"By Man Came Death" - What Death?

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There was a time when for a period of 17 years I thought I knew the Truth as taught by Jesus and His disciples and Apostles, but I must confess that there were matters of doctrine and teaching in the Scriptures that I did not fully understand, but I still took for granted that my teachers and associates of that period held and taught what was termed the essential and fundamental doctrine necessary for salvation.

Now were it not for certain advice and warnings to take heed to what the Scriptures reveal and state, and not everything written or taught by the precept of men who considered they had the revealed Truth and were beyond the investigation stage, I might not have even considered there was another side to the coin and that there were others who had passed through the same stage and to whom by God's Grace the other side of the coin had been shown.

How many of us would have realised that alienation from God through Adam's sin was a legal and moral position and not a physical state of condemnation? That it was a state or position by imputation or constitution, and not through anything we had committed by breach of Law not having been born, and that we through the second Federal Head and His righteousness and Atoning blood, might be reconciled to God? Did not the majority of us, if not all, believe that Romans 5 was the teaching of "physical condemnation" and return to the ground, as introduced by the false teaching of a Pope in opposition to what Paul's teaching conveys in the true and legal sense he explains?

I thank God I am wise now to the Apostle's teaching of the Federal Principle which in Romans 5 makes things so clear which at one time seemed confusing. For example, as to why in my view a Just God could pass a sentence of death on all men before they were even born, or in fact cause them to be compulsive sinners by implanting in their reproductive nature a bias and inclination to sin so that there could be no injustice in their death by whatever means. My associates for the seventeen year period mentioned above, taught and believed this theory as a Basis of their faith which had been handed down from a man who would not accept the correction and invitation spoken of in Revelation 3:16-18.

Does this mean that I should not listen or take notice of what other men have learned from the teaching of the Scriptures when possibly and probably it has been revealed to them by the Spirit? When Philip questioned of the Ethiopian Eunuch, "Understandest thou what thou readest?" the answer from him was "How can I, except some man should guide me?" (Acts 8:29). It appears God had determined that a man who understood, by the gift of the Spirit, the meaning of Isaiah 53 should guide this humble and God-fearing Eunuch into the understanding of why His Son Jesus Christ died on Calvary's tree. It was given to all the Apostles and disciples of Christ to understand this means of Redemption and reconciliation, and to preach it to all who would listen; they had the ability to explain it more so than perhaps a persistent daily reader of the Bible of our modern time with so much confusion of theories and falsehoods of religion to cloud the mind from the simplicity of the teaching of Christ and the Apostles.

Having had my attention drawn to opposing views to the Apostate doctrine of original sin held by my associates, I was able to understand far more clearly the Book of Genesis and the subsequent history of man and God's dealings with him through the introduction of religion in which is involved its main reason, and that being ;-

a) Alienation by sin,

b) Redemption and reconciliation through sacrificial death,

c) Probation by faith and continuance in well doing,

d) The hope of eternal life with Jesus and His Father in a new creation of things wherein dwelleth righteousness.

I am thankful for the men God used in the removal of my confusion on some points of doctrine, as He had also used others for them in the same way. He even used men to translate His word into our language through the ability they possessed (I would not presume they were completely guided by the Holy Spirit because they were not all united and agreed as would be the case of Holy Spirit guidance) and we must admit to other versions of translation and must therefore be discriminate in whatever we read. Sufficient is revealed for our salvation. Paul has been used to reveal the Federal position concerning "In Adam" and "In Christ" through his epistle to Romans, it remains for us to understand it first, and then accept it as a revelation.

If it were not for Paul's epistle to the Romans, the Gentiles would have had little idea of God's dealing with all men in general on the Federal Principle, for we see from Genesis to Malachi that His main dealings were with the direct descendants of Adam, Noah, Abraham and the twelve Patriarchs with their tribes. But we do see in the promises to Abraham the blessing of all nations through a special singular seed, the Messiah; blessings that the Law of Moses could not disannul or make the promise of non effect, for indeed it had its roots in the word of God to Eve (Genesis 3:15), but a reading of Genesis alone, without the revealed mystery (secret) through Jesus and the Apostles, especially Paul, would leave us in ignorance of the Federal Principle in God's Plan of Redemption and Salvation through His only begotten Son Jesus laying down His life; which was shown first in type in Eden and finally in substance on the tree at Calvary.

Having made this clear, we should be able to follow Paul's teaching and reasoning on the Federal Principle and the wonderful way God chose to involve all men in His Plan on the principle of individual belief and faith and without any self-justification on man's part, God having given all men natural life and the prospect of life more abundantly - both through the merits of His Son's sacrifice. Thus on this subject in Romans 5 Paul points us to the record of Adam in Genesis of whose creation from the dust of the earth we are informed, and of the specific commandment he must observe, or lose his life if disobedient.

The doctrine of predestination in the New Testament epistles and the fact we are alive, indicates to us in retrospect that God intended to spare Adam's life but He did not indicate this fact to Adam before he sinned, nor did it make part of the serpent's statement true "Ye shall not surely die," for if we understand Romans 5 we shall detect by logical reasoning that Adam died when he broke the Law.

You may ask, In what way and by what reasoning can you say this? Fair enough. Turn to Romans 5:15 and you will read, "For if through the offence of one many be dead..." I ask how were the many dead, and when? The answer is obvious; they were dead when the offence was committed.

And how were they dead? They were in the loins of Adam when he sinned.

How then did Adam die? He died by Law, his life was in forfeit to the Law and its claim was hanging over him, therefore if Adam met that claim physically, he and all in his loins would have perished.

1 John 3:14: - What death can he abide in if still physically alive? It is the moral and legal - not the physical, which governs the position.

If therefore in this legal position the many unborn were dead, then we must conclude legally that Adam was dead, but how (we might ask), could predestination work if Adam were to be put to death, and consequently all who were predestinated? The Apostle said, "Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world" (see Acts 15:18). How was God's plan to replenish the earth with a people who would reciprocate His attributes, to become a success? The answer was already in His foreknowledge and plan - a new man who would justify His condemnation of Adam's sin, in a likeness of the same Adamic nature in which sin was committed and would lay down His own natural life instead of the life which Adam had forfeited by disobedience. This was demonstrated and typified in the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world and referred to in Revelation 13:8, and by which Adam's sin, classified and referred to by John Baptist as "the sin of the world," was remitted and taken away.

If this did not refer to a lamb from which the covering of the coats of skins for Adam and Eve were obtained by bloodshedding, then for whom could it have been slain, seeing that it was by Adam that sin entered the world and the death by sin? If the penalty of sin is considered to have been experienced when Adam died 930 years later, then all men who die in the same manner, experience the same penalty and as a consequence they all perish seeing they have had no substitute to redeem or ransom them from the power and bondage of sin. I repeat, "The death by sin" which passed upon Adam, passed upon all men, and in Adam's case if the condemnation and penalty was a process of decay and a return to dust then this condemnation was upon him for 930 years and he would have died a sinner unredeemed and unforgiven.

What then of his posterity? Can it be proved in Genesis in clear statement that any of Adam's posterity were subjects of redemption to the exclusion of Adam? Were they not all imputed to be in the same position as he so that one substitutional death could justify all on the principle of faith? To be in Adam is to be in him when he sinned, not after he was clothed with the skin covering. Such a covering becomes an individual matter on the principle of faith in God's provision and we all reach a similar position through enlightenment and in acknowledgement we die symbolically into the death of Christ by baptism and are regarded to have "passed from death to life," which can only be in the legal sense seeing it is the same flesh and blood nature that rises from the water.

"In Adam" is not therefore a term used by Paul as being in a physical sense, but a legal, for if we are in Adam when we die a natural death then we cannot be in Christ, seeing we have not passed out of the legal state of death passed on Adam and on all men. What does Paul mean by the statement "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive"? Is he not teaching a legal fact of the Federal Principle that when men become enlightened to the fact that as members of the Adam body when he sinned, that the sentence of death also hung over them by imputation, and in order to remove that legal sentence they must take advantage of the means provided which is to die unto the death that came by Adam's sin?

And is not this taught first in the death of the typical lamb and finally in the death of Christ the antitypical? Thus meaning that only those enlightened are in Adam, and they constitute the All that die in order to be in Christ, and partake of the promised benefits of that position. Otherwise, if we choose to accept that all in Adam are his physical descendants and die for that reason, it could also be said that this is and has been the case with all in Christ up to the present time, but Paul does not say that all in Christ die, so what is the position? The position is a legal and moral one as is so for example in the case of Abraham. All his descendants are not regarded by God as Abraham's seed and children of the promises (Romans 9:6-8). This is almost the identical teaching Paul uses in Romans 5 concerning Adam. So that if the condemnation was of Adamic flesh and descent from it, then all who rise from baptism are still in that flesh and blood nature and still in Adam, "If any man be in Christ he is a new creature." Yes, and he is still flesh and blood though he has died, and righteousness is reigning over him unto eternal life, hopefully (Romans 5:20,21).

My personal opinion is that Adam and Eve were redeemed and set on course for a new probation which would end in the limits of their natural and corruptible state in which they were created as with all animal creation. Their probation was not meant to be easy, the sorrow for Eve in bringing forth children was to be increased among other factors; this does not mean that birth would have been painless before, otherwise sorrow in bringing forth could not be multiplied; neither conception. However, none of these factors prove the original sin doctrine of changed flesh for did not God intercede in the case of Sarai, Abraham's wife, and also other women who were barren, without altering their flesh and blood nature? In Adam's case also labour was increased and it does not mean he could not sweat before or that he could not previously experience pain for did not God have to cause a deep sleep upon him for the extraction of the rib in Eve's creation? Thorns also and thistles were to plague him and I would say these were not only literal but figurative in the form of ungodly men.

But I believe that if Adam remained faithful there was hope of a future life for him. We also in the same position are up against literal and figurative thorns and thistles in our probationary walk but it is meant to mould our characters to fit us for the future life we hope to share. "Think not" said Jesus, "that I am come to send peace on earth" (Matthew 10:34-39).

I must confess that I have no proof that Adam was faithful to the end, therefore I cannot presume that he will rise incorruptible, but if he does it will be for him as I hope for us, by the Love, Grace and Mercy of God in the Gift of His only begotten Son who loved us and gave Himself for us.

I trust I have succeeded in my effort to make things more clear.

Phil Parry

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