The National Labor Tribune, January 10, 1909


Pastor C. T. Russell addressed a large and attentive audience Sunday afternoon at Allegheny Carnegie Hall from the text, "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended; but this one thing I do, forgetting those things that are behind, and reaching forth to those things that are before, I press down upon the mark for the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus." Philip. 3:13

Each year a mile stone! We have just passed another on our way toward our eternal destiny, whatever that may be. We are glad that, by the grace of God, we have been delivered from the terrible nightmare of eternal torment which for so many of us for years darkened our understanding of the Divine purposes set before us in the Bible. We are glad, not merely for our own sakes, but for the world of mankind, that we now see that the wilful rejecters of Divine Love and its provision will die the Second Death, perish, "Be as though they had not been."

We are glad that the Apostle so explicitly stated this, saying, "Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction" – a destruction from which there shall be no redemption, no recovery, no resurrection. 2 Thess. 1:9

But it is not enough for us to know that our Creator has no fiendish intentions towards us. Rather this knowledge of the mercy and love of God should draw our hearts to him and incline us to love him in return, and to seek to do those things which would please God, and which incidentally would bring to us, according to his arrangement, the highest amount of favor and blessing. This also is the Apostle's suggestion, saying, "Not that we first loved God, but that he first loved us, and sent his Son to be a satisfaction for our sins." (1 John 4:10)

And again, "The love of Christ constraineth us, for we thus judge ... that we henceforth live not unto ourselves, but unto him who died for us." 2 Cor. 5:14, 15

Our text addresses those who have responded to God's love, and who have become "followers of God, as dear children," followers of the Redeemer, "walking in his footsteps," as he hath set us an example. Notice the statement, "I count not myself to have apprehended" – to have grasped or taken possession of. In the preceding verse the Apostle tells us that the Lord apprehended him – laid hold upon him, when he was in a hopeless condition.

He laid hold upon Saul because he was, honesthearted even while wrong-headed. He opened Saul's eyes and gave him a helping hand out of his condition as a wanderer from God and a member of the fallen race. He offered to keep hold of him and to lead him, if he were willing, to exceeding glory and the divine nature, though the way would be a narrow and difficult and self-sacrificing one – impossible for all except those who at heart love the Lord and desire to avail themselves of the Lord's assisting grace. Note that the Apostle had not laid hold upon our Lord, but reversely the Lord had laid hold upon him, and had opened his eyes of understanding to discern the prize of the high calling, promising everything in the way of assistance and grace, if he continued sincerely earnest in his endeavor to grasp that prize, to lay hold upon it, to apprehend it.


It is a mistake to suppose that the Apostle and the early Church were called with any different calling or privilege from that which appertains to the entire Gospel Age. It is a mistake to suppose that the Scriptures recognize a clerical class and laity in the Church, and that the terms and conditions and narrow way and sacrifices and crown of glory at the end were intended only for the clergy. On the contrary the Scriptures assure us that the Church as a whole is a Royal Priesthood and that each faithful one is to be a sharer in the work of sacrificing, as well as in the coming glory of the Millennial Kingdom.

The loss of this correct Scriptural thought on the subject has done incalculable injury to the Lord's people, leading them to recognize one standard for the clergy and another for the laity, whereas the Scriptures declare, "Ye are all called in one hope of your calling" and "One is your Master, even Christ, and all ye are brethren."

And again, "Ye are a Royal Priesthood, a [NS616] Holy Nation, a Peculiar People."

Let us revive this proper Scriptural standard in our minds and get therewith the blessing that is due. In order to understand what the Apostle meant by forgetting the things behind, let us note the context preceding and apply it individually, each to himself.

St. Paul has been accused of disrespect to the Jewish Law of Circumcision, because he pointed out that it was not intended for nor necessary to the Gentiles – because he pointed out that it was merely a type, however, of the cutting off or putting away of the filth of the flesh from our minds and hearts. But "circumcision of the heart" has in the Church taken the place of circumcision of the flesh commanded to the Jewish Church, whose day passed with Pentecost.

The Apostle proceeds to show that if he chose to boast of his zeal for the Law, he would have as much to say for himself as could any Jew. But he declares that these things which he had before counted as gain, as something to be boastful of, as something to glory in, he now counted as loss and dross for the privilege of having a share with Christ in the sufferings of this present time, and by and by a share in his glorious Millennial Kingdom. He was willing to count everything of his previous hopes and ambitions as "loss and dross," as unworthy of the slightest notice, because of the knowledge he had gained of Jesus as the Messiah, and because of the privilege that had come to him of being a follower of Jesus, in his footsteps of suffering in the present life and in joint-heirship with him in the glories of the future. These earthly things behind he was daily losing sight of, and hoped might never again have a place in his heart and ambitions, which were now turned in another direction entirely. And so, dear friends, should it be with us.


The Apostle, at the time he wrote these words was far from ignorant of his Saviour, but intimates that the more he knew, the more he realized the length and breadth and height and depth of the love of God, "manifested in Jesus." He wanted to know him more and more. He wanted that intimate heart-communion and fellowship which would enable him to take the Lord's view of every incident and experience of life, that thus he might be the partaker of the sufferings of Christ, and bearer of the cross of Christ daily.

Nor was this the end of his ambitions. Beyond this, having heard of the Father's intention that all believers who would become "copies of his Son" should be sharers with him in his glorious nature and Kingdom, the Apostle was anxious to know the Lord to the full and to enter with him into the heavenly glory. That was the prize set before him in the Gospel of Messiah, which had changed his whole life current, so that those whom he once despised and persecuted he now loved and served, so that the things he used to enjoy were now repulsive, and the things he once disdained now filled his heart and enthused him and occupied his time and energy.

The things before him were so glorious that the things behind, which once seemed grand, now seemed puny, insignificant, unworthy – dross. What he saw before him he tells us. He calls it the "prize" and says that it is to be attained only by believers – and then only through consecration unto death. More than this, they would need a resurrection before they could enter into those glories, not such a resurrection as will be made possible to the remainder of Adam's race, but a special resurrection, called elsewhere the "First (chief) Resurrection."

The Apostle here speaks of this resurrection, in which himself and all the faithful of the elect Church shall share as being a part of "His (Christ's) Resurrection."

What can he mean? Was the resurrection of our Lord different from that which will come to mankind in general? Yes, indeed! Mankind in general will be privileged to be resurrected, raised up, not only out of the tomb to such a condition as is now enjoyed, but beyond this, gradually, during the Millennium, to be raised up, up, up to human perfection – to all that was lost in Adam and redeemed by Christ through his obedience even unto death, the death of the cross. But Christ's resurrection was different from that of the world. And the resurrection of the Church, "Which is his Body," will be like his, different from that provided for the world in general. (Eph. 1:23)

This resurrection of "The Church. Jesus the Head and the Church, his Body)" the Apostle describes minutely in 1 Cor. 15:42-49. He here speaks of the "First Resurrection."

"His Resurrection," as "The Resurrection" – the special and peculiar class of the dead – "The dead in Christ" – those who lay down their lives in sacrificial service, as members of Christ. Note the Apostle's words, "If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead." (Philip. 3:11)

To attain this glorious resurrection, provided only for the spirit-begotten members of the Anointed; he was glad to have fellowship in the sufferings of Christ and to conform to his experiences, so as to have share in his death. Is it so with us, dear brethren and sisters? Are we thus in earnest? Does the prize of the Divine calling thus shine before the eyes of our understanding, making every other ambition insignificant dross in comparison?


Ah! this was the secret of the Apostle's great success – "This one thing I do."

He concentrated his time, his [NS617] thought, his energy, upon this one object or goal, which proved the brighter and more valuable to his appreciation every hour. True, there were ordinary things of life, such as eating and drinking and resting and, at one time, tent-making, which occupied some of his hours. But these were not paramount, were not dominating.

He aspired, not to be known as the greatest or most expert tent-maker. He aspired not to amass great wealth in that or any other labor or business. He lived not for his belly, nor did he, as a sluggard, waste valuable time in sleep. Every hour, every energy, had been devoted to God and his service – and was so applied, not of compulsion, nor of slavish fear, but out of a faithful heart, appreciating the privileges and anxious to show to the Lord his loving devotion.

Is it so with us? If it has not been so with all of us in the past, shall it not be our resolution now for the year just beginning our vow to the Lord renewed? Shall we not cast aside and forget the earthly aims and projects which occupied us and devote our time and energy and strength and thought to the Lord? Shall we not lay aside every weight, and whatever may be our besetting sin, and resolve or vow to the Lord today "To run with patience the race that is set before us?" Heb. 12:1

Whoever divides his heart, whoever attempts to serve the interests of several equally, will surely fail. Not only does such a half-way course fail to meet with the Divine approval as worthy of joint-heirship in the Kingdom with Christ, but it fails also to meet the world's approval and to gain the advantages of this present life. Each of us, therefore, should sit down and count the cost, and reap the benefits accruing.

If we believe that it would pay us best to serve mammon, then we should serve mammon, with all our hearts. But if experience and the word of God bring us to the conclusion that only the service of God can bring us truest happiness in the present and the future life, and if we hear the Master's words to us, "Ye cannot serve God and mammon," then let us determine to serve the Lord and not serve mammon, but merely use mammon and advantages of life as special assistances leading on to God, to righteousness, to self-sacrifices for joint-heir-ship in the Kingdom with our Lord and all the faithful.


The Apostle surely never meant that everything behind should be forgotten; for, in that event, all the valuable lessons of life, which we have learned in the School of Christ, would be lost to us. We want to remember life's experiences. We want to profit by them. We desire that every failure shall be discerned, and its cause, that, by remembering the same, we shall not from similar weaknesses of the flesh, fall again into the same snare of the Adversary.

We desire that all the lessons of life, which have cost us so much in the School of Christ, shall be cherished and grow more valuable to us every day. Let this also be our endeavor during the year that is just beginning – to see to it that no valuable lesson is lost, and that those lessons of the past are clearly and firmly held. But, on the other hand, there are certain things connected with the experiences of God's children in the past that they are invited to forget, and to remember that God has forgotten them and blotted them out, in so far as there was a record against us. But all this is faith; God's dealing with the Elect Church during this Gospel Age is on that basis. "We walk by faith, and not by sight."

Whoever cannot exercise faith cannot have the blessings now proffered to the believer, but must wait for the next Dispensation, in which sight will be granted and works will be required. And there are different degrees of faith; those standing the severest tests thereby evidence their preparation for God's favors of the future life beyond the vail. Let us, then, learn to exercise faith in all the glorious promises of God's Word, but not credulity in the words of man. One of the most beneficent uses of faith is in connection with the realization of our "forgiveness of our sins that are past by the forbearance of God."

In proportion as we can realize this and act upon it, it gives us confidence and joy and peace and preparation for further Divine leadings and blessings. So then, let us with the Apostle, remember all of God's favors of the past, as well as of the present, and remember the lessons learned through our experiences, including our stumblings and failures. But let us put away every feeling of condemnation, as respects the sins which God has freely forgiven, that "We may assure our hearts before him in love," and let us forget our worldly greatness, if we had any, our worldly prospects and aims and ambitions and triumphs and flatteries, and let us set our affections, aims, purposes, zeal, on the things that are before and make haste towards them, with full assurance of faith in him who promised them. Thus may we come off conquerors and have a most profitable Year – 1909 – by his grace.

"Before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear." Isa. 65:24.


The Cincinnati Weekly Enquirer, February 18, 1909


With the exception of the last four paragraphs printed below, this discourse was republished in the Overland Monthly, Pages 313-317, entitled, "How and What to Fight."

We come now to the gist of our lesson. We see in the Apostle an example of the Christian fighter. In the battle for some time, he has become wise enough to know that bodily exercise and fuss and beating the air with the arms is not the way to vanquish a foe. He must be methodical, scientific.

He must know what he is fighting about, who he is fighting, and the object to be gained, if he would wisely direct his energies and gain the victory. Some are "beating the air" in their endeavor to convert the world, mistakenly supposing that that is the Church's mission. With this wrong impression, they are discouraged and apt to stop their fight, when they realize from statistics that there are twice as many heathen to-day as there were a century ago. As bodily exercise may profit something, so spiritual exercise has its advantages and is better than drowsiness, but it is not so good as learning who is the foe and then battling him persistently and effectively.

Others do still worse, when they battle one with another, quarreling, slandering, back-biting, etc. Let us see to it that, like the Apostle, we fight the good fight of faith and lay hold upon the prize of eternal life, which God has promised to the victors.

Our light is against sin and selfishness – especially in ourselves. If we sometimes lend a helping hand to others, it should be sympathetic, and directed not against them but as assisting them to overcome in their battling with the world, the flesh and the Adversary. Each one of us, dear friends, has more than sufficient to engage his time and energy in the warfare progressing in himself, the warfare between truth and error, right and wrong, holiness and sin. Seeing now the character of our controversy, let us be more diligent, vigilant, faithful in maintaining the rule of our Lord and Master in our thoughts and words and conduct. So shall we be like Him. Then by and by we shall hear our Redeemer say: "Well done, good and faithful soldier; thou has been faithful over a few things; I will make thee ruler over many things."

Then, granted an abundant entrance into His eternal Kingdom, we shall be His assistants in the great Millennial work of teaching and helping the world in their great fight then on.

The Cincinnati Weekly Enquirer, February 25, 1909


The weekly discourses by Pastor Charles T. Russell, as published regularly in The Enquirer, are strictly Nonsectarian. Their tenor is altogether free from favoritism toward any one denomination at the expense of another. Like those eminent molders of public thought, Beecher and Talmage, Pastor Russell discourses "with charity toward all and enmity toward none."

In the field of religion he is perhaps the most widely known speaker the country possesses, having lectured in practically every large city, both in the United States and in England. "Men and brethren, let me freely speak to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. For David is not ascended into the heavens." (Acts 2:29,34)

"And no man has ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of Man." John 3:13

For a man to declare himself uninterested in this subject would be to proclaim himself idiotic – thoughtless. If the ordinary affairs of this present life, food, raiment, for a few years, are deemed worthy of thought, study, how much more concern should we have in respect to the eternal future of ourselves and neighbors and mankind in general! Of coarse, so important a question has had the most profound study, ever since the reign of sin and death began 6,000 years ago. By this time the subject should be threadbare.

The entire world should be so thoroughly informed respecting this question that there would be nothing new to-day and nobody curious to hear. But the large audiences of intelligent, thoughtful people which come to hear, and which listen with breathless interest to what we have to say, imply that after all the study the subject has had but [NS619] few who are thoroughly satisfied with their conclusions.

This discourse has been republished in Reprint 4549-4553, January 15, 1910, entitled, "Where Are The Dead?"

The National Labor Tribune, February 28, 1909


Waterbury, Conn., February 28. Before a large congregation in Buckingham Music Hall, Pastor C. T. Russell spoke twice here today. The audience was very attentive. The afternoon subject was, "Where are the Dead," and the evening text was as follows: "That ye being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints, what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God." Eph. 3:17-19

The word love is as warming and cheering correspondingly as the words hatred and selfishness are cold and discouraging. To some who all their lives have been immersed in a world of selfish frigidity, the real quality of the word love is disallowed, disputed, claimed not to exist.

Nevertheless there is a craving in every human being for love, pure and sincere, even though never expected to be found. This craving of the human heart for love and sympathy increases as the years go by. Inevitable reverses and failure for the majority take the place of anticipated successes. However strong, courageous. or even brutally fierce has been the warrior in the battle for bread and fame and earthly glory, he craves ultimately, in his partial or complete disaster, the love which he has never shown to others, nor ever really expected that others would show to him. Whether he succumbs to financial disaster, or to immorality, or to narcotic stimulants, or to disease, it matters not which, the balm of Gilead for the wounded soul is love.

Sometimes this love comes from the partner of life, the wife or the husband; sometimes from parents or children, sisters or brothers. Thank God for these "sometimes" and for the evidence they afford us of some measure of the image of God in humanity! But alas! in a vast majority of cases the failure, the disaster suffered not only shatters hope, but cools friendship and destroys the semblances of love, which were merely emotional or perfunctory or admiration! At such a time the message of the love of God and Christ is balm indeed, if it come to the wounded and discouraged one! And our thought is that, particularly at this time of the year, such discouragement is apt to be borne in upon large numbers of the human family.

With the opening of the New Year, many properly made fresh resolutions to themselves, or to their friends, or to the Lord – to live more noble lives, to be true to their Creator, to themselves, to their companions in life – in general, to all of their interests and obligations. But the first month of the year has witnessed trials, testings, and to many has brought defeat and discouragement.


Now is the opportune moment to these discouraged ones to hear the voice of him that speaketh from heaven, telling them of his love, sympathy and his willingness to aid those who will accept his assistance. Hearkening obediently to his voice, the hour of defeat may be changed to the hour of victory, by the Lord's assisting grace, just as, many a time in earthly warfare, victory has been wrested from defeat by the arrival of re-enforcements at the opportune moment.

The moment of discouragement and hopeless despair and loss of confidence in earthly progress is the opportune moment for the discouraged one to recognize his need of the Saviour and to cry unto him, and forthwith receive the re-enforcements promised from him who has declared, "My strength is made perfect in your weakness;" and again, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly of heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls." Matt. 11:28-30

Ah! but it requires faith to believe in a Saviour whom we have never seen, and with whom we are not acquainted, and especially in one who has been so frequently misrepresented to us as having prepared from before the foundation of the world for our eternal torment. How can we assure ourselves of his love? How [NS620] may we know that he is not the cruel one that has been pictured to us, but instead a loving, generous, kind, faithful friend – a God who delighteth not in our trouble, who rejoiceth not in iniquity, who rejoiceth not in eternally tormenting his creatures, nor even in destroying them eternally in the Second Death, but, conversely, in doing us good, in exhibiting towards all who will receive it, his loving kindness and tender mercy, enabling them more and more, in the language of our text, to appreciate the height and length, breadth and depth of his love, and who eventually will have all men saved (recovered) and brought to a knowledge of the Truth, and to obedience and character development, to life everlasting in the Paradise of God?

We see the difficulty of such, and it cries aloud to those of us who have learned the way of the Lord more perfectly to let our light shine, to let all the world who are not completely blinded by the Adversary see the true character of our God, and of the Son of God, and the Scriptural presentation of the love and mercy and abundant provision arranged for in the Divine Purpose. What the world needs is to get over its fright respecting the Lord and the future and to see the love of God, and his gracious provision in Christ. This alone will win the heart, in the proper sense of the word. Fear may bring torments, but only the Truth can sanctify and happify, like our Redeemer's prayer, "Sanctify them through thy Truth; thy word is Truth."

The fright that is upon the world came from the Dark Ages, echoed by all the creeds of orthodoxy, breeding in the hearts of men distrust, fear, hatred of God and of the Bible, which is falsely accredited with being the Fountain from which these brackish waters of tradition, represented by the creeds, have been drawn. It is time that every true Christian should take his stand for the right, the Truth, for the Word of God, for the exposition of the falsehoods which have slandered the Almighty character, which have benumbed the zeal of the saints, and have repelled the weary and the heavy laden, as they looked for relief and balm in the direction of their Creator.

Is it not time that all ministers of the Gospel announced and manifested their freedom from the creedal misstatements of the Divine character and purpose, which in their hearts they long ago have rejected? It is well that all such should lift up their voice like a trumpet and give no uncertain sound to the masses of the groaning creation, who are awakening and hungering and thirsting for the bread and water of life, which alone can satisfy their longings.


This is the message which we bear to the troubled and discouraged ones. They must take our word for it, until they have time to take up with us a thorough study of the Scriptures, and to demonstrate to themselves that the justice, wisdom, love and power of God are all enlisted on the behalf of Adam and his race – to do us good, to save us from our sins and from the dead and dying condition in which we find ourselves mentally, morally and physically. Nor should it be so difficult to exercise this degree of faith. The Scriptures declare, "He that cometh unto God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." (Heb. 11:6)

This involves a faith in the justice of God, that, inviting us, he will not spurn us, when we respond to his call. Moreover it should appeal to every reasonable mind that God should be just and loving towards all. The thought of an angry, vindictive, torture-loving, unloving Creator should be rejected instantly by every rational mind as being ungodlike, demoniacal. And no doubt this would have been so had it not been that the misconception on the subject, which the Apostle calls the Doctrine of Devils, was imposed upon our minds from our very earliest childhood, and often by those whom we properly loved and whose piety we reverenced, but who were themselves deceived.

It is high time that more reverential, more loving, theological views were seen by all mankind. It is the lack of this true theology that is driving many away from the Lord and his Word, into vain philosophies and "science falsely so-called – Higher Criticism, Christian Science, Evolution, Theosophy, etc., etc." 1 Tim. 6:10

The world has discovered that the bonds of ignorance and superstition have been holding it for centuries, and that its eyes of understanding have been so long covered that now they blink in the dazzling light of the dawning Millennial Day. At one bound the so-called scientific world has left the Word of God and leaped into a refined agnosticism, which professes a phase which it does not possess.

The middle class and the lower class of Society are ready to follow their leaders, and this means very shortly what the Scriptures predict, "A great time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation" – a social, religious, financial and political upheaval – and anarchy. Thank God for the assurances of his Word that the spasm will be but a brief one, that "A short work will the Lord make with the earth," and that everything has been prepared for the establishment of the Millennial Kingdom upon the ruins of present systems. It is folly to think of holding the people back and bandaging the eyes of their [NS621] understanding and to again enslave them with ignorance and superstition. Those who are thus endeavoring to meet the situation show clearly that they do not understand it. The tidal liberty of mind can no longer be repressed than the ocean tide can be swept, stayed with a broom.

There is just one remedy, the truth, and a correct understanding of the teachings of the Bible. Whoever fails to receive this fails of everything with respect to the present life. And this applies not only to the world in general, but also to believers, to the entire Church of Christ. The hour of trial predicted to come upon the whole world is now upon us, and the Apostle Peter's declaration is that it must begin with the Church of God. The statement of the Prophet is that one thousand will fall to one that will stand – "A thousand shall fall at thy side and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee." (Psa. 91:7)

The statement of the Apostle, respecting the same time and trial, is "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. . . Take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and, having done all, to stand." (Eph. 6:11-13)

Not, Who shall fall, but "Who shall be able to stand?" is the question.


We are not able to tell the wonderful measures of God's love – nor can others tell them. Indeed, as the Apostle suggests, the privilege of appreciating these measurements is granted only to the "saints," and to these in proportion to their saintliness. Thus a babe in Christ, though beloved of the Lord and carefully cherished, cannot, as an infantile saint, comprehend these measurements of Divine character.

When first he believed in the Lord he saw something of Divine love and mercy, which influenced him and drew him to the exercise of faith and the renouncement of sin. From that standpoint of Justification by Faith he could see more of the Lord, and appreciate more the measurements of his greatness. Then called and appreciating it, he bound his heart before the Lord and made a full surrender to him in response to the invitation, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." Rom. 12:1

Having thus done all in his power and laid himself at the Lord's feet, he received the begetting of the holy Spirit, not with outward show or demonstration, but with inward grace and the enlightenment of the eyes of his understanding. From this new standpoint of consecration and harmony with the Divine will, he began to see more of the length, more of the breadth, more of the height, more of the depth of God's love, and hourly, daily, monthly, yearly, if living up to his privileges faithfully, he has been growing in grace, growing in knowledge, growing in opportunity to see these measurements of the Divine character.

Note that this is the very expression of our text and context: the reception by faith of Christ into our hearts as a rule brought strengthening, mighty strengthening by his Spirit in the innerman, to the new nature. As this Spirit of Christ dwelt or resided in our hearts by faith, it tended to root us and to ground us in his characterlikeness, which is the same as that of the Father – Love. Now, then, all this experience makes us able to comprehend with all saints these measurements of our Creator's character as others cannot appreciate them.

Yet, as the Apostle says, that even we know now in part only, by and by, after experiencing the resurrection "change" from earthly to heavenly nature, shall see our Lord as he is and then know as we are known. How grand will be this consummation! So in our text, which applies to the present life, the Apostle declares that the saints even cannot know the love of Christ, because it "passeth knowledge."

He then gives a further intimation of how this keen appreciation of the glorious character of God comes to his consecrated ones, namely, "by their being filled with the holiness of God."

This means, dear friends, not only the renouncement of sin, and faith in the Lord as our Redeemer and consecration to him, but a filling with his spirit, his mind, his disposition. This, as already stated, is a gradual work, "Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord."

The Lord's Spirit is one of holiness, not only of separateness from sin, but of opposition to it, not only of sympathy with righteousness, but of activity on its behalf; not only of putting away from our hearts every sympathy with unfruitful works of darkness, but also the receiving of that spirit which condemns them by daily life and a word fitly spoken; not only by an appreciation of the fruits and graces of God's Spirit – meekness, gentleness, longsuffering, brotherly kindness, love – but so great an appreciation of them as more and more induces us to stamp these gracious characteristics of Divinity upon our own thoughts and words and deeds. Thus it is that we become "copies of God's dear Son," and "meet for the inheritance of the saints in light."

To these more and more the Father is pleased to grant the opening of the eyes of their understanding, even to appreciation of the things of the Spirit – "The deep things of God."


The great Apostle not only preached Christ and shunned not to declare the whole counsel of God, yet [NS622] he never once refers to eternal torment or anything akin to it. No, not in all of his writings, which constitute more than one-half of the New Testament Scriptures. The severest penalty that he ever declared was everlasting destruction, the Second Death, from which there is no hope for deliverance. Undoubtedly he was right in this course. On the contrary he preached and wrote not only about the length and breadth and height and depth of the love of Christ, but in the context (verse 14) he tells that he prayed for the Church, that they might be able to attain such and more of God's love. Undoubtedly this is the great need of the Church today. Let us all pray for ourselves and for each other a wider opening of the eyes of our understanding, and a still more full comprehension of the length and breadth and height and depth of the love of God in Christ. From this attainment comes our blessing and the world's blessing. The light from the great Sun of Righteousness; which shortly is to flood the world, will be the "Light of the knowledge of the glory of God" – of Divine mercy and love.

The National Labor Tribune, March 7, 1909


Brooklyn, N.Y., March 7 – Pastor Russell in the Brooklyn Tabernacle preached twice here today. His discourse in the morning on Baptism was listened to attentively by a large audience. The meetings here are growing larger each time. We report his sermon in full in the evening from the text: "The preaching of the Cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God." 1 Cor. 1:18

It is very remarkable that the Cross, which symbolized the most ignominious form of capital punishment under the laws of the Roman Empire, should be the symbol of Christianity.

Thus, believers who are deeply learned in the Bible, will have no difficulty in discerning that the same Divine providence which in advance marked bread as a symbol of the Bread of Life from heaven, and water as a symbol of the water of life from the throne of God, and marriage as a picture of the relationship between Christ and the Church, directed also that the Roman should adopt the Cross as a symbol of ignominy. Was not this anticipated in the Divine prophecy which declared, "Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree" – a cross?

And did not our Lord Jesus use this very word Cross with a proper figurative signification considerably in advance of his own crucifixion, saying, "If any man would be my disciple, let him deny himself, and take up his Cross, and follow me." Matt. 16:24

Evidently the Cross, the shame of the Cross, the ignominy of the Cross, the ordeal pictured by the Cross, were foreordained picture-lessons – lessons of the self-denial and sacrifice expected not only for Messiah, but for all those who would be associated with him as his "Bride" class, "members of his Body," his "Royal Priesthood," his "Peculiar People," his "Holy Nation."

It will be discerned that we are drawing a sharply-defined contrast between the meaning of the cross presented to our minds in the Scriptures and the unregenerated sentiment which sees it merely as the symbol of pride and ostentation, whether upon banners or buildings or bestudded with jewels for personal adornment.

Let us be understood, that the People's Pulpit stands for the Cross in the simplicity of its original institution a symbol – in the words of our Lord and his apostles – a symbol of self-denial, self-sacrifice, suffering for righteousness' sake in opposition to the spirit of the world, the flesh and the Adversary. On the other hand, let us not be understood to have any superstitious reverence for a splinter from the Cross of Christ or for one of the nails reputed to have been driven through our Saviour's flesh.

We do not bow down to them nor reverence them in any sense. Our thought goes out to the Cross of Christ on a much higher and nobler plane when we recognize the work of grace connected with our Saviour's sacrifice, which was finished on the Cross. In the proper understanding of the matter our Lord took up his Cross as soon as he reached manhood's estate under the Law – when thirty years of age. Immediately he presented himself to John at Jordan and made a full consecration unto death, symbolizing it by water immersion. There, begotten by the holy Spirit, he came up out of the water and for three and a half years figuratively, symbolically, was bearing his Cross. His Cross consisted not in his living separate from sin, for he had lived separate from sin up to that time. "He knew no sin." 2 Cor. 5:21

His Cross, on the contrary, consisted in self-denial as respects things which would have been entirely proper and right, against which there would have been no law. These he sacrificed in the doing of the Father's will, in laying down his life a ransom for mankind. Although his own will was a righteous one, he tells us that he came [NS623] not to do his own will, but the will of him that sent him – the Father's will. He tells us what this will was, namely, that he should lay down his life, giving himself a ransom for many, and that ultimately he should receive his life again as a reward, on a higher plane, and that thus, by the sacrifice for our sins, he should be qualified not only to atone for our sins and thus to purchase the world by the sacrifice for sin, but additionally that he should have power and authority to save the world from its lost condition – from sin and death.


The Apostle Peter states the same matter in other words, saying that we were redeemed "with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot." (1 Pet. 1:19)

As the Cross of Christ was not merely the timber to which he was nailed at death, so the blood of Christ was not that which issued from the spear-thrust in his side after his death. The Scriptural statement is that the "life is in the blood."

In accord with this the Lord's sacrifice of his life was the shedding of his blood. "Blood-shed," indeed, is a proper name for any violent death. When it is said that we were bought with the precious blood of Christ it signifies that the valuable sacrifice of his life was made on our behalf. That sacrifice, that shedding of his blood, began when he was thirty years of age, at the moment of his consecration unto death...

It continued for the three and a half years of his ministry. It was finished when he cried with a loud voice and gave up the spirit of life. His life, his blood, was thus gradually shed, and the shedding was completed before the Roman soldier pierced his side. As we see this proper, broad conception of the Cross of Christ and the shedding of the blood of the Lamb of God, we find that the two thoughts are identical, merely stated from different standpoints and represented by different figures of speech. The value of the self-sacrifice of our Lord, represented in these two pictures, is the Gospel theme.

On it hang the Law, the prophets, the promises of the Scriptures, both of the Old and New Testaments. Without it death to humanity would mean the same as to the brute beast. For although man was made in the image of his Creator and with noble qualities of mind and heart, constituting him an earthly image of his heavenly Creator, nevertheless all of his rights were forfeited, lost, through Adam's disobedience and the death sentence upon him would reduce him to the level of the brute. Only by the "Blood of his Cross" is recovery through redemption made possible. He sacrificed himself.

He died, the just for the unjust, that he might bring mankind back into harmony with God. The entire transaction was aside from humanity. Our heavenly Father planned it all from before the creation of the world, for we read that our Redeemer was the "Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world" – in the Divine purpose or intention. Rev. 13:8


That the Church has a share in the Cross is freely admitted, but many do not see that every member of the race has an interest in the work of Jesus, begun at Jordan and finished at Calvary.

A little radiance from the Cross and the Gospel message encircling it has indeed blessed people of every nation! But oh, how little has yet been really accomplished for the race as a whole! Three-fourths of humanity are still heathens totally ignorant of the Lord – and this after more than eighteen centuries.

And more than this, the natural increase of heathenism so far outstrips our most energetic missionary effort that disproportion doubles with every century; for instance, today there are twelve hundred millions of heathen, while a century ago there were six hundred millions. What does it mean? Has the Cross of Christ proven a failure? Did Christ die in vain, even relatively? Will the blessing of the Cross never bring reconciliation to any but the few blessed by the sanctifying influences of the present life?


Ah! we have made a great mistake in the reading of our Bibles. We have failed to discern that God's time for dealing with the heathens is future; that a Millennial Age is to be introduced, in which Christ with power and great glory will suppress the power of Satan and drive away the mists and fogs of ignorance and superstition and lift from the degradation of sin and death all who will then accept his gracious provisions. This is the Kingdom for which the Master told us to pray, saying, "My Kingdom is not of this world (age)." (John 18:36)

Again, he said, "Pray ye: our Father which art in heaven; hallowed be thy name; thy Kingdom come; thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven." (Matt. 6:9, 10)

Ah, yes, while doing all that we can for ourselves and our neighbors, let us remember that the work is not ours but the Lord's and that he has declared that the coming Millennial Age of the reign of Christ and the Church is his time appointed for the blessing of all the families of the earth. Then the Cross of Christ will triumph, because without his Cross no such Millennial Kingdom and its "Time of Restitution of all things" would be possible. First, the sacrifice for sins needed to be made before the "curse" could be lifted and the blessing could come to the race of sinners. [NS624]


If, then, it is the Divine program that Christ shall establish his Kingdom, shall overthrow the rule of Satan and sin and death and enlighten mankind and deliver the willing and obedient, why did he not begin that work eighteen centuries ago? Why has valuable time been lost?

Is it not a foolish waste of time to preach the Cross of Christ and faith and obedience, under the present adverse conditions? Do not the results of these eighteen centuries of preaching show the folly of this procedure? We answer in the words of our text, Yes, the preaching of the Cross of Christ seems foolishness to the perishing ones – to the world in general. But it does not so seem to us. The saved ones, we who have come into relationship with the Father through faith in the precious blood and have come to an understanding of the Divine Plan of Salvation, realize the "cross to be the power of God." (1 Cor. 1:18)

To us the message of the Cross has been a transforming one, which, more and more as we have come to appreciate it, has been changing our characters and lives from glory to glory, enabling us to more nearly approximate the glorious character of our dear Redeemer and to become at heart "copies of God's dear Son." Rom. 8:29

In a word, while all mankind were imperfect, sinners, "children of wrath," condemned, yet amongst them were two classes. One class was in sympathy with its environment and general condition of alienation from God, and at enmity, not only outwardly but also in their hearts loving sin. The other class, outwardly the same, much fewer in number, had a love for righteousness and an opposition to iniquity and loathed their own weaknesses and blemishes. This latter class longed for righteousness and perfection, which they were unable to attain, because of their weaknesses of the flesh; because of their inability to do perfectly; because they were "born in sin and shapen in iniquity."

It is this latter class that God is now drawing to his Son and permitting to be justified by faith, and then admitting by begetting of the holy Spirit to the relationship of Spiritual Sons of God and prospective Joint-Heirs with Jesus Christ their Lord and Redeemer. Of these Jesus said, "No man can come unto me (now) except the Father which sent me draw him." John 6:44

In a word, God has divided mankind into two general classes, and has made arrangements that only one of these classes will be specially drawn, blessed and saved by faith now, leaving the other to be dealt with during the Millennium. The class favored in this present time are such as have the "hearing of faith" and come into relationship to God under the terms of the great Abrahamic Covenant.

Their special blessing now is not because they are sinless, "for there is none righteous, no not one" (Rom. 3:10), but because they loved righteousness and hated iniquity. On this account they may be the "fellows" or "brethren" of Christ, because they have this heart likeness to him of whom it is written, "Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness (holy Spirit) above thy fellows." Heb. 1:9

Those who are now specially drawn of the Father are not compelled to become fellows with his Son, their Redeemer, but are privileged to have this honor if they wish on certain terms and conditions. To attain this relationship they must stand trial in this present time, while sin and death are still reigning and while it will cost the sacrifice of earthly interests to be footstep followers of their Lord and Saviour. In a word, the Scriptures declare that they can have the great prize of jointheirship with Christ in his Millennial Kingdom and its work of blessing all the families of the earth only upon condition that they "make their calling and election sure" by faithfulness under trials and testings and difficulties.


Comparatively few of the hundreds of thousands of those who have named the name of Christ, and who have come under various denominational yokes, have any knowledge of the Mystery of the Cross of Christ, the Mystery of the Gospel, "The Mystery which hath been hid from ages and generations, but now is made manifest to his saints." (Col 1:26)

Alas, the majority seem content to have merely a "name," to live and to wish merely to be called Christians and to wear a jeweled cross. It is but the few of those who have tasted that the Lord is gracious and have felt an earnest desire to know and to do the Father's will at the cost of self-sacrifice.

With the majority the intimation that a certain course in life is the "narrow way," the way of the Cross, is sufficient to turn them in an opposite direction; for, while they would like to share the heavenly glories and honors of the Lord, they are unwilling to be sharers in his ignominy, sufferings and death. These, without relinquishing their desire for righteousness, are disinclined to go to such lengths as the Master and the apostles taught and exemplified. Hence, they are not interested in the "deep things" of God's Word, but merely in the more superficial. In the language of the Scriptures, they are willing to say, "We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel; only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach." Isa. 4:1 [NS625] However, inside and outside of all denominations we may expect to find the Lord's "little flock," following in his footsteps through evil reports and through good reports, singing and making melody in their hearts unto the Lord for the privilege granted them of having fellowship with Christ in his sufferings, in prospect of the fellowship in his glory which will soon be theirs. So far from the preaching of the Cross being a failure it is a great success in this particular work which the Lord intends. It has served to attract the loyal-hearted and to repel all others. It is of this Gospel of the Cross of Christ that the Apostle says, "It is a savour of life unto life, or of death unto death." 2 Cor. 2:16

The Mystery of the Cross, then, is that it is the Divine purpose that the Lord Jesus should be the Head or Chief Priest and that during this Gospel Age God would draw out from amongst this world and sanctify to Himself through the merits of Jesus' sacrifice an Under-Priesthood, who as "members of the Body of Christ," would delight "to fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ." Col 1:24

So, then, be it understood, the great Christ foreknown of the Father and ordained to be the World's Deliverer during the Millennial Age, is primarily our Lord Jesus the Head, and secondarily the members of the Body, the "saints" of the Gospel Age, "Members in particular of the Body of Christ."

Thus seen there is a good reason, a very particular reason, why the Millennial Restitution work for the world did not begin immediately after our Lord's resurrection. The interim of time was set apart for the selection of the members of his Body, elsewhere spoken of as the betrothed Church, which at our Lord's Second Coming, will become "the Bride," "the Lamb's Wife," and "Joint-Heir" in the Kingdom with the heavenly Bridegroom.


Behold then, in the light of these Scripture testimonies, the power and wisdom and love of God connected with the Cross of Christ! See how now it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth and who is of a ready heart to accept the Divine mercies. Note the grace of God in permitting sinners from the very lowest plane to be justified by faith and to be made heirs of glory and, as the Apostle declares, to be made "partakers of the Divine nature." (2 Pet. 1:14)

If this present grace which comes only to those who have the hearing ear and the appreciative heart were all, were the end of the triumph of the Cross of Christ, it would be a wonderful triumph, a glorious one, even though all the remainder of the race except these saintly ones of the First Resurrection class, the Body of Christ, should perish should never come to a knowledge of the grace of God, should never attain to eternal life on any plane. But God declares emphatically that it is not his will that any should perish, but that all might turn unto him and live. And he has made full provision whereby every member of the race may be brought to a knowledge of the Truth, that all may thus be saved – "Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the Truth." 1 Tim. 2:4

The selection of this favored Seed of Abraham, The Christ (Gal. 3:16-29), is but the beginning of God's great work of salvation through the Cross of Christ; as soon as the "elect" shall have been completed and all tested and proven and glorified with their Lord, the "New Covenant," sealed with the precious blood, will become operative. The blessings withdrawn from the natural Israel when our Lord was crucified will be restored to them under that New Covenant. Spiritual Israel will rule and bless the world through natural Israel, and all the families of the earth will then be encouraged to come into harmony with God under the terms of the New Covenant by becoming "Israelites indeed."

Thus Abraham's Seed eventually will bless all who love righteousness, all who under full knowledge and opportunity will demonstrate their love for righteousness and their hatred for iniquity. What wonder, then, that while others are speaking slightingly of the Cross of Christ and claiming that there was no need of redemption, that our race never fell and will never be restored – what wonder, we say; that we who see something of the "length and breadth and height and depth of the love of God," glory in the Cross of Christ! Truly did the Lord declare through the Prophet, "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For my plans are not your plans, neither are your methods my methods, saith the Lord." Isa. 55:8, 9

"In the cross of Christ I glory, Towering o'er the wrecks of time; All the light of sacred story Gathers round its head sublime."

"No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper."

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