1 PETER 4
1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;
2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.
The inutility of ordinary human pursuits becomes apparent even now. After forty, people begin to look at the serious side of things, though truly some persons never look at that side at any age, as some do at an earlier age. But taking the ordinary run of mankind, when the meridian of life is passed, things in general begin to appear in their true colours, and the result is generally dispiriting.
Most men live for transient purposes, and the consequence is, as the interest of those purposes wears off -- having nothing to fall back upon -- they sink into an insipid state, which, having no purpose or hope, has no nobility and no joy. On how many thousands of countenances is this condition depicted? The practical bearing of this is obvious.
Nothing profits in the end but the truth. A life in this will be ever green and flourishing -- even now. While the outward man perishes, the inward man is renewed day by day. But if secular objects only are pursued, there will be no inward man to renew, and all will be desolation when the inevitable period arrives for the decay of all pertaining to the outward man.
The truth is the only thing whereby we can be discharged from the grave, ever remembering, of course, that this deliverance will not be given to those merely knowing the truth... as Christ has suffered for us in the flesh, we are to arm ourselves with the same mind, for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; that he should no longer live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.
There is no, ambiguity about this. The meaning is plain. Those who are heirs of life, in so far as they acquire a title by connection with Christ, are to make their heirship sure, by walking after the course indicated. Their time, after coming to the knowledge of the truth, is not to be spent in "the lusts of men," but in doing the will of God.
Great stress is laid in all the Scriptures on this feature -- the doing of the will of God. Jesus brings it out forcibly when he says to certain,
"Why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? He that DOETH the will of my Father, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother."
Seasons 1: 46.
6 For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.
"For this the gospel was preached to dead ones, that they might be condemned by men for flesh, but live by God for spirit."-I Pet. 4:6.
This is not difficult to explain. The dead referred to were persons who, previous to the time Peter was writing, had heard the gospel and obeyed it. The truth they believed caused them to cease any longer to work the will of the Gentiles, in practising their vices and abominable idolatries. This caused their. former companions to speak evil of them, and to persecute them even to death; which Peter terms condemnation for flesh. Their refusal to gratify the flesh, and their reproof of fleshly gratification in others, was the ground of their condemnation.
But their work shall be rewarded; for having put to death the deeds of the body, they shall live "for spirit," πνευματι.
The gospel was preached to them with a view to this result-that they might become spirit "in the day of the Lord Jesus," being born from the dust of the spirit by resurrection: for "that born of the spirit is spirit."
The gospel was not preached to them after their decease. Peter does not say that it was. But that the gospel was preached to persons, dead indeed while he was writing, but alive when they heard and became obedient.
Preaching the gospel to dead men! If that does not beat everything! What piece of tomfoolery will not the clergy teach, and their dupes believe, after this. Why
"a living dog is better than a dead lion;"
yet the dogs of the apostacy are both deaf and dumb. What would not their corpses be in respect of truth!
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, Mar 1857
7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.
"The end of all things hath approached."-Peter.
In the days of the apostles, this power of the "Iron Yoke" was employed by the Eternal Spirit to execute judgment upon Judah-to destroy the ruling of the Commonwealth of Israel, which had been condemned of heaven.
"Thou shalt serve thine enemies," says Moses,
"which Yahweh shall send against thee; and He shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee." "Yahweh shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as the eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand: a nation of fierce countenance, who shall not regard the person of the old, nor show favour to the young."
From this, it is evident, that when the Body Politic of Israel should be destroyed, it would be the act and deed of the Eternal Spirit, self-styled Yahweh. He sent the Assyrians to destroy the kingdom of israel, or of the Ten Tribes; and the king of Babylon to overturn the throne of David. Hence, it is written,
"O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation: I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give them a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets"-Isai. 10:5.
After the Babylonish captivity, He sent the Romans to execute the vengeance which John the Baptist warned his generation was impending-hanging over Judah as a cloud full of lightning, tempest and hail.
As the Assyrian was the rod of Yahweh's anger, so also was the Little Horn of the Goat, or power of the Greek and Latin peoples. These all were Yahweh's executioners upon "a wicked and adulterous generation;" and therefore, in this sense, "his armies" and "his people."
The Assyrians and Romans did his work upon Israel although they neither knew Yahweh, nor the true import of their own military operations against them. After telling us what he intended to do with the Assyrian, as already quoted, the Eternal Spirit proceeds to inform us, that all the time the Assyrians were acting for him, they were doing it blindly, and imagining that they were only carrying out their own policy.
"I will give them a charge;" saith the Spirit;
"howbeit the Assyrian meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so; but it is in his heart to destroy and cut off nations not a few. Wherefore it shall come to pass when Yahweh hath performed his whole work upon Mount Zion and Jerusalem" (which has not yet been consummated) "I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks. For he saith, By the strength of my power, have I done it, and by my wisdom, for I am prudent; and I have removed the bounds of the people, and have robbed their treasures, and I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant man."-Isai. 10:7-13.
Upon this principle, the "host" or army "given" to the little horn of the goat "against the Daily Sacrifice," is styled in Dan. 9:26, "the people of the Prince." The words are, "the City and the Temple, the people of the Prince that came shall destroy." The Nahghid, or prince royal, in this place is the same as is styled in the twenty-fifth verse, Masshiah ah Naghid, the Anointed Prince Royal; or, in the English version, "Messiah the Prince," who was to be "cut off," or made a covenant of.
From the text in verse 26, it is evident, that Messiah was to appear before the destruction of Jerusalem by the Little Horn of the Goat; for if he had not come before that event, the Goat-People could not have been the people of the Prince Royal of Israel; for them to be His people destroying the city and temple, he must have preceded the destruction, and have sent them. This is a testimony for Jesus the Jews cannot destroy.
Jesus taught, that the destruction of Jerusalem would be effected by the armi s of the King of Israel, because his subjects would not accept his invitation to the nuptials of his Son, whom they had murdered, and whose servants also they had slain.
This teaching is illustrated in the parables of Matt. 21:33; and 22:2-10. In the first, the Eternal Spirit is represented as a Householder, who planted a vineyard, and let it out to husbandmen, and then retired into a far country. David, referring to this says,
"Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt; thou hast cast out the Gentiles, and planted * * * thou didst cause it to take deep root, and it filled the land"-Ps. 80:8-16: and concerning the same, the prophet saith, "The vineyard of Yahweh of armies is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant; and he looked for justice, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry"-Isai. 5:7.
The husbandmen of this estate were the Chief Priests and Pharisees; who constituted "the Ruling of the State," the power and authority being in their hands. Their holding, however, was only a leasehold; and could not continue longer than the legal existence of the lease under which they held. That lease was the Mosaic Covenant, which expressly states, that
"If they would not obey the voice of the Eternal Spirit their Mighty Ones, they should be plucked from off the land, and scattered among all people"-Deut. 28:62-64.
Thus, the national rebellion in the time of the Prophet like unto Moses, was to extinguish their holding-the Law was added until the seed should come to whom the promise of the vineyard was made-Gal. 3:19.
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, July 1859
"The end of all things hath approached."-Peter.
Now these words will not admit of any other construction than that "the end" referred to was contemporary with Peter. He had lived to see the beginning of the end; but the Lord had shown him that he was not to see its consummation, for in the second epistle he says,
"I know that shortly there is the putting away—εστιν η αποθεσις—of my tabernacle, as also our Lord Jesus Christ hath shown me"—ch. 1:14.
The supposition is altogether inadmissible that Peter meant the end of "the times of the Gentiles;" or the end of the world a thousand years after those times had terminated or the end of "the great globe itself" dissolved into "the baseless fabric of a vision with not a wreck behind."
This was a dissolving view that never waned into nothingness before the apostle's mind. "The end has approached" is a phrase which, when uttered by Peter, cannot by any sound scriptural reasoning be made to refer to two or three thousand years after.
No other construction can be put upon it, than that the end of all Mosaic institutions had approached. This was the fact, and not to be ignored in the interpretation of the literature of the times.
Peter wrote of things pertaining to the circumcision—of the dissolution of the Jewish heavens in church and in state; and of the restitution in the creation of new heavens and new earth, wherein righteousness should dwell, as predicted by Isaiah—65:17; and 51:3–16; 54:11–13, 16.
Now while Peter testified that the end had approached, James taught that that end was the period of the son of man's presence or parousia. He wrote "to the twelve tribes scattered abroad," and his letter goes to show, that Jesus had been generally acknowledged, but that there was at the time of his writing, a very general apostacy in faith and practice.
Still some continued faithful, and to these who were persecuted by the others, he said:
"Be patient, brethren, even to the Lord's parousia, establish your hearts, for the Lord's parousia hath approached: behold, the Judge hath stood (εστηκε perfect indicative) before the doors"—ch. 5:7–9.
From this, we learn, that the Lord Jesus had recently visited Palestine; that is to say, that he had made examination into the spiritual condition of Israel dwelling in that country, as the Elohim did into that of the builders of Babel before they confounded the speech of all the earth—Gen. 11:7, 8.
"The Judge hath stood before the doors."
He stood and measured the earth, and found that Israel in the Holy Land
"had filled up the measure of their fathers"
—that their rebellion was perfected in the abounding of iniquity and the refrigeration of love among the Christians, who were carousing with the drunken, marrying, and giving in marriage, oppressing one another, devoted to money-making, seeking the friendship of the world, scoffing and denying the parousia of the son of man; in short, that it was the days of Noah and the works of Sodom, reproduced in the forty-second generation of Abraham's posterity, and that nothing remained but that the judgment of Hinnom's vale should be brought upon them with the suddenness of the flood, and the completeness of that of the cities of the plain.
This being the conclusion of the matter resulting from the survey of the Judge, James testified in accordance with Peter, his colleague in the apostleship of the circumcision, that "the Lord's parousia had approached," and that, consequently, "the abomination of desolation" spoken of by Daniel, would soon appear with its eagles from the east, indicative of the proximity of the Son of Man.
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, Aug 1859
9 Use hospitality one to another without grudging.
Pleasure, even in the matter of duty, is an uncertain star to steer by. If we steer by it, we are sure to go wrong. What we have to do is to consider the things that are right, and to do them. Do not do them because it will please anybody else; but in your own mind cultivate the habit of seeing Him who is invisible, and acting from the force of that consideration.
If you do that, you will keep always at work, from one year's end to another, under all circumstances. If the principle of your action is the love of God, you won't be driven off the line. If you are driven off by a wrong twist of affairs, you are not the right sort of man: you were acting from some side consideration.
The truth in its naked force was not your bond, and you will have no ground of complaint if Jesus tells you at the last, that as you were unfaithful in that which is least, you are not fit to be entrusted with the great things of the age to come.
10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
Everything a man has, he is indebted to God for, inasmuch as by whatever means he has acquired it, those means have been bestowed upon him, in one way or another, by the permission or action of the Deity.
If a man procure a position through his talents, he is as much indebted to the source of his being, as if the position were conferred without the interposition of those talents leading to it; for those talents have been bestowed upon him; he did not create them himself.
If, again, he has favourable connection with trade, or is related to opulent people, by whom he gets position and substance, he is again a beneficiary of God, for the circumstances leading to the substance were not his own contriving.
If he accumulates a fortune by industry, there is no more ground for boasting than if God had put the money in his hand, because he has been fortunately constituted upon a principle that has enabled him to be industrious. Everything a man has he has received, and therefore he ought to be modest in his use thereof, and kindly in his attitude to the less fortunate.
This a brother of Christ will be, acting as a good steward in those things that constitute to him the favour of God. In everything in which he can do good, he must do good without grudging. Well- doing begrudged is absurd. A man brings nothing into the world, and can take nothing out. He is only a steward of what belongs to God. A cheerful exercise of his stewardship is sensible and well-pleasing to God. Nothing else will be accepted.
To do it, requires determination. Such a man will often have to act against his feelings. If we wait till a duty is pleasant before we do it, we shall often fail, and arrive at the end of the journey with a barren life to look back to.
11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
"If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God."
Therefore, dear brother, be earnest; avoid affectation and mere showing off, and, above all, talk sense. Remember that your theme is momentous and sacred, and calls for honest, humble, and painstaking effort.
Aim at arresting with edifying matter. Forget not that a good, sound thought, however roughly expressed, is worth a score of high-sounding phrases with nothing in them. In view of this, seek to enrich your mind with ideas.
Ideas are the product of study and thought. If they exist, words will quickly be found to convey them. Be fair; be logical. Neither strain meanings, misrepresent, nor indulge in clap-trap. Preach for the enlightenment of your hearers, not for self-glorification. Hide self, and let God be seen and heard.
Bro AT Jannaway
The Christadelphian, March 1899
This is the true communion of Spirit. Man has no Spirit in himself, except his physical power of subsistence. He has not the Spirit in that relation that would connect him with the divine intelligence as the children of God will be connected in the perfect state. He must, therefore, attach himself to the only channel in which in our age the Spirit flows. The ideas of the Spirit of God are for us at present in the Bible and nowhere else.
There was a day when they flashed and sparkled by inspiration direct from the Spirit of God to the prophets and apostles; but, in our day, that refreshing operation is in abeyance, as foretold. In this respect our position is less privileged than the position of the saints in the apostolic age. All the more reason why we should avail ourselves to the utmost of the privilege which is ours in possessing the written Oracles of Yahweh's Truth.
...As we sit at our reading of "the Law and the Prophets," we receive the messages transmitted ages ago to distant times. By those messages we are brought into touch with many things that were living realities in their day, and that arch over our head to another day, when they will be greater realities still.
Let him speak as the oracles of God
We are called uncharitable and narrow-minded because we re-echo the declarations of a teacher whom we believe and whom men around us generally profess to regard as a teacher come from God. It is not a question of charity at all. It is a question of truth. It is charitable to declare the truth surely. It is highly uncharitable to withhold it.
This question of charity is much misapplied. It is beautiful—it is indispensable—that we be charitable; but charity must run on legitimate lines. Let us be charitable to the utmost with our own things; we have no right to be charitable with the ways or words of God:
What would be thought of a revenue officer dispensing alms out of government funds, or relaxing the claim of dues out of kindly feeling? He must apply to his own purse to meet the claims of charity. People have no right to be charitable with the truth of God—that is to hide it, or cloak it, or modify it for the sake of the feelings of men.
Yet this is where the cry of charity is always raised; and, as a rule, it is raised by those who are not distinguished by charity in the regulation of their own affairs. If a man encroach on their rights, if a man do them an injury, if a man speak evil of them; oh, then, there is such flaming zeal "in duty to myself."
They make no remission of "duty to myself;" but duty to God—well, that is something they are prepared to be very charitable with. Let us get away from this fog and see that it is not uncharity but the plainest duty and the highest charity to say that men have no hope by nature, and that they can only acquire hope by submission to the institutions apostolically promulgated 1,800 years ago—which consist, in brief, in faith in the apostles' testimony concerning Christ, and obedience to the commandments they delivered in his name.
When this ground is clearly taken, there will be more readiness to insist upon the whole truth as the basis of fellowship with professed believers in the gospel of Christ, and less disinclination to take the logical issue and all its responsibilities, as to the hopeless position of all who are seeking the favour of God in any other way than the way of His own appointment.
But in all things there is a possibility of going to extremes—ugly and hurtful extremes, and this matter is no exception—great and glorious though it is. We have to "contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints;" but we may possibly do this to the destruction of the very things we are contending for. The same word that commands us to be valiant for the truth commands us to
"speak the truth in love." "The servant of the Lord must not strive, but be gentle to all men." "The fruit of peace is sown in peace of them that make peace."
I have known some element of the beautiful truth contended for with a bitterness and a rancour and a hatred as great and ugly as was ever shown by the most uncircumcised politician of the flesh.
...We must never forget the words of Paul...
"Though I speak with the tongues of men and angels . . . . though I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and have all faith so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind. Charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil."
These words will measure us at the last.
The Christadelphian, Nov 1888
12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
Although the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, will be amongst our experiences, our comfort will be somewhat tried by the social penalties involved. Doing the will of God means being a social hermit, for the friend of God is necessarily isolated from "society" in all its pursuits and pleasures; he is thrust into a corner; he has to occupy himself with work and with people that yield no present gratification; his endurance is much put to test; he has no continuing city.
This has been the position of all the servants of God from the beginning: he has to think of this and take courage.
These Elohim or Sons of Power, are to be developed from the earth-born seed of Abraham, upon the great moral principle of the intellectual universe, expressed in the two words "faith" and "obedience" -- an obedient faith, tested by trial.
This principle necessitates the existence of evil in the system where the development of God is in progress; for there can be, no trial where evil does not exist. The Eternal Spirit has, therefore, wisely created evil -- first as the punishment of sin and secondly, to afford scope for the manifestation of the approved.
Upon this principle, Abraham's faith was tried and perfected; and upon the same principle, though not in the same way, the faith of all scripturally recognized as "his seed," is tried and perfected to this day.
Phanerosis - Elohim developed from the seed of Abraham
16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian [Christ follower - name coined by the unbelievers - Acts 11: 26], let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God [in this name Yah, the Anointed Saviour] on this behalf.
Christadelphian is the word of five euphonious [agreeable sound] syllables expressive of this exalted privilege. The privilege of being a brother of the Sun of Righteousness, transcends in honour and dignity any title borne by the most ancient and proud nobles of the world.
The Emperor of China would be, if he could, "brother of the sun and moon;" but there is no adoption to place him in that celestial rank!
Not so with the believer into the Christ-name. There is an adoption for him which makes him a son and a brother of the Word, by whom the sun and moon were created.
But, the word that reminds the intelligent believer of this marvellous truth is an offence to you; and you prefer to glory in a name, which signified something honourable and distinctive in the days of the apostles; but now means anything you please, and nothing definite. "I find," say you, "that Peter says, 'If ye suffer as a Christian, happy are ye, and glorify God in this name.'" (Emphatic.) Now, I find no such saying of Peter in his epistles. He says
"If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye" (1 Pet. 4:14);
and "if anyone suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God for this portion."-(verse 16.)
The recent editors would substitute in this name for on this behalf, as equally good, if not a better reading. But Christian is not the name of the Word-flesh. His name is Yah, the Anointed Saviour, or Jesus Christ the Deity, manifested in sin's flesh by holy spirit.
"If in (this) the name of Christ ye be reproached, happy are ye."
In early times they who renounced the idols were styled by the Pagans Christians, or followers of Christ; and multitudes rushed to martyrdom calling themselves Christians, who were no more followers of Christ, than the worshippers of the beast now, who style themselves Christians, while they blaspheme that worthy name by which are called 'those who put it on-mere sounding brass and tinkling cymbals.
Christian does not now signify a follower of Christ, but the very reverse. It does not indicate a man in Christ, nor one bearing any relation to him; but simply one who happens to have first inhaled the breath of life in Europe and America, absurdly enough styled "christian countries!"
The name Christadelphian has never been desecrated and prostituted to the cloaking of every species of crime, hypocrisy, and abomination, as hath what you term "the good old Scriptural name of Christian."
It is neither better nor more Scriptural than Christadelphian. Satan is as Scriptural a name as Christian, and older too: but what of that? The idol-worshipping children of Satan called the sons of God "Christians;" they gave this name reproachfully, but the spirit of the Eternal Father styles them the brethren of His Son.
...Permit me to remark that the Brethren of Christ are not now a new sect. They were a new sect in the last days of Mosaic law, the Pharisees, Sadducees, and the Essenes, being the old and "orthodox denominations."
The Ambassador of the Coming Age, April 1869
The Name Christadelphian
From a recent correspondence between a brother and an objector to the name "Christadelphian." we make the following extracts:—
"I find that the first thing to which you object, is the term Christadelphian. Well, with yourself and some others, I long objected to this term also. But when made fully aware of the necessity which existed in America during the late war there, of taking to ourselves some appropriate name to distinguish us from all other parties of so-called Christians, and by this means to free ourselves from the disagreeable necessity of going to the war to be shot at, while, at the same time we would never shoot at any man.
I say, ever since I knew these things, I have readily enough agreed to be called by that name, as a matter of as little importance as the term Christian evidently was in the days of the apostles. For it does not appear to me that either God, or Jesus, or any of his apostles ever gave that name to their children. It is just stated that 'the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.—(Acts 11:26.)
But when they got it there is no scriptural evidence that they offered any objections to it. Indeed, the term is only used three times in the entire New Testament, so that I now think, if you are not stickling about nothing, you are manifestly stickling for nothing.
Why do you not now stick out for being called brethren. or saints, or disciples, or believers? These are all Scripture terms, and used frequently too in the New Testament; but only one apostle used the term Christian, and that too only once—(See 1 Peter 4:16.) On this point, then, I think you have nothing to stickle about, and far less to stickle for. At this great distance from the scene, it appears to me that the term Christian was used more by the world than by the saints.
"I observe that you set a very high value upon the term Christian, and none whatever upon the name Christadelphian. Well, the first name was given to the followers of Christ by the heathen, and the second by the brightest saint that has ever shone in the theological heavens for the last hundred years at least. This shows to me most clearly how the love lies—with the heathen most undoubtedly, and not with the late Dr. Thomas—and as to the support which the name Christian receives from the apostle Peter, he evidently speaks of it as a term of reproach, rather than otherwise, He says,
'If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye' (1 Peter 4:14); 'If any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed.—(verse 16.) This looks very much like as if Peter were to come back again and say—'If any man suffer as a Dowieite, or any other ite, let him not be ashamed'—and, as to the Christadelphians, they are not at all ashamed of their self-imposed name. But a name is of very little importance.
The name Christian has been long since thoroughly prostituted, and thereby rendered altogether meaningless However, you say that it is a scriptural term. True, but so is Beelzebub, and there is as much evidence that God gave that name to His dearly beloved Son, as to say that He gave the name of Christian to the early Disciples of Christ. For there is really very little difference between the phrases, 'If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye' (1 Peter 4:14), and 'If they have called the master Beelzebab, how much more shall they call them of his household?'—(Matt. 10:25.)
Both sayings were uttered by way of reproach; first of Christ and then of his followers: and no man ever yet gave an honourable name as a term of reproach, such as a judge, a king, or an emperor, unless that king was evidently a notorious and miserable usurper of all the glories and honours of a king; and most decidedly Jesus the Christ was then universally considered to be only a vain and contemptible pretender to the kingdom and throne of his father David—and precisely the very same idea still exists throughout all Christendom, except by a very few now called Christadelphians.
For with all the Christians in Christendom, the offence of the cross, and of Christ, has long ago entirely ceased. Because their Christ is now seated upon his highly-exalted throne in heaven, and there reigning over all the spirits of just men made perfect (see paraphrase 66); and from such a Christ as this, Cæsar and all his dependents have got nothing whatever to fear.
So say all the Christians of Christendom. But the Bible says the very reverse. Therefore any sympathy shown to such deeply delusive views, only proves that the sympathiser is himself smitten to some extent with the very same incurable delusion.
No one can prove from the New Testament that a believer ever called a brother believer by the term Christian then, as is so commonly done now-a-days; and neither has any apostle ever addressed a church by the appellation of Christian Church [ecclesia], but invariably
'To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ' (Col. 1:2); or, to 'the sons of God' (1 John 3:1); or, 'unto his servants' (Rev. 1:1);
and never even once to his Christian brethren, as all the clergy and their numerous followers now do.
You say the name 'Christian' found acceptance with the disciples beyond doubt. There is no evidence in the New Testament that the term Christian ever found acceptance with believers in the Christ.'
But there is abundance of both historical present, and experimental evidence that it has long found acceptance with the apostacy. You say,
'We cannot help it if men who call themselves after Christ are unworthy of him. Let us endeavour to be pure and an honour to his name.'
Do this, and you will very soon separate yourself from all the sects, and all their books, and all their theological friendly societies.
You further say that a man is less likely to suffer reproach for Christ when known by any other name than 'Christadelphian.' Your experience must be limited if you are sincere in saying this. Where in all Christendom is any man ever called upon to suffer for believing in the Christ of Christendom, and calling himself a Christian?
On the other hand, let him repudiate the Christ of the Christians, and profess Paul's Christ simply, and he will be persecuted to death, and buried in reproach by every Christian seet in Christendom; just as the Christadelphians are now suffering from every sect or party.
There is very little danger of your being called upon to suffer anything for Christ's sake, so long as you call yourself 'Christian,' and make yourself so agreeable to the several sects."
Bro John Nesbit.
The Christadelphian, June 1873
18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
Christ makes much of his servants being faithfully watching and alert at the moment of his return. This is not in the sense of by chance being caught out, as in musical chairs or something, but in the sense of day-in, day-out consistency and constancy. If we are not spiritually minded at all times, and ever abounding in the work of the Lord, then our service and spirituality is just a part-time hobby and a sham. Unless our life is a totality of watching and prayer, we are not watching and praying enough.
So many act as if they have their salvation all sewed up and guaranteed, and they can engage in all sorts of unnecessary enterprises and activities, and still easily make it. Can we possibly be so foolish in the face of scripture, when eternity is at stake? Are we so sure of our salvation? Doesn't just plain common sense wisdom demand that we give the race for life every possible ounce of effort and attention?
So much to learn; so much to do. This attitude is understandable with the shallow religious world, with their easy substitute magic carpet salvation, but brothers and sisters of Christ SHOULD KNOW BETTER.
"The righteous shall scarcely be saved,"
"When ye have done all, say, We are unprofitable servants."
What shall we answer at the judgment seat, if we have not done all? If we have frittered away our time? Jesus said of the ecclesia at Sardis,
"Be watchful, and strengthen the things that remain."
Bro Growcott - Blessed is he that watcheth and keepeth his garments
The rest of the dead are those who never came under a constitution of righteousness; not because they did not know how, but because they refused to do so. Having been enlightened, but preferring darkness to light, they will arise to judgment...
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, July 1855
18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
Sinners and Life in Christ
Q. T.-("If there is no life out of Christ, where do sinners get the life from that they are punished in at the resurrection?")
You reason from a fallacy. It is not true that there is no mortal life out of Christ. There is any amount of mortal life out of Christ, as you well know. If you say you mean immortal life, the bottom is out of your question. Sinners never do receive immortal life, but only the accepted after judgment.
Sinners raised to be punished at the resurrection get their life from where every living creature gets it: they get it from God. Only they get it direct by the hand of Christ who is the resurrection power, whereas ordinary creatures get it indirectly from the thousand processes that God has originated in nature.
The Christadelphian, Dec 1898
This judgment begins with the judgment of the saints in the presence of Christ; and as they are now exhorted to " work out their salvation with fear and trembling " ; and however excellent their Christian character, are not judges in their own case ; for even Paul said, " I
judge not myself " : so they appear at his tribunal with more or less of the feeling of misgiving Daniel had before he was strengthened, consequent upon peace being pronounced upon him.
Because of the certainty of this state of mind being that of the most excellent of the
saints in the Divine Presence, the beloved apostle exhorts the faithful to a certain course of spiritual life in the present world ; that " when he shall appear, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before him at his coming " (1 Jno. ii. 28). "
By loving in deed and in truth," says he, " we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure
our hearts before him. For if our heart condemn us, the Deity is greater than our hearts, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, THEN have we confidence towards Deity " (1 Jno. iii. 19-21).
The only way, then, for the righteous to approach the dread tribunal in the spirit evinced by Paul in 2 Tim. iv. 7-8, is to "walk so as we have Him for an example " ; and he walked " in
the steps of Abraham's faith," and after the example of Jesus Christ. In this way we may attain to the degree of excellence which will give us " boldness in the day of judgment " (1 John iv. 17) ; otherwise, not only timidity, but a vivid apprehension of being put to shame before Him and the angelic apparitors of His court, will be the enervating feeling attendant upon us, when we report ourselves in the presence of the Judge.
Now, this judgment, which begins at the House of the Deity, is styled by Paul, in Heb. vi. 2, aionian judicial trial. It is termed aionian, because the great spiritual assize is opened for the examination of cases aspiring to the glory, honour, and immortality of the kingdom " in the last day."