Christian Theology

A Systematic Presentation

© 1948  P. B. Fitzwater, D.D.

[1871-1957]

Professor of Systematic Theology
The Moody Bible Institute of Chicago

Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, MI All Rights Reserved Used by Permission

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1. Theology, Doctrinal.
LC Class: BT75.F57 ~~ Dewey: 230 F586c ~~ OCLC: 3076805 ~~ LCCN 48008863 ~~ 567p.

Christian Theology is presently held by 87 libraries including Bethel Seminary and Wheaton College

Table of Contents

PREFACE ......... 7

Introduction

DEFINITION OF THEOLOGY .......... 19

Relation of Theology to Other Branches of Science .......... 19

Relation of Theology to Human Reason ......... 19

POSSIBILITY OF THEOLOGY .......... 20

Existence of a Personal God Who Created and Controls the Universe .......... 20

Existence of Man Bearing the Likeness and Image of God Who Can Apprehend Him .......... 20

God Has Revealed Himself as Revealed in the Scriptures .......... 20

THE ANTECEDENT REQUIREMENTS OF THEOLOGY .......... 20

The Historical Verification of the Canonical Books of the Bible ......... 20

An Exegesis of the Bible Text .......... 20

Biblical Theology .......... 20

THE IMPERATIVE NEED FOR THEOLOGY .......... 21

The Demands of the Constitution of the Human Mind .......... 21

Its Bearing on Christian Character .......... 21

In the True Understanding of Christianity .......... 21

The Need for a Vital Christian Message .......... 22

Relation to the Propagation of the Christian Faith .......... 22

THE DIVISIONS OF THEOLOGY .......... 23

Part One

THE SOURCE OF THEOLOGY — THE HOLY SCRIPTURES

I. THE CANON OF SCRIPTURE .......... 27

The Meaning of Canon .......... 27

How the Canon Was Formed .......... 27

Formation of the Old Testament Canon .......... 28

Formation of the New Testament Canon .......... 28

II. PROOFS FOR THE GENUINENESS AND AUTHENTICITY OF THE BIBLE .......... 31

Printed Copies of the Scriptures .......... 32

Manuscripts .......... 33

Translations .......... 34

III. THE INSPIRATION OF THE BIBLE .......... 36

Definition .......... 36

Common Theories of Inspiration .......... 37

Proof of the Inspiration of the Scriptures .......... 38

Some Objections to the Inspiration of the Scriptures .......... 60

Part Two

THEOLOGY PROPER — THE GODHEAD

DEFINITION .......... 64

I. IMPORTANCE OF THE DOCTRINE OF GOD .......... 65

It's Magnitude .......... 65

The Effect of Ignorance Concerning God .......... 65

II. WHO IS GOD? .......... 69

III. THE BEING OF GOD .......... 72

IV. THE NATURE OF GOD AS REVEALED IN HIS NAMES .......... 75

V. THE NATURE OF GOD AS REVEALED IN HIS ATTRIBUTES .......... 81

VI. THE TRINITY OF GOD .......... 86

VII. GOD THE FATHER .......... 90

VIII. GOD THE SON .......... 111

IX. GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT .......... 179

X. THE PURPOSE OF GOD .......... 224

XI. THE DETERMINATE COUNSEL OF GOD .......... 236

XII. THE WORKS OF GOD .......... 243

Creation .......... 243

The Universe .......... 243

Personal Beings .......... 249

Preservation .......... 280

Miracles .......... 282

The Providence of God .......... 288

Definition .......... 288

Proof of Divine Providence .......... 289

Part Three

ANTHROPOLOGY

DEFINITION .......... 298

I. ERRONEOUS VIEWS CONCERNING MAN .......... 299

II. THE ORIGIN OF MAN .......... 303

III. THE UNITY OF THE HUMAN RACE .......... 305

IV. THE CONSTITUENT ELEMENTS OF MAN .......... 308

V. MAN'S PRIMITIVE STATE .......... 311

VI. THE FALL OF MAN .......... 315

VII. SIN IN RELATION TO THE UNIVERSE .......... 320

VIII. THE DESTINY OF MAN .......... 326

Part Four

Deontology

DEFINITION .......... 348

I. FUNDAMENTAL POSTULATES OF CHRISTIAN ETHICS .......... 349

II. THE NATURE OF GOD'S LAW .......... 355

The Circumstance of the Giving of the Law .......... 355

Law Given for Government of a Theocratic People .......... 356

Purpose of the Law .......... 357

III. THE FIRST COMMANDMENT .......... 360

IV. THE SECOND COMMANDMENT .......... 365

V. THE THIRD COMMANDMENT.......... 368

VI. THE FOURTH COMMANDMENT .......... 371

VII. THE FIFTH COMMANDMENT .......... 377

VIII. THE SIXTH COMMANDMENT .......... 381

IX. THE SEVENTH COMMANDMENT .......... 385

X. THE EIGHTH COMMANDMENT .......... 389

XI. THE NINTH COMMANDMENT .......... 392

XII. THE TENTH COMMANDMENT .......... 396

Part Five

SOTERIOLOGY

DEFINITION .......... 400

I. THE SOURCE OF SALVATION .......... 401

The Grace of God .......... 401

The Covenant Relation of God and His People .......... 404

II. THE PLAN OF SALVATION .......... 407

III. THE PLACE OF THE PLAN OF SALVATION IN THE SCRIPTURES .......... 412

In the Old Testament .......... 412

In the New Testament .......... 414

IV. JESUS CHRIST AS THE MEDIATOR .......... 418

His Authority .......... 418

His Qualifications .......... 418

His Exclusive Prerogative .......... 420

His Execution of the Office of Mediator .......... 422

As Prophet .......... 422

As Priest .......... 423

As King .......... 430

V. THE APPLICATION OF CHRIST'S REDEMPTION .......... 424

Faith .......... 424

The Constituent Elements of Faith .......... 426

The Object of Saving Faith .......... 437

The Ground of Faith .......... 437

Repentance .......... 437

What It Is .......... 437

Importance of Repentance .......... 438

How Repentance Is Manifested .......... 439

How Repentance Is Effected .......... 440

Regeneration .......... 441

What It Is .......... 442

The Necessity of Regeneration .......... 443

The Results of Regeneration .......... 444

The Proofs of Regeneration .......... 445

Justification .......... 446

The Meaning of Justification .......... 446

The Elements Involved in the Act of Justification .......... 446

The Grounds of Justification .......... 447

The Results of Justification .......... 448

Adoption .......... 450

What Adoption Means .......... 450

The Ground of Adoption .......... 450

The Proof of Adoption .......... 451

Sanctification .......... 451

What Is Sanctification? .......... 451

How Men Are Sanctified .......... 453

When Sanctification Takes Place .......... 453

Assurance of Salvation .......... 455

The Meaning of Assurance of Salvation .......... 455

Proofs of the Believer's Assurance .......... 456

Prayer .......... 460

What Prayer Is .......... 460

Conditions of Prevailing Prayer .......... 461

To Whom to Pray .......... 462

For Whom to Pray .......... 463

For What to Pray .......... 465

Part Six

ECCLESIOLOGY

DEFINITION .......... 468

I. THE NEW TESTAMENT USAGES OF THE TERM "CHURCH" .......... 469

An Assembly .......... 469

A Local Assembly of Believers .......... 469

The Body of Professing Believers .......... 469

The Body of Christ .......... 469

II. THE ORIGIN OF THE CHURCH .......... 472

In the Counsel of God .......... 472

Historically at Pentecost .......... 472

The Respective Work of the Trinity in Constituting the Church .......... 473

III. THE NATURE OF THE CHURCH .......... 476

Negatively Considered .......... 476

Positively Considered .......... 477

IV. THE CONSTITUTION AND ORGANIZATION OF THE CHURCH .......... 482

The Organization of the Church .......... 482

The Officers of the Church .......... 482

The Minister .......... 483

Ordination of the Minister .......... 483

Qualifications of the Minister .......... 484

The Duties of the Minister .......... 485

The Deacons .......... 486

Qualifications of the Deacon .......... 486

The Duty of the Deacon .......... 486

V. THE ORDINANCES OF THE CHURCH .......... 488

Baptism .......... 488

The Communion .......... 491

VI. THE WORSHIP OF THE CHURCH .......... 497

Reading of the Holy Scriptures .......... 497

Prayer .......... 498

Singing .......... 498

Preaching .......... 498

Almsgiving .......... 499

VII. THE MISSION OF THE CHURCH .......... 500

To Reveal the Purpose of God .......... 500

To Make Known God's Wisdom .......... 500

To Witness of Christ's Saving Grace .......... 501

To Develop Spiritually Those Who Receive Jesus Christ as Their Saviour .......... 501

VII. THE WALK OF THE CHURCH (Ephesians 4-6) .......... 502

The Walk in Unity .......... 502

The Walk in Separation from the World .......... 505

IX. THE WARFARE, OR CONFLICT, OF THE CHURCH .......... 509

The Enemy .......... 509

The Believer's Source of Strength .......... 510

The Christian's Armor .......... 510

X. THE DESTINY OF THE CHURCH .......... 513

It is to be Conformed to Christ .......... 513

To be Rewarded by Christ .......... 513

Presented as a Bride to Christ .......... 514

The Marriage Supper of the Lamb .......... 514

Joint-Heirship with Christ .......... 514

Exalted to a Place of Royalty with Christ .......... 514

Part Seven

ESCHATOLOGY

DEFINITION ........... 516

I. OUTLINE OF EVENTS OF ESCHATOLOGY .......... 520

Physical Death .......... 520

The Intermediate State .......... 521

The Second Coming of Christ .......... 522

In the End of the World .......... 522

Christ Now Appears in Heaven .......... 522

Christ Shall Appear the Second Time .......... 523

Events Associated with Christ's Coming .......... 523

The First Resurrection .......... 523

The Living Saints Caught Up .......... 524

Preaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom .......... 524

The Great Tribulation .......... 525

The Gathering of the Elect .......... 526

The Kingdom Established .......... 528

III. THE BIBLICAL CONCEPTION OF THE KINGDOM .......... 529

The Royal or Kingdom Covenant .......... 532

The Kingdom in Prophecy .......... 533

The Interregnum of the Kingdom .......... 536

The Kingdom at Hand .......... 536

The Laws Proclaimed Which Shall Govern in the Kingdom .......... 537

The Dynamics of the Kingdom .......... 537

The King and Kingdom Rejected .......... 537

The Kingdom in Mystery .......... 538

The Seven Parables of Matthew 13 .......... 539

The Relation of the Mysteries of the Kingdom to the Church .......... 544

The Kingdom in Manifestation .......... 546

A Look Beyond .......... 547

SUBJECT INDEX (not included) .......... 549

SCRIPTURE TEXT INDEX (not included) .......... 559

Dedication

   This book is thoughtfully dedicated to the memory of Dr. Will H. Houghton, late president of Moody Bible Institute, at whose request the author undertook its preparation.

   Dr. Houghton saw the desperate need for a new set of Biblical and theological textbooks which would be both scholarly and evangelical for use in the seminaries and Bible institutes of America, and sought to induce Bible scholars of this generation to produce them. It is in recognition of his Christian statesmanship in the promotion of the Lord's work that this volume is inscribed to him.

Preface

   The author of this book has no conscious purpose of furthering any school of theology or philosophy, other than Christian. In reality, there are but two schools of theology, one centered in the sovereignty of God and the other in the freedom of man. The author believes implicitly in divine sovereignty and also in human freedom. However, God's sovereignty is absolute, while man's freedom is relative.

   The Bible unequivocally sets forth the two great truths. The whole scheme of revelation, from first to last, recognizes both of them. However, divine sovereignty is not balanced by human freedom. In the very nature of the case these truths are not equal. God, being the eternal, infinite, and the almighty Creator and Ruler of the universe, has absolute power, while the power of man, the creature, is limited.

   The viewpoint of the author avowedly is that the Holy Scriptures are fully inspired of God. Their statements are to be accepted at their face value. Their teachings are not to be watered down in some places and stepped up in others. Divine sovereignty and human freedom are clearly set forth therein, but never explained. It will be the inflexible policy of this book to recognize this principle. When dealing with God's relation to the universe, sovereignty will be set forth as a fact without explanation, and when dealing with man's freedom, its factuality will be given the same emphasis as it is given in the Scriptures. The truths of Calvinism and Arminianism will be maintained, and their errors will be avoided. The truths concerning these matters cannot be found in the middle, but in the extremes. There is no mediating position between Calvinism and Arminianism. We shall not vacillate but oscillate between them. Sometimes the viewpoint will be that of a high Calvinist and sometimes that of a low Arminian.

   This same principle will prevail with reference to dispensational truth. A dispensation means a method of administration.

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That there is a dispensationalism in the Scriptures the author fully recognizes. However, God changes His methods of administration accordingly as His wisdom dictates. A wise administrator suits his methods to the conditions prevailing at a given time. It is not a safe policy to build up a doctrine on such a foundation as a change in the divine method of dealing with men. That which the Bible sets forth will be recognized. False dispensationalism will be rejected. The dispensationalism of this book bears no particular stamp. Our task will be to find the particular mode of administration prevailing at any given time. The fact of a mode of administration prevailing at a given time is no guarantee that it will always continue. The fact that a father employs a particular mode of administration of his household affairs at a given time is no guarantee that it will always continue; neither does it compel him to always use the same method. We can be assured that the infinite wisdom of God caused Him to use the very best method for the given period at the particular time. An inductive study of the Bible will reveal the different methods employed by God in the different ages of history in His dealings with rational and moral beings. In the eschatological division we shall see exhibited the successive stages in the consummation of the divine purpose.

   In the quotations from the Scriptures I have chosen to use the Authorized Version, except when the Revised rendering is clearly to be preferred. In such cases recognition is given by the abbreviation for Revised Version. The reason for using the Authorized Version mainly is to be found in the fact that the great majority of those who may use the book are more familiar with the Authorized Version.

   The method of this book is definitely didactic. The truths of theology are as truly related to the lives of the people as the truths of other sciences. In a real and true sense this principle ought to apply more prominently to the science of theology, because spiritual matters are of greater importance than material and temporal matters. The truths of theology have a vital bearing on the life which now is and is to come — for time and for eternity.

   I have purposely adopted this method in the light of many years of experience in the teaching of theology. In their true light the truths of theology are thrillingly interesting. Theological truths are not "dry as dust" matters, but pulsate with the very life of God.

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It is my sincere hope that this book may in some real way help to bring theological studies into their rightful place in the thought and life of the Church.

   In the division of "Theology Proper," I have departed from the conventional method and under "The Godhead" I have presented all the material directly pertaining to God, such as: His being, nature, names, attributes, the Trinity, works of God, and the like.

   Under "The Trinity" I have attempted to show the meaning of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a matter which has received altogether too scanty consideration by theologians. This method of presenting the Trinity occasions some repetition in dealing with the several Persons of the Godhead in their essential deity. This method, in turn, has a double advantage. First, the pedagogical value of repetition for emphasis; and second, the presentation of the Godhead in its proper perspective. This perspective is so overwhelmingly important that it outweighs any possible objection from the standpoint of duplication. It is my hope that this plan may win the approval of teachers of theology.

   I have introduced the term "Deontology" as a proper division of theology. I am quite aware of the fact that this term has in some quarters come to be applied to a system of ethics in which emphasis is given to ideas of duty rather than to ideas of right and goodness. However, I have deliberately employed this term to present the problem of duty and God's code of morals or His standard of righteousness. This standard is embodied in the Ten Commandments. There is great need today of a spiritual interpretation of the Law and the practical application of its truths to life. This knowledge is necessary in order to understand God's grace. Grace has in no sense superseded Law. Grace is the goodness of God going out to sinful man and providing a righteousness in Christ which absolutely meets the demands of God's holy Law. Grace did not tone down God's Law, but magnified it in maintaining it.

   My one supreme aim has been to present a positive, constructive Christian theology. I have made comparatively few quotations from theologians and philosophers. Wherever such quotations are made, I have endeavored to give the name of the author and to indicate the source. If any such have crept in without due credit having been given, it is a matter of inadvertence. I have not sought in any way to document the book.

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   However, I desire to acknowledge great indebtedness to such theologians as Charles Hodge, Alexander Hodge, Augustus H. Strong, William G. Shedd, Henry B. Smith, James Orr; and such honored teachers as R.A. Torrey, James M. Gray, and C.I. Schofield.

   In addition I would especially mention William G. Moorehead, John D. Irons, Joseph Kyle, David McDill of Xenia Theological Seminary, and William B. Greene, Frederick W. Loetcher, John D. Davis, Benjamin B. Warfield, and Charles R. Erdman of Princeton Theological Seminary.

Introduction

I. Definition

   Theology, according to the etymology of the word, is the science of God. The author is increasingly impatient with the efforts of those who would define theology as the science of religion. Since God is a personal being and definitely related to the universe, theology must treat not only the being and nature of God, but also His relation to the universe. Theology, therefore, is the science of God's essential being and His relationship to the universe as set forth in the Holy Scriptures.

   Every branch of learning which is entitled to be called a science must not only exhibit an orderly arrangement of facts pertaining thereto, but must also show their internal relationship. Theology, therefore, is entitled to be called a science because it exhibits the fact of God's being and His relationship to every part of the universe. Theology has been properly called "the queen of the sciences" because of its place of pre-eminence. Since God is immanent in the universe and is a transcendent personality above the universe, every branch of true science makes its contributions to theology. The wider, therefore the knowledge of the sciences, the fuller and clearer will be one's comprehension of theology.

   Christian theology does not ignore the human reason in the light of scientific research, but pre-eminently makes the God-inspired Word its standard. "What saith the scriptures?" is the final test of authority. This is true because Christ and the apostles made the Scriptures their standard of doctrine and life. Not only for this reason is it the standard, but because Jesus Christ is the grand and supreme center thereof. The Holy Scriptures are Christo-centric, Christ is the revealer of God. "No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him" (John 1:18). Even before sin entered the world, Christ was the Word of God. Since sin came, man can only know God through Christ and can come to God through Him.

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II. The Possibility of Theology

   Having defined theology, it is now proper to inquire as to whether our knowledge of God is sufficient to construct such a science. Some reject the possibility of a theology on the grounds that knowledge rests upon the phenomenon of fact. To this we assent, but declare that there are facts in the spiritual realm as well as in the material. The spiritual was before the material and was the cause of the material. "While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen, for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal" (II Corinthians 4:18). Knowledge which comes by fact and is verified in experience is entirely trustworthy.

   The possibility of a theology rests upon the following considerations. First, the existence of a personal God Who created the universe and actively controls it. God is immanent in creation. Therefore, nothing exists or operates without Him. Second, the existence of man bearing the likeness and image of God. Because of man's constitution. God can reveal Himself to man, and man can apprehend God. Third, God has made a revelation of Himself and of His relationship to the universe. The Holy Scriptures make clear the details of this relationship which has both a subjective and an objective reality.

III. The Antecedent Requirements of Theology

   1. THE HISTORICAL VERIFICATION of the canonical books of the Bible. The first requisite for the construction of systematic theology is the subjecting of the books of the Bible to the canons of literary criticism to determine their historical integrity.

   2. AN EXEGESIS of the Bible text. There must be an intelligent exegesis of the Bible text to determine the definite meaning of the Scripture statements. This involves the mastery of the structure of the books of the Bible with a logical analytical tracing of the progressive thought extending to the minute examination of clauses, phrases, and words. The technical meaning of words and the consideration of the laws of language must be brought into balance with the fundamental thesis of the writer of a book before there can be intelligent inference as to the particular phase of meaning of the words.

   3. BIBLICAL THEOLOGY. Biblical theology is the historical exhibition of the redemptive purpose of God as progressively unfolded

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in the canonical Scriptures. On the basis of the application of the laws of language in exegesis, there must be constructed a Biblical theology. The soundness of systematic theology is dependent upon the correctness of Biblical theology. One of the main reasons for errors in theology is the lack of a true Biblical theology.

IV. The Imperative Need for Theology

   Immaturity of thought has led some to be indifferent and even hostile to the study of theology. Wherever there is definite and profound thinking, there is the conviction that theology is absolutely necessary. This necessity lies in:

   1. THE DEMANDS of the constitution of the human mind. The organizing instinct of the rational mind calls for order and unity. The human mind is averse to confusion and contradiction. The reflective mind demands harmony and order. This is true in all departments of learning. Because of this law of the human mind science has made great progress. Man's deepest spiritual nature and experience demands a theology. Facts and principles in the spiritual realm are even more real and demanding than in the physical realm. Destroy theology today and a new one will spring up tomorrow. Theology, therefore, is inevitable. The normal rational mind cannot rest in vague generalities.

   2. ITS BEARING on Christian character. The greatest heroes of the church have been those who have possessed the clearest understanding of the truths of theology. A knowledge of God is absolutely essential to the establishment of Christian character. Right living depends upon right thinking. Preaching must be doctrinal in order to be practical. Throughout Paul's writings this sound philosophy is exhibited. He first sets forth the doctrinal foundation and then presents the practical appeal. With Paul, doctrine and ethics are inseparable.

   3. IN THE TRUE UNDERSTANDING of Christianity. Before one can be a true follower of Christ, he must know what a Christian is. There is much loose talk about being Christian. Because of this superficiality, many call themselves Christians who are not really Christians. The mastery of theology will qualify the minister to present a rounded-out message. Failure here causes the minister to bring a lop-sided message. Because he lacks the essential discipline of theology, his message is not true to the gospel.

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   4. THE NEED for a vital Christian message. The preacher must know the principles of the Christian faith in order to be an intelligent and effectual witness thereof. A lack of understanding of the truths of the Holy Scriptures systematically arranged has rendered ineffective the testimony of honest and earnest men. It must be remembered that earnestness cannot compensate for erroneous thinking and teaching. The success of a church depends upon an intelligent presentation of the doctrines of the Holy Scripture. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of wisdom; therefore, the message of the Spirit-filled minister must be clear and consistent. In fact, such is the invariable test of a Spirit-filled minister. Failure to know the Bible systematically exposes the honest minister to the perils of false views of salvation. It is liable to ethical standards. It leads to a perversion of both law and grace. Failure to know what the Bible teaches about grace and about the law of God has wrought much mischief.

   Furthermore, lack of a systematic knowledge of the Bible makes possible the in-roads of false systems of belief, such as Mormonism, Christian Science, and the teachings of Jehovah's Witnesses. Then, too, failure to know the Bible systematically is liable to lead to ultra-dispensationalism and a false eschatology. There is great prejudice against theology. Even some Christian teachers acknowledge haziness of view concerning the great principles of the Christian faith. One would not knowingly employ a doctor who was ignorant of medicine. Neither would he employ a surgeon for a serious operation who acknowledged his haziness concerning the anatomy of the human body.

   5. RELATION TO THE PROPAGATION of the Christian faith. The power of the Church to propagate itself depends upon a sound theology. Men of strong mind and character with minds disciplined in systematic theology are needed for the advancement of the cause of Christ, hence the absolute need for a sound theology. God-centered preaching with a systematic presentation of the truths of revelation is absolutely essential to right living. The church has always flourished where the whole counsel of God has been declared. Then, too, a right theology is needed in order that Christianity may be defended against the attacks of the enemy. Christianity cannot be defended against attack if its essential nature is not known.

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THE DIVISIONS OF THEOLOGY

Part One: The Source of Theology — The Holy Scriptures

   Consideration is given to their literary integrity and their inspiration.

Part Two: Theology Proper — The Godhead

   The Godhead embraces the being of God, proofs of God's existence, the nature of God as revealed in His names and by His attributes, The Trinity of God — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the purpose of God, and the works of God embracing creation and providence.

Part Three : Anthropology

   Anthropology is the doctrine of man embracing his origin, his primitive state, his probation, his fall, sin, its nature, transmission, and effects.

Part Four: Deontology

   Deontology means the science of duty or moral obligation. It embraces the problem of duty and the exhibition of God's code of morals. This code of morals is embraced in the Ten Commandments.

Part Five: Soteriology

   Soteriology is the doctrine of salvation in which consideration is given to Christ as Mediator, Prophet, Priest, and King, His vicarious atonement and the application of redemption, including regeneration, faith, repentance, justification, adoption, sanctification, and glorification.

Part Six : Ecclesiology

   Ecclesiology is the doctrine of the church, dealing with its definition, origin, nature, organization, mission, and destiny.

Part Seven : Eschatology

   Eschatology has to do with the consummation of the divine purpose. It includes death, the intermediate state, the Second Coming of Christ, the resurrection, the judgment, the kingdom of Christ, heaven and hell, and the eternal state.


Part One

THE SOURCE OF THEOLOGY — THE HOLY SCRIPTURES

   Since Christian theology has as its primary source the truth concerning God as revealed in the Holy Scriptures, it is entirely proper that consideration be given to their trustworthiness. Their trustworthiness embraces their genuineness, authenticity, and inspiration. The genuineness and authenticity of the Scriptures are determined by historical and literary criticism. Their authority is determined by their inspiration. If the Scriptures are only the record of the evolution of man's religious experiences, theology has but a relative value. On the other hand, if they are authentic and God-inspired, theology has the place of pre-eminence in man's thought and life. With reference to the Holy Scriptures, consideration should be given first to their canonicity, which in turn calls for a definition of the term "canon."


Chapter 1

The Canon of Scripture

I. The Meaning of Canon

The word "Canon" is of Greek origin which literally and according to classic usage means a straight rod or bar to determine other things. It means that which keeps a thing straight. The figurative or metaphorical use is found in several New Testament passages. "As many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them ..." (Galatians 6:16). "... Let us walk by the same rule ..." (Philippians 3:16). "... According to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us ..." (II Corinthians 10:13). This term when applied to the Bible means the sacred writings or books accepted by the Christian Church as containing an authoritative rule of faith and practice. It means decidedly more than a mere list of books, for its essential idea is that of authority. Therefore, by the canon of Scripture we mean the list of the thirty-nine books of the Old Testament and the twenty-seven books of the New Testament which were received as inspired of God. A book entitled to a place among the sacred writings is said to be canonical.

II. How the Canon was Formed

   The Bible contains no record of the canonization of any book or books but recognizes books as being canonical.

   Evidence for the recognition of the canonical books: The books were treated as canonical and authoritative. First, the law must be read in the hearing of the people once in seven years (Deuteronomy 17:18-20). The king was to have a copy to regulate his decisions (Deuteronomy 17:18-20). This obligation was enjoined upon Joshua (Joshua 1:8). The kings rendered judgment according to it (I Samuel 15:11-13, I Kings 11:38, II Chronicles 8:13). The people were called to obey it (II Chronicles 14:4; 17:9).

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The Israelites were exiled to Babylon because of disobedience to it (II Kings 17:7-23, II Kings 18:11-12, Daniel 9:11-13, Nehemiah 1:7-9). After their return from captivity the law was recognized (Ezra 3:2, Nehemiah 8:1-8, Nehemiah 10:28-29, Nehemiah 13:1-3).

   Second, deference was likewise paid to the prophets (Isaiah 1:10, II Kings 17:13, Nehemiah 9:29-30, Daniel 9:5-6, Zechariah 7:12). The New Testament likewise bears witness to recognition. Neither can it be shown that any books of the Old Testament or New Testament were made canonical by the decisions of ecclesiastical councils. Such councils sifted the evidences which entitled a book to the claim of divine origin. Such action of the councils became necessary, as there were many writings bidding for a place to be read in the churches. The books themselves had qualities which determined their acceptance. For all practical purposes we may regard the canon as closed, while theoretically we may regard it as still open, for should there be discovered a book of such quality as before mentioned, we would be bound to accept it.

   The writing spread over many centuries. Therefore, the canon must of necessity have been a gradual growth. This authoritative literature grew up by degrees and was carefully preserved.

   1. THE FORMATION of the Old Testament canon. The writings were carefully preserved in the Holy of Holies and the temple as Israel's most priceless possessions.

   a. The Ten Commandments (Exodus 25:21, Exodus 40:20, Deuteronomy 10:5).

   b. The statutes written by Moses were laid up beside the ark (Exodus 24:3,4,7, Deuteronomy 31:24-26), and were found in the temple in the days of Josiah (II Kings 22:8).

   c. Joshua added to this collection (Joshua 24:26).

   d. Samuel wrote the manner of the kingdom and laid it up before the Lord (I Samuel 10:25).

   e. The prophets committed their messages to writing (Jeremiah 36:2,4,32). They were acquainted with each other's writings and quoted them as authoritative. (Isaiah 2:2-4). Compare Micah 4:1-3. There was a succession of prophets, some functioning before the captivity, some during the time of the captivity, and others after the return from captivity. It is supposed that the canon as we have it was made by Ezra and the Great Synagogue. There existed

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in the days of our Lord such a collection of books as we now have. (John 5:39, Luke 24:27,44). We thus see that the Bible of Christ's day embraced the law, the prophets, and the Psalms. Citations were made from the Old Testament about 850 A.D. and most of the books of the Old Testament are quoted therein.

   2. THE NEW TESTAMENT CANON. This, too, was a gradual formation and when completed was added to that of the Old Testament. None of the New Testament books was written till a considerable time after the ascension of our Lord. The chief work of the apostles was to witness to the facts of gospel history. Apparently they had no thought of creating permanent literature. The ground work of their teaching is given in I Corinthians 15:1-4. While the apostles were living, this testimony was kept alive. Inasmuch as many attempts were being made to commit this teaching, it became imperative that authoritative records be made before the apostles were removed from the earth. Therefore, we have two accounts written by close friends of the apostles and two written by apostles. Prior to this, another kind of writing had arisen, church epistles. Founders of churches not being able to visit them, sent communications to them for their encouragement, correction, and instruction. The first recorded action of an ecclesiastical council seems to have been that of Laodicea, 363 A.D. With this council, it was not a question of deciding what books were canonical, but of giving official recognition to those already accepted as such. It is proper that the tests of canonicity as used by these councils be here tabulated. The following should be noted. First, they were to have been read in the churches. When the church received these apostolic communications, the church leaders knew quite well their authorship. In determining then the canonicity, it must be shown that they had been used in the churches. All such were to be recognized as genuine. In the assemblies of the apostolic church, these apostolic communications were read for the instruction of the assembled Christians. We have a reference to this custom in Revelation 1:3: "Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand." The second test was quotations in patristic literature. The Church Fathers quoted freely from these writings. When the time came to determine the canonicity of a book, that which was quoted from the books was regarded as worthy of a place in the canon. The third test was that they must be found to have apostolic authority or to come from apostolic circles.

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Fourth, the content of the book was examined; its doctrines must have had recognition as being correct. Any book containing doctrines contrary to recognized canonical books was rejected. The fifth test was the capacity of a book to edify. Christian experience was given recognition. That which was contrary to the enlightened Christian conscience was rejected. A concrete example of this action is found in the Apocryphal books. The word "apocrypha" means doubtful. This term was applied to this group of books because they were of unknown or doubtful authority. Internal and external evidence were against their inspiration and they are now rejected by all Protestants.


Chapter II

Proofs for the Genuineness and Authenticity of the Bible

CHRISTIANITY is peculiarly the religion of a Book. It is a matter of supreme importance to every Christian to know whether these writings are now in the same state as their authors left them or whether they have been tampered with by alteration or abridgement. In the solution of this problem, two questions press for answers. Are the books of the Bible as we now have them genuine? Are they authentic? It is well now to give the definition of certain terms. A book is said to be genuine when it is shown to have been written by the person whose name it bears, or in case of an anonymous book, when it was written, about the time it purports to have been written, and by the class of men to whom ascribed. A book is authentic when it relates matters of fact, that is, when its contents are true. A forged or spurious book is one not written by the author whose name it bears. A corrupt book is one whose text varies from the original. Applying these tests to the books of the Bible when we speak of the genuineness of the Bible, we mean that the books entering into its contents were written by the authors whose names they bear. When we speak of the authenticity, we mean that the contents of the books composing it correspond to the original without alteration or adulteration. When we apply these tests, we can say that our Bible is both genuine and authentic, for it contains the books which came from God through the inspired men who wrote them. The text is uncorrupted for it does not vary in any essential particular from the original. The books are not forged or spurious because they were actually written under divine direction by the men whose names they bear or to whom ascribed. They were not written by men at a later date and foisted upon the world as productions of others. This need not rest simply upon faith, but upon creditable evidences.

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   Many earnest Christians and honest inquirers are asking for satisfactory evidence for the genuineness and authenticity of the Bible. To all such we are under obligation to give an answer. The dishonest doubter cannot be satisfied. Let us inquire, "Do any of the original manuscripts exist?" We must answer, "We know of none." We can surmise as to how they may have been destroyed. They may have been destroyed in the ravages of war. Then, they may have been destroyed purposely by the enemies of Christianity, or they may have been destroyed by friends. In such case, after there had been established a standard canon such as is universally recognized by the Church, the originals may have been destroyed lest they should become objects of worship. If man will worship a lock of hair, or a supposed piece of bone of some saint, or a piece of wood of Christ's cross, surely they would have worshiped manuscripts. God destroyed the brazen serpent (II Kings 18:4), and has allowed the ark to be concealed from view. However, there is no definite proof that the original manuscripts were ever destroyed. Some may even be still in existence and be found sometime in the future. God may be withholding them from us, perhaps for a good reason. They are not necessary. Even though the originals cannot be produced, their genuineness and integrity remain unimpaired. We can rest assured that had it been necessary, they would have been preserved. Suppose, for example, that the original of Lincoln's "Emancipation Proclamation" could not be found. There could be no doubt about its reality and content, for official copies have been made, and we can be assured of its definite content. In view of the fact that the originals cannot be obtained, we proceed to prove their genuineness and authenticity as follows. It may be well here to note the way the genuineness and authenticity of the classics are determined. If ten or twenty manuscripts can be found, such are accepted as sufficient proof by literary critics. As for the Bible, there are in existence hundreds, and in some cases thousands, of manuscripts available for examination.

   The method of proof will be to trace through the centuries the history of the Scripture records.

I. Printed Copies of the Scriptures

   The Old Testament in Hebrew, 1488 A.D.; the New Testament in Greek, 1514 A.D.

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   In all essential parts, the first printed Bible agrees with our Bible today. We thus take a step backward of about 400 years.

II. Manuscripts

   There were more than 2,000 manuscripts in the possession of scholars when the Bible was printed. It is to be noted that not that many manuscripts contained the whole Bible, but parts thereof. These manuscripts were of two kinds.

   1. UNCIAL MANUSCRIPTS. These derive their name from the large or inch letters of the manuscript. These were written on vellum and are the earlier of the manuscripts. The most important of the Uncial manuscripts are:

   a. Codex Aleph or Sinaitic Manuscripts. It dates from the Fourth Century. It was found in St. Catherine's Convent at Mt. Sinai in 1859 by Dr. Constantine Tischendorf. It contains the Old Testament in Greek and the New Testament. It is to be found in St. Petersburg, Russia (now in the British Museum).

   b. Codex B or the Vatican Manuscript. It was written in Greek and dates from the Fourth Century. It is perhaps the oldest manuscript in existence. It contains all the Bible except I and II Timothy, Titus, Philemon, and Revelation. It was written on fine vellum and is now found in the Vatican Library at Rome.

   c. Codex C or the Codex of Ephraem. It gets its name from having been copied by Ephraem, a Syrian in the Twelfth century. It dates from the Fifth Century and is now found in the National Library, Paris. It is a palimpsest copy, by which is meant that the vellum was sponged off to erase the original writings in order to use the same sheets again. Happily, the ink of the later writer was less durable than that of the earlier. In 1734 it was chemically treated in order to intensify the writing. As a result of this effort, the original writing was brought out, and its true value was then discovered.

   d. Codex A or the Alexandrian Manuscript. It was written in Greek and presented to Charles I of England by Cyril Lucar, patriarch of Constantinople. It dates from the middle or the end of the Fifth Century and is now found in the British Museum, London, England.

   2. CURSIVE MANUSCRIPTS. These manuscripts were written in a running hand and were of later date. They date from the Ninth

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to the Fifteenth Century. Some 2,800 are now accessible to scholars. The majority of New Testament manuscripts have come down to us in this form. Paper as well as vellum was employed for this style of writing. The foregoing consideration of the manuscripts shows that our Bible today is substantially the same as that of the Fourth Century. The proof for the existence of the Bible back of the manuscripts is found in extended quotations in the writings of the Church Fathers. Between the earliest manuscripts and the apostolic writings, there is a gap of several centuries. Fortunately, this is covered by copious quotations by the Church Fathers. So full and exact were these quotations that it has been estimated that, were the entire Bible destroyed, it could be reproduced by means of these quotations.

III. Translations

   During these centuries more than fifty authors testify to the facts recorded in the Scriptures. Their writings, in whole or in part, are now in existence. These writers belonged to all parts of the world as then actively concerned, and they wrote in several languages. They refer to the Bible as being a distinct volume and of divine authority. Back of these quotations are found ancient versions of the Scriptures. The rapid spread of the gospel after Pentecost with churches organized in Samaria, Syria, Asia Minor, Italy, and other parts of Europe called for a translation of the Scriptures in the language of the people of the various sections. Among these translations may be mentioned

   a. The Peshitta, used by the Syrian Church. The word "peshitta" means "true or literal" and contains the whole of the Old Testament and most of the New Testament in the Aramaic language. It agrees with our New Testament except II and III John, Jude, II Peter, and Revelation.

   b. The Old Latin, which was made for the Roman Church. From it Jerome made the great version called the Vulgate. It contains all the New Testament books, except Hebrews, James and II Peter. These versions apply mainly to the New Testament, but we have satisfactory evidence concerning the integrity of the Old Testament (see below).

   c. Many others, such as the Gothic, Arabic, Ethiopic, Coptic, and the like.

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   d. The English versions: Wycliffe (1380), Tyndale (1525), Coverdale (1535), and Matthew's Bible (1537); the Authorized Version (1611), Revised Version (English) (1881-1885), and the American Version (1901).

   As to the integrity of the Old Testament: First, Jesus Christ had in His possession, or it was accessible to Him, the Old Testament as we have it today. He refers to the Scriptures in John 5:39 and Luke 24:27, 32. Since no New Testament book was then in existence, there can be no doubt that the Old Testament was meant when "the Scriptures" were referred to.

   Second, the Old Testament is likewise meant when Paul refers to "the Scriptures" (II Timothy 3:15-16), or when Jesus says, "The Scripture cannot be broken" (John 10:35), or when John says, "that the Scripture may be fulfilled," (John 13:18).

   Third is the Bible before the time of our Lord. Beside the Hebrew Scriptures there was the Septuagint, a translation into Greek made about 285 B.C.

   Fourth, back of the various versions there was what was called the Targums, which means "running commentaries." Likely, Ezra was the originator of these. On the return of Israel from the Babylonian captivity it was found that the people were so affected by the Aramaic dialect that they were unable to understand the law as it was read about 457 B.C.


Chapter III

The Inspiration of the Bible

I. Definition

By the inspiration of the Scriptures is meant that they are of divine origin, the product of the creative energy of God. It was the "in-breathing of God" into men by which they were qualified infallibly to utter His truth. The Greek word in II Timothy 3:16 translated "inspiration" in our English Bible means "God-breathed." This term was probably coined by Paul to show that the Scriptures were produced by the creative energy of God. As God's breathing into Adam's nostrils the breath of life resulted in the creation of his personality to inhabit the body formed from the dust of the ground (Genesis 2:7), so the "God-breathed" of II Timothy 3:16 means that the Holy Scriptures are the production of God's creative power. This view is extended and emphasized by the Apostle Peter (II Peter 1:19-21). Here the apostle declares that what he had made known to them of the "power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" did not have cunningly devised fables as its foundation, but was based upon the prophetic Word, which is even better than the testimony of eye witnesses. Here three remarkable things are predicated of the Scriptures. First, no part of the Scripture came into being by human initiative — "the will of man." Second, they had a divine source — "holy men spake from God." Third, the agent was the Holy Spirit operating through men. This means more than that these men were given an impulse and then guided by the Spirit. It means literally that they were "taken up" and "borne along" in the fulfillment of the Spirit's purpose. Inspiration applies to the trustworthiness of the Scriptures rather than to the truthfulness of what is recorded. Sometimes the record contains sayings of ungodly men and even some uttered by the devil.

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II. Common Theories of Inspiration

   The Scriptures make it clear that they are of divine origin, that is, God-breathed, but they are silent as to any particular method employed by the Holy Spirit. It is best to assume that He was not confined to any particular method. The important thing is to know the reality of inspiration even though we cannot know the method of it. In the regeneration of a soul we cannot know the Spirits' method, but we can know the reality of His work. Christ said, "The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit" (John 3:8).

   Two questions must be intelligently answered by every believer and especially every Bible teacher before there is settled faith and intelligent witnessing. The first is, "Is the Bible from God?" The second is, "Is it entirely from God, or does it contain parts which are the products of the human mind?" If any of the latter are found in the Bible, it is not infallible. Besides, who shall determine which parts are inspired?

   1. THE INTUITIONAL OR NATURAL THEORY. This means that the writers of the Scriptures possess a high development of natural powers. It is human genius such as was possessed by Milton, Shakespeare, and others. Those who hold this view have no higher regard for the Bible than they have for the writings of Shakespeare or Milton.

   2. THE ILLUMINATION THEORY. This view is to the effect that the spiritual perceptions of the writers were elevated and intensified. It declares that all Christians possess this gift of the Spirit, only some in greater degrees than others. Advocates of this view claim that men are today inspired the same as Paul, John, and Peter.

   3. THE DICTATION THEORY. This theory makes the writers of the Scriptures passive in the hand of the Holy Spirit. It holds that the writers were mere machines; therefore, there was no room left for the expression of the individuality of the writer — there was no room for variety of style. This theory stands self-condemned, because the literary critic knows quite well that there is definite individuality expressed in the writings of various authors.

   4. THE THOUGHT OR CONCEPT THEORY. This view declares that the Spirit of God gave to the writers the thought or concept and left them to express the thought by their natural powers.

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   5. THE PLENARY-VERBAL THEORY. The word plenary means "full." It holds that all Scriptures are fully and equally inspired, that at times the very words and forms of expression were given, and that at all times God superintended the choice of words. Plenary inspiration, therefore, means that kind of inspiration which excludes all defects in the utterances of the inspired messages. Verbal inspiration means that kind of inspiration which extends to the very words and forms of expression of the divine message.

   Which then is the true view? The first view involves self-contradiction. According to this view the Bible, the Koran, and the Vedas came from the same source, while each in turn condemns the others. Besides, in all matters of morals, man's insight into truth is vitiated by wrong affections, thereby rendering him liable to err. Such a writer, therefore, without purpose would lead others into error.

   The second theory would leave us short of any standard of truth which would be of binding authority. Every generation would have its system of revealed truth, and additional revelation would be required to make known what particular part or parts of former revelations were binding.

   The third theory cannot be reconciled with the diversity of style used by the various writers. All intelligent literary critics know that great diversity of style is employed by the various writers.

   The fourth theory involves the absurdity of thoughts apart from words. There can be no question but what words are essential to the expression of thought. Words are necessary vehicles by which thoughts can be transferred from one mind to another.

   The Plenary-verbal theory recognizes every truth that is contained in the other theories and is the view set forth by the Scriptures themselves. This view holds that all Scripture (II Timothy 3:16) is God-breathed, that is, all portions of the Scriptures are equally inspired — the Law, the Prophets, the Gospels, the Epistles, and the Revelation.

III. Proof of the Inspiration of the Scriptures

   Christian belief rests upon facts. Christian faith has a foundation. It is not founded upon wishful thinking, but rests upon the most incontrovertible evidence. Proof in law means the evidence operating in the determination of a judgment. It is in this sense that proof is used with reference to the inspiration of the Scriptures.

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Christian faith is entirely rational. It is the most reasonable system that ever engaged the attention of man. It is, therefore, obligatory upon every believer to give a reason for his hope. "... be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you ..." (I Peter 3:15).

   Proofs are of two kinds: inferential, and the testimony of the Scriptures themselves as to their inspiration.

   1. INFERENTIAL PROOFS. Carefully observe the difference between inference and assumption. Inference is based upon facts; it is deductive reasoning. Inference is a logical conclusion from given data, while assumption is something taken for granted without proof. In proving the inspiration of the Scriptures by the inferential arguments, we observe certain facts or events as phenomena, carrying specific significance. Back of every phenomenon is an adequate cause. Every effect has been produced by a cause. The method of proving the inspiration of the Scriptures by inference is entirely scientific, for all progress in the scientific world has resulted from this method of procedure.

   a. Argument from the character of the men and women who believe the Bible. Everywhere and in all ages, the purest, most unselfish, and noblest men and women have believed and treasured the Bible. They have fed upon it and have drawn from its pages the inspiration for holy living and unselfish service. It is commonly said that "birds of a feather flock together." It is universally recognized that a man is known by the company he keeps. Men and women who work for "law and order, for the protection of life and property; for the health and happiness of a community; for the safety of the home and family; for the sanctity of marriage; for the maintenance of purity, chastity and virtue of man and woman; for the advancement of education, art, science; for the building of orphanages, hospitals, asylums, reformatories. The men that sacrifice money, time, ease, learning, and life for these and the like things are the men who believe that the Bible is God's Word and so study and teach it."

   The sight of a man reading his Bible at once suggests that he is a good man. One would not expect to see a man in a saloon or a gambling den reading the Bible. One would not be surprised to find in such a place Tom Paine's Age of Reason or Robert Ingersoll's Mistakes of Moses. On the other hand, the men and women who are engaged in the work of human degradation and ruin are

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those who do not believe the Bible, and are those who even hate it and do their best to destroy it. It has been truly said that the better men are, the more they love the Bible, and the worse they are, the more they hate it. No one has ever been heard on his death-bed expressing regret for having followed the Bible, while countless multitudes expressed bitter regret for not having followed it.

   Then too, where the Bible is believed and lived are to be found the most desirable places to do business and the safest places to live. Even respectable infidels do not choose places to live and do business where the Bible has not wielded its wholesome influence. Consistency on the part of the enemies of the Bible would induce them to cast their lot with the people upon whom its beneficent shadow has not fallen. It is passing strange that while skeptics are finding fault with the Bible and are exercising energies for its destruction, they take good care to stay where the Bible is. Where the Bible is believed and lived, there will be no lying, no stealing, no drunkenness, no gossiping, no vice or debauchery. The tendency of the Bible is to make a good husband, father, or brother and to make every woman a good wife, mother, or sister. If people lived according to the Bible peace would prevail in every community, quarreling and fighting would end, lawyers would have to devote their time to helping the people conform to the laws of righteousness. There would be no jails or penitentiaries. Taxes would be greatly reduced, and no beggars would infest the highways. Such conditions extended throughout the world would cause all wars to cease. This is but a faint picture of the time to come when Christ's kingdom will be established over the whole earth. Righteousness will then cover the earth as the waters do the sea. Permanent and universal peace will become a reality, because universal righteousness will prevail.

   H.L. Hastings gives us a striking example of the effect of the Bible upon the lives of those who believe and live according to its precepts. "Years ago a young infidel and his uncle, a banker, were traveling in the West. They were a little anxious for their safety when they were forced to stop for a night in a rough wayside cabin. There were two rooms in the house, and when they retired for the night, they agreed that the young man should sit with his pistol, and watch until midnight and then awaken his uncle who would watch until morning. Presently, he peeped through the crack of the partition and saw his host, a rough-looking old man in his bear-skin suit, reach up and take down a book, the Bible, and after reading

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awhile, he knelt and began to pray. Then the young infidel began to pull off his coat and get ready for bed. The uncle said, 'I thought you were going to sit up and watch,' but the young man knew there was no need of sitting up, pistol in hand, to watch all night long in a cabin that was hallowed by the Word of God and consecrated by the voice of prayer. Would a pack of cards, a rum bottle, or a copy of Age of Reason have thus quieted this young infidel's fears?"1

   Since the majority of good men believe the Bible and the majority of wicked men reject and even hate it, we are justified in the conclusion that the Bible is from God. This is the only conclusion possible, and to this the Bible testimony agrees. "He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God" (John 8:47).

   b. Argument from the marvelous unity of the Scriptures. Concerning Solomon's Temple it is written in I Kings 6:7 that it "was built of stone made ready before it was brought thither: so that there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building." The stones were quarried, fitted, and polished; the timber brought from Lebanon was fitted and put in place without the need of an axe. This fact proves that there had been at work a skillful architect and efficient foreman. It is so with the Bible. It is a library of sixty-six volumes written in different languages — Hebrew, Chaldean, and Greek. More than thirty writers were engaged in its composition. The period of its writing extended more than 1,500 years. It was written in different countries — Judea, Babylon, Asia Minor, Greece, and Italy. These authors represented various degrees of culture — from the highest university rank to the common herdsman and fisherman. They represented various walks of life — priests, kings, statesmen, and shepherds. In the Bible are found different types of literature — poetry, prose, history, and prophecy. Despite all this, a marvelous unity prevails from beginning to end. Because of this remarkable unity, the name "The Bible" has been given to the canon of Scripture. The root word from which we get the name "Bible" is plural in form, but has come to have a singular use. All these considerations point to one creative mind, and that mind is the mind of God.

____________

1. Hastings, A Square Talk on the Inspiration of the Bible, p. 10.

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   The study of the Bible reveals :

   (1) One structure. While the Bible is made up of the Old and New Testaments, they are of the same plan. The Old Testament is historical, didactic, and prophetic. The New Testament has the same plan — historical in the Gospels, didactic in the epistles, and prophetic in the Revelation. This unity of structure is found in the separate unities of both the Old and New Testaments. The explanation is that "... men spake from God, being moved by the Holy Spirit" (II Peter 1:21). The supreme Architect, planning and superintending construction, was God.

   (2) Unity of person. The one central Person of the whole Bible is the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God incarnate. Beginning with the seed of the woman in Genesis 3:15 and extending through the sixty-six books, the pre-eminent Person is Jesus Christ. The grasp of this truth will make all Bible study not only interesting, but understandingly profitable. This is especially true of the one who has a personal knowledge of Jesus Christ.

   (3) Unity of theme. In Genesis 3 is seen the introduction of sin into the race. The remedy for sin is seen in the suffering of the woman's seed. This suffering is soon discovered to be vicarious. The definite remedy for man's sin is redemption through the shedding of the blood of the Redeemer. All through the Bible in type and ceremony, as well as didactically expressed, is the theme that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins. The iniquity of all was laid upon the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Isaiah 53:6). This transcendent theme reaches its climax with the closing book of the Bible as the divine purpose is consummated in paradise restored.

   (4) The unity of goal. Not only does the Book have one theme, salvation through vicarious suffering, but a glorious triumph. While undying enmity is declared, yet victory is assured as the result of vicarious suffering (Genesis 3:15). While the history of God's dealings with man exhibits various vicissitudes, ultimate and absolute triumph is assured through the working out of God's plan. The one heartening feature of divine revelation is the assurance of the triumph of God and righteousness. In spite of man's failure and God's severe reprimands for his sin, there is held before him the triumphant kingdom.

   The covenant of the kingdom was made with David (II Samuel 7:8-15). This covenant embraces the unbroken lineage which

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stands out in the beginning of the New Testament narrative and is carried to a grand climax in the book of Revelation. The closing book of the Bible sets forth the coming forth of the promised Deliverer, the putting down of all opposition, and the glorious reign of the King of kings which shall eventuate in the destruction of the enemy and the removal of the evil effects which he has brought into the world. The glorious kingdom shall be established, which shall eventuate in the restoration of the earth and humanity to harmony with the rule of God.

   c. Argument from the indestructibility of the Bible. Through the centuries wicked men have sought to destroy the Bible. Many of earth's mighty men, powerful in brains and influence, have joined in this crusade. In spite of their attacks, the Bible has triumphed. The preservation of the Bible in spite of the most violent hostility of wicked men is one of the most amazing facts of history. The infiltration of its thoughts and words into the world's literature is no less marvelous. A knowledge of the Bible is necessary for the understanding of much of the world's speech and writings.

   Let us consider some of the efforts to destroy the Bible.

   (1) The effort of King Jehoiakim. When King Jehoiakim heard what God's prophet Jeremiah had written, he was so enraged that he cut out the leaves of the scroll and burned them in the fire. "Now the king sat in the winterhouse in the ninth month: and there was a fire on the hearth burning before him. And it came to pass, that when Jehudi had read three or four leaves, he cut it with the penknife, and cast it into the fire that was on the hearth, until all the roll was consumed in the fire that was on the hearth" (Jeremiah 36:22-23). Jehoiakim's attitude toward Jeremiah was such that friends hid the prophet. The king's effort to get rid of the prophetic message was not successful, however, for the same words were reproduced and many like them added. "Then took Jeremiah another roll, and gave it to Baruch the scribe, the son of Neriah; who wrote therein from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the book which Jehoiakim king of Judah had burned in the fire: and there were added besides unto them many like words" (Jeremiah 36:32).

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   (2) The efforts of two early philosophers. Two names are cited to show the attitude of heathen philosophers.

   (a) Celsus, A.D. 178. Celsus had such hatred for it that he threw the full force of his brilliant mind and powerful genius against the Bible, in his effort to destroy its influence. For the most part the enemies of the Bible who have followed him have employed the same methods and followed the same arguments.

   (b) Porphyry, A.D. 270. It is said that Porphyry wrote fifteen books of philosophy against the Bible, all of which seemingly have perished.

   Not only were the efforts of these two men fruitless in their attacks, but their utterance has perished, save as preserved in the reply of Origen. Likewise, the attempt of the later rationalists to discredit the Bible have come to naught.

   (3) Efforts of Diocletian, the Roman Emperor, 284-305 A.D. He employed his imperial powers to destroy the Bible. He seems to have made a specialty of burning Bibles. In spite of his efforts, the Bible not only survived, but prospered. The fact is the Word of God prospers on opposition.

   (4) Efforts of the papacy. Through the centuries the Roman Church has been unfriendly to the Bible. Innocent III in 1100 had the Bible burned. Wycliffe was condemned on account of his translation of the Bible. Even a seller of the Bible was burned to death at the end of the 16th century. In spite of this violent hostility, the Bible today is the beacon light showing the way of salvation to a perishing world.

   (5) Efforts of heretics. All external efforts to destroy the Bible only increased its power. Therefore, attacks were made from within. The evil one endeavored to nullify its influence by perversion of its teachings. Some church leaders denied the humanity of Christ; others denied His deity. To counteract these teachings, the great councils of the church formulated doctrinal statements which vindicated the plain teaching of the Bible as to the incarnation and vicarious atonement of Christ. The so-called Modernism of our day is but a revival of the heresies of the early centuries, and just as the Bible survived the vicious attacks of those days, we can be assured that it will continue to prove itself to be the very Word of God.

   (6) The efforts of modern infidels. Three outstanding names appear in this role: Voltaire, Tom Paine, and Robert Ingersoll.

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   Voltaire said, "Another century and there will not be a Bible on the earth." The century has gone and the circulation of the Bible is one of the marvels of the age. Voltaire has passed into history, and it is said that his old printing press which was used to print his infidel literature has been used to print the Word of God and the very house where he lived is packed with Bibles. It is the depot for the Geneva Bible Society.

   Tom Paine said, "I have gone through the Bible as a man would cut through a forest with an axe to fell trees. I have cut down tree after tree; there they lie. They will never grow again." Tom Paine thought he had demolished the Bible, but since he crawled into a drunkard's grave in 1809, the Book has leaped forward, so that many more Bibles have been printed and scattered throughout the world than ever before. "More whole Bibles — 829,737 — were issued from the Bible House in New York in 1947 than in any preceding year ... A comparison of the five pre-war years, 1937 to 1941, with the five years 1942 to 1946, reveals some interesting and encouraging facts. Issues of English Bibles during the whole latter period exceeded the earlier period by over 100 per cent ... Even greater has been the increase in foreign-language portions. From an average of 1,192,472 a year in 1937-41, the output rose to an average of 3,814,211 in 1942-46 — an increase of over 600 per cent. 'The Word of God grew and multiplied ... Oh, that men would praise the Lord for his goodness and for his wonderful works to the children of men.' The Bible and Scripture portions are now published in 1,090 different languages and dialects."1

   Robert Ingersoll used his brilliant mind in going up and down the country attempting to destroy the Bible. He collected large fees for his lectures exposing The Mistakes of Moses. About the turn of the present century, at his home in Peoria, Illinois, Ingersoll is reported to have said that in twenty-five years the Bible would be a forgotten book and that the church would be a played-out institution. He contemptuously referred to a humble Methodist minister in that city as a "half-starved preacher" and contrasted his own pretentious home and large income to that of the preacher.

   The Methodists minister on the next Sunday offered in reply a prophecy concerning Ingersoll to the effect that in twenty-five years

_________________

1. American Bible Society, Board of Managers' Report of 1947, p. 23f.

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the Methodist church in Peoria would be one of the most influential institutions of the city and would occupy one of its most important corners with an imposing church building and that within that same period Ingersoll would be well nigh forgotten. Today the First Methodist Church of Peoria owns one of the finest church buildings in Illinois. The site where Ingersoll's law office stood is now occupied by the Young Men's Christian Association building. The palatial home in which Ingersoll lived has been replaced with a large tobacco factory.

   The fact that the Bible survives infidelity, outlives criticism and stands immortal, indestructible, and imperishable proves that it is of God and not of man. It is truly what Gladstone said, "The impregnable rock of Holy Scriptures."

   In a dark, disordered world, the Bible has gone everywhere to illuminate the paths of righteousness, the paths that lead to God the Father and to His Son Jesus Christ Who comforts, guides, upholds, and saves. It is in the pockets and in the hands and in the hearts of millions of men and women who are ready to die for the truth it teaches. Thousands upon thousands of weary prisoners behind barbed wire are making it their daily portion and by its radiance finding the path that leads from a living death to a life of hope and purpose. Restless students in India, China, and Latin America, bent on finding a better world, are devouring the pages of the Bible, commending its precepts and planning to build for their generation a world wherein dwelleth righteousness (II Peter 3:13).

   d. The argument from fulfilled prophecy. Justin Martyr said, "To declare a thing shall come to be long before it is in being and then to bring about the accomplishment of the very thing according to the same declaration; this or nothing is the work of God." Any book that has the power of looking into the future centuries before and telling with minute details of events as to time and place, person and circumstances, demonstrates its divine origin, for God alone knoweth the end from the beginning. History proves beyond a doubt that the Bible did foretell events, thereby proving that it is the very Word of God. The Bible alone of all books claims to make predictions. In this respect the Bible is entirely unique. Prediction with its historical fulfillment is the permanent and crowning proof of the inspiration of the Bible. In order that this proof may be recognized, three outstanding characteristics must be in

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evidence. First, there must be a lapse of time between the prophetic utterances and their fulfillment. This lapse of time between utterance and fulfillment must be of such duration as to preclude any possible recognition of forces which might lead to the predicted events. Second, the utterances must be free from ambiguity. They must be so specific as to admit of only one possible fulfillment. Third, they must be free from any suggestion which might lead to certain conclusions. Singularly, these very things constituted God's challenge to the idol gods of Baal. "Produce your cause, saith the Lord; bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob ... Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods: yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together" (Isaiah 41:21, 23). "Remember the former things of old : for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure" (Isaiah 46:9-10). To escape the force of this argument, destructive critics of the Bible deny the possibility of prediction and seek proof that the prophecies were written after the events took place; but in this they fail utterly because historical records show dates of prophecies with the corresponding dates of their fulfillment. A few of the many cases of fulfilled prophecy are cited:

(1) Concerning the Messiah

PROPHECY: (a) Seed of the woman. "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel" (Genesis 3:15).

FULFILLMENT: (a) "But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law" (Galatians 4:4). "And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for him in the inn. (Luke 2:7)

PROPHECY: (b) Born of a virgin. "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel" (Isaiah 7:14).

FULFILLMENT: (b) "Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us" (Matthew 1:22-23).

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PROPHECY: (c) Born in Bethlehem of the family of David. "But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting" (Micah 5:2). "And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots" (Isaiah 11:1).

FULFILLMENT: (c) "Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him" (Matthew 2:2). "And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn" (Luke 2:4-7).

PROPHECY: (d) Flight into Egypt. "When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt" (Hosea 11:1).

FULFILLMENT: (d) "And was there until the death of Herod; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son" (Matthew 2:15).

PROPHECY: (e) Manner of suffering. "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent: (Psalm 22:1-2).

FULFILLMENT: (e) "And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46).

PROPHECY: (f) Casting lots for His garments. "They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture" (Psalm 22:18).

FULFILLMENT: (f) "And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots" (Matthew 27:35).

PROPHECY: (g) His resurrection. "For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption" (Psalm 16:10).

FULFILLMENT: (g) "He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption" (Acts 2:31).

PROPHECY: (h) His ascension "The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies they footstool" (Psalm 110:1)

FULFILLMENT: (h) "Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that death could keep its hold on him" (Acts 2:24).

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   (2) Concerning certain cities.

   (a) Nineveh was a great city. It was built by Nimrod, Noah's grandson, on the east bank of the Tigris River and is said to have been a nation's pride for nearly 1,500 years. Its circuit was said to be more than fifty-four miles, and its walls had 1,500 towers one hundred feet high and broad enough for three chariots to be driven abreast. Not only was it great in size, but it was great in its wealth. It seems to have been second only to Babylon in its extensive commerce and buildings. Nahum the prophet appeared while the city was at the height of its splendor and foretold its destruction. The reason for its destruction is declared to have been because "of the multitude of her whoredoms" (Nahum 3:4). The people were given to extreme luxury and to open and gross licentiousness. Note some details of this prophecy. First, the gates of the rivers shall be opened and the palace shall be dissolved (Nahum 2:6). This was fulfilled in the opening of the flood gates causing water to be poured into the city dissolving the sun-dried bricks.

   Second, the prophet said, "... while they are drunken as drunkards, they shall be devoured as stubble fully dry" (Nahum 1:10). This prophecy was fulfilled by an attack made while the king and the people were engaged in a drinking spree. We are told that the palace was set afire by Sarcus and he and all his wives perished. So complete was the destruction of the city that even its burial place is unknown. It has been declared that even 1600 years ago nobody knew where Nineveh had stood.

   (b) Babylon. The destruction of Babylon was foretold by Isaiah about 175 years before it took place. Babylon was a great city, even one of the seven wonders of the world. Its destruction was prophesied as to be like that of Sodom and Gomorrah (Jeremiah 25:12, 13; 50:40). Its destruction was fulfilled about fifty years later. Darius the Persian took Babylon by surprise while Belshazzar in wild debauchery and revelry profaned the sacred vessels of the Lord's temple which had been carried away by Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 5:30, 31). This has been corroborated by such historians as Herodotus and Xenophon.

   (3) Concerning the Jews

   (a) God promised Abraham to make his seed great in number and that they should be a blessing to the world (Genesis 12:1-3). History, both sacred and profane, shows this to have been fulfilled.

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   (b) They were to possess Canaan (Genesis 12:7). This was fulfilled in the apportionment of the land among the twelve tribes (Joshua 13, 14).

   (c) Their captivity. God's prophet had declared that if the Israelites failed in their loyalty to God they would be carried away captive among the nations. (Leviticus 26; Deuteronomy 28). This was literally fulfilled (II Kings 25).

   (4) Concerning the Gentile nations. As set forth in the prophecies of Daniel 2 and 7: These two chapters set forth the world's successive empires beginning with the Babylonian. They were as follows:

   (a) The Babylonian

   (b) Medo-Persian

   (c) Grecian

   (d) Roman

   These kingdoms appeared in history according to the order set forth in these prophecies. Even a superficial examination of history exhibits their verification.

   e. The argument from the results which invariably follow believing the Word of God and submission to its requirements.

   (1) Faith is experienced through it. "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17).

   (2) The new birth is effected by it. "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever" (1 Peter 1:23).

   (3) It is a means of spiritual growth. "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby" (1 Peter 2:2).

   (4) It cleanses the life; it is a means of sanctification. "Sanctify them through thy truth : thy word is truth" (John 17:17). "Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word: (Psalm 119:9). "As for the deeds of men, by the word of your lips I have kept myself from the ways of the violent" (Psalm 17:4).

   It is entirely proper to argue for the reality of anything from what it accomplishes. The fact that the Bible is the only book in the world which imparts spiritual life and saves the soul, then cleanses and sanctifies the life and preserves and keeps the individual from evil and from the power of the evil one, proves beyond doubt that the Bible is God's Word.

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   2. THE TESTIMONY OF THE SCRIPTURES themselves as to their inspiration. After all, the final and unequivocal proof of the inspiration of the Scriptures is what they say of themselves. This is not reasoning in a circle. The truth of the Scriptures has been determined from other sources; historical and textual criticism have demonstrated their integrity. If they are what the most searching literary criticism has proven them to be, we are bound to go to them for testimony as to their origin. They must not only state whether they are inspired, but how far they are inspired.

   For Paul, "What saith the Scriptures?" was final authority. "Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son : for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman" (Galatians 4:30). "For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness" (Romans 4:3). If we cannot rely upon the testimony of the Scriptures on the point of their inspiration, their testimony is entirely valueless on every other point.

   Every Christian believes what the Bible says as to creation, the fall of man, the flood, Babel, the destruction of Sodom, the experience of the Hebrews in the fiery furnace unharmed, Daniel in the den of lions, the incarnation of Christ, redemption by the blood, heaven for the righteous and hell for the wicked. He is entirely dependent upon God's testimony for this knowledge, but he accepts it without qualification. He freely says with Paul, ".... yea, let God be true, but every man a liar ..." (Romans 3:4).

   Dr. James H. Brookes says, "The scriptures say distinctly from first to last more than 2,000 times that, while its words are the words of men, they are also the words of God, and if the objection is raised that it is difficult to see how the human and divine can exist side by side in the written word, is it less difficult to see how the human and divine can exist side by side without confusion in the person of the Incarnate Word? If it is urged that it is impossible to understand how the human element in the Bible is free from imperfection, is it easier to understand how the human nature of the Lord Jesus Christ was free from human imperfection?"1

   We now proceed to the establishment of the proposition that the Scriptures are plenary-verbally inspired.

__________

1. Quoted from L. W. Munhall, Anti-Higher Criticism, p. 333.

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   a. The Old Testament witness of itself. The Old Testament embraces three divisions : the law, the prophets, and the Psalms. "And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me" (Luke 24:44).

   (1) The law (The term "law" applied to the Pentateuch). Let us hear the testimony of the law as to its origin. "And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant : but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue. And the Lord said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say" (Exodus 4:10-12). When God commissioned Moses to go to Pharaoh, He promised to be with Moses' mouth and teach him what to say. The divine promise did not mention Moses' thinking, but his speaking. After this interview with God, it is said that the phrase "The Lord said unto Moses" or its equivalent occurs 560 times in the Pentateuch. Since Moses is recognized as the author of this portion of the Bible, it is highly important that we take into account what he said. If Moses did not tell the truth about this matter, his testimony is impeached on every statement he made, be it historical, ethical, or doctrinal.

   (2) The prophets. Peter's testimony in II Peter 1:19-21 is to the effect that the message of the prophets was not of their own creation. "We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts : Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man : but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." This shows that the prophets were not allowed liberty in the selection of their own language. The declaration is that they thought, but that they spoke as moved by the Holy Spirit. So completely were the prophets under the control of the Holy Spirit that they at times diligently searched their own writings to find out their meaning. "Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you : Searching what, or what

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manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow" (I Peter 1:10-11). It is proper that we examine the individual testimony of the prophets.

   (a) The testimony of Isaiah. "Hear the word of the Lord, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah" (Isaiah 1:10). Some twenty times Isaiah declares that his utterances are the words of the Lord.

   (b) The testimony of Jeremiah. "Then said I, Ah, Lord God! behold, I cannot speak : for I am a child. But the Lord said unto me, Say not, I am a child : for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. Be not afraid of their faces : for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord. Then the Lord put forth his hand, and touched my mouth, And the Lord said unto me, Behold, I have put my words into thy mouth" (Jeremiah 1:6-9). Nearly one hundred times Jeremiah declares that the word of the Lord came unto him.

   (c) The testimony of Ezekiel. "Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, all my words that I shall speak unto thee receive in thine heart, and hear with thine ears. And go, get thee to them of the captivity, unto the children of thy people, and speak unto them, and tell them, Thus saith the Lord God ; whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear. Then the spirit took me up, and I heard behind me a voice of a great rushing, saying, Blessed be the glory of the Lord from his place" (Ezekiel 3:10-12). Ezekiel asserts some sixty times that his writings are the Word of God.

   (d) The testimony of Daniel. "Yet heard I the voice of his words: and when I heard the voice of his words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground. And, behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands. And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling. Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words." (Daniel 10:9-12). Daniel testifies that he heard the voice of words showing that the divine message was expressed in words.

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   (e) The testimony of Hosea. "The word of the Lord that came unto Hosea, the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel" (Hosea 1:1). His testimony is that the Word of the Lord came unto him.

   (f) The testimony of Joel. "The word of the Lord that came to Joel the son of Pethuel" (Joel 1:1). Joel likewise declared that the Word of the Lord came unto him.

   (g) The testimony of Amos. Amos asked the people to hear the word that the Lord had spoken against Israel. "Hear this word that the Lord hath spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt" (Amos 3:1).

   (h) The testimony of Obadiah. "The vision of Obadiah. Thus saith the Lord God concerning Edom: We have heard a rumour from the Lord, and an ambassador is sent among the heathen, Arise ye, and let us rise up against her in battle" (Obadiah 1:1). Obadiah declared, "Thus saith the Lord God."

   (i) The testimony of Jonah. "Now the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying" (Jonah 1:1). Jonah likewise declared that the Word of the Lord came unto him showing him his message had come directly from the Lord.

   (j) The testimony of Micah. Micah likewise declared that the Word of the Lord had come to him. "The word of the Lord that came to Micah the Morasthite in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem" (Micah 1:1).

   (k) The testimony of Nahum. "Thus saith the Lord; Though they be quiet, and likewise many, yet thus shall they be cut down, when he shall pass through. Though I have afflicted thee, I will afflict thee no more" (Nahum 1:12). Nahum declared, "Thus saith the Lord."

   (l) The testimony of Habakkuk. "And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon the tables, that he may run that readeth it" (Habakkuk 2:2). Habakkuk declared that the Lord had commanded him to write the vision and make it plain that he may run that readeth it. It was to be so plain as to be read by everyone.

   (m) The testimony of Zephaniah. "The word of the Lord which came unto Zephaniah the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah,

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the son of Amariah, the son of Hizkiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah" (Zephaniah 1:1). Zephaniah declared that the Word of the Lord came unto him.

   (n) The testimony of Haggai. "In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, in the first day of the month, came the word of the Lord by Haggai the prophet unto Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, saying" (Haggai 1:1). Haggai like the other prophets declared that the Word of the Lord had come to him.

   (o) The testimony of Zechariah. "In the eighth month, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the Lord unto Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying" (Zechariah 1:1). Zechariah declared that at a specific time the Word of the Lord came to him, giving even the month of the year when it took place.

   (p) The testimony of Malachi. "The burden of the word of the Lord to Israel by Malachi" (Malachi 1:1). Malachi's testimony agrees with the other prophets. In this the last of the Old Testament books, "Thus saith the Lord" occurs twenty-four times. It is evident from the testimony of these prophetic writers that they were fully inspired. They declare that not merely the thought was given, but the very words with which the thought was expressed. "Thus saith the Lord" occurs 2,000 times.

   (3) The Psalms. Since David was the author of most of the Psalms, it is sufficient to hear his testimony as to the divine origin of this portion of the Bible. "The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his word was in my tongue. The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God" (II Samuel 23:2-3). It is said that the expression "thus saith the Lord" or its equivalent occurs some 300 times in this section. In addition to what is said in these sections as to their source, it is well to note again the testimony of Paul in II Timothy 3:15-17. Here the inspired apostle declares that all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, which according to the definition of inspiration means that it is "God-breathed." It has a divine source and it is well to observe that the word "Scriptures" had a definite connotation at this time, such that it was never applied to any collection of books except the canonical books of the Old Testament. Further proof of the inspiration of the Old Testament is

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found in the use made of the Old Testament writings by the New Testament writers and of Christ Himself.

   (4) The use made by New Testament writers. Quotations from the Old Testament are given in most of the New Testament books.

   (a) Matthew. Throughout the Gospel according to Matthew we read such statements as this: "Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet" (Matthew 1:22).

   (b) Luke. Luke records that Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and testified that the coming of the Messiah had been foretold by the prophets (Luke 1:67-75). Frequent quotations from the Old Testament were made both in Luke's Gospel and the book of Acts, written by him.

   (c) Peter and John. Being released after their recent arrest by the council, Peter and John reported back to the company of Christians. In their prayers which followed, they definitely stated that the rebellion of the rulers was in fulfillment of the utterances of David in the Sixteenth Psalm (Acts 2:24-26).

   (d) Paul. "Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures) (Romans 1:1-2). Paul declares that he had been called to be an apostle and separated unto the gospel of God and that this promise had been made by the prophets in the Holy Scriptures. Paul used "it is written" about twenty times in the book of Romans as the end of all controversy. So particular and definite is the inspiration of Scripture shown to be that salvation was to come to Abraham and his seed through faith in the Redeemer. See Galatians 3:8, 22 and compare Galatians 3:16. In the latter passage, Paul makes one of the most important doctrines of the Scriptures to hinge upon the use of a word in the singular number.

   (e) Christ. All this is strengthened and made sure by Christ's use of the Scriptures. He declared the absolute indestructibility of the Law (Matthew 5:17-18). The jot is the smallest letter of the Hebrew alphabet; the tittle is a stroke or turn of a Hebrew letter. Christ declared that it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one of the smallest injunctions of law to pass away. John 10:34-35 is where Christ makes the

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declaration that the Scripture cannot be broken. We thus see that He vouched for the integrity of the Old Testament Scriptures. Every Christian must recognize that Christ knew what He was saying. Perhaps the crowning evidence is seen in Christ's use of the law in His temptation in the wilderness (Matthew 4:4, 7, 10). He had such implicit faith in the book of Deuteronomy that He used it in the most crucial hour when the very destiny of the human race was at stake. It is inconceivable to think of Christ using the fragment of a forged book in that crucial hour to meet Satan's assault.

   b. The New Testament witness of itself. All that has gone before applies to the inspiration of the canonical Scriptures of the Old Testament. Let us now examine the grounds for believing that the books of the New Testament are likewise inspired.

   (1) Christ's promise to His apostles. Christ promised His apostles supernatural aid when they should be called upon to give an account of their ministry before the rulers. "But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak : for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you" (Matthew 10:19-20). Just as God had promised help to the Old Testament prophets in giving them their commission, Christ promised supernatural aid of the Holy Spirit to His apostles. Compare Exodus 3:12. Note Christ's declaration, "It is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you." On another occasion, he said, "But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate : but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye : for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost" (Mark 13:11). Note that He again says, "It is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost." On still another occasion Christ said, "And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say : For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say" (Luke 12:11-12). He here specifically declares, "that ye take no thought what thing ye shall answer .... for the Holy Ghost shall teach you." Still later, when the storm was gathering about His disciples, Christ said, "For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist."

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No more definite and specific promises could be made than these; their meaning could not possibly be misunderstood. The apostles were not to think beforehand or to premeditate. They were not to plan their defense ahead of time; they were not to arrange their defensive arguments ; they were to be entirely under the control of the Holy Spirit. This was plenary-verbal inspiration without qualification.

   (2) Christ's promise to His apostles fulfilled. The supernatural aid promised to them was fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4). The proof that Christ's promise was fulfilled was that people from about fifteen different countries heard the apostle speak in their own language (Acts 2:6-11). The people acknowledged that the wonderful works of God had been spoken to them in their own tongues. Peter declared that the phenomenon of Pentecost was in part the fulfillment of Joel's prophecy (Acts 2:16-21). Compare Joel 2:28-32. A few days later these unschooled men were able to stand with undaunted courage before learned and powerful men convincing the rulers that they have been with Jesus (Acts 4:13).

   This clearly means that they possessed what Jesus had promised them, the Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, to teach them all things and to bring to their remembrances what Jesus had said to them (John 14:26). Compare John 16:13-14.

   (3) The claim of the New Testament writers to the Spirit's work in them.

   (a) Paul. Paul claimed that the words he used in making known the divine revelation were given him by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit not only gave him the thought, but the words which he used to express the thought. This seems clearly to be the meaning of "comparing spiritual things with spiritual" (1 Corinthians 2:12-13). Furthermore, Paul placed his authority in settling certain questions in the Corinthian church on an equality with that of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 7:10, 12). He likewise positively declared that to him was given truth not known to the Old Testament prophets (Ephesians 3:4-6). To the Thessalonians Paul said, "For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe" (1 Thessalonians 2:13).

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He further declared that the Thessalonians had heard the Word of God from him and added that those who rejected his words rejected not man but God who gave them His Holy Spirit (I Thessalonians 4:8). With absolute confidence he declared that the words of his writings were the words which the Spirit of God gave him.

   (b) Peter. Peter declared that the prophets had spoken as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost" (II Peter 1:21). He then wrote to his brethren and placed his commandments alongside of the Spirit-filled words of the prophets. Peter knew that his message was given by the same Holy Spirit who worked in the prophets. Peter likewise placed the writings of Paul on the same high level of divine authority as the Old Testament Scriptures (II Peter 3:15-16). We thus see that Peter claimed divine inspiration for his own writings and fully recognized Paul's epistles as divinely inspired.

   (c) John. The beloved apostle declared, "We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us" (I John 4:6).

   (4) The apostles' claim attested by miracles. They claimed that Christ's promise of the Holy Spirit was being fulfilled in them and their claim was vindicated by the working of miracles (Acts 14:3). Paul here declared that God had given His seal of authority upon His apostleship by signs and wonders and mighty deeds. The writer of the epistle to the Hebrews declared that God had borne witness to the preaching of His Word with signs and wonders, miracles and gifts of the Holy Ghost (Hebrews 2:3-4). In the light of the foregoing conclusions, it seems proper to append the words of the translators of our common version of the Bible : "And what marvel, the original being from heaven and not from the earth, the author being God, not man, the inditer the Holy Spirit not the wit of the apostles and prophets, the penmen such as were sanctified from the womb and especially endued with God's Word, God's testimony, God's oracles, the Word of truth, the Word of salvation; the effects, light of understanding, stableness of persuasion, repentance from dead works, newness of life, holiness, peace, joy in the Holy Ghost; lastly, the end and reward thereof, fellowship with the saints, participation of

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the heavenly nature, fruition of an inheritance, immortal, undefiled, and that which shall never fade away — happy is the man that delighteth in the Scripture and meditateth in it day and night."

IV. Some Objections to the Inspiration of the Scriptures

   1. FROM THE FREE MANNER in which the New Testament writers quoted those of the Old Testament. It is asserted that since the quotations are not verbatim that there could not be full inspiration. Answer : Since the Holy Spirit is the Author of both Testaments, He has the right to quote freely from the form of the expression and give a new turn to His thought in order to adapt it to the new condition. This right is universally accorded to human authors.

   2. FROM ALLEGED DISCREPANCIES in the Scripture texts. Answer : As to whether such discrepancies exist must be determined by intelligent Biblical criticism and a proper exegesis. Should there be found such contradictions, we reply that the claim of full inspiration obtains only with reference to the original autograph copies.

   3. SOME ASSERT that Paul disclaimed inspiration in some instances.

   a. "I speak as a man." "But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? (I speak as a man)" (Romans 3:5). "I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh : for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness" (Roman 6:19). "Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto" (Galatians 3:15). Answer : The first text signifies that Paul presented his arguments using the language common to men. The second text means that he was speaking in a manner adapted to human comprehension. In the third text, he was using illustrations from human affairs.

   b. "I speak this by permission." "But I speak this by permission and not of commandment" (I Corinthians 7:6). Answer: "Permission" here means not the Lord's permission for him to

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speak, but the thing about which he was speaking was permitted on the part of the Corinthians.

   c. "I command, yet not I, but the Lord." "And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband : But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband : and let not the husband put away his wife. But to the rest speak I, not the Lord : If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away" (I Corinthians 7:10-12). Answer : This means that the Lord had not spoken concerning this matter, but that Paul was now speaking, and his words were to be regarded as having equality with the words of the Lord.

   d. "I think that I have." "But she is happier if she so abide, after my judgment : and I think also that I have the Spirit of God" (I Corinthians 7:40). Answer : This is but another way of saying, "I have." Paul had no doubt as to his being an organ of the Spirit. Indeed, in I Corinthians 14:37 he declared that his commandments are the commandments of the Lord.


Part Two

THEOLOGY PROPER — THE GODHEAD

By the Godhead is meant all that enters into the concept of the Divine Being. It embraces all that makes God to be God; all that is included in absolute deity.

Chapter I

The Importance of the Doctrine of God

I. Its Magnitude

The greatest subject that has ever engaged the mind of man is the doctrine of God. This is true because it concerns the universal and absolute Being, and also because the well-being and destiny of man depend upon it.

   This doctrine is the center of all right thinking whether in the realm of the material or the spiritual. Correct thought about God is essential to real science. Real scientific progress is dependent upon correct thought about God. Furthermore, right thought about God is the ground for Christian faith as well as proper incentive to right living. The true scientist has the spirit of Kepler, the astronomer, who exclaimed, "Great God, I but think thy thoughts after thee."

II. The Effect of Ignorance Concerning God

   This is combined with the refusal of man to live up to the knowledge of God. The ills of the human race are traceable to wrong ideas of God and a hostile attitude toward Him. The universal sin and guilt of the human race resulted from man's deliberate rebellion against God. Man from the beginning knew God, but was unwilling to worship Him or to give thanks to Him. "Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened" (Romans 1:21). Because of this deliberate refusal to retain God in his affections, man was separated from God and his mind and heart were enveloped in utter darkness.

   Consciousness of separation from God is a universal characteristic of the human race. Everywhere and in all ages men have conceived of a being over them who disapproved of their deeds. The spiritual history of the race is set forth by Paul in Romans 1:18-32.

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   1. MAN HAD ADEQUATE OPPORTUNITY TO KNOW GOD. It was possible for man to know God because God was his teacher. God taught the race through human conscience and divine works. "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse" (Romans 1:18-20). Two phrases stand out in this description, "in them" and "unto them." It is clear therefore that sin was not for lack of knowledge but in spite of it.

   Man's first sin was not because of the downward pull of a lower or sensuous nature. Sin is not an infirmity in the human personality, but positive willfulness. Sin is spiritual and therefore not inherent in matter as declared by pagan philosophers.

   Knowledge of the origin and fact of sin is essential to the understanding of man's ruin and God's remedy for this ruin. Man's failure to understand the grace of God in Jesus Christ is due to his ignorance of the nature of sin. All heresy is traceable to this source. No one who knows the truth concerning sin ever objects to God's remedy for sin, the vicarious atonement of Jesus Christ. Observe that Paul declares sin to be of two kinds, ungodliness and unrighteousness. Ungodliness is the root and unrighteousness the fruit of sin. Before man can possibly do right he must be made righteous through regeneration.

   2. MAN REJECTED THE LIGHT. "Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools" (Romans 1:21-22). Because of man's rejection of light, God sent him darkness. The darkness of man's mind is more than a mere psychological reaction to the rejection of light. It is all that, but in addition it is a definite and positive act of God. "God gave them up" is repeated several times (verses 24, 26, 28). The result of man's deliberate refusal of the light was darkness and confusion. This explains the world's present trouble.

   That the world is sick in its entire life is admitted by everyone. It is sick in its domestic life: the home is losing its place in the

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wild desire to escape responsibility. It is sick in its social life : godlessness is rampant in the earth as the nations follow ancient Babylon and Sodom. It is sick in its commercial life : its record in recent years is most appalling. It is sick in its political life, as expressed in nations great and small seeking selfish advantage in the struggle for dominion; it is this that lies back of power politics. It is sick in its religious life, as evidenced by the appearance of false prophets on every hand and by the deadening grip of rationalism fastening itself upon Christianity itself. All these troubles have their root in man's unbelief in God and rebellion against Him.

   3. SPIRITUAL DARKNESS RESULTED. Man was first a monotheist, that is, he was a worshiper of one God, but in his darkness he fell into:

   a. Idolatry. Though man rejected God, he continued to be a worshiper. In his worship he likened the imperishable and uncorruptible God to:

(1) Corruptible man.

(2) Birds.

(3) Four-footed beasts.

(4) Creeping things.

   "And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves : Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen" (Romans 1:23-25). Idolatry is in its essential nature a caricature of God.

   Paul's teaching here puts the lie to the so-called philosophy of evolution. He plainly shows that man's progress has been downward instead of upward. This applies to primitive man as he came from the Creator's hands and not primarily to the savage who is degenerate because of his rejection of God.

   b. Sensuality. Man originally was chaste. When he cast off God and was in turn cast off by God, his passions were unchained. "For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections : for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature" (Romans 1:26). The secret of all virtuous

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living is to retain God in one's thoughts. The reason for the moral degeneration of the race is the fact that it has left God out of its life.

   c. Every kind of immorality. Having cast off God and having in turn been cast off by God, the loosening of human passion was followed by every kind of immorality. "In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them." (Romans 1:27-32). This is a graphic portrayal of the pagan world as well as our civilized world where God is not recognized. The only hope of the race is its return to God. The central responsibility of leaders today is to bring the truths of the Bible to the minds of our young people. A knowledge of the true God must be inculcated in their lives; in the measure that this knowledge is made real will there be established a basis of right living, for the individual as well as the nations. Man's only hope is in God.


Chapter II

Who Is God?

OUR English word "God" is derived from a root meaning "to call" referring to the object of worship — the one upon whom man calls or the one whom he invokes. In the Hebrew, Genesis 1:1, the word "God" primarily means "a being of might and power." The root meaning of God in the Greek connotes a supreme Being. "And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon" (Matthew 23:22).

   The Scriptures do not give a formal definition of God. Man's concept of God is gained through his constitutional powers supplemented by God's revelation of Himself through nature and the Holy Scriptures. Because God created man in His own likeness and image (Genesis 1:26-27), God can make Himself known to man. The impact of God's personality upon man's personality leaves its definite impression. Man's reaction to the impact of the divine personality constitutes his concept of God. This impression plus God's revelation of Himself in nature is the measure of the knowledge of God possessed by the heathen. "Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse" (Romans 1:19-20). But this constitutional and natural revelation of God must be supplemented by the revelation of Him in the Holy Scriptures in order that there may be a correct and saving knowledge of God. Christ declared that God is Spirit. "God is Spirit : and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth" (John 4:24). The inference therefore is that God is the Almighty Spirit who is to be worshipped and whose help is to be invoked.

   So far as usage is concerned, the definition of God formulated by the Westminster Assembly is perhaps the most satisfactory ever given.

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When that great body of eminent Christian leaders came to the problem of giving a definition of God, they made special prayer for divine guidance. While praying, one of the men addressed God thus, "Oh God, thou who art a Spirit, infinite, justice, goodness and truth." The Assembly immediately agreed that that spontaneous outburst of prayer was the best definition that could be found, and it was adopted for the Westminster Confession.

   This definition of God meets the essential requirement of every definition, setting forth the genus or class to which the being or thing belongs and then stating the specific difference which distinguishes it from all others, either persons or things. In this case "God is Spirit" makes clear the genus or class of being to which He belongs. The words "infinite, eternal and unchangeable in its being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness and truth" indicate the specific differences in which He is differentiated from other beings.

   As to the meaning of Spirit, a clear statement was made by Jesus Christ with reference to Himself, "Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself : handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have" (Luke 24:39). A spirit is invisible and incorporeal although it may be manifested in visible form. "Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the Lord spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire: Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female, The likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged fowl that flieth in the air, The likeness of any thing that creepeth on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth" (Deuteronomy 4:15-18). The essence and the manifestation of that essence are entirely different things.

   Christ further declared, "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him" (John 1:18). However, we are told that when Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel were up on the Mount they saw God. "And they saw the God of Israel : and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness" (Exodus 24:10). This in no wise contradicts

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Christ's statement, but gives room for the fact that an essence may be invisible and yet may make itself manifest.

   A shorter but very satisfactory definition of God is given by Dr. A. Strong in his Systematic Theology. He says, "God is the infinite and perfect Spirit in whom all things have their source, support, and end."1

   It is sometimes asked how the idea of God originated. Various views have been expressed, but the most satisfactory explanation is that man's concept of God is constitutional rather than intuitive. God created man in His likeness and image. This likeness and image primarily refers to personality. Because of the divine likeness and image, he does respond to the impact of God's personality upon man's personality. As before stated, man's reaction to the impact of the divine personality constitutes his concept of God. Without this personal reaction, man could not even evaluate the meaning of the common arguments given for the existence of God. We see therefore that man's primary knowledge of God is based upon his relation to the impact of God's being upon his being.

__________

1. Strong, Systematic Theology, p. 52.


Chapter III

The Being of God

THE Bible does not give any formal definition of God, neither does it offer any proof of His existence. We legitimately infer from this fact that no proof is needed. His existence is everywhere assumed in the Scriptures. Only the fool denies it. "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God ... " (Psalm 14:1). It is proper to note that the word "fool" in the Hebrew is "nabal" which according to its root meaning suggests destitution, the result of the loss of connection with the source of life. Only the one who is out of touch with the life of God denies the existence of the Divine Being. The word "fool" implies moral difficulty rather than intellectual. It may be confidently asserted that no one has ever disbelieved in the existence of God because of inherent intellectual difficulty. In every case it reveals spiritual bankruptcy. While there is no attempt at logical proof, there is abundant evidence of God's existence. The existence of a divine person is always assumed and his activity everywhere demonstrated. The reflective mind sees God revealing Himself in word and deed. Christ's teaching about God is entirely free from metaphysical utterances such as absolute, infinite, first cause, and the like, but they are always fraught with the full implication of God as a living, personal, ethical, infinite, and self-revealing being. His being and presence are realistically presented so as to obviate the necessity of proof. Let us consider the following lines of corroborative evidences of divine existence.

I. The Ontological Argument

   Ontology in metaphysics means an argument for the existence of God from the nature of His being, which as commonly stated is, "God is the most real or perfect being." The most real or perfect being necessarily exists, therefore God exists. It means, therefore, that the perfect being must possess actual existence. To postulate a more perfect being would be self-contradictory. Another form of this argument pertains to the fundamental existence of God as an independent reality. That which is fundamental and independent expresses absolute existence.

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II. The Cosmological Argument

   Cosmology is that branch of metaphysics which treats of the character of the universe as an orderly system or as a cosmos. It especially treats of the processes of nature and the relation of its parts.

   The universe is not self-existent. Events everywhere are to be explained by a cause lying back of them sufficient to produce them. Every effect demands a cause adequate to produce such effect. This means that the cause of all existence is either inside or outside of itself. God is self-existent and the cause of the universe. This principle of cause and effect applies not only to the origin, but to all changes in the universe. Every effect demands a cause adequate to produce such effect. "Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse" (Romans 1:19-20). Corroborative evidence of God's existence is furnished by the existence of a world order. This world order displays a design back of it and the design implies a designer.

III. The Teleological Argument

   This is the well-known argument from design. Natural forces and their adaptation to living things argue that there is an ordered design behind the world. If there is a design, there is demanded a designer. It not only proves the existence of a designer but the intelligence of that designer.

IV. The Anthropological Argument

   Man is a personal being. All knowledge begins with self-consciousness. There cannot be knowledge of anything without a knowing agent. As man is conscious of himself he becomes conscious of a personal being higher than himself who is the very cause of his own existence of the world in which he lives.

V. Proof from Moral Purpose

   Man's moral nature argues for divine existence. Because man bears the likeness and image of God his personality responds to

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the impact of a divine personality. This is what is known as human conscience. Human conscience therefore is a witness to the fact of a divine Being.

VI. Proof from the Harmony of the Universe

   The existence of God is evidenced by the harmony existing between the parts of the universe in their relation to a supreme personality. The postulation of the divine personality meets the demands of the rational mind. Man realizes himself as a being under the sway of a certain oughtness.


Chapter IV

The Nature of God As Revealed in His Names

A NAME is never a mere vocable," James Orr declares.1 The name of anything expresses its essential nature. In the Bible there is a vital connection between the names of God and the essence of God. For this reason it is declared, "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain" (Exodus 20:7). "They that know thy name will put their trust in thee" (Psalm 9:10).

   The names of God not only reveal the nature of God's essence, but also disclose His relation to His creatures in general and especially to those included in His redemptive purpose. The following classification of the divine names should be recognized.

I. General Names

   1. ELOHIM. The use of this name in the Scriptures implies that God possesses the sum total of all the power which the heathen conceived as being distributed among their many deities. It is the conception of God common to the human race. It is first used in the Bible to show God as the Almighty Creator of the universe, the One who holds the sea in His hands and guides the stars in their course (Genesis 1:1). The word is plural in form but nearly always joined to a singular verb. It is not only what some scholars call the plural of excellence but of majesty and power. It likewise suggests plurality. Indeed, the very Trinity is wrapped up in it.

   Note the etymological significance of the name. "El" means the mighty One and omnipotent One, and "Alah" means to swear to, to covenant. Already, there is the clear implication that God sustains a covenant relationship to man who bears His image. This name applied to God means that He is the One to be greatly feared and in the highest degree to be reverenced; not only to be reverenced, but to be trusted. He is faithful to His promises. Man may fall and fail but God changes not.

______________

1. Orr, Sidelights on Christian Doctrine, p. 21.

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   The one who knows this God of power will not be affrighted at the thunder and lightnings. Such manifestations will induce adoration and worship. This name of God occurs some 2,570 times in the Old Testament.

   2. ELYON. "And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which is the king's dale. And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine : and he was the priest of the most high God. And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth : And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all" (Genesis 14: 17-20). This name denotes the most high God. It indicates that He is the possessor of heaven and earth. This name occurs in the history of Melchizedek (vv. 18-20). It gives to God the place of pre-eminence, the supreme deity, the ruler of the universe.

   3. EL SHADDAI (Gen. 17:1, 8, 15-22; compare Gen. 18: 9-14). Delizsch says concerning this name of God, "Elohim is the God who creates nature so that it is, and supports it so that it continues; El Shaddai is the God who compels nature to do what is contrary to itself, and subdues it to bow and minister to grace." El Shaddai is composed of two elements — El equals the strong or mighty God; Shaddai equals the breasted one. The implication of the root meaning of this compound word is that as the mother pours into the child her life from her breast so God pours into His covenant people His own energy, making them capable of producing. The example illustrating this truth is that of Abraham and Sarah who because of advanced age were unable to produce seed. God declared that He now appeared to them as El Shaddai and would so energize decadent nature as to compel it to do that which was beyond nature. This name indicates that God is the bountiful giver of all good, the great Being who compels decadent nature to function. Abraham was a hundred years old and Sarah was ninety. Their bodies were as good as dead; they were past the normal age for the propagation of children. El, the strong One, and Shaddai, the breasted One, now engages Himself to make effective the covenant. Just as the infant grows through the mother pouring her life through her breast, so the new name "El Shaddai" shows that God would pour into the dead bodies of this pair His own energy

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and thus compel nature to do His pleasure and perform His purpose. This name shows God working for man's salvation. This is the God we need today to pour into our nature His supreme energy and power that we may be able to beget spiritual children.

4. ADONAI. This is the plural of Adon which means Master or Lord. In the plural form it means "my Lord." This implies that God is the owner of the members of the human race, therefore, He demands the unqualified obedience of all men (Malachi 1:6). An understanding of the meaning of the names of God has a practical bearing on human life.

II. The Special or Covenant Name — Jehovah

   This name of the Divine Being first appears in Genesis 2:4 : "These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens." In Genesis 1, Elohim is the name used for the Divine Being. Jehovah is the name most frequently used in the Old Testament. Mr. Nathan Stone in his book The Names of God says this name occurs 6,823 times. To obtain the meaning of this name it is proper to examine its etymology. It is derived from the Hebrew verb "to be." Its origin and meaning is to be found in Exodus 3:13-15. It signifies "He who is" (Exodus 3:14). "He who is what He is," it implies.

   1. THE SELF-EXISTENT ONE. "I am" implies the One who exists by Himself and is the cause of all existence.

   2. THE SELF-SUFFICIENT ONE. "I am that I am" — this means that the Divine Being does not go outside of Himself to explain Himself. The fact is that there is no analogy in the range of human concept and experience to express this idea.

   3. THE IMMUTABLE ONE. There is no change in the nature of God, neither in His ways (Malachi 3:6). This name implies faithfulness. "Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations" (Deuteronomy 7:9). It also implies strength. "Trust ye in the Lord for ever; for in the Lord JEHOVAH is everlasting strength" (Isaiah 26:4). Elohim shows creative and preserving power; Jehovah shows the personal God in relation to His redeemed ones. Elohim reveals God in relation to the universe; Jehovah reveals His relation to moral creatures in His essential nature. The name "Jehovah" did not appear in the divine record till after the creation of man (Genesis 2:4). Ever afterward it becomes the dominant name of God in relation to man as redeemer and friend.2

III. Special or Particular Names of God

   After Genesis 2:4 Jehovah, the personal name of God, remains constant throughout the Holy Scriptures. However, after the fuller revelation of God's redemptive purpose is made and His essential moral and spiritual character revealed, various compounds are made corresponding to the redemptive experience of His people. Through the names of God we come to know more definitely what God is and also what he is able to do for us and through us.

   1. JEHOVAH-TSIDKENUTHE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. "In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely : and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The Lord our righteousness" (Jeremiah 33:16). Righteousness is the first necessity of moral beings if they are to be in fellowship with God. Only the upright can behold the face of God. God is absolutely righteous. If then sinful man is to enjoy fellowship with God, a righteousness must be provided. Happily, a perfect righteousness has taken our place in obedience and suffering, giving us His place in full fellowship with God the Father. "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him" (II Corinthians 5:21). What God's absolute righteousness demanded was provided by Christ's sacrificial work on the cross. It is because of the merit of Christ's work that the believer can be declared righteous. It is for this cause that "there is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1). "Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth" (Romans 8:33).

   2. JEHOVAH-MEKADDASCHEMTHE LORD OUR SANCTIFIER. "Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you" (Exodus 31:13). "Sanctify" here is used in its primary sense, namely, to set apart, to separate. This sanctification is a completed act of God. Those in Christ are set apart for God.

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2. See Stone, Nathan, The Names of God, Moody Press, Chicago, 1944, pp. 19ff.

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Because of this completed act of God it is possible for the secondary meaning of sanctify, which means to separate oneself from sin and defilement, to become a reality. Failure to perceive the full truth of sanctification leads to gross confusion and even folly in the minds of people. Because of the obligation of those set apart by God to separate themselves from all defilement, some are led to think that they must sanctify themselves in the primary sense. To apply the texts setting forth the work of God in sanctification to the individual is to be led into error.

   3. JEHOVAH-JIREHTHE LORD WILL PROVIDE. "And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-Jireh : as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen" (Genesis 22:14). Jehovah is first a provider of righteousness to His people and then their sanctifier. The meaning is even wider than this, including all the temporal and spiritual needs. Those who are really the Lord's can depend upon Him for full provisions and support. Those who give themselves entirely to the Lord can lean upon Him for all that they need. It is the husband's responsibility to provide for the woman who has given herself to him as his wife. We can be assured that God will supply all our needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19). See God's Code of Morals for fuller treatment.

   4. JEHOVAH-SHALOMTHE LORD OUR PEACE. "Then Gideon built an altar there unto the Lord, and called it Jehovah-shalom : unto this day it is yet in Ophrah of the Abi-ezrites" (Judges 6:24). Consciousness of the absolute righteousness provided in Jesus Christ and that God will provide for His own brings to the believer a full sense of peace, peace of conscience because his standing is in Christ, peace of mind because all his needs shall be supplied. The utter confidence of the child in the ability of the parents to supply all its needs relieves it of all concern for food, raiment, and shelter. Children thus lead a carefree life because of their faith in their parents' ability to provide for all their needs. The child of God who enters into the full meaning of the divine love and ability will be free from all worry. "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee ..." (Isaiah 26:3).

   5. JEHOVAH-NISSI THE LORD OUR BANNER. "And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah-nissi" (Exodus 17:15). A banner is most important. The Christian life is a warfare. "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities,

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against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" (Ephesians 6:12). The Lord is our banner as we go against the foe. There is no question as to the outcome of the struggle. We are more than conquerors through Him. "Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us" (Romans 8:37). "Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand" (Ephesians 6:13).

   6. JEHOVAH-RAPHA — THE LORD OUR HEALER. In the conflicts of life against the foe the believer sometimes falls wounded on the battlefield, but we should not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord is our healer (Exodus 15:26). The One who is our banner is our healer, even when our failures are caused by our sin; we should not be discouraged for "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (I John 1:9).

   7. JEHOVAH-ROHITHE LORD OUR SHEPHERD. "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want" (Psalm 23:1). When we know Him as our Shepherd, we can lie down in green pastures beside the still waters, because we shall not want. Knowing the Lord in all the senses revealed by these particular names, we can abide in His fold and enjoy all that He has provided. "And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee ..." (Psalm 9:10).

   8. JEHOVAH-SHAMMAH — THE LORD IS THERE. "It was round about eighteen thousand measures; and the name of the city from that day shall be, The Lord is there" (Ezekiel 48:35). The picture here is of a restored world. In that restoration will appear the Lord Jesus Christ. The effects of sin shall only be removed from the earth when the Lord shall return to earth and His kingdom becomes a reality over all.


Chapter V

The Nature of God As Revealed in His Attributes

By attributes is meant the quality inherent in the essence of a being or thing. When applied to God, attributes mean the essential qualities inherent in the divine essence. Attribute means more than a characteristic, for a characteristic may be either inherent or acquired. An attribute of God, therefore, means the quality which is essentially an expression of the very being of God.

   Our knowledge of God is the sum total of His attributes although this concept may still be far short of what the Infinite Being is in Himself. The capacity of the finite being cannot fully measure the absolute and infinite Being. Our knowledge of the attributes of God is limited by the capacity of the finite mind and the extent of revelation.

   Several methods have been used by theologians to classify the divine attributes. The simplest and most satisfactory method of their classification is to present them as absolute and relative. By absolute we mean the divine qualities which inhere in the very nature of God and show Him as separate and apart from any relation to other beings. By relative attributes we mean the attributes which imply or express definite relation to other beings or objects. Under "the Godhead or Theology Proper" we present now only the absolute attributes of God.

I. Self-existence

   Everything has its grounds of existence either within or outside of itself. All creature life has its ground of existence outside of itself. The living God has the ground of His existence in Himself. It is His very nature to be. God's self-existence is evident from Scripture evidence. When Moses inquired of God as to what answer he should make to the children of Israel when they asked for his authority, God said, "I am that I am." He further said, "Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent

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me unto you" (Exodus 3:14; Exodus 6:3). This name implies self-existence. It is derived from the Hebrew verb "to be." The originator of the universe must himself be eternal and uncaused. If some force or power caused the universe to be, then the originator could not be God. God must be the first cause. He Himself who is the cause of all things is the absolute or uncaused Being. All rational thinking must begin with God as the first cause.

II. Eternity

   By eternity of God is meant that God's nature is without beginning or end. It is free from all succession of time and contains within itself the cause of time. "Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God" (Psalm 90:1,2). "I said, O my God, take me not away in the midst of my days : thy years are throughout all generations" (Psalm 102:24). "But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end" (Psalm 102:24). With God, past, present, and future constitute one eternal now. God sees the past and the future as vividly real as the present. "And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you" (Exodus 3:14). Since the declaration "I am" is derived from the verb "to be," it is clearly implied that God always was, always is, and always will be. It really means that God is the self-existent one and the cause of all existence.

III. Immutability

   By immutability is meant that the nature, attributes, and will of God are exempt from all change. With God, there is no increase or decrease, no progress or deterioration. He is the absolutely perfect One. Therefore, He has never made any advances either in knowledge or morals. "For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed" (Malachi 3:6). "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom can be no variation, neither shadow that is cast by turning" (James 1:17). "But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end" (Psalm 102:27). The Scriptures which seem to ascribe change to God must be explained as the representation of God's unchanging attributes in the changing

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circumstances and conditions of the creature. "And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart" (Genesis 6:6). "God is not a man, that he should repent : hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall not make it good?" (Numbers 23:19). God's nature is constant : the change comes in the creature. The shining of the sun is constant; it never ceases its shining activity. Clouds may conceal the sun, but above the clouds there is the constant shining. It is well, however, to note the effects of the unchanging constancy of the sun. The sun softens wax and hardens clay. The changes about us, therefore, are because of the inherent qualities of creatures.

IV. Infinity

   This means that God is unlimited in His being and perfections. He is unlimited except by that which is contrary to His nature and perfection. "Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord" (Jeremiah 23:24). "But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?" (I Kings 8:27).

V. Holiness

   This means that God is absolutely free from all defilement and in the essentiality of His very nature. He is absolutely perfect. Freedom from impurity : "And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts : the whole earth is full of his glory" (Isaiah 6:3). "Exalt ye the Lord our God, and worship at his footstool; for he is holy" (Psalm 99:5). "Exalt the Lord our God, and worship at his holy hill; for the Lord our God is holy" (Psalm 99:9). "Ye shall not make yourselves abominable with any creeping thing that creepeth, neither shall ye make yourselves unclean with them, that ye should be defiled thereby. For I am the Lord your God : ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy : neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. For I am the Lord that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God : ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy" (Leviticus 11:43-45). "For the Lord thy God walketh in the

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midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee; therefore shall thy camp be holy : that he see no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee" (Deuteronomy 23:14).

   His holiness means the separateness of His very being; because God is holy, His children are to be separated from everything that would defile. There is an active principle in God's very being which explains the severe judgment that befell Korah, Dathan, and Abiram : "Speak unto the congregation, saying, "Get you up from about the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram ... And Moses said, Hereby ye shall know that the Lord hath sent me to do all these works; for I have not done them of mine own mind .... And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods" (Numbers 16:24, 28, 32). It explains the judgment upon Uzzah : "And when they came to Nachon's threshing floor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it. And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God" (II Samuel 6:6-7).

VI. Goodness

   God is the alone good. "And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God" (Mark 10:18). God is good because He is the perfect personality. As the perfect personality, He has perfect knowledge and all power. God is the source of all good. He wills the good and what is good is His will. He not only concurs with the good, but all good must be referred to Him as its ultimate source. It should be borne in mind that His goodness is perfect. In no sense is God a becoming; His goodness is absolute. God being the good in the very nature of His being and will as a personal Being, becomes the prototype of all moral beings.

VII. Truth

   Truth as an attribute of God means the eternal agreement of His knowledge with His essential nature. God is the source of all truth. That which contradicts God's nature is untrue. "... O Lord God of truth" (Psalm 31:5). "... thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth" (Isaiah 25:1). "... God of truth ..." (Isaiah 65:16).

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VIII. Love

   Love is that attribute of God which moves Him to communicate Himself to others. It means the outgoing of His goodness and kindness to others. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). God in the very essentiality of His nature is good. The outgoing then of His essential nature to His moral creatures is His love. This love is extended to the creature irrespective of the moral quality of the creature. It is not the expression of sentiment, but the functioning of His very nature.


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Chapter VI

The Trinity of God

WE are entirely dependent on divine revelation for information on this important subject.

   By the trinity of God is meant, in the language of Dr. A.H. Strong, that "in the nature of the one God, there are three eternal distinctions which are represented to us under the figure of persons, and these three are equal." That there is a Trinity in the Godhead is shown by the facts that:

1. THREE BEINGS ARE RECOGNIZED AS GOD.

   a. The Father is recognized as God. "Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ : Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied" (I Peter 1:2). "Labor not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you : for him hath God the Father sealed" (John 6:27).

   b. Jesus Christ is represented as God. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (John 1:1). "Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen." (Romans 9:5). "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13).

   c. The Holy Spirit is referred to as God. "But Peter said, "Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? While it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God" (Acts 5:3-4).

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   2. THESE THREE BEINGS ARE SO DESCRIBED THAT THEY MUST BE RECOGNIZED AS DISTINCT PERSONS.

   a. The Father and the Son are distinct Persons.

   (1) The Father bears witness of the Son. "But I have greater witness than that of John : for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me. And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape" (John 5:36-37).

   (2) The Son was begotten by the Father. "I will declare the decree : the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee" (Psalm 2:7).

   (3) The Son was sent by the Father. "But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law" (Galatians 4:4).

   b. The Father and the Son are distinct Persons from the Spirit. "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him : but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you" (John 14:16-17). Compare John 14:26 ("But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you") with John 15:26 ("But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me"). The Spirit was sent by the Father and Son.

   3. THE THREE PERSONS IN THE GODHEAD HAVE ALWAYS EXISTED.

   The tripersonality of God is not economic and temporal, but immanent and eternal. This is shown as follows:

   a. The Father is eternal. "Before the mountains were brought forth, or even thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God" (Psalm 90:2).

   b. Jesus Christ is eternal. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (John 1:1). The eternal Word is declared to have been with God in the beginning.

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This does not mean that the Son came into existence in the beginning, but that He was coeternal with God.

   c. The Holy Spirit is eternal. The Spirit is called the eternal Spirit, therefore He is coexistent with the Father and the Son. "How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" (Hebrews 9:14).

   4. THE TRINITY OF THE GODHEAD IS NOT TRITHEISM.

   There are distinctly three Persons in the Godhead, and these Persons are One in essence. The Trinity is not unity of partnership in which each member can sign the name of the firm. The divine unity is a unity of essence and not merely the unity of council and operation. It is an eternal, vital, and inseparable union.

   5. THE THREE PERSONS — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are equal.

   6. THE EXISTENCE OF THE TRINITY cannot be fully comprehended by the finite mind.

   The mode of the existence of the Trinity is beyond the capacity of man to fully understand and express clearly. There is no analogy within the scope of finite experience with which to express this relationship.

   7. THE DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY is not self-contradictory.

   The three Persons of the Trinity are the same in the numerical sense that God is said to be one in His essence. It means three eternal distinctions of that essence.

   8. THE DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY is the basis of all Christian doctrine.

      a. It is essential to theism. Neither God's independence nor His blessedness can be maintained on the basis of absolute unity.

      b. It is essential to any proper revelation. If there be no Trinity in the Godhead, Jesus Christ is not God, and if He is not God, He cannot perfectly know or reveal God. God can be revealed only through One who is of the same essential nature. If the Holy Spirit is not God, the love and self-communication of God to the human soul are not realities. Only One who is essentially God can reveal God.

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   c. It is essential to the work of redemption. If God is simply and absolutely one there can be no atonement. Since between God and the most exalted creature there is an immeasurable distance, only One who is God can reconcile us to God. Jesus Christ can bring us no nearer to God than He is Himself near to God.

   d. It is essential to any model for human life. Fatherly giving and filial receiving are eternal in God. The law of love requires of us conformity to God in these respects as the highest dignity of our being.


Chapter VII

God the Father

CAREFUL thought and observation reveal a surpassing lack of reference to God as Father in the speech and prayers of Christians today, while there is constant reference to Jesus Christ as the Saviour. Saviourhood is much emphasized while the Fatherhood of God is given comparatively little attention. Few of our hymns are addressed to God or even describe Him as to His essential character and grace. It is sometimes painfully embarrassing to be unable to find a hymn setting forth the Fatherhood of God. {Webmaster found one} There is one Triune God. Our thought, therefore, should be balanced by giving the proper recognition to the Persons of the Godhead. The New Testament persistently sets forth God the Father as the primary source and ultimate goal of the believer's life. God the Father was persistently in the thought and on the lips of Jesus Christ. The Fatherhood of God is only mentioned a few times in the Old Testament, but in the New Testament it is presented many times with remarkable fullness. It is the predominant title used by the Lord Jesus Christ to express His personal relation to God. The well-instructed Christian will not fail to note Christ's emphasis on God as His own Father and the Father of all believers. "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name" (John 1:12). "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:26).

The Bible Uses of the Title "Father"

   Father is from the Greek work "pater" meaning nourisher, protector, upholder.

   1. AS A MALE ANCESTOR.

   a. The immediate progenitor or male ancestor of a person. "And they said, Thy servants are twelve brethren, the sons of one man in

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the land of Canaan; and, behold, the youngest is this day with our father, and one is not" (Genesis 42:13).

   b. A remote ancestor. "As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations" (Genesis 17:4). "And Jehoshaphat slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David his father : and Jehoram his son reigned in his stead" (I Kings 22:50). "Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen" (Romans 9:5).

2. FIGURATIVE USES.

   a. Spiritual ancestor. "And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised : that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also" (Romans 4:11).

   b. One who acts toward another with paternal kindness. "So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God : and he hath made me a father to Pharoah, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt" (Genesis 45:8).

   c. Title of respect and honor to an authorized teacher. "And one of the same place answered and said, But who is their father? Therefore it became a proverb, Is Saul also among the prophets?" (I Samuel 10:12). "And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more : and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces" (II Kings 2:12).

   d. To God as Creator of the human race. "Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?" (Malachi 2:10).

   e. To God as the Begetter and Guardian of His spiritual children. "For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father" (Romans 8:15). "And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hears, crying, Abba, Father" (Galatians 4:6).

   f. To God in His relation to Jesus Christ. "Even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight" (Matthew 11:26).

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   To reach the heart of the truth of revelation concerning the Fatherhood of God, we must go to the Godhead itself. We must see the eternal relation existing between the Persons of the Godhead. It expresses the ineffable, eternal, interrelation of the first Person of the Godhead to the second Person. God is the Father of Jesus Christ in a peculiar sense. The Triune God is the grand prototype in family relations. Paul says, "For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named" (Ephesians 3:14-15). It might be further stated that the Fatherhood of God expresses the eternal relation existing between the eternal Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The tripersonality of the Godhead is not economic and temporal, but immanent and eternal. This intertrinitarian relationship, showing the interplay of divine personality, is the true model for human life. "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him" (John 1:18). In Matthew 28:19 we see something of the relation of the first Person of the Trinity to the Son and the Holy Spirit. This concept of God's Fatherhood has been strikingly expressed by Dr. James Orr, in his Sidelights on Christian Doctrine and is as follows: "The Fatherhood of God in the full Christian idea of it does not originate with God's relation to the world or to man or heaven with God's relation to believers. God was Father before He had relation either to the world or to believers. He is Father in Himself, the Father everlasting. This again implies the triune concept. If you wish to find the ultimate spring of Fatherhood in the heart of God, you must seek it not in relation to humanity or to believers, but in the relation to the eternal and only begotten Son (John 1:18). It is with this Fatherly love of which the primal object is the Son that God turns to the world and seeks to draw men in to be sharers of it."1

From this Eternal Fountainhead We See the Relationship that God the Father Sustains

   1. TO THE UNIVERSE. "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth" (Genesis 1:1). The universe came to be through the direct creative act of God. In this sense there is universal Fatherhood of God.

   2. TO THE BELIEVER BY GRACE. Man by creation was constituted for sonship to God. He bore the divine image and likeness. The

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1. Op. cit., p. 17

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introduction of sin frustrated this relation. It can be restored through the work of the Redeemer. Sonship can only be realized through regeneration. "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name : Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God" (John 1:12-13). The salvation of the sinner is entirely by grace (I John 3:1). God is Father in the true and full sense only to believers in Christ, that is, to saved men and women. "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:26). "Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son" (Colossians 1:13). This relation is entirely by grace. God is our Father in the New Testament sense because we are in Jesus Christ His Son. It should be noted, however, that God is more than Father. He is the moral Ruler and Judge! He is in His essential nature, righteous and just. God is the Father of all men only in the sense that He is their Creator, Nourisher, and Sustainer, but He is only Father in the real and full sense to those who have been redeemed by the precious blood of Christ (Galatians 3:26).

I. The Personality of God the Father

   Personality as applied to God means that He exists as a rational, self-conscious, self-determining moral Being. A rational being is one which thinks and reasons. A self-conscious being is one which knows itself as separate and distinct from others. A self-determining being is one who freely determines his own action by his own will. A moral being is one which discerns things which are right and things which are wrong. We can verify these qualities as inherent in our human personalities. In forming a concept of God, we ascribe these qualities in their fullest perfection to God. God's personality is verified to us in three ways.

   1. BY INFERENCE FROM OUR OWN PERSONALITIES. We ascribe these conscious qualities which are inherent in our very being in their fullest perfection to God.

   2. BY INFERENCE FROM MAN'S RELIGIOUS LIFE. Man's thought of God is always in terms of a personality. Prayer to God is the interaction of the human personality with the divine personality. Man's fellowship with God registers as an experience with a person. Man's consciousness of sin, the confession of his sin, his

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thanks, his adoration and worship, his faith and love have meaning only in the conviction that God is a personal Being and that he is having personal dealings with Him as such.

   3. THE UNIFORM BIBLICAL TEACHING is to the effect that God is a Person.

   a. Personality is implied in the name given to God after man's creation. After the appearance of man, the divine name is Lord God, or Jehovah Elohim. "These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens" (Genesis 2:4). Later on when man was brought into covenant relationship with God, the word "Jehovah" (Exodus 3:14) is explained by "I am," and when further explanation was demanded, the declaration is made "I am that I am." The word "Jehovah," as we have previously seen, is derived from the Hebrew verb "to be" which means the self-existing one, the self-sufficient one and the immutable or unchanging one. In this declaration is set forth the first element in definition of personality, namely, that of self-consciousness. "I am" can only be properly asserted by a personal Being. This name of God ever afterwards in the Scriptures remains constant. As God assumes new relationships to the human race and especially to His covenant people, new combinations are made expressing added or enlarged relationships. Throughout these changes indicating actions and relationships, personality is emphasized. For a study of representative changes thus made, see Exodus 3:14, Genesis 22:13-14, Exodus 17:15, and Exodus 15:26; also Judges 6:24, Psalm 23:1, Jeremiah 23:6, and Ezekiel 48:35.

   b. Personality is implied in the use of the personal pronouns.

   (1) "Thee" and "Thou" (John 17:3).

   (2) "He" and "Him" (Psalm 116:1-2). It is to be observed that the pronouns used are of the masculine gender emphatically denoting personality. If God were conceived of as a principle or force, the pronoun would be the neuter gender.

   c. Personality is implied in the personal characteristics ascribed to God.

   (1) Grief (Genesis 6:6). It is to be noted that grief is a personal emotion.

   (2) Anger (I Kings 11:9). Anger can only be properly predicated of a person.

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   (3) Jealousy (Deuteronomy 6:15).

   (4) Love (Revelation 3:19). Here again personality is implied because only personal beings could be thought of as loving.

   (5) Hatred (Proverbs 6:16). Hatred is only possible to a personal being.

   d. Personality is implied in the relationship which God sustains to the universe and man.

   (1) He is the Creator of the universe (Genesis 1:1; John 1:3; Revelation 4:11).

   (2) He is the Preserver of the universe (Hebrews 1:3; Colossians 1:15-17). The personal Creator is here pictured as in personal relationship to creation sustaining the things created.

   (3) He rules over the affairs of men and bestows benefactions upon all His creatures (Matthew 10:20, 30; Romans 8:28).

II. The Attributes of God the Father

   The proper use of attributes means the quality which inheres in the very essence of a thing. Attributes when applied to God mean the essential qualities which inhere in the divine essence. Attribute is more than a mere characteristic. A characteristic may be either inherent or acquired. By attribute of God, therefore, we mean the quality which is essential, an expression of the very being of God. Our knowledge of God is the sum total of our knowledge of His attributes. This concept may still be far short of what the infinite Being is in Himself. The capacity of the finite being cannot fully measure the absolute and infinite Being. Our setting forth then of the attributes of God is limited by the extent of revelation and the capacity of the finite mind.

   1. THE IMMUTABILITY OF GOD. "For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed" (Malachi 3:6). "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning" (James 1:17). Compare with Psalm 102:27 ("But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end"). By immutable is meant that the nature, attributes, and will of God are exempt from all change. With God there is no increase or decrease, no progress or deterioration. He is absolutely perfect; therefore, He has never made any advances in knowledge or morals.

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Note : The Scriptures which seem to ascribe change to God must be explained as the representations of God's unchanging attributes in the changing circumstances and conditions of the creature. For an example of this see Genesis 6:6 : "And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart." Compare this with Numbers 23:19: "God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent : hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?" God's nature is constant. The change comes in the creature. The shining of the sun is constant; it never ceases its shining activity. Clouds may conceal the sun, but above the clouds is the constant shining. This change also is to be noted in the effect of the unchanging constancy of the shining of the sun. This shining of the sun softens wax, but hardens the clay. The changes about us, therefore, are due to the inherent qualities of creatures and things.

   2. THE OMNISCIENCE OF GOD. By the omniscience of God is meant His infinite intelligence embracing all things. He not only knows all things, but He fully knows Himself. The root meaning of omniscience is the knowledge of all things.

   a. The fact of God's omniscience. "For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things" (I John 3:20). "Dost thou know the balancing of the clouds, the wondrous works of him which is perfect in knowledge?" (Job 37:16). "Great is our Lord, and of great power : his understanding is infinite" (Psalm 147:5).

   b. Examples of God's omniscience.

   (1) God sees all that occurs in every place. "The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good" (Proverbs 15:3). The evil purposes of men are altogether known by God. He even knows the imaginations of men's thoughts. "And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually" (Genesis 6:5).

   (2) God knows everything in the universe. He not only knows the number of the stars, but He calls them by their names. He knows even the falling of a sparrow from its nest. "He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names" (Psalm 147:4). "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of

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them shall not fall on the ground without your Father" (Matthew 10:29).

   (3) God knows all men's experiences and whereabouts. "For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and he pondereth all his goings" (Proverbs 5:21). "Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways" (Psalm 139:2-3). The grasp of this truth is both sobering and blessed.

   (4) God knows every word that man speaks. The recognition of this fact will have a most salutary effect upon man's speech. "For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord thou knowest it altogether" (Psalm 139:4).

   (5) God knows all human sorrows. "And the Lord said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows" (Exodus 3:7). It sometimes seems, however, as though God dows not know or care, but in due time He proves both His knowledge and His concern.

   (6) God understands the imaginations and thoughts of men. "And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind : for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts : if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever" (I Chronicles 28:9). This means that there is no functioning of the human mind unknown to God. The person himself may frequently be unaware of the functioning of his mind, but God knows the workings of his imagination even before such activity has taken the form of thought.

   (7) God knows the minutest particulars concerning the creature. "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered" (Matthew 10:29-30).

   (8) God knows from all eternity what shall be in all eternity. "Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world" (Acts 15:18). Compare Psalm 46:9-10 ("He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder : he burneth the chariot in the fire. Be still, and know that I am God : I will be exalted among the heathen,

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I will be exalted in the earth"). The whole plan of the ages and man's part therein was known to God from all eternity. This knowledge includes the free acts of men. The proper recognition of this fact will induce reverence and worship on man's part. "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!" (Romans 11:33).

   3. THE OMNIPOTENCE OF GOD. The root meaning of omnipotence signifies all power. It means, therefore, that God is unlimited in His power. His power is such that He can do whatever He chooses to do. It, therefore, means that the infinite Being possesses power without limitation. It should be noted, however, that the exercise is determined by the nature of His being. Since God is absolutely holy, He could not sin; and since all truth inheres in His very being, He cannot lie. By the omnipotence of God is meant, therefore, His power to do all things consistent with His nature and will. Note examples of His omnipotence.

   a. All nature is subject to God's will and word. "And God said, Let there be light : and there was light" (Genesis 1:3). (Psalm 33:6-9; Psalm 107:25, 29; Nahum 1:3-6). With this concept of God, the Christian is calm and even worships God in the midst of violent storms on land and sea. Seeing himself in his relationship and apprehending God's love to him in Christ, he knows that all things work together for good.

   b. All men are subject to God's will and Word. "There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy : who art thou that judgest another? Now listen, you who say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain : Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away" (James 4:12-15). The devout man daily recognizes this truth and makes his plans and orders the affairs of his life accordingly, keeping recognition of and yielding to God's will, with a resulting happiness and contentment.

   c. All the angels are subject to God's will and Word. "Bless the Lord, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his words" (Psalm 103:20). Compare Hebrews 1:14 ("Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?").

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Angels, as well as men, are subject to God's commandments. They are not only concerned with the ordering of their activities according to the will of God, but they delight therein.

   d. Satan is subject to God's will and Word. "And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold he is in thine hand; but save his life: (Job 2:6). Compare Luke 9:1 ("Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases"). With all Satan's subtle knowledge and great power the devil cannot touch one of God's children nor anything that belongs to Him, except by God's permission.

   e. All God's doings are consistent with His infinite perfection. "Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear : but your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear" (Isaiah 59:1-2). God's almightiness is limited by His holy will. God can do anything, but only wills to do that which is righteous and wise. Let it be recognized that omnipotence does not imply ability to do that which is self-contradictory or opposed to the nature of God, or that which is not an object of power. To sin, to lie, or to die implies impotency.

   4. THE OMNIPRESENCE OF GOD. The word "omnipresence" is derived from two words, the one meaning "all" and the other "to be at hand." The meaning, therefore, is that God in the fullness of His essence fills the universe in all its parts. He is present everywhere. There is, therefore, no point in the universe where He is not. This quality of God's being is proved :

   a. From reason. The fact that God is infinite proves that He is everywhere present. To deny His omnipresence is to refuse to believe in Him as an infinite Being.

   b. From the Scriptures. "But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?" (I Kings 8:27). In this text God is described as being in His very nature beyond the capacity of the heaven of heavens. "Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? ... Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me" (Psalm 139:7, 10). The psalmist here sweeps into view the immensity of the universe showing that in every part therein the divine presence is a reality. "That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us :

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For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring" (Acts 17:27, 28). In these verses the particular place of a divine Being is indicated. Not only is the divine Being everywhere present where the creature is, but the creature's existence is in Him. An analogy of this truth is afforded in the fact that the presence of the human soul is in every part of the body.

   It should be observed that the idea of God's omnipresence is balanced by that of His personality, so as not to lead to pantheism. Pantheism asserts that God is not only everywhere, but that everything is God. One should very definitely distinguish between personality and corporeity. Personality is definitely characterized by knowledge, feeling, and volition.

   The truth of the omnipresence of God is most comforting and encouraging to the believer and yet is most sobering in its effect upon his conduct. It is reported of Dr. G. Campbell Morgan that he habitually placed a chair in his study for God to occupy. This helped him to realize the universal presence of the living God.

   "Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you : and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen" (Matthew 28:20). "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them? (Matthew 18:20). In these texts the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ is assured to those who in obedience to the great commission go forth proclaiming the gospel. Not only is the divine presence guaranteed to those who go forth in obedience to Christ, but the divine presence becomes a deterrent to the doing of evil. Hebrews 4:13 declares that all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. God is not only present with His own who render loving obedience to His command, but He sees afar off, making it impossible to hide oneself in secret places. "Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord" (Jeremiah 23:23-24).

   5. THE ETERNITY OF GOD. Eternity as applied to God means that as to God's nature He is without beginning or end. In His relation to time He is free from all succession and is the cause of time. The following texts prove His eternity. "Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains

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were brought forth, or even thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting, thou art God" (Psalm 90:1-2). In these verses the eternity of God is predicated. He is here declared to have been the believer's dwelling place in all generations, and before the mountains were brought forth, God was from everlasting to everlasting. "I said, O my God, take me not away in the midst of my days : thy years are throughout all generations. Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth : and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure : yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed. But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end" (Psalm 102:24-27). In these verses God is declared to have laid the foundation of the world; the heavens are declared to be the work of His hands, and although the heavens and the earth perish, God continues. "And Abraham planted a grove in Beer-sheba, and called there on the name of the Lord, the everlasting God" (Genesis 21:33). In this verse Abraham is declared to have called on the name of the everlasting, the eternal God. With God there is no past, present, or future. They are before Him as one eternal now. He sees the past and future as vividly as He sees the present. This idea God desired to implant in the minds and hearts of His covenant people. "And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM : and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you" (Exodus 3:14). In this text God declares to Moses, "I AM hath sent me." The word "I am" is derived from the Hebrew verb "to be," declaring that God always was, always is, and always will be. It means that He is the self-existent One and the cause of all existence.

   6. THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD. By sovereignty of God is meant that He has absolute power and is above all created beings. He, therefore, has the absolute right to dispose of all of His creatures simply as His own good pleasure dictates. His sovereignty is shown as follows :

   a. He is above all potentates, kings, and lords (I Timothy 6:15, 16).

   b. All things were created for His pleasure. "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power : for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created" (Revelation 4:11).

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He has a right to dispose of all things according as He wills.

   c. The Lord makes disposition of all things according as He wills. (Romans 9:15, 20, 21). This truth should bring contentment to us in our lot; to know that our heavenly Father is the sovereign Ruler of the universe will make us courageous to meet the issues of life.

   d. God rules in the kingdom of men and has His way, and His will governs the armies of heaven. "That they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will ... And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing : and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth : and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?" (Daniel 4:25, 35). In times when the rapid changes are prevalent in earthly affairs and when even the heavens seem to be disturbed, we should remember that our heavenly Father is the sovereign Ruler of the universe. None can question His right to make disposition according to His will and no one can stay His hand.

   God's absolute sovereignty rests on two facts.

   (1) His infinite superiority of being. Essentially He is in His very being infinitely above all the works of His hand.

   (2) All creatures came to be through His mighty power. Not only are they God's creatures owing their existence to His creative act, but they are sustained in being by His power. They exist for His own glory and according to His own good pleasure. "For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things : to whom be glory for ever. Amen" (Romans 11:36).

   7. THE HOLINESS OF GOD. By the holiness of God is meant that God is absolutely free from defilement, and in the essentiality of His nature He is absolutely perfect. His holiness is the very separateness of His being and not primarily a result of His will.

   a. The fact of His holiness. "And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts : the whole earth is full of his glory" (Isaiah 6:3).

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In this verse the seraphims cry one to another saying, "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts." "Exalt ye the Lord our God, and worship at his footstool; for he is holy ... Exalt the Lord our God, and worship at his holy hill; for the Lord our God is holy" (Psalm 99:5, 9). In these verses the holiness of the Lord is the reason for His exultation. In Leviticus 11:43-45 the obligation is imposed upon the people to be separate from all things that would defile because the Lord God who is absolutely holy walked in the midst of the camp. This truth is further emphasized and illustrated by the entire system of washings instituted by the Lord to be observed by His people, and by God's punishment of Korah, Dathan, Abiram, and Uzzah, all having the one design of teaching the holiness of the divine Being.

   b. How God's holiness is manifested.

   (1) In His utter opposition to that which is contrary to His nature. Because of God's essential purity, it is impossible for Him to behold evil and to look upon iniquity (Habakkuk 1:13). In Proverbs 15:9, 26 is revealed God's hatred of sin. Even the very thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to Him. There is in the very nature of God an active principle of holiness. It is His essential nature not only to oppose sin, but to strike at it. In Isaiah 53:6 the iniquity of the people was laid upon Him who was the bearer of their sins. the word "laid" literally means to cause to strike upon. The passage, therefore, means more than substitution. It means the visitation of judgment. Because of the very nature of God, there will be conflict in the world until sin and death are put away.

   (2) In separating the sinner from God. Since the holiness of God's nature results in the separation of the sinner from Himself, there is absolute need of atonement for the sins before the sinner can approach God (Isaiah 59:1-2). This is further seen in Ephesians 2:13 : "But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ." It is here declared that those who were afar off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. It is thus seen that the atonement of Christ has its deepest meaning in the holiness of God. All approach to Him is absolutely on the ground of the shed blood of the Mediator; because of His essential holiness, sin must be covered up before there can be any fellowship with Him.

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   (3) In the punishment of the sinner. "And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth. Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation" (Exodus 34:6-7). Psalm 5: 4,6 states : "For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness : neither shall evil dwell with thee ... Thou shalt destroy them that speak lies : the Lord will abhor the bloody and deceitful man." In these verses it is shown that because of God's holiness, the sinner must be punished, and the basis for this punishment is the holy nature of God. God does not punish a sinner merely because the sinner's good makes it necessary, but because He Himself is holy and therefore hates sin. His holiness is living and active, and must manifest itself in striking at sin. See again Isaiah 53:6. Any view of punishment of sin which leaves out God's hatred of it is not only unscriptural, but dishonoring to God.

   A faint conception of sin in the sight of God may be realized by the indignation which arises in the human heart against enormous deeds of iniquity. It is indeed true, as we shall see further on, that God is love, but His holy love can only be seen in the blazing lights of His holiness. It is the holiness of God that reveals the blackness of sin. The very sight of the Holy One resulted in the undoing of the prophet Isaiah. "Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips : for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts" (Isaiah 6:5). In this verse we see that the sight of God demolished every vestige of unrighteousness that may have lingered in the consciousness of the prophet. We see a corresponding effect upon Job. "I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear : but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes" (Job 42:5-6). Job had heard of God, but one sight of God in His true nature made him abhor himself and repent in dust and ashes. No man who ever really saw God thought well of himself.

   8. THE LOVE OF GOD. By the love of God is meant the action of that divine attribute which moves God to seek the highest good for His creatures and to give Himself unsparingly to them for

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that end, irrespective of their merits or the extent of the sacrifice in its realization.

   a. The fact of God's love. In I John 4:8, 16 the positive declaration is made that God is love. This means that in His very essence God is love. He not merely loves, but He Himself is love. However, it is not said that love is God, but that God is love. It should be noted that God's love did not begin with man (I John 4:7). The reason for Christians' loving each other is that God is love and that everyone who is born of God proves his new birth by love. The one who is destitute of love is ignorant of God and thus proves that He is without contact with God. "Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me : for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world" (John 17:24). In this verse is the record of Jesus having said that the Father loved Him before the foundation of the world. This clearly implies that love springs from and flows continually in the love life of the triune God.

   b. Whom God loves.

   (1) Jesus Christ. See Matthew 3:17; 17:5. In these verses it is declared that the Son of God is the origin and eternal object of His love. Since God is eternal love there must have been an eternal object upon which that love could terminate.

   (2) Those who are united to Jesus Christ by faith. We can be, therefore, assured that God has the same love for the believer that He has for His Son.

   (3) The World. "For God so love the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). Compare I Timothy 2:4 and II Peter 3:9. We are told in these texts that God loves the world. He even desires the salvation of all. He longs for all to come into the knowledge of the truth. Because of this desire, God is long-suffering towards the world of sinners.

   (4) Sinners. "For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die : yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God showed his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:6-8). We are told in these texts that God showed His love toward us

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in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. We see again that God's love reaches out to the sinner, not because there is anything in the sinner to provoke it, but since love is an essentiality of His being, He loves even sinners.

   c. How God's love is manifested.

   (1) In ministering to the needs of and the protection of His own. (Isaiah 48:14, 20, 21; Deuteronomy 33:3, 12). Those who are partakers of the divine nature must be manifesting that nature in similar deeds to those of the heavenly Father.

   (2) In chastening His children. "For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons" (Hebrews 12:6-8). Chastening is not for the pleasure of God, but for the good of the believer. God not only chastens His children, but frequently scourges them.

   (3) In sharing the affliction of His own. (Isaiah 63:9). So real is His love manifested toward the believer, that though He in righteousness must discipline, yet because of His loving heart He shares the suffering which must be imposed upon His own children.

   (4) In making great sacrifice for believers. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).

   (5) He manifested His love for us in quickening us while we were dead in trespasses and sins. He not only quickened us into life, but raised us up to sit in heavenly places that we might show in the ages to come the riches of His grace. "But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved)" (Ephesians 2:4-5). "Beloved now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be : but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is" (I John 3:2). In this Scripture we are informed that God's love for the believer has only begun to manifest itself. It will be fully manifested when Christ appears and we shall be made like Him.

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   (6) In calling us sons of God. "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God : therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not" (I John 3:1). As soon as the believer exercises faith in the finished work of Christ, God manifests His love to him, in already calling him His child. The consciousness of this truth furnishes a strong impulse to live lives of devotion and especially to live lives of purity.

   (7) In rejoicing over saved ones. "The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing" (Zephaniah 3:17). See also Luke 15:10, 23, 24. The salvation of the sinner is an occasion for divine rejoicing. Because of what God is, the triumph of His grace in the salvation of the sinner brings great joy to Him.

   9. THE RIGHTEOUSNESS AND JUSTICE OF GOD. The holiness of God has reference to God's character as He is in Himself. His righteousness and justice are manifested in His dealings with His creatures.

   a. God's righteousness and justice a fact. This rests upon the declaration of Scripture. "The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works" (Psalm 145:17). Our knowledge of God's righteousness rests upon the declaration of His word. (John 17:25). God's righteousness demands conformity to His moral perfections on the part of all moral beings. Justice visits non-conformity to that perfection with penal loss or suffering.

   b. How the righteousness and justice of God are manifested.

   (1) In visiting punishment upon sinners because of their sins. This is not the expression of passion, but a revulsion of God's holy nature from evil. His penalties are not vindictive but vindicative (tending to vindicate) (Revelation 16:5-6).

   (2) In bestowing the rewards upon the righteous (II Timothy 4:8). The child of God can rest assured that no good thing will be withheld from them that walk uprightly. God can be depended upon to reward His own for their fidelity.

   (3) In keeping His promises to His covenant people (Nehemiah 9:7-8). It is this fact that encourages us to pray. His failure to keep His covenant would be to dishonor Himself.

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   (4) In providing propitiation for sin and in justifying the one who believes on Jesus Christ (Romans 3:25-26).

   (5) In forgiving confessed sins (I John 1:9). When one has sincerely confessed his sins to God, God's faithfulness to His promises renders forgiveness absolutely certain. For the penitent to question the forgiveness of his sins is to doubt the integrity of God.

   10. THE FAITHFULNESS OF GOD. "Faithfulness" is derived from the word meaning "to prop" or support. When it is applied to God, it means that He is one upon whom we can lean with safety and in whom we can absolutely trust.

   a. The fact of God's faithfulness. The Spirit of God in the Word declares God to be faithful. (Deuteronomy 7:9; II Thessalonians 3:3). It is God's fidelity that gives us assurance that He will keep His word. In the midst of the fiercest test and temptations of life we can be assured that He will keep us from evil.

   b. The extent of God's faithfulness.

   (1) It reaches into the heavens. "Thy mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds" (Psalm 36:5).

   (2) It extends to all His works.

   (3) It is unto all generations. "Thy faithfulness is unto all generations : thou hast established the earth, and it abideth" (Psalm 119:90). All the generations of man have experienced God's faithfulness. He has never failed anyone who put his trust in Him.

   c. How God's faithfulness is manifested.

   (1) In keeping covenant with His people. (I Kings 8:23, 24, 56). He not only keeps His covenant in general but in every word. We, therefore, are assured that not one promise can fail of fulfillment.

   (2) In defending and delivering His servants in time of trial and conflict. (Psalm 89:20-26). God is faithful in spite of the unfaithfulness of His people. (Jeremiah 51:5; II Timothy 2:13; I Samuel 12:20-22). The security of the believer rests upon God's faithfulness, not the faithfulness of the believer. The security of the sheep is dependent upon the fidelity of the shepherd.

   (3) In providing a way of escape in temptation. (I Corinthians 10:13). The believer is weak; his weakness is known to himself.

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The believer can be assured of ultimate salvation even though he may be very conscious of his own weakness and liability to fall.

   (4) In confirming, establishing, guarding from the evil one, and wholly sanctifying the believer. (II Thessalonians 3:3; I Corinthians 1:8-9; I Thessalonians 5:23).

   (5) In chastening His children when they go astray. (Psalm 119:75; compare with Hebrews 12:6)

   (6) In forgiving confessed sins. (1 John 1:9). To doubt that confessed sins are forgiven is to question God's veracity.

   (7) In hearing our supplication. (Psalm 143:1). The psalmist here appeals to God's faithfulness and bases his claim for an answer thereupon.

   11. THE MERCY OR LOVING-KINDNESS OF GOD. Mercy and loving-kindness have the same origin and are therefore similar in meaning.

   a. The fact that God is plenteous in mercy. (Psalm 103:8; Deuteronomy 4:31). It is here declared that God is plenteous in mercy.

   b. Toward whom God's mercy is manifested.

   (1) Those whom He will. (Romans 9:15-18). God is absolute sovereign in the exercise of His mercy.

   (2) Those who will fear and obey Him. (Psalm 103:11, 17, 18; Exodus 20:6). Only those who fear and obey God can expect mercy from God.

   (3) Those who confess and forsake their sins. (Proverbs 28:13). It is folly to claim the mercy of God while one is practicing sin.

   c. How God's mercy is manifested.

   (1) In bearing long with sinners. (Nehemiah 9:16-19, 27, 30, 31). It is the great mercy of God that spares the sinner. If God were to deal with him in justice, his judgment would fall upon the sinner.

   (2) In delivering from sickness. "For indeed he was sick nigh unto death : but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but also on me, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow" (Philippians 2:27). God in mercy delivered Epaphroditus from sickness, and also Paul, lest he have multiplied sorrow.

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   (3) In giving refuge and defense to His own in time of trouble "But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning : for thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble" (Psalm 59:16). Those who are God's own can be assured that He will save and keep them to the end, even though troubles may be real and hard to be borne.


Chapter VIII

God the Son

As we saw with reference to God the Father, His Fatherhood referred to the deeps of the eternal trinitarian relationship. Likewise, we must look to this eternal relationship for a meaning of the Sonship of the Lord Jesus Christ. The correlative of the eternal Fatherhood is the eternal Sonship. The pattern of Fatherhood both in heaven and in earth is the heart relationship of God the Father and God the Son. Conversely, the pattern of Sonship in heaven and in earth is the relationship of the Son of God to the eternal Father. After His birth of the virgin, Christ was called the Son of God. "And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the highest shall overshadow thee : therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God" (Luke 1:35). But He was the eternal Son before His incarnation.

   An examination of the usages of the title "Son of God" in the Scriptures furnishes us a true perspective from which to view the meaning of the divine Sonship.

   1. IT WAS APPLIED TO ANGELS. The reason for this application doubtless was to show them as spirit beings. (Job 2:1). "God is Spirit : and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth" (John 4:24).

   2. IT APPLIED TO ADAM AS THE FIRST MAN. "Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God" (Luke 3:38).

   3. IT WAS APPLIED TO THE HEBREW NATION. And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the Lord, Israel is my son, even my firstborn" (Exodus 4:22). The implication is that it was applied to this nation because it was the object of God's special love.

   4. IT WAS APPLIED TO CERTAIN KINGS OF ISRAEL as representatives of the chosen people. "I will be his father, and he shall be my son.

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If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men" (II Samuel 7:14).

   5. IT WAS APPLIED TO ALL SAINTS. "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name" (John 1:12). The reason for this doubtless is that the saints are made partakers of the divine nature. Believers are sons of God because they are in Christ.

   6. IT MEANS ONENESS OF NATURE WITH GOD. "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him" (John 1:18). Christ calls Himself the Son. He is the only begotten of the Father. (Matthew 11:27; Luke 10:22). "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life ... He that believeth on him is not condemned : but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God" (John 3:16, 18). This is the ethical meaning, namely, that Christ is like the Father in mind, feeling, and will. This does not mean primarily that He became God's Son through this incarnation. This Sonship is an eternal fact (John 1:1-3), for the Son was eternally with the Father. The Father was the Father eternally; so was the Son the Son eternally. Let us repeat that the correlative of Father is Sonship. To know the meaning of Sonship we must, therefore, go back to the intertrinitarian relationship existing between the first and second Persons of the Trinity. There we see the interplay upon each other of the first and second Persons of the Trinity. God had but one Son, there being one Father, after whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named. "For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ ... That he would grant you according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith" (Ephesians 3: 14, 16, 17). After the resurrection Christ said, "Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God" (John 20:17). It is to be noted here that Christ does not say "our Father," but "my father and your father." In the real sense it would have been entirely improper for Christ to have said "our Father."

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   a. Oneness with the Father. "I and my Father are one" (John 10:30). "Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long a time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father, and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?" (John 14:8-9).

   b. Both the Father and the Son have life in themselves. "For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself" (John 5:26). Christ gives eternal life. "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy : I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly" (John 10:10).

   c. Equal in rank. The Son should be honored as the Father is honored because of His coequality with the Father. (John 5:23).

   d. The Father and the Son are one in activity. "But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work" (John 5:17). He says My Father worketh hitherto and I work. Raising the dead is ascribed to both Father and Son. (John 5:21).

   e. Equality in rank, even identity of being, (Luke 22:70, 71; compare John 5:18 and John 10:33). This meaning was clearly apprehended by the Jews, and it is for this claim of being one with the Father that they sought to put Him to death.

   Much loose thought prevails today concerning Jesus Christ. A clear conception of Him is highly important, because not only personal interest but eternal destiny is involved. Those who properly perceive His person never fail to have great interest. Furthermore, those who receive Him as the God-Man, the only Mediator between God and man, experience eternal life. "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time" (I Timothy 2:5-6).

   Jesus Christ is the central theme of the Bible as well as its unifying principle. Around His supreme and central personality all the truths of revelation gather. Knowledge of Him makes simple the whole of revelation. Everyone who sees Christ permeating the whole of the Bible becomes intensely interested in its study.

   The Christian faith is unlike that of any other in the world in that it centers in a Person. Apart from Christ as the personal Redeemer, Christianity would not exist. In a real sense it is indeed true that "Christianity is Christ." Christ Himself said, "I am the way,

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the truth and the life : no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6). So definitely was this idea impressed upon the minds of the people in the days of the apostles that the Christian movement was designated as "the way" (Acts 24:14, 22; 19:9). One of the proofs that the person of Christ is indissolubly bound up with Christianity is the fact that the disciples were first called Christians, "Christ ones," at Antioch (Acts 11:26). The designation of believers as Christians was not given in derision as is so commonly assumed, but was the result of Paul's teaching concerning the oneness of the Lord Jesus Christ and His disciples.

   This same theme is central in Paul's letters to the Ephesians and Galatians. "... I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me ..." (Galatians 2:20). "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ : According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love" (Ephesians 1:3-4). Furthermore, there is no true knowledge of God apart from a correct knowledge of Jesus Christ. Jesus said, "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent" (John 17:3). "She saith unto him, Yea, Lord : I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world" (John 11:27). If anyone is ever to have a full knowledge of God, it must come through knowledge of His Son Jesus Christ. The claim of having knowledge of God by those who refuse Jesus Christ is utterly groundless.

I. The Person of Jesus Christ

   As to His Person, He is divine, the very Son of God. Absolute deity may be proven as follows:

   1. CHRIST HAS DIVINE TITLES.

   a. He is called God. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (John 1:1). "And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God" (John 20:28). "Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, and who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen" (Romans 9:5). "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13). See also Acts 20:28, I Timothy 3:16, and Hebrews 1:8.

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These texts make clear without doubt that Jesus Christ was called God.

   b. He is called the first and the last. "And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not : I am the first and the last" (Revelation 1:17). Compare this with Isaiah 44:6: "Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God." This designation makes it quite clear that reference is made to the absolute Being who is the cause of all things and the end of all things.

   c. He is called Alpha and Omega. "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last" (Revelation 22:13). Compare Revelation 1:8: "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty." The first and the last letters of the Greek alphabet are here used to designate His eternal and sovereign nature and power.

   d. He is called the Holy One. (Acts 3:14; compare Hosea 11:9). Here the name which the Lord Jesus was to bear is clearly tied up with the Holy One, the God of Israel.

   e. He is called Lord. (Luke 2:11; compare Malachi 3:1, Acts 9:17, and Acts 10:36). Furthermore, in I Corinthians 2:8 and Psalm 24:8-10 He is given the title "the Lord of glory."

   f. He is called wonderful, counselor, everlasting Father (Isaiah 9:6). The term "everlasting Father" literally means the Father of eternity.

   2. CHRIST POSSESSES DIVINE ATTRIBUTES.

   a. He is eternal. (John 1:1, 2; John 8:58; Revelation 1:8). The One who is eternal is God. The fact that Jesus Christ is eternal definitely proves He is deity.

   b. He is immutable. (Hebrews 13:8). This means that He is unchangeable in His nature and purpose. (Hebrews 1:11, 12). The declaration is made here that Jesus Christ shall remain the same even after the heavens and the earth have perished. Since He possesses the attribute of immutability, He is God.

   c. He is omnipotent. This means that He upholds all things by the word of His power. "Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged

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our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high" (Hebrews 1:3). Compare Revelation 11:17 : "Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned." Jesus Christ is called Lord God Almighty, and thanksgiving is rendered unto Him because of the exercise of His great power. Note some examples of His omnipotence.

   (1) He has power over disease. "And He stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her : and immediately she arose and ministered unto them" (Luke 4:39). At His rebuke the fever immediately left the woman. So remarkable was the operation of this power that this woman rose up immediately and ministered unto Christ and His disciples.

   (2) He has power over death. "And He came and touched the coffin : and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise" (Luke 7:14). "And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid, arise. And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway; and he commanded to give her meat" (Luke 8:54, 55). "Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God : and they that hear shall live" (John 5:25). At Christ's command, the young man who was dead sat up and began to speak. At His call the maid immediately arose, and in the last text it is recorded that the hour is coming when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God and live. These examples of His might clearly indicate that He is superhuman.

   (3) He has power over the natural elements (Matthew 8:26, 27). At Christ's rebuke the winds and the sea were made still. This would clearly imply that He has power over the natural elements.

   (4) He has power over demons (Matthew 8:16; Luke 4:35, 36, 40, 41). The devil has great power, but Jesus Christ has all power. In recognition of His divine power the demons obey His command.

   (5) He is above all principality, might, and dominion (Ephesians 1:20-23). Although God permits the evil one to exercise great power, Christ is over all. Whatever power is manifested by evil forces is but temporary. In His own good time Christ will destroy all those arrayed against Him.

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   d. He is omniscient "In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Colossians 2:3). This verse means that Jesus Christ knows all things knowable. Note some examples of His omniscience.

   (1) He knows the secret history of individuals (John 4:16-19). Jesus was recognized by the Samaritan woman as a prophet because of His knowledge of her life. He knows entirely the history of every individual life. Nothing is hidden from Him.

   (2) He knows the secret thoughts of men (Luke 5:22). So marvelous is the wisdom of Jesus Christ that even the unexpressed thoughts of men are all known to Him.

   (3) He knows the future acts of free beings (John 6:64). Because of His omniscience He knows fully the acts which free beings shall commit. He possesses this knowledge even before the desire to perform the act springs up in the individual heart.

   e. He is omnipresent. This means that Jesus Christ in the fullness of His Being is present everywhere. Note some examples of His omnipresence.

   (1) He was in heaven while on earth (John 3:13). Since He is unlimited by space or time, He must be divine.

   (2) He is in every believer (John 14:20). Regardless of his circumstances the believer has the Lord Jesus dwelling within him.

   (3) He is present with all who obey His great commission (Matthew 28:20). Whether in some far off country or in the remotest island of the sea, Jesus Christ is fully present to all those who go out in His name preaching the gospel to every creature.

   (4) He is present wherever two or three are gathered together in His name (Matthew 18:20). Because of His omnipresence, Jesus Christ is just as fully, really present with the lonely missionary in the remote corners of the earth as with the assembly of believers in the homeland.

   3. CHRIST PERFORMS DIVINE WORKS.

   a. He created all things. "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made" (John 1:3). "For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities or powers : all things were created by

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him, and for him" (Colossians 1:16). Creation means absolute origination. Only God can create. In the text cited above it is declared that by Jesus Christ all things in heaven and earth were created, whether they be thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. Christ, therefore, must be a divine Being.

   b. He preserves all things. "Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high" (Hebrews 1:3). Here Christ is declared to be the very brightness of God's glory and the very image of His Person and the supporter of all things by His power. "And he is before all things, and by him all things consist" (Colossians 1:17). Paul here declares that Christ antedates creation and that by Him all things consist or hold together. It is the power of the Lord Jesus that preserves the order of things as well as their very substance.

   c. He forgives sin. "When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee ... But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house" (Mark 2:5, 10, 11). Christ not only healed the palsied man, but forgave his sins. The scribes reasoned correctly that God alone could forgive sins. In order to demonstrate His divine power He told the palsied man to take up his bed and walk.

   d. He gives eternal life. "And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand" (John 10:28). "As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him" (John 17:2). Only an eternal Being could give eternal life. Christ gives eternal life to His disciples.

   e. He has power to raise the dead. "And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day ... No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him : and I will raise him up at the last day" (John 6:39, 44). Christ declares here that He has power to secure the ultimate salvation of those given to Him by the Father and that He will raise up at the last day those given Him. Since God alone can raise the dead, Jesus Christ must be divine.

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   f. He shall execute judgment. "I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom" (II Timothy 4:1). Only a divine Being is qualified to execute judgment. The coming judgment will be on the basis of absolute righteousness. The coming judgment of man is committed to Jesus Christ.

   4. CHRIST'S NAME IS COUPLED WITH THAT OF THE FATHER. It would be manifestly improper to couple any name with the Father who was lower in being than the Father Himself.

   a. He definitely claims to be equal with the Father. "Let not your heart be troubled : ye believe in God, believe also in Me" (John 14:1). On the night before His crucifixion Christ asked the troubled disciples to believe in Him as they believed in God.

   b. In the great commission. "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" (Matthew 28:19). The disciples were commanded to go into all the world and make disciples of the nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Christ's name being thus joined with the name of the Father and the Spirit proved His essential deity.

   c. In the apostolic benediction. "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost be with you all. Amen" (II Corinthians 13:14). In this historic benediction the name of Christ is even placed before that of the Father which clearly implies that He is one with the Father.

   5. CHRIST IS TO BE WORSHIPED.

   a. He accepted worship when on earth (Matthew 14:33, 28:9; Luke 24:52). The fact that He accepted worship shows that He knew Himself to be entitled to such acts of reverence.

   b. Men and angels refused to accept worship. "And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him. But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man" (Acts 10:25, 26). "And I John saw these things and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me this things. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not : for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book : worship God" (Revelation 22:8-9). "And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee,

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if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan : for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve" (Matthew 4:9-10). Not only did these beings refuse worship, but we have the positive declaration of Jesus that the Lord God alone should be worshiped.

   c. Angels and other created beings are commanded to worship Him. "And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him" (Hebrews 1:6). "That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Philippians 2:10-11). In the coming day of Christ's exaltation all things in heaven and earth and under the earth shall bow the knee of reverence and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

   6. CHRIST IS TO BE ADDRESSED IN PRAYER. "Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours" (I Corinthians 1:2). "And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying Lord Jesus, receive my spirit" (Acts 7:59). In the Corinthian church prayer was offered to Jesus as Lord, and this was recognized as being proper by Paul. Stephen, when being stoned, called upon God saying, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."

   7. CHRIST IS HONORED, AS IS THE FATHER BY MEN WHO DO GOD'S WILL. "That all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honoreth not the Son honoreth not the Father which hath sent him" (John 5:23). The Book of Revelation discloses the fact that in the consummation of the divine purpose the redeemed will sing a new song which ascribes to Jesus Christ the Redeemer the highest recognition of deity is ascribed to Jesus Christ.

   8. CHRIST IS DECLARED BY THE PROPHET TO BE GOD. "Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together : who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that

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time? have not I the Lord? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth : for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear" (Isaiah 45: 21-23). This makes clear the Coming Saviour was to be none other than God Himself.

   9. CHRIST FULFILLED OLD TESTAMENT REFERENCES TO JEHOVAH.

The following examples establish this truth :

   a. His days are without end. "I said, O my God, take me not away in the midst of my days : thy years are throughout all generations" (Psalm 102:24). The speaker here is presumed to be Christ Himself. God's reply to this request makes clear that Christ existed eternally (Psalm 102:24-27; compare Hebrews 1:10-12).

   b. His way was prepared before Him (Isaiah 40:3-4; compare Luke 1:68, 69, 76).

   c. He is the Light of His people (Isaiah 60:19; compare Luke 2:32). Only a divine Being could reveal the light of the eternal God.

   d. His message was unacceptable. "In the year that King Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple ... And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts : the whole earth is full of his glory ... And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed" (Isaiah 6:1, 3, 9, 10). Compare Matthew 13: 14-15 : "And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them."

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   e. He is a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence. "Sanctify the Lord of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. And he shall be a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem" (Isaiah 8:13-14). Compare with I Peter 2:7-8: "Unto you therefore which believe he is precious : but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient : whereunto also they were appointed." Peter declares that this Scripture was fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

   f. He is the uplifted serpent. "And the Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole; and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived" (Numbers 21:8-9). Compare I Corinthians 10:9 : "Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents." The fiery serpents were sent in judgment upon Israel for their sins. The remedy for the bite of the venomous serpent was the uplifted brazen serpent, which typified the elevation of Christ upon the cross of Calvary.

   g. He is the good Shepherd. (Isaiah 40:10-11; Psalm 23:1; compare John 10:11). Christ Himself declared, "I am the good shepherd." This means that His coming was in fulfillment of the prophetic Word.

   h. He seeks the lost. "For thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out. As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day ... Seemeth it a small thing unto you to have eaten up the good pasture, but ye must tread down with your feet the residue of your pastures? and to have drunk of the deep waters, but ye must foul the residue with your feet?" (Ezekiel 34: 11-12, 18). Compare Luke 19:10: "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost." Christ's declaration concerning Himself shows that His coming was fulfillment of Ezekiel's prediction.

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II. The Equality of Jesus Christ with the Father

   This equality is proven by:

   1. HIS DIVINE WORKS. Christ claimed to perform in His own name and by His own authority and power the deeds which belong to Deity.

   a. He had power over the natural world. "And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!" (Matthew 8:26-27). "And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm" (Mark 4:39). "And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! (Luke 8:25). We see here the manifestation of His power over the winds and the sea.

   b. He had power over the spirit world. "But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you" (Matthew 12:28). "And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the devil had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him, and hurt him not" (Luke 4:35). We see here the display of His power over supernatural spirit beings. Not one of the many spirit beings can do anything except by His permission.

   c. He had power to raise the dead. He raised a young man from the dead. "And he came and touched the casket : and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise" (Luke 7:14). There is no recorded instance of anyone other than Deity who has ever been able to raise the dead. All who have laid claim to such power other than the divine Being have proved failures.

   d. He had power to forgive sins.

   (1) He forgave the sins of a certain woman. "And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven" (Luke 7:48). This woman was a noted character, and her reputation in the city was not good. Jesus declared, "Thy sins are forgiven."

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   (2) He forgave the sin of the palsied man. "But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house" (Matthew 9:6). It was acknowledged by those who hated and opposed Him that only God had power to forgive sin. The fact that He exercised this power proved that He was equal with God.

   e. He had authority to abrogate certain positive enactments.

   (1) Concerning divorce. "It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her writing of divorcement : But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery : and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery" (Matthew 5:31-32).

   (2) Concerning other relationships of men. "Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth : But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil : but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also" (Matthew 5:38, 39). "But I say unto you, "That in this place is one greater than the temple. But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day" (Matthew 12:6-8). He asserted His authority to change the recognized rite in vindication of His Lordship over the Sabbath Day.

   f. He had authority to issue divine mandates and to teach the people.

   (1) Concerning one's enemies. "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you" (Matthew 5:44). He set forth obligation to love one's enemies and to pray for those who heaped abuse upon you.

   (2) Concerning one's walk. "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect" (Matthew 5:48). He here commands the disciple to manifest the same spirit of benevolence as that shown by the heavenly Father.

   (3) Concerning one's parents. "He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me" (Matthew 10:37). He here shows that devotion to Himself was an obligation surpassing that of the most vital human relationships.

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   (4) Concerning His authority. "But be not ye called Rabbi : for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth : for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters : for one is your Master, even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted" (Matthew 23:8-12). He here placed Himself in the position of supreme authority. It was recognized by those who heard Him that He spoke as no other one ever spoke and that His teaching was authority, setting Him forth in a class by Himself among men and equal with God.

   g. He had power to give salvation and eternal life. "And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand" (John 10:28). Only an eternal Being can give eternal life. Since God alone is eternal this proves that Jesus Christ is God.

   2. HIS AFFIRMATIONS CONCERNING HIMSELF.

   a. He and the Father possess equal power of knowing. "All things are delivered unto me of my Father : and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him" (Matthew 11:27). Christ here places Himself on the same plane as the Father with respect to the depth of being and power of knowing. To be able to fathom the fullness of the Godhead clearly implies Christ's equality with the Father.

   b. He receives recognition as God in the baptismal formula. "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" (Matthew 28:19). The position he assigned to Himself in this formula was between the Father and the Holy Spirit, clearly implying that He is equal with them.

   c. He possesses the power of working in coordination with the Father. "Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do : for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise" (John 5:19). Since he thus works in coordination with the Father, He must be equal with Him.

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   d. He has knowledge of the Father commensurate with the Father's knowledge of Him. "As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father : and I lay down my life for the sheep" (John 10:15). Only a being equal with God can fully know God. To know God then in the depth of His being, as God knows the Son, clearly implies equality with Him.

   e. There is mutual indwelling of the Father and the Son. "That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us : that the world may believe that thou hast sent me" (John 17:21). "Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself : but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works" (John 14:10). As the Son dwells in the Father, and the Father dwells in the Son, there must be equality between them.

   f. There is a full and complete community of possession between the Father and the Son. "And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them" (John 17:10).

   g. The Father and the Son are one. "I and my Father are one" (John 10:30). This means more than oneness of purpose. It must mean oneness of essence.

   3. THE TESTIMONY OF THE APOSTLES.

   a. Peter. In Acts 2:34 and 36 Peter calls Jesus "Lord" and declares that God has made him both Lord and Christ, and later he calls Jesus Christ "God and Saviour." "Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ" (II Peter 1:1).

   b. Paul. Paul repeatedly calls Christ "God." "Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God" (Philippians 2:6). "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13). He specifically refers to Him as "God blessed forever" and also declares that He existed in the form of God. Existing in the form of God means that He existed in the same essential nature. His method of subsistence was the same as that of God. In Titus 2:13 he calls Him "the great God and Saviour."

   c. John. John declares that Jesus Christ is the true God and eternal life. "And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life" (I John 5:20).

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III. The Subordination of the Son to God the Father

   Great care must be exercised in setting forth the meaning of the subordination of Jesus Christ to God the Father. Just as the doctrines of the Trinity and of the virgin birth are beyond the capacity of the finite mind to fully grasp, so is this doctrine of the Son's subordination. We accept it by faith on the basis of divine revelation.

   If Christ's absolute deity and equality with the Father be accepted, all possibility of inferiority of essential being is excluded. The solution of the problem must be found by an examination of the different senses in which the word is used. The meaning seems to be exhausted in three senses : the intertrinitarian sense, the economic sense, and the temporary sense. Christ said, "I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world : again, I leave the world and go to the Father" (John 16:28).

   In Philippians 2:6-9 we are informed that Christ existed in the form of God and that after His humiliation, God highly exalted Him. Jesus Christ is now jointly occupying the throne of the universe with the Father. There is a sense, therefore, in which the subordination of the Son to the Father was temporary.

   1. THE INTERTRINITARIAN SENSE.

   a. Christ declared that the Father was greater than He. "Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father : for my Father is greater than I" (John 14:28). Here Christ tells the disciples that the announcement of His going to the Father ought to have caused them to rejoice because the Father was greater than He. The truth here implied is that in the eternal Godhead there is an essential relation existing between the Persons thereof. Harmonious cooperation in the Godhead requires subordination.

   b. Christ's chief delight was to do the Father's will. "Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work" (John 4:34) "For I came down from

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heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me" (John 6:38).

   In John 14:28 there is no doubt a reference to the "essential and metaphysical subordination of His personality, to that of the Father" (Whitelaw).1 In the eternal fellowship of the Triune God there is evidently the interplay of personality. This concept of the Godhead is not only natural, but essential, as a real model for human life. The ideal family on earth experiences its highest efficiency and supreme joy in the interactions of the personalities composing it. The father in the spirit of love is the head of the home. The children are, in loving recognition of the father, subordinate to him. This evidently was Paul's thought. "For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named" (Ephesians 3:14-15). Paul's teaching here agrees entirely with that of John. Paul further emphasizes this principle in I Corinthians 3:22-23; 11: 3. "Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are your's; And ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's ... But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God." While the finite mind is unable to see fully how Christ can be equal with the Father and at the same time be subordinate, it is clearly the teaching of the Scriptures. The most vital analogy we have in the Word of God illustrating this relationship is that between the husband and the wife. The wife is entirely equal to her husband, yet she finds her chief delight in being subordinate to him. The psychological make-up of the man and the woman is such that in the true marriage relationship, there is manifestation and recognition of headship and subordination, yet without any friction. The true wife finds her superlative satisfaction in looking to her husband as head, and living her life in subjection to him. Conversely, the husband as head finds his chief concern and delight in his love and devotion to her, even as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for it.

   2. THE ECONOMIC SENSE. This refers to the voluntary subordination of the Son to the Father as His agent in creation and redemption. Jesus Christ the Son took upon Himself the responsibility of reconciling man to God.

__________

1. T. Whitelaw, Gospel of John, p. 311.

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   a. All things were delivered to the Son. "All things are delivered unto me of my Father : and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him" (Matthew 11:27).

   b. The Son performed the Father's works. "For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me: (John 6:38). "But I have greater witness than that of John : for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works, that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me" (John 5:36).

   3. THE TEMPORARY SENSE. This has reference to the personal humiliation of the Son in the act of the incarnation.

   a. Christ came in the likeness of men. "But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men" (Philippians 2:7). It should not be forgotten that in the incarnation there was created a new human nature which the Son joined to Himself. While the Son was in the likeness of men, He was in the absolute and fullest sense what He eternally was in His essential nature.

   b. Christ lived a life of poverty. "And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head" (Matthew 8:20). The amazing thing is that the Almighty Creator of the universe lived His life practically in penury.

   c. Christ gave His life to be the Saviour. "And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world" (I John 4:14). Paul's thought in Ephesians 2:6-9 is in agreement with this. "And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus : That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves : it is the gift of God : Not of works, lest any man should boast." We here see that Jesus Christ the Son existed by the same power as the Father. He came down from heaven, incorporated Himself with the race, completed His sacrifice as the Redeemer and was exalted to the place of heavenly dignity which He enjoyed previous to His coming into the world.

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IV. The Entrance of the Son of God into Humanity

   Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, entered into the human race by means of the historical virgin birth. This means that the Holy Spirit created within the humanity of Mary the body by means of which the Son of God tabernacled among men. "Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me" (Hebrews 10:5). "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth" (John 1:14). This organic union with the human race was not an afterthought of God. Rather it was included in His eternal purpose. The universe is Christo-centric. The incarnation, while essential to the accomplishment of redemption, has a wider implication. Christ partook of flesh and blood in order that He might die as the world's Redeemer. "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil" (Hebrews 2:14). But the incarnation was more than for the purpose of redemption. It was the medium through which the universe was to be carried forward to its goal, for He not only redeemed humanity, but all things in heaven and earth are ultimately to be gathered together with Christ as head. "For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers : all things were created by him and for him" (Colossians 1:16). The Son of God is the creative agent and the final cause of the universe. This truth is the foundation of all right thinking. Any system of philosophy which fails to recognize this is to be rejected by Christians.

   1. THE VIRGIN BIRTH FORETOLD in the Old Testament. By the virgin birth is meant the historic fulfillment of the prophetic prediction concerning the advent of the divine-human Redeemer. It concerns the identification of the Son of God as the Deliverer of the human race through His incorporation with it. In pronouncing sentence upon the serpent, God said : "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel" (Genesis 3:15). The coming Deliverer is here spoken of as "the seed of the woman." The crushing of the serpent's head is to be done by the "seed of the woman."

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If the "seed of the woman" here meant an ordinary descendant of the first parents, he could properly be called the seed of Adam since he was the representative head. But without question the "seed of the woman" here refers to the coming Deliverer, and He was to crush the serpent's head.

   In Genesis 12:1-3 ("Now the Lord said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee : And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing : And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee; and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed") the blessing which was to come to all the families of the earth was to be through Abraham's seed. In Genesis 49:10 ("The Sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be") the promise was narrowed down to the tribe of Judah. In II Samuel 7:8-16 the expectation took the form of a covenant which fixed the Deliverer as David's Son. "And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever" (II Samuel 7:12-13).

   In Isaiah 7:14 ("Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel"), the Deliverer was called Immanuel, who was to be the Son of a virgin. In Isaiah 9:6-7 ("For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given : and the government shall be upon his shoulder : and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this") the same birth is evidently set forth. Here the prophet predicts that the coming Child would occupy David's throne and bear the marvelous titles of Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. These ideas unitedly picture the One both human and divine whose kingdom was to be universal in extent. The eternal purpose was thus to be consummated through this coming One.

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   2. THE HISTORIC FULFILLMENT OF THE PREDICTION. Luke 1: 26-56 and Luke 2:4-7 give the testimony of the virgin Mary who was the means by which the Saviour came. Matthew 1: 18-25 gives the testimony of the angel of the Lord to Joseph, Mary's betrothed. Their united testimony is to the effect that the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem was in fulfillment of the virgin prediction of Isaiah 7:14. The historic record, we thus see, is based upon the testimony of both Matthew and Luke. The portions concerning the coming of the Redeemer have always been inseparable parts of these respective writings. Therefore, the fact of the virgin birth is unquestioned by those who believe in the integrity of the Holy Scriptures.

   It is to be noted further that the Apostle John must have known this fact, because he declared that "the Word was made flesh" (John 1:14). By the term "flesh" he no doubt means that the eternal Person, designated "the Word," had united Himself to humanity.

   Paul clearly had knowledge of the virgin birth because in Romans 1:3 ("Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh") he presents the "seed" of David, and in Galatians 4:4 ("But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law") he declares Him to be the Son of God sent forth by God, made of a woman, made under the law.

3. THE ACT AND MEANING OF THE VIRGIN BIRTH.

   a. The act. "And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee : therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God" (Luke 1:35).

   (1) The human nature of Christ was created by the Holy Spirit. "Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise : When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost ... But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife : for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost" (Matthew 1:18, 20). Gabriel declared to Mary, "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee." Jesus' human nature originated miraculously in the humanity of His virgin mother

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by the creative power of the Holy Spirit. He was a real man, because He was born of a woman, and yet He was sinless, because He was conceived by the Holy Ghost.

   (2) The eternal Son of God united Himself with the human nature created by the Holy Spirit. The declaration, "the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee," does not refer to the creative act of the Holy Spirit, but to the act of the eternal Son, who was overshadowing Mary while the Holy Spirit was creating the humanity which He was to unite to Himself.

   It should be borne in mind that the virgin birth of Christ was not the origin of His person, but the entrance of His person into human life. The divine Person became man, and yet was none the less divine. Jesus was not the Son of God because He was born of Mary, and she was not the "Mother of God" as some falsely teach. He was called the Son of God after humanity had become united to Him, because He was God's eternal Son.

   b. The purpose of the virgin birth.

   (1) To reveal God. "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him: (John 1:18). The incarnation was God's point of contact with the human race. Human nature was essential in order to reveal God to human beings. Those who ignore and reject Jesus Christ are absolutely destitute of any knowledge concerning God. Those who profess to be Christians while rejecting the doctrine of the Son of God manifest in the flesh are either self-deceived, or they willfully refuse recognition of Him.

   (2) To bridge the chasm between God and man. "And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day : and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden" (Genesis 3:8). Adam's sin was rebellion against God. This willful act created a chasm between God and Adam. All human history, from Adam's to the present, bears witness to the reality of this chasm. This chasm was bridged by God's union of Himself with man in the incarnation. "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (I Timothy 2:5). "But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were

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under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons" (Galatians 4:4-5).

   (3) To lay hold upon man and save him. In order that Christ might lay hold upon man He was made in man's likeness. He became really human. "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil ... For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham" (Hebrews 2:14, 16). The virgin birth is thus described as taking hold of the race. The same word in Greek is used in Matthew 14:31 as in Hebrews 2:16. For a pictorial meaning of "took on him" in Hebrews 2:16 see Matthew 14:31 ("And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?"). When the Lord stretched forth His hand and caught Peter, we see that Peter was saved from death at the bottom of the sea through the Lord's taking hold of him. In the act of the incarnation, the eternal Son reached forth His hand and took hold upon humanity. All saved people can ascribe their salvation to this sovereign act of the Son of God in incorporating Himself with the race.

   (4) To rescue the whole creation. "For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope. Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now" (Romans 8:19-22). We thus see that the purpose of the union of the Son of God with humanity was wider than the salvation of members of the human race. Sin brought judgment not only upon the race but upon the whole creation which was placed under the dominion of the first man Adam. All of creation has been groaning under the burden of that divine judgment ever since. The incarnation of the Son of God was the divine method of ultimately delivering the entire creation from its burdens. All things in heaven and earth are to be gathered together in Christ. "That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him" (Ephesians 1:10).

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V. The Humanity of Jesus Christ

   The reality of His humanity is shown by the facts that :

   1. HE WAS GIVEN HUMAN NAMES. "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (I Timothy 2:5). "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10). He is called "man" and the "Son of man." He is said to have been called the "Son of man" seventy-seven times. He called Himself the "Son of man." He seems to have taken delight in calling Himself by that title.

   2. HE HAD HUMAN ANCESTRY.

   a. He was born of the virgin Mary. "And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn" (Luke 2:7). "But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law" (Galatians 4:4).

   b. He was of the seed of David. "Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him (David), that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne" (Acts 2:30). "Of this man's seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus" (Acts 13:23). "Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh" (Romans 1:3).

   3. HE POSSESSED A PHYSICAL NATURE. The Scriptures emphatically declare that the eternal Word was "made flesh" and that He took upon Himself "flesh and blood." "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth" (John 1:14). "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil" (Hebrews 2:14).

   The fact of Christ becoming really human was considered of such importance by the Apostle John that he declared that a denial of this fact was a mark of the antichrist. "Hereby know ye the Spirit of God : Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God : And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God : and this is

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that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world" (I John 4:2-3).

   Not only was Christ human physically, but likewise He was human emotionally. Jesus groaned in spirit, showing that He possessed a human spirit. "Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death : tarry ye here, and watch with me" (Matthew 26:38). "When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled" (John 11:33).

   4. HE WAS SUBJECT TO THE LAWS of human development in body and soul.

   a. He grew. "And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom : and the grace of God was upon him" (Luke 2:40). This shows that His human nature progressed normally from infancy to maturity.

   b. He asked questions. "and it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions" (Luke 2:46). We see here the normal functioning of a mind in its unfolding as it reached out after new things.

   c. He increased in wisdom. "And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man" (Luke 2:52). As a human being His mind increased in its power of acquisition, and in its possession of knowledge.

   d. He learned obedience. "Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered" (Hebrews 5:8). Even though He was the very Son of God, as a human being He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.

   e. He became acquainted with suffering through experience. "For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted" (Hebrews 2:18). Because of this He is now able to sympathize with and help those who are His.

   f. He was made perfect through suffering. "For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings" (Hebrews 2:10). The perfection here signifies the attainment of that which rounded out His nature rather than the passing from a sinful to a sinless state. The time is coming when redeemed humanity shall attain unto perfection.

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Perfection does not infinity. A perfect human being does not become divine.

   5. HE WAS MOVED BY THE INSTINCT and exercised the active powers that belong to normal human beings.

   a. He hungered. "And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was hungry" (Matthew 4:2). Hunger is but the expression of the natural desire for that which is necessary for the well-being of the person.

   b. He thirsted. "After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst" (John 19:28). To thirst does not imply a condition short of perfection, but rather the recognition of need and a desire for that which will satisfy that need.

   c. He became weary. "Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well : and it was about the sixth hour" (John 4:6). When the Son of God united Himself with human nature, that human nature was not transmitted into deity. Excessive activity would naturally produce weariness. The fact, then, that He became weary proves that He was really human.

   d. He slept. "And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves : but he was asleep" (Matthew 8:24). Having taken up into His essential person the human nature of Christ, He came under the influence of the laws governing human nature. Weariness following activity, and because of His human limitations He needed the replenishment of His human nature through sleep.

   e. He loved. "Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest : go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven : and come, take up the cross, and follow me" (Mark 10:21). The outgoing of His person to those of similar personalities is expressed by the word "love." The young man was so realistically human that the affection of Jesus responded in reciprocal relation.

   f. He had compassion. "But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd" (Matthew 9:36). Being so really in touch with humanity, the helpless human beings called forth His pity.

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   g. He was angry and grieved. "And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out : and his hand was restored whole as the other" (Mark 3:5). The unbelief of the people in the face of such opportunity to believe called forth His anger and greatly grieved Him.

   h. He manifested reverential trust. "Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared" (Hebrews 5:7). He was so definitely in fellowship with His Father that in the time of His severe trial He was able to obtain solace through prayer.

   i. He groaned. "When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the Spirit, and was troubled" (John 11:33). This shows that He possessed a human spirit.

   j. He wept. "Jesus wept" (John 11:35). The sight of His beloved Bethany friends who were so grieved over the death of their brother called forth His tears of sympathy.

   k. He prayed. "And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray : and when the evening was come, he was there alone" (Matthew 14:23). He was so keenly conscious of His human need that He withdrew from the multitude that He might be alone with His Heavenly Father. He realized the limitation of His human nature and its need of being refreshed in contact with His Heavenly Father. He therefore prayed.

   6. HE SUFFERED AND DIED.

   a. He sweat drops of blood. "And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly : and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground" (Luke 22:44). The natural inference from this is that His sufferings were so intense that His blood oozed through the pores of His skin.

   b. His soul and body separated. "When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished : and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost" (John 19:30). This doubtless means that He experienced a suspension of the personal union between His soul and His body. The evidence that His death was real was that blood and water came forth from His side. "But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water" (John 19:34).

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   c. He dismissed His spirit. "When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished : and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost" (John 19:30). He did not die of a broken heart. His death was the act of His own free will. It was therefore unlike any other death in all human history.

   7. HE STILL POSSESSES A HUMAN BODY.

   a. After His resurrection from the dead. "Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself : handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have" (Luke 24:39). He challenged the disciples to test the reality of His physical body. "Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side : and be not faithless, but believing" (John 20:27). He proved His essential humanity by bidding Thomas to test its reality by his sense of touch.

   b. In glory. "But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God. And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God" (Acts 7:55-56). "Jesus saith unto him, thou hast said : nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven" (Matthew 26:64). Compare Philippians 3:21 : "Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself." Stephen declared that he saw the Son of man standing at the right hand of God. Matthew declared that in the hereafter the Son of man will be seen sitting at the right hand of God and coming in the clouds of heaven.

VI. The Character of Jesus Christ

   1. HIS HOLINESS. The Scriptures emphatically declare that Jesus Christ is holy. "But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you" (Acts 3:14). "For a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together ... By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus" (Acts 4:27, 30).

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   a. The meaning of holiness. "Ye shall not make yourselves abominable with any creeping thing that creepeth, neither shall ye make yourselves unclean with them, that ye should be defiled thereby. For I am the Lord your God : ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy : neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. For I am the Lord that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God : ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy" (Leviticus 11: 43-45). It is here declared that holiness means freedom from defilement. Christ was therefore absolutely sinless. Though He lived in a world of sin, His person was untouched by sin.

   b. How His holiness was manifested.

   (1) In loving righteousness and hating iniquity. "Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows" (Hebrews 1:9). The holy man loves righteousness and hates iniquity. Both of these characteristics are essential to holiness. One may profess to love righteousness, but unless he hates iniquity he is not really holy.

   (2) In doing no sin and in doing the things which please God. "Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth" (I Peter 2: 22). "And he that sent me is with me : the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him" (John 8:29). Holiness is more than freedom from sin. It is positively and deliberately doing things which have God's approval.

   (3) In meeting and overcoming temptation. "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin" (Hebrews 4:15). Christ was really tempted, but because of the essential holiness of His nature, He triumphed over the evil one.

   (4) In making the great sacrifice to save His people from their sins. Christ so hated sin that of His own volition He turned His back upon His heavenly glory in order to save His people from their sins. "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness : by whose stripes ye were healed" (I Peter 2:24). "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit" (I Peter 3:18). Compare II Corinthians 5:21: "For he

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hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."

   (5) In pronouncing doom upon those who will not forsake their sins. "Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?" (Hebrews 10:29). Jesus Christ passionately loves humanity. Human beings who love sin and will not turn from it cannot escape judgment. There is an active principle in divine holiness which must attack that which is opposed to it. "When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory. And before him shall be gathered all nations : and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats : ... Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels" (Matthew 25: 31, 32, 41).

   c. Witness to Christ's holiness.

   (1) God the Father. The Father declared that Christ's love of righteousness and hate of iniquity differentiated Him from His fellows. "But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows" (Hebrews 1:8-9).

   (2) The unclean spirit. Realizing the doom that waited him, an evil spirit cried out, "thou art the holy one of God" (Mark 1 : 23-24).

   (3) Judas Iscariot. Judas confessed that he had betrayed an innocent man.

   (4) Pilate's wife in advising her husband not to condemn Christ to death referred to Him as "that just man" (Matthew 27:19).

   (5) Pilate. Pilate declared that he had found no fault in Christ. "Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him ... When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out saying, Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them,

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Take ye him, and crucify him : for I find no fault in him" (John 19:4, 6).

   (6) The dying thief. The believing thief who was crucified with Christ declared that the suffering Saviour had done nothing wrong. "And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds : but this man hath done nothing amiss" (Luke 23:41).

   (7) The centurion. The Roman centurion at the cross declared that Christ was a righteous man.

   (8) Peter. Peter declared that the Jews had denied the Holy One and desired a murderer to be released to them. His testimony was corroborated by the apostolic company. "But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you" (Acts 3:14). "For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together" (Acts 4:27).

   (9) Ananias. In announcing that God had sent him, Ananias declared to Saul that he was to see the Just One and to hear the divine message from His mouth. "And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldst hear the voice of his mouth" (Acts 22:14).

   2. THE LOVE OF JESUS CHRIST.

   a. His love for the Father. "But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence" (John 14:31). Jesus Christ loved the Father and desired the world to know it. If we would know what love to God means, we must look to Jesus Christ. He showed His love to the Father.

   (1) By keeping His commandments. "For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments : and his commandments are not burdensome" (I John 5:3). The one undivided proof of Christ's love was to do the Father's will. "For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me" (John 6:38). He did not falter at turning His back to the glory of heaven for the shame of the cross. He became obedient even unto death. He laid down His life in rendering obedience to the Father's commandments. "And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross" (Philippians 2:8).

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"As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father : and I lay down my life for the sheep ... Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father" (John 10:15, 17, 18).

   (2) By unwavering submission to the Father's will. "And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me : nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt ... He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done" (Matthew 26:39, 42). The supreme test of love to the Heavenly Father is utter submission to His will.

   (3) By positive delight in doing the Father's will. "I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart" (Psalm 40:8). In this case, the Father's will was His sacrificial death. "And he that sent me is with me : the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him" (John 8:29). The thing that pleased the Father was that which Christ sought to do.

   (4) In seeking the Father's will. "I can of mine own self do nothing : as I hear, I judge : and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me" (John 5:30). This seeking the Father's will was more than obedience to express commandments. A loving and obedient child is not content with doing merely that which is bidden, but seeks to conform to his father's every desire. To glorify the Father was the controlling passion of Christ's life.

   b. His love for men.

   (1) Whom He loved.

   (a) The Church. "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it" (Ephesians 5:25). While Christ loves all men His particular affection goes out to the members of His body.

   (b) Individual believers. Christ loves His Church, but there is abundant evidence from Scripture that He loves every individual member. "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in

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the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me" (Galatians 2:20). "And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us as an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour" (Ephesians 5:2). "And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood" (Revelation 1:5). "Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world, he loved them unto the end" (John 13:1). By "His own" is meant His individual followers. In John 17:2, 9, 12 He makes clear that "His own" are those whom the Father has given Him. The evidence that one belongs to this company is that he has come to Christ. "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out" (John 6:37). He ministers to those who are His own in a special way, for they are a particular object for His protection, guardianship, and care. "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me : and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him" (John 14:21). The obedient disciples enjoyed Christ's special love.

   (c) His own kindred in the flesh. Christ's love for His mother moved Him while upon the cross to commit her to the care of John, the beloved disciple. "Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home" (John 19:25-27). Being under the control of the Spirit of Christ does not cause one to ignore natural obligations and relations, but rather, makes one a better companion and even strengthens the ties of human affection.

   (d) Children. Children seem to have had a special attraction for Christ. "And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them : and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not : for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child,

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he shall not enter therein. And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them" (Mark 10:13-16). Those whose lives are most Christlike have a special attraction for children.

   (e) The ungodly. "For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly ... But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:6, 8). Christ loves lost souls, for it was such that He came into the world to save. "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10). His love for lost souls moved Him to watch for opportunities to save them. "Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well : and it was about the sixth hour. There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water : Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink .... Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldst have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water" (John 4: 6, 7, 10).

   Christ's love moved Him to go after the lost. "What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?" (Luke 15:4). He did not wait until they came to Him, but He sought them. He had particular joy in saving lost souls. "But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of ... Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work" (John 4:32, 34). He rejoiced over lost souls who were saved. "And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance" (Luke 15:5-7). Lost souls who refuse His salvation cause Him great grief. "And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes" (Luke 19:41, 42). "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!" (Matthew 23:37).

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   (f) His enemies. "Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots" (Luke 23:34). Compare Romans 5:8: "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Divine love is unaffected by the attitude of others toward it, although the attitude of the sinner may deprive him of the benefit of that love. Those who are Christ's will love their enemies.

   (2) How He manifests His love.

   (a) In becoming poor that others might be rich. "For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich" (II Corinthians 8:9). To realize how great was Christ's poverty see Philippians 2:6-8: "Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men : And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." To realize how great are the riches of the saints through Christ see Romans 8:16, 17: "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together."

   (b) In sharing the sorrows of His people. "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows : yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted" (Isaiah 53:4). "When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled, And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord come and see. Jesus wept. Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!" (John 11: 33-36). It is the nature of love to share the griefs and sorrows of loved ones.

   (c) In performing the most menial service for His own. "Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him; Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his

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hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded" (John 13:1-5). It is not hard to perform the most menial service for those we love. The finest illustration of this is seen in the service of a mother for her child.

   (d) In making known to His friends all things the Father had made known to Him. "Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his master does : but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you" (John 15:15). Just as we find personal delight in telling our friends truths which we have learned, so Christ delights in communicating to His own the truth which the Father had communicated to Him.

   (e) In laying down His life. "And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour" (Ephesians 5:2). "I am crucified with Christ : nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me : and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me" (Galatians 2:20). "Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us : and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren" (I John 3:16). The utter self-sacrifice manifested indicates the measure of Christ's love.

   (f) In keeping "His own" so that not one shall be lost. "While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name : those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled" (John 17:12). "Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he : if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way : That the saying might be fulfilled, which he spake, Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none" (John 18:8-9). "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long : we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 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,

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nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:35-39). The security of the believer is based upon the fact of Christ's undying love.

   (g) In chastening and reproving His own. "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten : be zealous therefore, and repent" (Revelation 3:19). "Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I will also keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth" (Revelation 3:10). This chastening and reproving is for the purpose of bringing them to repentance.

   (h) In identifying Himself with His people. "And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest : it is hard for thee to kick against the goads" (Acts 9:5). "Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee a hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when we saw thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me" (Matthew 25:37-40). So perfectly does Christ identify Himself with His people that He makes the treatment they receive as the treatment of Himself.

   (i) In returning and taking His own to a prepared place. "In my Father's house are many mansions : if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also" (John 14:2-3). He will receive His own to Himself. He will not merely take them to heaven, but He will have entered into eternal fellowship with them.

   3. THE COMPASSION OF CHRIST.

   a. To the multitude who were as sheep having no shepherd. The helpless condition of the people called forth His pitying sympathy. "And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd : and he began to teach them many things" (Mark 6:34). "But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved

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with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd" (Matthew 9:36).

   b. For the hungry. The multitude who followed Him even when they were physically hungry moved Him with great sympathy. "I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat" (Mark 8:2).

   c. For the blind and demon-possessed. "And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, Thou son of David, have mercy on us" (Matthew 9:27). "and ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him : but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us. Jesus said unto him. If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth" (Mark 9:22-23).

   d. For those bereft of loved ones. The grief of those who were deprived of the fellowship of loved ones moved Him with tender compassion. "Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow : and many people of the city were with her" (Luke 7:12-13).

   4. THE PRAYERFULNESS OF JESUS CHRIST.

   a. The fact that He prayed. "Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared" (Hebrews 5:7). In the days of His flesh He offered up prayer and supplication.

   b. When He prayed.

   (1) While being baptized. "Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened. And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased" (Luke 3:21-22).

   (2) In the night. "And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God" (Luke 6:12).

   (3) Early in the morning. "And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed" (Mark 1:35). Because of the strenuous

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work which was before Him, He rose up early in the morning to pray in preparation for the day's work.

   (4) Before eating. "And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took break, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them" (Luke 24:30). Everything that Jesus did was vitally linked to His praying.

   (5) Before entering on a preaching tour. "And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed ... And he said unto them, Let us go into the next town, that I may preach there also : for therefore came I forth" (Mark 1:35, 38).

   (6) Before choosing the twelve. "And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples; and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles: (Luke 6:12, 15). The choice of the twelve was so important that He spent all night in prayer to God.

   (7) When unusually busy. "But so much the more went there a fame abroad of him : and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by him of their infirmities. And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed" (Luke 5:15, 16). It ought to be that the Christian is never too busy to pray. The busier the life, the more manifold the duties, the more we should take time to pray.

   (8) When weary. "And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while : for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat ... And the people saw them departing, and many knew him, and ran afoot thither out of all cities and outran them, and came together unto him. And Jesus, when he came out saw many people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd : and he began to teach them many things. And when the day was now far spent, his disciples came unto him, and said, This is a desert place, and now the time is far passed ... And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray" (Mark 6:31, 33-35, 46). Alone with God in prayer is the quickest means of recuperation.

   (9) After important achievements and crises in His life. The need of prayer at such times was twofold. He needed to renew His strength and to fortify Himself against temptation. "And when

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he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray : and when the evening was come, he was there alone" (Matthew 14:23). "When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone" (John 6:15).

   (10) Before being tested. "And he came out, and went as he often did, to the mount of Olives ; and his disciples also followed him. And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation. And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed" (Luke 22 : 39-41). Christ's prayer life accounts for His unflinching courage to endure the cross.

   c. In whose behalf He prayed.

   (1) For God's glory. "Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again" (John 12:28).

   (2) For Himself. "These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee" (John 17:1). "Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared" (Hebrews 5:7). His prayer for Himself was not a selfish prayer.

   (3) For His own. "I pray for them : I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine ... Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word" (John 17:9, 20). "Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them" (Hebrews 7:25). "Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us" (Romans 8:34). "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous" (I John 2:1). It is for His own that Christ, as a great High Priest, now makes intercession.

   (4) For individual disciples. "And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you

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as wheat : But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not : and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren" (Luke 22:31-32). It is this individual interest that strengthens and encourages the disciple to perform his duties faithfully.

   (5) For His enemies. "Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots" (Luke 23:34). His praying for His enemies ought to encourage the believer to do the same.

   d. How He prayed.

   (1) In submission to the Father's will. "He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done" (Matthew 26:42). Prayer in submission to God's will does not render the issue uncertain. Compare John 11: 41-42 : "Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always : but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me."

   (2) Upon His face and upon His knees. "And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me : nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt" (Matthew 26:39). "And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down and prayed" (Luke 22:41). This humble posture in prayer indicated His conscious need.

   (3) With intense earnestness. "And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly : and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground" (Luke 22:44). The expression "more earnestly" literally means that "He prayed with His soul stretched out even with strong crying and tears." How few believers pray thus today.

   (4) With importunity. "And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God" (Luke 6:12). "And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words" (Matthew 26:44). He spent much time in prayer. He persisted in praying even continuing all night in prayer to God.

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   5. THE MEEKNESS OF JESUS CHRIST.

   a. The fact that He was meek. "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls" (Matthew 11:29). "Now, I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you" (II Corinthians 10:1). Christ testified concerning His own meekness. Paul recognized the fact of His meekness and made His appeal to the Corinthians on the basis of this meekness.

   b. The meaning of meekness. "What will ye? shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love, and in the spirit of meekness?" (I Corinthians 4:21). "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted" (Galatians 6:1). "And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient. In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth" (II Timothy 2:24-25). The meaning of the word "meekness" is not only mildness, but poise and equanimity of person. It means the balance of soul which expresses self-mastery in order to render personal service. Meekness is not merely submission to injustice and injury without an attempt to remedy it, but gentleness and tenderness in dealing with others. Under no circumstances is it to be thought of as cowardice. The two persons outstanding in the manifestation of this grace were Moses and Jesus Christ. Both were brave and courageous.

VII. The Death of Jesus Christ

   1. THE IMPORTANCE OF CHRIST'S DEATH.

   a. Its prominence in the Scriptures. Its importance is shown from its frequency of mention in the Scriptures. In addition to the many prophetic references to Christ's death in the Old Testament, it is said to be mentioned more than 175 times in the New Testament. Many chapters in the four Gospels are devoted to this subject and the events connected with it.

   b. The supreme purpose of the incarnation was that He might die. "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of the flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil" (Hebrews 2:14). Christ's death was not the inevitable

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consequence of His human life. Rather, His incarnation was in order that He might die as man's Saviour.

   c. It was the subject of conversation on the Mount of Transfiguration. When the disciples refused to listen to Christ's prediction concerning His death, Moses and Elijah came from their celestial abode to talk with Him about it. "And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias : Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem" (Luke 9:30-31).

   d. It was the object of study of the prophets of the Old Testament. "Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you : Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ's death and sought to understand its meaning.

   f. It is one of the two fundamental elements of the gospel. "Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand ... For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures" (I Corinthians 15: 1, 3, 4). Those who do not preach the death of Christ do not preach the full gospel.

   g. Its proclamation was Paul's chief desire. Paul never lost sight of the ethics of Christ, but his fundamental message was Christ's death. "For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified" (I Corinthians 2:2). There can be no real practical living apart from the dynamic of the cross. To lay chief stress upon the example of Christ is utterly unscriptural.

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   h. It will be the central theme of the song of the redeemed in heaven. "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 : Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing" (Revelation 5:9, 12). Myriads of angels shall join with the redeemed in praise of the slain Lamb.

   2. THE REASONS FOR THE DEATH OF CHRIST.

   a. It was because of sin. "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities : the chastisement of our peace was upon him ; and with his stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5). "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit" (I Peter 3:18). "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness : by whose stripes ye were healed" (I Peter 2:24). "Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification" (Romans 4:25). Compare I Corinthians 15:3 : "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures." Christ died for sin, not His own, for He was sinless, but for the sin of others. The Just One who deserved to live died for the unjust who deserved to die.

   b. It was the price necessary to redeem men from death. Christ's death was the only acceptable guilt-offering for sin. "Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:28). "Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief : when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hands" (Isaiah 53:10). The death of Christ is shrouded in deep mystery, but by faith we grasp its vital meaning.

   c. It was an expiatory sacrifice. Christ's death was a propitiation for sin, the means whereby God's wrath was appeased. "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins" (I John 4:10). "Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past,

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through the forbearance of God" (Romans 3:25). Only in this light can the central meaning of the cross of Christ be seen. God's holiness demands that every violation of His perfect law be punished.

   d. It was to redeem from the curse of the law. Since man had broken God's law, a curse rested upon him. It was necessary for God's law to be vindicated. The penalty for broken law is judgment. It was for this very purpose that Christ was "made of a woman, made under the law." "For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse : for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them ... Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us : for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangest on a tree" (Galatians 3:10, 13). It is only in the light of the vindication of God's justice that grace can be apprehended. His grace did not in any sense mitigate the rigorous demand of His law. What God's righteousness demanded, the God-Man provided. His grace is seen in providing that atonement which His righteousness demanded.

   e. It was the ground upon which God could pass over sin and spare sinners. The shed blood of Jesus Christ is the guarantee that judgment has fallen. For this very reason, wherever the blood of the sacrificial Lamb was sprinkled, there was entire safety. "Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us" (I Corinthians 5:7). Compare Exodus 12:12, 13: "For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment : I am the Lord. And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are : and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt."

   f. It was to deliver believers from this present evil age. The blood of the cross is the sure deliverance from bondage to this present age. Those who are under its power can and will live a victorious life. "Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father" (Galatians 1:4).

   g. It was that He might be the Lord of both the dead and the living. "For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living" (Romans 14:9).

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   h. It was to redeem to God men of every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation. "And they sang 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" (Revelation 5:9). This doctrine is the basis of world-wide missions. Any other doctrine mocks the impotency of the heathen. The failure to make this the central message of missionary endeavor explains the failure of modern missions.

   3. THE RESULTS OF CHRIST'S DEATH.

   a. To believers.

   (1) It issues in the forgiveness of sins. The redeemed of the Lord have forgiveness of sins. "In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace" (Ephesians 1:7). Let it be borne in mind that this forgiveness is not something which will take place in the future. It is a present reality.

   (2) It is the ground of being reckoned righteous. The redeemed of the Lord are not only forgiven, but are reckoned righteous. They are justified. Forgiveness is negative. Justification is positive. There is in this reckoning of righteousness an exchange of positions between the believer and the Saviour. "For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous" (Romans 5:19).

   (3) It frees from condemnation. No one can lay anything to the charge of God's elect. The death of Christ has settled that now and forever. "Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us" (Romans 8:33-34).

   (4) It cleanses the conscience from dead works. "How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" (Hebrews 9:14). The believer who apprehends this truth and enters into its power is delivered from all efforts to secure justification through the merit of self-effort. How blessed it is to experience this freedom.

   (5) It gives boldness to enter God's presence. God is absolutely holy. All men are sinners. Therefore, on their own merits

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there can be no possible approach to God. However, the blood of Jesus Christ has settled it all. "Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh" (Hebrews 10: 19-20).

   b. To the devil.

   (1) The prince of this world is cast out. "Now is the judgment of this world : now shall the prince of this world be cast out" (John 12:31). Christ's death on the cross was the devil's death warrant. The execution of this warrant lies in the future.

   (2) The devil is destroyed. "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil" (Hebrews 2:14). The word "destroy" does not mean annihilation, but "the causing to be worthless."

   (3) The defeat of principalities and powers. "And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it" (Colossians 2:15). The death of Jesus Christ has rendered impotent and inoperative even the organized forces and powers which the evil one has set against God and righteousness.

   c. To the material universe. "For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven" (Colossians 1:19-20). The whole creation had fallen away from God through sin, but all things are reconciled to God through Christ's death. "For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope" (Romans 8:20). Compare Genesis 3:18 : "Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field." Not only the earth but the heavens were polluted through the introduction of sin into the race. "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" (Ephesians 6:12). "It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ is not entered into the holy places

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made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us" (Hebrews 9:23-24).

VIII. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ

   "Resurrection" means "rising up." By the resurrection of Jesus Christ is meant the rising up of His body from the grave.

   1. SOME INFIDEL THEORIES. It is well to view these false theories of the resurrection in the light of the teachings of the Bible.

   a. Fraud theory. This is to the effect that the disciples invented the resurrection story and foisted it upon Christ's credulous followers.

   b. Swoon theory. This theory declares that Christ did not die, but through sheer exhaustion passed into a state of unconsciousness, and that the cold sepulchre, with the refreshing spices provided by loved ones, revived Him; that is, brought Him back to consciousness.

   c. Myth theory. This theory sets forth the notion that the resurrection of Christ came to be believed because of its having been presented as an imaginary picture. But observe that myths require a long time to take form and gain currency. In this case the disciples supposedly came to believe it within three days after its occurrence, and hundreds of persons representing different temperaments came to believe it within three weeks.

   d. Vision theory. This theory declares that Mary, who had strong affection for Jesus, pictured Him in her imagination as being alive. It thus became the fantasy of the brain of a temperamental woman. This theory would make the disciples guilty of basing their faith upon the hallucination of this woman.

   e. Spirit theory. This theory is to the effect that Jesus' body did not come forth from the grave, but His spirit was seen by the disciples.

   2. EVIDENCES OF CHRIST'S RESURRECTION.

   a. The testimony of four credible writers. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John all testified to the reality of His resurrection. (Matthew 28; Mark 16; Luke 24; John 20). Their writings have been subjected to the most rigid tests in the realm of literary criticism, and yet they stand today with unimpeached integrity.

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   b. Circumstantial evidence. This evidence consists of historical facts which cannot be accounted for on any other basis than that they are true.

   (1) It was a foundation truth of early preaching. The foundation truth preached by the apostles and other leaders in the early church was the resurrection of Jesus Christ. If the resurrection were not real, why should the apostles have made it the very cornerstone of their preaching?

   (2) It was not challenged in the first century. The apostles preached the resurrection of Christ immediately after it occurred, and in the very region where it took place. They place the guilt of the killing of Jesus Christ upon the very ones who had committed the deed. If Christ had not really risen from the dead, it could and would have been disproved; but there is no hint in history, sacred or profane, of anyone's challenging this fact of the apostles' preaching.

   (3) It transformed the lives of the apostles. The transformation of the apostles themselves from cowards to bold witnesses cannot be accounted for on any other ground than that they had seen the resurrected Christ and experienced His power in their lives.

   c. Christ was seen by many after He arose from the grave. "And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve : After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time" (I Corinthians 15:5-8).

   Remaining on earth for forty days after His resurrection, Christ was seen and handled, giving infallible testimony to the reality of His resurrection. "To whom also he showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God" (Acts 1:3). These witnesses were of different temperaments and training. They saw Him at different times and under different circumstances, yet they had a united testimony. While He was living He had predicted His resurrection, but several of the disciples refused to believe these predictions. Hence seeing Him after He had risen was contrary to their expectations. (Luke 24:11-43; John 20:24-29).

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   d. The transformation of Paul's life. "For I am the least of the apostles, and am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am : and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all : yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me" (I Corinthians 15:9-10). The sight of the risen Lord transformed Paul from a savage persecutor to a most ardent advocate.

   3. IMPORTANCE OF CHRIST'S RESURRECTION.

   a. An essential qualification of apostleship was that he be a witness of Christ's resurrection. "Wherefore of these men which have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection" (Acts 1:21-22). In the selection of a successor to Judas, an essential qualification was that he be a witness of Christ's resurrection.

   b. The resurrection was prominent in apostolic preaching. It was a vital point in Peter's sermon on the Day of Pentecost "Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death : because it was not possible that he should be holden of it ... Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God hath sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses" (Acts 2:24, 29-32).

   All the apostles witnessed concerning the resurrection. "And with great power the apostles gave witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus : and great grace was upon them all" (Acts 4:33). It was part of Paul's preaching at Athens. "Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans and of the Stoics, encountered him. And some said, "What will this babbler say? other's said, He seems to be a setter forth of strange gods : because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection" (Acts 17:18). the hope of the resurrection was the particular thing for which Paul was called into question. "But when Paul perceived that the one part were

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Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee : of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question" (Acts 23:6). Paul declared that, if Christ is not risen, the apostles were false witnesses. "Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ : whom he raise not up, if so be that the dead rise not" (I Corinthians 15:15).

   c. It is one of the two fundamental truths of the gospel. "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures" (I Corinthians 15:3-4). "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation" (Romans 10:9-10). Paul definitely recognized that salvation, as far as man is concerned, depends upon belief in the resurrection of Christ.

   d. Faith and salvation depend upon the reality of Christ's resurrection. To disprove the resurrection of Christ would mean the utter collapse of Christianity. The Christian faith is built upon the truth of Christ's resurrection. "And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain ... And if Christ be not raised your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins" (I Corinthians 15:14, 17).

   4. RESULTS OF CHRIST'S RESURRECTION.

   a. It gives unqualified assurance of God's acceptance of Christ's sacrifice. Christ's resurrection was a declaration of righteousness, that is, it was an unqualified assurance that God has accepted the atonement made by Jesus Christ for sins. "And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification" (Romans 4:21-25).

   b. It gives us a living High Priest at the right hand of God. "Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather,

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that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us" (Romans 8:34). "Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them" (Hebrews 7:25). The reality and the efficiency of Christ's high priestly ministry now going on is of great importance and blessedness to the believer.

   c. It guarantees the resurrection of the believer in Christ. Since the believer is organically and vitally united to Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church, we can be assured that no member of the Body will be left in the grave. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive" (I Corinthians 15:22). "We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; Knowing that He which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you" (II Corinthians 4:13-14).

   d. It makes sure a coming judgment. The certainty of judgment to come rests upon the certainty of the resurrection of Christ. "Because he hath appointed a day, in which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead" (Acts 17:31).

   e. It guarantees life and immortality. Since Christ arose from the dead and ascended on high, the believer in Christ is assured of life and immortality. "Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me : because I live, ye shall live also" (John 14:19).

IX. The Exaltation of Jesus Christ

   Christ's exaltation includes His ascension into heaven and His sitting at the right hand of God. "Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear" (Acts 2:33). Christ's exaltation is equal to His humiliation. He is now in the same position that He enjoyed before His incarnation.

   1. CHRIST'S ASCENSION.

   a. The proof of His ascension. "And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. And it

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came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy : And were continually in the temple praising and blessing God. Amen" (Luke 24:50-53). "And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power when the Holy Ghost is come upon you : and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven" (Acts 1:7-11).

   Christ visibly departed from the disciples and ascended into heaven. The One who ascended was the One whom the disciples had known intimately for several years. He tarried with them for forty days after His resurrection to furnish them infallible proofs of its reality. He then ascended into heaven.

   b. Purpose of His ascension.

   (1) To be our Forerunner. Jesus entered heaven that the believer might follow Him there. As He now occupies a joint place with the Father on His throne, the victorious believer shall one day enjoy joint occupancy with Jesus on His throne. "Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec" (Hebrews 6:19-20). We can rest assured that He will not leave one of His own behind. "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock : if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne" (Revelation 3:20-21).

   (2) To prepare a place for His disciples. Before He went away, He declared that in the Father's house are many mansions, or abiding places, and that He was going there to prepare a place

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for them. "In my Father's house are many mansions : if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you" (John 14:2).

   (3) To appear before God for the believer. Although the believer enjoys the assurance of eternal life, he has many and urgent needs while living here. The believer's triumph depends upon the efficiency of Christ's ministry. Because of His intercession, He is able to save His own to the uttermost. "For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us" (Hebrews 9:24).

   2. CHRIST'S SESSION AT GOD'S RIGHT HAND.

   a. What it is. He there acts as the believer's High Priest. When He ascended on high He took His own blood with Him into the holy place. "Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places" (Ephesians 1:20). "But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us" (Hebrews 9:11-12).

   His position at the right hand of God means that He is in the place of power. What a triumph that He is back at the place which He voluntarily left when He came into the world for the redemption of lost men.

   b. Its purpose.

   (1) To demonstrate God's power which is at the believer's disposal. The fact of Christ's elevation to this place shows that the believer has at his command the limitless power of God to accomplish the work which God has called him to do. "The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places" (Ephesians 1:18-20).

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   (2) To intercede for us. "Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession ... Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:14-16).

   The believer should remember in times of trial and discouragement that he has recourse to the power of God.

   (3) To be in a position to pour forth the Holy Spirit. "Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away : for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you" (John 16:7). "And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance" (Acts 2:4).

   The mighty works at Pentecost constitute the evidence of the divine power available for us. The Pentecostal age still abides. Let the believer, therefore, know and use His resources.

   (4) To be in the place of supremacy. "The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ : Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him" (I Peter 3:21-22).

   The believer should recognize that, in spite of Christ's humiliation when on earth, He is now exalted to the right hand of Power, that which He came to do will be accomplished.

X. The Second Coming of Christ

   1. THE NATURE OF HIS COMING. Christ's coming will be personal and bodily. He will return in the same body with which He ascended into heaven. "Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven" (Acts 1:11). "Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him" (Hebrews 9:28).

   2. THE CERTAINTY OF HIS COMING.

   a. Prophetic testimony. "And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east,

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and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal : yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah : and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee" (Zechariah 14:4-5).

   Zechariah declares that when the Day of the Lord comes, He will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle. His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives and the mountain shall be divided. "Thus saith the Lord God; Remove the diadem, and take off the crown : this shall not be the same : exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. I will overturn, overturn, overturn it : and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him" (Ezekiel 21: 26-27).

   The picture here is of the continued overturning of the nations until the Lord shall come and take possession of the earth. This overturning process continues to go on and shall not end until the One, whose right it is to rule, reigns over the earth.

   b. The Testimony of John the Baptist. "And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins; As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness. Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; And all flesh shall see the salvation of God" (Luke 3:3-6).

   John's chief testimony was on the Second Coming of Christ. He saw the cross, "The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29), but He chiefly saw the coming forth of the Lord in judgment.

   John distinctly recognized the two comings but did not apprehend the interval of time between them. This was the reason for His sending the deputation to Jesus with the inquiry : "Are you the one who was to come or should we expect someone else?" (Luke 7:20). John the Baptist is frequently charged with having his faith in the Messiahship of Jesus dimmed because of hardships of prison life.

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This charge is unfounded, for Christ vindicates him against any such charge. After having told the deputation what to say to John, Christ turned to the multitude with three questions : "What went ye out into the wilderness for to see? A reed shaken with the wind?", "A man clothed in soft raiment?", A prophet?" He then answered His own questions by declaring that John was more than a prophet, and among those born of women there has not arisen a greater than John the Baptist (Luke 7:28).

   John had true faith, but He was somewhat confused by the interval between the sufferings of Christ and the glory of Christ. Not only did Christ vindicate him, but He definitely told the deputation to go and remind John of the things that were taking place.

   Many ministers and Bible teachers are in the same state of confusion today. They fail to see the period between the first and second comings of Christ. John's confusion was due to the fact that the Old Testament picture did not convey fully the things that would take place between the two comings. The parables of Matthew 13 fill in the information which John lacked. Christ said, "Behold, I show unto you the mysteries of the kingdom."

   c. The testimony of Christ Himself. Christ declared that He was going away to prepare a place for the believers and that He would personally come again to receive them unto Himself. "In my Father's house are many mansions : if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also" (John 14:2-3). This clear testimony of Jesus Christ is sufficient for the believer, but in addition we have the testimony of others. The evidence, then, more than fulfills the legal demand "that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established" (Matthew 18:16).

   d. The testimony of angels. The angels have proved themselves credible witnesses. The first coming of Christ was announced by an angel. "And the angel said unto them, Fear not : for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:10-11).

   e. The testimony of the apostles.

   (1) John. John makes the coming of the Lord the supreme incentive to holiness of living. "Beloved, now are we the sons of God,

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and it doth not yet appear what we shall be : but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure" (I John 3:2-3).

   (2) James. James makes the coming of the Lord the incentive for patient waiting, assuring them that at Christ's Coming they will be the precious fruit of the earth. "Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain" (James 5:7).

   (3) Peter. Peter assures believers who are passing through fiery trials that at the appearing of the Lord they will be found unto the praise and glory of Jesus Christ. "That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ : ... Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ" (I Peter 1:7, 13).

   (4) Paul. Paul declared that the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout and that at His Coming the dead in Christ will be raised first and that living believers will be transformed. "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God : and the dead in Christ shall rise first : Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air : and so shall we ever be with the Lord" (I Thessalonians 4:16-17).

   3. SOME ERRONEOUS VIEWS AS TO CHRIST'S COMING.

   a. That it means death. Some ministers even use Christ's words, "Watch therefore : for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come" (Matthew 24:42), as meaning death. This implies that they were commanded to watch for death.

   The death of the Christian means departure from this world to be with the Lord. Instead of its being the Coming of the Lord, death is the suspension of the personal union between the human personality and this body and the going of the believer to be with the Lord. Death is the penalty for sin, while Christ's Coming delivers from sin. Death is our enemy, while Christ is our Friend and Deliverer.

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   b. That it is the conversion of the sinner. Christ's invitation to the sinner is "Come unto me" (Matthew 11:28). Therefore, the conversion of the sinner is the sinner's coming to Christ.

   c. That it was the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. This is an error for there is no record of any of the marvelous events associated with the Coming of Christ being fulfilled at Pentecost. Furthermore, many vital promises of the Second Coming of Christ were made after Pentecost.

   d. That it was the destruction of Jerusalem. This is an error, because the destruction of Jerusalem took place in A.D. 70. The book of Revelation which has as its central theme the Coming of the Lord was written a score or more of years after the destruction of Jerusalem. The Coming of the Lord was, therefore, future in the last decade of the first century.

   e. That it is the gradual spread of the gospel, resulting in the conversion of the world. This is an error, because the spread of Christianity has been gradual, while Christ's Coming is presented as sudden and unexpected. Furthermore, Christ said, "But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the Coming of the Son of man be" (Matthew 24:37). As the people were marrying and giving in marriage in the days of Noah, carrying on the ordinary affairs of life, so it will be at the Coming of the Lord.

   Paul, too, said Christ's Coming would be proceeded by perilous times : "Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured : but out of them all the Lord delivered me" (II Timothy 3:11); and a falling away or apostasy : "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" (II Thessalonians 2:3). There is no intimation in Scripture of a time of peace or of a converted world before the Coming of Jesus Christ.

   4. THE TIME OF HIS COMING. The Coming of the Lord is absolutely certain, but the time thereof is known only to God.

   On the part of the careless, His Coming will be unexpected. "Watch ye therefore : for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at evening, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning" (Mark 13:35). This statement of the Lord is in keeping with the time in the different parts of the earth as determined by degrees of longitude.

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   5. THE IMPORTANCE OF HIS COMING. This importance is seen:

   a. In the frequency of its mention. The Coming of the Lord is mentioned more than 300 times in the New Testament. It is proper, therefore, to estimate its importance on the ground of its frequent mention.

   b. It is the Church's hope. Without the Coming of the Lord, Christianity would be incomplete. This hope of the bringing back of the souls of believers who died and the resurrection of their bodies followed by the entrance of the redeemed souls into their resurrected and glorified bodies is essential to any adequate conception of the glorious triumph of the Christian.

   c. The practical effect upon the Christian's manner of living. The Second Coming of Christ is like a lofty landscape. Such a view sees all roads leading to and converging in the landscape. Every ethical demand of the Christian points to and terminates in Christ's Second Coming. The practical effect is seen in the following examples:

   (1) Turning away from idols. "For they themselves show of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come" (I Thessalonians 1:9-10). When these pagans experienced personal union with Jesus Christ, they turned away from their idols to serve the living God and to wait for His Son from heaven.

   (2) Self-denial and godly living. "Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world : Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:12-13). The vision of expectancy of the return of Jesus Christ is the certain cure for worldliness.

   (3) Purity of life. Conviction concerning the imminency of the Lord's Coming is the sure cure for unfaithfulness and immorality. The Church is the betrothed of Christ with the prospect of becoming the Bride of Christ at His Second Coming. The woman who is betrothed to a man jealously guards the name of that one whom she expects to marry and keeps herself separated unto him. "And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure" (I John 3:3).

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   (4) Watchfulness. "Watch therefore : for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come" (Matthew 24:42). There is a great need on the part of the believer to live a life of watchfulness. All that the believer plans and does should be in the light of Christ's Coming.

   (5) Patience. "Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain" (James 5:7). In the early Church there was oppression as today. The laborer was robbed of his wages. The poor were oppressed. James exhorts the believer to be patient in view of the Lord's Coming. At His Coming the problem of capital and labor will have solution.

   (6) Intelligent participation in the communion. The bread and the cup not only memorialize the death of Christ, but also furnish a forward look to His Coming. "After the same manner also he took the cup, and when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood : this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come" (I Corinthians 11:25-26). It is blessed to sit at the table of the Lord. One day its blessedness will be superceded by the joy and happiness of being with the Lord forever.

   (7) Fidelity in service. "And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come" (Luke 19:13). Whatever may be the service rendered by the believer, whether it be common-place duties or preaching the gospel, faithfulness to duty is greatly strengthened by conviction concerning the Second Coming of Christ. Paul charged Timothy to fidelity in preaching the gospel in the light of the Lord's Coming.

   6. RESULTS OF HIS COMING.

   a. He will take His own to Himself.

   (1) The dead in Christ will be resurrected first. "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God : and the dead in Christ shall rise first" (I Thessalonians 4:16). Conviction concerning this truth will make the believer courageous to do his duty in life, knowing that, even though fidelity to his Lord should

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result in his death, the body laid down will be called forth at Christ's Coming.

   Then, too, it affords comfort to those whose loved ones have gone before. Reunion with loved ones is wrapped up in the Second Coming of Christ. It is no wonder that Paul said "Wherefore comfort one another with these words" (I Thessalonians 4:18).

   (2) Living believers will be transformed. Believers who are alive at Christ's Coming will "be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye." Those who are alive at the Coming of the Lord shall not see death. "Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump : for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed" (I Corinthians 15:51-52).

   (3) The resurrected dead and the transformed living will be caught up with the Lord. "Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air : and so shall we ever be with the Lord" (I Thessalonians 4:17). This is what is known among believers as the rapture of the Church.

   b. The marriage of the Lamb. "And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage : and the door was shut" (Matthew 25:10). "Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him : for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white : for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, 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" (Revelation 19:7-9). When the believers are with the Lord, there will be a glorious celebration in the marriage supper of the Lamb. This is an event looked for with passion and expectancy by all believers. Not only will there be the marriage of the Lamb, but the Bride will then be established in the Heavenly Father's house. "In my Father's house are many mansions : if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also" (John 14:2-3). Compare Revelation 21: 9-10 : "And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of

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the seven last plagues, and talked with me saying, Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb's wife. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God."

   c. Rewards will be given to faithful believers. When Jesus comes, believers will be made manifest before the judgment seat of Christ, and fitting rewards will be given to those who have been faithful. "Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one : and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labor" (I Corinthians 3:8).

   (1) A crown of life given. "Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer : behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days : be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life" (Revelation 2:10). Many believers have sealed their testimony with their blood. For such devotion a crown will be awarded.

   (2) A crown of joy or rejoicing awarded. This is the reward for faithful ministry. "Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved" (Philippians 4:1). "For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?" (I Thessalonians 2:19). The prospect of this reward greatly encourages and strengthens the believer who is passing through fiery temptations.

   (3) A crown of righteousness bestowed. This is the reward for faithfulness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day : and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing" (II Timothy 4:8).

   (4) A crown of glory bestowed. This is the reward for faithfulness under suffering. "And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away" (I Peter 5:4). "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for everyone" (Hebrews 2:9).

   d. Judgment upon those who know not God and obey not the gospel of Jesus Christ. While the Coming of the Lord will be

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glorious to the believer, there will be awful sorrow and anguish to the unbeliever. "And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ : Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power" (II Thessalonians 1:7-9).

    e. Judgment of the nations. At this judgment only the living nations are concerned. It will result in the separation of the sheep and the goats — the sheep to everlasting life and the goats to everlasting punishment. "When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory : And before him shall be gathered all nations : and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats" (Matthew 25: 31-32) : "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment : but the righteous into life eternal" (Matthew 25:46).

   f. The destruction of the antichrist. Antichrist is the mighty person whose hostility to Christ has been violently manifested through the centuries. The rule of this wicked person will come to an end at the Second Coming of Christ. "Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God. Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming." II Thessalonians 2:3-8). "Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage war against the rider on the horse and his army. But the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who had performed the signs on its behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped its image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur" (Revelation 19: 19-20).

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   This person sought the destruction of Adam in the Garden of Eden. In a peculiar way he sought the destruction of the last Adam, Jesus Christ, in the wilderness. On the cross of Calvary the sentence of judgment was passed upon the Devil. "Now is the judgment of this world : now shall the prince of this world be cast out" (John 12:31). The execution of this sentence will take place at Christ's Second Coming.

   (1) The binding of Satan. "And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time" (Revelation 20:1-3). This binding will take place when Jesus comes. When Satan is bound he is cast into the bottomless pit. He shall remain bound in the pit for a thousand years. During the reign of Christ in His Messianic kingdom, Satan remains in bondage.

   (2) Satan let loose. "When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—and to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them" (Revelation 20:7-9). As soon as he is unbound he resumes his wicked work. He goes out to deceive the nations. From the four quarters of the earth, he gathers these deceived ones to arise up in battle against the rule of Christ.

  (3) Satan cast into the lake of fire where the beast and false prophet preceded him by a thousand years. "And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever" (Revelation 20:10).

   g. The establishment of the Messianic kingdom. This is the kingdom for which the saints have been praying ever since Christ gave the model prayer for the disciples in Matthew 6:9-10 : "After this manner therefore pray ye : Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven."

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   This is the kingdom covenanted to David. “Now then, tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says: I took you from the pasture, from tending the flock, and appointed you ruler over my people Israel. I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from before you. Now I will make your name great, like the names of the greatest men on earth. And I will provide a place for my people Israel and will plant them so that they can have a home of their own and no longer be disturbed. Wicked people will not oppress them anymore, as they did at the beginning and have done ever since the time I appointed leaders over my people Israel. I will also give you rest from all your enemies. The Lord declares to you that the Lord himself will establish a house for you: When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with a rod wielded by men, with floggings inflicted by human hands. But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever’” (II Samuel 7: 8-16).

   The angel, announcing the birth of Christ, declared that the Lord God would give to Him the throne of His father David. "He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Highest : and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David" (Luke 1:32).

   This is the kingdom which John the Baptist announced as being at hand. The divine promise of its realization was set forth by James. "When they finished, James spoke up. “Brothers,” he said, “listen to me. Simon has described to us how God first intervened to choose a people for his name from the Gentiles. The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written: ‘After this I will return and rebuild David’s fallen tent. Its ruins I will rebuild, and I will restore it' " (Acts 15: 13-16). James who presided at the Council of Jerusalem, declared that God was then gathering out a people for His name. That process has been going on for nearly two thousand years. When the Church, the

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Body of Christ, is complete, Christ will come and build again the tabernacle of David which was thrown down.

   This is the kingdom which the prophet Daniel told Nebuchadnezzar would be established by the God of heaven. "And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed : and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever" (Daniel 2:44).

   h. The coming of universal peace. That golden age, which the greatest and best men of the earth have dreamed of and longed for, will then become a reality. "And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people : and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks : nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more" (Isaiah 2:4). "And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts" (Malachi 4:3).

   Universal peace will exist then because of universal righteousness. The knowledge of the Lord will then cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. The only hope of peace in the earth is the glorious appearing of Jesus Christ. Leagues of nations and united councils of nations may bring temporary peace, but permanent peace will be realized only by the universal reign of the Prince of Peace.


Chapter IX

God the Holy Spirit

TEACHING concerning the Holy Spirit in the Scriptures is decidedly more limited than that concerning the Father and the Son. This is accounted for on the ground of the peculiar mission of the Spirit. As far as man is concerned, the Holy Spirit's mission is to make effective the divine purpose of redemption. Since He is the Author of the Scriptures, it is to be expected that He would have much more to say about the Father and Son than about Himself.

   The Bible is not primarily a source book of general information, but it is our only source of knowledge concerning the divine purpose. What the Bible says on any subject, therefore, is essential information concerning God's plan. The Holy Spirit, consequently, speaks of Himself only indirectly as He executes God's redemptive purpose. Furthermore, as Jesus Christ is the only Mediator between God and men, so the Holy Spirit's supreme mission is to reveal Christ. "But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you" (John 16:13-14).

   The Holy Spirit's lack of reference to Himself is strikingly significant of His ministry. If He did otherwise in the Scriptures, it would seriously reflect upon His wisdom and character.

   To infer from these phenomena that the Holy Spirit does not possess personality, or that the doctrine of the Holy Spirit is of subordinate value, is entirely unwarranted. Let no one think that the relationship of the Holy Spirit to the world and to the human race is superficial.

   Note : In the Authorized Version the same root word is sometimes translated "Holy Spirit" and sometimes "Holy Ghost." Just why translators did this we do not know, but it is proper

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to remember that the word in the original is the same, and, therefore, the same Person is meant.

I. The Importance of the Scriptural View

   It is absolutely imperative that the Christian have a Scriptural conception of the nature of the Holy Spirit's being and of His work. Too frequently the view held is based upon some human experience rather than the teaching of the Scriptures.

   It is to be expected that the reaction of finite beings to the impact of the Holy Spirit upon them may at times be irregular. Furthermore, the temperament of the individual concerned will determine his reaction. Sometimes there is the manifestation of extreme emotion with its corresponding utterance. Because of human limitation and temperamental colorings, we dare not build our doctrine upon human testimony or behavior. God's inspired Word must be the basis of our doctrine rather than the behavior and utterance even of sincere people.

   It is highly important, therefore that a careful examination be made of the teaching of the Holy Spirit concerning Himself and His work. The standard of truth is that revelation of God by the Spirit through the Scriptures.

   The lack of knowledge concerning the person and work of the Holy Spirit and the failure to give proper place to the Spirit in Christian teaching have opened the way in the church for many modern cults, such as, the so-called Christian Science, spiritism, and theosophy.

   The appearance of a multitude of cults and isms is unmistakable evidence of failure on the part of the Christian ministry. The redeemed soul reaches out after God. "As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?" (Psalm 42: 1-2).

   The sure antidote for modern isms and cults is the realization of the presence and power of God through the Spirit. Man's spiritual nature must be nourished and directed by contact with God through the Spirit.

   Because he bears the likeness and image of God, man demands spiritual fellowship. If true spiritual culture is lacking, the false is bound to take its place. Let the Christian Church, therefore, restore this essential teaching, and it will come back to its God-appointed place. Effective Christian living is impossible without the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. Falling back upon human reason or the substitution of mystic sentiments is of no avail.

II. Erroneous Views Concerning the Holy Spirit

   1. THAT THE HOLY SPIRIT IS A CREATURE. Various sects through the centuries have held that the Holy Spirit is the greatest creation of the Son, just as the Son is the greatest Creation of the Father.

   2. THAT THE HOLY SPIRIT IS MERELY AN ENERGY OF GOD

   The heretical sects holding this view teach that there is but one Person, as well as one essence, in the Godhead. This same Person in different relations is called Father, Son, or Holy Ghost. Those who hold this view maintain that the term "Holy Spirit" in Scripture is used as a designation of God's energy as exercised in a particular way. This is the predominant teaching of Unitarians and rationalists.

   The Christian should have a clear understanding as to whether the Holy Spirit is a divine faculty in His mode of being, or a Person. Dr. R.A. Torrey emphasized the importance of this matter from three angles.1

   First, that of worship. If the Holy Spirit is a Person, He is worthy of receiving the adoration, love, and worship of the believer. Second, that of the practical bearing on the life of the individual. If the Holy Spirit is conceived of as the power of God which weak and ignorant men get hold of and use, there will be engendered pride and self-exaltation. If, on the other hand, the Spirit is conceived of as being a divine Person, holy, wise, and tender, who gets hold of and uses the believer, there will follow self-humiliation. Third, that of experimental knowledge of the Holy Spirit as a Person. A wonderful blessing comes to the believer who has come to know the Holy Spirit as an ever-present, loving Friend and Helper.

III. The Nature of the Holy Spirit

   The third Person of the Trinity is called the Holy Spirit to indicate both His nature and His work. He is absolutely holy and is the cause of holiness in God's people. His nature is in a

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1. Torrey, What the Bible Teaches, p. 225

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vital sense revealed by the word "Spirit" which means "wind" or "breath." "Spirit" is used in Scripture —

   1. AS THE PRINCIPLE OF LIFE or the degree of vitality. "My breath is corrupt, my days are extinct, the graves are ready for me" (Job 17:1). "And they gave him a piece of a cake of figs, and two clusters of raisins : and when he had eaten, his spirit came again to him : for he had eaten no bread, nor drunk any water, three days and three nights" (I Samuel 30:12).

   2. AS DESCRIPTIVE OF HUMAN FEELINGS AND INTELLECT.

   a. As personal desire. "With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early : for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness" (Isaiah 26:9). Here the prophet expresses his desire which prompted him to seek the Lord early.

   b. An expression of courage. "And it came to pass, when all the kings of the Amorites, which were on the side of Jordan westward, and all the kings of the Canaanites, which were by the sea, heard that the Lord had dried up the waters of Jordan from before the children of Israel, until we were passed over, that their heart melted, neither was there spirit in them any more, because of the children of Israel" (Joshua 5:1).

   Under certain trying circumstances, the people lacked courage, there remaining no more spirit in them.

   c. Intelligence. "Tell all the skilled men to whom I have given wisdom in such matters that they are to make garments for Aaron, for his consecration, so that he may serve me as priest" (Exodus 28:3). The "spirit of wisdom" means the "degree of intelligence."

  d. A disposition of heart. "The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit" (Psalm 34:18). A certain disposition of heart is essential to the realization of the divine presence.

   3. AS COMPARED TO WIND. "The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth : so is every one that is born of the Spirit" (John 3:8). The word "wind" is applied here to the Holy Spirit to indicate that the activities of the Spirit are not discernible to the physical senses. The term "Spirit of God" therefore

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means the "energy and power of God," the "efficiency of God," the "Person through whom God's power is exercised."

IV. The Names of the Holy Spirit

   Numerous titles are given to the Holy Spirit in the Scriptures, revealing the complexity of His nature and the variety of His activities.

   1. THE SPIRIT. "But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit : for the Spirit searches all things, yea, the deep things of God" (I Corinthians 2:10). This name is given the third member of the Trinity since the word "Pneuma" translated "Spirit" means "the out-breathing or the going forth of the life of God."

   2. THE SPIRIT OF GOD. "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" (I Corinthians 3:16). The title "Spirit of God" is here used to indicate the energy or the life which proceeds from God.

   3. THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD. "And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord" (Isaiah 11:2). The word "Lord" here is derived from the word meaning "Jehovah." This name was introduced to show God's relationship to man. It sets forth God's purpose in redemption. Isaiah 11:2 shows that it was God the Redeemer who spoke the message of salvation through the prophet.

   4. THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD GOD. "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound" (Isaiah 61:1). This name indicates that the message was being spoken by the divine Agent who reveals the Lordship of the Redeemer.

   5. THE SPIRIT OF THE LIVING GOD. "Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men : Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tablets of stone, but in fleshly tablets of the heart" (II Corinthians 3:2-3). The work here wrought by the Spirit is that of writing the image of Christ upon the heart, making believers living epistles, known and read of all men.

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   6. THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST. "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his" (Romans 8:9). The word "Christ" means "anointed." It was the Holy Spirit who anointed Jesus, and the Spirit was the anointing. The idea to be expressed is the Holy Spirit's relationship to Jesus Christ.

   7. THE HOLY SPIRIT. "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children : how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" (Luke 11:13). The title "Holy" here indicates His essential character and the source of the holiness of God's people.

   8. THE ETERNAL SPIRIT. "How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" (Hebrews 9:14). He is called eternal in order to show His essential deity. Only divine Beings can properly be called eternal.

   9. THE SPIRIT OF BURNING. "When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning" (Isaiah 4:4). This title reveals the Spirit's relationship to man and emphasizes His searching, refining, consuming, and illuminating function. It has reference to the effect of His presence and ministry upon men.

   10. THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH. "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth : for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak : and he will show you things to come" (John 16:13). He is in His essential being the very essence of truth, the source of truth, and the One who imparts truth. The supreme test of one's being filled with the Spirit is that his life and his message are in harmony with truth.

   11. THE OIL OF GLADNESS. "Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows" (Hebrews 1:9). "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith" (Galatians 5:22). The name here is significant of the behavior of the one who has been brought unto the power and dominion of the Spirit.

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Gladness characterizes the life and behavior of the Spirit-filled man.

   12. THE SPIRIT OF GRACE. "How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?" (Hebrews 10:29). This name implies the work of the Holy Spirit in supplying and applying the grace of God.

   13. THE COMFORTER. "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance whatsoever I have said unto you" (John 14:26). The word "comforter" means the "one called to the believer's side to take his part." As expressed in a well-known hymn, "He is the ever-present truest Friend, ever near His aid to lend."

V. The Personality of the Holy Spirit

   By personality is meant separateness of being, individuality, mode of subsistence. That the Holy Spirit is a Person is proved by the following evidences :

   1. HE IS REFERRED TO IN TERMS WHICH DESIGNATE PERSONALITY.

   a. Personal pronouns are used in speaking of Him. "He shall glorify me : for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you" (John 16:14). "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me" (John 15:26). "Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away : for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you" (John 16:7). "And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness and of judgment ... Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth : for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak : and he will show you things to come" (John 16: 8, 13). In the last passage the masculine pronoun appears with a neuter noun as its antecedent.

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   b. He is called the Comforter. "But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Comforter will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you" (John 16:7). The word "comforter" literally is "paraclete" which means "a part-taker," that is, one called to the side of another as a helper. It includes such meanings as are conveyed by the words "instructor," "guide," and "advocate." Compare I John 2:1: "My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One."

   2. HIS NAME APPEARS WITH THAT OF OTHER PERSONS.

   a. Christians. "For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things" (Acts 15:28). The believers in the Council at Jerusalem put the Holy Spirit first and themselves next, but the connection is such that personality is clearly implied.

   b. Jesus Christ. "He shall glorify me : for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you" (John 16:14). The fact that the Spirit was to receive the things of Christ and to show them to others clearly implies personality.

   c. The Father and the Son. "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" (Matthew 28:19). The believers were to be baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This clearly implies that the Spirit is a person alongside of the Father and the Son.

   3. HE PERFORMS ACTS PROPER ONLY TO PERSONALITY.

   a. He convicts of sin. "And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment" (John 16:8). It is because of His personality that He is able to bring conviction of sin to men.

   b. He speaks. "Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot" (Acts 8:29). "As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them ... Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia, After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia :

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but the Spirit suffered them not" (Acts 13:2; 16:6-7). The fact that the Holy Spirit speaks to men implies that He is a Person.

   c. He searcheth all things. "But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit : for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God" (I Corinthians 2: 10-11). This act implies that He has a definite purpose and that He applies Himself to the accomplishment of that purpose.

   d. He exercises the power of volition. "For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; ... But all these worketh that one and the self-same Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will" (I Corinthians 12: 8, 11). Self-will is an attribute of personality. The fact that the Holy Spirit possesses the power to initiate action implies that He is a personal Being.

   e. He raised Christ from the dead. "But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you" (Romans 8:11). Such action could be taken only by a personal Being. Back of the action is the ability to make choice.

   f. He makes intercession. "And in like manner the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities : but we know not how to pray as we ought; but the Spirit himself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered" (Romans 8:26). His work of intercession clearly implies the functioning of a personality between other persons.

   g. He teaches. "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you" (John 14:26). Only a person can teach other persons. Teaching, properly understood, implies personality. It takes for granted knowledge of that which is taught, likewise knowledge of the one taught, and finally, the ability to bring the truth to the level of the understanding of the pupil. One who teaches, therefore, must be a personal being.

   h. He leads. "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are sons of God" (Romans 8:14). Leadership implies intelligence and decision.

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   i. He calls and commissions men. "As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them ... Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood" (Acts 13:2; 20:28). The act of calling involves intelligence and decision, likewise. The commission of those called implies intelligence and individual purpose.

   It would be manifestly improper to speak of such action and the exercise of such responsibility except by a person.

   4. HE IS AFFECTED BY THE ACTIONS OF OTHERS as only a person can be.

   a. He may be vexed. "But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit : therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them" (Isaiah 63:10). "To vex" means "to annoy, to incite anger." Such reaction can only be ascribed to a personal being. It would be manifestly improper to speak of an influence as being vexed.

   b. He may be blasphemed against. "Wherefore I say unto you All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men : but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men" (Matthew 12:31). To blaspheme against the Holy Spirit, as set forth in the Synoptic Gospels, is attributing to the devil the work of the Holy Spirit. In all its extended meaning and relationship, blasphemy can only be against a person.

   c. He may be lied to and tempted. "But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own: and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God ... Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out" (Acts 5: 3, 4, 9). To talk about an influence being lied to would be utterly absurd. The fact, therefore, that He can be lied to and tempted clearly implies personality.

   d. He can be grieved. "And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption" (Ephesians 4:30).

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"Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me" (Romans 15:30). The very fact that the Holy Spirit can be grieved is a clear implication that He has the attributes of personality. Because He loves, He can be grieved. Grief is possible only to beings with a capacity to love.

   5. HE MANIFESTS HIMSELF IN VISIBLE FORM separate from that of the Father and the Son. "And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water : and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him : And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:16-17). "Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus, also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased" (Luke 3:21-22). The Holy Spirit here is represented as manifesting Himself in connection with the Father and the Son in personal acts performed by Them. In this case, Jesus prayed to the Father; the Father spoke from heaven; and the Spirit descended in the form of a dove.

VI. The Deity of the Holy Spirit

   By the deity of the Holy Spirit is meant that He, in the essentiality of His being, possesses the attributes of God and that He is of the same substance as God. His deity may be proved in the following ways :

   1. DIVINE NAMES WERE GIVEN HIM.

   a. He is called "God." "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" (I Corinthians 3:16). "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?" (I Corinthians 6:19). The clear implication of the Scriptures is that the Holy Spirit is as really a person as God the Father.

   b. He is called "Lord." "Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all" (I Corinthians 12: 4-6).

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He is not only given the name "Lord" but He is called "God." The fact that He is called by these names which can only be ascribed to Deity proves that He is God.

   2. HE POSSESSES DIVINE ATTRIBUTES. By "attributes" is meant the "essential qualities inherent in a being."

   a. The Holy Spirit is called eternal. "How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" (Hebrews 9:14). "Eternal" means "without beginning and end." Only God is eternal. The Holy Spirit, therefore, must be a divine person.

   b. Omnipresence. "Whither shall I go from thy spirit?  or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me" (Psalm 139: 7-10). His being omnipresent means that in the fulness of His essence the Holy Spirit fills the universe in all its parts. His presence is not determined by conditions agreeable to His nature. His being fills the universe regardless of the moral condition of the people.

   c. Omniscience. By being omniscient we mean the Spirit knows all things whether they be past, present, or future. There is no possible way of concealing anything from the Holy Spirit. "But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit : for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God" (I Corinthians 2:10-11).

   3. HIS DIVINE WORKS.

   a. He was active in creation. "And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters" (Genesis 1:2). "The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life" (Job 33:4). "Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created : and thou renewest the face of the earth" (Psalm 104:30). God alone can create. The fact that the Holy Spirit was an active agent in creation proves that He is God.

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   b. He cast out demons. "But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you" (Matthew 12:28). This shows that supernatural beings called "demons" are under His power.

   c. He convicts of sin. "And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment" (John 16:8). A being less than God evidently could not bring to moral beings the sense and conviction of sin.

   d. He regenerates sinners. "Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God" (John 3:5). Man cannot by himself, nor can he by the help of others, become a new creation. The fact that the Holy Spirit regenerates the sinner proves that He is a divine Being.

   e. He raised Christ from the dead. "But if the Spirit of him that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you" (Romans 8:11). No creature has ever been known to raise up another person from the dead. The fact that the Holy Spirit raised up Christ from the dead, then, proves that He is God. No creature has the sources of life in himself. All life has been derived from God.

   4. HIS NAME IS PLACED ON AN EQUALITY with that of the Father and the Son.

   a. In the Apostolic Commission. "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" (Matthew 28:19). The disciples were to go forth to make disciples of all nations, and such as became disciples were to be baptized in the name of the triune God.

   b. In the administration of the affairs of the Church. "Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all" (I Corinthians 12:4-6). The affairs of the Church are directed by the triune God. The Holy Spirit here appears on an equality with the Father and the Son.

   c. In the Apostolic Benediction. "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen" (II Corinthians 13:14). The name of the Holy Spirit

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here appears on the basis of equality with the Father and the Son, clearly implying His deity.

VII. The Work of the Holy Spirit

   1. HIS WORK IN THE UNIVERSE.

   a. The universe was created by Him. "The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life" (Job 33:4). "By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth" (Psalm 33:6). In these texts creation is ascribed to the Spirit. However, care should be exercised lest there be an attempt to limit any one member of the trinity to a particular work. The Scriptures reveal the fact that in every divine work of the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit were active. The Father worked through the Son and Spirit. "For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers : all things were created by him, and for him" (Colossians 1:16). "Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds" (Hebrews 1:2). The Holy Spirit is actively at work in the world executing the divine will. He has been sent forth by God. "Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled : thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust. Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created : and thou renewest the face of the earth" (Psalm 104: 29-30).

   b. He gave shape or form to the universe. "And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters" (Genesis 1:2). We read here of the Spirit brooding over the wrecked world, bringing order out of chaos. The Holy Spirit was immanent and was the energy in the development of the world. "Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created : and thou renewest the face of the earth" (Psalm 104:30). "By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent" (Job 26:13).

   2. THE SPIRIT'S WORK IN JESUS CHRIST.

   a. He was begotten by the Holy Spirit. "And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee : therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the

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Son of God" (Luke 1:35). Having been begotten by the Holy Spirit means that the human nature the eternal Son of God took upon Himself was created by the Holy Spirit.

   b. He was anointed by the Holy Spirit for service. "When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time. Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him. He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free" (Luke 4:13-18).

   c. He was led by the Holy Spirit. "And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness" (Luke 4:1).

   d. He was endued with wisdom by the Holy Spirit. "And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord" (Isaiah 11:2).

   e. He gave commandments to the twelve apostles by the Holy Spirit. "Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia" (Acts 16:6).

   f. He cast out demons by the Holy Spirit. "But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you" (Matthew 12:28).

   g. He led a spotless life and offered Himself to God through the Holy Spirit. "How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" (Hebrews 9:14). 

   h. He was raised from the dead by the Holy Spirit. "But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you" (Romans 8:11).

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We can be assured that the same Spirit who wrought so wondrously for and through Jesus Christ is willing to work for and through believers. Without this essential qualification all human efforts are valueless.

   3. THE SPIRIT'S WORK IN THE HUMAN RACE.

   a. He strives with men. "And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh : yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years" (Genesis 6:3). The Holy Spirit strives with men through the medium of human beings. He worked in early days through Enoch and Noah. In our dispensation He is striving with men through the Christian Church.

   b. He witnesses to men concerning Jesus Christ. "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me : And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning" (John 15:26-27). This witnessing is carried on through the life and testimony of believers and also through the Holy Scriptures. The normal means of salvation is the Word of God made living and active by the Spirit of God. It is highly important that Christian workers realize that they are powerless to witness effectively to lost men except as energized by the Holy Spirit.

   c. He convicts men. "And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment : Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged" (John 16:8-11). This conviction is threefold :

   (1) Of sin. "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their hearts, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?" (Acts 2:36-37). Unbelief is man's outstanding sin. Conviction of sin is only possible as the Holy Spirit works.

   (2) Of righteousness. "This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we are all witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear" (Acts 2:32-33).

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Conviction concerning righteousness applies, of course, to Christ's truthfulness. He witnessed to the fact that He had been sent into the world by the Father and was departing from the world and going back to the Father. Christ's claim to have been sent of God was made real by the fulfillment of His own words. It is the Holy Spirit who convicts men of the truthfulness of Christ's words.

   (3) Of judgment. "Now is the judgment of this world : now shall the prince of this world be cast out" (John 12:31). "And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them by the cross" (Colossians 2:15). "And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee" (Acts 24:25). The death of Christ passed sentence on Satan. While the sentence has not as yet been executed, it shall surely come true. Its certainty depends upon the truthfulness of Christ's own words. The relationship of the Holy Spirit in convicting the unregenerate of their sins is a matter of tremendous import to the Christian worker.

   4. THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE CHURCH. The Church is the aggregate of individual believers. It is made up of all those who have been vitally united to Jesus Christ.

   a. He forms the Church. "For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit" (I Corinthians 12:13). The moment one has been regenerated he is baptized into Christ. It is this baptism that unites the believer to the Lord Jesus Christ. All those thus baptized and united to Jesus Christ are members of Christ's Body.

   b. He abides in the Church. It is to be noted that the Church, which is the Body of Christ, takes the place in this age of the tabernacle in the old dispensation. The Church is God's dwelling place. It is God's habitation through the Spirit. "And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people" (II Corinthians 6:16). "In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord : In whom ye

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also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit" (Ephesians 2:21-22). Since the Church, made up of individual believers, is God's dwelling place, it is true that God dwells within the person who is a member of Christ's Body.

   c. He builds up the Church. The Church is being erected of living stones; the result is a spiritual house. "Ye also, as living stones, are being built into a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious : that he that believeth on him shall not be confounded" (I Peter 2:5-6). The Holy Spirit began this work at Pentecost and is continuing it through this dispensation. "Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved" (Acts 2:47).

   d. He administers the affairs of the Church.

   (1) He inspires worship. "For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh" (Philippians 3:3). All real worship is motivated by the Holy Spirit. The believer should wait upon the Spirit to help him to worship God when entering the sanctuary.

   (2) He gives power to the Church as Christ's witness. "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you : and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth" (Acts 1:8). The Christian witness should definitely seek the Spirit's power in all his ministry.

   (3) He directs the missionary work of the Church. The Spirit-filled believer will depend upon the guidance of the Spirit in expanding the work of the Church. "Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot" (Acts 8:29).

   The Spirit calls missionaries and sends them out. "As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them" (Acts 13:2). In directing the missionary activities of the Church, the Holy Spirit opens and closes doors. The closed doors indicate the activity of the Spirit just as really as the open doors. "Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia,

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After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia : but the Spirit suffered them not" (Acts 16:6-7).

   (4) He unifies the Church. All unity in the Church is that produced by the Spirit. It is the obligation of Christians to make the utmost endeavor to keep this unity. It can only be realized through earnest effort on the part of believers. "Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others" (Philippians 2:2-4). The Spirit who unites believers with Christ the Head and to each other as members of Christ's Body will be constantly striving to maintain harmony among them. The blessing and power of the Church depend largely upon this unity.

   Careful distinction should be made between the "unity of the Spirit" and the "unity of the faith and knowledge of the Son of God." It is to be carefully noted that unity of the Spirit is a fact. "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ" (Ephesians 4:13). It is obligatory upon believers to strive to keep this unity while moving toward the unity of faith and knowledge. "Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" (Ephesians 4:3). Unity of organization in the Church is entirely impossible owing to different human proclivities of nations and races. Unity of doctrine may likewise be impossible so far as details are concerned. Unity of the fundamentals of the Christian faith with a great variety of opinion as to its details is possible. Unity of the Spirit is a unity of life and love in Christ. Christian unity is not assent to logical propositions, but ascent into Christ.

   5. THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE BELIEVER.

   a. He regenerates. "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost" (Titus 3:5). "Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3). Regeneration is quickening to life men who are dead in trespasses and sins. It is the transformation of the soul enabling

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the one so regenerated to turn from sin unto God. "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing : the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life" (John 6:63). "Who also hath made us able ministers of the new covenant; not of the letter, but of the spirit : for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life" (II Corinthians 3:6). The preaching of the Word alone will not regenerate. The Word must be made living and active by the Holy Spirit. This truth emphasizes the fact that it is important for the Christian witness to know the ministry of the Spirit and to recognize his dependence upon the Spirit for the salvation of lost men. This truth further explains the lack of fruitfulness of many Christian workers today.

   b. He baptizes the believer into the Body of Christ. "For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit" (I Corinthians 12:13). By the baptism of the Spirit is meant the sovereign act of the Spirit in fusing believers into one Body of which Jesus Christ is the Head. In view of the fact that many teachers fail to distinguish between the filling of the Spirit and the baptism of the Spirit, it is imperative that this subject be mastered. Furthermore, this knowledge is essential : First, that there be intelligent witnessing. Second, that the Christian leaders may intelligently guide the earnest, inquiring soul. Many earnest Christian men and women yearn for the truth concerning this doctrine. Third, to prevent doubt and darkness on the part of those who are seeking God's best. Many anxious hearts under the impression that the baptism of the Spirit is something which believers can receive by the attainment of a certain degree of sanctification of living are distressed when they do not see expected results in their own work and testimony. Those of certain temperaments are likely to doubt and be led into darkness when they see that their own lives and ministry do not measure up to what they have been taught to believe would result from the baptism of the Spirit.

   In order to grasp clearly the meaning of this doctrine, an inductive study of the Scriptures which bear on this subject must be made.

   (1) The baptism of the Spirit predicted. "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance : but he that cometh after me is mightier

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than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear : he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire" (Matthew 3:11). "I indeed have baptized you with water : but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost" (Mark 1:8). "John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose : he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire" (Luke 3:16). "And I knew him not : but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost" (John 1:33). "For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence" (Acts 1:5).

   These passages set forth the baptism of the Spirit as something to take place in the future. These predictions cover the period from the appearance of John the Baptist as the forerunner of Jesus Christ to the Lord's ascension. It is clear from these verses that there was no baptism of the Spirit before Christ ascended on high.

   (2) The true teaching concerning the baptism of the Spirit. This teaching is to be deduced from the following passages of Scripture.

   (a) A definite act of the Holy Spirit. "For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit" (I Corinthians 12:13). Notice the tense of the verb in this verse. It does not impose obligation or set forth some privilege, but declares something as having taken place. This is what is known as the aorist tense of the Greek verb which points to an act as having been completed. It is clear that the baptism of the Spirit is not something for which the believer must earnestly ask, but something already done by the Holy Spirit.

   (b) It is for all believers. "And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ" (I Corinthians 3:1). Notice the spiritual condition of these Corinthian Christians. Paul declared that he could not speak to them as spiritual, but as carnal persons, but in spite of this fact, these unspiritual believers had experienced the baptism of the Spirit.

   The correct inference is that the baptism of the Holy Spirit has to do with a believer's standing in Christ, and not his state or actual everyday experience.

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The one who has come to understand what this standing means and to know its blessed reality will be mightily constrained to make his state in Christ conform to his standing.

   (c) The baptism of the Spirit has already taken place in the believer. "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female : for ye are all one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:27-28). The tense of the verb here is the same as that in I Corinthians 12:13 and therefore points to something that has already been completed. This fact of baptism into Christ is predicated of all believers irrespective of nationality, social status, degree of holiness, or gender.

   (d) There is but one baptism of the Spirit. "One Lord, one faith, one baptism" (Ephesians 4:5). The one baptism here mentioned cannot be water baptism, but that baptism by which the believer becomes a member of Christ's Body.

   (e) The believer baptized into Christ's death. "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death : that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life" (Romans 6:3-4). "Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead" (Colossians 2:12).

   The matter mentioned in these Scriptures is in agreement with the passages previously quoted. They refer to a baptism which had already taken place and which was a completed act. Just as the passages predicting the baptism of the Spirit pointed forward, these Scriptures, setting forth the true doctrine of the baptism of the Spirit, point backward.

   (3) The baptism of the Spirit a fact of history. The Scripture references on this phase of the subject are all found in the book of Acts. Therefore, an understanding of the nature and position of the book of Acts is absolutely essential to an understanding of its teaching on this subject. The book of Acts is a kind of bridge which connects the gospels with the epistles. It is, in reality, a book of transition.

   Chapters 2-12 of Acts indicate the transition from the economy of Israel to that of the Christian Church. Chapters 13-28 record

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the ministry of Paul the Apostle to the Gentiles, including the founding of a number of churches. This section of Acts, together with the thirteen or fourteen epistles from Paul's pen, sets forth the truth for the Church dispensation. In these passages there is no mention or even hint of a baptism of the Spirit which believers may lack and which is to be sought by them. It must follow, therefore, that the teaching concerning the baptism of the Spirit in the book of Acts is complete and final.

   When Jesus declared, "Ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence" (Acts 1:5), He referred to the coming of this Spirit at Pentecost. On that historic day the disciples received the promised baptism — the promise of the Father — for which they had been told to wait in Jerusalem. "And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you : but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high" (Luke 24:49). At that juncture of church history Judaism gave way to Christianity. Before this change could take place it was necessary for Christ to ascend on high and the Holy Spirit to descend. On the Day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit descended and fused into the Body of Christ the disciples who had believed on Him. On that historic day all who believed constituted a spiritual body and from that day on every believer has been incorporated into that body immediately upon believing.

   Since Pentecost, as a member of Christ's mystical Body, every believer has experienced the baptism of the Spirit. This baptism is not something to be waited for or even sought after, for it is an act of the Holy Spirit which takes place at the time of the new birth.

   The following texts reveal the out-working of the divine purpose :

   (a) The 120 Jewish disciples at Pentecost. "When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them" (Acts 2:1-4). Here is recorded the fulfillment of Christ's words in Acts 1:5.

   (b) The Samaritans. "Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost : (for as yet he was fallen upon none of them : only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost" (Acts 8:15-17).

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   When the gospel in its wider reach embraced the Samaritans, there was an extension of Pentecost, so that those who believed Philip's preaching were baptized by the Holy Spirit.

   (c) The Gentiles. "While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter said, “Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days" (Acts 10:44-48). When the gospel made its furtherest reach and included the Gentiles, they too were baptized by the Spirit. Peter testified that the transaction on behalf of the Gentile believers was identical to that at Pentecost. "As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as he had come on us at the beginning. Then I remembered what the Lord had said: ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ So if God gave them the same gift he gave us who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could stand in God’s way?” (Acts 11:15-17).

   In Peter's account to the Church he declared that it was a fulfillment of the words of the Lord, "ye shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit."

   (4) Evidence of the baptism of the Spirit. This must not be found in sentiment, but in God's revelation.

   (a) The statement of God's Word. "For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit" (I Corinthians 12:13). As mentioned before, here is the positive declaration of an act of the Holy Spirit completed in the past. It follows, therefore, that every believer has been baptized by the Spirit.

   (b) The witness of the Holy Spirit within the believer. "The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God" (Romans 8:16). The indwelling Holy Spirit

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testifies to the fact that the believer has become a vital member of Christ's Body.

   (c) The fruit in the life of the one vitally united with Christ. "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ" (Galatians 3:27). The branch in vital union with the vine bears fruit according to the quality of the vine. It should be the solemn purpose of everyone who claims to be in Christ to make real in his life the traits of character which mark the life of Christ.

   c. He dwells in the Christian. "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" (I Corinthians 3:16). "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his" (Romans 8:9). The indwelling of the Spirit is His advance work upon regeneration. As soon as a person is regenerated, the Holy Spirit takes up His abode within his very personality.

   d. He becomes the source of personal satisfaction to the believer. "But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life" (John 4:14).

   The one indwelt by the Spirit lives his life independent of environment. Christ said, "The water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." The Spirit-filled Christian does not look to the world for his enjoyment.

   e. He sets the believer free from the law of sin and death. "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death" (Romans 8:2). As a result of regeneration the believer is given a new nature. This spiritual nature is in constant conflict with the carnal nature.

   The law of sin and death means the downward pull of the old nature. See Romans 7:9-24. But the law of the Spirit of life in Christ which is the operation of the Holy Spirit within the believer's personality enables him to live a life of victory. It is not only the privilege, but the solemn obligation of every believer to be victorious over his carnal nature.

   f. He strengthens the believer with power in the inner man. "That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man" (Ephesians 3:16).

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The result of this strengthening is set forth in the next three verses. "So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God" (Ephesians 3:17-19). The life of the one who has thus been strengthened will be characterized by:

   (1) The consciousness that Christ indwells in the heart (v. 17).

   (2)  Love in which his life is rooted and grounded (v. 17).

   (3)  Strength to apprehend the love of Christ (v. 18).

   (4)  Being filled with all the fulness of God (v. 19). This does not mean that the believer can hold within himself the divine fullness, but that he is vitally united to God and that according to his capacity, he expresses the Spirit and nature of God.

   g. He leads the sons of God into a holy life. "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God" (Romans 8:14). He not only gives the power to live the holy life, but takes the believer by the hand and leads him into that life.

   h. He bears witness with the believer's spirit that he is a child of God. "The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God" (Romans 8:16). The one who is under the sway of the Holy Spirit then has personal knowledge and assurance that God is his Father.

   i. He seals the believer. "And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption" (Ephesians 4:30). The seal of the Holy Spirit is God's mark upon His redeemed and serves :

   (1) As a sign of ownership. "And I subscribed the evidence, and sealed it, and took witnesses, and weighted him the money in the balances" (Jeremiah 32:10). The Holy Spirit Himself is the seal. "(He) set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come (II Corinthians 1:22). The one who bears this seal is shown to be the property of God. No one has the right to use, or even touch, God's property except as He directs.

   (2) As a guarantee of a completed transaction. "In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation : in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,

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Which is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory" (Ephesians 1:13-14). We have the assurance that the good work begun in us believers will be completed at the day of Jesus Christ. "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:6).

   (3) As the assurance of being God's property forever. The seal of the believer is not in any sense experimental, that is, a special grace dependent upon a certain stage of holiness. It took place outside of the consciousness of the individual believer, and it is something that is not repeated. When God places His seal upon a redeemed soul, that believer is given the assurance that he is God's forever.

   It should be noted that all believers have been sealed, and therefore, to be without the Holy Spirit is unmistakable evidence of the lack of regeneration — that the individual is still in his sins. "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his" (Romans 8:9).

   j. The Holy Spirit produces fruit in the life of the believer. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance : against such there is no law" (Galatians 5:22-23). "For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost" (Romans 14:17). "Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost" (Romans 15:13). All beauty of character is the result of the Spirit's work in the believer. The flesh, that is, the carnal nature can never bear this fruit. "The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God" (Galatians 5:19-21).

   There is much talk about building character. There is absolutely no such thing presented in the Scriptures. Christian character is the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

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   k. He guides into all truth. "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth : for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak : and he will show you things to come" (John 16:13). This declaration was primarily spoken to the apostles, but it is applicable now to all believers. "But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth ... As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him" (I John 2:20, 27). The believer under the sway of the Holy Spirit is independent of human teachers. Teachers should not, however, be disregarded. However, it should be borne in mind that no amount of learning in languages, even the original languages of Scripture, in philosophy, or any other field of knowledge, will take the place of the teaching of the Holy Spirit.

   l. He brings to remembrance the words of Christ. "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you" (John 14:26). This promise likewise was made primarily to the apostles and was the guarantee of the accuracy of their writings, but it was also for the believer. It is the Christian's duty to fill his mind with the Scriptures. The indwelling Holy Spirit will bring to mind the particular truth needed at the given time of testimony or preaching. However, let it never be forgotten that the Spirit brings to the memory only that which the individual has placed in his mind.

   m. He reveals the deep things of the Word of God. These things are hidden from the natural man, but the Holy Spirit makes them clear to God's own. "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him ... But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God : for they are foolishness unto him : neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned" (I Corinthians 2:9, 14). The Holy Spirit, the Author of the Scriptures, will interpret them to the believer. Every time we read the Bible, we should definitely pray for the illumination of the Word by the Holy Spirit.

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   n. He enables the believer to communicate in power the truth taught by the Holy Spirit. "And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power (I Corinthians 2:1-5)."

   o. He directs the believer in prayer. "But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost" (Jude 20). "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints" (Ephesians 6:18). "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God" (Romans 8:26-27). "What is it then? I will pray with the Spirit, and I will pray with my understanding also : I will sing with the Spirit, and I will sing with my understanding also" (I Corinthians 14:15). The believer should not rush into God's presence. He should recognize his own ignorance and cast himself upon the Holy Spirit when he prays. Every prayer which the Holy Spirit brings to the Father will surely have a divine answer.

   p. He inspires worship on the part of the believer. "For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh" (Philippians 3:3). Worship is waiting before God in adoring contemplation. It is helpful to assemble in places of worship and to mingle with fellow Christians, but the Spirit-filled believer can worship anywhere. "But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth : for the Father

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seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit : and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth" (John 4:23-24).

   q. He calls men and sends them forth into definite lines of work. "As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them ... So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus" (Acts 13:2, 4).

   The only way anyone can know whether or not he should enter the mission field, home or foreign, is to be told by the Holy Spirit. This call is to be received by desiring it, asking for it, expecting it, and waiting upon the Lord for it. It was when the people prayed and fasted that the Holy Spirit called.

   r. He guides where to go and where not to go. "And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem in order to worship, Was returning, and sitting in his chariot was reading Isaiah the prophet. Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot" (Acts 8:27-29). "Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to" (Acts 16: 6-7).

   The Holy Spirit opens doors and He closes doors. The closed doors should be regarded as the work of the Spirit as definitely as the open doors. The steps and "stops" of the believer are determined by the indwelling Spirit.

   s. He anoints and empowers for special service.

   (1) Instances in the Old Testament.

   (a) Joseph. Pharaoh recognized that Joseph's skill in the administration of government came from the Spirit of God who rested upon him. "And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is? And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath showed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art: (Genesis 41:38-39).

   (b) The makers of Aaron's garments. The high priest's garments were wrought with great skill. It was the Holy Spirit

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who imparted that skill to the workmen. "And thou shalt speak unto all that are wise hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron's garments to consecrate him, that he may minister unto me in the priest's office" (Exodus 28:3).

   (c) Bezaleel. The Spirit of God gave skill for the construction of the tabernacle. "See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah : And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, To devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass" (Exodus 31: 2-4).

   (d) Joshua. Joshua was selected to lead the children of Israel because the divine Spirit was within him. "And the Lord said unto Moses, Take thee Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit, and lay thine hand upon him" (Numbers 27:18).

   (e) Gideon. The Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon qualifying him as the deliverer of God's people, but it was more than the Spirit of the Lord coming upon Gideon. God's spirit clothed Himself with Gideon. "But the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon, and he blew a trumpet; and Abiezer was gathered after him" (Judges 6:34).

   (f) King David. When King Saul willingly disobeyed Him, God chose a man upon whom His Spirit rested throughout his life as king. "And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the Lord said, Arise, anoint him : for this is he. Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren : and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah" (I Samuel 16:12-13).

  (g) The builders of Solomon's temple. The Spirit of God gave Hiram the skill to construct all the brasswork in the temple. "He was a widow's son of the tribe of Naphtali, and his father was a man of Tyre, a worker in brass : and he was filled with wisdom, and understanding, and cunning to work all works in brass. And he came to King Solomon, and wrought all his work" (I Kings 7:14).

   (h) Ezekiel. The Spirit of God prepared Ezekiel to give God's message to rebellious Israel. "And the Spirit entered into me

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when he spake unto me, and set me upon my feet, that I heard him that spake unto me. And he said unto me, Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that hath rebelled against me : they and their fathers have transgressed against me, even unto this very day" (Ezekiel 2:2-3).

   (2) In the New Testament.

   (a) Jesus. "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised" (Luke 4:18). "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power : who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him" (Acts 10:38).

   (b) Believers. "Now he which establisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God" (II Corinthians 1:21). "But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth.... As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him" (1 John 2:20, 27). It seems evident from these Scriptures that by the anointing of the Holy Spirit is meant special enduement for service. For every specific duty of service the anointing of the Spirit is required. The one called by the Spirit will by the Spirit be definitely anointed for that service. This was true of Christ and is likewise true of every believer.

   t. He fills the believer. "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit" (Ephesians 5:18). The Apostle Paul imposed this as an obligation upon the believer. While the Holy Spirit dwells in every believer, He can fill him only as there is complete yieldedness, spirit, soul, and body, to the Lord. Since the supreme mission of the Holy Spirit is to take the things of Jesus Christ and show them to the believer, the Spirit-filled Christian is one who is under the complete sway of Jesus Christ. The supreme test of this filling is the presence and preciousness of Jesus Christ. The criterion of the fullness of the Spirit is, says Griffith Thomas, "What is Christ to me?"

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  The evidence, therefore, of the infilling of the Holy Spirit is the measure of the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ manifest in the life. While the Spirit's sealing and indwelling are common to all believers, only the believer who is absolutely separated unto God and absolutely surrendered to Jesus Christ can be filled with the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is not the substance which fills the believers, but the agent who fills him with Jesus Christ. There is a definite reality to the filling of the Spirit in that the believer's life will manifest certain characteristics. "Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God" (Ephesians 5:19-21).

   (1) "Speaking in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs." A symbol of the Holy Spirit is oil, for He is called "the oil of gladness" (Hebrews 1:9). Joyfulness radiates from the Spirit-filled believer, and that gladness is expressed in his speech. His vocabulary is definitely flavored with psalms and hymns.

   (2) "Singing and making melody in the heart to the Lord." This is always characteristic of the Spirit-filled believer. His heart is overflowing with joy which is expressive of his soul's attitude toward the Lord. The spontaneous outburst of song by the Christian is expressed in Scriptural terms.

   (3) "Giving thanks always for all things to God in the name of Jesus Christ." The Spirit-filled believer is not only glad, but he constantly gives thanks for all the experiences of life. Gratitude is an outstanding characteristic of his life.

   (4) "Submitted to one another in the fear of God." When a believer is Spirit-filled, there is the absence of bickering and quarreling. He is not contentious, not concerned primarily with having his own way.

   6. THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN DIVINE REVELATION.

   a. He is the Author of Holy Scriptures. "For the 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" (II Peter 1:21). "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" (II Timothy 3:16).

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   b. He gave revelations which were independent of the prophet's thinking. "Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of the Messiah and the glories that would follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things" (I Peter 1:10-12). It is clearly stated here that the prophets searched for the meaning of their own revelations. The prophets were not left to their own understanding of truth, but were given the essential words for the statement of the truth.

   c. He revealed truth hidden in other ages. "Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets." (Ephesians 3:2-5). The particular truth referred to here was that concerning the Church.

   d. He interprets the Scriptures. "Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God : for they are foolishness unto him : neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned" (I Corinthians 2:13-14). In order to grasp the meaning of Scripture one must be helped by the Holy Spirit. Only as the student of the Scriptures seeks the aid of the Holy Spirit as the Interpreter of God's revelation can he grasp the meaning of that revelation which the Spirit caused to be written.

VIII. Sins Against the Holy Spirit

   Many Christians are in the habit of speaking about the sin against the Holy Ghost when there are a number of sins against Him. It is highly important that there be clarity of thought concerning this matter.

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   1. BLASPHEMY AGAINST THE HOLY SPIRIT. "And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come." (Matthew 12: 31-32). "And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devil casteth he out devils" (Mark 3:22). "And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him : but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven" (Luke 12:10).

   The sin here is that of attributing to the devil the works of the Holy Spirit. The implication clearly is that those who accused Jesus of performing His mighty works in the power of Satan knew definitely who Jesus was, but because of their unwillingness to acknowledge Him, rejected Him and declared that His mighty works were done because He was in league with Satan.

   This sin and blasphemy is declared to be unforgivable. The reason is not because God the Father is unwilling to pardon any penitent sinner, neither because the blood of Jesus Christ has not sufficient merit to remove the guilt, but rather because all penitence is wrought in the sinner by the Holy Spirit. The one who commits this sin, therefore, has no prospect of forgiveness, because he has deliberately cut himself off from connections with the member of the triune God who induces penitence.

   The one guilty of this sin will not be convicted of it. The sure sign that this sin has not been committed is the fact that one is penitent and sincerely concerned about his sin.

   2. IGNORING THE SPIRIT. " I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?" (Galatians 3:2-3). These Galatians were guilty of falling back upon self-effort after having begun in the Spirit. Paul recognized that their Christian experience had begun in the Holy Spirit, but they were now attempting to supplement His work by human endeavor. Self-effort is sin, and it should be recognized as such. Not only living the Christ-life but performing Christian duties is dependent upon the Holy Spirit in the believer.

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   3. DESPISING THE SPIRIT. "How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?" (Hebrews 10:29). The persons here under consideration were those who had come under gospel teaching. They had been sufficiently impressed to renounce their old customs and profess to be followers of Christ. For them then to recant and return to their former customs was to do despite to the Spirit.

   The penalty for those who return to their former ways, and those who trample under foot the Son of God and count the blood of the covenant as unholy, is permanent doom. Although such persons are very close to the kingdom, they shall be eternally lost.

   4. RESISTING THE SPIRIT. "Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost : as your fathers did, so do ye? (Acts 7:51). The people here described had heard the testimony of Stephen and were "cut to the heart." Instead of allowing the Holy Spirit to induce penitence, they became violently antagonistic to Stephen's message and stoned him.

  5. VEXING THE SPIRIT. "But they rebelled, and vexed his Holy Spirit : therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them" (Isaiah 63:10). Israel is depicted as having been nurtured and entreated by the Spirit. Through neglect, selfishness, and stubbornness, the people prevented the Spirit from accomplishing His purpose through them. He was ready to use them, but they refused obedience to Him. The reaction of the Holy Spirit to such behavior is described as vexation. In spite of the Spirit's tender sympathy and entreaties, many Christians vex Him.

   6. GRIEVING THE SPIRIT. "And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption" (Ephesians 4:30). As we have seen in the previous lesson, the Holy Spirit is the divine Agent in regeneration. He then comes into the heart of the believer to make therein His abode. The indwelling Spirit then seeks to guide the believer into the ways of truth and holiness. Disobedience to His entreaties and failure to respond to His impulses greatly grieve Him. It is this offense against His tender love that causes Him grief.

   7. QUENCHING THE SPIRIT. "Quench not the Spirit" (I Thessalonians 5:19). The essential idea in quenching is "to extinguish"

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or "choke." The figure here is that of fire. As the divine energy expresses itself in the believer's life, that which in any way tends to choke or extinguish must be what is meant by quenching the Spirit.

   8. LYING TO THE SPIRIT. "Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.” (Acts 5:4). Ananias and Sapphira had conspired together to give only a part of the price received from the sale of a property. They had the full right to give just such part of the profits as they chose, but to pretend to bring the full profits of the sale while withholding a part was lying to the Holy Spirit.

   9. TEMPTING THE SPIRIT. "Peter said to her, “How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also” (Acts 5:9). The word "tempt" here means "test" because the Holy Spirit cannot, in any sense, be induced to do evil. The pretense of bringing all, while withholding a part, was testing the Holy Spirit as to whether He would visit judgment upon them. This action of the Holy Spirit in bringing judgment upon these professed believers was a vindication of the holiness of the Church which is the dwelling place of God.

IX. Spiritual Gifts

   In I Corinthians 12:1, "Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant," the unusual manifestations of the spirit among the early Christians are called spiritual gifts. In Ephesians 4:8, "Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men," the gifts are spoken of as the gifts of Christ. It is declared that, when Christ ascended on high, He gave gifts to men which doubtless really means that He gave gifts to be distributed among men.

   Christ is pictured as going back to heaven as the mighty Victor after completing His atoning work. Included in His victories accomplished was the purchasing of these gifts which He received from the Father to be distributed among men.

   The Holy Spirit seems clearly to be the Administrator of the Godhead. He distributes these gifts which Christ purchased with His blood. They are, therefore, properly called the gifts of the Spirit,

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because they are directly administered by Him. We thus see that the Persons of the triune God are active in this ministry.

   The prophet Joel predicted that in Messianic times there would be a remarkable effusion of the Holy Spirit. "And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions : And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit" (Joel 2:28-29). Jesus Himself before His crucifixion promised to send the Spirit to be the Guide and Helper of His disciples. "Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away : for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment ... I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth : for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak : and he will show you things to come. He shall glorify me : for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine : therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you" (John 16:7, 8, 12-15). This promise of Christ was historically fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost. "No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: “‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy (Acts 2:16-18).

   The new order then ushered in was marked by an unusual outpouring of the Spirit. This grace was extended to all classes, young and old, male and female, cultured and illiterate. It was marked also by great diversity. To some was given the gift of healing, and to others the working of miracles. "There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues" (I Corinthians 12: 6-10).

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The behavior of those upon whom the Spirit fell was not always regular. Divine life poured suddenly into human nature stirred it to unusual power. The same power is available for Christians today.

   Some who lay claim to these gifts are under delusion. Imposters appear, claiming to possess them. Some are inflated with pride because of their gifts. Some become dissatisfied with their gifts and envious of others who have superior gifts. Confusion and even contention often arise. It is highly important that the essential teachings of the Scripture concerning these gifts be grasped by all believers, especially those who preach and teach.

   1. SPIRITUAL GIFTS ARE DISTRIBUTED as a sovereign act of God. "For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body; so also is Christ ... And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues" (I Corinthians 12: 12, 28). Human choice is entirely ruled out. The individual Christian is never consulted as to the gift he desires. The distribution of the gifts is determined by the sovereign will of God. The individual's responsibility is to discover the gift allotted to him and give himself to the fullest extent of his capacity to the development and exercise of his gift.

   2. THE INFALLIBLE CRITERION. When one claims to possess the gifts of the Spirit, his claims should be subjected to a rigid test. The unfailing criterion by which to determine whether his gifts are spurious or genuine is his conception of and attitude toward Jesus Christ as Lord. "Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed : and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Spirit" (I Corinthians 12: 1-3). For those who acknowledge Jesus Christ as the Son of God manifest in the flesh, His vicarious atonement on the cross of Calvary, and submit to Him as their Lord, He is the One that actually controls their lives and should be recognized as controlling the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

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   Jesus Christ said that the Holy Spirit's supreme business would be to testify of Him, to take the things of Christ and show them to the disciples. He who does not speak of the efficacy of Christ's death on the cross does not speak by the Holy Spirit. The soundness of a man's faith and testimony is a sign of his commission from God.

  Regardless of his eloquence and learning a man should not be tolerated as a teacher or even as a member of a church if he does not testify of Christ's atoning death.

   3. EVERY CHRISTIAN HAS SOME GIFT. "But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal" (I Corinthians 12:7). Some gifts are more important, but all are necessary for the full functioning of the Church of Christ. The distribution has been made on the basis of individual abilities. These specific abilities may not be discerned by the human mind, but God gives the gifts on the basis of His divine wisdom. It ought to be encouraging to the individual Christian to know that he has some gift, and that he should be content with that gift and strive to his utmost to develop and use it to the fullest extent possible.

   4. NOT ALL GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT are of the same value. "And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues" (I Corinthians 12:28). All believers have the same standing before God, but their gifts differ. Some gifts in their very nature are more essential than others, and the ministry of some gifts is more effective than others.

   As enumerated by Paul, the gifts of the Spirit seem clearly to fall into two classes — temporary and permanent. This should be given serious consideration for it is highly important that proper recognition be given to this distinction. The Church has been plagued through the centuries, because of its failure to understand this essential distinction. The exhibition of the supernatural has characterized every new order or dispensation. Three such periods stand out in Bible history. First, the miracles of Moses in Egypt. Moses needed credentials from God to induce the people of Israel to recognize his leadership. Second, the miracles of Elijah and Elisha. These prophets needed divine credentials in order to gain recognition by the people. Third, the miracles of Christ and the apostles. It was needful that miracles should accompany the ministry of Jesus Christ in order to convince people of His divine

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mission. The apostles likewise used the wonderworking of God to convince the people that God was with them.

   After the transition period, the Church having been brought into the place formerly occupied by the old order, the New Testament is silent as to signs. During the period of transition from the Old to the New, prison doors were opened, the dead were raised to life, people were healed, even by contact with Paul's handkerchief. The manifestations of the Spirit in this manner were for a definite purpose and period.

   5. THE GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT ENUMERATED. The following gifts are clearly indicated :

   a. Apostleship. "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers." (Ephesians 4:11). "Apostles" means "sent ones." The apostles were the immediate messengers of Christ to witness to His teachings, miracles, death, and resurrection. They were called, endowed, and sent by Christ to complete the formative work of the Church.

   The essential qualifications for the apostolic office were : appointment by Christ, witness of His resurrection, and the possession of supernatural power. There have been no successors to the apostles for the obvious reason that no one since the first century has possessed such credentials.

   b. The prophetic office. "And he gave some .... prophets ..." (Ephesians 4:11). A prophet is one who speaks for another. The classic passage which makes clear the meaning of the word is Exodus 7:1 : "And the Lord said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh : and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet." The essential idea of the prophetic office was forthtelling rather than foretelling. The prophet sometimes proclaimed God's message doctrinally. Sometimes he gave precepts as to life and conduct, and sometimes He foretold that which was to come to pass in the future. The particular phase of ministry was determined by the requirement of the occasion.

   c. The gift of the evangelist. "And he gave some ... evangelists" (Ephesians 4:11). Evangelists in the early Church clearly seem to have been the missionaries of the apostolic Church, whose responsibility was to carry the gospel to all nations. The only evangelist so named is Philip. "And the next day we that were of Paul's company departed, and came unto Caesarea : and we

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entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him" (Acts 21:8). There is no indication that he ever served churches which were already established. He was clearly a pioneer messenger carrying the Gospel message to the unevangelized.

   Philip's ministry makes clear the office of the evangelist. He went everywhere preaching the Word which means, of course, that he preached Christ as the Saviour from the guilt of sin and as a Saviour from the power of sin and as a coming King ruling in a kingdom. As an evangelist Philip did his work in the power of the Holy Spirit. He was chosen as a deacon in the early Church because he was filled with the Holy Spirit. He went everywhere preaching in the energy of the Holy Spirit. Through the leadership of the Holy Spirit he was brought into touch with the Ethiopian eunuch, and when his work as an evangelist to the eunuch was completed, the Spirit called him away.

   d. Pastors. "And he gave some ... pastors ..." (Ephesians 4:11). Pastors are the overseers of the flock. They are under-shepherds responsible to the great Shepherd of the sheep. Their responsibility is to feed the flock as well as to discipline and protect it. Their ministry is to particular congregations, giving them guidance and instruction.

   e. Teachers. "And he gave some ... teachers ... " (Ephesians 4:11). This ministry consists of the supernatural gift of making clear to converts of the Christian faith the meaning of the Church itself and the moral responsibility of its membership. The requirement for teaching is not only knowledge of the truth, but also special grace to impart that truth to others. In our day we possess the Word of God which gives full details of right living, but teachers with the gift of the Spirit are needed to make this truth clear to others.

   f. Healing. "To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit ... And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues ... Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?" (I Corinthians 12:9, 28, 30).

   While healing is listed as a distinct gift, we should not confuse the gift with God's willingness and ability to heal those who cry

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to Him for help in all circumstances of life and periods of time. Divine healing is a blessed reality and untold multitudes have experienced God's healing. In terms of being a "gift," this gift has passed.

   g. The gift of miracles. "And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles ..." (I Corinthians 12:28). Miracles were clearly a display of divine power furnishing credentials to the ones who were sent of God. With the completion of the Scriptures the preaching of the Word became the divine way of presenting the Gospel. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ" (Romans 10:17). The Holy Spirit uses the Word of God in the salvation of lost men. On every hand there is evidence of the work of the supernatural, but the gift of miracles, as such, passed when divine revelation was completed, because this gift was no longer needed.

   h. Speaking with tongues. "To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another diverse kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues" (I Corinthians 12:10). "And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance ... Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language?" (Acts 2:4, 8). A comparative study of all the passages in Acts and I Corinthians pertaining to this matter makes clear that speaking in tongues meant speaking in other languages. No peculiar case can be made that "speaking in tongues" means ecstatic utterance. No doubt many who have received this gift of the Spirit had ecstatic experiences, but there is no ground for believing their experience of ecstasy essentially means the gifts of tongues.

   From I Corinthians 14:1-34 you will notice that this gift was inferior to others, and the exercise of it was permitted only under certain circumstances and for special purposes. Those circumstances were peculiar to the apostolic age.

   i. The gift of interpretation of tongues. "... to another diverse kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues" (I Corinthians 12:10). This means the ability to translate the message of those speaking in tongues into the language of a given group. The exercise of the gift of tongues would thus provide the occasion for the use of this gift.

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   j. The gift of discerning of spirits. "... to another discerning of spirits ..." (I Corinthians 12:10). Many false prophets had gone out into the world. It was necessary, therefore, to have some able to determine whether a given person was inspired of God or whether his utterance came out of his own mind or from an evil spirit. After the revelation of Scripture was complete, this gift was no longer necessary. The Word of God enables the believer to determine whether the one speaking is sent of God. "Hereby know ye the Spirit of God : Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God" (I John 4:2).

   k. The gift of ministry. "Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering : or he that teacheth, on teaching" (Romans 12:7). This gift means the ministry of helpfulness. All believers, in some measure, possess this gift. Not all can teach or function as evangelists, but all can minister in deeds of helpfulness.

   l. The gift of administration of government. "And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues" (I Corinthians 12:28). Compare Romans 12:8: "(If your gift is...) to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully." This gift really refers to leadership. Many times the Lord's work lags, or even fails because of the lack of competent leadership. There is great need for this kind of ministry. Proper recognition, deference, and obedience should be given to spiritual men who possess this gift.

   m. The gift of exhortation. "Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation ..." (Romans 12:8). This gift differs essentially from the gift of teaching in that it consists primarily in appeal for action. It presupposes something of the teaching gift and is the prominent part of a teaching ministry.

   n. The gift of charity or benevolence. "(If your gift is...) to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully" (Romans 12:8). Open-hearted benevolence is definitely a grace of the Spirit. The natural thing for the human heart is to cling tenaciously to possessions. Only the grace of the Spirit can make one abound in liberality. While some believers possess this gift of abounding, all can possess and exercise it in a measure.

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   o. The gift of mercy. "... he that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness" (Romans 12:8). This gift expresses itself in showing mercy to those who need help and sympathy. The world would indeed be a cold and hard place in which to live were it not for those who have been endowed by the Holy Spirit with the disposition to show kindness and mercy.


Chapter X

The Purpose of God

BY purpose is meant that which one sets before himself to do — an object to be attained. It embraces the plan by which the end is to be achieved.

   The purpose of God implies that the self-existent, independent, and unchangeable God, moved entirely from within, created the universe according to His own plan. This plan was perfect in every detail embracing all His works, great and small, from the beginning of time to the endless ages of eternity.

   It is fitting that we pass from the doctrine of the trinity of God to the doctrine of the purpose of God. The purpose of God is the transition from what God is in Himself to what He is in relation to the universe. In creation, providence, and redemption we see the execution of the divine purpose. The Persons of the triune God are all actively concerned in the outworking of that purpose.

   Dr. James Orr in Sidelights on Christian Doctrine (1909), says, "When we say with Scripture that God has a 'purpose' — an eternal purpose; in Paul's language, 'the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His will' (Ephesians 1:9, 11), we mean simply that God has a plan — an eternal plan — which He carries out in His creation and in His providence; and this, so far from being a far-off, metaphysical thing, is in truth the rockfast foundation of all our Christian thinking about God in His relation to the world. 'The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the thoughts of His heart to all generations' (Psalm 33:11).

   "That in this general sense God has a 'plan' in all His acting, few, I think, will be disposed to dispute. If we attribute to God, as all Christians must, self-conscious Personality, and infinite knowledge and wisdom, this already implies : (1) that in all that He does God does not act blindly, but acts with intelligence and motive, (2) that in all that God does He does not act arbitrarily, but on settled principles of wisdom and goodness.

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Intelligent action is action governed by the idea of an end, and wisdom, in a good and holy Being, manifests itself in the choosing of the best ends, and the best means to attain these ends. Thus far there will be general agreement. God's plan, in the nature of the case, must be eternal, and does not alter. His purpose, formed in eternity, He executes in time."1

   The truth concerning the divine plan lies embedded in the whole structure of the Scriptures. It is implied in every revelation of divine activity unfolded therein. God's eternal purpose is definitely revealed as it applies to the Church. "He made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ. In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory (Ephesians 1:9-14). "According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Ephesians 3:11).

   Paul was given a special revelation in order to make known the mystery concerning the Church. "How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit" (Ephesians 3:3-5). By "mystery" in the Scriptures is meant "truth indiscoverable to human reason made known by revelation."

   The landmarks established in this revelation make it possible to round out the picture of the divine purpose, because God's plan is that all creation should head up or be gathered together in Christ. "That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him" (Ephesians 1:10). Concerning this purpose observe :

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   1. THAT THE REDEMPTIVE PLAN OF GOD can only be known through special revelation. The divine Being can be known as to His power and Godhead through man's conscience and the things which He has made. "Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse" (Romans 1:19-20). God's eternal power and His everlasting deity are written upon the human personality and the works of His hands — sun, moon, and stars reveal His glory. "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows his handiwork" (Psalm 19:1). Idolatry is utterly inexcusable in this light. Every idolater is guilty of sin. Every rational being is under obligation to worship and adore God. Only, however, by revelation can God be known as Father and Redeemer. The Son of God incarnate has revealed God. "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him" (John 1:18).

   2. THE REVELATION OF GOD as the Redeemer of mankind springs out of His eternal love. (Ephesians 1:9). It is according to His good pleasure. In the Church is made known God's love — His fulness of mercy to mankind. The human race was dead in trespasses and sins. They were under the dominion of the devil. "As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient (Ephesians 2:1-2). In His "good pleasure" — His great mercy and love — He quickened lost men, raised them up, and made them to sit in the heavenly places in Christ. "But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 2:5-6).

   3. THE OBJECT OF THE DIVINE PLAN was the unification of all things in the universe. (Ephesians 1:10). Sin brought its blighting effects upon the whole creation. The creation has been resting under the burden of sin ever since man's Fall. Redemption was to be as wide as the Fall.

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The creation was placed under the dominion of man. "God blessed them and said to them, Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground” (Genesis 1:28). (Compare Psalm 8: 6-8).

   When man fell, the whole creation, over which he had dominion, was dragged down with him. The incarnation of the Son of God is the divine method of the ultimate deliverance of the whole creation from its burdens. All things in heaven and earth are to be gathered together in Christ (Ephesians 1:10). The incarnation of the Son of God has a threefold relation. First, Cosmic relation. "For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers : all things were created by him, and for him" (Colossians 1:16). All things were created by Christ in heaven and in earth — visible and invisible — thrones and dominions — all things shall be gathered together in Christ (Ephesians 1:10). The universe is Christocentric. All the plans and purposes of God as to men, angels, and the entire creation converge in Jesus Christ. Departure from this Center has wrought all kinds of confusion in the thought and life of the world. Not only harmony of thought, but universal peace, can only come as the thoughts and purposes of men center in Him. "And he is before all things, and by him all things consist" (Colossians 1:17). The word "consist" means "hold together." The truth is that the atoms composing material substance are held together through the immanence of the Son of God.

   Second, Soteriologic relation. Soteriology has to do with the doctrine of salvation of men. Full salvation is to be realized in Him. Because of His cosmic connection to the universe, salvation is possible. Not only does He save souls of men, but the universe itself is preserved and life is imparted.

   Third, Eschatologic relation. The plan of God comprehends a goal. The attainment of a goal demands a dynamic. The immanent God through the incarnation assures the accomplishment of an end. God is moving forward to a fixed goal. This goal cannot fail because He is linked with it. The truths concerning God's revelation in grace are in harmony with true philosophy and real science. The God of the Bible is the God of nature.

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   4. THE CONSUMMATION OF THE DIVINE PURPOSE. "In the dispensation of the fulness of times ..." (Ephesians 1:10). The picture here is of a plan having been begun and then carried forward through successive periods or ages of time to a consummation. When the divine purpose has been fully worked or rounded out, the end shall have been attained.

   The word translated "dispensation" in verse 10 means "economy" or "law of the house." It means a plan which a father lays down for the management of his household. It is the house law. The picture here presented by Paul is that God is the Householder of the universe, and that Jesus Christ His Son is the divinely appointed Manager of the household, under whose administration the divine plan shall be consummated. When the divine purpose shall have been made full or rounded out, the times or ages shall be full. God is the Father of a great family, and the welfare of this family depends upon the full conformity to the laws and regulations of His household.

   5. THE GUARANTEE OF THE FULFILLMENT OF THE PLAN is set forth in Ephesians 1:11. That which makes sure of the completion of the plan is its eternal predestination. The eternal decree of God renders absolutely sure the fulfillment of His plan. Not one thing included in the divine purpose can possibly fail of realization.

   The extent of the divine purpose includes the universe, the heavens and the earth, but particularly it concerns man in his relation to the universe. The Scripture record clearly implies that God's plan embraced man in a special relation to the earth. The purpose of God, therefore, has particular bearing upon the origin and nature of man. Man came into being by the creative act of God and was constituted in God's likeness and image. This likeness and image consists of an intellectual and moral likeness. Man was created a rational being with the capacity to reason. He also sustained a moral likeness to his Creator. This moral likeness expresses itself in human conscience. Man was created with the capacity to discriminate between right and wrong. This discrimination expresses itself particularly in his attitude toward the right. He not only had a moral nature, but he was a personal being with the power of self-knowledge and contrary choice. He possessed the power of self-will and free determination. The purpose of God is definitely expressed in God's method of developing man. Man, bearing the likeness and image of God, was to play a prominent part in the affairs of this world.

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In order that this part might be played successfully, it was necessary that he be prepared for his high calling and destiny. In this preparation note :

   a. Man's primitive state. It is entirely contrary to Scripture to think of man's primitive state as being that of a savage. It is contrary to reason and the Holy Scriptures to think of man as having evolved from the state of the savage in the jungle. His condition as a savage is due to his departure from his lofty estate which he possessed when he came from the Creator's hand. There is much stronger evidence that the monkey is a degenerate man than that man is an evoluted monkey. It cannot be too strongly emphasized that man's primitive state was that of a glad and free life in fellowship with his Creator whose image and likeness he bore. Just how long this blessed relationship existed we have no way of determining, but the implication everywhere in the Scriptures is that primeval man enjoyed this blessed state.

   In view of man's exalted destiny he was placed on probation. Being constituted in the likeness and image of God, it was possible for man through the exercise of his free determination to attain to a great height. The very constitution which made possible man's rise made possible his Fall.

   b. The period or age from man's Fall to the Flood. Man's Fall did not frustrate God's purpose, but furthered it. "Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound." "The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more" (Romans 5:20). Immediately after the fall of man, the redemptive purpose of God was announced. "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel" (Genesis 3:15). The divine purpose for man included the permission of sin, and the incorporation of the Son of God with the human race in the incarnation, as the divine remedy for sin.

   Redemption by blood was God's eternal purpose. "All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast — all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world. [Or written from the creation of the world in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain]" (Revelation 13:8). This truth is central and fundamental in any right system of theology. Whatever variations may be found in God's dealing with the race, this purpose never changed. Redemption by blood is the scarlet thread running through the divine purpose.

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It is the supreme and grand center of human history. The divine interposition makes certain the realization of this purpose. There is just one way of salvation. "Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). That way is salvation through the Saviour. It is a gross error to teach salvation as being of certain character in one dispensation and another character in another dispensation. God's nature and purpose are immutable. All who ever have been saved since the fall of man, and all who shall be saved in the future are saved through the blood of the Lamb. What God purposed God will perform.

   NOTE: These periods or ages should not be thought of as changes of plan as though God was experimenting with man to find out what was best to do with him, but rather as steps in the unfolding of the divine plan. Failure to recognize this truth has led some dispensationalists into the serious error of teaching that God has different methods of salvation for man in different dispensations. All saved men have been saved by the Saviour of men. "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (I Timothy 2:5).

   In this period or age salvation is through the seed of the woman. Abel, Enoch, Seth, and Noah were saved through faith in the redemptive work wrought out by Jesus Christ. Following man's Fall, God taught that the way of the sinner's approach to Himself was through a bloody sacrifice. "Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief" (Hebrews 4:11). "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ" (Romans 10:17).

   In this period two types of men developed : the godly under Seth, Enoch, and Noah and the ungodly under Cain. Intermarriage of these two types resulted in utter apostasy, causing the divine judgment to fall upon the race in the Flood.

   c. The age from the Flood to the calling of Abraham. The human race had a new beginning after the Flood, and through Noah and his sons, the earth was repeopled. "Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth. The fear and dread of you will fall upon all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air,

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upon every creature that moves along the ground, and upon all the fish of the sea; they are given into your hands. Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything. “But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it. And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each man, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of his fellow man. “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man. As for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it” (Genesis 9:1-7). Dominion over the animals was to be regained, but on the basis of fear (v. 2). As a further help to man to maintain his position and testimony, human government was instituted (vv. 5-6). The government of man was to be by man. The sword of justice was placed in man's hand. Human government is of divine origin, and its purpose was to assist in keeping the race in the ways of justice and righteousness.

   Salvation through the woman's seed was still God's way. Though man believed not, God remained faithful. "If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful : he cannot deny himself" (II Timothy 2:13). In spite of new authority, human government being placed in man's hands, he again fails. Nimrod led in the impious attempt to throw off God's rule. This rebellion found expression in the Tower of Babel. "Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As men moved eastward, [Or from the east; or in the east] they found a plain in Shinar [That is, Babylonia] and settled there. They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and bitumen for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth.” But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower that the men were building. The LORD said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.” So the LORD scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel — [That is, Babylon; Babel sounds like the Hebrew for confused.] because there the LORD confused the language of the whole world. From there the LORD scattered them over the face of the whole earth (Genesis 11:1-9).

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   d. The age or period from Abraham to Christ. God called Abraham and made him to be head of a special nation through whom the whole earth was to be blessed. "The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you" (Genesis 12:1-3). It is a grave mistake to think that God abandoned the world when He called Abraham. It is rather to be recognized that God reached out after the world in a special way through the chosen nation of which Abraham was to be the head. The divine purpose here was to bring this nation so intimately into touch with God that they would go out spreading the knowledge of Himself to all the peoples of the earth.

   They were not only to be God's witnesses, but through them was to come the divine Saviour. This favored nation soon lost the vision of their high calling and, therefore, departed from God. To aid in keeping this people in the way of true witnessing the law was added to give them a knowledge of sin. "Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. Therefore no-one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin. But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference" (Romans 3:19-22). The law does not save, but condemns. Christ is the only Saviour of mankind. The law is the schoolmaster bringing the sinner to Christ. Salvation never was, nor indeed could be, in the law, since through the law is the knowledge of sin. We thus see that salvation through the seed of the woman continues as the expression of the divine purpose. The law was holy and just and good, but its function was to show the need of Christ the Saviour. The law continues to be alive and vitally active. The law should be

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preached as God's standard of morals. In the light of this standard the sinner sees his sins and becomes convicted of them. To see that salvation through the shed blood of Christ was supremely dominant in this period is but to recall the prevalence, and supremacy of the many sacrifices and the vitally effective ministry of the priests who officiated at the altar.

   e. The period from Christ to the Golden Age or the establishment of the Kingdom of Heaven. When Jesus was born of the virgin, the promised Seed of the woman appeared. "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel" (Isaiah 7:14). In the providence of God the world was prepared for the new order. The Son was given; the government was upon His shoulder; the King was born. "This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus" (Matthew 1:18-25).

   The forerunner, John the Baptist, came preaching the kingdom as at hand. "In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him" (Matthew 3:1-3). "A voice of one calling: "In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain" (Isaiah 40:3-4).

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When John's voice was still, Jesus took up the message proclaiming the kingdom as at hand. This proclamation of Jesus the King was followed by the ministry of the twelve who were sent forth. The King laid down the laws of the kingdom contained in the so-called Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). He demonstrated His ability to administer the affairs of the kingdom in the mighty wonders He wrought as recorded in Matthew 8 and 9. The twelve were now sent forth to propagate the kingdom as recorded in Matthew 10. The nation rejected Him and sought to kill Him. Though rejected, He continued to teach and to work miracles among the people. Finally, He offered Himself as the sacrifice for sin on the cross of Calvary. After His death the Church of which He prophesied in Matthew 16:18 emerged : "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

   The Holy Spirit was poured out, and on the basis of Christ's triumph in death and resurrection, the Body of Christ was formed, through which the message of salvation through Christ's shed blood was to be carried to the end of the earth.

   f. The golden age, or Christ's reign on earth. Through the preaching of the Gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit, the Church came into being. "When they finished, James spoke up. “Brothers,” he said, “listen to me. Simon has described to us how God first intervened to choose a people for his name from the Gentiles. The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written: ‘After this I will return and rebuild David’s fallen tent. Its ruins I will rebuild, and I will restore it' " (Acts 15:13-16). When the calling out of the Body of people constituting the Church is completed, the Davidic throne will be rehabilitated. This kingdom, the Messianic earth-rule of Jesus Christ, will cover the whole earth and shall be ushered in through the preaching of the gospel of the kingdom. "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come" (Matthew 24:14). The preaching of the gospel of the kingdom will be followed by the judgment of the nations (Matthew 25: 31-46).

   The nations will be those on the earth at the time of Christ's coming in judgment. This judgment will follow the preaching of

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the gospel of the kingdom and will be based on the attitude of the living nations toward Jesus Christ, the King. Those who have received the preaching of the gospel of the kingdom and its King will be those on His right hand, and shall be made to inherit the kingdom prepared for them. "Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world" (Matthew 25:34).

   Those who reject the King and the kingdom message shall be placed on the left hand to be sent forth to the place of anguish and suffering.

   g. The age of the new heaven and the new earth. At the end of one thousand years of Christ's personal reign, the great white throne judgment will take place. "Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire" (Revelation 20:11-15). In this judgment only the wicked dead shall appear. A sinless world will then emerge with all things under the feet of the Lord Jesus Christ. "Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For he “has put everything under his feet”. Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all" (I Corinthians 15:24-28).

   Jesus Christ, at this time, hands over the Messianic kingdom to God, and God becomes all and in all. Not only shall that which was forfeited in Adam's transgression be restored, but the fullness of the divine purpose shall be consummated.


Chapter XI

The Determinate Counsel of God

IN the previous chapter we considered the eternal purpose of God, embracing the plan for everything in the universe. It is proper now to give attention to the deliberate self-determination to make this plan effective. By His own might God carries out what He planned to do in the fulfillment of His purpose.

I. The Fact of This Counsel

   "This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, [Or of those not having the law (that is, Gentiles)] put him to death by nailing him to the cross" (Acts 2:23). The deliverance of Jesus to be crucified was in fulfillment of this divine determination. Judas acted freely in the betrayal of the Lord, but Christ was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. "All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast — all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world" (Revelation 13:8). The death of Christ was not an accident resulting from His having championed the cause of the sinner, but according to God's eternal purpose. Not one thing of God's plan can change or fail, because His almighty power and determined purpose render it absolutely certain.

   Peter included "foreknowledge" with "determinate counsel." This makes clear the meaning of "foreknowledge." Nothing could be foreknown except it had been determined beforehand. God's foreknowledge is much more than His prescience. Only that which has been predetermined can be foreknown. His purpose is unalterable by any possible contingency.

   "This is the plan determined for the whole world; this is the hand stretched out over all nations. For the LORD Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart him? His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back?" (Isaiah 14:26-27). Here judgment upon the Assyrian is stated as the

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fulfillment of the divine purpose — the execution of the divine purpose is absolutely certain because the One who has decreed or determined had the power to bring it to pass.

   "I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please. From the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land, a man to fulfil my purpose. What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have planned, that will I do" (Isaiah 46:10-11). God's challenge to the heathen is to bring their gods with them accompanied with their works in contrast with His own mighty deeds and then to make their decision in the light of such knowledge. Israel is called upon to render loyalty to the Lord because there is none like Him in wisdom, declaring "the end from the beginning," and also in power to execute His decrees.

   "In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will" (Ephesians 1:11). It is here declared that God worketh all things after the counsel of His own will. There is absolutely nothing which can alter or modify the divine purpose, because infinite wisdom guarantees the perfection of the counsel, and the almighty power which He possesses guarantees its fulfillment.

   "The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations" (Psalm 33:11). The Psalmist here declares that the counsel of the Lord stands forever and His thoughts extend to all generations. That which He purposed for man in the dawn of his creation continuously applies to humanity until the race has run its course, and the divine purpose in its creation has been rounded out.

   In these passages there is a definite assertion that the works of God are in accordance with the divine counsel which was a reality before time began.

II. The Distinguishing Marks of the Divine Counsel

   1. IT IS RATIONAL. "In him we were also chosen, [Or were made heirs] having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will (Ephesians 1:11). There is nothing arbitrary in that which God determines. Much may be included in the divine purpose which is beyond our

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finite comprehension, but all things are grounded in infinite wisdom. God's insight penetrates to the depth of all things, and therefore, His determination is on the basis of perfect knowledge. The doctrine of divine decrees should induce worship and adoration instead of fear. It is the basis of Christian confidence. The Judge of the earth cannot fail to do right. "That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked : and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee : Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" (Genesis 18:25).

   2. IT IS ETERNAL. "Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world" (Acts 15:18). It is here declared that known unto God are all His works from the beginning. That which is now taking place in the universe was as clearly known by God in the beginning as it is known now. His omniscience takes account of everything in the universe, even the most insignificant item.

   "Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world" (Matthew 25:34). We see here that the kingdom which is to come was prepared from the foundation of the world. The believer can with hope look up, knowing that the kingdom which has been prepared is to become an actuality.

   "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love" (Ephesians 1:4). The believer was chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world. The choice was made before the believer existed.

   "But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth" (II Thessalonians 2:13). It is here declared that God from the beginning had chosen certain unto salvation. To the believer this gives assurance, knowing that his salvation was included in the determinate counsel of God.

   "Who has saved us and called us to a holy life — not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time" (II Timothy 1:9). It is here declared that the believer has been saved and called according to the divine purpose and grace given in Christ Jesus before the world began.

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   "All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast — all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world. [Or written from the creation of the world in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain]" (Revelation 13:8). The Lamb of God is here declared to have been slain from the foundation of the world. The intelligent contemplation of the eternity of our salvation gives full and blessed assurance.

   3. IT IS UNIVERSAL. It includes whatever comes to pass, be it physical or moral, good or evil. "To be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ. In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will" (Ephesians 1:10-11). It is here declared that God works all things after the counsel of His own will. "Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world" (Acts 15:18). We are here again assured that known unto God are all His works from the beginning. There are no surprises to God. "At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever. His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation" (Daniel 4:34). The prophet here declares that God's dominion is an everlasting dominion. God is the Creator and the Ruler, and that rule which began with creation is an unending rule. "Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure" (Isaiah 46:10). It is here declared that the end was declared from the beginning.

   4. IT IS IMMUTABLE. God's decrees are unchangeable because He knows all things. He is, in the essentiality of His being, true; His veracity is unquestioned. To fail in anything of that which He has promised would be to impeach His veracity. His power is without limit. All that He has purposed, therefore, will take place. God is absolute and perfect in knowledge, truth, and power; therefore, change is utterly impossible. The immutability of God is consistent with human freedom. "God ... ordain(s) whatsoever comes to pass, yet so as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures, nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established."1

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1. Westminster Confession, Chap. III, Par. I.

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   This is the teaching of Christ. "But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands" (Matthew 17:12). "The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed. But woe to that man who betrays him!” (Luke 22:22). Christ declared that His crucifixion was the free act of wicked men, yet the fulfillment of the divine decree. To this agree the words of Peter. "This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross" (Acts 2:23). Christ was delivered by the determinate counsel of God, and by wicked hands was crucified and slain. Divine sovereignty and human freedom are truths of revelation, even though the finite mind may be unable to reconcile them.

   5. IT IS UNCONDITIONAL. There is nothing required by the determinate counsel of God, except that which He hath decreed. Christ's death for the redemption of sinners included the person and the means by which it was brought about. The salvation of the individual is according to the sovereign purpose of God, but that purpose included the means of its accomplishment. Salvation is dependent upon the exercise of faith on the part of the individual, but that required faith is God's gift. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves : it is the gift of God" (Ephesians 2:8).

   Prayer is a condition of receiving God's blessing, but that very prayer is God's inworking in the heart of the individual. All real prayer is the outworking of that which was inwrought by the Holy Spirit. "But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit" (Jude 20). "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints" (Ephesians 6:18). How important that the believer, when approaching God in prayer, should wait for the Holy Spirit's initiative! Only as indited by the Holy Spirit can prayer be a reality.

III. The Extent of God's Determinate Counsel

   1. IT INCLUDES THE FIXEDNESS OF THE PHYSICAL EARTH. "Your word, Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures. Your laws endure to this day, for all things serve you" (Psalm 119: 89-91).

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It is folly for anyone to be disturbed because of the possibility of the destruction of the earth. Even the atomic bomb is under the control of God. The seriousness of the atomic bomb can hardly be overemphasized, but it ought to be a matter of great comfort to the believer to know that the earth has been established and it shall abide according to the divine purpose.

   2. IT INCLUDES THE ORDER OF THE SEASONS. "While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease" (Genesis 8:22). It includes the permanence of the seasons, because the ongoings of the universe are under the divine control. The believer knows that while the earth remains seedtime and harvest, summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.

   3. IT INCLUDES THE BOUNDARIES and circumstances of nations. "From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands" (Acts 17:26). These boundaries shall not be determined by the counsel of the United Nations, but the boundary lines are in the hands of God.

   4. IT INCLUDES THE LENGTH OF HUMAN LIFE. "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment" (Hebrews 9:27). Compare Job 14:5: "A person’s days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed." The length of one's life is determined by the divine counsel. Death is sure because of its divine appointment. Assuming that Job was speaking by God's direction, we see that the length of human life, even that of the individual, is fixed in the divine counsel.

   5. IT INCLUDES THE MANNER OF ONE'S DEATH. "This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me" (John 21:19). Since the manner of Peter's death was disclosed, we can rightly infer that the manner of the death of everyone has been determined by divine counsel.

   6. IT INCLUDES THE EVIL ACTS OF FREE MEN. "But as for you, ye thought evil against me : but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save many people alive" (Genesis 50:20).

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"Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain" (Acts 2:23). These verses show that the evil acts of free men are included in the counsel of God.

   7. IT INCLUDES THE GOOD ACTS OF FREE MEN. "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them" (Ephesians 2:10). "Who says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd and will accomplish all that I please; he will say of Jerusalem, “Let it be rebuilt,” and of the temple, “Let its foundations be laid.”’ (Isaiah 44:28). In these texts the good actions of free men are declared to be included in the counsel of God.

   8. IT INCLUDES THE BELIEVER'S PLACE IN CHRIST. "For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight" (Ephesians 1:4). The believer was chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world.

   9. IT INCLUDES THE ESTABLISHMENT OF CHRIST'S KINGDOM. "I will declare the decree : the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession" (Psalm 2:7-8). "Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world" (Matthew 25:34). Since these verses disclose that the establishment of Christ's kingdom is included in the divine counsel, we can be assured that the kingdom shall come and that the divine will, therefore, shall be done on earth as it is in heaven.


Chapter XII

The Works of God

I. Creation

   1. THE UNIVERSE

   a. Definition. By "creation" is meant the free act of the triune God by which was brought into existence the entire universe. It means that the sovereign, personal God without pre-existent materials, by the word of His power, caused all things to be. Observe first, creation is a personal act and not a process. However, that which has been brought into being by a personal act, may according to the purpose of the Creator, be developed. The development of that which is created may be designated as a process. Observe second, creation is a free act. It means that the sovereign God, acting freely from internal impulse, brought into existence that which hitherto did not exist. "Creation" means, therefore, "causing to be." Observe third, creation is not production of something "out of nothing." No substance can possibly come from nothing. Existence cannot spring from non-existence. Out of nothing nothing comes. It is somewhat unfortunate that the Westminster Catechism should state that the universe was created "out of nothing," leaving the impression that "nothing" had substantial existence. [the webmaster here believes that creation by God was "ex nihilo", i.e., God commanded things into existence; so if the author wants to split hairs, that which exists came from the mind of God which is certainly not "nothing"]

   b. Proof of creation.

   (1) The direct affirmation of the Scriptures. The only way to know that the universe was created is to hear what the Scriptures say. It is a matter of revelation. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1). The Hebrew word "bara," translated in this verse "created," is the strongest word in the Hebrew language to express absolute origination. This is the judgment of leading Hebrew scholars. In the first chapter of Genesis this word is used three times. In verse 1 it is used to show the origin of the universe, in verse 21 the origin of life, and in verses 26, 27 the origin of man. With reference to the making or forming of something

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from that which previously existed, another Hebrew word is used, "asah" meaning "to shape" from that which previously existed. Examples : chapter 1:7, referring to the firmament; "And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament : and it was so"; in chapter 2:22 it is declared that out of man's rib God built a woman, "And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man"; and in Genesis 2:7 it is declared that God formed man's body out of the dust of the ground, "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul."

   "By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible" (Hebrews 11:3). In this passage creation is made the foundation truth upon which all faith rests. Belief in God issues in belief in creation. If the universe was called into being without the use of pre-existent material, there must have been existent a Being above the universe. The writer of Hebrews asserts, first, that the worlds were originated and set in order by God's command. Second, the worlds were not formed out of pre-existent material. Third, God is the absolute Originator or Creator of the universe.

   (2) By inference. The doctrine of creation runs through all the Scriptures. Indeed, this is a characteristic of the Scriptures. There is not a passage in the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, pertaining to the origin of things where creation is not implied or declared. In fact, creation is essential to a proper theism. If there is in the universe anything which God did not originate, then God is not the God of the Bible. God is the absolute Being in control of the universe which He created. If matter is eternal, then God is not absolute. Christian theism declares that everything that exists was brought into being and is under the control of God. There can be no real faith if there is the least existent thing which God did not originate and which He does not control. Furthermore, there can be no real Christology and no real redemption without the fact that the Saviour is the Creator and Preserver of the universe. In Colossians 1:16-17 ("For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers : all things were created by him, and for him : And he is before all things, and by him all things hold together.") it is declared that all things were created by Christ and that all things consist by Him. We see, therefore, that creation, that is, absolute origination of the universe by the free act of God, is a doctrine peculiar to the Bible. It is entirely unique. It is unlike anything in all the literature of the world. Since faith rests upon this doctrine, the religion of the Bible is the only rational one in existence.

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   Christian apologetics begins with the doctrine of a personal God who created the universe.

   It should be carefully noted that there is a wide difference between inference and assumption. Inference is based upon facts. It is really deductive reasoning. Inference is a logical conclusion from given data, whereas assumption is something taken for granted without proof. For this reason, proof from inference is entirely trustworthy. Observe the following :

   (a) The world did not always exist. "... because those will be days of distress unequaled from the beginning, when God created the world, until now—and never to be equaled again" (Mark 13:19). "... glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was" (John 17:5). "... chosen us in him before the foundation of the world ..." (Ephesians 1:4). "Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God" (Psalm 90:2). "... from the beginning, or ever the earth was" (Proverbs 8:23).

   (b) Each Person of the triune God existed before the world began. "... one God, the Father, of whom are all things ... " (I Corinthians 8:6). "In the beginning was the Word ..." (John 1:1). "And he is before all things ..." (Colossians 1:17). "... through the eternal Spirit ..." (Hebrews 9:14).

   (c) To each Person of the Trinity the origin of the universe is ascribed. "... one God, the Father, of whom are all things ..." (I Corinthians 8:6). "... the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters" (Genesis 1:2). "Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created ..." (Psalm 104:30).

   All intelligent theists accept the doctrine of creation. Belief in the independence and perfection of God demands acceptance of the doctrine of creation. If anything exists apart from the divine will, it must follow that God is limited.

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If God is absolute, then all things owe their existence to Him and are dependent for their continued existence upon Him. Intelligent Christian living and efficient service are rooted in the doctrine of creation. Conviction of the absoluteness of God's being and that all things came into being and exist by His transcendent and personal will is required to steady the life and inspire courage for all Christian endeavor.

   c. Theories which contradict the Bible doctrine of creation.

   (1) Dualism. Dualism postulates two eternal principles, God and matter. These eternal principles are distinct and definitely hostile. This view is shown to be untenable or is refuted by the Bible view of the one absolute, independent, personal God. If God is not omnipotent, omnipresent, eternal and sovereign, He is not God at all. Furthermore, the Bible teaches that even the devil is a creature of God and is subject to God.

   (2) Emanation. This view declares that the universe is of the same substance as God and was produced by a series of emanations of effluxes from the Godhead, thus accounting for the multiplicity of beings constituting the world. This theory denies the personality and transcendence of God. Besides, it contradicts His essential holiness, making evil to spring out of His very being. Furthermore, it leads to pantheism which denies the personality of God.

   (3) Eternal creation. Advocates of this doctrine declare that creation was an act of God in the past eternity. In reply to this we note that the Bible teaches that the universe had a beginning in time. There is nothing inherent in matter to suggest its eternity. Time itself had a beginning. The very nature of God's attributes indicates not only power to do, but no necessity for doing. The God of the Bible is set forth as a sufficient and independent being.

   (4) Spontaneous generation. This theory holds that creation is still going on. It means continuous creation. At least, it implies inherent powers in nature under proper conditions to reproduce itself. It means that the living is generated from the non-living. It is to be noted that there is not in existence the slightest evidence to support this view. No organic or living substance from inorganic or non-living substance has yet appeared. We are back, therefore, to the Bible view that God is the Creator of all things.

   d. Design of creation. All God's actions are with a definite purpose and end. His infinite knowledge and power assure us that

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whatever He does is with a high and holy purpose. What that design was can only be known through the revelation set forth in the Holy Scriptures. However, in the light of the infinite perfections of God, the human reason can confirm the truth of revelation that the end in creation was the highest and holiest.

   (1) In determining the design let us here see the testimony of the Holy Scriptures.

   (a) All God's purposes center in Himself. Before there was the act of creation, there was a purpose. That purpose could only come from, center in, and terminate upon Himself. "For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things : to whom be glory forever. Amen" (Romans 11:36). All creation is from God. The entire universe was created by Him and unto Him. "For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers : all things were created by him, and for him" (Colossians 1:16). All things were created unto Christ. "For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it : for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another" (Isaiah 48:11). God here declares that for His own sake He will act. "And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all" (I Corinthians 15:28). All things are to be ultimately subject unto God that He may be all in all. "The Lord hath made all things for himself : yea, even the wicked for the day of evil" (Proverbs 16:4). All things are declared to have been made for Himself.

   (b) All God's purposes are according to His will and pleasure. Nothing from without in any way has determined God's actions. "He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.... He made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ" (Ephesians 1:5-6, 9). All divine actions spring out of God's will and are according to His good pleasure. "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power : for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created" (Revelation 4:11). It is here declared that God created all things and that all things were created because of His will.

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   (c) All God's purposes and acts are for His own glory. "Even every one that is called by my name : for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him : yea, I have made him" (Isaiah 43:7). It is here declared that all of God's work of creation was for His own glory. "Thy people also shall be all righteous : they shall inherit the land forever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified" (Isaiah 60:21). "To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified" (Isaiah 61:3). It is here declared that the righteousness and blessedness of the redeemed are for God's glory. This truth should give us assurance. It is true that God loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, but the deeper and higher truth is that the purpose of redemption terminates upon God Himself rather than the redeemed. "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men" (Luke 2:14). The good news of salvation, which is to be realized through the incarnation of the Son of God, caused the angels to declare, "Glory to God in the highest," and even the revelation of His good will to men is declared to be for His glory.

   (d) The end in the proclamation of God's dealing with men is the making known of God's wisdom, power, and glory. "Quicken me, O Lord, for thy name's sake : for thy righteousness' sake bring my soul out of trouble" (Psalm 143:11). The outcry of the needy ones for deliverance from trouble is based upon God's righteousness. "I had concern for my holy name, which the people of Israel profaned among the nations where they had gone. “Therefore say to the Israelites, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: It is not for your sake, people of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone" (Ezekiel 36: 21-22). God here declares "I do this not for your sake, but for my holy name." "For the scriptures say unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might show my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth" (Romans 9:17). God raised up Pharaoh to show His power and that His name might be made known abroad. "And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world has been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ : To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in

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heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God" (Ephesians 3:9-10). It is here declared that God created all things to the intent that now unto the principalities might be manifest His wisdom.

   (2) The testimony of reason. We have seen from the testimony of the Scripture that God's purpose in creation and redemption centers in Himself, and is for His own glory. The right use of reason confirms the teachings of the Scripture. The following considerations have been presented in Dr. A.H. Strong in his Systematic Theology :1

   (a) God's glory is the only end actually and perfectly attained in the universe. His wisdom and omnipotence cannot choose an end which is destined to be forever unattained. The happiness of the creature cannot be the supreme divine end, since so many of them are miserable while they live, and so far as we can judge, will be miserable without end.

   (b) God's glory is the most valuable end. Since God is the all-powerful One and One who alone is good, the highest end He could choose for the creature is Himself.

   (c) His glory is the only end consistent with His independence and sovereignty. Since God is dependent only upon Himself, He must find His purpose centering in Himself.

   (d) The divine glory is the end which comprehends and secures every interest of the universe. We see, therefore, that the highest interests of the universe are bound up in that which concerns God. This is not selfishness, but benevolence of the highest type.

   (e) God's glory is the end which in a right moral system is proposed to creatures. The One who constitutes the center and end of all His creatures must find His center and end in Himself.

   2. PERSONAL BEINGS.

   By personal beings is meant beings who possess self-consciousness and self-determination. Personality implies separateness of being, individuality, the power of self-knowledge, and the freedom and the ability to act.

________

1. Strong, Systematic Theology, pp. 398 ff.

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   a. Angels

   The only source of information concerning angels is the Bible. It is highly important that Christians be acquainted with what the Bible teaches about angels, for they have a very prominent place in God's providential administrations. Furthermore, the frequency of mention of angels in the Holy Scriptures is indicative of the important place they occupy in God's economy. They are mentioned 108 times in the Old Testament and 165 times in the New Testament. Acquaintance with the Scriptural doctrine of the angels will be a vital means of strengthening faith. Besides, a knowledge of the work of evil angels will throw light on many of the so-called tragedies of life. In the light of Holy Scripture what seems to us to be tragedies we shall see as the outworking of the divine purpose.

   (1) Who the angels are. The word "angel" means "messenger." The word "angel" is used in the following senses in the Scriptures:

   (a) Ordinary messengers. "And there came a messenger unto Job, and said, The oxen were plowing, and the asses feeding beside them" (Job 1:14). We see here that the person who brought news to Job must have been an ordinary servant, but he was called "angel."

   (b) John the Baptist. "Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me : and the Lord whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in : behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts" (Malachi 3:1). As the forerunner of Jesus Christ, John was called the messenger, or angel, of the covenant.

   (c) Spiritual leaders of the churches. "The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches" (Revelation 1:20). These leaders, doubtless, were the pastors of the churches. To these spiritual leaders was given the name "angel."

   (d) Impersonal agents. "And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure" (II Corinthians 12:7). Paul's thorn in the flesh was called the messenger, or angel, of Satan.

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   (e) Heavenly intelligences. "When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory" (Matthew 25:31). The heavenly beings who shall be associated with Christ in the judgment of the nations are called holy angels. "Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?" (Hebrews 1:14). Where the word "spirit" in the singular is used, it means an intelligent being which is invisible and incorporeal. A spirit cannot be seen with the eye or perceived through the physical senses. Such beings are sent forth to minister to believers. "You made them a little lower than the angels; you crowned them with glory and honor" (Hebrews 2:7). Angels, as to their personal dignity, are higher in rank than man, though lower than God.

   In this book we confine ourselves to these heavenly intelligences and define them as finite spirit-beings of a higher order than man and lower than God.

   Under the term "angels" will be considered holy angels, demons, and Satan or the devil.

   (2) The holy angels.

   (a) Their nature.

   i. They are created beings. This means they had a definite beginning. They are not infinite and eternal as God. "Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his heavenly hosts. Praise him, sun and moon; praise him, all you shining stars. Praise him, you highest heavens and you waters above the skies. Let them praise the name of the Lord, for at his command they were created" (Psalm 148:2-5). "For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him" (Colossians 1:16). While angels have freedom of movement and are older than man, they are finite and temporal beings.

   ii. They possess superhuman wisdom and intelligence. "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no not the angels of heaven, but my Father only" (Matthew 24:36). In this case the knowledge of angels is clearly implied to be above that of man. "It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things" (I Peter 1:12). In this Scripture the angels are represented as desiring to look into the mystery of human redemption. This clearly implies that they are limited in knowledge. They knew that something unusual was taking place, and even desired to look into the redemptive purpose of God as contained in the gospel.

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   iii. They are distinct from man and are doubtless older than man. "Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?" (I Corinthians 6:3). In this Scripture passage angels are shown to exist apart from man. Man is even to be the judge of angels. "Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?" (Hebrews 1:14). Here they are called ministering spirits with special reference to those who shall be heirs of salvation.

   iv. They seem to constitute a company rather than a race. "For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven" (Matthew 22:30). "But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage : Neither can they die any more : for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection" (Luke 20:35-36). In these passages the angels by implication constitute a company rather than a race. The human race was begun by the creation of a single pair. Wrapped up in that single pair was the whole human race. The human race was to become an actuality through propagation. Because of that, God created man male and female, but among the angels there is no such thing as sex. The company of angels was complete at creation.

   v. They possess superhuman power. "Bless the Lord, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word" (Psalm 103:20). " (God will) give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels" (II Thessalonians 1:7). "Yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not heap abuse on such beings when bringing judgment on them from the Lord" (II Peter 2:11). In these passages angels are declared to excel in strength, meaning that they have more than human power.

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   vi. They are moral beings. "If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels” (Mark 8:38). Angels had the ability to discern right from wrong. As moral beings, they were put on probation. Such as stood the test maintained their character.

   (b) Their organization.

   The Scriptures clearly imply that angels constitute a hierarchy, that is, that they are of various ranks and orders. This is shown by :

   i. The position of Gabriel. "And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to show thee these glad tidings" (Luke 1:19). Gabriel is here described as "standing" in the presence of God. The text clearly implies that he has a place of preeminence among beings of his class, entitling him to appear in and enjoy the immediate presence of God.

  ii. The designation of Michael as the archangel and one of the chief princes. "But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days : but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia" (Daniel 10:13). From the fact that Michael is ministering for God is clearly shown that his position is fixed by God. "But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, 'The Lord rebuke you!' " (Jude 9). Michael is designated as the "archangel" which signifies a place of highest rank.

   iii. The designation of these heavenly beings as principality, and power, and might, and dominion. "Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come" (Ephesians 1:21). It is clearly implied that among these heavenly intelligences there are definite orders and ranks. The Creator endowed them with the capacity to function according to the requirements of their rank. Exalted as their power is, Christ is in a position far above them.

   (c) Their number. "A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him. Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was seated, and the books were opened" (Daniel 7:10).

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"Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?" (Matthew 26:53). " But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly (Hebrews 12:22). Within the comprehension of man angels are innumerable. God, who knows all things, knows the number of angels.

   (d) Their abode. Since angels are spirits, their ministry is not localized, but their peculiar place of abode is in heaven. "For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven" (Matthew 22:30). "And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying ... And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us" (Luke 2:13, 15). “Very truly I tell you, you will see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man” (John 1:51). From these texts we see that the angels abide in the presence of God. Since they are God's ministers, they abide in His presence ready to minister in whatsoever place they are sent.

   (e) Their ministry.

   i. On behalf of God's children. It is highly important that the truth concerning the ministry of angels should be grasped. The holy angels care for believers. Because of their nature (spirit) angels can travel with the fastest trains and with the speediest airplanes. They can go to the depth of the ocean with a submarine. They are immune to the most deadly atmosphere, therefore, there is no environment into which they cannot enter and preserve God's own from peril. They can strengthen the believer in the most severe trial. They can give right suggestions and control to the believer's thoughts.

   (i) They minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation. "To which of the angels did God ever say, 'Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet'? Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?" (Hebrews 1:13-14). It is here directly asserted that they minister on behalf of God's children. It is not

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stated that there is a definite angel for the individual believer. It is sufficient to know that there is this ministry on behalf of the saved. The angels seem to have a particular interest in young believers. "Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones : for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 18:10). This interest is in keeping with the needs of immature persons. The young have most critical needs. They must live their lives in a world of evil. It is most blessed to know that God has special concern for the young believer and that He thus provides the needed ministry for these by spirit-beings.

   (ii) They keep those who abide in the secret place of the most high. "Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty ... For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone" (Psalm 91:1, 11-12). These ministering spirits preserve from danger and accident. This is the secret of the preservation of believers in times of great peril.

   (iii) They protect God's servants from their enemies. "When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked. “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha" (II Kings 6:15-17). Compare Matthew 26:53: "Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?" Here there was a host advancing against the Lord's people causing great fear, but through the prayers of Elisha the young man's eyes were opened to see a mountain full of horses and chariots. Whatever the nature of the peril may be, there is round about the child of God these spirit-beings to protect and preserve him from the will of his enemies. Christ declared that there were more than twelve legions of angels subject to His call. (A "legion" would be between 3,000 to 6,000).

   (iv) They deliver from great peril and all kinds of evil. "But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out ... Then the angel said to him, 'Put on your clothes and sandals.'

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And Peter did so. 'Wrap your cloak around you and follow me,' the angel told him ... Then Peter came to himself and said, 'Now I know without a doubt that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from Herod’s clutches and from everything the Jewish people were hoping would happen" (Acts 5:19; 12:8, 11). The angel of the Lord delivered Peter from prison on two occasions. The prison doors seemed to open of their own accord, but they were really opened by an angel.

   The mouths of the lions were closed against Daniel by God's angel. "My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty" (Daniel 6:22).

   (v) They cheer God's servants in time of hardships and threatened danger. "Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’ " (Acts 27:23-24). An angel of God gave Paul assurance in most trying circumstances that he would be delivered from danger.

   (vi) They have been used to reveal God's purpose to His servants. "And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias : for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John ... And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to show thee these glad tidings" (Luke 1:11-13, 19). Gabriel, the angel of the Lord, appeared to Zacharias at a critical time to reveal the divine purpose to him.

   (vii) They have been used to show God's servants what to do. "But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife : for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost" (Matthew 1:20). At a most trying time in Joseph's life the angel of the Lord appeared to him making clear what he should do. This angel directed Joseph

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to flee to Egypt with the child Jesus, so he would be free from the wrath of Herod. "And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word : for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him ... But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt. Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel : for they are dead which sought the young child's life" (Matthew 2:13, 19, 20).

   The angel of the Lord directed Philip where to go that he might get into touch with the Ethiopian. "And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert" (Acts 8:26).

   The angel of the Lord came to Cornelius, directing him to send for Peter, even telling him where Peter lodged. "He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius ... He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side : he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do" (Acts 10: 3, 6).

   (viii) They take God's own to a place of blessedness at death. "And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom : the rich man also died, and was buried" (Luke 16:22). Lazarus was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom. Angels are present in the death chamber ready to carry believers to their home with the Lord.

   (ix) They will gather together God's elect at Christ's return to earth. "And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other" (Matthew 24:31). The angels are the reapers who shall gather God's wheat into His garner.

   ii. The ministry of angels on behalf of God.

   (i) They are in God's presence beholding his face. "Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 18:10). "Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they were saying: 'Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!' " (Revelation 5:11-12). The angels are engaged in adoring the divine perfections and in ascribing praise to the Lamb of God for the salvation which He wrought by the shedding of His blood.

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   The angels are engaged not only in worship, but in studying the revelations which God makes of Himself. "It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things" (I Peter 1:12).

   (ii) They brought God's law to His people. "Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it" (Acts 7:53). "Why, then, was the law given at all? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was given through angels and entrusted to a mediator" (Galatians 3:19). While the law was ordained by the angels, it was through the hands of a Mediator that it became effective. "For if the word spoken by angels was steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward" (Hebrews 2:2).

   (iii) They execute judgment upon God's enemies. "And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory : and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost" (Acts 12:23). The wicked Herod was smitten by the angel of the Lord because he gave not glory to God. "And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the Lord went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand : and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses" (II Kings 19:35). In response to the king's prayer, the angel of the Lord was sent to smite the Assyrian army, giving deliverance to Israel.

   (iv) They shall officiate in the judgment of the nations. "Let both grow together until the harvest; and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them : but gather the wheat into my barn ... The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels" (Matthew 13: 30, 39). They gather out God's elect and execute

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judgment upon the wicked. "So shall it be at the end of the world : the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire : there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth" (Matthew 13:49-50). By the angels the wicked are separated from among the just.

   When the Lord Jesus shall come to take vengeance on those who have not obeyed the gospel, neither loved God, His mighty angels shall accompany Him. "And give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus" (II Thessalonians 1:7-8). In this ministry of judgment there can be no possible failure; no device of man can delay or thwart their ministry.

   (3) Demons

   In our authorized version of the Bible the word "devils" frequently appears. This word in the revised version has been correctly and uniformly translated "demons."

   We define demons as an order of spirit-beings who are under the control of the devil.

   (a) Their origin.

   As to the origin of these beings, the Scriptures are silent. Various theories as to their origin have been offered. Most likely they are of the angels who kept not their first estate. "For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment" (II Peter 2:4). "And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day" (Jude 6). It is clearly implied that these are moral beings and were subjected to a test. In this light, they are most likely those who kept not their first estate.

   (b) Their nature.

   i. They are spirit-beings. "But the unclean spirit, when he is gone out of the man, passeth through waterless places, seeking rest, and findeth it not ... Then goeth he, and taketh himself seven other spirits more evil than himself, and they enter in and dwell there : and the last state of that man becometh worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this evil generation" (Matthew 12:43, 45).

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"A man in the crowd called out, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son, for he is my only child. A spirit seizes him and he suddenly screams; it throws him into convulsions so that he foams at the mouth. It scarcely ever leaves him and is destroying him.... Even while the boy was coming, the demon threw him to the ground in a convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the impure spirit, healed the boy and gave him back to his father" (Luke 9: 38-39, 42). Being essentially spirit, the demons are without bodies.

   ii. They have personality. Being persons, they have self-consciousness and have knowledge of beings and things outside of themselves. This knowledge is frequently superhuman. "Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God" (Mark 1:24). They are here represented as speaking. The fact that they possess the ability to speak is another evidence of their personality.

   "And unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God. And he straitly charged them that they should not make him known" (Mark 3:11-12). They had power to know Christ as the Son of God. Knowledge is a characteristic of personality. "The demons begged Jesus, “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs” (Matthew 8:31). In this verse it is made clear that these demons had power to know themselves as beings apart from Jesus Christ. They possess self-consciousness, which is further proof of their personality. They declared that they knew Jesus as being the very Son of God, and also they besought Him that when cast out, they might be permitted to enter the swine.

   iii. They are unclean. "All the people were amazed and said to each other, “What words these are! With authority and power he gives orders to impure spirits and they come out!” (Luke 4:36). Men and women demon-possessed become so degraded that they are morally debased and unclean.

   iv. They are malicious and violent. "When he arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way" (Matthew 8:28). Their viciousness is expressed in their treatment of themselves and in their attitude towards others.

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   (c) Their number. "And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion : for we are many." In giving their number, they declared, "We are Legion" (Mark 5:9). No definite number is specified, but we are led to believe that they are many. Because they are numerous and are Satan's agents, they make their power and influence very extensive.

   (d) Their work.

   i. They are agents or emissaries of Satan. "And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges" (Matthew 12: 26-27). Compare Matthew 25:41 : “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels." Being as to their nature unclean and being emissaries of Satan, they energetically carry out his work in the degradation of human beings.

   ii. They often inflict physical maladies upon men. "Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see" (Matthew 12:22). “Lord, have mercy on my son,” he said. “He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.” “You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed at that moment" (Matthew 17: 15-18). "News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them" (Matthew 4:24). These physical maladies are to be distinguished from demon-possession. Many people are physically strong, possessing sound health and vigorous minds, and yet are under the control of demons.

   (e) Their influence.

   i. They induce men to practice formalism and asceticism in their religious teaching and practice. "The Spirit clearly says that in latter times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth" (I Timothy 4: 1-3). Since, as Satan's representatives, they are bent on man's destruction, they seek to nullify the Christian's influence in these ways.

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   ii. They induce men to live lives of personal uncleanness. "This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the flesh and despise authority. Bold and arrogant, they are not afraid to heap abuse on celestial beings; yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not heap abuse on such beings when bringing judgment on them from the Lord. But these people blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like unreasoning animals, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like animals they too will perish" (II Peter 2:10-12). This is often the practice of professing Christians under the guise of Christian liberty.

   iii. They induce professing Christians to depart from the faith of Christ. "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" (I Timothy 4:1). This is the explanation of the departure from the faith by many who profess to be disciples of Christ. Believers ought to be taught the peril of this ministry and to fortify themselves against it.

   iv. They especially strive to prevent believers from living spiritual lives. "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" (Ephesians 6:12). This they do by inducing them to neglect the study of the Scriptures, the practice of prayer, and the appeal to their carnal nature.

   v. They personally enter into men, even taking possession of their bodies. "When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick" ... " When he arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way" (Matthew 8:16, 28).

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   (4) The devil.

   "Devil" was not the original name of this spirit being. He first bore the name "Lucifer." "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!" (Isaiah 14:12). Careful distinction should be made between the devil and demons. There is but one being who is properly called "the devil," and as we have seen, there are many demons.

   The Bible student should approach this subject most seriously. The existence of the devil is an awful reality. Speaking lightly of him is, therefore, entirely unwarranted. Those who know and heed the teachings of the Bible as to the devil will not make his existence a matter of jesting. The Scriptures set him forth as a mighty, dignified, and extremely wicked being.

   Many professors in our schools and colleges deny his existence, declaring that such a person exists only in the imagination of illiterate people. Even some theological professors affirm that the devil whom Christ met in the wilderness was a creature of Christ's own imagination. Those who accept the Bible as the infallible Word of God know beyond a doubt that there is in existence a wicked being called Satan and the devil.

   (a) Satan's unfallen state. “Son of man, take up a lament concerning the king of Tyre and say to him: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone adorned you: carnelian, chrysolite and emerald, topaz, onyx and jasper, lapis lazuli, turquoise and beryl. Your settings and mountings were made of gold; on the day you were created they were prepared. You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you. Through your widespread trade you were filled with violence, and you sinned. So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God, and I expelled you, guardian cherub, from among the fiery stones. Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings" (Ezekiel 28: 12-17).

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The Prince of Tyre is mentioned in this passage of Scripture, but back of the Prince of Tyre is clearly discerned a supernatural personage. His dignity, glory, and might are clearly set forth. Just as Satan worked through the King of Tyre, so he works through military and political leaders today. Observe:

   i. He was a being full of wisdom and beauty. "Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyre, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty" (v. 12). This description refers to Satan in his unfallen state.

   ii. He was given a place on God's holy mountain. "Thou are the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so : thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire" (v. 14). Just what this position was we are not told. It evidently was a position in keeping with his personal dignity, for his place was given to him by God.

   iii. He was sinless. "Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee" (v. 15). This means that this created being was originally holy and righteous.

   iv. His heart was lifted up by pride. "Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness : I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee" (v. 17). We thus see that his very comeliness and beauty became his peril. This is the basis of Paul's warning as set forth in I Timothy 2:9 : "I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes."

   (b) Satan's fall.

   "How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, “I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” But you are brought down to the realm of the dead, to the depths of the pit" (Isaiah 14:12-15). As before stated, this mighty being at first bore the name of Lucifer. It was not until after he had fallen that he was called

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"the devil" and "Satan." In this passage of Isaiah there is first a reference to the King of Babylon but back of the Babylonian king there is evidence of a super-natural person. Lucifer arrogated to himself the position or prerogatives which belong to God. In his vain ambition and pride he declared. "I will be like God." It was then through the act of his will that he became the devil and Satan. He was not originally the devil, but was created an angel of light. It was through the vanity of his ambition that he fell.

   (c) His names.

   The various epithets which are applied to the devil describe his disposition, nature, and power. Sometimes these names indicate that which he assumes as belonging to himself. His many aliases show him to be the arch-criminal of the universe, since only a lawbreaker needs or resorts to an alias.

   i. Lucifer. "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how are thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!" (Isaiah 14:12). "Lucifer," meaning "light bearer," was the name of this glorious being before he fell.

   ii. The devil. "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour" (I Peter 5:8). "Devil" means "slanderer," indicating his evil nature and wicked work.

   iii. Satan. "And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven." (Luke 10:18). "Satan" means "adversary" and describes him as the one who is opposed to every person and thing which is good.

   iv. The deceiver. "And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever" (Revelation 20:10). Satan's first contact with the human race was in deceiving Eve and using her to influence Adam, the head of the race.

   v. The dragon. "And there was war in heaven : Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels" (Revelation 12:7). "Dragon" means a serpent. It was in this form that he appeared to Eve.

   vi. The accuser. "Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down" (Revelation 12:10).

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This designation shows the maliciousness of this being, indicating that his chief concern is to accuse believers before God.

   vii. The prince of this world. "Now is the judgment of this world; now shall the prince of this world be cast out" (John 12:31). This Scripture clearly implies that the devil, in a real sense, is in a place of prominence and power in the affairs of this world.

   viii. The prince of darkness. "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" (Ephesians 6:12). This shows that Satan is in a place of power over the evil spirit-beings operating in darkness.

   ix. The prince of the power of the air. "In which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient" (Ephesians 2:2). This shows that there are evil spirit-beings inhabiting the aerial spaces, and over them the devil has the ruling power.

   x. The god of this world. "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ who is the image of God, should shine unto them" (II Corinthians 4:4). The "world" here means not the material planet on which we live, but the world of evil forces which are under Satan's direction and control.

   xi. Beelzebub. "But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “It is only by Beelzebub, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons” (Matthew 12:24). This name designates him as the prince of demons. The name is derived from the god of the Ekronites, who was chief among the heathen deities. "Now Ahaziah had fallen through the lattice of his upper room in Samaria and injured himself. So he sent messengers, saying to them, “Go and consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron, to see if I will recover from this injury” (2 Kings 1:2).

   xii. Belial. "And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?" (II Corinthians 6:15). "Belial" means "worthlessness" and "wickedness." We find in Satan the personification of these traits.

   xiii. Leviathan. "In that day, the Lord will punish with his sword—his fierce, great and powerful sword—Leviathan the gliding serpent, Leviathan the coiling serpent; he will slay the monster of the sea" (Isaiah 27:1).

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Here the sea seems to typify the surging nations. The being who dwells in the sea of humanity is called "leviathan."

   xiv. Apollyon. "And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon" (Revelation 9:11). "Apollyon" means "destroyer" and indicates that Satan's supreme purpose is the destruction of all good.

   (d) The personality of the devil.

   By personality is meant separateness of being — individuality. The devil is spoken of throughout the Scriptures as a person. Personal actions are ascribed to him.

   i. He was the first murderer and liar. "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own : for he is a liar, and the father of it" (John 8:44). The act of murder implies a personal being. Satan not only initiated the first murder, but actually led in its execution.

   The additional fact that he is a liar and the father of lies clearly implies that he is a personal being bent on doing mischief, and that, in order to accomplish his purpose, he lies. All liars are his children.

  ii. He tempted Christ in the wilderness. "Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil" .... "Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him" (Matthew 4: 1, 11). Jesus Christ was a personal Being. He in the wilderness encountered a wicked personal being. The temptations were of a personal nature. Satan revealed the fact that he possessed knowledge which is a characteristic of personality. He can reason and initiate action.

   iii. He put into the heart of Judas the desire to betray Jesus. "And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him" (John 13:2). This verse reveals the devil's separateness of being, his possession of knowledge, and his ability to put wicked intentions into men's hearts.

   iv. He filled Ananias' heart to lie. "But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Spirit, and to keep back part of the price of the land?" (Acts 5:3). That which moved Ananias to lie was the impact of Satan's personality upon his personality. Even though he uttered no word, Ananias' action with its implications was lying.

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   v. He sows tares in the good field where good seed has been sown. Satan takes the Word of God out of the heart of those who lack understanding. "When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path" ... "and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels" (Matthew 13:19, 39). This account clearly indicates that Satan not only possesses knowledge, but he has definite relationship with other persons.

   vi. The devil walks about seeking to devour men. "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour" (I Peter 5:8). This text shows the devil's separateness of being, his deliberate purpose to destroy men, and his pursuit of that purpose.

   (e) The position of the devil.

   i. He is so exalted that Michael did not dare to bring a railing accusation against him. "In the very same way, on the strength of their dreams these ungodly people pollute their own bodies, reject authority and heap abuse on celestial beings. But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, 'The Lord rebuke you!' " (Jude 8-9). It is important that we recognize the exalted position of the devil and that we recognize his power, so that we may see the utter folly of speaking lightly of him. The common practice of representing the devil in caricature is entirely unwarranted.

   ii. He is the prince and power of the air. "Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience" (Ephesians 2:2). Paul implies that the aerial spaces about us are inhabited by evil spirit-beings under the power of the devil. While duly recognizing this truth, we should never forget that there are also holy spirit-beings in these spaces under divine control, and that these holy beings under the dominion of God are mightier than the hosts of evil under the devil's control.

   iii. He is the prince of this world. "Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out" (John 12:31).

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"I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me" (John 14:30). "And about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned" (John 16:11). Three times Jesus declared that Satan is the prince of this world. It is most interesting to inquire when and how he became the prince of this world. The answer is not clearly revealed anywhere in Scripture. The implication is, however, that Satan, while he was an upright being, was assigned rulership under God over the physical planet called the world.

   In Job 1 and 2 we read that certain beings of a high order, called the sons of God, are required to report to God periodically concerning their ministry. In these recorded instances Satan, called a son of God, presented himself before the Lord. The account he gave of himself was that he had been walking up and down in the earth. Most likely, therefore, he was made the prince of this world by the appointment of God.

   iv. He is the god of this age. "The god of this world (age) has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God" (I Corinthians 4:4). The word here translated "world" is quite different from the word translated "world" in John 12, 14, and 16. Here it means the world of moral beings. As god of this age, Satan has sway over certain moral beings of this age.

   (f) The power of the devil.

   i. His power exceeds that of men. "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" (Ephesians 6:11-12). Satan has under his control spirit-beings of great power. The proper understanding of this solemn truth will cause us to not underestimate the severe and awful conflict which faces God's children.

   ii. He is the king over the realm of demons. "Jesus was driving out a demon that was mute. When the demon left, the man who had been mute spoke, and the crowd was amazed. But some of them said, “By Beelzebub, the prince of demons, he is driving out demons.” Others tested him by asking for a sign from heaven. Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them: “Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall. If Satan is divided against himself, how can his kingdom stand? I say this because you claim that I drive out demons by Beelzebub" (Luke 11: 14-18). Here again we are brought face to face with the reality of the spirit-world. These evil spirit-beings or demons are ruled over by Satan, and they endeavor to carry out his wicked purposes.

   (i) He has a kingdom. "And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?" (Matthew 12:26). Satan's rule is primarily over demons, through whom he seeks to control the affairs of nations as well as local communities. In order to execute his purposes he has armies under him. "And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army" (Revelation 19:19). To recognize that Satan seeks to control national affairs is to understand much of the war and bloodshed among the nations. Most of the world's history centers in wars which have been brought on through the devil's influence. Frequently the cause of war is covered up with words of pious pretense.

   (iii) Satan frequently masquerades as an angel of light. "And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve" (II Corinthians 11:14-15). It is in this guise that he is most dangerous. He has his servants even among human beings.

   (iv) He has his meeting places. "I know your afflictions and your poverty—yet you are rich! I know about the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan" (Revelation 2:9). It is usually the case that where God establishes His church that Satan imitates Him by establishing similar groups. The devil is never so dangerous as when operating under this guise.

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   iii. He had power to resist and retard a glorious angel many days. "I looked up and there before me was a man dressed in linen, with a belt of fine gold from Uphaz around his waist. His body was like topaz, his face like lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and his voice like the sound of a multitude.... Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia" (Daniel 10: 5-6, 12-13). Daniel had prayed, but the answer to his prayer was delayed. A glorious angel was sent to him to explain that God had heard his prayer, but the answer was delayed for three weeks because God's messenger was resisted by the evil one. This helps to explain the delayed answer to many of our prayers.

   iv. The whole mass of unsaved men is under Satan's power. "And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness" (I John 5:19). Compare Acts 26:18 : "To open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me." Not one unsaved man or woman in this world is free from Satan's power. Although many may boast of their freedom, they are still under the domination of the evil one.

   v. Satan's power is limited by the will of God. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land.... The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger” (Job 1:10, 12). Although the devil has great power, he cannot exert his power except as God permits. This ought to be of great encouragement to God's children.

   (g) The moral nature of the devil.

   i. He is exceedingly cunning. "Lest Satan should get an advantage of us : for we are not ignorant of his devices" (II Corinthians 2:11). Satan is always busy with his subtle devices. We only need to observe his schemes in order to be aware of his devices to ruin God's children.

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   (i) He exercises his wiles against believers. "Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms" (Ephesians 6:11-12). Through his cunning devices he gets the advantage over believers when he could not do so otherwise. The serpent is more dangerous than the roaring lion. He is so dangerous that the believer's only security is to be clad with the whole armor of God.

   (ii) He displays signs and lying wonders in order to deceive. "And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved" (II Thessalonians 2:8-10). Compare Matthew 24:24 : "For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect." He is particularly successful with those who do not love the truth. It is imperative that the believer be aware of Satan's cunning in order that he may be able to stand against him.

   (iii) He fashions himself into an angel of light. "And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light" (II Corinthians 11:14). Whatever he sees God do Satan strives to imitate. Only as believers are illuminated by the Holy Spirit will they be able to distinguish between that which is the workings of God and the imitations thereof.

   ii. He is exceedingly wicked.

   (i) He is called "the evil one." "We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not" (I John 5:18). "But let your speech be Yea, yea; Nay, nay : and whatsoever is more than these is of the evil one" (Matthew 5:37). "And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one" (Matthew 6:13). These designations of the devil indicate that he is the source of all wickedness.

   (ii) He is the original sinner. "The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work" (I John 3:8).

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"You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies" (John 8:44). The expression "murderer from the beginning" does not mean that he was a sinner when he was created. We have previously seen that he was created righteous. The phrase means that sin originated in and by the devil. He is called a murderer and a liar, even the father of lies.

   (iii) He blinds the minds of the unbelieving. "The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God" (II Corinthians 4:4). This fact explains the difficulty of inducing unsaved men and women to accept Jesus Christ. Their actions can only be understood in the light of the malicious action of the devil. No greater wickedness could be conceived than that of keeping men from receiving the gospel of Christ.

   (iv) He takes away the saving Word of God lest men hear the gospel and be saved. "Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved" (Luke 8:12). Even after the gospel is preached, and thus the seed, the Word of God, is sown, the devil snatches the truth of God's saving Word from the hearts of men.

   iii. His cowardice. "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you" (James 4:7). Satan is a beaten foe. With all his mighty power and cunning wickedness, he flees from those who resist him. It should be carefully borne in mind, however, that before one can successfully resist the devil, he must submit himself to God. This submission, of course, must be in and through Jesus Christ. Because he met and overcame the devil, the believer who submits to God is able to put the devil to flight.

   (h) The devil's sphere of operation.

   i. He has access to heaven. "Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" (Ephesians 6: 11-12).

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Compare Job 1:6 ("Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them"); Rev. 12:9 ("And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world : he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.") Even though Satan has forfeited his right to be in God's presence, and judgment was passed upon him at the cross of Christ, he still has access to God. It is utterly unscriptural to think of the devil as now being in chains or in the lake of fire. Truly judgment was passed upon him at the cross, but the execution of that sentence will not take place until the coming of the Lord.

   ii. His special field of activity is the earth. "The Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it” (Job 1:7). "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour" (I Peter 5:8). The earth is peculiarly Satan's field of activity. His continued freedom is essential for the testing and discipline of human beings.

   (i) The work of the devil.

   i. He brought sin into the world. "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 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" (Genesis 3:1, 6).

   ii. He is the cause of sickness. "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power : who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him" (Acts 10:38). "Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?” (Luke 13:16). There would have been no sickness in the world had not sin been introduced. Back of sin is the original sinner who is responsible for all suffering. Many persons are sick not because they have committed some specific sin, but because they are members of the human race into which sin came.

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   iii. He has the power of death. "Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil" (Hebrews 2:14). Death is the penalty for sin. There would have been no death except for sin. In a real sense, therefore, death is in the power of the devil. As we look about us and see death on every hand, we have an increasing hatred of the devil who caused sin.

   iv. He tempts men to sin. "And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel" (I Chronicles 21:1). Compare Matthew 4:1, 9 : "Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil ... 'All this I will give you,' he said, “if you will bow down and worship me." The devil lures men to evil. He orders the circumstances which particularly appeal to sinful men. He directs the tendencies which, when not controlled, lead to open sin.

   v. He provides snares for men. "Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will" (II Timothy 2:26). We need only to look around about us to see the many snares which are set for the unwary. This is peculiarly true of the young and inexperienced.

   vi. He puts wicked purposes into men's hearts. "But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Spirit, and to keep back part of the price of the land?" (Acts 5:3). "And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray him" (John 13:2). The wicked purposes here set forth are those of lying and of betraying the Lord. It should be remembered that wicked purposes can only abide in the heart of men by their consent.

   vii. He personally enters into men. "As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. So Jesus told him, 'What you are about to do, do quickly.' " (John 13:27). He not only put into Judas' heart a wicked purpose, but he personally entered to make effective that purpose. It should never be forgotten, however, that Satan can enter no man except by his permission. The one who is possessed by the devil is, therefore, responsible for his deeds.

   viii. He blinds the minds of the unbelieving. "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them" (II Corinthians 4:4). This accounts in a large measure for the almost incredible spiritual blindness of men who have otherwise brilliant minds.

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   ix. He takes away the Word of God from those who hear it and do not understand. "Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them (Mark 4:15). This, in a large measure, accounts for the fact that in spite of much preaching and even personal effort, multitudes are without understanding.

   x. He sows tares in God's field. "The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels" (Matthew 13:39). The extreme wickedness of Satan's acts stands out in an unusual way in that his sowing is in the fields which have been prepared by God's servants.

   xi. He buffets God's servants. "... because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me" (II Corinthians 12:7). Even such an unusual servant of God as Paul the Apostle suffered Satan's buffeting. However, God permits this for the good of His servants. It induces on their part humility and drives them to prayer.

   xii. He resists and opposes God's servants in the prosecution of their work. "Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him" (Zechariah 3:1). "But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days : but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help; and I remained there with the kings of Persia" (Daniel 10:13). Wherever the work of God is being carried on, there will surely be opposition. To be without opposition is to be assured of the lack of God's purpose and direction.

   xiii. He sometimes hinders God's servants from carrying out their desires. "For we wanted to come to you—certainly I, Paul, did, again and again—but Satan blocked our way" (I Thessalonians 2:18). Paul repeatedly planned to come unto the Thessalonians, but Satan hindered him. We can be assured that when Satan is permitted to hinder God's servants, such hindrance can only result in good.

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   xiv. He shakes and sifts Christ's servants. "And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat" (Luke 22:31). It was this sifting of Peter that caused him to deny his Lord. As a result of this sifting, Peter became a stronger witness of Christ. The sifting of God's servants by the devil brings out the wheat from the chaff.

   xv. He accuses the brethren before God. "And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ : for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night: (Revelation 12:10). Satan persistently accuses God's children. He continues his wicked ministry day and night.

   xvi. He casts God's servants into prisons. "Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown" (Revelation 2:10). Many are the saints who have been imprisoned because of having been cast there by the devil. However, even their imprisonment glorifies God and furthers the divine purpose. John Bunyan in Bedford jail produced Pilgrim's Progress, which next to the Holy Scriptures has most influenced the world for God and righteousness.

   (j) The destiny of Satan. Though long tolerated, the one who brought evil into the world and who is the enemy of both God and man will finally be brought to judgment, for his destiny has been definitely fixed. When the divine purpose concerning the devil with reference to the earth and to the human race shall have been fulfilled, God's final act of judgment will fall upon him. His destiny involves the following separate judgments :

   i. Doom predicted when Satan fell. "Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit" (Isaiah 14:15). This judgment was spoken concerning the superhuman being who worked through the King of Babylon. It is here declared that he shall be cast down to hell. This prediction will most surely be fulfilled.

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   ii. Under an unending curse. "So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel” (Genesis 3:14-15). This curse was pronounced upon Satan when he induced the fall of man. It has been perpetuated through the centuries. Satan, once a glorious being, was abased. The serpent became and continues to be a type of sin and Satan. Everything that is degrading and vile has been ascribed to him. He has been held in contempt by the righteous all through the ages. Christ on the cross passed sentence upon him. "Now is the judgment of this world : now shall the prince of this world be cast out" (John 12:31). "Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it" (Colossians 2:14-15). Condemnation has been passed upon him, but the sentence has not as yet been executed, because God's purpose concerning him with reference to the human race has not yet been completed.

   iii. Satan is to be cast out of heaven. "Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him" (Revelation 12:7-9). While sentence has been passed upon Satan, he for some mysterious reason has certain privileges of access to the heavenlies. His actual casting out will take place in the midst of the coming Great Tribulation. After being cast out of heaven his wickedness will be confined to the earth. At that time his works of wickedness will be greatly intensified, as he knows that the time of his utter doom draws nigh.

   iv. Confined to the bottomless pit. "And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time" (Revelation 20:1-3). At the beginning of the Millennium Satan will be bound and cast into the abyss or bottomless pit. Christ will then reign on the earth for a thousand years.

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This will be the kingdom of heaven for which believers have been praying and longing. The implication of Scripture is that the human race during this time will go on in its normal course. It would seem from Scripture that few deaths will occur during this time Since these people who live during this thousand years will be free from testing by Satan, and since it is is the purpose of God for beings to be tested, Satan will be released at the end of the thousand years, and those born during the millennial period will then be tested. He will succeed in exciting many to rebellion. All those involved in this rebellion will be consumed by fire sent down from heaven. Those who have lived under the personal reign of the Lord Jesus Christ for a thousand years and will then yield to the leadership of Satan are beyond the pale of divine mercy. Judgment of fire falls.

   v. Satan consigned to the lake of fire. "And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever" (Revelation 20:10). Having ended his work — the last group of human beings having been tested — Satan will then be consigned by the Almighty God to the lake of fire where he will be in torment forever.

   (k) The believer's course of action in connection with the devil.

   i. He is to remember that Satan has been conquered. "The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work" (I John 3:8). The Christian is to rest in the assurance that Satan is a defeated foe. This victory was wrought by Jesus Christ. The believer is to stand on the ground of a completed redemption.

   ii. He is not to give place to the devil. "Neither give place to the devil" (Ephesians 4:27). In verse 26 we are told that the lack of self-control is one of the ways of giving place to the devil. The clear implication is that there are many ways of giving place to the devil. The believer is to be on the alert lest the evil one get advantage of him.

   iii. He is to practice unceasing vigilance. "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour" (I Peter 5:8). The believer, knowing Satan's malice, cunning, and power, will make it his supreme concern to be watchful.

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   iv. He is personally to resist the devil. "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you" (James 4:7). Effective resistance of the devil must be preceded by submission to God. The one who yields himself to God avails himself of divine grace through Jesus Christ and can be assured that Satan will flee. It is utterly perilous to attempt to resist the devil without having first yielded to God.

   v. He is to put on the whole armor of God. "Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people" (Ephesians 6:11-18). God has provided the believer with a full panoply so that he has complete protection from the fiery darts of the wicked one. Every piece of this armor must be employed. The omission of one part may be fatal to one's Christian life and testimony. This full equipment must be accompanied by unceasing prayer.

   b. Man. (The detailed consideration of the doctrine of man will be presented under "Anthropology" — see page 298ff.).

II. Preservation

   1. DEFINITION or meaning of preservation. Preservation means the continuation in being by divine agency of that which God created, including the preservation of the substance, qualities, and powers of each individual thing.

   The method by which God preserves that which He created we may not precisely know, but we can confidently assert that preservation is not by continued creation. Preservation means the continued existence of created things. We can further confidently affirm that

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preservation does not mean merely to refrain from destroying that which already exists. Positively and definitely we can assert that preservation means the continued exertion of the divine energy upon matter and spirit, concurrent with the laws and functions of each person or thing securing its perpetuation. We can be assured that the infinite wisdom of the Creator makes sure the ultimate perfection of all creatures and that nothing which has been created has ceased to exist.

   2. THE PROOF OF PRESERVATION.

   a. From the testimony of the Holy Scriptures.

   (1) The Scriptures carefully distinguish between creation and preservation. "You alone are the Lord. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you" (Nehemiah 9:6). "When you hide your face, they are terrified; when you take away their breath, they die and return to the dust. When you send your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground" (Psalm 104:29-30). In these texts careful discrimination is made between creation and renewal, both of which can only be possible through the action of divine energy.

   (2) God sustains our physical life. "Which holdeth our soul in life, and suffereth not our feet to be moved" (Psalm 66:9). It is here made clear that withdrawal of the divine breath issues in death. "For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of our poets have said, For we are also his offspring" (Acts 17:28). God is the source of all life. Life was derived from Him and is sustained by Him.

   (3) In Jesus Christ all things consist or hold together. "And he is before all things, and by him all things consist" (Colossians 1:17). "But in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven" (Hebrews 1:2-3). All things are held together by God's Word and His power. The immanent God holds all things together. We conclude, therefore, that the universe exists by the power of God. This includes the animate and

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inanimate creation. The species and orders of life exist by God's preserving power. This applies especially to rational beings. The believer ought to definitely pray for the preservation of his rational mind. He should recognize that unless preserved by the power of God, our power to think and to reason would cease to function.

   b. From reason.

   (1) Our consciousness tells us that both matter and mind are not self-existent. They came into existence by the action of the divine Creator and continue to exist by the preservation of a supernatural being.

   (2) God's sovereignty and omnipresence assure us of His preserving agency. If anything existed or occurred independent of His will, God would not be sovereign.

III. Miracles

   There is much confusion in the thinking and speaking of Christians today concerning miracles. Even among theological professors and seminary-trained ministers there is failure to distinguish between miracles and working of the supernatural in the providential government of the world. Miracles are supernatural acts, but not all supernatural acts are miracles. Creation of the universe and regeneration of a sinner are supernatural works of God, but are not miracle. A miracle is something palpable to the physical senses, but the creation of the universe was not seen by any man. Before creation there was no creature to behold what God had done. In regeneration there is nothing palpable to the senses of either the sinner being saved or to his associates. "The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit" (John 3:8). There are many extraordinary providences recorded in the Scriptures which are not properly miracles, such as the locusts which were blown into Egypt by a strong east wind and blown away again by a west wind. "So Moses stretched out his staff over Egypt, and the Lord made an east wind blow across the land all that day and all that night. By morning the wind had brought the locusts ... And the Lord changed the wind to a very strong west wind, which caught up the locusts and carried them into the Red Sea. Not a locust was left anywhere in Egypt" (Exodus 10: 13, 19). The arrival of the quails which supplied the Israelites with meat was supernatural, but not properly a miracle.

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"That evening quail came and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp" (Exodus 16:13). These became signs because they were foretold and thus convinced the Israelites that Jehovah was their God. "They did not remember his power—the day he redeemed them from the oppressor ... He gave their crops to the grasshopper, their produce to the locust" (Psalm 78:42, 46). “I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them, ‘At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God’” (Exodus 16:12).

   1. DEFINITION OF MIRACLES. The meaning of "miracle" must be arrived at by an examination of the words in Hebrew and Greek which have been translated as miracles, and then a careful notice of their usage in describing the mighty works of God by Jesus Christ and the apostles.

   The words most frequently used are "sumeion" which means "a sign, a wonder" and "dunamis" which means "a mighty work" or power. "Miracles," therefore, means the works performed by superhuman power as a sign that the worker was sent of God, and that the message of the wonder-worker was a revelation from God. "Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know" (Acts 2:22). "Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds" (II Corinthians 12:12). The particular significance of these verses is in the giving of the sign of an apostle.

   A miracle, therefore, is an event in the external world palpable to or through the physical senses, wrought by the immediate power of God as a sign of being sent of God. The miracle was the sign of God's attestation and proof of the genuineness of revelation. Christ's miracles, therefore, were not merely the sign of His mighty power, but the revelation of His person and ministry.

   2. THE POSSIBILITY OF MIRACLES. The possibility of miracles is only questioned or denied by those who question or deny the existence of an infinite, eternal, omnipotent, immutable, immanent, and transcendent personal God. The Christian view of God and the world is that God is the infinite and perfect Spirit who created the universe, is immanent in it, and transcendent above it.

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   Since God is, in the fullest sense, such a Being, miracles are entirely possible. The personal will of God is that which controls the universe. Miracles are possible, therefore, because all things have come to be through the free volition of God and are under the control and guided by this personal omnipotent Being.

   A miracle is not the suspension of law, but the operation of a higher law. The throwing of a stone in the air in no way violates the law of gravitation. The human will by means of muscular force hurls the stone in spite of the operation of gravity. The hurling of a stone and its passing through space in no wise violates the operation of law. Neither is there involved the suspension of law.

   Miracles are not only possible, but are to be expected in the light of God's power and goodness. His love for His own, it is to be presumed, will cause Him to intervene in their behalf. However, since there is a supernatural work which is not divine, every wonderwork should be tested as to whether it was wrought by God. Many will claim the doing of miracles as a ground of acceptance, but will hear the Lord say, "I never knew you." "Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ " (Matthew 7:22-23). Since not all supernatural works are of God, the following tests should be carefully applied :

   a. Is the work wrought in keeping with the character of God? It should be recognized that the works of God are always in keeping with the nature of God. The one who claims ability to work miracles should be teaching truths concerning the character of God as revealed in the Holy Scriptures.

   b. The teaching of the one who claims to work miracles must be in harmony with the truths revealed in the Holy Scriptures. When signs and wonders accompany one whose teachings and life are contrary to the Scriptures, they are to be recognized as lying wonders. "Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders" (II Thessalonians 2:9). "For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty" (Revelation 16:14). Unless this distinction be definitely kept in mind, the work of the evil one may accepted as the work of God.

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   c. There must be a worthy occasion for the working of the supernatural. The miracles of the Bible are all in connection with God's redemptive purpose. They are associated with the revelation of Himself to man. Miracles never occur as a mere display of God's might.

   3. THE PERIODS OF BIBLE MIRACLES. The exhibition of the supernatural has characterized every new order or dispensation. The following periods stand out in Bible history, and they all have to do with the working out of God's redemptive purpose.

   a. The deliverance of God's people from Egyptian bondage by Moses and their establishment in Canaan by Joshua. "Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (that is, the Dead Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho. The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord stopped in the middle of the Jordan and stood on dry ground, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground" (Joshua 3:15-17). "On the day the Lord gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the Lord in the presence of Israel: “Sun, stand still over Gibeon, and you, moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.” So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on its enemies, as it is written in the Book of Jashar. The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day. There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the Lord listened to a human being. Surely the Lord was fighting for Israel! (Joshua 10:12-14). God accompanied the ministry and message of His servants by the display of supernatural power. The wonders wrought by Moses and Joshua were for the purpose of convincing the people that they were directly under the appointment of God.

   b. The life and death struggle between the true ways of God and heathenism in the time of Elijah and Elisha.

   (1) Elijah and the prophets of Baal. "At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command.

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Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.” Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The Lord—he is God! The Lord—he is God!” (I Kings 18:36-39).

   (2) Elisha and Naaman. "So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy. Then Naaman and all his attendants went back to the man of God. He stood before him and said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel. So please accept a gift from your servant” (II Kings 5:14-15).

   (3) Elisha causing iron to float. "The man of God asked, “Where did it fall?” When he showed him the place, Elisha cut a stick and threw it there, and made the iron float. “Lift it out,” he said. Then the man reached out his hand and took it" (II Kings 6:6).

   c. In the time of the exile when God wrought wonders to demonstrate His power and supremacy over the gods of the heathen.

   (1) Hebrew children in the fiery furnace. "He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.” Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!” So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them. Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.” Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon" (Daniel 3:25-30).

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   (2) Daniel in the den of lions. "So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!” A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the rings of his nobles, so that Daniel’s situation might not be changed. Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night without eating and without any entertainment being brought to him. And he could not sleep. At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?” Daniel answered, “May the king live forever! My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty” (Daniel 6:16-22).

   d. The introduction of Christianity. The miracles of Christ and the apostles were needful to convince the people of their divine mission. Signs of the wonder-working God were needed to convince the people that Christ and the apostles were sent of God. Miracles continued through the Apostolic Age. "And fear came upon every soul : and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles" (Acts 2:43). "And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people" (Acts 6:8). "Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there. When the crowds heard Philip and saw the signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said. For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. So there was great joy in that city" (Acts 8:5-7). When the new order was complete, the church organized and set on her mission to evangelize the world, the revelation of God was complete in the rounding out of the New Testament, and the manifestation of divine power was no longer in evidence. Through the centuries of church history, many have claimed to perform miracles, but there seems to be no authentic case where such power was given to men. This does not say, nor does it

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imply, that miracles are impossible. Whenever in the unfolding of the divine purpose such manifestations are needed, miracles may be expected. Indeed, when the church shall have been completed and the fullness of time shall come for the establishment of the Messianic kingdom, there will be manifested again mighty signs and wonders. “And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days. I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the Lord has said, even among the survivors whom the Lord calls" (Joel 2:28-32). It is clearly implied that at that time unusual signs of the supernatural power of the evil one will be displayed. Many lying wonders shall appear. "Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders" (II Thessalonians 2:9). "For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty" (Revelation 16:14).

IV. The Providence of God

   1. THE DEFINITION. The word "providence" is derived from "pro" meaning "before" and "video" meaning "to see." However, the word has come to mean more than "seeing before." It means preparation beforehand for the accomplishment of predetermined ends. By providence, therefore, is meant foresight and provision ahead of time for the fulfillment of the divine purpose.

   Providence involves the sovereign and eternal purpose of God. It means that all things that have been, are, and shall be, are included in the divine purpose. It also embraces the preservation of all things. God not only originated all substance composing the universe, but He continues to be present with every atom or unit of creation and with every creature, controlling every action. While He guides every act, He does not interfere with human freedom. He has direct laws and subordinate ones functioning under His power and according to His plan.

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   2. PROOFS OF DIVINE PROVIDENCE.

   a. From the logical consideration of the divine perfections. God is infinite in His being as He is related to time, space, wisdom, and power. His perfections, therefore, make such administration possible. Besides this, God is infinite in His goodness, guaranteeing that He will not leave His moral creatures to a soulless fate.

   b. From the innate constitution of man which includes entire dependence and moral accountability. All moral beings everywhere acknowledge their own finiteness and limitations as well as their accountability to a higher being over them. In the times of life's greatest tragedies men recognize their dependence and acknowledge the working of divine providence.

   c. From the intelligent design which characterizes the whole creation. This design is everywhere manifest in the workings of nature and is seen in nature's entire structure, making harmonious operation possible and calling for the consummation of the highest purpose.

   d. From the evidence of history. When intelligently interpreted, all history proves the good hand of God. When a broad perspective of history is obtained, the beneficent and purposeful hand of God is seen.

   e. From the statements of Holy Scriptures.

   (1) It extends over the nature-world.

   (a) Vegetation. "He makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for people to cultivate—bringing forth food from the earth" (Psalm 104:14). In the Scripture it is clearly stated that He causes the grass to grow.

   (b) Weather. "I know that the Lord is great, that our Lord is greater than all gods. The Lord does whatever pleases him, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths. He makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth; he sends lightning with the rain and brings out the wind from his storehouses" (Psalm 135:5-7). "He covers the sky with clouds; he supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills. He provides food for the cattle and for the young ravens when they call... He spreads the snow like wool and scatters the frost like ashes. He hurls down his hail like pebbles. Who can withstand his icy blast? He sends his word and melts them; he stirs up his breezes, and the waters flow" (Psalm 147:8-9; 16-18). Compare Psalm 148: 7-8: Praise the Lord from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths, lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding";

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and Job 37:6-13: "He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth,’ and to the rain shower, ‘Be a mighty downpour.’ So that everyone he has made may know his work, he stops all people from their labor. The animals take cover; they remain in their dens. The tempest comes out from its chamber, the cold from the driving winds. The breath of God produces ice, and the broad waters become frozen. He loads the clouds with moisture; he scatters his lightning through them. At his direction they swirl around over the face of the whole earth to do whatever he commands them. He brings the clouds to punish people, or to water his earth and show his love." It is here declared that the Lord causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth and makes lightnings for rain. He covers the heavens with clouds and prepares rain for the earth. He gives snow like wool. He causes the wind to blow and the waters to fall. When properly perceived, it will be seen that the variable weather conditions, harsh and severe though they may be, are all under the control of God.

   (c) The seasons. "Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy” (Acts 14:17). "While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease" (Genesis 8:22). The succession of the seasons, the alternation of day and night, are all under the control of God. The "ongoings of nature," so-called, are but the expressions of the divine activity.

   (d) Natural phenomena. "Which removeth the mountains, and they know not : which overturneth them in his anger; Which shaketh the earth out of her place, and the pillars thereof tremble" (Job 9:5-6). We observe over the surface of the earth the upheavals which result in the formation of mountains and also the removal of mountains. The fact of God's control of these things is recognized by men as under the hand of God.

   (2) It applies to animal and bird life. "The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God ... These wait all upon thee; that thou mayest give them their meat in due season" (Psalm 104:21, 27). "Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" (Matthew 6:26).

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"Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care" (Matthew 10:29). The lions depend upon God for their food. The fowls of the air are fed by God. Not even does a sparrow fall to the ground outside the purview of the heavenly Father.

   (3) It extends to the affairs of nations. "He increaseth the nations, and destroyeth them : he enlargeth the nations, and straiteneth them again" (Job 12:23). "For the kingdom is the Lord's : and he is the governor among nations" (Psalm 22:28). "And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation" (Acts 17:26). Compare Daniel 2:21 : "He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning." Nations are increased and destroyed by the hand of God. God is the Governor among the nations. He determines the national and international boundaries. He removes kings and sets up kings. It is exceedingly important that the nations of the earth recognize the divine hand in their affairs. The supreme tragedy is that nations fail to recognize the divine hand.

   (4) It extends to man's birth and lot in life.

   (a) The beginning of man's existence is determined by God's decree and act. "Thine eyes did see my substance yet being unformed; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them" (Psalm 139:16). The supreme folly of man who owes his existence to God is to refuse allegiance to Him.

   (b) Every man's position in life has been determined by God. "The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king” (I Samuel 16:1). “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5). "But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace" (Galatians 1:15). Saul's position as king was determined by God. He was rejected by the Lord, and

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David was set up by the hand of the Almighty. Prophets and ministers function because of divine appointment.

   (5) It extends to the minutest things in life. "But the very hairs of your head are all numbered" (Matthew 10:30). It is here declared that the very hairs of one's head are all numbered. Everything that is has been determined by God. The things which are seemingly insignificant are parts of the plan and work of God. In reality, therefore, there are no little things in the world.

   (6) It extends to the free acts of men. It should be recognized that all actions of free beings have a definite relation to divine providence. "He said, If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you” (Exodus 15:26). The Lord gave the Israelites favor in the sight of the Egyptians. "Man's goings are of the Lord; how can a man then understand his own way?" (Proverbs 20:24). Although man's acts are free and he goes where he will, all his goings are of the Lord. "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13). The Christian is here instructed to work out his salvation, and yet it is stated that his activities are by the outworkings of the divine purpose, for God not only gives him the will, but enables him to do that which he wills. "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them" (Ephesians 2:10). The Christian is responsible for the doing of good works, yet all that he does is by the outworking of the divine purpose. "Now listen, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.' Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that” (James 4:13-15). All man's plans should be subordinated to the divine will. "And the king said, What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah? so let him curse, because the Lord hath said unto him, Curse David, Who shall then say, Wherefore hast thou done so?" (II Samuel 16:10). When Shimei cursed David, it was because the Lord had instructed him to do so. "For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all" (Romans 11:32).

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In the outworking of the divine purpose, even His chosen people were included in unbelief that the divine mercy might flow out to all. "And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion that they should believe a lie" (II Thessalonians 2:11). Here certain rebellious ones were sent strong delusion in order that they might believe a lie. Great care should be exercised in embracing this view. God does not act arbitrarily in sending delusion. It was because of their moral state.

   God exercises His providence over the evil acts of men in several ways.

   (a) By prevention. God prevents sins which would otherwise be committed. He uses various means in accomplishing this. "Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know you did this with a clear conscience, and so I have kept you from sinning against me. That is why I did not let you touch her" (Genesis 20:6). Although Abraham had lied concerning Sarah, saying that she was his sister, God had prevented Abimilech from touching Sarah. "Then God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream at night and said to him, “Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad” (Genesis 31:24). Laban, the Syrian, pursued after Jacob, but God appeared to him in a dream, forbidding him to say anything against him either good or bad. "Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression" (Psalm 19:13). David had come to know his own heart in such a way that he prayed God to keep him back from presumptuous sins. "Therefore, behold, I will hedge up thy way with thorns, and make a wall, that she shall not find her paths" (Hosea 2:6). It is here declared that God would hedge up the individual's way, even with thorns, making a wall so that that individual would not find his paths. [Webmaster's note: God can make sin so habit-forming that you can neither enjoy it nor turn from it, barring repentance and divine mercy.] God prevents evil acts through the influence of parents on children, civil government on citizens, the church on its members, and even through man's age, disease of his body and of death.

   (b) By permission. God permits men to cherish and possess evil dispositions in their hearts, sometimes even withholding impediments. "But when envoys were sent by the rulers of Babylon to ask him about the miraculous sign that had occurred in the land, God left him to test him and to know everything that was in his heart" (II Chronicles 32:31). God permitted the ambassadors

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from Babylon to come to the king and left the king free to act in order that the king's heart might be made known to himself. "So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own devices. “If my people would only listen to me, if Israel would only follow my ways" (Psalm 81:12-13). It is here declared that God gave them up unto their own hearts' lust to walk in their own counsel. "Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways" (Acts 14:16). It is here declared that God in times past had allowed the nations to walk in their own ways. It seems quite clear that He is now suffering the nations to walk in their own ways. "Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.... Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done" (Romans 1:24, 28). It is here declared that as the human race gave themselves up the practicing of their own wickedness that God gave them over to reprobate minds, permitting them to do the things which were contrary to His will.

   (c) By direction. God directs the evil acts of men to ends unforeseen by themselves. He orders the evil acts of men's hearts in such a way that the least evil may result. "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives" (Genesis 50:20). God directed Joseph's brethren in their wicked purposes that those purposes might work out His plan. "For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done" (Acts 4:27-28). Even in the betrayal and condemnation of Jesus Christ, the persons concerned proceeded according to their own will, while at the same time their very deeds accomplished that which God beforehand had determined to be done. "For the scripture says unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might show my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth" (Romans 9:17). Pharaoh's acts were his own personal acts. God did not initiate them, but God did control them by keeping them within the circumference of His plan. This seems clearly to be the meaning of "The Lord hardened Pharoah's heart."

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   (d) By determination. God determines the bounds reached by men's passions. Wicked men under the sway of their passions can go only as far as God permits. "And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord" (Job 1:12). God permitted Job to fall into the hand of Satan and allowed Satan to take away his property, but Satan was not allowed to touch Job's person. "And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life" (Job 2:6). The Lord accepted the Devil's challenge concerning Job's faithfulness in affliction upon his own body, but did not permit Satan to take his life. "No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it" (I Corinthians 10:13). God permits the Christian to be sorely tried, but He will not allow him to be tested beyond his ability to endure. "For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way" (II Thessalonians 2:7). God permits the mystery of iniquity to do a deadly work, but at the proper time the worker of iniquity shall be taken away. "He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time" (Revelation 20:2-3). At a future time Satan himself will be bound for a thousand years during which time he will not be permitted to carry on his deceptive work. At the close of the thousand years of Christ's reign, Satan will be permitted to be temporarily loosed. When he has tested the last member of the race, he will be cast into the lake of fire.


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Part Three

ANTHROPOLOGY

   The word "anthropology" is derived from the Greek words anthropos, meaning man, and logos, meaning science or doctrine. Anthropology therefore means the doctrine of man. The word "man" is here used in the generic sense, meaning mankind or the human race.

Chapter 1

Erroneous Views Concerning Man

The Psalmist's question, "What is man?" (Psalm 8:4) is of tremendous concern. "What is man that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?" It is of the highest importance that this question be answered according to the Scriptures. Every person should seriously ask himself "Who am I? Where did I come from? What is my destiny?" The proper answer to these questions will definitely determine the kind of life one lives. Right living and intelligent service are dependent upon the true knowledge of man. "For as he (a man) thinketh in his heart, so is he ..." (Proverbs 23:7).

   Seeking to call forth the best that was in the Philippians and to develop within them the noblest character, Paul said, "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things" (Philippians 4:8).

   Paul's knowledge of psychology prevented him from commanding these believers to do certain things. Therefore, he said, "Think on these things." The ideal controls the man. Whatever a man thinks, he already is or is fast becoming. As human beings going out to serve human beings in the name of God, everyone should be determined to know the truth concerning the origin, the nature, and destiny of man.

   Two erroneous views concerning man are widely prevalent :

   1. MAN IS EXCLUSIVELY MATERIAL. This theory conceives of man being composed wholly of material substance. According to this view, man's capacity to think is predicated as atomic activity. Those who hold this view conceive of man as the product of the evolution of protoplasm, making him a composite of chemical substance.

   This view has a prominent place in modern thought. When expanded into a philosophy, it predicates man's origin as from, or by way of, the brute. Taught in most of our high schools and colleges today, this philosophy accounts for the collapse of the morals in our generation.

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The inevitable outcome of such a philosophy of life is low, vulgar, and criminal living. This kind of living expresses itself in :

   a. Indescribable acts of cruelty. The glaring headlines of our newspapers reveal the fruits of education cast into the materialistic mold. Thus viewed, a human being is only fit for tests in the chemical laboratory. A pronounced example of this was the murder case some years ago of the Frank boy by two university students motivated, as revealed in the trial, by the desire to enjoy the thrill of a neighbor-boy's reaction to their inhuman treatment.

   b. Immoral practices. All too frequently the immoral practices among young people grow out of the behavioristic psychology which postulates the right and necessity of gratifying every desire.

   This explains why so many modern young people commit suicide. They sometimes declare that they have run the gamut of human experience and there is, therefore, nothing further for which to live. It further explains in some measure the restlessness of this generation. Instead of living in the realm of thought, they cry out for something that will furnish a thrill to their senses.

   2. MAN IS DIVINE

   This view declares that man in his very nature is divine. Even among ministers and Christian leaders there is much said concerning the "divine spark" in man. The tendency of this view leads man to think too highly of himself. It originated in the garden of Eden when the serpent said to the woman. “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." (Genesis 3:4-5).

   This view of man threatens ruin to the race in another direction. Disastrous as the moral effect of the materialistic view has become, the deification of man is still more ruinous. It likewise tends to immorality. The beginning of immorality was man's deliberate act of casting off God. "For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error" (Romans 1:21-27).

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This view of man has expressed itself through the centuries in the setting up of man's own philosophy to rival or supersede the teachings of God's Holy Word. Three outstanding examples may be cited.

   a. Cain's worship of God according to his own will. "And in the process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord" (Genesis 4:3). Cain was a religious man, but instead of approaching God according to the divinely ordained plan, i.e., through the offering of a blood sacrifice, he brought of the fruit of the ground. The fact that "by faith" Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain (Hebrews 11:4) clearly implies that God had given instruction as to the way a sinner should approach Him. This example of worship by Cain expresses itself today in the modernists' rejection of the doctrine of human depravity and of atonement through the blood of Jesus Christ.

   b. The federation of man to throw off God's rule. This was the motive back of the erection of the tower of Babel. God had commanded Noah's sons, as He had commanded Adam and Eve, to multiply and replenish the earth. Through Nimrod's rebellious leadership they said one to another : "... Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth" (Genesis 11:3-4). Modern examples of this proud spirit of man are found in the many atheistic societies organized for the deliberate purpose of getting rid of the rule of God. We see the same spirit in the modern cry for a religious democracy, which really means the abolition of the rule of God in the religious realm,

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just as political democracy means the deposing of a king or the renunciation of his authority in the political realm (Horsch).1

   c. The appearance of the Antichrist. "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" (II Thessalonians 2: 3-4). The time is coming when the Antichrist, the man of sin, will exalt himself above God.

   The Greek word "Antichristos" means against or instead of Christ. From the etymology of the word we see that it means the enemy of Christ or the usurper of Christ's name and rights. Both ideas seem to be embedded in the Scriptures. In the New Testament the term is used by John (I John 2:18-22; I John 4:3; II John v. 7). From I John 2:18, revised version, we find that the Christians had been taught that the Antichrist would appear in the "last hour"; that is, before the second advent of Christ. We see, therefore, that Antichrist signifies a single person and also an Antichristian spirit. The Antichristian spirit manifests itself in the denial that Jesus is the Christ and the denial of the incarnation of the Son of God, and in the moral antagonism to this doctrine. This opposition had already appeared in the church in the person of false teachers and false disciples. Jesus Himself warned against the appearance of false Christs (Matthew 24:5, 23, 24. Mark 13: 21-22). He implied that such apostasy would arise within the ranks of professing disciples. Paul more fully teaches in II Thessalonians 2:3-12 that before the second advent of Christ, the man of sin will arise opposing and exalting himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped. Paul, like John, reports this as the culmination of the process of apostasy (I Timothy 4:1). We thus see that the New Testament clearly teaches that Christian history would not be a pure development of goodness and truth but that within Christendom apostasy would arise, develop, have many representatives and finally culminate in Antichrist proper, which could either be a person or an institution or both. The essential spirit of Antichrist would be antagonism to Christ and the impious claim of that allegiance from man's mind and life which is alone due to God and His Son. — Adapted from Davis' Bible Dictionary

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1. See J. Horsch, Modern Religious Liberalism, pp. 140ff.

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Chapter II

The Origin of Man

MAN came into being by God's direct act of creation. "Then God said, 'Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.' So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them" (Genesis 1:26-27). "Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being....So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, 'This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man" (Genesis 2:7, 21-23). These are not two accounts of man's creation, but the Holy Spirit's comprehensive account of man's origin and nature. Since the purpose of the Bible is to give a true view of man in his relationship to God, in Genesis 1: 26-27 we are given a perspective of man in relation to the universe, and in Genesis 2:7-23 we are given a view of man in his relation to the things around him. The first reference gives an outline account of man's origin. The second gives the details of this account. This characteristic of the creation narrative is the rhetorical method of logical and orderly discourse. Concerning man's origin, let us carefully observe:

   1. THE RESULT OF DIVINE COUNSEL. "Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground" (Genesis 1:26). We thus see that man's origin was preceded by a counsel in eternity in which the divine decree was made to bring man into existence. The "us" implies

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plurality of persons participating in this counsel and sets forth the solemn dignity of man.

   2. AN IMMEDIATE ACT OF THE TRIUNE GOD. "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them" (Genesis 1:27). This clearly implies that man did not come into being by an evolutionary process, but by a divine fiat. God spoke the word and man's being was a fact.

   3. MAN'S CREATION WAS AFTER THE DIVINE TYPE. "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them" (Genesis 1:27). This was not said of the herbs, nor of animals. They were to "bring forth after their kind" or after their own order. Man was not after the order of an inferior creature, but after God's image.

   This same truth is applied in the place God gave man in the order of creation. Man came last in the order of created beings and was to be the head or lord of creation.

   We see, therefore, that man was a creation of God and not an evolution. In the beginning God created all things. Matter came into being through the fiat of God. When it came time for man, the lord of creation, to appear, God took certain elements which He had created in the beginning and formed, not created, man's body. "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul" (Genesis 2:7).

   Man's relation to the material world consists of the common relation of elemental substance. Since both man, as to his body (Genesis 2:7), and animals (Genesis 2:19), were formed of the dust of the ground, there is a common relationship between them, not that man was evolved from the brute or came by the way of the brute, but that man's body was of the same elemental substance as the material world and animals.

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Chapter III

The Unity of the Human Race

IT is entirely improper to speak of the races of mankind, because there is but one race, and that is the human race. The idea of the unity of the human race lies embedded in the Scriptures.

   1. IT IS IMPLIED FROM MAN'S ORIGIN. The Bible account of man's origin in Genesis 1:26-28 (Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground"), makes it clear that God created a single human pair, male and female, which was the embryo of humanity. It was through the fruitfulness of this pair that all the earth was replenished. God called the first man "Adam," meaning "man," and God called the first woman "Eve," since she was to be the "mother of all living." The clear implication of the name "Eve" was that the whole race was to spring from this pair.

   The restriction of the human race to descendants of this pair has definite emphasis through the judgment of God in the flood. All were destroyed except Noah and his family.

   After the flood the human race was perpetuated through Noah's sons. There is no record in the Bible nor in secular history of any break in this line after the flood. "These were the three sons of Noah, and from them came the people who were scattered over the whole earth" (Genesis 9:19).

   2. CONFIRMED BY CHRIST. "And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female" (Matthew 19:4).

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Christ set His seal upon the account of the origin of the race by drawing from it the law of life for man. In Christ's statement the declaration is made that there was the creation of the original pair, and He leaves the implication that all members of the human race have come from that pair.

   3. DECLARED BY PAUL. "From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands" (Acts 17:26). Paul declared that God had made all men of one blood. This means not only that all mankind are akin, but that all the peoples of the earth have the same blood. From the fact that life is in the blood, it is quite clear that all human beings have the same kind of blood.

   The teachings of the Scriptures concerning this matter are entirely in agreement with the facts of biology. Four types of blood have been discovered among members of the human race, and all these types are found in each division of mankind regardless of the color of the skin. The members of the human race are united by one blood.

   4. PROVED BY THE UNIVERSALITY OF SIN and the universality of the need of salvation. The fact of this unity is the basis of Paul's doctrine of universal sin and the provision of salvation in Jesus Christ. "Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned—To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come" (Romans 5:12-14). "For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous" (Romans 5:19). "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive" (I Corinthians 15:22).

   Through the law of heredity, human depravity has passed from generation to generation. This depravity is not restricted to any national group, but is inherent in and therefore common to all nationalities regardless of color.

   5. CORROBORATED BY HISTORY AND SCIENCE. The unity of a race is further evidenced by :

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   a. History. The history of tribes and nations in both hemispheres of the world points to a common origin and ancestry in central Asia. The European nations have come by successive migration from Asia. Reputable ethnologists agree that the Indians of North America came from the Mongolians of Eastern Asia.

   b. Philology. Philologists agree that all the principal languages of the world point to a common origin.

   c. Physiology. The physical structure of the various members of the human race indicates that all belong to one species. Racial differences can be accounted for in a fairly satisfactory way by the effect of climate and environment.

   d. Psychology. All members of the human race have common mental and moral characteristics. Their maxims, traditions, and tendencies are strikingly similar.

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Chapter IV

The Constituent Elements of Man

WHAT are the component parts in man's nature? This question has engaged the minds of Christian scholars through the centuries. Competent, devout scholars are divided on the question as to whether man is composed of two parts or three parts. The view that he is composed of two parts is known as dichotomy. The view that he is composed of three parts is known as trichotomy.

   The solution of the problem is not found in human reason, but in Holy Scriptures. When man is viewed from the standpoint of matter and spirit, the Bible plainly teaches dichotomy; when the immaterial part of man is considered, spirit is distinguished from soul.

   It seems quite clear that there is a true and a false dichotomy and a true and false trichotomy. A narrow and restricted view of either leads into serious error. Church history shows that during certain periods of church life the appearance of error kept the leaders from embracing the views set forth in the Scriptures.

   We must, therefore, go to the Scriptures for authoritative information as to the constitution of human nature, as well as to right conduct. Several Scripture passages bear directly on the essential elements of man's nature. "Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being" (Genesis 2:7). "For the word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12). "May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" (I Thessalonians 5:23).

   In Genesis 2:7 we have a dual view of man. God formed man's body of the dust of the ground and then breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. The word "life" in the original is plural in form, giving room for the view that the immaterial part of man is composed of parts.

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   God's breathing into man must be considered as the creative act which brought into being the human personality to inhabit the body which He had formed of the dust of the ground. When the human spirit thus created was brought into organic relation with the material body, there was what is known as life — man "became a living soul." The view of man here is that he is a dual being — matter and spirit. When the immaterial part of man was brought into organic relation with the material, there resulted a threefold nature. We see then that Genesis 2:7 sets forth man as essentially a threefold being.

   Hebrews 4:12 clearly recognizes a distinction between soul and spirit. The declaration is that the Word of God is quick and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow. It is clearly shown that the Word of God is capable of separating soul and spirit, and the soul and spirit from the joints and marrow, that is, the body. This passage makes clear that man is a threefold being.

   In I Thessalonians 5:23 we have the classic passage on the constituent elements of man's nature. These elements stand out in clear and bold relief showing that man is made up of spirit, soul, and body. The spirit of man links him with the highest Intelligence and shows that he is susceptible to the quickening of the Holy Spirit. It is by the human spirit that man communes with God. The soul is intermediate between the body and the spirit and seems to be the sphere of the affections, the reason, and the will. When the human personality was vitally united with the material body, man became a living soul.

   "The body rests upon the earth of which it is composed. The soul is next above giving it life and intelligence, using the bodily senses as its agents in the exploration of the phenomena of matter and the bodily organs in expressing itself. The spirit receives impressions through the soul and body, but is above them and is capable of receiving knowledge direct from God. In the unfallen state the spirit was like a lofty observatory with an outlook upon a celestial firmament. All its windows were closed by sin, and its chambers were chambers of death until opened by the Holy Spirit," says Dr. A.T. Pierson.1

   This concept of man's nature throws a flood of light upon the ability of the world's greatest minds to grasp spiritual things. It

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1. Pierson, The Bible and Spiritual Life, p. 116.

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is true that "eye hath not seen," "ear hath not heard," but God hath revealed these things to the human spirit of His children by His Holy Spirit. The deeper spiritual things are, therefore, hid from the wise and prudent.

   Dr. Pierson names three problems which are unsolvable except by the view that man's nature is composed of three parts.

   1. THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF MAN'S SATISFYING his higher nature with sensuous things. He points out that each part of man's being must have that which is adapted to its needs. Man's body demands food, air, and water. Without these the body cannot live. Man's soul thinks, reasons, and the like. Therefore, a soul cannot find satisfaction in material things. Man's brain was made to enable him to think. His spirit was made to have fellowship with God. Because of this fact, man must know God to experience real satisfaction.

   The human soul apart from connection with the Creator whose likeness and image he bears is utterly restless. Biblical psychology maintains that God intended the human spirit to be suffused with the Holy Spirit; and thus with the right outlook on life the soul and body will be kept under control for the use and the glory of God.

   2. THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF EDUCATING MEN into being Christians. One cannot be a Christian while the very citadel of his life remains in darkness. The human personality must be quickened into life by the Holy Spirit. Failure to recognize this truth has led some to deny that regeneration is a supernatural act of God.

   Regeneration is not generation. The regenerated soul has not had imparted to it any new faculties. The Holy Spirit liberates and gives direction to man's constitutional faculties.

   3. THE DIFFICULTY OF A MATERIALISTIC and rationalistic interpretation of the Scriptures. Paul declares that the Scriptures are spiritually discerned. "The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit" (I Corinthians 2:14). Because of this, man in his natural state is utterly blind to spiritual things. It is this fact that causes him to declare that the teachings of the Scriptures concerning man's need of salvation are foolishness.

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Chapter V

Man's Primitive State

THERE is a widely prevalent view that man's primitive state was that of the brute or savage. This view is a gratuitous assumption based upon the hypothesis of evolution. This assumption so completely dominates modern thought that in academic circles hostility has arisen against the Christian view of God and the world.

   This view is wickedly erroneous because it has no foundation in fact and contradicts the truth of revelation in the Holy Scriptures. No first class scientist has as yet recognized the so-called philosophy of evolution as anything more than a hypothesis.

   This view is rejected by all who believe in the integrity of the Bible as God's inspired revelation. Furthermore, this view is destructive to the Christian faith, and it is demoralizing in its effect upon men and women who embrace it. There can be little question but what this false philosophy concerning man's primitive state has cut the nerve of evangelistic enthusiasm and missionary endeavor.

   Instead of man's primitive state being that of a savage or brute, he was high in the scale of beings. The Bible declares, "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him ..." (Genesis 1:27). In the divine counsel which preceded man's origination, the proposal was, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness" (Genesis 1:26). It is thus seen that man was a being of great dignity.

   1. NOTE THE MEANING OF "LIKENESS" AND "IMAGE." The words "likeness" and "image" do not pertain to bodily form, for God does not have physical shape, for He is Spirit. "God is a Spirit : and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth" (John 4:24). A spirit is incorporeal and invisible, since it has no bodily parts. "Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself : handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have" (Luke 24:39). The fundamental fact that God is Spirit is the basis of God's demand that no image be made of Him. "You saw no form of any kind the day the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the fire. Therefore watch yourselves very carefully.... And when you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon and the stars—all the heavenly array—do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshiping things the Lord your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven" (Deuteronomy 4:15, 19).

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Likeness and image, therefore, restrict man to immateriality of being. That which shows man's true dignity and worth is the fact that he bears the likeness and image of God. So far as revelation is concerned, man, of all created beings, bears this high distinction. Likeness and image implies that man is :

   a. A personal being. Personality means separateness of being or individuality. Personal beings possess :

   (1) Rationality — self-consciousness. Personal beings are knowing agents. They have power to think and to reason. "And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him" (Colossians 3:10). All knowledge begins with the self-consciousness of the knowing agent. All knowledge involves the consciousness of the thing known in relation to the rational mind of the individual person. Man, therefore, is in sharp contrast to the animal who is conscious, but lacks self-consciousness.

   (2) Power of perception. Personal beings have intuitive insight. Adam, the first man, possessed this power to such a degree that he was able to give names to the animals in keeping with their essential nature so that he made no mistake. So far as is known, the names he gave to the animals are still fitted to their very nature.

   (3) Self-will, or the power of self-determination. Animals possess determination, but so far as is known, they lack self-determination. However, man has ability to determine the direction of his desires. In the midst of conflicting desires he can choose the highest and direct his affections and energies to the attainment of that which is highest.

   b. Man is a moral being. In addition to personality man is a moral being. "Likeness and image of God" involves holiness and righteousness. This is declared to be true in Ephesians 4:24 : "And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness." The regenerated man is declared to have been created after God in righteousness and true holiness. We see, therefore, that in addition to the powers of self-consciousness and

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self-determination man is created with power to know the right and the ability to fix his will upon God and that which is right. Man was originally righteous. He was created with such a direction of his affection and will as to make God the central and supreme end of his being. Possessing such capacity, he enjoyed free intercourse with his Maker.

   2. IN HIS PRIMITIVE STATE man was a free being. He knew right from wrong and was entirely free to choose between them. He was created in righteousness and true holiness. His entire being was free from schism or conflict. His nature was likewise in harmony with the universe in which he was placed. There was entire harmony between his nature and his environment. Adam's sin was not because of the downward pull of a lower nature as against a higher nature.

   3. MAN WAS PLACED IN A RESPONSIBLE POSITION.

   a. He was to dress and to keep the garden. God's primal thought for man was work. God Himself works. Christ says, "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work" (John 5:17). Man, bearing the likeness and image of God, should work. Even a sinless man needed purposeful activity for the fullest development of his being. This being true in man's primitive state, it became more needful in his sinful state. It was for this reason that God cursed the earth and imposed increased difficulty upon man in providing for his bodily needs. That which is at present threatening the welfare of human society is the desire and effort to escape the necessity of toil. Men are clamoring for security, not knowing that the psychological and the physical reaction to such an environment would be most demoralizing. Man's advancement intellectually and materially has been through self-determined effort to conquer or overcome difficulty.

   b. Primitive man was confronted by law. He was to render obedience to God's commandment. All through human history this has been man's responsibility. True righteousness means conformity to the laws of God. All law has its foundation in the nature and will of God.

   c. Man was placed as lord over creation. He was given dominion over the things which God had created. "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 seas" (Psalm 8:6-8). Compare Genesis 1:28 : "God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground."

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Likeness and image, therefore, involve power and dominion over the whole earth, and all the creatures therein were to be under man's rule.

   4. MAN'S LIFE WAS SACRED. Man's bearing of God's likeness and image indicates the sacredness of human life. It was for the protection and well-being of human beings that civil government was instituted. "And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each human being, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of another human being. “Whoever sheds human blood, by humans shall their blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made mankind" (Genesis 9:5-6). The laws governing human life in all civilized countries are based upon this conception of man's life. Man's life belongs to God, therefore God's Word says, "... at the hand of every man's brother will I require the life of man" (Genesis 9:5). In the case of murder the execution of justice is a divine judgment. The supreme reason for demanding the life of a murderer is that the act of murder is an offense against God. The murderer was to pay the penalty of his deed by the giving up of his own life. "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed : for in the image of God made he man" (Genesis 9:6).

   The same principle applies to man's cursing tongue in its violent action against his fellow human beings. Such an act is a most grievous sin, because man is made after the similitude of God. "Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be" (James 3:9-10). The positive side of this truth is that it is the moral obligation of man to protect and preserve human life. Not only is murder a heinous crime since man bears God's likeness and image, but doing that which weakens or incapacitates human beings should be considered sinful.

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Chapter VI

The Fall of Man

A LOOK over the world proves that man is not what his Creator intended him to be. Something has gone wrong with man. It is not reasonable to suppose that he is now what he was when he came from the Creator's hands — much less an improvement. The only way of accounting for man's condition is the historic fall of man as given in the Bible. The introduction of sin is the only answer.

   Sin is not a necessary fault of man because of defective material or some maladjustment. He did not fall because of the downward pull of his animal nature. So far as the human race is concerned, sin was the free action of a being who was created in the likeness and image of God. Adam's act was not a casual slip, but a deliberate revolt. Wherever man is found there is evidence of the fall of an exalted being rather than the evolution of a savage. Let it be remembered that "primitive man" means a being created in the likeness and image of God on a plane a little lower than God. "For thou hast made him but little lower than God, And crownest him with glory and honor" (Psalm 8:5). It is a gross error to speak of primitive man as being in a savage state or in the state of the brute. Without having been in an exalted state, there could not have been a fall. The fall of man was not, as some would say, a fall upward, by which is meant the opening of his eyes to a wider vision.

   Sin arose not out of man's constitution, nor out of his environment. His departure from God was an act of a person in a conscious, deliberate violation of God's holy law.

   1. MAN'S PROBATION. "Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ ” “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil" (Genesis 3:1-5).

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   a. Adam had been placed in the beautiful Garden of Eden in an environment entirely suited to his nature. Moreover, God had provided him a suitable companion. God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him" (Genesis 2:18). The testing of the first man in the Garden of Eden was quite in contrast with Christ's testing which took place in the wilderness among wild beasts.

   b. The necessity. Adam was created a righteous and holy being. He possessed moral freedom, having the possibility of character. Character is the sum total of human choices. It can be attained only through testing. Freedom of will made Adam a real man.

   Everyone coming into the world is on probation. The disastrous choice made by Adam contributed mightily to the human character in us all, but our own choices are the ones for which we bear responsibility.

   c. The means. The means used in man's testing was most simple. God issued just one prohibition. Man was forbidden to partake of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Along with this small restriction was placed a large privilege — freedom of access to the tree of life. Over against that which would bring sorrow and death was placed that which would bring the highest happiness — even eternal life.

   Had Eve partaken of the tree of life the tempter could not have deceived her. The dynamic of the tree of life would have imparted strength to overcome the temptation. Before everyone today is placed the choice of Jesus Christ the Tree of Life on the one hand, and the way of death on the other hand. Human destiny is determined by man's attitude toward and relation to Jesus Christ.

   d. The method. Satan, a personal malicious being, appeared in the guise of a serpent. He did not make a direct appeal to the man. He chose to make his appeal through the woman. The following steps are to be noted :

   (1) Satan found the woman while she was alone.

   (2) Satan insinuated doubt into Eve's mind.

   (3) Satan raised a question as to God's word and God's love.

This is his method today. Satan tries to get people to doubt God's Word and then to doubt His love.

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   (4) Satan appealed to innocent appetite. He argued that there would be no harm in eating the fruit which God had forbidden, but rather a great advantage. He said, "Ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil."

   2. MAN'S DISOBEDIENCE. Eve gazed on and lusted after that which God had forbidden. "When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden" (Genesis 3:6-8). The steps in man's fall seem to have been rapid. From doubting God's word, Eve went to doubting His love. From gazing upon and lusting after that which God had prohibited, there was but a short step to indulgence.

   Eve not only disobeyed, but involved Adam in her sin. This is ever the way of the sinner. The drunkard is not content until he gets others to drinking. The profane man is not content until he gets others to swearing. Licentious men and women are not content until others are poisoned with their immorality. Immoral men and women are not content until they get innocent youth to practice their vices.

   3. CONSEQUENCES OF MAN'S DISOBEDIENCE. (Genesis 3:9-24).

   a. To Adam and Eve and Satan.

   (1) A disturbed relationship with God. "And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day : and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden" (Genesis 3:8). Immediately following man's sin, God appeared in the Garden of Eden. The introduction of sin marred man's familiar intercourse with the Almighty. Adam and Eve not only hid themselves from God's presence, but when summoned by Him began to make excuse, Adam even laying the blame on God. He said, "The woman who thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat."

   (2) The degradation of the serpent. "So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life" (Genesis 3:14).

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Henceforth the serpent became a type of sin and of the devil. Compare Numbers 21:9; John 3:14, and Revelation 12:9. Satan's doom was pronounced without trial. In the case of man it was not so, implying that this was man's first offense while it was not the first offense of Satan.

   (3) Undying enmity between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent. "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel" (Genesis 3:15). This bitter enmity has continued from that day to this. It has been the cause of all wars and bloodshed. Ultimate victory, however, of the woman's seed was promised. Although Satan has persistently harassed the woman's seed, on the cross Christ gave the final stroke which crushed Satan's head. "Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out" (John 12:31). "Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil" (Hebrews 2:14). "He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil" (I John 3:8). It is to be noted that on the cross of Calvary the sentence was passed upon Satan. The execution of that sentence will be realized when Satan is cast into the lake of fire. "And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever" (Revelation 20:10).

   In this assurance of ultimate victory (Genesis 3:15) we have the first gleam of the glorious gospel of Christ. The victory was great, but the cost was infinite.

   (4) The judgment upon the woman. "Unto the woman he said, I will 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" (Genesis 3:16). This judgment relates primarily to the woman as a wife and mother.

   (5) Man's new relationship to earth. "To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it

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all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return" (Genesis 3:17-19). The earth was cursed on account of man's sin. From henceforth man was obliged to toil in order to exist. Even this curse was imposed because of God's love for man. With his sinful nature man would have been in an exceedingly bad state without the necessity of laboring.

   (6) Death. "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" (Genesis 3:19). Death here includes both spiritual and physical death caused by man's sin.

   (7) Expulsion from the garden. "So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden cherubim, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life" (Genesis 3:24). When man's nature was changed through the entrance of sin, he was expelled from the beautiful Garden of Eden. Even this expulsion was the expression of God's goodness. The ruin of sin rendered man unfit for the Edenic environment.

   b. To Adam's posterity — the human race. "Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned ... Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous" (Romans 5:12, 18-19). Through the law of heredity, sin passed upon the race. This law is but the outworking of the divine purpose concerning mankind. The human race is an organism with Adam as its head. This is the law upon which Paul based the universality of sin and is the ground upon which redemption is possible in Christ, the Head of the human race.

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Chapter VII

Sin in Relation to the Universe

SIN is an awful fact and is universally attested. Many today belittle sin and even try to forget it. Even men of recognized ability in the world of thought and leadership treat sin as a disease of the imagination or as a superstition, but in spite of all men's efforts, it asserts itself in even the dullest consciousness and compels recognition. Dr. James Orr says, "Drug (the) conscience as deeply as one may, a time comes when it awakes. Turn in what direction one will, sin confronts one as a fact in human life — an experience of the heart, a development in history, a crimson thread in literature, a problem for science, and an enigma for philosophy."

   1. WHAT SIN IS.

   a. According to Scripture.

   (1) Failure to conform to the divine standard. The word translated "sin" in both the Hebrew and the Greek literally means "missing the mark." One's aim may be in the right direction, but to fail of the mark is to sin.

   God's very nature demands a standard of morals, and He has embodied His standard in His law. Whenever moral beings fail to conform to His law they commit sin, and those who thus fail to measure up to the divine standard are sinners.

   (2) The transgression of law. "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law : for sin is the transgression of the law" (I John 3:4). Transgression means violation of the law. Even though such violation may be unintentional, it is sin. When the violation is gross and deliberate it is more egregious.

   (3) A state of being. "All unrighteousness is sin : and there is a sin not unto death" (I John 5:17). "But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin" (Romans 14:23). "If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them" (James 4:17). In these passages of Scripture the fact is disclosed that sin is not merely an act, but a state of being. It also includes the omission of acts which we ought to have done.

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   (4) A condition of the heart. "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies" (Matthew 15:19). Compare Matthew 5:22 : "But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell." "Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you, for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets" (Luke 6:26). Evil is here ascribed to the heart from which spring evil thoughts. Sin exists in the heart. "But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of coveting. For apart from the law, sin was dead. Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death" (Romans 7:8-10).

   The law of God revives the dormant condition of the heart and reveals its sin. The law does not make the individual a sinner, but makes known his sin. A ray of light entering a dark room does not cause the dust therein to be in motion, but reveals the fact of its existence.

   b. In everyday experience. The Scriptural view of sin is corroborated in everyday life. In their sober moments men attribute sin not only to conscious, deliberate acts, but to disposition of the heart out of which sinful actions spring.

   In the experience of the Christian, the more he advances in his spiritual life the more definitely he is conscious of that inner condition of his heart as the expression of his failure. Such persons do not attempt to hide their delinquencies by blaming their environments or associates; they know that the real cause of the irregularities of their life is the depraved heart.

   2. THE BEGINNING OF SIN. We shall never fully understand why the Holy God permitted evil to enter into and remain in the universe which He governs. From His Holy Word, however, we know that sin entered the human race through the fall of Adam,

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the head of the race. "For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous" (Romans 5:19). While the origin of sin is shrouded in the deepest mystery, the Scriptures, however, reveal the fact that Satan was the original sinner. "The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work" (I John 3:8). Just how a creature possessing the capabilities ascribed to this glorious being, who became the devil, could sin is incomprehensible to man. All that the Scriptures reveal concerning the matter is that sin originated with him. We can, however, be confident that sin entered the race according to the revelation given in the Word of God.

   3. THE UNIVERSALITY OF SIN.

   a. The direct statements of the Scripture. "What shall we conclude then? Do we have any advantage? Not at all! For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin. As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one ... This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3: 9-12, 22-23). Compare Ecclesiastes 7:20: "For there is not a just man upon the earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not."

   b. The common judgments of mankind.

   (1) The universal practice of men calling for priesthood and sacrifice. Every known form of religion recognizes the need of sacrifice and of a priesthood ministry.

   (2) Lack of perfection. Every man knows himself to have come short of moral perfection and likewise knows the same of his fellows.

   c. The universal need of atonement and regeneration. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). "Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again" .... Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit" (John 3: 3, 5).

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It was because of the universal need of salvation that God gave His only begotten Son to the world, and Christ declared that without the new birth it was impossible to see or enter into the kingdom of God. The universality of sin shows the absolute need of the Saviour who is able to save the sinner from his sin.

   d. The condemnation resting upon all who do not accept Jesus Christ as their Saviour. "Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son" (John 3:18). "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them" (John 3:36). Condemnation is not something that shall eventually come upon those who reject Jesus Christ, but it is a present and awful reality. All members of the race which believe not on Jesus Christ are now under condemnation, and their only escape from the penalty of their sin is to receive Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour.

   4. THE CONSEQUENCES OF SIN. The effect of Adam's sin may be set forth by three words:

   a. Depravity. Depravity indicates a condition lower than that of primitive man. It means the lack of original righteous or holy affection toward God. It also means the corruption of man's moral nature which biases him to evil. This characteristic is recognized by the individual who has come under the quickening influence of the Holy Spirit as being inherent not only in his nature, but in human nature everywhere.

   b. Guilt. By guilt is meant deserved punishment for self-determined violation of law or failure to conform to that law. Guilt is not depravity, but is the result of it. Depravity is subjective, while guilt is objective. While guilt is universal with the race, we must recognize different degrees of guilt attached to different kinds of sin. “The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows. But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked" (Luke 12:47-48).

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Jesus here declared that the servant who knew his Lord's will and did not do accordingly should be beaten with many stripes and that those who ignorantly violated their Lord's will would be beaten with few stripes. "Who will render to every man according to his deeds" (Romans 2:6). "Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?" (Hebrews 10:28-29). In these Scripture passages we see positive and clear recognition of degrees of guilt. Man's guilt is expressed in at least four different kinds of sins.

   (1) Sins of ignorance. "Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city" (Matthew 10:15). Jesus here declared that the city which had rejected Him would have meted out to it greater punishment than the land of Sodom and Gomorrah. "Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin" (John 19:11). Jesus here declared that those who had delivered Him to Pilate had greater sin than had Pilate. "For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law : and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law" (Romans 2:12). Paul recognized that those who had sinned without law should perish without law and that those who had sinned in the law should be judged by the law. There is recognition here of the fact that sins of ignorance are less culpable than sins committed in spite of knowledge.

   (2) Sins of infirmity. "But who can discern their own errors? Forgive my hidden faults" (Psalm 19:12). The Psalmist clearly implied that there is a moral turpitude apart from consciousness. Because of man's inherent sinful nature he may sin. One may know sins to be sins, but because of the weakness of his nature he may commit them. Such sins are known as sins of infirmity.

   (3) Sins of presumption. "Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression" (Psalm 19:13). The Psalmist recognized that this kind of sin

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exposed him to peril. He prayed for divine help that such sins might not have dominion over him.

   (4) Sins of final obduracy. "And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him : but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come" (Matthew 12:32). "But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Spirit hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation" (Mark 3:29). The sin here mentioned is that of deliberately speaking against the Holy Spirit. This sin is not committed by Christians in their weakness, but it is a deliberate act committed because of the sinful condition of the heart. "For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins" (Hebrews 10:26). The writer of Hebrews speaks of willful sins, which means sins of deliberate purpose. All Christians sin more or less knowingly, but only one in an unregenerated state will sin deliberately.

   c. Penalty. By penalty is meant the pain or loss which shall be inflicted upon the sinner by the Law-giver in the vindication of His justice. The penalty which shall be meted out to the impenitent will doubtless include great loss and indescribable pain. The loss of the highest good and missing meritorious reward will be hard for the lost sinner to bear, but in addition to his loss there will be inflicted by the Holy God upon the sinner great suffering in vindication of His justice.

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Chapter VIII

The Destiny of Man

AS we have seen, man, bearing the likeness and image of God, fell from his high estate. However, the eternal purpose of God made provision for fallen man of salvation through Jesus Christ. There is in the Bible a clear revelation of the destiny of those who receive Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour and the destiny of those who reject God's offer of mercy through Jesus Christ.

   1. DEATH. When God placed man on probation, He announced that the penalty for disobedience to His command would be death. This penalty was both spiritual and physical.

   Man's act of rebellion, which expressed itself in disobedience to God's commandment, resulted in immediate spiritual death, or separation of man from fellowship with his Creator. Spiritual death was followed by physical death.

   By physical death is meant the suspension of the personal union between man's personality and his body and the dissolution of his body into its chemical elements. This was included in the penalty for sin. "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" (Genesis 2:17). In connection with this test God declared, "In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." The literal rendering of "thou shalt surely die" is "dying thou shalt die." This means that Adam's act of disobedience resulted in the implantation of the seed of death which eventuated in physical death. Though Adam lived for a long time after his act of disobedience, eventually God visited upon him physical death. "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" (Genesis 3:19). Adam's sin was penalized by the necessity for increased toil in order to exist, and this toil was to continue until his body, which was taken out

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of the ground, should return to its original elements. "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned : (For until the law sin was in the world : but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come" (Romans 5: 12-14). Paul here declares that sin entered into the world by Adam and that the penalty for his sin was death.

   In order that Christ might be the Saviour of lost men it was necessary not only for Him to keep God's law and impute the merit of His obedience to man, but also for Him to die the death a sinner deserves. "In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness" (Hebrews 9:22). "and as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up" (John 3:14). "Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds" (John 12:24). These texts refer to Christ's death. Life out of death is the law of both the natural and the spiritual worlds. The grain must die in order that there may be fruit. Just how and why death is essential to life we do not know, but it is an immutable law both in nature and in grace.

   2. THE EXISTENCE of the human personality after death. "And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God : Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me" (Job 19:26-27). With the eye of faith Job clearly perceived that even after his body had been dissolved he himself in his body would see God. "Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay. You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand" (Psalm 16:9-11). The Psalmist here was also sure of beholding God's face after death; that when he awoke in righteousness he would have personal satisfaction. "As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness : I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness" (Psalm 17:15). Christ declared concerning the penitent that he would go immediately with Him to paradise. "Jesus answered him, 'Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise'" (Luke 23:43).

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Paul believed that to be absent from the body was to be present with the Lord. "Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord : (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord" (II Corinthians 5:6-8). From these texts it is clear that death does not in any way change the human personality. Though it is then without the body, it has definite personal existence.

   3. THE CONDITION of the human personality immediately after death.

   a. It is apart from the body. "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God : and the dead in Christ shall rise first : Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air : and so shall we ever be with the Lord" (I Thessalonians 4: 16-17). It is here clearly revealed that at the coming of the Lord the personalities which at death went immediately to be with the Lord will be brought back by Him. When the Lord returns with these redeemed personalities, He will call forth their bodies from the graves. These redeemed personalities will then resume their personal union with their resurrected bodies. "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump : for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed" (I Corinthians 15:52). At the coming of the Lord the bodies of living believers will be changed in a moment.

   b. It is in a state of consciousness. The Scriptures prove that the righteous dead are in a definite state of consciousness, even though they are without the body. "For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens ... We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord" (II Corinthians 5:1, 8). "When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?" (Revelation 6:9-10).

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The wicked, who at death go to Hades, are in a state of conscious torment. "In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side" (Luke 16:23). Compare 1 Peter 3:19: "By which also he went and preached to the spirits in prison."

   c. The believer is in a state of blessedness. The state of the believer is far better than this present life in the body. "I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far" (Philippians 1:23). Even though the believer at death has not yet attained to full blessedness, he is in a state of rest. "Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been" (Revelation 6:11). "Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them” (Revelation 14:13).

   d. The wicked are in torment. "In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side" (Luke 16:23). Compare I Peter 3:19: "By which also he went and preached to the spirits in prison." The wicked are in prison, and the implication here is that they are under guard. They are not only conscious but active.

   Note that the Scriptures clearly refute the doctrine of soul-sleeping. It is utterly unscriptural and heartlessly cruel to teach that human personality exists in a state of unconsciousness after death.

   Observe also that there is no Scriptural basis for the doctrine of purgatory. The implication of purgatory is that the sufferings of the wicked after death have a remedial purpose. However, there is not the slightest hint in Scripture that the sufferings of the wicked have a salutary effect. The rich man in the throes of suffering in Hades expressed not the slightest degree of penitence (Luke 16:19-31). He confessed that he was tormented, but said nothing as to his attitude toward his sufferings.

   4. THE RESURRECTION OF THE BODY. There is much superficial thinking today concerning the resurrection. It is highly important that the true meaning of the resurrection be apprehended by the Christian.

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   The word "resurrection" means a rising again — a rising up of that which was buried. It is used in the Scriptures to designate the future raising by the power of God of the bodies of men who have died.

   The resurrection of the body is a supernatural act. There is nothing in the realm of nature analogous to it. It is entirely wrong to attempt to illustrate the resurrection by means of the lily bulb, as is so often done. In the case of the bulb it is but the unfolding of its potential life, whereas the dead body is utterly destitute of life. Potential life is utterly lacking. Resurrection, therefore, means the act of God in raising up that which is dead.

   a. Proof of the resurrection of the body. Belief in the reality of the resurrection of the body rests wholly upon information derived from the Scriptures. To the agelong question, "If a man die shall he live again?", philosophy and all branches of science make absolutely no reply. The questioner is even mocked by the echo of his own voice.

   (1) The fourfold testimony of the Old Testament.

   (a) By direct statement. "I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!" (Job 19:25-27). Job declared that, after the decomposition of his body, his personal identity would be retained and that in his flesh he would see God.

   David had the assurance that his soul would not be left in Hades and that his flesh would rest in hope. "Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay. You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand" (Psalm 16:9-11). The prophet Daniel also speaks of the resurrection. "And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt" (Daniel 12:2).

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   (b) By symbol. "And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again unto you" (Genesis 22:5). Compare Hebrews 11:19: "Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death." Abraham's faith enabled him to see beyond the death of Isaac to his resurrection; believing that the purpose of God, as embodied in His covenant, would not fail, even though he offered up his son on the altar.

   (c) By prediction. The prophets predicted that beyond death there would be an arising and that the earth would cast out the dead. "Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead" (Isaiah 26:19) "I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death : O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction : repentance shall be hid from mine eyes" (Hosea 13:14).

   (d) By demonstration. "Then he stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried out to the Lord, “Lord my God, let this boy’s life return to him!” The Lord heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he revived" (I Kings 17: 21-22). "Then he got on the bed and lay on the boy, mouth to mouth, eyes to eyes, hands to hands. As he stretched himself out on him, the boy’s body grew warm. Elisha turned away and walked back and forth in the room and then got on the bed and stretched out on him once more. The boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes" (II Kings 4: 34-35). Observe that in each case the child was dead, but at the cry of the prophet the soul returned and the child revived. These were concrete demonstrations of the soul of the dead returning to inhabit the body.

   (2) The testimony of the New Testament.

   (a) The fact of the resurrection declared. "For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it" (John 5:21). "For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures ... For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive" (I Corinthians 15: 3-4, 22). Compare Acts 26:8, 23: "Why should any of you consider it incredible that God raises the dead? ... that the Messiah would suffer and, as the first to rise from the dead, would bring the message of light to his own people and to the Gentiles.”

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The fact is here disclosed that the resurrection is one of the cardinal truths of the gospel and that those united to Christ in their lifetime, though now dead, will rise again. Paul here raises the question as to why it should be thought a thing incredible that God should raise the dead. When once the power of God is recognized, the resurrection from the dead is credible.

   (b) The resurrection predicted. Christ definitely stated that the bodies of all believers and unbelievers would be raised from the dead. “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned" (John 5:28-29).

   Regardless of the relationship of the individuals to Jesus Christ, all who have gone to their graves will come forth, but not all will come forth at the same time. This is clearly portrayed in other Scriptures. "And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life : and I will raise him up at the last day" (John 6:39-40). "For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first" (I Thessalonians 4:14-16). "(The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years" Revelation 20:5-6).

   (c) The fulfillment of the prediction concerning the resurrection. "He is not here : for he is risen, as he said. Come see the place where the Lord lay" (Matthew 28:6). In this text is recorded the fact of Christ's resurrection. "And the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people" (Matthew 27:52-53).

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In this passage there is the declaration that many of those who were joined to Jesus Christ in living faith arose with Him when He arose. This historic fulfillment is but a prophecy of the larger fulfillment when Jesus returns to the earth.

   b. The character of the resurrection body. It is important that we have an intelligent idea of the character of the resurrection body.

   (1) It will be a real body. "For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive" (I Corinthians 15:21-22). Since resurrection means "rising up," the resurrection body will be as real as the body which died. The Scriptures never speak of the resurrection as applying to the soul or personality of the man, but the believer at death goes to be with the Lord. There is, therefore, no intimation that man's personality ever enters the grave. The concept of the resurrection being literal and bodily is set forth by the phrase used to designate raised bodies. We read that the Lord will raise us up. This is followed by the statement, "Your bodies are members of Christ." This shows that the resurrection involves only the body. "Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid" (I Corinthians 6:15).

   (2) It will be like Christ's resurrection body. "Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself" (Philippians 3:21). "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be : but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is" (I John 3:2). It is here declared that the vile body of the believer will be fashioned like unto Christ's glorious body. The believer's body is to be like Him for we shall see Him as He is.

   c. The order of the resurrection. As we have seen, all of the dead will be raised, though not at the same time nor to the same destiny. It is an erroneous doctrine that there will be a general resurrection when both the righteous and the wicked will arise from the dead at the same time.

   (1) The resurrection of the just. This is sometimes called the first resurrection. It is the harvest of which Christ's resurrection was the firstfruit.

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"And you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous" (Luke 14:14). "But every man in his own order : Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming" (I Corinthians 15:23). "For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first" (I Thessalonians 4:16). "(The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years" ( Revelation 20:5-6).

   (2) The resurrection of the unjust. This is sometimes called the "resurrection of damnation." "And I have the same hope in God as these men themselves have, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked" (Acts 24:15). "And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever" (Revelation 20:10). "Marvel not at this : for the hour is coming, in which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation" (John 5:28-29). This resurrection of the unjust will take place after the thousand year reign of Jesus Christ. The first and second resurrection, therefore, are separated by at least one thousand years.

   d. The nature of the resurrection body. In death there is the disorganization of the elements which compose the body. In the resurrection there is the reorganization of these elements. In this reorganization it is clearly implied that such bodily functions as were intended only for the present life will be omitted. This truth finds illustration in Christ's words to the Sadducees that in the resurrection men will be equal to angels. "But those who are considered worthy of taking part in the age to come and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God’s children, since they are children of the resurrection" (Luke 20:35-36). It is manifestly implied that the purpose of God in marriage was the propagation of the race. When that purpose has been completed and the race has run its course, sexual distinction will disappear.

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   Four particular features of the resurrection body are set forth by Paul:

   (1) The body will be raised in incorruption. "So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption" (I Corinthians 15:42). This clearly shows that the resurrection body will never again be subject to decay.

   (2) The body will be glorious. "It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory : it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: (I Corinthians 15:43). It will be raised in glory. When the believer's body is resurrected, it will be like Christ's glorious body.

   (3) The body will be powerful. "... it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power" (I Corinthians 15:43b). While the human body dies in weakness, it will be raised in power.

   (4) The body will be spiritual. "It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body" (I Corinthians 15:44). It will be raised a spiritual body. This does not mean that the resurrection body will be composed of spiritual substance. It will be a literal and real body glorified, rendered fit for the indwelling of the redeemed personality.

   5. THE JUDGMENT. The principle of judgment is inwrought in the very constitution of things. Failure to conform to the right standard and violation of law are constantly being made known, and loss and suffering are visited upon transgressors.

   While this is a process which is commonly going on, there is evidence of a final and complete vindication of God's righteous administration. At that time there will be made known to the universe the character of all moral beings and fitting rewards will be distributed.

   a. The fact of judgment.

   (1) It is taught in the Old Testament. "But the Lord shall endure for ever : he hath prepared his throne for judgment. And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness" (Psalm 9:7-8). "Let all creation rejoice before the Lord, for he comes, he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in his faithfulness" (Psalm 96:13). These texts clearly show that there is a fixed time of reckoning and the pronouncement of judgment upon the world.

  (2) It is taught in the New Testament. "For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead” (Acts 17:31).

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"And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment" (Hebrews 9:27). Just as there is an appointed time for man to die, so certain is there a judgment following man's death. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the guarantee of a coming judgment. No fact in all history is better authenticated than Christ's resurrection. Therefore, a judgment to come is certain.

   b. The nature of the judgment. It will be a literal and visible event. "For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment ... The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished" (II Peter 2:4, 9). Peter here declared that certain evil ones are reserved for judgment.

   Paul reasoned with Felix concerning righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come. "And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee" (Acts 24:25). Judgment for the lost will be one of great fear and utter loss. "But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries" (Hebrews 10:27).

   c. The time of the judgment. The judgment takes place after death. "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment" (Hebrews 9:27). "And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of damnation" (John 5:29). Many go through life with little apparent thought as to death. Most of them who think of it at all have real thought concerning the judgment. It is the accounting to God which gives them real concern.

   d. The Judge. Judgment has been committed to Jesus Christ with authority for its execution. "For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son ... And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man" (John 5:22, 27). The very One who gave Himself to save sinners from judgment and the One who in grace pleads with the sinner to come to Him will eventually be his Judge.

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   e. The judgments enumerated. The notion of a general judgment, so widely prevalent in Christian thought, is entirely erroneous. The idea suggested by the term is that at the end of the world a mighty event will take place in which all human beings, saints and sinners, Jews and Gentiles, the living and the dead, will be made to appear before the Great White Throne to be judged. Both the idea and the terms by which it is expressed are foreign to the Scriptures.

   A number of judgments are mentioned in the Scriptures. Some are undefined, but the following are not only defined, but are clearly differentiated in respect to subjects, time, place, and result.

   (1) Judgment of the believer's sin. "He that believeth on him is not condemned : but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God" (John 3:18).

   (a) Time of. About 1900 years ago Christ came to bear the penalty of the sin of a broken law. He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. "For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit" (I Peter 3:18). "Otherwise Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself" (Hebrews 9:26). This judgment can never be repeated. The penalty meted out fully measured up to the demand of a holy God.

   (b) Place of. The judgment of the believer's sins took place on Calvary. "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us : for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree" (Galatians 3:13).

   (c) Result of. This judgment resulted in death for Christ and life for the believer. "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God" (II Corinthians 5:21). The judgment of the believer's sins is past. The one who hears Christ's words and believes in God who sent Him has eternal life and will not come into judgment. "Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life" (John 5:24). Many Christians are kept from enjoying the peace of God because they suppose that the believer is yet to be judged for his sins. There is

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for the believer absolutely no condemnation. "There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1).

   (2) Judgment of the believer's life. Although the believer is free from condemnation for his sins, he is responsible for his walk. This involves self-judgment. "But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup" (I Corinthians 11:28). "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (I John 1:9). This self-judgment sometimes involves chastisement. "For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged" (I Corinthians 11:30-32).

   (a) Time of. This judgment is carried on during the lifetime of the believer. It is a process which should continue daily. "Let us not therefore judge one another any more : but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling-block or an occasion to fall in his brother's way" (Romans 14:13).

   (b) Place of. This judgment takes place anywhere and everywhere. Since this is an individual responsibility, every moment of one's life should be lived and every act performed in the light of this judgment.

   (c) Result of. This judgment results in fellowship with God. "For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers : but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil" (I Peter 3:12). "Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god" (Psalm 24:3-4). When sins are confessed and judged, the believer enjoys full forgiveness and entire cleansing. Because of this, every day should close with the enjoyment of absolute peace of mind and heart.

   (3) Judgment of the believer's works. "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad" ( II Corinthians 5:10). Here we have the declaration that all believers must appear before Christ for judgment of the things done in the body. This judgment has nothing whatever to do with salvation, for salvation is God's free gift.

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"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves : it is the gift of God : Not of works, lest any man should boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9). "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:23). Salvation is entirely by grace, and it becomes a reality to us by faith, and even this faith which appropriates the salvation is of grace. On the other hand, however, rewards are earned by works. So definitely does God take account of the believer's works that He metes out rewards for even the most insignificant service. "And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward" (Matthew 10:42).

   (a) Time of. This judgment will take place at the coming of Jesus Christ. "And behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be" (Revelation 22:12).

   (b) Place of. This judgment will take place before the judgment seat of Christ. "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad" (II Corinthians 5:10). It is useless to attempt to localize the place of this judgment, but since there is to be a real coming of Christ and real rewards given, the place must also be real.

   (c) Result of. The result of this judgment will be reward or loss according to the believer's works. "For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames" (I Corinthians 3:11-15). It is not a question of heaven or hell, because for the believer that was settled at Calvary, but it is a question of receiving reward for works done or loss for failure to measure up to personal responsibility.

   (4) Judgment of the living nations. "When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory : And before him shall be gathered all nations : and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats" (Matthew 25:31-32). The word "nations" here refers to those nations living on the earth at the time of this judgment.

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   (a) Time of. This judgment will take place at the end of the present age or at the beginning of Christ's millennial reign.

   (b) Place of. This judgment will take place in the Valley of Jehoshaphat at the foot of the Mount of Olives. "In those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will put them on trial for what they did to my inheritance, my people Israel, because they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land.... Let the nations be roused; let them advance into the Valley of Jehoshaphat, for there I will sit to judge all the nations on every side. Swing the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, trample the grapes, for the winepress is full and the vats overflow—so great is their wickedness!” Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision" (Joel 3:1-2;12-14). "A day of the Lord is coming, Jerusalem, when your possessions will be plundered and divided up within your very walls... On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half of it east to the Dead Sea and half of it west to the Mediterranean Sea, in summer and in winter" (Zechariah 14:1,8).

   (c) Result of. This judgment will result in the separation of the sheep from the goats on the basis of treatment accorded Christ's brethren. “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ ... He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me’" (Matthew 25:40, 45). The brethren of Christ here doubtless are Jews who have gone out preaching the gospel of the kingdom. "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come" (Matthew 24:14). Immediately preceding the end, or the consummation, the sheep will be given a place at the right hand of the Judge and will inherit the kingdom which has been prepared for them.

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   The goats are those who have not received Christ's brethren. They will be separated from the sheep and sent to the place of torment.

   (5) Judgment of the wicked dead of all ages. It will be recalled from previous study that at the first resurrection the bodies of believers in Christ are to be resurrected, but this resurrection is confined to the dead in Christ. The wicked dead, therefore, will be left in their graves until this judgment, at which time the bodies of the wicked dead of all ages will be called forth.

   (a) Time of. This judgment will occur after the thousand years' reign of Jesus Christ on the earth. "But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection" (Revelation 20:5).

   (b) Place of. This judgment will take place before the Great White Throne. "Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done" (Revelation 20:11-13). It is useless to attempt to localize this throne. It is sufficient that at that time the wicked dead will appear for judgment.

   (c) Result of. The outcome of this judgment will be the lake of fire. "Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire" (Revelation 20:14-15). It is to be noted that being cast into the lake of fire is said to be the second death. It does not say that the lake of fire produces the second death, but that it is the second death. We should note further that here the curtain falls upon the drama of human life. It remains, therefore, for us to consider the final state of human beings.

   6. THE FINAL STATE OF MAN.

   a. The righteous.

   (1) Characteristics of the final state of the righteous.

   (a) He will enjoy eternal life. "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment : but the righteous into life eternal (Matthew 25:46).

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It is to be noted that eternal life is not an entity, but a relationship. "Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent" (John 17:3). When a finite being comes into organic relation with the One who is the Source of all life, he then enjoys eternal life.

   (b) He will be in a state of glory. "For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all" (II Corinthians 4:17). The one whose body has been glorified is then fitted for the habitation in the eternal glory.

   (c) He will be in a state of rest. "There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God" (Hebrews 4:9). "Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them” (Revelation 14:13). The rest here mentioned should not be thought of as freedom from activity, but cessation from human burdens and trials.

   (d) He will enjoy fullness of knowledge. "Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears ... For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known" (I Corinthians 13:8-10, 12). In this life we have partial knowledge, but in the future glory there will be fullness of knowledge.

   (e) He will be in a state of holiness. "Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life" (Revelation 21:27). "But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation" (Colossians 1:22). The place to which the righteous go will never be invaded by unholy beings.

   (f) He will enjoy a life of service. "No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him" (Revelation 22:3).

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"Therefore, they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence (Revelation 7:15). In heaven the redeemed shall engage in the service of the Lamb. That service is not described, but we can be assured that it will be an interesting and purposeful service.

   (g) He will engage in worship. "After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting: “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God" (Revelation 19:1). The object of this worship will be the triune God. Human beings bearing the likeness and image of God find their highest joy in the worship of the true God.

   (h) He will have blessed fellowship. "To the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect" (Hebrew 12:23). When the redeemed of the Lord get home, the assembly of the firstborn will be realized.

   (i) He will have communion with God. "And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God" (Revelation 21:3). The blessedness of the righteous will be realized in the fullness and perfection of life and in communion with God and with other redeemed persons. It is entirely proper to think that the redeemed will be enjoying degrees of blessedness, depending upon their fidelity during the time of probation upon the earth and also upon their developed capacities. "If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames" (I Corinthians 3:14-15).

   (2) The duration of the final state. It will be unchanging in character and endless in duration. "The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will they leave it. I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on them my new name" (Revelation 3:12). Compare Matthew 25:46: "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal."

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   b. The wicked.

   (1) Characteristics of the final state of the wicked.

   (a) Eternal fire. "Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels" (Matthew 25:41). "And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire" (Revelation 20:14-15). It is to be noted that the wicked go to a place not only of burning, but endless burning.

   (b) Outer darkness. "But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Matthew 8:12). In this outer darkness there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. This doubtless results from consciousness of neglected opportunities.

   (c) Condition of torment. "They, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. They will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name" (Revelation 14:10-11). In this awful state there will be no rest day or night.

   (d) Eternal punishment. "Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life" (Matthew 25:46). They will not only suffer loss, but positive torment without end.

   (e) The wrath of God. "But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed" (Romans 2:5). The wicked will perceive their awful condition as the manifestation of the wrath of God.

   (f) The second death. "But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death" (Revelation 21:8). The lake of fire is not said to produce the second death, but the unending burning in the lake of fire is the second death.

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   (g) Eternal destruction from the face of the Lord. "Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power" (II Thessalonians 1:9). Destruction does not mean annihilation, but a condition which renders the beings unfit for the very purpose of their creation.

   (h) Eternal damnation. "But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin" (Mark 3:29). This, when summed up, means that the wicked will suffer the loss of all good and will be forever separated from God and from holy beings. In addition to this there will be the reaction of an evil conscience under the positive influence of punishment.

   (2) The duration of the final state of the wicked. "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment but the righteous into life eternal" (Matthew 25:46). The unbeliever will be forever separated from God and will suffer the penalty for sin. The loss of all good is too awful to contemplate as coming to rational and moral beings, but when we face the clear teachings of the Scriptures that in addition to this loss there will be unending positive sufferings, we are overwhelmed.

   (3) Erroneous views. It is proper to note two erroneous view which are held with reference to the state of the wicked.

   (a) Annihilation. This view admits the fact of judgment, but holds that the punishment administered in judgment will result in the one judged being wiped out of existence. Annihilation has no Scriptural warrant and is utterly contradictory to all scientific knowledge. In the realm of matter there is no such thing known as the annihilation of the smallest unit thereof. If this is unknown in the natural world, how much less is it to be thought of as pertaining to human personality.

   (b) Final restoration. This view also admits the fact of punishment, but holds that the punishment is remedial, and when the full price has been paid for sin, the sinner will be restored to divine fellowship. Final restoration has no Scriptural foundation and is contrary to all right thinking concerning the problem. If punishment could have cured sin, the sinless Son of God would never have suffered death. All sinners would, therefore, have to make atonement for their own sins.

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   A brief explanation of the terms — both in the original, and as translated — used to describe the place of the dead, is considered in order here.

   Gehenna. This name first referred to the Valley of Hinnom, south of Jerusalem, where sacrifices were offered to Molech, and the filth of the city was continually burning. Later the name was used in reference to the place of punishment of the wicked. Besides the eleven times used by Jesus as the place of the undying worm and ever burning fire, it is used once by James.

   Sheol. This Hebrew word is used in the Old Testament, and translated as 'pit,' 'grave,' and 'hell.' It means the abode of the dead, where life and all its activity has ceased; also where the wicked dead are consigned, a place of sorrow and consciousness.

   Hades. The Greek translation of the Hebrew Sheol always uses this word, meaning the unseen world, a place of detention of human spirits between death and the resurrection. The Authorized Version also translates this as 'hell.'

   Before Christ ascended it appears that this place had two compartments, one holding the wicked in conscious torment; the other called 'Abraham's bosom,' and 'paradise,' where the saved went. These divisions had a 'great gulf fixed' between them (Luke 16:22-23, 26; 23:43).

   When Christ ascended, after He had 'preached to the spirits in prison,' He 'led captivity captive,' so that now paradise is in heaven (I Peter 3:19, Ephesians 4:8-10, II Corinthians 12:1-4). So now the spirits of the saved go at once to be with the Lord.'

   Finally, Hades will deliver up its inhabitants, the wicked dead, for judgment before the Great White Throne, and to be cast into the Lake of Fire.


Part Four

DEONTOLOGY

Deontology is the science of moral obligation, or the ethics of duty. It is from the Greek word "deontos," meaning "it is necessary." What is obligation? In answer, we say it is that duty which one is required to do or refrain from doing.

Chapter I

Fundamental Postulates of Christian Ethics

IN the realm of morals certain words as "ought," "obligation," and "duty" are used. What is something one owes? It indicates indebtedness to someone. Obligation is something a person is bound to do or forbear doing. It may be duty imposed by law or resting upon one because of promise made. Duty is that which a person is bound by moral obligation to do. It will be readily seen that these words are essentially identical in meaning. It becomes necessary therefore, to ascertain a standard or norm of conduct or behavior.

   A clear knowledge of duty is absolutely necessary. Many persons play tricks on themselves in the name of duty. They take on as duties certain things to escape their real obligations. Their energies and time are taken up with secondary things to the neglect of primary things. Some persons allow obligations to be imposed upon them. In such cases they struggle with burdens which do not belong to them.

   In either case, whether self-imposed or imposed from without, the individual lacking a clearly defined sense of duty will be uneasy in conscience and will likely become exhausted in hopeless endeavor. It is the obligation of everyone to refuse to carry burdens which lie outside of their personal responsibility. The entrance of sin into the human race has so blighted the social order that at times the Christian must share the burdens of others. "Bear one another's burdens and thus fulfill the law of Christ" (Galatians 6:2). However, the Christian must insist also that every man shall bear his own burden. "For every man shall bear his own burden" (Galatians 6:5).

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   What, then is the norm or standard of conduct? Is it something constitutional, or is it imposed from without? The correct answer is that obligation is that which grows out of personal relations. A normal personal being without a sense of duty or obligation is inconceivable. Duty grows out of the relation of the personal, moral being with the personal God, and also his relation to his fellow personal beings bearing the likeness and image of God. That which is right, therefore, is that which is in harmony with the nature and will of God.

   The human conscience is the law of life for the individual. However, conscience is not a faculty of the soul, but the reaction of the human personality to the impact of God's personality. It is this reaction which enables and causes the moral being to say, "I ought." Obligation and duty are but the functioning of the conscience which is indeed the voice of the God-likeness in the human personality. It is the conscience which shows to man the right and the wrong and furnishes the impulse to do the right and refrain from doing the wrong. Conscience, according to the etymology of the word, "con" meaning "together with" and "scire" meaning "to know," is joint knowledge. A man's conscience, therefore, is his joint acquaintance with himself and God, and also with his fellow humans. See Acts 23:1: "... good conscience before God ...," Acts 24:16: "... a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men." Paul's usage of "conscience" exactly agrees with its etymological significance. To this Peter agrees. "For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully" (I Peter 2:19). "Having a good conscience ..." (I Peter 3:16).

   This view is the logical deduction from the following fundamental postulates of Christian ethics or moral obligation:

I. The Theological Postulate, or Man's Conception of God

   Man's sense of duty will be strong in the measure that he has the right conception of God. He must conceive of God:

   1. AS THE BEING WHO IS ALONE GOOD. “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone" (Mark 10:18). God is alone good, because He is the perfect personality. As a perfect personality, He has perfect knowledge and possesses infinite power. God is the ultimate source of all good. He wills the good, because in His essential nature He is good. God is unchangeable, therefore, His goodness is unalterable. Since He is a personal Being and in Himself essentially good, He is the grand prototype of all moral beings.

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When a moral being thinks or does that which is out of harmony with the nature and will of God, he becomes disturbed in his conscience. A disturbed conscience is the unmistakable evidence of a soul out of harmony with God.

   2. HE MUST CONCEIVE OF GOD AS PERFECT LOVE. "He that loveth not, knoweth not God; for God is love" (I John 4:8). That God is love can only be known as He communicates His nature unto us. God is the union of perfect goodness, absolute wisdom, almighty power, and infinite love.

   3. GOD IS ETERNAL. "Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God" (Psalm 90:1-2). "Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there he called on the name of the Lord, the Eternal God" (Genesis 21:33). Since love is God's eternal essence, there must have been an adequate object for this love. The doctrine of the Trinity makes clear and real the fact of His love. Before creation there was the eternal love-life of the Father and the Son in the Spirit.

II. The Anthropological Postulate, or the Right Conception of Man

   This postulate involves:

   1. MAN'S HAVING BEEN CREATED in the likeness and image of God. "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them" (Genesis 1:27). "And to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness" (Ephesians 4:24). "And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him" (Colossians 3:10). Man, being a person, has capacity to know God and to enjoy fellowship with Him. Through man's fall this likeness and image was defaced, but not destroyed. Because of this likeness and image all men have a sense of right and consciousness of obligation. Regenerated men have a stronger sense of duty than the unregenerated. As the life becomes sanctified the moral sense grows stronger.

   2. MAN HAS A FREE WILL. His will is not absolutely free as God's will is free. He does, however, have the ability to act in accordance with his sense of right. He knows that he is held responsible for his deeds. Man acts from internal incentive and external motive. He primarily wills in keeping with the quality of his nature.

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III. The Cosmological and Soteriological Postulates

   God is immanent and transcendent. The omnipresent God is immanent in the universe. Every particle of the universe is under his direct influence. The divine energy is brought to bear on every particle of matter not only preserving it, but causing it to function according to the divine purpose. As God is the infinite personality, He is transcendently above all creation so that not one thing which He has purposed can fail of realization. He has a plan and purpose and superintends all things to the accomplishment of His aim. Because of His active presence and benevolent purpose we unite the cosmological and soteriological ideas. Both are included in the concept of the universe and induce the moral being to discharge his obligations. This fits into the complex problem of duty. God being a benevolent person clothed with almighty power frees the human mind from all notions of fatalism.

IV. The Eschatological Postulate

   This view declares that creation was with certain definite ends in view. Everything in the universe has its orderly succession. God's eternal plan and the purpose shall eventuate in a universal kingdom. In order that moral obligations shall be intelligently sustained, there must be conviction that moral purpose shall be triumphant. Faith is not blind credulity, but undying conviction that God is a benevolent Being whose purposes cannot fail. The moral being must believe that his inner convictions and impulses have been induced and directed by the moral, personal, and almighty God who shall perfect that which He has purposed.

   Deduced from the foregoing postulate we set down the following principles which actively operate in the higher ethical realm :

   1. THE HIGHEST GOOD IS FOUND in the nature and will of God. God wills that which is in harmony with his essential and eternal nature. As before stated, God is alone good (Mark 10:18). Where God's will is done there is absolute perfection and freedom. The only way the moral being can attain unto the highest good is by personal life communion with God. Not pleasure or happiness in this life, but to be rich toward God should be the dominant aim in every Christian's life.

   2. JESUS CHRIST IS MAN'S SUPREME EXEMPLAR. He is the ideal personality for our imitation. Jesus Christ was a real man whose life was conditioned by the will of God. Only those who truly recognize Christ as such can have any proper ideal.

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Christ had a free will. He possessed perfect poise, because He was a perfect person. He was strong and loving, and His perfect love issued in full obedience. Such a life can only be lived by those who have been born again, those who have been partakers of the divine nature, those in whom Christ lives and rules.

   3. ALL AUTHORITY IS OF GOD. Authority is not primarily a physical force. It is first of all moral. In reality it is a union of the ethical and physical. Authority must commend itself to the moral sense of the governed. God's authority is based upon His goodness and holiness. Since He is almighty, His holiness and goodness shall be eventually recognized by all moral beings. Obedience to law rests upon the "ought" of the moral being.

   4. ALL HUMANS HAVE A SENSE OF RIGHT AND WRONG. Wherever man is found there is evidence of a conscience. Although sin has dimmed and dulled this sense, it is universally recognized as binding. Conscience is susceptible to enlightenment and culture. Despite its limitations, it is obligatory upon everyone to live up to his conscience as the right is perceived. The human will is responsible for bringing the entire being into conformity with a sense of right.

   5. LOVE OF GOD IS MAN'S SUPREME and all-embracing duty. Whole-hearted love to God includes love to man who bears the likeness and image of God. Supreme love to God and whole-hearted obedience to His will is required of all moral beings.

   God's standard of righteousness is the law — the Ten Commandments. This standard embraces two parts : Man's relation to God, including commandments one to four, and man's relation to man, including commandments five to ten.

   The whole of moral obligation is embraced in love to God and to one's neighbor. “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22: 36-40).

   By virtue of man's constitution he has a conscience which gives him a knowledge of right and wrong. He has the law written in his heart. "They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them." (Romans 2:15).

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   Sin had so blighted man's being that it became necessary for God to give a code of morals. The law was added because of transgression. "Why, then, was the law given at all? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was given through angels and entrusted to a mediator" (Galatians 3:19).

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Chapter II

The Nature of God's Law

I. The Circumstances of the Giving of the Law

IT was during the journey of the children of Israel through the wilderness, while encamped before Mt. Sinai, that these commandments were given. Sinai is an historic mountain. Before it Moses had kept the flocks of his father-in-law. Elijah found refuge there from the wrath of Jezebel. Perhaps Paul after the revelation of the Lord to him spent three years there in preparation for his matchless ministry. It was while the Israelites were encamped before this mount that God promulgated this great law. Moses, as mediator between God and the people, went into the mount and received the following message to tell to the people: " ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites” (Exodus 19:4-6). To this the people replied. "All that the Lord hath spoken we will do" (Exodus 19:8). God then commanded that the people should undergo ceremonial purification for two days and ordered that the holy mount should be barricaded lest anyone should touch it and perish. This manifestation of God's majesty was a fitting preparation for the delivery of the law. The Psalmist got the meaning of this when he sang, "When you, God, went out before your people, when you marched through the wilderness, the earth shook, the heavens poured down rain, before God, the One of Sinai, before God, the God of Israel" (Psalm 68:7-8).

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II. The Law was given for the Government of a People whose Distinctive Glory was that of a Theocratic People, the Peculiar Treasure of God

   The tablets of stone, upon which these commandments were written by the finger of God, were deposited in that most sacred shrine, the Ark of the Covenant, where they remained through the thirty-eight years' wilderness wandering and then were transported across the Jordan, conveyed around the walls of Jericho, housed at Shiloh, captured and restored by the Philistines, installed in the house of Abinadab and the house of David. They were finally placed in Solomon's temple where they remained until Jerusalem was captured and the temple plundered by Nebuchadnezzar and its sacred furniture carried to Babylon.

   The Ten Commandments furnished us with the greatest code of morals that the world has ever known. Despite the perfection of this code, the world and the church are in a state of moral degeneracy. This deplorable condition has been brought about largely through the failure of religious teachers to apprehend and apply the teachings of the Decalogue. Because of the deadening effects of the spirit of this age, the consciences of most men are dead, or at any rate, act very sluggishly.

   When it comes to the interpretation and application of these ten words or commandments, we encounter two classes of errorists. One we designate the legalist, who believes and teaches salvation is to be obtained through law-keeping, and the other the antinomian, who disavows all obligation to law. Indeed in this modern age there is a third class which does as much mischief as either of the others, namely that which teaches that through the grace of Jesus Christ the law has been toned and has thus lost its severity. This we may designate Galatianism — an admixture of law and grace. The eternal principles embodied in the law have not been abrogated. On the contrary, they have been reiterated and intensified. “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.... You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Matthew 5: 21-22, 27-28).

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The principles of every one of the commandments have been restated in the New Testament :

The first commandment — Exodus 20: 2-3. Compare Matthew 22:37-38.

The second commandment — Exodus 20: 4-6. Compare John 4;24.

The third commandment — Exodus 20:7. Compare Matthew 5:33-37.

The fourth commandment — Exodus 20:8-11. Compare Mark 2:27-28.

The fifth commandment — Exodus 20:12. Compare Matthew 15: 3-6.

The sixth commandment — Exodus 20:13. Compare Matthew 5: 21-22.

The seventh commandment — Exodus 20:14. Compare Matthew 5: 27-28.

The eighth commandment — Exodus 20:15. Compare Mark 10:19.

The ninth commandment — Exodus 20:16. Compare Matthew 12: 35-37.

The tenth commandment — Exodus 20:17. Compare Luke 12:15.

III. The Purpose of the Law

   The law in no sense is a means of salvation. It was not given to save sinners, "Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin" (Romans 3:19-20), nor to rule the saints. Wherefore serveth the law? The answer is found as follows:

   1. IT SHOWS THE ONENESS and the sovereignty of God. "I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage" (Exodus 20:2). While the Ten Commandments is the greatest moral code, the supreme purpose of these commandments was to cause the people to give the proper recognition to God as the Almighty. This recognition was for the good of the people, so that they might order their lives by these rules which issue in their highest good.

   2. IT WAS TO PLACE A RESTRAINT upon the sinner. The giving of the law was accompanied with mighty thunders and lightnings. "On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, with a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast. Everyone in the camp trembled ... As the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and the voice of God answered him" (Exodus 19: 16, 19).

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Compare Psalm 68:7-8: "When you, God, went out before your people, when you marched through the wilderness, the earth shook, the heavens poured down rain, before God, the One of Sinai, before God, the God of Israel." The vision of God's majesty is a mighty deterrent to sin.

   3. TO SHOW THE SINNER THE REALITY and greatness of his sins. "Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin" (Romans 3:19-20). James describes the law as a mirror. It serves the purpose of revealing unto men their moral condition, just as a mirror discloses the condition of one's physical face. The one who would know, therefore, his real moral condition values highly the law of God and uses it intelligently.

   4. IT LEADS THE SINNER TO CHRIST THE SAVIOUR. "So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith" (Galatians 3:24). The force of this text can be seen by calling to mind the ancient schoolmaster and his duties. He was called a pedagogue. A pedagogue was a person whose business it was to lead the children to school where they were placed under the tuition of the teacher who was to care for their morals and administer discipline. While the law reveals sin, it cannot save the sinner any more than a mirror can remove dirt from one's face. The mirror reveals the filth and moves one to realize the means for its removal. The blood of Christ alone can save and cleanse from sin. So the one who realizes his lost condition in the light of the holy law of God comes to the Saviour for salvation and cleansing.

   The nature of law is little understood. The limitation which law imposes upon one's life is the expression of love. Pierce through the law and you will find the very essence of love. The laws of the home are the highest expression of parental love. Righteousness is more

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than refraining from doing evil. It is practicing the good. Furthermore, God's law is more than a command. It is a dynamic. Loving the Lord with one's entire being is putting one's life into contact with the energy necessary to live and do. It is entirely proper to refrain from doing certain things, but mere abstinence from evil actions will never get one anywhere. Doing right is what counts. Obedience to law puts one into the midstream of God's purpose.

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Chapter III

The First Commandment

"I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me" (Exodus 20:2-3).

BEFORE there can be real worship and intelligent service, man must know : who God is, what He has done, and what He requires of man.

I. Who God Is

   This knowledge of who God is, is furnished by God Himself. He declares, "I am the Lord thy God." This literally means "I am Jehovah Elohim." Elohim signifies might and power. It was Elohim, the mighty and powerful One, who created the heavens and the earth, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth" (Genesis 1:1); animal life, "And God created great whales, and every living creature that moves, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind : and God saw that it was good" (Genesis 1:21); and human life, "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them" (Genesis 1:27). Before there can be worship, there must be a knowledge of the being to be worshipped. As we have seen, God reveals Himself to man through man's conscience and through creation. "Since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse" (Romans 1:19-20). Two phrases in verse 19, "in them" and "unto them," make clear God's method of self revelation. He makes Himself known through conscience and creation with sufficient clearness to condemn, so that they are "without excuse." Wherever man is found, there is the consciousness of a being over all, looking down in both love and wrath upon the members of a sinning race. He further reveals Himself as Jehovah after

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man appears in the Genesis record. The name "Jehovah" is joined to "Elohim." "These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens" (Genesis 2:4). The name "Jehovah" is derived from the Hebrew verb "to be." Three things stand out in God's revelation of Himself as Jehovah, "God said to Moses, 'I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: I am has sent me to you' " (Exodus 3:14). "God also said to Moses, I am the Lord. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name the Lord I did not make myself fully known to them" (Exodus 6:2-3).

   1. HIS ALL-SUFFICIENCY, "I AM THAT I AM." In making known this truth He defined Himself in terms of His own nature. Because of the absoluteness of His being, He could not go outside of Himself to define Himself. All that God is and does centers in Himself.

   2. HIS SOVEREIGNTY, "I AM THAT I AM." There is no being above Him. Every being in the universe is outside of and under Him. The apprehension of this truth induces worshipful submission.

   3. HIS UNCHANGEABLENESS. "I AM THAT I AM" may be expanded into "I am what I always was"; "I will be what I am and always was." This truth was declared concerning Jesus Christ. "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever" (Hebrews 13:8). We should come to know Him as the same sympathizing Father and Friend in joy and sorrow, in prosperity and adversity. Jehovah is the covenant name. The Jehovah of the Old Testament is the Jesus Christ of the New Testament.

II. What God Did

   "Brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage." They were reminded of their delivery from bondage. Redemption is the ground of God's demand for undivided loyalty. God does not ask us to worship Him in order to get something, but He asks us to do something in recognition of what He has done for us. God being the perfect personality, the very functioning of His being caused Him to rescue the perishing and liberate those in bondage to sin and Satan. God is constantly revealing Himself as the Almighty Creator and gracious Redeemer.

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His goodness ought to induce all moral beings to worship and serve Him.

III. What God Requires

   "Thou shalt have no other gods before me" (Exodus 20:3). "Before me" literally means "before my face." God will not tolerate any rival. He demands whole-hearted love. If God is what He declared Himself to be, and has done what He declared He has done, then what He demands is most reasonable. It is not most reasonable merely from the standpoint of moral obligation, but since God is alone good, the highest good of the creature can only be realized in utter devotion to His worship and service. The human life in harmony and fellowship with God is required for the fullest success and blessedness in life. Observe:

   1. IT CALLS FOR THE RECOGNITION of a supreme person. The command is negative in form, but it demands recognition of the supreme and absolute Person in the universe. The Creator of the universe is making known His requirements of the creature. The creature is to :

   a. Love Him supremely. "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength" (Deuteronomy 6:5). Undivided affection for God is the obligation of every human being. This demand is not because God needs anything of the creature, but because the welfare of the individual can only be realized through this means. This command is in no sense arbitrary and severe, but benevolent in the highest degree. It is the wise and loving Father giving wise counsel to His children to prevent them from going astray.

   Divided affection is unacceptable to God. Since God knows everything, even the secret thoughts, it is utter folly to give unto Him anything but whole-hearted worship and service.

  b. Worship Him wholeheartedly. Worship means to reverence and adore. Worship can only be given to a supreme and holy being. The worshipper becomes like the being worshipped. Real worship of God issues in righteousness and holiness of character. The more earnest the worship of God, the lovelier and purer the life of the worshipper.

   c. Have unwavering faith in Him. Faith is the complex act of the human personality, involving at once the intellect in apprehending God as the supreme Being, the emotions in recognizing Him as the fitting object of the affections,

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and the will in reposing absolute confidence in God as able and willing to do for the worshipper all that is required. God wants to be trusted. Trusting Him issues in the fullest blessedness to the worshipper. God demands confidence and trust, because only in this way will the individual attain unto perfection in character and proficiency in service.

   2. THE PERSONAL CHOICE OF GOD. "...We know that “An idol is nothing at all in the world” and that “There is no God but one.” For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”), yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live" (I Corinthians 8:4b-6). Many false gods are bidding for man's worship. It is incumbent, therefore, upon every man to choose the true God. Divided worship and service are impossible. "No man can serve two masters : for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money" (Matthew 6:24). The sin of many today is not in rejecting the true God but in attempting to divide honors between Him and false gods. The reasons for the demand of this choice are :

   a. The unity of God. This unity is both scientific and Scriptural. The fact of one God is entirely in harmony with the facts of science. For example, the astronomer can calculate hundreds of years in the future as to the movements of the planets, because they are under control of the one supreme Being. Science knows that there are no conflicting systems in the universe. The Scriptures declare, "The Lord our God is one Lord" (Deuteronomy 6:4).

   b. The demoralizing effect of trying to serve gods who are in conflict with each other. Heathen mythology pictures gods in conflict with each other, trying to destroy each other.

IV. How This Commandment May Be Broken

   As we have seen, the first commandment imposes the obligation of supreme devotion to God. Therefore, anything in which one's interest centers and around which his activities revolve may be thought of as his god. To worship any thing or being other than the living God is idolatry.

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   1. BY LIVING FOR ONE'S SELF. To make self the center of one's thought and activity is to worship one's self. In fact, the activities of one's life constitute his worship.

   2. BY MAKING PLEASURE THE GOAL of one's life. Those who are spending their time, energy, and money for sensuous enjoyment are violating this commandment. Untold millions are offering sacrifices to the goddess of pleasure. For such to be without the sensuous thrill is to be most miserable.

   3. BY LIVING TO EAT. Paul speaks of certain men whose god was their belly. "Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things" (Philippians 3:19). Those who are under the sway of sensuous appetite are breaking this commandment.

   4. BY BEING UNDER THE SWAY OF CARNAL LUST. In ancient times Baal worship was connected with the rankest licentiousness. One awful sin of our generation is the practice of impurity. The fact of its great increase is inescapable. The number of men and women offering themselves on this altar is unbelievable.

   5. THE WORSHIP OF MAMMON. Mammon means greed for gain. Christ recognized the passion for riches as worship. "No man can serve two masters : for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money" (Matthew 6:24). Paul called covetousness "idolatry." "Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry" (Colossians 3;5). Men who give their thought and energies to the accumulation of earthly riches are worshipping mammon. The thunders of Sinai should deter men from worshipping the false God of gold.

   6. BY WORSHIPPING THE VIRGIN MARY. Many today are praying to and worshipping Mary. Their thoughts and affections center upon her rather than upon God.

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Chapter IV

The Second Commandment

"Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments." (Exodus 20:4-6).

THERE is some contention as to what is the dividing line between the first and second commandments. The Roman Catholics and Lutherans consider the prohibition against false gods and images of the true God as constituting the first commandment, and divide the tenth commandment into two parts, thereby retaining the ten. This view was held by Augustine.

   The division as we have it is the oldest one, the one held by all Protestant bodies, and is evidently the correct one. The first commandment enjoins the obligation of worshipping God alone. The second commandment affirms the spirituality of God and prohibits the use of material objects in worshipping Him.

I. The Spirituality of God

   God is a spirit. "God is a Spirit : and they who worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth" (John 4:24). Spirit is invisible and incorporeal. "Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself : handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as you see I have" (Luke 24:39). The human spirit can discern God and have direct fellowship with Him. The most real and abiding entities are those that are unseen. The spiritual were before the temporal.

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"While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen : for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal" (II Corinthians 4:18). Without a true concept of God as a spiritual being there cannot be true fellowship.

II. The Use of Images or Representation of God in Worship Prohibited

   The second commandment was not a prohibition against works of art and sculpture. By the sanction of God the cherubim were over the mercy seat, and some articles of the tabernacle, furniture, and even the walls of the temple were adorned with embroidered figures. However, the use of these images as an aid to the worship of God was condemned. Neither is this commandment a prohibition of the taking of photographs. Some well-meaning Christians have interpreted this to forbid the use of art and sculpture and the taking of photographs. Positively, it does prohibit the making of pictures and images as aids to worship. The prohibition is, "Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them." The reasons for this commandment are:

   1. THERE ARE NO PICTURES OF GOD in existence. The best likeness man can make falls far short of the perfection of God, and, therefore, will be a caricature of God, and such caricatures will be insults to Him.

   2. THEY ARE DISASTROUS TO THE WORSHIPPER. The worshipper is like the God he worships. Since the best likenesses of God and Christ are distorted conceptions, the result to the worshipper, of the use of such likenesses and images, will be demoralizing to the worshipper. Only when the spiritual sense is dead or very dull do men resort to these images. The regenerated soul is capable of directly apprehending God.

III. How This Commandment May Be Violated

   1. BY THE USE OF IMAGES, crosses, and any similar material aids in worship.

   2. BY EXALTING CHURCH ORDINANCES to an undue place. Vital and important as baptism and the elements of the communion service are, to make them anything more than emblems and symbols is to violate the vital meaning thereof.

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IV. A Solemn Warning and a Gracious Promise

   1. A SOLEMN WARNING. "I the Lord thy God am a jealous God." The word "jealous" is from the same root at "zealous." It means that God will not tolerate any person or thing as a rival. Because of His jealousy He visits the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generations. It is not to be understood that this is an arbitrary act of God, punishing the children for the sins of the fathers. It means, rather, that it is the declaration of the workings of divine law. A wrong conception of God for example, will be transmitted from generation to generation, thereby doing great harm to the generations to come. The most awful wrong that a father can do to his child is to pass on to him a wrong conception of God.

   2. THE GRACIOUS PROMISE. "Showing mercy to thousands." The implication here is that God's mercy will be extended to thousands of generations. This indicates that God's mercy overtowers His wrath. Where sin abounds, grace does much more abound. It should be man's constant thought and objective to stamp upon the deathless spirits of generations to come the right conception of God. We ought to rejoice that, through the death of Christ, priesthood and ritual have been swept away, giving the individual uninterrupted communion and fellowship with God. Those who have been renewed in knowledge after the likeness of Him who created them can worship God in spirit and in truth, for such He seeks to worship Him.

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Chapter V

The Third Commandment

"Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain"  (Exodus 20:7).

THERE is much sham and unreality in the lives of men and women today. Even sincere and honest people are lulled to sleep by the seductive spirit of the age. The exposition of the commandment would arouse the public conscience to a perception of the claims of God's moral laws.

I. The Obligation Enjoined

   "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain." This commandment seeks to induce men to give the proper reverence to God. The first commandment imposed the duty of worshipping the one true God; the second set forth the spirituality of worship; and the third has as its burden the inducement of a holy reverence for a personal God.

   Irreverence is widely prevalent today. It is indeed the root of all wickedness. Lying and hypocritical living is but a declaration that God Himself is like those who live thus. Uncleanness in life is but a declaration that God is unholy. Putting God out of our life, or refusing to retain Him in our affections, is but to unchain the vile passion of unregenerate men. "Just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done" (Romans 1:28). The only way for the human race to maintain a standard of virtue is to give the proper place to God in the lives of the people.

II. How This Commandment May Be Broken

   1. BY BLASPHEMY. Blasphemy is intentional indignity or defiance of God. It includes speaking evil of God and failing to properly reverence Him and His institutions and ordinances. It means the doing of that which in any way reviles or reproaches God.

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   2. BY PERJURY. Perjury is false swearing, false testimony. When one swears to a lie in the name of God, he commits perjury and, therefore, violates this commandment. Perjury is not only a sin against God, but against society as well. Confidence is the basal fabric of the social and business world. The man who disregards God is undependable. The perjurer is unfit for society and should be ostracized from the business world.

   3. BY LEVITY AND FRIVOLITY. To joke with God's name, God's Word, or with sacred things is to be guilty of the infraction of this commandment. In order to apprehend the extent of this sin one only need listen to the conversation at the dinner table after the Sunday sermon, when some telling point of the sermon is made the object of jesting.

   4. BY PROFANITY. Profanity is fearfully prevalent today. One scarcely can travel on the public highways, enter into places of business, or mingle with his fellow men in social life without hearing God's holy name profaned. Many children are born and reared in this atmosphere, so that they take on the same spirit and indulge in the same practice almost with the same naturalness as they breathe. Profanity is also one of the most senseless of crimes. It gratifies no desire. It promotes no interest. Besides being senseless, it is positively wicked, because much of it is libel and slander against God. In their profanity men call upon God to do that which He never does. Profanity drags God down into the human mire and tramples His holy name in the dust.

   5. BY IRREVERENCE TOWARD GOD'S HOLY INSTITUTIONS. God has established certain institutions with the purpose of helping men into a higher and holier life. To fail to give the proper reverence to these institutions is to be guilty of a sin.

   6. BY HYPOCRISY. Hypocrisy means to profess to live for God while devoting thought and energy to self. Having a form of godliness while actually denying its reality and power is to violate this law. Going to church for social and business purposes is to be guilty of infraction of this law. Tennyson in his "Sea Dreams" most graphically describes the religious hypocrite :

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"With all his conscience and one eye askew"—

Love, let me quote these lines, that you may learn

A man is likewise counsel for himself,

Too often, in that silent court of yours—

"With all his conscience and one eye askew,

So false, he partly took himself for true;

Whose pious talk, when most his heart was dry,

Made wet the crafty crowsfoot round his eye;

Who, never naming God except for gain,

So never took that useful name in vain;

Made Him his catspaw and the Cross his tool,

And Christ the bait to trap his dupe and fool;

Nor deeds of gift, but gifts of grace he forged,

And snakelike slimed his victim ere he gorged;

And oft at Bible meetings, o'er the rest

Arising, did his holy oily best,

Dropping the too rough H in Hell and Heaven,

To spread the Word by which himself had thriven."

   To enter the house dedicated to God, pretending to worship, while filled with listlessness or engrossed in worldly thought, is contrary to this commandment. A man may pray and even preach with eloquence, but if his life does not square up with his profession, he is guilty of infraction of this law. The man who practiced religious insincerity, who hypocritically honored God with his lips, met with the scathing denunciation of Jesus Christ.

III. The Divine Reckoning

   The Lord will not hold the man guiltless who takes His name in vain. The name of God signifies His character, authority, and commandment. The name of any person or thing stands for the nature of that person or thing itself. To defame God's character, to disregard His authority, and to trample down His institutions is to disobey this commandment.

   1. "VAIN" IS DERIVED from the Hebrew word "shav" which means "lying, deceptive, and unreal."

   2. "GUILTLESS" IS FROM THE HEBREW WORD "maquah," meaning "to be clean, unpunished." It means, therefore, that God will not hold a man to be clean who has taken His name in vain and therefore will not allow him to go unpunished who uses His name in a lying, hypocritical, and unreal way. The human conscience needs to be aroused to the false perception of the claim of God's moral law.

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Chapter VI

The Fourth Commandment

"Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it" (Exodus 20:8-11).

THERE is much confusion in the minds of Christian people touching the obligations of the fourth commandment. Some contend that the keeping of the seventh day is required. Some insist that the obligations of the seventh day have been transferred to the first day of the week. Others accept the latter view with the exception that the stern requirements of the seventh day have been somewhat mitigated. There are still others who refuse to recognize any day as binding. All these views are involved in error.

   In order to see this sacred day in its true light and to enter into its holy privileges, note the following:

I. The Meaning of the Term "Sabbath"

   "Sabbath" means rest — cessation from action. When God had finished creating the heavens and the earth, He desisted from creation activity. "Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done" (Genesis 2: 1-3). Since God completed the creation

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in six days and ceased from creative action on the seventh day, the seventh day was called the sabbath, or rest day.

II. History of the Sabbath

   "The Sabbath was first instituted in Eden, sanctified before sin marred creation, and even before one prohibition was laid upon man," says A.T. Pierson.1

   Though there is a remarkable silence regarding the observing of the sabbath from Eden to Sinai, there is sufficient evidence to prove that it was not a dead-letter law. For example, Noah twice waited seven days when sending forth the dove. "He waited seven more days and again sent out the dove from the ark. When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth. He waited seven more days and sent the dove out again, but this time it did not return to him" (Genesis 8:10-12). Before the law was given at Sinai, there was given the promise of a double portion of manna on the sixth day because none was to be gathered on the seventh. "On the sixth day, they gathered twice as much—two omers for each person—and the leaders of the community came and reported this to Moses. He said to them, “This is what the Lord commanded: ‘Tomorrow is to be a day of sabbath rest, a holy sabbath to the Lord. So bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil. Save whatever is left and keep it until morning.’” So they saved it until morning, as Moses commanded, and it did not stink or get maggots in it. “Eat it today,” Moses said, “because today is a sabbath to the Lord. You will not find any of it on the ground today. Six days you are to gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will not be any" (Exodus 16:22-26).

III. The Significance of the Sabbath

   1. IT COMMEMORATES THE WORKS of creation. "Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done" (Genesis 2:3). Compare Exodus 20:11 : "For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy."

______________

1. Record of Christian Work, p. 623.

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It was to be kept holy. Work was to cease, because in six days God had made the heavens and the earth.

   2. IT KEPT ALIVE THE KNOWLEDGE of the true God. Since its observance was based upon the example of God, creation witnesses of a Creator. Keeping the sabbath kept in mind the fact of creation and recognition of the origin of the universe through creation. Thus was kept in mind the Creator Himself. This sabbath is reverently regarded everywhere by those who fear God. Atheists have always been against the sabbath. Voltaire saw no hope of destroying Christianity as long as "Sunday" was kept as a holiday. Robert G. Ingersoll, discerning this same truth, cried out, "Sunday is a pest. It must be taken out of the way!"

   3. A FORWARD LOOK when redeemed man shall enjoy full and permanent fellowship with God. "Here remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his" (Hebrews 4:9-10). Compare Psalm 95:11.

   4. TO ISRAEL IT WAS A SIGN of the covenant between them and God. "Horites used to live in Seir, but the descendants of Esau drove them out. They destroyed the Horites from before them and settled in their place, just as Israel did in the land the Lord gave them as their possession. And the Lord said, Now get up and cross the Zered Valley. So we crossed the valley. Thirty-eight years passed from the time we left Kadesh Barnea until we crossed the Zered Valley. By then, that entire generation of fighting men had perished from the camp, as the Lord had sworn to them. The Lord’s hand was against them until he had completely eliminated them from the camp" (Deuteronomy 5:12-15).

   When the Ten Commandments were given, they were prefaced by the declaration that they were based upon God's gracious deliverance of the Israelites out of Egyptian bondage. "Say to the Israelites, ‘You must observe my Sabbaths. This will be a sign between me and you for the generations to come, so you may know that I am the Lord, who makes you holy. Observe the Sabbath, because it is holy to you. Anyone who desecrates it is to be put to death; those who do any work on that day must be cut off from their people. For six days work is to be done, but the seventh day is a day of sabbath rest, holy to the Lord. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day is to be put to death. The Israelites are to observe the Sabbath, celebrating it for the generations to come as a lasting covenant. It will be a sign between me and the Israelites forever, for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.' ” (Exodus 31:13-17). The return of the sabbath was always a reminder to Israel of her gracious redemption, and therefore, an appeal for loyal obedience.

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   5. IT IS NECESSARY TO MAN'S WELL-BEING. Jesus declared that the sabbath was made for man. "And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath" (Mark 2:27). While man's earthly condition continues, the sabbath is needed to keep a proper balance between his body and his soul. The clear and abiding principle involved in the fourth commandment is physical rest and spiritual refreshment. The one who ignores this principle and law will inevitably suffer physically and spiritually. The principle or law of resting one day out of seven is inexorable in its demands. The one who labors seven days out of the week soon becomes a physical wreck, and the one who ignores the necessity of spending one day in seven specifically in attendance upon spiritual matters soon becomes a spiritual dwarf.

   The first day of the week is the proper day for the Christian to observe. He is not to observe it as a law, but as a glorious privilege. He is on resurrection ground, therefore above law. While the idea involved in the sabbath is rest and that involved in the resurrection day is activity, the essential principle is the same. The resurrection day is not for the Christian a day in which to lounge around, a day to merely rest from labor and toil : it is a day marked by the avoidance of secular labor in order that he may be intensely engaged in the direct work of the Lord. The seventh day as a sabbath was a sign between Israel and the Lord and has never been changed. The first day of the week is not the sabbath. The common confusion of the sabbath and the first day of the week by calling the latter day the Christian sabbath has no Scriptural foundation and is but a part of the fallacious admixture of law and grace which is so common today. There is but one name in Scripture for the day which Christians keep in memory of their risen Lord, and that day is the first day of the week. (John 20:1; Acts 20:7; I Corinthians 16:2). The principle of work and rest inheres in this commandment. This is entirely in keeping with the principle which is inwrought in the universe itself. Work is man's normal condition. It was God's primal thought

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for man. Even before the Fall man was "to dress and to keep" the garden. Every effort to get away from honest toil is rebellion against God. The present day scheming to get a living without working incurs the displeasure of God. The command to work six days is just as binding as the command to rest the seventh day. The principle here involved is the psychological solution to pauperism, "If any man will not work, neither let him eat" (II Thessalonians 3:10) — and sets forth the divine mind concerning this matter. It is more generous to provide employment for the suffering poor than to make gratuitous gifts, because work is God's primal thought for man. It was necessary before the fall; how much more necessary now. When man fell, God increased the limits of toil. He cursed the earth. Work has a redeeming power, and correlated with work is rest — rest for the body, rest for the mind, and rest for the soul.

IV. The Objectives Enjoined by This Commandment

   1. REST. This means cessation of ordinary toil and applies not only to the man, the head of the home, but to servants and beasts of burden as well. Since this day was sanctified by God it clearly means that it was set apart for a specific and holy use.

   2. A TURNING OF THOUGHT TO GOD. It was designed to keep fresh in mind the consciousness of God and His mercies. It is a time when the Christian seeks opportunity for refreshing his spirit by the study of God's Word, and attendance upon places of worship, and performance of deeds of mercy and helpfulness. He does not do this as a slave to law, but in the liberty of a child of God.

V. How This Commandment May Be Broken

   1. BY ENGAGING IN LABOR and pursuing business interests on the sacred day. All such interests should be dropped from the mind of the believer, and the activities of the mind directed in the proper channels.

   2. BY DEVOTING THE DAY TO AMUSEMENTS. Since the day was designed to keep fresh in the mind the consciousness of God, the use of the day for amusements, such even as may be legitimate in themselves, breaks this commandment. A common instance of this in our day is the misuse of Sunday for excursions, or motoring for pleasure. The automobile, good in itself, is becoming a means of

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taking multitudes from the house of God. Another flagrant violation is the Sunday ball game. It is true that the believer in Christ has been made free, but he is not free to spend the day of rest in the baseball park.

   3. BY FEASTING. Some make the rest day an occasion for big dinners. Wives and servants frequently find this the hardest day of the week.

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Chapter VII

The Fifth Commandment

"Honor thy father and thy mother that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee" (Exodus 20:12).

THERE is a difference of opinion as to the division of the law on the two tables of stone. Without attempting to enter into the merits of the discussion, we should be content to view the first table as setting forth our duty Godward, and the second table as setting forth our duty manward. With such a view we may properly regard the fifth commandment as the "centerpiece of the Decalogue — the keystone of the Sinaitic arch."

   This commandment rests upon a most fundamental basis. It discovers the essential relationship which exists between parents and children. The child's obligation to his parents rests upon something decidedly more fundamental than the personal worth of parents, or aesthetic propriety, or still further, as a sort of reimbursement for care bestowed in childhood. The true basis is the fact that the parents stand to their children in a very real sense as the symbol and representatives of God. It is not merely just and beautiful to honor parents, but it is a duty which absolutely binds. Disobedience to parents leads to the most heinous crimes.

   This commandment presupposes parental faithfulness. There are duties and responsibilities resting upon parents which cannot be discharged by others, cannot be delegated to others, but must be borne by parents. If any age ever needed to face this commandment in its full force and scope, it is the present one. Parents are recreant to duty in most cases. This results in children failing to render due reverence to their parents. There is a great need for a revival of home training. The thought and energies of mothers which so frequently are given to attendance upon clubs and lodges should be devoted to the nurture and admonition of children.

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   The human infant is helpless and dependent longer than the young of the animal. In view of the endless life of the human soul, longer time is given for its training and growth than that of the animal. During this formative period the Lord demands that the parents surround their children with such influence as will mold their lives according to His plan. The father especially stands as a type of God to the child. The child's conception of God is but an extension of its conception to its father. It is truly unfortunate if the father's spirit and life are such as to convey a wrong impression of God. Since the life is determined by the thoughts, this concept of God brings moral disaster.

I. The Obligation Imposed

   "Honor thy father and thy mother." "To honor" means literally "to attach weight to." It includes:

   1. REVERENCE. "Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the Lord" (Leviticus 19:32). When the child realizes, being properly taught, that his parents stand in the place of God to him, he will show a due reverence for them. This truth must be impressed upon his mind in the earliest stages of his development.

   2. LOVE. It is a child's duty to love his parents, just as it is the adult's duty to love God. This love should continue through life. There is no limit set for its exercise.

   3. OBEDIENCE. "Children, obey your parents in all things : for this is well pleasing unto the Lord" (Colossians 3:20). Obedience is for children up to a certain age. The time normally comes for children to leave father and mother and establish homes of their own. At such time it is not required that the children obey their parents. However, love and reverence should always be shown, although obedience is limited to a particular period.

   4. SUPPORT IN OLD AGE. "But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God" (I Timothy 5:4). Christ's provision for His mother from the cross is a striking example of the concern He had for her. The question arises in some minds, "Should honor be paid to unworthy parents?" This can best be answered by referring to the curse placed upon Ham for dishonoring his father while Noah was shamefully drunk. "Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father naked and told his two brothers outside. But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it across their shoulders; then they walked in backward and covered their father’s naked body. Their faces were turned the other way so that they would not see their father naked. When Noah awoke from his wine and found out what his youngest son had done to him, he said, “Cursed be Canaan! The lowest of slaves will he be to his brothers" (Genesis 9:22-25). Families are bound together, and the sin and shame of one member of the family is the sin and shame of all.

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II. How This Commandment May Be Broken

   1. BY SHOWING DISRESPECT FOR PARENTS.

   a. This disrespect is shown by speaking of them in such terms as "the old man," "the old woman." Disrespect for parents is so common today that the thunders of Sinai ought to sound forth in the ears of this generation, so as to make them realize their guilt in breaking the fifth commandment.

   b. By living such lives as to reproach their parents. The most convincing way to honor parents is upright living.

   c. This disrespect is shown by being ashamed to be seen in their company. Sometimes this disrespect is shown by young men and women fresh from college, ashamed to be seen in public with their parents. No greater dishonor can be shown to parents than this attitude.

   2. BY DISOBEDIENCE TO PARENTS. Children who honor their parents and love them realize their obligation to obey them.

   3. BY FAILING TO PROPERLY SUPPORT their parents when they are old. Among some savage tribes it is the custom for children to slay their mothers and fathers when they can no longer care for themselves. When children allow their parents to die in the poor-house or crowd them into some poor quarters without proper care, they are guilty of breaking this commandment. This may likewise be said of children who allow their parents to become a church charge.

III. Promises Regarding Obedience to this Commandment

   1. "THAT IT MAY BE WELL WITH THEE ..." (Ephesians 6:3). No children ever violated this commandment and truly prospered. There is no surer way to bring disaster into one's path than to dishonor his parents. "...so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth" (Ephesians 6:3).

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A familiar example of this is the recorded act of George Washington. As a young man he was enamored of sea life. He made every preparation to go to sea. His mother protested. At the final moment he yielded to his mother's entreaties. Later God made Washington the father of his country, whose name has lived in the memories of millions.

   2. "... THAT YOU MAY ENJOY LONG LIFE ON THE EARTH" (Ephesians 6:3). It is a fact that children who honor their parents are more likely to enjoy long life than those who dishonor them. It is also true that those who honor their parents live longer than those who do not. Those who are faithful to parental obligations form habits which tend to conserve life. Even aside from God's special benediction, the working of nature's laws tends to lengthen one's days.

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Chapter VIII

The Sixth Commandment

"Thou shalt not kill" (Exodus 20:13).

THE sixth commandment is a bulwark thrown around human life. Human life is most emphatically shown in Scripture to be sacred. Man is not an evolution, but a divine creation. His genesis is wonderful and mysterious, and his possibilities are beyond the comprehension of man. Man is not only a divine creation, but bears the likeness and image of his Creator. Every attempt, therefore, at taking human life is a thrust at God. Murder is a double sin, against humanity and against God.

   Every human life is of equal value before God. The life of the peasant is equal to that of the king. We are living in an age when human life is cheap. Frequently less value is attached to human life than to animal life. The sacredness of human life needs to be definitely emphasized today. Every operator of an automobile ought to realize that the killing of a person by means of such a vehicle is a crime against the living God. Such belief would insure the utmost care in driving. The act of suicide is a most grievous sin. There should be recognition of the value of life, even one's own life. Men and women ought to be taught that suicide is no real way of ending trouble, but is a sure way of getting into more trouble. When the Bible declares that murderers will be barred from heaven, it means suicides as well as homicides.

I. Obligations Enjoined by the Sixth Commandment

  While this commandment is negative in form, it imposes positive obligations.

   1. ALL LAWFUL EFFORTS to preserve our own lives and the lives of others. The real spirit of this commandment demands every possible effort to preserve life, as well as to refrain from the actual taking of life.

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   2. THE RESISTANCE or subjugation of all evil thoughts and passions. "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies" (Matthew 15:19). It should be recognized that there are many murders which have not been openly committed: "Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer" (I John 3:15).

   3. A SOBER USE OF MEATS AND DRINKS. It is one's solemn obligation to be temperate in eating and drinking. Even an excessive indulgence in eating and drinking that which is right and proper is a violation of this commandment.

   4. THE TAKING OF SUFFICIENT SLEEP. The human body needs a certain amount of sleep. To neglect or deny one's self the necessary sleep may impair one's health. The spirit of this commandment imposes the obligation of observance of such laws as will conserve the health.

   5. TO REFRAIN FROM OVERWORKING the body and mind. Many men and women are old and worn out prematurely because of overwork. The keeping of this commandment would have made it possible for longer and better service.

II. How This Commandment May Be Broken

   1. BY SINFUL ANGER. "But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell" (Matthew 5:22). By referring to the preceding verse, it is seen that Christ is intensifying the teaching of the law as to murder. Everyone should examine himself as to whether he can stand before the Judge of all the earth, when he must face the obligation of this commandment.

   2. BY HATRED. "Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer : and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him" (I John 3:15). How many times one may mingle with his fellows in social life, and even sit down to the communion table with hatred in his heart! Since by the law is the knowledge of sin, everyone should make an honest examination of himself as to the attitude of his heart.

   3. BY IMMODERATE USE of recreation. Many persons are murdered annually in sports and games of various kinds. The many who

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lose their lives in modern sports ought to make a serious impression upon the minds of God-fearing people.

   4. BY SELLING ADULTERATED FOODS and diseased meats. Many children die yearly because of the adulterated milk which is distributed by the milkman. It would be most surprising to realize the number of people who are sent to untimely graves because of adulterated foods and diseased meats.

   5. THE NEGLIGENCE OF EMPLOYERS in providing safe conditions for their employees. If it were recognized that this commandment enjoins the obligations of all lawful efforts to preserve life, then the employer who neglects to provide safety for his men would be considered, in the eyes of God, a murderer.

   6. BY CROWDING FAMILIES IN UNSANITARY QUARTERS because of greed for gain. Those who are responsible for such conditions should realize that their sin belongs to the place of murder in the catalogue of crime.

   7. BY NEGLECTING TO PROVIDE PROPER CLOTHING and food for one's family. Since proper shelter and food are necessary for the preservation of life, those who fail to provide these necessities for their family are guilty of a crime.

   8. BY SENDING CHILDREN TO TOIL IN SHOPS and factories before maturity. The recognition of this obligation will at once solve the problem of child labor.

   9. BY SUICIDE. We are prone to let sentiment enter into the estimate of personal responsibility when one takes his own life. We are likely to attribute it to insanity (or "mental illness"). We should recognize, however, that that which passes for insanity is a kind of moral madness for which the person is responsible. Suicide, when committed by a sane person, is murder. Even among the heathen, suicide was ignoble. Aristotle said that to die in order to avoid the chains of poverty, or anything that is disagreeable, is not the path of the brave man, but of a coward; for it is cowardice to shun the trials and crosses of life by undergoing death.

   10. BY INFANTICIDE. Dr. G.D. Boardman says, "Alas, infanticide, prenatal as well as postnatal, prevails even in Christian lands, and I blush to add that this crime is often perpetrated in what are called the upper classes of society. The unborn infant, as a being, is already a person."1

___________

1. University Lectures on the Ten Commandments, p. 185.

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   11. BY WAR. Much of the bloodshed in war is outright murder. When one attempts to estimate the number of lives lost in both world wars, one can form a judgment as to the guilt before God of those who were responsible for the wars. The meaning of this commandment ought to be impressed upon the consciences of our national leaders, as well as upon the people, to convince them of their guilt before God. One way to eliminate war is to impress upon the consciences of the people the murderous nature of it. War is contrary to the spirit and teaching of Jesus Christ. All who have His spirit will strive for peace. In His kingdom swords shall be beaten into plowshares, and spears into pruninghooks, and wars shall be learned no more.

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Chapter IX

The Seventh Commandment

"Thou shalt not commit adultery" (Exodus 20:14).

THE seventh commandment stands as a bulwark to the home. The wedded state is the most sacred relation on earth. The home is the oldest of God's institutions. It is not only the oldest of His institutions, but it is the base of them all. Society, the church, the state, and the nation depend upon the home for their strength. The sin that strikes at the home, therefore, strikes at and undermines all. Without marriage there could be no home. When once the home is gone, all is gone.

   The seventh commandment needs to be greatly emphasized today. Licentiousness is a cankerworm which is gnawing at the very vitals of the nation. The downfall of our nation only awaits the time when this leaven of corruption shall have done its dreadful work. The history of Sodom and Rome tells us too plainly that nation after nation has been swept away through the immoralities of its people.

   The union of man and woman in the bonds of holy wedlock for the purpose of propagation of the race is the bond which connects the material and spiritual worlds. This union is the common center from which are sent atoms both upward and downward. Anything which interferes with this most wonderful and sacred of all relations must be recognized as an awful evil. Observe:

I. The Commandment Itself

   This absolute prohibition expresses God's attitude toward the heinous crime of adultery. Men and women condone this sin, but God does not. Society, in its unfair and unjust discrimination between the sexes, often holds open its arms to receive into its bosom an unchaste man, while the woman, as a guilty party, is cast out. The awfulness of this sin may, in some measure, be perceived by considering its far-reaching effects. Adultery is a sin:

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   1. AGAINST THE BODY. "Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body" (I Corinthians 6:18).

   2. AGAINST THE SOUL. "But a man who commits adultery has no sense; whoever does so destroys himself" (Proverbs 6:32).

   3. AGAINST THE FAMILY. This crime undermines the holy base upon which the family rests. Oftentimes diseases break out upon children, caused by the parents' life of impurity. If the family physician were to reveal his secrets, many people would have quite a different reputation in their respective communities.

   4. AGAINST GOD AND HIS IMAGE IN US. Man is made in the likeness and image of God. God, as Creator, is the Father of us all. Every sin of impurity is, therefore, a sin against God Himself. So great is His hatred of this sin that He declares that all such are excluded from the kingdom of heaven. "Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood" (Revelation 22:15).

   5. AGAINST THE INDWELLING HOLY SPIRIT. "Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple" (I Corinthians 3:16-17).

   6. AGAINST MANKIND. There is an organic unity within the human race. Our interests are more or less bound up together. None of us lives to himself. Our actions are controlled in some measure by forces which have been set in operation by our ancestors. The lives of our children will in some sense be influenced by our manner of living. We have conflicts which are more severe because of the sins of our fathers, and we have it within our power to render less difficult the struggles of our children. The solidarity of our race is no mere fancy, but an awful fact. Since the individual is thus linked to the race of which he is a member, let us beware lest some sin of ours be swept on by the law of heredity to coming generations, thus handicapping them in the race of life. It is utterly impossible for anyone to commit this sin without being contaminated. "Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned?" (Proverbs 6:27-28).

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II. Duties Enjoined by the Seventh Commandment

   1. CHASTITY IN MIND AND AFFECTION. This commandment is far-reaching in its application. It has to do with the workings of the mind and affections. Many persons are living lives which outwardly are morally right, but at heart they are guilty of gross immorality. "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies" (Matthew 15:19). "You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Matthew 5:27-28).

   2. CHASTITY IN WORDS AND CONVERSATION. Our words are the index of our heart. "Thy speech betrayeth thee" could often be said of us even when we wish to appear pious. Many good sermons have been spoiled by the conversation of the preacher at the dinner table. Chaste conversation has a mighty power in the sanctification of the affairs of life.

   3. SHUNNING OF ALL OCCASIONS which suggest impurity. It is necessary for us to realize that we are made up of such material that, if we come sufficiently close to the fire, we will be burned. The only safety is in the avoidance, not only of the evil, but of all appearances of evil. "Keep to a path far from her, do not go near the door of her house" (Proverbs 5:8). If Dinah, the daughter of Jacob, had not gone forth among the heathen, where she was exposed to the evil, that dark spot in history in Genesis 34: 1-2 would never have appeared. "Now Dinah, the daughter Leah had borne to Jacob, went out to visit the women of the land. When Shechem son of Hamor the Hivite, the ruler of that area, saw her, he took her and raped her." David's looking out from the roof of his palace was the preconception of his awful sin with Bathsheba and the murder of Uriah. Both of these cases are mixed with murder. The only salvation for us is to avoid sensual snares.

   4. AVOIDING ALL SUGGESTIONS OF EVIL.

   a. We are surrounded daily by much that is licentious in its appearance. Many of the theater bills which are before us more or less continually in the streets are vile and indecent and should, therefore, be shunned as one would shun poison.

   b. Vile books are coming into our homes and contaminating the youthful mind. Fiction books fill the libraries of our public and Sunday schools. Magazines are thrust upon the young people filled

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with stories which treat marriage as a joke and the adulterer as one to be pitied, excused, or applauded. If the spirit of the seventh commandment were to be in control of our lives, bonfires would be made of much of the reading material that comes into our homes.

   c. The absenting of one's self from the dance. The modern dance is the very hotbed of licentiousness. The first dance marks the beginning of the downfall of many men and women and the wrecking of many homes.

   d. Of dressing in a modest and becoming manner. Many women dress in such a manner as to suggest impure thoughts.

   e. Of saving young girls from being thrust into the shop, hotel, or office side by side with men. Oftentimes the pure and innocent girl is taken from home to work side by side with vulgar and immoral men.

III. Ways in Which This Commandment May Be Broken

   1. BY UNCLEAN IMAGINATIONS, thoughts, purposes, and affections.

   2. BY WANTON LOOKS. "The Lord says, “The women of Zion are haughty, walking along with outstretched necks, flirting with their eyes, strutting along with swaying hips, with ornaments jingling on their ankles" (Isaiah 3:16). "With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed—an accursed brood!" (II Peter 2:14). One's looks oftentimes betray him. A person's character can be judged by facial expression.

   3. DIVORCE. Marriage is a divine institution, not civil only. This is a day when the marriage tie is lightly regarded. The divorce mills are running at full blast. A divorce is granted on the slightest pretext. The granting of divorce in many cases is but legalized adultery. God never authorized divorce. Union for life was God's primal thought for man. It is true that because of man's sin divorce was tolerated. Christ said that Moses permitted divorce because of the hardness of the heart, and declared that from the beginning it was not so. "Jesus replied, Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning" (Matthew 19:8). There is need that the public conscience be aroused concerning this matter. The guilty party in a divorce ought to be regarded not merely as an unfortunate person, but as a public criminal.

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Chapter X

The Eighth Commandment

"Thou shalt not steal" (Exodus 20:15)

THE eighth commandment strikes at the sin of theft, a very common sin today. There is much dishonesty in the world. Honesty means more than that which is legal. Many people think themselves honest when they conform to that which is legally right. Many things are legally right which are morally wrong. Sin is sin in all places and in all ages. Unrighteous deeds take on different names at different times and in different places, but the given crime is the same in all instances. Many men are considered to have business tact, business acumen, and the like, whose methods of business violate this commandment. Some even live and talk as though the code of morals which governs business affairs is different from that of strict justice. Some cry out "Business is business," to hide themselves from the searching application of this commandment.

   The sin of theft lies in the act, not primarily in the amount of money involved. A Roman Catholic priest was heard to say to a group of children in a catechetical class, "The sin of theft lies in the amount involved, not in the act." He went on to say, "To steal five cents is a venial matter, but to steal $10,000 is a mortal sin."

   With some today this position is reversed. The man who steals a million dollars is looked upon as a kind of a hero, while he who steals a loaf of bread may be sent to prison.

I. What the Eighth Commandment Involves

   It recognizes the right of human possession. The anarchist teaches that to own property is theft, and he would make the property owner a criminal. The eighth commandment gives the lie to the anarchist's dictum. In the absolute sense all property belongs to God. He is the absolute Owner of all things, and every man is but a tenant and a steward. If no one owned property, to steal it would be impossible.

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   While it is right to possess property, we should have a clear understanding as to how man comes into possession of it. Paul in Ephesians 4:28 gives a clear statement of this matter. "Let him that stole steal no more : but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing that is good, that he may have whereof to give to him that hath need." In this Scripture are found three words which are keys to the whole matter of ownership of property — "labor," "give," and "steal." Everything that a man has was given to him or he worked for it, or he stole it. It is perfectly right to own property if it has been given to us, or if it has been earned by toil; but if one has that which he neither has labored for, nor received as a gift, it must have been dishonestly obtained. It would be most helpful if every individual would apply this test to everything he possesses. He would thus know whether he is guilty of an infraction of the eighth commandment.

II. Ways in Which This Commandment May Be Broken

   It is clearly implied that any exchange of commodities which does not give value for value received is a violation of this commandment.

   1. BY ACTUAL TAKING of that which belongs to another. This really needs no comment. Everywhere and among all people the one who actually takes to himself that which belongs to another is regarded as a thief.

   2. BY USING FALSE WEIGHTS AND MEASURES. Those in business who give short weight and short measure violate this commandment. Honesty demands sixteen ounces for a pound and thirty-six inches for a yard.

   3. BY SELLING ADULTERATED OR INFERIOR GOODS. This practice continues in America in spite of the strenuous efforts of the federal government to prevent it. The chemical analysis of the things we eat and drink reveals adulteration in a surprising degree. The buyer of goods, whether it be groceries, shoes, or dry goods, finds it necessary to be constantly on his guard lest an inferior or defective article be thrust upon him.

   4. BY EXTORTION. To exact of the poor and needy an exorbitant rent, to sell products at extreme prices because one is in the position to command them, or to drive sharp bargains with the poor and needy is to violate this command.

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   5. BY THE EMPLOYER WHO DEFRAUDS HIS EMPLOYEE; by the employee who fails to do honest work or put in honest time. For a workman to idle away an hour of his employer's time is to steal, and for an employer to pay less than honest wages is to violate this commandment.

   6. BY BORROWING AND NOT RETURNING. There are times and circumstances when it is desirable and right to borrow. Society is so constituted that in some instances it is entirely necessary to do so. However, the borrower should make a prompt return of the thing borrowed. To borrow and not return ought to be considered as theft. If this principle were recognized many things, such as books, would be coming back, greatly to the delight of the owner.

   7. BY GOING INTO DEBT, knowing that payment will be impossible. The man who will contract debt when he knows it will be impossible to pay it ought to be considered as a criminal.

   8. BY HOLDING STOCK IN CORPORATIONS which resort to dishonest methods in the conducting of their business and make dishonest profits.

   9. BY MAKING ASSIGNMENTS to escape the payment of honest debts.

   10. BY STRONG NATIONS OPPRESSING THE WEAKER ONES and extorting from them that which is theirs by right.

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Chapter XI

The Ninth Commandment

"Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor" (Exodus 20:16)

THE sin aimed at by this commandment is a most deadly one — that of lying. The lying tongue has been the source of much harm. The unfailing test of a man's religion is the use he makes of his tongue. "Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless" (James 1:26). "We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check. When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison (James 3:2-8).

   An examination of some of the epithets applying to this sin reveals the wide prevalence of this sin. The following is a list of such descriptive terms : calumny, slander, backbiting, insinuation, innuendo, vituperation, tattling, libel, and censoriousness. This broad application to habits of speech will determine to what extent we are guilty of the infraction of this law. Who can truthfully say that at least one of these forms of false witnessing has not been upon his lips? The Psalmist declared, "In my alarm I said, Everyone is a liar" (Psalm 116:11),

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If David were in the world today, he could speak at leisure and truthfully say, "All men are liars."

   The physician frequently diagnoses the case before him and determines the condition of the bodily health of his patient by looking at the patient's tongue. Through the application of the same principle a man's spiritual condition can be determined by listening to his speech.

I. Duties Enjoined by the Ninth Commandment

   1. FAITHFUL DEALING WITH OUR FELLOWMEN. Faithful dealing is highly important. The whole fabric of social life depends upon the utterances of truth by men and women. Let truth no longer come from the lips of men, and what we know as human society would cease to be. The very foundation of commercial life is honesty. The perpetuation of society and business is dependent upon faithful dealings with our fellowmen. The prophet declared : "These are the things you are to do: Speak the truth to each other, and render true and sound judgment in your courts" (Zechariah 8:16).

   2. THE FAITHFUL PERFORMANCE OF ALL ACTS whereby our neighbor's good may be preserved. We are not only held accountable for the starting of rumors which would bring reproach upon our neighbor, but we are bound to exert every effort to preserve his good name. When it is within our power to prevent a reproach from falling upon our neighbor, this commandment enjoins the obligation upon us to do so.

   3. A DEFENCE OF OUR NEIGHBOR'S INNOCENCE. Psalm 15:3 says that he that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil with his neighbor, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbor, is to abide in God's holy hill. Many times neighbors are estranged because they have listened to and taken up reproaches against each other. This should be considered a violation of the ninth commandment. The party who speaks against a neighbor should be compelled to speak face to face with the one concerned. It is said that Hannah More used this method to cure scandal. Whenever she was told anything derogatory of another, invariably her reply was, "Come, we will go and ask if it be true." The effect sometimes was ludicrously painful. The talebearer was taken aback, stammered out a qualification, or begged that no notice be taken of the statement. But this good lady was inexorable in her demands. Off she took the scandal-monger to his victim to make inquiry and compare accounts. It would be most helpful if this method were applied to the talebearer.

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II. How This Commandment May Be Broken

   1. BY ACTUAL LYING. To tell the untruth is an infraction of this law.

   2. BY PERJURY, that is, swearing to falsehoods by the name of God. Many innocent people suffer because of false witnesses testifying before courts of justice. Jesus Christ Himself was sent to the cross through false witnesses.

   3. BY SLANDER. Speaking against another with a purpose to injure is slander. Most righteous people have felt the pain caused by the slanderous tongue. This is true sometimes of church members and may even be true sometimes of ministers. Jealousy of a fellow minister with a hope of furthering one's own interests sometimes causes one to speak in a derogatory manner of the other. Exaggerating the truth with the purpose of injury rightly comes in this category. It was this spirit that resulted in calling Jesus a wine-bibber and a glutton.

   4. BY TALEBEARING. "Do not go about spreading slander among your people" (Leviticus 19:16). Repetition of a report without investigating its truthfulness is a common way of talebearing. Many persons are greatly injured in this way. A report may be started by someone simply as a joke, and the talebearer circulates it as truth, resulting in lasting injury to the innocent person. All too often this nefarious business is carried on by the ladies at evening teas, missionary meetings, and sewing societies.

   5. BY CREATING A FALSE IMPRESSION. Often a stigma has been cast upon a fair character by an insinuation, the raising of a question, or the imputation of a wrong motive. A common expression on many lips is, "He has an object in view," or "He knows on which side his bread is buttered." Untold injury may thus be done to an innocent party. "Do not spread false reports. Do not help a guilty person by being a malicious witness" (Exodus 23:1).

   6. BY WITHHOLDING THE TRUTH. Silence when a calumny is uttered against one is a violation of this commandment.

   7. BY PERVERTING THE MEANING OF A STATEMENT. Sometimes by the addition of a word a statement may be perverted.

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   8. BY FLATTERY. This is a common practice among certain people.

   9. BY RECOMMENDING FOR POSITIONS OF HONOR AND TRUST those who are unfit for such positions. This sometimes is done by the church in granting certificates of membership to get rid of undesirable members. Let it be known that whether in business, society, politics, or among Christian people, those who break the ninth commandment are liars, and let it be known that there is no place in heaven for liars. "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone : which is the second death" (Revelation 21:8).

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Chapter XII

The Tenth Commandment

"Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor's" (Exodus 20:17).

THE thought of the tenth commandment centers in the word "covet," which literally means "to greatly delight in, to lust, to be warm or eager for, to greatly desire, to strive after something." The emphatic word in this commandment doubtless is "neighbor's." The teaching of this commandment should not be understood as a prohibition against the accumulation of earthly goods. The desire to make provision for one's family, or for one's self in old age, should not be regarded as sinful. To fulfill the desire in both of these cases should be recognized as entirely right. In fact, it should be regarded as a God-given impulse. The sin emerges when this desire is to want that which belongs to another — our neighbor.

   The tenth commandment is most intensive in its application. It strikes at the very purposes of the heart. It has not only to do with the outward life, but enters in to the deeps of one's being, involving even one's thoughts. Frequently we do not take much cognizance of our thoughts. Some even may ask, "What harm is there in a thought?" We should recognize that with God the thought is the real thing. Our thoughts are fully known to God. In fact, "The thought is the mother of all sin. It is the cockatrice's egg from which break forth the viper and the fiery, flying serpent." David's heinous sin of adultery and murder was but the fruit of his thoughts when he beheld Bath-sheba from his palace roof. Achan's sin and its dreadful consequences were but the fruits of his covetous thoughts. The awful history connected with Naboth's vineyard would never have been recorded but for the covetousness of Ahab.

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God must be obeyed from the heart. "Man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart" (I Samuel 16:7). "For as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he" (Proverbs 23:7). "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life" (Proverbs 4:23).

   To be outwardly respectable is not so difficult. Many about us are demonstrating its possibility. But to keep God's law with all our heart, mind, and strength is quite a different matter. When we honestly face our responsibility and thus see it in the light of God's holy law, we shall doubtless feel like exclaiming, "Who is sufficient for these things?"

   The sin aimed at by the tenth commandment lies back of the entire decalogue. Dr. George D. Boardman well said, "Covetousness tempts us into the violation of the first commandment, worshiping mammon in addition to Jehovah." Coveting tempts us into a violation of the second commandment, or idolatry. The Apostle Paul expressly identifies the covetous man with an idolater : covetousness which is idolatry. Again, coveting tempts us into violation of the third commandment, or sacrilegious falsehood; for instance, Gehazi's lying in his interview with Naaman, the Syrian, and Ananias and Sapphira's perjuring themselves in the matter of the community of goods. Again, coveting tempts us into the violation of the fourth commandment, or Sabbath breaking. It is covetousness which makes a man encroach on God's day of sacred rest to vend tobacco and liquor and hawk newspapers. Again, covetousness tempts us into the violation of the fifth commandment, or disrespect for authority, tempting the young man to deride his early parental counsels and the citizen to trample on civic enactments. Covetousness makes children wait impatiently for the death of their parents so as to get their money. Again, covetousness tempts us in to the violation of the sixth commandment, or murder. Recall how Judas' love of money lured him to betray his divine Friend into the hands of His murderers. Again, covetousness tempts us into the violation of the seventh commandment, or adultery. Observe how the Scriptures combine greed and lust. Again, covetousness tempts us into the violation of the eighth commandment, or theft. Recall how it tempted Achan to steal a goodly Babylonish mantle, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight. Again, covetousness tempts us into the violation of the ninth commandment, or bearing false witness against our neighbor. Recall

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the covetousness of Ahab instigated by his wife Jezebel. She employed sons of Belial to bear blasphemous and fatal testimony against Naboth saying, "Thou didst curse God and the king."

   "Nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God" (I Corinthians 6: 10). "For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God" (Ephesians 5:5). "But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens" (Exodus 18:21). According to these Scriptures, coveting is just as heinous a sin in God's sight as that of uncleanness or theft, and God will surely debar covetous men from the kingdom of heaven. In the Scriptures quoted above we see the covetous man placed between the thief and the drunkard. We look down upon the thief and drunkard, but sometimes make church officials of covetous men. Because a man is covetous and hoards up money, he is sometimes made the treasurer of the congregation. In Exodus 18:21 cited above, one qualification for official position was "hating covetousness."

   Finally, covetousness is a desire for that which is unlawful to have. It is right for man to have lands and personal property which he honorably acquires, but it is wrong for him to have that which belongs to another. It is right for a man to have a wife, but it is sinful for him to have another man's wife. It is right for a man to have servants, that is, helpers in his business, but he should not covet those who belong to his neighbor. Men may call it prudence, foresight, business acumen, but Paul calls such terms a cloak. Many are hiding their real heart condition under this cloak.


Part Five

SOTERIOLOGY

Soteriology is derived from the Greek word "soterios" which means "saving" or "salvation." Soteriology is that branch of theological science which treats of the salvation accomplished by Jesus Christ. It includes the grace of God which is the source of salvation, the covenant relationship involved in salvation, the plan of salvation for lost men, the person and work of Jesus Christ, and the application of God's righteousness which was objectively wrought out by Jesus Christ to the sinner by the Holy Spirit in the actual salvation of God's chosen ones.

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Chapter I

The Source of Salvation

I. The Grace of God — The Source of Salvation

THE word "grace" is used in the Bible in several senses, but the predominant usage signifies the free favor of God in the salvation of the sinner. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves : it is the gift of God" (Ephesians 2:8). To the same effect is the statement in Ephesians 2:7 : "That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus." Another example is given in Titus 2:11: "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men."

   The word "grace" is the very heart of the whole Scriptural revelation. It should, however, not be confused with a false love as though grace signified divine leniency. Grace goes hand in hand with righteousness. Grace may properly be thought of as the synthesis of love and holiness, which in turn constitute the very bedrock of the divine nature.

   "Grace is a boon purchased for us by the court which found us guilty," says Mabie.1 As applied to salvation, grace means that what the holy and righteous God demands of us was provided by Himself.

   Salvation of the sinner is on the absolute standard of God's righteousness. God's grace moved Him to provide the righteousness which His righteousness required Him to demand. Jesus Christ the Saviour was born of a woman made under the law. He, who intrinsically was above law, of His own volition placed Himself under law. This act of His was grace. Christ vicariously lived a life of perfect obedience to God's law, and on the cross of Calvary suffered the penalty of the broken law. This suffering was vicarious. Thus in obedience and in suffering a righteousness was provided which God accepted as fully meeting His demands.

__________

1. Dr. Henry C. Mabie, in an address at Northfield Conference for Christian Workers, August 20, 1911.

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   The above comprehensive statements concerning grace when analyzed embrace the following elements :

   1. THE MEANING OF GRACE. The grace of God means God's favor extended to the ill-deserving, i.e., God's favor extended to His chosen from among fallen men. There is no mention or intimation in the Bible of grace being extended to demons or the devil. When these spiritual beings sinned the justice of God fixed their destiny. There is no expectancy of grace being extended to the devil or demons. Who has ever heard of sympathy for the devil or any thought that his condemnation was too severe?

   When the human race sinned in Adam its head, the justice of God brought every member thereof under condemnation. The righteous retribution of God separated the race from Him and every member of the race was hopelessly condemned. "For when you eat from it you will certainly die" (Genesis 2:17). It was not a case of possible future condemnation, but was an immediate and actual condemnation as a visitation of judgment. God's righteousness and justice rendered the case of man hopeless. The man and the woman were driven out of Eden from the presence of the Lord. "After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life" (Genesis 3:24). Cherubim and a flaming sword were placed to guard the tree of life lest man should now in his state of ruin partake thereof and live forever (Genesis 3:22-24).

   Grace was God's favor extended to the human race under hopeless condemnation. It was the goodness and mercy of God extended beyond justice. In the fall man's intellect was darkened so that he could not see the light; his affections were so corrupted that he could not appreciate or love the ways of righteousness; his will was so enslaved that he could not do God's will. His entire nature was so vitiated that he could do nothing of himself. He was so utterly ruined that except for God's sovereign grace he was hopelessly condemned and lost. Ephesians 2:1-3 vividly pictures man's state by nature : "dead," "walked", "gratifying the cravings of our flesh", "by nature children of wrath."

   2. THE RELATION OF GOD'S GRACE TO THE LAW. Grace has in no way affected God's law. Law is the expression of God's absolute righteousness and holiness. God is absolute and unchangeable in his nature. Grace comes after justice. Grace is something over and above justice and righteousness.

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God in His grace is not dealing with innocent creatures, but with sinners under righteous and just condemnation. In grace what God's righteousness demands He supplies. Grace cannot act till justice is met. Grace does not in any way modify law but confirms and establishes it. God's grace found a way to be just and at the same time to justify the ungodly. It is mischievously erroneous to teach that grace has relieved the harshness of the Law — that the severity of the law has been toned down. Equally erroneous is the teaching that grace enables the sinner to render "Gospel Obedience." This is a sort of Galatianism, an admixture of law and grace. This is the bane of Protestantism today — no clear cut vision of law or grace. Some teach that justification by faith is a sort of faith system by which the grace of God has freed the law from its austerity and stepped up man's ability to render obedience to God's law.

   3. THE RELATION OF GRACE TO FAITH. As we have seen grace is not God's favor to the innocent but to the ill-deserving. It is God in His goodness providing that which the sinner lacked. While the sinner was under hopeless condemnation, God wrought out a righteousness fully conforming to His righteous demands and gratuitously offered it to the rebellious sinner on the grounds of faith. The sinner lacked the ability to appropriate this righteousness gratuitously offered. The faith which receives this righteousness is God's gift. Both the righteousness and the faith to appropriate it are of God's providing. Salvation and the faith to receive it are entirely from God. "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do" (Ephesians 2:8-10).

   4. THE RELATION OF GRACE TO GOOD WORKS. "Not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do" (Ephesians 2:8-10).

   Good works in no way secure salvation but are the fruits thereof. The purpose of salvation was good works. God foreordained the salvation of the sinner that he might produce good works. The proof of salvation is a life of good works. One must be good in order to do good.

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   It should never be forgotten that the Triune God shared in the provision for man's salvation and also shared in its execution. It was not a case of one member of the Trinity demanding a thing which another member provided. "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself" (II Corinthians 5:19). "Grace is the attitude on God's part that proceeds entirely from within Himself and is conditioned in no way by anything in the objects of His favor."1

II. The Covenant Relation of God and His People

   A covenant means a mutual contract made between two or more parties. Examples : Abraham and Abimelech (Genesis 21:27); Joshua and the people (Joshua 24:25); Jonathan and David (I Samuel 18:3); God and Abraham (Genesis 15:18; 17: 1-2). The Hebrew word used above is translated into Greek Scriptures as "covenant," the word always designating a covenant between two parties. God was in covenant relationship with Abraham. God entered into covenant with Israel. In the New Testament the old covenant and the new testament are contrasted. In addition to the words in Hebrew and the Greek, the elements of a covenant are involved, namely, the parties, the mutual promise, and conditions.

   Deeply embedded in the Scriptures are two covenants — the covenant between the Father and the Son, usually called the Covenant of Redemption, and the covenant between God and His people, called the Covenant of Grace. The Covenant of Grace presupposes and rests upon the Covenant of Redemption.

   1. THE COVENANT OF REDEMPTION between the Father and the Son pertains to the salvation of man. While there is but one divine Being, there are three eternal distinctions in that Being, called "Persons." These Persons are One in essence and equal in power and glory. In this intertrinitarian relation the Persons are objective to each other, and They enjoy a free interplay of personality. The Son may engage Himself to perform a certain piece of work. The Father may send both the Son and the Spirit. The Son and Spirit may accept Their responsibility of the execution of the divine plan. The salvation of man involves the combined activities of the Triune God. This scheme or plan is clearly implied in the Scriptures.

   a. "Then said I, Lo, I come : in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God : yea, thy law is within

1. Burton Scott Easton, International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Eerdmans, 1947, Vol. II, p. 1291.

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my heart" (Psalm 40:7-8). Compare Hebrews 10:7 : "Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God." Christ came to do God's will. God's will or plan was accomplished through the offering of His body once for all.

   b. "I have glorified thee on the earth. I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do" (John 17:4). Christ here declares that He had finished the work which He was sent to do.

   c. As a child He went consciously about His Father's business. "Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?" (Luke 2:49).

   d. The Father sent the Son. "As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world" (John 17:18). "But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law" (Galatians 4:4). The Son was sent in the fullness of time to be a propitiation for sin. "This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins" (I John 4:9-10). The Father gave Christ a work to do and promised a reward for its accomplishment. The Son freely assumed the obligation. He delighted in the performance of His duty. He faced the cross joyfully despite its awfulness, because of that which was set before Him.

   In the execution of the redemption of man the Son was

   (1) To become human being born of a woman. This entrance into the human race was a real incarnation.

   (2) He, of His own volition, came under the law to fulfill all righteousness by obedience thereto.

   (3) He was to bear man's sins. He was made to be sin for man, even suffering the curse of a broken law.

   The Father promised the Son, first, to prepare Him a body by direct creation even as Adam was a creation. This is the meaning of "begotten of the Holy Spirit." Second, the Holy Spirit was to be given unto Him without measure, affording the grace and strength to execute the divine plan. Third, the Father gave support and comfort to the Son in the most trying hours of suffering, and He gave Him the victory over Satan. Fourth, the Father promised to exalt Him at His own right hand following the completion of His work.

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Fifth, He promised the Son that all given to Him would come to Him. Sixth, He assured Him that ultimately He was to be King and that His kingdom would extend over the whole earth.

   2. THE COVENANT OF GRACE between God and His chosen ones, based upon the work of Jesus Christ, is embraced in the Covenant of Redemption.

   God enters into a covenant with His chosen ones. The chosen ones are to receive Jesus Christ as their Saviour and are to give themselves to the doing of God's will. They are to renounce allegiance to the world; God promises to be their God, and they shall be His people. God promises to enroll them in His family. "Therefore, Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.”And, “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty" (II Corinthians 6:17-18). Jesus Christ is the Mediator between God and His people. "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (I Timothy 2:5). As a Mediator He fulfills, on behalf of His people, their covenant obligations. As a Mediator He administers and dispenses the divine blessings. Three times in the book of Hebrews is the function of mediator ascribed to Him. "But in fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises" (Hebrews 9:15). "and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaks better things than that of Abel" (Hebrews 12:24). God entered into a covenant with Israel, His chosen nation. The Covenant of Grace is shown to be superior to this national covenant.

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Chapter II

The Plan of Salvation

IN order to understand the plan of salvation the following questions should be answered : Does God save men? Or do men save themselves? Does God save men directly? Or does He save them through appointed means?

   It is highly important that the truth concerning salvation be understood. It is not a question of what we think should have been the plan, but what is the plan according to the teachings of the Scriptures and confirmed by the ways of Providence and the testimony of the Christian experience.

   We have already seen under "Anthropology" man's utter ruin by sin and his forfeiture of all claim upon God.

   Salvation is either natural or supernatural. Man is either saved by the Saviour, or he saves himself. The evangelical church through the centuries has held the view that salvation is of God, that men are saved through the operation of sovereign grace. The Socinians hold that man is entirely free, by the sheer force of his will, to save himself. This view the church has rejected, and those holding it have been regarded as heretics. The Arminians agree that man's depravity is such that he cannot without divine help save himself, but they believe that through the atonement of Jesus Christ, ability has been given to all men to receive Christ. Their contention is that all men of good will can be saved. Still there are others who maintain that God has appointed certain means by which all who use them can be saved. Then there is the Universalist who declares that the redemption provided by Christ avails for the salvation of all men. This means that what God has done for the salvation of sinful men accrues to the benefit of all men. This view of Universalism is quite widespread. Many leaders in the evangelical church hold to this view, even though they have not dared to declare it.

   What, then, is the plan of salvation set forth in the Scriptures, and corroborated by the works of providence, and witnessed to by Christian experience? This view embraces the following propositions:

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   1. GOD IS ABSOLUTELY SOVEREIGN in the matter of salvation. He is entirely righteous and holy in its offer and application. "You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like the ox and be drenched with the dew of heaven. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes... All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: “What have you done?" (Daniel 4:25, 35). "Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying: Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.... “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being" (Revelation 4:8, 11). "Which God will bring about in his own time—God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords" (I Timothy 6:15). "The earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein" (Psalm 24:1). "For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things : to whom be glory for ever. Amen" (Romans 11:36).

   2. THE ULTIMATE END OF ALL THINGS in creation and redemption is the display or manifestation of God's excellencies and perfections. "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power : for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created" (Revelation 4:11). "Everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made" (Isaiah 43:7). "And to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms" (Ephesians 3:9-10). "He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves ... he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ" (Ephesians 1: 5-6, 9).

   3. CREATION, PROVIDENCE, AND REDEMPTION were for the purpose of the display of His glory. "The Lord works out everything to its proper end— even the wicked for a day of disaster" (Proverbs 16:4).

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"When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all" (I Corinthians 15:28). "For Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth" (Romans 9:17). "In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace ... in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory" (Ephesians 1:7, 12).

   4. GOD CREATED THE RACE, making Adam its head and representative and placing him on probation. "So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground” (Genesis 1:27-28). "Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned" (Romans 5:12). "But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die" (Genesis 3:3).

   5. ADAM'S FALL INVOLVES ALL HIS POSTERITY. All are in such a state of ruin, helplessness, and misery that they are utterly without ability to extricate themselves. "Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned ... But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! Nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification" (Romans 5:12, 15-16).

   6. FROM THE MASS OF FALLEN MEN God, for reasons known only to Himself, selected certain ones to salvation and passed by the rest, leaving them to the just recompense of their sins. "And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord : and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed" (Acts 13:48).

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"For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will ... he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ ... In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will" (Ephesians 1: 4-5, 9, 11). "But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because God chose you as firstfruits to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth" (II Thessalonians 2:13). "Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ : Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied" (I Peter 1:2).

   7. THE GROUND OF THIS SELECTION WAS NOT FORESEEN MERIT, not grace to one to the exclusion of the other, but on the basis of God's good pleasure.

   "He made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ ... In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will" (Ephesians 1: 9, 11). "Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God’s purpose in election might stand ... It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy" (Romans 9:11, 16). "He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time" (II Timothy 1:9). "He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will ... that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding" (Ephesians 1:5, 8).

   Definition:

   8. FOR THOSE THUS CHOSEN HE GAVE HIS OWN SON to become Man to render obedience to His holy law and to suffer the penalty of a broken law, in the stead of His chosen ones, thereby making full satisfaction for sin and rendering the salvation for all such absolutely certain.

   "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out" (John 6:37).

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"For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him ... I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word ... I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours" (John 17: 2, 6, 9).

   9. THE HOLY SPIRIT MAKES EFFICACIOUS GOD'S GRACE FOR THE ELECT. "When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, So then, even to Gentiles God has granted repentance that leads to life” (Acts 11:18). "(God) made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved" (Ephesians 2:5). "Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth" (II Timothy 2:25). "Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again ... Jesus answered, Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit" (John 3:3, 5).

   10. THOSE SOVEREIGNLY CHOSEN TO EVERLASTING LIFE shall certainly be brought to the knowledge of the truth to the exercise of faith and perseverance in holy living unto the end.

   "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose ... And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified" (Romans 8:28, 30). "For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight ... not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do" (Ephesians 1:4; 2:9-10). "Who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance" (I Peter 1:2). "Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose" (Philippines 2:12-13).

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Chapter III

The Place of the Plan of Salvation in the Scriptures

THIS plan lies deeply embedded in the Scriptures. In the counsels of eternity full provision was made. Christ was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. "And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him. whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Revelation 13:8). Indeed this plan is found to be the very structure of both the Old and New Testaments.

   1. IN THE OLD TESTAMENT. Some representative passages which set forth Christ as the Redeemer:

   a. The Seed of the woman. Immediately following the fall of man, a promise was given that the Seed of the woman was to be the Redeemer-Saviour. "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel" (Genesis 3:15). Undying enmity was to exist between the Seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent. The Seed of the woman was ultimately to triumph, though at the cost of great suffering.

   b. A Prophet like Moses. A Prophet was to come out of Israel bearing certain resemblances to Moses. He was to be vested with authority as God's Mouthpiece. "The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him. For this is what you asked of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said, “Let us not hear the voice of the Lord our God nor see this great fire anymore, or we will die. The Lord said to me: What they say is good. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites, and I will put my words in his mouth. He will tell them everything I command him. I myself will call to account anyone who does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name" (Deuteronomy 18:15-19). Upon the basis of His utterances His hearers were to be judged.

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   c. The antitype of the tabernacle and ceremonial feasts. The tabernacle with its various furnishings and its sacrificial offerings, as well as the appointments or feasts of Jehovah, marvelously foreshadowed the Redeemer and His work. Detailed study of the Old Testament sanctuary and the ceremonies connected with the religious life of the Hebrews fully sets forth God's plan of salvation. The mastery of this plan will well repay the earnest student.

   d. A Redeemer, both human and divine. It was necessary that Mediator-Redeemer be a human being united with deity. A Child was to be born, a Son given. This Son was to be the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, and the government was to be upon His shoulder. "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given : and the government shall be upon his shoulder : and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6).

   e. A Governor was to come out of Bethlehem. The One coming from Bethlehem was to be the Governor of His people. "But you, Bethlehem Ephratah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times" (Micah 5:2). This prophecy was fulfilled in the birth of Jesus Christ. “But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the princes of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel" (Matthew 2:6).

   f. A suffering Substitute. Isaiah presents the Redeemer as One who was to be despised and rejected of men, who was to suffer representatively for His people. Fourteen times in Chapter 53 of Isaiah, His vicarious sacrifice for sin is mentioned. "Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away. Yet who of his generation protested? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was punished. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth" (Isaiah 53:4-9).

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   g. The crucified One. Psalm 22 sets forth the crucifixion of Christ on Calvary. He was to undergo great suffering, to be exposed to utter shame, to be marked and derided, and even forsaken of God. "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish? My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, but I find no rest ... All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him, for dominion belongs to the Lord and he rules over the nations" (Psalm 22: 1-2, 27-28).

   2. IN THE NEW TESTAMENT. The New Testament contains many passages bearing on the redemption wrought by Christ, but the plan of salvation is logically set forth in Paul's epistle to the Romans, which is the only book in the Bible where the Saviour's work is systematically presented. We have seen under "Anthropology" that as a result of sin man became utterly depraved and under the bondage of sin and the devil. As far as man is concerned, the consequence of his sin is inescapable. However, Paul sets forth clearly the way of deliverance.

   a. Deliverance from God's wrath (Romans 1:17-2:16). All men are guilty before God and are exposed to God's wrath. "The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them" (Romans 1:18-19). This is not only shown by Scripture, but is attested by man's universal experience. Wherever man is found, regardless of his state, there is evidence that he is conscious of some being above him looking down upon him with disfavor.

   The redemption of Christ delivers man from God's wrath. "There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1).

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   b. Expiation of man's guilt (Romans 3:9-26). Before there can be peace with God, man's sin must be blotted out. The imputation of Christ's righteousness upon believers meets all God's requirements. "But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus" (Romans 3:21-26). Christ was made under the law in order that He might personally conform to the law's demands in the place of the redeemed. The judgment of God fell upon Jesus Christ. He, therefore, suffered the penalty which was due the sinner.

   c. Putting away of sin (Romans 3:24-4:8). The salvation wrought by Christ put away sin, thus again uniting God and man. "And all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus" (Romans 3:24-26). Compare Hebrews 9:26-28: "Otherwise Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him."

   d. The cancellation of debt to the law (Romans 4:8-25). The redemption wrought by Christ cancelled man's debt to the law. "Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord will never count against them ... because the law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression ... but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification" (Romans 4:8, 15, 24-25). Because Christ in obedience and suffering met all of God's demands of the sinner, the believer is free from condemnation.

   e. Restoration to fellowship with God (Romans 5:1-21). The work of the Redeemer involved reconciliation between God and man,

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and man's restoration to divine fellowship. "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God" (Romans 5:1-2). How wonderful that we have been freed from sin and its consequences, but how much more wonderful that the redeemed one receives a place in God's family!

   f. Emancipation from sin's power (Romans 7:1-8:2). Redemption involves emancipation not only from the consequences, the penalty of sin, but also from the power of sin. "There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus made me free from the law of sin and of death" (Romans 8:1-2).

   The Holy Spirit regenerates the believer and then takes up His abode in his life. If permitted to have control, the Spirit causes Christ to become the Lord of the believer's life. Through the Spirit's ministry the believer realizes that he is justified before God and that he may have victory over sin. A life of victory over sin is not only possible, but is obligatory upon the believer.

   g. Deliverance through personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The deliverance of the believer from the penalty and the power of sin issues from the believer's personal relationship with the Redeemer. "For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified ... Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? ... For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:29-30, 35, 38-39). "You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world ... And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus" (I John 4:4, 16-17). It should never be forgotten that the believer's life of triumph is not affected primarily through

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the truth taught, but through the vital relation between the Redeemer and the redeemed. It was for this very reason that Christ incorporated Himself with humanity through the incarnation. "Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants" (Hebrews 2:14-16). Apart from this organic union no salvation is possible.

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Chapter IV

Jesus Christ as the Mediator

WE have seen that man's sin resulted in his separation from God and the creation of a great chasm between man and his Creator. We have likewise seen that if man was ever to be reconciled to God, and if fellowship was to be restored between them, it must be through the office of a Mediator. We have seen how the idea of redemption is likewise embedded in the whole structure of divine plan. Historically this truth was made a reality in the incarnation of the Son of God. In order that He might be the efficient Peacemaker between God and man, this responsibility must be committed to Him. This is just what He Himself tells us was His responsibility.

   1. HIS AUTHORITY. "Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me" (Matthew 28:18). "All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him" (Matthew 11:27). "Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son ... Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man" (John 5:22, 25-27). Christ declared that all power and judgment were committed to Him.

   2. HIS QUALIFICATIONS. The essential qualification of the Mediator between God and man was that He must possess both a divine and a human nature.

   a. Divine nature. It was necessary that the Mediator be God in order to represent God.

   (1) That He might represent God. The Mediator must not only be invested with authority, but in His essential nature He must be able to act on behalf of God.

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   (2) That He might reveal God. "No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known" (John 1:18). A being who is less than God cannot reveal God. Being one in essence with God, Christ is able to make God known.

   (3) That He might be above all law and infinite. The Mediator must be God so that as to His person He is above all law, and as to the dignity of His nature He is infinite, so that He might render to the law on behalf of His people a free obedience which He did not owe of Himself, and also that His obedience and suffering might possess unlimited value.

   (4) That He might possess wisdom, knowledge, and power. He must possess the wisdom, knowledge, and power requisite to administer the providence and grace committed to Him, as the Mediator.

   b. Human nature. It was essential that the Mediator be really man in order :

   (1) That He might represent man as the last Adam. Adam was not only the federal head of the race, but was its vital and organic head, so that his acts were representative of the whole race. Therefore, as all men are sinners through the disobedience of one, so many have been made righteous through the obedience of One. A Mediator whose nature is not really human would be unable to represent human beings. "But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! Nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ! Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous" (Romans 5:15-19).

   (2) That He might live under the law. Since the Mediator represented man as the last Adam, He must be made under the law in order to render obedience to the law and to suffer the penalty

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of a broken law on behalf of others. "But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship" (Galatians 4:4-5).

   (3) That He might become the true High Priest. "For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted" (Hebrews 2:17-18). "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need" (Hebrews 4:15-16). Without the priestly ministry of Christ, harmony between God and man could not have been accomplished.

   (4) That He might be the Head of the Church. "For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters" (Romans 8:29). The Mediator must be human so that in His glorified humanity He might be the Head of the glorified Church, by means of which He would become the example and pattern to which His people might be conformed. He thus became the firstborn, or the pre-eminent One among many brethren. We see, then that the God-Man, Jesus Christ, became the efficient Saviour-Redeemer.

   3. HIS EXCLUSIVE PREROGATIVE. Jesus Christ is the only Mediator. This is proved by:

   a. The direct testimony of Scripture. "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (I Timothy 2:5). "Neither is there salvation in any other : for there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).

   b. He fulfilled every mediatorial function. He is shown in the Scriptures as fulfilling, in behalf of His own, every necessary mediatory function. These necessary functions include propitiation, which means to dispose favorably. Christ's sacrifice removed every impediment between God and man, thus making possible the expression of God's favor toward man.

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   Then too, it was necessary that sin be taken away. The vicarious atonement through the shed blood of Jesus Christ has removed man's sin altogether.

   More than that, the Mediator must also be an advocate. As the great High Priest, Christ represents man before God. "My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world" (I John 2:1-2). This ministry was begun on earth when Christ was offered up for our sins. He continues this ministry in heaven. "Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them" (Hebrews 7:25). "He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption ... How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!" (Hebrews 9: 12, 24). The guarantee of victorious triumph on the part of the believer while passing through the trials of this world is that the One who offered Himself on earth has ascended on high to make intercession for His own.

   By virtue of the infinite dignity of His person and the perfections of His nature, all the functions of the Mediator were discharged by Him. "How much more shall the blood of Christ who through the eternal spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" (Hebrews 9:14). "For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy" (Hebrews 10:14).

   c. He provided complete salvation. There is no salvation in any other. "Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6). "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).

   d. He exhaustively executed His office. Having discharged the office exhaustively, there is no room for any other Mediator between the individual believer and God. Everyone is invited to come immediately to Him. "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28). The work of drawing men to Christ belongs to God the Father, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day" (John 6:44);

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God the Son, "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me" (John 12:32); and God the Spirit, "He shall glorify me : for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you" (John 16:14). It is seen, therefore, that Christ is supremely qualified for this mission and that the Triune God makes this ministry effective.

   4. HIS EXECUTION OF THE OFFICE OF MEDIATOR. As the Mediator between God and man, Christ is presented in the Scriptures as Prophet, Priest, and King. As Prophet, Christ shows the way to God. "Jesus answered, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6). As Priest, He offered sacrifice for our sins. "Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself" (Hebrews 8:1). As King, He shall reign over the whole world. "I charge you to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which God will bring about in his own time—God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords" (I Timothy 6:14-15). These are not three offices, but three functions of the one indivisible mediatorial office.

   a. As Prophet. A prophet is one who speaks