What Pastor Russell Said

Question Book


HARVEST--Length of in Parables, Matt. 13:30 and Matt. 20:1-16.

QUESTION (1916)--1--Does the harvest referred to in the parable of the tares in Mat. 13:30 cover a corresponding period of time to the work in the vineyard in Mat. 20:1-16?

ANSWER.--I don't know.

HATE--The World Cannot Hate You --To Whom Spoken?

QUESTION (1907)--2--Please harmonize these verses: "The world cannot hate you, but Me it hateth because I testified of it that the works thereof are evil." And the other text is: "If ye were of the world, the world would love its own. Now, because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you." Please harmonize these two particular texts, and particularly the words, "The world cannot hate you," and "therefore the world hateth you."

ANSWER.--The one was spoken to a mixed audience of people, and the other was spoken to those who were His disciples, whom He had gathered out from the Jewish people. He said, Them that you gavest me, they received my Word, and because they received My Word and became My footstep followers, therefore the world hates them because it hated Me. It did not hate them originally; it was not opposed to them originally. It might have ignored them, but it did not hate them. But He was bearing the light, and the light rebuked the darkness, and so they hated the light, and hated the light-bearer. Now you have become sharers with me in holding up the light--"Let your light so shine"--and in proportion as you do so, the world will hate you just as it hated Me.

HATRED--For Satan and his Sympathizers Proper.

QUESTION (1915)--3--Please explain the Scripture: "Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate Thee? I hate them with a perfect hatred." (Psa 139:21,22.)

ANSWER.--We may not he sure that we get the full import of the Psalmist's words in this passage, but we can apply the matter to ourselves and say that all the Lord's people should hate that which is evil. We could not properly have any sympathy with that which is evil. And so, of our Lord Jesus it was said, "Because Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity, therefore God, even Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows" (Heb. 1:9). Now the great Head of the Church loved righteousness, and we must cultivate that same love for righteousness. He hated iniquity, sin, and we must have that same hatred.

There are people who are more or less under the influence of iniquity by reason of weakness with which they are born. We must still hate the iniquity, but must learn more and more to have sympathy for the poor human race, as God has sympathy for them. His sympathy is so great that "while we were yet sinners, Christ died for the ungodly," the unjust, those out of accord with God's Law (Rom. 5:8). We must have the mind of the Lord; but we are to [Q322] have no sympathy with the evil. If there are any who have come to the place where they are in full sympathy with iniquity, and there are some such the Scriptures assure us, they are themselves iniquitous and would properly be classed with Satan.

Satan has shown this iniquitous spirit not only by his course when he first defied the Almighty and deceived mankind and became the murderer of our race, but all along up to the present time. Jesus said to Satan, "When he speaketh a lie he speaketh of his own; for he is a liar and the father of it" (John 8:44). Now if Satan had turned from his iniquity, then no doubt God would have found some way, even in Satan's case, by which he might come back to God. Since he has never made any manifestation of repentance nor of sympathy for righteousness, his name is properly used in the Bible as the synonym for iniquity.

What about the fallen angels? We are not able to judge of them all. The Bible tells us about the final destruction of the Devil and his angels--those who prove, like him, incorrigible. All such will be iniquitous--not merely under the evil influence of another, but they themselves inseparably identified with iniquity, because of their own choice and volition. This class will include both evil men and evil angels, and such will be the class that would be the haters of God referred to in the text cited by the questioner: "Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate Thee? I hate them with perfect hatred."

Do I hate Satan? I certainly do! Is it a perfect hatred? I hope it is a perfect hatred, so much so that I would not compromise or enter into anything that would bring me into relationship with any of Satan's methods. We wish to be separate from everything that is occult, remembering that there are but two masters, the one our Master, and the other his opponent. We have no fellowship with him. All our interest is on the Lord's side. The Adversary, Satan, the Prince of Darkness, we hate with perfect hatred; and any who prove to be his followers or sympathizers under full light deserve the same hatred.

But such a hatred would not mean on our part any pleasure in having them tortured throughout all eternity. It would be the same kind of hatred that God has. God is altogether righteous and His hatred will mean the destruction in due time of Satan and all who are of his spirit. This is the proper hatred that we should have, the hatred that would wish to see the opponents of God destroyed.


QUESTION (1906)--1--The modern hat is certainly anything but a convenience in an audience, and some of the sisters wish to know if any one can suggest some method by which women can have the head covered during service without wearing the objectionable hat, and yet be something that would not call undue attention to the fact?

ANSWER.--Am I a Solomon, that I would have the wisdom to decide questions like this? I will tell you, dear friends, what I have noticed some sisters do, and thought that if I were a sister it is quite probable I would adopt it, though this is the first time I have ever mentioned it, I believe. I have noticed some of the sisters wearing a little lace covering, and thought, now that looks very neat, and as far as I [Q323] know, that covers everything the Apostle had in mind. It is merely a sign, and I would not know any reason why that would not be proper. But, mind you, I am not laying down any law.

HEAD COVERING--Authority for.

QUESTION (1906)--1--Is it necessary for women to wear hats or some other covering during meetings?

ANSWER.--Well, ask the Apostle Paul: he is authority on the subject and I am not.

HEADSHIP--Re Writing in Mannas, etc.

QUESTION (1911)--2--Is it denying the headship on the part of a sister who signs her name in Mannas, etc., instead of her husband's full name, as for instance, Mrs. Mary Dodds, instead of Mrs. Joseph Dodds?

ANSWER.--Well, it would be not necessarily denying the headship, dear friends; I would not say that; but it would be a matter of etiquette, and a question as to what would be the proper form. As a rule, the understanding is that when a woman signs "Mrs." to her name she puts her husband's initials or name, but that if she wishes to sign her own name she leaves off the "Mrs." or else puts the "Mrs." in parenthesis.

HEALINGS--Call Elders, Pray and Anoint.

QUESTION (1909)--3--How should Christians follow the admonitions of Jam. 5:14. "Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the Church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil, in the name of the Lord. . . .and if he hath committed sins, they shall be forgiven him."

ANSWER.--"And if he hath committed," that I consider the essence of it. The intimation is that such an one has committed sin, become estranged from God, and is unable to go to Him. Therefore in this sad and separated condition, "Though he hath committed sin," he may call for the elders of the Church and confess his fault, as the Apostle said: "Confess your faults one to another and pray one for another." This I would understand to be spiritual healing. Why not physical healing? To understand it so would he to understand it out of harmony with the whole Bible, which tells us that instead of expecting physical healing, we are to lay down our lives in sacrifice. There is not a suggestion anywhere that our Lord's disciples were healed by him. While Jesus sent forth His disciples to heal others, He never told them to heal themselves, and they never did, and Jesus never healed them. In the case of Paul, he mentions several brethren who were sick, and the Lord had mercy and finally healed them, but the Apostle did not command any magic work to be done for them, nor give them any aprons or napkins, etc., but he did to others. When Peter's wife's mother was sick of a fever, then she was healed, but not Peter nor any of the disciples. Hence, if James' statement is to he regarded as a general one to the Church, it would he contrary to everything else in the Scriptures.

When you and I were accepted, we were counted as having received restitution or life, and were admonished to present our bodies a living sacrifice. When our Lord was worn and tired from labor of preaching and teaching, did He pray to be healed? What did He do? He sat on the edge of the well and rested, just as you and I would do if we were tired. When He was hungry, did He command the [Q324] stones to be made into bread? No, He said it would be using power improperly. But, He did use that power for the feeding of the multitudes, and He may have eaten some of that which was provided for the multitudes, which would not have been a special use of His own power for Himself. We are called to sacrifice, and not called to restitution--that will be in the next age.

A friend of mine, believing in Present Truth, called upon me one day and said he had a cold. I drew out a drawer and said I would give him something that would help him. He said, "No, the Lord is my healer, and I will get over it in two or three days." "Oh," I said, "I thought I might help you over it sooner." I then remembered that he had the thought that if he had a toothache, or earache, or a corn that the Lord would heal him. He was inquiring for a brother and said he was so sick that his life was despaired of, and he also believed the same way. I said, "Brother, I will take this opportunity to tell you something. You believe that you should take your aches and pains to the Lord and then wait. Now, brother, I would like to call your attention to this fact that this brother, notwithstanding he has the Lord as his healer, is now so sick that you can't even see him, and then after being sick a long time, then gets a doctor and gets well. Now you are sick, and I remember several occasions when you have been sick. Now, while I am not boasting of the Lord being my healer, nor of my suggestions, I want to tell you that the Lord in His providences has so overruled in my life that I have been but one day in bed sick in forty-five years. Now, brother, do you think it would be better for the Lord to keep you well or to let you get sick and then heal you?" He seemed to see that the Lord could keep him well.

My thought is that you and I have a perfect right, according to God's arrangements, to do anything that we can properly, and to use anything for our physical health. When you are hungry, you eat meat and bread and potatoes, and they are some of the very best medicines. Also a little sleep. Now we do not think of doing without these. And if I thought that a pinch of catnip or anything else would arouse the liver and settle the stomach, I would not hesitate to take it any more than to take bread or potatoes, and I would think I was using the same common sense in caring for my body. We read: "Of all the herbs of the field you may freely eat." Do the best you can, you are a groaning creation, do anything for your relief. When I take some medicine I am not doing something but that is open and common to all mankind. I have consecrated all that I have to the Lord, but he never expected me to give up the eating of bread and meat or of taking some catnip if it was good for my stomach.

HEALINGS--Re Jesus' Command.

QUESTION (1911)--1--What does this mean: where Jesus commanded his disciples to heal the sick, raise the dead, and cleanse the lepers?

ANSWER.--His disciples did go out and do that very work to a certain extent; but there is one passage of Scripture which this brother refers to, which reads like this: "And these signs shall follow them which believe. In my name [Q325] they shall cast out devils, and heal the sick, and if they drink any poisonous thing, it shall not hurt them," etc. What is the matter with that? As a matter of fact, that passage is not a part of the original Gospel; that chapter ends with the ninth verse; everything after the ninth verse is an interpolation, added somewhere about the eighth century as near as we know. It is not in the oldest manuscripts in the Greek, as all scholars know. Giving you an illustration of what has been added to the Bible take the last verse of the gospel of John. Anybody can see that it is an interpolation; it is not in any of the old manuscripts. It reads this way: "And I suppose that if all the things Jesus wrote and done were written the world itself would not be able to contain the books that should be written." What a whopper! Somebody who wanted to make it large felt at liberty to add that verse without any authority. Now, I do not go in for all the additions to the Word of God; I merely stand for what God said, as written by his prophets and apostles, nothing more.

HEALINGS--Result of Prayer.

QUESTION (1913)--1--Has the due time come in God's great plan when the consecrated may pray for the removal of mental or physical defects in children?

ANSWER.--I do not think restitution blessings are due to the world yet. I understand that restitution is God's provision to be inaugurated after the second coming of Christ and the establishment of His Kingdom. What Jesus did in the way of restitution at the first advent, and what the Apostles also did at that time, we are not to consider against God's plan, and if the Lord could and did do miracles there in advance of the restitution it would show that it was violation of God's law, and hence if God should grant more restitution blessings now there would be no law to hinder it, as there was no law to hinder Jesus and the Apostles from performing restitution blessings. But the time for them is future. So, then, if I were to think of or pray for such, and in connection with their infirmities, my thought would be like this: I know that God has made full provision for the restitution of my children and other children, and for the whole human family by and by; I am not sure that God is ready now to give any special manifestations along this line; if I would pray at all on this subject I would pray with a certain limitation in my mind as well as in my expression, and I would say, "Lord, notwithstanding though I ask this, Thy will be done, not my will." I would see no harm in making such a prayer under such conditions, saying, "Lord, I know not whether the time has come that you will be pleased to grant some measure of restitution to my child, therefore I leave the matter in your hands. I pray, if it is in harmony with your will that such blessings may come to it. Father, I ask nothing of restitution rights for myself, because all of these earthly and restitution rights I have sacrificed and therefore I ask nothing for myself." My petition would merely be for this child, this one who is the subject of prayer.

HEARING EAR--Is it Miraculous?

QUESTION (1909)--2--Do we have the hearing ear by a miraculous gift from God, or because the image of God has not been wholly obliterated?

ANSWER.--I understand that this expression "hearing ear" might be viewed from different standpoints. If you refer [Q326] to the natural man, then it would have one meaning, but if to the New Creature, then it would have another meaning. As for instance, if I speak to Christians and speak of our eyes being opened, and of our ears being blessed of the Lord, I am speaking of our spiritual eyes and ears by which we can appreciate the spirit of the Lord. Another illustration, when you first came to the Lord, you were drawn to the Lord, or you heard His voice, and that attracted you, and you came to Jesus. This is where the natural ear had not been entirely vitiated by the fall. You perhaps were born with some reverence which would say, You ought to bring an offering to the Lord, you ought to render thanks to Him. This led you to feel after God and He was pleased to he found of you, and He took you by the hand, saying, this way, my honest soul, this is Jesus, the one through whom I am pleased to have all come who would come to me. But don't make a mistake of confounding the hearing ear of the human nature with the hearing ear of the New Creature.

HEAVEN AND HELL--Did Pastor Russell Say There Was None?

QUESTION (1909)--1--If there is no heaven or hell please tell us how you found it out?

ANSWER.--We have already said that there is a heaven, and enough space for all the angels and the saints. Our Lord said, "In my Father's house are many mansions, but I go to prepare a place for you." But He did not say anything about preparing a place for mankind in general. The time to prepare for them is in the Millennial Age.

HEAVEN AND HELL--Are There Such Places?

QUESTION (1909)--2--Why are heaven and hell mentioned in the Bible if there are no such places?

ANSWER.--We believe that there are such places. We believe that there is a heaven, as the Scriptures say: Heaven is my throne, the earth is my footstool, sayeth the Lord.

Supposing that every one born into the world is eventually to go to heaven is one of the errors that we have fallen into. God, in the greatness of His wisdom and power, was pleased to create angels and then subsequently, in the further development of His plan, He was pleased to make this earth and then create mankind. He made human beings a little lower than angels. Man never was an angel, never fell from being an angel, and was never intended to be an angel. Made a little lower than the angels, just like them in respect to having the divine characteristics of mind and will, and in some respects God made man higher than the angels, in the sense of giving them dominion over the earth, but to the angels He never gave any dominion; He put all these things under the feet of men. Heaven was intended for the angels and for Himself. During this present time God is developing the New Creation and they are to be heavenly beings and are to go to heaven, and as the Scriptures state, they will have a nature not only like the angels, but in some respects superior to them, in that they will have the divine nature.

We do not know how many orders there are of spirit beings, but we read about Cherubims and Seraphims. He informs us that He has put these all under subjection to Christ. When Christ ascended up on high, God said, let all the angels worship Him. But this does not interfere with God's plan respecting the earth, which He designed should [Q327] he inhabited. It would be very absurd to think that after God had spent six thousand years in training the world, and then 1,000 years in making them fit for eternal life, He would blot them out.

As for hell, we certainly believe more about it than others, for we understand that all go there, while others put only part of the people there; but it is a different hell, it is the Bible hell, the state of the dead, sheol, and the whole world goes to sheol. Get your Bible and compare how this word is used all through the Old Testament. Good and bad all go there; they are all gathered to their fathers, and sleep with them whether they are good or bad. It would be very strange to say that they slept with their fathers if their fathers were in hell, for they are awake in the theological hell.

We do not deny that there is a hell and a heaven, but we do deny the nocturnal hallucinations that have come down to us from the dark ages.

HELL--Its Opposite.

QUESTION (1909)--l--We say that everything has an opposite; if so, why is there no place of punishment?

ANSWER.--Well, I don't know that you ever heard me say that everything has an opposite, nor that the Lord said so, and whoever said so, he is the one you ought to ask this question of. It is true that wherever there is a mountain, there is pretty sure to he a valley, but there are some mountains rising up out of the sea and there is no valley present. Mean things are opposite to good things, and sweet things are opposite to sour.

The Bible places life and death as opposites, and he who will not serve God shall not have life but death, but he who will serve and obey Him shall have life. That is the best kind of an opposite, and we have the Lord's word for it, "I have set before you life and death, choose life that you may live." So the whole proposition during the Millennial Age will be, Obey and live, disobey and die. Those are the antitheses or opposites.

HELL--Re Destroyed by Pastor Russell.

QUESTION (1911)--2--If you do away with hell, and its torment, why do you not do away with the devil?

ANSWER.--I do not do away with hell, my dear friends. All of you who were here this afternoon will hear me witness that I preached more hell than you ever heard before, and said that everybody goes to hell--the Bible hell; but there are no demons in the Bible hell. The Bible never says anything about demons in hell. The Bible tells us that Satan goes about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. How could that be if he is stoking fire off in some place beyond space or time, how would he be able to attend to things so well in Winnipeg?

HELL--Re Being Opposite of Heaven.

QUESTION (1911)--3--What answer should be made to those who declare that if there is a heaven of everlasting happiness for the saintly, there must be also a hell of everlasting torture for the wicked?

ANSWER.--Well, we would not like to answer such a person really according to the logic of the question, because that might seem rude, and Christianity is never to be rude. [Q328] The person who asks a question like that of us implies that he has not good reasoning faculties. There is no comparison between everlasting life in happiness, and everlasting life in torture, there is no such proposition set before us in the Bible. The antithesis of life is death. You will live or you will die. And so the Lord, you remember through the prophet, said, "I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; choose therefore life that ye may live." This is the whole invitation of the Gospel, that we might live. God is offering life. He declares that there is no everlasting life to any except through our Lord Jesus. "He that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth upon him." The wrath of God is a death penalty. As you and I look out into the world today, every funeral we see, every piece of crepe we see, everything that indicates sickness and death, speaks of the wrath of God--the sentence of God as the Bible presents it. Anything else is a misconception. We look back and see what the curse was that God put upon Father Adam. When Adam was placed in the garden of Eden, it was upon the condition that if he would remain obedient to God he might continue to live and live in happiness, live in an earthly Eden, and if he was disobedient to God he would die. "The wages of sin is death." "The soul that sinneth it shall die." This is God's sentence, and so it was then, that when Father Adam was disobedient, this sentence or curse of death came upon him, and you and I as his children today are suffering this curse of death; all the aches and pains, all the mental and moral imperfection that you know about and possess, and that I have anything to do with all of these are so much of death working in us. This is the original penalty that is bearing the human family down to the tomb. That is the great hell of the Bible, sheol, hades. Death is the penalty for sin and all the aches and pains incidental to it are so much incidental to the full culmination of that penalty. And so it is that God set before Adam life and death, not heaven and hell. He might continue to live in Eden if obedient, he would die if he were disobedient. He did disobey, he did die. We are all witnesses that the whole race is in death. Saint Paul expresses this matter most clearly in Rom. 5:12 when he says, "Wherefore as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." It does not say a word about eternal torment passing upon anybody; there was no such sentence; the wrath of God is not revealed in eternal torment. The wrath of God is revealed in the death sentence that has been on our race for six thousand years. So the Apostle in another place says the wrath of God is revealed against all unrighteousness. Who will say that the wrath of God is revealed in hell fire? Did you ever see it? Not at all. Was it ever revealed to anybody? Not at all. How is the wrath of God revealed? I answer, you feel it, and you see it all about you in the dying of our race. And so in God's due time he has arranged that our race should be redeemed; he has laid hope upon one who is able to help, mighty to save, Jesus; and Jesus has appeared, and he was the manifestation of God's mercy, and has laid down his life! He did not go to eternal torment for us; he did not pay any eternal torment penalty, and if you and I were ever under any eternal torment [Q329] penalty, we would still be under it; it has never been paid by our Lord; it has never been paid by anybody. But what say the Scriptures? The Scriptures say the penalty against us was a death penalty, and that Jesus died, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us back to God. The penalty he paid therefore was the death penalty. "He tasteth death for every man," "He poured out his soul unto death," "He made his soul an offering for sin," and the Scriptures also say that eventually he will see the travail of his soul and be satisfied. I am glad, I will he satisfied first of all to see the saintly Church in glory, and I will be satisfied completely with the end of the work when the full knowledge of God shall have reached the whole human family, and every individual of our race shall have had an opportunity of coming back to God's favor and eternal life. The masses of mankind will have the privilege of coming back to perfect human life during the Millennium, during the time of Christ's reign, and the saintly ones will be coming to this high calling, the heavenly condition which was never lost; you never lost the heavenly condition; you lost life. God says if we walk in the footsteps of Jesus he will not only give us life, but he will give us life more abundant. So then we quote the text again which says, "He that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him." The death penalty will continue on him, he will go into the second death. Plain enough! We are in the first death through Adam's disobedience, now if when God sent forth his Son to be the life-giver, and the rescuer from death, and one neglects or refuses the Son, he will die for his own sin, and it will be the second death.

HELL--The Wicked Cast Into.

QUESTION (1913)--1--Please explain "The wicked shall be cast into hell, with all nations that forget God." Is this hell the place for all, including the church?

ANSWER.--In the first place, people who forget God must be people who have known Him. No man can forget what he has not learned. The time for most of the people to learn of God will be in the future. There are very few in Springfield who know God in the true sense. You and I find that we are daily coming to a better knowledge of God. Jesus said, "This is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the true God." How many know him in that sense? Every one must come to know Him before they can forget Him.

But who are these wicked ones referred to by the Psalmist? We have looked up that particular text and remember how it reads. According to the Hebrew it should read this way, "The wicked shall he returned into sheol, together with all nations that forget God." It means to go to sheol a second time, or it is another way of saying they will go to second death. Into sheol everybody will go the first time; not merely the wicked, but every one; the rich and poor, black and white, male and female, every one shall go to sheol. But they cannot go there a second time unless the son shall first set them free. We learn that it will be his work during the millennial age to release these prisoners from the state of death. He will say to the prisoners, "Show yourselves. Come forth." During the thousand years of Messiah's reign all these prisoners will come forth. All who do not prove themselves worthy of everlasting life during that time will be returned to sheol. It is simply another way of expressing the second death.