“As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus
the Lord, so walk you in him, rooted and built up in him, and established in
the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.” (Colossians 2:6,7)
The context from which our text is taken seem to show how that the Apostle is contrasting with the Gospel hope the various hopes which might go to establish one in some kind of faith, some kind of belief, some kind of course in life. But he is addressing those especially who have already accepted Jesus Christ as God’s Representative ─ those who believe that God has sent his Son into the world to be the Redeemer of the race of Adam and by and by to be the Deliverer of mankind from the power of sin and death. All those who are in Christ Jesus have received him with this understanding. This is the only message which God has sent; this is “the faith which was once delivered to the saints.”
DIVINE VS. HUMAN MESSAGE
The Apostle Paul urged those to whom he wrote to continue in this faith, and not to try to combine earthly philosophy with this heavenly message. As they had received Christ as God’s Anointed and their Sufficiency in all things ─ the One “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge,” in whom “dwelleth all the fullness of the Deity bodily” ─ so they were to walk. As they had recognized him as the heavenly Teacher, so they were to continue to make progress in the same way ─ the path that leads to glory, honor and immortality. They were not to think for one moment that any human teaching could be mixed with the Divine message; for any other doctrine would serve only to confuse the heavenly message in the minds of the hearers.
This would not mean, however, that the teachings of the apostles were to be ignored, for the Master especially informed the Church that his twelve apostles would be his mouthpieces. It would, however, guard us against any supposition that there would be any other teaching or any other church to take the place of Jesus and his apostles. To these he declared that whatsoever things they would bind on earth would be bound in heaven, and whatsoever things they would loose on earth would be loosed in heaven.
DEVELOPMENT OF THE SPIRITUAL PLANT
Having stated the matter in this way, the Apostle then uses a forceful illustration to show how we are to progress in Christ. Turning from the figure of a man walking in Christ as a member of His Body, St. Paul gives us the picture of a tree, the root of which goes downward and the trunk of which reaches upward, to obtain that nourishment which will give it strength and stability. As the roots of a tree push themselves downward and imbibe the nutriment of the soil, while at the same time the trunk and the branches reach up into the atmosphere to obtain through the leaves the necessary elements of growth, so the mentality of the Christian takes hold of the great and precious promises of the Word of God, while at the same time he is building character through his heart appreciation of these promises, in connection with the experiences of life. The roots of faith push down deep into the knowledge of the Divine Plan, while the tree of character grows higher and higher, developing and maturing the rich fruits of the Holy Spirit of God; for instruction is a form of construction.
While the Christian is thus growing up in character-likeness to our Redeemer, and his roots of faith are reaching deep down into the deep things of the Word of God, he is becoming established, settled. A tree that is well rooted in the earth is hard to uproot. It has a wonderful strength, a wonderful hold upon the earth, and requires years to die out. So it is with the Christian whose faith has been properly established; he should be so fixed, so established in the promises of God’s Word, that no wind of doctrine could overturn his faith.
Whoever is continually looking around for something new is thus demonstrating the fact that he is not established in the faith. Having once made sure that the Divine Plan is the plan of God, we should not permit ourselves to be moved away from that position. On all Christians who are thus rooted and grounded in the Scriptures the theories of our day ─ Evolution, Christian Science, New Thought, etc. ─ have no effect whatever. No Christian growth will be developed nor spiritual life retained unless the soul becomes fixed and settled in the truth as it is in Christ Jesus.
ONE CAUSE OF SPIRITUAL DECAY
When once we have seen the plan of God as revealed in Jesus, and have given ourselves to God and the study of His Word, the only way to retain our spiritual life is to continue in this doctrine, to root ourselves in this soil and remain there. We are not to seek other fields with the thought that we can receive additional nourishment there, and that an admixture of other elements with what we have will be advantageous. No theories will mix with the Lord’s plan. It is complete; it needs no assistance from other systems of belief. Any attempt to incorporate with it theories and ideas of men will only destroy its value. We can never become rooted and built up in Christ by such a course; our spiritual decay, and finally our spiritual death, would be the result.
No child of God can be carried about by every wind of doctrine; nor can he indulge in a morbid curiosity as to what this or that new theory may teach. To do so is very dangerous to the spirituality of a Christian. For one who has never known the truth there might be some reason for such a course, but for one who has once thoroughly proven what is the truth in Christ to go hunting around for new pastures in which to feed, there is no excuse. Either he has never been established in Christ, or else he has fallen into a spiritual decline. There is an exhaustless field for thought and for mental and spiritual activity in the plan of God in all its varied features.
We believe that God purposed to have a seed of Abraham through whom a blessing would come to all the families of the earth. Those who look for the fulfilment of this promise realize that Christ is the seed of Abraham and that his work is to fulfill this promise. For this purpose he came into the world. Later on, the Church learn that not only Christ Jesus, the Head, but also the Church, His Body, are sharing in the same faith, the same promise made to Abraham. Each individual called has the opportunity of coming in, of exercising his faith, and of being built up as a member of the Body of Christ. By this time the Body of Christ must be nearly complete. The hour is at hand when this glorious seed of Abraham is to take hold of the affairs of earth and bring in “the restitution of all things spoken by the month of all the holy prophets since the world began.” (Acts 3:19-21)
As a tree does not breathe the same element at all times, and as it is not always flooded with sunshine, but needs also the rains and storms for its development, so the child of God needs varied experiences and sometimes change of environment to best develop all the fruits of the Holy Spirit. The great Husbandman knows just what experiences and surroundings each one of his “trees” needs ─ how much sunshine, how much rain, how much cold and how much heat, how much pruning ─ and he will supply just what is best adapted to each case. He knows how to vary these conditions, environments, etc., without disturbing the process of rooting and upbuilding, but developing it. This we do not know how to accomplish, but would bring upon ourselves spiritual disaster. So we need to keep ourselves continually under the care of the skilful Husbandman and earnestly cooperate with him, that we may grow and become strong and immovable ─ firmly established.
DEPTH OF ROOT SHOWN IN VIGOR AND FRUITAGE
The depth and the spread of the roots of a tree are shown by the vigor and fruitage of the
tree. A tree that is not deeply and firmly grounded can neither bring forth rich, luscious fruit nor furnish cool, refreshing shade to man. Depth of root is absolutely essential. So the Christian’s faith must be deeply grounded in Christ; and thus shall we also grow up into him, learning more and more what is the Divine will as expressed in him. The rooting process is unseen, and can be judged only by its outward manifestations. When there is luxuriant foliage there is good rooting. But the growth must not stop there; fruit must be borne. And so the spiritual life of the child of God will manifest itself more and more in its likeness to Christ. To vary the figure, the Christian will not only be a branch in the vine, but will bear rich clusters of fruit which should become more choice in quality and size year by year.
We sometimes see Christians who have little knowledge of worldly things and yet have deep spirituality, very deep rooting and grounding in Christ, a clear insight into the deep things of God, and a rich Christian experience. Perhaps their knowledge of the usages of polite society is less than that of many others of their brethren; they may have had fewer opportunities to learn all these details; and yet their ripe attainments in Christ may shame some who are more outwardly correct according to the social standards of the world. How careful we should be that our standards of judgment and our estimates of character are fashioned after the pattern of the Master; that we look beneath the surface; that we note rather the real, the essential traits, than any outward peculiarities of the flesh which in the sight of the Lord should have no weight in deciding the quality of the character or the place in the Kingdom.
SUGGESTIONS FOR REFLECTION
If we are to be the judges of the world in the next age, how shall we be fitted for this position, if we do not learn now how to take the proper viewpoint, the Lord’s viewpoint, in our estimates of our brethren? If our love and our esteem for them is gauged by trifles, yea, by matters even unworthy of notice in the eyes of the Lord, are we developing the qualities of character which will fit us to be the judges of the incoming age? How are we growing up into Christ in all things? Let us judge ourselves rigidly along these lines that we may indeed become like the Master and win his final approval.
The Apostle urges that we become established in the faith. This term refers to “the faith which was once delivered to the saints” ─ the one faith. This is to hold at all costs. Satan will attempt to divert our minds into other channels, to draw our attention to some new thing. But the plan of God, the truth of God, as revealed in Jesus Christ our Lord, is but one. It is given us for our instruction in righteousness, “that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto every good work.” (2 Tim. 3:17) It is not the truth of Geometry or Trigonometry or Geology or Astronomy or any other science that we are to be diligent to study and be grounded and built up in, but God’s Word (John 17:17). These other truths are very well in their way, but we have little time to study these now. We shall have all eternity in which to learn all the wonders of creation, but now we are to apply ourselves especially to the mastery of spiritual truth, the deep things of the mystery of God, revealed to his saints for a specific purpose.
AN ESTABLISHED CHRISTIAN NOT A BIGOT
The truth embraces all the scriptural teachings relative to Christ and his work, to our relationship to him as members of His Body, and to the brethren as fellow-members. We are to abide therein with thanksgiving. We should familiarize ourselves with the different features of this truth more and more. We should be clear in regard to what our Lord taught and why he taught it, and should know how to connect the different parts of the truth into a harmonious whole. We are to be thoroughly furnished. We are heartily to appreciate the loving kindness of our God in revealing to us these glorious things, and to realize that we did not originate them ourselves, nor was any man the originator of them, but the Lord himself. They are the gift of God to us, and we are to be most thankful for this great gift, to guard it jealously as a priceless treasure, and to let our light shine to the glory of God’s name.
The general sentiment among the teachers of false doctrine, and even among the world in general, who do not believe in the necessity or the advisability of being established in faith, is that to be established is to be bigoted. Those who are so unfair in mind as to receive and tenaciously hold what they have never proven, either by sound logic or by the authority of the Word of God, are rightly called bigots. But one who in simple, childlike faith accepts and firmly holds to what God has inspired, what he has caused to be written in his Word for our instruction, is not a bigot, but a strong, established character, and will stand when all the structures built upon the numerous theories and imaginings of men shall have fallen. The great day now upon us is trying every man’s character-structure, of what sort it is, and but very few, even among professed Christians, will stand the test.
The few who will pass safely through this crucial trial without loss are those only who have become established in the truth of God, “rooted and grounded and built up into Christ.” The difference between a strong and steadfast Christian and a bigot is that one is established in truth, and the other is established in error. The “fire” of this day will continue to burn and to manifest the great difference between the two classes, until all have been tested and tried and found worthy or unworthy.
IMPORTANCE OF SELF·SCRUTINY
The Apostle’s words in our text lead each child of God back to the time when he first made his own consecration. Under what conditions did we come into Christ? We recall that it required much humility on our part to acknowledge that we were sinners, utterly unable to save ourselves. Some seem to forget the way in which they started. They started with faith and humility and meekness, and with the desire to be truly built up into the Master’s likeness. But they seem by degrees to lose sight of this, and begin to grow in another direction than straight upward into the fullness of Christ. They like to make some show before the world. They come to neglect the first principles of Christian development, while still talking about the doctrine, or making up doctrines of their own.
Thus gradually these get away from the doctrines and the Spirit of Christ. The Apostle puts us on guard against these dangers: Are you sure that you ever really received Christ! Are you sure that you ever actually made a full consecration to God and became a New Creature? You should know this. If you did, then make sure that you are progressing in his likeness. Without careful scrutiny, you might think you are progressing when you are not. The narrow way remains narrow unto the end of the journey; a mere profession of faith and a certain round of observances are not sufficient. Remember that we are to confess the Lord by our looks, by our manner, by all the acts and words of life.
Only by continual scrutiny of ourselves in the light of God’s Word can we make real progress in the narrow way in which our Master walked. Truth is to become brighter and fuller and more luminous as we go onward. To this end, we must keep close to the Word and in line with his program. The Lord will not accept little, undeveloped sprouts for the Kingdom, but he wants those that have grown and matured ─ strong, sturdy “trees of righteousness.” (Isa. 61:3)
GOD'S WORD ALONE WILL UP BUILD
Delve into the promises of God more and more. As you do this, the roots of faith will draw up the nutriment and send it out into your life, and you will grow, just as a tree grows, because nourished, fed. Thus alone will you become established in The Faith, and not in your imaginings nor the imaginings of others. Our faith is to grow stronger and more vigorous day by day. It is not to be a faith in ourselves or in anything apart from the Lord. Faith is what we started with in the beginning, and we shall need it in increasing measure as we go on in our upward way ─ faith in God and in his sure Word. All that we know as children of the Lord has come to us through the channel of Jesus, his holy apostles, and the prophets of old, and we are to continue feeding at this same table with thanksgiving.
We are not to feel a spirit of bondage, and say to ourselves, “I would like to ramble outside; I do not like to confine myself merely to what the Bible teaches. I would like more liberty.” This disposition is not the spirit of a true son of God. Such sentiments encouraged would lead to utter spiritual disaster. All such temptations, if they come, must be promptly and positively resisted. Our spirit should be one of deepest gratitude and thankfulness that we have been granted this glorious Divine revelation. Following thus in the Lord’s way, we find the only true joy, and can make the only true progress. “If ye do these things, ye shall never fall, for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1:10,11)
(Pastor Russell, Reprints 5557-5559, October 14, 1914)
MESSIAH’S KINGDOM TO BE INVISIBLE
“Behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst.” (Luke 17:21)
Our understanding of the Master’s words depends considerably upon the setting in which we see them. John the Baptist preceded Jesus and preached the Kingdom of God at hand. In due time he pointed out Jesus as the Messiah that should come, the Lamb of God. After waiting for months for Jesus to establish himself as an earthly king, and finding instead that his own work was closing, he was put into prison by Herod. John then sent to Jesus to inquire whether or not he was the one that should come or whether they should look for another. He was disappointed in not seeing evidences of the Kingdom, as he had expected.
The scribes and the Pharisees heard of the claim that Jesus was the long-promised King who would set up his Messianic Kingdom, and they derided him. They looked at his motley company of followers ─ publicans and sinners as well as honorable people, but none of special rank, influence or wealth. They considered Jesus a deceiver and his followers dupes. Our lesson tells how they attempted to expose what they supposed was a deception of Jesus, thus to turn away the delusion of his followers. Therefore they asked him in public the question, When will God’s Kingdom come? How long will it be before you set it up?
Doubtless they purposed to entrap Jesus; for if he should say, A long time, his followers would be disheartened; if he should say, A short time, they would proceed to query, Where will you get your army? How will you pay your soldiers? How will you supply them with food? Will you go to Rome to battle with the powers that be that our whole nation has been unable to cope with? etc.
But these Pharisees got only as far as their first question, because the answer to it confuted them, and no doubt perplexed them. Jesus answered that God’s Kingdom would not come with observation; that is to say, when the Kingdom should come, people would not see it. Proceeding, Jesus elaborated, saying that when the Kingdom of God should be established, people would not see whether it was here or there; for the Kingdom of God would be the power of God exerted everywhere in the midst of the people.
Our translation is faulty, though evidently not intentionally so, when it reads, “For, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” The translators, had they noticed carefully, would have been on guard against saying that the Kingdom of God was within those Pharisees that Jesus had designated hypocrites, whited sepulchres, etc (Matt. 23:27). A closer examination of the original would have shown that the text would better be translated, “The kingdom of God is in your midst.”
A kingdom is always represented by its king. Jesus, as the King, was present in their midst, but they did not recognize him. “There standeth One among you whom ye know not.” Similarly, all through the Gospel Age, the Church of Christ, his “body,” has been undiscerned by the world. “The world knoweth us not, even as it knew him not.” (1 John 3:1) For eighteen hundred years this has been true in this sense; but Christ and the Church in the flesh are not the Kingdom of God in the full, proper sense that the Bible promises it ─ a Kingdom of power and great glory. Christ and the Church have been only the incipient Kingdom, an embryotic Kingdom ─ the Kingdom class, preparing for investiture of authority in God’s due time, which we believe is now near.
The Kingdom is to be a spiritual one, and hence its rulers will be as invisible as are the angels and the heavenly Father. Jesus declared, “Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more.” (John 14:19) What was true of the Head will be true of every member of the elect Body of Christ, the Church. “Changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye” (1 Cor. 15:51,52), the world will see them no more; “for flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor. 15:50), and flesh and blood cannot see that which is spiritual.
During the Millennium, the Kingdom authority and power of God through Christ and the Church will be exercised amongst men; and yet they will not see it with the natural eye, but merely with the eyes of their understanding. All the blind eyes will be opened. Thus every eye will see that the kingdom is established; and every one will understand that he who suffered has entered into his glory, that the Church, His Bride, is with him in glory, and that the blessings of the Millennium proceed from them (Rev. 20:6).
“DAYS OF THE SON OF MAN”
Turning from the silenced Pharisees to his disciples, Jesus said, “The days will come when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and ye shall not see it.” (Luke 17:22) This was astonishing news to the faithful. Yet they were accustomed to hearing from the Master things which they could not understand; such as that they must eat of his flesh and drink of his blood, that he must be crucified, etc. They took all these things figuratively and wondered what might be the real interpretation. How could Jesus be the great King, as they had expected, and yet they not see him and his days?
Jesus continued to discuss the enigma, saying, “They shall say to you, See here; or, See there: go not after them, nor follow.” (Luke 17:23) In a word, do not believe anybody who will thus tell yon about my Second Coming; do not be deceived into believing that I will come in any such manner. I will tell you how I shall come: “As the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, and shineth unto the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of Man be in his day." (Luke 17:24)
This astounding statement is better understood when we translate the Greek noun astrape as “shining” instead of “lightning”; for evidently it refers to the sun, which rises in the east and sets in the west, shining out of the one part of the heaven even unto the other. But how will this represent the Son of Man in his day? How will he be like the sun? We answer that the day of Christ is a thousand-year day, the Millennium; and our Lord’s statement was one of the “dark sayings” of which Jesus said, “I have many things to tell you, but ye cannot bear them now,” and promised that in due time the Holy Spirit would grant them all enlightenment, that all of his words might he clearly understood. This portion, now due to be understood, is therefore becoming clear to those of spiritual discernment.
Then, that they might gradually learn that these things belonged to a distant time, Jesus explained that first he must suffer many things and be rejected of that nation. Coming back to an explanation of what would be the signs of his presence, in answer to their question as recorded in Matthew 24, He declared, “As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of Man.”
Here we have something definite, concrete. We know what to look for at the time when the Kingdom will be due for establishment ─ the time when the Sun of Righteousness will begin to shine forth from one end of heaven to the other. The signs of the time will not be in the outward condition of the world; for on the contrary everything will be going along in as quiet and orderly a manner as ever, just as in the days of Noah, just as before the Deluge came, and just as in the days of Lot, before the destruction of Sodom ─ they ate, drank, married, built, bought, sowed, planted, as usual. These things are not signs of wickedness, but are mentioned to show us that there will be no outward sign to indicate to the world the time of the second presence of Christ, when he will begin to deal with the world and to set up His Kingdom.
THE DELUGE AND SODOM’S DESTRUCTION
Why introduce those two pictures ─ the Deluge and the destruction of Sodom ─ in conjunction, while talking of the establishment of Messiah’s Kingdom, which is to bless the world? The answer is that the Bible everywhere foretells that although Messiah’s Kingdom is the great provision of God which will lift the curse and bring in blessings world-wide, nevertheless it is to be established upon the wreck of our present institutions. And it is in this wreck of social, financial, political and religious institutions of the present time that Jesus illustrated by the Deluge and the destruction of Sodom. And his own presence preceding this Time of Trouble is to be unseen to the world, unknown to the world, unsuspected, unbelieved, until the cataclysm of trouble precipitates with suddenness.
This is not a charming picture. We are glad that we may turn from it, and note the silver lining of the cloud, and the glorious blessings which will speedily follow the establishment of the Kingdom on the ruins of our human failures. Emphasizing the suddenness with which the calamity will overtake the world, Jesus said that on the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained down fire and brimstone from heaven; and he declared that thus it will be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed. The Greek text shows a difference between the parousia, or presence, of Christ before the Time of Trouble, and the later epiphania, or revealing.
The description of the revealing of Christ is given in the words, He shall be revealed in flaming fire (2 Thes. 1:7,8). Indeed, that Time of Trouble is frequently described symbolically in the Bible as a burning of the world ─ so much so, that all the creeds of Christendom express the thought that the earth is to be “burned.” They overlook the fact that the heavens are to be “burned” also.
In the symbolical usage of the Bible, the earth represents the social order of human affairs; the sea, the restless, discontented masses; the heavens, the ecclesiastical powers. St. Peter tells us that all these will pass away with a great confusion and that instead will come the new heavens and the new earth which God has promised (2 Peter 3:10-13). The new heavens will be the new ecclesiastical society ─ the Church in glory, joint-heirs with Christ in His Kingdom. The new earth will be the new social order which Messiah's Kingdom will establish.
SAINTS ON THE HOUSETOP
Again recurring to the period in which he will be present before being revealed “in flaming fire,” the Lord seems to assure us that all of his faithful ones will die, and be changed in the moment of dying, before the great trouble, the symbolic fire, will consume present institutions. In figurative language he says that in that day (of his parousia, presence, before his epiphania, revealing) those on the housetop, with their goods in the house, should not leave to take them out. What is here meant?
Briefly, we believe that the house represents the house of God, and those on the housetop represent the most saintly of the people of God. At that time such will come to realize the necessity for flight; and the question will arise, How much of their stuff, their valuables, will they seek to save? They are warned not to seek to save any of the stuff ─ considerations of social privileges, honor of men, sometimes titles of small offices; such as vestryman, deacon, elder, minister, etc. An attempt to save any of these things will mean disappointment. Everything must be forsaken, else the test of that time will not be successfully passed.
Likewise, any in the field must not turn back. The field represents the world. And any of the Lord’s people who have gone out into the world ─ who have left the church nominal ─ are not to go back; but learning the truth of the situation they are to flee to the Lord from the field.
St. Matthew’s account speaks of special troubles at that time upon such as are with child and give suck, which we believe is also symbolical, and refers to Christian people, seeking to convert the world and to teach beginners. These will be in special travail of soul, because of the change of dispensation and the call, “Come out of her, my people.” It will be especially difficult for such to hear and to obey that call.
In the flight from Sodom, Lot and his family were warned to make haste, and not even to look back to the things that were to be destroyed. So the Lord’s people are not to look back at the things to be destroyed. Give them no thought. “Flee out of Babylon!” “Deliver every man his own soul!” Lot's wife, disobeying, looked back longingly to the things of destruction, and failed to escape. The Lord applies this illustration to his people, and urges that their flight be with a full renunciation of the things of the present time. Whoever shall seek to save his life must lose it. Whoever will lose his life will thereby be preserving it ─ gaining the everlasting life.
(Pastor Russell, Reprints 5455-5456, May 1, 1914)
GAINTS IN THE EARTH
“As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of Man.” (Luke 17:26)
In considering our Lord’s statement ─ that as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be at his coming [parousia, presence] in the end of this Age ─ it should be noted that the Lord’s presence will be unknown to the world; for this particular statement follows, that “As in the days that were before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage...and knew not...so shall also the coming [parousia, presence] of the Son of Man be.” (Matt. 24:37-39)
This statement, however, does not imply that there is anything wrong in eating and drinking, etc., but rather that there will be little in an outward way to disturb man, in the crisis at the end of the Age. At the time of the flood, at the end of the first dispensation, there was apparently nothing to indicate that anything unusual was about to happen. Evidently the Lord meant us to draw conclusions from this fact that as calamity was inevitable then, so it will be inevitable now.
The end of the first dispensation and that of this present dispensation are wonderfully similar. Previous to the end of the first dispensation a superhuman influence had entered into the world. Power from an angelic source had produced very undesirable conditions, to the extent of bringing into unauthorized existence a race who were “men of renown” and “giant” in strength. (Gen. 6:1-4) Today we find a similar condition. Whatever portion of the spirit of the truth has entered in to an evilly disposed human mind evil conditions on a gigantic scale have often been produced. Where else in the whole world can we find more intellectual power than in those who have come in contact with the Spirit of the Lord, the spirit of the truth? But when this spirit of knowledge enters into an evil heart, evil will result.
This spirit has produced men of renown, men of mental acumen, men who are able to do wonderful things. The remarkable achievements of our time, the wonderful inventions of all kinds, would not have been possible except for the fact that the Spirit of the Lord is abroad in the earth. But the general tendency of this combination ─ the spirit of knowledge in an evil heart ─ has been to produce giants, who “walk up and down” the land and are known as the Sugar Trust, the Coal Trust, etc. As the giants were in control in the days of Noah, so the giants are getting more and more control of the situation now. Just as it was then, so today the giants are liable to capture the whole world. As the flood destroyed those giants, so at this time the great cataclysm of trouble will drown all trusts and other commerce agencies which oppress mankind. We read that they will be utterly destroyed; that there will be no hope of resuscitation.
(Pastor Russell, Reprints 4797, April 1, 1911)