Volume 27 | Number 2 | February 1999

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Keep the Watch

Featured Article:

Observers of Sufferers

The Tide of the Times: "Human History"

By Dr. O. Talmadge Spence

All human history is the result of what appears as driftings, trends, catastrophes, and climaxes in time. Even the Bible records such tendencies. However, the Bible Christian believes that behind all of these appearances remains God. He is the primary will and force behind either the permission or the action of that which history gives and the mercy God extends. Only a Biblical faith in the God of the Holy Scriptures includes such comfort and victory for man in his time.

In the beginning, "before the foundation of the world," God drew a straight line when He created time out of eternity. That straight line represents the sovereign will of Almighty God, as well as the protection and mercy needed for all men. Man was created by God on that straight line, in the precious will of God, in the image and likeness of God. Man fell into sin from that line, away from the original will of God for man. Man zigzags on that line. However, this is still the very best world possible for the workings of God's ultimate will for fallen man, extending providence, prevenient grace, and saving grace to mankind.

All of man's sins fall either to the right or the left of that line, and until this very day all fallen men live in the sin of either the work systems of Legalism or the licentious deeds of Libertinism.

However, this legalism and libertinism only represent the fruit of man's rejection and not believing in God's Son for his redemption. Immediately after the fall of man, God commenced His own revelation through His Holy Word, and man was invited back to Paradise and the Tree of Life through the Incarnation and Virgin Birth of the Lord Jesus Christ, and His death on the Cross of Calvary's Tree. Man now could only be saved by God's free grace through the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ. This means man is brought back to the sovereign line of God's will. Only redemption can place man back in the will of God. All the fruit of sin—whether Legalism or Libertinism—is the direct result, since the fall, "because they believe not on me," saith the teachings of Jesus (John 16:9). The Gospel continues to make this call: "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved."