Monday, March 06, 2017

Adam and the Ransom Sacrifice

Many believe that Adam will not receive any benefit from the ransom sacrifice that Jesus provided. The argument is that Adam sinned willfully, and thus no ransom could be provided for him. In this study we will be examining some the arguments that many present to conclude that Adam was not included in the ransom, and the reasons that we believe that Adam is included in the ransom sacrifice.

In 1938, Joseph Rutherford, founder of the Jehovah's Witnesses organization, stated:
The perfect man Adam sinned and was put to death. The perfect man Jesus was without sin and suffered death. Would that mean that Adam was redeemed by the blood of Christ Jesus? No, it does not mean that, but exactly the contrary. Adam was a willful sinner. (1 Tim. 2: 14) For that willful transgression Adam was put to death, because that was God’s announced penalty for sin. There is no reason to conclude that Jehovah will reverse his judgment; because God changes not. (Mal. 3: 6) All the offspring of Adam were necessarily brought under the condemnation by reason of the fact that they inherited imperfection from Adam. They were not on trial, and the judgment of death was not entered against them; but being born in sin and shapen in iniquity, they must die because of inherited sin unless redemption is provided. The opportunity of salvation is given to Adam’s offspring through the shed blood of Christ Jesus, and in order to avail oneself of that opportunity he must comply with the conditions, to wit, to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and to obey God’s commandment.-Rom. 5:12,19. -- The Watchtower, March 1, 1938, pages 69,70.
The problem with the above reasoning is that if the condemnation upon Adam is eternal without any redemption, then, since the offspring of Adam are under the exact same condemnation of Adam, then none of Adam's offspring are redeemable either. Otherwise, the offspring of Adam are not condemned in Adam, but are condemned in their own sin, in which case a different sinless savior would be needed for each and every sinner; this would require billions of saviors to die for each and every sinner. In effect, if Adam is not to be restored to life, this would mean that Adam did not die the death in Adam, and must have therefore died the second death. This would, in effect, mean that the death in Adam is actually the second death. This, in turn, would mean that the whole human race was condemned in Adam to the second death. And thus the self-contradiction of this error becomes apparent.

Also, it is not a matter of Jehovah's reversing the judgment upon Adam, but rather that the judgment is placed upon another, It is for this reasn that Jesus sacrificed his sinless flesh with its blood for all eternity. He was thus put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit. -- Matthew 26:26-28; Luke 22:19; Romans 3:25; Colossians 1:14; Ephesians 5:2; Hebrews 2:9; 9:14; 10:5,10; 1 Peter 2:24; 3:18; 1 John 1:7; Revelation 1:5.

Rutherford later stated in the same year:
Only Adam was tried and convicted and sentenced to death. His offspring were not on trial. The judgment was entered against Adam, and not against his offspring. However, his offspring being from the imperfect man Adam, all were born in sin and sinners because of inherited imperfections. All suffered the result of Adam’s sin. The life of the perfect man Adam was forfeited, and his offspring came into existence without the right to life. Adam cannot be redeemed and return nnd be released from the death sentence without God’s reversing his own judgment; and God does not change. (Mal. 3:6) The offspring of Adam, however, being subject to death, not because of their own wrongdoing, but by reason of inheritance, could consistently and properly be purchased and given life according to God’s will and purpose.-- The Watchtower, May 15, 1938, page 149.
Again, the statements, as given are self-contradictory; it would claim that only Adam was being judged, but that the judgment upon Adam did not come upon Adam's offspring, but rather that the judgment of death that came upon Adam did come upon all Adam's offspring. The truth is, either all are judged in Adam, or all are not judged in Adam. The apostle Paul states that "the judgment was by one to condemnation" and "by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation" (Romans 5:16,18, World English) It is clear that Paul believed that all mankind was condemned in the judgment that came upon Adam, he did not believe that there was one judgment upon Adam and a different judgment upon the rest of mankind.

Jesus paid the debt for the condemnation upon Adam. The same condemnation that was upon Adam came upon the whole human race. (Psalm 90:3; Romans 5:12-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22) There was not one condemnation upon Adam and a different condemnation for the rest of mankind, as the Watchtower, and some others, teach. Jesus paid the penalty that was upon Adam. If he didn't, then none of us have been redeemed, since it is the penalty upon Adam that is the whole basis of the ransom. If Jesus paid the condemnation upon Adam, and if the condemnation upon the human race is a different condemnation, then only Adam is redeemed, and the human race in Adam has not been redeemed. Only if it is the same condemnation could there be any application of the ransom to the whole world of mankind. And since it is the same condemnation, as can be seen in Romans 5:12-19 and 1 Corinthians 15:21,22, then Jesus did indeed pay the price for the condemnation of Adam, and thus Adam is included in that ransom, and would be due the benefits provided by that ransom.

The statement is made in The Watchtower of February 15, 1991:
Neither Adam nor Eve, however, benefit from the ransom. The Mosaic Law contained this principle: “You must take no ransom for the soul of a murderer who is deserving to die.” (Numbers 35:31) Adam was not deceived, so his sin was willful, deliberate. (1 Timothy 2:14) It amounted to the murder of his offspring, for they now inherited his imperfection, thus coming under sentence of death. Clearly, Adam deserved to die, for as a perfect man, he had willfully chosen to disobey God’s law. It would have been contrary to Jehovah’s righteous principles for him to apply the ransom in Adam’s behalf. Paying the wage for Adam’s sin, however, does provide for the nullifying of the death sentence upon Adam’s offspring! (Romans 5:16) In a legal sense, the destructive power of sin is cut off right at its source. The ransomer ‘tastes death for every man,’ bearing the consequences of sin for all of Adam’s children.—Hebrews 2:9; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:24.
Again, what this overlooks is that we are condemned with the same condemnation that was placed upon Adam. Why is this so? Theoretically, just as Adam sinned, so we would we have all sinned if placed under the same conditions under which Adam sinned. Because of this, God, in His wisdom is just in condemning all in the one man, so that only one sinless man would be needed to buy the world of mankind back from sin. If Adam receives no benefit from the ransom, then neither does anyone else, since all share his condemnation; if his condemnation was such for which no ransom could be provided, then no ransom has been provided for anyone who is dying by means of Adam's disobedience, since all are under the same condemnation that came upon Adam. -- Romans 5:12-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22.

Adam was not under the Mosaic Law Covenant, he was under a covenant of obedience to one command: not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and bad. When he disobeyed, then "sin entered into the world." (Romans 5:12) The law covenant was provided with the thought that if any obeyed that law, he could thereby be justified and gain everlasting life by keeping the Law. In effect, the Law covenant was given as result of Adam's sin, and the general condemnation upon mankind through Adam's sin.  We know that the law covenant was not in effect so as to bring judgment under law until Moses, for we read: "until the law, sin was in the world; but sin is not imputed (counted, reckoned) when there is no law." (Romans 5:13) Nonetheless, the sin of Adam was imputed before the law as can be seen by Romans 5:14-19, thus all were made sinners by means of Adam's sin.

To further show that Adam was not under the Mosaic Law Covenant: Adam was fully righteous before he sinned; Adam was not a sinner until he sinned; the Law was made for sinners, those made so due to Adam's sin;  the  Law Covenant was not made for a righteous person as Adam was before Adam sinned, but rather it was made for sinners (1 Timothy 1:19), with the promise that any who could obey the Law would, in effect, justify himself so as to be released from the condemnation in Adam so that he could live forever. (Leviticus 18:5; Mark 10:16-19; Romans 10:5) Of course, due to the crooked condition (Ecclesiastes 1:15; 7:13) and subjection to futility (Ecclesiastes 1:2,13,14; Romans 8:20) that mankind was placed under due to Adam's sin, none could obey that Law perfectly, and thus righteousness (justification) could not come by obeying the law covenant. -- Acts 13:39; Romans 3:20; Galatians 2:16; 3:11,21.

The very basis of the atoning sacrifice through Jesus is that Jesus paid the wages of Adam's sin, so that the debt for Adam's sin was placed upon Jesus, and thus the wages could be lifted from Adam and all who are dying in Adam. Indeed, to say that Jesus paid the wages for Adam's sin but that the wages for Adam's sin remains upon Adam is self-contradictory! It would mean that the wages for Adam's own sin was something more than the wages of Adam's sin that was passed on to Adam's offspring!

In effect, Rutherford's doctrine of the ransom would mean that the condemnation upon all mankind is considered something different than the condemnation upon Adam. If Jesus paid the wages for Adam's sin, it was Adam's sin that was covered by the payment of that wages, not a different 'wages' that is being assumed to have resulted from Adam's sin, but which is would not actually be the wages of Adam's sin for Adam himself. And, if the wages of Adam's sin was such that no ransom could cover his sin, then how could any who are of his offspring who are included in that sin be ransomed?

In truth, the wages of Adam's sin (both for Adam and all his offspring) would have been eternal had it not been for the ransom sacrifice of Jesus which paid the debt of the wages of Adam's sin. If the ransom sacrifice of Jesus does not remove the wages of Adam's from Adam, and/or if Adam is never released from the wages of his sin, in effect, it would mean that the ransom sacrifice did not actually pay that debt, and thus no one has been saved through the redemption of Jesus.

The argument is made that we as Adam's offspring having Adam's curse never had the same choice as Adam because we were never "perfect" -- we were born handicapped. This again, overlooks the truth that all of us, given the same experience that Adam had, and the same knowledge that Adam had, would have done exactly the same thing that Adam did. We all would have made the same choice, and our first choice is accounted as having been made through Adam; Adam, being inexperienced with sin, submitted to his own desire for his wife, and her belief in the serpent's promise of becoming wise. Thus Peter wrote of the "corruption that is in that world by [means of] lust." (2 Peter 1:4) Paul wrote that "knowing God, they didn't glorify him as God, neither gave thanks, but became vain in their reasoning, and their senseless heart was darkened." (Romans 1:21) "Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools." (Romans 1:22)

Adam was not deceived concerning the forbidding of the fruit, but he willfully followed his own desire for his wife, and her desire to become wise, which she thought would come to her due to her obeying the serpent rather than Jehovah. Paul, however, implies that that Adam, by joining Eve in this foolishness, share this foolishness with her. Eve put faith in the serpent's promise, and Adam joined with her by obeying his wife rather than his Creator. (Romans 1:25) As a result, God made all of Adam's offspring crooked (Ecclesiastes 1:15; 7:13; Philippians 2:15), under a bondage of corruption from which they all need to be delivered (Romans 8:21), in subjection to futility/vanity. (Ecclesiastes 1:2,14; 2:11,17; Romans 8:20) "God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts unto uncleanness." (Romans 1:24) "God gave them up unto a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, hateful to God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant-breakers, without natural affection, unmerciful: who, knowing the ordinance of God, that they that practise such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but also consent with them that practise them. Wherefore thou art without excuse, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judges another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest dost practise the same things." (Romans 1:28-2:1, American Standard Version) And Paul shows in the next chapters that all of mankind, both Jew and Gentile, are thus condemned by means of Adam's sin, and he says: "we previously charged both Jews and Greeks, that they are all under sin." -- Romans 3:9, World English.

Thus, man's first chance at life -- and this includes the whole human race that is the offspring of Adam -- was lost through Adam's disobedience. The second chance for the whole human race, including Adam, comes because of the promise made of a seed that was to bruise the serpent's head (Genesis 3:15), which promise Adam and Eve heard. The scriptures do not specifically state that Adam and Eve put faith in that promise, but the words of Genesis 4:1,25 show that they did, to some extent, have some kind of faith in that promise.

The argument is presented that after the resurrection we will be perfect and if then we should sin we would be subject to the second death, thus if God gives Adam a second chance...for he was created perfect... then God would have to give any of us... after being resurrected perfect....and who then sin "another chance."

This argument again overlooks that all of us are included in the "first chance" given in Adam, for we would all have done exactly the same thing that he did. What is being proposed above would actually be a "third" chance, not just "another" chance. This would then place an assumption upon Jehovah, that Jehovah would provide a third chance after having given a full individual opportunity in the "second chance." In fact, God's justice was not obliged to provide even a second chance, but his love was extended to satisfy justice through the ransom sacrifice of Jesus. However, once one has received the "second chance", whether in this age or the next, having become "not of this world" that has been corrupted through lust, but of the new creation that belongs to the age to come, if the new creation sins, being a fully willful sin, there is no more sacrifice for sin. The new creature cannot return to the condemnation in Adam, but he comes under a new condemnation, the second death. There is no ransom sacrifice provided for those who come under this new condemnation. It is the "second death" -- not the death in Adam -- that poses a "threat" to the new creature until the new creature overcomes. -- Revelation 2:11.

What about Hebrews 10:26? What does it actually state? Does it apply to Adam's original sin? "For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more a sacrifice for sins." Who is this speaking of? A hint is given in that it states, "there remains no more a sacrifice for sins". Paul is speaking of those who had already received the benefits of the blood of Jesus, for as he states that such a person "has trodden under foot the Son of God, and has counted the blood of the covenant with which he was sanctified an unholy thing, and has insulted the Spirit of grace." Did Adam receive the sanctification of the blood of the covenant through repentance? We have no record that Adam repented and became sanctified through the blood of the covenant during his lifetime, and that he then counted the blood as an unholy thing, thus, Adam is not included in the those who, after having been sanctified in the blood of the covenant, then treated that blood as abhorent. From Hebrews 6:5, we learn that the believers taste of the powers of the age to come.

The new creature in Christ, is, in effect, reckoned as living in the age to come, when "The old things have passed away. Behold, they have become new." (2 Corinthians 5:17; Revelation 21:1-5) 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) It was from the death in Adam, generally called the "Adamic death," 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 returns 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 any provision provided for such a sinner. 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 of the second death. We have no indication, however, in scripture, that Adam came under the condemnation of the second death, and that thus, for him, there would be no sacrifice for sin.

In the age to come, when the unbelievers are released from hades (which is through the ransom sacrifice of Jesus), they are raised for 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 in that day regarding that former condemnation, but are judged anew by means of the things that are written in the books that are opened to them at that time, according to their works at that time. (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 the 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.

As already shown, many point out that Adam was not deceived, and by some vague application, claim that since he was not deceived, his sin is not covered by the ransom sacrifice of Jesus. The point is not whether Adam was deceived or not deceived; that simply sidetracks the issue. The point is: What was the wages of sin that Adam received? This is what is important, since whatever wages he paid is that which he passed upon all his offspring.

It is only because all are included in Adam's sin and the wages of his sin that all of his offspring are indeed included in the ransom sacrifice. It is indeed because of that application that there is a ransom sacrifice for all; conversely, it is also because of that application that if the wages of Adam's sin are not removed by means of Jesus' corresponding price, then it is not removed upon all of Adam's offspring. However, since all are indeed condemned by means of Adam's transgression, all, including Adam, are redeemed through the payment of the corresponding price for Adam and all of Adam's offspring. Take away that scriptural basis, then you actually take away the ransom sacrifice of Jesus for anyone.

Someones asks if we are saying that the only way God can forgive us is to FIRST forgive Adam? No, not exactly. What we are saying is that we are all in the same boat as Adam; the same exact condemnation that is upon Adam is one us all. None of us worthy of being forgiven on our own merit; if the condemnation upon Adam was such that he could not redeemed, then none of us can be redeemed, since we all share that exact same condemnation.

If Adam is not redeemed by Jesus' payment of the debt, suffering the equivalent of Adam's condemnation, then it would mean that we are not condemned by means of Adam's disobedience, but rather that each of us are dying because of our sin. It is only because we are all sharers in the exact same penalty as Adam that only one sinless man is needed to provide the ransom sacrifice for sin. On the other hand, if we do not share in the exact penalty, and penalty upon Adam is different from his offspring, then each one of who sin would need to have a personal redeemer to correspond our own sin. In other words, 20 billion sinners would need 20 billion non-sinners who give up their sinless humanity in order to pay the price for the 20 billions sinners.

Yes, ever since Adam sinned, "as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin; so death passed to all men in that all have sin." (Romans 5:12, RLIV) That sin that all men have is through Adam, for as Paul goes on to say: "Until the law sin was in the world; but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the likeness of Adam's transgression, who is a figure of him that was to come." (Romans 5:13,14, RLIV) Death was upon the human race because they had the condemnation due to Adam's sin, as Paul goes on to show in the following verses, saying, "by means of the trespass of the one, death reigned through the one" (Romans 5:17), even though they did not commit a sin in the same manner as did Adam. Adam, before he sinned, however, was a figure -- a type -- of him that was to come, that is, Jesus, who, being begotten of the holy spirit in the womb of Mary (Matthew 1:20), was not born into this world as "of this world," as the the rest of mankind. (John 8:23) Jesus' body was specially prepared by God, separate from the corruption that is in this world. -- Hebrews 10:5; 2 Peter 1:4.

As Paul goes to say, however, "by means of the trespass of the one the many died." (Romans 5:15, RLIV) Yes, this had to be so, else they could not have been covered by the ransom sacrifice of the one man who was equal to the first man before the first man sinned. Praise Jehovah for his wisdom in this matter! The many includes absolutely everyone of Adam's offspring.
And Paul states: "through one trespass the judgment came upon all men to condemnation." (Romans 5:15, RLIV) No, he does not say that there was one judgment with one condemnation upon the first man, and another judgment with another condemnation upon the rest of mankind. They are all under the same judgment, the same condemnation. Again, praise Jehovah that this is so, for it is only this means that Jesus is our Savior!

And further Paul wrote: "through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners." (Romans 5:19, RLIV) Yes, all of his offspring - the many - were made sinners, not because of their own sin, but by means of the first man's disobedience. And thus it is that "through the obedience of the one will the many be made righteous." Yes, the same "many" that were made sinners will also be made righteous by the application of the blood of Jesus. This means Adam, and every man, every woman, every child, every embryo, every baby, every insane person, every Buddhist, every Nazi, every Muslim, every Catholic, every Shintoist, every Sodomite, and on and on. Yes, indeed, while the application of the blood of the covenant is applied to believer in this age through faith, the application of the ransom sacrifice will be applied to all who don't believe in this age so that they may be raise in the resurrection of judgment. If this is not so, then there will no resurrection of judgment for anyone at all, and that part of the Bible that speaks of a coming judgment day for the world should be ripped from the Bible! But Jesus said: "If anyone listens to my sayings, and doesn't believe, I don't judge him. For I came not to judge the world, but to save the world." (John 12:47, World English) Thus, those who do not believe in this age are to be saved by Jesus' blood; that indeed is exactly what Jesus is saying in this verse. What does the salvation of the world mean? Jesus continued: "He who rejects me, and doesn't receive my sayings, has one who judges him. The word that I spoke, the same will judge him in the last day." (John 12:48) That is the day of judgment that Paul speaks of as recorded in Acts 17:31, and which is foretold in Psalm 96 and Psalm 98, as well as Isaiah 2:2-4; Matthew 25:32-46; Revelation 20:11-15, and many other scriptures. That judgment day for unbelievers simply would not be if the ransom sacrifice of Jesus is not applied so as to justify them so that they could be raised from the dead for that judgment.

Getting What One Deserves

1 Corinthians 3:13,14 is presented with the thought that one gets what they deserve, evidently with the thought that Adam does not deserve a resurrection, and thus he will not be raised.
Each man's work will be revealed. For the Day will declare it, because it is revealed in fire; and the fire itself will test what sort of work each man's work is. If any man's work remains which he built on it, he will receive a reward. -- 1 Corinthians 3:13,14.

Paul is not speaking of the world in these verse, but rather he is speaking of the new creation, "those who are sanctified (consecrated) [by means of] Christ Jesus, called to be saints (set apart ones, consecrated ones)." (1 Corinthians 1:2) Those consecrated by means of the blood of Jesus are called to live their lives according to that calling, as saints, with the goal of attaining the prize of their high calling. (Philippians 3:14) In order to attain that prize, one must overcoming as new creatures, becoming incorruptible, so that they can no longer be harmed by the second death. (Revelation 2:11) If and when they have reached that perfection in this age (Philippians 3:12), it is no longer possibly for them to be turned aside by any temptation, thus the second death can no longer harmed them, as for such, "death is swallowed up in victory." (1 Corinthians 15:54) These will have obtained the resurrection that is being spoken of in Philippians 3:11, that of joint-heirship with Jesus. -- Romans 8:17.

The believers in this age come under a trial of faith (1 Peter 1:7), a testing that will prove what position -- what reward -- that they will receive in the age to come, whether it be as joint-heirs or a lower position. Thus, they are tried, not according to the things that are written in the books that are opened to the world in the judgment day (Revelation 20:12), but rather by the works that they do while in the present "tent" that is being dissolved. -- 2 Corinthians 5:1,10.

Nevertheless, if any of us get what we deserve before God's justice, then it will be death, and nothing more. Indeed, none of us "deserve" even the release that is given by means of the sacrifice of Jesus. Neither Adam, nor any of his offspring, "deserve" the resurrection that is given as a result of Jesus' sacrifice; it is the gift of God by means of the sacrifice of Jesus. Those who believe in this age are "justified freely by his grace [unmerited favor, undeserved kindness] through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus" (Romans 3:24), not because they deserve it. Nevertheless, as far as "deserving" the resurrection through Jesus' sacrifice, all of us are in the same boat as Adam -- neither Adam nor any of us "deserve" that ransom sacrifice of Jesus.

One asks the question: Doesn't Adam bear a greater responsibility because of what he did since he brought the destruction upon the whole world?

Not one of us can say, "If I had been Adam, I would not have disobeyed." To do so, would, in effect, be saying that "if I had been Adam, having the same experience and knowledge as Adam, I would not have done the same thing as Adam." But let us be aware: "Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things." (Romans 2:1, New American Standard) Yes, we are all in the same boat as Adam; and we are all just as condemned by means of Adam as Adam is condemned. We conclude from this that if any one of the billions of Adam's offspring had been in Adam's place, with his experience, etc., each would have done exactly as he did. So if you had been in Adam's place, you would be condemning yourself, for what if it had been you that committed that first sin in this world (kosmos), so as to bring sin into the world?

One claims that Adam knowingly sinned, knowing that Eve had been lied to, but he willfully sinned even knowing that he would be bringing misery upon his offspring. There is no indication that Adam had any foreknowledge of the fact that all his descendants would be condemned by means of his disobedience. Again, if "you or I" were in the same position as Adam, with the same knowledge, and with the same experience, we have no doubt that any of us would have done exactly as he did.

We are asked to take a look at an infant...what law has that infant broke? Yet the infant has sin because of our selfish father Adam...Who's worse Adam or the fallen angels? This is actually looking at matter from hindsight and seems to looking at the results of Adam's sin as though Adam had foreknowledge of the full extent those results. Adam evidently did not have such foreknowledge; if he did have a full foreknowledge of the extent of his disobedience, we can assume that he more than likely would not have disobeyed. He did know that he would be disobeying, but we cannot even be sure that he fully understood what it would mean to die, although he evidently did have some knowledge of what it would mean. Outside this, we get into the realm of speculation. Did Adam see animals dying, as some claim, and thus have knowledge of what death is by observation? This would assume that the animals in the Garden did die; but we could also assume that the animals in the Garden did not die. Some, presenting some scriptures, claim that the sentient animals all over the earth did not die until Adam sinned, and they began dying because of his transgression, but this also is an assumption. This assumption, of course, raises many other questions -- and on and on it goes. The truth is that we cannot be sure on many things, nor is there any reason that we need to think we need to have answers for absolutely everything we might be curious about. For instance, we have little knowledge of the angels and the testing of their obedience, or any covenant that God has made with the angels regarding their life. The only assumption that seems to be reasonable is that there is some kind of covenant between God and the angels, but exactly what are the terms of that covenant is certainly not stated in the Bible that we know of. All we can say is that the God of justice will do what is just regarding the angels, as well as man.

The "Heavenly Gift" and Adam

Some have presented the thought that Adam had tasted of the heavenly "gift" spoken of in Hebrews 6:4,5, because he was given life in the Garden of Eden:

Hebrews 6:4 For concerning those who were once enlightened and tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit, Hebrews 6:5 and tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the age to come.

In reality, what is this "heavenly gift" that is being spoken of? "Heavenly" refers, not a gift to be in heaven, as some might assume, but it refers to a gift from heaven. The are two gifts that are referred to in other scriptures, both of which could be included in the "heavenly gift" spoken of.

The following scriptures describe the primary gift of God from heaven:

Romans 5:15 -- But the free gift isn't like the trespass. For if by the trespass of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God, and the gift by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.

John 4:10 -- Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, 'Give me a drink,' you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water."

Ephesians 2:8 -- for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.

Romans 5:15 -- But the free gift isn't like the trespass. For if by the trespass of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God, and the gift by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.

Romans 5:17 -- For if by the trespass of the one, death reigned through the one; so much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one, Jesus Christ.

Romans 6:23 -- For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

It should be obvious that this "heavenly gift" as a result of the need of being delivered from the condemnation in Adam. Adam himself came to be in need such a deliverance after he sinned, just as everyone else.

The other gift is the gift of the holy spirit.

Acts 2:38 -- Peter said to them, "Repent, and be baptized, everyone of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Probably Hebrews 6:5 is classifying both in this "heavenly gift." Regardless, the gift is obtained by tasting of the powers of the "age to come," for the new creature has "tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the age to come." (Hebrews 6:4) Why is it important to understand this? Because, as we read in the following chapters of the book of Hebrews, this heavenly gift is in the blood of the new covenant, which covenant actually belongs to the age to come.

In blessing the cup, Jesus said: "This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the remission of sins." (Matthew 26:28) "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, that which is poured out for you." (Luke 22:20) The "heavenly gift" is the result of the application of the blood that new covenant. It is by means of this "heavenly gift" -- the blood of Jesus -- that the new creature is sanctified. (Hebrews 10:29) Adam, before he sinned, did have a heavenly gift of life, but not the heavenly gift that is being spoken in Hebrews 6, since the heavenly gift spoken of there relates to the New Covenant and of the age to come. Adam had no need of a new covenant before he sinned. We do believe that the blood of the new covenant will be applied to Adam so that he will be raised in the age to come, and will need to be perfected in spirit (Hebrews 12:23) under the new covenant in that age; I do not believe that Adam had received this heavenly gift through the new covenant before he had sinned -- before there was even any need of the gift of the blood of the new covenant to be poured out for his sin.

It is true that all of the offspring of Adam became what Adam had become by nature of his sin, that is, children of wrath, sons of disobedience. (Ephesians 2:2,3) But there is more to it; Paul said that through Adam's "one disobedience" the many -- all of his offspring -- were "made sinners." (Romans 5:29) This means that Adam's sin is placed upon his offspring, even if they have committed no personal sin. We know that this is so because we see the death of unborn children as well as infants who have not committed any personal sin. They die because Adam sinned, and thus pay the same exact wages for sin that Adam paid, that is, death. From God's standpoint, they all, having been condemned in Adam, are not worthy of life, and thus are condemned by means of Adam's sin to death. Nevertheless, it is also because these children who have died are included in Adam's sin that we know that they are also included in the ransom sacrifice of Jesus.

On the other hand, if is it not so that all of Adam's offspring were not made sinners due to Adam's disobedience, then absolutely all of Adam's offspring that dies because of his own personal sin, and not that of Adam. It would mean that every embryo, new-born baby, and infant of a few months, etc., that dies does because of some personal sin. It would also mean that if there are twenty billion human sinners, it would take twenty billions sinless humans who would be willing to sacrifice their sinless humanity in order to justify the twenty billion humans that sinned. God's wisdom, however, condemns all in the one sin of Adam, so that only one sinless human is necessary to satisfy God's justice!

The Unforgivable Sin

Someone asks: "Did not Adam commit the unforgivable sin?" This question appears to be asked due to the prevailing misconception that if one commits the unforgivable sin, such a person is forever hopelessly lost, and such a person will not be raised in the resurrection, not even in the resurrection of judgment. In fact, many have misconceived that the "unforgivable sin" results in the condemnation of the second death.

The "unforgivable sin" is not directly applied to Adam in the Bible. Any such application would be by assumption, placing retrospectively upon Adam what Jesus said. To whatever extent Adam may have committed such an "unforgivable sin" as Jesus described, so that extent he would have a greater difficulty in the age to come of escaping coming under the new condemnation of the second death, as Jesus also spoke of. Having committed an "unforgivable sin" does not mean that one has no opportunity to overcome that sin, nor does it mean that the general application of the ransom sacrifice would not be applied for such person. It does bring in a degree of accountability that is exacted in the age come, since such sin will still not be forgivable in the age to come. Not being forgivable, it must by some means be overcome beyond simply applying the forgiveness through the blood of Jesus, else it could lead the person into coming under the judgment of the second death.
Nevertheless, most have not thoroughly examined what Jesus said about the "unforgivable sin", and thus have come to wrong conclusions. For instance, it is often claimed that in Matthew 25:31,32, Jesus condemned the Jewish religious leaders to whom he was speaking to the second death because they had committed an unforgivable sin. Let us examine this scripture:

Matthew 12:31 - Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men.
Matthew 12:32 - Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, neither in this age, nor in that which is to come.

Matthew 12:36 - I tell you that every idle word that men speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.

The very fact that Jesus speaks of them as being in the age to come, in the day of judgment, should be noted. This means that the salvation of world is still applied to them (John 12:47,48), even though they had committed the kind of sin that Jesus spoke of.

Yes, some read into Jesus' words that those who speak against the holy spirit are eternally lost, that there is no more hope for them at all. This, however, is not what Jesus said. Directly, Jesus was speaking of the Pharisees, who had just witnessed an operation of the holy spirit through Jesus, in the healing of a demon-possessed blind and mute man. -- Matthew 12:22.

The question was raised as to whether Jesus was the Son of David. (Matthew 12:23) Evidently, these religious leaders did, to some extent, recognize the operation of the holy spirit in Jesus, and that Jesus was indeed the Son of David, the long-promised Messiah. The scripture says that Jesus knew their thoughts. (Matthew 12:25) These Pharisees were not sons of God, being the offspring of vipers. (Matthew 23:33) They certainly did not have God's holy spirit, and thus did not have the truth. (1 Corinthians 2:6-8,14) Yet they did have some understanding that Jesus was indeed the promised one, but did not wish to accept it. That they understood Jesus to be the promised heir is indicated in the parable that Jesus spoke. (Matthew 21:38; Mark 12:7,8; Luke 20:14) Caiaphas spoke the truth to them, but they did not understand the truth, and evidently Caiaphas himself did not understand the truth concerning his own words. Their desire was not that Jesus be the savior, but that through his death, they thought Israel would not be troubled by him anymore. They took counsel and began to seek some way to kill Jesus. (John 11:47-53) Caiaphas evidently did have some knowledge that Jesus was the Messiah, but did not want to accept it, as can be seen by his words at Matthew 26:63-65.

The general penalty of sin through Adam was still upon these Jewish leaders. (Romans 5:12-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22) Unlike the sons of God spoken of in the New Testament (Matthew 5:9; Romans 8:19; 9:26; Galatians 3:26; 4:6), who become regenerated to a new life by means of the holy spirit (Titus 3:5), these Jewish leaders had not had any such experience. Not being made alive, they could not, at that point, come under the condemnation of a second death. Nevertheless, seeing that they were at least partly knowledgeable of who Jesus was, in that they did realize that Jesus was the promised Son of David, their sin was also partially willful in their words against the operation of the holy spirit as demonstrated through the works of Jesus.

Jesus, in his above words, is not speaking of the penalty of death, nor of the second death, but he is speaking of giving account in the day of judgment, that is, in the age to come. (Matthew 12:36) Jesus is not saying that these religious leaders have no opportunity to repent, for we know that some of them did repent. Most translations speak of "idle words" said by men that will need to be accounted for in the day of judgment. Our English word "idle" may fall short of what Jesus was speaking about, since the Greek word he used carries a thought of shunning of responsibility. This was what these religious leaders were doing in speaking words against the operation of the holy spirit. Jesus did not say that they would not come back in the general resurrection for judgment in the last day, for he plainly speaks of their giving an accounting in the day of judgment. What he is saying is that their words were so willfully against what they knew to the contrary, that they could not be forgiven, either in this age or the age to come (thus they will be there in the age to come), but they must be accounted for.

This harmonizes with Jesus' statement that he came to save, deliver, the world, not to judge the world in this age, but that judgment would come in the last day. Jesus did not judge or pronounce an eternal condemnation upon these religious leaders, for he declared that he had not come to judge the world, or to condemn it and those who did not accept him, but quite to the contrary, to die for it/them, to redeem it/them, to purchase it/them at the cost of His life. -- John 3:16,17; 12:47,48.

In a parable, Jesus also demonstrated this principle when speaking of his true servants, that there must be some accounting for partially willful sins. He spoke of this correction as the giving of "stripes".

Luke 12:47 That servant, who knew his lord's will, and didn't prepare, nor do what he wanted, will be beaten with many stripes, Luke 12:48 but he who didn't know, and did things worthy of stripes, will be beaten with few stripes.

While Jesus is speaking of his servants in this age, we have reason to believe that this same kind of principle will be applied in the day of judgment. Thus Jesus said of some of those who rejected him and his disciples in his day, because their rejection was partially willful, especially in light of the many miracles performed:

Matthew 10:15 - Most assuredly I tell you, It will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city.

Matthew 11:21 "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon which were done in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 
Matthew 11:22 But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you. 
Matthew 11:23 You, Capernaum, who are exalted to Heaven, you will go down to Hades. For if the mighty works had been done in Sodom which were done in you, it would have remained until this day. 
Matthew 11:24 But I tell you that it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom, in the day of judgment, than for you."

Although not expressly stated, the actual basis for forgiveness in this present evil world is though faith in Jesus as the promised Messiah, the Son of God, since it is through is blood that one is forgiven of sin. -- Acts 2:38; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:17.

Forgiveness by God before Jesus' sacrifice was also due to faith, especially in the promises; in effect, Jesus' sacrifice is evidently retroactively applied to various ones of faith, justifying them in the sight of God. -- Luke 20:38; Acts 4:3,6-8,13,17,18,20-25.

Notwithstanding, Jesus, in his words recorded at Matthew 12:32,33 and elsewhere, does give a warning reproof to the religious leaders who opposed him that those who could thus see the righteousness of his teachings, and how he made use of the holy spirit to glorify God in his words and actions, and who could then impute all of this to Satan, must be to a considerable extent perverse in their hearts, and if so, they would be in great danger in the judgment day of being condemned to Gehenna, the second death, since they had hardened their hearts to such great truths and works of God that Jesus had done by means of the holy spirit in him. -- Luke 4:1,14; Matthew 12:28; Mark 23:33.

The Bible teaches that the penalty of Adam's sin was death -- cutting off from life -- but that under divine providence the work of Jesus is to release all mankind from that death sentence, and give to all an opportunity of returning to harmony with God by bringing all to a clearer knowledge of the Truth. (Romans 5:12-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22; 2 Timothy 2:5,6) To some this knowledge comes now, with the privilege of becoming sons of God, the seed of Abraham (by faith) that is to judge and bless all the heathen. (Genesis 22:18; 26:4; 28:14; Romans 4:13; 1 Corinthians 7:1; Galatians 3:29; 1 Corinthians 6:2; Obadiah 21; Matthew 19:28; Luke 22:29,30; Romans 8:16-21; 2 Timothy 2:11,12; Revelation 3:21; 5:9,10; 20:4,6; 22:17) To such as accept this privilege and receive the begetting of the Holy Spirit, a judgment begins now to qualify them for their reward in the kingdom. -- 1 Corinthians 3:16; Ephesians 2:20-22; 4:12-15; 2 Thessalonians 1:4,5; 1 Peter 4:17; James 1:18.

But with the world this present age is not the time of a final judgment respecting life or death everlasting, for they have already been judged in the sin of Adam. (John 3:18; Romans 5:12-17; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22) For them the next Age, the period of Messiah's Kingdom, will be the time of judgment, when the books are opened for their understanding when Satan is not around to deceive, and their privilege will be to attain human perfection, otherwise to be cut off in the Second Death. (Isaiah 2:2-4; 11:9,10; 25:6-9; 40:5; 52:10: Jeremiah 31:34; Habakkuk 2:14; Revelation 20:1-4,12) Meantime, whatever light they may be enjoying will be either helpful or injurious, as they shall deal with it. If they allow it to have an uplifting influence in their lives they will be that much more advantaged when they shall come under the Kingdom influences and tests; and their trial will be more tolerable, or easier, in that day of judgment than those who sinned against greater light. -- Matthew 10:15; 11:22,24; Mark 6:11; Luke 10:12,14. See our study: The Restoration of All Things

On the the other hand, even those of the world who violate clear opportunities and ignore the light which they enjoy and sin against it, will find themselves proportionately degraded when they shall come under the Kingdom influences and tests. The scribes of this lesson had so misused their education and opportunities as to be in great danger of becoming so degraded that even the Kingdom influences would not bring them to a condition worthy of everlasting life.

See also Harvest Gleanings II, page 242 
"Some Sins Forgivable and Some Unforgivable"

Someone asks, if Satan, being a spirit being, knew of the heavenly gift and sinned why shouldn't he be forgiven? Or the fallen angels? Does the word " ALL " (1 Corinthians 15:21,22; 1 Timothy 2:5,6) include those also...why not? They tasted the heavenly as Adam....were born without sin as Adam...and why is Adam forgiven and not the fallen angels who were not Adam?

Again, this is assuming that the "heavenly gift," spoken of in Hebrews 6:4,5, should be applied retrospectively to Adam's life before he sinned, and thus also to the life given to Satan and the angels that sinned, which we have already shown is not the case. This "heavenly gift" is given only because Adam had sinned, and is given in response to Adam's sin, and, as such, is in reference to restoring mankind only.

Forms of the Greek "pas" the word translated as "all", always look to context and/or common evidence for what is included or excluded. An example of common evidence that is directly written of is in 1 Corinthians 15:27. In the case of 1 Timothy 2:5,6, it is "evident" that the ransom -- the offsetting/corresponding price -- is in reference to what was lost in Adam -- the world of mankind, as Paul had written of in his other letters, and of which teaching Timothy was surely aware. Jesus is savior of the whole (pas) world (kosmos), the whole (pas) creation that is now groaning and travailing in pain due to Adam's sin. (Romans 8:22; 1 John 2:2) This "whole creation" does not include the angels, but it refers to the whole world (kosmos) that was created through Jesus, into which Jesus came, the world (kosmos) that that did not recognize him. --John 1:3,10.
However, a side effect of the ransom sacrifice was that in being faithful in giving such sacrifice, Jesus was raised and exalted above the angels. Thus, although not directly included in the ransom for all, the angels receive benefit from that ransom due to Jesus' exaltation. As a result of his exaltation, the saints are chosen out of the world (kosmos) -- the whole world that became corrupted through the sin of Adam -- that they may be judges of the world, but not only the world, but also of the angels. (1 Corinthians 6:2,3) We read that the angels that sinned have been debased, reserved to judgment. (2 Peter 2:4) While we do not know the details of how these angels that sinned will be judged, nor are we given a basis for such judgment as we are given in the Bible for the world of mankind, it is possible that these angels may be given an opportunity to repent and come back into harmony with God. Whether this opportunity includes Satan himself is also not given in the scriptures. On the other hand, their being reserved for judgment could simply mean that they will be judged as condemned and thus be destroyed. Since there are no details actually revealed in the scriptures concerning the judgment of the angels, probably the wisest course would be to not get too involved in speculating too much concerning the judgment of the angels; it is well enough for us to know at the present time that the saints will be involved in their judgment.

As the Sand of the Sea

And will come forth to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to the war; the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. -- Revelation 20:8.

This scripture is sometimes referenced, evidently with the some vague thought that the vast majority of mankind will not receive life, so they will not be raised in the resurrection. In context, however, this is speaking of after the resurrection of judgment, and the finally results. Thus, the scripture actually supports that these had already received the benefits of the ransom sacrifice by being brought forth in the resurrection of judgment, but, after having the blessings presented to them, they willfully chose to not be obedient.

So what is the revelation revealing of in this verse? Is it saying that all heathen will follow Satan after the judgment day is over? First, we should note that, the nations -- God and Magog -- at that time will probably be more than 20 billion people, a great number as the sand of the sea. The scripture, however, does not say that all of these will be deceived by Satan, but rather that Satan will to go out to deceive them. Only those who willfully refused to perfect themselves during the 1,000 years will follow Satan at time; the vast majority of those whose number is as the sand of the sea will have become so perfected that they, like the overcomers of this age, will not be harmed by the second death, and will thus not be misled by Satan at time. (Revelation 2:11) Concerning the New Jerusalem city, we read that the "The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it." (Revelation 21:24) And, "they will bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it." (Revelation 21:26) These are the nations, the heathen -- God and Magog -- who, are spoken of in Isaiah 2:2-4:

It shall happen in the latter days, that the mountain of Jehovah's house shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be raised above the hills; And all nations shall flow to it. Many peoples shall go and say, "Come, let's go up to the mountain of Jehovah, To the house of the God of Jacob; And he will teach us of his ways, And we will walk in his paths. For out of Zion the law shall go forth, And the word of Jehovah from Jerusalem. He will judge between the nations, And will decide concerning many peoples; And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning-hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war any more.

Thus Gog and Magog will have learned the ways of Jehovah in that coming age. That coming 'new earth' will be the earth of righteousness, in which they will be shown favor:

When your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness. Let favor be shown to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness; in the earth of uprightness will he deal wrongfully, and will not see the majesty of Jehovah. -- Isaiah 26:9,10.

Peter spoke of that "earth of uprightness," saying: "according to his promise, we look for new heavens and a new earth, in which dwells righteousness." -- 2 Peter 3:13.

It is in that earth of uprightness that the proving is done. The inhabitants will learn righteousness, but there will be those who will refuse, in that upright new earth, to learn to do what is right.

In Ezekiel 38, where we find mention of God and Magog in this age, God's promise is made at the end of the chapter: "I will magnify myself, and sanctify myself, and I will make myself known in the eyes of many nations; and they shall know that I am Jehovah." (Ezekiel 38:24) Jehovah promised to make himself know nto these nations. What will this mean? Do they come know that he is Jehovah in this age? We don't think so. The heathen are still blinded by Satan. We see a similar statement made toward Jerusalem (representing Israel), when God speaks of Israel in the age to come, saying: "I will establish my covenant with you; and you shall know that I am Jehovah; that you may remember, and be confounded, and never open your mouth any more, because of your shame, when I have forgiven you all that you have done, says the Lord Jehovah." (Ezekiel 16:62,63) We believe also it will be in the age to come that the heathen will come to know Jehovah.

It is only those who willfully refuse to submit the righteousness of that age that we read: "nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life." (Revelation 21:27) Those of the "nations" who get their names written in the Lamb's book of life in that age will be those who obey the things that are written in the books that are opened to them in that age. (Revelation 20:12) Those are the "nations" -- the heathen -- God and Magog -- who in this age did not believe. The nations -- God and Magog, as a whole, will have, by the end of the thousand years, in that earth of uprightness, entered into the city by learning righteousness in obedience, while a remnant will be left out of the city because of their failure to repent at heart.

By Ronald R. Day, Sr. (Restoration Bible Study Services - ResLight, RLBible)

The Unforgiveable Sin
Mankind's Course to the Day of Judgment
The Restoration of All Things
The Ransom For All
The Watchtower's Self Contradiction About the Ransom

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