Bible reveals that God's ultimate purpose for the world of mankind
is to fulfill His promise to faithful Abraham, "In thee and
in thy seed shall I bless all the families of the earth."
But even to honest hearted Christians, that promise still seems
far from its fulfillment and many questions persist.
instance, what does God intend to do to relieve the conditions
of sin and death in the world? And when? Why has He waited so
long? When is Jesus Christ going to establish His Kingdom on earth?
And why is a plain reading of the Bible so difficult and confusing
to so many? Is there a key which opens the door of understanding
to the Bible for us?
over 100 years the key to Biblical understanding has been in the
hands of Bible students. In The Divine Plan of the Ages
all the great themes of the Holy Scriptures are introduced to
the reader in a clear and understandable topic-by-topic method.
The Divine Plan of the Ages reveals:
the great time features of God's plan
why God has permitted evil
the MANNER of Christ's return
The Biblical meaning of "ransom" and "restitution"
a study of the Kingdom of God
and many other important Bible topics are discussed in depth.
The opening statement of The Divine Plan of the Ages best describes
its aim and its value as a key to Biblical understanding.
title of this series of studies -- The Divine Plan of the Ages,
suggests a progression in the Divine arrangement, foreknown to
our God and orderly. We believe the teachings of divine revelation
can be seen to be both beautiful and harmonious from this standpoint
and from no other."
is a review of the book by Joseph Rotherham, translator of the
Emphasized Bible (Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI 49501):
is a notable book bold, broad, and breezy; very refreshing
after the stereotyped dogmas and platitudes which pass current
in the theological world. It is a book for men and not for children
. . .
one leading thought of this book . . . in a single word . . .
is RESTITUTION or RESTORATION: Restoration, sharply and constantly
distinguished from Universalism. The author is not a Universalist,
nor anything near it. With him the second death is total and final.
From it there is no redemption and no recovery. But he is a restorationist
out and out. He holds that all men will rise from the dead
all be delivered from Adams sin and all its consequences
sooner or later all be put afresh and individually on trial,
under new and improved conditions, with a fair chance of obtaining
eternal life so that none shall fail of the prize save
by his own inexcusable crime. He holds that this restoration of
the race as a whole distinguished from the little flock,
the elect, the Church, the bride of Christ, who will have been
previously raised from the dead and exalted to be sharers of Christs
own glory will take place during the Millennial Age; progressively,
if we mistake not, at any rate within or during the Thousand Years;
and that at the close of that period, the incorrigible will be
utterly destroyed for ever, and sin and sorrow thenceforward be
no more. The author is strong upon the point that all loss through
Adams sin will be more than made up to every man through
Christ. Adam was created perfect. Every man must be restored to
the like perfection, and then decide for himself his eternal destiny.
. . .
cannot be denied that there is to be a restitution; and very likely
it is to be larger and grander than most of us have dreamed. For,
though the word apokatastasis in Acts 3:21 might be satisfied
by the rendering "due accomplishment" (of the prophecies,
that is), and so merely send us to the old prophecies to see what
therein we can find to be fulfilled, yet still, when we get to
the prophets, it is undeniable that they descry in the Messianic
Age such an enormous amount of restoration than our poor systems
can no way find room for it. If Elijah is to restore all things,
depend upon it, it must be a restitution to Moses whose counterpart
he is. (Malachi 4) The only Messiah that Elijah knows must needs
honour the Law before he delivers from it. So here is a great,
even if only temporary, work of restitution to make room for.
Then, again, there is the restoring of Israel, to her saving shame
(Ezekiel 16); and if this includes her dead generations, as it
surely must, who of us can find room for that in our "little
systems," to say nothing of the restoring of Samaria and
the restoring of Sodom itself; yes, of Sodom itself for
the mouth of Jehovah hath spoken it, and when we tremble at His
word as we ought, and at the same time have an adequate apprehension
of what fair interpretation really is, we shall blush even to
begin to explain and mystify it away as we have done all too long.
So that, up to this point, we can have no quarrel with Mr. Russell;
nor can we doubt that there is much more of restitution in the
Old Testament than even he has formally pointed out: there, in
the sacred text itself, if we only knew how to read it ...
. . The Chapter of The Permission of Evil is alone
more than worth the price of the whole volume, and is the fullest
discussion of this great mystery, and the nearest approximation
to a probably correct solution of it, with which we are acquainted."