Convention Report Sermons

If Ye be Christ's, then Ye are Abraham's Seed

I AM VERY pleased, dear brethren and sisters, to have this opportunity of addressing you again at Portland. I see that the Lord's people are one people wherever I find them – from all nations, peoples, kindreds and tongues. He is selecting them, yet they all have one character-likeness; they all belong to the one family. My text bears upon that subject – the Apostles' words: "If ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed."

I believe it is because we have become Abraham's seed that we have the general family likeness of all the family of Abraham. You remember Abraham was called the father of the faithful. Not that all the natural seed of Abraham were faithful. By no means. But because he represented our Heavenly Father, the great Father of all the faithful, and because as a type of Jehovah God he was the initiator of this faith which is now inspiring our hearts, and we are becoming children of this faith, begotten of this faith, guided by this faith, led and sanctified by this faith, and ultimately to be glorified in response to this faith.

But the question properly comes to us, How can we who were Gentiles, who were never related to Abraham at all, be said to be the seed of Abraham? God made a very definite promise to Abraham. Shall we suppose it was merely a figurative promise? Shall we suppose that God ignored the natural descent of Abraham's posterity? Nay? God waited for the birth of Isaac, and distinctly said, "In Isaac shall thy seed be called." Then have you and I anything to do with it. We are not children of Isaac? Isaac never was our father. We belong to what the Bible terms Gentile nations, who by nature are without God and without hope. Where do we come in? How do we become members of Abraham's seed?

The Bible explains that our Lord Jesus by nature was not of Abraham's seed, but of the heavenly nature, and in harmony with the divine program He left the heavenly courts and humbled Himself to take the lower nature, the human nature. The question then was, Of which family or nature or class of humanity would He be born? And the Scriptures inform us that according to the flesh He was born of Abrahamic stock – the son of Abraham, and the son of David, according to the flesh. Then is Jesus, according to the flesh, the Messiah? We answer no. Jesus according to the flesh could not save the world. Why not? Because even in His perfection all the man Christ Jesus could have done for the world would have been to establish a glorious kingdom of perfection, and give the world all that any perfect man could have given to humanity in the way of instruction and assistance. One perfect man could never help an imperfect man to live righteously. He might, indeed, have guided him into better living, into better doing, and into happier conditions, but he never could be the great Redeemer that God foretold – the one who is not only to bless Israel, but all nations; and not only the living of all nations, but the dead of all nations; for in Abraham's seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.

More than this: to merely establish a good government, such as, for instance, Solomon established, and such as some other kings have a greater or less extent established, or such as our own government, would have been the highest conception of anyone in olden times. But the government God purposes to establish that would bless the world, is to do something more, because from God's standpoint this word "bless" means much more than ordinary human mind would comprehend. The word "bless" from God's standpoint would mean to bless in the full, complete, degree. God calls our present condition a cursed condition, or under the curse, and whoever would be brought under the blessing would correspondingly be brought out from under the curse. You could not be under God's curse and God's blessing at the same time. The whole world was and still is under God's curse, under the sentence of God, and the only way the blessing of God could come in as God intended in His promise made to Abraham would be by the cancellation and rolling away of that curse. And so when God said to Abraham, in thy seed, in thy posterity, shall all the families of the earth be blessed, it meant that this seed of Abraham would roll away the curse and roll in instead God's blessings upon humanity.

But you see that Jesus in the flesh could not do that. He could have taught the Jews something, but what could a perfect man do amongst imperfect men? We see that God's perfect law given to the Jews could not make them perfect. Did not they strive to the best of their ability to keep that law, and were unable to do it? Does not St. Paul tell us that by the deeds of the law no flesh could be justified in God's sight? He found in His members another law working in opposition to God's law, and bringing him into slavery to this law of sin and death working in him. If Jesus had been a preacher, He could not have preached a greater law to mankind than the Law Covenant itself preached. It was continually saying, Do right and you shall live, do wrong and you may not live. That was the meaning of the law. Now, Jesus could never have said anything more than that to anybody. He might have said, You had better eat a particular kind of food. But the law said that. He might have said, You had better deal thus and so with your family. But the law said that. There was nothing that Jesus as the man could have said that the law did not already say and command. So, although He was the seed of Abraham according to the flesh, as such He could not bless either Israel itself, nor all the families of the earth.

What then? God never intended that Jesus in the flesh should bless the world. It was to be the New Creature Jesus, it was to be the Christ of glory, that was to bless the world. How then would Jesus ever become the Christ of glory? How would He ever become the Messiah?

Oh, Brother Russell, do you mean to say Jesus was not the Messiah when He was born?

No, He was born that He might become the Messiah; just as we read. He was not the King of Israel when He was born, but He was born that He might become the King of Israel. He was not the great Prophet, Priest and King when He was born, but He was born that He might become such. Something had to be done before He would occupy that exalted office. The Scriptures tell us that He was 30 years of age when He came to John at Jordan and was baptized. What would a water baptism do? An outward baptism would not amount to anything, but it was a real baptism that took place there. The Apostle puts the thought of the prophet in the mouth of Jesus, saying, Lo, I have come to do Thy will, O my God, everything that is written in the book. What did that mean? Why, he knew that things were written in God's Book, in the book of the Law; there were types and shadows there, various things that were not commandments at all. For instance, the type showed there would be a Lamb led to the slaughter; He had come to be that Lamb. The type showed that before there could be an atonement for sin there must be the death of the sacrifice; the bullock of the sin-offering had first to be offered. He had come to be the anti-typical sin-offering, to give Himself in God's service a sacrifice, to present His perfect body, His human nature, all that He had, to give it all sacrificially into the Father's hand – There are things in your Book, in the types and shadows, I have not comprehended, but I have come to do all that is in the Book – everything. The Apostle points out that was the very time the Lord became our sacrifice. He took away the first that He might establish the second. That is the translation of our Common Version, and it does not give a very clear significance. The proper thought would be, He removes the type that He may establish the anti-type. The type was the first, the anti-type was the second. He came to set aside the type. When? Just at that moment before John at Jordan when He was thirty years of age, when He said, Lo, I have come, I give Myself unreservedly, Father, that I may do Thy will; work now in Me, fill up such a cup for Me as seemeth best to You. Provide the sin-offering at any cost to Me. What was the cost to be? It was to be, primarily, His death; because mankind was under the sentence of death, the curse, and it was necessary that He should taste death for mankind before He could bring the blessings. He must have wherewith to satisfy the claims of Divine Justice on behalf of Adam before He could ask for the release of Adam and his race.

Did the Father accept Him? Yes. John says he bare record – he saw – we do not know that any of the people who stood by saw; the record rather is to the contrary, that John alone saw – I John saw and bare record that I saw the Holy [CR367] Spirit descending upon Him in form like a dove. And He who sent me declared, Upon whom thou seest the Holy Spirit descending and resting, this is He, this is the Messiah, this is the one that is to do the work, this is the one that is to be the Redeemer. Messiah means king, the one that is glorified and exalted to the position of high honor and glory. But our Lord Jesus was not in a position of high honor and glory as Prophet, Priest and King when He was amongst men. He said He came to be the servant. What service did He render? He says, Greater work can no man do than to give his life. And that is what He did; that is the service He rendered. Jesus Christ by the grace of God tasted death for every man; – broad indeed. That is one thing about the Word of God that is different from any human theology ever conceived; it has a depth and width and height and breadth to it such as the human mind could never conceive. You would never have thought of so great a salvation as God has provided – neither I, nor anybody else. All the theories and theologies we have ever heard of come short of this grand standard that God has provided through the Lord Jesus Christ. When the Holy Spirit came on Jesus that was the Father's acceptance of Him; that was His anointing; from that time on He was called the Anointed of God. As the Anointed He did not enter on His work of blessing. He had still to prove Himself, to demonstrate Himself, and to learn His own lessons, before He would be qualified to be exalted to the kingly and priestly power and exercise that great office to which God had called Him and for which He had consecrated Himself. As an illustration of this we see how David the prophet as a youth was anointed of Samuel the prophet some years before Saul was dead – some time before he entered upon his kingly office.

Come back now and see the steps He took. When He was consecrated the Spirit came upon Him, then the testings were to go on and all that He had promised in His consecration had to be fulfilled in those three and a half years. What did He promise? He promised to do the Father's will in every respect. Those things were accomplished within the three and a half years. He went about doing good. The Father gave Him some special trials. He Himself said, the cup which My Father has poured for Me – the cup of ignominy, shame and suffering which He hath poured for me, shall I not drink of it? And drink it He did. The Apostle tells us He was faithful in His covenant of sacrifice unto death, even the death of the cross, the extreme limit of humiliation, ignominy, shame and death. In His dying breath He cried, "It is finished." Now what was finished? He had not finished the work of blessing the world. Merely His own personal sacrifice of Himself was finished. What came next in God's order? Next came His resurrection and His manifestation to His disciples that they might know He had arisen from the dead. He appeared and manifested Himself under different conditions to prove two things: (1) that He was no longer dead, and (2) to prove that He was changed from what He was before. Instead of going with them, and sleeping and eating with them, He merely came in and spoke a few words and vanished out of their sight. He met them here or there and walked a little piece, giving them lessons to prove He was their Lord indeed, and opening to them the Scriptures, so that afterwards they said, Did not our hearts burn within us as He talked with us on the way to Emmaus and opened unto us the Scriptures? He could come and go like the wind. When He went in and sat with them at the table and broke bread, immediately they knew Him, and immediately He vanished from their sight. You remember He appeared some seven times during the forty days, but only a few moments each time – probably not more than an hour or two altogether in the whole seven appearances. When He did appear it is not said that He was with them in the ordinary way, but that He manifested Himself, or appeared. You and I do not speak of appearing to each other. You cannot disappear from me and I cannot disappear from you. We do not use such terms as manifesting ourselves or appearing to one another. But those are the terms used respecting Jesus, because in His resurrection He was a Spirit being; as the Apostle says, He had been put to death in the flesh but God had quickened Him in the Spirit.

After He had convinced his disciples of his resurrection, He ascended up on high. There was another part of God's plan still to be accomplished. It was necessary that He should appear in the presence of God for us, that He should make presentation on our behalf of His blood, the merit of the sacrifice, the value of His sacrificial death, that we might be justified through His merit, that the Father might give us the benefit of this cleansing that He had accomplished for us.

Who do you mean by "for us"? The Bible limits this expression to the church. He has not appeared for the world, and they do not want Him to appear for them; they are not anxious to have Him for their advocate. They say, never mind, we are going to build some more battleships and blow some more people off the earth and sea. Never mind, we are going to make some more money and build some more castles. We don't want Him for our advocate. If we did, we would have to be in line with what He has to say. We want to have our own plans for a while and see what He has to say. We want to have our own plans for a while and see what we can do. Let me see what I can do, then let my son John see what he can do. Let us see if we cannot make our name great. So mankind in general are not wanting this Advocate to appear for them, nor to reconcile them to the Father, nor to bring them into any relationship to him.

Are there any who would like to have Him appear as their advocate? Oh, yes. There is a room full here that want him as their advocate. Why do we need an advocate? Because we never could have access to the Father otherwise.

Why, Brother Russell, couldn't we pray. Didn't the Jews pray?

Yes, the Jews prayed because they had an arrangement especially made for them. Moses instituted a special arrangement for the Jews, under God's direction; it was a typical affair; it was not the reality. Under the arrangement of the Law Covenant there were certain sacrifices for sin offered every year, and those were only typical sacrifices and only made a typical reconciliation, and on account of these every Jew was privileged to come near to God, to draw near to the Holy and Most Holy in prayer. But you and I, who are Gentiles, never had even that, and the Jews do not have it either now, because all of that has passed away, so far as any reconciliation by the blood of bulls and goats is concerned. They could not have such an atonement day if they tried. They have no High Priest, they have no Holy and Most Holy, and they have no Sanctuary to which they could go and make an offering and thus bring the acceptance. All the typical matter has passed away and we are living under the antitype. So if we desire to draw near to God we have an Advocate, Jesus Christ the Righteous. Let us, therefore, draw nigh with good courage and having our hearts sprinkled from any consciousness of evil, that we may appreciate what God has done for us in Christ.

Wasn't it merely for the Church then living that Christ appeared? Oh, no, in God's plan the whole Church is one company from first to last; even as Jesus prayed the Father on the night before his crucifixion, saying, I pray for those whom thou hast given me and yet I pray not for these alone, but for all of those who shall believe on me through their word. We come in under that score, my dear brethren. We belong to that same class, that same body, of which Jesus was the head, of which the Apostles were the first members, and of which all the faithful in Christ Jesus throughout this Gospel Age are the members in particular. So we have had reconciliation with God through His Blood.

Our sins were imputed to him figuratively, and we may realize ourselves as free from sin, by faith. The sins are not canceled for those who cannot and do not exercise faith. The sins are only covered for those who do exercise faith. He has, indeed, a great work to do for the world in the future, but that work is not yet begun. The only ones yet reached by the grace of God in Christ are those who belong to the household of faith which is the church. Ours is the household of faith because we are believing things not seen as yet. You have never seen into the Most Holy except with the eyes of faith; you have never seen Jesus except with the eyes of faith; you do not recognize Him as the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world except with the eyes of faith. You never came to the Father through Him, except through the ear of faith. You never realized your sins were forgiven except by the sense of faith. It is that which God wishes to recognize, and any one who does not exercise faith is not acceptable to Him. "Without faith it is impossible to please God." Others will have the opportunity of knowledge by and by. In the next age they will be seeing the things we believe now. But God is now attaching a special reward, a special blessing, a special opportunity, to those who have faith and who will exercise it, walking by faith and not by sight. That, I trust, includes you and me. [CR368]

After Jesus had ascended on high, what was He then? He was then the spiritual Seed of Abraham, the one who is to bless. Primarily He became the Seed of Abraham when He received the anointing at Jordan, and to a certain extent He began the work of blessing, but it was a typical work He did in healing the sick and in giving certain instructions, even though His instructions were all parabolic and symbolic, things they were not able to understand until after Pentecost. The work of the Blessor was in Him from the time He Himself received the begetting of the Holy Spirit. And then when He was raised from the dead He was the perfected one, the seed of Abraham complete, so far as He Himself was concerned. Why do we limit it in that way? Because the Bible intimates that God from the beginning not only had in mind Jesus to be the great Savior and Blessor of the world, but also a company of associates with Jesus. He was to be the Captain of their salvation, and to lead forth many sons to glory, honor and immortality. And those sons of God He began to lead at Pentecost are the same Church of God which are still being led. And what is He leading us to? To glory, honor and immortality. We are to be with Him and share His glory and see Him as He is throughout all eternity. What will that do for us? That makes us members of Abraham's spiritual seed, and we are thus to have a share with Christ in blessing the world. "If ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed" – you see the if, you see the condition and only you and the Lord can say whether you are Christ's, whether you have made the full surrender of yourself to him.

The seed of Abraham as God meant it was primarily the spiritual seed – Christ and the Church on the Divine plane. But there is another seed of Abraham according to the flesh, the natural man, the Jew. They also will have a part in the blessing work, but the spiritual seed comes in first, as God mentioned to Abraham, Thy seed shall be as the stars of Heaven. You and I are of that "star" class, as St. Paul says, As star differeth from star in glory so also is the first resurrection, the Church's resurrection – differing, but all like the stars, all heavenly in contrast with the earthly.

Now go back and tell us where it begun, again. It began with Jesus, the perfect man, giving Himself a sacrifice, laying down His earthly rights, and God begat Him to this higher nature. He did not need anyone to make good for His sins, because He had no sins. But you and I must come through Him as the sin-offering, as the one who would become our advocate, covering our blemishes and imperfections. Why? Because God would not accept any imperfect or blemished thing; therefore, the invitation to you and to me is, "I beseech you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice."

But we say, how would God accept us?

God has made the arrangement for us through Christ that upon His imputing His merit to us we may be thus accounted of God as though we were perfect.

How can God count anything perfect when it is imperfect?

Suppose you were wanting to go into some place of entertainment and the price was one dollar; and suppose you had only fifty cents and somebody came along and said, Take this fifty cents, here is enough to make it good. You would get your ticket all right just as though you had the whole dollar. So that is exactly the case with us. In coming to the Father and this great feast He has prepared for us, maybe we have only ten cents instead of a dollar; perhaps we have only a nickel; perhaps we have only a copper. Oh, you say, there is no use of my offering a penny at that window; that is too glorious a spread for me to get with my little penny; it would not pass there at all.

Some one says, Offer your penny and see. There is somebody going to make good for all you are short.

And timidly, but still with a little faith, you hold up the penny, and the ninety-nine cents necessary to complete the matter is provided for you by this one who is attending to the matter.

That illustrates the picture we have before our minds that God is inviting us to lay down our lives sacrificially with the Lord Jesus, and he says to us through the Apostle to present our bodies living sacrifices, holy, acceptable to God. Is it really Holy? Yes, Jesus' blood made it holy. His merit made up for your imperfection, and you can get right in on this same footing with the Apostles and all the faithful of this Gospel Age and thus become joint-sacrifices with Jesus. Then God accepts that sacrifice, and you become members of that Spiritual Seed of Abraham. There is only one way to get through, whether Jew or Gentile. Some of the Jews thought they ought to get in on different terms, but God has only one arrangement. No man cometh unto the Father but by me, said Jesus. Any one else who tries to get into the sheep-fold except through the door, Christ, is a thief and a robber, attempting to take advantage of things that are not properly His.

Then what did the Apostle mean by saying that the Jews must become dead to the Law? They must become dead to the Law in the sense that they had as a nation previously for 1,600 years been hoping that they might get eternal life by keeping the Law. They found they were not able to keep the Law. What, then, shall they do? St. Paul says, become dead to it, then accept Christ, and consecrate yourself, and through His merit you may come in and be members of the Anointed One.

Well, what about us Gentiles? What shall we do? We simply do the same. God never gave us the Law, nor any hope of any kind. The only hope that is set before us is the opportunity of coming into Christ by the surrender of what we have of earthly things. How much have you got? Turn your pockets inside out, dear brother. You remember how it used to be when little boys playing marbles, etc. You would turn your pocket wrong side out to see what you had, and you had some strings, a nail, a marble, and so on. You did not have very much, did you? But it was all you had you were to give. That is the proposition God makes. You may have a ranch, or a house, or not much of anything, but you have to give what you have – not only what you have now, but all you will ever have as long as you live in this world, and more than that.

Not more than that, surely?

Yes, more than that. More than you will ever have as long as you live on the earth.

What more is there?

Why, you would have naturally an inheritance coming to you on the earth. You belong to the race of Adam, and while Father Adam died a bankrupt, yet God has made a provision whereby Jesus redeemed him, and he is going to get back his estate, and the whole human family will become rich again. What are they going to get? All that was lost, the whole estate is coming back. When? During Messiah's Kingdom. So you as a human being, until you made your consecration to the Lord, had your rights in that, and I had my share in that, too. But if you want to come into this high calling you have not only to give up all that is in your possession now, and all you will have as long as you live, and consecrate it to the Lord, but you need to give up and include with it all these earthly hopes and ambitions and everything that was coming to you at any time through the redemptive work of Christ.

That would be a good deal, wouldn't it?

It just depends on how you would look at it. The Apostle Paul gives us an illustration of how properly to estimate it. You remember he had a high family station, was a Roman citizen by birth, he had a good education, wealth, good standing and great prominence in the world, besides his share in God's promises for the future. What did he have to hope for in exchange for these? Oh, he says, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God has in reservation for those who love Him, but he has revealed them to us by His spirit! We are beginning to see that the things we have sacrificed are not worthy to be compared with the glorious things God has for us. These things that are now apparently precious to us – or that once were so valuable to us, these earthly hopes, etc., have all lost their charm in the sense of being our idol, or to be compared at all with the glorious things in reservation for us. We estimate them as loss and dross that we might win Christ and be found in Him.

The Christ is the Seed of Abraham, Head and Body. If you win Christ it means you win a place in that Body of Christ, which is the Church. If you are found in Him it means that you have, by the grace of God, stayed in, and shall hear the "Well done, good and faithful servant." You have been faithful over a few things, – you cannot say that you have done very much – any of you; it fits us all, we do not accomplish very much; the Lord could have done it easier in many respects without us. The angels would have been glad to make all the communication you and I have made. He could have done it in a hundred ways without us altogether. It is a privilege, an opportunity for us. [CR369]

But, Brother Russell, that is coming too close, because we really sacrifice something.

Yes, God counts that we are sacrificing something; He is pleased to have it that way; but really this sacrificing is in your own interest, because you could never be prepared for that glory unless you would develop this spirit of obedience and loyalty, and our sacrificing means loyalty to God, the Truth and the brethren, and obedience to God and the Golden Rule. That is our covenant.

What covenant do you mean? Jesus was under the same covenant you and I have been called under, and it reads like this: Gather together my saints unto me, saith the Lord – my holy ones, all who are desirous of doing my will.

Who will you call first, Heavenly Father?

Give Jesus the first opportunity, that in everything He might have the pre-eminence. Jesus, do you want the opportunity?

Oh, yes, I delight to do thy will, O my God. I will take the first opportunity.

Then the Apostles came along, and they made the same covenant of sacrifice. And you and I have come, and we were called, and we also made the same covenant.

Then where does the natural Seed of Abraham come in? They have already received a blessing at the Lord's hands, and will receive more. It was a great blessing for God to take that people and deal with them as He did. What did He do for them? First of all He gave them trying experiences in Egypt, then He brought them through the wilderness into Canaan, and worked great signs. These were valuable lessons. He made a great history for them, and the whole nation has been blessed when they look back at that history. And the people of that time were strengthened by it. Then they were in the land of Canaan for centuries under God's special care, sometimes receiving chastisements and sometimes blessings. But they never got the great blessing of eternal life, though the other blessings were valuable. You remember the Apostle tells us that the trials, blessings, etc., God gave to natural Israel developed in them a certain special class – Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and all the prophets, and he goes on to say time would fail him to mention all the other faithful ones not so prominent as these. There were a good many throughout the Jewish age found worthy, as we learn from Hebrews 11. They have nothing yet but the promise, but the promise is good that they will have a better resurrection. When will they get it? After the whole church shall have been completed. God has ordained that the Christ shall have the pre-eminence. After the spiritual Seed of Abraham has been completed, then something will begin to be done for the natural Seed of Abraham.

Will the natural Seed of Abraham have any advantage over the remainder of the world? The Bible answers yes, that those worthy ones of the past will come up to human perfection in the resurrection, instead of coming up imperfect human beings. Will that be a better resurrection? I tell you yes; the majority of mankind will have to be raised up and up for centuries, perhaps during the thousand years, gradually attaining more and more to the perfection of human nature. And then what? They will be associated with the Kingdom. Jesus says so. He is to be on the throne, and the Church is to be with Him, invisible to men, but there will be something men can see. Jesus says, Ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets. Why? Because they will be perfect men. They will be grand examples in the world of God's likeness in the flesh. They will be the earthly phase of the Kingdom, in the sense they will represent the heavenly kingdom which the world cannot see.

Are we sure the world cannot see the heavenly kingdom?

We have Jesus' words for it. "Yet a little while and the world seeth me no more." But they will see Him represented in these perfect men, just as God is manifest in a perfect man. Adam was made in the image and likeness of God; whoever, therefore, would see a perfect man would see the best illustration he could possibly see of a spirit being. No man can see God and live, and since our Lord Jesus by his change to the Divine nature is the express image of his Father's person, therefore no man can see Him and live. And when the Church shall experience her change she shall be like her Lord, and no man will see her.

Then the whole world will come into subjection to that Kingdom. The spiritual Seed of Abraham will be in the Kingdom glory, and those in the earthly dominion will be princes in all the earth, as the Scriptures describe them. These will be Abraham's natural seed. When the Kingdom is set up, all the blessings of God will go to those who are really Israel. The first representatives of Israel in the flesh will be Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets, and then we think all the promised blessings will rest with them, – no one outside. Only by coming into relationship with this company will any get a blessing at all in the Millennial age. We think they will want to get in very fast. It will be like it is here in America: there are certain blessings and privileges to be secured by getting citizenship here, and you will find people flocking here from Italy, Spain, France, Sweden – everywhere – and becoming citizens, so they may enjoy the blessings and privileges that belong here. That is exactly the picture God gives. They are all going to become Israelites in the future; everybody is going to press into that nation.

What will the terms be?

The terms will be full surrender, abandonment of sin, consecration to God, faith in God, trust in Him, and loyalty and obedience to this great Kingdom of God.

Who will come in first?

I don't know, but I think a good many who will come in early will be the natural Israelites, because what will be offered to mankind will be more in line with what the Jews have been expecting than anything else in the world. It will be really what they have been expecting. I think of one Jew that said not a great while ago, after hearing something about the Divine plan, and how God was going to restore Israel to His favor, and that instead of being outcasts any longer they would be brought near to God's favor, as St. Paul explains in Romans 11. He said, I own eleven scrap yards, and, Oh, if I could believe that is true I would be ready to sell every one of them. The Jew still has in his mind somehow that Messiah and his Kingdom are coming, and that the blessing of Abraham is yet to come to the world. He does not know what to make of all this that has been going on for 1,800 years. He is greatly puzzled to know why Lazarus should have been taken into Abraham's bosom as Abraham's child, and why he should seemingly be rejected and be an outcast and in trouble; but his eyes are going to open. God will pour upon them at the proper moment the spirit of prayer and supplication, and they shall look on Him whom they pierced. They will begin to see something of God's mystery then, how it was necessary that one should redeem them before anybody could restore them. They will begin to get the key to the Divine plan of the ages, and that it rests in the cross of Christ. All the blind eyes by and by will see, but I believe the Jews will be amongst the first to see and the first to be blessed on the earthly plane.

And then who next, Brother Russell?

Well, my dear brother, I would rather incline to hope there is a certain class of Christian people that have been considerably misled and confused, and after they shall begin to get their eyes open a little they will see that some of the things that were believed by those foolish Millennial Dawn people are coming true, and they will begin to study. The Bible intimates they will – that the foolish virgins will get the oil, and that they also will want to knock and come into harmony with God.

And thus the message will gradually spread, and all nations will get to know by and by that it is really God's Kingdom, and that it is established, and that by coming in and becoming Israelites, by becoming Abraham's Seed, they will get the blessings. There will be a great rush to get in, I think. Every nation, people, kindred and tongue will have an opportunity. And finally in the end of the Millennial age all the evil doers having been destroyed, there will not be any but Abraham's Seed in the whole world – a great number that no man could estimate. And they will all need the trial that God there prescribes. Having demonstrated that they could be loyal during the favorable conditions of Christ's Messianic Kingdom, when every wrong-doing shall be punished and every well-doing blessed, they will then be tried to see whether they would be all right if left alone and the Kingdom would be withdrawn. Jesus will deliver up the Kingdom to God, the Father, and then will come the great trial. Satan will be loosed for a little while, then there will be opportunity for sin to prevail – a test for all those perfect beings to determine whether they are loving God or not, whether they are loyal to the principles of righteousness or not. And all of those not found loyal to truth and righteousness and God will be destroyed from amongst the people, even as you burn brambles, and tares, and things that are cumbering the earth. Or, as St. Peter says, natural brute beasts are destroyed. [CR370]

So, dear brethren, the test to them will be loyalty; and let me say in conclusion this is the test upon you and I now. It is not merely if you will be whipped into line. The Lord wants more than a person who has merely to be whipped into here, and then whipped into there, and then whipped into the other place. He wants not merely those who fear to do wrong, but those who love to do right and hate the wrong. That is the class He is choosing, and now it remains for you and for me to develop character and to stand the test. If we have the right conception of matters, there is only a little while longer in which you will have the opportunity of proving your character, and I of proving mine. All of those found worthy to walk with him in white because they are worthy shall have the best beyond the vail, and the door to the High Calling will be shut. Then will come the tribulation, and then gradually out of the tribulation will come the second company class – all overcomers, indeed, but not to that highest glory.

Let us show our loyalty so surely to the Lord that He may be pleased to make us joint-heirs with His Son in the Kingdom. Amen.

Tacoma, Washington

Our next stop was at Tacoma, Wash., and here we found the class had grown in grace, knowledge and zeal since our visit two years previously. We received a warm welcome from the Bible Students – and also from the preachers. The latter, however, was of a different nature from that extended to us by the Bible Students. It was the same old story of Satan coming also, and wherever the light goes the agents of darkness try to make trouble.

However, there is another phase to the matter, for, as of old, "the common people heard him (Jesus) gladly," so today the common people hear Pastor Russell gladly, as the following item from one of the Tacoma papers attests:

(Tacoma Tribune, June 19, 1913.)


Noted Evangelist Arrives in City for a Big Meeting – Declares the People Demand Light

Report by Berthe Knatvold

"Moving pictures – the right kind of moving pictures – are certainly agents of uplift. In our new temple in New York we will show films presenting creation from nebula to flying machines, three times a day.

"If the preacher would hold audiences, he must feed the multitude.

"There is a famine in the land. Not a famine for bread, but for the knowledge of the Lord.

"Brother Calvin fed the people on predestination for several centuries, and they were too terrified to cry out for other food.

"Along come the evolutionists, the preachers of the higher intelligence, and say: 'Here is the soul-satisfying doctrine for you. Your ancestor was a monkey.'

"The world is pretty fairly civilized from Timbuctoo to Tacoma. The traveler no longer confronts the cannibal king, reposing in the shade of a palm tree and gnawing a human limb.

"Just as the appointed time for electric lights has come, so also has come the time for the greater spiritual light." – PASTOR RUSSELL.

Pastor Russell is a man of indefinite age and mystifying placidity. An expressionless face, guiltless of furrows as though composed of substance less prone to change than suffering, wasting flesh, shaven free of the patriarchal beard which beclouds its borders, contradicts its own two dominant features. A straight, narrow mouth, drawn out to grim contact with the parenthesis which curve from nose to chin, and two large, luminous eyes seem to monopolize the energies and to leave the other portions of the physiognomy untouched by emotion, even by thought.

He was sitting in his compartment in the Pullman which is a unit in the "International Bible Students' Special" of 10 coaches and 276 passengers, when I called for the interview arranged several days ago. The blinds were up, and along the cement promenade lines of "students" moved, none passing without a look fraught with significance, and many stopping to raise children in their arms for a glimpse of "Brother Russell." Indeed, so constant were the interruptions of this kind that the blinds had to be lowered and the flock shut away from view of the pastor, lest the coherence of the interview be lost.

And this was the man, this elderly gentleman whose undeniable personality radiated through the swathings of fleshy and emotional serenity in which it was enveloped as in an aura – this was the man whom critics and opposing clergymen labeled "colossal fraud," "faker," "charlatan." This man beaming tranquilly under the resplendent sheen of the high silk hat reposing like a crown laid aside to give the weary sovereign head pause from power, on the rack above him – this was the man whose worst enemies admitted, gave his message free to the world – asking no guarantee for lectures, taking no collections. This was the man who rumor had it had not only laid by treasure in heaven, but had a considerable store of the treasure which moth and rust can corrupt, accumulated by the sales of books, offered to the public when the thought was best attuned to purchase – directly after lectures. This was the man whose followers adored as "pastor," and whose critics denounced as the commercializer of religion. [CR371]


"I have just returned from the Orient," he said when the formalities were over, the blinds pulled and the interview was under way. "And I was astonished at the development along intellectual lines, which I found prevalent everywhere. The cannibal king no longer gnaws a human bone as he sits in the shade of a palm. The Chinese are not barbarians nor the Japanese heathens, nor the Indians unregenerate. Christian missionaries have made little headway converting the intellectual classes of those ancient lands. In India they have found they cannot get them to their churches – so they have built colleges. Eager for new world knowledge, the Indians have enrolled in the colleges, absorbed what they had to offer – and repudiated the religious teachings after graduation. The missionaries have done good among the lower classes. They have certainly been useful to the poor natives – rice being given in equal shares with doctrine – and they have taught low caste women to be more like ladies – to do less work, a doctrine readily absorbed.

"The educated classes refuse to believe that their ancestors, who were men of culture when our forefathers still wielded stone axes, are suffering eternal torture. They will not accept the teaching. If we are to convert them to our way of thinking, we must ourselves think something better than they think – not something worse. In China I looked at the ugly brass and bronze and lacquer gods in a temple and realizing that the Chinese did not worship those things of metal and wood, but strove through them to concentrate on the ideas they represented, I realized that Christendom had long worshipped uglier gods than those. We do not forge our gods of metal – but have we not, for centuries, written with printers' ink and with the finer substances of our minds, more heathen pictures of God than the Chinese?

"We are getting away from our bondage to the gods of fear and dread and torment. Enlightenment has come. Three hundred years ago Brother Calvin fed the people on predestination and eternal punishment, and they were too terrified to cry out for other food. Then came the evolutionists in this latter day, crying in the wilderness: 'Here is the soul-satisfying doctrine for you. Your ancestor was a monkey.' But that is a side issue, just as ugly and impossible as its predecessor. Newspapers and magazines have set the world thinking, and where there is thought there follows rational conclusion. God is no longer a dread presence, here or hereafter. Just as the appointed time for electric lights has come, so has come the time for spiritual light. The world is now a gridiron of rails and wires – and the greater wonders are already at their dawn. We no longer believe in hell fire – we refuse to entertain the thought of eternal punishment. We are beginning to argue the other way – for eternal progress, everlasting betterment for all.


"The International Bible Students' Association has just donated its Sixty-third street temple in New York to the public as an agent for uplift. It will be a moving picture theater for the public. Moving pictures – the right kind of moving pictures – are certainly agents for uplift, they inspire thought. In our temple we will present films showing the process of creation from nebula to flying machines, three times a day. Other rare films, presenting Bible incidents, views of foreign lands, etc., will be shown every day of the year. We must all get together and push enlightenment along."

The International Bible Students' Special arrived in Tacoma from Portland over the Northern Pacific tracks at 7 o'clock this morning. A reception committee from the local Bible Students' Association, headed by Mr. and Mrs. J. M. Fleetwood, who are personally entertaining Pastor Russell at their home, 902 North Sheridan street, welcomed the visitors.

Prior to the meeting at the Temple of Music this afternoon, the entire party was conveyed in special cars to some of the interesting points in the city, including the stadium. The advance agents for Pastor Russell had hoped to arrange a meeting in the stadium at which he could address the people of Tacoma, but owing to the regulations governing the uses of the stadium and to the uncertainty of the weather, the project was dropped.

At 8 o'clock this evening Pastor Russell will speak in the Tacoma Theater. No entrance fee will be charged and no collection will be taken. At the meeting hymns will be sung by the audience, assisted by the full quota of the traveling "students," nearly 280 in number. These are trained singers, having traveled with Pastor Russell on his tour of the country.

Following tonight's meeting the party will return to the special train and Seattle will be the next stop. After that the line will be crossed into British Columbia and a zig-zag course back to New York will be taken.

Opposition by Preachers

AS WE remarked at the beginning, the preachers did their best to thwart our meetings and to influence the people against coming out to hear Pastor Russell, but in spite of their attack 1,800 came to the public service, and of these 275 handed in their names requesting literature. We give herewith the newspaper report of the attack by the preachers and Pastor Russell's reply:

(From Tacoma Tribune.)


Rev. E. L. Benedict of Mason M. E. Church in Statement Scores Evangelist

Attacking Pastor Russell "for sailing under false pretenses," Rev. E. L. Benedict of the Mason M. E. Church today declared the evangelist had made a fortune by selling books and wheat, using his religion as a means to raise money.

In his statement Rev. Benedict said:

"Pastor Russell sails under false colors regarding the running of his church. He claims to charge nothing for his services, takes no collections and pays his own bills. This immediately places every other church which does take collections in a false light. The facts are: Pastor Russell, by preaching the end of the world in 1914, makes people believe that their money is of no use after that date, and easily gets hold of it.

"Another game that is worked by Pastor Russell's followers is the selling of "miracle wheat" at $1 a pound. We are informed that his man, Mr. Bohnet, sold $100,000 worth of miracle wheat at $1 a pound, and while Pastor Russell claims not to have sold the wheat, yet Mr. Bohnet has his office in Pastor Russell's church and Pastor Russell got the money for the publication of his tracts. Pastor Russell's connection with the Union Bank of Brooklyn is not in harmony with the thought of the modern ministry. If we pursued such methods for raising money we would not have to take a collection in church, either.

"We object to Pastor Russell because of the way his agents have of fooling the public about his literature. They change the name of their literature from time to time, so that the unsuspecting church member does not know the name of the denomination. They call it the "People's Pulpit," the "Interdenominational Religious Newspaper," "The Bible Students' Monthly," etc. By this method they pull a number out of the churches under false statements or else get them dissatisfied. In their method of disposing of his four volume library on millennial dawnism, their agents invariably deny being connected with any church. Many people get this library, thinking it is not sectarian and interdenominational.

"Pastor Russell takes passages of scripture, mainly from the allegorical chapters of Daniel, and old testament prophesy, twisting them all out of their setting, and applies them to this age in which we live. Pastor Russell sets up a bogy man called "a literal fire in hell" and accuses us ministers of preaching a literal fire. I have been preaching for 18 years, and I have never preached a literal fire nor have I heard any other minister preach a literal fire. Anybody [CR372] with common sense knows that we do not need a literal fire to burn up a soul. Pastor Russell teaches a future probation. He says it is the business of the church (meaning his church) to brush up the saints and that the mass of the world are all going to the devil. But in this new earth, during this millennial reign, these polished saints will give another opportunity for these terrible sinners to repent. It is for this reason and to satisfy his religious calamity theory that the committee that made the tour of the world reported that foreign missions in different foreign lands was virtually a failure.

"When such men as William H. Taft, Theodore Roosevelt and William J. Bryan speak in great praise of the work of foreign missions, we prefer to believe them, instead of Pastor Russell's calamity hunters. We take issue with Pastor Russell on his exploded theory of "soul sleeping." Pastor Russell would try to make us believe that when we go through the little gate called death, the soul goes into the ground, there to smoulder with the decomposing body until the resurrection. The Bible in unmistakable terms says, 'Dust thou art and unto dust shall thou return, but the spirit shall return to God who gave it.' Another reason why we cannot accept Pastor Russell doctrinally is his 'end of the world fallacy.' He has it all figured out by Scripture that the world is coming to an end in 1914.

"The Advents, of which Pastor Russell is first cousin, made themselves the laughing stock of the world by several times setting a date when the world should come to an end, and 'the world still do move.'"

Dr. Hugo P. J. Sellinger, professor of religious education and sociology at University of Puget Sound, in a statement said:

"Outside of the late Alexander Dowie, founder of Zionism, in my opinion, Pastor Russell is the most monumental religious faker of the age. He is one of the few men who have been able to take a segment of religious truth and by ingenious perversion make it appeal to the popular imagination.

"Pastor Russell stands for the immoral doctrine of conditional immortality, which is merely to say that you can follow every lascivious and pervert bend of your imagination or inclination without, in the end, having to be held accountable for it.

"Pastor Russell is a man of strong animal magnetism, gives one the very strong impression that he is in the pursuit of his movement for revenue and for revenue alone. It must be utterly denied that he is rendering service to humanity or to humanity's God in the spirit of the Gallilean, who said: 'If any one would be greatest among you let him be servant of all.'"

Rev. Thomas W. Lane of the First Methodist church said: "I have no use for him. I came from the same section of the country where he made records I do not care to discuss, for I fear they would get me into trouble. I have no confidence in him. I have no use for him."

Rev. H. T. Mitchelmoore, acting for Rev. Murdoch McLeod, says of Russell:

"Let Professor Moorehead speak for me; the millennial dawnism of C. T. Russell is a mixture of universalism, second probation and restorationism and the Swedenborgen method of exegesis. Let the reader remember that imposition is not exposition, nor is eisegesis, exegesis. Mr. Russell constantly employs both. He imposes on scripture his views and reads into it that which never entered the mind of the inspired writer.

"Men and women of force do not follow Russell. Equally manifest is the sincere piety and Godly character of many of his followers, when God in His infinite mercy preserved His people from being deceived and betrayed by His counterfeit of Christianity."

Pastor Russell in Reply to Critics

Editor of The Tribune: I am requested to reply briefly to the charges of my critics reported in your yesterday's issue.

On some points my opponents are misinformed, on others they are evidently prejudiced and spiteful. The basis of their opposition is stated by Rev. Benedict. They are opposed to me because, without taking up collections or making any solicitation for money, I am preaching to thousands almost daily, while they have but few hearers even on Sundays. They are specially vexed that a newspaper syndicate representing nearly 2,000 editors are weekly placing my sermons in the hands of more than 12,000,000 of readers. A further grievance is that the public are buying and reading my books "Bible Keys" in 19 languages, to the extent of 8,000,000 of copies.

The proposition with these ministers seems to be "What can we do to prejudice the people against this man and his writings?" When, therefore, they attempt to state my views, etc., it is not to inform the public, but to deceive them – to prejudice them so that they will not hear me, nor read my writings.


They fear that all the thinking people of all denominations will be convinced by my message. Therefore, they declare that only imbecile crossheads would be deluded by it!

Do they fear that all or nearly all of their people are imbecile? or why do they think worth while opposing what they describe as insane? The public is getting wise respecting their objects and methods.

Yet, those who hear me know that I never speak an unkind word respecting any minister. I do, however, smite the creeds of the Dark Ages hip and thigh!


I challenge a single unkind remark or exaggeration in the report made by a committee of seven of which I was chairman.

Indeed, the report was too moderate. That committee of the International Bible Students' Association are all deeply interested in the heathen, and laboring for their true enlightenment. Within the past year they have printed 4,000,000 of tracts in the 10 most prominent languages of the East, and have put them into the hands of the benighted ones.

This is more than all other missionary and Bible students' societies together accomplished. And no one was asked to give a dollar. It all came freely from loyal Christian purses.


What perverseness moves a minister of Christ, a minister of truth, to slander a brother minister or anybody else? Why tell what he does not know to be the truth? I have no knowledge of the Union Bank of Brooklyn. I heard that it failed through the dishonesty of its officials. I never was inside its doors; never was financially nor otherwise connected with it; nor do I know who were its directors.

"Miracle Wheat" is a new variety of wheat discovered and so named by a farmer at Fincastle, Va. I copied an item about it from a newspaper in my religious journal, which carries no advertisements. Three years later one of the readers wrote me that he had bought some of the miracle wheat at $1.25 per pound and found it very prolific – up to 3,000 grains from one seed. He sold some of it and donated to the society of which I am the president.

The following year he and another donated 18 bushels, fixed the price at $1 per pound and asked that it be mentioned in my journal and that we bear the trouble of mailing it. I merely gave their reports and a copy of a report by United States government expert. The wheat was sold and in all $1,800 was thus donated by these two friends to the work done last year amongst the heathen. No one ever complained of the wheat, and all were offered "money back" if not satisfied.

If anybody has a microscope that will show anything wrong with this, we would like to have a look through it. We presume the wrong was that it was not "raffled at 10 cents per grain," or grab-bagged for at a church fair!


Rev. Benedict knows of no preaching of a fiery hell in Tacoma. Good. But what kind of a hell do they preach here since the people will no longer come to hear them describe [CR373] the fiery one? I wonder if the people who have heard these ministers preach for years know what kind of a hell the local reverends have made for them – or rather for the masses of Tacoma people who do not go to church?

By the way, who gave these ministers authority to change hell from what their forefathers and their creeds fixed it to be!

Ah! perhaps Rev. Benedict is the preacher we heard of who declared that – "There is no literal fiery hell, but there is a hell of gnawings of conscience which is still worse."

Poor humanity! How they need the very message that is now stirring up classes of Bible students all over the world! How they need to know exactly what the Bible hell is and just what salvation from it is to be! I now offer to your readers, free, a pamphlet which gives every text of the Bible containing the word hell, and shows the original Greek and Hebrew words and makes the whole subject plain and clear as a crystal. It also explains the parable of the "Sheep and Goats" and of the "Rich Man and Lazarus." It contains just what the bible students need and want to know, and just what my critics do not want them to know about. Their motto would seem to be, "Keep the people in ignorance." A postcard addressed Pastor Russell, Brooklyn, N. Y., will bring your readers free copies of that pamphlet with my best wishes for their present and future.


One critic says I work upon the fears of the foolish by telling them the world will soon end. I assure your readers that this is untrue. I do believe and teach that the present age is about to end, but that "the earth abideth for ever." I tell that the coming age is to be one of great blessing to the race as a whole, and that present-day blessings are but foregleams of that blessed time.

But note how dishonest the accusation. Every creed represented by my critics teaches that the world is to be burned up! And these preachers say, "Yes, but no one knows when. It may occur tonight!" Rev. Morehead, quoted by one of the critics, declares that he goes to bed every night expecting that Christ's second coming may be before morning!

All my critics are angry about is that I get the money and the hearers and they do not; and I don't tell them how it is done.

Very truly yours,



JUST to let Thy Father do what He will;
Just to know that He is true, and be still.
Just to follow, hour by hour, as He leadeth;
Just to draw the moment's power, as it needeth.
Just to trust Him, this is all. Then the day will surely be
Peaceful, whatso'er befall, bright and blessed, calm and free.

Just to let Him speak to thee, through His Word,
Watching, that His voice may be clearly heard.
Just to tell Him everything, as it rises,
And at once to bring to Him all surprises.
Just to listen, and to stay where you cannot miss His voice,
This is all! and thus today, you, communing, shall rejoice.

Just to trust, and yet to ask guidance still;
Take the training or the task, as He will.
Just to take the loss or gain, as He sends it;
Just to take the joy or pain as He lends it.
He who formed thee for His praise will not miss the gracious aim;
So today, and all thy days, shall be moulded for the same.

Just to leave in His dear hand little things;
All we cannot understand, all that stings.
Just to let Him take the care sorely pressing;
Finding all we let Him bear changed to blessing.
This is all! and yet the way marked by Him who loves thee best:
Secret of a happy day, secret of His promised rest.


Activity in the Harvest

OUR TEXT is found in the Apostle's quotation from the Old Testament, "Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light." (Eph. 5:14.) Our text may be applied to the world in general first. The world in general is asleep. In one sense of the word it is dead. The death sentence passed upon all. As we know, the whole world is said to be dead in trespasses and in sins, dead under Divine sentence. Our first parents having disobeyed God, we, being in their loins, shared with them the sentence that came upon them. But this death sentence that was passed upon all has been transmuted, or changed, by the Lord to be a sentence to sleep for a while and then to be awakened. God had this in His glorious purpose from before the foundation of the world; as the Bible tells us that Jesus in the divine program was the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world. God knew exactly what He intended to do. He intended to redeem the human family and, therefore, because He purposed this redemption and restitution by awakening from the sleep of death, He always speaks of this when speaking to those who know Him, those who believe Him, not as a death state, but as a sleep state; as, for instance, Abraham slept with his fathers. And just so our Lord Jesus called our attention to the fact that God said, "I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." God would not speak of Himself as being the God of anybody who was dead in the sense of being extinct, for whom there would be no future life. Therefore, Jesus, in reasoning out this subject with the Scribes, declared that this was proof of the resurrection of the dead. Not a proof that the dead were alive, nor that they did not need a resurrection, but a proof that the dead would rise because God said respecting these that He was still their God, thus recognizing them as still having some right in God's great arrangement to a share in the future life by a resurrection secured through the redemption accomplished by our Lord Jesus' death. So, then, in this text the Apostle is saying that those who are thus asleep, those who are thus with the dead world, should awake. "Awake, thou that sleepest in the dust" – rise up superior to the remainder of mankind, wake up, realize what and where you are. That brings to our attention that the majority of the human family seem to be passing through life in a kind of a maze; they are not awake; they seem to be going about as in a dream; they are not thinking of any of the important things of life, as a rule, but they are thinking of the trivialities of life, what they shall eat, what they shall drink, wherewithal they shall be clothed, where they are going to get some pleasure, who will entertain them – those are the trifling things the world thinks about, instead of thinking of the weighty things, the things that pertain to God, to the Divine will, to the future and everlasting life.

There is a picture that is known as the "Soul's Awakening." It represents a young girl sitting in meditation, with a book in her hand; she is bending her eyes and looking toward the Lord – into space. The thought that the picture gives to my mind is, that here is a young person who has been in the ordinary affairs of life hitherto, but now has seemed to get the eyes of understanding open, seemed to come out of the sleep, as it were, seemed to awaken. The body was awake before that, but now the soul is awake to think about God and the things of the future, about the meaning of the Word of God.

I presume that picture represents something in the experience of practically all who have come to the Lord. There has been an awakening of the soul first, and it is to this that the Scripture seemingly has an application, Awake, thou that sleepest, arise now from the dead. What then? Christ shall give thee light. But we need to awake. And this is the first thought we should have in sympathy with those who are still away from the Lord, who have never yet heard the voice of the Lord. Blessed are your eyes for they have seen, and your ears for they have heard. Things come to us we did not think of before, we have had the soul awakening. We are thinking about what the Lord has to say to us. You know some of the world have been steeped in sin and degradation, and living for the world merely, and never seem to think of anything at all; they heard and never paid heed; they heard about heaven, and about the Lord, yet it never seemed to go in. Then came a time when they somehow or other experienced a soul awakening; they realized they were sinners and there was a sentence against them. Perhaps they got the right view that the sentence was death, but more likely the wrong view that it would be torment. From the moment of awakening it meant a crisis in their lives; how would they respond? Would they come near to God and get a blessing, or would they turn from God and wander off into greater darkness, greater sin, and be more difficult than ever to reach with the message? Perhaps in your case, as in mine, it was not a case of awakening out of a condition of sin, but we had been God's people all our lives, had never known anything else. I am sure that is the case with a great many people who are of the Lord's family; trained as Christian children, they never knew anything except the Bible, hymns and prayers; and yet the soul was not awake. It was going through the form of singing the hymns without really thinking of what the words meant. They were asleep – somnambulism, as it were, going around half stupid, not knowing what they did or said. I had my own experiences in that way. I remember very well the period of my soul awakening. It was when I was about 15 years of age, and I thought, as I looked at that picture called "Soul's Awakening," that the young person in the picture looked to be about 15, and that gave me the thought that perhaps there were a great many of about that age when they reach thoughtful conditions. There seems to be a great change, you know, in human nature about that time, and it is a splendid time for the forces of spiritual growth to come toward these, and for parents and guardians to have in mind that it is a very favorable time for soul awakening. I do not mean to say that we should delay our endeavor to bring the child to a knowledge of the Lord. Quite to the contrary, from the time the child is born it should always be trained in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. We believe the training of the child should begin nine months before it is born, in order that the child may be properly born, in order that the parental mind may have the proper influence on that child. The best opportunity you will have in the whole experience, so that the proper thoughts of justice, and love, and mercy, and kindness, and gentleness, and reverence toward God, may be impressed upon the child mind is prior to its birth. I have a good deal of confidence in that. As I look about me in the world and see how farmers are careful of their stock, and how they try to get the best blends of nature, etc., and see how husbandmen and florists are careful with respect to the flowers, trees, etc., then I think how strange it is that untrained minds are not careful with their children, which are a million times more valuable in comparison. As parents and guardians, we should be specially alert as children are reaching the age of from 10 to 15, the most favorable time, according to the disposition of the child. If they pass that opportunity, in my opinion the chances are they will pass other opportunities further on. That is the most favorable time for opportunities looking toward the soul's awakening, getting their mental eyes open to see things in a new light, to look beyond the trivial affairs of the present time, – from broomstick horses and rag dolls to higher thoughts. And, if your experience has been anything like mine, it is this: that children of from about 12 to 16 reason just about as well as they will ever reason all [CR375] their lives. That seems remarkable to be true, but my experience teaches me that children reason with a great deal of accuracy at that age, and it is after that that their minds become perverted by false reasoning, and they get the brain powers mixed up; they don't know how to think or what to think; they are getting ideas crowded on one another, and they are learning what deceitfulness is – learning it from neighbors, teachers, friends, or parents, as the case may be, and the honesty that belongs naturally to the minds of many children seems sure to take its flight. Of course, ages, and conditions, and children, differ. I am merely making general suggestions.

We should be on the lookout, then, for all of this, and remember the words of the text. If they can arise as little children with their minds in good condition before they have sown their wild oats, all the better. And yet, strange to say, I have known parents, and Christian parents, too, who have said, Well, I think all children must sow their wild oats. How strange that a Christian parent should so reason! Sow your wild oats and you will reap your wild oats, too. "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap" – no getting away from it. So my thought is that the child mind from its very earliest opportunity should be kept near to the Divine standard. The parents should be able to express to the child in sympathetic terms these qualities which the child mind is so ready to receive, just like a sponge sucks up water. The mind of the child is ready to absorb very fully the thoughts that are given by sincere parents, or by any person in whom the child has confidence. One great difficulty seems to be that children lose confidence in those whom they know very well if they find them deceitful. No matter if you have never deceived the child, if it finds out you have deceived other people, or practiced falsehood in any way, its mind is perverted, it loses faith, it keeps that same dishonesty of purpose and thought. Indeed, I have known parents that seemed to think it something wise and proper to teach children to be thrifty, to take advantage of somebody else, and to "fib" a little. I trust that none who have come to a knowledge of Present Truth, and who are before me in this audience today, could have such sentiments, but I am mentioning the matter on general grounds, and not with a view of making any specific application of the matter to anybody within the hearing of my voice; for I trust that by the grace of God, having learned the right way ourselves, we are prepared to point the right way to our children and to all with whom we have influence.

Those who do awaken should arise. It is quite possible to awaken and then go to sleep again. Try it in the morning and see. When you first awake there is a certain amount of freshness to the mind, but, if you turn over and doze a little, you may go sound to sleep again. Just so with the soul's awakening. That is a favorable moment to take advantage of; it means so much blessing; but, if the soul turn around drowsily, or has no encouragement at the proper time, it may drop off to sleep again. So we should encourage those who have awakened to arise from the dead world and be separate from those around them.

What would be the result, then? The next statement of our text is, "And Christ shall give thee light." He does not give light to those who are not awake. "Light is sown for the righteous and gladness for the upright in heart." These are approaching righteousness; they have a righteous desire and are approaching uprightness; they have been down and in arising from the dead they are getting upright. The dead are represented as being down. These arise from the dead, and become upright in character, upright in desire, and that is the kind the Lord is pleased to give light to.

What kind of light did he give to us at that time? I am not speaking of Christians; they have not been Christians yet; to merely awake, merely arise from the dead, is not to be a Christian. He gave us the light to see this, first of all, that as sinners we have no hope of everlasting life, that the wages of sin is death, but that the gift of God is everlasting life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Then we must accept Christ, must somehow come in conjunction with Him, must lay hold on Him.

And then what? Then we must go on in the light and encourage one another. I have an idea some of us have at times made a mistake in the way of talking a great deal of truth to people without showing them the important point. Here is the point: Truth is for the righteous; truth is for those who have taken their stand on righteousness, on the side of the Lord, and we are trying to tell them the truth without their taking the stand that God does not wish them to know the truth without their taking. They may only understand a certain limited part. It is to their advantage not to understand beyond, for with an increase of light comes an increase of responsibility. God will not open their eyes beyond a certain degree unless they take certain steps. How kind are all of the Divine arrangements! Blessing there, plenty of it, and yet limited to the human will.

Then, after they have responded and said, I see I must come to the Father through you; tell me what I shall do in order to be an heir of eternal life? then the Master tells them the terms. The light is shining more. The Lord now says, If you desire to be my disciple, you must deny yourself and take up your cross and follow Me; then where I am there shall that disciple be. Unless they take that step, the light will not probably shine much more clearly. They that walk in the light as He is in the light, for them the light is intended, and they go on from grace to grace, from knowledge to knowledge – just as you put one foot forward first and then the other foot forward, then the other and so on. You may progress in the way of light, for the path of the just is as a shining light that shines more and more until the perfect day. So, then, this message of the Lord to us is full consecration.

When do we become members of the Body of Christ? Not when we wake up, not when we first rise from the dead. That is a great mistake many of us made in the past; we did not know what it meant to be a Christian. We were merely looking toward Christianity, merely getting the soul awakening to see that there is such a thing as harmony with God, and escape the condemnation that is on the world. There is still condemnation upon all except those who are in Christ Jesus. The Apostle truly says, Therefore there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus and who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit. It is from the moment we get into Christ Jesus that we lose all condemnation, and it is from the time that we lose the condemnation of death that came on our race through Adam, that we begin to have the opportunity of life, because, you see, it is a trial for life. The first trial for life was given to father Adam, and, when he failed, condemnation came on all. Now no man can be tried twice unless in the meantime he has been cleared of the previous condemnation, when it is a capital offense. That is the end of the matter. Now we, as a race, were sentenced to death by God's Law, "Dying thou shalt die." The whole race is under it. Nobody can have a second trial through Christ until he gets out from under the first condemnation that came through Adam, and so merely the awakening does not give us our second trial. Arising from the dead, and seeking to live an honest, decent life, would not mean that we had passed into trial. It is only the Church that is on trial; the world is not on trial at all. Not until after you come into the Body of Christ and have Christ's merit imputed to you to cover your imperfections and to make you acceptable sacrifices can you come into relationship with God at all. Thus He makes certain terms with you by which you can become heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ, your Lord. No one is on trial for eternal life except those who have been begotten of the Holy Spirit, because all the race are still under condemnation of the Adamic sin. Does not that make it clear who is on trial now, and who will be on trial by and by. The world's judgment lies in the future, and the Church's judgment commences the moment any one of us comes into the Church. It has been going on for nearly 1,900 years. The head of the Church has been tried first and found worthy – "Worthy is the Lamb." He was glorified. The apostles were tried, and the Church all the way down has been under trial. By and by the Church's trials will be finished, the last member will pass beyond the vail and enter into the joys of His Lord. Only those thus begotten of the spirit are on trial for life on the spirit plane, whether they get the highest place, the Divine nature, members of the Royal Priesthood, or whether they get a lower place on that spirit plane as members of the Levite class, the greater company. And St. Paul says, in the sixth chapter of his letter to the Hebrews6, that those who have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the age to come, and been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, if they shall fall away and turn their back on the Savior, their portion would be the second death. But that would not be very many, for the world has not tasted the good Word of God and the powers of the age to come, and been made partakers of the Holy Spirit. [CR376]

Amongst those who have come into Christ are included you and myself, I trust, – and not us merely; we should not think that merely those who are associated with the Bible Students' Association would be the elect of God, but all who belong to the Lord, whether Methodists, Presbyterians, Lutherans or Catholics, whatever they may be, if they belong to Christ, though they may have more or less ignorance of the Lord and His plan, and of the Bible, yet, if they belong to the Lord, He is their head, He is to be the guide and He will be the instructor. And in the School of Christ they must be brought to a certain amount of development where they will be ready for the Kingdom. To some who have come into the Church of Christ we might apply our text and say, "Awake, thou that sleepest." I am not sure but what a good many of the Church are asleep. The Apostle seems in the very connection of this text to imply that some of God's people who have escaped from the world and the bondage of sin and death, and have come into Christ as New Creatures, have gone to sleep on the matter, sleeping with the world, overcharged with the cares of this life, Jesus says, and they are in danger. The sleepy ones will not be in the Kingdom. The Apostle says that we are not of them that sleep, but we are children of the day, so, therefore, be awake and sober, looking for the great salvation that is to be brought unto us. There is a certain sense in which, if we go to sleep now as Christians, we become overcharged with the cares of this life; it is usually with the world that is dead, whether it be by intermarrying with the world, and thus have the spirit of the world brought close to us and are overcome by the influences of it, or whether it be by business entanglements, or alliances, or partnerships, or what not, that may not be favorable to our spiritual interests and consecration to God. There is a great danger that after you become one of the Lord's people, after you have become thoroughly awake, after you are a member of the Body of Christ, and after understanding a good deal of the Truth even, you might become overcharged with the cares of this life and the deceitfulness of riches. Probably you might get the deceitfulness of riches without getting the riches; just as many people and more get into trouble without the riches as with the riches; it is trying to get the riches that has the deceitful part to it.

My text is also applicable to the future age. We considered the world and its awakening, and the Christian and his awakening and staying awake, now look forward and see that this same text will apply to the world during the Millennial Age. The world will be asleep, some of them asleep in death, and some of them asleep in ignorance and superstition, but there will be a great racket at the beginning of that new day, and the majority of people who are not in their graves will certainly get awake. I think I see that some of the worldly people are even getting awake now, and, as the racket goes on and the day of trouble comes, I think the whole world is going to get awake, and then Christ will give them light. The whole thousand years will be a time of arising from the dead. Not merely those who are in their graves will arise from the dead, but all those who will be living at the time the Kingdom is established, and before any are awakened from the tomb, will begin to get awake and arise from sin and evil conditions, trying to get up a little higher, and more awake, and get more of the blessings that will be coming at that time from the glorious Sun of Righteousness, the Lord Himself and the Church with Him. Christ and the Church are in the Scriptures represented as being the Sun of Righteousness that will arise with healing in its beams. Then the poor world that is in sorrow, and pain, and sighing, and crying, that has been afflicted of the Devil for 6,000 years, will begin to look up to the great Redeemer for deliverance from the power of the Devil, and the Devil will be bound for that 1,000 years and have no power to deceive them any more, and the true light will shine out and all the darkness will be scattered. Glory to God for that!

Will they all awake? The Word says that all the blind eyes shall be opened, and all the deaf ears unstopped, and the knowledge of the glory of God shall fill the whole earth as the waters cover the great deep, until none shall any longer say to his neighbor and brother, Know thou the Lord, because all shall know Him from the least unto the greatest.

How about those who will prefer to be asleep and won't arise from the dead state? The Bible indicates that a hundred years of patience on the part of the Lord Jesus as the great King and Priest will give the opportunity to every one of those to reconsider and to take the proper view and to respond, and to love righteousness and hate iniquity, and, if by the end of that hundred years they are not found in harmony with God, they shall be destroyed from among the people. There will be no further opportunity for them; they will have had all that was ever intended for them by Divine wisdom.

On the contrary, those who will be awake and come to the light the Lord will give more and more light. It will not be the perfect day all at once. That great Sun of Righteousness, like our natural sun which is the picture of it, will have a gradual rising; gradually its rays will dispel the darkness and clouds and bring more daylight, and so during that thousand years the world will be rising, and rising, and rising – arising from the dead! It will take the whole thousand years for them to completely arise from the dead. One says, Why does not Christ do it all for them? Because it is far better that He should help them do it themselves; he is taking the best way; it is His blessing, but His blessing comes in the most practical way. The person who thus learns to co-operate with the Lord will be forming a character, so that at the end of the thousand years he will have formed a character based on experience. He will have had experience with right and wrong, and, backed by all that experience, having attained the full perfection of human nature, Oh, what a wonderful being he will be! Will He be proof against sin? He should be; there is no excuse for anyone who would not be then. But this restored man, when brought back to the image of his Creator, will have a personal test. All through the thousand years they will be under the Mediator's control and guidance as the great King, and any wrong will be punished and any right will be blessed, but, when they reach the end of the thousand years, Messiah will give over His Kingdom, and they will be left to themselves. Those who have formed character, who have really learned to love that which is right and to hate that which is wrong, will be ready for any kind of a test, and those who have not come to such a determination will not be ready for every test, and God will then bring the test against them. We may not know definitely the character of the temptation. In Revelation it is symbolically represented as the loosing of Satan and his going forth to tempt the world. No matter what the temptation is, we may know it will be a very crucial one. Everybody who has any sympathy for wrong will be deceived into taking the wrong course. We presume that those who reach perfection there would not take the wrong course if they realized it would bring death on them; they would dodge the wrong course then just for fear of death. But God is not pleased to give eternal life to those who would merely dodge the penalty; He only wants those to have eternal life who love the right as He loves the right. God is not afraid of any punishment in connection with Himself; it is because right is right that God loves the right, and He wants of those who would enjoy His favor of everlasting life to also love right because right is right. He wants them to hate wrong because wrong is wrong.

If any of them are destroyed in the second death, one asks if that would not be an unkindness on God's part? They had no rights at all, because they were born without any life rights. God never made them any promise of life everlasting. It is only indirectly He has told His people that He intends to provide a way of escape to the whole human family. Nobody has a promise from God. God merely said to Abraham, and to the Church through the prophets and apostles, what He intends to do for the world; He has not promised the world a thing; He is going to give it as free grace. These blessings of God which we are now enjoying should be appreciated from the standpoint of right and wrong, and you and I must learn to appreciate these principles in the same way that the world in the future must learn. Otherwise we will not be acceptable with the Lord. He seeketh such to worship Him now, and then, and always, and everywhere – angels and men – God seeketh such to worship Him as worship Him in spirit and in truth, such as love righteousness and hate iniquity. I hope we can all mark that down clear in our minds so we can press on loving the right, standing for the right, and eschewing all wrong, even if the wrong would be to our advantage.

Here I will leave the matter with you, dear friends. "Awake thou that sleepest and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light." He is to be the great Light-giver, the great enlightener of all mankind; as He has declared, "This is the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world."


Press Comment – "Pastor Russell Raps the Sects"

Says Denominations in the Churches Are Stumbling Blocks to Christ


Deplores Lack of Interest in Bible Study and Explains Status of the Dead – Big Audiences to Hear

"Every graduate of a college in this country today is an unbeliever in the Holy Bible. Most of the colleges denounce the book. The courses in the colleges of today compel the students to lose faith in the Bible. Many of the graduates have no faith in the Great Creator."

So declared Pastor Russell, the famous nonsectarian Brooklyn clergyman, to an audience of nearly 2,000 persons at the Moore Theater last evening. The aged pastor spoke in his usual unostentatious way, prefacing his address with the statement, "I want to have a heart-to-heart talk with every one of you."

Pastor Russell bitterly denounced denominations in the churches. He said that they were a retarding stone in spreading the teachings of the Bible broadcast. "Put all the creeds up as targets and then shoot them down – down and out forever," he said.

He cited a case in which he personally investigated in New York in which, he said, a father, eager to have his child get a complete education, sent her to a college. She was a strong believer in the Bible before she entered, but after she graduated she had lost all faith in the book, he said.


"The professors are all unbelievers in the Bible. Even the ministers are thorough unbelievers in the Bible. This is the time of darkness. But the great light is soon to appear. God tells us a new day will soon dawn.

"All this fictitious description about the horrors of hell is a disgrace on God. Is it possible for us Bible students to think that God, with all His love and sympathy, would create such a hell as is pictured before us today?

"But soon a great change is going to come. The 'mystery' is that the church, as well as her Lord, and in association with Him, will be the world's Restorer – Regenerator. Not any of the nominal churches of Christ is meant, but the one true church, composed only of saints. These have been in process of selection for more than eighteen centuries.

"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."

Pastor Russell addressed an audience of more than 500 persons in the auditorium of the Scottish Rite cathedral yesterday afternoon. This meeting was attended mostly by Bible students of Seattle and nearby cities. He told of what great progress had been made of late in winning the people over to the Bible and gave suggestions on the most efficacious method to pursue in carrying on the work.

Dr. Russell is accompanied on his western tour by 225 Bible students of the eastern states. Dr. L. W. Jones of Chicago is conducting the excursion. Following the close of the afternoon meeting many of the visitors were taken about the city in automobiles furnished by local followers.

Victoria, B.C.

JUNE 21, 1913

TO REACH Victoria was a ride of about five hours from Seattle on one of the Canadian Pacific steamships. This trip was especially appreciated by the friends who had spent so many days on board our train.

Victoria, B.C., has been described as "a bit of England on the shores of the Pacific," which certainly conveys an excellent idea of what the city actually is, its institutions, buildings, clubs, homes manners and customs being essentially of English character, and one with any knowledge of England would imagine he walked its streets or conversed with its people, that he was, indeed, in a bit of England, and it is these characteristics that make the city extremely interesting to all visitors from the United States.

However, while all of these features are very interesting, to all, yet to the International Bible Students, our special interest was in meeting, greeting and fellowshipping with those of "like precious faith." Our interest also centered in the public meeting, addressed by Pastor Russell at 8 p.m., because we desire all who are hungering and thirsting for a knowledge of the Truth to have an opportunity to hear it from the lips of him whom the Lord is using so wonderfully in these latter days.

About 500 Bible students were in attendance for the afternoon meeting. The evening meeting taxed the hall to its full capacity of about a thousand, so that the interested friends gave way to the public and held an overflow meeting which was addressed by Pilgrim Brother Saphore. Brother Russell's afternoon discourse is as follows: [CR378]

Refuse Not Him that Speaketh

I HAVE a great deal of pleasure, my dear friends, in being with the class at Victoria today. I may say to the friends by way of introduction that the goodly company traveling along, about 240, are a company made up by Brother Dr. Jones of Chicago. He learned that I would be taking a tour of the western coast, and asked whether or not I would like to have some company; I said I always enjoyed having good company. He said he thought we would have maybe two or three cars anyway, but later reported that there were nine cars full. So you see there are quite a good many that have the pleasure of visiting Victoria and seeing you here with the Body of the Lord, and meeting with all the other dear friends along the way. On the train they have in a certain degree a convention season all the time amongst themselves. I do not have a great deal of opportunity to see them on the train, necessarily being busy, but they have enjoyed themselves, I am sure, a great deal as they have stopped at one place and another. You all know something about the journey we have had. I joined the party at Hot Springs, Arkansas, having made some half-dozen different stops before that, and from Hot Springs on I know we have had very nice convention seasons. Wherever we have gone we have found the friends of one mind, one heart, and one spirit – because we were all baptized by one spirit into one Body. The one spirit is the spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ and His spirit was, you remember, to do the will of the Father who sent Him. And so when we are baptized into that one spirit, when our spirits, our minds, are buried, immersed into the mind of our Lord, and He accepts us as members, that is what produces the great oneness – the sympathetic heart oneness – of all the members; because we are each and all recognizing ourselves and each other as merely members of the Body of Christ and merely under the headship of Jesus. As long as the headship of Jesus is recognized, we must of necessity have a great deal of harmony. My head directs this hand what it shall do, and the other hand what it shall do, and also the feet – every member is under the direct control of the head, therefore the harmony. If my hand got the St. Vitus dance, and I could not control it with my brain power, it would be in a diseased condition; the hand would not obey the head, and I could not do various things I would want to do. I would try to pick up a glass of water, or to feed myself, and this motion would go on all the while. Why? Because the hand is sick; it is out of harmony with the head. So when any member of the Body of Christ is out of harmony with the Head, he is sick, and would be proportionately unable to get a blessing himself or to do good to others. The greatest blessing and usefulness we will have always must be from our co-operation with the great Head in all the work that He is doing. You are not doing any of the work, and I am not doing anything in the work; we are merely factors. God is the great one who is doing the whole plan. He it is that formed the plan and is carrying out His own purposes. Our Lord Jesus is the great factor the Heavenly Father is using, and we are invited in, not to be heads, not to be rulers, not to be anything but obedient.

I was thinking over what subject the Lord would have me use for this afternoon, and the text of Scripture came to me which I will give you: "See that ye refuse not Him that speaketh from Heaven" (Heb. 12:25). The Apostle says elsewhere, that God hath in these last days spoken unto us through His Son. He is here contrasting this message that God has sent us through the Lord Jesus Christ with the other messages that God sent through inferior servants previously – the prophets, including Moses. All of these angelic messages through the prophets by inspiration came previously by this, that or the other hand, as might be necessary, but God hath in these latter days spoken to us by His Son. Jesus told about how a certain husbandman had sent different servants and they were mistreated, etc., and finally he said, I will send my son. And so it is in harmony with that that the Apostle says, God is now speaking to us through His Son. And he tells us in another place He is speaking peace through His Son – speaking the peace of Jesus Christ. What does that signify? Oh, that signifies there was a war before; there was rebellion before. Our whole race rebelled against the Heavenly Father way back in Adam's time, when Father Adam and Mother Eve were on trial. Mother Eve was misled by Satan's suggestion and disobeyed God's word, and then Father Adam, leaning to his own understanding, concluded he would be a transgressor, and wilfully sinned that he might have fellowship with his wife rather than with his God. And so the whole race got into rebellion and were condemned. God said, I will cut you off from fellowship, you are all sinners, death is the sentence; none of you are fit to be called my children any longer. And then afterwards He did give an opportunity for some to come into harmony with Him during the Law Covenant time, and there He spoke to them especially through Moses and through the law, directing that those who would come under those sacrifices, and who would hear Moses, might do so; as we read, They have Moses and the prophets, let them hear them. They could not hear anything more than that. God had not spoken in any other way than through the law and the prophets, and there would be some excuse for people not believing them and not fully obeying them. And yet the Apostle says that those who disobeyed Moses' law died without mercy. Why? Because Moses was merely God's mouthpiece, and if they disobeyed Moses the penalty was death. The Apostle's argument is, Now, brethren, look back at the history of Israel in the past, and see how they from time to time were negligent of the messages God sent at the mouth of angels and at the mouth of Moses, and how that from time to time disasters came on them because they were negligent. If there was such a penalty for negligence in respect to Moses, who was an inferior servant, what do you think would be the result of refusing Him that speaketh from Heaven? Do you see the contrast? If those who rejected Moses' law died without mercy, of how much sorer punishment suppose ye they should be accounted worthy who would count the blood of the covenant wherewith they were sanctified an unholy thing, a common thing, and do despite to God's spirit of favor? Oh, you are bound to see that as the earth drinketh up the blood that is spilled, so we might expect there would be nothing further for those who would reject the arrangement God has made.

As I studied over this text, which seemed to be the one the Lord had for me for this afternoon, it seemed to me I realized something more than I had ever realized before in these words; and that deeper meaning is that apparently there are a good many more going into the second death than I had been inclined to suppose. My mind has always been inclined to suppose that nearly everybody when brought to a knowledge of the truth, to a knowledge of God and of the Lord Jesus, would surrender and say, Gladly will we go in the Lord's way. But there were the Jews, who were more or less a typical people, and we remember how many of them fell on this occasion when they rejected the Lord's testimony, and how many of them again fell in the wilderness on that account; and the Apostle calls up these very illustrations – Now see what happened to them! See how it is with you! That is the very argument the Apostle makes.

In thinking of the Church I have been inclined to believe that the three classes would be something like this: The Little Flock, only the limited number, probably 144,000 as far as we may be able to judge; then the Great Company, whose number no man knows – the number of whom is not revealed, God not having fixed it in any way, merely those who failed to become worthy of the Little Flock condition and yet are loyal to God in their hearts, and will not be permitted to die the second death. Then I have always thought of the number going into the second death as probably being very small; but as the Apostle's words came before my mind this morning in thinking this matter over, See that ye refuse not Him that speaketh from Heaven, for they who refused Moses perished, I said, Are there many refusing Christ now? Well, I believe, dear friends, that perhaps a considerable number get enough hearing of the real ears of their hearts to make them to a considerable degree responsible. I am not meaning to say that anyone becomes fully responsible until he has come into the spirit-begotten condition. We were discussing this matter yesterday, and I was trying to point out to the friends that no one can be on trial for eternal life until first he has gotten free from the sentence of death. The first sentence of death, the Adamic [CR379] sentence, must be removed before anybody can be on trial for life or death again. So then we see God's wonderful mercy in providing that those who come now into Christ will not be on trial merely when they hear about Christ, merely when they hear there is a door open of return to God, and their hearts have a longing in that direction. They look over toward the Tabernacle – I am speaking figuratively – they look toward God, and they go a little piece farther and they look again, and stop and think, and they hear God's voice, "Draw nigh unto Me and I will draw nigh to you." Then they go a little nearer – they are approximating justification: that is, they are going in the right way toward justification; every step is a step nearer to justification. Every step is bringing them a blessing. As they draw nearer to God they have more of His favor. So we pointed out that in all of this drawing near to God they had not yet come into the full trial, full testing until they came to the place where the Lord accepts them, and justifies them, and at that point He has indicated, "Present your bodies a living sacrifice." So they keep coming on, looking forward, and learning a little more and a little more. Finally they come to the parting of the ways. There, now, you understand the condition. You cannot go on into the Tabernacle condition unless you present your bodies, unless you make a full consecration. You have no standing with the great God unless the great Redeemer Himself shall accept you, and He will not accept you as His brethren, He will not count you in as part of His flesh, and will not sacrifice you as part of the offering of the Lord, unless you give yourself fully and unreservedly to Him. So that was the deciding point. When you gave yourself unreservedly was the time when the Lord Jesus accepted you, in harmony with the Father's plan.

And immediately after He accepted you and counted you as His flesh, then the Father accepted that flesh; because, as we pointed out, the flesh of Christ has been offering all through this Gospel Age. Jesus first offered His own flesh, and when He finished that He appeared in the presence of God and made satisfaction for the sins of all His disciples. And then as soon as the Lord made satisfaction for them, the twelve apostles, the Father immediately accepted their sacrifices as indicated by giving the Holy Spirit. So all other believers received the Holy Spirit as they were accepted of the Lord and all were accepted of the Father just as soon as the great Advocate accepted them. So then we have been coming down through all the age and the flesh of the Church, the consecrated ones, has been the flesh of Jesus, and this flesh of Jesus has been suffering all the way down for pretty near 1,900 years – Christ suffering in the flesh. So we see the fulfillment of the Scripture which declares that we are filling up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ. If we suffer with Him, we shall reign with Him. And the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us. All these various Scriptures tell us that now are the sufferings, and then is the glory. The prophets of old, St. Peter says, spake of the sufferings of Christ – Christ Jesus the head and all the members of the Body of Christ – and the glory that will follow. The glory will follow promptly just as soon as the sufferings are over. You and I are anxious to have a share in the sufferings, that we may also have a share in His coming blessing, glory, honor, immortality.

Then we pointed out also that as soon as we are received of the Lord in spirit, we are all one in body – that is, as New Creatures. There is the one body in the flesh. Then there is the other body, the New Creature body, composed of Christ the New Creature and all of us as begotten of the Holy Spirit New Creatures, and the New Creatures inhabit this flesh of Christ. So the Holy Spirit in you is inhabiting the flesh of Christ, and the Holy Spirit in me is inhabiting the flesh of Christ; and so in all the Church of Christ. Here are two bodies of Christ, then, the body of Christ in the flesh and the body of Christ spiritually dwelling in these earthly tabernacles, and seeking to bring them to the sacrificial point in everything day by day.

And then we pointed out the final Body of Christ beyond the vail to be composed of the more than conquerors only, Jesus the Captain, and all of the most zealous and faithful ones who would lay down their lives voluntarily and of their own free will in obedience to His example.

So we have the three bodies. This last body is taken out of the others and besides there are some left, and those constitute the Great Company and some who go into the second death. But you see all of this dealing is with this class that God receives, and He does not receive us until we come to the point of full consecration, then the New Creature is there, and it is the New Creature that is on trial, not the flesh. And your trial and mine, therefore, could not begin until we become New Creatures. So that in all of this Gospel age it is only the New Creatures that have been on trial for life eternal or death eternal.

We are not wishing to make any different statement from that this afternoon when saying, See that ye reject not Him that speaketh from Heaven. We are not meaning to say that anybody could reject Him in the full sense of the word and go into the second death unless he had fully come into Christ and had become His disciple, and had heard His voice in a very special sense. We, dear friends, hear in a way that we did not hear before we received the begetting of the spirit. When we were begotten of the spirit we got a new understanding, a new hearing, new ears as it were, new eyes, and as New Creatures we could see, hear and understand differently from what we ever could before. As St. Paul says, The natural man receiveth not the things of the spirit of God, neither may he know them, for they are spiritually discerned. We could not discern them until we were begotten of the spirit.

But now there is such a thing as rejecting Christ after we have heard about Him. Using these rugs here as illustrations, suppose that this rug shall represent the approach, the court condition, and the second rug shall represent the Tabernacle, and this strip between them shall represent the door into the Tabernacle, and out there shall represent the world. When we started from the world and came a little piece toward the court we were going in the right direction, and we got a little blessing every step we took. Now suppose we stop right at the door there, would we have advantage so far as we came? Well, we have gained a certain advantage but if we got that far and saw and then turned back, it is questionable whether we would have any advantage over others that never saw any. If once we have seen anything and then reject it, it is questionable whether it has done us any good – it is a question whether it has not done us harm.

After we come further, and after seeing the sacrifice of atonement on the altar in the front of the court, and come on in the Court farther, thus progressing nearer to God and getting better ideas of Him, and then we see the laver there representing purification, then if we do not go any farther, but say, No, I will hold back, I won't purify, I won't wash, I won't think to put away the filth of the flesh, it is doubtful whether the seeing of the altar does us any good. I doubt it very much. And then if we do see it, and wash and put away the filth of the flesh and become cleaner in our daily lives in coming nearer to the Lord, and then come clear up to the door of the Tabernacle then learn the thing necessary, namely, that we should present our bodies living sacrifices, and if then we stop it is doubtful whether all these steps will be of any advantage to us. I rather think that the steps of progress might not be of any advantage. Why not? It would be in line with this text, "See that ye refuse not Him that speaketh from Heaven."

What was it we heard? We heard a speech from Heaven inviting us, and after coming a certain piece we got a blessing as far as we came, and coming further we got more blessing, but any time we stop then we are refusing Him that speaketh – refusing the great Speaker from Heaven, the great Teacher.

But, you say, Brother Russell, it is in the future He is going to teach?

Yes, He is going to be the world's great Teacher in the future, there is no doubt about that. Everybody's ears and eyes then will be opened. But these who now have their eyes and ears opened and see these things under the present pressure of sin, ignorance, weakness, labor and heavy-laden conditions, and if it does not impress them, if the blood of the Savior is nothing to them, and if they turn back and reject or refuse Him that speaketh, and refuse His message, I do not know how much they are advantaged; I rather believe, as far as I can figure out, that they will be somewhat disadvantaged by reason of having heard now and having come to see these things.

How would they be disadvantaged? I am speculating now. I haven't any positive Scripture to say this, but I am just reasoning it out. This text has led me to do some of this reasoning. I rather think that whoever hears of a good thing and rejects it, that good thing does not sound quite as [CR380] good the next time he hears it. I can imagine the world in the next age hearing about God's goodness and I can imagine them in my mind as being, Oh, so wonderfully impressed! For instance, I would put myself in imagination to the time when the Kingdom is established, and suppose we were amongst those who would be awakened from the tomb and come up. Suppose we had died in fear of Purgatory, or Hell, or something, and with the last thought on our mind – when we even tried to die very quietly the last thought was, Well, the next minute maybe the devil will have me. That is the way it has been with many, you know. I think a great many people try to keep a very sober face as they go down into the dark valley of death, try to be very quiet, they do not want anyone to know how much they are feeling of fear, yet occasionally some will say, I feel a great dread; I wish you would stay near me. It is the dread in their minds caused by these teachings they have had about devils, fire and pitchforks, etc., and they would not like just to say, I am afraid of the devil catching me. They would not want to say that for the sake of their friends; they keep a stiff upper lip for their own sake, and keep perfectly quiet and don't give in. That is what they all try to do. It is just as well they should. But I fancy when these people would awake with these very same thoughts, they would think as they opened their eyes, "The devil!" They do not see any devils but they will be looking around for them. And their friends who are there to meet them when awakened from the tomb would say, "We are glad to see you."

"Where am I? Where are the devils?"

"Oh, my dear brother, it is a mistake we had."



"Are you sure?"

"Yes, we are sure. That was a mistaken theology, doctrines of devils that came in, and God's people, all of us, were deceived and we were all in great terror and misunderstood God and His Plan altogether. Now you are just being awakened from the sleep of death."

"How long have I been asleep?"

"For 100 years."

"And what has taken place?"

"Oh, the world has been changed a good deal since you fell asleep. You will find things going on nicely now. Jesus is the King indeed. You know Satan used to be the prince of this world – you heard that from the Bible."

"I didn't know what it meant."

"No, you did not, but he was indeed the prince of this world and deceived the whole world and misled us all for a time and made us think God was a devil, and now we are really getting Messiah's reign, and He is showing us the truth, and the whole world is getting the blessings God intended, and God has been very good all the time. This is the penalty of sin you have experienced in sorrows, aches, pains, difficulties and death, and all the remainder of mankind were a groaning Creation. We were all having these difficulties and that was the curse, and now you are getting free. Don't you feel thankful to God?"

"Oh, yes, if God is so good as that I think I want to be His servant."

See how it will affect them. They will say, "If God is really good I want to serve Him." And I think, my dear friends, that person will be in just as favorable a condition as the other person who would have a different experience and who would awaken and say, "Where am I?"

"You are in the Millennial Age."

"Yes, that is what I have been expecting; I was expecting that. Have you got a nice place for me? Nothing will be too good for me."

He will then see what the conditions are and will say, "This is not nearly as good as I expected; I heard Pastor Russell speak, and I thought it would be much better."

That person who merely gets a glimpse beyond into the future, and hears of God's goodness now, and is not melted by his own imperfection and need of the Savior, when he hears the voice of God speaking in Christ and telling about the love of God which passeth all understanding, and his heart is indifferent and steeled against it, and he says, I will wait, I will get all of that by and by, I will have a good time now and I will live according to my own desires at present, I guess it will be all right by and by – I do not think it will be so good for that person by and by. I believe he will be considerably disadvantaged in the future if he hears of the grace of God now and rejects Him that speaketh from Heaven – even if he hears only a little bit of it such as the world can hear. I do not mean as much as you and I who are spirit-begotten can understand and know of the deep things of God; we can appreciate God's great plan in its lengths and breadths and heights and depths. Oh, no, I do not mean that! I mean those who can get just little glimpses of restitution, the whole earth to be made like the Garden of Eden and all men having the privilege of coming to perfection. If that does not appeal to them, and if they do not love the kind of a God that has made that kind of a provision for men, they are not in a very favorable condition of mind. If they reject Him that speaketh from Heaven now, I would not be sure they would not reject the voice of Him who will speak from Heaven by and by during the Millennial Kingdom.

I will tell you what I think: I think that when I first hear that sweet story of old – the story that is always going to be sweet and precious to those who are God's people – when I hear about God's loving provisions I want to let it down into my heart and I want to tear away and put out of my heart everything that would hinder it from flowing in freely to every part of my being, and there bringing fruitage to God, love, appreciation, devotion and all proper feeling. What can I render to the Lord for all His benefits towards me? Oh, show me what little thing I can do, I appreciate this redemption so much! I appreciate the love of God so much! Is there not some way I can show Him I appreciate His love?

Yes, there is.

What is it?

Well, He has offered a certain cup and He says that those who especially love him and want to know specially what would be His Will, that cup represents His providences for that special class. If, therefore, you have heard of His grace and want to do His will, take the cup.

Who drank the cup?

Jesus, and He set us an example.

Did He walk the narrow way?

Yes, sir, He did, and set us an example that we should walk in His steps.

Is it a reasonable service?

"I beseech you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice...your reasonable service" – nothing unreasonable about it. What have you got to give?

Hardly anything. Just think it over a little while and you will be almost ashamed to offer what you have. If you offer all you have you will feel ashamed, and say, No, the Lord would have no use for such a trifling little thing as I am, and my little things, my time or money or whatever I may have – whatever constitutes my value. Oh, no, I could not offer it to God. But that is God's offer to us. He says, Now I know you have nothing practically, but if it is only a penny you have to give all you have. If it is a million dollars you could not give any less and get into the Kingdom. Whatever you have, you have to give. That "Pearl of Great Price" is worth everything you have; and as Jesus gave all He had, and as He left the Heavenly glory to die that He might win that prize, so if you want to be a joint heir with Him you know just what you are to do. You have not anything to give in comparison with what He gave, and yours would not be worth anything because it is all worm-eaten with imperfection and sin, whereas His was holy, harmless and undefiled. But He makes yours worthy by imputing His merit to it and that overcomes all the imperfection of your little offering. Now if once we hear, see that we reject not Him that speaketh from Heaven. You will find that after you have rejected once or twice, the story will not seem nearly as wonderful, not nearly as sweet. That is a fact, is it not? Whoever rejects this matter finds it to his own disadvantage, I believe, every minute after that.

But, Brother Russell, what do you say about those who do not hear?

Well, those who do not hear have not the least bit of responsibility in proportion as we have who do hear. The heathen millions who have not heard of God could not present their bodies. And what could they do? Jesus says that those who knew not will be beaten with few stripes in comparison with those who did know. So if you and I have heard and do not know the will of God, and what is right and wrong, the responsibility lies with us and we would get stripes even if we did not come into a condition of having a full test or trial for life eternal. Even if we only came along and saw [CR381] the Tabernacle and heard of the privileges and arrangements, if we did not respond we would have a certain amount of responsibility.

Then there is the next step after we have heard Him speak. We say, I heard the voice of Jesus saying, Come unto Me and live, and I came to Jesus as I was. That is your position and mine, is it not? We passed in here at the gate of the Tabernacle Court and saw the sacrifice for sin, and our hearts were uplifted toward God for the great redemption. We saw the laver representing the cleansing of the flesh, and we said, Oh, we are glad, we want to put away all the filth of the flesh we can; we want to be as near pure as we can be; we want to do our best.

We came further up to the door of the Tabernacle and said, Lord, we understand we can go in? May we?

Have you washed at the laver?


Did you see the sacrifice and accept it?


Now you want to enter in and become priests?

Yes, Lord, if we may.

Very well. Tie yourself up like that goat at the door of the Tabernacle.

What does that mean?

That means, give up your own will, surrender yourself.

Will you accept me, Lord?

I will attend to that.

So we gave ourselves, and He there, as the Great High Priest, accepted that offering that you made and I made. We tied it up in the sense of making a consecration. Your consecration tied the goat at the door of the Tabernacle. You did not sacrifice the goat – the goat does not sacrifice itself. The underpriests do not sacrifice the goat. The High Priest sacrifices the goat. So you merely can go as far as tying up the goat. You tied your goat there, and I tied mine there. Here, Lord, we give ourselves away. Then the High Priest came, smote the goat, killed the goat – death to the flesh. Henceforth you are represented in his body, a member of the body of that High Priest. Then as members of the body of the High Priest we had the right and privilege of the interior, and in the Tabernacle itself, in the Holy, we had the fellowship with God, as we partook of the unleavened bread of His presence, and we had fellowship with Him as we saw the light from the Golden Candlestick giving us light on the precious things of God – yea, the deep things of God. The things in the Tabernacle were hidden from the sun, they were darkened as respects outside light, and we had the interior light. And then we had also the blessed association with the incense; not that you and I perhaps had anything to do with offering the incense, but the incense that the Great High Priest offered was sufficient for all of us, and makes all of His members acceptable in the Most Holy.

Now after we have heard His voice, after we have come in, after we have become of the priestly class, is there any Church then. Brother Russell?

Oh, yes.

I thought that was outside that the Church was – see that ye refuse not Him?

We did accept Him and came in.

Is there anything more?

Oh, yes, He still speaks and it is for you and for me to hear it. See that ye refuse not anything that the Great High Priest says.

How does He speak to us? After we are inside, you know we have accepted His voice?

You merely accepted the opportunity of coming in under Him as your head. He is more to you now than He ever was before. This hand of mine has more responsibility to this head than to anything outside. That table and chair may be under control and possession of the head but not in the sense this hand or foot may be. In everything this hand and foot are responsible. The will of the head is to be done in the body. Hand, see that ye refuse not the head that directs your course, and speaks and acts through you.

Does that apply to us?


Did it apply in the type?


Don't you remember some of the rebellion and some of the wrong doing Paul referred to among the Israelites was done by the underpriests? Some of the underpriests were the very ones that were in rebellion against the voice. That might be you or me, my dear brother; we might be rebellious against the Master. See that ye refuse not Him that speaketh from Heaven, for if those who refused the typical Moses died without mercy, you who have now come in under the headship of Christ and have agreed to be subject to Him in all things – if you are disobedient to Him you will run the risk of the second death. That is what I understand the Apostle to mean. The more I think of it the more reasonable it seems that if I have come unto the Lord and He has accepted me as a member of His body and I made a full consecration of all to Him, it should be my highest aim, my highest desire, to do His will, and if in anything I should be rebellious against the will of the Lord then I would be a rebel, and as a rebel refusing Him that speaks I would be like those who refused Moses back there, and that the anti-typical punishment would come on me. As the earth opened her mouth and swallowed up some of those priests there, just so it would be here, as the Apostle uses that as an illustration.

See that ye refuse not Him. What is He saying to us? Well, He tells us we are in the School of Christ and He has become our teacher. Those in the School of Christ are to be still more amenable to the voice of the Teacher than before they came into the School. What lessons does He wish us to learn? Oh, a variety of lessons. The first lesson is meekness – teachableness. Will there be any of the Body of Christ who will lack in teachableness? We suppose that there is more lack along the line of failure to be teachable than any other line.

What would interfere with teachableness? Well, self-conceit would interfere a good deal, and self-will. Should not everybody have a little self-conceit? Well, anybody that is big enough ought to have a little self-conceit, but none of us are big enough. I do not know what you have to boast of. I do not know what I have to boast of. And I believe that when we are in the School of Christ and hear our Master's voice instructing us we had better all conclude that of ourselves we are nothing, that without Him we can do nothing, and that here is the very first thing, we need to be taught of God. We need to be taught by the Great Teacher God has appointed to teach us, and if we refuse then we are refusing Him that speaketh from Heaven; we are refusing the very Teacher God appointed, the Lord Jesus.

Well, Brother Russell, the Lord Jesus does not come down and teach us in so many words?

Oh, well, my dear brother, He has been the instructor of His people nevertheless, He is our Teacher through His Word and through His promises. If you have never heard His teachings then you are not in His School at all. Now did you hear the voice of Jesus?


How did it first come to you?

Through the Scriptures, through His promises, and through the various experiences of life.

What have they taught you?

The first lesson is meekness. If they have not taught you and I meekness then we have not even learned the primary lesson. Lord, show me Thy way, not Lord, I want my way, and I am going to have my way, and here is what I prefer, and this is what I am going to do. The Lord will just let you go and do your way. Many of us know it. Has not that been the history of the Church all the way down? Doesn't the Lord let people go their own way? Do you know anybody the Lord has ever forced? I do not know of any. He is not seeking for those who need force. He will use force on those who need it in the next age. The whole call of this Gospel age is for those who declare in their covenant that they want to do God's will, and they will sacrifice their lives, anything, to do His will. Now after they have come in and He has accepted them and the contract is sealed, and He has given them the earnest of the inheritance, the Holy Spirit, it is too late to go back on that contract. It is either go on or perish, to my understanding. It is, get everlasting life along this line, or get the second death. It is either, hear Him that speaketh from Heaven and get His blessing, or, you will die as one that is unsuitable for any blessing of God. I believe that is the teaching of the Word. Now we should hear His voice very attentively. There are different degrees of hearing and obedience. You see it in dogs, and horses, and everything else. You know some dogs, if you say, Here, Jack! the dog will jump up and run to you with his tail wagging. That is the kind of a dog you like, is it not? The kind of a dog you have to say Jack! Jack!! Jack!!! and hit him with a stone, you don't want that dog around at all. You say, that dog is no good. [CR382] Now the kind of a dog you want, the kind of a dog you like, is the one who is responsive, ready to do, so that if you just snap your finger and he catches your eye when you motion to him he is right there on the spot to do. That represents the Little Flock class. They are watching the Lord's eye – just watching the Lord. We do not see God's eye in one sense of the word; it is a figurative expression, but He says we are the ones he will guide with His eye. "I will guide thee with mine eye." That is the kind He is looking for, those who are all attention to see what they can render to Him. As the eyes of the servant are to the master, the eyes of the maid to the mistress, so are our eyes to Thee, Oh, Lord. That is the thought, you see, to see what the Lord's will is – watching the Lord, not waiting until He hits us; not waiting until we are knocked down by some providence. The Little Flock class will be such as can be guided by the Lord's will; that are so anxious to do His will, so alert, so willing – anything, any time, Lord – now, or any time, any moment. That is the spirit of them. Now that will be the first class graduated out of the School of Christ.

Then the second class graduated from the School of Christ will be those who are rather slow, and busy. The dog is busy playing with a ball or a bone and you say, Jack, come here! He will wag his tail a little and still gnaw the bone. And you say, Come here, Jack! Then he will leave it and come. You see, he is not quite as alert as the other dog. He does come after you say, Jack, I want you to come here! Or, if you want to put it as an illustration in school we will say there are different children in there; one is attentive to do just as the teacher would have done, the other is rather inclined to play and forget the rules of the school and yet is not a bad boy or girl. Another is really a bad one. You see, there are three kinds. The Lord is seeking the attentive pupils for the Bride class. Then there are those who are well intentioned, but more or less do not study their lessons properly somehow. They will study some, then play a little, then study some more. They will come in as the second class. They will have to be kept in after school and get a little switching on the hands, etc., and then they will get second place as servants in the Kingdom; instead of being on the throne they will be before the throne; instead of having golden crowns they will have the palm branches; instead of having the Divine nature they will be of the spirit-nature like unto the angels. Very good indeed – Oh, yes, very blessed! Anything the Master will give will be good. Those are real good people; they are well meaning people, but they are not up to the standard the Lord wants for the Bride class. You and I want to see that, because we want to be pleasing in His sight; we want to be of the Bride class who will have the love of the Bridegroom, the very one who wants us to be there. You know how He has expressed it: If you love father, or mother, or houses, or lands, or self, more than Me, you are not worthy of Me. The ones who will get first place are the ones who will catch the spirit of the Master and have the loyalty to Him and His cause. Is that going to be your position and mine, dear brother? If so, then we may say to ourselves, By the grace of God we will be with Him in the Throne, we will be more than the merely conquerors, we will have the joint-heirship. But if we are of those who hear His voice and refuse and say, We have a plan of our own, a will of our own, etc., and we are not looking around, Lord, especially for Your will, we are doing something, then I understand that those will not get anything, not even life itself. All of those who are so indifferent to the Great Teacher, the second death would be their portion, is my understanding of the Scriptures.

So we must learn this first lesson, meekness. With some people meekness is very difficult. But things are pretty well balanced. The man who is very meek and teachable is very apt to have a disadvantage in other ways. Sometimes people impose upon him; they impose on the weak, you know; therefore it would be a disadvantage in some respects. The man who has a good deal of self-esteem and is not very meek, will get along a little better by himself; he can get along pretty well alone; but he will have his difficulty in respect to coming in under the Lord, you see. If you are going to be one of the meek kind, you have to take it on the Lord's terms. We have to be meek. You cannot change the shape of your head; if you are born proud-spirited you have that much more to battle against. And if you were born humble-minded you will have other things to confront you, but it will come easier for you to be meek. It is according to the shape of your head and the experiences of life since. But the thing balances pretty well. One has one difficulty, and the other has another. So we are to take it that the Lord is fair in His dealings, then get this thought, that meekness is the first lesson to be learned in the School of Christ. The Lord puts it first. You cannot make any progress at all until you are meek, because meekness signifies teachableness.

Next comes gentleness, and patience, and long-suffering, and brotherly kindness – making progress, you see, all the way along. It is all progress in love. Meekness is the foundation for love. Gentleness is a very important thing. The person who is rude and boisterous is not in a proper way to be used of the Lord; he will not be ready to learn the lessons. The person who is not brotherly kind will not get along very well; he will not be pleasing to the Lord. He must learn brotherly kindness in order to be kind to all the brethren, to love the brethren. He must be gentle towards them so as not to offend or hurt them, or stumble them, but if he is gentle he will always be wanting to be assistful to them. That is the spirit of the Lord.

You say, it is all right for those who have it, but I do not have it.

But, brother, then you have to get it.

Oh, Brother Russell, I cannot ever become as meek, and gentle, and patient, as the other fellow.

Well, your flesh may never become just as gentle as his or hers, but you have to get it in your mind or will. The Lord is going to judge you by the will, you know. The body may be ever so imperfect, but you must have it in your mind; it must be your desire, and endeavor, and effort. You, as a New Creature, must be gentle, else you will not be ready to be of the Kingdom at all. You, as a New Creature, must be meek, no matter what you are in the flesh. If you do something wrong, you will have to be meek enough to go and confess it and acknowledge you are wrong. It will be good for you. It will help you to be more meek the next time. And if you are rude in some respects and have to apologize for it, it will help make you more gentle the next time. So by your difficulties you will learn the lessons. If you cannot learn them one way you will have to learn them the other way, or not be fit for the Kingdom, because these are qualities of heart and mind that the Lord demands. He will give you a new body if He finds you have a ready condition of your mind. If your mind is meek, and gentle, and patient, and kind, and loving as a New Creature, the Lord says, I know he has a very mean body and a lot of trouble with it, but I see his heart and he is all of this in his heart – meek, gentle, patient, loving, kind – Oh, I love that child notwithstanding his poor body. I am going to give him a new body in the resurrection. He will not have any trouble when I give him his new body, because I know his intentions are all right.

But, my dear brother, getting the intention all right is what you are to do and what I am to do. Get your hearts right with God and then do your very best with the body. Every time the body balks, see that it gets the proper discipline. Make it go and do the thing in proper form. If it was rude to somebody, humble it, make it meek by saying, Now you have to go and tell that brother you are sorry for what you did.

But I do not like to do that; it goes against my grain.

Well, go against your grain; it is better to go against the grain and acknowledge a thing and learn the lesson than to fail to enter into the Kingdom. That is part of the process.

Now, He that is speaking from Heaven, our great Teacher, is telling us all of these things and giving us all of these lessons and when we get the right view of it, it will not be such a personal thing with us, I think. We will be looking to the Lord as respects all of life's affairs. For instance, nearly everybody is inclined to say at first, "When I first got the Truth." And after we get along a little piece further, and get our eyes of understanding more widely opened, then we will say it differently; we will say, "When the Lord was pleased first to give me the Truth." Do you see the difference? "When I first got the Truth" means that I went and got it. That I did something. You see how big I am, I did it. That is the feeling. Then after we get along a little further, we say, Oh, no, I was blind enough, I didn't get it, the Lord graciously let me have it. He sent it to me.

In one place, I remember I had been speaking and they were coming out of the meeting and I was shaking hands with some of them, and one dear sister said, Oh, Brother Russell, I want to tell you how God was good to me. First [CR383] somebody handed me the First Volume of Studies in the Scriptures. My friends got about me and told me it was a bad book, surely, and not to read it, and they wanted me to burn it, and I did burn it. I am sorry but I burned it. And then, Brother Russell, God was good to me and sent me another one. And then my friends still got around me and persuaded me and I burned it. Oh, she said, I am ashamed. But God still pursued me with His goodness and sent me a third copy. Oh, Brother Russell, it burned me! And her husband was with her, a doctor, and he spoke up and said, "And me, too."

So I think we come more and more as we grow in grace and knowledge to see that it is not something you have done, or I have done, or that somebody else has done; it is simply something God has been doing for us. You and I are not very bright, are we? Compare ourselves with Shakespeare, and we feel we are rather "small potatoes" in the basket, don't we? Compare ourselves with Solomon and some of the others of the past and we are very little. Where did we get to know anything about God and His plan? Look at a man with a great big head and a big mind; look at Brother Calvin and other good men; look at Brother Wesley, and Brother Melancthon, and Brother Zwingli, and Brother Knox, and all of those eminent men of the past, and the eminent men of our more modern times, and we say to ourselves, Didn't they study Theology? Yes, they studied Theology – they thought they did. Were they not able me? Oh, yes. What did they make out of it? They made out what you and I are ashamed to acknowledge, and what if they were living today they would be ashamed to acknowledge. There is nothing in the whole lot that is worthy of the least consideration. They will all be ashamed of some of the things they have written and said.

What, then, are we abler than they? No, not at all. Then how do you account for the fact that we have more light? When God's due time came the light began to come – not because you and I were brighter, or that anybody else was brighter, but because God was ready to give it to us. How did He give it to us? He chose His own way of sending His message, and I am glad to get the Truth of God in any way that He is pleased to send it. We want to be so meek and teachable and humble that any way God sends us instructions, whether through trials, difficulties, sickness, or through books, pamphlets, or hymn books – no matter how it comes, if it brings to us the light of the knowledge of the Glory of God, if it scatters our darkness, ignorance, superstition, if it brings us out of darkness into His marvelous light, we will be sure it is God who has done it, for you could not have done it for yourself. Is not that so? I am sure of that for myself, dear brethren.

So I say, See that ye refuse not Him that speaketh from Heaven. Is He still speaking? Yes, He is speaking louder than He ever spoke before right in our day. God's voice never has been heard in the way it is now. The Apostle says so. Speaking of the past and the typical, He says, God's voice then shook the earth – way back in the days of Moses in the typical time at Mount Sinai when the Law Covenant was made, of which Moses was the mediator. It was only a typical covenant but in order to picture the thing properly God brought all that wonderful manifestation of lightnings, and thunders, and power, so that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake; and all the people were in a tremor for the great disturbance of the time. What was it? God was speaking – giving that Law Covenant. Now St. Paul, standing down here prophetically at our day and pointing back to that time, says, God's voice then shook the earth, but now hath He declared I will shake not only the earth (society) but I will also shake the heavens (the ecclesiastical powers). Are they going to shake? They are shaking now. There is no doubt about it. Whose voice is shaking them? The Lord's voice. What is the Lord's voice? The truth is the voice of God. God does not need to send a brass trumpet from Heaven. The seventh trumpet is not a brass trumpet nor a silver trumpet. They had brass and silver trumpets, and ram's horns back there, but here we have the real thing. God's voice speaking out in one way, and another way – by the printed page, and by your voice and my voice, and all these different agencies of His. Whoever is in harmony with God to a certain extent is God's voice speaking to the world today and telling the world that we are on the eve of a great change of dispensations, that the Great One who redeemed the world is about to take His great power and reign. And in proportion as you and I are in accord with our Master, the great Head, He can speak through us, using us as His members. So the voice of the Lord is being heard in the earth today, and those that hear let them see that they refuse not the message of the hour. If they refuse Him who is now speaking from Heaven, as most of them are going to do and are doing, all the more severe will be the tribulation that will come upon them – a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation, no, nor ever shall be the like thereafter, Jesus said.

So, then, we are hearing the voice now, and hearing it more clearly, and you are prospering in that voice of the Lord Jesus today and getting a clearer understanding, because you also heard yesterday and were obedient, and you heard previously and were obedient; and in proportion as you hear the voice and humble yourself and cultivate the qualities of meekness, gentleness, patience, brotherly kindness and love, in that proportion the Master will be ready to speak through you and use you as part of His mouthpiece as He speaks to the whole world respecting this New Dispensation and the blessings that are to come through it.

Let us then be glad, and let us set down in our hearts this prominent thought, that we will give heed and not refuse Him that speaketh from Heaven. We do not know where it will lead to, but we wish to follow the leading of the Lord and His voice and His message, no matter how or where or through whom He sends it, so long as we believe that it is the message of His Word. And it is not merely to have the Bible in our hands. Your grandfather had the Bible in his hands, and your father had the Bible in his hands, and you had the Bible in your hands for years and years and didn't know anything about what was in it at all. But when God's due time came and in His own way He opened the eyes of our understanding, He gave us the blessing. And for my part I am thankful for anything He has given and for all the blessings that are coming, and I wish to be in the condition of heart and mind that I can receive more today, and more tomorrow – yea, all the way to the end of the journey – and I am glad if in the meantime I can also be a part of the Master's body, the Lord's flesh, used of Him to show forth the praises of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light.



THROUGH pastures fair,
And sea-girt paths all wild with rock and foam,
O'er velvet sward, and desert stern and bare,
The flock comes home.

A weary way,
Now smooth, then rugged with a thousand snares;
Now dim with rain, then sweet with blossoms gay,
And summer airs.

Yet, safe at last,
Within the fold they gather, and are still;
Sheltered from driving shower and stormy blast,
They fear no ill.

Through life's dark ways,
Through flowery paths where evil angels roam,
Through restless nights, and long, heart-wasting days,
Christ's flock comes home.

Safe to the fold,
The blessed fold, where fears are never known,
Love-guarded, fenced about with walls of gold,
He leads His own.

O Shepherd King,
With loving hands, whose lightest touch is blest!
Thine is the Kingdom, Thine the power, to bring
Thy flock to rest!

Vancouver, B.C.

Response to Welcome Address

I AM ONLY to say a few words at this time, dear friends, in response to this greeting that we have had. In this response I am representing the majority of those present, and am addressing the Vancouver class and our brother as a representative of it.

We want to say, dear brothers and sisters of Vancouver, that we greatly enjoy our pleasure in being with you. We have been expecting a joyful time here, and we are starting out with it. The Lord has favored us with a beautiful day in the first place. I cannot give credit to the Vancouver class entirely for that; I would like to do so, of course; but we thank the Lord for whatever share they had in it. We see they have been making preparations for us; they knew we were coming and their hearts are full to overflowing. They have been busy trying to prepare the way and to prepare the people for the message of the hour – for the afternoon meeting in particular, and for a good season of refreshing and spiritual fellowship together this forenoon. I am sure we appreciate their endeavors. It has been part of my experience to know that the dear friends everywhere in making preparation for the conventions and for the public meetings, while they are doing this in a sacrificial way as it were – that is, doing it for the Lord rather than for themselves – nevertheless they always get a great blessing. It seems to be a part of God's providence in dealing with His creatures that in proportion as they seek to do good to others, in that same proportion they get a blessing themselves. So I am sure that our Vancouver brothers and sisters have had a great blessing on their own hearts while they have been striving to prepare for the meeting. "He that watereth shall be watered also himself." How true that is! How we have all proved it to be so!

I think of one dear brother whom I met a good many years ago when our meetings were very small and he had done what he could to make ready; he was about the only one in that town, and as he met me at the train it was raining and was a very unsatisfactory day. He said, "Brother Russell, it does not look a bit favorable, but it does not make any difference as far as I am concerned; I have received my blessing. This is the first time I ever distributed any literature of any kind, it is something entirely new for me, but the literature was here and needed to be distributed and I was the one to do it. I said, 'Lord, help me to do it.' After I 'cracked the ice' the first time it all went easy. It was a little hard to get the ice broken, but everything went smoothly after that and I have been just rejoicing. I am just full up now, and I have gotten my blessing whether the others do or not."

So I was thinking of how wonderfully God has arranged all the different features of the harvest work, so that every member of the Body of Christ – I do not mean merely those of us who are now in the Truth, but each one of God's people who may hear His message and desire to co-operate in His work – has something he can do, and he will get a blessing in proportion as he sees his possibilities and his opportunities, and in proportion as he responds to them and seeks to let his light shine, and holds up the banner of the cross, and glorifies God in his body and spirit which are His. [CR385]

Our dear brother referred to the fact that there is a great oneness in the Body of Christ, and I think we all know the reason. The Bible tells, you know. Union of hearts always leads to union of heads. Our heads are all different, no two alike, and if we were to stop for a moment and think it all over we would naturally see that we would never agree. How could my shape of head agree with that other brother's shape of head, or he with someone else, because with different shaped heads we must see things a little different. What is it, then, that enables all the Church of Christ to come together in unity of heart and mind and oneness of vision to see things alike, with different heads? The secret is found in the words of the Apostle. He says we were all baptized, immersed, by one spirit into one body. That is the key. We were all buried. The old "you" was buried, the old "I" was buried – all of our old selves were buried. We were buried into one spirit. What was the one spirit? The spirit of Christ. What is the spirit of Christ? The spirit of obedience to the Father. Is not that the spirit you got into? Yes. You were buried? Yes. Now you are a member of the Body of Christ and under that glorious Head who delighted to do the Father's will? Yes. No wonder, then, that those who are in full subjection to our Savior, the head of the Church, and who delight to do the Father's will, have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus Christ keeps them clean from all sin. The word "cleanseth" means to keep clean. The original cleansing was done when we were first received, but after we have been received there are imperfections of the flesh, and shortcomings, and the cleansing must continue, and we must therefore go daily to the throne of grace to obtain mercy and find strength to help in every time of need; as our Lord taught us to pray. Forgive us our trespasses – the trespasses of today. Then when tomorrow comes we will have more imperfections, because we are still imperfect. However perfect the will, however thorough-going the new nature, however determined we are according to our loyalty to the Lord to live faithfully, we will find there are blemishes of the flesh we are unable to cope with. The Lord knew it and He made this very arrangement and said, Come now to the throne of heavenly grace and pray, "Forgive our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us." And how humble it makes us all to go to the Throne of Grace! How much we feel that, as we must come day by day and feel that we are only gradually making progress and we cannot do all we would like to do! The Lord intended it so. His intention respecting us is that we keep very humble; that is the place to begin; that is the foot of the cross, humility, the very foundation of all graces. You cannot begin to grow in character likeness of Christ unless you have humility and meekness right at the bottom; then gentleness, patience, long suffering, brotherly kindness, love. You are growing up into Him in all things, but you must have the proper foundation in order to grow. The brother or sister who does not begin to grow meek, teachable, under the great headship of Christ, is not prepared to go on. He will have a short course and a rugged one unless he gets right in at the foundation of meekness and humility.

The Lord would say, "Oh, I knew you did not do wrong intentionally."

"Then why, Lord, if you know I did not do the thing intentionally, must I go and ask to have it forgiven?"

"Well, that is my arrangement for you. While I know you did not do it intentionally, if you want to have it forgiven you must come to the throne of heavenly grace and ask for it to be forgiven."

Why so?

It will help you to remember that you are imperfect, and it will help you to remember that the only cleansing there is in the precious blood; it will help keep you humble; and then, more than that, it will make you generous toward the brethren – "Forgive our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us." Do you not see how the Lord intended that to work out? "But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." What would that mean? That would mean that a great cloud would come up between our hearts and the Lord. He would not forgive our trespasses, and we would be off at a distance. It does not mean original sin. The original sin is all settled. That is forgiven; the Lord never goes back on what He has already done. It is these little trespasses, weaknesses, imperfections, that must be cleared out of the way every day at the Throne of grace through prayer. How wise God was to make us thus dependent – that we could not have the way open with Him unless we would keep the way open with the brethren. Unless we were very humble and gentle toward all we would get into trouble. So this is one of the great lessons for us all, without any exceptions, and I trust it will be one of the blessings of this convention that all our hearts will melt and flow together in sympathetic bonds of union. We have all been immersed into the one Body of Christ, the one Head is Lord over all, His will is our will; our own wills are dead, and we are alive toward God in Christ, and any privilege we have is the privilege of the New Creature. And then our imperfections and trespasses in God's sight call for sympathy from God and forgiveness. That makes us tender and forgiving one of another, even as God for Christ's sake forgives us. Is not that it?

Now then, my dear friends of the Vancouver class, accept our congratulations – and I speak on behalf of Doctor Jones and his party of about 240 who are in the special train. I know they are all full of love for you here, and they appreciate very much the kind words of greeting that were extended through our brother, and we bid you all Godspeed. We shall be leaving you shortly and we wish to leave our love with you and to carry your love with us. Remember us at the Throne of Grace, as we remember all of the dear household of faith.

We Have an Advocate with the Father

MY TEXT is, "We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the righteous" (1 John 2:1). More and more for the last year or so I have been impressed with the thought that our mission is not merely to tell about the Divine Plan of the Ages, but there is a special feature of the work that sometimes might be neglected. It would be the proper and logical thing for anyone hearing the Divine Plan of the Ages expounded to consecrate his heart to God, and to seek to come into harmony with the God of Love, and yet there are some I find who are disposed to say, "By the time I have studied the entire matter, and when I understand it fully, perhaps then I may consecrate my life." Perhaps we have not sufficiently pointed out in the past that this is not the proper course; but that the course God would have us pursue is this: that when we find we are sinners, that is the first thing; then we should repent of the sin and turn from it, even before we find the Lord at all. The step of repentance comes first. Then after we have found that God has made an arrangement by which sinners may be reconciled to Himself, the proper thing next for us to do is to ascertain what the steps are by which we may obtain our share of that reconciliation. Then will come some knowledge of the Divine character and plan. A person who is living in unrepented-of sin would not be in any condition at all to receive the great plan of the ages, because God has declared that none of the wicked shall understand. God does not wish His great plan to be understood by the wicked. It is not the plan of God that is intended to break men's hearts. The very reverse is true. It is the plan of God to bind up the broken-hearted – it is the message of God that speaks peace to those who are in trouble and who are looking to Him and seeking for the righteousness which He will provide. Some, I think, have made a great mistake in thinking the Gospel is a hammer whereby they are to break men's hearts. The devil does the breaking of hearts, I think, a great deal. I do not know of any commission to you and to me to break the hearts of any. By and by in the great time of trouble we may see that some hard hearts will be broken, and during the future the Bible indicates to us that the Lord will specially break their hearts – or dissolve their hearts, more properly. He says I will take away the stoniness of their hearts and will give them hearts of flesh. Instead of being hard and selfish, the hearts of men, under the conditions of the Kingdom, will gradually become soft, and tender, and [CR386] kind, and gentle. This is the way the Lord will operate. But now, in advance of that Kingdom of Messiah, He is seeking for those who are seeking for Him, and if they seek He may be found of them; and those who are not specially seeking Him are not likely to find Him at the present time.

The message of the Gospel then is to those who are already broken-hearted. You remember how Jesus quoted the prophecy of Isaiah 61, "The spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings to 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." This is the work of the Lord, preaching the Gospel to the meek. If there are those who are haughty and proud, we are not specially to hunt them up. If they come our way then we may make the message not to exclude them; but our message is to the meek. You see we have had the wrong idea in the past; we would go out into the highways and those that were blasphemers and very wicked were the very ones we thought we were to deal with. It is quite to the contrary. The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to preach good tidings to the meek, the teachable, to those who want to know. That is the only class God wishes to have know now. All the others by and by will have their eyes opened and their ears opened. He is seeking the class now that desires to be the Bride company, joint-heirs with His Son; therefore the message is not what would suit the hard-hearted at all; it only suits the tender-hearted. Tell them about the love of God, the mercy of God, the forgiveness of sins, the privilege of coming back and having Him as the Father, and having Jesus as the Saviour.

I think this should be an important point with us in our seeking to present the message to those who have hearing ears. If they come to meetings the supposition is their hearts are in a receptive attitude, that they are meek, teachable; and if when they are at the meeting they are told something about the Divine Plan that finds lodgment in their hearts, it implies they are good-ground hearts, and God has a message for them; that their hearts were in the good condition that would receive the seed of the Truth, and it would spring forth there and yield some fruitage. And yet, many no doubt heard this afternoon in our public meeting who will not bring forth any fruitage. They heard gladly – glad there was going to be a good time coming – far better to hear that God is going to bless the world than that He is going to do injury to the world; rather know that God is a kind God, and generous God, than to think of Him as a very demon; but not ready to give their hearts to Him, not teachable, not in the right attitude. I think, as Christian people, we should know how to deal with these, and not merely lead them on, and say, come now and have further knowledge. I think we should indeed give them further knowledge, but I think at the same time that whoever we have an opportunity of instructing in the Truth, we should give them the thought that they will not get the Truth clearly, not see the Divine Plan with clearness of eye, unless they consecrate and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit of the Lord. Because the Apostle says distinctly in so many words, the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. So then unless one becomes a New Creature in Christ, he will never understand the Divine Plan. Neither you, nor I, nor anybody else can ever teach him. I think if we have this in mind it will make us more solicitous that our influence be in the direction of leading people to consecration. It should not be sufficient for us to see that they take the steps to justification merely.

Let us see what the steps are in approaching the Lord. First of all, one desires to come to God; he feels he is a sinner. Jesus said, "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Those who are not weary are not likely to come or rest; those who are not heavy-laden are not likely to hunt the Savior and Burden-bearer. It is after they are weary of sin, and heavy-laden with a feeling of their need of a God, that they begin to desire a Burden-bearer, helper and friend. Then is the time to direct them, "This is the way; walk ye in it." And we point them in the way of faith; we tell them of the steps necessary to be taken in order to come to God. The step of turning from sin might in some respects be called a conversion. It is sometimes so spoken of, and yet that is not the principal conversion. There are two conversions – turning from sin, and full conversion to God, we shall see as we go on. We turn from sin first. We cannot go in two directions at the same time. Whoever is seeking to draw near to God is seeking to leave sin. Whoever is living in sin is wishing to be away from God. Those who are desirous of approaching God, you can inform in this way: The first thing of all is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior.

Whenever I talk on this subject a picture comes before my mind, and I will give you this picture. You remember the Jews had a Tabernacle; that Tabernacle was a picture of God's plan. The Tabernacle proper was built of boards and covered over with skins. Around about that Tabernacle there was a court constructed of linen curtains hung up on poles. In the front of it was a gate, and right in front of the gate was an altar where the offering was made. Then a little piece back of that altar was a large laver of brass in which there was water for the washing of the feet and hands of those who desired to be priests. Now this is our progress, then: Turning away from the world we desire to come to God. That Tabernacle represents God. God's presence was represented by the Shekinah glory in the Most Holy. Whoever wanted to get to God figuratively was wanting to go toward the Tabernacle. Right in front of the gate was the altar. You can go no further unless you see and recognize the fact that Christ died for our sins; that is the message of the altar – Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures. He is our Redeemer. We needed to be redeemed. Our sins could not be forgiven except by and through the merit of this sacrifice which God has provided without any expense to us; it costs us nothing; it is free so far as we are concerned, but it cost the Lord Jesus something, and it cost the Father to provide this for us. There it is, but it must be seen to be accepted; there is no further progress except as it is recognized. Then seeing the sacrifice, we go on.

As we go farther we see the Laver, and that represents the cleansing of ourselves. While we did turn from sin, we say: Now I find there is certain filthiness of the flesh, and I desire to get rid of some of this; I am seeking to get near to God, and I will put off some of the filth of the flesh, will try to become more clean in my words, thoughts and deeds, that I may be more and more pleasing to God. That is the picture.

Then he goes clear up to the door of the Tabernacle; but he is not a priest yet, and his sins are not forgiven yet. The time for forgiveness of sins is when he is accepted by the great High Priest. The individual is typically represented in that scene as being a goat that comes in and goes clear up to the door of the Tabernacle, and there the High Priest accepts it and kills it as a sacrifice. That represents your sacrifice and my sacrifice; as St. Paul says, in Romans 12:1, "I beseech you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." That is where you present yourself. Not that the goat had [CR387] merit, but the High Priest had the merit in Him. His sacrifice had made good for this goat. So Christ's sacrifice has made good for you, and if now you desire to come to God you must come as a sacrifice. There is no one else received except sacrifices now. If you do not wish to present your body a sacrifice to God, you are not invited now. You say, I would like to come to God, but I do not care to just sacrifice. Very well, stand aside, God will have a time for you by and by. He is not inviting any except this first class. He is calling for those who would like to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, those who would like to lay down their very lives in His service. This is the class mentioned in our text when we read, We have an Advocate with the Father. Who are "we"? We are those who have forsaken sin, drawn nigh to God, and come to this place where we say, O Lord, I give myself away. That is the goat ready to be slain. And there the Lord accepts us. That is the slaying of the goat. That is the death of the old man, the old nature, and just at that moment the old nature is reckonedly dead, and that moment the New Creature begins – begotten of the Holy Spirit that we might be children of God, spiritual sons of God. Then we have an Advocate with the Father. We have become the Lord's in two senses: First, in the sense we are New Creatures, begotten of the Spirit, which by and by will be glorified in the first resurrection, if faithful. But now we are not ready for that. We must grow in grace, knowledge, love, and in all the fruits and graces and characteristics of the Master – grow by our trials, by our obedience, and striving against the world, the flesh and the Devil, – grow strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. We must do this before we will be ready for the resurrection change. In the present time, however, as soon as we become the Lord's, we not only belong to the Church in general with all others of God's people, in this one brotherhood of Christ on the spiritual plane, but we are also members of Christ's body on the fleshly plane, on the earthly plane. Your flesh is His flesh, my flesh is His flesh. We present our bodies living sacrifices, the Lord accepts the whole thing, and your body becomes His, and from this standpoint the Scriptures speak of the Church in the flesh as the flesh of Jesus. Jesus has been in the flesh for these eighteen hundred years. Jesus personally died, and personally arose from the dead, and personally as a Spirit being He ascended on high; then at Pentecost He began receiving the Church, and every one He received had a body of flesh, and that body of flesh that was received was received as Christ's body of flesh. So Christ's flesh has been in the world all the way down. All the consecrated ones are His flesh. From that standpoint Christ has been still suffering through all of these 1800 years. No wonder the prophets of old, St. Peter says, spake of the sufferings of Christ – still going on – all the saints are filling up, says St. Paul, that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ – all the members of His body. After these sufferings are filled up, then the glory will follow. The glory has not yet followed, because the sufferings are not yet completed.

Now our ability to endure faithfully is limited; you can only endure in proportion as you appreciate. When you first came into Christ and made a consecration you saw only in a measure, you suffered a little, you sacrificed a little, you didn't know anything more. God kindly veiled your eyes; and so gradually as you were faithful in the least things, He showed you a little more you might do. Then as you were faithful in that, He showed you a little more, and a little more. Faithfulness, obedience, light and knowledge keep pace with each other. The Christian walk is a walk in a path that shines more and more unto the perfect day, in a path that shows indeed more the sufferings with Christ every day, but not necessarily more of unhappiness. Quite the reverse. Instead of meaning more of unhappiness it means greater joy, because the sufferings of Christ participated in by His people bring the highest joy; as the Apostle says, we are permitted to rejoice in tribulation. You know what he meant by that. Remember how that same Apostle learned to rejoice in tribulation himself; how he received thirty-nine blows of the whip when he was put into the jail at Philippi. It was the custom at that time to wash the backs of all prisoners whom they had whipped with salt water, so that the smarting might be more painful and the discipline more severe. After all of that the Apostle Paul, with Silas, was able to break forth in singing to God that he was accounted worthy to suffer for the name of Christ. I tell you, dear friends, there was no suffering there in one sense; there was in another sense, but he had the rejoicing in tribulation. Is it sensible to talk about rejoicing in tribulation? Why, says one, I should think it would be an insane man that would rejoice in tribulation. Oh, no, there is nothing insane about it. He goes on to say, Rejoicing in tribulation, knowing – you see the knowing has a great deal to do with it; if he had not known it would not have been any cause of rejoicing, but he was rejoicing, knowing – that tribulation worketh patience, and patience experience, and experience hope; and thus he realized that all of these trials and disciplines were developing him as a Christian, making him ready, polishing him for the future service of God; not only in the present life but preparing him also for the glory beyond.

The same Apostle again says that when severe afflictions come upon us we should remember that the spirit of glory and of God resteth on us. And that in proportion as we are found faithful, and worthy to suffer for Christ's sake, in the same proportion we may expect a heavier, richer weight of glory in the future.

So then, beloved, this matter of suffering with Christ in the flesh is something that you and I can appreciate and enjoy. If you have trials in the flesh on account of Christ, and because you become disciples of His, rejoice therein and continue faithful in order that you may by and by as a polished jewel be ready for a glorious setting in the immortality of the future.

You remember that is the picture the Lord gives. He tells about the Church. It is a beautiful picture. In one place He tells us we are jewels, and these jewels are being made ready; that He will make up His jewels, by and by; and He explains to us why, if we are the Lord's jewels, called out of the world and begotten of the Holy Spirit, we may expect to have the trials and tribulations, because every jewel needs to be polished. A jewel that is uncut, unpolished, is not worth very much. It has a value, but the real value is brought forth in the cutting of the jewel. So the Lord gives you and me the cutting and polishing necessary to enable us to reflect the glorious light of the goodness of God by and by. They will not all take the same amount of polishing. A little diamond can be cut easier, and polished easier, than a big one; the larger the diamond, the more work in polishing is required. So hope for it that you may be a large jewel in the Lord's hands, and that you may be accounted worthy of a good deal of polishing, that you may also in His providence have a glorious part when "Grace hath well refined our hearts."

Then after all these jewels are ready, He says He will make up his jewels. What does that mean? I will tell you what I think. You know the jeweler when he is wanting to make up a very gorgeous piece of precious stones, selects different stones, and the different places, and their relative position one toward the other, so that one will shed more or less of beauty on the other. That is making them up. He arranges a place for each stone; and if he is a professional jeweler he may make the piece to fit the stones he has. So that is what God represents He is making up – a gorgeous Diadem. Gold in the Bible represents the Divine nature, and God has promised that all of these jewels now being cut and polished will all have the Divine nature; they will, therefore, have the gold setting; and as the prophet of old says, The Church shall be a Royal Diadem in the hand of her God. Is not that a beautiful picture? Why doesn't He put the Diadem on? Well, dear friends, it would be too much honor for the Church for the Lord to put her on His head. No, indeed, there is no such incongruous picture in the Bible. The Bible is a very careful book. The Bible does not say God is making up a Diadem to put on His head, as if to show us forth as something that would adorn Him. Oh, no! We read that it will be a diadem in the hand of our God. He will turn it around in the light to show the various beauties of these gorgeous diamonds that have been polishing for eighteen hundred years. Angels and men will know something of the grandeur touching that diadem company that the Lord will then have completed.

Brother Russell, will the world ever know about the saints? Will they ever know who is of that company? [CR388]

Yes, my dear brother. You remember how it is written in the prophecy again, "It shall be said of this one and of that one, he was born in Zion." That will be told by and by. There will be a regular list made; they will know who are on the other side, who have gained the prize of the High Calling. I hope your name and mine will be amongst them, that we may be accounted worthy.

Brother Russell, it seems easy to have your name written there, doesn't it?

Well, it does seem easier to have it written there than to keep it there. It seems easy to have it written there in the sense that you have so little to give to the Lord that it is an easy thing to give it. But remember how you hung on to that little, how tenacious you were; but afterwards, looking back you say, it was only a trifle. One of the poems in our Poems of Dawn represents the matter beautifully – how the speaker had his own will as a flower in his hand, and he wished to give it to the Lord, and yet he clung to the flower so tenaciously that by the time he really surrendered it into the Lord's hands it was crushed, wilted, dead.

That is very much like some of us have done. We have held on so tight, one would have thought we had something valuable; yet we knew all the time that we had nothing practically of any value to give to the Lord, and it was merely of His grace that it would be received by the Father at all. But we are glad the Lord did accept our little gift.

In the Lamb's Book of Life all of these are written from the very time they enter in. Written as what? Oh, written as members of His body, as members of the Bride class, if we are faithful. He says that if we are faithful He will not blot out our names. That means if we are not faithful He will blot them out. Faithful to what? Faithful to just what you agreed to do. What is that? We just agreed to give our little all. Now you would not think of doing any less than that, would you? As St. Paul says, it is a reasonable service; we could not ask the Lord to make us His joint-heirs unless we gave Him all we had.

So then these are the terms upon which God accepted us and our names were written, and they will stand there unless we withdraw. But if we deny Him, He will also deny us. He says so. If we confess Him, He will confess us. Is that what it is, then, a matter of confessing Christ, or denying Christ? Yes, my dear brother, that is in substance the whole matter; you can state it in just that way. To confess Christ is to live for Christ every day, confessing Him in your daily life, in all the affairs of life; confessing Him in your business life, in harmony with His will; confessing Him in the way you use your time, your influence, your money – in the way you do everything. Whether we eat or drink, or whatever we do, we should do all to the glory of God. And He says that if we thus confess Him, He will not deny us. But if we deny Him, if we seek to live after the world, if we neglect our covenant of sacrifice, then we will not be fit to be of the Bride class.

In this connection I am reminded of the beautiful hymn we sung awhile ago about the Bridegroom and the Bride entering into the marriage. We know we have nothing worthy – the robe, the lamp, and all we have, are the gifts of our Lord. That illustrates also this same subject we are discussing. I will remind you of what a Jewish wedding was. Certain persons were invited to come, and they might be on the way, and some might be on the hill yonder, and some in the valley below; they are coming toward this place where the wedding is to be. If some one should say to them, Where are you going? They would say, I am going to the wedding. And to another, where are you going? I am going to the wedding. But they have not reached the wedding place yet; they are merely on the way. Now when they get to the house and come to the door, that is as far as they can go unless they come under some kind of conditions; and the conditions were that anybody entering such a wedding invited would receive a wedding garment. It was a very plain, simple, white garment, and when each guest had put on the wedding garment, all the guests looked alike at that table in that house; they might have richer or poorer garments underneath, but the wedding garment covered everything and made all of those guests brethren for the time being, because they were guests of that host who had invited them and provided the robe.

Just so you and I and all others who have accepted God's invitation and heard about the wedding garment and the wedding He has prepared for His Son. We said we would like to get into that company. So we have been coming on the way, and striving to put away sin and draw near to God. Now, we say, Here we are, if we can now get into this wedding; we have done the best we could as we came along to straighten our robes and get them in good order. But our robes will not do here; you must put on a wedding garment here, or you can go no farther. Very well. One had a better coat, and another a worse coat; one had a better dress, another a poor dress; but all the dresses, all the imperfections, are covered by the wedding garment when we enter in. Now that moment of entering in, that moment of getting the wedding garment, was when? It was the moment of your consecration. Nobody got the wedding garment except as he made a full consecration of himself to God. How do we know that is so? How do we know that God does not deal with the world in general, does not hear the prayers of everybody? Why should you lay such stress on the point of consecration? Why surely there are many Christian people that have never made a consecration, and really don't know what it is. They have been praying this long time, and now you seem to intimate that there is no relationship with God unless they made a consecration?

That is my understanding, Brother.

Well, what about these Christian people who have been praying?

It is easy to pray; the question is, does God hear? Now get the thought: God heareth not sinners, as the Scriptures say. In order to have the ear of God, and to be heard of Him, and to be permitted to bring our petitions to the Throne of Grace, we must get into relationship to God somehow. By nature we were sinners. There is only one way to get rid of your sins – by belief in the Lord Jesus Christ. But believing merely does not get rid of your sins. The word believing would apply to the Devil, as the Bible says devils believe, but they are not justified by their believing. Neither are we justified simply by believing. Why does it say then believers are justified? That is to say, the believer who acts on his belief, and who shows he really means it, will make a full consecration. A believer from the Scriptural standpoint is a disciple, a follower. A disciple means pupil. So if you want to enter the School of Christ, there is only one way. It does not say that everybody are in the school of Christ, and some take more lessons and some less. There is one definite way of coming into the School and becoming a pupil of His: If any man will be my disciple, let him deny himself, and take up his cross – cross-bearing – and follow me – faithfulness. Then it is that as we become disciples of Christ He becomes our advocate. He does not advocate anybody who is not His disciple.

What is the meaning of the word "advocate?" Advokat in the German represents the thought. It signifies one who pleads the cause of another, standing as his representative. The Germans use the word advocate as a synonym for our word attorney, lawyer. A lawyer is a representative at court. An attorney is one who represents you at court. We stood before God's court represented in father Adam. He was on trial, and was sentenced to death. He was a sinner, and you and I were born in that condition as children of Adam, and if we would come back to the court of God now and say, We would like to have that record of sin blotted out so far as we are concerned, the great Court of Heaven would say, we cannot receive you; we do not receive sinners at this court at all.

What shall we do, Lord? We would like to come to you. Is there any way?

You may come by getting the Advocate. There is only one Advocate for us to get; that is the one God has provided, the one who is willing to be our servant.

If you enter into an earthly court and say, I have a case coming on here, the court would say, Have you an attorney?

No, I have no attorney, no advocate.

Well, you must get one.

So you would have to go and get your advocate. [CR389]

You would then go to someone and say, will you be my advocate, attorney, lawyer, in this case?

I will charge you $200 if I like your case.

You tell him a little about your case, and he says, I would not undertake it at all.

You may go and hunt another attorney or advocate, and say, Would you take my case at all?

Yes, for $500.

You are limited by what your attorney will do. When we want to approach the great Throne of God and get our sins marked off and get reinstated with God, we must go and get an attorney, and there is only one to get, and you are limited to His terms. But His terms are so reasonable when we see them, we have every reason to thank God.

He says, I will be your attorney if you want to come in under the call at the present time.

What is that call?

Full consecration to God, giving up your life sacrificially to His service.

So you make the arrangement, and Jesus then becomes your advocate. So our text says, We have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous.

When did He advocate for us? He advocated for us first of all when He arose from the dead and ascended up on high, there to appear in the presence of God for us. That word "appear" is the same word they use in court. If you employ an attorney, he would say, I will appear for you when court opens. What does he mean? He means he will go into court and give his name to the court as your representative in this case. After that the court will not pay any attention to you; anything it has to say in your case will be referred to your advocate, counsellor, attorney. He represents you in every sense of the word. Jesus ascended up on high and appeared in the presence of God for us, not for the world. The world does not want any attorney with God, nor any dealings with Him. The world is in sin, wishing to forget God, having no hope; they are busy with their own affairs, and Satan has most of them blinded anyway, so that none of them are wanting an Advocate with the Father. There are just a few who want the Advocate, – you and I and all others who desire to come into fellowship with God.

So He appeared for us before we were born, you say?

Yes. He appeared for the whole Church at once. How could He do that when we were not born at all for hundreds of years afterwards? God in His wisdom foreknew what He would do. He knew of the call of the Church, foreordained their number, and what their character must be. They must all be copies of His Son, all living sacrifices, holy, and desirous of pleasing God. The work of this Gospel age is to find that class, and Christ at the very beginning appeared as the Advocate for all of those who would come unto the Father through Him.

Now what did He do, then?

Well, He settled for all the sins that were past – all Adamic sins that were past – when He appeared as our Advocate.

What is Adamic sin?

Adam by reason of disobedience was a sinner, and needed to be redeemed, and you have inherited certain weaknesses from Adam.

But since He cancelled all of those sins, we have had trespasses?

Yes, nobody could live a single day without trespassing, because God's law is perfect, and we are all by nature imperfect. In your heart you do not sin; the New Creature does not sin; it is merely the flesh that is weak, and sins. And Christ, our Advocate, is there with the Father to make good for all of those Adamic weaknesses.

But suppose my mind consents to the wrong?

To whatever extent your mind consents to it, to that extent it is wilful to sin; then it would not be forgiven; only that portion could be forgiven which was not wilful, that portion which belonged to Adam; but the part you would add to it is not forgivable.

What would happen, then?

Whatever is not forgivable is punishable. You would get stripes of one kind or another, in proportion to the degree in which your will consented. But we are not to suppose that the will would give full consent. There is such a sympathy between the flesh and the will that sometimes the will may, so to speak, become lax, allowing the flesh to go and take it by force. The will should not do that; the will is responsible, and will get some kind of stripes because it has been careless. But the will itself does not love sin, and that you know because after the temptation of the moment has passed, you feel sorry for it. You would not feel sorry if you had approved it. If your will changed and preferred to live in sin, then you would not be sorry for the sin afterwards. You would say, That is just what I wanted to do. But many sins we all have are such as are weaknesses of the flesh, which says to the will, "You just be blind a little bit while I, the flesh, have a little bit of freedom." That is the tendency, and that is where you must conquer as a New Creature. The New Creature is to say, "No, you are my flesh, I am accountable for you, you shall not do anything of the kind; I am to have the victory over the flesh." Each one must be an overcomer in fighting the fight of faith and obedience to God, in putting down everything that pertains to sin and unrighteousness in ourselves, and standing for that which is right and pleasing to God. That is the test of our loyalty to Him and the principles of His government. If you should go to the extreme of saying, I have given up all opposition to sin, my will is surrendered to sin, then that means you have died as a New Creature altogether. It would be the sin unto death, to my understanding.

But, as says the Apostle, we are persuaded better things of you, brethren, though we thus write; we are persuaded your hearts are loyal to Him who called us out of darkness into His marvellous light, and you are wishing to fight a good fight against all the faults of your natural, fallen flesh, and God is pleased to help you, and you have the assurance of the Lord's Word that He will not suffer us to be tempted above that we are able to bear, but will with every temptation provide a way of escape.

But suppose, Brother Russell, we are overtaken, and there is part wilfulness, or part or entire ignorance, or what not, – what then shall we do?

Why, my dear brother, the Bible says, if any man sin we have an Advocate with the Father. If we sin, if we trespass as our Lord's prayer tells us, forgive us our trespasses, our daily shortcoming, the things in which we fail to come up to the full requirements, – if we thus trespass we need to go to the Fountain of Grace. And this is the picture that is given us.

These robes we put on when we came to the Lord and desired to have entrance to the wedding were white and clean, representing our purity, our full justification at that moment, justified the moment we made our consecration, and covering all the blemishes of our flesh. Now the robe was not necessary for the New Creature? Oh, no, the New Creature needed no robe! It is the flesh that needs the robe – the flesh that has become the flesh of Jesus. Jesus said to Saul of Tarsus when he was persecuting the Church, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me? He was persecuting the Church in the flesh; Jesus called their flesh His flesh. So our flesh is the flesh of the Lord Jesus Christ, and it is covered because it has imperfection. We have this treasure in earthen vessels.

Now our Master says, Keep your garments unspotted from the world. And then He tells us the class that ultimately will enter into the marriage and constitute that class will be without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing. But perhaps every day you may get a spot on your robe. What shall you do? There is the secret. If you get a spot on your robe you are to go to the Fountain that the Lord has provided for uncleanliness and sin, the Fountain of the Blood of Jesus. "It cleanses me" as we sometimes sing. That is the way you keep your garments unspotted from the world.

But one says, Surely if we did it in ignorance the Lord would not count it a spot? Yet He does; He counts it a spot if it is wrong. All unrighteousness is sin; all sin is a spot on your robe, no matter whether you knew it or didn't know it. Why does He not ignore anything except where the will would come in? He has His own way, and that is the better way. He says, I want you as my disciples to learn carefulness. Every morning think about your robe as [CR390] you start out. Say, at the opening of each day, What shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits to me? Then answer, You may take the cup of salvation and walk carefully before the Lord, unspotted from the world. Then at night as you review the day you find you have failed here and there. The one thing is, never go to bed, never go to sleep, with a spot on your robe – never. That is the only way I know of to keep the garment unspotted – take it to the Lord in prayer. He said the blood of Jesus Christ would cleanse us from all sin. The word "cleanseth" there in the Greek is the imperfect participle which signifies, "keeps cleansing;" continues to cleanse us – not merely what He did at first, nor what He may do at any time, but the Apostle says His blood keeps cleansing us from all sin.

Why should He do this for us? Why should He not allow them to go, and say, "Never mind, I knew you didn't intend it, don't bother with it?"

Oh, He wants you to learn every little thing in respect to your imperfections, that you may be all the more on guard; or, as the Apostle says, walk circumspectly, watching where you tread – "I wonder if that is a bad place to walk? I might get my garment soiled there."

Did you ever notice a lady with a white dress on passing through a muddy street, or near muddy wheels, etc.? how carefully she will draw her garments around her to seek to walk carefully at each step? She is trying to keep her garments unspotted. And if she got a spot on this garment, what would she do? She would not necessarily send it to the laundry to have it all done over because of a single spot, but she would have a cleansing fluid; she would take out the spot with a great deal of care – the very way the Lord tells us to do. We take it to Him and He sponges the spot and we stand before Him clean again, forgiven, and with the white pure robe.

The great difficulty seems to be that after we have had some experiences of that kind – it does very well the first time, but after we have done it more than once, properly enough we feel, Oh, I am ashamed that I have not made more success in my striving; I thought I could manage that matter better; I felt sure that would be the last time I would need to go to God in prayer on that matter; I felt sure that by His strength assisting me I would be firm on that point, and it should never have to be repented of again.

That is the time you are in danger. That "again" comes in there; the tendency, you know, is to stay away, say nothing about it, try to forget it, tumble off in bed and go to sleep and never mind it – land of forgetfulness. But the stain is still on, my dear brother. And the next day you will feel the same, try to forget the robe, try to forget the spots, try to forget the Lord – and you succeed. Gradually a veil comes between your soul and the Lord. He is not as near as He formerly was. He is not as dear to you as He formerly was. He is far off. He is still your God, you are still trusting in Him, but there is a lack of the fellowship of the spirit; there is a lack of comradeship that you want. Those earth-born clouds have arisen and are hiding you more and more from His face.

That is the experience of hundreds of the Lord's people, because they do not resolve that they could not live away from the Lord's presence, and could not be in His presence with the spots. They cannot be in fellowship with the Lord with the spots on, and they cannot have proper Christian life absent from the Lord.

So then the lesson to us on that point is, watch and be humble. You see how much more humble you are when you come back and say, "Oh, Lord, another time; I am ashamed!" The humbling will do you good. The Lord wants all His children to be very humble. That is one of the very foundations upon which all the other graces are to be built. He wants you to learn every day. And so the Apostle says, Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God. If the spot remains, gradually it becomes more and more of a barrier, and if it continues in that way you will not be accounted worthy of a place in His Bride company at all.

So then we see the necessity for prayer, and the forgiveness of sins, and how the Lord made it all to work for good to us. But suppose you let the spots go on, what then? You will be like a good many people; you would have a good deal of company. The number of those who are without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing, is very small; there are many who have not kept their wedding robes with sufficient care; they have not shown their appreciation of the wedding, and how much they would like to be there. And if some one would say to such a person, "Why you have spots on your robe, don't you see?" he would say, "I know I have."

He tries to put it out of sight, tries to ignore the spots. That is the tendency. Or, to say, "I know there are spots there, but I try to forget them, – Is there anything else I can do for you?"

He tries to turn it off. Everybody has them, he says.

I hope everyone in this audience tonight is going to look at his or her garment before going to sleep tonight, think about its value, its passport into the Kingdom to the wedding. It means everything. Instead of having it all bedraggled and spotted with sin, it has a certain stamp on it, and you were to embroider it with the character-likeness of the Lord. You were to get that robe ready for the wedding, and all the painstaking stitches of character and preparation for the Lord's likeness – all of these things you were to do. The robe was pure and white when you got it, and if you have neglected it some, see that you go to the Lord and stay with Him until you have the assurance of His forgiveness. He is just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. It is not a matter merely of love, it is a matter of justice. Have we really a right to go to God? Oh, yes, says the Apostle, let us come with courage to the Throne of Heavenly Grace to obtain mercy. How would it be justice and mercy? Why, God made the arrangement. Jesus has died, paid the penalty and made application of His own merit sufficient to cleanse all your spots that are unintentional. It is all there to be asked for.

Now there are some who will not do that; they will live short of their covenant; they will not have the smile of the Lord; they will not be walking in the light of His countenance. Think it all over. Have you done the best you knew how to do, as the Lord's servant, the Lord's steward, as one who professes His name? Have you done your very best, and can you say "Lord in my imperfection I am sure I must have come short of your perfect standard; forgive I pray the shortcoming of thy servant for Jesus' sake." That would be all fixed, wouldn't it? Then you will have the Father's smile. Our hymn 273 contains this very thought:

Sun of my soul, my Father dear,
I know no night when thou art near.
O! may no earth-born cloud arise
To hide thee from thy servant's eyes.
But there are some who will not "keep" their garments, and the Bible tells us about these. They get their garments all bedraggled and they are not fit for the wedding at all. What will become of these? You remember the picture. God gives us a little glimpse in the seventh chapter of Revelation

of these and tells us they must wash their garments, and make them white and come up through a great time of trouble. It is not the sufferings that will cleanse them but the blood that will cleanse. And you might just as well have the cleansing now and thus be pleasing to the Lord, and enjoy the light of His countenance day by day. This is our blessed privilege. I wonder if we are not all of one heart and mind on this subject? I wonder if we do not appreciate the condition of having an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous? I wonder if we will not try to use that great Advocate more, and to keep in close touch with the Father according to the gracious arrangement He has made for us? So doing, an abundant entrance will be ministered unto us into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Prev   Next