Briefly Tested by Scripture
Forward to the Third Edition
The life of a religious teacher should correspond with his teaching. Scripture makes this plain. Had the late “Pastor” Russell—the founder of Millennial Dawnism—clean hands and a pure heart? He instituted libel proceedings against the Brooklyn Eagle, an American newspaper, for damages amounting to $100,000. He lost the case. Examined on March 17th, 1913, Russell swore that his wife had not divorced him, and that the court had not granted alimony from him. Mr. Staunton, the opposing counsel, cross-examined Russell. He was compelled to admit that the court had divorced him from his wife, though not “absolutely,” and that the court had granted alimony. Russell swore deceitfully on those two counts.
But why did Mrs. Russell not get an absolute divorce? Because, if she had obtained absolute divorce, she would not have obtained alimony, which she needed.
Judge Collier, who tried the case, in addressing the jury, said: “There is no difference between a divorce from bed and board, and divorce absolutely: don’t get mixed about that. One is just as bad as the other; it takes the same amount of cause in the one case as in the other.”
The same year Russell brought a libel suit against Rev. J.J.Ross, of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, which he lost. Writing of the divorce Mr. Ross says: “It came out in the evidence that his ‘conceit,’ ‘egotism,’ and ‘domination’ were such as to make life intolerable to any sensitive woman. Second, that his conduct in relation to other women was improper. Third, that on one occasion he was silent to his wife for four weeks, and only communicated with her by letters of a reproachful character. Fourth, that he sought by most despicable means to isolate his wife from society, and designed to get her pronounced insane in order to put her away.”
It is painful to have to write of evil, but sometimes it is necessary as serving the public in protecting them from the wiles of a deceiver.
Alas! his dupes are so blinded as to refuse to believe the proved facts as to Russell’s life, and believe he was persecuted for righteousness’ sake.
On October 31st, 1916, “Pastor” Russell died in a Pullman car in America, leaving no testimony of joy or brightness. At his funeral his followers claimed that Russell had already been resurrected, a claim without any proof and of a highly blasphemous nature. Such audacity should open eyes as to this terrible delusion of Millennial Dawnism.
Millennial Dawnism Briefly Tested by Scripture
A man who has aliases is promptly put down as a rogue and a deceiver. A religion that has aliases stands self-condemned in adopting them.
Millennial Dawnism is a religion invented by one man, the self-styled “Pastor” Russell, now dead, and set forth by him in one work, entitled “Millennial Dawn,” comprising six volumes, containing over 3,000 closely printed pages, presenting an official setting forth of the doctrines of this system.
But severe criticism of the false doctrines contained in “Millennial Dawn” has brought the system into deserved disrepute in many minds. So the title has been changed to “Studies in the Scriptures,” a colourless description calculated to throw the public off their guard, and allay suspicion. Terms such as “The International Bible Students’ League,” “Bible House and Tract Society,” “Brooklyn Tabernacle,” “People’s Pulpit,” “The Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence,” “Everybody’s Paper,” are so many aliases to gain entrance for their pernicious literature into unsuspecting houses.
“The Watch Tower” issue of September 15th, 1910, presents the following astonishing statement to its readers. Referring to Russell’s chief work, “Millennial Dawn,” alias “Studies in the Scriptures,” we read,
“If the six volumes of ‘Scripture Studies’ are practically the Bible, topically arranged, with Bible proof text given, we might not improperly name the volumes ‘The Bible in an arranged Form’. That is to say, they are not merely comments on the Bible, but they are practically the Bible itself.
“Furthermore, not only do we find that people cannot see the Divine plan in studying in the Bible by itself, but we see also that if anyone lays the ‘Scripture Studies’ aside, even after he has used them, after he has become familiar with them, after he has read them for ten years–if he then lays them aside and ignores them, and goes to the Bible alone, though he has understood his Bible for ten years, our experience shows that within two years he goes into darkness. On the other hand, if he had merely read the ‘Scripture Studies’ with the reference and had not read a page of the Bible as such he would be in the light at the end of the two years, because he would have the light of the Scriptures.”
No wonder that such a shocking statement led to some of Russell’s dupes getting their eyes opened, and leaving him. One group of the secessionists comments very justly upon this:—
“When man thus belittles God’s Word and makes his own superior to that of God, it seems to be nothing short of blasphemy. Reflect upon it, to confine one’s self to the Bible means outer darkness—to take the word of this one man and never read a page of the Bible means to be in the light.”
Surely if ever statement hoped to succeed by sheer assumption it is this we have just quoted from “The Watch Tower,” but to every thoughtful mind it will carry its own condemnation in no uncertain way.
Let us examine in brief detail “Pastor” Russell’s theories. To begin with he announces that
Christ’s Second Coming occurred in 1874
He makes a great show of appealing to Scripture, and will bind himself to a literal interpretation when it suits him. But we shall have to show, in the course of our brief examination, that he handles the Word of God deceitfully.
Examine the following cool statement in the light of Scripture.
“In view of the evidences presented in this, and the preceding and following chapters, we have no hesitation in announcing the heart-cheering intelligence . . . that the Master is again present . . . though his presence is graciously veiled from human sight” (Vol. i., p. 156).
“The harvest of this age began with the presence of the Lord at the beginning of earth’s great Jubilee in 1874 . . . and ends with the overthrow of Gentile Power in A.D. 1914—a period of forty years” (Vol. ii., p. 234).
But can this claim be substantiated? Even “Pastor” Russell has his doubts, and asks his readers to make up in credulity what he lacks in proof.
“Pastor” Russell Confesses Inability to furnish Scriptural Proof
“The reader . . . must not expect to have passages of Scripture pointed out in which these matters and dates are plainly written. On the contrary, he must bear in mind that all these things have been hidden by the Lord in such manner that they could not be understood or appreciated, until the due time had come, and then only by his earnest, faithful children, who esteem truth more precious than rubies” (Vol. ii., p. 171).
The reader can read between the lines. “The due time had come,” when none other than Charles Taze Russell appeared upon the scene, and the Lord’s “earnest, faithful children” are those who swallow what Charles Taze Russell has to say—without proof.
The year 1914, was vastly important to Russell, for he prophesied that the Seven Times of the Gentiles would expire about October 1st, 1914. This statement was adhered to by Russell for years, but as the time drew near he began to be less dogmatic, and to cast about to find some way out of the difficulty.
In The Watch Tower (issued Nov. 15th, 1913), Russell has an article entitled, “What course should we take?” He tells us of a farmer, who suggested that if the Church was to be gathered before October 1914, he would be inclined to quit farming and spend the year in colporteur work, as he would have sufficient money to do this if he were to mortgage his farm or sell it. The wily pastor advised this farmer that such a proposal would be unwise unless he were unencumbered. If unencumbered it would be a good thing to give a year to the lord’s work, “and at the close of the year [he] might hope in any event to be in reasonable health and as capable as ever of earning a living.” There is not much certainty about this.
Then Russell says later on, “The fact is that, notwithstanding the strength of our position and our hope that it may be true, it is nevertheless of faith and not of knowledge.” The fact is it was neither faith nor knowledge. Evidently the “Pastor’s” thoughts had not been very comfortable. He says, “The thought has been borne in upon the Editor [that is himself] very forcefully during the past two weeks, that to expect the world’s great trouble to begin on or before October 1st, 1914, would be to expect astounding things during the intervening months.”
Russell concludes his extraordinary article, “We state with positiveness the opinions of the writer and the reasons thereof, but leave the final decision with each head and heart in all matters, without attempting more.” How modest! How unlike his previous dogmatic utterances!
A man proved guilty of conduct sufficient to enable his wife to diverse him, of fraud, of swearing deceitfully on oath, is not likely to have his opinions as to the end of the world or of anything else received either by the head or heart of any intelligent, upright person. One verse completely upsets “Pastor” Russell’s claim 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” (Matt. 23:36).
Our Lord says “no man” knows. Then evidently Russell does not know.
And when we come to Bible details as to the coming of Christ, he fares no better. He tells us the Lord has come to earth. Scripture tells us He will first catch up His own to heaven. Russell tells us He came secretly, graciously veiling His presence from human sight. Scripture tells us the believers will see Him when He comes. For proof let the following Scriptures give Russell the lie direct.
“The dead in Christ shall rise first: then we [believers] which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thess. 4:16-17).
“We know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him: for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2).
C.T. Russell does not appear to have any idea as to the difference between the Lord coming for His people, catching them up to heaven, and then coming with His people to reign upon the earth. As to this latter event he fares no better. We read of the Lord Jesus:—
“Behold, He cometh with clouds: and every eye shall see Him” (Rev. 1:7).
Yet again C.T. Russell says:—
“We must not expect him to come again as a human being, as at the first advent” (Vol. ii., p. 107).
“This same Jesus . . . shall so come in like manner as . . . ye have seen Him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11).
How completely Scripture refutes the statements of Millennial Dawnism.
Russell Unsound on Verbal Inspiration
The authority of Holy Scripture is gone if the following extracts are true:—
“The credibility of these historic portions of the Bible rests almost entirely upon the characters and motives of their writers. Good men will not utter falsehoods” (Vol. i., p. 42).
“It in no way invalidates the truthfulness of certain books of the Bible, such as Kings, Chronicles, Judges, etc., when we say that they are simply and carefully kept histories of prominent events and persons of their times” (Vol. i., p. 42).
“Were it [the Bible] not a history, but simply a treatise on morals, other historic facts recorded in the Bible might without detriment be omitted, though no one can reasonably say that the Bible countenances impurity” (Vol. i., p. 43).
To attempt to build up a system, and ask serious men and women to stake their all for time and eternity on no better foundation than a book C.T. Russell claims he could revise to profit, and which in parts, he dares to say, is no more reliable than carefully written books of profane history, is to court ultimate failure and disaster.
Russell says Earth’s Great Jubilee is come. Governmental reforms; abolition of standing armies; of titled aristocracy; of landlordism, save as of necessity, and ability and willingness to serve; temperance reform; the formation of humane societies; anti-adulteration societies, examining into adulteration of foods, all convince him that the Jubilee Trumpet, is sounding. Most of the programme will remind the student of Scripture of the signs of “the last days” when “perilous times shall come,” of Syndicalism, lawlessness, unrest, of anything but the Jubilee of peace.
Russell Unsound as to the Person of Christ
It is a common feature with all these “religious extravagances,” as Professor Moorehead aptly styles them, that they are absolutely unsound as to the Person of Christ. This marks their origin as from the bottomless pit.
“Pastor” Russell is pre-eminent in this respect, for he invents a theory all his own, the blasphemy of which one dislikes intensely having to pen. But it is necessary for our purpose to expose the lengths to which the unregenerate mind will go when under the influence of “spiritual wickedness in high places.”
“Neither was Jesus a combination of the two natures, human and spiritual. The blending of two natures produces neither the one nor the other, but an imperfect, hybrid thing, which is obnoxious to the divine arrangement. When Jesus was in the flesh he was a perfect human being; previous to that time he was a perfect spiritual being; and since his resurrection he is a perfect spiritual being of the highest divine order” (Vol. i., p. 179).
“Thus we see that in Jesus there was no mixture of natures, but that twice he experienced a change of natures; first, from spiritual to human; afterward from human to the highest order of spiritual nature, the divine; and in each case the one was given up for the other” (Vol. 1., p. 180).
There is no mistaking this language. The deity of the Lord Jesus is denied in toto. For if it could be predicated of Him in the days of His flesh that He was God; then it follows He was ever God, uncreated, self-sustained, that He could never be less than God, nor cease to be God. One Scripture suffices:—
“Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen” (Rom. 9:5).
“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty” (Rev. 1:8).
“I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the las.” (Rev. 1:11).
Nor are we left in the slightest doubt as to whom this refers, for the Lord said to the Apostle John, as the One thus introduced.
“I am He that liveth, and was dead; and behold I am alive for evermore” (Rev. 1:18).
C.T. Russell tells us the Lord absolutely ceased to be a spiritual being when He became a man. If He was, according to this teaching a man, without previous history, as all of us were, then it follows that the previous spiritual being was annihilated, and C. T. Russell comes under the withering rebuke and exposure of Scripture:—
“Every spirit that confesseth not Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof we have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world” (1 John 4:3).
Scripture plainly brands such teaching as anti-christian.
Then again, we are told by “Pastor” Russell that the Lord absolutely ceased to be a man when He died on the cross. This is annihilation again.
Yet Thomas recognized Him in resurrection by the wounds in His hands and side, exclaiming,
“My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28).
Russell Denies the Resurrection of Christ
“Our Lord’s human body was, however, supernaturally removed from the tomb; because had it remained there it would have been an insurmountable obstacle to the faith of the disciples, who were not yet instructed in spiritual things, for ‘the Spirit was not yet given’ (John 7:39). We know nothing about what became of it, except that it did not decay or corrupt (Acts 2:27, 31), whether it was dissolved into gases, or whether it is still preserved somewhere as the grand memorial of God’s love, of Christ’s obedience, and of our redemption, no one knows; nor is such knowledge necessary” (Vol. ii., pp. 129-130).
His theory that death means annihilation of the personality drives him into a corner, and the only way he can get out of the difficulty is by boldly inventing a brand new theory of his own. “Pastor” Russell professes to go by Scripture—never was there a more dishonest and hypocritical profession. Where is there a line in Scripture to support the above extraordinary statement, a veritable patchwork of impious guesses and blasphemous assertions?
If “Pastor” Russell’s theory is that death means annihilation of the person, then we can understand his bold statement that the Lord ceased to be man in every sense of the word at death, never to take up manhood again; His body thrown aside as worthless, never to he required again, involving the creation of a superior spiritual being, higher than He was before!
Thus resurrection is denied. The witnesses to Christ’s resurrection are lightly brushed aside as of no moment. The inspired reasoning of 1 Corinthians 15 is of no account. In their place we are given fantastic blasphemies and impious guesses. What respect can we have for the heart or the head of the dupes who are deceived by the vain imaginings of the American deceiver? Let one short, powerful verse for ever sweep aside this flimsy cobweb, sprung from the imagination of an unregenerate mind:—
“If Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins” (1 Cor. 15:17).
“Pastor” Russell finds Scripture speaking of Christ in resurrection in such exalted language that again he is placed in a difficulty. The way out of the difficulty is another invention as blasphemous as the last.
“We learn that Jehovah, who alone possessed immortality originally, has highly exalted his Son, our Lord Jesus, to the same divine, immortal nature; hence he is now the express image of the Father’s person (Heb. 1:3). So we read, ‘As the Father hath LIFE IN HIMSELF’ [God’s definition of ‘immortality’—life in himself—not drawn from other sources, nor dependent on circumstances, but independent, inherent life]; ‘so hath He given to the Son to have LIFE IN HIMSELF’ (John 5:26)” (Vol i., p. 211).
If immortality is life “not drawn from other sources,” then it is a contradiction of terms to say that God invested the Lord Jesus with it. If it is not dependent on circumstances, why does “Pastor” Russell tell us that it is the reward given to a perfect human life down here? He tells us “immortality” is incommunicable and before the ink is dry on his pen tells us it is communicable. It is impossible to believe both statements.
Fancy the reward of a perfect human life being to lift the creature into Godhead and make him independent of Godhead. “Pastor” Russell ridicules the idea of the Trinity, and yet invents a theory of two separate Gods, each independent of the other, each with “life in Himself,” inherent, independent, not drawn from other sources, nor dependent on circumstances, and yet the one God creates the other God. What a jumble of ideas! What a farrago of nonsense! The question may well be asked in astonishment,
Can Blashemy Rise Higher?
It will certainly astonish the reader when we have to say it does. Imagination has run completely riot with “Pastor” Russell. He says:—
“Since the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, these two beings are immortal; and, amazing grace, the same offer is made to the Bride of the Lamb, being selected during the gospel age. Yet not all of the great company who are nominally of the Church will receive this great prize, but only that “little flock” of overcomers who so run as to obtain it. . . . These, when born from the dead in the resurrection, will have the divine nature and form. This immortality, the independent, self-existent divine nature is the life to which the narrow way leads” (Vol. i., p. 211).
One feels inclined to rub one’s eyes, and wonder if one can be dreaming. But no, this is, word for word, extracted from Millennial Dawn. Not content with two beings having “independent immortality,” he adds indefinitely to their number. Could self-flattery go further? Could bribe be more specious, if it was not so utterly overdone? Charles Taze Russell and his faithful dupes to be equal in deity with God the Father and the Lord Jesus. I put it down in its repulsive nakedness, for it will take that, and nothing less, to awake those who have been duped out of their foolish dreams. Again, where is there a line of Scripture to justify such folly? Not one.
“Pastor” Russell teaches Universalism
“Everything that mankind lost by the first Adam is to be restored by the second Adam . . . although we are not Universalists yet we claim the right to use, and believe, and rejoice in every testimony of God’s Word. It reads, ‘We trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe’ (1 Tim. 4:10). Here are two classes of saved ones—all the world, and believers. All are to be saved from the Adamic death” (Vol. i., p. 106).
“Here we merely call attention to the fact that it will be a tolerable time for Capernaum, and yet more tolerable for Sodom . . . and if Capernaum and all Israel are to be remembered and blessed under the ‘New Covenant,’ sealed by the blood of Jesus, why should not the Sodomites also be blessed among all the families of the earth ? They assuredly will be” (Vol. i., p. 110).
Spite of the assurance that he is not an Universalist, what does this teach? Universalism pure and simple. “All men” quoted from 1 Timothy 4:10, are all men, and “Pastor” Russell says of them, “all are to be saved from the Adamic death.” But “Pastor” Russell is unfortunate in his choice of 1 Timothy 4:10. It is generally admitted that the word “Saviour” has reference in this passage to temporal salvation, in the sense of providential preservation. A glance at the context will prove this. We can quote passages where the word is so used. 2 Kings 13:5 and Nehemiah 9:27 refer to the judges of Israel as saviours. In Acts 27:31, “Paul said to the centurion, Except these abide in the ship, ye “cannot be saved”—most evidently referring to temporal salvation.
Then see how dishonest is the allusion to Capernaum. “Pastor” Russell gives a positive meaning to tolerable, whereas it is a word used to bring out a contrast. The Saviour did not say that Capernaum would have a tolerable time. On the contrary, He showed the extreme gravity of its sin by contrasting its greater privileges with the lesser privileges of Sodom, foretelling its doom in the solemn words:—
“And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell” (Matt. 11:23).
Yet “Pastor” Russell calmly says Capernaum is to be blessed, and pays no heed to this plain and solemn statement of her doom. Is this honest?
Russell teaches a Second Chance after Death
He says, referring to the subject just discussed,
“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. i., p. 130).
“Pastor” Russell’s theories know nothing of “a great gulf fixed,” they know nothing of the solemn meanings of such Scriptures as:—
“He that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36).
They know nothing of the solemn teaching of Scripture of the great white throne where in a vision “the dead, small and great, stand before God,” and where
“Whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Rev. 20:15).
That vision will, alas! soon become a reality. How kind is this warning! No hint is given there as to a second chance.
And why should men be so anxious to have a second chance? Why want a second chance, when they refuse the first? It is because they want to live without God in this world. They want to enjoy “the pleasures of sin.” It is a theory invented by Satan, whereby multitudes are lulled to deadly indifference as to their soul’s salvation.
“The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God” (Ps. 9:17).
“The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ; who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord” (2 Thess. 1:7-9).
Does this look like a second chance? What multitudes of solemn passages ignored by “Pastor” Russell could be quoted, if space permitted! We earnestly urge the reader to study the Word of God for himself. It speaks for itself. How true it is if the Bible is read, and “Scripture Studies” set aside that the reader will soon get into darkness—darkness as to “Millennial Dawnism,” but light as to God’s truth.
The foregoing quotations as to Universalism, despite the disclaimer made, teach Universalism without a qualifying clause. The reader by this time will be quite prepared to find “Pastor” Russell contradicting his own words.
His teaching to a large extent is Universalism, and where it is not that,
Russell teaches Annihilationism, and denies Everlasting Punishment
“None will be permitted to have everlasting life who then in the slightest degree fall short of perfection. To fall short of perfection, then, will be to sin wilfully against full light and perfect ability. Any who sin wilfully against full light and ability, will die the second death. . . . The obedient class are shown to be the more numerous. They enter into everlasting life, and the others are remanded to death (extinction), the same sentence as in the first judgment, from which they have been released by the payment of a ransom—by the death of Christ. This will be their second death. No ransom will be given them, and there will be no release or resurrection for them” (Vol. i., p. 144).
“This sin hath never forgiveness, and its penalty the second death, will be everlasting—not everlasting dying—but everlasting death—a death unbroken by a resurrection” (Vol. i., p. 157).
With the denial of eternal punishment we have always held that weak, and vague, and imperfect views of the Gospel will be found accompanying, if not a denial of the Gospel itself.
In this quotation we find the Gospel is perverted and in effect denied. The atoning death of Christ is said to only cover the judgment of the first death, and only secures a second chance where the first has been refused. And as to everlasting life, it is, according to Russell, earned by absolute perfection, for any who fall from perfection in the slightest degree will die the second death—will be annihilated.
An Extraordinary Contradiction
Let the candid reader compare the following extracts. Surely “Pastor” Russell forgets on one page what he says on another.
“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” (Vol. i., p. 150).
“Let no one hastily suppose that there is in this view anything in conflict with the teaching of the Scriptures that faith toward God, repentance for sin, and reformation of character are indispensable for salvation” (Vol. i., p. 158).
There is certainly no need to hastily come to any such conclusion, though to that conclusion we have certainly arrived. Such views conflict most seriously and fundamentally with the Gospel of God.
“Pastor” Russell says everlasting life is not given to any man during this present time.
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, HATH EVERLASTING LIFE” (John 5:24).
“He that believeth on the Son HATH EVERLASTING LIFE” (John 3:36).
“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may KNOW that YE HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE” (1 John 5:13).
I would rather believe God’s truth than “Pastor” Russell’s lie. Can it be possible that he hopes to delude any thoughtful person by such a perversion of the Gospel?
Russell teaches the Non-existence of the Dead
“As the natural sleep, if sound, implies total unconsciousness, so with death, the figurative sleep;—it is a period of absolute unconsciousness—more than that, it a period of absolute non-existence except as preserved in the Father’s purpose and love.”
“Pastor” Russell is nothing if he is not bold. He knows there are credulous people in the world, who will be duped by his dogmatic statements of error. He goes a step beyond those who teach the soul-sleeping heresy, and boldly avows extinction at death. Where is resurrection? Gone! Where is the testimony of Scripture? Ignored or denied!
For Scripture soon overthrows such teaching. The statements made by the Lord Himself in Luke 16 teach otherwise. There the rich man dies, and is buried, and according to “Pastor” Russell is entirely non-existent. But Scripture goes on without a break,
“And in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torment.”
“Pastor” Russell says, “It is a period of absolute unconsciousness.” But torment is consciousness. Lifting up his eyes is consciousness. Whether the language be taken literally or symbolically matters not—it conveys the sense of full consciousness. Further, the rich man sees Lazarus in Abraham’s bosom. But according to “Pastor” Russell, Abraham is “absolutely non-existent.”
Take also the scene in the Mount of Transfiguration. Moses and Elias appear in the glory with the Lord. Yet, according to “Pastor” Russell, Moses and Elias are in a state of “absolute non-existence,” and therefore of “absolute unconsciousness.” But men absolutely unconscious do not talk, and Moses and Elias conversed, and the subject of their conversation is given in the sacred record.
The Apostle Paul, too, knew no such theory as soul-sleep or annihilation. He wrote:—
“I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ, which is far better” (Phil. 1:23).
“We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord” (2 Cor. 5:8).
On such plain statements of Holy Writ dying saints have pillowed their souls, and passed away in the full and confident expectation of being with the Lord, as surely as the dying thief did, when the Lord said to him,
“TODAY, shalt thou be with Me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43).
And that was said to him on the very day that he died. There was no hint of soul-sleeping doctrine, or of extinction of being.
Enough has been written to expose the soul-withering blasphemies of Millennial Dawnism. To take up every point, and in detail, would have been to enlarge a pamphlet into a bulky volume.
Referring to the statement that more money rolled in unsought than could be found outlet for, a large influential London Daily commented that there are still to be found large numbers of men and women who are willing to pay anyone handsomely who will tell them there is no hell. This is the whole secret of the popularity of this heresy.
The writer has thought it well to use the late C.T. Russell’s self-assumed title of Pastor in exposing his blasphemous system, as it is under this title he endeavoured to familiarize himself with the public. He was, however, no pastor of Christ, but in reality a wolf in sheep’s clothing, bent on the destruction of the flock.
It is no Millennial Dawn we have been considering, but, indeed, lurid vapourings from the very pit of hell.
May God preserve the reader from soul-destroying error is the earnest prayer of the writer.