"The Atonement Between God and Man"
Study XV: "A Ransom For All"
The Only Basis For Atonement",
first published in 1899.



Ransom Not Pardon

The failure to discern the distinction between ransom and pardon has led to considerable confusion of thought on the subject. Christian people of general intelligence will quote texts relative to our being ransomed from the tomb, redeemed from death, bought with a price, even the precious blood of Christ, etc., and in the same breath they speak of the Father's gracious pardon of all offenses. Seemingly few thin, though many must know, that pardon and ransom express exactly opposite thoughts.

The following primary definitions are from the Standard Dictionary:--

Now contrast with these the signification of

Notice here also the definition of another word which though closely related to pardon is not exactly the same, viz.-- "The law knows no forgiveness." The most ordinary mind must discern that the thought expressed by "redeem" and "ransom" is opposed by and irreconcilable with the thought expressed by the word pardon. But since all of these words are used in the Scriptures in reference to God's dealings with fallen man, many Bible students think of them as used carelessly and synonymously in holy writ: and they then conclude that they may take their choice and either attach the definition of "pardon" to the words "ransom" and "redeem" or vice versa the definitions of "ransom" and "redeem" to the words "pardon" and "forgive." This procedure is far from "rightly dividing the word of truth:" it is confounding two separate and distinct matters, and the result is confusion. With many the difficulty seems to be that they do not want and therefore do not seek for the truth on the subject -- fearing that their no-ransom theories would thereby be condemned.

Nothing can be clearer than that God did not pardon Adam's transgression and remit its penalty: the facts all about us, in the groaning and dying creation, no less than the testimony of God's Word concerning "wrath of God revealed" -- the "curse" of death as the wages of original sin, all testify loudly that God did not pardon the world -- did not remit its sin-penalty under which it has suffered for over six thousand years. He who confounds the justification of sinners through the merit of the sin-sacrifice of Christ, the sinner's substitute or ransomer, with pardon without payment, has not had his senses exercised properly. Had God pardoned Adam he would have restored him to the privileges of Eden and its life-sustaining orchard, and he would be living yet, and his numerous family would not have died for "one man's disobedience."

If at any time God were to come to man's rescue and pardon him, it would imply his full release from all the blight, disease, pain and death: it would mean full restitution to all that was lost. Evidently then God has not pardoned the original sin, but still holds the resentment of his holy law and sentence against the sinner. There is even no outward evidence to the world that they have been redeemed, ransomed. Only believers yet know of this and they receive it, not by sight, but by faith in the Lord's Word; its many declarations to this effect we have already cited. The sight-evidences proving the ransom will be discernible during the Millennium, when the work of restitution is under way -- when the Redeemer begins the exercise of his purchased rights as the Restorer.

The words forgive and pardon are used not in respect to the world and its original sin, but in respect to those who through faith in the Redeemer and his work are reckoned as having passed from death unto life -- from sentence to justification. The great Mediator who bought them, and who bought the charges which were against them, freely forgives them and starts them afresh on trial for life -- under the spirit of the divine Law and not under its letter. And more than this forgiveness of the past, he continues to forgive them and to pardon all their offenses (which will not be wilful so long as they have his new spirit or mind -- 1 John 3:9; 5:18) -- counting all such unwilful blemishes of thoughts, words and deeds as a part of the original sin and it depravity, still working in their flesh through heredity. Similarly the Heavenly Father is said to have mercy upon us, to forgive our trespasses, and to extend his grace (favor) to us; but the explanation is that all his grace is extended to us through our Lord Jesus' sacrifice: we are "justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God set forth to be a propitiation [satisfaction] through faith in his blood -- to declare his righteousness for the remission [forgiveness] of sins." (Rom. 3:24-25) Again, it is declared, "We have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace." -- Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14

"We were reconciled to God by the death of his Son," i.e., God ceased to resent our sins, because our ransom price had ben paid, as provided by himself, who so loved us that he gave his Son to redeem us. Thus, too, "God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them" (but unto his beloved Son, who freely gave himself as our substitute). The sins were imputed to mankind until Jesus died; then God forgave, i.e., ceased to impute to us what had been paid by our Redeemer or Substitute. God did not pardon, i.e., "refrain from exacting the penalty," but "laid upon him [our Redeemer] the iniquity of us all." (Isa. 53:6) "He bore [the penalty of] our sins in his own body on the tree." (1 Pet. 2:24) And thus we see how God forgave us freely for Christ's sake" -- because he paid the penalty which was the full satisfaction of justice. -- 1 John 1:7; 2:12; Eph. 4:32; Acts 4:12; 10:43; 13:38; Luke 24:47

Let it not be misunderstood that God compelled the just one to die for the unjust. Justice could not inflict the punishment of the guilty upon the innocent unless the innocent one freely gave himself as a substitute for the guilty. This our Lord Jesus did. The Scriptures declare that he laid down his life of himself; not for fear of divine wrath; not because compelled; but "for the joy that was set before him [the joy of obedience to the Father, the joy of redeeming and restoring mankind, and of bringing many sons to glory] he endured the cross." -- Heb. 12:2

The Greek words (apoluo, aphiemi and aphesis) translated "forgiveness," "forgiven" and "forgive," in the New Testament, have the save significance as the corresponding English words: "To release from punishment, to cease to cherish resentment towards." But let us mark well that the meaning is not as some seem to infer -- to send away without an equivalent, as the English word pardon would imply. It is not that God will let the sinner go unconditionally, but, as Scripturally declared, God will let go the prisoners out of the pit (out of death), because he has found a ransom. (Job 33:24) The man Christ Jesus gave himself a ransom (a corresponding price) for all. (1 Tim. 2:6) Therefore all that are in their graves (prisoners in the pit) shall hear his voice and come forth, in due time -- when the Redeemer shall "take to himself his great power and reign."

Though the word pardon does not occur in the New Testament, a Greek word of nearly the same meaning does occur -- karazomai. It signifies, to forgive freely. We will give some illustrations of the use of this word, from which it will be seen that it does not oppose but confirms the statement that our Father does not pardon, or unconditionally set sinners free from sin's penalty. The word karazomai occurs in all only twelve times, as follows: -- "Forgiving one another . . . even as Christ forgave you" (Col. 3:13); "When they had nothing to pay he frankly forgave them both"; "He to whom he forgave most." -- Luke 7:42-43

Here are four instances in which free forgiveness or pardon is meant. But notice, it is not Jehovah, but Christ Jesus and the disciples who do the free forgiving. Our Lord Jesus was in the very act of paying the ransom price of Simon, Mary and others, and realizing that Justice would be satisfied by his act, he, as the purchaser, could freely forgive them. The very object of his purchasing sinners was, that he might freely release them from sin's condemnation. Had our Lord Jesus been unwilling to pardon those whom he had purchased with his own blood, had he still held against them the wages of Adam's sin, his sacrifice would have been valueless to them; it would have left all as they were -- "cursed" -- condemned. On the other hand, had the Father pardoned us, Christ's death would have been useless, valueless, as it would have accomplished nothing.

All will admit that God is just; and if so, he did not inflict too severe a penalty on man when he deprived him of life. Now if that penalty was just six thousand years ago, it is still a just penalty, and will be just for all coming time. If the penalty was too severe and God pardons the sinner (releases him from further continuance of the penalty) it proves either that God was at first unjust, or is so now. If it was right six thousand years ago to deprive mankind of life unless the pronounced penalty were justly canceled by the payment of an equivalent price. And this could only be accomplished by the willing sacrifice of another being of the same kind, whose right to life was unforfeited, giving himself as a substitute or ransom.

"Forever firm God's Justice stands
As mountains their foundations keep."

This very principle of justice which underlies all of our Father's doings, is the ground of our strong confidence in all his promises. The Scriptures declare that he is the same yesterday, today and forever, that with him is no variableness neither shadow of turning. (James 1:17) If he were so changeable as to condemn the race to death in Adam's day, and six thousand years after were to revoke his own decision, what assurance could we have that in six thousand years, ore or less, he might not change again, and remand us to the prison-house of death by revoking the pardon of some or of all? As a race of sinners we have no foundation whatever for hope of future everlasting life except in the fact that by God's grace Christ died for us and thus satisfied the claims of Justice against us.

So, then, so far as Jehovah is concerned, we are forgiven through his own provision -- through Christ. And so far as our relationship to the Lord Jesus, who bought us, is concerned, he freely pardons all who would come unto the Father by him. And so far as we are concerned, the results attained by God's plan are most favorable -- to us it amounts to the same as though the Father had pardoned us unconditionally and without a ransom, except that a knowledge of the fact enables us to reason with God, and to see how, though our sins were as scarlet, we are made whiter than snow, and how God is just while justifying and releasing us. Thus God has furnished us a sure foundation for faith and trust.

Does Not Death Cancel Man's Debt?

"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." -- Rom. 6:23

"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." --1 Tim. 2:5-6

When once it is recognized that "the wages of sin is death" -- not eternal torment -- there is with many a tendency toward false reasoning on this subject, which evidently is abetted by the great Adversary. This false reasoning proceeds to say, "If the wages of sin is death, every man who dies pays the penalty of his sin:" consequently, the argument is, there would be no necessity for a Redeemer and a ransom price -- each one ransoming himself, redeeming himself by paying his own penalty. The argument is that Justice has no further claim upon man after death -- having expended its force -- having satisfied its own claims in his destruction; hence it is claimed that a resurrection of the dead would be next in order, and the proper thing. This view would make the divine requirement of a ransom-sacrifice for man's sin an injustice, a double payment of the penalty.

Whether this reasoning be true or false, it evidently is in violent conflict with the Scriptures, which declare, to the contrary, our need of a Savior, and that it was essential that he should give a ransom-price for us, before we could be released from the penalty of Adam's sin, and have any right to a future life. We have already referred to these Scriptures, and they are too numerous to be now repeated, hence we will confine ourselves to exposing the fallacy of the above claim; endeavoring to show that correct reasoning on the facts is in absolute accord with the Scriptural testimony, that the death of our Lord Jesus, as our ransom-price, was essential, that God might be just and yet be the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus, accepting him as his Redeemer.

Had the penalty against sin been merely dying -- had the Lord said to Adam, Because of your sin you must experience the trying ordeal of dying! then, indeed, the penalty would be met by Adam and others dying. But such is not the penalty: the penalty is death, not dying; and death is the absence of life, destruction. Hence for man to pay his penalty would mean that he must stay dead, devoid of life forever. "The soul [being] that sinneth, it shall die." As already pointed out, this destruction of the soul (being), according to the sentence, would have been everlasting, except for the redemption accomplished by our Lord. It is in view of that redemption that death is turned into what is figuratively termed a "sleep" -- in view of that redemption there will be an awakening from this sleep of death in due time, accomplished by the Redeemer, with the full consent of divine Justice, whose demands he met. Thus, as we have seen, had it not been for the redemption, Adamic death would have been what the Second Death is to be, viz., "everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his power." When once the proper view of the subject is obtained, there can be no further doubt in the mind of any reasonable person that paying the penalty of sin takes all that a man has, and leaves nothing either to suffer or enjoy. On the other hand, the more we investigate from this standpoint, the more clearly we may see the seriousness of the difficulty in which our race was involved under the divine sentence; and the more will we appreciate the necessity for the ransom. And seeing this feature of the subject clearly will show us clearly also that when our Lord Jesus did become our Redeemer, when he did give himself as our ransom-price, it meant to him what the original penalty would have meant to us, viz., that "the man Christ Jesus" suffered for us death, in the most absolute sense of the word, "everlasting destruction." Hence we know Christ no more after the flesh. The flesh, the human nature, was given as our ransom-price, and the fact that it was not taken back is our guarantee that all the blessed provisions of that ransom are available to the entire human family under the terms of the New Covenant -- that all the perfections and rights which belonged to our dear Redeemer as a man were given in exchange for Adam's similar rights, which had been forfeited through disobedience; and that these, therefore, are to be given to all who will accept them upon the divine terms, during the "times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began." -- Acts 3:19-21

"Who Will Have All Men To Be Saved

"Who will have all men to be saved and to come unto the knowledge of the truth." -- 1 Tim. 2:4
Another danger of false reasoning on the subject of the ransom besets the pathway of some. Many who at one time readily believed the testimony of men, without Scriptural evidence, to the effect that the wages of sin is eternal torment, and that all were sure to get that eternal torment except "the pure in heart," the "little flock," the "elect" Church, having once gotten free from that terrible delusion, are inclined to go to the opposite extreme, and to accept in some shape or form the doctrine of universal everlasting salvation.

The vast majority of those who take hold of this "Universalist" error deny the ransom in toto; but a few take hold of it because of faith in the ransom -- whose operation, however, they fail to distinctly understand. This class is very apt to seize upon the Scripture above cited, and to satisfy themselves with the following process of reasoning: "If God wills to have all men saved, that settles it; for the time is coming that his will shall be done on earth as in heaven." Therefore, say they, "We perceive that the ransom given for all by the man Christ Jesus is to secure the will of God by securing the salvation of all." They proceed to entrench themselves in their error by saying, "When we look at it, since God accepted the ransom-sacrifice of Jesus, he is bound in justice to save all the sinners, and to give back to them again the eternal life lost in Eden." We state their position as strongly as possible, to the intent that it may be answered to their satisfaction, and beyond all cavil.

The difficulty with this reasoning is that it is not sufficiently comprehensive. It takes hold of a few points of Scripture, and neglects many which should be granted a hearing, and whose testimony should have weight in reaching a conclusion. Besides, it only partially quotes, and misinterprets, the Scriptures supposed particularly to support it.

Our Heavenly Father declares "I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye." (Ezek. 18:32) This great favor of an offer of life through a Ransomer to the condemned world is not a new thing on our Heavenly Father's part. He changes not; he has always had this good will towards his creatures. He could have made them mere machines, intellectually and morally, without liberty to will or to do contrary to his good pleasure; but he chose not to make human machines, but to make beings in his own image, in his own likeness -- with liberty of choice, freedom of will, to choose good or evil. He seeketh not such to worship him as could not do otherwise, nor such to worship him as would do so under constraint, but, as he declares, "He seeketh such to worship him as worship him in spirit and in truth" -- voluntarily, from love and appreciation of his principles of righteousness, and of himself, which these represent. -- John 4:23

Nevertheless, it was while God had this same good will toward men that he permitted Adam to take his own choice of obedience or disobedience, and when he chose the disobedience, this same God, who has no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, pronounced the penalty, and for six thousand years has enforced its execution. And now that he has provided a redemption in Christ Jesus, and an opportunity for every member of the human family to return to harmony with himself, and to obtain through Christ eternal life, he at the same time most unquestionably sets up conditions necessary to the obtaining of this eternal life. The terms of the New Covenant are a renewed heart and right spirit toward God, and a full obedience to him. And the fulfilment of the requirements of this New Covenant is only possible through the help of the Mediator of that Covenant, and hence the declaration is that, He that hath the Son may have the life, and he who does not obtain an interest in the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him. -- John 3:36

This is in perfect accord with the statement that God hath no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, and also in accord with the statement in the New Testament, that "God wills all men to be saved, and to come to a knowledge of the truth." Nevertheless, the Scriptures point out that those who reject the offers of divine mercy in Christ are thereby doing despite unto divine favor, and will surely die the Second Death, the wages or penalty of their choosing sin instead of righteousness.

Notice further: this text under consideration indicates merely that it is the will of God that all mankind should be saved from the ignorance and blindness and degradation which has come upon the race as a result of Adam's sin. There is no reference here to an everlasting salvation, but merely to a recovery from the loss sustained through Adam: and it should not be forgotten that father Adam did not lose eternal life, for although he had a perfect life, and was free from all elements of death, he was, nevertheless, place in Eden on probation, to see whether, by obedience to God, he would develop a character in harmony with God, and so be accounted worthy of everlasting life. Consequently, when Adam and his race are redeemed from the curse of death, this redemption or salvation from the sentence of death does not entitle them to everlasting life, but merely entitles them to the favorable conditions of father Adam, and to a fresh trial as to worthiness for everlasting life.

This fresh trial secured for Adam and all his race will indeed be more favorable in some respects than was Adam's original trial, because of the large increase of knowledge. Man has had an opportunity to learn the exceeding sinfulness of sin, and will have an opportunity to learn the blessedness of righteousness and of God's grace in Christ. This knowledge will be of service to all who will use it, during the fresh trial for eternal life in the Millennial age -- when for a thousand years the whole world of mankind shall be in judgment or trial for eternal life, before the great white throne. -- Rev. 20:4

It is this salvation from the "curse," this recovery back to favorable opportunities of knowledge, that God wills; and on account of this he has appointed the Mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

This statement, that it is God's will that "all men should be saved" from the Adamic sentence, finds a parallel in the statement by the same apostle, in Rom. 11:26, "And so all Israel shall be saved." The thought in this last passage is not that all Israel shall be saved eternally, but merely that all Israel shall be saved from their blindness -- in the sense of being recovered from blindness which came upon them as a people as a result of their national rejection of the Messiah. So the thought of the text is also limited and applies only to the Adamic catastrophe: "God wills that all men should be saved, not only from the just sentence which he pronounced and which cut short Adam's trial (this he has already accomplished in the death of his Son) but he also wills that all men shall be recovered from the ignorance and blindness with which Satan since the fall has darkened their minds: "the god of this world has 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." (2 Cor. 4:4) God wills that all should be so saved from all the train of evils following Adam's sin and curse, that they may come to a knowledge of the truth. Why does he will this? To the intent that having a clear knowledge of the truth they may make the very best possible use of the new trial for life secured for them by their Redeemer's ransom-sacrifice. It is for the carrying out of this, God's will, that the Redeemer will inaugurate his Millennial Kingdom, which will first bind Satan (restrain all outside evil influences) and then release man from his blindness -- as it is written, "the eyes of the blind shall be opened." (Isa. 35:5) For the same reason, viz., that the new trial shall be most favorable for man, it is the divine arrangement that its work shall be done gradually and require a thousand years.

Justice Not Obligated By the Ransom

The claim that God is now bound, by his own justice, to restore every man, is another mistake. On the contrary, we find that God has assumed no obligation: he has merely sold the race to the Lord Jesus Christ, who, as we have seen forgoing, "bought us with his own precious blood." The Heavenly Father has assumed no responsibilities for the race; he is not dealing with the race; he does not even propose that he will do the judging of them, to see whether or not they shall attain to worthiness of eternal life: on the contrary, we are assured that he has committed the whole matter to the Son, who bought the race, and hence is Lord of the race, its master, controller, owner, Judge, Prophet, Priest, King, and who, in harmony with the Father's plan, is arranging to identify with himself the elect Church of this Gospel age, for the great work of the world's enlightenment and the restitution of the obedient.

The fact that the Heavenly Father disposed of the entire race to our Lord Jesus does not imply any lack of interest on his part, but is so arranged in order to meet the requirements of his law. The divine laws are inflexible, and make no allowance for any degree of imperfection or sin; because those laws are arranged for perfect beings: for our Heavenly Father never created anything imperfect. Whatever there is of imperfection and sin has been of depravity subsequent to his creative operation. If he should admit of sin in mankind, and deal with imperfect man directly, it would mean (1) that all would quickly be sentenced as imperfect and unworthy, or (2) that God would pass over and fail to condemn our faults and condone our imperfections, which would be in violation of the laws of his empire. Hence it is for man's benefit as well as for the preservation of his own laws inviolate that the Father has turned the entire race over to the hands of Jesus, its Redeemer. Jesus can deal with the race so as to be merciful (not just) toward the imperfect ones seeking perfection, until he shall have brought them step by step, up, up, up to perfection at the close of the Millennium -- when those who shall have obeyed the great Prophet will be ready to be transferred out of his Mediatorial hands into the Father's hands; having attained through Christ the perfection approved of the divine standard; while all others will be cut off in the Second Death. (Acts 3:23) It is in view of the fact that even with past sins blotted out our present imperfections would bring a fresh sentence of death if on trial before the Father's court of absolute justice, that the apostle, cautioning us against trifling with the opportunities afforded us in Christ, declares, "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." (Heb. 10:31) The divine arrangement for sinners knows no mercy except in and through Christ and his work of atonement and restitution as the Mediator: outside this provision God's law is stern justice, with no allowances, ready to consume as a fire everything blemished.

Who cannot see that if God could deal with the sinners, and condoning their sins, accept their best endeavors, though imperfect, there would have been no necessity for a Redeemer no for a New Covenant in his blood? Moreover, every one of the holy angels might consistently, if they chose, say -- God condoned one sin in the human family; he would be no less merciful toward us; hence if we desire to do so, we will be at liberty to commit one sin, and may rely upon divine mercy's forgiveness of it, and that God would not cast us off from his fellowship. And thus, to all eternity, there might be danger of sin on the part of those who had not already dabbled in it. Each one who would thus venture on divine mercy, overriding divine justice, and divine law, to the excusement of one sin, and be forgiven, would constitute another argument why every one of the holy angels should take a trial at sin, and experience divine forgiveness. Seeing this, it does not surprise us that God, in the interest of all his holy creatures, as well as for his own pleasure, decides that he will recognize nothing short of perfection in any creature, and makes Justice the foundation of his throne. -- Psa. 89:14

"No Other Name - Whereby We Must Be Saved"

From this standpoint, we see more clearly than ever before that all divine mercies toward the fallen race are extended in and through Christ -- that the Heavenly Father extends no mercies personally, or independently of the Son, and that "there is no other name under heaven given amongst men whereby we must be saved." (Acts 4:12) We see too that the work of the Savior is not accomplished merely in purchasing the race, but that after purchasing them it is necessary that he should be the Great Physician, to heal them of sin-sickness, and to restore them to life and to all the perfections of their nature, and thus eventually, through the processes of restitution during the thousand years of his reign, to make ready as many as will obey him for presentation to the Father, at the end of the Millennium, in absolute perfection.

Looking, then, to the Mediator, in whose hands has been placed "all power" to save, we inquire whether or not he proposes that those whom he redeemed shall all be eternally saved, or whether or not he has place limitations upon the matter. We find that the Scriptures clearly state that there are limitations: for instance, when describing the Millennial age as the time when the Adamic curse shall be set aside, and be no longer in operation upon men, and when it shall no longer be the proverb, The fathers have eaten a sour grape and the children's teeth are set on edge; the declaration is that every man who then dies shall die for his own sin, and not for the sin of another. (Jer. 31:29-30) We find the declaration also, that when the Lord is the ruler amongst the nations, "the evil-doer shall be cut off." (Psa. 37:9) We find that the Apostle Peter, after telling about these "times of restitution," the Millennial age, declares that then "it shall come to pass that whosoever will not hear [obey] that Prophet [the Christ glorified -- head and body] shall be cut off from amongst his people" -- the Second Death. (Acts 3:19-23) Referring to this same type, another of the apostles declares: "He that despised Moses' law died without mercy. . . . Of how much sorer [severer] punishment suppose ye shall he be though worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God and hath counted the blood of the covenant wherewith he was sanctified [made acceptable to God, justified] an unholy [lit. common, ordinary] thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of [divine] grace? . . . It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." "For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth [the knowledge of God's grace in Christ, to which God wills that all shall come some time] there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins [the atonement for Adamic sin will not cover wilful sins against light and knowledge], but a certain fearful looking for of judgment [retribution] and fiery indignation which shall devour the adversaries." -- Heb. 10:26-31

Here we are clearly shown that adversaries of the antitypical Moses (the glorified Christ)shall be devoured or destroyed in a still more severe manner than were those who opposed Moses. But if those who opposed Moses were punished with death, how can those who oppose Christ be more severely dealt with? We answer, that the death inflicted by Moses merely affected the remnant of Adamic life remaining, but could not affect the real being or soul which God purposed to redeem and did redeem by Christ's ransom-sacrifice. He, however, who after knowledge of his redemption refuses to obey the antitypical Moses, will be punished more severely in that he will not only lose a few years of his condemned life, but lose his soul, his being, his existence forever, and that without hope of recovery -- for such, and all adversaries, will be devoured as stubble, as thorns and thistles, cumberers of the ground.

Similarly, throughout the entire New Testament, the testimony is conclusive that the law of God against sin will be radically enforced by the Mediator, and that the only deviations from its absolute rule will be allowances for the weaknesses and ignorance of the people; that as these weaknesses and ignorance are overcome during the Millennial age, by the process of restitution, the requirements of the law of Justice will become more and more exacting, until finally the judgment by which our Lord Jesus will in the end of the Millennial age test all who still remain will be no less severe, no less crucial, than that of the Heavenly Father: and under this trial all will fall into the Second Death who either practice sin or sympathize with it in any form or degree. Perfection having been attained by the worthy of the race, through the processes of restitution, the demands of Justice will be in full conformity to all the dictates of righteousness, in word, in deed and in thought

We can see thus God's will shall be accomplished on earth as in heaven -- remembering (1) that it is God's will that all should be recovered from the Adamic curse, and brought to a knowledge of the truth; (2) that it is the will of God that eternal life should be given to all the obedient; (3) that it is equally the will of God that all the disobedient "shall be destroyed from amongst the people." This feature of God's will shall be done on earth, also, and none can hinder it.

Some have assumed that since the ransom was provided to the intent that all mankind should be recovered out of the Adamic transgression, therefore an instantaneous restitution to full perfection of the human nature is to be expected for the world of mankind. But such an expectation is neither Scriptural nor reasonable. Nothing in the Scriptures intimates that the restitution work shall be an instantaneous one, but on the contrary, that it will be a gradual one. The inclination to look for instantaneous restitution to absolute perfection of the human nature is the result of false reasoning. It assumes that the race could not be properly on trial for eternal life, under equally favorable circumstances with father Adam, except by being made perfect, as he was, but we will demonstrate that this is incorrect -- that they can receive a much more favorable trial while imperfect. It assumes that the weaknesses and imperfections common to all mankind through the fall would be insurmountable barriers, which would hinder the redeemed ones from rendering obedience to the divine law, but we shall see that God's provision abundantly meets the necessities of the case. We answer, that on the contrary, if mankind in general were placed back again, by an instantaneous restitution, to the perfection of human nature as enjoyed by Adam, it would mean: --

(1) That as perfect beings they should be required to obey the perfect law of God perfectly; and that no excuse should be made for them, as none was made for father Adam. While a few of the race might pass such a trial favorably, because of present experience with sin, and the lessons learned thereunder, yet we are to remember that the majority of the race would be just as deficient in knowledge of sin and its penalty as was father Adam, because the majority of the race have died in infancy, and of the remainder a large proportion have died in comparative ignorance of the distinctions between right and wrong.

(2) Such a procedure would, to a large extent at least, make void the great lesson which God had been teaching the world for six thousand years, respecting the sinfulness of sin, the undesirability of sin; for the majority have thus far had comparatively little knowledge of righteousness. Their course of instruction will only be complete to mankind by the lessons on the opposite side of the question, the wisdom and profit of righteousness to be inculcated during the Millennial age.

(3) The race, if restored instantly, would be practically a new race, to which all experiences would be comparatively lost; because no member of it would be able to thoroughly identify himself, a perfect being, with perfect faculties and powers, with the being who now has such imperfect faculties and powers: and with infants, who had never come to a knowledge even of themselves, there could not be the slightest identification. So, if this were God's plan, he might just as well have created millions of human beings at first, in Eden, and have tried them all, as to adopt a plan which would place millions in a similar position, by restitution, with no benefit whatever from present experiences with sin.

(4) If each individual were thus instantaneously made perfect there would be no opportunity for the operation of the Church, with their Lord, as the seed of Abraham, to bless the world, to fulfil toward it the office of the "Royal Priesthood." (Gal. 3:16, 29) The divine provision for a "Royal Priesthood" implies weakness, imperfection, on the part of some whom the priests are to help and instruct, and from whom they are to accept sacrifice and offerings for sin, and to whom they are to extend mercy and forgiveness of sins. There could be no room for such a priesthood, if the plan of God were one of instantaneous restitution at the second advent.

(5) If the restitution were to be an instantaneous work, why should a thousand years be appointed, as "times of restitution," when one year would be an abundance of time for an instantaneous restitution to human perfection and for a trial such as Adam passed through?

(6) If mankind were instantly brought to absolute perfection, it would imply that there would be no room for mercy on their account. There could be no plea for mercy for wilful, deliberate, intentional transgression. Furthermore, each individual who would transgress, would individually bring himself under the sentence of death, as a wilful sinner, and no redemption for these would be possible: unlike the case of Adam, where "by one man's disobedience" a whole race was involved, and another perfect man became the redeemer of that race. In this case each individual would be a personal transgressor, and come personally under the sentence of death. To release again from the penalty of even one transgression would require a life for a life for each individual transgressor: a million transgressors would require a million sacrificial deaths of the pervect and holy if their sins would be atoned for; but God having made a full provision for all in Christ, has made no provision for any further sacrifice for sins. Nor could these, aster being once restored to perfection by Christ, claim anthing further under the merit of his sacrifice, because they would have received all the gracious effects intended and secured by his ransom. There would remain to them no further share in the sacrifice for sins, if they had once experienced full restitution.

But now let us consider the reasonableness of the divine plan of a gradual restitution, progressing proportionately with man's growing at-one-ment with the Creator and his law -- and the benefits of this plan to mankind.

(1) All are to be awakened from the Adamic death, as though from a sleep, by virtue of the ransom given: this will be the first step in restitution blessings. They will then be under the care, charge, supervision, of the Royal Priesthood, whose experience with sin, and with victory over sin, in this Gospel age, will well fit and prepare them to be patient and helpful toward those over whom they will reign, as Kings as well as Priests. -- Rev. 5:10

The identity of the individual will be preserved, by reason of his being awakened to exactly the same conditions which he lost in death; and the various steps of his progression out of sin and the weaknesses of the present time will be most profitable lessons to him, as respects sin and as respects the benefits of righteousness. Thus, step by step, the great Redeemer will lift up toward perfection the world of mankind, which shall make progress toward perfection im proportion as it wills so to do; and those who will not progress, under all the knowledge and opportunities then accorded them, will, at the age of one hundred years, be cut off from the land of the living, in the Second Death, without hope of any future recovery or opportunity; because having had the opportunity in their hands, and having come to a considerable knowledge of right and wrong, they spurned the grace of God in Christ, in that they neglected the instructions of the great Prophet, and refused to make progress along the highway of holiness. Isa. 65:20; 35:8) Nevertheless, as the Prophet points out, when dying at one hundred years of age, they may be considered merely as children, because all who will to make any progress might have continued to live at least until the end of the Millennial age.

(2) In taking these steps upward along the highway of holiness, during the Millennial age, the world, while still imperfect, will be to that extent still covered by the merit of the ransom-sacrifice while learning gradually valuable lessons, and cultivating various fruits of the Spirit: and in the meantime breaks or blemishes, through indiscretion, or through attempts to try other methods, would still come in as part of their Adamic weakness, and to that extent be forgivable at the hands of the great Priest.

To claim that either physical perfection or perfection of knowledge is necessary to a trial for life or death everlasting, is to deny that the Church is now thus on trial: whereas all must concede the Scriptural declarations to the contrary. Nor will such perfections be essential to the world's trial. The world will indeed, as we, be brought first to a knowledge of God's grace in Christ before any trial can begin, and this God has promised they shall have. As a covering for their inherited weaknesses, they will have the merit of Christ, the Mediator, of the New Covenant, while attaining perfection. Not until the end of Messiah's reign will the obedient attain to a complete perfection.

(3) The Scriptures represent the Millennium as the Judgment Day for the world saying -- "God hath appointed a day in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man [the Christ, head and body] whom he hath ordained." (Acts 17:31) If it were God's plan to coerce all the world or to everlastingly save every member of Adam's race, why call the coming age a Day of Judgment? Judgment signifies trial, testing, and this implies the rejection of the unfit as much as it implies the acceptance and blessing of those proved worthy. And the judgment is unto life or death everlasting.

Note our Lord's parable of the sheep and the goats, applicable not to the Gospel age, but to the world in the Millennium. It opens with "When the Son of Man shall come in all his glory" -- and sit upon his glorious throne -- a time when, according to his promise, the bride, the "elect" Church shall share his throne and glory -- "then shall be gathered before him all nations," and he shall judge them, separating the sheep to the right hand of his favor and the goats to the left hand of disfavor. This separating and judging will occupy the entire Millennial age, and at its close the "sheep" will all be welcomed to the Father's favor -- everlasting life, and the disobedient "goats," with Satan their leader, and all evil doers, shall be punished with "everlasting destruction," everlasting cutting off from life -- symbolized by a lake of fire and brimstone -- the Second Death.

The Scriptures represent the judgment of that great Millennial Judgment Day as before a great white throne of purity and justice, and portray the decision of the Judge to the effect that those who have, during that time, cultivated and developed the spirit of the Heavenly Father, the spirit of love, to perfection, shall be accounted as the Lord's people and be granted "the Kingdom prepared for them [the earthly Kingdom] from the foundation of the world." Others, who during that favorable opportunity, shall fail to develop to the fullest extent the spirit of love as their character, in the likeness of the Lord, shall be accounted the Lord's opponents, and, with Satan, such shall be destroyed. -- Compare Rev. 20:9-13

Ransom - Substitution

The doctrine of substitution, clearly taught in the Scriptures, and firmly held for centuries by Christian people, is today giving way, because under clearer reasoning than in the past it is being generally discerned that if eternal torment be the wages of sin, and if our Lord Jesus were our substitute in the payment of our penalty, this would imply that, as our substitute, he must be eternally tormented, else we could not be set free from sin. This reasoning is sound enough: the difficulty is that the premise is a false one. Eternal torment is not the wages of sin, -- not the penalty against man. Nevertheless, in the minds of many, there remains a general prejudice against the though of substitution, even after seeing that the wages of sin is death, and that our Lord Jesus could be and was man's substitute in death, and suffered exactly what man was to suffer, in the most positive and absolute sense. many are prejudiced against this word, substitution and inquire, Is the word, "substitution" used in the Scriptures? If not, why use it?

We answer that the word "substitution" is an English word and that no English words are used in the Scriptures, which wee written in Greek and Hebrew. If, however, the translators of our English version had chosen so to do, they could, with perfect propriety, have used the word "substitution," because the Greek unquestionably contains the though of substitution and substitute, in many places. The fact that the word does not occur is merely because the translators did not happen to use it; and inasmuch as we are seeking to impress the thought of the original Scriptures upon our minds, therefore it is proper that this word "substitute" should be impressed, because whatever is in opposition to the though contained in the word substitute is equally in opposition to the though contained in the word ransom. As we have already seen, the Scriptures abound with declaarations that we were bought with the precious blood of Christ; that he released us by giving his own soul unto death to ransom ours. What is this but substitution?

When a thing is bought, that which is paid for the purchased thing is substituted for it. For instance, if we purchased a loaf of bread for a piece of money, we exchange the money for the bread, i.e., we substitute the money for the bread. If a farmer takes a sack of wheat to the mill, and receives therfor an equivalent value in flour, the wheat has become a substitute for the flour, and the flour a substitute for the wheat. The one is a corresponding price, a ransom, a substitute for the other. Thus it was that in the most absolute sunse of the word, our Lord, the man Christ Jesus, gave himself into death, as a ransom, a substitute, in death for father Adam (and the race that had lost life in him) -- a ransom for all, a substitute, a corresponding price. Indeed, the facts of this case are more exact than almost any other case that we could suppose, except it would be in an exchange of prisoners during war, when there is generally a great particularity to exchange private for private, colonel for colonel, general for general, a corresponding price being required on each side, man for man. The purchase of the bread with money is not so perfect an illustration; because the bread and the silver, although of the save value, are not of the same kind. In the case of man's redemption God required that there be absolute correspondence in nature, in perfection, in everthing -- a prfect substitute, a thoroughly corresponding price had to be paid, before the race could be liberated from the divine sentence.

One use of the word "substitute," common amongst men, has served to confuse the though in this respect. In war time, when a draft becomes necessary, and a man is drafted for army service, he is sometimes permitted to find a substitute, who takes his place, serves in his stead, in the army -- the man who provides the substitute being thereafter free from all obligations to military service. This particular use of the word "substitute" in connection with military matters, is harmonious enough in the sense that the man who is accepted by the government officer as a substitute for the one released must be up to the physical standards demanded at the time; secondly, he must be a man who has not himself been drafted, and who, therefore, is free to offer himself as a substitute. These features correspond to the case we are considering. Our Lord proposed to be the substitute in father Adam's place: he met all the requirements of the divine government, in that he was in every way qualified to be the substitute of Adam. He met also the requrement that he was not already under the sentence of death when he tok our place and offred himself and was accepted. He had free life to give for Adam's forfeited life.

But here the correspondecy between the two substitutions ends, because, in the case of the soldier, the draft or sentence was to participate in the war, and its difficulties, trials, etc., wehreas, in the case of Adam, the draft, the sentence was to death. The harmony between these two uses of the word "substitute" ends when the soldier is accepted and goes into the army-service -- this corresponding to God's acceptance of the ofering of our Lord Jesus and his start to go into death. Because the substituted soldier was accepted to the army, tehrefore the name of the drafted man was stricken off the listws of the drafted, as exempted; and when Christ entered death for Adam, Adam's name was stricken off the lists, so far as the divine condemnation was concerned. The parallel extends no further.

We doubtless do wisely not to unnecessarily obtrude this word "substitution" upon those who already are prejudiced, through a misunderstanding of the subject, and who, because of this prejudice, might be hindered from giving the subject a proper and thorough and unbiased consideration. Nevertheless, we should see to it especially in our own hearts that we are thoroughly loyal to the though of substitution, which is the though of the ransom. Whoever, after a proper understanding of the subject, does not believe that Christ was our substitute, is not exercising faith in the ransom, and is therefore lacking of the faith which justifies before God.

Was No Other Plan of Salvation Possible?

Many, who see the subject of the ransom only imperfectly, are inclined to dispute the matter, and to say that they cannot see why God could not have saved the world in some other way than by the death of his Son, as man's substitute or ransom-price. We answer them, that they are taking an improper view of the matter. The question they should ask themselves is not whether God could have adopted some other way, but, did he adopt some other way, or did he adopt the plan of the ransom?

Unquestionably the divine wisdom could have adopted another plan of salvation for mankind, but we may just as positively set it down that no other plan could have been devised that would have been better, and so far as, our judgment and knowledge go, no ther plan could have been devised, even by the Almighty, that would have been so good as the plan he has adopted, all the connecting circumstances, conditions and desired results being taken into consideration. The fact that God did adopt a different plan in dealing with the fallen angels proves, we may say, that he could have adopted a different plan in dealing with fallen man. He could have done with man as he did with the angels, but, as we have seen this would have been no more favorable, perhaps less desirable, in the judgment of many.

Even if we should suppose that a similar number of the human family would be blessed and ultimately restored by such a dealing on God's part, we would see other disadvantagbes in this method, viz., (1) how much more terible would have been the moral degradation of our race, had it been left in possession of its complete mental and physical powers, and merely permitted to break down morally! How much of sin can be thoroughly learned in the short period of ten, twenty, fifty or a hundred years, and what depths of wickedness might have been explored and exploited had mankind continued to live with unimpaired powers for six thousand years, separated from God, but not dondemned to death!

(2) Such a plan of salvation even if it should reach, eventually, as large a number as the plan God has adopted, would never have revealed to us to the same extent the qualities of the divine character. (a) We see God's Justice in the infliction of the death penalty, even upon those who "did not sin after the similitude of Adam's transgression," but who were merely born in sin, shapen in iniquity, brought forth sinners, by heredity. (Rom. 5:14, 12; Psa. 51:5) He has revealed to us thus, a justice which will by no means clear the guilty, and will recognize nothing short of absolute perfection. (b) He thus revealed to us a love, far greater than we could otherwise have conceived of -- which followed us, and which laid hold upon us "while we were yet sinners," at the cost of the great ransom-price for our recovery. (c) The adoption of this plan of sentencing man to death, redeeming him from death, and subsequently, in due time, restoring him from death by a resurrection, furnishes and opportunity for the display of divine power far beyond anything connected with the work of creation, grand and wonderful as all that was; for unquestionably it requres a greater power to accomplish the divine promise of a resurrrection of the millions of beings who have lived and who ahve died -- to bring them forth, identically the same as they were before, even in their own consciousness -- than was requered for the creation of the one man. (d) This divine plan, when fully consummated, will show forth divine wisdom in a way in which no other plan could have shown it, so far as wer are able to consider other plans. It will show how God knew the end from the beginning, and how he has been working all things according to the counsel of his own will, even while men and angels saw not the purpose and the intention of his operations, and even while the fallen angels and Satan suppose that they were frustrating the divine will. It will be demonstrated beyond peradventure that God is able to cause all things to work together for good, for the accomplishemtn of the divine purpose. In th end it will be demonstrated that the Word that goeth forth out of his mouth does not return unto him void, but accomplishes that which he pleases, and propers in the thing wereunto he sent it. -- Isa. 55:11

Furthermore, in adopting with man the plan pursued with the angels who sinned, or indeed in any other plan that we can conceive of, there could not have been so grand an opportunity for the election of the Gospel church to be the body of Christ; for there would not have been the same grand opportunity for the testing of the loyalty and obedience of the Logos to the Heavenly Father, and consequently of his exaltation to be a participator in the divine nature -- nor an opportunity for a little flock of the redeemed to walk in his footsteps. And finally, we see that these lessons are not merely for humanity, but also for all the intelligent creatures of God, on every plane of being; and not only for a few centuries, but for all eternity.

"O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God. How unsearchable are his decisions, and his ways past finding out. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, or who hath been his counselor? . . . For of him and through him and to him are all things: to whom be glory forever. Amen." -- Rom. 11:33-36