My Fathers business
Their joy at finding him would be for a moment checked. It was quickly known who they were. We can imagine the relaxing of the strained attention of which Jesus had been the object, and the turning of the enquiry of the learned doctors to the agitated parents: "Is this your boy?" Mary, with a mother's impulse, was the first to respond. Addressing herself directly to Jesus (probably laying her hands on him), she said,
"Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? Behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing."
This is the language of reproof.
The distress that was the uppermost feeling while as yet he was lost, had given way to a sense of annoyance at having been put to so much trouble by his neglect to be in his place. Is not this true to nature everywhere? The boy answered with such a fascinating mixture of innocence, beauty and depth:
"How is it that ye sought me? Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?"
Apparently, he did not or could not enter into a distressed parent's point of view. Another view, invisible to most men, absorbed his eye.
His Father and his Father's business filled his field of vision. The circumstances and exigencies of this ephemeral existence, which are all-controlling with merely natural men, were of small consequence in his estimation. Nothing is more prominent in his after life and teaching than this state of sentiment. It is a sentiment having reason as its basis, and that at last more or less infects and affects all true disciples of Christ, with the result of their being mis-appreciated by the people of the present world.
However, the time had not come for the complete assertion of his character and mission in this respect; and so, surrendering to the eager affection of his sorrowing and reproachful parents,
"he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them."
Nazareth Revisited Ch 10
ARE sisters' classes a blessing?
Yes, when they are properly managed and enthusiastically supported. The objections which are sometimes raised against these classes are founded on misconception. Women, it is said, ought not to speak in the ecclesia. True, but a sisters' class is not the ecclesia. It is a private gathering of sisters.
Can this be wrong, particularly when the object of the gathering is spiritual upbuilding and comfort? What would Christ say? What would Paul say? The little incident respecting Martha and Mary suggests what the Master would reply, and Tit. 2:3, 4, reveals what the answer of his worthy apostle would be.
Again, it is quite wrong to say that the classes are calculated to create in sisters the unscriptural spirit of the age as touching public speaking. As one who has watched with interest and pleasure the sixteen years' growth and influence for good of the class held in South London, the writer can say that the fear in this direction is groundless.
Those who have faithfully plodded away at the work connected with this class have not been found to be noisy, cantankerous, or obstructors of anything that is of real service to the truth. On the contrary, they are among those who have been first and foremost in every good work-in supporting the meetings, in distributing lecture cards and leaflets, in visiting the absent and sick.
Let us not throw cold water on these classes. Among the blessings that accrue from them is the incentive that they form to Bible study. We want more enlightenment and more spiritual-mindedness among our sisters (not that the brethren are perfect in this respect, far from it).
Women are not cyphers, They exercise a potent influence for good or evil, both in the home and in the ecclesia. Let us not deprive them of any help that tends to make them what God would desire them to be. Let husbands be kind and considerate, and, if possible, contrive a way by which their wives can attend these classes.
At any rate, let them not ridicule or wrongly criticise. Let those brethren who can only say nasty things about these classes, examine themselves, and see that they are not actuated by selfishness, envy, jealousy, or a disrelish to have their own pleasure in some way or other curtailed.
If our wives can outstrip us in ability and usefulness, let us rejoice, and not show ourselves disagreeable and unkind, as has been the case with the seed of the serpent all along the ages.
Bro AT Jannaway
The Christadelphian, May 1910
An interesting point of discussion made in the August Logos magazine
"It must be remembered, that having "destroyed the diabolos" (the law of sin and death: Heb. 2:14) in his atoning sacrifice, the Lord was still mortal when raised from the grave (as was Adam when formed from the earth: Gen. 2:7), but not bearing that "mortality which came by sin." He was later granted immortality in conformity with his Father's will. - Editor.
- Paul M Hart
- A wonderful point : -See I Cor 15: 53 'For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 'In HIs case - the diabolos 'the corruption in the world through lust' had been destroyed...Yet immortality was yet to be granted...I agree He was as Adam in his novitate ... except He had passed the test!1
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- Stephen Male
- From Catachesis:8.-When was the Jesus-altar purified; the Jesus Mercy-seat sprinkled with sacrificial blood, and the Jesus-Holy of Holies lustrated?Answer: After the Veil of his flesh was rent, and before he awoke at the early dawn of the third day.-(Mark 15 v 37-38; John 19 v 34)9.-Why was the sprinkled, purified and lustrated body awakened in life again?Answer: That it might not see corruption-(Acts ii. 27, 31)-which had it so happened, would, have rendered all that had been transacted, vain and unprofitable.-(Psalm 30v 9; 1 Cor 15v14,18)Bro Roberts makes this clear in the Law of Moses as follows:-"2. The Sacrificial Blood.-But the sacrificial blood was applied to everything as well-Aaron and his sons included (see Lev. viii. 14-15 ; 23-24). An atonement had to be made by the shedding and the sprinkling of blood for and upon them all (Lev. xvi. 33).As Paul remarks, "almost all things by the law are purged with blood " (Heb. ix. 22). Now all these things were declared to be "patterns of things in the heavens," which it is admitted on all hands converge upon and have their substance in Christ. There must, therefore, be a sense in which Christ (the antitypical Aaron, the antitypical altar, the antitypical mercy-seat, the antitypical everything), must not only have been sanctified by the action of the antitypical oil of the Holy Spirit, but purged [meaning to make clean] by the antitypical blood of his own sacrifice.Now, this is part of the Mosaic figure. There must be an antitype to it. What was it? The holy things, we know, in brief, are Christ. He must, therefore, have been the subject of a personal cleansing in the process by which he opened the way of sanctification for his people. If the typical holy things contracted defilement from connection with a sinful congregation, were not the antitypical (Christ) holy things in a similar state, through derivation on his mother's side from a sinful race ? If not, how came they to need purging with his own "better sacrifice" (Heb. ix. 23). [Note that bro Roberts says that the purging [cleansing] was with his own "sacrifice"]We see him down in the evil which he was sent to cure: not outside of it, not untouched by it, but in it, to put it away. "He was made perfect through suffering " (Heb. ii. 10) but he was not perfect till he was through it. He was saved from death (v, 7) but not until he died. He obtained redemption (Heb. ix. 12) but not until his own blood was shed.
The angel proclamation in Midheaven
Having expelled the Anglo Indian Lion from the land, that power will probably receive with reverence the angel proclamation, and consent to place its marine at the disposal of "the Man Christ Jesus," styled in the English Version "the Lord of hosts".
This, indeed, will certainly be the case. He will command the ships of Tarshish, and they will obey; for what is testified they do, is done in obedience to his will. The last chapter of Isaiah and the nineteenth verse, testifies of the angel proclamation to Tarshish, and the next verse records the result.
The "sounders of the truth" are effective bowmen. Their words move the nations of Tarshish, Pul, Lud, Tubal and Javan, to do the will of Yahweh, and to bring His people as an offering to Him in Jerusalem. Thus they "fly as a cloud, and as doves to their windows," in the fleet ships of Tarshish, which convey the sons of Zion from far with their silver and gold, to the place where the Name of Yahweh is enthroned (Isa. 60:8,9; 18; Jer. 3:17).
Thus the Angel proclamation recruits the population of the little kingdom of Judah, which, in its beginning, is smaller than the little kingdom of Greece (Matt. 13:31,32). During this decade, the settlers in the midst of the land are
"at rest, dwelling safely without walls, and having neither bars nor gates" (Ezek. 38:11,12);.
and are in league with the wide-shadowing land beyond the rivers of Khush - "Sheba, Dedan, and the Merchants of Tarshish" - which holds a similar relation to the kingdom of Judah under the "greater than Solomon," that Tyre did in the days of Hiram to the kingdom of David's Son.
The peoples of the British Isles afar off from Jerusalem, having accepted the proclamation, the government will have been transferred from the hands of sinners such as now possess it, to the Saints; so that the constitution of the United Kingdom will be no longer the old British, but
"the law which goes forth from Zion" (Isa. 2:3).
This will account for the harmony and concert of action between Israel and Britain in the latter days.
But a like result does not obtain in relation to all the powers to which the proclamation is addressed. Matthew 25:32 shows the separation of the nations into two classes in the day when the Son of Man shall come in his glory. This separation results from the conclusions at which they arrive with respect to the subject-matter of the proclamation.
The sacrifice of Christ
Question 13.-Was Jesus "in Adam" in the sense of being Adam's son?
Answer.-Yes. Though the Son of God (by the Spirit) he was the son of man (Adam) by Mary, (1) partaking of the very nature transmitted from Adam through David and Mary (2).
1. -Mark 6:3.: "Is not this . . . the son of Mary?" John 5:27: "The Father hath given him authority to execute judgment also because he is the son of man."-
2. -Heb. 2:17: "He took on him the seed of Abraham; wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren."
Question 14.-Why was Christ made in Adam's nature?
Answer.-That he might die for those involved in the condemnation of that nature (1), being put to the proof of obedience under which Adam failed (2). If it had merely been a question of putting him to the proof of obedience, there would have been no reason for his being born of Mary.
It would have sufficed for such an object that he had been made out of the ground, direct, a full grown adult as Adam was. But the plan was to condemn sin in its own nature (3), after the type of the serpent in the wilderness. The bitten Israelites were asked to look at the biter impaled, as the condition of being healed. Jesus said this had to be fulfilled in him (4). Human nature as the sinner was the biter, and in him, it was lifted up in condemnation on the cross.
1. -1 Peter 4:1: "Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh; " 1 Peter 3:18: "Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God;" Romans 8:3: "God sent His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and on account of sin condemned sin in the flesh."
2. -Romans 5:19: "By the obedience of one shall many be righteous." Heb. 5:8: "He learned obedience by the things that he suffered." Phil. 2:8: "He humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."
3. -Romans 8:3: "Condemned sin in the flesh."
4. -John 3:14: "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up."
The Christadelphian, Aug 1870
Thou hast shamed this day the faces of all thy servants
2 Sam 19: 5
Between Joab and David there was no affinity. David was a man of God. Joab was not. No greater gulf could separate two men than that. They lived in different worlds. David repeatedly struggled and fell, but from beginning to end he was a man of God, intensely loyal and devoted.
Joab was a man of the world. Wiser at times than David, and strangely enough, sometimes his perception rose higher than David's, but to the deeper currents of divine communion which were the basis of David's life, Joab was a stranger.
In his reaction to David's grief for Absalom, Joab is practical and wise. But David could see many things to which Joab was utterly blind. David could see that day many years earlier when the prophet Nathan had stood before him and had solemnly spoken of the great anger of God and the consequences he would have to suffer.
David could now see the humiliation of Tamar and the murder of Amnon, his firstborn. He could see that now another wayward son had been taken, leaving behind an ignoble memory of treachery and dishonour, all the consequences of his own folly and sin. And he would wonder where and when the next blow would fall.
But Joab's rough counsel would sharply remind him that his pilgrimage was not yet ended. Those terrible words would always be before his mind --
"Now, therefore, the sword shall never depart from thine house,"
and he would see dimly, stretching into the future, a continuation of that trail of wickedness and bloodshed which he had set in motion. And so, aroused once again by Joab's brusque prodding, he concealed his grief that no one would understand, and carried on.
Bro Growcott - The sword shall never depart
The angel proclamation in Midheaven
Solomon reigned over the whole twelve tribes from the decease of his father and predecessor. This, however, was not the case with David from the death of Saul. Solomon and David were types of the Christ, who was to descend from them after the flesh, in respect of his career as a hero and conqueror, and the Prince of Peace. "Yahweh", says Moses,
"is a Man of war; Yahweh is His name" (Exod. 15:3).
David's career was illustrative of that of the Man Yahweh, styled by Paul, "the Man Christ Jesus," as the founder of the reign of peace. Hence, as David reigned several years over Judah before he became the recognized sovereign of the whole nation; it behoves that his Son and Lord reign as King of Judah before he become monarch of all the tribes of Israel and kingdoms of the earth. This typical indication is sustained by the testimony in Zech. 12:7, that
"Yahweh shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David, and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify themselves against Judah."
The victory of Bozrah will be fatal to Gentile supremacy in the land of Israel. In the day of this discomfiture its invaders will be beaten off by Yahweh from the channel of the river (Euphrates) unto the stream of Egypt (the Nile); after which he will gather them one by one from Assyria and Egypt to worship him in Jerusalem (Isa. 27:12,13).
This gathering of Israelites of the tribe of Judah, "one of a city and two of a family" (Jer. 3:14) to Zion, will result from the angel proclamation in midheaven [Rev 14: 6]. Being fed by pastors according to Yahweh's own heart with knowledge and understanding, the veil will be removed from the minds of many, who will become willing (Psa. 110:3) to emigrate from among the nations and return to their fatherland. Yahweh, the Man of War, will bring them there - "I will bring you," saith He, "to Zion".
The sacrifice of Christ
Question 11.-Did this difference of birth make an essential difference betwixt Jesus and the posterity of Adam?
Answer.-The question assumes an unscriptural distinction. Jesus, as the Son of Man (1), is as much included in the posterity of Adam as his brethren (2). Physically, he was as much involved in Adam's transgressions as they (3), for he inherited Adam's nature from Mary's blood (4), in which Adam's life existed, for the life of all flesh is in the blood thereof (5).
But the purpose of God was by Himself (6) to raise up a sinless character (7), who should in the very nature under condemnation (8) suffer the condemnation of sin in the flesh (9) by death (10), and thereafter rise again (11) with life for offer (12) to all of the condemned race who should believe and obey him (13).
1. -Mark 10:33: "The Son of Man."
2. -Heb. 2:11: "Both he that sanctified and they who are sanctified are all of one, for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren."
3. -2 Cor. 13:4: "Crucified through weakness." Isa. 53:4: "He hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows." Rom. 8:3: "On account of sin, condemned sin in the flesh." Heb. 2:16: "He took on him the seed of Abraham . . in all things made like unto his brethren."
4. -Gal. 4:4: "God sent for His Son, made of a woman."
5. -Lev. 17:11: "The life of the flesh is in the blood."
6. -Isa. 59:15, 16: "He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor, therefore his arm brought salvation unto him." Is. 45:22: "Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth . . . Unto me every knee shall bow and every tongue confess." Isa. 53:1: "To whom is the arm of the Lord revealed; for he (that is, Jesus) shall grow up before him." Rom. 3:19: "That every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God . . . But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested . . . by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe. For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God hath set forth." 1 Cor. 1:29: "That no flesh should glory in his presence, but of Him (God) are ye in Christ, who of God is made unto us, wisdom and righteousness, &c." 2 Cor. 5:19: "God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself."
7. -1 Pet. 2:22: "Who did no sin." Heb. 1:9: "Loved righteousness and hated iniquity." 1 Jno. 3:5: "In him is no sin." Heb. 7:26: "Holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners." Heb. 4:15: "Without sin."
8. -Heb. 2:17: "For verily, he took not on him the nature of angels, but the seed of Abraham."
9. -Rom. 8:3: "On account of sin, condemned sin in the flesh."
10. -Heb. 2:14: "That through death, he might destroy that having the power of death"
11. -Jno. 10:17: "I lay down my life, that I may take it again." 1 Cor. 20:21: "By man came also the resurrection of the dead;" (verse 20) "Now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that sleep." Rom 4:25: "Raised again for our justification."
12. -1 Jno. 5:11: "This life is in His son; he that hath the Son of God hath life." Jno. 17:3: "Thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given him." Jno. 14:6: "I am the way, the truth and the life."
13. -Heb. 5:8: "The author of eternal salvation to all them that obey him." Heb. 7:25: "Able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him."
Question 12.-Why was Jesus called "the last Adam?"
Answer.-Because he was to sustain the same federal relation to the race of mankind that Adam the first did. In Adam, mankind were involved in sin and death (1). In Jesus, they are delivered from both (2) without any subversion of the law that condemned them in Adam (3). He was truly the founder of a new race, but he was not in the days of his flesh (4) a specimen of that new race; for them he was weak and mortal (5); whereas the new race are to bear the glorious image of the immortal state (6) in which he now exists (7).
1. -1 Cor. 15:20: "In Adam all die."
2. -Eph. 1:7: "In whom (Christ) we have redemption through his blood."
3. -Rom. 3:26: "That he might be just and the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus." 2 Cor. 5:21: "He hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." Rom. 4:25: "He was delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification."
4. -Heb. 5:7: "In the days of his flesh he offered up supplication with strong crying and tears unto Him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared. Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered."
5. -2 Cor. 13:4: "Crucified through weakness." Matthew 26:38: "My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death." Isaiah 53:12: "He poured out his soul unto death." Heb. 2:17: "Made in all things like unto his brethren."
6. -1 Cor. 15:49: "As we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly."
7. -Acts 13:34: "God raised him from the dead, now no more to see corruption." Rom. 6:9: "Christ, being raised from the dead, dieth no more: death hath no more dominion over him." 2 Cor. 13:4: "He liveth by the power of God."
The Christadelphian, July 1873
I am weary with my groaning
... in the Psalms every aspect of David's development is laid bare before us. Christ alone combined the exalted and prophetic majesty of Moses with the keen humanity of David. Tried and tempted in all points like his brethren, he alone as the representative of mankind fulfilled all the experiences portrayed through David in the Psalms and emerged triumphant and unspotted from them.
David typifies the body of Christ, those whom Christ came to redeem, the chosen generation, the spirit willing and eager but the flesh weak, a man after God's own heart, who through much tribulation must learn the way to the kingdom.
But David, as the writer of the Psalms, was permitted to be the instrument by which Christ was encouraged and strengthened. And each of the members, too, can in some small way share in this honour. For it was for the joy that was set before him that he was enabled to endure, and that joy consisted in the love and affection of those who gratefully accept the benefits he procured.
Our participation in the victory is measured, therefore, by our affection for him, and the value of that vice-royalty is increased by each one that lays hold upon it.
Bro Growcott - The sword shall never depart
- The angel proclamation in Midheaven - Rev 14.6.
As to how long the period of proclamation will continue, it is not possible to speak with certainty. The work to be done indicates that it will not be an instantaneous operation. It is a work of
"prophesying before many peoples and nations, and tongues, and kings."
This will take time, and possibly years. The Deity is never in a hurry, but deliberate, effective, sure. We need not be surprised if ten years were consumed in the proclamation and the development of its results.
Between the "memorial of blowing of trumpets" on the first day of the seventh month, and the Day of Atonement, there was an interval of ten days; after this pattern it may, therefore, be, that between the beginning of the proclamation in midheaven and the commencement of the Second Angel judgment upon Babylon (Ch. 14:3), there will be an interval of ten years.
This would leave an "Hour," or month of years, that is, thirty years, for the judgment to sit in slaying the fourth beast of Daniel, and destroying his body-politic in the burning flame (ch. 7:11). These forty years after the manifestation of the Son of David and his mighty ones on Mount Zion, are the period of "the building again of the tabernacle of David, and of the setting up of its ruins, as it was in the days of old (Acts 15:16; Amos 9:11) the exodal period of the gathering together under one king of all the tribes of the House of Jacob (Mic. 7:15).
These forty years will be the most important and terrible of the world's history. They are the period of the world's transition from what it calls "self-government," to the government of Christ and his Brethren.
The most noteworthy developments of this transition period are depicted in the fourteenth, part of the sixteenth and seventeenth, the eighteenth, nineteenth, and part of the twentieth chapters of the Apocalypse. They exhibit the setting up of the Kingdom of David by the Eloahh of the Heavens (Dan. 2:44): by which the kingdom is restored again to Israel (Acts 1:6).
The work of these forty years was foreshadowed in the reign of David. His forty years' reign was to that of Solomon's peaceful administration over Israel and the Gentiles, as a judicial preparation; for before he could
"reign over all kingdoms from the river unto the land of the Philistines, and unto the border of Egypt,"
these kingdoms had to be subdued by his father David. After the same pattern it will be with the greater than Solomon. Forty years of judgment are consumed in preparing the millennial reign of peace and righteousness; which, as the chapters indicated show, will not be introduced and established by clerical preaching, nor by "the benevolent institutions of the day," but by "judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries".Eureka 14.6.
Dr. Thomas's Voyage to America
Talk, as the expression of sensations, impressions, and feelings, is mere gabble, and by no means exhausting except to those whose unhappy fate it is to be listeners; but conversation with numerous gainsayers, and public exposition of the word, for the conviction and enlightenment of a scoffing and conceited generation, being matters of thought, according to "the thinking of the Spirit," and not that "of the flesh," is, when long continued, very trying to a man's elasticity of body and soul.
When I was in Britain twenty-two years ago, I addressed the public two hundred and seventy times in two years, besides writing Elpis Israel; the consequence of which was that on my return to Virginia, I was so prostrated for six weeks that my life was despaired of by some.
In the tour now completed, I have exhibited the truth in a hundred and forty-five discourses, to which hundreds have listened with great, and I hope some with profitable attention, from an hour and a half to two hours at a time.
Thus far I have escaped such extreme depression of the vital force, though not entirely free from the acquiescent feeling that disinclines from exertion of muscle or brain. To visit, or receive visitors, or to meet the public, is burdensome to contemplate.
As a consequence of being so heavily laden for the past year, the life of a hermit, in some inaccessible retreat from the busy haunts of the noisy world, where I could enjoy the unbroken silence of undisturbed solitude, is a vision of rest much desired; but which I have not yet found, and from the letters received since my return, does not seem likely to be attained.
The Christadelphian, Aug 1870
The Sacrifice of Christ
Questions Answered According to the Truth, Which Is Never to Be 'Renounced'
By the Editor.
"Even as our beloved brother Paul, also, according to the wisdom given unto him, hath written unto you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable, wrest, as they do also the other Scriptures, unto their own destruction."-(2 Pet. 3:15-16.)
Question 1.-Who was Jesus Christ?
Answer.-God manifested in the flesh (1), seeing whom, the beholder saw the Father (2), with whom Jesus was one (3). As a distinct personage, he was the Son of God (4). He was also the Son of Man, because born of the flesh of David. (5).
1. -1 Tim. 3:16: "God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, &c."
2. -Jno. 14:9: "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father. How sayest thou, then, Shew us the Father!"
3. -Jno. 10:30: "I and my Father are one."
4. -Jno. 1:34: "This is the Son of God."
5. -Matt. 16:13: "Whom do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?"
Question 2.-What is meant by "the Son of God?"
Answer.-That the personage so named was begotten by the Father of the Virgin Mary (1).
1. -Luke 1:35: "The power of the Highest shall come upon thee, and therefore, shall that holy thing that shall be born of thee be called the Son of God."
Question 3.-How was he begotten?
Answer.-By the Holy Spirit coming on Mary (1), and causing her to conceive (2).
1. Luke 1:35: "The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee."
2. -Matt. 1:20: "That which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit."
Question 4.-Of what substance or nature was the body of Jesus?
Answer.-He was of "the seed of David according to the flesh" (1), but as it was the Spirit of the Father that gave that seed the form or organization called Jesus, he was more than the seed of David. He was the Word made flesh (2), and from the beginning thereof, full of the wisdom, grace and truth of the Father (3).
1.-Romans 1:3: "He was made of the seed of David according to the flesh."
2.-John 2:14.: "The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us."
3.-Luke 2:40: "The child grew and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him."
" Luke 2:47: "All that heard him (at 12 years of age) were astonished at his understanding and answers."
" John 1:14.: "We beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."
Question 5.-What was the nature of his mother?
Answer.-Flesh and blood of David's race (1), and consequently of the nature of Adam, from whom David descended (2).
1. -Luke 1:27: "A virgin . . . of the house of David."
2. -Luke 4:32, 38: "David which was the son of Jesse, which was the son of . . Adam.
Question 6.-What is meant by the nature of Adam?
Answer.-A nature identical with (1), because derived from Adam (2).
1. -John 3:6: "That which is born of the flesh is flesh."
2. -1 Cor. 15:48: "As is the earth, earthy, such are they also that are earthy."
Question 7.-Was Adam immortal before he broke the Eden law?
Answer.-He was neither mortal nor immortal, so far as declared destiny was concerned: he was in that state in which death would come with disobedience (1).
1. -Gen. 2:17: "In the day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die." Rom. 5:12: "By one man sin entered into the world and death by sin."
Question 8.-Did this condemnation to death fall on Adam only, or on all his posterity also?
Answer.-On all his posterity also (1).
1. -Romans 5:12, 19: "So death hath passed upon all men . . . By one man's disobedience many were made sinners."
Question 9.-What is meant by Adam's posterity?
Answer.-All who have descended from Adam.
Question 10.-Was Jesus born of two human parents?
Answer.-No: God was his Father (1) by the direct operation of the Spirit (2). Nevertheless, the substance generated during the nine months' gestatory period was Mary's (3), and, therefore, David's (4), and, therefore, the nature common to believers (5).
1. -Jno. 5:18: "He said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God."
2. -Luke 1:35: "The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee."
3. -Luke 2:6: "The days were accomplished that she should be delivered" (5:9), "Mary being great with child." Matt. 1:20: "Conceived in her." Luke 1:35: "Shall come upon thee."
4. -Rom. 1:3: "He was made of the seed of David, according to the flesh."
5. -Heb. 2:14: "Forasmuch as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, it became him likewise to take part of the same." Phil. 2:8: "Being found in fashion as a man."
The Christadelphian, July 1873.
The Sword shall never depart
His life, on the whole, was a broken and frustrated one. A long period he spent as a hunted fugitive -- a wanderer away from his country and kindred, attended by a motley following whose company must have been on the whole small comfort and a constant burden. Then, after his wanderings end and he finally becomes king and has subdued all his enemies, he stumbles into a grievous sin which plagues him without respite for the rest of his life.
Had Jonathan lived, much may have been different in David's life, but such was not the purpose of God. The affection between them was of the most exceptional character, calling for the strongest terms of description. In the friendship of Jonathan, David could have found satisfaction and guidance for the restless desires that led him into pitfalls. But it was God's will that he should learn alone.
After Jonathan's death, David seems to have found affinity with no one, and such comfort as he could get in the course of a life of disappointment and turmoil he must get by a direct and lonely approach to God by himself which, while infinitely more difficult, was perhaps in the ultimate for the best.
The Psalms could never have been written by a man who could find satisfaction and comfort in anything short of a direct and individual communion with God. And therefore, in the wisdom of God, it was Joab and not Jonathan who became David's lifelong companion, though such would never have been David's choice.
God's purpose with David was very high, and David had much to learn. Therefore considerations of his present comfort must give way to those which through long and bitter tribulation would develop in him the peaceable fruits of purity and righteousness.
The wisdom of God chose a vessel ideally suited to His purpose, and no small part of that purpose was the recording of the Psalms. The strong light of the inspiring Spirit, shining through every facet of David's character and experiences, threw as on a screen each detail of hope and despair, of failure and triumph.
the angel proclamation in midheaven
This good is styled aionion, a word which I have not translated but only transferred. The Angel-Host has "aionian good to proclaim". It is styled aionian, I conceive, because it announces "things not seen" pertaining to the aion, or COURSE, during which all nations will be "blessed in Abraham and his Seed."
This course is not to last for ever, but for a thousand years, styled in Dan. 7:12,
"a season and a time".
At the end of this Course of Centuries, the nations revolt, and judgment comes upon them to extermination (ch. 20:9). For this reason I do not translate the word in this text "everlasting," as in the English Version. The proclamation is the announcement of MILLENNIAL GOOD ; namely, that the resurrection, immortalization, and inauguration, of the called, and chosen, and faithful firstfruits, have been accomplished by Jesus Christ; who, having returned in power and great glory, has set up the ancient throne of his father David on Mount Zion: that being established there, he invites the allegiance of all nations to himself, as King of the whole earth by the grace of his Eternal Father; who has appointed him to execute judgment and justice in the earth, and to rule the world in righteousness: that he is prepared to destroy the powers that corrupt and oppress the nations; and to wipe away tears from off all faces, and to take away the rebuke of his people, Israel, from off all the earth.
That his purpose is to change the face of the world; and to enlighten mankind with the true knowledge from the rising to the setting sun. That, as mankind have been for a long series of ages in the bottomless abyss of ignorance and superstition, in commiseration of their helplessness, he invites them to hearken diligently unto him; and to come and buy wine and milk of him, without money and without price.
That, if they will accept this invitation to the feast he has prepared for all peoples, they shall live under their own vines and fig-trees in peace, and none shall make them afraid. But if on the contrary, they determine still to worship the Beast and his Image, and to receive the Sign in their foreheads, or in their hands, then they shall be made to drink of the wine of the wrath of the Deity which hath been prepared without mixture in the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy Angels, and in the presence of the Lamb.
A proclamation of this kind, made by such "ambassadors of Jesus Christ," and attested by signs and wonders of a character to establish their claims to the confidence and respect of the nations and their rulers, cannot fail of arresting attention as the all-absorbing topic of the day.
The message itself, and the reception it meets with by the world-rulers of church and state, will doubtless eclipse and supersede all other . The "leading journals" of Europe and America will be confounded; and seeing that the editorial staff of the world, like, "the spirituals" of the clerical kingdom, have no oil in their vessels, their leading articles upon this wonderful topic can only be the reflex of the darkness that covers the earth, and the gross darkness of the people.
As folly and falsehood are their stock in trade, they will doubtless counsel rejection of the message, and hostility to all claims emanating from such questionable authority. As they live by trying to please the majority, they will trim their sails to catch the popular breeze. Their counsel will be a bridle in the jaws of the people causing them to err. The editors, the clergy, and the civil rulers, of the midheaven will be the ruin of society: so that under the guidance of their policy the armies of the nations will go forth as a whirlwind to scatter him (Hab. 3:14).
It is not in human nature, much less in its political organization, to surrender power, wealth, and honour, at discretion. It does not part with these things without a struggle to retain them. On such a proclamation coming to the pope and "crowned heads" of Europe, from a Jew on Mount Zion, claiming to be Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews, are they like to acknowledge him, to place their kingdoms at his disposal, and cast their crowns at his feet?
We know certainly that they will not; for it is testified that all nations shall compass him about like bees; but they shall be quenched as the fire of thorns; for in the name of Yahweh he will destroy them (Psa. 118:10-12; Apoc. 19:19-21).Eureka 14.6.
From such withdraw thyself
For myself, I make it a rule only to visit where I am earnestly invited; and then I know my visits will be welcome, and not deemed offensive or intrusive. This is a social ceremony of defence necessary while sojourning in this "evil world," that a man may be enabled to select his intimates upon the basis of their excellencies observed and duly appreciated. We do not like to be compelled to herd with rude people in whom there is nothing, and from whom nothing genial can proceed.
Dr. Thomas's Voyage to America
The Christadelphian, Aug 1870
The Companion Bible (instalment 1) is an attractive but dangerous work.
A first look charms, but a second one repels. To accept the teaching which it contains would be to give up the truth. If this work is right, then our God is a trinity; the Satan of the scriptures is a fallen angel; the literality of the serpent which tempted Eve is a fable; familiar spirits are "evil spirits personating (through mediums) dead human beings"; the doctrine of substitution is true, and many other things, which from time to time have been exposed as the fruit of apostasy.
These truth-denying errors are interwoven with the book in all its parts. The divine inspiration of the scriptures, let us be thankful, is upheld. One or two other of the first principles are also acknowledged, though very dimly. If the immortality of the soul is a lie, the resurrection a necessity to a future life, and salvation a saving from death, why does not the annotator say so plainly and bravely, in view of the blindness of those into whose hands the book will fall?
If the Abrahamic covenant is all-important, again, why not be outspoken in defining and emphasising it? Want of space is no excuse, for much of this is taken up with matters purely secondary. But the naughtiness of The Companion is especially to be seen in its notes on the sons of God in Gen. 6:2. These, it is contended, were angelic visitors, who took Adamic wives, and became the fathers of a progeny which the Flood was arranged to destroy. To quote the writer's words-
"This was the one and only object of the Flood."
Through another visit of the angelic visitors, after the Flood, more hybrid progeny is said to have appeared among the Canaanites, requiring extermination by the sword of Joshua. The survival of some of these, it is alleged, "solves many problems connected with anthropology." This reads like romance (which, of course, it is), but what about its blasphemous character?
What a shifting of human depravity on to other shoulders! What a murdering of some of the most valuable lessons in Holy Writ touching the tendencies, and the doings of sinful man, and the righteousness of God in relation thereto. Ah! this Companion is a bad one, and the less we have to do with it the better.
Bro AT Jannaway
The Christadelphian, March 1910
Dr. Thomas's Voyage to America
On the afternoon of our arrival in Liverpool, having previously recruited our "vile bodies" with the genial refreshment of boiled salmon and lobster sauce, we sallied forth to establish our right to an unquestionable interest in the saloon apartments of the Idaho, the steamer in which we crossed the Atlantic in 1869.
I was disappointed to find that it was no longer commanded by Captain Cutting, to whom you sent, at my request, a copy of Elpis Israel and a set of Eureka, a year ago. His religious opinions were in advance of men of his class. He was what is styled a Millenarian, and a member of the Anglican daughter of the old Roman Mother of Harlots. He told me that he believed in the restoration of the whole twelve tribes of Israel, the entire and judicial consummation of the times of the Gentiles ere long, and the personal reign of Christ upon the earth.
It was in consequence of this avowal that I concluded to make him a present of the books, in the hope that at the time of my return with him to America, I might find him still better instructed in the way of the Lord. But, as I have said, I was disappointed. He had abandoned seafaring for a life on shore; and his captaincy was filled by a successor of the name of Price.
You will, as what sailors call a "landlubber, " hardly be able to guess how I came to know the end of Captain Cutting, whom we left in Liverpool, while I was yet five hundred miles away from the American, and some twenty-seven hundred from the English, coasts. You give it up, no doubt. Well, we were boarded by a New York Pilot that distance from the city, who brought us a New York Herald, which informed us that, from some unknown cause, Captain Cutting had become tired of and disgusted with his social existence, and had dissolved his connection with it by putting a bullet through his brain!
I was truly grieved at this news; for it proved that my present had been thrown away upon him, and that the principles of State-Churchism, which will translate "immortal souls" from the gallows to "bliss beyond the skies," was strong in him to death!
The Christadelphian, Aug 1870
What we must do to inherit eternal life
On the supposition that you have believed the gospel and been baptized in the name of Jesus for remission of sins, do you now enquire what you must do to obtain the
"glory, honour, incorruptibility, and life"
of the future age?
The inquiry is appropriate and well timed; for rest assured, that you may have believed the gospel, and have most scripturally obeyed it, but unless you hold fast your begun confidence unshaken to the end, unless you persevere in well doing, you had better never have known the truth.
"Save yourselves," says Jesus, "by your perseverance," to which Paul, by whose gospel you will be judged, adds,
"God will render to every man according to his deeds; to them who, by patient continuance in well doing, SEEK FOR glory, and honour, and incorruptibility; eternal life."
Can you continue in well doing unless you begin to do well? Can you "seek for" a thing which you pretend to already possess? No. "God only hath immortality"-with Him is "the fountain of life;" and all the intelligences of His boundless dominion, who may have this as a quality of their being, have derived it from Him as a recompense for their faithful obedience in a previous state.
Are you not ambitious of the glory, honour, and tranquil dignity of these celestials?
Would you not be ravished with delight in the possession of an angelic nature, an undefiled and incorruptible inheritance, and an eternal relation to all worlds? Strive then, that you may be "accounted worthy to attain to that age," through a "resurrection from among the dead," when you shall "die no more," and "be equal to the angels of God."-Luke 20:36.
"the wise shalt inherit glory, but shame shall be the promotion of fools."
Reader, be wise, for "wisdom is the principal thing, therefore, get wisdom," seeing that he is happy who findeth it. Dost thou enquire, what there is extant through which you may become wise? Hear the apostle, what saith he?
"The Holy Scriptures are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus;"
and these writings teach, that
"the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom."
Dost thou fear Him with that religious veneration which knows no torment? Dost thou fear or venerate Him, because thou lovest Him for His abounding goodness to the children of men? Then you possess the element of that wisdom, which though foolishness with men, is "more precious than rubies" in the sight of God; and incomparably more valuable than all the things you can possibly desire.
"Length of days is in her right hand, and in her left hand riches and honour. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a TREE OF LIFE to them that lay hold upon her; and happy is everyone that retaineth her."
Be wise, then, I repeat, if you would "shine as the brightness of the firmament" in the kingdom of the future age; apply your heart unto wisdom, for, in this, "the time of the end,"
"the wise shall understand" "the things of the Spirit of God."
The Christadelphian, Aug 1870
Ittai answered the king...even there also will thy servant be.
The events connected with Absalom, tragic though they were, were not without a purpose; and even a certain amount of comfort, for David. The truest depths of friendship are only experienced in adversity; and the loyalty of Ittai the Gittite, and the faithful kindness of Barzillai the Gileadite, would go far toward bearing David up against the infidelity of his son. We are so constituted, in the mercy of God, that sorrow will add a keenness to the comfort of common blessings that are only shallowly appreciated in times of ease.
And the occasion, too, made possible one incident which, while galling at the time, brought out the underlying nobility and gentleness of David's character and would give him much satisfaction later as a bitter trial faithfully and commendably borne. That was the cursing of Shimei of the house of Saul, who viciously taunted David as he fled from Absalom, and insolently stoned him. When Abishai desired permission to destroy him, David said --
"Behold, my son -- which came forth of my bowels -- seeketh my life. How much more now may this Benjamite do it? Let him alone, and let him curse; for the Lord hath bidden him. It may be that the Lord will look on mine affliction, and the Lord will requite me good for his cursing this day."
Weak and human though he was in many respects, he was at heart in full harmony with the mind of God. He realized that these trials were a necessary chastening from God to tame his unruly desires, and that the better he endured them, the shorter they would have to be.
As we look back, David seems to stand out apart from all others in the history of Israel. Moses truly is a far more majestic and awe-inspiring figure; Abraham exemplifies the nobility of a patient, enduring faith through a long and weary pilgrimage; but it is into the heart of David that we enter most closely. His life seems crowded with every variety of experience, and ranges from the purest God-fearing courage of his youthful encounter with Goliath to the ugly depths of adultery and murder.
His life was a battle between the highest and most intimate spiritual conceptions of God on the one hand, and all the strong currents of human nature on the other. That he repeatedly failed is true, but what is far more important is that he freely and humbly recognized his failures and continued to press on, accepting every form of tribulation with unresentful resignation.
Bro Growcott - The sword shall never depart
The Character of the 144,000 Firstfrults
The Lamb-Power invades the territories of the Beast and his Image: for their worshippers are said to be tormented in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb; hence, as the 144,000 are his attendants, they are there also (verse 9,10).
This is, if possible, still more evident from ch. 17:14,12; and 19:19; where the Beast and kings of the earth and their armies gather together to make war against the Lamb, and against his army, which is marshalled by "the called, the chosen, and faithful" 144,000, with him.
The conflict, however terrible, is not doubtful. The Seven-Horned Lamb overcomes them in spite of all their improvements in artillery and the art of war; for he is the Almighty King of kings and Lord of lords, who smites the nations with the sword of his mouth, and rules them with a rod of iron.
They can drive three hundred pound shot through iron armour-plates several inches thick; and discharge with great rapidity breech-loading rifles; but this outside force is not almighty. The shadow of the Spirit's power has greater resistance than armour plates of the greatest thickness. Cannon balls and rifle shot cannot penetrate it; while he can crumble into dust without a blow defenses of the hardest steel.
The 144,000 firstfruits are themselves "spirit", on the principle laid down by Jesus, that that is spirit which is born of the Spirit. Being spirit, they are in the shadow of the Spirit's power - a polished shaft in His quiver, like the great Captain of their salvation. No projectile can reach them to hurt them.
A storm of rifle bullets will fall before them like paper pellets from walls of granite. The artillery of the Beast's armies being thus rendered powerless, they have no defence against the tormenting fire and brimstone of the 144,000 of the Lamb. The Beast and deceiving False Prophet become captives; and those who sustained them by the sword, are made a sacrifice of with great slaughter (ch. 13:10) in the great Day of Retribution, when the Seven-Horned Lamb, with his invincible attendants, shall go forth into all the earth.
The harlot women
Now, in prophetic style, all these sects of the Court of the Gentiles are termed "women," whose favours lead to death.
They are strange Women, who flatter with their words; whose houses incline unto death and their paths unto the dead. Their lips drop as a honeycomb and their; mouths are smoother than oil; but their end is bitter as wormwood sharp as a two-edged sword. Their feet go down to death' and their steps take hold on Sheol.
The 144,000 have no fellowship with these unchaste women. Having come to the understanding and belief of
"the things concerning the kingdom of the Deity, and the name of Jesus Christ"
they have obeyed the invitation.
"Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins and that ye receive not of her plagues"
Having the faith to be healed, they obey the Apostolic command,
"repent and be every one of you immersed for the name of Jesus Christ into remission of sins" (Acts 2:38).
By this process, they are separated from the worshippers of the Beast, and washed, sanctified, and justified from all the defilement contracted in their days of ignorance and unbelief (1 Cor. 6:9-11).
Thenceforth, they are no more to be found dangling and toying with these disreputable Mistresses of the Clergy. Being espoused to Christ, they have no more spiritual association with the impure; but, as wise virgins, keep their lamps trimmed, and their lights burning, that when the Bridegroom appears, they may be admitted to
"the marriage supper of the Lamb."
The sword shall not depart from thine house
For two full years, Absalom quietly waited his time, plotting vengeance for his sister, and finally the opportunity came, and he slew Amnon, and David begins to feel the inescapable hand of God's righteous judgment.
The mother of Absalom, as far as is recorded, was the only foreigner among David's wives, and thus God works out the punishment of one sin through the consequences of another. Absalom, whose name, pathetically enough, means "Father of Peace," was the principal instrument of David's punishment; and David's extreme grief at his death, after all his treachery, seems to indicate a special attachment to Absalom, even above his other children, and a bitter realization of what might have been had he himself acted differently.
Three years Absalom spends in exile at Geshur, and two more in Jerusalem before the king is reconciled to him. Seven years have now passed. Having returned, Absalom goes about cunningly to steal the hearts of the men of Israel. How easily are people deceived by a fair show and smooth words! How shallow and unstable is human loyalty! And, above all, how sharply the case of Absalom brings out the fundamental baseness of human nature, teaching us to ever look with distrust upon our natural desires and reactions.
Paul speaks of the foolishness of those who compared themselves with themselves and consequently found nothing wrong. Comparing their actions with their own natural conceptions and thoughts they found that they agreed perfectly. But what of the mind of God? A man's own heart is no safe guide.
But there is a lesson even in Absalom's wickedness -- the lesson of the unjust steward. Absalom yielded himself wholeheartedly to selfishness, and the murder of his own father was the logical conclusion, as he stood in his way. Having given himself over to evil, it would have been foolish to draw the line anywhere. He was wiser in his generation than those who go halfway into evil and still attempt to cling to an appearance of good, or those who but half-heartedly follow that which is good. Having chosen his course, he followed it through to the end and hesitated at nothing.
It was truly an evil, human course, but his pursuance of it is a lesson in single-minded perseverance. And his scheming patience, although directed to base and selfish ends, is an illustration of the latent powers in us all which are equally effective for evil or good.
Two years he quietly waited to avenge himself upon Amnon, but the wait did not dull the keen edge of his determination. How long before his insurrection he had harbored ambitions for his father's throne is not disclosed, but there is no haste in his methods -- only a painstaking and tireless singleness of purpose and a long and skillful planning -- so thorough that when the moment came all Israel was with him, and so secret that David was taken wholly unawares.
Absalom was strong-willed, clever, ruthless and patient -- attributes which could have made him as much a power for good as he was for evil, if he had been moved by the wisdom that is from above, instead of that which is from beneath. God allowed him to go far on the course he chose, for it suited God's purpose to do so, and each successful step would further embolden him for the next.
The Character of the 144,000 Firstfrults
"These are they who had not been contaminated with women; for they are virgins. These are the attendants upon the Lamb whither-soever he goeth. These had been redeemed from among men, an offering of firs fruits for the Deity and for the Lamb. And in their mouth had been found no guile; for they are faultless in the presence of the throne of the Deity".
With what class of women had they not been defiled or contaminated? It must be remembered that amongst these 144,000 will be many women, perhaps one half the number of the redeemed. It cannot be, therefore, in a natural sense, that they were not so defiled.
The whole company of the redeemed, men and women, are "virgins"; for they constitute the Lamb's gune, woman, or wife; whom Paul was solicitous, as far as he had to do with the presentation, to
"present as a chaste virgin to Christ" (2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:27).
In what sense, then, is this chaste virgin company undefiled with women? Who are these women?
The only answer that can be given to this question is that they are the women of the Apocalypse. The worst kind of women - the Harlot daughters and Harlot Abominations of the Great Drunken Murderess, whom they style
"the Mother of All Churches."
The "Holy Apostolic Catholic Church", is the Harlot in chief; "with whom the kings of the earth," the Secular Rulers of European and American Antichristendom,
"have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication".
This is the Mother of the Harlot Family. Her daughters are the Churches of Europe "by law established;" such as, the Lutheran Harlot, the Anglo-Hibernian Harlot, the Caledonian Harlot, and the Helvetian Harlot' all of them, bearing "the Sign of the Beast," indicating their utter destitution of the faith and its obedience.
Besides these principal harlots is an innumerable fry of Harlot abominations, all of them distinguished as the relations of the Roman Mother by the livery they wear. The sign of the Beast is upon them all. In the aggregate, they are an unbaptized ecclesiastical community, distinguished in its subdivisions by various 'names," Apocalyptically styled,
"Names of Blasphemy,"
of which the Scarlet-coloured dominion is said to be "full". These are styled by the sprinkled worshippers of the Beast, "the Names and Denominations of Christendom;" but the Apocalyptic title is the true one - "All the Abominations of the Earth," of which the Roman Harlot is the Mother.
For what is Lutheranism, but German Latinism diluted with the un-scriptural speculations of an Augustinian monk? Or Calvinism, but Swiss, French, Dutch, English and Scotch Latinism, diluted with the traditions of the man who caused Servetus to be burned?
These dilutions of the Latin superstition have been very useful in crippling the absolutism of the Romish Hierarchy. The world has been greatly benefited by the Protestant Rebellion; and by the multiplication and rivalries of the sects. But, though promotive of civil and religious liberty, their dogmas are God-dishonoring and gospel-nullifying blasphemies.
Added to these are other "names," which, though repudiating baby-sprinkling and practicing immersion, are as much worshippers of the Beast as the rest. These immersed sects recognize the sprinkled sects as denominations of christians, showing that they do not know, or do not believe what the Scriptures teach as the one faith and one hope of the calling.'
My spirit shall not always strive with man
When Dr. Thomas described the world as "intoxicated and insane" (Eureka, vol. 3., p. 124), and as "corrupt as in the days of Noah" (vol. ii., p. 571), he only spoke as a man enlightened in the scriptures could speak.
It is saddening to hear a brother question the truth of the Doctor's indictment. Still worse is it to see one holding, as it were, a brief for the goodness of the world. The world is away from God, sunk in wickedness, and its condition grows worse from year to year.
To talk, as some do, about the world improving, becoming more civilised and less superstitious, and increasing in its appreciation of the arts and sciences, is not to the point. Of what use are the world's improvements if they are merely employed to minister to the pride of life and in the service of sin?
If we wish to know, really and honestly, the true character of the world, as it appears from the divine standpoint, let us measure it by its attitude towards the requirements of God-by the doctrines which He asks it to believe, and the commandments which He asks it to obey.
If we do this the Doctor's description will soon be seen to be correct, and we shall have to admit that the world, in its reverence for God and His word, is, with a rapidity which is truly alarming, proceeding from bad to worse.
Let the scientist, the philanthropist, the parson, the common man, be faced with a "thus saith the Lord" on the subject of God, Man, or Israel's Hope, and their duty towards their Creator, and let the truth be pressed home, and then it will be seen that in these possibly respectable, educated, well-clad men, exist the rebellion and wickedness of the contemporaries of Noah.
Bro AT Jannaway
The Christadelphian, March 1910
'A man without merit will live free from the envy of others: but who would wish to escape on these terms?'" TC 07/1870
"He that believeth not (the gospel) shall be condemned."
Here, then, are two sentences of condemnation, to which, if a man become obnoxious, he may be said to be doubly damned. He is condemned to the first death because he is "born of the flesh;" and he is condemned to the second death if he believe not the gospel; but, let the reader bear in mind that no mortal son of Adam is obnoxious to the second death, because he is born of the flesh; but, being born of the flesh involuntarily, he becomes liable to it by rejecting the gospel of Jesus Christ.
And this is the ground of the second condemnation,
"that light is come into the world, and men love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil."-(John 3:19.)
The Christadelphian, Aug 1870
What then do men need to be saved from?
First, from ignorance of God's way; second, from moral perversion; third, from the evils of the present life, in body and estate; and, fourth, from the dissolution of the grave. The "light" which God has revealed in the Scriptures will save them from ignorance and its sequents, which are superstition, fear, bigotry, unbelief, &c.; "repentance and remission of sins in the name of Jesus" will rectify their consciences; and a "resurrection unto life," or a transformation, will deliver them from "all the ills that flesh is heir to," and restore them to a being which shall end no more.
The Christadelphian, Aug 1870
The wages of sin is death
Wages are paid only to those who labour: those who in their toil "sow to the flesh, " will be paid for the labour they perform; and the pay for this kind of labour is "corruption," or "death unto death"-death ending in corruption, as the apostle saith, "shall of the flesh reap corruption," and of such he says, in another place, "whose end is destruction;" so that "death," "corruption," and "destruction" are "the wages of sin," which everyone is fairly entitled to "who loves darkness rather than light," and refuses to accept the gospel of Jesus Christ.
We need to be delivered from our sins, and from a resurrection unto a second death and corruption, which shall be consummated in a fiery destruction, constituting the destiny of unbelievers, cowards, abominable characters, and whosoever loves and invents a lie.
The Christadelphian, Aug 1870
Yahweh, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee
David is pre-eminently the "sweet Psalmist of Israel" -- Israel both natural and spiritual. Clearly the great love and ambition of David's life was the pure service and worship of the God of Israel. He found that worship broken down, scattered, almost non-existent: the neglected Tabernacle in one obscure place, the forgotten Ark in another.
He left it firmly established and thoroughly arranged in careful, organised depth and detail: with a numerous and orderly course of priests, singers and Levites; the Ark brought lovingly to a place of honour at Jerusalem; a magnificent Temple completely planned and designed; and a vast wealth of materials for it assembled. And it would have been built too, if God had permitted him.
The spirit of David was the spirit of song: of praise, worship, supplication, prayer, thanksgiving, adoration.
This was his greatest gift to his generation, and to all subsequent generations of the sons of God. The Psalms of David have ever been the cherished hymnal of God's people. They express all the joys and sufferings, hopes and fears, praises and supplications, of the children of God of all time.
The Psalms would lose much beauty and power and value for us without the deep spirit of repentance and supplication, and joy in forgiveness and reconciliation, that David's bitter experiences added to them.
David gave life and power to the worship of God in Israel by giving it song. He gave Israel all the necessary exterior framework for faithfulness and inspiration and unity and holiness. We cannot help but think of bro. Roberts' similar vast labours and accomplishments for the people of God in these last days, now all but forgotten in many quarters. And the preparation of our hymn Book, containing fifty of the Psalms, is one of the most powerful works bro. Roberts did for the Truth and the Brotherhood.
The national provision David set up, the splendid Temple and the impressive worship and service, failed for the majority, and failed soon and miserably. But this has not lessened its value and power for the remnant of grace that has always existed through the ages. In the providence of God, no one can take from His children the priceless treasure of the Psalms of David.
If we would understand the sad sins of David, their bitter consequences and their glorious aftermath; if we would truly learn their deep lessons for sinners everywhere -- let us read and read and reread the Psalms. We have no right to attempt any conclusions concerning David without taking his Psalms fully into account. Here he states his case and bares his heart in terms that should put us all to shame. Let us get the spirit of David, which is the Spirit of Christ--
Bro Growcott - My sin is ever before Me
My sin is ever before me
Whenever we consider David's sin, we must keep the whole picture of his life in true balance and perspective. It is a glorious picture of a
"man after God's Own heart."
Habitual uprightness, service, zeal, faith, occasional failings, intense repentance. His subjection to temptation gives more meaning to his tremendous record of faith, for he was a weak mortal man, just like us.
Patiently he submitted for weary years to Saul's wicked and ungrateful persecution. He never fought back. He always left the issue in God's hands, content to wait God's good time. God had appointed Saul, and he was the "Lord's anointed." Even in the extremity of self-defense against murderous persecution, he would not harm him.
In assessing David's life, let us try to picture and realize the perils and hardships he endured. During his twenties, when he was hardly yet a man, he was hunted and chased like a criminal from place to place for a period of several years, never knowing where to go or whom to trust, with wives and children to care for, and six hundred very difficult and quarrelsome men, with their families, to provide for.
David was a giant, one of the few really great men of all history. He was great in both strength and sweetness. In physical courage, and in spiritual discernment, poetry, music, and psalms.
David is The Psalms, and The Psalms are David. David was privileged to write the songs of praise for the people of God for the whole 3,000-year period from his day to the establishment of the Kingdom, and doubtless for the endless ages beyond. Truly the Psalms are prophetically and inspirationally the mind of the Spirit of Christ, but David's own heart and mind were the Spirit's chosen medium.
Bro Growcott -
The New Song
Suppose the apostles had all died with Jesus, and, like him, while dead, came to know nothing; and suppose after being dead, they were brought to life on the third day, where was their remembrance of all things to come from?
When people fall into a trance they forget every thing, even the letters of the alphabet; and have to recover knowledge by the slow process of ordinary tuition. How total and complete, then, must be the oblivion of death; and how impossible the consciousness of the past, unless He who restores to life, also restamp or rewrite the "New Man," or "New Creature," formed by the Word in the old body of the present state, upon the new body of the future.
And this He does; not by causing the newly created being to pass through the experience of the past again; but, by an instantaneous transfer of what exists in His own mind to theirs.
Eighteen hundred years ago, the Father-Spirit said, I am the way, the truth, the resurrection, and the life. He affirms this of Himself. The truth in a man by faith, is Christ in him. When the man dies the truth and its personal developments remain with the Father, while the man, as flesh, is
"a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again".
But, though it cometh not again, the truth in its particular personal identity, whether called by the name Paul, or any other name, does come again. The Father being the resurrection as well as the truth, reproduces from Himself the personally developed truth, named Paul in a former state.
He re-produces it in a newly created body. In view of the statement affirmed by John the Baptizer, it is immaterial whether that body be made of the dust to which Paul is reduced, or of some other crude matter; for, if of stones the Deity can raise up children to Abraham (Matt. 3:9) He can as easy reproduce Paul from one kind of material as another.
Paul sleeps "in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ". In this sense, he may be said to be "with Christ" even now. He sleeps in Christ the Resurrection - in Christ the Sun of Righteousness. When this Sun shines forth with healing in his beams, Paul and the 144,000 will be the embodied emanations of these beams. They will be hoi basileis ton apo anatolon heliou - the Kings which (are) risings from a Sun (Apoc. 16:12).
They no longer sleep. Every individual is a rising the reproduction of a former character in a new body; the character, and not the body, constituting the personal identity. The body is of the earth, the writing upon it, from heaven. In the finishing of this, the body is transfigured in the twinkling of an eye; and from an earthy body, it is changed into the likeness of the Quickening Spirit, by which the redemption celebrated in the song is made complete.
Here is the acquisition of knowledge in the same way as the apostles acquired the power, or faculty, of setting forth the wonderful works of Deity in languages they knew nothing about. It will be a Pentecostian display of omnipotence - 144,000 "first fruits unto the Deity and the Lamb" newly created from the dust, singing the song of their redemption from the earth.
They sing the song thus "learned" before their conflict with the Beast and his Image. This is intimated by the prophetic declaration "We shall reign on the earth." This they cannot do so long as the Beast of the Earth is unsubdued. Their reign as "kings and priests" is incompatible with the existence or ascendancy of the Latin Kingdom.
If in the song they sing, they said, we do reign upon the earth, we should know that the scene on Mount Zion was not Pentecostian, and inaugural; but palm-bearing and victorious. As conquerors of the nations, they stand upon the crystal-sea before the throne, and sing the song of Moses and the Lamb (ch. 4:6; 15:2).
They will then have subdued their enemies. But, on Mount Zion is their induction into office with right royal solemnity, preparatory to their executing the judgments assigned to the second and third angels, the reaping of the harvest and the treading of the wine-press.
I learnt there were in all close on 50 remaining in the ecclesia. I was surprised at this number, knowing that there had been a division. The ecclesia it appears numbered between 60 and 70 before the division. I had not realised it was so large, not having been in Sheffield since eight years ago, when things were quite small. There had evidently been a good deal of faithful and patient work somewhere-mostly of a private sort, I was informed, in the shape of conversation and lending books.
At the tea, there were ham sandwiches, for "we are not under the law, but under grace," which informs us that "every (previously proscribed) creature of God is (legally) good, and nothing to be refused if it be received with thanksgiving," and that "nothing is unclean of itself." The pig is not the best of food for some people. Such do well to abstain.
Though at liberty to eat, they are not able, which is a good reason for not eating; but to lay down a law of abstention for others is inconsistent with the liberty which we have in Christ. There were Judaizers in Paul's day, and they have never been lacking since.
The Christadelphian, July 1886
Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover.
The law of Moses required every male to be present at the yearly passover
"in the place which the Lord shall choose,"
and all the members of the household besides;
"thy son and thy daughter, thy man-servant and thy maidservant" (Deut. xvi. 14.)
It is more likely that Joseph and Mary would act literally on this command than that they should yield a partial obedience. In that case, Jesus went with them every year from his earliest infancy.
If on the other hand the reduced state of the Jewish nation under the Roman yoke, was made a reason for a curtailed compliance with Mosaic requirements, then they did not take their household with them, but contented themselves with their own personal attendance -- leaving Jesus and the other members of the household at home.
However, this may be, "when he was twelve years of age," they took him with them to Jerusalem to keep the feast; and it was on this occasion that we have the first recorded exhibition of the deeply marked character of Jesus in his earliest years.
Nazareth Revisited Ch 10
The New Song
"No one was able to learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth".
The personal redemption of these thousands had been completed before they appeared on Mount Zion. They had recently emerged from the dust of death; and had passed through the ordeal of judgment; and being afterwards transformed, and made like to the King of Glory' by the quickening energy of his power, they were prepared truthfully to describe themselves in a song, which no one could possibly sing, who had not been the subject of the like condition.
The song they will sing on Zion is recorded in ch. 5:9. In this place, it says,
"They sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the scroll, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain; and hast redeemed us for the Deity by thy blood out of every' kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us (the Four Living Ones full of eyes, and the twenty four elders) for our Deity kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth."
The Angels cannot sing this song. How could they address Jesus, and say to him, "thou hast redeemed us?" Neither can they sing, that they shall "reign upon the earth," for they assuredly never will.
Nor can any of the worshippers of the Beast Sing this song; for they do not belong to the white robed multitude, whose garments are whitened in the blood of the Lamb: on the contrary', they are those whose names are not written in his scroll of life from the foundation of the world; and are robed in a scarlet colored vesture, dyed red in the blood of the saints.
None such can "learn that song. "They have not been taught it by the Father, who hath given them over to their strong delusions. "No man cometh unto Me," saith Jesus,
"except the Father who hath sent me draw him; and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of the Deity. Every' man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me" (John 6:44).
These can learn the song; for the Father teaches it to all His true disciples, when He writes His new name upon them; and they Sing it, when He plays upon them as His harps.
"The dead know not any thing; and there is no knowledge in the grave" (Ecc. 9:5,10).
Whence, then, can the 144,000 harps give forth the melody and sentiment of the song, but from the Eternal Spirit who "brings all things to their remembrance;" and this he does in writing the Father's Name in their foreheads.
After he has developed them corporeally from the dust, he flashes upon them the knowledge of a previous state, together with the knowledge of what shall be hereafter. Thus they are taught and made conscious of a previous existence. But for the operation of the Eternal Spirit in writing his name upon their new cerebral organization, they would have no more consciousness of the past, or of any antecedents therein, than Adam when he first opened his eyes upon the light.
Unless the Spirit impress upon them the knowledge, they would be conscious only of what present sensation could impart - of this, and no more.
Take, for example, a man, and call him Paul. Let him be the same Paul of whom we read in the Acts. Let him die, and become what he is (if we may say "he is," of one who has no existence). Of what was once called Paul there remains a few pounds of dust. And this is all that remains of the 144,000 not at present alive upon the earth. Hence, individually or personally they are all nonentities. Dust, though once a component of intelligent beings, retains no knowledge.
"Can the dust praise thee can it declare thy truth?"
There is no profit in dust for praise or truth, apart from the operation of the Eternal Spirit It retains no trace of former personal identity. From the few pounds of dust left to Paul the Creator could form a Lion. When he had given the creature life, would it have the consciousness of the apostle? Would it be able to sing the song of redemption? If personal identity resided in the dust as dust, it might; but the supposition is absurd: Of men, it is said,
"the Deity remembereth that they are but flesh, a wind that passeth away, and COMETH NOT AGAIN".
Where is the personal identity when flesh has thus passed away? All personality is dissolved.
The mere natural man perceives the difficulty; and has therefore invented the clumsy theory of inherent immortality for the perpetuation of personal identity in a future state. He differs from the Spirit, and believes, that the dead know more than the living; and that they are now singing the song of redemption before the throne!
But the Scripture shows clearly, that man has no immortal consciousness; and that if he do not understand the truth, he is as the beasts that perish (Psa. 49:12,20).
What provision, then, has been provided by the Creator for the reproduction of the non-existent Paul and his companions in nothingness? The creation of 144,000 (not less, but number-less more) living bodies from the dust; and stamping upon their foreheads, as with a seal, what is already on record, not in the memory of disembodied souls, but in the mind of the Eternal Father.
This is where the personal consciousness of the past comes from, the Father's Name written in the forehead, not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God in fleshy tables of the heart (2 Cor. 3:3): that whosoever is so written upon after creation from dust, is, in the creative operation, taught to sing the song of redemption by inspiration.
The apostles who listened to the discourses of Jesus remembered little, and understood less; but the Eternal Spirit, who discoursed through Jesus, remedied this defect by afterwards bringing all things to their remembrance, opening their understandings and guiding them into all the truth (Luke 24:45; John 14:26; 16:13).
In this operation, their consciousness of what Jesus really taught, was stamped or written upon the fleshy tablets of their hearts. What they had forgotten and did not understand, was not lost. It was retained in the Spirit's, in the Father's own mind, Who afterwards photographed in their foreheads what he had said.
Put on the new man
Put on, therefore, as God's elect, holy and beloved, a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering. . . . Above all these things put on love, which is the bond (or girdle) of perfectness" (Col. 3:10-14, R. V.).
Without love our spiritual attire is incomplete. What is love? For the truth on this vital question let us turn to Paul, and not to unenlightened man. Wrong thoughts on this subject have led to cruel mistakes. Imperfect knowledge has caused many an exemplary brother to be unjustly condemned, and many a worldling (in whom the genuine article has been wanting) to be lauded to the skies.
A man can give all his possessions to the poor, and his body to be burned in the cause of religion, and yet lack love. What is Bible love? It is a product of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22), it is of God (1 Jno. 4:7). It is no blind feeling inherent in the flesh-its root is not there. It is an intelligent, discriminating, truth-loving, truth-obeying quantity (1 Cor. 13).
It is exceedingly comprehensive in its attentions-it does not confine itself to one object, but extends to many. It is a something which even goes out towards our enemies-to those who hate us. It is a principle which rises above, nay, which controls all our natural affections, curbing some and stimulating others. There is, perhaps, no better definition of love-the love which is of God-than that given by John,
"This is the love of God, that we keep his commandments."
Bro AT Jannaway
The Christadelphian, March 1910
Enticing words of man's wisdom
"The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God,"-
..."If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise."
Many will be prepared to admit the force of all this as applicable to the false science and philosophy of 1,800 years ago, who may have a reservation in favour of the world's wisdom in the nineteenth century.
They may suppose that Paul would not have written of modern science as he wrote of Greek speculation. They may have a feeling to the effect that, in our day at all events, it has ceased to be true that the wisdom of the world is foolishness with God.
In this there is greater mistake than may at first sight appear. There is doubtless an accurate knowledge of the constitution of nature in all her aspects which did not exist in Paul's day. Science is more truly knowledge in our day than then, notwithstanding a wonderful amount of speculation in its higher applications.
Still "wisdom" is no more a characteristic of the experimental schools of modern times than of the speculative schools of Athens. Wisdom is more than knowledge. It comprehends knowledge but it is the right use of knowledge rather than knowledge itself.
A man might understand the chemistry of farming, and be the vagabond of the village. Another man, with less knowledge, who industriously tilled the soil, would be the wiser man of the two.
The question is, what is scientific knowledge capable of doing for us, and how is the scientific knowledge used? The answer to this will bring modern learning as much under Paul's disparagements as the wisdom of the Greeks.
In the first place, it has no power to deliver us from the evil state in which we live. A man might understand all the mysteries of the universe without being a whit nearer salvation than the ignorant. His knowledge would merely be a knowledge of what exists, and a knowledge of this may be of service as regards present convenience and health; but it cannot be turned to any account in changing a man's own constitution and averting the law of death, which overshadows all life, as at present manifested in the world.
...we want a fixed standard. We have it in Christ. He exemplifies to us, and instructs us by his apostles as to the best possible. He shows in himself, and offers to us the perfection of being, intrinsically, and in all its relations. He shows to us that eternal life which was with the Father, and was manifested in the Son to the apostles, and by them reflected to us, through their teaching.
...The simplicity of belief, the dependence of faith, the humility of obedience, are all repugnant to their intellectual modes and instincts which lead them to prefer ways and thoughts that involve human headship, and provide scope for human importance and gratification. Such men are unfit for the final goodness of God, which requires that God may be glorified, and God's way hides it from them.
We are here this morning rather as "the babes," to whom Jesus says the Father hath revealed His precious intentions. It is ours to humble ourselves as little children, accepting in gratitude and rejoicing in the proffered goodness of God. But though children, Paul says,
"in understanding, be men".
Fresh Air and Foul.
-Bible teaching is the purest of moral atmospheres; it invigorates the brain, and energizes the heart; but cant has corrupted it at its source. Cant has emitted its filthy, putrescent, and deadly exhalations, so that men unwarily sicken, become delirious, languish, or die, even when searching for the very conditions which promised them immortal life!
The Christadelphian, July 1886
A New Kind of Exhibition.
-It is the age of exhibitions, cosmopolitan, international, provincial. In various forms, men come together to show each other their handiwork for admiration and entertainment, with a view to profit.
One is just announced which is outside the usual category, and is related in fact to the signs of the times. We read-
"It is proposed to hold in the autumn an elaborate Anglo-Jewish Exhibition, which will trace and illustrate, archæologically and artistically, the career of the Hebrew race in England since the landing of its first member."
Such an exhibition cannot fail to bring the Jews into a special prominence, especially in connection with another exhibition of which we hear-an exhibition by Lieut. Condor of objects illustrative of the survey of the Holy Land. This prominence may providentially lead to the encouragement and enlargement of those tendencies in the direction of Jewish restoration which are already active, but which must attain a larger development before the end comes.-Editor.
The Christadelphian, July 1886
Our Lord did not reason according to the thinking of the serpent.
A brief rebuttal.
- Was Job's temptation real or just a few flashing thoughts in his mind? Was there a real adversary (an external agent) given power to try Job in all the points of the flesh, or was it just thoughts that momentarily popped into his head which he instantly dismissed?
Were Job's friends provoking him during an extended period of tribulation? Or was this whole book of Job just a few brief thoughts crossing Job's mind in an instant of time? Did he lose his family and was afflicted with painful diseases? Did he lose all his goods? Or was all the suffering recorded just in his imagination?
Job's suffering is the type of Our Lord's in the wilderness.Consider my servant Yahshua a perfect man but yet untried by severe adversity as to whether he will remain faithful.The satan - unidentified in both cases - was given all the resources necessary in an age of sign and wonder to put the Messiah to the utmost test of fidelity. Just as the satan was given all the resources necessary to prove Job's faith.Of course our Lord battled against the thinking of the flesh. He was surrounded all his life by it. He was Yahweh's 'Lonely one'. He resisted, rebutting and overcoming sin, repudiating all serpent reasoning (from men) and the impulses of the nature he bore.The thought of foolishness is sin (Prov 24 :9;). If he thought vain thoughts he sinned. But he was never defiled by such thoughts being innocent of all transgression.
"That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness".
So Andrew, in your contention do you go so far as to argue our Lord was prone to the evil thoughts listed above?This is the natural man. NOT the MIND OF CHRIST. He told the disciples..."YE being evil". Himself was the unblemished lamb, holy, harmless and undefiled in character. Altogether lovely.Our Lord was one with his father - Deity manifest in the flesh, morally perfect, learning obedience through the things he suffered, developing the character image of his father Full of grace and truth. And at his baptism Yahweh declared this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleasedOur Lord did not conceive evil thoughts which are sin. We are to aspire to his level not to bring him down to ours. He was Deity manifest in the flesh not a mere man.
CANZUK - Re-emergence of Tarshish and the young lions -Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Friends of Israel.
Psalm 48 - Bro Arthur Hughes
"Oh, that men would praise Yahweh for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men" (Ps. 107:8).