Harmony of the Law of God and the Gospel of Jesus in The Plan of Redemption
Harmony of the Law of God and the Gospel of Jesus
The Plan of Redemption
†SIGNS OF THE TIMESóJUNE 25, 1874
††††† THE Sacred Scriptures reveal but one plan by which fallen men may be redeemed. In the development of this grand unit plan there has been in each succeeding age greater light and glory; but there is no intimation in all the book of God of three plans to save sinners, one for the Patriarchal age, one for the Jewish, and one for the Christian age.
†††† Jesus Christ is the only redeemer of the fallen sons and daughters of Adam in all the ages of human probation. He is "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." Rev. 13:8. "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Acts 4:12. The gospel of the Son of God is the good news of pardon and eternal redemption through Jesus Christ. That good news was proclaimed to Adam, and embraced by Abel, Enoch and all the holy patriarchs and prophets.
†††† The seventh chapter of the book of Revelation relates to two classes of the redeemed. It first introduces the definite number of an hundred and forty and four thousand, and gives distinct specifications relative to them. The closing portion of the chapter then describes the great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, clothed with white robes, and bearing palms of victory. One class is numbered; the other cannot be numbered. One is manifested and sealed at a definite period of time; while the other is redeemed, not only from all the nations existing
at any one time, but from all people who have lived upon the earth from the time of the offer of salvation to fallen man, to the close of human probation.
†††† "After this I beheld, and lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb." Verses 9, 10. The prophet had just before taken a definite view of the one hundred and forty and four thousand, which were to be manifested and sealed near the close of probation. He next beholds with astonishment the numberless hosts of the redeemed, which make up all the saved. And as his prophetic eye runs back over all time, he sees them gathered from all the nations, in all the different ages of the world.
†††† These stood before the Lamb. They had been redeemed by the blood of Christ, and stood before him as the dear purchase of His precious blood. They were clothed with white robes. We shall not understand by this that the saints in this world, or in that which is to come, are to wear literal garments of white linen to represent inward holiness. The white robes must be understood as a figure of purity of character. The redeemed of the Lord had obtained this purity during the period of their probation. They had availed themselves of the matchless cleansing power of the blood of Jesus Christ, while at the same time they had, in his strength, wrought righteousness.
†††† These, also, held palms in their hands. They were victors. They had conquered the world, the flesh, and the devil. They had overcome by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony. And let it be borne in mind that these were the saved "of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues." Abel and Enoch will be there. Righteous Noah, faithful Abraham, and all the holy prophets of God will be there. And with robes washed in the blood of the Lamb, and bearing palms of victory, through His redeeming power, they will stand before him, as well as the apostles and martyrs of Jesus, the reformers and those saved in the nineteenth century.
†††† Hark! Do you hear that universal shout of victory from unnumbered voices? Salvation's hour complete has come! And now the heavenly plains are ringing with the significant notes of "Salvation, to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb." The patriarchs, prophets, and saints of all past ages, join those saved in the present dispensation in ascribing the praise of their salvation to Jesus, the Redeemer; while those who are saved in the present dispensation join the patriarchs, and those saved in the Jewish age, in honors to the creator and Law-giver. Hence, the law of Him that sitteth upon the throne, and the gospel of the Lamb of God, both reach across all the ages of human probation, and are in perfect harmony in the execution of the great plan of man's salvation.
†††† In the name of reason and of revelation, we protest against the heresy that the law of the Father and the gospel of the Son of God are opposed to each other; the one to take the place of the other, as if the men of former dispensations were saved by the law, and those of the present dispensation, saved by the gospel. For if this were possible, the redeemed would be divided in ascribing the praises of their salvation. There would be two distinct songs heard in Heaven, and both would differ from that universal one heard by John, pealing forth from all the saved of all the ages. While the patriarchs, and those saved from the Jewish age, would be shouting, "Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne," and ascribing the praise of their salvation to the divine law, those who are saved in what is called the Christian age would be shouting, "Salvation unto the Lamb," and ascribing their salvation to the gospel! This view of the subject is not only anti-scriptural in the highest degree, but is preposterous.
†††† It has been the object of the father of falsehood and error, in order to confuse the glorious plan of salvation in the minds of the people, to make it appear that the law of the Father and the gospel of the Son are in contrast. The Jews were incited by the spirit of error to reject Jesus and his gospel while they clung to the law, their interpretations of which were fearfully warped by their traditions. And many Christians, led by the same spirit of error, reject the law of the Father, while they profess with great tenacity to cling to the cross and the gospel. The cry of the one was, The law! the law! but away with Christ; The cry of the other is, The gospel of Christ! the gospel! but away with the law.
†††† The grand scheme of the salvation of men in all the ages of probation is one plan. There is but one. And the victorious song of all who are saved by it will be one. The gospel is not one of the plans by which men are saved from sin, and by which they secure a moral fitness for the life to come. There is but one plan, and the gospel is a part of that great plan. Neither has it been possible for sinful men in the ages past to secure a fitness for the inheritance of the saints in light, by the divine law alone. There is no ability in the law to redeem the transgressor. It is not the province of law, human or divine, to redeem the transgressor of law. The law is a rule of right actions, condemning the transgressor, and holding him as such until he suffers the penalty. The divine law can do no more for the sinner than this. Without the gospel, which alone offers pardon and salvation to the repenting sinner, none of the men of the Patriarchal and Jewish ages could be saved.
†SIGNS OF THE TIMESóJUNE 25, 1874. JAMES WHITE