God in Creation,
Redemption, Judgment
and Consummation

by A.E.Saxby
of
London, England
Republished by
SCRIPTURE STUDIES CONCERN
1052 EAST GRAND BOULEVARD
CORONA, CALIFORNIA
1966

GOD IN CREATION

     The character, as well as the ability of the maker, is visible in the thing that he makes. If a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, then it is certain that the great Creator of all, who is holy in all His ways and righteous in all His works, who is good and only doeth good and whose tenderness is over all His works, can design nothing the end of which is not pure happiness and usefulness. Whatever catastrophes may have intervened, and however mysterious are the processes by which His goal will be reached, it follows, from the fact of His unimpeachable character, that the consummation of His work will justify all His methods.

     So wide is His care, and so minute, that a falling sparrow is noted and remembered. Peter gives Him the title of "the faithful Creator," meaning thereby that His responsibilities are fully met in a manner only possible to infinite power and love. If His creatorship yearns over a fallen broken bird, how much more will it reckon with all the forces that have combined to mar the image of Himself in the man He has made. If He employs the discipline of a father, the sacrificial love of a mother, the stern justice of a judge and the passionate affection of a husband ‚€” and all these are figures chosen by Himself to set forth His attitude towards men and His work for and in them ‚€” it is to the end that His great designs of love may ultimately triumph.  If He turns men to destruction, it is that He may say, "Return ye children of men." (Ps. 90:3). If the vessel is marred in the hand of the Potter, it is that He may make it again another vessel. (Jer. 18:4). If His work is marred, then His own face will be more marred than any man's, that He may buy back those who have sold themselves for nought. Creation is full of mysteries, but the revealed character of the Creator suffices to assure us of a triumphant solution to them all. Only a traitor to His person and character would deny such a  God this certainty.

     The greatest of all the mysteries in His fair creation is the presence of sin. Thank God, how it can be dealt with and expelled is clearer than how it entered, and why it was allowed to enter the universe. It is not necessary to understand the genesis of evil to realize its departure.

     The presence of sin is so immediate upon the initial act of bringing man into existence, that its presence is evidently deliberate and with design. This makes the problem more acute, but lt should help us all the more to trust the faithfulness of the Divine architect of all things. It was anticipated; for, in His Divine purpose, the Lamb was slain before the foundation of the world. Being anticipated, sin, was, therefore,  a definite part of the Divine plan.

     The presence of sin, and the part it plays, cannot be understood, however, unless the Creator's own declared consummation of His work be accepted as truth. Because men have not believed His own goal to which He is professedly moving, therefore, they have not understood the part that sin plays. While they believe that sin has come to stay as eternally as God is alive, and that its effects will be as endless as His own being, it is little wonder that its genesis is a mystery. The end must justify the means as well as the beginning. Who would venture to say that the end does this, if sin has intruded to remain as long as God Himself will live? There must be in the word of God a solution to this mystery which is glorifying to God and beneficial finally to His creation.

     Sin is here in the world with all its dreadful fruit. If God could not help its coming into His creation, then we are face to face with the hopelessness of its final expulsion from the universe. If He could not help its appearance, then there is a rival power that is spontaneously evil as He is fundamentally good.  In such case the effort to deal with sin at Calvary is but the strategical movement of God ln the hope of overcoming His adversary. The tragic failure of such effort, in the prospect of myriads of His creatures being either hopelessly tormented for ever or obliterated from existence as so much waste substance in the universe, is unspeakably pathetic, presenting as it does in the foreground, the picture of a God who has made the supreme sacrifice of Himself as an expedient, and has fallen short of His cherished hope. It is suggested, on the other hand,  that God could help sin coming into the world, and that He did deliberately allow it to come into the world, in full view of the dire results accruing to its appearance in the shape of the endless misery of men. This view preserves that which is essential to God's existence as Creator and Governor of the Universe‚€”His omnipotence.

     To suggest that He may have been taken by surprise, and has been ever since doing what He can to remedy the harm which sin has brought about, is only to question His omnipotence in another way, and to leave Him pitiable inadequate to control the situation.  These considerations have driven theologians to claim that He did allow sin to enter the universe, and to admit that it must have been in full cognizance of the awful issues.  In view, however, of the belief that the unhappy finish to His work in creation in one direction, will be the hopeless committal of myriads of beings into the flames of an endless hell of unmitigated conscious suffering, it has to be admitted also, by such theologians, that God must have created man with His express understanding and consent to this, and therefore must have had that certainty in view in His original plan.

     One reason for this which is advanced by the advocates of this theory, is, that this may be intended to serve as a warning to the rest of His creation of the terrible consequences of rebellion. In a revolt under human government such an object would be achieved by the execution of a few of the ringleaders, but God is represented as executing, or rather putting on an endless rack, all the rank and file of rebels, numbering perhaps far more than those who by His grace have been rescued from such a fate.

     His omnipotence is certainly salved by this admission, but His character as Creator suffers. If it is argued that He blots them out of existence rather than put them to endless misery, then the problem of a creation useless for all intents and purposes and displaying nothing but suffering and misery as the outcome of His handiwork, equally confronts us, giving rise to queries as to His wisdom. If it be suggested that all this complexity of human life, with its sin and sorrow, was necessary to produce the elect of God and to educate them, it would seem that an overwhelming regret must possess each member of the elect race at the thought of such ruin and misery being the background necessary for their perfection.

     What solution is offered, to meet these terrific problems, that  threaten to undermine faith in both the wisdom and love of God? The onus of failure is placed by some upon the stubborn will of man, and this is supposed to meet all the difficulties. It really brings into prominence another omnipotence which, because it baffles the omnipotence and love of God, is by far the greater. Man will not and God cannot. This sums up the situation created by this view. It appears on the surface to be fair until a few questions are asked. Where did man get this terrific ability to defy God? It was the bestowment originally of God himself, who thereby has created and allowed a rival force which He knew when He created it, would prove in its rebellion impervious to all the overtures of His love, and the activities of His omnipotence.

     Another query that rises to the lips is whether this will of man in every case has been perfectly free and unbiased in its choice. We reply that in the plan of God it was allowed to be fixed in its bias away from God in the rebellion of the first human pair, and that, in all those mighty potentialities which influence thought and life, man is the victim of heredity and circumstances over which he had no control whatever. When we ask if the Creator, who planned all this, meets every man with the fullest possible facility to turn from evil and choose the good, we discover that vast multitudes in the past have been left in ignorance and darkness, and even today, with Calvary a fact, by far the larger section of the present existing human race on the earth is in circumstances the reverse of helpful to its acquirement of the knowledge of God.

     If these problems are expressed as above, we are in danger of being branded as infidel-makers, in that we suggest trains of thought that may cause doubt of God in minds that think. But minds were made to think, and this is a thinking age, and men are thinking and along these very lines.  Indeed, it is this very inadequate and illogical theology that has made many of the best to think. If the Bible could offer no other solution then we might be wrong in stating these problems, but we have discovered that there are other explanations that do not demand the scrapping of any of the Divine attributes, but rather make them shine in fullest radiancy in the conception and accomplishment of the purposes connected with the creation of man. We therefore cast all blame for making infidels upon a false theology  and set about the task of presenting truth that will unmake such infidels and show them the true God.

     The true solution is one that lies clear upon the pages of the written word of God. It gives us the Divine reason for creation and its goal. God expresses His satisfaction at the sight of His first activities in this sphere. "And God saw every thing that He had made and behold it was VERY GOOD." Since He knew the end from the beginning, and in His view at the moment all the issues of His act were unveiled before Him, then His verdict included the issue, as well as the initiation of creation. To make Him approve of the findings of accredited theology in this survey of creation would be to make Him satisfied with endless sin and rebellion, for, according to generally accepted ideas, these features, so abhorrent to God (Habakkuk 1:13), are to be as endless as He Himself will be.

     Of the final outcome of His creation God Himself declares that He will be "All in All," that when the vast drama of human destiny reaches the culminating point of divine government even His enemies will be subjected; death, the fruit of sin, will be abolished as having done its work; Christ will be the Head of a redeemed race, and God will be, as Bengel put it, "everything to everybody." Such a climax is worthy of such a God, and justifies the creation of man with all its complex problems.

     Foremost amongst the difficulties of the subject, and preeminently essential to be understood, is the question of

THE GENESIS OF SIN.

     The mystery of mysteries centers in the appearance of sin almost at the same moment as the inception of human responsibility. Who is responsible for its presence? In a striking phrase the Word of God tells us that God Himself is responsible for the appearance of sin (Isaiah 45:7, Amos 3:6). Not that He originated it, or designed it, but is responsible for its presence, as He is equally responsible with the opposite quality of good. "I am the Lord. . . . I form the light and create darkness; I make peace and create evil, I, the Lord, do all these things."The Persian King Cyrus is addressed in this chapter as the chosen instrument for the deliverance of God's people. The Persian creed, though singularly pure and noble, had one grave defect. They believed in one God, indeed, and thought of Him so nobly that their symbol for Him was a circle with wings ‚€”the circle to denote the completeness, the perfection, the eternity of God; and the wings to denote His all-pervading presence. But while they believed in one only God, the Maker of all that was good, they also, and out of reverence for One to whom they dared not attribute any wrong, believed in an anti-god whom they made responsible for all that was evil. Ahriman, as they called this evil spirit, was not perhaps the equal of Ahuramazda, the good creative spirit, but he was independent of Him, and His perpetual rival. He was not made by God, nor was he subordinate to Him; and it was he, not God, to whom all that was evil in nature and in human life was to be attributed. In short, they sacrificed the omnipotence of the God of heaven to His righteousness, and to save His goodness curtailed His power. This mistaken conception of the situation called forth the striking protest from God seven times in the 45th chapter Isaiah, that there was no God beside Him, together with the admission that evil has its accorded place in the designs of infinite goodness.

     Sin, therefore, was a possibility in the survey of the Creator, but only a possibility as He permitted it. His character, so plentifully portrayed in Scripture and proven in personal experience, should have been enough to assure us that the permission of sin would never have been granted without adequate, nay without overwhelming justification in His mind as to the glorious outcome of allowing its ravages in His fair handiwork.

     Still the problem remains that, granting all this, it is difficult to see how sin could evolve without God's express interference and action. What is sin? From God's point of view it is the transgression of the law and the transgression of the law is lawlessness. Lawlessness is simply the doing of that which is right in our own eyes, irrespective of imposed standards of righteousness on the part of properly constituted authority, Divine or human.

     Sin, then, in other words is unbridled self; and self is preoccupation with that which, fundamentally, is legitimate and God given. There is no sin in the realm of the body, soul, or spirit, but, when tracked to its roots, manifests a preoccupation with a legitimate appetite or faculty. Concentration upon personal beauty, the gift of God, births pride. Legitimate appetites of the body, pampered by self-indulgence, foster lust, and when lust is finished it brings forth sin. (James 1:15).  Sin, then, is simply self gratification on any line of human experience.

     Who was the first to enter upon this path, and how could such preoccupation be possible? These are questions that have now to be met. There must have been at some time in the creation of God a first being who followed the path in which eventually all have trod and will tread. There is a solidarity in the fall of all created beings, even as there is, praise God, a solidarity in connection with their restoration. (Romans 5:12-19). To Bible readers it is hardly necessary to say that Satan appears to have been the first to tread this path of self and sin. Scripture makes it clear that it was he who tempted that first human pair, and the form of the temptation was the same as that which had originally ensnared him, 'Ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.' The same reasoning, in his own case, led to his effort to usurp the throne of God, and to his expulsion from the high place of responsibility given him by God.

     We can turn to Ezekiel 28 for light upon this point. Here, in the figure of the Prince of Tyre, it seems evident that Satan is personified. According to Josephus, this was Ethbach II, who was the reigning Prince of Tyre, and who claimed Divine honors as occupying the seat of the temple of Melkarth, which Herodotus mentions as the oldest sanctuary known in the annals of mankind. His island residence sprang out of the waters, and he calls it "the seat of God in the midst of the seas." His arrogant assumption of Divine position and prerogative make him a fitting type, or personification, of Satan, for it is clear that the prophet passes on to describe one who was more than man. Terms are used which could only apply to some great being previous, and superior to even this mighty Prince of Tyre.

     As the writer already quoted says,"It could never be said of any human being except Adam and Eve, 'Thou wast in Eden, the garden of God,' if this means the literal Eden. . . . No man has ever been called the 'anointed cherub that covereth; no man has been set upon the holy mountain of God, no man has walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire,' but the cherubim of Ezekiel I are found there. Of no man could it be said that he was 'perfect in his ways from the day he was created, till unrighteousness was found in him.' No man or woman has been created, except Adam and Eve; all others have been born. But all this answers to 'the prince of this world,' the great enemy of souls, whose tool and instrument for the time this King of Tyre was." These considerations made it manifest that God is unveiling here those assumptions of Satan which led to his fall. He aimed at being God. He desired to become as God ‚€” the very suggestion that he put to Adam and Eve. He aspired to the worship of himself by others. Was it not this very blasphemous proposition that he even sought to inject into the mind of the Son of God? "All these things will I give thee if Thou wilt fall down and worship me."

     That which led on to this presumptuous attitude was preoccupation with that perfection which was the gift of God. "Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty: thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness." (Ezekiel 28:17). Here was the genesis of sin. If began in preoccupation with that which was legitimately his, as the gift of God; that perfection of person with which God had graced him. This led to pride, and "pride," as the Scripture says, "goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall."

     Thus we see who it was that first traversed the path away from God, and we note the process by which the departure took place. The difficulty still remains how any creature made in the purpose of God and held by His power, could thus deliberately purpose a path of action so antagonistic to the God from whose hand he had come.

     It goes without saying that God could have kept both Satan and Adam from falling, and that there was no inherent tendency in them to stray from the path of rectitude, when they came from His hand in creation. Nor can we conceive that, of themselves and apart from God's purpose, such a thing as the turning of their gaze from their Creator to themselves could have occurred. It must have been an action on God's part that precipitated the fall. That is to say, not some initial action of His which gave an impetus to their movement away from Him and to themselves, but some passive consent of His to their trial under certain conditions, which sprang from his volition and could not be without His permission. What was there that He could do, what is there that He is actually recorded as having done in other cases, which would provide just that test necessary to ascertain how they would act when left to themselves.

     Does not this last sentence clear up the mystery? Were they not left to themselves, isolated for the moment in their own God-given capabilities and responsibilities, that it might be seen whether, under such conditions, they would abide in Him, or move out to a self-chosen destiny? It is recorded of Hezekiah that "in the business of the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, God left him to try him, that He might know all that was in his heart." (2 Chron. 32:31). Do we not see in this incident the principle that God employed at the first to discover how unaided creatures would act? In some such way God acted with Job, withdrawing His hedge of thorns through which the enemy could not break, in order that Satan might try this perfect man, though only as far as he had Divine permission. We have often felt that the story of Job might well be the story of creation in miniature.

     Job was a perfect man untried, just the condition in which creation was, while maintained in its pristine perfection by the power of God. The satisfaction that the Creator would have gotten out of a creation which continued perfect in every part would doubtless have been very real. It would, however, have always been open to the taunt that Satan flung at God when he hinted at the possibility accruing from God's withdrawn support. And it would have lacked that absolutely voluntary choice of God's will, which would have resulted from a deliberate rejection by the creature's own will, as well as a definite choice of the Divine will in preference. God longed for this kind of obedience from His creation.

     The only way open to God, to secure such a full voluntary submission to His will, was to permit evil. In other words to permit the will of His creatures to act unrestrained by the constraint of His own will, so that their own ways were chosen in preference to His.

     There was only one way to secure such a deliberate intelligent choice of His will. It was by allowing the creature full liberty to choose for himself an opposite path and to follow it to the bitter end. The faithfulness of the Creator to His work would have been impugned had He not provided that such a choice would ultimately be over-ruled to produce a result that would not only justify the process by which the end was reached, but would be pre-eminently satisfying to the creature himself as well as to the Creator. There is in Isa. 45:7 an illustration in the physical sphere illustrative of the method used in the spiritual. Darkness is the withdrawal of light. So evil results from the withdrawal of good.

     "For God made man what he is; God ordained the circumstances in which man is placed: God knew that such circumstances, operating on such a creature, would inevitably involve him in sin and misery through all eternity. With this clear foresight, to alter nothing in the nature of the creature, to alter nothing in the arrangement of the circumstances, but to persist in giving him that very nature, and in placing him in those very circumstances, the inevitable result of which He knew would secure the production of this endless sin and misery ‚€” is malignant in the highest possible degree; and, were the Deity 'malignity itself, He could not act worse."

     By revelation we know that the nature and the name of God is Love.  This is enough to prove to us that, unless He had foreseen an ultimate issue to His work which would be worthy of such a terrific process as the destruction of His handiwork by sin, He could never have planned such a road to the consummation of His desire. What was that desire? It was to have a race of beings whose experience of their own will being gratified would once and for all rid them of all further longing to be independent of Himself in their activities. It was to demonstrate through the sufferings of sin to what that pathway of self will lead, and thus to provide an experience which would create a loathing for lawlessness in the redeemed race, and instead implant a love for holiness within them.

     It was further to furnish the race that He had brought into existence with such a marvelous evidence of His oneness with them in the incarnation and sacrifice of His Son, that His creatures would be overwhelmed at the vast expenditure of the Divine nature and resources on behalf of His off spring. (Acts 17:24-28).

     In the redeemed race there will be two things which will spring out of the history of the ages which will satisfy God for all His costly work. One is the utter repudiation of his own will, at which every man will arrive as the result of his experience of the gratifying of his own wishes. The other is the complete and voluntary choice of God's will to which every man will come as the highest and supreme good. Man's will has been allowed to be free in its choice of evil, that ultimately it may be free in its choice of God.

     After an exhibition of the inability of man without law and then under law, to recover from his fall, or even to desire to lift himself from the mire of his own folly and sin, God sent forth His Son at the ripe moment of His purpose that He might redeem them that were under the law. In the Person of His Son there was wrought out, as the Head of the redeemed race, a voluntary obedience in the face of every kind of incitement to rebellion and self will, which became the spring and pattern of the obedience into which the Son will conduct the race to the closing scene of 1 Cor. 15:22-28.

     The next act in this great drama of creation and redemption is the gathering of a company out of this present age, in whom God's will shall have become their supreme choice in the face of all the antagonism and fascination of this present evil age. That "God may be all in all" is the far-off goal to which He is moving. To the principle that He shall be ALL In ALL and His will supreme, Calvary was the great "Amen" of the Son. He is the "Amen" echoing only the Father's purpose. With Him, out of this age, will come the company who, through the severest test, in  the power of Calvary, will say "Amen" also. To do God's will is here and now in this realm of sin and sorrow their undying and burning ambition. In them God is tasting the first fruit of His purpose in creation. The drama is not yet complete. Through the ministry of the Christ ‚€” the Head and the body perfected ‚€” in the ages yet to come, the fulfilment of the words of Christ will take place, "I, if I be lifted up from the earth will draw all men unto ME."

     It has been said that, "Inasmuch as God Himself alone is the only and absolute first cause, it follows that in the last analysis, He is inevitably responsible for the ultimate consummation."The consummation is revealed in 1 Cor. 15:22-28 as that of the happy, holy, intelligent, freewill subjection of the race to their Creator that He may be "ALL in ALL." Sin with all its suffering stands revealed as part of the process by which this is brought about.  Nowhere did sin strike more terribly than in the Person of the Creator Himself in slaying its God at Calvary. Creation discovered the way to His original purpose. Thus, to the One whom he slew, man becomes, through the power of that very deed which was the supreme self sacrifice of God, subjected at last in the completest voluntariness to his Creator and Redeemer.

What though none on earth assist Him!
     God requires not help from man;
What though all the world resist Him!
     God will realize His plan.



GOD IN REDEMPTION


     The closing verses of Romans 5 have been the standing perplexity of theologians. Yet nowhere has the Holy Spirit written for our learning plainer conclusions, and never has tradition been blinder than in the treatment of this magnificent passage. Believe the passage as it stands, and the divine logic is irresistible.

     It contains a comparison between the first and the last  Adam. What the first Adam was, and is, to the whole human race, the last Adam is, and will be also, to the whole human race. This is the simple and grand logic of verses 18 and 19. "Therefore as by the offence of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation, EVEN SO by the righteousness of One, the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life." Then there follows a reiteration of the comparison with its Divine logic, so that the fact might be stated again, not only as a climax in the purpose of redemption, but as a future goal in the history of the working out of the redemption of all men. "For as by one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall the many be made righteous." The insertion of the definite article, which the Authorized Version unwarrantably leaves out before the word "many" in each case, emphasizes the fact for which it was originally placed there, viz.: that the company of the righteous is identical in person and number with the company of the sinners to which the passage refers.

     So that we have two phrases in these two verses, by which we can establish beyond question the identity of those under discussion. These two phrases are "ALL MEN," and "THE MANY."Of this company it is declared in the first place, that "all men" and "the many" were made sinners and come into condemnation; and in the second place, that "all men" and "the many" will be made righteous, not simply saved but made righteous. If this plain simple language ‚€” and God could not have made it plainer ‚€” does not mean what it says, but infers something quite the opposite, so that the comparison used is not a true one, then we may well pause to ask how ever it came about that on such a subject, and at such a climax in his argument, Paul did not tell us exactly what he meant.

     If he meant that all men would be influenced by Adam's sin hopelessly and completely, but only some of the race would be affected actually by Christ's cross, here was the place to make this difference once and for all clear. Instead, however, he uses universal terms, and logical comparisons, which, if the last suggestion is true, are not only bewildering but positively untrue, without the faintest hint to the contrary.

     The apostle does more than this. He introduces a vivid contrast. "But NOT AS the offence, SO ALSO is the free gift. For if through the offence of one the many be dead, much more the grace of God and the gift by grace. which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto the many." (Again the definite article should be placed where the Authorized Version has omitted it, before the word "many" in this verse).  Let the reader note that the contrast here is in an absolutely opposite direction to the conclusions of ordinary theology. Most of us were taught that there was such a contrast between the effect of Adam's sin and Christ's righteousness that by the fall all were lost, and by the Cross some would be saved. The contrast here in verse 15 is the antipodes (direct opposite) of this conclusion. It is between the effect of the acts of the two Adams, and is such a contrast that the grace of God hath "MUCH MORE . . . ABOUNDED" in the Cross over the act of the first Adam. "If a human act was effectual for ruin, how much more shall a Divine act be effectual for salvation." The Apostle repeats this contrast later in the closing verse of the argument, when he sums up with the words, "where sin abounded grace did MUCH MORE ABOUND."

     It is incomprehensible that such reckless language would have been chosen, if the Apostle did not mean just what the words declare; especially in the entire absence of any modifying or cautionary phrases. "The compound word here implies, 'not only abounding,' that is bursting forth round about; round about all ages, round about all nations, round about all sorts: but 'superabounding' ‚€” that surrounding all those rounds, and with surplus and advantage over-flowing all: not only abounding grace, abounding unto all, to the whole world, but grace superabounding: that is, if there were other worlds, grace would bring salvation even unto them." (Dr. Clarke).

     The argument reveals the principle upon which God is working out His purpose with the human race. It declares that the principle upon which God is working to the redemption of all is the same principle by which the universal fall of man came about. Through one man's sin the whole race was involved surely and hopelessly. "Adam's offence did not merely make it possible for men to sin and merit condemnation, it made it impossible for them to do otherwise."

     Through another Man's righteousness therefore, even the Man of Calvary, the human race was  saved, as through Adam it was lost. And as all men, born or yet unborn, will not escape the contamination and condemnation of that act of sin in Eden, so to all men there will eventually come the blessed results of that act upon Calvary.

     When we catch the thought of the two federal headships, the logical issue is so clear that the statement of the fact of redemption being co-extensive with the fall in its reach and results, is so evident in the passage that faith leaps to appropriate the truth .

     The subject of the federal headship of Adam and Christ has been put so clearly by Pastor D. M. Panton that we cannot do better than quote at length from his pen:‚€” "So the Holy Ghost says: 'Through one man'‚€”the fountain of human blood; the sample man, because no man can deny that he too would have acted exactly as Adam did ‚€” 'sin entered into the world, and death through sin;' entered, for both sin and death are for ever aliens in the universe of God; 'and so death passed unto all men' ‚€” traveled (Alford) like a submarine torpedo ‚€” 'for that all sinned' (Rom. 5:12) in Eden. When God made Adam He made all men; for the race is no aggregate of isolated and independent units, but an entity of organic and dependent generations: and, since God made of 'one blood' all the nations of men, sin introduced anywhere is sin introduced everywhere. The fall of Adam was the fall of souls at this moment not yet born; and the fact of their sinning, when born, will for ever prove the truth of the doctrine."

     "Upon this organic fall of all in the one God builds the whole structure of redemption; for He takes this very principle of solidarity, which was our ruin, and makes that solidarity the organ of the world's salvation. 'For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners' ‚€” sinners by a representative act, sinners by a fouled nature inherited, sinners ourselves by active choice ‚€” 'EVEN SO' ‚€” God taking the solidarity which ruined as the solidarity which shall redeem ‚€” 'through the obedience of the One shall the many be made righteous.' The helpless fall of the race into death through the act of a lonely man is countered by a helpless salvation for the entire race wrought by a Man as lonely and unique. That is, God incarnate in human flesh, the Second Man, is so organically one with the race as a race ‚€” so the Son of man, not a son of man ‚€” that His righteousness is imputed to all as actually and as really as is Adam's sin. The first Adam was the federal head of the race; the last Adam is equally the federal head of the race; the first Adam, the law-breaker, is replaced by the last Adam, the law-fulfiller: the first man acted for all mankind, and plunged the world into ruin; the Second Man acted for all mankind, and lifted the World into salvation: Adam was the author of death to all: Christ is the author of life for all."

     "The Holy Ghost says: 'So then as through one trespass' - for however often Adam sinned afterwards, we fell only by one act that introduced sin itself - 'the judgment came unto all men to condemnation; EVEN SO' - God turning solidarity, the organ of condemnation, into solidarity, the organ of grace - 'through one righteousness the free gift came unto all men to justification of life.'  As Adam ruined us through sin foreign to us, without our fault; so Christ has saved us with a righteousness foreign to us, without our merit: and the Holy Spirit thus rests our entire redemption on the historical, actual, personal fall of the first man countered by the historical, actual, personal death and resurrection of the Second Man."

     Elsewhere the same author, pursuing the same theme, writes "So, as one man condemns all, the Other justifies all; and both these acts are completely finished in Adam and Christ." And again, "As we were lost in Adam six thousand years before we were born, so we were saved by Christ two thousand years before our birth. We are as helpless in our salvation as we were in our fall."

     It seems impossible, after such scriptural and logical reasoning, that Mr. Panton can escape the glorious issue to which Paul conducts his readers in this page. He succeeds, however, in doing so to his own satisfaction, but only by giving a turn to the passage which is unwarrantable. He writes, "It is not (as in the Old Version) that the righteousness has come upon all men, for then all men would have been saved; but it has come unto ‚€” within reach of, offered to, within the grasp of ‚€” all men so that no man need be lost." Mr. Panton has been obliged to do three things here to get out of his dilemma. He had not been fair in his use of the prepositions; he has given a meaning of his own to the preposition "unto"; he has stated that which is not a fact.

     It is correct to say that the preposition "upon" should be "unto," but that is only half the truth. The fact is that all three prepositions in the 18th verse are the same and should be "unto" in each case. This shows that with the same force with which condemnation comes unto all men, so the free gift will come unto all men. Secondly he has given to the preposition "unto" the meaning of "within reach of, offered to, within the grasp of." It is clear that this is not the meaning when the preposition is used with respect to the condemnation coming to all men. Condemnation has not only come "within reach of, or offered to, or within the grasp" of all men, it has reached them and involved them every one without exception. Also, in the majority of cases in the New Testament the preposition used here has the force of arriving at some fixed destination.

     Thirdly, the free gift has not been "offered to" all men, neither in the past nor the present. It has not come "within the grasp" of all men. Indeed, there are millions even today who know nothing whatever of the Gospel of Christ. The fact is, that in this magnificent passage the Holy Ghost has left no loophole of escape from the Divine conclusion of the ultimate salvation of all men. The terms of comparison and contrast both point to it overwhelmingly. The words used indicate it unequivocally. The very prepositions used make it unmistakable. Still further, to crown the Divine logic, the word translated "life" in verse 18 ("unto all men unto justification of life"), is not the word used constantly in the New Testament for physical, or natural life, but it is the word repeatedly used in connection with Christ and His gift of life to men.  It is the word  used in such passages as, "In Him was life"; and "I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly."

     Add to this, what has been pointed out, the entire absence in this passage, or in the whole of Romans, of the threat of endless damnation, and you have an affirmative witness unweakened by a single negative throughout the whole passage.

     The difficulties in the way of the acceptance of the literal interpretation of this passage owe their existence to the following reasons, amongst others:‚€”

     1.  The innate tendency of the human mind to choose the lesser ideal of God. Instead of modifying the negative passages by those that affirm a redemption co-extensive with the fall, the human mind has persistently referred the opposite method, and modified this great passage. The first thing to be removed, before the altered perspective of the Divine ultimate is accepted is this tendency to gauge God by His attributes of justice and righteousness, rather than by His nature which is Love. The former are not sacrificed to the latter, but are means by which love realizes its goal.

     2.  The confusion of the process of salvation with the goal.  All the dread warnings and threatened judgments of the new Testament have to do with the process by which the goal is reached. The administration of redemption is in the hands of the Son of God.  Into His hands the Father has delivered all things. (John 3:35). The failure to see this, together with the incorrect translation of several of the pivotal words which vitally affect the subject, have resulted in those activities of Christ, as Judge of mankind, being projected into eternity, instead of being kept within the bounds of His kingdom, which is strictly in time and will be delivered up to the Father at the end of time.

     3.  The confusion of the special salvation of this age with the general salvation of all men, to which God equally pledges Himself in His word together with the salvation of the church. He is the "Savior of the body." (Ephes. 5:23). He is also the 'the Savior of the world.' (John 4:42, I John 4:14, I Tim. 4:10). These two distinct functions were present to the Lord's own mind when He affirmed the certainty that "All that the Father giveth Me SHALL COME TO ME," and with equal certainty declared that "I, if I be lifted up from the earth WILL DRAW ALL MEN UNTO ME."

     That first company, who in this age are being thus drawn by wondrous ways of grace from all classes and out of all conditions of men under circumstances that reveal the sovereignty of God that lies back of their salvation, the Saviour deliberately limited to the Father's will and choice. "No man can come unto Me except the Father which hath sent Me draw him."

     He emphasized the selective character of their salvation in His prayer in Gethsemane in His opening words "As Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou has given Him." Indeed, in the survey of His work in that prayer, He just as deliberately limited His petition then to that company, "I pray not for the world, but for them which Thou hast given Me," while with them He links all who will believe on Him through their word. (John 17:20).  He does not leave out the world, however. His full expectation of the world coming to Him is based upon the gathering of these given ones to Himself in an indissoluble unity. (John 17:21).

     It was given to Paul in particular to unfold in his epistles this twin truth. He boldly declares that in the dispensation of the fulness of times God will gather together in one all things in Christ, and that we in this age who have "first trusted in Christ," have by sovereign grace been "predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will." (Ephes. 1:9-12).

     The twin purposes of God revealed in Christ's own words in John's Gospel appear here in the Apostle's writings. We have been accused of basing our teaching on the Epistles. The charge is, in part, true, and, even so, this is in keeping with the Lord's promise that when the Holy Spirit came He would bring to the remembrance of the disciples all things whatsoever He had said unto them. Here, then, in Paul's teaching is embodied the dual purpose that was present in the perspective of the Lord Himself.

     The same double issue of the Cross is again presented in the Colossians epistle. The definite undertaking to fully reconcile all things eventually by means of that Cross, is given side by side with the earnest of it in the actual reconciliation of the believers of this age. (Col. 1:20-21). As this was the inspiration of the Saviour's ministry, so it was of Paul's, who rejoiced that the living God was the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe (1 Tim. 4:I0); and who therefore bent his energies to the accomplishment of the first out-working of salvation, and endured all things for the elects' sake that they might also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory,  ‚€” that special salvation which carries with it the glories of the ages to come, in which the administration of redemption, by means of judgment and grace, goes on apace under the ministry of Christ and His church.

     How sadly man has misunderstood this dual purpose and dragged the glorious doctrine of election into the dust, is manifest in the distorted view of predestination presented by the popular theology of the day. Basing everything upon one sentence ‚€” wrung from one passage, with utter disregard for context, kindred passages, translation, or the words of Christ to the contrary ‚€” we are told that predestination simply means that God foreknew who would believe and predestinated such for salvation! This is contrary to every other utterance of God on this great subject. "Ye have not chosen Me but I have chosen you" was Christ's explanation of the matter, and Paul emphatically declares that election was prior to, and independent of, the actions of the sample case he gives of Jacob and Esau, "For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth. It was said unto her, 'The elder shall serve the younger.'" The summing up of the Apostle's argument on this very point is "So then, it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy."

     All is based upon God's "good, acceptable and perfect will." Man would invert the order and base all upon the fickle will of man, enslaved. by sin. (John 8:34). Having mistaken the present purpose of God in this age so hopelessly it is little wonder the larger issue is obscured altogether.

     The distortion is due to the effort to explain away  the apparent favoritism of God for some, with his apparent rejection of others, and to square the doctrine of election with the fundamental principle in God's dealing with men that He is no respecter of persons. Thus grace is turned into works, and faith, the gift of God, becomes the minimum of man's effort that saves him. How far removed is this conception of the Gospel, to that far-flung vision of grace which sees a chosen company gathered and perfected in one age, that such may be the co-workers with Christ in His consummating work in the ages to come, on behalf of the rest.

     A thousand insuperable difficulties, involving God's character and impoverishing Calvary's power and scope, attach to man's pitiable attempt to "steady the ark of God." All such problems are solved and crowned with inextinguishable glory, when it is seen that the election of some is on the way to the inclusion of all. To the man first "called alone" this principle was enunciated, when God said to Abraham "I will bless thee . . . and thou shalt be a blessing . . . and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed."



GOD IN JUDGMENT


     Two of the parables of Christ are responsible more than anything else for the prevailing views of future judgment. The catch phrases from these two parables, which have been quoted more than any others, and upon which the terrific structure of the doctrine of endless punishment has been erected, are possibly the two phrases, one of which is found in the story of the rich man and  Lazarus, where Abraham is reported to have said, "Between us and you there is a great gulf fixed"; and the equally much quoted verse in the parable of the sheep and the goats, which contains the sentence of the King, "These shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life eternal."

     By means of these, and perhaps several other striking and isolated fragments, the process of the reasoning out of the truth concerning future judgment has been inverted. Instead of ascertaining from Scripture, by a general survey of its teaching on this great subject, upon what principle God will judge mankind, and then fitting in these parables in their proper niches, the method of framing the teaching upon these parables has been followed, and then making all the teaching of Scripture fall into line. It is little wonder that the utmost confusion has resulted.

     It goes without saying that we raise no objection to the use of these parables in the way in which Christ intended them to be used. They present definite teaching upon the points they were intended to elucidate, and they cannot be avoided, or explained away. We hope in some future issue to deal exhaustively with these parables, a task which is impossible in the present article, since we are bent upon laying bare the principles upon which God will proceed to a judgment of the world which will leave out no single individual. In doing so, however, He will be careful to do that which expositors of His methods have most frequently failed to do. He will carefully observe TIMES AND CLASSES in this universal judgment which none will escape.

     Men have made Him too often like a judge, who, without discriminating between the offenders of an assize ( a judicial inquest), has assigned to each an identical sentence, and that the severest possible. In an amazing jumble, which serves to show the prevailing lack of apprehension of the principles and processes of divine judgment, sentences which are obviously directed to a certain class, are pronounced upon all classes indiscriminately.

     Take these two parables to which allusion has been already made. No "Christ rejector" ‚€” to use the phrase so common in evangelical circles today‚€” will come under the treatment of either of these parables. The story of the rich man and Lazarus presents to us a condition of things prior to the present Gospel age, and the parable of the sheep and goats sets forth a scene subsequent to the close of this age, immediately prior to the establishment of Christ's kingdom on the earth. Both sentences are founded on works, a fact that must not be forgotten in their application. Neither the two Jews who figure in the first story, nor the sheep and goats who appear in the second parable, represent men who knew anything of Christ at all as a Redeemer proclaimed to them for their salvation.

     We take no exception to the principles embodied in the parables being applied in similar conditions. Doubtless the selfishness of those who are possessed of the God-given standards of action towards their poor brethren (both were children of Abraham, the context proves this fact) will be faced in the future with the sure judgment upon such selfishness. Let the Sermon on the Mount serve to remind us that the rewards of obedience, as well as the penalties of lawlessness, will be meted out to every one who is given the privileges of relationship in any way to God. Then we shall learn the lesson of the parable in its all-round application, and we shall not be awarding eternal life to poverty, and eternal torment to wealth, as so often has practically been done in expounding this parable in the popular fashion.

     It is much the same when we approach the other parable to ascertain its meaning. Here are sheep which as well as goats have not known Christ. These are not the sheep of John 10, for they know the Shepherd's voice (v. 4), and they know the Shepherd (v. 14); whereas the sheep of the Matthew parable are represented as ignorant of the Shepherd.

     Again in the first parable the scene has been projected into eternity, whereas both the rich man and Lazarus were in hades, to which, it must be remembered, Christ Himself descended in spirit, while His body was in Joseph's tomb. It is equally clear that the sentence meted out to both sheep and goats is limited to the Millennium and their case will be reviewed at the Great White Throne. For, as we pointed out, these two companies are figures of men of flesh and blood on the earth at the time of the return of Christ to set up His millennial kingdom.

     Both these parables, then, have to do with the PROCESSES OF THE AWARDS OF JUDGMENTS WITHIN THE BOUNDS OF THE KINGDOM OF CHRIST.

     Much more could be said to support the view here presented of these parables, which are illuminative of the just and impartial adjudication of the Son of Man, to whom is entrusted this great work of Judgment. Upon these fragments the teaching of the endlessness of punishment has been built up. Against this teaching we have the fact that, all through Scripture, both by statement and ensamples, the opposite principle is inculcated, that of judgment unto victory, of judgment issuing in salvation.

     These parables do not deny this principle, but take their subsidiary part in the judgments of the ages, by means of which Christ establishes His kingdom.

     In "The Eternal Saviour Judge," by Dr. James Langton Clarke, taking as his keynote the Septuagint version of Isaiah 19:20, "Judging He shall save," the author gives much food for thought, by bringing the Old Testament types of judges and judgments under tribute, to make it clear that the great Antitype, in the person of Him who is to judge the quick and the dead, will judge with a view to salvation, no less than did these types of Himself in the Old Testament. Thus the revelation of Scripture is that THE SAVIOURHOOD OF CHRIST IS CO-EXTENSIVE WITH HIS JUDGESHIP.

     This is in entire accordance with His own announcement, that He came, NOT TO CONDEMN the world, but to SAVE THE WORLD. According to the popular conception of the functions of His judgeship, He will spend, not only the day of Judgment ‚€” in its protracted scenes of age long administration ‚€” in judging men, but He will also be occupied throughout eternity in a ceaseless punishment of their sins. The utmost such teaching will accord Him in the province of the unseen world, is, that His possession of the keys of hell (hades) and of death will make Him the Gaoler of the souls He once died to save. On the contrary, He will eventually become the Emancipator of the prisoners in that prison house, which, in the prophetical visions of the Old Testament, He is repeatedly seen opening with ease and triumph.

     "For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved." The structure of this sentence is exactly the same as the passage, where Paul tells the Corinthians that he was sent "not to baptize, but to preach the Gospel." Everybody understands that he makes the negative object the subordinate one. He does not rule out baptism, but it is subservient to the greater purpose, that of proclaiming the Gospel. Similarly, in the sentence we have quoted out of the third of John, the negative purpose of judgment is subsidiary to that of salvation. He has come to save. That is His outstanding and ultimate purpose, but, as an adjunct, nay, as a means to that end, "judging He will save." The usual application of this passage reverses the order, and makes His Saviourhood transient and in many cases ineffectual, but His judgeship eternal and overwhelming.

     With what vast responsibilities and engagements God has delighted to entrust Him. "The Father hath given ALL THINGS into His hands." (John 3:35). Where the nail was driven in, the end of a world-wide scepter of dominion rests, never to be resigned, until He has subdued all things unto Himself and deposited His great trust intact, back into His Father's hands.

     What a vastly different issue is this from the partial rule, the eternal chaos, the hemispheres of heaven and hell, which tradition awards the Man of Calvary. How far different is His Father's purpose for His Well-beloved ‚€” a universe subjected, adoring, established at last in an indestructible allegiance, based on holiness and love, to the Father of Spirits!

     To those who know the Man of Calvary, it ought to be sufficient that the Father has "COMMITTED ALL JUDGMENT UNTO THE SON." We can do little more here than enumerate those successive judgments which Scripture sets forth for us.

     What is He doing in this age but bringing forth judgment unto victory, applying, through the Spirit, that judgment which was passed at Calvary upon the sin and self life of His people? Utterly mistaking the purpose by the addition of the words "to come," the believer has missed the significance of the third function of the Holy Spirit in the passage "When He is come, He will reprove the World of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment." The perspective here is backward, not forward. Calvary's triumph is to be practically registered in the believer by an unqualified acceptance of the sentence of death upon the old creation in him in all its parts here and now, so that he may say, "I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ Iiveth in me." How many believers want a salvation without judgment! A ticket for heaven without a sentence executed upon the old man! This made Paul say to the Ephesians, "For this ye know, that no unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God." This is in a real fashion an age of judgment unto salvation with age-during glory. (2 Tim., 2:10-13).  ln the power of His Cross, within the domains of spirit, soul and body, He is establishing His kingdom within (the Kingdom of God is within) His people, that he may presently proceed to establish it in the universe.

     To all such as know Him as One who walks in the midst of the Seven golden lampstands, with feet that shine like brass as if they burned in a furnace, the scene of the JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST holds no terrors. When manifested before that judgment seat (2 Cor., 5:10), the holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord (Heb. 12:14), will create a boldness, and humility, that will rob the scene of all terror.

     Passing swiftly over the great tribulation, when the cup of His earthly people, and of the nations of the earth will overflow with His wrath, we come to the judgment of the living nations. This has been erroneously called the "last Judgment." We agree with Dr. Clarke, who thinks that it ought to be called the first rather than the last. It is, as he says, "THE INAUGURAL JUDGMENT OF THE VISIBLE KINGDOM." It ushers in His kingdom of millennial glory. The scene in Matt. 25 is not the Day of Judgment, but ONE INCIDENT in that day or period. It will be followed by a thousand years of His reign as Messiah and King. All through this period He will be Judge, as well as King, with rod of iron seeking to subdue all things unto Himself, through the power of His Cross.

     Where we believe the thread of revelation has been missed, is at the Great White Throne, which has been mistaken for the close of His kingdom, instead of an episode therein. It introduces a final and severer judgment into His kingdom, as well as a wider triumph and larger rule. Beyond the thousand years, and the Great White Throne, is that age of His final victory at the close of which He will deliver His perfected Kingdom to His Father to receive His "well done."

     We have written of this vista of His rule through the ages, in other pamphlets. We will be content here, therefore, to point out that all these judgments and administrations founded on the triumph of the Cross of Calvary are WITHIN THE BOUNDS OF HIS KINGDOM. Here is the missing link of eschatology. That which is predicated of time has been projected into eternity. By the time that God is all in all, described as "THE END," judgment will return unto righteousness, and the victory of the Cross be extended to the utmost bounds of the heavens and the earth. (Eph. 1:10, Col. 1:20.)

     No word concerning the functions of Christ is quoted more frequently than the announcement that He is "THE SAME YESTERDAY, AND TODAY, AND FOREVER." Ordinary theology would have us believe that He who died for the sinner, regards him with compassion and desire up to the time of that sinner's death, even though he be unrepentant and indifferent to Divine love, but one minute after death that His love is changed to anger, and He pursues the sinner with relentless and resistless fury for evermore.

     How opposite this is to the Shepherd who seeks "till He find it"; to the Father who waits till the last boy away from the homestead returns. The truth in these glorious words is, that "for the ages" ‚€” so is the phrase ‚€” He is the same: Saviour of men, seeking the lost with undiminished compassion; Judge of mankind, arraigning every transgressor before His bar, pulling down that He may build, destroying that He may plant: King of the ages, Holder of the keys of hades and of death, Vanquisher of death, Spoiler of His enemies; Worker of all things new, Head of His ransomed race, unsatisfied, unconquered, and unwearied till, with its subjects penitent, subdued, adoring and satisfied in Him, He delivers up His kingdom to His Father that God may be All in All.

     Let the reader ponder again that parable of husbandry which God gave to His people of old, when they could not believe that He would bring to pass "His strange act" of judgment upon them. (Isaiah 28:23-29). He pictures the ploughshare doing its rough work, until the cartwheel bruises the harvest, and He enunciates the principle of His judgments in the words "He will NOT EVER be threshing it." Nay, not one grain shall fall to earth. He is the same yesterday, and today, and for the ages. Judgment shall "return unto righteousness." The storms of Divine wrath will finish their work, and there will be a great calm. They began at Calvary, and, through the administration of One who bought the right to save through His sufferings for a world, love will conquer.

"Lord, I believe were sinners more
 Than sands upon the ocean shore,
 Thou hast for all a ransoms paid
 For all a full atonement made."


GOD IN CONSUMMATION


     God has not left us in doubt as to His ultimate purpose in creation. In the plainest terms He has made known to men what is to be the end of the long drawn-out history of sin and redemption. It seems as if the Author of Scripture has, by design‚€”laid out, the vision of the consummation in the simplest words, and has preserved them from the marring hand of translators so that it is easy to learn what is the goal to which all creation turns.

     True, those passages that proclaim so definitely His ultimate purpose may fail to enlighten us because we read them through eyes that are blinded by traditional teaching. We may miss the goal by a fixed gaze upon the road thereto. We may mistake the proximate purposes - as Finney calls them - for the ultimate purposes. We may mistake the judgments of the Kingdom for the goal of God's purposes, not recognizing that they are simply the means by which His goal is reached. We may be perplexed about the outworking of some statements which have to do with the process God is pursuing to reach His ultimate purpose, and we may not be able to fit them thoroughly into the mosaic of revelation. But if we have a definite, repeated, and clear pronouncement in His Word to rest upon, we may know that what He has promised He is able also to perform, and that He will reach the goal to which He moves.

     We have already quoted some of these magnificent passages, sufficient to convince all who are after truth, and who are not intent upon simply establishing their own foregone conclusions. We  propose calling our readers' attention in this article to four more statements. They all point unmistakably to the same goal. With Divine foresight the Author of Scripture has met every argument that has ever been raised against the truth of God's ultimate, universal, and complete triumph, so that the open heart and eye cannot fail to see the truth.

     The first passage dealt with the scope of this consummation. "All things in the heavens and the earth will be gathered together in Christ." (Eph. 1, 10).

     The second reveals the position of all things in the heavens and the earth. They will be "reconciled" to God. (CoI. 1, 20).  The third gives us a scene of worship, thus making known the attitude of the vast throng that will be gathered and reconciled. (Phil. 2:10-11). The fourth passage emphasizes the intrinsic condition of the vast multitude, while it also endorses that which the other passages have to say of their scope, their position, and their attitude. (1 Cor. 15:22-28).

     Lest we may limit the scope, this last passage deliberately includes God's "enemies." It strengthens the position by showing that there is not only reconciliation but subjection. The attitude of worship is endorsed by .the reminder that there will not only be a confession of Christ's Lordship, but also a complete possession of creation by God, since He then becomes "all in all;" while it adds a further evidence in the condition that all who died in Adam will. reach. They will be quickened with the life that made the last Adam ALIVE ‚€” not simply resurrected ‚€” from the dead. With this vision in his mind it is little wonder that Paul closes his masterly summary of the whole truth in Romans, with the doxology "For of Him and through Him and to Him are ALL THINGS to whom be the glory for the ages. Amen."

     If God has declared His purpose once, it should be enough to settle the fact. He has seen fit to repeat it and emphasize it from every point of view, until there is no loophole of escape from the conclusion that God will yet arrive at His goal.

     These passages will bear the closest inspection, for the finer the scrutiny the fuller is their manifest mean- ing. Even in our Authorized Version the meaning lies upon the surface if we believe what the passages say, and the more we probe their depths the fuller their message stands revealed. In no case do the context and the translation deny one iota of their meaning. In every case they confirm their truth. Never did such a galaxy of stars shine with more splendor in the firmament of revelation.

THE SCOPE OF THE CONSUMMATION

     That God's children may not be in doubt as to the issue of creation, God makes known the mystery of His will, that has its spring in His good pleasure. He purposes, "that in the dispensation of the fulness of times He might gather together ALL THINGS in Christ, both which are in the heavens and which are on the earth; even in Him." (Eph. 1, 10). This phrase "gather together" only comes in one other place in the New Testament, where it is translated "briefly comprehended" ‚€” (Rom. 13:9)‚€” the whole of the law being briefly comprehended or "summed up" in one sentence. Coneybeare and Howson's well-known translation and commentary says that the phrase means "literally, to unite all things under one head, in union with Christ." No less an one than Chrysostom is quoted by these commentators in support. Other versions of the New  Testament agree with this. The Headship of Christ over all creatures, "both the things" which are in the heavens and in the earth, is clearly expressed here in this final summary of the issue of the work of creation.

INCLUSION, NOT EXCLUSION

is the principle upon which this consummation will be effected. This is to take place in time in a dispen- sation of the fulness of times." It must be subsequent to the judgment of Rev. 20, for there is no sign of such inclusion in the latter passage, but rather the opposite. It is effected in that "age of the ages," that last age which is the crown of all other time periods, referred to in the same Epistle as follows: "Unto Him be glory in the Church by Christ Jesus unto all the generations of the age of the ages." (Eph. 3:21). Thus we have the scope of ultimate redemption and the period of its accomplishment.

CONSUMMATION, NOT CATASTROPHE

     When we turn to the second passage, in the first chapter of Colossians, we find first of all an amplification of the term "the things in earth and in the heavens." We discover that the things in earth relate to all things that God has created and over which He presides, obviously the world of men and their interests. The things in the heavens are enumerated as "thrones, dominions, principalities and powers" (verses 16 and I7), those spirit beings of which glimpses are given occasionally in Scripture.

     These two spheres "visible and invisible" are ultimately to be reconciled by the blood of that Cross, which already had availed to reconcile the Colossians believers, who were enemies in mind and works (Verses 20 and 21). Exactly the same word is used in both cases to express the position into which some had already been brought, and into which it is God's ultimate purpose to bring the rest of His creation. In all these verses the strongest words that could be selected have been chosen to emphasize each point. This word "reconcile" is the stronger of two words which could have been used, and Rotherham rightly translates it "fully reconcile." We know that he is right, for the reconciliation effected in those already saved by the Cross of Christ is the fullest possible. The significance of this passage is seen more fully still when its drift is observed. Paul was combating the Gnostic claim that Christ  was only one of the angelic hierarchy. His reply to their claim was, that, in common with the earthly beings, the heavenly hosts themselves stood in need of His atonement. So that the position into which some of His creatures have been brought by the work of His Cross, and into which it is His purpose to bring ALL THINGS in the earth and in the heavens, is one of complete reconciliation.

     The argument that "'all things' does not mean people" is confuted by the use of the word "reconcile." The inanimate creation is to be "delivered from the bondage of corruption" into which its association with sin has brought it, but it needs no reconciliation. Such a need presupposes sin and enmity to God; and demands the action of intelligence and choice, of all of which only sentient beings are capable.

CONSTRAINT, NOT COMPULSION

     If, however, proof is still needed that people and not mere inanimate creation is meant, we shall find it as we put the third passage in Phil. 2:10-11, under the X-rays. Here, the introduction of the bent knee and the confessing tongue "of all things in heaven, and things in the earth and things under the earth," at once refutes the claim that people are not intended.  Every word of these two verses (Phil. 2:10-11) is teaming with the fullest meaning.   To begin with, we may notice that the idea of mere forced acknowledgment of Christ's Lordship, which is the most that some of the Lord's people will allow that this passage gives to Him, is met by several clear indications to the contrary.

     In the first place, the preposition "at" must be exchanged for the word "in" to meet the requirements of the original, as readers of the Revised Version will note. "In the Name of Jesus," is the term used everywhere in the New Testament to express an attitude of intelligent, willing consent and co-operation. "In the Name of Jesus rise up and walk." (Acts 3:6).

     The word "bow" is selected to denote willing worship, as will be seen by comparison with its use in other settings. It is the word used when Paul "bows" the knee to the Father. (Eph. 3:14). The seven thousand men whom God reserved for Himself at Carmel had not "bowed the knee to Baal." (Rom. 11:4). They had refused to give this false God willing worship. When, however, a mockery of worship was accorded Jesus in His trial before Pilate, another word is chosen by the Holy Ghost (Mark 15:19) than that used in the passages that we have quoted, where willing adoration is offered. Any one who takes the trouble to compare these words in his anxiety to arrive at the truth, will find these points verified. What surprises us, more than anything else in this discussion, is, that so many of God's people show no disposition to get at the truth, and seem to be satisfied with assumption and tradition.

     As our readers may know, Paul is here quoting from Isaiah 45. After bidding "all the ends of the earth" to look and be saved, God swears by Himself ‚€” the strongest determination being expressed by this form of speech ‚€” that unto Him "every knee shall bow and every tongue shall swear."Again the greatest care has been observed in the Hebrew in the selection of the word translated "bow" in this passage, that a word indicative of whole-hearted worship and a word everywhere else used to denote the homage of the heart should be chosen. Moreover, on the two occasions that the word "swear" appears in this passage, it is the same word in the Hebrew. With that full purpose of heart that God swears by Himself to effect His end, every tongue shall swear to Him. The passage even gives the terms of the confession. "Surely shall one say ‚€” that is, the one that will thus swear ‚€” in the Lord have I righteousness and strength." (Is. 45:22-24).

     Turning back to the Philippian passage, equal care is shown in the choice of the word "confess." It is the word ‚€” to give one instance of many ‚€” which Christ uses, when he says "I thank Thee, Father, etc." (Matt. 11:25). Far removed is the thought in this word of forced unwilling worship, as one other point still further demonstrates.

     The Lordship of Christ is the burden of the confession, when, thus, every knee and every tongue shall be engaged in worship. Scripture shows us that the confession of Christ's Lordship is the outcome of an inner working of the Holy Ghost. To set Scripture to explain Scripture, is the most satisfactory method of exposition, as it is the only means by which the truth can be reached. The reader will easily recall the passage where confession of the Lord Jesus with the mouth, together with the belief of the heart in Him, is a sign of salvation. (Rom. 10:9). Also that other passage where confession of the Lordship of Christ is said to be the outcome of the work of the Holy Ghost. "No man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost." (1 Cor. 12:3). Of this company in Phil. 2:10-11, Mr. D. M. Panton says: "Now it is certain that this Scripture states that all creation, all persons whatsoever in the illimitable universe, will one day, personally and openly, confess Christ. 'God hath highly exalted Him and given unto Him the Name which is above every other name'; that ‚€” in order that, as the purpose and result of the exaltation ‚€” in the Name of Jesus every knee should bow; the bent knee in dumb acknowledgment of a worshiping will; 'of things in heaven' ‚€” all unseen principalities and powers whatsoever, fallen and unfallen ‚€” 'and things on earth' ‚€” the totality of mankind ‚€” 'and things under the earth' ‚€” the abyss, the home of both the dead (Rom. 10:7) and demons (Luke 8:31), 'and that every tongue' ‚€” therefore every personality, human and angelic ‚€” 'shall confess' ‚€” confess, as the Greek word means, openly and plainly, the tongue confessing that before which the knee bows - 'that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.' (Phil. 2:11).  A name above every name, every knee bowed, every tongue confessing; not one knee unbent; not one tongue silent; no universality could be more complete." Nevertheless Panton escapes from the admission he thus makes by the most extraordinary claim that, "It is clear that this universal homage is offered at the second advent." Does not Mr. Panton see, that if this homage is offered at the second advent, it cannot be composed of "the totality of mankind," for the second advent is previous to the Millennium, when multitudes of beings will be yet unborn, and at the close of which a number as great as the sand of the sea will revolt against the dominion of Christ. (Rev. 20:8). How hard do the lovers of Christ labor to prove that He will never be Lord of all creation in the fullest deepest sense!

     This worship, furthermore, will be "to the glory of God the Father." If compulsion, as to a judge, was the spring of such worship, it could hardly satisfy the heart of Him who pities as a father pities his children.

VIVIFICATION, NOT CORRUPTION

     We come to the passage now, which in the vision of "things to come" brings us to the very end of time, when Christ will have reigned "for the ages of the ages." (Rev. 11:15). Many have confused the scene in 1 Cor. 15, 22-28 with the close of the Millennium. It is easy to see that there are striking differences, which prove that the scene in Revelation 20 is an end of a period or age, and the scene in 1 Cor. 15, is THE END of all time, periods or ages.

     The difference will be clearly observed if the diverse conditions are considered. In the former (Rev. 20) there is rebellion and the imposition of the second death. In the latter there is subjection and the destruction of death. Again, in the former we view Christ upon the throne judging the dead and promulgating a sentence upon the rebels, which takes effect in the future. ("And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before the throne." This is the translation preferred by the Revised Version, and by six out of seven of the foremost Greek texts. Schofield's Bible adopts it also in the margin).  In the latter (1 Cor. 1:15) we see Him delivering up a subjected Kingdom to the Father: the first is a scene of judgment, the second is one of victory. The enemies in the first are defiant: the enemies in the second are submissive.

     Still another proof can be advanced, to show that these two scenes are at two totally different occasions, widely separate by indefinite time. The first (Rev. 20) occurs at the end of the Millennium, the Messianic age. The other is at the expiration of "the ages of the ages." Since Christ reigns for "the ages of the ages" in His kingdom, He could not be said to deliver up His kingdom till the close of that period. Hence it is clear that the scene in Rev. 20 is not to be identified with the deliverance of the kingdom to the Father, because it takes place at the end of one age only, viz.: the Messianic reign.

     This is not all. The same word is used six times to designate the kind of submission to which all things, including Christ's enemies, are brought. In our Authorized Version this word is translated in three different English ways, "put under" ‚€” "subdued" ‚€” "subject."  In the sentence where it is translated "subject," it has reference to the nature of the submission of the Son, "then shall the Son Himself be subject unto Him."

     This gives a keynote to the situation, which it is possible the translators of the Authorized Version could not accept, since their theology did not admit of such a climax as the complete voluntary subjection of all things, including enemies, to the scepter of Christ. Yet here it is plainly written, that, with a subjection identical to that of the Son all things will finally yield to His sway. So complete will be this subjection that it becomes necessary in the statement to exempt God Himself from the general rule. "It is manifest that He is excepted which did subject all things unto Him." Only entire voluntariness to God's will, such as Christ yielded to the Father, could justify the expression that sums up the scene. God cannot be "ALL in ALL" where less than complete, universal obedience and homage is accorded Him. The language is so explicit, that only the bias of tradition can refuse to admit the unmistakable meaning of the terms in use.

     We pause a moment to refer to the objection raised on the ground of the solitary use of this word "subject," in the case of the devils who were "subject" to the disciples. (Luke 10:17).  This is the only place where the word is used in a situation that seems to suggest less than voluntary subjection. It is the word used to express the obedience of Jesus to His parents (Luke 2: 51); of the subjection of the Church to Christ (Eph. 5:24); of the submission of believers to one another (1 Peter 5:5). In every case but that of the devil's submission, it is in a context that connects it with "a voluntary, conscientious, moral, dutiful, and often affectionate subjection." Is the rule to cover the exception, or the exception to override the rule? If the latter, then a question stop is put to all the other examples of subjection, even to that of Christ! Two things must be remembered in the treatment of the story of the victory over the devils by the Apostles. First, that it is their verdict of the incident which governs the use of the word. As they beheld the instant response to the authority of that wondrous name, no other word could suggest itself to them. In the second place, if it was too strong a word to express the temporary submission of these spirits to Christ, it is nevertheless used by Paul to denote the subsequent subjection of all things to Christ in this passage under consideration. It is amazing that it is not  recognized at once, what great glory would be gotten to Christ through the ultimate, entire, voluntary, glad subjection of all His enemies to Himself through the judgments of His Kingdom and grace of His Cross.

     One other fact remains for consideration. It is the condition of the three orders into which all men finally group, every man in his own order. "For as in Adam ALL die, even so in Christ shall ALL BE MADE ALIVE."

     All humanity is here divided into three orders, "every man in his own order." Christ is the first fruits; then follow those who are His at His coming; then, at the consummation, come the rest of mankind. Notice that all are to pass into the same condition, though at different times. There is no distinction made between Christ and His people, or between His people and the residue of humanity, except that of their order in time. All are to be "made alive." (renewed life, i.e. vivified).  This is something more than physical resurrection. Others were raised from the dead previous to Christ's resurrection, but only to natural life. Christ could say, "I am alive for the ages." Using the same word in 1 Cor. 15:45, Paul speaks of Him as a "quickening spirit." Adam was but a living soul, and could give only to his posterity that which he possessed. Christ has more than physical life to bestow, He has life and immortality, therefore He calls Himself "the Resurrection and the Life." For the same reason it is written the Father raises the dead and quickeneth them ‚€” makes them alive. (John 5:21).

     How different is that appearance of "the dead small and great" before the great white throne (Rev. 20:11) at the close of the Millennium. Summoned to a resurrection of terrible judgment, those that are not found written in the book of life are cast into the lake of fire which is the second death. Behold them now at the consummation, with death the last enemy abolished because its work is done, MADE ALIVE in their "own order," to own the Lordship of that One through the merits of whose cross they have been brought in a glad subjection to His feet.

     Thus the drama of creation begins with a scene in which the first Adam takes a step that Ieads all his posterity into ruin and death. It closes with a vision in which the last Adam presents to the Father, as a fruit of His Cross and Throne, a universe of beings delivered from sin and death, and worshiping in adoring wonder at His feet. This is the "purpose of the ages." (Eph. 3:11). This is the goal of creation. Then will Christ see of the travail of His soul and be SATISFIED.


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