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Elpis Israel
by Dr. John Thomas

In this point, man was unlike the Elohim when pronounced "very good".

Nor was this item of the temptation a falsehood, for the Lord of the Elohim said to His celestial companions, "Behold, the man hath become as one of us, to know good and evil".

In this, then, the man became still more like the Elohim, and in this likeness he hath continued ever since.

But thanks to the Invisible God and Father of the saints, man is placed under a law of progression.

His prototype has gone before.

He was himself made "a little lower than the Elohim," for he took not upon him their nature, but assumed that of the seed of Abraham.

His nature, however, is now like theirs, being spiritual, that is incorruptible and immortal.

"We shall be like him," says John; hence, also, "equal to the angels," as Jesus hath himself affirmed.

The Arch-Elohim said that the man had become like one of themselves in the matter of knowing good and evil.

This also is an argument for his likeness to a plurality of persons; and it further shows that the Elohim were once in a condition similar to man after he had transgressed.

The Lord of the Elohim himself declares that they also had been experimentally sensible of evil, for this is the idea expressed by the Hebrew word YADA, to know , which the LXX translate by eidew eideo In short, it is credible that none of the Elohim of the only Potentate's dominion were created immortal; but earthly, or animal, like Adam.

The eternal King is the only being who is originally immortal in any sense, hence it is written that "He only hath immortality".

The immortality of all other intelligences is derived from Him as a reward for the "obedience of faith".

Just men at the resurrection of the First Fruits will be equal to Elohim.

Shall we say that these "Morning Stars and Sons of God" did not attain to the spiritual nature by a progression similar to man; seeing that he "who was made so much better than they," even Jesus, the "Bright and the Morning Star," was "made perfect through sufferings"?

Have they had no thais to endure; no probation to pass through for the refining of their faith as gold is tried?

It is credible, rather, that they were once animal men of other spheres; that in a former state, they were "made subject to vanity not willingly"; that while in the flesh they believed and obeyed God with the self sacrificing disposition afterwards evinced by Abraham; that their faith was counted to them for righteousness; that they succumbed to death as mortal men; that they rose from the dead, and so attained to incorruptibility and immortality as the Elohim of the Invisible God.

Our mundane system is but the pattern of things in other worlds, which may ere this have attained to that perfection which awaits the earth; and probably an illustration of what may even now obtain in other planets where the inhabitants have not yet progressed beyond the animal and probationary era of their history.

Our angels, or Elohim, those I mean of the heavenly hosts, to whose superintendence terrestrial affairs are consigned, until the Lord Jesus shall assume the reins of government; not all the Elohim, but those of them related to us "always behold the face of God," and minister His will towards the sons of men.

This is their glory -- a part of their reward.

He sent them to form and fill the earth with living souls.

They executed their commission according to His purpose.

Behold then the consummation!