Your Questions Answered

One of our most popular features! These Bible Questions & Answers have been compiled from the pages of The Bible Standard and its forerunner, The Herald of the Epiphany. Whether your question is simple or of more substance the Bible has the answer. Don’t see your question here? Use the form to the right to ask us!

Even from the standpoint of the skeptic, a reasonable and candid search into the unknown by the light of what is known will guide the unbiased, intelligent reasoner in the direction of the truth. Laying aside the Bible, and from the standpoint of reason alone, it can be observed that:

  1. Belief in a God is grounded in human nature. Man is so constituted as to desire to worship and venerate a Supreme Being, even as other desires – for food, shelter, companionship, knowledge, beauty, etc., are inbuilt.
  2. Every event has a cause. Reasoning back from many events to many causes, we reach the first events, which imply a first cause which itself must be causeless, hence eternal. Though some argue that ‘blind force’ is the first cause, no proof is possible, and reason allied to other considerations favors the existence of a supreme intelligence as the First Great Cause.
  3. Order throughout nature points to the existence of a mastermind. The universe in the vastness of space is marvelously ordered, and in the minutest detail of earth laws are seen to operate which demonstrate a power and control which cannot be the product of chance, but compellingly indicate the work of a great Law Giver.
  4. Design is everywhere seen. All forms of life have an environment and sustenance perfectly fitted to their needs. As successful human enterprise is not achieved randomly, but by intelligent design, how much more is planning evident in the vast operation of the universe.
  5. Man possesses intellectual, moral and religious qualities. Man is capable of reasoning on deep and abstruse questions, is endowed with a sense of right and wrong and a moral obligation to the right, and feels his dependence on a higher power. He has faculties for wisdom, justice and love, persuasive evidence that there is a God who is supremely wise, just and loving.
  6. Some of the human family has undoubtedly experienced an intimate, personal relationship with the Creator. To them, he has been, and is, a living reality. His influence in their lives and on their characters is indisputable, and their witness cannot be dismissed.
  7. It is impossible to disprove the existence of God. A little thought will lead to the conclusion that to disprove God’s existence one must know and thoroughly understand every being, principle, force, etc., in the universe; in other words, one must be omniscient.

What did Jesus mean when he taught his disciples to pray, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven”? While many repeat “The Lord’s Prayer” frequently as a matter of habit and without fully appreciating its true meaning, God’s faithful people see excellent reasons for the continued, intelligent request to God for his kingdom to come. The asking implies:

  1. The kingdom is not already here.
  2. That it will bring desirable blessings for God’s people and for all humanity.
  3. That it is the divine intention to establish the dominion of the Heavenly Father among his earthly subjects – “Thy will be done”.  Some have misinterpreted the kingdom as being merely a work of grace in the hearts of believers and taught that the church already reigns on earth, making meaningless the strongest promises recorded by Jesus and the apostles and prophets. Psalm 72:8 says the kingdom will reach “from sea to sea”, and Philippians 2:9-11 tells us that every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of the Father. Such prophecies are not yet fulfilled.

We pray “Thy kingdom come” because we look for the Redeemer to appear the second time, bringing salvation not to a few, but to all. He tasted death for every man, and gave his life a ransom for all. (Hebrews 2:9; 1 Timothy 2:6). His first advent gathered comparatively few, whose faithfulness during the permission of evil gained for them a heavenly reward as sharers with Jesus in bringing blessings to the rest of the human family in due time. We pray because we long for “new heavens and a new earth” (2 Peter 3:13) – not in a literal sense, but recognizing a symbolic allusion to the new heavenly ruling powers which will take charge of earth’s affairs, replacing its present control by Satan and his evil angels. The “new earth” is the new social order which Christ’s kingdom will establish, based on justice and love, instead of oppression and lust for power, with the prospect of everlasting life in a perfected earth, instead of death and its grim processes. We pray because Jesus counselled us to do so. We believe the Bible, which from beginning to end unmistakably promises the Kingdom of God, the great time of blessing when the world’s tears will all be wiped away.

The Bible constantly points and refers to one prominent character, Jesus of Nazareth, who, it claims, was the Son of God. That he did live at about the time the Bible indicates is a fully corroborated fact of history, independent of the Bible testimony. That this Jesus was crucified because he had offended the Jewish priests is a further historical fact.

The writers of the New Testament under divine guidance convincingly record the supernatural manner of his begettal, the events attending his birth, the purpose of his life and ministry, and his death and resurrection. These, having long trusted in the promises of their (Old Testament) scriptures, recognized in Jesus the expected Messiah of Israel, who had appeared in their midst not as a king or a military leader to raise the nation to world eminence as God’s ‘chosen people’ in the way most had expected, but instead, as a sacrifice for sin. He was God’s anointed for this purpose, and became known as Jesus Christ.

He often testified that he had been sent by God, and spoke of his pre-existence with the Father before he became a human being. That his life as the man Jesus came from no earthly father was a prerequisite to his becoming a ransom (a corresponding price) for mankind, or strictly speaking, for Adam, the progenitor of the race, who for disobedience to his Creator had incurred the death penalty, and thus could pass on only imperfect (dying) life. In offering his own perfect life as a substitute for Adam, Jesus could satisfy divine justice and release Adam and his progeny from the death sentence. As the Apostle John assures us, “God loved the world so dearly that he gave up his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life” (John 3:16).

Evil is that which produces unhappiness. While atheism ridicules the Bible teaching that man fell from perfection into sin and into the suffering conditions resulting in death, all must agree that this is indeed the universal human experience and acknowledge that the problem of evil is beyond human power to resolve. It is reasonable, therefore, to give an attentive hearing to the Bible’s testimony as to why evil exists and why its wretched toll on human happiness continues. The moral sense, or judgment of right and wrong, and the liberty to use it, were important features of Adam’s likeness to God. Ability to love implies ability to hate. The Creator could not make man in his own likeness, with power to love and to do right, without the corresponding ability to hate and to do wrong. As principles, right and wrong have always existed, and God having endowed man with free will to choose his course, the scene was set for the greatest object lesson possible for the world of mankind. Knowing of evil as a principle, but never having experienced its effects, Adam made the wrong choice, became alienated from his Creator and set in motion in the human family the process of sin and death, the physical, mental, moral, artistic, and religious deterioration evidenced in the pages of human history. Even the earth itself reflected God’s displeasure and eking out the human lifespan became a tale of toil and hardship (Genesis 3:17).

Why does God permit evil to predominate? He saw that an actual experience with evil would be the surest and most lasting lesson to serve man eternally. There are other ways of learning, for example by intuition, by observation, by information received. But experience is an effective teacher. Adam and his posterity will learn that sin is bad in its nature and terrible in its effects, and therefore should be hated and renounced. Will evil ever be removed? It will indeed! The Bible assures us that as condemnation passed upon all in Adam, so God has provided another life giver – Christ, who will become the everlasting father of the resurrected race of mankind. The Kingdom of Christ on earth will be the time for their experience with good, as contrasted with evil, and in that age every help will be given to restore mankind to perfection and enable them by the exercise of their free will to choose goodness, righteousness, when they will be granted the right to eternal life in earth’s new Paradise. . . . “and there shall be no more death nor sorrow nor crying nor pain. All of that has gone forever.”

Any forecast of conditions in the ages to come can be based only on what fragmentary details God has revealed in the Bible, interpreted in the light of currently expanding knowledge in every other field, a phenomenon of the Time of the end” foretold by Daniel (12:4). Though liberty and enlightenment have already lifted many out ofsuperstition and ignorance, it must not be understood that the new earth will be merely a rather improved continuance ofthe old order, but under different rulers. It will be completely different. Behold, I am making all things new.” (Revelation 21:5).

Christ’s kingdom on earth will achieve sum changes as can only be glimpsed at in our present condition. When its purposes are accomplished, all will possess absolute perfection of physique and intellect, with the capacity to understand and master every branch of learning in the arts and sciences pertinent to the earth. All will have the joy of continuing the creative process begun on this planet at the dawn of its history, by caring for the earth, cultivating the waste places, erecting beautiful dwellings and other buildings, and extending Edenic conditions from east to west and from north to south, until the whole earth answers to the prophetic description of Isaiah 66:1 and 60:13: “. . . the earth is my footstool: . . . I will make the place of my feet glorious.”

Conditions on earth will not be static. God promised Noah that as long as the earth remained there would be seedtime and harvest, summer and winter, cold and heat. That earth will remain is assured, as God created it to be inhabited (Isaiah 45:18). There must therefore always be interest, activity and development, opportunities and even challenges to be met, with no thought of an eternity of idleness. New arts will bloom; new sciences be discovered; control over the lower orders of creation will be re-established, while increasing insight into natural laws will endow perfect humanity with powers yet undreamed of. Many questions inevitably come to mind, and the unbiased truth-seeker will find that Scripture and reason present such a future for the human race as could only have been devised by a just, wise, and loving God, who delights in bringing joy to those created in his own image and likeness.

Since the light of nature leads many to expect a fuller revelation of God than nature itself supplies, it is reasonable to examine the Bible, which claims to be such a revelation. The surface evidence of it’s being genuinely the Word of God is strong: it is the oldest book in existence; it has outlived the storms of thirty centuries; it has found its way into every nation and language of earth. As to the contents of this remarkable book, the moral influence of the Bible on the human family has been uniformly good and careful students of its pages are invariably elevated to a purer life. The writers of the New Testament were mainly personal acquaintances of its main character, Jesus of Nazareth, whose influence in their lives impelled them to set down for the blessing of future generations those things they had learned from him and about him. They were not necessarily learned men, nor were they fanatics. They were men of sound mind, faithful to their convictions. The Old Testament writers were also, in the main, notable for their fidelity to God, though their weaknesses and shortcomings are impartially recorded therein.

Written by many pens, at various times, under differing circumstances, the Bible is not merely a collection of moral precepts or words of comfort. It is more: it is a reasonable, harmonious statement of the causes of evil in the world, its only remedy and the final outcome as planned by the Bible’s real Author. The common line of thought interwoven throughout the whole Bible testifies to its being divinely inspired. In other words it is the work not of men, but of a Supreme Being who desires to communicate his plans and purposes to such as will respond to the invitation, “Come, let us reason together.” It is a direct revelation of the Creator to the human race.

In general usage the word kingdom means a territory, state or people under the reign of a king or queen. The Bible uses the word kingdom to mean also royal rulership and the authority to reign as king, and in the language of theology God’s kingdom is usually understood as indicating his eternal sovereignty. When Pontius Pilate asked Jesus “Are you a king?” he answered, “My kingdom does not belong to this world”, indicating that though he had the authority, he was not at that time exercising it (John 18:33-37).

Early in Israel’s history God promised to make that nation a kingdom of priests, if they would faithfully keep his laws (Exodus 19:6). They failed to do so and the privilege of becoming these priestly kings was given instead to spiritual Israel (Matthew 21:43), the faithful of the Christian church: “He has . . . made us a kingdom of priests” (Revelation 1:6). The expressions kingdom of God and kingdom of heaven mean primarily the royal rulers who will represent God, exercising authority as his representatives in the next age; in other words, Jesus and the true church – his body members – Will reign over the earth. In poetic language they are said to receive crowns, symbolizing their royal status (1 Corinthians 9:25).

When Jesus commissioned the Apostles to preach, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand”, he did not mean that he and the church were about to reign over the earth. Twenty centuries have passed, and we still do not see this accomplished. His thought was surely that the embryo kingdom was about to step onto the stage of human history, to undergo preparation as rulers in the next Age. A change of dispensation had come; instead of preaching Moses and the prophets, God’s faithful people were henceforth to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom, and gather first from Israel and then from every nation disciples who would have the opportunity to lay down their lives in service and sacrifice. In this life they suffered as Jesus suffered. In their resurrection, they share his throne.

God’s Kingdom is also understood to mean that period frequently referred to in scripture, e.g., as “that day”, “the last days”, “times of refreshing”, “restitution”, and “the day of God”. The Bible millennium is the thousand years during which Christ reigns over the earth to remove the malign effects of sin.

Not only the living will benefit in the Millennium and have an opportunity for the earthly salvation. St. Paul speaks of “God our Savior, whose will it is that all men should find salvation and come to know the truth.” Those who died without this knowledge must therefore be awakened from the dead if they are to get it. All of us have relatives and friends who died without being “saved”, in the sense that they did not exercise faith in Jesus as their Savior and gain the heavenly inheritance. From the broader standpoint we realize that most of earth’s millions since the creation of man never even heard of Jesus, and would appear to be lost forever, since “Salvation is to be found through him alone; in all the world there is no one else whom God has given who can save us” (Acts 4:12). Many Christians have been taught that all opportunity for attaining eternal life is limited strictly to the present life, which logically implies that the redeeming work of Jesus was a failure, since the vast majority of mankind would then be lost. The Bible does not support this dismal conclusion.

The ransom paid by Jesus guarantees release from Adamic death for every one of the human race. “As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” It may seem incredible that the dead will live again, but with God, all things are possible. Jesus said, “Don’t be so surprised! Indeed the time is coming when the dead in their graves shall hear the voice of God’s son, and shall rise again” (John 5:28,29). The implications of the awakening of the dead are immense, but abundant Bible testimony can be found as to God’s plan to restore the human family, and the great adventure is soon to begin.

Any forecast of conditions in the ages to come can be based only on what fragmentary details God has revealed in the Bible, interpreted in the light of currently expanding knowledge in every other field, a phenomenon of the Time of the end” foretold by Daniel (12:4). Though liberty and enlightenment have already lifted many out ofsuperstition and ignorance, it must not be understood that the new earth will be merely a rather improved continuance ofthe old order, but under different rulers. It will be completely different. Behold, I am making all things new.” (Revelation 21:5).

Christ’s kingdom on earth will achieve sum changes as can only be glimpsed at in our present condition. When its purposes are accomplished, all will possess absolute perfection of physique and intellect, with the capacity to understand and master every branch of learning in the arts and sciences pertinent to the earth. All will have the joy of continuing the creative process begun on this planet at the dawn of its history, by caring for the earth, cultivating the waste places, erecting beautiful dwellings and other buildings, and extending Edenic conditions from east to west and from north to south, until the whole earth answers to the prophetic description of Isaiah 66:1 and 60:13: “. . . the earth is my footstool: . . . I will make the place of my feet glorious.”

Conditions on earth will not be static. God promised Noah that as long as the earth remained there would be seedtime and harvest, summer and winter, cold and heat. That earth will remain is assured, as God created it to be inhabited (Isaiah 45:18). There must therefore always be interest, activity and development, opportunities and even challenges to be met, with no thought of an eternity of idleness. New arts will bloom; new sciences be discovered; control over the lower orders of creation will be re-established, while increasing insight into natural laws will endow perfect humanity with powers yet undreamed of. Many questions inevitably come to mind, and the unbiased truth-seeker will find that Scripture and reason present such a future for the human race as could only have been devised by a just, wise, and loving God, who delights in bringing joy to those created in his own image and likeness.

Jesus said he had come to seek and save that which was lost. Adam by disobedience had lost life, the right to life, and a perfect environment to sustain life. Adam no longer reflected in his character the image and likeness of his creator as originally bestowed. He did not lose heaven, for he never possessed it, but he lost an earthly paradise in which the human race could develop and prosper everlastingly in the glorious perfection of human nature.

The Apostle Paul refers to Jesus as the second Adam, saying that as all in the first Adam die, so in the second (or last) Adam, all shall be made alive. Jesus gave his own life that the world might be rescued, given an opportunity to make a full recovery from the effects of the death sentence and be restored to human perfection. Jesus can never take back his sacrificed humanity, but God’s Word testifies that he was raised to the divine nature and has a future role as Life-giver to the human race, when his stated purpose will be realized: “I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).

But one might ask: “Why have suffering and death continued so long since Jesus died for the world? Jesus intimates (Matthew 24:14) that considerable time would elapse during which the gospel would be preached throughout the world. During this ‘Gospel Age’ a body of faithful believers would be gathered from among Jews and Gentiles, called to follow Jesus as were the early disciples, laying down their lives in sacrifice as he did, and destined to share with him in bringing blessings to the human race in due time. These faithful ones constitute the true church, not recognized by the world in general, but known to God, their gathering being an essential feature of Jesus’ work during his first advent and in the centuries that followed.

Jesus intended his disciples to understand that for some purpose, in some manner, and at some time, he would come again. Though at his departure he had promised to be with them always, and through his Spirit and Word has indeed guided and comforted the church, he certainly referred to a future personal coming.

Yet he had said, “The world will see me no more” (John 14:19), and logically, having sacrificed his human life – provided the ransom – he could not take back the price he had paid for man’s release, and could not return as a man. Put to death in the flesh, he was raised not as a human but as a spirit being, far higher than the angels, in the exact image of God’s person (1 Peter 3:18; Hebrews 1:3-5). Jesus’ first purpose in returning was, he said, to take his disciples to be with him (John 14:3), their faithful course having earned for them an eternal inheritance in heaven along with their Lord. Raised from the sleep of death they would meet him, see him as he is and be like him (1 John 3:2). The Bible provides many evidences that we are now living in the days of Jesus’ second advent, that the church are all gathered and that the times of restitution spoken of by all the holy prophets are soon to begin (Acts 3:19-21).

The scriptures teach that the unbelieving world would at first be unaware of Jesus’ return. His presence would be secret (“as a thief in the night” – 2 Peter 3:10). Spirit nature is of course invisible to human eyes, and the presence of Jesus would for some time be unrecognized. But they will with mental perception “see him coming… in power and great glory” during the great time of trouble of which Jesus spoke (Matthew 24:21,30), when the kingdoms of this world, all under satanic control, will be destroyed. The kingdoms of this world will then become the Kingdom of our God, and of his Christ (Revelation 11: 15). The signs of the times as foretold in the Bible indicate that this time is at hand.

The idea of a judgment day has caused dread in many minds, because traditional teaching has painted a gloomy picture of a twenty-four hour day during which earth’s millions will be raised from the tomb to receive a final sentence. This crude conception is entirely out of harmony with God’s inspired Word and shows the absurdity of forcing a literal interpretation upon figurative language. The term day, in scripture and in ordinary speech, is often used to signify a period of time other than twenty-four hours. Hence one might say, “things were different in my day”, and the Bible speaks of “the day of temptation in the wilderness” (forty years long), and “the day of salvation” (the whole Gospel age). We learn from Psalm 90:4 that a day with the Lord is as a thousand years, and as St. Peter reminds us of this fact when speaking of the coming “day of judgment” we have good reason to believe that its duration is a thousand years. This judgment is in fact a vital feature of the Bible millennium, the kingdom of Christ.

Judgment is more than the declaring of a verdict. It includes the idea of a trial, and the world’s judgment day is that period of time when they will be subjects of God’s kingdom, learn of the salvation available through faith in Jesus, and experience conditions conducive to right living. In that day, “The knowledge of the Lord shall fill the earth, as the waters cover the sea.” The judgment period will thus include instruction. It will also involve testing: “I, the Lord, search the minds and test the hearts of men. I treat each one according to the way he lives…” (Jeremiah 17:10). Correction for wrongdoing will also be a necessary part of the trial, administered lovingly in the best interests of each one (Hebrews 12:5-11). Hearty co-operation with kingdom conditions will be reflected in increased well being and the gradual perfecting of every human faculty.

The parable of the sheep and goats (Matthew 25) illustrates the separating of the obedient from the disobedient. That some, even under the most favorable conditions, will reject the opportunity to come into harmony with Christ’s kingdom, and be proved incorrigible, cannot be doubted. On such, the sentence of eternal death is a merciful end to their unhappy condition. God does not consign any to eternal life in torment, but the wages of sin is death – permanent extinction – for those ultimately unworthy of life. The reward of the obedient will be everlasting life on earth, with the prospect of sharing in the plans and purposes of the Creator in the ages to come. “Let the earth rejoice …at the presence of the Lord, because he comes to judge the earth,” (1 Chron. 16:31-33).

God’s rule in heaven is already established, as indicated in the prayer “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” As to the earth, Jesus referred to Satan as “the prince of this world”, and the Apostle Paul called him “the god of this world”, evidencing the Adversary’s usurpation of power over God’s earthly creation. The Creator in his wisdom has permitted this state of affairs for a time for good reasons, and the Bible throughout speaks of an end to Satan’s dominion and a restoration of harmony between God and man. This is the primary objective of the kingdom, and its implications are so far-reaching for human life and experience as to surpass the possibilities of human imagination.

The kingdom is both heavenly and earthly, in that its chief ruler will be the glorified Christ, spiritual and invisible to human eyes, while its earthly subjects are the world of mankind. The Christ will, however, work through earthly representatives, and Jesus spoke of men seeing Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom, indicating that the faithful of pre-Christian times would have honored positions. They believed God’s promises and their faith was counted as righteousness, in spite of the impediments imposed by the curse. Having been tried and found faithful, in the awakening from death they will receive their reward – perfect human nature (Hebrews 11:35), and it is with them first that God will enter into a new covenant, promising to write his laws in their hearts and put his spirit in them. Other faithful believers, not called to the heavenly inheritance, will also assist the Christ in the administration of new laws governing the operation of the kingdom in its every aspect – social, legislative, educational, philanthropic and religious. The removal by Christ of the evil influences of Satan and his fallen angels will give the people a full, fair opportunity to learn unimpeded what blessings can result from the keeping of God’s laws, and the gaining of a permanent place in the earthly kingdom of God will gratify every desire of the perfect human heart.

Where will the kingdom’s “parliament” be? As Jerusalem was the seat of empire for God’s chosen nation of Israel, it will again occupy that position, and the faithful men and women of old, raised from death, will naturally return to their homeland. Isaiah 2:3 says ” . . . out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem”. From there the Lord will settle international disputes. All weapons will be converted into implements of peace and all military training will end. Other nations will seek help from the earthly representatives of God’s kingdom as they observe its increasing prosperity, and as its influence extends ever further, another prophecy will be fulfilled: “Of the increase of his government and peace, there shall be no end” (Isaiah 9:7).

The word “paradise” is of Arabic origin and signifies a garden. The Bible tells us that the Lord God planted a paradise in Eden, and there he put the man he had created (Genesis 2:8), later providing for him a wife – “male and female he created them”. No reliable evidence as to the exact location of Eden remains to us, but paradise is traditionally understood to represent man’s primeval state of bliss, in harmony with his Creator, as he was before the blight of sin and death entered into the world. Adam had been created in God’s image – perfect in his intellectual, artistic, moral and religious faculties – and was given charge over the earth and its creatures. He was instructed to tend the garden, which provided all that was necessary to sustain life and health, physical and mental well-being, everlastingly.

But a prohibition was laid upon Adam and Eve: the fruit of one particular tree – the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” – was forbidden to them and partaking of this fruit would bring death. The story is told in few words. Satan, God’s Adversary, “beguiled Eve”, assuring her she would not die, but rather would be enlightened and become like the celestial beings. Deceived, Eve ate the forbidden fruit, and then gave it to Adam, who also ate. But Adam was not deceived (1 Timothy 2:14). He chose to share in the sin of disobedience and its penalty, rather than continue in divine favor without Eve, and thus he forfeited the right to life. Expelled from the garden, deprived of its life sustaining food, and alienated from their Creator, the first human pair began the bitter experience of toil and hardship, weariness, sorrow and death that became the inevitable legacy of every generation thereafter.

The Eden story in the modern mind has almost universally assumed the nature of legend, yet it lies at the root of the Christian faith, and man’s fall from divine favor as a result of what appears on the surface to be a trivial act of rebellion set in motion a process of degeneration – physical, moral, mental, artistic, religious – which unfailingly ends in death. Thus not only as a geographical location of surpassing beauty and fruitfulness, but also as an idyllic condition of harmony between mankind and his Creator, Paradise was lost.

The Bible story of Eden, whether taken as literal in every detail or regarded as a simplified account of mankind’s origins and early experiences, is fundamental to an intelligent Christian faith. It tells of the creation of man in a state of perfection (not his evolution from lower orders of being), and gives the reason for his present unsatisfactory condition, which leads only to death. But the story is not without hope, and even while pronouncing the fatal sentence on the disloyal pair, God intimated that a child would be born of woman who would be an antagonist to Satan, pictured in the serpent (Genesis 3:15). Further, “the way of the tree of life” (Genesis 3:24) was divinely kept, preserved, by God, awaiting the time when men would be ready to walk along that way, having the benefit of such an experience of evil as to teach them lessons which could be learned in no other way.

Promises abound in scripture of a restoration of all that was lost in Eden. That God desires to win back the human race to wholehearted loyalty and love for their Creator and to rescue them from the death penalty is at the core of the divine plan. Having provided in the person of his son Jesus Christ a substitute for Adam, who took upon himself the penalty of Adam’s sin, and in the “Gospel Age” which followed won to a heavenly calling a body of faithful ones who “suffered with Christ”’ that they might “reign with him”, the scene is now set for the lifting of the death sentence and the establishment of a new order of affairs on earth, in which life will once again be offered. Man’s initial failure did not render void God’s first purpose to people a paradisiacal earth with a race of beings in his own image and likeness, dwelling in harmony with one another and with their Creator.

“For …I create a new earth (society) …they shall build houses and inhabit them …plant vineyards and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat… for they are the seed of the blessed of the Lord (the children of the second Adam)” (Isaiah 65:17-23). “And they will say, This land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden” (Ezekiel 36:35). Picture before your mental vision the glory of the perfect earth; think of all the examples of comparative health and beauty of human form and feature that you have ever seen, and know that the destiny of mankind in God’s purpose will immeasurably surpass all human thought in the reality of Paradise restored.

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