The National Labor Tribune, September 3, 1905


Denver, Cob., Sept. 3 – Pastor Russell of Allegheny, Pa., preached here today to a large audience from the text: "Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life." (1 Tim. 6:12)

He said: We are not of those who hold that wars are wholly avoidable under our present conditions. On the contrary, we can see that in many instances wars have been immensely profitable to the advancement of civilization. The veterans who are meeting in this city today in conclave were, so far as human judgment can discern, engaged in such a conflict as in the condition of things was unavoidable and has resulted in great advancement, improvements, etc., to the brothers who fought on both sides of the question at issue.

Apparently they were conscientious people, who viewed the questions at issue from opposite standpoints, doubtless because of variant views of truth and righteousness and loyalty to principles. So we believe it has been with many of the wars the world has prosecuted. At all events we may safely assume that the men in the ranks were generally swayed by the arguments presented to their minds and fought conscientiously by them.

We, dear friends, who accept the revelations of Scripture respecting the future, can rejoice that the time is near at hand when Satan, the great adversary, shall be overthrown, and when Christ shall reign under the whole heavens, establishing lasting peace upon the basis of absolute equity and justice, and by restraining and controlling the selfish propensities which now lead to wars. We are assured that in that blessed time "nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more;" and we are assured again that the Lord "will make wars to cease unto the end of the earth." (Isa. 2:4; Psa. 46:9)

We are assured further that although Messiah's Kingdom will be introduced by the most terrible time of trouble the world has ever known, a time of anarchy, confusion, which symbolically in the Scriptures is compared to fire and whirlwind and floods, yet eventually, after these troubles shall have taught the world its lesson and brought it into proper subjection to righteousness, Immanuel himself shall be known as the Prince of Peace, in whose Kingdom nothing shall hurt or stumble any. Isa. 11:9


We have not yet reached that glorious time when all shall know the truth and when righteousness shall be thoroughly established – when it will cost much to be unrighteous, unjust, and bring reward to live righteously. We are still under the domination of the prince of this world, who now worketh in the hearts of the children of disobedience. (Eph. 2:2)

The children of disobedience are still far more numerous than the children of obedience everywhere, not only in heathen lands but also in the most civilized. Only the comparatively few are even striving to walk not after the flesh but after the spirit. All who are walking after the flesh are walking after the course of selfishness; all who are walking after the spirit are walking under the law and banner of love, under the leadership of Christ. As our Lord expressed it, the darkness hateth the light and opposes it, and as a consequence strife is unavoidable to some extent.

As for the world, selfishness being its rule, everything is strife. Each nation is selfishly seeking either to maintain an already selfishly acquired hold upon peoples and provinces or to acquire control of such. The general motive is selfishness and desire to exploit those less advanced in the scale of civilization and enlightenment – to create wealth at the expense of the less competent. The same principle applies everywhere throughout Christendom, strife for power, strife for honor, strife for wealth, strife for territory. Undoubtedly the exercise of these selfish propensities will lead to further wars, and that perhaps in the very near future, notwithstanding the fact that mankind is sick of war and butchery, and that the majority would fain establish permanent peace by arbitration. Nothing of the kind will be found practical so long as the hearts of the majority are under the control of selfishness.


When our Redeemer was arraigned before Pilate he was asked whether or not he was a king, and replied, "My Kingdom is not from hence, else would my servants fight." [John 18:36]

Our Lord's Kingdom was not established then and has not been established since, and hence his servants or followers are not in any sense qualified to fight for its maintenance. When it shall be established it will be a spiritual empire, against which flesh and blood will have no prevailing power. He will reign, must reign, until he has put all enemies under his feet, the last enemy to be destroyed being death. 1 Cor. 15:26

Because the time for the establishment of the Kingdom has not yet come our Lord did not resist the authority under which he lived. He recognized that under divine arrangement the control of the world had been [NS239] handed over to Gentile governments. This is pictured in the prophecy of Daniel, where the great universal empires of earth, Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Grecian and Roman, are illustrated in one vision by great terrible beasts, and in another vision by the image whose head of gold represented Babylon, whose breast and arms of silver represented Medo-Persia, whose belly and thighs of brass represented Greece, and whose feet and toes corresponded to the ten horns of the beast of civilized Rome, representing the division of Rome in a pseudo-Christian amalgamation known today as Christendom.

Our Lord well knew that the divine plan had given the control of the world to these Gentile empires, and that his time to exalt his Kingdom and to exalt his authority had not yet come. He knew indeed that before the Kingdom would have authority to bless the world he must purchase the world, redeem us with his precious blood. To this he consecrated his life at baptism, to this he gave the attention of his entire three and a half years of ministry, and in harmony with this consecration he would not defend himself before Pilate but resigned his life, saying, "Thou canst have no power at all except it were given thee from above." [John 19:11]

Our Lord's fight then was not with carnal weapons or against any of the powers that be, and which were ordained of God, but with his human nature, to bring it fully into subjection to his consecration, to pour out his soul unto death. This was his battle, and right loyally he won, saying, "I delight to do thy will, O my God; thy law is written in my heart." Psa. 40:8

His victory meant his attainment of the right of empire, and the authority to control all the race of Adam purchased with his sacrifice. Thousands of millions of these had already gone into the great prison house of death, and to this he secured the "key," the right, the authority to open, and in the resurrection morning to bid all the prisoners come forth to glorious opportunities of life and by obedience to attain everlasting life.

Not only so, but in accord with the divine purpose he called for disciples, for followers, for a little flock who would follow in his steps of sacrifice and delight to lay down their lives in doing the Father's will and in preparation for a share with him in the coming Kingdom, the Millennial Kingdom, for which we pray, "Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done in earth as it is done in heaven," when in due time it shall be established.

These, who follow Jesus even unto death, thereby with him to attain a share in his glory, the Scriptures refer to as "soldiers of the cross," and mention Jesus as their Captain, the Captain of our Salvation, in whose footsteps we are to follow. But our limitations are the same as those of our Captain, as the Apostle points out to us saying, "The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds." (2 Cor. 10:4)

We have various weapons of defense given us by our Captain, a helmet of salvation, a breastplate of righteousness, a shield of faith, etc., but we only have one weapon for offensive warfare, namely, the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. With this all of our fightings are to be done. We are not to use other swords, the words of men, of creeds of the, dark ages or decisions of councils, nor are we to have our own imaginations and fancies in the matter, but simply the Word of God, which is able to make us wise unto salvation, able to defend us from the adversary and all of his various attacks, able to make us mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds of error, in the casting down of our own vain imaginations as well as those of others, permitting us to place the standard of divine truth prominently before the world.

We must lift up the divine standard and proclaim that while many of the Lord's people have been in wars and fightings according to the flesh and with carnal weapons, and with good intentions, they were never so engaged by divine authority during this Gospel dispensation. During the Jewish age the Lord indeed had an earthly kingdom, a typical kingdom, and fightings done on its behalf were typical of the good fight with the sword of the Spirit which is to be done by the spiritual Israelites during this Gospel age.

The number of genuine soldiers of the cross who have enlisted under the banner of Jesus to serve faithfully even unto death in the cause of righteousness, at the loss of earthly name and fame and advantage and comfort, and for the sake of divine approval and the prospect of sharing the everlasting Kingdom of Messiah – the number of this class is very small indeed. It will matter nothing whatever to the world in general whether they fight with the carnal weapons or not. With this specially consecrated class, exempt from fighting with the carnal weapons, there will still be millions of nominal Christians and well-intentioned worldly people not under this divine restriction respecting weapons of warfare, who may and who will fight along the lines of good principles and for a good government, and for various causes and questions which they shall consider to be right and just and worthy of their blood. To such we say in the language of Shakespeare, "Thrice armed is he who has his quarrel just."

It is possible for a man to be a good citizen, a good soldier, and to fight along the lines of the best worldly principles, and to be doing the best he knows how to do, and we can rejoice with such if their lives are [NS240] laid down in what seems to them conscientiously a worthy cause. We may feel sure for such that their loyalty to principle will find them all the better prepared when the resurrection morning shall bring them back to the activities of earth under the more favorable conditions of the reign of Immanuel and his Bride, the little flock.

Not to the world in general, then, not to the masses of mankind, does the Lord address his injunction that evil is not to be resisted. All of our Lord's commands are to those who are his followers in the special sense we have intimated – those who have taken up their cross to follow him in consecration even unto death. It is the failure to notice this distinction between the consecrated and the merely nominal believers and the world which has led to so much confusion amongst believers and others respecting the peculiarity of our Lord's teachings. What mattered it to the Roman or to the Jewish nation that our Lord resisted not?

What mattered it to them that he enjoined upon all who would be his disciples that they should follow his example? Their number was so small that it made little practical difference in the affairs of Judaism or in the affairs of the world, and the same has been true of the Lord's elect class throughout the Gospel age. Their swords and guns and blood have not been necessary in any of the wars or any of the victories of the world. In the world, they are not of it; their battlings, their fightings, are of a totally different kind.

While the command to these was that they were not to resist evil, it signified, as elsewhere expressed, that they were not to resist evil with evil, not to resist the world and its forces by earthly forces. Nevertheless they were to contend, to fight, to resist evil unto death – "Ye have not yet resisted unto blood," is the Apostle's suggestion. (Heb. 12:4)

The implication is that we are to resist evil even unto blood. Of course we are not to resist the good but to resist the evil – to resist the evil with good, to resist unrighteousness with righteousness, to resist error with truth, to resist impurity with purity. This is the good fight, this is the great fight. The great majority are on one side of the question, the Lord and his little flock are on the other side.

It is safe to say that there are a great many people in the world who are more or less supporting sin and unrighteousness and injustice and error who are not willing to be on that side of the battle, but who if they realized the true situation would be ready to contend earnestly for the right. The question is why can not all see what is right, what is truth, what is righteousness, what is purity?

The answer of the Scriptures is that the Adversary, Satan, the god of this world, who now has so much influence and power, puts darkness for light and light for darkness, and thus deceives many who would love to be on the right side, and thereby utilizes them on his own side of the question. Every day we find Presbyterians, Roman Catholics, Baptists, Lutherans, Congregationalists, Episcopalians, and people of all denominations, who assure us that they have long been feeling after the Lord, seeking after the light of truth, and that, so far as they know their own hearts, they would long ago have enlisted heartily on the side of righteousness had they been able to see clearly, but that for a time their eyes were holden – the untrue appeared to be the true, it had an earthly honor and sheen and glory that deceived them; the truth appeared to be the false, it was so small, so insignificant, so unpretentious, so despised of the world.

The Lord suffers matters to be in this condition now throughout this Gospel age, to the intent that he may make selection from the world of those who specially love the light and truth, who love it more than they love houses or lands, father or mother, husband or wife or children or others dear according to the flesh, yea, more than they love their own lives. Such have the eyes of their understanding opened, and immediately a test begins which demonstrates surely to the Lord, at least, the measure of their sincerity, their honesty of heart, their desire for the truth. If they are faithful and really joy in laying down their lives in defense of righteousness, truth and in obedience to the Lords they are of the kind whom the Lord is seeking as members of his elect classy joint-heirs in the Kingdom.


As already intimated some of the battles under the Jewish regime were typical of the conquests of Spiritual Israelites during this Gospel age. Gideon and his little band seemed to have been specially used of the Lord as a type or illustration of Christ and his little flock. In the type it was this battle in which the Lord gave the victory to Gideon and his little handful of followers over their enemies, delivering the people of Israel.

The correspondence or antitype would be the victory which Christ and his little flock will soon have over Satan and all the forces of evil at present operating in the world for the enslavement of those who would desire to be the Lord's people were it not for the blindness which is upon them and for the deceptions which he practices over them and for the weaknesses of the flesh which ensnared them. The battle time will be at the close of this Gospel age, the great time of trouble such as was not since there was a nation, otherwise in [NS241] the Scriptures called "the battle of the great day of God Almighty." Rev. 16:14 At the close of that great battle of the day of the Lord, with the Millennial kingdom fully established in the earth, Satan bound, and all the influences of sin restrained, and all the agencies of righteousness set free, it will mean the blessing of all the families of the earth and an opportunity to test, to prove, to demonstrate who are on the Lord's side, on the side of righteousness, on the side of truth, and who are on the opposite side of error and sin.

All on the Lord's side will be accounted his sheep, as represented in the parable of the sheep and the goats, and these shall all be gathered to his right hand of favor and ultimately be granted the full liberty of the sons of God – liberty from death and imperfection and all the weaknesses that have come down to humanity from the fall of our first parents, accentuated by the six thousand years of still further degradation.

Our special interest in Gideon and his band lies in the fact that it was a selected army, a peculiar people. We remember how Gideon first invited all who wanted to serve the Lord to come to his standard, and a considerable gathering was assembled. So there are many in the world, who, when they first hear of Christ and his call for followers, are ready to respond, not seeing clearly all the conditions, not realizing what it means to be one of the soldiers of the cross. In harmony with the Lord's direction Gideon set before the assembled ones the terms and conditions, and urged any to go home again, to leave the ranks, if they were not anxious to go into the fight.

So Christ, our Gideon, the Captain of our Salvation, says to all who volunteer to be his disciples, "Sit down and count the cost; consider whether or not you sufficiently appreciate the blessings that are to follow and the privilege of being my disciple and inheriting my Kingdom. Before you make definite enlistment count the cost, count the self-denial, reckon that it means to love less father and mother, wife and children, houses and lands, yea, and your own life also, and to be ready to sacrifice all of these should occasion require in faithfulness to your covenant."

As with Gideon's band, the majority went back home and declined that which they at first had sought. So with those who hear of Christ and who first contemplate being his disciples, the majority fall back, do not make the full consecration, conclude that it will be enough for them to rejoice in the blessings that Christ will ultimately bring, and that as for fighting for it and being with him in the struggle and ultimately being with him in the Kingdom glory, they do not estimate this as worthy of the sacrifice of all earthly things.

The Lord intimated to Gideon that there were still too many in the little handful of his associates, there must be another weeding out; and the test made was that he should bring them to the water, and those who took the water in one manner were accepted and those who took it in another manner were rejected, and thus under divine guidance the company was reduced to the small number which the Lord designed. So it is with the antitypical Gideon's band. Amongst those still courageous so far as fighting is concerned another test is applied, namely, loyalty to the truth, for the water, and the drinking of it, and the manner of drinking it, seem to typify the truth and how it was received.

Those who lifted the water by hand to the mouth were three hundred, and they were thus marked as the Lord's selection, water here symbolizing truth as it generally does throughout the Scriptures, and the hand – representing power, energy, cooperation – would signify the putting forth of power, the exercise of energy in connection with the partaking of the truth. And so it is not merely those of Gideon's band who have courage and who have access to the water and who partake of it to some extent, but those who handle the truth, who put forth their power or energy in connection with the use of the truth, who are exercised in connection with it. These are the ones who will have a special blessing of the Lord, and constitute the special class who will have the privilege of fighting the good fight.


The Apostle intimates that the armor of the Christian is peculiar in the sight of the world. So also this was typified in the armament given in Gideon's band; each had a pitcher, and in the pitcher each had a light, and in his hand each had a trumpet. In this manner they approached the enemy. First they blew a blast upon the trumpets, which represent the Word of God, the message of the Lord; then they used the ram's horn trumpets in breaking the pitchers, and thus allowing the light to shine out as from lanterns.

So the message, the blast of the trumpet, the bugle call to the world in the name of the Lord, not only have their effect upon the world, but the same bugle has its effect upon ourselves – all who belong to Gideon's band will be rightly exercised by the same message. With this trumpet we will break our vessels and let our light shine out. The Apostle intimates that the light is the spirit of the truth, the new mind, the new will in us, and that the earthen vessels represent our mortal bodies. And so it is that the channel through which we proclaim the message of the Lord against all opponents of righteousness is the same instrument by which our own mortal bodies are broken for the Lord's service, and in proportion as the vessel is broken in the same proportion [NS242] the light of grace and truth will shine out to others. This calling of Gideon's band, this sending back of some, this testing of the remainder with the water symbolizing the truth, and how it will be received and applied, this blowing upon the trumpets, this breaking of the pitchers, this letting shine out of the light, has been going on for now over eighteen centuries, and very shortly the results will be seen, the conquest will be ours through the power of the Lord, and the time of trouble will indeed scatter all the forces of evil. Gideon's band, the Lord's little flock, will be with him in glory to bless and to uplift all the families of the earth.


Dear friends, let us who have enlisted in this warfare fight the good fight, break our vessels, let our light shine out, blow the trumpets, cultivate in ourselves all the fruits and graces of the Lord's Spirit and put down in ourselves the foes of grace and truth, and, as the Apostle suggests, bring into captivity to the will of God even the very thoughts and intents of our hearts, that we may be wholly his, that we may be accepted in the Beloved and accounted worthy of being of the little flock, the Gideon band, to whom the victory shall so soon be granted over all the forces of evil, and whose victory shall mean not only their own blessing and glorification but also the blessing of the whole groaning creation and their deliverance from the power of sin and weakness and death.


Los Angeles, Cal., September 17 – Pastor C. T. Russell of Allegheny, Pa., addressed large audiences here today on two occasions. We report one of his discourses on the "sin unto death" from the text, "If any man see his brother sin a sin not unto death, he shall ask and God will give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: not concerning this I say that he should make request." 1 John 5:16

Perhaps some of my audience may say, How strange a topic for an address to Christian people! If Brother Russell were addressing a congregation of convicts in a prison that might be a suitable text, but it is not appropriate to us. On the contrary, dear friends, the Apostle addressed these words to the Church, as I am now addressing them to the Church.

Indeed, as I expect to show, the sin unto death is one that the world at the present time could not commit, is one which only the truly consecrated of the Lord's people could commit at the present time. If this be conceded it must also be acknowledged that to the Church and not to the criminals of earth is the Apostle's admonition applicable.

This discourse was republished in Pastor Russell's Sermons, pages 766-78, under the same title.

The National Labor Tribune, September 24, 1905


Houston, Tex., September 24 – Pastor C. T. Russell of Allegheny, Pa., homeward bound from the Pacific coast, preached on Saturday at San Antonio, and twice here today. He had attentive audiences. We report his discourse on Forgivable and Unforgivable Sins. His text was, "Every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto them; but a blasphemy against the holy Spirit shall not be forgiven." (Matt. 12:31, 32)

The discourse follows: The Scriptures inform us of the transgression of the divine command and justly carries with it a penalty. And since all men are by nature fallen and unable to measure up to the perfect demands of the divine law, it follows as the Scriptures declare, that all are sinners – "There is none righteous, no not one." [Rom. 3:10]

The question of sin and its penalty, therefore, is one which should be of deep interest to every human being, especially to those members of the sinner race who are striving against sin, wishing and hoping by the Lord's grace to attain perfection. Since sin is the infraction or violation of the divine law, inquire what is its penalty? The Scriptures reply, "The wages of sin is death," and explain to us that [NS243] the death we witness, which preys upon the entire human family, carrying mankind to the tomb, is this penalty for original sin, the concomitants of sorrow, pain, distress and trouble being merely fundamentals to the penalty. The Bible asserts this, saying, "By one man's disobedience sin entered into the world and death as a result of sin, the penalty of death passed upon all men, for all are sinners." Rom. 5:12

[We cannot reproduce the first part of this paragraph due to poor copy. What follows is the last section.]

Hence the Almighty purposed the redemption of Adam and his race with a view to give.., race, such a second opportunity. In harmony with this plan the fact of the redemption has been proclaimed throughout the world, to the intent that those who have ears to hear the message and faith to believe it may act upon it and turn from sin and devote their lives to the Lord and his cause of righteousness. Yea, more, the Scriptures clearly inform us that the class who are now being selected, the Church of this Gospel age, is but a first-fruits unto God of his creatures (Jas. 1:18), that it is his purpose in an age to follow to extend the scepter of mercy to every member of Adam's race – to those who have not the ears to hear now and who therefore are not eligible in the present gathering of the Lord's first-fruits class.


The foregoing facts must be borne in mind in order to rightly understand our subject – forgivable and unforgivable sins. Adam's sin was an unforgivable one, because it was the sin of a perfect being created in the image and likeness of God. It was a wilful and deliberate sin, a sin against the Spirit – that is, not an unintentional one, not one through weakness, but a deliberate one. That that sin was an unforgivable one was evidenced by the fact that for six thousand years, ever since its commission, sin and death have reigned over the race.

(1) The children of Adam, sharing in his imperfections, shared also in his sentence.

(2) The inheritance of an unforgivable sin is attested to by the fact that it was necessary for Christ Jesus by the grace of God to go into death for every man, to redeem Adam, the sinner and all of his race of sinners. Note, however, since Jesus had died for our sins, and since he arose and ascended on high and appeared in the presence of God on our behalf and presented his sacrifice as the atonement for the sins of all believers, it can readily be seen that these believers stand in different relationship to God from that which Adam occupied.

Their sins being forgiven they are still by reason of their share in the fall, imperfect in mind and in body. Since God now takes cognizance of them he must in justice make an allowance for the blemishes and imperfections which they inherit and which are unwillingly theirs. If they were perfect, as Adam was perfect, any transgression of the law by them would be as unforgivable as was Father Adam's transgression.

Now, as a part of his plan, God informs us that in the cases of all who accept Christ as their Redeemer and turn their hearts from sin to righteousness and seek to walk in the footsteps of Jesus – to all these he will grant forgiveness of their blemishes – their imperfections, which are merely the result of heredity. Such blemishes as would have been counted sin to them, had they been perfect men at the bar of divine justice, are thus passed over and not counted sins to them because they have trusted in him and because they are seeking to walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit. This treatment of believers is called divine grace.

It extends only to believers. Under another figure these believers are represented as being covered with the robe of Christ's righteousness; their sins having been imputed to Jesus, his righteousness is as a garment imputed to them, covering their blemishes and permitting them to stand before the Lord as though they were perfect, "holy, acceptable to God." Rom. 12:1

We will have something to say about the sins of unbelievers and God's dealings with them, but now we continue our examination of the operation of divine grace toward believers. The Apostle John when speaking of this class declared that none can be of it who deny that they are actually imperfect. He says, "If we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us;" but if we "confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins." (1 John 1:8,9)

God can be just in forgiving our sins because Jesus has appeared for us. Our Redeemer has become our advocate, and has applied the merit of his sacrifice on our behalf; hence the justice of God in forgiving those who confess their sins and who accept the forgiveness which his grace has provided. The same Apostle John in another connection says, "He that commiteth sin is of the devil," and thus he intimates that those who are truly the Lord's people do not sin. Here evidently he is viewing us from the standpoint of the covering which is ours in Christ. He means that those who sin wilfully, deliberately, are of the devil, and are not guided by the holy Spirit of God. If, therefore, any who have become truly the Lord's followers through full consecration shall sin wilfully after they have received a knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for their sins, they can have no more share in the great atonement work of [NS244] Christ. They have had their share and have misused the justification which they received through that forgiveness. For such is the second death. Theirs is the sin mentioned by our Lord in our text as blasphemy against the spirit – that is, evil speaking, evil acting, contrary to the spirit of truth, the spirit of righteousness, the Spirit of the Lord as they had learned and understood the same. That sin was never forgiven, as the Apostle declares, "There is a sin unto death" and there is a sin not unto death.


Our Lord, the great teacher and Theologian, did not teach that all sins have the same penalty. He not only showed that there is a sin unto death but he also spoke of sins which would be punishable with "stripes" – chastisements. Furthermore, he intimated that there would be various degrees of such sin, some punishable with few stripes and some with many. What sins are these? Which sins are they? We have already considered two kinds of sins, and the kind now under consideration might be designated a third or a mixture or a combination of the other two. To keep the matter before our minds let us rehearse:

(1) Sins that are purely the results of ignorance or inherited weaknesses the Lord proposes to overlook or forgive altogether for believers when they are confessed, acknowledged and repudiated.

(2) The full, complete, deliberate renouncement of righteousness and participation in sin, a wilful delving into sin after having been forgiven, after having been accepted into the Lord's family, after having participated fully in the merits of the salvation provided – for this full, complete sin against the spirit of truth, righteousness, holiness, the penalty is the second death – utter destruction.

(3) A mixture of the foregoing two kinds of sin – a blending of wilfulness with inherited weakness, a combination of perversity and heredity with a will that is not sufficiently strong in the Lord, not sufficiently determined for righteousness, not sufficiently on the alert to resist the attacks of the world, the flesh and the devil. This last – described species of sin is the more general one and must have our particular attention, that we may know how it is viewed of the Lord and what are the proper steps to take in counteracting it and what the results will be if we do not take these steps. In our text the Lord divides the same subject into two parts only, "All manner of sins may be forgiven unto men except the sin against the Spirit, which can not be forgiven." [Matt. 12:31]

Applying the text to this third view of sin, which is the one with which we all have our greatest difficulty, we find that where any measure of wilful-ness is associated with sin, it takes it to that degree out of the list of forgivable sins and places it in the list of unforgivable, because to whatever degree we sin against the light and knowledge we are sinning against the spirit of the truth. On the other hand, so long as it is not a wilful, deliberate renouncement of righteousness and of the Lord's redemptive work it is not counted as a sin unto death.

It therefore occupies the intermediate place which our Lord elsewhere mentions – it is a real sin, it implies a defect in the heart, in the will, in the intention. If the will were perfect the Lord would not count any defect a sin at all, and to whatever extent the will is imperfect it must be rectified, remedied, otherwise assuredly we need not expect a place in the Kingdom. We must get to the place where we will be free from all intentional sins, imperfections, where our hearts will be opposed to sin in every sense and degree, where we will be walking not after the flesh but after the spirit, as close to the spirit of God's law as is possible for us – though it will not be possible for any of us to walk up to the spirit, because we are imperfect through the fall, but our endeavors to walk after the spirit are counted to us for righteousness, as the Apostle declares. Rom. 4:5

Our Lord and the apostles exhort not the world but believers to examine themselves, to examine their faith whether or not it is founded upon the Rock-foundation, the redemptive work of Christ, or upon something else, sandy foundation which will not stand.

They exhort us also that in all our Christian course we shall "walk circumspectly," looking all about us, examining every step in life's pathway, seeking that our Christian walk shall be in all things pleasing to the Lord, measuring ourselves and our conduct by the Golden Rule, comparing ourselves repeatedly with the divine standards set for us in Jesus, the standard of perfect love for God and for our fellow man. To whatever extent inspection finds that we are short in these matters, we must see to it that it is not the will that comes short, that every shortcoming is purely, solely, the result of weakness of the flesh, inability to do better.

So doing we shall continue to have the forgiveness of the Lord, and enjoy continually the light of his countenance and fellowship of spirit with him. On the other hand, if we find that to any extent we have done less than we are able to do to maintain a righteous standard of life-less than we are able to do in preserving our fellowship and relationship to the Lord and his people, less than we are able to do in holding up the standard of righteousness before the world – our hearts should condemn us and show us that we are not living up to our proper standard and privilege. If we find that our wills were not sufficiently on the alert to know and to do the will of the Lord, if we find that to [NS245] any degree we have courted sin or to any degree assented to our own temptations or yielded in any degree to our own weaknesses, then our course is plain – we have sinned. We should go at once to the Lord in prayer, acknowledging the defect, asking forgiveness for the sins and sincerely promising thereafter to put forth greater endeavors to walk after the spirit and not after the flesh – to serve the Lord with all our hearts. But we can not expect to have such sins entirely forgiven, entirely blotted out.

The Lord will very graciously forgive the transgression to the extent that he who can read the heart can see extenuating circumstances, weaknesses, strong temptations, etc. We may rely upon the divine justice as also upon divine mercy that, on the one hand the Lord will not judge us too severely, but on the other hand, that He will judge a righteous judgment. We are to bear in mind that the Lord's object in dealing with us, in giving the strictest of punishment, is not that he takes pleasure in our suffering, but, as the Scriptures explain the matter, would chasten us as sons that he might teach us the lessons necessary, which will be helpful to us, and which will enable us eventually to be proper and acceptable members of his family in glory, amongst whom there can not be a solitary member who will love or have any sympathy with sin. And as the Apostle says, "Brethren, if our hearts condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God." [1 John 3:21]

If we are doing the best we know how to do day by day, year by year, we may rest in the Lord's unchanging grace toward us in Christ, however weak, however imperfect our results. To whatever extent we can grasp this thought, we will be helped, not only in our appreciation of the Father's judgments and disciplines and chastenings as they also come to us, but be helped also as the Apostle exhorts, in judging ourselves and correcting ourselves, in disciplining ourselves. This is the real life work of the Christian after he enters the family of God by adoption as a son through Jesus Christ.

We are not ignoring the privileges and opportunities granted to the Lord's people in connection with serving the truth by preaching, circulating tracts and otherwise; but we assert that these services for the Lord and for the brethren and for the truth could easily be accomplished without us and we are permitted to engage in these that thereby we may evidence our love for him and for his cause of righteousness. But these outward works for others are not the most important.

Our special work is for ourselves, that our own hearts may be developed more and more in the character-likeness of our Lord Jesus, who was holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners. Our hearts must be more and more after his own pattern, holy, harmless, undefiled. Let us remember that we can not hope for absolute perfection in the flesh, but must require of ourselves perfection in the spirit in the heart, in the intention, of the will. This is the Lord's demand, and he will accept nothing less. We would not expect that this judging of motives and character-development.., can be developed sufficiently. [The first section of this sentence is not readable in the original copy] of sin with self-will, with the various depravities and oppositions of the flesh, as well as the oppositions of the general course of this world.

We must learn from our imperfections and failures, must judge ourselves by fortifying with resolutions and prayer our arrangements of the affairs of this life, so that the weak points of our characters may be strengthened, and that we as new creatures may be in the spirits of our minds rounded out and approximate more and more the perfect pattern.


God is love, and his love was manifested in the character and work of his Son, and to us he had declared that "love is the fulfilling of the law." (Rom. 13:10)

We, therefore, are to judge ourselves continually to see to what extent words and thoughts and deeds are in harmony with love. Day by day we are to seek to bring all into as close harmony with the requirements of love as is possible to and yet with each step of progress that we make toward the ideal we find that the ideal advances proportionately, so that the Christian at the end of his journey may have no higher an appreciation of himself according to the flesh than he had at the beginning of his course, though he may have made and should have made considerable progress in overcoming the weaknesses of the flesh and in attaining the character-likeness of his Lord.

If, therefore, using the golden rule of love to measure all of his affairs, we can see at the end of each day that we have done our best to regulate life according to this rule, our hearts need not condemn us, and we can know that our imperfect work shall be acceptable through Christ. But if we have found that we have done less than we could, we have come short of the standard; and not more than was absolutely necessary; we should judge ourselves, condemn ourselves, have pain, shame and regret, which would be manifest to the Lord not only in our petitions at the time, but also in our subsequent better endeavors. The Apostle intimates that the Lord would accept such a judging of ourselves as being the stripes due to such a sin – to such a failure to live up to the standards which he has set and which we as the followers of Christ have accepted. Such would probably have no further [NS246] stripes from the Lord because of their self-correction, because of their grief for sin, and because the Lord would esteem that this was a sufficient punishment for their measure of wilfulness or lack of zeal associated with their infraction of the divine standards. But if we would not judge ourselves, the Apostle says we would be judged of the Lord – receive stripes, punishments – not by and by, but now in this present life.

The Apostle tells us that the Lord would give these corrections in righteousness to the intent that we might not be condemned with the world – because he wishes to judge and develop us as his Church now instead of leaving us and our judgment over to the future – to the time and conditions of the world's judgment, which belongs to the age to come. The Lord's chastisements may come to us through sickness, through financial losses, through sorrow and pain or from any of a variety of sources, but these to the Lord's children are always the chastisements of a Father to the Son, because they are his, because they take the step of renouncing sin and accepting Christ as their Deliverer as the Captain of their Salvation.

This acceptance of Christ differentiates all believers from the world, and assures them of their judgment, their trials, their disciplines, their stripes, in the present life and not in the future age. Those who have committed their way unto the Lord and thus entered the school of Christ have much advantage every way over others. Such should rejoice, and the more and better they understand the divine plan the more they will rejoice that the Father in his gracious plan does not give them over to their weakness nor permit them to lapse totally into sin, but holds them by his own right hand and chastens them that they may not be condemned with the world.

Nevertheless, more glorious, more happy, is the course of those who faithfully walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit, and who need not the chastenings of the Lord, but who judge themselves and continually have the Father's smile with not a cloud between.

The National Labor Tribune, October 1, 1905


Pastor Russell met with his home congregation Sunday, occupying Carnegie Hall, their own chapel being no longer of sufficient capacity.

The speaker said: I continue my examination of the general subject of sin, supposing that many of my audience keep in touch with the discourses through the public press. Having already examined the sins of the Church and found them to be of three different kinds, namely – sins of ignorance, which are forgivable through faith and prayer; sins of full wilfulness, which are punishable with the full penalty of the divine law, the second death; and sins which are a combination of ignorance and weakness, heredity, and a measure of wilfulness, and which are punishable with stripes, chastisements, sorrows, either self-inflicted by the penitent one or administered by the Lord in mercy that the believer of the present time might not have his portion with the world, having been called and accepted to a new nature – a spirit nature. Today, if you please, we will examine the sins of the world, to note the divine attitude toward them and what punishment has been arranged for them. I choose for my text the words, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." (John 1:29)

These were the words of John the Baptist, specially commissioned of the Lord to be the forerunner and announcer of the great Redeemer. They suggest to us properly that there was a sin of the world at that time, a general sin which involved the whole race. In keeping with this thought is the Apostle's statement respecting the Church, Ye were "children of wrath even as others," and "have escaped the condemnation that is on the world."

The general condemnation of the world because of general sin of the world dates away back to the time of Adam, who when in the image of God, perfect and unfallen, sinned wilfully and deliberately, and brought upon himself the curse, the condemnation, the sentence, the wrath of God, involving the whole world of his posterity with himself in his transgression and in its penalty, death – "the wages of sin is death." Rom. 5:12; 6:23


It is a theological blunder, and properly out of harmony with the Scriptures, that the teaching has gone forth that the penalty for Adam's sin is to be meted out to his posterity beyond the grave. The facts are obviously to the contrary. The penalty of the original sin, in which the whole world shares, began to be felt by father Adam at once, since he was driven from the garden of Eden to earn his bread in the sweat of his face in battling with the thorns and thistles and unfavorable conditions associated with the curse upon the earth. All of the aches and pains and sighs and tears of father Adam and mother Eve and all of their posterity, as [NS247] they have been fulfilling a penal servitude in going down into the great prison-house of death, have been associated with the wage or penalty of sin – these have constituted the dying process, the result of which is absolute nonentity, extinction. It is from this death penalty, extinction, that God has redeemed the whole world through Jesus Christ. The dying processes do not fill the penalty; death, extinction itself, and that to all eternity, was the penalty. Original sin needed no more penalty than this.

We could not justly consider that any more of a penalty would have been possible or reasonable, and certainly no more is specified by the divine Word. Whoever will consider the amount of physical, mental and moral pain, sorrow, disappointment, experienced in one day throughout the world, and then remember that this has been the order of things for now six thousand years, will agree that God placed a heavy penalty against sin when he declared, "Dying, thou shalt die." Gen. 2:17

To assume that after mankind has passed through the trials and difficulties and disappointments and sorrows of the present life, there must still await him an eternity of torture because of father Adam's disobedience in the eating of the forbidden fruit, is to suppose what is totally unreasonable and what would imply the mental aberration, the insanity, of the thinker. Alas, that for a time we were all somewhat hoodooed by the great Adversary through the false theologies of the (lark ages into such a misconception. We can not charge it to insanity either, for the fact of the matter is that reason and common sense have been generally ignored when considering religious subjects.


This well-worn proverb is manifestly true. Observation an( l experience teach us that while we are born in sin and shapen in iniquity, and are continually surrounded by imperfect conditions and downward tendencies, nevertheless it is possible for us to strive against these and to measurably maintain ourselves without further degradation, and perhaps even to advance a step or so in the right direction, though without any hope that we would ever be able to recover ourselves and to reach perfection.

On the other hand, it is equally evident that to yield to the weaknesses and imperfections wherein we are born, while it is easy to go on the downward road, the broad road, nevertheless it is the road to destruction – the road by which we might hasten in ourselves the dying processes already in operation. Moreover, while the whole creation, as the Apostle says, is groaning and travailing in pain together because of sin, because of the curse, because we are a dying race, it is possible for each one by indiscretion and running headlong into sin, to increase his groaning, to increase his sins, to increase his troubles and disappointments and vexations.

Thus seen every sin increases the trouble upon the individual and tends to hasten him to the tomb, while on the contrary every endeavor for righteousness, every restraining of the downward tendency, is advantageous. Thus we see that in the divine arrangement rewards and punishments measurably adjust themselves as respects the unbelievers. We will see later on how present resistance of sin will prove of future advantage, and present yielding to sin prove a future disadvantage, without any reference to the original sentence against Adam and his race now being executed.


The Scriptures everywhere keep before our attention the fact that, so far as believers of this present age are concerned, their past sins are all canceled, and their only responsibility before God is the present attitude of their own hearts. We have seen that God can be just and at the same time justify these believers in Jesus and cancel their past sins because of the great atonement sacrifice of Christ, and share in the merit which is imputed to each believer. How glad we are! How we rejoice in the testimony! "Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity." (Psa. 32:1, 2)

But what shall we say respecting the world – they who are not believers? We cannot say for them that God has canceled their sins, that he has imputed to them the merit of Christ's sacrifice, for there is no Scriptural warrant for the usual theory that those who have not believed on the only name given under heaven and amongst men whereby we must be saved, are to be held responsible for their share in Adam's weaknesses, for all their ignorance and blindness and the measure of wilfulness in sin which they have manifested, and that they are all to be punished for these after death – to be awakened from the sleep of death by resurrection power in order that they shall be punished for all the weaknesses, imperfections, etc., which they have inherited and to some extent perhaps increased.

Evidently such a procedure would be inequitable, since as we have already seen, they are suffering now in this present life weaknesses, pains, tears and sorrows, and since, as we have also seen, their share in death completes their share in the penalty for sin, complying with the sentence in every particular. The thought of a future awakening for the purpose of punishment for past sins is entirely incongruous with the Scriptural declaration and ends reasonable conception of divine justice. It would be like the trial and conviction and imprisonment and execution of a murderer, and then, [NS248] if the government had the power, his resuscitation that he might be tortured or hanged again and again, repeatedly. Such conceptions are totally out of harmony with the divine character and Word – we must repudiate them. As the hope of the Church now is in God's mercy for the forgiveness of sins, so the hope of the world is in divine mercy and forgiveness of sins. Ah, but, says one, it would never do to not be just! We answer that it would be as just to forgive the world its sins as to forgive the Church's sins. We admit that having sentenced the world to death, the death penalty must stand, that justice could not rescind it. But we have just seen the whole Scriptures corroborate the thought that God has provided a ransom, that Christ has paid the penalty "for our sins, and not for ours only, but for the sins of the whole world."

These sins of the world may include murder, but as far as justice is concerned, there can be no more objection to the forgiving of the sins of the whole world than to the forgiving of the sins of the whole Church.


But some one suggests that the sins of the world may include murder, arson, adultery and various heinous crimes, and God could not forgive these. We answer on the contrary that those very crimes have been committed by many who became believers in Christ and were freely forgiven them. If justice was not violated in forgiving these sins to the Church of this Gospel age, why should we consider that it would be violated by forgiving similar sins for the world in the coming age? The Apostle enumerates these various sins in speaking of the forgiven Church – "Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolators, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the Kingdom of God." The Apostle, after reciting almost every crime of the decalogue and every degradation imaginable, adds: "And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus." (1 Cor. 6:9, 10, 11)

If the mercy and grace of God have been such toward us, who during this Gospel age have been favored with the opening of our eyes and the opening of the ears of our understanding, why should we object if his mercy and grace abound in a similar measure to the remainder of the race when in due time they shall be brought to a knowledge of the truth, of the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world?

Ah, but, says one, you forget that God has a premium upon faith in this age, and declares forgiveness to those who exercise the faith. Evidently in God's estimation faith is righteousness! No, my dear brother, faith is not righteousness. Faith could never satisfy the demands of justice – the blood of Christ and it alone has paid the penalty. Faith is merely the trolley arm which connects us with divine power and favor during this present time. He who has faith and is brought into contact with the Lord Jesus may have the great blessing which those may have now. But how comes it that one can exercise faith which to another is impossible? We answer that some have a less favorable environment for the attainment of the knowledge necessary as a basis for faith, while others are deficient in that quality of mind necessary to the exercise of faith.

The believers of this Gospel age are therefore a called and elected class, because the Lord is choosing them and granting them special favors in advance of the blessings he intends to confer later upon the world. We who believe have been favored of God in various ways, through the various assistances, giving us the knowledge and favorable conditions for cultivating faith and trust and obedience and love. Spiritual Israel has manifestly much advantage every way over the world in general. But because we have had much advantage and have been favored of the Lord, shall we either deny his grace toward the remainder or begrudge them the blessing which he has promised shall be theirs in due time? No, verily!

In proportion as we have the mind of Christ, the love of God shed abroad in our hearts, in that proportion we will desire that all the good things God will be able to justly do for the world shall be accomplished in their interest. We will rejoice, therefore, and be glad in the new heavens and new earth which he will create – in the new conditions which divine providence will surely inaugurate, the result of which will be the binding of Satan, the restraining of all evil influences and the blessing of all the families of the earth.


God's purpose, as we more and more see it shining out through his Word, is that after having blessed in a peculiar, special manner those who have faith in him and who will exercise it and under his guidance develop the spirit of love, he will then deal with the world in general who have not yet heard of his name, whose eyes and ears of understanding have not yet been opened in the true sense of the word to appreciate the heights and depths and lengths and breadths of the love of God.

Now is the age of faith, and all the rewards of the Lord are to those who exercise faith and to none others; but following this age will be one of sight, in which the Lord will reveal to the world in general his glorious character, opening the eyes and ears of their understanding and causing the knowledge of the Lord [NS249] to fill the whole earth as the waters cover the face of the great deep. It is in harmony with this that the Scriptures everywhere present the thought that we who walk by faith and not by sight are walking in a dark place, merely enlightened by the lamp, the Word of God. Weeping endures during this night because sin and death are still reigning, but the morning has been proclaimed in the Lord's word, a glorious morning, a Millennial morning, in which the Sun of Righteousness, the Lard of glory, shall shine forth, shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see the glory of God, that all might know him from the least unto the greatest.

But someone still objects perhaps – What has the world done that it should deserve so great a blessing at the Lord's hands? I reply, What did the Church do to merit divine grace and favor and forgiveness of sins? Neither those who now believe through the exercise of faith, nor those who will by and by believe through the exercise of sight, have anything whereof to boast before the Lord. Neither we nor they could put forth any claim to justice why our sins should be canceled and we should be reinstated in divine favor and mercy. The basis of hope, both for ourselves and for the world, rests upon the great sacrifice accomplished at Calvary. There is none other name given under heaven or amongst men whereby we must be saved, and he who is the Savior of the Church by the grace of God "tasted death for every man," and is the "Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world."

We will consider this feature of our subject in next Sunday's discourse. We now merely note the fact that the elect Church of this Gospel age, the Royal Priesthood, under the great High Priest, is being selected for the very purpose of ministering to the world during the coming age. The sacrifice of the Church as the body of Christ is counted in with the sacrifice of the Head, and as sealing with him the great NEW COVENANT which is to be established between God and the world – "after those days" – after this Gospel age.

The Lord's proposition to the world is that he will freely and graciously remit all the sins of the past for all who then in the glorious light of the Sun of Righteousness shall accept the divine favor of forgiveness and seek to walk in the paths of righteousness. This covenant will apply not only to natural Israel, which will be the first of the nations under the blessing, but will apply ultimately, as originally explained to Abraham, to all the families of the earth – "Their sins and iniquities will I remember no more." Heb. 10:17


In studying the Scriptural teaching respecting God's dealings with the sins of the Church, we found that all unforgivable sins received stripes in the present life, and that the only punishment for sins that extended into the future was that of the second death, utter extinction, which would be visited only upon those who sin wilfully, deliberately, intentionally, against light and knowledge and opportunity. It will be different with the world. They suffer, as we have seen, the natural consequences of sin in the present life and in going down into death. The condemnation for sin, the curse, will be lifted from the world at the opening of the Millennial age – lifted from all – the curse will be no more. God will at that time accept the sacrifice of Christ as full satisfaction for the whole world and blot out the sins of the whole world, as we shall see in next Sunday's discourse. But although the condemnation for sin will wholly pass away from the world at that time, before their awakening from the sleep of death, they will awaken in practically the same condition in which they went into death, since there is no moral change in the tomb, whither all go. (Eccl. 9:10)

The world, then, will come forth bearing the various marks of degradation and sin with which they died. And it will be the work of the Millennial age to remove these scars, these marks of sin and degradation. And we may understand that the relationship to each individual which he will be obliged to contend with in the future, will be proportionate to the measure of his knowledge and conscience in the present life, whose voices he disregarded. Some may have sinned grievously; committing bloody murder as well as slanderous murder and assassinations of reputation; but because of their degeneracy through the fall, their ignorance, etc; theirs may be much more amenable sins of ignorance and weakness; having little or no uplifting influences at that time as some others who, having much more knowledge and hence much more responsibility, committed crimes which perhaps in the eyes of many would be considered less heinous. The conscience seems to be the touchstone according to which the world's judgment will be reckoned.

All sins of ignorance and weakness having been canceled, punishment for those will surely not be required. The stripes which the world will receive during the Millennial age, the difficulties which will surround their pathway as they will then be required to climb from degradation to perfection, will be proportionate to their wilfulness in wrong doing in the present time – in proportion to the measure in which they have destroyed their basis of character in themselves. Thus the stripes or difficulties of the world in the future age may be along the line of a very different estimation than that which would be likely to be made by any of us at the present time. It is largely for this reason that we are instructed to avoid judging, attempting to determine the exact degree of responsibility in those about us in [NS250] the world as well as in the Church – "Judge nothing before the time." 1 Cor. 4:5 We are to note, however, that the judgments which the Lord will exercise toward the world in that future time ignore, as cancelled, all the responsibilities for wrong doing in the past, although the weaknesses resulting from this wrong doing will still be in the flesh and need to be striven against and by the Lord's assistance overcome.

Hence we see that, so far as the world is concerned, those who are seeking to live moral and upright lives and to maintain a good conscience and to deal justly, even though they are now both blind and ignorant respecting the Lord, will by and by profit by all their present endeavors to live righteously, and that they will have characters already somewhat advanced along the lines of justice and righteousness, which then will find opportunity for rapid growth under favorable conditions of the Kingdom.

On the other hand, any sin in proportion to its wilfulness, degrading the conscience and weakening the character, will be a blight upon the life of that individual during the Millennial age, and seriously inconvenience him in his attempt to go upward on the highway of holiness. Let us more and more, dear brethren and sisters, appreciate the fact that "The Lamb of God taketh away the sin of the world," that "he is a propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." [1 John 2:2]

The National Labor Tribune, October 8, 1905


Harrisburg, Pa., Oct. 8 – Pastor C. T. Russell of Allegheny, Pa., addressed good audiences twice here today.

We report his discourse on "Atonement by the Precious Blood" as follows: Tomorrow Jews throughout the world will celebrate "Yom Kippur," the sin-covering, in accordance with the law of Moses, so far as circumstances will permit.

In other words, tomorrow will be what in the Old Testament Scriptures is termed "The Day of Atonement," God everywhere throughout the Scriptures keeps before the minds of his people the thought that all are by nature sinners, that all were born in sin since the fall of our first parents, and that there can be no return to divine favor and blessing except as this fact is recognized and the suppliant returns, seeking again the Creator's favor through the merit of the sacrifice offered by a Mediator.

The time of a real mediator's appearance and for the real atonement sacrifice to be made being still future, God organized the Jewish people as his typical people, established them typical ordinances at the hand of a typical mediator – Moses. Amongst the most important of these types which the Jews performed "year by year continually" was the great Day of Atonement, which by divine institution was located at the beginning of every ecclesiastical year, on the tenth day of the seventh month.

Its sacrifices and the benefits which typically flowed from them were applicable for the year just beginning, and typically constituted Israel a clean nation for that entire year, and thus guaranteed to them God's favor and blessing for that year. At the end of each year they were to realize themselves again in sin, cut off from God, and were to mourn and wear sackcloth and fast and pray, and wait until the hour when the high priest would have accomplished the sacrificing and the making of atonement for them in the Most Holy, and would come out and give the divine blessing, good not only for the moment but for the entire year.


The Apostle had reference to this Atonement Day sacrificing when he declared that this yearly repetition of it implied that it was only typical and not the real covering for sin, because if original sin had once been really blotted out it would remain forever effaced and there would be no need of repeating the sacrifice every year. The Apostle declares that the repetition of the sacrifices of bulls and goats year by year continually, implied, proved, that those sacrifices could never make real atonement for sin, but were only foreshadowings of the better sacrifice through which sins would ultimately be really, completely, everlastingly blotted out, and that when that real atonement sacrifice should be made there would no longer be need for the typical ones. He points out, too, that Christ, having made one sacrifice for sin forever, everlasting in its merit and efficacy – has been exalted to the right hand of the Father, needing no longer to offer sacrifice, and we no longer needing any other sacrifices than the one which he made for us.

This general teaching is recognized by the creeds of all the various denominations of Christians throughout the world. In at least a general sense all agree that the sacrifice of Christ at Calvary is the basis of reconciliation with the Father, our Lord Jesus being the antitype of Moses, and being the real and not the typical [NS251] Mediator. Only Catholics and high church Episcopalians repudiate this thought, and claim that further sacrifices for sins are essential. These claim that while the sacrifice at Calvary was efficacious as respects past sins it is not efficacious as respects subsequent sins, but that a sacrifice of the mass, which affects to be a repetition of this sacrifice at Calvary, is proper and necessary to the cancellation of sins committed after the believer has been accepted into the Church of Christ. We dispute this, and in common with all Protestants denounce it as being the very rankest of error, styled in the Scriptures an abomination in the sight of the Lord – a "desolating abomination," a blighting of spiritual life and growth, a hindrance to all true growing in grace, God having ordained that all should look to the one sacrifice for sins by him who "gave himself a ransom for all to be testified in due time." 1 Tim. 2:6


The world, comparatively satisfied and relying upon the false theory of Evolution, denies that the first man was created in the image and likeness of God, denies the fall into sin and degradation and death, denies that there was any barrier between God and man that needed to be removed by an atoning sacrifice, denies that Christ made atonement or that any was necessary, and refuses any covering for its sins, asserting that it has little sin anyway, and that it is willing to suffer whatever its penalty would be.

These, blinded to the real facts of the case, are not to be considered wholly responsible for their position, and doubtless in divine providence will share the blessings of the Millennial age, when all the blind eyes shall be opened and all the deaf ears shall be unstopped, and the knowledge of the Lord shall fill the whole earth. Then they and all men shall realize the truth on this subject, that "by one man's disobedience sin entered into the world, and death" and all our troubles as a result of sin, and that all are so involved, no hope of escape from the penalty of death, extinction, except through the mercy of God, and this mercy was extended to us as a race through the Son of God, "who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time." [1 Tim. 2:6]

With the facts demonstrated to them beyond peradventure, no doubt many, now agnostics, will become sincere followers of that which is good and accept the divine arrangements heartily, and ultimately attain to the eternal life which God proposes shall be his gift to all who love righteousness and hate iniquity. We now only address those who have the hearing ear on this subject, as it is beyond our power to give any one such an ear. He who hath an ear let him hear the message of God's Word, that while our whole race was unworthy of everlasting life, because of sin and degradation, God has provided a great sin-atoning sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. And it is only a question of time until the whole race shall come to know of the matter and have an opportunity to avail themselves of its wonderful, gracious provisions. The knowledge is now merely for those who can exercise faith, and who in response to that faith will seek to bring forth the fruits of righteousness, in accord with the divine character and Word.


We have great respect for the Jewish people and their desire to have as much blessing as possible in connection with Yom Kippur. We admire the persistency they have manifested and their devotion to the one God. Nevertheless we must point out that they are utterly deceived in supposing that their celebration of Yom Kippur contains any virtue or blessing. Let me prove this: Every Jew who understands the law realizes the force of our text, "Without the shedding of blood there is no remission." [Heb. 9:22]

Where have they the shedding of blood, as was commanded under the law to be the prime essential of the Day of Atonement? All real Jews know this, then why not have the sacrifices as Moses instituted them? We answer, because they have no priest and because they have no altar or propitiatory on the holy ground commanded. It is easy to see why they can not have either tabernacle or temple at Jerusalem, as they once had. It is because the city and land are not under their control, but under the control of the Turks.

But if they possessed the city and had full control, and had rebuilt a Tabernacle or Temple as originally directed, they still could not have observed this Atonement Day, they still could have no Yom Kippur. Why? Because they have no priest.

But, you say, They could easily ordain a priest. I answer, No!

The priests of the Jews were not ordained of man. Under the law none except a son of Aaron, who could prove his lineage, could serve as the high priest and offer these atonement-day sacrifices; but it is all uncertain, and it would be contrary to the law for any one to attempt to serve before the Lord as high priest without better credentials. Secondly, the poor Jews celebrating Yom Kippur year by year are merely deluding themselves when they think they are making any atonement for sin, or in any sense of the word are accomplishing what was set forth in these Atonement Day ordinances. Why is it thus? We reply that matters are in this condition by divine intention. The Lord miraculously kept together that nation and preserved their records, so that they were not without the priests and the typical [NS252] sacrifices throughout the entire period of their favor with God, which continued up to and included the time when he sent to them his Son, to be not only their sacrifice, and through whom as the Mediator the antitypical blessings of the Lord might have been theirs. As the Lord himself testified to them, "He who rejecteth me rejecteth also the Father who sent me," [John 12:48, 49] and thus it was that with the rejection of Christ they came under the sentence, "Your house is left unto you desolate." [Matt. 23:38]

"Ye shall see me no more until that day when ye shall say, 'Blessed is he that cometh in the name of Jehovah.'" (Matt. 23:28, 39)

"That day" is the great Millennial day, when all the world is to be blessed, when "the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together." (Isa. 40:5)

In that day the Jew, cut off from divine favor at the opening of the Gospel age, will again come into favor and be the first of the nations to receive the divine blessing. Then the Jew and all nations shall see that the typical priesthood did not pass away until the antitypical sacrifice and the antitypical Day of Atonement had begun.


The literal Atonement Day was one of ordinary length, but the antitypical Atonement Day, beginning at the time of our Lord's baptism and consecration, has lasted from then until now, and not yet quite finished. At its conclusion there will be ushered into the world the glorious blessings of the Millennial age, the rolling away of the curse, the shining forth of divine favor. This was typified in the fact that at the close of the Atonement Day when its sacrifices had all been offered, when the blood of both sacrifices had been sprinkled in the Most Holy, then the high priest put on his glorious garments, came forth to the altar, lifted up his hands and blessed all the people, lying on their faces in sackcloth and ashes. Then the people in the type arose, shouting and rejoicing in God's favor.

And so it will be in the antitype: with the conclusion of this Gospel age, or day of Atonement, the great High Priest will have claimed all the dignity and power and offices represented in the gorgeous robes of the Jewish high priest, and he will step forth, be manifested in power and great glory, to bless all the people, many of whom are literally in the dust, in the tomb, and all of them groaning and travailing in pain together waiting for their glorious consummation, when all the sons of God represented in the High Priest, Head and members, will shine forth as the sun for the blessing and assistance of mankind. Matt. 13:43

The Apostle, after telling us that the law was a shadow of good things to come and that the substance or reality is in Christ (Jesus the Head, the Church his body), proceeds to tell us in the words of our text that under the law "without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins," God thus teaching that the only remedy for man's fallen condition, the only thing that would cancel his penalty before justice, would be a sacrifice, and one much better than any of the sacrifices which the Jews had offered or ever could offer – a blameless sacrifice, a perfect sacrifice, a holy sacrifice, a harmless sacrifice, an undefiled sacrifice, the sacrifice of one perfect, complete, sinless, and in every way fully equal to and the equivalent for the original sinner, father Adam. The Apostle points out further that all the things done in the temple and tabernacle represented higher and grander things, mistranslated heavenly things. He says the pattern or types of the higher things were cleansed with the blood of bulls and goats, but the actualities on a higher plane were to be cleansed through better sacrifices than these. Heb. 9:23


I need not remind my hearers that the better sacrifices are those offered by the Christ. It is proper, however, that I do remind you that in God's gracious plan he has arranged not only that Jesus, our Redeemer and Lord, should be the Head over the Church, which is his body, but that the entire company, Head and body, should be called the "Anointed," the "Christ."

Our Lord Jesus offered his sacrifices first, and subsequently called for volunteers amongst those who would be his followers, that each and all of his followers should be sacrificers, priests, he being the Head or chief of our order of priests – the first and chief Sacrificer and the first and chief Priest. While we remember that the Apostle addressed the consecrated, saying, "Ye are a royal priesthood," we are to remember equally well that we are permitted to be priests and to offer our sacrifices to the Lord, not because of merit or worthiness in ourselves, but because of our participation first in the merit of our Lord's sacrifice.

As he said, "Without me ye can do nothing," so indeed we see that we could offer no sacrifice that could be acceptable to the Father except through him, except as based upon his sacrifice for our sins which he first offered. So, then, when we read again in the Apostle Peter's words that we are to offer up sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ, we are not to forget to lay the proper stress upon the words, "through Jesus Christ," and are to recognize that all the merit of all the sacrifices offered throughout this Gospel age comes directly or indirectly from the merit that was in the first great sacrifice for sins presented by our glorious Lord, and Redeemer, and finished at Calvary – "By one sacrifice he perfected forever all those who come to the Father through him."

We are of those who have come to the Father through him, and by his [NS253] sacrifice we are reckoned as perfect, justified. Heb.10:14 It is in full harmony with this that we note the Apostle Paul's exhortation to those who had already believed in Jesus as their Redeemer, who had already been justified through faith in his blood. He exhorts such saying, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, that ye present your bodies living sacrifices, holy, acceptable to God, your reasonable service."

He was exhorting the justified class to take the second step and become members of the antitypical priesthood, the Royal Priesthood, mentioned by Peter – the sacrificers. He assures us that the sacrifices of such would be holy in God's sight, not sinful, not blemished, because the righteousness of Christ was first imputed to them, acceptable to God because thus justified or covered by the merit of our Redeemer's sacrifice. Rom. 12:1


We find these various lessons of the New Testament clearly foreshadowed in the types of the Atonement Day and its work as presented in Leviticus 16. There two sin offerings are commanded: First, a fat young bullock was offered, which represented our Lord Jesus. Its abundant fat was placed upon the altar, ascending as a witness and memorial of devotion – the fat representing the love, the zeal, the consecration of the Master.

This was burned in the Court of the Tabernacle, which represented the justified state or condition or class, and implied that all who were in the Court would be able to discern the Lord's loving zeal and devotion to the Father's will. The horns, hoofs, etc., were burned without the camp, representing the Lord's death as viewed from the standpoint of unbelievers – odious, undesirable, repugnant, of no value. The High Priest who slew the bullock represented our Lord, who at the time of his baptism consecrated himself, entering at that moment upon the office of Priest and at once consecrating his earthly human life to death. The Holy place into which the high priest took the blood with his two hands full of incense represented the state, the condition of newness of life through the Spirit in which our Lord entered at the moment when he was begotten of the holy Spirit at consecration.

The three and half years of his earthly ministry was represented by the priest in the Holy enjoying the light of the golden candlestick and the bread of presence and offering, and crumbling his two handfuls of sweet incense upon the fire at the top of the golden altar. This represented our Lord's sacrificing as viewed from the heavenly Father's standpoint – all of his words and deeds and purposes were pleasing and acceptable to the Father, sweet incense. After the priest had finished offering the incense he took with him the blood of the bullock, representing his own sacrificed life, and passed under the second veil, representing his death, and rose on the other side of that veil in the Most Holy, representing his resurrection to the completeness and perfection of the spiritual nature. He then approached the Mercy Seat, sprinkled the blood upon it and before it, representing his appearance in the presence of God on our behalf to make the atonement for our sins.

A careful reading of the type shows exact conformity to the teachings of the New Testament on this subject, namely, that application of the merit of Christ's sacrifice was made wholly on behalf of believers, so that these may have peace with God, reconciliation through the blood; while unbelievers, the world in general, are still out of harmony, still under condemnation, not atoned for, not reckoned in the type, the sacrifice being applicable to the priest himself, head and body, the white robes covering the body of the priest typifying the Church, the members of his body, covered with Christ's robes of righteousness. It was also applicable to the whole tribe of Levi the type or representative of the whole household of faith. How closely the type agrees with the antitype. Not only the Royal Priesthood have their sins covered by the sacrifice of Christ, but also all true believers, including those who have not yet made a full consecration of themselves – leaving them an opportunity yet to do so.


After having finished this sacrifice after having applied its merit to his body and the household of Levi, his house, the priest began another sacrifice. Two goats were selected, one of which was sacrificed as the Lord's goat, the other treated as the scapegoat.

This represented two classes amongst the Lord's people, both consecrated. A part of the consecrated voluntarily, gladly, walk in the footsteps of the Master, sharing his sacrifice, seeking to copy him in all things, the other class holds back, permitting the cares of this life and the deceitfulness of riches to more or less choke their usefulness, and are not counted worthy to be of the Lord's goat class, but instead, if they still maintain a trust in the Lord, they will be brought through trials and difficulties and chastisements, a time of trouble which will develop them as the Lord's people, but because of unwillingness to endure joyfully, sharing the sacrifices of Christ, they are not counted worthy to be of the special little flock represented by the Lord's goat. Notice that the testimony is that the Lord's goat was treated exactly as the bullock was treated, which signifies that all of the Lord's followers represented in that goat will have experiences which will closely correspond to his – that after their consecration they will [NS254] find opportunities for laying down their lives in the Lord's service, and rejoice so to do. The description says that they did with the goat even as they did with the bullock. They put its fat upon the altar, but 0, how little fat a goat has! So we realize that with our zeal put upon the altar it is so little that we wish it were a thousand times greater. But all the while we are reminded that our sacrifice is acceptable to the Lord not from its own worth or merit, but because of the preceding sacrifice; the sacrifice and merit of the bullock. When we read that the horns, hoofs, etc., of the goat were burned without the camp, like as were those of the bullock, we are reminded of the Apostle's words to this very class of consecrated Royal Priests, seeking to offer up themselves in the Lord's service, acceptable through Jesus Christ. He says, "Let us go to him without the camp, bearing his reproach with him." (Heb. 13:13)

Ah, yes! The reproaches of the world that were against the Lord were also against the apostles and all his faithful followers since. From the world's standpoint our Lord made a serious misuse of his time and talents in sacrificing as he did, and the Apostle says of himself and others of his time, "We are fools for Christ's sake." (1 Cor. 4:10)

And this is true of all the proper sacrificers since; they must go to the Lord without the camp, they must bear his reproaches – "The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me." Rom. 15:3

Note further that all that was done in respect to the bullock was done in respect to the goat. The Church, representing this goat class, has been passing through its experiences for now more than eighteen hundred years. The Day of Atonement is well nigh ended. A little while and all the sacrifices will be ended, Satan will be bound, the curse will be rolled away, and the blessing from the Lord will be poured out upon the world. This is shown in the type, for the priest, after having done with the goat as he did with the bullock, presented its blood also upon the Mercy Seat. But the blood of the goat was not presented for the same purpose as was the blood of the bullock.

The blood of the bullock was efficacious in full measure for all to which it was applied and needed no supplement. The blood of the goat was applied specifically on behalf of the people – all outside of the tribe of Levi, which represents the household of faith. Then it was that the high priest went forth, clad in the garments of glory and beauty, representing all the wonderful powers and prerogatives of Jehovah conferred upon him, head and body, and stood up to bless the people for whom the atonement had all been made.


Dear friends, while we as the Apostle exhorts should seek to lay down our lives for the brethren and to fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ for his body's sake, which is the Church (Col 1:24), while we are to present our bodies living sacrifices, holy, acceptable to God, we are to continually remember that none of the real merit adheres in our sacrifices; that what we are doing is merely as members of our High Priest's body. We have been merely by grace accepted to that glorious position and privilege and honor. So, while the Lord thus clearly indicates how fully he accepts the Church to be his body, to fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ, he also makes clear to us that this is a privilege granted to us, and that our sacrificing is wholly unnecessary so far as the divine plan is concerned; that the merit of our Lord as it was applied to us was quite sufficient to have covered the whole world, indeed that it did cover the whole world, because it was imputed to us only for the purpose of permitting us to be his associates, that we also might be his joint-heirs and participants in his glory, honor and immortality. Such honors, such privileges, are too wonderful for us.

We can only thankfully accept the privileges, and show our appreciation by our devotion to the cause of him who loved us and bought us with his precious blood. We can tell the whole world the blessed tidings that Jesus has died, that he tasted death for every man; that while his death is at present merely applicable to the Church, ultimately in God's great plan, through the Church, his merit shall be applicable to every creature, every member of Adam's race. Thus the great Day of Atonement for the sins of the whole world will shortly be finished, and the great Day of eternal happiness and blessing be ushered in – "times of restitution of all things spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began." (Acts 3:19-23)

Well did our Lord say to us, "Be ye glad and rejoice forever in that which I created," (Isa. 65:18) – the new heavens and the new earth, the new dispensation, which will be ushered in as soon as the sacrificing of the body of Christ has been finished by the great Priest and presented before the Father. Yom Kippur of the Jews will thus have been fulfilled in a grander and more wonderful scale than they have ever dreamed of. >Gird thy heavenly armor on,
Wear it ever, night and day;
Ambush'd lies the Evil One:
"Watch and pray."

Prev   Next