The National Labor Tribune, December 17, 1914


Chicago, Ill., Dec. 13 Pastor Russell delivered an address today at the "Chicago Temple," taking for his text, "The inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. ." Rev. 14:8; 17:2; 18:3

He explained that the Book of Revelation declares itself to be a book of symbols. The Woman of the text is the symbolical Woman of the Bible; namely, the professed Church of Christ. The context declares that the Women herself (the Church Nominal) was drunken with her own success in overcoming the saintlier followers of Jesus; that she attained great outward splendor as the price of her unfaithfulness to the Redeemer the price of her illicit intercourse with the kingdoms of earth receiving their support in return for her recognition of them. At the same time she held in her hand the Golden Cup the Word of God, which is full of testimony against her, but which she used in such a manner as to deceive and corrupt them, and to make all the people drunk, as our text declares, individually and nationally.

The speaker adverted to his discourse of the previous Sunday in which he had pointed out some of the false doctrines which led to the exaltation of the Scarlet Woman, the unfaithful Spouse of Christ. She had not followed her Redeemer's footsteps in humility and self-sacrifice. She had especially separated herself from the people under the clergy title; she had practiced and prospered; she had fought down the true followers of Jesus, causing them to suffer for righteousness, sake, even as the Jews had crucified Jesus, and as the Apostles had suffered for loyalty to Truth.

Intoxicated by her successes, she went to great lengths of boasting, establishing herself as the Queen of Heaven, ruling over the kings of earth, yet having fellowship with them and drawing support from them. Both kings and peoples were made drunk, infatuated, with the thought that they could have so close dealings with the Divine Kingdom and still live after the flesh. Degradation, mental and moral, ensued, while kings and peoples went into a drunken sleep from which they are not yet fully aroused.


The Sixteenth Century brought a partial awakening, but the Adversary was at hand to re-entangle those mentally confused by the adulterated wine'the mixture of Heavenly [HGL639] Truth with earthly selfishness and deviltry. The time had not yet come for the binding of Satan, and the Lord allowed him to continue to make the way narrow for the zealous, saintly few. To have allowed the full light of Truth to shine in upon the world at that time would have meant the permission of the great Time of Trouble nearly three centuries too soon; for the Lord's Kingdom would not be ready for establishment until the full end of the six thousand years of the reign of Sin and Death, and the completion of the elect number of the True Church.

For these reasons God permitted the various Protestant Churches to be born, and to develop under the influence of the intoxicating Cup of their Mother. This being true, we are not surprised at the prophetic declaration that the Daughters had the Mother's disposition and became Harlots like her to the extent of their opportunities affiliating with the kingdoms of the world, co-operating with them, modifying doctrines so as to meet with their approval, etc. Each Daughter has done her share to perpetuate the intoxication of the world.


The name Babylon fits the entire household. The word contains a double thought: first, the Gate of God; and second, confusion. Thus it imports that the professed Church, the Gateway to God and righteousness, became confused, impure and adulterous. Each must judge for himself as respects who and what these symbols of the Divine Revelation signify. I believe that not many of God's people who are awake and even partially sobered up from the false doctrines of the creeds and their perversion of the Scriptures will need further assistance in seeing that Babylon, the name originally applied to the Mother Church, has become a family name, applicable equally to all human systems fraudulently posing as the True Church.

The Scriptures tell us that this True Church has not yet been glorified; that her members are being called, developed, perfected under afflictions, in preparation for their exaltation to be the Bride, the Lamb's Wife. The true members of this church, whose names are written in Heaven, are all Virgins, pure, in that they are justified through faith in the Redeemer, and are not in relationship with worldly systems, not organized by them, not serving them and not dependent upon them.

As the Lord prophesied this Babylon system, He evidently purposed to permit it to have the control it has had. When telling us that "Babylon is fallen," He intimates that throughout the past some of His saintly ones have been in Babylon. Otherwise He would not say, "Come out of her." Rev. 18:4

The Lord's voice calling His people out of Babylon at the time she is rejected for destruction, is not a literal voice from Heaven. It is the voice of the Truth. As knowledge respecting God, His character and His Plan, as revealed in the Bible, now comes to the attention of any of God's consecrated people, the voice of the Truth, appealing to his honesty, calls him to come out at any cost and stand separate from all earthly institutions. The Divine Message tells us that the literal fall of these great systems is a hand, and that everybody in them will suffer justly in proportion to enlightenment.


According to Bible chronology, the six thousand years of the reign of Sin and Death have ended. We are in the dawning of the New Dispensation, when old things are passing away and the New Order is being gradually introduced. Properly, the awakening came first to God's consecrated people, who have long waited and prayed for the Morning- "Thy Kingdom come! Thy will be done on earth, even as it is done in Heaven!"

The awakening in the Church has gone on gradually during the Parousia of Christ. Meantime, the Millennial blessings beginning to come to the world have made the drunken sleepers restless. As they awaken to the rich blessings of our time, they are sized with feverish acquisitiveness, individually and nationally. As individuals have been racking their brains in respect to money-getting, so nations, impelled by the same spirit of avarice, have been plotting and scheming for extension of territory, trade, etc. As education has permeated to the lower strata of society, it has awakened the whole world. Hundreds of millions are keenly alert to take advantage of every circumstance and condition; and everything except the material interests of this life seems to be ignored.

But the awakening of the people, as we might expect, exhibits all phases of human character good, evil and foolish. The sufferings of the war-stricken people touch deeply a sympathetic chord in human nature, prompting generosity and sometimes even leading public servants to forget that they have no right to donate public money to any cause, but that the people they serve have the right to exercise their own charity at their own expense. However, the disposition to give food and clothing to those in need clearly indicates that in the hearts of humanity in general there continues to abide some measure of the Godliness with which our race was originally endowed the chief element of Godlikeness being love; for "God is Love."


We are liable to a certain amount of foolishness as we awaken from the ignorance and superstition and get our first glimpse of the sufferings of those in the war zone. To illustrate: The cables recently told that a United States war ship had cleared from an English port, laden with Christmas toys to be distributed to the unfortunate children of the war refugees in Belgium and France. It seems a joke to send a war vessel on such an errand. Thousands of dollars' worth of coal were required, besides the time and attention of a ship's crew, to take a lot of dolls, teddy-bears and knick-knacks to children much more in need of food and clothing. We are not faulting the kind hearts that desire to do something for the sufferers, but we do wonder that the heads of our intelligent statesmen should lend themselves to such foolishness; even though it emanated from hard-hearted journalists who induced school children to such folly. The effect of this mental confusion is to awaken thinking people to the real facts of the case and greatly to discredit all effort on behalf of the war sufferers.

Thinking people are saying to themselves: The warring nations should each look out for the victims of their war. They are bound to do this through self-respect at home and [HGL640] abroad. Assistance from us should not be necessary is not necessary. Money spent thus benefits the givers more than the receivers; for those who should look after the needy will probably content themselves with saying to the unfortunates, "Did you not get your share of the American donation?" Thus our intended generosity may merely help to prolong war and do injury to those we wish to benefit.

On the other hand, the "submerged tenth" at home are in straits and likely to suffer this winter perhaps fully as much as the Belgian refugees. Hundreds have already been evicted because of inability to pay their rent and, with their few belongings in the street, are certainly nearly as much to be pitied perhaps more as the war refugees across the ocean. Surely charity begins at home! We therefore highly commend a general movement toward HOME RELIEF, believing it to be a safe and sane policy in accord with the teachings of the Bible- "He that provideth not for his own. . . is worse than an infidel."

The people at our doors are our own responsibility. In many respects the war is more injurious here than in the warring countries. There, government contracts for army rations, clothing, military apparatus, shipbuilding, etc., are causing great business prosperity, especially in Germany and Great Britain. Here, on the contrary, the avenues of business are dislocated. The foreign absorption of gold causes financial embarrassment and stringency, the discharge of clerks, mechanics, etc.

Few of the awakening ones realize that the present war is permitted for the weakening of the nations, preparatory to the utter collapse of the present order of things and the ushering in of the New Order of things the Reign of Righteousness, under Messiah's Kingdom. The aroused sleeper should face about to the rising Sun of Righteousness with healing in His beams and blessings for all nations. (Mal. 4:2) Were this recognized, there would be less of the war spirit here at home, less of a fear of what could be accomplished by enemies across the deeps, more of a confidence in the Lord, and an endeavor to please and obey Him. But the maddening wine still intoxicates many Americans, and will yet probably embroil our nation in strife.


As for religion, the awakened ones reject the major portion of the creeds of the past, yet carefully cling to any rights or privileges which those false doctrines give them. Thus the Divine rights of kings, nobles, princes and governments, and rites and ceremonies, civil and ecclesiastical, are firmly clutched and held high above the people in the interests of the rulers. This is the secret of the willingness of the earthly kings, emperors and princes, financial princes and subservient religionists to engage in the present horrible strife. The argument with all is that the end justifies the means. The ends sought are commercial supremacy, political supremacy; and, incidentally, the religious systems are praying for a backing-up of the various contestants whom they have long taught are kingdoms of God, guided by Divine Wisdom and Providential care.

The Lord no longer restrains these; for His time has come that iniquity should have an end; that the Harlot systems should make manifest that none of them is the Bride of Christ; and that the kings of earth might humble each other and thus make ready for the true Kingdom of God for the Reign of Christ and His Church, glorified.

The masses of mankind have been slowly awakening for some time; but the present war is sure to thoroughly awaken the whole world, and the maddening effect of the false doctrines will anger the entire human family. As they realize how they were drugged with the false doctrines, the tendency with the majority will be to go to the opposite extreme to lose faith in everything. The result undoubtedly will be pandemonium, as the Scriptures portray- "Every man's hand against his neighbor" anarchy.


Many, realizing to some extent the matters we here portray, are earnestly advocating some kind of patched-up compromise a reformation in the churches, a discarding of the creeds in fact while holding to them in theory, a laboring on the part of all for social betterments, etc. We commend this spirit as better than the "stand-pat" program of others; but it is too late. The opportunity for such a reformation has passed. As the Scriptures declare, "We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed." (Jer. 51:9) There was a lack of desire for healing, for purification, for forgiveness, for turning away from illicit intercourse with the kingdoms of this world to affiliation with the Lord alone. Only the few had the proper spirit. They are the Lord's Jewels. Mal. 3:17

This Christian Age in many respects corresponds to the Jewish Age, which was its prototype. Hence our Lord's words respecting Natural Israel apply here also. He declared the New Dispensation so different from the Old that it would be like putting a new patch into an old garment; that it would be like putting new wine into old wineskins, which had lost their elasticity, and could not withstand the strain. Hence the Jewish Dispensation was entirely set aside, and the New Order of things was inaugurated.

So here, there is sufficient contrast between the things of this Present Order religious, financial, social, political and the New Order of things that the two cannot possibly intermix, cannot possibly be patched up. Instead, the Lord declares that the Present Order of things, symbolically represented by "the heavens and the earth," the ecclesiastical heavens and the social earth, are to pass away utterly, absolutely, in the great conflagration, which will not be literal fire, but symbolic anarchy. Meantime, however, the Lord promises us that the New Order of things to take the place of the Present Order, will be "the desire of all nations" "a new heavens," the glorified Church; "a new earth," :a new social order. This is the hope of the world. There is none other.

In view of these things, it behooves every child of God to heed the voice of God to stand free from Babylon, to manifest the spirit of the Lord, to become a true Bible student, a true overcomer of the world and its spirit, faithful unto death, that he may be accounted worthy of the Crown of Life and a share with his Master in the Millennial Kingdom Throne. And as respects those who are not the Lord's consecrated people, but who love the Truth and [HGL641] righteousness, there are but two courses open. The first and better one is a full surrender to the Lord, a full consecration of the heart, will, time, influence all for the service of the Truth; or, second, but less satisfactory, an endeavor to live soberly, righteously, justly, truthfully, sympathetically, mercifully.

Prev   Next