|Topical Bible Study||September 1961|
God’s Plan for Man—Lesson VI
The Glory of the Terrestrial
ONE of the marvels of the creative works of God is their almost endless variety. Evolutionists believe that this variety simply indicates development and progression, which fluctuates as one species evolves into another. This continues, they say, haphazardly and endlessly. The Bible disagrees. The Bible teaches that the great variety in creation is by the Creator’s design, and that species are fixed.—I Cor. 15:39; Gen. 1:24,25
The highest order, or species, in God’s earthly creation is the human. This is referred to by the Apostle Paul as the “terrestrial,” which simply means earthly. (I Cor. 15:40) Man was created in the image of God, and in his perfection reflected the glory of the Creator’s character.—Gen. 1:26,27; Ps. 8:4,5; Heb. 2:6,7
Man was not a blending of earthly and spiritual natures. In all the myriad creations of God there are no hybrids, except as man has produced them. While, as we shall see in a later lesson, a very limited number of God’s human creatures, upon conditions of faithfulness in following in the footsteps of Jesus, will be exalted to a higher nature in the resurrection, this does not mean that humans by nature are partly spiritual.—I Cor. 15:47-49
The perfect man was given dominion over all the lower forms of the earthly creations. In this respect he was endowed with the official glory of the Creator, who exercises dominion over the entire universe.—Gen. 1:28; Ps. 8:4-8
Because of disobedience to divine law, man not only lost life, but he also lost his dominion over the earth. Because of this we do not see the glory of God reflected in the human race as it was possessed by the first man, Adam. We see man today fallen, imperfect and dying, and unable to extricate himself from the thralldom of sickness and death into which he was plunged because of his sin.—Ps. 14:1-3; 53:1-3; 49:7; Rom. 3:10,12,23
But God has continued to love his human creatures, and has made provision to deliver them from sin and death. (Ps. 102:19,20; John 3:16,17; 5:28,29, R.V.) God’s provision for the sin-cursed and dying world of mankind, his terrestrial human creatures, is redemption through Jesus. So, while today we see man dying, and without his dominion, by faith we see that Jesus has already given his life that man’s life and terrestrial glory may, during the thousand years of the messianic kingdom, be restored to him.—Heb. 2:6-9
It is not the divine purpose to exalt the people of earth to a higher plane of life, but, through a resurrection from death, to restore them to life on the earth. This is described by the Apostle Peter by the word “restitution,” which means, not exaltation, but restoration.—Acts 3:21
What a glorious provision this is for a sin-cursed and dying race! Today the world is filled with misery and woe, degradation and sorrow, all of which will pass away as the work of restitution progresses. Eventually not a stain of sin will mar the peace and harmony of humanity. There will not be an ache nor a pain, nor any evidence of the former reign of sin and death. No longer will there be need for doctors and undertakers. Hospitals will be emptied of patients. Instead of dying and going into the tomb, the people will be returning from death, the power of God being utilized to restore them to life. This is God’s loving provision for man. This is the destiny for humanity which has been made possible through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus. This will be the restored glory of the terrestrial.
Explain the difference between the evolutionist’s view of creation and the truth set forth in the Bible.
What is the highest order of earthly creation, and what is one of the Bible’s words pertaining thereto.
Is man a blending of earthly and spiritual natures?
What was one aspect of the glory with which Adam was endowed by his Creator?
Is man able to extricate himself from the result of his sin?
Explain God’s provision for the restoration of man to life and to his lost dominion.
What word does the Apostle Peter use to describe man’s restoration?
“The Divine Plan of the Ages,” pages 173-177
SUMMARY OF IMPORTANT THOUGHTS
Man was created an earthly being, and is not a blending of earthly and spiritual. Through the ransom and resurrection, he will be restored to life on the earth as a human.