The National Labor Tribune, March 11, 1915


New York, March 7 Speaking at the New York City Temple today, Pastor Russell took for his text John 1:34 ,"I saw and bare record that this is the Son of God." He declared that about three-fourths of all the preachers are his enemies. Because they cannot resist the force of his Bible teachings, they misrepresent them and vilify his reputation, that thus they may hinder good people from hearing and from reading. "By their fruits ye shall know them," said the Master; and evidently many clergymen must be seriously wrong of heart; else they would not bear these unscriptural fruits unmanly fruits- "works of the flesh and of the Devil." Gal. 5:19-21; 1 John 3:8

But the Pastor would not slack his efforts to make known the true character of the God of the Bible, so in contrast with the Satanic god of the creeds. Thousands of letters from all parts of the world tell him of new life, new joy in the Lord, through his efforts; and he is encouraged to go on in the narrow way which the Master and the Apostles trod. He would not render personal abuse in retaliation. To do so would be contrary to the Word and Spirit of the Lord. But the creeds and false doctrines he would continue to smash with all the power granted him, that thus hungering, thirsting souls might be delivered from error into the joyous liberty of the children of God.


Billy Sunday has joined other evangelists and preachers in the slanderous misstatements that Pastor Russell denies that Jesus is the Son of God. By such false statements, said the Pastor, they seek to prevent people from coming to hear me and from reading my Bible expositions. Yet how foolish it is for them to make such deliberate misstatements; for eventually their falsehoods will be found out! People who learn of the gross misrepresentation realize that only desperation, attempting to support a weak cause, could lead men professing to ministers of the Truth to thus do it violence. Really, it is I who believe that Jesus is the Son of God, while the great majority of preachers and evangelists do not clearly so teach. They confuse their argument and bewilder their hearers by telling in one breath that Jesus is the Son of God, and in the next breath that He is His own Father.

According to them, He is Jehovah God, who sent His Son into the world to die, and He is the Son who sent Himself, as God. When He prayed to the Father it was a mockery; for He was the Father- "one in person." When he said, "The Father is greater than I," He misrepresented the facts, according to these preachers, evangelists and creed-makers. He spoke of the Cup which the Father had poured for Him, and said He could do nothing of Himself, and that He would return to the Father. He prayed, "My God! My God! Why hast Thou forsaken Me?" and said to Mary, "I have not yet ascended to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God." But these wiser-than-the-Bible teachers contradict Him, and feel like saying, "Jesus must have been a Millennial Dawner! But we know better."

Such teachers make void the Word of God through their traditions. In claiming that Jesus is Jehovah God, they really deny that He is the Son of God; for common sense tells everybody that a son receives his life from the father. This is exactly what the Bible tells us respecting Jesus.


I invite truthful criticisms of my teachings; but my opponents know that to treat me fairly, justly, would be to turn all thinking people to my side the Bible side the reasonable side. For thirty years they ignored my presentations, lest people should find out; but as my sermons now reach millions, they are alarmed for the safety of their musty creeds, and resort to rank falsehoods, misrepresentations and slanders the weapons of moral cowards, who realize their own weakness.

If they would charge me with disbelieving the doctrine of the Trinity that three ones are one I would cheerfully admit it, and point them to the fact that the word Trinity is not found in the Bible, and that the thought of a trinity is not there, except in one passage, which all scholars of all denominations admit is a forgery of the Seventh Century 1 John 5:7, 8. See Revised Version

I believe in the Heavenly Father, Jehovah God. I believe in His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who left the Heavenly nature, took the human nature, died for our sins, and was afterward highly exalted to the Divine nature. I believe in the holy Spirit, the Spirit of the Truth, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ. My crime is that I do not believe that the Father, the Son, and the holy Spirit are "one in person, equal in power and glory," neither one existing before the others, neither one the Son and neither the Father, really. The Bible says nothing of this kind; and I am glad that my head is not so illogical as to lead me to deny the Bible and common sense for the sake of being in harmony with creeds made in the Dark Ages.


The Bible makes no mystery of who Jesus is; and we would not have been in confusion had we relied solely upon the testimony of Jesus, the Apostles and the Prophets. Our misleading came during the twelve hundred years when the Bible was ignored, because it was believed that the living bishops were Apostolic and had the plenary powers of the original Apostles. This serious error Jesus emphatically warned against in advance. Rev. 2:2

The Bible tells of Jesus' present glorious station, "far above angels," "partaker of the Divine nature." But many ignore this, and claim that Jesus is a man in Heaven, completely out of touch with His surroundings; for a man, according to the Bible, is "a little lower than angels," whereas the Apostle declares that Jesus, at His [HGL42] resurrection, was exalted far above angels. This glorious One, although of a different nature, is the same One who, while on earth, was "the Man Christ Jesus," "a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief." St. Paul tells us how Jesus left the Heavenly glory, how He humbled Himself to take a bondman's form to take the same nature as humanity, which had come into bondage to sin.

The Bible explains how Jesus could be of our race, and yet be "holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners." It tells us plainly that Jesus had a human mother, but that His life came not from a human father; and that therefore He was perfect, and able to be the Ransomer of the race by giving to God sacrificially a full corresponding price for Adam, whose life was forfeited because of sin. Thus the Bible explains that Jesus' death is sufficient for Adam's sin and the sins of the whole world; for the world was not condemned individually, but merely partook of Adam's condemnation to death.

Whoever thinks of Jesus as being the Father and also the holy Spirit all one in person must be confronted with nonsensical errors such as these: How did the Universe manage to progress during the period leading up to Jesus' birth and on to manhood? How did the affairs of the Universe prosper during Jesus' ministry, when He was fully engaged with earthly affairs to the extent of weariness? How did the Universe get along when Jesus died, and until He arose from death?

Some even go to this absurd length: to wit, that Jesus raised Himself from death; whereas the Apostle declares positively that the Father raised Him from the dead on the third day. How refreshing it is to get out of the fog into the clear statements of God's Word, which declare (1) "To us there is one God, the Father," ( 2) "and on Lord, Jesus Christ!" 1 Cor. 8:6


It seems astounding if my opponents have never heard the plain Bible statement that our glorious Redeemer was "the First-born of all creation" (Col. 1:15), "the beginning of the creation of God." (Rev. 3:14) If they have read these simple, plain Bible statements, why do they prefer confusing views of the Dark Ages respecting a Trinity of three persons, yet one person? Some say one God in three persons; others say three Gods in one person. Both propositions are alike unscriptural and absurd.

Jesus Himself, in His last Message to His Church, declared, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the ending, the first and the last." (Rev. 1:8, 11) Thus He clearly differentiates between Himself and the Father; for the Father had no beginning- "From everlasting to everlasting Thou art God."

Do our opponents claim that Jesus is God? We agree most heartily, provided the word God is understood in the sense in which the Bible uses it. Throughout the Old Testament the word for God is elohim mighty one. It is applied to Jehovah, the Almighty One; it is also applied to angels and to men whom He sent as His messengers. According to this view, our Lord Jesus Christ is a God. The Bible clearly indicates that He is above all other gods except Jehovah.

In harmony with this we read respecting Messiah and His Kingdom: "Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever." The Apostle applies these words distinctly to Jesus, but does not say this proves that Jesus was His own Father, nor does he ignore the Almighty God, of whom are all things. On the contrary, the context tells us explicitly that the Father, who always was above all, as a reward exalted His Son to his glorious Kingship and Headship, declaring that even the angels of Heaven should worship Him. Heb. 1:5-8

One very simple statement confuses some needlessly. It reads, "I and My Father are one." It does not say one person. It refers to the oneness of spirit, or harmony, between the Father and the Son; and this oneness is explained by our Lord, assuring us that He came not to do His own will, but the will of the Father, since He accepted the Father's will in everything. He and the Father were always one in purpose. Jesus prayed for the Church, saying, I pray for them that Thou hast given Me, that they all may be one in Us, even as Thou, Father, and I are one. (John 17:9, 20-24) Surely no one would claim that Jesus expected His Church to become one person! And it is equally absurd to think that He and the Father are one person.

Because Jesus was thus the Father's Representative, in the only sense that men could see the invisible Jehovah, He answered Philip on one occasion, "He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father." Thus the President's secretary would say to a caller, "I represent the President."


As Matthew's and Luke's Gospels make very plain how the glorious Son of God was made flesh, yet not a partaker of human sin, so St. John's Gospel provides us with information still further back, pointing out and explaining clearly the glorious prehuman nature of the Son of God. The translation, however, is slightly defective, and hides from the English reader the full import of the opening verses which, literally translated, reads:

"In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with the God, and the Logos was a god. The same was in the beginning with the God. By Him were all things made, and without Him was not one thing made. . . And the Logos was made flesh and dwelt among us; and we beheld His glory, the glory of an Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth" John 1:1-3, 14

The beautiful simplicity of this account is wonderful. The beginning it mentions was not that of Jehovah's existence, which the Bible declares was without beginning. The word refers to the beginning of creation, and immediately introduces us to the great Logos, "the Beginning of the creation of God." (Rev. 3:14) While the name Logos may be not improperly translated Word, it has a much fuller significance; namely, representative, messenger, mouthpiece.

Jehovah's entire Message has been, and will be, given to angels and to men through the great Logos. He was the Alpha, the first; the Father created none before Him. He is the Omega, the last; the Father has directly created none like Him. This explains simply, satisfactorily, that all subsequent creations, while executed by Jehovah's Power, [HGL43] were worked out by His great Son, the Logos. "By Him were all things made that were made."

When the time came for the outworking of the great Divine Plan for human salvation, and, incidentally, the showing forth of God's Justice, Wisdom, Love and Power, the offer properly came first to the Logos. The proposition to be man's Redeemer carried with it a great blessing, as St. Paul explains. (Heb. 12:2; Col. 1:18) This exaltation to God's right hand, far above all other creatures, was an advance step. Although originally higher than all the others, the Logos was not so "far above" them.

It was God's purpose to have a New Creation; and the Logos, through the redemptive Plan, was to be the first and chiefest on that highest plane the Divine nature. During this Gospel Age, God has been calling and accepting the honest seekers, lovers of righteousness, haters of iniquity to be associates with Jesus in the Kingdom and participants with Him in the highest nature of all the Divine. So, St. Peter declares, "God hath given unto us, (the truly consecrated, the Church) exceeding great and precious promises, that by these we might become partakers of the Divine nature." 2 Pet. 1:4; Heb. 2:10

It is right, is it Christian, is it true, is it manly, to charge my teachings with denying that Jesus is the Son of God? What object could there be in so doing except to keep the Lord's hungry sheep away from the green pastures of Divine Truth? Well do my traducers know that they have nothing Biblical, sane or sensible to give instead. The very bitterness manifested by ministers against me is being used of the Lord to arouse investigation amongst those who are truly His people. If my reputation must be thus assassinated in order that the true sheep may hear the Master's voice, I shall acquiesce as joyfully as possible, remembering that it will be difficult for them to say bitterer or untruer things of me than they said of my Master.

The crime is the same that incited the Pharisees against Jesus and the Apostles. "They were angry that they taught the people." Preachers who do not believe in eternal torment any more than I do are angry that I am informing the people; for they fear that the people will justly think that their ministers deal dishonestly, receiving wages for keeping them in darkness. The time has come when all who are for the right, the Truth, should manifest themselves. I have many letters from ministers, marked personal, and private, assuring me of their sympathy with my work, but fearful to come out boldly. I am sorry for these. The Lord exhorts, "Be thou very courageous." "He that hath a dream (an imagination), let hem tell the dream (if he has nothing better to tell); but he that hath My Word, let him speak my Word fearlessly." Jer. 23:28

As our knowledge of God and of His glorious Son, and our true understanding of the holy Spirit, becomes clearer, we can the better worship God, for the eyes of our understanding opening wider and wider, we shall comprehend with all saints the lengths and breadths, the heights and depths, and know the love of God whom to know aright implies fitness for life everlasting. Eph. 3:17-19

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