New York American, 1914


On the Atlantic, Homeward Bound, June 21 After successfully launching his famous Creation drama in Princess Theater in London last Sunday the first of a series of exhibitions that will extend throughout the principal cities of the United Kingdom and the continent Pastor Russell is on the Atlantic homeward bound. While abroad the pastor also lectured in many cities and was the principal speaker at a general convention of the International Bible Students' Association held in the British metropolis. Today the pastor's text was, "Even when we were dead in sins, God hath quickened us together with Christ." Eph. 2:5.

The pastor began with a review of the trial of Adam in Eden. He proved conclusively that our first parents were created perfect, in the image and likeness of their Creator. Adam disobeyed God, and thus brought upon himself and all his posterity the sentence of death, "Dying, thou shalt die." "So death passed upon all men"; for all men are members of the race of Adam. All are under the curse of death, which came upon the world as the result of sin.

The speaker also showed that we were not condemned personally, for we were not on trial personally. Father Adam alone was on trial, and when he failed he was sentenced to death. God's great Law declares that "all unrighteousness is sin"; that "the wages of sin is death," and that "the soul that sins shall die." Adam's children were born in sin born after his fall from perfection. Therefore it naturally follows that they partake of imperfection; and if the perfect man did not keep God's perfect law how could imperfect man keep it?

Having demonstrated that all mankind are under the curse of death by reason of Father Adam's disobedience, the pastor next discussed the proposition which the Bible sets before the race. That proposition is not a question of heaven or hell, but one of life or death eternal. To those who are in harmony with God, who delight to do His will, He is pleased to give life everlasting. But to those who are not in harmony with Him He has decreed to give death eternal, they shall not have any place whatever in all His universe.

For instance, God's provision for the angels was that since they were perfect, they should, if they maintained their perfection, live everlastingly. From God's standpoint, to live everlastingly the only way that He would have His intelligent creatures live at all is to live happily, to enjoy life, to live in pleasure. All the holy angels are happy, perfect and blessed; for they have not transgressed the law of God. So then, the speaker continued, we see why the scriptures teach that mankind are under the sentence of death. In fact, the Bible speaks of all mankind, the world in general, as a dead world not that there are no people who are active, not that all have gone down into the tomb, but that those who have entered the grave have merely preceded the others to the place whither all are going, because of the one sentence upon all. [HGL598]


The pastor next showed that, according to God's righteous law, mankind are now unfit to live under the perfect conditions which He has prepared. Even with the best of intentions, imperfect beings continually make trouble for themselves and others. In the present imperfect condition of the race, humanity would make trouble wherever they may be. This is contrary to the Divine will; God purposes to have a universe in which everybody shall be happy, everybody good, everybody perfect.

With some the question might arise, "Why did God make us imperfect?" The speaker, after propounding the question, then answered it: The Bible declares that God's work is perfect (Deut. 32:4). Humanity in their present imperfect condition are not God's work. God made Father Adam perfect. After Adam had become a sinner and had brought the curse of death upon himself, he propagated a race by the law of nature. Therefore all of his posterity were born in sin, and for 6,000 years have been falling, sinking lower in degradation. This is the scriptural explanation of human imperfection; this is why the very best of the race cannot do perfectly.

The pastor then declared that God does not expect humanity to do perfectly now, in their present fallen condition. The Creator gave the law to Israel for the very purpose of showing them, and incidentally proving to all men, that "by the deeds of the law no flesh can be justified in His sight." God has decreed that none but the perfect shall have everlasting life, for none but the perfect can keep His righteous law. He has proved conclusively that no fallen human being can keep that law. Therefore none of us could have everlasting life if God had not done something for us. The story of what our gracious Creator has done is the "old, old story, of Jesus and His love" and the Heavenly Father's love, also.

In the past we have failed to realize that God is love, even though we read, "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him might not perish, but have everlasting life." The proper thought is not that which is frequently given to children and frequently held by older persons that God is angry with us, and that He was about to send the entire race to eternal torment, when Jesus stepped in and saved us from so terrible a fate. This view makes our Heavenly Father appear most unloving and unjust, in that when He knew that we were imperfect and therefore could not do perfectly. He held us accountable for what we could not do. All Bible students are getting rid of this wrong conception of the Almighty Jehovah.

The right thought is that from the very foundation of the world God had a loving purpose in respect to mankind. He knew that the race would sin, but He also knew how in His great wisdom He could overrule the experience of these 6,000 years of sin and death, so that good would ultimately result. If God had not permitted sin, men would not have known how wrong it is and what evil conditions it promotes. Adam probably had no idea what would be the result of his disobedience. He did not know that it would bring sin, sorrow and mental and moral depravity into the world. He could not foresee the insane asylum, the prisons, etc. Not even the angels would have known the effect of sin if God had not permitted it to enter the universe.


The pastor then showed the wide difference between permitting sin and causing sin. He declared that for God to have caused sin would have been for God to do evil. God does no evil; He tempts no man. He was not responsible for the entrance of sin into the world. God permitted Satan to have his own way and become a rebel against the divine government. He permitted him to pursue his downward course in order to let the angels see the result of sin. Therefore He did not hinder Satan from misrepresenting the divine character.

When Mother Eve came under temptation, God did not interfere. He let her alone. She knew His command; she had her full testing; she ate, and disobeyed. God also permitted Adam to disobey. Thus the reign of sin and death came into the world, with their tremendous influences for evil. Then He also permitted the angels to be tempted to sin in connection with mankind. After the deluge, God started a new order of things and let mankind and angels try again under somewhat different conditions.

Next the pastor declared that this reign of sin and death has illustrated certain principles. It has demonstrated what righteousness is, and has showed the necessity for obedience to God. It has also proved that there can be no happiness aside from perfect harmony with the Creator. Both men and angels have learned that whoever sins will suffer.


The pastor next traced the history of Israel, and showed the purpose of the covenant made at Sinai, with Moses as mediator. Two thousand years after man's fall God made a covenant with Abraham that some day He would bless the world through Abraham's posterity. Still the angels had room to doubt; for Abraham was old and as yet had no child. Years passed by and finally Isaac was born. Still the world was not blessed. In due time God declared that the blessing would come through Jacob. When he died God indicated that Jacob's posterity would be heirs of the promise. But instead of blessing the world they became a nation of slaves. At length God raised up Moses, who led the nation through the wilderness to Mount Sinai, where they entered into covenant relationship with God. The terms of their covenant were that if they would obey the law they would become great, and all the world would come under their sway.

But it was only a little while before they found that they were sinners, for they could not keep His commandments. Then God arranged for them an annual day of atonement, on which sacrifices were offered to cover their sins for one year. So they tried year by year to live without sin so that they would not die, but be worthy to be the people of God. Yet they died, generation after generation. At last they realized that the fault was with themselves; they had entered into a contract which they could not keep. They had agreed to keep the law of God, and were not able to do so. [HGL599] That was the very lesson which God declared, and not only Israel, but all humanity. The apostle explains that in dealing with Israel God was dealing typically, so that His people of the gospel age would get the lesson by seeing wherein Israel failed, and by realizing that had we been in their place we would have failed for the same reason.

By and by, through the prophets, God promised to give Israel another covenant, at some future day. This new covenant will be more favorable to them. The difference between the old law covenant and the new law covenant will not be in regard to God's law, for His is perfect. The scriptures declare that the difference will be in regard to the Mediator. Although Moses was faithful in all his house, yet he was a member of the fallen race of Adam, and therefore imperfect. He could not give the people life; for he had no real life rights to give any more than had anyone else. As a typical mediator he offered typical sacrifices, which could not really take away sin. But the mediator of the new covenant will be empowered to lift the curse of death and to restore not only Israel, but all mankind, to the image and likeness of God, from which they fell.


The pastor next discussed the work of the gospel age. About 2,000 years after the covenant made with Abraham, the Logos was made flesh, in order to become the seed of Abraham and bless all the families of the earth. Throughout the gospel age a most important work has been carried out. The new law covenant cannot be inaugurated until there is a mediator of that covenant. This mediator, the speaker showed, is to be Christ the Head, and the church His body.

In the typical ceremony, Moses could not institute the law covenant until first he had sacrificed bulls and goats. In the antitype the grest antitypical Moses must first offer the "better sacrifices." Jesus first of all sacrificed Himself; now He must sacrifice the church. This work requires all of the gospel age. At Jordan, when He offered Himself in consecration, He killed the antitypical bullock; and later, He was "led like a lamb to the slaughter." At Pentecost our Lord began to deal with the antitypical-goat class the church. When the offering of the members of the church which is Christ's body is ended, then the body of the antitypical Moses will be complete. As St. Peter declares, "For Moses truly said unto the fathers, a prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; Him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever He shall say unto you."

The time for the new covenant, the pastor believes, is near at hand. When the antitypical Moses brings in this covenant, He will remove the curse of death. According to the scriptures, it will take Him exactly 1,000 years to accomplish this work, to overcome sin, to dissolve the hard hearts of humanity, and to give instead the warm, tender, gentle, sympathetic heart that was lost in Eden 6,000 years ago.


The church, the pastor declared, were dead in trespasses and sins, like the rest of the world. But God has quickened them made them alive through the imputation of the merit of Christ, in advance of the world. God's purpose in so doing is that He wishes now to select a special class from amongst mankind. But not everybody has been invited to be of this class. Millions in heathen lands have never heard of Jesus Christ; and all over the civilized world, there are people who have heard with their ears, but not with their minds. They do not comprehend that they are sinners, that God has provided a Savior and that He is now inviting some to come into covenant relationship with Himself. Prejudice, superstition, false teaching and false theories prevent many from receiving the truth.

The pastor holds that all of the creeds of Christendom contain false doctrines. The Bible, he maintains, says that the devil put these erroneous doctrines into the creeds. Should anyone ask why it is that the devil could have part in the making of our creeds, the pastor replies that the adversary misled our forefathers through his wiles; for he is deceitful. Whenever they thought to do something very zealously for God; Satan would lead them past the right mark into something very much to God's discredit and to their own deception.

Looking over the pages of history, the speaker can see that the devil has been working hard with all who have ever tried to get out of darkness into light. Therefore it behooves the people of God to watch continually. The only safe course is to try to walk very near to the Lord, in humility of mind, in full confidence in His power, trusting only in His word. If anything seem to lead off into guessing for ourselves, the only thing to do would be to say: "I have the Word of God; I will stand by what is written."


In conclusion the pastor reminded his hearers that the Bible urges God's people to walk circumspectly; that is, to look well around. It does not mean to be in abject fear and dread, for to be so would mean lack of faith in God. The people of God are not hoping to come off conquerors and to win the great prize by any strength of power of their own. On the contrary, their confidence is in God. He who has begun a good work in them is well able to finish it. But each one is to walk in fear in the sense of having such respect for God and His promises and such anticipation of the grand outcome that each will be very careful to avoid transgression. If coming days should bring severe trials, then coming days will also bring increased joy; for as the apostle says, "Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory."

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