FIRST published in 1886, Millennial Dawn, was the earliest work of Jehovah’s Witness founder Charles Taze Russell.
Although much of the book’s content is an embarrassment to present day Witnesses, it still contained many unscriptural notions and false prophecies.
In 1911, just three years from Armageddon, Professor William G. Moorehead gave his opinion on the book.
Now, in the coming issues of Concern, you can read just what the professor had to say regarding Mr. Russell’s writings.
2. In the incarnation our Lord had but one nature, not two natures, as Christians have always held. (Series I, pp. 179, 180, 184)We quote: “Neither was Jesus a combination of the two natures, human and spiritual. The blending of two natures produces neither the one nor the other, but an imperfect, hybrid thing, which is obnoxious to the divine arrangement. When Jesus was in the flesh He was a perfect human being; previous to that He was perfect spiritual being; and since His resurrection He is a perfect spiritual being of the highest or Divine order…. Thus we see that in Jesus there was no mixture of natures, but that twice He experienced a change of nature; first, from spiritual to human; afterward, from human to the highest order of spiritual nature, the Divine; and in each case the one was given up for the other.” … “We have no record of any being, either spiritual or human, ever having been changed from one nature to another, except the Son of God; and this was an exceptional case, for an exceptional purpose….. Thus we find that the Scriptures regard the spiritual and human natures as separate and distinct, and furnish no evidence that the one will evolve or develop into the other”…. Here again there is no mistaking the teaching of Millennial Sawn.
Before Christ appeared in human form among men He was a spirit being of a very high rank, but a creature. When He became a man His spirit nature was somehow dropped; it was not united with the human, it was not even merged into the human, it was “changed” into the purely and distinctively human nature, so that while on earth and during the whole period of His earthly life He was a man, only a man, perfect indeed, but a man with nothing superhuman or super natural in Him or about Him. The spirit being ceased to be.
The book asserts with a positiveness that error always assumes, that in Jesus Christ “there was no mixture of natures”.
The vital doctrine of the incarnation of the son of God, the second person of the Trinity, is denied, and Christ is degraded to the level of Adam before his sin and fall.
In short, the book virtually affirms that there was no incarnation whatever.
It appears needless to point out how completely and thoroughly the word of God contradicts this false and degrading view of our lord’s blessed Person. Let but a few texts be cited as evidence that Christ did actually assume our human nature, sinless of course, but true and genuine human nature.
John 1:14: “And the Word was made (became, R.V.) flesh and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father) full of grace and truth”. Mark the prominent features of this great Scripture:
A) The Word, Christ, became flesh; He did not cease to be the Word in doing so; His incarnation was neither self-extinction, nor was He changed into a mere man.
B) He still remained the Word after He had assumed the human nature, for we are assured that “He dwelt among us”, obviously the Word dwelt among us, for the pronoun He has the Word for its antecedent.
C) The term “dwelt” literally is “tabernacled” , an allusion to the tabernacle of the wilderness. God said, “And let them make me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them”. And He symbolically did dwell in the Most holy Place where the Shechinah appeared. So John affirms, “We beheld His glory”, as at the Transfiguration. What was anciently seen in the tabernacle was witnessed in a far more vivid way on the Mount when Moses with Elijah appeared in glory and talked with the incarnate son of God. Compare with this the further revelation of the same Apostle, 1 John 1:1-3, where three of the most trustworthy of our senses, hearing, sight, touch, are summoned to bear witness to the reality of the presence and glory of the Word of Life as He sojourned among men.
D) “Only begotten” – Unigenitus. As used in Scripture this term always designates a single person in the household. As applied to Christ it occurs only in Johns’ writings; here. 1:18; 3:16, 18; 1 Jn. 4:9. It marks off is Sonship as unique, unshared by any others, even from those who are called the sons of God.
John 16:28: “I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father”. From god, into the world, from the world back to God. Eternal Sonship with the Father (Greek, came out from); incarnation; exaltation; oneness with the Father; redemption completed. He is the God-man uniting two natures in one, distinct yet mysteriously constituting but one personality.
1 Tim. 3:16: “God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the sprit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up in to glory. ” Even if we substitute the revised reading of this great rhythmical verse it still testifies to the anthropic person of our Lord: “He who was manifested in the flesh”, etc. The plain and emphatic teaching is, that Christ, the Son of God, was manifested, i.e., the invisible eternal Son who dwelt in the bosom of the Father, has been made visible and is brought nigh to us in that He has taken into union with Himself human flesh. He was justified in the Spirit i.e., He was proved to be what He claimed to be, the son of God: He was seen and served by angels; was preached unto the Gentiles as a Divine Saviour, and believed on as such; and finally was received up into glory. There we have the inspired history of the incarnation, the earthly life and ministry, and the exaltation of the Lord Jesus, the Son of God.
One other scripture must give its solemn warning against any and all who deny that Jesus Christ assumed our nature and was incarnated in human flesh: “Every spirit that confesseth the Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God; and every spirit the confesseth not Jesus is not of God; and this is that spirit of the antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it cometh, and now it is in the world”. (1 John 4:2,3).