The Greensburg Weekly Press, May 3, 1908


May 3, On-the-Sea – Homeward Bound. Pastor C. T. Russell. of Pittsburg, Pa., U.S.A., addressed a large audience through our columns. We report his discourse on "Foreordination and Predestination" of the Bible, from the text: "Whom he did foreknow he also did predestinate." (Rom. 8:29)

Disguise and explain as we might the doctrine of predestination, as we received it from the "dark ages" through the Westminster Confession of Faith it is necessarily a horrible doctrine, painful and difficult for every reasoning mind connected with a good and sympathetic heart.

Now, as our eyes of understanding begin to see the Word of God more clearly and as we more and more allow it to be its own interpreter, we find that a gross blunder of interpretation is responsible for our confusion. We cannot wonder that good Brother Wesley was led to take a position utterly at variance with our text and at variance also with other Scriptures which speak of the Elect, and to conclude and to teach that there could be no election, that on the contrary divine grace must be free and impartial to all mankind. It was because this view so appealed to the hearts of men that Methodism made such great and rapid advances, so that today it is so firmly established and so in accord with the sentiments of the human heart that those who still hold to the doctrine of election, predestination, etc., theoretically and in their Confession of Faith, avoid any particular mention of its tenets.

They prefer not to come into conflict on the subject, which is sure to enlist the hearts of men in opposition to them whatever their heads may think respecting the teachings of the Scripture. And our Methodist friends also are quite contented to avoid a battle along these lines well knowing that the Scriptures as a whole do teach something respecting a divine election and elect class, that they do mention the Very Elect and urge upon God's people to make their calling and election sure. So, then, while having a theory that is more attractive to the hearts of good people, our Methodist friends let the subject alone lest some should be stirred up to investigate who would follow the Scriptures at any cost.

Indeed, it is plain to be seen that Christian people in general either have no confidence in the doctrines of the Bible which they have professed in their creeds, or else they have no faith in their ability to expound them before the close and cogent reasoners of our day. The effect is in some respects advantageous and in other respects injurious. It is to their advantage that people are no longer so hidebound and narrow as once they were in their reasoning; it is to their disadvantage in that their broader reasoning is not along lines of a better understanding of the Bible, but because of their neglect of the Word of God. Hence we find that the present generation of Christians are generally ignorant of the Word of God except along the paths of Sunday school lessons, which generally avoid all disputed points such as our text.


It might be supposed that the doctrine of divine predestination would be a very comfortable one to those who could convince themselves that they belonged to the Elect class. This has been true to some extent. Thousands have been willing to think of the Almighty as determining in advance of Adam's creation how many of his posterity would be born into the world, how few of these would reach the heavenly estate and what immense hosts would be consigned to an eternity of torture – their consent to proposition being in view of the fact that they believed themselves to be of the favored few, the Elect.

Nevertheless many have been the anxious hours of thought devoted to seeking full assurance of faith on this subject. Subtle fear persistently attacks and it causes disquiet by asking the question, "Are you sure that you are one of those predestinated to glory and not one of those predestinated to eternal torment? Are you certain that you are one of the Very Elect, making your calling election sure? The Lord through the Prophet Isaiah pictures this uncertainty of the mind which particularly attaches to those who hold this doctrine of predestination, but which also is applied to others, for all with one consent agree that the Scriptures teach a narrow way of life and tell us that few there be that find it – and with the thought that all except these few go to an eternity of torment the question obtrudes itself time and again before the minds of the most earnest christians. Are you sure that you are one of the saints, that you are one of those walking in the footsteps of Jesus, that you are one of the called, chosen, faithful? The trepidation of mind is dreadful, and we do not wonder that the majority of the Christian people prefer not to think much about these things and incline to hope that there is no eternal torment; but immediately they are perplexed with the thought, If there is no eternal torment, then how do I know that there is any eternal life at all. Their difficulty lies in the misinterpretation of the Scriptures given in the "dark ages" which teach [NS543] that eternal torment, purgatory, etc., is to be. The statement of the Prophet to which we advert is, "The bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it, and the covering is narrower than a man can wrap himself in it." (Isa. 28:20)

In this comic pen picture the Prophet tells a volume of truth, as nearly every Christian heart can agree. Our creeds, formulated in or directly after the dark ages, are too short. Designed as resting places of faith, beds of ease, they were long enough for so long as we were infantile in our experiences and reasoning. But in proportion as we became developed in heart and in head, we find, as the Prophet has graphically portrayed, that the bed is too short and that we cannot have ease or rest therein; the more we grow the more we must kink and double ourselves in order to remain in these short beds. As a consequence the noblest minds are deserting the creeds as being anything else than faith rests. The narrow covering of the pen caricature represents the attempt we make to wrap and cover ourselves, to protect ourselves, to secure ourselves.

When we were children, actually or merely in mental development, we thought as children and understood as children and were well satisfied with the assurances that we were of the Elect and perfectly safe; but as we grew larger these assurances were too narrow for us, we wanted a reason why, we wanted a proof, we wanted a demonstration. The covering of assurances satisfied us and wrapped us well as babes, but a man cannot wrap himself in them and the larger he grows, the greater is the discomfort until he gets out of the short bed and its narrow covers and reaches a higher understanding of the divine character and plan, and awakes clothed in his right mind, children of the day and not of the night.


We might be sure, even without a divine revelation at all, that our Creator did not predestinate that either a large or small proportion of the human family should spend an eternity of torment in a burning hell nor an eternity of any other kind of torment. If he could not create us to some better fate than that he surely would not have created us at all. So surely as we recognize the difference between the Word of God and the word of the devil, so surely must we hold to this conviction; because if to us the word God properly means the supreme and holy one, the loving one, the wise one, the all-powerful one, then we know that such a being could not premeditate, predestinate, foreordain or otherwise fix upon any of his creatures yet unborn an eternity of torture, suffering.

To have any other conception of God than this would mean that any of us who have just, loving, generous minds could not worship God at all, because we would be obliged to admit that he would be much our inferior and hence unworthy of our worship. The trouble in the past has been that with illogical reasoning we have appropriated to the Almighty the characteristics of the devil – worse indeed than we have any knowledge of in respect to the devil. In view of this false premise it was in vain that we called upon our souls to worship and adore. It was only in proportion as we were able to hide from our minds and hearts these erroneous teachings of the "dark ages" that we were able to surmount the barriers and to realize something of a God of love and justice and to give to him worship and homage as such.


Foreordination is perfectly proper. It would have been wrong for the Almighty to undertake a haphazard creation without any forearranged or foreordained plans in respect to the same. What would we think of the man who would undertake the erection of a large building without counting the cost, without mapping out in some considerable degree the kind of a building he would construct and the purpose for which he intended it to be used. The man who would proceed to the erection of a building without any fore-arrangement for its use and construction would be held in derision, and much more so a God who would undertake the creation of this world and the twenty thousand millions of Adam's race which have been born into it.

The difficulty comes when we begin to attach to this reasonable thought of foreordination the erroneous, unscriptural thought that the majority of men are to spend an eternity of torture. When we link the truth with the error we corrupt the whole thought. Thus it has been that we have blinded and confused ourselves on this subject of foreordination. It was first determined that there was to be a class tormented; it was secondly determined that God must have foreknown and must have forearranged this, and on this wrong foundation our theological blasphemy was reared.

It is time that we get back to the proper basis of reasoning, that we eliminate altogether from our theology the hell torment of the "dark ages" and substitute for it the Bible teaching respecting hell, respecting the punishment of sin. This, as we have already shown, is a death penalty. Any of God's creatures who will not use his gift of life in harmony with his direction must forfeit that life, must die as a brute beast. The Scriptures show us that Father Adam committed an intelligent, wilful sin and that the death penalty was visited upon him and descended naturally to all of his children. This would have meant that we would all die without hope of a future life, like the lower animals, had it not been that God, in his foreknowledge and love, had predestinated [NS544] something better. What did God predestinate in respect to our race and for our benefit? The Scriptures declare that he purposed in advance the sending of his Son to be the Redeemer of the world – father Adam and all of his race – to give his life a ransom for many who lost their life through father Adam's disobedience. This part of the divine foreknowledge Christians gladly believe has already been fulfilled and as the Apostle declares, we believe that "Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures; and that he was buried and rose again on the third day" for our justification. (1 Cor. 15:3; Rom. 4:25)

But what more did God predestinate or forearrange in his divine plan for our race? We see no great change in the world's condition since our Redeemer died for us. How then is the world to be benefited according to the divine solution?

We reply that according to the Scriptures God predestinated or purposed that the one who redeemed the world at Calvary should be the one who later on in due time, will take to himself his great power and reign King of earth under the whole heavens. The Scriptures explain to us that he must put down all insubordination and bring order and righteousness out of present confusion incidental to the reign of sin and death, which has persisted throughout the 6,000 years.

The Scriptures show us that part of his work as the great King will be the binding of Satan, and that as a result of the Millennial blessing the knowledge of the Lord shall reach every member of Adam's race and an opportunity be given to all to be restored from sinful and dying conditions back to full harmony with God and to eternal life, the gift of God. But they show us that this will be left optional with each person, that each will be required to co-operate to his own blessing and uplifting and eternal life and that the unwilling will die the Second Death "as natural brute beasts made to be taken and destroyed." 2 Pet. 2:12


We have spoken of the world as a whole and of the time for its blessing, the Millennial Age, during which Christ will be King over all the earth. We now come to another feature of divine predestination, a feature which does not relate to the world as a whole, but merely to a small number of Adam's posterity. The Scriptures assure us that in God's eternal purpose which he purposed in himself before the world was, he foreknow us, the Church. (Eph. 1:9-11; 3:9-11; 2 Tim. 1:9; Titus 1:2)

We are interested! What did God foreknow or predetermine respecting the Elect Church? The Scriptures tell us that the divine purpose from the beginning was to gather out from amongst the nations, peoples, kindreds and tongues of earth a "Little Flock" to be the Bride, the Lamb's Wife, to be associated with their Lord and Bridegroom during the Millennial Age as members of his Kingdom class in the work of blessing mankind and uplifting them and instructing them in the ways of the Lord. If this can be shown to be the true Scriptural theory of the election of the Church it should surely be a gladsome message to every thinking Christian the world over.

We meet, however, with a difficulty: our minds, long poisoned with the false doctrines, find it difficult to believe that God is as good as he is great. Hence many are disposed to say that this simple message, so well supported by the Word of God, is too good to be true. But, dear friends, how could anything be too good to be true when we consider that the source is the Word of the living God, the very embodiment of wisdom, justice, love and power; the God who declares to us that his very name is love, and of whom the Apostle says that we are unable to appreciate the heights and depths and lengths and breadths, and to know the love of God which passeth all understanding. Eph. 3:18,19

The Apostle Peter declares of the Gospel Church that it is Elect according to the foreknowledge of God. But let us not fall into misapprehension. Let us see that the Apostle means that the Church as a whole was predetermined of the Father not that the members of the Church were individually predetermined and elected. God predetermined before he created mankind at all that he would select such a company from the nations of the world and that such a chosen company should constitute the Bride of Christ, his joint-heirs in the Kingdom. Let us be content with this simple and harmonious view of the matter.

The entire work of this Gospel Age has been the finding of those who would be worthy to be of this Elect class. There is not an arbitrary election; on the contrary God has limited and defined the elements of character necessary to a share in this Elect Church. He had a standard of character for our Lord, Jesus, who was found faithful and who was granted a glorious resurrection; as we read, Wherefore, because of his faithfulness unto death, God hath highly exalted him and given him a name above every name. (Philip. 2:8,9)

Similarly he has called us to glory and to virtue, and we can reach the grand end of our glory only by the attainment of the virtues which God has marked out as conditions. To our understanding this work of calling, testing, proving, finding who are worthy to be of the Very Elect class has constituted the great work of this Gospel Age, lasting now for nearly nineteen centuries. To our understanding this work of finding and testing, [NS545] chiseling and polishing the Very Elect, preparing them for their future work in association with their Redeemer and Bridegroom, is nearly accomplished. All through the age there has been a nominally elect company under test, under investigation, under trial, to see whether or not they would make their calling and election sure by obedience to the terms and conditions of their covenant with the Lord full consecration to him and his cause. Reasonably the number who will not make their calling and election sure will be much larger than the number who will make it sure; as the Scriptures declare, "Many are called but few are chosen." [Matt. 22:14]

But be it noticed that the called ones, not chosen, are not condemned, are not to be consigned to a future torment; they lose the great prize, the great privilege to which they were invited to aspire. They lose the joint-heirship with their Lord in the Kingdom and the privilege of being co-laborers with him in the great work of blessing all the families of the earth during the Millennial Age. As for mankind in general, the vast majority are not even of the called, let alone of the Elect.

The heathen millions who have never heard the name of Christ, the only name given under heaven whereby men must be saved, have not been called in any sense of the word. The Apostle speaks of these and declares that they are deaf and blind, they cannot see, they cannot hear. He explains to us that the god of this world is responsible for their condition, that he has put darkness for light and light for darkness so craftily before their minds that they are entirely confused. But we are assured also that the time is coming when all the blind eyes shall be opened and all the deaf ears shall be unstopped and all shall come to a knowledge of the truth.


How strange it seems that for so long a time we have read into this beautiful text doctrines which it does not even hint at. Where does it refer to the predestination of damnation to anybody? Where does it refer to a divine predestination that anybody shall go to heaven? What it does most beautifully teach is that God I foreknew the Church and that he predestinated that whoever would be acceptable as a member of that Church must be conformed to the character likeness of his Son our Lord.

How reasonable, how beautiful, how strangely our eyes were holden by error in the past, so that we were blind to this grand truth. It is not sufficient that God foreknew and prearranged to have a Church as the Bride of Christ; it is right that we should know additionally that he fixed certain limitations of character for all those whom he would accept to that glorious position. And what a high standard is set for them! They must be conformed to the image of his dear Son; not a physical likeness is here meant most evidently, but a heart likeness.

In the spirit of their minds these must be copies of Jesus. As he was loyal to the Father and faithful even unto death this must be their spirit; as he was willing to endure hardness as a good soldier in the cause of right, this must be their attitude; as he laid down his life for us, these must also lay down their lives for the brethren. This predestination teaches us then that there will not be a single one in the Bride class who will not, during this period of call and acceptance and chiseling and polishing, attain to heart-likeness to our Lord. And how reasonable this is when we consider the high honor, the distinction to which these are invited, to be heirs of God, joint-heirs with Jesus Christ their Lord; if so be that they suffer with him that they may also be glorified together." (Rom. 8:17)

This is a reasonable predestination, it exalts our conception of the Almighty that he should require so high a standard of harmony with himself and the principles of righteousness in those whom he would accept to the high honor to which he has invited the Elect Church. On the other hand, not a word of predestination respecting the wicked or respecting the world in general; the world is not elect in the largest possible sense. But this does not signify in any sense of the word their injury.

Consider our own use of the word election in connection with politics; see how the public elect a few to Congress, one out of an entire district. Yet no one considers that the non-elect should be eternally tormented; they lose enough in that they do not gain the special office or honor. And so with those whom he calls or nominates through the message of truth and grace and who respond; they are informed that it is with them to determine their success or failure. So far as God is concerned all whom he calls may make their calling and election sure if they will; all the grace, all the assistance will be granted on the terms upon which they were called. How reasonable! How beautiful! Let us no longer regard this matter from the standpoint of the past, dishonoring the great Creator and dishonoring ourselves also by the imagination of the "dark ages."


The Scriptures frequently remind us that God has not declared that his Word is so simply written that it can be understood by everybody. The time when a wayfaring man shall not err therein is still future; the wisest of the worldly wise find difficulty in the present time. Only the truly wise toward God understand his Word now. To this end it is written in parables and (lark sayings, that seeing they might see and not perceive, and hearing they might hear and not understand. [NS546] For an illustration of this principle of measurably hiding the truth except from a certain class and hiding the truth under a measure of obscurity until a certain time, notice in our context the statement, "Whom he did predestinate, them he also called, and whom he called them he also justified, and whom he justified them he also glorified." [Rom. 8:30]

This word glorified is an improper translation and is confusing; it should be rendered honored. The mind naturally expects the Apostle to take the standpoint that God first predestinated, secondly called, thirdly justified and fourthly honored and that the honoring here referred to is the honor of the Kingdom the change promised to the faithful in the "First Resurrection." [Rev. 20:6]

But this mistake has doubtless been responsible for much of the error connected with the understanding of this passage. As a matter of fact the Apostle begins at the opposite end to count. He first declares that God predestinated these. He looks down through the Gospel Age to the glorification of the Church and declares that those whom God predestinated before the world was are the very ones who will be the glorified "Little Flock" the Bride of Christ, in the future. He tells that every one of those must previously have been called and that every called one must previously have been justified and that every one must previously have been honored – honored with the opportunity of a knowledge of the Lord. Let us consider the matter from this standpoint: Looking out into the world we see today 1,600,000,000, but not many of these have been honored by the Lord with the privilege of hearing the good tidings of his grace in Christ. The majority of them are blind and deaf.

The comparatively few who have been honored of the Lord with a knowledge of the Gospel obtained thereby the opportunity for justification by faith. True, not all of the honored ones accept the favor of God and allow Christ to be unto them wisdom. Only a comparatively few accept this message and consequently only a few comparatively have been justified through faith. Next these justified ones are privileged to be called, are invited to be heirs of God, joint-heirs with Jesus Christ their Lord as members of the Bride class. But where many of them are called, few will be chosen, because the vast majority of the justified seem unwilling to hear the call when it does reach them.

But all of the called ones who will prove faithful to the call, faithful to their obligations of consecration, will then be glorified and constitute the Very Elect of God, the very Church, the very Bride which God foreknew and predestinated – all of these members conformed to the image of God's dear Son. Let us, dear friends, who see the beauty of divine election, give earnest heed that we may make our calling and election sure. Let us hearken to the Apostle, who tells us that we must add to our faith the various fruits of the Spirit which characterized our Redeemer and who declared that if we do these things we shall never fall, but so an entrance shall be administered abundantly into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (2 Pet. 1:11)

Let us so run that we may obtain, faithful is he who has called you who also will do it; – he will do all that he has promised, any failure therefore will be because of our own fault. As for the world, their trial time, their time of testing as to whether or not they will be worthy of life eternal or death eternal belongs to the next age, the Millennium. There will be no election there, free grace will prevail toward every creature. The Lord's picture of that glorious coming day of blessing represents a river of the water of life flowing from the New Jerusalem, the glorified Church, and to its refreshment of life eternal all mankind are invited in the words, "The Spirit and the Bride say Come and whoever will, may come and take of the water of life freely." [Rev. 22:17]

The Bride is not yet saying Come, because as yet there is no Bride. We are waiting for the marriage, that we may become the Bride. Then shortly after it will be our glorious privilege to call the poor, blind, deaf world, which then will be able to hear and to heed, that they all may be blessed with this stream of refreshment and life everlasting which will proceed from the throne and from the Lamb, who redeemed us with his blood.

The National Labor Tribune, May 10, 1908


N. Pittsburg, Pa., May 10. Pastor C. T. Russell was warmly welcomed by his home congregation at Allegheny Carnegie Hall today on his return from his tour of the British Isles, where he addressed immense audiences in London, Liverpool, Bristol, Manchester, Leichester, Bradford, Birmingham, Luton, Belfast, Dublin, Glasgow and Edinburg. His text evidently associated with his home-coming, was, "So he bringeth them unto their desired haven." (Psa. 107:30)

He said: Although I greatly enjoyed my visit abroad and my [NS547] privilege of meeting and greeting so many of the Lord's dear people and the opportunity afforded me of addressing them in respect to the exceeding great and precious promises of our Father's Word, nevertheless, as I journeyed homeward across the mighty deep, the feeling that I was homeward bound was very distinctly present with me.

I assure you all, dear friends, that while I love and fellowship all who are the Lord's in every place, my heart instinctively turns to this company of the Lord's people as being the one which I have so long been associated in heavenly spiritual interests. I am glad to be with you again and glad to read in your faces a similar gladness and welcome on your part. Thinking of my homecoming and associating with it our heavenly home and our anticipation that before very long we shall be gathered to that shining shore, I choose my text, "He bringeth them to the desired haven."

This discourse was republished in Pastor Russell's Sermons, pages SM739-748, entitled "Nearing The Desired Haven Of Rest."

The Springfield Homestead, May 18, 1908


Pastor C. T. Russell, of Pittsburg, Pa., spoke twice here yesterday to large and attentive audiences. The afternoon discourse at Court Square theatre was on the Overthrow of Satan's Empire.

The large audience listened with rapt attention to things new and old from the Scriptures.

We report the discourse as follows: Explain the matter how we will the fact must be confessed that according to our own experiences and the records of history our race has for centuries been under a reign of sin and death unexplainable except in the light of the Bible, the divine revelation. The downward tendency with which we were born, the mental, moral and physical imperfections experienced by all are explained only by the Scriptural declaration that we were born in sin and shapen in iniquity. In vain have we endeavored to reconcile the present and past experiences of our race with love or even justice on the part of our Creator – except as we obtain light upon the situation from His Word.

It is but natural that our first thought should be that the Almighty God, the Creator, is the King and ruler of earth; and it is with considerable surprise, therefore, that we find the Scriptures teaching to the contrary, that Satan is the "prince of this world," (John 14:30), the "god of this world" (2 Cor. 4:4), that the prince of devils, the prince of darkness, is the ruler of this world. Nevertheless we must admit that the prevalence of sin, of unrighteousness, of injustice today and all the way back so far as history shows, as well as the tendency toward sin which we all realize, and the misshapen heads which speak of more or less of mental or moral unbalance – these all agree with the Scriptures and contradict the thought that God is the author of such confusion as now prevails in the world. Surely conditions are not so in heaven; else it would not be heaven; surely Satan is not the prince there; surely sin does not prevail there; surely death is unknown there, with its concomitants of pain and sorrow and crying; surely there are neither graveyards nor hospitals where the Almighty God of love is monarch and his reign of righteousness prevails. 1 Cor. 14:33


In our perplexity we turn again to the Word of God and read there the assurances of the Almighty that by and by in his own due time the reign of sin and death shall cease. Satan shall be bound for a thousand years, and that instead Immanuel shall reign, and the blessing of the Lord and the knowledge of the Lord and the glory of the Lord shall fill the whole earth; and that instead of God's footstool being in a cursed or unfit condition he will make the place of his feet glorious. (Isa. 60:13)

Pursuing our investigation we mark the promise that in due time God will wipe away all tears from all faces, and there shall be no more sighing, no more crying, no more dying, because all the former things – the things of the curse – shall have passed away; and he who sits upon the throne declares, "Behold, I make all things new!" (Rev. 21:5)

O glorious day of Christ! O glorious millennial epoch! We long for the glorious dawning of the Sun of Righteousness, which will usher in those promised blessings to the sinful, weak, depraved, dying world of mankind, uplifting them, rejuvenating them, purifying them and causing that every knee shall bow and every tongue confess to the glory of God, and that all who will not come into heart harmony with divine righteousness shall after fullest opportunity be utterly destroyed from among the people in the Second Death. Acts 3:23 But while waiting for that day, the glorious "times of restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began," (Acts 3:21), we ask, Why does God permit sin and all its [NS548] train of evils in the present time? Having the power to bind and to destroy Satan, the prince of this world, why has he not done so long ago? Why is it that our Master taught us to pray, "Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven," and did not rather establish the reign of righteousness at once? Why did he not prevent even the beginning of the reign of sin and death? These are proper questions, reasonable questions, but they are answerable only from the one standpoint – the divine revelation, the Word of God!

Let us, then, inquire earnestly, diligently, what say the Scriptures on this subject! Let us realize that there is no information from any other quarter and that it is of vital importance to us to have the true answer, which alone will satisfy the queries of our minds and give us intelligently the proper views of life and proper ideals and ambitions therefore. According to the Scriptures Satan was a great and holy angel of a very high order. Before he fell from his honorable station, he was known as Lucifer, the bright and morning star. As a "covering cherub" (Eze. 28:14), his rank, nature or plane of being was higher than that of the ordinary angel.

He is referred to as a gorgeous prince among the holy ones called the "morning stars," (Job 38:7), the angelic sons of God. But like all of God's intelligent creation he was made in God's likeness, with liberty of will – a free moral agent. Before there was any opportunity for attempting a rebellion against the divine sovereignty we are informed that Lucifer was proud of his glorious station and in his heart meditated the possibility of himself becoming a king of glory with subjects. (Isa. 14:12-14)

We are not to suppose that he for a moment contemplated the overthrow of the divine empire, the supplanting of Jehovah, but merely the possibility of establishing himself as an independent monarch or sovereign superior to all others and a rival to Jehovah. The opportune moment for a possible gratification of this ambition God permitted to come, foreknowing all the results and fully prepared to cope with them all and ultimately to bring order out of the confusion. More than this, divine wisdom premeditated just such a test of the loyalty of Satan and all the holy angels in such a manner as would ultimately bring neither loss nor disadvantage to any but a testing of all with a view to the destruction and annihilation of all who would not stand the tests of loyalty.


The test of Satan's loyalty came, no doubt, when he beheld our first parents in Eden, a new creation with the powers of pro-creation for the development of their own species, a power which even the angels did not possess. The temptation is obvious: Satan saw that if he could obtain possession of our first parents, all of their children would be under his control. The pride and ambition of his heart leaped forward and embraced the situation. He presented to mother Eve the temptation which ultimately led into sin and death. Thus, by usurpation and not by divine authority or appointment, Satan became the prince of this world, the god of this world, the ruler of this world, who now worketh in the hearts of the children of disobedience. (Eph. 2:2)

So successful has he been in alienating the hearts of mankind from their Creator that we read, "The whole world lieth in the wicked one" (1 John 5:19), and that only the few believers have escaped the thralldom. Even these are measurably under the darkening influence of the errors with which Satan has deluded mankind – by misrepresenting the true character of the Almighty and the true teachings of the Bible – putting darkness for light and light for darkness. Thus the apostle says, "The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not, lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." 2 Cor. 4:4

But the Creator desired to test the loyalty not only of one, but of all the holy angels. He therefore permitted Satan apparently to triumph in his rebellion and to work apparently irretrievable damage to the Divine purposes, restraining him only in a limited degree, in matters that would have interfered with the ultimate purpose of God. The success of Lucifer would of itself be a test of the loyalty of all the angels, for if one could succeed and go unpunished, would it not imply a deficiency of Divine power or of the control of the situation? Hence, it would appear that God permitted the holy angels to have free intercourse with humanity during the 1656 years preceding the flood. This intercourse served double purpose:

(1) It demonstrated that the influence of the holy angels was not sufficient to offset the sin which had contaminated humanity, and that man could not be lifted out of his sinful, dying condition back to harmony with God by example and sympathetic aid. On the contrary, man's course in sin and death continued downward, and a contaminating influence extended from mankind to the holy angels, which had a corrupting influence upon them and drew some of them away from obedience to the Divine will into sin. The record of this fall is briefly given in Genesis 6, where we read that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair, and took unto themselves wives of such as they would, the result being children that were giants, men of renown, superior in some respects to the fallen, Adamic stock. To comprehend this situation it is necessary to remember that the angels in harmony with God were [NS549] granted powers of materialization, as illustrated in the case of those who appeared to Abraham. We read that Abraham supposed them to be men, and that they did eat and talk with him, though subsequently he ascertained that the one was the Lord, and the other two, angels who, though spirit beings, had for the time and purpose assumed human bodies and human clothing. This intercourse between the angels and humanity was not only unauthorized, but contrary to the Divine will and arrangement. It was a recognized disobedience referred to by the Apostle Peter and Jude, who spake of the transgressors as those angels who kept not their first estate, or nature – preferring to live as human beings and to indulge in sin.

(2) This condition of things was permitted for probably a good share of the 1656 years preceding the flood, long enough, we may be sure, to furnish a test of loyalty of every member of the angelic host. Apparently those who would, might commit sin with impunity; apparently God who had issued his commands, could be defied by His creatures.

Then those who preferred purity and harmony with God demonstrated their choice; while others, rebelling against God, became associated with Satan, the prince of demons; for all of those angels who thus transgressed were ultimately separated and isolated from the Lord and the holy angels, and known as demons, while the terms the devil and Satan are personal titles of the first rebel. The result of this illicit fellowship between angels and men is stated in the Scriptures – the whole world became corrupt, the exceptions evidently being very few. Then the time came for the circumscribing of the evil that it might not hinder the outworking of the Divine purposes. Accordingly, God caused the flood of waters, which destroyed the corrupt race except Noah and his family, of whom, be it noted, the Scriptures distinctly tell us, "Noah was perfect in his generation." (Gen. 6:9)

There was no admixture of the angelic seed in his case nor in that of his family, for they were all of the Adamic stock, with which alone God intended to deal thereafter. No redemption was to be provided for the illicit offspring of the angels, only for Adam and his race was Christ to die eventually, to become Redeemer King and Deliverer.


Hearken to our Lord's description of Satan, the prince of this world, and his explanation of how the devil obtained his great power, his great influence among mankind. Our Lord says, "He was a murderer from the beginning and abode not in the truth." (John 8:44), and again declares of him that he is the father of lies, the first great liar.

Following this clue we turn back to see in what respect Satan was the first great liar and murderer. To our astonishment the record in Genesis is most explicit. After God had informed our first parents that disobedience to his command respecting the tree of knowledge would bring a death penalty, that old serpent, the devil and Satan contradicted God, declaring that this would not be true. He lied, and there became the father of liars. God's words were, "In the day thou eatest thereof, dying thou shalt die," Satan's words were, "Ye shall not surely die." [Gen. 2:17; 3:4]

The lines were strictly drawn. To help along his lie and thus to deceive mother Eve, Satan posed as her truest friend and well-wisher, picturing the Almighty as jealous, and wishing to deprive them of knowledge and keep them in ignorance, that he might maintain their subservience through that ignorance. Thus mother Eve was beguiled, as St. Paul says, into thinking of the Almighty as ignoble and selfish, conspiring against the interests of his creatures and threatening them with death, which the old serpent had assured her God was unable to inflict. (2 Cor. 11:3)

Alas! Through that lie by the father of lies the death sentence came upon father Adam and mother Eve and their entire race! Thus Satan was the murderer of our race, whose number is now reasonably estimated at 20,000,000,000, born in sin and shapen in iniquity, depraved, misshapen, unbalanced of mind and brain, and prone to sin as the sparks to fly upward.

Nowhere else is the explanation given of conditions as we see them about us today and experience them ourselves. The Bible alone gives us this information – and, thank God, it does not leave us merely in such a plight, but assures us that the good God who created us will not leave us under the power of our Adversary everlastingly, but will eventually deliver us by his Millennial Kingdom of Messiah, and that Satan shall be bound, that he shall deceive the nations no more, and that instead, Immanuel will set loose all the various agencies of blessing and knowledge, an uplifting influence which the world of mankind so greatly needs for their recovery out of sin, imbecility and death.

The Scriptural statement of the whole matter is most plain. Our confusion has resulted from our following Satan's delusions, which have tended to separate us from God and His word and to make the latter of no effect. Satan has been consistent in his course from first to last, starting out with a lie, he has maintained that lie ever since; and it has been at the foundation of all of our misconceptions of God, of His Word, and of His great plan of salvation. Satan's message on the subject has been believed by all the heathen world, and has been enforced by the various teachings propagated through the demon hosts, who have worked in various ways through spirit mediums, witches, wizards, etc., for the propagation of the error. Consequently today all the heathen agree with Satan's word that when men die, [NS550] they are not really dead, but are more alive than ever. Some have seven hells and some have thousands of hells to which the departed one would be said to have gone, but none of the heathen believe the Lord's Word, that the dead are dead and "know not anything." Eccl. 9:5


Similarly, Satan has continued his lie even amongst Christians, and notwithstanding the fact that we have m our hands, Bibles which give us the truth upon the subject and which tell us that God's sentence upon sin is death, and that Satan contradicted this statement. Christendom has been misled, and has accepted Satan's lie instead of God's truth.

Beside the corpse of our friend we have denied the testimony of our five senses and the testimony of God's Word, to the effect that he was dead, not alive in any sense of the word. We have accepted Satan's lie, and have believed that when a man dies, he really is more alive than when he was alive. The result of our failure to hearken to the voice of the Lord has brought confusion to our heads and atrophy to our hearts. Not content merely to tell us that our friends are more alive than ever, but intent upon the misrepresentation of God's character and our alienation as far as possible from God and His Word, Satan has told us most terrible things, most horrible things, in respect to the conditions of the dead. This blasphemy of God's character, which the Apostle terms "doctrines of devils," was gradually introduced to the Christian church early in the third century.

During the dark ages these devilish doctrines prevailed so thoroughly that our forefathers thought that they were but copying God and His methods when they tortured one another upon the rack, when they tore out each other's tongues, when they burned one another at the stake. We have learned to reprehend their course of conduct, but have largely held to the blasphemous doctrines which misled them into their wrong course. As a result today we have the Christian world divided practically into two great lines of thought in respect to the dead. First is the older thought, held by Roman and Greek Catholics, constituting two thirds of all who claim the name of Christ. These tell us that a mere handful of saints have gone to Heaven, because no more were fitted for that holy place.

They tell us of a hell of eternal torment, too, but say that not many have gone hither because it is only for the wilfully and intelligently disobedient, of whom there are comparatively few, because ignorance is so prevalent. They tell us that the great mass of mankind, heathens, Protestants and Catholics, go to a place which they term purgatory, there to be chastened, disciplined, tormented for centuries or thousands of years, but with the hope of ultimate deliverance as a reward for their sufferings, and thence to be assisted by prayer, masses and good works offered on their behalf by fellow-creatures in the flesh, with occasionally the assistance of a benevolent pope, who on a jubilee day grants remission of hundreds and thousands of years for the sufferers.

They tell us that their bishops, cardinals and popes, all go to purgatory, as being at the time of their death unfit for Heaven, and that for this reason when these die, masses are said in all Catholic churches throughout the world – "for the repose of their souls," for the relief of their anguish, for their rapid deliverance from purgatory. We Protestants, who claim to be the most enlightened of earth's population, console ourselves that we have dropped purgatory and other Catholic superstitions and are much in advance along religious lines. Doubtless there is some truth in this boast, yet as a whole it seems to be unwarranted. Note, dear friends, that our protestant theory respecting the state of the dead is the most absurd, the most God-dishonoring "doctrine of devils" of any known throughout the world – not only less reasonable and more devilish than that of Catholicism, but exceeding in diabolical ingenuity the most outlandish imaginations of the heathen mind. We agree with our Catholic friends that the heavenly reward is promised in the Scriptures only to a "little flock," of whom not many wise or great or noble or rich (1 Cor. 1:26).

We agree that the Scriptures teach that only those who take up their cross and seek to walk in the footsteps of Jesus will be sharers with Him in His heavenly kingdom and glory; we agree that this requirement excludes the great mass of humanity, not only of the heathen, but of the civilized; we agree that only a few come up to the standard of walking, not after the flesh, but after the spirit. But what do we do theoretically with all this great mass who are not saints, who have not heard of and accepted faithfully "the only name given under heaven and amongst men whereby we must be saved."

We have professed to believe that the Almighty God, before He created them, prepared for their eternal torture by providing a great place called hell, manned with fire-proof devils and provided with fuel to last to all eternity. To our shame, dear friends, be it noted, that we who thought ourselves the most intelligent of Adam's race have been more thoroughly hoodwinked by Satan than have any other people in the world. Only because we did not take this theory too seriously have we not been more injured by it in mind and in morals and more alienated from God and from His Word than we are. Ah, that is what Satan has endeavored to do by putting darkness for light and light for darkness. He has sought to lead astray those who are feeling after God, until today you [NS551] and I well realize that he has made great headway; that the majority of Christian people the world over are losing faith in a personal God and all confidence in the Bible as His revelation. Notice that we are not blaming our forefathers for the ignorance and superstition of the "dark ages," which is still, like smoke, blinding our vision and hindering us from appreciating the lengths and breadths and heights and depths of the love of God, which passeth all understanding.

On the contrary, we are charging all these errors, as the Scriptures do, to the father of lies, the murderer of our race. It is high time, however, that we awake to the fact that the Bible is wholly out of accord with those miserable, blasphemous traditions of the "dark ages," of which we are so much ashamed, and that the Scriptures contain the only reasonable explanation of the present condition of our race and of its future. We do well, therefore, to note that all the ignorance and superstition connected with religion has been built directly upon Satan's lie that the dead are more alive than before they died. If the dead were believed to be dead, as the Scriptures assert, then there would be an end of masses for the dead, of prayers for the dead, of the theory of eternal torment, and of purgatorial sufferings, wonderfully delineated by Dante and awfully pictured by Dore.


God's message on the subject is plain, that death is the penalty for sin, and when once we get a glimpse of what death signifies, we see that it has been indeed a just but awful penalty. It has been awful, in that it has involved our entire race of twenty thousand millions in sickness, mental, moral and physical, alienating us from God and leading on to all the sorrows and difficulties, mental and physical, with which we are acquainted. It has meant twenty thousand million of painful births with tears, an equal number of equally unsatisfactory lives, an equal number of sick and dying, surrounded by sympathetic friends; and an equal number of graves surrounded by mourners. That it is not unjustly severe, however, is evidenced by the fact that, notwithstanding our tears and sorrows and disappointments, we prefer even our present bitter experiences rather than to be blotted out of existence.

But God, who is rich in mercy, has made glorious provision for us. As he allowed sin and death to come through one man's disobedience, He has provided another man to be the Redeemer, to take the place of the first, to pay His penalty and, incidentally, that of His race. The penalty paid by Jesus was not an eternal torment penalty, God never having pronounced such a penalty. It was a death penalty, "Christ died for our sins;" "Jesus Christ, by the grace of God, tasted death for every man !""He poured out His soul and shall be satisfied." (1 Cor. 15:3; Heb. 2:9; Isa. 53:12, 11)

Ah, yes! God hath laid help upon One who is able to save unto the uttermost all who come unto the Father through Him; for as by man came death, by man also comes the resurrection of the dead; for as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive, every man in his own order. (1 Cor. 15:2 1-23)

As the penalty of sin is death, full recovery from sin and condemnation and death will be a resurrection and raising up, not only from the death state, from the tomb, but from all present dying conditions, up, up, up to the full perfection in which Adam was created in the image of God and from which he fell, by disobedience, into death.


But why the delay? If the death of Christ was for the cancellation of Adam's sin and the release of Adam and his race from death, why did not the resurrection of the world begin at once after Jesus had died and paid the penalty and had risen from the dead? Why did He not at once set up His Kingdom, bind Satan and begin the work of restitution of mankind to their former estate? The answer to this proper question means much to you and to me and to all Christians of this Gospel age; for the Scriptures inform us that before the divine plan of salvation will be extended to the world in general through Christ's millennial kingdom, God will first select from the redeemed race a "little flock," a Church, a Bride class, to be joint-heirs with His Son in the kingdom work of ruling, instructing and uplifting mankind in general. This Gospel Age since Pentecost has been the time in which God has been gathering this "little flock," and in which they have been invited to make their calling and election sure by obedience to the teachings of Jesus, walking in His footsteps in the narrow way. Their blessing will come in the First Resurrection, in which they will be changed from human nature to the divine, made like their Lord; far above angels, principalities and powers. (2 Pet. 1:4; l John 3:2; Eph. l:20-23)

The blessing designed for the world, on the other hand, will not be a change of nature, but a restitution of the fallen race to that perfection of human nature in which their first parents were created, and the restitution of the earth as their future home. Soon, we trust, the election and selection of the Lord's Jewel class will be completed, their polishing finished, and their change to glory in the First Resurrection accomplished. Then will come the blessing of all the families of the earth; for, be it noted the church and her Lord constitute the spiritual seed of Abraham, to whom the promise is made, "In thy seed shall all the [NS552] families of the earth be blessed," and "If ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise." Gal. 3:29


We have already noted the Scriptural promises that the present reign of sin and death, under the prince of this world, is to give place to a reign of righteousness under Christ, the Life-Giver, at His second coming, when He will establish His kingdom. We have already noticed that the new reign will begin with the living nations and signify to them release from ignorance and superstition into the knowledge of the glory of God, and every favorable opportunity for their raising up out of present conditions of degradation, mental, moral and physical, to all that was lost in Adam – the full perfection of human nature.

We have already shown that the death penalty upon father Adam has involved the race in every sense; that Christ has paid the full penalty, not only for those who will be living and be blessed at His second coming, but also for all who, during the 6000 years of the reign of sin and death, have gone down into the tomb, sheol, hades, the grave. It will be the work of the Life-Giver to resuscitate these, to awaken them from the sleep of death, that they also may share in the blessings of the millennial uplift, that all may have the fullest opportunity for obtaining human perfection and everlasting life; so that only the wilfully wicked and disobedient will die again, die the second death, from which there will be no hope of redemption, no hope of recovery!

Now we inquire, how will this be brought about? Can we hope for the conversion of the world suddenly? Will men soon renounce Satan and his works and become followers of righteousness? Alas, no! There is no room for hope along this line. The past century has been the most vigorous known in history in the battling of Christianity against heathendom; yet there are twice as many heathen today as there were a century ago. In 1800 the census of heathendom was 600,000,000 in 1900 the census of heathendom was 1,200,000,000!

There is no hope in that direction! But even if the returns were the opposite of what they are, if Christianity were making inroads upon heathendom and had the assurance of conquering it completely this very year, what then? Alas! we must confess that if the heathen were no better than the people of your own city are, they would need converting again and that repeatedly, and would still have no hope of accomplishing what the Lord taught us to expect and pray for, "Thy kingdom come and Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." [Matt. 6:10]

The Scriptures show that at the time of the second coming of Christ, God's providence will permit a great time of trouble, world-wide and awful, which will involve all present institutions in anarchy. "A time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation" (Dan. 12:1) will accomplish the breaking of many hearts and their preparation consequently for the "balm of Gilead." [Jer. 8:22; 46:11]

As a result "many people shall go and say, Let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths." (Isa. 2:3)

Subsequently the Divine Law shall go forth from Mount Zion, the heavenly, glorified church, and the word, the message, the command of the Lord, from Jerusalem, the earthly representative of the kingdom. Under the new dispensation righteousness will prevail and thus the "desire of all nations shall come. (Hag 2:7)

In harmony with this prophecy, the Lord declares that at His second coming He will rule the nations with a rod of iron; that as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to pieces; and He declares further that the glorified church, spirit beings, will be associated with Him in this work, saying, "To him that overcometh and keepeth my works unto the end, will I give power over the nations," etc. (Rev. 2:26)

Under the new reign of righteousness every evil thought, word and deed will receive its just recompense, a reasonable penalty for the correction of mankind, for their instruction in righteousness; and every good endeavor, plan and effort will be rewarded, so that evildoers shall receive chastisements or stripes, and well-doers, servants of righteousness, will make repeated progress from grace to grace, from knowledge to knowledge, climbing upward to the eventual attainment of human perfection, in the image of God, into a world-wide Eden, under the Divine favor and blessing; while the persistently wilful and sinful will be cut off and die the second death. Let all who rejoice in the coming of the Lord's kingdom and the reign of the prince of Righteousness rejoice also that the overthrow of Satan's empire of sin and darkness and miserable degradation and ignorance is near at hand; and let us who by the grace of God come to understand the Divine plan more and more clearly, see to it that we are standing firmly in defense of every principle of righteousness and supporting the Divine word and Divine attributes, and living in harmony with the Divine plan of the ages! Thus may we by the grace of God make our calling and election sure to a part in the glorious change of the First Resurrection, which will bring us completely into the glorious likeness of Him who redeemed us!

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