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.
...it is clear that the blood of dead animals, such as calves and goats, must be utterly worthless for anything else than a shift devised for the exigency of the case. They had no righteousness; therefore their sprinkled blood would constitute no one righteous: they had no life; therefore it could impart no title to eternal life: and not being human, they could not expiate humanity's offence, inasmuch as the wisdom of God determined that sin should be "condemned in the flesh," not representatively of animals only, but literally in that of man.
As it was not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins, and this being the blood of the Mosaic covenant, it was as impossible for that instrument to give the twelve tribes or a single faithful Israelite, even a title to inherit the land forever.
"The wages of sin is death;"
Hence sins untaken away, or transgressions unredeemed, leaves the transgressor under death's sentence. A man under sentence of death, is as good as dead; he is therefore styled "dead in trespasses and sins." This was the condition of the whole nation under the law. No man thereof could show his title to eternal life in Canaan, or elsewhere.
A faithful Israelite might hope that when Messiah came, he would not prove like Adam the first, but be obedient unto death; and by his shed blood, purge the Abrahamic covenant in which he believed, and by thus redeeming the transgressions committed by the faithful under the law, gave them justification unto life eternal, by which they would be enabled to possess the land forever.
No, the only title to the land the Mosaic law could give was conditional and limited to their mortal existence upon it.
...We see, then, the nature of the Mosaic law purged by inferior or unprecious blood. It could not give a title to eternal life, and was therefore incapable of imparting everlasting righteousness to any; and nothing short of an everlasting righteousness can constitute a man an heir of the kingdom of God in the covenanted land.
By obedience to this law no flesh can be justified, for by it comes the knowledge of sin, without the power of deliverance (Rom 3:20,28).
"It made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did." (Heb 7:19) .
The Mystery of the Covenant of the Holy Land Explained
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.
14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
"I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me."
In what way does the offering of shed blood honour God and humble man? The blood is the life. As sinners we are under the condemnation of death. The offering of blood is the acknowledgment of our position, and the vindication of God's righteousness in our humiliation. This demand for sacrifice is one of the most emphatic assertions of God's holiness and supremacy in connection with the Mosaic ritual, and one of the most graphic and telling humiliations of man that it would be possible to devise.
This is one of the secrets of the distaste which most people feel towards the whole system; and at the same time one of the most powerful sweetnesses it has for those who believe. Those who believe, see in it the beauty of mercy on the foundation of God's exaltation, in both of which they find pure pleasure. The other class see in it only fault-finding and gloominess. Christ is the fulfilment of the whole significance.
Law of Moses Ch 12
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.
22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
In remembrance of Me
Brethren are very unwise who neglect or treat lightly the meeting for breaking of bread. Such conduct is suicidal. The institution is of Christ-it has been arranged as a restorative-a divine tonic for the jaded spiritual man after six days' battling with an evil world.
Who does not feel himself run down on the Saturday night, and, as the result of Sunday's exercises, refreshed and invigorated on the Monday morning? Is it rash to say that without this weekly reminder of Christ many of us would long since have slipped away from the truth?
Truly, it is a merciful ordinance, and one for which we should be devoutly thankful. Let us not despise it. Let each one who attends to it see that he does not mar the good which Christ intended this institution to yield. It is very easy to do this.
Here are a few ways in which it can be done: Come in late, and chatter after the service has commenced. Show ourselves inattentive to the ministrations of the presiding and exhorting brethren (this may be done by yawning, giggling, talking, taking out the watch every few minutes, etc.).
Find fault after the meeting is over with everything that has been done. Send all with whom we come in contact home with their minds full of irritating, absorbing, superfluous items best unknown. On the other hand, if we would co-operate with Christ in making the meeting pleasurable and edifying, then let us shun these things, and show ourselves true worshippers-earnest, zealous, reverential, grateful, loving, anxious to make the meeting to all a source of comfort and upbuilding.
Bro AT Jannaway
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.
So that it had been "the manner of some" in those days to stay away from the assembly, to stay at home, to take it easy, to excuse themselves the trouble of coming out statedly to the meetings of the brethren, under the idea, no doubt, that it was unnecessary for them to attend the meetings, and that they could serve God as effectively in the quietness and seclusion of home as in the assembly.
Now, God, in these things is always wiser than we; and the very fact of Christ commanding his disciples to assemble for the purpose of breaking bread, must be taken as proof that it is in itself a wise thing.
Sunday Morning No 10
Ambassador of the Coming Age, Nov 1868
For us living in these last days the signs of the times are momentous, for they most assuredly illustrate the near apocalypse of Christ.
So near in fact, that the events are forcefully calling out to us to be prepared and waiting for Christ's visible manifestation on the earth. So strong are they, that it should awake us to our responsibilities that we might increase our efforts, striving to bring our thoughts and actions into close harmony with the Way of Life.
Unless that effort is increased now, and unless we are righteous today, that day will bring only sorrow and rejection instead of joy and acceptance.
Bro David Clubb
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).
35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.
The danger is that we tire in the long silence and darkness of the night in which our lot is cast. This would be a great mistake. What else is there of hope? Naught besides. If we surrender this, darkness irretrievable is our inheritance; away from God, there is no redemption from the vanity of present existence.
It is good to get another glimpse of the facts upon which we stand and out of which our hopes arise. The facts are apt to get out of sight somewhat. Our faculties are dim at the best and our lives are apt to make them dimmer in divine directions.
Our lives now, in fact, may be compared to a day of fog and rain in which it is very difficult to realise the sun and the glorious blue of heaven. The meetings act as a rift in the cloud. They shew us the smile of heaven behind all the unfavourable aspects of the moment. They help us to feel again the reviving strength of the things most surely established by the testimony of God, and to resume the journey with renewed determination.
We are like the children on the road to a house to which they have been invited. Our stature and our strength are small, and though the prospect of the party is attractive, our little steps grow tired. What do we say to the children in such a case? We comfort and encourage them by telling them they will soon be at their journey's end, and that they will forget all their weariness when once they get there.
Our journey is not long though it seems so. We look at our future in perspective and think it longer than it is. It cannot last above so many years, and perhaps not one; and when it is over, it is over for ever. The toils of this mortal will never return. The anxieties, and weakness, and disappointments of this state will be replaced by comfort, strength, and gladness for ever. We get this assurance from whatever part of the word comes under our notice
Sunday Morning 169 - TC 07/1886.