While we believe that the Bible is an accurate record of the events God intended for our information, we cannot say that every word printed is the inspired Word of God, but only that which the Holy men spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. This applies to both Old and New Testaments for men's enlightenment to the reason for religion and God's offer of salvation and eternal life through His Son Jesus Christ. Since the sacrificial death of Jesus we have all been born into the Christian Dispensation based on Abraham and the Patriarchs, Isaac and Jacob. We dispense therefore, with all other cults and denominations as not of God. To us there is one God and Father of all who are of the One Body and Spirit of Jesus Christ, and of that faith and one Baptism which is by Him. For Peter declared "Neither is there salvation in any other. . ." (Acts 4:12). Paul says "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.... but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.... and if children, then heirs, heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ" (Romans 8:14,15,17). Again, the same in Galatians 4:4-7. What does this teach us? It certainly does not teach the universal Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man, but the fact that at some time in history man became estranged from God the Creator, hence the expression used, "Adopted sons;" but Paul speaks of one who was not adopted, and, in fact, if we go back to the beginning of man's history in Genesis we read there is a created son of God - Adam by name (meaning red earth) and he was styled a living soul by means of the breath of life animating his body; and if deprived of that breath, would die instantly, and become red earth, or dust again. We have found this to be medically and scientifically so when after many years the organs of the working body deteriorate and decay. This happens to all animal life, man has no pre-eminence above a beast as far as nature is concerned (Ecclesiastes 3:16-20), but God created man with greater capacity for intelligence than the beasts, and therefore with responsibility under His law. The question arises, If Adam was a created son of God, why are his descendants in need of adoption through another Son? The information and answer to this question is found in Genesis 2:17, where Adam was prohibited from eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil on pain of death, which in fact, involves the taking away of his life, causing inability to breathe any more of the breath of life. Can it be put any plainer of one who was created subject to decay and ultimate death if left to himself without any change to a superior nature like that of the angels who do not die? And was not this a test of his obedience and faith in order that Adam's free-will might be the means of developing character to fit him eventually for a higher and superior nature like that of the ministering angels? We believe so. If not so, why the Tree of Life? Briefly, the record is that Eve was deceived and beguiled into eating of the forbidden fruit, and she gave also to her husband and he did eat; this transgression of Law entered into the world, or as it is termed in Scripture, "Sin." Adam and Eve had now sold themselves to that which was in opposition to God; not only so, but all who were in his loins when he sinned. Thus their position was personified as in bondage to a Master holding over them the sentence of death as the reward, or wages, for services rendered. "The wages of sin is death," says Paul (Romans 6:20-23). When Adam sinned, all in his loins could not be termed as actual sinners - they had not been born, and if the sentence of the Law had to be carried out, they would not have been born, so that their actual existence depended on Adam and Eve being purchased from sin and alienation from God, and the only way was that the Ransom, or Purchasing Price, must be found and paid. It is obvious to the reader of Genesis that Adam and Eve were in the position of being legally dead by transgression of Law, this had nothing to do with their physical nature which, left to its own course, would in any case gradually decay and return to dust if not changed to a spirit nature (1 Corinthians 15:45-50). This is the case with all who are of the same physical nature of the first man, but their own legal position has to be dealt with if they are not to remain Sin's servants with no hope of Eternal Life, and without God in the world. Enlightenment is necessary and is revealed in the Scriptures of Truth to those who diligently seek for it. This has been so from Adam until now, but all men have not been privileged to see this apparent mystery which has been hid in God from the beginning of the world, "who created all things by Jesus Christ; to the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: in whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Him." (Ephesians 3:1-21). If the account of Adam and Eve is not clear when we first read it in Genesis, then we must consult what Paul has said about it by revelation given to him, and we can have no doubts that in his letter to the Romans, Jesus Christ is linked with Adam's sin and penalty, which Paul says passed upon Adam and all men. Now if this penalty was natural death and return to dust in Adam's case, then it was also the case with all men; how then can grace be said to abound unto many if that many are dead physically? Impossible. The position therefore is a legal one - Adam under legal sentence of inflicted death (or the taking of his life) but the remittance granted by the giving of an equivalent life of a sinless man. Jesus Christ, as typically demonstrated in the Sin-covering obtained by blood-shedding. The Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8). "Not redeemed with corruptible things, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead. and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God" (1 Peter 1:18- 21). Paul, speaking to the Ephesian believers, praises God for His blessings, and continues, "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world... having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of his will" (Ephesians 1:4,5). I mentioned earlier about men needing adoption, implying that Adam lost by sin his original status as a son of God, and thereby also alienated from God those in his loins, their life also being lost with his so that they of themselves had no claim to natural existence. God Himself provided the means of redemption and of reconciliation; this was all ordained in His Plan with the earth and man. He is supreme over all, hence the preaching of the Kingdom of God and the Name of Jesus Christ. The record in Genesis was concerned with this fact by the promise of the seed of the woman obtaining victory for man over the domain of Sin under which he was concluded (Galatians 3:17-22). Eternal life in the Kingdom of God is what we believe in, and must be obtained by belief and faith under certain conditions appointed of God. The doctrine that man has an immortal soul is a myth, and cannot be found in Genesis or any other book in the Bible, we have quoted this from 1 Corinthians 15:45-49 but we also have concrete proof in Genesis 2:9, where there is a distinction made between the trees that God caused to grow out of the ground as good for food; the Tree of Life also in the midst of the garden, and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The latter named tree was prohibited to Adam as we have mentioned before, but they both sinned by eating of it and came under sentence, "In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die;" an immortal soul cannot die, but Adam was not immortal, he was a living soul capable of death. Genesis 3:17-22 will prove our contention and something which may have escaped the notice of many readers who in fact, may have had the impression that Adam and Eve had been eating of the Tree of Life; it can be seen that after becoming wise in the knowledge of good and evil, "The Lord God said.... and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the Tree of Life, and eat, and live for ever..." Those two words "take also" imply that they had not eaten of the Tree of Life previous to eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, otherwise the latter's sentence of inflicted death would be nullified. The Tree of Life, of itself, had no properties in its fruit to impart change of nature to eternal life - this would be imparted from God if Adam had maintained his right to eat of it. As with the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, it was a matter of law - "I set before you free-will to choose Death or Life." It is clear therefore, that Adam and Eve lost their right to eat of the Tree of Life as soon as they sinned and may not even have known of its life-giving properties until they had been enlightened to it. The same can be said for all men in need of redemption and the salvation offered by faith in Jesus Christ and Him crucified, the right to the Tree of Life is only through Him; "I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the Father but by me." In Genesis Jesus is seen in the types; approach to God through the shedding of blood, the death that came by Adam's sin, seen also in Abel's offering, the eating of the Tree of Life no longer available but the way to it typified by the Cherubim with flaming sword turning every way to keep it - no climbing through some other way, as Jesus expressed it of the sheepfold. We find the lesson of the Cherubim continued in the Mosaic Tabernacle where God spoke from above the Mercy-Seat between the Cherubim of Glory as the place where He would meet and commune with His servants. Why then should not this have been the case with Adam, Abel, Cain, Seth, Enoch, and all who had respect for God's way? It appears from Holy Scripture that a certain sacrifice by bloodshedding and faith was necessary for approach to God in acknowledgement of the alienation and death which had passed upon all men by Adam's sin. This fact was shown to the Israelites every year on what was expressed as the Day of Atonement, when the animal types of Jesus were slain, but was literally fulfilled when He was nailed to the tree as the true substance and not the shadow. We have to understand these things in order to understand why Jesus Christ, a man who deserved not to die, should allow Himself to be treated in this manner when He could have called on His Father for twelve legions of angels to deliver Him; for He had said, "How then shall the Scriptures be fulfilled that thus it must be?" (Matthew 26:54). Also in Matthew 20:28, "Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many." We have portrayed before us in Scripture, two Federal Heads, Adam and Jesus. Adam, the progenitor of the natural human race sold under sin, and Jesus, a new man, and beginning of a spiritual people who have died unto Adamic federally imputed sin, through baptism into His death and risen to newness of life independent of reproduction by the will of man according to the flesh. First that which is natural, afterward that which is spiritual. The same applies to the Kingdom of God. This was in operation through God's representative but He was King of Kings at all times and will be in the future. The first Divinely appointed King and priest we read of is Melchizedec when he met Abraham, and as King of Righteousness and King of Peace, blessed him who had received the promises that in him and his seed would all families of the earth be blessed; Jesus Christ being the central figure in these blessings. (Genesis 12:1,2; 13:14; 15:18; Galatians 3:16, 26-29). We read of Melchizedec bringing forth bread and wine as priest of the Most High God and blessed Abraham. This bread and wine seems significant insofar as bread is regarded as the staff of life and wine that which makes joyful the heart of man (a good combination). Jesus was made a priest after the order of Melchizedec, but He was symbolised in bread and wine. Jesus said of Himself, "My Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world." (John 6:32,33). At the Passover feasts with His disciples, Jesus handed to them the unleavened bread and wine as symbols of His body and blood. The life He was about to offer as the Ransom for many and as the introduction of a new covenant, making an end of the old one and a discontinuation of the Levitical Priesthood. For after His resurrection He became a Priest for ever after the order of Melchizedec, not after the order of Aaron, as some would have us believe, and who must have a veil over their eyes when they read Hebrews chapters 7 to 8:4. The fact that Jesus said He came down from heaven does not mean He existed in heaven as a person before His birth of Mary, but that His life came direct from God and not through the male channel of descent from Adam; otherwise He too, would have needed a Redeemer. It must be realised also that on earth Jesus was not a priest, but He was the anti-typical Lamb of God's provision slain for the people, not for Himself; and He is now a High Priest for His own household, at the right-hand of God until He returns to the earth when the kingdoms of this world will become the Kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ and He will reign, and of His Kingdom there will be no end. (Daniel 7:13,14; Revelation 11:15). There were many heathen kings at the time of Abram, then there appeared Judges on the scene after Israel entered the promised land, but God was Supreme King, yet they desired a king like the heathen nations, thus rejecting God as reigning over them (1 Samuel 8:5-10). The Lord gave them Saul, then David, but corruptive practices continued unto the reign of Zedekiah who was wicked and profane, so that God said of his kingship, over Israel "I will overturn, overturn, overturn it, and it shall be no more until He comes whose right it is, and I will give it him." (Ezekiel 21:25-27). We believe this refers to Jesus in accordance with many prophecies of Scripture including the statement of the Angel Gabriel to Mary in Luke 1:30-33, but some think this right to the throne of Israel is due to Christ's descent from David according to the flesh, but this is not wholly the case. God was always the Supreme Ruler over His covenanted people, and Jesus, His only begotten Son, was heir of all things, and His right it was, not by descent from David, but from the beginning, because God knew from the beginning that Jesus would maintain His integrity and rights as Son of God. We believe emphatically in His return as the resurrection and the life to those who look for Him and confess Him before all men as the man who voluntarily gave His natural life in the blood for all men, but especially those who believe and obey His commandments and principles. We believe that there is to be a resurrection both of the just and of the unjust, but not simultaneously; this simultaneous theory would nullify Paul's teaching in 1 Corinthians 15:52 and 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18. We believe that through the Priesthood of Christ our conduct is being followed and judged; for He is able to make intercession on our behalf if we sincerely make the effort to follow His example when on earth. If we sin wilfully after receiving a knowledge of the Truth, and I mean an understanding of the true Gospel of salvation involving the sacrifice of Christ for us and not for Himself, then there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation; this is equal to despising the flesh and blood of Jesus thus counting it as unholy and void of the power of sanctification - a treading under foot of the Son of God and a despising of the Spirit of Grace, for it is the blood of Christ which maketh atonement; He did not sacrifice His character. We believe God condemned Adam's sin, not his flesh. We believe flesh has continued unchanged from creation. We believe the flesh of Jesus was the same physical quality as all other men but that His birth was not generated by the will of man, but by the will and power of God, overshadowing Mary whose physical flesh was no different from Adam's or Eve's at creation. Scripture will support this belief but it will not support the Apostate doctrine of defiled flesh and the compulsive bias and inclination to commit sin; Jesus Himself proved the error of this doctrine by His sinless conduct in the very same nature, and whereby He condemned sin. We believe that by an understanding of the purpose of Christ's death and belief and baptism by immersion into it, we die symbolically unto the Federal sin of Adam, under which God concluded all men, that by the righteousness of one man, Jesus Christ, the free gift of Grace might be offered unto all men unto justification of life. We then rise from the water to newness of life in Him, but we are not morally justified until we have finished our course and have kept the faith. Baptism is useless to those who believe in the physical condemnation of the flesh of Adam and all men, for they rise from the water with that same flesh.
Search the Scriptures!How readest thou?