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    September 18, 1907

    “The Everlasting Covenant Is not ‘Obey and Live’” The Medical Missionary, 16, 38, p. 302.

    ATJ

    BY ALONZO T. JONES

    (Continued)

    THEN as God created angels and men free to choose, and thus free to choose to sin, did he not, therefore, have to provide against this possible choice before they were created? Did he not have to provide for the possibility of sin, before ever a single creature was created?—Most assuredly; and he did so. And this provision which he then made is an essential part of that eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord, and which is revealed in the preaching of the everlasting gospel.MEDM September 18, 1907, page 302.1

    Let us go back to when there was no created thing; back to the eternal counsels of the Godhead. 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 it and enjoy it to the full. His joy is fulfilled only in carrying to an infinite universe full of blessed intelligences the very fulness of eternal joy.MEDM September 18, 1907, page 302.2

    Standing then in thought with him before there was a single intelligent creature created, he desires that the universe shall be full of intelligences enjoying his love to the full. In order to do this, they must be free to choose him and to choose to serve him. But in their freedom to choose to serve him lies also the freedom to choose no to serve him or themselves, life or not life. For to choose not him is to choose not life, and to choose not life is to choose death.MEDM September 18, 1907, page 302.3

    But this involves the possibility of the entrance of sin, the possibility that some will choose not to serve him, that some 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, which is the very opposite of his very nature?—This would be but eternally to remain self-centered and solitary. More than this, such a shrinking would in itself be but to cease to be God. For what would be the worth of a God who cannot do what he desires? Who cannot fulfill his own will?MEDM September 18, 1907, page 302.4

    So, then, since he is God he is Creator and he will create realms of intelligences. But, lo! He is to create them free to choose, and therefore with the possibility of their choosing not his way, and therefore with the possibility of their sinning. Shall he then seek to guard against the entrance of sin, by putting them all under bonds to keep the peace? under bonds of a bargain and “compact,” upon “condition” and proviso, that they will obey, that they will keep his law, that they will not sin? and this all in order that they may secure life from him? No, eternally, no! Such a thing as that would be the surest possibly guaranty of the entrance of sin. And even until sin might enter, the service would be only the service of legality, their obedience only their own, upon their own promise, and their righteousness only of themselves and of the law. That, therefore, is eternally not the way of God.MEDM September 18, 1907, page 302.5

    No; thank the Lord, such as that 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 and against all this would choose not him who is their life,—let them have what they have chosen, which could be only death. 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, the fulness of perfect love, and the dear delights of unalloyed virtue and joy forevermore.MEDM September 18, 1907, page 302.6

    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.” And this is “the mystery of his will.... which he hath purposed in himself; that in the dispensation of the fulness 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,” and that “God may be all” in each one and “in all.” This is “the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord”; and of which the gospel in this world is only the revelation. Ephesians 3:8-11; 1 Peter 1:22.MEDM September 18, 1907, page 302.7

    And this is simply why is it that whosoever,—cherub, angel, or man,—hardens himself against all this infinity of the goodness, mercy, and grace of God, in confirming to the limit his choice not to have Him, thereby makes of himself only a very devil.MEDM September 18, 1907, page 302.8

    (To be Continued)

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