"Ye shall not surely die."—Satan—Gen. 3:4.
God's blessing upon his prime agents, in his purpose of peopling the earth—"Be fruitful and multiply"—embraces in it the full power and authority of the agents to bring forth the race entrusted to them.
God's purpose did not contemplate a dead race, but he had made bountiful provisions for the happiness of a race of perfect beings, reflecting moral and intellectual qualities the exact counterparts of his own; and while he well knew and had arranged for all possible contingencies, he did not design them. He could not design or "do evil that good might come." In his purpose the race was already alive, and hence alive in the agents prepared and empowered through his blessing.
This recognition of things that are not (yet) is lawful and right in view of the certainty of the agents employed and the steadfastness of purpose in him who "worketh all things after the counsel of his will" and according to his own purposes.
To say that "By Adam all die" does not change the relationship nor responsibility of Adam—Levi is said to have paid tithes to Melchisedec while yet in the loins of his father. (Heb. 7:10.) The case is not altered whether we say the tithes were paid by Abraham or in Abraham. Adam, then, did not represent a dead race, neither was he on trial for a dead race, but he certainly did stand for and represent a living race—God's purposes were centered here: outside of Adam God had made no [R1516 : page 118] provision, unless as contingencies should arise to make them necessary for the completion of his benevolent plans. In Adam were wrapped the destinies of the race; from him it should inherit life, and that life was in him, so that, instead of not living in him, mankind had no other source of existence; and when the hour of Adam's testing came, the crisis of the race had come, and the fatal sequence is that he entailed death upon mankind instead of any right to life. Thus by Adam all die, while yet in him, for none had yet been born when he fell under condemnation. The sentence was pronounced, and its justice is open to the investigation of all intelligences; and the very throne of Jehovah depends upon its being found "True and righteous altogether."
Thus we see that the race never had life: its inheritance was death; for a condemned thing is already dead and can only resolve to "dust as it was." Evolution upwards, or out of death, is wholly impossible; for there is nothing left. The "dying now" is not "a double infliction of the penalty," but a carrying out of the sentence—destruction.
There is no hope but in a Ransom—a man's life for a man's life. That only can remove the legal hindrance and permit the call, "Return, ye children of men," without impugning the exact justice of the penalty.
Thus we see that Satan can devise no scheme offering hope for man except it be upon his prolific lie. And so we find this according to the latest deduction (erroneously drawn from Scripture statements of God's designs and foreknowledge) to be as follows: "Hence death as a result of sin could not have been, either in fact or design, more than temporary. The wages of sin is death—looking forward to deliverance—eternal life!" In other words, "Ye shall not surely die."
Good men of all ages have conceived of deliverance upon reasonable hopes within their experience and conceptions of God, having no grounds for a formulated theory save the one that makes God a liar; but how much severer ought our judgment to be, if we, after seeing God in the amazing revelations of himself, should wilfully reject the only basis and means of the designed and soon to be accomplished deliverance, and insist upon the same errors?