THE TWO SALVATIONS.
"That now unto the principalities and powers in the heavenlies might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God."--Eph. 3:10.
"Blind leaders of the blind" in Babylon insist that the "manifold wisdom of God" is now apparent, and can be fully appreciated by all men, whereas the Lord Jesus, at his first advent, positively stated that only his disciples were able to even partially understand the truths he set forth. (Matt. 13:11; Mark 4:11; Luke 8:10.) Before his crucifixion Jesus told his disciples further, that the same conditions would continue until the end of the Gospel age. (Matt. 24:3,31.) Paul explains that during the Gospel period the "manifold wisdom of God" is made known to the "principalities and powers in heavenly (not earthly) places,--to the church. (Eph. 3:10.) During the present reign of evil the glad tidings operate in the world to take out a people for the Lord's name. (Acts 15:14.) When these "people for a purpose" shall all have been taken out, and "The Christ," head and body, have been united (Gal. 3:16 and 29, and Eph. 4:15-16), God will inaugurate the work of restoring mankind to soundness of being, which is the salvation promised to the people of the world. --Acts 3:19-22.
The instruments to be used in this grand work will be the "new creatures" whom God has chosen in Christ, with the Lord Jesus as their head, or chief. (Col. 1:18.) Through faith in him these "new creatures" have been "born from above, of water and spirit" (John 3:3-6, and 1 Peter 1:24), and thus during this life, by enduring trial and temptation, have been "translated into the kingdom of his dear Son" (Col. 1:13), and thereby they possess the promise of the "divine nature" (2 Pet. 1:4), which, until the resurrection, they have only in "earthen vessels." (2 Cor. 4:7.) When resurrected they will obtain this "divine nature" fully, and thus while having borne the "image of the earthy," they will then bear the "image of the heavenly." (1 Cor. 15:45,47,48 and 1 John 3:2.) As above said, their work will be to restore those who remain, "of the earth, earthy," to earthy perfection (1 Cor. 15:45,47,48) as each seed has its own kind of body.-- 1 Cor. 15:38; Acts 3:21; Gen. 1:27-28.
Thus, when all shall have been raised up to perfection (the "new creatures" to the glory of the "divine nature," and the "earthy" to the glory of complete human nature), all that was lost in Adam will have been restored in Christ. (1 Cor. 15:22.) How luminous these truths make Paul's statement that "we trust in the living God who is the Savior of all men, specially [chiefly] of them that believe." --1 Tim. 4:10.
As the "new creatures" prove their love for their Lord by suffering with him now, so the "earthy" in their "due time" must show their love for and obedience to the same Lord when he is reigning with his saints. (Psa. 2:9; 49:14; Dan. 7:22; Rev. 2:27; 12:5; 19:15.) Should any creature sin wilfully after having received full light, and been given ability to live up to it, he will be "destroyed from among the people."--Acts 3:23; Heb. 10:26; Jer. 31:29-31.
Peter argues (1 Pet. 1:3-13): Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his great mercy has begotten us to a hope of life by the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, into an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and unfading, kept in the heavens for us, who are guided by the power of God, through faith, for a salvation prepared to be disclosed in the last season (Greek, kairos-- fixed time). In which we rejoice, though now for a little while (it being necessary) we are distressed by manifold trials, in order that the proof of our faith, which is more precious than gold that perishes, even though tested by fire, may be found unto praise, and honor, and glory, at the revelation of Jesus Christ; whom, not having seen, we love: on whom, not now looking, but [on whom] believing, we rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory, receiving [Gr. komizo--to bring-- hence to receive with the added sense of bringing along with] the end of our faith --salvation [soundness] of souls [beings]. Concerning which salvation prophets, who prophesied concerning this favor toward us, sought out and investigated, searching as to what things, or what seasons, the spirit that was in them was pointing out, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glories to follow: to whom it was revealed, that not for themselves but for us they ministered those things, which are now declared through those who deliver the joyful message with the Holy Spirit sent from heaven: into which things angels earnestly desire to look. Wherefore, girding up the loins of our mind and being vigilant, let us hope perfectly for the gift to be brought to us at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
How plainly this teaching of the Spirit sets forth the future for the "little flock," who are a "Chosen Race, a Royal Priesthood, a Holy Nation, a People for a Purpose." --1 Pet. 2:9, Diaglott.
W. E. P.