Enter subtitle here
1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.
2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.
3 But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.
4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.
Man having been made subject to evil, and consigned to the bondage of a perishing state, the Lord God repudiated their fig-leaf invention, and "appointed coats of skins" for their covering. In this testimony there is much expressed in few words. To appoint coats of skins implies a command for the sacrifice of animals whose skins were converted to this purpose. It also implies that Adam was the priest on the occasion. who presented himself before the Lord with the mediatorial blood.
When the sacrifice was accepted, the offence was provisionally remitted ; for the scripture saith, that it is not possible for the blood of animals to take away sins. (Heb 10:4) It was impossible, because sin was to be condemned in sinful flesh. This required the death of a man; for the animals had not sinned: so that, if the whole animal world, save man, had been made an offering for sin, sin would still have been uncondemned in his nature.
Besides the necessity of a human sacrifice, God deemed it equally necessary that the victim should be free from personal transgressions; and that when he had suffered, he should rise from the dead so as to be "a living sacrifice".
If the death of a transgressor would have sufficed, then, Adam and Eve might have been put to death at once, and raised to life again. But this was not according to the divine wisdom.
The great principle to be compassed was the condemnation of sin in sinful flesh, innocent of actual transgression. This principle necessitated the manifestation of one, who should be born of a woman, but not of the will of man. Such a one would be the Seed of the Woman, made of her substance, with Him for his Father who by His overshadowing spirit should cause her to conceive. He would be Son of God by origination; and Son of Mary by descent, or birth of sinful flesh.
Now it is not to be supposed that Adam and Eve did not understand this: God doubtless explained it to them; for they had none to teach them but Him, and without His instruction, they would not have known what they should believe. It was from them that Abel derived the knowledge which was the foundation of his faith to which God testified in the acceptance of the firstling of his flock and the fat thereof. Adam and his wife had faith, or God would not have accepted the sacrifices with whose skins they were clothed; for it was as true then as it is now, that "without faith it is impossible to please God."
Elpis Israel 1.5.
5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:
Till the birth of the "body prepared" of Mary's substance, the fleshly medium did not exist-there was no God-manifestation through the flesh, nor even then till the baptismal anointing of that body.
Hitherto it was God dwelling in unapproachable light, embosoming the Spirit. But when God manifested himself as a Father, his Spirit, speaking by the Son-Flesh, could say, "Glorify thou me with thine own self, with the glory which I had with thee before the world was." When the prepared body lay in the tomb, the God-manifestation ceased; but when the Spirit of God filled it again, it was on that day begotten as "the Son of God with power according to the holy spiritual nature;" and in relation to the terrestrial system, the preeminent medium of God-manifestation for ever.
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, May 1854
Nicodemus and his contemporaries heard the voice of the Spirit, breathed forth in the words of spirit and life, uttered by Mary's Son, who they knew was a teacher come from God . But they did not perceive that this teacher was the Eternal Spirit, nor did they comprehend how he came.
Judging by flesh-appearances, they only saw Mary's son, as they saw Isaiah or one of the prophets, as teachers from God.
They did not perceive that Jesus was "a body prepared" by special Spirit-creation, the Cherub upon which the effluent power of the Eternal Substance rested; and that upon him, and through him, he walked through the country breathing forth his voice in the doctrine taught, and his power in the miracles performed not perceiving this, still less did they comprehend that the Effluent Power would so thoroughly change the constitution of the "Body Prepared," that it should be no longer corruptible flesh perpetuated in life by blood and air, but should be transformed into spirit-flesh and spirit-bones, constituting a Spirit-Body -- a material, corporeal substance -- essentially incorruptible, glorious, powerful, deathless, and quickening; and that in this, as corporealized spirit, the Effluent Power that had "come down from heaven" -- from the abode of the Eternal Substance, "which no man can approach unto" would "ascend where he was before."
Phanerosis ...'The Anointed Cherub'
Sin could not have been condemned in the body of Jesus, if it had not existed there. His body was as unclean as the bodies of those He died for; for He was born of a woman, and "not one" can bring a clean body out of a defiled body; for, "that," says Jesus Himself, which is born of the flesh is flesh" (John 3:6).
According to this physical law, the Seed of the woman was born into the world. The nature of Mary was as unclean as that of other women; and therefore could give birth only to "a body" like her own, though especially "prepared of God" (Heb. 10:10, 12, 14). Had Mary's nature been immaculate, as her idolatrous worshippers contend, an immaculate body would have been born of her; which, therefore, would not have answered the purpose of God, which was to condemn sin in the flesh; a thing that could not have been accomplished, if there were no sin there.
Speaking of the conception and preparation of the Seed, the prophet, as a typical person, says,
"Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me" (Psa. 51:5). This is nothing more than affirming that He was born of sinful flesh; and not of the pure and incorruptible angelic nature.
Sinful flesh being the hereditary nature of the Lord Jesus, He was a fit and proper sacrifice for sin; especially as He was Himself "innocent of the great transgression," having been obedient in all things. Appearing in the nature of the seed of Abraham (Heb. 2:16-18), He was subject to all the emotions by which we are troubled; so that He was enabled to sympathize with our infirmities (Heb. 4:15), being "made in all things like unto His brethren." But, when He was "born of the spirit" in the quickening of His mortal body by the spirit (Rom. 8:11), He became a spirit; for "that which is born of the spirit is spirit." Hence, He is "the Lord the Spirit," incorruptible flesh and bones.
Elpis Israel 1.4.
19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,
20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;
In the beginning God's way was styled "the way of the tree of life," which, in the passage where it occurs, must be taken literally, and then allegorically. In its literal sense, it was the path leading to the Tree in the midst of the garden; but allegorically, it signified the things to be believed and practised by those who desired to live for ever.
To believe and do, is to walk in "the way which leadeth unto life," because immortality will be a part of the recompense of reward for so doing.
Until the crucifixion, the way was marked out, first, by the patriarchal arrangement of things, and secondly, by the Mosaic law, all of which pointed to the Shiloh. But, when Jesus appeared, He announced, saying,
"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no man cometh to the Father, but by me" (John 14:6).
He became the Way, by His sacrificial death and resurrection.
Whosoever would attain to life must believe the truth concerning Jesus, and the kingdom, which is the most holy place. Hence, it is written, "we have boldness to enter into the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a New and Living Way, which He hath consecrated for us, through the Veil, that is to say, His flesh" (Heb. 10:19-20).
Elpis Israel 1.5.
25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
Such an exhortation as this implies a stated time and place of assembly. On what day, then, did the ecclesias of the saints meet to exhort one another so as to provoke to love and to good works? Certainly, not on the seventh day, for then the apostles were in the synagogues. What day then more appropriate than the Lord's day, or first day of the week?
Now it cannot be affirmed that the saints were commanded to meet on this day, because there is no testimony to that effect in the New Testament. But, it is beyond dispute, that they did assemble themselves together on the first day of the week, and the most reasonable inference is that they did so in obedience to the instruction of the apostles from whose teaching they derived all their faith and practice, which constituted them the disciples of Jesus.
Elpis Israel 1.2.
26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
This is connected with the condemnation of those who neglect the prescribed assembling of the Saints for the breaking of bread, and shows the nature of the course signified by "sinning wilfully": a sinning deliberately: presumptuously: going coolly in the face of plainly-enunciated divine requirements, in the spirit of the man who "despised Moses' law," and therefore constructively a "treading under foot of the Son of God, a counting of the blood of the covenant unholy," as the verse proceeds to amplify.
It has no reference to sins of infirmity, but to sins of treasonable indifference.
The Christadelphian, Oct 1894. p391-393.
The position assumed by the Novatians was perfectly scriptural. Sins unto death disqualify for inheritance in the kingdom of the Deity, and therefore for fellowship with those who are "the Heirs of the kingdom which he has promised to them who love him," or obey him; which is the same thing, for "love is the fulfilling of law." There can be no sin more deadly than that of a christian sacrificing to other gods, and cursing Christ, for the sake of present ease and comfort.
Paul settles this clearly enough to the minds of all who receive the word as the end of all controversy.
"If they who were once enlightened," says he, "shall fall away, it is impossible to renew them again unto a change of mind eis metanoian, seeing they crucify again for themselves the Son of the Deity, and expose him to public shame."
This is bearing thorns and briars; and such, Paul saith, "is rejected, and nigh to cursing; whose end is to be burned" (Heb. vi. 4-8). For an enlightened man to sacrifice to the gods of Greece and Rome, was for him to "sin wilfully" -- a sin for which no sacrifice is provided in the system of righteousness devised by the Deity. It is therefore "a sin unto death;" and for that -- for pardon of that, John discountenanced all petition: "there is a sin unto death; I say not that ye shall pray for it" (1 John v. 16).