"Behold The Man"

John 19:5
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"Behold What Manner of Love"

1 John 3:1

There is a religious sect whose Magazine Editor has affirmed their teaching that the righteous conduct of Jesus Christ is the basis upon which they receive from God redemption and forgiveness of sins.

This of course means that this "Righteousness of Christ" is "substitutional" for their own inability to obey the commandments of God due to a tendency in their flesh which causes a bias to commit sin.

This theory and teaching is obviously a belief that Jesus is to them a "Substitute," but the Scriptures do not teach in that order - that we have forgiveness, or redemption on the basis of Christ's righteousness being a substitute for our unrighteousness.

The Editor and his members are willing to accept this form of substitution but when it comes to accepting Christ's sacrificial death as substitution for Adam's death and all in him, they reject it and make Christ a "Representative," which He was not. The focus of Scripture is on Christ's death in relation to Redemption and forgiveness, but we do accept that the sinlessness of Christ in a nature like Adam's and ours justified God in condemning sin originally in Eden and now.

It is God's Righteousness we have to accept, "being justified freely by His Grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood" (Romans 3:24-26). "Much more then being now justified by his blood" (Romans 5:9). "In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace" (Ephesians 1:7), "in whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins... And having made peace through the blood of his cross..." (Colossians 1:14,20).

If the righteous conduct of Jesus was all that was required, and God's forgiveness on that basis, then the death of Christ by bloodshedding was unnecessary, for when His false accusers took Him from Gethsemane, His own righteousness as a sinless Son of God authorised that He could ask His Father to release Him and in fact God could have justifiably given Him there and then eternal life, but how then could it be said that we have redemption through His blood in which was His natural life?

It was the right to natural life and continued existence which was lost in Eden by sin, and it was natural life not lost by sin which was given willingly by His shedding of blood on Calvary, by One who was always free from the law of sin and death; life in the blood being the same but the ownership different. Jesus was ever God's Son from birth and never in need of adoption, therefore free to give His life (not His character) a ransom for many.

It is a pity there are those who cannot see it; but it is deplorable to find there are some who refuse to see it.


How often we have heard or read the expression "The Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man" by those who endeavour to strengthen their view that all men are equal in the sight of God. If by this they mean that all men are in need of God's grace in Christ Jesus we would readily agree; unfortunately these people are only concerned with "human rights," if there is such a thing. Considered in the light of human history from the time of Adam it can be proved that man has no rights of his own and never did have, but we concede he was allowed free-will by his Creator. It was Adam's free will which brought about this state of inequality, not in nature but in legal and moral relationship to God and it is upon this basis we must examine the expression referred to and I am sure we shall be forced to the conclusion on the basis of God's inspired word that the "Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man" became conditional after Adam's sin, through the obedience of faith in the atoning work of God in Christ.

A true belief and understanding of the Gospel shows that man is now under two Constitutions - the Constitution of Sin, and the Constitution of Righteousness. The former pertains to the Prince of this world, the ruler of darkness and lawlessness and spiritual wickedness in high places which opposes itself against the true God and under which constitution all are born and serve, and if not released, receive the wages of this personified master "Sin" which is death. Then there are those who by the enlightenment of the Gospel have symbolically died unto Sin as a Master and risen to newness of life in Christ Jesus and service to Him are reckoned to be under the Constitution of Righteousness, and as faithful servants are heirs to the privileges and rights afforded and promised through the Grace of God.

So the Apostle Paul, after defining the difference between the servants of Sin and the servants of Righteousness under the respective Constitutions in his Epistle to the Romans, chapter 6, concludes with the words "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." It is unthinkable and unacceptable that people under the constitution of Sin should be advocating rights and privileges which pertain only to those who are under the Constitution of Righteousness - no man can successfully or rightfully serve two masters.

To those who are His true servants God declares "Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the Most High: and call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me. But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth? Seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee." Psalm 50:14-17.

Men under the Constitution of Sin may be due to certain rights and privileges laid down in that Constitution for services rendered by its citizens but certainly not on their false claim of the Fatherhood of God which we shall prove as we proceed. As far as we are concerned our history begins with the record of Genesis and the creation of Adam and Eve, our first parents, with natural life, very good yet capable of death, whether they sinned or not, as the Spirit in the Apostle Paul confirms in 1 Corinthians 15:45-49. None therefore have the right to oppose the Spirit of God in the Apostle by declaring that Adam's already corruptible nature was changed in some miraculous way after he sinned in order that the death penalty might gradually commence and also be transmitted to his posterity. This prompts me to say, and I know it to be a foolish statement, that on the strength of such a theory the longest death experienced and recorded was that of Methuselah - 969 years. Neither is it correct to say as some have in the past and as some do at the present time, that man is a dying creature from the cradle to the grave, for there is normally a period of growth which varies in different people in respect of years, and is then followed by a gradual decline which ends finally in the cessation of life commonly regarded as natural death through natural causes. This condition is relative to the natural laws of creation which is entirely different from the law of sin and death; the former being physical and the latter, legal, and it is the legal with which Paul is dealing in Romans 5 in showing that by the righteousness of one, Jesus Christ, and His Sacrificial death it is possible to pass from that death which passed upon all men legally, unto justification of life without any necessity of physical change and become sons of God by adoption.

The One who made this possible took not upon Him the nature of angels but He took on Him the seed of Abraham through the Spirit and Power of the Highest overshadowing Mary, and though Son of God manifesting His Power by signs and miracles and wonders, made Himself of no reputation and took on Him the form or position of a servant and was obedient even unto the culmination of His uncompulsory death on the Cross, when He could have prayed to His father and twelve legions of Angels would have been at His disposal to prevent it. He refused that power as He stood humbled, despised and rejected when Pilate brought Him forth and said, "Behold the man," and through His voluntary and accepted weakness He was crucified, yet in that weakness He destroyed him that had the power of death over men, that is, the devil, or the law of sin and death, which was and is a legal position from which men can be made free (Romans 8:2). For though Jesus walked in the flesh He did not war after the flesh (for the weapons of His warfare were not carnal but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds); casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalted itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of His Father.

Paul says (Philippians 5:2), "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus." But we must realize he was writing to adopted sons of God which verifies the fact that men are not born children of God; by reason of something that took place in regard to the relationship of man's first parents, Adam and Eve. The Apostles of Jesus knew that Adam lost his direct son of God title through disobedience, and consequently all his posterity; but Jesus, the Son of God by begettal retained His birthright because He did no sin and was God's true representative and Captain of Salvation to bring many adopted sons unto glory.

The fact we cannot claim to be sons of God through natural descent from Adam is demonstrated in the words of John's gospel record, chapter I verse 11, when he speaks of Jesus as the Light of the world; "He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him to them gave he power (or privilege) to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name; which were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." Such an appraisal of this fact draws from the depths of the heart of John the beloved disciple of Jesus, the exclamation of gratitude his brethren should share with him, "Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed on us, that we should be called the sons of God" (1 John 3;1). And to prove that this is not some promised and future status in the established kingdom of God, he says in verse 2, "Beloved now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be (I take this to mean various degrees of authority with Christ after His appearing) but we know that when he shall appear we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is."

It has been clearly shown to us from the quotations from John, that Jesus was never man's representative and was never appointed by any man to officiate in that capacity. Let me quote the truth of this statement with the words of John the Baptist who prepared the way and introduced Jesus through the authority of God, "He must increase, but I must decrease. He that cometh from above is above all; he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: He that cometh from heaven is above all. And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony. He that hath received his testimony (John the Baptist) hath set to his seal that God is true. For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him. The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him" (John 3:30-36).

What does John mean by this? He means that though Jesus was a man of flesh and blood, his life was not through the male Adamic line by the will of the flesh, i.e. the will of man, but by the will of God through Spirit operation upon Mary, and was therefore Son of God direct, even as Adam was at creation and before losing his right to direct sonship by breach of law.

John has introduced God's representative, not man's. Man had no part or lot in the matter of redemption and restoration to God's favour - man could not provide the ransom price necessary - man could not produce one of his own species with a life unforfeited to Sin and as a representative. But "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him, might be saved." Jesus therefore undoubtedly was God's representative, sent to show man the Way, the Truth and the Life; hence the words previously quoted "The father loveth the Son and hath given all things into his hands."

Jesus addressing the Jews of His day declared, "Ye sent unto John and he bare witness unto the truth... But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me. And the Father Himself which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me... I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not, if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive" (John 5:33,36 & 43).

These words of Jesus have been verified since His ascension, for indeed false prophets have arisen and false Christs, endeavouring to lead away disciples after them, but those who took seriously the words of the Apostle Peter would recognize these unclean spirits for as he declared by the authority of Jesus and the Father, "Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).

How then can anyone affirm that Jesus was man's representative if it was God who sent Him as His own representative? In respect of His death on the Cross, there is only one dictionary meaning that fits the word representative and is found under the heading of "Substitute" and "Substitution." "Substitute" = "To put in the place of another." "Substitution" = "Act of putting one person in the place of another." It is only in death by inflicted blood shedding that the death of Jesus can be said to be representative of Adam's incurred penalty of death in the day of his sin, but this did not make Jesus Adam's representative, for Adam did not produce Him or send Him; even Adam's posterity were without strength; none of them could by any means redeem his brother. Furthermore, to be a representative of Adam and his posterity Jesus must needs fulfil every meaning of the word and this would make Him also a sinner, and it is sacrilegious for people to wrest the Scriptures from their context, add to or take away in order to support an erroneous viewpoint which dogmatically rejects "substitution" the only description that scripturally fits when the original-sin or sinful-flesh doctrine of Rome is discarded for the rubbish it is.

In order to appreciate the truth of this matter here are some of the dictionary definitions and meanings of "Represent," "Representation," "Representative," "Substitute" and "Substitution," respectively:

Represent = to exhibit by a likeness of; to act the part or character of, to personate; to supply the place of; to bring before the mind; to serve as a sign or symbol of.

Representation = Act of describing or showing; That which represents as a picture; A dramatic performance; A statement of facts; A body of representatives.

Representative = Fitted or qualified to represent; Exhibiting a likeness; Bearing the character or power of another; One that, or that which, represents another; substitute, that supplies the place of another or others; A member of the House of Commons. Substitute = To put in the place of another; To exchange; One that, or that which is put in the place of another; In the Militia, one engaging to serve in room of another; (law) One delegated to act for another.

Substitution = Act of putting one person or thing in the place of another; (gram) Syllepsis; The use of one word for another

As "Representative" is the word favoured by some in opposition to the word "Substitute," we should examine both on the basis of what the Scriptures teach and not on the false theories and doctrines of men.

It will be seen that under "Representative," omitting "A member of the House of Commons," every other description applies to Jesus in relation to His Father and the mission for which He was begotten and sent into the world, though we can accept He was in the likeness of men, but was not "sin's flesh" which denotes a servant of Sin - this Jesus was not. But He did bear the likeness also of His Father and the character and power in the sense that He said to Philip, "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father." Jesus did also supply the place of the Father in His role as the Prophet like unto Moses, but not on the Cross of Calvary.

We are validly baptised into the death of Christ, not into a trinity of names Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the Scriptures do not say that God died for us or that the Holy Spirit has a name or is separate from God, and if we accept the testimony of Eusebius we shall agree that the Trinitarian formula of Matthew 28:19 was never spoken by Jesus and neither was it used by the Apostles; and a reading of Scripture will prove that the Lord Jesus never used a formula such as "in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" either in His preaching or in His other commands. The phrase is quite in agreement with the liturgical custom of men in their forms of religion but altogether foreign to the elevated teaching of the Master.

So we must accept it as obvious that something of the Trinitarian liturgy crept into the transcript, which was not in the original. What better explanation can be given than that of Paul to his Roman brethren? He describes sin having reigned unto their death, that is servitude in that constitution, but they were no longer in Sin. So he continues in chapter 6, verses 1-3, "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, (not ‘to sin'), that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not that so many of us as were baptised into Jesus Christ were baptised into his death?" No formula of three here. Baptism was into the death of Christ, and that death was an inflicted death by blood-shedding, for the life is in the blood. This was the death Adam incurred through disobedience, and which Jesus suffered in his place, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God.

Jesus did not represent Adam as a sinner, for He was not a sinner and had not forfeited His life to Sin as did Adam, therefore the unforfeited life of Jesus was a legitimate ransom whereby God could purchase man from the bondage and power of Sin unto Himself through the voluntary offering of Jesus. In the way life was taken by the shedding of blood wherein was life, Jesus' death was in the place of Adam and the latter is what substitution means.

If we prefer to believe that the death incurred by Adam was by natural decay over a period of time then Jesus was neither a Representative nor a Substitute, for He did not partake of natural death. This is the very key Paul uses in Romans to open the door of understanding of the subject of substitution, and it all has to do with Law, Sin, Death-by-sin, the Gift of God and Righteousness of Jesus Christ, Justification by His shed blood, and through dying with Him symbolically in baptism and rising in the "Likeness" of His resurrection to walk in newness of life, no more servants to Sin as a Master but servants to righteousness and a new Master, even God Himself through Jesus Christ.

Many will agree that after reading the Genesis account of the creation of man and the Divine conditions to be observed, it would be difficult to conceive that man had an immortal soul, yet the same many read the letter to the Romans with equal misconception that Paul is speaking of death by natural causes as the penalty Adam incurred by sin, yet the only physical death mentioned in Paul's discourse is that of Christ by crucifixion; the others being of a legal and symbolic relation by reason of enlightenment and faith.

How can we reckon ourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord, if we have not died in some way, and risen from the dead to that state of being alive unto God as His servants? The common natural death theory as the penalty incurred by Adam is therefore the only obstacle to acceptance of what the Apostle Paul wrote to the Romans in chapters 5,6,7,& 8, and if these chapters are read with this misconception removed from the minds of discriminate and unbiased readers they will feel in themselves the exultation John felt when he exclaimed "Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed on us..." and will be ready to accept that the death Jesus suffered was in the place of Adam and us, who were concluded under his sin though not actual sinners, so that the one righteous act of one Jesus Christ might also be the means of our justification to life through faith in His substitutionary and sacrificial death.

What was forfeited by Adam was natural fife, not a carcass of corruption. True, had he been put to death when he sinned, this would remain a fact for eternity because he was a sinner. What Jesus offered in place of Adam was a life, not a carcass of corruption, and because He had committed nothing worthy of death, God raised Him in Spirit Nature like unto the Angels, therefore He did not receive back that life-in-the-blood which He had sacrificed, otherwise it could not be termed a sacrifice.

One well known writer now deceased, stated, "If Christ were a substitute we ought not to die." Is not this exactly what Jesus implies when speaking of those who conform to His word in faith and obedience by dying unto Sin in the symbol of baptism into His death? These are the class who honour the Son even as they honour the Father and of whom Jesus said, "He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life (not will have), and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life." (John 5:24).

Paul said of himself and believers, "The life which I now live in the flesh I live by the power (or authority) of the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me," - "your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory." The life referred to here is not one forfeited to Sin through Adam's disobedience; that life went in symbolic crucifixion with Christ, the Adamic body belonging to Sin having been destroyed that we also should serve God in newness of life even as Jesus served Him from birth and never belonged to Sin as we did.

If we can but realise the meaning of the two phrases, "The Sin of the world" and "The life of the world," many of the difficulties involved in the misconception of natural death as a penalty, and of wages, would never arise, - not to those who really prefer Truth to the traditions of men. Adam's sin - "The Sin of the world," was responsible for the "Life of the world" being at stake, or lost, and that loss deferred typically in Eden in the shedding of blood and foreshadowing the substitutionary death of Christ by the same means. Paul states, "By the offence of one (Adam) many be dead," so in other words the life is forfeit and held in abeyance until a person in that legal situation becomes enlightened to release from it in the way appointed.

Jesus said (John 6:27), "Labour not for the meat (bread) which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you; for him hath God the Father sealed... (vs.32,33), My Father giveth you the true bread from heaven, (There are people who dispute this in effect and say it was leavened with sin); for the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven and giveth life unto the world." (A world considered dead through Sin).

Jesus says again (John 6:50 - 53), "This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof and not die... and the bread which I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world... Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood ye have no life in you." We know Jesus is here using figurative language, nevertheless He is showing the true state of the world in relation to Adamic transgression and the necessity of His appearance on the scene through the Father. "For the Son of man came not to be ministered unto (He needed no redemption) but to minister and to give his life a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:28). "The words that I speak unto you they are spirit and they are life," - "Lord to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life" (John 6:63). That word was made flesh and man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth from God which Jesus heard and received and imparted that we might live by Him. Obviously these things were revealed to Paul after his experience with Christ on the road to Damascus, and from the reading of his epistles we find that natural death was of little consequence in the matter of redemption and eternal life; this being the experience of believers and unbelievers alike, but unlike the latter, Jesus says of the believers who live unto God, "I will raise them up at the last day."

The justification to everlasting life is first in priority in the legal and moral relationship, the physical change occurring in the words of Jesus and Paul, "I will raise him up at the last day" (John 6:40). "For the trumpet shall sound and the dead (in Christ) shall be raised incorruptible" (1 Corinthians 15:52). Some may wish to ignore what the author of "The Visible Hand of God" wrote under the heading dealing with Enoch, who walked with God in faith. This author, Robert Roberts, was forced by his own examination of the subject, to discard the theory he held, that natural death was the penalty Adam incurred by sin and to accept the theory of the substitutionary death of the typical slain lamb in Eden, and the anti-typical substitutionary death of Christ, being prospective from Eden and retrospective in the case of those who are changed at His second advent and do not experience natural death. He proved that natural death could not be made to fit, but this does not mean he accepted the truth of his own reasoning, for he did not, and it is of no credit to him or his advocates that the truth of substitution he confirmed, was and is rejected because it would destroy their other preconceived theories.

It was on account of this that A.L.WiIson wrote the booklet in reply to those who advocated the theory that Jesus was a representative not a substitute in respect of His crucifixion, the booklet is entitled "Jesus my Substitute," and shows beyond doubt that the latter is true. There is no other way that men can be born again by water and Spirit other than the way Jesus has shown, and the Apostles who succeeded Him in preaching the Gospel. Natural death makes no contribution to our salvation, to say it does is to be accused as thieves and robbers climbing and entering by some other way. We are wholly dependent on the grace of God through Jesus Christ and to attempt to twist and distort the letter to Hebrews to make the sacrifice of Christ more unfit than the animals offered under the Levitical Priesthood in order to bolster the theory of physical sin in the flesh condemnation, is beyond belief, yet such is the case I am sad to say.

I hope in consequence, if my remarks should be read by this class of people they will be able to "Behold the Man" in all His attributes and be able to say in sincerity and truth, "Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed on us..." It has been stated by some in the past "If Christ were a substitute, we ought not to die, and Christ ought not to have risen." We reply, "If Christ be not a substitute, we ought not to have lived." If Adam had been executed without mercy on the day he sinned, we had had no existence; but God in His mercy provided for Adam a substitute, typified in the animal slain (Genesis 3:15; Revelation 13:8).

The benefit Adam's descendants derived from this is that it secures for them natural existence; but in as much as all do not become individually related in the appointed way to God's covering for sin, natural existence is their empyrean. This demonstrates that it is due to the very mercy of God and the voluntary and substitutionary death of His Son that we are here at all.

Another question has been asked, "Why do believers die?" We answer, "Why do those believers alive and remaining at His coming escape natural death? Simply because their King has come." Those believers of previous ages are allowed to fall asleep then, simply because their King has not come, and it is the purpose of God that His faithful shall all be glorified together (Romans 8:17-19; Hebrews 11: 39,40). This confirms the Scripture that "Whether we live, therefore, or die, (natural death) we are the Lords." If anyone still maintain this is "the death unto sin," we reply, the latter has already been experienced in symbol through crucifixion with Christ and burial and resurrection to newness of life; natural death is but a transitional sleep in the dust of the earth until the words of Isaiah the prophet be fulfilled chapter 26, verse 19, "Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust."

The wages of sin is for those who remain servants to the "constitution of Sin," but eternal life is an unearned gift of God to those who become His faithful servants through Him who died the Just for the unjust, to bring them to God, and Jesus is now their representative in Heaven making intercession as Mediator and High Priest. Man had nothing to do with this. Man had nothing with which to furnish a representative; therefore God's own arm brought salvation.

May these things motivate the representative theorists to a reading of Isaiah 53 with more compassion and gratitude and clearer vision to "Behold the Man" and "Behold what manner of Love the Father hath bestowed on us..." "in bringing many son's to glory."


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