Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing (epiphany) of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;  Titus 2:13

CHAPTER VII

THE BIBLE'S ATTRIBUTES AND USES

 

ITS FOURTEEN ATTRIBUTES—ITS FOUR USES

 

HAVING finished our discussion of the Bible's inspiration, the next line of thought that will be discussed is its attributes. It has, indeed, many attributes, qualities. It will be recalled that in giving our general reasons in proof of the Bible's inspiration, among others, we set forth 21 attributes of the Bible as proving its inspiration. By combining some of these 21 attributes we have reduced them to 14, which, with God's help, we will set forth as the attributes of the Scriptures. On each of these 14 we will give greater details than were given when we used the Bible's attributes as one of the general proofs for its inspiration; otherwise we would be merely giving needless repetition of what was formerly given. It is hoped that our previous discussions of the Bible from the standpoints already given have enhanced our appreciation of it and of God as its Author. It is also hoped that what will be given on the rest of the phases of the Scriptures coming up for discussion will add to that enhancement; for the more the Bible in the general theory of it in its various phases is studied, the more should it and God, as its Author, be enhanced in our appreciation, since it and the Spirit of God, of all His impersonal gifts to us, are the greatest and best. Or to put it in other words, the Truth and the Spirit of the Truth are God's greatest and best impersonal gifts to us. Let us, therefore, prize them as such, and from such esteem of them make a most faithful use of them to God's glory and the profit of others and of ourselves.

 

The first of the Bible's qualities that will be here discussed is its diversity. It has this attribute from a variety of standpoints: It is diverse in its writers; for the Old Testament had about 40 writers and the New

 

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Testament 9. Again, these writers were different from many standpoints: as to talents, characters, calling, education, amount of writing, style of writing, object of writing and impressionableness of their writing. Some of them were outstandingly great and influential men, like Moses, Samuel, David, Solomon, Daniel and Paul. Some of them were men of more than average caliber, like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Luke. Most of the rest of them were men of average caliber; and a few of them were below the average. As to times of writing: these from first to last stretched over a period of about 1,700 years. The Bible is rather a library than a single book; for it consists of 66 books, of varying sizes, subjects and importance. It is a library of two diverse divisions: Old and New Testaments. These books differ in style. Some of them are written in the most elevated style, e.g., Deuteronomy, Job, which is considered even by unbelievers as the supreme literary product, Psalms, Isaiah, Hebrews and James; some of them in a simple, almost colloquial style, like Genesis, Joshua, Ruth, John, etc. They have diverse forms of literature: some are historical; some of them are almost entirely oratorical, e.g., Deuteronomy, Job; some of them are poetical, like Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Canticles, Ecclesiastes and most of the Prophets, especially Isaiah and Lamentations; some of them are a mixture of history and legislation, like Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy; some of them are didactic, like the Epistles; some of them are a mixture of the historical and the didactic, like the four Gospels and Acts; some of them are prophetic, like the major and minor Prophets and Revelation; some of them intersperse the didactic and prophetic, like James, 2 Peter, 1 John and Jude; and some of them consist of the historical, didactic and prophetic, like Matthew, Mark and Luke.

 

Its diversity is seen in the three worlds or dispensations that span the entire plan that it contains, in the Ages that constitute its second and third dispensations, in the Harvests of the Jewish, Gospel and Millennial

 

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Ages and in the planes of being and of conditions in those with whom it has to do. Its variety is seen in the different classes that it describes, in good and evil angels, in the perfect unfallen race in Adam and Eve, in the fallen race undergoing the experience with evil, in the elect patriarchs, in elect fleshly Israel's consisting of real and nominal fleshly Israelites, in the faith-justified, in the four ultimate elect classes: Little Flock, Great Company, Ancient Worthies and Youthful Worthies, in real and nominal spiritual Israel, in the embryonic and born Kingdoms, in the born Kingdom's two phases, in the initial two classes of the restitutionists: Jew and Gentile, in the ultimate two classes of the restitutionists: saved and lost, and in the ultimate classes of the fallen angels: restored and destroyed. This diversity consists also of the Bible's teaching elements: doctrines, precepts, promises, exhortations, prophecies, histories and types. In each of these teaching elements great diversities occur. In its doctrinal teachings the following as the main different ones appear: God, Christ, Spirit, Creation, Covenants, Law, Man, Sin, Death, Hell, Chronology, Ransom, Faith-justification, Consecration, Spirit-begettal and Spirit-anointing, The Seven Salvations and Saved Classes, Election, Free Grace, First and Second Advents, Time of Wrath, True and Nominal Church, the Kingdom, Resurrection, Future Probation, Final Trial, Rewards and Punishments.

 

This diversity is seen in the Bible's many ethical teachings. While they consist of two main lines of thought, its precepts on our relation to God and our fellows, each of these consist of a vast diversity of precepts as to justice and charity. They embrace charges as to the 7 higher primary graces, the 17 lower primary graces, the 17 secondary graces and the 12 tertiary graces. The diversity of its promises appears from the fact that a Scotchman counted over 70,000 of them. There are at least as many exhortations in the Bible, if not more. There are thousands of diverse prophecies. Its diverse histories, of vast numbers of individuals

 

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and events, face one on all sides. Different are its biographical personages and events; and its types are just as numerous and diverse as its historical and biographical sections. Diverse, indeed, are the purposes of each of the Bible's various dispensations, Ages and planes of being. Its books were not only written by diverse persons at diverse times, but also in diverse languages and in diverse countries and sent to diverse persons, with diverse objects. Great is the Bible's diversity! While other diversities of the Bible may be brought out, the above are certainly sufficient in proof of diversity as being one of its attributes.

 

With all its diversity the Bible, nevertheless, has unity as one of its attributes; for all of these diverse elements are only parts of one marvelous whole. This unity is one of structure. The unity between the Old Testament and the New Testament is seen in the fact that each has three similar parts: each is divided into three divisions and these are similar: historical, didactic and prophetic in each case. In the Old Testament we find structural symmetry in the fact that there are first the five books of Moses, which are followed by 12 historical books; then follow five poetic books; thereafter follow five books of the Major Prophets and 12 books of the Minor Prophets. There is a unity of subject-matter in these two Testaments: in the first type and prophecy, in the other antitype and fulfillment: and both alike prophesy and type things future to the New Testament. The first three chapters of its first book treat of the creation and the fall; the last three chapters of its last book treat of the re-creation and the restoration from the fall. Again, both testify of the Bible's seven salvations, particularly of its two main ones. Thus there is a marked unity in the structure of the Bible's two parts. Its unity is organic: for, as in all organic unity, there are three essential features: (1) all parts, without any additions or subtractions, constitute an organism, (2) all parts complement one another; and (3) all are pervaded by the same energy. Thus, first,

 

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all of the Bible's 66 books are needed to make it the Bible. Take one of these away and you do not have the Bible. Add one or more, and, again, you do not have the Bible. All are needed to constitute it God's full Bible. Secondly, every part of the Bible complements its other parts. Thus one gospel is not sufficient for the life and teachings of Christ. Each of the four gospels complementing the others, we have a complete picture of Christ's life, character and teachings. Also the rest of the New Testament books are needed to fill out features of the mystery of God, of which Jesus and the Church are the fullness; hence we have the Acts, the Epistles and Revelation to fill up the entire mystery. Again, all five books of the Pentateuch complementing one another, are in turn complemented by the other two divisions of the Old Testament: (1) the Earlier and Later Prophets and (2) the Writings. Each of these in turn complements the others; and similarly the New Testament complements the Old and the Old the New. Thirdly, there is the same energy that permeates the whole; for the Spirit of God, both as God's power and God's disposition, permeates the whole, even as life-principle permeates all animal and spiritual organisms.

 

Its unity is manifest in the one God, of a perfect person, character, word and work, though there is great diversity exhibited in Him in these four features. It is manifest in its coming from One Author, though He used many amanuenses in receiving and transcribing it. This unity is seen in the plan that the Bible reveals. This plan has the one design of glorifying God in His dealing with the sin-condemned race. In bringing about this design all sorts of diverse elements enter into that plan; but they all contribute, whether negatively or positively, to the outworking of that design. Does the race experience evil? Its ultimate end, under Divine control, is to glorify God, who makes the wrath of man praise Him, with its final part restrained in annihilation, thus also glorifying God. Does Satan seem to be winning in his warfare against God, good principles

 

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and those in harmony therewith? It is only that in the end God, as a man uses a grindstone to sharpen a knife, will overrule Satan's course to God's glory, by His so shaping the faithfuls' experiences in conflict with Satan as will make them all the firmer in truth, righteousness and holiness, and by His limiting the unfaithfuls' cooperating with Satan to manifest them as inseparable from evil and therefore as unfit for existence, as corrupters of good, and fitted for the annihilation that will engulf them, the whole resulting in a perfect and righteous universe. Did Christ perform a perfect ministry and undergo a terrible death? It results in glory to God in the highest and in good will to men, through His laying down the ransom-price for the world and in His developing a character fitting Him to be God's eternal Vicegerent in heaven and earth, to honor God forever in executing His plans and purposes. Does the Church undergo a set of experiences similar to those of Jesus? It results in the same end—God's glory in the highest and good will to men, in that by its sacrificial sufferings it shares with Jesus in suffering and in being made perfect in character and thus fit to be the Bride of Jehovah's Vicegerent, in cooperating under the Bridegroom in eternally glorifying God in advancing His plans and purposes. Similarly, though in a lower measure, the parts in the outworking of the plan carried forward in this life by the Ancient Worthies, Great Company and Youthful Worthies will inure to God's glory in their development in character fitness to cooperate under Christ and the Church in advancing God's plan. Have the Jews suffered unspeakable evils during the period of their rejection from God's favor? It will all result, after their eyes are enlightened and their hearts are mellowed, in their becoming all the more zealous and efficient for God in the Millennium and will inure to the faithful of them being fitted for life eternal and to the unfaithful of them being destroyed, to God's glory. Has the Gentile world suffered much under the experience of evil? This, too, will

 

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eventually come to the same result to the Millennial faithful and unfaithful. Thus every feature of the plan adds up to the unity of the whole—God's glory in the good having perfect life and in the incorrigibly evil becoming non-existent, as the necessary condition of the universal prevalence of righteousness.

 

There are other features of the attribute of unity pervading the Bible. The Bible's fruitage culminates in working in the responsive the one Spirit of God—one in its possession of truth, righteousness and holiness, and one in its abhorrence and avoidance of, and opposition to evil. In the diversity of the seven component elements of the Bible we see unity to exist. Note their complete unity with God's character, from which they all flow! Every one of the Bible's doctrines, precepts, promises, exhortations, prophecies, histories and types is harmonious with God's character, inasmuch as it expresses His mind. This, of course, is not to be understood to mean that the wicked things there mentioned are an outflow of His character, but He caused them to be recorded as warning examples, and from this standpoint it is in harmony with His character to have recorded them. But not only are these things in harmony with, and an outflow of His character, but there is a remarkable harmony between the ransom, the Bible's central doctrine, and these seven lines of thought in the Bible, the last three of them, prophecies, histories and types, to be understood as limited in the preceding sentence, the things therein stated being matters of record, and not all of them necessarily sanctioned by God, but the unsanctified ones being warnings against evil.

 

Note, please, the unity of the ransom with the unity of God, and how it contradicts the trinity. Since the ransom satisfies God's justice, it must have been brought by one who is not God, which disproves the trinity, as it also disproves it from several other standpoints. God could not be the ransom, corresponding-price to Adam, since God is more valuable than a perfect man; hence the trinity is false; since it herein

 

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contradicts the ransom. Again, God could not have died; hence the trinity contradicts this phase of the ransom. Again, death, and not eternal torment, is sin's penalty; for the ransom-price was laid down by Jesus' death, not by Jesus' undergoing eternal torment. For the same reason man is not immortal, since the ransom required the death of Jesus, who therefore had not up to then been immortal. Again, the ransom has been given for all; all must have an opportunity of benefiting from it; but the bulk of the race died without getting that benefit; hence they will get their opportunity after they are awakened from the dead. The ransom being a real, not merely a seeming death, the dead are unconscious while dead. The ransom implies justification by faith; for if Jesus meets our debt without merit on our part, all that we need do to obtain the benefit of it is to accept it; hence justification by faith, since Jesus paid it all. The ransom proves that man is human, not part human and part spiritual, since it was the man, not a spirit-man, Jesus Christ who tasted death for every man. The ransom acquires the opportunity of restitution to Adamic perfection and Paradise restored, not spirit life and heaven, for the race as a whole. The ransom, perfecting our humanity, makes the Church in its humanity acceptable for consecration and death with Christ, and keeps it so. Accordingly, we see the oneness of the ransom with the other Bible doctrines. It is a touchstone of Truth and error. In a similar way we could show the oneness of the ransom with all of the Bible's precepts, promises, exhortations, prophecies and types, but think enough has in the foregoing been shown on its oneness with the plan, without going into further details on this feature of the Bible's oneness.

 

We will say something on the oneness of the other six parts of the Bible's elements. There is a marvelous oneness in the ethical principles of God's Word. And this oneness is seen in that all of these principles are calculated to accomplish the one design of all God's words and works— glorify God. These principles revolve

 

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about and center in love, as the fulfillment of the law of duty and disinterested love; for every precept, whether it is a prohibition or a charge, has as its heart love. Out of love flows every other grace, except faith, hope, self-control and patience, which, however, must be in harmony with it as supports of it and as avenues through which it may flow. God's multitudinous promises have this feature of unity; for they are all implied in, and flow out of the all-embracing Abrahamic Covenant, which is God's eternal purpose, the Divine Plan of the Ages, put in a nutshell. Indeed, that Covenant is the whole Bible in a nutshell, a marvelous summary of God's plan; hence it is apparent that with all their diversity the promises are a unity that are designed to bring glory to God. The same remark applies to the very numerous exhortations of the Bible; for, like the precepts of the Bible, they center in character, warning against those things that go to develop evil characters and encouraging unto those things that go to make up good character. Hence in the exhortations there is oneness. This is true from another standpoint: their relation to the precepts of the Word; for their heart is an encouragement of duty and disinterested love, out of which, as shown above, practically all graces flow; and it works in harmony with the above-excepted graces of faith, hope, self-control and patience. All this also inures to glorify God. The prophecies are a one whole; for they center in the Christ as the mystery of God; all else on which they touch is in the Bible because of their relation to this mystery. And in this we can see their oneness, as this oneness with the Christ is a guarantee that they will inure to God's glory. The histories of the Bible partake of this oneness, because they bind together into one whole the other Biblical books as a revelation of the one God of perfect wisdom, power, justice and love. The types, as being pictures in pantomime of the future classes, persons and operation of the one plan of God in its reflecting credit upon God, share in the oneness of the plan and its object, God's glory.

 

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The oneness of God's Word appears from still another standpoint, that of ultimate results. By God's plan, under God's one headship, He is making and will continue to make unto a completion in Christ all things in heaven and earth. This is shown in the I. V.'s rendering of Eph. 1: 10: "He purposed by Himself for a stewardship of the entirety of the seasons, to make Himself again Head as to all things in the Christ, the things in heaven and the things in earth." A few explanations will clarify this passage. Once, before sin came into existence, as to all free moral agents in heaven [spirit beings] and all things in earth [Adam and Eve, i.e., the then human race] God was Head. But since some angels and all mankind sinned, God ceased to be the Head of all spiritual and human beings, though He still remained Head of the good, i.e., the unfallen angels. God, according to this verse, has by Himself made a plan that is being administered through a full series of Ages, by which, when completed, He will have made Himself again Head of all things in the Christ, Head and Body, but only of those things spiritual and human which come into and remain in the Christ. This will make a wonderful unity, produced through God's Word. The following is the process by which it is realized: First, Jesus by His consecration and Spirit-begettal came into God as His Head (1 Cor. 11: 3) and by His faithfulness remained in Him, thus becoming eternally one with God (John 17: 21). The next step is the Church coming into Christ by consecration (1 Cor. 1: 30; 12: 12, 13) and by faithfulness remaining in Him as its Head (Eph. 1: 22, 23; Col. 1: 18), thus becoming eternally one with the Father and the Son, in the one Spirit (John 17: 21, 23). Next will come the Ancient Worthies, Great Company and Youthful Worthies into this oneness under God as Head and in Christ and the Church. Following these will come the good angels and then the reformed fallen angels under God as Head and in Christ and the Church. This will complete bringing in

 

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the Christ the things in heaven under God as Head. Finally, the faithful restitutionists will be brought into and remain in the Christ under God as Head, which will complete the bringing again of all things in earth in Christ under God as Head. Thus the outworking of the Word or Plan of God will effect it that all things in heaven and in earth in the Christ will come under God again as Head, those refusing to be or to remain in Christ being eternally destroyed. Thus the whole family of God on various planes of being will be all one under God's Headship in Christ, all from the oneness of God's Word in its effect. This oneness has been aptly illustrated by a pyramid, whose top stone is God, each subsequent layer of stones corresponding to those named above, in the order mentioned. Glorious oneness, achieved by God in Christ, through His Plan!

 

We now come to the consideration of another attribute of the Bible, its harmony. This harmony is one of the Bible with itself as a whole, in its parts, its teachings, God's character, the ransom, facts and its purposes. It is true that some have thought that the Bible is self-contradictory, and have as a result denied its harmony with itself; but such alleged contradiction disappears when the Word is rightly divided, for which a study conducted in the spirit of humility, meekness, hunger for truth and righteousness, honesty, goodness, reverence and holiness is necessary (2 Tim. 2: 15). To see this harmony the Word must be partitioned into its proper dispensations, and each passage pertaining thereto must be placed in its proper dispensation. Furthermore, this partition must be one into its proper Ages and Harvests, and each passage pertinent thereto must be put into its Proper Age and Harvest. And, finally, this partition must be according to its proper planes of being and each passage assigned to its proper plane of being. When this is done the Bible as a whole and in its every part will be found to be in perfect harmony with itself. Apparent contradictions are due to a wrong division of the Word of Truth or misunderstandings

 

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of its thoughts. If, e.g., we should limit as operative in the first dispensations Eph. 1: 10, which was first explained, which shows all dispensations, and belongs mainly to the third dispensation, there would be a contradiction; for from the fall to our day all things were not reduced into one under God's headship again; but placed mainly in the third dispensation all is clear. Or, if we should place those passages that treat of actual restitution in the Gospel Age, we would find contradictions, resulting in making the Bible self-contradictory; but if we should put them in the Millennial Age, the Bible would be found self-harmonious on this subject. Or, if we should put on the plane of perfect or fallen human nature passages that treat of immortality, which belong exclusively on the plane of the Divine nature, the Bible would become self-contradictory, for it indicates that the Divine nature alone has immortality (John 5: 26; Rom. 2: 7; 1 Tim. 6: 16; 2 Pet. 1: 4), and hence human nature does not have it. But if we put those passages as belonging on the Divine plane, the Bible is found to be self-harmonious. Every other case where the Bible is supposed to be self-contradictory will be made harmonious by a right division of the Word.

 

This harmony of the Bible is seen to exist as between its passages. E.g., Paul's statement that we are justified by faith without works (Rom. 3: 19—5: 1; Gal. 2: 16—3: 29) and James' statement that we are justified by faith and works (James 2: 14-26) are thought to be a contradiction between passages. But they are in harmony, because they treat of two different justifications—tentative justification and vitalized justification. Tentative justification is that act of God whereby He, in view of Christ's merit, but without its actual imputation on behalf of and to the involved person, for the time being treats the repentant and believing sinner as though the merit had actually been imputed on his behalf and to him, i.e., treats him for the time being as though his sins were actually forgiven and as though he were actually covered with Christ's righteousness,

 

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and thus He takes him into fellowship with Himself. He so does, that if this believer should fail to consecrate or fall away he would still have his share in Christ's merit coming to him, for a Millennial trial for life; since had the merit actually been imputed for and to him, and then he should fall away or fail to consecrate, his share in that merit having been exhausted, he would be irretrievably lost. To prevent such a result God has arranged for a tentative justification, i.e., one without works by faith alone. It is this, tentative, justification that Paul describes when he teaches justification by faith alone without works. But to obtain vitalized justification, i.e., a justification that God actually gives for the sake of Christ's merit alone, and not by any merit of the works that lead one up to the vitalizing of his justification, one must not only have lived justly after his tentative justification, but must have been so thorough in such a life as to consecrate himself entirely to God. When, during the operation of the high calling for new aspirants, this consecration was made, God had Jesus make an actual imputation of His merit for and to the consecrator, that merit alone, and not the works done up to and including the act of consecration, earning the right for the pertinent person's forgiveness and covering with Christ's righteousness and unconditional fellowship with God. That actual imputation of Christ's merit vitalized the justification that before was tentative. Thus these good works, as the necessary condition of vitalized justification on the pertinent person's part, did not merit that justification, which Christ's merit alone earned, and which God's grace alone gave; but they had to be done in order that the person could come into a consecrated condition, apart from which no justification was ever vitalized. It is these works, incidental to one's becoming consecrated and thus obtaining vitalization of his justification, that James stresses as necessary to one's having (a vitalized) justification. Thus there is no contradiction between Paul's teachings on justification by faith without works, when it is kept

 

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in mind that he treats of tentative justification, and James' teaching on justification by faith and works, if one remembers he treats of vitalized justification.

 

Similarly, some have thought that a contradiction exists between the passages that teach that we are saved by faith without works and those passages that teach that we must work out our own salvation, that without holiness no man shall see God, that glory, honor and immortality come only to those who persevere in good works and that the higher primary graces must be added, be active in us and abound, as the condition of entrance into the Kingdom. These passages are only then made to contradict when they are misplaced as to the plane of being where they belong. If those that treat of faith alone without works as saving us are placed on the plane of justification and the others and similar ones are placed on the plane of Spirit-begetting, i.e., one applied to the human, the other to the Divine salvation, everything is harmonious. Toward the end of our discussion of inspiration we examined very many alleged contradictory passages, particularly all that are of any moment, and showed their full harmony with one another. Hence this will be enough on the subject of the Bible's harmony in its passages.

 

Again, the Bible is harmonious in its doctrines. Some think that it is not in harmony on its doctrinal teachings. We will instance the main ones of this line of thought and show the complete harmony between them. Most of these alleged disharmonies are due to the fact that their allegers confound the two salvations of the Bible. The apparent contradiction-between the passages that teach that the heavens and the earth are eternal (Eccl. 1: 4; Ps. 148: 3-5; Jer. 31: 35, 36) and are to be destroyed (Matt. 24: 35; 2 Pet. 3: 10-12) is solved by taking the first set as the literal heavens and earth and the second set as the symbolic heavens (false religions) and earth (society based on selfishness and evil). Some think that a God of perfect wisdom, power, justice and love (Ps. 25: 7, 8; Jer. 9: 24; Rev. 15: 3)

 

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could not have permitted so much sufferings as are in the race (Rom. 8: 20; Acts 14: 22). The harmony is found in this, that God uses these experiences educationally: (1) to refine His people into perfect characters, especially in sympathy, forgiveness, gentleness, mercy, benevolence, beneficence (Rom. 8: 28, 29; 2 Cor. 4: 16-18), and thus fits them educationally to be merciful and faithful helpers of the world when the Kingdom comes; and (2) to educate the world by a terrible experience with evil to hate sin as the cause of their misery, when by contrast they will come to their experience with righteousness, whereby, from its blessed effects' reversing physical, mental, artistic, moral and religious degradation into physical, mental, artistic, moral and religious elevation to perfection, they will learn to love righteousness, the two experiences or educations turning the bulk of the race against sin and to righteousness and thus fitting them for everlasting life. To produce these results certainly is a remarkable demonstration of God's wisdom, justice, love and power (Rom. 8: 20, 21; 11: 32; Ps. 90: 4-12 [the experience with evil], 13-17 [the experience with righteousness]). Some think that the Bible contradicts itself on the doctrine of election (i.e., God's love limited to only a few for salvation, Christ's death limited to only a few for salvation and the Spirit's work limited to only a few for salvation, 2 Thes. 2: 13; Jas. 2: 5) and the doctrine of free grace (God's love, Christ's death and the Spirit's work for all for salvation, John 3: 16, 17; Heb. 2: 9; Rev. 22: 17). The harmony appears readily, if we apply the elective passages to the second dispensation, especially to the Gospel Age (Joel 2: 29) and the free grace passages to the third dispensation in its Millennial Age; for God is now selecting the elect to use them as the blessers of all the non-elect in the Millennium (Joel 2: 28; Rom. 8: 20-22; 11: 25-32).

 

Some think there is disharmony in the Bible doctrine of the righteous suffering much evil on earth (Acts 14: 22; Heb. 10: 32-34; 2 Cor. 11: 23-27) and the Bible

 

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doctrine of the righteous not suffering evil on earth (Ps. 37: 3, 9, 34, 38; Prov. 2: 21; Is. 65: 21, 22; Ezek. 36: 28-30). Here, too, the harmony of the Bible in its doctrinal teachings is seen when the doctrine of the righteous suffering in this earth is applied as operating while the curse fully operates in the earth, during the reign of evil, while the righteous elect people are undergoing their training for their office of being the Seed of Abraham that will bless all the families, nations and kindreds of the earth; while the Bible doctrine that the righteous will not suffer on the earth will operate during the Millennium, when the curse will be taken away and the reign of Christ and the Church will not only remove the evils from the righteous, but will bless them with every good thing that the head can think and the heart desire. The proof of these things is given in 2 Tim. 3: 10-12; Ps. 72 and in many other passages. Thus here, too, is harmony. Again, some think that there is disharmony in the Bible's doctrines that all are lost (Rom. 2: 12; Gal. 3: 10) and that all are saved (1 Tim. 2: 4; Rom. 11: 26). The harmony between these two apparently contradictory sets of passages is this: All Jews as humans and Gentiles as such are lost in Adam, whose condemnation to death has come by heredity upon all; and all Jews as Jews are additionally lost in Moses, whose Law Covenant condemnation comes to all Jews, except Jesus, since all but Him have violated the Law. And all Jews as humans and Gentiles as such are saved by Christ, not eternally, but from the death condemnation that they have inherited from Adam; and additionally all Jews as Jews are saved from the Law Covenant's death condemnation. The former classes are saved from their death condemnation by Christ's taking Adam's and their place in the ransom delivery and thus He has gained the right to deliver them therefrom, which He does to believing Jews and Gentiles in this life and will do to the rest as humans in the next Age (Rom. 5: 18, 19; 1 Tim. 2: 4-6). But the Jews as Jews Christ ransoms from the

 

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curse of the Law by becoming a curse for them, and thus has become the Redeemer of believing Jews from the Law's condemnation in this life (Gal. 3: 13; 4: 4, 5), and will become the Same for the rest of them in the Millennium (Rom. 11: 25-32). These condemnations and salvations are not to eternal death and life, but the sentence to, and deliverance from Adamic death.

 

Some think that the Bible doctrine that people suffer for the sins of their ancestors (Ex. 20: 4; Rom. 5: 12; Ezek. 18: 2) and the Bible doctrine that they do not suffer for the sins of their ancestors (Ezek. 18: 4, 20) are contradictory. These apparent contradictions are harmonized by the right division of the Word, first, as it applies to the first and second dispensations, and, second, as it applies to the third dispensation; or, to put it in another way: applying the passages that prove that people suffer for ancestral sins to the time before the Millennium, and the passages that prove that people do not suffer for ancestral sins, but for their own sins, to the Millennium. Thus all will be found to be in harmony (Jer. 31: 29-34). Now by the law of heredity the race since Adam's day suffers for ancestral sins, as Rom. 5: 12-19 and Ezek. 18: 2, as well as all experiences prove; but in the Millennium no one will suffer for ancestral sins, but only for his own sins. This is proved in Ezek. 18: 3-9. If a righteous man then has a wicked son, this son will suffer for his own sins only and the righteousness of his father will not be reckoned to him (vs. 10-13, 18). And if a wicked man then has a righteous son, that son will not suffer for his father's wickedness (vs. 14-17, 19). Furthermore, if a wicked man then repents and reforms, he will be forgiven and not die (vs. 21-23), but if a righteous man then turns to iniquity, he will die for his sins (v. 24). Against the charge of injustice that some will then bring against God for destroying the apostate righteous and saving the reformed wicked, God vindicates His Millennial course in vs. 25-32. Thus we find harmony between these two apparent contradictions.

 

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Just one more point: an apparent doctrinal contradiction seems to be between the Bible doctrine that the way of salvation is hard (Matt. 7: 14) and that the way of salvation is easy (Is. 35: 8, 9). The harmony here is obtained by rightly dividing the Word of Truth, applying the difficult salvation as operating in the Gospel Age and the easy salvation as operating during the Millennial Age. Now the way of salvation is hard, because the devil, the world and the flesh use the present unfavorable conditions to make it hard to gain the elective salvation now operating; for now abounding sin, error, selfishness and worldliness oppose the elect's progress. The operation of the evils of the curse make it hard to be faithful. Oppressive and persecuting governments, predatory aristocracies and false and persecuting religions fight the faithful, and also opponents in one's family, society, business and industry are against them. All of these, as well as other obstacles, make it hard to gain the elective salvation, as Bible passages (Matt. 20: 22, 23; Luke 12: 50; Acts 14: 22; 1 Cor. 4: 9-12) prove and experience corroborates. On the other hand, the highway of holiness, as the way of salvation (Is. 35: 8) for the non-elect in the Millennium, will be easy, as Is. 25: 6-9; 35; Ps. 37; 72, etc., etc., prove; for then, not error, but Truth, will prevail, everybody seeing it (Is. 11: 9; 29: 18, 24; Jer. 31: 34). The highway of holiness will be inconducive to unrighteousness and conducive to righteousness, inasmuch as all features of the curse will be removed and the opposite features of blessing will prevail, as these contrasts are shown in the following 14 sets of passages: (a) Is. 61: 4; Ezek. 36: 35; Is. 35: 1, 2; (b) Rev. 20: 1-3; Ps. 72: 8; (c) Is. 25: 7; 11: 9; (d) Is. 25: 7; 29: 18, 24; (e) Rom. 8: 21; (f) Is. 35: 10; (g) Is. 2: 4; 9: 7; (h) Is. 25: 8; Ps. 72: 7; (i) Is. 26: 9; Ps. 37: 35, 36; (j) Is. 65: 15; 60: 14, 15; (k) Is. 60: 12; Ps. 72: 12-14; (1) Is. 65: 22; Mic. 4: 4; (m) Is. 65: 23; 60: 17; (n) Ps. 107: 42; Is. 61: 11. Certainly, these conditions will make it hard to do wrong and easy

 

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to do right in the Kingdom. Thus the harmony between these apparently contradictory doctrines of the two ways of salvation is seen.

 

There is harmony also between God's character and the Bible. This can be seen from the standpoint of the Bible as a whole, of its passages, of its seven component parts, of its teaching on that character itself, of the ransom, of facts and of the purposes of the Divine plan. Take, for example, the doctrinal parts of the Bible. Great is the harmony between God's character and man's trial in Eden, the fall, the sentence of death as sin's penalty, the permission of evil, the Old Testament elections, the ransom, Jesus' resurrection and glorification, justification, consecration, the sacrifice of the Church with Christ, the object and manner of the Second Advent, the two-phased Kingdom, the resurrection, future probation for the non-elect, the world's judgment, restitution, final trial, rewards and punishments, as there is certainly disharmony with that character and the creeds on almost all of their views on these subjects. There is likewise harmony between the Bible and the ransom. In fact, everything in the Bible revolves about the ransom, as a wheel with its hub, spokes and rim revolves about its axle, and as the spokes and rim have the hub as foundation and center. Yea, the whole Bible and its plan center in the ransom. We have above shown this in relation to the main doctrines of the Bible, as we have there shown its disharmony with counterfeits of the Bible's teachings. Those points also prove the harmony of the ransom with the Bible. The Bible is in harmony with facts, with all the facts that it gives and with all the facts of true science and philosophy, as we have shown in detail in our book on Creation (E2). This will be shown also in certain features when we discuss the Bible's attribute of truthfulness. And, certainly, the Bible is in harmony with its two objects: (1) its secondary object of blessing all with the opportunities of eternal salvation and of giving it to the faithful, and of destroying the incorrigible

 

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as necessary to blotting out all sin, and (2) its primary object of glorifying God as supreme, and Christ as His Vicegerent in heaven and earth. Accordingly, we have found that from every standpoint harmony is an attribute of the Bible.

 

The next Bible attribute to be studied is its conformity to art. We have no one noun in English to express this idea, though we have adjectives therefore, artistic and artistical. We will, therefore, avail ourselves of a privilege of an editor and author to coin suitable words, which we can do from either of these adjectives in harmony with English usage. From the first one we may coin the word articity, and from the second one the word artisticality, to which we may attach the meaning of the quality of conforming to art. The fine arts consist of music, poetry, painting, sculpture and architecture. But the word art is often used to designate other things than the fine arts, e.g., manual arts, mechanical arts, in fact almost any kind of activity or its products requiring skill and dexterity to do or to make. In our use of the word as an attribute of the Bible we lean more to the idea implied in the fine arts, without, however, excluding the idea of other skillful and dextrous activity and its products. Especially in the fine arts there are a number of qualities required to entitle a thing to be called artistic. Three of these we have already discussed as attributes of the Bible: Unity, diversity and harmony, e.g., take a fine painting; there will be unity as to subject, etc., diversity as to details and harmony in the relations of the parts to the whole. These things we have seen as to the Bible, which, therefore, at least to that extent, is artistic. But there are other qualities that are demanded to make a product a work of art. One of these is simplicity, another is beauty, a third is sublimity. These six qualities—unity, diversity, harmony, simplicity, beauty and sublimity—are the main qualities that go to make up art in its highest sense; and the Bible has all of them; and, therefore, as a product of the highest