The National Labor Tribune, August 15, 1909


Sandusky, 0. August 15 – "Man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own desire and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it bringeth forth sin; and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death." Jas. 1:14, 15

In proportion to our intelligence we all know that sin abounds in the world; and more than this, that there are tendencies towards sin in our own flesh. The Scriptural declaration is, "I was born in sin and shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me." (Psa. 51:5)

The explanation of these conditions if found only in the Bible, which tells us that the beginning of sin was in Eden, and that its painful influence has descended from parent to child until now, and that there was but one complete remedy for it, which is beyond our power, but provided for us by our Creator through his glorious Son who redeemed us.


The Bible is God's message to all those who are desirous of learning the Divine standard and choosing and fighting a good fight against the wrong, against sin wherever found; but especially against sin and weakness towards sin in ourselves. The more truly we discern the true philosophies for sin and the Divine remedy, the better we are prepared to resist it – forewarned we are forearmed.

However it may be explained, the fact remains that the world of mankind, heathen and civilized, realizing sin, feels conscience-stricken and anticipate punishment of some kind for violation of recognized laws and principles of our being. Ignorance, superstition, mental unbalance and theory, supported by priest-craft, have led mankind, heathen and civilized, into a fear of an eternity of torture as a punishment for sin. This, the Apostle calls, "Doctrines of demons." (1 Tim. 4:1)

And no doubt the demons were responsible in some measure for the deduction of this doctrine of eternal torment; because fear is one of the most powerful influences they can bring to bear upon fallen humanity as they seek to captivate them to sin. Those who have had much to do with spiritism (thinking that they were communicating with their dead friend, but really fellowshipping with fallen angels, called demons in the Scriptures), tell us that at the beginning these "lying spirits" gained control of their wills by telling them that they should pray much, even while presenting to them alluring, sinful suggestions. (1 Tim. 4:1)

In a later step they tell them that everything is glorious and everybody happy "in the spirit land," and that sins of the present life are unimportant matters. Still later on they prick their consciences and work upon their fears and tell them that their case is hopeless and that they will soon have them fully in their power and torment them forever. With despair comes utter abandonment and a willingness to treat with the "evil spirits."

This is sometimes followed by obsession and not infrequently reason is entirely dethroned and the victim becomes an inmate of an asylum. The safeguard against all of these delusions and misrepresentations is found in a correct understanding of God's Word – the Bible. In proportion as its teachings are understood and followed the mind is relieved of those "doctrines of demons" and given a rational understanding of what sin is and of what its real penalty consists. Obedience to its instructions brings proportionate measures of harmony with God and righteousness and results in love, joy, peace and a holy spirit or disposition.


Many experience great difficulty in ridding their minds of the "doctrines of demons" – that the wages of sin is eternal torment. They find it difficult to believe the Truth on the subject, which the Scriptures present, namely that "The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Rom. 6:23)

God's proposition is that all sinners against his just laws, after full opportunity, shall be "utterly destroyed." (2 Thess. 1:9; Acts 3:23)

The power of eternal life resides in God, and he assures us that he will not give it to any except those who come into harmony with him. Eternal life has not been thrust upon our race. It is entirely contrary to the Scriptures to assert that man must live somewhere to all eternity, either in joy or anguish. The Scriptures assure us to the contrary of this – "All the wicked will he destroy."

Our Lord declares that God is able to destroy both soul and body in Gehenna. He alone who has the power of eternal life has made no provision whereby sinners can obtain it and thus injure themselves and discredit the Divine government to all eternity. The [NS707] gift of God is eternal life, and that gift will be deployed only upon those who demonstrate a heart desire in harmony with God and acceptance of his provisions for their recovery from sin and death through his Appointed Way – Jesus Christ the Righteous. Thus we read, "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not the Son, shall not see life; but


This expression, "the wrath of God," calls for an explanation. If we hear that a good man is angry we may expect that his goodness will regulate and qualify his just anger. If we hear that a bad, wicked man is angry, we would not know to what lengths his anger might lead, whether to viciousness or not. So also if we heard of the wrath of Satan, we might not know to what awful lengths and depths or horrible injustice, torment and agony this might lead, if he had the power. When we read that God is angry with the wicked every day, and that this anger or wrath came upon our whole race because of Adam's transgression, reason, as well as the Bible, bids us expect that a good God, perfect in justice, wisdom, love and power, would exercise his wrath, his anger, along reasonable, just and merciful lines and not devilishly.

In proportion as this rational thought permeates our minds it prepares us to read our Bibles in a sane manner, contrary to our former custom. When we read, "The wages of sin is death," reason assures us that this would be a proper penalty for a just and loving God to pronounce against his creatures after they had become wilfully disobedient and disloyal to him and his righteous arrangements on their behalf.

From this standpoint the penalty prescribed against our first parents is seen to be reasonable, "In the day that thou eatest thereof, dying, thou shalt die;" "Cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life. Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth unto thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken; for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return." Gen. 3$

Who cannot see that these statements represent the highest possible manifestation of righteous wrath? Our first parents were at once cut off from their special fellowship with their Creator, when they wilfully and knowingly violated his laws. Their death sentence was immediately pronounced; they were legally dead from that moment, and there their dying sentence began, which, in Adam's case, ended in nine hundred and thirty years. He died within the day, for, as St. Peter declares, "One day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." 2 Pet. 3:8


The experience of our first parents well illustrates the lesson of our text. Mother Eve's desire for knowledge should have confined itself to the Divine limitations; but she permitted it to wander disloyally. Evidently she turned over in her mind how wonderful must be the wisdom of God, and how she would like to possess as much as the serpent suggested she might have, if she would but disobey God and eat the forbidden fruit.

We can imagine that she had qualms of conscience – that she hesitated to disobey. But to even stop to consider the pleasures, the advantages, the desirability of transgression was to leave her mind open to a fresh assault. The serpent's next move was to suggest to her a reason why her Creator had forbidden the eating of the fruit, namely, that God knew that this would make them wise as himself, and that he did not wish for equals in knowledge, but desired to keep them in a condition of mental slavery through ignorance. Such a suggestion should have been spurned by Eve, and was, no doubt, rejected at first. No doubt she brought forth arguments to prove the merciful kindnesses and generosity of the Creator and that such an evil, selfish and ignoble as the serpent suggested could not possibly belong to her Creator.

But the wrong was in giving the least countenance to these suggestions of disobedience. They should have been promptly set aside. Stopping to expostulate or reason is merely opening the door for further beguilement. In the language of our text, she was "drawn away by her own desire and was enticed;" then, when desire had conceived, the sinful act of eating the forbidden fruit resulted. How does desire conceive?

We answer, The mind entertains the desire, warms it, vitalizes it, reflects upon what advantages or pleasures would result; enters into and enjoys those forbidden pleasures mentally. Thus mother Eve reflected that no doubt the forbidden fruit was specially delicious to the palate, luscious; more than this, that the enlightenment of mind would bring to her vistas of thought far beyond anything she and Adam had ever previously imagined. Thus her desire for knowledge conceived and gradually, perhaps in moments, perhaps in hours, perhaps in days, developed more and more the thought of the joys and pleasures to result from the act of disobedience – until practically the whole of life was absorbed in this one desire, and everything else of her glorious and proper blessings on every hand was [NS708] practically forgotten and ignored. Finally the irresistible moment came. She took the fruit. She ate it; sin was born, and the wage of death would follow in due course. The main thing to be noticed is that the admission of evil desire into our hearts, into our wills, is the beginning of sin – the conception of sin.

After the conception it is only a matter of time until it shall be born, unless in some manner that sinful desire be quenched, be killed. Even then it will be with serious consequences that the wrongly conceived sin will be gotten rid of. The lesson is, as the Apostle suggests in the text, the keeping of our hearts, our minds, so the desires shall not chance to conceive therein. This means a loyalty to God and to the Truth and to righteousness, about which the world in general knows little. It means that many kinds of desires and ambitions may be begotten in the heart and lead on to one kind or another of sinful development. Let us then hearken to the Lord, "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life." Prov. 4:23

Eternal life or eternal death are the issues, not eternal happiness or eternal misery. True, under God's provision, all who get eternal life will thereby get eternal happiness; but all who fail to get the eternal life or happiness in God's provision will get eternal death, the Second Death, utter extinction. As St. Peter declares, they shall be "as brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed." (2 Pet. 2:12)

And St. Paul says, "They shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord" – not with everlasting torment. (2 Thess. 1:9)

For these hopelessly incorrigible ones, after they shall have had a full trial and full opportunity and have been found worthy of the Second Death, there will be no hope of further resurrection.


We have seen how sin entered, and that its wage or penalty of Divine decree is death – extinction. And we have seen that mental, moral and physical imperfections are merely elements of our dying process. If this were all that the Bible had to tell us, it would be valueless to us, for why philosophize over a fact if it could not in any sense or degree be avoided. If there were no hope, as the Apostle suggests, we might as well eat, drink and be merry and make no attempt specially to strive against sin, and thus to bring ourselves into conflict with the weaknesses of our natures and our evil environment. But, as the Scriptures declare, "There is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared." (Psa. 130:4)

The very fact that God has provided the forgiveness and made possible an escape from the original death sentence and return to his favor – eternal life – makes life worth living and puts a new ambition, a new hope, a new energy into all those who come to an understanding of it. If we were dealing with fallen men like ourselves instead of with God, we might say that some men would change their word and others would not. But when we think of the unchangeable God we feel convinced that the sentence he once pronounced must stand. The great Supreme Judge of the Universe in the findings of his own court, will not retract his just sentence, "Dying, thou shalt die."

Hence we would not be inclined to expect eternal life from him who declares against us as a race that "the wages of sin is death."

We might hope that if we could live perfect, sinless lives, the Lord might excuse us from the general penalty, but our every endeavor to attain perfect standards of life has demonstrated to us the impossibility of this attainment. Hence we were inclined to disbelieve the message of God's love and forgiveness sent to us through the Gospel. And nothing ever fully satisfied our minds and hearts until we learned the philosophy of how "God could be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus." Rom. 3:26

That philosophy once seen is convincing to the last degree. Briefly stated, it is that "By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned;" because all except the first man were sinners by heredity. (Rom. 5:12)

In other words, the sentence of death was only pronounced against father Adam. Everybody else who dies merely shares in his sentence under the natural laws of heredity. Then God condescendingly explains to us the philosophy of how that one mans sins being met, the merit can be made applicable to all of his posterity, so that the death of one righteous man could satisfy the claims of justice against the race as a whole.

We are astonished at the wisdom thus displayed; the Divine wisdom had thus prepared from the beginning for the redemption of our race at the smallest possible cost. But we inquire, Where could the one man be found who would be willing to surrender his own life for that of Adam and his race? And if such a generous man could be found how could he, as a member of the condemned race, be acceptable to justice as man's ransom price? The Scriptures again explain that no such man could be found amongst Adam's race and that therefore God so loved the world that he gave his Son to be our Redeemer. Then the query comes, Would it be just for God to give his Son? And the answer is Scripturally given, that He set before his Son a great joy, a high reward, and that the Son, fully in [NS709] accord with his Father, delighted to do his will – "For the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame." (Heb. 12:2)

We are assured that the reward for this great transaction is a great one. The Apostle, after describing how our Lord, our Redeemer, first left the glory of the heavenly estate and humbled himself to take the human nature and was then found obedient unto death, even the death of the cross, then adds, "Wherefore, God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Philip. 2:9-13


No wonder we term this "The wonderful story of God's love!" It is so different from the doctrines of devils handed down to us from the dark ages that we are astounded, bewildered. And yet, as we reflect, this message is in full accord with the teachings of Jesus, the apostles and the prophets – in full accord with the real character of a true God – of wisdom, justice, love and power. As we noted the downward course of evil desire to disobedient thought, to disobedient action and to the wages of sin, death, let us note now the same principle at work in the opposite direction – obedient thought, harmony with the Divine will, begotten again, developing and ultimately bringing forth life eternal. This in the Scriptures is known as the law of regeneration. Our Lord expresses this in so many words, saying,


As we were all born in sin as the children of Adam, all must be born again if they would become the children of God. Many have failed to notice the Scriptural teaching that out of our race God intends to produce two families of sons on different planes of being. The one class begotten and born of the spirit will be resurrected, be born spirit beings, like unto the angels. The other class begotten again to human conditions will experience resurrection (Acts 3:19-21)

favors, by which they will be recovered from sin and death conditions and ultimately aim to human perfection and righteousness. These will not be like unto the angels, but be like unto Adam in his sinless condition before the condemnation. The curse will be removed not only from these, but also from their earthly home, which will then become as Eden, the garden of the Lord Paradise restored. Our Lord pointed out the time of the world's regeneration, in full harmony with St. Peter's words above cited, saying to his disciples, "In the regeneration ye that have followed me shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." (Matt. 19:28)

The regeneration time, or resurrection time, has not yet come; hence the apostles are not upon the thrones of Israel; but instead, the twelve tribes are still under the Gentile domination. And Gentile domination in Scriptural language, means the times in which Satan is the Prince of this world – "Who now worketh in the hearts of the children of disobedience."

The apostles are not to sit upon the twelve thrones of Israel until the Second Coming of our Lord and the binding of Satan and establishing of the Kingdom; hence the times of Restitution, or times of regeneration, for mankind are yet future. When that happy day shall have fully dawned it will mean a sweet release of the world from the power of sin and death, to which all but the saintly few are now in slavery. In the Jewish order of reckoning time, night came first and day afterward. Thus the world has already been passing through a night time of darkness, ignorance, superstition and sorrow, the results of sin and death. But the redeeming merits of Jesus have provided the Millennial Day, which will soon be ushered in and chase away forever the shadows of sin and death. No wonder the poet sang, "O, hail happy day That speaks all sorrows ending!" The Psalmist prophet refers to the same glorious day, saying, "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."

At a more convenient time we will take up the thread of this discourse and show that love and justice, wisdom and power Divine, have graciously arranged the terms whereby the many of our race may be regenerated during the Millennium, and a few comparatively, the 'little flock," may be regenerated to the spirit plane.

True and righteous are God's ways! Who shall not come and worship before him when all his righteous dealings shall be made manifest! Ultimately every knee must bow, and every tongue confess to the glory of God, because all who will not thus do of a hearty good will shall be utterly destroyed from amongst the people in the Second Death. The lesson of the hour is that sin is a transgression of the Divine law of righteousness; that ever, always, its tendency is deathward; that original sin has been met by Divine Love and Justice, and that consequently there is hope of eternal life for all who will forsake sin and seek the Divine aid in striving against it. The further lesson of the hour is in accord with our text, that sin is insidious, and that every sympathy with it, [NS710] every entertainment of it in our hearts, every rolling of it as a sweet morsel under our tongue, is giving desire the opportunity to conceive.

This is really sin begun in the heart, in the mind, before the outward, overt act. Hence the lesson to us each and all who have accepted God's mercy and favor in Christ is that, having turned our back upon sin, and having by faith accepted eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord, we are now on trial, not as respects original sin, from which we were redeemed by the Lord's grace, but on trial to determine to what extent we have any love for sin and would entertain it; to determine whether or not we hate sin and love righteousness. The test is expressed in our text: If our hearts are drawn away from loyalty to the Lord and are enticed by the momentary pleasures of sin, and if these sinful desires are entertained by us, conceived, harbored, nourished, developed, then to that extent we are disloyal to God and his righteousness and the end will be Second Death. In other words, to obtain the Gift of God in full measure in the resurrection we must show our complete loyalty to him and his righteousness!

The Cincinnati Weekly Enquirer, August 26, 1909


Syracuse, N. Y., August 25 – Pastor Russell, of Brooklyn Tabernacle, preached here twice Sunday to large and attentive audiences. One of the discourses was from the text, "Verily, I say unto thee today, thou shalt be with me in Paradise." – Luke 23:43

This discourse has been republished in Harvest Gleanings, Volume 1, pages 435-438, under same title.

The Weekly Enquirer, Sept. 9, 1909


"In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread." (Gen. 3:19)

Brooklyn, N. Y., Sept. 5 – The Bible Students' Convention which for several days has been in session at Saratoga Springs, N. Y., decided to spend its dosing days in Brooklyn, that it might be addressed there by Pastor C. T. Russell.

The Brooklyn Tabernacle proved insufficient in capacity for this large body of Bible Students; hence the Brooklyn Academy of Music was secured for the services of the day. Pastor Russell addressed the Bible Students twice. We report one of his discourse, from the above text.

He said: This discourse has been republished in Convention Report Sermons, pages 65-67, under same title.

St. Paul Enterprise, Sept. 16, 1909


"And He that reapeth receiveth wages and gathereth fruit unto life eternal." (John 4:36)

Pastor Russell spoke as follows: Intelligent people appear to reason upon every other subject except religion. Approach a man upon any matter of industry or social progress or political economy or finance and [NS711] we find him reasonably alert to the general law of Cause and Effect. But when it comes to religion the same man refuses to recognize or follow such laws. To illustrate: If a thousand religious men and women were asked to give some general outline of the Divine Plan under which humanity is being dealt with by the Almighty, nine hundred and ninety-nine of them look at you in blank astonishment as though it were absurd to suppose that God would conduct his affairs along the lines of order, reason and common sense – Cause and Effect. On the contrary, the Scriptures everywhere hold that our Creator is systematically ordering the affairs of earth and "working all things according to the counsel of his own will." (Eph. 1:11)

St. Peter divides the world's history into three great epochs, which he designates as worlds. The first of these, he says, lasted from the creation of our first parents to the flood. The flood was the harvest time, the reaping time, of that epoch. It was the conclusion to the course of sin which, he tells us, there prevailed. And only eight persons – Noah and his family – were carried over as a nucleus for another great epoch or world, which St. Peter calls, "The world that now is," and which St. Paul calls, "This present evil world or epoch," and of which Jesus states, "My kingdom is not of this world (epoch)," and again he informs us that "Satan is the Prince of this world."

Certain things have been in progress – certain great instructions and blessings from the Almighty during this long period of over 4300 years. This world or epoch is to have a harvest time, and its affairs are to be as thoroughly wound up, completed, as were the affairs of the world before the flood. Then a new world or epoch will dawn, the character of which is clearly delineated in the Scriptures as being very contrary every way to that of this present evil world. It will be 'The world to come," whereof we speak – the new epoch, the new earth, in which the Lord will dominate human affairs, his elect Church of the present time being associated with him as his Bride. Under that new dispensation everything will be in accord with the character of its King, the Prince of light and righteousness, just as the conditions of the present evil world are in harmony with the characteristics of the "Prince of this world, who now worketh in the hearts of the children of disobedience."


The world or epoch which ended at the flood accomplished a great work. It was during that period of 1656 years that God first tested Satan by permitting him to have an opportunity to show up his real character, in connection with our first parents. Desiring to establish himself as an Emperor over earth, separate and distinct from the empire of Jehovah, Lucifer became Satan the adversary, and has since continued in his opposition to the Divine will.

Our first parents, through Satan's lie, were led into disobedience to God, which resulted in the death-sentence on Adam and his race. Subsequently for centuries the holy angels were allowed to have intercourse with fallen men, with a view to helping them back into harmony with God – not that God expected any such results, for he already foreknew that there could be no recovery of humanity, except through the merit of the Redeemer, whose sacrifice would purchase the world and who would reign as the King of kings and Lord of lords – who would come and restore the willing and obedient of the race. But the angels to all eternity might have supposed that an easier way of saving men was possible – that if permitted they could educate, assist and uplift mankind out of sin and death conditions back to harmony with God.

God not only desired to show that all such results were impossible, but also he desired to use the opportunity to test, to prove, the loyalty, the faithfulness of the angelic hosts. Among the liberties granted to all the angels at that time was the power to materialize – to assume human forms.

We need not stop to discuss the possibility of this, for we are addressing those who believe the Scriptural record, and to such it will be quite sufficient for us to cite the case of the three men which appeared to Abraham and whom he subsequently found to be angels – spirit beings. They looked like men and they talked and wore clothes like men. Abraham knew not whom they were until subsequently they revealed their identity, as we read in the account of Genesis 18. The Apostle Paul adds his testimony to this incident, saying to the Church: "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares." Heb. 13:2

For long centuries this relationship between angels and mankind continued. We have no record of any human being receiving an uplift from their ministrations. On the contrary, as God had foreseen, the influence of sin is contagious and ere long some of the angelic hosts became so enamored of the daughters of men that they took to themselves wives of such as they chose and preferred to leave their own habitation or spirit condition and to remain in a materialized form and to raise earthly families, although their course was contrary to the Divine arrangement, and must have been so understood by them; nevertheless, Divine power was not interposed to hinder them. The error of the sedition, the leaving of their own happiness or plane of spirit being, from a small beginning [NS712] spread, and God's noninterference justified the supposition that He was not able to cope with the situation or else that He was winking at His own law. Thus centuries rode by, while the earthly children of those angels which kept not their first estate became giants and men of renown at a time when maturity was not reached until at least 100 years. During all these centuries we may be sure that every one of the holy angels had fullest opportunity to participate in the seductive pleasures of sin.

And we may be quite sure during that epoch or age God demonstrated fully, completely, which of the angels were in heart and in deed, in spirit and in truth, loyal to him and to all the principles of his righteousness; and, this work having been accomplished, that world before the flood was brought to an end, was overwhelmed by a flood of waters, the Lord declaring that the whole earth had become corrupt though this evil. The influence of the angels along licentious lines seemingly tended more to degrade humanity, so that we read that God beheld that the imagination of man's heart was evil, and only evil, and that continually. And then came the denouement, the flood of waters, the destruction of the corrupted world of mankind, including the progeny of the angels, the giants, who were also men of renown, and with them and with the closing of that epoch or world those angels which had not kept their first estate or principality or plane of being were restrained in Tartarus, our earth's atmosphere, until the great judgment of the last day.

They were restrained from having fellowship with God and the holy angels. That age, that epoch has served its purpose. Its harvest was chiefly a destructive one. Only Noah and his family were carried over from that epoch to the present one, to constitute the denomination of the new order of things – this present evil world.


This present evil world differs from the world before the flood in that it is not under the ministration of the angels, but man, in a general way, is left to himself. Since the flood the world in a general way has been going on just as if there were no God, the exceptions being the destruction of the Sodomites and in the preaching of Jonah to the Ninevites, warning them that they were about to perish. In other words, so far as outward appearance goes, God has allowed the world to take its own course, interfering only when the corruption became so great as to make life injurious rather than a favor.

We may also understand the Scriptures to teach that God has had a silent supervision of the nations to hinder them from overturning or disturbing any feature of the Divine program. He is wise enough to know how to make much of the wrath of man to praise him and the remainder more than this He will restrain. We perceive, then, that so far as the world is concerned God is letting it take its course.

St. Paul, reviewing the question of human degradation as exhibited in heathendom, etc., explains that the great deterioration in the human family is the result of man's being left to himself as respects the Divine supervision. He says, looking back to the time of Noah's descendants, "When they knew God they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind," they giving themselves over to things that were not profitable, defiling themselves, etc. Rom. 1:21-28

This condition of things continued from Noah's day until three and one-half years after our Lord's crucifixion, when the special favor of God toward the nation of Israel terminated as the "middle wall of partition was broken down" – Cornelius being the first Gentile admitted to the privileges of the gospel. From that time onward the proclamation of the gospel was not restricted to the Jewish nation, but whosoever may have an ear to hear of every nation, people, kindred and tongue.

The proclamation is open to all, even though only a few have the hearing ear of faith, the eye of understanding and the obedient heart. During the long period from Noah to Christ – 2500 years – God, as we have seen, had no dealing with the world, but He did have very special dealings with, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and then subsequently with the nation of Israel. To those patriarchs He gave an oath-bound covenant, that though their posterity He would ultimately bless all the families of the earth.

Moreover, the character of the promise was such that it implied not only the resurrection of the patriarchs, but the resurrection also of the families of the earth that have gone down into death under the great Adamic sentence. The nation of Israel was segregative from all the other nations of the world and bound to the Lord and He to them by the covenant of the law entered into at Mt. Sinai. Under the terms of that covenant it was promised that the whole nation should constitute the seed of Abraham, while it blessed all the other nations, but the conditions were the keeping of the law perfectly. God, of course, knew that, as imperfect men, Israel had undertaken an impossible contract. But He also knew that under His supervision the contract would eventually be not to their disadvantage but the reverse. He used that nation as a typical people, their jubilees representing the times of restitution coming to the world under the millennial reign of Christ. Their [NS713] day Sabbath typified a coming blessing to spiritual Israel. Their year Sabbath typified a coming blessing to the world, to the universe. Their day of atonement for sins typified the day of better sacrifices of Christ and the Church. Indeed, we may understand that fleshly Israel and all of its great affairs were typical foreshadowings of God's greater blessings to come in after dispensations. Some are having fulfillment during this Gospel Age, while others will reach fulfillment during the Millennial Age.


The time for the election or selection and testing, proving and polishing of these followers of Christ, whom He refers to as His jewels, is nearly at an end, according to our understanding of the Scriptures. We are already in the harvest of this Age, which laps upon the incoming Millennial Age. With the consummation of this Age in this harvest time God's great plan of the ages will reach a culmination as respects a certain feature. The seed of Abraham will then be completed.

Our Lord Jesus is the Head or Chief of that seed, and His faithful Church, by Divine grace, are counted in with Him as members of that seed. When the last member shall have completed his course all the work of the Divine plan for mankind thus far will have reached its culmination. Everything then will be ready for the blessing of all the families of the earth through that spiritual seed of Abraham, of whom the Apostle says, "And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." Gal. 3:29


At this time "the world to come" will have come. The heavenly Lord and His heavenly Bride, complete and fully satisfactory to the Father, will at once be invested with the Divine power and authority to rule the world – to take full and absolute control of it. Thus says the prophet: "Ask of me and I will give thee the Gentiles for an inheritance and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession." (Psa. 2:8)

Thus says the Apostle: "lie must reign until He shall have put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death." (1 Cor. 15:25,26)

The Millennial Age just about to dawn upon the world, and in preparation for which God has provided also our inventions of the past century, will be the great epoch of blessing to mankind. In it the promise to Abraham will have fulfillment: "In thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." (Gen. 12:3)

They will be blessed in being rescued from their own ignorance and superstition and selfishness by the superior power of the Lord's Kingdom. They will be rescued from the power of Satan, by which they have been unconsciously dominated for all these centuries, Satan having invisibly operated through the children of disobedience – thus the propagation of baneful delusions and hurtful lusts. Hence, one of the assurances of the Scripture is that in that glorious new dispensation Satan shall be bound for a thousand years – shall be hindered from deceiving mankind. The world to come merely signifies the epoch to come, the epoch wherein dwelleth righteousness, where righteousness will be in the ascendant, the rule, and where sin will be absolutely under the control of the great Redeemer, who then will be the King of Glory, ruling, reigning, enlightening, blessing, uplifting, restituting, purging, purifying and bringing to perfection as many of Adam's race as will heartily respond to the rules of His Kingdom.


Very much of the Scriptures naturally and appropriately relate to the wonderful harvest time or closing period, of this present evil world – the most wonderful period in all the history of our planet thus far in many respects. Our text, as one of these Scriptures, points to the fact that the Lord at the present time is the great reaper and supervisor of this harvest. The sickle of truth for more than 30 years has been thrust in to reap the ripe wheat of this Age, the mature and developed saints of God.

The great work still progresses. The enlightening influence is still abroad. The separating work is still going on. The gathering of the wheat into the garner is still in progress. Soon, when the last ripe grain has been gathered there, the time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, with which this Age will end, will be fully kindled. The Lord tells us that immediately after it He will turn to the people a pure message. That message, with its enlightening influence, is referred to in His statement that "then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father" for the blessing and enlightening of all the families of the earth. (Matt. 13:43)

Let us awake to a realization of the wonderful time in which we are living. Let us be vigilant and make our calling and election sure to the glory and honor and immortality to which we have been called.


The Weekly Enquirer, September 23, 1909


With the exception of the three end paragraphs printed below, this discourse has been republished in the Overland Monthly, pages 207-211, under same title.

"Every idle word that men shall speak they shall give an account thereof in the day of judgment, for by thy words thou shalt be justified and by thy words thou shalt be condemned." Matt. 12:36-37

It is difficult to tell how far-reaching such a lesson in brotherly kindness and mercy practiced in the church would influence the world of mankind. Undoubtedly the impression would be deep and lasting. But what does the world see in every direction, in every denomination? It sees exemplified what the apostle calls attention to as being not the spirit of the Lord, but the spirit of the adversary. He urges us, "Put off all these; angers, wrath, malice, evil speaking, filthy communications out of your mouth. .. seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds." Col 3:8-9

It has seemed too, at times, as though some of those who profess relationship to Christ as members of His church do even more of petty evil-speaking and slandering and busy-bodying than do the worldly who make no profession whatever. According to the standards set forth in our text the worldly, if they have more of the quality of mercy in their hearts will evidently be more pleasing to God than those who have made much profession and neglected the Master's commands and failed to cultivate his spirit of love and mercy, in word and deed. These are strong words, but they need to be uttered and with great plainness of speech, for assuredly, if only the merciful obtain divine mercy, then a great many of our race will receive very little mercy from the Lord.

It may be true – doubtless it is true – that the great adversary makes a more severe attack upon the Lord's consecrated people than upon the worldly and this may, to some extent, account for what we have remarked of the greater degree of mercy in worldly people than among God's people. Still it is God's people who are on trial and who apparently are failing in the trial; failing to develop the spirit of mercy – love. Let us all remember our text and apply it. "By thy words shalt thou be justified, and by thy words shalt thou be condemned."

As we think of the fact that these sermons reach the eyes of about 7,000,000 of readers weekly, we feel the weight of our responsibility. It is our desire that they be just such as the Lord can approve, and such as will be helpful to hearers and readers.

The Weekly Enquirer, September 30, 1909


Brooklyn, N. Y., Sept. 26 – Pastor Russell was in fine voice today when he addressed his congregation in the Tabernacle. He took for his text the following, "Without shedding of Blood there is no Remission" – Heb. 9:22.

He said: A realization of imperfection, of sin, is general. We were "born in sin, shapen in iniquity; in sin did my mother conceive me," and a general realization of this fact prevails amongst intelligent people. Whether the how and the why, the philosophy of the matter be discerned or not, the fact is recognized.

However we may theorize that the same Creator who made the angels pure, happy, holy, sinless, also made us, we nevertheless are aware of the fact that we are not pure, holy, sinless, undefiled. Righteousness should not however be considered the phenomenon, but the original, proper condition of things. Sin is the phenomenon, the peculiarity, the disorder – the disarrangement of the proper order which previously prevailed and by right should everywhere prevail. Nowhere in the world do we find any explanation of present conditions that is satisfactory to us, except in the Bible, which teaches that God's Work is perfect; that he made man in his own image and likeness; that [NS715] sinful ambition brought in rebellion against the Divine regulations and that present disorders are the result of that rebellion – human degradation, mental, moral, physical – dying – death. It is true that human philosophy has sought to solve the question of man's condition of sin and imperfection aside from the Bible. Its claim is that the Bible record is untrue; that man was never perfect; that man never fell from perfection into sin and death; that man, consequently, needs no Savior from sin and death and no restitution to original perfection – to original Edenic perfection.

Its claim is that if there is a personal God, he is not exercising any special powers, but merely allowing so-called Laws of Nature to operate. It claims that in the surging of the salt waters of the ocean protoplasmic life was generated, and that the microscopic germ polly-wogged and evoluted into a thousand different forms – worms and snakes, fish and whale, beasts and birds and reptiles; and that finally one division of the pollywog family attained to monkeyhood, and, gradually getting used to stand on his hind legs, became a man. It ignores, if it does not deny, sin and its downward tendencies, which we all know afflict the human family and must be struggled and fought against.

It denies the need of a Savior, an Advocate, a Mediator, and it holds that each generation of humanity dying, helps onward the succeeding generation to grander development and that eventually human perfection will be attained by the evolutionary process, by man's own exertion, regardless of whether there is a Creator or not. Evolution hopes that man in his highest development may find a way of prolonging his life, probably for centuries, probably for thousands of years, by chemical discovery – human wisdom.

Surely this theory is not satisfactory to any one. It is too inconsistent with what we know of ourselves and others and of the downward, instead of the upward, tendencies prevailing in nature. And surely the hope that some of our children Ten Thousand years from now may be able to live for a thousand years or more, while we, as well as our progenitors, died in giving them the uplift – this is not a satisfactory substitute for the hope of everlasting life, the hope of glory, honor and immortality through Christ.

We can only assume that this Evolutionary theory found friends and advocates because the Bible teaching has been so grossly misunderstood. It has been misrepresented as teaching that practically all of the human family were born under a Divine sentence of eternal torture and that only the few reached in the present life, by the Gospel can by faith in the Savior and by a thorough-going conversion to saintship – that these few alone will escape eternal torment and gain eternal blessing. Thinking people, not surmising that the Bible is misrepresented by its own friends, by the creeds in general, have looked about for a substitute. Evolution, although quite unsatisfactory to them, furnished the only substitute they could think of, while it ignored the Bible.


Now as the electric light supplants the tallow dip, concordances and other Bible study helps assist us to a proper understanding of God's Revelation. One Scripture throws light upon another; and thus gradually the errors of gross darkness and superstition which prevailed so generally in "the dark ages" flee away and the Lamp of Divine Truth gives forth a brilliant ray which fully satisfies our heads and hearts and glorifies our Creator. In the light of this newly-trimmed Arc-light of Truth, God's Word, we may now see that the real penalty for sin is not a coming eternal torment at the hands of fire-proof demons, but instead the reign of sin and death. Now we may see how disobedience on the part of Father Adam brought upon him a death sentence, a dying condition, and that these, transmitted from parent to child, have increased the calamity, century by century, until today, amongst the most civilized, one out of every one hundred and fifty adults is in an insane asylum – mentally dead to the extent that he is unable to care for himself.

Millions more of our race are in prisons and penitentiaries because of moral blemishes, because "born in sin and shapen in iniquity," they have inherited vices which have been accentuated by association with each other. All over the world, too, we have hospitals and infirmaries and cemeteries. The reason is exactly what the Word of God teaches, namely, "The wages of sin is death."

"The soul that sinneth it shall die."

The great disease of sin, started by our first parents in Eden, has spread a plague amongst all their children, blemishing some specially in one particular and some in another, but corrupting the whole and bringing death to all.


Our minds agree to the foregoing. We agree, too, that it is proper that the Almighty God should be a just God, that Justice should be the "foundation of his throne," his Government. We inquire as to what is possible in the way of sin-atonement, by which original sin might be offset and Adam and all his race, who fell through disobedience, might be brought back to Divine favor and be made again holy and happy, as all the angels, and recipients of Divine favors, including eternal life. The Scriptures answer this inquiry, telling us that we are right in feeling that we are sinners; that [NS716] we are right in believing that Divine Justice must be met before reconciliation can be effected. But they tell us that God has moved first in this matter – that he did not wait for man to appeal to him for mercy, but that, "While we were yet sinners," he sent his only begotten Son to be our Redeemer, to bring us back into harmony with God.

The Old Testament is full of assurances that God's mercy will ultimately be manifested to mankind through that Redeemer and through the nation of Israel, upon which we would confer the special privilege and honor of bearing the Truth to every other nation. The New Testament contains the record that when our Redeemer came, the world and his own nation knew him not. It tells that, in crucifying the Redeemer, the people of Israel fulfilled the Divine intention as foretold through the prophets; that they thus slew the great sin-offering, "The Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."

And as we learn how to bring the various testimonies of the Scripture into harmony with each other, they tell us that the Redeemer, before blessing Israel, will accomplish another work not generally known – the gathering of spiritual Israel. This the Apostle styles "The mystery of God."


The result of sin-atonement and the return of man to God's favor would not mean a changing of men to spiritual beings, nor the giving of mankind of a heavenly home, but rather restitution. The Eden home first provided for Father Adam was Paradise, but it was lost by his disobedience. The proposition of the Scriptures is that the great Redeemer will restore Paradise and enlarge it, making it world-wide, the home for not only Adam, but his now multitudinous progeny of Twenty Thousand Millions.

The Scriptures abound with promises that Israel shall be re-gathered and restored to Divine favor and be made the instrumentality of the Lord in spreading the blessings to other nations. The Scriptures tell us how the paradisiacal condition shall be brought about. They explain that the wilderness shall blossom as the rose and the solitary place be glad. They tell that Christ shall reign, as promised, and establish justice in the earth. They tell that "the sun of righteousness shall arise, with healing in his beams," scattering superstition, ignorance and darkness.

They tell that now "darkness covers the earth and gross darkness the people," but that the coming reign of Messiah's Kingdom will change all this. They tell that weeping may endure for the night (of this time of sin) but that joy cometh in the morning" – the Millennial morning. St. Peter points us down to the Second Coming of Christ for the fulfillment of all these great restitution promises. He tells us that then will come to earth "times of refreshing."

He assures us that the time of restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world has begun will then find accomplishment. Acts 3:19-21


But now we inquire why this delay in bringing in the "time of refreshing," the "time of restitution."

Why did not the great Redeemer begin at once to accomplish the work secured by his death at Calvary? How can he bear to delay, since he loved the world so that he died for all and since he fully admits that the whole creation is in pain, waiting for the great deliverance made possible by his sacrifice. Rom. 8:19-22

The Scriptures answer the question. They tell us that the gathering of the elect Church during this Gospel Age as a feature of the Divine program must precede the bringing of restitution blessings to the world. They tell us that God has imposed special crucial tests upon those now called and chosen. Their invitation is to joint-heirship with Christ in a heavenly or spiritual nature, and to a share with him in the Millennial Kingdom and glory, and in the work which these will accomplish for the world.

The Scriptures tell us that those who will be accounted worthy of this exaltation to glory, honor and immortality, will first be required to prove their loyalty to the Lord to the extent of sacrifice. This does not mean a putting away of sin, for that would not be sacrifice. It does mean the laying down of earthly rights and privileges, after the manner and example of their Redeemer, who knew no sin. Believers are exhorted thus to sacrifice. The Apostle says to them, "I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, your reasonable service." Rom. 12:1

Many Scriptures inform us that God has attached the glories of the future to the sufferings of the present and that "if we suffer with Christ we shall also reign with him" and "if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him."

Thus we see this entire Gospel Age is a period of sacrificing. Our Lord began the sacrificing and, in accepting believers as his members, it is on condition that they will be sanctified, separated from the world, and present their bodies living sacrifices. Thus the saints throughout this Gospel Age have been suffering with their Lord and Head and, as St. Paul declares, "filling up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ." (Col 1:24)

The merit is in the sacrifice of their Lord, but he passes that merit [NS717] through the believers of this Gospel Age, to the intent that they may share in the glories and honors of his Millennial Kingdom, which will be established as soon as the last member of "his Body" shall have finished the sufferings of Christ. St. Paul, after pointing out to us the typical sin-sufferings, represented under the Jewish arrangement, shows us that the sacrifices of Christ and the Church are the antitypes of these sin-offerings – offered year by year under the Jewish economy. Those are styled the "better sacrifices than these." Heb. 9:23


We are at the time of the year when our Hebrew fellow-citizens are accustomed to celebrate their great Day of Atonement. They celebrate the day, although in a meaningless manner. Those of them who are acquainted with the facts know that the whole procedure is a farce.

In the confusion which God has permitted to come upon them they have no Priest. Since their rejection of Messiah their priestly records are lost, so that no Jew in the world can make claim to the position of High Priest or dare to perform the functions of High Priest in connection with the Day of Atonement sacrifices.

They had no Tabernacle or Temple, nor dare they erect one; for if one were consecrated, no authorized priest would risk his life in attempting to pass through the Second Veil into the Most Holy. As a consequence our Hebrew friends deserve our sympathy. Formerly the tenth day of the seventh month was their appointed Day of Atonement. By the sacrifices of that day, properly performed, reconciliation for their inequalities was made for the ensuing year, at the end of which they would again become unclean and need another Atonement Day. As the Apostle says, the arrangement God made for them for the forgiveness of sins was "year by year continually," and the yearly repetition indicated that the sins were not really cancelled, but merely covered for the year. It is a part of Divine providence that our Hebrew friends have no Priest and that no sin atonement sacrifice is possible.

Now when the anniversary of the Day of Atonement comes they bemoan their sins and fast and pray; but they have no Priest to offer the bullock of a sin-offering and then to take its blood into the Holy and Most Holy and to sprinkle the same for the cleansing of the priestly tribe. They have no Priest later on to come and take the goat's sin-offering and do with it as he did with that of the bullock, taking its blood into the Most Holy and sprinkling the Mercy Seat for all the other eleven tribes of Israel. The priest does not come out of the Holies to bless them as of yore and to tell them that their sins are forgiven through the merit of the sacrificial blood. No! After waiting the entire day, and knowing that they have no Priest, no Advocate, no Intercessor, no Sin-bearer, at the close of their Atonement Day they endeavor to be cheerful and happy and to suppose their sins forgiven; or, rather, they endeavor to forget all about the matter in worldliness.


Would that all our Hebrew friends, as well as all Christians, could understand the true antitype of that great Day of Atonement, which the Jews celebrated annually in a typical manner. Its antitype is this Gospel Age. At the beginning of this antitypical Atonement Day our Lord Jesus offered himself – the antitype of the bullock. (Lev. 16)

When he ascended up on high, he applied the merit of the sacrifice to the antitypical Levitical tribe – to the household of faith of this Gospel Age, for the Royal Priesthood. Since Pentecost the second part of the Day of Atonement sacrifices has been in process. "The Lord's goat," antityped by the Church, has been in process of sacrifice.

The great High Priest has been accepting consecrated believers as members of his Body and has been seeing to their sacrificial offerings. "Now is the acceptable time" for such sacrificing. This procedure has gone on for now nearly nineteen centuries and, according to our understanding of the Scriptures is nearly complete. Soon the last "member of the Body of Christ" will have suffered with their Lord and Head. Soon the blood of this secondary sacrifice will be sprinkled in the Most Holy on the Mercy Seat – the blood of the members of Christ. Jesus' blood passed through them. Soon the acceptance of it as the pardon price "for the sins of the whole world" will be acknowledged by the Father.

Soon the great High Priest, head and members, will come forth, clothed in the glory, honor, dignity and power represented in the garments of the typical priests of Israel and will bless the world. Soon will come the time for the lifting of the hands of the Priest, the display of his power. Soon as a result the blessing will fall upon all of the people – upon natural Israel first. Soon will shouts of rejoicing arise from the people as conditions of sorrow and pain shall pass away, giving place to praise, as men seek to glorify God and lift up holy hands in his service.

Thank God for the little glimpse he has given us of his glorious arrangement for sin atonement: Now for the Levites, "the household of faith" and by and by "for all the people."

Praise to his name that ultimately all shall be forgiven! Everything that can be properly [NS718] attributed to heredity in the blemishes of others and ourselves! And the only responsibilities on each will be for his own conduct in proportion as he has had light and opportunity for better things. Thank God also that eventually all who refuse the blessed opportunities of the Millennial Kingdom will be utterly destroyed. (Acts 3:23)

Thank him also that in the salvation of the world which he hath provided through his Son he has arranged that his consecrated footstep followers may have a share with him in the sufferings of this present time and the glory that shall follow.

The National Labor Tribune, October 4, 1909


BROOKLYN, N. Y., Oct. 3 – Pastor. Russell addressed two large audiences in the Tabernacle here today. We give one of his discourses taken from the text, "The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich; and He addeth no Sorrow therewith." Prov. 10:22

Looking about us in the world we find abundant corroboration for the Scriptural declaration that instead of the Divine blessing resting upon the earth there is a curse" or a blight upon it. Accordingly St. Paul wrote, "The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together."

In the context he declares the relief from this groaning condition – out of the bondage of corruption into the liberty, favor and blessing to follow. He indicates that this blessed "change" will come through the "manifestation of the sons of God" and intimates also that these sons of God are now being "called" and will shortly be "glorified" and thus be empowered to do the work of blessing for the groaning creation, relieving them of the burden of sin and death. Still the question arises, Why should humanity be so differently circumstanced from the angels?

Why should not holiness and purity and freedom from sorrows and pain and death prevail on earth as well as in heaven? Why should the great Creator so differently condition one branch of his creation from the other? True, the Lord's prayer tells us that we may expect ultimately that Divine power will intervene and succor humanity.

The declaration, 'Thy Kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven," is more than a prayer; because uttered by our Lord it is also a prophecy of what will ultimately obtain. But the question is, Why should it be necessary for us to pray and to wait to subdue sin and to lift mankind out of evil conditions? Why should not God's will have been done on earth all along, as it is done in heaven? Why have sin and death been permitted to 'reign," as the Scriptures declare?


The Bible alone answers our query. It explains that originally our race was created perfect, in the image of God, sinless, holy, pure, happy. Man's Eden home was Paradise, the Garden of God. But all that bliss was lost through disobedience to the Divine command. When the death sentence came upon Father Adam he lost fellowship with his Creator, his Eden home, his perpetual life and, instead of the Divine provision, was sentenced to earn his bread by the sweat of his face, battling with thorns, thistles and insects.

The Bible does not pretend to say that the conditions as we have them today are perfect nor that they are satisfactory to God, nor that they should be satisfactory to us. The extreme opposites of the home in Eden, the drouth, cyclone, tempest and flood, belong to the unfit condition of the earth and are intended by the Lord to serve as part of man's condemnation. Through sickness, disease, sorrow, pain, dying, the race will be brought eventually to death – to desolation. Thank God he has overruled that feature of the sentence so that death to us need not mean destruction. Thus it is written, "Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return ye children of men." (Psalm 90:3)

The turning of man to destruction was six thousand years ago and, although the blessing of restitution was declared from the very first by all the holy prophets, nevertheless the return was not made actually possible until the Redeemer came and laid down his life as the ransom price for the sins of the whole world.

A long while did God wait before sending the Redeemer. More than four thousand years passed, and for a long period he has waited since then before effecting a deliverance of humanity from sin and death – nearly nineteen centuries. This deliberate slowness on the part of the Almighty in looking after the human family and its rescue from sin and death can only be understood from one standpoint – the Bible standpoint. The Bible, contrary to our creeds formulated in the dark ages, teaches that the penalty of sin is not a future torment, but a present experience with sin and death under the sentence, "Dying thou shalt die."

In other words our present accursed or condemned, unfavorable condition as a race is God's just penalty against us as sinners. [NS719] We are a race of convicts, and the conditions of nature are Divinely arranged with a view to speeding us onward to the tomb – to the fulfillment of our "curse" or sentence – death.

In other words all the mental unbalance and distress, including insanity, imbecility and cross temper, are elements of death – the results of death working in us as a race; likewise our moral deflection – We were "born in sin and shapen in iniquity; in sin did our mothers conceive us. Phrenology, as well as physiology, shows clearly these facts. The misshapen heads indicate the unbalance in which we were born, and the Scriptures declare that we are "prone to sin (disposed to sin,) as the sparks to fly upward."

In view of these things how distinctly God's Word is corroborated. In comparison with this just manifestation of indignation of God against sin how unreasonable and unsatisfactory are the various theories that come down to us from "the dark ages" unsupported by the Word of God, teaching that our whole race was born under an original condemnation or sentence to eternal torture; and that the only ones saved would be the few grasped by Divine favor during this Gospel Age and lifted from relationship to the world and transformed into saints.

It is true enough that the Bible teaches that God has a special reward for those who love him supremely – more than self, houses, lands or any other creature.

True it is, indeed, that he has for these "exceeding great and precious" blessings; but it is quite untrue, as it would be quite ungodly, that our Creator should either by predestination or through lack of foreknowledge or for any other reason consign our race as a whole, either to centuries of suffering in Purgatory, as some declare, or still worse, as others affirm, to everlasting sufferings.


Having considered the Divine explanation of the curse of sin and death upon the world, and having found it true to all the circumstances and facts, let us now with confidence turn to the same record, the Bible, for an explanation of what blessings God has in reservation for the saints, and also for the world in general. "The blessings of the Lord, it maketh rich."

The blessing of the Lord has, to some extent come to the Church, but it is a blessing only receivable by faith. It is not the real blessing, but, as the Scriptures declare, a foretaste, "an earnest" of the coming inheritance or blessing. This foretaste is very precious to all of the Lord's saints, giving them a feast and joy and comfort under the most trying circumstances of the present life – It is indeed "The peace of God, which passeth all understanding," which rules in their hearts, as St. Paul said to the "little flock" of 144,000, who are named in the Scriptures as the "very elect," the Ecclesia, "the Church of Christ, which is his Body."

These believers in God's promises and arrangements for the blessing of humanity through the merit of Christ's death and by the power of the Millennial Kingdom may rejoice therein in advance. It is not the intimation, however, that the Church shall keep the restitution privileges. These are credited to them so that they may have something to "offer," something to "sacrifice."

By faith they receive earthly rights and restitution blessings and privileges, as God's gift through the Lord Jesus. By faith they make a sacrifice or surrender of those rights to the divine nature and to joint-heirship with Christ their Lord and Redeemer in his Millennial Kingdom – By faith, in return, they receive the begetting of the holy Spirit. They are content, not satisfied. They rejoice, though oft it be in tribulation. Their assurance is that present tribulations are working patience, experience, hope, and preparing them for the actual "glories which God hath in reservation for those that love him."

Like the Apostle, they hope for the actual salvation of deliverance, "the blessing of the Lord which maketh rich" at the coming of our Lord, when the saints shall be united to him most preciously, as represented by the Scriptural figure of a Bride united to a Bridegroom. The marriage of the Lamb will come, for his wife will have made herself ready. (Rev. 19:7)

Let us glance backward and note the earliest reference of the Scriptures as the earliest God-given intimation of coming blessings.

(1) Shortly after the fall the Lord declared that ultimately the seed of the woman (her posterity) would bruise the serpent's head – would utterly destroy sin, would triumph over sin and Satan.

(2) Later on Enoch prophesied that Messiah would come, and grant the world a fresh trial for life or death (Jude 14).

The original trial or judgment, for life or death, was through the one man Adam; and his failure and its penalty affected the condemnation of his entire race, because all are imperfect and hence sinners. The promise of a Messiah, who would grant the world a fresh trial was indeed a rainbow of hope to those who could receive it.

(3) It was not until Abraham's time that God really definitely outlined the channel of the blessing which he proposed ultimately to give to the race, "the blessing of the Lord, which maketh rich."

Let us examine this prophetic outline of coming blessing. The promise made to Abraham was this, "In thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed."

Here we have something definite, something [NS720] tangible. This promise was renewed to Isaac, also to Jacob and, later on at Jacob's death, it passed to all of his posterity, the nation of Israel. In due time, in fulfillment of this promise, Moses, as its mediator, instituted the Law Covenant between God and Israel – Under that Covenant it was stipulated that in order to inherit eternal life and all the blessing which Adam possessed and lost, and in order to inherit the promise made to Abraham of the privilege of blessing all the families of the earth, the Divine Law must be kept inviolate.

God must be loved with all the heart, mind, soul, strength, and the neighbor must be loved as one's self. Moses as mediator of that Covenant might render every assistance he was capable of to that nation; but, alas, himself a fallen man, imperfect, he was unable to lift Israel out of sin and degradation – unable to bring them to that state of human perfection which would enable them to keep that Law Covenant and inherit its blessings! As God foreknew, they failed to keep their part of the Covenant. "By deeds of Law shall no flesh be justified."

A number of discouraged Israelites continued to hope for blessing through the Abrahamic Covenant and, later on, the Lord revealed to them that in due time he would make a New (Law) Covenant with them and that Messiah would be its Mediator. (Jer. 31:31)

The promise of a New Covenant implied, as St. Paul points out, that God knew that the Law Covenant would not bring to Israel the hoped-for blessings. Thenceforth their hopes centered in the New Covenant, under which the Lord promised that he would entirely blot out their sins and take away their stony heart and give them a heart of flesh and that they should be his people.

Confirmatory to this thought was the message sent to them through Malachi the prophet, assuring them that the messenger of the Covenant (the servant of the Covenant, the Mediator of the Covenant), whom they delighted in, the one they were hoping for, would ere long, come to his people. But the prophet intimated that few of them would be ready to receive him. He said, "Who shall stand when he appeareth?"


Expecting Messiah to appear in a very different way, Israel was unprepared for the "man of sorrows and acquainted with grief," "the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world."

They expected a great general, a mighty leader, who would appeal to the learned, the wealthy, the noble. But our Lord appealed only to those who were pure in heart, "Israelites indeed."

Such alone had the necessary faith to recognize him and receive him. The others crucified him, but did it ignorantly. St. Peter declares, "I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers. Ye killed the Prince of life" (Acts 3:15-17).

And St. Paul says, "Had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory." (1 Cor. 2:8)

However, our Lord's crucifixion was merely a fulfillment of another feature of the Divine Plan to make the blessing of all mankind the deeper and broader. By virtue of keeping the Law, Jesus would have had the right to earthly perfection for himself, eternal life and happiness. He also would have been heir of all the things that Adam possessed and lost.

He might, therefore, have established an earthy empire and, by wise laws and regulations, he might have done much for human uplift – the very thing which people today are wanting to bring about. But his subjects would still have been under the Divine condemnation of death.

He would merely have been the ruler, instructor, of fallen, dying men. God's promise of blessing meant more than this. And in harmony with it our Lord Jesus did not keep his earthly rights but surrendered them, sacrificed them, laid them down on our behalf. The laying down of these earthly rights was finished at Calvary. Since this sacrificing was done in harmony with the Divine purpose, the Heavenly Father rewarded the sacrificer with a new life on a higher plane, "far above angels and principalities and powers."

Thus when Jesus was raised from the dead on the third day he was no longer a man, but a spirit being, a partaker of the Divine nature, far above angels. More than this, he had his earthly rights which he had sacrificed, and these now constituted an asset or thing of value which he possessed and which he might bestow upon others. He laid down his earthly rights that he might receive life again on a high plane and have a right to give the sacrificed earthly perfection, honors and privileges to others. It was in this manner that the Lord provided for the blessing of the world – "the blessing of the Lord that maketh rich and to which he addeth no sorrow."

Though the blessings have not yet come to the world, as we have seen, the foundation has already been laid in the redemptive work accomplished at Calvary. We cannot in this discourse trace the blessing to its conclusion – But knowing that our discourses weekly reach about seven million readers we shall hope to address the majority of you through the public prints a week hence. We hope then to show how the Lord has promised that his blessing under the Abrahamic Covenant and through the nation of Israel and through the mediatorial work of Christ is yet to bring blessings to every member of Adam's race – an opportunity [NS721] for obtaining life eternal. Meantime let us all assure our hearts of the truthfulness of the promise, that the blessing of the Lord maketh rich and that he addeth no sorrow therewith. Any sorrows that come to us are earthborn and not of the Lord and may be overcome; so that eventually we may be of the mighty host who in heaven and in earth and under the earth will be heard giving "praise and honor to Him who sitteth on the Throne and unto the Lamb." (Rev. 5:13)

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