The Mystery of Eternal Life Revealed
Christ is coming soon and will reign on earth

 

Dear friends, if our appeal to you is earnest, it is because the subject upon which we address you is an important one. It is a subject upon which hangs our eternal destiny. The perplexities of the present evil world and the greed for gain of the temporalities of life so engross the minds of this generation that the great vital question of the life that is to come is thought but little of, and the masses are recklessly rushing headlong into perdition.

You, like many others, will perhaps impatiently answer, "It is no use talking religion to me. Look at the confusion there is in the world. What is the use for me to trouble myself in trying to understand a subject that our wisest men cannot agree upon?"

We confess your words have considerable force, in view of the confusion there is in the religious world at the present time. The common people who, by the demands of an evil state of things, are kept busy providing for the necessities of life have little time to study the subtle and technical questions which divide and confuse the churches of popular Christendom; and they are given to understand that these are matters to be left to the "clergy" while the "laity" are to accept the situation, asking no questions, but putting their trust in their leaders that in some way, they are not supposed to know how, all will end well.

If you are disposed to think for yourself, you will not be satisfied to blindly follow the dictates of men, but you will want to know that you are upon safe ground, and that the road you are traveling will lead to the haven of rest which many weary travelers are earnestly seeking.

 

THE GOSPEL FOR COMMONPLACE PEOPLE

 

Did it ever occur to you that God in providing His beneficent plan of salvation so arranged it that it would be more nearly within the reach of the poor and commonplace people of the world than of the great and the learned and the opulent? Honor belongs to Him who is the Great Creator, in whom we live and move and have our being. Therefore the honor and submission given to the so-called learned leaders of men are misplaced.

It would be strange, would it not, if God had revealed a plan of salvation which, by the very mystery of its nature, must necessarily become a monopoly in the hands of a few men who happened to be thrown into circumstances admitting of a technical theological education. This would have made the salvation of the masses dependent upon the few favored ones in a worldly sense. And since these very few comparatively, seriously, and sometimes violently disagree among themselves, what a hopeless plight we should all be in were we dependent solely upon them for guidance in the way of life.

What is in our day considered "learning," is familiarity with  church traditions, the humanist philosophies of men and the business of soliciting money.  The source of such education is the theological school. The so-called religious education that proceeds from its halls creates both men and women whom the world may honor as "fathers," "reverends," "doctors," and "experts," but their Biblical knowledge of the truth is most lacking.    Are such theological schools, seminaries, and colleges a wise place to go to for heavenly light? Are their graduates to be seen as luminaries of divine revelation? Why should any one expect to receive the light of salvation from such? These are not the sources whence we may expect to derive saving truth. Indeed, there is sufficient reason why we should turn from the highways of popular religion and seek for truth at the fountain head  of the stream of life eternal.

  

SEEK FOR THE OLD PATH

 

We are not presenting to you a new thought, nor advising you to pursue a new course, though to you, possibly, it may appear so. We are  simply asking you to remember the words of the prophet who said, "Thus saith the Lord, stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old path, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls'' (Jer. 6: 16). To do this you must "not put your trust in princes nor in the sons of men, in whom there is no help" (Ps. 146. 3), but you must realize that "not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called; but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised hath God chosen, yea and things which are not, to bring to naught things that are; that no flesh should glory in his presence" (1 Cor. 1: 26-29).

  

THE BIBLE THE ONLY AUTHORITY

 

There is only one authority for us all in relation to the problem of life; and, God be thanked, there is free access to that in our land and in our times for all who will avail themselves of the privilege. While the world's wise are disputing and fighting about the "wisdom of the world" let the humble seeker after truth search the old paths that lead to the grand old book of the ages, which has withstood the severe tests of times of darkness, wickedness and cruelty and yet brightly burns as a beacon of light to every way worn and footsore traveller. "Familiar spirits" have multiplied in our times because of the barrenness of Bible teaching. The prevailing ignorance of God's Word admits of their tricks and turns in deceiving the hearts of the simple. Let us appeal to you dear friend, not to allow yourselves to be deceived when the warning so clearly and loudly cries out, "When they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep and that mutter; should not a people seek unto their God? Why should you seek unto the dead concerning the living (Septuagint rendering)? To the law and, to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word it is because there is no light in them" (Isa. 8: 19, 20).

  

EVIL OF POPULAR DISPARAGEMENT

 

To say that there is barrenness of Bible teaching may astonish you in view of the boasted claims of Progress in the study of Bible lore: but it is a sad fact that the boasted progress is rapidly reducing the Word of God to an object of contempt and ridicule. The very highest leaders of the schools are doing with God's Word what Judas Iscariot did with the Son of God. It is being sold to the enemy - infidelity - while its professed friends are impressing upon its pages the betraying kiss. The more flaws their flaunting "scholarship" can find in the Bible, the more they pretend to like it. What matters it to them if the Son of God himself sealed the divinity of Moses and the prophets with his life's blood, if they can persuade their dupes that through their deep researches  in the darkness of superstitious antiquity, and their masterful detection of verbal peculiarities and imaginary distinctions they can pose before their admirers as men and masters of great profundity. The traps and snares that are being set for the young and unwary the theological schools of our times are among the great evils of the century, and if we look not well to ourselves we shall be carried down to oblivion with the great destructive popular wave of skepticism.

  

PREVAILING IGNORANCE OF THE BIBLE PREDICTED

 

Familiarity with the unerring Predictions of the Word of God will remove any cause for surprise that there is such prevailing and widespread ignorance of the real teachings of the Bible. If it were otherwise,  prophecy bearing upon our times would be a failure. Let us quote here a few testimonies which you will readily see foretell the present state of things in relation to the subject in hand:

 

Amos 8: 11 - Behold the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord.

Luke 18: 7, 8 - And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he shall avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find the faith on the earth?

2 Thes. 2: 3-12 - Let no man, deceive you by any means; for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God showing himself that he is God.  Remember ye not that when I was with you I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work; only he who doth letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth and destroy with the brightness of his coming; even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish, because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion that they should believe a lie.

1 Tim. 4�: 1-3 - Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.

2 Tim. 3: 17--This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their ownselves. covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebrakers, false accusers incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors heady, highminded, lovers of pleasure more than followers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof; from such turn away.

Verses 12, 13 - Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.

2 Tim. 4�: 3-4 - For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears, and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

  

A WIDE-SPREAD APOSTASY FORETOLD

 

Now, dear friends, not only do these testimonies foretell a departure from the truth, but they show clearly that the apostasy would be wide spread, and be the prevailing character of the latter times. The question asked by the Saviour, "Shall he find the faith on earth?" referring to His second coming, warns us that the true faith would scarcely be found; and this agrees with what He says upon another occasion in the awful words, "Enter ye in at the strait gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat; because strait is the gate and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it" (Matt. 7: 13, 14) - And, again, "But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be" (Matt. 24�: 37).

  

THE WORLD NOT GETTING BETTER

 

Our object in dwelling upon this unhappy state of things is to remove the delusion which has largely led the people to believe that the world is getting better and is being "converted" through the agencies now at work. This claim is in direct opposition to the testimony of God's Word and to the real facts in the case. The testimonies speak for themselves and cannot be ignored nor gain said. If popular Christendom is what it claims to be, God's word in declaring a great apostasy has failed, and all the predictions and warnings have proven false. These testimonies of Holy Writ cannot be harmonized with popular claims. Which will you believe? If you believe the latter you must deny the former, and then you will surely be in the "broad way;� that leadeth to destruction. If you believe the testimonies, then you must turn from the highways of popular so-called Christianity in order that you might enter the "strait gate": and the "narrow way which leadeth unto life." Are you still inclined to give credence to the popular claims of present world conversion, then look at a few facts that some of the periodicals are frank enough to publish.

  

INCREASE OF CRIME

The rapid increase of murder in the United States is one of the most distressing facts in our history. The figures are worthy of deep consideration by every man and woman. This awful record of slaughter, a record that shows an annual loss of life by knife,  pistol, and abortion, equal to the loss by almost any of the great battles of history, is an indictment of our civilization. It is a record that can scarcely be matched out of the brutalized regions of the world. There is no part of the civilized globe in which human life is so little regarded, and the taking of it so lightly condoned, as in the United States of America. The record of the United States is a national disgrace and humiliation.

    

WORLD CONVERSION A FAILURE

   

Some of  leaders of popular Christendom are being compelled by the force of cold facts to confess that in the efforts to convert the world there has been utter failure. The ablest statisticians estimate that the number of professed christians worldwide can be set at 2.1 billion. The non-christian population of the earth has increased up through the past century to three times that number. And it is growing.  At this rate, when will the world be converted? Many will reply that the result is sure according to the Word of God; but there is not a single Biblical promise that the world will be converted by the agencies, instrumentality's and means now employed.

  

WORLD CONVERSION IS IN THE AGE TO COME

 

If God is not converting the world through the agencies now at work, what is his purpose in sending the gospel? you may ask. His purpose is ultimately to convert the world, that is, the world consisting of the survivors of the calamities of hastening vengeance to be visited upon the people of this ungodly age. But the honor and the power are His, and belong not to "man whose breath is in his nostrils" and who is puffed up with pride in his ability to form society here and society there for this and for that. When the appointed time arrives "The Lord will make bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations: and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God" (Isa. 52 :10).

It is when God's "judgments are in the earth,. the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness" (Isa. 26: 9). Not till then will the veil that has been drawn over the eyes of the people be torn off, and, coming to see how they have been deceived and deluded, the Gentiles will "come from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit" (Jer. 16: 19). In the meantime however, the door is not closed against any honest seeker after truth. The gospel is doing the work it was foretold it should during these dark days of Gentile times; for we are assured that God's word "shall not return unto him void, but it shall accomplish that which I please and prosper in the thing whereto I sent it" (Isa. 55: 11).

  

THE GOSPEL IS NOW TAKING OUT A PEOPLE

 

It is now clear that we must seek for the way of salvation, not in the popular systems of the world, but aside from these, and in the "old paths" which lead to the "strait gate and the narrow way,'' to walk in which requires that we be "converted and become as little children" if we would enter into the kingdom of God" (Matt. 18: 3). To this end it is necessary that we come out from the world, for true disciples are those who are chosen out of the world, and are not of the world (John 15: 16-19). Hence the gentiles are not visited by the gospel to be converted en mass, but through it God is "visiting the Gentiles to take out of them a people for his name'' (Acts 15: 14)) and when "the fullness of the Gentiles be come in" (Rom. 11: 25), Christ will "return and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up." Then it is that the "residue of men shall seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles upon whom his name is called" (Acts 15: 16, 17).

  

THE GOSPEL MUST BE BELIEVED AND OBEYED

 

Since the gospel is sent out for this purpose it must be evident that its conditions must be complied with by those who would share in the blessings it offers. Here is another growing evil in our day, in the delusive stupor that many honest people allow themselves to pass into with the thought that it makes no difference what our belief is if we do our best. The greatest danger of this lies in its plausibility and in its adaptability to the likings of the flesh. Dear friends, deceive not yourselves, but awake to the importance of seeking for life in the way - the only way - the wisdom and goodness of God have provided.

You cannot hope to be much better in "doing your best" than was Cornelius of Cesarea. It is testified that he was "a devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God always" (Acts 10: 1, 2). Notwithstanding this, his salvation depended upon a correct faith. The Apostle Peter is therefore sent to tell him what he must do before he can he saved. "He shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do" says verse 6, and Peter tells him "words where by he and all his house should be saved" (chap. 11:14). This is in strict harmony with the commission given to the apostles, in the words, "Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" (Matt. 25: 29). The people must be taught the truth of the gospel; for it is "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved but he that believeth not shall be condemned" (Mark 16: 16).

  

ONLY ONE SAVING GOSPEL

 

This does not allow us to believe what we please or be indifferent as to whether we have any particular belief. When some in Galatia became "foolish" and "bewitched" in departing somewhat from the true gospel, the Apostle PauI wrote them in the strongest terms of warning saying, "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel; which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed" (Gal. 1: 6-9). The absolute necessity of believing the one true gospel and rejecting all others is thus made clear, and our duty to stand firm and earnestly to contend for the truth is further sustained by the following testimonies:

 

Isa. 8: 20 - To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

John 6: 45 - It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father cometh unto me.

Rom. 1: 16 - For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.

Rom. 10: 17- So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Heb. 11: 6 - But without faith it is impossible to please God.

I Thess. 5: 21 - Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

I John 5: 10 - He that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.

Jude 3 - Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation. it was, needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that you should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints.

  

THE SCRIPTURES NOT READ AND STUDIED

 

It is a well known fact that the Scriptures are read but very little these days, and as for a careful study of them it is out of the question. The example for this deplorable neglect of God's Word is set before the people by their leaders; for the Bible scarcely enters into modern popular sermons.  A single text is sometimes quoted and then left, while the speaker rambles into the fields of politics, "philosophy" and fiction.

You may not be fully aware of the extent and evil of this departure from the reading and study of God's Word, and may shrink from believing that it is possible for the leaders of the people to be so remiss, but a glance over the customs of the so-called evangelism and revivalism of the day will show what little use is made of the Scriptures and what cunning devices men are resorting to stir, not the sober intellectual faculties, but the impulses and excitement of the natural man.

It is not a new thing for the ways and traditions of men to supplant God's words. It was the crime of the first century, and from the predictions we have quoted it will be seen that it was to be that of the latter days of Gentile times. Let not, therefore, the fear and awe of pomp and flaunting "learning," or pious pretences in high places daunt you or deter you, dear friends, from resolving to turn earnestly and persistently - to the reading and study of God's Word; for remember what is said in the "warning" of the first century, even to those who read the Scriptures in a formal way more than their successors do now. Pause over the indictment of the "learned" in the following testimonies:

 

Matt 15:3 -  But he answered and said unto them. Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?

Mark 7: 7, 9, 13 - Howbeit in vain do they worship me: teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups; and many other things ye do and he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition... (verse 13) making the word of God of none effect by your tradition.

Col. 2: 8 - Beware, lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

 

ISRAEL COMMANDED TO READ THE SCRIPTURES

 

The danger of neglect of God's word caused serious and imperative warnings to be given Israel as will be seen in the following:

 

Deut. 6: 7; 8 - Thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest in the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. But thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.

Jos. 3: 9 - And Joshua said unto the children of Israel, Come hither, and hear the words of the Lord your God.

Ps. 50: 7 - Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, and I will testify against thee; I am God, even thy God.

Ps. 78: 1 - Give ear, O my people, to my law; incline your ears to the words of my mouth.

 

"The carnal mind is enmity against God," but when it is subjected to the spiritual mind, which can be done only by the power of God's word, then there is a real hunger and thirst for the Word, from which flows the utmost satisfaction and the sweet peace of mind "which passeth all understanding."

  

THE WORD WILL ILLUMINATE

 

Ps. 119: 105 - Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.

Prov. 6: 23  - For the commandment is a lamp and the law is a light, and reproofs of instruction are the way of life.

2 Pet. 1: 19 - And we have the word of prophecy made sure whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a lamp shineth in a dark place until the day dawn and the daystar arise in your hearts; knowing this first that no prophecy of the Scripture is of private interpretation (R. V.).

1 John 2: 8 - Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you; because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth.

  

THE WORD IS PURE

 

Ps. 12: 6 - The words of the Lord are pure words; as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.

Ps. 119: 140 - Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it.

Prov. 30: 5 - Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.

John 15: 3 - Now are ye clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

  

THE WORD IS PERFECT AND TRUE

 

2 Sam. 22: 31 - As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is tried; he is a buckler to them that trust in him.

Ps 19: 7 - The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure making wise the simple. The fear of the Lord is clean enduring forever; the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.

Ps. 91:5 - Thy testimonies are very sure, holiness becometh thine house O Lord forever.

Ps, 119: I28 - Therefore I esteem ; all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and hate every false way.

Verse 142 - Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is truth.

Verse 151 - Thou art near, O Lord, and all thy commandments are truth.

Verse 160 - Thy word is true from the beginning; and every one of thy judgments endureth forever.

Prov. 22: 20 - Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge that I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee.

Eccl. 12: 10 - The preacher sought to find out acceptable words; and that which was written was upright, even words of truth.

Is. 25: 1 - O Lord. thou art my God; I will exalt thee. I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.

John 17: 17 - Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth.

John 21: 24--This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things; and we know that his testimony is true.

Rev 19: 9 - And he said, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

Rev. 21: 5 - And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write; for these words are true and faithful.

Rev 22:6 - And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true; and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to show unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.

  

THE WORD IS POWERFUL AND EVERLASTING

 

Deut. 32: 2 - My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distill as the dew as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass.

Is. 55: 10, 11 - For as the rain cometh down and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater. So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth; it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

Jer. 23: 29 - Is not my word like fire? saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces.

Ps 119: 144 - The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting; give me understanding and I shall live.

Verse 152 - Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them forever.

Is 40: 8 - The grass withereth, the flower fadeth; but the word of our God shall stand forever.

Luke 21: 33 - Heaven and earth shall pass away but my word shall not pass away.

John 10: 35 - If ye call them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the Scripture cannot be broken, etc.

1 Pet. 1: 25 - But the word of the Lord endureth forever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

  

THE WORD DIVINELY INSPIRED

 

2 Sam 23:2 - The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his word was in my tongue.

2 Kings 21 :10 - And the Lord spake unto his servants the prophets, saying. etc.

Neh. 9: 13 - Thou camest down also upon Mount Sinai, and spakest with them from heaven and gavest them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commmandments.

I Cor. 2: 4,5 - And my speech and my preaching were not with enticing words of mans wisdom. but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

Verse 13 - Which things also we speak not in the words which mans wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Spirit teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

Col 14:36 - What Came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only. If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.

 

Gal. 1: 11, 12 -  But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

2  Tim 3:16 - All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.

2  Pet 1:21 - For prophecy came not in old time by the will of man, but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

1 John 5:9 - If we receive the witness of men, the witness of god is greater, for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.

   

Now, dear friends, we have given these selections of testimonies from God's Word to offset the disparaging assertions of those who profess to be the friends of the Bible, but who, like the rulers of the Jews in the days of our Lord and his Apostles, are making it of none effect by their traditions and vain philosophy. Ponder over these words of Holy Scripture, and, we beseech of you, make up your mind to thoroughly examine your faith in the light of Divine truth; and if you already are in possession of the one saving faith, you will be strengthened; and if not, God grant that the eyes of your understanding may be opened and your heart prepared to receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your life.

It is with this hope that we ask you to follow us in what we shall, the Lord willing, set forth,  carrying with us that unshaken confidence in God and in his word, which finds such forceful expression in the words, "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom. 8: 38, 39).


DOES DEATH END ALL?

 

Does death end all? Is there a life beyond? Is evil eternal? Is there a remedy for the world's woes and provision for man's inmost wants? What, if any, are the possible dangers ahead? What, if any, are the blessings attainable? What mean these inmost longings of the heart, and these wellsprings of hope, these lofty aspirations of the intelligent mind whose eyes look over and beyond life's vale of tears with anxious hope and expectation of ultimate realization? Have these longings and throbbings taken hold of us to mock us? Or have they been begotten, born and nourished by promises that the evils of this troubled, sin-stricken and death-stricken world are to be eliminated and give place to a good time that's coming that shall gladden the hearts and bless the lives of those whose love of their Creator and faithfulness to their Redeemer have moulded their faith and their character into form and fitness for a life that shall know no end? In view of the power and wisdom manifest in the natural world, in "the heavens that declare the glory of God and the firmament that showeth his handiwork," surely it is wise to conclude that a better time is coming, and a glance at the only compass that is safe upon the troubled and angry sea reveals the fact that there is to be a:

  

RESTITUTION OF ALL THINGS

 

This is spoken of "by all the holy prophets since the world began," and in this restitution will be found the panacea for man's ills and evils, wants and woes, and by its accomplishment will be made manifest to an admiring and happy world the wisdom and might and goodness and glory of Him in whom we "live and move and have our being." When this grand end is seen in its splendid brightness to be the sun that is yet to rise and chase away the darkness and mist of present night, the evils and burdens we groan under will be viewed from the standpoint of Divine philosophy and seen to be wisely permitted, as it were, but for a moment, and utilized to sharpen our appetite and intensify our feelings for the rapturous joy of deliverance and the unspeakable happiness of eternity, unmarred by the sufferings of this transitory, preparatory, evil life.

Six thousand years of continued and increasing evils and perplexities show that the world is incurable by human agencies, and we may not hope for help from man, but when the time for the promised restitution arrives, the great Deliverer shall appear in His glory and majesty; and though dark be the clouds that precede and usher in His majestic advent, and terrible the convulsions that shall attend the mighty revolution, yet great shall be the glory that shall follow and peaceful and tranquil the repose that shall forever settle upon earth's everlasting hills.

  

WHERE RESTITUTION AND REDEMPTION ARE NEEDED

 

Now, dear friends, shall we ask you to pause and consider fully the meaning of the words "restitution of all things." They are found in the Acts of the apostles, chap. 3: 21. Verses 20 and 21 read as follows: "And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began." Words in frequent use and to be found in various parts of the Bible are, "salvation," "redemption," "reconciliation" and "restoration." What do they mean? To what do they apply? What is salvation? These are questions we may well pause over and consider their meaning in relation to the vital question they represent. The words imply that there has been a loss of something somewhere; and is it unreasonable to believe that salvation, whatever it is, will deal with that which is lost? And that restitution, restoration and redemption will meet requirements and deal with conditions arising from the loss, in accordance with the character of the loss and right where the lost condition is found?

What is it that has gone wrong, and where is the wrong that needs rectifying? Salvation, whatever it is, redemption, whatever it is, restitution, whatever it is, surely ought to be understood to remedy the wrong where the wrong is, and deal with it practically whatever it is. Now we do not know that things have gone wrong on other planets. We know not whether salvation, redemption and restitution are needed on any of them; and we may be sure from what is revealed of the character of God that there are no wrongs to right in heaven, His holy habitation. With the healing balm contained in the words salvation, restitution, etc., we should seek for the wounds and sores it is intended to soothe and heal.

The plaster surely is made for the wound and it ought to fit and be adapted to the nature of the wound. What is it that has received the wound? Where are the diseases to be cured, the lost to be gained, the wrongs to be righted, the captives to be redeemed? They are not in the moon, in the stars nor in the sky; neither are they 'beyond the bounds of time and space." They are here, right here in this world of ours; on this earth, in the very ground; on man universally, in man. They are real. They are to be seen, to he heard, to be felt, and all this right here, and we need look no farther, no higher, no lower.

It is our world and we ourselves that are lost, and it is our world and we ourselves that need salvation and restitution. There would be no restitution were we, a few of us, transported to another planet and the rest dragged down into regions eternal and infernal, and our earth, beautiful, notwithstanding all its blightings and cursings through sin, were burnt up and dissolved into smoke.

Can you, dear friends, bring yourselves to believe that the wisdom whose marvelous works strike us with awe and admiration as we behold them in the shining starry heavens above and in the wonders of creation in the earth beneath - can you we ask, bring yourself to believe that He whose wisdom and power you behold has created this terrestrial sphere to be desecrated by sin, blighted by curse, tortured by sickness, darkened by death, devasted by war and bloodshed, and after all to end in a vain conflagration that shall send it up in smoke or precipitate it into the irrecoverable depths of oblivion? In such a sad end where would he the glory and honor of the Creator? Dream not then of ghostly flights to worlds unknown, where Elysium fields are supposed to bloom with flowers of endless beauty. Look no deeper for sufferings and terrors than you behold upon a sin-stricken earth, groaning beneath its burdens of sinful suffering humanity.

But look for salvation where it is needed to "heal the broken-hearted, to bring deliverance to the captive, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised" (Luke 4: 18); and look for restitution in the world and upon the earth of which it was said, "Cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth unto thee, and thou shalt eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground, for out of it wast thou taken, for dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return" (Gen. 3: 17-19).

  

THE FIRST PROMISE

 

The very first promise we have, involving salvation, was made immediately upon the entrance of the evil it was intended to deal with, and it meets the real requirements in the case. Figuratively speaking, the serpent had pierced man with a fatal sting, whose poison was destined to affect the entire race, the earth and all that is in it. This is met by the promise contained in the words, "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and he; seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel" (Gen. 3: 15).

When the work of creation was completed "God saw every thing that he had made, and behold, it was very good" (Gen. 1: 31). Of man and woman it was said, "so God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth" (Gen. 1: 26-28).

  

MAN GIVEN DOMINION

 

The Psalmist, referring to this part of the work of creation,  says, "When I consider the heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; what is man that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou host made him a little lower than the angels and host crowned him with glory and honor. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: all sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; the fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the sea. O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth" (Psa. 8: 3-9)! While this doubtless has a prophetic significance, as well as historic, the latter is what we are particularly concerned about now.

Still it will be seen that the prophetic aspect is in strict agreement with the thought of the restitution of all things. Commenting upon this passage the Apostle Paul, after quoting the passage to prove that all things had been put under man, and that all things would be put under him again, says, "But now we see not yet all things put under him" (Heb. 2: 8). This raises the question. If all things were put under man's dominion in the beginning, and now "we see not all things put under him," what was the cause of this loss of power and dominion? In the answer to this question we shall discover what the loss is that salvation and restitution are intended to remedy.

  

MAN ENDOWED WITH THE POWER OF FREE VOLITION

 

With creation "very good," every creature happy and the first human pair enthroned and given dominion over a world that was an honor to its Creator and possessed of every thing conducive to happiness and well-being,  man is placed under a law that would test his fidelity to his Creator.  He is endowed with the power of free volition,  and this is what makes him a responsible creature, higher in the scale of intellectuality than all others, and possessed of a moral nature capable of maintaining a moral image either acceptable or of falling under the condemnation of his Lawgiver.

What gives man his superiority and his divine right to " have dominion" is this moral element of his nature and the power of free volition arising therefrom, crowned with a noble intellect. By this it was possible to place upon him a responsibility that was inapplicable to other creatures of lower grades or intellectual power.  Those who would find fault with this procedure and claim that it would have been better if man had been left without a law that could test his faithfulness and fidelity seem to forget that this is the essential thing to constitute him a man.  This is why he is a man,  and to deprive him of the opportunity of exercising at first the latent mental and moral possibilities of his nature under the guidance of law is to reduce him to a level with the creatures over whom he is given dominion. If it was wise to endow man with this latent moral power, it was only the next step in the way of wisdom to give scope for its exercise under law.

  

PLACED UNDER LAW

 

To this intellectual capable man, then, the law is given as follows: "And the Lord God commanded the man, saying Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil thou shalt not eat of it for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" (Gen 2:16, 17). At this time nothing had been lost. Everything was as God in His wisdom had created it. The words salvation, redemption and restitution were useless words as there was nothing to be saved or redeemed, because there was nothing lost. It is so arranged by the wise law of the Creator that if a loss occurs it shall be by man's breach of law and his unfaithfulness to his Benefactor. The machinery of this world was given into the hands of man in perfect order. If ever a cog slip or a belt fly off, it shall be the fault of him who is given the responsibility of the dominion. If ever joy give place to sorrow, happiness to woe, health to sickness, life to death and the "very good" condition is turned into a very bad one, man shall be the cause and not God. The change is made dependent upon man's honoring and obeying a righteous law, which his Creator had a right to place over him; and when the fall, the crash, the loss, the curse comes it shall come justly, and man will have no one to blame but himself.

It came. Yes it came and that, too, by man's breach of the divine law. Here is how it was brought about:

 

Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman. Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, we may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God bath said, Ye shall not eat of it neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die; for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall he opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat'' Gen. 3: 1-6.

  

THE FAR REACHING EFFECTS OF THE TRANGRESSION

 

Here is the first sin committed and here is the cause of the fall man and his kingdom which God had given into his hands. Sin brings sorrow, sickness, pain and death, and its far reaching effects are seen in a lost world, with its once ruling monarch stricken with shame and remorse, hiding himself from the face of the Elohim and, when called to account, trying to excuse his unfaithfulness with the cowardly answer. "I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself... The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat" (Gen. 3: 10-12). In the sentence passed upon our first parents for thus transgressing God's law is to be seen the worldwide results of man's first act of unfaithfulness to God, results which are not confined to the man and the woman, but which blight and curse their entire domain. To the serpent, the woman and to the man it is said:

 

And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle. and above every beast of the field: upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life... Unto the woman he said, I wilt greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast harkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it; cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth unto thee, and thou shalt eat of the herbs of the field; in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken; for dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return" - Gen. 3: 14-19.

 

Now, dear friends, we have before us the root of all the world's evils, and by careful consideration of the nature of the loss, and an understanding of what is lost, we shall be helped toward a correct understanding of what salvation is and what the restitution is "which God hath spoken of by all his holy prophets since the world began." Subsequently to the pronouncing of the sentence,  man is driven out of the garden of Eden and access is guarded by a "flaming sword " which turned every way to keep the way of the tree of life (Verse 24).

The earth, so far as its primitive very good condition is concerned, is lost, Paradise is lost, dominion is lost, life is lost, man is lost - the whole creation is lost, because sin, for the time being, has made everything "vanity, vanity, all is vanity," and, as the prophet Isaiah says, "The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate" (Isa. 24: 5, 6). The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together (Rom. 8: 22).

  

WHAT FITS THE SITUATION?

 

Now salvation for fallen lost man and restitution for a cursed earth are provisions made by the God of heaven to remove the evils and bring goodness and blessing here, yes here, in the very place it is needed, and in which a sin-wrecked creation groans. The wise plan of salvation revealed in the Scriptures is not one that leaves a lost Paradise forever lost and transports man to the sky. It is not a plan that retreats, foiled and frustrated by sin and leaves this sin-wrecked and sin-ruined planet of God's handiwork to be carried down to an ignominious oblivion. While God has permitted the sad results of sin for a time to mar the beauty and dim the splendor and darken the light of His grand and marvelous work, think not that He has retreated and forsaken the work of His Almighty hand. In this we may safely "trust Him for His grace," and know that "behind a frowning providence He hides a smiling face;" and when His good time comes, salvation and restitution shall be realities here, to take the place of the evils that are here now; for He has declared in burning words that never can be quenched, "As truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord" (Num. 14: 21).

  

THE EARTH TO ABIDE FOREVER

 

The earth, then, is not to be the scene of six thousand years of trouble in its thousands of forms, and at last to be destroyed. It is to abide forever:

Eccl. 1: 4 - One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh; but the earth abideth forever.

Psa. 104: 1-5 - Blessed be the Lord... who laid the foundation of the earth, that it shall not be removed forever.

Psa. 119: 90 - Thy faithfulness is unto all generations, thou hast established the earth, and it abideth.

 

Since the wisdom of Solomon could see the earth and all that is in it as in a state of vanity, and since we learn from the above testimonies that the earth is to abide forever, we may safely conclude that God has in store better days for this our habitation. He has assured us that He has not created it in vain; in the beautiful words of the prophet Isaiah: "For thus saith the Lord, that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it he created it not in vain. He formed it to be inhabited; I am the Lord; and there is none else (Isa. 45: 18). When the vanity of the present is removed and the earth restored to the "very good" state that was lost through man's fall, the following promises will find joyful realization:

 

Numb. 14: 21 - But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord.

Psa. 72: 17-19 - His name shall endure forever; his name shall be continued as long as the sun: and men shall he blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed. Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things. And blessed be his glorious name forever; and let the whole earth be filled with his glory.

Isa. 11: 9 - They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.

Hab. 2: 14 - For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.

Matt. 6: 6, 10 - After this manner pray Ye: ...Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.

Luke 2: 14 - Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Isa 55: 10-13 - For as the rain cometh down and the snow from heaven and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth bud... so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth; it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace, the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you in to singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree and instead of the briar shall come up the myrtle tree and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

  

THE EARTH TO BE THE EVERLASTING INHERITANCE OF THE RIGHTEOUS

 

It is when the earth is thus blessed, and man redeemed that it will become the everlasting inheritance of the righteous, who will have been saved from the lost state and exalted to glory and honor with the second Adam, Jesus Christ, whose righteousness and faithfulness shall have undone and eliminated the evils resulting from the transgression of our first parents. Hence in God's plan of salvation the earth is promised as our everlasting inheritance, as the following Scriptures will clearly show:

 

Gen. 13: 15 - For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it and to thy seed forever.

Rom. 4: 13 - For the promise that he (Abraham) should be the heir of the world was not to Abraham, or to his seed through the law but (it was) through the righteousness of faith.

Psa. 37:9 - For evil doers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.

Verse 11 - But the meek shall inherit the earth and shall delight them selves in the abundance of peace.

Verse 22 - For such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth and they that be cursed of him shall be cut off.

Verse 29 - The righteous shall inherit the land and dwell therein forever.

Verse 34 - Wait on the Lord and keep his way and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land when the wicked are cut off thou shalt see it.

Psa 115: 16 - The Heaven, even the heavens are the Lord's, but the earth hath he given to the children of men.

Prov. 11:31 - Behold the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth; much more than the wicked and the sinner.

Dan 7:27 - And the kingdom and the dominion and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the most high.

Matt. 5: 5 - Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.

Rev. 5: 9, 10 - And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof for thou wast slain and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests, and we shall reign on the earth.

 

Here we have clear testimony, that the earth is to be the everlasting inheritance of the righteous. We now begin to see clearly from the many testimonies given that the great plan of salvation is very different thing from that taught in the popular religion of our times According to the creeds of popular Christendom, this earth is to be the habitation of man in its present evil state for a time, perhaps six thousand years, during which comparatively a few will at death be transported to heaven and countless millions will be dragged to a place they call "hell" to be indescribably tormented eternally, and then, without any restitution, the earth which has borne the curse of sin is to be burned up and pass away in fire and smoke.

Moreover, we readily see that with this view of popular Christendom, restitution or restoration is out of the question, and the Paradise that was lost will forever remain lost, and the earth and its history be a blot upon the pages of the Divine plan of the ages; that while our planet has produced a few for realms of happiness and bliss, it has supplied a yawning, burning, agonizing, torturing hell with food and fuel for endless time in the form of millions of immortal indestructible beings whose groans and moans and shrieks of eternal despair shall endlessly echo and re-echo the vain failure of one of the planets of the Almighty's handiwork, and the eternal and ever-visible and audible triumph of evil in its most horrible form. This spectacle is both appalling to man and dishonoring to God, who is wise and just and powerful, and it is the imputation of such myths of pagan thoughts of cruelty and barbarity to God's Word that feeds the sneers of the skeptic and the reckless profanity of infidelity.

As men's minds become enlightened and their hearts softened by the influence of Divine Revelation, they become ashamed of popular creeds and a few are bold and fearless enough to relegate them to the darkness and cruelty of fallen, depraved and degraded men, who revelled in thoughts of the sorrow and suffering, pain and panic, torment and torture, of their fellow-creatures.

The Bible must be snatched out of this burning fire of the depraved and savage passions of degraded men, and we must cry out amid the noise and confusion of modern Babel that the Bible is the book Divine, full of wisdom, justice and love. In it, while for a time we have a Paradise lost through man, we have the promise of the same Paradise regained through the Second Adam, Jesus Christ.  While sin is allowed to curse the earth for a time,  God's mighty arm will yet bring it blessings for eternity; while sin and death now reign by man's transgression,  the righteous Son of God shall "reign till he hath put down all enemies under His feet," when ""the last enemy - death - shall be destroyed" and sickness, sorrow, pain and death shall be no more.

mjasionowski@gmail.com

 

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