Millions are born into this unhappy world without their own knowledge or consent. Through ignorance and poverty and corrupt civilization millions exist in fear, suffering, starvation and frustration! WHY?
Adam "fell"! Most of his children ever since have lived in superstition, squalor and disease, ignorance and the fear of poverty and war. Why? "The devil is the cause; he wrecked everything for God" — say the churches. "He thwarted the purpose of God in making Adam perfect." But how do the churches know? Did they get their answer from the Bible? "We certainly did," they say. "Didn't God have to let men kill His son Jesus so we could be restored to what Adam lost?"
Were Gods Plans Wrecked?
Let's look at the Garden of Eden again. Did the devil under the guise of a serpent sneak in, after God had laid all His plans so well, and then wreck everything with the "fall"?. Did Satan really frustrate Gods purpose by deceiving the woman? If that be true, then the churches make Satan more powerful than God for the moment. Cleverly, Satan had been able to alter God's will. "God, think fast!" And He did, the churches say. "Look, in the struggle for supremacy He was able to think out the plan of redemption to restore His authority." Now He had the best of Satan. Then what? The Creator waited too Lon to start repairing the damage, it would seem — and Satan has been able to be just one long stride ahead of God in keeping the world lost. Christ's death just isn't repairing the damage except for a few. The world is still lost in sin! That's the kind of picture the Churches are painting of God! In their gospels they put Him in a gigantic controversy with Satan, and lo and behold — Satan is winning the contest! Ignorance, poverty and war are the proofs that God hasn't saved the world. What a muddle! But then, where did you read such a story in your Bible?
What's the Truth?
The truth is, Satan did not wreck the purpose of God! The Creator knew from the beginning, and planned to have it so — that the devil should deceive man into sinning. God did not design the plan of salvation to repair the damage and restore mankind to the perfection Adam "lost." God purposed the plan of redemption before the "fall!" Adam was not created with perfect character in the first place, or he couldn't have sinned. Adam was created so that he could sin! Why?
The Reason for Sin
Because Satan is not more powerful than God and he could not frustrate the plans of God, we must conclude that GOD IS RESPONSIBLE for what happened in Eden! "Oh, no!" shriek the churches. "God couldn't be guilty of SIN!" Who said God was guilty? I said God is responsible. Responsibility is not guilt. God did not force Adam to sin. Adam did not have to sin — for God permitted him — yes, urged him — to take of the tree of life. But God put human nature in Adam so he would want to sin unless he resisted the pull of his nature. Adam became guilty of disobeying a command. God was responsible for placing a nature and a mind in Adam and Eve so they by themselves weren't able to resist the temptation of the devil whom God deliberately permitted to enter the Garden. WHY? "For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of Him who hath subjected the same in hope (Rom. 8:20)." Yes, HOPE! The Bible says God is responsible for making man the kind of creature he is — capable of sinning. God knew, therefore, that man would suffer, live in sorrow, poverty and war. God planned that these things should be, and that man should be guilty of bringing these miseries upon himself and his children! Why? Because of a HOPE — a PURPOSE — God had in placing man upon the earth! And the present chaos is the way God intended that His plan should be perfected. God placed in man, not according to man's wish, but according to God's purpose, a nature that would cause him to sin. If He is responsible for that, then He must rectify it — He must save man from it! God's responsibility compels Him to deliver man from the bondage of sin in which he has gotten himself from ignorance and yielding to the temptations of the flesh. That is the why of the plan of redemption. Not to restore man from the damage the devil did, but to perfect the hope God bad from the beginning. And what is that hope? What is God's PURPOSE? The creation of God's own character in us! God is reproducing Himself! But why should there have been need of our guilt? "That no flesh should glory in His presence" (I Cor 1:29). And again: "For by grace (an unmerited free gift) are ye saved (from guilt) though faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast." Here is Ephesians 2:9 we see it reiterated that God planned that sins of the flesh and the proud wisdom of men (I Cor. 1:26-30) should not be pardoned by our human works, but by God, lest we boast.
But why does God carry out his purpose so we have no chance to boast? Let's read right on: "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them (Eph. 2:11)." "We are HIS WORKMANSHIP created in Christ Jesus unto good works." Now we see — God is making us His workmanship, not according to our works but according to His works to which we yield to permit Him to perfect in us. GOD IS REPRODUCING HIMSELF! We human mortals were made subject to temptation and vanity so we would LEARN BY EXPERIENCE IN SUFFERING AND POVERTY that the way contrary to the law and character of God is not good — that we should repent of breaking God's law — that we should want to live by the faith of Christ through the Holy Spirit so we can fulfill that law by love and good works. "The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us (Rom. 5:5)." "Love is the fulfilling of the law (Rom. 13:10)." The Law of God expresses the Character of God. God is a SPIRIT. The Holy Spirit is God's Law in action. By having the love of God in us that fulfills the law, we become God's workmanship preparing us for the HOPE He had when He put Adam in Eden.
What Is That Hope?
God is moulding in a few whom He calls today the very character — divine love, wisdom, patience, faith — of God Himself. But the vast majority of Adam's children have been going their own way, never hearing of the PURPOSE of God, and consequently reaping untold suffering because of ignorance. And God purposed that these suffering mortals should not in this age have the knowledge of His purpose. It is according to God's plan, because He blinded the nations that He might have, in the future, mercy on all. Satan has deceived the nations according to the permission and plan of God! But why is God calling out a few from the world today — for us who know the truth, this is our only day of salvation — while leaving the other people in darkness? Because God is fulfilling in us through His workmanship, the hope He has for all the sons of Adam. And that hope is given in Romans 8:21: "Because the creature (man) itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God." We are to be made the Sons of God (I John 3:1, 2), brought into the family of God (Eph. 3:15), given the divine nature (2 Peter l:4) — made like God so we can be the Persons in the Kingdom or family of God ruling with Him. W e shall be God, as the Father and the Son are God now, for God is Spirit dwelling in the Persons of the Father, the Son and us. No wonder God won't let us boast! If we earned anything we would become p r o d with the powers of God and DESTROY the universe by abuse of those powers. Adam was not made a perfect character in the beginning — not at all — but he and his children were made to become perfect by inheriting the divine nature so we could fill the office of Gods sons. He and all his children have been permitted by God, according to God's great Wisdom, to suffer from sin for six thousand years. And then comes the great day of SALVATION!
Great Day of Salvation!
God will send His Son the second time to "destroy... the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over — all the nations. ... We have waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice in his SALVATION." That is in your Bible, read it: Isaiah 25:7-10. The God who blinded men and made them unable to deliver themselves from the suffering and consequences of sin — the God who concludes all in unbelief that He might have mercy upon all (Rom. 11:32) — even He shall remove the vail of blindness that hangs over all people so they shall come to the knowledge of the truth at last. God is a responsible Person! He is trustworthy! That's why He must bring all to a knowledge of salvation from sin and death. God could not be just otherwise. But why should God have chosen to make us His sons — to raise us to the Godhead — by the path of human travail and woe? Is it worth it, will you ask? "I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us (Rom. 8:18)." Not worth it, you say? Not worth having the power, the might and the Character of God? Not worth immortality and eternity and the inheritance of this earth as an everlasting possession? It is just because some of you would say it isn't worth it, that God has permitted you to suffer, so you would come to appreciate the great love He gives in inviting — calling — you to become his Sons. So you would realize the AWE FULL responsibilities that go with being co-CREATORS with God! One in God's OFFICE can't afford to make any mistakes. That is why you have had to suffer the consequences of ignorance — to learn by bitter pain and sorrow the dire results of any other way than the way, the character of God. And the way of God is love, the fulfilling of the LAW! God purposed that you and all the sons of Adam should disobey that perfect law of liberty (Jam. 2:12) so you would know what it means to break it. By suffering sin, we learn obedience to the Father as did Jesus (Heb. 5:9). We will be carrying out His will, not our own, for we shall have learned that His way is right. The mighty wisdom of God in placing us in this environment! That we come to know with all our heart — by suffering — the weighty responsibility of being God and governing the creation in LOVE.