St. Paul Enterprise, January 22, 1911



Buffalo, N Y, Jan. 22, 1911 Pastor Russell addressed large assemblages twice here today in his usual fresh attractive and instructive style. One address was on "The Great Hereafter" the other which we report, was from the text, "What is Man?" Psa. 8:4

Notwithstanding all that the Bible has to say respecting the nature of man few subjects seem to be more misunderstood. Science declares man to be an animal of the highest type or order. In this, which declares of our first parents, science is in absolute agreement with the Scriptures, "The first man was of the earth, earthy." (1 Cor. 15:47) Our text agrees with this, declaring that man was made a little lower than the angels angels being the lowest form of spirit beings, man the highest type of earth beings. A particular account of man's creation is given, and when we examine it we find it in full agreement with what we have seen to be the teachings of other parts of the Scriptures. That account declares that God formed man of the dust of the earth, and it tells us that after man's transgression had brought him under the Divine condemnation of death, his Creator said to him, "Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return."


In view of these facts, which we now have clearly before our minds, how strange it seems that most of the civilized world denies all and declares to the contrary that man is a spirit being, and that his death is merely an evolutionary step by which he passes on to his real nature as a spirit. This is supposed to be very scientific, because many, presumably wise and scientific people, thus assert themselves. However, according to these same people such an evolution, from human nature to spirit nature at death, instead of being a desirable progression or evolution, is a decided disadvantage, because, as they tell us, the majority of those thus graduated from flesh conditions to spirit conditions will find themselves tortured, either purgatorially or eternally. It would seem, if this be true, that this at least, to the majority, would be a step of devolution rather than one of evolution.

But upon what are these "scientific" and learned assumptions based? Who will vouch for the change said to take place at death? Who will prove to us that a man in dying becomes a spirit being of a higher order than human?

There is no such proof; the wish is parent to the thought. Yet why should men wish to be spirit beings at death, if they believe, as the creeds declare, that tortures await them in the spirit land await nine hundred and ninety-nine out of every thousand? Ah, here again humanity does not believe its own creeds. The devilish suggestions are allowed to remain in the creeds, unbelieved by the intelligent, to affright the unintelligent. But, alas! these misrepresentations are really blasphemies against our Creator, which misrepresent his Wisdom, Justice, Love and Power. And these blasphemous thoughts are accredited to the Bible, with the result that it is disbelieved and its great Author doubted or denied and thousands of the intelligent of our race are agnostics.


Spiritism speaks up to assert that it, and it alone, can furnish proof that man, of the earth earthy, is after death a spirit. It furnishes us mediums at whose instance tables are tipped and rappings are heard and other evidences are given of unseen power; and these unseen powers, we are told, are the spirits of dead men seeking to prove to humans that they are not dead, but that in the moment of death they were transformed into spirit.

And now our scientific men are taking up the subject. They decline to be identified with Spiritism and designate their findings Psychic Phenomena. Mediums and their demonstrations have been subjected to every imaginable scientific test to demonstrate that the results are not fraudulent that there is really a spirit power, an invisible power which can do and has done remarkable things beyond the power of humanity. Accepting these investigations as scientific, and accepting the results as scientific proof that there is a spirit power or force which can and has operated in conjunction with human affairs and especially through mediums, what does this prove? What scientific fact have we here to evidence that these spirit powers have anything to do with our friends who have died? [HGL458]


These spirits operate through mediums sometimes in trance, sometimes answering by written notes from "nowhere," sometimes mechanically grasping the hand of the writing-medium and using it without her volition; sometimes by rappings and sometimes by ouija-boards, declaring themselves truthful, sincere, honest, desirous of assisting humanity, etc.

But does this prove, scientifically, that they are honest, that they are true? Ask any spiritualist! He will tell you, at very most, that he believes some of them are honest, or will tell you sorrowfully that some of them have lied to him time and again; and if he be an advanced and experienced Spiritualist he will tell that at times some of these evil spirits have made all manner of vile suggestions to him. But he will tell also that at first it was not so; instead he was at first told that he should pray more and read the Scriptures more. Afterwards he was jeered at and mocked and told that the Scriptures were nonsense and that although here is a God the inquirer is too renegade to hope for any blessing from God.

We have neglected our Bibles too much; we have trusted too much to worldly wisdom. The Bible alone gives the solution of the matter. It alone tells us respecting these spirits; that they are not humans and never were; that they are the fallen angels.


The Bible is thoroughly consistent with itself; from first to last it maintains that man is an earthly being. According to the Greek and the Hebrew of the Bible he is an animal soul or animal being in contradistinction to a spirit soul or spirit being. "Man that is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble; Man dieth and wasteth away, and where is he? He shall not awake nor be raised out of his sleep until the heavens be no more" until the present order of things shall have passed away. (Job 14:1-12)

Again we read respecting the death sentence and man's hope of recovery out of death by a resurrection, "Thou turnest man to destruction: thou sayest return ye children of men;" "Cease ye from man, whose spirit (breath of life) is in his nostrils" (Psa. 90:3; Isa. 2:22); "If a man die, shall he live again? All the days of mine appointed time will I await until my (resurrection) change come. Thou shalt call and I will answer thee (awakening from the sleep of death), for thou wilt have desire unto the work of thy hands;" "There shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and of the unjust." (Job 14:14-15; Acts 24:15)

They are dead, they are not alive as spirit nor in any other sense. They will be dead until God's time for the resurrection of the dead. Resurrection of the living would be unnecessary, and if death brought to man a change to a higher plane of existence as a spirit being, then the resurrection of the dead would not be set before humanity as a blessed hope, for rather it would be a punishment, even to the holy.


It seems probable that this serious error, which has had so much to do with the world's theological confusion, came about through the misunderstanding of the Bible teachings respecting the Church the application of things said concerning the Church to the world, to whom they did not apply. Bible students are coming

more and more to see, in the light which one passage of Scripture throws upon another, that the Church is a distinctive class, separate from the angels and the world of mankind in general.

The Divine plan revealed in the Scriptures sets forth one salvation for the Church on the spirit plane. It reveals to us two classes who will be blessed on that spirit plane. It shows us that one of these classes was typified in the priesthood of natural Israel and that the other class was typified in the Levites who assisted the priests as servants. The remainder of the tribes of Israel represented, typically, the entire world of mankind who will ultimately be saved, not to a heavenly state or condition, but as men to a restored earthly condition.

It will be remembered that the Priests and Levites had no inheritance in the land, thus typically showing that they represented that portion of humanity which, by God's grace, will obtain a heavenly inheritance and experience a change from human to spirit nature.

As the Levites and Priests represented the first-born of Israel saved at the Passover, so those who will attain a resurrection to the spirit plane are Scripturally designated "the church of the first-born," and again, "the first-fruits unto God of his creatures." The elect of this Gospel Age are not, therefore, all who are to be saved, but merely all who are to be saved to the spirit plane. With the completion of the elect Church and her glorification with our Lord in his resurrection, the "first resurrection," (Philip. 3:10; Rev. 20:6) the Kingdom will be established for which we pray.


Very long ago the distinction between these two salvations was lost sight of the heavenly calling for the Church and the Restitution for the World. (Heb. 3:1; Acts 3:19-21) The Old Testament refers exclusively to the earthly and the fact that the New Testament tells almost exclusively of the heavenly and its promises was overlooked. Thenceforth no difference was recognized between the consecrated Church and mankind in general, and the words of the Apostle, addressed to the Church class only, were applied to all.

For instance, in first Corinthians, the 15th. chapter, St. Paul discusses the general fact of death reigning through Adam and of the provision, through Christ, of a resurrection of the dead. Then he proceeds to speak specially of the Church class, saying, "this is the resurrection of the dead." The ( emphatic) resurrection signifies the special or First-resurrection class, and the dead similarly marks the special class of dead ones the saintly dead, the Church of Christ, begotten of the holy Spirit to a new nature, the heavenly nature.

Not noticing this, commentators and people in general have applied these words to humanity in general and understand them to teach that all that are sown in corruption will be raised in incorruption; that all who die in weakness will be raised in power; that all who die animal bodies will be raised spiritual bodies. But the Apostle is endeavoring to impress a very different lesson, namely, that the Church is a special class and will have a special [HGL459] resurrection to spirit conditions which the world will never know anything about, experimentally.

The Bible shows this had we but noticed it: The Apostle says, "God giveth to every seed its own body;" that is to say, if we sow wheat we expect to reap wheat; if we sow oats we expect oats. The Apostle's argument is that none need expect to be of the wheat class, the spirit class, unless they are of that class when sown in death. In other words, he would have them understand that a natural man, an animal man, in the resurrection will be an animal man, but those who accept the Divine offer of this Gospel Age, to become new creatures in Christ Jesus, begotten by the holy Spirit these will not come forth in the resurrection human beings, but, being in full harmony with the begetting of the spirit which they have received, will in the resurrection be born of the spirit.


Up to the time of Christ no promise of a change of nature from human to spirit had been received by any member of our race. The Lord Jesus himself became the Captain and Forerunner of "the Church, which is His Body," and which, during this Gospel Age, has been walking in his steps of self-sacrifice. The special privilege of this Gospel Age is the sacrifice of the earthly nature in order to the attainment of the heavenly nature.

This was an incomprehensible matter to those to whom it was preached at first. No Jew had ever thought of anything higher than the human plane and divine service on the human plane. But the message of the Gospel was a call or invitation to the heavenly nature and heavenly service as the Bride of Christ and his Joint-heir in glory. Of this call St. Paul says that it is a "mystery that was hidden from past ages and dispensations, but that it is now revealed unto the saints." (Col. 1:26) It was not proper that any but the saints should fully appreciate and comprehend this: "To you it is given to know the things of the Kingdom, but to outsiders these things are spoken in parables and dark sayings that they might not understand." (Mark 4:11-12)

This Mystery was, therefore, never understood by many because the saints were never many, and later, when saintship was at a discount and when nominal Christians became numerous and influential and made the creeds, it was but natural that the Mystery should become more or less befogged. But instead of going back to preach human restitution to the human plane in a world-wide Eden, the misinformed theologians hung their own hopes and the hopes of the world upon the heavenly assurances just where they did not belong.

Thus it was that, despite our five senses and every plain statement of the Bible, it has become the prevalent belief that humanity is of spirit nature and not earthly, human; that dying is but getting him either to Heaven, Purgatory or Hell. With this confusion the danger all along theological lines has become great, so that practically every doctrine of the Church is more or less confused thereby. This is the secret, this is the reason why the Bible is misunderstood and being cast aside with the creeds of the Dark Ages as no longer worthy of consideration, while the bulk of Churchianity rushes madly toward the ditch of "Higher Criticism, Evolution, Agnosticism" with little faith in a personal God and no definite hope.


It is time, my dear hearers, that we seek the old paths, the Bible paths and that we seek them intelligently and reverently and honestly. There has been much searching of the Bible to find proofs of what we believe and to entrench ourselves in errors handed to us from the past by well-meaning but deceived forefathers. It is time for us to be honest and to search that we may know God's message to us through his inspired prophets and his Son and the Apostles.

It will not do to say that doctrines are unnecessary. The Bible puts faith, proper faith, at the very foundation of Christian character. "We believe and therefore speak."

Let us do this, let us not be content until we know exactly what the Bible teaches concerning "What is man" and respecting the hope, man's restitution, and respecting the high calling, the heavenly calling of the Church. When we begin to see these matters clearly the entire Bible shines as never before, our faith becomes strong as never before. And then, if we are honest, our love for God and our zeal for his service must also increase proportionately.

Hope of our hearts! O Lord, appear, Thou glorious Star of Day! Shine forth and chase the dreary night, With all our fears, away.

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