What Pastor Russell Said

Question Book


RANSOM--Definition of Merit.

QUESTION (1916-Z)--l--Give brief definition of the word Merit.

ANSWER--Merit is (1) that which deserves consideration, reward, or esteem; (2) value, reward or recompense deserved or received, as at school.

RANSOM--Definition of Legal Tender.

QUESTION (1916-Z)--2--Give brief definition of Legal Tender.

ANSWER--Legal Tender is that currency or money which the law authorizes a debtor to offer in payment of a debt and requires a creditor to receive. In other words, that which the government or law approves as a medium of exchange.

RANSOM--Definition of Pay and Paid.

QUESTION (1916-Z)--3--What is the meaning of the words To Pay or Paid?

ANSWER--To Pay means to discharge a debt, to give an equivalent for, to fulfil. The word Paid would signify that such a debt had been discharged; was fulfilled; that the proper equivalent had been turned over.

RANSOM--Definition of Deposit.

QUESTION (1916-Z)--4--Give brief definition of the word Deposit?

ANSWER--A Deposit is anything deposited; something committed to the care of another.

RANSOM--Difference Between Paid, Applied and Deposit.

QUESTION (1916-Z)--5--What is the difference in the meaning of the terms Paid, Applied and Deposit.

ANSWER--There is quite a difference in the meaning of these words. When the word paid is used, it signifies that the thing applied to an obligation is sufficient; when the word applied is used, it signifies that a financial obligation has been met, directly or indirectly; when the word Deposit is used, it signifies that something has been left in the care of another which has not yet been appropriated, or applied.

RANSOM--Definition Sin Offering.

QUESTION (1916-Z)--6--Define briefly the term Sin-Offering.

ANSWER--The term Sin-Offering signifies an offering made on account of sin, as an offset to sin, as a satisfaction for the sin.

RANSOM--Re Merit of Christ.

QUESTION (1916-Z)--7--What is meant by the term Merit of Christ Jesus?

ANSWER--We might speak of the Merit of Christ Jesus from various viewpoints; as, for instance, the merit of His having become the Man Jesus, in the sense of its indicating His loyalty to God and His obedience to the Divine Program; or we might speak of His merit as a man--that He made a meritorious delivery of that which He had, of that which was right, just and [Q567] lawful. But when we speak of the Merit of Christ Jesus with respect to His making atonement for the sin of the world, we have in view another matter entirely; namely, that a contract existed between the Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, by which the Lord was to become a human being and then to give up His human nature, permitting His life to be taken from Him as a man, thus signifying His loyalty and obedience to the Father's will, complete obedience unto death even the death of the cross.

When we speak of the Merit of Jesus Christ, we understand that, on account of that Merit which He had, and which the Father recognized when He raised the Son from the dead, our Lord was rewarded, not merely by being taken back to the spirit plane, but by being "highly exalted" to the Divine nature. This Merit of Jesus, then, which God rewarded, left Him a certain amount of substance or blessing which He might bestow upon others; namely, His right to human life, which He has not forfeited by sin, nor by any other procedure. This right to human life, which we speak of as a merit to the credit of Jesus, the Bible informs us is ultimately to be appropriated by the Lord Jesus Christ, in full harmony with the Father's Plan, for the cancellation of the "sins of the whole world" (1 John 2:2)--the sin of Adam and all of his race, who died in him. That Merit is already our Lord's, and is subject to His disposal at the proper time, set by the Father.

RANSOM--Definition of Atonement.

QUESTION (1916-Z)--l--Give a brief definition of the word Atonement.

ANSWER--The word Atonement signifies the making at one, the bringing back into harmony persons or things not in full accord. As applied to the human family, it would signify that, Adam and his race having been disobedient to the Divine arrangement, and having come under Divine displeasure and condemnation, this condemnation, by Divine arrangement is to be done away with, and mankind are to be brought back into harmony with God--to be at-one with Him again--as many of them as are willing and will accept the Divine terms. The arrangements by which this is to be accomplished is what we term the work of the Atonement; and this work of Atonement was the work begun by our Lord Jesus Christ at His First Advent, continued since, and to be completed at and during His Second Advent. In a word, then, the Atonement in the fullest sense of the word begins with the Church and will not be completed until its provision shall have been extended to all the members of the human family, bringing all the willing and obedient back into full harmony with Jehovah.

RANSOM--Re Any Perfect Human Being.

QUESTION (1916-Z)--2--Could a perfect human being pay the Ransom-price?

ANSWER--No! A perfect man could not pay the Ransom-price, unless by some Divine arrangement, contract, agreement. If, for instance, there had been a perfect human being in the world, he could not have become the Redeemer of Father Adam, except as a privilege by Divine arrangement. It would be for the Divine Court to determine whether or not one could be accepted for another. In the case of the Lord Jesus Christ, by Divine arrangement He became suitable to be the Ransom-price--a perfect man--and then, in fulfilment of the Divine Program, He gave Himself; and because of this arrangement He was acceptable. [Q568]

RANSOM--How Provided?

QUESTION (1916-Z)--l--How was the Ransom-price provided?

ANSWER--God Himself provided the Ransom; and it "taketh away the sin of the world." Only by Divine provision would the ransoming of man have been possible.

RANSOM--Where Provided?

QUESTION (1916-Z)--2--Where was the Ransom-price provided?

ANSWER--In the Divine Purpose, the Ransom-price was provided from the foundation of the world; for the Scriptures assure us that our Lord Jesus Christ, in the Divine Purpose, was the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world. (Rev. 13:8.) In a secondary sense, the Ransom-price was provided when the contract was made between Jehovah God and His honored Logos. In another sense of the word, the Ransom-price was not provided until the Logos had been made flesh and had reached full human perfection at 30 years of age.

It was then possible for our Lord to serve, in harmony with God's arrangement, as a Ransom-price, and to give Himself a Ransom-price. But He did not give Himself to be this Ransom-price until He entered into the Covenant with God, symbolizing by baptism the full consecration of His life even unto death. Yet it was not a completed thing then, for there were conditions associated with it. While His will was there given up, and was so recognized by the Father, nevertheless it remained for Him, day by day and hour by hour, to show His full surrender. His sacrifice was completed when He died on Calvary, crying, "It is finished!" He had finished the laying down of the Ransom-price; that is to say, He had fully provided the Ransom-price. We are to recognize a difference, however, between providing the Ransom-price, and giving, or appropriating, or delivering it. It was merely provided at the time when Jesus died; it was not yet given, in the sense of being applied for man's delivery from death.

RANSOM--Who Provided?

QUESTION (1916-Z)--3--Who provided the Ransom-price?

ANSWER--Jehovah God, primarily, in that He was the One who made the arrangement; without His arrangement the Ransom would not have been possible. In a secondary sense, Jesus Himself provided it, in that He gave Himself; He had full control of His own course at the time He made His consecration. His will was not coerced.

RANSOM--Re Paid at Calvary.

QUESTION (1916-Z)--4--Was the Ransom paid at Calvary?

ANSWER--We have already covered this point, showing that the Ransom was laid down at Calvary, and later placed in the hands of Justice, but not paid over in the sense of completing the contract--that being reserved for a future time. The Ransom was laid down at the cross, when Jesus cried, "Father, into Thy hands I commit My spirit"--My life! Thus Jesus, so to speak, made a deposit of the Ransom-price without definitely applying it.

RANSOM--Re Paying in Heaven.

QUESTION (1916-Z)--5--Was the Ransom paid when Jesus ascended into Heaven? [Q569]

ANSWER--No! The reasons for this already stated.


QUESTION (1916-Z)--1--Has the Ransom-price been paid yet?

ANSWER--No! For reasons already given; and we will say additionally, that the Ransom-price is not to be fully paid until after the Church has been entirely glorified and with Her Lord. Then it will be paid on behalf of the whole world, securing the release of the whole world from death, and the cancellation of Adamic condemnation.

RANSOM--Disposed of By Jesus.

QUESTION (1916-Z)--2--What did Jesus do with the Ransom-price when He ascended into Heaven?

ANSWER--He had already placed it in the hands of Justice as a deposit. The human life-right, the price, still was at His command. His next step was to embargo, or mortgage it, by imputing a share of it to His Church--yet undeveloped.

RANSOM--vs. Sin Offering.

QUESTION (1916-Z)--3--Briefly define the difference between Ransom and Sin-offering.

ANSWER--The term "sin-offering" specifically refers to the fact that the thing, or life (or lives) is presented to God as an offering, and on account of sin. A sin-offering implies a ransom, but not specifically, not positively. It is an offering for sin, but might not necessary mean a full, satisfactory offering; and yet the fact that a sin-offering is acceptable to God would imply that such offering was a full, complete offset, or satisfaction. The word Ransom as used in the New Testament, has in it not only the thought of an offering on account of something that was wrong, but additionally it specifies that the offering corresponds fully and exactly, for the meaning of the word Ransom as applied to Jesus, is a corresponding price.

RANSOM--Church's Participation in.

QUESTION (1916-Z)--4--Does the Church participate in the Ransom and in the Sin-offering, and why?

ANSWER--In considering this question we must view the Church from two sides. If we think of the Church in connection with the presentation of their bodies living sacrifices to God, we would say that they are not participators in the Ransom, for they have nothing that they could give as a share in the Ransom--they are imperfect. If we view the question from the other standpoint--that the Church are spirit beings and as spirit beings are members of the Body of Christ, one with Him who is their Head--they would as members of The Christ share with Him in everything He does, just as the hand shares the head; for the human body is the figure that the Bible gives us, in speaking of The Christ. The merit by which the Ransom-price is effective with God was in Jesus alone. It was that merit which we did not possess when we presented ourselves to God in consecration. But when we were accepted by Jesus as disciples, He imputed His own merit to us, and made us part of His own sacrifice. He was at the same time making us part of that which He is to give to God for the sins of the [Q570] whole world, at the close of this Age when the Church, His Body, is complete and glorified together with Him.

We are to remember, however, that none of the human remains; for at the time we were made members of the Body of Christ we had become dead as human beings, by the surrender of our wills. Because we are New Creatures, old things have passed away and all things have become new. (2 Cor. 5:17.) We are to remember, also, that it is not the spiritual body of Christ that is sacrificed, even as it was not the spiritual Head that was sacrificed. The Sin-offering was the flesh. And it was Jesus' flesh that constituted the Ransom--not our flesh. But now that this Ransom-price has been placed in the hands of Justice as a deposit, whose title is possessed by Jesus, we are joint-sharers with Him in this possession by reason of our relationship to Him and our interest in everything that He possesses. Thus the Church becomes a sharer in this Ransom-price, because as His bride we are His joint-heirs; and we are to be associated with Him in giving to the world the benefits of that Ransom-price.

We do not make the Sin-offering any more than we do the ransoming. We are merely accepted by the High Priest. This acceptance is shown in His sacrificing of us as human beings after He has imputed to us His merit. And in this presentation at the end we shall share as New Creatures. It is not the offering of anything the New Creature has in itself; but the New Creature having participated with Jesus in the crucifying of the flesh, each of these will be associated with Him also when the merit is presented to the Father.

RANSOM--Basis for Advocate.

QUESTION (1916-Z)--1--If Jesus paid the Ransom-price when He ascended into Heaven, could He have become the Advocate of the Church? And if so, how?

ANSWER--If Jesus had paid over and fully disposed of the Ransom-price when He ascended up on High, it would immediately, if accepted, have taken effect for Adam and his race; and such of the race as were living at that time or have lived since, would have been on trial again, individually, and would have been liable to death because of their imperfection, not being able to cope with the situation unless Jesus had established His Millennial Kingdom and had immediately begun to provide all the necessary assistance through the New Covenant arrangement. But as for the Church, there would have been no provision for the Church, and no opportunity for giving the Church anything special, since those who are of the Church were members of the human family. The Ransom having been paid over, this would have settled all the obligations against mankind, and would have left no room for the Church class to be dealt with in any different manner from the rest of the world. They would not have had any need of an Advocate, and, of course, would not have had one.

RANSOM--Final Disposition of.

QUESTION (1916-Z)--2--When will the Ransom-price be fully paid and disposed of finally?

ANSWER--The Ransom-price will be fully paid and fully disposed of after the Church shall have passed beyond the vail, and when the great High Priest, Head and Body (the [Q571] Church then being the glorified Body of the great High Priest), shall seal the New Covenant and put it into effective operation on behalf of Adam and all his race. The Ransoming will then be finished. The Atonement work will not be finished at that time, however; it will include the work of the Millennial Age, in bringing mankind (all who will) up out of sin and degradation into full at-one-ment and harmony with God. But the ransom-price must be fully paid over to Jehovah and accepted by Him before this New Covenant can go into effect, and before human Restitution can properly begin. Man's recovery from death is a part of the Ransom work.--Hosea 13:14.

RANSOM-PRICE--Furnished at Calvary.

QUESTION (1911-Z)--1--What did our Lord accomplish at Calvary?

ANSWER--The laying down of life on the part of our Lord did not ransom the race, as we have shown, but it furnished the ransom-price which is to effect the release of humanity, in God's due time and order; He gave Himself an antilutron (a corresponding price) "--1 Tim. 2:5,6.

RANSOM--Inspiration of Merit During Millennium.

QUESTION (1916)--2--Will the merit of Christ in any sense of the term be imputed to the world of mankind during the mediatorial reign?

ANSWER--There will be no imputation of Christ's merit during the Millennial reign. Not a bit. Because there will not be anything to impute. Why not? Became it will all have been given at the beginning. When a thing is given up you can't do any more with it. Suppose you had a million dollars with which you intended to found or operate a great work and you made ready everything in time, and that million dollars was in the bank and all ready to apply for that purpose. And suppose then you delivered it over to the committee that had to do with this great enterprise. Now the moment you turned it over to the committee you have nothing more to do with it, have you? And so Jesus with the inauguration of the Millennium will turn over the full merit of His sacrifice. It will all be given over to Justice. Justice will have turned over mankind to Jesus. Jesus will have no more merit in the hands of Justice after that to apply to anybody, impute or give to anybody. It will all be given. It must be given at the very beginning of the Millennial Age.

RANSOM--Depositing of Merit.

QUESTION (1916)--3--What constitutes the depositing of the merit of the ransom sacrifice of our Lord? When and where is the merit deposited?

ANSWER--Our Lord deposited the merit of His sacrifice in the Father's hands on the cross when He said, "Into Thy hands I commit my spirit." And it all was--the spirit of life--He gave it all into the Father's hands. He committed it to Him. He didn't say He applied it for sins at all. He didn't say He applied it to the Church. But "into Thy hands I commit." He left it in God's hands in the same sense you did that million dollars I mentioned for the founding of a great work. You place the money in the bank and take out a bank book in which you get credit. It is still yours subject to your check. It would not belong to the bank at all. [Q572] It is merely committed to the bank to take over. So Jesus committed all at His dying moment.

RANSOM--Was Deposit Made Once for All?

QUESTION (1916)--1--Was the deposit of the ransom price in the hands of Divine Justice made once for all?

ANSWER--I do not know fully what the questioner means. But, of course, this deposit was made once for all. That is, when you put the million dollars in the bank, it was put there once for all, because you didn't intend to check it out until you checked it out for the right thing. So our Lord Jesus made deposit in the Father's hands with the intention that at the end of this age He would make an application of that merit on behalf of the sins of the whole world.

RANSOM--Was Imputation Once for All?

QUESTION (1916)--2--Was the imputation of Christ's merit to the Church made once for all?

ANSWER--The imputation was made once for all when Jesus ascended up on high and appeared in the presence of God for us. He doesn't need to appear each day for us, my dear brethren, and He doesn't need to appear for you and then appear for me and then somebody else, because the Father treats the whole church as one, and it was all foreknown of God and was all transferred to Jesus at the one time. The Father gave Him the church, and so He imputed His merit on behalf of this church, all the members of this Church, all who come under the conditions of the call of this Church. It makes the door open for everybody to come in under these conditions until the full number is complete. The imputation, you see, attaches as much to us today as it could attach to them at that time when Jesus appeared. And the Holy Spirit given then was not a Holy Spirit given to us individually, but it was the Holy Spirit of God given to the whole Church. That had already been given to Jesus as the Head of the Body, but now He was authorized to communicate that spirit to the Church which is His Body. And so that came when He ascended up on high. And you remember Jesus said to them, "Unless I go to the Father the Holy Spirit will not come." Now, He already had received the Holy Spirit, but unless He ascended to the Father and appeared for us the Holy Spirit would not come. "The Holy Spirit was not yet given because Jesus was not yet glorified." But when He ascended in the Father's presence He there made an imputation of that merit. "Into Thy hands I commit my spirit." It was in the Father's hands as a deposit. "Now, Father, you have in your hands sufficient for the sins of the whole world. Now, I would impute, I would use the value of this in respect to this Church. Not that they will get any of it. They will not get any of it. This is to go to the world, but I wish to impute this to cover their blemishes, because otherwise they would have to be of the world and share in that. Now, I merely impute to them of this in your hands, and intended eventually for the world." So the imputation was all to come then and there for all of the Church.

RANSOM--Application of Merit.

QUESTION (1916)--3--Will the application of the ransom price for the world be made once for all?

ANSWER--The application of the ransom price is never to be made to the world. The world has nothing to do with [Q573] it. It is the Father that condemned. It was the Father's law against man, condemning man to death, that needed to be satisfied, and that will be done with the Father. Mankind will have nothing to do with the ransom price. It is between Jesus and the Father. And at the end of this age when the Church shall have been dealt with and glorified, the imputation at an end, and all that full amount of Christ's merit will be available for the world, then it will all be presented to God to Justice, not to man at all. The privileges of the ransom will immediately come to man, for the ransom is given to God as the offset to man, that man may be set free, that the sentence of death against the race may be set aside, and for all that thousand years there will be no sentence of death against man. It will all be wiped out. Christ will have wiped it out by the application of His merit. They will all be dealt with by the Great Mediator as they will be at that time, and they will all throughout the whole Millennial Age be getting the benefits of the ransom, but the ransom price won't be given to mankind at all, however.

RANSOM--Church's Part in Satisfying Justice.

QUESTION (1916)--1--Has the Church a part in the satisfying of Justice?

ANSWER--The Church has no part in the ransom sacrifice, because the ransom-sacrifice was the man Christ Jesus who gave himself as ransom for all. He didn't need any more. But the Church will have to do with it in the sense that before Jesus applies this for the world this Church will be gathered out of the world and be the members of His body, and when He appears at the end of this age to make application of that merit, we will be in Him and sharers with Him; therefore we will have to do with it in an indirect way.

RANSOM--Why Was Jesus Crucified?

QUESTION (1916)--2--Was it necessary for Jesus to die on the cross for the sins of the world? If not, why was He crucified on the cross? Was it to meet the demands of the Mosaic law?

ANSWER--It was not necessary for Jesus to die on the cross to meet the demands of the law of God against Father Adam. Adam was not sentenced to die on the cross. And therefore the redemption of Adam would not involve that at all. But when God gathered the Jewish people apart from the world and made a special covenant with them, He made a provision that the criminals of that people might be crucified, cursed with a special cursing. The extreme curse of the law was, "Cursed is everyone that hangs on a tree." That will be the extreme curse. And so the Jews were not to do anything more. But the law specified that as an extreme curse so far as the Jewish nation was concerned. They needed something more than the rest of mankind, and for them it was necessary that Jesus should keep the whole law, because He was born under the law for that very purpose. So the Jews were under the law. Not only under the original law in which Father Adam was involved in the sentence of death, but in addition they were under the Mosaic arrangement or covenant. Now then, they will have to have a redemption that takes in the violation of the Mosaic law, and the law prescribed that the worst felons [Q574] should be hanged on a tree. Therefore, Jesus in order to meet the law's extreme limits must die on a tree.

RANSOM--Life Through Keeping the Law.

QUESTION (1916)--1--How could Jehovah offer life through keeping the law to a people already condemned under God's law?

ANSWER--God's law is not merely acting along arbitrary lines. God's condition always has been that a perfect man who could and would keep God's law might have everlasting life. That has always been a condition of God's law. And the reason Adam was condemned to death was that Adam failed to keep God's law. And his race in him, sharing in his imperfection, being born in sin, inheriting these weaknesses, were unable to keep God's law. And now then, when God made the arrangement with the nation of Israel He was only making an arrangement such as we would understand He would make with any creature. Any creature who would keep God's law might have everlasting life. And so He told the Jews--and He knew at the same time they could not keep the law and how He would make provision for them, but at the same time there is a principle right at the bottom, that anyone who would do these things could live by them. God was not going to condemn them because they were Adam's children, but because they were sinners. As the Apostle says, "By one man sin entered into the world, and death" by or as a result of what? Not death as a result of being children of one man. No. Death as a result of being sinners. And we are sinners because we are children of one man. But if any of Adam's children could be born without sin and be without sin then they might have life under the law.

RANSOM--Meaning of Life Rights.

QUESTION (1916)--2--What is the meaning of the term "life rights?" i.e., will mankind ever possess "life rights?"

ANSWER--Different minds might attach different value to these words "life rights." We will suggest a meaning, namely, Adam had life rights when he was obedient to God, because God had ordained if he were perfect and maintained his harmony with Him he might have everlasting life. Therefore he had a right to life under God's arrangement and promise. And Jesus had Adam's life rights because He was holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners and knew no sin. Therefore He had the same life rights Father Adam had. And when Jesus voluntarily consecrated His earthly life rights to do the Father's will at any cost even unto death, he was voluntarily, so to speak, not giving up, or giving over, but merely allowing His life rights to be trespassed upon. It was not necessary for Him to have those life rights trespassed upon. He says He could ask of the Father and have legions of angels to defend Him. But He didn't wish to do that. But He knew God's will indicated by the prophecies and types of the Old Testament, and delighted to do the will of God, and that included the voluntary giving up and permitting men to take His life. They could not take his life rights, and although they put Him to death in the flesh, the Father raised Him up to the spirit plane and He had life rights on that plane, and He still has the life rights of the flesh. How? Because He did not give them up. He had [Q575] merely permitted men unlawfully to take them from Him. He did not give them over to make an application of them for Adam and his race. They were merely His life rights still, and when He died He said, "I commit into Thy hands my spirit," my life rights. Those were the earthly life rights He was giving over, and those are in the hands of the Father yet, and they are to be the life rights to come eventually to Father Adam and all the race of Adam during the thousand years.

RANSOM--Re Life Rights on Human Plane.

QUESTION (1916)--1--Will anyone on the human plane ever have life rights?

ANSWER--At the end of the thousand years the world of mankind according to the Bible will be brought to a test. During the thousand years they will be living under favorable and marvelous conditions, and at the end of the thousand years the whole world will be turned over to the Father by the Great King, by the Great Mediator. What will that mean? Why, the Father stands for justice, and the same rigid laws that applied in Adam's case and the same laws of God that applied to the angels, not too severe, not unjust laws, just laws, reasonable requirements--and the whole world will come under those conditions immediately as soon as the thousand years of Christ's reign shall have ended and He shall have delivered the kingdom over to God, even the Father. And the Bible tells us what will happen then. Justice will take charge of the world and all will be put under a special trial by Justice. And no mercy then. Why not? Because all will be perfect men. The imperfect, fallen men, fallen through weaknesses of Father Adam, will all under the mediatorial reign of Christ have been brought up to perfection. Then they ought to be able with all the experience behind them, they ought to be able to maintain it. Because God would not ask any unreasonable or unjust requirement of any creature. And so at the end of the thousand years they will be tested, and it is pictured, you remember, in the Book of Revelation, that the old Adversary, Satan, should be loosed at the end of the thousand years, and there perform some kind of temptation for mankind. Mankind will then be like Adam. When he was perfect God permitted him to be tested. And so the world of mankind will be permitted to be tempted by Satan. Now, if they are not able to stand the test after all the experiences of the fall and redemption and restitution processes, and with all that knowledge of God and the principles of justice and good and evil, if not fully established in character, then they are not fit for eternal life, and God's arrangement is that if in that testing time they shall take their stand for evil, they shall be considered as followers of Satan, and if in that time they take their stand for righteousness, they shall be considered children of God, and if children of God they will have everlasting life, life rights, and if they take their stand with Satan they will be destroyed from among the people, and have no life rights.

RANSOM--Re Satan's Power.

QUESTION (1916)--2--Why was Satan allowed so much power over the human race?

ANSWER--Because God saw wise to give it to him. I do not think anybody knows any more than that about it.