This article is sometimes quoted out of context in an effort to make it appear that Russell was a racist. Indeed, many misuse certain statements of Russell to make it appear that he was saying the very opposite of what he was saying. I present below the entire article; this does not mean that I agree with all conclusions that Brother Russell presented. I have expanded the names of the books of Bible to aid in searches. The article is reproduced from Bible Students Monthly, Volume 3, Number 14. -- Ronald R. Day, Senior.
THE NEGRO QUESTION IS HE HUMAN OR BEAST? HAS GOD MADE PROVISION FOR THE SALVATION OF THE NEGRO? WILL HE EVER BE RAISED TO THE POSITION OF EQUALITY WITH THE WHITE MAN?
WHAT WILL BE HIS FINAL DESTINY? DISCUSSED IN THE LIGHT OF THE BIBLE
For centuries the Negro Question has provoked much discussion. To the worldly-wise the problem seems nearer a solution now than at the beginning. Some have resorted to the Bible in an effort to establish their contention that the negro is a "brute beast," therefore not the object of Divine favor, but foreordained slave of man, with rights equal only to other beasts of the field. These arguments, claimed to be based on Scriptures, we here examine:
Advocates of the "beast" theory insist that Cain married a black beast, a regress, and for this cause he was a sinner, and therefore his sacrifice was not acceptable to God, Genesis 4:7 being cited in proof of this contention. In our common version this Scripture reads, "If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him." And even this translation is so twisted as to make it read, "Unto thee shall be her desire and you shall rule over her (the regress, his wife)."
Such is scarcely worthy to be dignified as an argument.
The facts are, Cain and Abel brought to the Lord their offerings; for sacrifice Abel bringing an animal, Cain the fruits of the ground. There is nothing said about Cain's offering being a sin, nor that it was even wrong on his part to bring such an offering. The first mention of his sin was his jealousy, which led to the murder of his brother. Adam and all his race were under the condemnation of death and the Lord desired to teach men that this sentence could be removed only through the shedding of blood. By the sacrifice of animals God instituted types, foreshadowing that the death sentence of man could and would be removed only by the Great Sacrifice for sin, the blood of Jesus. The fruit of the field could not represent such sacrifice, hence was not acceptable to God. The sacrifice of the live animal typified the Great Sacrifice, hence was acceptable to Jehovah.
God was demonstrating to Cain and Abel what was acceptable to Him, and had Cain been in the proper attitude of heart he would have learned the lesson, and would then have brought an animal for an offering. But instead he became angry with his brother, and because of his anger, God rebuked him in these words (Genesis 4:7; Leeser translation), "If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well [now that you know what would be acceptable to Me as a sacrifice], sin lieth at the door and unto thee is its desire; but thou canst rule over it" (you can get the victory over this wrong attitude of mind if you desire). Cain failed to learn the lesson, and continued in the wrong attitude of heart until the murder of his brother resulted.
At this time Cain had no wife and therefore his sin could not have referred to her.
Later he went and dwelt in the land of Nod, east of Eden, and there he married, undoubtedly, his own sister. Such was the custom of early times, and it could not have been otherwise, since there were no other human beings on the earth.
The Bible shows that it was not a sin in the sight of God for a white man to marry a negress. Note the fact that Moses married a negress, and had children by her.
Had this been a sin on Moses' part he would have been rejected from Divine favor. On the contrary, after his marriage, Moses was chosen to be the representative and leader of God's people out of Egyptian bondage, and it is declared of him in the Scriptures that God made him the head of the house of servants, the nation of Israel, as a type of the Great Head of the house of sons, Jesus Christ. To show that God was not displeased with Moses marrying a regress, when his sister Miriam upbraided him for his marriage to the regress the Lord defended him and smote Miriam with a plague of leprosy as a punishment for her improper conduct.
The Bible shows that God has manifested His favor toward the negro. For instance, Zipporah was an Ethiopian, Ebed-Melech was also an Ethiopian, one of Zedekiah's household, and very zealous for Jeremiah, the Lord's Prophet, and was specially honored by the Prophet.
The eunuch to whom Philip was sent with the message of salvation was unquestionably an Ethiopian. (Jeremiah 13:23; Acts 8:27) Philip nowhere intimates that this Ethiopian was a beast and not a man, but on the contrary, Philip was ready to preach the Gospel to him and to accept him as a brother in Christ upon his confession of faith.
The great weight of evidence is to the effect that the Queen of Sheba was a regress and Solomon is presumed to have referred to her in Canticles 1:5, 6.
Coming down to more modern times, we note that the Emperor of Abyssinia claims to be a descendant of the Queen of Sheba. He is a negro, yet an able warrior and general, successfully defeating the Italian army a few years ago.
It is further argued that in John 3:8 the word "beast" refers to the negro, because it says that both "man and beast" were commanded to wear sackcloth as a sign of humiliation before God, and that it would be inappropriate for cattle and sheep to wear sackcloth. This argument loses all of its force, however, when we read in the preceding verse, "Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything, let them not feed nor drink water." Thus we see that it was commanded that the brute beast should participate in this fast before God.
We are confronted with a Scripture, Exodus 19:13, which reads, "There shall not an hand touch it.... whether it be beast or man." It is insisted that the beasts of the field have not hands and therefore the "beasts" here refers to the negro. This argument is without weight when we observe that the Hebrew word used, here translated "hand," is "yad." The Hebrews used the same word for "paw." For instance, 1 Samuel 17:37, we read, "The paw [tyad] of the lion and the paw of the bear."
The inspired witness of the Lord settles this question beyond doubt when he says (Acts 17:26), "God hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth."
The beast of the field God created without moral sense, but of man it is written, "God created man in His own image." (Genesis 1:27) God endowed man with reasoning faculties, the sense of justice, of right and wrong. This endowment He did not give to the brute beast, and yet we know from experience that the negro possesses these Godlike qualities.
THE FACTS TO THE CONTRARY
It is argued that those negroes who show a development of moral sense, intellectual power and ability, are only those who are offspring from a union between the white man and the negro.
The facts are exactly to the contrary. If the negro is a brute beast, then it would be impossible, as demonstrated by scientific experiments, for the offspring above mentioned to propagate its own species. The great Creator has so fixed the boundaries and limitations that it is impossible for different species to intermingle. For instance, a cross-breed of a horse and a donkey, a dog and a cat, cannot be secured with powers of propagation. It follows, therefore, that if the negro is a brute beast the offspring resulting from the cohabitation of a white man with a regress would not be capable of propagation. This scientific demonstration cannot be set aside by any amount of sophistry or theorizing. In this respect science and the Bible are in perfect harmony.
The Scriptures teach that Adam was the original head of the human family. Later, all except Noah and his family were destroyed in the great Flood. From that time Noah is recognized as the head of the different nations of the earth.
Prior to the flood there was no rainfall. After the flood there was a great climatic change which caused fermentation, before unknown, a change which Noah learned by actual experience. The atmospheric changes caused the grape juice to ferment, producing alcohol. Noah, not knowing this, drank freely and became intoxicated. Prior to the flood climatic conditions were the same all over the earth.
After the flood the climate was different in many parts of the earth. A change in the climate that would cause fermentation would evidently have an effect upon the color of the skin and the complexion of the human race. This would vary in different parts of the earth.
THE FIRST BLACK MAN
It is generally conceded that Noah's son, Ham, went southward, locating in Africa. The strong rays of the sun would evidently affect the complexion of his offspring. We read that afterwards Ham had a son whom he named Kush. The word Kush means black, and it is very probable that he was so named because of his color, and that he was the first black man. In harmony with this we find that the black race comes from Africa. Shem, another son of Noah, remained near the Mediterranean Sea, and from him sprung the millions of Armenia, Persia, Assyria and Egypt. The other son, Japheth, went northward, and his offspring populated Turkey, Russia and Europe. Undoubtedly the climate and soil had much to do with the difference of offspring of these three sons. This is well illustrated in the vegetable family. For instance, the apple, which reaches so great a degree of perfection in a cold climate, if transferred to a warm one, will soon die out entirely and produce no fruit. The same is noticeable if the tropical fruits are transferred to a cold climate.
All are agreed that dogs are of one general family, and yet we find that locality, climate and the kind of food subsisted upon has much to do with the differences in these animals. The same principle applies to the human race; therefore we explain that the differences of color are the result of the climatic conditions, soil and environment.
In considering this question we are not to forget the strong pre-natal influence of the mother's mind upon her offspring, co-operating with the influences of the climate and soil. Suppose, to illustrate, a man and wife should go from North America to China. Not only would the influence of the climate and soil be manifest upon themselves, but the same would be still more manifest in the children, and each succeeding child born in that condition would increasingly resemble the Chinese. How often have we noticed that the offspring of parents who come from Austria or Germany and reside in North America soon lose the characteristics of the Austrian and the German and take on those of the American.
There is a suggestion in the Bible illustrating this point, as noted in the Song of Solomon 1:6, where it is supposed the Queen of Sheba, who, as we have heretofore noted, was a regress, speaking to the King, says, "Look not upon me because I am black, because the sun hath looked upon me" (that is to say, the sun hath made me black).
GOD MADE OF ONE BLOOD ALL NATIONS
From the foregoing Bible testimony the reasonable mind must conclude that the negro is a human being; and since the Apostle declares to us that "God made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on the face of the earth," (Acts 17:26) and since we read in the Scriptures that Adam was the father of the human race, we are able to reach a definite conclusion as to why the negro as a race has been and is much degraded. The reason thereof is: God made Adam a perfect man, mentally, morally and physically, and gave him the right to live in happiness and peace so long as he obeyed God's Law. Adam was clearly informed that a violation of God's Law would result in death. (Gen. 2:17) Adam violated God's Law, and the sentence of death was passed upon him, taking from him the right to live and the right to the enjoyment of the perfection and blessings of Eden. God sent him forth into the unfinished earth, there to battle with the elements, to feed upon the less nourishing foods the earth produced, and thereby to gradually suffer the penalty of death. (Genesis 3:17-24) Eden was the only perfect place in the earth; all other parts were in an unfinished condition. By Adam's disobedience he lost access to Eden, hence suffered the natural results of earning his bread in the sweat of his face and of eating the poisonous foods of the unprepared earth.
God had given Adam the power to propagate his own species, therefore, this penalty of death pursued the spark of life transmitted by Adam to his offspring, and as a natural result all of his children were born under the condemnation of death. In proof of this we read (Romans 5:12), "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned."
NEGRO A SOUL
Those who argue that the negro is a beast and not a man, say, a negro has no soul and therefore there is no future life for him. To this we answer, Neither has a white man. A soul is a sentient being. Man himself is a soul; but he does not possess a soul. Concerning man we read, "God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul" -- Genesis 2:7.
Thus we see that the soul is that which results from the union of the breath of life with the body, or organism. The dust out of which God made man was not conscious, the breath of life was not conscious, but when God had formed the organism and breathed into the nostrils the breath of life, a soul was the result; namely, a conscious being, a creature, a man. It was the man (soul) to whom God said, If you violate My Law you shall die. It was the soul (the man) that disobeyed Jehovah; it was the soul (the man) that was sentenced to death and that actually died. The Scriptures declare, "The soul that sinneth it shall die." (Ezekiel 18:4) Again we read, "What man is he that liveth and shall not see death? Shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave?" -- Psalm 89:48.
The Scriptures nowhere teach that man has an undying, or immortal, soul. The expression, "immortal soul," is nowhere found in the Bible. All souls -- that is to say, all breathing creatures -- die alike. There is no difference between the death of man and the death of a beast, and in death man has no preeminence above the beast; as we read, "For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them; as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no pre-eminence above a beast." -- Ecclesiastes 3:19
Whether the negro is a man or a beast we see there is no difference in his death and the death of any other creature. But the Bible clearly shows that the negro is not a beast, but a man, a soul, a being, subject to death, and that he came, in common with all men, under the sentence of death by virtue of the disobedience of Father Adam. God created no creature with the quality of immortality, that is to say, indestructibility. Originally God alone was immortal; as we read, "He only hath immortality, dwelling in light which no man can approach unto." (1 Timothy 6:16) But this immortality He has promised to certain other creatures conditionally, as we shall discuss later.
WHERE ARE THE DEAD?
Adam was legally dead from the moment he was sentenced to death and driven out of Eden. The execution of the judgment of death began at that time and was completed in the actual death of Adam 930 years later. The direct offspring of Adam were begotten and born within that period of time and hence all "were conceived in sin, and brought forth in iniquity." (Psalm 51:5) Since we see that in death man has no pre-eminence above the beast, it follows conclusively that in death the white man has no preeminence above the negro. The Scriptures declare, "All go unto one place, all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again." (Ecclesiastes 3:19, 20) It follows, then, that the white man and the black man in death occupy exactly the same position.
Some erroneously conclude that when man dies the body alone returns to the dust and the soul lives on, and in support of this erroneous position they cite and misinterpret the following Scripture:" Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was, and the spirit return unto God who gave it." (Ecclesiastes 12:7) The word here translated "spirit" is not synonymous with the word soul, but is from the same Hebrew word translated "Breath of lives," and means the life principle, or right to live, which God gave to Adam, and which Adam forfeited by his disobedience, and actually lost at the time of his death. At death the body returns to the dust; the spirit, the breath of life, returns to God; therefore the soul, the moving, breathing creature, the man, ceases to exist, and goes into the condition of death. Hence, with propriety, we say that at death the man, the soul, goes to hell; not to a place of torment, nor fire and brimstone, but the Bible hell, which means the death condition.
FOUR WORDS FROM WHICH HELL IS TRANSLATED
The Hebrew word "sheol" is the only word in the Old Testament that is translated into the English word "hell." It nowhere means a condition of torment, but in every instance means the condition of death, nonexistence. In proof of this we cite some Scriptures where the word is used. "Oh, that Thou wouldst hide me in sheol [the grave] until Thy wrath be passed." Job 14:13) "If I wait, sheol [the grave] is mine house; I have made my bed in the darkness. "Job 17:13 This word "sheol" in our common version is translated "grave" more times than it is translated "hell." It means the same in every instance, namely, the condition of death. In that condition there is no consciousness, there is no knowledge; as we read, "In death there is no remembrance of Thee; in the grave ['sheol'], who shall give Thee thanks?" (Psalm 6:5); and again, "The living know that they shall die, but the dead know not anything." "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave ['sheol'] whither thou goest." (Ecclesiastes 9:5,10) In the New Testament we find three words translated "hell," according to our common version of the Bible. The original manuscript is in the Greek language, and the Greek words "hades," "gehenna" and "tartaroo" are translated into the English word "hell." "Hades" in the Greek has the same meaning as "sheol" in the Hebrew, both meaning the condition of death, oblivion, the grave. The Apostle Peter, quoting from Psalm 16:10, wherein the word "sheol" is translated "hell," says, "Thou wilt not leave My soul in hell [hades]; neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption." (Acts 2:27) He then proceeds to explain that the Prophet, as recorded in the Psalm, spoke concerning the resurrection of Jesus Christ, that "His soul was not left in "hades" ["sheol," the death condition], neither did His flesh see corruption." (Acts 2:31) The Greek word "gehenna," translated in our authorized version "hell," likewise refers to the condition of death, destruction. It was the classical Greek manner of expressing the Hebrew phrase, "the valley of Hinnom," which valley, located just outside the walls of the city of Jerusalem, was used by the Jews as a place for destroying the offal of the city. Into it were cast the bodies of dead animals, and sometimes the bodies of criminals, but in no instance were live creatures cast into this valley. In casting bodies over the precipice one might lodge on a projection of the rocks from the edge thereof, and therefore not reach the bottom of the valley.
A body thus lodged would be consumed by worms and the one reaching the bottom of the valley would be consumed by the fire kept burning for that purpose.
Thus the valley represented a place of complete destruction. Jesus defined it as a place of destruction, and not a place of torment, when He said, "Fear not them which can kill the body' but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear Him (God) who is able to destroy both soul and body in "gehenna." (Matthew 10:28) Here Jesus was speaking to His disciples and used plain language. On the contrary, when He spoke to the multitude, He always employed a parable. (Matthew 13:34) On another occasion He used this same word in addressing the multitude, and in accordance with the invariable rule, used it in a parabolic sense, when He said, "If shine eye offend thee, pluck it out; it is better for thee to enter into the Kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hellfire ['gehenna' fire], where the worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched." (Mark 9:47, 48) On this occasion He was showing the Jews, who were rejecting Him, that it was better for them to part with anything, even though it were as dear as an eye, than to be destroyed in "gehenna"-the worm and the fire both symbolizing destruction.
The Greek word "tartaroo" occurs but once in the Scriptures, and is translated "hell." It is found in 2 Peter 2:4, which reads thus:" God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to 'hell' ['tartaroo'], and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment."
As this has to do with certain angels that sinned, and not with humanity, and since there are many today more or less under the influence of Demonism-Spiritism-we will send further information upon postcard request.
"Hades" represents a condition of death from which God has promised a resurrection. "Gehenna" represents a condition of death from which there will be no resurrection. But in no instance does either of these words represent a state of conscious torment. The negro being a descendant of Father Adam and coming under the judgment of death passed upon Adam, passes at death into exactly the same condition as that occupied by all other members of the Adamic race, and is, therefore, subject to the same Divine laws relative to Adam's race. "All in Adam die." (1 Corinthians 15:22) "By one man [Adam] sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death [sentence] passed upon all." -- Romans 5:12.
SALVATION FROM DEATH
Has God made provision for the salvation of man from death, and if so does this provision include the negro?
The sentence of death passed upon Father Adam, is not subject to reversal; it cannot be reversed, because "God cannot deny Himself;" "it is impossible for God to lie." Having sentenced man to death on account of disobedience to His Law, Justice demands that man shall be held in death. However, while God could not consistently reverse His own judgment, He could make a provision in His Law for the satisfaction of that judgment-that is to say, He could provide that another meet the requirements of the Law in place of Adam, and thereby release Adam and his offspring from the sentence of death; and if such provision is made, of necessity it must include all of Adam's race, the negro as well as the white. Before the foundation of the world God made provision in His Plan that mankind should be redeemed from the condition of death and ultimately be delivered from the baneful effects of sin.
The angels of heaven, beholding the condition of man resulting from sin, came to earth for the purpose of attempting to uplift humankind, but, departing from their first estate, and assuming human form, some invaded the sanctity of Adam's family, debauched the human race and turned all of their thoughts and conduct into channels of wickedness-Noah and his family alone being free from their baneful influence. "Noah was a just man, and perfect in his generation." (Genesis 6:9) The great deluge followed, in which only Noah and his household were preserved.
After the great flood, man again began to multiply and fill the earth. Nearly two thousand years had passed since God drove Adam from Eden. The burdens of sin fell heavily upon his offspring with no tangible hope of relief. Then it was that God called upon Abraham and said, "I will bless thee and make thee a blessing, and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed." (Genesis 12:2,3) Having strong faith in this promise, Abraham gave glory to God, patiently waiting for the time when this promised blessing should come. Yet it came not in his time.
Abraham slept with his fathers, not having received the fulfillment of the promise.
The promise was then given to Abraham's offspring, Isaac, and later to Jacob.
These also passed into death, not having received the fulfillment of the promise.
God established the House of Servants, viz., the Jewish nation, to whom He renewed the promise time and again through the mouth of the holy Prophets. With this nation He made a Covenant, and as part of and incidental to said Covenant, He provided for annual sacrifices of animals, the shedding of whose blood foretold in type that there should come the Great Sacrificer, who, by His own blood, would redeem Adam and his race from the sentence of death. Two thousand years more passed away. Men continued to fight the battles of life, suffering bodily pain and mental anguish.
WONDERFUL MESSAGE OF THE ANGELS
But the Jews had faith in the promise that the Great Deliverer would come, and, as it is written, at the time of the birth of Jesus, the whole world was looking for the coming of a great king. The birth of this Mighty One was heralded by the messengers of God who declared unto the shepherds, "Behold, we bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be unto all people; for unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord." (Luke 2:911) Of this Mighty One it had been prophetically written in the Scriptures, "For unto us a Child is born; unto us a Son is given, and the Government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6)* The Babe, Jesus, in due time grew to manhood, attained His legal maturity and entered upon the mission for which He had come to earth. The majority of the Jewish nation rejected Him and denounced Him as an impostor, even as it had been foretold. (Isaiah 53:3) But the devout Jews believed that He would set up an earthly kingdom, and so, in due time, when He rode into Jerusalem and presented Himself as their King, they hailed Him with glad hosannas and proclaimed Him to be their King.
*See my studies related to: Mighty God--RRD.They understood not, as indeed they could not understand at the time, that Adam's race must first be redeemed from the death sentence before a King could be raised to bless them; and when Jesus was crucified upon the cross His followers scattered and fled, their hopes being dashed to pieces. In due time God raised Jesus from the dead. Jesus appeared to His disciples, instructing them to wait at Jerusalem until they were endued with the Holy Spirit, and then they should know of God's great Plan. At Pentecost man for the first time knew the real purpose of the coming of Jesus to earth, and the object of His death and resurrection. The faithful ones who had consecrated their lives to follow Him, now receiving the Holy Spirit, their minds were illuminated, God making known unto them the deep things of His Plan. This is in harmony with the Master's words respecting the necessity of His departure. See John 16:7-13.
WHY JESUS CAME
Satan, the mighty Adversary, seduced Mother Eve, causing her to disobey God.
Adam, knowing the penalty, voluntarily became party to the transgression and therefore came under the sentence of death. Satan thus told the first lie when he said to Mother Eve, "Ye shall not surely die" (Genesis 3:4); and by this means became the murderer of the human race, as Jesus declares in John 8:44.
For four thousand years following, man suffered and groaned under the great load of sin and death, of which Satan was the author. The Apostle declares, therefore, that "Jesus partook of flesh and blood [became man], that He through death might destroy him [Satan] that hath the power of death." (Hebrews 2:14) Jesus himself declares, "The thief cometh not but to steal and to kill and to destroy; I am come that they [mankind] might have life, and have it more abundantly." (John 10:10) Therefore, in harmony with God's Law, in order for man to obtain life, Jesus must lay down His own pure, holy, human life, that which corresponded exactly to Adam's prior to his sin. When Jesus was thirty years of age, the time had arrived for the great Anti-typical Sacrifice, foreshadowed by the sacrifice of animals, to be offered up. At Jordan, Jesus presented Himself to the Heavenly Father, and became that Great Sacrifice. Three and a half years after we behold Him dying upon the cross. Three days later he was raised from the dead, and forty days thereafter Jesus ascended into the presence of Jehovah, there to apply the merit of His Sacrifice, and to open the way for man to return to God and receive life everlasting.
RANSOM FOR ALL
Now the question arises, For whom did Jesus die, for the white man alone, or is the negro also to receive the benefit of the Ransom? The Apostle answers this question, "Jesus Christ, by the grace of God, tasted death for every man." (Hebrews 2:9) And again, "He gave himself a Ransom for all, to be testified in due time." (1 Timothy 2:6) If, therefore, the negro is a descendant of Adam, it follows beyond question that he, in due time, must with every other man, receive the benefits of the great Ransom-price provided by the Lord Jesus Christ. The provision made for the salvation of Adam's race must of necessity include the negro also.
God's Plan is yet a Mystery to the world. It first became known to mankind at Pentecost; and from time to time throughout the Gospel Age clearer light has been shed thereon. The Seed of Abraham, according to the promise, the Apostle Paul declares, is The Christ, the Anointed, and this Christ is composed of Jesus the Head, and the Church, the members of His Body, whom God has been electing, or selecting, throughout the Gospel Age.
All those who are to become of this class must first be justified by faith in the merit of Christ's sacrifice, and then present themselves in full consecration to God, be accepted of Him and begotten by His Spirit. Their begetting, therefore, is as New Creatures, and, from God's standpoint, they cease to be men, but become New Creatures in Christ Jesus, to which class the promise is given that if they continue faithful followers in the footsteps of Jesus unto death, they shall be partakers of his glory, honor, and immortality, become sharers with Him in His glorious reign for the blessing of all the families of the earth. They are otherwise designated in the Scriptures as God's Elect, who shall have part in the First, or Chief Resurrection. -- Galatians 3:16,27,29; 1 Peter 1:1-4; Revelation 20:6; 3:21
Is it possible for the negro to be accepted and made part of this class in glory? The Apostle answers the question in these words, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, neither bond nor free, neither male nor female, for ye are all one in Christ Jesus; and if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's Seed and heirs according to the promise." (Galatians 3:28,29) This Seed is to be the instrument through which the blessing is to flow to all the nations of earth, and God has declared that He is selecting these out of "every tongue and people and nation, and hath made us unto God, Kings and Priests, and we shall reign on the earth." Rev. 5:9, 10 History bears evidence to the fact that throughout the Gospel Age there have been a few of the negro race who have devoutly followed in the footsteps of the Master, and today we have some who give every evidence of full consecration to the Lord, faithfully following the leading of the Great Master. In Messiah's great Kingdom the glorified members of the Body of Christ, which is the Church, will not be like either the white or the black man, no longer flesh and blood; as the Apostle declares, "It cloth not yet appear what we [the Church] shall be, but we do know that when He shall appear we shall be like Him." -- 1 John 3:2; Philippians 3:21; 1 Corinthians 15:50,53,54.
HOPE OF MASSES
Every effort made for the uplift of the negro race is commendable, and should have the sympathy of all honest men. Such efforts, however, are like the man trying to lift himself by his own bootstraps-all such must fail. Messiah's reign of righteousness is the only panacea for all the ills to which humankind is heir.
When God's Elect class has been completed and glorified with the Head, Jesus Christ, then will the Kingdom of Heaven be established; then will the Government be upon Messiah's shoulder; then will be the time of blessing all the families of the earth, according to the promise made to Abraham. Speaking of that glorious reign of Messiah, St. Peter says:" Times of Refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and He shall send Jesus Christ, who was before preached unto you, whom the heavens must retain 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) Sin has greatly degraded the human race, whites as well as negroes. The greater the ignorance, the farther mankind have wandered from God, the greater their degradation. That they are to have an opportunity of restoration to all that Adam lost is indeed glad tidings of great joy, and every heart shall be filled with joy that hears and obeys such glad tidings. Restoration means that a full opportunity shall be given to all of Adam's offspring, negro and white, to come back into harmony with God and to be restored to that which Adam once possessed, namely, a perfect organism, perfection of mind and heart, and have restored to him the Godlike qualities of justice, wisdom and love.
To accomplish this the dead must be raised and given a knowledge of the great truth that Jesus has purchased them from the sentence of death and opened the way for them to return to life and happiness. Jesus Himself declared, "The hour is coming in which all that are in their graves shall hear My voice and come forth, the righteous [meaning the faithful Christians] to a resurrection of life, and they who have done evil [meaning all who have not been children of God] to a resurrection of judgment." (John 5:28,29, R. V .) All the dead in hell (" Hades," the tomb, oblivion) must be brought forth and given a knowledge of the Truth. (1 Timothy 2:4) Mark well that the fall and plan of redemption apply to all mankind. All came under the condemnation of death. (Romans 5:18) "Jesus gave Himself a Ransom for all, to be testified in due time." (1 Timothy 2:5, 6) All will be brought forth from the tomb (John 5:28) for the very purpose of having a trial for life. The Apostle declares, "God hath appointed a day, in which He will judge the world in righteousness by that Man whom He hath ordained; whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised Him from the dead." (Acts 17:31) There could be no judgment without a trial, and there could be no trial without knowledge, hence all -- negroes included -- must be brought forth from the condition of death for the purpose of being tried for life. Messiah's Kingdom will be a Kingdom of righteousness, where every man will stand equal before the Law, for God is no respecter of persons. (Acts 10:34) Then, "The loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of man shall be made low; and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day." (Isaiah 2:17) There will be but one standard and that the standard of righteousness. They who obey to the best of their ability will be rewarded with progress and health, and they who refuse to obey the Messiah, after being given a knowledge of the Truth, will be destroyed from amongst the people-will go into "Gehenna," the Second Death, from which there is to be no resurrection. Acts 3:23; 2 Thessalonians 1:9; Revelation 20:14,15.
WHEN THE SPIRIT AND THE BRIDE SHALL SAY "COME"
Messiah's Kingdom fully established, the message of glad tidings will go forth to all the families of the earth, and "The Spirit and the Bride will say 'Come,' and let him that heareth say, 'Come'; and let him that is athirst come; and whosoever will, let him take the Water of Life freely." (Revelation 22:17) This wonderful Water of Life, the Message of Truth, will be opened to every man, negroes and whites; there is to be no limitation; but the proclamation will be, "Whosoever will, let him take of the Water of Life freely." The teeming millions of earth shall hear the glad sound and respond thereto. "And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come unto Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads; and they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away." Isa. 35:10 The Ransomed of the Lord here mentioned mean all of Adam's race. They shall return from the "land of the enemy," from the condition of death; they shall come unto Zion to the great Messiah; they shall come with songs of joy and gladness, for the time of their blessing will then be at hand; their hearts will be made glad with the knowledge of the Truth that they may obtain eternal life in a state of happiness. The Apostle declares that this glorious reign of Christ will continue until every enemy of the human race shall be destroyed, the last enemy being death. (1 Corinthians 15:25,26) That glorious Kingdom will accomplish the wiping away of all tears from all eyes, and there shall be no more sorrow, nor crying, nor pain, nor death, because the glorious reign of Messiah will result in everlasting life and blessing to all of the obedient.
NO RACIAL QUESTIONS TO SOLVE
At that time there will be no racial questions to solve because Messiah's Kingdom will have solved them all. At that time there will be no class distinctions nor castes, neither rich nor poor, neither high nor low, [HG515] because every man will be loving his neighbor exactly as he loves himself. The light of the glorious Truth will shine in darkest Africa as brightly as it will shine in any other part of the earth. The effulgent rays from the Sun of Righteousness will then drive away all superstition and ignorance, and the Great Deliverer will restore the obedient ones to perfection, to the image and likeness of God, as was Adam in his perfection. Is not this a glorious prospect that God has for those of mankind who will seek to know and do His will?
Let us close our eyes for a moment to the scenes of misery and woe, degradation and sorrow that yet prevail on account of sin, and picture before our mental vision the glory of a perfect earth, for the Messiah will restore even the earth to an Edenic paradise as a habitation for man. (Isaiah 35:1-6; Ezekiel 34:26,27) In that glorious earth restored not a stain of sin will mar the harmony and peace of perfect society; not a bitter thought, not an unkind look or word; love welling up from every heart will meet a kindred response in every other heart, and benevolence will mark every act. There sickness shall be no more; not an ache nor a pain, nor any evidence of decay; not even fear of such things. The inward purity and mental and moral perfection will stamp and glorify every radiant countenance. Such will be earth's society. There will be no strife; the race question will be fully settled; every man will be standing upon an equality before God, every man a brother to every other man, loving his brother as himself.
DARK HOUR PRECEDES PERFECT DAY
But we would be derelict in our duty if we failed to call attention to the dark hour that must immediately precede the ushering in of Messiah's reign of righteousness. Let no one be deceived into believing that the present kings of earth, civil, financial and ecclesiastical, will peaceably surrender their power to the Great Prince of Peace. The Divine testimony is that Satan is the god (ruler) of this present evil order of society. The mighty ones of earth, as well as those of lower degree, have imbibed his spirit of selfishness, and, being largely under Satan's control, will surrender their power only at the hands of One Mightier than they. The great development in recent years in invention and education has not tended to lessen the chances of a conflict, but rather enhanced the same.
In the time of greatest prosperity known to the human race, in the time of the greatest enligthenment man has yet experienced, the nations of earth have armed themselves to the teeth, and are today standing with hand upon sword-hilt ready to fly at each other's throats. During the past quarter of a century the nations have become more intimately acquainted with each other, until today every civilized nation of earth is within easy communication with every other nation by the use of the cable and the telegraph. Each nation has its representative in every other nation. By these means the nations of earth are assembled as they have never been in times past.
Writing prophetically of this time, the Lord's inspired witness said, "Wait ye upon Me, saith the Lord, until the day that I shall rise up to the prey; for My determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them Mine indignation, even all My fierce anger, for all the earth [social order-governments] shall be devoured by the fire of My jealousy." -- Zephaniah 3:8.
Referring to the same time the Prophet in another place says, "And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great Prince that standeth for the children of Thy people, and there shall be a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation, even to that same time." -- Daniel 12:1.
What part will the negro question play in this great controversy? We cannot state with exactness, but reaching a conclusion in the light of the Scriptures, and in view of conditions as they exist today, the race question will evidently have its part in this mighty conflict. The great Adversary, who caused the fall of our first parents, he who has blinded the minds of men to the glorious Message of God (2 Corinthians 4:3,4) throughout the whole Age, is diligently seeking to stir up strife between the negroes and the whites, which can result in no good to either.
SEEK MEEKNESS IT MAY BE YE SHALL BE HID
From the foregoing Scriptures it must be clear to the reasonable and thoughtful mind that the solution of this great question lies only in the establishment of Messiah's Kingdom of righteousness. At that time, as it is written, "Judgment also will I lay to the line and righteousness to the plummet." (Isaiah 28:17) "And righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins." (Isaiah 11:5) Such a reign of righteousness alone can settle this and all other great questions with which the race now contends.
What then should be the attitude of one today who in the light of "Present Truth" beholds the storm arising from every quarter and the great Time of Trouble approaching with rapidity? We answer in the language of the Prophet, "Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought His judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness; it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord's anger." (Zephaniah 2:3) For more than eigtheen centuries the Christian has prayed, "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth. as it is done in heaven." Even the world unconsciously awaits the coming of this Kingdom. Therefore let him whom God has favored with some knowledge of His great Plan turn his heart to the Lord, present himself wholly to God, that he may know and do His will, and thus prepare himself for the ushering in of the Kingdom, which shall uplift all the families of the earth.
See my research related to Charles Taze Russell and Racism