صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead." (Phil. 3: 10, 11) The apostle did not say that he was suffering in order to "develop a character", nor that he was suffering for the benefit of somebody else; but he partook of the sufferings of Christ and desired to be made conformable to his death in order that he might be made partaker of "his resurrection".

The Resurrection

Jesus was put to death, and on the third day God. raised him out of death. (1 Cor. 15:4) He had stated when on earth that God had given to him the great privilege of inherent life, or immortality. (John 5:26) When he was raised from the dead he was brought forth the express image of Jehovah, of the divine nature, possessing immortality, and alive for evermore. (Heb. 1:3; Rev. 1:18) The resurrection of Christ Jesus to the divine nature is a guarantee that all his body members must be raised to the same nature and immortality. This is why the Christian is admonished to seek glory, honor and immortality, eternal life. (Rom. 2:7) Immortality is life on the highest plane, and indestructible. It is written: "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.” (1 Cor. 15:22, 23) Christ Jesus was the first one resurrected; and his body members are resurrected at his second coming; and they are resurrected to immortality, to an inheritance incorruptible.

The Apostle Paul wrote: "For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory." (Col. 3:3, 4) The argument here is that the one who is begotten to the divine nature is dead as a human being and that his right to life is hid

with Christ Jesus, and that when Christ appears at his second coming then the resurrection takes place. Again it is written concerning the same ones: "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is."-1 John 3:2.

This is proof that members of the new creation while on earth do not know what their resurrection glory will be, but that they will be like Christ Jesus because they will be with him and see him as he is, and be members of God's royal family in heaven. This is further corroborated by the statement: "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years."-Rev. 20: 6.

Concerning the time of the resurrection, it is written: "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first." (1 Thess. 4:16) This proves that the Christians who have died throughout the Christian era have not gone straight to heaven at death, but that they must remain dead until the second coming of our Lord; and then when he takes his power to reign, those faithful ones in Christ shall be raised first. The word "shout", as used in this text, means a command of authority, which shows it has reference to the time when the Lord Jesus, as the great High Priest of Jehovah, takes authority and begins his reign.-Ps. 110: 2.

The new creation complete will constitute the great royal priesthood of God, which priesthood was foreshadowed by Melchizedek. This new creation will also constitute the 'seed of promise' or "seed of Abraham" complete. It constitutes the crowning feature of all of God's creation. It is that creation which is granted

life and immortality, and shall be for ever to the glory of Jehovah God.

More than six thousand years have passed since Jehovah created the perfect man Adam, who failed. For more than two thousand years God caused great living pictures to be enacted, foreshadowing the development of his new creation. For nearly two thousand years more he has been selecting and developing this new creation. In all this period of time the human race has suffered sickness, sorrow and death. Satan has taken advantage of the time, to endeavor to turn the minds of men away from Jehovah. Many professed Christians have asked, Why should there be so much suffering amongst the peoples of earth?

CHAPTER IX

Centuries of Human Suffering

"F

[ocr errors]

OR we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. (Rom. 8:22) Not only is this statement of the divine record true, but every man can bear witness to the fact of human suffering. There is no human creature on the earth who is perfect, and none who has lived without suffering. From the cradle to the grave each one has experienced pain. Many have asked the reason why. The time is due for man to learn the reason why.

Death is a great enemy. That enemy has ravaged every home. The Devil has made the people believe that God is responsible for the death amongst the human race. On the contrary, death resulted by reason of sin, and sin entered the world because of man's disobedience to God's righteous law. The Devil himself is the one who induced such disobedience. Man willingly disobeyed God and heeded the enemy. When some loved member of a family dies those mourning the loss are often heard to say: "How can a just and loving God take away our beloved one?" When the people understand God's plan and the outworking thereof, such a question will not be asked. Then the people will not sorrow as those who have no hope. There can be no hope without knowledge; hence the necessity of knowing God's truth that shows the way to life and happiness.

Could not God have made man so that he could not sin, and thereby have prevented so much suffering? Of course God, being all-powerful, could have made a

creature and called him man and made him so that it would have been impossible for him to sin. The fact that he did not do so is of itself proof that he had a good and sufficient reason for not so doing. The record is that God made man in his own image and likeness. That means that man was endowed with wisdom, justice, love and power. It was intended that man should use these faculties; otherwise God would not have endowed him therewith.

God created man with a body, mind, will and affections; and he intended man to use all the faculties with which he is endowed. To use his will would mean that man must determine to do or not to do that which was presented to him. Man was informed that to obey God is good, that to disobey him is sin and results in death. Since man was possessed with will power it follows then that Adam must choose to do good or evil, and take the consequences. Suppose God had created him so that he could not choose evil, but was compelled to do good; then he would have been merely a machine, with no freedom of intelligent action.

God created man perfect and created him for his own pleasure. (Rev. 4:11) God takes no pleasure in evil things. (Ps. 5:4) Neither does God compel any creature to do good. His plan is that happiness and life shall result to those who do good, and suffering and death to those who do evil. Had God made man so that he could not commit evil, that would have been equivalent to compelling him to do good. Compulsory obedience does not bring real happiness to the Creator or to the creature.

God is love and is therefore the perfect expression of unselfishness. He desires his intelligent creatures to love him and to serve him because of love for him. Such could not be the result unless the service is voluntary. Man must be like God in order to be happy, which means he must be unselfish. Why then did God

« السابقةمتابعة »