1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
The doctrinal arguments (ch 3 &4) against the present application of the Law of Moses -- that it was a secondary, temporary arrangement added much later to the basic plan of salvation through faith; that it was, 1) To expose sin; 2) convict all of sin; 3) show to all the impossibility of anyone earning life; 4) to foreshadow and typify and lead up to Christ; 5) that it was the mere elementary, passing impotent shadow of which Christ is the glorious, all-powerful, eternal reality.
To return to the Law of Moses is not, as the Judaizers claimed, a higher step of holiness, but a falling right back down from the things of the Spirit which transforms the heart, to the things that merely regulate the flesh.
Bro Growcott - By Love Serve One Another
3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
In all the "times of the Gentiles" the saints are a mixed community, in which are found fish of all sorts, good, bad, and indifferent. The good are answerable to the "few who are chosen, 'and find eternal life (Matt. 20:16; 7:14): while the bad and indifferent are those who "begin in the Spirit" and end in the flesh - those who at the outset of their career seemed to "run well," but were hindered from a "patient continuance in well-doing," or "obeying the truth," in being "bewitched" by the sorcery of designing knaves, who "by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple" (Gal. 3:1,3,7; Rom. 16:18).
In our generation, as in that of the apostles, the ecciesia or general assembly of the many, who are called, is composed of these heterogeneous materials. It has been thus in all generations before and since Satan, in the days of Job, mingled with the Sons of the Deity when they presented themselves in the Divine presence (Job 1:6). The satanic element has ever been among them with its "depths as they speak" (ch 2:24), corrupting and perverting the weak. In the wisdom of the Deity Satan has been permitted to practice, and to deceive the hearts of the simple, who are ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth" (2 Tim 3:7) without judicial interference.
The Satanic element in an ecclesia is always prompt and vivacious for mischief. If it fears to attack openly the most prominent advocate of the truth, it has recourse to underhanded and secret influences. Handling the word of the Deity deceitfully, deceiving, and being deceived" are its characteristics. While inspired with personal hatreds, it affects zeal destroying it, or making it of none effect by the traditions of its monstrous ignorance and folly. Yet the Judge of the living and the dead" is profoundly silent save in the word of his law and testimony. There are reasons for this. The truth as it is in Jesus is entrusted to the ecclesia, or House of the Deity, which is the Pillar and foundation support of the truth .
The members of this house are held responsible and accountable for their relations to this, as a treasure committed to them to be contended for earnestly, and to be upheld at all hazards in their day and generation. This house being furnished with vessels of' all sorts, some to honour and some to dishonour, the truth receives a characteristic treatment at the hands of each sort The vessels fitted to capture and destruction set forth traditions, or heresies which nullify the Word If men speak or write upon the things of the Spirit, they are commanded to do so as oracles of the Deity;" and if they disobey this injunction is because "there is no light in them " Nevertheless, they will give utterance to their folly.
This cannot be helped, Fools will be fools come what may. From these premises it is inevitable that, as Paul says, "there must be heresies among you" They are permitted to exist , though not approved. Their existence arouses the flagging energies of sterling and faithful men, "who are able to teach others" (2 Tim. 2:2). It sets them to contending more earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints (Jude 2), which manifests them as the approved, who are grounded and settled in the faith, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel (1 Cor. 11:19; Col. 1:23).
This manifestation of the approved after this process is one reason why Yahweh keeps silence, and permits Satan to continue their Operations among the Sons of the Deity, without any present judicial interference. There is also another very good reason for present non-intervention, and this is, because He has appointed a set time, styled by that infallible and incomparable exponent of the truth the Lord Jesus, "a Day of Judgment," hemera kriseos (Matt. 12:36); and by the no less accurate Paul, "THE DAY when the Deity shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to the gospel" Paul preached: "therefore," saith he, "judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come; who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts;" and "who will judge the living and the dead at his appearing and kingdom" (Rom. 2:16; 1 Cor. 4:5; 2 Tim. 4:1) and styled by the earnest and faithful Peter, "the Day of Inspection", hemera episkopes (1 Pet. 2:12) "the time that the judgment begins at the house of the Deity" (ch. 4:17); when, as James testifies, the saints shall be judged by the law of liberty (ch 2:12).
These are two all-sufficient reasons why the Satan should be Providentially tolerated among the sons of the Deity, until the Ancient of Days come. Now is the day of salvation," says Paul; but this, in effect, the Satan denies. He turns it into a day of judgment, saying, that there is no other day of judgment for the saints than this. Satan, of course, exceedingly dislikes the idea of being judged, and rewarded according to his works.
He does not approve of the doctrine of eternal life based upon an inspection of faith and practice after resurrection. He demands resurrection with immortality, not resurrection unto eternal life. He wants to spring out of the dust immortal, and no questions asked; for he knows very well, that neither his faith nor his practice will bear the light. Be this, however, as it may, his pleasure and satisfaction will not be consulted.
Inspection and its consequences begin at the house of the Christ: and Satan, who had received the one talent, and was afraid of the truth, and hid it in the earth, is purged Out as a wicked and slothful servant from among the sons of the Deity; and cast into the darkness of the outer world, where weeping and gnashing of teeth are the order of both day and night (Matt. 25:14-30; Apoc. 14:11).
This day of inspection is "the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of the Deity; who will render to every one according to his deeds" (Rom. 2:5,6). It is a day in which He will separate the satanic goats from the sheep who have heard his voice, and done the Father's will.
Those slothful, unprofitable, and wicked professors are "cast into the lake of fire burning with brimstone," in which are destroyed the beast and the false prophet, by that portion of the last plagues which is executed by the Second and Third Angels, who have power over fire. In other words, the judgment given to the approved, who enter into the joy of their Lord, affords scope in the execution of it upon the Diabolos and Satan of the world, for the punishment also of the unprofitable servants of the house of the Deity; who are "condemned with the world" to the calamities of the last plagues, which to them will be "a sorer punishment" than to the adversaries at large (Heb.10:26-30).
9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.
The State to be founded by the ELOAHH of the Heavens, who clothes the Saints with fine linen pure and bright, and girds them around the breasts with golden girdles, for their cooperative performance of the work, is "the kingdom which is to come to the daughter of Jerusalem" - "the first dominion which comes to Zion;" in the setting up and establishment of which, halting, and exiled, and afflicted, Israel, in all her tribes, is being gathered, and made a strong nation, for Yahweh to reign over thenceforth even during the Olahm (Mic 4:7,8).
This kingdom, with its secondary dominion, which is coextensive with "the whole heaven" (Dan. 7:27), must first be established before it can be entered upon administratively by any one. "The end of the matter" was declared to Daniel, as consisting in all dominions, or rulers, serving and obeying the Most High.
This universal submission of nations and dominions to the King of Israel, is the result of the entire exhaustion of the Seven Plagues of the Seven Angels; or the conclusion of the judgment given to the Saints to execute under the whole heaven. The Saints themselves cannot "enter into rest from their labours" (ch.14:13) until "their labours" are finished; and as to the world of nations while those labours are in progress, "they have no rest day nor night" from the operation of the smoking plagues, whereby they are being tormented.
But when the judgment is over; when the wrath of the Deity is all filled up; when the great and marvellous sign has passed away from the heaven; when the end of the "thousand six hundred furlongs" "time of the end" hath been reached; when smoke no longer fills the Nave from the glory and power of the Deity - after the forty years of Micah are all in the past; and the kingdom hath been restored to Israel; what will then obtain, and be the economy of this fullness of the times?
The Millennial Day of Christ will have come; the strong nations, recently so terribly rebuked, will be awaiting their conqueror's law; and the Saints resting from their judicial military labours, are henceforth blessed with the peaceable and glorious possession of the kingdom, without a disturbing element within or from without, to ruffle the glassy sea, over which is extended, for a thousand years, their righteous and almighty rule. Then their wars shall have ceased to the ends of the earth (Psa. 46 and 47), and they are exalted over the subject nations; then the new law will be proclaimed from Zion and the word of Yahweh from Jerusalem (Mic. 4:2).
By this law, "a New Heaven and a New Earth" is created, in which Jerusalem is created a rejoicing, and her people a joy. Israel is admitted into the bond of the covenant, the truth and the mercy sworn to their fathers Abraham and Jacob from the days of old.
Henceforth the voice of weeping will be heard no more in Jerusalem, nor the voice of crying. Longevity will bless her citizens, whose lives shall be enduring as a tree; and they shall long enjoy the work of their hands. Peace will be extended to her like a river, and the glory of the nations like a flowing stream. The Bride the Lamb's wife will be there, as the Queen arrayed in the gold of Ophir, whose beauty will be greatly desired by the King, and her favour entreated by the rich among the peoples (Mic. 7:20; Isa. 65:17-24; Psa. 46).
Such will be the blessedness of the Firstborn of the nations. The brilliant and precious living stones of fair colours, the immortal constituents of the Bride, will be kings and priests in all the earth. The nations, freed from the dominion of thieves and robbers, and enlightened in the truth, which they will heartily believe, will be permitted to enter into the covenant of the Most Holy; and thus to be joined to Yahweh, and to become his people in fellowship with Israel.
One economy, or administration, will rule the world in righteousness, all of whose nations, being justified by faith, will be blessed in and with faithful Abraham, as the gospel of the kingdom preached to him has long declared. There will then exist a world of enlightened nations, ruled by the ONE BODY in perfect harmony with the truth, or word then proclaimed from Jerusalem. This is "the world to come;" the future constitution of things upon the habitable, which no one is able to enter into until the Seven Plagues of the Seven Angels are fulfilled" (Isa. 54:11-13; Zech. 2:11; Gal. 3:7-9).
10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
Christ was cursed by the law in the mode of his death (v13). He could not be cursed in any other way, for he was not a transgressor of the law. But in this way, he was cursed. And it is probable that this clause was inserted in the law for this very purpose -- that Christ might innocently die under the curse of the law, and so take it away: for the law can do nothing more than kill.
When he died he was no longer under the law, which was made for mortal men, and had dominion over a man only as long as he lived (Rom. 7:1). When he rose, he was free from the curse of the law--redeemed by his death. It is by union with him as a resurrected free man that we obtain this redemption wrought in him. This is what Paul says: "Ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ, that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead" He was born under the law and redeemed from the law, that we might be redeemed by sharing his redemption.
This view of the matter enables us to understand Paul's allusion to what the death of Christ accomplished in relation to the law: that he "abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of the commandments contained in ordinances" (Eph. 2:15); "blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross" (Col. 2:14). But the result was achieved in himself.
This is the whole principle: redemption achieved in Christ for us to have, on condition of faith and obedience. It is not only that Israel are saved from the law of Moses on this principle, but it is the principle upon which we are saved from the law of sin and death, whose operation we inherit in deriving our nature from Adam.
Christ partook of this nature to deliver it from death, as Paul teaches in Heb. 2:14, and other places: "Forasmuch as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil". Understanding by the devil, the hereditary death-power that has reigned among men by Adam through sin, we may understand how Christ, who took part in the death-inheriting nature, destroyed the power of death by dying and rising.
We then understand how "He put away sin by the sacrifice of himself". We may also understand how "our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed" (Rom. 6:6), and how he "died unto sin once", but now liveth unto God, to die no more (verses 9-10).
All of which enables us to understand why the typical holy things were purified with sacrificial blood, and why the high priest, in his typical and official capacity had to be touched with blood as well as anointed with the holy oil before entering upon his work. When we say, as some in their reverence for Christ prefer to say, that the death of Christ was not for himself but only for us, they destroy all these typical analogies, and in truth, if their view could prevail, they would make it impossible that it could be for us at all for it only operates "for us" when we unite ourselves with him in whom, as the firstborn, it had its first effect.
Law of Moses Ch 18
13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
He was buried under the curse of the law, which "made him a curse for" our benefit: he came forth while that same law was in force and Operation. His coming forth upon the arena of his execution did not relieve him from the curse of that law, which sentenced him to continuous and everlasting death; so that, if they could have recaptured him, the Mosaic authorities would doubtless have returned him into death.
That law regarded him as dead, and its authorities refused credence to the report, that he had come to life. After he had come forth he saw Mary, a Jewess, who mistook him for the gardener, so like other men did he appear. Having convinced her of her error, he checked the impulse of her affection by saying to her, "Touch me not!" It was defiling for Jews to touch a thing declared to be unclean by the law.
Any thing from the grave was enacted to be unclean, in reference to him who should come out of the tomb, until that he should be 'revived" (Rom. 14:9) or "made a quickening Spirit" (1 Cor. 15:45). Christ was "the end of the law," the substance or body of the shadow (Rom. 10:4; Col. 2:17); its lines concentred in the things pertaining to his body.
The foregoing remarks have dealt mainly with the hereditary death taint derived from Adam, but there was, addition to this, the condemnation of the law of Moses, under which Christ could not be brought by birth; he was born under the law but not condemned by the law unless he broke the law. If he had broken the law, he would have ceased to be an acceptable sacrifice for the sins of the world.
Yet, if the curse of the law did not come upon him, he could not take that curse away. What we might call the difficulty of this cause was met by the mode of his death, in which, without any delinquency on his part, but rather by an act of obedience, he was brought under the curse of the law by the mode of his death, brought under that curse without fault, but rather by virtue, and redeemed from it by resurrection.
The Blood of Christ - 'The Place of Forgiveness'
It is significant that Paul argues that Christ was cursed by a moral Law (the Mosaic), as it is only by this means that he identifies with us in our condition of transgression, since he was entirely sinless morally.
However, by this unique law in Deu. 21:23, the Lord was brought under a moral curse, whilst remaining free of personal transgression. But Paul goes further: he claims that because Christ was hung on a tree, and thereby cursed by the Law, that the blessing of Abraham could come on Gentiles. What a remarkable connection! What a curious development! Nevertheless the reason why Paul connects the offering of Christ with the Gentile blessing opens a most remarkable logic, and a unique understanding of the purpose of the Law!
Seek the reason and find the powerful connection! It is enormously powerful, and strengthens the true understanding of the atonement...GEM
16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
...the plural is not used in the promise, and that the singular form employed is applicable to an individual seed, as illustrated in that other promise:
"Thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies" (Gen. xxii. 17).
...Abraham had many seeds in the family sense; for the sons of Keturah founded tribes and nations in Arabia. The singular form of the noun covered the one national seed and the one personal seed in the same way that in another prophecy, the one national "son"-"Israel my first-born"-covered the one personal son-first-fruits-who was also brought out of Egypt.
The Christadelphian June 1894. p233.
Here, then, we suppose, stands before us a man, be he Jew or be he Gentile matters not, he is a man who has been sprinkled by the ever living testator with the blood of his covenant or will; and by this constituted one of His heirs or legatees.
Now, concerning such a man we ask. What is the legacy to him bequeathed? This question will admit of but one answer, and that is, The things promised in that covenant and its testimonies to Abraham and his Seed, which is Christ.
But then, it may be inquired, How can a thousand other people be entitled to a legacy willed to these two?
The explanation of that difficulty is that the covenant testimonies expound the word "Seed, " as expressive of One Person indeed, but of that one also in a federative sense; just as if 144,000 individuals were regarded as one person, and he were called Christ: thus it is written,
"If ye be Christ's (that is, by having put him on) then are ye the Seed of Abraham, and heirs according to the promise," or covenant.
This is styled being "one in Christ Jesus." But this "One" is not restricted to a few thousands; it comprehends the whole Twelve Tribes, who are termed "the children of the covenant," or its Seed. But, it might be objected that the Twelve Tribes are not Christ's, having never put him on; and therefore, they cannot on this showing be Abraham's Seed in the covenant sense.
True they are not Christ's yet; but when the testimonies we have produced are fulfilled; and the New Covenant is made with the House of Israel and the House of Judah, they will be both Ammi and Ruhamah; for
"I will have mercy on them, and they shall be called the sons of the living God."
Will they not be Christ's then? Clearly so.
To Abraham and the Christ were the promises made, says the apostle. To Abraham, as the federal father; and to Christ, his son, as the federal elder brother of the great family, or nation, was the inheritance bequeathed.
The Will, however, was not to come into full force until
"the dispensation of the fulness of the times appointed,"
which dispensation, or economy, will be introduced when
"the times of the Gentiles shall be fulfilled."
When this Administration exists as an accomplished fact, the united Jewish nation will be existent in the covenant-land, solely constituted of the Sons of Abraham, and brethren of Christ by nature and by faith.
But the nation inherits only by faith, and not by virtue of the Mosaic law, or its natural descent. If by law and by nature, then all the generations of the nation's dead would rise, and possess the land under Christ; but the inheritance being by faith, they only will possess it of the dead and the living, who believe the things of the covenant and are sprinkled by its blood.
Abraham, Christ, and the Twelve Tribes in the fulness-of-times dispensation, are the legatees under the will, which bequeathes to them the Holy Land for an everlasting possession. It says to Abraham and to Christ ye shall possess the land for ever. This was equivalent to saying, Ye shall live for ever; for without immortality they could not possess the land for ever.
Hence this promise of the land is the promise of eternal life; so that if any one Jew or Gentile attain to immortality it will be as a legatee of this will, and of this only.
Mystery of the covenant of the holy land explained
Herald Jan 1853
17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was 430 years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.
18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.
There would seem to be an individual seed and a multitudinous seed mentioned in the Promises.
57. No doubt it is so, just as there is an individual Christ and a multitudinous Christ in the 'One Body' of his people, when perfectly made one with him at the resurrection.
But I suppose that the promise that his seed should become numerous refers to the Jews in the past?
58. No doubt it includes them, in their past increase, but it also extends as far as the Promise itself is intended to reach, and we have seen that that goes into the endless future.
I can see that that must be so, so that the Jewish nation is destined to become a very numerous people.
59. When you consider the great multitude of them destined to be raised to inherit the Kingdom under Christ, and the great increase that wilI take place among the Jews after the flesh when their Kingdom is restored, it follows that the Promise to Abraham of an incomputable progeny will be fulfilled in the absolute sense. This will appear in a still stronger light when we come to consider what will take place beyond the Kingdom.
The immediate question I wished to bring under your notice was this: When Israel was settled in the Land of Promise as a nation, did that settlement have its basis on the Promise made to Abraham?
No; I should scarcely say it had, although God did promise that they should be released from the bondage of the Egyptians. Their settlement in the Land took place under the Law that came into force by Moses, and the stability of it was made dependent upon obedience to that Law.
When they were obedient, they prospered; when they disobeyed, they were driven out. This was the very bargain that was made between them and Moses. It seems to me that if it had taken place under the Promises to Abraham, there would have been no such conditions, and no failure in the blessings promised.
60. You reason rightly in the matter, and I should like to call your attention to the exact coincidence between your reasoning and that of Paul in Gal. 3. He says "if the inheritance be of the Law, then it is no more of promise, but God gave it to Abraham BY PROMISE." You perceive how completely this proves that the Promises to Abraham are to be fulfilled in the Kingdom of God?
Of that I have not now the slightest doubt. I have noticed that Paul says the Gospel was preached unto Abraham, and I can see -- with the new view I have received of the Gospel -- how the Promises made to Abraham are in reality the very Gospel preached by Christ and the apostles, only in a more condensed form.
The Good Confession
24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto [prepare the way for] Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
The law was a schoolmaster (not "to, bring unto" Christ as the interpolated words of King James' version of Gal. 3:24 expresses it, but to prepare the way for Christ). Without the preliminary effects engendered by the long previous currency of the law of Moses, the situation would not have been suitable for his manifestation.
...THE Tabernacle...was "holy unto the Lord", and no one could intrude without being guilty of sacrilege on pain of death. Not even the priests could approach the altar without washing at the laver, or the inner holy without sacrificial blood.
It is all meaningless mummery to a mere naturalist. To the enlightened state of mind that comes from taking all facts into view, and not those of nature merely, it must appear as a powerful means of creating and developing the sentiment of reverence and the conception of holiness. This is the highest grace of which human character is capable.
To the merely natural mind, there is nothing to revere: no holiness to cultivate--but only things to know and sensations to feel--under the bias of which, human character sinks into coldness and grossness and barrenness.
The ordinances of the law were designed to draw the mind up to a higher level, on which worship in holiness warms and expands and beautifies the character. Its typical nature was a secondary element reserved for the later elucidation by the Spirit of God in the apostles.
Its immediate object was to bring Israel near to God in holiness. It succeeded in this as regards a class in all their generations; and even as regards the unsanctified bulk, it kept them in a certain outward shape and attitude of separateness, which was subservient to the Divine purpose in calling them out of Egypt and organizing them as a nation on the basis of the law.
Law of Moses Ch 20.
26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
Faith in Messiah means to know him as the character image of his father clothed upon with sins' flesh and to believe and obey his teaching.
Faith is a very precious commodity
Our existence as children of God depends upon the possession of it. Let faith go, and we quickly waste and die (2 Cor. 1:24: 5:7; 1 Jno. 5:4; Rom. 11:20) To see a brother or sister perish in this way is a pitful sight, yet it is not an uncommon one.
...Where are they all? Dead-alive enough in one sense, but spiritually dead. Why have they died? Is the truth any less real? Are the divine promises any less beautiful? Is prophecy any less reliable? Is the moral teaching of the Bible any less unique and grand? No.
Then what is the reason? Because they have allowed their faith to go. When faith went, the germs of Diabolos (inherent in all, more or less) speedily did their fatal work-ambition, covetousness, lust of power, pride of intellect, love of pleasure, envy, &c., killed.
Moral-Neglect not the appointed means for the sustenance of faith, viz., the sincere, reverential, daily reading of the Word of God (Rom. 10:17; Acts 20:32; Psa. 119:104).
Bro AT Jannaway
The Christadelphian, Sept 1902
...he is not the Jew who is the seed of Abraham in the sense of being heir of the promise, who is only a Jew by accident: to be the seed of Abraham, a man must be a Jew inwardly; he must be sealed in the forehead with the truth which is Deity's seal: in other words, addressing both natural Jews and natural Gentiles, Paul says:
"Ye are all sons of Deity in Christ Jesus through the faith;"
and here follows the reason:
"For as many as have been immersed into Christ, have put on Christ." In whom "there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female; for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise"
27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
'...they are the sons of God by the faith, because as many of them as have been baptised (or immersed) into Christ, have put on Christ; and though before Jews and Gentiles, bond and free, male and female, yet now having been baptised into Christ, they are all one IN Christ Jesus;" and therefore "sons of God in him."