Articles Concerning
Universal Redemption
and Related Concepts

The articles below have come from a variety of sources, including speeches, articles, tracts, and other presentations, and they have been composed over a period of time, and many are of historic interest. Also, writer's inclusion on this site does not imply his full agreement with all of the articles. Each writer is responsible only for his own stated views. Many of the articles on this web site have been included only for the viewers use in the comparison of differing views and beliefs.

Other Articles and Libraries

For Articles on another website that relate to some of the concepts presented on this page, see Why Jesus Died.

For some comparative or contrasting views of some of the thoughts and ideas presented in the articles on this page, see the following:

  1. Pastor Russell Writes Concerning the Universal Reconciliation (with a reply by Adolph E. Knoch)

  2. A re-examination of the "Divine Plan of the Ages". Topics for careful consideration:

  3. The Fate of the Wicked - Three different views. All with Scripture to back them up!

  4. Is The Doctrine of Limited Punishment, Terminated by Destruction True? - From: Illustrations of Divine Government, Chapter III., written by T. Southwood Smith, published in 1834.

Studies in the Scriptures

The Divine Plan of the Ages


Below is the complete book of "The Divine Plan of the Ages" that was written in 1886 by Pastor Charles T. Russell. It is a vindication of the divine character and government: Showing, by a recognition and harmonizing of all the Scriptures, that the permission of evil, past and present, is educational and preparatory to the ushering of mankind into the golden age of prophecy in which all the families of the earth will be blessed with a full knowledge of God and a full opportunity for attaining everlasting life through the Redeemer, Who then will be the Great Restorer and Life-Giver. `Acts 3:19-21`

A shorter, condensed, abridged version of "The Divine Plan of the Ages", can be found in
"The Plan of God - In Brief".

See also:
A Re-examination of the "Divine Plan of the Ages".

Introductory Questions

Title, Dedication, and Foreword

Study I - Earth's Night Of Sin To Terminate In A Morning Of Joy -- A Night of Weeping and a Morning of Joy -- Two Methods of Seeking Truth -- The Method Herein Pursued -- Scope of the Work -- A Difference Between the Reverent Study of the Scriptures and the Dangerous Habit of Speculation -- The Object of Prophecy -- The Present Religious Condition of the World Viewed from Two Standpoints -- Egyptian Darkness -- A Bow of Promise -- The Path of the Just Progressive -- Cause of the Great Apostasy -- The Reformation -- The Same Cause Again Hinders Real Progress -- Perfection of Knowledge Not a Thing of the Past, but of the Future.

Study II - The Existence Of A Supreme Intelligent Creator Established -- Evidence Aside from the Bible, Examined in the Light of Reason--An Untenable Theory--A Reasonable Theory--The Character of God Demonstrated --Reasonable Deductions.

Study III - The Bible As A Divine Revelation Viewed In The Light Of Reason -- The Claims of the Bible and its Surface Evidence of Credibility--Its Antiquity and Preservation--Its Moral Influence--Motives of the Writers--General Character of the Writings--The Books of Moses-- The Law of Moses--Peculiarities of the Government Instituted by Moses--It was not a System of Priestcraft--Instructions to Civil Rulers--Rich and Poor on a Common Level Before the Law--Safeguards Against Tampering With the Rights of the People--The Priesthood Not a Favored Class, How Supported, etc.--Oppression of Foreigners, Widows, Orphans and Servants Guarded Against--The Prophets of the Bible--Is There a Common Bond of Union Between the Law, the Prophets and the New Testament Writers?--Miracles Not Unreasonable--The Reasonable Conclusion.

Study IV - The Epochs And Dispensations Marked In The Development Of The Divine Plan -- God's Plan Definite and Systematic--Three Great Epochs of the World's History--Their Distinctive Features--"The Earth Abideth Forever"-- The World to Come, the New Heavens and Earth--Subdivisions of These Great Epochs--The Important Features of God's Plan thus Brought to View--Order Recognized Discloses Harmony--Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth.

Study V - "The Mystery Hid From Ages And From Generations, But Now Made Manifest To His Saints" -- Col. 1:26 -- The Glimmering Light of the First Promise--The Promise to Abraham-- Hope Deferred--The Mystery Begins to Unravel at Pentecost--What the Mystery Is--Why So Long Kept a Mystery--Still a Mystery to the World--In Due Time to be Made Manifest to All--When the Mystery Will be Finished.

Study VI - Our Lord's Return -- Its Object, The Restitution Of All Things -- Our Lord's Second Advent Personal and Pre-Millennial--Its Relationship to the First Advent--The Selection of the Church and the Conversion of the World--Election and Free Grace--Prisoners of Hope-- Prophetic Testimony regarding Restitution--Our Lord's Return Manifestly the Hope of the Church and the World.

Study VII - The Permission Of Evil And Its Relation To God's Plan -- Why Evil was Permitted--Right and Wrong as Principles--The Moral Sense--God Permitted Evil, and will Overrule it for Good--God not the Author of Sin--Adam's Trial not a Farce--His Temptation Severe --He Sinned Wilfully--The Penalty of Sin not Unjust, nor Too Severe--The Wisdom, Love and Justice Displayed in Condemning All in Adam--God's Law Universal.

Study VIII - The Day Of Judgment -- The General View of the Day of Judgment--Is it Scriptural?--The Terms, Judgment and Day, Defined--Several Judgment Days Referred to in the Scriptures--The First Judgment Day and its Results--Another Appointed --The Judge--The Character of the Coming Judgment--Similarity and Dissimilarity of the First and Second Judgments--The World's Present Accountability--Two Intervening Judgments and Their Objects--Widely Different Estimates of the Coming Judgment-- How Prophets and Apostles Viewed it.

Study IX - Ransom And Restitution -- The Restitution Guaranteed by the Ransom--Not Everlasting Life, but a Trial for it, Secured by the Ransom--The Conditions and Advantages of the Trial--Christ's Sacrifice Necessary--How the Race Could be and was Redeemed by the Death of One--Faith and Works Still Necessary --The Wages of Wilful Sin Certain--Will there be Room on the Earth for the Resurrected Millions?--Restitution versus Evolution.

Study X - Spiritual And Human Natures Separate And Distinct -- Common Misapprehensions--Earthly or Human and Heavenly or Spiritual Natures--Earthly Glory and Heavenly Glory--Bible Testimony Regarding Spirit Beings--Mortality and Immortality--Can Mortal Beings Have Everlasting Life?--Justice in the Bestowment of Favors-- A Supposed Principle Examined--Variety in Perfection--God's Sovereign Rights--God's Provisions for Man a Satisfying Portion--The Election of the Body of Christ--How their Change of Nature is Effected.

Study XI - The Three Ways -- The Broad Way, The Narrow Way, The Highway -- The Broad Road to Destruction--The Narrow Way to Life--What is Life?--The Divine Nature--The Relationship of the Divine and Human Natures--The Reward at the End of the Narrow Way--The High Calling Limited to the Gospel Age--Difficulties and Dangers of the Narrow Way--The Highway of Holiness.

Study XII - Explanation Of Chart Representing The Plan Of The Ages -- The Ages--The Harvests--Planes of Actual and Reckoned Standing--The Course of our Lord Jesus--The Course of His Followers--Three Classes in the Nominal Church--Separation in the Harvest--The Anointed Class Glorified--The Great Tribulation Class--The Tares Burned-- The World Blessed--The Outcome Glorious.

Study XIII - The Kingdoms Of This World -- The First Dominion--Its Forfeiture--Its Redemption and Restoration-- The Typical Kingdom of God--The Usurper--Two Phases of the Present Dominion--The Powers that be, Ordained of God--Nebuchadnezzar's View of Them--Daniel's View and Interpretation--The Kingdoms of this World viewed from another Standpoint--The Proper Relationship of the Church to Present Governments--The Divine Right of Kings Briefly Examined--Claims of Christendom False--A Better Hope in the Fifth Universal Empire.

Study XIV - The Kingdom Of God -- Prominence of the Subject--The Character of the Kingdom--The Kingdom During the Gospel Age--False Views Corrected by Paul--Results of False Ideas of the Kingdom--Two Phases of the Kingdom of God-- The Spiritual Phase and its Work--The Earthly Phase and its Work-- Their Harmonious Operation--The Glory of the Earthly Phase--The Glory of the Heavenly Phase--The Covenant Root from which These Branches Grow--The Earthly Phase of the Kingdom, Israelitish--The Lost Tribes--The Heavenly Jerusalem--Israel a Typical People--Israel's Loss and Recovery--The Elect Classes--The Heirs of the Kingdom --The Iron Rule--An Illustration of the Object of the Millennial Reign--The Kingdom Delivered to the Father--God's Original Design Fully Accomplished.

Study XV - The Day Of Jehovah -- The "Day of Jehovah," the "Day of Vengeance," the "Day of Wrath"--A Time of Great Trouble--Its Cause--The Bible's Testimony Regarding it--Its Fire and Storm, Its Shaking and Melting, Shown to be Symbolic --David's Testimony--The Revelator's Testimony--The Present Situation and the Future Outlook as Viewed by the Opposing Parties, Capitalists and Wage-Workers--A Remedy Which Will Not Succeed-- The Veil Lifted and Light Admitted Just in Due Time--The Proof of This--The Condition of the Saints During the Trouble, and Their Proper Attitude Toward It.

Study XVI - Concluding Thoughts -- Our Duty Toward the Truth--Its Cost, Its Value, Its Profit.

  • Attachment - Chart of the Ages