|Topical Bible Study||April 1961|
The Son of God Series—Lesson IV
The Last Adam
ADAM was the progenitor of the human race, but because of sin he came under condemnation to death, so all of his offspring have been born imperfect and dying. (Ps. 51:5) By the loving arrangement of our Heavenly Father, his beloved Son Jesus will restore the adamic race to life, thus giving, to all who accept it, what father Adam failed to give them. To help us grasp the reality of this thought the Scriptures refer to Jesus as the “second man,” and as the “last Adam.”—I Cor. 15:45-47
During Jesus’ first visit to earth he “poured out his soul unto death” to redeem fallen man from death, but it is during his second presence, as the highly exalted divine Jesus, that he will give life to all the willing and obedient of mankind; so the second, or last, Adam was not the man Christ Jesus, but “the Lord from heaven.”
In a prophecy of the suffering and death of Jesus, he is represented as being “cut off” in death, taken “out of the land of the living” without establishing a generation of descendants. (Isa. 53:8-12) However, his agony and death are likened to travail accompanying childbirth, and the prophecy states that out of his travail there would come a “seed,” a generation of children.—Isa. 53:10,11
The promises of God to give life to the human race through Jesus use various terms to convey what is involved in the divine plan of salvation. One of these is resurrection, meaning a re-standing to life. Another is restitution, meaning a restoration to life. In the thought of Jesus becoming the life-giver of fallen mankind the word regeneration conveys the idea of the original adamic race receiving life from a new father. Jesus’ “seed” will not be a new race, but the old race regenerated.
In this same vein of thought Jesus is presented to us in his Millennial Age role of giving life to the people as “the everlasting Father.” (Isa. 9:6) This does not mean that he replaces the Heavenly Father in the divine arrangements, but emphasizes the fact that, as the “last,” or second Adam, he will give everlasting life to his “children,” instead of a short, imperfect span of condemned life.
While Jesus will give everlasting life to all the willing and obedient of the Millennial Age, he will not continue everlastingly to be their Father, for at the close of that period, when death and all other enemies of God and righteousness are destroyed, he will turn over the kingdom to the Heavenly Father that he may be “all in all.” (I Cor. 15:27,28) Then Jesus’ Father will become the Father (Grand Father) everlastingly of the restored world of mankind who enter into everlasting life, and have their lost dominion restored to them.—Matt. 25:34,46
The period in the divine plan during which the second Adam will give life to the children of the “first Adam” is described as one of “regeneration.” (Matt. 19:28) Those who now follow faithfully in Jesus’ footsteps will then be associated with him in that work, even as they will then also reign with him.
These previously receive regeneration through Christ upon the basis of faith.” (Titus 3:5) This is otherwise described as their faith justification to life. (Rom. 5:18) The purpose of thus being given a standing of life by faith is that they might give it up in sacrifice, as they follow in the footsteps of Jesus. It is this (faith in Jesus) that makes their sacrifice “holy and acceptable.”—Matt. 16:24; Rom. 12:1
Perhaps you have never thought of Jesus as being the “last Adam.” In any case, you should find these questions of interest. How many of them can you answer?
What contrasting thoughts are suggested by the Bible’s use of the expressions, “first Adam” and “last Adam”?
Was it the man Jesus, or is it the resurrected, exalted Jesus who is the last Adam? Give the reason.
Which prophecy of the Bible refers to Jesus’ travail of soul, and what is implied by this?
What is the exact thought implied by the word “regeneration” as used in connection with Jesus’ future work of giving life?
In what sense will Jesus be the world’s “everlasting Father”?
Will Jesus be the father of the human race forever?
What period in the divine plan is described in the Bible as “the regeneration”?
Is there any sense in which the followers of Jesus in this age are regenerated? Explain.
“The Atonement Between God and Man,” pages 137-142.
SUMMARY OF IMPORTANT THOUGHTS
While Jesus is the active agent of his Heavenly Father in carrying out every feature of the divine plan, when the work assigned to him is finished, the Heavenly Father will be “all in all.”