometh unto the Father but by Me." (John 14:6) What about the world? They cannot come, because there is only one Advocate, and they have not gotten Him yet. As soon as they receive Him they are believers. "Blessed is the man to whom the Lord doth not impute sin." (Rom. 4:8) The world cannot come. The Father hath no dealing with the world. Will He have dealing with them in the next age? The Advocate will take them Himself as Mediator, to set up a reign of righteousness.

(Question.) The High priest took the blood of the goat and sprinkled it before the altar. Is this an actual or a reckoned part of the Atonement?

(Answer.) I do not think Jesus takes some literal blood into Heaven, and sprinkles it before the mercy-seat there, but the blood as was represented in His sacrificed life. Jesus appeared in the presence of God offering His sacrificed life and said: "This is on behalf of those who believe in Me." So he will again present not our blood, but His own blood, as He counts our blood as His blood. The blood becomes one and he says, "Accept this blood also, this sacrifice also; accept this on behalf of the sins of the whole world." It is all His merit.

(Question.) Is it correct to say that the sprinkling of the blood of the Atonement-Day sacrifices on the Mercy-seat signifies the resurrection of the sacrificer as a New Creature?

(Answer.) We answer, no. The sprinkling of the blood has no signification of that kind. I will picture that before your minds: First of all the High Priest went out to the altar and there he slew the animal; then took some of the blood in his hand, and incense, and went beyond the first veil into the Holy, and inside the Holy there was a candlestick, and there was a table of shew bread, and he sprinkled incense upon the fire and the smoke rose as a perfume, entering beyond the second veil, where was the Most Holy; then he took the vessel containing the blood and passed beyond the second veil. That passing was the death of Christ, and the rising on the other side was the resurrection. He went under the veil, but he rose again on the third day. After our Lord's resurrection He remained forty days, then ascended on high. He there tendered to the Father on behalf of the class He represented the blood shed by His death. For whom did He sprinkle that blood? For "Himself and His house"; for His Body, the Elect, and for all the house of Faith. These were covered by the first sacrifice Lev. 9. Then He took the other sacrifice He took the blood of the goat and did with it just as He did with the blood of the bullock, only He did not offer it "for His house," but "for the people." Now the question is, did Jesus die two times, once for the Church and then for the rest of mankind? Once only. Where, then, does this second sacrifice come in? The Lord indicated that the Church would be partakers with Christ; He is the great High Priest with us as members of His body. He has been offering the sacrifice. You are not doing it, you are not the priest. We offer ourselves to Him. He says "I will count you a member of my body." We give ourselves to the Lord, and He accepts us as members, and the matter of how the sacrifice shall take place is not especially one for us; but we shall ultimately be with Him. We give ourselves to Him, into His hands, and He accepts us as members of His body. So the High Priest was the one who did the sacrificing in both cases. He did not sacrifice the bullock and then tell one of the under-priests to sacrifice the goat. Nobody has any standing before God except the High Priest, and it is only in this way that we can be accepted that our flesh can be counted as Christ's, and we can be counted as New Creatures with Him in glory.

There were two sacrifices, and yet both were offered by the one priest. From this all the light of the present day has come; if we suffer with Him we shall reign with Him; by dying with Him we shall live with Him. Is not that what the Apostle meant when he said, "I beseech you, therefore, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice," etc. ? For a while it never really entered into my mind what it meant. The Church has the privilege of living in this day of suffering, and there is the distinction God is making between the Church and the rest of mankind because we suffer with Him, we shall reign with Him. And He has given us His "precious promise that we may become partakers of the divine nature." (2 Pet. 1:4) This promise assured to us the privilege of laying down our lives. You remember how the Apostle put that in his letter to the Phillippians (Chap. 3 vs. 10): -"That I may know the power of his resurrection."

Paul knew the resurrection was to come to the just and the unjust, and he says, "If I might know the power of His resurrection." What are the conditions? Being "made conformable [HGL393] unto his death." If we do not go into His death, we will not go into His resurrection. How do we go into His death? What is the difference between Christ's death and the death of any other man? Christ's death was a sacrifice, and we are counted in with Him as part of His sacrifice; so we become partakers with Him in the sufferings of the present time and the glories to follow.

(Question.) What is the scriptural objection to understanding the Apostle's argument in Rom. 6:1-11 to be that our "old man" as a sinner died in the person of his substitute, Jesus, on Calvary; and that therefore we should be raised with him (Jesus) to walk in a "new life" of holiness? Please give a brief exposition of these verses.

(Answer.) "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein." You will perceive the Apostle is not speaking to Jews, not to the Gentiles, nor to mere believers, but to those who are dead to sin, and have surrendered themselves to die with Christ. "Know ye not, that so many as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?" We do know. We know to be baptized into Christ is not into ordinary death. But you are baptized into His death. Was that a death to sin? I think not. He "knew no sin." (1 Pet. 2:22) He could not die a death to sin. We were baptized into his death. Therefore that means that our death was not a death to sin, as His death was not a death to sin. Of course our death includes a death to sin. When we give up our lives that we may share with Christ in his sacrificial death, it means we have enlisted to battle against sin have sworn that we will lay down our lives in battle against sin. How shall we that are dead to sin, and whose lives are buried with Christ, how could we consent to sin? We might have imperfections of the flesh, but to be in harmony with sin would be impossible to those who have given up their lives.

"Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death, that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection." That is to say, if we have given up ourselves to be like Him in death, we shall also be like Him, sharers, in His resurrection; the resurrection and death being linked together. Whoever goes into His death goes into His resurrection, and who does not, does not. Just as surely as Jesus' death was a sacrificial death, so must ours be.

"Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin." This old man is crucified. Just as Christ at his baptism had given up his earthly life, and the remaining years of his ministry were to be newness of life, as the old creature was dying; so the Apostle says we may reckon ourselves, our old nature, the old creature, as being crucified with him; it is a slow, lingering death, but we are living as new creatures and the old creature is dying. We are willing to be crucified with him, and suffer on account of sins with him, that we may be with him in his glory.

"For he that is dead is freed from sin." That is to say, when you are actually dead, you will be actually free. You will never know any more of the temptation of sin. He that is dead is set free from the power of sin. So the Apostle says, though we were once the servants of sin, after being set free we have become the servants of righteousness. In the eighth chapter of Romans he tells us- "But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you." God's Spirit will not come to dwell in you until after you have received the Holy Spirit, but if you have made your consecration and received the Holy Spirit "The Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you." Our Adventist friends apply this to the future, and say that God will quicken their mortal body. We say if we have made our consecration God has given us His Holy Spirit, and this Holy Spirit is already energizing this mortal body. You shall not be "carried away" as formerly, but having the Holy Spirit, you shall walk in newness of life. "Therefore brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh but to the Spirit." In this chapter he is speaking of the new creature that is triumphing over the flesh. The New Creature might not have perfect control over the flesh, but the Apostle says the Lord is judging these new creatures by their wills, and where the will is right, there can be no sympathy with sin. He has enlisted and laid down his life to battle against sin.


(Question.) Should the words of the Apostle in Heb. 9:16, 17, as follows, be understood to teach that the word "testament" or "covenant," as used in the scriptures always carries the significance of a "last will and testament?"

16. For where a testament is there must of necessity be the death of him that made it.

17. For a testament is of force where there hath been a death; it doth never avail while he that made it liveth.

(Answer.) I do not know why we should say the word "testament" always means a covenant. Every will is a covenant, but we could not say every covenant is a testament. I do not understand the purpose of this question.

(Question.) The point is made that the definition of the Apostle in Hebrews is the Scriptural definition of the word, so that we are to understand that in every case where that word is found the Apostle has furnished a definition of it. The contention is that the Apostle's definition makes it always carry that significance in the Scriptures.

(Answer.) We read in Genesis that God made a covenant with Abraham. If that could not be carried out until the death of the one who executed it God would have to die and God is not going to die. So you see "testament" is not to be used as the only definition of covenant. It would not be appropriate at all there. It would mean that to carry out the testament he would have to die.

(Question.) When does the Abrahamic Covenant become operative, and when the New Covenant?

(Answer.) The Abrahamic Covenant became operative in Christ. It was to the effect that there was to be a "Seed of Abraham." Nothing could be done until the Seed should come. That Seed was Christ. The Apostle says, you remember, in Galatians, that the Abrahamic Covenant is typified by Sarah, who had no children; she represented that covenant and was barren for some time. Hagar represented [HGL394] Sarah, but was not Sarah. This law covenant had a seed; Hagar had a child, Ishmael, who corresponds to the Jewish nation, and as Hagar was a bond woman, so this was a bond covenant, and as Hagar was a bond woman her son was a bond servant. So all Israel are under bondage of the law. The Apostle says by and by the time came when Sarah had a son, and when she did Ishmael was jealous, and so this corresponds to the natural Israel now fighting against the true Israel of God, which is Christ and all that accept of him. The Apostle is saying that the Abrahamic Covenant began to have its fulfillment in Christ, and he says not only Jesus, "but you brethren are the children of the promise." He makes it still more clear in Gal. 3:29: "If you be Christ's then are you Abraham's seed;" not Ishmael's, but you belong to the real seed, which is Christ. If you belong to Christ you belong to all that is typified in Isaac and Rebecca. The Lord gave Rebecca also to be a type of the Church and as Rebecca became joint-heir with Isaac, so the Church becomes joint-heir with Christ.

(Question.) Is the Church called, during the Gospel Age, under the Abrahamic or New Covenant, or both?

(Answer.) Under the Abrahamic covenant. There is no New Covenant yet. There were three wives of Abraham: Sarah, barren for a time; Hagar who bore Ishmael; and also Keturah, the third wife, by whom he had many sons and daughters. These three wives represented the three covenants. All of Abraham's seed came from these three; so we do not have two mothers, two covenants, but one. This matter was not always as clear to our minds as it is now. We started in with our minds very much befogged, but gradually we got to see what the Scriptures meant and they became clear to our mental vision. But it took time. In one place the Apostle says: "He hath made a former" and I did not think at the time he was telling the Jews that their covenant was doomed to pass away; I thought he was speaking to us. The Jew said, "Moses gave us that covenant; God gave us that covenant. We are the greatest people in the world, and our covenant will never pass away." They could not imagine such a thing. The Apostle was trying to prove to them that it would. He says, "Hagar was your mother. You are not Israel's sons." They thought they had Abraham, but Paul says not. They did not see it because they could not see it. But this we can see was what the apostle meant. He was telling that those Jews never were the real "Seed of Abraham;" that it was intended their law covenant should pass away, and to prove it he said (Heb. 8:7-13): "Don't you remember it reads, 'I will make a new covenant after those days?' Don't you see if he meant he would make a new covenant the old one would be useless? 'He tried to get the Jews to see their covenant would not last forever and be the only covenant. We see their covenant did pass away and they, as children of the flesh, are not children of the Spirit. We see that Jesus is going to fulfill that promise (Jer. 31:31-34): "It shall come to pass that after those days I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and bless them. With my eyes not clearly open at the time I confused that New Covenant with the Abrahamic Covenant because the Apostle said that the old should pass away and the Sarah covenant come in. But when we examine everything it becomes clear.

WATCH TOWER, 1898, Page 197, Article entitled, "Mercy Rejoiceth Against Judgment": "The death of Christ sealed or ratified or made complete and binding this New Covenant between God and man. . . . . . . . We see then that since Calvary, since the sealing of the New Covenant with the blood of the Mediator, since that New Covenant was thus ratified or made effective, the triumph of love and mercy over justice and the sentence of death originally inflicted has been a fact. . . . . . . . The object of the present call of the Church. . . . . . . . to share in the benefits and privileges of the New Covenant," etc.

I answer this: We are thinking all the time of the original covenant God had made and which became effective to us in the death of our Lord. This death not only brought us into relationship with the Abrahamic Covenant; it is also the basis of what is to be done for the world in the next age. So the New Covenant was related to the Lord's death. The New Covenant had as a basis the fulfillment of the death of Christ. Jesus said at his Last Supper, giving the cup, "This is the cup of the new testament the New Covenant in my blood shed for many (for all) for the remission of sins"; in other words the cup of his death was to be efficacious not only for the Church, but for all humankind: "This is the cup of my blood, shed for the remission of sins; drink ye of it." This is the cup which brings justification to the whole world; the cup of suffering and death which seals the New Covenant, and I invite you to join with me in the sealing of that New Covenant. So when the disciples said (Matt. 20:22-23): "Grant that we may sit one at thy right hand and one at thy left," he said, "Are you able to drink of the cup I shall drink of?" No one can be with him on his throne except that he drink of this cup and share in his blood. So the hope of being with him in his throne is in sharing his cup as well as being baptized into his death. If we are partakers with him we are members of his body. If not, we are not. Somebody else will get in, for the body must be full. No one could serve as High Priest unless he had all his fingers and toes. Why? Because those parts were necessary to represent full completion, a specific principle that part could not be added or diminished. There will be neither one more nor less than the elect number. If you fail to get in, somebody else will, for that number must be full. No one can be of the Bride of Christ except he shall drink of his cup. "Drink ye of this cup."

WATCH TOWER, 1903, page 436: "While the benefits of this gracious arrangement are only for 'us,' for 'believers,' for those who come unto God by Christ under the provisions of the New Covenant. . . . . . . . etc."

I answer, there I used the New Covenant as a name for the Abrahamic because my mind was not clear that the Abrahamic Covenant was the old Covenant, made long before the Jewish Covenant.

Quoting further from the WATCH TOWER above mentioned: "Our call and acceptance are based on the New Covenant, etc. We have seen that all those acceptable to God in Christ were obliged to come unto him under the New Covenant."

I answer just the same thing. We have nothing to do with that New Covenant. It means what it says. "It shall come to pass after those days I will make a new covenant." You see the difference between after those days and during those [HGL395] days. "Those days" are the Gospel Age. During those days the Lord does something for Spiritual Israel, taking out the Body the Bride. (Joel 2:28, 29.) "It shall come to pass after those days I will pour out My spirit upon all flesh." But "in those days," said the Lord, "I will pour out My spirit upon My servants and My handmaidens." Nobody else in those days. "It shall come to pass after those days I will make a new covenant." In other words, not until after this Gospel Age can the New Covenant be sealed. Our Lord gave His life for the sealing, but left something for you. He said, "Drink ye of it," for this is the basis on which this New Covenant is sealed. WATCH TOWER, 1907, Page 9, Col. 1, Paragraph 2: "Entirely separate and distinct from both of the foregoing covenants is the Lord's promise of a New Covenant." In this article we were discussing it from our present greater enlightment. If you will look back you will find you have done a great many silly things, and that is one of the silly things I did. Because I have got my "thinker" to work, and see that what I thought was the New Covenant is not the new one, somebody takes me to task. (Foot of same col.) "The New Covenant belongs exclusively to the coming age as the Abrahamic Covenant belongs exclusively to the Gospel Age, and as the Law Covenant applied exclusively to the Jewish Age." Page 10, 1st col. 2nd line: "The New Covenant is not yet in existence." Quite correct. The New Covenant is to be made "after those days," and awaits its ratification until after the last member of the Body of Christ shall have tasted death, because no testament can be in effect while the testator lives. The whole Church has been accepted as the Body, but not until the last member has gone will the blessings of the New Covenant come to the world.

(Question.) If the Church is accepted and blessed under the provisions of the New Covenant, -

(Answer.) It is not accepted and blessed under the provisions of the New Covenant. It is accepted and blessed under the Abrahamic Covenant.

(Continuing Question.)- and they, being "Christ's" are so constituted members of the Seed of Abraham, -

(Answer.) That is not the way they are constituted. They are constituted by being united to Christ as the Bride, as was illustrated in the case of Rebecca when she was married to Isaac and became joint-heir with Isaac; so the Church becomes joint-heir with Christ.

(Continuing Question.)- will not all those who during the Millennial Age come under the provisions of the New Covenant and are blessed by it also thus become members of "the Seed," and thus the promise to Abraham be fulfilled to them, i. e. :(Being) "In thee and (being) in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed;"

I answer, no. There were two seeds. Rom. 4:16 -". . . . . to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all."

The Apostle's thought seems here to be that while there is only one in number, yet there are many of us in another sense in the sense that all nations are yet to become the children of Abraham; as all the nations will come into harmony with God, they will become of God's seed, so that all may ultimately be the children of God. Abraham was the father of Ishmael, and the father of Keturah's children, and yet only one was called "the Seed," the Seed which the promise specified. In that sense Christ and the Church is the only Seed, but in a general sense, that all mankind may receive the blessings, they may become the seed of Abraham, but not The Seed. There is a particular seed, the Seed of promise, and the general seed.

(Question.) Tell us how you found out all these things.

(Answer.) I will tell you, sister. Here a little, and there a little. The Lord, we are told, has hidden His plan so that none of the wise shall understand; He "hath hidden these things from the wise and revealed them unto babes." And it is in proportion as we become humble, teachable children, that we can learn them. It was intended in God's plan that there should be a special light upon the ends of the ages, and it is this special light God is giving us that we understand to be our blessing. The Lord has been blessing and making these things known in a natural way. The Lord said (Rev. 10:7): "It shall come to pass in the days of the sounding of the Seventh Trumpet that the mystery of God shall be finished." The Trumpet began to sound in 1878, and one of the first things to be accomplished is that the mystery is to be finished. The Apostle says he had far more knowledge of the mystery than any one else. He says God had given to him more knowledge than to any one else. We understand it is our privilege to see some of these things with the same clearness the Apostle Paul saw them. He says he was not permitted to tell these things. It is now privileged to be told. Why did God tell Paul anything? Because he was one of the Apostles, and it is necessary that all knowledge shall come through the Word of God so that God will not need to give special revelations today. And he kept the things secret until the due time, and when the due time had come the things were made clear.

(Question.) I want to know, where did you get all this? From the New Testament?

(Answer.) From the Old Testament and the New Testament both. Paul says "we have an anchor of the soul." What is the anchor of the soul? This promise that God made to Abraham and Isaac; and everything Paul said in the New Testament is proved by the Old Testament. We would not be wise to leave out the Old Testament.

(Question.) What is the New Testament?

(Answer.) I see what you mean. Do we call this book the New Testament? God never called this book the New Testament. He was not meaning this book. It has nothing to do with the "New Testament." This is not the sense in which the "New Testament" is used.

(Question.) What do you call it if it is not the New Testament?

(Answer.) You might call it "asparagus." You might call it anything.

(Question.) Isn't it the Word of God?

(Answer.) Yes, but I do not think any of the apostles called this the New Testament. It is a name that has been given by man. We call this the New Testament, but it is not called so in the Scriptures.

(Question.) Didn't Paul say he was a minister of the New Testament?

(Answer.) Yes, but he was not talking about this book. [HGL396] (Question.) What was he talking about?

(Answer.) About the work of Christ. We are talking about the New Testament. God says it shall come to pass that after those days there shall be a New Testament, a New Covenant. Jehovah was talking about this New Testament, this New Covenant. Paul was a servant of it and was talking about it, and you may be a servant of it and talk about it. I am talking about the New Covenant. I am saying it is your privilege and mine to be sharers in the sealing of that New Covenant which is to be a blessing to the world. So Paul was an able minister of that New Covenant.

(Question.) Was it JEHOVAH, or the Son of God, who made the covenant with Abraham?

(Answer.) It was Jehovah who made the covenant with Abraham. The Son of God had nothing to do with covenants until He became flesh. His time of work began when He was made flesh.

(Question.) Will Christ be the testator of the New Testament of God?

(Answer.) It is God's covenant in Christ. God has purposed that through this Seed all the earth shall be blessed. I do not say how. I leave the matter in Christ's hands. He is the life-giver of the world, and therefore the father, the prophet, the great priest and king, and shall work all through the Millennial age because all power has been given into his hands. Not that which is his own power individually, but power delegated to him by the Father, and the Father gives him the power to do this; and so the Millennial age will have to do with Jesus and the Church in the same way the Jews had to do with Moses. But they had all to do with Moses, and Moses with God. As you remember on several occasions, God said to Moses, "Let me alone that I may destroy this people." God put it in this way to show us how completely Moses was the mediator, and that what Moses did God was doing. So in the Millennial Age, what the glorified Christ shall say will be just the same as if the Father had said it. And just as in the Bible, Abraham's children had to do with Isaac, so here God has provided a blessing in Christ, and whoever gets any blessings gets it under Christ. It is all in Christ. The whole work looks to this Christ, and during the "day of Christ" he shall bring all things into subjection.

Paul brings out the thought that a testament is of no force until the testator is dead. I believe he meant to say the New Covenant will not be in force except under certain conditions; because God was the testator. He had in view certain conditions, which must be fulfilled.

We sometimes read that God declares "I am thy redeemer, and beside me there is no Savior," and then again we read that God sent Jesus to be the Savior of the world, and again we read that Christ gave himself, and again we read that God gave his Son. These are different accounts, and we are obliged to harmonize them. So in this case it is said he became a testator. I think it is really God who is behind the whole matter, but since Christ was not forced to it, it may be said to be his testament. So you may be said to join in this testament. Sacrifice is a different thing from execution. Execution would be by force, but sacrifice brings in the thought of voluntariness. So we are doing the Father's will, and so when Christ was making this testament he was carrying out his Father's will, and in harmony with the Father's original covenant. It was his gift of life to the world, and the sealing of that arrangement by which God is willing to receive men.


The following letters are self-explanatory East St. Louis, Ill., March 27, 1909 Mr. Charles T Russell, Allegheney, Pa. Dear Brother Russell:

A local caviler and adversary of the harvest work is endeavoring to make capital out of a claimed inconsistency in the following passage from DAWN STUDIES, Vol. 1, page 293, par. 2:

"Thus is shown that the 'Redeemer and Restorer is spiritual, having given up the human a ransom for all, and that from this highly exalted spiritual class all blessings must proceed."

The point criticized is the use of the word "ransom" as applied to a "class." This passage is placed in juxtaposition with some positive statements from your pen that Jesus Christ was the sole Ransom, or corresponding price paid to cancel the penalty passed on Father Adam for sin, and a contradiction claimed to be proven thereby.

Of course these passages offer no difficulty to any who are not seeking to pick flaws; but as your use of the word seems to me so perfectly harmonious and consistent in the passages referred to, I desire for the benefit of some who may be confused by the artfulness and vehemence of your critic to state my understanding of your use of the word, and ask if I rightly apprehend your meaning.

Am I right in taking it that precisely the same difference exists in your use of the words "redeemer" and "ransom" in the two differing statements referred to, as occurred in your use of the word "mediator," about which an article appeared in a recent TOWER? That is, in some instances it is used in a general and broader sense, in others in a particular and specific sense, as applied to the doctrine of the Ransom? If I am correct in my understanding, the passage from Vol. 1 herein before quoted should be understood to mean that the "spiritual class" referred to (Jesus the Head, the Church His Body) are, in the Plan of God, the ones who buy back - "redeem" the race of mankind "all" from the sin and death condition; their humanity being the cost to them the price or "ransom" given which privileges them to have a share in the work of restoration and blessing. Thus I understand you had no reference here to the specific doctrine of "the ransom" the illustration of the importance and exactness of God's Justice the life of the man Jesus paying the exact equivalent for the forfeited life of the man Adam.

If my statement of your meaning meets with your approval I would be glad if you would write me a few lines so stating, to be used in connection with this letter in meeting the attacks of the adversaries.

With much Christian love, I am as ever,
Yours in the King's Service,
Horace E Hollister

Brooklyn, N Y U S A April 7, 1909

Mr. Horace E Hollister, East St. Louis, Illinois

Dear Brother:

Your kind letter regarding the use of the words "Redeemer" and "Ransom," reached us in due season, and delay in [HGL397] reply has been occasioned by the press of work attendant upon our removal here.

Your letter presents our understanding of the matter perfectly; therefore, we could add nothing to it. Much obliged to you for bringing the matter to our attention as you have, and remain,

Yours in our Redeemer,

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