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MILLENNIAL DAWN MISREPRESENTED
A SEVENTH-DAY Adventist journal contains the following misrepresentation:—
“If it was expedient that Christ should pass the portals of the tomb to save men from the Adamic death, then it is equally expedient that he should pass the second death tomb, in order to save those who fail in the first opportunity, that they might have the second probation as per Millennial Dawn theology. A second probation for all mankind, and especially the heathen, is a corner-stone in Millennial Dawn theology. We ask, Where is the scripture to show that Christ passed the second-death tomb? If not, can he, or will he, save man from the second death, through a second probation?”
As a Seventh-day Adventist, the writer of the above no doubt acknowledges himself amenable to the command which says, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” In the above statement he violates that rule: he bears false witness against MILLENNIAL DAWN and should make amends by reading the book unprejudicedly and then correcting the misrepresentation.
MILLENNIAL DAWN teaches the very contrary of what is here attributed to it. It teaches that there will be neither redemption nor recovery from the Second Death, but on the contrary, that it is the everlasting punishment predicted for all intelligent and wilful evil doers.
The merest babe in spiritual things should know that under the divine sentence against Adam, which was shared by all of his race, not one of the human family could have everlasting life;—no, nor even a trial for it, which was what Adam had and lost,—except as the ransom-price first secured a release from that original Adamic sentence. This is the plain argument of the great Apostle Paul in Romans 5:12,17-19.
This one opportunity or chance for life, secured by the great sin-offering finished at Calvary, is the only one recognized in MILLENNIAL DAWN. And it is quite sufficient. The Scriptures assure us that it was “for all,” for “every man,” “a propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world;” and logically this implies that “all,” “every man,” “the whole world,” will be granted an opportunity to profit by it, and, if they will, to come into harmony with God, under the merciful provisions of
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the New Covenant, and thus gain the gift of God, eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. This one chance is to be so complete, so ample, that there will be no reason for another. It will be a second chance, individually, to but one person, Adam. It can only be considered a second chance for the entire race by reckoning the entire race as having its first chance while in the loins of Adam, in Eden. That Eden chance or trial resulted in loss to Adam and all in him; none gained life under that chance or trial; and it is from that loss that all have been redeemed by the Second Adam who came to seek and to save that which was lost; and who under the New Covenant, sealed with his own blood, provides an opportunity for the whole race to return to life and harmony with God—(1) the Church as his bride; (2) the world as his children, to the willing and obedient of whom he shall become “the everlasting father.”—Isa. 9:6.
This chance, secured by Christ for all through his atoning-sacrifice;—this chance which dates from our Lord’s resurrection (except as in a typical manner it was previously faintly revealed to the faith of the patriarchs and prophets and in the Law to Israel);—this chance, call it first or second as any may please, is the only one we find in the Scriptures, and the only one presented in MILLENNIAL DAWN. But let us see how ample it is, and how few have yet enjoyed this chance of trial for eternal life, secured by the precious blood.
Did the millions who lived outside of the favored nation of Israel for the period of over forty-one centuries before Christ, whom the Apostle describes as being “without God and having no hope,”—did those millions have any share in this chance or trial purchased by the precious blood? Surely not!—See Eph. 2:12.
Did the millions of Jews who lived and died before Christ, and who at the very most had only typical atonements for sin, year by year, which could never take away sin, nor make the worshipers perfect;—did these have a chance or fair trial for eternal life under the New Covenant, which had not in their day gone into effect? Surely not!—See Heb. 9:9; 10:4.
Did the Jews of our Lord’s day who rejected him have a full chance? No; for our Lord and the prophets and the apostles testify that “they were blinded” and that “through ignorance” they crucified Christ, “as did also your rulers.” (Acts 3:17.) And we are clearly informed that their national blinding was for a purpose, and is to be removed; and that then the New Covenant will go into effect toward them as a people.—See Rom. 11:25-27-33.
How about the heathen of to-day, and the hundreds of millions of the same class who have died since the true Light, the great Light came, since the Atonement sacrifice was slain at Calvary;—have they had any chance of everlasting life, in the remotest sense, never having so much as heard of the New Covenant or of the only name given under heaven or among men, whereby we must be saved? Knowledge is essential to a trial for life everlasting.
How about the other millions who have lived in so-called Christian lands, and have heard church bells ring and seen Bibles, and heard perhaps the preaching of clashing creeds—that we are saved by works and it matters not what is believed;—that we are saved not by works but by faith; that we are saved by both faith and works;—that we are saved by water baptism;—that it should be done by sprinkling;—that it should be by immersion;—that it is for the forgiveness of sins;—that it is not for the forgiveness of sins, but for induction into the elect Church;—that there is but one true Church, one Lord, one faith, one baptism;—that the Roman Catholic Church is that one and all others false;—that the Lutheran is the one, and all others false;—that the Presbyterian is the one, and all others more or less in error;—that the Methodist church is the one, and all others confused. What shall we say of those who in all this din and confusion (“Babylon”) do not believe, because they know not what to believe?
Shall we say that such have had a full, fair chance for eternal life; and that their failure to believe marks them as fit for the Second Death? No; we will rather hear the Word of the Lord on the subject. (1) The Apostle’s declaration that “the God of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not, lest the glorious light of the goodness of God should shine into their hearts. (2) We will remember the promise of our Lord’s Word, that times of refreshing and restitution shall come at his second advent (Acts 3:19-21), and that then Satan, who now blinds and deceives men, shall be “bound” and “deceive the nations no more”
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for the thousand years of our Redeemer’s reign. (3) We will remember the promise through the prophet (Isa. 29:18; 35:5; 42:7,16) that in that Millennial day all the blind eyes shall be opened, and the light of truth made seven-fold clearer,—perfectly clear—so that the knowledge of the Lord shall fill the whole earth, ocean deep (Isa. 11:9); and then all the families of the earth who have not had “ears to hear” during this age shall be blessed with a chance or trial for life under most favorable conditions, according to the blessed terms of the Abrahamic Covenant through the Seed of Abraham (Christ Jesus, the head, and the Church, the body).—Gal. 3:16,29; 1 Cor. 6:2.
Let us remember that trial always precedes sentence. Adam was on trial for everlasting life: the
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result of his failure was the penalty, Adamic death, in which we all share. Adam and all of his race were bought back from that sentence by the great sin-offering which God accepted. As a result another “chance” or opportunity for trial for everlasting life comes to Adam and to his race. But since the race is no longer “in Adam” this trial must be an individual one. (See Jer. 31:29-34; Ezek. 18:2-4.) As a full, fair opportunity was necessary under the first trial in Eden, so now all must come to a clear knowledge of the conditions of life and death before he can be condemned or justified. This trial will be so complete that there would be no use for another, a third trial, and hence there is no provision for recovery from the Second Death.
— March 1, 1897 —