this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of
John 3: 8.
our last chapter we learned that “the earth abideth for ever.”
It is a comforting thought, in one sense, to know that the earth will
never pass away. Never shall I
forget the glory that broke upon my soul when first I learned that the old
notion concerning “the end of the world” is erroneous, and that the earth
will abide for ever. To know that
God does not create worlds to be destroyed helps us to appreciate more fully
the handiwork of God. While this
is a glorious truth, yet when we look at the effects of sin, and see how the
curse rests upon everything about us, our joy is mingled with sorrow.
Yet it need not be so. Shall
the earth remain in its present condition for ever?
Shall the world about us be forever cursed?
Nay, there is a promise of a better day.
The earth shall not only remain for ever, but the blight of sin shall
be forever removed. We have the
sure Word of God: “For this purpose the Son of God was manifest, that he
might destroy the works of the devil.”
To set forth this fact is the purpose of this chapter.
In order to ascertain just what is meant by “the works of the
devil,” let us glance at the primeval condition of the earth.
God pronounced everything that He had made “very good” (Gen. 1:
31). The whole earth was Eden,
and God planted a garden “eastward in Eden.”
Man was put into this garden. There
was no sin nor any of its consequences on earth.
The land was so fertile and brought forth so abundantly that every need
of man could be supplied without toil or effort.
Man, however, fell into sin. Sin
brought upon him and the whole world a terrible curse.
“Unto the woman He said, I will
SECOND COMING OF JESUS.
multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth
children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
And unto Adam He said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of
thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou
shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou
eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring
forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; in the sweat of thy
face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it
wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”—Gen.
3: 16‑19. These verses are
remarkable. These words depicted
to Adam and Eve the great curse that was then to come upon them and upon the
whole world about them.
We will notice the effects of the fall as follows:
1. Upon man.
The effect upon man is alarming and far reaching. The curse touches his entire being—spirit and soul and body. It poisons his inner and destroys his outward life. Sin has its beginning in the innermost part of our being, and works its way outward. According to the Scriptures, man is totally depraved. In the heart of man there is nothing of God or holiness. There may be certain good desires and kind deeds, but there is none of God in the unrenewed heart. Bible descriptions of the human heart reveal its exceeding wickedness. Lest us note one or more such descriptions: “God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” —Gen. 6: 5. The imagination is the place where conduct is formulated. We read of a man: “As he thinketh in his heart, so is he.”—Prov. 23: 7. Man is certainly corrupt in his outward life, but his outward conduct is only a result of his inward depravity. We read again: “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.”—Matt. 12: 34. We know that the
speaketh many things that are corrupt, but all such things must come from an
evil heart within. “The heart
is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.”—Jer. 17: 9.
“Keep thy heart with all dilligence; for out of it are the issues of
life.”—Prov. 4: 23. Paul
tells us that “Evil communications corrupt good manners.”—1 Cor. 15:
33. These communications proceed
from the heart. The world is full
of corrupted manners. Therefore,
it must be that the heart is exceedingly wicked.
Again we read: “The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth
was filled with violence. And God
looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had
corrupted his way upon the earth.”—Gen. 6: 11, 12.
“For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts,
adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit,
lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: all these evil
things come from within, and defile the man.”—Mark 7: 21‑23.
All sin originates in the heart, but it does not all stay there.
The heart is not the only part of man that is cursed.
Man’s whole being—body, soul and spirit, is blighted by sin.
The fall of man brought a chain of untold evils upon his body.
All the horrid forms of diseases and death have resulted from sin.
Every ache, pain, and grief is a direct consequence of sin.
Every bending form, every halting, trembling limb points us back to the
fall of man. Surely the effects
of the fall upon man are great.
2. The Human Family Is Affected.
As we have already intimated, the whole human race is involved in the
curse of sin. The curse rests
upon man everywhere—upon the rich and the poor, high and low, educated and
ignorant, vulgar and refined, kings and peasants, noblemen and slaves, bondmen
and freemen, little and big, old and young.
individual nor nation escapes the dire effects of the fall.
The entire human family is involved.
SECOND COMING OF JESUS.
3. The Brute Creation Suffers.
Sad to say, Adam’s transgression did not stop in its effects with him
or the human family; but the brute creation is involved as well.
“For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the
manifestation of the sons of God. For
the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him
who hath subjected the same in hope, because the creature itself also shall be
delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the
children of God. For we know that
the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until
now.”—Rom. 8: 19‑22. The
word “creature” here means “creation.”
“The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together.”
This certainly includes the brute creation, and much more besides.
It is a well known fact that the brute creation is involved in the
effects or the fall. The faithful
horse, the affectionate watch‑dog, the innocent kitten, all suffer
abusive blows, kicks, and wounds from their masters.
Besides all of this there is war and strife between the various
members of the brute family. Moreover,
the curse rests upon the whole creation.
4. The Earth Is Touched.
The curse rests upon the very ground itself.
Let us notice the words of the Lord touching this point: “Cursed is
THE GROUND for thy sake.” The
ground is cursed. How awful!
The effects of the curse upon the ground, we can see all about us in
such forms as disease, fruitlessness, and nauseous weeds.
Today, disease lurks in the water we drink, in the food we eat, in the
air we breathe, and in the very earth upon which we walk.
Death besets us on every side. The
soil produces, at its best, a scanty harvest.
Before man fell the soil brought forth abundantly, without toil or
effort on the part of man; but after he sinned, God said unto him: “Cursed
is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy
life.” “In the sweat of thy
face shalt thou eat bread, till thou
unto the ground.” This is not
all. The curse not only takes
away the fertility of the soil, but causes the earth to produce hurtful,
noxious, nauseating weeds, that hinder the growth of useful fruits and
vegetables, and that bring disease and trouble to man.
Thus we see that in several ways the curse rests upon the ground
facts themselves draw a dark picture. However,
there are promises of a better day. The
curse, with all of its results, is a work of the devil.
My text says: “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that
He might destroy the works of the devil.”
This text alone means much. There
are few people who realize the depth of the meaning of this text.
Many seem to think that, at the coming of Jesus, the earth itself is to
be destroyed. This can not be
true. The earth is a part of the
handiwork of God. If Jesus came
or is coming to destroy the earth, then He was manifested that He might
destroy the works of God. The
curse is not God’s work. It is
the work that God permits the devil to do for a while, “for thy sake,” O,
child of Adam. Jesus was
manifested that He might destroy the curse; and the curse He will destroy.
have seen that the curse rests upon man as an individual, upon the human
race as a whole, upon the brute creation, and upon the very ground itself.
Even so, the curse will be removed from man as an individual, from the
human family as a whole, from the brute creation, and from the ground itself.
Man’s heart will then be depraved no longer; sin will no longer show
itself in outward transgression. The
human body will be no longer subject to disease, pain and death.
Every bending form will be straightened, every darkened eye will be
opened, every deafened ear will be unstopped, and every rheumatic joint will
be limbered. No home nor family
will again be burdened with care nor blighted by sorrow.
“There shall be no more death.”—Rev. 21: 4.
Funeral services shall be unknown.
No more graves shall be dug. No
more sorrow; no more crying. The curse shall be removed
SECOND COMING OF JESUS.
likewise from the brute creation. “Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” Both the domestic and the wild animals will be delivered from the curse which has overtaken them. The animosity that now exists between the different members of the brute creation will be forever removed. The enmity that is between the brute family and the human family will be taken away. Yea, even more than this. The promise goes still farther, and touches the very ground itself. Every effect of the curse upon the ground will be taken away. Please observe: “The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing. . . . . For in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.”—Isa. 35: 1‑6. “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb. . . And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp. . . .They shall not hurt nor destroy.”—Isa. 11: 6‑9. What a precious promise!
“There shall be no more curse.”—Rev. 22: 3.