Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing (epiphany) of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13
times in which he appeared. Many of them are so nearly miraculous in their nature, or so minute and circumstantial in their details, as almost to preclude the idea of chance in any sense. And we are very sure, therefore, that we do not assume too much in assigning to twenty of them an average equal chance of nonoccurrence. Proceeding upon this ground, we find the probability of their joint occurrence opposed by a disparity of more than a million of chances to one; and it results from the combination of all the ratios thus found, that the advent of our Savior, in all its characteristic circumstances and relations, could not have been calculated upon as a matter of chance occurrence with more than one in four thousand millions of millions of chances. The term probability can scarcely be applied with propriety to a case so very remote; but the argument does not stop here. Our Savior, at a time when all the calculations of human forethought were diametrically opposed to Him, predicted the general dissemination of His gospel [throughout the Jewish symbolic heavens], and the consummation of prophecy with regard to the destruction of Jerusalem, in the short space of a single generation; and so it turned out. By the laws of probability, neither event had, at the utmost, more than one chance in ninety of occurring at that particular time; and there was, therefore, only one in 8,100 of their joint occurrence.
"The predictions relative to the siege of Jerusalem, the subjugation of Judea, and the dispersion and subsequent condition of the Jews, present many particulars equally remarkable in character and fulfillment. We select twenty-four, which have severally a degree of probability not greater than ½, and the result is an aggregate of nearly seventeen millions of chances opposed to their joint occurrence. The predictions of the Old and New Testaments relative to the state and condition of the Church in various ages, and its influence upon the moral and political welfare of mankind, furnish another class of particulars which have been singularly
verified. The individual probability of most of them would be much less than ½; but we concede this, and limit ourselves to twelve points, the aggregate contingency of which is about 1/4000. Finally, the prophecies of the Old Testament relative to the Gentile nations around Judea, and the great empires, Nineveh, Babylon, Tyre, Egypt, etc., present about fifty particulars worthy of notice in this calculation. To avoid, however, all possibility of error, we consider only half that number, from which we deduce the expectation of their united fulfillment in the ratio of one to thirty-three millions.
"There remains still a vast number of correlative and circumstantial details not reducible to any of the foregoing heads, which are found scattered through the pages of Scripture, and furnish a thick array, of corroborative evidence for the affirmative view of the subject; but we need not fear to waive the use of them in the present calculation. The composition of the ratios already determined gives an aggregate which it requires nearly forty places of figures [120 digits] to enumerate, and which the utmost powers of the human mind may vainly attempt to appreciate. If we should even assume a single grain of sand for the numerator of the fraction, the whole globe of the earth, repeated many millions of times, would scarcely suffice for the denominator; and such is the extreme improbability of any consistent fulfillment of the Scriptural prophecies on the principles of chance. It will not be objected to this calculation that it regards the different subjects of prophecy as parts of one and the same system; for although they were in fact uttered by different prophets and in different ages of the world, they are all united by a common subject; and that with a degree of consistency and harmony scarcely less wonderful than the fulfillment itself."
The above mathematical discussion on probability takes into consideration and uses only the literal fulfillments of prophecy, even as such has been the case of
prophecy so far discussed in this article. But the Scriptures use a vast number of these literal prophecies in symbolic ways, e.g., Ammon symbolizes clericalism; Moab, autocracy; Edom, Jewry, Christendom and the Great Company; Philistia, sectarianism; Babylon, churchianity; Assyria, Romanism; Ninevites, mankind out of harmony with God; Tyre, compromiseism; Syria, radicalism; Egypt, Satan's empire; Arabia, treason; Hamism, unjustification. And when the peoples of these various countries, cities, etc., are referred to in such symbolic ways the votaries of such qualities are meant, e.g., Ammonites symbolize clericalists; Moabites, autocrats, etc., etc. Another fact is not taken into account in the above mathematical discussion of probability, i.e., that the histories, biographies and the Mosaic, Davidic and Solomonic institutions are all typical and, generally speaking, refer to future things (1 Cor. 10: 6, 11; Col. 2: 16, 17; Heb. 10: 1). Hence they are, generally speaking, prophecies in typical form. And most of these types have multiple applications, e.g., St. Paul shows that 1 Cor. 10: 1-14 applies to both Harvests (v. 11, literally, the ends of the Ages [Jewish and Gospel Ages]; "the Harvest is the end of the Age," Matt. 13: 39). Again, Jesus' use of the Jewish Harvest as a type of the Interim, as well as of the Gospel Harvest (Matt. 24: 4-51; Mark 13: 3-37; compared with Luke 21: 7-24), proves that these types that refer to the Harvests have an application to the Interim. Again all types that refer to the Gospel Harvest type Epiphany matters, since the Gospel reaping time, called in the Greek the Parousia, and the separation time, called in the Greek, Epiphaneia [whence comes our word Epiphany], are parallels; hence they have parallel events at parallel times, i.e., 40 years from each other. And, finally, since the Gospel Age has three small parallel periods as miniature Gospel Ages during the Epiphany: (1) the Small Miniature, in which a day parallels a year in the Gospel Age; (2) the Medium Miniature, in which a year
parallels a century in the Gospel Age; and (3) the Large Miniature, in which 25 months parallel a century in the Gospel Age. These three miniatures, therefore, witness the fulfillment of parallel events in the day, year and 25 months, as the three Miniatures call for, corresponding to the year or century in the Gospel Age, which means that all prophecies and types fulfilled in the Gospel Age have at corresponding times in these Miniatures three additional fulfillments. Applying these symbolic prophecies and prophetic types in all their applications to the above-described compound probability figures as additional prophecies, the number of digits required to set forth the result would be many, many times more than the number of digits setting forth above the compound probability derived from the literal prophecies. In other words, the probability of their compound fulfillment would be as one to an almost infinite number of improbabilities. In other words, the matter of probability is only theoretically, and not actually applicable to the subject.
We close our discussion of prophecy as a proof that the Bible is a Divine Revelation with the remark that by far the largest part of the Bible is prophetic, since in addition to its literal and symbolic predictions all its histories, biographies and Mosaic, Davidic and Solomonic institutions as types are, generally speaking, prophetic, which fact implies that the bulk of the Bible is at least a Divine Revelation, and this goes a long way to prove that the rest of it is a Divine Revelation.
Having concluded our discussion of prophecy as the second internalo-external proof that the Bible is a Divine Revelation, we desire to present several external proofs of the same thing. The first of these is the evidence of experience as demonstrating that the Divine Plan of the Ages in its elective features, set forth in the Bible as its main contents, is shown by the experience of the elect to be such as the Scriptures teach that their experiences would be. By this we mean that the elect have experienced at each stage of
their progress on the way of salvation, as they complied with the Scripturally prescribed conditions applicable to each stage, exactly what the Scriptures teach would be their experiences upon such compliance. If this is true, it would be a strong proof that the Divine Plan of the Ages, which is the heart of the Bible, must be the Divine Revelation as to salvation for the elect. We have already shown that all the methods for salvation prescribed by non-Christians and philosophies are fallacious; for they either prescribe false methods or insufficient methods or inapplicable methods therefore, i.e., their methods either ignore or gloss over man's inability to save himself, or give insufficient or inapplicable means for him to gain salvation. Even the Law Covenant gave, for fallen men, inapplicable means, perfect obedience to the Law, however well the Law would have effected it, if man were perfect; "for the Law made nothing perfect." It is only by means of a ransom-price, which the Bible alone prescribes, that Wisdom could arrange, justice and Love motivate, and Power execute salvation either for the elect or for the non-elect. Hence if the plan of salvation revealed in the Bible can effect salvation for the elect now and for the non-elect later, it comes with the credentials of a Divine Revelation, since by their failure all other plans are proven to have come from other than the Divine Source; for to make a successful plan of salvation required wisdom, justice, love and power, and none of these less than supreme, i.e., it must have come from God. We now give the proofs of our proposition.
(1) So far as the salvation of the non-elect is concerned, it must be said that the time for its operation being Millennial, it is future, and hence its stages are not now operating as matters of experience, though this much as to their relation to salvation as factual can be said, that their experience with evil and their degradation, physical, mental, moral, artistic and religious, as antecedent and preparatory to salvation, are now
matters of experience, and that they are certainly by experience, the most thorough of all teachers, given such an experimental knowledge of the nature and effect of sin as will prove reformatory of them when by contrast they get their experience with righteousness and its physical, mental, moral, artistic and religious uplift. There is thus an immense number of experiences with evil undergone by the non-elect available as facts to prove this particular feature of the Divine Plan of the Ages to be factual. But as just intimated, these are antecedent and preparatory to their salvation, but are not facts of their salvation's process as now operating experimentally.
(2) The Bible lays down certain qualities as needed by people, if God would work with them along elective lines. These qualities are humility (Ps. 10: 17; 138: 6; Is. 57: 15; 66: 2; Mic. 6: 8; Matt. 5: 3; 11: 25, 26; 18: 2-4; 23: 12; 1 Pet. 5: 5, 6), meekness (Ps. 22: 26; 25: 8, 9; 149: 4; Is. 29: 19; Jas. 1: 4), honesty (Ps. 15: 1-5; 24: 3-6; 34: 15; 84: 11; Prov. 12: 22; Is. 33: 15, 16; Luke 8: 15; 2 Cor. 4: 2), goodness (2 Chron. 19: 3-11; Ps. 37: 23; Prov. 11: 27; 12: 2; 14: 22; Eccl. 2: 26; Amos 5: 14, 15; Matt. 12: 35; Luke 8: 15), longing for truth and righteousness (Ezra 8: 22; Ps. 34: 10; 107: 5, 9; Matt. 5: 6; Luke 1: 53), reverence (Job 28: 28; Ps. 25: 12-14; 34: 9; 85: 9; 86: 11; 103: 11, 13, 17; 111: 10; 147: 11; Prov. 14 27; 22: 4; Acts 10: 35; 13: 26; 2 Cor. 7: 1; Phil. 2: 12), and faith (Ps. 18: 30; 34: 8, 22; 125: 1; Prov. 29: 25; Is. 26: 3; 57: 13; John 11: 25, 26; Rom. 1: 16, 17; 10: 17; 1 Cor. 1: 21; Eph. 6: 16; Col. 1: 22, 23; 1 Thes. 2: 13; 2 Thes. 2: 13; Heb. 11: 6; 1 Pet. 1: 5, 7, 9). These qualities in their total add up to piety, without which one cannot enter the elective salvation process, and with which he can and does (John 14: 15-17, 21, 23). These the Bible teaches are needful at every stage for progress in the way of salvation. And the experience of the elect proves that this is true. Every one of them knows that by the exercise of these
qualities the Lord's Word ever increasingly became clear to him, that he was thereby brought through the successive steps of repentance toward God and faith toward Jesus Christ unto justification, then through successive steps unto sanctification of will, body and spirit, as well as progressively through it, and then through successive steps of deliverance unto ever-increasing victory over the devil, the world and the flesh, as these manipulate sin, error, selfishness and worldliness against him. These qualities as the prerequisites for advancement in the various stages of the elective salvation are not imaginations; they are the human powers that cooperate with God in effecting these stages of salvation; and by their effects in each of such stages of salvation the elect are given experimental proof positive that their pertinent progress in these steps are facts of God's and the elect's working out in the latter the salvation process as the Bible in its plan of salvation for the elect reveals to be God's method of saving them. Hence their experiences factually prove that the plan that the Bible reveals is the Divine Plan of the Ages as to the salvation process for the elect, and hence is the Divine Revelation.
(3) Conversely the Bible teaches that (1) whoever has by Satan been hardened unto not having these qualities even in their most elementary forms God will not, for their ultimate good, allow to enter even the first stage of the elective salvation process, enlightenment as to these stages and of course, they cannot enter into the following stages thereof (2 Cor. 4: 4; Mark 4: 11, 12; John 12: 37-40). (2) It further teaches that whoever enters any of these salvation stages and thereafter loses these qualities, which, when done is done only gradually, he will as gradually retrograde from such stages as a backslider (Matt. 24: 12; Mark 4: 18; Luke 9: 62; Heb. 3: 12; 12: 15; 2 Pet. 1: 9), and, if he loses them completely, he forsakes such stages entirely and is irrecoverable (Ps. 125: 5;
Prov. 14: 14; Matt. 5: 13; John 15: 6; 1 Tim. 1: 19; 6: 9, 10; Heb. 6: 4-8; 10: 26-29; 2 Pet. 2: 20, 21). (3) It further teaches that if, after a large loss of such qualities, one recovers himself, he is helped back to advancement unto gaining life, but with the loss of his crown (1 Cor. 5: 5; compare with 2 Cor. 2: 5-8; 1 Tim. 1: 20; 1 Cor. 3: 11-13, 15; Rev. 7: 9, 13, 14). And (4), the Bible teaches that if there is a slight loss of one or more of these qualities and recovery of them is made, the pertinent person does not lose his standing in the Little Flock (Prov. 24: 16; Acts 15: 37, 38; compare with 2 Tim. 4: 11; John 18: 16, 25, 27; compare with 21: 15-19; Gal. 2: 11-14; compare with Rev. 21: 14). The experience of all the individuals belonging to the four sets of character just described proves what is stated above of each one of them. The vast bulk of the human family, the unbelief class, are of the first class and do not enter the elective salvation process at all. Their experience thus proves that the pertinent Scripture teachings are true as to those excluded from the opportunity of being offered the elective salvation.
All backsliders of the second class know from their experience that the degree of their loss of these seven qualities Marks the degree of their spiritual retrogression, as experience, that of the second deathers, proves that when these qualities are entirely lost no recovery is possible for them. But the experience of the third set of characters proves that, while they have largely injured these qualities, under untoward experiences of striping they are recovered from their fall; but they carry the Marks of their fall in attaining a character inferior to that of the Little Flock's, and lose joint-heirship with Christ and the Divine nature, though they will gain everlasting life in an inferior grade of spirit existence. Experience shows that just now there is an exceptionally large number of such, who are undergoing buffeting at Satan's hands for the destruction of their fleshly minds. As to the fourth
set of characters, it should be said that in view of the fact that each one of the Little Flock, except Jesus, in a more or less small degree has at some time injured one or more of these qualities, and the fact that the Little Flock has been developing all through the Gospel Age and the further fact that the full number of them has now been won, experience proves their recovery from such falls. Hence experience proves the Scriptural principles explained in this paragraph to be true; hence these features connected with the plan of Salvation, being true, are in harmony with the thought that that plan is of Divine origin and that the Bible, therefore, whose heart it is, is a Divine Revelation.
(4) The presuppositions of the Bible plan of salvation, both for the elect and the non-elect, man's sinfulness, hence man's condemnation by justice to death, are also facts of experience. That the Bible teaches man's sinfulness and death-condemnation by justice is very evident. Rom. 1: 18—3: 20; 5: 12-21; Gen. 2: 17; 3: 17-19; Jer. 31: 30; Rom. 6: 16, 21, 23; 7: 5; 1 Cor. 15: 21, 22, 56; Jas. 1: 15; 1 John 5: 16 are a few passages that prove these two points to be matters of Biblical teaching. The experience of all mankind proves the first point to be true. The experience of all preceding generations proves the second point to be true to a completion; and the present race undergoing the dying process leading them on gradually to the death state proves the second point to be true, and thus implies that the Bible is a Divine Revelation.
(5) The experience of the elect proves the truth of that feature of the Bible plan of salvation for the elect which teaches that it overcomes the condemnation of sin. The Bible teaches that, we being unable to save ourselves from the condemnation of sin, God sent His Son to become our ransom-price, which He laid down by His death (Rom. 5: 6, 8; 8: 13; Matt. 20: 28; 1 Tim. 2: 4-6), that by His merit the condemnation for sin may be cancelled for true believers, i.e., justification from sin's condemnation comes to us through
faith in God's promise to forgive us for Jesus' merit (Rom. 3: 21-28; 10: 4; 2 Cor. 5: 21; Gal. 2: 16; 3: 13, 22, 24; Phil. 3: 9); for Jesus, substituting all that He was and had as a human being as the exact equivalent of the forfeited all that Adam was and had and that we were and had in him, imputes to God this exactly equivalent merit in offset of that forfeited all before God's Justice. Thus God's justice, being satisfied by the exact equivalent of the debt that it held against us, cancels the condemnation of sin against us when we exercise mental appreciation of, and heart's reliance upon His promise to cancel that condemnation through Jesus' merit. The pertinent facts of experience are these: God caused these facts to be preached to us; we in living faith accepted the message. Thereupon God cancelled sin's condemnation of us. How do we know that He did this? By the following facts of experience: (1) Whereas God formerly held our sins against us, proved by His giving us no fellowship, He, on our accepting Christ, received us into fellowship. (2) Whereas formerly He let us wander in sin and error, on our accepting Christ He began and has since continued to enlighten us on our relations to Him, Jesus and our fellows. (3) Whereas before He effected toward us many expressions of providential disfavor, He, on our accepting Christ, began a series of providential Acts showing His favor, like preserving us from evil, directing our course, restraining our waywardness, chastising our faults, rewarding our righteous efforts, etc. All of these Acts prove by experience that He has forgiven us our sins, i.e., delivered us from the condemnation of sin. No other than the Bible religion backs its theory of forgiveness of sins by experimental facts. Hence in this particular the Bible religion proves itself to be a Divine Revelation. This series of facts, as well as others that we will mention, implies that, being active therein, Jesus must have risen from the dead, for a dead Savior could not save himself let alone others.
(6) Experience proves that feature of the plan of the elective salvation to be true which reveals that the elect by their faithfulness in their faith-justification overcame the power of sin through the help that Jesus gives them, whereas before some of them were vile sinners, and all of them more or less slaves of sin, unable by their own powers to overcome it (1 Cor. 6: 9, 10; Rom. 6: 17-19; 7: 5). But after being justified by faith the elect have sought faithfully by Jesus' help to overcome the power of sin in themselves and have succeeded therein (1 Cor. 6: 11; Rom. 8: 1-4; 6: 17-19). Some of them have been haters and murderers, but under Jesus' leadership have become benevolent and beneficent people. Some of them have been fornicators and adulterers, but, blood-washed, they have overcome unchastity. Some of them have been thieves, extortioners and covetous, but leaning on Jesus for help, they have overcome thievery, extortion and covetousness. Some of them were drunkards, but by Jesus' help they have become sober, hating and avoiding intoxication. Some of them were slanderers and revilers, but by Jesus' grace have become controllers of offending tongues. Many of such sinners sought, before their acceptance of Christ as their Savior, to reform themselves, but were unable so to do; but on gaining justification by faith, they have been by Jesus' ministry given an internal power that enabled them to conquer the power of sin working in their mortal bodies. What do these facts prove? This, that by Jesus' ministry lovers and committers of sin, slaves of sin, have become freed from its power, which is another series of facts that proves that the elective salvation is evidently operated by God through Jesus Christ in a way that the Bible reveals it would do, which proves that this feature of the elective salvation is Divinely revealed, hence is a part of the Divine Revelation.
(7) The preceding point deals with the negative side of a righteous character—overcoming the power of
sin. But under this point we desire to deal with the positive side of a righteous character developing and practicing justice, duty-love. The Bible teaches that the faithful elect in connection with their faith-justification live righteous lives Godward and manward. Righteousness Godward renders God duty-love with all the heart, mind, soul and strength, while righteousness manward renders the neighbor the same kind of love as one renders to himself. These two forms of duty-love so pithily stated (Mark 12: 29-31), and yet including the whole duty of man, are of themselves an evidence that they are a Divine Revelation; for nothing short of omniscience could in so terse a form state all the contents of justice. Experience proves that some who once hated God, rendered service to false gods, took the name of the true God in vain and violated the rest of faith, were changed by their justification through faith into loving God supremely, rendering Him service, hallowing His name and exercising the rest of faith as fixed character features of righteousness toward God, as experience also proves that people who have dishonored and disobeyed their superiors, hated and physically injured their neighbor, committed adultery and fornication, unjustly appropriated to themselves the belongings of their neighbor, slandered and misrepresented their neighbor and coveted his belongings, have by their justification through faith developed and exercised such a duty-love to their neighbor as made them honor and obey their superiors, practice benevolence and beneficence toward their neighbor physically, protect and preserve the chastity of others, benefit others in their possessions, speak well and truthfully of others and generously rejoice in, and contribute to their neighbor's welfare. Before their turning to the Lord they were unable to develop and to practice such duty-love; but by following the pertinent Bible directions they got through it the power so to develop and do toward God and man. The Bible teaches that such are
the results of a faith-justification received and preserved (Ps. 1: 3; 112: 4-8; Prov. 2: 5-11, 20; 11: 5, 6, 30; 13: 6; Is. 58: 6-8; Hos. 10: 12; Matt. 12: 35; John 3: 21; Acts 9: 36; Rom. 6: 19, 22; 2 Cor. 9: 10; Phil. 1: 11; Tit. 2: 12; 3: 14; Jas. 3: 13, 17, 18). Such, therefore, by experience know that their faith-justification empowered them so to develop and do. And thus they have experienced the revelatory character of the Bible in its faith-justification features for the elect, as their experience therein proves that God by Christ is working in and for them in faith-justification.
(8) The preceding point proves how the elect as humans are enabled to live a righteous life through the powers Divinely given them in their faith-justification experiences. But there is another step in the Christian life that through the powers that God by Christ gives the elect in their faithful responses to the motives of righteousness worked in them amid and through their faith-justification, i.e., consecration unto sacrifice. The Scriptures treat of a twofold consecration: (1) consecration to righteousness, which is experienced in one's standing in faith-justification; and (2) consecration to sacrifice, which one experiences in his standing in sanctification. The Bible teaches that those who would be of the elect not only experience the consecration of righteousness, but also experience the consecration of sanctification. Hence in justification one gives up his will to sin and accepts God's will to do right. But in sanctification one not only continues to keep his will dead to sin and alive to righteousness, but additionally to make and keep his will dead selfward and worldward and alive Godward, while sacrificing, in the advancement of God's cause, his human rights to his own time, strength, health, talents, influence, means, reputation, comfort, position, life, etc. Such a course is entered into initially by giving up one's will selfward and worldward and accepting God's will as his own will. But we are unable of ourselves to make such a surrender and acceptance;
for to do this we would have to be stronger than self and the world, a thing that self-evidently we are not; for no one is stronger than himself. How, then, do we ever come to consecrate to sacrifice? In this wise: God (John 17: 17) by the ministry of Jesus (1 Cor. 1: 30; Heb. 2: 11) through the pertinent Bible truths fills our hearts with a consecrating faith and love whereby we are enabled to present ourselves to God as sacrifices (Rom. 12: 1; 2 Cor. 8: 5; Prov. 23: 26). All of those who are experiencing the elective salvation have been thus enabled to perform this act, which they were of themselves unable to do, and which must be done to enter the elective salvation. Their experiences, therefore, prove that the pertinent Scriptural teachings are true; and such teachings, being exclusively of Biblical inculcation, are by experience proven to be true of the elective salvation, which only God could reveal; hence the Bible on this point is by experience proved to be a Divine Revelation.
(9) The Bible teaches that those who would be undergoing the elective salvation, after experiencing justification by faith and consecrating themselves to sacrifice would, under the Gospel-Age call, be begotten of the Spirit unto sonship of God (Matt. 3: 16, 17; John 1: 12, 13; Rom. 8: 14-16; 1 Cor. 4: 14, 15; Phile. 10; 1 John 5: 1, 18). This begetting is the beginning of the new nature in its recipients, whereby one becomes a New Creature (2 Cor. 5: 16, 17; Gal. 6: 15; Eph. 2: 10) and as such is a candidate for the Divine nature and joint-heirship with Christ (2 Pet. 1: 4; Rom. 8: 17; 2 Tim. 2: 10-12). Such begettal implants a new set of capacities in our hearts and minds; for it gives each of our brain organs the power to project itself beyond the human things to which it as the human disposition is exclusively adapted to the corresponding things on the spiritual plane. E.g., such affections as cleave to human spouses, children, parents, brethren, friends, home, country, etc., reach beyond these to spiritual spouses, children, parents, brethren, friends,
home, country, etc. This implantation of spiritual capacities to the brain organs of the elect is a matter of fact testified to by hundreds of thousands as their experience. Hence experience proves that this step in the elective salvation is a reality, and proves God's acting out the pertinent features of His plan, which proves that part of the plan to be a part of the Divine Revelation, and thus proves the Bible to be the depository of such a revelation.
(10) The Scriptures teach that those unbegotten of the Spirit during the offer of the High Calling cannot understand or appreciate spiritual things; for as beings of natures lower than the human cannot understand or appreciate things peculiar to natures higher than theirs, e.g., dogs, cats, cows, etc., cannot understand and appreciate things peculiarly human, so human beings cannot understand and appreciate matters that are peculiar to spiritual natures, especially the Divine nature (Job 28: 12-28; 1 Cor. 1: 18-23; 2: 6-9, 11, 14-16; 2 Cor. 4: 4; Eph. 4: 18). The universal experience of those unbegotten of the Spirit during the Gospel-Age call proves that this is true; for such listen with blank minds to new creatures talking of the spiritual things, and regard their speech as either foolish or unintelligible; hence here again we find experience to corroborate the Bible teaching that the natural man is blind to spiritual things, which proves that this feature, negatively related to the elective salvation, implies that this part of the Bible is of Divine revelation.
(11) On the other hand, the Bible teaches that those begotten of the Spirit can and do understand and appreciate spiritual things. The contrast between the natural man and the spiritual man in 1 Cor. 2: 6-16 proves, as well as asserts this. Other Scriptures teach the same thing, e.g., as a part of the pre-anointing, even before their actual begetting, which occurred at Pentecost, the Apostles were given to understand certain deep things hidden from all others (Matt. 13: 10-17; John 17: 7, 8). The knowledge and appreciation of
spiritual things was conditioned on faith and willingness to do God's will, i.e., consecration (John 7: 11; 8: 31, 32; 10: 4, 38). Other Scriptures teach this thought (John 16: 13, 14; 17: 17, 20; Ps. 25: 14; 107: 43; 111: 10; Prov. 1: 7; Job 28: 28; Prov. 2: 112; 28: 5; Eccl. 8: 5; Is. 11: 1-3; 54: 13; Jer. 9: 24; Dan. 12: 10; Hos. 6: 3; 14: 9; Matt. 11: 25-27; Rom. 15: 14; 1 Cor. 8: 3; Phil. 3: 8, 10; Col. 1: 26, 27; 3: 10, 16; 2 Tim. 3: 15; 2 Pet. 1: 2-4). The ability to understand and appreciate spiritual things is bestowed upon the Gospel-Age elect through their begettal of the Spirit, which implants in their intellectual faculties the capacity to perceive, remember and reason on spiritual things—the things of God and Christ as Spirit beings, the Holy Spirit in God, Christ and themselves, the spiritual doctrines, precepts, promises, exhortations, prophecies, histories and types. Their possessing such a power as a result of their Spirit-begetting is an evidence that the plan of salvation, an outworking of which it is, is a matter of Divine Revelation, and hence the Bible in its pertinent part is such.
(12) The Scriptures teach that those not begotten of the Spirit, natural men, cannot aspire to, and long for present spiritual knowledge, possessions and privileges, or for the future spiritual, heavenly natures, characters, associations, inheritances, homes, honors and works (1 Cor. 2: 9). The reason for this is very apparent. They do not have the heart qualities—love for the things of the Spirit—necessary for such aspirations and longings; for they are of the earth earthy, and thus are adapted to earthly conditions only, while these aspirations and longings are within the ability of those only who are of the heaven heavenly (1 Cor. 15: 45-49). The universal experience of mankind as such is that they are earthy, and thus are adapted to things earthy and not to things heavenly. Even the fact that false religions hold out the hope of heaven to their votaries, while the latter clothe the pertinent hope with earthly garments and thus their heaven arises not
above the idea of what the Millennial Paradise will be, proves that they do not aspire to heavenly spiritual things. But the pertinent feature of the plan of the elective salvation excluding the natural man as such from spiritual aspirations and longings, the pertinent experience proves the Bible to be a Divine revelation.
(13) Conversely, the elective salvation of the Gospel Age has a part of it the feature that the elect aspire to, and long for present and future spiritual privileges, i.e., for present spiritual knowledge, appreciation, character, fellowship, service, testing and victories, and future spiritual nature, character, associations, inheritance, home, honors and works (Matt. 5: 6; 6: 33; Rom. 12: 2; Phil. 3: 12-14; Col. 3: 1, 2; 1 Cor. 12: 31; 1 Tim. 6: 11, 12; Heb. 4: 11; 11: 40; 1 Pet. 1: 13; 2: 2; 2 Pet. 3: 13, 14; 1 John 3: 2, 3; Jude 21). It is a matter of the experience of all of these that those who are in the high-calling salvation process are so constituted as to have such aspirations and longings. Their experiences as such are revealed as such in the Bible alone as accompaniments of the elective salvation. Hence their pertinent experiences corroborate the fact that, the Bible alone revealing such experiences as belonging to the elective salvation, it must be a Divine Revelation.
(14) It is furthermore a fact of experience that these elect are given credentials that they are sons of God. The Bible shows that sons of God are given certain evidences of their being such. Some have thought that their experiences of peace and joy and the conviction that they are sons of God are these proofs: but these are certainly imperfect proofs, since in time of trial, when the proof is most needed to help one stand, these feelings often fail them; but the proofs that the Bible gives for our sonship are unmovable in times of trial. The following are the main ones: (1) spiritual knowledge and appreciation; (2) aspiration and longing for true spiritual things [for passages on these two points please see points (12) and (13)];
(3) development of Christlikeness (Matt. 16: 24; Rom. 6: 4, 5, 11; 8: 9-11, 14, 29; 2 Cor. 3: 18; 4: 10, 11; John 10: 4; 13: 15, 34; Gal. 6: 2; Phil. 2: 5-8; 1 Pet. 2: 21; 1 John 2: 6; 3: 2, 3, 16); (4) opportunities of service (Mat. 21: 28; Luke 19: 12, 13; Rom. 12: 1; Mal. 3: 17); (5) persecution for righteousness (Matt. 5: 10-12; John 15: 18-21; 16: 2, 3; 2 Tim. 3: 11, 12; Heb. 10: 32-34; 1 Pet. 2: 19-23; 3: 14-17; 4: 14); (6) trials and tests of character (Mal. 3: 2, 3; Acts 14: 22; Rom. 5: 3, 4; 1 Thes. 1: 4, 5; Jas. 1: 3, 12; 1 Pet. 1: 7; 4: 13, 14); and (7) chastisement for faults (Ps. 119: 67, 75; Prov. 3: 11, 12; Heb. 12: 5-11; Rev. 3: 19). These seven things are experiences which the Bible teaches that God gives His children as proofs that they are His sons, and that He deals with them as sons. They undergo these as solid facts of experience, and these prove that the Bible's pertinent teachings are true, and as sonship is a feature of the elective salvation, and as the Bible alone reveals it as such a feature of God's plan, it must be a Divine Revelation.
The foregoing 14 kinds of experiences were set forth as proofs that the Bible is a Divine Revelation. Hereinafter 14 others will be presented as evidence of the same proposition. As the first 14, with one exception, were facts of the elects' experience, so the bulk of the second 14 will be the facts of the elects' experiences, which accordingly we will now present: (15) The first of these, and thus the 15th of the entire series, is the elects' experiencing the Bible's teaching that all things work together for good to those who love God (Rom. 8: 28; 2 Cor. 4: 16-18; Gen. 50: 20; Ezra 8: 22; Ps. 34: 10). The good referred to here is not earthly good, as health, prosperity, popularity, ease, life, etc., for these the elect sacrifice in God's interests, and hence the elect have hard experiences in earthly matters (Acts 14: 22; 2 Tim. 3: 12). It is spiritual good that is here meant, like Christlikeness, as Rom. 8: 29 gives as the good referred to in v. 28 and as the statement of 2 Cor. 4: 16-18 proves. Hence the good that all the elects' experiences work for them
is increase of the knowledge and appreciation of God's Word, opportunities to serve it to others, and the fruits and graces of the Spirit. These experiences include both the toward and untoward, the easy and hard, the agreeable and disagreeable, the pleasant and unpleasant experiences. Even their slips and stumblings into various faults and weaknesses are included; for God uses these to put them better on their guard to overcome them in later experiences. Hence the Bible teaches that God manipulates all of their experiences for the elects' spiritual good. It is the experiences of all of the elect that every experience of theirs is by God directed to help them overcome their evil qualities and works and develop good characteristics and works. Thus at every turn they experience God's fulfilling in their lives this Bible teaching. And these experiences are to them a strong evidence that the Bible's pertinent teachings have originated in God, and prove that the pertinent teachings are a Divine Revelation.
(16) The Bible further teaches that God through Christ makes His faithful elect victorious in their battles against sin, selfishness and worldliness (internal foes), however keenly and subtly the devil, the world and the flesh manipulate these in attempts to defeat them; and the elect experience such victories against their aforesaid foes. That the Bible teaches that the elect would be engaged in spiritual warfare against such foes is evident from the following passages: 2 Cor. 10: 3; 1 Tim. 1: 18, 19; 6: 12; 2 Cor. 2: 11; 6: 12; Jas. 4: 7; 1 Pet. 5: 8; Rom. 7: 23; 1 Cor. 9: 25-27; 2 Cor. 12: 7; Gal. 5: 17; 1 Pet. 2: 11; John 16: 33; 1 Pet. 4: 2; 1 John 5: 4, 5. It teaches that they must fight under Christ's leadership (Heb. 2: 10), with faith and a good conscience (1 Tim. 1: 18, 19), perseverance (1 Pet. 5: 9; Heb. 10: 23), earnestness (Jude 3), watchfulness (1 Cor. 16: 13), sobriety (1 Thes. 5: 6), endurance (2 Tim. 2: 3, 10), prayer (Eph. 6: 18) and without earthly entanglements (2 Tim. 2: 4). The Bible teaches that those who so fight against sin,
selfishness and worldliness, as these are led by the devil, the world and the flesh, will by God be given all needed helps unto complete victory (1 John 4: 4; Ps. 118: 13; Is. 41: 13, 14; Ps. 140: 7; 2 Cor. 7: 5, 6; Is. 41: 10) through Christ's leadership (2 Cor. 12: 9; 2 Tim. 4: 17, 18; Rom. 7: 25; 8: 37-39; 1 Cor. 15: 57). It is the experience of the elect that, in proportion as they fulfill the conditions of this warfare, are they victorious, i.e., if they but little fulfill these conditions, they are but little victorious; if they fulfill them more, they are more victorious; and if they fulfill them as fully as they are able, their victory is as full as it can be made, as it is also the experience of the unfaithful that they suffer defeat. Hence these experiences are strong proof that the involved Bible teachings are a Divine Revelation.
(17) The Bible teaches that the elect, especially their teachers, will be victorious in their conflicts with error (an external foe); and a long and sharp battle with error, as is taught by the devil and his mouthpieces, have the elect, especially their teachers, had during the Gospel Age with error subtly manipulated by Satan and his mouthpieces. The following are some of the Scriptures that teach that they would have such conflicts therein: Rom. 16: 17, 18; 2 Cor. 2: 17; 11: 3, 4; Gal. 1: 6, 8; Eph. 4: 14; Col. 2: 4, 18-23; 1 Tim. 1: 3, 4, 6, 7; 4: 1-3; 6: 3-5, 20, 21; 2 Tim. 3: 6-9, 13; 4: 14-18; Tit. 1: 10, 11, 14; 3: 10, 11; Heb. 13: 9; 2 Pet. 2: 1-3, 14-19; 1 John 4: 3; 2 John 7, 9-11; Jude 4, 11; Is. 54: 17; Luke 21: 15. In every stage of the Church this conflict between truth and error has been waged. In the days of the Apostles this was true as the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles, as well as the passages just cited, prove. As the Dark Ages drew on, and as they prevailed, this conflict continued to be fought. The period of the Reformation by individuals was quite Marked thereby; and the period of the Reformation by sects was more Marked thereby. So, too, was this true of the reaping period, as it is true of the present testing period of the consecrated in their three