Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing (epiphany) of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13
the question, i.e., one clear to the head and satisfying to the heart. But the Bible does offer a solution to this question that is at once reasonable to the head and satisfying to the heart, a solution that no skeptic or sectarian of any religion can refute.
By evil we understand physical, mental, artistic, moral and religious imperfection, in the forms of lacks, faults and weaknesses, or its effects on the sinner and others, to be meant. Or we may define it as sin and its consequences on the sinner and others. Viewed as physical, mental, artistic, moral and religious imperfection, we include in the term all the untoward things that man experiences, or that are in man's surroundings physically, mentally, artistically, morally and religiously. In Chapter II, we described the details of which such imperfection consists, and will not repeat them here, hence refer our readers to that description. Nor will we here describe the origin of sin, which is what we mean by moral and religious evil, since we have done this, together with the origin of error (mental evil), with sufficient detail in E2, 99-107. It should here be stressed that God is neither the source nor the author of sin (Jas. 1: 13; 1 John 1: 5). The primary source and author of sin is Satan (John 8: 44; 1 John 3: 8); and the secondary source and author of sin is Adam (Rom. 5: 12-19). Evil in the sense of the untoward experiences-calamities in the wide sense of the word-that result from sin unto death God did originate, in the sense that He sentenced man to death, and exposed him to such untoward experiences, by driving him from his earthly and perfect Paradise and confining him to the imperfect parts of the earth and its surroundings, which work such untoward experiences upon man unto death (Gen. 3: 6-19, 23, 24; Is. 45: 7; Amos 3: 6). In this sense of evil Satan is God's agent to inflict it unto death as the Divinely-appointed executioner of the death-sentenced race (Heb. 2: 14).
This brings us face to face with the question, Why has God permitted evil, both in the sense of sin and in
the sense of its untoward results unto death? And it is the Bible's answers to this question, in the reasonableness and satisfactoriness of their simplicity, harmony, beauty and sublimity, which question other religions cannot answer reasonably to the head and satisfactorily to the heart, that we offer as a proof that the Bible is a Divine revelation. Briefly we would give a general answer to this question, then will give several special answers to it. The general answer is this: that by permitting evil God has chosen the best possible way of manifesting to men and angels His glorious character of wisdom, justice, love and power, resplendent in the simplicity, harmony, beauty and sublimity of supreme perfection, so that by such manifestation men and angels may be forever benefited. This answer, as indicated above, is a general one; and the detailed answers will serve to clarify it; for it is by outworking these details that this glorious manifestation of His character of wisdom, justice, love and power is made. To clarify these details we will show why evil has been permitted: (1) to the elect people of God, and (2) to the non-elect men and angels. We will begin with the elect. Why has God been permitting the elect to suffer? The elect, as we have learned, consist of four classes: (1) Jesus and the Church; (2) the Ancient Worthies; (3) the Great Company and (4) the Youthful Worthies. The answer to this question will vary slightly for each of these classes and will vary somewhat as to Jesus and the Church, which is His Body.
We know that Jesus was sinless; hence none of His sufferings could have come upon Him for sin of His own, which He did not have (Is. 53: 9; John 7: 18; 8: 46; 2 Cor. 5: 21; Heb. 1: 9; 4: 15; 7: 26; 9: 14; 1 Pet. 1: 19; 2: 22; 1 John 3: 5). According to the Bible Jesus suffered, first, because of the joy set before Him (Heb. 12: 2). This joy was: (1) His delight at doing the Father's will in the furthering of His plan (Ps. 40: 7, 8; Heb. 10: 7); (2) to win the elect: some as His Bride, the Church (Ps. 45: 9-11; 2 Cor. 11: 2;
Rev. 19: 7, 8; 21: 9, 10), some as the Bridesmaids, the Great Company (Ps. 45: 14, 15; Rev. 19: 9) and some—the Ancient and Youthful Worthies—as princes for His kingdom (Ps. 45: 16; Joel 2: 28); (3) to redeem fallen man and restore the obedient to their former estate (John 3: 16; 12: 32, 33; 2 Tim. 2: 4-6); (4) to restore the penitent angels to their former estate (Rom. 14: 9; Phil. 2: 8-11; 2 Tim. 4: 1) and (5) to gain the inheritance that God offered Him-the Divine nature and heirship of, and vicegerency with God throughout the universes eternally (Eph. 2: 20-23; Phil. 2: 9-11; Col. 1: 15-18; Heb. 1: 3-6). According to the Bible Jesus suffered, secondly, to develop certain graces that are not sufficiently developed in the faithful apart from suffering: Thus He developed obedience unto crystallization by suffering (Heb. 5: 8, 9); and also by suffering He cultivated mercy, sympathy and faithfulness unto crystallization (Heb. 2: 17, 18; 4: 15), for which suffering was indispensable. Thirdly, He suffered that He might be tried and tested and thus by trial and test be proved worthy of the Divine nature and heirship of, and vicegerency with God (Heb. 2: 10; 5: 9; Phil. 2: 8-11; Rev. 5: 12).
Certainly, when we consider these three reasons for Jesus' sufferings and contemplate the glorious results that God planned through them, that have in part already been achieved, and that will in due time be completely achieved, we must conclude that God was justified in permitting Jesus to undergo His sufferings, and that Jesus of His free will having undergone these sufferings (John 10: 17, 18) and having attained their purposes, God resultantly demonstrates to all His marvelous wisdom, justice, love and power in, by and through those sufferings and their present and prospective results. It is very evident that Jesus would not have been qualified for the Divine nature and heirship of, and vicegerency with God, with all the character strength required perfectly to carry out as God's Vicegerent all of Jehovah's plans and purposes unto eternity,
unless His character had been developed unto sufficient strength by crucial sufferings, for He must be so loyal to God, God's principles, the brethren, the world and the fallen angels that no amount of pressure to which He could be subjected could make Him unfaithful to God, His principles, the brethren, the world and the fallen angels. Hence God required of Him as a free-willed Agent to demonstrate perfect loyalty to these under the hardest conditions possible for Him to undergo. And only after such demonstration could God safely to the interests of all concerned entrust Him with the high power, riches, wisdom, strength, honor, glory and blessing belonging to the Divine nature and heirship of, and vicegerency with God (Rev. 5: 12, 13). For suppose that God had entrusted Him with these without His requiring of Him beforehand to prove under the most crucial tests of suffering that He would use them worthily and faithfully to God's glory and the blessing of all concerned, what would surely have happened? He would have been given a nature, heirship office, etc., which He would have been unable properly to use, which would not only have resulted in God's plans going by the board, but in His having an unproven Being in the Divine nature incapable of annihilation, a thing against which He guarded Himself by not making Satan and the other angels Divine in nature, so that if faithless they could be annihilated and thus be kept from eternal mischief-making in God's universe. Against such possible results from Jesus Divine wisdom, justice, love and power arranged, by requiring Him first, by suffering for loyalty to God, the Truth, the brethren, the world and the fallen angels, to prove Himself worthy of the Divine nature and heirship of, and vicegerency with God. Accordingly, we see God to be vindicated in his permitting Jesus to suffer, in order thereby to educate Him unto fitness for the glories to come (Luke 24: 26).
To attain the Divine nature and become heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ, the faithful Church must
suffer with Jesus (Rom. 6: 1-11; Mark 12: 35-39; Luke 12: 50; John 17: 18; 20: 21; Matt. 16: 24; Rom. 8: 10, 17; 12: 1; 1 Cor. 15: 29-34; 2 Cor. 1: 5; 4: 8-10; Gal. 2: 20; 6: 17; Phil. 3: 10; Col. 1: 24; 2 Tim. 2: 10-12; 1 Pet. 2: 19-24; 3: 17, 18; 4: 13, 14; Rev. 2: 10). If the faithful Church must suffer with Him to be glorified in nature, office, inheritance, honor, glory, power, strength, riches, knowledge and blessing with Him, she must suffer for the same causes: faithfulness to God and the enmity of those out of harmony with the course that such faithfulness requires them to take, in the same forms: physical exhaustion, mental sorrow and more or less physical violence; in the same spirit, i.e., that of faith, hope, love, obedience, etc., for the same purposes: (1) the five joys set before them, (2) the cultivation of required character amid sufferings and (3) the maintenance of this character amid crucial tests of sufferings, and for the same results, i.e., cooperating with Jesus in realizing the result that He will attain, set forth above as aimed at. There is one form of suffering that Jesus did not undergo that the Church must undergo, i.e., chastisement for faults, and that for the reason that Jesus had no faults, hence could not be chastised for them, while the Church, called out from fallen mankind, has faults and must undergo chastening for them (Heb. 12: 5-13; Rev. 3: 19). If Jesus in His sufferings left us an example, that we should walk in His steps (1 Pet. 2: 21), we can readily see that our sufferings must be for the same causes, in the same forms and spirit, for the same purposes and for the same results, else we could not be partners with Him in suffering (1 Pet. 4: 14, 15). And the reason from God's standpoint why we must undergo these sufferings is that we might demonstrate to His satisfaction that as Divine beings, heirs of His and joint-heirs with Christ in all things we may certify to Him that He can depend upon us to do His will under all circumstances, no matter how great the pressure to be endured in order to do it. Thus He must require of
us devotion to Him, the Truth, the brethren, the world and the fallen angels similar to that which He required of Jesus, and which Jesus demonstrated; and thus only, as in Jesus' case, could He safely to Himself and all others concerned entrust us with the Divine nature and joint-heirship with Christ; for if He did not require this of us, the same consequences would set in for us as were pointed out above, if Jesus had been entrusted with the Divine nature, heirship of, and vicegerency with God, without previous proof given under crucial sufferings of His dependability always to do God's will. Hence we see the justification of God in permitting the Church to suffer crucially with Jesus; and in this we see another glorious revelation of His character, resplendent in perfect wisdom, justice, love and power. Surely praise belongs to God for privileging the Church to suffer with Christ! Accordingly, we see that Christ and the Church have been permitted to have an experience with evil in the sense of suffering, in order to educate them in heart and mind unto fitness to execute all God's plans and purposes, among which is that of delivering the non-elect men and angels from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the sons of God (Rom. 8: 21). Thus seen, their sufferings are a part of their education, indispensable to fit them for their future nature, heirship and office (Rom. 2: 7) and for the blessing of the non-elect men and angels; and this highly displays the Divine wisdom, justice, love and power in permitting them an experience with evil.
God's purpose in permitting the subordinate elect classes—the Great Company and the Ancient and Youthful Worthies—to undergo an experience with evil, i.e., an experience of suffering, is very similar to that for which He has permitted Jesus and the Church to undergo it, i.e., to fit them in character and nature to be the assistants of Jesus and the Church in their office work of restoring the non-elect humans and angels to sinless perfection, as well as to be their assistants in their works in the Ages following the Millennium.
However, there are some differences as to the degree of the pertinent sufferings, the spirit in which they are borne and certain purposes of these sufferings, e.g., the sufferings of the Ancient and Youthful Worthies are not so crucial as those of Christ and the Church, because of their not yet having their final trial, which will come in the Millennium's Little Season, and because they are not destined to inherit so high a nature as those who gain the Divine nature and, therefore, will not have to develop so fine characters. Moreover, their sufferings are not related to sin atonement in the way the Christ's sufferings are. The Great Company, however, must in this Age undergo their final trial, hence their sufferings in this life are more acute than those of the Ancient and Youthful Worthies; and because they do not bear them joyfully as the Christ class does, they, though intrinsically not so severe, are harder for them to bear than the Christ class has found theirs to bear. There is still another difference between the sufferings of the Great Company and those of the Church: While some of the latter's sufferings are chastisements for faults, much more of the Great Company's sufferings are chastisements for faults than the Church's similar sufferings are, because the former's faults have much more willfulness connected with them than have those of the Church. Finally, the Great Company sufferings in relation to sin-atonement are for the willful sins of the world in sin-atonement and thus differ from those of the Church; and they differ from those of the Ancient and Youthful Worthies, which Worthies do not suffer at all for sin-atonement, which, again, makes their sufferings differ from those of these three classes. But all four of these classes' experiences with evil are intended to fit them by an educational process for fitness for their respective natures, inheritances and offices, which, being not only for their own benefit, but also for the benefit of all the non-elect, vindicates the wisdom, justice, love and power of God in His purpose in letting them have their experiences with suffering,
evil. The above discussion on God's permitting the righteous in their four classes to suffer an experience with evil vindicates Him in permitting the good to suffer. Realizing that their suffering for righteousness will be repaid many millionfold, not only in their great personal rewards, but also in their fitness thereby to bless others, we may well triumph with the Apostle in his words of Rom. 8: 17, 18: "If children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together; for I reckon that the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." Here the words of the poet are applicable:
"Ages glad shall more than repay
Whate'er God's saints have suffered here;
Christ's Kings shall they be owned of aye,
T'upraise for God his creatures dear."
In the manifold wisdom of God for quite a different reason has He permitted the non-elect of mankind and some angels to experience sin and its consequences, sufferings. And the answer that the Bible offers as to why God has allowed these to experience evil satisfies at once the severest exactions of the head and the deepest longings of the heart. His design therewith is a fivefold one, connected with His creative process as to men and angels: (1) to educate these sin-loving men and angels to hate and forsake sin, from an intelligent appreciation of its terrible nature and awful effects in physical, mental, artistic, moral and religious degradation from perfection for men, and not physical, but mental, artistic, moral and religious degradation from perfection for angels, thoroughly taught them by the most effective of all teachers, experience, on the principle expressed in the proverb, "A burnt child dreads the fire"; (2) after the experience with sin and its consequences comes to a climax, to educate them to love and practice righteousness, from an intelligent appreciation of its uplifting nature and blessed effects in physical, mental, artistic, moral and religious elevation to
perfection for men, and not physical elevation, which angels did not lose by sin, but mental, artistic, moral and religious elevation to perfection for angels, thoroughly taught them by the most effective of all teachers, experience, on the principle that righteousness uplifts its practicers physically, mentally, artistically, morally and religiously unto perfection; (3) to give men and angels, so educated by these two experiences as a teacher to a proper appreciation of sin and righteousness, from an intelligent appreciation of their exact natures and effects, an opportunity to demonstrate under trial and test which of these two principles they will love and practice; (4) to give everlasting life and blessedness to those, who under trial and test, from an intelligent appreciation of their exact natures and effects, will hate and abstain from sin, and will love and practice righteousness; and to destroy those who, under trial and test, after these two educations, which should have taught them an intelligent appreciation of the exact natures and effects of sin and righteousness, will choose and practice sin; and (5) thus through these two experiences, followed by trials and tests as to the way the twofold education has been taken advantage of, to gain human and angelic free moral agents who will forever illustrate the reign of moral law, whom to gain as such is God's ultimate design in permitting evil.
It would be in place to explain these five designs and certain things therewith related, and then to show that the Bible reveals the program embraced in these five designs as the reason why God has permitted men and some angels to sin and, as a result, to undergo a fearful experience with evil. In the first part of the sentence that briefly set forth these five designs the remark was made that they are connected with God's creative process as to fallen men and angels. On this some explanation should prove helpful. In proposing the creation of men and angels, God, having in physical nature very many illustrations of the reign of physical law, desired,
additionally, to illustrate the reign of moral law, i.e., free will agents manifesting that the laws of justice or love control all their acts, e.g., contemplating the creation of man, God proposed the question to Himself, How can I create man as a free moral agent, i.e., a creature endowed with intellect, sensibility and will, who will illustrate the reign of moral law, i.e., who will hate and avoid sin and love and practice righteousness from an intelligent appreciation of their natures and effects? An intelligent appreciation of their natures and effects could be had in any one of four ways: (1) information, (2) observation, (3) intuition and (4) experience. Thus God was limited to the use of one or another of these four ways in giving mankind the pertinent mental appreciation. Intuition, in the sense intended above, is used to convey the loose use of this word employed to designate the natural sensing and cognizance of man as to things adapted to human nature and its relations, with which all humans are endowed, but not the strict use of it—the ability to know apart from the use of the reasoning powers, which is an inherent endowment of God only. Accordingly, God could not use intuition in its strict sense as a way of giving man the requisite appreciative knowledge of good and evil; but He could use it for this purpose in its loose sense mentioned above, and also use any one of the other three means of learning to inculcate the pertinent mental appreciation. Which of these did God think the most effective to use? Here His foreknowledge came to His aid. It assured Him that man, informed as to the nature and effects of sin and righteousness and endowed intuitively with a natural aversion to the former and natural love for the latter, both of these, by his creation in God's image, characterizing his disposition, would under stress of trial deliberately of his free will choose the former, and thus illustrate the reign of sin in his disposition, motives, thoughts, words and acts. This foreknowledge did not move God to alter His purpose of creating a free
moral agent, i.e., man, who as such must be a free moral agent, and make him a machine which could not sin; for what He desired in the creation of man was a free moral agent who from an intelligent appreciation of the exact natures and effects of sin and righteousness would hate and avoid the former and love and practice the latter. Hence, if He desired to create man, i.e., a being endowed with intellect, sensibility and will, He had, in the nature of things, to make him a free moral agent. This is also His purpose in creating angels.
God also foresaw that man, though informed and sensing with human intuition exactly as to what to do and what to avoid, would sin, which, accordingly, He foresaw proved that man without experience with sin in contrast with righteousness would not by information and intuition alone as teachers hate and avoid sin and love and practice righteousness. Hence He foresaw that information and natural intuition alone would prove insufficient to give Him creatively the kind of man that He desired, i.e., an eternal illustrator of the reign of moral law. His foresight also assured Him that He could not use observation as the method of educating man to the degree of making him an eternal illustration of the reign of moral law, for if man should learn this lesson by observation, some other free moral beings would have to undergo an experience with sin and its results, in order that man by observation could learn the pertinent lesson; and thus sin and its consequences would have to be experienced to give man an opportunity for observing its effects; and thus the problem would still be open to bring that order of beings into harmony with moral law so as to grant it life. Hence God did not choose observation as the means of educating man as to sin and righteousness. Hence God, foreseeing that man of his own free will would choose to sin, determined, not to make him so that he must sin, nor to make him sinless and afterward coerce him to sin, but to permit him in the exercise of
free choice to sin, and then by sentencing him to death, to bring upon him through experience the sufferings that a sin-caused death produces, let him learn just what sin is and does to those who choose it. Thus God did not will man to sin, but permitted him to sin, and then sentenced him to experience the death woes that sin brings in a moral order of affairs to its committers. Accordingly, His foresight moved Him to choose experience as man's educator as to sin and righteousness. How in the exercise of free will Adam was brought to sin is described in E2, 105; the fearful effects of sin are described in Chapter II; and in Chapter II is demonstrated the wisdom of God in sentencing all in Adam to the woes of the curse. Hence none of these three things need be discussed further here. Thus of the four ways of conveying an intelligent appreciation of sin and its consequences God through His foreknowledge of man's sin chose to permit him to learn its exact nature and results by experience, the most effective teacher of the four.
That this was the most effective way to educate man as to the hatefulness of sin in its nature and results is very evident; for most people learn more thoroughly by experience than by any other method of instruction. We often see this illustrated in human affairs. The enforcement of human law by penalties is in part based on this principle. Juvenile reform schools are entirely pivoted on this principle; and parental discipline enforced by various punishments is usually so based. The business and social world furnishes us innumerable examples of the operation of this principle. The proverb quoted above, "The burnt child dreads the fire," is an observation of human wisdom based on experience embodying the principle that God uses in permitting the woes of the curse to torment mankind. While human experience, observation, information and intuition all agree that experience is the most effective teacher, they also agree that it is by no means the gentlest teacher. God's preference to teach mankind by information and
intuition to hate and avoid sin and love and practice righteousness, evidenced by the way He taught sinless Adam and Eve, proves that He preferred to use the gentlest teachers to inculcate the needed lesson; but man not responding favorably to these gentlest teachers, and observation, implying sin in others, making it objectional for many reasons, He resorted to the severer teacher as the only available effective method of inculcating the pertinent lesson to mankind. But some object that if this is the Divinely chosen method to inculcate thoroughly the hatefulness of sin and the desirability of avoiding it, He has made a failure with the bulk of mankind; for they argue that, except for a very few individuals scattered here and there, the bulk of mankind has not from their experience with evil learned to hate and forsake sin and to love and practice righteousness; rather the bulk of mankind increasingly are sinking down into deeper physical, mental, artistic, moral and religious degradation and into death unreclaimed from sin. To the facts just stated we assent, but deny that God has made a failure in His design of permitting evil. The objector is taking too narrow a view of the situation. He is leaving out of consideration the fact that man's sufferings have not yet reached their climax and the fact that the other four designs connected with the permission of evil, particularly the second design, the experience with righteousness, have not yet been enacted; for if we, as the objector does, limit the whole matter to the unclimaxed experienced with evil, of course we must conclude from the Bible and secular history that the bulk of the race has not by experience with evil learned to hate and avoid sin and to love and practice righteousness. But, unlike the objector, we must also take into account the climax of evil and the other four designs of God which must operate, in order to see how man is to be developed into hatred and avoidance of sin and love and practice of righteousness; particularly must we look at that climax and the second of these designs.
But before discussing the second of these designs, the experience with righteousness, it belongs here to mention several particulars, partly as concluding remarks on the experience with evil, particularly on its climax, and partly as remarks connecting it and the experience with righteousness. All observant people recognize that mankind is suffering from constantly multiplying physical, mental, artistic, moral and religious ills. Quite a number recognize these sufferings to be a direct or indirect result of sin. Many others fail to connect them with sin as their direct or indirect cause. Of course, such fail to see the connection between sin and the permission of evil, and, resultantly, are unprepared to see why God permits evil, if, as the Scriptures teach, the Lord is using this experience to impress upon mankind the fearfulness of sin and the curse and the desirability of hating and avoiding the former as a condition of escaping the latter. Upon the generality of mankind the sufferings resulting from sin have not reached a sufficient climax to impress upon them a deep sense of the fearfulness of sin and the desirability of avoiding it. Into the early phase of such a climax of sin's effects the race entered with the Day of Wrath. The Bible teaches that the experience with evil would come to a climax in a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation, nor ever would come afterward (Dan. 12: 1; Matt. 24: 21, 22). General descriptions of this time of wrath are found, among many others, in the following passages: Is. 63: 4; 34: 1, 2, 8; Jer. 10: 10; 25: 26-38; Zeph. 3: 8, 9; Ezek. 6: 7; Mal. 4: 1; Jas. 5: 1-6; Joel 2: 2; Amos 5: 20. The Bible uses many symbols to illustrate this trouble, e.g., a battle (Rev. 16: 14; 19: 11-21), an earthquake (Rev. 16: 18-21), a fire (Zeph. 3: 8; 2 Pet. 3: 10, 12), a whirlwind and storm (Nah. 1: 3, 6, 9; Ps. 107: 22-32); a tempest of hail, a destroying storm, a flood of mighty waters (Is. 28: 2; Nah. 1: 3, 6, 8), a treading of a winepress (Rev. 14: 19, 20), a furnace of fire (Matt. 13: 42), a lake of fire (Rev. 19: 20), etc.
The Scriptures in particular forecast that this trouble would for all mankind in general consist of three main features: a World War (a symbolic wind), a World Revolution (a symbolic earthquake) and a World Anarchy (a symbolic fire), world-wide famines and pestilences interspersed among these and between them lesser wars, revolutions and anarchies (Rev. 7: 1, 14; 1 Kings 19: 11, 12; Ezek. 14: 13-21; Rev. 16: 16-18; 2 Thes. 1: 8); and for the Jews in particular regathered in Palestine it would consist of a devastating invasion (Ezek. 38; 39). This Day of Wrath began in 1914 with the World War, Phase I, which was accompanied with great famines and pestilences, e.g., the Spanish flu, following which have been small wars, revolutions and anarchies. The World War, Phase II, began in 1939 and ended in 1945, marked by evils similar to those that marked Phase I. The second stage of the great tribulation, the World Revolution, or Armageddon, is immediately before us, the late fearful war being a precursor of it, world-wide famines and pestilences to accompany it, and wars, revolutions and anarchies to follow it. Its third stage will then come, Universal Anarchy, accompanied by still worse famines and pestilences than those accompanying the other two stages of the Day of Wrath. Its final stage will be its expression against the returned Jews in Palestine and against the plundering remnants of anarchists gathered out of all the destroyed nations, invading Palestine for plunder, devastating the land and its people, and suffering an exemplary punishment after their destroying work is done. The Bible further teaches that, beaten, exhausted, despairing and humbled by the unexampled sufferings of the Day of Wrath, and remembering that these tribulations were forecast to them as coming for sin, they will finally learn the lesson, illustrated by the burnt child dreading the fire, to trace their sufferings to their real cause-sin; and from their suffering experiences they will learn to recognize the hatefulness of sin and the desirability of avoiding it. Thus the race
will finally learn the lesson of sin's terrible nature and results, which will help teach it to hate and forsake sin.
The Bible teaches that sin and death with its train of woes were brought upon the whole race through the sin of Adam and Eve, Adam being the one mainly responsible for it (Gen. 3; Rom. 5: 12-19; 1 Cor. 15: 21, 22; 2 Cor. 11: 3; 1 Tim. 2: 14). It was not our individual fault that we were born in sin under the death sentence, by which we are exposed to an experience of evil, and for which it is inflicted upon us; for we were never consulted on the matter; and without our knowledge or consent were so born; we were not created perfect individually and individually put on trial for life; hence it was not our fault that we became by heredity sinners, death-sentenced and exposed to the experience with evil. Nevertheless, Adam and Eve, perfect and sinless as they were, are examples of what perfect humans, instructed adequately by information and human intuition, but without observation of the effects of sin, would do under sore trial, and, as such examples, prove that all other perfect and sinless humans equipped and conditioned as they were would do the same as they did under the same or similar crucial trial. Hence no injustice was done the race for their being tested and sentenced by heredity in their first parents; for these represent what all other humans would do, if exactly like them, i.e., perfect, sinless, adequately equipped with knowledge and intuition as to obedience, but without observation of evil, if they were placed in the same condition on trial for life as were Adam and Eve. Hence we are not to blame them, for they did what we would have done in their place, if created and conditioned and tested like them. Hence God was not unjust when by the law of heredity He allowed us to become sinners, death-sentenced and exposed to the experience with evil, because of the disobedience of our first parents. Instead of our blaming Adam and Eve in useless crimination, let us remember that because we were not put on trial individually, we and the rest of
the race have by the way God has adjusted the matter come to suffer much less than we would have suffered, had we all come under an individual trial while perfect and sinned therein, as we would have sinned therein. Moreover, God's way in this has spared excruciating sufferings to redeem us to as many saviors as there were humans who did not sin individually and thus did not bring upon themselves an individual sentence; for Adam in undergoing the death sentence suffered nearly 930 years in losing his perfect life, hence much more than we suffer in giving up our relatively small amount of life in death in comparatively few years under the experience with evil; and, we sinning in him, only one Savior has had to suffer to redeem the race (Chapter II), while had 20,000,000,000 perfect ones sinned individually, that many saviors would have had to die for them, if they were to have a chance to be saved from their condemnation.
These considerations proving our having been wisely and justly, we may also add, lovingly, condemned without our individual fault, we could be as wisely, justly and lovingly redeemed without our, but by another's merit; for if our condemnation in Adam was reasonable, our redemption by Christ is at least as reasonable; for in the ransom He substitutes an exact equivalent for every part of Adam's debt to Justice for sin, which is our debt, i.e., He substituted His perfect, unforfeited body, for Adam's perfect, forfeited body, His perfect unforfeited life for Adam's perfect, forfeited life, His perfect, unforfeited right to life for Adam's perfect, forfeited right to life; and His perfect, unforfeited life-rights for Adam's perfect, forfeited liferights (Rom. 5: 15-19; 1 Cor. 15: 21, 22; Heb. 2: 6-9; 1 Tim. 2: 4-6; Matt. 20: 28). Why this? It was (leaving the elect now out of view) that by freeing the race from the condemnation in Adam to give that very race that had suffered the experience with evil under that condemnation the second experience, the one with righteousness, which, as God's second pertinent design
as to the permission of evil to the world, is to come when Christ and the Church reign over the earth in the Millennium; for if it was just (and wise and loving too) that the race was condemned to the experience with evil, it is at least as just (and wise and loving too) that by a redemption the same race be freed from the condemnation, to the end that it may be blessed with an experience with righteousness, that thereby they may learn by experience the opposite lesson, that righteousness is a good and desirable thing because of its good nature and blessed effects. Therefore we oppose as a cure to the experience with evil, brought upon the race through Adam's condemning demerit, the experience with righteousness, to be brought by Christ's atoning merit, upon the same race. This proposition, we believe, will withstand every assault of devils and opposing men, regardless of the learning, subtlety and severity of such assault, since it is the acme of Scriptural, reasonable and factual verity.
The Bible teaches that this experience with righteousness will come upon the human race during the reign of Jesus and the Church over the earth, i.e., in the Millennium. From the many Scriptures that treat of the Millennium we will cite a comparatively few; for Peter tells us that the Millennial days have been foretold by the mouth of all God's holy prophets since the beginning of the present evil world, i.e., since the days of Noah (Acts 3: 21). No wonder that it was foretold by all the holy prophets, since as a large feature of God's plan its coming was confirmed by Jehovah's oath (Gen. 22: 16, 18; Gal. 3: 16, 29; Heb. 6: 13-18). The following are some of the main Old and New Testament Scriptures treating of the Millennium, the reign of Jesus and His faithful followers over the earth for a thousand years following the Gospel Age, which ends with the end of the experience with evil: Gen. 12: 3; 18: 18; 22: 18; Ps. 2: 8; 22: 27-29; 72; Dan. 2: 44, 45; 7: 13, 14, 18, 22, 27; Is. 2: 1-4; 9: 6, 7; 11: 6-11; 32: 1; 35: 8-11; Jer. 23: 5, 6; 33: 14-16;
Ezek. 36: 24-38; 37: 22-28; Joel 2: 28, 29; Amos 9: 14, 15; Ob. 21; Zeph. 3: 8, 9; Hag. 2: 7-9; Zech. 8: 20-23; Mal. 4: 1-3; Matt. 6: 10; 19: 28; 25: 32; Luke 2: 31, 32; 12: 32; 22: 29, 30; John 18: 36; Acts. 1: 6, 7; 3: 19-21; 15: 16, 17; Rom. 8: 17; 14: 9; 1 Cor. 15: 21-28; Phil. 2: 9-11; 2 Tim. 2: 10-12; 4: 1; Jas. 2: 5; Rev. 1: 5, 6; 2: 26, 27; 3: 21; 5: 9, 10; 11: 15; 20: 4-6, 7-9. An exposition of these passages would furnish materials for a large dissertation; but without an attempt at interpretation we commend them to the reader's attention. All that will be here said of them is that they describe a time of blessing coming upon the human family, the very reverse of the time of the curse and sin now upon the human family taught by the Bible, reason and fact as an actual experience.
It will be in place here to describe the blessed conditions then prevailing, by way of contrast with the evil conditions now prevailing, from which it will be seen that an experience with righteousness will follow the experience with evil, and will teach the race the exact opposite lesson from that taught the race by the experience with evil, which shows that sin is a bad thing, bad in its nature and bad in its effects, depraving, as it does, physically, mentally, artistically, morally and religiously in imperfection even unto death, whereas the experience with righteousness will prove that righteousness is a good thing, good in its nature and good in its effects, elevating, as it will, physically, mentally, artistically, morally and religiously in perfection even unto life. The reader is asked to note the contrasted things that will now be brought out between the present experience with evil and the future experience with righteousness: (1) Whereas now the earth is full of imperfections and wastes (Is. 61: 4), these will then be repaired; and the earth will be turned into a Paradise (Ezek. 36: 35; Is. 35: 1, 2). (2) Now Satan as a cruel tyrant is in control (2 Cor. 4: 4; Eph. 2: 2); then he will be bound and imprisoned (Rev. 20: 1-3); and Christ will be in control as a benevolent King
(Ps. 72: 4, 8). (3) Now error abounds on all hands (Matt. 24: 11, 24; 2 Thes. 2: 9, 10); then error will be destroyed (Is. 25: 7 [the vail, preventing clear mental sight]); and the Truth shall then prevail sea-deep and world-wide (Is. 29: 18, 24; 11: 9; John 1: 9; 1 Tim. 2: 4). (4) Now sin is rampant (Matt. 24: 12; 2 Tim. 3: 13); then it will be destroyed (Is. 25: 7 [the face of the covering, sin makes God avert His face from the race]) and righteousness will abound (Ps. 72: 2, 3; Is. 1: 27; 32: 16, 17). (5) Now the human family is under the curse, the bondage of corruption (Rom. 5: 12; 8: 19, 22); then it will be freed from the curse (Rom. 5: 15, 16, 18, 19, second clause in each case), in order to gain the freedom of perfection ministered to them as sons of God (Rom. 8: 21). (6) Now sorrow and tears are the order of the day (Ps. 30: 5; Rom. 8: 22); then sorrow and tears will be set aside, and joy will take their place (Is. 35: 10; Rev. 21: 4). (7) Now wars and revolutions prevail among the children of men (Ps. 46: 2, 3; Matt. 24: 6, 7); then nations will cease making war preparations, cease from war, and live in peace with one another under the reign of the Prince of Peace (Ps. 46: 9; Is. 2: 4; 9: 6, 7). (8) Now calamities of all kinds are injuring the race in disordered nature (Matt. 24: 7); then nature will be ordered unto perfection, which means an end of calamities (Rev. 21: 4, 5; Is. 35: 1, 2). (9) Now droughts are widespread in this earth (Jer. 14: 1-6; Hos. 13: 5); then these will be no more; instead the earth will yield her increase bountifully everywhere (Ps. 67: 6; compare with vs. 1, 2. 4, 7). (10) Now the righteous are despised and persecuted (Matt. 5: 10-12; 2 Tim. 3: 12); then their reproach will be removed (Is. 25: 8); and they will be exalted and respected (Ps. 72: 7; 92: 12; 112: 6). (11) Now the wicked are exalted, because Satan, the present ruler, exalts them to further his purposes (Ps. 37: 35; Mal. 3: 15); then they will be abased and striped for their reformation (Ps. 37: 13, 17, 36; 72: 4, 9; Is. 26: 9).