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Ques.—What will be the nature of the liberty into which the whole creation is to come, when the sons of God are manifested? See Romans 8:19,21.
Ans.—The nature of the liberty is indicated by the Apostle by his contrasting it with bondage in the same verse. The bondage was of „corruption” i.e. death, with all concomitants of pain, sickness and sorrow. For six thousand years it has proved itself a terrible bondage, one from which mankind could not escape. But a Saviour came and ransomed the whole creation, the entire world of mankind, giving himself a „corresponding price” for all; and as a result has obtained control of mankind, and the right by purchase (with his own precious blood) to open the tomb and release all men from every cord of bondage which now binds them.
By virtue of the ransom which he gave for all, he declares „there shall be a resurrection, (a lifting up to perfection) both of the just and the unjust.” I have the keys (symbol of right, authority and power) of death and hades.” Rev. 1:18
To release men from the bondage of death is to restore to original perfection. Adam was a perfect man „crowned with glory and honor” (Psa. 8:5), and in God’s sight „very good” until he sinned; because of sin he was delivered into „the bondage of corruption” according to the will and law of God. But since by his atonement sacrifice the Lamb of God takes away the sins of the world, it becomes his right and privilege to save men, by liberating them from the WAGES of those sins, viz.: from the bondage of corruption—death.
This deliverance from corruption’s bondage was the theme and substance of Jesus’ preaching, not only as indicated by his recorded words, but as prophesied beforehand: The spirit of the Lord God is upon me because he hath anointed me to preach the good tidings to the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim to the captives, LIBERTY, and to the prisoners RELEASE, (Isa. 61:1.) Yes, this was Jesus’ mission and message, and it was illustrated by his miracles, by which he manifested forth his future glory—the work of healing, restoring, liberating from pain, sorrow and death, into the liberty of manhood—the liberty enjoyed by man while yet a „Son of God,” (Luke 3:38), before he became a sinner. To this liberty or freedom from death and trouble, the whole creation shall again be restored—the glorious liberty common to sons of God on whatever plane of being they may be, whether sons of human nature (Luke 3:38.) sons of angelic nature (Job 38:7.) or sons of the divine nature (1 John 3:2; 2 Pet. 1:4). The same glorious freedom from death belongs to all the sons of God.
While the human creation shall be delivered from bondage to present death which came on account of Adam’s sin, and is to be removed because of Christ’s redemptive work, it does not follow that they shall retain their liberty. They may retain it, and from present experience will know the value of retaining it, yet they will ever be able to place themselves in bondage at their own option, but only by deliberate, wilful, sin against full light and knowledge. The second or wilful bondage is called the Second death, from which, deliverance is never promised.
The time for the deliverance of the world from present bondage to corruption (that which came as a result of Adam’s sin—Adamic death) is referred to by Paul. Jesus did not deliver the prisoners at the time of his first presence in the world; he merely preached deliverance to the captives and opening of prison doors. True, when reproved by the self-righteous Pharisees (zealous for the Sabbath, but ignorant of its real significance) for healing a woman on the Sabbath day, he said: „Ought not this woman whom Satan hath bound lo these eighteen years be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?” Luke 13:16. He did release her from the special infirmity but not from all the bondage of corruption; she was still subject to pain and death—the bondage of corruption—and the little release which Jesus granted her was only an illustration of the full and complete release which he would grant in the „times of restitution of all things”—the great antitypical seventh day or Sabbath.
The time for this removal of the bondage of corruption from humanity, permitting them to return to the glorious perfection of Eden, is when the special class of sons selected during this Christian Age, as the BODY of Christ has been made perfect with their head, Jesus. Then will come the manifesting of the power of those divine sons in the liberating, restoring, perfecting of the human family to the proper liberty of sons of God, secured for them by the ransom. This liberty will be fully attained by all willing to accept of it, by the end of the reign of Christ. It is the very object of his reign as promised, to thus bless all the families of the earth.
— December, 1885 —