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The Redeemer and Redeemed

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    REDEEMER AND REDEEMED

    THE primary signification of the word redemption is to purchase back, to release, to ransom. Theologically, redemption means the bringing back of that which was carried away in the ruin of the fall. When all was lost in Adam, the plan of complete redemption through Christ was instituted. That we may better understand the nature and extent of redemption through Christ, we will first consider what was lost in Adam.RAR 3.1

    I. Innocence and purity of character were lost in the transgression by the representatives of the race, and their offspring became the lawful prey of the author of sin. Their lost condition is expressed by the apostle in these words: “I am carnal, sold under sin.” Romans 7:14. The plan of redemption proposes to save men from the condemnation and practice of sin in this life. The announcement of the angel to Joseph respecting the infant Saviour was that he should “call his name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21. It is worthy of notice that there is a marked difference between saving people from their sins, and saving them in their sins.RAR 3.2

    Paul, writing to the church at Colosse respecting Christ, says: “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:14. The apostle also bears this triumphant testimony to the Romans: “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Chap. 8:1. The first stage in redemption is freedom from sin. And the accomplishment of this deliverance demands action on the part of the sinner, as verily as on the part of the Redeemer.RAR 3.3

    Repentance is demanded of the sinner. He must have a godly sorrow for his sins, and must forsake them before pardon of them can be granted, and redemption from them can take place. But he must first have a knowledge of the nature and extent of his sins before he can understandingly repent of them. And this knowledge is derived from the moral code which God has given as the rule of men’s lives. “By the law is the knowledge of sin.” Romans 3:20. And has God no other mirror into which the sinner may look and see the imperfections of his moral character? In his personal experience the great apostle answers: “Nay, I had not known sin but by the law.” Romans 7:7.RAR 4.1

    It is admitted that the Spirit of God and the gospel of the Son of God both act upon the sinner’s mind and heart in harmony with the law of God. But if these are the means, independent of the law of God, in his conversion from a life of sin to obedience and holiness, we should be able to read somewhere in the New Testament words like these: by the Holy Spirit is the knowledge of sin. Nay, I had not known sin but by the Holy Spirit. Or, by the gospel is the knowledge of sin. Nay, I had not known sin but by the gospel.RAR 4.2

    But as there are no statements in all the Bible that the Spirit of God and the gospel of Christ are the agents to give the sinner a knowledge of his sins, and as Paul does say by the authority of the Holy Spirit that by the law is the knowledge of sin, it will be acknowledged that the grand old moral code of Jehovah, given as a rule of life, is the means by which sinners may learn the nature and the measure of their sins. The beloved John defines sin in these words: “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law; for sin is the transgression of the law.” 1 John 3:4.RAR 5.1

    The perpetuity of the law of God, transgressed, makes the death of Christ a vital and perpetual truth in the system of redemption to be set forth in the gospel of the Son of God as long as human probation shall last. This fundamental truth ranked first in the gospel preached by Paul. He reminds the church at Corinth of this fact in these words: “I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures.” 1 Corinthians 15:3. And to the church of the Romans he makes the broad declaration: “Where no law is there is no transgression.” Romans 4:15. Take away the moral code, and sin is removed from the world, and Christ and his gospel are no longer needed.RAR 5.2

    But the glorious gospel of the Son of God presents Christ as now pleading the merits of his blood which was shed for our sins. This fact constitutes the highest evidence of the perpetuity of the law of God. It gives force to the grand truth, lying at the foundation of redemption, to be perpetuated in the gospel message to the end, as uttered by John in these words: “If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” 1 John 2:1. The sinner needs an advocate with the Father, because the wrath of God is upon him for breaking the moral code given as the rule of his life. Our adorable Redeemer, who shed his precious blood for the offending sinner, is the sinner’s advocate with the offended Father. In the plan of redemption the sinner has to do with both the Father and the Son. He must first see the nature and extent of his sins by the light of the moral law, exercise true repentance toward its divine Author, and then the way is made ready for him to exercise a consistent and scriptural faith in Jesus Christ. With this agrees that portion of Pauline theology rehearsed by the great apostle in the presence of the elders of the church assembled at Miletus: “I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have showed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house, testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” Acts 20:20, 21.RAR 5.3

    Away with the idea that the law of God alone can save the sinner, however carefully he may observe all its precepts. The law is the rule of conduct. It condemns the violator, and holds him guilty until he suffers the penalty of its transgression, or receives pardon through a mediating party. There is no redeeming power in law. If it were the province of law to redeem the transgressor of law, then Christ need not have died for our sins. The Jew is blind, to say the very least, in one eye. But away, away with the heresy that men may be saved by Christ and the gospel while trampling the law of God under their feet. God gave Christ to the world because his law was as changeless and enduring as his eternal Self. And there was no other way to meet the demands of that law, and at the same time save the sinner, than that Christ should die, the just for the unjust.RAR 6.1

    The Christian who trusts in Christ for salvation while breaking the commandments of God, is suffering as great blindness as the Jew, though it be in the other eye. He dishonors both the Father and the Son, by making God’s moral government of trifling importance, and consequently the atonement of the Son of corresponding value. He is even flinging insult into the very face Heaven in boasting of saving faith in the Son, while rejecting the commandments of the Father. But John sees a loyal army obedient and true, who are not swayed by Satan to the right or to the left. These have sight in both eyes. The prophet says respecting them: “Here are they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” Revelation 14:12.RAR 7.1

    It is when the sinner sees himself exposed to the wrath of God by the violation of the divine law that he feels his need of Christ, and casts himself upon his mercy as his only hope. And it is here that the repenting, confiding sinner finds pardon, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit as he seeks for that fullness of grace there is in the Redeemer. His life is now in joyous harmony with the exhortation of the apostle: “And be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2. And as he travels on in the Christian life, and reaches out by faith for complete deliverance from the power of Satan, and redemption from the dominion of sin, he reads his own experience in the triumphant words of Paul:RAR 7.2

    “That ye might be filled with a knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light; who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son; in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:9-14.RAR 8.1

    This is redemption in its first stage. It is a deliverance from the power of darkness, and a translation above the corruptions of this world into the kingdom of Christ’s abounding grace. Bible conversion is a great change. When men are understandingly convicted of sin by the very moral code given as a rule of life, and are led to Christ as their only hope of pardon and eternal life, they will, with very few exceptions, remain steadfast, and grow in grace. Why so large a per cent of the fruits of the popular revivals of our day immediately fall back, is because they do not experience Bible conversion. The moral code is not applied as the measure of sin, preparatory to their casting themselves upon Christ as their only hope of redemption from sin.RAR 8.2

    Those who are really converted as they enter upon the Christian life will gain victories, add graces, and increase in spiritual strength, as they pursue their journey home to their eternal reward. This is forcibly expressed in 2 Peter 1:5-11: “Add to your faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge, and to knowledge temperance, and to temperance patience, and to patience godliness, and to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure; for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall; for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”RAR 9.1

    But no one of the writers of the epistles expresses the high and holy attainments of the Christian life in stronger terms than John. He, as a proper witness in the case, testifies to what he had seen and heard as follows: “That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” 1 John 1:3-7. The several points of thrilling interest in the foregoing words of the beloved John are: —RAR 9.2

    1. That the man who is redeemed from the condemnation and power of sin, and becomes a loyal subject of the kingdom of grace, enjoys fellowship with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.RAR 10.1

    2. His union with Christ and his gospel does not separate him from the Father and his moral code. “I and my Father are one,” says Christ. The divine law and the glorious gospel, though instituted for different reasons, and designed to serve different purposes in the great plan of redemption, are in perfect harmony with each other, as are their divine Authors.RAR 10.2

    3. John bears the joyful message that Christians may hold fellowship with both the Father and the Son. The Jew is satisfied with his efforts to be in fellowship with the Father, and the majority of Christians hold that it is enough to be in fellowship with the Son. But the full measure of joy estimated by the apostle is to be in fellowship with both the Father and the Son.RAR 10.3

    4. God is light and in him is no darkness. Christians may walk in the light as God is in the light. And if they thus walk they will have fellowship one with another. Can a man enjoy fellowship with the Father, and walk in the light as he is in the light, while breaking the precepts of his moral code?RAR 11.1

    5. When in fellowship with both the Father and the Son, and walking in the pure light of God, it is then that the blood of Christ cleanses from all the stains of transgression. And again we inquire, Can the blood of Jesus Christ cleanse a man from all sin while he is living in transgression?RAR 11.2

    The apostle continues: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Before this cleansing work can take place on the mind and heart, the sinner must see his sins by the rule of life which God has given, must sorrow for his sins, must confess his sins, and must put them away by turning to the Lord in the path of obedience. It is then, and not until then, that the blood of Christ can be applied to cleanse the sinner from his unrighteousness.RAR 11.3

    The Christian heart exults that the sinner may repent before God of the transgression of his law, and may find in Christ a complete Redeemer. His heart and life may be in harmony with the law of God and the gospel of Christ, and in fellowship with the Father and the Son. He may walk in the light as God is in the light. He may be cleansed from all sin, and pursue the path of light that leads in through the gates of the golden city, triumphant in the love of the Father and the Son.RAR 11.4

    But John speaks plainly to guard against self-deception, and to keep high the standard of walking with God in his light. He warns: “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth.” These are cutting words indeed, but safe for the church of Christ. And the beloved apostle seems to anticipate the depressing influence of his words on some trembling disciple, and, by way of giving further light and comfort, adds: “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” In love he would speak plainly to warn the church against transgressing the law of God, and in love he would point the erring to our adorable Redeemer as the only means of redemption from sin.RAR 12.1

    II. Our first parents lost their hold on immortal life for which they were put on probation. In obedience they would soon have developed righteous characters, been placed beyond the reach of sin; and would have secured endless life in favor with God. In disobedience they and their offspring passed under the sentence and dominion of death. “Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” Genesis 3:19. “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.” Romans 5:12.RAR 12.2

    The death, resurrection, and the ascension of the Son of God were events of great importance in the plan of human redemption; but with no one of these is the plan finished. The Redeemer was to make two distinct advents to this world. At the first, he lived our example, preached his own gospel, wrought miracles to confirm his divine mission, died our sacrifice, rose from the dead for our justification, and ascended to the Father’s right hand to plead the cause of the repenting sinner. But he will appear in this world the second time to execute other parts of the grand scheme. The plan of redemption in its second stage provides for the resurrection of the just from the dominion of death and the grave to life immortal and eternal.RAR 13.1

    The moral fitness for the next life must be obtained in this. The change to immortality is not a moral change. It is simply an exchange of the corruptible body for one that will be incorruptible. This second stage in the stupendous work of man’s redemption is expressed by the apostle thus: “Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body.” And the Redeemer will not complete his work of redemption in a manner to leave man invisible and immaterial. When redeemed, the just will stand in all the tangible perfection of Adam’s unfallen manhood, with the exceeding glory of bodies fashioned like unto Christ’s glorious resurrected body. And the doctrine is made prominent in the gospel that the resurrection of Christ is a pledge to the church that all the righteous shall be raised at his second appearing.RAR 13.2

    In first Corinthians, fifteenth chapter, the apostle bases the doctrine of the resurrection of the righteous dead and the future life of the just, upon the fact that Christ did rise from the dead. The apostle affirms at the opening of the chapter that Christ died, was buried, and “rose again the third day according to the scriptures.” Verse 4. He then argues: “Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen, and if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ, whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised, and if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.” Verses 12-19.RAR 14.1

    Evidently there were those in Paul’s day who denied the resurrection of the dead as there are many who reject the doctrine in our day. But the great events designed to immortalize the sacred fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead were rehearsed in the ears of the people, and kept fresh in the memory of the church. This great truth, that Christ did rise from the dead, and did walk forth from the sepulcher a triumphant victor over death, is the great central fact of the gospel, and constitutes the staple to which all gospel truth is fastened. Paul rests all upon the resurrection of Christ, and states that if he be not risen, his preaching was vain, the faith of the church was vain, they were in their sins, the apostles were false witnesses, and, as the climax, “they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.” Remove the grand staple of the resurrection of Christ, and all gospel truth and the hope of the church fall to the ground.RAR 14.2

    Demons held hellish jubilee over the tomb where Christ lay in death. Wicked men exulted, but with a degree of trembling caused by the darkening of the sun, and the rending of the rocks. So the sepulcher was made sure. The great stone which Joseph rolled to the door was sealed, and a watch was set to guard the place. But one of the holy angels that excel in strength came down and rolled away the stone, and the attending glory prostrated the strong sentinels to the ground like dead men. Jesus arose, and, as Paul states, “was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve. After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James, then of all the apostles.” 1 Corinthians 15:5-7.RAR 15.1

    Jesus arose with the marks of the crucifixion in his divine form, that he might be identified as the very person who had the nails driven through his hands and feet, and who had the spear thrust into his side while hanging on the cross. Thomas, who had settled into stubborn unbelief upon witnessing the death of Christ, said, “Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.” John 20:25. When he saw and felt the marks of the crucifixion he exclaimed, “My Lord and my God.”RAR 15.2

    The evidences of Christ’s messiahship and his divinity were such as to carry conviction to all minds, excepting those blinded by error and hardened by sin. And these evidences grew more overwhelming until he left the world from Olivet to appear in the presence of God for sinners. Matthew records a series of these evidences connected with his death and resurrection, which closes the sacred history of his first advent: “And behold the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom, and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent, and the graves were opened, and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly, this was the Son of God.” Matthew 27:51-54.RAR 16.1

    And not only was Christ in the world forty days after his resurrection, teaching, comforting and confirming the disciples at certain seasons, but during this same period the resurrected worthies of past ages, who came out of their graves after Christ’s resurrection, were mingling with mortal men, and bearing testimony to his resurrection. And when Christ ascended, he took these resurrected ones with him, as affirmed by Paul in these words: “When he ascended up on high he led captivity captive.” 1The marginal reading is “a multitude of captives.” Ephesians 4:8.RAR 16.2

    With these evidences of the resurrection of the Son of God before the reader, he will please return with us to Paul’s argument. The apostle illustrates the relation of the resurrection of Christ to that of all his people at his second coming by the beautiful figure of the first-fruits and the harvest as set forth in the typical law: “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first-fruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order; Christ the first-fruits, afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.” Verses 20-23.RAR 17.1

    The Hebrews were to present to the priest a sheaf of the first ripe grain for him to wave before the Lord to be accepted for them. The sheaf was taken from the first ripe grain, and was called the first-fruits. This sheaf typified the resurrection of Christ, while the remaining grain in the wide harvest field represented the resurrection of all his people at his second coming. And, as the handful of ripe grain that was waved before the Lord was like all the grain that remained in the field until the general harvest, so Christ’s resurrected form was a model of the resurrected bodies of his people.RAR 17.2

    The order of the resurrection mentioned by the apostle includes only Christ, the first-fruits, and all the saints at his second coming. Forcible indeed is the figure, that as the first ripe grain waved before the Lord was a sample of all the grain that remained in the field until the great harvest, so the resurrected body of Christ was a model of the bodies of his people who should remain in the grave until the resurrection of the just at his second coming. “Christ the first-fruits,” says the apostle, “afterwards they that are Christ’s at his coming.”RAR 18.1

    The testimony of Paul respecting the change to immortality at the second coming of Christ is to the point: “For our conversation is in heaven, from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body.” Philippians 3:20, 21. Notice two points in the text: First, in the future life, the fashion of the bodies of the redeemed is like the body of the Redeemer; secondly, that the fashioning is done when he comes to raise the dead. “When he shall appear,” writes another apostle, “we shall be like him.” 1 John 3:2.RAR 18.2

    In all the range of Christian theology no doctrine is more clearly stated, or more forcibly illustrated in the Scriptures than the resurrection of the dead. And yet ministers and people of the several denominations whose creeds maintain the doctrine, are retreating from this stronghold of the Christian faith before the cavils of infidelity respecting the identity of the resurrected body. “It is impossible,” says the skeptic, “for the same particles of matter which composed the human body in this mortal life to compose the immortal body in the future state.” He affirms that particles of matter which compose the body here at any given time, and are gradually thrown off to give place to new matter, may, through the vegetable and animal productions, enter into other human bodies, to pass, by the same process, into still others. He urges that at death, under certain circumstances, the transfer of matter to other human bodies to almost unlimited numbers is highly probable. Hence, he concludes that in the resurrection many might claim the same particles on the ground that at some period in their mortal existence these very particles had constituted a part of each of them. And as it is not possible for the same particles to hold places in numerous immortal forms at the same time, the skeptic fancies that he has overthrown the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead.RAR 18.3

    The question of the transfer of the same particles from one human body to another we leave for others to argue. However groundless the propositions, and flimsy the arguments of those who labor to build up the transfer supposition in order to pull down the Bible doctrine of the resurrection of the dead may be regarded, it will not be denied that it has tremendous power to remove one of the plainest landmarks of the Christian church in the minds of the thousands who are adopting the spiritual second advent, the spiritual resurrection, and the spiritual reign of Christ.RAR 19.1

    We sympathize with Paul who had similar, if not the same, theological follies to meet in his day that curse the church and the world in our day. In continuation of his argument upon the resurrection, as he touches the identity question, he rebukes the stupid cavilings of his shallow opponents. He says: “But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die. And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain. But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.” 1 Corinthians 15:35-38. With what body do the dead come forth is the question under consideration. And the apostle more than intimates that foolishness had been exhibited over the subject.RAR 20.1

    The question is clearly before us. Will the resurrected body contain the identical particles of matter which composed the mortal body? Or, is it necessary in order to the resurrection of the being that the same particles should be gathered to make up the immortal body? Does the identity of the immortal being with the corruptible consist in both being composed of the same matter? Or does not their identity rather exist in that organization by which the saints in glory connect the then immortal present with the mortal past, so that they will know themselves, and each other? Finally, is it necessary that a single particle of the old body pass into the new in order that there be a resurrection of the dead?RAR 20.2

    God formed man of the dust of the ground. And after the transgression he passed this sentence upon Adam: “Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” Adam was an organized being. After dissolution he passed back to dust again and was no more. This is as true of Paul or of Luther. They passed to dust and do not exist in any other form of matter than that from which man was first created. Open the graves of holy men of God who have slept for centuries and there cannot be found the least trace of those who were buried there. Their names and their records are in Heaven, and their works follow them on earth, and this is all that remains of them.RAR 21.1

    The resurrection of the righteous dead is the act by which men are re-organized and brought back from the dust of the earth, with an immortal nature. This is to all intents and purposes a re-creation. And we have not the most distant thought that the Redeemer will search through creation for the identical particles of matter which had composed the mortal body from which to constitute the immortal being. Man was formed from the dust of the earth. After death he returns to dust. At the resurrection he will be brought again from the dust of the ground without respect to that matter of which he had once been composed.RAR 21.2

    The obvious application of the figure of the grain employed by the apostle to illustrate the resurrection of the dead, fully sustains the foregoing position. The farmer does not harvest the identical wheat which he sows. Long before the new kernel forms, the parent grain has entirely passed into the straw, and the roots of the plant gather from the ground that which produces the new grain. These evident facts in the production of the grain are expressed by Paul in these words: “Thou sowest not that body that shall be.” Although it is not necessary that a single particle of the parent kernel should enter into the new grain, the identity of the old is preserved in the new. If the farmer sows wheat, the harvest is wheat, and this is true of all other grains. So in the resurrection, Paul will be Paul, and Martin Luther will be Martin Luther. And they will be re-organized so as to connect the mortal past with the immortal present. And there with open face beholding the glories of redemption complete, they will recount their toils and perils, and sing of the victories of divine grace which sustained them in their ministry until they had finished their course with joy.RAR 21.3

    If it be objected, that to re-organize the being at the resurrection with other matter than that which constituted the mortal form would be a re-creation, and not a resurrection, then we reply, that as the form after death returns to dust, the resurrection of the form is to all intents and purposes a re-creation, whether it be re-organized from the matter which composed the mortal form, or from other matter.RAR 22.1

    But if it still be urged that the resurrected body must be composed of material that made up the mortal body in this life, then we inquire, Will the immortal being contain that matter which was put into the grave, or that which constituted the mortal man at middle age? If the position be taken that the same matter, no more and no less, that was buried in the grave, will be brought into the immortal being, then we invite attention to the fact that men who may be alike in size at middle life frequently become emaciated, or exceedingly full in flesh, and pass into their graves in these conditions. In the resurrection, will some men be immortal skeletons, while others shall be endowed with immortal corpulency?RAR 22.2

    Should it be thought more consistent to have the immortal body made up of the exact material which composes the mortal form at the age of forty years to find the best proportioned man to be raised from the dead, then we will suppose that this very man lives to the age of seventy-five, until a large portion of his body shall change five times, when he dies and is buried. The resurrection of the man as he stood at forty would have but very little to do with the same man who was put into the grave at seventy-five. The particles of matter which composed this man at forty would be gathered from the four winds of heaven where they had been scattered during the long period of his changes, and the grave where he was buried at seventy-five need not be disturbed.RAR 23.1

    If the position be taken that it is not necessary in order that there be a resurrection of the dead,, that the immortal being be made up wholly of matter which composed the mortal form at any given time in this life, but lest the immortal body be the result of an entire new creation, and not of the resurrection, a portion, more or less, of the old being must help constitute the new, then, according to the distinction made between re-creation and resurrection, the immortal man will be partly resurrected and partly created!RAR 23.2

    God formed Adam of the dust of the ground. After dissolution, man returns to dust. The first resurrection from the dead is the re-organization of good men, with immortal natures, from the dust of the ground, without respect to those scattered particles of matter which helped to make up the mortal body during this life, or at any period in this life. True, Christ’s body did not see corruption. He was raised with the marks of the crucifixion upon his body, that he might be identified as the very same Jesus that died upon the cross. Moses, probably, did not return to dust. The body of Moses, as well as that of Christ, is doubtless an exception to the rule that man should return to dust, as Enoch and Elijah were exceptions to God’s appointment that all men should die. Hebrews 9:27.RAR 24.1

    The fact that the same body that was placed in Joseph’s new tomb came forth, bearing the marks of the crucifixion, or the probability that the body of Moses had not seen corruption at the time the disputation occurred between Michael and Satan, and, therefore, Christ raised the same body that the Lord buried in the valley of Moab, must be regarded as exceptions to the general decree, “Unto dust thou shalt return.” The immediate resurrection of these, before seeing corruption, must be regarded in the light of the change which the living saints will experience at the sound of the trump.RAR 24.2

    If the following direct statements and illustrations of the faithful Job be applied to the positions we have taken, that all there is of man returns to dust, and that hope of the future life depends upon the resurrection of the dead, without respect to one portion of matter above another, it will be seen that in his words we find one of our strongholds: “There is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease. Though the root thereof wax old in the earth, and the stock thereof die in the ground; yet through the scent of water it will bud, and bring forth boughs like a plant. But man dieth, and wasteth away; yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he? As the waters fail from the sea, and the flood decayeth and drieth up, so man lieth down, and riseth not; till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep. O that thou wouldst hide me in the grave, that thou wouldst keep me secret, until thy wrath be past, that thou wouldst appoint me a set time, and remember me! If a man die, shall he live again? All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come. Thou shalt call, and I will answer thee; thou wilt have a desire to the work of thine hands.” Job 14:7-15.RAR 25.1

    With a keen sense that all there would remain of him after death would be his record on high, until he should identify himself in the resurrection, Job anxiously and yet triumphantly exclaims: “Oh, that my words were now written! oh, that they were printed in a book! That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock forever! For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth. And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God, whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.” Chap. 19:23-27.RAR 25.2

    This remarkable fact appears, that the writers of both Testaments represent the state of the dead by the figure of sleep. David speaks of the resurrection in these words: “As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness. I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.” Psalm 17:15. “God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave, for he shall receive me. Selah.” Psalm 49:15.RAR 26.1

    Isaiah speaks of his dead body rising with others. But, in the most literal sense, the prophet returned to dust, and as an organized being ceased to exist more than two thousand years since. If we are to be guided in our understanding of his words by other plain declarations of the Scriptures, and by facts relative to decomposition of the body and its return to dust, the strength of the following prophetic language must be regarded as setting forth simply the re-organizing of the body at the resurrection of the just: “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.RAR 26.2

    The resurrection of all the saints under the figure of the whole house of Israel is presented to the prophet Ezekiel under the figure of a valley filled with dry bones. But the expression, “I will open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves,” must not be understood so as to contradict the plainest facts relative to the condition of the dead. To give these words their most literal sense would be as absurd as to contend that in some valley on the globe God has collected and preserved the bones of all his saints.RAR 27.1

    The Lord by the prophet Hosea declares: “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. And to this very prophecy Paul refers in the closing part of the following quotation: “Behold, I show you a mystery; we shall not all 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. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” 1 Corinthians 15:51-55.RAR 27.2

    Why do all the immortal saints shout in concert, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” at the instant the trump of God wakes them from death? The last twinge of pain the conscious, dying saint felt was the sting of death, and with the grave in full view his mind ceased to act. Re-organized at the resurrection of the just, so as to connect the new immortal existence with the past mortal life, he begins to think just where he ceased thinking at death. An instant, a day, a year, or a thousand years, are alike without measure to the sleeper in death. On waking to the freedom of immortal life, he resumes the current of thought where it ceased in death, and in the joy of his new existence he triumphs over death and the grave which occupied the last moments of his mortal life.RAR 28.1

    The apostle in his letter of condolence to those of the church at Thessalonica who had buried Christian friends, would dispel their griefs by removing their ignorance respecting the state of the righteous dead. He cites the church forward to the second coming of Christ and the resurrection of the righteous dead as the source of their comfort under bereavements, and the consummation of their hope. He says: “But I would not have you to be ignorant brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep inRAR 28.2

    Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 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 4:13-17.RAR 29.1

    “The hour cometh,” says Christ, “in the which all that are in their graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good unto the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation.” John 5:28, 29. And in Paul’s confession of faith before Felix he declared the “resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.” Acts 24:15. But it is left to the Revelation chapter 20 to place these two resurrections one at each end of the millennium.RAR 29.2

    III. In the fall, man lost the dominion of the earth. God said of the first pair, “And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” Genesis 1:26. Adam had dominion over all the earth. But in the transgression and fall he lost his Eden home, lost the peaceable dominion of the earth, and called the curse of God down upon the fair work of the Creator’s hands. The peculiar circumstances under which Noah and seven others were placed immediately after the flood, made it necessary that the fear of them should be upon the beasts; but from the time of the fall, man has not held the peaceable dominion of the earth and the living creatures God made upon it.RAR 29.3

    The plan of redemption brings back the dominion of the earth through Christ, which was lost in Adam. This truth is stated by Paul in his epistle to the Hebrews, where he mentions the mysterious union of the divine and the human in Christ, that the Redeemer and the redeemed might be fellow-heirs to the inheritance which lies beyond the resurrection of the dead, and the destruction of the author of sin. The apostle says: —RAR 30.1

    “Unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak. But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him? Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honor, and didst set him over the works of thy hands. Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor, that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one, for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren.” Hebrews 2:5-11.RAR 30.2

    The close student of prophecy will readily observe the bearing which these words of Paul have upon the subject of the redemption of the fair and peaceful domain which the representative of the race lost in the fall. It is to assist those who have not studied the subject that we make the following points: —RAR 31.1

    1. In the plan of redemption the world to come is not put in subjection to angels, but in subjection to redeemed men. Angels are not to rule in that future domain, but redeemed men will there reign with their adorable Redeemer.RAR 31.2

    2. Adam was made a little lower than the angels, yet crowned with glory and honor, in that he was made lord of the works of the Creator’s hands. All things were put in subjection under him without reserve.RAR 31.3

    3. This dominion, lost in Adam, was not restored in Paul’s day. The apostle says, “But now we see not yet all things put under him.” Paul looked to the future for the redemption of this dominion through Christ at his second coming. He continues: “But we see Jesus,” — conveying the idea clearly that the redemption and restoration of the very dominion which was lost in Adam will be accomplished through Jesus Christ.RAR 31.4

    4. Jesus is represented as the captain of the salvation of the redeemed, who will lead many sons unto glory. He is represented as taking on him the seed of Abraham, and not the nature of angels; that he might through temptations and sufferings be perfectly adapted to feel our woes and sympathize with our sorrows. This makes both the Redeemer that sanctifieth and the redeemed that are sanctified of one family, so that Christ is “not ashamed to call them brethren.”RAR 32.1

    5. In the expression “for whom are all things, and by whom are all things” — as applied to Christ — the apostle clearly conveys the idea that the very dominion which was made for Adam and his posterity, is, in the plan of redemption, in reserve for Christ’s future glorious reign.RAR 32.2

    From the time that the dominion was taken from Adam we pass down the sacred history of the fallen race to Abraham, and there we find the joyful news of redemption through Jesus Christ, to be extended to the nations of the earth, proclaimed to the trusting, obedient patriarch. Paul speaks of it thus: “And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.” Galatians 3:8. The apostle here quotes from Genesis 12:3. And in the same chapter we read the Lord’s promise of the land to Abraham’s seed. “Unto thy seed will I give this land.” Verse 7. After Lot separated from Abram, the Lord said unto him, “Lift up now thine eyes and look from the place where thou art, northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward; for all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed forever.” Genesis 13:14, 15.RAR 32.3

    Later, when God establishes his covenant with Abram, he promises the land to him and his seed for an everlasting possession. “And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession.” Genesis 17:7, 8.RAR 33.1

    This promise of the land was confirmed to Isaac in these words: “Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father.” Genesis 26:3.RAR 33.2

    In his wonderful dream, Jacob saw a ladder reaching from earth to Heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending upon it. This ladder represents the plan of redemption through Christ, which plan connects earth with Heaven. Jacob saw the Lord standing above the ladder, and heard him declare: “I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac. The land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed.” Genesis 28:13.RAR 33.3

    We have set before the reader the repeated promise of the land made to Abraham and to his seed.RAR 33.4

    And now we inquire, Did this promise receive its entire accomplishment in Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and their seed according to the flesh? Or, will the promise have its complete and ultimate fulfillment through Christ in the future immortal state in the eternal inheritance of all the redeemed?RAR 34.1

    The testimony of the holy martyr Stephen is to the point. In his defense before his accusers he states that Abraham did not inherit the land of promise. That portion of his appeal which relates to the promise of the land, reads thus: “Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken. The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran, and said unto him, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall show thee. Then came he out of the land of the Chaldeans, and dwelt in Charran, and from thence, when his father was dead, he removed him into this land, wherein ye now dwell. And he gave him none inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on, yet he promised that he would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him.” Acts 7:2-5.RAR 34.2

    And as further proof that the promise of the land was not fulfilled to Abraham and to his seed according to the flesh, we quote from Paul to the Hebrews: “By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed, and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” Hebrews 11:8-10. Please notice these points: —RAR 34.3

    1. The apostle here speaks of the place, or the land, which Abraham should after receive for an inheritance. He did not receive it during his mortal life.RAR 35.1

    2. He sojourned in the land of promise as in a strange country with Isaac and Jacob who were not inheritors, but simply heirs with him of the same promise.RAR 35.2

    3. In looking forward to the period when the promised land would be inherited, Abraham saw a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. He did not enjoy such a city as this at any time during the period of his long life of one hundred and seventy-five years. Men have builded cities on the earth in past ages, and they have crumbled to decay. But no city has existed on earth of which it could be said that its builder and maker is God. This is evidently the new-earth city which will appear when the curse shall be removed, and the dominion of the earth shall be restored to all the redeemed. Revelation 21:1-3.RAR 35.3

    The golden city of God will be the grand metropolis of the immortal kingdom when all its component parts shall be brought forth, and the entire family of Heaven shall be gathered. Then, obedient to the call of the Redeemer — “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you” — the redeemed of all ages will come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of God.RAR 35.4

    The gospel of the Son of God was proclaimed to Abraham in the promise of the land to him and his seed, for this seed is Christ, as argued by the apostle in Galatians 3:16: “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, and to thy seed, which is Christ.” The promise to Abraham that in him all the families of the earth should be blessed, embraces Jesus Christ as the only hope of salvation of men from all the nations, as stated by the apostle in verse 14: “That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ.” The faith of Abraham embraces Christ as its glorious object. This is seen in Christ’s reply to the Jews, who boasted in Abraham as their father. “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day; and he saw it, and was glad.” John 8:56.RAR 36.1

    The promise of the land, as explained by Paul, was made to Abraham and Christ. But Abraham, though he should be heir of the world through the righteousness of faith, Romans 4:13, was a sojourner in Canaan as in a strange country. He, with all the other examples of faith mentioned in Hebrews 11, “having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise, God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.” Verses 39, 40.RAR 36.2

    But when Christ, and all the heirs of promise shall take the kingdom upon the new earth, then will Abraham and his seed inherit the promised land. “If ye be Christ’s,” says Paul, “then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Galatians 3:29. Abraham, the father of the faithful, will be there. Christ, and all his, will be there. Then the promise to Abraham, that he shall possess the land, and that his seed shall be like the stars of heaven, and the sand upon the seashore, will have reached its ultimate and complete fulfillment.RAR 36.3

    The apostle Peter speaks of three worlds. The first was before the flood, the second now exists, and the third will be when the Redeemer shall make all things new. He states that “the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water, whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished. But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire..... Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” 2 Peter 3:5-13. God’s promise of the new heavens and earth, is found alone in these words of the prophet: “Behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. But be ye glad and rejoice forever in that which I create; for behold I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.” Isaiah 65:17, 18.RAR 37.1

    The three worlds are now before us in scriptural language. The inhabitants of the first became so stained with crime and violence that God could not bear with them, and after warning the people of their approaching doom through his servant Noah, he washed the world from its moral pollutions by the waters of the flood. And when the cup of iniquity of the inhabitants of the world that now is shall be full, God will cleanse the second world from sin and sinners by fire as he did the first by water. Then the curse will be removed, the earth will be renewed, and glorious Eden will be restored. The scriptures quoted do not speak of three spheres, but of the one only which God gave to Adam, in three conditions covering these periods. The first reaches from the fall to the flood, the second, from Noah to the coming of Christ, and the third is the immortal and eternal future.RAR 37.2

    But the supporters of the doctrine of the world’s conversion regard the prophecy of Isaiah concerning the new heavens and earth as a figurative description of the condition of things during the millennium. The prophet is either giving a figurative description of a very happy condition of things in this mortal state, or he is portraying the literal glories of the restitution after the second advent and the resurrection of the just. The friends of the temporal millennium, in order that all parts of their figurative theory may harmonize, must have in their figurative new heavens and earth, figurative houses, figurative vineyards, and they must eat the figurative fruit thereof, and behold around them figurative wolves and figurative lions, feeding with figurative lambs and figurative bullocks, to say nothing of the presence of figurative serpents. If it be said that the gospel is to convert all these wolves and lions and serpents, we reply that if they are converted, they are no longer wolves and lions and serpents, and during the entire period of the millennium there will be none but figurative lambs and doves.RAR 38.1

    But the apostle has so clearly identified the three worlds, namely, the one before the flood, the one that now is, and the new earth which is to come, as to entirely preclude the figurative view. No fact can be more plainly stated than that the world that perished by the flood is the same as that which now is, and is reserved unto fire. This is to be changed by fire, and then will appear the new heavens and the new earth, according to the promise of God. Thus the apostle links the three worlds together. Are the first two worlds literal? So is the third. Is the new earth, mentioned by Isaiah, figurative? So are all three worlds figurative. But if they are all literal, then we see a harmony in Scripture respecting them. If they be regarded as figurative, then we are left to this conclusion: —RAR 39.1

    That in the days of figurative Noah, the figurative heavens and earth, being overflowed by figurative water, perished figuratively. But the figurative heavens and earth, which are now, are reserved unto figurative fire, against the day of figurative Judgment and perdition of ungodly figurative men. Nevertheless, we, according to his figurative promise, look for figurative new heavens and new earth, wherein dwelleth figurative righteousness.RAR 39.2

    True, the sacred writers use figures and parables. But we should believe that God in his word means what he says, unless the connection shows good reasons why a figure or parable is introduced. If God does not mean what he says in his word, who will tell us what he does mean? In case that God does not mean what he says, the Bible ceases to be a revelation, and God should give us another book to teach what this one means. But the Bible is the very book in which he has plainly spoken to the children of men.RAR 40.1

    With this view of the Scriptures, we see spread out before us the living realities of the new earth in all their grandeur and glory, as when Adam was lord of Eden, and held dominion “over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth.” Genesis 1:26. Before the transgression, all was purity and peace, even among the beasts which God had created. And who can say that these, with natures such as the Creator first gave them, will not be in place in the earth restored from the fall, as well as in the earth before the fall? “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.” Isaiah 11:6, 7.RAR 40.2

    It is in the restitution that the glory of the Lord shall fill the earth, as the waters cover the sea. “But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord.” Numbers 14:21.RAR 40.3

    “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” Isaiah 11:9. “For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” Habakkuk 2:14. “Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5. This glorious state, however, is not brought about by the conversion of all men. It is introduced by the destruction of sinful men, the restitution of the earth to its condition as it came from the hand of the Creator, and the gift of immortality to the meek of all ages. “For evil-doers shall be cut off; but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be; yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.” Psalm 37:9-11.RAR 41.1

    The prophecy of Daniel introduces five universal kingdoms which were to succeed each other on the earth. The first four kingdoms are perishable. The fifth is immortal, and will stand forever. The first four kingdoms are represented in the second chapter of the prophecy by the great metallic image, the several parts of which are composed of gold, silver, brass, and iron mixed with clay. These represent Babylon, Medo-Persia, Grecia and Rome. The stone cut out of the mountain without hands, smote the image upon his feet, when the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold were broken in pieces, and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them. No language can express destruction more completely. And it is not until this utter destruction of all earthly governments that the immortal kingdom is established, filling the whole earth with its glory.RAR 41.2

    The kingdom of glory is future. In connection with its establishment will be the second coming of Christ in power and great glory, to raise the righteous dead, and to change the living righteous. These, all immortal, will be the eternal subjects of the kingdom of glory. In Paul’s most solemn charge to Timothy, he associates the coming of Christ and the last Judgment with the immortal kingdom. “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom. Preach the word.” 22 Timothy 4:1, 2. This kingdom will be God’s arrangement to glorify and reward the immortal righteous who are saved from every nation, tongue, and people, during the ages of human probation.RAR 42.1

    As further evidence that the kingdom of glory is future, we cite the fact that the stone smote the image upon his feet. It did not smite the image upon his head, Babylon; nor on the breast, Media and Persia; nor on the sides, Grecia; nor yet on the legs, Pagan Rome. But the stone did smite the image on his feet. And it could not smite the feet before they existed, and they were not in being till several hundred years after the first advent of Jesus Christ. The stone has nothing in common with the image. Mark well the events here stated. The stone breaks the image, and it becomes like the chaff of the summer threshing-floors, and the wind carries it away so that no place is found for it. All earthly kingdoms are first broken, and cease to exist; then, and not till then, will the God of Heaven set up the immortal kingdom on the earth, which shall never be destroyed.RAR 42.2

    The kingdom of grace is God’s plan to save men by grace. It was established as early as mercy and grace were offered to fallen man. Adam, Abel, Noah, Abraham and Moses were as truly the subjects of the kingdom of grace as the apostles and martyrs of Jesus were, or as the followers of Christ now are. If it be said that the kingdom of grace was set up by our Lord Jesus Christ at his first advent, then we inquire, Had God no kingdom of grace before that time? If not, then Enoch, Noah, Lot, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and the prophets, have perished without hope; for certainly no man can be saved without grace.RAR 43.1

    In the seventh chapter of Daniel the four perishable kingdoms are represented by four beasts. The fate of the fourth is expressed in these words: “I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.” If the words slain, destroyed, and given to the burning flame do not express utter extinction, we know of no words that will express the idea. It is worthy of particular notice that the fourth beast continues without change of character until he is given to the burning flame. Not so with the other three beasts which precede him. Says the prophet: “As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away, yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.” The territory and subjects of the Babylonish kingdom still existed, though subjected to the Persians. So of the Persian kingdom in respect to Grecia, and of Grecia in respect to Rome. But what succeeds the fourth kingdom? Is it the world’s conversion and the temporal millennium? No, indeed! Its career will end in the lake of fire, and it will have no existence beyond. The lion was merged into the bear, the bear into the leopard, and the leopard into the fourth beast. But the fourth beast is to end his career in the lake of fire, which will be his utter destruction.RAR 43.2

    The next scene presented to the prophet represents the events closely connected with the coming of the Son of man. His reception of the dominion of the earth is described in these words: “And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages should serve him.” The eternity of his kingdom is here stated. “His dominion is an everlasting dominion which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” The location of the kingdom is also expressed in verse 27: “And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High.”RAR 44.1

    In tracing the subject of redemption through Christ we have seen that the blood of the Son of God was shed to cleanse the sinner from the guilt and stains of transgression; that by the resurrection the just are to be redeemed from death; that by the agency of fire the curse will be removed from the earth; and that in the Redeemer the redeemed obtain the dominion of the earth, which Adam lost.RAR 44.2

    But the crowning act, which will place our world, with its immortal inheritors, above the disgrace of the fall, will be the establishment of the golden city of God, with the throne of both the Father and the Son upon it. In support of this startling proposition we appeal to the Bible. And where shall we look for testimony respecting this completing act of redemption but in the last book, and the last chapters of the Sacred Volume which relate to the grand scheme of redemption?RAR 45.1

    “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away, and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” Revelation 21:1-3. God may be with men by the agency of an angel, or by his Son; but to free the subject from all uncertainty, the Son states that God himself shall dwell with men.RAR 45.2

    Again, says John: “And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse; but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it.” Revelation 22:1-3.RAR 45.3

    If the river of life is to flow in the midst of the broad street of the city of God upon the new earth, the throne of God, as well as that of the Lamb, will be there. And if the curse here mentioned is that which came upon our world in consequence of Adam’s sin, then redemption exchanges the blight and mildew of sin, and the pall of death, for the glory of the throne of God and of the Lamb.RAR 46.1

    The stupendous plan of redemption provides for more than simply the restitution of all things to their first glory. Adam was lord of creation; but the divine Son of God, the second Adam, will be Lord of the world redeemed from sin and its results. And may we not reasonably conclude that the future, immortal condition of the earth, and the redeemed who inherit it, will as far exceed that of the first pair, and the earth given to them, as the Son of God exceeds innocent Adam in holy Eden?RAR 46.2

    Redemption completed at the resurrection of Christ? So say our Sunday friends, who observe the first day of the week to commemorate the completion of redemption. Hold, friends! you are just one dispensation ahead of time. Wait until the Redeemer shall make all things new. When the plan of redemption shall be finished, then, if it please God, we will all keep Sunday.RAR 46.3

    As we view the work of redemption, crowned with the glory of the throne of God and of the Lamb upon the new earth, we cease to wonder that redeemed men in Heaven should look forward to the time when they shall reign on the earth as the period of still higher joys. “And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof; for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood, out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests, and we shall reign on the earth.” Revelation 5:9, 10. Did these go up to Heaven at death? Or, are these the saints who came out of their graves after Christ’s resurrection, and who ascended up to Heaven with Christ from Olivet? Or, are these who sing the song of redemption, all the saints who shall reign with Christ in the holy city during the one thousand years before it shall come down upon the new earth at the close of the seventh millennium? Whatever view may be taken of these redeemed men, who sing the new song, the golden text loses none of its strength in proof that the earth, redeemed from the curse, will be the inheritance of the saints.RAR 47.1

    And why should not happy saints in Heaven, or on the earth, look forward to the completion of redemption, when they shall reign on the new earth, as the highest state of joy of which mortal or even immortal minds can conceive? The history of our world is truly wonderful. Events have occurred on this sphere which have startled the universe. Angels desired to look into the plan of redemption; but they could not comprehend its amazing depths, and the matchless love which prompted its execution. It was here that Adam basely transgressed the law of his Creator. At sundry times God in mercy has punished crime, and diminished it for a time on the earth by flood and flame. Here patriarchs and prophets have wrought out holy characters, and have been slain for the truth.RAR 47.2

    Here among the fallen children of men, was manifested the mysterious union of the human and divine in the Redeemer who lived our example, died our sacrifice, was buried, and rose from the dead, took with him the keys of death and the grave, and ascended on high to plead his blood in behalf of poor sinners. Here more than fifty millions of saints have sealed their testimony with their blood, that Christ is the living way, and the only Mediator between God and the sinner. Here, too, God will honor his Son, who purchased the redemption of man stained with sin, and the earth, groaning beneath the curse, at an infinite cost, by establishing his throne upon it. Then will the redeemed lose the disgrace of the fall in the glory of the Redeemer, and the earth will forget the curse in the glory of God and the Lamb. “Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the Lord of hosts shall reign in Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously.” Isaiah 24:23.RAR 48.1

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