A Bible study from Faithbuilders Fellowship, presented on this website by True Grace Ministries.
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“A Ransom for All”

A discussion of the sacrifice of Christ Jesus, of its present and future blessings to those who now believe, and of its subsequent benefits to all mankind.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.” -- Proverbs 9:10, 3:13, 18:13



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“A Ransom for All”:

1. What did God make for our condemned parents?

2. What did the things God made for them foreshadow?

3. What kind of life did Adam and Eve receive by creation?

4. Who were they a 'little lower' than?

The Sin:

5. What command was Adam and his wife placed under?

The Penalty:

6. What was thc penalty for disobedience?

7. What was done to enforce the penalty?

8. How long was the day in which Adam died?

“Many Made Sinners”:

9. Why is it that we all die?

10. What would others have done differently if in Adam's position?

All the World Guilty Before God:

11. What do God's changeless principles guarantee?

12. What did God foresee even before transgression?

13.What price did God require for man's redemption?

“Bought with a Price”:

14. What is the meaning of ransom?

15. What kind of life was required to provide a ransom for Adam?

16. What two things did the only begotten son of God undergo to ransom mankind?

17. Why could not the son of God remain in heaven and be our ransom?

The Ransom, A Truth that Tests Other Teachings:

18. What did Jesus give up as a ransom for Adam and his race?

19. What is clearly not the penalty for sin?

The Lord of Lords:

20. Of what nature was Jesus when on earth?

21. What was the last change of nature of Jesus?

The Everlasting Father:

22. List the seven titles which apply to Jesus since His resurrection.

23. In what offices does Jesus now serve in heaven?

24. What will Jesus do for all those who believe 'into' Him?

“He...Shall be Satisfied”:

25. What is foreseen to result from His sufferings that will 'satisfy' Jesus?

Many Not Yet Blessed:

26. What two things must precede the resurrection blessing of all mankind?

Blessings through Judgment:

27. Who will be associated with Jesus during the world's judgment day?

28. How may we become joint heirs with Christ?

29. What will mankind learn in their resurrection and judgment?

30. What does the Bible's ransom teaching reveal?

Notes:

31. What is the meaning of 'ransom'?

32. What was shown by the fact that Jesus sat down at the right hand of God?





“A RANSOM FOR ALL”



“God...wishes all men to be saved and to come to a full knowledge of truth. For there is one God, also one Mediator of God and of men, a man Christ Jesus, the one having given Himself a ransom on behalf of all, the testimony in its own times.” -- 1 Tim. 2:4-6 Marshall Interlinear


FROM earliest times to the present, the necessity of sacrifice of life to make propitiation for sins has persisted as an idea in the human mind. This requirement was illustrated at the first by the coats of skins which the LORD God made for Adam and Eve after He had pronounced sentence on account of their sin.

God's provision of coats required a sacrificial victim, and implies that the sinner is unable to make the necessary arrangement for atonement himself. It also teaches us that just as the LORD God provided the victims whose skins were made into robes for the sinners, so He would, and only He could, provide in due time the necessary sacrifice that would actually supply the needed covering, and be the propitiation for sins. The provision in the garden of Eden illustrated the love of God for the guilty pair, and foreshadowed His grander provision made in “the fulness of the time” on behalf of them and all their race. -- Gen. 3:21, John 3:16, Gal. 4:4,5, 1 Pet. 1:20

The fact that the sinner can not himself provide that which enables atonement, but that it must be provided by God, has been generally lost sight of. The extent of the alienation from God of the human race and its consequent ignorance of the true God is shown in the fact that many peoples of earth have become worshippers of demons or idols.

As the divine likeness in imperfect men became more and more obliterated, they attributed to their gods vindictive <page 4> attitudes which they introduced into their religions. They came to believe that cruel things were needed to satisfy their gods in order that atonement might be realized. The relationship of the creature to his loving creator has been so distorted that it can be said that some gods have been made by men. Even some Christian groups are guilty of this, as evidenced by the cruel characteristics some ascribe to the Almighty.

Although God's justice must be exact and stern, it can be both without being unreasonable. And a loving provision for the removal of the divine penalty against the sinner who believes in Jesus is quite compatible with justice. It magnifies the divine honor, exhibits the love of both God and Christ for a lost world, and lays the foundation for many benefits which in due course will come to all who desire to attain them, The teaching of Scripture on this most important subject is both harmonious and convincing.



The Sin

When Adam and Eve were placed in the garden which God had planted “eastward in Eden,” they were innocent and morally pure, being in the image and likeness of their Creator. “Very good” was the word used to describe them (Gen. 2:8, 1:31). Of course their estate was not the highest in the universe. The Bible indicates that there are at least two glories above the human - the glory of the Father and the glory of the angels. The angels are apparently the lowest estate of God's creation that have spirit bodies, for of man it is said, “Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels” (Psa. 8:5). Angels are heavenly beings, differently constituted from mankind, and dwell in celestial conditions. (Dan. 9,20,21, Matt. 18:10, Mark 12:25) Man was made suited for earthly habitation, and his dominion was earthly - over the fish, fowl, beasts, and the tending and keeping of its agricultural products. -- Gen.1:26-28, Psa. 8:6-8, 115:16

Our father Adam was thus created “a little lower than the angels.” <page 5> He was without experience, and therefore without established character, though equipped with full physical and mental processes. Adam and his beautiful companion were placed under a command which was to test their obedience and loyalty to their Creator. The literal test itself was a very simple one - merely that they not eat from the fruit of a certain tree, the lack of which would in no way interfere with their sustenance. As no law is of force unless a penalty be arranged for infractions, so a penalty was provided in case of disobedience to the command.

This is a great difficulty to some, for the penalty arranged seems out of all proportion to the insignificance of the offence to be punished. But capital punishment was indeed the penalty for eating fruit from the tree of which God instructed them not to eat. And why was this? It was to test the loyalty of the creature to the Creator. The value of the fruit was not at all an element of consideration.

It is good to remember the important principle that the smaller and less significant the thing clearly forbidden, the more severe it is as a test of loyalty. Jesus' teaching is in harmony with this truth. “He that is faithful in that which is least, is faithful also in much; and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much” (Luke 16:10). God had a right to require full obedience from His creature, man, and to declare that the disobedient should not be allowed to live.



The Penalty

The test of obedience was very simple, and the penalty for disobedience was stated in simple terms. It was death. But many think that God meant to torture the transgressors to all eternity. Had that been His intent, surely He would have stated it in the plainest terms, under which no misunderstanding could have been possible. Considering the issues involved, nothing less than the clearest possible statement of the divine intent could have been expressed by the wonderfully just and loving Creator.

<page 6> Not a word in the first three chapters of Genesis reveals anything that could be construed as implying an eternity of pain as the threatened penalty for disobedience. “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 dying thou shalt die” (Gen. 2:17, margin). This is the only record of God's words to Adam on this subject before Adam sinned. Here should be found the straight-forward teaching of eternal torture, had that been the penalty of disobedience. But God said nothing about it. Instead of saying that Adam should expect to be kept alive in pain, He said that the transgressor should die. On subsequent occasions the penalty of sin was repeated in the same terms - “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.” Death came by sin. - Ezek. 18:4, Rom. 5:12

Some have found difficulty in understanding how Adam died in “the day” he ate the forbidden fruit, it being obvious that he did not die on the literal day of disobedience. The sin of human disobedience brought condemnation to death the very moment the divine command was broken. Later, with the angels, God dealt differently. The disobedient of them have been “reserved in everlasting chains of darkness unto the judgment of the great day” (Jude 6). And there is no direct statement that Satan was condemned to death as soon as “iniquity was found” in him. But he has been sentenced to death, the execution of which has been postponed (Ezek. 28:15, Rev. 20:10,14, Rom. 16:20, Gen. 3:15). So also with Adam - he did not die as soon as condemned to death.

Some teach that the Hebrew word yowm,1 used in Gen. 2:17 for 'day,' must mean a literal 24-hour day. Yet it is acknowledged that Adam lived 930 years (Gen. 5:5). Because Adam did not die the same 24-hour day he transgressed, a teaching has been formed, though nowhere suggested in the Bible, that Adam died two deaths - first a spiritual death, and much later a physical death. Next, to fit the imagined idea, a non-Biblical definition of death was invented - that it means merely separation from God. All of <page 7> this has confused many on the subject of death. Such purely human reasoning is entirely out of harmony with the Scriptural teaching on death, ransom, and redemption.2

There is no real difficulty with Gen. 2:17 when one recalls the wide use of the phrase 'in our day' as well as Bible usage of the word 'day.' Hebrews 3:8,9 refers to “the day of temptation in the wilderness,” which was really 40 years. 2 Peter 3:8 reads, “one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” While others lived longer than Adam (Gen. 5:27), there is no record that any outlived “the day.” When these and similar references are considered, it is not at all difficult to understand that Adam died within the day that he sinned. The dying process was completed in less than a thousand years.

The words threatening the penalty said nothing about eternal torment, and nothing was said of torment when the sentence was pronounced and more fully explained after the transgression. “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken [Gen. 2:7]: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return” (Gen. 3:19). This language is very precise. None need mistake its meaning. The sinful man was to return to the ground from which he had been taken. Adam, when God formed him “of the dust of the ground,” did not emerge from a condition of misery and woe unspeakable, for “return unto the ground” does not mean eternal torment.

The language describing the execution of the sentence is equally clear, allowing no room for the thought that eternal torment was intended. “Lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever: therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.”- Gen. 3:22,23

The best possible evidence that the penalty was a taking away of all power to live is that Adam was excluded from the garden and its “tree of life,” whose fruit would <page 8> have kept him alive. The penalty was not a perpetuation of existence in misery. Man was driven forth into the unprepared earth, to struggle on as best he might with its thorns and thistles, in order that he might die. Near the close of his 'day' the execution of the sentence was finished, and he returned to the dust. Had he not sinned, he would have been permitted to live on.



“Many Made Sinners”

The sentence of death has become the inheritance of Adam's posterity. It is certain that we all die; and the Bible furnishes the only reasonable account of why this is so. Many who in a general way accept the Bible as God's word incorrectly think of death as being a gateway to glory. This is a great mistake, and has contributed much to prevalent confusion. The Apostle explains, “As by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin...so death passed upon all men.” And again, “In Adam all die,” and, “by man came death” (Rom. 5:12, 1 Cor. 15:21,22). Every member of the race experiences the results of Adam's transgression.

No other explanation than that of God's word suffices to tell us why infants die. These do not bring death upon themselves, because they know not right from wrong. Yet they die. It is as the Scripture says, that by “one man sin entered, and death by sin.” What is true of the infant is true also of the youth, of the middle-aged, and of the old: all die because of the legacy of death handed down to them by our first parents. All are born dying, not with eternal life, and the whole of what we call life is imperfect growth and a process of decay, arrested temporarily by such expedients as man can devise. Adam completed the journey in nine hundred and thirty years. The world-wide average length of life is now about 63 years.

Why did God so arrange that the penalty of Adam's sin should descend to all the billions of his race? None of us have enjoyed his privileges in glory and honor, with sinless purity, in his favorable environment. Does it not seem <page 9> unjust that such a vast multitude, without being consulted, and without power to avoid it, should enter into a curse which they did nothing to bring upon themselves? Is there any wisdom in it?

Before mentioning what seems to be the Scriptural answer to these reasonable questions, it might well be asked whether it is at all likely that we, in Adam's position, would have done better than he did. Let each one carefully think it out for himself, and the conclusion must be that most of us, if not all, would under such circumstances have done precisely what our progenitors in the garden of Eden did. Therefore, it cannot be said that God was unreasonable in not giving us an experience exactly like that of our first parents. And when the arrangements made for atonement for sin are comprehended, it will be clear that the course God took was not only reasonable, but was the most advantageous for the human race.



All the World Guilty Before God

God requires the punishment of disobedience, and cannot allow the guilty to be cleared (Exod. 34:6,7, Rom. 3:19). This is the basis of God's dealings. “Justice and judgment are the habitation of Thy throne” (Psa. 89:14, 97:2). And God does not change His principles. He is “the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17, Num. 23:19). This inflexibility of purpose guarantees God's reliability and the unchangeableness of His designs. Without assurance on this point, we could not feel sure of anything. If God, after condemning Adam, had been brought to acknowledge that He had been unjust, what assurance could there be that He might not be unjust again? Divine justice may seem severe at times, but its fixity is the guarantee of stability for the universe.

Our all-wise Heavenly Father foresaw the difficulty into which the entire race would be plunged by the transgression of the first man. Even before creating man, He had fully in mind the redemptive measures, compatible with His principles, which He foresaw would be required for <page 10> man's rescue. The attributes of the divine character worked harmoniously to devise that plan. Wisdom showed the way in which the interests of love and justice could be fully served. The requirements of justice could be met and love could be fully exercised. The way would he opened by which the race could be blessed. Love would express itself by providing the sacrifice - a corresponding price which alone could satisfy the righteous claim of divine justice.

And what would be a corresponding price? A corresponding price would be the substitution of life for life. Nothing more could be required, nothing less would be satisfactory. But where shall be found the corresponding price? Since all the race is condemned because of sin (“there is none righteous, no not one”), “none of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him” (Psa. 49:7). But God's wisdom saw the way for redemption. The first man's posterity, which was in his loins at the time of the transgression, would share in the sin and its penalty. If a man of perfect righteousness could be found, willing to give up his life as a sacrifice, justice could accept that as full satisfaction.

But where was such a man? No member of Adam's race could meet the requirements, and there could be no assurance that another inexperienced, newly-created man, such as Adam was, would not have followed his way of sin.



“Bought with a Price"

The heavenly Son of God shared His Father's great love for and interest in the race. In due time He came to understand that He might become the man required. By becoming a man, and by giving up His life and the possibility of an earthly wife and a naturally-generated posterity, He could supply the ransom which divine justice required. He at once agreed to make the sacrifice which God designed. Here was one having had closer association with the Father than any other of the heavenly host, trustful and willing to carry out this portion of God's wise plan. He had been with the Father from the beginning. He had <page 11> been the Father's agent in the creation of all things. “Without Him was not anything made that was made” (John 1:3). But He was not a man. How could He be a ransom, or corresponding price? In the glory of His pre-human condition He was far more than the value required, and divine justice, which could not be satisfied with less, could not require more.

The “only begotten Son” could be satisfactory to justice as a ransom only by leaving the heavenly glory and becoming a man. As a man He would be able to offer a ransom, or price to correspond.3 Could divine power accomplish such a wonderful change of nature as to make of Him an earthly being? Yes, divine power could do this. And so it came to pass that He who was in a form like God's form, and who “counted not the being on an equality with God...a thing to be grasped...emptied himself, taking the form of a servant” (Phil. 2:6,7 ASR). He was born of a Jewish woman, thus born under their Law.

The blood of bulls and goats, not being a corresponding price, could never take away sin; and the life of a heavenly being would not have been a proper price. One was not valuable enough; the other would have been too valuable. The sentiment of Jesus' heart made mention of His own flesh for sacrifice, as it was written, “a body didst thou prepare for Me.” And all can come unto God by faith in that one sacrifice. - Heb. 10:5,10 ASR, John 6:51-58, Psa. 40:6-8

The glory and honor of the first man is described in Heb. 2:7,8. “Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honor; and didst set him over the works of thy hands: Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet.” But the entrance of sin made a great change in man's condition. In view of that, the Apostle continued: “But now we see not yet all things put under him. 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 every man.” - Heb. 2:8,9

<page 12> Note how clearly the ransom is here defined. Adam, crowned with the glory and honor of manhood, loses all by reason of sin, and his posterity shares the loss. God's heavenly Son, who had been a spirit being through whom was the creation of angels and men, divests Himself of His heavenly glory, and takes instead the glory and honor of a sinless, undefiled human being. He takes this lower position for a very particular and special purpose which is so definitely expressed that there is no room to question it - “Jesus,...made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, ...that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.”



The Ransom - A Truth that Tests other Teachings

The Bible's clear teaching of the ransom provides simple answers to several questions. It shows that our blessed Redeemer, when on earth, was actually a man. He had to be such, in order to present a satisfactory price to divine justice. He was not 'the God-man.' Such an expression is foreign and contrary to Scripture. Jesus is described as “the Son of God,” not as 'God the Son.' Before He came to earth He was a god (deity), and since His return to heaven He is a god (deity); but it was as “the man Christ Jesus” that He “gave himself a ransom [corresponding price] for all.” - 1 Tim. 2:5,6

The Bible's ransom teaching confirms that the temptations of Jesus were real, vital experiences to our Master. His prayers to God were not formalities. He really gave up His all, His entire human life and its potential, for Adam and his race, trusting the Father to raise Him from death. It is plain that in giving up Himself, He gave up all prospects of a race which might have then sprung from His natural life. He supplied a price to correspond with every requirement of justice. “To this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that He might be Lord both of the dead and living.” “He is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the whole world” when they believe. - Rom. 14:9, 1 John 2:2, 1 Cor. 6:20, 1 Pet. 1:19

<page 13> The ransom for all by the Lord Jesus was in itself a testimony of God's love for our race. And it was indeed provided in its “due time.” The apostles noted this timely witness and identified it for us. “In due time Christ died for the ungodly.” “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (Rom. 5:6, 1 John 4:9,10). But further than this, 1 Tim. 2:5,6 assures that God has ordained 'times' in which shall be made known or explained forth the great sacrifice of our Master and what it has made possible for the intelligent creation. This testimony will yet be given to those who have not previously heard or accepted it. In the 'times' promised by the Apostle, this witness shall reach “all men.” It is for such that He “gave Himself a ransom,” and for whom He is the “one Mediator between God and men.”

A clear view of the ransom, and what it required, affirms the understanding that the penalty of sin is not life in misery, but the taking away of all life in death. The Son of God had to leave the heavenly glory, in order that He might correspond in nature, purity and potential to the man Adam He was to redeem, together with his race. For human redemption, divine justice required the death of an undefiled, sinless man as an offset to the penalty against Adam and his race. Scripture is clear and simple on this point. As the original transgressor was told he should die if he sinned, so the first article of the Christian faith is that “Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures.” - 1 Cor. 15:3

If death meant eternal torment in Adam's case, it could signify nothing less for Jesus, the ransom-price. Since “the iniquity of us all” has been laid upon Him, and since He “bare our sins in His own body to the tree,” must not Jesus now be suffering eternal torment, if eternal torment be the penalty of our sins? (Isa. 53:6, 1 Pet. 2:24) The case is plain. If eternal torment be the penalty for our sins, and Jesus is not suffering it, then we are not redeemed; no corresponding price has been paid to divine justice, <page 14> and we can look forward to nothing but unspeakable woe to all eternity.

But we are redeemed! We are “bought with a price,” even “the precious blood of Christ.” He is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world. This being so, eternal torment cannot be the penalty for our sins, because our Redeemer, upon whom they were laid, is not suffering eternal woe. He tasted death for every man, and the evidence that His sacrifice was satisfactory is that He was raised from the dead by the power of the Father 4,5 (Eph. 1:19,20, Acts 2:24). Let those who believe in eternal torment ask themselves the solemn question, “Has a ransom, a corresponding price, a propitiation, that which expiates, ever been offered for what is due on account of my sins?”

The Scripture teaching on the ransom makes clear so much in the Bible that before was hidden to our understanding. It is not surprising that William Tyndale, the great reformer, said that the doctrine of the ransom is the “touchstone to try all teachings.” Every student of God's word may to his spiritual benefit apply this test to other religious or Bible teachings.

The Apostle instructs us to “prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (1 Thes. 5:21). But it cannot be that he means God's people are to acquaint themselves with the details of all religious teachings in the world. He wrote that there was one foundation, Christ, and “other foundation can no man lay” (1 Cor. 3:11). If a teaching be presented for our consideration, we are not to shut our eyes and ears and run away from it without knowing what it is. We are to prove it; and the first question could be, Does it agree with the one foundation, that Jesus “gave Himself a ransom for all”?



The Lord of lords

The ransomer, raised from the dead, is no longer a human being. Another change of His nature has occurred. He is now “far above all principality and power; and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this <page 15> world [Greek, aioni, 'age'], but also in that which is to come” (Eph. 1:20,21). Nevertheless, He is “this same Jesus” (Acts 1:11). His change in condition and position did not alter His identity. Preservation of identity in His resurrection, as further seen by its preservation in those who He awakened from the dead, proves that every lesson now learned will benefit those members of the human family who undergo individual eternal judgment during the coming age.

On account of His obedience unto the death of the cross, “God also bath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth,- - and things under the earth.” He has been raised from the dead “to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away.” - Phil. 2:8-10, 1 Pet. 1:4

While He was the man on earth, Christ Jesus was not a combination of two natures. Had He been that, He would not have been a “corresponding price” (explained on pages 12 and 13), because Adam was not a combination of two natures. Jesus had the benefit of the information supplied by His mother concerning His origin, as well as deeper discernment into spiritual things revealed to Him through holy spirit (1 Cor. 2:13,14). God's prophet wrote of Jesus' spiritual understanding: “by His knowledge shall My righteous servant justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities” (Isa. 53:11). Nor is our Lord since His resurrection a combination of two natures. Nevertheless, the memory of His experiences on earth is important to Him, and to us, “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.” - Heb. 4:15

The risen Jesus is a merciful and faithful high priest to His people. Jesus “dieth no more” (Rom. 6:9), having become a priest “after the power of an endless life” (Heb. 7:16). He is priest after the order of Melchisedec, one who was at the same time both a king and a priest (Heb. 7:1,17). God has delegated to His Son all authority in heaven and <page 16> in earth (Rom. 14:9, Matt. 28:18). It is He, the foreknown “Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29), that has become “Lord of lords, and King of kings” (Rev. 17:14). He is overcoming the forces of ignorance and error represented by various segments of Gentile power that agree in things contrary to God's will.



The Everlasting Father

This title, written in Isaiah of our Lord Jesus, is in harmony with what has just been said concerning His position since His resurrection - the lord or owner of all for whom He died. “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 Counselor, 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.” - Isa. 9:6,7, 22:22

This prophecy does not suggest that our Lord Jesus is the almighty God whom He acknowledged as His Father (John 8:38-42; 16:28-30, 20:17). Rather, the prophet is presenting the thought that our Lord Jesus stands in the relation of father to all those of the human race who believe and are thus accepted by Him. In harmony with this Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead [“even if he should die” -Marshall; “even though he die” -Rotherham] yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die.” - John 11:25,26

Carrying out the same figure, the Apostle Paul speaks of Christ as the “last Adam.” “The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit” (1 Cor. 15:45). Having accomplished the death on the cross, our Savior was raised by the Father's mighty power; and is now a quickening, that is, a life-giving spirit. “Put to death in flesh, made alive in spirit,” is the expression <page 17> in 1 Pet. 3:18. (See also Heb. 2:9, 5:7, 1 Tim. 2:4-7.) It is the risen Lord, not Christ Jesus as a man, who is referred to in the Bible as the “last Adam.”

“The first man Adam” was set in the earth as head of and life-giver to a race that was to be. Disaster overtook him before he had become the father of even one offspring. The whole of his prospective race was by divine decree involved in the disaster, so that all of Adam's posterity became subject to death. Thus it is stated, “in Adam all die,” and, “so death passed upon all men,” and, “by one man's disobedience many were made sinners.” - 1 Cor. 15:22, Rom. 5:12,19, 8:20

“The last Adam,” a quickening or life-giving spirit, is set at the right hand of God as life-giver, or “everlasting father.” Christ's race, in order to receive His life, must be united to Him, just as Adam's race received death on account of being united to him when he sinned. But here observe a reversal of process. Adam's race sprang from him; Christ's race consists of those who come into Him. His race includes all who will be saved, both in the present age and in the coming age. The union with Christ is, of course, not physical, but a union of allegiance through faith and obedience.

The opportunity to become members of Christ's race is or will yet be extended to all who were overtaken by disaster on account of being members of the race of “the first man Adam.” All who fulfil the necessary conditions of faith and obedience are transferred, as it were, from the first Adam and his death, to “the last Adam” and His life. He that believeth “is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24).6 Those who refuse this gracious offer after proper enlightenment still have death abiding in them. So it is written: “In Christ shall all be made alive,” and, “Whosoever believeth in [literally 'into'] Him should not perish, but have everlasting life,” and, “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” - 1 Cor. 15:22, John 3:16,36, 1 John 5:11,12

The first Adam bestowed death upon his race. “The last <page 18> Adam,” by purchase with the price of His blood, takes over the condemned and dying race, and offers to assist back to harmony with God as many of them as will fulfil the simple yet necessary conditions. “The last Adam”7 will bestow life upon such as become believers in His ransom sacrifice and become obedient to His Father's will: not life for a while, but everlasting life, hence His title, “everlasting father.”

Faithful believing Christians are encouraged to follow in the steps of their Master in service and sacrifice, and to seek a reward for that service - “glory, honor and incorruption, eternal life,” joint heirship with Him whom the Father has “appointed heir of all things.” “Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God...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” (Rom. 2:7, 8:17, Heb. 1:2, 1 John 3:1,2). These passages refer to the firstfruit class, the first to believe and be blessed.



“He...Shall be Satisfied”

“He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied” is written of the risen Lord Jesus. (Isa. 53:8,11) It cannot be supposed that our Lord would be 'satisfied' with small results from the “travail of His soul.” Nor can it be supposed that divine wisdom would have arranged such a plan requiring a ransom, with enlightenment and other blessings to follow, unless there had been in the divine view results that would justify the cost of the gift of God's own beloved Son (John 3:16). We should therefore understand that the permanent results of the ransom will be in every way worthy of the Father who devised the plan of redemption, and satisfactory to the Son who executed it and brings it to its glorious consummation.

Scripture indicates that there will be some in the coming age who, even after enjoying all the favors of light and knowledge, will be ungrateful and disobedient. Such will not be allowed to live forever. Revelation 20:7-10,15 indicate <page 19> that after their incorrigibility and hardness of heart are fully demonstrated, they will he destroyed in the second death from the face of the Lord and the glory of His power, and will he heard of no more forever.

The loss of these does not, however; interfere with the Lord's satisfaction over the “travail of his soul,” since the opportunity given them to repent and to receive the life everlasting will have come to them as a result of His ransom sacrifice. “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 3:16,1 John 5:11,12



Many Not Yet Blessed

It is the divine purpose that others than the 'firstfruit elect of God' referred to on page 18 are to receive blessings from the ransom provided by Christ Jesus. The Old Testament contains a strong thread of promised blessings future from our day. Many of these were discerned and explained by New Testament writers. Their teachings connect seemingly isolated promises into a whole cloth. Christ Jesus is the fulfiller of these promises, and God ordained to have associated with Jesus in the bestowal of these blessings, all believers who follow His Son in obedient sacrifice during the present age. The Apostle's words, “the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet,” indicate their participation in the fulfillment of God's promise that the seed of Eve would bruise the serpent's head. - Gen. 3:15, Rom. 16:20 RSV

A prophecy given at the birth of John the Baptist affirmed God's purpose to fulfil His promise that Abraham's “seed shall possess the gate of his enemies” and bless them (Gen. 22:17,18, Luke 1:71-74). But the accomplishment of that promise is by stages. First, that Seed must appear; learn obedience unto death (Heb. 5:8), and enter into His reward. To demonstrate that Jesus fully made the required one offering for sin, our Lord, as prophesied, “forever sat down on the right hand of God [having concluded the entire <page 20> offering for propitiation of sins], from henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool [to result from His completed sin offering]” (Heb. 10:12,13).8

Next, Christ's faithful church, “the children of promise” (Gal. 4:28, 3:29), would be developed and joined with its head. Though once counted as enemies because of wicked works (Col. 1:21), these become sons through faith, belief, and sacrifice (Rom. 12:1,2). His church is to be a certain “firstfruit to God and to the Lamb” (Rev. 14:4, James 1:18), the first fruitage following the resurrection of Jesus Himself (1 Cor. 15:20) to result from His faithfulness unto death. The faithful firstfruit, some of whom are still suffering and dying with Him, soon shall live and reign with Him in glory (2 Timothy 2:11,12), a reign which will render entirely ineffective every opposing rule and authority and power. - 1 Corinthians 15:24



Blessings through Judgment

The promise that God “shall judge the world in righteousness” will be kept. “He shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness” (Psa. 9:8). The LORD “cometh to judge the earth; He shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with His truth” (Psa. 96:13, 98:9). These prophecies will be fulfilled by Jesus Christ. He has qualified to judge righteously and has been exalted to that authority (Isa. 11:2-5, 32:1). “The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: That all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent Him” (John 5:22,23). And the Apostle assures that God “hath appointed a day, in the 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

Associated with Jesus in tomorrow's righteous judgment will be His faithful believers. “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? Know ye not that we shall <page 21> judge angels?” But “judge nothing before the time...” (1 Cor. 6:2,3, 4:5). The Christian is not qualified to judge others while his own loyalty to the principles of righteousness is being proved (2 Cor. 10:6). That is as Peter taught, “that judgment must begin at [from] the house[hold] of God.” - 1 Pet. 4:17

Believers are now privileged, as exhorted by Paul, “to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual [margin, 'well-pleasing'] service of worship” ( Rom. 12:1,2 NASB) That sacrificial process is designed for the development of God's new creation. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ is a beautiful example for all believers. All who now follow His instruction become members of the elect church and will be “heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ.” - Rom. 8:17

It is through the divine leading and the enlightenment of holy spirit that present believers become a “kingdom of priests” (Exod. 19:6, 1 Pet. 2:9, Rev. 1:6, 5:10), to instruct, judge and bless all the non-elect people of the earth. Jesus promised to the faithful elect: “'To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am sat down with my Father in his throne” (Rev. 3:21). The throne here mentioned is the judgment throne of mercy identified by Isaiah. Service from that throne is reserved for each faithful member in the rebuilt tabernacle or house - the ruling family - of David. “In mercy shall the throne be established: and He shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness.” - Isa. 16:5, 55:3, Amos 9:11, Acts 15:14-18

That will be the time of individual judgment of the non-elect - those who had done evil, who had not yet prepared a character worthy of the reward of eternal life. Jesus Himself promised this awakening and future judgment of the remainder of mankind. Certain versions of the Bible poorly translate the last word of John 5:27-29. This has obscured its promise of merciful judgment in the coming age. “And he gave him authority to do judgment, because he is the <page 22> Son of man. Marvel not at this, because an hour comes in which all the ones in the tomb will hear the voice of him, and will come forth, the ones having done the good things to a resurrection of life; the ones having done the evil things to a resurrection of judgment” (Marshall Interlinear). Those here noted as “having done the evil things” are the 'unjust' mentioned by the Apostle in a similar promise: “There shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust.” - Acts 24:15, Dan. 12:2

The awakening and judgment of all who died in unbelief will proceed in an orderly manner. Then they will learn righteousness, in one of the 'times' promised in the Bible passage at the start of this booklet, when the further testimony of His ransom will be given. Of course this worldwide judgment day will require hundreds of years.

The still-continuing experience of the race of “the first man Adam” is summarized by the Apostle Paul in Rom. 8:20,21,19 RSV: “The creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing [manifestation] of the sons of God.” These not-yet-manifest sons of God are the elect saints, the called-out church. Their assembly into heavenly glory with their Lord and Head will soon be accomplished. Then Christ and His elect church will begin the world-wide blessing of all the non-elect.

What a contrast that will bring in comparison with man's present experience, “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now” (Rom. 8:22). That will be a 'time' of great rejoicing for all the willing and obedient!

The study of the Bible's ransom teaching results in a clearer view than ever of the harmony of the divine wisdom and foreknowledge, and of His justice, love and power. It shows us that God, who required a sacrifice for expiation of sin, provided it. Had He not done so, the race would <page 23> have forever remained unredeemed. This study can deliver us from any thoughts we may have had of vindictiveness on God's part, and enable us to recognize Him as the God of love and mercy. It reveals the sure foundation upon which rests the entire divine purpose for the blessing of all the families of the earth. It is by and through Him who is the “seed of Abraham,” who by the grace of God tasted death for every man and gave Himself as the satisfactory “corresponding price,” the “ransom for all,” that which atones. “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” - 1 Cor. 3:11



NOTES

1. (to page 6) The Hebrew word for day, yowm, is not limited in meaning to a literal day of twelve- or twenty-four hours. In Scripture it is translated variously 'year,' 'season,' 'time,' and 'space' (Exod. 13:10, Lev. 25:29 Num. 9:22, Gen. 4:3, 26:8, 40:4, Joshua 24:7, etc.). The period of time designated by yowm depends on its usage. In 1 Samuel 7:2 the yowm is 20 years; in Psalm 95:8 it is 40 years; in Lev 25:8 the yowm is 49 years. In Genesis 1 its use defines even longer periods - vast epochs of time - during which extensive activities proceeded to their full or bright conclusion --“the evening and the morning” were each day.

2. (for page 7) See evidence in the last paragraph of this subhead, 'The Penalty,' which indicates that death is the taking away of all power to live.

3. (for page 11) The word 'ransom' occurs but three times in the New Testament: Matt. 20:28, Mark 10:45, 1 Tim. 2:6. In the first two occurrences, it translates the Greek noun lutron, Strong #3083, meaning “the price for redeeming” - Thayer; “something to loosen with, i.e. a redemption price” -Strong. In these two identical passages, lutron is followed by anti, Strong #473, meaning “for, instead of, in place of” - Thayer. The teaching of lutron anti, as it refers to the death of the man Christ Jesus, is therefore that it was a “corresponding price,” a ransom, for Adam and his race. In 1 Tim. 2:6 the two words are combined as one, antilutron, supplying the same spiritual truth.

4. (for page 14) The Scriptures give repeated assurance that the dead have no intelligence, no device, no strength. Jesus died. The Son of God was entirely out of existence without any form of life. His death was the price of our redemption. Any philosophy which teaches that some element or power or vitality escaped death, and survived to a continuance of life, directly conflicts <page 24> with the clear Bible testimony that He was resurrected (for the living need no resurrection), and would mean that we have not been redeemed. God's mighty power brought His dead son to life, to glory, honor, and incorruption. - Eccl. 9:5,10, Job 14:1

5. (for page 14) In John 10: 18 the word 'take' should be translated 'receive.' The same Greek verb is used in the last sentence of the verse: “This commandment have I received of My Father.” The sense of the statement directs how the Greek verb lambano should be translated. It appears approximately 253 times in the New Testament. In the King James version it has been rendered in some form of 'receive' 132 times.

6. (for page 17) Jesus is now “everlasting father” to His believing church, to whom He gives “eternal life” (John 10:28, 1 John 5:13). And because of his great faith, Abraham is said to be “the father of us all.” - Rom. 4:16

7. (for page 18) Observe that the reading is “the last Adam”; the wording “second Adam” does not appear in the Bible. This confirms the teaching that all hope of redemption is through the lifegiver, Christ Jesus. There will be redemption through none other (Acts 4:12); nor can any others contribute in the required basis of atonement fully supplied by our Lord Jesus. Use of the expression “second man” in 1 Cor. 15:47 is confirmatory of the meaning of 1 Tim. 2:5, where it is written that the “one Mediator” is “the man Christ Jesus.” In both texts the Greek anthropos, 'man,' connects the earthly sacrifice of the man Jesus as that which qualified Him to function as Mediator and lifegiver following His glorification. In neither instance should we understand that Jesus was a Mediator when He was on earth, nor that He as a man was our lifegiver.

8. (for page 20) This was prophesied in Psa. 110:1,2. That Jesus “sat” is placed in marked contrast to the typical high priest who “standeth daily ministering.” The ineffectual typical sacrifices were never concluded, the typical high priest “offering oftentimes the same sacrifices,” that is, offering them every year, until He died or until the antitype arrived. The “offering of the body of Jesus Christ” was “once for all” (Greek ephapax - Heb. 10:10, 9:12, 7:27). And Jesus offered His blood only once “in the presence of God” (Heb. 9:24,25). Considerable attention has been given by commentators to both the punctuation and translation of Heb. 10:12. There is no Greek word for 'down' in that verse, and the Greek dieenekees means 'perpetually,' rather than 'for ever.' The text properly reads, “...having offered one sacrifice in behalf of sins, sat in perpetuity at [the] right [hand] of God.” See Heb. 1:3.