2 CORINTHIANS 5
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1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
The point of time when the Spirit is not clothed with this multitudinous cloud, is from his first touching ground at his coming to the completion of the judgment of his household. How many months may be occupied in this judicial cleansing of the house, I am not prepared to say. In ch. xi. 18, it is styled, "the time of the dead that they should be judged;" but how long the time of their judgment may be, is not revealed. It will not be the work of an instant; for the dead in Christ have first to be brought out of their graves; and then gathered by angelic agency from one end of heaven to the other (Matt. xxiv. 31).
After this "gathering together unto the Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Thess. ii. 1); the risen dead, and the contemporary living, of the household, have all to give account of themselves to the Deity (Rom. xiv. 12). This is "the dead, small and great, standing before the Deity; and being judged out of those things written in the books, according to their works" (Apoc. xx. 12).
Whosoever of them cannot give a scripturally good account of themselves, are rejected, and expelled into the darkness of the outer world of "the earth" and "the sea," where they will in body receive things evil (2 Cor. v. 10); and "of the flesh reap corruption" (Gal. vi. 8); but, on the other hand, those whose account of themselves is deemed good, they will receive in body things which are good, and "of the Spirit reap life everlasting."
This is their quickening, transformation, or change, "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump;" that is, the seventh, to which the rainbowed angel belongs (1 Cor. xv. 52). This is their being "clothed upon with their house which is from heaven," not from the grave; a clothing in which, in relation to each one so clothed, "mortality is swallowed up of life"
2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:
11. Where does the spiritual body come from? "Out of heaven;" ex ouranou; "the Second Man is the Lord from heaven." (1 Cor.15:47.)
12. Does not the spiritual body come out of the grave?
How is that possible, in view of Paul's principle, that what comes "out of the earth is earthy," not spiritual; and that the spiritual body is "our house, which is FROM HEAVEN?" (2 Cor. 5:2.)
13. Is there any principle involved in the development of the spiritual body? and if so, what is it?
There is: as contained in the words, "that is not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward, that which is spiritual." (1 Cor. 15:46.) '
14. What is to be understood by this?
The meaning obviously is, that in the development of a spiritual body there must FIRST be an earthy body as a BASIS for the spiritual. A man must first exist, before the tailor can make a gentleman of him by clothing him in broadcloth.
15. But could not the Deity make a spiritual body in the grave, and bring it forth a finished creation?
There is nothing impossible with Him. The question, however, is not what He can or cannot do; but about what He has revealed He will do, and upon what principles He will develop His work. According to the principles Paul has laid down, the spiritual body cannot come out of
the earth. It must come "out of heaven."
16. Why must an earthy body be first formed?
Because of the existence of an earthy body in a previous state. To restore a person, who has no present existence, to identify him with a former self, he must be created anew after the old model, and be impressed with the mental and moral characteristics thereto belonging.
17. What is that which comes "out of heaven?"
All-subduing energy, or power, (Philip. 3:21), styled in Rom. 8:11, "Spirit of the Father."
18. When this power operates upon an earthy body, or basis, what is the result?
"In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye," it changes the "vile" or earthy basis, or body, into a like form with the body of Christ's glory; in other words, it transforms the earthy body into a spiritual body; which becomes thus "a house which is from heaven."
19. What are the characteristics of the spiritual body?
It is incorruptible, glorious, powerful, and immortal "flesh and bones." (1 Cor.15:42, 43; Luke 24:39; Eph. 5:30.)
3 If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.
4 For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.
Deity in Man the future ruler of the nations; and that man the Spirit-Man of Multitude, symbolized in Apoc. i. 13. This is a grand idea -- a multitudinous Spirit-Man, every individual member of which will have been either raised from among the dead like Jesus; or transformed, like Enoch and Elijah. This is the "One Body the Ecclesia," which is the pillar-house of Elohim; the Christ. This is the Seed of Abraham, or the Christ, that rules the world for a thousand years -- a Christ, or Anointed Body, consisting of Jesus and the Saints, every one of whom is "a pillar;" and collectively, "the temple of Deity" from which "he shall not at all go away out more."
But before this post-resurrectional state can be attained, "the earth and all its inhabitants" must be "dissolved." Its constitution, as symbolized by the beasts of Daniel and John, must be abolished. This is the work of Jachin and Boaz in the Porch, which, as we have seen, typify omnipotence in the saints in the execution of judgment. When they shall have become "victors," they will pass from the brazen into the golden state. They will then be fixed, or established, as the golden pillars of the earth under its millennial constitution.
Once a pillar in the house of wisdom in the golden state, he will "not at all go away out more" To perceive the force of these words we must remember that "the Temple of Deity" exists in two states -- the present, and the future. Paul, addressing the saints in Corinth, who were as we are, of the present, or flesh and blood, state, says to them,
"Ye are a building of Deity -- a temple of Deity, and the spirit of the Deity dwells in you."
But they have all "gone away out" of "the tabernacle in which they groaned being burdened" (2 Cor. v. 4); "the earthly house of the tabernacle," formerly the temple of Deity in Corinth, is all "dissolved;" and its constituents are all sleeping in the dust of the earth unconscious of everything. There they lie awaiting the action of the power which shall raise them from the dead; and constitute them "a building, a house not made with hands, an AION-HOUSE in the heavens;" when they shall become pillars in this house where they will continue fixed. Death will affect them no more, and consequently, being then immortal they will "not at all go away out more."
7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
This is a day of darkness
of no open vision-of no miracle. If we remember this, we shall not be overthrown by the apparent forsaking of the earth by God. We are called upon to walk by faith, not by sight.
If our eyes could but penetrate the vail that now hides the unseen from view, we should realise that the forsaking was only so in semblance. Christ and angels innumerable are interested and actively employed in human affairs. though we see them not.
Brethren, let us not grow weary and faint. The walk of faith will soon be ended-the veil will be drawn aside, and the darkness dispelled. The Son of Man shall come." Meanwhile it is for us to believe though we see not.
Let us steel our hearts against the influence of the wicked, for all men have not faith. The children of God and the children of the world are well represented in Christ and his murderers. The latter knew not that the dark hour of the crucifixion was in Heaven's revealed programme-
"He trusted in God; let Him deliver him now, if He will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God."
Though appearances (humanly speaking) were against Christ, he knew that God was working out His purpose in him, and patiently endured to the end. Who was wise, Christ or his enemies? His resurrection is the answer.
Let us profit by this beautiful lesson. The present is our dark hour. Shall we view it as do the wicked-shall we curse God and die-or shall we patiently go through it and reap the reward?
Bro A Jannaway
The Christadelphian, Nov 1887
9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
Had Adam been able to give a good account of himself in probation, he would have been permitted to eat of the tree of lives, that, eating, he might live for ever ; but he was self condemned in the account he rendered, so that he was sentenced to perpetual exclusion from Paradise, and to " receive through the body for what he had done evil " (2 Cor. v. 10) ; which evil is defined in the penalty attached to the law he had transgressed according to the exposition thereof by the law-giver and judge, in the words, " dust thou art, and to dust thou shalt return " ; and which, after a life of labour and of sorrow, took effect A.M. 930, when he died, and, by corruption, became dust again.
At this epoch "the Great White Throne" is placed, styled by Paul in Rom. xiv. 10; and 2 Cor. v. 10, "the Judgment Seat of Christ," before which all constitutionally in Christ appear.
They stand before it bodies, or living souls, such as Adam was when he was created from dust of the ground. Their resurrection brings them back to nature, and so restores to them identity, and enables them to "give account of themselves to God."
It is impossible for me to see any other relation of Adam's race towards himself than that of possessing his sinful nature; that it is a nature condemned to dust again; that the members of the race are in nowise personally responsible for Adam's sin; that they are responsible alone for their own sins; that God has revealed to the race of sinners His purpose with them and the earth; that He holds such of them as have attained to an understanding of His purpose to a personal account for their use or abuse of the knowledge of His purpose; that those enlightened ones who have died before the arrival of the day set for the rendering of accounts will be brought forth from the grave for judgment, and will either be rewarded or punished according to the use made of that knowledge; that among this number are all enlightened ones who had rejected the light and refused the obedience commanded; that it is all a matter arising out of God's after dealings with the race of sinners; that it is exclusively a personal matter with which Adam had nothing to do; that after God's purpose is accomplished with the race of sinners, all the disobedient ones who have not already gone to dust will be returned to the dust, and the race of sinners will be no more; and that finally a righteous and immortal race will alone be upon the earth, even a race in harmony with God's holiness. Such appears to me to be the Bible teaches me in relation to Adam and his race."-
L. B. Welch, Shire Oaks, Pa., U.S.A.
The Christadelphian, Oct 1894. p386
14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead
We look at Christ. There is everything to love, his own excellence; his unflagging devotion to the Father; his tireless compassion for the multitude; his love for his friends, even unto death; his holiness as the sin-hater and sin-remover; his power, both to heal and destroy; his towering greatness as the Son of God and the heir of all things; his immeasurable importance as the coming possessor of all things on earth and the dispenser of the permanent goodness of the ages - everything combines to engage the highest love, a love passing knowledge, when the eyes are fully open to his unsearchable wealth in all things.
With this love aglow, his commandments become easy, and shortcomings a burden. We eagerly believe and are baptised. We joyfully yield him the first place in our lives, with bended knee and confessing tongue. What next? We desire to do what he instructed the apostles to enjoin on us: to "observe all things whatsoever he has commanded." Love cannot be satisfied with anything short of this. He has commanded many things-some of them easy-some of them difficult. Love will not evade the difficulties, it will desire to "observe all" the things difficult and easy.
Of one thing, he specifically says, "This I command you," namely, "that ye love one another." It is well that he spoke so plainly as this. It is a great help in the matter. It is comparatively easy to love Christ, because he is "altogether lovely," and it is in a manner natural-natural to love the lovely.
But among ourselves, there are many faults and blemishes - a good deal that is not lovable; and if Christ had not made love to one another a matter of command, we might easily have given in to our aversions, and found ourselves hating where we ought to love. We are not to wait for the lovable before we love. We are to be beforehand with it, and even shut our eyes to the unlovely. Love covereth a multitude of sins. We are to carry this love so far as to "love even our enemies, and do good to them that hate us and despitefully use and persecute us."
Some say this is impossible. It is impossible for those who start wrongly. No man who does not first love Christ will love his enemies. If a man love Christ, he can love his enemies because Christ has commanded it. His love of Christ will constrain him. If he look only to his evil neighbours and his own feelings, he will fail, he will hate his enemy and do him evil, in word and deed. But if he have Christ in consideration and view, he will find it possible to do good to them that hate him. The will of Christ whom he loves will help him.
The reason that Christ gives will also help;
"That ye may be the children of the Highest who sendeth His rain upon the just and the unjust."
The goodness of God is a fine copy for mortal man who was made in His image. It is high and, in its perfect form, unattainable by weak, erring man. But in measure, we can reach to it in obedience to Christ, who says,
"Be like unto your Father."
He giveth liberally and upbraideth not. So the Lord loveth a cheerful giver.
Bro Roberts - Eternal Verities and Love Centred in Christ
THE LOVE OF CHRIST
"The love of Christ constraineth us." This is not a different love from the love of God. It is the same love, in a subordinate application. It is the love of God in Christ, the love of Christ as God's manifestation to us: the love we feel for a son who is like his father, and whose father we know and admire. But, perhaps, towards Christ our love is an easier love, because Christ was, and is, also a man. God is great and immeasurable: God, though kind and gracious, is of a dreadful majesty, and of a supernal holiness, that cannot be approached by mortal man, except in abasement and worship.
Christ is also great, and above our measure, but he is within the reach of us, as the first-born among many brethren." He also is holy and without spot: but he has known the infirmities of human nature, though not overcome by them. He lives in the sunlight of eternal day, and rejoices in perpetual gladness, like the Father of Light, in whom is no variableness nor shadow of turning: but he has tasted the bitterness of this state of sin and death, from which he has been saved.
He is highly exalted; but it is because he humbled himself: and between him and us there is, therefore, a bond of sympathy, which we feel more able to handle, as the finite and sorrowing sons of Adam (made subject to vanity), than we can lay hold of the love of the great Increate. This sympathy is, nevertheless, all the sweeter, and stronger, and purer, because this head of the family is able to say, "I and my Father are one."
Were Christ not rooted in the Father, we should feel him to be, in all respects, insufficient. Greatness and mystery and power are indispensable to great and everlasting love. A man that we could measure could only have a measured love. But a man, whose loveliness blends with the eternal, and whose being intertwines with, and is part of, "The Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending . . . which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty," commands, in the nature of things, a love and an honour equal to that which we show to the Father, as the Father, by the mouth of Christ, declared his will was concerning Christ (John v. 23).
This is the glory of Christ, as our head, presented to us as the object of love and devotion, and the lord of our ways. He fulfils to perfection every condition of lordship. Men have made heads and masters for themselves ever since there were men upon earth, but none can compare with him.
He not only touches our sympathy, but he commands our reverence. He not only holds us by a human hand, but he controls destiny with Divine power and right. He not only exhibits the perfection of human loveliness, there attaches to him, also, the fascination of mystery, and the majesty of Divine prerogative. He is altogether lovely.
It is an honour for any human being to be called upon to submit to such a master. It is a beautification of any human character, as nothing else can beautify it, to be filled with love and loyalty to such a captain and king. The love of Christ that constrained Paul will constrain every mind of full development that has eyes open to the nature and character of Christ, and a heart of any capacity to appreciate excellence.
The Christadelphian, Oct 1896. p404
21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
'Made him sin for us'.
SIN" is a word in Paul's argument, which stands for "human nature," with its affections and desires.
Hence, to become sin, or for one to be "made sin" for others, is to become flesh and blood. This is called "sin," or "Sin's flesh," because it is what it is in consequence of sin, or transgression...
This perishing body is "sin," and left to perish because of "sin." Sin, in its application to the body, stands for all its constituents and laws. The power of death is in its very constitution, so that the law of its nature is styled "the law of Sin and Death." In the combination of the elements of the law, the power of death resides, so that "to destroy that having the power of death," is to abolish this physical law of sin and death, and instead thereof, to substitute the physical "law of the spirit of life," by which the same body would be changed in its constitution, and live for ever.
Eureka Vol 1 CH 2:2:4