It has been our custom for many years to pay tribute at this time of year to Pastor Russell, That Wise and Faithful Servant, to commemorate his death on October 31, 1916. We believe his stewardship doctrine was a correct understanding of the Atonement, the central teaching of which is Restitution. It has been said that once Brother Russell received the Truth on this doctrine, he never delivered a public discourse in which Restitution did not have a prominent place. In keeping with this, we present this treatise taken from one of his public discourses.
RANSOM IMPLIES RESTITUTION
“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.”(1 Tim. 2:5-6)
The Apostle Paul’s words are my text. At another time we may consider the forepart of this text, but on this occasion I invite your attention to the last clause, which explains that our Lord’s sacrifice was a sacrifice for all mankind, and that in due time this great matter will be made known to all mankind with a view to their blessing.
Perhaps I should take a moment here to answer a question which I understand is frequently raised in respect to my preaching, namely: Why does Pastor Russell give so much more attention to doctrinal questions than do other ministers? Why does he not give more attention to scientific matters, political, moral reforms and practical living? My reply is, in the words of our Savior, “After all these things do the Gentiles seek.” (Matt. 6:32) All these are worldly matters, while the doctrines of Christ and the Apostles are peculiar to Christians. Hindus, Confucians and Mohammedans have a common interest in the affairs of the world and its moral, physical and political welfare, but the Christian minister is divinely directed to “preach the word” (2 Tim. 4:2), and the word ignores worldly science, politics, reforms, etc., and especially deals with doctrines. I am, therefore, merely following the example of Christ and His Apostles, and the reason why this seems peculiar is that the majority of ministers largely neglect to heed the scriptural injunction and the apostolic models. When they do occasionally touch upon doctrine, they are, alas, too frequently “teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Mark 7:7), teaching from the creeds of the past five centuries rather than from the inspired word of the Lord.
It may be well here briefly to notice the value of doctrines – the value of those teachings which differentiate true Christians from the remainder of mankind. The ignoring of the doctrines of Scripture and the substitution of the doctrines of men during the Dark Ages have brought the world to the place where all doctrines are tabooed and distasteful, because those false doctrines from the Dark Ages are unreasonable and repulsive to the growing intelligence of the world. Instead of ignoring doctrine however, God’s people should seek and find the proper interpretation of the Bible, which is everywhere reasonable, logical and harmonious with itself and with sanctified common sense. This then, is my apology for so frequently discussing the doctrines of Christ and of the Prophets and of the Apostles.
NOT A LIMITED ATONEMENT
Our text declares a great fact, which Christian people generally ignore if they do not deny it, the fact that our Lord Jesus’ death was a ransom price whose scope covers and includes the entire family of Adam. The fact is that the Scriptures do speak of a special elect class which is being gathered out of the world during this Gospel Age, and which is promised joint heirship with Christ in His coming Millennial Kingdom. The fact is also that the great mass of mankind at the present time and throughout the 6,000 years of the past have been without “hope, and without God in the world” (Eph. 2:12), because they have been without knowledge of the only “name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) These facts have led many to the erroneous conclusion that our Lord’s death has not been and never will be a ransom price or offset price for the cancellation of the sins of mankind in general.
Their reasoning has indeed certain logical features. If the world in general has not received and never will receive a blessing at the Lord’s hands, the logical conclusion must be that justice was not and never will be satisfied by a ransom price for the world’s share in original sin. In seeming harmony with this erroneous thought is the fact that only a comparatively small proportion of humanity has been specially favored of the Lord with an opening of the eyes of their understanding, and the privilege, through faith, of coming back into harmony with their Creator. Seeming to support this view also are the scriptural statements respecting the present narrow way and straight gate, which few find, and the references to the elect as constituting only a “little flock.” (Matt. 7:14; Luke 12:32)
Building upon this erroneous foundation of a limited atonement for original sin, the fathers of the Dark Ages and since have proceeded to give various explanations of the eternal torture of the world of mankind, the non-elect, those not favored by the Almighty with a knowledge of the only name given whereby they might be saved. These false doctrines, built upon the “tradition of the elders” (Matt. 15:2), have had a nauseating effect upon intelligent minds; they contradict the scriptural declaration that God is just, loving, wise and all powerful. (Psa. 89:14; 1 John 4:8; Jer. 10:12) What we need to correct the nausea, to refresh the hearts, to re-inspire love and zeal for the Lord and His word, is to see with clearness the true doctrines of the Scriptures.
The Scriptures declare that our Lord Jesus “by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” (Heb. 2:9) They show conclusively that His death was a “propitiation [satisfaction] for our sins [the Church’s sins]: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:2) But to appreciate these statements, to see how they can be and are true, it is necessary to know that the Scriptures nowhere declare that the present Gospel Age is the only period of divine favor, the only period for the forgiveness of sins, the only period of reconciliation with God, the only period of opportunity for being taught of God and of obtaining His blessing and favor, lost through original sin in Eden.
As soon as we grasp this great fact our eyes begin to open to other facts, namely that: (1) Prior to this Gospel Age, during the Jewish Age and previously, all the world except that one little nation of Israel, were aliens, strangers, and foreigners from God and His promises. (Amos 3:2) (2) The Scriptures clearly indicate a “world to come” (Heb. 2:5), a future epoch under new and better conditions than now prevail. (3) That future epoch is called “the day of Christ,” “the day of the Lord.” (Phil. 1:10; 1 Thes. 5:2) It is indeed the Millennial Day, the thousand years of Christ’s reign for the very purpose of blessing and uplifting the world of mankind, for whose sins His death was the atonement price and who are to be healed by His stripes. (4) Every invitation and injunction of the Gospel Age are with a view to the selection of an elect class, who shall be joint heirs with Christ during that Millennial Age, to share with Him in the great work of general human uplift.
A COMMON ERROR CORRECTED
At this point many good people laboring under a degree of blindness, the smoke of the Dark Ages, feel disposed to object and to insist that there can be no future probation. Ask them why, their reply is that the entire Scriptural teaching contradicts the thought of a future hope beyond the tomb. We reply: this is an error; the very reverse is true, as we shall show. We ask them for a single Scripture on their side of this subject. To their amazement they find none, but as a last resort quote from Ecclesiastes (11:3) the words: “In the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be.” But is not this a very slim text, indeed, to raise up as a barrier against the entire voice of the Scriptures, and against all the demands of reason and logic as well? And this very Scripture is in full accord with what we claim, namely, that as a tree when it has fallen is lifeless and powerless and cannot raise itself up, so is man in death under the sentence and wage of original sin. The Scriptural argument is that the whole race of Adam was thus dead – without life, without power to raise itself out of its fallen condition, without any claim upon eternal life or divine favor in any sense. But our text declares that our Lord Jesus “gave himself a ransom for all,” for Adam the transgressor in particular, and for all of his race who shared in his penalty, to rescue us from that dead condition by resurrection. (1 Cor. 15:21)
It is because man is in this helpless condition, dead, powerless to revivify himself, that God has gone to his relief through Christ. He caused the great ransom sacrifice to be made and paid to justice nearly 19 [now 20] centuries ago, and in our text assures us that the ransom sacrifice finished at Calvary was on behalf of all mankind and is consequently to bring a blessing to all mankind – “in due time.”
We are not arguing that all who have died have gone to heaven; quite the contrary. We stick to the book, the Bible, in its declaration that “the dead know not any thing” (Ecc. 9:5), that a resurrection is necessary to any future living. We hold with the Scriptures that at the end of this age, the First Resurrection will take place, the resurrection of the “blessed and holy,” those who have pleased God both by faith and obedience. These, the Scriptures declare, will be “kings and priests unto God” and shall “reign on the earth.” (Rev. 1:6, 5:10, 20:6) The object of this reign will be to bring blessings of knowledge and opportunity to all. The participants in the First Resurrection are the “seed of Abraham,” our Lord Jesus the Head, and His Church the members of His body, as the Apostle declares: “If ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Gal. 3:29)
The promise to which Christ and His Church are heirs is that they shall be God’s instrumentality for the blessing, instruction and uplifting of the world of mankind. When will they do this unless there be a future Millennial Age? To be heirs of this promise made to Abraham, that in his seed all the families of the earth would be blessed (Gen. 12:3), would be a meaningless farce and jest on the Almighty’s part had He not purchased us, and provided a time and means by which this blessing could accrue to the world. We perceive that He has arranged a time for granting the world a trial for life, a trial respecting their willingness to abandon the ways of sin and death, and to walk in the ways of righteousness under the enlightenment of the truth, which we are assured shall shine forth as the sun, whose beams shall heal humanity. (Mal. 4:2)
FEW HAVE NECESSARY KNOWLEDGE
The means for the blessing we see provided in Christ and His Bride, the elect Church of the Gospel Age. It is guaranteed in the fact that Jesus Christ by the grace of God tasted death for every man, or, as our text declares, became the Mediator between God and man by giving Himself a ransom for all. A point I desire to emphasize here is that the giving of this ransom price and the acceptance of it by justice imply divine intention for the blessing of all mankind, in full accord with the various testimonies of the entire Scriptures. Why should “a ransom for all” be given if it were not intended of God that all should benefit from it, or, at least, have an opportunity of benefiting from it, which would be virtually the same thing? We hold that it is beyond dispute that the giving of the ransom for all and the divine acceptance of it, in harmony with the divine promise, are the sure guarantee that ultimately a blessing must come to every member of Adam’s race as a result.
This knowledge has not yet reached all mankind; on the contrary it has reached only a small minority. Yet, knowledge of God’s favor and an intelligent acceptance of it on faith and a reasonable obedience in harmony with that faith are the demands of the divine word. Proof could be given on almost every page of the Scriptures that faith, and endeavor to obedience in harmony with that faith, are necessary to salvation, but we will content ourselves by referring to a few citations. The Apostle Paul says: “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God…how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?” (Rom. 10:17,14) “Without faith it is impossible to please him [God].” (Heb. 11:6) “All that are in the graves shall hear his voice [the voice of the Son of God],” and “the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” (John 5:28; Isa. 11:9) “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.” (Isa. 35:5) “And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord.” (Jer. 31:34)
All these Scripture statements showing the necessity for knowledge are in full accord with our text which declares that our Lord Jesus gave Himself a ransom for all to be testified “in due time.” The present then is the due time for the Church, the household of faith, to hear the voice of the Son of God, and they who now hear, pass from death unto life, to the begetting to a new nature. By and by, when the present class of called elect ones shall have been glorified with their Lord, all the remainder of mankind shall hear for the very purpose: that they may understand, may appreciate, and may be assisted to obey the voice of Him that speaks from heaven, the great Ransomer, who in that day will be King over all the earth and will bind Satan and will put down every opposing influence, to the intent that all may be judged worthy or unworthy of everlasting life, by their appreciation of God and His righteous laws and their full obedience thereto.
In Acts 3:22-23, the Apostle Peter points us to the fact that Moses was a type of Christ Jesus, the head, and the Church, His body. As the seed of Abraham, this great Messiah shall bless all the families of the earth with knowledge and every opportunity for return to the divine favor and blessing that was lost in Eden. And what of those who will refuse to hear that great Prophet, Priest and King during the Millennial Age, what of them? The Apostle answers, “It shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear [obey] that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.” They will be cut off in the Second Death, from which there will be no hope of recovery, no resurrection.
“TIMES OF RESTITUTION”
In full accord with all this is the Apostle’s statement respecting the blessings that are to come to mankind during the Millennial Age, following our Lord’s Second Advent and the glorification of His Church to joint heirship with Him. He calls that period “times of refreshing … from the presence of the Lord; and he shall send Jesus Christ” at His Second Advent. He declares that in the meantime the heavens must receive Him, must retain Him, “until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.” (Acts 3:19-21) In other words, he assures us that these Restitution Times will follow as a result of our Lord’s second coming and the establishment of His Kingdom in glory and power.
“Times of Restitution” means years of restitution; it refers to the one thousand years of Christ’s reign. (Rev. 20:6) The word restitution signifies to put back or bring back something to an original or primary condition. The Apostle is speaking of humanity, and hence the suggestion is that the work of Christ and His Church in glory during the Millennium will be to restore mankind to the condition and privileges and blessings and favors enjoyed before sin entered the world, before the curse passed upon all by one man’s disobedience. (Rom. 5:12)
Evolutionists would have little sympathy with the Apostle’s statement here, for, according to their erroneous theory, restitution to the original condition would be the last thing for humanity to desire or hope for or for God to promise as a blessing. But we are not consulting evolutionists in this matter, we are taking “the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.” (1 Pet. 1:23)
The world of mankind has been in a fallen and falling condition with ups and downs, especially downs, for six thousand years. When the Lord’s time shall come and Times of Restitution shall begin, the present downward or fallen conditions will give place to upward conditions, to Restitution Times, for the general uplifting of all mankind.
We have just seen that the great ransom sacrifice finished at Calvary is the basis upon which God can be just and yet be the justifier of those who believe in Jesus, and release them from the sentence of endless death which was justly upon them as the imperfect posterity of the fallen Adam, unworthy of life eternal under divine conditions. The more we look into this matter the more logical, reasonable and satisfactory we see the divine plan to be. The first man perfect, the image of God, sinned with deliberation, and received as a penalty a death sentence. After waiting more than 4,000 years God sent a Redeemer in the person of His Son. Since man was not a spirit being but a human being, therefore the Apostle declares that Christ took not hold upon the stature of angels, but humbled Himself and came to the still lower plane of humanity and became the man Christ Jesus – “holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners.” (Heb. 2:16; 7:26) Then as the man Christ Jesus He gave Himself a ransom for all, as our text declares, “to be testified in due time.” The testimony has already been in the world for 19 centuries [now 20], and it has selected the very class which God foreknew and foretold, a “little flock” of footstep followers who are to be joint heirs with their Redeemer and Lord. Next in order will come the testimony to the remainder of mankind, first those who have not yet gone into the tomb, and secondly to those who have already gone there, and who will be awakened for the very purpose of receiving this testimony and of being tested by it.
DISTINCTLY DIFFERENT SALVATIONS
Here note the difference between the blessing God designed for the elect Church and the one He purposes for the world of mankind. The Church’s blessing is not “restitution,” and in harmony with this we can see no evidence of restitution anywhere about us. The restitution work waits for the Restitution Time, which begins with the establishment of the Kingdom. Believers of this present time receive, indeed, a faith equivalent to restitution, in that they are recognized as having their sins covered with the robe of Christ’s righteousness, reckoned as having passed from the sentence of death in Adam to a share of life in Christ, reckoned as having received again the fellowship and communion with God, lost by Adam through his disobedience in Eden. All this in a sense serves as an equivalent to the “restitution” which is to come to the world in its “due time.”
But the world will not attain these things by faith, but will attain them actually, gradually during the thousand years. At its close all who shall have appreciated God’s favors and obeyed the voice of the great Prophet, Priest and King, will be actually perfect, as perfect as was Adam in every talent, quality, and power, but with increased capacity through increased knowledge.
The Church of this Gospel Age gets none of these restitution blessings actually. She merely has them by faith, for the special purpose of sacrificing those restitution blessings in order to present her body a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, her reasonable service. (Rom. 12:1) She participates in the sufferings of Christ that she may be accounted worthy to participate in His glories, the Millennial glories. The gospel invitation to the Church is to lay down her life, to exchange these earthly privileges and blessings bought by the precious blood of Christ, for heavenly privileges offered to her as a reward of obedience. “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” (Rev. 3:21)
Glory, honor and immortality – the divine nature – will be the great change from present earthly conditions to heavenly conditions far beyond anything possible for the natural mind to appreciate. This great change, which is to come to the Lord’s faithful Bride in her participation in His resurrection, the First Resurrection, the resurrection to spirit perfection, is the great hope and ambition set before us, dear brethren and sisters. It is for this that we are exhorted to lay aside every weight and every besetting sin and to run with patience, sacrificing earthly things and treasures that we may have this better treasure, this pearl of great price, this participation in the Kingdom with our dear Redeemer.
The Apostle declares that these Times of Restitution were spoken of “by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.”(Acts 3:21) Suffice it now that we take the Apostle’s words, calling to mind merely the various statements and promises of the law and the Prophets, pointing out these glorious good things for the world of mankind, that are delayed only until the completion of the elect Church. The Prophets speak of the restoration of Israel to divine favor, of how their blind eyes shall be opened, that they shall see in very truth that He whom they have pierced is the Messiah indeed, who gave His life for their ransom, and that God will pour upon them the spirit of prayer and supplication to this end.
The Apostle Paul most clearly points out in Romans, chapters 9, 10, and 11, that not only the falling away of Israel was foretold in the Prophets, but also their regathering, their restoration to divine favor; but this he points out to us will be after the completion of the gospel Church, spiritual Israel. Again he declares that, “Through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.” (Rom. 11:31) The glorified Church, with Christ at her head as the great King, is to dispense the mercies of God to the Jew first, but also to “all the families of the earth.” (Rom. 11:12, 25-33; Acts 15:16,17)
Let us, dear brethren and sisters, hold fast to these doctrines of Christ, set forth not only in His own teachings that He came to seek and save that which was lost (Luke 19:10); that He beheld mankind as a treasure in a field and bought the whole field that He might develop the treasure (Matt. 13:44); but as set forth also in the declarations of the Apostles and of all the holy Prophets since the world began.
While the doctrines of men would be inclined to lead us away from God, to make us think of the Almighty as unjust and cruel, heartless, loveless or powerless, the doctrines of the Scriptures open the blind eyes and give us to see the King in His beauty, the glorious majesty of the God of love, the God of wisdom, the God of justice, the God of power. They give us to see, as declared by the Prophet, that “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my [God’s] ways higher than your [man’s] ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isa. 55:9)
With this greater enlightenment on the divine character, we will have greater desire to serve and to please Him, esteeming it a great privilege to lay down our very lives in His service, counting all things as but loss and dross for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord, that we might win Him and be found in Him and be made sharers in His resurrection. (Phil. 3:8-11)
Our dear friends and relatives and the heathen who have died out of Christ are “safe in the arms of Jesus.” They are safe in the care of Him who died for all. God will not torture any of His enemies to all eternity as once we feared. We now find this fear to be unscriptural. But let us see that while the Scriptures teach that the worst that can befall any of His enemies will be “everlasting destruction” without hope of a future life, there is a grand hope taught for the ignorant, that all such shall be brought to an accurate knowledge of the truth that they may be saved in God’s due time. (1 Tim. 2:4) Let us recognize the truth of the statement: “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not [everlasting] life.” (1 John 5:12; John 8:36) God’s salvation is by knowledge and not by ignorance, through faith in the precious blood of Christ and not in ignorance of it; by a resurrection and Millennial Kingdom
(From an oral address given by Pastor Russell in 1904, with minor editing. It was published in Harvest Gleanings, Volume 3. The list of Scriptures and comments following were derived from Harvest Gleanings Volume 1, beginning on page 335.)
PARTIAL LIST OF SCRIPTURES TEACHING RESTITUTION
In Acts 3:19-24 the inspired Apostle applies the words of Moses (Deut. 18:15,18,19) to the Times of Restitution, declaring that all God’s holy Prophets spoke of these times; therefore we expect to find something concerning Restitution in the writings of each Old Testament Prophet. The following is a partial list of Scriptures which we understand to teach Restitution and future probation:
Gen. 12:2,3; Gen. 18:18; Gen. 22:17,18; Gal. 3:16,29; 1 Cor. 12:12,27; Eph. 1:22,23; Lev. 25:10; Heb. 10:1; 1 Kings 17:22; 2 Kings 4:33-36; Psa. 46:9,10; Psa. 72:1-15; Psa. 96:10-13; Psa. 98:4-9; Isa. 2:2-4; Isa. 25:6-9; Isa. 35:1-10; Isa. 49:8-10; Isa. 52:7; Jer. 30:18; Jer. 31:8,9,29,30,34; Ezek.16:44-63; Dan. 2:44; Dan. 7:13,14,27; Hosea 6:1-3; Joel 2:32; Joel 3:1,2,17,18; Amos 9:11-13; Oba. 17,21; Jon. 3:10; Jon. 4:11; Mic. 4:1-4; Na. 1:15; Hab. 2:14; Zeph. 3:9; Hag. 2:6,7; Zech. 8:20-23; Mal. 4:2; Matt. 25:31-46; Luke 2:10, 30-32; John 3:17; John 5:25,30; John 17:9, 20,21,23; Acts 3:19-24; Rom. 5:18,19; Rom. 8:19-22; 1 Cor. 15:21-23; 2 Cor. 5:19-6:2; Gal. 3:8; Eph. 1:10; Phil. 2:9-11; Col. 1:20; Titus 2:13; Heb. 6:13,14; Heb. 8:11; 1 Pet. 2:9; Jude 14,15; Rev. 20:11-12; Rev. 22:1,17.
 The Genesis verses show that all families of the earth will be blessed. St. Paul explains that the Seed that will confer the blessing is Christ and His Church (the mystical body of which Jesus is the Head).
 Israel’s Jubilee was a type or shadow of the world-wide Restitution which will follow the establishment of God’s Kingdom at the Second Advent of our Lord Jesus.
 The restoration of life described in Kings foreshadows the Times of Restitution.
 By comparing the words, “ransomed of the Lord” in verse 10 with “a ransom for all” in 1 Tim. 2:6, we see positively that all the families of the earth will be blessed.
 See Rom. 11:12,15 for comments.
 Compare Rom. 5:12, John 1:9 and 1 Tim. 2:4.
 Although God saw fit (verse 50) to take away the Sodomites, our Lord Jesus said (Matt. 11:23) that they would have repented under such a ministry as had been granted to Capernaum, which did not repent. Since God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34), and since it is His will that all shall come to a knowledge of the truth, this indicates that the death imprisoned Sodomites shall be brought forth (John 5:29) to their “former estate” (Ezek. 16:55), and “in that day” be given an opportunity to believe in the only name given under heaven or among men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4:12) Our Lord declared it would be more tolerable for Sodom in the Day of Judgment than for some who heard and rejected Him, implying that it will be tolerable for all in proportion as their sins had been sins of ignorance. (Matt. 11:24; Luke 12:47,48) In foretelling of the restitution of the Sodomites, an extreme example of clemency, our Lord evidently intended us to see that the sacrifice which He gave was unquestionably “a ransom for all.”
 Any prophecy of the Kingdom of Christ and His saints is a prophecy of Restitution; for the Kingdom is to be set up at the Second Advent of our Lord Jesus, “whom the heavens must receive until the times of restitution of all things.”
 See Acts 15:13-18 for comments.
 Compare Matt. 12:41.
 Compare Isa. 2:2-4.
 Compare Isa. 52:7.
 Compare also Psa. 30:5 and Matt. 13:43.
 It should be noted that when the Lord occupies His throne, the Church reigns with Him. (Col. 3:4) Christ will not reign over His glorified Church, nor will the members of His glorified Church reign over each other, but the Church complete will reign over all nations, dead and living (Rom. 14:9), else their title “Seed of Abraham” (Gal. 3:29) is a misnomer.
 Our Lord’s words in verse 30 indicate that the destiny of those who come up to judgment (vs. 29, R.V.) is not fixed beforehand. Testimony is to be taken, and “as I hear, I judge.” This therefore refers to the “Times of Restitution.”
 Our Lord’s last prayer was not on behalf of the world, but on behalf of His disciples and those who should believe through their word, and His prayer for the whole Church was made that the whole world might afterward have the opportunity to “believe that thou hast sent me” in the Times of Restitution.
 Note here that the expression “they who are Christ’s at his coming [parousia, presence]” evidently does not refer to the Church, for they are Christ’s before His Second Advent, and with Him constitute the first-fruits. (Note also Jas. 1:18) The expression evidently refers to “all them that believe in that day;” the Day of Christ, the Times of Restitution. (2 Thes. 1:10)
 Some think that 2 Cor. 6:2 teaches that there will be no opportunity to exercise faith and repentance in the Millennial Age, but a careful reading of Isa. 49:8-10, from which it is quoted, indicates that the Body of Christ is helped and succored in its day of salvation, in order that it may be the instrument of God for the blessing and releasing of those who are in the prison house of death. Here also Restitution is taught.
 “The blessed hope” is to usher in the “Times of Restitution.”
 Since the Church is to be a Royal Priesthood, there must be some for whom they will perform the priestly offices; and for whom, if not for the world of mankind, ransomed by the great High Priest and His “better sacrifices?”
 A prophecy of Restitution, by Enoch, who “pleased God.”
 All the events in these Revelation verses, including the invitation to “whosoever will,” are to be fulfilled after the Second Advent of Christ, after the Church has become the “Bride, the Lamb’s wife,” after the establishment of His Kingdom. Observe also, that the invitation is to be extended to all the dead, before the throne.