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JimPhillips

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49–The Devil of Heb 2:14

While bre. Thomas and Roberts both spoke generally in terms of the body being cleansed by sacrifice, neither of them ever meant the mechanical way which MT has insisted must be taken from the term.

Those of us who read the pioneer works would understand that bre. Roberts and Thomas did not appear to completely agree on the steps involved for the cleansing by sacrifice. But it must be kept clear, neither of them took the mechanical view proffered by MT, that the sacrifice cleansed the man. God cleansed the man on account of the sacrifice. That is a different concept than that they were cleansed by the sacrifice. The only difference between bre. Thomas and Roberts was in the question as to when the Adamic sentence was removed, in consequence of the sacrifice. To bro. Thomas, Jesus was cleansed from Adam’s condemnation after he died, but before he was resurrected. To bro. Roberts, he came out of the grave with Adamic Condemnation, and was not cleansed from it till he was changed through immortalized. In both cases, the "cleansing" was not mechanically done by the sacrifice, but lovingly accomplished by God, on account of the obedient sacrifice.

Bro. Thomas wrote of the resurrected state in Anastasis:

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But what observer, from mere appearance of the field of vision, can tell whether the green herb be grass, wheat, rye, or cheat? If he desired a pure field of wheat, and he were to undertake to separate the wheat from the cheat and rye, he would be as likely to root up the wheat as the others, being so much alike before they have received the bodies the Deity has been pleased to give them. So, also, in the resurrection fields of bodies sprouted, germinated, or generated, from the dust. Viewed by a spectator unacquainted with their antecedents, all who have come forth, both just and unjust, appear alike to him. He could not, from mere appearance, separate the one class from the other. The crowd before him in this stage of resurrection, which is simply anastasis, or standing up, are in corruption, dishonour, weakness, and naturality; for those physical qualities are constituents of all bodies begotten or conceived in dust—"dust of the earth, earthy"; yet "very good" bodies, in the sense that the first Adam’s was "very good" before he sinned (Gen. 1:31; 2:7).

This, according to bro. Thomas, is the resurrected state. It comes forth as Adam, but before he sinned. It comes forth resurrected to a "very good" body. You see, there is no inherited condemnation from Adam in the newly resurrected earthy body. Yet we do not come forth immortal, or clean. It is corruptible, and therefore still unclean. But the hereditary sin of Adam has been purged from the body, after death, and before resurrection. And this purging is not directly or mechanically by Jesus’ sacrifice, but on account of his sacrifice. This is how bro. Thomas addresses this issue, as exhibited in "The One Great Offering." Now I would point out that the article called "The One Great Offering" and the announcement for the completion of Eureka III, are in the same issue of the Christadelphian. So the comments about the resurrection in both works must harmonize, and not be set against each other, as MT tries to do.

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8.—When was the Jesus Altar purified; the Jesus Mercy Seat sprinkled with sacrificial blood, and the Jesus Holies of Holies lustrated? After the Veil of his flesh was rent, and before he awoke at the early dawn of the third day.--(Mark 15:37, 38; John 19:34.) John Thomas, 1868, pg 117.

Note how this is not the mechanical argument that MT insists his opponents (the pioneer brethren) must make. But it also does not deny the cleansing on account of sacrifice, that MT denies. The Jesus Mercy Seat is sprinkled with sacrificial blood, after the veil of his flesh was rent, and before he is resurrected at the dawn of the third day. I have never yet met the "clean flesh" fellow, who could explain to me what bro. Thomas was teaching that Jesus was purified, sprinkled, or lustrated from, through his own sprinkled blood upon the Mercy Seat.

The Christadelphian explains this in 1874, when dealing specifically with a "clean flesh" fellow, who was arguing that Jesus being the second Adam, had to be, in the days of his flesh, the same uncondemned nature as Adam. We read there:

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"There was a point of time when Jesus was in the same condition as the first Adam, and that was when raised from the dead before his ascent to the Father-nature. He was, when Mary met him, flesh and blood, in the same condition as Adam’s before the Fall; he was freed from the Adamic sentence of death, and, therefore, had no diabolos or sin in his flesh. He had been purged, redeemed, or lustrated from this defiling element by means of his death. This is the idea involved in the word "redemption" in Heb. 9:12, the original of which is derived from the same verb as our word lustrate, to clarify. J. J. Andrew, Chdn. 1874, pg. 128."

Note that while this is by bro. J. J. Andrew, it is 20 years before he developed his false theories, and he here actually writes against the position he ultimately takes around 1894. Here he has "sin in the flesh" removed, as he said "by means of death," and not by "baptism," as he eventually comes to teach. And note that it is not mechanically, "by death," but through a divine process, "by means of death." But the important point is not who said it, but that this is what could be published in the Christadelphian when bro. Roberts was editor. Not the "clean flesh" views of MT.

What then of MT’s quote:

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Passing through the grave cleanses no one. They who emerge thence come forth with the same nature they carried into it; and therefore their coming forth is Re-surrection. Eureka III, pg 587.

Bro. Thomas opens this section in Eureka III this way:

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"Would any one intelligent in the word affirm, that an unclean body, made yet more unclean by becoming a corpse, and therefore defiling to everyone who touched it, becomes clean by being put into an unclean place, and lying there for three day, less or more?" (Eur. III p. 586.)

Now MT must have us to believe that bro. Thomas is ridiculing himself. He must be the one who is not intelligent in the word, for as I already stated, in the very article announcing Eureka volume III as available for sale, bro. Roberts has for the first time printed "The One Great Offering," which, if MT has caught the context correctly, contradicts voume III.

Further, in 1866, during the time in which he is writing Eureka III, he gives the lectures which eventually becomes Anastasis. There we read:

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"Now the thing to be accomplished in resurrection is the development of a spirit-body, with the consciousness that the character flashed on the new earthy body was evolved thru an old earthy body in a previous state. In this wonderful development, the new resurrection-earthy body takes the place of the old body dissolved in the grave. So that, so far as body is concerned in the matter, the one character on record in the Lamb's Book of Life, when glorified, will have been related to three bodies, more or less intimately connected: the first, the body of sin; the second, a body like Adam's before he sinned;and the third, this second new body changed, or transformed, by quickening, into a glorious, powerful and spiritual body. When this is manifested, the process is complete; and the spiritually-embodied character (named 'Abraham,' for example) is 'clothed upon with his house which is from heaven.' He is then 'raised incorruptible,'

Note the three bodies which the one character will have been related to. First, the body of sin. Second, a body like Adam’s before he sinned. And third, a body transformed into a spirit body. The second, a body like Adam before he sinned, is obviously a body with Adamic sin removed. When was Adamic sin removed? According to bro. Thomas, after death, and before resurrection. And the removal is based on the work accomplished in Christ’s sacrifice. But the removal of sin did not make the sin body clean. It just created an earthy body in a different relationship to God, such as we discussed in the beginning of this work, when discussing Adam in his novitiate. To be clean, to bro. Thomas, was to be immortalized.

So how could bro. Thomas be lecturing this way, while at the same time writing that no one intelligent in the word would believe such a thing? It is, as I said, because the cleansing he is in reference to in Eureka III, pg. 567 is the cleansing of the "very good" earthy body to immortal life. Not the cleansing of the earthy body from the law of sin and death.

We now come to a most unusual quote from a 1901 Christadelphian, where the principles MT has been arguing for, are clearly contradicted. Now MT has quoted this article to emphasize the word "metonymy," and how he would define "metonym," the same as he would "metaphor," that is, an exaggeration, or a high figure; and ignores its true meaning, as simply "another name." But we have been over that many times. But the 1901 quote by bro. Meakin, which he uses here, clearly demonstrates that the terms as he has been explaining them, were not the explanations used by the pioneer brethren.

Remember MT’s insistence on what "sin in the flesh" means? Remember how he has said it is not a phrase, "sin-in-the-flesh," and he also went to great length to explain that it does not describe the physical characteristics of the flesh? To him, it was an expression of what Jesus did in his lifetime. While in the flesh common to man, Jesus condemned sin by morally resisting it.

But look at how bro. Meakin used the term:

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The same apostle describes these two seeds respectively as "the children of God," and "the children of the devil"; the latter term having for its scriptural signification what the apostle Paul describes as "sin in the flesh"; and which he said dwelt in him, for, said he, "I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing. . . . Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me."

What do we learn here? That the term "children of the devil" has the same scriptural signification as the term "sin in the flesh." How can that be, if MT is correct? And the apostle Paul described "sin in the flesh" as "sin that dwelleth in me." While I have used quotes directly from bre. Thomas and Roberts to demonstrate that MT has completely missed the mark on the definition of these terms, just as he has in his definitions of words like "metonymy" and "ceremony;" here MT does my job for me showing how badly he has missed the proper understanding of these terms as used by the pioneer brethren.

If bro. Meakin is correct (and he clearly is) then when God condemned "sin in the flesh" in the death of Jesus, he was condemning "sin that dwelleth in me." It was not the moral condemnation of sin which Jesus did in his lifetime as argued by MT, but the destruction of the body of sin. A physical characteristic that leads to sin, scripturally styled the diabolos, which was condemned on the cross. And as bro. Thomas points out, and of which we have referenced many times, sin could not have been condemned in the body of Jesus, had it not existed there.

Bro. Meakin’s quote gets even more powerful, and even more opposed to the conclusions advance by MT. At the end, MT wants to show that the "diabolos" is a personification of sin. Of course it is. But as bro. Meakin points out, and properly understood, "diabolos" is a personification of "sinful flesh." Bro. Meakin writes:

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How was sin in the flesh condemned in him? By his crucifixion, in the nature under condemnation, "sinful flesh."

Again, note how this differs entirely from the explanation of "sin in the flesh" advanced by MT. The crucifixion of the nature was the condemnation of "sin in the flesh." The nature under condemnation was "sinful flesh." Then MT closes the quote with this comment from bro. Meakin:

Quote:
Paul says: "Forasmuch as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death — that is, the devil " ( Hebrews 2:14). If we look at Christ as he now is, we shall see what is meant by the destruction of the devil; for that word is simply a personification of sin as it exists in human nature.

Note the emphasis MT wants you to take away from this quote. He stops at "a personification of sin" which as he has explained, means moral deeds. But that is not what bro. Meakin said. It was a personification of sin as it exists in human nature. Well, wait a minute, now. Didn’t MT tell us that sin doesn’t exist in human nature? You see, bro. Meakin was not saying that "diabolos" is a personification of sin, meaning transgression–the only definition recognized by MT. He says sin is a personification of sin, meaning human nature.

To refresh your memory on the meaning of personification, go back to section 38 and read "What is Sin." Personification is giving human characteristics to non human entities. The diabolos is the human character which is said to have the power of death. So the power of death (sin in the flesh) is personified as the diabolos. Is there any possible way MT can explain the sin which exists within human nature, to be personified as the diabolos? How can he, when his whole point is that there is no such thing as sin in the nature?

From this paragraph, MT reaches the following conclusions:

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It was because Christ shared our condemned sin-affected nature with its condemnation to death and proneness to sin, that he could die as the perfect sacrifice for sin. He destroyed sin in his own life by overcoming the lusts that lead to sin, and thereby, represented the whole of Mankind in doing so. As a consequence of him leading a sin-less life, the grave could not hold him and he was raised from the dead and given eternal life. –MT

The problems with these conclusions are the same ones we have been pointing out throughout this examination. MT says the nature was condemned to death. Why, if the wages of sin is death, but the nature is not sin? MT says Jesus was the perfect sacrifice for sin. How could Jesus be a sacrifice for sin, if there was no sin in him? How could sin have been sacrificed (slaughtered) in his death? MT says he destroyed sin in his own life. He resisted sin, but did not destroy sin in his life. Sin (sin nature) remained with him as long as he was alive. We see it in the Garden, just prior to his crucifixion. "Not my will, but thine be done." He did destroy sin in his death. "By dying, destroyed him that hath the power of death, that is the devil."

All of the above questions would be answered by MT, in a "spiritual" sense. He is teaching his followers to not read what is written, but rather, understand the whole matter symbolically, just as we would understand symbolism under the law. MT ignores the reason that these Mosaic sacrifices could not take away sin. But, he has reasoned, if we spiritualize, or make symbolical meanings out of all these things, then we can understand the "figurative" language of the Scriptures. His argument, as I have pointed out before, is the same argument of the churches around us, who spirutalize Israel, and Jerusalem, to finally conclude their kingdom is somewhere beyond the skys.

 

 

 

 

JimPhillips

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50–The Devil of Heb. 2:14

We now come to the final paragraph of this section, and MT reveals, for the first time, the fact that he doesn’t believe that there could be any sense in which Christ was redeemed by his own sacrifice. He had been giving lip service to the fact that, for some unstated reason, an immaculate, or sinless Jesus needed to die that he might be freed from human nature. Why, if human nature is not sin, MT has never explained. But here he comes much clearer to the point that Jesus death was not for himself, but for us alone. If you closely follow his arguments, you know that he has been making this point all along. He just has not been so blatant. He begins this final paragraph for this section thus:

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Christ’s sacrifice was a self-less act of obedience to fulfill the will of his Heavenly Father "to take away the sin of the world". Some may say that Christ needed to make a cleansing or purifying offering for himself after the pattern of the high priest in the tabernacle, on account of physical sin that he possessed in his nature. If this is the case, then Christ’s sacrifice became first about himself and then about us.

MT now comes to the battle, that Christ’s sacrifice was not "first" about himself, and "then" about us. This clearly contradicts the foundation Christadelphian position that Christ’s sacrifice was in fact first for himself, and then for us. This does seem to be a part of the root objection held by the "clean flesh" folks to the way foundation Christadelphians have explained the sacrifice of Christ from the beginning of our movement. The "clean flesh" folks seem to believe it is dishonoring to Christ, that it must somehow lessens his sacrifice, if he was himself subject to sin and in need of his own redemption out of the great sacrifice because of sin, first. To MT, this would appear to mean that his sacrifice was not "self-less" if he himself was in need of that sacrifice. The only way it could be selfless to MT, is if he was doing something for which he had no need. MT would certainly disagree, but if Jesus was doing something for us, for which he himself had no need; then this is the doctrine of substitution. He was doing it "instead of" us.

In fact the opposite of the clean flesh" folks conclusions are true. If the flesh that Christ bore was not sin, actually the death creating sin of which all men descended from Adam are subject to; then his victory over that flesh is removed, and he is robbed of his greatest victory: that of slaying sin first, in himself. According to the plan and purpose of God, his ability to save us was dependent upon first saving himself. And saving himself was dependent on his victory over that which was killing us, the diabolos, or sin in the flesh.

Perhaps bro. Roberts said it best when considering this very question of whether or not Christ’s sacrifice was "self-less." This is from Questions and Questions, which was written and redundantly asked of the first "Clean Flesh" fellow, Edward Turney.

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52. —But though the appearance of Jesus in the flesh, and all that he went through, was "for us," surely you will not deny that in all he did for us, he was individually comprehended as the elder brother of the family. For instance, his birth was for us; "hath raised up for us an horn of salvation in the house of his servant, David;" but was his birth not for himself also? If he had not been born, where would have been the Messiah and the glory to be revealed? I could understand a Trinitarian saying that it was unnecessary for him to be born for himself; but one believing that Christ was Son of God from his mother’s womb, and that the Deity in him was the Father, is bound to recognise the fact that Christ was not only born for us, but born for himself as well.

53. —Again, Christ was obedient for us, as is manifest from the testimony, "by one man’s OBEDIENCE many shall be made righteous;" but was he not obedient for himself as well? If he had been disobedient, would he have been saved, "in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications, with strong crying and tears unto Him that was able to save him from death."—(Heb. 5:7.)

54. —So he died for us; but did he not die for himself also? How otherwise could he have been made free from that sin which God laid upon him in sending him forth in the likeness of sinful flesh? Paul says that "he that is dead is freed from sin," and that "in that Christ died, he died unto sin once, " being raised from the dead, death hath no more dominion over him.—(Rom. 6:7, 9, 10.) Is it not clear from this that the death of Christ was necessary to purify his own nature from the sin-power of death that was hereditarily in him in the days of his flesh?

55. —If to this you object, let me call your attention to Paul’s definition of the priesthood which Christ took not to himself, but received from the Father: "Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way, for that he himself also is compassed with infirmities, and by reason hereof, he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins."—(Heb. 5:2, 3.)

56. —Again, if Christ’s offering did not comprehend himself in the scope of it, how are we to understand the statement of Paul that he "needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins and then for the people’s, for this he did once when he offered up himself?"—(Heb. 7:27.)

57. —As Christ was the antitype of the high priest who "went alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the errors of the people" (Heb. 9:7), is it not required that his sacrifice should comprehend himself as well as his people in the effect of its operation?

58. —If you deny this most obvious conclusion, how do you explain the fact that the Messiah Prince in the future age, at the restored feast of the Passover, "shall prepare for himself and for all the people of the land a bullock for a sin offering?"—(Ezek. 45:22.) Do you deny that the sacrifices in the future age are memorial, like the breaking of bread of what has been, in the same way as the sacrifices under Moses are typical of what was to be? Presuming you are scripturally enough informed to give the right answer to this, let me ask how the Messiah’s offering for himself as well as for the people can be a memorial offering, if Christ in dying for us did not die for himself as well?

59. —To put it in a simpler form, in whatever sense our sins were laid on Christ, did they not, for the time being, become his; and, if so, did it not require his death that he might be purified from them, and, in this sense, in dying for us, did not he die for himself as well?

To the foundation Christadelphians, everything that God did through Christ was done "for us." But as the elder brother of the sons of Adam, It was "necessary" (the apostle Paul’s word) that he was himself included in what he did "for us." As our elder brother, what he did was first for himself, that it might be for us. Because apart from saving himself, he could not save us.

MT says "some" teach that Jesus, as the great high priest had to offer up sacrifice on account of physical sin which he possessed in his nature. The "some" of MT’s argument, would be all the foundation Christadelphians. In the same article just quoted, bro. Roberts makes this point:

Quote:
83. —Paul says of Christ, "it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer."—(Heb. 8:3.) You say of your Christ, that he was under no necessity to offer himself; but might have refused to die, and entered into eternal life alone. Is it not clear that your Christ is not Paul’s Christ, with whom it was a necessity that he should offer up himself, for the purging of his own nature, first, from the uncleanness of death, that having by his own blood obtained eternal redemption (Heb. 9:12), he might be able afterwards to save to the uttermost, them that come unto God by him?—(Heb. 7:25.)

Bro. Roberts could not be clearer as to how far from the truth MT has strayed. Jesus had to offer himself, for himself first, for the purging of his nature. And that which he had to offer was a sin offering. And that for which he had to offer was sin in the flesh. Here is bro. Roberts again, answering a direct question about Heb. 7:27, where he perceives the questioner is limiting Heb 7:27 to only the priests under the law, and excluding Jesus from the equation:

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The "Emphatic Diaglott" and another translation I have, renders that expression in Hebrews 7:27, "first for their own sins and then for the people’s," as if the passage had reference to the high priests under the law. Is the original susceptible of this rendering?—©. R.)

Answer.—Yes; but this does not divert the application of the type from Christ who was typified. See remarks this month. "For himself that it might be for us." The priests in their official capacity had to offer for themselves, apart from specific transgressions, as well as for the people. The priests, in their official capacity were types of the great high priest between God and man, the man Christ Jesus; and there must therefore be a counterpart, in his case, to their official offering for themselves. This is not difficult to find in view of the fact that the Lord partook of our unclean and condemned nature, which had as much to be redeemed in his case by death and resurrection, as in the case of his brethren for whom he died. Mist has been thrown over the subject by separating "life" from nature, and using the term "free" where God had imposed a "must be" of death.

Bro. Roberts makes the very point MT says is wrong. Christ, was the antitype of the High Priest, and as such, he had to offer first for his own sins, and then for the peoples. But what is meant by his own sins? Bro. Roberts answers that it was his unclean and condemned nature, from which he had to be redeemed through his sacrificial death and resurrection. And this nature is physical. Here is one more quote from bro. Roberts to drive that point home:

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3.—Could the sacrifice of Christ be a sin-offering for himself when the Scriptures declare that Jesus Christ "knew no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth," and that he (Jesus) was holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners?

Answer.—This question is answered in the reply to question 2. In the moral sense, that is, as regards character, Jesus knew no sin, and was absolutely separate from sinners; but in the physical sense, he was not separate from sinners, for "he was made in the likeness of sinful flesh."—(Rom. 8:3.) He was "made sin" for us who knew no such thing in his character.—(2 Cor. 5:21.) He was made in all things like his brethren (Heb. 2:17), tempted like them (Heb. 4:15), and possessed their very flesh and blood.—(Heb. 2:14.) He was of the seed of David according to the flesh.—(Rom. 1:3.) Therefore he was not "separate" from them physically, but their bone, and their flesh, and their blood—Son of Man as well as Son of God.—(John 5:27.) This being so, he was a sufferer from the hereditary effects of sin; for those effects are physical effects. Death is a physical law in our members, implanted there through sin ages ago, and handed down from generation to generation. Consequently, partaking our physical nature, he partook of this, and his own deliverance (as "Christ the first fruits") was as necessary as that of his brethren. In fact, if Christ had not first been saved from death (Heb. 5:7)—if he had not first obtained eternal redemption (Heb. 9:12)—there would have been no hope for us, for we attain salvation only through what he has accomplished in himself, of which we become heirs by union with him.

These sorts of quotes, just like quotes explaining that "sin in the flesh" is the diabolos, could be expanded, seemingly without end. Of course Jesus, after the type of the High Priest, offered first for his own sins, and then for the peoples. This is a principle which is inescapable from both Paul’s testimony in the New Testament, and the prophesy of the Mosaic Law, in the Old. It is only a man with a theory to prove, which the Scriptures along with the writings of the foundation Christadelphians so perfectly contradicts, who would suggest anything to the contrary.

MT closes this section with a rather powerful observation:

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Any theory or idea that separates his work from his mission, calls into question the very character and righteousness of Christ. Christ came first to fulfill His Father’s will. He came to save sinners, declaring the righteousness of God, but benefitted himself as the "firstborn from the dead" (Col. 1:18).

The things in this portion of his paragraph are completely true. Christ mission was first to fulfill his Father’s will. But what was that will? First, it was his work to condemn sin in the flesh in his death, as a declaration of God’s righteousness by which he created the basis upon which our sins can be forgiven. Now, what could create more separation between his work and his mission, than to deny that there was any sin in the flesh to be condemned, making it impossible that his work could be done? If we can’t see that sin in the flesh was a physical quality or law in Christ, and that this was the sin which was condemned on the cross, how can we possibly understand Christ’s mission, which was to declare or exhibit the righteousness of God?

As we have gone over before, the two concepts are mutually exclusive. If there was no sin in Christ requiring his own personal death on the cross, how is God exhibited as right in requiring it of him? The wages of sin is death. God commanded Jesus to die on the cross. Why did he have to die, if there was no sin in him? And how would God be exhibited as right and just in requiring the death of a sinless man?

JimPhillips

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51–Christ Benefitted from his own Death

Next, Matthew Trowell (MT) asks how did Christ benefit from his death? The question strikes us as odd. Isn’t MT’s whole point that if Christ did benefit from his death, then his acts were not "self-less?" Now he wants to reverse course. This is good for MT, as the course he was on,(as bro. Roberts points out,) was a step toward Trinitarianism. Logically carried out, if his death for himself was not necessary, then he wouldn’t even have to have been born "for himself." And if not born for himself, did he already exist?

We are given an example of a life guard going to save the drowning man, but all the while conscious that he must first save himself. This is a good analogy for the life of Christ. We are the drowning man, and Christ came to save us. But just as the lifeguard, he could not have saved us, had he not first saved himself.

Next, MT tries to draw comparisons between the various views held by Christadelphians, but just as previously, he does a terrible job. He first talks of the Renunciationists and tries to define their plan of salvation:

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We have seen that the ‘Renunciationist’ or ‘Clean Flesh’ theory taught that Christ did not benefit from his death because he was always entitled to eternal life, but gave up his life voluntarily in a self-less act of obedience and paid the penalty due to Man.

According to the Renunciationists, Jesus was given "free life." For as long as he continued sinless, he was entitled to life. Their point, (and in this they are far more consistent that MT,) was that if there was no sin in Christ, then he was not in any way subject to death. MT has Jesus subject to death, apart from sin.

Next MT tells us:

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On the other hand, we have also looked at the theory of ‘Inherited Legal Condemnation’ which taught there are two forms of sin, moral and physical, and that Christ benefited because he needed a covering, sacrificial cleansing or purification of his physical sin-nature which was accomplished by the personal sacrifice of himself.

Simply stated, no we haven’t. At least, not from MT’s writings. If you have followed this discussion, you have seen "Inherited Legal Condemnation" or "Andrewism" correctly defined from the pages of the Christadelphian by me. But what MT has done is to ignore the doctrine of "Inherited Legal Condemnation," which like MT, focuses only on the moral or legal aspect of sin, and confused it with the foundation Christadelphian position which acknowledges sin in two acceptations, senses, or aspects: one transgression or moral, the other "the law of sin in my members" which is our physical nature.

This is explained in detail in sections 24-34 of this discussion. It can best be summed up by this one question from the debate. This question is specifically discussed in section 31. Bro. Andrew is questioning bro. Roberts:

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270. I am speaking about the moral. Is not "sin in the flesh" the subject of justification in a moral or legal sense (I think legal is better)?

Answer: You are mixing up two terms. "Sin in the flesh" is a physical attribute, forgiveness is a moral relation. Do not confound the two things.

That, very concisely, defines the difference between the foundation Christadelphian position and Andrewism, or "inherited legal condemnation." But it also is the foundation for the various forms of "clean flesh." Like MT and like Edward Turney before him, bro. Andrew believed "sin in the flesh" was a description of moral sin. He preferred the term "legal sin," but as the question he asked showed, moral sin and legal sin to him were virtually the same thing. And as I have already demonstrated, he called "sin in the flesh" moral, which is why you had to be baptized to be "forgiven" it. So the foundation for Andrewism and for "Clean Flesh" is the same. Both begin at the same false point, that is, that all sin is moral. MT and bro. Andrew reach conclusions polarly opposed to each other, but their conclusions are beside the point, since their foundation is false. Sin in the flesh is physical. It is a misfortune, not a crime. It is in no way moral. This is the foundation upon which the pioneer brethren stood, and upon which the condemnation of sin in the flesh must be understood.

MT then comes back to that unexplained and impossible portion of his argument, as to why did Christ have to die, if there was no sin in him. The wages of sin is death. Bre. Thomas and Roberts understood that, and so recognized that Christ bore sin in his body, and was redeemed from sin through the blood of his own sacrifice. Edward Turney denied there was sin in his body, and since the wages of sin is death and Christ never sinned morally, he concluded Christ did not have to die at all. But MT reaches a completely illogical conclusion, that even though the wages of sin is death, and Christ never sinned, neither did he bare sin in his body; yet he still had to die.

The lack of logic for MT’s conclusions is becoming evident to the Central assemblies, as I was shown handouts this year of some Central "clean flesh" teacher who led a class teaching Edward Turney’s position, that Christ didn’t have to die at all. It really is the only logical path for them to take. Everyone, including MT, will figure that out over time.

But for now, MT writes:

Quote:
The truth is that Christ needed redeeming just as much as we do. But Scripture does not teach that there are two different forms of sin that need to be covered, atoned for, purified, reconciled by sacrificial cleansing.

Aren’t MT’s suggestions here, entirely contradictory? Didn’t he just tell us that if Christ himself needed "redeeming just as much as we do" then his sacrifice was not self-less? Now he tells us that Christ needed redemption as much as we do? From what? We need redemption from sin. If Christ needed redemption just as much as we do, did he then not also need redemption from sin?

And, of course Scripture teaches that there are two different forms of sin that need to be covered, atoned, purified, or reconciled by sacrificial cleansing: one moral, one a physical law. Why else would Christ need redemption as much as we? Certainly no one would argue that he sinned morally! What then, could he have possibly needed redemption from, if not the physical law of sin and death which defiled him?

MT goes on to try and get himself out of this riddle, but digs deeper:

Quote:
If then, there are not two ‘types’ or ‘forms’ of sin, but rather the ‘word’ sin is used in Scripture in two different ways, then naturally we might ask ourselves: ‘How was Christ involved in his own sacrifice?’ and ‘Did he need to die for himself?’

Isn’t it logical to ask that if it is admitted that the word "sin" is used in two different ways in the Scriptures, one moral, the other in reference to a physical law, what is our justification for denying two different forms of sin? If the answer is that we must spiritualize the meaning of the physical law in our being "through the rules of metonymy," I ask, where are MT's rules of metonymy taught in the Scriptures? Presuming MT would agree that they are not taught, but that he has inferred them into the discussion, I ask, what is the justification for such an inference? How can you prove from the Scriptures that the physical law in our being is not sin? I would guess MT would say that I am asking him to prove a negative which would not be fair to ask in any such discussion. But I am not.

I can easily prove from what MT has just admitted in his last section called "Made sin for us," that the Scriptures clearly calls the physical law in our being, "sin." If it isn’t to be understood as"sin," in spite of being called "sin," shouldn’t there be clear Scriptural testimony to this fact? Of course there should be. This is not being asked to prove a negative. This is being asked to prove the very foundation of your position.

Isn’t this the foundation for all the errors of Christendom? They come up with a conclusion that they cannot prove from the Scriptures. Going to heaven, for instance. Then they come up with some way to alter the clearly stated verses opposed to their theories such as those verses referring to the kingdom being in Israel by "spiritualizing" them, or by treating plainly stated verses in a figurative manner. But in the end, they cannot prove their foundation which might justify their changing clearly stated verses into metaphors, or figurative expressions. They can’t find the clearly stated verse which says you go to heaven for the kingdom, because that verse doesn’t exist.

MT has the same problem. The verses that teach that there could be no sin whatsoever in Christ, do not exist. The verses that teach that sin can only be moral, do not exist. The verses that teach that sin cannot be a physical law, do not exist. The verses that teach the Jesus never offered for himself on account of sin, do not exist. The fact that MT has needed 200 plus pages to try and convince you that they do, is testimony to the fact that the verses he needs to make his point, do not exist.

Next MT tries to build on his false definition of Andrewism. He writes:

Quote:
Well, as we saw from the Debate, the answer to this question really depends on what one means by the phrase "for himself". If the question is being asked in the sense of "Did Christ need to die as a sacrificial offering to cleanse himself, atone, or make reconciliation for his flesh and blood nature because it was a form of sin or contained sin", then the answer is NO, he did NOT need to die "for himself".

Wow! We spent 11 sections on the debate, and totally missed that point! I wonder how that happened? Perhaps because of questions from the debate like this, bro. Andrew questioning:

Quote:
711. Is it not clear that Christ, as a necessity, must offer up for himself for the purging of his own sin nature? Answer: As a son of Adam, a son of Abraham, and a son of David, yes.

712. First from the uncleanness of death that having by his own blood obtained eternal life himself, he might be able to save others? Answer: Certainly.

I would ask MT, was Jesus the son of Adam, the son of Abraham, and the son of David? Presuming he would answer "yes," (though I recognize that not all "clean flesh" folks would, so maybe MT wouldn’t as well) doesn’t the debate teach just the opposite of what he is suggesting? He says the debate shows that Jesus didn’t have to offer on account of his nature. Clearly the debate shows just the opposite. Bearing the nature of all the sons of Adam, it was necessary that he should offer on account of his nature.

However, MT got something completely different from the debate:

Quote:
However, if the question is being asked in the sense of "Did Christ need to die in order that he himself would benefit from his own death?" then absolutely, YES! Christ needed redemption and saving out of death, just as much as we do.

Actually, the word "benefit" in any of its forms only occurs two times in the debate, and is never used in relation to Christ. Bro. Roberts uses it on the first night, quoting Ezekiel about God’s grace benefitting those who do righteously. Bro. Roberts used it on the second night to disagree with benefits being denied to the Gentiles under the law, which bro. Andrew had affirmed. So no, this subject raised by MT, was never discussed in the debate.

But note how question 711 from the debate so completely disproves MT’s point. The question bro. Roberts affirmed dealt specifically with "sin nature." Not the imaginary death-in-the absense-of-sin-nature concept advanced by MT.

Now you will recall from section 32, that the debate discussed three different Christs. There was Jesus, the son of Adam, who was to die for the salvation of the world, of which bro. Roberts always affirmed he required redemption from the physical law of sin he bore, through the blood of his own sacrifice. Secondly, there was the hypothetical Christ introduced during the Renunciationist controversy. This hypothetical Christ was a new Adam, and not the son of Adam. Bro. Roberts agreed that had such a Christ existed, (which he was clear never actually did exist) then he would not have required redemption of any kind. And finally, there was the hypothetical Christ introduced by bro. Andrew. This was Jesus, the son of Adam, who was only to save himself. Bro. Roberts refused all speculative questions concerning this Christ during the debate. After the debate, he said that the question from bro. Andrew really was, had God’s intent been completely different, would all the principles of salvation remain the same? Bro. Roberts’ answer was: Who can say?

But to the question of how Christ benefitted from his death, it was never discussed in the debate. And frankly, it is not discussed here in this section by MT, where it appears he wants to focus on that question. How did Christ benefit by his own death? Lets look at MT’s answer:

Quote:
It was "through death" that he was saved, not because he made a sacrificial offering to atone or make reconciliation FOR his flesh and blood nature. He was saved ‘out of death’ because of his life of perfect obedience and the obedient act of laying down his life as a sacrificial offering as a basis for the remission of our sins, which declared the righteousness of God and condemned Sin, all in accordance to the will of His Heavenly Father.

So, the first thing MT does is to change the subject. The question he said he would answer was how did Christ benefit by his death. The question is, what did Christ’s death do for him personally, that he derived some benefit from it? Though that is the question MT advances, it is not the question that MT answers. MT’s answer is that he was saved through (not by) death. Those are different concepts. And MT shows how completely he wants to avoid the real question of saved "by" his death, by saying he was saved "out of death" by his life of perfect obedience. So, if MT is correct, he did not benefit by his death at all, but was saved by his life. (Hmmm! Isn’t there an heretical work by John Martin by that name?)

To be saved "through death" and "out of death" simply means that Jesus’ death for him was another act of obedience, no different than any of the other acts of obedience God required of him. He went though it in obedience to God’s command, that he might live a perfect life, and be saved by that perfect life. That is no more being benefitted by his death, than that we could say he was benefitted by his resistence of the diabolos in the wilderness, after his baptism. They were both elements in his salvation, but he derived no specific benefit from either. In fact they were both trials, not benefits.

But perhaps MT is not finished, and he will now answer the question. We note the conjunction "and." He continues "and the obedient act of laying down his life as a sacrificial offering as a basis for the remission of our sins,...". OK. That is how we benefit by his death. But the question MT says he is answering, is how Jesus benefitted by his death. Not how we benefit by his death.

So MT doesn’t answer the question. He really can’t answer the question. Christ’s death was a sacrificial offering on account of sin. In order for Jesus to have personally benefitted from that death, he would have himself, to be in need of that offering. And MT’s entire point for this book, is that he was not in need, personally, for any redemption from sin.

This is also why we call MT’s argument "substitution." As we have seen in this presentation by MT, he was not able to define a single benefit Jesus derived from his death. He says Jesus did benefit from his death, but could not come up with a single way in which that happened. Are we not justified then, in saying that according to the conclusions of MT, Jesus died for us alone? As he said earlier, his death was "self-less."  Death is the wages of sin. The particular death Christ died, was as a sacrificial death on account of sin. If Christ had no sin in him, how could he possibly have derived any benefit from any aspect of his death? And if he derived no benefit from his death, how could his death not be considered substitution?

JimPhillips

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52–Christ Benefitted by his death

We now reach the final portion of this section, where again Matthew Trowell (MT) affirms what he has not yet proved.

Quote:
Christ’s death was not a sacrificial cleansing FOR his nature. His death was the ‘ceremonial condemnation’ of sin in the body of a righteous man.

MT treats these things as if they are mutually exclusive. They are not. They are the same thing. His death was a ceremonial condemnation of sin, and as such, it was an offering on account of his nature. But the principle question still remains unanswered. How was his death a condemnation of sin in the body of Jesus, if there was no sin in the body of Jesus? As we have referenced from bro. Thomas many times, sin could not have been condemned in the flesh of Jesus, had it not existed there.

Next MT brings us back to an argument he has already made, that "cleansing" of the physical body is at the resurrection. Obviously, we have no disagreement with that. This is the point where the weakness of the flesh is swallowed up by the strength of the Spirit.

The difference between us and the "clean flesh" folks is the basis upon which that "cleansing" occurs. Remember, that while MT is here using the term "cleansed" to the body, he affirms that such usage is not Scriptural. Remember this from just a few pages earlier in his book?

Quote:
"The idea that the impulses or desires within us need to be cleansed, forgiven, covered or atoned for is a concept quite foreign to Scripture." (Page 139)

While we would agree with MT that the flesh is not moral, and therefore requires no forgiveness, the idea that the flesh requires no cleansing, covering, or atoning is quite another matter. Observe the quote he now uses by bro. Thomas. Note how bro. Thomas includes the physical in the need for "cleansing."

Quote:
To say that a man is purged, purified, or cleansed is the same as to affirm that he is justified, or constituted righteous, and sanctified or made holy. It is sin that makes unclean — unclean by nature, because born of sinful flesh; and unclean by practice because transgressors in the sight of God. The cleansing process is therefore intellectual, moral and physical . . . But the cleansing of the soul needs to be followed by the cleansing of the body to make the purification of man complete. If the spiritual cleansing have been well done (and if the word of truth have done it, it will) the corporeal cleansing [ie. physical] will be sure to follow.

Note the teaching of bro. Thomas. It is sin that makes unclean. We are unclean by nature. We are unclean by action. Again, note the twofold aspect of sin. If the nature wasn’t sin, we would not be unclean by nature. Bro. Thomas, as we have consistently seen, teaches exactly the opposite of MT.

We are, according to the teaching of bro. Thomas and all the foundation Christadelphians, in need of a cleansing process that is intellectual, moral and physical. Intellectual, in that we must learn and understand the truth. Moral, in that we must conform our life to the teachings of Jesus. And physical, in that we must be changed from the sin-bodies we now bear, to the glorious body of spirit life.

The cleansing of all of the above is based on the same principle. It is all accomplished through the declaration of the righteousness of God. This was done by the sacrifice of Christ, by which sin was condemned in the flesh. On the cross, Jesus exhibited what was due to sin, by crucifying sin. Sin could not have been crucified in the body of Jesus, had it not existed there. The great statement made upon the cross, as referenced by bro. Roberts in "The Blood of Christ" was: This is how sin must be treated in harmony with the righteousness of God. It is only fit for destruction. This great statement could not have been exhibited to the world, if sin did not exist in the body or flesh of Jesus.

We note MT returning to the mechanical arguments so condemned by bro. Roberts, when dealing with bro. Andrew’s change in position. "Clean flesh" folks make so much foolishness out of their mechanical imaginations. They tell us that if we say that Christ offered "for" (their word, not ours) sin nature, then we must believe that sin nature can be redeemed. Really? Then under the law, when men brought their sin offerings to offer for their sins, were they trying to redeem their sins? The notion is absurd.

But that is where the mechanical and chemical reactions imagined by MT, bro. J. J. Andrew and other "clean flesh" folks end up. God’s requirements are not mechanical or chemical, but rather illustrative. They illustrate a point, and that point is the righteousness and justness of God. Going through the waters of baptism does not mechanically wash away all moral sin. God forgives us our moral sins because of our intellectual and moral change, which we illustrate by putting to death the old man in the waters of baptism.

Part of the intellectual change we go through prior to baptism, is recognizing that Jesus actually put to death sin, which God illustrated (or more scripturally, exhibited) to us in the crucifixion of Christ. In baptism, we symbolically die to sin. Jesus actually died to sin. Jesus’s death was not an empty, figurative ceremony, like those Mosaic sacrifices before him. His was a very real, actual ceremony where sin was actually destroyed, actually slaughtered (sacrificed) on the cross, to illustrate the wickedness of sin in contrast to the righteousness of God.

Now Paul says he that is dead is freed from sin. What sin? Not our own, for we will be judged for those sins. The only sin we are freed from by death is Adam’s sin. All descendants of Adam die, because of Adam’s sin. It will kill us. But after that, it has no more hold over us. If we die a second death, it will not be because Adam sinned, but because we sinned.

In the case of Jesus, his death also freed him from sin. When he came forth from the grave, he had been lustrated, purified, and sprinkled with the sacrificial blood of his own sacrifice. Thus, he was cleansed from Adam’s sin, as we have seen bro. Thomas say, after he died, and before he was resurrected. He was then as Adam, but before he sinned. But this is not the ultimate cleansing from an earthy body to an immortal body. That followed later that Sunday morning. But all cleansing, moral and physical, is based upon the principle Christ illustrated in his death.

In his next paragraph, MT states:

Quote:
Christ did not die FOR his nature. He died BECAUSE HE SHARED our nature. There is a big difference! The first idea suggests that Christ was alienated, guilty or required reconciliation on account of how he was born. The second teaches that Christ was one of us, shared our nature and in need of redemption from a body under condemnation of sin and death, as much as we are.

Simply stated: No, there is not. There is no difference in saying that Christ died "for" or "on account of" our nature, and saying that Christ died because he shared our nature. He had our nature. That is why he had to die.(Understanding our nature to be sin.)

MT’s suggestion that the first idea suggests that Christ was alienated, guilty on account of how he was born, is simply false. It is the ideas you infer onto the fact that Christ was born of our nature, which yield such conclusions. Not the fact itself.

Christ was "made sin for us." That is a simple Scriptural fact. The sin he was made was our flesh and blood, derived from Adam. This sin was a physical law in his body. It was nothing he was guilty of. It was a misfortune, not a crime. But it was a reality, none the less. And because it was a reality, it was necessary (according to the plan and purpose of God) that he offer himself, for the purging of himself from this sin he was made to be. His offering for himself, was an offering on account of the sin he was made to be.

Now MT reaches his conclusion because he rejects the notion that sin can be physical, or a physical law. To him, all sin is moral. And since MT rejects the most basic dictionary definitions of sin, he can then infer such dispersions upon all who disagree with him. But he is disingenuous in this matter.

MT then gives us one of the most telling quotes on the subject, that he could use. He quotes former Christadelphian editor Michael Ashton writing this in Christadelphian Magazine:

Quote:
Baptism does not deal directly with our natures… But as he [Christ] bore no moral accountability for his mortality, he did not have to make an offering for the nature he received at birth. Editorial, p 467 The Christadelphian, December 1993.

Bro. Roberts began the Christadelphian Magazine in 1864. Bro. Thomas began his first magazine after his baptism into the hope of Israel, in 1850. So it took between 129-143 years of Christadelphian writings, for MT to finally find a statement that he could use, to clearly prove his point. Is that not telling? He has been quoting bre. Thomas and Roberts all along, but he can’t find his conclusion in their writings. He can only find bits an pieces that he tries to fit into a doctrine he teaches, but which they specifically taught against.

Now, I’m not suggesting that Michael Ashton is the first editor to believe this. Every editor from John Carter forward believed it. But they couldn’t state it, for it would have caused a division in their midst. But by 1993, it was clear to Michael Ashton, the Dowieite in the editor’s chair, that the truth was so dead in Central that he could drive the final stake into the very heart of the truth.

Michael Ashton in 1993 boldly exhibited to the world the end result of the corruption begun 70 years earlier, in 1923. And the truth is so dead to Central, that MT, and before him John Martin, can boldly proclaimed their peculiar brand of heresy, and no one in Central even notices.

JimPhillips

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53–Types and Shadows

We now come to the section Matthew Trowell (MT) has entitled "Types and Shadows." For myself, I was quite excited to see this title, as I thought that finally, a "clean flesh" fellow was going to make some attempt to explain what has been heretofore ignored by them. That is, how could certain aspects of the Mosaic Law which foundation Christadelphians have been raising to the "clean flesh" folks since 1873, find their antitype in Christ if sin can only be moral, and if Christ was not physically made sin. There are many such types under the law, but two stand out in particular. First, the offering of the high priest for himself, prior to offering for the people. And secondly, the offering of sin offerings for inanimate objects which could not sin.

It is quite easy for those of us who hold the foundation Christadelphian position to harmonize these things. Christ, as our great high priest had to offer first for his own sins, that is, on account of his nature, and then for the people. And the sin offerings for inanimate objects that cannot sin, shows that our physical sin nature is itself sin, apart from being guilty of moral transgression. It should be obvious to all, that inanimate objects simply can not be guilty of sin, and if all sin is moral, then no sin offering should have been required for them.

This section reads like MT had some ideas about where he wanted to take this argument, but realized it wasn’t going to make any sense, and so abandoned the argument. But he left in certain rough concepts to make it read like he had some idea, even if poorly developed. Perhaps he thought that with the few hints he set forth, that maybe the next generation of writers can make some sense out of the direction he tried to head. In any case...

Overall, the section was quite disappointing. It is so fundamentally flawed that spending any time on it is quite questionable. For instance, he tells us that the discussion of the priesthood of Christ begins in Chapter 7 of Hebrews. That will be quite obviously false to anyone who has spent even a few minutes reading Hebrews.

Quote:
Heb 1:5 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?

This was Christ’s specific call to the high priesthood. This should have been obvious to the most casual reader, as Paul verifies in the fifth chapter:

Quote:
Heb 5:5-6 So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

Next he tells us that chapter seven is a contrast between the Melchisedec Priesthood, the Aaronic Priesthood. He tells us that it is not a comparison, as if comparisons cannot contain contrasts. This makes no sense. In fact, MT had just spent some time giving a rather unremarkable, but accurate enough explanation of the difference between types and shadows, and their antitypes. The types and shadows give us an outline, but not the specific detail of the thing typified. From this, it should be evident that the Mosaic Priesthood was a type of the Melchisedec Priesthood. And of course the actual was more glorious than the shadow.  This is not a contrast to the type, but an enlarging and expanding of the glory of the reality.

Now, as I said, he seemed to have wanted to make some arguments, but knew he couldn’t. This appears to be one of those places. In saying that Paul is contrasting the Mosaic with the Melchisedec, he appears to want to focus on the contrast to exclude Christ from the obvious type Paul is setting forth, that the Mosaic priest had to offer first for himself, and then for the people. But he seems to recognize that that argument will look really bad on paper, so he just leaves the matter to be inferred by his readers.

As I said, the comparison of the two priesthoods is not to prove a contrast, in the sense that they are different.  It is to use the types and shadows of the law, to explain how the priesthood of Christ is an enlargement, or and expansion of the glory of Moses--which glory was to be done away.  The contrasts which Paul draws are to prove to the Hebrews, how in the priesthood of Christ we now have harmony between type and antitype.   Paul's argument to the Hebrews was not to prove that Christ was foreign to the law, or different from the law; but rather that Christ was the fulfillment of the law.

In 1878, seven years following the death of bro. Thomas, his daughter, sis. Lasius, wrote an article for the Christadelphian Magazine entitled "The High Priest of Israel–Dr. Thomas’s Teaching on the Subject." Here is her first paragraph, explaining the "comparison" of the Mosaic to the Melchisedec priesthoods.

Quote:
The apostle Paul, in his letter to the Hebrews, says: "Consider the apostle and high priest of our profession, Christ Jesus. . . Every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins; who can have compassion on the ignorant and on them that are out of the way, for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity. And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people so for himself, to offer for sins. And no man taketh this honour unto himself but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest, but he (glorified Him) that said unto him, Thou art my Son; to-day have I begotten thee. He saith also, in another place, Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchisedek."—(Heb. 5:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.) Here the apostle draws a comparison between the high priest under the law and "our great High Priest who is passed into the heavens—Jesus, the Son of God." The expositions which have been given us, also, on the subject, sustain this line of analogy, harmonizing the "patterns of things in the heavens" with the apostle’s teaching concerning the "heavenly things themselves." "Aaron was a type of Christ in his family and official relations, though not of his order."—(Eureka, vol. II. 28.) The pattern shows us the very intimate relationship between the victim, the altar and the priest. Paul also shows the unity between them (Heb. 9.): "Christ being come, an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands . . .; not by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood, he entered once into the holy place." . . . "For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the Eternal Spirit offered himself to God," &c. "We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat who serve the tabernacle."—(Heb. 13:10.)

So no, this is not a contrast in the sense of one being disassociated from the other, but a comparison of how the Melchisedec priesthood of Christ exceeds the priesthood of Moses, the glory of which was merely a type and shadow of the glory of Christ.

MT then says that the great contrast between the Aaronic and Melchisedec Priesthood, was that the Melchisedec was glorious, and that the Aaronic Priesthood was corrupt. Individuals who ministered in the priesthood, certainly were corrupt. But the priesthood itself was established and ordained by God, like all the Mosaic law, and therefore was "holy, just and good." Who would argue that God would institute a corrupt system?

These are serious flaws to basic and fundamental points. If MT can’t get the simple things correct, what will he do with the rest of the things in Hebrews, of which Peter describes this way?

Quote:
2Pe 3:15-16 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

Actually, that question is needless, as Peter tells us what he will do. He will "wrest" it to his own destruction.

MT says, correctly, that the foundation Christadelphians frequently refer to several verses in Hebrews, as these verses so clearly disprove his position, that is, that Christ did not need to offer on account of sin. These verses are such as sis. Lasius has quoted:

Quote:
Heb 4:15 For 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 5:1-3 For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins: Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity. And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins.

It is clear from these verses that a necessary requirement for every High Priest, is that he is compassed with the infirmity common to those he ministers to. It is "by reason hereof" that is, by reason of the infirmity with which he is compassed, that he had to offer for (on account of) sin. Note it is not for his transgressions, as MT insists. It is due to his infirmities. Did Christ bear our infirmities? Heb. 4:15 says he did. The apostle Paul continues:

Quote:
Heb 5:4-7 And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

So Paul is quite clear here, that Jesus was called by God to be a High Priest after the order of Melchisedec. He is also clear that every high priest must offer first for his own sins (that is, those infirmities with which Christ was compassed,) and then for the peoples. So if Christ is our high priest, it was necessary that he should offer, first for his own sins, and then for the peoples, his own sins being the nature he bore.

Now it is notable that MT is not quoting any of the pioneer brethren to make his point. That is because they so completely disagree with his interpretation of these verses. In fact, they use the very verses which he says teaches something completely different, to expose MT’s doctrine as astray from the foundation positions. Observe the following:

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"Paul teaches that it is necessary for a priest to be "compassed with infirmity," to the end that he may have "compassion on the ignorant, and on them who are out of the way;" for which reason also he says "he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins."—(Heb. 5:2, 3.) Now, on Paul’s authority, these three figures in the Mosaic pattern find their spiritual counterpart in Christ, who was first compassed with infirmity (Heb. 4:15, 5:7; Psalm 77:10), and, therefore, 2nd, can be touched with a fellow-feeling of our infirmities (Heb. 4:15), and, 3rd, offered also for himself, on the ground of said infirmity."—(Heb. 7:27.)

The physically unblemished nature of the sacrifice required under the law, did not represent an immaculate physical nature, but one personally innocent of transgression: this peculiarity was met in Christ in a way which reflected the wisdom, goodness, and justice of God, and, at the same time, fulfilled the diverse and otherwise inexplicable types and predictions in Moses and the Psalms. Other theories ignore but cannot, by any possibility, explain them.—(Lev. 9:7; 16:17; 19:33; Psalm 38:40.) (Bro. Shuttleworth, Chdn. 1873)

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54.—So he died for us; but did he not die for himself also? How otherwise could he have been made free from that sin which God laid upon him in sending him forth in the likeness of sinful flesh? Paul says that "he that is dead is freed from sin," and that "in that Christ died, he died unto sin once, " being raised from the dead, death hath no more dominion over him.—(Rom. 6:7, 9, 10.) Is it not clear from this that the death of Christ was necessary to purify his own nature from the sin-power of death that was hereditarily in him in the days of his flesh?

55.—If to this you object, let me call your attention to Paul’s definition of the priesthood which Christ took not to himself, but received from the Father: "Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way, for that he himself also is compassed with infirmities, and by reason hereof, he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins."—(Heb. 5:2, 3.) Robert Roberts, 1873

In 1896, on a voyage to Australia, bro. Roberts ran into a prominent "clean flesh" teacher from Britain, who had relocated in Australia, George Cornish. Mr. Cornish suffered from severe hearing loss, and communication with him was difficult. Bro. Roberts determined that rather than try and discuss the matter with the fellow, which would have entailed yelling into his ear horn, and then correcting all the false impressions which he unfortunately got from his failed hearing, he would write a synopsis of the truth instead, and let the matter stand there. The following is the eleventh principle bro. Roberts set forward in his synopsis. And it is one which so perfectly exhibits how far MT has strayed from the foundation Christadelphian position. Now in the following, please note, not just bro. Roberts point that as the High Priest, it was necessary that he should offer for himself, but also note the verses which bro. Roberts uses to establish his point. They are the very ones MT wants to evade, and of which he wants to deny that they apply to Christ at all.

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11. —That as the anti-typical High Priest, it was necessary that he should offer for himself as well as for those whom he represented—"And by reason hereof, he ought as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins. And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. So also Christ glorified not himself to be made a high priest, but he that said unto him, &c." (Heb. 5:3). "Wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer." (Heb. 8:3). "Through the Eternal Spirit, he offered himself without spot unto God" (Heb. 9:14). "Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins and then for the people’s: for this he did once when he offered up himself" (Heb. 7:27). "It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens (that is, the symbols employed under the law), should be purified with these (Mosaic sacrifices), but the heavenly things themselves (that is, Christ who is the substance prefigured in the law), with better sacrifices than these" (that is, the sacrifice of Christ—Heb. 9:23).

Why would bro. Roberts use these very verses to prove that Jesus must have offered "first for his own sins" if this concept is, as MT suggests, error?

JimPhillips

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54--Types and Shadows

Next included in the contrasts by Matthew Trowell (MT) are comments pertaining to Heb. 7:27, another of the principle verses used by the foundation brethren concerning Christ offering first for his own sins. I have already quoted the pioneers at length on this verse in section 34 and again in the last section, section 53, so there is no sense to go over it again. The quotes in these sections show how completely MT misses the intent of the foundation Christadelphians. But lets look at MT’s quote:

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For such an high priest became us… who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.

The emphasis he places is on the expression "who needeth not daily," and the later expression "for this he did once." "Clean flesh" folks, and Trinitarians alike have nothing but trouble explaining this verse. Clearly the verse states that as the high priest offered first for his own sins, and then for the peoples, Jesus did this once for all time, in the sacrifice of himself. But MT and Trinitarians alike reject this idea. Therefore, they have come up with a multitude of ways to try and retranslate the verse to give it a meaning opposite of what it clearly says.

Some point out that Paul says "he needeth not" and end the sentence there. They use this to indicate that Jesus didn’t have to do what the High Priest had to do. But this ignores the text saying that Jesus did do in one sacrifice, what the Mosaic High Priest did in two. Other "clean flesh" folks tell us that the High Priest under the Mosaic Law, had to do this, because he was a sinner. But Jesus was no sinner, so didn’t have to offer for himself. This is simply human fleshly reasoning, and human fleshly reasoning, as usual, is in opposition to what is clearly stated in the Scriptures. Still others take the King James rendering of "once for all" to mean once for all people, excluding himself. Never mind that the word "all" would seem to include "all" that the High Priest offered for, offering first for himself and for the people. But even beyond that, the English expression "once for all," would be more equivalent to our modern expression of "once and for all," meaning once for all time. That is what the Greek word "ephapax" actually means.

And Trinitarians are no less perplexed. They add hyphens, and parenthesis, and commas to try and alter the meaning. I once spent some time in a large Bible bookstore, reading a number of Christian commentators on Heb. 7:27. They were all quite creative, but also quite wrong. My favorite explanation from the Christians ended up being that by an Anglican minister named Westcott, who observed all the creative translations by his fellow ministers, but also noted that as translations, they were all grammatically wrong. Then he concluded (paraphrased now) that the verse says Jesus offered for his sins. We know he didn’t have any sins. Lets move on.

MT’s approach is a lot like Dr. Westcott’s. He has spent 3/4s of his book telling us that Jesus didn’t offer for sins, and now he admits that the verse says he was redeemed from sin. And he simply moves on. But before getting into that conclusion by MT, lets consider some of the other relevant verses from Hebrews, and start out with one he omits. MT skips over Heb. 8:1-3:

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Heb 8:1-3 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man. For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer.

This verse helps clarify the importance of the matter, and is used this way by all the foundation Christadelphians. It is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer. If we deny that, we are denying a necessary aspect of salvation. We have seen how impossible it is to understand the declaration of the righteousness of God, apart from Jesus having been physically made sin for us. The declaration of God’s righteousness was that when we see Jesus crucified on the cross, we recognize that this is how sin must be considered in harmony with the righteousness of God. It is only fit for destruction. But if sin is only there symbolically, and if sin is not a reality "in his flesh," then how can we see God as righteous for requiring the destruction of a symbol, in a man not actually defiled by sin? Wouldn’t it be wrong to inflict the wages of sin, upon a man who was not actually subject to sin? How could we understand that action as righteous? You will note that MT never explains that.

But Paul puts the matter beyond all doubt. He says it was "necessary" that he should have something to offer. This view is not optional. If you can’t see that Jesus had something to offer for, and that this offering was a necessity, Paul’s point is that you can’t understand the sum total of his argument. The following is from The Law of Moses. The quote is lengthy, and we will be referring to it frequently as we go forward, for it addresses to many of MT’s arguments. But first to the term "necessity."

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The Sacrificial Blood.—But the sacrificial blood was applied to everything as well—Aaron and his sons included (see Lev. 8:14–15: 23–24). An atonement had to be made by the shedding and the sprinkling of blood for and upon them all (Lev. 16:33). As Paul remarks, "almost all things by the law are purged with blood" (Heb. 9:22). Now all these things were declared to be "patterns of the things in the heavens," which it is admitted on all hands converge upon and have their substance in Christ. There must, therefore, be a sense in which Christ, the antitypical Aaron, the antitypical altar, the antitypical mercy-seat—the antitypical everything—must not only have been sanctified by the action of the antitypical oil of the Holy Spirit, but purged by the antitypical blood of his own sacrifice.

This conclusion is supposed to be weakened by the statement of Lev. 16:16, that the atonement for the holy place, altar, &c., was to be made "because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions in all their sins." That is, it is argued from this, that the holy things would have had no uncleanness in themselves apart from the uncleanness of the children of Israel. This must be granted, but it must also be recognised that because the children of Israel were sinful and polluted, the holy things were reckoned as having contracted defilement in having been fabricated by them and through remaining in their midst. This cannot be denied on a full survey of the testimony. They were ceremonially unclean, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and had to be cleansed by the holy oil and the sacrificial blood before they were acceptable in the Mosaic service. Now, this is part of the Mosaic figure. There must be an antitype to it. What is it? The holy things, we know, in brief, are Christ. He must, therefore, have been the subject of a personal cleansing in the process by which he opened the way of sanctification for his people. If the typical holy things contracted defilement from connection with a sinful congregation, were not the antitypical (Christ) holy things in a similar state, through derivation on his mother’s side from a sinful race? If not, how came they to need purging with his own better sacrifice? (Heb. 9:23).

Great difficulty is experienced by various classes of thinkers in receiving this. Needlessly so, it should seem. There is first the express declaration that it was so: "it was, therefore, necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these (Mosaic sacrifices), but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these" (Heb. 9:23). "It was of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer" (8:3). "By reason hereof, he ought as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins" (5:3). "By his own blood, he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption" (for us, is an addition inconsistent with the middle voice of the verb employed, which imports a thing done by one to one’s own self) (9:12).

There was next the necessity that it should be so. The word "necessity," it will be perceived, occurs frequently in the course of Paul’s argument. The necessity arises from the position in which men stood as regards the law of sin and death, and the position in which the Lord stood as their redeemer from this position. The position of men was that they were under condemnation to die because of sin, and that not their own sin, in the first instance, but ancestral sin at the beginning. The forgiveness of personal offences is the prominent feature of the apostolic proclamation, because personal offences are the greater barrier. Nevertheless, men are mortal because of sin, quite independently of their own transgressions. Their redemption from this position is a work of mercy and forgiveness, yet a work to be effected in harmony with the righteousness of God, that He might be just while justifying those believing in the Redeemer. It is so declared (Rom. 3:26). It was not to be done by setting aside the law of sin and death, but by righteously nullifying it in One, who should obtain this redemption in his own right, and who should be authorised to offer to other men a partnership in his right, subject to required conditions (of their conformity to which, he should be appointed sole judge).

Note in the above: Bro. Roberts points out that it was necessary for these things to be such, according to the plan and purpose of God. The declaration of God’s righteousness was dependant upon it. The class of thinkers bro. Roberts is in reference to, the class of men who cannot accept these things, is the class represented by MT and those who accept the premise of his book. They think they honor Christ by saying there was no sin in his physical body, and therefore he offered no sacrifice for the purging of sin from his nature.. Instead they rob him of his greatest victory, his victory in actually (not symbolically,) and literally (not figuratively) destroying sin on the cross. They turn his very real victory over sin, into a symbolical victory over sin, and in the process brings into question, the righteousness of a God who would require the actual wages of sin, from one who was not actually defiled by sin, merely symbolically defiled. Again from bro. Roberts in his article Questions and Questions:

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83. —Paul says of Christ, "it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer."—(Heb. 8:3.) You say of your Christ, that he was under no necessity to offer himself; but might have refused to die, and entered into eternal life alone. Is it not clear that your Christ is not Paul’s Christ, with whom it was a necessity that he should offer up himself, for the purging of his own nature, first, from the uncleanness of death, that having by his own blood obtained eternal redemption (Heb. 9:12), he might be able afterwards to save to the uttermost, them that come unto God by him?—(Heb. 7:25.)

Paul’s writings, with the explanations by the foundation Christadelphians makes it clear that it was a necessity, in the plan and purpose of God, for Christ to bear sin in his body. Peter says, he bore our sins in his own body to the tree. As transgressions cannot literally be placed in a body, this can only refer to the nature he bore, the sin he was made to be. In the symbolism of the law, the man confessed his sins over the head of the animal, placing them (the sins) on the animal, and then it was slain, or otherwise carried off. It was necessary then, that Christ also should bear our sins in his body, that in slaying that body, our sins might be destroyed or carried off. As bro. Roberts stated in his article Questions and Questions:

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59. —To put it in a simpler form, in whatever sense our sins were laid on Christ, did they not, for the time being, become his; and, if so, did it not require his death that he might be purified from them, and, in this sense, in dying for us, did not he die for himself as well?

Our sins were laid upon him, in his being made sin for us. This sin which he bore, were our sins, which in symbol we place upon him when we accept Christ as the Messiah, and confess that he is Lord. Through sacrifice, our sins are symbolically slain. But it wasn’t a symbol for Christ. The sins he bore in his body, was a very real physical law that had defiled his flesh, the same as it had ours. And thus our sins, or our nature, became his sins, that he might die on account of them. The very simple question bro. Roberts references was this. Since they became his, was it not necessary that he should offer on account of them, to be redeemed from them?

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