Convention Report Sermons









OH, wonderful, wonderful Word of the Lord!
True wisdom its pages unfold;
And though we may read them a thousand times o'er,
They never, no never, grow old!
Each line hath a pleasure, each promise a pearl,
That all if they will may secure;
And we know that when time and the world pass
God's Word shall forever endure.

Oh, wonderful, wonderful Word of the Lord!
The lamp that our Father above
So kindly hath lighted to teach us the way
That leads to the arms of His love!
Its warnings, its counsels, are faithful and just;
Its judgments are perfect and pure;
And we know that when time and the world pass
God's Word shall forever endure.

Oh, wonderful, wonderful Word of the Lord!
Our only salvation is there;
It carries conviction down deep in the heart,
And shows us ourselves as we are.
It tells of a Savior, and points to the cross,
Where pardon we now may secure;
And we know that when time and the world pass away
God's Word shall forever endure.

1913 Transcontinental Tour



God's Object in Calling the Church

I AM very glad to be with you to-day. I recognize many of your faces; some seem to be new, and we are glad for the old faces and also for the new ones. More and more we are realizing that there is only one family of God, and that all of God's saintly ones belong to that one family.

I am reminded of the statement made respecting Gideon and his band. You remember the story of Gideon, of course, and that Gideon and his brethren were very loyal to God, and how the Lord used them in overthrowing the enemy. But the item that comes to my mind declares that Gideon, and all the members of the family of Gideon, all his brethren, had faces as though they were the sons of a King. It seems to me that is true of the Lord Jesus Christ, the greater Gideon, and all His brethren, that they necessarily all have faces of a King. So I look into your faces this morning and see them happy and rejoicing, and I know the reason – "Ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free." "Sanctify them through Thy Truth; Thy Word is Truth." This explains to us the blessing that has come to all our hearts as we more and more come to know God and to know His wonderful plan. "Still increasing light, and still increasing joy," is what the Lord promised to those who are faithful. As we continue to walk in the narrow way, the path continues to shine more and more as we near the Eternal City.

I do not know to what extent your hearts are rejoicing in the Truth, except as I see it in your faces, and your being here implies that you have an interest in the things that belong to the glorious Kingdom of the Father. It seems to me as though the whole plan of God continues to grow brighter and clearer every day we live. Every increased ray of light seems to bring an increase of harmony, and so I am glad to meet the friends here in Kansas City – and I presume some are from surrounding places – and to know that your hearts are swelling with joy and loyalty to God.

I was thinking of the motive and object that God has in dealing with us. I am not hoping to say anything especially new on this subject, for I always tell you about everything I know in the Watch Tower and Scripture Studies. I can not tell you anything more than I have already – it will merely come in a little different phraseology. But I was thinking of the object of God in calling us to be His children, heirs with His Son. He is thinking that thus He might show forth His own praises – not in any selfish way, for our Heavenly Father has plenty of glory and honor entirely aside from you and I, or anything we could do for him; He has the honor of all the Angelic Hosts and He has the perfection of Himself, and there is no reason that He should need you or me to show forth His praises. But there are features of the Divine character that never were known before. God had these qualities of character, but He never had the opportunity of showing them, because there never was an occasion. The permission of sin, and the need to do something to eradicate sin, gives an opportunity for God to develop His great plan which you and I are sharers in. Without the permission of sin everything might have been going on in glory and harmony. If Satan had had a rebellious thought God could have promptly either destroyed him or in some other way preserved the harmony of the glorious condition before Satan was permitted to bring in the trouble and sin. God did not, however, exercise His power to restrain Satan, but allowed him to take his course, because He saw the glorious end to be accomplished eventually.

And then God did not stop our first parents from committing sin, but allowed them to take their own way, because He knew how He would work it out in the end.

Then He allowed the children of Adam and Eve to be born into the world in an imperfect and sinful condition – [CR333] not because He could not have hindered it, but because He saw how eventually He could in that way make it all work out for still more glorious purposes than by hindering it. And it is in connection with this that you and I come in. God could have used Jesus, or could have associated with Jesus some of the Angelic Hosts, and Jesus and the angels could have blessed mankind during the thousand years. But this other feature came in. God said, I will select from among mankind some to be the associates with My Son and sharers with Him in the great work of blessing the world and uplifting them out of sin and degradation and death. And that is the reason this Gospel Age came in, you see. That is the reason a call went forth for a church class, for those who would separate themselves from the world, take up their cross and follow Jesus. Why follow Jesus?

Well, says one, follow Him in order to be saved.

Oh, no! God has provided a salvation for the world in the next age. But this call of the Gospel Age is something unique, separate and distinct. God said, I will gather out of the world some of those who have a hearing of faith and a response of heart, and they shall be my peculiar treasure: that is, like jewels. If you had some diamonds and rubies and sapphires, etc., you would say, Would you like to see some of these peculiar treasures I have. I will show you my jewel box; these are my peculiar treasures. You have other things, of course, but these are your peculiar treasures. So the Lord says that the Church is His peculiar treasure. You remember our Manna text about two weeks ago, which said that the Church shall be a Royal Diadem in the hand of thy God – not a diadem that He is going to wear on His head, as though he needed any glory to be added to Him, but it is a diadem that he is going to have in His hand, and represents power you see – in His power He will show the Church forth; and by showing forth the character of the Church and what He has been able to do with the Church, it will be a glorious thing for those who will be the jewels and reflect the glory on the one who designed this great diadem and all of this great plan in which we will be associated.

So then, dear friends, God purposes that He shall have this special class, this peculiar treasure, a peculiar people, different from all the rest of the world.

Well, Brother Russell, do they look so peculiar as that?

It is not in the outward looks merely that they are going to be peculiar, and it is not by wearing some peculiar kind of clothing that they will be peculiar, nor by talking in some peculiar sort of way that they will be peculiar. They will be peculiar, as God says, "Zealous of good works."

Well, you say, Brother Russell, that does not take in just the consecrated saints of God, because there are a whole lot of people that are zealous of good works; we have a "Good Works" Committee, and we have all kinds of institutions in our city here, and many of them do good and great works; some of them arrange for hospitals and serving in hospitals; some are building orphan asylums, etc. – all kinds of good works, and it is not merely the Church; in fact, I do not know that the consecrated have so much to do with the hospitals and asylums as some others; they seem to have something else to keep them busy.

Well, my dear brother, we are not saying those are not good works; they are very good works, indeed, building hospitals, and asylums, and schools, and colleges, and we are very glad and rejoice with the world that they have the inclination to do these things. We rejoice with the world in every thing that makes for righteousness of any kind.

But why don't you do more of it? I haven't heard of you having anything to do with the building of a college, or an orphan asylum, or a hospital.

No, my dear brother, I have not. Cities build hospitals, and counties build hospitals, and the states support many of the hospitals, and if I need them there is no doubt I would get my share. The whole people are very properly taxed for hospitals and schools, so that you and I in proportion as we have property that can be taxed pay our share toward these things.

Well, then, what kind of works are these you think the Lord's people are specially to be engaged in?

The same kind of good works the Lord Himself was engaged in. Did our Lord Jesus build any hospitals? No. And we are not saying anything against hospitals. Did He build any orphan asylums? No, and we are not saying anything against that good work. But Jesus had a still higher work. We are not throwing any cold water on any good work; we love all good work and all good workers, but, as, for ourselves, we have a special call.

Who do you mean by "we"?

I mean all who hear the Lord's voice; all who become His consecrated children. He does not speak with one voice to Methodists, and with another to the Presbyterians, etc., but He has just one voice that comes to all the Lord's people and that advises us – what? That we should do good unto all men as we have opportunity, and that would include hospitals and asylums and everything of the kind, but especially to the Household of Faith.

Now I see, Brother Russell; you mean it is still a higher work to serve the Household of Faith than to build hospitals, asylums, etc.

It is not I, but the Scriptures that say it is a higher work. It is the Household of Faith that Jesus served; it is the Household of Faith the apostles served. What can we do for the Household of Faith? There is a great deal to be done. In the Household of Faith we include the Presbyterians and Methodists and Catholics – all classes – and do good to them.

Well, what good can we do?

You know what you needed to have done to you, and you know what I needed to have done to me. You know what blessings came to your heart through the Truth; could you do anything better for your neighbors and friends and the Household of Faith than to tell them about the good tidings of great joy which shall be unto all people? No, that is the best you could tell them. Could you tell them anything better than the message of God's grace that has come into your heart, not only speaking peace to you, but inspiring you with this glorious hope of joint heirship with Christ. You could not tell them anything better –

"I love to tell the story,
It did so much for me,
And that is just the reason
I tell it now to thee."

But, Brother Russell they won't all like it so well; they would rather we should build a hospital.

We cannot help that. They might think more of us if we would build a hospital than if we would do something else. They might have thought more of Jesus if he had built hospitals, and if he had gone around building hospitals, asylums for the blind, etc., I suppose He would never have been crucified at all. It was because He did not do those things, but did something else, that he was not so well pleasing to some. But the way we are to judge in the matter is that it will be pleasing to the Heavenly Father. The Father shows us His plan. Before we got the Father's plan we might be working at cross-purposes here and there and doing various things, and, as the Apostle says, Verily thinking we are doing God a service. Paul says he was going about persecuting the Church of Christ, thinking he was doing God a service. It was not because his heart was wrong, but because his head was not right. That is the way you and I were at one time. We were working at cross-purposes because we didn't know the will of God. Now, since God has graciously opened before us the Plan of the Ages, and since we have begun to see what God is doing we say, Lord, can we be co-workers with you? And the Lord says, yes, that is just what I want you to do. If you want to be co-workers with me, that is what I am pleased to have you do. If you see what my work is, and if you want to join in with me, come right along; in proportion as I see you zealous, I will give you a little more and more part in the work I am doing.

But didn't you say God was saving the world?

Oh, no; that is just what I did not say. Some one else said that. The Bible says God will save the world; that all in their graves shall come forth that they may reach a knowledge of the Truth, because God wills to have all men recovered, saved, and to come to a knowledge of the Truth.

Well, should we not be trying to bring them to a knowledge of the Truth now?

Certainly; that is what you are trying to do – to bring everybody to a knowledge that you can.

But you can not bring very many. [CR334]

No, you have not been successful in bringing very many to a knowledge of the Truth.

Well, why is it?

God says that His work now is to bring to a knowledge of the Truth those who have an ear to hear, and He says, "He that hath an ear to hear, let him hear." He says there are not many of those now.

Well, if they have no ear to hear, who is to blame? Is God to blame?

Oh, no; God did not blind their eyes or stop their ears.

The Bible tells us that the God of this world hath blinded the minds of all those who believe not.

Then why doesn't God open them?

Because it is not the time for that. The Bible tells us the time is coming when all blinded eyes will be opened and all deaf ears will be unstopped. In the meantime God is working a wonderful work. He is gathering here and there the saintly ones – those that have an ear to hear. "Blessed are your ears, for they hear." "Blessed are your eyes, for they see." But your eyes did not get open all at once; it was a gradual work. And many who have come into Christ have their eyes still partly shut, you know – just like a kitten is several days old before it can see. Its eyes are wide open and it looks like it could see something, but you will find it can not. It takes quite a little time to get the focus. So it is with us. After we became Christians we could see a little, but we didn't get the focus clearly, and we stared around and did not see much of anything. And I am sorry to say that some stay in that "kitten" condition too long. We are doing everything we can to get the focus of our understanding. I remind you of what the Apostle says, "I pray God for you" –

What! Praying for the Christians?

Yes, praying for the Christians.

Well, I supposed He would pray for the outsiders who were blind.

No, St. Paul realized that many Christians were not seeing very clearly, so he says that he prayed God that the eyes of their understanding might be enlightened, that they might know what is the hope of their calling and the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.

Has it not been so? Yes, St. Paul's prayer is being fulfilled in you and will be fulfilled in all of those who are earnest and honest at heart.

Now then, God has been working this way for 1,800 years and always gathering the same class of people, from various nations, peoples and tongues. The Lord knoweth them that are His and He is giving needed assistance to each one who is sincere in heart and earnestly seeking to know the Lord, feeling after him, and earnestly desiring and praying from the heart "Send out Thy light and Truth, O Lord! Let them our leaders be." All such true prayers are being answered, and such people are being led into the light and truth and being blessed of the Lord day by day.

Well now, Brother Russell, that won't do. It does not seem reasonable. If this company here gathered in Kansas City was a very high-class company – if there were some congressmen here and some judges, and some of the most noted people in the city, the rich, the wise, the learned, the professors, etc. – then we might think that what you were saying was true. But you would not think that God would especially pick out a nondescript class such as we are here this morning. (Laugther.)

We can only go by the Scriptures, dear brethren. If not Bible is unreliable, then count me out of it, because I do not know anything on the subject except what the Bible says. And I do not reason outside of the Bible; I reason inside of the Bible. I believe in reasoning – "Come, let us reason together" – but I am not going to go outside of what God has said to reason. God tells us what he is doing. He tells us He is gathering a special class and He is looking at the heart; others may look at the outward appearance, but He looks at the heart.

Now, Brother Russell, you are judging these other people. Do you mean to say that because there are no judges or congressmen here their hearts are not right.

I am not judging their hearts a bit. I am merely quoting the Scriptures. God is gathering the class whose hearts are right, for the Lord knoweth them that are His. He does not mean to do what we used to think, that everybody who was not a saint of His is going to be thrown to the devils and roast through all eternity. What a change it brings over the whole aspect of things to know that God is not premeditating evil even against those who may be His enemies through wicked words, but is premeditating good for them, is going to bless them, and is now merely calling out a class He can use in doing that work of blessing.

You remember, then, the Scripture, "Not many great." Does that fit this company? "Not many wise." "Not many rich." "Not many learned." I guess the Lord took the measure centuries ago of just what we are like. We are very thankful, nevertheless, that God would do such a thing – that He would accept what He tells us are the mean things of this world. That is the way it says – God hath chosen the mean things of this world.

Do you call us mean, Brother Russell?

No, my dear brother; that is not it. The thought behind that expression is that which the world would consider mean. And there may be some real mean Christians come into the Truth. I think there are some very mean Christians. I do not think that Christianity was the cause of their being mean, but they were naturally mean.

Why does not Christianity appeal to the great minds of the world, and the rich and the educated?

The Bible tells us that the rich have plenty to satisfy their hearts anyway; they are not feeling any great need; therefore Jesus did not think it worth while to say, Come unto me all ye that are rich, but He said, Come unto me all ye poor and heavy laden. The Apostle does not say there were no rich, or learned, or wise that are called, but he said not many rich, not many wise, not many great, but chiefly the poor of this world.

Now it is the same way with the intellectual. They rather look down on the average human being. They say the poor people don't know any better, they are believing that story of the fall, and all of those other stories of the Bible. So in what they think is wisdom they are ignoring the Word of God and all the plan of God that is connected up with this story of Adam and Eve, and the Fall and the Redemption. Because the story of the Bible fits and dove-tails together, and whoever leaves out a part is losing his connecting link, and can not get the plan of God. Therefore the wise, according to the course of this world, can not understand the plan of God.

How about the ignoble? Surely the saints should be noble, anyway.

No, the Bible says, "Not many noble." How can that be? Some people are poor and uneducated and yet may have very noble minds, and they rather feel, Well, now, I am above the average people; I know I am. These persons with that kind of feeling of self-satisfaction say, Well, you know I am not going to get down to the same conditions those other people do and confess that I am a sinner, for I am not a sinner; I am one of the best people in the world. They feel kind o' "upie-upish," and that no matter how poor they are, if God is going to make any show by and by He will need to have them; and whoever may be saved, they know they are naturally better and nobler than some of these, and therefore because they have this thought they are not so ready to see that every human being needs a savior.

We do not mean that you should exaggerate your sins and say, Lord, I am one of the worst sinners that ever lived. St. Paul said that, but he told the reason. He says, Because I persecuted the Church of Christ. But God was merciful to him and forgave his sin when he turned about and changed his course. So, in one of his epistles, after telling about some of the Gentiles who were murderers, and thieves, and covetous, etc., he says, Such were some of you, but ye are washed, ye are sanctified. That is it! Now, that makes a great change. After you have been washed, after God has accepted you and forgiven your sins, you are no longer under that sentence of former sin. You might have some weaknesses of the flesh, and you are striving against these, but you might never be as successful as some other person that [CR335] was naturally better born. But God looketh at the heart and not at the outward appearance merely. He knows to what extent you are striving against sin, seeking to put down the old man and his works. Others may not know; others might misjudge you; but the Lord knows all about it. We can come to Him acknowledging that we are sinners, and give ourselves wholly to Him, and then He will work in us. "Ye are God's workmanship."

Oh, some one says, I thought we were working in ourselves?

Well, you have a lot to do with it; you must co-operate; God will stop at once unless you do; but God is doing a work in you and He is the one who is inciting you to do good work. The Apostle says, It is God that works in you to will and to do His good pleasure. But how? Why, He has given us exceeding great and precious promises that by these (these promises working in you, inspiring you, inciting you, and showing you the course and what the result will be) ye might become (gradually attain to) partakers of the Divine nature. The consummation is the Divine nature, and that comes to us by Divine power – changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. And whether you and I will be in that glorious change and be made partakers of the Divine nature, depends on the zeal with which we love righteousness and hate iniquity and seek to do the will of God now in ourselves and toward others.

What are those good works you can do? One of the good works is that as ambassadors for God and Christ you can make known the terms and conditions of His Kingdom to whoever may have an ear to hear it. What about the Church? Well, you are to build one another up in the most holy faith, to be sympathetic and helpful, not to stumble each other, not confounding one another, but helping one another.

And so it is expressed in other language – The bride made herself ready. You have your share to do, and I as a member of the Bride Class prospectively have my share to do. No matter how mean they have been according to nature, the transforming work goes on in their hearts and they become noble characters; they may never be able to control the flesh so they will seem as noble as some of the world, but if the nobility is in the heart that is what God is looking for; and if He sees that true nobility in your heart, that loyalty to Him, to righteousness, to truth, to the brethren, then you have the evidence that you are His, and His providences will work in you for your good.

Will these providences always make us happy? Oh, no; when the Lord works in you it will be in the same way that the lapidary works on a jewel. The lapidary will not pick up any cobble stone or ordinary quartz rocks and put them on the wheel to polish. They lie around in abundance everywhere. It is when he gets a real jewel that he puts it on. And if the cutting process goes on it is because the Lord loves you. It is because you are His jewels that He deals with you. And all the trials and difficulties He sees best to bring upon you are intended to fit and prepare you to be jewels mounted in that glorious diadem. You know an unmounted jewel would not show forth much. To begin with, we are only jewels in the rough, and we need the polishing and cutting. We need the skill of the great Master Workman in order to be properly shaped and prepared to show forth the glory – just as we would see that a diamond properly cut will radiate the glories of the sunlight in a wonderful way. So God is cutting and polishing His jewels so they will show forth His praises. It is not sufficient that they be all properly cut and polished: He lays them aside until He is ready to mount them. The mounting time is the resurrection time. They are going to be mounted in gold and gold is the symbol of the Divine nature. And all of those jewels are going to be members in the glorious diadem in the hand of our God. Is that worth while, do you think? And will God be glorified in that, do you think? Yes, He surely will be glorified in His Church. And these experiences, then, are all working out for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory says the Apostle. Take, then, thankfully and gladly and joyfully whatever God's providence may bring to you. God knows better than I what I need, and He has promised me His grace will be sufficient for me. I will not be tempted above that I am able to bear, but with every temptation He will provide a way of escape, and I am trusting Him for this, and I am resting in joy, and peace, and satisfaction, whatever may betide of an earthly nature.

This is the message, then, we would like to leave with you to-day: that we are in the Lord's hands, and He is working out this glorious Church as a Royal Diadem in the hand of our God. Who is He going to show it to? Well, He will show it to the angels, and it is going to be one of the greatest lessons the angels ever had. They never knew any sin in the sense of experiencing it themselves. They have always been holy, happy, obedient to God. The redemption manifests His love, and His being willing to accept those of mankind who are obedient to Him will always be a lesson to the angels, and they will say, "See there how God deals! We have learned lessons through seeing the dealings of God with that Church Class." They will glorify God in that day when they shall see how the Lord's blessing eventually will bring the Church to glory. The angels of God will all rejoice, even though the Church is to be on a higher plane still than the angels – far above angels and joint heirs with the Lord. The angels will rejoice because they are fully in harmony with God and will be ready to sing praises as the Scriptures represent – unto Christ every knee shall bow and every tongue confess. When the Bride shall be glorified with the Bridegroom, all the angelic hosts shall also bow the knee, because the Church will be on the highest plane associated with the Lord, and whoever of all the angelic hosts are loyal to the Father and loyal to the Lord Jesus Christ will also be loyal to a class exalted to be the Bride, the Lamb's Wife, in that glorious Kingdom.

Then the Lord is going to show this diadem to the world. Do you think the world will know who gets into that elect class? Oh, yes; the Bible clearly indicates that God intends to make known to the world just who all have made their calling and election sure. They will say, Why, I knew that man; he was not such a wonderful man, either. He lived in our town; I used to see him every day; I did not think he was such a wonderful man, and God made him all of that?

Then it will be explained to him and he will say, Oh, I understand now. I thought the man was kind o' peculiar in some ways – or woman, as the case may be – yes, she was a little peculiar.

Where does it say they are going to know about this? It says, you remember, "It shall be said of this one and of that one that he was born in Zion." Zion represents the Kingdom in glory – the Church in a glorified condition will be Zion, and we are going to be born into Zion.

Are we not born now? We have been born according to the flesh, then begotten again, but we have not been born again. This second birth, the spirit birth is the resurrection. We have the begetting of the spirit, but it has not yet been completed; when it is we will be born in Zion. Then it will be told, the record will be made, this one and that one was born in Zion. They will begin to look up and say, I wonder if I knew any of these? They will look up the list and find your name if you are one of the faithful, and they will say, Why, I knew these people; you know I thought they were honest, but I could not understand them. They will get the explanation, how these were blinded like the rest of the world, but got their eyes a little more open, and they were loyal to what God showed them, and they have been blest, and see what they have attained to! Now, there is a blessing for you, too, in this lesson, for if God would do this to these, He is willing to bless you – not the same blessing, but you will get a blessing – God has blessing for everybody that comes into harmony with Him. The same gracious Father that rewarded these and took them to the Heavenly plane is dealing with us now through them, and Messiah's glorious Kingdom, and He will give us the blessings He has promised to us, namely: Restitution to human perfection.

Thank God for such a good God and such a glorious plan!

Note the following by the editor of a large weekly newspaper. It is quite in contrast to the spirit of envy, jealousy, hatred and malice manifested by the "Scribes and Pharisees" of our day:


Kansas City Weekly Post Interview

"So many Gods; so many creeds;
So many paths that wind and wind,
When just the art of being kind
Is all this sad world needs."
PASTOR RUSSELL is a kindly, creedless shepherd, who goes about the world doing good and minding his flocks – and incidentally his own business.

This good shepherd was in Kansas City Sunday ministering to the soul wants of thousands here. In a short time he will go to London, the metropolis of the world, to minister to the needs of his flocks in the British Isles. A short time ago he was in China, where the little yellow men loved him and followed him about the streets. And it makes no difference where Pastor Russell goes, it's all the same. He says that men seeking the truth and the light are all alike, regardless of their color, their race or their language.

I have heard of Pastor Russell, of Brooklyn Tabernacle, many times, and I have read his sermons; but I have always thought of him just as an ordinary, good, well-groomed minister. It had never occurred to me he was any different from thousands of other preachers who wore frock coats and white ties. This was because I had never seen him or heard him talk.

Last Sunday morning I walked into the Hotel Baltimore, in Kansas City, and talked with Pastor Russell for an hour. It is my custom when entering a large hotel to inquire for a guest to go at once to the room clerk, but this was not necessary this time, for men were standing in groups in the lobby, looking in one direction. I heard such remarks as: "Isn't he a fine-looking gentleman!" One man said: "I ain't much on religion, but I'll bet that is one preacher I would like."

So I walked right over to Pastor Russell and introduced myself. Although I do not hobnob with the clergy, I did not feel ill at ease for a moment. Here was a man who had no creed. He belonged to no denomination. He said he had nothing against any church and wished them all well, but that he preferred to belong to the same church that Jesus of Nazareth belonged to. Asked what church that was, he said: "None of the denominations that exist to-day."

We talked about life, Pastor Russell and I. And it is a good subject. Here was a teacher, a prophet of God, whose books have reached a circulation of 8,000,000, and have been printed in nineteen different languages, including Chinese, and whose parish is the world, who held the same views of life that I, a man of the world, did. It was a revelation.

Here is what Pastor Russell believes, in substance. There is a God, father of all, who is Love. Religions, creeds, denominations are interpretations of God's will. All of them have much good and some bad in them.

The Bible is the world's greatest book, and true. The world can't do without it, and it will help everybody who studies it. Our civilization is founded upon it, and let its enemies construct a better civilization than we have if they can.

It is the business and privilege of all who believe in the Bible to work together, to deal justly, and, above all, to be kind.

It is the belief of Pastor Russell, and the thousands of members of the International Bible Students' Association, of which he is president, that some day all creeds will unite in one band for the purpose of making the world better. And making the world better ought to be the desire of every honest man.

You might look the world over and not find so good a man as Pastor Russell for the position he holds. He is 61 years old. Young enough to see the joy in life, and old enough to have sound judgment. His face radiates with kindness and proves his life has been well spent. There are no traces of dissipation. His soft white flowing beard is not the beard of a charlatan, of which we see so many, but the beard of a patriarch, a father. It gives you confidence. There is not a man who does not believe Pastor Russell is sincere.

And so he goes about the world making people glad. He did not ask me what church I belonged to. He did not care, and he is the same with everybody. And I left the hotel feeling that if the Scriptures did nothing else they were worth while just because they produced this good shepherd from Brooklyn. As I left him he gripped my hand warmly, and, slapping me on the back, said: "God bless you, young man; be fair and kind and give the Lord a square deal, and you won't have much trouble."

At the Auditorium, where Pastor Russell spoke Sunday afternoon, there was no ranting, and no collection was taken. Neither Pastor Russell nor his flock are out after money. If it is your good fortune ever to meet with this good man from Long Island, you will decide, as I did, that the man who thinks all the good men are dead has something wrong with him.

Leslie Earl Claypool, Editor

From Kansas City Brother Russell went on to Pertle Springs, Mo., where there was an eight-day General Convention in session. He was there but for only a portion of that Convention, and as none of us could be there throughout the entire series of meetings, we can give but a partial report of the proceedings, which we do as follows: [CR337]

Pertle Springs Star-Journal Interview

YESTERDAY afternoon a representative of the Star-Journal called on Pastor Russell at Pertle Springs and asked him many questions concerning the faith or the interpretation which the International Bible Students' Association as a class place upon the Scriptures. In opening his remarks, the Pastor said:

"Whilst Catholics are returning to the Bible and the present Pope has directed that their people be encouraged in Bible Study, Protestants are drifting rapidly into infidelity under the modern designations, "Higher Criticism and Evolution," said the Pastor. "Our fathers during the Dark Ages got away from the Bible by supposing an 'Apostolic succession.' Gradually decrees got the Bible's place under the supposition that they agree. Now, having outgrown those creeds, in rejecting them, many are rejecting the Bible also. This is a mistake! The Bible is the only rallying ground for human brotherhood and Christian brotherhood. The world otherwise is facing anarchy. A lost religion will soon mean a lost God and a lost future hope and a selfish strife for the present life only. The hell torturing theory is nauseating people. They are rejecting the Bible because they erroneously think that it teaches it."

Did man actually fall from perfection?

"Let us not mourn our errors of the past unduly, but at once, now, get right with God and His Book! Its presentation is logical from Genesis to Revelation. It tells of the perfections of our first parents, of the test of their loyalty, of their failure and its penalty, death – not eternal torture. It tells that all of present imperfection, mental, moral and physical, is incidental to the death penalty. Twenty billions have been born dying and soon toppled over into the tomb. They are not being tortured in hell or purgatory, but according to the Bible are unconscious until their resurrection."

Is God's mercy man's only hope?

"God's mercy cannot forever allow sinners to live in sinful pleasure to injure themselves and others and mar creation; nor could it permit sinners to live in torture to blaspheme the Holy Name. But one thing could be done under the Plan arranged. Man could be redeemed by a Saviour's dying, 'The just for the unjust to square the demands of Justice against the race through Adam's disobedience.' God purposed this remedy for all the race 'before the foundation of the world.' 'In due time Christ died for the ungodly' – 'He tasted death for every man' – not eternal torture."

Will the prisoners be set free?

"The Bible alone teaches that men die when they seem to die; yet it calls this a sleep, because there is to be an awakening, 'a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.' The Prophets and Apostles all 'fall asleep,' as well as all others of Adam's race. They are sleeping in a great prison house, the tomb, unconscious until it shall be opened and they shall be called forth. This shown by many Scriptures. The Bible hell is the tomb."

What do you understand by the Deliverer, the Ransomer?

"It was not sufficient that Jesus came and died for man's sin. Such satisfaction of Justice is preliminary to their recovery from the prison and from the hereditary weaknesses which led them to the prison house, the tomb. Hence the Redeemer is also to be the Restorer and life-giver. The time for all that deliverance or 'Restitution' is still future, but near. It will begin at Jesus' second advent, says St. Peter. – Acts 3:19-23."

Is not Messiah's Millennial Kingdom an exploded theory?

"Some good people ask. It was Jesus Himself who told of His future reign of a thousand years, when His Bride Church, the 'elect' will be associated with Him in His kingdom work; and when Satan shall be bound.' Revelation 20:1-5.

"The loss of this hope by our forefathers led on to all the grievous errors from which we are now seeking to escape. Do we not still pray, 'Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth even as it is done in heaven?' The Messiah's coming Kingdom is the key to the world's blessing by Restitution back to human perfection in a world-wide Eden."

What do you understand by the high calling of the Bride?

"While waiting for His 'due time' to come for the blessing of mankind, God is not idle. He made one election during the Jewish Age, from amongst that people, of a very saintly few for His future work. And during this Christian Age God has been making another election – the Church, 'the Bride, the Lamb's Wife.'

"These elections do not spell torture to the non-elect of mankind, but the reverse, blessing. Through these 'elect' saints, God's favors and mercies will be poured out upon Adam's race for a thousand years – for a full uplift to all that was lost in Eden and redeemed at Calvary."

Will every sinner be punished?

"This does not mean that there shall be no punishment for sin. Quite to the contrary – every wrong act, word or thought has its degrading influence and will bring its 'stripes.' It does mean that none now are in torture. All are asleep in Sheol, Hades, the tomb, and all will be blest and reasonably dealt with by the Redeemer. Therefore, every good endeavor now will bring proportionate uplift of character and tell on the future favorably – even in those not of the saintly, elect class. The parables and dark sayings of Jesus and the Revelation are now in 'due time' being understood, and are in full harmony with Divine Justice and Love."


LIVING for Jesus day by day,
Following just as He leads the way,
Never a choice in great or small,
Doing His will, and that is all.


Response to Local Preacher's Attack

IN RESPONSE to the attack on Pastor Russell's position, in regard to the soul and the condition of the dead after death, by Rev. J. O. Staples of the Baptist denomination, one of the Bible students left over at Pertle Springs to pack up some traps volunteered the following response:

There were many points upon which the Bible students here could agree with the Baptist brother. He berated those who placed false beacons. We are glad to agree with our reverend brother. The placing of the false beacon of eternal torment as the wages of sin not least. For centuries it has been the custom of the clergy to use "scare words," to scare people into the church through fear of eternal torment. Today the scheme does not work because the man in the pew is often better informed on this subject and better educated than the man in the pulpit. To them the Bible says, "The soul that sinneth, it shall die." "The wages of sin is death." The preacher who tries to preach eternal torment today soon finds himself without a congregation. Intelligent men will not stand hearing our all powerful, all loving, all just God defamed and misrepresented as being less powerful, less loving, less just than the human beings he created. Which one of us would torment the worst criminal we know, forever without hope of release even though he repent? If Rev. J. O. Staples would do this we are glad that he is not to be the judge of the human race, yet Brother Staples is an able Bible student.

We are glad this able brother admits that sheol does not mean torture. By admitting this, he admits the Old Testament does not teach eternal torment. He also admits the word hell does not mean eternal torment because every place in the Old Testament where the word hell is used it is used to translate the word sheol. The Bible students here regret our dear brother had not discovered this before writing his article, for in many respects he really is an able Bible student.

If sheol means hell and hell does not mean eternal torment, and if hades means hell, and as he says hades does not mean eternal torment, then gehenna and tartaro are not places of eternal torment, because they are also translated hell. All Bible students agree on two points: (a) that the wilfully wicked shall be punished, (b) that their punishment shall be everlasting. The Bible students here agree with Brother Paul when he said in 2 Thes. 1:9 that these wilfully wicked, who suffer the second death from which there is no resurrection, suffer eternal destruction. As they are never raised, their punishment is eternal – everlasting. They remain dead forever, extinct.

Our good Brother Staples infers that Brother Paul didn't know what he was talking about, that Jesus Christ is not the resurrection and the life, that we can raise ourselves, that people when they die are not dead, and that our God who can destroy both soul and body, according to the Scriptures, can't do anything of the sort, but must keep them alive in the fire of gehenna to be tormented forever without any hope of release. What nonsense! Does Brother Staples know more about this matter than Brother Paul and the rest of the Apostles who wrote the New Testament? Yet we do not wish to discredit our brother. In many respects he is really a very clever Bible student.

We do not wish to dwell upon his interpretation of the rich man and Lazarus, but will take his position. Our brother claims this parable to be literal. If the fire and torment he describes are literal, the reward which Lazarus received must also be literal and we have no record that Lazarus went to heaven because he was good, but simply because he was poor and covered with sores; nor have we any record that the rich man was bad, but went to torment simply because he was rich. Surely our dear brother would not care to be so literal in his interpretation. Yet if we admit one point we certainly must admit the other. Then viewing the matter again we find heaven described as Abraham's bosom. If our Brother Staples insists upon this literal translation, we are reminded of the worthy clergyman in Jefferson City who was trying to convert a negro and an Irishman who were sentenced to be hung on the same day. His efforts were rewarded with success in part. The negro repented, but he could make no impression upon the Irishman. The day before the execution he made a final call and said, "Tomorrow that poor negro will be carried away to Abraham's bosom while you will be suffering the tortures of hell." "Oh, bad luck to you," said the Irishman. "Do you think Abraham will thank you for stuffing his shirt full of dead niggers?" The Irishman was right. He realized the true situation far better than the poor clergyman, who was blinded by his creeds and the superstitions of the dark ages. We do not believe our good Baptist brother will insist upon the literal translation of this parable, for he is too good a Bible student.

The superstitions of the dark ages have blinded many good people. To get this smoke out of our eyes is no easy task. The Bible students sympathize with the dear brother and suggest that he search the Scriptures to find if anything alive was ever thrown into the valley of Hinnom, into the gehenna fires. If he finds that nothing connected with the Scriptural ceremonies was ever tormented with these fires, and that they were used for destructive purposes only, he will begin to see why gehenna, instead of hades, was used in the passages he quotes. It is a matter of regret that he has not discovered this truth before and removed the foul stains he has been placing upon the name of our God. We believe he will do this, for he is an able Bible student.

The entire trouble seems to lie in the fact that our worthy, brother does not know what the soul is. If he will inquire he will find that man has not got a soul. He will find that man is a soul. We refer our dear brother to Genesis 2:7, which tells us how the soul of man was formed. It shows the soul to be composed of two parts – a body and breath, or power of life. We agree with the brother in the general principle of the indestructibility of matter, and no doubt the brother will also agree that the elements which compose matter can be separated. We illustrate this principle in a simple way. Water is composed of oxygen and hydrogen. Oxygen is not water. Hydrogen is not water. Yet these two gases in their proper proportion make water. You separate these two elements of water and you destroy water. The two elements which compose the soul are being separated every day. When the breath passes out of the body the soul is destroyed never to come forth again till the time when "All who are in their GRAVES shall hear the voice of the Son of Man and shall come forth." John 5:27-29. Our Brother Staples will admit this if he is a good Bible student.

The doctrine of the immortality of the soul is one which has caused much trouble to consecrated Bible scholars who believe it, and also much financial benefit to the church organization which compels them to believe. We will not discuss the subject. Suffice it to say that there is a liberal reward offered for anyone who will find the statement in the Bible that the soul is immortal, everliving, or never dying, as indicated by the creeds of most denominations. Our Brother Staples is a student of Scripture, and in order to substantiate his claim he must find that text. To be fair in the matter, we will permit him to use any authorized translation in English language or the original Greek and Hebrew. On the other hand, if our dear brother (and we bear him no ill will) cannot find such a direct statement and can find a direct statement, or statements, that the soul does die, then we would advise him to study his Bible over again with the help of "The Plan of the Ages," as prepared by Pastor Russell. God's word is true though all men be liars. God's true light will shine into the hearts of his every truly consecrated sons. If our Brother Staples is such we will gladly welcome him to our ranks as a CONSECRATED BIBLE STUDENT, an earnest seeker after the truth, irrespective of denominational restrictions or prejudice.


The Harvest: Its Privileges Great and Small

WHILE our brother was speaking about the Pastor I was thinking of the fact that we are all sheep and that the word "Pastor" means shepherd; but our great Pastor is the Lord and all of us are under-shepherds; that is, those who are in any capacity related to the flock are, as it were, under-shepherds; and some of us are watch-dogs, etc. Some are to help guard against wolves; some are to help show the sheep the way. So we are all co-laboring together as under-shepherds with the Great Shepherd in the feeding and leading of His flock. We are glad to have any opportunity in this privileged work.

Our topic for this forenoon is in respect to the Harvest, and as I stand before you I think especially of Jesus' words of more than eighteen hundred years ago: "The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the Harvest, that He will send forth laborers into His Harvest." (Matt. 9:37-38.)

Whoever is praying for the Lord to send a laborer knows the laborer that is nearest him – that is himself. So our Lord would have us pray earnestly, and appreciate the importance of the Harvest work, then he knew very well when our prayers would go up for more laborers if we were at all conscientious it would mean, What are you doing yourself? So my thought especially is to bring to your attention and refresh in my own mind the thought that there is a great harvest work going on, and there are certain privileges for you and for me – yea, for as many as are disposed to be servants of the Lord and to lay down their lives in His service.

I need not especially refresh your minds on the subject of this harvest time and how it corresponds with the previous harvest time, the Harvest of the Jewish age, and how these two ages are parallel the one to the other, corresponding the one to the other. You are familiar with these things. I merely, as Peter said, stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance of these things, though ye know them. Indeed, dear friends, I am not expecting to say anything new. Ours is the old, old story that we have found to be so bright and so precious, and more so the deeper we look into it. It seems to be more blessed every day.

The harvest work consists of various parts, and these are more or less important, and you and I might perhaps misunderstand to some extent the value of these different parts of the work. I will go over some of them. The general work of the entire Gospel age as we all recognize it has been to sound forth the praises of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. In one sense of the word you might say a harvesting process has always been going on – always some of the Lord's people coming to ripeness of character, and the mission of God's people has been to build one another up in the most holy faith, to ripen each other in character, in all the fruits and graces of the Holy Spirit – in meekness, gentleness, patience, long suffering, brotherly kindness, love; because if these things be in us and aboundingly so, they shall make us neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of the Lord, so an entrance shall be ministered unto us abundantly into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. These are the Apostle's words and we have great confidence in them. He spoke as by Divine authority. This work of building up which has been going on all along seems to have a special heading up, as it were, in the Harvest Time. The crops have been growing, and here and there some maturing all along and coming to a certain time we call harvest time. We say, The fields are getting white for the harvest. That means that the grain is getting ripe. And the Lord used that illustration in respect to the Jewish Harvest, the end of the 1,845 years of their favor of God. They came to a time when the greatest favor of all came to them, at the conclusion of their age, and they had the blessing of the Master's presence, and the especial blessing of the Holy Spirit through Him, and then through the Apostles, and that general ministry of the truth was for the gathering in of all the ripe wheat of that Jewish age, all the Israelites indeed. Now there were nominal Israelites as well as Israelites indeed, and it was the intention to ripen and gather into the garner of the Gospel Dispensation all of those Jews who were in readiness of heart. Yet as we look back and harken to the words of Jesus and the Apostles we find that many of them knew not the time of their visitation. They did not know [CR340] it was the harvest time, and they did not know the sickle of truth was being thrust in; they did not realize a work was being wrought in their day, did not believe though it was declared to them by a man, as the Lord said. He did tell them indeed all about it, and yet they could not believe that it was so. It seemed so different from what they had thought. We understand it will be correspondingly so in the end of this age: that the Lord has so arranged the matter that these two ages would be parallel to each other and the harvest there would find nominal Christendom in a very similar condition to what the harvest there found nominal Judaism. There were indeed many of them earnest, good people, many of them very sincere, and many of those sincere ones evidently more or less in doubt and darkness. Witness the fact that Saul of Tarsus was himself a persecutor of the Church, and verily thought he was doing God a service. That has been a lesson to me, to see St. Paul an opponent of the truth and I have said, Now you don't know who it is opposing the truth today that may at heart be really loyal to the Lord, and if so the Lord will have His own way of causing him to see a great light – not in the same way exactly that Saul of Tarsus saw it, smiting him down, but it will be great light nevertheless. It is the light, you know, that will smite down when the time comes.

So we are glad to be here, and glad to be awake to the fact that the harvest and reaping is going on, and that you and I have the privilege of being co-laborers with our Master. One says, Dear brother, do you believe the Master is doing a work here? We answer, yes, we believe it just the same here as we believe He did a work there in the end of the Jewish age. He was the great Chief Reaper there; He was the one who had supervision of the entire work, but He did not do all the work, mark you! We read that Jesus and His disciples baptized more people than did John and his disciples, howbeit Jesus Himself baptized not but His disciples did the baptizing. Now so here in the parallel time Jesus is not doing the work directly Himself, but He is supervising it. His disciples are engaged in this work. You and I and all of these co-laborers and co-reapers in this harvest time are the Lord's agencies, and you remember how He spoke of this time and declared that He would cause His angel to fly through the midst of the heavens proclaiming the Gospel. Where are the heavens? The ecclesiastical powers. The message is to them. It is not especially to the world. The Lord is not trying to reap the world. The world's time for sowing has not come. The world is to have its time by and by. Then the knowledge of God will reach the whole world and at the end of that 1,000 years of Christ's blessed reign of righteousness the whole world will be under supervision and the great crop will be reaped then, and we believe it will be a wonderful crop indeed; because as the Scriptures explain to us before the end of that age every knee will be bowing and every tongue confessing to the glory of God, and all who will be worthy to stand at the close of that 1,000 years will be ushered into the everlasting future, and that will be their reaping time; that will be the time in which they will be gathered into the garner of everlasting perfection on the human plane. But the world is not being dealt with yet, only the Church. Which Church, Brother Russell? The Bible tells us about the one Church of the living God, whose names are written in Heaven and all the saintly Roman Catholics that belong to the Lord belong to that Church, and all the saintly Lutherans belong to that Church – and as many as the Lord has called and have been sanctified through His Truth, as many as have become children of God, that is the Church they are members of. All the other memberships count for nothing whatever. Jesus was not a Methodist or an Episcopalian, etc. St. Paul, St. Peter, St. James, were not members of any of these various denominations. What Church were they members of? That is the Church you want to be a member of, and I wish to be a member of – the Church of the Firstborn ones, whose names are written in Heaven. After that Church shall be completed, then God will have a dealing with the world, and they will be after-born, you see. Just as surely as you introduce to me and say, This is my firstborn, I understand that you either have other children or expect to have other children. So that is the thought of the Bible everywhere, that the Church now being gathered is the first-fruits unto God of His creatures, as St. James says. When you gather first-fruits from your garden, do you expect to gather any more? Surely you do, else you would not call it first-fruit. So when God prepares to gather out a first-fruits, it implies there are after-fruits. He is now merely harvesting the first-fruits, and if the first-fruits be holy, says the Apostle, what will be the general crop? Well, if God has been careful to see that the first-fruits are holy, He will see that all the crop is holy. They are not going to be a crop of sinners God is going to gather into His Kingdom; they will all be saints; nobody else will be acceptable to God. But the difference between being a saint now under present conditions and being a saint under future conditions is very great indeed. Now it is a narrow way; as the Scriptures point out, straight is the gate, narrow is the way, and few find it. And to find it one must walk in the dark and take the lamp of God's Word to light their footsteps; as we read, "Thy Word is a lamp to my feet, and a lantern to my footsteps." All of those who find the narrow way and walk therein must use the lamp and walk with great particularity; as St. Paul says, walk circumspectly, carefully examine all around at every step the progress we make.

The Lord says the ones He is calling and developing now are all jewels. Oh, that is a precious word – They shall be mine, says the Lord, in that day when I make up my jewels. He is now gathering out His jewels. They must be special characters if they come out now, because against them is all the spirit of the world, the natural tendencies of their own flesh, and the great adversary as well. You remember in one of the prophecies He tells us the Church class now being gathered shall be like a gorgeous diadem in the hand of our God. That will be a glorious position. We will all be gold-mounted. We will not only be jewels, but polished jewels, and that is the meaning of your experiences and mine. Through much tribulation shall ye enter the Kingdom. The tribulation is represented by the polishing of these jewels. You know how a jewel is put on the lapidary's stone, and how with a great deal of friction it is finally ground, and its various facets ground on it so it will reflect and refract the light of the sun. Then after you have cut a diamond, you want to mount it, and you put it in some beautiful design of gold mounting, and put every stone so it will show out the beauties of its own individuality. That is the picture God gives us respecting the Church. He tells us He is going to mount the Church with the Divine nature, which is symbolically represented by the gold. And these jewels are to show forth the praises of Him who called them out of darkness into His marvelous light. He called some of them out of the mud, as it were, just as these literal diamonds are taken from the mud and the earth, from miles of depth, and are washed, and cut, and mounted. So with the jewels of God's Kingdom class.

So the whole work of the next age will be to instruct and encourage men and to assist them up out of meanness and degradation, back to the full perfection of human nature. That will be restitution, as the Bible calls it. It will bring them back to holiness. The thought of the word "holy" is that which is whole, that which is complete, and Adam was whole, complete, when God made him in His own image. Then came disobedience, and now he has had 6,000 years of falling and deterioration and unholiness, so the whole world lieth in the wicked one, as the Apostle says. But God's proposition is to restore them, bring them back again, as many as are willing, to human perfection. In the meantime he is working this other work, gathering the saints, to make them joint-heirs with His Son, by a change to the Divine nature, that they might be God's instrumentality in blessing and uplifting humanity.

But see the difference: We are beset by the world. The spirit of the world is the spirit of the Adversary. The god of this world, Satan, has blinded the minds of all those who believe not. He is the prince of this world, Jesus said. And in proportion as men and women have their minds obscured and darkened and have the shackles of error and superstition on them, in that proportion they are under the control of the Adversary and cannot do the things they would because of his misleading. The people will not have that in the next age, because the world will then be turned clear around. Instead of having everything misrepresented to them they will have everything properly represented. Instead of Satan's being the prince of this world, it will be Messiah who is prince of the world. Satan will not oppose then. Our Lord's first work will be to lay hold on that old serpent, [CR341] the devil, Satan, and bind him for a thousand years that he may deceive the people no more. How about their own flesh? They will have assistance with that. Instead of having everything to mislead them and make the pathway of life slippery and treacherous, they will have the assistance of Christ and the Church on the plane of glory to assist them up out of their own personal weaknesses to perfection. Is not that good?

The harvest is going to be a great one down there. I am not qualified by the Word of God to say how many are going to be saved generally. That is not written in the Scriptures. When Jesus was asked that question He evaded it, and so should I if He did. I do not know any better rule than to say that I believe a great many people when they get their eyes of understanding open will be honest enough to desire to be in harmony with God, and I believe the blessed things of Messiah's Kingdom is going to bring in a great harvest at the end of that age; but in what proportion I do not know. I remember at one time of thinking along this line. I said, Well, the Lord likened these to sheep and goats, and there are so many more sheep than goats I think that is a good sign that there will be perhaps many more of the saved than of those that will finally be destroyed in the second death; but when I went to Palestine where the Lord uttered the parable, I found their flocks were about half and half, and I had no more to say; the picture would not hold out; so I leave it there. The Lord knoweth those that are His, and will take means by which every one who is thoroughly desirous of being in harmony with Him shall get the full light of truth and the full blessing He has designed they may have, and all of those who are finally out of harmony with Him will surely be destroyed in the second death. So the Lord guarantees us that at the end of that harvest there will be no unclean thing in all the world; every creature will be bowing and every tongue confessing, and the knowledge of the Lord will fill the whole earth, and every creature will be saying praise to God, glory, honor, dominion and might to Him that sitteth upon the throne and to the Lamb forever. That will be the grand outcome when all the harvest work shall be accomplished – not merely the harvest work that is now going on, for that will soon be accomplished, we believe, and all of the ripe grains of this Gospel age will have soon passed beyond the vail to be with the Lord, sharers in His glory and Kingdom. Then will be the sowing and working with the world for a thousand years, and finally the gathering of that crop at the end. That is the picture before our minds.

But we are mostly interested in the harvest work now going on, because you have a share, and I have a share, and it is very important we should know what we are doing. Jesus had His particular work to do and He did it, and He left us a work to do, and we are to do it. What is our work, to convert the world? Oh, no, the Master said when He would come He would not find the faith on the earth, but would find nation rising against nation, wars, etc., and people would, down at the very last, find a time of trouble; and He intimated that we should watch that we might be accounted worthy to escape all of those things coming on the world, for the powers of the heavens would be shaken, etc. So evidently the world would not be converted. The completion of the Church will be while the world is still in opposition, still under the blinding influence of Satan. And now while we are in this condition it is very important that you and I should be wise, and so Jesus continually told us to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.

That brings us down to how the harvest work has been going on, for if we have the right conception of matters we have been in the harvest now for about 38 years. Will it last much longer? I do not think it will. Do you know, Brother Russell? We do not know and never said we did. How could we? The Lord said we must walk by faith and not by sight. How could we say we ever knew? We do not say now we know. We have found in the Scriptures certain things which seem to us very reasonable, very logical, fitting in well together; we have laid these before you with the suggestion that you read and study them and form your own conclusions. I am not to form your conclusions, and you are not to form mine; each one is to have faith of his own; each one is to know why he believes and the foundation for all we believe must be in the Word of God. Whatever may be given to you by myself or by anybody are merely suggestions, and it is for each Christian to be alert to know the teachings of the Father's Word.

During this harvest time the Lord seems to have been guiding in a rather remarkable way. So there have been different things accomplished in ways that have never before been used exactly in the same manner – methods different from anything heretofore. At first we tried ordinary methods in respect to the presentation of the Truth, and we thought now the way we must do is to get these books, Millennial Dawn and Studies in the Scriptures, into the book stores, and so we got them into the hands of one of the leading booksellers of the world, who would have the best opportunity of getting them in everywhere. And they had only been one day on his book shelf when a minister, Major Whittle, at one time a co-laborer with Mr. Moody, saw them on the counter and said: "Revell, where did you get these Millennial Dawns?"

"I got them the same as I got your books."

"Well, Revell, you don't want them there."

"Yes, I do. I am not hide-bound, Mr. Whittle."

"Well, if Millennial Dawn stays on your book shelf all my books come off and the books of all my friends. Now, what do you think?"

"Oh, if you are going to talk that way I will have to take them off."

So he packed them up and shipped them right back. The Lord did not intend Millennial Dawn to go out that way. If it had gone out that way it would have been a great disadvantage, as we now see. We thought at the time that was quite a hardship, but we see now it was a great blessing. So all things work together for good to those that love God. God had His own idea about the matter but had not told us in advance.

Then, in the Lord's providence, the next suggestion was that some of the friends of the Truth who had been blessed by a study of these books, would like to go out and give their lives doing colporteur work. Then that became quite a work, until now how many do you think there are? In this country and Canada there are about 700. There are other hundreds in Germany, Sweden, Norway, Great Britain, Australia, etc. What is the result? The result is that these volumes have reached over eight million copies. Now if all the book stores had had them it would probably not have amounted to one-hundredth part of that number; 800,000 would have been a large number. But it is over eight millions now and they are still going out in the same way. Thus, we believe, the Lord is overruling this harvest work. We did not do it; we did not know how to do it. Merely when the door closed in one direction we tried to use common sense as to what other way the Lord would have. The Lord opened this other door, so it has been going out that way.

Then another matter came along, the literature plan. We began the free literature plan in a very gingerly way. We had at first a very small price put on the tracts, then we thought, No, there are a great many people who would like to give away tracts who have not the money to buy them, and others who have money to buy them that would not care to give them away, or do not have the time or something, so we made the proposition that we were going to give away all the tracts everybody needed and would use and they could have as many as they wanted free. The friends could hardly believe it at first; they said, These great tract societies that have large backing and foundations, etc. of hundreds of thousands of dollars charge for tracts; it cannot be possible. How many of them go out free? Well, you know the report of the Watch Tower – I think it was twelve millions of copies last year, and I think they reached probably all parts of the earth – two different languages in China, six different languages in India, one in Korea, and the Japanese, and Swedish, Finnish, Danish, Norwegian, German, French, Italian, Hungarian, Bulgarian, Russian, Roumanian, etc. – all languages; I think nineteen is my recollection now. And these are going out free. It costs something, doesn't it? Sure it does. They do not come down out may be. The transportation companies do not care any more for us than for other people.

Now there never was such a propaganda as that carried on as far as I know of in any part of the world at any time in the world's history. That is another part of the harvest work, you see. Who arranged that? Some people say, [CR342] Brother Russell. No, he did not, my dear brethren; Brother Russell merely found the door open and went in. But somebody opened the door and guided the way, and Brother Russell has merely been trying to follow in whatever way the Lord would open up. That is one of the ways He opened up. Now we would like to say that the Lord did that. We believe He did. That is our thought. Somebody else may have a different view; he has a right to his opinion.

Then came along the Pilgrim work. That is different from anything that has been done before. Something a good deal like it was done in olden times by the Wesleyan friends, Methodist friends, circuit riding, etc. But we have something they never had and on a still larger scale all over the United States, Canada, Great Britain, and other countries – people going up and down everywhere preaching – and "No collection, Seats free." It has almost become a trademark with us, dear friends. We have no objections; we believe that is the way it was in early times. When Jesus preached we doubt if they took up collections; we have no record of it at all; but He gave away a whole lot – bread, fish, etc. There is no word about His ever taking up a collection. I cannot imagine the Savior ever would do so. I cannot imagine the Apostles would do so. It seems to me it would be lowering the dignity of the Master and His great work for Him to have taken up a collection and begged of the people. I think our dear friends of the different denominations are under a mistaken idea. I am not trying to be their censor or to guide them, I am merely going ahead with this matter the way it seems to me to be the Lord's will, and they can do what they think is the best way. If they think well to follow the same course, very good, but that is their business. The point I am making is that so far as we know the Lord guided in all of this matter of the sending of these preachers in all directions. And wherever they go they have the good message and stir up the pure minds of the Lord's people and seek to cultivate the graces of the spirit, and not being dependent on anybody for a copper they can be that much more free in all they say, and to counsel wisely. They do not ever ask a penny, and if a dollar were given them they would send it right on to the tract fund. So you see they are not making any money out of it; they merely get their expenses, and we think that is a good plan. We are not finding any fault with others for doing differently; they have a perfect right to do it; but we think this a good way; these brethren have nothing to think about financial matters, they can give all their time and thought to preaching the Gospel, presenting it to the people, and helping them as they go. They do not merely preach on Sundays, but every day in the week right along, everywhere. That is another part of the work.

Then came the newspaper work, and the Lord opened that up. One newspaper first of all got interested and wanted to publish the sermons; then others wanted the sermons; then a syndicate took over the matter and said, We will attend to all of this and have the whole matter in our care, and we said, Very well, we are glad to have it so. You know how to do this better than we do, anyway. Very well, that is the Lord's providence, and we are very much pleased to have it so. And now as a result of that part of the work, what have we? About 1,500 newspapers in the United States and Canada, about 500 in Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden and Germany, making about 2,000 papers in all that are publishing the sermons, etc., and it is estimated that those are reaching approximately twelve millions of readers every week. So the Lord has led on in that way, you see.

Now perhaps you will be interested in knowing which of these are the most successful ways. I was a little curious myself, so recently while a meeting was being held, a kind of a social meeting, I said to the friends, Now I would like to know how you first came to a knowledge of the Truth? What was the means God used to bring the knowledge of the Truth to you? The response was about like this: First, those show their hands who first received a knowledge of the Truth through hearing the preaching of somebody, some pilgrim brother, Brother Russell or anybody else.

About 40 showed their hands.

Then the next question was, How many first got the Truth through the literature given out free?

And the hands showed 41, as near as I could count.

The next question was, How many got the Truth first through colporteurs and the books?

And the hands showed 70 – nearly as much as the free literature and preaching both.

Then the fourth question was, How many got the Truth first through private conversation with some person who was not preaching in a public way, but merely in a private conversation had their attention first brought to the Truth?

And the hands were 70. Think of that! I congratulated the friends who were present. It happened to be a meeting of sisters and there were about 300 present and some of them did not come in under any of these heads, and therefore we did not get the full vote. But these four heads showed a great deal of interesting matter to us and we said to them, Now you see that not my public speaking and all others speaking have reached as many proportionately as others have done through colporteuring and private conversation. Then the two leading ways God has been pleased to use are, the colporteur work through the books, and the private conversation. I said, Now the Scriptures limit the opportunities of the sisters in respect to preaching the Gospel, but you see what a blessing is right in your hands; you have an opportunity for private conversation with people, and have the opportunity of colporteur work. So I do not see that the sisters are done out of very much of their privilege and opportunity by any Scripture regulations that refer to them as separately from the brethren.

I would like to know how it is here. Would it not be interesting to you, too? How many here present first came unto a knowledge of the Truth through the colporteur work, through some colporteur bringing the books to your town? Please raise your hands.

Result, 64.

Now how many first came to a knowledge of the Truth through free literature that was given to them?

Result, 58.

Now how many first came to a knowledge of the Truth through hearing some kind of public preaching?

Result, 42.

Now how many first came unto a knowledge of the Truth through some private conversation?

Result, 154.

Well, no matter, dear friends, how we came to a knowledge of the Lord's great plan, I am sure all who have ever seen the light of the knowledge of God's great plan of the ages have something which rejoices their hearts.

"I love to tell the story,
It did so much for me,
And that is just the reason
I tell it now to thee."

The showing of the hands here this morning indicates that private conversation has had the largest influence as far as reaching the people is concerned. So I want you to all have a realization of the fact that the opportunities of service in the Harvest Work are right in your hands. Each one has the opportunity of private conversation. There are some, however, who I think would do well not to talk too much. We have heard of people who whenever they talk "put their foot in their mouth." That is very true of some people. There are some who cannot present the Truth logically, but are too antagonistic, too combative, etc., and they do harm. Whenever you find that is your experience then you do well to avoid using that method which is not successful and to try some other method; as, for instance, the giving out of literature, etc., or inviting them to hear somebody else.

Now, my dear friends, what I should like this morning is to have you realize that the Harvest is not yet ended, and that there is still room, and time, and opportunity, for you and for me, and for all of the Lord's people, to continue to show forth the Lord's praises. Indeed, my experience teaches me that there never was a time when people were more alert to hear than at the present time. There is an awakening of the minds of Christian people, there is a hungering for the Truth, as I said to the editor of the Congregationalist in Boston. I had been preaching in Boston, and there was a very large crowd present, it was a very warm day and the Boston Theater was crowded full. It seats 3,600 people and there were 400 chairs approximately on the platform. There were over 4,000 people and they said about 1,000 had been turned away from the door [CR343] The next day one of the editors of the Boston Congregationalist, a newspaper there, called to see me and said: "Pastor Russell, how do you account for such a crowd of people on a warm June day when the theaters are calling them there and the shade and the hammock inviting them, and the seashore inviting them, and the street railways had excursions, trains, etc. – how do you account for such a crowd of people coming? Now we have very able people here in Boston; you know we think we have some of the ablest ministers in the world here in Boston. We rather pride ourselves on our culture here in Boston, and yet most of these ministers yesterday were satisfied if they had a congregation of 40 or 50, and if it went up to 60 they had a good congregation. "Now," he said, "how do you account for that? What is the explanation?"

I said, "My dear brother, I think we might best look into the Bible for an explanation. The Bible, I believe, describes our day, and the Bible says there shall be a famine in the land, not a famine for bread nor a famine for water, but a famine for hearing the Word of the Lord. Now, brother, it looks to me as though the people are hungry for the Truth." He had already remarked that some of those people sitting there looked as though they were almost ready to fall off the edge of the chair, they were leaning forward so intensely interested, and sat there for two hours. I said, "These people were hungry. Don't you think they were?" He thought they looked hungry. Then I said: "Let me tell you what I think: We as ministers gave the people for a time awful doctrines, such as Brother Jonathan Edwards thought was the Truth, about horrible tortures for the future, and pictured the angry God who was shaking the sinners into Hell, and I believe that we very much overdid our own conception of matters. Since then we have gotten our conceptions cleared and we have better thoughts than that of God, and I suppose there are few ministers here in Boston who believe one word about Eternal Torture – perhaps not any of the educated ministers in this city. But we have taken that away, and what have we given them instead? Is it not true that all the pulpits of the educated ministers are either giving something about the latest novel, or some other foolishness, or they are giving them the latest deductions along the lines of higher criticism, undermining the Bible and the things of the Bible? Or, they are giving them the doctrine of evolution, and saying: This is what you are to believe: Your grandfather some distance back was a monkey. You should be glad you are not monkeys, but you are getting away from it. Now, I said, it seems to me we have made a mistake if any of us thought that would satisfy a hungering soul. There is no soul that is going to be satisfied with being told that his grandfather was a monkey. If he is satisfied with it, it shows he is a very poor creature in his own intellectuality."

Now, I believe we cannot improve on the message of God's Word, and you witness that I try to give it as plainly, simply and beautifully as my stammering tongue will permit. It is the message of God's love, the message of God's plan; that is the message of the hour for the world, and they all need it, they are hungering and thirsting for something and not getting it; they are in danger of slipping away into infidelity and utter rejection of God altogether.

I remind you, dear friends, of the fact I have mentioned before in print, that you have opportunities as ministers of the Gospel of Christ – every one of you; that the Lord has not limited the matter to those who stand on the public platform; He has indicated that all are authorized to preach and teach His Word who know His Word. "He that hath My Word, let him speak My Word faithfully." He that hath merely a dream, or imagination of his own mind, let him tell his dreams, but he that hath My Word, let him speak My Word – let him tell forth the Truth faithfully. (Jer. 23:28.) I remind you again of what the Scriptures show us, namely, that this authority to preach comes by receiving the Holy Spirit. Whoever receives the Holy Spirit is anointed to teach, as Jesus declared, quoting from the sixty-first chapter of Isaiah, "The spirit of the Lord God is upon me." When did it come on him? When he made his consecration at Jordan, when the Holy Spirit rested on him as a dove. He was anointed of the Father to preach at that time, and so he says, fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah, "The spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; He hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound." Now as that Holy Spirit on our Lord gave Him the authority to preach, so all others who receive the Holy Spirit, all others who receive the spirit of Truth, are authorized to preach; and anybody who has not received the spirit of the Lord has no authority to preach at all, no matter how many synods have presumed to give him authority. There is no authority for preaching the Word of God other than that which the Bible contains: "He that hath My Word, let him preach My Word faithfully."

I remind you also that many of you have opportunities superior to what you would have if you had a pastorate in some congregation of Christendom. You could only reach fifty to one hundred, or maybe five hundred at the most, and you would reach them perhaps once or twice a week, while as it is many of you are finding opportunities for private conversation seven days in the week, and some of you are doing "sharpshooting" as we call it, and some are doing volunteering – carrying the printed message – and some are doing colporteur work, taking the books around and showing them to people.

I should say, lest some should mistake this matter, that all of this work that is done by the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, and the International Bible Students' Association, which is simply another branch of the same work, is all done as pure philanthropy. There is nobody makes a penny out of it. I do not make one cent, either by royalty or premium, and the Society in publishing these books loses some money every year as the years go by. You can readily see that when I remind you the books are disposed of at the rate of 16 cents apiece, bound in cloth. You can see there would be no profit in them. But anyone can have that book sent to him in China for 25 cents, including postage, or anywhere else on the face of the earth. Nobody makes any profit. And when we count in the money for foreign translations, there is a loss of thousands of dollars every year. Where is it made up? My dear friends, there are always people saying, I would like to get some money into this work. I remember one brother of the Reformed Presbyterian Church who called on me and said, "Pastor Russell, I would like to ask you a question, and hope you won't think it is impertinent."

"Oh, no, go on."

"How do you get the money? You do not ask any collections, and do not charge any admission fee – how do you get the money?"

I said, "Brother, if I tell you I fear you will think I am trifling with you. But I will tell you the strict truth. People bring money and send it through the mails, and say, 'Will you let me have a chance to have some share in that work?'"

He looked at me as though he thought I would take him for a child, a novice. I said, "Brother, it is strictly true. People are anxious to get some money in; we never ask anybody for a dollar or a cent, but people are anxious to get some money into the Lord's work."

One brother said to me, "Brother Russell, if you ever get short of money, remember I have got some, and would be pleased to give it." I said, "Brother, you will never have me ask you for a cent as long as you live. I made up my mind long years ago that whenever the money stopped coming I would understand that the Lord wished me proportionately to slack down on the work; but as long as the money keeps coming I will try to spend it." So I have been spending it. We are spending money all the time, and gladly, cheerfully; it is not ours at all. We spend it economically, too – very economically. Indeed if you will read the Society's report every year you there see what you can get done in the way of printing, and you will find that we do our work most wonderfully cheap. Nobody is cheated, everybody gets his proper wages and amount of money, but it is done on a large, wholesale scale, and we know what the things cost, and we expect to get them at a reasonable price – and we do.

Now all have the opportunity of harvest work. After having a good week's visit together here on the precious things of God's Word, I hope as you go to your homes it will be with fresh spiritual strength and courage, and with fresh zeal, and that you shall carry your earthen vessels full of the Lord's spirit and pour it out like the widow's cruse of oil at your homes and all around and fill up everything with the Truth, wherever there is any interest, and whoever has [CR344] an ear to hear. I do not say that you should bore anybody; I do not think that is the proper or wise thing to do. As soon as I find a person has no ear to hear I stop – not too abruptly, but I simply cut it off there gradually, knowing that I am only wasting my breath. I have no breath to waste, and nobody else ought to have. If people are not interested in what you have to say, think nothing the worse of them. Understand their ears are probably filled with the sand of business or pleasure, and their eyes are full of desire. Do not worry them. Maybe the Lord has not called them. You are not to give them the call except in the sense of presenting it. Jesus did not say, Whoever you make an ear for may hear; but, Whoever has an ear let him hear. So you are merely looking for those who have ears. I have found some dear friends who were disposed to take chisel and mallet and say, If you haven't an ear I will give you one. That is a mistake. It doesn't reach into the heart then. We want to be wise in this matter and merely seek for those who desire the Truth. The Lord has people – we are finding more of them every day – who hunger and thirst after righteousness, after the Truth. Nothing else will satisfy them. That is the kind the Lord wants to hear now. What about the others? Oh, well, the Lord has a splendid time coming for them. They will miss a whole lot. There is a special blessing for the church that does not go to any other class, but the Lord is nevertheless rich in mercy and has plenty of blessings to shower upon all the human family very soon. How glad we are for that!

I heard of the resolution that was passed here the other day respecting moving pictures, and other pictorial means of reaching the public. I was very glad to see that so many of you seemed to take an interest in that matter. I have noticed especially for the last three and a half years how much this matter of pictorial teaching is doing in the world, and I have said, Every other people are making use of it except the Truth people as far as I can see, and is there not some way we could do something to get it before the people and thus teach what the Bible says on these various subjects? I thought of one plan, and thought of another, then some of the plans I thought of did not seem very practical. Then I started out to work up a plan. I have been working at that plan now for about two years and one-half, and we have produced some pictures that are very wonderful, we think. We have gotten copies of pictures from all parts of the world, pictures that were never before shown in public at all as far as we know, and that would be very interesting to the whole public. Everybody would want to see them, wherever shown, because they are beautiful pictures interesting in both detail and subject matter. And with all of this we want God's great plan of the ages to be seen – the things past, the things present, and the things to come, just as the Bible outlines it – part of it by moving pictures, and part stereopticon views, part lectures, and these lectures will be delivered three times a day. To preach three times a day and keep it up every day would need a good throat, wouldn't it? So we have arranged to have the phonograph do the preaching, and the pictures and the whole thing will be working automatically, as it were. It will take some hands to attend to the matter, but it is still another part of the harvest work, a part which we believe will be very interesting to you all. We cannot all engage in that, and I want to say just here that I would not like to have any engage in this work who are colporteurs and who are meeting with success. We want to keep it away from them. Why? Because we think there is no way they could do better than the way they are now serving; we would not want to stop the colporteur work for a minute; that is too valuable a service, as the vote I told you about showed more to have been reached that way than any other, and a large number here this morning were reached through the colporteur work. But this is still another part of the work, you see, that the people in general may have an opportunity of coming into touch with the Lord and His Word and get their faith back. People are losing faith in the Bible. They have had the story of Jonah and the whale shown up to them to be a foolish story, and many other things in the Bible shown up as contrary to reason, and we wish to show that on the very face of it these are very logical and true things and the Bible is a book worthy of all consideration, and that the man of God through the study of it may be thoroughly furnished unto every good word and work.

I should tell you another thing, just very briefly, and that is about the New York Temple. You will hear about it somewhere else, and I will tell you now. The New York Temple is a building that came into our possession in a very remarkable way. It looks as though it was the Lord's providence, I do not know anything else. We had been trying to secure the use of some building in New York for public meetings, and they were all so thoroughly taken up with business of one kind or another that it seemed not to be successful. And then when we had about given up all hope here we came into possession of a building partly finished and practically bought for no money, bought on credit and practically self-supporting – it seems too much of a miracle to tell you all that; it just reads like a miracle. The Lord is not working any miracles, I guess, but it is pretty near like a miracle, and so now that building already has mortgages on it and the mortgages are going to finish the building and give us possession of it. We will have the whole Temple. It will be very nice and hold a good number of people – not as many as we could wish it might hold, but probably a little over 1,300 is the capacity of it. We would have liked it to be at least twice that large, but we cannot have everything we want and we are thankful for what we have.

This matter of the moving pictures and the teaching of the Word of God pictorially to the people has appealed to me so strongly it is my present thought that I will use all my influence with the Society, and I believe it will be successful, so that building may be entirely devoted to the Picture Gospel – the proclamation of the Gospel through pictures to all the millions of people who are living in New York and vicinity, and to the other thousands who may be coming there day by day, and that every day in the week. Sunday, Monday, etc., morning, noon and night, there will be the Gospel being preached there, and we expect that the house will be crowded all the time. The question is between using the Temple that way or using it for the voice preaching and we concluded how this would reach more people than we could use with our voice, or that of any other of the brethren could reach. But we have to say that we are not to count our chickens before the eggs are hatched, or at least showing some signs of it; but the building is nearing completion and we expect to have it ready for operation this summer – or at least by September, and expect to have the first exhibit, or one of the first exhibits of this new moving picture arrangement that you have voted for and endorsed. I was glad to know of your endorsement; I believe it is one way in which the Lord is going to bring a knowledge of His Bible to more people than ever before – all classes of people and especially Christian people that should be deeply interested in the Word of God, or what the Bible says. But the whole world in general is interested, and there are more people perhaps proportionately outside the Church that are interested in the Bible than some of us have been inclined to think. Many of the churches are not having very large audiences, but this does not mean that the public has lost all faith in God. On the contrary, for some reason there is a large number not wishing to attend church, and these we are trying to reach, and there is no need for any jealousy on the part of those ministers who have congregations – not at all. We are not especially reaching their congregations; we are reaching the unchurched millions, if you please, through the newspapers and through the large gatherings that are being held in various places – very few of them being church members, comparatively; there is no competition at all. We wish all who have the message of God's blessing in proportion as they have the pure message. Some have it more pure and some less pure, but it is a matter of comparison. We are thankful for all the various means God is using for making known the riches of His grace, and you and I are glad we may have a share in being co-laborers for the Lord in the present time. And if we are faithful in the present use of opportunities, he will account us worthy to share with the Master in the Kingdom when the power of the Kingdom shall be exercised to make the knowledge of the glory of God fill the whole earth. He that is faithful in that which is least of the things of the present time would be faithful in greater things, and they are the ones who will have a share with the Master. Show your faithfulness to the Lord – not to me. I cannot know how faithful you are. [CR345] You may be ever so faithful and have so many difficulties in the way that what you do might seem slight, or you might be able to do much more. So let us each do in the sight of the Lord what we believe would be pleasing and acceptable to Him, and then wait for Him to say, "Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities" (Luke 19:17). We are to be members of that Kingdom class, and that class is to rule the world; and whether you will have ten cities, or five cities under your authority I do not know, or whether I will I don't know; we are leaving all of that to the Lord; He will do what is best, and we will be thoroughly contented, satisfied, when we awake in His likeness and share the glorious things He has promised to the faithful.


A LITTLE while, our warfare shall be over;
A little while, our tears be wiped away;
A little while, the power of Jehovah
Shall turn our darkness into gladsome day.

A little while, the fears that oft surround us
Shall to the memories of the past belong;
A little while, the love that sought and found us
Shall change our weeping into Heaven's glad song.

A little while! 'Tis ever drawing nearer –
The brighter dawning of that glorious day.
Blest Savior, make our spirit's vision clearer,
And guide, O guide us in the shining way!

A little while, O blessed expectation!
For strength to run with patience, Lord, we cry;
Our hearts up-leap in fond anticipation;
Our union with the Bridegroom draweth nigh.

Children's Consecration Service

IT HAS been requested first of all to have a little service of consecration of children. We remind you there is nothing obligatory in this matter, that consecration is that which is voluntary, therefore if anyone prefers not to have his children consecrated that is entirely his own business, just the same as with our own consecration. Indeed, some might say very properly that when they consecrated their own lives and all they had that they consecrated their children. Very true, indeed: a very proper thought: and yet some have found a great deal of comfort and blessing, and joy, in making a more special and individual matter of the consecration of their children. The most precious things that they own in the whole world, the fruit of their own bodies, they delight to give to the Lord, and we believe that in some cases it has worked a great blessing both upon the parents and children – upon the parents in that they felt afterwards still more earnestly, if possible, the obligation they had assumed toward the Lord in respect to these children, and how they should train them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord; and upon the children in that they afterwards learned what had taken place, and what it signified and thus felt that they had in an especial sense been consecrated to the Lord and His service. I have known some cases of this very kind, and also have I known cases in which when sickness came to the child both the parent and the child felt as though there was a special relationship between the child and the Heavenly Father, and sickness and death had less fear for them because of their greater confidence in that they had given the matter entirely into the Lord's hands.

We have the illustration of the Scriptures justifying us in having such a consecration service, because we remember how some of olden time were consecrated to the Lord when they were children and how some were brought to Jesus and He laid His hands upon them and blessed them. So we think this sufficient example and this seems especially appropriate because many of us were accustomed in past times to take children at the time of their infancy and have them sprinkled, supposing it to be baptism. Afterwards, ascertaining that this was not baptism, we were somewhat at a loss what to do to take its place. So this matter of consecrating the children seems to very appropriately come in to take the place of the other which is unscriptural and improper, because baptism is merely for believers.


Jesus, The Head; The Church, His Body

WE HAVE chosen for our text this afternoon the Apostle's statement in Ephesians 1:22,23, that God gave Him, Jesus, to be the Head over the Church which is His Body. The word "body" is used in this text in the same way we use it in the other affairs of life; as we speak, for instance, of the body of Parliament, or body of Congress, or body of the Senate, and the different members of the Senate, different members of Congress; or as we speak of the Presbyterian body, of the Methodist body, and the various members of these bodies. So God speaks of His Church as the Body of Christ, of which Jesus is the Head, and of which every other saint of God is a member. The human body is the picture used in all of these cases. In the Senate, for instance, they have a chairman who is the head over that senatorial body. In Parliament they have one who is the head of Parliament, and so in every body, in every meeting where it is a corporate body, there is a representative head. So in the Church of Christ, Jesus is the Head, the Chairman, the Leader, the Captain of our Salvation, and as we come into relationship to God through Him we are counted as members of this Body of Christ.

What does "Body of Christ" mean? The word Christ means anointed, and the Body of Christ means the body of a company of anointed. And what is meant by anointing? The answer of the Scripture is, that God purposed in Himself from before the foundation of the world that He would establish His Kingdom, and that Kingdom should bless the world. In His wisdom He foreknew all that would take place in the way of entrance of sin and penalty for sin, and the condemnation of sin, and the sighing, and the crying, and the dying – all of that He knew, and then He also knew His own plan and arrangement by which He would set aside this curse of death and by which He would bring in a blessing instead of the curse to the whole human family. And He purposed that this should be done through a great Kingdom. And this Kingdom was to be different from any other Kingdom, in that it would have a monarch who would be not only a king, but also a priest, and so Christ is called a priest and a king after the order of Melchisadek; because Melchisadek, we are told, was a king and a priest at the same time. Christ is to be a king and priest at the same time, and the anointing of this great king and priest was to represent His induction or bringing into the place of favor where He might be the authorized head, the authorized king, the authorized priest, that God would thus recognize Him as a king and priest. When did God do this with Jesus? We answer, that with Jesus this was done at the time He made His consecration when He was thirty years of age, when He came to Jordan to be baptized of John; there He gave His life; He gave His all a willing sacrifice to God. This was God's condition: the one who would be accounted worthy to be King of kings and Lord of lords must first show His obedience to the Father, even unto death, an obedience that would bring in any kind of requirement that the Father might please. So Jesus in coming specified that He was ready to do anything and everything – "I came not to do mine own will, but the will of my Father who sent me, and to finish His work." God is the great master workman and Jesus is the great chief agent in doing all the work God intended should be done. And the first work to be done was to prove Himself worthy to be king, the great priest, and thus He would have authority to bless the world. And, secondly, this very sacrifice by which He would prove His own worthiness to be the great king and priest would be a sin offering on behalf of mankind to pay the ransom price for the sins of the world, and thus to legally and justly set aside the penalty that God had pronounced against Adam and all his race. Jesus then took this step when He was thirty years of age, saying, "Lo, I have come, as in the volume of the Book it has been written of me, to do Thy will, O my God." Did He do it all then? No, that was merely the beginning of it; that was merely His consecration. What followed that? Obedience. For three and a half years all the testings of the Master's experience were proving Him out; were demonstrating that He really meant all He said when He made that consecration vow to God. When did He finish? He finished His whole work on Calvary when He died, and in dying cried, "It is finished." What was finished? His sacrifice was finished. His obedience unto death was finished. His fulness of laying down His life in the Father's service, and His work as purchaser of the world, was finished. Then what? Is He still asleep? Oh, no, the Scriptures assure us that God raised Him from the dead by His own power on the third day. Why? St. Peter says in order that He might be a prince and a savior to the world.

What is the first step in this matter of saving the world? Has He begun the work of saving the world yet? No, the world still lieth in the wicked one. More than 1,800 years have passed and the world is still in sin, still unforgiven.

What about the Church, Brother Russell?

The sins of the Church are forgiven. We have escaped the condemnation that is still upon the world. We were children of wrath even as others are still children of wrath. How did we escape, and they not escape? Because we have come in under a special invitation, or special call. What is our special call or invitation? That as many as hear this message may become, on certain conditions, members of this anointed class, members of this special body that God is selecting from the world – this Body of Christ which is the Church. For God gave Jesus to be the Head over the Church which is His Body. Now not until the whole Body is complete will God's plan be ready to be carried out as respects the world. It has taken 1,800 years to complete the Body and it is not quite complete yet. Thank God, no, not quite! That leaves an opportunity for you and for me to come into harmony with God through Christ and into membership in this Body of Christ which is the Church.

On what terms may we come in?

First of all, the terms are that God shall nominate you. There is an election going on. You do not nominate yourself; God nominates you. Then you elect yourself. The Lord makes the invitation while the door to this High Calling is open, and it is for us to enter into the terms and conditions, and by so doing make our calling and election sure as members of the Body of Christ.

One says, I believe I am a member of the Body of Christ. How did I come in?

First of all you were drawn; you had some feeling after God and some desire to come near to Him, no matter where you got it; no matter whether you always had it all your life, no matter whether you got it at your parents' knees, no matter whether you got it through hearing a hymn or reading a book, or through hearing the Scriptures – no matter where you got it you got the drawing, you got the call, the invitation, when you got that which invited you to Christ and gave you an understanding that this was the way to God. "No man cometh unto the Father but by me," says Jesus, and so we see this is the only acceptable way. Those who have never heard of Jesus have never seen, have had no opportunity of coming to the Father through Him; never had the opportunity of becoming members of the Body of Christ. So the great mass of the heathen world, thousands of millions, have never had an opportunity of coming to God because they never heard of the only name given under heaven or amongst men whereby they might be saved. Will they ever hear? Oh, yes! Why don't they hear now? Because the god of this world has blinded their eyes and stopped their ears. Satan is the one who is responsible for this great din of confusion which blinds and hinders people from appreciating the precious invitation of the present time. "Blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear."

Thank God, then, if you have seen anything, if you have heard anything – anything that would let you know there is an opportunity now of coming to God through Christ. And so we inquire further, How shall we come? What shall we do? and we learn first of all that the first step is to turn from sin. Then you must learn that God has made a provision through the death of His Son whereby the sins of the world may be forgiven. And you say, I am one of the world, I believe that Christ is the Savior of the world, and I accept Him as my Savior. What shall I do?

Well, says Jesus, if you want to become my disciple then I will deal with you, and I will be your advocate; if you do not want to be my disciple, then of course I am not ready to do anything for you now.

Suppose we do not want to become his disciple. We say, Lord, that is something that is going to tie up our liberties, is it not? [CR347]

Probably it will.

And we would not have the former freedom in sin?

No, you would not.

We could not do our own will as much as formerly?

No, you could not.

Well, we do not care to tie up ourselves in that way.

Very well, stay out.

What will we have to do – go to eternal torment?

No, nothing of the kind, but you will lose the blessings my disciples are going to have.

What blessings?

Oh, you do not need to know, if you are not going to come into that attitude. After you have gotten sick of sin and weary with trying to do something and failing, if you then come around and ask me how you may be my disciple I will tell you. You will be in a teachable condition then, you are not ready to hear now; you are in a self-satisfied condition: I am merely speaking to those who have already found they are weary and heavy-laden and need rest. I am only addressing those who feel their need of a Savior. Go and have whatever experiences you may choose to have. You may not learn your need in time to come into this calling that is now going on.

Another says, I want to come back to God. I want to feel God is my Father, and I am no longer an alien and stranger and foreigner to Him. I have nothing to give or bring – "Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to Thy cross I cling." Lord, give me such blessings as you see I should have.

The Lord says to such, You are in the right condition; I will tell you now what you shall do. It is a very narrow way. If any man will be my disciple, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me.

What is it to deny oneself?

It is this: It is to give over his will, his self-sufficiency, his own will to do his own will, and to say, Here, Lord, I give myself to Thee; do with me and for me according to the riches of Thy grace and your loving kindness toward me, whatever that may be.

The Father is greatly pleased with these; pleased that we should thus come to Him through the Son, and the Son is greatly pleased with these; they are the very kind he is looking for.

This self-denial is the first step; you give up your own will. It is just as though you personally, as a man or woman, died – no longer your own. All things thenceforth become new. You died to the old, earthly ambitions, hopes, prospects, and all of that, the great fortune you were going to have, and the great name you were going to make; you become dead to all of these and become alive to new hopes, prospects and desires.

What are the new things? Why that you would have God's favor, and be called a child of God, realize his supervision of your affairs, that you would know from his own assurance that in your case all things would work together for your good, because you love Him, because you have been called according to His purpose, and because you have responded to that call.

Well, Lord, I am ready to sit down and count the cost. There is not very much to count. At one time I thought these things I have were very valuable, but I have found out that all things of this present time are but trifles, toys, as it were, that a child might play with; whether fortunes of men, earthly palaces, or honor amongst men, they are all as trifles, and as bubbles in the air that are gorgeous to appear, but really vanishing to nothing. When I compare the things I possess, and the hopes of the present with those glorious things which you assure me you have in reservation for them that love you, I count that these things, as the Apostle said, are but loss and dross and dung as compared with the riches of Thy glory and grace which I have the privilege to be revealed in me if I am faithful.

The Lord says, That is the one I am wanting. I will explain next what it is to take up your cross: At first you won't know exactly what it is to take up your cross: you don't know what your crosses are going to be, but gradually I will let you see: gradually you shall know what the crosses are, the crosses of your own will. They will come up in different ways you do not fully understand at first, but you will find it will turn out all right if your consecration was all right to begin with. You may at first think, Why this is going to be a terrible trial; but just keep firmly on as you started, and be loyal to me, and you will find that the trial will probably all part before you, and you will have rejoicing in that which at first seemed to be tribulation: as you go on from step to step I will cause the way to open before you. It may seem at times as though you are coming up against a blank wall and can go no farther, and difficulty and disaster is staring you in the face. When you come to that place I will provide a way of escape that you will not be tempted above that which you are able.

What about the following?

Well, the following is in the same line: it is patiently continuing in this way, patiently continuing to bear the cross, because, as the Apostle says, you have need of patience that after you have done the will of God you might receive the promise. The thought is, you must demonstrate until God is satisfied that your character is fixed – fixed for righteousness, truth, loyalty to God, to His Word, and to the principles of righteousness.

But you say, I realize the weaknesses of my flesh, and I am afraid.

The Lord did not say it was your flesh to be perfected. He said it was you as a New Creature that is to be perfected. In our flesh dwells no perfection. God knew that to begin with. He told us from the beginning that we are all by nature sinners and children of wrath, and it is only of Christ that all of these imperfections are covered – every weakness that is not ours intentionally, everything you do not will to do. Whatever you will to do that is wrong, that is a particular crime and sin on your own part. Whatever you have not willed to do, whatever has come in spite of your endeavors to the contrary, that is not sin on your part; that is weakness of the flesh, the fallen nature, which Jesus died to cover up for you; and so it is your privilege to have courage and faith in the Lord and to go on from strength to strength, from grace to grace, from knowledge to knowledge, growing in Christlikeness, and thus become more and more a copy of God's dear Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

So then, dear friends, that is the way we come into the Body of Christ.

Now, you say, which time did we come into the Body of Christ?

We answer that there are three bodies of Christ.

Well, which one do I belong to?

You must belong to all three of them in turn. In the first place, the Body of Christ, which is the Church, is composed of all those members who are begotten of the Holy Spirit, and they are thus begotten the moment they present their bodies a living sacrifice in Jesus' name. Then they are accepted of God and that constitutes them members in the Body of Christ, which is the Church, because all of these members have the same anointing that the Head has, and that is the picture God gave us. He gave Aaron as the priest or representative of the whole Christ. Oil was poured on Aaron's head and it ran down his beard and even unto the skirts of his garments. Aaron's head represented Jesus, and the other members of Aaron that were covered with this robe that had the anointing oil on it represented all the members of the Body of Christ, the Church, as they shall be gathered out of the world throughout this age. So the moment you came into the Body of Christ you came under that anointing, and I the same, and so with all the church all the way down. In the case of the Apostles there was a particular manifestation at the beginning, on the day of Pentecost. The Holy Spirit that had first come on Jesus the Head there reached down from the Head to the shoulders, so to speak, the Apostles being the first members of the Body. Since then as we come into the Body of Christ we come in under the same anointing and become members in particular of the Body, this spiritual Body, related to Jesus as New Creatures in Christ, all old things have passed away and all things have become new. Saint Paul says of this, that the hand member cannot say to the foot member, I have no need of you, for every member of the Body is necessary. God purposes the whole, complete, body, and we are not to speak or think lightly of anyone whom God receives into the Body, and whom we understand through consecration has received the begetting of the Holy Spirit. That is the first Body. Do you belong to that Body? We believe that all who have made a consecration belong to this one Body, the spirit-begotten body.

Now there is a second Body of Christ, which will be the Body beyond the vail, the completed Body? Will it be the same? Oh, no, it will have some of the same members, but not all of the same members, because only those who, after having been begotten of the Holy Spirit, shall press on faithfully to the end will be accounted members beyond the vail. Some will fall out by the way and not be worthy to be members [CR348] in that glorious church who will be the real kings and priests. We are now reckonedly kings and priests, because that is the one hope in which we have been called, but we must make that calling and election sure, and all will not make it sure. What will happen to those who do not make it sure? Two things may happen to them: some of them, according to the Scriptures, may die the second death, if they turn from the Holy commandment; if they return to wallowing in the mire of sin, St. Peter says there remaineth for them only the blackness of darkness, the second death. They have had all their blessings, they have misused them, and there is nothing further for them in God's plan.

Then there is another company that neither denied the Lord nor returned to wallowing in the mire of sin, but lacked zeal; nor did they so faithfully persevere in the way that the Lord could count them copies of His Son and receive them to the Heavenly throne and glory. Who are these? They are pictured in various ways in the Scriptures. In one place they are called foolish virgins; they are not impure. The word "virgin" means pure, and the whole Church of Christ is pure. The wise of this church that are pure will reach the throne, because they will so run, be so wise in their use of present opportunities and blessings of God that they will attain to all the glorious things and make their calling and election sure; they will be wise enough to lay aside every weight and besetting sin and run with patience the race set before them. The others, unwise, who have accepted Christ, after having given up the world, will still be more or less trying to tag on to the world while walking the more slowly toward the Lord. So while eventually if they keep on at all they will be conquerors, yet they will not be those overcoming conquerors to whom the abundant entrance will be granted. They are the class who through fear of death were all their life-time subject to bondage. What death? The death of the old man, the death of the flesh. They are fearful of it; they are afraid it will be too hard to break off this tender tie, or that one, – What will my friends think? What will the world say? All of these things are detriments to them, and hold them back, and, therefore, they are not courageous enough to go on and follow the Lamb withersoever He goeth. They are loyal, faithful, but not as courageous as they should be; they miss the great prize, but will get the secondary prize; instead of being in the throne they will be before the throne; instead of wearing the crown of glory they will only have a palm of victory. A palm of victory will be a great deal better than nothing – Oh, yes, to be before the throne would be a great deal better than to be in outer darkness of the second death! They will be a grand class when they are finished and pass through great tribulation, but they might have passed through much more gloriously and been of the throne class if they had been faithful. It all remained with themselves. God nominated them, and it was up to these people to decide about the election. They failed of election because they failed to have sufficient zeal, sufficient love and earnestness to gain that great prize.

So you see then that the Body of Christ of the present time is not a Little Flock and a Great Company, but "ye are all called in one hope of your calling" and there is no decision as to the two classes in the present time. We are all one body now; all who receive the Holy Spirit are one company now. But when the end of this age comes and the great Master shall make the division between the wise and the foolish, between the Great Company and the Little Flock, there will be a difference after that. Then these are the two bodies of Christ: the one to which we belong now, – and all belong to this one Body who are begotten of the spirit, – then the other body that will be clothed upon with immortality, joint-heirs with Christ in his throne and Kingdom.

What about the third Body of Christ? That third Body of Christ is Christ in the flesh.

Why, Brother Russell, I thought you said awhile ago the New Creature was a member of the Body of Christ?

Yes, quite right; the New Creature is a member, and will be perfected and be a member beyond the vail in glory.

Then how about the Body of Christ in the flesh?

Jesus had a body in the flesh, did He not?


What did He do with that body in the flesh?

He consecrated it to death, He laid it down day by day, hour by hour, until He finished the work at Calvary. All of that was the sacrifice of the flesh. And when He took you over to be His disciple did He exclude the flesh and say, "I will take you merely as a New Creature and not take your flesh"? No. He took all you had – your flesh, your property, everything you had; all went with you when He received you – your children, your mortgages, and weaknesses and all; He took your all right over.

What is He doing with them, you say?

Well, my dear brother, from that time on you have been His flesh. And so we have had this thing to look at: that for 1,800 years Jesus has been in the flesh; He has accepted us as His flesh, we are His representatives, His flesh. Wherever you are, Christ's flesh is, and that has been true for 1,800 years.

Oh, I wonder, says one, if that can be so?

Yes, surely it is so. Hear what Jesus said to Saul of Tarsus. You remember Saul had been persecuting the Church, and how he was present when St. Stephen was stoned to death, and how he was hailing others to prison, and how Jesus hailed him by the way and said, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?

Saul was astonished. Persecuting somebody up there? Why, I was persecuting some renegade Jews down here!

"I am Jesus whom thou persecutest."

He was not persecuting Jews in Heaven, he was not persecuting the New Creatures, he was persecuting the flesh of Jesus. Wherever there has been a disciple of Jesus, and that disciple has suffered in the flesh, it has been Christ suffering in the flesh. "Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind."

"Whosoever will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution."

How did Jesus suffer? He suffered in a great many ways. He suffered from being misunderstood, from being slandered, and in every way you can think of. We cannot possibly expect to suffer in all the ways the Master suffered. We are not worthy of so much suffering as He was worthy of.

Brother Russell, is not suffering a sign of God's displeasure? No, you do not think because Jesus suffered so much that was a sign the Father was displeased with Him, do you? No, you do not think that was so, but you think, on the contrary, that as the Scriptures say He was holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners. And it pleased God to bruise Him, to put Him to grief, to put Him to shame. How does it please God? Did He take pleasure in the suffering of His Son? That is not the thought. The thought is, in God's great plan it seemed wisest and best that He should put His Son to all of these severe tests so that both angels and men, looking back to the experiences of Jesus from Jordan to Calvary, could see that He was faithful unto death, and glorify God because of His great loyalty, and that the reward of His obedience might be manifest to all, and all might see the grounds and conditions upon which God gives His blessings. So there will be an incentive to you and to me, and to all who may ever have opportunity of serving God to know that whoever renders any service to Him and the pleasure of any kind of suffering for righteousness sake, the spirit of glory and of God rests on them, as the Apostle says.

Now the proposition, you see, includes the whole Body. If we suffer with Him we shall also be glorified together. If we be dead with Him we shall live with Him on the spiritual plane, be partakers of His divine nature, share with Him in His glory. All of these things are conditional upon our demonstrating that we are members of His Body, and actuated by the same spirit. Some may have more tribulations than others. Someone said to me recently on this subject, Should we not expect the tribulation to be equal and evenly divided. No, brother, if it is a large diamond it may take a great deal more polishing, because a large diamond is worthy of more polishing. A little diamond requires less polishing to make it shine as much as it can shine; but if it is a large diamond as in the case of our Lord, and as in the case of St. Paul, it would require a great deal of polishing, a great deal of affliction, a great deal of difficulty, that they might fully show forth the praises of Him who called them out of darkness into His marvelous light.

Now, I am very much pleased to have had the opportunity of speaking to you this afternoon as a class, and to rejoice with you in the wonderful privileges and blessings that are coming to us in our day, and in the increased light and knowledge, not only on God's Word, but on every subject under Heaven, and to rejoice with you also that not only are our eyes of understanding opening daily more widely than ever and we are seeing the lengths and breadths and heights and depths of God's character and plan, but we rejoice also [CR349] that in God's providence the world is coming to see more and more of His goodness and of His wonderful arrangements. The eyes of the world are becoming more and more opened and the delusions that have been on the world are more and more passing away. How glad we are! This is evidently the beginning of a new day and our hearts rejoice in the privilege we have of enjoying it in advance of the world, and let us see to it that all the light, and all the blessings, and all the knowledge that God sends to us, produces in us the very experiences that He desires; that it has a sanctifying effect, as Jesus said in His last prayer to the Father, "Sanctify them through Thy Truth, Thy Word is truth."

I take this opportunity to remind you that perhaps in the past some of us have not been sufficiently careful in talking to friends and neighbors when trying to impress them with the importance of the Truth; we have not always remembered as we should to urge upon them the fact that unless they make a consecration of their hearts they are not to expect full clear light on the plan of God. I was recently in a railroad train and a young man on the train shook hands with me and said that he knew me, told me his father's name, and how he had been trained more or less in the Truth from childhood. I said to him, How are you getting along?

Well, he said, I do not get along as rapidly as I would like; I seem to forget everything. I have read the volumes, yet when I read them I forget them. I go back and read them over again and it seems as though I had not read them before at all. And I heard you speak several times and felt very much impressed, then it all slipped away.

I said, Have you made a consecration of your heart to the Lord?

No, I have never taken that step yet.

Then how do you expect that the Lord is going to impress His Truth on your heart when you have not given Him your heart? How do you expect that you are to be sealed with the spirit of the Truth when you have not submitted your heart to the sealing? God only seals those hearts that are submitted willingly, joyfully, gladly, and fully, to Him. You must take this step, give yourself to Him, then the truths as they come along God by His spirit will impress on you. And this is what the Bible calls the sealing of the spirit.

So the Scriptures tells us of those who are in Christ and have received the sealing of the Holy Spirit and an unction, an oil of lubrication from the Holy Spirit, how they get to know things, and the Truth comes more clearly and forcibly to them. But you must take the step. God gives you a certain amount of light and truth, then it is for you to say whether or not you appreciate it, and whether or not you have been loyal to that which you received. If you take the steps of appreciation and obedience, then you are ready for more light and knowledge, then another step of obedience and more light, and so on from grace to grace and knowledge to knowledge, from the way a child crawls to the way a man walks, until we all come to the full stature of a man in Christ.

When you and I came into the Body of Christ first we were not full-sized members at all; we were little members; we had to grow; you had to be receiving the strength and nutriment that you might grow thereby and become a fully developed member. And if you do not become a fully developed member, then in the glorious membership beyond the vail another one would be found better fitted for that place and you would be set aside for the Great Company class.

So you see, we are not here merely to make a consecration, and make a good start; we are here to enter the School of Christ, to learn of Him, to be taught of Him, to give ourselves fully and unreservedly to the rules and regulations of this School, that we may be taught and developed in heart and mind, and all the spiritual progress we need to qualify us and fit us for the presence of our Lord, and for a share with Him in his glory, honor, and immortality.

Press Comment – "Death the Only Hell"

Declaring that death itself is the only hell, and that the dawn of the millennium is close at hand, Pastor Charles T. Russell of the Brooklyn Tabernacle last night addressed a crowd that taxed the capacity of Beethoven Hall.

With a train load of delegates from the Eastern States and Canada on their way to a convention of the International Bible Students' Association at Los Angeles, Pastor Russell arrived here on the closing day of a local convention of Bible students and his address last night on the subject, "Beyond the Grave," embodied the principal teachings of the organization of which he is the head.

Pastor Russell said that he had been brought up, as a child, in the Congregational faith, but afterward underwent a period of doubt about the truth of the Bible. He studied the teachings of the greatest religious leaders of the world, without finding spiritual peace, and finally turned again to the Bible to see whether, under reasonable interpretation, the teachings that had made him skeptical might not be harmonized with the conception of God as a being of infinite wisdom, power, justice and love.

He found, he said, that the old teaching that hell is a place of eternal torment for sinful souls is not borne out by the Bible itself.


"The hell of the Bible is the tomb, the state of death," he said "The Hebrew word 'sheol' and the Greek word 'hades' mean the same thing. Any other construction of the Scripture is a misrepresentation of God. We simply are waiting for Christ to gather His church, which is to be His bride, when the 1,000 years of peace will prevail throughout the world.

"When the restitution of man comes, the elect of Christ will bless those who have led sinful lives while in the previous life, and all men may be blessed. I do not claim that all will be saved, but those who will not accept Christ in the second life will die and remain in a state of death, which is hell."

Continuing, Pastor Russell said in part:


"The grave marks the dividing line between the known and the unknown. All beyond the grave is held by faith, not by knowledge. How important then that we accept only divine testimony on a subject regarding which none but the Almighty could enlighten us. We admit that our own guessing on this subject would be unsatisfactory. Why, then, prefer the guesses of other men who know no more on the subject than we do?

"I know that spiritism claims to have communications from the dead and that thus it has proofs. I admit that some learned men have become psychics and corroborate spiritists. I prefer, however, to follow the Bible's teachings and to believe those men are deceived. The Bible tells us that the intelligences which communicate through the mediums are not dead human, but the fallen angels. The Bible tells us that these evil spirits, 'demons,' purposely strive to deceive humanity, and to misrepresent God's plans; and that God will not fully restrain them until an appointed time, but permits them to test our loyalty and faith Godward.


"When I say that the Bible's teaching regarding 'beyond the grave' is logical, some will scoff. But hear me for my cause. Hear the Bible's own testimony – not what the creeds say it teaches.

"It teaches that the dead are not alive anywhere – that a dead person cannot experience either joy or sorrow. It teaches that all hope of a future life by divine appointment is vested in Jesus, who died that we might as a race be released from the death sentence inherited from Father Adam, and that thus Jesus might become the life-giver or Savior to as many as will return to God through Him.

"The promise of the Bible is not that the dead are not dead, but that 'thy dead men shall live.' Because of the proposed resurrection of the dead they are figuratively said to 'sleep.' Thus the hope set before us is: 'Many that sleep in [CR350] the dust of the earth shall awake, they that have done good (that passed divine approval, the saintly) shall come forth to shine as the stars of heaven.' They that have not been approved shall awake to shame and lasting contempt. Their shame will last until they reform – their contempt until they shall cease to be contemptible, and learn and obey the way of God under Messiah's Kingdom.


"Death with its attendant mental, physical and moral weaknesses, is God's curse or penalty for Adam's sin of disobedience. Resurrection, uplifting from all this, is God's remedy – the lifting of the curse. The Redeemer's death was necessary as man's redemption price. Next in order will be His Messianic Kingdom. He must reign 1,000 years to fully overthrow the power of sin and death and to uplift or resurrect the willing and the obedient, thousands of millions of Adam's family for whom he died – 'every man.'

"The perfect man, Adam, and his perfect, happy, Eden home were a picture, a prophecy of what all may attain, if they will, through the Redeemer's Kingdom. What a glorious outlook 'beyond the grave' we find in the Bible, for the world! Those refusing to progress, the Bible declares, will be cut off from life in the second death. It will be like the first or Adamic death except that there will be no redemption from it – no resurrection from it. All consigned to it will, St. Peter declares, perish 'like natural brute beasts'; in everlasting destruction,' St. Paul declares.

"Note the beautifully sympathetic description of God's work for men through Messiah's Kingdom: 'God shall wipe away all tears from all faces'; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain there.' (Rev. 21:4; Isa. 25:8.)

"The explanation is: He that sitteth upon the throne saith, behold, I make all things new (Rev. 21:5). A new heaven of spiritual power will have supervision of earth's affairs, and a new earth or social order will obtain amongst men. These are the glad 'times of restitution which St. Peter tells us will begin at the second advent of Jesus' (Acts 3:19-21).


"All except those now spirit-begotten will share in the general resurrection or uplifting of Messiah's Kingdom during his reign of 1,000 years. Some are more and some less dead, morally, mentally and physically, than others. Hence some will need more and some less uplifting or resurrection. But all need it greatly. Without Messiah's aid they could never get free from the death and into perfection of earthly life. It will require all of the 1,000 years to uplift or resurrect the world. Hence only the church class, changed to heavenly nature, will really live again fully until the thousand years shall be finished, although the willing of the world will be gradually rising, gradually experiencing restitution or resurrection, throughout that thousand years.

"If 'beyond the grave' means Paradise Restored, and human perfection to mankind in general, it means still more to the saintly Church of Christ – his bride. Let us all live godly, but let as many as will become footstep followers of Jesus and thus gain with him glory, honor and immortality."


LOVE is the filling from one's own
Another's cup.
Love is a daily laying down
And taking up;
A choosing of the stony path
Through each new day
That other feet may tread with ease
A smoother way.
Love is not blind, but looks abroad
Through other eyes;
And asks not "Must I give?" but "May
I sacrifice?"
Love hides its grief, that other hearts
And lips may sing;
And burdened, walks, that other lives
May, buoyant, wing.
Brother, hast thou a love like this
Within thy soul?
'Twill change thy name to saint when thou
Dost reach thy goal.


A Clerical Conspiracy to Injure Pastor Russell

Clerics Fear That the Pastor's Clear and Convincing Presentations of God's Word Will Discredit Them as Blind Leaders of the Blind Into the Ditch of Confusion and Unbelief – Matt. 23:13.

Their Desperate Tactics Duplicate Those of the D.D.'s of Jesus' Day, Who Incited the People to Cry, Crucify Him!

Modern Burning at the Stake Is Done in Churches Dedicated to God's Worship and Instruction in Justice and Love, and is Termed "Roasting."

The various denominations of Christendom, after fighting each other for centuries, have concluded that they all are partly wrong and partly right, and that they do not know where the Truth lies, nor what is Truth, nor what is Error. The decline in church attendance and contributions combined with the increase of church expenses, cause troubles many and grievous. The lessons of the success of Financial Trusts inspires them to form a Church Trust or "Federation of Churches." They hope thus to impress the people by a bold front. But especially they desire to impress the newspaper proprietors and the politicians for such services as they may call for. The proposition is a frothy one, representing a very few – nearly all clerics. The people of all denominations are unenthused. In doubt on all religious problems, and hungry for the Truth, the poor sheep are confused by the actions of their clergy.

Led by the Federation's press agent, Mr. Ellis, the "Religious Rambler," a systematic attack is being made on Pastor Russell through the religious (?) press as well as in the secular. All the clergy have been urged to join the conspiracy, and nearly one-fourth of their number have joined the campaign of lying and slander. Others more noble have refused, after the manner of Gamaliel, saying, If this thing be of God ye cannot overthrow it! Take heed lest ye be found fighting against God! – Acts 5:34-39.


Jesus was crucified for the good of the cause as the Scribes, Pharisees and Chief Priests declared. The Apostles similarly suffered for the good of the cause of error. The martyrs executed for centuries past were done to death for the good of error's cause. The Truth, the cause of God, of Christ, of the Apostles, never needed to put anybody to death, either physically or figuratively. Error and Tyranny are fearful and prepared to do violence for their own preservation.

So it is today. We are in the dawn of the Golden Age, the Millennium. The light of the new day is scattering the gloomy spectres and hobgoblins of the night. We are awakening from the horrible nightmare which so terrified our fathers and threatened to alienate us from our God and from His Word, the Bible. Fear of sectarian fences, gates and bars is seizing some whom the Bible denounces as "hypocrites." (Isaiah 33:14.) Wild, lest their hypocrisy should be revealed to the public, these murder a Christian brother and fellow servant and excuse themselves by saying, We do it for the good of the cause. (1 John 3:15; Isaiah 66:5.) Truly so, but as usual for the good of a bad cause – the cause of Error, Superstition and Misrepresentation of God and His Word. Beware of such! Be not deceived! God is not mocked! He that doeth righteousness is righteous – not those who conspire against the promulgation of the Truth. "My soul, come not thou into their secret" scheming. – (Genesis 49:6; Prov. 1:15,16.)


In none of his sermons or writings has Pastor Russell ever made a personal attack upon preachers or others. He remembers and obeys the command of the Bible, "Speak evil of no man." Even under the attacks of slander and misrepresentation he has never returned evil for evil, nor railing for raillery. He has set a noble example for all, in preaching the Word of God fearlessly, courageously, even when he knew from experience that it would be met, not by logic or reason or Bible truths, but by poisoned "arrows" of slander as the Bible forewarned. – Psa. 64:3.

Pastor Russell does indeed attack errors of doctrine, unsparingly, though in kindly terms. This is the crime for which he is being "roasted." His attacks are so forceful, so logical, that they carry conviction; therefore he is feared and his words misrepresented, to keep Christian people who are really hungering and thirsting for Truth from reading the Pastor's writings. But if it be a crime to refute and denounce Errors, Pastor Russell has the good company of his Redeemer and the Apostles, and of all reformers. He is backed by the Lord's Word. "Cry aloud! Spare not! Show My people their sins!"


The preachers who are complaining about small congregations, and who blame Pastor Russell for this, are mistaken. Higher Critics in our Colleges and greatest pulpits have for thirty years been undermining faith in the inspiration of the Bible. Their teachings have come to be believed by the people. The result is that the people are too honest to take pleasure in supporting by presence and purse what they no longer fully believe, and they discredit the preachers as less honest, and as merely preaching for the sake of money and honor.

Many ministers are reading Pastor Russell's books and preachings much of what they read, and then denounce Pastor Russell to keep the people from reading the same books. One prominent Evangelist, after breaking a few chairs and denouncing Pastor Russell, preached a sermon on Christ's Second Coming which, if not quoted from the Pastor's books, is so much like his writings that some people think them quotations. [CR352]

It is time that the people know the facts, and hence this statement. This issue of The Bible Students Monthly is, however, reserved for use only in places where the preachers make preconcerted attacks on the Pastor. This is not a retaliation, not an attack on the personality of any one, but a showing of the clear facts as in contrast with the dark slanders of the Pastor's opponents. A marked sample copy of this issue has been sent to all preachers to warn them re the course of error being pursued and that they are forcing the Truth to be told.


We can only very briefly here give the Pastor's answer to the Calumnies of The Eagle and the Ministerial Clique. We can, however, supply free on request his full reply and also the Missionary Committee's Report. The Pastor affirms briefly as follows:


I never defrauded my wife nor anybody else. My wife and I mutually agreed that the property I earned and owned should be devoted to the Lord's service. I carried out my part of the agreement and made a deed, which my wife did not sign. Subsequently the property was sold for debts which my wife had contracted unknown to me. Her dower interest was sold for her debt at public sale. The property being mortgaged, brought all that anybody probably would have paid.

The girl who sat on my knee and who kissed me was an adopted child in short dresses. Her brother had died, and she was in grief; besides, my wife had publicly requested her to kiss me every night before retiring, as her foster-father. If there be any crime in this, let the stones fly, but tell the truth.

As to my being in a girl's room with the door locked. Our servant girl was reported to be sick, and my wife asked me to take time to see her, as I had some knowledge of medicine. In the room where she was there was a noisy pump and sink, and after being interrupted, I turned the key for quietness for about one minute. My wife never charged me with unfaithfulness; nor had she any ground for so doing. She stated under oath that she made no such claim, and also under oath stated that she and I had lived celibate lives for eighteen years.

It is quite untrue that I was silent to my wife for months. The reverse was true – that my wife was silent to me except in the presence of others. She thus and in every way sought to coerce me into giving her more liberty in the columns of the Journal I edited and published, The Watch Tower--because she had adopted suffragette sentiments. She was not granted a divorce. There were no grounds for it. She got a legal separation nine years after she had left me.

I never claimed, nor sought to show, that my wife was insane.

In my tour of foreign lands a year ago there were with me six other members of the Committee appointed to investigate the Foreign Mission work. Of these, five are still living: Dr. L. W. Jones, of Chicago; Mr. E. W. V. Kuehn, of Toledo, Ohio; Prof. F. H. Robison, of Brooklyn, N.Y.; Gen. W. P. Hall and Mr. J. T. D. Pyles of Washington, D.C. These well-known, reputable Christian gentlemen will fully corroborate my statement that I spoke publicly at every place reported in the hundreds of newspapers which publish my sermons weekly.

I did sue two newspapers for damages the one case I won and the other I lost. I consider that my cause in both instances was just and that this is not the first time that justice had miscarried in court.

In conclusion, I ask, what must we think of a Christian minister who, because he has no Scripture to back up his side of the argument, would resort to such misrepresentations of facts in an attempt to murder the reputation of his opponent? All sane people must feel sorry that a Christian minister would take such a course.

Los Angeles, California

A RIDE of about eighteen hours brought us to Los Angeles, where we found one of the finest classes to be found anywhere, probably four hundred interested in Present Truth. They had done a most thorough piece of advertising and everywhere one looked could be seen some kind of advertising respecting Pastor Russell and the meetings. They had also secured a number of automobiles, and on each side of each car there was a large cloth sign announcing Pastor Russell. A parade was made with these, which attracted considerable attention.

The friends have secured for a permanent home a large church building, and it is now known as the "Los Angeles Temple," and all the sessions of the Five Day Convention were held in the Temple, with the exception of the great public meeting. This latter was held in their beautiful auditorium, and every one of the 4,000 seats was occupied, with about 400 men on the platform. It was a sight not soon to be forgotten. The closest attention possible was given while Pastor Russell spoke on "Beyond the Grave," and at the close of the service 475 names were handed in for literature. Their convention was for five days, but on account of other appointments we could spend but the one day with them.

As both the talks of Brother Russell, the one to the interested and the one to the public, are published elsewhere in the report, we will not repeat here. We just give a few words of greetings from Brother Russell, as follows:

At 10 a.m. while a testimony meeting was being led by Brother John T. Read of Chicago, Brother Russell arrived at the hall and was warmly greeted with the Chautauqua salute and singing of hymn No. 23. Brother Russell then addressed the friends as follows: [CR353]

Preparing for the Kingdom – Testimony

DEAR FRIENDS, I heard you were having a nice testimony meeting here and that I would have a few minutes in which to give my testimony; in the meantime I had the pleasure of visiting some of the sick of the congregation this morning. I am glad indeed to be with you, glad to see your faces still indicate that you have the oil of the spirit within, the joy of the Lord making fresh your hearts – a fountain ever springing, as we sometimes sing. I am glad if I can display to you the same kind of face, and that my face can also indicate to you that the love of the Lord is within. I assure you that is the case. That is part of my testimony, that the way before shines more and more as we near the Eternal City. We are hoping for great things, and hoping for great things in the very near future. Of course it is not in your power nor mine to say positively that our expectations are all going to be realized in so short a time as we are hoping for, but we certainly will be very glad if in the Lord's good pleasure we shall all be in the Kingdom in a short time. There are very few people perhaps that are as anxious to get into the Kingdom as we are, and perhaps many of the other people who come to Los Angeles are trying to keep out of the Kingdom, trying to keep away from the tomb, but from our standpoint the whole plan of God seems so different from what it ever did before. Now we see that to the Church the tomb is the gate to glory; that there is no other way of passing to the New Nature than by the full, complete destruction of the flesh. At the present time we have the beginning of this experience when we give our hearts to the Lord, and are reckoned dead according to the flesh and alive according to the spirit; and begotten of the Holy Spirit as New Creatures in Christ. Then the new life has a start, and that new life is to progress at the expense of the flesh. As the New Creature prospers and grows strong in the Lord and the power of His might, the old creature is proportionately dying, with its aims, ambitions, hopes, fears, – everything that belongs to the old nature passes away; as the Apostle says, Old things are passed away and all things have become new.

We are glad then, dear friends, to realize that this is our blessed portion as members of the Church of Christ. I congratulate you here on the Pacific Coast in the City of Los Angeles on the many blessings you are evidently enjoying. I have heard of the growth of the cause here, and in the various cities nearby, and I rejoice greatly with you as I hear from time to time, as I rejoice with the Lord's people everywhere, and you will be glad to know that the same blessed experiences that have been yours – namely, of increased privileges of service, and of increased joy in the Lord, and of increased opportunities – have been going on all over the world. I will not weary you now by going into a detailed account of the condition of things throughout the world. You get everything pretty well up to date through the Watch Tower, you know. I keep very little back. Nearly everything that I know goes out in the Watch Tower columns. You know, then, from what you have seen there that the work is growing all over this land, and in Canada, Great Britain, Scandinavia, Germany, China, Japan, India, and South Africa. The Lord seems to have some people everywhere, and wherever the people of the Lord are there is a measure of hungering and thirsting for righteousness; and righteousness relates not merely to right conduct, but also to right thinking. Whoever is hungering and thirsting after righteousness is hungering and thirsting for the Truth as well as for good deeds and right actions, etc.

There is another thing that has encouraged me a great deal, and no doubt you have the same experience here. I would like to have had the opportunity of being with you without being seen this morning, and to have heard your testimonies, but I have no doubt that if I had heard them I would have heard what I know of going on elsewhere; namely, a very deep work of grace being manifested; that the truth of God's Word seems to be entering very deeply, running through all the fibers of the heart and of the mind and of the body even, bringing the very thoughts of the mind into subjection to the will of God in Christ, as the Apostle expresses it. I have no doubt that is your experience here. It is very wonderful indeed how much the Lord's people are growing in grace all over the world. Why should it not be so? Is it not a very proper thing? What have we been hungering and thirsting for? We have found that which is most precious to us, soul-satisfying. If there is anything else that is good, if anybody else has anything as good or better, I am glad for that. As for myself, if there is anything better I can get, I will be glad to get it. But I am not looking for anything better. I am thoroughly satisfied after having thought and studied, having exercised my mind and heart, and found nothing in general that would be satisfactory. "Jesus has satisfied, Jesus is mine" – not merely in that effervescent way I sang those words forty or fifty years ago, but in the special sense of knowing who Jesus is, knowing what Jesus has done, and knowing what He has purposed to do for the Church and for the world, and how He is to be not only the Savior to the Little Flock and to the others of the Great Company, but that ultimately He is to be the Savior and a great one able to save to the uttermost the whole world of mankind, all that may come unto the Father through Him. I am glad to have that view of the Savior, and that view of the Heavenly Father's work through Him. It expands our hearts more and more deeply and more broadly than ever before. The little narrowness that was in your heart perhaps at one time has been gradually taken away, and you have gotten more of the character-likeness of the Lord Himself; as Jesus said, Be ye like unto your Father in Heaven. For those who thought the Father in Heaven was specially engaged in roasting people, and creating other people to be roasted, to be like Him would be a terrible thing. But we have found out differently. We have found out the real meaning of the statement that God is love, and that He is the Father of mercies, and we have found out what our Savior said, not merely be like your Father in Heaven, but He added also that explanation of what the Father in Heaven is like when He said, For He is kind even to the unthankful. And if you and I get that proper estimate of the Father, and get more of His spirit into our hearts, it tends to make us more loving toward the Heavenly Father, and more kind to our families and more kind to our neighbors, and more gentle toward all and in every way, even to the unthankful, even to our enemies. Kind to your enemy? Yes, love your enemies, Jesus said, and do good to them that persecute you and say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake. God will make up to you a recompense of blessing and it will work out for good to you eventually. How gracious are the promises of His Word! How He has said everything that could be said; as we sometimes sing,

"What more could He say than to you He hath said,

You who unto Jesus for refuge have fled."

Our Father's Word, when we come to understand it, when we come to have the right light upon it, Oh, how good it is! What a satisfaction to the heart! How it stimulates, how it refreshes, how it gives strength and courage to the mind and to the body – yes, to the body also, surely. I venture to say if you will look into your own experience since the time you first came to know the Truth you will see that proportionately you are stronger physically, that somehow there is an ease of mind and rest that enables you to be stronger because of your relationship to the Lord and your trust in Him. But especially do we become stronger in faith, stronger in love, stronger in hope toward God, stronger in desire to be pleasing to Him, stronger in our effort to be of much comfort and assistance to others – "Strong in the Lord and in the power of His might." May He continue to sanctify us by His Truth and fit us for the Heavenly Kingdom. That is my testimony, dear friends.



MY Lord, Thy will not mine be done:
Whatever path Thy love shall choose for me,
Through desert sands, or if beside the sea, –
Thy will be done!

Oh, may Thy will in me be done:
Should "harvest" labor be for me Thy will,
Or if I may but suffer and be still, –
Thy will be done!

My Father, let Thy will be done:
If sweet the cup Thou pourest for me to drink,
I'll praise Thee, but if bitter, I'll not shrink, –
Thy will be done!

Forever may Thy will be done:
I would not choose, I leave it all with Thee, –
The pilgrimage, if short or long it be, –
Thy will be done!

Quickening of the Spirit

I AM VERY glad to be with you, dear friends. The text of Scripture which comes to my mind at this time particularly reads, "And you hath He quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins." (Eph. 2:1.) The word "quickened" signifies made alive, and, therefore, the text says that you whom God hath made alive were dead; not totally dead, not actually buried, but dead in trespasses and sins. And this calls our minds back to the fact that a great sentence and curse came on the world as the result of sin. Death passed upon all men. We are members of that race which were thus condemned, and, therefore, we were condemned, not personally, because we never were tried personally. Our father Adam was on trial; he alone was tried; but God's great law stands anyway. That law declares that all unrighteousness is sin, and that the wages of sin is death. When father Adam, who was created perfect and put on trial, disobeyed and was sentenced to death, and when we, his children, were born in sin, it followed naturally we would partake of the imperfection; and if the perfect man did not keep the divine law, how could imperfect men keep it? Therefore, since we were all born in that condition of sin and imperfection, we were all subject to death; as St. Paul says, Death passed upon all because all have sinned. Because we are sinners we cannot have life. And here is the proposition, then, that the Bible sets before us, so different from any proposition that has ever come from any other quarter, that it is life or death eternal. If you will be in harmony with God, and perfect, and do His will, delight to do His will, He will be pleased to give you eternal life. If you will not be in harmony with God, if you will be imperfect, then His pleasure is that you shall not live at all, that you should not have any place in all the universe. How simple a proposition it is! When we read the Bible aright as Bible Students, we come to see that it is not a question of Heaven or Hell, but a question of life or death. God's provision for the angels, for instance, was, that, being perfect, they should maintain their perfection and by maintaining that covenant of life they would live everlastingly; and to live everlastingly from God's standpoint, the only way God would have any of His creatures live at all, means that they should live happily, live to enjoy life, live in pleasure. So we see, in harmony with the Word of God, that all the holy angels are happy, and perfect, and blessed, because they are not sinners, and have not transgressed God's Law. Then we see equally the reason why our text says that we were dead in trespasses, under the sentence of death. In fact, the Bible speaks of all mankind, the world in general, as being a dead world – not that there are not people able to walk about, not that all have gone down into the tomb, but those who have gone into the tomb have merely gone to the place where all others are going, because the one sentence is upon all, for none are fit to live.

Brother Russell, do you say none are fit to live?

Yes, I think you are fit to live under present conditions, I think I am fit to live under present conditions, but I admit that we are not fit to live under the perfect conditions God has prepared according to His righteous law which we see [CR355] is so reasonable. You are not fit to live with the angels and like the angels, because with your imperfection of mind and body you would be making some trouble all the time. So would I. Even with the new nature begotten in us we find it difficult as New Creatures to live in harmony with the will of the Lord. And you sometimes make mistakes, don't you? So you see, then, as natural men and natural women we could never be fit to live everlastingly, because we would always bring in trouble wherever we would be, and God says he does not want anything of that kind going on in His Universe, but He intends to have a Universe in which every body will be happy, and everybody will be good, and everybody will be perfect.

Well, why did He make us imperfect, then, if He wants everybody to be perfect?

The Bible answers that God's work is perfect. We are not God's work. God made father Adam, and then father Adam by the law of nature propagated a race, but not until he himself had become a sinner, not until transgression, and sin, and unrighteousness, and the sentence of death, had come upon him; and, therefore, all of his race were born in sin, and we have been coming down all the way along – six thousand years of falling. Is it any wonder that our heads are not all right? Is it any wonder that today the very best we can do we cannot do perfectly? It is no wonder at all.

Why does God expect us to do perfectly, if we cannot?

God does not expect you to do perfectly. He knows you cannot do perfectly, and He gave the Law to Israel for the purpose of showing to them, and incidentally proving to us, that by the deeds of the Law can no flesh be justified in His sight. That gives up all hope, doesn't it? God has decreed that none but the perfect can keep His Law, and none but they shall have everlasting life. He has also proved that no human being is able to keep the Law. That proved that none of us could have eternal life unless God would do something for us.

Now, how will God do something for us? It is the old, old story of Jesus and His love, and the Heavenly Father and His love. We must not forget the Heavenly Father's love. I think in the past many of us have not been inclined to think how much the Heavenly Father is love. The Father Himself loveth you, you remember Jesus says to the Church. And again we read, "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son." And so the proper thought for us to have is not the one that is frequently given to children, and frequently held by older people, that God is very cross and very angry, and that He was just about to smite us and send us all to eternal torment when Jesus stepped in and said, "Oh, Father, please for my sake do not send all these people to eternal torment!" It makes out our Lord Jesus to be very loving, and makes the Heavenly Father to appear most evil and unjust; that He knew we were imperfect, knew we could not do perfectly, then was about to send us to eternal torment when we could not do perfectly. You see that is a wrong thought. As Bible students we are gradually getting rid of the error.

The right thought is that God from the very foundation of the world had a loving purpose in respect to our race. Did He know we would sin? Oh, yes, known unto the Lord are all His works. Did He know we would be imperfect? Yes, He knew it all. Why did He permit evil? Because He was so wise that He knew from beforehand how He could overrule the whole experience of mankind, and all these 6,000 years of sin and death, for our good. How could good come out of all this evil? What would be gained by that that could not have been better gained in some other way? Let us see what God's Word says. If He had not permitted sin, then men never would have known what would be the experiences of sin, how sinful sin is, and what evil conditions it promotes and brings about. Father Adam, we presume, had no idea what would be the result of his disobedience. He knew God had said, Thou shalt not sin, thou shalt not take of the forbidden fruit, but he did not know how it would bring all of this change of sin and sorrow, and mental, moral and physical depravity into the world. He did not for a moment think about all of the insane asylums, and all of the prisons and jails, and the weak-minded and depraved people in the world. He did not think how it would come to you and to me, and how our tendencies would all be downward because of the fall. The angels would never have known that. Nobody would ever have known the effect of sin if God had not permitted sin to come.

Now there is a difference between permitting sin and causing sin. For God to have caused the sin would have been to do evil. God does no evil: He tempts no man. He was not responsible for the sin coming into the world, but He did allow Satan to take his own way and be a rebel against the divine government. He had always treated Satan right. You know Satan's previous name was Lucifer, the morning star, the bright angel, one of the highest of the order of angels, and he, according to the Bible, became very ambitious, and thought he would like to have a power of his own to see what he could do if he had his liberty to direct things. In attempting to get that he became disobedient to God, a traitor against the Divine government. God could have stopped it at any moment; He could have arrested Satan and could have held him in restraint, so that he could not have uttered a word or done a single thing in opposition to God's plan. But God said, No, I will let Satan take his course and let all the angels see what the effect of sin amongst angels would be. So God did not hinder things, and Satan misrepresented God's character. He said to mother Eve that God had misstated things to her: that whereas God said they would die for eating of the forbidden fruit, I will tell you, said Satan, it is not true at all; you won't die; on the contrary, you will become like gods, you will just get to be like the angels. And when mother Eve was under temptation God did not interfere. God could have sent an angel to say, Beware! Remember you were warned that you would die if you ate that! But He let her alone; His Word was there; she had her full testing; she ate, disobeyed.

Then God could have said to Adam, Do not follow your wife's advice, you know what this is. I will give you another helpmate that is better than she is and if she dies it will not make any difference to you, for I will see you through in the matter. But He did not. God permitted the whole reign of sin to come in, with the tremendous influences for evil in the world.

Then you remember how other angels were tempted to sin, and many of them fell, and you know what a terrible time they had before the flood, and how at the flood God wiped out that order of things, and then after the flood God started a new order of things and let mankind and the angels see things and try it over again under somewhat different conditions.

So God allowed this reign of sin and death to illustrate certain pictures. It illustrated what righteousness is, the necessity for obedience to God, and that there can be no happiness except in being obedient to the Creator. That is all illustrated, you have learned it, and I have learned it. And just as sure as you and I have learned there can be no real happiness contrary to the divine arrangement, just so all the holy angels see as clear as crystal that whoever sins will suffer. They all know it now. But if you had told any of the angels beforehand, they would have said, Well, I don't know, how can you tell that? Where is your proof? There never had been any demonstration of sin before. The first manifestation of sin occurred when Satan became the enemy of God, then the second manifestation was when our first parents became transgressors. It looked as though God had no power. There was Satan in rebellion, why did not God stop it? I suppose the holy angels would say, Why does not God stop Satan from tempting those creatures of His, and from all these wrong things He is doing, bringing temptations in to the other angels? But God held His peace; He did not explain; He did not say anything. Then I presume – I don't know – the Bible does not say, but I presume that all the angels, or a good many of them, got the impression, Well, we thought God was able to do a great deal more than He is able to do. Surely if He were able to stop Satan and sin He would do it. And then came the temptation to doubt the Almighty's character and power. And then came the temptation to doubt God's wisdom – He did not know what He was doing, He did not know what Satan would do, He did not know what men were going to do. Everything was doubt and confusion, and all the angels would look on with astonishment as they would see the reign of sin and death progressing and running over hundreds of years, – When will it stop? What will be the end of all this? Is the whole Universe going into anarchy? What will become of this reign of sin and death? Of course some would say, Well, we have every confidence in the Almighty; we do not understand it – just as you and I said we did not understand it – it seems strange; what can it mean? Nobody seems to know. It seems an awful reign of sin and death, and apparently God is unable [CR356] to cope with the situation, and does not know what to do. And God allowed it.

And then when the time of the flood came He did put a stop to things. It had gone as far as it ought to go. And yet the flood came in such a way that the angels might have said – for there was room to doubt that the flood came providentially, because it was one of those great rings, the last one of them – Well, it so happened, that ring that was to stay up came down and drowned them all, and that let the Lord out of a bad dilemma, and let Him start it all over again.

Then we see Noah and his family start out with offering a sacrifice and saying that they wanted to serve God and in only a little while the downward tendency of sin made the whole earth full of violence again.

And then it was over 2,000 years before God said to Abraham that He intended some day to bless the world. That is the first thing God ever said about blessing the world. He never told anybody He ever intended to do anything for the world at all – just allowed it to go on, and on, and on. Now, then, if the angels heard that, and no doubt they did, they would say, God says to Abraham that He is going to bless the world. How will He do it? It is easier to say that He will bless the world than to do it. There is room to doubt, you see. Then Abraham had no child and he said, I do not see how I am to bless the world, I have not even any child, and God said it would be my child. So day after day and year after year went by and he did not even have a child; yet God said that through his posterity He intended to bless all mankind. There was plenty of room to doubt. God meant it to be so. He wanted to put it that way, that those who wanted to doubt could have as much chance as they chose, and those who wanted to believe would have as much chance for exercising faith as they chose. By and by Abraham's faith was rewarded. Isaac was born, and Abraham and Sarah looked at the little boy – Oh, yes, he is the long-promised Messiah, God is going to bless the world, here is the son of promise. Ishmael is not the one. Then Isaac grew up, and was not a very specially bright boy either. They did not quite understand it. He got to be a young man, and there was no sign of blessing the world; it seemed to be as far off as ever. There was every opportunity for the angels to doubt – another mistake, another blunder, another time God did not know what He was doing, and He promised more than He could accomplish. You see all the angels had plenty of testing.

Things went on, and by and by Isaac had two sons, and God said it would be through Jacob the blessing would come. Then Jacob's sons grew up, and they were pretty bad boys. They practically murdered their brother Joseph, and they were none too promising to bless the world. Yes, God's promise was, "In thy seed shall all the families of the world be blessed."

Then when Jacob died God indicated how all of Jacob's children would come in to be the heirs of this promise. But instead of getting up in the world where they could bless everybody else, they got right down into slavery, and sunk a little lower and a little lower, until the Egyptians had such power over them, taking away all their weapons whereby they could defend themselves, and made slaves of them, and even compelled them to kill their own children lest they should become too numerous. How was that blessing the world? Were they blessing the Egyptians? No. Did God forget all about His promise? No. How long was it from the time He promised Abraham until He began to manifest something to Moses? Over 400 years. Just think of that, the very line that God said the blessing would come through were a nation of slaves, in slavery to the main nation of that day. It did not look much like God was keeping His promise, did it? Then what happened? The next thing was, God raised up Moses, provided him an education, trained him in the very home of Pharaoh. It looked very remarkable. Even the Israelites could not realize it. At one time Moses proposed to help some of them. They said, Who made you our ruler? They would not have him to be the ruler. Moses was obliged to flee from the very people he wanted to help and benefit, the very people he thought he was to be leader of, and he was away forty years. Why, you say, God did not care anything for time at all, did He? Oh, my dear friends, God has lots of time. When God's due time came He sent for Moses to come back from the land of Midian right to the children of Israel. Now, Moses had been courageous before, he was ready to lead out the Israelites, ready to stand up for them. He preferred to be an Israelite and stand with God's people rather than to be in the house with Pharaoh and have all the pleasures of sin for a season, the Apostle says. But now when God said to Moses, I am ready for you to deliver Israel, Moses said, Oh, Lord, excuse me, I had enough of that before; I went to deliver them forty years ago, you know, and was not able to do it.

Moses, I am ready for you to deliver them.

Lord, please send someone else.

Now the Lord said, You are very meek and modest about the matter, and I will give you Aaron to be your mouthpiece, and he will be the one who will do most of the speaking. You will be behind him and tell him what to say, and he will be your mouthpiece to do the saying. Now go on.

So Moses and Aaron started out. Moses representing God and Aaron being the mouthpiece. What were they to do? They were to bear witness to the people of Israel that God wanted them to go out of the land of Egypt to offer sacrifice to Him, etc., and you remember how one plague after another came on the Egyptians until they finally let Israel go. Then it looked now for all the world as though things had come to the right place. The Israelites marched out. The wind blew the waters of the Red Sea back and left it dry enough for them to pass over in the night and by early morning they were on the other side. The Egyptian Army came along, the wind came the other way and the waters gradually rose on them and they were drowned. Then the Israelites said, God who has delivered us is evidently going to do for us all the wonderful things. So onward they went to Mt. Sinai. God said, Now are you ready? If you are ready I am.

They said, Yes, Lord, ready for anything.

Very well. Before I will give you any work in blessing of the world you will have to show that you are able to rule yourselves; you cannot expect me to put you up as teachers to instruct and guide the world unless you show that you can keep my law yourselves. That is fair enough, because we cannot teach others if we do not know ourselves. Are you ready, then, for me to make a covenant with you?

Oh, Lord, have we not been waiting for over 400 years?

All right, the Lord said through Moses, I will make the covenant.

They answered that all of these things they would do. They got the table of the Law, the ten commandments, and they would keep His commandments and He would bless them. They would grow great and influential and all the world would come under their sway. But it was only a little while until they had broken the commandments and found they were sinners. Then God arranged for them to have atonement days, to cover their sins for one year. So they tried an entire year to see if they could live without sin and keep the commandments of the Lord, so they would not die, but be worthy to be His people. They could not do it. They kept on with sickness and dying just the same. What was the matter? Was not God living up to His terms or were they not living up to the terms? Well, they found out finally that the fault was with themselves, that they had entered into a contract they were not able to keep; they had agreed to keep God's Law, and were not able to do it.

Now that is the very lesson God wanted them to learn – but not them especially. The Apostle explains that in dealing with the nation of Israel God was dealing with them in a typical way, so you and I of this Gospel Age would get the lesson, we would see where they failed, and we would know that if those Jews failed to keep the Law, and could not keep the Law because they were fallen creatures, you and I would know that if we had been in their places we would have failed just the same as they did. So this would make us cry out, Lord, we must have help or we cannot keep the Law.

So God said to them, Now, my people, I appreciate your condition and the situation of things, and that you are not able to keep the Law, and I do not want you to be discouraged; I intend by and by to bring in a different order of things. I knew in advance you were not able to keep your Law Covenant, but I intend to give you another Law Covenant, and it will be more favorable to you. What did God mean by that? Had He given them too hard a law at first? No, no, He could not give a bad law. If He would give a bad law, then He would be a bad God, you see. The only law God could give would be a righteous law. Then what kind of a new covenant would it be that would be better than the one they had? The Bible tells us that the difference would be that there would be a better mediator of the New Covenant. Was not Moses a good Mediator? Was he not a very faithful leader of his people? Did he not leave the throne of [CR357] Egypt for them? Did he not try every way to be a faithful mediator between God and Israel? Yes, he did. How could God send a better mediator than Moses? This way: Moses was a member of the fallen race and imperfect. He gave all he could give, but he was only a typical character. He gave all he could give, but he was only a typical character. He had no real rights to give any more than anyone else had. Because all the race of Adam was under condemnation, all imperfect, and Moses just the same as the others – not as low as some, but nevertheless imperfect. Then how would this other mediator be better than Moses? This way: Moses as a typical mediator offered typical sacrifices, a bullock and a goat for the sins of the people, but these did not really take away the sin, they merely covered the sins for a year, but now God says, I purpose that not only the sins shall be covered, but I purpose a sacrifice that will really cancel all of those sins, blot them all out. I will make a new Covenant with you, saith the Lord, not according to that Covenant I made with you when I took you by the hand to lead you out of the land of Egypt, which covenant ye brake, but I will make a New Covenant with you, and I will remember your sins and iniquities no more. I will just forget all about them, as though you never had had them. And I will do more than that, because if I merely blot out all your past sins and leave you with the kind of heart you have now you would merely get into more sin, so I will take away the stony heart, – the hard heart, the selfish heart, the heart that would take advantage of its neighbor, and brother, and servant, the heart that would do selfish things for selfish purposes, to get something for itself.

Where did we get the hard heart? We got it through sin. Did Adam have a hard heart? No, Adam had a very tender heart, because he was in the image and likeness of God. Don't you think God has a tender heart? Yes. Be ye tenderhearted, said the Apostle. Be ye like unto your Father in Heaven. So God is going to take away the stony heart and give instead a heart of flesh. Now we can see how the blessing is going to come. When God does all of that for mankind, it will be lifting them clear up out of their fallen condition. And if they get back to where they have a heart of flesh, the image of God, as Adam had, then they can do perfectly; they can keep His law, and He can give them eternal life. Then they can be used of Him in blessing anybody else who is not in that condition.

Has God done that for the Jews yet? No, not any more than he has taken away the stony heart from amongst the Gentiles. He has not taken the stony heart out of the flesh of any people. We have not found any that are back to the image and likeness of God. Why not? Because the time of that covenant has not yet come. When will all of that be, and how long will it take? It is for the antitypical Moses when he comes to bring in this New Covenant and cancel the sin and give the new heart. How long will it take? It will take the antitypical Moses exactly a thousand years. What will he reign for? To overcome sin and take away the hardness, dissolve the hard heart and give instead the warm, gentle, sympathetic heart that was lost way back 6,000 years ago.

Well, now, what is going on in the meantime? We are waiting for the antitypical Moses. Everything in the type must have an antitype. Here is the Law Covenant, and here is to be the New Law Covenant, but there could not be any Law Covenant until there was a Mediator of that covenant. Who is that to be? Christ, the Head, and the church, His body. Moses could not do anything in the way of instituting a covenant until first of all he killed his sacrifices. He first killed the bullock, and then the goat, and not until he had killed the bullock and the goat was he prepared to make that covenant. And what is the antitype of that? Why, the great antitypical Moses must make his sacrifice. Jesus first of all sacrificed himself, then he must sacrifice the church, and that takes all of this Gospel age. He killed the antitypical bullock when he gave up his own life, when he offered himself sacrificially for our sins, when he said, Not my will but thine be done; when without resistance he allowed himself to be led as a lamb to the slaughter. And then at Pentecost he began dealing with the antitypical goat class, and I hope you are a member of that class, and I hope I am a member of it. How many of them are there? Perhaps 144,000. I used to think that was too few, but the more I come to think about it the more it seems to me that is a very large number. I would wonder more that there would be that many than that there would be more, as I come to see how few there are who seem to be glad to lay down their lives in the Lord's service. If all of these who would be with the Lord are to be footstep followers, copies of His spirit and zeal, I wonder where He would find 144,000. But then the Lord knows his own, and if God has fixed the number at 144,000, not one less will do, and there will not be one more in the company. The election of the church will be at an end, the body of the antitypical Moses will be completed, "For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you." (Acts 3:22.)

Now we see how God has been proceeding. Coming back to our text, "You hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins," we see the whole world were sinners, and you and I were of that same class, and just as condemned and devoid of life as the rest, but God has made us alive. How so? Through the imputation of Christ's merit in advance of the world. Why so? Because God wishes now to select a special class from the world. Not everybody has been invited to this. There are millions living today that never so much as heard of Jesus Christ; and there are thousands living right here in San Diego, and in California, and in New York, and all over the civilized world, that have never heard in the Bible sense of hearing. They have heard something about it, but they did not hear in their minds; they have natural sight, but do not see with the eyes of their understanding. They do not comprehend that they are sinners and [CR358] God has provided a Savior, and that he is now asking those invited to come in. How could that be? From prejudice, superstition, false teaching, false theories – some from parents and some from outside. Many of the creeds have false doctrines in them. One asks, How could a good man put bad things in a creed? The Bible says the devil put these things in the creed; the devil made part of our creeds. Is not that hard? It is pretty hard. How could he do it? Oh, he has been working at this business a long time; he is an expert hand. The Apostle says we are not ignorant of his devices, and speaks of the "wiles of the devil." He is wiley; he is like the serpent; he is deceitful. He misled our forefathers, and they would think they were going to do something very zealously for God, and he would lead them way past the right mark and get them to do something very much to God's discredit and to their own; as, for instance, in the case of Brother Calvin. I can see, as I look back over the pages of history, how the devil has been working hard with all people that have ever tried to get out of darkness into light. That makes me all the more solicitous for you and for myself – and for myself especially. It is all right for you to watch for me, but still more important that I watch for myself; and I am trying to watch out for the devil all the time. I know he would like to do me up, and I know the Lord is willing I shall not be done up, so I am going to try to walk very near to the Lord, and if we thus walk near the Lord, in humility of mind, in full confidence in his power, trusting only His Word, and if anything would seem to lead us off to do some guessing for ourselves to come right back and say, No guessing for me, I have the Word of the Lord. I will stay by what is written – thus it is written; I will walk according to the way it is written and leave out those things that I might be tempted to guess at. If you would guess at something, and bolster it up, then by and by somebody will be coming along and if it is written they will have the advantage, and your pride would say, I have said so and it is so. But the Bible says for you and for me to walk circumspectly. That means to walk looking around you. It does not mean that we are to be living in fear and abject dread; that would mean we would lose our faith in God; we are not hoping that by any strength or power of our own we are going to come off conquerors and win the great prize; our confidence is in God; he has begun a good work in you and he is able to do it; but we are to walk with fear in the sense of having such respect for God and such respect for his promises, and such anticipations of the grand outcome, that it will make us very careful.

If coming days shall bring severe trials, then coming days will also bring us increased joy; for as the Apostle says, These light afflictions which are but for a moment work out for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. How are they light afflictions? In proportion as you get the matter balanced in your mind, they are light afflictions. Your mind balances the afflictions of this present time with the joys and blessings of God's favor now and in the future, and from that standpoint what is the trifling worth of this, that and the other thing of life in comparison with God's favor, and love, and promises, and everlasting blessing in the future: The more you study it, the lighter the afflictions appear to you, until they begin to say, I dreaded those things so much and really they are not worth thinking about at all. So you will get to thinking less and less about the affairs of life. You will say, Well, let them do what they will, I do not care; my heart is fixed on the eternal God, why should I worry about these other things?

So, then, dear friends, we are dead with Christ, dead to the world, and we are alive toward God as New Creatures. Having begun in the spirit, let us walk in the spirit; let us not try as New Creatures to walk after the flesh, but rather put away the defilements of the flesh of every kind – the desire for wealth, fame, name, ease, pleasure. How shall we walk after the spirit? God, through the spirit of His truth, has told us if we would have His highest favor, the great favor and blessing to which He has called us, we must walk in the footsteps of Jesus – self-sacrifice. And this is our desire – may I speak for you and for myself? This is our determination, by the grace of God helping us we will go on unto perfection, and we will reach the glorious prize of our High Calling in Jesus.

Santa Ana, California

THE NEXT morning, Sunday, we arrived at this place for a public meeting, proof of which can be had from the accompanying photograph of our great train and party.

Satan came here also, and had succeeded through his representatives, in getting the Opera House condemned, so that we could not hold meetings in it. However, other places were found and the meetings were held.

Since the tour, word has come that a sharp investigation has been made of the condemnatory proceedings, the result of which is that it has been decided that the building was perfectly safe to hold twice its capacity, and that some other motive must have been back of the order to condemn the building, and the directors of the building publicly stated through the papers that they had been "played with." Perhaps they do not know who did it, but we think we have a pretty good idea who it was and why – because "darkness hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest its deeds be made manifest."

The meeting was held, however, with about 1,200 in attendance, with an overflow meeting going on at the same time, so thus we see that the Lord causes the wrath of man to praise him.


Pasadena, California

GOING on from Santa Ana, we reached Pasadena in time for the advertised public meetings, and here there was a large attendance, probably 1,300. One hundred and eighty-three addresses for literature were handed in. This city is one of the garden spots of the world, and when the whole earth gets to be even as beautiful as Pasadena it will be grand, yet we know that it will be still better.

San Francisco, California

THIS was another of our "big" appointments, and it was the halfway point of our tour. Brother Russell spoke twice, once to the interested and once to the public. Seven hundred interested were present and about 4,000 at the public meeting, and 408 requests were handed in for literature. We felt that our visit here was indeed very profitable. This new, modern city is nearly a miracle in itself. Seven years ago the city, covering an area of ten square miles, was destroyed by earthquake and fire. Today a new San Francisco, at a cost of over $500,000,000, stands on the sight of the old, and is graced with as fine a collection of buildings as any city in the world. They contemplate holding a World's Fair here in 1915.

The Temple of God

MY TOPIC for this afternoon, dear friends, is found in the Apostle's words, "For the Temple of God is holy, which temple ye are." (1 Cor. 3:17.) As Christian people, Bible Students from all denominations, it would seem that we have something in our faith that is in sympathy and harmony with each denomination, the world over. Do our Presbyterian friends speak of the election? We more. Do our Methodist friends have the doctrine of free grace? We more. Do our Baptist friends understand the importance of baptism, to some extent? We more. Do our friends of the Christian denomination, and our Congregational friends, appreciate the great privileges of individuality in church government? We more. Do our Masonic friends understand something about the Temple, and being Knights Templars, and so on? We more. Do our Roman Catholic and Church of England friends believe in a Universal church? We more. In other words, it would seem as though the message of God's Word has been more or less subdivided, and each denomination has taken hold of a piece of the truth, and around that bit of truth has gathered a good deal that we think is erroneous. But we are glad they have that little bit of truth. If they had not had some truth at least they never would have had an existence at all. So one has taken a little line of truth, and encircled it with theories and made a separate church. God never said they should make a separate church. God never said to make a Baptist church, or Presbyterian, or Methodist church, etc. The Lord intended to make one Church, and he intended that one Church should have not merely a little scrap of the truth, but all the truth.

We are not finding fault with our neighbors and friends – not at all; for we remember we had very similar ideas, and not very long ago; but, without finding any fault with anybody, we are glad that we are coming to see a more reasonable and harmonious way, and, abandoning all church creeds and fences that so long have separated God's people, we come together upon the platform of the Bible, and everything that is in the Bible, and the Bible only. Is not that very happifying to us? Is not that what is bringing us so much blessing in the study of God's Word, as International Bible Students? It is. So I am glad to address delegates especially here from the Bay cities, and also including some thirty-five states represented in the excursion party.

I am very glad to have this particular opportunity of saying a word about some of the things in which we agree with our Masonic friends, because we are speaking in a building dedicated to Masonry, and we also are Masons. I am a Free Mason. I am a free and accepted Mason, if I may carry the matter to its full length, because that is what our Masonic brethren like to tell us, that they are free and accepted Masons. That is their style of putting it. Now I am a free and accepted Mason. I trust we all are. But not just after the style of our Masonic brethren. We have no quarrel with them. I am not going to say a word against Free Masons. In fact, some of my very dear friends are Masons, and I can appreciate that there are certain very precious truths that are held in part by our Masonic friends. I have talked to them at times, and they have said, How do you know about all of these things? We thought nobody knew anything about these things except those who had access to our very highest logic.

I said that I had been in conference with the Great Master Workman, the Lord himself, and I have secret information through the Holy Spirit and guidance in respect to what the Bible says, and that contains all the truth, I believe, on every subject. And so if we talk to our Masonic friends about the Temple and its meaning, and about being good Masons, and about the Great Pyramid, which is the very emblem they use, and what the Great Pyramid signifies, our Masonic friends are astonished. One who had been a Mason a long time recently bought a lot of books that had the Great Pyramid discussed, and sent them to I am sure a thousand Masons. He paid for them and sent them out at his own expense. He wanted the Masons to see something about the Great Pyramid. He knew they were greatly interested in that. But we are not going to discuss the Great Pyramid this afternoon. We are going to discuss free and accepted Masonry – the Bible Masonry, my dear friends.

The Apostle Paul and the Apostle Peter are our authority for saying that we are the Temple of God, and that the Temple of God is holy. What does the Lord mean by that? He means this: That God who condemned the whole world as sinners, and declared he would have no fellowship with sinners, has provided a way by which these sinners can come back into harmony with him. And they can only come back through the arrangement He has made in respect to this great Temple. Well, you say, where is the Temple by which the world can come back to God?

I answer, the Temple that God purposes is not yet built.

It must be a Great Temple, Brother Russell – all of these centuries and the building not built yet?

That is so. The Great Master Craftsman of our High Order of Free and Accepted Masonry, the Lord Jesus Christ, laid the foundation of it all; as the Bible says, Other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid, Jesus Christ. He has the foundation for high and acceptable masonry, and all that pertains to it.

And what has been going on since Jesus' day?

St. Peter says that God is selecting living stones to be parts of that great Temple he intends to construct.

Who are the living stones, and what does it mean?

You may be one of the living stones, and I may be one; St. Paul, St. Peter, St. John, St. James, and all the holy people of God from their day down, have been invited to come in and be living stones in this great Temple which God is erecting.

And this great Temple had its figure back in Solomon's day. The Temple which Solomon erected was a figure, or picture, of the great Temple which God is erecting. The Temple Solomon built had its peculiarities. One very especial peculiarity was that the great stones were taken out from right underneath the site. I was in that quarry once and saw it myself; and some stones were lying there that had been partly prepared and apparently abandoned. But the Temple was built of those stones brought from right near where it was built.

And Solomon's Temple, you remember, had the peculiarity that our buildings of today have; namely, that each stone when it is numbered is made exactly to fit the place in which it is to be located. And then it is marked definitely for that place with signs which the builders understand, and when they come to the construction one stone goes upon another, and everything goes up quietly and orderly, and no confusion about it. Just so it was in the building of that [CR360] Temple, which is the first building we know of in the world's history that was built along the lines of our modern masonry. That great Temple of Solomon's was built and came together, every stone fitted to its place, and not the sound of a hammer; they did not need to chisel or do anything of the kind; it was not a particle out of true.

What does that represent? That represents you and I; we are the living stones, the Apostle says. And what about our chiseling, and polishing, and branding, for our places? You can see the fitness of it, dear brethren. I need not particularly dwell on that. The trials and difficulties of life are the chiselings that come to all of these stones that God is dealing with. The quarry is the world in general. We are taken out of the world, separated from the world, but we are chiseled in the quarry, made ready for our positions and then taken to the proper place. And that has proceeded for how long? For 1,800 and more years, this work of chiseling and preparation.

Brother Russell, don't you mean longer than that?

No, my dear brother.

Were there no living stones before that?

No, Jesus was the foundation stone; there were no stones chiseled out before he came; none could be accepted before that. He did the great work of founding this great order to which we belong, the order of Free and Accepted Masonry. He is the Grand Master, and we are not to recognize any other. We may indeed recognize assistants in the work, and superintendents in this, that or the other division in the quarry, or in the building, etc., but there is the one Grand Master who has the supervision of the whole matter. He is our Lord and all ye are brethren; one is your Master, even Christ.

You know what experiences you have had in the way of separating you from the world; it was a difficult matter to block out your character first of all and come to the place where you would be separated from the other surroundings of the present time. It was still more difficult perhaps in some respects that you should receive the chiselings, blow after blow, experience after experience, trial after trial, in order that you might be fitted and shaped and prepared for a place in the glorious Temple that is yet to be constructed.

The polishing process is also going on. The polishing properly comes last, I presume. I trust you are getting some of the polishing now. You know we get most of the polishing with each other. You may polish me a little, and I polish you a little; as the Scriptures express the matter, the Bride makes herself ready; it is a polishing process. And here I see a lesson for us as the Lord's followers: that while various severe difficulties, trials and tests may come from the world, yet this very finest polishing of all will come when in contact with the brethren. Therefore, if we learn to love the brethren, and to put up with all the various weaknesses and imperfections that they as imperfect beings may bring to bear on us (and that we bring to bear on them), and if we are rightly exercised by these rubbings together, we get on finally the polishing, the polishing that the Lord describes, you remember, as the fruitage of the Holy Spirit, saying, the fruits of the Spirit are manifest, which are these: meekness, gentleness, patience, long suffering, brotherly-kindness, love. And if these things be in you and abound – if they polish you – ye shall be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of the Lord. And so it is an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Well, what about the Temple, Brother Russell?

The Temple is in process of construction, we believe, now.

And it has not been in process of construction all down through the age?

No, simply the foundation was laid, and here we think we have the real picture of the Pyramid: that the foundation was laid in Heaven, and that is the top stone, as the Apostle says. Now that all seems very strange, but we must remember that all of these pictures are unnatural--they are heavenly pictures. The top stone, Jesus, was first laid there, and all the stones must be fitted up to Him. So the Apostle says that you and I are to be built up into Him, into conformity with the laws of that great Master of ours; for you know the Head of the Pyramid is a perfect pyramid itself, and all the stones under that simply come into line with the top stone; and that top stone is what the Bible declares Jesus is – the chief corner stone, the foundation of all, and we are being built up instead of being built down. You see how that can be? The Apostle says we must all be changed, and the gravitation will be the other way – changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, because flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom. You could never gravitate upward unless you had the change; but; changed into spirit beings like the Lord, you will be built up and completed with Him on the heavenly plane, far above angels, principalities and powers and every name that is named.

When will this Temple be completed? To our understanding, with the end of this age comes the building of the Temple. Just as they first got ready all the stones and all materials for Solomon's Temple, and then began the building of it, so we understand that our great Master Workman, the Captain of our Salvation, has been getting ready these living stones all of this time – supervising the matter under strict rules and regulations as to the shape, size, quality and everything – and not until the whole number of stones is completed will the construction of the Temple begin.

What will the construction be?

The construction of the Temple will be that resurrection change from earthly nature to heavenly nature.

But, Brother Russell, all the stones, perhaps, were finished when Solomon began his building?

I answer that I presume they were all practically finished, but I do not know that the last of the polishing had been put on all of the stones before some of the work began. So I am assuming now that the work of construction of the Temple has begun. And the Scriptures so intimate when they say that the dead in Christ shall arise first – beforehand – and then afterward we which are alive and remain shall be caught up to be with them and with the Lord. So we who are alive and remain, not yet being caught up, are still in the place of polishing and preparation; the good work of the Lord is going on with us, and it is getting us ready for our change. The Temple will not be completed until every living stone is there. And then what? The next thing will be that which our Masonic friends make so much of, and which we make so much of, namely: the glorification of the temple. That is a grand thing in Masonry. They picture how Solomon, the wise – the type of Jesus – offered the sacrifice, and how God accepted it, and the glory of the Lord came into the Temple. Just so our Temple, the Church in glory, will not be the Temple of God until the Heavenly Father himself shall have recognized it. It will be the work of the Lord Jesus to build with these living stones, to shape them, polish them, and finally to translate them to glorious conditions by the resurrection change, and then, all changed, the Temple built, not another stone to be added, not a stone lacking, then it will wait for the Father's action. And what will that be? Pictorially, he shows us. The glory of the Lord will come upon this living Temple, of which we hope to be the living stones beyond the vail – spiritual beings.

This is represented, you remember, in various ways. One way is in the ninety-first [45th] Psalm, where the Lord Jesus is represented as introducing the Bride, and how she shall be brought in raiment of fine needle work and gold into the presence of the King. The Bride class is one picture, the Temple class another picture, but from this picture of the Bride coming in we have the thought that Jesus must first, as it were, as the great Advocate for the Church, present us blameless and irreprovable before the Father in love. Then the Father accepts us. He has already accepted these living stones in the sense that they have received the spirit of the Lord. The begetting of the Holy Spirit, as the Apostle tells us, is the earnest of our inheritance; that which we are to inherit is the glorious fulness of the Father's favor and love beyond the vail. What we now have is a mere foretaste of it – just a little sample. And if the foretaste is so good, what will the fulness be, when we shall be made like Him, and be filled with the Father's spirit and the divine power, to be thereafter forever God's agency, God's Temple, through which He will manifest himself to angels and to men!

What will be the use of this Temple after it is completed? And what is the Temple for? The use of the Temple was all pictured back in the Law Dispensation. It was to be a house of prayer for all nations. That is what the Temple at Jerusalem was particularly. You remember it had different courts. First of all was the Most Holy, and the Holy, then came the court in which the Jews might come; then came the women's court, then the court of the Gentiles, and various divisions, representing different classes, as it were. So during the Millennial age – and this was a picture of the Millennial age – after the Temple shall have been glorified, God will be in [CR361] the Church, the divine power operating in it, and all nations will begin to draw near to God! and in order to do so they must draw near to this Temple, because the glory of God will be in her. And this is the name wherewith she shall be named – The Righteousness of Jehovah. That is to be the name of the church. Will we really be righteous, then? Oh, yes, none except those who are absolutely righteous will be there.

All the nations, heathen and all classes, Jews and Gentiles, will come to the Father through this Temple. Who will be the Priests is another picture. The Priests in this new Temple of the future will be, first, Jesus the great High Priest – a King and Priest together, a priest upon his throne, after the order of Melchisedec. He is not on the throne yet; he is waiting. Where is he waiting? Why, the Bible says he is waiting at the Father's right hand. What does it mean by right hand? That is the place of chief favor, right next to the Father. The Father said, Sit at my right hand until the right time comes for your foes to be subjected to you. It is not time yet; just wait awhile. And the time of waiting is the time for preparing those living stones for the Temple. The time in which we wait also represents the preparation of the Royal Priesthood. But we are not Royal Priests yet. Did not St. Peter say, Ye are a Royal Priesthood? Yes, but he was speaking prophetically. You are to be a Royal Priesthood. There is still a chance that you should not be. It is only those who will be declared worthy to sit with him in his throne that will be the Royal Priesthood. "Blessed and holy are all those who have part in the first (chief) resurrection; on such the second death shall have no power." They will be divine. They shall be priests unto God and unto Messiah, and shall reign with Him a thousand years – "A thousand years, earth's coming glory." Yes, a thousand years for the blessing of the world through this great Temple that God is preparing. A thousand years during which these Knights Templar are to scatter blessings to all the families of the earth. We may not wear our white feathers now, but we will have all white raiment by and by. "They shall walk with Him in white, for they are worthy."

Now the question arises, How can we become members of this order? Would you like to become one of these Knights Templar on the heavenly plane. I am not saying anything against the earthly Knights Templar. You can use your own judgment. You know I never advise one way or another respecting what things we shall eat, or drink, or wherewithal we shall be clothed. I merely advise how we come into harmony with God, according to the Bible, and each man and woman must use his or her own judgment respecting the will of God. If you think it is the will of God you should join the Odd Fellows, and don't feel you are Odd Fellow enough in becoming a follower of the Lord, go and join the Odd Fellows. If you feel that you want to become a member of the Free and Accepted Order of Masonry, and do not feel free and masonic enough as a follower of Christ, God bless you, use your judgment; that is yours to decide, not mine. But now I am talking about this great order of masonry of which Jesus is the Grand Master. This Order is to be entered in a peculiar way. There are certain conditions, – the low gate, the narrow way, the difficult path.

Although I have never been a Mason, I have heard that in Masonry they have something which very closely illustrates all of this. It is in riding the goat, etc. And the Bible calls for the goat, you know. The Bible tells you that your goat, which you have to ride more or less every day, is your own flesh. Our Masonic friends have it down very fine. I do not know where they got it so well. I have often wondered where they found out so many of the secrets of our High and Accepted Order of Masonry.

From the time you come in to be a member of the Royal Priesthood, a living stone, a member of the craft of Masonry, from the Lord's standpoint, to be chiseled yourself and to help chisel others, and help prepare one another for the kingdom, a place in the Royal Temple, – from that moment on it was necessary for you to enter by that narrow, difficult way. Jesus described it, saying, If any man will be my follower – that means, if any man will be a living stone in the Temple, if any man will be a member of this High, Free and Accepted Masonry – let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

And the Masons have another thing, I am told, that represents it – every stitch of clothing is to be removed, nothing on at all: "nothing in my hand I bring." That is the way it reads with us. The High Order of Masonry does not leave you a single thing when you enter it. You give up all to the Lord – everything, yourself included. That is the condition. It is the most stringent condition known in any secret order in the world.

Do you mean that the Lord's Church is a secret order?

Yes, surely it is. It is the most wonderful secret order the world has ever known. The mystery of God is not finished yet, the Bible says – the mystery of God which he has kept secret from the foundation of the world – will not be finished until the sounding of the seventh trumpet. The Bible tells us that the Church is the mystery – the mystery is represented in the Church. So we may walk through the world, and the world knows us not, even as it knew Him not.

Did the world know the great Mason when he was here?


Did the world slay the great Master Mason?


And Masonry also has its chief Mason slain. It is the same picture. The Masons are accepting that first Mason that was slain, because he had the secret. It is their theory that this first Mason had the secret plans for the Temple, and that when he was slain more or less of the mystery connected with the Temple was lost, and that certain features will not be completed until his resurrection. So the Masons as a body theoretically declare that they are waiting for the return of that first Master Mason who lost his life back in Solomon's day because of the secret of the Temple. So you and I as under-masons are waiting for the return of our Master Mason who gave his life on this very account in connection with this secret of the construction of the Temple, the Church.

So we might find other analogies, but this one of full consecration is the main thing. The only way in which one enters this High Order of Divine Masonry is by the giving up of himself, full self-surrender – and by riding his goat to death. The goat represents your human nature. If we suffer with him, we shall also reign with him; if we be dead with him, it is the condition on which we shall live with him.

It is interesting to know something about the degrees of our Masonry, too. There are some who take merely the initiatory degree, and never go on unto perfection. The first step, or degree, is recognition of Jesus as our Savior, and faith in Him. That will give us a right to go on to higher degrees. Then if we would become of those who have a right to enter into the secrets of the Lord, and know about the mysteries that belong to this High and Accepted Order of Masonry, we must go on to higher degrees, because those who are in the first degree practically know very little. The Apostle tells us that the natural man, the world, receiveth not the things of the spirit of God, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. So then, since the mysteries of this Order must be spiritually discerned, you see there are secrets that nobody on earth can find out.

More than that, our Masonic friends have great trouble in keeping their secrets from leaking out, but God in his great Secret Society has fixed it so that you can tell all you like about it, and the other man cannot understand it unless he has the key. Jesus preached in the world, preached out in public, and thousands heard him, but very few understood. And you and I might tell the good tidings of great joy, and the Bible says none of the wicked shall understand. Why? Because they must belong to this Order before they have the power, the hearing ear. "Blessed are your ears, for they hear." "Blessed are your eyes, for they see." Not everybody has the hearing ear and seeing eye. It is only those who have come into this divine masonry that have this spiritual insight, and this spiritual guidance, and may know the things that are freely given unto us. It is something that is freely given to one class, and not intended for anybody else. Why not for everybody? Because God is not dealing with the world. He will deal with the world after he has built the Temple. But they will never be priests, or members of the temple. They will have a great blessing, restitution, human perfection. It will be grand for the world, but it would not be for them to know all about the secrets of this masonry God is carrying on; they would interfere with God's plan; as, for instance, if all the Jews had understood about our Lord Jesus, if they had understood his parables and dark sayings, they would not have crucified him. Then how would the Scriptures be fulfilled? How would God's plan have been carried out? St. Peter said to some of the Jews, I wot that in ignorance ye did this and also your elders, for if they had known they would not have crucified the Prince of Life. How wise then on God's part to keep a little part secret from the world and [CR362] not let them know too much. Besides, in proportion as the world has knowledge in that same proportion it has increased responsibility.

The more I see of God and His Book, the more I appreciate his wisdom and love and kindness, not only toward this Royal Priesthood, this Temple Class, but also toward those who are ultimately to be blessed of Him through these.

So, then, I repeat what Jesus said about the terms of membership. I do not know if we are all members of this order or not. You know our order is so secret we cannot know each other always. Is not that wonderful? I find that is so with Masons also. Many Masons shake hands with me and give me what I know is their grip; they don't know me from a Mason. Something I do seems to be the same as Masons do, I don't know what it is; but they often give me all kinds of grips and I give them back, then I tell them I don't know anything about it except just a few grips that have come to me naturally. But the Lord has so arranged this matter that you and I cannot know who are the approved Masons; He alone knows; He alone knows how true and loyal we are at heart. We might put on uniforms and wear feathers – and I think there are many Masons perhaps that go around and parade who do not come up to all the high standards of Masonry either, and some of their Masonic brethren are perhaps ashamed of them. So there are many who come in and have more or less of an outward appearance of being Christians and are not such really at heart. I wonder how many of us here present have taken the first step, the first degree? I wonder how many have gone on to take the second and third degrees? I wonder how many have come into Knighthood – shall I say? – to be Knights Templar? That simply means to be very honorable in connection with this Temple service; as, for instance, to be leaders in the Church. That is getting up to one of the high degrees, to be leaders in the Church of Christ, to be Knights Templar, to be amongst those who are special functionaries in any matter pertaining of the interests of the Temple, and know most about the things of the Temple.

You know that in these orders of Masonry, as they progress from one step to another, they learn more and more, and there are Masons in the thirty-second degree that know a great many things that Masons of the fourteenth or sixteenth plane would not know. And those on the fourteenth plane know a great deal more than those down in the third degree. It is a matter of increased knowledge. So it is in the Spiritual Temple. The Apostle urges us to come up higher. He tells us to grow in grace, and grow in knowledge, and grow in character likeness of our Lord, and become more and more like the great Chief Commander, the great High Priest of our profession, the great Templar of all Templars, the one who died for us and set us an example; who not only redeemed us and gave us an opportunity to come in and be members of this higher fraternity, but also set us an example of how we also should walk.

A Mason will tell you with a great deal of pride, we Masons try to live up to a high standard. I am sure they do. So I say to you, dear friends. We of the Free and Accepted Order of Masons of the Lord Jesus Christ's Commandery have the very highest standard, and ours is not the cross that is on the head of the sword, but ours is the cross of Christ, the cross with which we must be marked day by day. And our marks are not uniforms and white feathers, but our commander has given us different kinds of marks if we belong to his high Commandery. One of the very highest of this order of ours, a thirty-second degree spiritual Mason I will call him, was St. Paul. St. Paul in one of his epistles boasted about the kinds of marks he bore. He said, I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am one of His. What did he mean? Oh, they were not marks the world would appreciate! They were marks such as our Savior had, and such as all the high spiritual Masons must have.

Where were they, Brother Russell?

St. Paul goes on to tell us, as Jesus had the mark of having been smitten and condemned, and beaten and crucified, those were his marks of faithfulness to God, to truth and to righteousness. So St. Paul says, so many times was I shipwrecked, so many times did I receive thirty-nine lashes over my back, and the salt then rubbed on to make it smart and leave a scar. And he said, in this will I glory. These are the marks and the Masonic Fraternity does not know much about that kind of marks. It is generally very honorable amongst men, but our Society has its own marks, and there is one that knows all these marks. If you receive any marks in his service, he tells you, Faithful is he who called you who also will do it. What will he do? Oh, he will give us exceedingly, abundantly more than we could have asked or thought and all of these light afflictions which are but for a moment, transitory, shall work out for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. Where? Beyond the vail, in that Temple which is about to be constructed, in the Royal Priesthood, that is about to be established, of which Jesus is the head.

Now, have you taken the first step of humility to acknowledge your sins? Have you acknowledged you have nothing in your hand to bring to make you worthy to be accepted of God? Have you acknowledged that you are trusting in the precious blood of Jesus? Have you taken these degrees? Have you said, Simply to Thy cross I cling? Have you taken that degree?

Have you gone on then to say, Lord, I give myself to Thee? And have you received the initiation into this high degree in which you may be called a Priest, a saint of God, a member of the Royal Priesthood? I hope you have.

And are you going on still from grace to grace, from knowledge to knowledge, from one degree to another degree? Are you laying aside the things of life that you may more and more practice or work these things that belong to our order of Free and Accepted Masonry? It is the grandest Masonry of all. It is the greatest Temple of all. All the other Temples, all the other societies, are only shadows and pictures, or figures, of this one which is the great one of all. No matter where you may come from, no matter who you may have been when you came into the lodge of the Lord Jesus Christ, to be one of this Order, you have a right to the regalia and all that belongs to the Order. And you are not at liberty to go back on that which you have attained. There is only one way that anybody whom the Lord accepts and gives a degree of the Holy Spirit can go out. And if he is once in, there is only one way to put him out, and that must be according to the Lord's arrangements; because there is a secret writing of the names even in our Order. Their names are written in Heaven. Everything is kept secret. Nobody even knows who the members are. What do you mean by Free and Accepted Masonry?

We are free, my dear brethren; not free to do sin, thank God! we do not wish to do sin. Our very desire to come into relationship with God means that we do not love sin, but we are free from it, free from the domination of sin, free from the fear of death, free from that condition of sin and death in which we once were by nature when we were children of wrath even as others. The shackles have fallen off. If the Son makes you free, then are ye free indeed. And thus every man made free by the Lord Jesus Christ, through the merit of his sacrifice, in thus presenting his body a living sacrifice and being received of God, and inducted fully into this Masonic Fraternity, into this Masonry of the highest order, into this Royal Priesthood, happy is his position, for the spirit of Glory and of God rests on him. And the more he is laying down his life, the more faithful he is, the more attentive to the rules of the Order, the more progress he will make, the higher will be his station; he will rise from stage to stage and from degree to degree until he shall have the highest rank and be in the fullest sense in favor with the great Chief Captain of our Salvation.

The Lord gives another picture of the Temple through the Apostle Peter. It is a very good thing to have this in view at the same time. It is one thing to think of the glory and another thing to think of the present time difficulties. He says to each of us, Know ye not that your body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit? Those persons who have received the Holy Spirit are Temples of the Holy Spirit. It is not the world. The world by nature knows not God; the world is under condemnation; the world are called in the Bible, "children of wrath." God has not begun to deal with them yet nor to give the blessings He intends for them. He is now only dispensing blessings that belong to the Church class, to those who come into this position of receiving the Holy Spirit. Now we have not received the Holy Spirit in full. We explained a while ago that the Holy Spirit in full will be given beyond the vail, when all of these living stones as the completed Temple will be filled with the Glory of God. That will be the glorification in full. But there is a sense in which you received the Holy Spirit when you gave up your will to the Lord, and the Holy Spirit came into your own heart. And in that sense of the word this body of yours became a temple. Wherever God's spirit is, there is a temple. So the Apostle says, Know ye not that ye are the temple [CR363] of the Holy Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you? Have you received it, my dear brother? And is it dwelling in you? I hope you have not grieved it or ignored it, or lived contrary to this new spirit with which you have been begotten. The Apostle says, Grieve not the Holy Spirit wherewith you were sealed unto the day of redemption. From the very time that stone was taken to be worked upon, from the time it was sealed, the preparation began. That is, it was marked as one of the stones of the Temple. We have received the seal, the mark of the Holy Spirit. Now, then, the chiseling and polishing goes on. The Apostle says we have this treasure, the Holy Spirit, in earthen vessels that the glory may be of God. That is to say, God's Holy Spirit that you have received constitutes you a temple. It is not a very satisfactory temple, is it? No, it is not. It is more like a tabernacle, as the Apostle elsewhere calls it.

What is the difference between a temple and a tabernacle? A temple is a permanent structure, a tabernacle is a temporary structure. So the Apostle calls our present condition, in which the Holy Spirit dwells in our hearts, a tabernacle condition; it is not to last forever; it is to be for the present time. If we are rightly exercised by this power of God in us, and learn the lessons and have the experiences, then we will be ready for the Temple conditions. They are different pictures – blended pictures. The Temple is one figure and the Tabernacle is another. But the thought is, if the Holy Spirit dwell in you, that means that you should regard your bodies very sacredly. The Apostle in that same connection, goes on to say, What communion hath light with darkness? What harmony is there between the Temple of God and the Temple of idols? Or, between the purity that belongs to the Temple of God and the impurities that belong to the flesh, the world and the devil? Do you see the wide distinction? You have been accepted into this high Order of being Temples of the Living God, and he has placed his Holy Spirit in you, and now we see that as a Temple of God we should be pure and clean. We see that this sanctifying power of God extends and operates through all your powers, in your mind as well as in your tongue, and in your words, and in your hands, and where your feet should go.

And so one of our hymns says most beautifully:

"Take my life and may it be,
Lord, acceptable to thee;
Take my hands and let them move
At the impulse of thy love.

Take my feet and let them be
Swift on errands, Lord, for thee;
Take my voice and let it bring
Honor always to my King.

Take my lips and let them be
Moved with messages from thee;
Take my silver and my gold;
Nothing, Lord, would I withhold."

We are all His Temple – the whole Body is the Temple of God – and here we see finally the threefold picture of the Body of Christ. We have the Body of Christ first of all in the sense that we become members of the spiritual company of which Jesus is the Head. That is the Body of Christ you enter when you make your consecration. That is one picture of the Body of Christ.

Now another is that Body of Christ beyond the vail, the elect of God, the Royal Priesthood class – all the Body of Christ of which He is the Head.

But there are more of this present Body of Christ begotten of the Holy Spirit than will be in that after Body of Christ – many more. Why? Because not all of those who have been called, not all of those who have been accepted, will be finally found worthy to be of that Royal Priesthood. Some of them will even be found worthy of going into the second death, and be utterly destroyed, if they turn to the flesh, and the world, and the devil, and live in these things.

Then there is still another class, a large class that will not prove disloyal but they will not be sufficiently zealous; they will not deny the Lord and go into the second death, as those who turn their back on righteousness; but having a love for righteousness, and a great love for the Lord, they still do not have enough zeal and fervency of spirit to make them worthy to be accounted members of that Royal Priesthood class. What will be done with them? The Bible tells us that they will constitute a great company out of all nations, peoples, kindreds and tongues, and that they must wash their robes. They do not keep their robes unspotted from the world, therefore they must wash them and make them white. But how? It will be in great tribulation they will wash them; but the power of cleansing is not in the tribulation; the power of cleansing is in the blood. They must wash their robes in the blood of the Lamb.

Now we are glad indeed that the Great Company class will thus be brought up even through great tribulation. They will be the anti-typical Levites, the Great Company class of Revelation. Do you wish to be of that class? Or do you wish to be of that class to which God has invited you? Remember they were all called in one hope of their calling. There was just the one invitation sent out. There was the same begetting of the Holy Spirit in every case, and the difference between the Little Flock, the Royal Priesthood, and that Great Company of the Anti-typical Levites who will be servants of the Priests in all of the glorious work of the future is that the one was more zealous, more like the Lord, and the others hung back. Why? The Bible describes it – through fear of death. Didn't they know they had consecrated to death? Yes. They knew they gave their lives but still they hung back. The pleasures of life, and family, and wealth, whatever it may be, held them back. They never really carried out what their own hearts desired. They wanted to do it, they saw the pattern, Jesus running in the race; they saw the Apostles running along in the same narrow way. They have seen saintly ones since then going hastily along with good courage, and do not seem to be afraid of death at all; they plunge right in and seem to enjoy it; and they say, Here I am, fear of death – Oh, I would like to be with them!

But they hold back, fear of death and love of the world – do not like to break it off. They look away awhile from the pathway, and get absorbed in the world and are crushed with the cares of life. By and by they look back and something calls their attention to the narrow way.

O, yes, I would like to be of those running in the narrow way. I almost envy them!

Why don't you go?

Well, you know I cannot; I have so many things here; it seems to me I have more to break loose from than other people.

If you love the Lord more you will love the world less. We all love the world naturally to begin with. Therefore it is a test as to how much you love the Lord. The Lord says, in speaking of the Bride class, He that loveth father or mother or houses or lands, or self, or any other thing more than he loves Me is not worthy to be My disciple. That settles it. So then, these dear friends – good people, honest people, they love righteousness, they like to give money to good causes, they appreciate saintly living and all of that, but they are holding back through fear of what it is going to cost. They made the consecration else they would not be of this class at all. They gave their life to the Lord, but they have not faith enough, perhaps. More faith would say, "Jesus says that all things shall work together for good, so He will make them work together for me, and I will go on, laying aside every weight and besetting sin and everything that would hinder me from running the race with patience. I need more faith and zeal, more love."

How do we get more love? We get more love of the Lord the more we think about Him and about what He has done for us, and His glorious plan.

Well, says one, I have been that way, but Brother Russell, I get filled up sometimes, just running over with love for God and appreciation of His plan, then it seems to all go away.

Why, yes, naturally enough. You know you have an earthen vessel that is leaky; you cannot hold in very much; you must come often and stay long enough at the throne of Heavenly Grace that you may obtain the streams of blessing from God, in order that you may keep full. You cannot expect to pray once a week and keep filled with the Spirit. I do not think you could expect to pray once a day and keep filled with the Spirit. I would not expect to. I believe we need to go frequently to the throne of Heavenly Grace. What for? To obtain mercy. Mercy for what? For your imperfections. There is none perfect, no not one, and if you do not acknowledge it and do not get these imperfections cleansed away day by day, your robe will not be fit to be seen when you come into the presence of the great King. You are on test to see where you will be fit to be. That is the thought [CR364] the Bible gives us. We all know that none are worthy to begin with, and when we come into the Lord's company a robe is given to each one there – a white robe representing purity covering all our garments. Our own garments, you know, are like filthy rags; you haven't any righteousness at all. You would better not tell everybody all you know about your own natural robe. But the Lord's arrangement is that all those coming through the straight and narrow gate making a consecration and entering this high order of Priesthood shall be given clean, new garments. Oh! it is nice to have on something nice and clean, sweet, good, and to know that now we can come into God's presence and, figuratively speaking, He will not recognize our imperfections, but we will be there as one of His, clothed in the righteousness of Christ.

It is so nice to come in amongst the Lord's brethren and to recognize that we all meet on a level, and part on the square, and all can feel that the robe of Christ's righteousness makes us all common members of the one fraternity. It is a very blessed thing.

One says, I knew that man ten years ago; he was a drunkard in the gutter.

Never mind about what he was ten years ago. He has come into this High and Accepted Order of Spiritual Masonry, he has become a member of the Royal Priesthood; he wears the livery of God, given him through the Lord Jesus Christ, the robe of Christ's righteousness. There is not a spot on that robe. None may say a word against him truthfully, or properly. All his past is under the blood; Jesus has made him whole; he is accepted as a member of this spiritual Masonry. Thank God! That is the way we should view each other. All of these spiritual Masons should know each other, not after the flesh but after the spirit.

Now, what about this robe, Brother Russell? Can anybody wear His robe?

Well, the instruction is to keep your garments unspotted from the world. So you watch from the time you become Christian.

Oh, you say, seeing how much sin there is in the world, how many allurements and pitfalls there are, how can I ever keep from making a mistake or misstep, getting too close to something that would soil my garments?

The Apostle says to walk circumspectly. That means, looking all around at every step you take. That means that whether you move out to this ranch, or into that city house, whatever you do, you shall think first of all how it will affect you as a New Creature – not how it will affect your pocketbook merely. When Lot went down and lived in Sodom he made a very bad choice, and if you go and live in Sodom in order to get the beautiful advantages of earthly things, you will be making a bad choice. With every one of us it is the same. So he that is begotten of the spirit and has this robe of Christ's righteousness is to walk very circumspectly.

What he eats?


You don't mean that, do you?

Yes, I do. Whether ye eat, or whether ye drink, whether ye buy or whether ye sell, whatever ye do, do all to the glory of God. That is the Bible way. That is the way you will progress and keep your garments unspotted. If you are not careful you will get spots on them and if you are careful you will get some spots also. Do you suppose anybody except the Lord Jesus ever walked through this world of sin and imperfection without getting some spots on his robe? None but He. You have gotten some on your robe, and I have gotten some on my robe – everybody has gotten some.

Well, what shall we do? How can we walk through the world unspotted from the world and be in the end without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing, as the Bible says, if you say it is impossible to go through the world without getting spots or wrinkles?

The answer is that God has provided a fluid that will take off these spots – they are figurative spots and it is a figurative fluid. The Bible tells us that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin. If you have a spot on your robe that is the thing to do, and the more earnest you are, the more you love the Lord, and the more you appreciate that grand prize of our High Calling, the more diligent you will be to keep your garments unspotted.

What will that mean?

That will mean that every morning you will go to God in prayer – perhaps many times in the day, but at least every morning – and say, Lord help me to so live today that I may walk with thee unspotted from the world.

Will that do, Brother Russell?

Well, that will do for a start, dear brother, then you must watch.

The Lord said to watch and pray, so you have prayed, now go on watching and watch the best you can all day that you keep far away from all sin.

You say, I cannot make more than half as much of a fortune.

Better not have any fortune. Better enter into the Kingdom a bankrupt to some extent as far as earthly things are concerned than having much riches to be cast out as unfit for a place in the Kingdom.

Well, you say, suppose in spite of ourselves we get a spot?

That is the thought, dear brother, you will get a spot in spite of yourself – perhaps the very moment you are not thinking; therefore it is all the more important to try to keep thinking, watching, watching, because even in spite of watchings you will get some spots and if you don't watch you will run into nearly everything. Did you ever notice a lady with a white dress going down the street? If she has worn a white dress many times you will see she watches her steps carefully and when she comes near something likely to soil, she will turn the skirt over. That is the right idea. You have a robe and I have a robe and every now and then we need to "keep" our garments that they may not be spotted with the world.

And if you get a spot what would you do?

The right thing would be to make some apology to the Lord at the very minute you noticed it, and say, Lord forgive me, I have made a mistake there; I will try to be more careful. And then you may not have an opportunity to say more to the Lord on the subject before evening; but you need to go before you retire to rest, and it should be that you would be so anxious for the Lord's smile that you could not possibly go to sleep without being sure there were no earthborn cloud between your soul and the Lord. That is the only way to live close to God. That is the way to keep your garments. There is no patent way, dear brother – no other royal road. That is the royal road that the Lord has marked out for all His followers who would gain the prize.

Then the next day perhaps it is the same thing in a little different form – so much the same though that you feel more discouraged than you did the first time. Now! that is practically the same thing; it came just a little different. Before I knew it there it went, and I got that spot again. Now you feel more ashamed of that spot than you did of the other one? Why? Because you had told the Lord before that you would be very careful, and if possible you would never do that same thing again, yet it was pretty near the same thing. Oh, you felt sick almost at heart! What would you do? Well, there is just one right thing to do, even if it is the seventieth time seventy, and that is to do what the Lord has instructed you, through the Apostle, to do: To go with courage –

Oh, you say, Brother Russell, I had courage the first time.

Well, brother, there is only the one way.

I cannot go, Brother Russell.

There is only one way to do, to go with courage to the throne of heavenly grace that you may obtain mercy and forgiveness, and may find strength, grace, to help you in future times of need. That is God's way.

Well, Brother Russell, I cannot see any good in that.

There is a great deal of good in it if it is God's way. And He is pleased to have it that way. Besides, there is another good thing in it – you will be humbled by it; it will bring you right down low in the dust. If we can go and acknowledge the same thing over a second time, or a third time, or a tenth time, Oh, it should make us all the more humble, so that we could hardly feel as though we could lift up our eyes to the Lord at all! Yet it is the only thing we can do.

Do you want to leave those spots on your robe? That is a mistake some make, and after they have gone once or twice and had forgiveness, then they make mistakes and grow cold, and the spots multiply on their garments. Then some might say, I see you have several spots on your robe?

Oh, yes, everybody has them. They try to hide them, or they don't amount to much – most people have more than that.

Now that is just the wrong thought. That person cannot go to the Lord, and that is what stopped most of the family or individual prayer – spots on the robe. You have got to [CR365] get right down and acknowledge those spots, or they will get the better of you – one or the other. If your robe continues in that way, and you do not get it cleansed, be sure that when the grand end of the age comes, and the Master will inspect, He will not say that you may walk with Him in white for you are worthy, and that your robe is without spot or wrinkle or any such thing. If you are amongst those who have the spots and wrinkles, then you are in that class that is mentioned in Revelation – the Great Company. There will be a good many of them. They started well, and went on until they found faults coming, and they were not humble enough to accept God's arrangement for their sins, they broke off communion, and therefore the sins got more and more the better of them. So while they still loved righteousness, still preferred it – they did not prefer sin, they did not prefer the devil and his service – yet they are not fit for the Kingdom. No one is fit to be of the Bride class except he wear that wedding garment without spot or wrinkle or any such thing. But I am glad that God has something for these dear brethren. They will come through great tribulation – more tribulation perhaps than they would have had if they had walked right in the footsteps of the Lord.

We are not forgetting it says that through much tribulation we shall enter the Kingdom. The Little Flock will go through great tribulation, but they have so much of the spirit of the Master that they do not feel the tribulation nearly so much. Notice Paul and Silas, their backs beaten with thirty-nine blows each, until the blood came, then washed with salt water, and yet they were able to sing praises to God in prison. That is the spirit of the overcomers. Do you think they suffered nearly as much as someone else would have suffered under the same circumstances? I tell you no. And so it is with all of those who suffer with Christ. They have the spirit of loyalty and zeal, and the spirit of glory and of God rests on them. It compensates so much to know that these are only light afflictions in comparison to the blessings that shall come, and are working out for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we look not at the things of this present time, but at the things that are unseen – the things of glory beyond the vail.

We trust that as we think over the gracious arrangements our Father has made for us, we are more and more determined that by His grace we will have that which He offers to us, that which He is most pleased to give us and that by His grace we will be – conquerors? Yes, the Great Company will be conquerors. We read palm branches were given to them. Thank God, they will have the palms of victory! If they do not get the victory they would never be on the spirit plane at all. No one will ever get everlasting life unless he gains the victory. But they have to gain it by being pushed into the great time of trouble, forced to the point where they decide for God or for sin, and they will finally decide for God and come off conquerors. Oh, we are glad! Conquerors before the throne. But the more than conquerors are those in the throne; they are such as rushed on toward the prize; presenting their bodies living sacrifices, holy, acceptable unto God, their reasonable service, they delighted to do God's will, even as their Leader did. These shall be accounted worthy to be His joint-heirs in the Kingdom.

Let us, dear brothers and sisters, choose the wise part. Let us count all other things as but loss and dross that we might win that pearl of the Kingdom. You remember Jesus said that if you once got your eyes on that pearl to go and sell all that you have and buy it. You cannot give too much to get that pearl – the prize of our High Calling in Christ.


O BLESSED peace of a perfect trust,
My loving God, in Thee;
Unwavering faith, that never doubts
Thou choosest best for me.

Best, though my plans be all upset;
Best, though the way be rough;
Best, though mine earthly store be scant;
In Thee I have enough.

Best, though my health and strength be gone,
Though weary days be mine,
Shut out from much that others have;
Not my will, Lord, but Thine!

And e'en though disappointments come,
They, too, are best for me,
To wean me from a clam'ring world,
And lead me nearer Thee.

O blessed peace of a perfect trust
That looks away from all;
That sees Thy hand in everything,
In great events or small;

That hears Thy voice – a Father's voice –
Directing for the best: –
O blessed peace of a perfect trust,
A heart with Thee at rest!

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