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Berean Christadelphians


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Reply with quote  #16 

Not following Facebook, I’m not sure how this all came to be, but a brother posted this as a more complete response to Christadelphos post. This would appear to be a clarification of the post recorded in #18 of this thread.

The brother claimed to lament the state of the Bereans. As the brother found the Bereans unacceptable to him in the days of bro. Growcott and separated at that time, we have no doubt that he will find our current state just as lamentable.

He claimed that reading Christadelphos’ post, was like reading “The Endeavor.” There is an old joke where one asks what is the difference between an elephant and an orange. When the respondent says he doesn’t know, the jokester responds that he is not sending him to the store for a dozen oranges. The problem in this brother’s accusation does not lie with Christadelphos, but with the brother’s own power of discernment. The brother’s full argument is as follows:

1. The whole argument of FRH seems basically to be an elaborate justification for the internal temptation theory.

2. To say that the carnal mind is the same as sinful flesh or sin in the flesh, is to confuse clear divine concepts. The carnal mind is the thinking of the flesh or minding of the flesh. This is caused by the sinful passions of the flesh (the nature, body), transmitting thoughts through the brain, or brainflesh. This is the thinking part of the flesh. The body doesn't think. As Bro Thomas says the heart is to blood, as the lungs are to breathing, and the brain is to thought. This is so obvious that a person that doesn't see this is defective in their thinking. It is all beautifully expounded in Elpis Israel by the Dr (p.88-95 and p.126-131).

3. To argue that a corrupt thought directed at the Lord externally, is the same as a thought generated by his own flesh promptings, is the old argument for justification of carnal thinking, and is a totally false and confused argument. In fact these two cases are totally different. In the first case a person is undefiled so long as he repudiates the thought. But if he sympathises with the corrupt thought then he sins. Yahweh knows all the thoughts of man yet is undefiled. So with Christ. In the second case if he generates the corrupt carnal thought of himself, through his own flesh promptings, then he sins. His mind is polluted.

4. If Christ thought a sinful thought, even momentarily, then he sinned and we have no Redeemer. Christ was the Logos made flesh, I and my Father ae one. He who hath seen me hath seen the Father. My words are not my own. You are from beneath, I am from above. He was the Ish Khasid, the Holy One of God (Deut.33.5), the Anointed Cherub (Hb.1.3). He kept his body under, the loins of his mind were continually girded with the Spirit. His mind was the Temple of God, and sin never defiled it.

5. Bro Roberts says the internal temptation is "untenable" = cannot be held (Christendom Astray). Bro Thomas says that in the case of Adam and Job the tempter was external and these are types (Elpis Israel).

6. The thought of foolishness is sin (Pv.24.9). To be carnally minded is death (Rom.8.6).

My answers are as follows:

#1. There is nothing elaborate about these answers. They are developed directly from Scripture, with specific quotes proving each point. You must deny Scripture, to deny them. For instance, Mark tells us clearly that Jesus was tempted. James defines for us exactly what temptation is. Every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lusts...” To deny that Jesus was tempted in this way, brethren must deny that James’ argument applies to Jesus. You have to deny that Jesus had his own lusts. Our argument requires simple reading. Theirs is the “elaborate argument” which must find a way to deny that James’ argument about what temptation is, does not apply to Jesus, and that Jesus was created with a different nature than us.

The “elaborate argument” they come up with to justify their position, is through the doctrine of God Manifestation. We accept that God was made manifest through the life of Jesus. But how this was accomplished, we cannot say. But they tell us how. God made Jesus without the diabolos, or internal promptings of the flesh.

#2. We have set out in this thread (# 10) the teachings of bro. Thomas on the subject. Much of what we have quoted is from the section in Elpis Israel the brother refers us to. So obviously, these things don’t mean the same thing to us, as they do to him. But he refuses to clarify his reason for listing the quotes, so we’re sort of stuck. Through out this discussion, the brethren taking the position that Christ did not have “a carnal mind” have steadfastly refused to touch the teachings of bro. Thomas as raised in that thread (#10). Instead, they quote other things, off topic, to try and set bro. Thomas against himself. This started when I was still trying to negotiate the “Facebook” threads, which ultimately I found too difficult. That is why I retreated back to this format.

He says that to confuse “the carnal mind” with “sin in the flesh” or “sinful flesh” is to confuse clear divine concepts. If this is the case, his complaint is with bro. Thomas. It was bro. Thomas in Elpis Israel who linked “the carnal mind” with “the serpent in the flesh, and then explained that “the serpent in the flesh” was expressed Scripturally as “sin in the flesh.” (Elpis Israel, pg. 91) I have no doubt that bro. Thomas explained the point exactly right.

The rest of his number two, we agree with. The brain is the thinking part of the flesh. Sinful passions (I would use the pioneer’s term, impulses) arise in the body, the consequent of our senses (see, hear, taste, smell, feel) and are processed through the brain, where they become thoughts.

# 3. His number three is where our disconnect with him occurs. He argues that these sinful promptings, of themselves, are necessarily sin for which we are guilty. He writes: “...if he generates the corrupt carnal thought of himself, through his own flesh promptings, then he sins. His mind is polluted.”

As we have quoted before, bro. Roberts clearly points out that the promptings to sin, are not sin. Yes, they are the product of sin, but they are not sin, in the sense of transgression. A man is not guilty of sin, due to the curse from Adam causing the promptings of sin in our flesh. This consequence of sin is a misfortune, not a crime.

He argues that he was tempted from without. No doubt this is true. But if the suggestions from without, did not stimulate the promptings of his flesh from within, then he wasn’t tempted AT ALL.

The brother argues that if Christ ever was tempted from within, he could not be our redeemer. The truth is entirely in the other direction. If he was not tempted from within, then did not bear our infirmities, then sin was not in his flesh making it possible to be condemned there, then he could not have borne our sins to the tree.

#4. He continues with the same thought as number three. “If Christ thought a sinful thought, even momentarily, then he sinned and we have no Redeemer.”

There is no scripture that can support this concept. There simply is no scripture which says a sinful thought generated from within our body, engaged even momentarily, is sin. This is a conclusion he has reached himself. Not one verse can be advanced to support this teaching. In fact, Scriptural teaching is against this concept.

Now note the way this brother seeks to prove this point. The verses he uses show how devoid of proofs this idea is, as he makes no effort to support this statement. Instead, he quotes verses which speak to us as the Holy Spirit operating in Christ, as proof that Christ could not have had a sinful thought.

Christ was the Logos made flesh, I and my Father ae one. He who hath seen me hath seen the Father. My words are not my own. You are from beneath, I am from above. He was the Ish Khasid, the Holy One of God (Deut.33.5), the Anointed Cherub (Hb.1.3).

All these things are true. But none of these things prove that Christ could not have been tempted, which, according to James, means being drawn away of his own lusts and enticed. The only way these verses can bear upon the temptation of Christ, is if we are considering that those bearing the nature of God can not be tempted (a true Scriptural principle) and that therefore Christ could not be tempted. But this requires Jesus to have been of divine nature. This is a Trinitarian argument. Otherwise that argument falls apart.

Question: If Christ never had a thought apart from God for even a moment, how did he know he had an independent will? “I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him who sent me.” If he never, even for a minute thought about it, how did he know his own will was different from God’s will?

#5. This is answered in this thread, #11.

#6. Lastly, we are told that to be carnally minded is death. Question: Did Christ die? If he did, where is the proof that he was not born with the minding of the flesh, that had to be sacrificed or slaughtered in his death?

And finally, we come to Prov. 24:9. “Even the thought of foolishness is sin.” This is really the best, in fact the only proof available that Christ could not even have had the impulses to sin in his body. This should have been the verse used to support his #4, that “if Christ had a sinful thought, even momentarily, then we have no redeemer.” I would point out that neither bro. Thomas or Roberts used this verse to describe the nature of Christ.

The question becomes, what does the verse mean? The word translated “thought” there is “zimmah,” and it means “a plan, especially a bad one.” The NET Bible translates this as “scheme,” which is much closer to the intent. The word occurs 29 times in the Old Testament, and is never translated thought, except here. It is once translated “wicked mind” as in Pro 21:27 “The sacrifice of the wicked is abomination: how much more, when he bringeth it with a wicked mind?”

Overwhelmingly, the word is used of fornication. Under the law, it was used of the man who uncovered the nakedness of a woman, her daughter, or her granddaughter. Of the man who took a mother and daughter to wife. And the of the man who prostituted his daughter. It was called “wickedness.”

The Levite used the term as what happened to his concubine at Gibeah, calling it “lewdness.”

Job uses it twice. Once in lamenting that the evil which came upon him caused all his “purposes” to be over. In other words, he could no longer carry out his “plans.” Again he uses it, saying it would be a “heinous crime” had he committed adultery.

It is used twice in the Psalms, where the Psalmists prays not to come to men up to “mischief.”

It is used three times in Proverbs, the two already mentioned, “thought” and “wicked mind” and again it is used of men up to “mischief.”

Isaiah uses it as a wicked plan. He says: Isa 32:7 “The instruments also of the churl are evil: he deviseth “wicked devices” to destroy the poor with lying words, even when the needy speaketh right.

Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Hosea use it another 16 times, and every time in reference to the “lewdness” of Israel in their idolatry.

And “foolishness” is not properly translated either. It is a metonym for the actual word, which was “folly.” “The scheme of folly is sin.”

This is the also the idea that the translators of the LXX had. Compare the KJV to the LXX.

Pro 24:7 Wisdom is too high for a fool: he openeth not his mouth in the gate.
Pro 24:8 He that deviseth to do evil shall be called a mischievous person.
Pro 24:9 The thought of foolishness is sin: and the scorner is an abomination to men.

Prov 24:7-9: “Wisdom and good insight are in the gates of the wise. The wise do not turn aside from the law of the Lord, but consider things in the sanhedrins, but uninstructed ones meet with death, but the fool dies in sins, uncleanness to a pestilent man.”

It should be clear that the word “Zinnah” does not mean thought, but it means the entire plan. And with this in mind, the issue becomes much clearer. Christ, having our nature, suffered from the same impulses to temptation common to all men. He did not ever yield to these impolusts, and never “schemed” to do folly. Some would wish to rob him of this trial, lessening his great victory. But as bro. Roberts says, “the impulses to sin, are not sin.” Christ was sinless.




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Reply with quote  #17 

The following post was made in response to my answer to the post recorded at the start of thread #20. It is not by the originator of that post, but by a brother sympathetic to him.

This is actually [another brother’s] comments that are being answered not mine. I would like to make sure that there is a real substantial difference rather than a striving about correct terminology. [#1.] Is the internal tempter theory at the root of the contention? [#2.] Also The thought of foolishness is sin...I did come to the conclusion 30 years ago (I have not studied this since) that a better translation would be 'planned foolish action' which seems to agree with Brother Jim's translation. I don't see that the re-translation changes the argument though. So another question to separate substance from terminology - [#3.] Having to put this bluntly is painful but:: Is the argument being made that Christ of his own inclinations would have thoughts tending to adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, dissensions, sects, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like"?

From his second post:
[#4.] Having looked at the forum it does seem to me that Bro Jim Philips is making matters overly complicated in order to justify the carnal mind theory.

#5. Yahoshua inherited the same sin nature as all sons of Adam. What are its propensities? ‘The propensities enable a creature to propagate its species, take care of its young, defend itself against enemies, collect food, and so forth’ .

The propensities are the natural impulses or instincts of the flesh. Because Sin’s flesh is a defiled nature the bias of these instincts or motions of sin is in the direction of transgression.

#6. The carnal mind

The unilluminated thinking of the flesh gives birth to the "works of the flesh; which are, adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, dissensions, sects, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like" (Gal. 5:19).

#7. The Mind of Christ., filled with wisdom, full of grace and truth. The mirror image of the mind of the father.

The propensities of the sin defiled nature can be governed either; by the carnal mind – which is the thinking of the flesh or the mind of Christ. In the case of Christ he kept his body under.  Note:  Numbering is mine, for the purpose of responding to his arguments.--JP]

My answers to his posts are as follows:

#1. This is not about an internal or external tempter. Personally, I believe there was a Satan, that is, an external adversary, physically present with Jesus. I tend to think it was as bro. Thomas says: an angel of light. As the serpent in the garden was a “diabolos” an observer of humanity, from outside of humanity, so would it seem likely that Jesus’ tempter was also not one of our race, but a specially prepared tempter who knew best Jesus’ weaknesses, prossibly because of being, or being associated with one of his teachers.

But while the discussion is not about who initiated the temptation, it is about whether the actual temptation itself was simply the words spoken by the adversary, or was the actual temptation the resulting effect on Jesus’ inherent physical senses, which caused impulses to sin in Jesus. To be tempted is to be drawn away of one’s own desires, and enticed. The effect of the adversary’s speech had to be the enticement of Jesus’s own desires, or he would not have truly been tempted.

#2. The translation changes the subject this way. If merely the impulse to sin is understood by the term “even the thought of foolishness is sin,” then the mere impulse to sin becomes transgression, and Christ had to be formed without the diabolos. If this is the case, he was not “made sin” for us. But if the phrase means “planned foolish action,” then the impulses to sin, immediately dispersed and shunned by Jesus the instant he identified the impulse as sin, would not be sin. Thus while the diabolos worked in him, it never was given standing, the mind of the spirit obliterating its every impulse.

#3. We really cannot say with any specificity what the various temptations and trials experienced by Jesus were, beyond his six temptations in the wilderness. They are not recorded. They were no doubt, the same temptations and trials common to all flesh. Any of the things listed could possibly have created such impulses in his flesh. What we can say is that his trials were of such magnitude that we see him lamenting them in the Psalms: “For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me.” While the flesh lusteth against the spirit, in the case of Jesus, the spirit always conquered the flesh.

#4. A continuous response is that our arguments are “complicated” or “elaborate.” If they were, but were accurate, what would it matter? But that they are the simplest explanation must be clearly apparent. Our argument, again is simply this:

  • A. Jesus was tempted
  • B. To be tempted is to be drawn away of one’s own desires, and enticed.
  • C. To have his own desires and to destroy the diabolos in his death, he had to have the thinking of the flesh, in his flesh.

#5. The man was not simply created with propensities. He was created with propensities and “intellect.” The brother has correctly explained “propensities.” He didn’t deal with the intellect. Intellect governs the propensities, so that the man follows the propensities for the gratification of the creature’s own sensations.

In Elpis Israel, pg 124 (Logos Edition) bro. Thomas lays all this out. Man and animals have propensity and intellect. To man alone is added “sentiment” which gave the man the ability to control both propensity and intellect for a higher purpose. Bro. Thomas says:

In the mental constitution of man, God designed that the sentiments, enlightened by His truth, should have the ascendancy, and preside over, and govern his actions. Under such an arrangement, the thoughts of the man would have resulted from spiritual thinking as opposed to the thoughts of the inferior creatures, which are purely the thinking of the flesh.

I note that, because bro. Thomas here clearly defines for us what the carnal mind is. It is that which the animals have: the propensity governed only by intellect, in the absent of sentiment. Sentiment is “superadded” (bro. Thomas’ word,) to the man that he might control the carnal mind, and work in a Godly direction. But every one of us born of woman, is born with propensity and intellect, and consequently born with “the thinking of the flesh.” To we who know the truth, and above all, to the Word made flesh, the thinking of the spirit is superadded, that the thinking of the flesh might be destroyed minute by minute, to the extent that we walk after the thinking of the spirit. That “extent” in Jesus was full and complete.

#6. We have no doubt that the carnal mind, unregulated by Divinely led sentiment, gives birth to the works of sin our brother has referenced. But note the phrase used, for it makes our point. The carnal mind gives birth to [sin]. Is it not clear from this statement, that the carnal mind is of itself, separate from the sin, as it gives birth to the sin.

#7. We agree. The man can regulate the mind of the flesh, by the mind of the spirit. But isn’t it fundamental that he has to have the mind of the flesh, in order to regulate it.


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Reply with quote  #18 

This is another criticism from the same brother addressed in the last post.

I am not a Berean member of course or party to the disagreements which have taken place in your community. I do know that the Bereans have been blessed with the pioneer minded Gilbert Growcott. Perhaps he was Yahweh's blessing to your community for the faithful stands taken from 1917 to 1923 (Pearce and Davis and AD Strickler). Brother Growcott's writings are deeply spiritual and so in tune with the pioneers that he may even be referred to as a third pioneer. Especially when his lifelong devotion to guiding the ecclesias with so much fine exposition and Christ -like exhortation is taken into account. So I would enquire: How long has this controversy being going on in the Bereans. ie. Is it a recent development that brethren have gone public with their belief that Christ had a carnal mind?

As far as the carnal mind controversy is concerned it is very important as it concerns the doctrine of Deity manifestation El with us, full or grace and truth - filled with wisdom. (BASF 9). Let this mind be in you which was in Christ. The pioneer teaching is being rejected. I assume the Berean heritage is being rejected. The carnal mind position is not the historical one held by the community. Some brethren seem determined to hold on to a favoured belief that Christ had a carnal mind in spite of all the evidence against their position. It is unacceptable to wrest Bro Thomas' segment in Elpis Israel to justify a doctrine he opposed in all his writings. The carnal mind is not the same thing as sin in the flesh - this is misconstruing scripture and Bro Thomas.

The quotations submitted by [another brother] are so lucid I cannot see any reason for anyone to continue to hold the wrong view. Brother Robert's quote is a warning against requiring too much from fellow believers in their understanding of “how” (as a matter of literal, scientific, metaphysical process) Christ came in the flesh. He is referring to that which is not comprehensible. But as to the doctrine of The Mind of Christ he showed that is entirely understandable and wrote about it at length in a way that is clear to those that believe it.
Brother Roberts is not referring to the carnal mind theory in his advice. He rejected this doctrine as 'Untenable'.

My Response
I guess, we might say that we have been experiencing some discord for a few months, but not on the carnal mind. I feel we are unified that this is just a semantic discussion. If the carnal mind is a physical entity, the equivalent of “sin in the flesh,” then obviously Jesus had it. If the carnal mind is a moral description of planned wickedness, then obviously Jesus didn’t have it. I think we can all agree on that, and it is not a cause of discord among us. How brethren view the term itself, will depend upon their familiarity with and respect for the writings of bro. Thomas.

Brethren who read what is written, not seeking to interject their own thoughts into bro. Thomas’ writings, will see that he clearly treats the term “mind of the flesh,” or “thinking of the flesh,” or “carnal mind” as a physical part of our being, the consequence of our descent from Adam.

Our critic tells us,

...It is unacceptable to wrest Bro Thomas' segment in Elpis Israel to justify a doctrine he opposed in all his writings. ...The carnal mind is not the same thing as sin in the flesh - this is misconstruing scripture and Bro Thomas.

The quotations submitted by [another brother] are so lucid I cannot see any reason for anyone to continue to hold the wrong view.

Now I wish our critic could see that even though this discussion has been going on for several months now, he is still reduced to unsupportable affirmations to make his point. He has no ability to prove any of the things he says, witnessed by the complete lack of proof brought forward over a significantly long period of time.

Before I, personally, would make the charge that a concept is “wrested” from its context, I would be able to show quite clearly, how it is wrested from its context. Before I would make the charge that one is “misconstruing” something, I would be able to show exactly how the document we are dealing with was misconstrued. Over the coarse of the last few months, where has this been done? Where has the subject matter from bro. Thomas’ section “the Carnal Mind” even been addressed by those opposing the obvious conclusions drawn from that section?

All that has been done, is to advance other writings, purported to prove an opposite point, thus setting bro. Thomas against himself. But the other writings are not explained to us, so that we could know exactly what point is trying to be made. They are just advanced. Then, as our critic says, they are so lucid that they should be obvious.

This type of argument is called “the king has no clothes” argument, after the fable of that name. It works like this. I say the quotes are lucid and profound. If you are lucid and profound, you will agree with me. Are you lucid and profound? This is not an argument. This is peer pressure.

The question before us is what is the thinking of the flesh. The “lucid” quotes brought forward do not answer that question at all, but rather answers the question: “How does the thinking of the flesh manifest, or exhibit itself?” These are separate (though related) issues.

As to the argument itself, did we wrest the context? We used the section bro. Thomas entitled “the Carnal Mind” to prove what he taught the carnal mind was. It is hard to see how we could have been any more in context than that.

Did we misconstrue the writings of bro. Thomas. Bro. Thomas wrote:

The carnal mind, or serpent in the flesh, is the subject of a twofold manifestation, namely, individually and collectively.

Is it not obvious from this sentence that bro. Thomas is considering “the carnal mind” to be an identical phrase with “serpent in the flesh?” If that is some how misconstruing his words, give us the proper explanation of this sentence. Show us how this sentence structure should be understood to mean that the carnal mind, and the serpent in the flesh are different entities.

Again, note the following quote from his section How Sin Entered the World.

God, then, did not tempt Jesus; though His Spirit conducted Him thither to be tempted, and that, too, "By the Devil," or the enemy. This enemy within the human nature is the mind of the flesh, which is enmity against God; it is not subject to His law, neither indeed can be (Rom. 8:7). The commandment of God, which is "holy, just and good," being so restrictive of the propensities, which in purely animal men display themselves with uncontrolled violence, makes them appear in their true colors. These turbulent propensities the apostle styles "sin in the flesh," of which it is full; hence, he also terms it "sinful flesh."

Here bro. Thomas says that the Devil (diabolos) or enemy in human nature is “the mind of the flesh,” which of course is what the KJV has translated “the carnal mind.” How could he be any plainer?  Bro. Thomas says that these turbulent propensities are styled “sin in the flesh.” What have we “misconstrued” here? Is it being denied that “the mind of the flesh” is a translation of “the carnal mind?” Is it being denied that “these turbulent propensities” refer back to “the mind of the flesh?” Show us how we have misconstrued this argument, and that “sin in the flesh” does not refer back to the enemy within human nature called “the mind of the flesh.”

Our last quote was from a letter bro. Thomas wrote to immaterialists, or immortal soulists. This class of men objected to the thought that the flesh thinks. To them bro. Thomas explained:

"‘The thinking of the spirit’ is a divine superaddition to the ‘thinking of the flesh.’ The latter is common to all men and beasts, in a greater or less degree of perfection; while the former is peculiar to the prophets and apostles. and the saints of the living God.

Here bro. Thomas clearly says that all men and beasts have “the thinking of the flesh.” What have we misconstrued? Is it being denied that “the thinking of the flesh” is a translation of “the carnal mind?” Is it being denied that Jesus was a man? Is it being denied that bro. Thomas taught that the thinking of the spirit had to be “superadded” to the thinking of the flesh, in the righteous? Either explain how we have misconstrued bro. Thomas’ argument, or abandon the charges.


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Reply with quote  #19 

The following questions were posed on a web site:

(1) Did Christ "voluntarily" think about sin - the Pioneers and early Bereans all believed it was untenable! One of the reasons which bro Roberts have in Christendom Astray was "due to the harmony which existed between Christ and His Father". As bro Growcott wrote, to stick with them on this subject is the safest option.

(2) When an idea was presented to him that would have constituted sin, it was put to him by an external agent (angel of light etc). Did the suggestion of sin "enter" Christ's mind - of course it entered his mind otherwise there have been no temptation, but was immediately repelled with a "thus saith Yahweh". The mind of the spirit always gained the ascendancy and ruled his actions all throughout his life hence he was perfectly obediently, even unto death.

The first question may belie some of the confusion accompanying this issue. It seems to blend two things which differ. It seems to suggest that the promptings of the flesh are voluntary. The use of the word “untenable,” joined with “voluntarily think about sin” makes me think that some confusion must exist here. Usually, the word “untenable” is used to prove that bro. Roberts believed that Christ couldn’t have been tempted from within, that is, from the promptings of the flesh. It is used to prove that he had no "diabolos", or as some say, no "reigning diabolos" in his flesh.  This is taken from a lecture he gave, which was included in Christendom Astray. I deal with that in post # 10 of this thread. But the blending of these things makes me think that some must believe the promptings of the flesh are voluntary. They are not.

1.  The answer to the first question is, “No!” Jesus never voluntarily meditated upon sin at all. But the enticements or promptings of the flesh are not voluntary. They are involuntary. Bro. Roberts said in an exhortation:

5.—Whoso looketh on a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. As in murder, so in this: the law forbade the crime: Christ forbids those libidinous contemplations that lead to the crime. Thus he places our very thoughts in subjection, and helps us to attain that purity of heart that fits for the kingdom of God. The “motions of sin in our members” are involuntary; and as to these, we can say with Paul, “It is no more I, but sin that dwelleth in me;” but if the propensities of the flesh are mentally indulged, they become sin. This is the teaching of the precept. Chdn 1875, pg 544.

#2. When the thought was presented to him by the Adversary, it involuntarily prompted desires from within himself, creating an enticement to the mind of the flesh. This was the temptation. The very instant he realized these promptings would lead to sin, he, through the mind of the spirit overcame those promptings in himself by refusing to mentally indulge in them, he obliterated the false ideas which involuntarily came to his mind, and finding the correct answer through his knowledge and training, replied to the Adversary.

Thus in all points, he was tempted exactly like us, yet without sin.


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Reply with quote  #20 

The brother we quoted in post #23 of this thread, who had said such nice things about bro. Growcott, expressions with which we completely agree, was shown the following statement from bro. Growcott from his article, “Purifying of the Heavenly.”

Christ did not “deserve” the punishment of death, nor any other punishment. This is cloudy orthodoxy. His sacrificial death was in no sense a “punishment” of anybody. It was a triumph, a victory, a voluntary testimony of obedience and love. By life and death (one unit) he perfectly repudiated and subdued the “mind of the flesh” “sin in the flesh,” the “law of sin in the members,” “the Diabolos” — held it absolutely powerless—and voluntarily joined with God in a final, once for-all, public condemnation of it on the cross.

Nailing it to the cross was just the consummation of the sacrifice, essential to its completion: bringing the repudiation and overcoming to a final head and climax; terminating the lifelong battle in permanent, irreversible victory; destroying the Diabolos (in himself) once and for all.

God's appointed way to accomplish this was a sacrificial, bloodshedding death; a voluntarily- submitted-to death (which natural death would not be). And therefore such a death was the only way the result could be accomplished for himself, and then extended to all in him. It was the only way because it was what God appointed. If God had been pleased to appoint another way, then that way would have been the only way.

The brother was asked if he agreed with bro. Growcott, to which he answered:

“I do not agree with the terminology used in the quote you mention. The diabolos was there but not reigning as it does in the sons of Adam. I would be grateful if you can advise where this quote can be found in “Purifying of the Heavenly.”

The quote is on page 10, middle of the page in the assembled booklet. But the use of “the mind of the flesh” or “carnal mind” as a synonym for “sin in the flesh,” “the law of sin in our members,” or the “diabolos” simply shows that the third pioneer agreed with the first two, in how the terminology “carnal mind” is to be understood.


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Reply with quote  #21 


James 1. 14. “Every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed ".

A Scriptural answer to this question depends upon an understanding of several other doctrines: —

1.—What is sin in the flesh?

2.—What is the carnal mind?

3.—What is temptation?

4.—Are sin and temptation interchangeable terms sometimes conveying the meaning that temptation is sin?

5.—How are we tempted?
6.—Was Christ tempted from within? SIN IN THE FLESH.

"Sin in the flesh" is that spirit or principle of disobedience native by inheritance in all men including Christ. It is an evil principle which can never be satisfied according to law. Extending to every part of the flesh, it is the cause of all the evil we do and the disease we suffer. It has the power of death which is its wages (Rom. vi. 23), and became a fixture in the flesh through the first transgression. By one man's disobedience many were made sinners (Rom. v. 12). The flesh is therefore sinful flesh or flesh full of sin because it is impregnated with this evil principle as defiling as the sentence (Gen. iii. 19) passed in Eden, becoming a physical law of our first parents' being, and together with the death penalty is spoken of in Romans viii. 2, as the law of sin and death. In the flesh therefore dwelleth no good thing (Rom. vii. 17, 18). In the beginning our first parents were free from death and I he law of sin was not in their members. If the spirit or principle of disobedience, the law of sin, works in the children of disobedience (Eph. ii. 2) how came it there? The answer is that transgression caused its appearance and fixation in the flesh. How was this done? Through serpent suggestion accepted and acted upon becoming a law of sin, a bias or inclination to oppose law, a spirit or principle of disobedience, diabolos within, that which causes to pass over the line of law drawn by God between good and evil The children of disobedience are examples of the working of the law of sin. Born with it, they walk after it or serve it by fulfilling (or doing, Revised Version) the desires of the flesh and of the mind (Eph. ii. 3). The evil which they do is the fruit of the spirit of disobedience, and law of sin, the flesh, whose works are adultery, fornication, uncleanness, etc. (Gal. v. 19). Ai^ acts of disobedience are produced by the working of the spirit of disobedience. The spirit of disobedience is not a manifestation of sin in the flesh. It is sin in the flesh itself whose evil works are a manifestation of its presence. Care must be taken to allow for the fact that although present in the flesh by inheritance and constitution, there was ONE: MAN in whom that presence was never manifested. ONE) who never produced the works of the flesh. Both Dr. Thomas and Bro. Roberts speak of the spirit of disobedience in the following quotations :—Elpis Israel (Robert Roberts' Edition), page 88, " The power of the air or aerial power is the political power of the world, which is animated and pervaded by the spirit of disobedience which is sin in the flesh ". Also on page 113, "The word sin is used in two principal acceptations in the Scripture. It signifies in the first place the transgression of law, and in the next it represents that physical principle of the animal nature, which is the cause of all its diseases, death and resolution into dust. It is that in the flesh which has the power of death, and it is called sin because the development or fixation of this evil in the flesh was the result of transgression.

Inasmuch as this evil principle pervades every part of the flesh the animal nature is styled sinful flesh, that is flesh full of sin; so that sin in the sacred style came to stand for the substance called man. In human flesh dwells no good thing (Rom. vii. 17, 18), and all the evil a man does is the result of this principle dwelling in him". (Christendom Astray, 1884 Edition, Lecture VII., p. 175). "The spirit of disobedience which dwells in the world is personified ". The Scripture proofs being Eph. ii. 2, 3, and John xii. 31, 33. On page 128 it is stated that "The serpent being the originator of the lie which led to disobedience, the fruits of that disobedience might well be said to be his works. The individual serpent itself has long since passed away in the course of nature but the fruits remain and the principle lives. The idea instilled by it into the minds of our first parents has germinated in the production of

generations of human serpents ". On the same page, “their mortality is evidence of this whatever be their moral qualities, because mortality is the fruit of the serpent devil conceit operating in Adam to disobedience ".


The carnal mind is enmity against God. It is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can (it, R.V.) be (Rom. viii. 7). The reason for such a statement will be apparent when it is realized that such a mind is produced as the result of the human faculties being left to themselves (Bro. Roberts' exhortation, No. 547). Its parent is the flesh. All men are born with a brain, but without a mind. Mind is that state which exists as the result of the quality or kind of thinking indulged in as the brain develops. If the thoughts are carnal or fleshly, the mind will be carnal. If the thoughts are spiritual, the mind will be spiritual. But in each case a totally different principle has developed such a mind. The carnal mind is the result of the principle of disobedience using the brain to produce thought like itself, evil. Hence to be carnally minded is death (Rom. viii. 6). It is the flesh mind because the source of its production is in the flesh. The thinking of the flesh is enmity against God. The serpent mind became produced by a serpent principle, the spirit of disobedience. Therefore when such a mind is in evidence it may be said that the serpent is in the flesh. Not only is a serpent suggested principle common to all men, but in all men also, excepting Christ, it has produced carnal fruit, the carnal mind. To be spiritually minded is life and peace (Rom. viii. 6). Such a mind is developed as the result of right thinking.

It is produced through the Word received, believed, and obeyed, operating on the brain and causing the formation of thought as spiritual as itself, hence the spirit mind. Of all the sons of Adam, Jesus Christ furnishes the only example of a perfect spirit mind, so much so that of him it can be affirmed that he reflected the mental and moral attributes of Jehovah. "I and my Father are one" (John x. 30). But the mind of the spirit can neither be developed nor maintained without effort. It is contrary to the flesh, with the result that opposition and warfare will be the lot of the man who -undertakes to subject the spirit of disobedience which is in the flesh, to the discipline of the Spirit Word. Dr. Thomas renders this point as follows in Elpis Israel (Robert Roberts' Edition) page 123 :—" Although a sinner may have been delivered from the power of darkness, or ignorance; and have been translated into (Col. 1.13) the hope of the Kingdom of God and of his Christ (Rev. xi. 15), by faith in the Divine testimony and baptism into Christ—yet, if he turn his thoughts back into his own heart, and note the impulses which work there, he will perceive a something that, if he were to yield to it, would impel him to the violation of the Divine law. These impulses are styled the motions of sin (Rom. vii. 6). Before he was enlightened they worked in his members until they were manifested in evil action or sin, which is termed bringing forth fruit unto death. The remote cause of these motions is that physical principle or quality of the flesh styled indwelling sin, which returns the mortal body to the dust; and that which excites the latent disposition is the law of God forbidding to do thus and so, “for I had not known sin but by the law". Now while a righteous man feels this law involuntarily at work in his members, the law of sin or of nature within him, he also perceives there a something which condemns the motions of sin, and suppresses them; so that they shall not impel him to what he ought not to do. The best of men, and I quote Paul as an illustration of the class, are conscious of the co-existence of these hostile principles within them. I find, says he, a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. Yes; the principle of evil, and the principle of good, are the two laws which abide in the saints of God so long as they continue subject to mortality ".


He (Paul) finds, therefore, that when he would do good, evil is present with him. The Word has made manifest the evil of his nature, made him aware of the presence of an enemy, a principle of evil or disobedience, diabolos within, whose every effort to produce its own fruit must be checked and suppressed. He discovers that diabolos incites to transgression. Impels him, if allowed, to do what he ought not to do, yielded to (as in the days of his ignorance) it will work transgression of the law of God, its character being such that it never can be satisfied according to law. It is always against law, unlawful, because if obeyed it will cause law breaking; inordinate, because it invariably incites in a forbidden direction. Hunger is sometimes cited as diabolos or part of diabolos, which it cannot be, because hunger, one of the ordinary natural desires of the flesh can frequently be satisfied according to law. A man is hungry; the food is there; he eats and is satisfied, without any enticement to obtain food in an unlawful way. But diabolos, the spirit of disobedience which is in the flesh, cannot be satisfied as hunger can. Only in the breaking of law or in the production of sin can it find that satisfaction which it seeks.

DIABOLOS is never within law in its gratification. Hunger frequently is. This is an important difference which has a vital bearing upon the question. WHAT IS SIN IN THE FLKSH? Is it the natural desires of the flesh, such as hunger, or is it the spirit or evil principle of disobedience, the law of sin, which is in the flesh? The latter without a doubt! Again, it is lawful to be hungry: but, when hunger cannot be satisfied according to law, it is the spirit of disobedience which incites the man (when yielded to), to an act of disobedience, the theft of food to satisfy his lawful hunger. Every man experiences the incitements of the spirit of disobedience, diabolos within. Self-examination will reveal to him the presence of a something within, which, if he were to yield to it, would cause him to violate the Divine law. How is he aware of its presence? By its impulses, feelings, promptings of the flesh, emotions, cravings, longings. Enlightened by the Truth he knows that such 260 THE BEREAN CHRISTADELPHIAN. will excite thought like themselves, and that if he is to prevent evil thoughts and evil actions he must suppress his emotions and cravings, all of which are the incitements of diabolos within. His effort to do so constitutes the overcoming of diabolos, the prevention of the conception of diabolos producing sin, whilst the incitement of diabolos {alias lust, inordinate desire) the spirit of disobedience which is in the flesh, constitutes the temptation which draws away, or out, to the enticing point, where it is either yielded to and sin produced, or else rejected and overcome without the production of sin. A man can be therefore tempted or allured, enticed by diabolos within, without necessarily sinning. To sin he must obey sin {diabolos) in the lusts thereof (Rom. vi. 12) or yield his members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin {diabolos) (Rom. vi. 13). Even Christ himself came within the range of such experience for he was in all points tempted like as we are yet without sin (Heb. iv. IS). So that he felt the incitements of diabolos within which he never yielded to, thus resisting temptation and perfectly overcoming the common enemy. To affirm to the contrary is to deprive him of a well-earned victor's crown.


That Dr. Thomas definitely taught this can be seen from Eureka, Vol. I., pages 106, 107, where he writes as follows : — " For this cause and forasmuch also as the children (of the Deity) are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy that having the power of death that is the diabolos, or the elements of corruption in our nature, inciting it to transgression, and therefore called sin working death in us (Rom. vii. 13; Heb. ii. 9, 14). Another reason why the Word assumed a lower nature than the Elohistic was that a basis of future perfection might be laid in obedience under trial. Jesus has been appointed Captain of Salvation in the bringing of many sons to Glory. Now these sons in the accident of birth are all subject to vanity, with inveterate propensities and relative enticements, inciting and tempting them to sin. A Captain therefore, whose nature was primarily consubstantial with the Deity, could not be touched with the feeling of their infirmities. He would be essentially holy and impeccable and of necessity good. But a necessitated holiness and perfection are not a basis of exaltation to the glories of the Apocalypse. These are to be attained only by conquest of self under trial from without, by which they came out of great tribulation (Rev. 7. 14). Its promises are to those who overcome, as their Captain has overcome, when it can be said his victory is Apocalyptically CHRISTADELPHIAN.26 1 complete (Rev. 3. 21; 11. 15). Hence, then, it became the Deity to make the Captain of the Salvation of His many sons perfect through sufferings; and to effect this, he must be of their primary nature, that when the Great Captain and his associates shall rejoice together in the consubstantiality of the Deity they may all have attained to it upon the principle of voluntary obedience motived by faith, and maintained in opposition to incitements within and enticements and pressure from without. The flesh is therefore a necessary basis for this and making it possible for him to be tempted in all points according to the flesh likeness without sin. Hence, though the Son of the Deity and Heir of all things, yet he learned obedience by the things which he suffered; and being made perfect he became the author of Aionian Salvation unto all them that obey him (Heb. iv. 15; v. 8) ". Notice carefully that incitements within are attributed to the Great Captain and his associates in the days of their flesh. Incitements of what? DIABOLOS (page 106). Is diabolos sometimes satisfied according to law? Is it sometimes a lawful thing and therefore good, and at other times unlawful and therefore evil? Does it ever incite to a gratification which could be allowed it without breaking a law? N^VER. Therefore Christ and his associates experienced the incitements of an evil thing, which if followed or allowed, would have produced sin, but which was opposed and because of such opposition, their obedience and faith was manifested even unto death. Wherefore he has been, and they will be, exalted to the Divine nature. Again we ask, why? Because of their voluntary obedience motived by faith and maintained in opposition to the incitements of DIABOLOS within and enticements and pressure from without. Therefore they did not sin in having incitements within or temptation within. Christ established his worthiness in a moral conflict with the world (from which enticements and pressure came to him from without) and the flesh—

his own sinful flesh—in which was the spirit of disobedience and from which came the incitements within (Eureka Vol. L, page 15). He asks us to do the same, to which invitation we can respond because of his like experience with our own, for in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, be is able to succour them that are tempted (Heb. ii. 18). We have not an High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted like as we are yet without sin (Heb. iv. 15). But if he was not tempted from within, never opposed to the incitements of diabolos within, then he was not tempted as we are, consequently never overcame as he asks us to overcome, and his life in the flesh was a delusion and a sham.

As Dr. Thomas says: If the Son of man did not live a life of faith and if he did not experience all the temptations which we feel, then is his life and his resistance of evil no example to us. But he was tempted in all things after our likeness without sin; this, however, can only be admitted on the ground of his nature and his brethren's being exactly alike. Hence:—' He knows what sore temptations are, for he has felt the same'. Enticements within and persecutions without make up the sum of his sufferings for us, leaving us an example that we should follow in his steps, who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth ".—Elpis Israel (Robert Roberts' Edition) page 68. "He could sympathize with them experimentally, being, by the feelings excited within him when enticed, well acquainted with all (human nature's) weak points". (Christadelphian 1873, Page 361).


Therefore James i. 14 can be understood to include Christ, but not verse 15. Verse 14 is a Bible definition of temptation. it describes lust in enticement (or incitement within) which has to be obeyed or yielded to before sin is produced. Verse 15 describes lust in conception, because yielded to, bringing forth sin. Cruden describes lust in James i. 14, 15 as being “That original corruption which inclines man to sin and evil ". In this he agrees with Dr. Thomas in Eureka, Vol. I., page 106, where he says that diabolos is the elements of corruption in our nature inciting it to transgression. What was the original corruption? Serpent suggestion accepted and acted upon which has been a law of sin, a corrupting principle inciting to transgression ever since. James therefore speaks of this corrupting principle of disobedience, inciting every man, tempting every man, to cross the line of law drawn between good and evil by the law of God. Au, men including Christ have experienced the inciting of this corrupting principle, diabolos within; whilst all men, excepting Christ, have yielded to its enticements, allowing lust to conceive and bring forth sin. A man is therefore tempted of his own lust. When he yields to it or obeys it, the first product is an evil thought in the conception of lust, which evil thought is sin (Matt. ix. 3, 4; Jer. xv. 9, R.V.; Matt. xv. 18). It is said that verse 15 is a repetition of verse 14 and that the whole process of sin is described in verse 14, the verse being construed to read that " every man has sinned when he is drawn away of his own evil thoughts and enticed (entrapped) ". This extraordinary rendering is obtained by interference with the Word. "Is tempted" is altered into "has sinned". "Lust" is rendered "evil thoughts", which it cannot be, because evil thoughts are the product of lust and therefore cannot be sin and the cause of sin too. "Enticed” is rendered "entrapped ", thus abolishing temptation from within and setting up the proposition that temptation comes from without only, whilst what is styled temptation from within is really sin from within. It is claimed that it makes no difference to the strength of the temptation, whether it comes from without or from within. Whilst the no difference in strength may be open to question, the proposition cannot stand unless temptation from within does not necessitate sin, which it is said that it does, and to make it so, James 1: 14 is to be read, that “every man hath sinned", etc. If temptation from within does not necessitate transgression (and it does not), then why should temptation (from) within so necessitate it, that it is called sin? It is claimed that the one who tempts is always a sinner, and therefore must be someone without. This claim does not agree with Dr. Thomas' belief of the tempter in the wilderness, ‘the someone’ whom he says came to Christ, which someone he affirms to be an angel of light {Christadelphian, 1873), and therefore not a sinner since the immortal nature cannot sin. To say a man tempts himself is not stating a Scriptural fact. What tempts a man? Answer:—His own lust (James 1. 14). "Let not sin reign in your mortal body that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof” (Rom. vi. 12). " Know ye not that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey, whether of sin unto death or of obedience unto righteousness " (Rom. vi. 16). Dr. Thomas shows (Eureka, Vol. I, p. 12, 19, 32) that sin " incarnate " which is the devil within, tempts from within (incitements within, Vol. I., p. 106, 107), and a man has not committed sin until and unless he yields, obeys or serves sin in the lust thereof. Men do so when they comply with Matt. v. 28, for the forbidden thought is there, or as in the case of David, Achan, Gehazi, Ananias, and Saphira. In each case there was an incitement of diabolos within, which need not have been yielded to, but could have been opposed, but because yielded to, the sin spoken of, was committed, the lust conceived

bringing forth adultery (2 Sam. xi. 4), theft (Josh. vii. 1), theft (1 Kings xxi. 16), (25, did sell himself to work wickedness, or obeyed sin in the lusts thereof), falsehood (2 Kings v. 25), falsehood (Acts v. 3), and conceived in the heart (Acts v. 4). Each case cited should be read in conjunction with James 1: 14, 15, and not verse 14 alone. Annandale's Concise English Dictionary gives “tempt" as meaning “to incite or solicit to an evil act, to invite, to try to induce ", etc., which meaning harmonizes with the incitements of diabolos within. (Eureka, Vol. I., p. 106, 107.) Cruden's gives twenty-one passages with the word “tempted " in which it cannot be interchanged with the word " sin " and made to mean transgression. Nine times " tempted " is applied to God, in the sense of tried or proved, six times to Christ in the same sense and six times to men, one in the sense of trial and five in the sense of incitements within, which when yielded to produce sin. "Tempted" and “sin” are not, therefore, interchangeable terms, their use and meaning being different. Bro. Roberts in Nazareth Revisited (2nd Edition), " Human Nature and Diabolos ", p. 85, says :—" No man is tempted in this way (that is by a personal supernatural devil) but always by the incitements of the flesh, either operating spontaneously within, or presented to us in an objective manner by the suggestions of a person external to ourselves ". In Christendom Astray, Lecture VII., the same point is stressed in the following words:—" But, the objector may say, true, sin is the cause of death but who prompts the sin? Is it not here that the devil of popular belief has his work? Nothing can be more directly met by a Bible answer. "Every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived it bringeth forth sin, and sin when it is finished bringeth forth death" (James i. 14, 15). This agrees with a man's own experience of himself; sin originates in the untrained natural inclinations. These in the aggregate Paul terms: “another law in my members warring against the law of my mind ". Every man is conscious of the existence of this law whose impulse uncontrolled would drive him beyond the restraints of wisdom. The world obeys this law and lies in wickedness. It has no experience of the other law which is implanted by the Truth. All that is in the world, John defines to be, "the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, the pride of life" (1 John ii. 16). When a man becomes enlightened by the Truth and is thus made aware of God's will in reference to the state of his mind and the nature of his actions, a new law is introduced. This is styled the "Spirit” because the ideas upon which it is based have been evolved by the Spirit through inspired men. “The words that I speak unto you ", says Jesus, “they are Spirit and they are life “(John vi. 63). Hence the warfare established in a man's nature by the introduction of the Truth is a warfare of the two principles— the desires of the flesh, and the commands of the Spirit. This is described by Paul in the following words: —"The flesh lusteth against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh, and these are contrary the one to the other " (Gal. v. 17). Walk in the Spirit, says he, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh (verse 16). He says in another place, “Let not sin therefore, reign in your mortal body that we should obey it in the lust thereof” (Rom. vi. 12). Dr. Thomas shows, Elpis Israel, page 68 that the evil, or spirit of disobedience, sin in the flesh, in human nature, is personified by the apostle Paul in Rom. vii. 12-18, as “pre-eminently, A SINNER "; to which we would add the words of Proverbs 1:10, 16 as illustrative of the example of Christ in opposing the incitements of diablos (the sinner within) and the enticements and pressure of sinners without—" My Son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not (yield not, obey not, serve not). If they say come with us.. . My Son, walk thou not with them. Refrain thy foot from their path, for their feet run to evil ". If we would follow the Captain of our Salvation we must locate the enemy where it is to be found, in the flesh, and overcome it even as Christ has done, using the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, to subdue the incitements of diabolos, the devil within, and oppose enticements and pressure from without. The word “tempted” is never used to mean “transgression" neither in the Scriptures nor in any Dictionary, therefore the words following it in James 1. 14, cannot describe transgression, and do not mean that every man has sinned when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed. If they did, then the statement would be a contradiction, and the Spirit would be at fault in selecting a word which does not mean “to sin " and qualifying it with a following clause in the same sentence which it is claimed describes an act of transgression. (Concluded). 

J. Meadows

Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #22 


Thomas, J. Herald of the kingdom and age to come (Vol. 6, pp. 267–269).

Another charge, as baseless as the former, is, that we deny “the perfect humanity of Jesus.” This is a phrase nowhere found in Scripture concerning the Christ or Jesus; so that we cannot tell how to define it by the word of God. If by “perfect humanity” our accuser means that “the body prepared for” the Spirit was in every respect human, how can he say that we deny it, when we fully respond to the words of Paul, who saith, “Jesus truly taketh not hold of angels, but of the seed of Abraham he taketh hold: wherefore in all things it was necessary that he be made like to the brethren.” The brethren constituting “the seed of Abraham” were and are perfectly human. There is nothing of the angelic nature in their constitution; but, on the contrary, one of the best specimens of “the brethren” says, “in me, ” that is, in my flesh, “dwelleth no good thing.” (Rom. 7:18.) He that saith this of himself was “seed of Abraham,” according to the flesh, and spirit too. Now, this distinguished teacher of Christianity declares, that “the body prepared for” the Spirit, or Glory of the Father, was made like to his flesh, or body, “in all things;” for, says he, “It was necessary that he should be made like to his brethren in all things.” This we believe firmly. If by “perfect humanity” our accuser means this, then his accusation falls to the ground; and it is manifest that we do not deny “the perfect humanity of Jesus.” If, in the days of his flesh, the Lord had not been perfectly human, what resemblance would there have been between the lifting up the prepared body on the cross, and the lifting up of the serpent in the wilderness? If that body had not been perfectly human in all things like ours, how could God have “sent his Son in the likeness of sinful flesh?” Is not sinful flesh perfectly human? Is it not “flesh of sin?” This is all the “perfect humanity” men are acquainted with. If the body crucified had not been thus perfectly human, how could sin have been condemned IN it? Or, how could “the Anointed,” “his own self, have borne our sins IN his own body upon the tree?” Read Rom. 8:2; 1 Pet. 2:24, and think upon them.

But, we suspect, that this is not “W. K’s.” meaning, seeing that this is the doctrine of Elpis Israel, which is obviously in harmony with Scripture. He objects to the exposition there, and consequently denies that the Son of God became incarnate in flesh like ours; and under the foolish idea of conferring a great honor on the Lord Jesus, asserts, we presume, after the teaching of his sect, that his body was made of a better kind of flesh than his brethren’s!—that it was essentially holy, pure, immaculate, and immortal per se, and consequently in no one respect similar to human nature, or similar even to any creature whatever! This is what the superstitions of “W. K.’s” class of heretics style, “the perfect humanity of Jesus.” They affirm that his flesh was a different and better flesh than “the brethren’s”—that theirs is an imperfect, and his a perfect, humanity. But theirs is “the flesh,” common to the race of man. To say, then, that Jesus was not made in all things like to this—that he had a better nature—is to say that “Jesus did not come in the flesh.” This is the heresy that Elpis Israel is condemned for not teaching. It is true, Elpis Israel affirms, that Jesus came in sinful flesh; but that notwithstanding the plague of such a nature, he was obedient in all things, “did no sin, nor was guile found in his mouth;” in which sense there was no sin in him, “he was without sin;” thus, “he who knew no sin, was made sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in him.” In opposition to this, Rome and her meretricious progeny heretically affirm, that Jesus did not come in the flesh; but in a different nature, which they style “immaculate.” They perceive, however, the difficulty of bringing a clean, unwrinkled, spotless nature, out of an unclean; so that they have fallen upon the expedient of cleansing the nature of Mary, by a papal decree. Protestants, the seed of the papacy, however, would object, that they do not believe in the immaculate conception of the Virgin; true, but they believe the equivalent absurdity of pure and spotless flesh coming of sinful flesh! Doth not the Scripture inquire, “How can he be clean that is born of woman? The stars are not pure in God’s sight; how much less man, who is a worm? And THE SON OF MAN, WHO IS A WORM?” Job. 35:6. And that the reader may see that this has reference to Christ, styled the Son of Man in the New Testament, we will quote the words of the Spirit in David concerning him, saying, “I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people. All they that see me laugh me to scorn; they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He trusted in Jehovah that he would deliver him; let him deliver him if he delight in him.” Ps. 22:6. This was fulfilled to the letter in Jesus; for “they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads. Likewise also the Chief Priests mocking, with the Scribes and Elders, said, If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. He trusted in God; let him deliver him now if he will have him, for he said, I am the Son of God.” Matt. 27:39–43.


To affirm, then, the immaculate nature of the body prepared for the Spirit, is as unscriptural and absurd as to affirm the immaculate conception and nature of its virgin-mother. One absurdity begets another; and the spirit of Antichrist has generated them both. These two heresies, idolized by papists and protestants, prove them to be all of one family. They all, who claim to be “orthodox,” deny that Jesus came in the flesh. This is not a modern heresy; but an element of “the Mystery of Iniquity” which was festering in “the heritages,” 

This heresy against the proper humanity of Christ is far more subtle than the counterpart of it, which denies His proper divinity. The orthodox have never been slack in excommunicating those who reject this; but they had better look well to themselves; for the “Sinful Flesh” is as much an element of the divine Jesus, as “the Spirit.” In body, Jesus only differed from other men in paternity. God was the father of that body, not Joseph; therefore the body was Son of God, as Luke testifies of the first Adam. The logical consequences resulting from the denial of the true humanity of Jesus, are destructive of the Mystery of the Gospel; for if the Spirit did not take our nature, but a better nature, then is that better nature not our nature, and redeemed from whatever curse it may have laid under, and been reconciled to God. But if the human nature of Christ were immaculate, (excuse the phrase, O reader, for since the Fall we know not of an immaculate human nature) then God did not “send Jesus in the likeness of sinful flesh;” he did not “take hold of the seed of Abraham;” he did not “become sin for us;” “sin was” not “condemned in the flesh;” and “our sins were” not “borne in his body upon the tree.” These things could not have been accomplished in a nature destitute of that physical principle styled “Sin in the flesh.” Decree the immaculateness of the body prepared for the Spirit, Psal. 40:6, Heb. 10:5, and the “Mystery of Christ” is destroyed, and the gospel of the kingdom ceases to be the power of God for salvation, to those that believe it. If the Son of Man did not live a life of faith, and if he did not experience all the temptations which we feel, then is his life, and his resistance of evil, no example to us. But “he was tempted in all things after our likeness without sin;” this, however, can only be admitted on the ground of his nature, and “the brethren’s” being exactly alike; hence,

    He knows what sore temptations are,

    For he has felt the same:

enticements within and persecutions without, made up the sum of his “sufferings for us, leaving us an example, that we should follow in his steps; who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth.”

But, as a last resort against all this, the doctors of the apostasy fall back upon the saying of Gabriel, in Luke 1:35, that the child to be born of Mary was a “holy thing,” and consequently of an immaculate nature. But they forget that all the first-borns of Israel were “holy things.” Jesus was Jehovah’s first-born by Mary; and therefore one of the first-borns of the nation: so that the law of the first-borns applied to him equally with the rest. “All the first-born are mine; for on the day that I smote all the first-born in the land of Egypt I hallowed unto me all the first-born in Israel, both man and beast: mine shall they be: I am Jehovah.” Hence, the holiness of Mary’s babe was not of nature, but of constitution by the law. Gabriel declared his legitimacy, in styling it a “holy thing”—a declaration ratified by Jehovah himself, before the multitude, when he acknowledged Jesus as his Son, in whom He delighted, Matt. 3:17.

In conclusion, upon this point we may remark, that previous to the resurrection of the first-fruits, the Scripture knows nothing of two kinds of flesh, one immutable, immortal, and incapable of acting otherwise than in conformity with the will of the Creator; and another flesh mutable, mortal, and capable of acting contrary to the will of God; it knows but of one kind of flesh, and pronounces condemnation upon those who deny that in that one kind came the Son of God to do His will, as it is written of him in the volume of the book. Christ made sin, though sinless, is the doctrine of God—a deep and wonderful scheme, that the wisdom and power of Deity could alone devise.

Such was Jesus “in the days of his flesh,” when “through weakness he was crucified” for sin; but now, no longer weak, “he lives by the power of God.” In power he rose from among the dead, and ascended into glory. The revival of his body was its begettal as Jehovah’s first-born from the dead; not first in order of immortalization, but first as pre-eminent over all. Of his resurrection, it is written, “Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.” This was his second begettal by the spirit; at the first, he was begotten of Mary after her nature; at the second, of the grave, with a nature incorruptible, glorious, and powerful—a spiritual body, or life-imparting Spirit; flesh and bones “perfected” for evermore. This is a higher nature, and one to which few of Adam’s race have yet attained. Paul styles it in Rom. 1:4, πνευμα ῾αγλωσυνηζ, pneuma hagiosunes, spirit of holiness, an hebraical expression for pneuma hagion, holy spirit. His words are, “Jesus was made of the seed of David according to flesh: and decreed Son of God in power according to holy spirit, by resurrection from the dead.” Hence, resurrected spiritual body is holy spirit; because “that which is begotten from the spirit Rκ τον πνRνματοζ is spirit”—a clean and perfect nature. Such is the Son of God now; and such will “the brethren” be, when he shall have made them ισαγγR1οι “equal to the angels,” or holy spirit.

J. Meadows

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Reply with quote  #23 
Hi bro. James,

So good to see you here, and thank you for your input.

I would take issue with bro. Denny's (I presume) treatment of the carnal mind.  He is  treating it as the product of the flesh, and not of the flesh itself.  As I have pointed out in reply 10 of this thread, this is incorrect according to the teachings of bro. Thomas.

To quote briefly what was already written there in greater detail:
"‘The thinking of the spirit’ is a divine superaddition to the ‘thinking of the flesh.’ The latter is common to all men and beasts, in a greater or less degree of perfection; while the former is peculiar to the prophets and apostles. 

Bro. Denny writes:
 Its parent is the flesh. All men are born with a brain, but without a mind. Mind is that state which exists as the result of the quality or kind of thinking indulged in as the brain develops. If the thoughts are carnal or fleshly, the mind will be carnal.

It is false to say that we are born with a brain but not with a mind.  The mind or thinking process we are born with, is the product of the fall in the garden, correctly styled by bro. Denny above "sin in the flesh."  The thinking of the flesh springs involuntarily from the flesh (brain) in all men and animals, and requires to be controlled by the minding of the spirit, which is learned.   The minding of the flesh is not learned.  We have no ability to stop the impulses which spring from the flesh. Thus the flesh is not the parent of the carnal mind, but the carnal mind is itself, the flesh which thinks.

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