Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing (epiphany) of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13
everlasting righteousness, innocence and blessedness; (4) to select from among all nations the Gospel-Age elect to prepare them to become Christ's Joint-heir and Bride, as such to be associated with Him as the chief seed of Abraham in blessing with opportunities of salvation all the nations, kindreds and families of the earth in the coming Millennial Age; (5) to prepare those consecrated believers, Scripturally called the Great Company, who have not been faithful enough to become parts of Christ's Joint-heir and Bride, but who prove faithful enough to be worthy of everlasting life, to become in the spiritual phase of God's Kingdom assistants of Jesus and His Bride in blessing the non-elect world, living and dead, with opportunities of gaining eternal life; (6) to select, after the elect Bride has been called, a secondary earthly class, called the Youthful Worthies, to become in the earthly phase of the Kingdom assistants of the Ancient Worthies, the faithful of the Old Testament, both of these classes acting as princes of the Kingdom, for the blessing of the non-elect with opportunities of gaining eternal life; and (7) to destroy everything unworthy of going over into the third Dispensation, which means the annihilation of Satan's empire, with all its departments of false religions, oppressive governments, predatory business institutions, other evil social institutions and those individuals who were given the opportunity of gaining the elective salvation and proved utterly unworthy of it.
Let us pause and see what God's plan so far as presented above has accomplished. For the non-elect world it has by experience taught that neither by angelic help nor by its own endeavors can it lift itself up from the curse, and also that sin is bad in its nature and effects. These two things will prepare it to accept God's Kingdom as the only hope through which it can be lifted up from the curse. These two things the non-elect world will have learned through the first and second Dispensations. And through the three Ages of the second Dispensation God will have provided Him
self with properly trained Agents, i.e., Agents who have been amid trialsome experiences proven to be faithful to God and His principles and full of sympathy, love and good works toward mankind, to become His representatives in administering His Kingdom arrangements for the blessing of all the nations, kindreds and families of the earth—those of them who will by then have died, as well as those of them that then will be living—with opportunities of gaining everlasting life under most favorable conditions. Thus previous to the third Dispensation the race, in its living and dead members, will have been prepared for the Kingdom helpfully to rule over them for their blessing, and the Agents of the Kingdom will have been prepared helpfully to take them in charge of their uplift out of death, sin and the curse into life, righteousness and restoration to the original perfection enjoyed by Adam and Eve before they sinned. Thus God's plan has been successfully developing in its intended purposes.
But with these things accomplished, God's plan is not yet complete. Its completion occurs during the first Age of the third Dispensation, the Millennial Age, so called because it is to last 1,000 years, which is the implication of the Latin word, millennium, literally, thousand-year period. The following are the purposes of the Millennial Age: (1) to resurrect all four of the elect classes, the fourfold seed of Abraham, Christ's Joint-heir and Bride and the Great Company as the two parts of the Kingdom's heavenly phase, the Ancient Worthies and the Youthful Worthies as the two parts of the Kingdom's earthly phase; (2) to establish these four elect classes as the Kingdom of God over the earth and the human race, Christ and His Joint-heirs as its Kings, the Great Company, the Ancient Worthies and the Youthful Worthies as its princes; (3) to suppress all conditions and things conducive to unrighteousness and inconducive to righteousness, and to inaugurate every condition and thing inconducive to unrighteousness and conducive to righteousness;
(4) to put the non-elect living and dead (the latter being awakened from the dead for this purpose) amid such sets of conditions and things; (5) to operate through these four elect classes the Spirit, Word and providences of God favorably to influence the non-elect Christward; (6) to reward with physical, mental, moral and religious uplifts every effort of the non-elect to reform themselves; (7) to stripe for correctional purposes every effort to wrong others or self; (8) to show by experience from the uplifting and healing effects of righteousness that righteousness is good in its nature and effects—the exact opposite of the lesson that their experience with evil in the first and second Dispensations taught them: that sin is bad in its nature and effects; (9) to give the race restored to human perfection by its Millennial experience with righteousness a final trial for life, in which trial they will be permitted to demonstrate whether they from the heart will or will not avoid sin and practice righteousness, and in which trial the penitent fallen angels, who will during the Millennium have been undergoing reformatory experiences, will be given similar opportunities; and, finally, (10) to pronounce and execute the righteous decision that the Christ as judge will reach in each case under trial, according as the works of each one shall be, everlasting and blissful life for the righteous and everlasting death, extinction, for the unrighteous. Thus God's plan of salvation will be completed successfully in winning the faithful elect classes for everlasting life on various spirit planes of being in heaven, in winning the faithful non-elect class for everlasting life on the human plane in the new earth transformed into Paradise and in the unfaithful, both of the elect and the non-elect classes, passing out of existence forever as unworthy of life on any plane of being. Accordingly, the final result of God's plan will be glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will to men, those getting eternal life to whom, as well as to others, it will be a blessing, and those getting eternal death to whom,
as well as to others, life would be a curse. Those who get life will go into the endless succession of Ages in the third Dispensation, well qualified to use it for their own and others' good. So success crowns God's plan.
Involved in the outworking of this plan are certain features that were not given above and that should be briefly indicated in order to its still better appreciation. Indeed, we may say that God's plan of salvation is a part of a larger plan which embraces the creation of the human race and the re-creation of certain members of the race into higher orders of beings than humans. The plan of salvation began to operate immediately after the curse came upon Adam and Eve, and is God's way of rescuing the race from that curse—salvation. The larger plan of God began with Adam's creation, yea, in certain respects we might say with the creation of this earth. In planning the creation of the human race the problem before the Divine mind to solve was this: "How can I bring into existence a race of free moral agents who intelligently appreciating sin will hate and avoid it, and intelligently appreciating righteousness will love and practice it?" This problem excluded God's making man so that he could not sin, for that would not have made a man a free moral agent, but would have reduced him to a machine, whereas in man's creation God desired to exhibit the reign of moral law, not physical law, of which God had and has abundant examples in nature. God's foreknowledge, showing Him that man in exercising his free will would sin, decided to let (not make) him sin and to sentence him to death for his sin. This He could justly do, because offering man everlasting life on condition of obedience, God could justly take away his life, when he refused to use it on the condition on which its continuance was offered. In ultimate analysis Adam, believing that Eve must die because of her disobedience, and loving her so much as to think that life without her was not worth while, deliberately disobeyed in order to die with her, and thus escape the evil of having
to live without her, i.e., he committed suicide for love of his wife. Thus his trial was a crucial one. Instead of putting Adam and Eve to death immediately, God decided to let them die gradually, because by so dying they could better learn by experience, the most thorough of all teachers, the lesson that sin is bad in its nature and effect, and should therefore be avoided. Therefore God cast them out of the garden of Eden, where the fruits that would sustain their lives everlastingly grew, into the unprepared earth, where no everlasting-life-preserving fruit grew. As a result they could not adequately replace their depleting cells, and thus they began to die. Thus gradually they lost more and more of their physical perfection, and with the evil conditions surrounding and plaguing them, they also gradually lost more and more of their mental, moral and religious perfection in increasing depravity.
It was while they were for over 125 years gradually dying physically, mentally, morally and religiously that they produced Seth, the ancestor of the only ones who survived the flood, and thus, after Adam, the father of the entire human race this side of the flood; and, of course, Adam transmitted to him his dying life marred physically, mentally, morally and religiously. So by heredity the whole race came into existence fallen and dying, on the plane of sin, imperfection and death. So matters have continued until the present. So far as the record goes, only a few before the flood came into any fellowship at all with God: Abel, Enoch, Noah and his family. With Abraham a change came; by faith in the Covenant promises, while actually under the curse, fallen and dying, he came into a tentative justification in a higher sense than the previously faith-justified, who did not have the Covenant promises; and thus he became a friend of God, which was also true of Sarah, of Isaac and Rebecca and of Jacob and his family, while the rest of mankind remained on the plane of the curse, fallen and dying, without even a faith justification to fellowship with God. Such a faith justification
was the portion of all the rest of the Ancient Worthies in the Covenant. When God entered into the Law Covenant with Israel, those of them who did not have the faith of the Ancient Worthies did not attain to a faith justification; the best that they could reach, if they were measurably loyal to the Law Covenant, was a typical justification which was wrought for them annually by the sacrifices of the day of atonement. The Gentile world continued on the plane of sin and death, by experience learning what sin is and does. Satan and the fallen angels, taking advantage of them, and of Israel also, led them into ever deeper error, sin and misery, as both the Bible and history prove.
A most important feature of God's plan set in just before the Jewish Age ended—the carnation of the Son of God. Because the curse with its dying life, and the soul come from the father, God arranged that His Son should be changed from the highest spirit being, except God, into a human being without a human father, that thus He might not inherit the curse with its dying life, and His soul from a human father. Thus Jesus was sinlessly conceived and born perfect. He passed through the stages of babyhood, boyhood, youth, and young manhood to perfect manhood, which He attained at 30 years of age, actually, not reckonedly, justified, i.e., actually perfect. Then it was that He consecrated Himself to God, and God begat Him to the Divine nature by the bestowal of the Holy Spirit at Jordan. During the following 3½ years He sacrificed His humanity to death, finishing that sacrifice at Calvary, and during those 3½ years He developed the Divine heart and mind unto perfection, and was the third day afterward raised from the dead a Divine being with an added asset, the merit of His perfect humanity, as a ransom price corresponding to the forfeited rights of Adam and Adam's race. Thus in the involved 3½ years God created Him a Divine Being. Additionally, God designs the creation of those who will faithfully follow in His footsteps into Divine
beings, as follows: Forty days after His resurrection Jesus ascended to heaven to prepare such footstep followers to become Divine beings. These, however, though of the faith class, like the rest of Adam's children have been under the curse. How effect their deliverance? The merit of Jesus He presented at Pentecost on their behalf, whereby to them through their faith in Christ's death a tentative justification and at their consecration a real, a vitalized justification that, actually and forever freed them from the Adamic sentence, were given. Continuing to exercise their justifying faith, and faithfully sacrificing their humanity unto death in God's cause, and developing the Divine heart and mind, they in the first resurrection will attain the Divine nature; and thus God will have completed the creation of a new class of beings—those of the Divine nature, Jesus and His Joint-heirs. Those who, taking the steps of justification, which in God's sight reckons them perfect, as Adam and Eve were actually perfect, and consecration, then fail to carry it out to God's satisfaction, but who repent and then prove faithful, will attain to spirit existence, but in a nature lower than the Divine, i.e., like the angels. This work with individuals of these two classes has been going on since Pentecost.
Like the Ancient Worthies, who, while they lived were offered only restitution to perfect humanity in the Millennium, now that Christ's joint-heirs are completed, the Youthful Worthies on the basis of faith-justification and consecration unto death are offered in the Millennium perfect humanity. These two classes must remain human during the Millennium in order then to be able to be the earthly, visible phase of the Kingdom, the representatives of the heavenly, invisible phase, who, as spirit beings, must of necessity be invisible to the non-elect class during the Millennium. But during the end of the Millennium, in its Little Season, these two Worthies classes, perfect as humans, as Jesus was perfect as a human, will be begotten of the Spirit, and as they prove faithful will be changed
to spirit beings, not in the Divine but in a nature like that of the angels. Throughout the Gospel Age there have been four classes connected with the Lord's people, as shown in the four kinds of soil in the parable of the sower and the seed: (1) the faithful Little Flock, (2) the Great Company, (3) the faith-justified and (4) the hypocritical professors. Just as in the Harvest of the Jewish Age God separated the Israelites indeed from the nominal Israelites, so in the Harvest of the Gospel-Age God, who during the Gospel Age allowed the four classes just mentioned to mingle together, separates these four classes from one another by the testful conditions now prevailing. In the trouble time He will destroy the tares, false professors, as tares, imitation wheat, not as individuals, at the time He shakes and destroys Satan's empire and its parts.
During the Millennium as participants of God's plan the divisions of beings will be as follows: (1) Jesus and the Church as Divine Beings and the chief Rulers, (2) the Great Company as angelic beings cooperating with Jesus and the Church, (3) the Ancient Worthies as perfect human beings and as the chief rulers in the earthly phase, (4) the Youthful Worthies as perfect human beings and as secondary rulers therein, (5) believing Jews and faithful faith-justified Gentiles of the Gospel Age, obtaining restitution, (6) the Gentile World obtaining restitution and (7) the penitent fallen angels undergoing trial for a restoration to their former estate. The Little Season will witness the final trial of the ancient and Youthful Worthies for spirit nature, the final trial of classes (5) and (6) for human life and the final trial of the penitent angels for restoration to God's presence and their former estate as holy angels, while that Little Season will end with the utter extinction of Satan, the impenitent fallen angels and those of classes (5), (6) and (7) who are not faithful; and with the faithful gaining on their various planes of being everlasting life. Unto God's eternal glory they will pass on from one Age of glory to another,
eternally, in perfection and sinlessness; for the third Dispensation will eternally endure in Ages of glory.
Above it was stated that, after a sketch of the Divine Plan contained in the Bible would be given, it would be shown that such a plan could not have originated in a being short of perfect Divine wisdom, justice, power and love, i.e., that it must have been originated by God, who alone has always been perfect in the highest exemplification of these four qualities. It is now purposed to show that the Plan sketched above is a most striking example of the highest order of wisdom. By wisdom is meant the tactful use of true knowledge, i.e., truth, in accomplishing good results. Truth is harmony with factuality and proper principles as to theory and practice, even as error is disharmony therewith as to theory and practice. Good results are such effects of activities as are harmonious with proper principles. Accordingly, for the plan that was sketched above to be a product of perfect and Divine wisdom, it must be shown that its every feature is in harmony with facts and proper principles, and that the use made of these resulted, results or will result in effects in harmony with facts and proper principles, i.e., good effects. And for the tactful use of such knowledge in producing such effects to be in perfect wisdom of the Divine order, it must be beyond man's and angel's ability to invent and to translate into accomplishment. It is claimed for the plan sketched above that in no feature does it come short of such perfect and Divine wisdom, that not only does it contain no flaws, mistakes or miscarriages, but that neither human nor angelic wisdom could invent it or improve upon it. In other words, that plan must have originated in God and, therefore, is a Divine revelation; and inasmuch as that plan is a brief summary of the entire Bible, the Bible thereby is proved to be a Divine revelation. Accordingly, we will compare the aforesaid sketch with the Divine wisdom, and see whether the comparison does
or does not disclose a perfect harmony in every feature of that plan with the Divine wisdom.
Is it a part of wisdom to have a plan? All reasonable people will agree that it Is. Any reasonable person who has a work of any detail at all to do will make a plan according to which he hopes to accomplish it. The more intricate a work is the more careful planning does it require to insure success in its accomplishment. In every calling of life this is true. In the domains of the family, municipality, state, country, politics, war, education, art, science, literature, manufacture, philosophy, industry, labor, finance, acting, oratory, etc., more or less detailed matters are planned. He who practices the policy of hit or miss in any matter of detail almost invariably makes a failure therein. Hence all wise men plan their work, if it contains anything of detail. God is certainly not less wise than man; hence in the very intricate details connected with His affairs He plans matters carefully; hence in the details connected with His work toward His free moral agents He does all things according to plan. Even apart from His relations to free moral agents He follows the plans that His wisdom dictates. Hence the various sciences display great ingenuity in the nature, laws, etc., of the things with which they deal, e.g., astronomy reveals plans of great intricacy in the materials, structure, order, laws, arrangements, etc., of the various universes, in the various solar systems of each universe, in the various planets of each solar system and in the multiform features of each planet. Hence, as a matter of course, there should be a Divine plan in a Divine revelation. And what reason suggests as wise in a Divine revelation, i.e., that it contain a plan, the Bible teaches is the case, i.e., there is a Divine plan in the Bible, God's plan of the Ages (Luke 7: 30; Acts 2: 23; 4: 28; 20: 27; Eph. 1: 11; 3: 11; Heb. 6: 17). Hence it was a stroke of wisdom in God to make the plan outlined above. Thus we are prepared to see that God
must have a plan as to angels and men, and that it was wise to have one.
From these general considerations we will now proceed to view details of His plan, for the purpose of investigating whether such details are wise, yea, are the acme of wisdom. One of the features in that plan was to arrange that only those free moral agents who would prove loyally and lovingly obedient to Him under reasonable tests be given eternal life. Had God not so arranged He would have had to endure eternal disorder, rebellion and anarchy, with all their accompanying evils, which would have been very unwise indeed to permit. But to require that each free moral agent be loyally and lovingly obedient to Him under reasonable tests is wise, for that is the guarantee that in a moral order of affairs there would be eternal order, obedience, respect for others' rights, well-being and happiness. Hence it is plain that wisdom was the source of arranging for only those free moral agents who would under reasonable tests prove loyally and lovingly obedient to Him to have eternal life. It was also wise to make life the reward of such obedience and death, not eternal life in torment, the recompense of disobedience; for death would prevent a continuance of sin in each sinning individual, while eternal life in torment would continue sin eternally and that without any good resulting therefrom, yea, in nothing but evil resulting therefrom, while the loyally and lovingly obedient could be trusted to use everlasting life to God's credit and the profit of others and of themselves, i.e., for good ends. The presupposition of the plan of salvation, i.e., mankind's fall in a perfect man into sin and sin's penalty— death—through heredity by the disobedience of that one perfect man, is a remarkable expression of wisdom. This made it possible through the righteousness of a perfect man maintained unto death to set aside the sentence that came upon all by the one man's sin, and to give all who fell in the one an opportunity to recover all that they lost in that one man—a marvelous
stroke of wisdom. But let us suppose that, instead of all having fallen in one perfect man and having been sentenced in the one, all had been created perfect and individually tried. What then would have resulted? If Adam is an example of what a sinless being without experience with, or observation of, evil would do under a severe trial, we would have cogent reason for concluding that all perfect human beings without experience with, or observation of, evil, as was Adam, would under as crucial a trial have done what he did—sinned. This would have resulted in much greater evils than have resulted from condemning all through heredity by the sin of the one; for as Adam had to suffer more and longer in giving up under the dying process his perfect life than the bulk of his descendants have had to suffer in giving up their relatively weaker and imperfect, dying life amid the ever ameliorating condition of the imperfect earth, so the about 29,000,000,000 humans, if tried individually in perfection, would under the dying process have had to suffer more and longer than they have in the way they have undergone the curse. Thus it was a stroke of Divine wisdom to spare the race such greater and longer suffering, by condemning all in one.
Moreover, under the supposed conditions the keener intellects of the fallen, selfish hearts of these 29,000,000,000 would have caused more depravity in each one, inflicted more injury upon themselves and others, and would have made it impossible to save as many as will be saved under the plan as actually made. In planning to prevent such results wisdom evidently acted in this matter. But ignoring the reasonable conclusion, that if all had been created perfect and had been tried as Adam was, all would have done as Adam did, and thus would have suffered as just described, let us suppose that 14,500,000,000 had stood the test, and 14,500,000; 000 had fallen, this would not have been a sufficient number of humans to take care of a perfect earth, without too much work. Moreover, since the 14,500,000,000 sinned, if they were to be redeemed, the other
14,500,000,000 would have had to die for them; for each of the 14,500,000,000 having sinned individually, justice, which demands a life for a life, would have required the lives of 14,500,000,000 sinless ones for the 14,500,000,000 sinners, if the latter were to be redeemed. This procedure would thus not have diminished the sufferings above described, under the previous supposition. Moreover, a special reward of a higher nature would have had to be given the 14,500,000,000 redeemers, if they were to have another life; for they to redeem the others would forever have had to forfeit their humanity as the ransom-price for the others. This would have raised more beings to the spirit plane than wisdom would have use for there. Moreover, in lifting up the 14,500,000,000 sinners to human perfection, 14,500,000,000 saviors would be too many for the work, which, again, wisdom would not permit. Or, if the proportions were altered to 28,900,000,000 sinners to 100,000,000 saviors, a very unreasonable supposition in view of what Adam's example implies, the suffering would still be the same as under the first supposition, and thus far greater than under that wisdom devised. Moreover, the hundred million saviors could ransom only 100,000,000 of the sinners and 28,800,000,000 other perfect men would have to be found who under crucial trial would have to prove loyal, with the practical certainty of many of these failing and thus of needing another set to be tested as saviors to make up for the lapsed ones and those not redeemed by reason of the lapse of these, with the likelihood of the quest for such requiring many thousands of years more than that required by the plan as made. How Divinely wise it, therefore, was to condemn by heredity all through one, and thus redeem all by one—Jesus Christ, who has won for all the right on condition of obedience to regain what they lost in Adam. Thus we see a wisdom far above angelic and human in this part of the plan.
The way the plan shows how God deals with the angels is another display of wisdom above angelic and
human. It has already been shown that wisdom dictated that they must demonstrate under reasonable trial loyal and loving obedience to God before God could safely to Himself and with blessing to themselves and to others give them eternal life. But let us note the wisdom of testing them as He did. The condition was this: As the teachers and helpers of the antediluvian race they experienced the keen disappointment of seeing, with the probable exception of ten individuals (Abel, Enoch and Noah and his family), their wards going from bad to worse, in physical, mental, moral and religious depravity. They had by the Lord been given instruction as to what and how to do as the teachers and helpers of the race. But they saw that by these means and methods, the best that angels could apply, their work as a whole was a failure, whereas all of them desired to uplift the race back to its perfection. Of course, all along God knew that they would fail, yet permitted them to try, since He knew that the resultant conditions would require them to prove whether they would loyally and lovingly obey God's instructions as to means and methods that He gave them for their work, or whether they would, in case of failure to reform the race, allow themselves to be persuaded to use other means and methods to accomplish it. In their perplexity over the failure of these means and methods to rescue the race Satan appeared among them and told them that their means and methods were insufficient to secure their aims, since it was inherited depravity that made their means and methods unavailable to the problem. Then he suggested that they use their power of materializing human bodies, and in such a condition marry women and beget families, which from their perfect vitality would inherit perfection, and thus gradually the race would be rescued. That Satan suggested these things is evident from the fact that he originated sin among angels and humans: and the record in Gen. 6: 2-4; 2 Pet. 2: 4; Jude 6, 7 shows that some of the angels did this sinful thing. All of
them were tested by this matter, which had an appealing effect, because they most ardently desired the reformation of the ever-depraving race. Some refused to enter into the suggestion, because they loved God supremely and recognized that such a procedure was not in harmony with the means and methods of seeking the world's reformation given them by God. The others, more intent on saving the race than on ruling themselves in love and loyalty to God according to His express directions as to means and methods to be used, adopted Satan's suggestion. Thus some stood, others fell, under this crucial test of loving and loyal obedience. Thus wisdom shines out in this test and in the way it was allowed to come upon them. It severed the thoroughly loyal and loving from the deceived, disobedient angels.
The testing of the good angels went on during part of the Second World; for during it they entered into testful conditions; but none of these fell; and likely long ago, perhaps before the Gospel Age began, their characters were crystallized, which meant the end of their testing for everlasting life long ago. With the fallen angels God has been pursuing a different course. He has imprisoned them within the atmosphere of the earth, according to passages that speak of them as the air powers (Eph. 2: 2). 2 Pet. 2: 4 is mistranslated in the A. V.; the one word Tartaroo, a verb, has been there translated by the following five words: cast them down to hell, i.e., by a verb, a pronoun, an adverb, a preposition and a noun! The word is derived from the root from which the Greek noun tartaros is derived, but it is a verb, not a noun. To the heathen Greeks tartaros was a prison where the wicked were punished. The verb tartaroo, therefore, had best be translated by the verb imprison, the prison being earth's atmosphere, within which Satan and the fallen angels have been confined as in a prison. The fact that they tempt us is proof positive that they are not in a hell of torment far away from us; but that they are about us, i.e., within
earth's atmosphere. Unlike Adam and Satan, the fallen angels did not sin willfully; for like Eve they were deceived. Hence they were not sentenced to death like Adam and Satan, the execution of whose sentence has been long and wisely deferred. Imprisonment within earth's atmosphere has been their sentence. Here Satan succeeded in gaining supremacy over them; and their experience during the Second World has been a terrible one in the way of increased moral and religious depravity. Wisdom devised this experience for them, that they might learn the bad nature and effects of sin. No hope of any kind was extended to them during the Patriarchal and Jewish Ages, but-during the Gospel Age God has had Jesus and the Church preach the hope of reconciliation to them (Eph. 3: 10), to the end that repenting they may have a trial for life in the Millennium (Rom. 14: 9 [the living; for the fallen angels were never put under a death sentence]; Eph. 1: 10 [the things in heaven, in the atmosphere about this earth]; 1 Cor. 6: 3). Now, the Epiphany, is the time in which the penitent fallen angels are being separated from the impenitent ones (2 Tim. 4: 1). When they enter into their Millennial trial the terrible experience with depravity that they had during the Patriarchal and Jewish Ages, and the great difficulty of overcoming even a part of this depravity experienced by them during the Gospel Age and of severing and keeping themselves severed as to sinning from the impenitent fallen angels, will be very helpful to keep them from sin and in righteousness, and thus help them to a restoration to God. Therein will appear the Divine wisdom in dealing with them as He has and will do.
God's dealing with the world of mankind in the three Worlds is full of Divine wisdom. It was certainly wise to teach them during the First World that the angels were unable to save them: for this was helpful to make them not look to angels for help from their depravity. Furthermore, it was good for them to learn during the First World by experience, the most
thorough teacher, the evil nature and effects of sin. During the Second World they continued by experience to learn the evil nature and effects of sin, this experience being calculated to help them hate and avoid it, when they would come under conditions such as God will make prevail in the Millennium, conducive to learning to hate and forsake sin. Hence the permission of evil was a stroke of Divine wisdom. Moreover, during the Second World there were several other lessons very necessary for man to learn, in order to be prepared to use helpfully the deliverance that will Millennially be offered to him. One of these lessons was that fallen man is unable to raise himself out of his depravity, any more than a man can lift himself up by tugging away at his boot-straps. Still another lesson for the same reason would be helpful for him to learn, i.e., that instead of lifting himself up, he was, left to his own powers, continually sinking into deeper depravity, physical, mental, moral and religious; and to learn this lesson now will do him untold good in the Millennium. Moreover, there is still a fourth lesson to learn amid his present experiences in the Second World, i.e., that he is no match in temptation for Satan and the fallen angels, who will do nothing except exploit him. And this lesson will do him much good when in the final temptation, test for life, in the Little Season, he must meet and overcome them, if he would gain everlasting life. Thus these varied lessons that the race as a whole has been learning in their pertinent Dispensations will have very much to do to help him gain everlasting life. And to have arranged matters so that these lessons can be taught the race under the best conditions for it to learn them and under the most thorough teacher, experience, indicates a Divine wisdom.
The wisdom of God is also manifest as to angels and men in the way He arranged for the First and Second Worlds to end, as well as in the reason for that end. Knowing that the First World had served its purposes of proving to men and angels the latters' inability to
rescue mankind, of testing the angels, of manifesting them in their two classes, good and bad, as they emerged from that test and of teaching part of the lesson of evil by experience, and knowing that the First World could accomplish no more good, instead would effect only increasing evil, Divine wisdom very wisely ended that World. The wisdom showed itself by ending that World with a minimum of sufferings compatibly with impressing the lesson of the great evil of sin, i.e., by a flood, through drowning, one of the easiest methods of death. The same superhuman and superangelic wisdom manifests and will continue to manifest itself in the way, and for the reason, that it ends the Second World. It was a great stroke of wisdom to make the foundations of the society of the Second World consist of the right of private ownership of property, of the competitive system of business and of governmental control of society; for these principles, good in themselves, but applied by fallen depraved men under manipulation by Satan and the fallen angels selfishly and sinfully, were best calculated to teach the four lessons mentioned above as assigned to be learned in the Second World, as they under such application and manipulation would naturally have led up to, and produced the great calamities by which the Second World passes away—world war, world revolution, world anarchy, world famines, world pestilences and the last phase of Jacob's trouble. These calamities are certainly calculated to bring to a climax the experience with evil and teach this generation so effectively the hateful nature and bad effects of evil, as well as the other three lessons mentioned above for the Second World, that it will in its bulk give up its own ways and willingly receive the ways of the Millennial Kingdom as the only effective escape for man from himself, Satan, sin, error, death and the grave. To plan unto a successful accomplishment these ends required a Divine wisdom.
Thus God's wisdom will have arranged matters so that both men and penitent angels will enter the Third World best prepared to receive its helps. The impenitent fallen angels will enter the World under the death sentence, whose execution will be preceded by an imprisonment of 1,000 years, during which they will be unable to deceive mankind, because, among other reasons, they will be spirited so far away from the earth that, not only will they have no contact with it, but also will be in error as to what is going on in the world—a most wise thing for Millennial purposes. It will be wise to assign 1,000 years for the restoration of the obedient of men and angels, to destroy after 100 years' trial the utterly incorrigible, to reward the fit with the privilege after those thousand years to enter everlastingly into the enjoyment of the following Ages of glory and to suppress the unfit in extinction. Thus in all the plan's features with mankind and angels in general there is a marvelous use of true knowledge for attaining good ends. If one thinks carefully of the three general features—the three Worlds—of God's plan as it relates to men and angels in general, it will be impossible to suggest a wiser way of accomplishing these stupendous results than was planned by Divine wisdom. Indeed, any human or angelic alteration of this plan will reveal miscarriages as its result. Only a being supreme in wisdom could have made such a plan for men's and angels' rescue from evil to good.
Having seen the wisdom displayed in the plan as it in general respects men and angels, let us now view it in its elective features which, shown as above, characterize the three Ages of the Second World. As shown, election is not that arbitrary action which Calvinism claims. Like every other act of God, it flows from a perfect blending of His wisdom, power, justice and love. It is, of course, wise to select from among many those only who are adapted to the intended purpose and to reject those who are not adapted to that purpose. Hence the wisdom of rejecting those who would spoil
God's pertinent purpose, and of selecting those who would further it. It has been wise in God to make faith the quality required in nominees for the election and unbelief the quality required in rejecting one from such nomination; for without faith it is impossible to stand the tests that the elect must undergo to make their calling and election sure, which means that the non-elect could not win out, even if given an opportunity to do it; hence wisdom forbids the offer of this opportunity to them, since it has in reservation for them an opportunity in which they can win out, if so disposed. Wisdom is seen in the crucial trials to which the elect are subjected, since the position to which they will be raised, if successful in their trial, is of such great responsibility and requires character of such a high order and reliability, that it would work disaster, if one unfit for it were raised to it. A superhuman and superangelic wisdom is manifest in the purpose of the election, i.e., to fit the elect in character to deliver in harmony with God's will all the obedient of the non-elect men and angels through the operation of God's Kingdom in the Millennium. There is a superhuman and superangelic wisdom in choosing the time when sin is rampant in the-world for the development of the elect; for the prevalence of sin, the curse and the maleficent opposition of Satan and the fallen angels furnish just such a set of conditions as are needed amid which to develop the elect in character fitness for their great mission of delivering the race and the penitent angels from their curse, and of helping them to a restoration to their former estate of sinlessness. There is wisdom in adjusting the experiences of the four elect classes to fit each class for its special part in the Kingdom's work. And, finally, there is wisdom in the means used to fit each elect class for its place—various features of God's Word, various forms of God's Spirit and various kinds of God's providences on their behalf.