The National Labor Tribune, May 10, 1915


Pittsburgh, Pa., May 9 Pastor Russell gave two addresses here today. We report the one from 1 Tim. 4:1, 2. It is a severe arraignment of education, and especially of ministers, notwithstanding its moderate language. The Pastor said:

We are gradually awakening to the fact that the world does not love God, but merely fears Him; and that few of the churches recognize Him as the gracious Heavenly Father. Although the Bible has told us repeatedly that God is Love, that His mercy endureth to the limit, and that from Him comes every good and perfect gift, nevertheless the doctrines of demons instilled into our minds from childhood have hindered us from appreciating these statements.

Back in the Second Century, when Bibles were printed by pen and very expensive, and when few had the education to read them, Satan laid the foundation for gross errors. The clergy began to claim Apostolic Succession for the bishops, who assumed the title of Apostolic Bishops. This meant that they were successors to the Apostles, and consequently that their teachings were of equal authority. Gradually the deception fastened itself; nobody was allowed to preach except those authorized, or ordained, by those claiming to be inspired successors of the Apostles. The result was the separation of the Church as the clergy the public being called the Children of the Church, or sometimes referred to as the laity. [HGL711] A little later the Apostolic Bishops, with Emperor Constantine, started creed-making. Thereafter creeds took the place of the Bible study; for the Emperor decided that the Nicene Creed would be the standard of Orthodoxy, and that any one differing from its teachings would be a heretic and subject to persecution. Any Bible study thenceforth meant liability to be counted a heretic and suffer accordingly. Thus Bible study was crowded out, and any reference to the Bible was considered a slight to these Bishops and the creeds which they had made.

How long did this last, you ask? We answer, twelve hundred years; then the authority of the Bishops as Apostles began to be questioned. The Bible began to be sought and studied, but all who did this were esteemed heretics, or in danger of becoming such by getting out of touch with the creeds. How much error could be brought into the Church in twelve hundred years! Is it any wonder that now we find that our creeds are more than half error, and that the doctrines of devils which were worked into them as leaven have corrupted them entirely and made them injurious to spiritual health?

I remind you that this was the very prophecy which Jesus made that leaven, corruption, would be hidden in the family portion. (Matt. 16:6, 11, 12; Luke 13:21) Again, Jesus pictures the matter in Rev. 17:4, 2 where a woman is shown, having in her hand a Golden Cup filled with her own false doctrines, with which she makes drunk all the inhabitants of the earth. The whole world has been stupidly drunk for centuries and now is awakening some dazed, some angry, some hysterical, etc. But, thank God! we are getting awake; and that with our waking we perceive that the glorious Morning of the Millennium is near at hand. There, as promised, Messiah will assume His great power and begin His Reign, and will roll away the ignorance and superstition from the world and let in the true light of the knowledge of God's glory. Isa. 60:2, 3; Hab. 2:14


I am not blaming our forefathers Catholics or Protestants. Doubtless, there were bad men amongst them, but I believe there were also good men and sincere. I am blaming the great Adversary, Satan, and his demons, the fallen angels, as the Apostle does. We have been debauched by these "doctrines of demons," as the Apostle in our text declares prophetically.

It was about the year 1500 A D that the people began to desire the New Testament and to doubt the inspiration of the Apostolic Bishops. About that time Prof. Tyndale translated the New Testament into the English language, but could not get it printed in Great Britain, because of the power of the Bishops Protestant Bishops, mark you, afraid that the Word of God in the hands of the people would discount their authority. Tyndale persevered, had his New Testament printed in Germany, and then imported it to London. Although few of the people could read, they began to buy the books eagerly, that the few learned ones might read to them. The Apostolic Bishops feared that this would mean the loss of their prestige; for the people would think for themselves. The Bishops bought up the entire edition and burned the books publicly in front of St. Paul's Cathedral, London.

Surely, Jesus forewarned us of these would-be Apostles! (Rev. 2:2) He appointed only twelve, and recognized St. Paul as the successor to Judas. These Twelve were to be His special mouthpieces and were the crown of twelve stars of the Church and its twelve foundation stones. (Rev. 12:1; 21:14) Referring to the illegal Apostolic Bishops, Jesus said, "Thou hast tried them which say they are Apostles and are not, and hast found them liars." Rev. 2:2; 2 Cor. 11:13

Burning the New Testament made the matter worse. The people wanted to know why they should not be permitted to read the words of Jesus and the original Twelve. The pseudo-apostles got busy and produced what they styled the Bishops' Bible, and gave it to the people. But with the Bible they gave threats that if the people in any way, through reading that Bible, would get out of harmony with the creeds, they would go to eternal torture. Poor people, browbeaten and hindered by the very ones who professed to be their leaders by Divine appointment! Poor bishops, deceived by the "doctrines of demons" into taking this terrible position!

Roman Catholics also saw the opportunity for giving the Bible to the people and thus affecting, as the Protestants did, to be progressive friends of the Bible. They got out the Douay edition. Each party warned the people that the other's translation was especially wrong, although, as a matter of fact, there is little difference; and the attempt was to hinder the people from studying the Bible.

The same spirit is manifested everywhere yet. Whoever will agree with the creeds, Catholic and Protestant, is tolerated by his own class. Whoever presents the Bible without sectarian bias, and shows its simplicity and purity, its Divine Message of love and mercy, that person is branded a heretic and dangerous; and any vilification heaped upon him is reckoned as service to God, however false. It is not surprising that we have been centuries in getting out of the darkness of the past; but it is surprising to what extent we have been hoodwinked by the Adversary, and have failed to notice that our difficulty arose from the "doctrines of demons."


From first to last, the "doctrines of demons" are various falsehoods designed to misrepresent God's character and dealings, and thus to hinder the light of God's Message from taking effect in human hearts. But, you say, could not God have hindered Satan from thus practicing deceptions and slandering His character? Surely He could, as He declares He will soon do. But repeatedly the Lord indicates that it has been His purpose not to use force in the gathering of the Church.

As St. Peter declares, "God hath given unto us exceeding great and precious promises, that by these we might become partakers of the Divine nature." (2 Pet. 1:4) We are God's workmanship; but He is working merely through His promises and seeking a class who will respond to His Message and promises. By and by, through Messiah's Kingdom, force will be used for the instruction of others; but those now being selected from the world are to be taken out without hands without human power, without any power except that of the Truth. "Sanctify them through Thy Truth, Thy Word is Truth." (John 17:17) To whatever extent God's [HGL712] Word is received into a good and honest heart, it does a work of transformation- "transformed by the renewing of your mind," through the holy Spirit. Rom. 12:2

Satan, personally and through his demon hosts of fallen angels, seeks to misrepresent God's Message, God's character. St. Paul tells us this, saying, "The god of this world hath blinded the minds of those who believe not, lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, who is the Image of God, should shine unto them." (2 Cor. 4:4) If the light of God's goodness shine into any heart, it will be by the Truth shining in, which will have the effect of scattering the error and sin and of drawing that person nearer to God. So I am hoping today that more light of Divine Truth will shine into all our hearts, that we may be drawn nearer to our God and separated more and more from sin and everything opposed to God.

What is to crush this slander against the Almighty, which Satan has manufactured? He got us to believe that before God created Man He made a great place called Hell, Sheol, Hades, supplied it with fire-proof devils and with fuel to last for all eternity, and then made man, knowing that nearly everybody would go to that awful place, only one in ten thousand being saintly enough to escape it. Additionally, we were taught that we would be rendered indestructible, in order that our torments might last eternally. I refuse to believe that any human mind could ever make up such doctrines. I think too highly of my fellow creatures. I accredit those doctrines, as the Apostle does in our text, to demons; and as he explains, their object was to separate us from God and from the Bible, God's Word.


Satan has been working his plan of opposition to God for more than six thousand years. He began by telling Mother Eve that her sin would not bring the punishment of death, as God had said; and he has kept up that statement until today. He has now convinced the whole world that when they die they are really more alive than when they were alive.

This is the fundamental doctrine of the demons. Think how many false doctrines that have troubled us are based upon the thought that the dead are alive! And remember what the Bible says; namely, "The dead know not anything" (Ecc. 9:5); "The wages of sin is death" not eternal torment anywhere (Rom. 6:23); and, "The soul that sinneth, it shall die." (Eze. 18:4, 20) If we had believed the Bible, we would have been spared the nonsense, the fear, the torture, the delusions, which have troubled us. But we neglected God's Word and took the word of Satan, the Serpent.

These doctrines of demons include Purgatory and masses to get out of Purgatory. They include the work of spirit mediums; for as bishops and priests are deceived, so are mediums. They verily think that they are communicating with dead humans; whereas the Bible makes clear that they are being deceived by the fallen angels, the demons, who know all about our dead friends, and through these mediums try to impress upon us that our friends are alive, thus giving the only confirmation there is to Satan's lie that the dead are alive. Poor creatures who come under the influence of evil spirits tell us distinctly that the spirits who once claimed to be their dead friends declare plainly, after getting control of these unfortunates, that they are demons, and then proceed to terrify their victims by telling that they will soon have them in eternal torture.


At first thought it would appear as though Satan would not favor anything telling about future trouble; and thus many are deceived into thinking that whatever tells of the goodness and love of God must be a deception of the Devil. Let us notice carefully the line of the Adversary's attack. He skillfully uses preachers, evangelists and the profane all to tell about Hell and devils, and the creeds to tell that all that is God's Plan. Thus effectually he puts a barrier between God and the people, and drives them from God and from the Bible.

Have not these "doctrines of devils" led thinking people away from God and religion into social flurries and nonsense? Have not some men been led to plunge into business, others into novel reading, theater-going, drinking, carousing, gaming anything to keep their minds off the most important things, the things of God, the things which the Bible teaches? Surely it is so! And yet there are thousands of ministers who are teaching Hell-fire torment, but we do not believe a word of what they say, and who think they are doing it to keep people from going into sin. Do they think that they are wiser than God? Do they expect to hear the Master's "Well done, good and faithful servant," for having slandered God's name, His character and Message, for having deceived the people, when He plainly told them that the Truth alone will sanctify?

I sympathize with the preachers; they are in a terrible place, as the Apostle describes in our text, "Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron." Only a badly seared conscience could approve of the slandering of Almighty God and the representing of Him as being worse than the worst of devils we could possibly imagine. It would be a hard matter for these gentlemen, so long looked up to as standard-bearers for God and the Truth, to come humbly down from their pedestals and tell the people plainly. "We have been deceiving you all, or at least have been keeping you in ignorance of the Truth, for the sake of the salaries we received." A few, we may surely expect, will do this. They are coming nearer to the point every minute. But the majority will brazen the matter out, adding falsehood to hypocrisy; and every day that they delay to step out on the side of Truth will make their case the worse. The people are becoming enlightened, and are ahead of the preachers in the knowledge of God and in honesty of thought and word.

Quite recently I heard from a young man who went to his pastor, saying, "Do you really believe in Hell fire as the punishment for sin?" The Answer'was, "Yes, certainly, of course we all do." Then the young man told what he had been thinking; and as he was leaving the minister's study, the latter put his hand on the young man's shoulder, saying, "George, I do not believe in eternal torment; but you know we must preach it. Otherwise, we would be out with our denominations and creeds, and out with everything; and perhaps the people would be the worse off." [HGL713] What a shameful position! God has given preachers much advantage over the common people in education and time for study; and surely He will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain that slanders Him, that misrepresents Him, and that does so in the Name of God, religion and the Bible. I am speaking plainly, but not unkindly. My heart grieves for the ministers; for the judgments of the Lord surely will come upon them for their course. Our forefathers had the excuse of ignorance, misunderstanding, poor translations, and severe bondages of superstition. But no excuse can be offered now for misrepresenting God, for deceiving the people of God and the world, and for joining with Satan in attempting to thwart the Divine Purpose of selecting the Household of Faith.

Again I offer free on post-card request my pamphlet on Hell. It discusses every text containing the word Hell, and certain misunderstood parables. Address me at Brooklyn, N Y

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