PLAN OF REDEMPTION.
The plan of salvation is progressive, and has required ages for its development, A "seed" was promised (Gen. 3:), and that promise was renewed to Abraham, "Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. . . . And if ye be Christ's then are ye Abraham's seed (not seeds), and heirs according to the promise," (Gal. 3: 16, 29). "They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted for the seed," (Rom. 9: 8). Hence, the "seed" means, not Christ alone, "the firstborn from the dead," but "the church of the firstborn" complete: Christ and his body. And not until the "marriage" when Christ and his bride are made one, will the promised "seed," which was to bruise the serpent's head, be perfected. While the blessing which is to flow to the world through that seed, "In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth he blessed" (Gen. 22: 18), does not come before its development, but follows it.
The promise in Eden was very dark, a mere germ of a great tree. Centuries passed; a whole world were born and died, and a new world came into being before that promise began to be realized. Then it was renewed and enlarged with a little increase of light. But not until the law was given from Sinai did the light begin to shine so as to point to the true Seed, and then only through the dark imagery of types. Why did God permit one whole world, and many generations of another, to go down in death with little or no effort to bring them to a knowledge of the one and only great plan of redemption? "Death reigned from Adam to Moses," The exceptions being Abel, Enoch, and Noah; Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Nothing but the fact that there is to be a restitution, that "as in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive," can account for this apparent neglect in the slow development of a plan for the salvation of mankind.
God's love for the world, and the fact that he is no respecter of persons, can be reconciled by no other view. Nor can the statements that Christ "tasted death for every man;" that he is the "true tight that lighteth every man that cometh into the world," be harmonized with the supposition that almost the entire race from Adam to Christ, perished without being brought to the knowledge of the truth.
During the Mosaic dispensation the whole world, excepting that one nation, were left in darkness; and it was not "lawful" to give them light. Nor, after his advent, would Christ permit his disciples to go to the Gentiles. Clearly because the time to begin to save Gentiles had not come. Hence, it can be seen, a definite plan was being developed; and that plan is not yet complete, since countless millions, during the gospel dispensation, have died without being enlightened by "the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world."
Without a restitution of all who have thus died, facts and Bible cannot be reconciled; for even if the gospel were to continue until the world's conversion, the difficulty with respect to this class who continue to die unenlightened, would only be increased. But in the real plan of redemption, as it is revealed; these difficulties find a solution. When the "seed" is complete; when Christ and his body are perfected; when the gospel to the Gentiles, which was "to take out from among the Gentiles a people for his name" (Acts 15: 14), is ended; then all who have died in Adam will be made alive in Christ; "and all the nations which thou hast made shall come and worship before thee;" "and in thy Seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed."
To prove a restitution in one case, of such as have died in their sins, is to prove it in all cases (only of that class who, having sinned against the Holy Spirit "shall be forgiven neither in this aion (age), nor in the aion to come." [Some teach that none who die can be forgiven in the aion to come]. This exceptional class, among whom are those who have persecuted the saints, live not again until the aion to come ("the thousand years") are ended. *
That the Sodomites died in their sins, none will question; or that they would have repented, if they could have had the chance offered the Jews: "If the mighty works which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, they would have repented long ago." But they were destroyed; not one escaped. Hence, there is no remnant left alive; and if ever they are restored, it must be from the captivity of the enemy death. Let God be true, though theology may be found at fault. Ezek. 16; clearly teaches that they are to be restored to their former estate, and given to Judah for daughters by a new covenant. And in language which cannot be made to mean any thing else. Sodom and her daughters, Samaria and her daughters, and Jerusalem and her daughters, are all to be brought back, not to judgment merely, and then to heaven or hell, but to their "former estate." And I will give them unto thee (Jerusalem] for daughters, but not by thy covenant," (Ezek. 16: 61).
Read Ezek. 16: 53-61, and make up your mind whether you will believe it, or whether you prefer your old theology. There are those who admit this Scripture is true, but claim that it is not until after the next age is ended that the Sodomites are to be restored. And yet these same theologians maintain that the Jews will be restored immediately after the second advent of Christ. That the Jews are to be restored at the end of the gospel age, if ever, I presume all will admit. That the Sodomites are not yet restored, I need not stop to prove. But what I can prove, is that "when Sodom and her daughters shall return to their former estate, then thou [Jerusalem] and thy daughters, shall return to your former estate," (Ezek. 16: 55). And least you misinterpret it, read also the 53rd verse: "When I bring the captivity of Sodom and her daughters, . . then will I bring the captivity of thy captives, in the midst of them." There is but one restitution [yet future] promised to Israel, dead or alive; and when that transpires, Sodom will also have a restitution. And as certainly as the Jews are to return to Palestine immediately after the close of this present gospel dispensation, so certain is it that "the restitution of all things," begins at that time.
That the restitution of the Sodomites is from death is certain, and how anyone, after reading Ezek. 39: can hold the unscriptural position that only those among the Jews who are living at the appearing of Christ, are to be restored, puzzles me. The lat-
ter part of verse 23, reads, "Therefore hid I my face from them, and gave them into the hand of their enemies, so fell they all by the sword." Now read verses 27, 28; which end thus, "But I have gathered them into their own land, and have left none of them any more there." First they are scattered and fall by the sword in their enemies land; then he brings them into their own land, and leaves none of them there; and also in the 37th chapter he states posatively that it is from the grave he brings them, and yet, many Age-to-come people deny that any but the living Jews, will ever be restored.