Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Did Jesus Die for Those Condemned to the Second Death?

Many fail to distinguish between the condemnation in Adam, resulting in the condition of sheol/hades, and the condemnation of the second death, represented by the "Lake of Fire."  Some believe that Jesus' sacrificial death for sin also includes those who are condemned to the "second death." (Or  they fail to recognize the second death as being a second condemnation.) While Jesus' sacrifice does indeed save everyone who is dying in Adam from that death in Adam, we do not agree, however, that anyone is rescued from the "second death", except that in the sense that one may be rescued from coming under the condemnation of the second death. That is, one can be taking steps that could lead to the condemnation of the second death, and be rescued from taking to those steps before actually receiving the condemnation of the second death. Jesus' sacrifice, however, does not cover anyone who has actually become under the condemnation of the second death. Once one is given the additional sentence of the second death, there is no sacrifice for such. -- Hebrews 10:26.

One needs to realize that mankind in general is not under the condemnation of the second death. The condemnation upon man through Adam is the death in Adam (1 Corinthians 15:21,22; Romans 5:15-19). This condemnation was not eternal roasting in a place of fiery torture, nor was it what some like call "spiritual death," but it is a condemnation that resulted in physical death. Jesus is not roasting or suffering for eternity to pay the price for sin; he is not now suffering an eternal spiritual death; rather he physically died for our sins. (1 Corinthians 15:3) Thus, the wages of sin is physical death, and the benefits of that ransom applied is regarding human life. It was human life that was lost, and it is human life that is rescued. (1 Corinthians 15:21,22) It was from the death in Adam, which death results in the oblivious condition of hades/sheol (Ecclesiastes 9:5), that Jesus physically died to rescue mankind from. (1 Corinthians 15:21,22; Romans 5:6,8,15-19) It is from death and hades, not the second death, that mankind is rescued from. -- Hosea 13:14; Revelation 20:13.

No human can come under the condemnation of the second death, except that he first be "made alive" from the death in Adam. The overall application of the ransom sacrifice of Jesus belongs, not in this age, but the age to come, in the regeneration (Matthew 19:28), when the whole world will be made alive in the resurrection day. --John 5:28,29; 6:39,40,44,54; 11:24; John 12:47,48; Acts 24:15.
The world in general will be brought back to life in the last day here on earth for the final judgment. (John 12:47,48; Isaiah 2:2-4) Jehovah comes to judge the people on the physical earth by means of Jesus. -- Psalm 96:13; 98:9; Acts 17:31.

However, one can be reckoned -- counted -- as justified and made alive in this age through faith in the blood of Jesus, accounting the powers of the age to come as already upon him. -- Romans 3:21,22,24; 4:5,17,24,25; 6:11,13; Ephesians 2:1,5; Colossians 2:13; Hebrews 6:5.

Nevertheless, in this age, even one who has not been counted as alive by faith will be made alive in the age to come, and what he does in this age can affect his ability to escape from coming under the judgment of Gehenna (the second death) in the age to come. -- Matthew 5:22; 10:15; 11:22,24; 12:32; Mark 6:11; Luke 10:12,14; 12:10.

The Christian believer, however, in this age, until he has overcome, until he has put on incorruption (1 Corinthians 15:54), until he has attained the goal of perfection of faith and love (Philippians 3:12.14; Colossians 1:28; 4:12; 1 Thessalonians 3:10; Hebrews 6:1; James 1:4; 2 Peter 1:4-19; 1 John 4:17), is in danger of being harmed by the second death (Revelation 2:11) if he turns to willful sin, since there is no more sacrifice for sin. -- Hebrews 6:4-6; 10:18,26,27,29.

Thus, once one comes under the condemnation of the second death, there is no more hope for such. They are without life forever. There is no more sacrifice for sin, and the ransom sacrifice of Jesus does not cover those under that condemnation.

In the age to come, the unbelievers will be released from hades, because Christ went to hades, paying the wages of sin, so that all in hades may be released. These will be raised in the resurrection of judgment.  (John 5:28,29; 12:47,48; Revelation 20:13) They are released from the condemnation in Adam by means of Jesus' sacrifice. They are not judged again to receive their former condemnation, but are judged by means of the things that are written in the books that are opened to them at that time, according to their works. (Isaiah 2:2-4; Daniel 7:10; Revelation 20:12) Those who fail to put on incorruption at that time (1 Corinthians 15:54) will come under a new condemnation, that is, the second death. No, they are never rescued from that condemnation, since there is no more offering for sin. They are devoured in the second death. (Revelation 20:9; Hebrews 10:27) It is then that the prophecy will come true: "The wicked will be no more. Yes, though you look for his place, he isn't there." -- Psalm 37:10.


On the other hand, after the judgment day, the sheep will inherit the kingdom, the peaceful dominion, that was prepared for mankind from the foundation of the world (Genesis 1:26,28; Psalm 8:5-8; Matthew 25:34; Hebrews 2:6-8), as it was meant for mankind, incorruptible physical life on the earth, and they will live forever in peace upon the earth. -- Psalm 37:11,20; Isaiah 11:6-9; 25:8 (1 Corinthians 15:54); Matthew 5:5; 25:46; Revelation 20:1-4.


Revelation 20:14 - Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.
Revelation 20:15 - If anyone was not found written in the book of life, he was cast into the lake of fire.


Some have claimed this is not speaking of the person as being thrown into the lake of fire, but rather than it is sin and evil that thrown into the lake of fire. Thus they claim that absolutely everyone will live for eternity, and no one will be eternally destroyed.

While the book of Revelation is symbolic, what is actually stated does not warrant such a conclusion. The scripture does not say that it is simply sin and evil that is thrown into the lake of fire. One has to come up with a lot beyond what is written to force such an idea into what is stated. It is speaking of those, who after having receiving the knowledge of the truth, then willfully join forces with Satan against God and His Son. The fact that the new creature, before having overcome in having developed perfection of faith, can be harmed by the second death (Revelation 2:11) shows that it is speaking of persons, nor just principles of sin and evil.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Ezekiel 18:20,21 and The Condemnation in Adam

One claims that it is the consequence of Adams sin we suffer but we are not guilty of his sin. Ezekiel 18:20.21 is given as proof. We are asked how we explain this.

We need to 'rightly divide the word of truth' (2 Timothy 2:15, King James Version), else one can get matter confused. Indeed, many of the so-called "contradictions" many people see in the Bible is due to the fact that they fail to rightly divide what is being said, and thus they get scriptures tangled together that seem to be contradictory. We will here endeavor to try to untangle the confusion step-by-step. The truth seeker should take time out to examine all presented and humbly pray for God's spirit for help in understanding what is presented.

First, we need to realize that Ezekiel 18:20,21 is referring to those under the Law Covenant, providing a picture of the coming judgment day. Second, we need to understand that the children of Israel were already under the condemnation of death through Adam before the Law Covenant had been given, along with all the world of mankind. Thus, Paul wrote: "For until the law, sin was in the world; but sin is not charged when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those whose sins weren't like Adam's disobedience." -- Romans 5:13,14, World English.

Thus, we need to realize that from Adam up until the Law, all were already dying, although they were not necessarily dying due to personal sin, for we read that "sin is not charged when there is no law." Paul then explains that "by the trepass of the one the many died." Those who died before the Law had been given were thus dying due the trepass of Adam, even though their sins were not due to disobedience of any specific law, as was Adam's. (Genesis 2:16,17) Thus, while individual sin was not charged upon those who died from Adam until the Law, they were counted, or made, sinners due to Adam's sin, as Paul continues to show. -- Romans 5:17-19.

Since all of Adam's decendants are "made sinners" due to Adam's sin, all do indeed share in the guilt of that sin, else there would be no death of embryos, infants, and babies who have never committed any personal sin for which to be condemned. When Adam and Eve disobeyed the just law given to them, through that disobedience mankind came to be condemned to death, and became, by nature children of disobedience, children of God's wrath. (Romans 5:12-19; Ephesians 2:2,6) Having become corrupted, crooked, none of mankind could make straight - justified - that which God had made crooked. - Ecclesiastes 1:15; 7:13.

The Law Covenant through Moses was given to the Israelites with the promise that if anyone could obey that Law, he could live by means of that Law. (Leviticus 18:5; Nehemiah 9:29; Ezekiel 20:11,13,21) Jesus spoke of this as recorded in Luke 10:27,28, and Paul wrote about this in Romans 10:5; Galatians 3:12. In other words, if anyone could obey that Law, he would have been justified by the Law, and would no longer be under the condemnation of death in Adam. None of Adam's descendants, however, gained life under the Law; no man can could make himself straight, justified, by means of obedience to the Law. -- Acts 13:39; Romans 3:20; Galatians 2:16; 3:11.

However, by condemning all in the one man Adam, God could remain just and yet justify mankind (Romans 3:26) by means of the sacrifice of another sinless man for Adam and all who are dying in Adam. (1 Corinthians 15:21,22; Ephesians 5:2; Hebrews 9:14) This is the basis of Jesus' paying a debt, a ransom, to God for all. (1 Timothy 2:5,6) When Adam sinned, Adam and all his descendants became in "debt" due to sin; this can be illustrated by a man's own judicial system. If John owes Bill $1,000, and John cannot pay the debt, someone else could pay the debt for John. So if a third party, Peter, paid the debt to Bill for John, John would then be acquitted of any debt owed to Bill. In effect, this is what Jesus did, he came and paid the wages for sin (Romans 6:23) for Adam and all who are dying in Adam (Romans 5:12-19), although he himself was not a sinner. Thus, we should all be glad that all mankind are made sinners in Adam, for it is only by this means that we are provided a means of salvation from death. If any were to die outside of the condemnation, then there would be no sacrifice for their death, since there is only one sacrifice given for sin.

However, getting back to Ezekiel 18, those under the Law Covenant could be put to death for violation of many of its laws. Such a death would have been the death in Adam; others who did not commit a sin that would bring an execution of death under the Law were permitted to live their temporal life, but still eventually died due to Adam's sin. If Ezekiel 18:9 is viewed as saying that one is justified and will live for eternity as a result of doing what is stated in Ezekiel 18:5-8, then we know that no one has obtained such a justification, otherwise we would see Jews today who are thousands of years of age walking around, never committing one violation of the Law Covenant. Paul tells us that no one has been justified by the Law. (Romans 3:20; 8:3; Galatians 2:16,21; 3:11,21; 5:4) Under that law, however, a son could not be put to death for the sin of the Father, nor could the Father be put to death for the sin of the son. Each would die for his own sin. Those who did commit sin that required execution were to be put to death, while others who did not commit such a sin were permitted to continue living.

None of this conflicts with the condemnation of all through Adam, nor with the ransom sacrifice of Jesus for all who are condemned in Adam. -- Romans 5:12-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22; 1 Timothy 2:5,6.

For more related to this, see our studies:

How God's Son Condemned Sin the Flesh
http://ransomforall.blogspot.com/2016/12/rom8-3.html
Divine Economy in the Ransom
http://ransomforall.blogspot.com/2017/05/economy.html
Jesus' Sacrifice for Sin
http://ransomforall.blogspot.com/2017/05/sacrifice.html
The Seed of David
http://ransomforall.blogspot.com/2017/05/seeddavid.html

1 Peter 3:18, Romans 8:8,9 and Jesus' Sacrifice for Sin

1 Peter 3:18 - Christ also suffered for sins once, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring you to God; being put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit. -- Young’s Literal.

Romans 8:8 Those who are in the flesh can't please God.
Romans 8:9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if it is so that the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if any man doesn't have the Spirit of Christ, he is not his.

The claim is sometimes made that "in the flesh" and "in the spirit" of 1 Peter 3:18 contrasts the fleshly, carnal, or sinful way of life with that of the spiritual, godly way of life. Romans 8:8,9 is referred to as support of this.

Peter states regarding Jesus’ sacrifice that Jesus suffered for sins once, in that he was put to death in the flesh. If the thought is to apply Romans 8:8,9 to what Peter stated in 1 Peter 3:18, the logical conclusion would be that the sacrifice that Jesus gave for sin was was that he died toward walking in the sinful flesh. (Romans 8:3) However, as was stated, Jesus’ flesh was not sinful. Peter said that Jesus was righteous, that is, he was not of the crooked, unrighteous, generation that has come through Adam. -- Genesis 3:17-20; Ecclesiastes 1:2,13-15; 7:13; Romans 5:12-19; 8:20-22; Philippians 2:15.

This is supported by what Peter had stated earlier in that same letter (1 Peter 1:18,19):

You were redeemed, not with corruptible things, with silver or gold, from the useless way of life handed down from your fathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb without spot, the blood of Christ.

Peter is indeed talking about the actual sacrifice of Jesus’ flesh with its blood.

Romans 8:8,9 refers to walking in accordance with the sinful flesh versus walking in accordance with the spirit. It is contrasting the new creation in Christ with the old creation, the sons of disobedience. Jesus’ flesh, of course, was not sinful, although he came in the likeness of sinful flesh and, although he suffered as though he were a sinner, he proved that a sinless man can be remain obedient, by which obedience he condemned sin in the flesh. Jesus’ obedience, in itself, was the sacrifice that Peter wrote of in 1 Peter 3:18.

It says nothing about being either a spirit being or a human being. The son of God are first reckoned, not as having spiritual bodies, but as having bodies of flesh. Jesus’ sacrifice only restores man to what Adam lost; Adam did not lose a celestial, spiritual body; he lost a terrestrial, earthly, physical body. When Adam disobeyed, all of his offspring are counted in God’s sight in that disobedience. It would take another man, having a sinless body of flesh as Adam possessed before Adam sinned, a man outside of the condemnation in Adam, who could offset the condemnation of the human race that has about by mean’s Adam’s disobedience.

See:
Raised in the Spirit
Jesus Died a Human Being, Raised a Spirit Being
The Manner of the Resurrection

In Romans 8, it speaks of these as the sons of God; these sons of God were once of those sons of disobedience (Ephesians 2:1-10), but they are made alive (reckoned / counted / imputed / considered [Strong’s #3049] justified and as alive -- Romans 4:3-24; 6:11) as new creatures [sons of God] in Christ (Romans 8:16,19) through faith in Jesus. (Galatian 3:26) Jesus, however, was never such a son of disobedience; his birth into this world was not under the condemnation of Adam, since it was God who had especially prepared Jesus’ body of flesh. (Matthew 1:20; Hebrews 10:5)

Those who walk after the flesh have their minds set on things of the flesh – the things seen; those regenerated as sons of God are to walk after the spirit and to have their minds set on the things of the spirit — that which is not visible, but seen by the eye of faith. The regenerated son of God is walking in the spirit, not walking in the sinful flesh, as the apostles says, “if the spirit [mind, disposition] of God dwells in [stays within] you,” in contradistinction to living to the flesh, and having sin dwelling in us. (Romans 7:17,20) The disposition (spirit) of Christ in the believer would mean that they would be following the likeness of the spirit that he has, as sons of God.

Jesus’ sacrifice was not that he stopped walking in the sinful flesh, for his flesh was never sinful, although he did take upon himself the likeness of sinful flesh, in that he suffered to pay the wages of sin as though he were a sinner. If Jesus’ sacrifice was that he stopped walking in the sinful flesh, that would mean that his flesh was sinful, and such a sacrifice would have been meaningless to pay the wages of sin. -- 1 Corinthians 15:21,22; Romans 5:6,8,12-19; 6:23;

The condemnation in Adam would have been eternal had Jesus not paid the wages of sin for Adam and the human race dying in Adam. Jesus’ sacrifice -- once given over to his God -- could not be taken back. Jesus did indeed sacrifice for eternity his human body of flesh (which was prepared by God -- Hebrews 10:5) with its blood, and presented that sacrifice to his God in heaven after his ascension, thus it was important for Peter to show that Jesus is no longer flesh and blood with the terrestrial glory (1 Corinthians 15:40) that is lower than the angels (Hebrews 2:9), but that he now has the celestial glory of a spirit being, which he states is above the angels. -- Luke 22:19; John 6:51; Ephesians 5:2; Hebrews 9:24-26; 10:10; 1 Peter 3:18,22.

So what did Jesus sacrifice for our sin? Was it not his flesh? (John 6:51) Was it not his human blood and body? (Matthew 26:26-28; Mark 14:22-24; Luke 22:19,20; Acts 20:28; Romans 3:25; 5:9; 1 Corinthians 11:24,25; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14,20; Hebrews 9:12,14; 10:10; 1 Peter 1:18,19; 1 John 1:7; Revelation 1:5; 7:14) Was it not his human soul? -- Isaiah 53:12; Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45 (Many translations render the Greek word for "soul" as "life" in some of these verses).

As a human, Jesus is dead forever; this has to be, else the Jesus never completed the sacrifice to pay the wages of sin. (Romans 6:23) It should be plain by comparison of scripture that this is what is meant when Peter said Jesus died in the flesh, but was made alive in the spirit. He is no longer flesh, having a terrestrial glory a little lower than the angels (Hebrews 2:9), since he has sacrificed his human flesh forever; he is now a spirit being highly exalted above the angels.

This is not to say that Jesus walked after the flesh while he was in the days of his flesh. (Hebrews 5:7), since he certainly was led, and he followed perfectly, God’s holy spirit (Ephesians 4:30) all the days of his flesh. (Isaiah 61:1; Matthew 4:1; Luke 4:1,14; Acts 10:38; 2 Corinthians 5:21) His walking in according with the Holy Spirit of his God was not, however, the suffering for sins that Peter spoke of. (1 Peter 3:18) Jesus maintained the human crown of glory unblemished by sin throughout the entire days of his flesh, else he could not have tasted death for all of mankind. -- Romans 5:12-19; Hebrews 2:9.

I would rather follow the Biblical position regarding the resurrection of the dead rather than the “historic” position, which is not in harmony with the basis of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus as revealed in the Bible.

Divine Economy in the Ransom

There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a Ransom for all, to be testified in due time." -- 1 Timothy 2:5,6.

The ransom is the very center of all the New Testament teachings, the general touchstone by which we may determine what is truth and what is not truth in respect to every feature of the divine plan. The ransom may be likened to the hub of a wheel, from which various spokes radiate in every direction to a general periphery, or circumference. In the great plan of God for human salvation, the ransom constitutes the very central feature, and from it radiate all the doctrines which end in the fullness and completeness of that divine plan. Indeed, from whatever viewpoint we look at this subject, it is both beautiful and consistent.

Yet, for many of us, there was a time when it would have seemed strange that there could be any necessity for a ransom; for we had not then come to understand our great Heavenly Father's character and plan. At that time we would have been inclined to say, "Oh no! God would never in any sense of the word have a plan or program which would necessitate the shedding of blood! He would not wish to have any one die for the wrong doings of another! Such a proposition would be unjust." But in so expressing ourselves we would be reasoning falsely; and this is just what many earnest people are doing today. Many thoughtful people are saying, "I do not believe in this idea of a necessity for a human sacrifice." Nevertheless, this thought of a ransom is found throughout the Scriptures; and when we get the right conception of the subject from the Bible viewpoint, we see such a wonderful beauty, such a wonderful consistency, in this whole matter that we are amazed, and long for the time when all the world shall see it.

Different phases of God's Plan strike different individuals amongst his children in slightly different ways. Some are more attracted by one particular, and others by another. What we wish to particularly focus on in this study is the wonderful element of economy exhibited by our Heavenly Father, who apparently never wastes anything. So, also, with our Lord Jesus. After he had, by divine power, fed thousands from a few loaves and fishes, he instructed his disciples to gather up the fragments, that nothing be lost. (John 6:12.) Surely this injunction must have seemed strange to them. Why would the Master, who had power to create on so large a scale, be so careful about the fragments? Doubtless, too, every scientist has marveled at the divine economy in nature, where all things are balanced, and merely change their form as they pass from one condition to another -- whether from solid to liquid or from liquid to gas, etc. Apparently, God has a principle of perpetual motion in nature, by which nothing is lost, but reappears in another form.

ECONOMY SHOWN IN RESPECT TO REDEMPTION

This divine quality of economy is manifested even in the great plan for human salvation. Once our minds grasp this thought, we may exclaim:  "Wonderful! Nobody but our Heavenly Father Himself would have thought about this principle!" Many of us have been blessed with parents who have endeavored to raise us in a Christian manner, and may have the advantage of understanding, to some degree, about the fall of man and original sin. Although we have been taught wrong conceptions as to what constitutes the penalty of sin, nevertheless, even before comprehending the ransom for all, we may have had some of the scriptural facts -- that our first parents were created upright (just, not in need of being justified -- Ecclesiastes 7:29] and God placed in a perfect environment in Eden (Genesis 2:8), that they had sinned and had come under God's curse, and that somehow the result was that all our race was still under that curse, even though we may have been taught the curse was some form of eternal conscious suffering. As we come the study the Bible more closely, however, we begin to understand that the penalty of sin is death -- not life in any condition; understanding this may, however, still not result in full appreciation of the economy of the ransom sacrifice. The question arises that, if there is to be a redemption, how could one human being die for an entire condemned race of sinners; it may seem to us that such a proposition is not reasonable. To answer this, man has sought out many imaginative answers. Many have claimed that Jesus is God, and that since he was God he could suffer in payment for absolutely all sins. Such often seem to have the view that in the three and a half years of his ministry, and especially during the short time on the day of his crucifixion, our Lord Jesus suffered as much as all the human family would have suffered throughout all history. We should note, however, that there is nothing at all in the Holy Bible that makes such a claim. Neither Jesus, nor any of his apostles ever made such a claim, and if we actually stop to think about this, the more unreasonable this claim appears to be. On the other hand, once one learns the meaning and application of the word "ransom" in the Bible, we find this subject ceases to be a mystery.

A PRICE THAT CORRESPONDS

A careful study of the word Ransom with the aid of an unabridged concordance brings to light the fact that the Greek word thus rendered -- often transliterated as antilutron -- means an offsetting price, a price that corresponds. Any one can study the matter out for himself by means of using Strong's or in Young's Concordance. If one submits his thoughts to what the scriptures say, that one will gradually begin to get the correct idea that our Lord, as the man Jesus Christ, gave himself a ransom, a corresponding price, for all mankind. (1 Timothy 2:5,6) Then we can better understand the apostle's words, "As by a man came death, by a man came also the resurrection from the dead." (1 Cor. 15:21.) There was one man who sinned -- Adam, who brought the death penalty upon all his posterity. There was one man who died, the just for the unjust -- Christ Jesus. Thus we have the corresponding-price. But many of us may been taught that there are three persons in the Godhead, that our Lord Jesus was the second of these, and yet that God cannot die. We may be told told that, being God, our Lord could not really die -- that his body alone died. Actually, if this idea is applied to many scriptures, we only get further confusion. It would have it that the death of God would be necessary to pay for the "infinite sin" mankind, but that at the same time, God cannot die. They end up contradicting their own conclusions about God suffering for the infinite sin of mankind by saying that it was only human being, Jesus, who died, and not Jesus, the God-being, who died. To do this, they add to the scripture the "hypostatic union" or "dual natures of Jesus" dogmas, and yet even such does not do away the with self-contradiction of stating that only God Himself could pay the price of "infinite sin". If we lay aside man's dogma, and study the Bible alone apart from such dogma, we can begin to clear our heads from all the nonsense and confusion which has crept into the Church due the Apostasy, and we can begin to see that the doctrine of the Trinity is not found in the Holy Bible at all. Then we can fully appreciate that our lord is the Son of God, as He Himself had declared, "the Beginning of the creation of God." (Revelation 3:14; Colossians 1:15.) We can then appreciate that the word "ransom" as used in the Bible regarding our redemption does not call for a God to be offered up to God in order to redeem a man, nor could a spirit being of any rank do so; for there could be no correspondency between them. Finally, we can then perceived that whoever would redeem man must himself be a man -- the full equivalent of the man who sinned. This thought will further aid us to understand all that the Bible said about our Lord's having left the Heavenly glory and becoming a man. -- Philippians 2:6-11; 2 Corinthians 8:9; John 1:14.

DOCTRINE OF INCARNATION UNSCRIPTURAL

The doctrine of incarnation teaches that Jesus, being God the only Most High, remained God the Most High while also became flesh, which made him having an existence as the Most High, above the angels, while at the same time that he had an existence as a man, lower than the angels. Truth-seekers may wonder if this is really what is revealed in the Bible, or is this what men had added to the Bible in order to accommodate their dogma. Many, however, use the word "incarnation" as simply meaning the time in which Jesus was in the days of his flesh, without thought of how the word is used to refer a specific doctrine. As far as the doctrine of incarnation, there is nothing in the Bible on this subject, and there is no truth in this doctrine. In the scriptures, we read that the Logos "was" THEOS, a mighty spirit being (John 1:1), before he came into the world that was made through him, and that when he came into the world, he was actually made, or became, flesh, not that he remained what he "was", and thereby assumed or added flesh to what he "was". (John 1:14) The incarnation dogma, in effect, would mean that our Lord in his prehuman existence added flesh to his what he already was, just as three angels did back in the days of Abraham. (Genesis 18:2.) The three were incarnated. They were still spirit beings, but appeared to Abraham as men, possessing bodies of flesh, and ate and talked with him. But this was not true with our Lord Jesus when he was conceived, begotten of God's Holy Spirit, in the womb of Mary. (Matthew 1:20) He who was rich became poor for man's sake (2 Corinthians 8:9) -- not that He merely pretended to be poor; not that He acted as if He were poor and so assumed an inferior body for awhile. On the contrary He "was made flesh" -- he became flesh (John 1:14) -- not assumed flesh. Do you perceive the difference? He was "the Man Christ Jesus" (1 Timothy 2:5,6), he did not "appear to be the Man Christ Jesus." He left the glory which He had with the Father before the world was; he laid it aside; although he had the sinless terrestrial glory while he was in the days of his flesh, and never fell short of that glory by si (John 1:4,14; Romans 3:23; 1 Corinthians 15:40; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 6:5), he did not have his former celestial glory, as can be seen from John 17:5. It was only as a man, defined as possessing a glory aa little lower than the angels (Psalm 8:4,5), that he could be the "man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all." (1 Timothy 2:5,6) Thus, while in the days of his flesh, he had given up that glorious condition on the spirit plane, and exchanged his life on the spirit plane to be a human being -- a little lower than the angels (Psalm 8:4,5; Hebrews 2:9), in order to be a corresponding-price equal to the man in whom the whole race has been condemned. -- Romans 5:12-19.

The Bible explains that it was a sinless man that sinned. Therefore whoever would ransom him must also be a sinless man -- a corresponding-price. No matter how great the angel, no matter how glorious the Logos, no one on a higher plane of being would do. Nor would anything below the human plane do. The finest bullock in all the world could not be a real sin-offering or actually take away sin. Nothing higher or lower than perfect humanity would atone for the sinner. A sinless man had sinned. Only a sinless man -- who could be tempted to sin -- could redeem the sinner. Thus, God provided for the sinless body of Jesus, that it could be an offering for sin. -- Psalm 40:6-8; Hebrews 10:1-10; 1 Peter 3:18.

But one may still wonder: How could this one Man Christ Jesus by this one death redeem all mankind -- Adam and his thousands of millions of children? When one's mind perceives the Scriptural teaching on this subject, one receives a wonderfully broad thought of God's Wisdom, by which He planned it all in advance, so that only one death was necessary. Then we see the marvelous economy of the Divine Plan for human salvation. Nobody but God could have thought of such beauty and symmetry. Only one man was tried at the bar of Divine Justice, and condemned to death. By the laws of heredity his condemnation came upon all his posterity, all of whom die because of his original sin. If God had tried and condemned two men or ten men or a hundred men or more, their redemption would have required an individual redeemer for each one.

THE ECONOMY OF THE DIVINE PLAN

If one believes that traditional teachings men, one may wonder why God did not give all mankind the same opportunity that He gave Adam, why all are not permitted to come into Eden and have a fair chance as Adam had. Has God been unjust in condemning all mankind for what Adam did? What joy we may have to see the beauty of the doctrine of the Ransom, for undertanding this doctrine makes the reason seem very simple. If you and I had been brought into the world under conditions similar to those under which Adam was, we would have done just as he did, for the same reason that he did -- lack of experience. We are therefore not faulting Father Adam and Mother Eve; but we are extolling our great and wise God. He was not taking any chances to see whether one out of a hundred thousand might do differently, and planning to provide a redeemer for every one who did wrong. What confusion such a plan would have wrought!

For instance, suppose that God had placed fifty perfect human beings on trial in Eden at the beginning, and that one half of them had sinned -- twenty-five sinners and an equal number of saints; and suppose that there had been provided a Paradise for the saints and the cursed condition for the sinners. Condemnation on one side of the fence, and blessing on the other -- what confusion there would be! Then when it came to the redemption of the sinners, it would require that the twenty-five saints die for the twenty-five sinners. Where would the matter have ended then? While Adam and the human race (outside of Israel) where never placed under the Law Covenant through Moses, the princple of justice given in the law has an application to the ransom: "life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot". (Deuteronomy 19:21; Exodus 21:23-25) God operates His government along the line of Justice, as the Psalmist intimates. Should some one wonder why God operates along the line of Justice rather than Love, we reply: In His great mercy God sees best to exercise absolute Justice in order that Love may operate impartially toward all. But because mankind are fallen from their original perfection God instructs us to work along the line of love; for we need to exercise mercy and to learn the great lesson of loving-kindness toward all. Let us not forget that God did not originally put man in the sinful conditions which we see all around us. The bondage of corruption which now engulfs man is the result of disobedience. (Romans 5:12-19; 8:19-22) When, during the Millennium, God shall have brought the human race back into harmony with Himself, and when every creature in Heaven and on earth shall be in full harmony with Him, all their lessons on right and wrong learned perfectly, and all able and willing to do righteously, then no one will need mercy. All will be able to meet the just requirements of God's Government, and they will not be harmed by His Divine arrangements; for God's Justice is for fair dealings toward every one of His creatures. But now we must make an allowance because our human flesh is under a sinful condition (Romans 8:3; Ecclesiastes 7:13) and all around us are likewise under this same condition. -- Psalam 89:14.

God is not now applying the great salvation through Jesus to the fallen race of Adam, except for those who, through faith, become justified. The unjustified remain under the condemnation of Adam, but will have the ransom sacrifice of Jesus applied to them so that they may be raised in the resurrection of judgment. (John 5:28,29; 12:47,48; Acts 24:15) If we desire to draw near to God we must lay hold upon the one who is able to save to the uttermost all who come to the Father through Him -- Christ Jesus our Redeemer. All God's mercy is exercised through Christ. God does not exercise mercy directly. He maintains the even tenor of His rule of righteousness, but makes special provision for the sinner race through Christ Jesus. Forgiveness of sin, and everything relating to repentance and reformation of life, come through our Lord Jesus Christ -- through the Ransom-price which He has provided.

HOW THIS ECONOMY OPERATES

This economical feature of the Divine Plan is a most wonderful thought. By one man's disobedience God permitted the results of that transgression to affect all of Adam's children. All mankind were involved under the original sin of the one man. "Wherefore as by one man sin entered into the world and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men." (Rom. 5:12.) Then in due time God so arranged that the sin of the one man, Adam, would be met by the man Christ Jesus; that thus Adam would in due time be freed from the death penalty; and that all his children, who inherited death as well as weakness and imperfection through him, would also be amenable to this one redemption -- that the one Ransom-price was sufficient for Adam and all his posterity.

Oh, how understanding of God's plan exalts and glorifies His love for us, and His wisdom, justice and His might as the Most High. How blessed are those to whom God has given to understand this thought of God's great Wisdom manifested in His arrangement through Christ Jesus, through the Ransom. The more we meditate upon it, the more wonderful it becomes; for it is the very central feature of God's great Plan for human salvation, its very brightest spot.

RANSOM FAR-REACHING AS THE CURSE

1 Timothy 2:5,6 declares that our Lord gave Himself a Ransom-price for all. He did so for all in the sense that eventually its benefits will extend to every member of the Adamic race. The mere giving up of His life did not extend a blessing to all mankind; but the giving up of His life was the basis upon which God will permit Him in due time to establish His Millennial Kingdom and to bring in the blessings of Restitution for the whole race during the thousand years of His Reign. If it had not been for the Ransom, there could have been no Restitution. The whole race of Adam had been condemned to death in their first father. Therefore it would not have been proper for the Man Jesus to attempt to bring out from under condemnation those whom the Justice of God had sentenced to death.

Adam and his posterity were sentenced to death, not to eternal torment, as some erroneously suppose the Scriptures to teach. (Genesis 2:17; 3:17-19; Ezekiel 18:4,20; Romans 6:23.) Indeed, if the wages of sin had been eternal torment, or eternal separation from God, then Jesus would have to suffer eternal torment or eternal separation from God in order to pay the wages of sin for us. However, tefore there could be a resurrection, it was necessary that this death penalty against the race be met. As by man came death, by a man must come this cancelling of the death penalty, in order to make possible a resurrection, a raising up of the dead. (1 Corinthians 15:21,22) There is no other way by which any may have a future life. Therefore all this great Divine Plan for the blessing of the world hinges upon this basic of the program -- the Ransom. St. Paul says that the Ransom was for all. When the Apostle says that our Lord gave Himself a Ransom -- a Corresponding-price -- for ALL, his thought evidently is that this was the purpose lying behind the sacrifice of Christ Jesus. By this we do not understand that our Lord has yet made an application of His sacrifice to all; for God's due time for blessing all men has not yet come. Moreover, it would not have been appropriate for our Lord to make the application of the merit of His sacrifice in advance -- at the First Advent -- and then to come back later on -- at His Second Advent -- to deal with mankind. Therefore the whole matter is held over until the due time comes for dealing with the Adamic race. Meantime, Adam, who fell asleep thousands of years ago, and others of his posterity can await in sleep for that glorious Day when He who redeemed them shall place the merit of His sacrifice on behalf of Adam and all his race, shall make application of it, paying it over to Divine Justice, and then take over mankind as His purchased possession. Our Lord gave Himself -- gave up His life, surrendered His life -- with this end in view. This was the program set before Him -- that He -- as a sinless human being -- was to surrender Himself to death, and that this would be the basis upon which He might become the great Mediator between God and men, the great Restorer of mankind, the long-promised Seed of Abraham, to bless all the families of the earth.

WHY THE DELAY OF EIGHTEEN CENTURIES

Just here some one may ask, "Why is it that our Lord did not make application of the merit of His sacrifice at Pentecost? Why this long delay of eighteen hundred and more years before He begins this work of blessing the world?" We reply, If it had not been that God had planned to have associated with our Lord in this glorious work of blessing the families of the earth (Genesis 18:18) other members of the seed of Abraham (Galatians 3:16,26,27), there would have been no delay of eighteen centuries. In other words, if the Church had not been included in God's Plan, then when our Lord Jesus had risen from the dead and had ascended on High to appear in the presence of God, doubtless He would have offered the value of His sacrifice for the whole world of mankind, and at once would have taken over the Adamic race and begun His Reign for their blessing. But because this was not the Divine Plan, therefore our Lord did what He did -- He appeared in the presence of God for US, for the CHURCH, who taste of the power of the age to come (Hebrews 6:4,5; 9:4), delaying application to world to the age to come. (1 Timothy 2:5,6). Thus far, then, our Lord has appeared only for His Church. He has not as yet appeared for the world. After the Church shall have been glorified with Him, then the sons of God will be made manifest (Romans 8:19), and our Lord will appear for the world. Meantime, however, he is dealing with his Church, taking the Church class out of the world, as He said: "You are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world." (John 15:19; 17:14.) The Church, consecrated believers, having become sons of God, new creatures in Christ, have escaped the condemnation which is still on the world. (2 Peter 1:4; Romans 8:1-4.) But the world is still under condemnation. As yet our Lord has appeared only for the believer; he has not done anything for the unbeliever, except that in his death for the church and world. Although the price has been paid, it will not be applied all mankind, but will be applied "in due time."

In His prayer the night of his apprehension our Lord said: "I do not pray for the world, but for those whom you have given me; for they are Yours." (John 17:9-11.) Yet a few hours later He died for the world, and all mankind are included in what our Lord is to do -- "a Ransom for all, to be testified IN DUE TIME." But since He knew that it would be about 2,000 years before that due time would come, Jesus would not with propriety pray for those who were to blessed so far in the future. But the Father had given to our Lord the Church. The Divine purpose was that during this long period of time this class would be gathered out of the world under certain conditions, in order that they might be with the Lord and share His exaltation, might be his companions in His glory, honor and immortality. Therefore our Lord prayed for them on the night in which he was betrayed, as was right and proper. He had called His twelve Apostles, and five hundred had believed on His word. The work thus begun would continue until the full amount of the elect would have been received of Christ.

THE NEXT FEATURE OF THE DIVINE PROGRAM

The Bible assures us that in due time our Lord will pray for the world, and that he will be heard. Jesus prophetically says that Jehovah will say to him: "Ask of Me; and I shall give you the nationss for your inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for your possession." (Psalm 2:7-9.) When the first feature of the work, the selection of the Church, shall have been completed, when the joint-heirs with Christ shall have passed into Heavenly glory, then will come the "due time" for the next feature of the Divine Program. Then our Lord will make application of the Ransom-price on behalf of the sins of the whole world. He will say in substance, "Father, I now appropriate for the world of mankind this value of My death as the offset to Father Adam's death. I now apply it to Adam and all his children, as their Purchase-price; And now I ask for them. I ask You to give them to me according to your promise to give me the nations -- the whole world of mankind." Then the Father will turn them over to our Lord as his purchased possession.

The fact that he who redeemed the race of Adam is to be the one to give them their trial for life everlasting, during the thousand years of his reign, is the very best guarantee that mankind will have a fair, full, complete trial, a just, reasonable, loving trial at the hands of a loving redeemer, who will do everything proper to be done in order to help them out of their weaknesses and imperfections and to bring them back to the full perfection of human nature, lost through Father Adam's original sin in Eden, but redeemed by our Lord at Calvary. That is to say, the redemption-price was laid down at Calvary; and in due time that redemption-price will be applied, or given over, surrendered to Justice in exchange for the world of mankind. Thus the ransom work will have been accomplished, the whole world taken possession of by our Lord, and He shall reign for a thousand years, the "times of restitution spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began." -- Acts 3:19-23.

DIVINE METHOD OF DEALING WITH THE CHURCH

Now, we have before our minds the ransom, the necessity for it, the time when the sacrifice for sin was made, and the time when the merit of that sacrifice is to be applied for the world of mankind. But, meantime, the church receives an imputation of that merit. It is the blood of new covenant that provides to the church both justification and sanctification. (Luke 22:20; Romans 5:9; Hebrews 10:29) In being justified, we have become new creatures in Christ, sinless sons of God, as was Adam before Adam sinned; as new creatures we are reckoned as already living in the age to come, when all the present things have passed away. (Luke 3:38; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 3:26) As new creatures in this age, Paul likens the believer to a grain or seed, which grain or seed is first given, assigned, a terrestrial, physical body. 1 Corinthians 15:35-46) But our calling in this age is not so that we remain with such a body, but so that we might attain the resurrection of Christ -- that is, to not be simply be sons of God with early inheritance, as Adam, but rather to become joint-heirs with Christ, so as have in the resurrection, not a physical body, but a spiritual body, like our Lord Jesus.

The ransom sacrifice of Jesus provides only begettal to what was lost in Adam -- it does not make one a joint-heir with Christ. Paul spoke of how all who believed in Christ are sons of God, but he goes on to say that these sons are joint-heir if they joinly suffer with Christ. (Romans 8:17) In effect, if one is a joint-sacrificer with Christ, that one sacrifices the justification that he has with Christ. The Bible does not speak of this as another begettal; it is simply a transferranceo the kind of body being assigned ot the new creature. Jesus said, "He who overcomes, I will give to him to sit down with me on my throne, as I also overcame, and sat down with my Father on his throne." (Revelation 3:21) This cannot mean to overcome in the sense of being justified in the blood of Christ, for Jesus never needed such. Jesus not only did disobey his God, but he proved himself to incorruptible, by which he brought life and incorruption to light for mankind. In other words, Jesus, by proving himself incorruptible, put on incorruption. Likewise, the sinless new creature, created in Christ, if he is to be such an overcomer, must not only bear the image of the sinless man, but also he must bear the image of he who is now in heaven, and put on incorruption as Jesus put on incorruption. Once the new creature has overcome and Jesus overcame, that one will no longer be subject to the second death. This means that the new creature has proven himself incorruptible, having put on incorruption, so that he might recieve immortality. But while developing as New Creatures in Christ, we need an imputation of the merit of His Sacrifice to cover our blemishes and imperfections resulting from the original sin in our flesh and transmitted to us by the law of heredity. Our Lord did not need any such imputation; for He was "holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners," and the Father had agreed to accept such a sacrifice for Adam. Our Lord needed no one to make good for Him. He was acceptable to God as a full offset to Adam. As a reward for the work which our Lord was to accomplish for mankind the Father gave Him the promise of glory, honor and immortality -- the highest celestial glory next to that of being the Most High; and our Lord has attained it. -- 1 Corinthians 15:39-41; Philippians 2:8-11.

To those who, during this Gospel Age, will surrender their wills to God and permit their lives to go down into Death in obedience to the Divine will, the Father has promised a share with Our Lord in His glory, honor and immortality as His Bride and Joint-heir. "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a Crown of Life." (Revelation 2:10) But before we can present our bodies a living sacrifice a difficulty must first be removed; for we are members of the sinner race, and God cannot recognize sinners. We have already been condemned to death in Adam. We are by nature  members of that sinner race upon whom the sentence of death already rests. Before we can offer ourselves to God something must be done to release us from the death sentence resting upon us. That something was done when our Lord had "ascended on High and appeared in the presence of God for us" -- the Church. There Jesus made an arrangement with the Father by which the merit of His sacrifice has been imputed to those who have placed their faith in the blood of Jesus.



This above is edited and adapted from the sermon by Charles Taze Russell. Nevertheless, since it is designed to represent our own thoughts, all the thoughts we have presented may not be in harmony in every detail of what Charles Taze Russell presented.  --- Ronald R. Day, Sr. (Restoration Light Bible Study Services -- ResLight, RLBible.

Related:

1 Peter 3:18 – Raised in the Spirit
Jesus Died a Human Being – Raised a Spirit Being
Jesus Saves the Whole World Condemned in Adam

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

1 Corinthians 15:21,22 - Already Fulfilled?

1 Corinthians 15:21 For since death came by man, the resurrection of the dead also came by man. 1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.
It has been claimed that the above words have already been fulfilled. As we look around us, it is very obvious that all who have died in Adam have not yet been made alive.
Thus, those who argue that this scripture was fulfilled in the first century imagine and presume that the death is spiritual death and that being made alive means to be made alive "spiritually". "Spiritual death" is usually defined as being separated from God. While sin does indeed separate one from God, this separation, however, is not the condemnation. Even it was, we still do not find that everyone has been "made alive" spiritually. Thus, the claim would have to be that by means of Christ, some -- not all -- have been made alive spiritually, while the rest remain spiritually dead.
If spiritual death -- separation from God -- was actually the wages of sin, this would mean that the condemnation that came upon Adam was spiritual death, not physical death. Usually, it is argued that Adam would have died physically even if he had not disobeyed, which would mean that Adam was condemned before he was condemned.
If the condemnation that came upon Adam for sin was spiritual death, it would further mean that the wages of sin of Romans 6:23 would have to be spiritual death, and the death in Romans 5:6-8,12-19 is spiritual death. It would mean, if one were apply this idea consistently in Paul's words, that in order to pay wages of sin, Jesus died, not a physical death, but a spiritual death.
Since, without the intervention of Jesus' sacrifice for sin, Adam's condemnation would have been eternal, if that condemnation was spiritual death, then to pay the wages of sin for all mankind Jesus would have to be spiritually dead - eternally separated from God.
However, there is no doubt that when the scripture says that Jesus "died for our sins" (Romans 5:8; 1 Corinthians 15:3), that this does not mean that Jesus is now dead spiritually forever, but that he actually died physically for sins -- his body, his flesh is now sacrificed and remains dead for all eternity. -- Luke 22:19; 1 Timothy 2:5,6; Hebrews 10:10; 1 Peter 3:18.
Nevertheless, in this age, those who belong to Christ are indeed reckoned as justified and thus reckoned as having already been made alive as new creatures. They are reckoned as already living in the time when the age in which Satan is god has passed away, and all things are made new. (2 Corinthians 4:4; 5:17; Revelation 20:1-3; 21:1-5) Thus, we read that they have tasted of the powers of the age to come. -- Hebrews 6:5.
Although already reckoned as alive -- saved by hope, however, they still look to that "age to come" in which Satan will no longer be "god" for the full deliverance into eternal life. -- Mark 10:30; Romans 8:24,25.
That the "age to come" has not yet come can be seen in that the heathen are still being deceived by Satan. -- 2 Corinthians 4:4; Revelation 20:1-3.
Related:

Sunday, May 07, 2017

The Seed of David

Unless stated otherwise, the World English Bible is used for all quotations from the Holy Bible.
Some, realizing the New Testament claim that Jesus' body was of God (Hebrews 10:5), and that he was not of this world (John 8:23), claim that that Jesus could not be the promised Messiah, since he did not have a biological link with David. Others claim that he was not born of a virgin, that he was born like everyone else, and thus, as the biological descendant of David, was the Messiah. If the latter were true, then there could actually have been no redemption from sin, for Jesus' flesh would have under the condemnation of sin in Adam just everyone else. (Romans 5:12-19) As to his being born of a viring, the New Testament, as well as the Old Testament, testify that Jesus had to be born of a virgin.  -- Isaiah 7:14; Mathew 1:23; Luke 1:27,34,35.
We first wish to note that Jesus did have a paternal biological link to David, since he was "born of a woman", under the law. -- Galatians 4:4.
Nevertheless, Jesus' fleshly body was prepared, formed, by God through God's holy spirit. (Hebrews 10:5, Matthew 1:20) If this were not true, and Jesus had the taint of the blood of sinful flesh, then he would have been born a sinner as all the rest of the world, and there has been nothing to give as a ransom for mankind.
Matthew 1:18 - Now the birth of Jesus Christ was like this; because when his mother, Mary, had been engaged to Joseph, before they came together, she was found pregnant by [Greek, ek, out of] the Holy Spirit. Matthew 1:19 Joseph, her husband, being a righteous man, and not willing to make her a public example, intended to put her away secretly. Matthew 1:20 But when he thought about these things, behold, an angel of [Yahweh] appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, don't be afraid to take to yourself Mary, your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 1:21 She shall bring forth a son. You shall call his name JESUS, for it is he who shall save his people from their sins."
Luke 1:35 - The angel answered her, "The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore also the holy one which is born from you will be called the Son of God.
Hebrews 10:5 - Therefore when he [Messiah] comes into the world, he says [to his God], "Sacrifice and offering you didn't desire, But a body did you prepare for me."
If Jesus had not come into this world in this special way, then he could not save his people from their sins, any more than one else could. The Psalmist declares of both the rich and the poor of mankind:
Psalm 49:7 None of them can by any means redeem his brother, Nor give God a ransom for him. Psalm 49:8 For the redemption of their life is costly, No payment is ever enough, Psalm 49:9 That he should live on forever, That he should not see corruption.
Why? Because "through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners." (Romans 5:19, New American Standard) Thus, God "gave them [mankind] up to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not fitting." (Romans 1:28) So much so that Paul states: "Therefore you are without excuse, man, whoever you are who judge. For in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself. For you who judge practice the same things." (Romans 2:1) And then he says:
Romans 3:9: We previously charged both Jews and Greeks, that they are all under sin. Romans 3:10 As it is written, "There is no one righteous. No, not one. Romans 3:11 There is no one who understands. There is no one who seeks after God. Romand 3:12 They have all turned aside. They have together become unprofitable. There is no one who does good, no, not, so much as one." *** Romans 3:22 For there is no distinction, Romans 3:23 for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God.
Thus, by nature, due to Adam's sin (Romans 5:12-19), mankind had become sons of wrath, children of disobedience. -- Ephesians 2:2,3.
No one of this sinful flesh could provide a ransom for even one of his brothers, much less for all mankind. How could one of such stock be the means to make that which is crooked straight [justified - righteous]?
Ecclesiastes 7:13 - Consider the work of God, for who can make that straight, which he has made crooked?
Yes, it would have to be a miracle from God to accomplish the justification -- the making straight -- of anyone. And, at the same time, it would have to vindicate God as just in all his works. Thus, the Mighty Logos was made flesh by means of divine power. Jesus' body was not brought forth from Adamic stock, for if it had been, he would have been just a sinful as all the sinful flesh around him. It was God who prepared the body of flesh for Jesus to offer in sacrifice. (Hebrews 10:5,10) As such, Jesus' body was the same as Adam's body was before Adam sinned. In the sense of being flesh, his body was just like everyone elses, except that Jesus was not made a sinner due to Adam's sin. Receiving a body with such a difference from sinful mankind, Jesus was seen in the flesh, a little lower than the angels, crowned with the glory of a perfect, sinless man. (Hebrews 2:9) Jesus, although he was in the form, not simply a servant of God, as many would assume it to mean, but of a bondservant, suffering as though a sinner, in the likeness of man of sinful flesh, he actually did not receive the sin of mankind from Adam, nor its penalty death, as you and I have. (Romans 5:12-19; 6:23; 8:3; Philippians 2:7) While he was suffering in the likeness of sinful flesh (Romans 8:3), his flesh was not sinful, and unlike Adam, Jesus never sinned. Thus, as long as he didn't sin, he had the purchase price to buy back what Adam lost. How happy we can be that Jesus is the Amen, the faithful and true witness, that he was indeed faithful to God who anointed and appointed him. -- Isaiah 61:1; Hebrews 3:2; Revelation 1:5.
Of course, Jesus did physically come out of the womb of Mary, a descendant of David, and thus was "out of the loins" of David, in the royal descent. As such, Mary was his birth mother. Thus, Jesus is spoken of in the scriptures -- that which has been revealed by the holy spirit -- as the seed or son of Abraham, Judah and David. (Matthew 1:1; 22:42; Hebrews 7:1; Matthew 2:6; Romans 1:3; Galatians 3:16; 2 Timothy 2:8; Revelation 5:5; 22:16) Usually, when we think of a person being the son or descendant of someone, we think of them as being the literal blood descendant of that person. But does this mean that in order to fulfill the scriptures, Jesus had to be a literal descendant of these three men by genes? By comparison of scriptures "spiritual with spiritual", we come to the conclusion: no he did not. As pointed out before, if he had been a literal genetic descendant of these, he would have the taint of sinful flesh, and could not have been either Israel's or man's redeemer. "None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him". (Psalms 49:7) If Jesus had literal genetic fleshly ancestors dying in Adam (1 Corinthians 15:21,22) he would fall in this same category, as a descendant of Adam, and thus he would have been under that same condemnation of death. (Romans 5:12-19) But he was not genetically descended from Adam. He was the Logos, the Son of God. His body of flesh was prepared by his God, from which we can understand that that his body was not from the genes of either Joseph or Mary, and yet, biologically, he is a descendant of Mary, having been born from the womb of Mary.
The lineage and heritage is counted, as though it were (Luke 3:23; Romans 4:17), through Joseph, who was also a descendant of David (Matthew 1:1,6), as well as Adam. (Luke 3:38) Jesus could be referred to as the son of Joseph even as Moses was referred to as the son of Pharaoh's daughter. (Exodus 2:10; Acts 7:21; Hebrews 11:24) Moses, if he had so claimed such, could have become of royal descent in Egypt; but he did not seek such temporal "treasures of Egypt", but he looked for a more lasting reward. -- Hebrews 11:26.
To understand the matter of Jesus' birth as son of the man David, we need to get matters from the Yahweh's standpoint, for he calls things that are not as though they were. (Romans 4:17) He can make one as descendant who is not literally so by gene, and make those who are literally so by gene as though they are not. Thus, Jesus said to the Jewish leaders:
"If you were Abraham's children, you would do the works of Abraham." (John 8:39) By literal descent, these leaders were indeed Abraham's children, but Jesus indicates that because of their works, they were not his children. In the same manner, John the Baptizer stated to the Pharisees and Sadducees:
"You offspring [seed, offspring] of vipers,... Don't think to yourselves, 'We have Abraham for our father,' for I tell you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones." (Matthew 3:7-9) Additionally, Paul says: "They are not all Israel, that are of Israel." (Romans 9:6) To the general mind, this might sound self-contradictory; but Paul is speaking of things from God's standpoint, for God calls things that are not, as though they were. -- Romans 4:17.
In God's sight the members of the Church are all children, or seed, or Abraham, although all are not such by literal genetic descent from Abraham. "If you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed and heirs according to promise." (Galatians 3:29) It is quite immaterial whether one is literally genetically of Abraham or not. If one belongs to Christ, God grafts such a person into the covenant as a seed of Abraham no matter what the person's physical lineage by genes.
From the above scriptures we can see that to be a son of Abraham in God's sight one does not have to be a literal descendant of Abraham. Nevertheless, Jesus himself is the primary seed of Abraham (and Isaac, Jacob and David) in a different way, as Joseph's foster son, just as an adopted baby takes the name and relations of his foster parents. Additionally, being born from the womb of Mary, he shares the descendancy through Mary's lineage. However, as the Son of God, who was to satisfy the justice of God, so that God could still be just and yet the justifier of the sinner (Romans 3:26), Jesus could not have Abraham, David or anyone else as a literal fleshly ancestor by physical genes, since this would make a sharer in the condemnation in Adam.
Some might ask: "how could Jesus be sinless and perfect if his human mother was dying in Adam of sinful flesh?" As pointed out above, Jesus is not descended literally genetically from anyone on earth, so that, by blood, Abraham, Judah and David are not his genetical blood relations. But 50% of the genes in a normal birth come from the mother. In view of this would not Jesus indeed be a blood relation of these patriarchs through Mary?
Many Bible Students do believe that Jesus received the genes of Mary (but not the genes of Joseph). According to their reasoning, it is through the Father lineage that the condemnation is carried, and the genes from the mother do not supply that condemnation.While I can say that in the realm of possibilities, this could be so, but highly unlikely. It would imply that God, through his spirit in some way impregnated Mary's ovum. The begettal of Jesus in the womb of Mary could have been by producing a totally new zygote in the womb of Mary, similar to the way an embryo can be implanted in the womb of woman, or it could have been done by impregnating an ovum in the womb of Mary. If this latter were so, then, it would have to be reckoned that the genes from Mary's ovum did not count as bringing Adam's condemnation upon the conception. Nevertheless, we go back to the point that it was God who prepared the body of Jesus, that it could be offering (Hebrews 10:10) -- we conclude that it is more likely that none of Jesus' genes were actually of either parent -- else he also would have been of sinful flesh, and thus that which was begotten of the holy spirit in the womb of Mary was a wholly from God, and not just an impregnation of Mary's ovum..
Some claim that the blood of the mother mingles with a baby's blood during gestation. Generally, this is not true; while the mother's blood supplies the nourishment to the embryo, and the mother's blood receives elements of waste from the embryo, through a separation called the placenta; the actual blood itself is usually kept separate. We can safely assume, however, that the entire preparation of Jesus' body by God included the gestation period before his birth. Both Joseph and Mary were made the parents of Jesus by God, by God's appointment.
Mary was certainly his mother in the sense that she bore him, but not in the fullest sense, not by true genetic blood relation. Today, we find examples of women who bear a son that are not any blood relation at all to the woman who carries that baby. Many times today, the sperm from the father and an egg from the mother are combined in a test tube, and after two or three days when the tiny life has started to grow the embryo is implanted in the mother's womb. If things go well, in due time a baby results. In this case the genetical father and mother are the true genetical parents, but it would still be also true that the mother who gave birth to the baby would also be biologically the mother although not in the sense of gentically biological. Additionally, the embryo could be implanted in an woman unrelated by genes, in which case the baby born to the woman would not be genetically related either to herself or her husband.
If the woman who bore the child had hereditary weaknesses or defective genes, it would not matter in the least, since none of her hereditary patterns would be passed onto the child. All she provides are the nutrients from her bloodstream to nurture the tiny babe in her womb for nine months, and the function of child-birth. Thus the child could be said to be from her womb, her loins, but none of her genes are passed to the child.
This modern procedure can help one to understand how Jesus could be born of a woman, a member of the fallen race, and yet still be sinless and perfect. In this case the child born to Mary had but one true parent, his Heavenly Father, who was the actual provider of his body of flesh. (Hebrews 10:5) Since his body was prepared by God himself, even as was Adam's body (Genesis 2:7; See Romans 5:14), Jesus possessed no imperfections, blemishes, or sickness, just as Adam's body. We need to look at all that the holy spirit has revealed on this. The scriptures reveal that it was God who prepared Jesus' body (Hebrews 10:5), and I believe that this important. Thus I conclude that God conceived, begot. brought forth into being, a zygote in Mary's womb, a tiny complete life in itself, that did not involve an egg from Mary, nor any of the genes from Mary. Thus the child inherited none of Mary's weaknesses or blemishes by means of genes, and yet is from the womb, the loins, of Mary, and thus by heritage, of the loins of David.
Bear in mind that I do not believe that God was producing the first beginning of life for the Logos at the point of the conception in Mary's womb, but as the scripture says, Jesus was the firstborn creature (Colossians 1:15); God made the pre-human Logos into flesh, a little lower than the angels. (John 1:14; Hebrews 2:9; 10:5) Jesus was with his God and Father before coming to the earth. (John 1:1,2; 17:1,3,5) Jesus said he was to return to where he was before. (John 6:62) Jesus, having learned from this God and Father before descending, is the only who has descended from heaven and therefore the only one who can tell of heavenly things. -- John 12:12,13,31,32. ========== *See the studies: With What Body Will We Be Raised? The Manner of the Resurrection
We believe that he who was rich in heavenly glory, left that heavenly glory to become poor on our behalf, a perfect, sinless example of humanity, with the crown of human glory intact. (2 Corinthians 8:9; John 17:5; Hebrews 2:9; Psalm 8:5) Thus the pre-human life properties of the LOGOS were condensed into a tiny embryo, resulting in a human life -- a living human soul -- totally free from any sinful traits. In this he left, emptied himself of, the glory that he had before he came to earth. -- Philippians 2:7.
Of course it is not a matter we can prove directly from any one scripture, or any clear statement in the Bible to the effect that Jesus did not have any of the genes from either Mary or Joseph. It is a case we can reason out, however, by comparing spiritual revealing with spiritual revealing (1 Corinthians 2:10,13), and through such a comparison, we can come the above conclusion. Of course, we should still not rule out that we could be wrong in our conclusion. Regardless of our conclusion, we should have a desire to accept whatever manner that God used, whether our conclusion on the matter is correct or not. Nevertheless, we can see from the scriptures that it was God who prepared Jesus' body, for the special purpose of sacrifice, and combined with the entire testimony of Paul, Peter and the rest of the spiritual revealing in the scriptures, we arrive to the above conclusion.
Addendum
One, in an effort to prove that Jesus' birth was just as all others, has claimed that it was the seed of the woman AFTER the fall who was going to bruise the serpent's head. Evidently, the thought is that Jesus is the seed of the woman, Eve, and thus this proves that Jesus' birth was not of a virgin, but that Jesus was indeed the actual son of Joseph and Mary, and that he became the son of God by means of obeying the law.
I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will bruise your head, and you will bruise his heel." -- Genesis 3:15
If Jesus was by nature, a child of wrath, a son of disobedience (Ephesians 2:2,3), having been made a sinner in Adam (Romans 5:19), being made crooked that cannot be made straight (Ecclesiastes 1:14,15), under the bondage of corruption that is in this crooked world (Acts 2:40; 2 Peter 1:4), then Jesus could not justify (make straight, not crooked) himself (no man is justified by the law -- Galatians 3:11), and certainly Jesus, if he had been under such bondage, would have had nothing to offer in sacrifice by which to buy back what Adam lost.
There are two different seeds being spoken of in Genesis 3:15. One of a "woman", and the other of the serpent. We should not confound or confuse the two.
God was not speaking of a literal woman in Genesis 3:15. As regarding a "seed" of that woman, God was certainly not speaking of the crooked generation (Acts 2:40; Philippians 2:15) that has come through Eve, which is spoken of as the seed of the serpent in Genesis 3:15. That crooked generation cannot be made straight. (Ecclesiastes 1:14,15) God was foretelling a birth of a new creation -- a seed that is not of the seed of the serpent -- that would put an end to the serpent (representing Satan the Devil -- Revelation 12:9). The serpent's "promise" to Eve produced a corrupt seed -- a crooked and perverse generation; God's "promise" is that a new, incorrupt, seed would be given. The symbol of "woman" is used to represent a promise, a covenant. The covenant, the promise, of the seed is first given in Genesis 3:15. The seed of the woman is the seed of the promise given, which promise was later made to Abraham. -- Romans 9:8; Galatians 3:26,17,19; 4:23,24.
Related Studies 1 Timothy 2:5,6 – Did Jesus Have to Be Both God and Man? Jesus Died a Human Being - Raised a Spirit Being The Man Jesus - Still A Man? Mary’s Commitment

Friday, March 17, 2017

Romans 5:12 - Do All Men Die Because of Adam's Sin?

{Romans 5:12} Therefore, as sin entered into the world through one man, and death through sin; and so death passed to all men, because all had sin. -- Restoration Light Improved.

As the first part of this verse says that sin entered into the world through, by means of, one man, and subsequent verses show that all are condemned by that one man's sin, the latter part of verse 12 should be understood in harmony with the context. Many, however, take the way it is often translated, separate it from the context, and claim that all do not die because of Adam's sin, but each dies because of individual sin.

In most translations, the latter part of verse states something like the World English, which states, "and so death passed to all men, because all sinned." This gives a simple past tense of sin, which actually would be incorrect if it is thought that each dies because of his own sin, and not due to Adam's sin. Why? Because it would mean that all men who ever lived and will ever live in the future had already sinned, even though not all men had yet been born. Applying the principle Paul earlier presented, God "calls the things that are not, as though they were" (Romans 4:17), to the latter part of Romans 5:12 could harmonize this with the context, for to God all the descendants of Adam had already sinned in Adam. This is made plain in the following verses, where we read that "by the trespass of the one the many died" (Romans 5:15); "by the trespass of the one, death reigned through the one" (Romans 5:17); "through one trespass, all men were condemned" (Romans 5:18); "through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners" (Romans 5:19). There we have it; all men, even though not yet alive, were made sinners through the one man's disobedience, and thus already reckoned in God's eyes as having sin. Thus the RLIV simple rendering of "death passed to all men, because all had sin." This harmonizes with the context, which shows that all of Adam's descendants had sin counted to them because of Adam's disobedience.

This is further demonstrated in verses 13,14:

{Romans 5:13} For until the law, sin was in the world; but sin is not charged when there is no law.
{Romans 5:14} Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those whose sins weren't like Adam's disobedience, who is a foreshadowing of him who was to come.

"Until the Law (as given by Moses to the children of Israel) sin was in the world." Sin was in already in the world due to Adam's transgression.

"But sin is not charged when there is no law."

Some misread verse 13 as though it says that there was no sin the world until the law because sin is not charged when there is no law, but that is not what it says. Without the law, there was no individual charge of sin, but with the giving of the law came individual charge of sin. Under the law, one could be put to death for individual sin, but not for the the sins of their fathers. Under law, if one perfectly obeyed that law, one could have justified himself and lived forever. (Leviticus 18:5; Nehemiah 9:29; Ezekiel 20:11,13,21; Luke 10:27,28; Romans 10:5; 12:13; Galatians 3:12)

No one, however, received justification by obedience to the Law due to the fact that, because of Adam's sin (Romans 5:12-19), God had placed mankind under a bondage of corruption (Romans 8:20-22; 2 Peter 1:4), subjected to futility (Ecclesiastes 1:2,14; 12:8), trouble (Job 5:7; 14:1-2); crooked (Ecclesiastes 1:15), so that no man could make himself justified. (Ecclesiastes 7:13; Acts 13:39; Romans 3:20; Galatians 2:26; 3:11; 5:4)

There can be no new creation out of the old creation that is under such a crooked condition. (Job 14:4; Ecclesiastes 1:9,10) Thus God provided a new creation outside of the old creation now corrupted, who could provide a ransom for all. He did this by preparing for His son a body of flesh, separate from the condemnation in Adam. (Matthew 1:20; Hebrews 10:5) Thus, if Jesus remained sinless, he could offer that body with its blood for our sins (Hebrews 10:10).

All mankind have been made sinners as a result of Adam's sin; all are condemned in one man, so that only one man would be needed to deliver mankind out the condemnation in Adam. (Romans 5:12-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22; 1 Timothy 2:5,6) In this age, the only way one can be reckonded as justified, and thus, without sin, is through faith in Jesus, the one whom the only true God sent, based on the sacrifice he gave for sin. (John 14:6; 17:1,3; Acts 4:12; Romans 3:21-26; 4:5; 5:1,9,12-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22; Hebrews 10:10) All others remain condemned in Adam, and will have to face judgment in the last day. -- Matthew 10:15; 11:22-24; 12:36; Mark 6:11; John 3:18,36; 12:47,48; 1 John 2:2; 2 Peter 2:9.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Is Jesus Still a Little Lower Than the Angels?

By Ronald R. Day, Sr. (Restoration Bible Study Services - ResLight)
But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone. -- New King James Version.
Sometimes Hebrews 2:9 is quoted as proof that Jesus is still a man. It is claimed that Paul names Jesus Christ as the man under whose feet the age to come shall be. So, according to this reasoning, when this new age comes, Jesus will still be a man.

Additionally, Hebrews 2:8 is often quoted in reference to Jesus' exaltation, and is often made to appear to be in the same as what is spoken of in 1 Corinthians 15:27 and Ephesians 1:22, without noting Psalm 8.

What is Hebrews 2:4-8 actually speaking of? That Jesus will forever be a man, crowned with a glory a little lower than the angels? The context, as well as the rest of the scriptures, show otherwise.
Hebrews 2:4-8 is not speaking of Jesus, but of what was originally given to man, and thus, what man will be restored to. It is quoting Psalm 8:4,5. What does the statement say were the "all things" made in subjection to man? Let us look at Psalm 8 and the answer given:
Psalm 8:4 What is man, that you think of him? The son of man, that you care for him? Psalm 8:5 For you have made him a little lower than God, And crowned him with glory and honor. Psalm 8:6 You make him ruler over the works of your hands. You have put all things under his feet: Psalm 8:7 All sheep and oxen, Yes, and the animals of the field, Psalm 8:8 The birds of the sky, the fish of the sea, And whatever passes through the paths of the seas.
This corresponds with:
Genesis 1:26 - God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the sky, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."
If the writer of Hebrews was saying that Psalm 8:5-6 applies to Jesus, as some claim, since his resurrection, then Jesus is to forever have a glory a little lower than the angels, and the "all things" that are subjected to Jesus, and of which nothing was not made subject to them, would be: "All sheep and oxen, Yes, and the animals of the field, The birds of the sky, the fish of the sea, And whatever passes through the paths of the seas." In short, all living creation upon the earth except man himself. -- Psalm 8:7,8.

However, elsewhere, the scriptures speaks of all things both in heaven and earth being made subject to Jesus, not just all things that are being spoken of in Psalm 8. -- Matthew 28:18; 1 Corinthians 15:27; Ephesians 1:22.

Of course, in reality, Hebrews 2:6-8 is not speaking of Jesus. In context the writer speaks of the final dominion of the earth regarding the age to come, which is not to be made subject to angels. (Hebrews 2:5) The writer then tells that Man was originally crowned with glory (he was not short of the glory of God - Romans 3:23), and given a dominion, so that all things were originally made subject to man, and since all things (literally, "the all"; the word "things" is added by translators] were made subject to man, there was not one that was not made subject to him, but now (due to mankind's fall from the glory of God) we do not yet see all things made subject to man.

Thus, it is in verse nine that the writer begins to speak of Jesus as a man. But, although we do not see all things subject to man, we do see Jesus. The writer applies the verse to Jesus, showing that Jesus was made flesh, as John 1:14 tells us, crowned with a glory a little lower than the angels. This is not speaking of Jesus' exaltation when he was made higher than the angels. (Hebrews 1:4; Philippians 2:9) By the reference to his having been made "a little lower than the angels", we know that it refers to Jesus as a man, and of his death as a man. He was the exact equivalent of Adam (as described in Psalm 8:5,6) before Adam sinned. -- Romans 5:14-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22.

Jesus, having a body prepared by God (Hebrews 10:5), was like Adam was before Adam became corrupted through sin. Jesus was crowned with glory as a man, a little lower than the angels, but did not, as did Adam, fall short of God's glory (Romans 3:23), not once in his entire life, and thus he retained that crown of glory untarnished, by which he had something to offer to purchase mankind, so that, in the age to come, the dominion originally given to man will be restored. Thus by his death, he gave up that crown of glory as a human for all eternity, that he should taste death for every man. He does not now, nor will he ever again, have that human crown of glory. He is no longer in the "days of his flesh." -- Hebrews 5:7.

One has responded that Jesus was made a little lower than the angels, because he had to taste death, but that he became greater than the angels because of his sacrifice - that being the sacrifice of his own will, even unto death.

However, what did Jesus sacrifice?

He sacrificed his humanity -- including his body of flesh -- as an offsetting price, which sacrifice he formally presented as priest after his ascension. - - Hebrews 8:4; 9:24-26; 10:10.

Jesus sacrificed his blood.

Matthew 26:28 - for this is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the remission of sins.
Mark 14:24 - He said to them, "This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many.
Luke 22:20 - He took the cup in like manner after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, that which is poured out for you.
Acts 20:28 - Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God which he obtained with the blood of his own Son. - Revised Standard Version.
Romans 5:9 - Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we will be saved from God's wrath through him.
Ephesians 1:7 - in whom we have our redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.

However, what does blood represent? Jesus' human soul, which is included in his sacrifice.

Leviticus 17:11 - For the life [Hebrew, nephesh - soul] of the flesh is in the blood.
Deuteronomy 12:23 - The blood is the life [Hebrew, nephesh - soul].

The human soul consists of the body made from the dust of the ground and the neshamah, activated by spirit of life as received from God. - - Genesis 2:7.

Jesus did sacrifice his human body:

Hebrews 10:10 by which will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 
Hebrews 10:11 Every priest indeed stands day by day ministering and often offering the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins, 
Hebrews 10:12 but he, when he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; 
Hebrews 10:13 henceforth expecting until his enemies to be made the footstool of his feet. Hebrews 10:14 For by one offering he has perfected forever those who are sanctified.
Luke 22:19 He took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and gave to them, saying, "This is *my body which is given [as an offering in sacrifice to God - Ephesians 5:2; Hebrews 9:14] for you*. Do this in memory of me."

Thus, Jesus sacrificed his flesh:

John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down out of heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. Yes, the bread which I will give is my flesh, for the life of the world.

Jesus sacrificed his human soul:

Matthew 20:28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life [soul] as a ransom [price to offset] for many.
Isaiah 53:12 He *poured out his soul* to death, and was numbered with the transgressors: yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

He died; he was totally dead, ceased to be sentient, else there has been no ransom. His human body, his human soul, his human flesh, his human blood, was given in sacrifice. (Hebrews 10:10; Luke 22:19) Jesus' soul -- his sentiency -- was given in sacrifice (Ecclesiastes 9:5) and went into into the oblivious condition of sheol, where there is no work, device, knowledge or wisdom, and wherein one cannot give thanks to, or praise to, Yahweh. (Isaiah 53:12; Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45; Ecclesiastes 9:10; Psalm 6:5; Isaiah 38:18) Jesus' human blood -- which represents his human soul/being (Leviticus 17:11; Deuteronomy 12:23) -- was given in sacrifice. (Mark 14:24; Acts 20:28; Hebrews 9:14) Thus his soul -- his being -- as raised, made alive, from the oblivious condition of sheol was no longer human, but spirit, with a spiritual body and glory, not with the earthly, fleshly, physical body and glory. As a human sentiency, Jesus remains oblivious forever, since that would have been the result of the condemnation upon Adam, had Jesus not offered his human soul as the offsetting price. If, however, Jesus now has human sentiency, then the offsetting price was not completed.

One has stated that because Jesus had not sinned, it was not lawful that he should be held by death, evidently implying that Jesus as a human being could not be held by death, and thus Jesus is still a human being to this day. The scripture that is evidently being referred to is:

God raised up, having freed him from the agony of death, because it was not possible that he should be held by it. -- Acts 2:24.

God raised up Jesus from death, but this does not say that he was raised up with a fleshly body. He was "put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit." -- 1 Peter 3:18.

The idea that Jesus had to be raised up as a human has to be read into the scripture.

One has stated that Jesus received back what was taken from him, and was crowned with glory.
If Jesus received back the crown of glory of a human being (the glory being described in Hebrews 2:9), then that glory is earthly, not heavenly, and fleshly, not spiritual, and is a little lower than the angels, not a glory higher than the angels. Jesus does not have two glories at once, one glory a little lower than the angels, and another glory higher than the angels.

We should also note that in answer to the question of "What is man?",  Psalm 8:6 describes "man" as being a little lower than the angels. So if Jesus is still a man, by that definition, Jesus is still a little lower than the angels. The crown of glory spoken of in Hebrews 2:9 is a crown of glory a little lower than the angels. It is an earthly glory, not a heavenly glory. Are we to think that Jesus received back that glory a little lower than the angels? Actually, Jesus sacrificed that crown of glory, the glory of man, in providing the redemptive price for man.

The objection has been made that nowhere do these scriptures require him to not be a man any more - and it is claimed that the fact that Paul is attempting to prove that the age to come is not in subjection to angels states to an even further extent that Jesus must still be a man.

The truth is nowhere do the scriptures give any idea that once Jesus had offered up his humanity that he could take back that sacrifice. Nothing in the Old Testament types provide for such sacrifices, once given, to be returned. Thus, the default reasoning would be that he sacrificed his humanity once for all time, then that he would not take back that sacrifice.

Further, once we understand the principle of the ransom, one can understand that he had to give up that humanity forever in sacrifice in order to meet the demands of justice. The condemnation upon Adam was death, and that would have eternal death had it not been for the ransom sacrifice of Jesus. To pay that the price of sin, Jesus' humanity must remain dead for eternity, else the redemptive price would not be applicable
.
The purpose of Jesus' becoming flesh was to sacrifice that flesh. There is no purpose for him to become flesh again, and make null the sacrifice
.
The objection is presented that the writer of Hebrews is saying that Jesus is the one to whom all things will be subjected, and that this is the only logical conclusion.

Actually, this is not stated at all; it has to be added to and read into what the writer of Hebrews said. The earlier post demonstrates the only true conclusion that one can come to, and still take into consideration all of the scriptures, the context, etc. To think that the writer is claiming that Jesus is the one the writer is speaking of to whom all things will be subjected simply ignores Psalm 8:6-8, where we find what "the all" (Greek, ta panta, Hebrew, Kol) is that is being spoken of.

In harmony with the rest of the Bible, the writer of Hebrews is stating that, although we do not yet see man restored so as to have all things in subjection, we see Jesus who was made a little lower than the angels, crowned with glory, so that he could taste death for every man. Only by this means could man's dominion be restored.

Is it really logical that Jesus will forever be crowned with the glory a little lower than the angels, so that "All sheep and oxen, Yes, and the animals of the field, The birds of the sky, the fish of the sea, And whatever passes through the paths of the seas" will become subject to Jesus?

No, that unmarred crown of human glory that was originally seen in Adam, can now be seen in the record of Jesus' human life. Jesus, while in the world of mankind as a human being was the "light of the world", for in him was life. (John 1:4; 9:5) It was so because God specially prepared Jesus' body in the womb of Mary, separate from the fallen human race in Adam. (Hebrews 10:5) That human body was prepared for the purpose of being offered once for all time for sin. (Hebrews 7:25; 10:10) Jesus has no need for a human body now. It would serve no purpose at all; it would take him down from the glory of the heavenly, the spiritual, to the glory of the earthly, physical, fleshly. "The glory of the celestial [heavenly] differs from that of the terrestrial [earthly]." "As is the one made of dust, such are those who are also made of dust; and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly." There is no mixing of the two kinds of glories. -- 1 Corinthians 15:40-48.

Some have claimed that Hebrews 2:7-9 quotes the Septuagint (generally referred to as the LXX) in which it is stated "a little lower than the angels", and that ELOHIM in Psalm 8:5 should be understood to mean "God", not angels, as is found in the King James Version and some other translations. The argument appears to be that Hebrews 2:7,9 is in error; in reality, we have no reason to assume that the author of Hebrews was quoting the Septuagint, or that what is stated there is in error. The author indicates that he is not making a direct quotation from either the Hebrew or Greek manuscripts, but is stating such from memory, for he says: "one has somewhere testified." It is reasonable to assume that if he had been copying directly from any version of the Bible, he would not have simply said "one" or "somewhere" but would have designated who said this.

As to the LXX, we have no certainty that the LXX even existed in the first century, or that if it did, we have no certainty that it contained the Greek word for "angels" in Psalm 8:5. The evidence suggests that Christian editors of what is called the LXX may have edited the Greek text to match what is recorded in the New Testament; if this is so, then the LXX is quoting the author of Hebrews 2:7,9, rather than the other way around.

Thus seen, the author of Hebrews was simply giving who is being referred to in Psalm 8:5 by means of the word ELOHIM, that is, the angels.

See:
Nevertheless, even if the author was quoting the LXX, does this mean that such a quote is error? Did God inspire the author to write such an error? No, we have no reason to think that God inspired the author of Hebrews to proclaim such an error.

Jesus' Appearances in the Locked Room
====================

 Other references (We do not necessarily agree with all conclusions given): http://www.agsconsulting.com/htdbv5/r163c.htm http://www.agsconsulting.com/htdbnon/r5025.htm http://www.agsconsulting.com/htdbnon/htdb0128.htm http://www.heraldmag.org/1999/99nd_5.htm