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    1. THE REDEMPTION OF MAN

    Man was made of the dust of the ground, and placed on probation for endless life. He was told that if he disobeyed his Creator he should die. Of course if he obeyed he would live—live forever. But he disobeyed; he took the fearful risk, and did that which his Creator told him, in the most explicit terms, he should not do. In this transaction man subjected himself to two great losses: 1. He lost his innocence, which was essential to his happiness; 2. He lost his life—his very being.AERS 276.1

    The plan of salvation and redemption embraced a work of recovery or restoration. Not, however, merely to bring man back to the position which he occupied when he was created and placed in the garden of Eden; but, to place him where God originally designed that he should stand when he had passed his probationary state. In probation he was subject to temptation; free to fall. In his final state he will be placed beyond the reach of temptation, fixed in his integrity, no longer in danger of falling; no more exposed to the liability to die. We cannot imagine that the gospel of Christ will do less for man than was embraced in the original purpose of his Maker.AERS 276.2

    The method of restoring man to a state of innocence and of complete happiness we have fully considered in remarks on Justification, and on the Atonement itself. This embraces the forgiveness of sin, and the renewal of his moral nature; a transformation of his will and affections. This is a recovery from the first of the losses which he sustained in his departure from the path of right.AERS 276.3

    The second loss was entirely different in its nature. It took hold on man’s physical being, and reduced him to his original elements; it returned him to the dust of the ground. By this we would not be understood as saying that either man’s moral or physical nature can be seriously affected without affecting the other. When man perverts his moral powers he degrades his physical system, and subjects it to untold evils. All the suffering that exists and that ever has existed in the world, had its spring in that source. And, when man abuses his physical system he weakens his moral powers. These propositions will not be denied. But it is equally undeniable that that which directly affects one may only indirectly affect the other. A man may pervert his ways, and despise his Maker, and sear his conscience, and yet live many years; though the end of these things is death. And justification from sin may be received, with a purified conscience and a renewed heart, while yet the physical system is subject to decay and death; though continuance in that justified state—perseverance in the right—certainly leads to eternal life. It is true that the first step toward recovering man from the consequences of the fall, looks forward to the complete recovery in all things; but there are progressive steps in the work; one is taken before another.AERS 277.1

    For reasons purely theoretical, many in this age deny that death—the death of the physical man—is the result of sin. They say that the man which was made of the dust of the earth would have died if he had never sinned; that, being made of perishable material, he must have perished, from the very nature of his being. But this statement is defective and erroneous. (1) The material universe, the earth, is not necessarily perishable. It may undergo great changes, but we cannot believe it was ever made in vain, or to go out of existence. When it was created it was pronounced very good, and over it “the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy.” Nor is there any evidence that man, who is “fearfully and wonderfully made,” would have perished if he had not sinned. At the best it is only a bare assumption, and not sustained by reason. But, (2) It is directly contrary to the word of Jehovah himself, who said, as a sentence upon the sin of man, because he had partaken of the tree of which he was forbidden to eat, the earth from which he was taken, over which he was given the dominion, should be cursed, and he should return unto it. And, to carry out this sentence, man was shut out from the tree of life, lest he put forth his hand and take and eat (a purely physical act), and live forever. If we regard the word of the Lord we must admit that death, the death of the whole man, was the result of his disobedience. And no other death but a literal or physical death was threatened or could be inflicted. For, as we have already considered, spiritual death is not an infliction, but a crime; it is not a penalty, but it incurs a penalty. See page 94.AERS 277.2

    This is an important point, for the breadth of the work of redemption is involved in it. The redemption must be as extensive as the loss; otherwise it would not be complete. If the loss involved the death of the physical nature of man, then redemption must take hold of his physical nature. And this we shall see that it does. We consider then,AERS 279.1

    1. Christ, our substitutionary sacrifice, died a physical death. This is certainly a good reason for believing that the gospel takes hold of physical relations. We cannot see how otherwise the method or nature of the sacrifice can be accounted for.AERS 279.2

    2. After death and burial, and remaining in the grave the time allotted by prophecy, he had a physical resurrection. Some have even gone so far as to deny this. Concerning the resurrection the following words are copied from a sermon preached in an orthodox church:—AERS 279.3

    “The resurrection is typical of the life of the soul; the figure of a spiritual body teaches, not the resurrection of the material body, but the immortality of the soul.”AERS 279.4

    This is the view held by many teachers who are considered orthodox. In harmony with this, a writer, who was a Spiritualist, and professed to be a believer of the Bible, expressed his faith as follows:—AERS 279.5

    “At death the real man, that is to say his soul and spirit, rise from or out of his dead body; that in the New Testament this is denominated anastasis, or the resurrection.”AERS 279.6

    These quotations are made that the reader may see the necessity of the argument we frame on the literal or physical resurrection of Christ. All who hold to such views place the “resurrection” or rising of the immortal spirit at the time of the death of the body. But the resurrection of Christ did not at all correspond to such a view.AERS 280.1

    a. The resurrection of Christ was not the rising of his spirit out of his body; for he did not rise until the third day after his death. And they will hardly contend that his spirit did not leave his body until he had been dead three days! yet they must to be consistent with that theory.AERS 280.2

    b. That which arose was placed under the guardianship of Roman soldiers. But no one can believe that after Jesus had been some hours dead, the soldiers were put on guard to prevent the escape of his spirit, and thence the report of his resurrection.AERS 280.3

    c. His enemies denied his resurrection, and reported that his disciples had stolen him. Did they mean to deny that his spirit left his body, and to affirm that his disciples came and stole away his spirit while they slept?AERS 280.4

    d. The angel said to those who came to the sepulcher: “He is not here; for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.” Matthew 28:6.AERS 280.5

    e. When his followers went to the sepulcher, after his resurrection, they “found not the body of the Lord Jesus.” Luke 24:3.AERS 280.6

    f. When he met with his disciples after his resurrection, he told them to handle him, to examine the wounds in his hands, and feet, and side, and see that it was he himself; and he took food and did eat before them. Luke 24:36-43.AERS 280.7

    g. In his sermon on the day of Pentecost, Peter proved the resurrection of Christ by the promise of God to David, that of the fruit of his loins according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne.” Acts 2:30, 31. This is positive proof of a bodily resurrection.AERS 281.1

    We might go farther and prove by the Scriptures that neither believers nor unbelievers, Jews nor Greeks, had any idea of such a mythical resurrection as is now taught by men of various faiths in these days. But it is not at all necessary, for if a bodily or physical resurrection is not proved by the points here noticed, then language cannot be framed to teach it. We now notice,AERS 281.2

    3. That Jesus, in his resurrection, was “the first-fruits of them that slept.” 1 Corinthians 15:20. This language is significant of kind as well as of order. We have seen that, in the New Testament, in the case of the Saviour, his resurrection was of a material body. It is also said that the bodies of many saints left the graves at the time of his resurrection. And this is an assurance that the resurrection of all the saints will be that of the body also.AERS 281.3

    We say the first-fruits indicates kind as well as order. The first-fruits of any product was paid from that product, and not from something else. A sheaf of barley would not be the first-fruits of a field of wheat. A measure of wheat would not be the first-fruits of an olive orchard. Such a reckoning or rendering of first-fruits would be considered only absurd. But that would be no more absurd than to make the resurrection of Jesus from a physical death and a burial in the grave, the first-fruits of immortal souls, which never died and could not die! No greater incongruity could be presented. Surely, they who teach such fanciful theories cannot have well considered the result of their action. “They know not what they do.” Nothing but the literal resurrection of physical or material bodies will answer to the first-fruits presented in the resurrection of our Saviour.AERS 281.4

    4. We will briefly present some direct proofs of the resurrection; we shall select such as have a bearing on its nature.AERS 282.1

    (1) “Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thy holy one to see corruption.” Psalm 16:10. This is one of the last texts which would be selected by those who spiritualize the Scriptures, to prove the resurrection of the body; but to that it refers, for inspiration says it is a prophecy of the resurrection of Christ “according to the flesh.” Acts 2:30, 31.AERS 282.2

    (2) “Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust; for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.” Isaiah 26:19.AERS 282.3

    (3) “Thus saith the Lord, Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears; for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the Lord; and they shall come again from the land of the enemy.” Jeremiah 31:16. We learn from Matthew 2:16-18 that this language was spoken to those mothers whose little children were slain by Herod. Death is the enemy (1 Corinthians 15:26) from whose land they will be brought.AERS 282.4

    (4) “Thus saith the Lord God: Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.” Ezekiel 37:12. The vision of the valley of dry bones is often spoken of as a prophecy of a spiritual reviving. But the words quoted above are from the Lord’s explanation of the vision; and no one should presume to explain the Lord’s explanation. It is plain, and in harmony with the other scriptures.AERS 283.1

    (5) “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” Daniel 12:2.AERS 283.2

    (6) “I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death; O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction.” Hosea 13:14.AERS 283.3

    (7) “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” Romans 8:11.AERS 283.4

    (8) “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.” Romans 8:22, 23.AERS 283.5

    (9) “We shall not ail sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.” 1 Corinthians 15:51-53.AERS 284.1

    If every word shall be established in the mouth of two or three witnesses, there is no need that this line of proof should be carried any farther. Not one of these declarations can fail, for “the Scriptures cannot be broken.” And we rejoice in the assurance. We do indeed “groan within ourselves;” our sicknesses and pains are evidences of our mortality. We long for the day when this mortal shall put on immortality; when death shall be swallowed up in victory; when redemption’s work for the suffering saints shall be complete.AERS 284.2

    On the nature of the resurrection we are willing to submit the foregoing to every candid, reverent reader of the pages of divine inspiration. On the importance of the resurrection we must give a few testimonies.AERS 284.3

    When Jesus was instructing his disciples concerning their duty to the poor, he said: “For they cannot recompense thee; for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.” Luke 14:14. Let it be remembered that the resurrection takes place when the Lord Jesus comes the second time; it cannot take place before, and if he should never come there would then be no resurrection of the dead. And, therefore, any text which introduces the resurrection of the just, of necessity introduces also the coming of Christ. And, in like manner, any text which speaks of the coming of Christ, introduces to our minds the resurrection of the just, as they are inseparably connected. See the following decisive proof: “For the Lord himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore, comfort one another with these words.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18. Notice the points introduced in connection:—AERS 284.4

    1. The Lord himself shall come; it will be a personal, actual coming.AERS 285.1

    2. The voice of the archangel (the Son of God, compare John 5:27-29), and the trump of God will be heard.AERS 285.2

    3. The dead in Christ shall rise.AERS 285.3

    4. The living saints will be caught up with them, translated, to meet the Lord.AERS 285.4

    5. So—in this manner—shall be ever be with the Lord.AERS 285.5

    6. These are words of comfort to the saints. In Luke 14:14 are the words of Jesus that we shall be recompensed at the resurrection of the just. In this last text we learn in what manner, and under what circumstances, the reward will be given. Closely related to this, in its several circumstances, is the instruction given in 1 Corinthians 15. The whole chapter is an argument on the resurrection, but especially verses 42-54, which speak directly of the resurrection of the righteous.AERS 285.6

    1. They shall be raised in glory.AERS 286.1

    2. We shall not all sleep; some will be translated.AERS 286.2

    3. The trumpet shall sound; the last trump.AERS 286.3

    4. We shall put on immortality, or, death will be swallowed up in victory.AERS 286.4

    The coming of Jesus is not spoken of, but it is well understood, for not one of these events can transpire before he comes.AERS 286.5

    And so the following: “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” Colossians 3:4. We shall appear with him in glory at that time, because the saints are “raised in glory,” immortalized, at that time. Another apostle testifies to the same thing. “We know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” 1 John 3:2.AERS 286.6

    “And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.” 1 Peter 5:4. This is a parallel text, and one of great clearness and force. And yet several times more we find the Son of God pointing to the advent and, of course, to the resurrection of the just, as the time of conferring the reward. “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father, with his angles; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.” Matthew 16:27. “Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” Revelation 22:12. See also Matthew 25:31-34.AERS 286.7

    The infinite importance of this subject to the saints, as the time when and the means whereby they shall be glorified, fully justifies the apostle Paul in calling it “the blessed hope.” “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” Titus 2:13. More literally: “And appearing of the glory of the great God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” Compare Matthew 16:27, quoted above.AERS 287.1

    We cannot forbear quoting a few words from the comments of Dr. Clarke on 1 Corinthians 15. On verse 32 he says:—AERS 287.2

    “What the apostle says here, is a regular and legitimate conclusion from the doctrine that there is no resurrection; for if there be no resurrection, then there can be no judgment; no future state of rewards and punishments; why, therefore, should we bear crosses, and keep ourselves under continual discipline! Let us eat and drink, take all the pleasure we can, for to-morrow we die; and there is an end of us forever.”AERS 287.3

    Very few theological writers of the present time, recognized as eminent and orthodox, would use the language here used by Dr. Adam Clarke. A great change has come over the minds of the Christian world, on this subject. Dr. Clarke said that, in his day, early in the present century, the faith and preaching of the church differed much, on this subject, from that of the apostles and the early church. And in no part of the Christian era has the popular sentiment, concerning the nature and importance of the resurrection, changed as fast as from Dr. Clarke’s time to the present. The following are his words:—AERS 287.4

    One remark I cannot help making; the doctrine of the resurrection appears to have been thought of much more consequence among the primitive Christians than it is now! How is this? The apostles were continually insisting on it, and exciting the followers of God to diligence, obedience, and cheerfulness, through it. And their successors in the present day seldom mention it! So apostles preached; and so primitive Christians believed; so we preach, and so our hearers, believe. There is not a doctrine in the gospel on which more stress is laid; and there is not a doctrine in the present system of preaching which is treated with more neglect!”AERS 288.1

    The doctor inquires, “How is this?” It is not difficult to give the reason: the church has accepted a substitute for the coming of Christ and the resurrection. The Bible says that immortality is brought to light by Christ in the gospel. The schools of Christian theology teach that it was most forcibly brought to light by Plato—shown to be inherent in the nature of man. The Bible says we are to seek for immortality. “What a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?” Why seek for that which we already possess? The Bible says we shall put on immortality at the resurrection. Theology teaches that, if there is any bar to the fullness of our immortality, it is removed by death! by means of which we are ushered into a state of immortal joy. The Bible says we shall appear in glory when Christ, our Life, appears. But theology teaches that we are glorified by death, which opens the pearly gates to the soul set free from the clogs of our physical natures. The contrast may be carried much farther, but none who read the Bible can fail to see it. And to show that our presentation of the contrast is strictly just, we quote the following paragraph from one of the most influential religious papers in the United States. It was part of a comment on 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, which teaches us to comfort one another with the facts that the Lord is coming, the dead in Christ will be raised, and the living saints will be translated. Thus it speaks:—AERS 288.2

    “For all practical purposes of comfort the doctrine of the blessed immortality of the righteous, the immortality of the soul, takes the place for us of any doubtful doctrine of the Lord’s second coming. At our death the Lord comes for us. That is what we are to wait and watch for. The dead are already passed into glory. They do not wait for the trump for their judgment and blessedness.”AERS 289.1

    How can the church highly appreciate the coming of Christ and the resurrection of the dead, while holding to such views? The inquiry may be raised, If the immortality of the soul and glorification at death “takes the place for us” of the advent and the resurrection, why did it not take their place for Paul and his brethren? Has “that blessed hope” really been displaced for another in the gospel plan, or is the church proving recreant to the truths of divine inspiration? This is a matter of the highest importance; it concerns our loyalty to the truth of the Most High, and the honor of our Saviour, whose plans and appointments are being disparaged before the world.AERS 289.2

    Life is the greatest gift that can be conferred upon a creature. All enjoyments, all hopes, all possibilities, are centered in life. The loss of life is the aggregate, the sum total, of all losses. Man may lose many things in life; when life is lost, he has no more to lose. Death is the extreme penalty of law. It is the penalty of the transgression of God’s law. This penalty—this loss of all—man incurred by disobedience to his Maker. Jesus, the Son of God, came to seek and to save that which is lost; he came to open a way whereby man might escape death and have everlasting life. He is the great Restorer to life; he is “our Life.” Colossians 3:4. “God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” 1 John 5:11.AERS 290.1

    It must be apparent to every reader of the Bible that when man was placed on probation it was for his life. When he sinned, he incurred the penalty of the law which said he should die. The sentence against his transgression was that he should return unto the ground out of which he was taken. The means employed to execute the sentence, was depriving him of access to the tree of life lest he should eat and live forever. But one contrast is presented throughout the Bible: it is of life and death.AERS 290.2

    Death is an enemy, which Jesus came to overcome and to destroy. 1 Corinthians 15:26; 2 Timothy 1:10. The race of man is literally a dying race; without Jesus there is no hope. The earth has become a vast charnel house, marked with its graves from one end to the other. Death severs the dearest ties of earth; it bereaves hearts, and brings the keenest anguish to loving ones. Its conquests are well-nigh universal; it holds in its gloomy prisonhouse the untold millions of our ill-fated race. But, as an enemy to the saints of God, death itself is doomed. The rapacious grave shall be robbed of its spoil. “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren,” said an inspired apostle, “concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.” He then proceeds to remove all occasion of ignorance, and give them the ground of gospel hope concerning their loved ones sleeping in death. He bases all on the fact “that Jesus died and rose again.” And then rehearses in order the future facts in which the hope of the Christian may rest. 1. The Lord, “the Lord himself, shall descend,” and the trumpet shall sound. 2. The sleeping ones, “the dead in Christ shall rise.” 3. We that are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them, and so ever be with the Lord. His conclusion is: “Comfort one another with these words.” And this, said the apostle, “we say unto you by the word of the Lord.” Here is no conjecture; faith rests here without a doubt.AERS 291.1

    Let the mourning, bereaved ones look up; redemption draws near. Oh, the glory of that day when Jesus shall come to gather his ransomed ones home. The voice of the archangel shall open the graves of the righteous ones, who once felt the sting of death. In the bloom of immortal youth they rise to meet their Lord. Remembering the pains of death which they once endured, and conscious that, for them all pains and tears have forever passed away, they shout in triumph, “O death, where is thy sting?” Looking down upon those dusty beds where they have long slumbered, they exultingly ask: “O grave, where is thy victory?” And the translated ones join with them in one rapturous song: “Thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Well might the lamented Bliss anticipate the triumph of that day when he sung:—AERS 291.2

    “All joy his loved ones bringing, When Jesus comes; All praise through Heaven ringing When Jesus comes; All beauty bright and vernal, When Jesus comes; All glory, grand, eternal, When Jesus comes.”AERS 292.1

    When this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality,” and God shall wipe away all tears from the eyes of his people; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, then we shall realize, as we cannot now, the value of the blood of Jesus and the glory of his Atonement. Then, and not till then, can the church sing her song of complete victory; then, for the saints, love’s redeeming work will indeed be done.AERS 292.2

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