Once more we find it a privilege and pleasure to present a treatise on That Wise and Faithful Servant, whom the Lord made “ruler over all His goods.” (Matt. 24:45-47) The Scriptures give more on Brother Russell than of any other individual, except our Lord, in type and direct Scripture. It behooves all of us who have benefited from his faithful ministry to honor him, and more particularly to abide in the beautiful system of truth that he left us – and to study, spread and practice the Truth all the more as the “evil day” progresses.
All who abide in “present truth” do not accept the many errors of our day – errors that set aside the fundamental truth in which we have been established.
THESE NINETY SEVEN YEARS TO DATE
That Servant entered into his reward Oct. 31, 1916 and since that time the Adversary has done all in his power to distort the Truth in every way possible, by setting it aside for “new light,” by perverting the Truth and by revolutionizing against the Truth. All those who have “continued in the Truth” once delivered unto the faithful are much saddened to witness such distortions, etc. Some have gone from one Levitical group to another, hoping to find the pure faith and some have come to the conclusion that they would separate themselves from all groups. We believe that is a mistake, because there are yet others of like mind who seek to “abide in His Word,” and who are keeping up the “good fight,” in upholding and defending the faith. Such a course is the only way we can be faithful to the Lord, the Truth and the brethren. We are to “lay down our lives for the brethren,” and we cannot do that if we isolate ourselves and refuse to hold up the standard because we do not want to “stand the heat of the day.” The Truth received into “good and honest hearts” makes us “good soldiers;” it does not make cowards of us. If we have a cowardly spirit, the Lord did not give it to us.
“For God did not give to us a Cowardly Spirit, but one of Power, and of Love, and of a Sound mind.” (2 Tim. 1:7, Dia.)
And the Apostle Paul tells us: “Retain an Outline of Wholesome Words, which thou didst hear from me, in That Faith and Love which are in Christ Jesus. Guard the Good Entrusted charge, through that Holy Spirit which dwells in us. Thou knowest this that all those in Asia turned away from me: of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.” (2 Tim. 1:13–15, Dia.)
Our Pastor knew that he was the antitype of Daniel, as he indicated by two paintings prepared for, but not used as, Photo–Drama slides. One of these slides interpreted the antitypical handwriting on the wall and one on Pastor Russell in the critics’ den, which was reproduced in plate cut on the back of a Bible Students’ Monthly and in the 1913 Convention Report. Daniel does not type our Pastor in all the latter’s relations, but only in his relations to the world as a teacher on subjects pertinent to the world and on some of the relations of the Church to the World. In this treatise we do not write in a spirit of “angel worship,” but in appreciation of his faithful ministry and “labor of love” toward all God’s people.
In Chapter One the account of Daniel’s education for the position of a statesman in Babylon is set forth. Here Nebuchadnezzar types the nominal people of God. Ashpenaz (v. 3) types the chief leaders in the nominal church, such as supervised the subordinate teachers of the nominal church, and such as particularly supervised the educational arrangements of Christendom’s prospective teachers. It was the desire of the nominal people of God (vs. 3,4) that the most gifted and promising young men be selected for training as teachers of their views in symbolic Babylon. As Daniel (vs. 4,6) was one of those chosen for such educational opportunities in literal Babylon, so was Brother Russell chosen by those nominal Christians with whom he associated as a religiously and intellectually promising young man to teach in the nominal church. And as the king (v. 5) provided that such students be fed from the royal table, so the nominal people of God arranged that the future teachers and leaders in symbolic Babylon be nourished on the religious diet that they themselves ate. As Daniel determined not to defile himself with the Levitically unclean meats (v. 8) of the King’s table, so Brother Russell determined that he would not defile himself with symbolic Babylon’s unclean doctrines. Since the story of how this happened is not generally known and should be preserved, we give it here in fair detail.
Brother Russell was born with a most exceptionally fine religious endowment. Before he was born his mother consecrated him to the Lord, and afterward gave him the most careful religious training within her ability. As he often said, he could not remember a time from childhood’s first memories onward when he was not consecrated. Early he showed his zeal in seeking to save people from Eternal Torment, among other ways, by his writing, at the age of 14, Scripture passages on the sidewalks and walls of houses, urging people to repent and believe. With such evangelical zeal at 16 years old, he sought to convert an infidel acquaintance. The latter asked him if he believed God to be perfect in wisdom, justice, love and power. On his replying “yes,” his acquaintance asked him how such a God could have absolutely predestined the vast majority of the race to eternal torment. The boy answered that he could not understand it.
Up to this time he had not thought deeply on this feature of his (the Congregational) church’s creed. Troubled by the question, he raised it in the circles of his church. Unable to get any satisfying answer, he expressed his doubts on the matter. The report spread in the church that he was on the way to becoming an infidel. The pastor and elders of the church appointed a special meeting to solve his questions. But instead, they only increased his doubts. They told him that the Bible taught that doctrine. He then said to them, “I believe God is perfect in wisdom, power, justice and love, and I will not believe anything contrary to His character to be a revelation from Him. Therefore I do not believe He gave the Bible as His revelation; for if He had given it as such, it would agree with His wisdom, power, justice and love.” It was at this stage wherein he decided he would never believe as a revelation of God anything contradictory to His character, that he antityped Daniel (v. 8), determining not to defile himself with levitically unclean meats; for he concluded that any doctrine contrary to God’s character is false. It will be noted that the stand that Brother Russell took on this matter of God’s character as a test of revealed religion, when he was 16 years old, he retained until death ended his course.
His pastor and elders, as representatives of the highest church authorities (v.9), thought highly of him; and his determination to accept only what harmonized with God’s character (“pulse”, v. 12) put them into considerable difficulty with the pertinent nominal people of God who would cut them off from their positions (“endanger my head to the king,” v.10), if they did not require of him to accept the Congregational creed in whole. But rather than lose so promising a young man, they conceded to him temporarily (ten days, v. 12) the privilege of subjecting all teachings to the rule of harmony with God’s character. Accordingly, we find Brother Russell as a youth of 16 a disbeliever, not actually, though ostensibly, in the Bible, but actually in the Calvinistic creed, which he was wrongly taught to be the right interpretation of the Bible.
He was of too religious and logical of mind to be content without a revealed religion. He therefore set out to learn what the true religion was, and to this end decided to investigate all religions until he would find out the true one. So he began with that of the Chinese, whose idea of the creation is this: In the beginning all was water. Then a god with a handful of earth boarded a boat and threw this earth into the water, where it grew into our present earth. That was enough of the Chinese religion for him! Worse absurdities than this made him reject Hinduism and Buddhism. The fact that Mohammedanism was partly based on the Old and New Testaments impelled him to reject it. And because Judaism was based in part on the Old Testament, he rejected it. Thus his rejection of the non–Christian religions left him for a while stranded high and dry on the shores of unbelief, though all the while he devoutly held to God as perfect in wisdom, justice, love and power and trusted Him as such.
But his religious disposition could not be content with no religion; and what to do troubled him. Finally he said to himself, I can at least believe so much of the Bible as is contained in the Golden Rule Godward and manward: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy mind, with all thy soul and with all thy strength... and thy neighbor as thyself (Matt. 22:37,39). Furthermore, he concluded that Jesus’ explanation of the law, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, as meaning: All things whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so unto them (Matt. 7:12), was correct. Thus he said, “I believe that much of the New Testament.” This prompted him to look up the context of Matt. 7:12, which he found to be a part of the Sermon on the Mount. He studied this in the light of God’s character and recognized it to be in harmony therewith. Therefore he accepted it. This moved him to desire to study more of Jesus’ teachings, which, accordingly, led him to study these as they are found elsewhere in the four Gospels. Always he found them in harmony with God’s character. This moved him not only to accept all of Jesus’ teachings in the Gospels as he understood them, but also greatly to appreciate Jesus as a teacher Divinely inspired. Such appreciation of Jesus’ teachings prompted him to want to know more of His life, which moved him to a study of the Gospels historically, resulting in his recognizing Jesus as a perfect human being and the Son of God. But up to then he rejected the New Testament, except the Gospels.
One day he noted the passage (John 16:12–14) wherein Jesus said that the Spirit would reveal to the Apostles such truths as Jesus would yet give them, and which they were as yet unable to bear. He desired to know what those teachings were. Hence he began to study the Acts, the Epistles and Revelation; and as he understood them he recognized their harmony with God’s character. Thus gradually, and upon a right foundation, he came to believe that the New Testament was the revelation of the God of wisdom, power, justice and love, in whom he had always believed. But the Old Testament he continued to reject. The following things gradually led him to believe in the Old Testament: He noticed that not only did Jesus and the Apostles quote from the Old Testament, but used such quotations to prove their doctrines. Hence he concluded that whatever they quoted from the Old Testament was true. On later thought he decided to study the connections from which these quotations were made; and these he found to be in harmony with the quotations themselves and God’s character. Hence he accepted the teachings of these contexts. This led him to study the connections of these contexts, and thus more and more of the Old Testament became clear to him until his faith was confirmed in the prophetic writings and in the historical writings which were closely interwoven with the prophetic writings. Still he suspected the books of Moses, except those parts quoted by Jesus and the Apostles; because he mistakenly was led to think that Moses made himself a dictator to Israel and established a priesthood that tyrannized over the people. But deeper study convinced him of his mistakes on these points; and he came to see that the Mosaic legislation was the most benevolent, and freedom, equality and fraternity-inspiring legislation ever inaugurated. Accordingly, he accepted also the Pentateuch as Divinely inspired; and thus his faith accepted the whole Bible.
He continued to study the Scriptures privately and in an independent Bible class at Allegheny, Pa.; and by l872, four years after he started out in quest of the Divine revelation, he not only accepted the entire Bible as that revelation, but also the following points as its main teachings: the unity of God; the Divine sonship of Jesus; the Spirit as God’s power and disposition; man’s fall from perfection into sin; death as sin’s penalty; the unconsciousness of the dead; the Ransom as guaranteeing an opportunity for the elect in this life and for the non–elect in the Millennium; the eternity of the physical universe; the destructtion of the symbolic world at Christ’s Second Advent; the Second Advent for the restitution of all things; eternal life in heaven for the elect, and on earth for the saved non–elect; and eternal annihilation for the incorrigible.
It was in 1875 that the antitype of Nebuchadnezzar’s examining Daniel (vs. 18-20) began. From 1872 to 1875 Brother Russell continued to increase in grace, knowledge and fruitfulness in service. It was in October, 1874, that he came to see that Jesus in His resurrection became a Spirit being, and that therefore He would not in His Second Advent come in flesh, but as a glorious Divine Spirit, and necessarily then would be invisible to human natural sight. He embodied these thoughts as well as those on the object of our Lord’s return in a tract entitled, The Object and Manner of Our Lord’s Return.
The wrongful teachings of the Adventists on the object and manner of our Lord’s return had raised more or less doubts and questions in many minds, and this aroused Brother Russell to write and spread that tract, which was circulated to the extent of 50,000 copies.
THE METAL-MAN DREAM
The second chapter of Daniel treats of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of the metallic image of a man with a golden head, silver shoulders and arms, brazen belly, iron thighs and legs, and feet and toes of a mixture of iron and clay, and of the stone which destroyed the image and then grew into a mountain, filling the entire earth. It is not our purpose in our study of Daniel – type and antitype – to point out the prophetic features of Daniel, since that is sufficiently done in Studies, Volume One, Two and Three. Here we limit our attention to the typical features of this book. Nor will we rehearse the typical features. Rather, we will merely indicate them by the citing of the verses in which they occur, asking our readers to have the book of Daniel open at the pertinent part for the sake of reference. In interpreting Daniel’s interpretation of the dream, our Pastor gave its prophetic teachings. At the same time, the entire story of Dan. 2 types something very interesting. Typically, this chapter sets forth the meaning of history under the rule of the nations during the Times of the Gentiles and the prophesied role of God’s Kingdom as the destroyer and successor of these. In this chapter, as in the preceding one, Nebuchadnezzar types the Gospel–Age nominal people of God, who, as such, have been in existence since the Jewish Harvest. His having the dream represents the nominal people of God having a proper view of the meaning of history as exemplified in the four universal Gentile powers and in their ten successor powers, and of the role of the prophesied Kingdom of God as their destroyer and successor; for the Apostles properly taught the early Christians that, as represented by the deterioration of the metals from gold to silver, from silver to brass, from brass to iron and from iron to a mixture of iron and clay, under the Gentile rule the race and its governments would become more and more fallen and depraved – and that when depravity would reach its height the kingdoms of this world would be destroyed by God’s Kingdom, which would stand forever. This, in brief, is the philosophy of human history under Gentile rule and the prophetic role of the Kingdom of God. And this view, taught by the Apostles, remained with the real and nominal people of God for several centuries.
The papacy’s teaching another theory of God’s Kingdom in its time and other relations to the kingdoms of this world darkened the subject; for it taught that it was God’s Kingdom commissioned to convert the world and rule over it for 1,000 years before Christ’s return, whereas it was the clay mingled with iron in the feet and toes. (The Jehovah’s Witnesses teach similarly about their organization in our day.) This view gradually caused the one given to the nominal people of God by the Apostles to be forgotten by them (the thing is gone from them, v. 5). For many centuries the true view was forgotten; and it was only beginning with the illumination, 1748, that nominal Christians began to demand an explanation of the meaning of history from the clergy (Chaldeans), the professors (magi), the historians (astrologers) and the prophets (sorcerers) of Christendom (v.2) Their inability to tell what was the early view of Christians thereon, as well as its meaning, was typed by the inability of Nebuchadnezzar’s wise men to tell the dream and its interpretation (vs. 4–11). The decree to slay the wise men of Babylon types the determination of the thinking members of the nominal church to set aside as their teachers (a symbolic killing) the wise men of Christendom. Arioch (vs. 14,15) represents those who led the people in setting aside such teachers, i.e., the free thinkers, higher critics, etc., who beginning about 1785, worked to undermine popular confidence in Christendom’s wise men as teachers. Undoubtedly, the prestige of such wise men was greatly decreased with ever–increasing numbers of nominal people of God from that time onward. Arioch’s seeking Daniel (v.13) represents that such free thinkers, higher critics, etc., sought to undermine Brother Russell as a teacher in Christendom. Daniel’s tact in dealing with Arioch (vs. 14,15) types Brother Russell’s tact in dealing with free thinkers, etc. Arioch’s telling Daniel the situation (v. 15) types the free thinkers, etc., telling the situation of the antitypical wise men to Brother Russell.
Daniel’s going to the king and obtaining time to consider and answer the matter (v. 16) represents Brother Russell’s standing before the nominal people of God as a teacher of religion and promising, if allowed due time, to solve the matter at hand. Daniel’s laying the matter before his three friends and asking their united prayers over the matter (vs. 17,18), represents Brother Russell’s habit of asking suggestions from the brethren when in difficulty and asking their prayers for Divine enlightenment, e.g., when he was perplexed over the meaning of the voice of the three signs (Reprint 4057, last par.). Members of the Bethel family will recall such things as occurring. This course he followed in the present instance. God’s revealing this matter to Daniel (v. 19) types God’s making known to Brother Russell the view of the early Christians on the meaning of history as exemplified in the Gentile rule and the prophesied role of God’s Kingdom. Daniel’s thanksgiving (vs. 19-23) types Brother Russell’s thanksgiving at this mercy of God. Daniel’s desiring Arioch not to destroy Babylon’s wise men (v. 24) represents Brother Russell’s refutation of the course of the free thinkers, etc., which was a hindrance to their object. With Arioch bringing Daniel to the king as one who would tell and interpret the dream (v. 25), types the free thinkers, etc., more or less praising Brother Russell, whose kindly manner and logical teachings favorably impressed them.
Nebuchadnezzar’s asking Daniel if he could give and interpret the dream (v.26) types the nominal people of God inquiring, i.e., searching Brother Russell’s teachings for an answer to the matter on hand. Daniel’s reminding Nebuchadnezzar that Babylon’s wise men could not answer his questions (v. 27) types Brother Russell’s statements that Christendom’s clergy, professors, learned ones, prophets and philosophers have been unable to answer the matter. Daniel’s attributing the implied wisdom, not to himself, but that it was of God, who as due revealed the knowledge to him. Daniel’s telling and interpreting the dream (vs. 28–45) types Brother Russell’s showing the view of the early Christians on the increasing depravity accompanying the rule of the Gentiles and on the role of God’s Kingdom as the destroyer and successor of these. This view our Pastor gave in his writings, sermons and lectures. The king’s honoring and promoting Daniel (vs. 46–48) type how increasingly the people of Christendom honored Brother Russell and regarding him as above all other religious teachers of Christendom. Daniel’s desire for promotion of his three friends (v. 49) types Brother Russell’s using his position to advance the Lord’s people as teacher in Christendom. Daniel’s sitting in the king’s gate (v. 49) types the great and favorable publicity that Brother Russell got especially from 1913 onward.
events of Daniel 3, Daniel took no part. It has often occasioned wonder as to
where Daniel was while Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were undergoing the trial of the golden image and the fiery furnace. While the record is silent on this point, one thing is certain about it, i.e., that Daniel was absent from the plain of Dura; for he certainly would have stood beside his three friends, had he been present. When we look at the antitype it becomes manifest that Daniel, who throughout his book types our Pastor, could not have been there; for had he been present it would have spoiled the antitype; for Bro. Russell died before either of the two fulfillment’s set in where he lived. Thus in the light of the antitype Daniel’s absence during the events described in Chapter 3 is entirely clear.
Nevertheless, Daniel wrote this, as well as the rest of the book that bears his name. And what does his writing this chapter type? Brother Russell’s giving the two antitypes of this chapter, e.g., one in Reprints 2495, 2496, and the other in Reprints 4873, 4874, our Pastor antityped Daniel in writing it by giving these two antitypes in this chapter.
THE HANDWRITING ON THE WALL
The fifth chapter of Daniel treats of Belshazzar’s feast, the handwriting on the wall, its reading and interpretation. In one of the pictures used in the German Photo Drama the antitype of the interpretation is given. Therein Brother Russell is represented as giving the right interpretation, while the clergy, etc., are pictured forth as in confusion thereof. In this picture Belshazzar types the nominal people of God in state, church and capital. His 1,000 lords (v.1) represent these leaders distributive as being many, i.e., in their totality. His wives represent the main organizations of the nominal people of God, and his concubines their lesser organizations. The feast types the Parousia privileges and advantages that the nominal people of God appropriated to themselves – particularly so in the church unions during the Harvest period. The golden and silver vessels (vs. 2,3) type the Divine truths that had been taken captive in the Dark Ages with God’s real people into symbolic Babylon. The sending of these vessels types the requirements that the teachings of God’s word be made subservient to Babylon’s unclean uses. Putting Babylon’s wine into these vessels types the antitypical Babylonians’ partaking of a mixture of truth and error in their Parousia feast. The fingers of a man’s hand (v.5) that wrote on the wall represent the exhibition of Divine power (hand) on symbolic Babylon’s walls (her political, financial, ecclesiastical, social and labor powers). The king’s seeing the part of the hand that wrote (v. 5) types the nominal people of God recognizing in part that it was a manifestation of Divine power that they witnessed. And such power was manifest in the signs of the times occurring in Babylon’s political, financial, ecclesiastical, labor and social powers.
The great perturbation of the king at the sight (v.6) types Christendom’s fears at the events which proved to be the signs of the times – “men’s hearts failing them for fear and for looking after those things which are coming upon the earth.” (Luke 21:26) The king’s demand that the wise men of Babylon be brought before him types the demand of the nominal people of God that the wise men of Christendom be summoned to the fore on the subject at hand. His offer to give the purple robe, the golden chain, and the third position in the kingdom to the one who would read and interpret the handwriting, represents Christendom’s reward of making the true reader and interpreter the royally accepted (purple), Divinely authorized (golden chain on the neck) chief teacher in the religious (the third) department of symbolic Babylon. The failure of the king’s wise men to interpret the handwriting types the failure of Christendom’s learned men, clergy and prophets, to read and interpret the signs of the times. Belshazzar’s increased fears and that of his lords (v.9) types the increased perplexity of the nominal people of God, particularly of its leaders, at the events which proved to be the signs of the times, etc. Daniel’s being brought in before the king (v. 13) types Brother Russell being brought in before the nominal people of God by his writings, sermons and lectures. Daniel’s first statement (v. 17) that the king keep his gifts or bestow his rewards upon another types Brother Russell’s disinterestedness; for he gladly gave his service in the cause of Truth freely, declining to accept financial recompense therefor. “Seats free – No collections” was his shibboleth during his entire ministry.
First of all Daniel read the writing (v. 25), which the Babylonian wise men could not even read. Then, as Daniel explained the meaning of the words (vs. 26-28), so Brother Russell explained the meaning of the signs: MENE (v.26) – “God hath numbered thy kingdom and finished it.” This Brother Russell explained as the 2520 years of the Gentile times, which would end in 1914. Very significant in this connection is the fact that the numeric value of those words on the wall is exactly 2520 – Mene, 1000; Mene, 1000; Tekel, 20; Peres, 500, the gerah being the unit here meant. Thus, Brother Russell boldly declared – many years before 1914 – that the allotted years of Gentile rule were 2520, that they would end in 1914 by a great world–wide war, the beginning of which precipitated Christendom into two antagonistic camps – the Radicals and the Conservatives, with the breach between the two becoming ever wider with each passing year. This will presently eventuate in the complete destruction of the Conservative camp, with the resultant obliteration of the present forms of state, church and capital.
In addition, he related that these signs of pending doom also indicated the imminence of God’s Kingdom, as the kingdom that would succeed the kingdoms of this world. Thus did he point out the three great things indicated by the signs of the times: (1) the end of the Gentile Times; (2) Babylon’s judgment going against her; and (3) the overthrow of Satan’s empire, to be succeeded by God’s two–phased Kingdom. Brother Russell explained these things in crystal clarity, which none of Babylon’s wise men could do. They could not even recognize their significance. Events since 1914 amply corroborate the truth of his readings. Daniel’s being accepted as the third (the religious) ruler in Babylon types that Brother Russell was increasingly regarded as the greatest religious teacher in Christendom; and his renown was world-wide.
HONOR TO WHOM HONOR IS DUE
Much of the foregoing is taken from Brother Johnson’s writings; and from it we may properly draw the conclusion that he was fully persuaded that Brother Russell was “that servant” (Matt. 24:45-47). And such persuasion convinced him that the system of Truth he presented, with all important doctrines of the Bible clearly and correctly explained, should be retained as he gave it. Thus, Brother Johnson was bold in defending all attempts to pervert the Truth as it is contained in Tabernacle Shadows and the Six Volumes of Studies in the Scriptures. This he did from the heart, and not by mere lip service.
Both of these Messengers died late in October, and we fondly pay homage to both of them at this season of the year. It is in order here to state that during Brother Russell’s lifetime the Truth group he led was almost 100% solidly persuaded that he was That Servant; but quite a few denied the fact shortly after he was gone. And many others who laud Brother Russell reject large parts of the Truth he gave us chief among these are the Jehovah’s Witnesses. This is strikingly similar to the Roman Catholics, who claim they originated with the Apostle Peter but also reject about every important teaching he gave. Thus, consistency in their words and in their acts is sadly absent.
Of both these “men of God” (2 Tim. 3:17) we offer the tribute: “Wealth and riches (rich in faith and in the knowledge of the Lord) shall be in his house: his righteousness endureth forever... A good man will guide his affairs with discretion... The righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance.” (Psa. 112:3–6)
This paper was taken from article No. 426, October 1991 written by Pilgrim Brother John J. Hoefle.
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