Ransom and Restitution, Part 5

Ransom and Restitution, Part 5

“Going back four thousand years to about Abraham’s time, we find the Great Pyramid of Egypt–an object of wonder and amazement to the most learned scientists of today. Its construction is in exact accord with the most advanced attainments of this “Brain Age” in the sciences of Mathematics and Astronomy. It teaches, positively, truths which can today be only approximated by the use of modern instruments. So striking and clear are its teachings that some of the foremost astronomers of the world have unhesitatingly pronounced it to be of divine origin. And even if our “Brain Age” evolutionists should admit that it is of divine arrangement, and that its wisdom is superhuman, they must still admit that it is of human construction. And the fact that in that remote day any set of men had the mental capacity to work out such a divine arrangement as very few men today would be capable of doing with a model before them, and with all modern scientific appliances at hand, proves that our “Brain Age” develops more self-conceit than circumstances and facts warrant.

If, then, we have proven that the mental capacity of today is not greater than that of past ages, but probably less, how shall we account for the increase of general knowledge, modern inventions, etc.? We trust we shall be able to show this reasonably and in harmony with Scripture. The inventions and discoveries which are now proving so valuable, and which are considered proof that this is the “Brain Age,” are really very modern–nearly all having come within the past few centuries, and among the most important are those of the last threescore years; for instance, the application of steam and electricity–in telegraphy, railroading and steam-boating, and to the machinery of the various mechanical industries. If, then, these be evidences of increased brain power, the “Brain Age” must be only beginning, and the logical deduction is that another century will witness every form of miracle as an everyday occurrence; and at the same ratio of increase, where would it eventuate?

And it has, as evidenced in Television, air conditioning, modern electrical appliances, personal computers, wireless phones, tablets and etc., hybrid powered automobiles, jet powered aircraft, spacecraft and satellites some now reaching beyond our solar system. All of which would have been considered as “miracles” a century ago, but now days considered common placed or as stated, “everyday occurrences”.

But let us look again: Are all men inventors? How very few there are whose inventions are really useful and practical, compared with the number who appreciate and use an invention when put into their hand! Nor do we speak disparagingly of that very useful and highly-esteemed class of public servants when we say that the smaller number of  them are men of great brain-power. Some of the most brainy men in the world, and the deepest reasoners, are not mechanical inventors. And some inventors are intellectually so sluggish that all wonder how they ever stumbled into the discoveries they made. The great principles (electricity, steam power, etc.), which many men in many years work out, apply and improve upon, time and again, were generally discovered apparently by the merest accident, without the exercise of great brain power, and comparatively unsought.

From a human standpoint we can account for modern inventions thus: The invention of printing, in A.D. 1440, may be considered the starting point. With the printing of books came records of the thoughts and discoveries of thinkers and observers, which, without this invention, would never have been known to their successors. With books came a more general education and, finally, common schools. Schools and colleges do not increase human capacity, but they do make mental exercise more general, and hence help to develop the capacity already possessed. As knowledge becomes more general and books more common, the generations possessing these have a decided advantage over previous generations; not only in that there are now a thousand thinkers to one formerly, to sharpen and stimulate each other with suggestions, but also in that each of the later generations has, through books, the combined experience of the past in addition to its own. Education and the laudable ambition which accompanies it, enterprise, and a desire to achieve distinction and a competency, aided by the record and descriptions of inventions in the daily press, have stimulated and brightened man’s perceptive powers, and put each upon the alert to discover or to invent, if possible, something for the good and convenience of society. Hence we suggest that modern invention, looked at from a purely human standpoint, teaches, not an increase of brain capacity, but a sharpened perception from natural causes.

And now we come to the Scriptures to see what they teach on the subject; for while we believe, as suggested above, that invention and the increase of knowledge, etc., among men are the results of natural causes, yet we believe that these natural causes were all planned and ordered by Jehovah God long ago, and that in due time they have come to pass–by his overruling providence, whereby he “worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.” (Eph. 1:11)

According to the plan revealed in his Word, God purposed to permit sin and misery to misrule and oppress the world for six thousand years, and then in the seventh millennium to restore all things, and to extirpate evil–destroying it and its consequences by Jesus Christ, whom he hath afore ordained to do this work. Hence, as the six thousand years of the reign of evil began to draw to a close, God permitted circumstances to favor discoveries, in the study of both his Book of Revelation and his Book of Nature, as well as in the preparation of mechanical and chemical appliances useful in the blessing and uplifting of mankind during the Millennial age, now about to be introduced. That this was God’s plan is clearly indicated by the prophetic statement: “O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end; [then] many shall run to and fro, and KNOWLEDGE [not capacity] shall be increased,” “and none of the wicked shall understand [God’s plan and way], but the wise shall understand”; “and there shall be a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation, even to that same time.” Dan. 12:1,4,10

To some it may appear strange that God did not so arrange that the present inventions and blessings should sooner have come to man to alleviate the curse. It should be remembered, however, that God’s plan has been to give mankind a full appreciation of the curse, in order that when the blessing comes upon all they may forever have decided upon the unprofitableness of sin. Furthermore, God foresaw and has foretold what the world does not yet realize, namely, that his choicest blessings would lead to and be productive of greater evils if bestowed upon those whose hearts are not in accord with the righteous laws of the universe. Ultimately it will be seen that God’s present permission of increased blessings is a practical lesson on this subject, which may serve as an example of this principle to all eternity–to angels as well as to restored men. How this can be, we merely suggest:

First: So long as mankind is in the present fallen or depraved condition, without stringent laws and penalties and a government strong enough to enforce them, the selfish propensities will hold more or less sway over all. And with the unequal individual capacities of men considered, it cannot possibly happen otherwise than that the result of the invention of labor-saving machinery must, after the flurry and stimulus occasioned by the manufacture of machinery, tend to make the rich richer, and the poor poorer. The manifest tendency is toward monopoly and self-aggrandizement, which places the advantage directly in the hands of those whose capacity and natural advantages are already the most favorable.

Secondly: If it were possible to legislate so as to divide the present wealth and its daily increase evenly among all classes, which is not possible, still, without human perfection or a supernatural government to regulate human affairs, the results would be even more injurious than the present condition. If the advantages of labor-saving machinery and all modern appliances were evenly divided, the result would, ere long, be a great decrease of hours of labor and a great increase of leisure. Idleness is a most injurious thing to fallen beings. Had it not been for the necessity of labor and sweat of face, the deterioration of our race would have been much more rapid than it has been. Idleness is the mother of vice; and mental, moral and physical degradation are sure to follow. Hence the wisdom and goodness of God in withholding these blessings until it was due time for their introduction as a preparation for the Millennial reign of blessing.

Under the control of the supernatural government of the Kingdom of God, not only will all blessings be equitably divided among men, but the leisure will be so ordered and directed by the same supernatural government that its results will produce virtue and tend upward toward perfection, mental, moral and physical. The present multiplication of inventions and other blessings of increasing knowledge is permitted in this “day of preparation” to come about in so natural a way that men flatter themselves that it is because this is the “Brain Age”; but it will be permitted in great measure to work out in a manner very much to the disappointment, no doubt, of these wise philosophers. It is the very increase of these blessings that is already beginning to bring upon the world the time of trouble, which will be such as never has been since there was a nation.

The prophet Daniel, as quoted above, links together the increase of knowledge and the time of trouble. The knowledge causes the trouble, because of the depravity of the race. The increase of knowledge has not only given the world wonderful labor-saving machinery and conveniences, but it has also led to an increase of medical skill whereby thousands of lives are prolonged, and it has so enlightened mankind that human butchery, war, is becoming less popular, and thus, too, other thousands are spared to multiply still further the race, which is increasing more rapidly today, perhaps, than at any other period of history.

Thus, while mankind is multiplying rapidly, the necessity for his labor is decreasing correspondingly; and the “Brain Age” philosophers have a problem before them to provide for the employment and sustenance of this large and rapidly increasing class whose services, for the most part supplanted by machinery, can be dispensed with, but whose necessities and wants know no bounds. The solution of this problem, these philosophers must ultimately admit, is beyond their brain capacity.

Selfishness will continue to control the wealthy, who hold the power and advantage, and will blind them to common sense as well as to justice; while a similar selfishness, combined with the instinct of self-preservation and an increased knowledge of their rights, will nerve some and inflame others of the poorer classes, and the result of these blessings will, for a time, prove terrible–a time of trouble, truly, such as was not since there was a nation–and this, because man in a depraved condition cannot properly use these blessings unguided and uncontrolled. Not until the Millennial reign shall have rewritten the law of God in the restored human heart will men be capable of using full liberty without injury or danger.

The day of trouble will end in due time, when he who spake to the raging Sea of Galilee will likewise, with authority, command the raging sea of human passion, saying, “Peace! Be still!” When the Prince of Peace shall “stand up” in authority, a great calm will be the result. Then the raging and clashing elements shall recognize the authority of “Jehovah’s Anointed,” “the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together”; and in the reign of the Christ thus begun “shall all the families of the earth be blessed.”

Then men will see that what they attributed to evolution or natural development and the smartness of the “Brain Age” was, instead, the flashing’s of Jehovah’s lightnings (Psa. 77:18) in “the day of his preparation” for the blessing of mankind. But as yet only the saints can see, and only the wise in heavenly wisdom can understand this; for “The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will show them his covenant.” (Psa. 25:14) Thanks be to God, that while general knowledge has been increased, he has also arranged that his children need “not be unfruitful in the knowledge of the Lord” and in the appreciation of his plans. And by this appreciation of his Word and plans we are enabled to discern and to withstand the vain philosophies and foolish traditions of men which contradict the Word of God.

The Bible account of man’s creation is that God created him perfect and upright, an earthly image of himself; that man sought out various inventions and defiled himself (Gen. 1:27; Rom. 5:12; Eccl. 7:29); 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 (Psa. 49:7,15); that God in compassion and love had made provision for this; that, accordingly, the Son of God became a man, and gave man’s ransom-price; that, as a reward for this sacrifice, and in order to the completion of the great work of atonement, he was highly exalted, even to the divine nature; and that in due time he will bring to pass a restitution of the race to the original perfection and to every blessing then possessed. These things are clearly taught in the Scriptures, from beginning to end, and are in direct opposition to the Evolution theory; or, rather, such “babblings of science, falsely so called,” are in violent and irreconcilable conflict with the Word of God.” (A167-172)