Bible Students Monthly Volume 5, Number 7


"As all in Adam die, even so all in Christ shall be made alive; every man in his own order." 1 Cor. 15:22, 23

Arabia is accredited with being the ancient Eden, eastward in which was the specially prepared Garden wherein our first parents had their trial not for a reward of Heaven or a punishment of eternal torment, but for a reward of everlasting life under perfect earthly conditions, or for a penalty of death. Here man, created "very good," in the image of his Creator, sinned and became subject to the penalty of sin- "The soul that sinneth, it shall die." Here also is Mount Ararat, on which the Ark rested after the Flood, and from which came forth the family of Noah to people the earth afresh. Thus was Arabia twice the Cradle of mankind.

Here is the fertile Mesopotamia, which Father Abraham left at the Divine invitation, to sojourn in Palestine to the north, under promise to become the heir of Divine favor, the father of the faithful, whose now glorified Seed, the great Messiah, has already redeemed the world and is yet to take the Throne of earth and, during the thousand years, conquer sin and death and lift up from degradation and the grave Adam and his race.

This is the same Arabia made famous by the tales of the Arabian Nights, and where also is the tomb of Mohammed, whose followers rival in numbers the followers of Jesus, and still trust in the promise made to Abraham, and, like the Jews, wait for the glorious appearing of Messiah. Like the Israelites they are blind to the fact that, before Messiah could bless and heal and uplift the world, it was necessary that He redeem them with His own life, and select from amongst men a spiritual class to be His Bride and Joint-heir in His glorious Kingdom.

And now as the Day draws near that the Curse shall be lifted from the world, when "the wilderness shall blossom as the rose" and "the solitary place shall be glad," we behold this land of the most ancient civilization awaking. The ruins of its ancient cities, Nineveh and Babylon, are yielding to modern research the records of thirty-five hundred years ago, while modern engineers and modern capital are at work upon vast irrigation schemes costing millions of dollars which they tell us will make that land fruitful and fertile as the Garden of the Lord. Are we not thus witnesses of the beginning of the long-promised "times of restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all the Holy Prophets since the world began"? Acts 3:19-21.


When could we more appropriately consider the Divine provision for our race than when considering this land, the Cradle of our Race, where the fall took place, where the ruin began which has filled the earth with sin, selfishness, sorrow and dying? Ah, surely we greatly erred when we supposed that a greater penalty for sin was needed or intended by our Maker than the penalty we are experiencing! What more could man lose than our race as a whole has lost? Created in relationship with God as a son and heir of the appropriate blessings of the Almighty Father, Adam and his race lost that precious relationship lost Divine favor, Divine communion, Divine care, and were plunged into death condemnation as strangers, aliens, convicts, tarrying in life merely to fulfill the verdict, "Dying, thou shalt die."

How sternly Divine Justice held to that verdict! How relentlessly, how pitilessly the forces of nature were allowed to play havoc with man in earthquakes, drouths, famines, pestilences and hereditary diseases! For more than two thousand years the great Heavenly Parent showed mankind only His Justice and naught of His Love. And then the first declaration of the Gospel the first mention that Divine favor would yet rescue mankind from the reign of sin and death was made, not publicly, not to all of the race, but merely to one man the friend of God Abraham. To him it was disclosed as a secret that the great Creator, although permitting Justice to hold full sway in a relentless exhibition of Divine wrath against the sinner, had a loving purpose in His heart which would yet find expression and include all the human family in the blessing it would bring. How astonished we are to learn of such

"A wideness in God's mercy, Like the wideness of the sea!"

But God gave Abraham words only, "Wonderful words of life" that in him and in his posterity eventually all the families of the earth should be blessed. But there was not a sign of change so far as the Divine dealings were concerned. Sin and Death were still allowed to reign, and their reign, and their reign has continued century after century since Abraham's day. Doubtless it was because God foreknew that approximately four thousand years would intervene before the blessing of [HGL12] the world, that He added His Oath in corroboration of His promise. St. Paul tells us that He so did in order that by these two immutable, unchangeable things the Word of God and the Oath of God we who by faith are become the Spiritual Seed of Abraham, might have strong consolation we "who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us" in that Gospel Message which God gave to Abraham.


Centuries passed, Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, to whom that promise was successively made, all died; and Jacob on his death-bed handed down the gracious inheritance of the wonderful Promise to his twelve sons, who there became the nation of Israel. The foundation of Israel's hopes as a nation is that Promise made to Abraham, in which they still trust. The spectacle of a faith triumphing for four thousand years is a glorious one, and it will shortly have its reward.

In due time, at Mount Sinai, God entered into a Covenant with the children of Israel, by which He agreed to bless them and to fulfill in them the Abrahamic Promise that they, as Abraham's seed, should bless all the nations of the earth. The only condition connected with the promise was that they were to show their fitness to be the Divine channel of blessing to the world and their obedience to the Divine Law which was delivered to them on two tables of stone. Full of joy and faith the Israelites obligated themselves thus.

Ah! much they knew not. They did not realize their own weakness and imperfection through the fall and their inability to fulfill the Divine requirements, the spirit of the Law of their Covenant. They soon found that while the law said, "He that doeth these things shall live," they were not able to do those things; and therefore they were all dying like other men. Had God deceived them and entrapped them? No. God's proposition was simple enough. He was merely teaching them a great lesson that sin as a disease had taken hold upon humanity, and that, however willing they might be, all were weak and perverse in the flesh and unable to fulfill their good intentions.


As a consolation God assured Israel that He would send the Deliverer, One still greater than Moses who had delivered them from the Egyptian bondage. This greater Deliverer would deliver them from the greater bondage of sin and death, so that they would be able to obey the Divine Law and be used of God in blessing and instructing other nations. This Greater than Moses they were assured would inaugurate a New Law Covenant, based upon better sacrifices than the blood of bulls and goats, and He was known to them as Messiah, the Messenger of the New Covenant. In Him, therefore, they came to hope; for Him they waited; in the prospect of His coming they delighted.

But although the Law Covenant made nothing perfect although it did not accomplish the thing Israel had hoped, it did accomplish much. It served to lift that one nation, religiously, high above all the other nations of their day, so that when the time came for God to send His Son into the world to be man's Redeemer to die, the Just for the unjust, for man's reconciliation, as the Atonement for his sin at that time there were a few thousand saintly Jews who waited for the consolation, the comfort, the blessing which God had promised them through Messiah release from the bondage of sin and death.

Thus the Law was pedagogue, a servant, to lead the Israelites to the Great Teacher; and at Pentecost and subsequently, several thousand of them thus led entered the School of Christ to be His disciples, to walk in His steps, to suffer with Him and later on, in due time, to reign with Him.

Moreover, during the sixteen centuries between Moses and Jesus a saintly class was manifested, all of whose names are written in the book of God's remembrance. It is not theirs to be the Bride of Messiah; it is not theirs to be counted in as members of the Body of Christ, which is the Church, for those members all followed the Head, none of them preceded Him.

These Ancient Worthies were not begotten of the Holy Spirit to a new nature, to be new creatures, in Christ, but "They had this testimony that they pleased God." They have the Scriptural testimony, therefore, that they shall be accounted worthy of "a better resurrection" than the remainder of mankind although their resurrection will not be with the Bride of Christ will not be the Chief Resurrection, to spirit nature, spirit bodies, etc. Those Ancient Worthies will come forth from the tomb after the completion of the Church, after her establishment in glory. They will come forth perfect men, of human nature, the image and likeness of God in the flesh, as was Adam. Great will be their degree of honor as they shall be used of Messiah as "princes in all the earth," for the blessing of Israel and all of every nation, people, kindred and tongue.


But Abraham was to have a still higher Seed, numerically less, for it is written. "Thy Seed shall be as the stars of heaven, and as the sand of the seashore." That superior Abrahamic Seed "as the stars of Heaven," a Spiritual Seed must be developed and glorified first, before the blessing can come to his earthly seed.

St. Paul, explaining the situation, says that the Law Covenant was added to fill up the time between Abraham and the proper time for the Spiritual Seed, The Christ. It "was added because of transgression" because sin had abounded in the world and so degraded humanity that it was necessary to lift up as a standard of righteousness the Law of the Ten Commandments, to take the place of the Divine Law which was originally written in Adam's character. When he was created in the image and likeness of God Adam needed no Tables of Law to teach him right from wrong, even as God needs none.

St. Paul explains further, saying, "Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for, but the Election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded." (Rom. 11:7.) Israel desired to be the Bride of Messiah to have the very choicest blessings which God had to give. And Israel got that so far as its people were prepared therefor. The "Elect" obtained it a remnant of Israel, numerically small as compared to the whole, were found upon test to be "Israelites indeed in whom was no guile"; and these became the nucleus of Messiah's Bride class. [HGL13]


That every "Israelite indeed" might be found, the Gospel Message at first was exclusively theirs, and the first Gentile convert, Cornelius, was not admitted to Divine favor in this respect until three and a half years after the cross. Yea, still later, when the Apostles preached the Gospel to every creature, to people of every country and nationality, as well as to the Jew to whom it was originally confined, they still gave the Jew the preference up to the year A D 70, when the Jewish polity perished. St. Paul declared this publicly to the Jews, saying "It was necessary that the Gospel be preached first to you, but seeing ye count yourselves unworthy of the grace of God, lo, we turn unto the Gentiles, for thus it is written in the Prophets."

We see, then, that the nucleus of the elect Church which should become the Bride of Christ at His Second Coming was Jewish, and that God's favor to the Gentiles was His permitting of them to come in and fill up the foreordained number of the elect Church, though only after all worthy Jews had been called and accepted. And now, as Jesus foretold, the Gospel or good news of His coming Kingdom is being preached in all the world "for a witness," to gather from every nation people, kindred and tongue the saintly ones to be sharers with the Jewish nucleus in the great honor of becoming Messiah's Bride and Joint-heir. We are to clearly distinguish between the witnessing of these matters amongst all nations, for the gathering out of an "elect" few, and the blessing of all nations under the Kingdom which will come later on. A failure to see this has caused confusion in many minds.


We must never lose sight of the kernel of this Gospel Message. The ultimate blessing of the Messianic Kingdom, through the Seed of Abraham, will be to all the families of the earth, but, previously, the Divine work is the calling of the Seed of Abraham, which is to do that work of blessing. The promise was not made to all the families of the earth but to Abraham and his Seed. Hence the heirs of the promise are not all the families of the earth, but the Seed of Abraham.

To the saints of Galatia, who had been Gentiles but had accepted Jesus and were trusting to become joint-heirs with God's dear Son in His Messianic Kingdom, as members of His Bride Elect, St. Paul writes, "If ye be Christ's then are ye Abraham's Seed, and heirs according to the Promise." (Gal. 3:29) How strange that we should have lost sight of this great inheritance! With our Lord, as Abraham's Seed, we shall inherit the earth; as it is written, "I will give Thee the heathen for Thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for Thy possession."

No wonder the Apostles frequently reminded the brethren of this great inheritance which God has in reservation for the faithful. No wonder one of them writes, "All things are yours, for ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's!" Adam and his entire race are to be turned over to Christ Jesus the Redeemer purchased by His precious blood. Then we, as His Bride Consort, are to share with Him that great inheritance, and to co-labor with Him in bringing order out of present confusion. Satan is to be bound; all the forces of darkness are to be overthrown and restrained. The light of the knowledge of God, as a glorious Sun of Righteousness, is to arise; and its healing beams are to flood the earth, carrying with them life, peace, joy, rest to the Jew first, but eventually to every nation, people, kindred and tongue.

Prev   Next