The St. Paul Enterprise, June 18, 1915


Seattle, Wash., June 13 Pastor Russell is here today, homeward bound from the I B S A Convention at Oakland, Cal. We report his address from the text, "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things that are above." (Col. 3:1) The Pastor spoke in part as follows:

The resurrection to which the Apostle here refers is not that great change from human to spiritual conditions of which he speaks elsewhere, but a resurrection already begun in the hearts and the minds of the New Creatures in Christ. We must not lose sight of the fact, however, that this is part and parcel of the same resurrection. It begins here; it ends there. Whoever does not begin that resurrection here will not end it there; whoever begins it here and fails to go on will not get it there. Only begetting a comprehensive view of the matter can we perceive the full import of the Bible teaching on the subject.

There is something very definite in the Bible. Perhaps in times past we failed to get its real import because we supposed that it was a Book of such deep mysteries that it could be understood only by the clergy. Consequently if a sane thought respecting the Bible came into our minds, we put it away as untrue because so reasonable. But we are beginning to see that God's Book is the most reasonable and logical ever written. And the fact that, although written by many different writers at various times in the world's history, it is the most reasonable of books and contains the most wonderful story, brings conviction that it is indeed the Word of God.

Yet much of this Word has been hidden because of the error and misunderstanding which the Adversary foisted upon us during the Dark Ages. As we get the eyes of our understanding open, we see that the Bible teaches what to most of us is a certainty that everywhere are death, sickness, sorrow, weakness, mental, moral and physical. "By one man's disobedience sin entered into the world, and death as a result of sin; and so death passed upon all men; for all have sinned," says the Apostle. (Rom. 5:12) But this thought that death is the penalty of sin is everywhere rejected; and we are told that eternal torment is the penalty for sin. Both common sense and the Bible are thus discredited. The facts are that death is the great enemy of the human race; that death is here because of sin; and that unless God helps us there would be no future life. Plain, simple, reasonable, is the Bible proposition: Death is upon all mankind; and God's provision is that all shall be recovered from the death sentence. Death came through one man's disobedience and is to be set aside through another man's obedience. The Lord Jesus came into the world and gave Himself a Ransom-price for all a Price that corresponds with the first man who sinned. 1 Cor. 15:21, 22

But, as the Apostle points out, it was necessary not only that Christ should die for mankind, but that He should rise from the dead for our justification. (Rom. 4:24, 25) For Christ merely to die on our behalf and then to make no application of His merit for us would leave us in as terrible a condition as before. Therefore God has provided not only that our Lord should die, but that He should also be raised from the dead. The time set apart for the world's recovery is the period of Messiah's glorious Reign, when He will deliver mankind from the bondage of corruption which came through one man's disobedience.


Our text speaks of the Church as though separate from the world. Elsewhere the Bible declares that the whole world lies in the Wicked One. The world are still under condemnation. But the Apostle explains that the Church has escaped the condemnation that is upon the world. We have not gotten free from the weaknesses of the flesh and the death condition, but we have escaped the condemnation the legal phase of the subject. God is taking this Church class out of the world, to be made partakers of the very highest rank of spirit nature the Divine. (2 Pet. 1:4) This is the promise made to God's people, the Church of the First-borns, whose names are written in Heaven.

"If ye be risen with Christ." The Apostle does not intimate that this is a thing future. All who belong to the true Church of Christ should know that they have this resurrection. But in order to be risen with Christ we must be dead with Him. (2 Tim. 2:11) Whoever shares His death will also share His resurrection. We must walk in His steps. (1 Pet. 2:21) Our Lord declared that He came not to do His own will, but the will of the Father, who sent Him. (John 6:38) So we must do whatever the Father desires us to do; we must not desire our own way. We should seek to know God's will respecting our body what we shall eat, what we shall wear, what we shall say, what we shall do. To do so will give us what the Apostle calls "the spirit of a sound mind."

Before we became the Lord's children we did not think properly along these lines. Like the Gentiles we were thinking of what would satisfy our appetites. Now we think of what would enable us best to serve the Lord and what is best for our welfare. Since we have come into God's family, all our talents are His; the more we realize how few are our talents and our opportunities, and how little we are worth to the Lord and everybody else, the more anxious we shall be to make the most out of everything we have mental, moral, physical.


We are to have in mind also that we are to be dead to self-will. Our will is that which we wish, and our wishes represent our personality. If we yield our own wishes to another, we give up our will to that extent. If we give up our will to some church denomination, then it becomes our head, our ruler. If we give up our talents, etc., to some society or order, it takes supervision of our affairs and our time. God is purposing to have and Order the Order of the Royal Priesthood. [HGL721] Some of us wear what is known as a Cross and Crown Pin. The cross represents our faith in the death of Christ and our desire to walk in His steps; the crown represents the reward of glory, honor and immortality; and the wreath around the cross and crown represents the Restitution blessings coming to the world of mankind. A brother who had on one of these pins was asked what degree he had. "The degree of the Royal Priesthood," he replied. All of God's people are Odd Fellows in the sense that they are different from the world. They are Masons in that they are of the Temple class, whose Chief Corner-Stone is the Lord Jesus Christ. This Royal Temple is built on the foundation of the Twelve Apostles; and we, as living stones, are being built into that Temple, which by and by will be glorious. 1 Pet. 2:4-10

Invariably God's things have the primary thought. The world has more or less copied after these things, but they do not see the beauty as we do. We have no quarrel with anybody. We are simply on God's side, the true side; and so far as others have the Truth, they are with us. Otherwise they are against us. Just as it was respecting our Lord, so it has been with all the Body of Christ, the Church there has been a division of the people, some seeing more, some less. John 9:16

But God's work goes on steadily, grandly. He is finding these precious members of The Christ. In one picture they are represented as jewels, in another as living stones, in a third as a Royal Priesthood. "The Lord knoweth them that are His." We do not know who they are. All that we can do is to assist and leave the rest to the Lord. He makes no mistake.


In order to share in the First Resurrection with Christ, we must share in His death. I remind you of what St. Paul said. He had been discussing the glorious things of the Kingdom, and expressing his opinion that all things in the world were not worthy of consideration in comparison with it. He declared, "I count all things but loss, . . . that I may win Christ and be found in Him." (Philip. 3:8, 9) He desired membership in the Body of Christ.

The word Christ means anointed; Jesus is the Head of The Christ, and the Church are the members. God is raising up a great Anointed One. He raised up Jesus first, and gave Him to be the Head over the Church which is His Body. Throughout the Gospel Age God has been raising up the members of The Anointed; and through the Apostle He has said that all things are to be counted as loss and dross in comparison to that wonderful privilege of being members of The Christ; for to Christ God promised the Kingdom and glory, honor, immortality.

Jesus has already entered into His glory and sat down with the Father. This does not signify that literally He has sat down in Heaven, but that He has entered into that glorious rest of which the Apostle speaks. (Heb. 4:9) He is at the Father's right hand the place of chief favor with God. Next to the Father Himself is our Lord Jesus Christ. The Master has promised that His faithful followers shall sit at His right Hand, and share in His glory as joint-heirs in His inheritance. 1 Pet. 1:4-5

After mentioning these matters and declaring that he counted all earthly things as loss and dross, the Apostle explains that he was looking forward to a resurrection with Christ, that he might share in Christ's glory. (Philip. 3:10) What deprivation will not men endure in order to attain earthly honors political, financial and social! They do not concern themselves particularly about the amount of labor and money expended if only they can get the honor. The Apostle, taking the viewpoint of God, says, How small all these things look when I compare them with the privilege of becoming a joint-heir with Jesus Christ!

Then St. Paul declares that he does all this that he may win Christ, and be found in Him a member of the Body of Christ, the Church. Just as we speak of a board of directors or of the body of Congress, so the Church is such an organized body. The Apostle was anxious to be a member of that Body of Christ. He saw that Jesus had fulfilled the Father's will in all His experiences; and knowing thus what the Father is pleased with and seeing that the Father had exalted our Lord, the Apostle desired to follow the Master. So he says, "That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection" experience that grand resurrection, be "changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye." Since flesh and blood cannot inherit the Heavenly Kingdom, therefore all the Body of Christ must undergo the wonderful transforming power of the First Resurrection. 1 Cor. 15:49-55


St. Paul knew that he could not enter into Christ's resurrection unless he entered into Christ's death. Only those who would suffer with Christ could reign with Him. This knowledge was what made St. Paul so different from others of his day. We look back and see what a wonderful man he was how Christ's character shone in his words and deeds, how much he was filled with the Master's words and disposition.

The same admonition is given us, that we should "follow His steps." In proportion as we become dead to the world, dead with Christ, in that proportion we become risen with Him. But there is a difference between our case and that of Jesus. He was especially born, as the Bible emphasizes; and He could not have been our Savior if He had not been. To deny this fact would be to deny the Ransom. Whoever denies that Jesus came into the world a perfect human being is denying the whole Plan of Salvation. His life did not come from Father Adam, but was transferred from a higher plane. He left the glory which He had with the Heavenly Father, and humbled Himself to become a man. He was able to do the Father's will. No sin debarred Him from Divine favor. But all of us were born in sin; God had declared Adam and his posterity unfit for everlasting life and Divine fellowship.

At the age of thirty years our Lord presented Himself to the Father in consecration. The Father accepted the sacrifice, and manifested His acceptance in the impartation of the holy Spirit. Then, having received the begetting of the new nature, our Lord was counted a New Creature. There, at Jordan, He died, in the sense of giving up His life as a human being; and there He began the new life. From the [HGL722] time He made His Covenant of Sacrifice He was a New Creature.

During the three and one-half years of His ministry, which culminated at Calvary, Jesus was not living according to the world. He was living a higher life. During that time His sacrifice was satisfactory to the Father; and because of this, the incense of His offering entered into the antitypical Most Holy and covered the Mercy-Seat. Therefore, when He died at Calvary, there was laid up for Him the blessing which He received on the third day thereafter. Because He had proved faithful during the three and one-half years of His anointing of the holy Spirit, the Father raised Him from the dead, and exalted Him far above angels.

The experiences of the Church are somewhat similar. From the time that we surrender our wills and begin the sacrificial life, we are dead with Him. Then it is for us to live the new life dead according to the flesh and alive toward God, dying daily and living daily. Our resurrection is going on moment by moment, year by year, until our trial is finished. Then we shall be rewarded according to our faithfulness from the time we came into God's family from the time we received the begetting of the holy Spirit and were recognized as sons of God, risen with Christ, to walk in newness of life.

Before we came into the family of God we were merely outcasts. But when we heard that God had provided for the redemption of our race through the death of His Son and was willing to receive us, it was Good Tidings to us. God has arranged that when we make a full consecration of our hearts to Christ He accepts us, imputes to us His merit and advocates for us. This will continue until the full number of the Elect shall have been found; for as there is a definite number of bones in the human body not one more or one less if the body is perfect so there is a positive number of members in the Body of Christ. The Bible tells us that all His members were written in the Book the Book of God's Wisdom, when He planned the matter in the beginning. As we are accepted of Him, our names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life.

God has a wonderful Plan, and we fall in love with it as we come to understand it; for it is the lovable Plan of a lovable God. How much the Message of the Bible has changed since we have come to know of the things beyond the Veil and have received the understanding which God has given! Surely we can truly love Him, and give Him our whole lives, and show our loyalty to Him by doing His will to the best of our ability. In comparison to the glory, honor and immortality which is offered to us, the things of the present time are not worthy of note. But this high reward we shall receive only on the terms laid down. The resurrection process goes on until we shall have finished our course in death.

"All things are yours!" What a grand thought! things present, things to come; earthly things, Heavenly things. What a beautiful arrangement God has made! "As it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him." (1 Cor. 2:9)

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