Life, Death or both?
How can the Source of all life also be the author of violence and death? An article I read recently from one of our pioneers, along with some thought provoking booklets I had previously examined written by brother Adrian Ebens, has further challenged me to consider, that surely our God can only be the source of life alone.
Here is what A. T. Jones had to say.
September 5, 1901 “The Two Sides in the Great Controversy” The Present Truth 17, 36, p. 564. ATJ PTUK 564 1901 SELF - SACRIFICE OR SELF -DEFENCE
“SELF - PRESERVATION is the first law of nature.” But self - sacrifice is the first law of grace.
In order to self - preservation, self - defence is essential.
In order to self - sacrifice, self - surrender is essential.
In self - defense, the only thing that can be employed is force.
In self - surrender, the only thing that can be employed is love.
In self - preservation, by self - defence, through the employment of force, force meets force, and this means only war.
In self - sacrifice, by self - surrender, thru love, force is met by love, and this means only peace.
Self - preservation, then, means only war; while self - sacrifice means only peace.
But war means only death. Self - preservation, then, meaning only war, means only death; while self - sacrifice, meaning only peace, means only life.
Self - preservation being the first law of nature, nature then means only death; while self - sacrifice being the first law of grace, grace means only life.
But death only is the wages of sin; nature, then, meaning only death, it is so only because nature means sin; while life, being only the reward of righteousness; grace, meaning only life, it is so only because grace means righteousness.
Sin and righteousness, nature and grace, are directly opposite and antagonistic elements. They occupy realms absolutely distinct.
Nature, self - preservation, self - defence, force, war, and death, occupy only the realm of sin; grace, self - sacrifice, self - surrender, love, peace, and life occupy only the realm of righteousness.
The realm of sin is the realm of Satan. The realm of grace is the realm of God.
All the power of the domain of grace is devoted to saving men from the dominion of sin. This in order that, “as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign, thru righteousness, unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.”
On which side do you stand in this great controversy?
PTUK September 5, 1901, p. 564.15 A. T. JONES.