Criticisms OF PASTOR RUSSELL AND THE International Bible Students Association
EXAMINED FROM A SCRIPTURAL STANDPOINT
Compiled by M. C. Bradley, Chicago August, 1914
PRICE 10 CENTS for special rates in quantities, see page 82.
Our critics have much to say about what we believe and what we teach. As the "Scripture Studies" have now reached the 8,000,000 mark, and we distribute free, in Chicago alone, more than a Half Million religious newspapers every year, we would concede these to be very proper subjects to consider. Their writings, however, show they do not understand either, for their misstatements are many, some simply ludicrous and others serious, for they misrepresent God’s Word as well as our teachings. We will not charge them with purposely misrepresenting to injure. We remember that Paul for years persecuted the early Christians; and he said he did it through ignorance. Peter declared that the Jews would not have crucified Jesus had they understood the prophecies. And to come nearer our own day, Luther, Wesley, Huss and others have been persecuted because the truths they preached were not understood. Today renowned preachers and theologians would not be persecuting Pastor Russell if they knew he was preaching the Truth. True, they might know it if they would, but as Paul said in 2Co 4:4, "The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." And it would seem that many today are so blinded they fail to distinguish truth from error.
No doubt they think they are doing God service.
No doubt they fail to realize that their creeds which they blindly believe in and try to defend without ever having turned the Bible searchlight on them, in some ways dishonor God and drive from the churches many honest souls who are hungering for the Bread of Life.
A FAMINE IN THE LAND.
"I will send a famine in the land; not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord."-Am 8:11.
And in many churches today, God’s message of salvation through belief in His dear Son Jesus who died for our sins, is not so often proclaimed from the pulpit as is "higher criticism," or a "review" of some "best seller" in the world of novels.
If the Ministry have consecrated their all to God, and they have no business to preach His Word without, then their hearts should be so full of love that they would never think of condemning or speaking evil of any man, on hearsay evidence. Their statements prove one of three things: Either they are making their charges on hearsay evidence, they are purposely misrepresenting, or they do not understand the Word of God. Those are the only reasons they can give for their slanders. To claim that everything of their creeds squares with the Bible is to claim what any reasoning person can easily see is not a fact. And to condemn Pastor Russell’s teachings as heresy without giving them prayerful, careful study with the Bible for an interpreter and guide, is contrary to the teachings of the Bible. So in love we will assume that they have not investigated and are really ignorant of the International Bible Students Association.
But we court Investigation for our Society. It will certainly
lead you to study the Bible as you never did before, and you will find it a priceless mine of comfort and life to all who come to it in faith and with honest hearts desiring to know God’s truth. Such will grow in faith and love for God, for Jesus our Savior, for the brethren, and for the world of mankind. And that, the Bible teaches us, is the attitude of the Christian.
There are many honest souls in the world in all denominations, and some outside of denominations, who are seeking for the Truth and will be satisfied with nothing less. We think it the proper time to show the difference between what we believe and teach and what our enemies say we believe. We do not intend to take up each one of the many ridiculous charges made against us, which we think are completely answered by our ten articles of belief, but will note some of the glaring inconsistencies of different writers, state our own position as plainly as possible, with Bible references, and leave the reader to make his own decision. If one point of each writer is shown to be incorrect, it naturally weakens faith in the balance. One reason there are so many today who are drifting away from the churches is because they have heard ministers question or speak slightingly of some parts of the Bible, and they reason: "If there is a doubt about some of the Bible, how do we know any of it is trustworthy?"
Before taking up any of the charges made against us for examination, we wish to call your attention to the fundamental belief of the International Bible Students Association and our beloved president and teacher, Pastor Charles T. Russell.
We will therefore review briefly and plainly all the vital points of Bible truth we hold and teach. Many of them are entirely different from the preaching you have been used to, but we shall give you the Scripture for every point, that you may decide as to the reasonableness of our position.
The six volumes of Scripture Study give more than 5,900 references from the Bible to prove every point. We do not wish to convince you by our word, but as Peter said: "We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed."-2Pe 1:19. Search the Scriptures, for they testify of me, said Jesus. Again he said in Mt 7:15-18: "Beware of false prophets which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit."
The International Bible Students Association is willing to be judged by its fruits.
WHICH IS THE TRUE GOSPEL?
There are today several hundreds of different religions in the world. Each claims to be right, yet most of them are willing to admit that people may be Christians-may be saved-even if they do not belong to their particular
denomination. Yet we of the International Bible Students Association are denied even this consideration. It must be evident that someone is making a great mistake. Why are the noted D. Ds. spending so much time trying to
discredit us and our work? We would recommend to them the words of a celebrated Doctor, Gamaliel, who advised more than eighteen hundred years ago, in Ac 5:38, 39, "I say unto you, refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: but if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found to fight even against God." Let it be thoroughly understood that the writer, the International Bible Students Association and Pastor Russell are in perfect agreement on all points.
We have no new doctrine; we believe in the faith once delivered to the Saints, taught by Jesus and the Apostles.
WHAT THE I. B. S. A. BELIEVE.
To us the Scriptures clearly teach:
(1) That the Church is "the Temple of the Living God" -peculiarly "His workmanship"; its construction has been in progress throughout the Gospel Age-ever since Christ became the world’s Redeemer and Chief Corner Stone of His Temple, through which, when finished, God’s blessing shall come to "all people," and they find access to Him. -1Co 3:16, 17-"Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are."
Eph 2:20-22-"And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord; in whom ye also are builded together for a habitation of God through the Spirit."
Ge 28:14- "And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth; and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed."
Ga 3:29-"And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise."
(2) That meantime the chiseling, shaping and polishing of consecrated believers in Christ’s atonement for sin progresses; and when the last of these "living stones," "elect and precious," shall have been made ready, the great Master workman will bring all together in the First Resurrection; and the Temple shall be filled with His glory, and be the meeting place between God and men throughout the millennium. -
Re 15:5-8-"And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened: And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles. And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever. And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from His power: and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled."
(3) That the Basis of Hope, for the Church and the World, lies in the fact that "Jesus Christ, by the grace of God, tasted death for every man," " a Ransom for all," and will be "the true Light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world," "in due time." -
Heb 2:9-"But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man."
Joh 1:9-"That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh Into the world."
1Ti 2:5, 6-"For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time."
(4) That the Hope of the Church is that she may be like her Lord, "see Him as He is," be "partaker of the Divine nature," and share His glory as His joint heir. -
1 Jno. 3:2-"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is,"
Joh 17:24-"Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me; for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world."
Ro 8:17-"And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together."
2Pe 1:4-"Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises; that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust."
(5) That the present mission of the Church is the perfecting of the saints for the future work of service; to develop in herself every grace; to be God’s witness to the world; and to prepare to be kings and priests in the next Age. -
Eph 4:12-"For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ."
Mt 24:14-"And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come."
Re 1:6-"And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen."
Re 20:6-"Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God, and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years."
(6) That the hope for the world lies in the blessings of knowledge and opportunity to be brought to all by Christ’s Millennial Kingdom-the Restitution of all that was lost in Adam, to all the willing and obedient, at the hands of their Redeemer and His glorified Church-when all the willfully wicked will be destroyed. -
Ac 3:19-23-"Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you; Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that Prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people".
Isa 35-"The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon; they shall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God."
"Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; he will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water; in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes. And a highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein. No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there: And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away."
(7) We affirm the pre-existence of Jesus as the mighty, Word (Logos-spokesman) "the beginning of the creation of God," "the first born of every creature," the active agent of the Heavenly Father, Jehovah, in all the work of creation. "Without Him was not anything made that was made."-
Re 3:14-"And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write: These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God."
Col 1:15-"Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature."
Joh 1:3-"All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made."
(8) We affirm that the Word (Logos) was made flesh -became the babe of Bethlehem-thus becoming the Man Jesus, "holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners." As we affirm the humanity of Jesus, we equally affirm the Divinity of Christ-"God also hath highly exalted Him and given Him a name that is above every name."-
Heb 7:26-"For such a high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens."
Php 2:9-"Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name."
(9) We acknowledge that the personality of the Holy Spirit is the Father and Son, that the Holy Spirit proceeds from both, and is manifested in all who receive the begetting of the Holy Spirit and thereby become sons of God. -
Joh 1:13-"Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."
1Pe 1:3-"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again into a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead."
(10) We affirm the resurrection of Christ-that He was put to death in flesh, but quickened in Spirit. We deny that He was raised in the flesh, and challenge any statement to that effect as being unscriptural. -
1Pe 3:18-"For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit."
2Co 3:17-"Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty."
1Co 15:8-"And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time."
Ac 26:13-15- "At midday, 0 king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me. And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest."
When a man begins to get mad, call names and be abusive, instead of giving a sane reason for his position, it looks as though these were his only weapons, and poor ones they are.
The Christian ministry of today seems to be hiding the key of Divine knowledge from the people, or else they know they have lost it and don’t want to admit it.
Prof. W. G. Moorehead is the author of a little folder entitled "Brief Review of Millennial Dawn." He says the series of Bible helps are "anti-Scriptural and a wretched perversion of the Gospel of Christ." He says: "The books expressly teach that our Lord, prior to His earthly life, was only a creature, higher indeed in the rank of being than the Angels, yet like them a created being. * * * Over against this fatal error we set the majestic words of the inspired John, 1:1: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God."
Like all Trinitarians, Rev. Mr. Moorehead refers to Joh 1:1 to prove his position. As the exact, literal meaning of the first verse is very different from what he gives, which is the rendering of our Common Version Bible, we will give the accurate- word for word translation of the original, which Prof. Moorehead knows to be correct. Why does he try to hide it? Joh 1:1-"In a beginning was the Word and the Word was with the God, and a God was the Word." Jesus was a God, but not the God, Jehovah. Presumably he can’t bear the thought of admitting himself wrong and Pastor Russell right.
As long as he believes that the Father and Son are one God, he of course must assume as he does that Jesus had no creation. What does the Bible say? In Re 3:14 Jesus calls himself "the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God." Col 1:15 —speaking of Jesus—says: "Who is the image of the Invisible God, the firstborn of every creature." Joh 1:3 "All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made."
Eph 3:9-2 -"God, who created all things by Jesus Christ."
This is a fair sample of the way he "disposes" of Pastor Russell’s teachings. He does not seem to have read them, or to have any comprehension of Gods plan as so thoroughly outlined in the Bible.
"Search the Scriptures for they testify of me," were the words of Jesus in Joh 5:39. What is Scripture given for? "That the man of God may be Perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."- 2Ti 3:17,
He says: "The prophets uniformly testify that the Messiah who was to come should be Jehovah, the great God, Himself, and no other."- Isa 9:6, 40:3-, Jer 23:6; Mal 3:1.
Isa 9:6 makes no mention whatever of Jehovah. 40:3 does speak or Jehovah, but not of Jesus. Surely a man who has been at the head of a theological college must know that in the Old Testament, LORD, in small capitals, as in Isa 40:3, always refers, not to Jesus, but to Jehovah, and should be so translated. In Mal 3:1 the first Lord in the verse refers to Jesus, the last LORD to Jehovah. Regarding Jer 23:6 we quote page 42, vol. 5, Scripture Studies:
"The text chiefly relied on to prove that Jehovah may properly be considered the name of Christ Jesus reads, ‘I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. * 11 * And this is the name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.’ -Jer 23:5, 6.
"Evidently our Lord Jesus and his Millennial reign are referred to, and the name in the Hebrew is Jehovah Tsidkenu. What is the explanation? Merely this: the translators, in their zeal to find a place where the name Jehovah was associated with Jesus as a name, have given us a poor translation. No difficulty would appear if it had been translated-’This is the name with which he shall be called, Our Righteousness of Jehovah.’ And how appropriate is this name to the work and office of our Lord Jesus. Did he not stand as the representative of God’s righteousness and suffer the penalty of Justice as man’s ransom-that God might be just and yet be the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus? Surely no name could be more appropriate.
"It should not be overlooked that this same name precisely, Jehovah Tsidkenu, occurs again in the writings of the same Prophet. But our friends never call attention to it, and the translators, although rendering it by the same English words, do not put those words in large capital letters as in the other case. Why? Because the connections show that Jehovah Tsidkenu will be the name of the entire Church, the new Jerusalem; —’And this is the name wherewith she shall be called [Jehovah Tsidkenu], our Righteousness of Jehovah.’ -Jer 33:16.
"And that this name will be appropriate to the glorified Church all can readily see: she not only shares her Lord’s sufferings for righteousness, ‘filling up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ’ (Col 1:24; 1Pe 5:9), but is also promised a share in all the glories of her Lord, as a wife shares her husband’s honors and name."
We wonder what theological students study; it does not
seem to be the Bible. Now, with the multitudinous helps for Bible study, we common people may, if we will, compare the doctrines of the dark ages with the truths of the Bible, which many theologians do not understand or else purposely misrepresent, and neither horn of the dilemma is creditable to them. The time is past when a theological course is necessary to an understanding of the Bible, though it might almost seem to be necessary to a misunderstanding. What is necessary is the Holy Spirit and "He shall guide you into all truth."-Joh l6:13.
P. Beckman has printed a book in Swedish on what he calls "Russell’s God-sent Delusions." He wants his readers to be well armed lest they believe a lie. He says: "Faith in Russell robs a man of any possibility of true conversion." This book is error from beginning to end, and the different points he seeks to make we have covered elsewhere.
C. C. COOK.
C. C. Cook, On Page 47 of his book, says: ‘The Bible tells no more at first, second or any other chance beyond the grave than it tells of a Romish purgatory-that is, not a word."
Let us see: 1Ti 2:5, 6 says: "The man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time."
"That was the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world." -Joh 1:9.
"He is the propitiation for our sins (the Church’s) *** and for the sins of the whole world." -1Jo 2:2.
"The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long suffering to us-ward, not willing ‘that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." -2Pe 3:9.
"No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the Prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me." -Joh 6:44, 45.
"I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits, that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved." -Ro 11:25, 26.
"After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things. Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world." -Ac 15:16-18.
"When thy sisters, Sodom and her daughters, shall return to their former estate, and Samaria and her daughters shall return to their former estate, then thou and thy daughters shall return to your former estate." -Eze 16:55.
"If we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there rernaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries." -Heb 10:26, 27.
The several pointed facts to be learned from these quotations are:
1. The Ransom Sacrifice of Jesus was given for all men.
2. As Jesus died for all, all must receive an opportunity for eternal life and blessing,
3. It is the Father’s wish that all should accept, but He will not use compulsion; we may accept or not, as we choose.
4. We must have a knowledge of Jesus before we can come to him and accept the promised salvation.
5. As God has a time for everything, so in "due time" all must have that knowledge and decide for themselves the question of life or death.
6. The wickedness of Sodom will not prevent them from returning in due time.
7. But while guaranteed one chance, we are equally assured none will have two chances.
Now, Mr. Cook, granting for the sake of the argument that the preaching of the nominal churches of today is sufficient for salvation, knowing as you do that millions have died with absolutely no knowledge of God or of Jesus their Savior, after reading those statements from God’s Word, are you prepared to repeat your declaration? If they had no chance while alive, and they are guaranteed one chance through the merit of Jesus’ death, then when will they get it if not after their resurrection?
REV. W. LEON TUCKER
calls it: "Russellism, the Satanic success of the last two decades."
Again he says, on page 19: "We are told In Vol. 1, page 150: ‘The ransom for all, given by the man Jesus Christ, does not give or guarantee everlasting life or blessing to any man.’ Does this sound like Joh 5:24? Russellism cares no more for the cross than does the devil!"
We will now quote Vol. 1, page 150:
"He ‘gave himself a ransom [a corresponding price] for all,’ in order that he might bless all, and give to every man an individual trial for life. To claim that he gave ‘ransom for all,’ and yet to claim that only a mere handful of the ransomed ones will ever receive any benefit from it, is absurd; for it would imply either that God accepted the ransom-price and then unjustly refused to grant the release of the redeemed, or else that the Lord, after redeeming all, was either unable or unwilling to carry out the original benevolent design. The unchangeableness of the divine plans, no less than the perfection of the divine justice and love, repels and contradicts such a thought, and gives us assurance that the original and benevolent plan, of which the ‘ransom for all’ was the basis, will be fully carried out in God’s ‘due time,’ and will bring to faithful believers the blessing of release from the Adamic condemnation and an opportunity to return to the rights and liberties of sons of God, as enjoyed before sin and the curse.
"Let the actual benefits and results of the ransom be clearly seen, and all objections to it being of universal application must vanish. The ‘ransom for all’ given by ‘the man Christ Jesus’ does not give or guarantee everlasting life or blessing to any man; but it does guarantee to every man another opportunity or trial for life everlasting. The first trial of man, which resulted in the loss of the blessings at first conferred, is really turned into a blessing of experience to the loyal-hearted, by reason of the ransom which God has provided. But the fact that men are ransomed from the first penalty does not guarantee that they may not, when individually tried for everlasting life, fail to render the obedience without which none will be permitted to live everlastingly."
Also one paragraph from page 152:
"The ransom given does not excuse sin in any; it does not propose to count sinners as saints, and usher them thus into everlasting bliss. It merely releases the accepting sinner from the first condemnation and its results, both direct and indirect, and places him again on trial for life, in which trial his own willful obedience or willful disobedience will decide whether he may or may not have life everlasting."
Jesus said In Mt 12:35-37:
"A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned."
REV. I. M. HALDEMAN, D. D.
Rev. 1. M. Haldeman, a noted preacher of the Baptist denomination, in a bitter attack on Pastor Russell, claims to make 24 points on what he is pleased to call "The wicked and blasphemous system which teaches the annihilation of our Lord Jesus Christ," as follows:
1. It denies the doctrine of the Trinity.
2. It denies that Jesus Christ was God before his incarnation.
3. It teaches that Christ was only a created spirit.
4. In incarnation he ceased to be a spirit and became the second Adam.
5. As the second Adam he had only one nature.
6. His nature of humanity was annihilated on the cross.
7. He did not rise in the body in which he died.
8. The body in which he died may have been dissolved into gas.
9. The body in which he appeared after death was nothing more than a momentarily materialized appearance which was finally dissolved.
10. Jesus Christ is not now a man.
11. The "Man Christ Jesus" no longer exists.
12. Jesus Christ is now an invisible spirit being.
13. He came to the world in 1874 as an invisible spirit being.
14. The Millennium will begin in 1914.
15. All the dead out of Christ will be raised at that time.
16. All the unrighteous and wicked dead will be raised and made perfect and innocent like Adam before the fall.
17. All the unrighteous and wicked dead will be given a second chance.
18. The more wicked they have been in this life, the more likely they will be, through the "experience" of sin, to accept the Gospel of the second chance.
19. Those who accept the second chance will have everlasting life.
20. Those who get everlasting life will sustain it by eating food.
21. Those who do not want to live forever will have the privilege of being asphyxiated in the lake of fire.
22. The assurance given to the wicked and sinful is, that there is no suffering for sin.
23. Those who do not care for heaven, need not be afraid of hell.
24. The finally impenitent are extinguished here, and annihilated hereafter."
1. "It denies the doctrine of the Trinity."
Yes, most assuredly, and so does Paul deny the Trinity. In 1Co 8:6 he says: "To us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him."
2. "It denies that Jesus Christ was God before his incarnation."
We affirm that Jesus was a God, but not the God Jehovah. We quote from Scripture Studies, Vol. 5, pages 54-62.
"A TRADITION OF THE FATHERS SUPPORTED BY A FORGERY- AN INTERPOLATION."
"We are leaving to following chapters for consideration the greatness and worthiness of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom the entire work of Atonement has been and will be accomplished; -and the great honor bestowed upon him, not only since he redeemed the world, but also the great honor and dignity which were his before he became the world’s Redeemer. We are now seeking to distinguish clearly something respecting the great Author of the plan: but inasmuch as the general thought of Christendom is greatly perplexed by what is known as ‘The doctrine of the Trinity,’ a doctrine which its most pronounced advocates admit they do not understand and cannot comprehend or explain, therefore it is appropriate that we here examine those texts of the Scripture which are supposed to give some color or support to this confusing doctrine of men, for which no authority can be found in the Word of God. We have already called attention to various Scriptures which emphatically state that there is but one Almighty God-not two, nor three, nor more. We now call attention to the fact that the word ‘Trinity’ does not occur in the Scriptures; nor does any word occur there of equivalent meaning; nor is any statement made which even unreasonably could be interpreted to signify any such thing. Indeed, those who hold to the doctrine of the Trinity, in attempting to explain their own thought, hopelessly entangle themselves, as well as their hearers. They declare in one breath that there is only one God (because the Scriptures so positively emphasize this point that it cannot be ignored), yet in the same breath they declare that there are three Gods (because to this theory they are committed by ‘traditions of the fathers’ handed down from earliest Papacy).
"But how could there be three Gods and yet only one God? If there are three Gods, ‘equal in power and in glory,’ as the catechisms declare, then it is untrue to say there is only one God. If there is only ‘One God, the
Father, of whom are all things,’ as St. Paul asserts; and if, as Jesus declared, the Father is greater than his honored Son; and if the Father raised his Beloved Son from the dead, and exalted him on high, honored him, and has appointed for him a Kingdom; and if ultimately the Son will deliver up the Kingdom again to the Father, that the Father may be all in all; then it cannot be true that there are several Gods of equal power. Nevertheless, we shall show conclusively in the succeeding chapter that our Lord Jesus Christ is a God, but that, while he is to be honored even as the Father is honored, and that in honoring him we honor the Father who exalted him, still the united voice of the Scriptures most emphatically assert that there is but one Almighty God, the Father of all. As the Apostle declares, ‘The head of the woman is the man, the head of man is Christ, and the head of Christ is God. -1Co 11:3.
"There is one statement found in the Scriptures, and only one, which seems in the slightest degree to even imply the doctrine of a Trinity of Gods; and that passage is now admitted by all scholars to be spurious, —an interpolation.
It is therefore omitted from the Revised Version of the New Testament, although the translators of that Revised Version, so far as we are aware, were every on of them Trinitarians. While they would have liked to retain this passage, as the only Scripture support (and then very imperfect in statement), they could not retain it conscientiously.
"Nor were the translators of our Common Version of the Bible blameworthy for inserting this interpolation, because at the time of that translation it was impossible to know of its spurious character. Since its translation hundreds of old Greek manuscripts have been found, but none of these of earlier date than the seventh century contains this clause, which favors the Trinity. It is therefore not denied by scholars, without respect to denominational proclivities, that the spurious words were inserted to give support to the doctrine of the Trinity, at a time when the discussion of that doctrine was rife in the Church, and when the advocates of the doctrine of the Trinity were perplexed before their opponents, because they had no Scriptural evidence to bring in substantiation of their theory. The spurious words were no doubt interpolated by some over-zealous monk, who felt sure of the doctrine himself, and thought that the Holy Scriptures blundered not stating the matter in the Scriptures: his intention, no doubt, was to help God and the truth out of a difficulty by perpetrating a fraud. But all such suggestions, to the effect that God has not given us a complete revelation, ‘sufficient that the man of God may be thoroughly furnished,’ and that it needs adding to, are of the Adversary, as was this suggestion that it would be proper to commit a wrong, a forgery, for the sake of doing good, and rectifying the mistake of the Almighty. The monk scribe or Priest who committed this forgery, apparently about the beginning of the seventh century, has much to answer for, in his addition to the Word of God, and the evil influence which it has exerted over God’s people, who, seeking for the truth on this subject, were misled by his forgery.
"The spurious interpolation is found in 1Jo 5:7, and consists of the words ‘in heaven the Father, the Word and the holy Spirit, and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth." These words omitted from the text, leave it simple and easy to be understood, and fully in accord with all the remainder of the Scriptures; but with these words in the text, as they have stood for centuries, confusion is produced; for nonsense is asserted. For instance, with these words remaining in the text, the sense would be that the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit agreed in bearing one testimony in heaven, namely, that Jesus is the Christ. How absurd! Who is there in heaven ignorant of the fact that Jesus is the Christ? To whom, therefore, would it be necessary for the Father, the Son and the holy Spirit to bear this record or testimony? None. But it was a convenient place for the Adversary to get in his work of corruption of the truth, and he found a servant willing to serve him.
"Not only does the Revised Version omit this verse, but so also do all modern translations-the Emphatic Diaglott, Young’s Bible, translation, the American Bible Union translation, the Improved Version. The latter says:
"This text concerning the Heavenly Witnesses is not contained in any Greek MS. which was written earlier than the fifth century. It is not cited by any of the Greek ecclesiastical writers; nor by any of the early Latin fathers, even when the subjects upon which they treated would naturally have led them to appeal to its authority: it is, therefore, evidently spurious."
Lang’s Critical Commentary, referring to this spurious passage, says:
"Said words are wanting in all the Greek codices; also in the Codex Sinaiticus [the oldest known Greek MS.], and in all the ancient versions, including the Latin, as late as the eighth century; and [in MSS. written] since that time they are found in three variations. Notwithstanding the Trinitarian controversies, they are not referred to by a single Greek Father, or by any of the old Latin Church Fathers."
Hudson’s Greek and English Concordance says:
"The words are found in no Greek MS. before the 15tb or 16th century, and in no early version."
The passage is pronounced an interpolation by the following Bible scholars of recognized ability: Sir Isaac Newton, Benson, Clark, Horne, Griesbach, Tischendorf, Tregelles, Lachman and Alford. The latter says:
"Unless pure caprice is to be followed in the criticism of the sacred text, there is no shadow of reason for supposing them genuine."
Dr. Constantine Tischendorf says:
"That this spurious addition should continue to be published as a part of the Epistle I regard as an impiety."
Prof. T. B. Wolsey inquires:
"Do not truth and honesty require that such a passage should be struck out of our English Bibles-a passage which Luther would not express in his translation, and which did not creep into the German Bible until nearly fifty years after his death?"
Dr. Adam Clarke, commenting on this passage, says:
"It is likely this verse is not genuine. It is wanting in every MS. of this epistle written before the invention of printing, one excepted-the Codex Montfortii, in Trinity College, Dublin. The others which omit this verse amount to one hundred and twelve. It is wanting in both the Syriac, all the Arabic, Ethiopic, Coptic, Sahadic, Arminian, Slavonic, etc.; in a word, in all the ancient versions but the Vulgate; and even of this version, many of the most ancient and correct copies have it not. It is wanting also in all the ancient Greek Fathers, and in most even of the Latin."
John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, endeavored to support the doctrine of the Trinity, yet in one of his sermons from this text he quoted the words of Servetus: "I scruple using the words ‘trinity’ and ‘persons’ because I do not find those terms in the Bible" -and to this quotation Wesley added, "I would insist only on the direct words, unexplained, as they lie in the text." He labored to prove the doctrine of the Trinity, because he believed this spurious passage was genuine, positive information from the ancient MSS. of the Bible being of recent acquisition. For instance, at the time of the preparation of our King James or Common Version Bible (A. D. 1611), the translators had the advantage of but eight Greek MSS., and none of those of earlier date than the tenth century. Now, however, there are about seven hundred MSS., some of which, especially the Sinaitic MS. and the Vatican MS. No. 1209, are very old, reaching back to about A. D. 350.
"THE SCRIPTURE TEACHING RESPECTING THE FATHER AND THE SON AND THEIR UNITY."
"A sharp distinction should be drawn between a confession of faith in a Trinity and a confession of faith in the Unity of the heavenly Father, Jehovah, and the heavenly Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and the holy Spirit. The doctrine of the Trinity holds that the Father, the Son and the holy Spirit ‘are one in person, equal in glory and in power,’ as stated in the Church creeds. The Bible, while showing the absolute Unity between the Father and Son and holy Spirit in the various steps of the great plan of salvation, most positively contradicts the thought that the Father and Son are one in person, denies that they are equal in majesty and in power, except as before shown, that the Father has glorified the Son, has highly exalted him and given him a name above all others except his own, making him his agent and representative in the exercise of ‘all power in heaven and in earth.’ All the various Scriptures agree in their statements to the effect that the Father sent the Son into the world; and that the Son, for the joy set before him by the Father, endured the cross, and despised the shame: and that he was the heavenly Father’s first and only begotten Son; and that after he shall have accomplished the work which the Father has given him to do, he shall deliver up the Kingdom of earth, at the close of the Millennial Age, to the Father: and the additional statements already called to attention, in which the Son cheerfully and fully acknowledges that he ‘came forth from the Father,’ that he ‘came not to do his own will’ but the Father’s will; and that the power he used was not his own power, but the Father’s power; also his statement, ‘The Father is greater than I,’ and the declaration of the prophecy, that he is the Messenger or servant of the Covenant, and not the Maker of the Covenant; together with the repeated declarations of the New Testament Scriptures, that he is the Mediator of the New Covenant, -the one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all." These various Scriptures all consistently and harmoniously teach a distinction of person and glory and power as between the heavenly Father and the heavenly Son; but a most absolute and profound unity of plan, will, purpose; for the Son was worthy to be the executor of the great plan of Jehovah, because he had no will of his own, but renounced his own will that he might be filled with the Father’s spirit and do his will in every particular. -Joh 6:38, 39.
"Moreover, the very words ‘Father’ and ‘Son’ imply a difference, and contradict the thoughts of the Trinity and oneness of person, because the word ‘father’ signifies life-giver, while the word ‘son’ signifies the one who has received life from another. The heavenly Father received life from no one; he is the fountain, the source of life, not only to our Lord Jesus, his only begotten Son, but through him the source of life to all others of his creatures, And all this is fully in accord with the Scripture which stands at the head of this chapter, in which the Apostle, plainly denies that the Father and the Son are one in person or in power, saying, ‘To us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things * * * and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things.’
"The thoughtful reader will at once recognize the Scriptural harmony and simplicity of the view herein presented, while all will admit that the doctrine of the Trinity is impossible, of reasonable understanding or explanation. its most earnest advocates admit this, and instead of endeavoring to do the impossible thing of explaining it, they avoid discussion, claiming that it’s ‘a great mystery,’ unexplainable. But, strange to say, this doctrine, of three Gods in one God, which not only has no Scriptural support, but is opposed by the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation, both directly and indirectly, and which is so opposed to reason as to be unreasonable, is nevertheless a strongly entrenched doctrine amongst Christians, even amongst Protestants-those who profess faith in the Bible and to protest against any teachings not found therein. Why is this? We answer, that it is one of the dark mysteries by which Satan, through the Papacy, has beclouded the Word and character and plan of God.
"As it is written, ‘The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not, lest light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.’ -2Co 4:4. He has put upon the poor world utter blindness and doctrinal vails, darkening counsel and falsifying mysteries, to hinder those who have found the Lord from coming to a clear knowledge of thc truth.
"But how would Satan be interested in adding to the luster of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ? Would it not rather be his work to detract from the glory of Christ? We answer, that it has always been Satan’s policy to misrepresent the truth, to misrepresent the Bible, and to make its teachings appear unreasonable and self-contradictory, in order to hinder mankind from seeing the great beauty and reasonableness and harmony which inhere in the divine plan and the Word. The more absurdities Satan can get interwoven into man’s views respecting the Creator, the better he will succeed in separating from the service of God those who are of reasonable and logical mind; and proportionately the more unreasonable he succeeds in making the creeds of men, the more does he destroy real faith amongst those who advocate those creeds, and the more he does to favor mere credulity, instead of genuine faith.
"Thus for centuries the great Adversary has been working most successfully to rid the Church of all the most reasonably disposed, and to gather into it the more credulous and superstitious and unreasoning class. He has covered and hidden some of the most precious truths under the most specious and repulsive errors, and the progress of the Lord’s people has been correspondingly slow. But, thank God, we are now living in the time when the vail of ignorance is being dissolved, and when the Lord’s people are learning to look away from the creeds formed for their enslavement during the dark ages, and to look directly to the Word of God itself. But, alas, this comes too late for many, especially the worldly wise: they have already so associated the creeds with the Bible that, in rejecting the former they are rejecting the latter also; and instead of seeking true light from the Word of God, they are more inclined to ignore or reject it and to lean to their own understandings, —to human philosophies.
"Hence it is that Higher Criticism, Evolution, Christian Science, Theosophy and other Bible-denying theories are today making rapid progress; while the old creeds are falling to pieces or being abandoned. Only the comparatively few have learned that the mistake is not in the Bible, but in the creeds, and are seeking the ‘old paths,’ and ‘the faith once delivered unto the saints.’ -Jer 6:16; Jude 3."
3. "It teaches that Christ was only a created spirit."
In Re 3:14 Jesus said of himself that he "was the beginning of the creation of God." We would rather take the word of our Savior for it than Dr. Haldeman’s against it.
He says we claim that "Jesus did not rise in the body
in which lie died." "That the ‘Man Christ Jesus’ no longer exists."
Why should Dr. Haldeman or anyone else be so anxious to take these poor old bodies to heaven, when we have the assurance of the Bible that no man ever went there, that flesh and blood cannot go there, and that God in the resurrection will give us glorious spirit bodies as pleaseth Him, and then we too shall be like our Lord.
"No man hath ascended up to heaven." -Joh 3:13.
"Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God."-1Co 15:50; Php 3:20, 21. "We look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ: who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body."
Dr. Haldeman says on pages 5 and 6 of his book that what we teach is "The poison of subtly distilled blasphemy.
It blasphemes the person of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The supreme theme of the Bible is not the Jew, the Gentile, nor the Church of God; it is neither salvation nor damnation: its one theme is-The Person of Christ. * * * He was God. * * * From unbegun eternity he was the Son of God, and, therefore, God the Son. At a given moment he bent down and took of the substance of the Virgin Mary, the seed of the woman, and created for himself a new and distinct human nature, consisting of a real body and a rational soul, and, uniting it to his eternal and uncaused personality, walked through this earth, ‘without controversy the mystery of Godliness,’ God manifest in the flesh-true God and real man-being one person with two natures; so that the blood be shed was the blood of God."
What logic! If we should insist that because for 56 years we had been the son of our father, that, therefore, we were now our own father, it would be the same kind of "proof" he gives. There can be nothing found in the religion of the most depraved heathen any more absurd, any more at variance with the real teachings of the Bible, than the doctrine of the Trinity. It has no Biblical foundation whatever, it is wholly man-made.
The Bible does not teach that it was the blood of God that ransomed us, but in many places it teaches, as in 1Jo 1:7, Revised Version: "The blood of Jesus his Son cleanseth us from all sin." The Doctor has gotten all tangled up in his own theology, so that he makes a ridiculous mess of it. He insists that Jesus was a Divine being while on earth and then was "the man Christ Jesus" after he went to heaven. We have several translations of the ‘Bible, but to us they all teach just the reverse of this.
The following quotations from Scripture Studies, Vol. 5, pages 81-96, fully explains the Scriptural teaching on this great subject:
THE MEDIATOR OF THE ATONEMENT.
THE ONLY BEGOTTEN ONE.
"There is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom." -1Ti 2:5, 6.
"In proportion as we value the work of the Atonement-our reconciliation to God, and the sacrifice for sin through which it is accomplished-in the same proportion will we esteem him whom the Heavenly Father set forth to be the propitiation for our sins, our Restorer and Lifegiver. Hence, in approaching the question, Who is this great One whom Jehovah God has so highly honored, and who, by the grace of God, is our Redeemer and Savior?
It is befitting that we realize, first of all, our own ignorance of the subject, and our incompetency to reach a conclusion except as the divine Word shall instruct us.
Secondly, it is befitting, at the very outset of our investigation, that we remember the Apostle’s testimony respecting the greatness of this Mediator, and the honor due to him. He says, ‘Him hath God highly exalted, and given Him a name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow.’ It is written also, ‘That all men should honor the Son even as they honor the Father.’ -Php 2:9; Joh 5:22.
"Searching the Scriptures carefully to note just what they do say, and what they do not say, respecting our Lord Jesus, we find their testimony very explicit, harmonious and satisfactory. We will first state, in synoptical form, what we find to be the Scriptural teaching, the proofs of which we will give father along.
"(1) Our Redeemer existed as a spirit being before he was made flesh and dwelt amongst men.
"(2) At that time, as well as subsequently, he was properly known as ‘a god’ -a mighty one. As chief of the angles and next to the Father, he was known as the Archangel (highest angel or messenger), whose name, Michael, signifies ‘Who as God,’ or God’s representative.
"(3) As he was the highest of all Jehovah’s creation, so also he was the first, the direct creation of God, the ‘Only Begotten,’ and then he, as Jehovah’s representative, and in the exercise of Jehovah’s power, and in his name, created all things, -angels, principalities and powers, as well as the earthly creation.
"(4) When he was made flesh, to be our Redeemer, it was not of compulsion, but a voluntary matter, the result of his complete harmony with the Father, and his joyful acquiescence in carrying out every feature of the divine will, -which he had learned to respect and love, as the very essence of Justice, Wisdom and Love.
"(5) This humiliation to man’s condition was not intended to be perpetual. It accomplished its purpose when our Lord had given himself, a human being, as our ransom, or ‘corresponding price.’ Hence, his resurrection was not in the flesh, but, as the Apostle declares, ‘He was put to death in the flesh but quickened in spirit.’ -1Pe 3:18
"(6) His resurrection not only restored to him a spirit nature, but in addition conferred upon him a still higher honor, and, as the Father’s reward for his faithfulness, made him partaker of the divine nature-the very highest of the spirit natures, * possessed of immortality.
"(7) It is this great One, who has been thus highly exalted and honored by Jehovah, whom we delight to honor and to worship and to serve, as one with the Heavenly Father, in word, in work, in purpose and in spirit."
"SCRIPTURE TESTIMONY RESPECTING THE SON OF GOD."
"Let us now consider the Scriptural evidence substantiating these positions. We begin with the first chapter of John’s Gospel. Here our Lord, in his prehuman existence, is referred to as ‘The Word’ (Greek, Lo.008). ‘In the beginning was the Logos.’ Dr. Alexander Clarke says, concerning this word Logos: ‘This term should be left untranslated for the same reason that the names Jesus and Christ are left untranslated. As every appellative of the Savior of the world was descriptive of some excellencies in his person, nature, or work, so the epithet, Logos, which signifies a word, a word spoken, speech, eloquence, doctrine, reason, or the faculty of reason, is very properly applied to him.’ The Evangelist, in his epistle, uses the same title in respect to our Lord again, denominating him ‘the Word of life,’ or the ‘Logos of life.’ -1Jo 1:1.
"The title, ‘Word of God’ -’Logos of God’ -is a very fitting one by which to describe the important work or office, of our Master, prior to his coming into the world. The Logos was the heavenly Father’s direct expression of creation, while all subsequent expressions of divine wisdom, power and goodness were made through the Logos.
It is said that in olden times certain kings made addresses to their subjects by proxy, the king sitting behind a screen, while his ‘word’ or spokesman stood before the screen, and addressed the people aloud on subjects whispered to him by the king, who was not seen: and such a speaker was termed ‘The King’s Logos.’ Whether or not the legend be true, it well illustrates the use of this word ‘Logos’ in connection with the pre-human existence of our Lord and Master and his very grand office as the Father’s representative, which the Scriptures, in this connection and elsewhere, point out as having been his office.
"Be it noted that the Apostle, writing under inspiration tells us that ‘The Logos was in the beginning with the God and the Logos was a God.’ This is the literal translation of the Greek, as can be readily confirmed by anyone, whether a Greek scholar or not. The Greek article ho precedes the first word ‘God,’ in this verse, and does not precede the second word ‘God,’ thus intentionally indicating God the Father and God the Son in a case where without the article the reader would be left in confusion. Similarly the article precedes the word ‘God’ in the second verse. The entire verse therefore reads:
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with [ho theos] the God, and the Word was [theos] a God.
The same was in the beginning with [ho theos] the God." -Joh 1:1.
"What ‘beginning, is here referred to? Surely not the beginning of the existence of Jehovah, the God, the Father, because he is ‘from everlasting to everlasting,’ and never had a beginning. (Ps 41:13: 90:2; 106:48.) But Jehovah’s work had a beginning, and it is to this that reference is here made-the beginning of creation. The statement, thus understood, implies that our Lord Jesus, in his pre-human existence, as the Logos, was with the Father in the very beginning of creation. This confirms the inspired statement that the Logos himself was ‘the beginning of the creation of God:’ this is the precise statement of the Apostle, who assures us that our Lord is not only ‘the Head of the body, the Church,’ and ‘the first-born from the dead,’ but also the beginning of all creation-’that in all things he might have the pre-eminence.’ His words are: ‘He is the image of the invisible God, -first born of all creation, -because by him were all things created, those in the heavens and those on the earth, visible and invisible, -whether thrones, or lordships, or governments, or authorities: all things were created by him and for him, and he precedes all things, and in him all things have been permanently placed.’ (Col 1:15-18.) Hear also the word of prophecy concerning the Only Begotten, not only declaring his coming exaltation as King of earthly kings, but describing him as already being Jehovah’s first-born, saying, ‘I will make him, my first-born, higher than the kings of the earth.’ (Ps 89:27.) Note also that our Lord (referring to his own origin) declares himself to be "The faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God.’ -Re 3:14.
"In harmony with this thought of our Lord’s pre-eminence from the very beginning, as the ‘first-born of every creature,’ and in harmony with the thought that he was the Logos or Expression of the Heavenly Father, in respect to every matter, is the next statement of the Evangelist’s record, viz., ‘All things through him came into existence, and without him came into existence not even one thing which hath come into existence.’ (Joh 1:3, Rotherham’s translation.)
What a grand thought this gives us respecting the majesty of the Only Begotten Son of God, the Logos! From this standpoint of his original greatness and pre-eminence we have a clearer view than from any other of the import of the Apostle’s words, ‘He who was rich, for our sakes became poor, that we through his poverty might become rich.’ (2Co 8:9.) From this standpoint we can see how rich he was in the honor and glory of which he himself made mention in prayer, saying ‘Father, glorify me with thine own self, with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.’ (Joh 17:5.) Although everything connected with the divine plan of redemption is wonderful, astounding in its manifestations of divine love, mercy, sympathy for fallen men, yet, from this standpoint of view, all is reasonable, -consistent with the divine character and statement.
"Those who hold that our Lord Jesus never had an existence until he was born a babe in Bethlehem have a very inferior view of the divine plan for man’s succor; and they are left without a use for the many Scriptures above cited, and others, relative to our Lord’s glory with the Father before the world was, relative to his great stoop, in which he humbled himself to take a nature a little lower than the angelic, leaving therefor a nature that was above that of angels.
And the Scriptural view relieves us of all the unreasonable and fallacious theories of men, by which, in attempting to honor the Son, they have gone beyond the Word of God, and have dishonored the Word of the Lord and the apostles, which declare him to have been the Son or offspring of God, and that the Father is greater than the Son. The false view has involved its millions of adherents in inextricable difficulty in every direction.
"The truth alone is reasonable.
It satisfies our longings as nothing else can do."
"These statements respecting our Lord Jesus, that he was the beginning of the creation of God, and that he had, therefore, an existence long before he came into the world as a man, to be our Redeemer, are fully confirmed by various Scriptures, a sample of which is the statement, ‘God sent his only begotten Son into the world that we might have life through him.’ (1Jo 4:9.) Here the statement most positively is that he was God’s Son before he came into the world, and that, as God’s Son, he was given a mission in the world to perform. Nor should it be overlooked that here, as in many other instances, the Logos is designated ‘The Only Begotten Son’ of God. The thought conveyed by this expression is that the Logos was himself the only direct creation or begetting of the Heavenly Father, while all other of God’s sons (angels as well as men) were his indirect creation through the Logos. Hence the propriety, the truthfulness, of the statement, that he is the Only Begotten Son of God.
"Take another illustration: ‘God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved.’ (Joh 3:17.) Here again his pre-human existence is implied in the sending and mission. And these statements respecting the Logos, are in full accord with the history of the matter, presented to us by the Evangelist, who declares, ‘He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.’ And again, ‘The Logos was made flesh and dwelt amongst us, full of grace and truth; and we beheld the glory of him, a glory as of an only begotten one from a father.’ (Joh 1:10, 14.)
Our Lord’s own statements respecting his pre-existence are indisputable. He never acknowledged Joseph to be his father; nor did he ever acknowledge his earthly life to be the beginning of his existence.
"On the contrary, notice that he continually referred to Jehovah as his Father. Remember his words, ‘Say ye of him whom the Father hath sanctified and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest, because I said, I am the Son of God?’ (Joh 10:36.) To Mary, his earthly mother, he said, ‘Wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?" (Lu 2:49.) To his disciples he declares, ‘I came down from heaven.’ ‘I am the bread of life which came down from heaven.’ (Joh 6:28, 51.) Many in his day disbelieved this, and many disbelieve it still, but its truth remains. Some of these who heard said, ‘How can this be?’ And some of his disciples said, when they heard it, ‘This is a hard saying; who can hear it?’ ‘When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?’ ‘But from that time many of his disciples went back and walked no more with him’; because of this claim of heavenly origin and pre-human existence. -Joh 6:60-66.
"Hear him again before the Pharisees, proclaiming the same truth, saying, ‘I know whence I came, and whither I go * * * I am from above, * * * I am not of this world; * * * I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. * * * It is my Father that heareth me, and If I should say that I know him not, I shall be a liar.’ Then said the Jews unto him, ‘Art thou greater than our Father Abraham?’ Jesus answered, ‘Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it and was glad.’ (Abraham saw Christ’s day with the eye of faith; -believing the divine promise respecting Messiah. He may have seen his day of sacrifice, typified in the offering of Isaac, his only son, but at all events he saw Messiah’s coming glory-day, the Millennium, and its blessings upon all the families of the earth, through this promised Seed. And no wonder the prospect made him glad. He with the eye of faith beheld the heavenly city, the New Jerusalem, the glorified Church, the Kingdom class, and he beheld similarly the heavenly country-the world blessed by that Kingdom.-Heb 11:10, 16; 12:22; 13:14.)
"Then said the Jews unto him [Jesus], Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? [Abraharn had been dead two thousand years.] Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, before Abraham was, I am." -Joh 8:14, 23, 42, 58.
"There can be no mistake about the meaning of these words. Our Lord avers that he existed before Abraham. Nor do the Scriptures in any place intimate that the existence of the Only Begotten ever ceased from the time it began, as ‘the beginning of the creation of God,’ until it ceased at Calvary for three days; after which he was raised from the dead to die no more, death having never more dominion over him. (Ro 6:9.) The incident of his birth as a human being, ‘a little lower than the angels,’ for the purpose of being man’s sin-sacrifice, did not involve a death to the spirit nature preceding the birth as a human babe, but merely a transference of his life from a higher or spirit nature to a lower or human nature. Hence our Lord’s words, ‘Before Abraham was I am,’ signifying that there had been no cessation of his existence at any time in the interim, and positively identifies, Jesus, the Son of God, in the flesh, with the Logos, the first-born of all creation. Of course our Lord’s testimony was not received by many who heard it, nor has it been received by many since. There seems to be a perversity of disposition, which leads mankind to reject the simple, plain statements of the Lord’s Word, and to prefer to regard our Lord either as a sinful member of the fallen race, or else as his own father. Only the meek are ready to ‘receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to make truly wise,’ and only for such is the Word of God’s testimony intended. (Isa 61:1; Jas. 1:21.) As those who heard the Master, and rejected his testimony, took up stones against him, so some who hear the truth and reject it now are ready to stone, figuratively, all who accept and teach the Master’s words, in their simplicity. And now, as then, the reason is because they know neither the Father, nor the Son, as they ought to know them-as they reveal themselves.
"Our Lord’s words are still applicable to the case, viz., ‘No man knoweth the Son but the Father, neither knoweth any man the Father save the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.’ (Mt 11:27.) The world knew him not: knew not of his high origin, and his great humiliation on its behalf; and when we remember that a long period of time probably intervened between the beginning of the Creation in the person of our Lord and the time when he was made flesh, and when further we remember that during all that period he was with the Father, ‘daily his delight, rejoicing always before him,’ we cannot wonder
that the Son knew the Father, as his disciples and the world knew him not, -as we are learning to know him through his Word of revelation and the unfoldment of his wonderful plan of the ages. Hear him again declare, ‘O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee, but I have known thee.’ -Joh 17:25.
"The key to this wonderful knowledge of heavenly things is furnished in the statement, ‘He that is of the earth is earthy, and speaketh of the earth; he that cometh from heaven is above all, and what he hath seen and heard, that he testifies.’ (Joh 1:31, 32.) No wonder, then, that even his opponents asked, ‘Whence hath this man this wisdom?’ (Mt 13:54.) And it was his knowledge of heavenly things, his intimate and long acquaintance with the Father, begetting absolute faith in the, Father’s promises, which enabled him, as a perfect man, to overcome the world, the flesh and the devil, and to present an acceptable sacrifice for our sins. Thus it was written beforehand through the Prophet: ‘By his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many, -while he will bear their iniquities.’ -Isa 53:11.
"Now, only those who walk by faith, in the light of the ‘divine Word, may know either the Father or the Son, or clearly and rightly appreciate the great work of atonement which they unitedly are accomplishing for humanity. But ere long, after the selection of the Church has been completed, after the Bride, the Lamb’s wife, has been associated with her Lord in glory, and the Kingdom shall have come, -then the knowledge of the Lord shall be caused to fill the whole earth, and the power of the Father, which, through the Logos, created all things, shall be exerted through him, as the Savior, in the restoration and perfecting of these who, when privileged to know him, shall yield to his righteous requirements, so that ultimately our Lord’s power, as Jehovah’s agent in creation, shall be fully equaled and exemplified in his power, as Jehovah’s agent in restoring and blessing the world: and thus will be fulfilled the prediction of the Psalmist-’Thou hast the dew [freshness, vigor] of thy youth.’ -Ps 110:3.
"Hearken to our Lord’s words to Nicodemus, who sought to know something of heavenly things, but who was refused the knowledge, because he had not yet believed the earthly things. Our Lord, in explaining to him his knowledge of heavenly things, says, ‘No man hath ascended up to heaven but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of Man.’* Our Lord then proceeds to show Nicodemus the provision which God has made for the world, that they should not perish, but have eternal life, declaring, ‘God so loved the world that he gave his Only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish but have everlasting life.’ -Joh 2:13, 16.
"The Logos, the beginning of the creation of God, called also by Isaiah the Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, etc. (Isa 9:6), we find described by Solomon, and represented under the name of Wisdom, yet with all the details which harmonize the Statement with the account given by John the Evangelist (Joh 1:1,18), as follows:
"Jehovah possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his ways of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was [formed]. When there were no depths [seas] I was brought forth: when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were set before the hills, was I brought forth: while as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. When he prepared the heavens I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: when he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep: when he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters
*The words "which is in heaven," are spurious: -not found in old MSS. should not pass his command: when he appointed the fountains of the earth: then was I by him, as one brought up with him; and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him.’ -Pr 8:22-30.
"In addition to what we have here noted respecting the Logos, -that he was not only the beginning of the creation of God, and the first-born, but additionally his Only Begotten Son, and that all other creations were by and through him, -we find a beautiful corroborative statement in our Lord’s own words, saying: ‘Fear not, I am the first and the last; I am he that liveth and was dead, and behold I am alive forevermore.’ And again, ‘These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive." (Re 1:17; 2:8.) In no other sense or way than as the ‘Only’ direct creation of God, through whom all else was created, could our Lord be the first and the last of God’s creation. Any other view, therefore, would be an incorrect one, and in conflict with all the foregoing Scriptures.
"THE LOGOS WAS MADE FLESH AND DWELT AMONG US." Joh 1:14.
"The common thought in respect to our Lord’s manifestation in the flesh is usually expressed in the word incarnation. This usual thought we believe to be wholly incorrect, unscriptural. The Incarnation theory is that our Lord’s human body, which was born of Mary, was merely a clothing, a covering for the spiritual body. The thought therefore attached to our Lord’s earthly life, according to this theory, is that our Lord during his earthly life was still a spirit being, exactly as before, except that he used the flesh that was born of Mary, and that was known as the man Christ Jesus, as his veil or medium of communication with mankind, after the manner in which angels had appeared in human form in previous times-to Abraham, to Manoah, to Lot, and others. (Ge 18:1, 2; 19:1; Jud 13:9-11, 16.) Because of this incorrect premise, many confused and unscriptural ideas have been evolved respecting the various incidents of our Lord’s life and death: for instance, this theory assumes that our Lord’s weariness was not real, but feigned; because he, as a spirit being, could know no weariness. The logic of this theory would imply also that our Lord’s prayers were feigned, because, says this theory, he was God himself, and to pray would have been to pray to himself; hence it is argued that his prayers were merely pro forma, to make an impression upon the disciples and those who were about. The same theory is bound to suppose that our Lord’s death was merely an appearance of death, for they argue that Jesus was God the Father, who being from everlasting to everlasting, cannot die: hence that the apparent agony and cry, ‘My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ and the dying, were merely pro formal to make the impression upon the minds of those who heard and saw. The logical argument of this theory, therefore, is that there was no real death for man’s sins, but merely an appearance of one, a spectacular effect, a dramatic show, a cinematographic representation, a deception produced for a good purpose; -to favorably influence the sympathies and sensibilities of mankind. "All of this is wrong, and violently in opposition to the truth on the subject, as presented in the Word of God. The Scriptural declaration is not that our Lord assumed a body of flesh as a covering for a spiritual body, as did the angels previously; but that he actually laid aside, or, as the Greek renders it, ‘divested himself of,’ his pre-human conditions, and actually took our nature, or, as our text above declares, ‘the Logos was made flesh.’ There was no fraud, no sham, about it: it was not that he merely appeared to humble himself, while really retaining his glory and power: it was not that he seemed to become poor for our sakes, yet actually remained rich in the possession of the higher spiritual nature all the time: it was not that he merely put on the clothing, the livery, of a servant. No, but he actually became a man-’the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all.? -1Ti 2:5.
"We shall see subsequently, when we come to consider particularly the ransom feature of his work, that it was absolutely necessary that he hould be a man-neither more nor less than a perfect man-because it was a man that sinned, man who was to be redeemed, and the divine law required that a man’s life should pay the redemption price for a man’s life. ‘As by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead.’ (1Co 15:21.)
But let no one misunderstand us by this to mean that our Redeemer became a man such as we are, full of inherited imperfections and blemishes. Quiet to the contrary of this: the same word of God declares that he was ‘holy, harmless, separate from sinners.’ -Heb 7:26, 28; Lu 1:35.
"His separateness from sinners is one of the difficult points with many. How could he be a man, and yet be free from the hereditary taint which affects the entire human family? We hope to see exactly how this could be, and how it was accomplished under the divine plan; but we require first to have thoroughly impressed upon our minds the fact that an imperfect man, a blemished man, one who through heredity had partaken of Adamic stock, and whose life was thus part with our life, could not be our Redeemer. There were plenty of sinful men in the world without God sending his Son to be another. There were plenty of these imperfect men who were willing to lay down their lives for the accomplishment of the Father’s will. This is fully attested by the record of Hebrews 11, in which it is clearly shown that many ‘counted not their lives dear unto them,’ in their faithfulness to the Lord. But what was needed was not merely a sacrifice, which would thus pay the sinner’s penalty. And since ‘all have sinned and come short of the glory of God,’ and since ‘there is none righteous, no, not one,’ therefore, as the Scriptures again declare, ‘None could give to God a ransom for his brother.’ (Ro 3:10, 23; Ps 49:7.) It was because the Lord beheld and saw that there was no man competent to redeem the world that he laid help upon one who is mighty to save-able to save to the uttermost all who come unto the Father by him. -Ps 89:19; Isa 63:1; 59:16; Heb 7:25.
"Next we want, if possible, to see clearly how our Lord Jesus laid hold upon our race, and became a member of it, through his mother Mary, without sharing in any degree its depravity, without inheriting its blight of sin, without its curse of death laying hold upon him: for if in any manner or degree he partook of the life of Adam, he would have been a partaker also of the death sentence upon Adam’s life, and thus he would have come under the sentence of death; and if rendered thus imperfect, and under the sentence of death, he had no life-rights to give as man’s ransom price, by which to purchase father Adarn and his race from under the sentence of death imposed by divine Justice. We propose to examine this question in our next chapter. We hope to there prove that our Lord did not, in any manner or degree, become contaminated with sin or imperfection through his mother."
The author of this pamphlet earnestly hopes that you will read the "next chapter."
Dr. Haldeman says the Devil will live forever, and quotes to prove it part of Re 20:10, but neglects to quote that part of the, verse which says he "was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone," and the margin refers to verse 14, which reads: "And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death."
Death is the opposite of life. Death in the Bible is destruction, and we read in Heb 2:14 that Christ is going to "destroy him that hath the power of death, that is the devil." So again the Bible contradicts him. It says the devil will be destroyed, and hell also.
FUTURE STATE OF THE WICKED.
He accuses Pastor Russell of saying that "All the unrighteous and wicked dead will be raised and made perfect and innocent like Adam before the fall; and that all the unrighteous and wicked dead will be given a second chance. The assurance given to the wicked and sinful is, that there is no suffering for sin."
We do not believe or teach that the wicked will be raised and made perfect unconditionally. The Bible does teach that there will be a resurrection of all, the wicked as well as the righteous. "The hour is coming, in which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." -Joh 5:28, 29, Common Version.
These learned Doctors know that a correct translation would render this ‘a resurrection of judgment,’ as it is given in the Revised Version. Why do they cling to what they know is error?
The Bible teaching is not a universal salvation, but a universal opportunity for salvation.
Dr. Haldeman says that "Demons (devils) are disembodied spirits of human beings in Hades."
The Bible teaches that Hades is the grave, and that there is no knowledge or wisdom there, that it is a place of silence; also that demons are not "disembodied spirits of men," but are the fallen angels who sinned in Noah’s time.
"And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day." -Jude 6.
We have given the Doctor more space than we intended to, but as most of the writers against us quote him extensively, in answering his arguments we also answer theirs.
ONE CHANCE GUARANTEED.
The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ tasted death for every man. -Heb 2:9. According to the general view of Christendom, the millions who never heard of Jesus, and therefore never had a chance to accept him, are lost. Then if Jesus died for them without their having a chance to learn of him and accept him (and belief in him is the only way to salvation) then Jesus’ death was that much a failure, and God’s plan shows a serious flaw in its wisdom. But, thank God, we read in Joh 1:9 "That was the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world." "Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time." -1Ti 2:6. The millions who have died in ignorance of him have not had the one chance the Bible guarantees them, therefore they must receive that light after their resurrection from the dead. The Bible teaches plainly that they will not be resurrected pure, but, on the contrary, just as they were when they died. But Satan will then be bound (Re 20:2) and they will have one trial, one chance for eternal life, unhindered by his influence.
NO SECOND CHANCE.
This is not a second chance. Nowhere does the Bible teach a second chance for anyone, but it does guarantee one chance, and those who died without it will be resurrected to get it by judgment, they will not be resurrected to be damned. If they reject that chance the teaching of the Bible is that they will go into the second death to remain dead. In no place does the Bible teach a hell of torture for anyone under any conditions. But it does state plainly that if we have one full chance and reject it that we need expect no more chance in the future.
"For it is impossible for these who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come. If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him, to an open shame." -Heb 6:4-6.
"For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins. But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the Covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." -Heb 10:26-31.
The Bible makes a plain distinction between eternal life and immortality. To be exact, as we should be in dealing with God’s Word, we find that immortality is a state of deathlessness, a state in which death is an impossibility. God always has been immortal, Jesus is now and has been since the Father raised him from the dead, and we are promised that if we are faithful unto death we also will have immortality.
Scripture Studies, Vol. 5, page 388: "Immortality is an element or quality of the divine nature, but not of human or angelic or any other nature than the divine. And it is because Christ and his "little flock," his "bride," are to be "partakers of the divine nature" that they will be exceptions to all other creatures either in heaven or on earth." -2Pe 1:4.
Eternal Life is the kind of life Adam was created with, and had he kept God’s law he would have lived forever. In other words, eternal life is everlasting life, if obedient to all God’s laws, but if disobedient the life will be forfeited. Bear in mind that while immortality is eternal life, eternal life is not immortality. The Bible proves that neither Adam or Jesus had immortality as a part of their earthly life, else they could not have died. We are not born with anything of the divine nature, but we are promised that if faithful we shall be "partakers of the divine nature." -2Pe 1:3, 4.
The Bible teaches that only the few, comparatively, will have immortality, while the many may have eternal life, if they will. The Bible teaches that God does not compel any one. We may choose to please ourselves-everlasting life or everlasting death.
The Bible does not teach that there is no suffering for sin. Heb 2:2 -"Every transgression and disobedience shall receive a just recompense of reward." 2Pe 2:9 -"The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptation, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished."
ATTRIBUTES OF JESUS.
There are several definitions of Divine, but as applied to Jesus the word is given by Trinitarians the meaning of showing him to be omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, immortal, equal with God in all things. In fact, the orthodox churches teach he was very God. Jesus never claimed for himself what zealous Trinitarians claim for him. The Bible teaches that Jesus is not now and never was his own father, nor equal with God, but is next to Jehovah in all his attributes. Jesus said: "My Father is greater than I.’ -Joh 14:28; 1Co 15:24-28.
They try to prove the Trinity with such verses as Joh 10:30, 38 -"I and my Father are one. * * * though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him."
Now, we are not going to tell you what that means; we are going to let Jesus tell you, as he does in Joh 17:21-23, when he prayed to the Father:
"That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and I will declare it; that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them."
The real thought which Jesus wished to impress was the absolute, perfect harmony between his Father and himself. This is beautifully portrayed in the prayer above, one of the last he offered. How anyone can claim that the Bible teaches the Trinity after reading the quotations above can only be accounted for by reading 2Co 4:4.
Scripture will interpret Scripture and if we find a Scripture which is at seeming variance with other Scriptures we may safely conclude that we have not the proper understanding, for God does not deny himself. -2Ti 2:13. "He changes not." -Mal 3:6.
1Co 2:8 -"Had they known they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory." Why didn’t they know? They had the prophecies and they had seen Jesus and his miracles. From that day to this, the mistakes and persecutions which have arisen from misunderstanding and ignorance of the Scriptures have been many and appalling.
Joh 1:14 -"Was made flesh." It does not say that he merely "assumed" flesh as was the case in other times.
Lu 24:39 is used as a very strong proof of a duality of nature, but not so. Let us interpret Scripture by Scripture and compare this with other Scriptures. "A spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have." After his resurrection Jesus as a spirit being was no longer visible to his disciples. It was necessary for them to know that he was no longer dead, to establish their faith, and the only way they could know as natural men, was for Jesus to materialize in human form.
There is such a wonderful, immeasurable distance between the human and Divine that we can’t get them near enough together to compare them, and that may be the reason why some fail to realize the impossibility of Jesus being "like his brethren" and Divine at the same time. Heb 2:17. If he had been Divine, how very unlike his brethren he would have been. Yet though the "Man Christ Jesus," we must remember that he was very different from us, in that he was perfect. What say the Scriptures about seeing God? 1Jo 4:12 -"No man hath seen God at any time." Revised Version, Joh 5:37 -"And the Father that sent me he hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his form."
Does that look as if it was possible for Jesus to have had a Divine nature covered up in his human nature? It should be perfectly apparent to any Bible student that the possession of the Divine nature would so overshadow the human nature as to completely conceal it.
ATTRIBUTES OF GOD.
We think no one would question God’s justice. It is one of the foundation stones of His great plan for man. We believe Him to be beyond our highest conception of wisdom, justice, love and power. When He condemned the race in Adam it showed His wisdom, for it was the only way one man could pay the penalty for the race lost in Adam. -Ro 5:12. His lore was exemplified in giving His only begotten Son to die for us. His power was shown in raising him from the dead. His justice in requiring an exact substitute for Adam-no more and no less-His justice would not allow one of Adam’s sinful race to die for him, for that would not have been a corresponding price. The life of the best man who ever lived, aside from Adam before his fall and Jesus, was not sufficient to redeem man. Justice could not allow an Angel to die for us because, being of a higher nature, he could not be a corresponding price; his life would be too much, more than the life forfeited, and justice could not allow that. The Greek word translated "ransom," has the exact meaning of a corresponding price.
God’s justice so arranged it, and Jesus had to be a man, a perfect man, to be a corresponding price for Adam and his race. God in His justice could not allow him to be either less or more than was Adam before his fall, for God’s law was "Life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot." -De 19:21.
To those who say that we dishonor God, we reply: We certainly believe that God is more dishonored when we refuse to take the teachings of His Word; but instead accept the lie first started by Satan, and the misconceptions of the Dark Ages, since so tenaciously held to; and refuse to be led by the Holy Spirit, which Jesus promised should be our guide into all truth. (Joh 16:13.)
Make God a liar? Never. "What if some did not believe? Shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, that thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged." -Ro 3:3, 4.
DR. JAMES M. GRAY, D. D.
We would call Dr. Gray’s attention to his statement in the second paragraph of his article. He says, referring to "Millennial Dawnism": "It is represented by only the one man whose name has been referred to, although probably there is an organization behind it." It would have been a very easy matter for this "watchman on the walls" to have made sure of these points, so he could state definitely, for here in his own city the International Bible Students Association has had a class for many years, and we think no one would claim that we have "hid our light under a bushel," for we have met regularly, twice every Sunday, in Recital Hall, Auditorium Building, and before the end of August, 1914, will have dedicated the International Bible Students Association Temple at 700 South Wabash Avenue.
Also we meet all over Chicago for Bible study, in more than thirty places every week. These meetings are always well advertised, and always free. Even the Photo-Drama of Creation, which was at the Auditorium Theater for thirty-five days, was absolutely free. We distribute in Chicago alone more than a half million religious newspapers every year. We happen to know that when the article of Fr. Gray’s was written, and W. H. Bradford so well answered it and sent him a copy, he refused to read it.
Dr. Gray, who as Dean of the Moody Bible Institute should have both ability and fairness to discuss us and our teachings, has utterly failed through lack of knowledge. He has depended on Dr. Haldeman’s book for facts, and Holy Writ says that when the blind lead the blind they shall both fall into the ditch.
He asserts as our teaching points we repudiate utterly. We will note two examples to show how little reliance can be placed on his charge, either to show our opinion or the Bible teaching.
Speaking of our belief that the Plan of God as taught in the Bible guarantees every man one chance for salvation, and if he dies without having received it, it must follow that he will get it after his resurrection, he says: "Could anything have more Satanic attractiveness than this? The man who broke all the laws of God will be brought to life again pure and spotless."
Pastor Russell never made that statement or anything like it. The Bible does not teach it. Neither do we. Every man will be brought forth just as he died. Death will not have changed the nature, and doubtless some will be so depraved that even after the hundred years of trial given them, they will still love and practice iniquity and will be destroyed in the second death, from which there will be no resurrection.
Isaiah speaks of the Millennial reign of Christ, showing that at least one hundred years will be given in which to show a desire for righteousness and an effort to attain it. To show that this prophecy has not been fulfilled, we quote Isa 65:17-25, which we specially call to the attention of any who do not believe in the coming millennium:
These dealings with mankind are clearly shown to take place after the new heavens and the new earth (new dispensation) have been created.
"For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying. There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die a hundred years old; but the sinner being a hundred years old shall be accursed. And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them. And it shall come, to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD." -Isa 65:17-25.
To ridicule our understanding of the end of the Gentile times being in October, 1914, Dr. Gray quotes Mr 12:32. As Rev. A. J. Pollock, of England, also frees his mind on this topic, we will notice them both together.
REV. A. J. POLLOCK.
Rev. Mr. Pollock denounces Pastor Russell and his writings, calling them "Soul-destroying doctrines."
He begins by quoting copiously from Prof. Moorehead. The twenty-four pages are full of inconsistencies, misstatements and proof of ignorance, on the part of the writer, of the subject treated. We will spare room but for two. In speaking of our understanding that Jesus came the second time in 1874, and that the Times of the Gentiles will end in October, 1914, he says: "Pastor Russell confesses inability to furnish Scriptural proof." As we are saved by faith, and the whole of our Christian life is based on faith on the Son of God, we hold that the Bible does furnish all the proof necessary to convince those who are "the called according to His purpose." -Ro 8:28. To expect to find special dates set down in the Bible would be absurd, but if we reverently study
God’s word, looking to Him for leading, we find that all the important points in His great plan for man have, been so clearly indicated that it is impossible for God’s children who are in the right attitude of heart to miss them.
The Christian at the present day is not walking by sight. "By grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God." -Eph 2:9. "Without faith it is impossible to please God." -Heb 11:6. "We walk by faith, not by sight." -2Co 5:7. Let any honest seeker after Truth read and ponder Volume Two of Scripture Studies and we think he will be simply astonished to find how the "mysteries" of the Bible fade away. We quote from page 7 of Pollock’s book:
THE TIME OF THE END.
"One verse completely upsets Pastor Russell’s claims to settle the date of Christ’s second advent. The Lord Jesus himself says: ‘Of that day and hour knoweth no man, no not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.’ -Mt 23:36. There is no need to take up space in showing up the fallacy of Pastor Russell’s detailed calculations. This one Scripture denies the daring claim to fix a date in the most convincing way. Our Lord says ‘no man’ knows. Then evidently C. T. Russell does not know. Yet he says he does."
This quotation is not in Mt 23:36, but in Mt 24:36. Mr 13:32, which Dr. Gray uses in the same connection, reads: "But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father." We beg to be excused for seeming to strengthen Rev. Pollock’s argument; we only want to make it strong enough to stand alone while we demolish it.
We call their attention to a few other passages which they have overlooked:
Re 1:1-3 -"The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass: and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand."
This was written about sixty years after Mr 13:32.
What, then, do we learn from a critical comparison of these two texts?
1. That Jesus did not before his death know himself regarding the time, and did not claim to know.
2. That sixty years later he did know, as the Father had then revealed it unto him.
3. What for? "To make known unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass."
At the time that Jesus spoke these words it was true that no man knew. The "due time" for the knowledge had not come. In Noah’s time the world did not know there would be a flood, would no believe although Noah told them year after year, and showed his faith by his works.
De 29:29 -"Secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law."
Will the momentous fact of the close of the Gospel Age be accomplished and no one know? Surely not. God’s Word teaches plainly that it will be known by all these whose hearts are loyal, the "wise virgins" who are waiting with oil in their lamps.
If God had wished us always to remain in ignorance of His plan, and of the "time of the end," we would not have been told to watch lest it come upon us unawares. -Mt 24:42, 44.
Re 16:15 -"Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame."
Daniel wished to know of this time and was told that it would not be made known until the time of the end, and the conditions then for knowing.
Da 12:8-10 -"And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And he said, go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand."
When Jesus said "watch" it was to keep his disciples from remaining in ignorance, so they might know and be prepared.
All those men admit that the end will come "some time," "maybe 50,000 years hence." An ostrich does not evade capture by putting his head in the sand so it can’t see its pursuer, neither can anyone stop or hinder God’s plan by refusing to accept His Word regarding it.
MAY WE KNOW THE TIME?
On the authority of God’s Word we do claim to know something of the "time of the end."
We quote from Scripture Studies, Vol. 2, pages 22, 28-31:
"Reason, then, teaches us that so surely as it is written, ‘The Lord will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets’ (Am 3:7), and that most of what he revealed unto them was not for themselves, but for us, the Gospel Church (1Pe 1:12), so surely will the faithful not be left in darkness, unable to discern it, when the day of the Lord has come. It will not come upon them as a thief and a snare-unawares: for they will be watching, and will have the promised light then due upon the subject."
"It is a serious error into which many fall, to suppose that a knowledge of God’s doings and plans is of little importance, that the graces of Christian character are all that God requires, and that these are better conserved by ignorance. How differently the Scriptures present the matter! They counsel us, not only to cultivate the graces of the Christian character, but to preserve constantly that condition of heart which will enable us to discern the truth-especially that great truth of the Lord’s presence, when due-and when dispensational changes take place. A knowledge of dispensational truth is quite as important in the end of this age as it was in the end of the Jewish age. Those who did not discern the truth then due did not receive the favors then due. And just so in the end of this age: These who cannot discern the truth now due, being blinded by unbelief and worldliness, cannot receive special favors now due. They are not overcomers, and hence are unfit to be the bride of Christ, and to enter into the glorious inheritance of the saints as joint heirs with him. Truth, in this age, under the adverse circumstances for its reception, becomes a test of our faithfulness to God, and therefore as a sickle separates the fit ones from those unfit-the wheat from the tares."
"Odium attaches to the study of prophetic time by reason of past misapplications of it by ‘Second Adventists’ and others, and the consequent failures to realize the events expected to occur at stated times. We see, however, that even this has been a part of God’s plan to obscure the subject to all but the class for whom it was intended, by permitting contempt and ridicule to attach to it, thus hindering the worldly-wise and prudent from apprehending it. (Mt 11:25.) This, we doubt not, was as much a part of the divine plan as the sending of Jesus into Nazareth, a despised place, ‘that he might be called a Nazarene’ (Mt 2:23), though he was really born in the honorable town of Bethlehem. As the worldly-wise and prudent of that day said, ‘Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?’ so today, when prophetic time or anything relating to the Lord’s second advent is mentioned, many cry ‘Adventist,’ as if to say, ‘Can any good thing come out of Adventism?"- even though they admit that many prophecies containing time are not yet fulfilled, and that the second coming of the Lord is the most prominent topic of Scripture."
"We have great sympathy for both the First Adventists (the Jews) and the Second Adventists, though only a few of either realized the truths they so nearly apprehended, yet failed to grasp, each being blinded by false expectations. Our Adventist friends have failed to recognize both the manner and the object of the Lord’s return as taught in the Scriptures; consequently they have not been expecting to ‘see him as he is,’ but as he was. They consider the object of his coming one which will fill the hearts of all except the saints with dismay and terror; that his object is to gather the elect, destroy all others of mankind, and burn up the world."
"Having such ideas, they used the time prophecies as a whip to scourge and drive the world to God. But the world coolly looked on, and said that these were unreasonable enthusiasts, and, if there is a God, he is certainly more reasonable and just than that. The scorn of the world grew more and more intense, as time after time they foretold a wreck of matter and a crush of worlds, and time after time their predictions failed-until now the very mention of prophetic time is received very generally with an incredulous smile, or with open contempt, even by Christians who well know that prophecy and chronology constitute a large proportion of God’s revelation.
"But blessed is he
"Who bears unmoved the world’s dark frown,
Nor heeds the scornful smile;
Whom seas of trouble cannot drown,
Nor Satan’s arts beguile."
"But God provided time-prophecies for no such purpose, nor will he attempt to convert the world in any such way as this; for he seeketh such to worship him as worship in spirit and in truth (Joh 4:23), and not such as are frightened into his service. If he had designed to terrorize men into obedience, he could have devised some more successful method than the proclamation of time-as our Adventist friends have proved. Prophetic time was given, not to alarm the world-nor for the world in any sense but to enlighten, strengthen, comfort, encourage and guide the Church in the troublous times in the end of the age. Therefore it is written, None of the wicked shall understand, but the wise only. To these, this becomes meat in due season, and it, with other meat, will strengthen those who use it, so that they will be ‘able to stand in the evil day’ -the day of trouble with which this age closes. It will enable them to understand the wonderful events transpiring around them, so that they will neither be consumed by fear and dread, nor swallowed up by the projects and false theories-science falsely so called-with which this day will abound. And, withal, they may be in the devouring fire [trouble], witnesses for God and his plan, and teachers of the people-pointers to the glorious outcome of Jehovah’s plan, lifting up a standard for the people. -Isa 62:10."
"This is the object of time prophecy, and how important, how indispensable-that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished, at this time. Without these prophetic time-proofs, we might see the events of this Day of the Lord, and know not of it, or of our duties and privileges in it."
Speaking of this very time, Paul says in 1Th 5:1-4:
"But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they (the world) shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child: and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness that that day should overtake you as a thief."
We are sorry anyone prefers darkness rather than light. Rev. Mr. Pollock Says on page 17 of his book: "Pastor Russell teaches a second chance after death. He says, referring to it-’but would this not be giving some of the race a SECOND CHANCE? Yes, we answer; and more, it would be giving all people a second chance.’ (Vol. 1, page 130.)
Here he has deliberately inserted, in what he claims to be a quotation from Vol. 1, page 130, of Scripture Studies, words and thoughts not found there, and never uttered or taught by Pastor Russell.
What shall we conclude of a man who professes to uphold God’s word, yet is so careless of his quotations, and allows himself to so seriously misrepresent Pastor Russell and the International Bible Students Association?
Never have we believed or taught a second chance for anyone, but we repeat, we find the Bible does promise one chance to everyone.
"FOOD FOR THOUGHT."
"Circulated by a company of Christians at Evanston, Ill." Under the caption, "Satan’s Wiles," they say: "The country is now being flooded with the evil teaching of Russellism in a new form. By means of moving pictures and talking machines the ensnaring delusions of this Satanic system are poured into the minds of thousands every day. The most sacred truths of Divine revelation are torn from their holy setting and forced to serve on the stage of religious prostitution under the direction of this self-styled pastor, who like a modern ‘Simon’ bewitches the people with his lies." In closing, it says: "These articles are not written or circulated in a spirit of bitterness or bigotry against other individuals, but point to man-made systems and organizations using the name of Christ, but who in doctrine and practice deny the Deity, Atonement, Resurrection and Divine Revelation. Specializing some point to the exclusion of the whole truth."
The reader may decide whether this squares with truth, reason, justice or Christian love.
We notice in the various booklets attacking us that they show a great fondness for quoting each other, and some of the writers have confessed that they had not read the books they criticize. We base our proof on the Word of God, which we study and believe.
We have spent several years now searching God’s Word for the Truth. Reading carefully all Pastor Russell has written; reading carefully what his enemies have written. We have compared their writings, and the spirit manifested, with his. We have put all to the Bible test, and we find that since the days of Paul no man has so completely harmonized the Bible as has Pastor Russell. If any of these "wise ones" can gather 5,900 Bible texts to prove their belief, which is far from harmonious now, or to disprove ours, let them get busy, instead of resorting to foul slander to disprove our position. We affirm with the utmost positiveness, that the fact that Scripture Studies harmonizes perfectly everything of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, is in itself the strongest proof of its correctness. Not one text do we throw away. Not once do we stop and stammeringly say, "Oh! that is a mystery; it can’t be explained."
The fact that Pastor Russell has brought to our attention Bible chronology as he has in Volume 2, does not make it his invention. He never made any such claim. It was always in the Bible, and now, in the time of the end, when it was due time for its revealment, Pastor Russell was God’s chosen agent to bring it to light. If the chronology was not in the Bible, arranged in a complete, orderly manner, there are not brains enough in the world to have conceived it.
Pastor Russell’s position, to which we, with the International. Bible Students Association fully agree, is abundantly borne out by the Bible. We refuse to accept any man’s word, without a "thus saith the Lord" to prove it. We find that those who make mystery of the plain teachings of the Holy Word, which the Apostles said was "given for our admonition," are those who claim to be great religious teachers, and who claim no one has a right to teach the Bible without their permission. We claim no one has a right to preach unless he has God’s spirit, and His authority and blessing.
It is true now as in Paul’s day (Ac 19:9): "Divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude."
The most important fact taught in the Bible is Jesus’ death, which secured for every member of Adam’s posterity an opportunity for salvation.
We want to call attention to Joh 5:24 -"He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life." That is not an unconditional gift. There are three conditions necessary. First, they must hear the Word. Second, they must believe on God. Third, they must accept Jesus as their Savior.
Believing that the world will soon be buried in anarchy, we do not countenance it. We stand for the enforcement of the highest laws-God’s laws.
A careful reading of all written against Pastor Russell shows that the authors have sought to make up for a deficiency of accurate knowledge, both of our belief and teachings and of God’s Word, by ridicule, slander, misstatements, and misquotations. What for? If they have the knowledge they claim to have, then they know "we speak the truth in love.’ -Eph 4:15. They have made an utter failure of disproving what we teach as the Word of God, so they seek to prove Pastor ‘Russell to be a knave and we of the International Bible Students but dupes.
We read In 1Co 1:26, 27: "That not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things that are mighty."
While we know a few of our members have classical educations superior to the great D. Ds. who speak so sneeringly of us, yet, as it is God’s will to choose the ignoble, the poor, the foolish in the world’s estimation, we can never thank Him enough that thereby we were enabled to be of the "called ones," and to realize the truth of the Scriptures that God’s Holy Spirit shall lead into all truth, and keep us humble, "not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves, but our sufficiency is of God" (2 Cor. 3: 5), who if we seek Him giveth to every man liberally, wisdom from above.
Anyone of a reasoning and reasonable mind, who reads Pastor Russell’s writings, hears him speak, or is at all acquainted with the man, must be convinced of six things:
1. He is one of the most humble and modest of men.
2. He is sincere in every word and act, and honesty personified.
3. He believes and reverences the Bible and seeks at all times to induce its study and reverence in others.
4. He never has, even by implication, sought to put his writings on an equality with the Bible. As a matter of fact, no other writer ever depended so absolutely on the Bible for proof of the correctness of their utterances.
5. A system of Bible doctrine, which harmonizes ALL the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, which acknowledges it all and quotes it freely, is certainly worthy of careful examination, not sneers. The truths of God’s Word cannot be nullified by any amount of ridicule, or denial, and shortly this course will stand forth in its true light.
6. Every denomination has had Bible commentators which they have honored. Pastor Russell’s books are our commentary, and after years of study, comparing them with other books and proving them by the Bible, we find them far in advance of any other books, except the Bible, and worthy of the love and study which we International Bible Students give them.
It certainly requires much Christian grace and forbearance to give a Christian answer to the slanders, untruths, and misrepresentations cast at us, but we must do it. Our great Leader, Jesus, "when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously." (1Pe 2:23.) And so must we, likewise, take up our cross and follow him, if we would be his disciple, for the disciple is not above his master. -Lu 14:27; Mt 10:24, 25.
In 1912 "The Continent" ran a series of articles by Wm. T. Ellis which they called an "expose of Pastor Russell," for the avowed purpose of killing his influence and compelling
the stopping of the publication of his sermons in the papers. Did they accomplish their purpose? No. More people are reading his sermons and books today than ever before. Christians of all denominations love and reverence the Word of God. The systematic persecution of Pastor Russell and the International Bible Students Association is done by the ministers, the D. Ds., the theologians of the churches-the same class which has been doing this kind of work in all ages
REV. J. J. ROSS-THE BROOKLYN EAGLE.
Rev. J. J. Ross, of Canada, has issued a 48-page book which he must know (himself) to be one continuous misrepresentation from cover to cover.
The principal charges against Ross, who might be called the echo of the Brooklyn Eagle, have also been embodied in a case brought against the Washington Post, and won by Pastor Russell. If his case was good then, why not now, when he had additional evidence? Evidently because the jury was against him, regardless of evidence. And this is not surprising when we see the bitterness of his enemies. Readers in the future will conclude, just as we do in Wesley’s case, that his enemies were bent on his destruction, and cared not what means were used.
THE NORTHWESTERN CHRISTIAN ADVOCATE.
As the editor of the Northwestern Christian Advocate, published at Chicago as "an official paper of the Methodist Episcopal Church," in its issue of April 15, 1914, quoted (liberally) from Ross and attacked Pastor Russell along the same lines, answering one will answer both.
The front cover of the "Advocate" has an interesting "Portrait of a Methodist," by John Wesley. It is as follows:
PORTRAIT OF A METHODIST.
"A Methodist is one who has the love of God shed abroad in his heart by the Holy Ghost given unto him, one who loves the Lord his God with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his mind, and with all his strength. He rejoices evermore, prays without ceasing, and in everything gives thanks. His heart is full of love to all mankind, and is purified from envy, malice, wrath, and every unkind or malign affection. His own desire, and the one design of his life, is not to do his own will, but the will of Him that sent him. He keeps not only some or most of God’s commandments, but all from the least to the greatest. He follows not the customs of the world; for vice does not lose its nature through its becoming fashionable. He fares not sumptuously every day. He cannot lay up treasures upon earth any more than he can take fire into his bosom. He cannot adorn himself, on any pretense, with gold or costly apparel. He cannot join in any diversion that has the least tendency to vice. He cannot speak evil of his neighbor, no more than he can tell a lie. He cannot utter unkind or idle words. No corrupt communication ever comes out of his mouth. He does good unto all men; unto neighbors and strangers, friends and enemies."
A critical comparison of that with the Bible definition of a Christian shows them to be the same. A real Wesleyan Methodist must be a Christian. Surely. We wonder how many of the readers of the "Advocate" of April 15th, after reading that "portrait" and then on page 4 reading "A Warning to All Good Methodists," evidently written by the editor, stopped to compare and take stock of the kind of Methodism Wesley taught and the kind they get today from their "official paper."
ATTACKING PASTOR RUSSELL’S CHARACTER.
Attacking Pastor Russell’s character, rather than his theology, he makes these statements:
"Who has dubbed himself Pastor Russell, although he is not an ordained minister of any denomination and lacks the first requisite of being a pastor-that of caring for some particular flock." "Millennial Dawn masquerades under the title of the International Bible Students Association." "He was divorced from his wife on the plea of cruelty and immorality, a young woman * * * being named as corespondent." "He was charged with defrauding the people by selling what he called ‘miracle wheat’ at $60 a bushel, when it was only common wheat." "Russell is now reputed to be worth several million dollars, but is careful to keep his wealth under such legal protection that it cannot be seized." "These evidences of his personal unworthiness could well be covered with the mantle of silence if not of charity, if the teachings of his books and tracts did not contain the poison of heresy and the still more fatal poison of a system whose acceptance leads logically to immorality. The one doctrine which he advocates, that all persons, however wicked or vile they may have been in life, will be raised in a state of Adamic purity and given a second probation, is enough to allow loose reign to the gratification of all unholy desires." "Without education himself he pretends to an exact knowledge of the Greek and defies the scholarship of the world." "This man who counts himself to be ‘some great one’."
If John Wesley was right, then some Methodists of today have "back-slid" woefully.
In calling "Millennial Dawn" the product of one man, they overlook the fact that the six volumes contain over 5,900 Scripture references, almost 1,000 to the volume.
The "Advocate" says Pastor Russell has "dubbed himself Pastor."
Twice yearly, by voluntary, unanimous action, the classes of the International Bible Students Association, in number many thousands, elect him as their "pastor." His field being the world, we do not enjoy many personal visits during the year, but we have always found one of his sermons to contain more of the Gospel of Christ, more of the meat of the Word, than the average minister gives his congregation in months, and we have the Watch Tower twice a month. He does give the Brooklyn congregation better pastoral care than any other minister we know of. If we elect our own pastor, and are satisfied with him-why, we are in that respect better off than most Methodists.
"Not an ordained minister of any denomination." Name the denomination that can give Scriptural authority for its ordinations and the Scriptural right to forbid it to others, or to question the Scripturalness of other ordination than its own.
"He does not care for a particular flock." Do your Bishops? Did Paul, or Peter, or any of the Apostles? Were they, therefore, not ministers?
We are charged with "Masquerading" under the title of "International Bible Students Association." Wm. T. Ellis, of the Continent, whom no one would accuse of flattering us, says: "I know of no organization for the publication and spread of religious literature-and I do not except the American Tract Society, the American Bible Society, or any denominational publishing house-that has ever had such success in getting its output into the hands of the people as the Russellites have shown." It is claimed the "Students’ International Bible Conference," in whose name we are accused of "masquerading," meets "occasionally," Good: we wish they might meet oftener. But
as our Association is legally incorporated, with branches in Great Britain, Denmark, Germany, Australia, Norway, Sweden, South Africa, India, Greece and Switzerland, and as we are publishing Scripture Studies in nineteen languages and tracts in thirty-one, it would almost seem to an ordinary mind that we might be called "international."
The "Advocate" kept so close to Rev. Ross’ statements that it has been led into making assertions regarding Pastor Russell’s personal life which are absolutely false.
Regarding the "divorce," Pastor Russell said in 1911:
"I remind you briefly of the facts: A most excellent and noble wife became mentally poisoned by ‘Women’s rights.’ When I refused to allow such ideas a place in my journal, The Watch Tower, she became my bitterest enemy. First she tried to coerce me. This failing, she since seeks to destroy my influence. Yet never was a wife more kindly treated. Our property by mutual consent was all devoted to the Lord’s cause whilst we were in fullest accord. Provision was made merely for the necessities of life for both of us. When she changed her mind she demanded the money we had devoted to God’s cause. I paid her forty dollars per month. She appealed to the courts for more money. However, that is all settled, for in 1909, during my absence in Europe preaching, five of my friends, all men, made up a purse of $10,000, settled with Mrs. Russell and took her receipts for five years’ allowances ordered by the court, which they knew I had not means to pay."
What about Rose Ball going to Australia?
"Why, of course, she did not stay a child in short dresses all the time. She married and went to Australia with her husband! Remember, this is quite ancient history which the Eagle Considers news. Twenty years ago Rose kissed my wife and me every night when she retired. And she did this at my wife’s suggestion. It was at that time that she came crying to me and sat on my knee to tell her troubles-as to a father."
"No one knows better than my wife that there was absolutely nothing impure in any of my dealings with that foster child. I did not get a chance to furnish any testimony in court because the trial judge discerned that no immorality was charged in my wife’s plea and ordered everything of the kind stricken from the court records."
On what plea, then, did she get a divorce?
"She did not get a divorce at all; the court merely made a decree of separation. A sympathetic jury concluded that we both would be happier legally separated. My wife’s charge contained not a suggestion of immorality. It charged "cruelty."* The evidence submitted to her attorneys seemed to them rather slim proofs of cruelty, and two sets of lawyers abandoned her case. The third set of attorneys ‘cooked’ up some so-called evidence, including the story about Rose Ball, then married and gone to Australia, and who long years before was our foster child. Emily Matthews, the housemaid of twenty years ago, had also married. Hearing of the case, she came to court voluntarily to testify on my behalf. But before I could put her on the witness stand the court had ruled that portion of my wife’s testimony ‘out of court’ and to be stricken off the court records."
"My wife knew everything, and never for one minute doubted my faithfulness as a husband. She merely sought revenge, because I did not accede to her ‘women’s rights’ notions."
Speaking of the success of his publications, he said:
"No one realizes more than do I my unworthiness of such success and popularity. God’s providence has favored my humble efforts! I am as much astonished as my enemies! It is the Message and not the Messenger that is great. It is God’s Message, not mine. As foretold, it is ‘Good tidings of great joy for all people.’
"As for publicity: A newspaper syndicate handles my sermons which I supply to them free-glad to have their assistance in reaching twelve million readers weekly. They see to it that I am well advertised and boomed. I merely submit for the sake of the cause."
*The "cruelty" alleged consisted in a remark made by Pastor Russell, that "perhaps a sickness of her’s was a mark of Divine displeasure."
MRS. RUSSELL ORIGINATED TITLE "THAT SERVANT" HERSELF.
Hundreds who have known Pastor Russell for twenty to forty years know that no man inside or outside of any denomination lives a purer life than he. The charge that he "counts himself to be some great one" originated with his wife in 1895. The incidents Ross and others seek to keep alive and make so much of are alleged to have occurred in 1893. In 1894 Mrs. Russell wrote and published a statement denying the truth of all these declarations and denouncing the perpetrators as "malicious busy-bodies." In 1895 Mrs. Russell herself brought forth the teaching that her husband was "that faithful servant" mentioned in Mt 24:45, 46. In 1906 she brought these matters up in the trial wherein she sought to ruin him and kill his influence. She testified that all the improprieties alleged happened before 1894. Yet in 1894 she had publicly declared them to be false. She admitted at this trial that at the beginning of their married life, eighteen years before, they had mutually covenanted to observe in Spirit the suggestion of Jesus in the latter part of Mt 19:12; then later in the trial, through her attorneys, reproached him for having defrauded her by living true to this covenant. In view of these facts, how can the insinuation of immorality introduced by her attorneys and rebuked by the court, be considered by any sane person? The charge that a co-respondent was named is utterly false. What are we to think of Mrs. Russell’s actions after knowing the facts? What must we think of some who do know the facts, but are so controlled by envy, malice and the other attributes of Satan, that they have apparently given themselves over to serve him and are ignoring the God of the Bible? We will not utter one unkind word against them, but leave them to be dealt with as the "Judge of all the Earth" shall see fit "in due time."
REPRESENTATIVE TO PURITY CONGRESS.
Only a few months ago, the Governor of the State of New York, who was familiar with his life and work, appointed Pastor Russell to represent New York at the Purity Congress at Minneapolis.
AT THE ILLINOIS STATE FAIR.
In 1912 Pastor Russell addressed a great crowd at the Illinois State Fair. At that time the ministers of Springfield used all the influence they could bring to bear to prevent the Board from engaging him. All these charges were used in their effort to discredit him, but after a thorough investigation the officials found there was "nothing to it" and he filled the engagement to the satisfaction of one of the largest crowds ever gathered there for a like purpose.
The charge that Pastor Russell sold "common wheat" for $60 per bushel, claiming it to be "miracle wheat," is also false. The wheat was named "miracle wheat" before he ever heard of it, and was attested by United States Government experts. He sold none, but endorsed the selling with the understanding that money should be refunded to any dissatisfied ones-but none ever appeared. We have paid different reputable seedsmen much higher prices for new and choice seed, and glad to get it.
THE ROSS CASE.
The Advocate states that Pastor Russell lost his suit to Rev. Ross, of Canada, because his charges could not be substantiated. The facts are that Ross did all in his power to prevent the case coming to trial. Pastor Russell made several trips to Hamilton to prosecute the case. The first time Ross succeeded in getting the case non-suited on a technicality; the second time he left town, and although he was advertised to give two addresses in Hamilton the following day, he did not appear, and his friends did not know where he was; then, when too late for the case to come to trial, he returned and accepted service, but when the time came, pleaded not ready for trial, and so continued to put it off from time to time, until he learned that Pastor Russell was away on an extended tour, when he at once "demanded" immediate trial and tried to faster on Pastor Russell the guilt for the underhanded tactics he had been employing himself.
In Canada they have but two laws governing libel. Under one the falsifier may be punished by assessment of money damages; under the other, criminal libel, he may be imprisoned. As Ross had no money, he was, at the advice of counsel, sued for criminal libel. The Lower Court found him guilty, but the second Judge, held under an old English law that criminal libel would only operate when there was danger of rioting and violence, and as there was no danger of that from Pastor Russell or his friends, the case was thrown out. Ross does not tell this, he covers facts to his advantage. Since his unrighteous attack on Pastor Russell he has been continually in trouble with his own congregations. Is further comment on him needed?
PURITY OF LIFE.
The Advocate asserts that Pastor Russell’s teaching leads logically to immorality. We assert that no people on earth lay so much stress on purity of life, and preach and practice it so consistently as do the International Bible Students.
"Worth several million dollars." We who understand the workings of the Society Simply smile at this statement, which we know is absolutely false and not worth extended denial.
KNOWLEDGE OF GREEK.
The Advocate and Ross say that Pastor Russell claims an exact knowledge of the Greek and then admitted that he did not have. Another false witness. We remind you of the fact that in the six volumes of Scripture Studies he has called attention to the correct rendering of several hundred Scriptures. If he has made any mistakes it would be an easy matter to prove it, but these D. Ds. who are so willing to make the charge never offer any proof, though often challenged to do so.
The Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society has for years sold at cost Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, Young’s Analytical Concordance, The Emphatic Diaglott, by Benj. Wilson, the Revised Version, Tischendorf’s New Testament, Rabbi Leeser’s Translation of the Old Testament, and many others. And we are urged to take not his or any man’s word for proof, but to study the Bible for ourselves, using all the helps we can get. We assert that the membership of no "denomination" on earth rests on such a solid basis of personal knowledge of God’s Word. We insist on a "thus saith the Lord" for every point before we will accept it. Our only catechism, our only creed is the Bible, and of that we accept all, from start to finish, for we find it is perfect harmony if rightly understood.
DR. E. L. EATON.
The Advocate endorses the attack of Dr. Eaton, well knowing that in that series of debates, in 1903, Dr. Eaton was beaten on all points at issue, and like his followers of the present day, tried to make up in abuse and ridicule what he lacked in argument. After a lapse of years he thinks it is necessary to write up the debates to suit himself and set himself right before his people, for he asserts the newspapers at the time did not fairly represent him. If the editor of the Advocate and the Methodist Church endorse Dr. Eaton’s stand as set forth in that book, then we are glad our connection with the Methodist Church was severed years ago.
If the editor of the Advocate could read his "warning" through the eyes of John Wesley, he would be very ashamed of himself. He seems to have forgotten entirely that John Wesley’s teachings were no more favorably received then than are Pastor Russell’s now. The stand of the Advocate today reminds us of the stand taken by the "Gospel Magazine" against Wesley. This religious (?) journal represented him as "spitting venom, spite and rage" and accused him of "telling bare-faced lies." Later he was ridiculed by the same journal, which published a poem against him, of which the following lines are a sample:
"O think of this, thou gray-haired sinner,
Ere Satan pick thy bones for dinner."
A prominent minister and theologian of that day said of the Methodists:
"A new sect of enthusiasts, or hypocrites, or both, whose doctrines and practices tend to the destruction of souls, are a scandal to Christianity, and expose it to the scoffs of libertines, infidels and atheists."
PERSECUTION ALWAYS POPULAR.
We can see in this one great lesson which our enemies have entirely overlooked. In all ages men have listened with a self-complaisant tolerance while the sins and errors of past ages were criticized, and flown into a passion as soon as their own errors were brought to light. Jesus was crucified, the immediate reason being that he spoke in strongest terms against the errors of his day. Paul rebuked the error of his day and they said: "Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad," and they persecuted him and finally put him to death. John Rogers exposed some errors of his time and they burned him at the stake. Savonarola spoke against the religionists of his day and they hanged him and then burned his body in reproach. Now we have become so highly civilized that burning at the stake would no longer be tolerated, but instead the more "refined" killing, that of slaying with tongue and pen. So we find Wesley, preaching against the errors of his day, and they tried to kill his good name. They arrested him, and brought him into court. A jury brought an indictment against him on ten counts. We copy the first, second and fifth from Tyerman’s Life of Wesley, Vol. 1, pages 156 and 157:
1. That after the twelfth of March last, the said Wesley did several times privately force his conversation upon Sophia Christiana Williamson, contrary to the express desire and command of her husband; and did likewise write and privately convey papers to her, thereby occasioning much uneasiness between herself and her husband.
2. That on the 7th of August last, he refused the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper to Sophia Christiana Williamson, without any apparent reason, much to the disgrace and hurt of her character.
5. That about the month of April, 1736, he refused to baptize otherwise than by dipping, the child of Henry Parker, unless the said Henry Parker and his wife would certify that the child was too weak to bear dipping, and added to his refusal, that, unless the said parents would consent to have it dipped, it might die a heathen."
Get Tyerman’s three volumes on the Life of Wesley and read his explanation of the matter and you will see how a jury of that day could act under the influence of prejudice just as some juries can today. But "a jury of his countrymen" sworn to act "according to the evidence in the case" brought an indictment against Wesley on ten counts. Some of the people taunted him, others ridiculed and reproached him, finally his wife deserted him. Many people magnified the matter and blamed Wesley for the separation. The newspapers took up the matter and gloated over the downfall of the "Methodys."
The "Great Theologians" of Alexander Campbell’s day denounced his teachings as "damnable heresies."
And now Pastor Russell is the one to receive the persecution which in all ages has been the lot of all real reformers. He is pointing out no new way to us; he is only uncovering and showing to us the riches of the Bible, "Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints." -Col 1:26.
Little theologians might as well try to obscure the light of the sun by standing in front of it, as to try to longer keep the truths of God’s Word hid. In olden times Jehovah said to the prophet Ezekiel (Ez 3:7, 9, 11): "The house of Israel will not hearken unto thee; for they will not hearken unto me: * * * fear them not, * * * speak unto them and tell them, Thus saith the Lord God; whether they will hear or whether they will forbear." And today a duty, which is also a blessed privilege, rests upon us. To speak the truth in love and without fear, knowing it will bring ridicule now but a blessing hereafter, not only to us but them.
Strange it is that the followers of the old reformers have so far forgotten the persecution and odium their leaders once endured, that they can allow themselves to indulge in like practices.
DR. W. A. SMITH.
Rev. Dr. W. A. Smith, of Illinois, is another Methodist with a short memory, who has written a book to stop "Russellism." He calls it a "far-fetched fabrication" of its "finite and fallible founder." After reading it we feel like ignoring as beneath notice the petty, puerile persiflage of this presumptuous pastor who seems to know more of Prof. Stevens and Dr. Haldeman than he does of the Bible. He says Millennial Dawnism is deceiving vast numbers of uninformed people. Where does he get his right to call us uninformed? I venture the assertion that there are more of the Exhaustive Concordance of that Grand Methodist Strong, used by the International Bible Students than by the Methodists themselves. Instead of "ignoring faith," we teach, as says the Bible, "without faith it is impossible to please God," and it is a lack of faith on the part of our enemies which is causing them to assume a position of antagonism to the Bible truths we call to their attention. He refers approvingly to the case of the Brooklyn Eagle, not yet settled, which they won in the first trial, with the aid of a jury composed largely of Catholics. Wesley, you remember, lost a case very similar. All the points Dr. Smith imagines he has made have been thoroughly covered, so we will not repeat them.
PASTOR RUSSELL’S SUCCESS.
The wonderful success of Pastor Russell and the International Bible Students Association is not due to business ability, nor use of money; it is due solely to fidelity of heart and life to the Word of God, and cannot be overthrown. We do not discard any portion of the Bible, we accept it as God’s Word, and know that perfect harmony runs through it all if rightly understood, as it may be if we approach it in loving reverence, and with receptive hearts seek to know God’s plan and will concerning us. It is this fidelity to the Bible which makes Pastor Russell’s writings so popular, about 8,000,000 copies now sold, and which crowds the largest auditorium whenever he speaks. God’s message to earth, as proclaimed by the angels to the shepherds, was one of "good tidings of great joy," not as the creeds make it-of bad tidings of great misery. The fault is not with the Bible, it is chargeable to the theology of today, man-made-with-the-help-of-the-great-Adversary.
Our enemies admit we produce results. It was said of Jesus, "the common people heard him gladly"; so now "the common people" from the standpoint of the world and these church men, love the Bible, love the truth, and accept it gladly.
At present Scripture Studies are in nineteen languages and our religious papers in thirty-one languages. The Photo-Drama of Creation is being shown in seventy-five cities continuously to upwards of 400,000 people weekly. We do not have to solicit one penny for our work, because the soul consecrated to God and his service realizes he is but a steward over all the Lord has given him, of ability or wealth, and it is all freely used in His service, and while we are exhorted to "do good unto all men" (Ga 6:10) we are to "lay down our lives for the brethren" (1Jo 3:16). And as Paul said in Ac 20:24, "Neither count I my life dear unto myself," knowing that "all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." -2Ti 3:12.
We are not naming all who have taken pleasure in slandering us; it is not necessary, for we believe we have covered all the points they have sought to make. They all travel over the same ground. One minister in covering a dozen pages, and referring to other writers, has not given a single Bible reference to prove his position or disprove ours, and his quotations from the Word have been few and misapplied. Some Catholic writers have been specially venomous in their attacks, yet considering their belief not more so than some who claim to be "liberal" Protestants.
Jesus said in Joh 6:44: "No man can come to me except the Father which hath sent me draw him," and during this Gospel Age all who are "drawn," who earnestly desire to know God, will study His Word, reverently seeking to learn His will. Such will not long be blinded by the dust from the musty doctrines of the Dark Ages, which have no Biblical authority for existence, but coming to the source of all truth, the Bible, "ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." -Joh 8:32
ARE WE ORTHODOX?
The ministers who are fighting us claim we are not "orthodox." Webster says of orthodox: "Holding the Christian faith as formulated in the great church creeds and confessions." The churches of today have practically settled on three points as a basis for clerical recognition and test of fellowship:
1. Inherent Immortality.
2. The Trinity.
3. Eternal Torment.
Now, as the Bible does not teach any one of these, and we believe and teach the Bible, then it seems to follow that we are just as unorthodox as the Bible.
The International Bible Students Association does not claim to have more worldly wisdom than the theologians who condemn them, but does claim to have God’s Spirit, which has been promised for the express purpose of "guiding into all truth," and to make plain His great and wonderful plan. We are not studying to disprove the belief of others, or to approve ourselves with men, but we study to show ourselves approved unto God, the only approval we court.
INACCURACIES OF TRANSLATION.
When we speak of the inaccuracies of translation of the Bible, we are not condemning the translators, for while as Trinitarians they would naturally lean that way, yet we must remember that when the translation was made in 1611, there were only eight Greek manuscripts available, while now there are about seven hundred.
It seems strange to have these celebrated D. Ds., who say so much about the International Bible Students
Association presuming to know anything of Hebrew or Greek, show they are so lacking in a correct knowledge of the Bible, for, of course, if they knew, they would be honest enough to admit their error and not repeat it. Else we must conclude they have no light in them, but are groping in darkness.
We never graduated from a theological seminary; we are only one of the poor, despised ones of earth, whom God has seen fit to call and give a measure of His Spirit, that we may see, appreciate and understand something of His wondrous plan, and we rejoice in every opportunity to spread the truth of the Bible and to combat the errors the great Adversary is so successfully setting forth as light. We have no words of condemnation, no feeling of bitterness for those who have so bitterly attacked Pastor Russell and our Association. We shall continue to believe and teach the Truth as it is in Christ Jesus, and we know that in God’s "due time" he will convict and convince these men of their error.
What must we think of men claiming to be ambassadors of Christ, and persisting in spreading slander and falsehood after it is called to their attention? We can but echo the prayer of Stephen: "Father, forgive them; they know not what they do."
We wonder if these ministers and theologians we have been compelled to refer to, in their hours of communion with the Master, have not every one heard, as did Paul on the road to Damascus, a small voice saying: "Why persecutest thou me? * * * it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks."
We have read at least a dozen articles attacking our belief, and in this short treatise have endeavored to show a Biblical answer to every point. It was not our aim to write a bulky theological tome, but to give the earnest seeker after truth a reasonable answer to our adversaries’ attacks, and food for thought to encourage them in further research in God’s Word.
We would like to have everyone enough interested to have read this, read also Scripture Studies, especially volumes 1, 2 and 5.
Vol. 1, 350 pages, treats of the Divine Plan of the Ages. It harmonizes the Bible and shows that God is equal in
Justice, Wisdom, Love and Power. It is one of the most remarkable books ever written, because of its fidelity to the Word of God.
Vol. 2, 366 pages, treats of Bible Chronology in a most convincing way. A reading will show the real meaning of many hitherto obscure passages of Holy Writ. Right now it is specially interesting.
Vol. 5, 490 pages, treats of the Atonement, the very foundation of the Christian religion. The most complete and clear exposition of this Bible subject ever written. One writer declared Pastor Russell had ignored the Holy Spirit, yet in this volume we find one hundred pages given to it.
We will, for the present, send these three books postpaid anywhere in the United States for $1.00 and include a copy of W. H. Bradford’s answer to Dr. Gray, or the whole six volumes, nearly 3,000 pages, for $2.20, and include the answer to Gray. To foreign countries add 20 and 40 cents, respectively, for postage on either order.
We also recommend as worthy of careful perusal the "Answer to Dr. Gray," by W. H. Bradford, of Minneapolis. This is a scholarly review and a complete answer to Dr. Gray’s attack on Pastor Russell, by a man whose university course contained eleven years’ study of Ancient Languages, making him particularly well qualified to speak with authority on all points touched by Dr. Gray. The book may be obtained from the St. Paul Enterprise, 49 East Fourth Street, St. Paul, Minn., for 25 cents, or a reduction in quantities.
Price of this book: 1 copy, 10c 14 copies, $1.00
3 copies, 25c 100 copies, $6.50. Postage paid in all cases
For more of these "Criticisms Examined," or the Scripture Studies and "Answer to Gray," as noted
M. C. BRADLEY, 19 North Kedzie Avenue, Chicago, Illinois.