ITS NEED. INTERNAL PROOFS. ITS PLAN.WISDOM, POWER, JUSTICE AND LOVE PERMEATE THE PLAN. THE ATTRIBUTES OF ITS GOD.
SO FAR there have been discussed of our subject, The Bible, its generalities, its literosity and its books. In this discussion so far the nature of the Bible—what the Bible actually is—as such has not been discussed. It is the purpose of this chapter and of a number of subsequent chapters to investigate this phase of our subject. The Bible may be defined as a Divine Revelation. The English word, revelation, is the equivalent of several Greek words used in the New Testament: phanarosis (manifestation, 1 Cor. 12:7; 2 Cor. 4:2), epiphaneia (bright shining, 2 Thes. 2:8; 2 Tim. 1:10; 4:8; Tit. 2:13) and apokalypsis (uncovering, Rom. 16:25; 1 Cor. 14:26; 2 Cor. 12:1, 7; Eph. 3:3; Rev. 1:1). It means a manifestation of persons, principles and things in the domain of religion. There are other revelations than those in the domain of religion. Thus there are scientific, historical, archeological, philosophical, artistic, mathematical, mechanical, etc., revelations. None of such are intended to be discussed here, where we limit ourself to the domain of religious revelation. The persons revealed in the domain of religion may be the true God or false gods, their agents, and the true or false principles and things connected with the pertinent revelation. The idea of a revelation, of course, implies a revealer, the contents of the revelation, the persons to whom the revelation is given, and usually the agent or agents through whom the revelation is given.
Revelations in the domain of religion are of two kinds: natural and supernatural, or superhuman. Before defining these two forms of revelation it would be well to explain in what sense we use these and their
related terms. As is well known, the word nature is used in a variety of senses. In the widest of these senses it means creation and the forces, laws and order displayed in it. In this sense it would include every person, principle and thing, except God, e.g., it would not only include mankind, but the various orders of spirit beings, like the Son of God and the good and evil angels, as well as the forces, laws and order belonging to such. But we will not use the word nature in our present discussion in the widest sense of the word, as just defined, because so defined it includes much of what we expect to include under the term, the supernatural, as the preceding sentence shows. Rather, for our present purpose we will use the word nature in a somewhat narrower sense, i.e., the material animate and inanimate universe, its forces, laws and order, as it and these appear to the reason and observation of man. From this sense of the word, nature, spirit beings and their peculiar forces, laws and order are excluded, as not belonging to the material animate and inanimate universe and its forces, laws and order. Such spirit beings and their peculiar forces, laws and order we include in the realm of the supernatural. By the natural we mean that which pertains to, is the quality of, nature as explained in our second definition. By the supernatural we, of course, do not mean anything that contradicts or violates nature as just defined, but what is higher than nature and beyond man's power to fully grasp, though he may know some things about it. It is for this reason that we use the term superhuman as a synonym of the term supernatural.
Just as there are forces, laws and order that form a part of nature, so there are other, higher, beings, forces, laws and order that are part of the supernatural; hence we call them supernatural. These include God and the other spirit beings and their peculiar forces, laws and order. The different modes of existence and substances in these two spheres, of course, imply that they contain different beings, forces, laws
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and orders. And because the supernatural is higher than the natural, it can manifest itself amid, penetrate and permeate the natural, and that in ways that the natural cannot penetrate or pervade the supernatural, as, e.g., humans can themselves penetrate and permeate the things pertaining to the brute creation, like dogs, birds, etc. But when such manifestation, penetration or permeation is made by the supernatural, it is not done contrary to nature, even as human penetrations and permeations do not violate nature in dogs, birds, etc.; rather in some matters it does this by manipulating known natural forces and laws in ways that may not yet be understood by us or by manipulating higher natural forces and laws in displacing the operation of lower natural forces and laws, even as is frequently done in the natural sphere, e.g., the heavier-than-air ships and birds overcome the laws of gravity in their flights, or by entering the sphere of nature and doing things there beyond the ability of natural forces and laws to perform, as, e.g., dogs, birds, etc., are unable to perform some things performed on them by humans, all the time without violating yet not using natural forces and laws to accomplish its purposes. It is because the supernatural is higher than the natural that it can do such things with or amid nature. Man's ever-increasing power over inanimate nature displayed in the world of science and invention well illustrates the various phases of the supernatural's operation in the first two of the three ways just indicated; and man's doing things in the realm of beasts, e.g., taming them, that these by their forces and laws can neither do nor understand, man all the time accomplishing this without violating or using the beasts' laws of nature.
Having pointed out the spheres and some of the relations of the two forms of revelation, we will now make a few explanations on natural revelation. It is the manifestation, the disclosure, the uncovering of persons, principles and things in the domain of religion that nature in the second sense defined above
makes to man. As nature so defined comes under the operation of man's reason and observation, it discloses to him certain things. As he contemplates the starry heavens, the sun, the moon, the earth, the skies, the succession of day and night and the seasons and observes the forces, laws and order prevailing therein, they suggest to his reason that there must be a wise, just, loving and powerful God, who caused them to come into existence, then adjusted them in such ways as work good ends and also sustains them in their good order by their pertinent forces according to certain laws. Furthermore, as his own nature, physically, mentally, morally and religiously, comes under his contemplation, it not only reveals to him the existence of a wise, just, loving and powerful Creator, Provider and Preserver, but through his moral and religious qualities, like veneration, conscientiousness and benevolence, as he studies them, it makes him see that he owes this God supreme love and obedience and owes his fellows a measure of love; and thus nature reveals to him certain principles to which he is obligated to render obedience. Thus he is shown by nature certain religious doctrines and ethical principles. These doctrines include certain basic teachings on God, in His nature and attributes and on His providence; and these ethical principles include certain basic teachings on man's duty toward God and his fellows. Moreover, as man contemplates his physical, mental, moral and religious condition, it reveals to him the thought that in all four of these aspects he has lacks, faults and weaknesses that prevent him from doing perfectly his duty Godward, manward and selfward, and that incline him, and often cause him to do the reverse of his duty to these. Hence nature reveals to him his sinfulness. And as he contemplates all of these things nature teaches him that he ought to amend his ways Godward, manward and selfward, and to make some amends to those against whom he has sinned. Nature does not, however, give him perfect ideas on any of these subjects, and utterly
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breaks down in revealing to him how truly to make a satisfactory atonement for himself, nor does it solve many problems as to his existence nor any on the hereafter.
That the Bible recognizes that there is a natural revelation such as was just described, quite a number of its passages, both in the Old Testament and the New Testament, testify. Ps. 19:1-6 is one of these. Here the order, beauty, harmony and utility of the heavens and the earth, the day and night, the minutia of earthly conditions and the course of the sun, moon and stars, are spoken of as manifesting God's glory in His works of wisdom, justice, love and power. Ps. 104 gives these thoughts in even greater detail in its description of nature and its creation and preservation. Many other Old Testament passages, particularly from job, could be quoted to prove that nature gives man revelations of God's being, His attributes and His character, and inculcates the thought of his duty toward God. We find in the New Testament the thought of God's being and of His goodness and providential care over mankind as revealed in nature, in which He left a witness of Himself as the Giver of rain from heaven and fruitful seasons supplying human need (Acts 14:17). St. Paul (Acts 17:24-28) sets forth the fact of such a natural revelation as being given to lead men into closer communion with God. He gives an exceedingly fine testimony on the subject that nature reveals God to man in Rom. 1:19, 20, showing, among other things, that nature reveals to mankind God in His eternal power and Deity. And in Rom. 2:14, 15 he shows that nature in the condition of man's mental, moral and religious qualities manifests to man that there are vestiges of God's law in man's heart and mind, his conscience bearing witness and his intellect ("thoughts") giving him accusing and excusing thoughts. Thus the Scriptures themselves witness that nature has given man a revelation of persons, principles and things in the religious domain.
Supernatural revelations are of two kinds: (1) true and good, (2) false and evil. The former come from God, ministered through true and good agents; the latter come from Satan and his associated demons, ministered through deceived or evil agents. Here we will say a few words on the false and evil revelations. Their coming from evil spirits proves them to be supernatural, though false and evil revelations. Satan's power to palm off false and evil revelations finds a support in natural revelation; for nature makes the natural man know the things of natural revelation, and occasions him to desire more knowledge of God, virtue and man's hereafter; and Satan, laying hold on this desire, has deceived the bulk of mankind on pertinent subjects through the false religions which he has palmed off on the bulk of mankind through deceived and designing agents. He began this early in mankind's history, yea, in the garden of Eden, by teaching Eve the first three falsehoods ever uttered: (1) that people when dead are alive, conscious (ye shall not surely [really] die, Gen. 3:4); (2) that at death they change their mode of existence by becoming spirits (ye shall be as gods, angels, spirits, v. 5); and then (3) will go to bliss or torment (knowing [experiencing] good [bliss] and evil [torment] v. 5). These three original false revelations Satan has perpetuated to this day; and they are to be found in all the false religions of the world. Yea, he has even deceived the bulk of the Christian denominations on these three subjects. He has used them to enslave to him and his purposes the bulk of mankind. Furthermore, to their further enslavement to him and his purposes he has everywhere taught the doctrine of the Divine right in three forms: (1) the Divine right of rulers (that the rulers are God's direct appointees and vicegerents and do only right; hence their subjects are to obey them implicitly); (2) the Divine right of the clergy (God speaks through them alone as His mouthpieces; hence the laity are obligated to believe and obey them with blank, unquestioning
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minds); and (3) the divine right of the aristocrats (these are God's stewards and almoners; therefore the common people are to be subject to their economic arrangements). By these six doctrines he gained control of the bulk of the human family. Generally he added polytheism and idolatry to his revelations and varied them as time, circumstances and popular education and character made necessary. So greatly has he intermingled his revelations with the natural revelation that almost nowhere do we find the latter pure and free from his superadded delusions. If we keep in mind the false and evil form of supernatural revelation we will be able to refute certain objections to the Bible as a Divine revelation. The bulk of what will be presented will refer to the true and good supernatural revelation.
We now come to the discussion of the possibility of a supernatural revelation. Apart from atheists nobody has ever denied that there is a natural revelation; but additionally to atheists pantheists have denied the possibility of a supernatural revelation, though deists while admitting its possibility have denied its actuality. The possibility of a true and good supernatural revelation implies the possibility of a communication between the God of heaven and earth—the infinite Being and individual men. The possibility of such a communication depends on whether God can be the communicator of such a revelation, and on whether man can be the receiver of such a communication. On God's side the possibility consists of His ability to express His thoughts to whomsoever He will; for He, the Almighty, can do anything that He wills (Luke 1:31; Ps. 115:3). If He has made the universe together with their forces, laws and order, and if He can preserve it and them, certainly He has the ability to do the less difficult thing of giving a supernatural revelation; and if Satan can make a supernatural revelation, as the existence of the heathen religions proves he can, certainly God can make a supernatural revelation. Hence to deny such a possibility to God is to make Him less
able than Satan! On man's side the possibility consists in his ability to receive such a communication; and this is certainly possible; for if he can receive the natural revelation, a more difficult thing to receive than a supernatural revelation, he certainly can receive a Divine revelation, a less difficult thing; and if he can receive a Satanic revelation, he certainly can receive a Divine revelation. This proves its possibility.
The pantheist denies such a possibility, on an alleged metaphysical ground, as follows: A revelation of the Infinite to the finite is impossible, since the finite cannot grasp the Infinite. To this metaphysical twaddle we give several answers: First, it misstates the matter; for a Divine revelation does not imply that man will thereby be made to comprehend God in His infinity; all that is needed in a Divine revelation is that it makes something of God known to man, a something needed in order that man may obtain the blessing designed by the revelation, which, of course, does not imply that God will make Himself in His infinite capacities comprehensible to man. Second, it denies to God both power and liberty. But as the Almighty He can do anything He wills; and as a free moral Agent He can will to do anything in harmony with His character of perfect wisdom, justice, love and (will) power, for power as an attribute of character is will power. The reason pantheists use such an argument is their view that God is the sum total of all existence, attaining to consciousness and to his highest development in man; hence his God cannot make a supernatural revelation to man, since the pantheists' god is not supernatural; neither in his god infinite, nor absolute, nor perfect; for if man is his highest expression he cannot be infinite, or absolute, or perfect; since man, his highest developed manifestation, is finite, limited and imperfect. Hence we call his reasoning on this subject "metaphysical twaddle," and may add, it is self-contradictory. Pantheists have altered their objection into the following tenor: As there are two actors implied in
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a revelation, its giver and its receiver, an infinite giver could not find an adequate receiver in imperfect man; hence he could not give a perfect revelation; it would have to be made imperfect by its receiver in the act of receiving it. This reasoning is to be answered somewhat like the above. It assumes a wrong view: that God gives His whole truth in the revelation, whereas He gives only that much of it as is needed for the purposes of the revelation. Nowhere do the Scriptures suggest that God gives us all He knows, nor that the Bible reveals everything about God, the former of which would require us to be omniscient, and both of which, of course, our finite faculties could not grasp. Hence the pantheists' reasoning is beside the mark, sets up a man of straw to kick over, and is inapplicable to the actual contents of the Divine revelation.
Pantheists offer a third objection: A supernatural revelation is miraculous, and therefore is incredible. Conceding that it is miraculous, we deny that that would make it incredible; for since miracles are not contrary to nature, though in some cases above nature, why should they be incredible? Of course, to one who denies the personality of God, except as he allegedly attains personality in humans only, and to one who shuts his eyes to the fact that Satan has made revelations in heathen and other religions, and to one who shuts his eyes to the miracles of modern science, e.g., radio, television, etc., and to the fact that very learned people can and do communicate some of the thoughts to illiterates and babes, i.e., such of them as are adapted to the latters' needs and capacities, revelation as a miracle may seem incredible, but to one who believes in a personal God of perfect wisdom, justice, love and power, and who keeps his eyes open to the facts referred to in the preceding parts of his sentence, revelation as a miracle is quite credible. However, in another connection we will discuss the question of miracles as related to giving a Divine revelation.
The need of a Divine revelation lodges in man's calamitous condition and his inability to rescue himself therefrom. This calamitous condition is manifest in a number of forms. In the first place, it is physical. He finds himself in an environment that is fraught with death-dealing conditions from which he cannot rescue himself. He is born with a dying life and imperfect body into these conditions that seize upon his body and life and wrestle with them in a gradual and ever-increasing success in severing them from one another, eventuating in their complete severance—death. Death lurks in the food we eat, in the fluids we drink, in the air we breathe, in the surroundings in which we dwell, in the work we do, in the extremes of climate we experience, often in the medicines we take for our cure, in the struggles we enter, in the droughts, famines, pestilences, tornadoes, earthquakes, volcanoes, tidal waves, wars, revolutions, enmities, disappointments, sorrows, losses, failures, oppositions, hardships, necessities, pains, fevers, diseases and operations we have to undergo. Often the very means used to find rescue from these evils prove fatal. Earnest, variformed, strenuous, whole-souled, prolonged and industrious have been the efforts put forth to stay off death's advance, but all in vain. Its pursuit of us always has the same result—our defeat and death's victory. Certainly a Divine revelation is needed to explain death to us in its cause, mission and cure, for, unaided, man can neither solve the riddle, nor effect the cure of death.
Again, man's calamitous condition is also a mental one, and that from various standpoints. Hence he needs mentally a revelation. At best his intellectual powers are in an imperfect condition, at worst in a deplorable condition. Always, if one lives long enough, they decay: The memory fails, the senses give way, the perceptive powers weaken and the reasoning powers lose their ability. Man's intellectual powers are inadequate, even with the aid of the natural revelation, to solve the problem of existence. The questions, What am I?
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Whence came I? How came I to be in my present condition? How can I gain deliverance from it? Why am I here? Wither do I go from here? Why is evil permitted? What is the hereafter to be? He has not been able by his unaided powers to answer rightly, as is evident from the greatly conflicting and unsatisfactory answers that even the ablest of men have given to these questions. He has the greatest perplexity in his efforts to understand inanimate nature about him, as well as his relations to his fellows. How few can reason out even approximately correctly the problems that confront them as spouses, parents, children, relatives, friends, acquaintances, strangers, business associates, employers and employees, rulers and citizens, prison officials and prisoners, military, naval and aerial officers and privates! How imperfectly do the ablest grapple with questions of science physical and social, art, literature, history, law, philosophy, government, invention, etc.! Religion is a sphere in which the wildest mental confusion exists. Look at the conflicting views on God: atheism, materialism, agnosticism, pantheism, deism, rationalism, evolutionism, skepticism, polytheism and perversions of theism. The errors on God, angels, spirits, a Savior, means and methods of salvation, death and the hereafter are a sure proof that mentally man cannot, unaided, unravel the intellectual questions involved in religion, and thus cannot solve his relations to God, to the world and to his fellows here and hereafter. The many religions and sects in each religion are other evidences of the same fact. Man's mental unsoundness is apparent, but he knows no cure for it. As its worst it is insanity, imbecility, ignorance, delusions and hallucinations. And added to this, demons through power-grasping, self-exalting, luxury, honor and money-loving agents, exploit men's mental weaknesses, to their further debasement intellectually. Nor do man's unaided intellectual powers suffice to rescue him from these evil mental conditions, otherwise the efforts of over 6,000 years of human
history to rescue him therefrom would have borne some pertinent fruit, instead of making the problem all the more insoluble, as increasingly such attempts have done: the abler the attempters have been the worse the resultant confusions. Mentally, therefore, man is in desperate need of a Divine revelation, both for a diagnosis and cure of his mental infirmities.
Man's calamitous condition is also a moral one which humanly is insoluble, and hence needs a revelation to rescue him therefrom. Human experience and history are filled with facts that prove man to be varyingly morally corrupt, i.e., corrupt in his relations with his fellows, some more so, some less so, but all corrupt. The family is replete with proofs of this. There is not a perfect husband and wife, parent and child in the world. All are guilty of some infractions against the family tie, however attenuated, and some are grossly so, as the domestic infelicities, strifes, infidelities, disregard and transgression of pertinent rights, patricides, matricides, filicides, fratricides, sororicides, alienations, separations, desertions, divorces, disinheritances, betrayals, etc., prove. Human ability is unable to cure these evils. In governmental relations more or less corruption prevails, hence the history of nations is replete with tyrannies, exploitations, conquests, wars, revolutions, anarchies, treacheries, conspiracies, cruelties, briberies, laxities in administration, judicial injustices, legislative crookedness, international lawlessness, claims of Divine right with ruthless suppression of opponents, oppression, despoiling other nations of possessions, violations and repudiations of solemn and binding treaties, support of, and union with false religions, persecution of dissenters, special privileges to favorites, hypocrisy, dishonest and selfish diplomacy, etc. All of this evidences corruption in the state. Here, too, human ability can work no cure. Much wickedness has characterized aristocracy, as it has existed in nobility and wealth. History gives innumerable examples of moral evil in this sphere: exploitation, slavery, serfdom,
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legal technicalities, evasions, delays and violations, frauds, dishonesty, special privilege, monopolies, creating financial and military panics and wars, indifference to the masses, gambling, wanton luxury and waste, unfair and destructive competition, corruption of politics, elections, morals and government, support of oppressive and persecuting governments. Human nature cannot cure these evils. In the labor world there has been much of moral evil, like class discontent, envy, hatred and violence, repudiation of contracts, limitation of production, unjust strikes, sit-downs, coercion, riots, bloodshed, revolutionism, incendiarism, etc. Nor does humanity have the power to heal these.
The above may be called group evils. Now for moral evils that afflict individuals: Man's enmity to his fellows produces a large list of moral wrongs, like hatred, envy, jealous, evil-surmising, anger, wrath, murder, vindictiveness, cruelty, indifference, feelinglessness, strife, persecution. Man's sexual corruption produces fornication, adultery, harlotry, white-slavery, incest, rape, concubinage, seduction, obscenity, lust, salacity, dissipation, homosexuality and other unnatural vices, etc., all of which prove man's sexual corruption. Man's dishonesty as to others' property rights is manifest in thieves, robbers, highwaymen, burglars, crooks, cheats, marauders, land pirates, confidence men, gamblers, kidnappers, blackmailers, shop-lifters, smugglers, contrabandists, riflers, plagiarists, kleptomaniacs, brigands, bandits, gangsters, thugs, pickpockets, swindlers, defaulters, embezzlers, card cheats, forgers, counterfeiters, receivers of stolen goods, crime professors and schools, etc. Man's sins with his tongue reveal his moral corruption, as can be seen in his tattling, gossiping, busybodying, lying, perjuring, slandering, backbiting, misrepresentations, distortions, exaggerations, belittlements, perversions, suppressions, equivocations, mental reservations, evasions, frauds, pretendings, lip-service, quackeries, cajoleries, flatteries, scandalizings, defamations, etc. Certainly, these betray moral corruption in man.
Man's moral corruption is manifest in his covetousness, which makes him become guilty of almost all of the offenses that are implied in those enumerated above, when we pointed out his wrongs along the lines of enmities, sexual irregularities, property dishonesties and offenses with the tongue, as well as some pointed out in the family relation. Certainly, they are a huge list proving man's moral corruption. He is unable to cure himself of all of these and, therefore, for his rescue therefrom is in utter need of what only a Divine revelation can manifest to, and give him.
The picture is darker when we view man from the standpoint of his religious corruption. Organized religion exhibits man's religious corruption; for the following are some of the religious evils of which man in organized religion has been guilty. Most religions have taught the doctrines of the Divine right of rulers, aristocrats and clerics, with the enormous evils that have resulted therefrom in state and aristocracy pointed out above, as practically all of them have also taught the errors of the consciousness of the dead, man's change into spirits at death and eternal torment. Here are some of the evil results of the teaching of the Divine right of the clerics: priestcraft, pride, self-exaltation, power-grasping, love of honor, ease and luxury, union of state and religion, intolerance, persecution, hypocrisy, pious frauds, superstition, error, blasphemy of the Divine Person, Character, Plan and Works, justification of wrong in state, aristocracy and religion, secularization and corruption of religion, wars, international and sectarian hatred, rivalry, distrust and revenge, destruction and oppression of true religion, degradation of the laity, dread of the Deity; undue sectarian influence in family and social life, immorality, enforced unnatural life in celibate organizations with its resultant evils. Of course, all organized religion is not guilty of all of these things. There are varying degrees of guilt in some of them of all of these evils, and in some of them of only a part of these evils. But
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this in truth can be said: that organized religion, like organized government, business and society, always tends to corruption, and that because man is religiously corrupt, proved by his guilt of foresaid evils.
He is also religiously corrupt individually: for individuals are guilty of varying degrees of idolatry, not only in its gross forms, like worship of the idols of the heathen, but also in its refined forms, e.g., they make idols of sects, creeds, castes, society, government, business, learning in its various forms of the sciences, history, art, literature, philosophy, mathematics, invention, etc., husband, wife, parents, children, home, native land, friends, the opposite sex, property, safety, ease, life, reputation, appetite, strife, enmity, violence, etc. His corruption is seen in his loss of religious Truth and his falling into the various heathen religions. He is more or less corrupt as to religious faith, both as to belief and confidence, having become in most cases a misbeliever, an unbeliever or a disbeliever in many forms as to God, as can be seen in atheism, agnosticism, materialism, pantheism, deism, rationalism, evolutionism, skepticism, polytheism and perverted theism. He has become impious, often blaspheming God, falsely swearing by His name, engaging in various forms of spiritism and occultism. Surely these facts prove man's corruption in various degrees religiously.
Man cannot by his own unaided powers overcome his physical, mental, moral and religious corruption any more than a person can lift himself by tugging away at his bootstraps. Some of mankind, apart from a Divine revelation, have made strenuous efforts to effect such a deliverance from their corruption, but have in every case failed. Gautama Buddha, Socrates and Marcus Aurelius are three of the noblest examples of the heathen world who made such efforts, but, as is well known, failed therein in important particulars. In important particulars the natural revelation has failed to stem man's corruption, let alone lift him out of it. Mankind's inability therein is personified in Israel's
pertinent experience, as St. Paul personifies it in Rom. 7, even when aided by a partial Divine revelation. This condition is made all the worse by Satan and his underling demons taking advantage of man, to their advantage and his plunging into deeper corruption. Hence, as the only hope for man's deliverance from his calamitous physical, mental, moral and religious, condition a Divine revelation is necessary.
Is such a revelation to be expected? Yes, if there is a God who is perfect in wisdom, justice, love and power. In El we have treated on the subject of God's existence and His attributes of being and character, and have, both from reason and Scriptures, proved His existence and the perfection of His attributes of person and of character, particularly of the perfection of His character in wisdom, justice, love and power. While God's justice must be involved in His making a revelation, His love can be expected especially to be the moving quality in bringing such a revelation into existence. His wisdom must all along, yea, in foresight, have known man's deep corruption, his helplessness to deliver himself therefrom, and hence his desperate need of deliverance from other quarters than himself, as well as must have been adequate to plan the ways, means and methods of a revelation. His love cannot but have felt deeply for man, as He witnessed his desperate, undone condition. "In all their afflictions He was afflicted (Is. 63:9). As He must have contrasted man as he actually is with what he should be, the deepest pity must have filled His loving and merciful heart for man; and the deepest longing to deliver him from his calamitous condition, cost whatever it may, must have been felt by Him (which the nature of love dictates). Therefore His love must have asked His wisdom to make a plan for man's deliverance that would satisfy the demands of His justice against man, and thus permit His love and power to come to man's rescue in full harmony and cooperation with His justice. And this plan must have been the Divine Revelation.
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Therefore, we assert that a Divine revelation is expectable, because God is what He Is. His character has all the wisdom needed to plan it, all the love to move Him to make it, all the power to enable Him to execute its giving and all the justice needed to take away otherwise insuperable obstacles to its planning, the motivating of its making and giving and the executing of its giving. Therefore we set forth the operation of God's character in wisdom, power, justice and love as the all-sufficient guarantee of the expectability of a Divine revelation. If God is the kind of a God that even nature reveals Him to be, He is to be expected to give us a supernatural revelation, since the natural revelation is not sufficient to deliver man from the great physical, mental, moral and religious calamity in which he finds himself. Hence the God of all mercy, grace and benevolence, whose love has the support of His omniscient wisdom and almighty power, as well as the permission and cooperation of His unfailing justice, is our guarantee for expecting a Divine revelation. On this immovable and unchangeable rock, which rears its head into the eternal sunshine of grace high above the dark clouds that overhang the ocean of the curse, and against whose base all the waves of skepticism dash themselves into innocuous foam, we in faith take our stand on the expectability of a Divine revelation, as its sure pledge.
In the preceding paragraph it was shown that a Divine revelation is to be expected because of the perfection of the Divine character in view of man's fallen physical, mental, moral and religious condition and of his consequent inability apart from a Divine revelation to be rescued from that condition. But there is another consideration that makes a Divine revelation expectable: the constitution of man's Divinely-given disposition as adaptable to, and craving a Divine revelation. Since the natural revelation is not sufficient to satisfy man's deepest mental, moral and religious needs and cravings, nor to provide a solution to his most urgent
mental, moral and religious problems borne in upon him by the Divinely-given constitution of his disposition, that very constitution appeals to the character of God to give him a revelation of Himself, and that character, in view of that Divinely-given constitution, is to be expected to make such a revelation. Augustine put the matter in this way: "O Lord, Thou hast made us for Thyself; therefore our souls can find no rest until they rest in Thee." Man's intellect craves a knowledge of God and of man's relations to God that the natural revelation can neither give nor satisfy. His moral and religious sensibilities crave for a fellowship with God that the natural revelation can neither give nor satisfy. Such cravings of the head and heart, if ungratified, leave man an unsatisfied and miserable being, and that to such a degree as a God of perfect wisdom, justice, love and power cannot tolerate its perpetuity. Hence the existence of such cravings, arising out of the very constitution of man, presupposes that a Being of God's character has made provision for their gratification, i.e., has provided for a Divine revelation.
Human experience in the varying conditions of men shows that the needy and weak expect external help to supply their deepest needs, and that strong and bounteous men have sought to supply it; hence analogy suggests that man in his universal need and weakness naturally feels after God for the help that only a revelation from Him can give, and which His strength and bounty can be expected to give. Hence normal man has always been willing to receive Divine revelations or what purport to be Divine revelations. The fact that our God-given religiosity does not exhaust itself in worship alone, but additionally craves communion with the Deity, as one of its component elements, i.e., that it is not simply active, but also passive toward God, implies that the God of perfect wisdom, power, justice and love will give us the knowledge needed to exercise both of these functions of our religious nature, which fact implies His giving us a revelation supplying
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the knowledge as to, and the power of, exercising such communion. And it is just such help that the Bible purports to offer weak and needy man. Accordingly, not only the character of God as perfect in wisdom, power, justice and love, in view of man's fallen physical, mental, moral and religious condition, makes a Divine revelation expectable; but that same character, in view of the constitution of man, Divinely-given him, calling for the help that only a Divine revelation can give, makes a Divine revelation expectable. In other words, just as God's existence is implied in the constitution of man's mental, moral and religious nature, so the constitution of his mental, moral and religious nature implies the giving of a Divine revelation, when that nature's needs and cravings are viewed from the standpoint of God's wisdom, justice, love and power, and when these attributes are viewed in relation to the Divinely-given constitution of that nature. In other words, a Divine revelation is a necessary postulate of God's perfect character in relation to the constitution of human nature as Divinely-given; for not to give a being so constituted by God a revelation tends to imply that God is not perfect in wisdom, justice, love and power.
Unbelievers of most schools have on various grounds, additional to those already reviewed, denied the necessity and expectability of a Divine revelation. These objections we will briefly review. The following is the first of these reasons: Human reason, being a gift of God, must be perfect, and hence can of itself discover for man's needs all the truth that a Divine revelation could give; hence a Divine revelation is not to be expected, nor is it necessary, since a perfect God never does unnecessary things. We grant that God never does unnecessary things; but we emphatically deny the rest of the above reasons alleged against the expectability and need of a Divine revelation. In the first place, all history and human experience, as well as conscience, deny that human reason is perfect. If
it were perfect it would always think correctly, both inductively and deductively, whereas the multitudes of contrary and contradictory hypotheses, theories, beliefs and practices that abound on physical, mental, moral and religious subjects among mankind demonstrate that human reason is imperfect. The fact that various schools of unbelief advocate such a gross and facts-contradictory error proves that their reason at least is very far from being perfect. Again, while God originally endowed man with a perfect, i.e., flawless, faculty of reason, the fact that it now in so many vital matters leads to error proves that in the meantime gross imperfection has befallen man's reason as a faculty, also that imperfection marks reason as the contents of that faculty. Thus reason as a faculty and as the contents of that faculty is imperfect. Hence we turn the proposition around, and assert that the imperfection of man's reason, in both senses of the term, proves man's need of a Divine revelation. And God's character in relation to that need implies the expectability of such a revelation. The fact that those who have not been graced with a Divine revelation have fallen into the grossest contradictions of one another on the subject of religion, both in its theoretical and practical aspects, proves that reason of its own unaided powers is not capable of discovering for man's needs all the truth that a Divine revelation could give, or that man's needs require.
A second objection to a Divine revelation is voiced as follows: Nature is perfect, hence gives man a perfect natural revelation, which dispenses with the need of a Divine revelation. To this argument we make several replies: That nature, i.e., the universe as it appears to man's reason and observation, is not perfect is, in the first place, evident from the fact that creation, neither as a process nor as a product, is completed, hence cannot in its uncompleted condition be perfect. Again, that it is not perfect, even as represented by this earth, which is the most highly developed planet of our solar system, is evident from the proofs of its
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imperfection that can be seen in the famines, droughts, blights, pestilences, volcanoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, tidal waves, deserts, swamps, torrid and frigid temperatures, wastes, etc., man's condition and that of the lower animal creation. Our great telescopes reveal imperfections in other planets and worlds than ours. Yea, astronomy brings to us by photographs the evidence of our eyes on the incomplete conditions of our and other universes than ours; and, of course, any incomplete thing of necessity is imperfect. While we believe that, as time goes on, planet after planet, solar system after solar system and universe after universe will become perfect, through a creative process that will go on eternally, at our present stage of existence the abode of God and the good angels seems to be the only perfected place in the universe. We reject the proposition under review from another standpoint: Even if we for the sake of argument should concede that nature as above defined, apart from man, were perfect, man's imperfect inductive and deductive reasoning powers and the erroneous contents of these powers could not by their sole and unaided use give him a perfect natural revelation. It can give him an imperfect natural revelation only, as all experience and history prove. Hence the conclusion of the argument now under consideration, i.e., the (alleged) perfect revelation that (alleged) perfect nature gives dispenses with the need of a Divine revelation, as an argument is very faulty and untrue indeed, and argues the need of a perfect revelation, which, nature not being able to give, must come from a supernatural source, and, to be a perfect revelation, must come from God, the Source of knowledge.
The following, as a third argument, is advanced against the fact of a Divine revelation: A Divine revelation implies the destruction of human liberty, hence there can be no such thing as a Divine revelation. In this objection the idea of revelation is misrepresented, as though it makes man, figuratively speaking, shut his eyes, open his mouth and with a blank and unquestioning
mind swallow whatever is presented to him in the Divine revelation. The Divine revelation makes no such demand. In offering us His revelation for acceptance or rejection, God does not ask us to submit to arbitrary power and authority, but to yield to no more authority than the authority that truth should have on any honest and reasonable mind and heart (1 Thes. 5:21; 1 John 4:1; Acts 17:11). His revelation invites us to reason with the Revealer on what He presents (Is. 1:18; 1 Pet. 3:15; Acts 17:2). It is true that the idea of a Divine revelation implies that the Revealer takes the place of a Teacher of one who needs to be taught, and that the one to whom the revelation is made takes the place of a pupil who is and needs to be taught, but as one's giving another knowledge not before had, or as one's having a teacher and his becoming a pupil, do not take away the liberty of the one who receives that knowledge or becomes that pupil, so the Divine revelation does not take away the liberty of the one who receives the knowledge that that revelation gives. If to give knowledge destroys liberty, then education by teachers and any other method of impartation of knowledge destroy liberty! This necessary conclusion from the proposition that we are examining explodes the sophism under review.
The following is a fourth argument which some evolutionists offer against the idea of a Divine revelation: The evolution of man brings with it the only revelation that man needs; hence there is no need of any other. Here we have no space to show the erroneousness of the evolution hypothesis, which is more and more being rejected by the world's thinkers. We have sufficiently refuted it in our book, Creation, 539-585, to which we refer our readers for details. The facts of history and experience are in line with the thought that mankind has been deteriorating, not evoluting. So much so is this the case that Mr. Haeckel, who out-Darwined Mr. Darwin himself, as an evolutionist, after the most thorough study of evolution ever given it by an evolutionist,
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rejected it in favor of its opposite theory, devolution, i.e., that mankind has been deteriorating and not developing, and that the lower animals, by devolution, first from man through the alleged missing link, and then through decreasingly lower species, sprang from man. But apart from this, we should remember the fact that after over six thousand years—evolutionists would say, millions of years—man by the sole use of his own unaided powers has gotten nowhere in finding out God and the way to become at one with Him. But, putting it as the evolutionist puts it, that man has for at least millions of years been groping after God by his unaided powers, and has not yet arrived at the desired knowledge, when will he ever attain it, if things go on at the past rate, considering that the results so far attained are in utter disharmony and irreconcilability? Will he in another thousand generations attain the much needed revelation? Never, if evolution's chronological claims are conceded. What in the meantime has become of the alleged thousands of evolution's past generations in this matter? What will become of us and of our children of a thousand generations yet to come? Certainly, with such a record and such a prospect as evolution presents, the last people in the world to object to a revelation should be evolutionists!
A fifth objection to a Divine revelation that skeptics make is that the existence of evil in the world precludes the idea that if there is a God, He has the benevolence to reveal Himself to man; for a God of love, they argue, could not permit the suffering that mankind endures. The skeptic's difficulty on this point is due to his inability to reconcile the permission of evil with the Divine benevolence; hence he rejects the idea of God's being benevolent enough to give man a revelation. We believe that if the objecting skeptic would be sufficiently humble, he would not make his inability to harmonize these two matters the reason to reject the idea of God's being benevolent enough to give man a revelation. Proper humility, it seems to us, would make
our skeptic reason thus: It is true that I cannot harmonize these two things; but as there is in nature so much that is true that I cannot understand, I will not make my inability to harmonize these two matters the reason for denying the possibility of a Divine revelation. On this point the poet's words well apply: Blind unbelief is sure to err and scan God's works in vain. God is His own Interpreter; and He will make it plain. A little further on we will show in fair detail in answer to this objection that God's design in permitting evil is a marvelous display of Divine wisdom, justice, power and love. Not to leave here entirely without an answer this objection, we will now give but a brief explanation of why God has permitted evil: In the long run He will make it work for good and that in a twofold way: (1) Its existence provides Him with the opportunity of fitting in character the faith class among men through their experiences with evil under trial and test to become qualified to deliver the unbelief class from the present evils, and then actually through their experience with it He will in the former class be provided with the agents to deliver the unbelief class when the time for such deliverance comes; and (2) He is permitting the unbelief class by experience, the most effective of teachers, to obtain an education in the hateful nature and bad effects of sin, with the intention to give them after their experience with evil, i.e., in the Millennium, by experience, the best of teachers, another education, one in the blessed nature and desirable effects of righteousness, through the latter blotting out the effects of the earlier experience, that thus, properly educated as to these two principles, they may be favorably disposed to reject the evil and maintain the good under a final trial for everlasting life, by which methods He will, without coercing man's will, bring more to everlasting life and bliss than by any other method of which we can conceive. Thus the permission of evil is seen to be benevolent in present purpose and ultimate results. This answers, though rather tersely,
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the objection under consideration; but, as said above, we will discuss this question later with sufficient detail to vindicate fully God's character as to permitting evil.
A sixth objection to a Divine revelation which we will consider, and which was offered by John Stuart Mill, when he was driven to extremity by Butler's argument in his Analogy, on the reasonableness of a Divine revelation as evidenced by the constitution and course of nature, is this: "No evidence is sufficient to prove a Divine revelation." Mill also stressed the preceding objection. The extraordinariness, helplessness and futility of this sixth objection reminds us of Hume's exploded argument against the reality of miracles—that "no evidence can prove a miracle"! In reply we would say that the matter of giving a Divine revelation to man is one of human experience, a matter of history, and is one of human need; and the best way of proving the veracity of an experience to non-observers of it is evidence, testimony; the best way of proving the matter of human need is by correct reasoning; and the best way of proving a thing of history and human need is by a combination of these two methods of proof. While we can, as later on we will, show the reality of a Divine revelation by other proofs than historical evidence, testimony, yet since its original giving is a matter of human experience, history, it certainly can be proved by historical evidence. While giving a Divine revelation is an extraordinary matter, and, therefore, proof of it requires extraordinary evidence; still if such evidence is available, it can and will prove it. Since we prove all human experience by evidence, why should we remove the proof of a Divine revelation from the sphere of evidence, and thus deny the possibility of its proof? Such reasoning, rather lack of reasoning, logically implies that nothing of experience can be proved by evidence, which is absurd. The argument, if admitted in principle, would do away with our courts of law; it would wipe out of existence our books and libraries of history; it would separate us
from the past; and it would even make unprovable who our parents are. For so deep a thinker as was John Stuart Mill to be forced to resort to such an argument as is under examination is a sure proof of the unutterable poverty of argument in his possession on the subject of the possibility of a Divine revelation.
The prior probability of a Divine revelation, connected with the fact that there is in the world a widely spread revelation claiming to be of God, strongly militates against the skeptic's speculations against it, intended to cast doubts on its possibility. As we have shown, man's physical, mental, moral and religious needs demand a revelation. The constitution of his disposition also demands it. He is unable to supply it himself. The various skeptical inventions offered as substitutes for a Divine revelation have not only failed on their theoretical side, but especially on their practical side, inasmuch as they have failed, even in their best representatives, let alone in their other representatives, to lift up their votaries from their depraved condition, to make them victorious over sin, error, selfishness and worldliness, and to render them victorious in wisdom, justice, love and (will) power. The lives of atheists, agnostics, materialists, evolutionists, pantheists, deists and rationalists, great, average and small, prove this. E.g., take the failure of Deism, the noblest of all skeptical beliefs denying a Divine revelation, as an example in proof of the utter impotency of man to overcome in the respects just mentioned by the help of the various skeptical theories offered in lieu of a Divine revelation. Deists have alleged the sentiments of noble heathen, like Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato, Epictetus, Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, as an evidence against man's need of a Divine revelation. But these men admitted their own failures along ethical lines, and recognized that their theories were too abstruse to affect the commonality. Even the heathenism of Greece, Rome, Egypt, Babylon, India, China and Japan, having absorbed some of the remnants of the primeval revelation, having in some of its influential representatives come in
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touch with Old Testament thought before Christ, and having in others of its influential representatives come in touch with Christianity, and absorbed some thoughts from them, despite these advantageous additions, has made an utter failure to uplift fallen man. At the time of Christ it was utterly bankrupt; and it is so now in China, Japan, India and Africa.
On this point we desire to quote from Butler's Analogy a pertinent paragraph: "No man can think the light of nature sufficient, in seriousness and simplicity of mind, who considers the state of religion in the heathen world before [Divine] revelation, and its present state in those places which have borrowed no light from it; particularly the doubtfulness of some of its greatest men concerning things of the utmost importance, as well as the natural inattention and ignorance of mankind in general. It is impossible to say who would have been able to have reasoned out that whole system which we call natural religion, in its genuine simplicity, clear of superstition; but there is certainly no ground to affirm that the generality could. If they could, there is no sort of probability that they would. Admitting there were, they would still highly want a standing admonition to remind them of it, and inculcate it upon them. And further still, were they as much disposed to attend to religion as the better sort of men are, yet even upon this supposition there would be various occasions for supernatural instruction and assistance, and the greatest advantages might be afforded by them." The lesson of the history of heathenism and of skepticism within Christendom cries out with clarion voice that penetrates even the ears of the deafest that man can make no substitute that can effectively make unnecessary a Divine revelation to deliver him.
We now leave the latter of objections to a Divine revelation and pass over to certain lines of thought that will prepare us for the direct proof that the Bible is a Divine revelation. We find that the Bible claims to be a Divine revelation, The Word of God. This is the
claim of the Old Testament (Is. 30:9; 34:16; Ps. 1:2; Dan. 10:21) and of the New Testament (Heb. 6:5; 2 Tim. 3:15-17; Rom. 3:2; 1 Pet. 4:11; Luke 11:28; Heb. 4:12; 2 Tim. 2:15; Jas. 1:18). With such a claim its Old Testament part, as it was increasingly given, has stood before the Jewish nation during the Jewish and Gospel Ages, for a period of about 3,550 years; and it is held by that nation as such. And in its Old Testament and New Testament parts it has stood before the Jewish and Gentile world for approximately 1,900 years, with the claim of being a Divine revelation, and has been accepted as such by many billions of Christian people. A book that has made such a claim for so many centuries, and that has by moral suasion, as against force, convinced billions of people that its pertinent claim is true, certainly comes to us with at least strong enough credentials to merit a serious examination of the question, Is this claim true?
The method of giving the Divine revelation is reasonable, as facts prove. E.g., the fact that it claims in its Old Testament part to have been given through various agents, i.e., outstanding men like Moses, Samuel, David, Solomon, the major and minor prophets, scholars like Ezra, executives like Nehemiah, and that it claims in its New Testament part to have been given by outstanding men like Jesus, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, James, Peter and Jude, is in harmony with the order of human history, which proves that great movements and influential results have been initiated, not by the multitudes, nor by the average run of mankind, but by specially endowed and fitted outstanding characters among mankind. This is seen to be the case when the history of religion, state, nobility, capital, labor, art, literature, science, invention, education, philosophy, medicine, law, militarism, etc., is studied. Again, the fact that the Bible was given in its several parts at various times is in harmony with the course that all outstanding more or less finished attainments in each general sphere of human activity mentioned in the
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last sentence have taken. In harmony with the same law of human progress in productivity is the further fact that the Bible was given in divers portions as well as in different times (Heb. 1:1, 2). In harmony with the same law is another fact, that the separate features of the Divine revelation were given progressively, the earlier features being the more simple, and the later being the more intricate. Finally, in harmony with the course followed in preserving the knowledge of preceding generations for the benefit of subsequent generations, i.e., to reduce them to writing, the Divine revelation comes to us in writing; otherwise the revelation to be handed on to coming generations would have to be given anew at least each second or third generation. This disposes of the objection sometimes made to the Bible as a book religion. Thus we see that the method of the Divine revelation, instead of being unreasonable, is highly reasonable, and thus naturally appeals to our acceptance of it as such. This book religion can certify itself, if its contents and accompaniments can be proved to be worthy of truth and acceptance.
The experiences of the deepest thinkers and most saintly characters during the Gospel Age add strength to the claim that the Bible is deserving of an examination as to whether it is a Divine revelation. As examples of deepest thinkers who delved down into the deepest recesses of human thought in their search for religious truth, and who found it in the Bible alone as the Divine revelation, we may cite as outstanding examples the following: Saul of Tarsus (died, 67 A. D.), Apollos of Alexandria (about 75 A. D.), Irenaeus (200), Tertullian of Carthage (between 220 and 240), Origen (254), Arius of Alexandria (366), Augustine (430), Abelard (1142), Thomas Aquinas (1274), Robert Grossetete (1253), Roger Bacon (1294), Marsiglio (about 1343), John Wyclif (1384), John Wessel (1489), Balthasar Hubmaier (1528), Zwingli (1531), Oecolampadius (1531), Luther (1546), Melanchthon (1560), Calvin (1564), Francis Bacon (1626), John
Gerhard (1637), Pascal (1662), Leibnitz (1716), Isaac Newton (1727), Kant (1804), Pasteur (1895), Agassiz (1910), Russell (1916), Milliken (still living), Einstein (still living, a believer in the Old Testament revelation only). If men of their mental caliber found the Bible worthy of study as to whether it is a Divine revelation, and became convinced after deepest thought that it is such, others may well imitate their example in such study, and will, if their hearts prove to have a sufficiency of longing, humility, meekness, honesty, reverence, holiness and goodness, find its proofs for such satisfactory to the severest exactions of the intellect and the deepest yearnings of the heart. Even more convincing on the Bible's worthiness of study as to whether it is the Divine revelation is the fact that those who became the saintliest characters have made of it such a study, and who thereby became convinced that it was such, found it to be the means of transforming their characters into God- and Christ-likeness. We will instance some of these: John (died about 100), Polycarp (165), Ulfilas, Converter of the Goths (381), St. Patrick (about 465), Bede (735), Claudius of Turin (839), Louis the Pious (840), Alfred the Great (901), Peter of Bruys (1126), Henry of Lausanne (1149), Arnold of Brescia (1155), Peter Waldo (about 1215), Louis IX (1270), Tauler (1361), Huss (1415), Kempis (1471), Savonarola (1498), Arndt (1621), Paul Gerhardt (1676), Bunyan (1688), George Fox (1690), Richard Baxter (1691), Spener (1705), Guyon (1717), Quesnel (1719), Franke (1727), Bengel (1752), Fletcher (1785), Charles and John Wesley (1788, 1791), Thomas Campbell (about 1847), Miller (1849), John Edgar (1910), Benjamin Barton (1916), etc. Many mentioned above in our first list as among the deepest of human thinkers also had saintly characters, like those in our second list. We will mention as last, but greatest of all as a deep thinker, a saintly character and, additionally, a practical worker, Jesus Christ, who studied the Old Testament revelation,
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and who gave the New Testament revelation, partly in person and partly through others. So great and good a cloud of witnesses should make us study the Bible as to whether it is a Divine revelation.
But not alone has this been done by the deepest thinkers, and most saintly characters. Others of humankind in all stations, walks and activities of life have done so. Artists, educators, scientists, statesmen, inventors, kings, presidents, legislators, nobles, authors, labor leaders, philosophers, judges, physicians, lawyers, military leaders, capitalists, etc., have made it their study. It has been light to the ignorant, comfort to the mourners, relief to the afflicted, strength to the weak, inspiration to the hopeless, joy to the meek, stay to the humble, wealth to the poor, peace to the troubled, guide to the perplexed, wisdom to the simple, knowledge to the unlearned, help to the helpless, uplift to the degraded, forgiveness to the sinful, victory to the tempted and encourager to the dying. In parts it is so shallow that a figurative child can wade in it, and in parts so deep that a figurative whale can dive to his utmost ability and not reach its bottom. It has been the greatest literary influence in the world; yea, its influence on mankind has been and is greater than that of all other books combined. It has favorably influenced and elevated the greatest nations of earth; it has made them such from barbarous, degraded and weak nations; it has banished slavery, eradicated some and curbed other vices, reformed barbarous and cruel habits, laws, and customs, made saints of the just, righteous people of sinners, developed the highest civilization erected by man; it has ennobled man, elevated woman and given the child its fond place in the home, as well as has set forth the highest ideals for husband and wife. As the salt of the earth it has been a seasoning, nourishing and preserving factor in human society, as can be seen from the contrast between society in Christendom and society in heathendom, which has been elevated from its former depths of degradation in direct proportion
to its having yielded to the influence of the Bible. Surely such a book merits study as to its claim of being a Divine revelation. With these remarks we are now prepared to examine the Bible and its accompaniments to see whether it is a Divine revelation.
Having prepared the ground for the presentation of proofs that the Bible is a Divine revelation, it would be well before giving these proofs to point out their kinds and nature. Usually these proofs are called internal and external evidences and a combination of these two. By the internal evidence the contents of the Bible are meant in so far as they go to show that a book containing such contents as the Bible does gives plain evidence of its Divine origin and authorship. Among such features of its contents may be mentioned the plan of salvation contained in the Bible, the marvelous and reasonable character of God that it reveals, the unique character and office of Jesus set forth Scripturally, the self-harmony, reasonableness and factuality of the Scriptures, its teaching and instructions as establishing good and suppressing evil, its solution of the problem of evil's permission, the means that it sets forth to realize its ends, etc. By the external evidences those proofs are meant that have accompanied the giving of the Bible or that accompany its influence in history. These two forms of evidence are found combined in certain proofs, e.g., prophecy and miracles. Prophecy as a part of the Bible belongs, of course, to the internal evidences, but its fulfillment belongs to external evidence; hence in its fullness it is a compound of the two forms of evidence. The same remark applies to miracles. Among the compound evidences we are warranted in placing the types, some of which are didactico-prophetic, e.g., circumcision, the paschal lamb and many of the other institutions of the Mosaic law, and some of which are prophetico-historical, i.e., they shadow forth events that would fulfill historically in the outworking of the Divine Plan, e.g., the history of the family life of Abraham, his wives and children, the
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related experiences of Jacob and Esau, etc. We will first consider some of the internal evidences of the Bible as a Divine revelation.
The first of such internal evidences to engage our study is the plan of salvation revealed in the Bible. When it is considered in its general outlines and in its specific details, it commends itself most strongly as of Divine origin; for one short of perfect wisdom, power, justice and love could not have originated it. To prove this proposition we will set forth this plan in its generalities and in some of its details, and then will show how such a plan could not have originated in one short of perfect wisdom, power, justice and love; for every feature of it manifests these qualities in perfection. God's plan is framed to meet the condition of fallen and dying man. All the pertinent facts of experience and observation are to the effect that man is a fallen and dying creature. It is to save the willing of the race that God's plan is framed. This plan has proceeded along the lines of Dispensations and Ages. It is not completed in any one of these Dispensations or Ages, but it develops various of its features in each of them and comes to a completion only as they are entirely completed. In the first Dispensation, from the fall to the flood, the intention evidently was not to save all men, nor even to try to save all men, otherwise these two things would have been attempted and attained, for God never fails of any of His purposes. Rather, in the first Dispensation there were several purposes realized and therefore attempted in the unfolding of God's plan: (1) to prove to men and angels that angels, who were then given charge of the race as teachers, symbolic stars, shining the light of Truth in the night of sin on-the sinners' dark pathway, that they might try to uplift them, are unable to save fallen and dying man; (2) to test the angels, while having such a charge, as to whether they would prove loyal to God amid the trialsome experiences attendant upon such a charge; (3) to manifest as such those angels who would prove
true and those angels who would prove untrue in the trial; (4) to let the then living race learn by experience the bad nature and terrible effects of sin; and, finally, (5) to set aside the then prevailing order of affairs ("the world that then was")—the angels as such symbolic stars and the antediluvian communistic form of society, by the flood, because of the unprofitableness of that order of affairs. Thus the pertinent features of God's plan for that time were realized.
With the end of the flood the second Dispensation, the world that now is, began, and will end with the destruction of its order of affairs during the early stages of Christ's Second Advent. There came over from the first World or Dispensation the angels divided into two groups, good and evil angels, and the race reduced to eight righteous individuals. But this side of the flood no longer was society, the symbolic earth, built upon a communistic basis, but upon the basis of three other social principles: (1) the right of private ownership of property; (2) the competitive form of business; and (3) governmental control in human affairs. The teachers, the symbolic stars or heavens, in this second World no longer have been the angels, but outstanding men, some of whom as the Lord's representatives shed the light of true and progressive knowledge amid the dark night of sin upon the sinners' pathway; and some of whom, deceived by Satan and the fallen angels, shed the delusive light of error amid the dark night of sin upon the sinners' pathway. The true light continued to increase for the righteous and the false light continued to increase for the unrighteous, until now when both have reached a culmination. And during this Dispensation, the righteous have increased in their righteousness and the wicked have increased in their unrighteousness, until now righteousness and unrighteousness have come to their culmination; thus now Truth and error and righteousness and unrighteousness are at their climax in their respective participants. In this condition the second World or Dispensation comes
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to an end in a supreme catastrophe, a time of trouble such as never has been since there was a nation, nor ever shall be, by which the present symbolic heavens of true and false symbolic stars and the present symbolic earth of society perverted by sin and error will be set aside. This will end the second Dispensation or the World that now is, not the literal heavens and earth, nor the human race, but the symbolic heavens and earth.
Strictly-speaking, the first and second Dispensations show what man under religious teachers apart from God's direct intervention has done, while the Ages of the second Dispensation show what God has been doing along elective lines. It will be well to note what was, and what was not the Divine intention in the second Dispensation. Evidently it was not God's intention during this second Dispensation to save the race or even to attempt it, otherwise He would have done these two things, and that successfully, since He assures us that all His purposes shall come to pass. What, then, was His design during this Dispensation with mankind in general? As in the first World, He had several designs: (1) to prove to men and angels that fallen and dying men left to their own unaided powers could not only not lift themselves back to the original perfection, but that they would increasingly deprave themselves; (2) to permit the fallen angels to demonstrate their hearts' intentions as respects sin and righteousness amid evil surroundings such as they themselves would largely create and mould; (3) to separate the penitent from the impenitent fallen angels in order that in the third World the former might demonstrate whether they would be fit for a restoration to God's favor in everlasting life; (4) to permit men to have further experiences with evil, that thereby they may better learn its bad nature and terrible effects; and (5) to destroy the perverted order of affairs in the second World, and thus destroy all evil institutions among mankind in the time of trouble with which the second World ends. The outcome of the second World will be that God's plan
will have so advanced matters that the fallen race and the penitent angels will enter the third World, the World to come, in an attitude fitted to be dealt with successfully by the arrangements of that third World, and thus God will have succeeded in the purposes of His plan in its relations to the second World.
The third World will be the order of affairs that God will establish after the destruction of the present order of affairs, the second World. The third World will have as its symbolic heavens Jesus and His faithful followers—the symbolic sun of righteousness, the shiners of the knowledge of Divine Truth upon the children of men, and as its earth a perfect sinless social order, which will gradually be developed during its first Age. Thus there will be in the World to come new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness will be established. And after a final trial of the human family and the penitent angels, which will result in giving everlasting life to the faithful of these and eternal extinction to the unfaithful of these, together with Satan and the impenitent angels, the faithful will in the new heavens and new earth everlastingly reflect credit upon God and Christ amid perfect and sinless conditions. Thus the plan will for men and angels result in everlasting righteousness, innocence and bliss to all who will use life to God's glory, each one's good and the profit of his fellows. Such an outcome, of course, will be to the eternal credit of God. Thus the completed plan for men and angels will prove that the angels could not uplift the fallen race nor give it life, that man by his unaided powers could not accomplish these results, but that God by His way and Agents could and would.
But the above sets forth only such generalities of God's plan as concern men and angels in general without giving certain details that show the outworking of the plan's special features. These special features God has been outworking in the three Ages of the second Dispensation or World and will complete in the first Age of the third Dispensation or World. To under
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stand these special features will serve greatly to clarify the Divine plan. The first Dispensation was not subdivided into Ages, because God did not then cause His plan to proceed through various features, as He has been doing in the second Dispensation; for in the first Dispensation He caused His plan to proceed in only one feature of development. In the second Dispensation, however, there has been a three-fold development of His plan, or to put it in another way, His plan has proceeded through three separate features to complete each of which an Age was used. These three Ages may be called: (1) the Patriarchal Age, (2) the Jewish Age, and (3) the Gospel Age. God's purposes in all of these have been elective, but in each Age along different lines from those of the others, i.e., instead of dealing on covenant basis with all men, He selected out of the world certain ones with whom He has so dealt. This selection or election was not done arbitrarily, as Calvinism teaches, for God never Acts arbitrarily, but always in harmony with, and as a result of His character, i.e., a blending of wisdom, justice, love and power. This can be seen from the following: Broadly speaking, the human family consists of two classes: those who will trust Him, even when they cannot trace Him, and those who will not trust Him out of sight, i.e., a faith class and an unbelief class. He selects the former class as His elect, because He designs to train them to become, in the third Dispensation, the deliverers, teachers and uplifters of the non-elect, and because they only by virtue of their faith in Him can stand the trialsome training necessary to qualify them for their work of uplifting the non-elect in the third Dispensation, since this trialsome training tests faith to the utmost of its powers of endurance, with the consequence that if the unbelief class were put upon trial for life under such a trialsome training, everyone of them would be lost, and since the faith class can, with hard effort, stand it.
In the first Age of the second Dispensation, i.e., in the Patriarchal Age, its distinguishing feature was that
God dealt, selectively, on covenant basis with but one patriarch at a time and through him with his family, but so dealt with no one else. Thus electively, to the exclusion of all others, He dealt alone with Abraham on covenant basis and through him with his family, but with no one else. After Abraham's death God's dealings on covenant basis were with Isaac and his family, but with no one else; and after Isaac's death God's dealings on covenant basis were with Jacob and his family, but with no one else. At Jacob's death the Patriarchal Age ended and with it ended God's course of dealing with but one patriarch at a time and his family on covenant basis, because at Jacob's death God's full purposes in the Patriarchal Age were realized. What were these purposes? They evidently were not to save the world, nor even to attempt it, for neither of these things did He accomplish; and since all His purposes come to pass, and these two things did not come to pass, He evidently did not purpose them. But He did accomplish especially four things in that Age; hence they evidently were His pertinent purposes. The first of these was to select and sever from others Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and their families to be the depositaries and subjects of the covenant promises that He then designed to reveal. Another of His purposes was to reveal certain things of Himself and His plan to the patriarchs, which He did in giving the Abrahamic Covenant in its generality and certain of its features. Thus He revealed that it was His purpose to use Abraham and his seed to bless in due time all the nations, kindreds and families of the earth. What this promise implies can best be seen when we remember that through Adam all the nations, kindreds and families of the earth have been cursed. It thus implied a reversal of the curse and an offer of restitution of mankind to the original condition of Adam and Eve. There was a third Divine purpose in that Age: to manipulate Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and their families into such experiences as would be types of later experiences in the unfolding
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of God's people, e.g., Abraham was used to type God as the outworker of the Divine plan; Abraham's three wives were used to type the three great Covenants of God's plan; and the children of these wives to type the classes developed by these three great Covenants. A fourth purpose of that Age was to put the patriarchs and their families under training to qualify them, if they would prove faithful thereunder, to become earthly uplifters of the race in due time. While thus God was dealing electively with these, He allowed the non-elect world to endure its experience with evil under the curse unto death, unhelped in the ways of salvation by Him. We, of course, are not to understand that the non-elect went at death into eternal torment, which is no part of God's plan, but into the death state, an unconscious condition, there to wait until the Lord by elective processes shall have completed their uplifters, as the seed of Abraham, who will in due time bring them back from the dead to get the opportunity of gaining everlasting life, denied them in this life because of unbelieving heart's condition.
As indicated above, at Jacob's death the Patriarchal Age ended, because from then onward until Jesus First Advent God no more dealt on covenant basis with but one patriarch alone and through him with his family, but He dealt on covenant basis with an elect fleshly nation, the children of Israel, including such Gentiles as joined Israel, but with no other individual or nation on such a basis. This covenant basis was the same as prevailed during the Patriarchal Age, until the Mosaic Covenant was added, when the Law Covenant covered all Israelites and the Abrahamic Covenant additionally covered all Israelites indeed, the faith class and only the faith class among them. During this period God recognized and dealt with Israel alone. Hence He did not save nor attempt to save the Gentile world during the Jewish Age; accordingly, neither of these purposes did He then have. With Israel He had the following purposes: (1) to select Israel as the custodians of His
oracles; (2) further to reveal His unfolding plan, which occurred through Moses and the prophets; (3) to demonstrate that none of Adam's fallen and dying race could fulfill God's law, which is the full measure of a perfect man's ability, and that thus all stood in need of a sinless Savior; (4) to manifest the righteousness of the man, the Messiah, who would fulfill the Law; (5) to select the Israelites indeed as the remainder of the fleshly seed of Abraham as blessers of the non-elect world; (6) at the end of the Jewish Age to gather the faithful Israelites indeed and make them the nucleus of the spiritual seed of Abraham whom, as the chief seed of Abraham, God would prepare to be the chief blessers of the non-elect in due time; and (7) to cast off at the end of the Jewish Age the unfaithful part of the Jewish nation as unsuitable for His Gospel-Age purposes with spiritual Israel. Every one of these seven designs of the Jewish Age was realized; and thus it advanced its purposes as to God's plan.
The Gospel Age is the most important period of the second Dispensation. It began at Jesus' First Advent at His coming to John for baptism, when He received the begettal of the Spirit. Of this Age, as of the other two Ages, of this Dispensation, as well as of the first Dispensation, God's purpose was not to save the lost world, nor to attempt to save it, which we infer from the fact that neither of these things occurred; for if such had been His purposes, they would have been accomplished, whereas the purposes that He had in part have been and in part are being accomplished. These purposes are the following: (1) through the obedient life and sacrificial death of Jesus to provide a merit sufficient to satisfy God's Justice for Adam's sin and its resultant sins and to provide a righteousness covering sinners before God; (2) to make further revelations of His plan adapted to the purposes of the Gospel Age; (3) to give a witness to the world of sin, righteousness and the coming Kingdom of God that would bless the non-elect, living and dead, with opportunities of gaining
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everlasting righteousness, innocence and blessedness; (4) to select from among all nations the Gospel-Age elect to prepare them to become Christ's Joint-heir and Bride, as such to be associated with Him as the chief seed of Abraham in blessing with opportunities of salvation all the nations, kindreds and families of the earth in the coming Millennial Age; (5) to prepare those consecrated believers, Scripturally called the Great Company, who have not been faithful enough to become parts of Christ's Joint-heir and Bride, but who prove faithful enough to be worthy of everlasting life, to become in the spiritual phase of God's Kingdom assistants of Jesus and His Bride in blessing the non-elect world, living and dead, with opportunities of gaining eternal life; (6) to select, after the elect Bride has been called, a secondary earthly class, called the Youthful Worthies, to become in the earthly phase of the Kingdom assistants of the Ancient Worthies, the faithful of the Old Testament, both of these classes acting as princes of the Kingdom, for the blessing of the non-elect with opportunities of gaining eternal life; and (7) to destroy everything unworthy of going over into the third Dispensation, which means the annihilation of Satan's empire, with all its departments of false religions, oppressive governments, predatory business institutions, other evil social institutions and those individuals who were given the opportunity of gaining the elective salvation and proved utterly unworthy of it.
Let us pause and see what God's plan so far as presented above has accomplished. For the non-elect world it has by experience taught that neither by angelic help nor by its own endeavors can it lift itself up from the curse, and also that sin is bad in its nature and effects. These two things will prepare it to accept God's Kingdom as the only hope through which it can be lifted up from the curse. These two things the non-elect world will have learned through the first and second Dispensations. And through the three Ages of the second Dispensation God will have provided Him
self with properly trained Agents, i.e., Agents who have been amid trialsome experiences proven to be faithful to God and His principles and full of sympathy, love and good works toward mankind, to become His representatives in administering His Kingdom arrangements for the blessing of all the nations, kindreds and families of the earth—those of them who will by then have died, as well as those of them that then will be living—with opportunities of gaining everlasting life under most favorable conditions. Thus previous to the third Dispensation the race, in its living and dead members, will have been prepared for the Kingdom helpfully to rule over them for their blessing, and the Agents of the Kingdom will have been prepared helpfully to take them in charge of their uplift out of death, sin and the curse into life, righteousness and restoration to the original perfection enjoyed by Adam and Eve before they sinned. Thus God's plan has been successfully developing in its intended purposes.
But with these things accomplished, God's plan is not yet complete. Its completion occurs during the first Age of the third Dispensation, the Millennial Age, so called because it is to last 1,000 years, which is the implication of the Latin word, millennium, literally, thousand-year period. The following are the purposes of the Millennial Age: (1) to resurrect all four of the elect classes, the fourfold seed of Abraham, Christ's Joint-heir and Bride and the Great Company as the two parts of the Kingdom's heavenly phase, the Ancient Worthies and the Youthful Worthies as the two parts of the Kingdom's earthly phase; (2) to establish these four elect classes as the Kingdom of God over the earth and the human race, Christ and His Joint-heirs as its Kings, the Great Company, the Ancient Worthies and the Youthful Worthies as its princes; (3) to suppress all conditions and things conducive to unrighteousness and inconducive to righteousness, and to inaugurate every condition and thing inconducive to unrighteousness and conducive to righteousness;
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(4) to put the non-elect living and dead (the latter being awakened from the dead for this purpose) amid such sets of conditions and things; (5) to operate through these four elect classes the Spirit, Word and providences of God favorably to influence the non-elect Christward; (6) to reward with physical, mental, moral and religious uplifts every effort of the non-elect to reform themselves; (7) to stripe for correctional purposes every effort to wrong others or self; (8) to show by experience from the uplifting and healing effects of righteousness that righteousness is good in its nature and effects—the exact opposite of the lesson that their experience with evil in the first and second Dispensations taught them: that sin is bad in its nature and effects; (9) to give the race restored to human perfection by its Millennial experience with righteousness a final trial for life, in which trial they will be permitted to demonstrate whether they from the heart will or will not avoid sin and practice righteousness, and in which trial the penitent fallen angels, who will during the Millennium have been undergoing reformatory experiences, will be given similar opportunities; and, finally, (10) to pronounce and execute the righteous decision that the Christ as judge will reach in each case under trial, according as the works of each one shall be, everlasting and blissful life for the righteous and everlasting death, extinction, for the unrighteous. Thus God's plan of salvation will be completed successfully in winning the faithful elect classes for everlasting life on various spirit planes of being in heaven, in winning the faithful non-elect class for everlasting life on the human plane in the new earth transformed into Paradise and in the unfaithful, both of the elect and the non-elect classes, passing out of existence forever as unworthy of life on any plane of being. Accordingly, the final result of God's plan will be glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will to men, those getting eternal life to whom, as well as to others, it will be a blessing, and those getting eternal death to whom,
as well as to others, life would be a curse. Those who get life will go into the endless succession of Ages in the third Dispensation, well qualified to use it for their own and others' good. So success crowns God's plan.
Involved in the outworking of this plan are certain features that were not given above and that should be briefly indicated in order to its still better appreciation. Indeed, we may say that God's plan of salvation is a part of a larger plan which embraces the creation of the human race and the re-creation of certain members of the race into higher orders of beings than humans. The plan of salvation began to operate immediately after the curse came upon Adam and Eve, and is God's way of rescuing the race from that curse—salvation. The larger plan of God began with Adam's creation, yea, in certain respects we might say with the creation of this earth. In planning the creation of the human race the problem before the Divine mind to solve was this: "How can I bring into existence a race of free moral agents who intelligently appreciating sin will hate and avoid it, and intelligently appreciating righteousness will love and practice it?" This problem excluded God's making man so that he could not sin, for that would not have made a man a free moral agent, but would have reduced him to a machine, whereas in man's creation God desired to exhibit the reign of moral law, not physical law, of which God had and has abundant examples in nature. God's foreknowledge, showing Him that man in exercising his free will would sin, decided to let (not make) him sin and to sentence him to death for his sin. This He could justly do, because offering man everlasting life on condition of obedience, God could justly take away his life, when he refused to use it on the condition on which its continuance was offered. In ultimate analysis Adam, believing that Eve must die because of her disobedience, and loving her so much as to think that life without her was not worth while, deliberately disobeyed in order to die with her, and thus escape the evil of having
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to live without her, i.e., he committed suicide for love of his wife. Thus his trial was a crucial one. Instead of putting Adam and Eve to death immediately, God decided to let them die gradually, because by so dying they could better learn by experience, the most thorough of all teachers, the lesson that sin is bad in its nature and effect, and should therefore be avoided. Therefore God cast them out of the garden of Eden, where the fruits that would sustain their lives everlastingly grew, into the unprepared earth, where no everlasting-life-preserving fruit grew. As a result they could not adequately replace their depleting cells, and thus they began to die. Thus gradually they lost more and more of their physical perfection, and with the evil conditions surrounding and plaguing them, they also gradually lost more and more of their mental, moral and religious perfection in increasing depravity.
It was while they were for over 125 years gradually dying physically, mentally, morally and religiously that they produced Seth, the ancestor of the only ones who survived the flood, and thus, after Adam, the father of the entire human race this side of the flood; and, of course, Adam transmitted to him his dying life marred physically, mentally, morally and religiously. So by heredity the whole race came into existence fallen and dying, on the plane of sin, imperfection and death. So matters have continued until the present. So far as the record goes, only a few before the flood came into any fellowship at all with God: Abel, Enoch, Noah and his family. With Abraham a change came; by faith in the Covenant promises, while actually under the curse, fallen and dying, he came into a tentative justification in a higher sense than the previously faith-justified, who did not have the Covenant promises; and thus he became a friend of God, which was also true of Sarah, of Isaac and Rebecca and of Jacob and his family, while the rest of mankind remained on the plane of the curse, fallen and dying, without even a faith justification to fellowship with God. Such a faith justification
was the portion of all the rest of the Ancient Worthies in the Covenant. When God entered into the Law Covenant with Israel, those of them who did not have the faith of the Ancient Worthies did not attain to a faith justification; the best that they could reach, if they were measurably loyal to the Law Covenant, was a typical justification which was wrought for them annually by the sacrifices of the day of atonement. The Gentile world continued on the plane of sin and death, by experience learning what sin is and does. Satan and the fallen angels, taking advantage of them, and of Israel also, led them into ever deeper error, sin and misery, as both the Bible and history prove.
A most important feature of God's plan set in just before the Jewish Age ended—the carnation of the Son of God. Because the curse with its dying life, and the soul come from the father, God arranged that His Son should be changed from the highest spirit being, except God, into a human being without a human father, that thus He might not inherit the curse with its dying life, and His soul from a human father. Thus Jesus was sinlessly conceived and born perfect. He passed through the stages of babyhood, boyhood, youth, and young manhood to perfect manhood, which He attained at 30 years of age, actually, not reckonedly, justified, i.e., actually perfect. Then it was that He consecrated Himself to God, and God begat Him to the Divine nature by the bestowal of the Holy Spirit at Jordan. During the following 3½ years He sacrificed His humanity to death, finishing that sacrifice at Calvary, and during those 3½ years He developed the Divine heart and mind unto perfection, and was the third day afterward raised from the dead a Divine being with an added asset, the merit of His perfect humanity, as a ransom price corresponding to the forfeited rights of Adam and Adam's race. Thus in the involved 3½ years God created Him a Divine Being. Additionally, God designs the creation of those who will faithfully follow in His footsteps into Divine
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beings, as follows: Forty days after His resurrection Jesus ascended to heaven to prepare such footstep followers to become Divine beings. These, however, though of the faith class, like the rest of Adam's children have been under the curse. How effect their deliverance? The merit of Jesus He presented at Pentecost on their behalf, whereby to them through their faith in Christ's death a tentative justification and at their consecration a real, a vitalized justification that, actually and forever freed them from the Adamic sentence, were given. Continuing to exercise their justifying faith, and faithfully sacrificing their humanity unto death in God's cause, and developing the Divine heart and mind, they in the first resurrection will attain the Divine nature; and thus God will have completed the creation of a new class of beings—those of the Divine nature, Jesus and His Joint-heirs. Those who, taking the steps of justification, which in God's sight reckons them perfect, as Adam and Eve were actually perfect, and consecration, then fail to carry it out to God's satisfaction, but who repent and then prove faithful, will attain to spirit existence, but in a nature lower than the Divine, i.e., like the angels. This work with individuals of these two classes has been going on since Pentecost.
Like the Ancient Worthies, who, while they lived were offered only restitution to perfect humanity in the Millennium, now that Christ's joint-heirs are completed, the Youthful Worthies on the basis of faith-justification and consecration unto death are offered in the Millennium perfect humanity. These two classes must remain human during the Millennium in order then to be able to be the earthly, visible phase of the Kingdom, the representatives of the heavenly, invisible phase, who, as spirit beings, must of necessity be invisible to the non-elect class during the Millennium. But during the end of the Millennium, in its Little Season, these two Worthies classes, perfect as humans, as Jesus was perfect as a human, will be begotten of the Spirit, and as they prove faithful will be changed
to spirit beings, not in the Divine but in a nature like that of the angels. Throughout the Gospel Age there have been four classes connected with the Lord's people, as shown in the four kinds of soil in the parable of the sower and the seed: (1) the faithful Little Flock, (2) the Great Company, (3) the faith-justified and (4) the hypocritical professors. Just as in the Harvest of the Jewish Age God separated the Israelites indeed from the nominal Israelites, so in the Harvest of the Gospel-Age God, who during the Gospel Age allowed the four classes just mentioned to mingle together, separates these four classes from one another by the testful conditions now prevailing. In the trouble time He will destroy the tares, false professors, as tares, imitation wheat, not as individuals, at the time He shakes and destroys Satan's empire and its parts.
During the Millennium as participants of God's plan the divisions of beings will be as follows: (1) Jesus and the Church as Divine Beings and the chief Rulers, (2) the Great Company as angelic beings cooperating with Jesus and the Church, (3) the Ancient Worthies as perfect human beings and as the chief rulers in the earthly phase, (4) the Youthful Worthies as perfect human beings and as secondary rulers therein, (5) believing Jews and faithful faith-justified Gentiles of the Gospel Age, obtaining restitution, (6) the Gentile World obtaining restitution and (7) the penitent fallen angels undergoing trial for a restoration to their former estate. The Little Season will witness the final trial of the ancient and Youthful Worthies for spirit nature, the final trial of classes (5) and (6) for human life and the final trial of the penitent angels for restoration to God's presence and their former estate as holy angels, while that Little Season will end with the utter extinction of Satan, the impenitent fallen angels and those of classes (5), (6) and (7) who are not faithful; and with the faithful gaining on their various planes of being everlasting life. Unto God's eternal glory they will pass on from one Age of glory to another,
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eternally, in perfection and sinlessness; for the third Dispensation will eternally endure in Ages of glory.
Above it was stated that, after a sketch of the Divine Plan contained in the Bible would be given, it would be shown that such a plan could not have originated in a being short of perfect Divine wisdom, justice, power and love, i.e., that it must have been originated by God, who alone has always been perfect in the highest exemplification of these four qualities. It is now purposed to show that the Plan sketched above is a most striking example of the highest order of wisdom. By wisdom is meant the tactful use of true knowledge, i.e., truth, in accomplishing good results. Truth is harmony with factuality and proper principles as to theory and practice, even as error is disharmony therewith as to theory and practice. Good results are such effects of activities as are harmonious with proper principles. Accordingly, for the plan that was sketched above to be a product of perfect and Divine wisdom, it must be shown that its every feature is in harmony with facts and proper principles, and that the use made of these resulted, results or will result in effects in harmony with facts and proper principles, i.e., good effects. And for the tactful use of such knowledge in producing such effects to be in perfect wisdom of the Divine order, it must be beyond man's and angel's ability to invent and to translate into accomplishment. It is claimed for the plan sketched above that in no feature does it come short of such perfect and Divine wisdom, that not only does it contain no flaws, mistakes or miscarriages, but that neither human nor angelic wisdom could invent it or improve upon it. In other words, that plan must have originated in God and, therefore, is a Divine revelation; and inasmuch as that plan is a brief summary of the entire Bible, the Bible thereby is proved to be a Divine revelation. Accordingly, we will compare the aforesaid sketch with the Divine wisdom, and see whether the comparison does
or does not disclose a perfect harmony in every feature of that plan with the Divine wisdom.
Is it a part of wisdom to have a plan? All reasonable people will agree that it Is. Any reasonable person who has a work of any detail at all to do will make a plan according to which he hopes to accomplish it. The more intricate a work is the more careful planning does it require to insure success in its accomplishment. In every calling of life this is true. In the domains of the family, municipality, state, country, politics, war, education, art, science, literature, manufacture, philosophy, industry, labor, finance, acting, oratory, etc., more or less detailed matters are planned. He who practices the policy of hit or miss in any matter of detail almost invariably makes a failure therein. Hence all wise men plan their work, if it contains anything of detail. God is certainly not less wise than man; hence in the very intricate details connected with His affairs He plans matters carefully; hence in the details connected with His work toward His free moral agents He does all things according to plan. Even apart from His relations to free moral agents He follows the plans that His wisdom dictates. Hence the various sciences display great ingenuity in the nature, laws, etc., of the things with which they deal, e.g., astronomy reveals plans of great intricacy in the materials, structure, order, laws, arrangements, etc., of the various universes, in the various solar systems of each universe, in the various planets of each solar system and in the multiform features of each planet. Hence, as a matter of course, there should be a Divine plan in a Divine revelation. And what reason suggests as wise in a Divine revelation, i.e., that it contain a plan, the Bible teaches is the case, i.e., there is a Divine plan in the Bible, God's plan of the Ages (Luke 7:30; Acts 2:23; 4:28; 20:27; Eph. 1:11; 3:11; Heb. 6:17). Hence it was a stroke of wisdom in God to make the plan outlined above. Thus we are prepared to see that God
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must have a plan as to angels and men, and that it was wise to have one.
From these general considerations we will now proceed to view details of His plan, for the purpose of investigating whether such details are wise, yea, are the acme of wisdom. One of the features in that plan was to arrange that only those free moral agents who would prove loyally and lovingly obedient to Him under reasonable tests be given eternal life. Had God not so arranged He would have had to endure eternal disorder, rebellion and anarchy, with all their accompanying evils, which would have been very unwise indeed to permit. But to require that each free moral agent be loyally and lovingly obedient to Him under reasonable tests is wise, for that is the guarantee that in a moral order of affairs there would be eternal order, obedience, respect for others' rights, well-being and happiness. Hence it is plain that wisdom was the source of arranging for only those free moral agents who would under reasonable tests prove loyally and lovingly obedient to Him to have eternal life. It was also wise to make life the reward of such obedience and death, not eternal life in torment, the recompense of disobedience; for death would prevent a continuance of sin in each sinning individual, while eternal life in torment would continue sin eternally and that without any good resulting therefrom, yea, in nothing but evil resulting therefrom, while the loyally and lovingly obedient could be trusted to use everlasting life to God's credit and the profit of others and of themselves, i.e., for good ends. The presupposition of the plan of salvation, i.e., mankind's fall in a perfect man into sin and sin's penalty—death—through heredity by the disobedience of that one perfect man, is a remarkable expression of wisdom. This made it possible through the righteousness of a perfect man maintained unto death to set aside the sentence that came upon all by the one man's sin, and to give all who fell in the one an opportunity to recover all that they lost in that one man—a marvelous
stroke of wisdom. But let us suppose that, instead of all having fallen in one perfect man and having been sentenced in the one, all had been created perfect and individually tried. What then would have resulted? If Adam is an example of what a sinless being without experience with, or observation of, evil would do under a severe trial, we would have cogent reason for concluding that all perfect human beings without experience with, or observation of, evil, as was Adam, would under as crucial a trial have done what he did—sinned. This would have resulted in much greater evils than have resulted from condemning all through heredity by the sin of the one; for as Adam had to suffer more and longer in giving up under the dying process his perfect life than the bulk of his descendants have had to suffer in giving up their relatively weaker and imperfect, dying life amid the ever ameliorating condition of the imperfect earth, so the about 29,000,000,000 humans, if tried individually in perfection, would under the dying process have had to suffer more and longer than they have in the way they have undergone the curse. Thus it was a stroke of Divine wisdom to spare the race such greater and longer suffering, by condemning all in one.
Moreover, under the supposed conditions the keener intellects of the fallen, selfish hearts of these 29,000,000,000 would have caused more depravity in each one, inflicted more injury upon themselves and others, and would have made it impossible to save as many as will be saved under the plan as actually made. In planning to prevent such results wisdom evidently acted in this matter. But ignoring the reasonable conclusion, that if all had been created perfect and had been tried as Adam was, all would have done as Adam did, and thus would have suffered as just described, let us suppose that 14,500,000,000 had stood the test, and 14,500,000; 000 had fallen, this would not have been a sufficient number of humans to take care of a perfect earth, without too much work. Moreover, since the 14,500,000,000 sinned, if they were to be redeemed, the other
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14,500,000,000 would have had to die for them; for each of the 14,500,000,000 having sinned individually, justice, which demands a life for a life, would have required the lives of 14,500,000,000 sinless ones for the 14,500,000,000 sinners, if the latter were to be redeemed. This procedure would thus not have diminished the sufferings above described, under the previous supposition. Moreover, a special reward of a higher nature would have had to be given the 14,500,000,000 redeemers, if they were to have another life; for they to redeem the others would forever have had to forfeit their humanity as the ransom-price for the others. This would have raised more beings to the spirit plane than wisdom would have use for there. Moreover, in lifting up the 14,500,000,000 sinners to human perfection, 14,500,000,000 saviors would be too many for the work, which, again, wisdom would not permit. Or, if the proportions were altered to 28,900,000,000 sinners to 100,000,000 saviors, a very unreasonable supposition in view of what Adam's example implies, the suffering would still be the same as under the first supposition, and thus far greater than under that wisdom devised. Moreover, the hundred million saviors could ransom only 100,000,000 of the sinners and 28,800,000,000 other perfect men would have to be found who under crucial trial would have to prove loyal, with the practical certainty of many of these failing and thus of needing another set to be tested as saviors to make up for the lapsed ones and those not redeemed by reason of the lapse of these, with the likelihood of the quest for such requiring many thousands of years more than that required by the plan as made. How Divinely wise it, therefore, was to condemn by heredity all through one, and thus redeem all by one—Jesus Christ, who has won for all the right on condition of obedience to regain what they lost in Adam. Thus we see a wisdom far above angelic and human in this part of the plan.
The way the plan shows how God deals with the angels is another display of wisdom above angelic and
human. It has already been shown that wisdom dictated that they must demonstrate under reasonable trial loyal and loving obedience to God before God could safely to Himself and with blessing to themselves and to others give them eternal life. But let us note the wisdom of testing them as He did. The condition was this: As the teachers and helpers of the antediluvian race they experienced the keen disappointment of seeing, with the probable exception of ten individuals (Abel, Enoch and Noah and his family), their wards going from bad to worse, in physical, mental, moral and religious depravity. They had by the Lord been given instruction as to what and how to do as the teachers and helpers of the race. But they saw that by these means and methods, the best that angels could apply, their work as a whole was a failure, whereas all of them desired to uplift the race back to its perfection. Of course, all along God knew that they would fail, yet permitted them to try, since He knew that the resultant conditions would require them to prove whether they would loyally and lovingly obey God's instructions as to means and methods that He gave them for their work, or whether they would, in case of failure to reform the race, allow themselves to be persuaded to use other means and methods to accomplish it. In their perplexity over the failure of these means and methods to rescue the race Satan appeared among them and told them that their means and methods were insufficient to secure their aims, since it was inherited depravity that made their means and methods unavailable to the problem. Then he suggested that they use their power of materializing human bodies, and in such a condition marry women and beget families, which from their perfect vitality would inherit perfection, and thus gradually the race would be rescued. That Satan suggested these things is evident from the fact that he originated sin among angels and humans: and the record in Gen. 6:2-4; 2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 6, 7 shows that some of the angels did this sinful thing. All of
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them were tested by this matter, which had an appealing effect, because they most ardently desired the reformation of the ever-depraving race. Some refused to enter into the suggestion, because they loved God supremely and recognized that such a procedure was not in harmony with the means and methods of seeking the world's reformation given them by God. The others, more intent on saving the race than on ruling themselves in love and loyalty to God according to His express directions as to means and methods to be used, adopted Satan's suggestion. Thus some stood, others fell, under this crucial test of loving and loyal obedience. Thus wisdom shines out in this test and in the way it was allowed to come upon them. It severed the thoroughly loyal and loving from the deceived, disobedient angels.
The testing of the good angels went on during part of the Second World; for during it they entered into testful conditions; but none of these fell; and likely long ago, perhaps before the Gospel Age began, their characters were crystallized, which meant the end of their testing for everlasting life long ago. With the fallen angels God has been pursuing a different course. He has imprisoned them within the atmosphere of the earth, according to passages that speak of them as the air powers (Eph. 2:2). 2 Pet. 2:4 is mistranslated in the A. V.; the one word Tartaroo, a verb, has been there translated by the following five words: cast them down to hell, i.e., by a verb, a pronoun, an adverb, a preposition and a noun! The word is derived from the root from which the Greek noun tartaros is derived, but it is a verb, not a noun. To the heathen Greeks tartaros was a prison where the wicked were punished. The verb tartaroo, therefore, had best be translated by the verb imprison, the prison being earth's atmosphere, within which Satan and the fallen angels have been confined as in a prison. The fact that they tempt us is proof positive that they are not in a hell of torment far away from us; but that they are about us, i.e., within
earth's atmosphere. Unlike Adam and Satan, the fallen angels did not sin willfully; for like Eve they were deceived. Hence they were not sentenced to death like Adam and Satan, the execution of whose sentence has been long and wisely deferred. Imprisonment within earth's atmosphere has been their sentence. Here Satan succeeded in gaining supremacy over them; and their experience during the Second World has been a terrible one in the way of increased moral and religious depravity. Wisdom devised this experience for them, that they might learn the bad nature and effects of sin. No hope of any kind was extended to them during the Patriarchal and Jewish Ages, but-during the Gospel Age God has had Jesus and the Church preach the hope of reconciliation to them (Eph. 3:10), to the end that repenting they may have a trial for life in the Millennium (Rom. 14:9 [the living; for the fallen angels were never put under a death sentence]; Eph. 1:10 [the things in heaven, in the atmosphere about this earth]; 1 Cor. 6:3). Now, the Epiphany, is the time in which the penitent fallen angels are being separated from the impenitent ones (2 Tim. 4:1). When they enter into their Millennial trial the terrible experience with depravity that they had during the Patriarchal and Jewish Ages, and the great difficulty of overcoming even a part of this depravity experienced by them during the Gospel Age and of severing and keeping themselves severed as to sinning from the impenitent fallen angels, will be very helpful to keep them from sin and in righteousness, and thus help them to a restoration to God. Therein will appear the Divine wisdom in dealing with them as He has and will do.
God's dealing with the world of mankind in the three Worlds is full of Divine wisdom. It was certainly wise to teach them during the First World that the angels were unable to save them: for this was helpful to make them not look to angels for help from their depravity. Furthermore, it was good for them to learn during the First World by experience, the most
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thorough teacher, the evil nature and effects of sin. During the Second World they continued by experience to learn the evil nature and effects of sin, this experience being calculated to help them hate and avoid it, when they would come under conditions such as God will make prevail in the Millennium, conducive to learning to hate and forsake sin. Hence the permission of evil was a stroke of Divine wisdom. Moreover, during the Second World there were several other lessons very necessary for man to learn, in order to be prepared to use helpfully the deliverance that will Millennially be offered to him. One of these lessons was that fallen man is unable to raise himself out of his depravity, any more than a man can lift himself up by tugging away at his boot-straps. Still another lesson for the same reason would be helpful for him to learn, i.e., that instead of lifting himself up, he was, left to his own powers, continually sinking into deeper depravity, physical, mental, moral and religious; and to learn this lesson now will do him untold good in the Millennium. Moreover, there is still a fourth lesson to learn amid his present experiences in the Second World, i.e., that he is no match in temptation for Satan and the fallen angels, who will do nothing except exploit him. And this lesson will do him much good when in the final temptation, test for life, in the Little Season, he must meet and overcome them, if he would gain everlasting life. Thus these varied lessons that the race as a whole has been learning in their pertinent Dispensations will have very much to do to help him gain everlasting life. And to have arranged matters so that these lessons can be taught the race under the best conditions for it to learn them and under the most thorough teacher, experience, indicates a Divine wisdom.
The wisdom of God is also manifest as to angels and men in the way He arranged for the First and Second Worlds to end, as well as in the reason for that end. Knowing that the First World had served its purposes of proving to men and angels the latters' inability to
rescue mankind, of testing the angels, of manifesting them in their two classes, good and bad, as they emerged from that test and of teaching part of the lesson of evil by experience, and knowing that the First World could accomplish no more good, instead would effect only increasing evil, Divine wisdom very wisely ended that World. The wisdom showed itself by ending that World with a minimum of sufferings compatibly with impressing the lesson of the great evil of sin, i.e., by a flood, through drowning, one of the easiest methods of death. The same superhuman and superangelic wisdom manifests and will continue to manifest itself in the way, and for the reason, that it ends the Second World. It was a great stroke of wisdom to make the foundations of the society of the Second World consist of the right of private ownership of property, of the competitive system of business and of governmental control of society; for these principles, good in themselves, but applied by fallen depraved men under manipulation by Satan and the fallen angels selfishly and sinfully, were best calculated to teach the four lessons mentioned above as assigned to be learned in the Second World, as they under such application and manipulation would naturally have led up to, and produced the great calamities by which the Second World passes away—world war, world revolution, world anarchy, world famines, world pestilences and the last phase of Jacob's trouble. These calamities are certainly calculated to bring to a climax the experience with evil and teach this generation so effectively the hateful nature and bad effects of evil, as well as the other three lessons mentioned above for the Second World, that it will in its bulk give up its own ways and willingly receive the ways of the Millennial Kingdom as the only effective escape for man from himself, Satan, sin, error, death and the grave. To plan unto a successful accomplishment these ends required a Divine wisdom.
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Thus God's wisdom will have arranged matters so that both men and penitent angels will enter the Third World best prepared to receive its helps. The impenitent fallen angels will enter the World under the death sentence, whose execution will be preceded by an imprisonment of 1,000 years, during which they will be unable to deceive mankind, because, among other reasons, they will be spirited so far away from the earth that, not only will they have no contact with it, but also will be in error as to what is going on in the world—a most wise thing for Millennial purposes. It will be wise to assign 1,000 years for the restoration of the obedient of men and angels, to destroy after 100 years' trial the utterly incorrigible, to reward the fit with the privilege after those thousand years to enter everlastingly into the enjoyment of the following Ages of glory and to suppress the unfit in extinction. Thus in all the plan's features with mankind and angels in general there is a marvelous use of true knowledge for attaining good ends. If one thinks carefully of the three general features—the three Worlds—of God's plan as it relates to men and angels in general, it will be impossible to suggest a wiser way of accomplishing these stupendous results than was planned by Divine wisdom. Indeed, any human or angelic alteration of this plan will reveal miscarriages as its result. Only a being supreme in wisdom could have made such a plan for men's and angels' rescue from evil to good.
Having seen the wisdom displayed in the plan as it in general respects men and angels, let us now view it in its elective features which, shown as above, characterize the three Ages of the Second World. As shown, election is not that arbitrary action which Calvinism claims. Like every other act of God, it flows from a perfect blending of His wisdom, power, justice and love. It is, of course, wise to select from among many those only who are adapted to the intended purpose and to reject those who are not adapted to that purpose. Hence the wisdom of rejecting those who would spoil
God's pertinent purpose, and of selecting those who would further it. It has been wise in God to make faith the quality required in nominees for the election and unbelief the quality required in rejecting one from such nomination; for without faith it is impossible to stand the tests that the elect must undergo to make their calling and election sure, which means that the non-elect could not win out, even if given an opportunity to do it; hence wisdom forbids the offer of this opportunity to them, since it has in reservation for them an opportunity in which they can win out, if so disposed. Wisdom is seen in the crucial trials to which the elect are subjected, since the position to which they will be raised, if successful in their trial, is of such great responsibility and requires character of such a high order and reliability, that it would work disaster, if one unfit for it were raised to it. A superhuman and superangelic wisdom is manifest in the purpose of the election, i.e., to fit the elect in character to deliver in harmony with God's will all the obedient of the non-elect men and angels through the operation of God's Kingdom in the Millennium. There is a superhuman and superangelic wisdom in choosing the time when sin is rampant in the-world for the development of the elect; for the prevalence of sin, the curse and the maleficent opposition of Satan and the fallen angels furnish just such a set of conditions as are needed amid which to develop the elect in character fitness for their great mission of delivering the race and the penitent angels from their curse, and of helping them to a restoration to their former estate of sinlessness. There is wisdom in adjusting the experiences of the four elect classes to fit each class for its special part in the Kingdom's work. And, finally, there is wisdom in the means used to fit each elect class for its place—various features of God's Word, various forms of God's Spirit and various kinds of God's providences on their behalf.
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Similarly, there is marvelous wisdom seen in arranging for four elect classes and not simply one. As we have seen, angels, as greatly above Humans as they are, were unable to uplift the fallen race, and certainly they must be less able to uplift the fallen angels, therefore wisdom saw that at least one of the classes of the deliverers would have to be higher than angels, i.e., would have to be Divine in nature. These—Jesus and His faithful followers—Divine wisdom saw had to be more crucially tested than the other three elect classes, because they would have to have higher characters, do a more important work, have a more responsible office and do it all in the expressing of a higher degree of qualities of heart and mind. Again, they becoming spirit beings and thus invisible to men, wisdom saw that they would have to have visible representatives. Therefore it arranged for the Worthies, Ancient and Youthful, to be these visible representatives of Christ and the Church to the world. But in these two phases of the Kingdom some works are more responsible than others. Accordingly, it is wise that there be two classes in each of these phases: the Little Flock to do the more responsible and the Great Company to do the less responsible work in the heavenly or invisible phase; and the Ancient Worthies to do the more responsible and the Youthful Worthies to do the less responsible work in the earthly or visible phase. Hence wisdom planned for four elect classes, and planned a different degree of privileges, experiences, trial, etc., for each class, but each degree of trial, etc., sufficient to qualify its pertinent class for its place in the Kingdom. Accordingly, the privileges, trials, etc., of the Patriarchal and Jewish Ages and the purposes of these Ages as respects the Ancient Worthies were so arranged by wisdom as to fit them for their Millennial position as the chief one's in the Kingdom's earthly phase; and the privileges, trials, etc., of the Epiphany as to the Youthful Worthies are being arranged by Divine wisdom to fit them for their Millennial
position as the secondary ones in the Kingdom's earthly phase. During the Gospel Age Divine wisdom arranged for higher privileges, helps, experiences, trials, etc., for the Little Flock than it arranged for all the other elect classes, because of its higher place in the Kingdom. The Great Company consists of those who fail to pass satisfactory trial entitling them to be of the highest elect class—the Little Flock, but who yet prove worthy of life in the end. Hence Divine wisdom has arranged for them to come into the secondary place in the Kingdom's heavenly or invisible phase.
As Jesus and the Church are the chief elect class, it would be well to see how Divine wisdom has acted toward them in the plan outlined above. Christ's carnation—His becoming a perfect human being without a human father—was a most marvelous exhibition of Divine wisdom in planning and executing. To become Adam's ransom (corresponding price) He could not have had a human father, because sin, its sentence and the dying life are transmitted by human fathers, whereas the human body only comes from the human mother. Hence, Jesus could not have had a human father, since that would have made Him sinful and given Him an imperfect dying life and body, which would have made Him need a savior, and thus have disqualified Him as Savior. Accordingly, instead of using the seed of a human father to fructify an ovum of Mary, God used the life-principle and disposition qualities of the preexistent Word to fructify that ovum, and to transform Him from a spirit into a human being in nine months. Thus He became a sinless human being, free from Adam's sin, imperfection and curse, having a perfect body, perfect life, right to life and pertinent life-rights, exactly what Adam had before he sinned, and what Adam had to forfeit because of his sin. This put Jesus into the position where He could ransom Adam and the race in Adam's loins when he sinned. What a master stroke of Divine wisdom, far above man's and angel's, was the carnation
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of Jesus! Having seen how Divine wisdom made the Word human from the highest Being in the universe, except God, let us now see how that wisdom planned to raise Him from human nature to the Divine, the highest of all natures. It did so by arranging for Him to sacrifice His humanity as the ransom-price for Adam and his race and by begetting, quickening, developing, strengthening, balancing, crystallizing and bringing Him to birth of the Spirit through raising Him from the dead a Divine Being. Accordingly, thus wisdom arranged for Him to live as a Divine Being and to have as an asset with which to redeem mankind the things that he sacrificed—His perfect human life, body, right to life and life-rights. Thus, demonstrated as worthy of the highest position under God in the whole universe, higher even than that which He had with the Father before He became human, He is now God's Vicegerent throughout the Universe, fully qualified and empowered to carry out all of God's plans and purposes. Could anything short of Divine wisdom have planned such things? A thousand times No, we answer.
Nothing short of Divine wisdom could have arranged for the things as to the Church set forth above on the plan revealed in the Bible. To rescue the Church from the sentence on Adam's race, and at the same time preserve Christ's merit for the deliverance of the race, wisdom suggested that the credit of Christ's merit be loaned—imputed, a reckoned purchase—before Divine justice as long as the Church would be in the world, so that by the Church's death, the credit of that merit loaned to the Church being canceled, it would be intact for an actual, not a reckoned purchase of the world in the Millennium; for if there had been an outright actual purchase of the Church, since as much merit is needed to purchase one as is needed to purchase all of Adam's race, the actual purchase of the Church would have left none of Christ's merit over for purchasing the world in the Millennium. Amazing wisdom, guaranteeing salvation for both the Church
and the world! Wisdom then proceeded to arrange for the varied steps of enlightenment, repentance, faith, justification, sanctification and deliverance for the Church. It arranged that repentance be preached through the exposition of the Law, whereby repentance could be wrought in the responsive. Then it arranged for the ransom to be preached to the repentant ones, so that faith might be wrought in repentant hearts. Faith in the ransom being thus wrought, wisdom arranged that such believers experience justification by faith, i.e., forgiveness of sins, the imputation of Christ's righteousness and fellowship between God and the believer through their faith laying hold of and appropriating Christ's merit as theirs. Wisdom thus arranged that such be regarded—reckoned—as having all that the faithful humans will have after the Little Season, i.e., reckoned as having what Jesus as a perfect human being had. Thus reckonedly they stand before God as Jesus stood before Him at Jordan—with [reckoned] perfect human bodies, life, right to life and life-rights, for these are the things that Jesus reckons, imputes, to them in justification by faith. Wisdom then planned that they should follow Jesus in consecration to death and begettal to life, so that, like Him, they may sacrifice their humanity unto death for God's plan and pass through the same development as Jesus did as a New Creature, i.e., begettal, quickening, development, strengthening, balancing, crystallizing and birth of the Spirit in the first resurrection. This will be followed by the Church's glorification in office, honor, work, inheritance and power with Christ, as His Joint-heir and Bride. When we think of the fact that the Church consists of some humans who were fallen, depraved and lost like the rest of the race, and see how in the plan it is to be raised out of that condition up to the Divine nature and joint-heirship with Christ, and recognize the intricacy of the process of realizing all of this and the very trying experiences that it has had in its course during this Age, we must say that nothing
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short of Divine wisdom could have conceived such things.
The place that fleshly Israel has in God's plan is a display of Divine wisdom. This appears in the purposes that God had for Israel in the Jewish Age as the custodians of God's oracles, in their being used to prove that none of Adam's fallen race could fulfill God's law, which is the full measure of a perfect man's ability, and thus by the law gain life, in their furnishing the bulk of the Ancient Worthies, in their being used as types of future things, in their being rejected as a nation and people from the Gospel-Age spiritual purposes, in their furnishing a goodly number of the membership of the early Church, in partial blindness coming and remaining on the bulk of them during the Gospel Age, in their preservation during the Gospel Age, despite their scattering among all nations amid very hard experiences, in their being now restored to their land and God's favor, in their and the persistent faith-justified of the Gospel Age becoming the great missionaries under the Ancient and Youthful Worthies in converting the Gentile world to the Kingdom and in their becoming more zealous for Jesus than they have been antagonistic. The wisdom that planned it all, is a wisdom higher than men's and angels'.
Divine wisdom is manifest in the ministry of the good angels during the Second World. While they have been estopped from teaching members of the human family during the Second World as they did it during the First World, they have by Divine wisdom been assigned a noble service during the present Dispensation; for God used them in giving some parts of His revelation, e.g., the Abrahamic Oath-bound and Law Covenants and some of the revelations to the prophets, like Daniel, in Dan. 9—12. They frequently bore messages to various of God's people in both Testaments. They have been commissioned to protect and help providentially the elect, whom frequently they deliver from evil and Satan's machinations. Not seldom
have they been used to punish the injurers of God's people. And the fact that they do these things well proves that wisdom was used in their selection for their special work of the Second World.
We can see the Divine wisdom in its uses of Satan and his evil angels and evil men. The use that Divine wisdom makes of these is not that of willing and sympathetic agents, for they are inimical, unwilling and unsympathetic tools. But under Divine manipulation they turn out to be a grindstone on which the Lord sharpens His people as weapons, a crucible that burns the alloy out of the gold and silver ore of which God's people consist, threshing machines that shake God's people as symbolic wheat loose from chaff and imperfect kernels, hammers by which God pounds them into choice vessels for His use and as files to smooth their rough places, Satan's and job's comforters' ultimate effects on job are a good illustration of how Divine wisdom can use evil angels and men, despite their contrary intentions, to further God's people and cause.
How brightly wisdom appears in the Millennial arrangements, purposes and works! The organizational arrangements of God's Millennial Kingdom as a whole, in each one of its four phases, especially in the chief part of its heavenly phase, are beyond human ability to conceive and describe. But they are sufficient to accomplish the ten great things that will be the Millennial purposes, viz., (1) to resurrect the four elect classes by Christ, which implies the recreation of these and the restoration of all their characteristics in their perfect bodies; (2) to establish them as God's Kingdom by Christ; (3) to suppress evil and inaugurate good conditions; (4) to awaken the dead world, putting them, as well as the then living, under the Kingdom conditions; (5) to influence them favorably Christward; (6) to reward every good and punish every evil act, both for reformatory purposes; (7) to give the race the experience of righteousness with its blessed uplifts to perfection, in contrast with the former experience
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with evil with its degradations; (8) to give the restored race a final trial to let it demonstrate whether it under trial will choose good or evil; (9) to pronounce sentence according to each one's works; (10) to execute everlasting destruction upon the wicked, and to reward the faithful with everlasting life. By these ten purposes the plan will come to its successful end, the creation of a perfect race forever illustrating the reign of moral law. Surely here in God's ten Millennial purposes is high wisdom.
As already shown, the Ancient and Youthful Worthies, while remaining perfect humans during the Millennium, are to become spirit beings after the Little Season; and thus God's wisdom will have gotten two more classes from among men for spirit, heavenly existence. How great the wisdom of God shines out of the fact that He has known how to make such a use of the circumstances introduced by sin, not only to have won billions of perfect human beings to inhabit the paradise of the new earth, but also to create four additional classes of spirit beings to become His trusted agents, serving Him and carrying out His future plans forever; for in the Ages of glory following the Millennium, as God creates new and ever-increasing orders of beings to inhabit the planets of the solar systems in all God's universes, He will use these four classes, together with the angels, to bring into being and then unto perfection such orders of beings. And in this eternal work Christ and the Church will be the leaders and the other three elect classes will be, together with the angels, their assistants; for since Christ and the Church are God's heirs, and since these universes are God's possessions and thus their heirship (Rom. 8:17), we may depend upon it that, as God created the earth not in vain, but created it to be inhabited, so the planets of God's many universes as the inheritance of the Christ will be developed and made the habitations of new orders of perfect beings;
for "of the increase of His government and peace [prosperity] there shall be no end" (Is. 9:7).
Another feature manifesting the wisdom of God's plan is the hidden way that it was put into the Bible. Some say that the Bible is so simple that a child can understand it. This is only partly true. Some things of the plan are plain—the "things written on the backside"; but these "written within" (Rev. 5:1) no one could see until the Lamb took the plan (book), broke the seals and opened it, which works have taken so far the entire Gospel Age and are not yet complete. This fact reveals why there are so many different opinions on the Bible, and so many sects claiming to found their teachings on the Bible, yet contradicting one another. They have not waited on the Lord to break the seals and to open the book, or they have not been in the right heart's attitude to receive the message. To conceal the undue things in the Bible from those who are right-hearted until due time, and to becloud them to all others, the Bible has been mixed up, we say it reverently, more confusedly than a thousand Chinese puzzles combined. Hence the brainiest of men have disagreed in their interpretations of the Bible. Divine wisdom purposely so mixed up matters that the non-elect should not through a knowledge of it be put on trial under present conditions, amid which they could not be saved, they lacking sufficiency of faith to endure successfully its trials. Yet that same wisdom opens up these secrets, so mixed up in the Bible that others cannot see them, to the elect, when and in the measure that they become due. Only Divine wisdom could have put such a marvelous plan as was briefly sketched above in the Bible in a so very greatly disordered and confused manner. Is. 28:10, 13 shows this method of the revelation to be for the testing of the righteous (v. 10) and for the stumbling of the wicked (v. 13).
A final thought revelatory of the wisdom displayed in God's plan, i.e., the gradual and long-drawn-out manner of its giving and of its becoming due. As Is.
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28:10 puts it, so far as the faithful are concerned it is: "Precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little." Every part of the seven parts of the Bible came so. Search its doctrines, ethics, promises, exhortations, prophecies, histories and types, and every one of each one's separate features, in the acts of their giving and in the acts of their clarifying, have been gradual and long-drawn-out. No feature of any of these seven parts is discussed completely in any one place-it is in every one of such features: "here a little, there a little," first in its giving and then in its clarification. As consummate skill and wisdom are displayed in putting the whole plan there, but in a most disorderly, i.e., scattered, disconnected way, so consummate skill and wisdom are displayed in giving it all, with no part lacking, however, here a little, there a little. In its giving it is as if billions of letters, each on a separate piece of paper were confusedly, disjointedly and at different times thrown together so as to form an immense incoherent pile, then blown by the wind into forming the most beautiful and sublimely composed epic ever written. When we contemplate the manifold wisdom of God as displayed in His plan, well may we cry out in the language of St. Paul, used as to a certain feature of that plan, Israel's relation to it, in Rom. 11:33-36: "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out [by the non elect]! For who [of the non-elect] hath known the mind of the Lord? Or who hath been His counsellor? Or who hath first given to Him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things [of the plan], to whom be glory for ever. Amen."
Having shown that the plan sketched above as a whole and in its parts proves that its wisdom must be that of the Supreme Being, since none inferior to such a Being in wisdom could have invented it, we now
proceed to show that as a whole and in its parts it is a display of such justice, love and power as only the Supreme Being can exercise; therefore it and the Bible, of which it is but an epitome, must be a Divine revelation. First we will briefly define the sense in which we use the terms: justice, love and power. By justice is meant the quality of duty-love, the good will based on the demands of the law and thus owed by right. In the Supreme Being, who, in addition to exercising duty-love, is the law's judge and executor, justice requires that He give the rewards that the law prescribes for its obeyers and the punishments that it prescribes for its disobeyers. Moreover, justice binds Him to make His rewards and punishments conform to those prescribed by the law, i.e., by right. By love the quality of unselfish or disinterested good will is meant. Defining it more comprehensively, we may say that love is the good will that, apart from the obligations of the law, is based on a delight in good principles, that, therefore, delights in, and is in hearty oneness with those who are in harmony with good principles, that sympathizes with or pities those treated contrary to, or those out of harmony with, good principles, and that delights to sacrifice to advance good principles in the blessing of others. By power is meant the physical and moral strength that executes the dictates of wisdom, justice and love. Thus, in addition to its being the moral quality of mind, heart and will that exercises self-control and perseverance, it is also a physical quality supplying all the physical strength needed by self-control and perseverance (the idea meant by the Bible word, patience) to execute the dictates of wisdom, justice and love. Accordingly, as a quality of character power is synonymous with mind-, heart-and will-power as expressed in self-control and perseverance (patience). Our proposition is that the plan sketched above, in addition to being an expression of Divine wisdom, is the very acme of justice, love and power, and, therefore, must also have flowed from Divine
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justice, love and power. This proposition we proceed to prove from the same features of the plan as were used to show that it is an outflow of a super-human and super-angelic wisdom, i.e., Divine wisdom.
The creation of Adam and Eve in perfection amid perfect surroundings was an outflow of these three qualities: of justice, because it would have been unjust to have created them imperfect, since that would have made them sinners, which justice in a Creator forbids. Nor would it have been just, having made them perfect, to have compelled them to live amid imperfect surroundings, since that would have subjected them to unmerited sufferings; hence it was just both to create them perfect and to put them in perfect surroundings, amid which they could fully develop their flawless powers. It was also an outflow of Divine love which so made and conditioned them as to have made it conducive for them to practice good principles amid conditions encouraging thereto. And, of course, it was a display of power to have arranged perfect conditions for their sphere of being before creating them, as it was also a display of Divine power to make them perfect in their bodies, minds and hearts. To try them for life or death amid perfect conditions was just; for justice, as demanded by moral law, should require a satisfactory proof that one would use eternal life in harmony with justice before it could safely and justly entrust one with life everlasting. Moreover, justice, in final analysis, could not demand perfect conduct from them under such a trial, unless it had provided them with powers that could comply with justice's demands. Hence it had to provide them perfect bodies, minds, hearts and wills and perfect external conditions as the sphere of the trial, in order justly to require of them perfect obedience, all of which conditions were provided for the trial to which they were subjected. Love acted in the trial; because through it, it purposed to mold them into harmony with good principles, and give them eternal being and happiness through their compliance
with the Divine will in such a perfect trial. And, finally, Divine power was displayed in that trial; for it gave them all the knowledge of head and all the graces of heart and strength of will necessary to stand the trial successfully, and thereby made them so much more inclined to be faithful than to fall in their trial, if they should prove unfaithful thereunder, it would be through a violation of their righteousness-inclined characters. Thus putting them under the trial for life or death was a display of these three qualities.
To sentence them to undergo the penalty of the law of their trial after being disobedient and to make them undergo that penalty when they disobeyed, were also just, loving and powerful. It was just so to sentence them; because, having refused to use the conditional gift of life in harmony with the conditions upon which its continuance was offered, of course they forfeited the right to retain it; and justice could properly sentence them to the loss of life, i.e., death, and also expose them to the conditions—the imperfect earth outside of Eden—that would take away their life. At the same time justice could not have sentenced them to eternal torment; because, having tried them under the law of life and death, it could not sentence them under another (alleged) law of whose existence and (alleged) penalty they were not apprised as the one under which they would be sentenced in case of failure to obey. Had they been so sentenced, they would have had the right to appeal against so tyrannical and unjust an abuse of judicial power, so contrary to the Divine Power and justice; and such a sentence would have been loveless in the extreme. But the sentence imposed was not only in harmony with justice, but also in harmony with love; for it guaranteed them against suffering excessively under their actual penalty; and it secured them against sinning forever and thus suffering infinite physical, mental, moral and religious depravity, hence was in harmony with good principles. Divine power is manifest in the execution of the
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penalty, inasmuch as it kept the earth in an imperfect condition, through which death was inflicted on the race. Permitting the race to undergo the experience with evil as the process whereby the death penalty was inflicted upon it is in harmony with justice, as the foregoing statements show. Moreover, it is in harmony with love; for the best deterrent from evil for the unconsecrated in this present life is suffering from it; hence it is in the interests of good principles that the race endures the experience of evil now; but when viewed from the contrasted experience that the race will get with righteousness in the next Age, whereby all the effects of the experience with evil will be wiped out and hatred for sin and love for righteousness will be implanted in human hearts, the Divine love in permitting evil becomes very manifest. And self-evidently the power manifested in permitting evil amid conditions that it keeps imperfect, with the foregoing purpose in mind, must be a Divine power. It will not be necessary here to show the Divine justice, love and power exhibited in condemning all in one, as we actually, though not expressly, showed these above in displaying God's Wisdom, when explaining that feature of the plan.
To put the angels under trial for life is a manifestation of Divine justice, love and power for the same reasons as manifested these qualities as operative toward Adam and Eve in putting them on trial for life, as the sentencing of the impenitent angels to death and executing it upon them displays the same qualities as the similar thing as to man does. But this trial for life takes place for the penitent ones among them in the next Age. However, while not put on trial for life before the deluge, they were put on trial for obedience; and those that disobeyed were put under a sentence of imprisonment, with the possibilities of reformation and trial for life after the sentence of imprisonment would be served in full. Those angels that sinned were informed by Jesus and His followers' preaching during
the Gospel Age that if they would amend, they would later be put on trial for life under favorable conditions. This message led some to repentance; the others went on in willful sin to such a degree that, like Satan, they are now incorrigible, hence can not be fitted for life. Hence justice, love and power will put them to eternal death after they give an unanswerable proof of incorrigibility—their attempt to mislead the restored race into sin during the Little Season following the Millennium. Justice must put them to death; for they are incorrigible sinners; love must put them to death; because, abhorring sin and delighting in good, it will find it necessary in abolishing sin to annihilate incorrigible sinners, in order to make good principles flourish forever; and, of course, only Divine power could destroy such mighty beings as Satan and the impenitent fallen angels. But while before the flood all the angels were put on trial for obedience, those that obeyed then were put on trial for life after the flood and apparently before Jesus' first Advent—we say apparently, because, as a matter of fact, it is a matter of inference from Scriptural facts rather than from direct Scriptural statements; for the Bible speaks only of the angels that sinned as being reserved for a trial for life in the Millennium, and leaves us under the impression that the others were all holy and faithfully obeyed the Lord throughout the Old Testament times. Thus they seem to have passed successfully their trial for life. It certainly was just, loving and powerful to give such eternal life; since their characters are crystallized in righteousness. So was it also just to sentence the fallen angels to imprisonment away from God's favor for the terrible sins that they committed and occasioned before the flood. It was also loving; since its purpose was their reformation after seeing experimentally the mental sufferings that their sins caused them and the evils that they inflicted on others; and, of course, only Divine power was strong enough to keep such powerful beings
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within the atmosphere about this earth as their prison. Other power could not so do.
It was just to put the fallen race under the rule and tuition of the unfallen angels as their rulers, even as it is just to put convicts under the rulership of reasonable and fair prison wardens and their subordinates; for such death-sentenced convicts as mankind should have wardens put over them while their sentence is hanging over them. Moreover, it was a loving thing so to do with mankind; for these angels were designed to keep them from sinking into the deeper depravity into which they would have sunk, if they had not had such wardens. Furthermore, they were placed over them to help them to reform, which is also a purpose of disinterested love. Nothing short of Divine power could have put such powerful beings as the angels over the race as its rulers and teachers, as super-human power was required to make the antediluvians subject to these angels. To let the race experience the forms of evil that they underwent during the First World was just; for their sins deserved it. It was loving, inasmuch as it was designed in the long run to teach them to hate sin and to be made to feel a yearning for deliverance therefrom—an exercise of disinterested love it was on God's part to have such designs toward them. It was also an exercise of power that made conditions inculcate the lesson of the hatefulness of sin and a yearning for deliverance therefrom. The same principles of justice, love and power have operated as to the permission of evil during the Second World and along the same general lines, as operated in the First World.
Certainly it was just in God to show mankind during the Second World that it could not deliver itself by its own powers from the tyranny of Satan, sin and death; for to let man think that he could would have resulted in his greater degradation. It was loving thus to do; for that would be a step toward helping mankind to look to the right Source for help. It was also powerful; for it required the exercise of power to put man
into situations where the lesson could be learned. It was just to let men learn that they were no match for Satan; for otherwise they would have brought worse evils upon themselves. It was loving; for it would tend to keep them from depending on their powers and to long for higher powers to cope with him. And it was powerful to teach this to mankind; since it required powers of a high order to make conditions so that man could learn this lesson. God's ending the First World by a destructive flood was just; because it freed the race from an order of affairs that no longer benefited, but for some time wrought evil to mankind. This was loving; because it ultimately benefited all concerned and was in the interests of spreading good principles. And, of course, nothing short of Divine power could have brought down the deluge, and by it put away the by then useless and harmful order of affairs. The punishment of the wicked race through the deluge was just; for their wickedness and that of the giant descendants of angels and women deserved such a punishment. Love co-operated in that punishment, which, while not too severe, was sufficient to put an end to the evils of that time, to teach the sinners that sin injures, and thus help them to righteousness when they are returned from the tomb for the Millennial favors. To manipulate the laws of nature so as to make the deluge was a display of Divine power.
We can recognize the operation of these same three qualities in the destruction of the Second World. The implements whereby God will accomplish the destruction of this present evil world are especially eight: (1) World War; (2) World Revolution; (3) World Anarchy; (4) last phase of Jacob's Trouble; (5) Satan's empire in both its phases (invisible and visible) divided against itself; (6) secular and religious Truth variously affecting the different characters of men; (7) disordered nature in the forms of famines, pestilences, droughts, pests and calamities in the form of floods, tidal waves, hurricanes, conflagrations, earthquakes,
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volcanoes, etc.; and (8) Christ's war on Satan's empire. By these things the present order in church, state, capital, labor and society, as the visible phase of Satan's empire, and the order of Satan's empire, as an arrangement of evil angelic rulers over mankind, will be destroyed, and in its destruction will cause the wicked great sufferings in a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation nor ever will be afterward. Justice will act in this matter, since it can no longer tolerate the wicked rule of Satan and his visible representatives, and must destroy it for its wickedness, as well as give condign punishment to the wicked people who are in sympathy with, and profit by this newly developed evil order of affairs. Love will co-operate in the work of overthrowing Satan's empire; for it sees that evil will increase and righteousness will decrease by its continuance, while by its destruction evil and evil principles will decrease and good and good principles will increase. Divine power will be exercised in it; for what power short of Divine power could overthrow Satan and his associate fallen angels as the rulers of the present evil world, and exile them for 1,000 years to regions so far away that they will not know what is going on in the earth? The same power alone can overthrow the powerful false religious systems, oppressive governments, predatory aristocracies, lawless labor organizations and the wicked society of the present. And to use the eight above-mentioned instrumentalities that will work this destruction will, of course, require power Divine. Accordingly, Divine justice, love and power, and nothing short of Divine justice, love and power, will act in the destruction of the Second World—the world that now is.
Again, justice, love and power will exercise themselves in introducing the penitent fallen angels and the fallen race in a fit condition into the Third World, so that they might gain most profit thereby. Christ having by His ransom merit acquired possession of the race by an act of purchase, made to Divine justice, it will
hand over to Him the chastened fallen men and penitent fallen angels in a condition prepared to receive the blessings of the Third World. God's love will act therein; since it greatly desires their uplift from the degradation of sin into the beauties of holiness, which the Third World will minister to the obedient. And Divine power put into the hands of the Christ—Head and Body—will mightily work to introduce them into the arrangements of that glorious world. And throughout that world, beginning with its first Age, and progressing in the endless succession of Ages following it, these three Divine qualities will operate in the execution of Jehovah's future arrangements. In the First and Second Worlds, toward men and angels wisdom and justice are in the ascendancy, though not without love and power co-operating; and toward these in the Third World love and power will be in the ascendancy, though not without wisdom and justice co-operating.
We now proceed to see the display of justice, love and power in the elective features of God's plan. In all God's dealings with the elect His justice Acts toward them either in anticipation of the ransom, as was the case with the Ancient Worthies, or in present possession of the ransom, as is the case with the Little Flock, Great Company and Youthful Worthies. Therefore, in anticipation of the ransom merit coming into His possession for the Ancient Worthies, the Lord could deal with them on the basis of their tentative justification. It is surely in harmony with justice that God rejects the unbelieving class from the elective opportunities, since they certainly are not fit for the chance of getting the elective salvation. It is also a loving thing so to do, because it makes it possible for them to have the chance of the free-grace salvation, the only one that they could win, if offered to them. And, of course, God's power Acts in rejecting them from the chance to gain the elective salvation. It is likewise in harmony with His justice that the faith class has been given the opportunity of gaining the salvation operating in their
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time, for the ransom merit satisfies justice with the thought of their having this opportunity. It is an expression of love to give it to them, since it gives them an opportunity to come into conformity with the best of good principles, and will give them an opportunity in this and the next life to further these good principles in the blessing of others. This same justice, love and power are manifest in the means, circumstances, times, agencies and helps used in developing the four elect classes. No justice, love and power less than Divine could use all these means under the various circumstances, in the different times, through the different agencies and by the various helps to bring these elect classes to their various salvations.
What justice, love and power are evidenced in selecting the four elect classes, two for the heavenly, invisible phase and two for the earthly, visible phase of God's Kingdom! What varying features these three graces work in each one of these four elect classes! How just, loving and powerful it is to raise the most faithful and severely tried and highest developed of these four classes to the highest station and nature of all—to Priests and Kings on the Divine plane! How just, loving and powerful it is to reward each of the other three classes in nature and office in proportion to their faithfulness, trials and development! Yea, the individuals of each of these four classes are in their own class rewarded in office in proportion to his development, trials and faithfulness. Of course, therein is plainly manifested the Divine justice, love and power. And how well do justice, love and power shine out in the purpose of making the selection of these four elect classes—to use them to give the non-elect race the opportunity to gain everlasting, perfect human life in the earth, turned into a world-wide Paradise! None the less do these three qualities shine out in the selection of Jesus and His faithful Church, among other things, to help the penitent fallen angels to a restoration to their former estate! And who can deny the
Divine justice, love and power that will be displayed, especially in the Christ class's eternal work, supported by the other three elect classes, in bringing to perfection new orders of beings that Jehovah's wisdom, justice, love and power will plan, and that the four elect classes, especially the chief one, will bring into being? Certainly every feature connected with these four elect classes displays a super-human and superangelic justice, love and power.
These three qualities were active in the carnation of Christ. There was no injustice done to the prehuman Christ in making Him human, since He was willing to undergo carnation, in order to become the Executor of God's plan. Justice was satisfied that He undergo it, for in this way only could He give justice the ransom in offset of its demand for Adam's and the race's life. The love that was willing to give up God's dearest treasure and send the Son of His bosom into the world in order to redeem man was, next to the love that gave Him up to the ignominious and excruciating death of the cross, the highest expression of love ever exhibited; and, certainly, only Divine power could have changed Him from the highest Being in the universes of God, except the Father, into the Babe of Bethlehem. Divine justice, love and power guided, guarded and developed Him through the stages of babyhood, childhood, boyhood and youth unto perfect manhood, otherwise He would not have attained the perfection of manhood at 30 years of age. Divine justice, love and power co-operated according to their varying functions in bringing Him to consecration: justice so that His humanity could be presented as a sacrifice satisfactory to justice for mankind's redemption, love so that God could encourage Him to offer His humanity as such a sacrifice, and power enabled Him to make the pertinent consecration to sacrifice. So might each stage of His new-creatureship be shown to be an outflow of the varying operations of justice, love and power—in His begetting, quickening, growth,
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strengthening, balancing, crystallizing and birth as a New Creature. Having made Jesus each pertinent promise, if He would fulfill each pertinent previous condition, justice required that God fulfill each promise on the fulfillment of each pertinent condition. Love delighted to fulfill each of these promises, out of God's appreciation, sympathy and delight to serve Jesus in the advancement of good principles. Only Divine power was capable of fulfilling them to Jesus, particularly raising Him to the Divine nature. These three attributes of God operated in Jesus' exaltation to the Father's right hand, high above every name that is named, and that from the three standpoints mentioned in the last three sentences.
Nothing short of Divine justice, love and power could have been dealing with the Church since Pentecost, to accomplish for it, what has been and will be done for it, until it is made Christ's Joint-heir and Bride. We have already seen the operation of these three qualities in the general work of its election, and will now show it in the special steps of that process. In the instruction that God gives to teach the Church His Word there is justice, which requires that He give it a sufficiency of knowledge to enable it to know what, how and why it should do throughout the various stages of the elective process; for without that knowledge it could not make its calling and election sure. Love acts therein; since it delights in, sympathizes with, and takes pleasure in realizing to it this knowledge, in order that it may derive from it all the enlightenment and energy to enable it to win out. And power lodges in this enlightening and energizing Word to enable it to win out. Also in its justification these three attributes work. In view of the ransom, justice must forgive the Church its sins; love takes pleasure in doing it, and in helping it to overcome sin and to live a righteous life; and power gives it the necessary strength to exercise the faith and duty-love to do these two things.
In the sanctification of the Church the same glorious three graces act. Justice declares itself satisfied by Jesus' imputed righteousness to accept it in consecration. Love is delighted to accept its consecration; because it appreciates and sympathizes with its spirit of consecration, and sees that thereby it can advance good principles for the blessing of the Church and the world. Power of course gives each the strength to consecrate. The same qualities also appear active in the begettal, quickening, growing, strengthening, balancing, crystallizing and birth of the Spirit in the Church, Justice does so, because, God promising each of these blessings in turn on certain conditions, each pertinent condition being fulfilled, each pertinent promise obligates God's justice to fulfill the pertinent promise. Love does the same fulfillings; because of its appreciation of, hearty oneness and sympathy with, and delight to sacrifice for such condition-fulfillers; and nothing short of Divine power could beget, quicken, develop, strengthen, balance, crystallize and bring to birth of the Spirit these consecration-fulfillers at each of its stages; for by these first six steps progressively are the Divine heart and mind cultivated in the Church and by the seventh the Divine body is given it, and thus it is re-created to the Divine, the highest nature. In effecting the Church's deliverance, i.e., giving it victory over sin, error, selfishness, worldliness, death and the grave, these three attributes operate: justice, because God's obligating Himself to give them victory in their conflicts, if faithful, is obligated to give it to them on their proving faithful; love, because it heartily appreciates this and sympathizes with, and delights to give them victory in their faithful struggles; and power, because it is the thing that enables them to struggle on unto victory. Finally, in exalting the Church to joint-heirship and brideship with Christ these glorious attributes work: justice, in that it obligated itself thereto, if the Church would be faithful; love, because it delights in, is in sympathy and hearty oneness with, and delights to promote
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the overcoming Church; since this will advance good principles in blessing, not only the world, but also the new orders of beings that will be created in the Ages of Glory after the Millennium. In dealing with the Ancient Worthies, Great Company and Youthful Worthies in the successive steps of the elective processes toward them, these same qualities operate in the separate steps that they must take—steps that are similar to those that the Church takes. Being in principle similar to those just described, we would have to explain the same processes, if we showed them as working in these; and, therefore, to avoid repetition we will dismiss them with calling attention to the fact.
These same three graces are manifest in God's Gospel-Age and Millennial-Age dealings with the Jews. His Gospel-Age dealings with them have been mainly along wrath lines, with mercy and favor shown toward those of their believing individuals more than to believing Gentile individuals. It was an expression of justice that has been exercising wrath upon them, because of two great reasons: (1) their wanton disobedience to the Mosaic Covenant, which they pledged themselves to obey, and (2) their unbelieving rejection and crucifixion of the Messiah. Justice has, therefore, been pouring out wrath upon them throughout the Gospel-Age for these two gross evils; for had they been rightly disposed by God's favors, they would not have become guilty of these. Nevertheless, God made promise to them, even before they entered into wrath for these things, that He would preserve them unto using them Millennially as a fifth order of the seed of Abraham that would bless the world. And justice has required him to keep this promise, which He has also done. The preservation of Israel intact as a people separate and compact, though scattered to the ends of the earth, exiled from country to country, shuffled from nation to nation as well as within each nation, fiendishly tortured, barbarously persecuted, fiercely discriminated against, feelinglessly kicked and cuffed
about, ruthlessly segregated in the worst parts of cities and towns, scoffingly restricted to the most ignoble occupations, publicly compelled to wear distinctive garbs and marks, socially ostracized, mercilessly subjected to mobs and brutalities and mistreated to the extreme of exhausting the capabilities of these instruments of savagery, is one of the miracles of history. It has been likened to a huge river falling from a great height in Africa into the Atlantic Ocean, separated in its component parts into size of raindrops and tossed about in separated disorder, scattered about in widely disparate drops in its crossing the ocean and finally coming together on the Atlantic shores of South America, all combined and separate and distinct from the waters of the Atlantic! There is love—love in wrath—in this scattering and preservation of Israel, the love that uses the rod to reform and better character, and the love that keeps them as a compact people so that they, humbled and pliant in God's hands, may be available for their own blessing at Messiah's hand in the Millennium and for the blessing of the Gentile world in and with righteousness and restoration to the original estate of unfallen man. And, certainly, there is power manifested, both in their scattering and preservation; for if Divine power had not kept them amid the nightmares through which they have passed since 66 A. D., surely fleshly Israel must have perished.
Equally do we recognize these three graces in Israel's restoration to God's favor and in their return to their land. Ever since 1878 the blindness and hardness that came upon Israel for rejecting the Messiah has been slowly passing away; and their eyes are opening more and more to a better understanding of Him, which is resulting in their prejudice melting away as the frost melts before the sun's warmth. In this we recognize the justice of God that put this blindness and hardness upon them for the period of 1845 years (33 to 1878), the same length of time as they had and abused Divine favor (from the death of Jacob,
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1813, B. C., to that of Jesus, 33 A. D.). And as the blindness and hardness came gradually upon them, so are they being gradually removed from them. The sentence of justice, that they must suffer for abusing His favor as long as they abused it, having been completed in 1878, it appropriately began in that year to be removed from them, through the beginning of the circulation of Delitzsch's Hebrew translation of the New Testament. In returning favor to them, of course, love is manifest, for love is favor, and is intended to bring them into harmony with good principles, and to make them instruments to spread good principles in the blessing of others. Certainly nothing short of Divine power could turn away such blindness and hardness [prejudice] from Israel as we see taking place before our eyes. Their return to their land is another evidence of God's returning favor, and curiously enough, it began legally in 1878, by the Berlin Congress of Nations' requiring the Turk to ameliorate Palestinian conditions on behalf of the Jews and to permit larger numbers of them to return. The return has been greatly accelerated by Britain's putting the Balfour declaration into operation. And though of late Britain, in following a short-sighted appeasement policy in Palestine, as well as in Europe, has limited Israel's return, God will bring such pressure to bear upon Britain, perhaps through the recent war, etc., that will force it to permit a freer return of Israel to Palestine. In all this justice, that keeps its promises, is at work. Love, too, is at work in this, to bless Israel unto the advancement of them in good principles, and later through them unto the advancement of such principles among the Gentile nations. And, of course, it is an expression of power, that has been and will be opening Palestine for Israel's return. The unconsecrated but faithful tentatively justified of the Gospel Age undergo similar experiences for similar reasons, which also manifests the same three glorious graces; for these and the believing Jews will be associated as the
fifth elect class in a Millennial world-wide work, hence their similar preparation for that work.
The uses that God will make of the believing Jews and the unconsecrated but faithful tentatively justified of the Gospel Age in the Millennium will be an exhibition of justice, love and power. First of all, these attributes will act in blessing these two parts of the fifth elect class with full enlightenment and opportunities of restitution and in giving restitution to them as they obey. God having promised this, His justice obligates Him to fulfill His promises; and thus these blessings will come to them as expressions of justice. In another sense justice will give them these blessings: Jesus then applying His merit to the satisfaction of all its claims against them, justice will be satisfied to see them receive these blessings. Love, too, will then act: love that forebears and forgives, love that is long suffering and kind, love that is gracious and merciful, love that is good and generous, will delight to pour out its blessings upon them, in order, first, to bring them into harmony with good principles, and, later, to use them to help others into harmony with such principles. The power of God that will smite the curse into oblivion and fill the earth with knowledge and goodness, overthrowing all obstacles thereto and instituting every condition conducive thereto, will operate mightily in their favor to secure these ends, and thus will be fulfilled toward Israel and the Gospel-Age unconsecrated but faithful tentatively justified the good things that God promised them in His plan.
These same glorious qualities mark the plan's course toward the good angels in their ministry in the Second World. It is certainly in harmony with justice to have rewarded their loyalty with the honor of ministering the Old Testament revelation. This was also a loving thing, inasmuch as that revelation is a feature of administrating good principles for the good of others. Likewise it is an evidence of power, e.g., the giving of the Mosaic Covenant at Sinai at their hands was a
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marvelous exercise of power, among other ways, by causing the mountain and surrounding earth to quake, and to work on the minds of Moses, the prophets and other writers of the Old Testament so as to reproduce God's thoughts in the words that He designed, as Biblical numerics show, evidenced power at work. Their ministry toward the good in providential ways likewise displays these three qualities: justice, because having covenanted to protect them, it is just to fulfill the promise; love, because this is from appreciation of, sympathy with, and ministering to the just; and power, because they exert all the Divine pressure needed to accomplish the protection of the righteous. Similarly, in executing the Divinely arranged punishment of the oppressors of God's people these same principles are active, e.g., in the destruction of Sodom, etc., in the death of the firstborn of Egypt, in the overthrow of the Egyptian hosts in the Red Sea, in the overthrow of Sennacherib's host, in the death of the Persian conspirators that sought Daniel's life, in the humiliation of Nebuchadnezzar and in the death of Herod, the justice of God, as exercised by the good angels, is manifest. It was also love in wrath that thus delivered the good and punished the evil for their Millennial reformation; and, of course, power worked therein, as they are mainly expressions of power.
Again, the uses that God makes of wicked angels and men as means of furnishing God's people certain features of their training—endurance of obstacles—fitting them for God's future purpose, are just, loving and powerful. It is not unjust either to the wicked or to the righteous, for it does not force the wicked in any way to commit the pertinent wrongs, since they do so led on by their own depravity, and it is not unjust to the righteous, since it ultimately blesses them; and the sufferings that the wicked undergo for so doing are an expression of justice punishing them for their wrong-doing. It is a loving thing, since it is a means of ennobling the righteous; and since it is a
part of the program involving either the punishment of, or destruction upon the wicked, it tends to insure the destruction of evil, a necessary accompaniment of establishing good principles everlastingly. And, naturally, it requires power to overrule the machinations of the wicked for the good of the righteous, as power expresses itself in the pertinent rewards of the righteous and punishments of the wicked. Thus ultimately the machinations of wicked angels and men under Divine rule inures to righteousness and holiness.
In God's Millennial ways these three qualities will operate. It was shown above that there will be ten great purposes effected in the Millennium, and each one of them is a most glorious manifestation of these three qualities. Briefly will we point this out in each of these ten purposes. (1, 2) The resurrection of the elect classes and their establishment as God's Kingdom, as the first two of these, is just, as a reward of the righteous, as a just acknowledgment of the ransom and as a means of establishing righteousness. It is loving, as a delightsome gift to the good and as a gracious ministry in the interests of goodness. It is powerful, as a work that is the most difficult ever done—the re-creation of the identical persons on various planes of being. (3) To suppress evil and establish good conditions in their very nature self-evidently imply the exercise of justice, love and power; and, therefore, their mere statement suffices, without further reasoning on them. (4) To awaken the dead is self-evidently an act of power, also of love, when its object is kept in mind, as its justice is evident as an effect of the ransom, in setting aside the Adamic sentence, as putting them under the Kingdom necessarily is an expression of power and of love, when its object is kept in mind, likewise of justice toward Christ, in view of His ransoming them for that purpose. (5) Self-evidently, to influence them favorably toward Christ is in view of the ransom a matter of justice, in view of the purpose a matter of love, and in view of its
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intricacy a matter of power. (6) There need be no discussion of the justice, love and power in rewarding good and punishing evil for reformatory purposes, as such are the very nature of the activities of these qualities. (7) In view of the ransom it is, of course, just to give them the blessings of the experiences with righteousness, and love and power must be active in giving them. (8, 9) Self-evidently justice, love and power must act in giving the race a final trial, for it to demonstrate whether it will choose good or evil and to pronounce sentence accordingly. (10) To execute the sentence of destruction upon the incorrigible will be just; because they under trial will have refused to use life under the condition upon which its continuance was offered. It will be a matter of love to the wicked, as it will prevent their eternal unhappiness, and to the righteous, to preserve them from an eternal menace to their happiness; and, of course, power will work in inflicting that sentence. On the other hand, to give eternal life to the righteous will be just; since they will by their obedience have fulfilled the condition made for its obtaining. It will be a matter of love; for thereby good principles will be made possible of practice forever; and, of course, Divine power must be exercised to give and continue these.
The way in which the secret, and to man the confused, plan has been hidden in the Bible is also an expression of these three qualities. Both justice and love operate in hiding it from the unfit, lest they be put on trial at a time in which they could not overcome; and it certainly is a very powerful thing mentally, morally and religiously so to have constructed the Bible as to hide its thoughts from the unfit. On the other hand, this peculiar form in which the plan is hidden is an expression of justice, love and power, so far as the righteous are concerned, for justice requires that they undergo the involved trials, if it would reward them with life; love works therein; for it uses this matter for the better development of qualities in
harmony with good principles; and power cooperates in this matter for such development. For the same reasons as this peculiar structure of the Bible is an expression of justice, love and power, toward the unbelief class and toward the faith class, are the gradual revelation of the Bible and the gradual clarifying of its meaning, and that in due time, an expression of justice, love and power. Conversely, we remark that in none of the features of the plan above treated, nor in any other of its features, can there be pointed out one breach against the highest form of wisdom, justice, love and power. It would be largely a matter of repetition, if we should go over these matters to show this negative feature of the Bible's plan, but the closest examination of them will result in the demonstration of this feature as to the plan. This positive agreement of the plan with the highest form of perfect wisdom, justice, love and power, and the absence in the plan above outlined of any disagreement of any of its parts with such qualities, coupled with the fact that every feature is an outflow and manifestation of these four qualities are the strongest possible proof of the Bible's being a Divine revelation, for these things are self-evidence of its super-human and super-angelic, i.e., Divine origin.
Having seen that the salient features of the plan set forth in the Bible prove that it is a Divine revelation and that these features are an outflow of, and in harmony with a super-human and super-angelic, i.e., Divine wisdom, justice, love and power, and, therefore, also prove the Bible to be a Divine revelation, we now proceed to show that the attributes of being and character that it ascribes to God are a proof of the Bible's being a Divine revelation. First, we will show how the attributes of being that the Bible ascribes to God prove the Bible to be a Divine revelation. For details on these attributes we refer our readers to our book, God, 27-66. We will here mention each of God's fourteen main attributes of being, with a brief definition of each
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of them: personality: the quality of a being that is endowed with intellect, sensibilities and will; corporeality: the quality of a being that has a body; for God is not simply a great mind without a body; spirituality: the quality of a being that has a body that consists of spiritual substances, in God's case perhaps life-principle; self-existence: the quality of a being that does not depend upon anything outside of itself for being or continuing to be; eternity: the quality of a being that always has been, is and always shall be; self-sufficiency: the quality of a being that has in and of himself all that he needs for his being, character, plans and works, and needs nothing to supply any lack, since he has no lack; immortality: the quality of a being that is death-proof, that cannot die; invisibility: the quality of a being that makes him impossible of being seen by any material creature without its killing him, but is visible to spirit beings; unity: the quality of a being that makes him but one person; omnipotence: the quality of a being that enables him to do anything that he wills; omniscience: the quality of a being that enables him to know everything that he desires to know; omnipresence: the quality of a being that enables him to be, not in his body, but in his attributes, especially in his omnipotence and omniscience, wherever he wishes to be; supremacy: the quality of a being that makes him a superior over all persons and things; and unfathomableness: the quality of a being that, though permitting him to be comprehensible in part, makes him incomprehensible in part. These fourteen qualities are the main attributes of God's being set forth in the Bible in its revelation of Him as a being.
It will now be shown that each one of these attributes of being is set forth in the Bible as those of Him as a being. We will here merely give the pertinent citations, referring our readers to our book, God, 27-66, for general details thereon. The Bible reveals God as having the quality of personality, i.e., He is a being who thinks, feels and wills, as the following passages prove:
(a) He thinks: Josh. 22:22; Is. 44:8; Job. 36:4; Ps. 44:21; Matt. 6:8; Luke 16:15; Acts 15:18; Rom. 8:29; 2 Tim. 2:19; 1 John 3:20; (b) He feels: Ps. 103:13; John 16:27; Ex. 34:6; Heb. 11:5; Ps. 30; 4; Ex. 20:5; Ps. 7:9; 1 Pet. 3:20; John 3:16; Ps. 25:6; (c) He wills: Matt. 6:10; 7:21; Luke 22:42; Acts 21:14; Gal. 1:4; Eph. 1:11; 1 Thes. 4:3; 1 Cor. 12:11; Heb. 6:17; 2 Pet. 3:9. Besides these and numerous others that attribute to God the essential elements of personality, other passages, like the following, reveal Him to us to be a person: Ex. 8:10; 15:11; 20:3; 34:14; Deut. 4:35; 5:7; 6:4; 10:17; 1 Sam. 2:2; 7:3; 2 Kings 17:36; 19:15; Is. 40:25; 44:6; 45:21; Jer. 10:10; 32:27; Matt. 23:9; John 17:3; Eph. 4:6; Heb. 1:3. The Bible reveals God as having the attribute of corporeality, i.e., He is a Being who has not simply personality, i.e., a disposition, but also a body. The following passages imply that God has a body: John 5:37; Ex. 33:20-23; John 4:24, compared with 1 Cor. 15:44-49; Heb. 1:3; passages that speak of His dwelling in heaven imply it, e.g., Ps. 73:25; Matt. 5:16, 45; 6:9, etc., etc. The Bible reveals God as having the quality of spirituality, i.e., as having a body consisting of one or more spiritual substances: Acts 17:29; John 4:24, compared with 1 Cor. 15:50; 44-49; Heb. 1:7, 14. The Bible reveals God as having the attribute of self-existence. The following passages so reveal Him: Ex. 3:14; Deut. 32:40; Job 35:6-8; Is. 44:6. The Bible reveals God to have the quality of eternity, as the following passages show: Deut. 33:27; Job 36:26; Ps. 41:13; 90:1, 2; 93:2; 102:27; Is. 57:15; Jer. 10:10; Heb. 1:12; Rom. 1:20; 1 Tim. 1:17 (A. R. V.); Rev. 4:8, 9; 16:5. The Bible reveals God as a being having the attribute of self-existence as the following Scriptures manifest: Acts 17:25; Job 35:6-8. Again, the Bible reveals God as a being who has the quality of immortality. This is evident from the following citations:
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1 Tim. 6:16; compare 2 Pet. 1:4 with 1 Cor. 15:53, 54; John 5:26; 1 Tim. 1:17.
There are, among others, seven others that it also reveals. The first of these is invisibility to His material creatures, who cannot see Him and live, as the following verses prove: 1 Tim. 6:16; Deut. 4:15; Ex. 33; 18, 20, 23; 1 Kings 8:12; Job 23:8, 9; Ps. 18:11; 97:2; John 1:18; 5:37; 6:46; Col. 1:15; 1 Tim. 1:17 (A. R. V.); Heb. 11:27. Unity is another attribute of God as a being revealed in the Bible, as the passages now to be cited show: Deut. 6:4; 1 Kings 8:60; Is. 42:8; John 17:3; 1 Cor 8:4-6; Gal. 3:20; 1 Tim. 2:5; Jas. 2:19; 1 Tim. 1:17 (A. R. V.); Jude 25 (A. R. V.). Another attribute of being in God is Biblically revealed—omnipotence as the accompanying Scriptures prove: Ps. 115:3; Is. 46:10, 11; Job 23:13, 14; Is. 43:13; Job 42:2; Matt. 19:26; Luke 1:37; Gen. 17:1; 18:14; Is. 26:4; Rev. 19:6; 21:22; Ex. 15:6-12; Num. 11:23; 23:20; Deut. 3:24; 7:27; Dan. 4:35; Is. 31:3; Jer. 32:17, 27; Job 26:11, 14; 40:9; 41:10, 11; Is. 14:24, 27; Matt. 10:28. The Bible reveals omniscience as an attribute of God's being, as can be seen in these Scriptures: Job 12:13, 22; Rom. 11:33; 1 John 3:20; Ps. 1:6; Prov. 5:21; Rom. 8:27; 2 Tim. 2:19; 1 Cor. 3:20; Jer. 23:24; Ps. 92:5; 104:24; 136:5; 147:4; Is. 42:9; 44:7; Matt. 24:36; Acts 15:18. Again, the Bible reveals God as a being possessing omnipresence, as instance these verses: Gen. 28:16; 1 Kings 8:27; Ps. 139:3, 5, 7-10; Jer. 23:23, 24; Acts 17:24, 27, 28. God's supremacy is another of His attributes of being revealed in the Bible, (a) as to ownership of all things: Gen. 14:19; Rev. 4:11; (b) as to control of nature: Job 38:33; Jer. 31:35; 33:25; (c) as to giving laws to all: Ex. 20:2; Matt. 22:37; (d) as to trying men: Deut. 13:1; 1 Cor. 11:19; (e) as to bestowing favors: Rom. 9:22; 2 Tim. 2:25; (f) as to disposing of men's lives: Gen. 22:2; 1 Sam. 16 2; (g) as to His judging men and nations: Dan. 4:17; Rom. 12:19; 1 Cor. 6:3; Rev. 11:18; (h) as to our
Lord Jesus: John 10:20; 14:28; 1 Cor. 3:23; 11:3; 15:24, 27, 28; Phil. 2:8; Eph. 1:17; 1 Pet. 1:3; Heb. 1:8, 9; (i) as recognized ultimately by all: 1 Cor. 15:28; Phil. 2:9-11; Rev. 5:12, 13; 19:6; Ps. 47:2, 3, 7, 8. And, finally, the Bible reveals unfathomableness as an attribute of God's being, as the following Scriptures show: Deut. 29:29; Job 5:8, 9; 11:7; 26:14; 36:26; 37:5, 23; Ps. 139:6; 145:3; Eccl. 11:5; Is. 40:28; Rom. 11:33, 34.
Thus we have shown that the Bible reveals God's attributes of being as consisting, among others, mainly of fourteen of them. As we consider these attributes we must conclude that God in His being is superlatively excellent; that His person is superlatively sublime; that His person unites every desirable quality for a spirit being to have; that there is no perfection of spirit being that could be added to Him; and that He lacks no attribute of being pertinent to supreme excellency, sublimity and perfection. So wonderful a being as He is in His attributes of person calls forth from us the supreme sentiments of wonder, awe, reverence, worship, praise, adoration and worship. They make Him, so far as attributes of person are concerned, worthy of being what He is set forth in the Bible as being—the supreme Being. There is no attribute of being in Him of which we need be ashamed, apologize for or hide from others for fear of their rejecting Him for some imperfection, some self-contradiction, some crudity, or some absurdity, as can be charged against some creedal views of God's person, e.g., that His unity consists of three persons, that His omnipresence consists of the extension of His body throughout the universe, and yet its entire inclusion in the smallest possible part of every electron in the universe. Nay, let us study every one of them, let us analyze every feature of every one of them, let us search them as thoroughly as our finite minds are capable of searching them out, and they will stand before our sanctified reason as reasonable in the highest degree, excellent, sublime, perfect and appropriate.
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We can think of no perfection of the Divine nature not present in Him. He has in His attributes of being everything that we can imagine the Supreme Being to need for His absolute perfection in every particular. Such, and no less than such, is the Supreme Being that the Bible reveals to be such.
Contrast His attributes of being with the attributes of being that heathenism has ascribed to its gods, and immediately the unrivaled superiority of the attributes of being that the Scriptures ascribe to God shine out above the attributes of being that heathenism has ascribed and ascribes to its deity, rather deities. We will not institute this comparison with the deities of lower heathen religions. We will take the two highest, the deities of the Greeks and the deities of the ancient Germanic nations, i.e., the Teutonic and Scandinavian nations. Of these two sets of deities the Germanic nations in the revelation that they received (theirs came from Satan) developed a doctrine of their gods nobler by far than that of the Greek gods. While the latter made beauty the main feature of their mythologies respecting their gods, the former made righteousness the main feature of their mythologies as to their gods. But both of these in the attributes of being that they ascribe to their gods fall far below the attributes of being that the Bible ascribes to Jehovah. Confessedly the divine attributes of person that these two mythologies ascribe to the gods do not in their entirety inhere in any one of their gods, but are in piecemeal distributed among them, so that these are ascribed in their entirety compositely and not to any single one of their gods. This, of course, shows the inferiority of every one of them to Jehovah in person. Furthermore, every one of the attributes of being that they compositely ascribe to all their gods is inferior in reasonableness, nobility, excellency, sublimity, perfection, utility and appropriateness to the corresponding attribute that the Bible ascribes to God. Thus qualitatively and quantitatively Jehovah in the attributes of being ascribed to Him in the Bible is
superior to each and all of these gods in the attributes of being that their mythologies ascribe to them, which, of course favors the Bible as a Divine revelation.
Certainly, the Norse (Germanic) mythology presents a finer set of gods as to attributes of being than the Grecian mythology does. Hence to illustrate this line of thought we will instance the chief god of the Norsemen, who developed their mythology into higher forms than the other Germanic nations did with the same general myths as their common possession. Odin was their chief god, who was in every way a better being than Zeus, the chief of the Grecian gods. We will, therefore, compare him in his attributes of being with those of God; and immediately the superiority of the God revealed in the Bible to the supreme god revealed in the Norse mythology appears. Both have personality attributed to them in their separate revelations, but the intellect, sensibilities and will ascribed by the Bible to Jehovah are as high above those ascribed to Odin by the Norse mythology as the heaven is above the earth. The latter's intellect is circumscribed; it is puzzled by problems, many of which it confessedly cannot grasp; it forgets things: and at times overlooks pertinent matters, and it at times draws false conclusions. His affections often cleave to vain things and repeatedly His will is thwarted. Nothing of this kind is found in Jehovah. Thus in personality He is incomparably superior to Odin. As to corporeality, so sublime, etc., is Jehovah's body that human language cannot describe it, nor human mind grasp it; hence no attempt is made in the Bible to describe it, while Odin's body was quite mundane in the descriptions given it in the Norse mythology. He was a big overgrown man in his body, having a great long beard. While he is set forth as an immense, man of fine mien and form, he is nevertheless of necessity made to appear distinctly inferior in corporeality to Jehovah. As to spirituality of bodily substance, while the Norse mythology claimed that Odin was a spirit being, it made his body consist of refined
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material substances, which at once proves the inferiority of his body; for it needed food and drink to sustain it, a thing that not only proves its non-spirituality, but sets him forth as very inferior to Jehovah, who is self-existent, an attribute that Odin did not have, proven by his having to eat, drink and sleep, as well as to perform Acts implied in eating and drinking. Odin is in the Norse mythology not set forth as eternal; for he is therein described as having been born, i.e., as having a beginning; and in Ragnarok—the Norse end of the world—he is to die. His being one of many gods, unity in a monotheistic sense would be a misnomer applied to him, because of his relation to other gods.
Nor does the Norse mythology ascribe self-existence to Odin. His having been born and his requiring nourishment and shelter prove the reverse of it as to him. Nor does the Norse mythology ascribe self-sufficiency to him. He had to be assisted in his work, in the solution of some of his problems, in some of his fights and in some of his debates. Hence he is not in the Norse mythology revealed as self-sufficient, as the Bible God Is. Immortality is expressly denied him in the Norse mythology; for according to it he is to be killed in the battle of Ragnarok. He was revealed as invisible, but his invisibility was of a distinctly lower kind that that of Jehovah; for whereas no human being can see God's body and live, Odin's body was often seen by humans, according to the Norse mythology, without their being thereby killed. Odin is not revealed in Norse mythology as omnipotent, i.e., able to do anything that he willed. Though there set forth as very mighty, many things were beyond his power, else, e.g., he would not have to endure death while fighting in Ragnarok. While he is set forth as the wisest of the gods; his knowledge was very circumscribed, so much so that he was baffled by many problems, and frequently had to consult other gods for advice. Nor does the Norse Mythology set him forth as omnipresent, in the sense in which Jehovah is present everywhere in the extension of His
attributes, especially of wisdom, justice, love and power throughout all space and things. On the contrary, to exercise his volitions he had to be present physically wherever he desired to accomplish anything personally. Nor is he set forth in the Norse mythology as supreme; frequently he had to submit to superior power; and a combination of the other gods, particularly if Thor, the god of war and power, was in the combination, outmatched him in power; and the fact that he will be killed in battle proves that, while he was the chief god of the Germanic nations, he was not supreme as the Bible reveals God to be. Nor does the Norse mythology reveal him as unfathomable. The other gods fathomed him repeatedly; and his needing their advice at times proves his fathomableness. Thus he is as distinctly inferior to Jehovah in attributes of being as the earth is inferior to heaven.
If the noblest of all heathen revelations sets forth its chief god as so inferior to Jehovah in attributes of being, what shall we say of a comparison in attributes of being between Jehovah and the chief god of the Greeks, the Egyptians, the Babylonians, the Chinese, the Japanese, the Hindoos, the North and South American Indians, etc.? The Bible assures us that Satan and the fallen angels have been the revealers of the heathen religions, as they have also been their gods (Deut. 32:17; Lev. 17:7; Ps. 106:37; 1 Cor. 8:5; 10:20, 21; 1 Tim. 4:1; 2 Cor. 4:3, 4; 11:14; John 8:44). Their worst revelations are seen in the most degraded of heathen religions held by the aborigines of Africa and some of the isles of the Pacific. But their very best revelations—those given the Germanic nations, especially in their Norse representatives, and the Persians, the latter getting their best ideas from the Old Testament, are in their teachings on the attributes of being in their gods so inferior to those that the Bible attributes to God that we are warranted in concluding that the revelation of the attributes of God's being given in the Bible cannot have been invented by Satan and the
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fallen angels. Their best performances in this respect being so very inferior to that of the Bible, we can fairly conclude that they are incapable of making such a revelation.
Nor can human beings invent so glorious a personality in attributes of being as Jehovah. Thrown upon their own resources without the aid of the Bible, some of them, atheists, have denied His existence altogether, and thus do not come within the category of God-believers and teachers as to His attributes of being. The same may be said of agnostics, who profess not to know that there is a God, and incline to deny His existence. Materialists are little better than these; for, denying the existence of a personal God, they really deify nature, and, of course, cannot attribute to their newly-made god the glorious attributes of being that the Bible ascribes to God. Pantheists are little better than materialists; for, while they teach that all things constitute God, they claim that He attains personality in man alone, the highest form that their God attains. Here, again, we see its inferiority as to attributes of being to the God of the Bible. Deists, again, while teaching the existence of a personal God, are so nebulous in their views of Him that they do not in hardly any particular approximate any one of the attributes of being revealed in the Bible of God. What shall we say of the creedal views, the mixed products of the Bible, of man's reasoning and of Satanic delusions None of them teach the Bible fullness of God's attributes of being. Some of them teach part of them fairly correctly, but others of them grossly misrepresent some of these, e.g., self-sufficiency, unchangeableness (not enumerated above), omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence and unity; and some others of these they do not teach at all, e.g., corporeality. While the creeds of Christendom on the subject of God's attributes of being got some help from the Bible directly, in the heathen religions Satan gave them his perverted representations of some Biblical features of the Deity, which
he failed to do completely in the creeds of Christendom, not even in the papacy's creed, which contains his chief counterfeits on God's attributes of being.
Accordingly, we see that the Biblical doctrine of the Divine attributes of being did not come from the heathen, who even in their best efforts were more or less deluded on the subject by Satan. Further, we see that the Bible fullness on it did not result from the best efforts of unaided man. Moreover, it did not come from the creed-builders, who measurably used the Bible in their efforts to attain Truth on the subject. All the false religions in the world, coming as they do in whole or in part from the fallen angels, are proof positive that the fallen angels could not have thought out such marvelous attributes of God's being as the Bible presents them. Their nature and character are of such an exalted degree as to be the teaching-product of a super-human and super-angelic source. Hence we present the kind of a being that the Bible reveals as endowed with the attributes of being described above as a strong proof of the Divine origin of the Bible as a revelation.
That it is a Divine revelation becomes all the more apparent when we consider the elements and attributes of character that the Bible ascribes to the God that it reveals; for none other than the Supreme Being could have arisen to the exalted heights of thought capable of revealing such a character. Generally speaking, it presents Him negatively as having a righteous attitude toward evil, whereby He abhors, avoids and opposes it, and positively as having holy affections, as having all the graces, as having strength in every element of character, as having the higher primary graces in domination of all His other affections and graces, and as having these in crystallization and absolute and highest perfection. These are merely the elements of His character as revealed in the Bible. It reveals particulars as to these. It reveals Him in His higher and lower primary graces and in His secondary and tertiary graces. Thus as to His higher primary graces, it reveals Him as supreme in the possession and exercise of wisdom,
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i.e., able supremely to apply Ibis omniscience, in ways whereby He secures good results, a wisdom that operates in the widest possible spheres of the physical, mental, artistic, moral and religious worlds with unerring exactness and good results (Rom. 11:33, 34; Eph. 1:8; 1 Tim. 1:17). Thus it also reveals Him as having perfect power, strength of character, acting executively in self-control and perseverance in furthering His plans and purposes (Gen. 17:1; Ps. 115:3; Matt. 19:26; Luke 1:37; Rev. 19:6). So, too, it reveals Him as having and exercising perfect justice, duty-love (Ex. 20:4; Ps. 89:14; Jer. 50:7). And, then, it reveals Him as having and exercising perfect charity, disinterested love (John 3:16; Rom. 5:8; Tit. 3:4; 1 John 4:8-10, 19). All four of these attributes are symbolically pictured as His in Rev. 4:6, 7; Ezek. 1:5-14, and are expressly or impliedly revealed in job 37:23; Jer. 9:24; Deut. 32:4. Their acting harmoniously with one another is symbolically set forth in Ezek. 1:5-14. We have above shown how the salient features of God's plan revealed in the Bible are in harmony with supreme perfect wisdom, justice, love and power. But they do more than harmonize with supreme perfect wisdom, justice, love and power. While so doing, they reveal these as the dominating attributes of God's character; for not only are the salient features of the Bible plan harmonious with wisdom, justice, love and power, and not only are all of the features of the Bible plan harmonious therewith; but all these are revelatory of supreme and perfect wisdom, justice, love and power as the chief and dominating attributes of God's character. Details on these qualities are found in E1, 67-140.
But the Bible reveals more than supreme and perfect wisdom, justice, love and power as characterizing the God that it reveals. It also reveals Him as having the lower primary graces, on which we have given details in E1, 141-202. Here we will offer merely generalities. He is set forth in the Bible as having perfect self-esteem that works in perfect self-confidence, self-satisfaction and self-respect; and He is there also set forth
as having perfect approbativeness, in which He desires that others in confidence, satisfaction and respect esteem Him for what He is and does. He is there presented as being at perfect peace amid all conditions, plagued by no perplexity or anxiety. As a warrior for Truth and righteousness He is in the Bible represented as exercising the perfect combativeness of such a warrior acting defensively for right and the good, as He is there represented as acting aggressively in the destruction of evil and in the establishment of Truth and righteousness. The Bible discloses Him as secretive in hiding whatever would work injury, if not kept undisclosed, as He is there manifested as exercising the cautiousness that secures the good from danger and injury. The Bible represents Him as being acquisitive of good, as well as economical as to the use of good. He is there disclosed as having the love of life and of spiritual thought. Moreover, the Bible reveals Him as exercising real spiritual conjugality toward the covenant as His symbolic wife, and as an ideal Father to His children, mothered by the covenant. Toward the justified He exercises the finest of all friendships, as He also exercises the finest of domesticity toward His home members and the best of all patriotism as to the sphere of the Truth and its Spirit as His country. Thus God has and exercises in absolute and highest perfection all of the lower primary graces, according to the Bible.
The same absolute and highest perfection characterizes His secondary graces as these are displayed in the pertinent Bible passages and incidences. According to the Bible's passages and examples He is truly humble and modest, wondrously industrious, brave and candid, remarkably longsuffering, forbearing and forgiving, truly kind and generous, and incomparably self-sacrificing and thoughtful. So, too, does He suppress by His higher primary graces any expression of His social qualities—conjugality, fatherliness, friendship, domesticity and patriotism—that would make these control His sentiments and acts. Accordingly, impartiality and non-partisanship, under the control of wisdom, justice,
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love and power, govern the sentiments and expression of His social affections, as the higher primary graces also control His selfish sentiments and their expressions. Thus in His secondary graces the Bible presents Him as absolutely and supremely perfect (God, 203-282). The same is the case with His tertiary graces. Where can such meekness—submissiveness to the Truth and its Spirit—be found as the Bible reveals in Jehovah? How beautifully it displays His zeal toward Truth and righteousness and their cause and participants! His joy is so wondrously revealed therein that it designates it by the expression, "the joy of the Lord." In all His dealings He stands in the Bible as the embodiment of gentleness, a fact that our experiences corroborate. His moderation in thought, motive, word and acts shines out on every page of the Bible. His magnanimity, Biblically called, goodness, is written all over the Bible; and our experiences also show this quality to be His. His obedience (which, contrasted with meekness, is the active, whereas meekness is the passive feature of living in subjection to the principles of the Truth and its Spirit) is revealed in the Bible as fulfilling every behest of wisdom, power, justice and love harmoniously blended. And, finally, His faithfulness is so absolute in the highest degree of perfection that it can successfully withstand any strain placed upon it, according to the Bible's passages and examples. We have abstained from citing Bible passages and examples in proof of its revealing His lower primary, His secondary and His tertiary graces in absolute and highest perfection for lack of space. These can be found in E1, 283-334.
The Bible not only reveals God as having in absolute and highest perfection all the higher and lower primary graces, but also in such perfection all the secondary and tertiary graces. And not only so, but it reveals them as existing and acting in God in absolute and highest strength, balance and crystallization, so that His character is wholly free from any lack, blemish or imperfection. How beautiful and sublime is the character
that the Bible discloses as God's! How praiseworthy, worshipful and adorable is He for having so exalted a character as the Bible ascribes to Him! His character needs no apology; it is sufficient to meet aright every contingency; it surmounts every obstacle; and it emerges from every experience unsullied by evil and triumphant in righteousness and goodness. It is a character that elicits love, that wins confidence, that inspires hope, that arouses devotion, and that produces faithfulness. It never disappoints; it never repels; it never leads to delusions; it never brings the loyal to despair; and it never falls short in ideals and acts. The enlightened Bible believer never needs to be ashamed of God's character, doubt its reliability, despair of its loyalty, blush for its acts, or concede in debate any imperfection in its performances or sentiments. Nay, it stands before the minds and hearts of the truly enlightened believer as the acme of goodness, the climax of virtue, the highest example of faithfulness, the admiration of the good and the wonder of the clear-headed and truehearted.
It is incomparably superior to the greatest characters invented by Satan and the fallen angels. Comparing it with that of the Greek and Roman gods, we find it incomparably superior to that of any of them. Jupiter, Zeus, their highest god, was a mixture of depravity, stupidity and inefficiency. His rapes, rages, quarrels, murders, falsehoods and treacheries prove him to be a most despicable character. The jealousies, envies and unchastities of Juno are proverbial. Venus is the very apotheosis of impurity. Almost all of the Grecian and Roman gods, though varyingly so, are a set of rakes and dissolutes. We turn away from them in disgust. What shall we say of the gods of the ancient Egyptians, Babylonians, Moabites, Ammonites, Philistines, Phoenicians, Syrians, Hittites, etc.? As to character they are unworthy of mention in the same breath with the God of Biblical revelation. What shall we say of the character of the gods of India, China, Japan, Tibet and Oceania? Again it must in truth be said that
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they are unworthy of mention in the same breath as the God of Biblical revelation. If we compare the character of the God of the Bible with the character of the best gods of heathenism—those of Persia, the Germanic nations and the North and South American Indians, all of whom were of better characters than those heathen gods referred to above in this paragraph, we must again place them, as far as character is concerned, as distinctly beneath that of Jehovah. From this process of comparison the God revealed in the Bible emerges as superior to the Satan-and demon-invented gods as heaven is better than earth, day than night, light than darkness, truth than error, righteousness than sin, love than selfishness and good than evil.
Man never did nor ever could invent so beautiful, glorious and sublime a character as that of the God revealed in the Bible. As we trace the views of God presented by the founders of the world religions—Buddhism, Confucianism, Shintoism, Taoism, Maneism, Zoroastrianism and Mohammedanism—we find their views of God's attributes of being, and especially of character, as a deep abyss, while those of God as Biblically revealed are as a Mt. Everest. If we look into the views of the world's great philosophers who were not Christians—Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Maimonides, Spinoza, Hobbes, Hume, Voltaire, Rousseau, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Comte, (J. S.) Mill, Spencer, Hartmann, etc., their views of God's being and character appear as crude speculations in contrast with the reasonable, factual, beautiful and sublime revelations of the Bible on God's attributes of being and character. If we enter the sphere of the speculations of non-Christian scientists, such as Lamarck, Wallace, Weismann, Lyell, Darwin, Huxley, Tindal, Helmholz, Haeckel, Osborn, etc., we find nothing satisfying in their views of Deity in His person and character; indeed they are almost silent on the subject, having almost nothing to present thereon. They and the philosophers mentioned above were among the ablest intellects
of the human race, and arose on the subject of God's person and character as high as human ability could do, but with all their ability and searching they could give nothing on the person and character of God that is worth while; and at best it is incomparably inferior to the Bible's revelation on those subjects. Its revelations on God's attributes of being and character are unique and most excellent.
Whence did the writers of the Bible get these views? We have seen that they could not have gotten them from the fallen angels, since these have over and over again proven themselves incapable of inventing them, in view of the attributes of being and character that they ascribe to the gods of their invention. We have further seen that the greatest philosophers and scientists, much less so philosophers and scientists inferior to these, could not have invented them. Moreover, a combination of fallen angels, philosophers and scientists could not have thought them out, as their failures at such a thing prove abundantly. Certainly, if they were uninspired humans, the writers of the Bible, less able, for the most part, than these great philosophers and scientists, could not have developed the Bible views of God's attributes of being and character. The only answer to the question as to what is the source of such views of God's attributes of being and character, therefore, remains this: The writers of the Bible were given super-human and super-angelic illumination whereby they wrote out the thoughts that disclose God's attributes of being and character as these are revealed in the Bible. And this, the sole answer to the above-stated question, unanswerably proves that, so far as the Bible's teachings on the attributes of being and character of the God whom it reveals are concerned, it is a Divine revelation; and this goes a great way toward proving that the bulk of the Bible is a Divine revelation, since its teachings on the subject of God's attributes of being and character are interspersed throughout the Bible, and are inseparably mingled with its other teachings.