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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Charles T. Russell and the Bible Examiner

George Storrs, was publisher of the magazine Bible Examiner, in Brooklyn, New York. Storrs, who was born on December 13, 1796, was initially stimulated to examine what the Bible says about the condition of the dead as a result of reading something published (though at the time anonymously) by a careful student of the Bible, Henry Grew, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Storrs became a zealous advocate of what was called conditional immortality—the teaching that the soul is mortal and that immortality is a gift to be attained by faithful Christians. He also reasoned that since the wicked do not have immortality, there is no eternal torment. Storrs traveled extensively, lecturing on the subject of no immortality for the wicked. Among his published works was the Six Sermons, which eventually attained a distribution of 200,000 copies. Without a doubt, Storrs’ strong Bible-based views on the mortality of the soul as well as the atonement and restitution (restoration of what was lost due to Adamic sin; Acts 3:21) had a strong, positive influence on young Charles T. Russell.

The Bible Examiner
October 1876


By Chas. T. Russell

“Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” -Luke 21:24.

Doubtless our Lord intended to communicate to His disciples some knowledge, and possibly it was addressed more to the disciples in our day, than to the early church.

Let us then search what times the prophecy, which was in Christ, did signify. Of course, if it beone of the secret things of God, we cannot find out; but if a secret, why should Jesus mention it? If, on the contrary, it is revealed it belongs to us. Shall we guess and suppose? No: let us go to God’s treasure-house; let us search the Scriptures for the key.

Jesus does not foretell its treading under foot of the Gentiles, as Rome had her foot upon themat that time. He does tell us, however, how long it will continue so, even the disciples thought “that it was he which should have DELIVERED Israel.”

We believe that God has given the key. We believe He doeth nothing but he revealeth it unto His servants. Do we not find part of the key in Lev. 26:27, 33? “I, even I will chastise you seven times for your sins: . . . and I will bring your land into desolation . . . and will scatter you among the heathen.” Israel did not hearken unto the Lord, but disobeyed him, and this prophecy is now being fulfilled, and has been since the days of Zedekiah, when God said, “Remove the diadem, take off the crown, . . . I will overturn, overturn, overturn it, . . . until He comes whose right it is, and I will give it unto Him.” Comparing these Scriptures, we learn, that God has scattered Israel for a period of seven times, or until “he comes whose right” the Government is, and puts an end to Gentile rule or government. This gives us a clue at least, as to how long until the Jews are delivered. Further, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, the head of gold, is recognized by God asthe representative of the beast, or Gentile Governments. “A king of kings and wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field, and the fowls of the air, hath God given into hishand.” Dan. 2:38. God had taken the crown off Zedekiah and declared the Image, of which Nebuchadnezzar is the head, ruler of the world until the kingdom of God takes its place (smitingit on its feet); and, as this is the same time at which Israel is to be delivered, (for “Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled”), we here get our second clue, viz.: these two events, noted of the Scriptures of truth-“Times of Gentiles,” and “Treading of Jerusalem,” are parallel periods, commencing at the same time and ending at the same time; and, as in the case of Israel, their degradation was to be for seven times, so with the dominion of the Image; it lasts seven times; for, when in his pride the “Head of Gold” ignored“ The God of heaven,” the glory of that kingdom (which God gave him, as a representative of the Image,) departed, and it took on its beastly character, which lasts seven times. Dan 4:23 – and, (prefigured by the personal degradation for seven years, of Nebuchadnazzar, the representative) until the time comes when they shall acknowledge, and “give honor to the Most High, whose Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom.” Dan 4:34: for all the ends of the earth shall remember andturn unto the Lord when He is the Governor among the nations.

Our next question naturally, is, How long are seven times? Does God in his word, furnish usany clue from which to determine the length of that period? Yes, in Revelations we learn that three and one-half times, 42 months, and 1260 prophetic days, literal years, are the same (it has for years been so accepted by the church,) and it was so fulfilled: if three and one-half times are 1260 years, seven times would be twice as much, i.e., 2520 years. At the commencement of our Christian era, 606 years of this time had passed, (70 years captivity, and 536 from Cyrus to Christ) which deducted from 2520, would show that the seven times will end in A.D. 1914; when Jerusalem shall be delivered forever, and the Jew say of the Deliverer, “Lo, this is our God, we have waited for Him and He will save us.” When Gentile Governments shall have been dashed to pieces; when God shall have poured out of his fury upon the nation, and they acknowledge, him King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

But, some one will say, “If the Lord intended that we should know, He would have told usplainly and distinctly how long.” But, no, brethren, He never does so. The Bible is to be a light to God’s children;--to the world, foolishness. Many of its writings are solely for our edification upon whom the ends of the world are come. As well say that God should have put the gold on top instead of in the bowels of the earth it would be too common; it would lose much of its value. So with truth; but, “to you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom.

We will ask, but not now answer, another question: If the Gentile Times end in 1914, (and there are many other and clearer evidences pointing to the same time) and we are told that it shall be with fury poured out; at time of trouble such as never was before, nor ever shall be; a day of wrath, etc., how long before does the church escape? as Jesus says, “watch, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape those things coming upon the world.”

Brethren, the taking by Christ of His Bride, is evidently, one of the first acts in the Judgment; for judgment must begin at the house of God.

W. Philadelphia.


The Bible Examiner
February 1877

Coming Events Cast Their Shadows Before

By Chas. T. Russell

"See thou make every thing after the pattern," was God's command to Moses; and Paul, by the same Spirit declares that "the law was a shadow of good things to come;" and so, now, we find it: these types and shadows, after lying dormant for ages, awake, and speak to us with double force as we realize the fulfillment of many and mark the speed with which others hasten toward accomplishment.

Christ came to fulfill the Law and the Prophets; yes, but not all of them. He fulfilled that part of them which referred to His first advent but only a small proportion of either law or Prophets referred to that event. The greater are yet unfulfilled; and, that we remember the words of the Master, "not one jot or tittle of the law shall fail, until all be fulfilled:" and, "It is easier for heaven and earth to pass than that one jot or tittle of the law should fail."

Nor must we look for all of them to be fulfilled before Christ's second coming; many of them reach far into the next age. Let us examine, hastily, the first ordinance under the law, given to the children of Israel, "The Passover." This, by many good people, is considered fulfilled already: but Jesus settles that point, for He tells his disciples (Luke 22:16), "I will no more eat thereof until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God." Nor could it be; "Christ our Passover (Lamb) is slain," and we since that event have been eating his flesh, appropriating Him to ourselves that we may have Christ formed in us the hope of glory: for "except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, ye have no life in you." As the "fleshly house" of Israel ate the fleshly lamb and sprinkled its blood upon the door posts and lintel, so the spiritual house of Israel eat of the "Lamb of God," and "are made partakers of the Divine nature," and have their "hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience. But all Israel were not passed over by the Destroying Angel:-assuredly not; only the first-born of spiritual Israel are on trial now; they are to be unto God "a kind of first fruits of His creatures;" the great mass of the family are not now on trial; many of them doubtless will be tried during the time of trouble coming upon the world, the possible parallel of the forty years in the wilderness; for, many shall come up out of (or, after) great tribulation, having washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb;" yet, there is something which is to Pass-over these first-born of these spiritual Israel. Yes, Jesus knew of it and warned us to "Watch that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things coming upon the world, and stand before the Son of man." "They shall be mine, saith the Lord of Hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them as a man spareth his own son that serveth him."

Brethren, is this time of trouble near at hand? If so, let us lift up our heads and rejoice. The same signs which show it is near, show our deliverance is near also, "even at the doors." Lift up your heads: your redemption draweth nigh. These things are engaging the minds of God's children everywhere, --I mean the "Jewels." There is no an "Ana" nor a "Simeon" waiting for the consolation of Israel, that will not be watching and looking for Him when He comes for those Jewels; for, "It is unto those who look for Him, he will appear.

As an illustration, I recently came to know of four ladies, who, although uninstructed by any one, had come, through studying the Word, to a knowledge of the second coming of Christ, and met once every week for over a year to pray for that event. These dear Jewels belong to various churches, Presbyterians, Methodists, etc., and are evidently children led by the Spirit of God, which is to guide the flock into all truth.

Let us, brethren be on our watch, lest He come as thief. We are not in darkness that that day should overtake us as a thief. Though He comes in this way to all the world, we "are not of the world."

If the Lord permit, we will, under this same heading, take up various types, shadows and parallels, at a future time and endeavor, by his aid to trace them to their substance.

Pittsburgh, PA


The Bible Examiner
March 1877

Coming Events Cast Their Shadows Before

By Chas. T. Russell

Abraham's Sacrifice, -- The Smitten Rock, --Moses' Vail.

The light of Divine Revelation, in the providence of God, almost every Bible truth is to cast its shadow: hence, "the Law is a shadow of good things to come;" "there shall not one jot or title of it fail until all be fulfilled." The Gospel (good news) was preached to them (those under the Law) as well as to us;" but they failed to receive it, not mixing with it faith in that to which it pointed. Let us recognize not merely the letter of the Law but that which it teaches also.

Abraham, as a type, represents God: Isaac, Christ. As Abraham offered up, Isaac, his only begotten son, (Heb. 11:17) the head of the promised seed, so God freely gave His only begotten Son to die, "who is the head of the Church" ­ His body. Isaac was under condemnation to death three days during the journey to the mount of sacrifice. Jesus was under the dominion of death three days. God raised him up from the dead. ­Abraham received Isaac from the dead in a figure. Heb. 11:19. Again, Abraham chose a wife for Isaac. God is choosing the Bride of Christ. He has visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name; they are called and chosen and faithful; and Jesus testified, "no man can come unto me, except the Father, which sent me draw him." Abraham sent his servant for the Bride of Isaac. God has sent His servants, the apostles, and prophets, etc., to call the Bride of Christ. Paul says, "I have espoused you as chaste virgins unto one husband, even Christ." (2 Cor. 11:2.) And oh! How sweet the thought, to those who love his appearing, that this people taken out for His Name are soon to receive it. (Rev. 2:17.) "Let us be glad and rejoice and give glory; to God for the marriage of the Lamb is come and His wife hath made herself ready." (Rev. 14:7.) Even this union of Christ, the second Adam, and his bride, seems shadowed forth in the first Adam and his wife." Eve was made of Adam's rib; bone of his bone. We, the Bride of Christ, are formed of God in Christ a new creature. We are made partakers of the divine nature; for if we have not the spirit of Christ, we are none of his. Adam, the first, created in the flesh. Christ, the beginning of the new creation of God, the spiritual. Adam the father of all earthy; Christ "shall be called the Everlasting Father" of the spiritual family. Eve was "the mother of all living:" the Lamb's wife, the "New Jerusalem," is to be the mother of all who shall enter the spiritual life; and none of the children can enter life until the Bride is united to Christ: then "the Spirit and the Bride will say, come, and whosoever will may come and the water of life if free." (Rev. 22:17.)

A type of the unpardonable sin is found, I think, in Num. 20:11, where Moses smote the rock with the rod twice. St. Paul said that rock was Christ. (1 Cor. 10:4.) The prophet said they should smite the shepherd of Israel on the cheek; and we find it was literally fulfilled but only once. Some, according to St. Paul, crucify Christ afresh and put him to an open shame. (Heb. 6:6,) therefore committing the sin unto death," they cannot enter the Heavenly Canaan. Moses did this, in type, and on that account was not allowed to enter the goodly land. Another thought which this suggests is, the sanctity in God's sight of types. Moses' sin was in spoiling a type. If baptism is a type of our burial and resurrection, it makes the form of more consequence than many have supposed it to be. Instance: Christ was not buried and raised three times; hence trine- immersion, to the writer, would appear to spoil the type.


Moses exercised the offices of prophet, priest, and chief ruler, and was, as such, a type of Christ: "A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you like me." When Moses came down from the Mount, from the presence of the Lord, his face shone, so that the children of Israel could not steadfastly behold him; and by divine command he put on a vail, so that he could communicate with them.

We understand that Moses typified the glorified body of Christ, (the church of the first-born) in their intercourse with the nations in the flesh during the Restitution Age. "If the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory." (2 Cor. 3:9.) Notice how beautiful he type appears to fit. Many Scriptures plainly inform us that the saints are to be kings and priests and reign on the earth, over the nations in the flesh: Yet we know that if a glorified spiritual body, such as John saw Christ to be, (and "we shall be fashioned like unto His glorious body,") at whose feet he falls as a dead man, (Rev. 1:17,) or such an one as Daniel the prophet saw, of which he says, "Straightway there was no strength left in me," before whom he falls as dead; or like our Lord as seen by Saul of Tarsus, shining above the brightness of the sun at noon-day, so glorious as to blind him; I say, if such beings were to appear to the natural man, the very object would be defeated-he could not receive instruction from such a being; and yet that is as certainly to be our appearance as that "as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall bear the image of the heavenly," and be like unto the angels of God." But we shall appear to mortals, of the next age, as angels did in past ages, i.e., under the vail, that is to say, the flesh. (Heb. 10:20.) In this way the Lord and two angels appeared to Abraham as common men; and so Jesus, after His resurrection, appeared to His disciples; and so I understand the saints, (as did Moses in the type,) when in communication with mortals, appear under the vail. When not so engaged they can enter into that within or beyond the vail-the presence of God their spiritual condition.

Pittsburgh, PA

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