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THE BOOK OF THE PROPHET EZEKIEL





EXPLANATORY NOTE

This posthumous work of Pastor Russell (arranged for use as a textbook) is much condensed, including the extracts from the Pastor's pen, all of which are referred back to his works. The abbreviations used are:

A, B, C, D,E, FThe six preceding volumes of "STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES".
(Citations to E in italic figures refer to old editions, figures in ordinary type to later editions.)
B. S. M..........."THE BIBLE STUDENTS MONTHLY."
H....................."What Say the Scriptures ABOUT HELL?"
P-D................. "PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION" Scenario.
T....................."TABERNACLE SHADOWS."
S....................."SPIRITISM" Pamphlet.
Z......................"ZION'S WATCH TOWER," followed by year and page.

The citations to REVELATION and EZEKIEL refer to the comments herein, as well as to the Bible text.
Other abbreviations used are:

Barnes..........Barnes' "Revelation".
Brit................."Encyclopedia Britannica."
Buck..............Buck's "Theological Dictionary".
Coffin............Coffin's "Story of Liberty".
Cook.............Cook's "Revelation" ; a compendium of the presentations of seventy-two leading commentators on Revelation, in all languages and all ages of the Church.
Edgar............Edgar's "Pyramid Passages". Vol. II.
McC...............McClintock and Strong Encyclopedia.
Mosheim......Mosheim's Ecclesiastical History.
S. B. D...........Smith's Bible Dictionary.
Smith.............Smith's "Thoughts on Daniel and Revelation".
Weym............Weymouth's New Testament in Modern Speech.



EZEKIEL 33

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WHY ECCLESIASTICISM MUST PERISH

33:1, 2. Again the Word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, If the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman. — A mutual responsibility exists between one of God's watchmen and His people, the one to speak and the other to listen. (33:1-19.) Ezekiel recites his warning of Jerusalem's fall. (33:20-29.) The people listen, but do not believe. (33:30-33.) This chapter repeats the statements of 3:17-21 and 18:5-29 regarding the watchman set to warn the people of Christendom, his message and responsibility, and the responsibility of the Christian people toward the watchman — Pastor Russell, and his message and warning from God. "A man of their coasts" refers to the clergy class appointed and ordained by the people, and set by them as their watchman.
33:3. If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people. — Who of the clergy class have blown the trumpet of Truth and warned "their" people of the impending doom of Christendom?
33:4. Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul. — The people who have heard the warning have only themselves to blame, — Isa. 58:1.
33:6. But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand. — The clergy have an awful responsibility. Faithful watching on their part with their great influence among the people, would have saved tens of millions from physical death, and a host from the religious death that will overtake so many. The outraged people will turn on the clergy, as they did in the French Revolution, and in a frightful carnival will exact full toll for the lives lost in war. Responsibility for the Time of Trouble lies squarely at the door of ecclesiasticism; for
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had the clergy taken a united stand upon the Word of God against industrial, social, political, moral and religious evils, they could have reformed Christendom and prevented the world war and the ensuing revolution and anarchy. Our Lord said, prophetically, "Upon this generation shall come all the blood — to the blood of Zechariah, whom you will murder between the sanctuary and the altar." (Matt. 23:35 Diaglott, foot-note.) Josephus says of this man that he boldly accused the clergy of Jerusalem with being the cause of the trouble upon the city. He was tried, accused of inciting anarchy, was found innocent, and was then slain by the clergy class. His fate represents experiences coming upon the Lord's true people shortly.
33:7-9. So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at My mouth, and warn them from Me. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood shall I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. — Pastor Russell faithfully taught that "the wages of sin is death" (Rom. 6:23), and not eternal torment. He also warned the wicked systems of earth, political, economic and religious, that they should surely perish from the earth, if they did not turn wholeheartedly to Jehovah, the God of infinite Love.
33:10. Therefore, 0 thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; Thus ye speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live? — The nominal Christians of our day were typed by the Hebrews who went to Ezekiel with insincere objections. They have treated Pastor Russell with a seeming but insincere respect. When they inquired into his writing, and predictions, based upon the Word of God, they had no sincerity either in their questions or their professions toward him or the Word set forth by him.

CLERICAL SEEDS OF ANARCHY

33:11-19. Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? Therefore, thou son of man, say unto the children of thy people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression: as for the
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wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turneth from his wickedness; neither shall the righteous be able to live for his righteousness in the day that he sinneth. When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousness shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it. Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right; if the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die. None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him: he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live. Yet the children of thy people say, The way of the Lord is not equal: but as for them, their way is not equal. When the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and commiteth iniquity, he shall even die thereby. But if the wicked turn from his wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby. — God has no pleasure in the destruction of Christendom. If it had turned from its spiritual idolatry and harlotry to obey God it would have been saved' from its impending doom. Its destruction is traceable directly to a "small group of willful men," leaders and guides of the masses; namely the pope, the cardinals, bishops, priests, ministers, revivalists and other religious leaders who have mistaught rulers and people, and by their combination of worldly and religious teachings brought the World into a condition where the social elements are working their mutual destruction. God pity the clergy for what is coming upon them; for the people will surely recognize the part they have signally failed to play in not, by concerted preaching of true godliness, checking the world's mad rush to anarchy and annihilation.
Literally the Scriptures foregoing are an affirmation that any one who kept the Mosaic Law perfectly should enjoy life indefinitely as long as he kept the law. Spiritually it teaches the Christian that if he has turned from sin to serve God, under the spirit of the Divine Law of Love, he shall have life everlasting. (Rom. 8:13, 14.) Symbolically it speaks to this evil state of affairs, or world, especially to that wicked one, ecclesiasticism, and enumerates its iniquities: it has sinned before God: it has broken God's Law of Love and every other Law, and excused the breach by sophistries. Romanism, with which Protestantism has linked hands, teaches the most iniquitous and wicked things.
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"A culprit or a witness questioned by a judge, but in an illegal manner (of which the culprit, of course, is the judge) may swear that he knows nothing of the crime about which he is questioned, although he knows it well, meaning mentally, that he knows nothing in such manner as to answer." — Alphonso Maria de Liguori, Popish theologian, bishop and founder of the order of Redemptorists, 1696-1787.
Again "Saint" Liguori: "He may swear that he knows nothing, when he knows that the person who committed the crime committed it without malice; or if he knows the crime, but secretly, and there has been no scandal. When a crime has been well concealed, the witness and even the criminal, may and even must, swear that the crime has never been committed. The accused may deny his crime under oath, understanding that he has not committed this crime in such a manner as to be obliged to confess it. He who has sworn to keep a secret is not obliged to keep his oath, if any consequential injury to him or to others is thereby caused. If any one has sworn before a judge to keep the truth, he is not obliged to say secret things. (A woman who has really committed adultery may deny it under oath, provided she has been to confess: for then the sin has been pardoned, and has really ceased to exist.) It is right to advise any one to commit a robbery, or a fornication in order to avoid a murder. We may be allowed to conceal the truth, or disguise it under ambiguous or equivocal words or signs, tor a just cause, and where there is no necessity to confess the truth." And Liguori is still a "saint" in the Roman ecclesiasticism, "where Satan's seat is," and with whom Episcopalians, Church of England men, and Protestants generally, are trying to come together in a church union or federation, destined fortunately to an early decease.
"They are not to be called oaths, but rather perjury, which are in opposition to the welfare of the Romish church." — The Lateran Council ("infallible"). "If any, either alone or before others, whether asked or of his own accord, or for the purpose of sport, or for any other object, swears that he has not done something else which he has done, or in a different way from that in which he has done it, or any other truth that is added, be does not really lie, nor is he perjured." — Pope Innocent XI, another of the "saints." 1611-1689. "A man may swear that he never did such a thing (though he actually did it), meaning within himself that he did not do so on a certain day, or before he was born, or understanding any other such
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circumstances, while the words which he employs have no such sense as would discover his meaning." "Promises are not binding, when the person in making them had no intention to bind himself." — "Saint" Antonio Escobar of Mendoza, a Spanish Casuist and Jesuit, 1589-1699 ("Papacy and Civil Power," page 607). "I pronounce all Roman Catholic priests, bishops, popes, monks, friars and nuns to be the most deliberate and willful set of liars that ever infested this or any other country, or disgraced the name of religion." — William Hogan, a prominent southern lawyer, formerly a priest, on page 172 of his book, "Popery."
Stealing is authorized by Popish ecclesiasticism: "A servant has the right to rob his master, a child his father, and a poor man the rich. The poor man who has concealed the goods and effects of which he has need, may swear that he has nothing." In Romish theology it is ordinarily a mortal sin to steal two pieces of gold; but, "If any one steal small sums at different times, either from the same or from different persons, not having the intention of stealing large sums, nor of causing a great damage, his sin is not mortal. If several persons steal from the same master, in small quantities, each in such a manner as not to commit a mortal sin, though each knows that all of these little thefts together cause a considerable damage to their master, yet no one of them commits a mortal sin, even when they steal at the same time. A son does not commit a mortal sin when he steals only twenty or thirty pieces of gold from a father who has an income of 150 pieces of gold." — "Saint" Liguori.
Ecclesiasticism, the dominant power of the Gospel Age, authorizes murder: "A man who has been excommunicated by the Pope may be killed anywhere, because the Pope has an indirect jurisdiction over the whole world, even in temporal things." — Dens, a Roman Catholic theological authority in his "Theologica Morales." Pope Gregory VII (alias "Saint" Hildebrand), 1020-1085, pronounced that it was no murder to kill an excommunicated person. "This rule has been for 700 years and continues to be, part of the ecclesiastical law. One of the later popes has declared that the murder of a Protestant is so good a deed that it atones and more than atones for the murder of a Catholic." — Lord Acton in the London Times, July 26, 1872. Says Dr. Isaac J. Lansing in "Romanism and the Republic;" "Every person who had anything to do with the assassination of Abraham Lincoln was a Roman Catholic. John Wilkes Booth was a Roman Catholic; Payne and Atseroth, also Dr. Nudd, who dressed Booth's leg; Garrett, in whose premises be was killed; also Harold was
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a Roman Catholic; Mrs. Suratt and her son were Roman Catholics; their house was the headquarters for Roman Catholics and for the Jesuit priests. All this was brought out before the military tribunal which condemned some of them to death. When John Suratt fled from Washington he was taken charge of by Jesuits, and under a Jesuit convoy was carried to France." — Page 272.
"Catholics who shall assume the cross for the extermination of heretics, shall enjoy the same indulgences and be protected by the same privileges as are granted to those who go to the help of the Holy Land. We decree, further that all who may have dealings with heretics, shall be excommunicated." — The Lateran Council (composed of candidates for Roman Catholic "saintship.').
Papacy, the mother of harlots, also permits her clergy to become criminals: "Were even the lives of her ministers debased by crime, they are still within her pale, and therefore lose none of the powers with which her ministry invests them." — Catechism of the Council of Trent. "A mortal sin is that which kills the soul and deserves hell," Bays Archbishop John Hughes, of New York. Papal ecclesiasticism controls the education of the nations under threat of mortal sin: "Catholic electors (voters) in this country, who do not use their electoral (voting) power in behalf of separate (religious public) schools, are guilty of mortal sin. Likewise parents not making the sacrifices necessary to secure such schools, or sending their children to mixed schools. Moreover, the confessor (priest) who would give absolution to such parents, electors or legislators as support mixed schools, to the prejudice of separate schools, would be guilty of a mortal sin." — Right Reverend Charbonnel, Bishop of Toronto, Canada.
The chastity of an attractive and obedient young nun may hang by the following slender thread: "When a nun receives a precept from her prelate, superior, or confessor, she should immediately execute it, not only to please them, but principally to please God, whose will is known by their command. If then, you receive a command from one who holds the place of God (a man-made priest!) you should observe it as if it came from God Himself. There is more certainty of doing the will of God by obedience to our superiors than by obedience to Jesus Christ should He appear in person and give His command. The nun shall be most certain of not having to render an account of the actions performed through obedience; for these the superior only, who commands them, shall be accountable."  — Liguori, "Saint," in Popish constellation of fallen stars. According to Cardinal Manning, a bright star in the Roman
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Catholic heavens (page 89 of his "True Story of the Vatican Council") the pope is infallible in matters of faith and morals: and the canonizing of "saints" comes under this head. Cardinal Newman on page 84 of his "Via Media," 1887 edition, asserts concerning the canonizing of "Saints:"
"The infallibility of the church must certainly extend to this solemn and public act, canonization; and that because so serious a matter, affecting the worship of the faithful, the church, that is, the Pope, must be infallible." One of the persons duly authorized by infallible Romish canonization is "Saint" Bridget, who lived in 1360. This "saint" says: "The Pope is a murderer of souls. He destroys the flock of Christ and fleeces it. More savage is he than Judas, and more unjust than Pilate, and worse and more wicked than Lucifer. He has exchanged all the ten commandments of God for this single one of his own, 'Give me money, money, money.' The Pope with his clergy are the forerunners of Antichrist, rather than the servants of Christ. The Pope's court on earth plunders the Heavenly court of Christ. The clergy never read the Book of God; but they are ever studying the book of this world. I once loved priests more than men and even angels. The kiss of those fornicating priests is the kiss of Judas when he betrayed our Lord!" — Montagu, pages 305-6.
An essential factor in the power of this evil one, and an important part of the iniquity of ecclesiasticism is the Romish confessional, which many Episcopal and Protestant ecclesiastics would, if they could, establish in the harlot daughters, the daughter churches, Protestantism. This feature is of Pagan origin. "Auricular confession was enjoined in the Elusinian mysteries, by Zoroaster in Persia, by Buddha in India, and was practiced by the ancient Babylonians and Egyptians, the Mexicans before Cortez, the Peruvians before Pizarro, by the Japanese, the Siamese, and others." The confessional has made of every priest a spy upon the privacy of the home, the inner secrets of business and the confidential affairs of city, state, province, and nation. Theoretically the confessions are confidential, as Dr. Dens says: "It is not lawful to reveal anything that is told in confession, though it be to avoid the greatest evil that can happen; but actually the secrets of the confessional are revealed." "De Sanctis," page 122, says:
"While the penitent arraigns his faults with all the fatuity of a simpleton, what is the confessor doing? Laughing at the simplicity of the penitent: and afterwards in the priestly orgies that follow a morning of great confessions, in the hilarity that flows from wine, amid coarse explosions of laughter, they describe the stupid folly of their
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penitents; and each priest vies with his fellows in rendering his own penitents more ridiculous than the rest. This breach of faith extends to the highest of Rome's degraded ecclesiasticism." History records that Pope Plus V, "saint" (1504-1572) "for the punishment of certain offences took advantage of the confessional, which ought to be an inviolable sanctuary." Pope Sixtus V (1521-1590) told the under clergy that "they could make a report to the Pontiff, without any danger attached to revealing a confession, he giving them absolution for the whole." Elliott, a former priest, in "Delineation of Roman Catholicism." says, "All our conversation ran upon the stories he [another priest] heard in confession. It is the ordinary discourse of the priests, when they meet, to inform one another of what they have heard in confession. I was often present at such conferences, where the conversation was so indecent that even an honest pagan would have blushed." "Every day they (the Dominican monks) came and talked most licentiously, relating things that had happened at the Holy office at Perugia, confessions they had heard, etc." — Scipione Ricca, Bishop of Pistoria, and an Italian reformer, 1741-1810.
Bishop Hugh Latimer, of England (1485-1555), whom the Romish ecclesiasticism caused to be burned at the stake, said: "And so they came to know all the secrets that were in men's hearts, so that neither emperor nor king could say nor do, nor think anything in his heart, but they knew it, and so applied all the purposes and intents of princes to their own commodities. And this was the fruit of their auricular confession." Finally, from De Sanctis, page 133, etc: "Confession in relation to society may be defined as an universal spydom, organized and complete. Confessors are not content to know the sins of those who confess; but they must learn the regulation and management of the family; and when an ingenuous youth or innocent maiden comes under the fangs of a knavish confessor (and which of them is not a knave?) they do not escape until they have first revealed the secrets of the family circle — without, however, being aware of it."
"De Sanctis" continues: "Encouragement is given to theft, as to every other crime, by the facility of obtaining pardon, and absolutions are given to robbers, usurers, murderers, without their having made any restitution whatever. They repair to the confessor, present him with a goodly offering for a mass; or, if they are robbers of celebrity, men abounding in wealth, they found a chapelry, a benefice, or something of the kind. At Rome, for instance, every one knows that Pius VII (1742-1823) granted
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to all who hear confessions in the Holy house Ponterotto, the privilege of absolving from restitution all who have defrauded the Rev. Apostolic Chambers, or the government; and all defraud, and run there to receive absolution. But this is not enough. Leo X (1475-1621), in his bull beginning with "Postquam ad Apostulatus" gives confessors the privilege not only of absolving robbers, but of permitting them to retain in all good conscience, the fruits of their usury, robberies, thefts, etc., on condition that part of the goods be given to the church!"
Ecclesiasticism is a greedy robber: "By confession many families are immersed in poverty; because the grasping confessor, taking advantage of the weak moments of a dying man, has had the will made to the profit of the clergy; and facts of the kind may be reckoned by the million. The grasping cupidity of ecclesiasticism's will-hunters, and the consequent ruin of innocent and helpless families, formed the subject of an indignant remonstrance of the German princes at the Diet of Nuremberg. To such a length was this execrable practice sometimes carried that the last sacraments were denied to the dying man until he consented to make a will in the priest's favor."
Ecclesiasticism's apostasy, in teachings and in life, has sown the seeds of the fiery harvest of anarchy: "The horrible consequence for religion is that infidelity advances with huge strides, especially in Roman Catholic countries. The enlightenment of the age no longer permits men to believe in the priests blindly, as in the times of ignorance. Free discussion alone could show that the doctrines of the Roman church are not those of the Gospel; discussion, as it would prove their falsehood to a demonstration, would establish the truth. Discussion being prevented, it follows that, seeing clearly the falsehood and iniquity of the Roman doctrines, men believe them, because they are not discussed, to be the doctrines of the Christian religion, and abandon them, and live in indifference and infidelity." Protestantism, ecclesiasticism, has been an apt follower of Papacy in suppression of discussion. Witness the systematic world-wide ban on any discussion of Present Truth as presented by God's watchman, Pastor Russell! Ecclesiasticism, priestcraft, had for ages supplanted the worship of God with paganism, and in the Gospel Age has insidiously transformed the Gospel of Christ, has tried to destroy liberty and progress and has built up a gigantic system of oppression and destruction of the friends of the Truth. The most ferocious of the popes are made the "saints" of Satan's church. And, says De Sanctis: "In canonizing such men, the Popes have canonized their doc-
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trines; hence it cannot be said that despotism, obscuration [suppression of Truth], oppression of nations, and hatred for any kind of progress, exist through the mal-practice of any one of the popes; they exist by the very system of the Papacy. The corruption of religion ought not to be attributed to abuse of it by the individual, but to the system; therefore the Gospel ought to reign in its purity, and ought to be delivered from this great enemy; and Italy and Rome ought to confer upon the world this great benefit of despoiling the popes of their usurped power." Why not reform, purge, cleanse ecclesiasticism? As well try to reform cancer. The sole safeguard is the destruction, excision of the germs. Any real reform would cause the prompt dropping out of the system-loving millions who would soon reorganize into another vicious system. The very constitution of ecclesiasticism forbids its ever being other than what the Wall Street Journal denominates, "that international nuisance, the church-state." Here are some of the articles of Papacy's present, past and future constitution (infallible):
1. All human power is evil, and must therefore be under the Pope. 2. The temporal powers must act unconditionally, in accordance with the orders of the spiritual. 3. The Church is empowered to grant or take away any temporal possession. 4. The Pope has the right to give countries and nations which are non-Catholic to Catholic regents, who can reduce them to slavery. 5. The Pope can make slaves of those Christian subjects whose prince or ruling power is interdicted by the Pope. 6. The laws of the Church concerning the liberty of the Church and the Papal power are based upon Divine inspiration. 7. The Pope has the right to practice the unconditional censure of books. 8. The Pope has the right to annul state laws, treaties, constitutions, etc.; to absolve from obedience thereto, as soon as they seem detrimental to the rights of the Church, or those of the clergy. 9. The Pope possesses the right of admonishing, and if needs be of punishing, the temporal rulers, emperors and kings, as well as of drawing before the spiritual forum any case in which a mortal sin occurs. 10. Without the consent of the Pope no tax or rate of any kind can be levied upon a clergyman or upon any church whatsoever. 11. The Pope has the right to absolve from oaths, and obedience to the persons and the laws of the princes whom he excommunicates. (Note. All Protestants are excommunicated.) 12. The Pope can annul all legal relations of those in ban, especially their marriage. 13. The Pope can release from every obligation, oath, vow, either before or after being made. 14. The execution of Papal
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commands for the persecution of heretics causes remission of sins. 15. He who kills one that is excommunicated is no murderer in a legal sense." — The Canon Law, by Dr. G. F. von Schulte, Professor of Canonical Law at Prague.
Here the crafty and wicked Mother of Harlots, ecclesiasticism, asserts her infallible right to permit, directly or indirectly, any and every crime possible for depraved humanity to commit.

ECCLESIASTICISM A HOPELESS CASE

Protestantism longs for the old-time power of the clergy. It has the spirit, disposition, of spiritual fornication, goes to the limit in its efforts to control affairs through local, state, and national governmental agencies, and now is ready and willing to ally itself with liberty-destroying papal ecclesiasticism. It displays its true nature and its indifference to the good of the people in its willing eagerness to unite in any manner with the force which has for centuries throttled liberty, banished the Word of God, and stifled freedom in blood. Let not the people of Christendom overlook this when the Protestant clergy advocate church union, as they will. What can be done with such an organization as apostate ecclesiasticism? The truly Christian individual's answer must be to obey the Divine command, "Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers [partners in] of her sins [outlined foregoing, ad nauseam] and that ye receive not of her plagues." (Rev. 18:4.) The Lord's people, all that really have the Holy Spirit, will and must "come out of her," clean away from this unhallowed partnership and federation with iniquity. Ecclesiasticism, however, may rest assured that she will not suffer greatly in loss of members or of persons of wealth and power; for but few of the Lord's people are in her. Each ecclesiastic can be assured that "his people," the tares, the worldly church members, the Babylonians, the spiritual idolaters and fornicators, the congregation of Molech, will stick by him until the heat of the fiery trials of the time of trouble drives even "the clergy's people" out into the open of worldliness.
Verse 13 shows that, in view of the enormity of ecclesiasticism's iniquity, both Roman and Protestant, their partnership in criminality, and their stubborn and willful persistence in evil, "For his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die."
33:20. Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. O ye house of Israel, I will judge you every one after his ways. — 0 house of nominal churchianity, the time has
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come for God to judge you, to recompense you double, according to your ways! — Rev. 18:6.

PASTOR RUSSELL HEARD AGAIN

33:21. And it came to pass in the twelfth year of our captivity, in the tenth month, in the fifth day of the month, that one that had escaped out of Jerusalem came unto me, saying, The city is smitten. — In 24:25-27, after having cited the skepticism of the Jews as to Ezekiel's message, it was stated that from the time of Jerusalem's fall until the tidings of the fall should arrive, Ezekiel was to be dumb, having no new message to be heard by the people. The intervening prophecies, chapters 26 to 32 are not against the Hebrews, but against the heathen nations. The city fell in the eleventh year of Zedekiah's reign, the fourth month, the ninth day (2 Kings 25:2, 3), from which to the coming of the tidings of the city's fall, on the twelfth year, tenth month and fifth day, was one year, five months, twenty-six days. On that momentous day came the tidings, "The city is smitten!" Pastor Russell's voice was stilled in death on October 31, 1916. If an application of Ezekiel's period of dumbness is valid here as a time feature, the tidings, the realization that Christendom has begun to be smitten by the revolution, might be expected to flash throughout the world on or about* April 27, 1918, a year, five months and twenty-six days after the death of God's great watchman. As in Ezekiel 24:27, this would be a sign, an indication to Christendom of the truth of Pastor Russell's commission from the Almighty.
33:22. Now the hand of the Lord was upon me in the evening, afore he that was escaped came; and had opened my mouth, until he came to me in the morning; and my mouth was opened, and I was no more dumb. — The Lord made good His promise while the news was approaching, and removed Ezekiel's dumbness half a day before, in the evening, before the morning when the tidings arrived. It was on the same day; for in the Hebrew system of time, the evening began the day. This signifies that perhaps half a year prior to the general realization of Christendom's smiting, Pastor Russell, though dead, shall again speak through this, the Seventh Volume, in completion of his admonition for the Church and for Christendom.
33:23, 24. Then the Word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, they that inhabit those wastes of the land of Israel speak, saying, Abraham was one, and he

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inherited the land: but we are many; the land is given us for inheritance. — After Jerusalem had been sacked and King Zedekiah captured, as related in 2 Kings 25, "the captain of the guard left of the poor of the land to be vine-dressers and husbandmen." These ("those inhabiting those wastes of the land of Israel") imagined that "the land is given to us for an inheritance." They thought they would be left in undisturbed possession, but certain of them came into further conflict with the Assyrians. Then the land was made utterly desolate. This signifies, in fulfillment, that while the revolution overthrowing ecclesiasticism will make quite a clean sweep, there will still remain some of the more lowly adherents of ecclesiastical systems, who will imagine that they and their ideals are to prosper and spread even to the control of the revolutionary order of things.
33:25, 26. Wherefore say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Ye eat with the blood, and lift up your eyes toward your idols, and shed blood; and shall ye possess the land? Ye stand upon your sword, ye work abomination, and ye defile every one his neighbor's wife; and shall ye possess the land? — But God knows their hearts, and is against them, for their continuance in the evil ways of ecclesiasticism.
33:27. Say thou thus unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; As I live, surely they that are in the wastes shall fall by the sword, and him that is in the open field will I give to the beasts to be devoured, and they that be in the forts and in the caves shall die of the pestilence. — A sad awakening awaits them. As Jehovah lives, those tares then surviving the ravages of revolution shall be slain by the sword of anarchy, and shall have taken away all pretense of being Christians. Those that have the spirit of earthly ambition shall be given to be destroyed by the savagery of anarchy; and those in the strongholds and in the protected conditions of revolution shall die literally of pestilence and be destroyed religiously by the pestilential teachings of those evil days.
33:28. For I will lay the land most desolate, and the pomp of her strength shall cease; and, the mountains of Israel shall be desolate, that none shall pass through. — God purposes to utterly desolate this evil order of things and to completely abase the last vestiges of its pride and pomp, and to cause the governments of this Age, even in their changed forms of revolution, to pass away.
33:29. Then shall they know that I am the Lord, when I have laid the land most desolate, because of all their abominations which they have committed. — Then at last
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the people that remain will realize that the war, revolution and anarchy, were the righteous judgments of the Almighty against the spiritual, political and economic abominations of Christendom.
33:30. Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people still are talking against thee by the walls and in the doers of the houses, and speak one to another, every one to .his brother, saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the Word that cometh forth from the Lord. — Reverting to the present time, about contemporary with the realization that Christendom is smitten, the hypocrisy of professed Christians is spoken against. The tares in their churches (houses) will talk of Pastor Russell and his works and words — they will read this book, and will urge one another to "hear what is the Word that cometh from the Lord."
33:31. And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as My people, and they hear thy words, but they will net do them; for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness. — They will come in numbers, apparently "as My people;" and like all tares, imitation Christians, they will listen respectfully to God's Words urging haste in consecration for the coming Kingdom; hut they will not do the things they hear. They will manifest with their mouths great love for God, but will at heart be the self-seekers they always were!
33:32. And lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not. — To these people, in their insincerity and hypocrisy, Pastor Russell's works will be scarcely a grade higher than an entertainment, a beautiful song, "the song of Moses and the Lamb," well played on the many-stringed harp, the Bible, but not heeded as of solemn import.
33:33. And when this cometh to pass (lo, it will come), then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them. — But when the things predicted in the entire seven volumes of the Studies in the Scriptures come to pass, then shall the tares, too late, realize that a great and Divinely ordained preacher "hath been among them."



"Master, speak! Thy servant heareth.
Longing for Thy gracious Word,
Longing for Thy voice that cheereth;
Master, let it now be heard.
I am listening, Lord, for Thee;
What hast Thou to say to me?"

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