Head of the Bible House Congregation Maintains that Object of Christ's Advents is Blessing to All


The last but one of the series of debates on the teachings of the scriptures between Pastor C. T. Russell of the Bible House congregation and the Rev. Dr. E. L. Eaton of the North Avenue Methodist Episcopal church, Allegheny, took place last evening at Carnegie Music hall, Allegheny, before one of the largest audiences that has ever filled that auditorium.

The interest, which has been strong in the discussion from the start, has been augmented as the series went on, and when the final proposition comes up next Sunday at 3 p. m., it is assured that the crowds of last night and former night will be outdone, if that is possible.

The Rev. Eli Miller was the selected chairman of [HG145] last evening's meeting. Before the debate started 15 minutes were given to devotional exercises.

The subject of last evening was: "The scriptures clearly teach that the second coming of Christ will precede the millennium; and that the object of both' the second coming and the millennium' is the blessing of all the families of the earth."

This was affirmed by Pastor Russell, who opened the debate with a 50-minute address. Dr. Eaton followed in the negative and then each spoke for 10 minutes in reply to the other. Pastor Russell in opening said:


It will not be necessary for me to even attempt to quote the large number of Scriptures which declare that our Lord is coming again. The second coming of our Lord is well established in the Scriptures by many texts, and this is not the subject under discussion this evening. The second coming is admitted by both parties.

The question is respecting the object of our Lord's coming. The view that I present is that our Lord will come before the millennium and that the work which will follow His coming will be a great blessing to the world, the millennial blessings that are promised in the Scriptures. It may not be amiss to remember a couple of texts, however, which bear upon this subject.

The Apostle John writes, "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be, but when He shall appear we know that we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is." That is the strong consolation of the Scriptures; we shall be like the Lord, as we read from First Corinthians 15, the other evening, "We shall be changed, because flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; therefore all who will be inheritors of that kingdom, who shall be joint heirs with the Lord Jesus Christ, must first experience this resurrection, change from animal conditions to spiritual." That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the spirit is spirit," as our Redeemer declared. We must be born again; begotten of the spirit now, and in resurrection power born of the spirit, if we shall share with our Lord in the wonderful kingdom which He has promised to them that love Him, this kingdom for which you and I and all God's people for 1,800 years have been praying, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven."

Again, we remember our Lord's words, "I go to prepare a place for you, and if I go and prepare a place for you I will come again and receive you unto myself, that where I am there ye may be also." Glorious promise! We are looking for that time, the second coming of the Lord, when we shall receive this great blessing of a share in the kingdom. Our brother has conceded the point that the Scriptures teach nothing respecting the saints of God or anyone else going to heaven at any time preceding the second coming of the Lord. "No man hath ascended up to heaven, but the Son of man that come down from heaven." "David is not ascended to heaven," says Peter, nor any others who have died. They are waiting in death, waiting for the awakening time, waiting for the morning, when the Lord Jesus, as the bright and morning star, and as the sun of righteousness, with healing in His beams, shall arise, to bring blessing to all the families of the earth.


The Scriptures teach that there will be wide blessing throughout the world at the time of our Lord's second coming, that is to say, following His second advent, and that these blessings are to be to all the families of the earth, and not as during this Gospel age, confined to a special few who have ears to hear and hearts to understand, 'Blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear," but there are many who have not this sight and hearing, for, the Apostle says, "The god of this world (Satan) hath blinded the minds of them that believe not, lest the light of the goodness of God should shine unto them." But the time also is promised, according to the Prophet, "when the blind eyes shall be opened, and the deaf ears unstopped, and it shall be unto the Lord for a name and for an everlasting sign, that shall not be cut off." We are not preaching universal salvation. We wish to make this clear. Universalism proposes that everyone shall be saved eternally. It is not the teaching of the Scriptures; which declare that "There is no other name given under heaven or amongst men whereby we must be saved" but the name of Jesus.

To our understanding none but those who accept Christ and form character are fit for the kingdom or for any other everlasting condition of blessing; that God has never promised everlasting life to any except those who do form character, and who form it on the basis of faith in His Son. Our position is that the Scriptures teach that in the millennial age all shall know, in order that they may believe, as the apostle declares, "God, our Savior, will have all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth, for there is one God and one Mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all to be testified in due time." "Not testified to all now, because all have not the ears to hear.

Whosoever hath an ear to hear, let him hear." Do not keep it back from anybody; let everybody who [HG146] has a hearing ear have it, and let him be blessed; but many are not in a condition to know God's proposition at present. In due time all shall have that glorious opportunity.


Then comes the question, Will this millennial blessing and kingdom precede the second coming of our Lord? Could it do so? That is the thought that a great many have, that God commissioned the church to convert the world, and after that conversion the Lord will come and say, "Well done, as well done as I could have done Myself." But, dear friends, nearly nineteen hundred years have passed since the gospel began; nearly nineteen hundred years since Pentecost, and what do we see? Evidences that the church could convert the world? We answer, no. Thank God, there is some impression made upon the world; we are glad of it. As our Lord said, we are lights in the world, and the light reproves the darkness and has a little effect here and there; but the number on the Lord's side is comparatively small; the number of saints is still very much of a minority, and if you and I have any hope that there is anything we could do to bring in the millennium, it is because we have not examined the subject properly.

Consider how many are converted every year, and then tell me how far we shall be off in thousands of millions of years from the world's conversion. The number of heathen in the world is away out of proportion to the number of converts. The births, according to the flesh, keep right along, but the births according to the spirit are limited and cannot be transmitted from father to son. In these nineteen hundred years we have no encouragement that the church is able to bring in the conditions for which we are praying, "Thy kingdom come." The church is the kingdom in the embryo sense; the class which God is taking out as a people for his name, and this church, when glorified with full kingdom power and honor, shall bless the families of the earth, when it is all gathered out.

It is the seed of Abraham, as Paul declared in Gal. 2:29, "Then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." What was the promise? The promise was that the seed should bless all the families of the earth. The seed is not yet complete; therefore, the blessing of the families of the earth is not begun. The glorification of this class is first necessary, then the knowledge of the Lord shall fill the whole earth as the waters cover the deep; then the kingdom shall have come, and the Lord's will begun to be accomplished on earth as in heaven.


But let me suggest that if the whole heathen world were converted to as good a condition as this city of Allegheny' and from my standpoint of judgment Allegheny is one of the most moral and religions cities in the world' how far would it be from that condition which the Lord declares shall obtain? You haven't any hope of turning the whole world in the present time to any better condition than we have here, and no man has the power to produce any better condition now. Well, then, is God's will done in Allegheny as it is done in heaven? No, most assuredly. Then it is necessary for the kingdom to crush out the various evils in the world, to bind Satan, that he shall deceive the nations no more, before the promised blessings shall fill the whole earth and bring the intended restitution.

Notice some Scriptures which refer to the condition of the world at the second advent. In Matthew 24, the Lord gives us a picture of the whole gospel age, down to its end, and right down at the close there is no suggestion of the world being converted, but the very opposite. At the close of that prophecy He tells of deceiving things, that would deceive, if possible, the very elect, and bids us be on our guard, to hold fast the precious word. His word is again, "When the Son of Man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?" The intimation is that faith will somehow or other be on the decrease at that time. So we find it.

Higher criticism, evolution, worldly philosophy are undermining the faith of God's people, so that they are not believing nearly as much as their fathers did of God, His power and His character. Again, the words of the apostle, "Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived." He is speaking of seduction from the faith of the gospel. Higher criticism is seducing in our day, and various delusions are drawing aside from the faith. The apostle points to this as evidence of conditions at the end of the age. He writes to Timothy, "In the last days (of the age) perilous times shall come"' not the world converted and everybody on the Lord's side.


Our Lord pictured how it would be in the end of the age. The parable of the talents and the parable of the pounds. The nobleman distributed his possessions to his servants, and went into a far country. What did he go into a far country for?

"To receive for himself a kingdom' and to return." The Lord was drawing an illustration from Herod's course, who went to Rome to be invested with authority as king; and as Herod, when he came back, rewarded those who would be faithful to him and punished those who were unfaithful, so the [HG147] Lord illustrates His departure, into heaven itself, leaving the talents of opportunity with His people, saying, "Occupy till I come." Then he tells us about the nobleman's return, and the calling of the servants – not the world' and reckoning with them.

I trust many of you are servants of the Lord, who have received pounds and talents of the Lord, who are occupying and using these to serve His cause, and that when the Lord shall reckon with us we shall prove ourselves faithful servants, having profited by the stewardship, and may thus receive the Lord's commendation, "Well done, good and faithful servant; enter into the joy of thy Lord. Thou hast been faithful over a few things. I will make thee ruler over many things." Ruler over what? Some one says everything is to be destroyed. Not so.

The world will be to rule over, to be brought into harmony with God. The knowledge of the Lord is to be made to fill the whole earth, and God is going to use instruments in accomplishing this work.

In one of these parables the Lord speaks of ruling over cities. Where are they?

The thought is that those who are the Lord's servants in this gospel age, if they use their talents, in due time, when He returns, having received the investiture of His kingdom, He shall establish the kingdom, and these faithful ones shall be associated in it for the advancement of the world. As the Scriptures express it, "They shall be kings and priests unto God, and shall reign with Him a thousand years."


That brings us to the thought that the Scriptures speak of this work during the millennial age as a judgment work. Unfortunately a very serious error has crept into the minds of many, and they speak of the day of judgment as though it were a day of damnation. They take a great many unscriptural ideas concerning it, as Brother Talmage described it' that Christ would descend in glory and sit upon the rim of a cloud, and the earth would turn upon its axis and a few here and there would come to Him, while to the world in general He would say, "Damn you!

Damn you!" An awful picture for a Christian minister to present to his hearers!

There are very hazy ideas in the minds of people in general concerning this day of judgment. The Scriptural view is that it is the whole millennial age, the thousand-year judgment day, for "a day with the Lord is as a thousand years." During that thousand-year day the whole world is to be judged; not judged in the way that Brother Talmage thought, but with righteous judgment. We use the word judge in the sense of trial' that is the ordinary thought in the word.

One must be tried before being sentenced, and this thought is contained in the Scriptural use of the word judgment. During the gospel age all of the Lord's people are on trial, on judgment; there is the judgment day before the Lord, and we shall be required to give an account. The reckoning will be totaled up at the end of the trial, and a decision passed. It is very nice to speak about God saving a man instantly, but even in the Methodist church they have a few months' probation before a person will be received into that earthly church. (Laughter and applause) How about receiving a man into the glorified church? Do you not think that it will take time for each individual to develop character in order to become members of the little flock? Will it not need some probationary experience first?

Is not the Lord having us now in our various trials and difficulties under a process of preparation, to make us "meet for the inheritance of the saints in light," as the apostle says?


When you started on your trial, when all Christians started on their trial, were they tried for the sins that .are past? Are they being tried now for the sins that are passed? No, God mercifully forgives your sins; they were committed in ignorance and weakness before you knew Him. They are not counted against you at all. As the apostle speaks of the blessing of God concerning the "sins that are past through His forbearance." You are forgiven, the Lord's mercy is exercised toward you, and you hear of His pardon; "Blessed is the man whose sins are forgiven, whose transgression is covered!" Then how will it be with the world? He is the same God, He is no respector of persons, that He should forgive your sins that are past, and should thrash all the others for their sins.

If you believe God exercised mercy toward you, and forgave you your sins, then believe also that the Lord has a similar arrangement for the world. I am not speaking of wilful sins; I understand that everyone wilfully sinning will receive punishment to the extent of the wilfulness, but sins that are committed in ignorance and blindness will be forgiven through the merit of Christ. For instance, Peter says of those who crucified the Lord: "I wot that in ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers." God was able to forgive them, and our Lord's prayer was: "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do." That is the kind of a God we love; that is the God of the Scriptures, and that is the reason we love and worship and appreciate Him. He is a merciful God, that He should be reverenced, as the Psalmist says. (Applause) The world, then, is not going to be on judgment for [HG148] the sins that are past. To a certain extent every sin that everyone commits has an effect upon the individual at the time. You know how weaknesses and sins of youth have been entailed by many down to their gray hairs. You know they have suffered more or less, although they had the forgiveness of the Lord. So with the whole world. The world, in proportion as they degraded themselves, have in themselves the punishment for their sins, a certain degradation, and during the millennial age, when they come to the great uplifting time that God has promised through Jesus, those degraded ones will have that much more of a journey to go before they shall get back to that justified, perfect condition which must be attained before they will be approved in God's sight.


Restitution will require that time and effort on their part be expended, and thus throughout all their judgment-trial time they will be required to overcome the weaknesses and imperfections until they have attained the end of the millennial age. The Scriptures refer to this day of judgment in a very different way than that which most people today regard it. The proper thought is that God is going to offer to the world eternal life, if when they come to a knowledge of Him they choose to render obedience to Him. Knowledge is the first pre-requisite; no man shall be saved in ignorance.

When he comes to the knowledge of the truth, and is obedient to it, in that proportion he may have divine favor. This principle is applicable now, to all who hear, and will be in operation upon the world when they shall come to know God as He really is, to know that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, to realize God's mercy, and I believe it will reach many of their hearts, and when they rightly divide between truth and error, light and darkness, the majority of people will want to choose the right! (Loud applause) Nothing in the Scriptures tells us what will be the proportion of those who will finally reject and how many will finally accept, but we do know that "The gift of God is eternal life" only for those who love and serve and obey Him, and those who will not have this King to reign over them shall eventually die the second death, from which there is no recovery. That was the case in the parable. After the nobleman had dealt with his servants he turned to his enemies: "Bring hither mine enemies, and slay them."

There will be hundreds and thousands of millions, nearly the whole world, in this attitude of opposition toward God, for comparatively few, a little flock, are the Lord's servants. And when they are brought up in the millennial age they will be given the opportunity to decide whether they are enemies of Him or not. Then we shall find the sword of the Lord, the word of truth, shall slay them; it shall discover the secret springs of their hearts and those who realize Him as their Master and accept Him as such, will be permitted to attain the full measure of favor the Lord has promised; and those who reject and resist the opportunities will be cut off, as the prophet has declared: "A sinner that is an hundred years shall be cut off."


David prophesied of the judgment day in 1 Chron. 16:31-34. Notice how David was glad there was a judgment day. "Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice, and let men say among the nations, 'The Lord reigneth; 'let the sea roar and the fulness thereof; let the fields rejoice, and all that is therein; then shall the trees of the wood sang at the presence of the Lord, because He cometh to judge the earth." They did not have the thought that judgment would mean the damnation of nearly everybody; they longed for the judgment time, because it signified a time of deliverance and blessing. In the olden time they had their judges, who came amongst them for deliverance and blessing, and now God has proposed to raise up the great antitypical judge, the Lord Jesus and the church His body, that this great judge shall bless all the people with the wise government that is necessary for their uplift.

So we read again that "God hath appointed a day"' a future day' "in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom He hath ordained"' and the word righteousness here signifies equitable, just, in accord with the foundation principles of God's character, which guarantees that the ransom through Jesus Christ will be made fully applicable to every member of the race of mankind. The world needs this great trial, to see whether they will have life everlasting or choose death. If they want life they must choose it by obedience. If they choose disobedience they will choose the penalty, and "the wages of sin is death." (Applause) Revelation gives a picture in the twentieth chapter of the millennial kingdom' five different pictures of the same kingdom. The first verse opens by saying, "I beheld thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them"' to the saints, the church, with the Lord, in the time of the blessing of the world.

Then he proceeds to tell how Satan will be bound, while the judgment is proceeding; then the statement that the "dead world shall not live until the thousand years are finished," which we discussed the last session. It will require the thousand years to build [HG149] up character.


Some of them are very degraded; they will need much help before they will be worthy of life, so that it could be properly said that God's will is done on earth as it is done in heaven. That will shall not be perfectly done until He will have conquered the world, then this statement of Revelation declares, "Every creature in heaven and earth heard I, saying 'Blessing and glory and honor unto Him that sitteth on the throne, and to the Lamb!" Further down in the chapter we read of the great white throne' the throne of purity and righteousness and equity, equitable judgment' and of the opening of the books, the Books of Scriptures, "and the dead shall be judged out of the things written in the books"' the dead world, dead in the sense that God does not recognize them as having right to life, dead in the sense that they have not the Son, who has the eternal life, and whom they must have in order to possess it. These dead are to be judged' not while in the grave, but while on trial before the judgment throne, Christ and the church.

This reminds us of the Lord's own statement, "My word shall judge them in the last day." That will be the only standard of judgment then.

The parable of the sheep and the goats is another which refers to the millennial age. The introduction shows that it does not belong to the gospel age at all. "When the Son of man shall come in His glory"' He has not come in His glory yet' " and all the holy angels with Him, then shall the Son of man sit upon the throne of His glory, and before Him shall be gathered all nations"' in what sense? In the sense that you and I stand before the great Judge every day in our trial' we are under His observation. Then the parable goes on to show a division. The judgment day will be the thousand years, and during that time some will be taking their places at the right, and some at the left, and at the close of the day all the sheep of the whole world will be gathered at the right hand, and all the goats of mankind will be gathered at the left hand, and the Lord's decision for reward or punishment will follow. But where is the church during that judgment of the world? We answer in the Lord's words, "They shall sit with Me in My throne."


The judgment work shall be preceded by a great time of trouble, as declared by Daniel' "God will take the kingdom and give it to the saints of the Most High."

Although the kingdom shall ultimately be one of peace and blessing, the usurping prince now in control must be overthrown, and with him all the social institutions which he has projected and established, and in this work "there shall be a time of trouble such as was not since there was a nation," declares the prophet, and our Lord confirms that word and adds, "No, nor ever shall be."

Peter speaks of this time in figurative language, declaring, "The heavens being on fire shall be dissolved; the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. The elements shall melt with fervent heat."

This highly figurative language expresses a similar thought to that we sometimes use, when speaking of great financial or political disturbance, "It is getting very hot!" But that the words are not literally understood, let me quote you the prophet Zephaniah, "Wait ye upon Me, saith the Lord, until the day that I rise up to the prey; for My determination is to gather the nations that I may assemble the kingdoms, that I may pour upon them Mine indignation, even all My fierce anger, for the whole earth shall be devoured with the fire of My jealousy"' that's the kind of fire. The very next verse says, "Then shall I turn to the people a pure language that they may call upon the name of the Lord, to serve Him with one consent. (A storm of applause here interrupted the speaker.) In Rev. 11, "The nations were angry, and Thy wrath is come"' they were not converted then! '" and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and Thy servants the prophets, and the saints, and them that fear Thy name small and great." (Applause) This is at the end of this age, when the Lord takes to Himself His great power and begins His reign. He has had the power ever since He rose from the dead, when He said, "All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth," but it is one thing to have the power, and quite another thing to use it. In Acts 3:19-21, times of refreshing are spoken of as coming at the times of restitution of all things spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets, and which are to be ministered by Christ whom the heaven is retaining until that glorious time, when He shall come again. (Applause) In Luke 27:29, the Lord referred to Sodom and Gomorrah as destroyed by God's wrath, because of wickedness, but the Lord also declares in Matt. 11:23, that "it shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment" than for Capernaum. In other words, that it will be a tolerable time for Capernaum, and a more tolerable time for Sodom' because of greater responsibility on the part of the former. The Sodomites are to have a chance, and you can read at your leisure concerning their opportunity in the sixteenth chapter of Eze. 16:48-63. (Prolonged applause) When Pastor Russell sat down, Dr. Eaton began his [HG150] reply which was as follows:


I find myself able to congratulate my brother on having recited a great deal of Scripture, and a great deal of it just as I would have recited it myself, so I agree with him in a great many things. He is a good deal less harmful tonight than he has been in some of his utterances. (Laughter) However, most of the Scripture that has been quoted is capable of a number of different interpretations, a great deal of it is equivocal. We cannot settle a great question like this on Scripture that is of that sort. He said not long ago that parables never mean what they say, and he has demonstrated it tonight. (Laughter) "Now are we the children of God, and it is not manifested what we shall be, but when it is manifested we shall be like Him," says the revised American version. You have the revised version on sale, my brother, and it would be a good thing to read it. (Laughter) In interpreting Scriptures there are certain things one wants. First, common sense; second, education; third, the holy spirit. Those are three pre-requisites. But, in addition to that, there are canons of interpretation that God has laid down, which we cannot neglect. One is in relation to the word, "Take heed how ye hear," "Take heed that no man deceive you," lest you fall, and speaking particularly to the church at Thessalonica, which had gone daft on the millennial idea, Paul warns them specially to take heed against the deceit of men. I can lead you anywhere, and so can my brother, if you let your brains have a vacation in the meantime; but if you are going to do your own thinking we cannot lead you anywhere. (Much applause, in which Pastor Russell joined) The second canon of interpretation is to interpret the figurative by the literal. You have had a hundred texts tonight, and they are the standard of our brother's style of interpretation' interpreting the literal by the figurative. It is all wrong. My brother reversed the proper rule, and has gone off into that marvelous creation and exhibition of ingeniousness which he has given us tonight. He is ingenious, his is a marvelously ingenious mind, but the ingeniousness is a dangerous kind, when it overthrows scriptural interpretation.


The first illustration we have of interpreting figurative Scripture is by Joseph, with Pharaoh's dream. He interpreted seven lean kine coming out of the river as meaning seven years of famine. So Daniel, in the vision of Nebuchadnezzar. He interpreted the dream of an image in a literal way, and showed that it meant kingdoms. Our Lord gives a number of illustrations; every time they asked him to interpret any figurative story he always made it simply, a plain literal statement. If you don't follow this method you will always be on a sidetrack or in the ditch.

(Applause) "These all died in faith, not having received the promises."

Our brother has quoted that time after time. They did receive the promises from the days of Adam right down. What does the author of Hebrews mean when he says they died in faith not having received? Not having received the fulfilment of the promises, but seeing them afar off. That is interpreting according to the analogy of faith. Peter puts the same doctrine in this form: "No prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation." You cannot let one doctrine of statement stand out in antagonism to the rest. Take one Scriptural statement and let that interpret the whole, as our brother does, when he takes the statement about selecting a people for the Gentiles, and you get a great mix-up. (Applause) Our Lord Jesus gave 50 parables, and never once mentioned a personal reign on this earth. I defy any man to find anything in the 50 parables or anywhere else where our Lord says anything about a person coming on this earth. I am not a post-millennialist, nor an ante-millennialist, nor a pre-millennialist, but I am an anti-millennialist, for I don't believe in any millennial nonsense at all.


Christ will certainly come again to this world. I am exactly agreed with our brother there. He didn't come at the destruction of Jerusalem. He is coming in person, not to reign, not to set up, but to deliver up a kingdom. Christ's second coming is mentioned 318 times in the New Testament. "I go and prepare a place for you, and if I go and prepare a place, I will come again and receive you." My brother would have it read, "I go to prepare a place for you on earth, and when I am ready you can stay there and enjoy it all." The second coming is mentioned in 260 chapters in the New Testament, and 318 times; it is mentioned in one verse in every twenty-five. It is a tremendous doctrine. (Enthusiastic general applause) Now, what is His coming for? He himself says it is to deliver up a kingdom. The first eight verses of the twentieth chapter of Revelation are the only ones that have any suggestion of a millennium in the Bible. "I saw thrones, and they sat upon them"' it doesn't say who sat upon them, and we don't know who they were. "I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus and the word of God"' these were the [HG151] ones who did the reigning, and they were disembodied souls, they are the only ones that are going to be in the millennium with Jesus, the only ones to reign with Christ a thousand years. They may be living and reigning there now, for ought I know. I don't know anything about it. They may be reigning in paradise all the time. Jesus doesn't stay in paradise all the time, but I have no doubt he often visits it. You could give a thousand interpretations to this passage, but the best thing is to let it stand.

It is prophecy, and we shall never know what prophecies mean until they are fulfilled. Nobody has been able to tell until they were fulfilled. "The rest of the dead lived not again." Our brother has tried to wiggle out of that, but it is a simple statement as it stands.

"When the thousand years are finished Satan shall go forth to deceive the nations, to gather them together to battle, the number of whom is as the sand of the seashore." The earth is covered with wicked nations, while Christ is reigning somewhere with His saints! There is the figurative story in a figurative chapter in a figurative book, and the book of Revelation has never been understood, though 10,000 able and ingenious and conscientious men, as my brother is, have tried to interpret it and have not been able. Dr. Adam Clarke, one of the brightest commentators in the Methodist church, tried it and failed; yet he is a Methodist' almost as good a Methodist as I am! (Laughter.)


There is no setting up of a kingdom in this chapter; there is no capital mentioned here that I know of, and no throne, except these judgment thrones. Where did they reign with Christ? It does not say whether on earth or where. Who are Gog and Magog, when Satan comes forth from his prison, and finds the earth peopled with wicked nations. These nations were on earth during that thousand years, because they were not destroyed at the beginning, nor resurrected at the close, and their battle begins after the millennium ends. If our brother had only got that big fighting into the period of the thousand years there would be a little to support his theory, but when the thousand years are finished the devil comes, and there is the devil to pay. (Laughter.) Christ's kingdom is referred to in prophecy, and I will select one reference. In the second chapter of Daniel is the dream of the metalic image that Nebuchadnezzar had, and which Daniel interpreted, "Thou sawest until a stone was cut out of the mountains without hands, and it struck the image upon the feet and ground it to powder, and the winds swept it away, and this stone grew, and became a great mountain that filled the whole earth." First it was the kingdom of stone, then the kingdom of the mountain – it is that today, thank God, and is rapidly filling the whole earth. The stone struck the image on its feet during the reign of the Roman emperors, the last of the empires represented by the image, following Babylon, Persia and Greece.

The millennialists find that an awful picture to interpret, and in order to postpone the setting up of the kingdom until the time comes, they want to keep that image standing, and of all the wiggling and twisting they do to keep the image standing!

They manage to think the toes are still here. So an ingenious man, Uriah Smith, the Battle Creek Adventist, manages to get ten toes still standing identified with ten countries in Europe, in which the Roman empire was split up; but the difficulty is that he has got all the toes on one foot. (Laughter.)


"The kingdom shall not be left to other people," says Daniel. In other words, there is no dispensation to follow that kingdom. "That kingdom," says Daniel, "shall stand." It is the last period, the last days, the last everything that this world will ever see, when that kingdom is set up. That kingdom is now established, inaugurated in the day of Pentecost, and it is already the mountain kingdom, with more than four hundred millions of people that would die for Jesus Christ in five minutes! (Applause.) It is growing to be the kingdom of the whole earth right straight along.

Christ's kingdom was introduced by John the Baptist, with the words, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." The same message went forth at the mouth of the Lord, and the twelve and the seventy who carried the word throughout Judea. Do you think the kingdom of Christ is a thousand years future from that message? Two thousand years have rolled by, and the kingdom, according to my brother, has not come at all, and yet John, our Lord, the twelve, and the seventy deceived that nation in saying it was at hand. (Applause.) Matt. 10:23, "Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel until the Son of Man be come." Was not He already there? Was He talking nonsense? No. Christ came first in His incarnation, His second coming was the inauguration of the kingdom at Pentecost, and the third coming is as the judge of the world.

Now, my brother, you cannot get a millennium into the Bible until you settle those literal statements. You have got to interpret by analogy of faith Matt. 16:28.

"There be some standing here that will not taste death until they have seen the Son of Man coming in His kingdom." Is that figurative? Just as literal as human [HG152] language can be made. Some standing here' there were twelve standing there, and eleven saw it' who should not taste death till they saw the Son of Man coming in His kingdom. He came on the day of Pentecost, and has been in His kingdom ever since. (Applause.) "There be some standing here that shall not taste death until they have seen the kingdom of God coming with power." Now, my brother, when did the kingdom of God come with power? It came when all those men were alive, or else the scriptures are deceiving. If God has not given us a book we can interpret it is a pretty poor book.


Let us see how He came. "Tarry ye at Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high." and again, "Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you, and ye shall be witnesses unto Me." Now read the second chapter of Acts, where the spirit of God was poured out upon the people, the world, so to speak, was shaken by the tremendous demonstration of spiritual power, and 5,000 persons joined the church in 48 hours. (Applause.) That was the coming of the Son of Man in His Kingdom. It came a little then, but it has been coming more and more all during the days since, and if the church had been loyal, instead of ignorant, in the past ages, it would have been coming much faster.

But now the whole world is opening to the kingdom and Jesus told us how it would grow' like a grain of mustard seed, until it became a great tree and provided shelter for the fowls of heaven. "The kingdom of heaven is likened unto leaven, which a woman hid in three measures of meal, until the whole was leavened." I never yet heard a millennialist interpret that but said that leaven is always a type of sin, and that means that sin is going to spread until the whole world is full of it. But Jesus didn't say the kingdom of the devil is likened unto leaven' it was the kingdom of heaven! The Son of Man came in His kingdom.

That kingdom is now leavening the human race, and will keep right on until the job is complete. He did not come to snatch here and there a few.

Canon Ryle, bishop of Liverpool, said some strong things in favor of millennialism, and I have respect for the good men that teach that doctrine, but not for the doctrine itself. It shows a lack of faith in God's word. The whole thing proceeds from the idea that God has been making a little effort, and then got sack of it, and is trying something else. This old world of ours, for ought we know, will last 50,000 years, and be peopled by the human race' no reason to doubt that!

(General and prolonged applause.) Everything is in the beginning churches and creeds, and education, railways, and commerce, and science, everything in the morning of the world yet. It is going to get right by and by, under the leadership of Christ and the power of the Holy Ghost and the consecrated church!

(Tumultuous and continued applause.)


The Lord said to our Redeemer, "Sit Thou at My right hand until' when? the restitution? No' until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool. For He must reign until He hath put all enemies under His feet. (Much applause, in which Pastor Russell joined.) "He shall not fail nor be discouraged, until He hath set judgment in the earth, and the isles shall wait for His law!" (Great applause.) The first thing the kingdom of Jesus Christ did was to capture the islands of the Mediterranean, then Great Britain, the Sandwich islands, and the world over the islands are coming to God more rapidly than the continents.

My brother has read a great many times a very interesting passage. I feel I ought to set him right upon it, and since I have the stuff here, I am going to do it.

(Applause.) It is in the third chapter of Acts. "Repent and be converted, that your sins may be blotted, when times of restitution shall come." It does not so read in the Revised Version. "Reform and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, that so there may come seasons of refreshing from the presence of the Lord."

That takes the wind out of your sails, my brother! You have to take that or the Old Version. I stand by this. You are to be converted so that you can have some good times, and power and glory and salvation. (Applause.)

Pastor Russell interrupted here saying: "Read the next verse, brother."

Yes, I'll read it all' sorry I didn't read it before. "Whom the heavens must receive until the restoration of all things' (tremendous general applause): whereof God hath spoken by the mouth of His holy prophets that have been from of old. Moses indeed said, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren like unto me; to Him shall ye hearken, in all things whatsoever He shall say unto you, and it shall be that every soul that shall not hearken of that people shall be utterly destroyed from amongst the people; for all the prophets, from Samuel and the prophets that followed, have told of these days. (Much excitement and prolonged applause, in which Pastor Russell joined.)

Pastor Russell summed up as follows: Our dear brother has conceded that so far as the book of Revelation is concerned, and the twentieth chapter, he doesn't know anything about it. [HG153] (Applause.) He says that nobody knows. Well, we take his word for that, so far as he himself is concerned (Applause.) But in the latter part of the chapter, when he began to interpret this that he doesn't understand, he calls our attention to the fact that Satan, after he is loosed, goes forth to deceive all people on the face of the whole earth, the number of whom is as the sand of the seashore; and we think he did not make a right application' not understanding it! (Laughter and applause.)


The number, as the sands of the seashore, represents the whole population of the world at the close of the millennial age, when the thousand years are finished.

During that thousand years, Satan being bound, all the evil restrained and the knowledge of the Lord flooding the earth, the whole world will come under the blessing that the Lord has promised by the mouth of all the holy prophets. At the close of that millennium all those thus tried and instructed, that they might rise out of degradation, up, up, up, to all that was lost in Adam, should properly have a test at the end of their trial, and it is the Lord's proposition that this shall come through Satan after his loosening!

It does not say that all will be deceived by the testing, but that Satan goes forth to endeavor to deceive, and those who follow with him are to be sharers in the great destruction which shall come upon Satan at the end of the testing. The remainder will inherit the earth forever, for we agree with our brother that God made the earth to be inhabited; He created it not in vain, but formed it for the habitation of the world of mankind.

Our brother has probably unintentionally chided us as believing in Christ's reign as a temporal kingdom. We never said a word of that kind. The Scriptures indicate that Christ and the church will be spirit beings, Satan, the god of the present evil world, exercises his power and authority without being seen' as a powerful spirit being; and when his usurped authority shall be overthrown by Christ it will not be necessary that he should be seen. He will continue to rule as a glorious and righteous spiritual judge, with the church, equally spirit beings with him, associated in the blessing work to be accomplished.

Our brother calls attention to the stone that became a great mountain. He did not seem to get all that picture. Daniel saw in the different metals the world powers which were to exist, and last he saw the stone taken out of the mountain without hands. That stone is now being taken out. The mountains out of which it is taken are the kingdoms of this world, and the Lord is selecting the "living stones" that shall be a part of this great stone which shall eventually become the kingdom for rule and blessing and uplifting of the whole world. The stone, when complete, shall smite the image, not on its head, but its feet' in the present-day representatives of the world power, Germany, France, Spain, Great Britain, etc., who all without right claim the title "kingdom of God," and who never have been owned of God as His representatives, but who shall be overthrown in the time when the Lord shall take to Himself His full power and commence the reign of the true kingdom of righteousness.


Our brother thinks Christ's kingdom was established in Jerusalem, and quotes the words of John the Baptist and Jesus. To whom was the kingdom of heaven at hand? To the world? No. To the Jewish nation, to whom God had promised that it should be the kingdom if it accepted the offer. But, as John said, "He came to his own, and his own received him not." Then the Lord said to them, "The kingdom that was for you shall be taken from you and given to another people (interrupted, with great applause), bring forth the fruits of it." What people is God going to give the kingdom to? Those whom He has been taking out of the Gentiles for it.

Dr. Eaton concluded the debate for the evening as follows: That last attempt to destroy the force of the tremendous texts I give loses itself entirely when we remember that what the Jews refused passed right on to the Gentiles. It was the same kingdom. If the Jews had it given to them in Jerusalem, we have the same kingdom, the same gospel, the same Holy Ghost and the same kind of preaching. (Applause.) The fact is, the kingdom of heaven is a spiritual kingdom. The kingdom of God cometh not with observation. (General applause.) Ye shall not say, Lo, here, or Lo, there, for the kingdom of God is within you.

It is perfect folly to talk about Jesus Christ, a Spiritual Prince, reigning anywhere in any other sense than He now reigns in the hearts of those who love Him. The kingdom of God is not meat and drink, "not forms and ceremonies," but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost." If there is to be an earthly kingdom there must be a semi-political system about it. He will have to be here personally, visibly, and to be supported by the results of this earth, for they will have to hoe potatoes and corn and grow cabbage, for their own and His subsistence.

I have been reading today the Rev. A. B. Simpson's work on "The Gospel of the Kingdom," and he finds 15 Psalms and 51 chapters of the old testament altogether that do not mean anything but the [HG154] millennium. I say that is a piece of stupid nonsense. Why not take a shovel and throw the whole thing into the millennium? Why didn't Dr. Simpson take the second chapter of Joel and put that into the millennium? The only reason he and other millennialists don't take the second chapter of Joel is that Peter put his hands on it and applied it to Pentecost.

The brother is going to put the entire human family on the earth. He has calculated there might be a population of 252,000,000,000 or a quarter of a trillion. That is a tremendous population, but it isn't large enough. If one calculates according to the present rate of increase the population would not be less than ninety-eight trillions, ninety-eight billions, three hundred millions; and that divided over fifty-two million square miles of the earth's surface would give each man a piece of land about four feet square' the whole earth covered with people almost as thick as they sit in this audience! And yet people in a material world must be supported, and I cannot tell how; but they must be, for a thousand years! I don't want to go into a millenium where I can't sit down for a thousand years. (Laughter and applause.) If a man knows anything he knows that this planet is one of our solar system, and a thousand others that have been or are now or will be inhabited. There are 600,000,000 of solar systems like ours, and Jesus Christ is declared in the Word of God to have made all things. Do you suppose He will come down on the grain of sand of ours, and reign here, where no eternal good could be accomplished by His doing any such thing? My Christ is too great in dignity and power for any performances of that kind. If it was necessary for Jesus Christ to go to the earth or any planet to die to save it He would go at any cost or sacrifice, but He will not go and set up a throne and be a little Napoleon or kaiser and jump around on the earth for 1,000 years. (Laughter.) God help us to get some ideas better than these. Bring down the great Creator of the universe, the second person in the glorious trinity, and put him on a little planet like this? It was all right in the days of the early church to have such ideas, because they didn't know of any other planet. They thought this was the place where everything centered and made up their minds this was where Christ was going to reign. But when men's ideas began to increase, and they got to understand how small our earth is, and how great the universe is, they simply said: O pshaw, your millenium! Believe it if you can! I can't do it! (Applause.)