That everyone who thirsteth for the truth may obtain it, these publications are, as a Christian service, provided without charge. They levy but one exaction: the soul's obligation to itself to prove all things and hold fast to that which is good. The only strings attached to this free proffer are the golden strands of Eden and the crimson cords of Calvary - the ties that bind.
by A. T. JONES
There can not possibly be any fair denying that the whole course of the papacy is the display of sheer selfishness – selfishness supreme, and self-exaltation absolute. But Christianity is the direct and extreme opposite of selfishness. It is the complete emptying of self. It is self-renunciation absolute.
2. To all people in the world it is spoken by the Word of God: "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but emptied Himself, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." Philippians 2:5-8.
3. The idea conveyed in the term translated "robbery" may be more clearly discerned by noting the different translations. The "Emphatic Diaglott" remarks that the original – "harpagmon – being a word of very rare occurrence, a great variety of translations have been given," and cites as examples: "Did not think it a matter to be earnestly desired. " – Clarke. "Did not earnestly affect. " – Cyprian. "Did not think of eagerly retaining." – Wakefield. "Did not regard – as an object of solicitous desire. " – Stuart. "Thought it not a thing to be seized." – Sharpe. "Did not earnestly grasp. " – Kneeland. "Did not violently strive." – Dickinson. "Did not meditate a usurpation." – Trumbull. To these may be added: "Counted it not a prize." – R. V., with margin, "or a thing to be grasped." "Deemed it no trespass. " – Murdock's Syriac. In the "Emphatic Diaglott" itself the translation is the same as Trumbull's: "Who [Christ Jesus] being in God's form, yet did not meditate a usurpation to be like God." And this, it will be seen, more nearly expresses the intended thought of the Scripture than any other; as where the idea of government is involved a robber of government is a usurper.
4. The thought, therefore, which is conveyed in the text is this: "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus; who, being in the form of God thought it NOT a thing to be seized upon, to be violently
striven for, and eagerly retained, – thought it not a usurpation to be meditated – to be equal with God." This is Christianity. But it is not in any sense the papacy. From the inception of the papacy even in the days of the apostles ("The mystery of iniquity doth already work;" 2 Thessalonians 2:7) until the proclamation of the essential divinity of the papacy by Pope Pius IX, every step of the way is but a manifestation of the mind that has thought it a thing to be earnestly desired, a prize to be seized upon, to be violently striven for, and eagerly retained, a usurpation to be meditated, to be equal with God. If that word and thought expressing the mind that was NOT in Christ, had been written since 1870, instead of before A. D. 70, it could not have more fitly defined the essential spirit of the papacy than it does. And that for eighteen hundred years, throughout the blackest record in the whole world, there should be a succession of men perpetually actuated by this one spirit of violently striving for, seizing, and eagerly retaining, equality with God, is a matter of sufficient interest to demand inquiry as to its origin.
5. The key to this inquiry, the key that unlocks this mystery, is the word of God in the text here cited: "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, thought it NOT a thing to be seized upon, to be violently striven for, and eagerly retained – thought it not a usurpation to be meditated – to be equal with God; but emptied Himself and took upon Himself the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."
6. Jesus Christ is the Word of God. Words express thoughts. Jesus Christ, the Word of God, is therefore the expression of the thought of God. God's thought is manifested in "the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord." Ephesians 3:11. Jesus Christ is the revelation of that eternal purpose of the Eternal God. Jesus Christ is the brightness of His Father's glory, and the express image of His person. Hebrews 1:3. From the Father He spoke all things into existence. Psalm 33:6, 9; Hebrews 1:2. "By Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by Him, and for Him." Colossians 1:16. He upholds all things by the word of His power. Hebrews 1:3. By Him all things hold together. Colossians 1:17. "It pleased the Father that in Him should all fullness dwell." Colossians 1:19. He is the One whom the Lord possessed "in the beginning of His way;" who was "set up from everlasting;" who "was by Him as one brought up with Him." Proverbs 8:22, 23, 30. He is the one "whose goings forth have been from of old, from the days of Eternity." Micah 5:2, (with margin). He is the only begotten of the Father, and is therefore in very substance of the nature of God; in Him "dwelleth all the
fullness of the Godhead bodily;" He, therefore, by divine right of "inheritance," bears from the Father the name of "God." John 3:16; Colossians 2:9; Hebrews 1:4-8. Thus Christ Jesus was indeed by divine and eternal right one of God – "equal with God."
7. Yet, being this, "He thought it not a thing to be violently striven for, and held fast, to be equal with God." What then should ever raise this question? What could have caused His mind to run in the channel of thinking that this mighty and glorious dignity of equality with God, was not a thing to be striven for and eagerly retained? What should cause Him not to think of holding fast to, and striving for, that which by eternal and inalienable right was truly His, and which He truly was?
8. From the nature of the case as stated in the text, it is evident that on the part of some one there was a mind willing to raise a strife as to who should be equal with God. It is plain that in some one there was manifested a mind, a disposition, earnestly to desire, and to seize upon, equality with God. By some one there was meditated a usurpation of equality with God. Who was this? Can we find him? If we can find such a one, it is certain that we shall have found the key to the whole situation, the secret of the thought contained in the scripture under consideration, and the secret of the papacy.
9. We can find him. He is named, and fully described. His attempted usurpation, its origin, and its awful results are fully explained. Here is the description of an "anointed cherub" who sinned:
"Thus saith the Lord God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, the topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity wast found in thee. By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God; and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire." Ezekiel 28:12-16.
10. It will not be a repetition, but rather an addition, to insert here the Jews' translation of this passage. It runs as follows: –
"Thus hath said the Lord Eternal, Thou wast complete in outline, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. In Eden the garden of God didst thou abide; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, the topaz, and
the diamond, the chrysolite, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold; thy tabrets and thy flutes of artificial workmanship were prepared in thee on the day that thou wast created. Thou wast a cherub with outspread covering (wings); and I had set thee upon the holy mountain of God (as) thou wast; in the midst of the stones of fire didst thou wander. Perfect wast thou in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till wickedness was found in thee. By the abundance of thy commerce thou wast filled to thy center with violence, and thou didst sin: therefore I degraded thee out of the mountain of God; and I destroyed thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire." Ezekiel 28:12-16.
11. It is important just here to study what the cherubim are, and what their place is: In the tabernacle made and pitched by the children of Israel in the wilderness there were two apartments, the holy place and the most holy place. The inner curtain that formed the top of figures of cherubim. Exodus 26:1. The veil which separated between the holy place and the most holy place was likewise wrought in figures of cherubim. In the most holy place was the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold wherein were the tables of the testimony, the tables of the covenant, the Ten Commandments; and over the cherubim of glory shadowing the mercy-seat. The top of this ark of the testimony was the mercy-seat. On each end of this mercy-seat was placed a golden cherub. These two cherubim faced each other and the mercy-seat, with outstretched wings shadowing the mercy-seat. Above the mercy-seat dwelt the Shekinah – the bright shining glory of the presence of the Lord. And said He, "There I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy-seat, from between the two cherubim which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel." Exodus 25:10, 11, 16-22; Hebrews 9:2-5: Numbers 7:89.
12. When the temple in Jerusalem was built to take the place of the tabernacle, all the inner wall and the inner face of the doors were carved in figures of cherubim and palm-trees and open flowers; and then all this carving and the whole inner surface of the house were overlaid with gold fitted upon the carved work, and "garnished with precious stones for beauty." In addition to all this there were made two cherubim each ten cubits high, with wings ten cubits from tip to tip. The ark of the testimony that had been in the tabernacle was brought into the temple, and put in the most holy place with the tables of the testimony in it and the mercyseat and the golden cherubim upon the top of it. And these two large cherubim which were made with the temple, were placed also in the most holy place, "and they stretched forth the wings of the cherubim, so that the wing of the one touched the one wall, and the wing of the other
cherub touched the other wall; and their wings touched one another in the midst of the house" 1 Kings 6:21-35; 8:1-11; 2 Chronicles 3:3-14; 5:1-10.
13. Now this earthly tabernacle, or this temple, with all its appointments was but a shadow of things in heaven. The tabernacle when it was made was according to the pattern, or original, which the Lord Himself showed to Moses in the mount. Exodus 25:9, 40; Hebrews 8:4, 5. And when the temple was to be built to take the place of the tabernacle, a view of the pattern, or original, was given to David by the Spirit of God, and the plans were committed by Him to Solomon for his guidance in the building and furnishing of the temple. 2 Chronicles 28:11, 12, 19. Thus, the tabernacle, or temple, on earth, with its priesthood, its ministry, and all its appointments, was a shadow, a representation, of the tabernacle, or temple in heaven, and of the heavenly priesthood, the heavenly ministry, and the heavenly appointments. Hebrews 8:1-6; 9:1-14, 22-26. Therefore the figures of cherubim about the mercy-seat, and the ark of the testimony, and over all the inner surface of the tabernacle and the temple, were but shadows or representations of the real cherubim in heaven itself.
14. There is a temple of God in heaven. Revelation 14:15, 17; 15:5: 16:1, 17. In that temple Jesus Christ, our High Priest, ministers. Hebrews 8:1, 2. In it is an altar of incense at which the merit of Jesus Christ is offered with the prayers of the saints. Revelation 8:3, 4. In it also is the ark of God's testimony; upon which is the mercy-seat where God Himself dwells; and about it are the bright cherubim with outstretched, shadowing wings. In the first and tenth chapters of Ezekiel there are recorded visions in which the prophet saw the glory of the heavenly throne and of Him who sits upon it, and the cherubim about it. Four of the cherubim he describes particularly. These four had each four faces and four wings, and two of the wings of each one were stretched upward, joining one to another, and with the other two each one covered his body. Ezekiel 1:11. By the sides of the cherubim, and apparently inseparably connected with them ("for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels," chapter 1:20, 21), were four living wheels "so high that they were dreadful." Chapter 1:18.
15. "And the likeness of the firmament upon the heads of the living creature was as the color of the terrible crystal, stretched forth over their heads above. And under the firmament were their wings straight, the one toward the other: every one had two, which covered on this side, and every one had two, which covered on that side, their bodies. And when they went, I heard the noise of their wings, like the noise of great waters, as the voice of the Almighty, the voice of speech, as the noise of a host: when they stood, they let down their wings. And there was a voice from the firmament that was over their heads, when they stood, and had let down their wings. And above the firmament that was over their heads
was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it. And I saw as the color of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about. As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake." Ezekiel 1:22-28. "This is the living creature that I saw under the God of Israel by the river of Chebar; and I knew that they were the cherubim. " Chapter 10:20. Compare also Exodus 24:10; Revelation 4:2-6.
16. By comparing these scriptures with Daniel 7:9; Revelation 4:2-8 and Isaiah 6:1-3, it is clearly seen that Ezekiel had a vision of the living throne of the living God. As the cherubim are inseparably connected with that throne; and as the cherubim were also inseparably connected with the ark of the testimony in the earthly temple where the presence of the Lord dwelt between the cherubim; it is evident that the ark of God's testimony in the temple of heaven has the same relative place, and is therefore the base, or foundation, of the throne of the living God.
17. In the earthly temple the ark of the testimony took its name from the testimony – the Ten Commandments – which was put within it. These commandments the Lord Himself wrote with His own hand, and gave to Moses to deposit beneath the mercy-seat, above which the presence of the glory of God dwelt, between the cherubim. It is therefore evident that the ark of His testament in the heavenly temple takes its title also from the fact that therein, beneath the mercy-seat and the cherubim upon it there is the original of the testimony of God – the Ten Commandments – of which that on earth was a copy. And as this holy law – the Ten Commandments – is but the expression in writing, a transcript, of the character of Him who sits upon the throne, therefore it is written:–
"The Lord reigneth, let the people tremble,
He sitteth upon [above] the cherubim, let the earth be moved."
"Clouds and darkness are round about Him:
Righteousness and judgment are the foundation of His throne."
"Righteousness and judgment are the foundation of Thy throne:
Mercy and truth go before Thy face." Psalm 99:1; 97:2: 89:14, R. V.1
1 The Jews' translation of these passages is worthy of a place here also: – "The Lord reigneth: people tremble: He sitteth enthroned over the cherubim: the earth is moved.
"Clouds and thick darkness are round about Him: righteousness and justice are the support of His throne."
"Righteousness and justice are the prop of Thy throne: kindness and truth precede Thy presence."
18. Now it was one of these glorious creatures, who sinned. It was one of these bright cherubim, "full of wisdom and perfect in beauty," who stood close to the throne of God with outstretched, covering wings covering the mercy-seat, upon whom rested "the ceaseless beams of glory enshrouding the eternal God – it was one of these exalted ones who forgot his place as creature, and aspired to be equal with God the Creator.2 For, again we quote, "Thou art the anointed cherub ["a cherub with outspread covering wings"] that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee."
19. But what caused iniquity to appear in one of these? What was the origin of his ambition to be equal with God? Here is the answer: "Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou host corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness." Ezekiel 28:17. Being "perfect in beauty" he looked at himself instead of to Him who gave him this perfect beauty; and began to contemplate himself, and to admire himself. Then, as the consequence, he grew proud of himself, and began to think that the place which he occupied was too narrow for the proper, profitable, and full display of the ability which he now gave himself the credit of possessing. He concluded that the place which he occupied was not fully worthy of the dignity which now in his own estimation merged in him.
20. True, he did have the perfection of beauty, fullness of wisdom, and height of dignity. But he had received it all from God through Jesus Christ who had created him. He had nothing, to his very existence itself, which he had not received. And when he would boast of it as if he had not received it; when he grew proud of his beauty, and gave himself credit for it as if it were inherently of himself; this, in itself, was but to ignore his Creator, and put himself in His place. Yea more, when he boasted of that which he had received as if he had not received it; when he exalted himself because of that which he was, as if it were inherently of himself; this was only to argue for himself, self-existence. And this was, in itself, only to make himself, in his own estimation, EQUAL WITH GOD.
21. When he had thus "corrupted his wisdom," it is not strange that he should follow, and even be charmed with, a line of false reasoning. Being only a creature, he could not fathom at once "the eternal purpose" which God had "purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord;" and he now began to measure all things by his own perverted conceptions, and to reason only from what he could see. And, having separated from God, all that he could see was only in the perverted light, through the gloom, of his
2 This is not to say that it was one of the four-faced ones: for as the references given show, there are many other cherubim besides those four. But it was one who stood in the company with these about the throne, the ark of testimony, and the mercy-seat, shadowing the mercy-seat with his outstretched glorious wings.
own corrupted wisdom. Thus again, in the nature of things as they now were, all his reasonings were altogether from himself; and so, measuring all things by his own confused conceptions, beginning and ending all things in himself, this was still to put himself in the place of God, and to make himself equal with God.
22. But he saw no token that the Lord thought of him as he thought of himself. He could see nothing to indicate any purpose on the part of the Lord to exalt him to the dignity and the place which alone he now considered worthy of himself. He therefore concluded that this failure was only because of a set purpose on the part of Christ, who was equal with God (which set purpose was shared by the Father), to keep him down, and not to allow, in the presence of the heavenly hosts, the full display of his powers lest He Himself should be eclipsed. Then it was that he conceived the idea and formed the purpose to supplant Him who was equal with God, and to make himself indeed, and in place, equal with God. Then it was, and thus it was, that he thought it a thing to be seized upon, a usurpation to be meditated, a prize to be contended for, to be equal with God. And therefore it is written, "O Lucifer, son of the morning! . . . thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds: I will be like the Most High."3
23. This expression, "I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north" or "the farthest end of the north," is worthy of notice. In Psalm 48:1-3 it is written, "Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of His holiness. Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is Mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King. God is known in her palaces for a refuge." It is not the purpose here to try to tell just what is the meaning of this expression, "the sides of the north," but it is evident that it refers in some way to that particular place where the Majesty of heaven sits in the mountain of His holiness. And therefore when Lucifer declared, "I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north," it was only another way of expressing his determination to be "equal to the Most High." The other expressions in the passage when analyzed, all signify the same thing.
24. Thus have we found in the completest sense the one in whom was the mind that thought it robbery – a thing to be seized upon, a prize to be violently striven for, a usurpation to be meditated – to be equal with
3 Isaiah 14:12-14. The Jews' translation of this passage runs thus: "O morning star, son of the dawn, thou hast said in thy heart, Into heaven will I ascend, above the stars of God will I exalt my throne: and I will sit also upon the mount of the assembly, in the farthest end of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be equal to the Most High." This expresses in words the very thought of our study.
God. We have found his name, and what he was, and what caused his mind to run in this channel.
25. But let us follow this farther. A greater problem than many think it to be, was thus presented. When Lucifer began thus to admire himself, and so to exalt himself in his own estimation to such a pitch that nothing but to be equal with God would satisfy his ambition, and nothing but to be in the very place of God could furnish a theater sufficient for a proper display of the abilities which resided in him, it again followed in the nature of things as they now were that the old order of things would not any longer satisfy. New conditions would demand a new order of things, and therefore there must necessarily be a change. As certainly as his purposes and propositions should be complied with and carried out, so certainly there would have to be a change in the order and government of God. And he did specifically demand that his views should be adopted, that he should be exalted to the place of dominion and power, and that his plans and purposes should be adopted and carried out. And just so certainly, therefore, he did demand that there should be a change in the order of things. And all, of course, in the interest of "progress," of "freedom," and of "moral and intellectual advancement." In short, he proposed to "reform" the government of God.
26. But in order to change the order of things in the government of God there would of necessity have to be a change of the law of God. But the law of God is only the transcript of the character of God; it is but the reflection of Himself. To call for a change of His law is to call upon God Himself to change. And for God to consent to any conceivable change in His law, would be only Himself to change. And further, it is written, and we have read it that the justice and judgment – the righteousness – that is expressed in the law of God which abides in the throne of God, are the habitation, the prop, the stay, the foundation of that throne; and therefore are the foundation of the government of God. Consequently, to propose a change in the law of God, which in itself was proposed in the proposition to change the government of God, was only to propose to remove the foundation of the government of God. But this would be only to destroy the government of God, and set up another, independent of God, and founded, NOT upon righteousness, justice, and judgment, mercy, and truth; but upon self and selfish ambition only.
27. As only righteousness and justice are the foundation of the throne and government of God; as only mercy and truth go before the face of Him who sits upon that throne and administers the government; it is evident that this throne and government exist only for the highest good, the chiefest blessing, and the most perfect happiness of all in the universe of God – all expressed in the one word, LOVE.
28. Then if this order of government must go, to give place to one whose foundation abides only in self and selfish ambition, – every one for himself, and that self supreme; pride and love of supremacy charac-
terizing all who are in any place of power or influence, and envious aspiration all who are not; begetting universal suspicion and distrust – this would be but to establish an order of government that could be maintained only by a system of everlasting suppression, and oppression – in short, a universal and unmitigated tyranny, all expressed in the one word, FORCE.
29. Upon the premises from which Lucifer was proceeding, between the government founded in righteousness and judgment, mercy and truth, and administered in love, and a government centering in self and administered through a spying, meddling, tyrannical force, there could be no possible alternative but universal anarchy and even chaos; for the very idea of government is a system of laws maintained. If the laws are not maintained, but the very fundamental principles of the government must be changed at the selfishly ambitious demand of the first discontented subject, then there can be no such thing as government: everything must go to pieces. It is evident, therefore, that in the controversy thus originated there was involved not only the happiness and highest good of every inhabitant of the universe, but the very existence of the throne and government of God – yea, even the existence of God Himself. If this new order of things must be recognized, the throne and government of God must go. If the throne and government of God are to stand, this other enterprise must cease.
30. This is not to say that Lucifer saw, or intended, all this at the start. He was only a creature. He was, therefore, unable, short of eternity, to fathom God's eternal purpose which He has purposed in Christ: and which was manifested alone through Christ. But now he had turned against Christ, and against God, and it was impossible for him to understand the purpose of God in anything. He had corrupted His wisdom, and so could see things only in the perverted light of his own obscured vision. He saw things not as they really were, but as they appeared to him in his perverted understanding of things. And, reasoning only from what he could thus see, it really appeared to him that he was working for the best interests of all. He could see no farther than to suppose that the order of things proposed by him was better than that which had been established in the eternal counsels, and which was being carried out according to the eternal purpose of the eternal God.
31. But God saw it all. And Christ saw it all. And both had seen it from the days of eternity. They knew all that was involved in the step which Lucifer had taken. They saw from the beginning all the fearful results which would flow from the course upon which Lucifer had now entered, and from that which he had proposed. They knew full well that the life and joy, or the misery and death of every creature in the universe was involved – life and joy in the order of God and of Love; misery and death in the order of Self and of Force. Therefore, the Lord could not recognize nor sanction in any possible degree the propositions of this self-exalted one. He could not change His law. He could not change His own character. He could not cease to be God, He could not abdicate. The throne of God, the righteous government of the universe, must stand.
32. As certainly as God and His law could not change nor cease to be, so certainly Lucifer and his course must be changed or else he cease to be. The mind, the will, the purpose, of God could not change nor cease to be; therefore the mind, the will, and the purpose of Lucifer must be changed, or else he cease to be. And God did invite him to change his mind, to yield his will, and to abandon his purpose. The Lord did plead with him to forsake self, and turn again to God.
33. This we knew because the eternal purpose of God is "that in the dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth." Ephesians 1:10. It is "by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself, . . . whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven." Colossians 1:20. Here, then, was one, and through him there were others, in heaven who had turned against Christ and had separated from God. And as it is God's eternal purpose to gather together in one all things in Christ which are in heaven, it follows that God did certainly invite Lucifer to turn again to oneness with the purpose of God in Christ.
34. Further: it is God's eternal purpose to gather together in one all things in Christ which are in heaven and which are in earth. And as, when man in earth had separated from God, he was called to return; so in the very nature of that eternal purpose, when angels in heaven had sinned, God did invite them to return.
35. Again: we know that God did invite Lucifer and the other angels that sinned to return, because it is written, "There is no respect of persons with God." When man sinned, God did invite him to return. Therefore, as there is no respect of persons with God; and as God did invite man to return when he had sinned; it follows, of necessity, that He did invite Lucifer and the other angels to return when they had sinned.
36. Yet further: God's purpose concerning man and angels, earth and heaven, is but one purpose. In the offer of salvation to man, and the work of salvation in man, in the gospel, by means of the Church on earth, God is working out a problem which is of interest to the good angels now (1 Peter 1:12); and by means of which they are caused to know the manifold wisdom of this eternal purpose. For thus it is written: "Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ . . . to the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the Church [by means of the Church] the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord." Ephesians 3:8-11. But this problem
of sin in man on earth, is but the continuation of the original problem raised by sin in Lucifer in heaven.
37. Therefore as the purpose of God concerning earth and heaven, man and angels, is one eternal purpose; as God invited man to return when he had sinned; as the working out of this problem raised by sin in man, is only the continuance of the original problem raised by sin in Lucifer; and as in the working out of this problem through man on earth, the angels are interested, and by it are learning of the manifold wisdom of God in His eternal purpose; it follows that this call of God to man to return to God through Christ, is but the continuance of the call of God to Lucifer and the angels that sinned to return to God through Christ.
38. The conclusion of the whole matter then is this: As certainly as God's purpose concerning man and angels, earth and heaven, is one purpose; as certainly as there is no respect of persons with God; as certainly as the problem of sin in man on earth is but the continuance of the original problem raised by sin in Lucifer in heaven; and as certainly as God called man to return; so certainly Lucifer and the angels that sinned did God call to return.
39. But even this blessed call Lucifer misunderstood and perverted. Instead of seeing in it the mercy and loving-kindness of God that would save him from ruin, his own self-importance mistook it for a willingness and even a desire on the part of God to treat with him on even terms. He thought himself so far a necessity to the completeness of the universe that it was for that reason the Lord was so anxious to have him return; and that therefore in this treaty he could secure the recognition of at least some of his demands.
40. But, as we have seen, God could not in any conceivable degree recognize or sanction any single idea or wish proposed by him. And as God could not do so, Lucifer soon discovered that He would not do so He found that the only thing that would be received or recognized by the Lord was the unconditional surrender of himself to God, and the abandonment of all his purposes. This, however, he determined not to do. And then, when he had determined that he would not, because he would not, he cast upon God his own character of willfulness, and decided that the reason that God would not come to terms with him was not because He could not, but only arbitrarily because He would not.
41. This only confirmed him the more in his determined course; and he resolved to draw with him the heavenly host, and so accomplish his purpose anyhow, of usurping the dominion of God. He insisted everywhere and to all, that God was harsh, stern, and unyielding; that He would make no concessions at all; would deny Himself nothing; would make no sacrifices on behalf of any; but demanded sheer, blind, unreasoning submission; that to submit to such a government, and accede to such demands was most unbecoming in such glorious and exalted
beings as they were; that it was to consent to be forever kept down, and confined to a narrow circle arbitrarily prescribed, with no liberty, and no opportunities for development. And all this sacrifice and subjection on their part, he declared, was demanded on the part of God merely to satisfy His partiality toward His Son whom He was determined should have the place of honor and dominion – not because of any merit or right on His own part, but only because His Father would have it so at the expense of the freedom and dignity of all the rest. Thus he actually succeeded in deceiving and drawing after him one third of the heavenly host. Revelation 12:4.
42. And yet at that very moment, and from the moment when Lucifer took his first false step, God was offering to give His only, begotten Son and Himself in Him; and the Son Himself was freely offering Himself to die a sacrifice; to save him who had sinned – to save this very one who was here making the charge and insisting upon it that God would deny Himself nothing, and would make no sacrifices for anybody.
43. The sacrifice of Christ was in the invitation to Lucifer to return to God as certainly as it was in the invitation of man to return to God. For Lucifer had sinned, and from that moment he was a sinner as certainly as ever man was a sinner. And we have before found that God's eternal purpose in Christ is the same toward all: that purpose to "gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth." Lucifer had sinned and was a sinner when God invited him to return to God. But God did not invite him to return and take his place as of old as a sinner. Sin can not abide in the presence of God. Therefore the invitation of God to sinful Lucifer to return was in itself the offer to him of salvation from sin, that he might return and take his place in righteousness. But "the wages of sin is death." Therefore to save Lucifer from sin was to save him from death, and to save him from death was to die for him. Consequently, the sacrifice of the Son of God to save Lucifer from sin, was in the invitation of God to him to return, as certainly as the sacrifice of Christ to save man from sin, was in the invitation to man to return from sin to God. For whether sin be in man or in cherub, it is sin; and without the offering of life there is "no remission," – and that the offering of the life of the Son of God. John 3:16; 10:15-18.
44. Again: it was not the mind that was in Christ that was manifested in Lucifer, and that led him to take this course. It was self and self alone – the mind and the minding of self. And when God invited him to return to God, it was not that he should return with this mind and the minding of self, which thought it a thing to be seized upon to be equal with God; but to return to the mind of God that was in Christ, who thought it not a thing to be held fast, or contended for, to be equal with God.
45. This mind that was in Lucifer had exalted himself even above God, and the image of God was no more reflected in him; but only self. And when invited to return, it was that he should turn from self, to forsake self, and have the image of God once more impressed upon his heart, and reflected in his life. But he was only a creature, and therefore of himself could not empty himself of himself that he might forsake self, and receive the native impress of God. Self was all there was of him, and self can not save itself from itself.
46. The sinner, whether cherub, angel, or man, must be saved from himself. Lucifer had disconnected himself from God's eternal purpose; he had separated from Christ. But that eternal purpose is to gather together all in Christ. Therefore for Lucifer to be saved from himself, to receive again the mind that was in Christ that restores the image of God, he would have to receive Christ in whom God is revealed. And in receiving Christ-the mind, the Spirit of Christ-there would again be restored and reflected in him the image of God who is revealed alone in Christ.
47. But in order for Lucifer to receive Christ, and thus be saved from himself, and restored to righteousness and holiness before God, Christ must be offered. Therefore so certainly as it was necessary in order for Lucifer to return in righteousness, that he should have another mind, another heart; so certainly it is true that in the invitation of God for Lucifer to return, there was the offering of Jesus Christ to die for him. And thus to him, as certainly as ever to man, there was given the exhortation, "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who thought it not a thing to be seized upon and contended for to be equal with God; but emptied Himself and became obedient unto death."
48. And all that was done for Lucifer was done for the angels who were deceived by him or who went with him, "for there is no respect of persons with God." But neither he nor they would receive the wondrous gracious gift. On the part of all it was still "all of self, and none of Christ."
49. What more, then, could possibly be done for them? When that anointed cherub had chosen his own way instead of God's way; when he had put his own purpose in the place of God's purpose; when he had set up for independence of God; when he had not only rejected the Lord's gracious invitation to return, but had presumed to judge Him who gave the invitation; he doubly rejected the gift of salvation by Jesus Christ. When he had thus chosen himself and his own way, and had confirmed himself in that way; and when all those who followed him had deliberately chosen him instead of God in Christ as their head and leader, and so had rejected the gift of Christ to save them; then what more could possibly have been done for them? – Absolutely nothing.
50. They had deliberately made their own choice, and had confirmed themselves in that choice. They had "kept not their first estate" (Jude 6), and had chosen not to receive it again. They had "left their own habitation" (id.), and had refused to return. They had "sinned" and had rejected salvation. As they had so determinedly made their own choice, all that the Lord could do was to let them have their own choice. Only, as evil can not dwell with Him, as sin can not abide in His presence, as they in heart, in character, and by deliberate and confirmed choice had abandoned their first estate and left their own habitation, they must now leave it in fact; for neither in itself nor to them could heaven be heaven with them in it. They must be cast out that they and all might realize and know for a certainty the difference between the service of self and the service of God.
51. But, behold! when they found that their choice and the course which they had taken involved their leaving heaven, involved really and indeed their leaving their own habitation, they were not willing to go. They were willing to make their choice, and were willing to confirm themselves in that choice; but they were not willing to accept the consequences of their choice. They resisted. "And there was war in heaven: Michael [Christ] and His angels fought against the dragon [the devil]: and the dragon [Satan] fought and his angels, and prevailed not: neither was their place found any more in heaven." Revelation 12:7, 8, (9).
52. Than this, nothing could possibly show more plainly the essentially selfish nature of Lucifer and those who chose to go with him. Nothing could show more plainly that the complete usurpation of the place and government of God was involved in the controversy that had been thus raised. They were not only determined to have their own way, but they were determined to have their own way in their own way. They would have their own way, and have it in heaven, too. And they would even drive out Christ and God from heaven that they might have their own way in their own way, in the place of God. This demonstrates conclusively that the mind that was in Lucifer, – the mind that was not in Christ – the mind that caused Lucifer to exalt himself, was a mind, that in its very essence would be content with nothing less than "to be equal with God" in the place of God. It would exalt self above God, and put Him out of His place, that self alone might be supreme.
53. But he prevailed not. He was cast out of heaven, and his angels were cast out with him. They were "cast down to hell, and delivered into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment." 2 Peter 2:4. "Into chains of darkness – into the bondage of darkness. The Greek word here translated "hell" is tartarôsas, from Tarturus, and is defined as meaning "the hard, impenetrable darkness that surrounds the material universe." It seems, from the definition that the lexicographers give the word, that the Greek idea of "the material universe," whatever may have been included in their idea of the term, was that around it like a shell lay a solid mass of material darkness so perfectly "hard" that it was
"impenetrable." Now the Lord adopts the Greek word, but not the Greek idea, to convey to us the idea of the condition of "the angels that sinned." As the Greek word i expressive of a material darkness that is impenetrable, so by this word the Lord would convey to us the idea and the truth that the spiritual darkness into which were cast, or given over, the angels that sinned, is absolutely impenetrable ever to a single ray of light or hope from God.
54. They have persistently chosen their own way, which is only the way of darkness. They have rejected every offer of light and hope that God could possibly make. He has consequently given them up to their own way. And as they have rejected every possible offer that the Lord could make, they have put themselves completely beyond recovery. And therefore they have also decided their own cases, and have fixed upon themselves the judgment of destruction, which now only awaits them. So it is written: "The angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, He hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day." Jude 6.
Why Were They Not Destroyed?
55. There are some questions that may arise, that it would perhaps be well to notice before proceeding farther. First, it may be asked: Why did not the Lord destroy the wicked angels all at once? The answer is: Because He desires to destroy the thing and not simply the persons. He desires to blot out the thing that made them what they are, rather than simply to blot out the persons who have been made what they are by it. And to have lifted up His righteous hand, or spoken in justice the word that would have smitten into nothingness the whole company of them – this would have gotten rid of the persons who had sinned, it is true; but it would not certainly have gotten rid of the sin, which was the difficulty that had brought things to the point where they now were.
56. It was the wisdom and the justice of God's eternal purpose which had been called in question by one of the principal creatures of His realm. Being an eternal purpose, it will take eternity to reveal it to persons whose existence is measured in times. Being a purpose of infinite depth, it will take eternity to make it all plain to minds that are only finite. It was the misapprehension of this eternal purpose, on the part of this exalted and anointed cherub, that had sprung the problem, and raised the controversy. And although misunderstanding this eternal purpose himself, yet he had such eminence and ability, even in his mistaken course, that he was able to present his views of things in such a way as to excite sympathy, and cause a vast number of the angelic host also to question the wisdom and justice of the eternal purpose of God which He had purposed in Christ.
57. He had represented God as stern, harsh, arbitrary, partial, exacting, and unwilling to make any sacrifices for His creatures. From the situation of things as it now was, he had succeeded in making it appear to many that this was so. And for the Lord to have smitten out of existence instantly the whole crew, while being altogether just in itself, would have still left room for the suspicion on the part of finite minds who did not understand the infinite purpose, that perhaps Lucifer and those who were with him did not really deserve such a fate; and from this suspicion the thought, "Such treatment looks somewhat as if there were truth in Lucifer's view that God is arbitrary;" and from this thought, sympathy for the course of the rebels, and doubts of the goodness and righteousness of God; then discontent in heaven, and a service of fear and bondage instead of love and freedom. But as this is the very thing that Lucifer had charged against God – that such was the nature of the divine government – this in itself would be only finally to develop a sinful rebellion again.
58. Nor is it to be thought that this result is imaginary. For when this highly exalted one, this anointed cherub, who was so glorious that his very name, expressive only of what he was, – "light-bearer," – signified that wherever he went, he bore the light of God, this one who if he had equals had no superiors;4 among the heavenly hosts-when such a one so far misapprehended the eternal purpose of God which He purposed in Christ, it is not by any means an imaginary thing that others who were less than he, might possibly also misapprehend this eternal purpose if these had been instantly stricken out of existence in the presence of all; and this especially when the minds of all had been stirred upon this very thing, and had had all manner of insinuations spread before them by this most artful one.
59. Therefore with the situation as it was, and with the eternal principles and purpose of the government of God involved, it was impossible in the nature of things for the Lord to put an end to the evil then, by putting out of existence the evil-doers. The only thing therefore
4 The expression in Ezekiel 28:12, "Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty," as rendered in the different versions, shows that there was no created being that stood higher than he.
R. V. margin: "Thou sealest up the measure, or pattern."
Young: "Thou art sealing up the measurement."
French (Segond) : "Thou puttest the seal to perfection."
Danish: "You impress (stamp) the seal upon the fit (proper) adjustment (ordinance)
Norwegian: "Thou, the seal of the well-arranged building."
In the Hebrew the word that in our version is rendered "sealest" is a participle, so that more strictly it would be rendered, "Thou sealer of perfection," or, "Thou who sealest perfection."
The word rendered "sum" occurs but in one other place (Ezekiel 43: 10), where it is very striking as suggesting the Norwegian rendering. The masculine form of the word occurs in Exodus 5:18, rendered, "tale."
Revelation 7:2, 3, read in this connection, is wonderfully suggestive.
that He could do was to let the whole matter go on and develop as it would, until such time as the whole problem should be thoroughly understood by all in heaven and earth, and even in hell. And then when all evil shall be swept away with the destruction of all evil-doers, every knee shall bow, of things in heaven and things in earth and things under the earth, and every tongue shall confess that in eternal justice and righteousness, Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:10; Romans 14:11; Isaiah 45:23. And therefore it is written that he hath "made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself: that in the dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even , in Him." Ephesians 1:9, 10. And then, and thus again, with all in the realm of God it will be ALL OF CHRIST AND NONE OF SELF.
60. It may be further asked: Could not God have prevented it all, by making Lucifer and all others so that they could not sin? It is right and perfectly safe to answer, He could not! To have made creatures so that they could not sin, would have been really to make them so that they could not choose. To have no power of choice is not only to be not free to think, but to be unable to think. It is to be not intelligent, but only a mere machine. Such could not possibly be of any use to themselves or their kind, nor be of any honor, praise, or glory to Him who made them.
61. Freedom of choice is essential to intelligence. Freedom of thought is essential to freedom of choice. God has made angels and men intelligent. He has made them free to choose, and has left them perfectly free to choose. He made them free to think as they choose. God is the author of intelligence, of freedom of choice, and of freedom of thought. And He will forever respect that of which He is the author. He will never invade to a hair's breadth the freedom of angel or man to choose for himself, nor to think as he chooses. And God is infinitely more honored in making intelligences free to choose such a course, and to think in such a way as to make themselves devils, than He could possibly be in making them so that they could not think nor choose, so that they would be not intelligent, but mere machines.
62. It may be yet further queried: As God made angels and men free to sin if they should choose, did He not then have to provide against this possible choice before they were made-did He not have to provide for the possibility of sin, before ever a single creature was made?-Assuredly He had to make such provision. And He did so. And this provision is an essential part of that eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus Our Lord, which we are now studying.
63. Let us go back to the time when there was no created thing; back to the eternal counsels of the Father and the Son. The existence of God is not a self-satisfied existence. His love is not self-love. His joy is not
fulfilled in wrapping Himself within Himself, and sitting solitary and self-centered. His love is satisfied only in flowing out to those who will receive and enjoy it to the full. His joy is fulfilled only in carrying to an infinite universe full of blessed intelligences, the very fullness of eternal joy.
64. Standing then, in thought, with Him before there was a single intelligent creature created, He desires that the universe shall be full of joyful intelligences enjoying His love to the full. In order to do this they must be free to choose not to serve Him, to choose not to enjoy His love. They must be free to choose Him or themselves, life or death. But this involves the possibility of the entrance of sin, the possibility that some will choose not to serve Him, will choose the way of sin. Shall He then refuse to create because, if He does, it must be with the possibility that sin may enter?-This would be but eternally to remain self-centered and solitary. More than this, such a shrinking would in itself cause Him to cease to be God. For what is a god, or what is he worth, who can not do what he desires? who can not fulfill his own will? Such a god would be worthless.
65. Thank the Lord, such is not the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He made all intelligences free to choose, and to think as they choose; and therefore free to sin if they choose. And at the same time, in His infinite love and eternal righteousness, He purposed to give Himself a sacrifice to redeem all who should sin; and give them even a second freedom to choose Him or themselves, to choose life or death. And those who the second time would choose death, let them have what they have chosen. And those who would choose life, – the universe full of them – let them enjoy to the full that which they have chosen – even eternal life, and fullness of perfect love, and the dear delights of unalloyed joy forever.
66. This is God, the living God, the God of love, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is fully able to do whatsoever He will, and yet leave all His creatures free. This is He who from the days of eternity "worketh all things after the counsel of His own will." Ephesians 1:11.
And this is "the mystery of His will, . . . which He hath purposed in Himself; that in the dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him." Ephesians 1:9, 10. This is "the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord." Ephesians 3:11.
67. The choice of self is sin, bondage, and death. The choice of Christ is righteousness, freedom, and life eternal in the realm and purpose of the eternal God.
The Loss of Man and the World
68. Lucifer and all his adherents, the angels that sinned, were cast out, and their place was found no more in heaven. They were delivered up to the confirmed impenetrable darkness which they had doubly
chosen. Having left their own habitation, and being obliged to accept the result of their choice, being cast out, they had no place of their own. They were homeless wanderers in space.
69. Still, however, their leader, Satan, pursued his original mistake of thinking that he was self-sufficient for all things, and of following his blind reasoning upon his misjudgings of the Lord. His ambitious determination was still to be equal with God. And now he conceived the idea that he would lead the inhabited worlds astray. He had succeeded in leading angels away from allegiance to God, why could he not also lead other creatures away? Here, too, his former mistake in judging the Lord, followed him up, and laid the foundation for farther error and more false . reasoning.
70. He had charged upon God that He was hard, arbitrary, unyielding, and unwilling to make any sacrifices for His creatures. And when the Lord asked him to yield himself, and return to God, and he had refused, and was-thus given his own choice with its consequences, and was cast out of heaven, in his blindness he made this result only confirm his charge that the Lord was stern, arbitrary, and unforgiving. And now he reasoned from this that if he could get the inhabitants of some of the worlds to turn from God, and accept and follow him, this stern and arbitrary disposition of the Lord would cause Him to cast off that world as the Lord had cast out him, and to give up to irretrievable darkness its inhabitants, as He had given up him and his adherents. This then would give him a habitation and undisputed sway therein. And when this plan should thus succeed with one world, why not then with another and another, and so on, till should be accomplished his original purpose to be equal with God?
71. With this purpose he set out on his mischievous journey. And he found this world in which we now dwell. Whether he tried other worlds first, or whether this was the first, is immaterial; as we know full well that he succeeded in getting into his toils this world and its inhabitants.
72. God in His wise purpose had created man, the holy pair, upright, only a little lower than the angels. He had given him paradise for his home. He had given him dominion over the earth and over every living thing that moveth upon it. He had made to grow from the ground "every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food," and "the tree of Life which is in the midst of the paradise." He had put before him everything that could please the eye, and delight the mind, and charm the senses.
73. In this delightful state and place God put the blessed pair whom He had formed. He gave it all to them to enjoy forever. He made them free to enjoy it or to refuse it; and therefore He put also in the midst of the garden the forbidden tree, "the tree of knowledge of good and evil." "And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good
and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." Genesis 2: 8, 9, 16, 17.
74. Into this happy place came Satan with his deceptive purposes. He came here to fill, if possible, these with his own evil ambition. "Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil."
75. The Hebrew, the Revised Version, and the Jews' translation, all give to this latter point the reading: "God doth know, that, on the day ye eat thereof, your eyes will be opened and ye will be as God, knowing good and evil." This is not only the literal reading, but the true meaning, of the original words. This gives the very thought that was put before the woman. It was not that you shall be as gods, in the common acceptation of the plural term "gods." It was literally the very thought and ambition of Lucifer himself which he now put before her – ye shall be as God. He would lead her away, and inspire her with this mind which was in him, to be equal with God.
76. But note the expression with which he opens the conversation. It is an expression which insinuates into her mind a whole world of suspicion. The common version translates it, "Yea, hath God said," etc. The Revised Version gives it the same. The Jews' English version translates it, "Hath God indeed said," etc. But no translation can give it exactly. It can not be exactly expressed in letters so as to form a word that would give it truly. Yet everybody in the world is familiar with the expression. It is that sneering grunt (expressed – through the nose) -c-ugh!-which conveys query, doubt, suspicion, and contempt, all at once. "C-ugh! hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" And everybody knows that to this day among men there is nothing equal to this sneering grunt, to create doubt and suspicion; and no other expression is used so much by mankind for that purpose. And this is the origin of it.
77. Having thus suggested to Eve query, doubt, and suspicion of the Lord's word as to shutting them away from a certain tree of the garden, and having drawn her into conversation, he followed it up with further implication and insinuation that the Lord had some ulterior purpose in thus keeping this tree from them. Ye shall not surely die; for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, ye shall be like God. Thus he set up his own word directly against the word of the Lord, and then declared
that God knew that it was not true that they should die, but that instead of that they would be like God; and that because He knew this, He had, under cover of this other word, thought to shut them away from that tree which would make them like Him. All this, too, solely because He wanted to keep them down and in ignorance; for fear that they should rise and advance; for fear that they would be like Him.
78. Thus it is clearly seen that from beginning to end, Satan was employing all his cunning to cast upon the Lord all the dark traits of his own evil character, and so to get the woman to think that God did not desire good for her nor mean good toward her. It was the same evil intent with which he started on his sinful course in heaven, to get himself in the place of God in the estimation of intelligent creatures, as well as in fact. He was determined so to misrepresent God that he himself should be accepted instead of God; that thus he might succeed in usurping the place of God, and seize upon equality with God. And the woman was taken with the prospect and caught by the deception. She believed Satan instead of God. She accepted the word of Satan instead of the word of God. And so it is written: "When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat."
79. The tree was not in any sense good for food. It was not in any sense a tree to be desired to make one wise. Yet the woman, deceived by the glamour cast over her mind, over her eyes, over the tree, and even over her loving Creator Himself, by the deceptions of the enemy, "saw that the tree was good for food, and a tree to be desired to make one wise." As the tree was not good for food, and therefore was not really to be desired for that purpose, the words "to make one wise" contain the key of the whole matter. That which caused her to see that it was good for food, and a tree to be desired, was only the idea that thus she could attain to wisdom which God was withholding. She saw that it was good for food, and a tree to be desired, only because she supposed she could thus attain to the wisdom of God, and thus be like God.
80. And thus it was ambition to be equal with God that caused sin to enter the world, even as it had caused sin to enter heaven. Lucifer had said in heaven, "I will be like the Most High." Here he had placed before the woman the same prize, the same ambition, to be obtained by disobedience to God. "Ye shall be like God." In heaven Lucifer had aspired "to be equal with God," and here he set before the woman the aspiration, "Ye shall be as God." And that herself might be exalted to equality with God, she turned away from God to accomplish it through the ways of sin! 0, it is the desire to please self instead of God that is the origin of every sin!
81. And she "gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat." "Adam was not deceived" (1 Timothy 2:14), however. He accepted the
situation, and went with his wife, even though he knew she was deceived. "And the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked." The glory of God which had rested upon them, and its holy light which had clothed them as with a garment, departed from them; and they knew they were naked, and they "hid themselves from the presence of the Lord." Guilty, they were afraid of the presence of the Lord. Innocent, they had loved His gracious and holy presence. Sin separates the soul from God, and fills it with a dread of His approach. Righteousness binds the soul to God, delights in the fullness of His presence, and basks in the sunlight of His divine glory.
Another Mind in Man
82. "God made man in His own image, in the image of God created He him, male and female created He them," and He intended that they should ever and forever reflect the image and glory of Him who created them. And if our eyes could have looked upon that divinely formed pair, as they stood in the garden of Eden before they sinned, crowned with glory and honor, we should have been irresistibly reminded of Another than themselves. There was that about them which would have suggested some one other than themselves, yet inseparably connected with themselves. In fact, themselves, as themselves, we should not have seen at all; because they fully reflected the image and glory of God.
83. And so long as they had harkened to the words of God, and had walked in the counsel of God, they would have ever reflected in every characteristic, and to all beholders, the image and glory of their divine Head and Creator. But they sinned. The glory departed. The image of God was gone. They no longer reflected the image and glory of God, but the image and shame of another.
84. God had given them His word clearly spoken. The word of God is the expression of the thought of the mind of God. If they had remained faithful to that word, if they had fully put their trust upon that word, if they had depended upon it for their sole counsel, and to guide them in the way they should go, then this word – the thought and mind – of God would have lived in them, and would have been manifested in them. But when the enemy came speaking his words, laying before them the thoughts and suggestions of his evil mind; and when they accepted his word instead of the word of God, and the thoughts and suggestions of his mind in place of those of the mind of the Lord; then the evil mind of the enemy, instead of the mind of God, was in them and lived in them. This mind is enmity against God, and is not, and can not be, subject to the law of God. Romans 8:7.
85. And now, being filled with the evil mind of the enemy, with its desires and ambitions, they reflected the image and shame of him who had led them into sin, instead of reflecting the image and glory of Him
who had created them in righteousness and true holiness. So that it is literally true that just as certainly as before man sinned he reflected the image and glory of his Maker unto righteousness, so certainly after he sinned he reflected the image and shame of his seducer unto sin.
86. The truth of this is seen in every line of man's conduct after he had sinned. The glory had no sooner departed because of their sin than they were ashamed before Him in whose presence they had formerly only delighted. Now, when they heard the voice of God, instead of being thrilled with delight and holy confidence, they were afraid, and sought to hide from Him, and even supposed they could hide, and had hidden themselves from Him. This is the mind that was in Lucifer in heaven. Not understanding the Lord's purpose, he thought he could hide from the Lord his own purposes.
87. When the Lord asked the man, "Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldst not eat?" he answered: "The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat." Instead of answering openly and honestly and frankly the truth, "I have," he did not answer directly at all; but indirectly, evasively, and by involving both the Lord and the woman in the guilt, before himself; and thus sought to shelter himself behind them, and to clear himself by involving them. This is the very disposition that Lucifer had developed in heaven. And now it is clearly reflected in the man.
88. Next the Lord asked the woman, "What is this that thou hast done?" Instead of answering plainly and frankly, "I have disobeyed Thy word; I have eaten of the forbidden tree," she also involves another before herself, and shields herself behind him. She answered, "The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat."
89. No such disposition as that was ever put into mankind by the Lord. Yet everybody knows that this very disposition is in all mankind, even at this present day. Everybody knows that it is not in human nature openly, frankly, and at once to confess a fault. But that the first and spontaneous impulse in every human soul is to dodge and shelter himself behind anything or anybody in the world, and seek to clear himself by involving another. And if through all he can not fully escape, yet when he does come into it, it is with the least possible degree of blame upon himself. It is the spirit that holds tenaciously that ourself is the last one that can possibly be wrong or do wrong; and even when we have done wrong, argues, "We would never have done it had it not been for somebody or something else," and are therefore not really to blame, and so are right anyhow. Or it will excuse self from wrong, because somebody else does or has done the same thing or worse. It is the very essence of the claim of infallibility.
90. Such disposition was not put into mankind by the Lord. Yet it is there. It is the disposition, it is the very mind, of Lucifer who originally
led in the way of sin. And as the man and woman whom God made upon the earth, followed this wicked one in the way of sin; as they accepted his word and his suggestions, and adopted his thoughts and his way of thinking; so they yielded themselves to him and to his mastery, and thus were made to reflect his evil image, which is self and self alone – self above all and through all and in all. This was all of self, and none of God.
The Mystery of God
91. In a certain sense-a bad sense-that which Satan told the woman – they should "be as God" – was fulfilled. As the disposition that had been confirmed in him was that in his own estimation he was equal with God; and as that mind had been received by them, and that disposition was now reflected in them; so in their own estimation they would now count themselves as God in that they could do no wrong, and would involve the Lord in wrong rather than admit that they had done wrong. Thus the same evil mind that in Lucifer would exalt self to equality with God, was now in the man and the woman, and caused them to exalt self to the same point. This is not only the philosophy of the case, but it is the fact: for after this talk of the Lord with them, "The Lord God said, Behold, the man has become as one of us, to know good and evil." Genesis 3:22. Not indeed become as one of them in truth and righteousness; but in this evil way, in their own mind, and in their own estimation, self was exalted to equality with God.
92. This is further shown by another scripture: "He hath showed thee, 0 man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to humble thyself to walk with God." Micah 6:8, margin, Hebrew. That is to say, in his own mind and estimation man considers himself above God, and capable of walking there alone. But God wants man to walk with Him. Yet in order to do this, man must humble himself – he must step down from where he is. The scripture thus shows in itself that in man's own estimation as he naturally is, he is above God, and would walk alone rather than with God. And the Lord simply invites him: "Humble yourself, be content to step down and take a lower place-even the place where I am-and come, walk with Me."
93. Again this is shown in the text which is the study of all this chapter: "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who thought it not a prize to be seized and held fast, to be equal with God, but humbled Himself." This in itself shows that in mankind as they are, there is a mind that is not the mind of God, but another mind. And the Lord invites all to let this mind of His return to them, and abide in them, that they may walk with Him. And as Christ humbled Himself, "therefore God also hath highly exalted Him." And forever and to all people it is
written, "He that exalteth himself shall be abased, and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted." Therefore, "He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to humble thyself to walk with God?" "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who humbled Himself."
94. But as man was when he had sinned, as he was when he yielded himself a servant to Satan, he had no power to humble himself. He had no power to confess his fault. He had no means of knowing anything else than that he was right, when he was wholly wrong. He was a captive and no longer free. He was a slave, and could no longer do as he would. His very mind itself was enslaved to the evil one to whom he had yielded himself; and he had no power even to think otherwise than as dictated by the master mind to whom he had yielded.
95. The man was now overwhelmed with that darkness of sin of which the evil one was the author, which he had brought with him, and into which he had succeeded in drawing the inhabitants of this world. Then it was, as well as ever since, that "darkness covered the earth and gross darkness the people." That darkness was complete. In it was no element of light. No suggestion of good could possibly reach him from that realm where the ruler of the darkness of this world reigneth alone.
96. Yet as with the angels that sinned, God would not give man up to that darkness, without giving him another opportunity to choose the Light and the Life. And then if he should persist in refusing all offers of the Light and Life and joy of the Lord of all, he would be allowed to have his own choice, and could only, like the others, be given up to the impenetrable darkness which they had chosen, and which by their persistent refusal of light they themselves had made impenetrable.
97. And God did not leave mankind in this abject slavery and total darkness. Although they had freely chosen it, the Lord of love and mercy would give them another chance. And therefore it is written, "And the Lord God said unto the serpent, . . . I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed. " Genesis 3:14, 15. In this declaration God broke up the pall of total darkness which through sin enshrouded mankind. By this He opened the way for light to shine once more to the enslaved captive sitting helpless in the darkness. In this blessed word, God again gave to mankind freedom of choice.
98. Yet God did not bind man to Himself even now, in an irresistible, absolute, and irresponsible bondage, as Satan had bound him. No, no. God is ever the Author of intelligence, of freedom of choice, and of freedom of thought. He would not compel man, even now, to take the way of righteousness and keep it. He simply made man free again to choose for himself, whom he will serve. And mankind is now perfectly free to make the choice for himself as to whether he will serve God or Satan, whether he will have the mind of God or the mind of Satan, whether he will choose Christ or self.
99. Man's will is now, and by this word, freed, and abides free, to choose and serve whom he will-to choose deliverance from the bondage of sin, or to remain in the bondage of sin. God will deliver no man from bondage against his will. But whoever will submit his will to God, there is no power in the universe that can hold him in sin.
100. And just here Satan was again surprised in his misreading of the character of God. Again he discovered his reasoning to be at fault. He had reasoned that if he could succeed in drawing the inhabitants of the world into the darkness where he himself was, that character of sternness and arbitrary dealing which he had attributed to the Lord would cut them off at once; and this would assure him a foothold and a vantage ground forever. He had succeeded in drawing these inhabitants into sin and into in getting them to adopt his word and thoughts, his mind and will, instead of the word and mind and will of God. He had succeeded in drawing them into full union with himself, where there was complete friendship between them and himself.
101. But lo, just as he was congratulating himself upon the success of his plan, he was surprised by a turn that had never entered his thoughts. He was more than surprised, he was alarmed when he heard the word of God, "I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed." With enmity forever at work between him and mankind, he could not help but know that his dominion would ever be in dispute, and that as a result some might escape his yoke. And when these new and startling words were followed with the still new and also ominous sentence, "It [the seed of the woman] shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel," he knew that his cause was endangered.
102. Thus, just at the point when Satan had felt surest of his triumph, he was caused to fear most for his success. That which had appeared as his certain, complete, and assured conquest, was suddenly made to take an aspect of doubtfulness, defeat, and utter loss. Here was opening up a phase of the subject that had never occurred to him, raising questions that were to him as baffling as they were new. It was all a mystery.
103. It was indeed a mystery, even "the mystery of God." For this enmity against Satan, this hatred of evil, which God, by His word, puts in every person that comes into the world, causes each soul to hate the evil and desire the good, and to long for deliverance from the bondage of evil into the rest and satisfaction of the good. And as this deliverance is found alone in Christ (Romans 7:14-25), that promise to put enmity between Satan and mankind, is the promise of Christ, "the Desire of all nations" (Haggai 2:7).
104. This word of God which plants in each soul, enmity against Satan; this hatred of evil that calls for deliverance which is found alone in Christ; this is the gift of faith to man. The object of this faith is Christ, and
the author of it is Christ; and so He is "the author and finisher of faith." Hebrews 12:2. By faith Christ dwells in the heart (see Ephesians 3:17); and Christ in men the hope of glory is the mystery of God. (See Colossians 1:26, 27.)
105. And so the planting of enmity between Satan and the woman, and between the seed of each, was the beginning of the revelation of the mystery of God which had been "kept in silence through times eternal." Romans 16:26, R. V. Then "when the fullness of time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons." Galatians 4:4. Then were seen and heard things which many prophets and righteous men had desired to see and had not seen, and had desired to hear and had not heard (see Matthew 13:16, 17); then, in the words of Him who spake as never man spake, there were uttered things which had "been kept secret from the foundation of the world." Matthew 13:35.
106. To Christ was offered all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them. But He could have these only by falling down and worshiping Satan, the God of this world. Besides, Christianity is not rulership or overlordship, but service. "The princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you; but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant; even as the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many." Matthew 20:25-28. The liberty wherewith Christ makes men free, the liberty in which Christians stand fast, is the liberty by love to serve one another. For all the law of God is fulfilled in this one word, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." Galatians 5:14.
107. Christ emptied Himself to take upon Him the form of a servant and to be made in the likeness of man. "He voluntarily assumed human nature. It was His own act, and by His own consent. He clothed His divinity with humanity. He was all the while as God, but He did not appear as God. He veiled the demonstrations of Deity, which had commanded the homage, and called forth the admiration of the universe of God. He was God while upon earth, but He divested Himself of the form of God, and in its stead took the form and fashion of a man. He walked the earth as a man. For our sakes He became poor, that we through His poverty might be made rich. He laid aside His glory and His majesty. He was God, but the glories of the form of God He for a while relinquished. Though He walked among men in poverty, scattering His blessings wherever He went, at His word legions of angels would surround their Redeemer and do Him homage. But He walked the earth unrecognized, unconfessed, with but few exceptions, by His creatures. The atmosphere
was polluted with sin and curses, in place of the anthem of praise. His lot was poverty and humiliation. As He passed to and fro upon His mission of mercy to relieve the sick, to lift up the depressed, scarce a solitary voice called Him blessed, and the very greatest of the nation passed Him by with disdain.
108. "Contrast this with the riches of glory, the wealth of praise pouring forth from immortal tongues, the millions of rich voices in the universe of God in anthems of adoration. But He humbled Himself, and took mortality upon Him. As a member of the human family, He was mortal; but as a God, He was the fountain of life to the world. He could, in His divine person, ever have withstood the advances of death, and refused to come under its dominion; but He voluntarily laid down His life, that in so doing He might give life and bring immortality to light. He bore the sins of the world, and endured the penalty, which rolled like a mountain upon His divine soul. He yielded up His life a sacrifice, that man should not eternally die. He died, not through being compelled to die, but by His own free will. This was humility. The whole treasure of heaven was poured out in one gift to save fallen man. He brought into His human nature all the life-giving energies that human beings will need and must receive.
109. "Wondrous combination of man and God! He might have helped His human nature to withstand the inroads of disease by pouring from His divine nature vitality and undecaying vigor to the human. But He humbled Himself to man's nature. He did this that the Scripture might be fulfilled; and the plan was entered into by the Son of God, knowing all the steps in His humiliation, that He must descend to make an expiation for the sins of a condemned, groaning world. What humility was this! It amazed angels. The tongue can never describe it; the imagination can not take it in. The eternal Word consented to be made flesh! God became man! It was a wonderful humility.
110. "But He stepped still lower; the Man must humble Himself as a man to bear insult, reproach, shameful accusations, and abuse. There seemed to be no safe place for Him in His own territory. He had to flee from place to place for His life. He was betrayed by one of His own disciples. He was denied by one of His most zealous followers. He was mocked. He was crowned with a crown of thorns. He was scourged. He was forced to bear the burden of the cross. He was not insensible to this contempt and ignomy. He submitted, but oh! He felt the bitterness as no other being could feel it. He was pure, holy, and undefiled, yet arraigned as a criminal! The adorable Redeemer stepped down from the highest exaltation.
111. "Step by step He humbled Himself to die – but what a death! It was the most shameful, the most cruel – the death upon the cross as a malefactor. He did not die as a hero in the eyes of the world, loaded with
honors, as men in battle. He died as a condemned criminal, suspended between the heavens and the earth,-died a lingering death of shame, exposed to the tauntings and revilings of a debased, crime-laden, profligate multitude! "All they that see Me laugh Me to scorn; they shoot out the lip, they shake the head." Psalm 22:7. He was numbered with transgressors, He expired amid derision, and His kinsmen according to the flesh disowned Him. His mother beheld His humiliation, and He was forced to see the sword pierce her heart. He endured the cross, despising the shame. He made it of small account in consideration of the results that He was working out in behalf of, not only the inhabitants of this speck of a world, but the whole universe, every world which God had created.
112. "Christ was to die as man's substitute. Man was a criminal under the sentence of death for transgression of the law of God, as a traitor, a rebel; hence a substitute for man must die as a malefactor, because He stood in the place of the traitors, with all their treasured sins upon His divine soul. It was not enough that Jesus should die in order to fully meet the demands of the broken law, but He died a shameful death. The prophet gives to the world His words, 'I hid not My face from shame and spitting.' " And when the great enemy – the great self-exalted one – had thus accomplished the death of the great Friend – the self-emptying One – it was demonstrated to the wide universe that this was what was involved in his self-exalting course from its inception in heaven, and so demonstrated to the universe that he was only "a murderer from the beginning."
113. But God "raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: and hath put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the Church, which is His body, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all." Ephesians 1:20-23. And He, being thus at "the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost," shed forth this Holy Spirit, by whom He came to His disciples and dwelt in their hearts by faith, so that they knew that He was in the Father, and they in Him, and He in them. Acts 2:33; John 14:18-20; Ephesians 3:16, 17.
114. Thus, with Christ in them the hope of glory, having thus received the knowledge of the mystery of God, "which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men," as it was then "revealed unto His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit," they went forth preaching this mystery of God, which had been "hid from ages and from generations, but was now made manifest to His saints, to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you the hope of glory." In preaching the riches of the glory of this mystery, they preached "the unsearchable riches of Christ," so as to "make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery which from the beginning of the world had been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: to the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the Church, the manifold wisdom of God according to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord." Ephesians 3:3-5; Colossians 1:26, 27; Ephesians 3:8-11.
115. In order that this might be, they preached, "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who being in the form of God thought it not a thing to be seized upon, to be violently striven for and eagerly retained, to be equal with God." They preached that by this mind of Christ, each one should empty self, take upon him the form of a servant, obedient unto death, being made conformable unto His death. But there came a "falling away." Instead of an emptying of self, there was an exalting of self in those who professed the name of Him who emptied Himself: grievous wolves entered in, not sparing the flock; men arose, speaking perverse things to draw away disciples after them. (See Acts 20:29, 30.) And in this exalting of self there was developed the man of sin, the son of perdition, the mystery of iniquity; which again hid from ages and generations the mystery of God. Thus this mystery of iniquity is the papacy; the mystery of God is Christianity. Christianity is self-renunciation; the papacy is self-exaltation. The spirit of Christianity is the spirit of humility and self-renunciation; the spirit of the papacy is pride and self-exaltation. Christianity is the incarnation of Christ; the papacy is the incarnation of Satan.
116. Thus by Satan there is continued on the earth the same controversy that was begun in heaven. By the great apostate, through the great apostasy there is continued here, the same opposition to Christ, to God, and to the law and government of God, that was begun in heaven. And indeed through the great apostasy here, the great apostate accomplished in his measure that which he could not in any degree accomplish in heaven-the change of the law of God. (See Daniel 7:25.) For, to accommodate the image worship which she would have, the papacy leaves out the Second Commandment; and to accommodate sun worship, she set aside the Sabbath of the Lord and set up Sunday in its place.5 Then in order to fill out the number ten of the Ten Commandments, she has divided the Tenth into two: thus forcing upon God "tautology in the only document ever written with His own hand." She has deliberately changed the law and government of God into one wholly her own; she has excluded God from the world, and in herself has set up
5For the full history of this change of the Sabbath for Sunday, see Great Empires of
Prophecy, chapter xxxii.
a "regency of God:" and so in fullest measure and intent has counted it a usurpation to be meditated to be equal with God.
117. Thus fully and so certainly is the papacy only the incarnation of the spirit of Satan.