Bible Truth Examiner

Studies

STUDY 9: RANSOM AND RESTITUTION

 

Scriptures are cited from the King James (Authorized) Version, unless stated otherwise.

 

GOD’S plan reveals a design for mankind – a restitution or restoration to the perfection and

glory lost in Eden. The nature and extent of the ransom is the strongest evidence for this

outcome, for restitution is its just and logical outcome. All mankind, therefore, must be delivered

from the original penalty of death unless they willfully resist the Great Deliverer. God was under

no obligation to provide a ransom and a promised restitution for mankind – it is an act of His

free grace.

 

Paul reasons: “For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord

[ruler, controller] both of the dead and living” (Romans 14: 9). We see here that the object of our

Lord’s death and resurrection is not merely to bless, rule over and restore the living of mankind,

but to grant Him authority over the dead as well. He “gave himself a ransom [a corresponding

price] for all” in order to bless all, and to give every man an individual trial for life. God’s

perfect justice and love gives us the assurance.

 

The “ransom for all,” does not guarantee everlasting life to anyone, but it does guarantee one full

opportunity or trial for life everlasting. The ransom, along with man’s present experience with

sin and its bitter penalty, will provide man with the most favorable opportunity when he comes

on trial for life. The willfully disobedient alone will receive the penalty of the second death,

from which there will be no ransom.

 

Mankind’s Future Trial to be more Favorable than Adam’s Trial

 

The circumstances of the future trial will be more favorable, though its terms will be identical to

the Adamic trial, the difference being their increased knowledge. Their experience with evil,

contrasted with their future experience with good, will be the advantage that will make the

results of the second trial so different from the first.

 

The ransom does not excuse sin in any, but it releases the sinner from the first condemnation and

its results, and places him again on trial for life. His own willful obedience or disobedience will

determine whether he will gain or lose life everlasting.

 

At present, only the Church have enjoyed the full benefits of the ransom, and have gone on trial

for life. These have received all the blessings of restitution reckoned to them by faith. Though

not actually restored to Adam’s perfection, they are reckoned as perfect. Their imperfections and

weaknesses are not imputed to them, but are covered by the Redeemer’s perfection. Hence the

Church’s trial is as fair as the trial that the world will have. The world will be given a knowledge

of the truth, and as each accepts of its provisions, he will be treated as a son rather than a sinner.

 

Difference Between Trial of Church and World

 

One difference between the trial of the Church and the trial of world is that the obedient of the

world will start receiving a gradual removal of their physical and mental weaknesses. The

Gospel Church, in contrast, goes into death and receives perfection instantaneously in the first

resurrection (1 Corinthians 15: 51, 52) (Revelation 20: 5, 6). Another difference is that the

surroundings in the next age will be favorable to righteousness, rewarding faith and obedience

and punishing sin. In this age, the Church’s trial has been under conditions unfavorable to faith

and righteousness, yet this is compensated for in the reward of the glory and honor of the divine

nature.

 

Adam’s penalty was death, consequentially all his children were born in a dying condition,

ending in death. The suffering accompanying the dying process is merely an incidental feature of

the penalty.

 

When God swore to Abraham that in his seed all the families of the earth should be blessed, a

restitution for all was implied, including the removal of the curse and a return to His favor. God

showed Abraham that He could not excuse sin, but the only way to blot it out and abolish its

penalty was by a sufficient sacrifice. This is shown in type, or illustrated in: Abraham’s son

Isaac, in whom the promised blessing centered, had first to be a sacrifice before he could bless.

Isaac here typified the true seed, Christ Jesus, who died to redeem men, so that the redeemed

might all receive the promised blessing (Hebrews 11: 19).

 

The entire race was in Adam when he was condemned and lost life, so when Jesus “gave himself

a ransom for all,” He sacrificed an unborn race in His loins. A full satisfaction, or corresponding

price for all men was thus put unto the hands of Justice to be applied “in due time,” and He who

thus bought all has full authority to restore all who come unto God by Him.

 

Condemned in Adam, Justified in Christ

 

“As by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the

righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one

man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made

righteous” (Romans 5: 18, 19). As the sentence of condemnation extended to all of Adam’s seed,

even so, through the obedience of our Lord Jesus Christ to the Father’s plan, by the sacrifice of

Himself on our behalf, a free gift is extended to all – a gift of forgiveness, which, if accepted,

will constitute a justification or basis for life everlasting.

 

So far, only the Church has been justified by faith in His blood, but since Christ is the

satisfaction for the sins of the whole world, all men may be released from the penalty of Adam’s

sin by Him under the New Covenant.

 

Death – extinction of being – is the wages of sin. Those who think of death as life in torment

disregard the meaning of the words death and life, which are opposites. It is absurd to suppose

that God would continue Adam’s existence forever in torment for any kind of sin, especially the

comparatively small offence of eating forbidden fruit. Also, if our Lord Jesus died in our stead to

redeem mankind, would not His death be exactly the same kind as that to which all mankind

were condemned? Is He, then, suffering eternal torture for our sins? If not, then so surely as He

died for our sins, the punishment for our sins was death, and not life in any sense or condition.

 

Is Restitution Practical?

 

Some claim that if the billions of the dead were raised, there would not be enough room for them

on the earth, and even if there were enough room, the earth could not sustain so large a number.

 

Do their claims have any merit? Let us assume it is sixty-one hundred years since man’s

creation, and there are approximately seven billion people now living on the earth. Though our

race began with one pair, let us make a very liberal estimate and suppose there were as many at

the beginning as now, and that there were never fewer than that number. Let us again be liberal

and estimate three generations to a century, or thirty-three years to a generation. Let us see:

sixty-one hundred years are sixty-one centuries; three generations to a century would give us one

hundred and eighty-three generations since Adam; and seven billion to a generation would give

us one trillion two hundred and eighty-one billions (1,281,000,000,000) as the total number of

our race from creation to the present time, according to this liberal estimate, which is probably

many times the actual number.

 

Where shall we find enough room for this great multitude? The State of Alaska contains six

hundred and sixty-three thousand square miles. There are twenty-seven million eight hundred

and seventy-eight thousand four hundred square feet in a mile, and therefore, eighteen trillion

four hundred eighty-three billion three hundred seventy-nine million two hundred thousand

(18,483,379,200,000) square feet in Alaska. Allowing ten square feet as the surface covered by

each dead body, we find Alaska, as a cemetery, would at this rate hold one trillion eight hundred

forty eight billion three hundred thirty seven million nine hundred thousand (1,848,337,920,000)

bodies, or nearly one half more than our exaggerated estimate of the numbers of our race who

have lived on the earth.

 

A person standing occupies about one and two-thirds square feet of space. At this rate, the

present population of the earth (seven billion people) could stand on an area of four hundred and

twenty square miles – an area much less than that of the city of Los Angeles. And the state of

Minnesota (area, nearly eighty-seven thousand square miles) would furnish standing room to

spare for the entire number of people who have ever lived on earth, even at our exaggerated

estimate.

 

And when we call to mind the prophecy of Isaiah (35: 1-6), that the earth shall yield her

increase; that the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose; that in the wilderness shall waters

break out, and streams in the desert, we see that God has foreseen all the necessities of His plan,

and will make ample provision for the needs of His creatures in what will seem a very natural

way.

 

Restitution Versus Evolution

 

Some object to the Scriptural testimony concerning restitution to a former estate as being out of

harmony with the teachings of science and philosophy. Pointing to the superior intelligence of

the twenty-first century which they claim has been attained by development, they conclude that

primeval man must have been very lacking in intelligence compared to present man, making

restitution to a former estate the reverse of a blessing.

 

But could there be another explanation for the increased knowledge, skill and power of man than

the theory of Evolution which states that man was developed from a very low order of being,

though has now reached the superior, or “Brain Age”? In the study of painting and sculpture, do

not students today go back to the great masters of the past? Do they not draw largely upon the

original designs of the past ages for its architecture? Do not the orators and logicians study and

copy the methods of Plato, Aristotle and Demosthenes? Might not many of the public speakers

today covet the tongue of a Demosthenes or an Apollos, and especially the reasoning power of

the Apostle Paul.

 

Going back further, consider the wisdom, logic and the fine moral sensibilities of Job, or the

laws given through Moses, which have been the foundation for the laws of all civilized nations,

and are still recognized as the embodiment of marvelous wisdom. The exhuming of ancient

buried cities reveals a knowledge of the arts and sciences in past ages which is surprising some

of today’s philosophers. Or the Great Pyramid of Egypt, some four thousand years old, its

construction and other truths has caused wonder and amazement to the most learned scientists

today.

 

Increase of Knowledge through Education

 

How do we account for the increase of general knowledge, modern technology, etc.? From a

human standpoint, the invention of printing in 1440 A.D. started it all. The printing of books

recorded the thoughts and discoveries of thinkers and observers. With books came a more

general education and finally, common schools. This process has given each succeeding

generation an advantage over previous generations. These more advantageous circumstances

have caused men in general to use more of their brain capacity than at any former period.

 

But what do the Scriptures teach on this subject? God had determined to permit sin and misery

to oppress the world for six thousand years, and in the seventh millennium to restore all things

and destroy evil. With the reign of evil drawing to a close, God has permitted circumstances to

favor discoveries in His Book of Revelation and His Book of Nature, to prepare mankind for

their blessing and uplift during the Millennial Age (Daniel 12: 1, 4, 10).

 

Why did not God arrange for the present inventions and blessings to have come sooner? Because

He foresaw that His choicest blessings would lead to and produce greater evils if bestowed upon

those with hearts out of harmony with His righteous laws. Ultimately, all will see God’s wisdom

in this procedure.

 

How so? First, as long as mankind is in his fallen condition, without stringent laws and penalties

and a government strong enough to enforce them, his selfish qualities will more or less control.

And considering man’s unequal individual capacities, the tendency would be to make the rich

richer and the poor poorer.

 

Secondly, had the labor-saving inventions of the present day come sooner, a great decrease of

hours of labor and a great increase of leisure time would have resulted. Idleness is the mother of

vice, and mental, moral and physical degradation would have caused a more rapid deterioration

of our race; hence we see the wisdom and goodness of God in withholding these blessings until

the due time for their introduction, in preparation for the Millennial reign of blessing.

 

Time of Trouble precedes Millennial Reign

 

The prophet Daniel, cited above, links the increase of knowledge with the time of trouble. The

knowledge causes the trouble, because of the depravity of the race. When the Millennial reign

shall have rewritten the law of God in the restored human heart, men will be capable of using

full liberty without injury or danger.

 

The day of trouble will end in due time, when the Prince of Peace shall “stand up” in authority

and say “Peace! Be still!,” and a great calm will result. And during the reign of the Christ “all the

families of the earth” will be blessed. Men shall then recognize that what they attributed to

evolution or natural development was instead the flashings of the Lord’s lightnings in “the day

of his preparation” for the blessing of mankind (Psalm 77: 18).

 

The Bible reveals that God created man perfect and upright, an image of Himself, but that man

defiled himself; that all being sinners, the race was unable to help itself, and none could by any

means redeem his brother or give to God a ransom for him (Psalm 49: 7, 15); that God in

compassion and love had already made provision for this; that the Son of God became a man,

gave man’s ransom-price, and as a reward for this sacrifice, was highly exalted, even to the

divine nature; and that in due time, He will restore the race to the original perfection and to

every blessing then possessed.

 

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