"Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of truth." — (Psalm 60:4)
"Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice unto them." — (Isaiah 13:2)
Devoted To The Defense Of The Church Against All Errors And Innovations
Vol.VI No.VI Pg.15-16
January 1944

The Fatalism Of Russellism

T. B. Wilkinson

Russellites universally claim that, orthodoxy, which they love to belittle will consign the majority of mankind to a red-hot hell, and thus prove the Lord a poor loser to Satan in the battle for souls. On the other hand they claim the system which they teach, which is not orthodox, will save the majority of mankind, and thus exalts the Lords wisdom, power, love, and mercy. Our conception of the gospel, and the judgment, they say is narrow, and contrary to unbiased reason, and reflects upon the omnipotent love and mercy of God.

They have a scheme in which no hell will ever be needed, the majority of mankind will be saved, and the few who fail to make the grade will be destroyed literally, and all will be peace and harmony in the new heavens and new earth, especially in the new earth, for they don't seem to have much need for a heaven after the Lord comes the second time. They plan to move the whole works down to this earth, and heaven will be left an empty shell.

I want to examine their theory and see just what it does have to offer mankind, just as they have conceived it, and formulated their plan. Salvation as they preach it is based exclusively upon what they call the two-fold promise God made to Abraham. In that two-fold promise two kinds of seed are embraced, a fleshly seed, and a spiritual seed, and two kinds of salvation offered; one salvation to earthly reward and glory for the fleshly seed, and the other heavenly reward and glory for the spiritual seed. These two seeds of Abraham embrace all the people of Adam's race. Those of the flesh become Abraham's seed by a fleshly birth, and those of the spiritual seed become such by a spiritual birth, or conversion under the gospel.

The spiritual seed belong exclusively to the gospel dispensation, or age, and other names by which they identify this same period of time are," the times of the Gentiles," "this present evil world," "the church age," and the "little flock age," and these expressions are common in their writings.

This period of time is bounded by the ascension of the Lord back to heaven after his resurrection, and his return the second time. When he comes the second time the gospel age, or dispensation, will end, it has accomplished all that the Lord ever expected it in gathering up this "little flock" who are to become the judges in the second phase of the promise to Abraham, during a post mortem, post resurrection, age of reconciliation in which all of mankind will have a part, and the "little flock," or church, will be the administrators.

It is only during this post mortem period of reconciliation that salvation becomes available for the whole world. It has to be post mortem, for most of the people to whom this reconciliation is to be offered were dead people. But they do not find any difficulty in that fact, they will have the Lord raise them all from the dead and assemble them in Palestine, and around the site of ancient Jerusalem, and the "little flock" will be doing their work of reconciling them to God.

This, according to the theory, is the second phase of the two-fold promise made to Abraham, the part of the promise that embraces the land heritage, which the Lord gave to Abraham, and "to thy seed after thee." This of course is Abraham's seed after the flesh. God has bound himself with an oath to give them the Land of Canaan for an everlasting possession, and they claim further that this promise had been expanded to include the whole world, see Romans 4:13, and this promise they affirm has never been fulfilled. This is the work assigned to the little flock in the post mortem age, settling the races of mankind in their possessions.

This reconciliation, and salvation, which they offer them is not the heavenly award, and kingdom, glory, that reward was reserved for the spiritual seed, and their number has already been made up, and the reward given. What they have to offer is the reward embraced in the second phase of the double promise, an everlasting inheritance on the earth, and the glory is an earthly one as well as the salvation, and all will share in it from Abraham down to the last Jew. It is salvation by promise, based on a fleshly relation, and is unconditional and unilateral.

The spiritual seed were all made up during the gospel age, and while they are only a "little flock," they are the judges of the world and of angels, and the appointed administrators over the fleshly seed and their inheritance of the earth. The spiritual seed receive no inheritance among the fleshly seed, like the Levites under the law. As the administrators, however, they will be over the estates of the fleshly seed, and I suppose will live from the tithes.

When they place the Jews in possession of the world, and settle them in their habitations, the two-fold promise to Abraham is fulfilled, both to the spiritual seed and to the fleshly seed of Abraham. This is all that the theory offers, or can offer, on a basis of the promise to Abraham. But at this point they attempt to work in a joker, they seek to, expand this promise to include all of Adam's race who have ever lived in the world, as well as Abraham's fleshly seed, and the spiritual seed which comprises the little flock who are the judges.

But there are other millions, and billions, who come up in the resurrection, who are not of Abraham's fleshly seed, nor of his spiritual seed, and never can be if Russellism is true. They have nothing to offer these billions according to the theory they have worked out, and these billions are doomed to go unsaved forever. And for what reason are they doomed? First, because they were not born of Abraham's family, and secondly because they never had an opportunity to become one of the spiritual seed; not having lived at the time it was being made up. Russell's theory leaves those billions all unsaved, and with no possible way for them to be saved.

The only ones who could possibly be saved must be either of the spiritual seed of Abraham, or of his fleshly seed. The spiritual seed were made up during the church age, or gospel age, and the fleshly seed are raised, and settled in their earthly heritage when Christ comes the second time. Those people had no choice as to their parentage, and no chance to become spiritual seed during the gospel age, and the theory leaves them without God and without hope.

They have these billions on their hands and no place for them to go, not even a red-hot hell. They cannot be saved, and they cannot inherit on the earth, for that was reserved for Abraham's fleshly seed. Neither can they inherit in heaven, or the kingdom of God, that was reserves for the little flock. What will they do with those billions of unsaved people, and whom their theory cannot possibly save, as it made no provisions whatever for them? There will be Edom, Samaria, Egypt, Babylon, and the riff-raff: of all nations, kindreds, and tongues, and the only ones the theory is able to save is the little flock, and the Jews.

They started out, I grant them, to find a theory which would be able to save about all of Adam's race, and give them a home somewhere on the earth, but they have bungled the whole thing and saved very few. The promise to Abraham that he should be heir of the world, they say was literal, and means just what it says, it was the literal world that Abraham, "saw and walked upon," they say, and made up of sand, rocks, soil, hills, mountains, rivers, and all of this was given to Abraham by oath, confirmed unto Isaac as a promise, to Jacob as a law, and to Abraham's seed after him as an everlasting possession.

Then as the world belongs to Abraham, and his seed after him, and the kingdom, and heavenly award, belongs to the little flock of judges, where do these other billions of Adam's race come in? Like the Philistines, and the Canaanites, in the days of Joshua, they must be disposed of before the seed of Abraham can be secure in their inheritance. And there is no place for them to go, not even a hell, for the whole world belongs to Abraham and his seed after him.

There is only one thing left that I can see, and that is for the little flock, of whom Uncle Charley and his bunch are chief, to slay them with their rods of iron, with which we are told they will all be armed. I used to wonder about those saints with their rods of iron, and just why the immortal saints wanted them, but perhaps we have found a use for them after all. They would be useful first in prodding dissatisfied Jews who grumbled at their parcel of land, and wanted a better piece of ground for their vineyards, and for their flocks to graze.

After this there are those billions of unsaved people who never had a chance to be saved, to be disposed of. They are in the way of Gods people, and the most simple way to get rid of them is to slaughter them like cattle. And what an awful slaughter that will be? Think of all the wars since time began, and roll all of them into one single war, and it will be an infant compared with this slaughter, and the saints will do the slaughtering.

Now if they had some place to ship them off to that would be more merciful, they could be trusted to slaughter each other. But is there such a land, or place, according to Russell's theory, unoccupied, and unappropriated, for any other person, being, or purpose? Yes, there is just one according to the theory, the place which we now call heaven. According to Russell's theory heaven will be vacated, and even God himself will bring his tabernacle down to the earth and dwell with his people upon it, the tabernacle of God will be with men.

I think it would be more merciful to ship those billions of unsaved souls off to heaven, and let them take possession of it. We don't know just what condition it was left in when God and Christ and all the angels left it and came down to earth to live with man, but that won't matter. It may not be as bad as we think of hell when they arrive there, but give that bunch of crooks thirty days and it will be worse than any hell we have ever pictured. With all the Hitlers, Mussolinis, Kaisers, Caesars, Napoleons, Pharoahs, Herods, Hannibals, Alexanders, and despots of all ages herded there together fire will be flying before the last shipment arrives, and after that we won't need to worry about hell.

Then this is what they wind up with, and who have they saved? Just a "little flock," and a few Jews, fleshly descendants of Abraham, over whom the little flock will ride herd through all eternity. It will be time of plenty though, milk and honey and sweet wine dripping from the hills, and running down the mountains, and one consolation is the Jews will have to do the milking, and keep the flocks.